Aug 27, 2007

Fantasy Football Draft Time!

The Gulf Coast Offense participated in its annual "Dome Patrol" League fantasy football draft over the weekend. I was given the 7th pick in a 10-team keeper league. We decided to start from scratch with keepers and added a few interesting wrinkles to the keeper system. Teams can't keep anyone from Rounds 1-3...this allows for the fantasy studs to be moved around and teams who are lucky with high picks aren't rewarded in following years. It also adds a bit of strategy to the draft, since keepers start in Round 4.

Here's how my team shapes up:

Jon Kitna (Lions) and Matt Leinart (Cardinals)

I waited a bit and took my QBs in the 7th Round (Kitna) and 8th Round (Leinart). Kitna should put up great numbers in Mike Martz' system, but interceptions are a concern with him. Leinart has great keeper potential and with him throwing the ball to Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, he should have good stats himself.

Running Back: Joe Addai (Colts), Brian Westbrook (Eagles), Travis Henry (Broncos), Brandon Jackson (Packers), LaMont Jordan (Raiders), Leon Washington (Jets)

I decided to take RBs with my first three picks -- Addai (Rd. 1), Westbrook (Rd. 2) and Henry (Rd. 3). RB is the most valuable position in fantasy, so I decided to load up with the maximum allowed on the roster with 6 backs. Jackson (Rd. 9) was taken as a possible keeper for next year. He's the front-runner to be the starter in Green Bay and could have a bright future ahead of him. Jordan (Rd. 11) and Washington (Rd. 16) were taken late in the draft for their value in possible trades.

Wide Receiver: Lee Evans (Bills), Javon Walker (Broncos), Deion Branch (Seahawks), Joey Galloway (Bucs), Ronald Curry (Raiders)

There's value at WR throughout a fantasy football draft. Aft
er taking RBs with my first three picks, I then turned to WR and selected Evans (Rd. 4), Walker (Rd. 5) and Branch (Rd. 6). They are all keeper options for next year. For depth and possible trade bait, I selected Galloway (Rd. 12) and Curry (Rd. 14) to finish out the position.

Tight End: Kellen Winslow II (Browns)

For the TE position, I went with Kellen Winslow II (Rd. 10). There was a mini run on TEs in our draft and I decided to take one a little earlier than I usually do, but Winslow provided good value for the spot I selected him. His bye week is during week 7, so I'll have to pick up someone else to fill his spot that week. I typically like to only select one kicker, defense and TE at the draft and play with those backup spots during their bye weeks. This provides an opportunity to have more RBs and WRs to trade and/or pick up on waivers.

Kicker: Olindo Mare (Siants)

Mare (Rd. 13) comes to the league's #1 offense. He should have plenty of opportunities to kick FGs and PATs off the friendly Superdome turf. A good fantasy rule is to select kickers with one of your last draft picks, but I ended up with a kicker 4 rounds from the end of our draft, mainly because I thought our draft would have 14 rounds instead of the 16 we actually had. Not a big deal, and I like Mare a lot this year.

Defense/Special Teams:
Oakland Raiders

The one bright spot on the Raiders was their defense (Rd. 15). While this is not a top fantasy defense, they should be able to hold me over for a while. Either they'll put up decent numbers or another defense will be available on the waiver wire.

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