Last year at this time I pulled together an article called Drafting
From The Top which outlined how a typical fantasy football
league draft was expected to play out, and my suggestions on how
to approach such a draft working from one of the top 5 picks.
It was intended as my overall guide for draft day. The, “I’m
hard pressed to do all the steps in the FF
Today Draft Plan, so I’ll read this instead” draft
plan summary. It went into great detail about what positions to
attack when, what players you can expect to fall to you in each
round, and how to pull the most value out of your draft so you
have a killer team to kick off the season.
Reviewing that article
a year later, there were some hits and misses with particular
players, as there are every year. Overall though, the concepts
were rock solid, in my humble opinion. Last year I somehow managed
to pull a top 5 pick in four redraft leagues. Regrettably, I decided
to deviate from the plan in one of those leagues, just to see
how it would work out. While not completely responsible for the
poor end-of-year result (injuries!), that was by far my worst
league finish last year. The other three resulted in three playoff
appearances, two championships, and a 1st, 1st and 4th in regular
season points. Not bad.
So, it would seem appropriate I update this article for the 2005
season, and here we are. Now, I have struggled with it more this
year than last year because of a certain 49-TD-throwing-phenom-QB
who is still only 29 years old with all his main weapons returning.
Last year, draft a stud RB in the 1st round and don’t look
back was the advice. Easy. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
First, the ground rules, and then we’ll start the draft
The focus here is on drafting from spots 1-5.
Our guideline is for a re-draft league with 12 teams and serpentine
draft style (alternating back-and-forth order of picks each round).
Scoring is a typical performance system with players earning 1
point per 20 yards passing and 4 points per passing TD; 1 per
10 yards rushing or receiving and 6 points per rushing or receiving
TD. Starters are 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DEF/ST. Comments
will be included for slightly different scoring systems and lineup
Now, the biggest decision on draft day…
Stud RB To Anchor the Team
If not for Peyton Manning, I would just re-write this whole section
from last year and not think twice about it (other than some player
name changes). In fact, at 4 points per passing TD I am just going
to say the same thing as last year about the RB position first,
and then we’ll discuss Manning. Okay, you got a top 5 pick?
Draft a stud RB. The simple, proven first step to the championship
- Priest Holmes
- LaDainian Tomlinson
- Shaun Alexander
As shown by the Average Draft Position (“ADP”) data,
most people are passing on Priest Holmes at the first overall
pick. Tomlinson is getting the nod instead, and many have Alexander,
Edgerrin James and others ahead of Holmes.
If you are risk averse, by all means pass on Holmes. No one will
ever claim you will win your league with the first pick, but you
can lose it. However, if you want to be an aggressive owner. If
you believe that injuries cannot be predicted, which
has been proven on more than one occasion. If you want the absolute
most potential bang for your buck (i.e. top pick), Holmes has
to be your #1 consideration.
Fifteen TD in 8 games. Say that out loud: “15 TD in 8 games”.
Twenty-seven TD in 16 games in 2003. I hope I manage a top 5 pick
in a draft this year and Holmes is sitting there for me. I’m
not saying there isn’t risk with Holmes, or even extra cost
if you want or need to burn a relatively high pick on backup Larry
Johnson, but I can’t pass on a guy capable of doubling the
TD production of anyone else on the board.
Tomlinson, I love this guy too. Alexander is money in Seattle.
Even though this is a top 5 pick strategy, after these 3, the
RB choices get slightly more dicey. Time to do some research,
and for you to ultimately decide who you like the best.
- Edgerrin James
- Willis McGahee
- Deuce McAllister
- Tiki Barber
James is in a contract year, and in the most high powered offense
in football. Will he score enough? McGahee looks like the next
coming after notching 13 TD in only 11 starts, but an inexperienced
QB and tough division opponents leave some doubts using this high
draft slot on him. McAllister failed to live up to very high expectations
last season barely cracking 1,000 yards on the ground, but an
ankle injury is mostly to blame for that. Barber went way above
and beyond his expectations but wildly unpredictable TD opportunities
will ultimately decide his outcome.
I’ve got them in the order I would take them. With a top
3 pick you are absolutely set. With a 4th or 5th pick you are
not looking too shabby either.
The section you’ve been waiting to read and the section
I’ve been dreading to write. What to do about Peyton Manning?
Do I take the simple route, and just say take a stud RB, let someone
else draft Manning, and be done with it? I’d like to say
that but I can’t. The fact is I can make a strong argument
for taking Manning in the 1st round. Here is what I wrote about
Manning in my Dissecting
a Draft article from a few weeks ago:
Fantasy football players who focus only on the numbers and history
will tell you Peyton Manning had a once in a lifetime season last
year, and he is a horrible pick this year. Their reasoning? Because
it has never been done before. Well, here is what I know:
Peyton Manning is 29 years old; he is in his prime. His talent
is unquestioned. Manning has the desire, work ethic and attitude
to continue to IMPROVE his game. Improve? I'm not saying he is
going to go out and throw 49 TD again, or 50 or 60, but from what
you know of Manning do you think he is satisfied with his season
last year? Do you think he is one to pat himself on the back and
say, good job, maybe I'll take this summer off? Not this guy.
Not based on what we've seen of him in his career. He knows his
job is to score points. He can only control the offensive side
of the ball and he figures the best way for him to help his team
to win is to score as many points as possible. That is what he
works continuously on, and that is what he goes out and does.
In terms of supporting cast, Marcus Pollard is gone from a year
ago. Overall, not much has changed for Manning so I'm not very
quick to discount what he did last year as a once in a lifetime
Without getting into specific projections, I think it is fair
to say that I am higher on Manning than most fantasy football
pundits. The big question though is, do I take him as a top 5
pick under our typical league setup? No.
At 4 points per TD, the value isn’t there to land him in
the top 5. Under this scoring Manning wasn’t even the #1
QB last year as he failed to outscore Daunte Culpepper. The differential
in scoring passing versus rushing TD, and the rushing yards, diminished
Manning’s value. Plugging the straight 2004 stats into the
to calculate a retrospective overall ranking,
I have Manning coming in at #8 overall, behind 6 RB and Culpepper.
Remember everything about the draft has to do with tradeoffs.
If you take Manning here, then you are set at QB, but notably
weaker at RB and WR. If you take RB here, then you won’t
get Manning but you’ll still have plenty of opportunity
to get a decent QB later – often much later. That is ultimately
why I suggest passing on Manning under the league criteria defined
for this article.
However, at 6 points per TD if we’re expecting another
remarkable year, then Manning is creating more separation in fantasy
points between him and the rest of the field. Now we have a stronger
case for drafting him in the top 5.
Some other things to consider are other scoring criteria, for
not only QB but also RB and WR to judge what positions hold the
most value, and how much separation is created by the top players
at each position, versus average players (i.e. easy to acquire
replacement players) at those positions. The number of starters
required at QB, RB, WR is a major factor, including what positions
are included in the offensive flex position, if applicable. The
more RB and WR required relative to QB starters will lower the
value of all QB, which knocks Manning out of top 5 consideration.
If your league requires 2 QB starters, or includes QB as a flex
position option, keeping the number of RB and WR starters in the
normal 4-6 range, then all of a sudden Manning is getting strong
consideration as the #1 overall pick. Assuming no wild changes
in the scoring system, here is the “Cosmo” survey
on when to pull, or pull back, the trigger on drafting Manning
early this season:
- Does your league start more than 1 QB, including the offensive
flex starter(s)? (4 points)
- Does your league start 5 or fewer RB + WR , including the
offensive flex starter(s)? (2 points)
- Does your league score the same points for passing TD as
rushing and receiving TD? (2 point)
- Does your league favor QB passing yds more than normal performance
leagues (EX. 1 pt per 15 yds passing, 1 pt for 10 yds rushing/receiving)?
- Does your league score negative points for interceptions
thrown? (1 point)
- Does your league give bonus points for long distance TD scored?
- Does your league have less than 10 teams, or more than 14
teams? (1 point)
- Do the other owners in your league historically allow lesser
known but quality RB + WR to “slip” further than
they would in experienced leagues (i.e. Kevin Jones falling
to the late 2nd or early 3rd round; LaMont Jordan to the 4th
round)? (2 points)
11-15 points = Potential #1 overall pick.
7-10 points = Some consideration for Manning at the top of the
3-6 points = He’d better crack 50 TD if you’re going
to spend a 1st round pick on him.
0-2 points = Someone else please draft this guy in the 1st.
While I’m having some fun here with this pseudo-survey,
the point is I’m not against drafting Manning in the 1st
round, but it has to be under the right circumstances of your
league so you are getting proper value for your high draft pick.
Otherwise, it is going to be an uphill battle the rest of the
Even less that Manning, it would be a very rare circumstance
to recommend taking a WR with a top 5 draft pick. While the RB
pool seems to be deeper than it has in years, and WR, in my estimation,
is a little less exciting beyond the top 12 or so guys, you are
still better off with RB for your first pick.
It is true the very top WR, which is Randy Moss in my book, will
not get back to you in the 2nd round, but there is a good chance
one of the other top tier WR will be available: Chad Johnson,
Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison or Torry Holt. All have very similar
expectations. All are a clear head above their peers at the WR
position. Don’t pass on a stud RB when you can still get
a stud WR in the 2nd. If you take a stud WR here then I can almost
guarantee you will not be able to draft a stud RB in the 2nd.
If by chance none of those WR are available on the comeback,
then all the better. You’ll have some better second RB choices
to pick from and pair with your first pick.
After a seemingly endless wait, it is finally back to your turn
in the 2nd round with a 3rd round pick not far behind this one.
A stud RB is ready to carry your team, or Peyton Manning if your
league setup called for it, and that player is looking for his
first teammate. Here is who was likely taken since the early 1st
Unless you are in a rather inexperienced league with casual NFL
fans, where Kevin and Julius Jones are unknown commodities, or
perhaps where no one wants to touch Tiki “The Rodney Dangerfield
of RBs” Barber, we can be pretty sure these guys will be
gone. That is 15 players. Problem is you are drafting in the #20
to #24 spots, so there will be at least 4 more off the board before
your next pick.
- Ahman Green
- Rudi Johnson
- Brian Westbrook
- Steven Jackson
- Chad Johnson
- Terrell Owens
- Daunte Culpepper
If you drafted in the 5th spot overall, 3 of these players will
be available to choose from. If you drafted 1st overall, there
is still 1 more to go before your back-to-back picks. Lets run
through the options by position…
Double Up at RB
There are some good choices here so I’m not going to too
strongly advocate one position over another, but I will say this:
if you pass on a RB here, then you want to be somewhat certain
you will have the option to take a strong caliber RB with your
3rd round pick. The quality RB tier is going to have the bottom
fall out of it pretty soon, and by the time your 4th and 5th round
picks get back to you, especially in a RB hungry league (aren’t
they all these days?), you just might be wondering if Duce Staley’s
knees can hold up, or how exactly carries will be split in Cleveland.
So, that said even if you drafted RB in the 1st round it is rarely
a bad thing to go back to RB in the 2nd round. If you drafted
Peyton Manning in the 1st round, then RB should be a very high
priority at this point. The choices are:
- Brian Westbrook
- Steven Jackson
- LaMont Jordan
- Curtis Martin
- Tatum Bell
After this group, there are certainly guys I still like at RB,
such as Warrick Dunn, DeShaun Foster and the highly touted rookie
RB, but they do carry more risk, so I see a noticeable drop off
after Bell. Some would consider Bell very high risk as well, but
personally I am still not buying the Mike Anderson talk (yet).
Bell’s very high potential upside counter-balances his greater
risk to warrant him being in the above group before the drop-off.
There could be a few differences in the available players due
to the league scoring system. For example I would expect Westbrook
to go higher in point per reception leagues. Overall though, these
are some decent RB to pencil in as, in most cases, your #2 RB.
However, I do have some trouble ranking them because they all
have a very similar risk versus reward tradeoff. I’ve got
them all in the same tier on my ranking sheet. That is the reason
I said above, if you can get one with your 3rd round pick, take
this pick in a different direction, which leads me to…
I really like the idea of securing a stud WR this season. I’ve
held to this in the past but given the available depth at RB,
and less exciting WR prospects in the 12-30 range of WR (in my
opinion), it is even more pronounced this year. Whether a stud
WR will still be available in the late 2nd round though is a question
mark. It will depend on your league. If they are RB hungry, you
could very well have the option to draft one or more of:
- Chad Johnson
- Terrell Owens (barring how the “As the Eagles Turn”
soap opera works itself out)
- Marvin Harrison
- Torry Holt
There really is more variation in these top 2-3 rounds this season
then I have seen in recent years. You may scoff at the idea of
these players being available in the late 2nd. I did in fact take
Chad Johnson, the second WR off the board, in the 2nd round of
an ongoing draft, but that was the 2.01 pick. I immediately heard
groans from a couple owners that they were targeting him soon
after my pick (I love it when they groan).
On the other hand, as shown in my Dissecting
a Draft article, Owens went 2.09, Harrison 3.01 and Johnson
3.03. That is a pretty wide swing in where to expect players to
go. It really will depend on the makeup of your league and the
other owner tendencies.
The thing to learn from this, especially with a 3rd-round pick
quickly to follow, is to not just look at your 2nd-round pick
in isolation. Consider the pair of picks together – 2nd
and 3rd round picks – to assess what players are most likely
to be available. This will help you get the most value out of
these important selections.
As for comments on the WR in this list, from a pure fantasy perspective
I don’t necessarily have Chad Johnson projected higher than
Terrell Owens. If push came to shove I would have to wager Owens
will score more TD than Johnson. But, I did draft Johnson before
Owens because they were closely projected, both falling into the
same tier, and it essentially boiled down to me liking Johnson’s
character better than Owens. Hey, this is fantasy football. I
can have some fun can’t I? And Johnson’s on-field
antics are a lot more fun than watching Owens’ off-field
* Note all these references to Owens, and
McNabb later on, were written prior to his blow up with Andy Reid
and exile from training camp. Darn to myself for not getting this
Harrison and Holt are a notch below my big 3 WR, but I still
certainly respect what they bring to the table in terms of consistent
If you drafted Manning in the 1st, skip right by this and all
other paragraphs titled “QB” until round 10 or so.
First to draft a starting QB equals last to draft a backup QB.
If you drafted a RB though, then you could be in line for a QB
here, I guess. It wouldn’t be my preferred option, but lets
look at it anyway. There is really only 1 QB to consider here,
after Manning is already off the board.
Someone likely will take Culpepper in the 2nd round of your draft.
I actually did that last year in one league and he served me very
well. This year, I suggest passing on him. While I had my own
suspicions to start with, The
Gut Check went above and beyond convincing me Moss’
departure will result in Culpepper being a poor value choice for
a round 2 selection.
At this point most of you are sitting RB-RB, or RB-WR. Some are
QB-RB or QB-WR. Continuing the discussion above, if you went RB
in the 2nd then you will lean WR here. If you went WR in the 2nd
then you will lean RB here. Of course it ultimately depends who
|3rd-Round RB Options?
If you are taking a RB here, hopefully one of the above (highlighed
in yellow) – Jordan, Martin, Bell – are still available.
Of course it would come as no surprise if one or more of those
rookie RB has a great season vaulting him into 1st round consideration
a year from now. In fact, I expect about as much. The only problem
is picking the right one. If you are confident you can do that,
then by all means do it now. Although it is a little early to consider
them at the top of the 3rd round relative to their ADP of early to
mid-4th, these players are unlikely
to make it back to you after the long turn to your 4th round pick.
Even if you went RB-RB in the 1st and 2nd rounds, taking a third
RB here is not completely out of the question, but it is more
fitting for leagues that have a lot of trading, and for owners
who have some deep WR prospects they are confident in taking later.
Otherwise, WR will be a tough position to fill later needing 3
From my experience, many fantasy owners get a little too caught
up in drafting RB, RB, RB at the expense of the WR position. If
you have to start 3 WR, then you need to have a quality, consistent
WR corps to be the difference between one of the strongest teams
in your league week-to-week, and an up-and-down team on the bubble
to make your fantasy playoffs. This is even more the case in leagues
which award 1 point per reception.
Still, most drafting in the top 5 likely are RB-RB through 2
rounds, because there is more of a threat that the RB we like
all get drafted before this 3rd round pick, than the WR already
mentioned above. Even after those top 5 WR though, there are still
a good handful of options. And you’ll be inclined to take
a WR here, because this entire group might be taken before your
4th round pick and then you could end up with guys like Drew Bennett
and Laveranues Coles as your #1 WR. Good players, but guys I’m
not confident in as my #1 WR.
|3rd-Round WR Options?
The top group under "Options?", highlighted in yellow, I think
definitely is gone before your next pick,
and most if not all of the second group. Although it is more difficult
between picks on the long turn than the short turn, always try
to think ahead to your next picks. Getting good at judging who
should be available next time will make the current pick decisions
Of the WR listed, I more or less like them in this order, with
a drop-off after Wayne and before Clayton.
Donovan McNabb could be a consideration here if available.
If I am drafting more
towards the middle of the round (5 spot), I took a WR in the 2nd
round and my top RB tier has run dry, then I just might pull the
trigger on McNabb and fill my second RB in the next round.
Traditionally, that wouldn’t be my preference though, and
in my case I would only consider McNabb because I have him ranked
as the #2 QB on my board. If you have someone else ranked that
high (assuming both Manning and Culpepper are gone by now), then
you can probably let him slide by this round. Or if you don’t
have a lot of separation between the next group of QB in your
rankings, then you really don’t need to consider a QB here.
This was one of my major “misses” last year in this
article, saying I would pass on Tony Gonzalez in the 3rd round
in every league last year. I did stick to that, but Tony G. certainly
proved to be worth that draft position, especially in point per
reception leagues. It didn’t hurt me passing on him though,
as a certain former basketball player turned stud TE, Antonio
Gates, came at much better value.
This year, the decision for your 3rd round pick is not isolated
to Gonzalez, as Gates, keeping an eye on his contract holdout,
has vaulted himself into Tier 1. You can be sure when the first
of these two players goes in your draft, the next one will be
soon to follow.
The question is, should you take one of them? There isn’t
a firm right or wrong answer on this. It is all about tradeoffs.
If I already had 2 RB, and all my preferred WR were gone (the
first 5, plus Walker, Horn and Wayne), then yes, I might give
strong consideration to taking one of them here in the 3rd round,
with hopes of one of my next group of WR coming back to me in
the 4th round. In leagues which give a point per reception I’d
be even more inclined to grab one of these two guys who give you
a clear advantage over your opponent at one position most every
A reason I wouldn’t take one of them here though, is because
from a value perspective, they haven’t got a very high ceiling
to hit from which to justify the 3rd round pick. Gates nearly
doubled the TD total of every other TE last year. Can he possibly
duplicate it? Gonzalez caught over 100 passes for more than 1,200
yards. That is insane production for a TE. To expect a repeat
performance from either one is tough to swallow.
But the important thing is for them to be worthy of a 3rd round
pick, they need to produce at that rate or better, in part because
the quality of the TE position is improving, creating less separation
between the top TE and the later ranked TE. Less separation means
less of an advantage to you having one of these guys in your lineup.
So back to tradeoffs. There are a number of other TE with a lot
of upside that can be had much later in the draft. Which would
you rather have: say, Gates in the 3rd round with 2nd round upside,
or Jason Witten in the 5th, Jeremy Shockey in the 6th or Dallas
Clark in the 8th with 3rd to 4th round upside? Even later, players
like Chris Cooley, Jermaine Wiggins and Ben Watson are still being
drafted as backups in some leagues. While I find it unlikely any
of these guys will match Gonzo or Gates in scoring, they might
get half way there, and half the scoring at less than one-quarter
of the cost (a 12th plus round pick versus a 3rd round pick) might
be the better avenue to pursue.
After the 4th and 5th round pick we want to have at least 2 RB
and quite possibly 3 if you've passed on a QB and a top TE. It
would be difficult to get through 5 rounds without at least 1
WR, so let's not go completely nuts at RB taking 4 of them if
you only start 2. That will leave you on an uphill climb filling
in the rest of your starters with decent quality players.
First step in round 4 is to see who from the first 3 rounds discussed
above slipped through the cracks. Is LaMont Jordan still here?
Is Darrell Jackson? Gonzalez or Gates? This is where you really
add value to your lineup by adding someone in the 4th who could
(should) have easily been selected earlier. Now let's look at
the next group of available players at each position.
Many people still have the mindset they must draft all their
starters first and then worry about the backups. Given the higher
likelihood of injuries to RB, especially drafting early with a
few weeks of preseason games ahead of us, I'm becoming more comfortable
with the idea of drafting 3 RB (2 guys I can count on and a high
upside starter, not necessarily drafted in that order) before
getting my third starting WR, starting TE or starting QB.
We all know how important RB is to having a successful fantasy
football team, so I won't rehash that. Instead I will focus on
the idea that the fantasy football season, although it seems to
fly by at times, is a slow and steady race to your championship
trophy, not a quick sprint.
Has anyone ever used just the players they drafted as projected
starters and not the backups and/or waiver wire? I sure haven't.
So don't get in the mindset the first guys drafted are your starters
and if they fail the season is done. Ha! Far from it. Build the
best whole team roster you can with the idea that all these guys
will be contributors. I feel I will NEED at least 3 productive
RB over the course of the season to be successful in a start 2
RB league. So why pass on a quality guy when the value is there
and just because I already have 2 on the roster? Here is the next
group of RB beyond those mentioned previously:
- DeShaun Foster
- Fred Taylor
- Warrick Dunn
- Lee Suggs
- Kevan Barlow
- Chris Brown-Travis Henry
- Michael Bennett
- Duce Staley
All of these guys have some warts in terms of fantasy value.
To call most of the fragile is a big understatement, but thinking
the glass is half full for a minute, that is where you have the
opportunity to pick up a great player that can really be a difference
maker for you. And, the advantage you have is you already have
2 RB in your stable that you can more or less count on. If one
of these guys doesn’t pan out, then you haven’t put
yourself into too much of a hole.
I really like Foster and Taylor from this group right now. Not
only because of the talent they bring to the table – who
can possibly question Fred Taylor is, when healthy, one of the
most talented RB in the league? – but also because acquiring
their insurance backup is not as expensive as some of the others.
Lee Suggs it would be nice to backup with Reuben Droughns, but
the draft pick to get Droughns might really cost you a quality
receiver. Chris Brown and Travis Henry would seem to be very difficult
to pair up unless you are using near back-to-back picks. Duce
Staley may have very well fallen below Jerome Bettis in some drafts
given his recent knee troubles.
I would suggest backing up Foster with rookie Eric Shelton. Behind
Fred Taylor it is so unclear who might emerge if given the opportunity,
I’m not sure it is even worth it to draft LaBrandon Toefield
or rookie Alvin Pearman, except late in deep leagues where you
have the roster room to stash them away.
Going into your 4th round pick, remember most owners like to
fill in their starters first. If the owners on the short turn
already have 2 RB through 3 picks, and they probably do, then
there is a better than good chance they will pass on RB here and
in the 5th round, in which case you don't go RB with your 4th
but wait until your 5th pick. A neat thing is to go back to prior
year draft results from your league and check the draft tendencies
of each owner for things like this. You may recognize more consistent
trends than you thought possible.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds of most drafts are dominated by WR
as people are scrambling to fill their 3 starter spots. Another
reason I don't like going QB before now is because I like to get
one quality WR I can more or less count on to produce before the
runs on WR get going and I end up with an unreliable #1 WR.
The more unreliable players you have in your lineup, the tougher
the start-bench decisions will be every week. WR is traditionally
one of the toughest positions to pick for your starting lineup,
due to their inconsistency, so if I already have a Chad Johnson
or a Marvin Harrison locked into my #1 WR spot as an automatic
starter every week, then that results in a lot less stress, and
a lot fewer opportunities to make a start-bench mistake costing
So, preferably, these will be your #2 WR options at this spot:
|4th-5th Round WR Options?
Between the RB and WR listed, you can see there is a fair bit
of choice here for a late 4th round and an early 5th round pick.
Last year the available RB expected to be here was a very short
list, and the available WR pretty similar in size. This year the
RB list has grown because, as mentioned early in the article,
RB depth is looking very good heading into the 2005 season. That,
and because a number of the RB listed in the last section do carry
the injury bug risk, you might be better off taking your choice
of WR first, in the 4th round, and letting a few of those RB fall
to your 5th round selection.
Or, you could turn your attention to QB. This is not something
I would recommend but I would be remiss if I didn't mention it
as an option. Unless someone grabbed a QB in the late 3rd or early
4th, causing one or two other owners to jump on the QB bandwagon
early too, the QB expected to be available for you are:
- Marc Bulger
- Michael Vick
- Trent Green
All quality QB, sure, but at this point you'll still be in the
top half of teams in your league to draft a QB. If I've committed
to wait on my QB after passing on Manning, Culpepper and McNabb
earlier, then I might as well stick to my guns and drop down even
further to get a Brett Favre, Tom Brady or others.
We are in or getting very close to the point where a lot of these
QB are very similar in projected point production, so while Bulger
is typically ranked the highest of the QB available that we’re
discussing, we don’t get the best value out of the position
drafting him here. The earlier you draft a QB, invariably you'll
be saying later, "wow, that guy got great value at QB",
referring to the owner in your league who was the last to pick
Presumably Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates are gone by now. The
next best set of consensus TE are Jason Witten, Jeremy Shockey,
Alge Crumpler and Todd Heap. If you are committed to getting one
of these guys, then you might have to take one here in the 5th
round. You won’t be getting great value for them though,
as ADP data indicates the earliest on average any of them is being
drafted is early 6th round. Your next pick is going to be late
6th round. They might be gone before your next selection. My take
If you feel Witten is in going to be as right on par with Gonzalez
and Gates, then draft him in the 5th unless you are sure he will
come back to you. In most leagues, that would be a pretty risky
assumption. Don’t mess around and just take him.
If you feel this group of 4 are all pretty similar, then I would
be inclined to pass on TE in the 5th, and see if any of the 4
make it back to you. Since there are 4 of them there is a good
chance it will happen. If it doesn’t then you can go into
the next group of top available TE, and grab someone like Dallas
Clark who has some decent upside.
The more I think about it, the more I like Alge Crumpler to have
a strong year at TE and really pay off his draft pick cost. The
Falcons appear like they are going to be starting some very green
receivers on the outside this season, and even if they don’t
Peerless Price and Dez White are not scaring anyone. Even though
Michael Vick’s passing prowess leaves a lot to be desired,
Crumpler could be in position for a noticeably better than expected
season statistically. I do like Shockey’s prospects as well
in his second year working with Eli Manning, and Dallas Clark
on the other end of Eli’s older brother’s passes.
Next Up: Rounds 6-10