Having participated in close to 50 mock drafts, I wanted to compete in a live ESPN fantasy football draft and see if I could notice any trends.
You should wait as late as possible to do your draft, as anything can happen in training camp and the preseason, but I don’t have anything riding on this league other than pride. I noticed some key differences from the mock drafts I have been participating in, and this information should help give me a gauge of what is trendy among the general fantasy population. I observed the following:
1. Quarterbacks and Tight Ends are Hot Commodities
At least for this draft, it doesn’t seem that people are buying into the idea that the quarterback position is deep in 2014. Stars Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were all selected in the first round of my 12-man league. I was surprised that Jimmy Graham lasted until the second round in this draft, but Julius Thomas and Rob Gronkowski were gone by the end of the third round.
2. Defenses Selected Too Early
The Seattle Seahawks were selected in the seventh round, which opened the flood gates. The Denver Broncos were selected in the eighth round, and the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers were selected in the ninth.
3. Too Much Concern Over Backups
The gentleman who selected the Seahawks not only was the individual who drafted the 49ers in the ninth round, but he also drafted Matthew Stafford in the third round when he previously drafted Drew Brees in the first. The league only starts one quarterback and one defense.
There was another individual who has Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton and Johnny Manziel on his team. Now, I like to use strategy and will sometimes pick players up for trade bait, but there is no reason to use picks like that.
You can only play Brees or Stafford, and you can only play Ryan or Dalton, so why would you not be building depth at other key positions? I personally don’t like to have a backup quarterback, but I understand if some players feel that need. I love the fact that Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Josh McCown and Sam Bradford are still out on the waiver wire, and I could easily roll with one of those guys when Nick Foles has a bye week.
4. Potential RB2 Value in Later Rounds
If you aren’t comfortable with the running backs available after the third round, you don’t have to add Ryan Matthews out of desperation. In the fifth round Rashad Jennings and Trent Richardson were drafted, and in the sixth round Maurice Jones-Drew, Toby Gerhart, Joique Bell and Ray Rice were drafted. It depends how risky you view each back, but you can find some tremendous value in the later rounds.
Those were my biggest observations from the draft, and it will be interesting to see how things unfold as the season grows closer.
Without further ado, here is the team I drafted with the sixth pick in my live ESPN draft:
I am concerned with my depth at running back, but I think I have pretty strong team that can do some damage when it is firing on all cylinders. I have enough talent at wide receiver that I can make some trades if my running backs are lagging, and if Eric Ebron and Jordan Cameron both go off, I can put one of them on the trading block.
I hope you can use some of these observations to your advantage, and if you haven’t started preparing for your draft, what are you waiting for?!?!
Categories: Fantasy Football