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Taking a QB in the 1st Rd. Draft Strategy League Challenge

Postby Polar Bear » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:25 am

I've always been a RB, RB guy in snake draft leagues. It used to be that it was hard to find a solid running back in the 3rd-4th round. However, the NFL has now changed. There are touchdown vultures and 3rd down vultures and RBBC to worry about. It used to be fantasy owners would only curse at Shanahan's RB rotation on fantasy week, now most of the league has a running back by committee offense. Depending on the league's settings, RB were a disappointment last year. L.J was a bust, Steven Jackson was solid when he wasn't injured, Frank Gore was a bust. Instead the backfield heroes were guys like Adrian Peterson who was drafted in the later rounds, Ryan Grant who was picked up mid-season, Earnest Graham who was also picked up mid-season and even Jamal Lewis who was picked late. Running Backs seem to be the football version of Russian roulette. Every year a top 3 RB pick is a complete bust. The only consistent running back through the years has been LT.

This has caused me to change my draft strategy outside of the first couple picks. I think I am going to go QB if I get the 3rd pick or above. A guy like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady just seems to be a much safer pick, then a guy like Adrian Peterson who has the potential to be amazing and the potential to tear his ACL this first week.

I also think that I will not draft a running back within the first 3 rounds. I am going to go wide receiver in the next couple rounds and then draft a running back. A list of running backs available in the 4th round are: Michael Turner, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs and Jamal Lewis. Rudi Johnson's ADP is currently in the 10th round which is an absolute steal if you can land him that late.

The depth at running back is unprecedented and the lack of depth at the QB position is scary. While in years past I have been able to get by with a marginal QB and solid running backs, this year is different. I would prefer to have one of the top 3 QBs. Those three QBs are IMO: Brady, Manning and Romo, in that order. Romo has an ADP of the early 2nd round. After those 3 QBs the quality drops. Brees, Palmer and D. Anderson are next in line. I don't believe Derek Anderson has the same type of year he had last year, Brees has had 2 solid years, but was inconsistent throughout the season last year and Palmer is a big risk considering the loss of Chris Henry and the attitude of Chad Johnson. I'd much rather spend my 1st round pick on Brady, Manning or Romo. If for some reason I would not be able to get either of the top 3 QBs then I would wait to draft Hasselbeck who I perceive as the 4th best fantasy QB in the league.

Receivers also seem to be inconsistent. Grabbing the consistent wide receivers in the 2nd and 3rd rounds seem to be a great way to go. Reggie Wayne, T.J, Owens and possibly Moss (he has been going in the 1st) are all consistent WRs week to week, especially in a PPR league.

This is the approach that I will be taking this year. I think that the days of Running backs dominating the first 2 rounds are over.
Last edited by Polar Bear on Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby buffalobillsrul2002 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:16 pm

Polar Bear wrote:I've always been a RB, RB guy in snake draft leagues. It used to be that it was hard to find a solid running back in the 3rd-4th round. However, the NFL has now changed. There are touchdown vultures and 3rd down vultures and RBBC to worry about. It used to be fantasy owners would only curse at Shanahan's RB rotation on fantasy week, now most of the league has a running back by committee offense. Depending on the league's settings, RB were a disappointment last year. L.J was a bust, Steven Jackson was solid when he wasn't injured, Frank Gore was a bust. Instead the backfield heroes were guys like Adrian Peterson who was drafted in the later rounds, Ryan Grant who was picked up mid-season, Earnest Graham who was also picked up mid-season and even Jamal Lewis who was picked late. Running Backs seem to be the football version of Russian roulette. Every year a top 3 RB pick is a complete bust. The only consistent running back through the years has been LT.

This has caused me to change my draft strategy outside of the first couple picks. I think I am going to go QB if I get the 3rd pick or above. A guy like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady just seems to be a much safer pick, then a guy like Adrian Peterson who has the potential to be amazing and the potential to tear his ACL this first week.

I also think that I will not draft a running back within the first 3 rounds. I am going to go wide receiver in the next couple rounds and then draft a running back. A list of running backs available in the 4th round are: Michael Turner, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs and Jamal Lewis. Rudi Johnson's ADP is currently in the 10th round which is an absolute steal if you can land him that late.

The depth at running back is unprecedented and the lack of depth at the QB position is scary. While in years past I have been able to get by with a marginal QB and solid running backs, this year is different. I would prefer to have one of the top 3 QBs. Those three QBs are IMO: Brady, Manning and Romo, in that order. Romo has an ADP of the early 2nd round. After those 3 QBs the quality drops. Brees, Palmer and D. Anderson are next in line. I don't believe Derek Anderson has the same type of year he had last year, Brees has had 2 solid years, but was inconsistent throughout the season last year and Palmer is a big risk considering the loss of Chris Henry and the attitude of Chad Johnson. I'd much rather spend my 1st round pick on Brady, Manning or Romo. If for some reason I would not be able to get either of the top 3 QBs then I would wait to draft Hasselbeck who I perceive as the 4th best fantasy QB in the league.

Receivers also seem to be inconsistent. Grabbing the consistent wide receivers in the 2nd and 3rd rounds seem to be a great way to go. Reggie Wayne, T.J, Owens and possibly Moss (he has been going in the 1st) are all consistent WRs week to week, especially in a PPR league.

This is the approach that I will be taking this year. I think that the days of Running backs dominating the first 2 rounds are over.


I think you might be close on this one. However, I'd take Addai, Westbrook, LT, Jackson, Peterson in the top 5. The first four are (in my opinion) the only 4 true all-down RBs in the NFL anymore. Peterson has so much potential I think he has to go top 5. After that, though, I could see going Moss/WR, or maybe going Moss/Brady (or Manning), or Brady (Manning)/WR in a 12-team league. There are some decent pickings in the mid-to-late rounds at RB if you're willing to be risky...

Personally, I see myself going RB/WR in my drafts this year...
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby Metroid » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:20 pm

Where is your money league and when can I join?
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby spodog » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:21 pm

I think I'd agree with the trends you've identified, but not all of the conclusions.

Even with better RB's available in the 3rd and 4th rounds than what you might have found in 2003 or 2004, I don't think that justifies a strategy of intentionally not taking a RB regardless of what happens in the draft.

What I'd recommend is letting the fact that you can get a better RB in Rounds 3-6 allow you to let good players fall to you, regardless of position. If you have a chance on taking a RB1 or and RB2 who will be able to put up solid numbers, you'd better get him.

The RB yards are spread around more people than they used to be, but remember that this will also make the true feature guys even that much more valuable.
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby dream_017 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:50 pm

Metroid wrote:Where is your money league and when can I join?

Can I play too. I love when people try new theories against my RBs are fantasy gold and always will bestrategy
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby Canucks_Fantasy » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:22 pm

I thought we already discussed this in the Peterson thread?...

You're going to get the same response. :-°
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby Crimedogg32 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:20 pm

With all the RBBC IMO its even more important to get top RBs because if you can get two who dont split or get the vast majority of the carries you are going to run away with league. That is why I will be picking RBs in the early rounds unless something unforeseen happens
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby Azrael » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:15 pm

There are always RBs and QBs every single year that come out of nowhere to have highlight reel seasons, always. There are always bust at both positions. 2 reasons why you go with blue chip backs over QBs.

1. Position scarcity - most leagues you have to start 2 RBs (with a possibility of 3 in a flex) and just 1 QB.

2. Because of position scarcity there are less people looking for those FA QBs than RBs. If you have a real league where there is a WW that you must follow and not a free-for-all like public Yahoo leagues and you happen to be at the end of the WW you are in deep crap if you are hoping to snag a Graham or a Grant

Derek Anderson and Warner sat on the WW for a couple weeks before they were picked up while Graham and Grant were snagged the day of or after they had a good game.

You mentioned Michael Turner, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs and Jamal Lewis as guys you could get in the 4th.

Turner may be the only one I'd like as a 2nd back, but for me I'd be taking him as my flex as my 3rd possibly.
Ronnie Brown is coming off an ACL. Look at the history, you don't want a guy coming off an ACL as a starting back.
Rudi Johnson has the hardest run schedule in the league and has alot of heat on him.
Jacobs is clearly an injury case and yielded carries to Bradshaw later in the year, don't want him either.
Jamal Lewis is not making it to the 4th in even 10 man leagues. He's gone by the 5th or 6th pick in the 3rd.

I've been doing this 10 years and it is far easier to get your hands on a career year QB than a career year RB.

If we draft the same team but interchange a QB for a RB as our first pick, our first 5 rounds might look something like this (depending on what players you like) but follow me for argument's sake.

Your team - Brady, Grant, S. Smith, Turner, Holmes
My team - Gore, Grant, S. Smith, Turner, Holmes

Grant goes down for the year in week 4 and our other top 5 picks look like this.

Your team - Brady, S. Smith, Turner, Holmes
My team - Gore, S. Smith, Turner, Holmes

If Grant goes down for the year and we are on the backend of the WW, you have a better chance of being screwed than me because the hot FA RBs will go alot faster than the hot FA QBs.

I am also more likely to land a very solid QB in the 8th or 9th (Cutler/ Delhomme) than you are of landing a very solid RB.
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby Kensat30 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:43 pm

I see a big dropoff at RB right around #6-7 this year, and then ANOTHER big dropoff before RB#17-18. Conveniently, some of the guys in the 2nd dropoff are falling farther than they should, but I would not want to be waiting for round 3 this year to pickup my RB#1. Because if I missed one of the RBs from the first dropoff I want to be damn sure that I didn't miss the 2nd dropoff as well. Because there are so many RBBCs and shared touches/TDs assbackwards situations you don't want to be stuck with the wrong end of the stick starting two of these guys each week. You don't want to be stuck starting guys that get the majority of the touches but don't get the majority of the TDs and vice versa.

I think there is one legit first round non-RB and his name is Randy Moss. I can take Moss and not worry so much about missing the 2nd dropoff at RB. And I think there are MANY legit 2nd round non-RBs. But I do NOT want to see myself sporting Brady/Wayne type combo coming out of the first two rounds. That is the disaster scenario, where I could have 2 "studs" that underperform with no RB game to pickup the slack.

I could see waiting for a 3rd round RB if you end up with Moss/Owens or Moss/Brady, but that is really not the ideal scenario. I want a RB after the first two rounds this year. There is value in the 3rd round at WR and even at QB. If anything, this is more of a RB/RB year to me than in most drafts in the recent past. The WR talent in the 2nd round is just not that much better than the 3rd round, outside of TO.
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Re: Possible shift in draft strategy?

Postby steelerfan513 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:22 pm

Polar Bear wrote:I've always been a RB, RB guy in snake draft leagues. It used to be that it was hard to find a solid running back in the 3rd-4th round. However, the NFL has now changed. There are touchdown vultures and 3rd down vultures and RBBC to worry about. It used to be fantasy owners would only curse at Shanahan's RB rotation on fantasy week, now most of the league has a running back by committee offense. Depending on the league's settings, RB were a disappointment last year. L.J was a bust, Steven Jackson was solid when he wasn't injured, Frank Gore was a bust. Instead the backfield heroes were guys like Adrian Peterson who was drafted in the later rounds, Ryan Grant who was picked up mid-season, Earnest Graham who was also picked up mid-season and even Jamal Lewis who was picked late. Running Backs seem to be the football version of Russian roulette. Every year a top 3 RB pick is a complete bust. The only consistent running back through the years has been LT.


If anything, the RBBC is a reason to pick running backs early so that you don't end up with a guy that runs for 80 yards and no TDs every game. You criticize guys like Peterson, Gore, etc., but they are featured backs in their offenses and will get all the rushing yards and touchdowns (Peterson has some competition, but with his talent, Taylor won't see the field as much next year). If you wait to take a running back until the fourth round, you'll end up with either a touchdown vulture or a between-the-20s back that either gets you no yardage or no touchdowns. And that's if you're lucky

A guy like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady just seems to be a much safer pick, then a guy like Adrian Peterson who has the potential to be amazing and the potential to tear his ACL this first week.


Every single NFL player has the potential to get injured on every single snap they are on the field. Some guy dives at Brady's or Manning's knee, and boom, they're done for the year. Are they injury-prone guys? No (well, Brady always has a sore shoulder :-b ). Yes, Peterson carries SOME injury risk. He's also considered by many to be the most talented back in the league, the next, better version of LT. He could get injured, but the only major injury he's had over the years is his fluke broken collar bone when he dove into the endzone. Peterson could also put up the best fantasy season of any player in the history of fantasy football. He has the ability to do that, and that's why he goes in the top five.

I also think that I will not draft a running back within the first 3 rounds. I am going to go wide receiver in the next couple rounds and then draft a running back. A list of running backs available in the 4th round are: Michael Turner, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs and Jamal Lewis. Rudi Johnson's ADP is currently in the 10th round which is an absolute steal if you can land him that late.


What kind of leagues are these? Where are you getting these stats? In any competent league, you will not be able to land any single one of those players outside of the third round.

The depth at running back is unprecedented and the lack of depth at the QB position is scary.


I would argue that the opposite is true. Like you said, the NFL is going even more towards RBBCs and touchdown vultures, so there are much fewer LTs, Westbrooks, Steven Jacksons, and Frank Gores that get 90% of their team's rushing production on offense. Conversely, there are a ton of quarterbacks out there that have reasonable floors and high ceilings that I would be happy to have as starters that aren't picked early.

While in years past I have been able to get by with a marginal QB and solid running backs, this year is different. I would prefer to have one of the top 3 QBs. Those three QBs are IMO: Brady, Manning and Romo, in that order. Romo has an ADP of the early 2nd round.


Believe me, so would I. But it's not about getting the best player at each position, it's about building the best team. There are plenty of quarterbacks out there that will at the very least not hurt a team's chances of winning a championship.

After those 3 QBs the quality drops. Brees, Palmer and D. Anderson are next in line. I don't believe Derek Anderson has the same type of year he had last year, Brees has had 2 solid years, but was inconsistent throughout the season last year and Palmer is a big risk considering the loss of Chris Henry and the attitude of Chad Johnson. I'd much rather spend my 1st round pick on Brady, Manning or Romo.


I'll address all of these guys individually:

Anderson - Why? Why won't he have the same type of year as last year? What has changed? I don't see any reason for Anderson's production to go down. The Browns did nothing but add to their offense in the offseason; they signed Donte Stallworth and kept their stellar offensive line in tact. Just saying "I don't think he'll have as good a year" doesn't mean that he's a bad option at QB.

Brees - He did have a pretty rocky start, but he pulled it together beautifully after that, and the Saints eventually got back into contention for a playoff spot. He's a fine quarterback option.

Palmer - He's still one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league and has one of the best one-two combinations of receivers in the league. Johnson is in camp and playing, and he's never let his off-the-field antics affect his on-the-field performance. Houshmandzadeh is great as always, and with your liking for Rudi Johnson, I'm guessing you think their running game is going to rebound. I'm inclined to agree.

And there are plenty of quality starters that you didn't mention. Ben Roethlisberger has had a quarterback rating over 98 in three of his four years in the league. Jay Cutler is getting better and now has some receivers to support Brandon Marshall with Darrell Jackson and Eddie Royal to go along with Brandon Stokley. Kurt Warner emerged thanks to Matt Leinart's poor play, and if he gets the starting job he should be a fine QB option. David Garrard only threw three interceptions last year and the Jags added some receiving options in the offseason. Phillip Rivers, though inconsistent, played amazingly down the stretch last year and has the support of LT, Vincent Jackson, Chris Chambers, and Antonio Gates.

If for some reason I would not be able to get either of the top 3 QBs then I would wait to draft Hasselbeck who I perceive as the 4th best fantasy QB in the league.


Okay, so why not just do this? Why not wait on a quarterback like Hasselbeck, who is going late, instead of burning a first round pick on a quarterback when there are plenty of great running back options available?

Receivers also seem to be inconsistent. Grabbing the consistent wide receivers in the 2nd and 3rd rounds seem to be a great way to go. Reggie Wayne, T.J, Owens and possibly Moss (he has been going in the 1st) are all consistent WRs week to week, especially in a PPR league.


This is true every year. Running backs dominate the first round, but then the receivers start to kick in. But there are also a ton of breakout receivers every year. Greg Jennings, Braylon Edwards, Brandon Marshall, Roddy White, Wes Welker, Bobby Engram, Kevin Curtis, Joey Galloway, and Santonio Holmes were all picked outside of the fifth or sixth round last year, and they turned into great options as starting WR1 or WR2s.

This is the approach that I will be taking this year. I think that the days of Running backs dominating the first 2 rounds are over.


I have seen this argument brought forth in every offseason that I've been a member here, and I'm sure more veteran members have seen it many more times than I have. It has never worked. It is discussed every year, especially after a quarterback has a record-breaking season like with Brady or Manning. There are breakout wide receivers and quarterbacks available in later rounds or even out of free agency every year. That is not true for running backs, and that is why they will dominate the first two rounds for years to come.
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