Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Aug 2009

14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick

I've been playing in this league for years and have had great success, but this year we are expanding from 10 to 14 teams. Our scoring is 6 for passing TD, and it's also a PPR league. Start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and one OP wildcard (usually a QB/RB/WR).

For years I've focused on RB & WR, even though we could play 2 QB with the 6 passing TDs. This year with the expansion to 14 teams, I had an idea to try and grab Brees/Brady in the 1st and then another top QB a few rounds later. Problem is I just found out I have the #2 pick. Would it be a bad pick to take Brady at #2 and wait till #27 to take a Rb/WR?

I suppose ideally I'd go:
1. MJD
2. Reggie Wayne / White / Boldin
3. Rodgers / Romo

I don't' know what to expect. I've never did a draft this large where the positions are so equal. I"m just looking for some suggestions or ideas. Thanks in advance

Posted by: hokieneer on 26 Aug 2009

10 replies , Last at 28 Aug 2009, 6:16pm by hokieneer

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by Dan :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:56am

I'd probably go with MJD and then 2 QBs at the 2/3 turn (unless someone great fell to me). You want to be starting 2 QBs, and with this many teams you have to get them early. In PPR, though, MJD is too good to pass up - him plus a 2nd round QB is going to be better than Brady plus a second round RB.

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by hokieneer :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:11am

Well I know that there will be 14 QBs, 28 RB, 28 WR in play each week. Trying to find the distribution of OPs is tough. I ran KUBIAK with the 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR setting, and manually adjusted the baseline down 6 spots for qb, 4 for rb, & 4 for WR. The top 4 came out MJD, Forte, Brees, Brady, which is my subjective top 4 for this league.
I agree i want to start 2 QBs, I just don't know If I like spending two early picks on them. I think someone like Garrard or Cassell would be good to take rounds 5-7 as a 2nd QB to pair with the Brady/Brees 1st round pick. I'm also worried that by the time pick #27 comes to me Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Rivers, & Manning will all be gone, but there will still be a good-solid RB there.

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by Dan :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:28pm

6 flex QBs isn't enough. Almost every starting QB scores more than all but the top guys at any other position, which means that a league where you can flex a QB is basically a 2 QB league, except you don't get completely screwed if you don't have two QBs on your roster who are starting that week. Look at the projections for QBs 15-28, and for the RBs and WRs after #28. What 14 of those players have the highest projections? How many are QBs? Or, look at last year's fantasy scoring - how many QBs outscored RB29 and WR29 (you should probably be looking at PPG for this one)?

If you want to go MJD, then 1 QB & 1 RB/WR, then a QB on the 4/5 turn that could be fine too - it depends on what QBs are still left at pick #55 (will Garrard & Cassel still be there?). But I still think you should go MJD then QB rather than Brady then RB - KUBIAK has MJD ahead of Brady for a reason, and even something like MJD + Cutler should score more than Brady + whatever RB is there in the 2nd.

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by Marcumzilla :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 12:43pm

In a 2QB league, QBs are definitely skewed way upwards. Either go with Dan's suggestion, or start off with Brady (who is #1 overall in both 2QB leagues I'm in). If any of those top four are there for your second pick, take them.

You've been in this league for a while - what do the first few rounds look like? How do most of your leaguemates values QBs?

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by hokieneer :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 1:33pm

That's kind of a hard question to answer. We're expanding the league this year from 10 teams to 14. In the past, usually 2 QBs would go towards the middle-to-end of round 1, and 5-6 would be gone by round 3. Overall I'd say the league still valued RBs the most because of the lack of depth compared to QBs/WRs. I've had great success over the years taking RBs & WRs in the first 4-5 rounds, using one of them as my OP, and finding 2 QBs later in the draft and hoping 1 pans out. I'm not sure anyone has ever taken 2 QBs in the top 3, because with only 10 teams there was always QB depth. I'd say on an average given week, the OP distribution was 4-5 QB, 5-6 RB/WR.

The move to 14 has me concerned about my strategy of finding QBs later. The depth won't be there. With 6 pts for passing TDs and being 14 teams, people are going to want to play a 2nd QB as their OP over a ~30th ranked RB or WR. I think this skews QBs way up the rankings. I wouldn't be surprised to see Brees, Brady, Rogers, Rivers, Warner, Manning, and possibly another QB all gone by round 2. I also expect someone picking towards the end of round 1 to load up with 2 of those if the opportunity is right.

I could see the argument for going MJD (if he's not #1) or Brees/Brady at #2, and I'm not sure which one I like better. My biggest fear is by pick #27, most of those QBs I listed are gone and I'm left without 1 of the top QBs in a league where you should try to play 2 qbs

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by hokieneer :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 1:58pm

I took some of your suggestions Dan and re-ran Kubiak as a 2 QB 14 team league, that starts 2 RB and 2 WR, with a PPR and 6 for passing TD. Here is the top 5 and their pts above baseline.

Drew Brees 172
Tom Brady 170
Peyton Manning 158
Maurice Jones-Drew 154
Matt Forte 144

So if I assume that 28 Qbs will be starting, then it's clear that Brees/Brady are the top 2 players based on KUBIAK's projections.

In the 24 to 33 range, my 2nd-3rd pick, here are the players KUBIAk has listed

Chris Johnson
Ronnie Brown
Reggie Wayne
Reggie Bush
Matt Ryan
Pierre Thomas
David Garrard
Matt Hasselbeck
Eli Manning
Wes Welker

Of course I expect Warner, & Turner to go before pick #27 so the list I could choose from should be better. Also I don't expect Chris Johnson to be there.
Not a lot of good QBs there, so if I go MJD 1st I'd have to hope that Cutler, Romo, Big Ben, McNabb or someone like that would fall to me.

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by Marcumzilla :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 4:51pm

2QB leagues change things more than a lot of people realize. Yours isn't a 2QB league specifically, but you should consider that. The reason QBs usually aren't as valuable in fantasy is there is a high baseline for all of them; but if you set a lower baseline for them, their relative value skyrockets.

Do this as an exercise. Take QB20 or so. Look at where he'd fit in as an RB or WR. In almost every case, the flex position should be a QB. You should treat it as a 2QB league IMHO, and take advantage of your leaguemate's underrating of QB value.

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by hokieneer :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:54pm

I have faith that the league will undervalue QBs, esp early in the draft. A lot of these guys are newer to fantasy football (because of the league expansion), so a lot of them will just print stuff from espn or buy a mag and follow it. I'm hoping that's the case.

Knowing that I could go Brady/Brees at #2 and take advantage of the league generally underrating QBs. The other option is I take MJD/Forte/LT at #2 and hope some QBs fall to me at pick #27 and #30. I'm guessing that 2 of the following will easily be there: Rodgers, Rivers, Cutler, Romo, McNabb, Warner, Palmer (not that I like either of those 2) because all those names listed are ranked 30th and above on espn.com. So I think my strategy is to follow the trend in the 1st round, because I have such a high pick, and then take advantage of my leaguemates in rounds 2 and 3.

I feel I don't gain a whole lot by taking a QB at #2 when there are just a handful of elite "everydown" backs that catch passes in the NFL. If I went brady at #2, I'd have to hope, and take, a RB like: Barder, Ronnie Brown, Kevin Smith, Pierre Thomas, etc at round 2. I like MJD, McNabb, Romo better than Brady, Ronnie Brown, Romo, don't you?

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by roguerouge :: Fri, 08/28/2009 - 5:45pm

All it takes is for some of them to spring for a rotoworld draft guide and they'll figure out how valuable QBs are in such a setting. Don't count on it. I was in a 16 team 1QB league and I ended up drafting Rodgers in the 12 spot because Brady, Manning, Brees, and Romo had already been taken.

Re: 14 team League Draft Strategy help, #2 pick
by hokieneer :: Fri, 08/28/2009 - 6:16pm

well with that being said, would you take a Brady at #2?

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