Hello fantasy world here is the follow up to my latest post about different draft strategies. In my latest mock I have gone the opposite direction and have went WR heavy selecting wide-outs as my top 3 picks. Every draft strategy has both its benefits as well as risks and this was no different. A benefit of having elite wide-outs in place of their running counterparts is they usually hold up better and are much less injury prone. RB’s by nature take the most beating and so it stands to reason they are more susceptible to injury. Also there is not as much of volatility among the position. However one could argue this is a disadvantage as well because of the depth at WR. So is this a good strategy? I decided to find out…(Mock was completed at ESPN.com, and all points based on ESPN standard scoring)
(1.10) Larry Fitzgerald: Fitz is my second rated WR and is in my opinion the only one who has a chance to dethrone Calvin Johnson this year. Since his rookie year in 2004, Larry Fitzgerald has averaged 87 rec, 1,201 yards, and 9 touchdowns. Last season with sub par QB play he managed over 1,400 yards (the 4th time he has done so in his career.) I don’t care who he has throwing him the ball because he has already shown he can produce regardless.
(2.11) Greg Jennings: Quoting ESPN “Jennings was on pace for a career-high 87 grabs for 1,239 yards and 12 TDs, which would have put him fifth among fantasy WRs.” Jennings is the top target for the best QB in football and I feel this year will be his breakout year where he cements his status among the NFL elite. Throw in the fact that he is playing for a contract and wants to prove himself, I feel Jennings will post top 3 numbers.
(3.30) Brandon Marshall: Marshall has averaged 1,187 yards and over 6 touchdowns a season the past 5 years and that trend should move up. With sub-par QB play last season he still managed over 1,200 yards. Marshall with Cutler has averaged 1,237 yards and nearly 8 touchdowns per season as a starter (each with over 100 catches.) Back in the orange and blue with the cannon armed Vanderbilt product I see top 10 WR written all over Marshall.
(4.31) Trent Richardson: If you have read my blog you know how high I am on the Alabama runner. One of the rare workhorses left in the league I feel he will have a huge debut season. Peyton Hillis posted 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns in the same division two seasons ago. Richardson should easily eclipse these totals.
(5.50) Reggie Bush: Bush had a career last year with 1,292 yards from scrimmage (1,086 rushing, 296 recieving) and 7 total touchdowns. Bush was very consistent down the stretch last season posting 11 plus fantasy points in 8 of the last 9 games played. Even with talk about changing Bush’s role on offense I feel very confident with him as my RB2 so long as he can stay healthy. I would highly recommend drafting Daniel Thomas as a handcuff though.
(6.51) Tony Romo: Say what you want about Tony Romo…He’s a choke artist, he cant get it done in the playoffs, blah blah blah, all the guy does is put up fantasy points. Romo has had some durability issues in his career and I feel that is cause for some concern, but I feel that his upside greatly outweighs the risk. In the 3 seasons Romo has played all 16 games he has averaged 4,292 yards and 31 touchdowns. This is the first season he has a true game changing back so I feel Romo will be able to take advantage and post big time numbers.
(7.70) Doug Martin: Every fantasy owner has their pet players they tend to target at certain points in the draft and Martin is definitely one of mine. I feel a little wary with 2 of my 3 runners being rookies, but the opportunities are there for both players. Martin has a skill set Blount lacks as he has skills catching the ball out the backfield and is a much better pass blocker. He will be running behind 3 pro bowl offensive lineman and will be on the field more than enough to be a decent RB2 or at worst bye week filler and flex play.
(8.71) Isaac Redman: It was hard not taking Hernandez or Decker with this pick as I see both having big years, but I rationalized with myself and knew I needed more depth at RB. Redman this far in the draft has ridiculous value as he will be the primary ball carrier with Mendenhall starting the season on the PUP list. I see Redman having at least flex play consideration.
(9.90) Torrey Smith: Another one of my top pet players this season I honestly think Smith is the only player worth a pick from Baltimore outside of Rice and possibly Flacco as a QB2. Last season he showcased his big play ability posting 841 yards on only 50 receptions and 7 touchdowns. Anquan Boldin is slowing down as he has failed to top 900 yards in consecutive years. Smith is the WR to own in Baltimore this season and I don’t think 1,100 yards and 7 plus TD’s unrealistic.
(10.91) Fred Davis: 7 out of the 12 games Davis played last year he logged 9 or more fantasy points. He was suspended for the final 4 games last year for marijuana use but hopefully he has learned from his mistakes and will move past it. Look for RG3 to lean on Davis and for him to have a fine season.
(11.110) Darrius Heyward-Bey: The WR situation in Oakland is hard to predict at this point as I can see really anyone stepping up and being the man to own. But I feel that DHB coming off his best season (975 yards and 4 Td’s) will be the guy people expected him to be after being drafted 7th overall in 2009. Palmer may not be elite anymore but he is still the best QB DHB has played with so a breakout year is probable.
(12.111) Daniel Thomas: I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Thomas had a great season as I feel it likely he gets plenty of carries either spelling Bush or when Bush is split out wide. Either way Thomas is very valuable to have in case the injury prone Bush goes down.
(13.130) Jacob Tamme: When I don’t draft an Elite TE I like to have a TE committee so that I can play the match-ups. I feel that both Davis and Tamme have top 10 potential and feel confident with these two on my roster. Look for Tamme to have a great season as he already has chemistry with Peyton Manning.
(14.131) Carson Palmer: I wasn’t sure if I should have went Palmer or Luck with this selection so I went with experience. Having 3 rookies on my squad just did not sound appealing to me. Palmer is a pretty solid QB2 playing with a lot of explosive weapons so I feel confident with him for my bye week QB.
(15.150) Sebastian Janikowski: Usually reliable kicker.
(16.151) Bills DST: Mario Williams. To be honest I let the computer pick…I usually just play the waiver wire.
This draft was not as bad as I thought it was going to be selecting WR’s in my top 3 picks as I feel confident Fitzgerald and Jennings will both be top 5 and Marshall to be top 10. My running backs weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they would be as Richardson fell to the 4th round and selected some quality depth in Bush, Redman, and Martin. I feel confident with Romo as he is my 6th ranked passer outside the elite 5. And finally my TE tandem in Davis and Tamme if selected correctly will be solid. All in all this strategy worked better than I would have thought. Of course I will need to do more mocks with the same strategy to see how reliable it is. I will keep you posted. As always comments welcome.