Sunday, August 31, 2014

The ideal draft if you have a late draft slot

The premise of this article is straight-forward enough. If you end up with either the 9th overall, 10th, 11th or 12th draft slot (and assuming 12 teams) what strategy should you consider who to target? Based on average draft position data from Fantasy Football Calculator, this combination is possible and a potential combination to put you well on your way to a fantasy football title in 2014. This series scripts out the first eight rounds, with each set including a minimum of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE and a RB/WR/TE flex. For this spot, I am assuming the 12th overall draft position (so the 12th pick in the odd rounds, and the 1st pick in the even rounds as the draft "snakes" back and forth). 

1st ROUND - WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati: I would rather roll with the upside of Dez Bryant if he is there (I am assuming not for the sake of this article). But someone has to fall to the #12 spot, and there's a good chance it is A.J. Green and if so it's a phenomenal way to start your draft. For starters, it is super safe. Green has zero bust factor. Even if the Bengals pass less in 2014, Green is still good for 1400 yards, or worst case 1300 yards, and he is off back-to-back 11 TD seasons.

2nd ROUND - RB Montee Ball, Denver: I have seen a draft where Dez Bryant and A.J. Green were taken here on the 1.12/2.01 post and I love that start to a draft. I think you can make a good case for still going WR-WR with Brandon Marshall or Julio Jones, but the reality is a sure-fire #1 RB on your team is also a very smart thing to get in the bank. There are a ton of points to be had in Denver and Montee Ball has Top 3 upside on this team – I mean, Knowshon Moreno was the 4th best fantasy running back last year for crying out loud. 

3rd ROUND - WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota: Landing Cordarrelle Patterson at the right price should be a key objective in your fantasy draft if you ask me and he's a phenomenal number two fantasy wide receiver. We saw what Patterson is capable of over the final month of the 2013 season as he was the 9th best fantasy receiver down the stretch. Now with a full camp under his belt, and a huge offensive coordinator upgrade in Norv Turner, Patterson is set to bust out in a major way. Not only did Patterson have four receiving touchdowns in the second half of the season last year, he added three rushing touchdowns in the final five games. 

4th ROUND - QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit: Matthew Stafford is one of five quarterbacks in the top tier on my board (we covered Andrew Luck in the first team of this series), and Stafford is worth the premium here in the fourth round. Stafford gets a coaching upgrade in new head coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi (who together have coached Peyton Manning and Drew Brees– not a bad duo). Look for Stafford to significantly cut down on mental mistakes and interceptions, while shining in what will essentially be the New Orleans offense brought to the Motor City. Adding Golden Tate is also a plus over the #2 wide receivers Stafford has worked with over his last three seasons. Stafford has averaged 4,885 passing yards per season over the last three years and Stafford is capable of 40+ touchdowns (he had 41 in 2011). 

5th ROUND - WR Torrey Smith, Baltimore: Let me start by saying I am not a huge Torrey Smith fan per se, but he's good value in the late 5th round of drafts and a super safe #3 fantasy wide receiver who has some upside. Smith seems like he’s been around forever and the book is written on him but that isn't the case. Smith is just 25 years old and entering just his 4th NFL season – he still is improving (his receptions spiked from 49 in 2012 to 65 last year and his yards were a career-best 1,128 last year). New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak knows how to feature a number 1 receiver (see Andre Johnson), adding Steve Smith will help free up some coverage for Smith, and Smith is in a contract season to boot. 

6th ROUND – WR Brandin Cooks, New Orleans: We covered Brandin Cooks extensively in the FFW Rookie Guide and ranked him aggressively before the NFL Draft actually – because he is a special, special talent. Don’t let the size or the bust that was Tavon Austin last year affect your approach, Cooks has the ability to put up significant fantasy numbers as a rookie receiver. Cooks especially has that chance playing for the Saints with Drew Brees as his quarterback and Sean Payton designing ways to best utilize his new weapon. "Sonic Boom", as he is nicknamed, comes into the NFL as last year’s Biletnikoff Award winner off a season with 128 receptions, 1,730 receiving yards and 16 TDs. Cooks has blazing speed (he put up a 4.33 in the 40-yard-dash at the Combine), but perhaps even more impressive was his times in 20- and 60–yard shuttle showing his elite quickness and ability to get to top speed in an instant – his 3.81 and 10.72 times, respectively, were the best scores at the Combine since 2006. 

7th ROUND – RB Mark Ingram, New Orleans: Yes, Mark Ingram. In fact, Ingram in my mind is part of a clever strategy to dominate fantasy football this year as you wait on a second running back and then smoothly land a solid one on the cheap here in the 7th round. Even the 7th round is “over-paying” for Ingram relative to his average draft position a little, but Ingram is worth paying the premium. Ingram has looked exceptional in pre-season and it is finally time for the former Heisman Trophy winner to get 200+ carries this season, and he also will get more receptions than you might think, plus dominate carries around the goal line for one of the best offenses in the NFL. 

8th ROUND - TE Zach Ertz, Philadelphia: If you are looking for a sleeper tight end this year, look no further than 2nd-year plater Zach Ertz. Philadelphia QB Nick Foles has compared Ertz to Rob Gronkowski in terms of talent (Foles played with Gronkowski at the University of Arizona). Ertz could be the Eagles’ leading red-zone threat and he is set to bust out after a very solid rookie season (with nearly 500 yards and four scores). Ertz was the leading receiver at Stanford in his senior season in 2012 and he very well could also be the Eagles' leading receiver this year, and on a team that will be running a disproportionate number of plays with the up-tempo approach Chip Kelly employs. 


deepenwide said...

Four WR's in 6 rounds equals no quality depth at RB. I can and have done better.

Anonymous said...

You would be better off on "auto pick"
Stick to schoolyard kickball.

Alan Satterlee said...

Thanks for the feedback, I think! Let us see soon on this. Mark Ingram is going to really break out.