2012 ESPN Work League Results

This was the second of two fantasy football leagues I have participated in the past 4 years. While I am a 29 year veteran of the game, it’s only been recently that I have started participating in multiple leagues. I don’t get the thrill and excitement off adding more leagues, as I usually lose interest in one regardless of how well that team is doing. This year my 2012 fantasy football draft results, better than last year, but I have some work to do.

I am acting commish for the second straight year in the ESPN work league we call Down with OCC. I won the league in 2010, figured I would repeat as champion last year I used a WR/WR/WR/TE/QB strategy in the first 5 rounds. Unfortunately I was beset by injuries and I could not make the ground that I had lost. I learned quite a bit using an alternate draft strategy. While I am still open to alternate strategies, I believe I would have to invest more time in order to make it successful.

With the random draft lottery, I received the #4 pick (12-team league). I believe I would have fared better at 5 or 6, but I knew I would get my first pick with the #4 slot. While this league is different than my CBS league, there were a few and unexpected draft selections. My strategy was similar to my first draft. I was hoping to start QB/RB/WR, back to my old reliable strategy. Here is how the draft played out:

Round 1 (4): Drew Brees QB NOS
Hindsight being 20/20 I probably should have gone McCoy, but I didn’t have a feel for how the QBs would come off the board. I decided to jump the guy and grab Drew Brees to anchor my team.

Round 2 (21): Ahmad Bradshaw RB NYG
“The best available” RB was what I had to fall back to and we were only in the 2nd round. I knew RBs would go quick, but settled on Bradshaw to be my #1 RB. I do have a minor injury concern (hand) with Bradshaw.

Round 3 (28) Julio Jones WR ATL
I was very surprised that other lower ranked WRs came off the board before Jones. When round 3 came back I was quick to grab Jones as my top WR. While he might be a bit unproven, he is slated to have a big year in the ATL.

Round 4 (45) Reggie Bush RB MIA
I was pleased with this pick in my other league, but not so thrilled with it as my #2 RB. Gore and McGahee were the other two RBs I was considering, in fact I thought McGahee might make it back to me in the 5th round, but was selected two picks later.

Round 5 (52) Marques Colston WR NOS
It was a toss up in the 5th, as I had queued up Colston, Ridley and Hillis. I thought it was a round too early for Hillis, so it came down to Colston and Ridley. Having drafted Bush a round early, I wanted to round out my starting WRs and went for the combo and drafted Colston.

Round 6 (69) Eric Decker WR DEN
Two names were on my list this round, the aforementioned Hillis and Decker. Unfortunately my decision was made for me when Hillis was selected prior to my pick in this round. I was targeting Decker, thanks to how he has performed with Manning at QB. I look for a big year from Decker.

Round 7 (76) Philip Rivers QB SDG
My biggest mistake in the draft, but it could also be my biggest gain. I was none too impressed with the RB names I was seeing on the list; Rdman, Stewart, D, Brown and Benson. I considered a TE, but knew Fred Davis would still be on the board a few picks later. I kept glancing at Rivers name over and over. I didn’t need him and it was a poor pick, but I took him. Now I hope to trade Brees or Rivers, more likely Brees for a #1 RB.

Round 8 (93) Donald Brown RB IND

I came back in the 8th round and laid another egg with Donald Brown. I am not impressed with his running abilities. Hopefully Luck can be productive (for a rookie) and move the ball, this will help Brown on the ground. Still not pleased that Cedric Benson was taken just before me.

Round 9 (100) Fred Davis TE WAS
He was the only TE I was targeting, knowing full well I was not going to get Gates, as I had not planned on drafting a TE until after the 5th round. I like Davis, especially with Bob3 in Washington, hopefully he can quietly put together a solid year.

Round 10 (117) Nate Kaeding K SDG
Too early for a kicker, but I had to start looking in order to round out my starters. I love Kaeding for San Diego, he is money and very accurate. He was also the highest tiered kicker when the draft got back to me in the 10th round.

Round 11 (124) Eagles D/ST
I have no interest, nor did I put any thought into my defense. Philly was the highest ranked defense on the board, so I drafted them. I decided not to run with a backup defense this season.

Round 12 (141) Darrius Heyward-Bey WR OAK
DHB really slipped in this league, it appeared as owners were completely ignoring OAK receivers. I was excited to see DHB in the 12th. I believe he will have a good year, now with a full off season with Carson Palmer under his belt. I still believe he is a strong sleeper candidate.

Round 13 (148) Evan Royster RB WAS
Looking for depth and wanting a ride on the Shanny-Go-Round I drafted Royster. He finished last year strong, but picked up a knock, reports are he should be okay week 1 of the season. Let’s hope.

Round 14 (165) David Wilson RB NYG
Wilson burst onto the scene this year challenging for a starting job. He has excited through out preseason and will be the #2 for the NYG. He could cut into Bradshaw’s carries. My only handcuff this season.

Overall it was not my worst draft ever, but I am not pleased with my running game, it lacks even with Bradshaw as my #1. I don’t fear he will be more 2010 than he was 2011, when he was injured, but he does have Wilson willing and waiting. I have put Drew Brees up on the trade block, but will only entertain offers for Rice, Foster or McCoy. I would be fine with running the season with Rivers at QB, trading Brees and getting a top RB.

I like my wide receivers with Jones and Colston as my starters, along with Davis at TE. Decker ends up starting as my flex at WR. Week 7 is a bad bye week for me, hopefully by that time I will have made some changes to improve my team. Right now I am thinking maybe middle of the road in this league. I might make the playoffs, but I need to address my RB issue.