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I have now drafted my 3rd Fantasy Football Team of the 2012 season, in a Live Online draft that was done with fans/followers of @TheFakeFootball. I ended up with the 7th overall pick in a 12-Team Standard Scoring and Settings League.

Away We Go!

Picks 1-6 – Arian Foster, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Ryan Mathews, Aaron Rodgers, Chris Johnson.

My Pick #7 – WR Calvin Johnson: With the #7 pick I had hoped that Chris Johnson would fall to me, so I could draft a former 2000 yard rusher looking to bounce back from a mediocre season; I would have loved to start off my team with one of the most electric RBs in recent memory. Unfortunately CJ was taken with the #6 overall pick, leaving me to go with a new strategy. I was debating over Maurice Jones-Drew and Calvin Johnson; I am not a big fan of going WR in the first round and was seriously thinking of grabbing MJD, but the length of this hold out finally has me a little concerned; instead I go with Megatron. I do not expect another 1600 yards with 16 TDs, but I so expect a minimum of 1300 yards and double digit TDs this year, totals hard to come by for modern RBs as well.

Picks 8-17 – Maurice Jones-Drew, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Darren McFadden, Larry Fitzgerald, Trent Richardson, Jimmy Graham, Matt Forte, Rob Gronkowski, Cam Newton.

My Pick #18 – QB Matthew Stafford: Going into the draft my strategy was to grab an RB in the first round and them draft a QB in the second round, targeting Cam Newton and Matt Stafford. Despite the fact I ended up with Megatron instead of an RB, my draft outlook didn’t change much. Cam Newton was just drafted along with the pair of elite TEs, so to me drafting Stafford here was a no brainer. In his first full season Stafford went for 5000+ yards, something I think he can do again this year. He has the best WR in the league in Calvin and another up and coming talent in Titus Young, who the team is raving about in training camp. Johnson and Stafford should act as a great backbone to my fantasy team.

Picks 19-30 – Jamaal Charles, Julio Jones, Adrian Peterson, Roddy White, A.J. Green, Marshawn Lynch, Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, Demarco Murray, Brandon Marshall, Steven Jackson, Darren Sproles.

My Pick #31 – RB Fred Jackson: RB can be the trickiest position, as it is easily the shallowest of all the positions. I am hoping for a top-3 pick in every draft I do so that I can lock up Foster, Rice or McCoy. Coming into round 3 without a RB, I knew I needed to grab one here or risk being very weak at the position. Jackson was a stud last year before going out with a leg injury, as he was averaging 5.5 yards per carry and on pace for a career season. Jackson is going to be the RB you don’t jump out of your seat to grab, but will be a great player come the season. I see Jackson as a MUCH better choice than those who would have been left for me in the next round.

Picks 32-41 – Andre Johnson, Doug Martin, Michael Turner, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace, Dez Bryant, Steve Smith, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks.

My Pick #42 – WR Jeremy Maclin: At this point in the draft I find it is often WR stacked. Example: I was one pick away from grabbing Hakeem Nicks as my WR2 in 4th round! I missed Nicks unfortunately but ended up with another WR I think can make a run for a top-10 finish at the position. I am expected a much better overall performance from Michael Vick the year and think Maclin will be along for that ride as his favorite target. I am hoping for Maclin to grab double-digit TDs while ended up anywhere between 1000-1200 yards.

Picks 43-54 – Marques Coltson, Brandon Lloyd, Miles Austin, Michael Vick, Reggie Bush, Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Gates, Percy Harvin, Dwayne Bowe, Kenny Britt, Jonathan Stewart, Steve Johnson.

My Pick #55 – TE Aaron Hernandez: I still needed an RB2 at this point, but was again not impressed by the options available. Frank Gore was a little tempting but I feel as though time and durability are catching up to him and the 49’ers have other RBs than can start using more and more. Hernandez I view as a top-5 TE and should help me win the TE matchup most weeks. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Gronkowski saw a bit of a statistical regression while Hernandez improves a bit.

Picks 56-67 – Frank Gore, Antonio Brown, Vernon Davis, Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Fred Davis, Eric Decker, Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Jermichael Finley.

Pick #66 – RB Isaac Redman: There are a few questions about Isaac Redman, namely will he play the full season, or will he be replaced by Mendenhall come week 10 or something like that. At the time I wasn’t really worried about that, I just needed a good RB2 and saw Redman as my best bet. He should be a 3-down RB for the Steelers until Mendenhall can come back, and the Steelers have some question in their passing game as well (No Wallace at the moment). I expect Redman to be a solid RB2 for at least the first half of the season.

Picks 67-78 – Pierre Garcon, C.J. Spiller, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis, Roy Helu, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, Beanie Wells, Jason Witten, Torrey Smith, Robert Griffin III, Reggie Wayne.

My Pick #79 – WR Reggie Wayne: I have been targeting Reggie Wayne more and more in drafts since seeing Luck in training camp in his first pre-season action. During the offseason Wayne had been relegated to the status of backup WR, often being drafted as a WR4 or WR5 in almost all mock drafts I had done. But now that people have seen Andrew Luck play a bit, and look very good doing it, expectations for Wayne are also going up. I have always considered Wayne a WR3 for this year, and think he will be a great one at that. I am expecting much better stats than he had last year with Painter and Orlovsky.

Picks 80-89 – Robert Meachem, Willis McGahee, Stevan Ridley, Peyton Hillis, Shonn Greene, Sidney Rice, Denarius Moore, Jahvid Best, Greg Little, Santonio Holmes.

My Pick #90 – WR Darrius Heyward-Bey: I have been targeting Heyward-Bey in just about every draft I do; as long as I can grab Bey as a backup, I won’t be passing him up. In the final 5 weeks of the 2011 season, with Carson Palmer as his QB, Bey grabbed 3 of his total 4 TDs on the season, and had 2 of his 3 100-yard games. With Carson Palmer under the helm for an entire season, Heyward-Bey has a chance to be inside the top-20 at his position. I can easily see myself starting Heyward-Bey over Reggie Wayne depending on the matchup.

Picks 91-102 – Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Ingram, DeAngelo Williams, Malcolm Floyd, Michael Crabtree, Justin Blackmon, San Francisco D/ST, David Wilson, Jacob Tamme, Pittsburgh D/ST, Kevin Smith, Ben Tate.

My Pick #103 – RB Mikel LeShoure: The bad news is that LeShoure is going to miss the first two games of the season due to suspension, but the good news is that he is apparently looking and feeling good after last seasons Achilles injury. My main reason for drafting Mikel is that I don’t see Jahvid Best becoming the Lions starting RB this season and Kevin Smith is good, but not great while also being a huge injury risk each game. I am hoping that by mid-season, when Isaac Redman’s starting RB job may be in question, LeShoure will have emerged as The Lions go to back.

Picks 104-113 – Baltimore D/ST, Nate Washington, Anquan Boldin, Donald Brown, Chicago, Mason Crosby, Houston D/ST, Brandon Pettigrew, Philadelphia D/ST, Sebastian Janikowski.

My Pick #114 – QB Carson Palmer: I was very happy to grab Stafford as my QB in the second round, but my memory is good enough to remember that he is also a bit of an injury risk; 2011 was his first full season in his first 3 years in the league. Palmer had his struggles last year throwing quite a few picks in his first few games back, but was able to improve as the season went on. If Stafford does end up missing time again this season I am hoping Palmer will emerge as a valuable fill in. He does have a talented young and fast WR corps in Bey, Moore and Ford.

Picks 115-126 – Kyle Rudolph, Austin Collie, David Akers, Lance Moore, Jermaine Gresham, Stephen Gostkowski, Michael Bush, Toby Gerhart, Green Bay D/ST, Mike Williams, Tony Gonzalez, Randall Cobb.

My Pick #127 – WR Titus Young: Young is the #3 WR in Detroit behind Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson and is entering his sophomore season in the league. He has the privilege of playing across from Johnson, meaning he the coverage rarely shifts his direction, he was able to take advantage of this in his rookie year to the tune of 606 yards and 6 TDs. This year he will be battling Burleson for the WR2 spot for the Lions and I would not be surprised if he was able to earn the role early on in the season. Burleson has openly spoken about how he is willing to, and enjoying teaching Young the facets of the game.

Picks 128-137 – Pierre Thomas, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Williams, Jaquizz Rodgers, Matt Schaub, Santana Moss, Andrew Luck, New York Jets D/ST, Danny Amendola, James Starks.

My Pick #138 – D/ST New York Giants: I usually draft a D/ST with my second to last pick of the draft, but wasn’t very impressed with the available backups on my draft board, and felt very confident in my current backups ability to have an impact. I took a look at the D/STs available and grabbed the Giants off the board. The Giants were a sack machine last year with 48 total sacks, but struggled in keeping the score down. I am expecting more of the same in the sack category with Pierre-Paul, Tuck and Umenyiora terrorizing opposing QBs again this year, and am hoping they can keep the scoring totals down a bit more.

Picks 139-150 – Isaiah Pead, Jared Cook, Ronnie Hillman, Dan Bailey, Randy Moss, Tim Hightower, Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco, Felix Jones, Andy Dalton, Evan Royster, Kendall Wright

My Pick #151 – WR Alshon Jeffery: I drafted Jeffery on a flier, hoping that he will end up being a favorite redzone target of Cutler, and maybe even surpass a few of the other guys on the depth chart, such as Hester, Knox and Bennett.

Picks 152-161 – Owen Daniels, Cedric Benson, LaGarrette Blount, Shane Vereen, Brent Celek, Michael Floyd, Mike Goodson, Sam Bradford, Vincent Brown, Laurent Robinson.

My Pick #162 – WR Doug Baldwin: Another WR entering his second year in the league, Baldwin had a very good rookie season catching 51 passes for 788 yards and 4 TDs. I expect Matt Flynn to be the Seahawk’s weeks one starter and to be a better passer than Jackson or Whitehurst ever were. With an improvement at QB and another season of growth, Baldwin could be a very serviceable WR3 or flex option eventually. I also don’t expect Sidney Rice to be capable of putting together a full season, which should help Baldwin become the WR1 for Seattle.

Picks 163-174 – Coby Fleener, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Nate Burleson, Dustin Keller, Greg Olsen, Mari Manningham, Davone Bess, Buffalo D/ST, Rueben Randle, Dallas Clark, Denver D/ST, Brandon LaFell.

My Pick #175 – TE Martellus Bennett: I am very happy with Hernandez as my TE, but still needed someone for bye week and incase of injury, and noticed Martellus Bennett was still on the board. Bennett was grabbed by the Giants off the Cowboys this off-season in order to replace Jake Ballard, who was able to grab 600 yards and 4 TDs in his rookie season with the Giants and in only 14 games. I have ready a number of positive reviews of Bennett and his potential; he should be the Giants TE1 come the start of the season.

Picks #176-185 – Brian Quick, Alex Henery, Jon Baldwin, Alex Green, Mike Tolbert, Jacoby Ford, Jake Locker, Steve Smith (Rams), Rashad Jennings, Mark Sanchez.

My Pick #186 – WR Leonard Hankerson: In his 2rd career start, facing the Miami Dolphins, Hankerson had caught 8 passes for 106 yards when he went down for the rest of the season with a hip injury. Despite all the other names at WR now on the Redskins, Hankerson could just be the most physically talented of them all. This pick is me hoping that it just might be true.

Picks #187-198 – Seattle D/ST, Terrell Owens, Stephen Hill, James Jones, Robbie Gould, Kellen Winslow, Detroit D/ST, Robert Turbin, New England D/ST, Dan Carpenter, Kendall Hunter, Jason Hanson.

My Pick #199 – K Rob Bironas: Needed a kicker, Bironas has a monster leg; Drafted.

Picks 200-204 – Neil Rackers, Brian Hartline, Greg Zuerlein, Matt Bryant, Mike Nugent.

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My Final Roster: QB Matt Stafford, RB Fred Jackson, RB Isaac Redman, WR Calvin Johnson, WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Reggie Wayne, TE Aaron Hernandez, D/ST NY Giants, K Rob Bironas, BNCH Carson Palmer, BNCH Mikel LeShoure, BNCH Darrius Heyward-Bey, BNCH Titus Young, BNCH Leonard Hankerson, BNCH Martellus Bennett.

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Overall, I think I am pretty damn happy with my roster. My biggest question mark is at the RB2 spot, but I think Redman should be good enough until I an start plugging in LeShoure. I feel very safe at WR with Young and Hayward-Bey on my bench, so I will be hunting the next big thing at RB all season long. My season could also be riding on the health of Matt Stafford’s shoulder.

What do you think of my team? Where am I strongest, where am I weakest? Constructive criticism is always needed to get better!

Keep in touch with me on Twitter! @Blackie_Mike (koopafantasy)

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