When it comes to talking about one's fantasy football draft, anyone can give you the lowdown on the first 3-5 rounds. Considering all the depth at every position going into 2013, it's fairly easy and rather boring to constantly publish an article stating that you took Ray Rice, Julio Jones, Jason Witten yada yada yada. While it's still informative, it's rather repetitive.
Instead, what I'd like to do is pull the information from my annual FWSA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association) fantasy draft and give you an in-depth analysis of the players I drafted in those later rounds where drafting for value gets harder and harder to do. Anyone can tell you to draft Doug Martin or Calvin Johnson in the first two rounds, but what about the mid-rounds?
To catch you up, here are the 6 players I drafted before Round 7 (In Order): Adrian Peterson, Roddy White, Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Pierre Garcon, Ahmad Bradshaw
Now lets take a look at which players I took from Rounds 7-12:PLEASE CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE TO VIEW IT IN LARGER FORM
PICK 7 Antonio Gates
As soon as Danario Alexander was knocked out for the year with a knee injury, the Chargers' receiving corps took a big hit. Yes Vincent Brown has potential, but he has yet to show us what he can do as a full-time starter. Malcom Floyd certainly doesn't possess much upside. With San Diego's offensive line a big question mark, Philip Rivers could wind up going back to old reliable Gates. It wouldn't shock me if Gates finished the season in targets and receptions.
PICK 8 Emmanuel Sanders
Sanders has had chances to shine in the past. Some have been favorable, while others have been....well, lets not talk about that. With Mike Wallace in Miami, Sanders moves into the No. 2 role behind Antonio Brown. Brown has looked great, but that was with Wallace taking defensive attention. Can Brown flourish as the new No. 1? With Brown now the player defenses will gun for, and with TE Heath Miller coming off reconstructive knee surgery, it's now time for Sanders to shine. He will get a lot of looks, which should result in career highs across the board. Sanders is a fine WR3 with plenty of upside.
PICK 9 Danny Woodhead
While some owners think Ryan Mathews will have a bounce-back season after so much post-draft hype, I am not one of them (And I own the guy in a dynasty league). Woodhead's preseason has been a quiet one, but I blame that on the coaching staff not wanting to tip their hat before the first game of the regular season. In non-PPR leagues, I don't see Woodhead with as much value. But like I explained with Gates, Rivers could be dinking-and-dunking with Woodhead in the backfield. This pick could come back to haunt me if Mathews does resurrect his career or the team winds up using Woodhead as more of a blocker. But as an RB4, it's worth the gamble.
PICK 10 Andy Dalton
Dalton was good last year with 27 touchdowns, just not great. With Aaron Rodgers as my QB1, I can afford to take a chance on a player who got a new toy in TE Tyler Eifert. I don't expect Dalton to take a huge leap from 2012, but a serviceable game during Rodgers' Week 4 bye (Bengals play the Browns) is fine with me.
PICK 11 Jordan Cameron
In this league we can use the tight end in the flex spot, so having Gates and Cameron at the same time could pay dividends. No other player has arguably gained more fantasy value from the end of the Super Bowl to the last week of the preseason than Cameron. Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski churns out play-making tight ends everywhere he goes. I believe we will have another star on our hands. The only thing keeping Cameron away from TE1 status is the inconsistent play of Brandon Weeden.
PICK 12 Rod Streater
This pick is one of the reasons why having an early draft could bite you in the butt. Streater was Matt Flynn's go-to guy in training camp and was creating an early buzz. Now it looks like Flynn (arm soreness) could lose the starting job to Terrelle Pryor if Pryor has a strong showing in the team's last preseason game. If that wasn't bad enough, Streater suffered a concussion last weekend against the Bears. With Sanders drafted, Streater is my WR4. So I can afford to wait and hope that if Pryor does keep the starting job, Streater winds up healthy early and somehow benefits from the quarterback change.
And there you have it. A little insight into my thought process during those mid rounds of my fantasy football draft. For those wondering how it ended, I wound up taking Dexter McCluster, Coby Fleener, Alex Smith (It's a deep roster, so I thought why not?), Broncos Defense, Stephen Hill, Mike Tolbert, Andrew Hawkins, Falcons Defense.
Do you agree or disagree with any of the players I chose in that meaty section of the draft? Let me know in the comments below.