Fantasy Football: Breakdown of Real 10-Team Draft with Quirky Draft-Slot System

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Fantasy Football: Breakdown of Real 10-Team Draft with Quirky Draft-Slot System
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Bills running back Fred Jackson (1,376 total yards, 6 TD) tallied 115 total yards and/or one touchdown in nine of his 10 games last season.

On Thursday night, I partook in my second real draft of the season, supporting a 10-team non-keeper league with five notable quirks:

1. No slot for defense or special teams.

2. There is no official slot for tight ends, although they're eligible as receivers.

3. Tailbacks, quarterbacks and receivers are only awarded 1 point per 25 yards.

4. Fantasy GMs have the option to start 2 RB/3 WR, 3 RB/2 WR , 1 RB/4 WR.

5. Before each round, we reshuffle the draft order. In other words, you could conceivably draw the first pick in all 18 rounds...or slump into the 10th spot every time. Fantasy GMs adapt must adapt to a pace that's completely different from a standard "snake" draft.

Here is my 18-member squad, along with the prime alternate for each pick: 

(It should be noted that Ryan Mathews broke his collarbone before one unlucky owner selected him in Round 2. And for those scoring at home, I never drew the No. 1 or No. 9 slot.)

 

Round 1, Pick 10 overall: RB Chris Johnson, Titans

Backup Plan: RB Matt Forte, Bears

Round 2, Pick 14 overall: RB Matt Forte, Bears

Backup Plan: RB Ryan Mathews, Chargers

 

Round 3, Pick 25 overall: RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks

Backup Plan: RB Jamaal Charles, Chiefs

 

Round 4, Pick 36 overall: RB Fred Jackson, Bills

Backup Plan: RB Steven Jackson, Rams

 

Round 5, Pick 43 overall: WR Jordy Nelson, Packers

Backup Plan: WR Steve Smith, Panthers

 

Round 6, Pick 52 overall: QB Eli Manning, Giants

Backup Plan: WR Percy Harvin, Vikings

 

Round 7, Pick 66 overall: WR Percy Harvin, Vikings

Backup Plan: WR Steve Johnson, Bills

 

Round 8, Pick 80 overall: WR Kenny Britt, Titans

Backup Plan: WR Reggie Wayne, Colts

 

Round 9, Pick 88 overall: WR Pierre Garcon, Redskins

Backup Plan: WR Mike Williams, Buccaneers 

 

Rounds 1-9 Breakdown

  • Long before Ryan Mathews (broken collarbone) and Trent Richardson (knee scope) were earmarked for surgery, I had a firm plan of targeting tailbacks early and often in this draft, which is hosted by longtime friend and occasional SI.com interloper David Komer. That's why I had no worries about landing Chris Johnson (1,465 total yards last year), Matt Forte (a candidate for 2,000 total yards before injury), Marshawn Lynch (one TD in 11 straight games last season) and Fred Jackson in the first four rounds.

  • I am blown away by the lack of respect Jackson is getting this summer. He averaged 137.6 total yards in 10 games last year and was a scintillating 9-of-10 in racking up 115 total yards and/or one touchdown per game (the lone "failure" was the game in which he broke his leg). And among running backs, F-Jax finished fourth in points per game (17.4).

  • Here's another prime reason for going all-in on tailbacks in the first four rounds: There is an absurd amount of depth at the receiver slots...and that doesn't even include high-end tight ends like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates and Jermichael Finley filling the "WR" slots. As a result, I was happy to land Jordy Nelson at No. 43 overall. Boom!

  • For 12-team drafts, I pledge to either take an elite QB in Rounds 1 or 2 (Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton) or wait until Round 7 or 8 for Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub or Philip Rivers. But in a quirky 10-teamer like this, I had plenty of motivation to snag Eli Manning (4,933 yards passing, 30 TDs last year) at No. 62 overall. After Week 4 last season, Manning averaged 40 pass attempts per game.

  • At the time of this writing, the NFL has yet to discipline Tennessee's Kenny Britt for his latest transgression (a DUI arrest in Kentucky last month). But even if he's suspended for one, two or four games in September, he's still worth the risk at No. 80 overall...and as my WR3. It also helped that I was supremely confident with my draft and could afford a medium-sized flier on the enigmatic Britt (14 catches, 23 targets, 271 yards and three TDs in Weeks 1-2 last year).



Round 10, Pick 95 overall: WR Titus Young, Lions

Backup Plan: WR Mike Williams, Buccaneers

 

Round 11, Pick 105 overall: WR Mike Williams, Buccaneers

Backup Plan: WR Justin Blackmon, Jaguars

 

Round 12, Pick 112 overall: WR Nate Washington, Titans

Backup Plan: WR Justin Blackmon, Jaguars

 

Round 13, Pick 127 overall: RB Evan Royster, Redskins

Backup Plan: RB James Starks, Packers

 

Round 14, Pick 135 overall: QB Carson Palmer, Raiders

Backup Plan: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills

 

Round 15, Pick 150 overall: WR Greg Little, Browns

Backup Plan: WR Jerome Simpson, Vikings

 

Round 16, Pick 157 overall: QB Josh Freeman, Buccaneers

Backup Plan: QB Jake Locker, Titans

 

Round 17, Pick 164 overall: PK Dan Bailey, Cowboys

Backup Plan: PK Rob Bironas, Titans

 

Round 18, Pick 176 overall: RB Montario Hardesty, Browns

Backup Plan: RB D.J. Ware, Giants 

 

Rounds 10-18 Breakdown

  • Like most rookie receivers, the first half of Titus Young's inaugural NFL season with Detroit was awash in inconsistent targets and minimal catches. But things took shape in the latter half, with Young drawing 57 targets and catching 33 balls for 365 yards and five touchdowns. Of equal importance, four of Young's six seasonal touchdowns were within 10 yards, demonstrating his effectiveness in the red zone. And yet Young still has the breakaway speed and athleticism to score at least three times from beyond 40 yards.

  • I may have dodged a small bullet by passing James Starks in Round 13 for two reasons: I'm not a big fan of the Packers' running game (from a fantasy perspective), and Cedric Benson has signed with Green Bay as protection against Starks' nagging turf-toe injury.

  • I wouldn't be shocked if Eli Manning, Carson Palmer and Josh Freeman all finish in the top 15, among quarterbacks, by season's end. That's comforting news, since Eli isn't a lock to start for my club in Week 16 (@ Baltimore).

  • In 2011, Nate Washington (74 catches, 1,023 yards, 7 TD, 121 targets) had nine games of eight or more targets and a bold finishing kick in the final seven games (35 catches, 522 yards, six TDs). 

 

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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