Monday, July 29, 2013

Fantasy Football 2013 - Draft Analysis: Rounds 1-6

Quick Recap:

#1. Calvin Johnson, WR - DET
#2. Stevan Ridley, RB - NE
#3. Andre Johnson, WR - HOU
#4. Le'Veon Bell, RB - PIT
#5. Eric Decker, WR - DEN
#6. Robert Griffin III, QB - WSH
#7. Greg Olsen, TE - CAR
#8. Steve Johnson, WR - BUF
#9. Texans, D/ST - HOU
#10. Ronnie Hillman, RB - DEN
#11. Josh Gordon, WR - CLE
#12. Aaron Dobson, WR - NE
#13. Joe Flacco, QB - BAL
#14. Justin Tucker, K - BAL


-Rd. 1 -- #12 overall
Calvin Johnson, WR - DET
As bad as I wanted a RB in the 1st round, I didn't mind Megatron falling to me at #12. By far in a way the best wideout in the game, he will solidify my receiving corp all by himself. WRs tend to be a weak point on my teams, but that definitely won't be the case this year. And as much as I like Alfred Morris (RB - WSH), who was taken at pick #11, he would've precluded me from drafting Robert Griffin III (QB - WSH), who I had been targeting all along, in the middle rounds, since I try to avoid fielding two players from the same team at all costs. So, I'm actually pretty happy with the way it worked out. Granted, I was absolutely shocked to see Matt Forte (RB - CHI) go off the board at pick #3, especially in a big money league like I'm in, but it wasn't an especially bad pick, per se, as he is a 1st round pick. But he's a late 1st rounder, rather than an early 1st rounder, so I'm not sure what the thought process was there, but he was actually the back I had assumed would fall to me at #12. But I'll gladly take Calvin instead. Year-in, year-out, he regularly posts numbers that rival some of the top RBs in the game, so he's definitely a player to build a team around.

-Rd. 2 -- #13 overall
Stevan Ridley, RB - NE
I'm really high on Ridley this season, especially with Gronkowski (TE - NE) injured, Wes Welker (WR - DEN) & Danny Woodhead (RB - SD) gone and Aaron Hernandez (TE - FA) awaiting trial for murder. I expect Ridley to be a workhorse this season, just like he was last year. Granted, some owners are wary of the presence of Shane Vereen (RB - NE) lurking in the backfield, but consider just how big Ridley's work load was in '12 -- 290 carries, compared to 76 for Woodhead and 62 for Vereen. And according to reports, Bellichick plans on riding Ridley even harder this season, so if he can stay healthy, I can easily see him eclipsing 300 carries (think Corey Dillon when he was with the Pats). However, I would feel a lot better about this pick if I had been able to handcuff him to Vereen, but it wasn't to be. So here's to hoping he can stay on the field for the '13 season.

-Rd. 3 -- #36 overall
Andre Johnson, WR - HOU
Once again, the team picking before me took the player I was targeting (i.e. Roddy White, WR - ATL), and I was forced to settle for my second choice. Which came down to Johnson and Vincent Jackson (WR - TB), and wasn't an easy decision. But Andre has the history of being a reliable fantasy producer, whereas Jackson doesn't have quite the track record. With that being said, AJ has certainly lost some of his shine over the years, but I expect him to post big numbers this season like he usually does. It's possible he could even exceed past year's production with DeAndre Hopkins (WR - HOU) lining up opposite him. It could take off some of the pressure, as Johnson has pretty much been Houston's only downfield option throughout the years.

-Rd. 4 -- #37 overall
Le'Veon Bell, RB - PIT
By all indications, the Steelers' coaching staff plans to lean on Bell pretty heavily this season, and he appears up to the task. He's easily the safest pick out of all the rookie backs this year (though owners seem to prefer Montee Ball, RB - DEN for some reason) and could potentially end the season ranked in the top 10. The run game looks to figure prominently in the Steelers' attack this year (like usual), and there's no reason why Bell can't succeed in the role. So long as he can stay healthy, I think 1,500 yards is well within grasp. At least he'll get the opportunity, if nothing else.

-Rd. 5 -- #60 overall
Eric Decker, WR - DEN
If the Broncos hadn't have signed Wes Welker (WR) in the offseason, there's no way Decker would've lasted until the 5th round, but he will still line up opposite Demaryius Thomas (WR), while Welker lines up in the slot. So, there's no reason why Decker can't produce like he did last season. In fact, he may even take a leap forward in production, now that opposing defenders will have another WR on the field to worry about. And I think it's safe to say his QB knows how to spread the field.

-Rd. 6 -- #61 overall
Robert Griffin III, QB - WSH
As much as I would've liked to have taken Aaron Rodgers (QB - GB) or Drew Brees (QB - NO) with the 1st pick of the 2nd round, this is the reason why I didn't -- because I knew I could get a guy like RG3 or Matt Ryan (QB - ATL) in the middle rounds. Had I not taken Stevan Ridley in the 2nd round, I could've gotten Tom Brady (QB - NE) in the 4th round, to give you an idea of just how deep the QB position is this year. And, according to the reports, RG3 will be ready to go for week 1. So, he could end up being the steal of the draft (kind of like Peyton was last season). Because, keep in mind, for much of the season last year, RGIII was the #2 ranked QB in the league, behind Drew Brees, but ahead of Aaron Rodgers. He may have even finished the season there if he hadn't gotten hurt. And, granted, perhaps he won't run so much this season because of the injury, but I have no doubt he'll get his points. He's too talented not to.

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