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Once again I am giving full disclosure to all of my fantasy teams.  The next team I am exposing is The High Plains Drifters. This was a team I took over about a month and a half ago.  The two biggest reasons I took over the team was the fact giothat my friend, Ryan Berger aka the FFGhost, is the commissioner and that the team had rookie picks in spades: 1.03, 1.05, 2.03, 3.03, 3.05, 3.13, 4.03, 5.03, and 8.03.

The scoring was also interesting with 1 PPR for RBs, 1.25 PPR for WRs, 1.5 PPR for TEs, 5 points per passing TDs, 6 points all other TDs, and tackles worth 1.5 points for everyone but defensive linemen who get 2.5 points for each tackle.  When I took over the team, my tight end and linebacker situations were dire.  Through trades, the rookie draft, and waiver wire picks, I feel I built an improved team with a gaping hole at tight end, despite my best efforts.  Here is my team

QBs- Russell Wilson, Matt Schaub, Derek Carr, and Terrelle Pryor (start one)

This isn’t the strongest for a twelve team league, but bye weeks will be covered.  I wouldn’t call it a weakness or strength.

RBs-Gio Bernard (acquired in a trade for Ryan Mathews and Marquess Wilson), Joique Bell, Fred Jackson, MJD, Marcus Lattimore, Travaris Cadet, Theo Riddick, LaMichael James, Denard Robinson, Marion Grice (start two to five).

I am top-heavy with Gio and Joique and have two solid, aging vets in F-Jax and MJD.  After that I am full of question marks and just tried to grab upside where I could (Cadet and Riddick got snagged off the waiver wire).  There were so many holes on this team; I put off focusing on the running back position.

WRs-Victor Cruz, Kendall Wright, Brandin Cooks (my 1.05 pick), Riley Cooper, Jericho Cotchery, Doug Baldwin, Donnie Avery, Ted Ginn, Jeremy Gallon, Devin Street, Brandon Coleman, Keyshawn Martin (start two to five).

The way I would describe my receiving core is strong at the top with some upside.  Cruz, Wright, and Cooks will be my starters from day one.  I like the depth that Cooper, Cotchery, and Baldwin bring.  There are a lot of fliers at the back-end of my receivers.  Much like my quarterbacks, I don’t have any superstars, but am competitive.

TEs- Eric Ebron (my 1.03 pick), Brandon Pettigrew, Anthony Fasano, A.C. Leonard, and Troy Niklas (start one to three).

This team was a wasteland at tight end.  I invested two rookie picks on the position, Ebron and Niklas and picked up a third on waivers.  With tight end receptions being worth 1.5, it is difficult to get a decent trade, so I will suffer through.

Ks-Phil Dawson, Sebass (start one).

Once again, I have two kickers with different bye weeks.  By the way, did I tell you I could care less about the position?

DT-Geno Atkins, Damien Harrison, Randy Starks (start one to two).

If fully healthy, Atkins can be a beast and a top three player at his position.  The other two defensive tackles are decent depth.

DEs-Greg Hardy, LaMarr Houston, Andre Branch, Brian Robison, Georgie Selvie, Akiem Hicks, and Desmond Bryant (start two)

I have a top four DE in Hardy if his league issues subside.  Houston should be better in Chicago.  Robison and Bryant are solid vets, while Branch and Selvie are contributing youngsters.  This position might be one of my team’s strengths.

LBs- Derrick Johnson, CJ Mosely, D’Qwell Jackson, Bruce Carter, Ahmad Brooks, Jadeveon Clowney, Connor Barwin, Vincent Rey, Preston Brown (start three to four)

This was my other bloody position of need.  Johnson and Jackson are both solid veteran linebackers.  Mosely and Clowney were early draft picks.  I traded my 3.13 rookie pick for Bruce Carter just to get a few decent bodies on my team. I used the waiver wire for Barwin, Rey, and Brown.  While I feel a lot better about this position, it will take me a few more trades and/or rookie drafts to get this area beefed up.

CBs- Brandon Boykin, Brandon Carr, Joe Haden, and Jonathan Joseph (start two)

They are corner backs. I feel almost as strongly about them as I do kickers. The two reserve ones play on powerful offenses, so they could see a lot of targets.  Haden and Joseph are two of the best at their position and might see less attention than they have in the past.

Ss- Barry Church, Kenny Vaccaro, TJ Ward, Donte Whitner (start two)

With the Dallas linebacker core smashed again, I expect Church to be a top two option for tackles.  Vaccaro is a young stud who played injured for much of last season and still produced.  Ward and Whitner both get an upgrade with their change of scenery.  This would be my second position of strength on this team.

League outlook: I see a middle of the pack finish.

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    • Paul
    • Posted July 13, 2014 at 6:24 PM
    • Permalink

    Gio for Matthews and M Wilson?????

    I’d see if I could go steal from that guy again if I were you!!

    • Most important, know your scroing system within your league. Example, a QB is less valuable in a league that credits him with 3 points per TD and 1 point per 50 yards thrown as opposed to a league that credits him with 6 points per TD and 1 point per 25 yards thrown. Don’t assume that the stats from a prior year are going to carry over to the next season. Older running backs that saw a lot of work in the prior year have a tendency to slow down or get injured. Major personnel moves on the offensive line may affect offensive players, particularly RBs and QBs. The loss of two to three key defensive players will affect a defense.Factor in injuries from the prior season. Especially for running backs. Major injuries may cause a decline for at least the first half, if not the entire season for a player. A guy like Ronnie Brown is someone that I’m very cautious about this year.Pass on rookie WRs and QBs. They very rarely do well, and in the case of QBs usually don’t even start. Rookie RBs can do well, but look at the teams that drafted them to see if they’re going to end up in the dreaded RBBC (running back by committee).Factor in player movement. A good example was Edge James going from Indy to Arizona. His yards per carry, receiving yards, and touchdowns have dropped in 2006 and 2007 as opposed to his last three years 2003-2005 with the Colts. His value is definitely down in a Cardinals uniform.Most people use a formula for drafting like RB RB QB or RB RB WR, etc. I don’t. Based on expected points per game, I factor in prior seasons, personnel moves, and whether I think that player can repeat; I’ll draft the best player available. I typically draft a RB in the first round, but if the seven RB’s on my short list are gone, I’d take Brady if he’s still there or Moss. I’m more likely to take two RBs and two WRs in the first four rounds. I’ve typically waited to draft a QB until round 5. I will skip drafting a QB in round 5 or even beyond if I can’t find one that I think is a value pick for that round. Every season, you can typically find a guy like Derek Anderson on the FA list for last year. I drafted Tony Romo in Round 8 last year. Guys like Tom Brady were FA pick ups in 2001, Kurt Warner in 1999, Matt Hasselbeck in 2002. Derek Anderson, Jay Cutler, Kurt Warner, and Jon Kitna were all FA pick ups in my league last year. Its good to have a plan like RB RB WR, or RB WR RB; but don’t take a player based solely on position if you know he’s not a good value at that spot and have reason to believe you can pick that same player or a comparable one in a later round.Defenses are pretty similar to QBs, in that you can usually wait and draft a good one in the later rounds or pick up a good one off the FA list. Its true that there are usually 2-3 DEF that stand out above the rest, but there were easily more than 12 teams that logged over 75 combined sacks, fumble recoveries, and interceptions. You can also rotate your defense to whoever is playing a weak offense that week. I played with a guy last year that employed the strategy of adding and dropping defenses to start whoever was playing either SF, Buffalo, Atlanta, St Louis, Miami, or the Jets last season. At least one of those teams opponents was available on the FA list every week.I draft a kicker with the last pick in the draft. With your last pick, it makes it easy to drop the guy for someone else without hesitating. I drafted Nick Folk in the last round who ended up finishing fourth among kickers. Other top ten guys like Bironas and Phil Dawson were on the FA list over the course of the season.The other position I place a lower priority on is TE. After Gonzalez, Winslow, and Gates; the rest in the top 12 are fairly close in points per game. I picked Donald Lee of the FA list last year. He finished 9th in yards, and tied for 6th in TDs among tight ends.

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