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Laying Up Isn't Just a Golf Strategy: Fantasy Football Draft Talk

INDIANAPOLIS - OCTOBER 04:  Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 34-17.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
John GustafsonContributor IMay 27, 2010

When it comes to fantasy football, I'm one of the most aggressive drafters you'll find. Now we all know that late in our drafts we want to find that hidden gem, that breakthrough player that will bring home the championship.

I agree, that is a goal you should have towards the end of your draft. But, it's also OK to play it safe. I don’t play golf, but I’m familiar with the term “laying up ”.

If I'm in a draft and there's nothing I like on the board, I'll lay up and select a player to protect another player on my team. This is also referred to as "handcuffing".

With all the running back by committees in the NFL this year, we may see more handcuffing than ever before.

With that in mind, let's take a look round 11 of my World Championships of Fantasy Football draft, where I laid up to protect my third round investment of Joseph Addai.


Round 11

1. No Mercy - Derrick Mason, Bal WR

2. L.A. CONNECTION - Lawrence Maroney, NE RB

3. CSACMA - Ben Roethlisberger, Pit QB

4. Did this dude just did this? - Chaz Schilens, Oak WR

5. Fantasy Assassins MF - Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ WR

6.  - Donald Brown, Ind RB

7. HAWKNATION - Greg Olsen, Chi TE

8. JerrysJets - Tim Hightower, Ari RB

9. Ficitional Thugs - Dexter McCluster, KC WR

10. purestrength3 - Justin Forsett, Sea RB

11. EarlyBird - Mohamad Massaquoi, Cle WR

12. Bills Are Back - Kevin Smith, Det RB


Position Breakdown

Five WRs, Five RBs, One QB, One TE


My Pick 

This round several guys I like went off the board before my pick, so my decision came down to Tim Hightower and Donald Brown.

I think that Hightower will have a better season and is a great value this late in the draft given that this is a PPR league.

However, because I already have Addai, Donald Brown’s connected value gave him the edge here.

Could I have gotten Brown later? Maybe, but Addai’s biggest criticism is Brown’s presence. I’m not a Brown guy (I’m white, jk) but sometimes you have to fore-go the power shot on the fairway and lay up for a smarter play.

Handcuffing Brown to Addai guarantees that I’ll have most of the production from the Colts backfield and can rest easy knowing that should the injury bug bite Addai again, I can seamlessly plug in Brown the weeks that Addai misses time.

This pick gets a zero in sexiness, but an A+ in functionality.


Current Roster

QB - Tom Brady
RB1 - Joseph Addai
RB2 - Ricky Williams
WR1 - Andre Johnson
WR2 - Miles Austin
WR3 - Michael Crabtree
TE - Jermichael Finley
Flex - Thomas Jones or Antonio Bryant Bench - QB- Brett Favre, RB - Donald Brown


Follow John on Twitter,  or visit his blog for more fantasy football coverage at !

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