2013 Rotobowl Draft Recap
A few days ago, I drew up a Rotobowl Draft Strategy piece. In that article, I introduced the Rotobowl competition and laid out my gameplan for my draft, which was held on Sunday night. I also promised to recap the draft once it was complete.
So, here it is: The 2013 RotoBowl Draft Recap.
Included here is a comparison between my strategy and what actually happened on draft night, a thorough analysis of my roster, and league Power Rankings, which includes analysis of the other 11 teams in the league.
Strategy vs. Actual
If you read the Draft Strategy piece, you should have a pretty decent idea of who I would be targeting throughout the draft. Let’s see how accurate my predictions turned out:
Considering both the fact that quarterbacks receive only four points for a passing touchdown and the depth at the position, I’m very likely be waiting to select one. Once I fill in most of my running back and wide receiver slots, my target will be one of Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, and Tony Romo.
Waiting at quarterback turned out to be the correct strategy. My only error was not waiting even longer. Griffin fell to me in the ninth round, which is excellent value, but I would’ve went elsewhere had I known I’d be able to get Wilson in Round 11. Nonetheless, I head into the 2013 season with a pair of excellent quarterback options. And, hey, if Griffin has a setback with his knee, I’m covered.
As is the case in all of my leagues, the gameplan early on will be to get, at least, a pair of tailbacks. The position is always on the shallow side, so grabbing a pair of strong backs, and potentially a third for security and likely one of the flex slots, will be my strategy… I’ll be looking for a breakout candidate at the position and the fifth round includes quite a few options. Daryl Richardson and Chris Ivory will be atop my list.
I picked first overall and, of course, went with Adrian Peterson. With the No. 24 overall pick, I was pleased to see Maurice Jones-Drew fall into my lap. Chris Ivory in the sixth gives me what I was looking for: a strong No. 3 back and an option in the flex.
Wide receiver is as deep as ever, but I’m likely to need a total of four in my starting lineup, so I’ll be addressing the position not long after I fill my running back slots…After more-than-likely addressing wide receiver in the sixth (Eric Decker, Torrey Smith, Jordy Nelson stand out)…
And that I did. Following Peterson and Jones-Drew in the first two rounds, I grabbed Roddy White, Jordy Nelson, and Eric Decker with my next three selections. Michael Floyd in the seventh and Mike Williams in the eighth gives me strong depth at the position, and both could end up in my Week 1 starting lineup.
Like many, I feel that Jimmy Graham is the top fantasy tight end by a massive margin. He’s worth considering around the 12/13 turn. That said, there are a ton of intriguing players at the position with significantly lower average draft positions. Rob Gronkowski may miss a few games, but he’s a value in Round 4. Jason Witten set the tight end record for catches in 2012, but can be had a round later. Solid options Greg Olsen and Owen Daniels and breakout candidates Jared Cook and Jordan Cameron are going after the eighth round. I’ll be taking a wait and see approach at the position.
I waited…and waited…and waited at tight end in this one. Graham, as expected, didn’t get back to me at No. 24 overall or I would’ve taken him. Gronkowski and/or Witten almost made it to me at No. 48 or, you guessed it, I would’ve taken one of them. I ended up taking Martellus Bennett in Round 12 (No. 17 tight end picked). Knowing I’m weak at the spot, I went ahead and grabbed breakout candidate Dwayne Allen in Round 14 and Heath Miller in Round 18.
Considering this will be approximately my 30th fantasy draft/mock of the year, I obviously have a short list of guys I’ve accrued on most of my teams, including those late-round upside targets. Here are a few names I’ll be targeting on Monday:
(The names shown in bold are the players I did land off of my target list.)
QB – Robert Griffin III, Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill
RB – Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew, Daryl Richardson, Chris Ivory, Danny Woodhead, Ronnie Hillman, DuJuan Harris
WR – Randall Cobb, Eric Decker, Torrey Smith, Mike Williams, Michael Floyd, James Jones, Lance Moore, Josh Gordon, Chris Givens, Ryan Broyles, Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill
TE – Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Jared Cook, Greg Olsen
Here is my complete roster. In parentheses is round selected.
QB – Robert Griffin III (9)
RB – Adrian Peterson (1)
RB – Maurice Jones-Drew (2)
WR – Roddy White (3)
WR – Jordy Nelson (4)
WR – Eric Decker (5)
TE – Martellus Bennett (12)
K – N/A *will address on waivers later
D/ST – Colts (20)
FLEX – Mike Williams (8)
FLEX – Michael Floyd (7)
QB – Russell Wilson (11)
RB – Chris Ivory (6)
RB – Le’Veon Bell (10)
RB – Knowshon Moreno (13)
RB – Stepfan Taylor (17)
WR – Stephen Hill (19)
WR – Percy Harvin (15)
WR – Andre Roberts (16)
TE – Dwayne Allen (14)
TE – Heath Miller (18)
Quarterbacks: A : Last year, I waited at quarterback and “settled” on a Griffin-Peyton Manning duo. This year, I’m just as strong with a Griffin-Wilson committee. None of the other 11 teams are touching this one-two punch.
Running Backs: B+ : Although I like what I did here, I’m not as strong as other years, so I went with a high B. Peterson-MJD is as good a one-two punch as you’ll find. Ivory has injury concerns, but he will be a steal in the sixth if he holds up. Bell’s foot injury doesn’t seem to be too bad and I could have him back by October. Moreno should, at least, handle passing downs in Denver, which gives him value in PPR. I like Taylor more than Ryan Williams, Alfonso Smith, or Andre Ellington behind Rashard Mendenhall in Arizona.
Wide Receivers: A : I feel like I landed some top-notch talent and some serious depth at wideout. White and Nelson will be mid-to-back-end WR1 material this season. Nelson’s stock is down due to a recent injury, but he appears to be a full go for Week 1. Decker is a machine near the endzone. Wes Welker won’t threaten those scoring opportunities. Landing Floyd in the seventh and Williams in the eighth was robbery. Assuming I stay competitive for most of the season, Harvin will be a huge help come playoff time. Roberts is a borderline flex option in PPR and hedges my Floyd bet. Hill is a sophomore breakout candidate.
Tight Ends: C- : One of these three tight ends figures to produce TE1 numbers, but relative to the other 12 teams, I’m weak. I’m not as high as some on Bennett, but I realize the potential is there. He’s never going to leave the field and Jay Cutler will get him the ball plenty. I’m worried Dwayne Allen could struggle to find targets, but his ceiling is that of a Top 10 contributor at the position. He’s a sleeper for 10 scores this year. I’m clearly taking a shot on Miller’s health. The Steelers need him badly. He’s a decent TE1 when healthy.
League Power Rankings
1. My squad, of course. See extensive analysis above
2. Behind the Woodshed III – BWAZ – Spiller-Sproles is an excellent one-two RB punch in PPR. Bradshaw is a bit of a lottery ticket considering his healthy, but he’s a good Flex option when on the field. Fitzgerald-Nicks-Garcon is an outstanding trio at wide receiver, and Sanders/Tate will flirt with WR3 numbers this year. Wright is a favorite breakout candidate of mine. Cook was one of my tight end targets and Pettigrew is a TE1 sleeper. Newton is a Top 5 quarterback. This fella must be a PFF Fantasy Gold subscriber – his team is excellent across the board.
3. Spider 2 Y Banana – This running back unit could turn out to be pretty explosive, but it could also go the other way in a hurry. We know Johnson and Mathews have big-time upside, but both have been volatile producers. Green-Ellis is technically a starter, but Gio Bernard is coming on strong. Mendenhall could be this year’s version of 2012 Green-Ellis, but he’s shaky coming off a torn ACL. Hillman is a scat back and that’s where he’s going to end up settling in. The shaky running back unit is a product of spending a ton of early picks on wide receivers. “Megatron”, Julio Jones, and Vincent Jackson give this squad the best one-two-three punch at wideout in the league. Patterson will start slow, but could be a WR3 by midseason. Olsen is underrated this year and a good pick in the eighth round. Brady is a Top 5 quarterback option.
4. Shooting Stars – I’m a Forte supporter, so I like him as this team’s lead back. Miller is a breakout candidate and Vereen makes for a strong flex. Powell could be useful the first few weeks of the season. Green-Amendola-Shorts-Jackson-Hartline is excellent at wide receiver right out of the gate. Blackmon will be a WR3 starting in Week 5. Jeffery is a breakout candidate. This squad spent half its picks on wideout, which left it short of depth elsewhere (I’m okay with that). Finley is the only tight end, but he’s a decent one. Cutler-Bradford makes for an underwhelming quarterback committee.
5. Weequahic Warriors – Foster-Morris at tailback is very strong (I’m one of the few still buying Foster), but the Week 1 depth here is very poor. Pead and Brown are strong handcuffs, however, and Ballard is an injury away from a nice workload. I love the wide receivers here with Cruz-Bowe-Jones-Wallace. Rudolph isn’t the best tight end option, but he’ll get the job done. Romo is one of fantasy’s most underrated quarterbacks.
6. Merry’s Men – Rice-Jackson-Gore is a very good one-two-three punch at running back. Of course, Jackson and Gore are over the hill, so this could go very badly. An Ingram breakout could be very important to this team. Andre Johnson-Brown is fine to lead the wide receivers, but there are lots of question marks after. I do like Malcom Floyd and Woods a lot at their ADPs. Britt can be good, but which version of him will show up? Davis is a good TE1 and I like Celek more than most as a backup. Julius Thomas a nice lottery ticket. Kaepernick-Vick is a very good quarterback duo.
7. Slapnutz – Outside of Martin, talk about underwhelming ceilings at running back. Williams’ prospects look better today than they did on draft day considering the negative reports on Jonathan Stewart. Still, if Stewart returns, it’s bad news for Williams. Leonard (he’s not a true handcuff) and Dwyer are useless. Reece and Woodhead will catch plenty of passes, so they’ll be flex material here and there. Cobb-Smith is a decent one-two punch at wideout. Tavon Austin’s ceiling and the PPR format makes him intriguing, but he was picked over better players. Little and LaFell won’t win you a title. This team gets some points, however, for top loading at three of the four positions. Along with Martin, adding Witten at tight end and Brees at quarterback gives this time a Top 3 option at three spots. A Cameron breakout would make him flex-worthy.
8. Pink Doobies – McCoy-Ridley is a nice one-two punch at running back, but the depth from there is weak. Aside of maybe Andre Brown, none of these other guys are flex material right out of the gate. Colston is a competent No. 1 WR, but Austin is better as a No. 3 and Boldin is more of a WR4. I love Graham in the second, however, which gives the Doobies a huge advantage at the position. Sudfeld will definitely be a strong flex at least until Rob Gronkowski returns from injury. Ryan is a good quarterback option.
9. EA Sports – This is another squad top heavy at tailback. In a weird sequence of events, I drafted this exact one-two-three unit (Lynch-Murray-D. Richardson) of running backs in a 16-team experts league the very next day. So, I like it. Only five wide receivers, though? That’s not good. Marshall is a nice No. 1 and Welker will do the job as a No. 2 in PPR, but there are huge question marks from that point on. Hopkins and Broyles have huge ceilings, but one is a rookie on a run-first team and the other is currently on the second team and not 100 percent just yet. Gonzalez is a strong tight end and Myers is a borderline TE1 himself. Stafford is a competent QB1 and fine in the seventh round.
10. Only Winners Get Wings – Charles-Wilson-Lacy is a nice trio at tailback and they’ll be completely stacked if Bernard emerges. At the expense of building up running back depth, however, this team is weak elsewhere. I love Gordon as a WR2 when he returns, but Hilton and Givens are no more than WR3s. Fred Davis is a back-end TE1 at best. Fleener is a nice flier, but tight end is a question mark. Luck is a fun quarterback because he has breakout potential, but that’s certainly not guaranteed. Manuel is a weak No. 2, but again, there’s upside, which is good.
11. Its’ Bear Fighting Time – Running back is a big concern here. Bush is great in PPR, but a borderline RB1 at best. Ball may not even start for Denver. The rest of these guys are backups. Bryant-Wayne-Smith-Moore-Thompkins, however, is outstanding in terms of front-end wideout talent and depth. The issue, of course, is that the success of this team will require all five wideouts to perform all year long (two of them in the flex). Gates is underrated, but his ceiling isn’t what it once was. Rodgers is my top-rated quarterback, but he’s going to be guiding a poor team otherwise.
12. Fooz Ballers – Richardson is a strong RB1, but the position is shaky otherwise. I’m not buying on McFadden considering the Raiders’ poor offense. Redman will be useful early, but not because he’s earned it. Tate needs an Arian Foster injury for value, but he’s a RB1 when asked to start. This squad’s wide receiver unit might be the worst in the league. Only six were drafted and Thomas is all that jumps off the page. Jennings is overrated. Brown and Sanu could break out, but I don’t see big ceilings. I’m a huge Gronkowski fan and Daniels was selected as a short-term replacement and long-term flex. Peyton Manning gives this team a leg up at quarterback, but a fifth round pick was the price.
That is a wrap. Bookmark the league homepage if you’d like to check in during the season and see if my team is living up to expectations. In the meantime, it’s not too late to sign up for Rotobowl where you can compete against me for $25,000. The final draft of the year is scheduled for September 7.
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Follow Mike Clay on Twitter: @MikeClayNFL