Let it ring through your head with the appropriate music (apologies to Burt Bacharach) …. BUT let’s make sure you are really prepared to draft your 2012 fantasy football team(s).
I get asked all the time about where to do mock drafts and frankly the answer is I don’t put much stock in mocksturbation because all the sites where you can mock or draft for free are filled with morons wasting time – a typical comment if you do a morning draft is a guy typing … “well that’s it for me, time to go to lunch”. The other problem is many of those drafts don’t fill and some of the autobots will draft quarterbacks with their first two picks.
The only REALLY useful mocks you could do would be against X number of live bodies – X being the exact number of the league you are prepping for; with the exact same lineup and scoring requirements for the league you are prepping for. Usually to find those you have to be in a private mock where you get committed individuals although occasionally you could find an NFFC or FFPC style draft at mock draft central and then as long as the draft fills with live bodies it might be useful.
Frankly what is much better if you are prepping for one of the big $$ contests (and if not you should be as you can get into the FBGPC which has FFPC scoring and win $150,000 for only a $350 entry) would be to play in one of the satellite leagues offered by those competitions. An entry of $150 is not a big deal if you are going to put in ten times that to enter a big money contest and even if you are not able to enter one this year you could win enough in one of these satellites to pay for half an entry next year.
Long intro into taking you into a draft I am did Saturday morning – a $150 NFFC satellite. So this is a QB/RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/TE/FLEX/K/DST league with PPR for all RB/WR/TE and six points per passing touchdown. The one I am doing is a twelve team league although they also have fourteen team leagues.
So I have the 11th pick which in NFFC’s 3RR drafts means I will have the second pick in the second round AND in the third round and then the draft will revert to a normal snake draft. So what are my targets?
We can’t quite see that – have to wait to see what the first ten drafters left me, but invariably at least one player you didn’t expect to be available will slide through depending on how many of these drafters took a quarterback or tight end in the first round (I will discuss the efficacy of that later). I am guessing I will be starting TE/WR or QB/WR or maybe QB/TE (but the last two mean that one of Brady or Brees is still there).
So here are the first ten picks:
|1.01 Arian Foster|
|1.02 Ray Rice|
|1.03 LeSean McCoy|
|1.04 Aaron Rodgers|
|1.05 Calvin Johnson|
|No surprises so far|
|1.06 Chris Johnson (like this pick)|
|1.07 Drew Brees (not so much this one)|
|1.08 Tom Brady (no 1st round QB for me)|
|1.09 Cam Newton|
|1.10 Darren McFadden (sigh there went my pick)|
Okay so the choices are one of the two STUD tight ends, or Matt Forte, or overdrafting a wide receiver (and then picking the right one because one of Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson is sure to disappoint).
So I took Jimmy Graham at 1.11 and the next drafter took
1.12 Matt Forte and 2.01 Matthew Stafford
Yes even experienced, successful drafters make mistakes – I should have taken Forte because the 12th drafter would not have taken both Graham and Gronkowski and I could have had one with my second pick …… still had the TE/WR start stuck in my head. So my second pick was Wes Welker – for me the choice was Welker or Julio Jones and while I think Jones is a great talent and expect him to score more fantasy points than his teammate Roddy White this year with Matt Ryan throwing more, I will go with the guy who has done if for several years and has Tom Brady delivering the rock. And Graham and Welker is a LOT of receptions.
So the rest of round two goes Murray, Gronk, B. Marshall, Fred Jackson (?), Charles, Matthews, R. White, Fitzgerald (now properly getting moved down as people see the train wreck that is the AZ quarterback situation behind a poor OLine), T. Richardson, and Andre Johnson.
Are you KIDDING me? One pick to go and Julio is still on the schoolyard.
Sigh, not to be as he is taken by the twelve team at 3.01 (remember this is a 3RR draft). So my choice is pick a receiver I like or trust the Jaguars will fix the MJD problem AND bet that he can stay healthy after staying out of camp – history says BIG injury risk. So I took A.J. Green, the Bengals fine receiver.
I immediately queued up the running backs I hoped would last for the next two rounds until my pick at 4.11 – Sproles, Lynch, SJax, ADP, D. Martin, R. Bush and Bradshaw. And of course one by one most of them fell off (which in case you are wondering would have committed my to WR/WR or WR/QB but only Matt Ryan, or possibly WR/Michael Turner). Sproles, Jackson, Peterson, and finally Doug Martin went in the third round, while both Reggie Bush and Bradshaw survived a 4th round mostly filled with WR (Harvin, Colston, then Lynch L, Wallace, D. Thomas, A. Brown, Decker, Bowe, Lloyd, and Maclin). I took Bush feeling that he will have a good year in Miami as they run him some but more often split him out to get him the ball in space giving him a lot of receptions but preserving the wear and tear with Daniel Thomas and later Lamar Miller.
Now another decision – wait on my quarterback or take a wide receiver. I decided on the later largely because Stevie Johnson of Buffalo was the last receiver in my tier and that would give me three of the top fifteen receivers on my board. Who knows maybe this wouldn’t be a group that would draft Ryan ahead of not only his ADP but also the other quarterbacks in the middle tier.
No such luck there as Ryan was the very next pick.
The end of round six saw Tony Romo still there while Peyton, Eli, and Rivers had been drafted since my last pick. With the guy behind me already with Stafford, I knew I could take a running back with my 6.11 pick and then get Romo with my next pick (THIS is the advantage of either completing your own draft board or using the one in front of your draft or available on line (at least on stats.com drafts). The available running backs were McGahee, BJGE, Donald Brown, Hillis and Benson. I was pretty happy with that and while I took Brown then Romo, I might have gone RB/RB there if good old #12 hadn’t taken Benson – but at least I had two solid running backs and would be able to add more later.
While there is a lot of value in giving you an entire recap of each pick the article would be very long and some just want to see the team, but feel free to ask me about the rounds/picks/choices in the FF Forum on the message boards. But one interesting draft question and one observation.
When I was drafting at the 8/9 turn I was talking on the phone with my partner in “Captain Morgan” – Greg Morgan who writes Masters of the NFFC/NFBC column here and is one of the most successful fantasy players in the country and I asked him what he thought was an appropriate round to draft the injured Jason Witten – the risk of him missing the first game or getting hit again and needing an operation which would shelve him for the rest of the 2012 season mitigated by getting him much later than his sixth round ADP. I would have drafted him to pair with Graham with my next pick because then when healthy I could have one of them in my flex spot. That didn’t materialize as he was drafted at 9.10 as TE1 by a team who immediately took Dustin Keller with their next pick.
The observation from this draft is that I again saw too many drafters wasting valuable picks in rounds 10-16 in a twenty round draft picking DSTs and kickers – EVEN if you are right and that is not likely as there is so much turnover in defensive scoring from year to year – you are letting your competitors gain a big advantage in the RB and WR they add for depth and upside. Trust me you can’t possibly think your team is great and you don’t need upside reserves in the 11th or 12th round – wait until at least the 17th or 18th round to take your DST (okay 17th if you are going to use a DSTBC) and then you can take a kicker in the 19th and one final upside lottery pick in the last round.
Okay here is the MastersBallers team (with byes) and some comments:
QB – Tony Romo (5) & Sam Bradford (9)
As long as Romo is a top ten quarterback and there is no reason to think he won’t be, he could really stand alone on a roster but an early Week 5 bye had me grab Bradford (the Rams host Arizona that week). Had I been able to add a complimentary QB I might have just in case both Austin and Bryant have injury problems at the same time and Witten has further problems.
RB – R. Bush (7), D. Brown (4), Redman (4), P. Thomas (6), K. Hunter (9), & Ballard (4)
Even waiting on my first running back I have three starters (at least for the first three weeks) plus Thomas who is always playable. Hunter is just another Gore injury from increased carries and Ballard is a backup for Brown.
WR – Welker (9), Green (8), S. Johnson (8), D. Moore (5), Collie (4), R. Cobb (10), & Quick (9)
Very strong group here and likely where my Flex play comes from most weeks*. Yes I know Collie has yet another concussion, but as my WR5 in the 13th round an easy risk to take. Cobb is a tremendous receiver and just an injury/trade away from a lot more targets from Aaron Rodgers. Quick is an excellent rookie receiver who I think has a good chance to be productive for the Rams (the type of pick I was alluding to instead of taking your defense or kicker four or five rounds too early).
TE – Graham (6), Olsen (6), & Dickson (8)
I fully expect Graham to lead all tight ends in scoring this year and like last year be on a par with WR in the 3-7 range. Olsen is one of a handful of tight ends who could easily take the step from rankings in the 15-18 range to being a Top 10 scorer (take his numbers from last year and add them to Jeremy Shockey’s and see what might be very likely). Should that be the case * he could easily be a flex play in several weeks based on byes and matchups. And yes that bye was a big mistake – I was going to take Jared Cook (another from the possibly ascendant group) – and the guy right before me took him so I clicked on Olsen knowing that there would be a secondary run on tight ends – and there was but Olsen shares that Week 6 vacation with Graham, forcing me to either add a third TE late or have to spend precious FAAB dollars before Week 6 to get a replacement. At least Dickson is a starter with some upside himself.
K – Garrett Hartley (6)
DST – Buffalo Bills (8)
I certainly like the team although I know some readers will not without a STUD RB or STUD QB. Let’s see how it plays. I will be glad to add piece later in the year to see how this team fares. For now use the information and even the mistakes to make your draft better.