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Summer is an amazing time for dynasty fantasy football.  We are beginning to get some practice reports; all kinds of fantasy football drafts are underway which gives everyone a chance to put their money where their mouth is in respect to j thomasplayer evaluation and strategy.  This league is a 12 teamer with 40 regular roster spots and five taxi squad spots (rookies only).  The lineups are as follows: 1 QB, 2-3 RBs, 2-5 WRs, 1-3 TEs (need eight combined players out of RB/WR/TE spots), 1 K and on the defensive side 3-4 LBs, 3-4 DBs, 2-3 DLs with ten total defensive starters.  It is PPR scoring for all positions, tackle heavy IDP scoring, 6 points for every touchdown, .1 points per 1 yard of offense (rushing and receiving), and .05 per yard of passing and/or returns.  You can find the league here: http://football24.myfantasyleague.com/2014/options?L=32962&O=17

Since we have more information in June/July, I think it’s a good time to see how strategies might change from the start-up I did in late February.  The league seems to be a good mixture of veteran players, so hopefully there will be less of a chance for an outlier.  Much like a few of my previous articles, I will discuss some reaches and values during the draft.

6th round

6.02 Frank Gore, RB SF

This runner isn’t the ageless back anymore.  He showed a lot of rust on the undercarriage in 2013. With back to back years of early round selections of Marcus Lattimore and Carlos Hyde, it was a reach to select Gore here, especially with a guy like Alfred Morris still available, but more on Morris later.

6.03 Julius Thomas, TE DEN

Sorry to toot my horn again, but this is great value for a top four tight end even with straight PPR scoring.  Sure Peyton Manning might only last a year or two more, but good production should continue even when Manning retires.

6.09 Eric Decker, WR NYJ

Speaking of the Manning effect, this actually goes the opposite way.  Decker is in a struggling NY Jets offense with a young quarterback with a strong defense keeps them out of shootouts.  I envision only WR3 upside at best for Decker, making him a reach at this point in the draft.

6.11 Mike Wallace, WR MIA

His first season with the Dolphins was a disappointment.  Miami got a new offensive coordinator that will bring a high tempo offense similar to what gets run in Philadelphia.  As the 31st wide out selected, I think Wallace is worth the chance to bring his numbers closer to his Roethlisberger years.

7th round

7.02 Kendall Wright, WR TEN

The young receiver is dropping in drafts.  It might be his two touchdowns last season or the hype surrounding his fellow Titan receiver, Justin Hunter.  New Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt will scheme to his strengths.  Getting him as a WR3 is great value.

7.03 Ben Tate, RB CLE

First, Alfred Morris is still available.  Second, Tate doesn’t have a healthy NFL season on his résumé.  Third, Cleveland paid him a modest contract.  Fourth, the Browns traded up for Terrance West and picked up Isaiah Crowell as a free agent after the draft.  Let someone else invest in him.

7.08 Alfred Morris, RB WAS

New Head coach Jay Gruden loves to run the ball.  Sure Morris doesn’t catch many passes, not that he receives many targets.  With a healthy Robert Griffin III and three scary receivers (D-Jax, Garcon, Reed), running lanes should be a touch wider.  This was great value here, even if he catches passes at a Michael Turner clip.

8th round

8.03 Drew Brees, QB NO

Quarterbacks kept falling in this draft.  His value was too high for me to pass up here.  Brees was the eighth signal caller off the board and at age 35 still has 3-4 years of top production left, especially with the invigoration of new talent like rookie Brandin Cooks and second year Kenny Stills.

8.05 Josh Gordon, WR CLE

The pick got made before his driving while intoxicated charge in North Carolina, but the story remains the same.  This kid cannot leave the ganja or substances that make him feel good alone and while he is a beast when he is on field, fantasy owners have no idea when he will be back.  Gordon would be a value after round 15, but this was too rich for me here.

9th round

9.02 Mychal Kendricks, LB PHI

The young linebacker had some struggles last season and I don’t value him as the 10th backer off the board.  Two 28 year olds, Jarod Mayo and James Laurinaitis, were still available and needed to be selected before Kendricks.

9.04 Jordon Reed, TE WAS

Concussion issues plagued him last season, but at this point in the draft, it mitigates the risk.  You could have a top five tight end at a top ten price.

9.07 Zach Ertz, TE PHI

The second year tight end did some good things in his limited playing time last season.  If he can get himself in a bigger role, I expect his production to exceed his draft slot here.

10th round

10.06 Ladaris Green, TE SD

Antonio Gates is a year older and Green was special with his limited targets.  It might take another year for him to see the most tight end targets in San Diego, but should be worth it.

10.08 Jarvis Landry, WR MIA

The rookie receiver has huge upside, but with guys like Kenny Stills and Aaron Dobson who have designated roles in better offenses, the pick was too early for my taste.

11th round

11.02 Jason Pierre-Paul, DE NYG

Last year he got selected as a top three defensive end and disappointed greatly.  With him hopefully returning to health, JPP is a huge value here.

11.07 Matt Ryan, QB ATL

In 2013, he didn’t have many healthy targets.  Sure the retirement of Tony Gonzalez will sting a little, but I fully expect Ryan to climb back into the top eight quarterbacks, which is huge value in the 11th round.

11.12 Marques Colston, WR NO

With receivers like the before mentioned Dobson, Wes Welker, and Rueben Randle still available, he was reach here.  Colston has lost a step and I’m not sure if he ever gets it back.

12th round

12.08 Jason Witten, TE DAL

The older tight end’s window of opportunity is coming to a close.  With reliable, younger options in Dennis Pitta, Dwayne Allen, and rookie Jace Amaro available, I don’t like the pick at this point.  A similar type older tight end in Heath Miller is still available after the 25th round.

12.12 Reggie Bush, RB DET

Sure Bush is getting older, but he did not receive the touches that most backs accrued at his age.  The back is in a high-octane offense and should produce at a high level for two years or longer and worth it here.

13th round

13.04 Jadeveon Clowney, LB HOU

I love the player, but in this league sacks are only worth twice as much as tackles scoring which makes him a reach here.  Clowney is a great pick in big play leagues, but only has average upside in this style of league.

13.12 Dwayne Allen, TE IND

The Colts offense played a lot less physical without him last season.  He is a strong run blocker and a great red zone threat.  There is no reason he was still around at this point in the draft.

14th round

14.04 Rashad Jennings, RB NYG

The 29-year-old has been highly productive in two widely different schemes in Oakland last season and earlier in his career in Jacksonville.  Jennings doesn’t have the wear and tear of most backs his age and should be productive in New York for the next few years.

14.11 Brian Cushing, LB HOU

While I love this warrior’s play, his injuries keep piling up.  Perhaps it is my bitterness as a former owner, but I don’t want to touch him until I have all of my defensive starters already in place.

15th round

15.01 Danny Amendola, WR NE

I know I’m showing my age here, but every time I see “Dirty Danny’s” name I think of Great White’s song “Once bitten..twice shy.”   The Patriots bring in a slew of new receivers every year and see what works.  I’m not convinced that Amendola will ever be a good fit in New England.

15.07 Kevin Minter, LB ARIZ

The second year linebacker played sparingly in year one, but with the suspension of Daryl Washington, I expect Minter to either lead or second the team in tackles.  This should be enough to cement him in this role for the next ten years or so which makes him very valuable at this point in the draft.

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