Draft Sharks Q&A: Sam Bradford, C.J. Spiller and more!
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Let's dive right into the questions, featuring two about St. Louis' upstart offense …
What are your thoughts on Sam Bradford in redraft leagues? Will he benefit this year from his new weapons or will it take a year or 2 for him to reap the benefits of his young WR corps?
The average age of Jared Cook, Tavon Austin, Brian Quick and Chris Givens is just 23.75 years. The RBs are even younger. So St. Louis' offense might take some time to jell.
But there's no denying the talent here - at least in the passing game. Some hiccups are expected, although we don't anticipate a season-long adjustment period.
That could change if Bradford's offensive line can't stay healthy. All 5 projected starters (Jake Long, Rokevious Watkins, Scott Wells, Harvey Dahl and Rodger Saffold) are coming off injury-riddled seasons. It's certainly a unit we'll examine closely over the coming months.
A lot of mocks have C.J. Spiller going in the 1st round. How can anyone feel safe with that?
Spiller's certainly not in an ideal situation. Buffalo will either start raw rookie QB E.J. Manuel - or an underachieving Kevin Kolb. They lost their best offensive lineman (G Andy Levitre) in free agency. And RB Fred Jackson - absent for 6 games last season - heads towards training camp at full health.
We'd be concerned for most RBs. But Spiller is a truly special talent, capable of excelling despite his shaky supporting cast. Excellent vision and burst allow him to shoot through even the smallest of holes. Elite breakaway speed makes him a threat to score on almost any touch. A 6.0 yards-per-carry mark from 2012 really speaks to that.
Ultimately, we expect him to go in the 1st round of most drafts. And you can bet he'll be inside our top-10 RBs when we unveil our fantasy football rankings in a couple of weeks.
What are your thoughts on draft strategy for this year?
- David G.
Value, value, value. How you define that depends on your league's scoring system. And of course, it's easier said than done. But that's why the MVP Board was created - so that value based drafting could be attained in all formats.
In standard leagues, though, we'll approach 2013 drafts with a few overarching ideas …
*Grab RBs Early - We mentioned above how valuable RBs are. The position is also extremely top-heavy. If you don't grab at least 1 in the first 2 rounds, you'll almost certainly be thin.
*Wait on a QB - Again, we're repeating ourselves. But you're probably not going to see us owning Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees this season. That's fine. We'll be happy to stock up on RBs and WRs before grabbing a top-10 option later.
*Wait Much Longer for a Kicker & D - We shouldn't even have to mention this one. Yet we're still amazed that in "experts" drafts, it's common for defenses to go in the middle rounds. There's simply too much variation in the performance of team Ds from year to year. Always wait until the final 2 rounds to select your kicker and D.
What is this year's deepest position? QB?
- Gabe G.
Considering most leagues start 1 QB, yes.
The position is loaded with proven vets and young studs. Just consider last year's draft, where 3 rookies (RG3, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson) all finished top 10 in fantasy points. Throw in emerging options like Colin Kaepernick and Sam Bradford, and you have a surplus.
Barring QB-tilted scoring, there's no reason to overdraft a fantasy signal caller this year. We've preached the wait-on-a-QB strategy for 14 seasons. That won't change now.
Who's the best RB option in St. Louis for PPR leagues?
Zac Stacy might end up being the best value in the Rams backfield. But if we're projecting who'll catch the most balls … that's Isaiah Pead. Yes, he's suspended for Week 1. And no, he isn't the most polished pass protector. He simply owns the best combination of pure talent and college production. Pead snagged 39 balls as a senior in 2011, scoring 3 TDs.
Still, we're not banking on any Rams RB catching 30+ balls. We might not know who the starter is until Week 1. And with such a dynamic group of receivers, an emphasis on the pass is likely under HC Jeff Fisher. Eddie George isn't walkin' through that door.
Given the fact that out of the top 20 preseason RBs only 60% retain their ranking tier ... how come we always over-value them this early on?
Supply and demand! RB has always been the sexy fantasy position. That's probably not going to change any time soon - even with the rise in pass attempts.
Given the emergence of RB by committees, though, workhorses are as valuable as ever. Disappointment will inevitably set in for several of the projected top 20 RBs. Maybe it's an injury, a decimated offensive line, or just plain bad luck. But their combination of opportunity and talent at a thin position makes them a popular target.
In 12-team drafts - PPR or not - we wouldn't have a problem seeing 11 first round RBs. Calvin Johnson will prevent a clean sweep in most cases.
When are you guys rolling out the preseason rankings?
Draft Sharks goes "live" in mid-June with 300+
profiles and projections.
We'll be sure to give everyone a heads up via email.
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