Ladies and gentlemen, the Pick Six Weekly fantasy football column is back. Glad you are back reading this column. I appreciate the support you’ve given. Feel free to ask questions, badger me about my picks (last year’s weren’t great at times), etc., as you may.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Pick Six Weekly fantasy football column is back.
For readers outside of the Journal-Standard readership, glad you are back reading this column. I appreciate the support you’ve given from afar. Feel free to ask questions, badger me about my picks (last year’s weren’t great at times), etc., as you may.
To those in my area, thanks to all that read the Release The Hounds column during the NFL offseason and welcome back to the fantasy football column.
I hope to bring as much fun and entertainment to the Pick Six Weekly column as last year, if not more. And to help keep the column fresh, I’ve decided to make a few changes.
Gone are the “Pick Six: Waiver Wire Pickups” and “Pick Six: Week XX top scorers” sections of the column. Well, sort of. They’ve just been renamed.
The new waiver wire section will be titled “Can’t Wait! Waiver Wire adds” after N.Y. Jets linebacker Bart Scott's famous postgame interview after the Patriots game in the playoffs. That’s because, let’s face it, who can wait for that next waiver wire pickup that changes your season?
The new top scorers’ list will be called the “Breakin’ Bread List.” As you probably heard, USC running back Marc Tyler said in a drunken interview that USC is “breakin’ bread.” I’m sure Tyler wasn’t serious, which is why the quote is so funny.
And, hey, this column is about fun, so I went with it. Plus, you know, if the players I mention in the list do well for you, they could be ... well, you get my point.
The Purple Drank list will remain just that. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to, tweeted and emailed that loved the name, so I’m keeping it.
Alright, enough already about the column itself. Time to get down to business. Here’s my draft advice and strategies for this season.
Dummies draft early
There’s so much uncertainty coming up for this season. It further strengthens my point that you’d be foolish to have a fantasy draft in early August.
Already there’s been one injury in training camp to Lions rookie running back Mikel Leshoure (torn ACL), which already alters Detroit’s backfield. Injuries are part of the game and that can change depth chart projections.
Never mind the heralded free agent, projected rookie starter or sleeper pick that doesn’t take the reins like everyone thought he’d be (see Derrick Ward, Antonio Bryant, Montario Hardesty, etc.).
Few players can exceed expectations like Houston’s Arian Foster did in 2010. But remember when Ben Tate, Steve Slaton and Foster were all competing for the starting RB spot? Simply put, wait out preseason before drafting.
This season it’s especially imperative to see how preseason pans out. With so much player movement in such a short amount of time, it’s in your best interest to see how players look on their new teams.
For example, what if the Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler/WR Roy Williams connection in 2011 is a popular one and it shows in preseason? Both players could be steals in drafts if the Bears can maximize both of their potentials.
And rookies? To be honest, I wouldn’t draft one since the lockout took away so much preparation time for those players.
If you really have the draft fever, do some mock drafts on the various fantasy sites to curb your appetite.
The first round will not only determine the rest of your draft, but will have a ripple effect throughout your league. Yes, you still want to draft a top-notch running back even in today’s passing-dominated league. But the impact of Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Foster, Jamaal Charles or Ray Rice on your roster can be huge. Don’t dare think they’ll win you a fantasy title single-handedly, but they sure will help.
The key to drafting is building a complete team, so if those four are gone by your first pick, I’d suggest picking up the best player available and quickly making up for it the next round with a tailback.
Unlike the last few seasons, a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers or Michael Vick will be scooped up in the first round with little to no hesitation. Both may be picked up in the first round this year.
Rounds 2-4 should be used to pick up the best receiver and/or No. 2 running back or quarterback. Don’t draft a QB below the fifth round unless you simply couldn’t resist a better option.
Rounds 5-7 are your TE and WR2 and RB/WR rounds to solidify what should be your starting seven players. The next four or so rounds should be used to build your contingency plan or backs, receivers and QBs in case your original options get hurt or fail to produce. If you’re in a league with defense/special teams and kickers, draft them with the last two picks.
There are no two flukier positions in fantasy than D/ST and kicker.
Breakin’ Bread List
As a preview to the “Breakin’ Bread List” I’ll provide the top six options at QB, RB and WR for this year’s draft.
QB: Rodgers (GB), Vick (PHI), Drew Brees (NO), Tom Brady (NE), Peyton Manning (IND), Philip Rivers (SD)
RB: Peterson (MIN), Foster (TEX), Johnson (TEN), Charles (KC), Rice (BAL), Michael Turner (ATL)
WR: Andre Johnson (HOU), Roddy White (ATL), Calvin Johnson (DET), Hakeem Nicks (NYG), Greg Jennings (GB), Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)
Joey Baskerville writes his Pick Six Weekly column every Wednesday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.