Zealots Grange Masters, Part 3
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Round 11 to 13 - Results
I took Keith Bulluck as my only defensive player back in round 7. Since then I added
Stokley, Clark and Shelton to bolster my offense as much as possible while many other
teams are adding to their defensive roster. Is it time to turn to defense?
No, still not yet. At this point my IDP cheatsheet is getting somewhat thinner, but
armed with my tiers, a few undervalued with upside defensive players in mind, and the
knowledge to know good defensive players are not nearly as tough to acquire during
the season as offensive players are, I stick to offense.
Pick 11.09 is Brandon Lloyd. Just like Stokley would
have made a better #3 fantasy WR on my squad, Lloyd would make a better #4. But since
I went with 4 RB and a QB early, WR suffered slightly.
Pick 12.04 is Justin McCareins. Given WR is a weaker
position for me, I go back to the well at WR for a good backup quicker than I otherwise
would. Young guys with upside who are locked into starter roles are who I am after.
Lloyd and McCareins both fit the bill. Drafting the pair of them increases my odds
of finding a "breakout" player at the position.
Pick 13.07 is Chad Pennington. There are 17 QB taken
already and I have Pennington in the top 12. One team hasn't taken its first QB yet. A
few others still need backups. Lets put the screws to them a little bit more by taking
the last solid QB before we roll into the group of QB who weigh a little higher on the
risk scale, a little lower on the reward scale.
Round 14 to 17 - Results
Time for some defense, but not LB even though it is the most valuable defensive
position. The top DB tier is completely tapped out except Madieu Williams. I really
like Michael Lewis too and could make an argument to push him into my top tier.
I do check the other teams rosters and most have filled in 2 or 3 LB already. A couple
teams are following a similar strategy to mine where they are very patient drafting
their D roster. Overall, it looks like most of the other teams will turn their attention
away from LB for the time being, so if that assessment is correct now is not the time
to draft a LB either, since I can get them later on.
Check a few other fantasy football information sites where I know my opponents frequent
to compare the ranking of Williams versus Lewis (this is an example where you can take
advantage of knowing your opponent). Most have Williams higher, so I take Madieu Williams
at the 14.04 and cross my fingers for Lewis to fall to the next pick.
Pick 15.11 is Michael Lewis. Nice.
Now on the D side I have Bulluck at LB and 2 DB. Pretty thin, but given what I said
about most teams having addressed these positions, I still don't have to hurry out
and fill them. My tiers show Eric Johnson sitting all alone in the top TE tier,
and half the teams haven't even addressed their TE position yet. Eric
Johnson is the pick.
With WR still a bit of a concern and available players who qualify as WR1 or WR2 on
their respective NFL team dwindling, time for another sleeper pick at the position
(i.e. a guy with talent and opportunity who has good potential to breakout and far
exceed his draft position). The pick is Antonio
Bryant. According to my depth chart, Bryant is the last WR1 undrafted to this
point with the exception of Atlanta.
Round 18 to 20 - Results
Time to jump on the LB position, and similar to the way I acquired WR, since I left
this position late, I not only fill the starters but get a better than average
quality backup by drafting the backup sooner than I would had I gone out and
grabbed 3 higher tier starters to rely on.
Pick 18.04 is Odell Thurman. Rookies carry a natural
risk, but I've read great things on this guy and felt he was worth the risk here instead
of letting someone grab him before my long wait to the 19.10.
Pick 19.10 is D.J. Williams. People are scared off
Williams because he is moving to strong-side LB. Yes, positioning does factor into
the fantasy value of defensive players, but this guy finished 25th in LB scoring
last year as a rookie. His talent is tremendous. I just got him as the 37th LB
drafted. At the end of the day, talent will win out, and I think I got a really
good deal on him here.
Pick 20.01 is Derrick Johnson. Another rookie, but
a highly touted one with big play potential on a well coached team with playoff
aspirations. Looking at the draft while writing this, which is now in round 28,
14 LB have been selected since I took Johnson and Julian Peterson is the only one
I feel I may be kicking myself for passing on to roll the dice on Johnson's potential.
Through 20 rounds, I have a solid core offense with starters and backups at all
positions. Positions I haven't addressed are K, DL, and a third starter at DB.
This draft is still in progress, but here are my next picks made to date:
Pick 21.04 RB Ryan Moats - Although I have faith in
Brian Westbrook to perform as a top fantasy RB this season, this pick comes based on
positive comments by our own Matt "Gut Check" Waldman.
By the way, I did lose out on drafting Anthony Thomas and Maurice Clarett and
Mike Anderson (although I probably wouldn't have drafted Anderson) to handcuff
my starters. I would have liked to draft them, particularly Thomas, but the
backups were picked earlier than I could really justify it. It didn't help that
one team's strategy is to draft as many backup RB as possible and hope to strike
gold when injury strikes (they have 11 through 25 rounds).
Pick 22.09 DL Darren Howard
Pick 23.05 DL Alex Brown
Pick 24.08 WR Reggie Williams - Another deep sleeper
(so deep, many have forgotten about him) to increase my odds at a breakout WR.
Pick 25.04 WR Joey Galloway
Pick 26.09 QB J.P. Losman - Just 2 picks away from
Leonard Little. A perfect example of a quality defensive player slipping through the
cracks. That guy got a great deal.
Pick 27.12 TE Ben Watson
Pick 28.01 DL Will Smith
Pick 29.02 DL Robert Mathis
Recap - Full
Almost at round 30 and things I need to address are K, a third starting DB plus
backups, LB depth and of course, more deep sleeper picks on offense. Here is the
roster after 29 picks:
|Zealots Grange Masters
Draft Recap, MacGregor's Team Bills Z7
||Eric Shelton ®
||Odell Thurman ®
||Derrick Johnson ®
||Ryan Moats ®
This is a long draft, which deep IDP leagues tend to be, and as a result it turned
into a long article. Here are what I consider the most important points to take from
My overall assessment on this draft is that this is not going to be an easy league.
Not many players slipped too far, and a number of teams were patient enough with the
defense to not give up too much value on offense. My team I like overall, of course.
To be critical, RB is risky given the durability concerns of Julius Jones, Bell and
Foster, and none have an extended history of success, but the risk is mitigated by
having a 4th starting RB available with Staley, plus Foster is insured with Shelton.
- Tiering helped immensely in this draft, both early and late. Early on an
examination of the tiers and ADP info cleared the path to draft a top tier WR
knowing I would still get a good RB before the next drop-off at that position.
- Using tiering later on in the draft highlighted numerous players as being the
last or next to last players at their position before a big drop in projected
results. Grabbing these players allowed me to get good value with all of my picks
instead of drafting purely on need.
- Patience, patience, patience drafting the defensive players. Since so many of
these players score similar to one another, solidify the offense and wait for the
right defensive players to slip through the cracks.
- Keep constant watch on the needs of the other teams. Control the draft by going
after positions that are drying up and other teams still need to address. Force other
teams into position runs.
- Draft Duce Staley as a bargain value starting RB.
WR is not great after Moss, and it will take some time to determine who, if any, of
Lloyd, McCareins, Bryant, Reggie Williams or Galloway can lift their game to be every week
QB is solid, which is good considering the league scores 6 points per passing TD.
TE is good. DL is good. LB is a bit risky with the pair of rookies, so I will need
some reliable depth in case I have to fall back on it. DB has a great starting two
and will no doubt be complimented with a solid third later in the draft or early
in the season.
For a first draft of the year, I like my chances. I'm already looking forward to
wrapping up this draft and moving on to my next one. Less of a marathon draft without
defensive players would be nice though.