For the past 15 years, I’ve taken part in the CFFL. I’ve written about this long-time league in the pages of Pro Football Weekly, and now I’m going to write here. I thought that maybe my thoughts on my draft in this 12-team league would be instructive about drafting philosophy and value.
In this 12-team league, I drafted No. 6 overall, so I was in the middle of every round. The league gives scoring for touchdowns and yardage points every 30 yards rushing/receiving and every 50 yards passing. I think this draft is good because there aren’t a lot of wasted pick. Because everyone knows what he’s doing, it’s a good test of drafting skill and strategy.
First round – RB Matt Forte, Bears (6th overall)
I was thrilled to get Forte in the first, given that he was one of five Tier 1A players on that list. I was afraid that pick was going to be Chris Johnson or Slaton, neither of whom is dependable enough for me despite their potential. Forte is dependable and productive.
Second round – WR Greg Jennings, Packers (19th overall)
In the second, I felt like I needed a top-8 receiver, and I went with Jennings over Steve Smith. I haven’t loved Jennings in the past, but his numbers are good, and I believe in QB Aaron Rodgers, so it made sense there as well. Jennings probably has less downside that Smith too because he doesn’t rely on Jake Delhomme to get him the ball.
Third round – RB Thomas Jones, Jets (30th overall)
Jones in the 3rd was a solid but unspectacular. I was hoping Ryan Grant got there, but he didn’t, so I took the best back on that tier that I could. The other option at this point was Darren McFadden, but I figured Jones was probably safer to produce.
Fourth round – WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks (43rd overall)
Houshmandzadeh was just before a tier dropoff, so I felt like that was a wise pick at this point. I don’t have the sexiest receivers, but I do have two guys I should be able to start every week, so that’s good, especially given how the receiver position really drops off after the first 15 guys or so.
Fifth round – RB Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (54th overall)
Stewart in the fifth seemed like value to me. If he does what he did last year (800 yards and 10 touchdowns) he has flex value, and there’s upside if the role becomes closer to 50-50 than it was last year.
Sixth round – QB Kurt Warner, Cardinals (67th overall)
I don’t love Warner as a top-4 QB because of the injury risk, but he was the 7th QB taken, and at this point I felt like the value was too good to pass up, especially given who the other QB options on the board were. If Warner does anything close to what he did last year, like even 80 percent of his numbers, I’m in good shape given this draft position.
Seventh round – WR Lance Moore, Saints (78th overall)
Lance Moore is a guy I like as a top-30 receiver, and I felt like he was good value here. I think given my first two wideouts, Moore is a quality No. 3 receiver.
Eighth round – RB Leon Washington, Jets (91st overall )
Leon Washington was a little bit of a reach, but he protects Jones and has some value on his own as a flex option too. Strangely, the best-case scenario for my team may be if Jones gets hurt or gets benched and Washington becomes a 1200-yard, 12 TD guy. That would be OK with me, but with Jones and Washington I should have a decent chance of having a top-15 back in the end. Given the fact that I was drafting in the middle of rounds, that’s a good result.
Ninth round – TE Greg Olsen, Bears (102nd overall)
Olsen is a guy with big upside. I think 800 yards and 8 TDs is possible, and so I wanted to take that shot on him as a backup receiver. This league doesn’t force us to start a tight end, so I think there’s value in Olsen as a receiver strictly. As I refined my draft bard, Olsen ended up No. 5 on my tight end list, above guys like Chris Cooley and Owen Daniels.
Tenth round – RB Glen Coffee, 49ers (115th overall)
This is a flier. Coffee is a promising back without a lot of opportunity right now. If he gets a chance, whether by injury to Frank Gore or some other way, he’ll deliver. That’s worth a bench spot.
Eleventh round – WR Steve Smith, Giants (126th overall)
Steve Smith (NYG) is just a guy at receiver, but he is decent depth. Given the fact that I took chances on Moore and Olsen, I felt like taking a safer guy who can deliver a couple of yardage points in an emergency was smart.
Twelfth round – PK John Carney, Saints (139th overall)
Carney may not be the kicker in New Orleans all year, but he’s got the first four games, and with that offense he’ll score. I’ll make a change later if needed, but give me a kicker with a good offense now and I’m good. I took a kicker earlier than usual, but I felt like there were a bunch of WR options left, and I thought any backup QB left was about the same.
Thirteenth round – WR Josh Morgan, 49ers (150th overall)
Morgan could end up being the No. 1 receiver in San Francisco. I figured he was worth a shot here just in case he steps up in a major way.
Fourteenth round – San Diego defense (163rd overall)
I waited on defenses and am happy with the result. With Shawne Merriman back and the addition of Larry English, the Chargers will create a lot of sacks, which to me is the biggest cause of turnovers. Plus, I get Antonio Cromartie’s returns, which is a good thing. I like this pick but will be willing to play waiver-wire defenses throughout the season.
Fifteenth round – QB Shaun Hill, 49ers (174th pick)
I have no idea why i suddenly went 49er-crazy at the end with Coffee, Morgan, and Hill, but those guys do have upside. Hill could be a top-15 QB if he keeps that job, so I figured I’d take a shot at upside. Still, because I waited, backup QB is a spot I may look to upgrade via trade or on the waiver wire.