The information below is standardized for a 12 team league. If your league has more or less members, adjust accordingly.
- Five quarterbacks will be gone by the end of the second round. If you want a first or second tier QB, be prepared to pay for it. Rodgers (top 5), Brady, and Brees will be gone in the first round. Newton and Stafford won’t last much longer. This isn’t necessarily news, but just to remind everyone, three QBs passed for over 5,000 yards last year, with Eli coming 67 yards short. That number could easily increase this year.
- If you’re picking in the middle of round one and you take Calvin Johnson, be prepared to be facing some less attractive RB options on the way back in rounds two and three. You will likely have to reach for RB depth later in the draft. The teams I like the least in mocks so far have been when I take Calvin in the middle of round one as the best players available for the next two rounds are pretty much always going to be wide receivers unless one of the QBs falls to you in the second, which isn’t something to count on. Simply put, the RB situation ends up being pretty ugly unless someone like Forte magically makes it back to you in the second.
- If you want Gronk or Graham, be prepared to take either one of them in the third round or earlier. I like Jimmy more because this season will be his 4th year playing football and there’s still room for improvement. That is a ridiculous thing to think about considering he almost set the single season TE yardage record… in his third year playing the sport.
- The WR depth this season is fantastic. This is a logical progression as quarterbacks are throwing more than ever, hence the 5 QBs gone in the first two rounds. Calvin and Fitz are in a world by themselves, but after that, WRs 3-14 on my rankings are still okay as your first WR as far as I’m concerned.
- The teams I like the most so far this preseason have almost always started with a high upside RB. I am most likely in the minority here but I would prefer to start my team off with Ryan Mathews at the 5th pick even if Rodgers is there. The reason for this is because I feel like I can recover better with the remaining QBs in round 3 and beyond. Disclaimer: the reason I feel this way is because I am confident in my ability to play the matchups each week if I miss out on a top 10 QB. The downside to this is that it requires a backup QB whereas if you take a top flight guy, I don’t recommend drafting a backup unless it’s Stafford, Vick, or Peyton. If you don’t like having to make a lineup decision at QB each week, be sure to draft one before round 5 or 6 pending how your draft is going.
- Assuming your league is trade-friendly (and if it isn’t, get out), if you find yourself not liking some of the options in the middle rounds and people are getting too cute trying to wait for the tight end or QB they’re targeting, don’t hesitate to punish them and draft an asset you can trade. This will work best for tight ends this year initially, but a few QBs will probably get hurt this year.
- This should go without saying, but I firmly believe you will be best served waiting to take a kicker and defense until the final two rounds. If you must take a defense early, it should be the 49ers. Once they’re gone, it is a steep drop off to the next group and it’s just not worth it. Also, don’t get caught up in the brand names of the Steelers, Ravens, Jets, and Bears. If you must take a kicker early, it should be David Akers but that is solely based on his production last year, which means it will undoubtedly not be repeated.
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