The Draft – Analysis and reaction

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Full draft results can be found here!

 

After all the build-up, excitement, and anticipation, ‘The League’s’ draft took place on Sunday night (or the early hours of Monday morning if you’re with us in the United Kingdom) – and it didn’t disappoint. The selection of Adrian Peterson kicked off proceedings and we had 160 picks made over the span of 90 minures, finishing up with this league’s Mr Irrelevant – Delanie Walker.

Here are some takeaways from the draft:

1) Adrian Peterson, who else? – In almost every draft, Adrian Peterson is the first player off the board. I expected no different in our draft, and although the first pick was an autopick, Adrian Peterson was going off the board first, even if the player was present.

2) The Denver effect – The Denver Broncos had one of the all-time great offenses in 2013, and because of that, a lot of their players are being snapped up early in fantasy football drafts this year. Peyton Manning (pick 4), Montee Ball (pick 13), and Julius Thomas (pick 18) were all taken in the first two rounds. They are each expected to be one of the top players at their position, but they all exceeded their average draft position (ADP) in this particular draft.

3) And with the ninth pick in the draft… – Although the draft order was randomised an hour prior to the draft taking place, it was disappointing to receive the ninth overall pick – even if it was closely followed with pick number 12, which was the second selection of the second round.

4) So close, yet so far – With the draft position I received, I missed out on my two main first-round targets. One of them was Jamaal Charles, and the other was Eddie Lacy, who managed to fall to the eighth pick, which is the slot he was subsequently drafted – the selection right before mine. To make this draft even more frustrating, I planned on taking Andre Ellington with my fifth or sixth round pick, depending on how the draft played out, but someone reached for him in the fourth round and beat me to the punch. It happened with another couple of players, but none as frustrating as those two.

5) Reach for the stars – There were a lot of reaches in this draft, the notable ones being:  Peyton Manning (Round 1, pick 4), Montee Ball (Round 2, pick 13), Reggie Bush (Round 4, pick 31), Andre Ellington (Round 4, pick 39), and Greg Olsen (Round 6, pick 57). Although a number of players were taken early, a ten-team draft is more forgiving, as the quality of each team’s depth is better than you would find in a 12 or 14-team league.

6) Seahawks fly off the board – In every mock and real draft I’ve been in so far, the Seahawks D/ST has flown off the board well ahead of every other defensive unit. This draft was no different. They were taken in round nine – three whole rounds before the Broncos D/ST (the second D/ST taken) were drafted. It is unlikely, but if the Seahawks don’t finish the season as projected, then they could go down as a draft bust.

7) Running back is hardly a deep position – I noticed this after the top tier of running backs came off the board. There seem to be plenty of quality pass catchers available throughout the draft, but when it came to my pick in the third round after drafting tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in rounds one and two, there was no running back of value to draft. The only promising backs remaining were Reggie Bush, Andre Ellington, Ben Tate, and Trent Richardson – but none of them, in my eyes, were worth a third round pick.

8) Shallow and overrated – After the cream of the crop at running back are a largely overrated group. To me, Reggie Bush, Ben Tate and Ryan Matthews aren’t fourth round picks, and Rashad Jennings isn’t a seventh rounder in my eyes – even if they do all play a valuable position in fantasy football. That’s not something I can state categorically though, because the season hasn’t actually started yet.

 

After looking at the draft as a whole, here is a recap, and some of my thoughts on my own team. I present to you the 2014 Salford Bloggers!

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Round 1 – Jimmy Graham, TE, NO

Round 2 – Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN

Round 3 – Randall Cobb, WR, GB

Round 4 – Victor Cruz, WR, SEA

Round 5 – Percy Harvin, WR, SEA

Round 6 – Chris Johnson, RB, NYJ

Round 7 – Bishop Sankey, RB, TEN

Round 8 – Tony Romo, QB, DAL

Round 9 – Danny Woodhead, RB, SD

Round 10 – Philip Rivers, QB, SD

Round 11 – Jordan Reed, TE, WSH

Round 12 – Broncos D/ST, D/ST

Round 13 – Stephen Gotskowski, K, NE

Round 14 – Rams D/ST, D/ST

Round 15 – Steven Hauschka, K, SEA

Round 16 – Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA

 

Once the draft had finished and I was redirected back to the league office, I realised that I wasn’t over the moon about how my draft went. I do feel that I have a strong team, but the glaring weakness is at the running back position. Having the ninth overall pick put me in a frustrating spot, and I felt that Jimmy Graham was a safer pick than Arian Foster or Doug Martin in the first round. In the second round, Demaryius Thomas was more tempting than both Montee Ball and Le’Veon Bell, and both were gone by the time I was on the clock for my third pick. Because of this, I ended up taking my first running back – Chris Johnson – in round six. Johnson could be the key to my success, because if he plays well and gets enough fantasy points, then my biggest problem is eliminated.

One thing I did love about my team, however, is the roster depth. I have players to fill in on bye weeks, or to replace starters if anyone under performs. Part of my strategy was to draft quality backups so not only would I have adequate replacements, but I have trade ammunition if I need to make moves in the season. As it is a ten-team league, I didn’t have to compromise starting quality for depth, so my strategy seemed to pan out.

Overall, I am pleased with my roster. I definitely feel that running back could do with an upgrade, but that’s something I may be able to solve after seeing how the players perform over the first few weeks of the regular season. Roll on Week 1!

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