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A Study on Fantasy Draft Position - 2005 season
- Scenario 2: 1 pt per reception + flex

Performance leagues with one point per reception and a FLEX option

How much, if any advantage is it to draft number one overall in a fantasy draft? Does drafting in the middle of the draft hurt or help? In addition, how much of a hindrance is it to be stuck at the bottom of your draft? One thing is for sure and that is your draft strategy will vary depending on which slot you draft from. While competing in fantasy football over the years, I have drafted everywhere from first overall down to sixteenth overall in a large fantasy league. I have found that all draft positions can have benefits as well as negatives but some are more beneficial than others.

This article will take a look at all twelve slots an owner can draft from in a standard twelve team league with these scoring rules and what the strategy should be for the first seven rounds of the draft. I will also go through a mock draft until round seven and take a look at whom an owner should take with each pick. There is no reason for any team, picking from any slot to not have a solid foundation after seven selections.

Notes about this study

  • Based on a 12-team league


  • The Draft is serpentine (1-12 and then 12-1, etc)


  • Must Start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 Def and one FLEX at RB,WR or TE


  • This study doesn't take into account oddball picks in a draft. In many drafts, one renegade owner makes baffling pick after baffling pick that allows value to drop to the other teams in the league. An idea of an oddball pick would be to take RB Stephen Davis in the 2nd round, QB Joey Harrington in the 3rd round or WR Rod Smith in the 4th round.


  • This study isn't written in stone. Consider it to be a set of guidelines. There will be times a player drops to your pick you weren't expecting to be there and your entire draft strategy can change. That is healthy as long as you adjust your game plan going forward from that pick. In fact if a player is taken you don't expect to go before your pick, it is even better for you as that means value is dropping to your draft slot.


  • As much as possible in this study, I try not to let what one owner is going to do reflect on my thoughts for the next owner. I do this study over the course of several days and treat it like I would a draft in slow time. I try to look at it from the point of view of one fantasy owner at a time.


  • I don't want this study to become a debate on why I picked receiver 'X' over receiver 'Y' or running back 'A' over running back 'B'. That isn't what this exercise is about. To that end, I will be using the Footballguys.com VBD Application and plugging it into the Draft Dominator for this scoring system to determine which player should go during each slot. I also glance at the ADP of each player to help determine which position makes the most sense for each pick and may tweak the rankings somewhat at times if a player offers better value later on in the draft.


  • I only go seven rounds deep into the draft. After that point in a draft, you have the main pieces in place and it begins to find a game of searching for gems and filling out your roster. The key to a great draft every time from every draft position is the foundation of your roster.

Scoring Rules

  • 1 pt per 20 yards passing
  • 4 pts per passing TD
  • 1 pt per 10 yards rushing/receiving
  • 6 pts per rushing/receiving TD
  • 1 pt per reception
  • -1 per interception
  • Field Goals worth 3 points
  • Conversions worth 1 point

    Defensive Scoring

  • 2 points per sack
  • 2 pts per interception
  • 2 pts per fumble recovery
  • 6 pts per touchdown
  • 2 pts per safety
  • Shutout worth 5 FP
  • 1 pt to 6 pts surrendered worth 3 FP
  • 7 pts to 13 pts surrendered worth 1 FP

The Draft Unfolds

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
1 RB Tomlinson RB Bell RB J Lewis WR Burleson WR S. Smith WR Muhammad QB Plummer
2 RB Holmes RB Jackson RB Jordan WR Bennett RB L. Johnson WR Porter QB Green
3 RB James QB P. Manning WR Horn RB Foster RB Taylor WR Mason WR Evans
4 RB Alexander RB R. Johnson TE Gonzalez WR Mi. Clayton QB Bulger RB Staley WR Lelie
5 RB McAllister RB Green WR Wayne RB Barlow WR Boldin WR Coles QB Favre
6 RB Westbrook RB Martin WR A. Johnson WR Ro. Williams TE Witten RB M. Faulk QB Brooks
7 RB D. Davis WR Harrison QB Culpepper RB Bennett RB R. Brown WR J. Smith TE Crumpler
8 RB Barber WR C. Johnson WR J. Walker RB T. Jones RB C. Benson QB Vick WR R. Smith
9 RB Portis WR Holt RB Dunn RB C. Brown WR Bruce WR Moulds RB Henry
10 RB McGahee WR Owens WR Jackson RB C. Williams RB Suggs TE Shockey WR Branch
11 WR R. Moss RB Dillon RB Arrington WR Ward WR Driver QB Collins WR Burress
12 RB K. Jones RB J. Jones TE Gates QB McNabb WR Chambers WR Fitzgerald RB Pittman

General Thoughts

  • Quarterbacks are extremely deep this season so don't overspend for one in 2005. Dependable quarterbacks like Matt Hasselbeck, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Byron Leftwich, Jake Delhomme, David Carr, Brian Griese and Steve McNair haven't been drafted after the first 84 picks.


  • There are about thirty solid running backs this season which is a great number. However after that it begins to fall flat.


  • There is also a ton of receiver depth. When you can find solid veteran contributors like Keyshawn Johnson, Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress, Santana Moss, Keenan McCardell and David Givens outside the 7th round as well as young players such as Donte Stallworth, Mike Williams and Charles Rogers you will be able to find gems outside of the top 84 this season.


  • The tight end position has a big five this season (maybe six if Todd Heap can get healthy) in Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, Jeremy Shockey, and Alge Crumpler and then there is a pretty big falloff.


  • 10 quarterbacks, 37 running backs, 32 receivers and 5 tight ends were selected.

Drafting from the #1 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
1 RB Tomlinson RB Bell RB J Lewis WR Burleson WR S. Smith WR Muhammad QB Plummer

General Thoughts

Drafting first overall is a luxury. Not only do you get the top running back on your draft board but you also end up with three of the top twenty-five players in the draft. It is very easy to not only be flexible from this position but to control the direction of the draft. The only challenge from this spot is looking ahead through the next twenty-four selections to determine which directions the other owners will go in. It takes a long time to get back to your next back-to-back picks and going the wrong direction could prove dangerous for your squad.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Jake Plummer (7.1)
RB LaDainian Tomlinson (1.1)
RB Tatum Bell (2.12)
RB Jamal Lewis (3.1)
WR Nate Burleson (4.12)
WR Steve Smith (5.1)
WR Muhsin Muhammad (6.12)

Thoughts on roster so far

As always, drafting first overall such net you a very strong team. In this exercise, strong running backs dropped down to the end of the second round and this owner was able to start the draft RB/RB/RB and land a tremendous starting backfield. If Bell becomes an elite back which is still up in the air with all of the competition this season at the running back position in Denver, this owner will put up lots of points on a weekly basis from the running back position. Even better though, this owner manages to add three strong receivers in Nate Burleson, Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad to start each week and a quarterback with lots of fantasy potential this season in Jake Plummer. This squad is very strong at the three main positions and will be in dynamite shape if he can find some value at the tight end position.

Draft Strategy going forward

Keep going in the right direction. The three main positions of this fantasy roster (quarterback, running back and receiver) are strong and as a result this owner can simply pick according to value for the rest of the draft. If he can land a tight end such as Todd Heap or Randy McMichael in the next round, he would be looking like a frontrunner to win it all.


Drafting from the #2 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
2 RB Holmes RB Jackson RB Jordan WR Bennett RB L. Johnson WR Porter QB Green

General Thoughts

As with the first pick overall, there is an advantage to picking early in round one. You get a top-tier running back and land three of the top twenty-six players taken. That can lead to an exceptional start to your roster. Being allowed to start three running backs each week, it made sense for this owner with the top receivers off the board, to start his roster with three running backs. Just as easily this owner could start RB/WR/WR or RB/QB/WR depending on who is off the board. The focus for this draft slot is to make a quick determination on how many of each position are likely to be off the board before picking again. That helps this owner stay ahead of the curve.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Trent Green (7.2)
RB Priest Holmes (1.2)
RB Steven Jackson (2.11)
RB Lamont Jordan (3.2)
RB Larry Johnson (5.2)
WR Drew Bennett (4.11)
WR Jerry Porter (6.11)

Thoughts on roster so far

RB Priest Holmes may be an injury risk and his age is on the wrong side of 30 but we all know his worth in fantasy football as long as he is on the field and healthy. When drafting in a head-to-head league, I believe you need to think in terms of fantasy points scored per game and not overall fantasy points. Sure, Priest Holmes may only play in 13 games this season. Heck he may only play in 7 but in those games, he will likely lead the NFL in fantasy points getting your squad off to a great start. The key to drafting Holmes is to try and land his backup, Larry Johnson in the draft. In this exercise, he is available with the 5.2 pick but he could just as easily be scooped by an owner in round four. If he goes any earlier than the 50th pick overall though another owner is reaching and you should simply let it happen. Holmes could surprise by staying healthy throughout the season just as easily as he could get hurt and miss several games. His upside is worth the risk.

When it comes to this roster, obviously the strength is at the running back position. Having Holmes, Jackson, Jordan and Johnson (to back up Holmes) gives this owner a trio that should put up a lot of points on a weekly basis. Landing a quarterback like Trent Green is criminal and could help push this squad over the top. In most fantasy leagues, Green will be taken as high as the 4th quarterback off of the board but I am just following our Footballguys.com projections and Green was the 10th rated passer. The real potential weakness of this roster at this time is the receiver position. Both Drew Bennett and Jerry Porter have good potential but also could be disappointments this season depending on different variables. However the good news is there is still a ton of quality receivers to choose from including guys with significant upside such as Charles Rogers and proven veterans such as Amani Toomer.

Draft Strategy going forward

The cornerstone of this squad is the combination of (Holmes, Johnson) in the RB1 slot. On some weeks this squad could even start Johnson in the FLEX position with Holmes in the RB1 slot and maximize fantasy points. Going forward, this team is pretty set at running back and needs to concentrate on getting a couple of more receivers on the roster. Also finding value at the tight end position and a strong backup quarterback will put this squad in a good position to win.


Drafting from the #3 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
3 RB James QB P. Manning WR Horn RB Foster RB Taylor WR Mason WR Evans

General Thoughts

First of all, a disclaimer: I do not expect Peyton Manning to last until the 22nd pick of your draft. In all likelihood he will be going inside of round one and possible inside the top five overall picks. However this exercise is to showcase what I feel is the best pick for each squad at a certain draft position and in a league that has a FLEX position in addition to the 2 running backs and 3 receivers that already start each week it makes more sense to wait on the quarterback position than to take one too early. If an owner takes Manning early (and Culpepper for that matter), value will drop at the more key positions and you'll still land a strong starting quarterback in rounds five through seven. Always go running back with the # 3 overall pick and don't think twice about it.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Peyton Manning (2.10)
RB Edgerrin James (1.3)
RB DeShaun Foster (4.10)
RB Fred Taylor (5.3)
WR Joe Horn (3.3)
WR Derrick Mason (6.10)
WR Lee Evans (7.3)

Thoughts on roster so far

The quarterback position is obviously set. If I am the owner to take Manning in this year's fantasy draft, I would definitely want to be amongst the last teams to grab a backup quarterback. I wouldn't even consider a 2nd quarterback until round ten. There is potential for greatness at the running back spot but it could also be a disaster waiting to happen. Fragile Fred Taylor who has had durability issues throughout this career and isn't healthy yet at this time joins up with the new 'Fragile One' in DeShaun Foster who has been unable to suit up in the majority of his games. Both players could put up strong seasons but the injury risk drops them down the draft board. If healthy, James, Foster and Taylor could be a dynamic trio. The receiver position isn't flashy but is in very strong shape. Horn, Mason and Evans will get the job done.

Draft Strategy going forward

Quarterback and receiver are in pretty sound shape after the first seven rounds. With Manning already on board, ignore the quarterback position until at least round ten and concentrate on building depth at running back and receiver. With the injury risk of both Foster and Taylor, it would be a wise move to try and land rookie RB Eric Shelton of the Panthers and RB LaBrandon Toefield of the Jaguars to injury proof your squad. Other than that the goal will be to add a good tight end within the next few rounds and this Manning, James led team has potential.


Drafting from the #4 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
4 RB Alexander RB R. Johnson TE Gonzalez WR Mi. Clayton QB Bulger RB Staley WR Lelie

General Thoughts

Drafting fourth overall is as easy as the first three spots. Simply take the best running back on your board and you are off to the races. In this case, RB Shaun Alexander is one heck of a pick here but really there are a number of running backs you could slot into this pick. This team went with the best value throughout the draft and as a result has a top tight end and a top five quarterback in addition to Shaun Alexander. The problem with taking both a tight end and a quarterback by the end of round five though is it does weaken your strength at running back and receiver.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Marc Bulger (5.4)
RB Shaun Alexander (1.4)
RB Rudi Johnson (2.9)
RB Duce Staley (6.9)
WR Michael Clayton (4.9)
WR Ashley Lelie (7.4)
TE Tony Gonzalez (3.4)

Thoughts on roster so far

First of all, let's cover the positives. Quarterback is set with Marc Bulger who, without question, can slot into the top three in any given year. He is a no-brainer if still around in round five. Having tight end Tony Gonzalez in leagues that give a bonus point per reception is also huge and having both of those guys in combination with 1st pick running back Shaun Alexander will result in a bunch of points being scored in most weeks. RB Rudi Johnson is a very strong # 2 running back although he is unlikely to add many points due to catching the football. He will provide consistent week to week scoring as he'll likely carry the ball twenty times per game. The possible negatives start at the third running back spot. Duce Staley could be an outstanding sixth round pick but he is coming off of surgery and only time will tell if he is able to play at a high level of not. In addition, the receiving core does have potential with both Michael Clayton and Ashley Lelie but it could be boom or bust in some weeks.

Draft Strategy going forward

Set at both quarterback and tight end, the strategy for this squad is very simple going forward, focus in on adding quality at both running back and receiver. There is still plenty of talent left on the board at receiver and this squad will look much stronger with adding a couple of receiver gems in rounds eight and nine. It is hard to go wrong with a nucleus of Alexander, Johnson, Bulger and Gonzalez.


Drafting from the #5 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
5 RB McAllister RB Green WR Wayne RB Barlow WR Boldin WR Coles QB Favre

General Thoughts

Drafting from the # 5 slot is gold this season. You get a tremendous running back no matter who falls to you and there is plenty of talent to scoop up throughout the draft. RB/RB is a strong move here but if any of the top receivers are still on the board with this round two pick, that is just as strong of a move.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Brett Favre (7.5)
RB Deuce McAllister (1.5)
RB Ahman Green (2.8)
RB Kevan Barlow (4.8)
WR Reggie Wayne (3.5)
WR Anquan Boldin (5.5)
WR Laveranues Coles (6.8)

Thoughts on roster so far

This may be the team to beat after the first seven rounds. The only potential weakness is at RB3 but that could be a strength if RB Kevan Barlow can rebound from a weak 2004 campaign to play some decent football this season. QB Brett Favre is consistent and a great pickup and the duo of McAllister and Green could be awesome. Even the receiver position is strong with Wayne, Boldin and Coles forming a formidable trio.

Draft Strategy going forward

This is already a nice balanced squad. I would target TE Todd Heap or TE Randy McMichael with the 8th round pick and if neither is available the best strategy is to just go with the best value pick possible. A shrewd move in the second half of this draft (perhaps round ten or eleven) would be to add rookie RB Frank Gore to this team to maximize point potential from the 3rd running back spot.


Drafting from the #6 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
6 RB Westbrook RB Martin WR A. Johnson WR Ro. Williams TE Witten RB M. Faulk QB Brooks

General Thoughts

This is where the draft begins to get interesting. This is the first slot in which taking a receiver like Randy Moss wouldn't be a bad idea. Still the best strategy at the top of the draft is to go running back and Brian Westbrook with his great receiving skills is a strong pick here (he actually slots in as the 3rd best RB using the Draft Dominator). The best strategy here as in most slots is to let the draft unfold and to pick according to value. Of course it is nice to have three stud running backs but having top receivers instead can be just as effective.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Aaron Brooks (7.6)
RB Brian Westbrook (1.6)
RB Curtis Martin (2.7)
RB Marshall Faulk (6.7)
WR Andre Johnson (3.6)
WR Roy Williams (4.7)
TE Jason Witten (5.6)

Thoughts on roster so far

Going with a tight end within the first five rounds always makes the squad look a little iffy to me in all honesty but when the goal is to outscore one opponent each week having a top five tight end capable of catching 6+ passes can be a great advantage over a roster with second rate tight end play. Jason Witten will see a lot of passes thrown his way in 2005. The running back position scares me to death. Personally in my own draft, I would love drafting Willis McGahee here as he will have an outstanding season in 2005. Brian Westbrook is the easy pick here though using FBG projections and with his ability to rack up fantasy points in both the rushing and passing game, he should have a strong season in this format. The interesting pick here is Marshall Faulk. He has been written off but Faulk will still see lots of playing time and his penchant for catching the ball cannot be ignored. He could end up one of the best 3rd running backs in this league. The duo at receiver is young and talented but both carry some measure of risk. Roy Williams has very talented guys around him and may not see the ball enough to warrant a 4th round pick. He could also explode though and finish top five due to his talent and athleticism so he is worth it for upside alone. Andre Johnson is one of the most talented receivers in football but will the Texans pass enough to warrant a third round choice? Only time will tell on that front.

Draft Strategy going forward

Both the quarterback and tight end positions are in great shape. This owner should ignore both for the next couple of rounds and add depth at running back or receiver depending on who is available. Nice pickups throughout the 2nd half of the draft would be to add Correll Buckhalter and Derrick Blaylock from the Eagles and Jets respectively to guarantee points from the running back spot.


Drafting from the #7 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
7 RB D. Davis WR Harrison QB Culpepper RB Bennett RB R. Brown WR J. Smith TE Crumpler

General Thoughts

Again, this is not a no-brainer to go running back here in round one. A strong case can be made for Randy Moss here and if you wish to go in that direction, it wouldn't be a terrible move. However with one point per reception, Domanick Davis should be outstanding in this format and he is a strong pick here. If you go running back in round one it opens up this owner to look for strong value picks throughout the next several rounds while going receiver in round one would force this owner to be a little more regimented in his approach to make sure he has decent running back depth.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Daunte Culpepper (3.7)
RB Domanick Davis (1.7)
RB Michael Bennett (4.6)
RB Ronnie Brown (5.7)
WR Marvin Harrison (2.6)
WR Jimmy Smith (6.6)
TE Alge Crumpler (7.7)

Thoughts on roster so far

Quarterback and tight end are strong with the duo of Culpepper and Crumpler on board and this squad shouldn't even consider either position until round eleven. Harrison and Jimmy Smith are a good start at receiver but obviously when you can start 3-4 receivers each week, this squad needs help at the position. The running back stable is quite risky with Michael Bennett and Ronnie Brown having significant questions that need answering (Bennett - durability, vision and Brown - learning the pro game, proving durability). This team could be strong at the running back spot or very weak depending on how everything shakes down.

Draft Strategy going forward

Over the next three rounds, this squad should focus in on positions other than quarterback and tight end. Adding two receivers in the next three rounds would be a shrewd move. As the draft progresses, this owner would be wise to try and get rookie RB Vernand Morency (Texans) and RB Mewelde Moore (Vikings) on his squad to secure fantasy points at the running back spot. This team doesn't look as strong as some but the combination of Culpepper, Davis, Harrison and Crumpler is one heck of a cornerstone.


Drafting from the #8 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
8 RB Barber WR C. Johnson WR J. Walker RB T. Jones RB C. Benson QB Vick WR R. Smith

General Thoughts

You want flexibility in your draft approach then this is the place to draft from. I could see going WR/WR/WR to start this draft, maximizing fantasy points from the receiver position while trying to find running backs in rounds four through seven to put up fantasy points. However there are a lot of strong running backs at the top of the board this season and Tiki Barber could easily be a top five pick under these scoring rules and is an easy pick here. After going running back in round one it is easy to go for value picks in the next several rounds.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Michael Vick (6.5)
RB Tiki Barber (1.8)
RB Thomas Jones (4.5)
RB Cedric Benson (5.8)
WR Chad Johnson (2.5)
WR Javon Walker (3.8)
WR Rod Smith (7.8)

Thoughts on roster so far

The receiver position is the strength of this team with Chad Johnson, Javon Walker and Rod Smith capable of putting up great fantasy numbers. Michael Vick is a good fantasy quarterback who could be phenomenal in any given season if he can become just a little more productive via the passing attack. He is capable of rushing for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in any given season. The 2nd running back slot is interesting with a Thomas Jones / Cedric Benson combination. Thomas Jones is looking more and more like a good early season back for a fantasy team. He is running hard in camp and at the very least will be catching a lot of passes as the change of pace back as the season wears on. Having Benson will guarantee points from the # 2 spot if one of the two gets injured.

Draft Strategy going forward

This owner is strong at receiver but adding another for the option of starting four each week would be a wise move. The running back position is far from flashy but it appears solid enough to help this team put up fantasy points each week. It would be a nice pickup for this team to scoop rookie RB Brandon Jacobs (Giants) to back up Tiki Barber later on in the draft. The key to this squad may be Michael Vick having a strong season. It would be a wise move to scoop up a backup quarterback in round eight or nine to cover this squad if Vick gets injured or is ineffective. If Vick plays well the combo of Vick, Barber, Johnson and Walker may prove difficult to defeat.


Drafting from the #9 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
9 RB Portis WR Holt RB Dunn RB C. Brown WR Bruce WR Moulds RB Henry

General Thoughts

This is an interesting slot for 2005. A strong argument can be made for going either running back or receiver with this pick but as usual in a close battle, go with running back. The way the quarterback situation played out with this slot, it made sense to ignore it in round seven and to scoop one up in round eight. Getting a quarterback like Carson Palmer or Matt Hasselbeck in round eight is a tremendous luxury.

Roster After Seven Rounds

RB Clinton Portis (1.9)
RB Warrick Dunn (3.9)
RB Chris Brown (4.4)
RB Travis Henry (7.9)
WR Torry Holt (2.4)
WR Isaac Bruce (5.9)
WR Eric Moulds (6.4)

Thoughts on roster so far

RB Clinton Portis is running behind what should be a much better offensive line in 2005 and the offense has been tweaked to compliment his unique skills. As a result he should be a much more explosive player in 2005. Warrick Dunn isn't a bad choice as a 2nd running back although he isn't as flashy as most. If TJ Duckett falls to this owner in round nine he should pick him up. Chris Brown is an explosive player capable of putting up big numbers with limited touches. If it wasn't for his durability he would be a top ten pick. Being able to scoop up his backup was huge as it will guarantee points from receiver # 3. This squad looks much different than the others so far. The receiving trio looks like the starting lineup on the Senior's Tour but the fact is Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Eric Moulds should be a fabulous starting trio. The starting lineup at RB/WR is set with Portis, Dunn, Brown, Holt, Bruce and Moulds and either Palmer or Hasselbeck should be available to start at quarterback. The quarterback position is very deep this season and this is an example for sure of why it pays off to wait.

Draft Strategy going forward

Going only running back and receiver in the first seven rounds forced this squad's hand a bit going forward. The next pick is round eight and that has to be a quarterback. After that in round nine I would pick up Duckett if he is available for insurance against Dunn but if he is off the board, it would be wise to add a 2nd quarterback or a tight end if a strong one is available. Otherwise this squad should just look for value going forward. This likely isn't a team to beat but it should be steady throughout the season.


Drafting from the #10 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
10 RB McGahee WR Owens WR Jackson RB C. Williams RB Suggs TE Shockey WR Branch

General Thoughts

Decisions, decisions, decisions. An owner drafting here can choose between a good running back, a top receiver or even Peyton Manning if he chooses to go in that direction. For myself, as long as a strong running back option is available, it makes sense to go in that direction. Just let the draft come to you with this slot and you'll be fine. If you have to go WR/WR/WR or RB/WR/WR or even RB/WR/QB to start the draft, do it and don't think twice about it. The only two quarterbacks you should consider in the first three rounds though are Manning and Culpepper.

Roster After Seven Rounds

RB Willis McGahee (1.10)
RB Carnell Williams (4.3)
RB Lee Suggs (5.10)
WR Terrell Owens (2.3)
WR Darrell Jackson (3.10)
WR Deion Branch (7.10)
TE Jeremy Shockey (6.3)

Thoughts on roster so far

I happen to love this roster but it just so happens that I love a lot of the players that fell to this slot. I believe the trio of Willis McGahee, Cadillac Williams and Lee Suggs at running back could be incredible and they could rack up huge fantasy points this season. There is risk there of course though when it comes to Williams and Suggs (Williams is a rookie with veteran Michael Pittman breathing down his neck and Suggs is in a three-way battle for playing time with William Green and Reuben Droughns). Both receiver and tight end is set with Owens, Jackson, Branch and Shockey all capable of putting up huge numbers.

Draft Strategy going forward

The obvious next move is quarterback and if everything goes according to plan, QB Carson Palmer is the pick for round eight. Add him to the starting lineup of McGahee, Williams, Suggs, Owens, Jackson, Branch and Shockey and watch out. After that just pick for value while perhaps targeting William Green and this squad is in great shape.


Drafting from the #11 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
11 WR R. Moss RB Dillon RB Arrington WR Ward WR Driver QB Collins WR Burress

General Thoughts

Finally after a few owners stewing on selecting WR Randy Moss, he goes off the board. With the number eleven slot it is essential that you remain flexible throughout your draft. The flow of the draft can take you many different directions and you must be willing to alter your strategy going forward. The most important thing to do on the back end of a draft is to predict what the other owners will do before your next picks comes up. There is a long wait in between picks and you must analyze the possible path the draft will take before your next turn arrives.

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Kerry Collins (6.2)
RB Corey Dillon (2.2)
RB JJ Arrington (3.11)
WR Randy Moss (1.11)
WR Hines Ward (4.2)
WR Donald Driver (5.11)
WR Plaxico Burress (7.11)

Thoughts on roster so far

The obvious strength of this squad is at receiver and it is obvious the plan going into the season will be to start four receivers each week (Moss, Ward, Driver and Burress). It would be difficult to find a better starting foursome at receiver. Running back however is a different story. As the draft progressed it just didn't make much sense for this owner to go running back and now he is in a bit of a bind with only two running backs on his roster although both look capable of starting this season. Corey Dillon is a solid # 1 running back in fantasy football without the flash of some of the higher picks but he'll get the job done. J.J. Arrington is an unknown right now but he will get a chance to put up strong numbers in 2005. Kerry Collins should be solid in 2005

Draft Strategy going forward

Obviously the weakness of this team is running back and it will have to be addressed going forward. This owner should take Marcel Shipp with his next pick to ensure points from the # 2 spot and then go bargain hunting through the second half of the draft, selecting a number of running backs hoping to find a diamond in the rough. He should finish up with at least 6 running backs on his roster, hoping to land a surprise player. I don't like this squad as much as some but the receiving core could carry it through some weeks. If I could do it over, I would probably take Cadillac Williams instead of Hines Ward in round four.


Drafting from the #12 slot

Slot # Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7
12 RB K. Jones RB J. Jones TE Gates QB McNabb WR Chambers WR Fitzgerald RB Pittman

General Thoughts

I love drafting from the 12 slot. It is a great place to use strategy to build the team you want. The key is being able to look 24 spots ahead to your next picks and as true with most slots, BE FLEXIBLE. It really is the key to strong drafting. In this case, there is plenty of receiving talent to draft here but to land a great duo of running backs here can carry your squad. This squad will be known as 'Jones in the Fast Lane'

Roster After Seven Rounds

QB Donovan McNabb (4.1)
RB Kevin Jones (1.12)
RB Julius Jones (2.1)
RB Michael Pittman (7.12)
WR Chris Chambers (5.12)
WR Larry Fitzgerald (6.1)
TE Antonio Gates (3.12)

Thoughts on roster so far

There is strength in all four positions through seven rounds. If it were my own draft, I would probably let McNabb slide to another owner and pick Cadillac Williams here but I am quite high on Williams. That said I went with McNabb as he is good value in the fourth round of the draft. The Jones duo of Kevin and Julius will put up great fantasy points and RB Michael Pittman should hold his own in the # 3 spot due to one point per receptions. TE Antonio Gates will be great again in 2005 although his numbers are bound to slip from a year ago and while there are only two receivers on the roster, both Chambers and Fitzgerald have great upsides in 2005. Overall a nice looking squad.

Draft Strategy going forward

Quarterback and tight end are set and this team needs to focus in on adding receiver and running back depth. This squad should grab a receiver with the next pick and look for running back value throughout the 2nd half of the draft. A player such as Marion Barber will make a lot of sense for this team in round thirteen or so. He is being ignored by fantasy owners despite being put into the role of Richie Anderson. He will catch passes and could wind up the backup to Julius Jones. This team will be in the hunt with a foundation of McNabb, Jones, Jones, Chambers, Fitzgerald and Gates.


Important Draft Strategies

  • Your draft strategy must alter depending on whom you take in the first two rounds.
  • Remember to adjust your draft strategy to reflect your league scoring rules and starting lineup requirements
  • Don't worry about bye weeks until you have your starting players in place. Bye weeks matter for backups not starters.
  • Never draft more than one quarterback in the first seven rounds. Too hard to trade them due to the fact there are so many starting quarterbacks and only 12 starting slots in the league.
  • Be willing to adjust your strategy on the fly. Often a draft doesn't go as you planned. If a bargain falls into your lap such as Terrell Owens or Daunte Culpepper at the end of the second round, make sure you take him and then adjust your strategy for the next several rounds. Be flexible!
  • Never take a kicker or defense until you have your starting roster at other positions fill out at the very least and a backup at running back and receiver is highly recommended. Personally I would take both kickers and defense in the bottom quarter of the draft. That's where the value is.
  • The only non-running backs that should be considered in the first two rounds are Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens at receiver as well as Daunte Culpepper/Peyton Manning at quarterback. The rest of the picks should be running backs although you can make a case for either tight end Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates going towards the latter stages of round two in certain leagues.

Final Conclusions

While there is some variance between the different draft slots, an owner can draft a competitive team at any of them if he is willing to adjust his strategy as the draft goes on. If an owner is patience, prepared and willing to follow his own path the draft will open up to him and he will find himself with a competitive team at the end of the day. Don't be afraid to buck the trend but allow your strategy to change with your choices. If you take a quarterback or receiver in the first two rounds, the focus for your team should switch to running back. Never take more than one quarterback until at least round seven at the very least. If you do take one of the top two tight ends (Gonzalez and Gates) in the first few rounds, ignore the tight end position until near the end of the draft. The same goes with the quarterback position. If you select a Peyton Manning or Daunte Culpepper in round two, do not consider taking another one until at least round ten.

There are no guarantees in fantasy drafts due to injuries and unforeseen occurrences. However having a solid strategy in place that can be flexible can help an owner drafting from any slot be successful in his/her league.

Good Luck and Happy Drafting!

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