The Weekly Gut Check No. 204 - Post-Mortem of a Draft
By Matt Waldman
September 3rd, 2010

The Weekly Gut Check examines the players, strategies and guidelines fantasy football owners use to make personnel decisions.

Post-Mortem of a Draft

Since we're all steeped in drafts at this point of the season, I thought I'd perform so analysis on the draft from one of the Footballguys.com staff leagues. The most common way the industry likes to write about drafts is to get takes from every participant. It's a great way to see what everyone is thinking when they drafted, but oftentimes you only have your own perspective to rely upon and you only have your opponents' reactions to rely upon.

And to be blatantly honest, I'm not much for trying to figure out what my opponents are doing. I will may try to gauge who might go before and after me if I have a pick near the turn and I hope to catch two players I want with the right kind of pick, but otherwise I try to draft so I know I can get most of the players I want at reasonable place.

Here are the highlights of the league specs (link for complete scoring):

  • 12 teams
  • 20 rounds
  • Lineups of 1 QB/2RB/3WR/1TE/1Flex(RB/WR/TE)/1K/1DEF
  • 5 pts per pass TD and 6 pts for other TDs
  • 1 point per reception
  • Serpentine draft
  • Last year this league was highly competitive with no less five teams competing in the final week of the regular season for a playoff spot. I anticipate it will be no different this year. My team won the fifth spot in the draft, which is the spot I've landed in 75 percent of my drafts this summer. Needless to say, I'm renewing my membership to the Frank Gore fan club in 2010.

    I color-coded the draft by position so I can provide salient analysis on broad points before delving into each team.

    Rd 
    Tremblay
    Magaw
    Brown
    Grant
    Waldman
    Levin
    Stuart
    Bramel
    Borbely
    Baker
    Dowling
    Norton
    1
    Johnson, C 
    Peterson, A 
    Rice, R 
    Jones-Drew, M 
    Gore, F 
    Turner, M 
    Johnson, A 
    Jackson, S 
    Rodgers, A 
    Johnson, C 
    Mathews, R 
    Williams, D
    2
    Charles, J 
    Manning, P 
    Fitzgerald, L 
    Austin, M 
    Best, J 
    Wayne, R 
    Grant, R 
    White, R 
    Mendenhall, R 
    Moss, R 
    Greene, S 
    Brees, D
    3
    Thomas, P 
    Spiller, C 
    Marshall, B 
    McCoy, L 
    Schaub, M 
    Brady, T 
    Romo, T 
    Jennings, G 
    Jackson, D 
    Colston, M 
    Crabtree, M 
    Forte, M
    4
    Finley, J 
    Smith, S (NYG)
    Ochocinco, C 
    Barber, M 
    Gates, A 
    Nicks, H 
     Smith, S  (CAR)
    Benson, C 
    Stewart, J 
    Moreno, K 
    Addai, J 
    Foster, A
    5
    Ward, H 
    Davis, V 
    Wells, C 
    Clark, D 
    Boldin, A 
    Bush, R 
    Welker, W 
    Bradshaw, A 
    Witten, J 
    Owens, T 
    Knox, J 
    Floyd, M
    6
    Jones, F 
    Maclin, J 
    Rivers, P 
    Cutler, J 
    Harvin, P 
    Bowe, D 
    Gonzalez, T 
    Celek, B 
    Garcon, P 
    Brown, R 
    Wallace, M 
    Sims-Walker, M
    7
    Evans, L 
    Bush, M 
    Portis, C 
    Ryan, M 
    Moss, S 
    Williams, R 
    Jacobs, B 
     Kolb, K 
    Bryant, D 
    Harrison, J 
    Driver, D 
    Miller, Z
    8
    Aromashodu, D 
    Edwards, B 
    Hightower, T 
    Berrian, B 
    Tomlinson, L 
    Winslow, K 
    Hester, D 
    Mason, D 
    Gaffney, J 
    Houshmandzadeh, T 
    Daniels, O 
    Gresham, J
    9
    Naanee, L 
    Holmes, S 
    Shiancoe, V 
    Washington, L 
    Williams, C 
    McFadden, D 
    Brown, D 
    Sproles, D 
    Hardesty, M 
    Manning, E 
    Stafford, M 
    Royal, E
    10
    McNabb, D 
    Cribbs, J 
    Taylor, C 
    Cotchery, J 
    Jets, N 
    Meachem, R 
    Forsett, J 
    Flacco, J 
    Jones, J 
    Palmer, C 
    Jackson, F 
    Jones, T
    11
    Roethlisberger, B 
    Thomas, M 
    Slaton, S 
    Moore, L 
    Williams, M (TB)
    Maroney, L 
    Robinson, L 
    Britt, K 
    McGahee, W 
    Buckhalter, C 
    Breaston, S 
    Murphy, L
    12
    Massaquoi, M 
    Gerhart, T 
    Huggins, K 
    McCluster, D 
    Favre, B 
    Cooley, C 
    Johnson, L 
    Scott, B 
    Faulk, K 
    Miller, H 
    Williams, M (SEA)
    Jones, J
    13
    Ringer, J 
    Keller, D 
    Burleson, N 
    Eagles, P 
    Collie, A 
    Packers, G 
    Carlson, J 
    Gonzalez, A 
    Jackson, V 
    Olsen, G 
    Manningham, M 
    Chambers, C
    14
    Hartline, B 
    Young, V 
    Steelers, P 
    Henne, C 
     Lynch, M 
    Crosby, M 
    49ers, S 
    Hernandez, A 
    Vikings, M 
    Taylor, F 
    Smith, A 
    Bengals, C
    15
    Chargers, S 
    Cowboys, D 
    Garrard, D 
    Amendola, D 
    Branch, D 
    Norwood, J 
    Jackson, B 
    Dolphins, M 
    Orton, K 
    Bears, C 
    Hartley, G 
    Campbell, J
    16
    Freeman, J 
    Choice, T 
    Bess, D 
    Jennings, R 
    Westbrook, B 
    Cassel, M 
    Hasselbeck, M 
    Robiskie, B 
    Scheffler, T 
    Kaeding, N 
    Giants, N 
    Shockey, J
    17
    Rice, S 
    Heap, T 
    Morgan, J 
    Gostkowski, S 
    Gould, R 
    Camarillo, G 
    Douglas, H 
    Rackers, N 
    Thomas, Dem
    Longwell, R 
    Bell, M 
    Sanchez, M
    18
    Bironas, R 
    Carpenter, D 
    Smith, K 
    LaFell, B 
    Walter, K 
    Henderson, D 
    Folk, N 
    Titans, T 
    Akers, D 
    Washington, N 
    Cook, J 
    Saints, N
    19
    Thomas, Dev 
    Ravens, B 
    Vinatieri, A 
    Benn, A 
    Watson, B 
    Edelman, J 
    Tate, B 
    Moore, M 
    Stroughter, S 
    Heyward-Bey, D 
    McKnight, J 
    Buehler, D
    20
    Davis, C 
    Decker, E 
    Davis, F 
    Tynes, L 
    Dixon, A 
    Williams, R 
    Moore, M 
    Doucet, E 
    Avant, J 
    Patriots, N 
    Bradford, S 
    Shipley, J

    Big-Picture Items of Note

    In a league that allows a team to start three running backs in a lineup, it comes as no surprise that 50 percent of the first 36 picks were runners and all but three picks in the first rounds were backs. When the first 60 picks were off the board, 27 backs in were off the board - that's 75 percent of the projected starters at running back in the first quarter of the draft!

    There are two things this should tell you if other drafts follow suit with this one:

    1. You can really take advantage of this trend by going against it and opting for a receiver-heavy start to your draft.
    2. If you think of your draft in a microcosm of simply selecting RBs, then you have five rounds to pick as many starting RBs as possible. Within this small area, reaching two rounds to land a player you covet isn't really a reach. With so many backs going off the board in this small of a space, looking for a bargain with your first two backs is possible, but not likely. Only one or two teams might win on this front due to the rate these runners are flying off the board.

    We had a mini quarterback run, which happened once I took the fourth quarterback off the board in round three. Once Tony Romo left the holding tank nearly three rounds passed before a team decided to pick a passer. Half of the teams in this league selected a quarterback within the first three rounds. The other half either waited until rounds 6 and 7 or rounds 9 and 10.
    Nearly half the teams (5) have three quarterbacks on their roster - surprising.

    The perennial top performers at tight end were all available for the taking at the end of round three and gone by round five. Now you see them, now you don't. Two teams only picked one tight end in this draft while two teams went to the other extreme and picked three - no surprise that the one-tight end teams had Jermichael Finley and Dallas Clark, although one of the three-tight end teams began with Vernon Davis, which was eye-opening in hindsight.

    Three rookie backs were taken with a pick in each of the first three rounds and there were six, first-year starters drafted in the first five rounds. Put first and second-year players together and astoundingly there were 10 off the board by the end of the 5th round. It tells me that people quickly gain confidence in runners and receivers.

    The first kicker went in round 14 and it was one per round until the damn burst in round 17, then teams steadily added these Hermanites until the end of the session.

    Team defenses came off the board with one in round 10, doubling in number in round 11, and doubling once again in round 12. The final team to pick its first defense did it in round 16. Only four teams picked a second defense, which means most of the league is content to play the waiver wire on bye weeks.

    Team By Team (In Draft Order)

    Maurile Tremblay: The only team to lead off the draft with three backs, Tremblay got two backs with tremendous upside in Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles. I always think of Pierre Thomas as one of the best No. 3 RBs around and in this league, it's a great pick. Although I'm in limbo with Charles, Tremblay told me in no uncertain terms that Charles is a back he's coveted all summer and has clarity that the Chiefs runner is a player he's bullish about.

    What I really liked about Tremblay's approach, and a great lesson for new PPR owners, is that he didn't rush to acquire a wide receiver immediately after taking three runners. He knew his best value was to acquire a tight end, and I can imagine he felt Finley had the most upside of any in this draft. The fact that Gates went before Finley was all the more reason I bet he felt compelled to jump on the Packers tight end that could post low-end WR1 stats from the TE position. Tremblay showed why having this knowledge of where elite tight ends and WR1s-WR2s dovetail with their stats is very important, because it allowed him to take three runners he believes will be highly productive while not worrying as much about receiver as one might expect in a PPR league.

    Although I didn't like his picks of Lee Evans and Legedu Naanee, these are options with upside to pair with Hines Ward. So is Devin Aromashodu, a receiver I like more than Devin Hester, who is probably considered the No. 2 WR in this Bears unit but lacks the same rapport with Cutler as the former Auburn receiver that announced his presence to the league late last year. Mohamed Massaquoi, Devin Thomas, and Sidney Rice are upside picks with a lot of physical talent, something Jason Wood does a great job of instructing his readers to master when playing the end game of drafts. I'd bet Tremblay believes his chances are good that two of these six receivers can provide him better than expected production for his starting lineup. Good odds.

    Quarterback is another spot I liked for Tremblay. Picking a the turn, he did a great job of timing his opportunity to take Donovan McNabb in the 10th round and then start the 11th with Ben Roethlisberger. I believe that his selection of Freeman was just to hedge his bets with McNabb's ankle heading into week one. The Freeman pick will also give Tremblay flexibility to drop a player for the first regular season waiver wire if McNabb gets healthy. Otherwise, he can hold onto the Buccaneers' starter if he's understandably worried about McNabb's durability until Roethlisberger comes off suspension.

    I was robbed: Tremblay's pick of Roethlisberger in the 11th was where I hoped to target Roethlisberger as my No. 2 QB, but my decision to take the Jets as the first defense off the board cost me a chance at a quarterback that I think will have a huge second half in 2010. Although I'm happy with the Jets defense and I feel pretty good about Brett Favre as my reserve, the old man's ankle is a concern that I might look back and wish I waited on a defense one more round - which might have paid off with both picks I coveted.

    Bob Magaw: Even with C.J. Spiller in round three, I like Magaw's opening picks because he took safe players around the rookie back. You can't get much safer than Peterson, Manning, and even Steve Smith of the Giants. These players should get theirs' every week. You can probably say the same for Vernon Davis. If I could insert Jahvid Best in place of C.J. Spiller, I would be equally happy with this opening if I were in Bob's spot.

    The mid-rounds were a little too upside for my taste: Jeremy Maclin and Braylon Edwards are both talents, but I'd rather have these two receivers as my No. 3 and No. 4 wide outs. He made up for it in my mind with Santonio Holmes and Mike Thomas two players I coveted.

    I know the Ravens defense has taken a tumble down rankings, but I was surprised that Magaw could get them as late as he did - as his second unit! With the Ravens offense likely to take a step forward in 2010, I think they can take enough pressure off the defense to give them easier spots to make plays. They might not dip as far as people expect.

    I was robbed: I've been drafting Mike Thomas all summer after round 13, but Magaw did a nice job of moving up a couple of rounds early to nab a player I think he liked in round 11. I had my sights set on rookie receiver Mike Williams once Roethlisberger was gone, but it was kind of a double whammy for me when Thomas came off two rounds earlier than I hoped.

    Mike Brown: Brown opted for a strategy I thought more people in a PPR league would use, which is to begin with a top runner, take a block of top receivers and then follow up with a block of runners while interspersing other positions as he felt the value met the need. His first four picks were great: Rice, Fitzgerald, Marshall, and Ochocinco. Ironically, I believe if you reverse the order of the receivers, that's how they will perform this fall.

    This pick your No. 3 before your No. 2 seemed to be an unintended theme of Brown's draft, which tells you he got value. The best example is at running back where Chris Wells is definitely talented enough as a No. 2 RB, but I think Clinton Portis will have a much better year despite getting the Redskins starter two picks later. Brown also did a good job of picking upside backups at running back when the offerings at RB were slim, although one could argue that he skipped a couple of starters to achieve that end. My guess is that Brown felt his back ups had more upside than the available starters, which justifies his move.

    I like Brown's backups late in his draft as much as any team. I just don't like the number of time -shares he took: especially with Steve Slaton and Kevin Smith struggling this summer. But and if his receivers play to their potential he'll be the most successful WR-heavy team in this league.

    I was robbed: I envisioned Clinton Portis as my third back in this league, which I think could have earned me three RB1s to end the year - that's how much I like his opportunity to return to for at least this year. Santana Moss was a nice consolation for me in the seventh round, but he was clearly my second pick to Portis. I could say that I needed Moss as my WR3 more than I needed Portis as my RB3, but that would be one of the worst fantasy football lies I would have ever told.

    Will Grant: Here's an RB-heavy drafter with some nice picks at the position due to their receiving prowess. I like that he didn't hesitate to draft Miles Austin in round two and still managed to get LeSean McCoy and Marion Barber afterwards. Although Bernard Berrian, Lance Moore and Jerricho Cotchery don't look exciting as a receiving corps after Austin, they all have a chance to be the Derrick Mason's and Hines Ward's of recent years; players that routinely outperform their draft position.

    Grant took the odd couple with his back-to-back quarterbacks of Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan. Cutler is the freewheeling high-risk, trash-talking gunslinger who's potential for 2010 is all over the place. I could see a TD/INT total that looks like 30/10, 15/30 or 30/30, he's that much of a wildcard. Ryan is Felix Unger by comparison; surgical and precise with not only his style on the playing field, but off the field as well. I actually see this tandem as a decent QBBC. I wonder if Grant sees it the same way - I think he does, because Chad Henne looks like the third part of this equation.

    I was robbed: Leon Washington looks like a huge reach if you look at ADP, but he has looked good enough in practice since his return that I can see why Grant took a chance on him as his RB4. Washington could easily take this job in Seattle if Forsett gets hurt and the former Jets' floor is as a valuable RBBC contributor. I hoped I could get Washington after round 15, but Grant decisively jumped to round nine to take a player he didn't want to risk waiting on. Some might call it a major reach, but he must not have been enthused with the remaining starters with injury histories (McFadden and Williams). If you're going to be bold, this is the kind of move to make and the right place to do it.

    Waldman: I decided to break out my old UM cap and wear it for the first time in several years after the amount of times I have been assigned the fifth pick in drafts this month. I could think of only 3-4 better choices than taking Frank Gore with the fifth pick, but as you can imagine none of them came to bear. As Randy Moss briefly dropped to the second round, I had that mix of hope (value!) and fear (what happened to him today that I didn't hear about?) that he might fall to me in the rush for backs.

    The big dilemma for me was whether to take Peyton Manning. He's about as safe of a pick as you can get and in a league that gives five points for touchdowns and penalizes interceptions, it's very tempting to take the Colts' modern icon. The issue was Jahvid Best. His ADP has been rising each week. Although I thought I could probably wait until round three to get him and still have that pick considered a slight reach, this is a PPR league with three backs and I didn't want to take the chance that he wouldn't fall to me in the middle of round three when I figured either Matt Schaub or Tom Brady would be there. So I reached a little further and took Best as my second pick and I have no post-draft regrets, because I could follow up with Schaub and Antonio Gates and still land Anquan Boldin as my first receiver.

    If you asked me that I could get Boldin in round five before this draft took place I would have bet against it. But like Maurile Tremblay, my patience to land take a top tight end rather than chase a wide receiver paid off. Although the Great Percy Harvin Migraine Scare of August 2010 has the 2009 Rookie of The Year plummeting on draft boards, I'm beginning to come to the realization that Harvin has been dealing with this issue for his entire life and he didn't miss significant time as a result of it. In fact, I'd argue that Harvin has more access to top medical advice than ever before and the resulting optimism from the doctors that they have discovered some things that might help the Vikings receiver have more control over the illness should actually be encouraging. To follow Boldin and Harvin with Santana Moss was excellent - even if I originally wanted Portis. I believe DeSean Jackson should pay attention to Santana Moss this year. Although Jackson is an even better open field runner than Moss in his youth, Moss can teach Jackson a thing or two about playing the position of receiver. Chris Cooley and Fred Davis will do enough to help Moss run free, and we know McNabb can sling it.

    Tomlinson and Williams provide good depth and I think one of them will be a solid No. 3 RB. I'm beginning to get excited about the possibility of Tomlinson actually outplaying Shonn Greene. Crazy I know, but put an all-time great, albeit aging, back behind a terrific offensive line and you might see a rejuvenated player. At least renewed enough for half the season. That's what I've seen in the preseason thus far. Williams might turn out to be the Hines Ward-Derrick Mason of runners.

    I lead off the second half of my draft with the Jets defense because I thought I could wait one more round for Ben Roethlisberger. I opted for the first defense off the board because I was happy enough with my starting line up to take the no-brainer pick at this position and let everyone else sort out who might approximate the Jets performance for the rest of the season.

    The favorite part of the back end of this draft was my selection of three likely starters at wide receiver after round 10. I'm probably the one guy that still thinks Austin Collie will be a productive fantasy starter in 2010. To get him as my WR5 is a terrific luxury, because you don't just bench a rookie who came up big in the playoffs and established a rapport with the best quarterback of the decade. Deion Branch is finally healthy and performing well this summer and Kevin Walter may not have Jacoby Jones' upside, but he's reliable and likely to see some nice red zone looks with defenses driven to distraction with Houston's two other starters.

    Marshawn Lynch and Brian Westbrook are proven receivers at the RB position and gambles on greatness that I can drop if their roles don't pan out as quality backups. Overall, I'm pleased with this draft and I think I have a strong chance to make the postseason.

    Mark Levin: I didn't expect Levin to lead off with Michael Turner when Andre Johnson was still on the board - especially in a PPR league - but his picks of Wayne, Nicks and Bowe are solid. Beyond Turner, Levin's depth chart of Reggie Bush, Ricky Williams, Darren McFadden and Laurence Maroney are backs that have a lot of potential, but little set in stone. He might have to play the match ups at his RB2/RB3 spots more than his competition, but he can make the playoffs if he proves adept at this skill. If one of these backs assumes the lead role for its offense, Levin will be in much better shape that this component of his roster appears.

    Levin's picks in the second half of the draft solidify this team and should help him contend. Greg Camarillo, Roy Williams and Robert Meachem illustrate an owner that targeted contributors in high-octane offenses for depth. Any of these three could post 50-60 receptions and Meachem has the big-play ability to turn into a great value as Levin's No. 4 WR. Targeting components of highly productive units is the lesson I take from this section of his draft that I think most owners need to remember when they are looking for depth. Although not as likely, tight ends Chris Cooley and Kellen Winslow have enough potential to give Levin the flexibility to use two-TE sets and remain competitive in case he cannot find an effective RB3/WR4 on any given week. I expect Cooley to have his best season as McNabb's safety blanket.

    Chase Stuart: If Steve Smith-South (Carolina) and Wes Welker are healthy enough to play at 90 percent of their capability, Stuart has a great tandem of starters at wide receiver to work alongside Andre Johnson. Devin Hester and Laurent Robinson are smart picks in offenses that will need to throw the ball out of necessity and one will likely emerge (or have a definitive match up advantage each week) during the season. Harry Douglas and Brandon Tate are high-upside players that have the skill for their quarterbacks to rely on them if necessary. As good as this unit appears on paper there is some risk with Welker and Smith, which could create some troublesome lineup shuffling to find the most productive combinations one of these players doesn't play up to his value.

    I like that Stuart was patient with grabbing a tight end, waiting for Tony Gonzalez after the big names flew off the board. Gonzalez could still produce top-three stats and he seems like a forgotten man in fantasy circles. If not John Carlson is slated to be a bigger part of the Seattle offense. This gave Stuart the luxury to take Tony Romo, who may not look great in the preseason but the Cowboys seem to be the kind of team that struggles early before kicking it into gear. Matt Hasselbeck is one of my favorite late-round quarterback choices and I think Stuart and I probably see the same potential.

    Ryan Grant, Brandon Jacobs, and Justin Forsett aren't flashy, but they should get the job done. Grant and Jacobs offer touchdown opportunities and Forsett could catch enough passes to be a valuable flex. I like the Stuart picked runners like Larry Johnson, Donald Brown, and Brandon Jackson. All three have high upside in offenses that have the surrounding talent for them to thrive if the starter gets hurt.

    Jene Bramel: Although I am down on Kevin Kolb's prospects this year, I think Bramel's draft is a great example of mixing value with upside. It might not appear this way with the first-round pick of Steven Jackson, who was available where he should be taken in a PPR league. The same is true of Roddy White, but then Bramel got excellent value with Greg Jennings and Cedric Benson - two players that are routinely dropping a little more than they should. I think Benson could very well go in Jackson's place and while it might raise some eyebrows of the less savvy drafter, there wouldn't be too much issue with it (not that you should care what your opponents think - if you did, then you'll be graciously 0-13 and very popular among them). After pilfering Benson in round four, Bramel didn't quibble over value and took Ahmad Bradshaw with his next pick to solidify one of the more dangerous backfields in this league. Although neither seems like great backups on paper, Darren Sproles and Bernard Scott could be very productive PPR backs.

    Bramel's selection of Benson and Bradshaw took him out of the running for the headliners at tight end, but Brent Celek might be the most valuable receiver in Philadelphia - especially if that Eagles line can't support a deep passing game as much as hoped. If his choice of Kolb-Celek falters, I love the value he got from Joe Flacco, who I think will out-produce Kolb due to better line play, a better ground game and more versatile and savvy weapons. I have already professed my optimism for Aaron Hernandez this summer.

    What encourages me the most is that Bramel - one of the resident defensive experts at Footballguys.com - took the Dolphins and Titans team defenses. The former encourages me because I've also targeted them as the unit to wait for when the “name brands” go off the board earlier. The later encourages me, because I'm a fan of the team.

    Anthony Borbely: The more I watch Borbely draft, the more I like what he does. He has a good feel for what his opponents will do and spots ways to draft on a different schedule. This is really evident with how long he waited to pick a receiving corps. Borbely didn't mess around with quarterback (Aaron Rodgers in the first round) and followed with Rashard Mendenhall (a sneaky bet to catch a lot of passes this year) and DeSean Jackson. I'm not that excited about Jackson, and if I had this team after these three picks, I'd probably be targeting receivers quickly thereafter. But this proved unnecessary, as Borbely once again showed his undying faith in Jonathan Stewart (I'm telling you if ESPN ever wants to reprise the wedding dress shot with Ditka and Williams, but with a new Borbely would propose to the former Oregon Duck) and following with Jason Witten. Like Tremblay, and me, Borbely decided a high-caliber TE could be more valuable than the WR2s he might take at the same spot.

    With consecutive picks of Pierre Garcon, Dez Bryant and Jabar Gaffney, I think he fared well. If Bryant hits his stride, this unit could be as good as any in the league. Although I don't like all of his receiver choices in the later rounds, he is an unabashed upside drafter and taking a chance on Vincent Jackson and Demaryius Thomas illustrate that fact. I hate both this year, but if he hits on one it can make a big difference. If not, you just drop them for the next hot commodity on the waiver wire.

    Dave Baker: Baker's approach was the one I expected to see more often in this league, but he was the only team that executed it. His three receivers in the opening rounds are probably the best in the league. When Randy Moss dropped this far I began to wonder if he might actually come back to me - just a glimmer of a thought. To pair him with Johnson and then get Colston in the third round is just insane. But I don't even have words to describe that he got Terrell Owens as his WR4 - I have to suspect that Baker was like a kid on Christmas morning that got something he always dreamed of, but would have never dared asked for.

    With those four receivers, who cares about the running backs? I'm almost serious about that statement. I'm so envious of those four receivers that I can't help but laugh at how he managed to get them. If he can get reasonably good production out of the Broncos backfield, Ronnie Brown and/or Jerome Harrison, Baker's passing game will carry this team and the rest of this league will look like it outsmarted itself on draft day. Did I mention that T.J. Houshmandzadeh is his fifth wide out? With this unit, it's no wonder that he waited 10 rounds to pick another receiver. Heath Miller and Greg Olsen aren't inspiring at tight end, but Miller is good enough with those four starting receivers not to be too concerned.

    With the back-to-back picks of Carson Palmer and Eli Manning, Baker's team is just a fun team to field every week. He has some vulnerable spots, but it's almost worth paying money just to field a team that has a foursome of Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss, Marques Colston and Terrell Owens. Sorry, I just had to say it again. Maybe I should get a room...

    Colin Dowling: I like that Dowling believes enough in Matt Stafford to make him is first quarterback. That belief allowed him to focus on backs and receivers early. Although I'm not the Shonn Greene fan that many are, the second-year Jet and the rookie Charger Ryan Mathews should be a strong 1-2 punch. Joseph Addai has been playing really well and as long as his concussion doesn't keep him out, this is a promising trio. Like Borbely, Dowling waited on receivers but with the additional patience with quarterback, it allowed him to begin earlier, netting him a mix of good young talent (Crabtree, Knox and Wallace) and the reliable Donald Driver.

    The only thing I dislike about his team is his tight end depth chart, but Dowling writes the Titans training camp reports and he has said that Cook is coming on lately. Owen Daniels is skilled, but is he truly going to be ready to assume a productive role?

    I was robbed: Mike Williams (SEA) in round 12. I had my eye on acquiring back-to-back Williamses and naming my team after them. Alas, I was foiled with Dowling taking a chance on the former USC receiver who is looking more like the big-time prospect he was at USC. I won't be surprised if he leads the Seahawks in receptions.

    John Norton: Just imagine if Borbely's bride-to-be Jonathan Stewart wasn't in Carolina. DeAngelo Williams would be a perennial top-five back. He's that good. Matt Forte should have a lot of receptions this year and the aggressiveness to take Arian Foster really makes this a nice unit. Norton went for underrated receivers in Mike Sims- Walker, Eddie Royal, Malcolm Floyd, Louis Murphy and Chris Chambers. All of these players are kind of the Anti-Stuart approach: pick primary weapons on teams that either run the ball or big-play options on teams that will need to pass. I think this receiver unit was the cost of taking Drew Brees in round two, but if it works out Brees and those backs can make this a dangerous team. Jermaine Gresham went high, but Norton is a Bengals fan and Gresham has been targeted frequently with the first-unit this summer. This could be sneaky good play.

    Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to waldman@footballguys.com.

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