Saturday, August 16, 2014


Ahh draft day.  Like Christmas in July (or August for that matter) for all fantasy football junkies.  The 2014 Fantasy Sports Boss Experts League PPR draft was held earlier Sunday and for yours truly it meant the chance to build a team that would hopefully end a three-year title drought.  In fact the same team has won each of the last three years so there is double motivation to end his dynasty.  Be that as it may, this ten team league was set for a random snake draft of 15 rounds. 

Now going into the draft I prepared for all scenarios but truth be told I wanted to end up in the first round picks in order to get one of the Big Four of LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, and Eddie Lacy (my Big Four as I don't trust Peterson at 29).  Failing that I was considering Jimmy Graham if I picked at the end of the round in order to get the immediate leg up on all other teams at tight end and than a wide receiver.  No thoughts on going QB with Peyton Manning as I was sure he wouldn't make it out of Round 1 and Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers didn't sway me that early since that spot is so deep and we play one passer.  So the cards were put out on the table and I proceeded to pick number............10!!!!!!!!!!!  Ugh!  Surely not what I wanted as far as getting one of the prime backs and so right away on the fly it was time to change preparation course.  I would get back-to-back picks each round which is nice but that spot you also have to anticipate and make some reaches due to how long it will take to get back to me each round.  So I quickly zeroed in on the receivers, putting in order Calvin Johnson, Demaryuis Thomas, Dez Bryant, and A.J. Green.  So off we go.

The first two picks predictably went Jamaal Charles followed by LeSean McCoy.  Next up at three was Matt Forte which is no shock since this is a PPR league and he has more value there than the aging Peterson.  Peterson went off the board at four and so far no surprises.  Lacy than went off at number 5 which again was predictable but this is where things start to diverge in some drafts after those five.  Still the running back theme continued unabated as Montee Ball was picked at six which was soon followed up by Marshawn Lynch at seven.  No issues with any of those choices.  With my first pick two spots away, I looked and saw that Megatron, Bryant, and Thomas were all still there so I knew I would get one.  That also left Graham on the board for me and Manning was also not picked.  Hmmmm..

The first curveball was thrown at eight when Graham went off the board.  Was somewhat disappointed because I thought for sure he would fall but this owner was thinking like me as well in getting a leg up early on the rest of the league at that spot.  I really wanted Calvin Johnson at this point as I have never owned him and he is the best receiver in the game hands down.  Well that plan went up in smoke as he came off the board at nine.  This marked the second year in a row I missed out on Johnson by one spot.  A year ago I picked third and was going to take him until he went second overall.  I than went with Doug Martin which didn't work out so well (although I did deal him before he got hurt).  So now I am sitting there at 10 and 11 looking at picking Thomas (who I favored over Bryant) and either Manning or the Dallas stud receiver.  Again it was very tempting to take Manning here no matter that I always preach about the depth at QB.  Imagining all those touchdowns and yards.  However I went with Thomas and Bryant which gave me admiration from the others regarding how great my receivers already were.  I have to say they looked pretty darn good staring back at me.  So with those two off the board it was now running back for the next round and maybe two.  A wait ensued and here is how the rest of the draft unfolded.

1.  Demaryuis Thomas

2.  Dez Bryant

3.  Julio Jones:  Yeah I did it.  Three rounds into the draft I already filled up my three starting receiver slots.  And wow what a threesome.  It doesn't get any better than Thomas, Bryant, and Jones.  Yes Jones is a scary injury risk but he was the best receiver in football before he broke his foot a season ago.  And for my number 3 wideout there is not as much pressure of losing him as far as crippling my numbers there.  Now I had to decide at running back between Le'Veon Bell, Andre Ellington, and Arian Foster. 

4.  Arian Foster:  I know a lot of you think I blew it with this one but hear me out.  Foster is ready to be the workhorse back in Bill O'Brien's offense and his PPR ability is second to none when healthy.  There is the rub however as Foster is already dealing with a hamstring issue and is coming off a lost 2013 when he had surgery.  Ellington bothered me in that he won't get goal-line work and the same is true about Bell.  One major issue I had last season was lack of scoring and so I remedied that with my first four picks.  However with two very injury-prone players, I had to be sure to build depth there and knew things could go wrong quickly during the season.

5.  Zac Stacy:  Was surprised to see Stacy hanging around this late so this one was easy. Stacy is the rare workhorse back who will get all the goal-line work as well.  While the average per carry is nothing to write home about, I now have two clear bell cow backs who can score in bunches. 

6.  Matt Ryan:  Thought about Rob Gronkowski for a second but that was too much risk considering I already had Foster and Jones.  Ryan is the guy who I drafted for the third season in a row and with Dirk Kotter as the OC, plentiful throws will be in the offing.  Both Jones and Roddy White were injured last season which hurt Ryan's numbers but the offensive line has been improved and everyone is healthy for the time being.  I picked Ryan over Nick Foles, Tony Romo, and Tom Brady so this one could be debated.

7.  Jason Witten:  Yeah him again.  Those who have followed me for years know how often I have owned Witten.  I was ready to go with Jordan Cameron but he went the pick before.  Gronkowski was still available but I can't take on any more injury-prone guys.  Witten is as durable as they come and is a high-target guy even at 33.  He has caught less than 80 balls two of the last three seasons but Witten also was more involved in the red zone a year ago.  I am happy. 

8.  Brandin Cooks:  My fourth receiver and one who has big time sleeper potential in the terrific New Orleans offense.  Cooks has blazing speed and is the perfect fourth wideout I can deal if he breaks out or who can cover for a Jones injury.

9.  Toby Gerhart:  Got my running back insurance as Gerhart fell to me here.  There was hesitancy in the room about Gerhart since he has not been good yet this summer and has yet to do much more than get fill-in work since coming into the league.  However in Jacksonville he has the bell cow job all to his own which gives me three such weapons there.  I like the upside.

10. Tony Romo:  Got my backup QB and someone who can easily play if Ryan has a rough matchup.  I have said for the last four years that both Ryan and Romo are incredible values and I end up with both again.  Yes the back surgery is scary but Romo as my second QB is a steal.

11. Jordan Matthews:  Another rookie receiver who has big-time appeal.  Matthews will operate out of the slot in Chip Kelly's offense which is potentially huge as he showed Friday night in catching 9 balls for over 100 yards. 

12. Ben Tate:  Shocked that a guy who is likely to be the primary running back on his team lasted this long but that just goes to show you how much of a threat many think rookie Terrance West is.  Tate has never been able to stay fully healthy but again he is primed to get the majority of touches this season for the Cleveland Browns and has the ability to catch passes.

13.  Josh Gordon:  This late in the draft the risk was worth it.  Gordon could miss the whole season due to a drug suspension but there is also Gordon could be there for me in the stretch run.  If not than I simply cut him loose. 

14. Kansas City:  Happy with the Chiefs defense who I rated behind only Seattle, Carolina, and San Francisco.  There will be a ton of sacks and there is big-play ability there as well.

15. Stephen Gostowski:  I get arguably the highest-scoring kicked in the game so quibble there.  As always wait until the end to grab your defense and kicker.

QB-Matt Ryan
WR-Demaryuis Thomas
WR-Dez Bryant
WR-Julio Jones
RB-Arian Foster
RB-Zac Stacy
TE-Jason Witten
K-Stephen Gostowski
DEF-Kansas City

RB-Toby Gerhart
RB-Ben Tate
WR-Brandin Cooks
WR-Jordan Matthews
WR-Josh Gordon
QB-Tony Romo

Overall I really like this team.  I could do a bit better at running back but overall my receivers are stacked and I am fine at QB with Ryan and Romo.  I will be in the running if all breaks right.

So how do you think I did?  Post your opinions below.


1 comment:

  1. Agreed, pretty stacked. Love the QB pairing. Cooks and Matthews not so much. Rookie WRs are 1 in 10. Would of gone RB and Gronk myself. Even if Gron only plays 10 games, he's the best tight end for those 10. Plenty of depth there in small league. Good luck!