Draft Slots Study - 12 Teams / Pick 1.01
By Chris Smith
June 30th, 2010

One of the more interesting fantasy football discussions every new season is on the positives and negatives for each of the draft slots. While I believe it is possible to win a league no matter where you draft from, it is obvious to the veteran fantasy owner that there are certain advantages to drafting in some positions. In addition, there are some pratfalls to avoid in certain fantasy draft slots. This first series of draft slot articles will take an in-depth look at each of the twelve draft positions in a 12-team, redraft fantasy football league and outline the positives and negatives of each slot. In addition each separate article will showcase a mock draft compiled using Footballguys legendary Draft Dominator.

After this series is complete, I will try to break down many other styles of leagues (14-team, 16-team, 8-team, FLEX options, etc.)

This particular series is based on...

  • 12-team redraft league / 18-round fantasy draft
  • Must start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE
  • Scoring is as follows:
  • 1 point every 20 passing yards
  • 1 point every 10 rushing yards
  • 4 points per passing touchdown
  • 6 points per rushing / receiving touchdown
  • 3 points per field goal / 1 point per extra point
  • 2 points per interception, fumble recovery and safety
  • 1 point per sack
  • 6 points per defensive touchdown
  • 10 points per shutout
  • This study is performed using the mock draft function within our own Draft Dominator software. The program gives you the ability to draft for one team and have the other teams taken over by computer control using different ADP lists. For the purpose of this study, I will use David Dodds' projections found within the Dominator. The mock draft ability of the Dominator is a nice way to prepare for your fantasy draft. Running the same draft several times will help you to anticipate all possible scenarios when your own draft arrives. Check it out today.

    If you would like to see a particular study this season, please send me an e-mail at smith@footballguys.com, and I will do my best to cover your scoring rules, starting lineup requirements, etc. before the end of training camp.

    Drafting 1st overall (12-team re-draft)

    It is always a nice luxury to draft first overall. Not only do you pickup the top running back on your list but you also get three of the top twenty-five players on your draft board, building a strong foundation for the team. There is no real need to reach with this slot as there will always be good talent available. After picking up a running back with the first pick, simply take the best two players when the next picks come around and then begin to adjust your draft strategy to solidify a strong starting lineup.

    Possible strategies to incorporate into your draft

    There are many different paths to take with the 1st overall pick. We will illustrate two of the paths in the examples below. In a nutshell though, take the best three players on the draft board to begin the draft and your squad will be in a great position to do well this year.

    Examples

    1. League that goes RB heavy in first two rounds: Many leagues out there still feature running backs flying off the board in the first two rounds. If this is similar to your own league, an owner drafting first overall is in a wonderful position to succeed. When his 2nd / 3rd round picks come around, simply take the best two players still on your board and despite having only one running back, this team will look incredibly strong to begin the draft.

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • QB Peyton Manning, 3.01
  • RB Chris Johnson, 1.01
  • RB LeSean McCoy, 5.01
  • WR Reggie Wayne, 2.12
  • WR Anquan Boldin, 4.12
  • In this example, 17 running backs flew off fast and furious in the first two rounds. An inexperienced / ill-prepared owner here may panic and follow the trend, picking up at least one running back here. However, starting the draft off with the top running back allows an owner to practice patience here. Picking up a top-two quarterback and top-five receiver really builds a strong foundation for the squad to thrive. Having the Manning to Wayne combo is especially interesting as both will rack up huge yardage and touchdowns. Waiting on running back worked out well with a strong RB2 available in round five.

    2. League that has more flexibility in first two rounds: If your league has more flexibility in the top include the best quarterbacks and receivers off the board, then a more conventional approach is in order.

    Possible squad through five rounds

  • RB Chris Johnson, 1.01
  • RB DeAngelo Williams, 2.12
  • RB Chris Wells, 3.01
  • WR Anquan Boldin, 4.12
  • WR Michael Crabtree, 5.01
  • In this example, many of the teams opt for strong quarterbacks and top receiver talent. When the 2nd and 3rd round picks arrive, two strong running backs are available and team up with Johnson to give outstanding running back depth and talent to this team. There are still good receivers available in the 4th and 5th rounds and the end result is a very powerful squad through five rounds.

    Positives of the draft slot

  • Drafting the top player on your draft board
  • Already having top running back means owner can simply take best available players in rounds 2/3
  • Smart drafting will help owner remain ahead of the curve throughout the entire draft
  • Negatives of the draft slot

  • Very long time between picks
  • Can watch big positional runs leave the cupboards empty between picks
  • Final Draft Table

    Pick
    Pos
    Player Selected
    Team
    Selected By
    01.01
    RB1
    Chris Johnson
    Ten/9
    Draft Slots Study 1
    01.02
    RB2
    Adrian Peterson
    Min/4
    Consensus 1
    01.03
    RB3
    Maurice Jones-Drew
    Jac/9
    Expert 1
    01.04
    RB4
    Ray Rice
    Bal/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    01.05
    QB1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/10
    Mock Draft Central 1
    01.06
    QB2
    Drew Brees
    NO/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    01.07
    WR1
    Andre Johnson
    Hou/7
    Magazine Average 1
    01.08
    RB5
    Frank Gore
    SF/9
    Magazine Average 2
    01.09
    RB6
    Steven Jackson
    StL/9
    CBS Sportsline 2
    01.10
    WR2
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Ari/6
    Mock Draft Central 2
    01.11
    WR3
    Randy Moss
    NE/5
    My Fantasy League 2
    01.12
    WR4
    Miles Austin
    Dal/4
    Expert 2
    02.01
    RB7
    Rashard Mendenhall
    Pit/5
    Expert 2
    02.02
    QB3
    Peyton Manning
    Ind/7
    My Fantasy League 2
    02.03
    WR5
    Roddy White
    Atl/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    02.04
    WR6
    Reggie Wayne
    Ind/7
    CBS Sportsline 2
    02.05
    RB8
    Michael Turner
    Atl/8
    Magazine Average 2
    02.06
    QB4
    Tony Romo
    Dal/4
    Magazine Average 1
    02.07
    RB9
    Ryan Grant
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    02.08
    WR7
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/8
    Mock Draft Central 1
    02.09
    WR8
    Greg Jennings
    GB/10
    My Fantasy League 1
    02.10
    WR9
    Sidney Rice
    Min/4
    Expert 1
    02.11
    WR10
    Marques Colston
    NO/10
    Consensus 1
    02.12
    RB11
    DeAngelo Williams
    Car/6
    Draft Slots Study 1
    03.01
    WR11
    Calvin Johnson
    Det/7
    Draft Slots Study 1
    03.02
    QB5
    Philip Rivers
    SD/10
    Consensus 1
    03.03
    QB6
    Matt Schaub
    Hou/7
    Expert 1
    03.04
    RB10
    Chris Wells
    Ari/6
    My Fantasy League 1
    03.05
    RB12
    Knowshon Moreno
    Den/9
    Mock Draft Central 1
    03.06
    RB13
    Cedric Benson
    Cin/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    03.07
    RB14
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/7
    Magazine Average 1
    03.08
    QB7
    Tom Brady
    NE/5
    Magazine Average 2
    03.09
    RB15
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/10
    CBS Sportsline 2
    03.10
    WR12
    Chad Ochocinco
    Cin/6
    Mock Draft Central 2
    03.11
    WR13
    Steve Smith
    NYG/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    03.12
    RB16
    Jonathan Stewart
    Car/6
    Expert 2
    04.01
    WR14
    Vincent Jackson
    SD/10
    Expert 2
    04.02
    RB17
    Ryan Mathews
    SD/10
    My Fantasy League 2
    04.03
    RB18
    Felix Jones
    Dal/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    04.04
    WR15
    Brandon Marshall
    Mia/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    04.05
    WR16
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/8
    Magazine Average 2
    04.06
    TE1
    Antonio Gates
    SD/10
    Magazine Average 1
    04.07
    WR17
    Steve Smith
    Car/6
    CBS Sportsline 1
    04.08
    WR18
    Hines Ward
    Pit/5
    Mock Draft Central 1
    04.09
    WR19
    Percy Harvin
    Min/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    04.10
    RB19
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/4
    Expert 1
    04.11
    RB20
    Joseph Addai
    Ind/7
    Consensus 1
    04.12
    WR21
    Anquan Boldin
    Bal/8
    Draft Slots Study 1
    05.01
    WR23
    Michael Crabtree
    SF/9
    Draft Slots Study 1
    05.02
    RB21
    Jahvid Best
    Det/7
    Consensus 1
    05.03
    RB22
    LeSean McCoy
    Phi/8
    Expert 1
    05.04
    RB23
    Ronnie Brown
    Mia/5
    My Fantasy League 1
    05.05
    RB24
    Reggie Bush
    NO/10
    Mock Draft Central 1
    05.06
    WR20
    Robert Meachem
    NO/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    05.07
    RB25
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    NYG/8
    Magazine Average 1
    05.08
    RB26
    Ricky Williams
    Mia/5
    Magazine Average 2
    05.09
    RB27
    Justin Forsett
    Sea/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    05.10
    RB28
    Cadillac Williams
    TB/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    05.11
    RB29
    Michael Bush
    Oak/10
    My Fantasy League 2
    05.12
    WR22
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/5
    Expert 2
    06.01
    QB8
    Kevin Kolb
    Phi/8
    Expert 2
    06.02
    WR24
    Mike Sims-Walker
    Jac/9
    My Fantasy League 2
    06.03
    QB9
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    06.04
    QB10
    Eli Manning
    NYG/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    06.05
    WR25
    Dwayne Bowe
    KC/4
    Magazine Average 2
    06.06
    RB30
    Brandon Jacobs
    NYG/8
    Magazine Average 1
    06.07
    TE2
    Jermichael Finley
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    06.08
    RB31
    Clinton Portis
    Was/9
    Mock Draft Central 1
    06.09
    QB11
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    06.10
    TE3
    Vernon Davis
    SF/9
    Expert 1
    06.11
    TE4
    Dallas Clark
    Ind/7
    Consensus 1
    06.12
    RB32
    Jerome Harrison
    Cle/8
    Draft Slots Study 1
    07.01
    TE6
    Jason Witten
    Dal/4
    Draft Slots Study 1
    07.02
    TE5
    Tony Gonzalez
    Atl/8
    Consensus 1
    07.03
    WR26
    Lee Evans
    Buf/6
    Expert 1
    07.04
    QB12
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    07.05
    TE7
    Brent Celek
    Phi/8
    Mock Draft Central 1
    07.06
    RB33
    Chester Taylor
    Chi/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    07.07
    RB34
    Fred Jackson
    Buf/6
    Magazine Average 1
    07.08
    RB35
    LaDainian Tomlinson
    NYJ/7
    Magazine Average 2
    07.09
    RB36
    Darren Sproles
    SD/10
    CBS Sportsline 2
    07.10
    RB37
    Laurence Maroney
    NE/5
    Mock Draft Central 2
    07.11
    RB38
    Tim Hightower
    Ari/6
    My Fantasy League 2
    07.12
    RB39
    Matt Forte
    Chi/8
    Expert 2
    08.01
    RB40
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/6
    Expert 2
    08.02
    WR27
    Jeremy Maclin
    Phi/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    08.03
    QB13
    Brett Favre
    Min/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    08.04
    WR28
    Jabar Gaffney
    Den/9
    CBS Sportsline 2
    08.05
    QB14
    Donovan McNabb
    Was/9
    Magazine Average 2
    08.06
    WR29
    Steve Breaston
    Ari/6
    Magazine Average 1
    08.07
    WR30
    Santana Moss
    Was/9
    CBS Sportsline 1
    08.08
    RB41
    Willis McGahee
    Bal/8
    Mock Draft Central 1
    08.09
    WR31
    Devin Hester
    Chi/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    08.10
    WR32
    Derrick Mason
    Bal/8
    Expert 1
    08.11
    WR33
    Donald Driver
    GB/10
    Consensus 1
    08.12
    RB45
    Marion Barber
    Dal/4
    Draft Slots Study 1
    09.01
    WR34
    T.J. Houshmandzadeh
    Sea/5
    Draft Slots Study 1
    09.02
    WR35
    Jerricho Cotchery
    NYJ/7
    Consensus 1
    09.03
    WR36
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/4
    Expert 1
    09.04
    TE8
    Kellen Winslow
    TB/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    09.05
    RB42
    Donald Brown
    Ind/7
    Mock Draft Central 1
    09.06
    WR37
    Malcom Floyd
    SD/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    09.07
    WR38
    Devin Thomas
    Was/9
    Magazine Average 1
    09.08
    WR39
    Braylon Edwards
    NYJ/7
    Magazine Average 2
    09.09
    WR40
    Mohamed Massaquoi
    Cle/8
    CBS Sportsline 2
    09.10
    RB43
    Correll Buckhalter
    Den/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    09.11
    RB44
    Darren McFadden
    Oak/10
    My Fantasy League 2
    09.12
    TE9
    Heath Miller
    Pit/5
    Expert 2
    10.01
    DEF1
    New York Jets
    NYJ/7
    Expert 2
    10.02
    DEF2
    Philadelphia
    Phi/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    10.03
    TE10
    Zach Miller
    Oak/10
    Mock Draft Central 2
    10.04
    TE11
    Chris Cooley
    Was/9
    CBS Sportsline 2
    10.05
    WR41
    Anthony Gonzalez
    Ind/7
    Magazine Average 2
    10.06
    WR42
    Eddie Royal
    Den/9
    Magazine Average 1
    10.07
    WR43
    Johnny Knox
    Chi/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    10.08
    WR44
    Kenny Britt
    Ten/9
    Mock Draft Central 1
    10.09
    WR45
    Donnie Avery
    StL/9
    My Fantasy League 1
    10.10
    RB46
    Ben Tate
    Hou/7
    Expert 1
    10.11
    WR46
    Chris Chambers
    KC/4
    Consensus 1
    10.12
    QB15
    Alex Smith
    SF/9
    Draft Slots Study 1
    11.01
    DEF3
    Baltimore
    Bal/8
    Draft Slots Study 1
    11.02
    QB16
    David Garrard
    Jac/9
    Consensus 1
    11.03
    QB17
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/7
    Expert 1
    11.04
    WR47
    Santonio Holmes
    NYJ/7
    My Fantasy League 1
    11.05
    QB18
    Vince Young
    Ten/9
    Mock Draft Central 1
    11.06
    QB19
    Chad Henne
    Mia/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    11.07
    QB20
    Carson Palmer
    Cin/6
    Magazine Average 1
    11.08
    TE12
    Owen Daniels
    Hou/7
    Magazine Average 2
    11.09
    QB21
    Mark Sanchez
    NYJ/7
    CBS Sportsline 2
    11.10
    RB47
    Thomas Jones
    KC/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    11.11
    RB48
    Steve Slaton
    Hou/7
    My Fantasy League 2
    11.12
    WR48
    Antonio Bryant
    Cin/6
    Expert 2
    12.01
    TE13
    Visanthe Shiancoe
    Min/4
    Expert 2
    12.02
    TE14
    John Carlson
    Sea/5
    My Fantasy League 2
    12.03
    WR49
    Josh Cribbs
    Cle/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    12.04
    DEF4
    Minnesota
    Min/4
    CBS Sportsline 2
    12.05
    TE15
    Jeremy Shockey
    NO/10
    Magazine Average 2
    12.06
    DEF5
    San Francisco
    SF/9
    Magazine Average 1
    12.07
    DEF6
    Green Bay
    GB/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    12.08
    WR50
    Mike Thomas
    Jac/9
    Mock Draft Central 1
    12.09
    DEF7
    Miami
    Mia/5
    My Fantasy League 1
    12.10
    WR51
    Nate Washington
    Ten/9
    Expert 1
    12.11
    WR52
    Jacoby Jones
    Hou/7
    Consensus 1
    12.12
    QB27
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/5
    Draft Slots Study 1
    13.01
    RB50
    Leon Washington
    Sea/5
    Draft Slots Study 1
    13.02
    RB49
    Derrick Ward
    TB/4
    Consensus 1
    13.03
    TE16
    Dustin Keller
    NYJ/7
    Expert 1
    13.04
    TE17
    Greg Olsen
    Chi/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    13.05
    WR53
    Mario Manningham
    NYG/8
    Mock Draft Central 1
    13.06
    RB51
    Kevin Faulk
    NE/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    13.07
    RB52
    Arian Foster
    Hou/7
    Magazine Average 1
    13.08
    WR54
    Devery Henderson
    NO/10
    Magazine Average 2
    13.09
    WR55
    Nate Burleson
    Det/7
    CBS Sportsline 2
    13.10
    RB53
    Larry Johnson
    Was/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    13.11
    RB54
    Toby Gerhart
    Min/4
    My Fantasy League 2
    13.12
    RB55
    Jason Snelling
    Atl/8
    Expert 2
    14.01
    WR56
    Kevin Walter
    Hou/7
    Expert 2
    14.02
    WR57
    Arrelious Benn
    TB/4
    My Fantasy League 2
    14.03
    WR58
    Michael Jenkins
    Atl/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    14.04
    DEF8
    Dallas
    Dal/4
    CBS Sportsline 2
    14.05
    WR59
    Brian Hartline
    Mia/5
    Magazine Average 2
    14.06
    WR60
    Pierre Garcon
    Ind/7
    Magazine Average 1
    14.07
    RB56
    Fred Taylor
    NE/5
    CBS Sportsline 1
    14.08
    WR61
    Golden Tate
    Sea/5
    Mock Draft Central 1
    14.09
    RB57
    Leonard Weaver
    Phi/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    14.10
    WR62
    Laurent Robinson
    StL/9
    Expert 1
    14.11
    WR63
    Louis Murphy
    Oak/10
    Consensus 1
    14.12
    WR72
    Demaryius Thomas
    Den/9
    Draft Slots Study 1
    15.01
    WR68
    Julian Edelman
    NE/5
    Draft Slots Study 1
    15.02
    PK1
    Mason Crosby
    GB/10
    Consensus 1
    15.03
    PK2
    Nate Kaeding
    SD/10
    Expert 1
    15.04
    WR64
    Dexter McCluster
    KC/4
    My Fantasy League 1
    15.05
    WR65
    Austin Collie
    Ind/7
    Mock Draft Central 1
    15.06
    RB58
    Kevin Smith
    Det/7
    CBS Sportsline 1
    15.07
    WR66
    Josh Morgan
    SF/9
    Magazine Average 1
    15.08
    WR67
    Devin Aromashodu
    Chi/8
    Magazine Average 2
    15.09
    QB22
    Josh Freeman
    TB/4
    CBS Sportsline 2
    15.10
    DEF9
    Chicago
    Chi/8
    Mock Draft Central 2
    15.11
    QB23
    Matt Cassel
    KC/4
    My Fantasy League 2
    15.12
    RB59
    Sammy Morris
    NE/5
    Expert 2
    16.01
    QB24
    Kyle Orton
    Den/9
    Expert 2
    16.02
    QB25
    Matt Leinart
    Ari/6
    My Fantasy League 2
    16.03
    DEF10
    Tennessee
    Ten/9
    Mock Draft Central 2
    16.04
    PK3
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/5
    CBS Sportsline 2
    16.05
    DEF11
    Pittsburgh
    Pit/5
    Magazine Average 2
    16.06
    RB60
    Montario Hardesty
    Cle/8
    Magazine Average 1
    16.07
    DEF12
    San Diego
    SD/10
    CBS Sportsline 1
    16.08
    DEF13
    New York Giants
    NYG/8
    Mock Draft Central 1
    16.09
    RB61
    Bernard Scott
    Cin/6
    My Fantasy League 1
    16.10
    RB62
    Brandon Jackson
    GB/10
    Expert 1
    16.11
    WR69
    Bernard Berrian
    Min/4
    Consensus 1
    16.12
    PK5
    Garrett Hartley
    NO/10
    Draft Slots Study 1
    17.01
    DEF16
    New England
    NE/5
    Draft Slots Study 1
    17.02
    QB26
    Jason Campbell
    Oak/10
    Consensus 1
    17.03
    RB63
    Jerious Norwood
    Atl/8
    Expert 1
    17.04
    RB64
    Mike Bell
    Phi/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    17.05
    RB65
    Javon Ringer
    Ten/9
    Mock Draft Central 1
    17.06
    RB66
    Tashard Choice
    Dal/4
    CBS Sportsline 1
    17.07
    RB67
    Marshawn Lynch
    Buf/6
    Magazine Average 1
    17.08
    PK4
    David Akers
    Phi/8
    Magazine Average 2
    17.09
    PK6
    Ryan Longwell
    Min/4
    CBS Sportsline 2
    17.10
    RB68
    Mewelde Moore
    Pit/5
    Mock Draft Central 2
    17.11
    RB69
    Rashad Jennings
    Jac/9
    My Fantasy League 2
    17.12
    RB70
    LeRon McClain
    Bal/8
    Expert 2
    18.01
    PK7
    Nick Folk
    NYJ/7
    Expert 2
    18.02
    PK8
    Lawrence Tynes
    NYG/8
    My Fantasy League 2
    18.03
    PK9
    David Buehler
    Dal/4
    Mock Draft Central 2
    18.04
    RB71
    Brian Leonard
    Cin/6
    CBS Sportsline 2
    18.05
    RB72
    Lynell Hamilton
    NO/10
    Magazine Average 2
    18.06
    PK10
    Billy Cundiff
    Bal/8
    Magazine Average 1
    18.07
    PK11
    Robbie Gould
    Chi/8
    CBS Sportsline 1
    18.08
    PK12
    Neil Rackers
    Hou/7
    Mock Draft Central 1
    18.09
    PK13
    Steve Hauschka
    Atl/8
    My Fantasy League 1
    18.10
    DEF14
    Carolina
    Car/6
    Expert 1
    18.11
    DEF15
    Arizona
    Ari/6
    Consensus 1
    18.12
    QB33
    Byron Leftwich
    Pit/5
    Draft Slots Study 1

    Breaking down the mock draft from the 1st draft position

    Round 1: RB Chris Johnson, Tennessee

    Has emerged as the top running back in the NFL today. In terms of possible fantasy numbers, he is a monster.

    Round 2: RB DeAngelo Williams, Carolina

    Although he shares time at the running back position, Williams has the potential to put up monster fantasy numbers and is a steal at the end of the 2nd round. He teams up with Johnson to give this squad a young, dynamic pair at running back.

    Round 3: WR Calvin Johnson, Detroit

    There are multiple good options here to be selected. An owner could look at QB Philip Rivers who is likely a top-five fantasy quarterback or a solid 3rd running back option such as Chris Wells. However one player stands out here with the potential to become an elite fantasy option and is worth the risk here. Calvin Johnson has all the tools to be an elite player and with 2nd-year QB Matthew Stafford now with experience under his belt, Johnson may explode for the Lions in 2010.

    Round 4: WR Anquan Boldin, Baltimore

    I do consider a 3rd running back here with a number of decent options but landing a Boldin with the 48th pick is huge. With Boldin, you know he is likely to miss a few games due to injury each year but also that he'll catch a ton of passes and be a good fantasy option for a fantasy team. As a 2nd receiver, he is a great pickup.

    Round 5: WR Michael Crabtree, San Francisco

    Again, it is tempting to go running back here but to win a title, you need to take chances. The Crabtree-Calvin Johnson duo at receiver could become an unstoppable force for my roster in 2010 as both have massive potential to put up numbers. If the risk pays off, this squad could find itself with two 1400 receiving yards / 10+ touchdown receivers.

    Round 6: RB Jerome Henderson, Cleveland

    With my starting two running backs and three receivers on board, I consider going quarterback here. However the only real intriguing player is Joe Flacco and he simply is not appealing enough to take him in the 6th round. Instead I opt for a good 3rd option at running back in Jerome Henderson who emerged as a threat last season. He'll provide good depth and has a different bye week than the two starters.

    Round 7: TE Jason Witten, Dallas

    Like I said in round six, I do consider quarterback but Witten is too good of a tight end to pass up here. His addition gives the roster true strength at three positions in the fantasy league and provides stability at tight end.

    Round 8: RB Marion Barber, Dallas

    My plan here is to take a quarterback but looking at the draft board, I believe there is a really strong chance to sit on the position and instead pick up more running back and receiver depth here. Marion Barber was a top-two round pick last year and is a bargain in the eighth round. He'll share time in Dallas but is a good option as RB4 and has a different bye week than my other three running backs

    Round 9: WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seattle

    Houshmandzadeh should be a good veteran fit on the squad and be a reliable starter when he is called upon. A good depth player. I'll have to see if waiting on the quarterback position will pay off but it is a risk worth taking in my opinion.

    At the halfway point of the draft, our team looks like this...

    Quarterbacks

  • none
  • Running Backs

  • Chris Johnson, Tennessee - 9
  • DeAngelo Williams, Carolina - 6
  • Jerome Harrison, Cleveland -8
  • Marion Barber, Dallas – 4
  • Wide Receivers

  • Calvin Johnson, Detroit – 7
  • Anquan Boldin, Baltimore – 8
  • Michael Crabtree, San Francisco – 9
  • T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seattle – 5
  • Tight Ends

  • Jason Witten, Dallas – 4
  • Place Kickers

  • none
  • Defenses

  • none
  • Love how this squad is coming together. Excellent running back and receiver talent and depth with a tremendous receiver tight end option thrown in as well. If the risky move of waiting on a quarterback pays off in the rounds ahead, this team will be a strong contender for the title. One of the best areas of this team is the bye week breakdown. Both running back and receiver positions have no conflicts in terms of bye weeks in 2010.

    Rounds 10-14: QB Alex Smith, San Francisco / DEF Baltimore Ravens / QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh / RB Leon Washington, Seattle, WR Demaryius Thomas, Denver

    In the tenth round it is time to pickup a quarterback and Alex Smith fits the bill nicely. He has turned the corner and has the offensive talent around him to surprise this season. I do consider taking a 2nd quarterback with the back-to-back picks but have a strong feeling Roethlisberger will slide one more round which he does. He is a top-ten fantasy quarterback who will start most weeks for me when he returns from suspension. Adding more depth with Washington and Thomas here is nice with both having potential to surprise with some nice numbers in 2010.

    Rounds 15-18: WR Julian Edelman, New England / PK Garrett Hartley / DEF New England Patriots / QB Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh

    Land my starting kicker, a great 2nd option on defense, more strong receiver depth with upside in Edelman and land Leftwich with the final pick and he'll help bridge the gap between the start of the season and when Roethlisberger returns.

    Final Roster (Draft Slot #1)

    Quarterbacks

  • Alex Smith, San Francisco – 9
  • Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh – 5
  • Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh - 5
  • Running Backs

  • Chris Johnson, Tennessee - 9
  • DeAngelo Williams, Carolina - 6
  • Jerome Harrison, Cleveland -8
  • Marion Barber, Dallas - 4
  • Leon Washington, Seattle - 5
  • Wide Receivers

  • Calvin Johnson, Detroit – 7
  • Anquan Boldin, Baltimore – 8
  • Michael Crabtree, San Francisco – 9
  • T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seattle – 5
  • Demaryius Thomas, Denver – 9
  • Julian Edelman, New England - 5
  • Tight Ends

  • Jason Witten, Dallas – 4
  • Place Kickers

  • Garrett Hartley, New Orleans - 10
  • Defenses

  • Baltimore Ravens – 8
  • New England Patriots - 10
  • Final thoughts on this roster

    This roster is looking very strong as the draft comes to a close. Potential concerns is the lack of a backup tight end behind Witten and a quarterback stable that will have some question marks heading into the season. The running back and receiver positions are definitely areas of strength on the team as our the kicker and team defensive slots. All in all, this team is a contender that has a real chance to win the title in 2010. If young receivers Johnson, Crabtree, Thomas and Edelman develop into strong options in 2010, this squad will be very difficult to knock off.

    Last thoughts on the 1st draft slot in a 12-team league

    Drafting first overall is always a great spot to be in when it comes to redrafts. With three of the top twenty-five players including the top running back, smart drafting will result in a dynamic, explosive fantasy roster. Stay flexible, let the draft unfold without preconceived notions of which position to take when and you'll finish up with a strong, capable fantasy team after the draft and heading into the season.

    Good luck and happy drafting!