Posts Tagged ‘Pros vs. Joes’

Pros vs. Joes Draft Recap

The lockout is over! Be sure to check out my Free Agency Primer over at

I was invited by the nice folks over at Fantasy Mojo to participate in the Pros vs. Joes Draft Challenge. The format is simple, six Pros (in this case, Joe Dyken of Fantasy Football Nerd, Chet Gresham of Razzball, Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus, Roy Daniel of RotoExperts and Gary Davenport of FF Oasis and myself) squared off against six Joes in a 26-round, best ball draft. Time is tight during the season, so I prefer these draft-and-forget leagues when given the choice.

Under this best ball format, each team’s top QB, two RBs, two WRs, one TE, two flex, one kicker and one DT are tallied each week. There are five leagues in total and Joes have won the last two seasons. It’s time for the Pros to take the trophy back!

It’s a PPR league and the only catch is that TEs get 1.5 points per reception, so they went earlier than usual. From a value standpoint, it didn’t change the value of TEs all that much (in my opinion) because it’s still relatively unlikely that a backup TE is going to be ‘starting’ in the flex positions against comparable WRs and RBs.

Anyway, here’s how the draft went. (Click on the grid to see a more readable version.)

As you can see, I was given the #10 spot (grrr!), which makes things a little tough on draft day. After the top 6 RBs (Foster, AP, CJ2K, McCoy, Charles and Ric) are gone, things get dicey. Since I like the WRs available in the 3/4/5 rounds better than the RBs available there, I decided to start the draft going RB/RB if possible.

Darren McFadden is a bit risky given his injury history, but he was the #2 RB last year in terms of points per game production. I was really hoping Matt Forte would slip to me at 2.03, but he went one pick ahead of me, so I had to decide between Steven Jackson, Peyton Hillis, Hakeem Nicks and Calvin Johnson. In my heart of hearts, I like Nicks the most, but my aforementioned disgust with the RBs available in the 3/4/5 area prompted me to grab Jackson, who is basically a toss-up for me when compared to Hillis.

At 3.10, my decision was between V-Jax, Mike Williams (TB) and Ahmad Bradshaw. I nearly took Bradshaw, but the uncertainty of his contract situation scared me off a bit. I decided to go with Jackson since it looks like he’ll be a Charger this year (and in a contract year). At 4.03, there were a number of good WRs still available (D-Jax, Maclin, Holmes, Colston, Collie and Stevie Johnson), so I went with Jahvid Best (over Felix Jones) thinking that one of those WRs (or Felix) would slip to me at 5.10.

Low and behold, Stevie fell to me in the 5th! I was thrilled to get him that late as my WR2 and felt like that I had two top 15 guys anchoring that position. I started to think TE in this round, but Vernon Davis went early on. On the way back, I decided to grab Zach Miller to give myself a solid starter at the position. At 1.5 PPR, he should have a field day. (I did consider going with Big Ben here and targeting Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez on the 7/8 turn, but I wasn’t sure that they would make it. It would have worked.)

It was time to start thinking QB in the 7th, but both guys drafting behind me already had a QB, so I let Josh Freeman and Eli Manning go figuring one would be there on the way back. I was hoping Lynch would fall to me at 7.10, but he went one pick ahead of me. I was unimpressed by the options here, but I went with Torain, who should remain the starter in Washington assuming he can stay healthy. (The plan was to grab Helu later.) Freeman was there at 8.03, which I think is a very solid value that late. I give him the slight nod over Eli.

You’ll see that I abandoned Helu for Leshoure in the 9th. I could have picked Helu in the 10th, but couldn’t pass up Julio Jones that late as my WR3. (I thought about Jordy Nelson here but felt better about ATL’s second receiving option versus GB’s third. At best.) I ended up taking three rookie WRs (counting A.J. Green in the 12th and Greg Little in the 13th). It’s risky, but one or more should pan out in a best ball format. I nabbed Fitzpatrick as my backup QB in the 11th — love that pick.

The TEs were flying off the board and I was left with Heath Miller in the 14th. In retrospect, I probably should have shored up the position with an earlier pick, but H. Miller isn’t a bad backup.

I was targeting the Eagles (who have a very favorable schedule when combined with the Cardinals), but they went earlier in the 15th. New England and Dallas make for a nice DTBC this season.

To round out my roster I took Jason Hill (a sleeper as Jacksonville’s WR2), Jason Campbell (played well late last season), Le’Ron McClain (could go elsewhere and thrive, or take over goal line duties in Baltimore), Tony Scheffler (did I mention TEs were going fast?), Terrell Owens (for a half season in the 22nd, I’ll bite), Devery Henderson (always good for a few big games), Steve Slaton (trade bait for the Texans?) and Rex Grossman (who played well in three starts late last season).

Here’s a look at my complete roster:

QB: Freeman, Fitzpatrick, Campbell, Grossman
RB: DMC, S-Jax, Best, Torain, Leshoure, McClain, Slaton
WR: V-Jax, S. Johnson, Ju. Jones, A.J. Green, Little, Hill, TO, Henderson
TE: Z. Miller, H. Miller, Scheffler
K: Brown, Tynes

Drafting from the #10 spot, I am very happy with this lineup. Freeman and Fitzy will both have some big games, and my RBs should be a strength all season. My WRs are young, but they also have a lot of upside and I’m banking on three or four ‘starters’ at RB every week anyway. I was happy to get Miller in the 6th at TE, but am weak at that position as a whole.