Wow, and I thought I was looking far in advance by trying to set my fantasy Super Bowl lineup! Hey, it never hurts to start early I guess.
Barkevious Mingo, LSU (OLB); Luke Joevkel, Texas A&M (LT); Manti Te-o, Notre Dame (MLB); Jarvis Jones, Georgia (DE/OLB); Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State (DT); Geno Smith, West Virginia (QB)...
If you look at this year's possible draft class (2013, that is), one thing pops out at you: D E F E N S E. The top contenders are defenders.If you look at an article that CBS Sports posted not even a week ago, their top 25 prospects boast only 3 offensive guys: two QB's and one WR. And even so, there's no way of knowing who will draft first, what position they wil be scouting heaviest, let alone if a certain player will fit well witin a certain system at this point.
Let's just go with our current players for now.
Jeez, you know I have to say I stay away from QB's in the first round. I'm not sure if that ended up biting you hard this year, but there's usually enough value to go around at QB, especially in such a small league. In a 10-team league I'm in, we had a guy draft RGIII in the 8th round and Peyton Manning in the 10th. It's not impossible or even improbable to pick up value at the QB position in later rounds, or even off the wire after the draft is completed. I would try to draft a dependable, feature RB in your first round. Look at all the possibilities there are at this point: Peterson, Richardson, Martin, Gore, Lynch, Rice, Foster, Morris, McCoy... right there you have 9 to choose from. If you can get 2 of those guys in rounds 1 and 2 (if you are #8 in the draft, for example, you may be able to get McCoy and Gore back-to-back) you will be in a very good position.
Then I would go for a QB third round. In an 8-team league, there are plenty of QB's with solid value. If there were a draft RIGHT NOW for QB's, you could get ELITE level production from all of the following guys: RGIII, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Andrew Luck. That's 8 elite QB's right there. Let's say, for argument's sake, that all 8 of them are gone by round 3. Okay, how about Josh Freeman, Eli Manning, or Matt Schaubb for some guys with high upside? I would even look at Cutler if the Bears can improve their offensive line in the offseason.
I would use round 4 to get another RB, honestly. RB's are too important and fragile; WR's are almost a dime a dozen in this league, with new flashes of brilliance showing up on the wire every week. If you doubt this strategy, ask any owner who drafter Larry Fitzgerald or DeSean Jackson in early rounds this year. At this point you may be able to pick up C.J. Spiller, Mikell LeShoure, Matt Forte, or even Jamaal Charles (maybe). Keep in mind, if you're the only guy to target 3 RB's at this point, there should be THIS kind of value available to you in the 4th round.
I would then go for WR's in your next three rounds if you feel good about your three RB's. This year there are 15 receivers averaging double-digit fantasy production this year. Most of them will be gone by round 5, if not all. But remember: you will be getting guys with up-side at WR, you will be set at the all-important RB spot, and you will have a very decent - if not great - QB. Just in case, here are the guys averaging double-digit production in standard format this year: AJ Green, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Andre Johnson, Dez Bryant, Victor Cruz, Roddy White, Demaryius Thomas, We Welker, Reggie Wayne, Marques Colston, Randall Cobb, Eric Decker, Julio Jones. If these guys are all gone, there are a few receivers I think have big promise going forward. They include Danny Amendola, Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings (hey, they might forget about him after his injury-tainted season this year; ya never know), Denarius Moore, Larry Fitzgerald (if ARI somehow gets a more reliable QB; if not, look for Andre Roberts), Michael Crabtree, Julian Edelman... there are plenty of them out there.
At this point (round 8) you will probably be looking for a TE. But I say, if the Bears defense is about the same as this year in terms of who's on the roster, I would pick them up now. Their ability to score points on defense is unprecedented. In fact, you may even want to pick them up round 7 if there are still plenty of options at WR left. Go for a TE in round 9. All your top 8 will likely be gone, so look for guys who's stock are on the rise this year: Martellus Bennett, Dalas Clark, Greg Olsen, Jermain Gresham, Brandon Myers (if he's still there), or Joel Dreesen.
Rounds 9-15 would be about a backup QB, RB handcuffs, and guys with big up-side. Last AND least, a kicker.
This is what I would do. Another thing: if you get caught with a RB who's in a committee, try to grab the "other" guy. For example, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson this year.
I could go on and on about this, because there is just so much wealth available in an 8-team league. But these are my initial thoughts.
Thanks for your advice on my week 16 question. Sorry it didn't work out for ya this season.