The Sporting News Fantasy Source experts held our final, real draft of the preseason tonight. This one we play for pride and cold hard cash. Naturally, I got stuck with the 12th pick (yes, they fear me).
It's a standard, 12-man league with 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 D/ST and 1 K.
Here's what I got:
Pick 1.12: Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots. Megatron and 10 RBs went before my pick, but Rice and Marshawn almost slid to me. So, true to my Perfect Draft strategy, I made the decision to go RB/RB.
Pick 2.1: Chris Johnson, RB, Titans. I have Johnson ranked as the 6th-best RB in the draft, with Ridley #9. Just picked them out of order, for no good reason. Yes, Dez was there. Hated letting him go.
Pick 3.12: Vincent Jackson, WR, Bucs. The top WRs were long gone, but Peyton almost fell to me. A-Rod hung around till 2.12, while Brees, Cam and Peyton also went in this round. I'm fairly happy with V-Jax as my lead WR. (FYI, had I waited till now for my RB2, my best option would have been Lacy or McFadden; thus validating my RB/RB strategy.)
Pick 4.1: Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons. I'm happy with Ryan, but I considered waiting until the swing-back for RG3. Didn't think he'd be there (but he was; barely).
Pick 5.12: Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys. Graham, Gronk and Vernon were gone, so it was time. Gonzo went after my next pick.
Pick 6.1: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts. Love Hilton, but wish he was my WR3. If he produces as I expect, he'll be a great #2, though.
Pick 7.12: Stevie Johnson, WR, Bills. We'll see...
Pick 8.1: Vincent Brown, WR, Chargers. This pick could pay off big-time. Or go pfffft.
Pick 9.12: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans. You know I love him. I got him.
Pick 10.1: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers. What do you do when the RBs are essentially depleted? You grab a player that is expected to be a workhorse once he returns some time around Week 6 or 7. My first starting RB's bye is Week 8, so I feel very good about this pick.
Pick 11.12: Daniel Thomas, RB, Dolphins. Lamar Miller isn't exactly cemented into Miami's starting lineup.
Pick 12.1: 49ers defense/special teams. Seattle's unit went 2 rounds earlier. Shocked San Fran fell this far.
Pick 13.12: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons. What are the chances that 30-year-old Steven Jackson misses a start or two this season? Yeah, I thought so.
Pick 14.1: Matt Schaub, QB, Texans. You know he's my boy.
Pick 15.12: Marcel Reece, RB, Raiders. What are the chances that Darren McFadden misses a start or five this season? You betcha.
Pick 16.1: Matt Prater, K, Broncos. My top-ranked kicker.
Overall, I'm satisfied with this team, though a championship is far from certain. I need CJ2K to return, Ryan to take another step forward, T.Y. to emerge and Philip Rivers to fall in love with Vincent Brown.