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Andy Richardson

Best-Ball Draft

First eight rounds, from the 12 spot

I'm participating in an ongoing slow draft these days. It's an FFPC best-ball league, PPR scoring, 1 QB and TE-premium (1.5 points per reception for that position). I drew the 12th spot, which I've decided kind of sucks this year, but at least I get back to back picks.

Last year the 12th spot seemed OK; I won a league from there. Looking at players this year, it feels like the players you select outside the first eight picks or so are pretty similar all the way through the end of the second round. So the result is I'm taking a guy at 2.01 who I don't think is much different than the guy at 2.10, and the guys with early picks might be getting 3 of the top 20 players (in my opinion) while I'm getting only two. But whatever; the middle and late-round picks are sometimes the ones that win leagues, too.

We're a few days into this draft (2-hour clock), and I thought I'd present the first eight rounds. Couple days from now I'll show the next eight, etc. Not that your drafts will go just like this one, but at least it gives a sense of how 12 random coaches view the players. My picks are in bold.

1.01Christian McCaffreyRB
1.02CeeDee LambWR
1.03Bijan RobinsonRB
1.04Breece HallRB
1.05Amon-Ra St. BrownWR
1.06Tyreek HillWR
1.07Ja'Marr ChaseWR
1.08Justin JeffersonWR
1.09Jahmyr GibbsRB
1.10Jonathan TaylorRB
1.11Garrett WilsonWR
1.12Puka NacuaWR
2.01Derrick HenryRB
2.02Sam LaPortaTE
2.03Chris OlaveWR
2.04Saquon BarkleyRB
2.05A.J. BrownWR
2.06Travis KelceTE
2.07Drake LondonWR
2.08Kyren WilliamsRB
2.09Marvin HarrisonWR
2.10Davante AdamsWR
2.11Trey McBrideTE
2.12Nico CollinsWR

The first round looks more or less in line with how a lot of first rounds are going. Sometimes Barkley and A.J. Brown are going there. I think it highlights how little separation there is between the late first and early second, and arguably mid- and late second.

We've got Puka in the top 6 wide receivers, and I was very glad to get him at 1.12. I like Garrett Wilson fine, I'm just uncertain about Aaron Rodgers staying healthy. Brown would have been my next choice (the Olave selection is a head-scratcher to me). At 2.01, I considered Brown and also LaPorta, given the TE-premium nature. But I opted for Henry, very comfortable in him having a big season in Baltimore. They don't necessarily have a good option for No. 2, Lamar doesn't actually steal many rushing touchdowns, etc. That being said, when I saw the running backs who were still there at 3.12 and 4.01, I think I might have been better off taking another position, since I would have been content with two of those backs. Oh well.

3.01Stefon DiggsWR
3.02Mark AndrewsTE
3.03Brandon AiyukWR
3.04Dalton KincaidTE
3.05Michael PittmanWR
3.06Travis EtienneRB
3.07Malik NabersWR
3.08De'Von AchaneRB
3.09Evan EngramTE
3.10DK MetcalfWR
3.11Rachaad WhiteRB
3.12Isiah PachecoRB
4.01DeVonta SmithWR
4.02James CookRB
4.03Kyle PittsTE
4.04George KittleTE
4.05Jalen HurtsQB
4.06Mike EvansWR
4.07Josh AllenQB
4.08Deebo SamuelWR
4.09Jaylen WaddleWR
4.10DJ MooreWR
4.11Patrick MahomesQB
4.12Cooper KuppWR

Same team took Diggs and Nico, a decent bet-hedge in best-ball leagues. I think Nico was a value and Diggs a reach, personally. Speaking of reaches, Malik Nabers at 3.07 is a pick only Malik's mother could love, so I guess she's in this draft. Nabers may be a fantastic player but man there's no getting around he's a rookie with Daniel Jones at quarterback. No thanks.

I would absolutely have selected Evan Engram at 3.12 in this scoring format and was getting excited about him making it to me. I was then thinking I would take White and Pacheco, both of whom we ranked half a round higher (spoiler, we actually have Pacheco similar to Henry, but I had a hunch he'd make it to me, and so he did). I took DeVonta wanting a second wideout, but he's in a group that includes Evans, Deebo, and Waddle; I don't love the pick. But that wide receiver tier was basically cleaned out before I picked again. Kind of wanted my first TE here, but it wasn't going to be Pitts or Kittle.

5.01C.J. StroudQB
5.02Jake FergusonTE
5.03Anthony RichardsonQB
5.04Josh JacobsRB
5.05Amari CooperWR
5.06David NjokuTE
5.07Christian KirkWR
5.08Alvin KamaraRB
5.09Joe MixonRB
5.10Kenneth WalkerRB
5.11Lamar JacksonQB
5.12Zay FlowersWR
6.01Dallas GoedertTE
6.02George PickensWR
6.03Joe BurrowQB
6.04David MontgomeryRB
6.05Tank DellWR
6.06Hollywood BrownWR
6.07Tee HigginsWR
6.08Brock BowersTE
6.09Keenan AllenWR
6.10Aaron JonesRB
6.11Terry McLaurinWR
6.12James ConnerRB

If you follow our rankings, two guys you're going to have a lot of stock in are Zay Flowers and Dallas Goedert. Flowers, in fact, is 12th on our initial PPR cheat sheet -- higher than DeVonta and all of those fourth-round wideouts. But I guessed he'd make it back to me, and so he did. Straight off our rankings, the steal of the draft. If we're right. Goedert is our 7th tight end, so getting him as the TE11 felt pretty good. Roster construction with a pair of Eagles pass catchers as two of my top 3 is kind of a negative, but I don't think Philadelphia is going to be throwing to many other players besides these guys -- no involved 2nd TE or 3rd WR, I don't think.

7.01Raheem MostertRB
7.02Rhamondre StevensonRB
7.03Zack MossRB
7.04Xavier WorthyWR
7.05Jaylen WarrenRB
7.06Jayden ReedWR
7.07D'Andre SwiftRB
7.08Calvin RidleyWR
7.09Dak PrescottQB
7.10Javonte WilliamsRB
7.11Kyler MurrayQB
7.12Zamir WhiteRB
8.01Jordan LoveQB
8.02Austin EkelerRB
8.03Pat FreiermuthTE
8.04Jordan AddisonWR
8.05Jonathon BrooksRB
8.06Najee HarrisRB
8.07DeAndre HopkinsWR
8.08Brock PurdyQB
8.09Chris GodwinWR
8.10Diontae JohnsonWR
8.11Rome OdunzeWR
8.12Dalton SchultzTE

Quarterbacks were starting to get a little thin. I had Kyler and Love as the next two guys on my board and planned to take one of them. I'm a little wary of Love, but didn't have to make a choice when Kyler went. The Packers QB was pretty great the second half of last year and the postseason, factoring into his top-8 placement on our board.

White seems a little underrated. I realize there's not much to go on with him, but he was effective late last year, he's working with a head coach who definitely wants to emphasize the run, and the Raiders essentially punted at the position in the offseason, adding only Alexander Mattison. Not a threat to White's workload. Najee Harris might have been a safer pick and Jonathon Brooks was a consideration, but Brooks is coming off a torn ACL and I like him a lot more down the road than as a rookie coming off injury joining the league's worst offense a year ago.

Comments and questions welcome. I'll present more of the draft sometime in the next week or so.

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