The Fake Teams AOL Fanhouse League drafted on Saturday and it was as crazy as you’d expect a 16 team IDP draft to be. I’ll review the first three picks for some selected teams. Remember, in a 16 team draft the first 48 players only make up three rounds. In a 12 team league you’d get these players in four rounds, in a ten team league they would make up almost five full rounds.
Vick’s Dawg Pound – LaDanian Tomlinson/Ben Roethlisberger/Thomas Jones.
In a 16 team draft you'll still get LT first, but you have to wait a loooong time to get anybody else. I like Big Ben as a 2nd round pick here and I like Jones, though it’s hard to imagine starting the season with him as your RB2. Jones was one of only three RBs taken in the third round, so that gives an idea of what was left.
Nasty! – Adrian Peterson/Braylon Edwards/Marques Colston
Finished with a great RB and two top quality WRs -- a great haul for the first three picks. In very large leagues like this, the big difference isn’t the gap in players available between picks 1 and 3, it’s between the corresponding gap in players between picks 29 and 32.
Norv Being Norv – Randy Moss/Brandon Jacobs/TJ Houshmandzadeh
Thinking outside the box by taking Moss at 7 overall but comes up with a solid, though not outstanding, RB1 in Jacobs. There was nothing left so he went with a great WR in Housh. Looks good on paper, but needs to find a great QB late.
BRIWILEY – Tom Brady/Willie Parker/
Also decides to go non-RB in the first round and, like the previous team, there were no RBs left in the third. Parker went far earlier (25th overall) than I expected he would. You know what could happen to Chad Ocho Cinco.
CSI: Javon Walker – Peyton Manning/Michael Turner/Wes Welker
This is my team, so of course it kicks ass. OK, maybe not. Hey, I’ll admit it, it was a gamble to take Manning here but there is nothing good about drafting 11th in a 16 team draft. Nothing. It’s a terrible spot and I needed a gamebreaker. Manning has a chance to lead all positions (not just QBs) in scoring and that was a gamble I thought was worth taking. There wasn’t much left at RB in the 2nd round, but I like Turner and he has huge upside as well. I was happy getting Welker in the 3rd though he's not a premium WR.
Hinz 57ers – Willis McGahee/Ryan Grant/Jake Delhomme
Had the opportunity to grab two solid RBs and did it, though I’m not a big fan of McGahee. It’s not all roses with Pick 16 though -- by the time he drafted again the elite QBs and WRs were all taken. Instead of focusing on RBs, he could’ve ignored them and taken Reggie Wayne and Terrell Owens with his first two picks, which would’ve been a legitimate strategy as well.
The example set here is the same one you’ll see in nearly every large (14+ team) fantasy draft. You can grab a quality RB early, and if you’re lucky you can get a top WR or top QB, though not both. If go non-RB in the first round, you’d better have some sleepers ready because you’ll probably end up with a mid-quality guy as your RB1. If you have a late pick, you can stock up on mid-level talent at RB or top level talent at WR but again, not both.
It was an interesting draft and I’m looking forward to playing the season out. I grabbed Chris Perry in the 4th round (even though I telegraphed that one) and Rashard Mendenhall in the 7th, so I feel good about my RBs. However, with a receiving corps of Welker, Nate Burleson and Derrick Mason, I could use a little help at WR. Hopefully I should be able to pick up some waiver wire gold.