Represented Fantasy Index in my first experts draft of the season over the weekend. Those fantasy football preview magazines you see on the newsstands in July (including ours) have to go to print in early June, so May is the time for experts drafts. We're not allowed to discuss the entire thing, but we can talk about our own team. So here goes.
The draft was for Lindy's Sports, a 12-team league, half-point PPR. I drew the 2nd drafting position. Gotta say I'm a fan, since you don't have to think too much about it (in my early opinion). Take Todd Gurley if he's there, take LeVeon Bell if Gurley goes No. 1. I suppose some will think about either David Johnson or Ezekiel Elliott, or maybe some crazy people will draft Saquon Barkley. I took Bell.
The other thing I like about the early draft spot is you can go either running back or wide receiver with your second pick, then take the other one in the third. As the draft inched its way back to me, it looked like Keenan Allen might be there. He wasn't, and there was a similarity to the wide receivers still there, so I took Jerick McKinnon. I think I've said before I have some reservations, but he was the 14th running back off the board and higher in our rankings, with three-down likelihood in what should be a good offense.
Took our highest remaining wide receiver in the third with Amari Cooper. Jon Gruden is talking about heavy involvement and I'm not a fan of any of the team's other receivers -- any of them.
When my fourth-round pick finally rolled around I raced to the podium to select Marvin Jones. I don't know exactly what more Jones needs to do to gain some respect in fantasy league, but if he's available in the fourth round this year, drafted after the likes of Alshon Jeffery and Brandin Cooks to name but a couple, I guess I'm going to have him on a lot of teams. Again. Since it worked out great for us financially a year ago, that's a-OK with me.
See a few experts drafts and you quickly realize that nobody wants to be the first to draft a quarterback. At 5.02, I would have swallowed my pride and selected Aaron Rodgers, but he went at 5.01. So I drafted Dion Lewis. Initial Index rankings would have warranted selecting him a round or so earlier, and ahead of Derrick Henry (who went in the middle of the fourth). So there's a sneak peek of a guy the rest of the world might not be as high on as us.
With three good running backs in a two-start league, the next few rounds were filled with receivers for Fantasy Index. Emmanuel Sanders, Cooper Kupp, Kyle Rudolph. I'm not a huge Rudolph fan but he was the 9th tight end drafted and ranked a few spots higher on our board.
The way the draft went I could have waited another five or six rounds and STILL got one of our top 6 or 7 quarterbacks. But I didn't know that at the time, so I selected Philip Rivers in the ninth. I later drafted Jameis Winston as a backup. And although you should never draft three quarterbacks in a 16-round draft that only starts one, I like to take shots on high-upside guys in the final round, and with Andrew Luck just sitting there, what was I to do? Maybe in August I can make a mock trade if Luck is healthy. Full disclosure though, I selected Luck in a late round a year ago, too, and that was a complete waste of time. Fool me once...
The remainder of the draft was largely fliers, with people liking different players. I did get sniped on Dolphins rookie running back Kalen Ballage in the 15th round, of all places, so I should have grabbed him a round earlier. My late picks included Tarik Cohen, Calvin Ridley and Tyler Lockett.
A note about my second tight end, selected in the 13th round. Jack Doyle. I am aware the Colts signed Eric Ebron, but am not clear what Ebron has done or will ever do that makes anyone think he's a threat to Doyle's job.
Our own experts draft will be held this week; auction too. Will be interesting to see how things are the same, or different. And what kinds of things will change between now and August.