Fantasy Football 2014 Draft Review

I'm only doing one fantasy league this year so I'm putting a lot of thought into it and going for broke rather than joining a bunch of leagues and playing around with roster combinations.  I follow a bunch of very smart football analysts on Twitter, so I absorb a lot of their predictions and opinions throughout the year without paying too much attention to it and subsequently benefit from it come only once per year, fantasy football draft day.

I'm in a 10-person league so there's talented players at every position but the guys I play with are knowledgeable as well so I don't feel too far ahead.  But I likely see more overall opinions from varied sources than them.

This year I wanted to try something new since we just added the PPR element to our league (something I was a BIG fan of).  So I went for broke and applied the zero RB strategy talked about on Rotoviz with a focus on big, physical pass catchers that saw a lot of targets.  I also wanted to guarantee that I would end up with at least 3 WR1-caliber players for their respective teams.  Overall I think I did very well, I got potentially 5 WR1s, a potential top 4 QB, the undisputed top TE and a couple of RBs with upside.

One note:  Obviously hindsight is 20/20 and I see things I could've done differently, but in too many years past I've been burned by picking a stud RB top 3 (CJ0.5K, Muscle Hampster, etc) so this year I traded out of the 2nd pick for the 7th overall and got to switch my 13th rounder for his 6th, so overall I think it was a win for me.  But yes I passed on Jamaal Charles and AP.

1st Round

I went with a past classmate in Jimmy Graham to open up my draft.  He's the #1 option on arguably the best passing offense in the NFL and he represents real value at the TE position, even though it's early for one.

2nd-5th Rounds

This is where I solidified my passing game within the first 5 rounds, which I hope will pay dividends with the 0.5 PPR element this year.  I got Alshon Jeffery, Jordy Nelson and Andre Johnson for my main WRs.  I was happy with Alshon and Jordy alone, but to get someone who is one of my favorite players and is a target magnet in 'Dre was icing on the cake.  

Originally I wanted to wait and grab a QB later but when I saw Stafford available in the 5th round, I knew I couldn't pass up his upside.  Barring injury, he'll put up top 3-5 numbers easily.

6th-7th Rounds

I guess I have to take a couple of RBs right?  I chose Gerhart and Tate as my lead backs.  Yes they're sub-standard on paper to most starting fantasy team's RBs but I think they're both safe options and RB1 options for their respective teams.  But I did give up PPR points for my RBs, which I tried to shore up later on.

8th-10th Rounds

This is where I got my key backups.  Torrey Smith is a frequent pick of mine because of his potential.  Plus he should see a lot more targets this year in the new offense.  

Nick Foles was a value pick and arguably my most important backup pick.  Yes I reached early for a fantasy backup QB but the last thing I want to see is my fantasy season derailed because of a QB injury. Plus you never know how Foles or the Eagles offense will progress.

Bernard Pierce was a gamble pick but I believe Ray Rice is on the outs, physically and roster-wise.  He's too unstable so I'm picking his backup.

11th-16th Rounds

Here are my other backups/special teamers:

I couldn't pass up the potential, even slight, value of Josh Gordon in the 11th round.  Even if he only plays a half a season, he might be a valuable trade asset or sub.  Also, if he's suspended for the year, I can just drop him Week 1 and pick up the unknown WR that impresses.

Darren Sproles was another high-upside pick because you don't know how Chip Kelly is going to utilize him.

Dan Bailey is a K.

Ladarius Green was a high upside pick as well although I don't know how he lasted this long.  Could be the steal of the draft if he's a trade asset by Week 9.

This was my "Oh shit it's the last 2 rounds, I gotta get a DEF and D player" moment.  So I went with Lavonte David because he's a stud and the NYJ defense, solely because they play Oakland Week 1.