Fantasy Football 2011: My First Draft Review

My first fantasy football draft went down last Thursday, so I thought I would share with you all my strategy for victory as well as my full lineup. This league is 10 teams, so it’s a fairly small but still competitive league, and we used the standard QB, 2RB, 2WR, RB/WR, TE, D/ST, K lineup.

Going into the draft, I am picking ninth overall, which I am more than fine with. I think picking later in the first round is just as beneficial as picking near the front of the draft. I don’t really like having the pressure of picking between guys like Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster, and I’m confident enough in my drafting and GM abilities to put a good product out every week.

This is a non-PPR league, and quarterbacks are given fewer points for touchdown passes (4) than position players (6). My strategy early on is to wait to be one of the last teams to take a quarterback because there won’t be much of a difference between points from 1st to 10th (in my opinion), and I feel like I need to hold off on my affliction for wide receivers (I love taking WR early).

With the 9th pick in the draft, I selected the best running back available–Maurice Jones-Drew. MJD’s injury doesn’t worry me really because he hasn’t barely missed any time in his NFL career thus far. Running backs are always banged up, so I wasn’t worried, plus knowing that I have a pick coming up right away, I feel like I had some flexibility with that pick.

My initial thought in the first round was to go with Andre Johnson, the Houston wide receiver and the top receiver easily in fantasy leagues. Johnson plays on a high-octane offense and he’s a bona fide super star. I went with my (hopefully) better judgment and left Johnson on the board, especially in a non-PPR league.

To my surprise, Johnson was still there three picks later for my second round choice. He has helped me do extremely well in leagues, so I decided to haul him in. There was really no question at that point–Johnson was my guy. I feel like I had just gotten two of the best picks I could have possibly gotten at that point in the draft, and I still felt good about my strategy leaving some running backs on the board that I still liked.

At this point, backs are just flying off the board, but I caught a bit of a break when there was a short run on quarterbacks as well as some receivers that I thought to be slightly average. My strategy all along was to load up on position players in the beginning, specifically getting as many dual-threat running backs as I could find.

In the third round, picking 9th once more, I was elated to have Peyton Hillis still on the board. I feel like a running back duo of Hillis and MJD can get me really far in a fantasy league, because both guys are durable and both are excellent receivers out of the backfield. In terms of touchdowns, last year was an absolutely down year for MJD, but I feel like he will bounce back again in 2011.

Hillis had a breakout year last year, but some think he is just a one-year-wonder. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I have followed Hillis’ entire career, and the guy is a straight up gamer, plus he’s one of the best receiving backs in the NFL. He can hurt you in so many ways, and being in the West Coast offense, his skills could really be amplified, especially as a receiver (see Steven Jackson).

Three picks later, the running back crop was getting thin, but I felt like he had a good enough year last year to warrant a high pick in the fourth round. He showed upside as both a runner and receiver, and had over a thousand total yards and six total touchdowns. Now that he’s had a year of seasoning, I think he will only get better.

My strategy from then on was to load up on position players (WR, RB) who could provide my team with depth, and then when the time was right, I would take my quarterback.

By the time I had finally taken a quarterback, the rest of my position groups (WR, RB) were already pretty much set. I picked up St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, though looking back, I wish I had taken Josh Freeman, who was still on the board. However, with Bradford in the Josh McDaniels offense, I think he can really emerge as a top tier fantasy quarterback.

I also didn’t take a tight end until there were only four rounds left, but I still got Owen Daniels. If Daniels can return to pre-injury form, I think that will be some kind of steal. I took my defense in the second to last round (Chicago Bears), and a kicker with the second to last pick (Vinatieri).

Here is my roster recap:


Sam Bradford (STL), Jay Cutler (CHI), Tim Tebow (DEN)


Running Back

Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC), Peyton Hillis (CLE), Jahvid Best (DET), Felix Jones (DAL), C.J. Spiller (BUF)


Wide Receiver

Andre Johnson (HOU), Percy Harvin (MIN), Chad Ochocinco (NE), Mike Sims-Walker (STL), Roy Williams (CHI)


Tight End

Owen Daniels (HOU)



Chicago Bears



Adam Vinatieri (IND)

Topics: Fantasy Football, Fantasy Football Strategy

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  • ernzenk

    @NFLMocks for a 10 team league the team you drafted is avg at best. Weak WRs after Johnson, weak QB and why do you need 3?

  • NFLMocks

    @ernzenk I disagree, I got all #1 receivers on every team.

  • ernzenk

    @NFLMocks – ochocinco, Williams and sims-walker don’t qualify as #1 receivers, just because they are on the depth chart.

  • NFLMocks

    @ernzenk OK

  • GarrettBaldwin

    This is a horrible draft…

    • Sayre Bedinger

      Thanks for your input, Garrett.

  • Mr. Freakin’ Fantasy


    How about expanding on why you think it’s a “horrible draft” I think he did quite well.

  • GarrettBaldwin

    @Mr. Freakin’ Fantasy Do I really have to spend my time on that? The RB situation is laughable, with a guy with a proven knee problem, a one-year wonder and three backups made of glass. The WR situation is just Andre, and nothing else.

    8TH best TE?

    Not even a top 12 QB?

    This is a 10 team league?

    Enjoy last place.

  • GarrettBaldwin

    @ernzenk completely agree with this. Mario Manningham is better than all three of these guys… and Ocho is actually #2 in New England

  • sayre111589

    @GarrettBaldwin@Mr. Freakin’ Fantasy

    Guy with proven knee problems that has missed how many games? Peyton Hillis is not a one-year wonder, that’s an ignorant, non-educated statement. Three backups made of glass? What running back ISN’T made of glass?

    WR situation is Andre Johnson and four number one receivers.

    8th best TE–not going to be huge difference between the #3 TE and #8. You need to know how to strategize your draft, especially picking late.

    Sam Bradford not a top 12 QB? You really don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • ReggieMccolgan

    Not bad my friend. But WR are kind of weak after Andre Johnson but you did get an elite WR RB position is stacked. Would trade one of those guys for a more stable #2 WR. QB is potentially very weak if Sam Bradford does not come through. I do not like taking QB early either but Bradford and Cutler? Risky…not going to say neither will do well but…RB are strong and deep use that to your advantage.

  • sayre111589

    I really couldn’t care less if you don’t like this draft, but if you are going to criticize, be constructive. You are not going to make yourself famous on here by being a complete douche bag, so if you intend on acting like one, you will be banned.

  • sayre111589

    @ReggieMccolgan Agreed. I wasn’t ecstatic about by WRs, but I figured if I loaded up on RB’s, I could make a trade if the need arises. It’s non-ppr, so I let a lot of certain guys go by and took RB’s instead, so we’ll see how it works out. Going to need my stars to carry me.

  • GarrettBaldwin

    @SayreBedinger Not going to get RZ? Did you follow the NFL at all last year? Did you see this guy when Smith and Nicks went down? Yeesh

  • ernzenk

    @GarrettBaldwin thanks. I’m amused by many “experts”. I subscribe to the logic from @writerboyESPN, @MatthewBerryTMR and @NateRavitz mostly.

  • GarrettBaldwin

    @ernzenk @writerboyESPN @MatthewBerryTMR @NateRavitz As you should subscribe to them… I dedicated Bonded By Blood to them…

  • SayreBedinger

    @GarrettBaldwin Man, you are really annoying. Who are you trying to impress here?

  • SayreBedinger

    @GarrettBaldwin LOL–”did you see this guy when Smith and Nicks went down” So taking him is smart b/c he played well when he was #1?

  • SayreBedinger

    @GarrettBaldwin That’s weird, because it’s the same line of thinking I used for every other receiver I picked up.

  • GarrettBaldwin

    @SayreBedinger Keep trying. One day you’ll come in fourth.

  • GarrettBaldwin

    @SayreBedinger if you knew anything, you’d know that Smith is gone, and he’s now opposite nicks… and he played pretty well aside nicks…

  • SayreBedinger

    @GarrettBaldwin You just said when Smith AND Nicks went down, not disagreeing that he could be good.

  • SayreBedinger

    @GarrettBaldwin But your argument is based on the fact that I could have had Manningham over the guys I picked. Not true.

  • ReggieMccolgan

    @sayre111589 That is not a bad way to go about it. I think Jahvid Best has Jamel Charles like potential. Percy Harvin and Roy Williams are capable of having very good games. In the end people we do not know what teams will do good. Everyone’s team looks good in the eye of the beholder…except maybe my own which minutes afterwards I go from confident to …WHY DID I DO THAT???

  • sayre111589

    @ReggieMccolgan Yeah, I agree with you. I think I am banking on the potential of these guys’ roles drastically increasing in their respective offenses, which could be boom or bust.

    You look at Jahvid Best in DET, I wouldn’t have taken him if LeShoure hadn’t gone down.

    Same with Roy Williams–in Dallas, he is the #3, in Chicago, he is the clear cut #1. I don’t intend on starting him unless he has a few huge games or if I have injury problems, but you never know! Jay Cutler picks favorites, as I saw in Denver w/B-Marshall.

    Same thing w/Sims-Walker and Ocho–those guys I’m expecting like 900 yards minimum and maybe 8 TD’s, but that could be stretching it. Tom Brady likes to spread the ball around but I like S-W in the McDaniels offense.

    We’ll see how it plays out–the team I draft is never the team I go into week two with ;)

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