First Draft in the Books
I had my first draft of the year last night; it was for my legacy keeper league. It’s a relatively shallow league with only 8 teams, but you still need to know what you’re doing or you can make bad picks quite easily. We are allowed to keep two players a year for a maximum of two years, and their keeper values are based on what round you drafted them in. Last year, I rolled the dice with Adrian Peterson in the 4th round, and to say that it ended up working out was an understatement. He was an obvious keeper, since I would have the top overall pick with 4th round value. My other keeper was Calvin Johnson, who I was able to draft two years ago in the 2nd round. So, I started off before the draft with those two players and then luckily landed the top pick in the draft. The top four options for me to choose from were Foster, Charles, McCoy, and Rice. I was initially down to Charles or McCoy when news broke that Foster was having injections into his problematic back. Just as I was about to decide to choose Charles, Foster got a clean bill of health and returned to practice and has been fine. Even though it is still risky, I couldn’t pass up a starting RB duo of Peterson and Foster, so Arian was my first pick.
I had my eye on Jimmy Graham with my third pick, which was the first pick in round three. However, right before I was able to get him, the owner picking before me selected him after the league basically begged him to so that I wouldn’t destroy the league with a top four of Peterson, Foster, Johnson and Graham. We do our drafts in person, so he caved to peer pressure, which infuriated me. I would have been fine with him picking Graham, but the fact that the rest of the league basically colluded against me didn’t sit well. Because I had so long in between picks, the top tier WRs were long gone, so I had to settle on Victor Cruz. He’s not a flashy pick, but should be a safe bet for 1,000 yards and 10+ TDs. After I had Peterson as my fourth rounder, I had to pick another WR to fill out my starting lineup. I was considering Hakeem Nicks, Wes Welker and Vincent Jackson, but then realized that Calvin, Cruz, Nicks and Welker all had the same bye week, so unless I wanted to give up on a week (and that’s something I hate doing), I had to take Vincent Jackson, and that is what I ended up doing. After losing Graham, I had my eye on Gronkowski, but he shockingly went in round 3, so I went with Jason Witten as my TE since he is one of the safest options on the board. I was very tempted to buy into the Vernon Davis hype, but I decided to play it safe.
I was the last person in my league to draft a quarterback, so I kept waiting and waiting and finally made the homer pick and pulled the trigger on Colin Kaepernick in round 9. I figured that in that spot, his upside was too great to pass up. To balance that out, I selected a “safe” backup two rounds later in Russell Wilson. It’s going to be tough to decide on who to start when the Niners and Seahawks play each other this year.
I rounded out my team with some solid backups who will hopefully pan out. I selected Ryan Mathews and Mike Wallace, and I think I got somewhat of a discount on both of them because of their lackluster 2012 seasons. I also took a flier on Giovani Bernard, who I think could be the starting RB for the Bengals by midseason. If he does take the starting spot, I have great value. If not, it won’t decimate my team. As I posted last week, I waited to pick a defense until quite late in the draft, and I was still somehow able to land one of the top units, the San Francisco defense. For my last pick, I decided to take an injured player who may pay off in the long run, and if he comes back strong, could be a keeper candidate to replace Calvin Johnson. I chose Percy Harvin, since there wasn’t anyone left in round 15 who would have ever started for my team anyways.
Now that my first draft is in the books, I have my office league draft tomorrow night. It is a 12 team PPR league with yardage bonuses, so players like Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush are much more valuable than in standard leagues. I drew the 7th pick out of 12, so I am hoping for one of the top RBs to fall to me, or I may possibly take Calvin Johnson. I will post the results of that draft on Wednesday. Happy draft week!