Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Varsity Numbers: Honing in

Bill Connelly again looks at which college football teams the F/+ ratings are sure about, and which teams remain a mystery (led by Appalachian State).

10 Jul 2009

Live From The Rotoworld Mock Draft

by Bill Barnwell

Last week, I participated in another mock draft; this time around, it was the Rotoworld Magazine Mock Draft, where I went up against the titans of the fantasy industry. Armed with only KUBIAK and a reliable internet connection, I battled bravely against the brightest minds of fantasy superstardom, men known as "The Human Auto-Pick" and "Mr. August". How could I possibly compete?

Well, I'll explain below.

First, we should note our presence in a must-have product for fantasy junkies. We at FO highly recommend the Rotoworld Draft Guide; for $14.99, you get access to Rotoworld's copious amounts of fantasy draft-related content, including detailed lists and breakdowns related to draft strategy, position-by-position. There's also excellent articles from Rotoworld writers (and friends of FO) Gregg Rosenthal and Evan Silva, as well as articles from myself and Mike Tanier on the effects of new head coaches, peak ages for skill position players, and Michael Turner's workload.

Of course, we hope you buy KUBIAK too. With that in mind, and to help explain some of my curious decisions in the draft, I'll be providing the official KUBIAK projection for each player I select in this year's draft.

First, my team. The Rotoworld draft is standard scoring (no point per reception), with 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE), 1 K, 1 DEF, and 5 bench players. There are 12 teams in the league, and I had the seventh overall pick.

1-7. Steve Slaton, RB, Texans

285 carries, 1214 rushing yards, 8 TD
55 receptions, 405 receiving yards, 3 TD

Steven Jackson was selected with the pick before me after some draft-room-related confusion; I was hoping Jackson would have fallen to me, considering our sanguine Rams projection, but Slaton was an acceptable substitute. I chose him over Frank Gore and Chris Johnson.

Slaton grossly underperformed inside the five last year; he only scored four touchdowns when the average back would've been expected to score 7.88; that difference of -3.88 was second-only to Jamal Lewis. My fantasy team would hope that the difference was a fluke, but I'm not sure one way or another about it. I've developed some evidence that zone blocking lines tend to underperform towards the goal line, which would hurt Slaton. There's no conclusive evidence about the line, though; Ahman Green was above-average last year inside the five, while Ron Dayne was below-average in 2007. (He's also been below-average every single year of his career, which can help put to rest the myth that he or other big backs are invariably good goal-line options.) I tend to think Slaton will be closer to average inside the goal line, and that would bump his touchdown totals up enough to make that KUBIAK projection eminently reasonable.

2-18. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

4040 passing yards, 34 TD, 9 INT
68 rushing yards, 1 TD

Brady's projection has him second amongst quarterbacks behind Drew Brees; naturally, KUBIAK isn't going to project him to put up the best season in quarterback history after missing an entire year.

I think Brady will outperform this projection, and while he won't hit the stratospheric heights of 2007, I see him closer to 4300/40 than 4040/34. That difference would make him the best quarterback in football, and would make him an actual asset with the 18th pick of a fantasy draft. My other options here would have been Pierre Thomas or Ronnie Brown at running back, or Reggie Wayne, Steve Smith, or Greg Jennings at wideout.

3-31. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos

225 carries, 1025 rushing yards, 10 TD
39 receptions, 303 receiving yards, 0 TD

Despite his low Speed Score, I really do believe that Moreno will end up being a successful NFL back because of his versatility. I also think he'll be a rookie worth drafting because of his NFL-ready skill set (as I've mentioned more than once before), which should get him on the field immediately.

KUBIAK isn't as high on Moreno because of our team projection system's fears about the Broncos' 2009 season. It also (rightly) expects Josh McDaniels to spread touches amongst his backs. I think that Moreno will have much more of an impact on the passing game than KUBIAK believes, and could very well end up having a season closer to Matt Forte's 2008 than the line above.

Other options at this spot would have been Ryan Grant (who I debated versus Moreno for a while), Reggie Bush, and Darren McFadden. I love McFadden, but I felt that Moreno was more likely to see the ball.

4-42. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers

70 receptions, 842 receiving yards, 9 TD

Jason Witten came off the board (to Mr. Rosenthal) with the 35th pick, so Gates wasn't the first tight end chosen; while I don't have any wide receivers yet, I'm confident in my ability to find good receivers late (or on the waiver wire) and play matchups more effectively than anyone else in my league, so I'm willing to wait on going after Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, or Chad Ochocinco here to grab the other top-tier TE left on the board.

Gates' disappointing 2008 came thanks to multiple injuries; he also had to block more in the passing game, thanks to the troubles of Jeromey Clary on the right side of the line. That line is a conservative estimate of what should expect from him in 2009.

5-55. Donnie Avery, WR, Rams

79 receptions, 1081 receiving yards, 10 TD

OK, maybe going into a fantasy season with Donnie Avery as your top wide receiver is…suboptimal. I had Anthony Gonzalez and Vincent Jackson earmarked for this spot, but they went with two of the three selections before my pick.

Avery showed signs of great promise last year, and as the season went along, his game expanded; while he was strictly a deep threat earlier in the year, he emerged as an effective intermediate target once November and December rolled around. There's reason to be concerned about the lack of quality across from him, but getting Randy McMichael back will help.

This is another pick influenced by our team projections; we're more positive about the Rams than virtually anyone heading into 2009.

6-66. Torry Holt, WR, Jaguars

81 receptions, 1119 receiving yards, 7 TD

Who knew reuniting the 2008 Rams would ignite such controversy? Selecting Holt this early set off a firestorm in the chat, with multiple observers arguing that Holt was finished, had lost too many steps, was moving to grass, couldn't gain YAC, or one of a dozen other issues that precluded him from being a wise pick in the sixth round of a fantasy draft.

Our team projection system expects both the Jaguars' offense and the team as a whole to improve in 2009, but the bigger issue driving Holt's projection is simpler: Who else are the Jaguars going to throw to? There's only two other wideouts on the Jaguars roster who have caught an NFL pass: Mike Walker (16 catches last year) and Troy Williamson (5 last year, 84 total). No one else on the roster has any sort of pedigree indicating that they're likely to have a big season. Marcedes Lewis hasn't shown a proclivity to catch anything more than 40 passes. Simply put, someone has to catch the ball.

We believe that it'll be Holt.

Other choices here would've been DeSean Jackson, Lee Evans, or Bernard Berrian. Consider my pick a vote for KUBIAK.

7-79. Devin Hester, WR, Bears

62 receptions, 858 receiving yards, 5 TD

One of the things we cover in the book is how Kyle Orton's performance fell off a cliff after his ankle injury. With that in mind, it's remarkable how consistent Hester's raw performance was; watching him on tape, it's pretty clear that he actually did get better as the season went along. My belief is that he'll exhibit that in 2009, with some help from a superior quarterback in Jay Cutler. I think he was a far superior option to the other wide receivers available -- Santana Moss, Jerricho Cotchery, Kevin Walter, and Hines Ward -- and a better idea than reaching for Jamal Lewis or Darren Sproles.

8-90. Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens

131 carries, 504 rushing yards, 4 TD

Even the "experts" have picks they hate immediately after they make them. In this draft, McGahee was that guy. I was good and ready to take KUBIAK favorite Julius Jones, but he was taken with the pick before mine. I spent the full two minutes going back and forth between McGahee, Steve Breaston, and Donald Driver, but ended up drafting for need (backup running back) instead of value, and got the middling player that sort of strategy deserves.

I think he'll end up having more of a role in the Ravens' rushing attack than KUBIAK predicts, but I've never -- ever -- been high on McGahee as a quality back.

9-103. Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants

81 receptions, 1051 receiving yards, 9 TD

This is an all-or-nothing pick. Either Hixon is the Giants' starting receiver, and he has a very good season, or he's not -- and he's flotsam. KUBIAK is projecting him to be the starter all season here, and while I think that might not end up being the case, he'd still be a valuable pick if we cut his totals by 25 percent and said that Hakeem Nicks takes over by Week 13. He's certainly an asset to spot matchup-wise, with games against the Chiefs (Week 4), Saints (Week 6), Cardinals (Week 7) and Broncos (Week 12).

I chose Hixon over LeSean McCoy, Ted Ginn, and (hoping that he'd fall to my next pick) Jamaal Charles.

10-114. San Diego Chargers Defense

50 sacks, 19 INT, 11 fumble recoveries, 3.7 TD

KUBIAK projects the Chargers to be the second-best fantasy defense in football, behind only the Bears, but I'm more confident in the Chargers' ability to meet their projections. KUBIAK isn't aware that the Chargers didn't have Shawne Merriman last year, nor that Antonio Cromartie was far from 100 percent. Getting those two guys back on the field as themselves (although Cromartie's always an injury risk) puts them over the top for me.

(Ed. Note: Actually, KUBIAK *does* know about Merriman coming back, with injury variables plus an "add a big sack player" binary variable that also hits the Giants for Umenyiora and the Redskins for Haynesworth. It doesn't know about Cromartie, though, and neither does our absurd team projection for the Chargers. -- Aaron Schatz)

The Ravens were selected 15 picks ahead of the Chargers defense; I chose to go with a defense over taking a backup quarterback, Chester Taylor, or Ahmad Bradshaw.

11-127. Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons

117 carries, 547 rushing yards, 1 TD
41 receptions, 385 receiving yards, 1 TD

Injury speculation here; if Michael Turner goes down, Norwood becomes a valuable player. If he doesn't, Norwood will still be an effective member of the passing game with some value in certain matchups and when my starters are on bye.

I preferred him to Jerome Harrison and Fred Taylor.

12-138. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys

41 receptions, 687 receiving yards, 4 TD

He's the number one player on our Top 25 Prospects list -- I had to take him. Even if Austin's only the third threat in the Cowboys' passing offense, he's a dynamic downfield receiver with very good hands (not to mention his love from DVOA). He's got significant upside and could end up being an absolute steal this late. I had no qualms about choosing him over Kevin Curtis, Nate Washington, and Muhsin Muhammad.

13-151. Correll Buckhalter, RB, Broncos

56 carries, 235 rushing yards, 1 TD
35 receptions, 253 receiving yards, 1 TD

A pure handcuff here, taking Buckhalter in case Moreno gets hurt (a Broncos running back getting hurt‽) or isn't prepared to play at this level. Of course, with the way Josh McDaniels uses running backs, this is sort of handcuffing a whale to a rope.

14-162. Stephen Gostkowski, K, Patriots

144 points

Since you're reading FO, you know that kicker accuracy has no year-to-year correlation. So I just choose the kicker on the best offense available. In this case, that was Gostkowski.

15-175. Michael Jenkins, WR, Falcons

48 receptions, 684 receiving yards, 3 TD

Not a sexy pick to finish the draft, but Jenkins is a reliable third target with a relatively easy start to the season (Miami, Carolina, New England); truthfully, my last roster spot gets turned over virtually every week, so I'm not particularly concerned about who's in it. If you're looking for a Week 1 bargain, options here could include Chris Henry (playing Denver defense), Devery Henderson (vs. Lions), or whichever Ravens fall to the final round (vs. Chiefs).

So, did I embarrass FO? Or can I wear my "fantasy expert" hat proudly? I'm anxious to see what you think.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 10 Jul 2009

33 comments, Last at 27 Jul 2009, 6:54pm by Thiede

Comments

1
by bird jam :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 3:11pm

You had KUBIAK last week?

;-)

2
by njjetfan12 :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 3:17pm

With the evidence that you mentioned about zone-blocking lines tending to under-perform near the goal line, is there any corresponding evidence saying that it performs better on the rest of the field, which could explain why some teams prefer it?

18
by Kibbles :: Sat, 07/11/2009 - 12:02am

Yes, there's a ton of evidence supporting the idea that the ZBS performs better on the rest of the field and explaining why some teams prefer it. It's called the Denver Broncos, circa 1995-2008.

3
by njjetfan12 :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 3:22pm

Also, two questions about Hester. Are there points for Kick or Punt Return TDs? If so, I'm assuming that factored into the decision. Also, do you see Hester putting up any kind of note-worthy rushing yards out of "gimmick" packages, or do you expect him to play as more of a traditional receiver this year?

4
by mschauf63 :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 3:26pm

Don't I get a nod for being on your side and kicking off the Holt chat? :-)

Matt Schauf
RapidDraft.com

5
by theprophecy :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 3:27pm

I don't like Moreno that high, but your receivers are on the all-world team for good value. You'll score the same as the putative guys who buy Fitzgerald and Moss in the first 15 picks. And Jerious Norwood in the 11th is an absolute steal.

6
by mualumnus :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 3:42pm

I think your projection for Hester's catches and touchdowns are fairly accurate (think he catches 55-65 passes for 5-8 TD's) but believe he will be around 1,000 yards due to cashing in more deep balls with Cutler. Not bullish on Torry Holt at all (think his knees are shot and that's why Bears passed on him despite need for someone opposite Hester) but Donnie Avery definitely looks like a nice sleeper candidate.

7
by John Walt :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 4:06pm

Instead of Hester, I would have taken Kevin Walter.

8
by Birdman (not verified) :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 4:42pm

I don't like the Moreno pick, especially since it and the Gates pick basically forced WR in the fifth round. The Norwood and San Diego defense were good, as were a lot of the WRs.

9
by Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 4:46pm

I think you tanked it. So many of the choices you went with were the risky ones. It was like me in my pre KUBIAK years. Always overdrafting.

I would like to know who you could have gotten at WR instead of your Moreno pick. #3 is way early to start going with someone unproven in the NFL. He might be great, but like you admit, your #1 WR out of THREE MUST START WRs is drafted 2 rounds later. Crazy. WRs have to be sought at the #3 pick if you do not have one yet.

Later WRs are also bad picks (Avery, Holt and Hester). I like Avery but still that's early. B Berrian or DeSean Jackson would have been better in my mind than Holt. Even Lee Evans.

Hixon and M Austin are great late round picks. Something I think KUBIAK does a real nice job of doing is helping middle to late round picks and drafting great De and Kickers. Kudos there too.

Overall you are hurting at your starting WRs and with 3 required you're in for a hurting I think. I would have like to see who was left at RB when you picked Avery if you went for a WR at #3.

Good Luck

10
by Dan :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 5:03pm

I don't like your RB depth, especially in a league where you can start 3. There's a big dropoff after Julius Jones is gone (especially if you believe in KUBIAK), and his ADP is around the 8th round, so I would've gone after him in the 7th. Or, you could've taken your 3rd RB in the 5th and probably gotten Avery & Holt in the 6th & 7th. I might have even used rounds 5-8 to go RB-Avery-Jones-Driver, and then stocked up on some more of KUBIAK's sleeper WRs in the later rounds.

11
by keeperleaguegm :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 5:07pm

Great article. Thought you drafted admirably. Don't agree on every pick...thought Moreno and Avery were a reach. Totally agree on Holt. He has something to prove, and no one to stop him.

For your sake I hope Brady's knee holds up, or pray that McDaniels installs Buckhalter as his QB...:)

Mike Caprio
General Manager
Keeper League GM.com
http://www.keeperleaguegm.com

12
by TheDudeAbides :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 5:21pm

Keep in mind this is after reading the FOA entry on the Cardinals . . .

Observations:

1. KUBIAK seems irrationally exuberant about Moreno's rookie season considering the Broncos 2009 slate, not down on him as you suggest. Moreno is not a value at his regular ADP of 50 and is a massive reach at 31.

2. On Holt's projection and 'Who else are they going to throw to?': Probably the much more talented young WR facing lesser coverage (Mike Walker), or isn't that what happened last year in St. Louis?

3. A question: Your top 4 WRs are low end #1s. Do WRs ranking on the lower end of the #1 WR spectrum see the same splits as WRs on the top end? The 'defenses vs. type of WR' is my favorite part of the FO website. I'm wondering if teams - even teams with fairly stark scheme tendencies - approach non-threatening WRs like Holt, Hester, and Hixon the same way they approach better WRs. If not, that will make it more difficult to mix-and-match as you plan.

4. You did a decent job of getting KUBIAK value per round, but a combination of bad luck (Jackson, Gonzalez going right before you) and lack of preparation (really, 2 minutes of thinking about it and you still wasted an 8th round pick on a player hated by both KUBIAK and the Baltimore coaches?) left you reaching through the key part of the draft. Your first 3 WRs were taken a round early relative to ADP (though still KUBIAK values). If you don't have a plan in mind - and it doesn't appear you did - shouldn't you wait and select whatever KUBIAK values fall to you instead of reaching for them?

5. And finally the Correll Buckhalter selection. Seriously. Were you just looking for an opportunity to throw in a fun analogy pointing out how utterly pointless the pick is? You can't handcuff someone in a massive committee situation - which you obviously knew. You're telling readers that after spending months working on FOA, with a tool like KUBIAK in hand, that you had NOBODY you liked for the 151st pick.

At least you didn't do a PPR draft without the '1' marked in the KUBIAK point per reception box like Aaron did last year. With all the tools, charting, and insight you have at your disposal, it seems you could have some really valuable fantasy insight, but you have to take that aspect of your site seriously. Or maybe you do and I'm just still mindblown by the negativity on the Cardinals.

13
by Jon :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 6:24pm

Hixon doesn't have to worry about Nicks. It'll be him or Manningham at split end. I think whoever ends up in that role will put up sneaky (think Curtis Conway) fantasy numbers. It's hard to say which one it'll be though.

The Giants are basically determined to annoy every fantasy owner this year with complicated rotations at WR and RB.

14
by El Miriodor :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 7:26pm

I dislike taking a QB as high as you took Brady in any league that starts only one. To put it succinctly, every draft I have ever seen that takes a QB early makes the drafter then has to reach for RB and WR depth. The more quantity you draft at a position, the more likely that you randomly luck into a stud/position depth of solid guys. You cannot build QB depth in a league where you only start one (well you could, but you'd have to bet like heck that you could trade some of them). I think my statement is born out by the fact that Donnie Avery has no business as a no 1 WR.
The other flaw I see is this: fantasy football is about confidence, and there are a couple of players that while useful over a whole season, may have some rocky patches that cause you to sit them just when they are about to have a big game. By midseason, you very well may be wringing your hands about starting Moreno when he is either on the "Patriots coach" probable injury list, or when he gets yanked on every passing down and in the red zone like Maroney was last year. Players who put up above average stats week in and week out are far more desirable than the Santana Mosses of the fantasy world who go 2 points and then 30 points the next week with no rhyme or reason.

15
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 7:53pm

There is no "set" way to draft a team. I was in a ppr league with my girlfriend two years ago and she took brady one pick before drew brees. Everyone laughed at her (me included and with much animation) for 2 blunders. 1. picking a qb in a ppr league that high and 2. that she didnt even take the better qb given the option. She went on to easily win the league that year. There is no such thing as a safe pick. Matt forte was a stretch pick last year. So was chris johnson. I landed chris johnson in the last round of the ppr league (the draft was before preseason so no one else in the league had even heard of him) and got me to the championship game. My other stretches didnt work out (holmes in the 4th) but witten in the third in a ppr league was absolute gold albeit a stretch at the time. If i ever am in a draft and i hear a player say "i need to go rb, rb, wr, qb, wr, te.... etc" all i know is that his team will suck more little boy weiner than MJ. sorry, was it too soon?

Bill good draft. The moreno pick I think has added value because people are assuming a rbbc situation yet they lost the head coach that was infamous for it. Orton has shown he likes and is willing to throw to the rb. I get the feeling im gonna target moreno in my upcoming ppr league.

19
by El Miriodor :: Sat, 07/11/2009 - 9:17am

Correct, good process does not guarantee a good outcome. Any draft style can work. But drafting a QB or TE does lock you into a certain draft strategy; a very risky one that puts your team far more at the mercy of injury to your highly drafted players. It's far less risky to draft a RB or WR highly though. In the same way as a failed left tackle moving to guard, a bust RB1 can still become a very productive RB2 or 3. In a 12 team league, replacement level TE and QB talent is on the waiver wire, not so with RB and WR. Obviously this all changes if you start more than one TE or QB in your league. I do still love your draft Bill; but drafting Brady or Manning higher than round 4 almost always equals a crappy WR stable. Is it worth it?

16
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 8:16pm

I have to agree with many of the above posters; you went wrong starting at Round 3. First off, I don't think Moreno is more talented than McFadden, nor is he surrounded by more talent on offense to give him room to produce.

I understand the 'pinch position' issue with RBs, but seeing as how you need 3 WRs every week, and given the increasing number of RB-timeshares in the league I'd say that WR is as important or more important. Should've gone to the wideout stable earlier, and made sure you have 2-3 bona fide point producers at that position after getting Slaton and Brady.

And the TE in round 4 should've also been a WR. There are only 12 TEs on rosters in your league, out of 32 starting TEs around the league. You could've let the other guys 'scramble' for the 'elite' ends, and continued to fill out your WR group.

Granted, we can't see what other players were on the board, but it appears that, if Brandon Marshall and Chad 'Eight Five' were available when you grabbed Gates, then you could've gotten them, and grabbed a 'mid-level' TE (abundantly avialable) much later in the draft, after everyone had grabbed their starter.

That's what I would've done - but if, as you say, you're 'better at waiver wire wideouts and weekly matchups', then maybe this'll work for you.

17
by Dales :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 11:30pm

I think that after absolutely blowing your first pick (early 2nd, tops for Slaton) you nailed the rest of it.

Except Moreno over McFadden. Leave aside productivity, I'll bet you a six of Fat Tire that McFadden gets more touches this year.

20
by SackSEER :: Sat, 07/11/2009 - 9:49am

I thought that the draft was fine and could work out well, but strategically I would have been way more aggressive in getting value for KUBIAK. Per Fantasy Football Calculator, almost all of the players that you took in the middle rounds have ADP that suggest you could have gotten them a round later than you actually did: Knowshon Moreno (44), Donnie Avery (79), Torry Holt (84), Devin Hester (93), Willis McGahee (114), Domenik Hixon (118), Jerious Norwood (139), etc. I understand taregetting the KUBIAK darlings and wanting to insure that you secure them, but there is a huge opportunity cost to pursuing such a conservative strategy. You probably could have passed on Avery and taken someone else in round 5 like Berrian, Holmes, Jackson, Gonzalez, and Bryant.

The "Goodbye, Ladies" Draft Report

21
by Pahtaytom (not verified) :: Sat, 07/11/2009 - 4:01pm

U guys saying to wait to draft guys at their adp are funny. If u wait to draft everyone at or around their adp then u will miss out on guys u value much higher. Even missing out on one guy like that would be way too destructive to ur team.

And moreno is a complete 3 down back on a good offense with an elite o-line. What's not to like? Any decent rb would produce there. Buck and Lamont are clearly backup material at this point. Plus mcdaniels probably wants to make his first pick look good after running cutler out of town.

22
by Bill Barnwell :: Sat, 07/11/2009 - 4:30pm

Some thoughts:

2) It might help them gain more yardage from yards 1-95. They also might not know that zone blocking teams do worse along the goal line.

That's not to say that zone blocking teams CAN'T do well inside the five. They're just up against it.

3) No points for returns. Entirely possible he could score on gimmick plays, no idea of how LIKELY that is.

4) Of course. Much obliged.

9) Next five wideouts chosen after Moreno were TO, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, and Chad Ochocinco. I'm not picking Welker because I don't want to have my team entirely dependent upon the Patriots passing attack. Are any of those other guys really fantastic options? Stand out from the pack? Worth taking over Moreno? If I take Marshall there, to pick one, and go RB in the next round, I'm taking Marshall + one of Jonathan Stewart, Marshawn Lynch, or Joseph Addai.

10) Issue with ADP is that this is an experts' league -- people are more aggressive, and the sort of veteran guys who get picked by the people who help make up the "average" draft position in most leagues fall by the wayside. I don't think taking a third RB in the fifth round is a bad idea, but my options are Derrick Ward, Beanie Wells, and Ray Rice. I felt like grabbing Avery was preferable to taking one of those guys.

12)

1 - How have backs taken in the top 15 done as rookies in the past? I don't think a 1000-yard projection for the most NFL-ready back in the class is anything close to irrationally exuberant.

2 - Mike Walker's a third-round pick with 16 career catches who couldn't find an opportunity behind Reggie Williams. Donnie Avery was a very high second-round pick. The difference in likely NFL impact between the two is dramatic, let alone suggesting that Walker is "much more talented". They're not remotely the same sort of player.

3 - Splits affect players, on average, at about the same level.

4 - I'm not sure McGahee's "hated" by the Baltimore coaches. He'll definitely have a role in Baltimore's offense.

5 - There are lots of backs in Denver. They will not all receive the ball equally. Moreno's a very clear #1 and Buckhalter's a very clear #2.

Grow up. Don't be so emo about the Cardinals projection.

14) The idea is to be good enough not to have to "luck into" a good player.

16) I really think Gates + say, Hixon will be superior to Marshall + I dunno, Kevin Boss.

As for the WR thing, replacement level is lower for WRs.

Not sure how you guys could figure that McFadden has more talent around him than Moreno. I mean...offensive line alone.

23
by John Walt :: Sat, 07/11/2009 - 9:02pm

Can we get a FO staff member's summary of the absurdity and ingenuity of the replies for every post?

24
by The Anti-Dave (not verified) :: Sun, 07/12/2009 - 8:32pm

As a Jaguars fan I'd be delighted if Holt lives up to the projection that led you to pick him, but I can't share in that expectation because of my injury concerns. Also, the "who else are they going to throw to?" logic sounds like a slightly more academic version of Tony Kornheiser's "Name five (Jaguars/Titans/other team Tony doesn't know anything about)! You can't!" admonitions. The Jaguars are tremendously excited about their receiver selections in the draft and I expect to see them receive ample opportunities at a larger role in the offense. Given these spread-the-wealth expectations and the Jaguars' run-first proclivities, I'd be surprised to see anyone on the roster get anywhere near 80 catches. And Mike Walker has only 16 career catches due to a multitude of injuries as well as a bereavement leave, not because of an inability to outshine Reggie Williams.

25
by Mike (not verified) :: Mon, 07/13/2009 - 12:18pm

Can you comment on where Rivers went, and where Olsen went?

ADP has Rivers as QB 4 and still available at your 4th round pick and Olsen Available in Round 6.
According to Kubiak, the team of
Slayton
Brown
Moreno
Rivers
Avery
Olsen
Hester
is slightly behind the one you took in points. However, it has 3 RB that can be used for RB/RB/Flex. So you are not 1 injury away from starting McGahee as a Running Back. I would trade those points for a better Flex position and more depth at Running back.
I think in a non PPR league, you have to try and fill the Flex spot with a running back. I hate flex leagues for this reason, but RB/RB/RB is the only way you can accomplish this.

27
by Bill Barnwell :: Mon, 07/13/2009 - 1:02pm

Rivers was 5-1. Olsen was 7-82.

I agree with the idea, but the players actually have to work, too. I don't have high hopes for Ronnie Brown because of injury concerns, both his and the players around him. So I'd avoid. From there, the next two backs off the board are Kevin Smith and then Moreno, so I could've reached for Moreno in the second round, but that wouldn't have helped me much.

26
by buzzkill :: Mon, 07/13/2009 - 12:49pm

Torry Holt is old, slow, and washed up. He is exactly the type of player that KUBIAK should be telling people to avoid. I am really surprised you took him at #66 overall.

28
by roguerouge :: Tue, 07/14/2009 - 6:26am

re: Holt... The relevant question isn't whether someone is worth that pick. The relevant question is whether this guy will be available next round. Now, obviously, in this cutthroat a draft, you can never be sure, but I have to think that waiting until the 8th round would have been fine.

29
by roguerouge :: Tue, 07/14/2009 - 6:35am

Let's be clear here as well: draft strategy in football matters much, much less than draft strategy in baseball due to the relative injury rates in both sports. What matters most is drafting a team whose top five players are healthy. Getting slightly better values pales in comparison to that task.

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by blackcatchat (not verified) :: Wed, 07/15/2009 - 1:15pm

I'm really new to fantasy football so this may be a dumb question but, no back-up QB drafted? Isn't that on the risky side?

31
by buzzkill :: Thu, 07/16/2009 - 7:30pm

Not risky in a 15 round draft. Plenty of serviceable QB's should be available on waivers for Tom Brady's bye week.

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by blackcatchat (not verified) :: Thu, 07/16/2009 - 7:57pm

Yeah, sorry, I just realized I play in a league where you start two QB's and this draft was for a one QB league I guess. In my league the decent QB's seemed to disappear real early.

33
by Thiede (not verified) :: Mon, 07/27/2009 - 6:54pm

It seems like you spent some of your high picks on positions that have a number of high quality second/third-tier options. I think you're gambling on Brady and reaching with Gates. Meanwhile, your team is left to rely upon unproven quantities like Slaton, Moreno, Avery, Hester, Hixon, Norwood, and Austin. Not sure what the other guys' rosters looked like, but it seems like you lost? If it was 2007, I'd say you have a chance...