This time around it’s the 2012 Yahoo fantasy football league. Not sure why I agreed to participate in a third fantasy football league this season, but I did. Maybe because it was a good friends running it and I did well last year, putting up the best record and losing in the finals. With that said, this year would be more challenging. It would be the first time I participated in a 14-team draft. I am not one for leagues of this size, as talent does drop off and it tests your skills a manager on how you draft.
As I had done with my previous two drafts, I set up the scoring and starting requirements using the tools at Fantasy Football Starters. It was no surprise that my tier lists for each position were similar in nature to the other two drafts I had participated in. This time around I also used the Fantasy Football Calculator, which has a scenario option that allows you to see what players might be around when it comes to your draft slot. The draft positions were random and awarded 45 minutes before the draft was scheduled to being. I was given #13.
In retrospect I liked where I picked, it would allow me to quick picks, allowing me to stockpile early before waiting for the next round. The only factor that I didn’t like was all TDs (rush, receive, pass) are all scored 6 points. It was no surprise to see owners pounce on the top QBs very early. I decided I would start RB/RB, as it would be slim pickings on the Round 3/4 wrap. Here is how the draft turned out:
Round 1 (13) DeMarco Murray WR DAL
I told myself if Stafford was on the board at #13 I would draft him, unfortunately the owner at #12 took him, which made my decision to go RB/RB that much stronger. I knew it would be a long wait for the next few rounds, so I decided Murray was the best RB available.
Round 2 (16) Fred Jackson RB BUF
Wanting to go QB, I considered Cam Newton for a quick second but decided it would not be a wise move, as it could weaken my chances at a good pool of RBs. I decided to draft Fred Jackson, who was having a great 2011 season until hit by injury.
Round 3 (41) Dez Bryant WR DAL
As he draft progressed I started targeting players for my next two picks, I was shooting for WRs. I added Victor Cruz, Jordy Nelson and Brandon Marshall to my queue and waited. Unfortunately all 3 were drafted, the last two at picked 39 and 40. That left Dez Bryant as one of the higher ranked WRs remaining. Even with his off the field problems I decided to make him my #1 WR.
Round 4 (44) Antonio Gates TE SDG
My intentions were to go WR and grab my second starter. I looked over who was available, including Nicks, Harvin and Wallace, but decided to draft Antonio Gates. He was arguably the 3rd best TE available, I know he would not have made it back and in the same mold as Graham and Gronkowski can put up catches, yards and TDs.
Round 5 (69) Stevan Ridley RB NEP
Watching the draft play out, I figured on adding depth with the 5th and 6th picks. I placed Peyton Hillis and Willis McGahee in my queue at RB. I also thought Eric Decker might make it back, but then one of the owner started popping off about how Decker was Peyton’s favorite and no sooner was that said that Decker was draft. So much for a #2 WR. When it go to my pick, the queue was empty, but Stevan Ridley was still there. Now that he is the starter, he could fill either depth at RB or my flex starter. It was too hard to pass on a starting RB.
Round 6 (72) Philip Rivers QB SDG
I had been watching Philip Rivers continue to slip. Lesser QBs were being drafted, as well as kickers and yes, even defenses. I don’t believe he could have made another round without being draft. I assume last years INTs scared owners off this season. Offensive, he still had a good year, I expect the INTs down and numbers comparable to 2011.
Round 7 (97) DeAngelo Williams RB CAR
Maybe I should have been been surprised to see D Will still available when the draft came back to me in the 7th. Knowing you can never have enough quality RBs in fantasy football I jumped on him without hesitation. While other owners were drafting TEs, backup QBs and defenses I think I got a steal in Williams in the 7th. Hopefully the big money contract he signed will equate to big on the field numbers.
Round 8 (100) Darrius Heyward-Bey WR OAK
Still looking for that #2 WR I settled on drafting DHB. I was hoping for a stronger #2 at the position and while Holmes was still on the board, I don’t like him in that run first offense. DHB has another year with Palmer and a full training camp, hopefully they come together this season and post good numbers.
Round 9 (125) Santonio Holmes WR NYJ
As much as I avoided Holmes he remained the highest tiered WR available. It finally got to the point that as much as I tried to avoid him I couldn’t pass on his potential (8 TDs last year). He ends up being the #3 WR. I don’t plan on using him much this season.
Round 10 (128) Toby Gerhart RB MIN
Another surprise was the lack of drafting the HC for Adrian Peterson. If MIN ends up limiting his roll early on, Gerhart will be the recipient of an increased role. Any setback to Peterson and Gerhart will get called upon.
Round 11 (153) Josh Freeman QB TBB
Freeman sleepwalked most of last season, but I like the changes the TBB offense has made this season, in the rushing game and the receiving game. Schaub and Flacco had been in my queue for a few rounds and there was a quick run on more owners drafting a backup QB. Both aforementioned QBs were drafted and I had no problem picking Freeman.
Round 12 (156) Doug Baldwin WR SEA
Sydney Rice was still on the board, but he hasn’t put forth an inspiring performance since landing in Seattle. I decided to take the WR opposite of him, Doug Baldwin, who was all around better, more consistent and more importantly healthy.
Round 13 (181) Alex Henery K PHI
Highest tied kicker when my pick came. I had considered Greg Zuerlein, the rookie in STL, especially playing in a dome stadium, but felt Philly would score more this season.
Round 14 (184) Atlanta
I put very little thought what defense I draft and play, they don’t score enough points to warrant an earlier pick up in my opinion. I drafted better positional players when other owners were grabbing defenses.
Round 15 (209) Jerome Simpson WR MIN
Another flier I think could be successful this season in new surrounding, Jerome Simpson. While he does have a 3 game suspension, I think he busts out in week 4. He has Harvin opposite of him and the passing game with Ponder might depend on the comeback of ADP.
Overall this is a very solid team when compared to the other 13 teams I will be playing against. Only 4 other owners started RB/RB and looking at their teams, they are well balanced. I am already looking at the waiver wire. One of the surprisingly undrafted players, Mendenhall. I watched, waited and could not pull the trigger on him because of only 6 bench positions. I also believe I have have good RB depth with D. Will coming off the bench.
I am a bit concerned about my WRs, not completely sold on DHB, but I am willing to give him a shot depending on the match ups. I would prefer to start Doug Baldwin, while not a #2 WR, I do believe he will build on the success he had last season. I will be watching the wire more closely for a FA who steps up at the position. I have Holmes tabbed as the WR I would release. I don’t want to sacrifice the RB depth for a WR.