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Sunday 17th Dec 2017

For me at least, fantasy baseball draft prep is far more involved and time consuming than preparing for a fantasy football draft. Maybe it’s because I prefer the fantasy baseball game, but I think a bigger reason is that there’s simply more uninterrupted time to prepare. Even if you take October, November and December off, you have roughly two and a half months to indulge in player profiles, projections and mock drafts. And that’s not to mention that those of us in the industry really can’t afford to take October, November and December off, as most of us participate in a number of mocks for various sites and publications.

Football, on the other hand, is a crash course. Sure, there are far fewer players in the standard draft pool, but juggling gridiron prep with managing my baseball squads can become quite challenging. Anyway, the cramming is winding down, and by this Tuesday night, all of my rosters will be complete.

On that note, here’s a look at the players I’ve drafted so far in each of my leagues at the key positions.

QB: Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees

Part of my strategy heading into drafts this season was to pass on the elite tier of quarterbacks and instead target the much more affordable 8-12 group, which included guys like Ryan, Romo and Tom Brady. And if they turned out to be too expensive, would I mind settling for Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers or Jay Cutler? Not at all. In my auction leagues, the price drop after the top tier was tremendous. Owners generally do not like to spend more than about $6 for their backup QB, so even in a 14-teamer, a capable starting QB can be had for single-digit dollars. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the only reason why I’m a Brees owner is that he was on a keeper league roster I inherited a few years ago.

RB1: LeSean McCoy, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, Adrian Peterson

The general consensus among fantasy football pundits this season is that the trend towards more running back by committees has lessened the need to spend big on this position. But, doesn’t that make the truly elite guys who are not part of a committee even more valuable? I slightly prefer McCoy over Peterson, as the 2014 Eagles offense should be just as good, if not better, than last year’s version that trailed only the Broncos in yards per game. However, I do like to change things up a bit in my auctions. Owning the same player on more than two teams isn’t all that fun.

RB2: Shane Vereen, Shane Vereen, Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch

All of my leagues award points for receptions, hence my infatuation with Vereen, who as long as he stays healthy, makes for a fine RB2 in PPR leagues. And the strange thing is that he’s being undervalued even in those formats. Maybe owners are concerned about the injury risk. I can’t think of any other explanation. As for Forte, I paired him with Peterson as part of a “stars and scrubs” auction plan. I’m not too high on Lynch, as the workload and TD dependency concerns me, but he was clearly the best player available when it was my turn to pick in my only snake draft.

WR1: Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson, Alshon Jeffery

The stars and scrubs RB strategy by which I was able to land both Peterson and Forte forced me to settle for Jackson as my WR1. He certainly has WR1 talent, but the consistency just hasn’t been there. I have a feeling that he will be the player who drives me nuts the most. Fitzgerald is another enigma. At 31, he isn’t exactly over the hill, but the QB situation in Arizona with Carson Palmer at the helm is far from comforting. Even Jeffery is a bit risky as a WR1 due to the thin track record.

WR2: DeSean Jackson, Keenan Allen, Julian Edelman, Julian Edelman

Jackson worries me the most of this group, especially for PPR purposes, as Pierre Garcon will continue to serve as Robert Griffin’s top target and Jackson’s career-high 82 catches last year was largely a byproduct of Jeremy Maclin missing the entire season. But as a WR2 in a 14-teamer, DeSean could be decent enough. Edelman is a PPR specialist who will be just fine as a WR2, despite the return of Rob Gronkowski, who is no sure bet to make it through the entire season anyway. Allen should build on his breakout 2013 season, and I’m pumped to own him in a keeper league for the reasonable price of 16 dollars.

TE: Dennis Pitta, Dennis Pitta, Greg Olsen, Dennis Pitta

As you can tell, I like Dennis Pitta a lot this year, and I expect him to be a favorite target of Joe Flacco, particularly in the end zone. Yeah, he’s being drafted as a top-10 TE, but I can easily see him produce like a top-5 guy.

Alright, enough procrastinating. I need to finish preparing for my Tuesday night draft.

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