Waiting on a QB in your draft? Bet you didn't wait as long as I did in this one.
I certainly didn't plan to get into the double-digit rounds before selecting my passer, but a couple of other owners conspired to make me do so.
This was my Fantasy Sports Writers Association draft, which should be a competition between a bunch of folks who know what the hell they're doing. One guy in my league clearly doesn't. He chose 3 -- T-H-R-E-E -- QBs among his 1st 8 picks. Then he proceeded to tell the rest of us in the chat for this slow draft about how he didn't plan to trade any of them. He took the "best player available" to play defense against those of us who had yet to address the position.
Sorry, guy. The "best player available" in fantasy needs to be someone you can actually use. This is a 1-year thing. You're not Jeff Fisher trying to build an annual contender in St. Louis. You're just some dude who's about to finish well below me in the 2013 standings.
Another owner, KFFL's Ryan Bonini, drafted Tom Brady at 7.12, just 3 rounds after he selected Drew Brees. But Bonini flatly said that after his 2-WR start to the draft, he thought trading a QB would present his only chance at gaining a top RB.
I didn't bother drafting a QB at 7.01, because Matt Stafford, Brady, Tony Romo, Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson still sat on the board, with 6 of 12 teams already sporting QBs. All 6 of those guys went before my next turn, as did Eli Manning. I'd have taken the Giant as a fallback at the 8-9 turn, but the manufactured QB run pushed him up the board.
Hell if I was gonna overreach for a QB at that point -- and you shouldn't either if you encounter this odd situation.
Here's how the whole thing played out ...
PPR -- start:
1.01 -- Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
Apply the historical argument if you want against Peterson having a good year. All I can say is that he had no business producing a quality 2012. He put up 1 of the best RB seasons of all time. I'm done betting against him.
2.12 -- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
You already know he's our guy. An easy choice as my WR1 at this stage, with 6 WRs already off the board.
3.01 -- Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
Full disclosure: I've been the biggest McFadden fan around DS headquarters all offseason. But even I've gotten more apprehensive lately ... after making this pick. In hindsight, I'd probably opt for the safer Frank Gore.
That said, I still think it was an OK spot for McFadden -- 17th among RBs, with Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles among the backs already gone.
4.12 -- Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
Danny Amendola went 4 picks ahead of this spot. Nelson, though, only looks better now -- having returned to practice -- than he did when I drafted him. He brings top 10 upside to the position across formats.
5.01 -- Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals
I love this guy. I watched him for UNC last season return a punt 74 yards with 13 seconds left to knock off N.C. State -- 1 of those plays where you just know the opponent is making a mistake by giving him a chance. The upside is immeasurable. Bernard could rank top 10 among PPR backs this season. I'd consider buying his jersey if the Bengals' uniforms didn't look so stupid.
6.12 -- Montee Ball, RB, Broncos
I still think this is a steal. Denver's committee obviously -- and understandably -- has many owners concerned about Ball. But we still expect him to lead Denver RBs in fantasy points. At the least, he'll carry goal-line duties. And as my 4th RB, he brings little risk to go with RB2 upside. The only unfortunate thing is that this pick eventually led to me not drafting Pierre Thomas (1 of the few times all year).
7.01 -- Lance Moore, WR, Saints
I don't normally take Moore quite this early, but he came up next on my WR board and -- as I mentioned earlier -- plenty of QB value remained available. I do always hate to choose between Moore and Miles Austin, but ...
8.12 -- Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys
Woo hoo! The aforementioned QB run freed me to land a quality WR3 as my WR4. Austin ranked 26th among fantasy WRs last year despite dealing with hamstring trouble most of the season. A healthy Austin has upside beyond that and is a tossup with Moore on my board.
9.01 -- Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers
Good luck getting Finley this late now. Just remember which site has been telling you to target him as your starter all summer.
10.12 -- Jay Cutler, QB, Bears
Gotta take a QB at some point, right? Cutler ended up being the 17th off the board, but he brings top 10 potential under QB-friendly new HC Marc Trestman. The coach produced big passing numbers as a CFL coach, and Cutler has completed 64.7% of his passes in the preseason. It's a very small sample, but that rate tops any of his full season tallies.
11.01 -- Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals
I think Cutler could turn into a fantasy QB1 ... but I'm not ready to say that he definitely will. Combine him with Carson Palmer, though, and you should certainly be able to build QB1 value. Just ask Smola.
12.12 -- Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers
I'll be honest: I'm not sure what to make of LaFell. But my guys Jared and Kevin talked him up this offseason, and I didn't like the WRs left on the board. So he's fine as my 5th. I certainly do like Cam Newton and realize how old Steve Smith is getting.
13.01 -- Marcel Reece, RB, Raiders
Let other folks take Rashad Jennings. This is the only McFadden handcuff I'm drafting.
14.12 -- Rob Housler, TE, Cardinals
Arizona HC Bruce Arians has intimated that we haven't yet see what the team has planned for Housler. Let's just hope his recent high ankle sprain doesn't make us wait too long to get that view.
15.01 -- Percy Harvin, WR, Seahawks
Why not? I already had 5 WRs, 5 RBs, 2 QBs and 2 TEs on this 20-man roster. Perfect time to take a little risk. Seattle doesn't yet know whether Harvin will make it back this season. But if he doesn't, a 15th-round pick is easy to drop for waiver help.
16.12 -- Brandon Weeden, QB, Browns
Weeden looked really good over the 1st 2 preseason games -- so good that we added him to our last round of sleepers. I recommend grabbing a 3rd QB if you wait anywhere near as long as I did for a starter.
17.01 -- Texans D/ST
Seattle went in Round 11, which is 3 rounds later than the Seahawks D's ADP. I waited 6 rounds beyond that and got our #1 ranked D. That's a good reason to wait on this position.
Perhaps you're wondering why we project the Texans so high? Well, this D finished 2012 tied for 10th in scoring and tied for 5th in sacks. Now it gets back a healthy LB Brian Cushing and CB Johnathan Joseph. Plus whatever S Ed Reed contributes.
Oh yeah, and J.J. Watt is finally over those torn elbow ligaments that obviously hampered him throughout last year.
18.12 -- LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Steelers
Flier. LSH posted a pair of 100-yard games behind a dreadful Cardinals O-line last year. The Steelers drafted Chris Rainey last year and then signed The Hyphen in free agency after Rainey proved despicable. They clearly want to mix in a change-of-pace back. Stephens-Howling could certainly do that, with upside to accomplish more.
19.01 -- Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys
A WR handcuff to Austin. This Cowboys rookie brings terrific big-play upside -- but he'll also prove easy to drop if I need help elsewhere.
20.12 -- Jay Feely, K, Cardinals
He's a kicker. We have to start 1.
QB -- Jay Cuter, Carson Palmer, Brandon Weeden
RB -- Adrian Peterson, Darren McFadden, Gio Bernard, Montee Ball, Marcel Reece, LaRod Stephens-Howling
WR -- Larry Fitzgerald, Jordy Nelson, Lance Moore, Miles Austin, Brandon LaFell, Percy Harvin, Terrance Williams
TE -- Jermichael Finley, Rob Housler
K -- Jay Feely
DEF -- Texans