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Hogs Haven 2014 Writer's Fantasy Football Draft Recap

The Hogs Haven writers face off in the first annual staff fantasy football draft

Jamie Squire

The NFL returns in full force today, and with it so too does fantasy football.  Fantasy football takes on added importance and meaning when you're a fan of a team like the Redskins (or any DC-based sports team for that matter). Your fantasy team is the one team that you feel like actually has a chance to win a championship every year.

To help ease our pain, the Hogs Haven staff decided to start their own fantasy league.  The draft was held this past Monday, and I'm here today to share the results with you.  Before we dive into the draft itself, take a look at the league setup and my overview of the draft breakdown below.

Format, Scores and Settings

  • Draft Type: Standard Snake Draft
  • Site: Yahoo
  • Date: 9/1/14
  • Scoring: Half-Point (.5) PPR
  • League Size: 12 Teams
  • Pass TDs/Ints: 4 points for TDs and -1 for ints
  • Playoffs: weeks 14-16, 6 teams w/ 2 byes
  • Roster Size: 16
  • Roster: QB, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, W/R/T, K, DEF, BN x7
  • Fractional/Negative Points: Yes/Yes
  • Bonus Points: None
  • Waivers: Game Time-Tuesday, continual rolling list

I broke the draft down into four parts: the Early Rounds, the Middle Rounds, the Late Rounds and Defenses/Kickers/Fliers.  For each part, I pointed out some of the best values and biggest reaches according to consensus player ADP (average draft position) and the Expert Consensus Rankings, or ECR (all ADP and ECR data is from Fantasypros.com).  I also list a few of my favorite and least favorite picks for each section of the draft.

The ECR data is probably the best barometer of how good or bad any one pick was; whereas, the ADP data helps us to see where a player probably could or should have fallen to.  Consensus ADP data was only available for standard scoring formats, so standard scoring ECR was also used to stay consistent.  This league uses .5 PPR scoring, so just keep in mind that some WR and TE reaches may not be as poor as they appear.

The Early Rounds

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
1 Adrian Peterson Bernhard Samuel 1 Drew Brees Mark Tyler 1 Julius Thomas Bernhard Samuel 1 Andre Johnson Mark Tyler
2 LeSean McCoy Justin Byram 2 Peyton Manning Mike Harar 2 Zac Stacy Justin Byram 2 Ryan Mathews Mike Harar
3 Eddie Lacy Ken Meringolo 3 Montee Ball James Dorsett 3 Robert Griffin III Ken Meringolo 3 Rob Gronkowski James Dorsett
4 Jamaal Charles Steve Shoup 4 Aaron Rodgers Hog Hunter 4 Alfred Morris Steve Shoup 4 Rashad Jennings Hog Hunter
5 Julio Jones Marc Shea 5 Doug Martin Alex Rowsy 5 Arian Foster Marc Shea 5 Matthew Stafford Alex Rowsy
6 Matt Forte Sean Patterson 6 Brandon Marshall Matthew Rhodes 6 Keenan Allen Sean Patterson 6 Pierre Garcon Matthew Rhodes
7 Calvin Johnson Matthew Rhodes 7 Alshon Jeffery Sean Patterson 7 Shane Vereen Matthew Rhodes 7 Reggie Bush Sean Patterson
8 Marshawn Lynch Alex Rowsy 8 Antonio Brown Marc Shea 8 Le'Veon Bell Alex Rowsy 8 Andrew Luck Marc Shea
9 Demaryius Thomas Hog Hunter 9 DeMarco Murray Steve Shoup 9 Toby Gerhart Hog Hunter 9 Roddy White Steve Shoup
10 Dez Bryant James Dorsett 10 Giovani Bernard Ken Meringolo 10 Michael Floyd James Dorsett 10 Percy Harvin Ken Meringolo
11 Jimmy Graham Mike Harar 11 Andre Ellington Justin Byram 11 Randall Cobb Mike Harar 11 Victor Cruz Justin Byram
12 A.J. Green Mark Tyler 12 Jordy Nelson Bernhard Samuel 12 C.J. Spiller Mark Tyler 12 Larry Fitzgerald Bernhard Samuel

  • Best ADP Values: Larry Fitzgerald (selected 13 picks below average by Bernhard), Arian Foster (11 below average by Marc)
  • Biggest ADP Reaches: Robert Griffin III (44 picks above average by Ken), Shane Vereen (23 picks above average by Hog Hunter)
  • Best Values by ECR: DeMarco Murray and Roddy White (both selected 9 picks below ECR by Steve)
  • Biggest Reaches by ECR: Robert Griffin III (57 picks above ECR by Ken), Drew Brees (15 picks above ECR by Mike)
  • Picks I Liked: Jordy Nelson (2.12 by Bernhard), DeMarco Murray (2.09 by Steve), Rob Gronkowski (4.03 by me)
  • Picks I Didn't Like: The aforementioned QBs by Ken and Mike

Getting DeMarco Murray and Roddy White in the late 2nd and 4th rounds respectively could prove to be steals for Steve.  Bernhard appears to have gotten white guy and injury discounts with his excellent pickup of Jordy Nelson at the end of the second round.  Over the last several years, Nelson has been a top 3 receiver when both he and Rodgers have been in on the field.  I won't talk about many of mine own picks, but snagging Gronk at pick 39 needs to be discussed.  There is certainly some inherent injury risk there, but when healthy, Gronk has outperformed Jimmy Graham on a per game basis.  Getting him this late could prove to be a league winning pick for me even if he can only play 75% of his games at roughly the same rate of his normal effectiveness.

What can we really say about Ken picking Robert Griffin III in the third round other than "of course he did."  Actually there are a few more things.  Ken could have just as easily made this splashy homer pick in the 5th round right after Stafford and Luck were selected.  All of the numbers indicate that this was clearly the biggest skill position reach in the entire draft.

Quarterbacks really shouldn't be going in the first couple of rounds in fantasy drafts in general.  The position has been deep for years, there is one only starting roster spot for QBs and scoring for the position is by far more predictable than it is for RB, WR and TE.  With only 4 points for passing TDs, 1 point for every 25 yards and .5 PPR scoring, this league devalues the QB position even more.  You shouldn't even consider going QB early in drafts unless there is 6 point passing TDs and standard scoring.  Quarterback is by far the most important position in the NFL, but  despite how much people may want it to be, it is just simply not that important in fantasy football.

The Middle Rounds

Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8
1 Cordarrelle Patterson Bernhard Samuel 1 Zach Ertz Mark Tyler 1 Trent Richardson Bernhard Samuel 1 Stevan Ridley Mark Tyler
2 Vincent Jackson Justin Byram 2 Julian Edelman Mike Harar 2 Jason Witten Justin Byram 2 Pierre Thomas Mike Harar
3 DeSean Jackson Ken Meringolo 3 Torrey Smith James Dorsett 3 Cam Newton Ken Meringolo 3 Eric Decker James Dorsett
4 Matt Ryan Steve Shoup 4 Kyle Rudolph Hog Hunter 4 Greg Olsen Steve Shoup 4 Rueben Randle Hog Hunter
5 Jordan Cameron Marc Shea 5 Reggie Wayne Alex Rowsy 5 Mike Wallace Marc Shea 5 Colin Kaepernick Alex Rowsy
6 Frank Gore Sean Patterson 6 Chris Johnson Matthew Rhodes 6 Jay Cutler Sean Patterson 6 Jordan Reed Matthew Rhodes
7 Joique Bell Matthew Rhodes 7 Golden Tate Sean Patterson 7 Nick Foles Matthew Rhodes 7 Carlos Hyde Sean Patterson
8 Vernon Davis Alex Rowsy 8 Lamar Miller Marc Shea 8 Marques Colston Alex Rowsy 8 Andy Dalton Marc Shea
9 Michael Crabtree Hog Hunter 9 Jeremy Maclin Steve Shoup 9 Brandin Cooks Hog Hunter 9 Seattle Steve Shoup
10 Ben Tate James Dorsett 10 Emmanuel Sanders Ken Meringolo 10 Fred Jackson James Dorsett 10 DeAndre Hopkins Ken Meringolo
11 T.Y. Hilton Mike Harar 11 Tom Brady Justin Byram 11 Maurice Jones-Drew Mike Harar 11 New England Justin Byram
12 Bishop Sankey Mark Tyler 12 Ray Rice Bernhard Samuel 12 Terrance Williams Mark Tyler 12 Kendall Wright Bernhard Samuel

  • Best ADP Values: Nick Foles (26 picks below average by Matthew), Seattle (37 picks below average by Steve)
  • Biggest ADP Reaches: Lamar Miller (47 picks above average by Marc Shea), Zach Ertz (39 picks above average by Mark Tyler)
  • Best Values by ECR: Kendall Wright (30 picks below ECR by Bernhard), Mike Wallace (20 picks below ECR by Marc Shea)
  • Biggest Reaches by ECR: Zach Ertz (41 picks above ECR by Mark Tyler), New England (88 picks above ranking by Justin)
  • Picks I Liked: Vincent Jackson (5.02 by Justin), Marquess Colston (7.08 by Alex) Jordan Reed (8.06 by Matthew)
  • Picks I Didn't Like: Andy Dalton (8.08 by Marc Shea)

Snagging Vincent Jackson in the 5th was excellent value pick by Justin, as was the Colston pick for Alex in the 7th round.  I think I've already established how much I love Jordan Reed here and here, so I don't think I need to expound on my admiration for Matthew's 8th Round selection.

Mark got "his guy" when he selected Zach Ertz in the 6th round, but I really don't think he needed to reach that early to acquire Ertz.  Andy Dalton (aka the Red Rifle) is actually an underrated fantasy QB, but I just can't give a stamp of approval for this pick.  Taking him both in the 8th round and with Romo and Wilson still on the board is just too much of a stretch for me.  Defenses really should not be going at all before the 12th round.  I personally would never take one before the 14th or 15th round.  They are just too unpredictable from year-to-year and too easy to replace on a weekly basis.

The Late Rounds

Round 9 Round 10 Round 11 Round 12
1 Bernard Pierce Bernhard Samuel 1 Knowshon Moreno Mark Tyler 1 Ryan Tannehill Bernhard Samuel 1 Kansas City Mark Tyler
2 Stephen Gostkowski Justin Byram 2 Detroit Mike Harar 2 Justin Hunter Justin Byram 2 Riley Cooper Mike Harar
3 Antonio Gates Ken Meringolo 3 Jeremy Hill James Dorsett 3 Dwayne Bowe Ken Meringolo 3 Travis Kelce James Dorsett
4 Adam Vinatieri Steve Shoup 4 Andre Williams Hog Hunter 4 Mike Evans Steve Shoup 4 Dan Bailey Hog Hunter
5 Carolina Marc Shea 5 Sammy Watkins Alex Rowsy 5 Mason Crosby Marc Shea 5 Danny Amendola Alex Rowsy
6 Philip Rivers Sean Patterson 6 Steven Hauschka Matthew Rhodes 6 Danny Woodhead Sean Patterson 6 Brian Hartline Matthew Rhodes
7 San Francisco Matthew Rhodes 7 Dennis Pitta Sean Patterson 7 Markus Wheaton Matthew Rhodes 7 Devonta Freeman Sean Patterson
8 Steven Jackson Alex Rowsy 8 St. Louis Marc Shea 8 Anquan Boldin Alex Rowsy 8 Ladarius Green Marc Shea
9 Cecil Shorts III Hog Hunter 9 Tony Romo Steve Shoup 9 Jordan Matthews Hog Hunter 9 Terrance West Steve Shoup
10 Mark Ingram James Dorsett 10 Houston Ken Meringolo 10 Ben Roethlisberger James Dorsett 10 Darren McFadden Ken Meringolo
11 Kelvin Benjamin Mike Harar 11 Russell Wilson Justin Byram 11 Justin Tucker Mike Harar 11 LeGarrette Blount Justin Byram
12 Wes Welker Mark Tyler 12 Carson Palmer Bernhard Samuel 12 Darren Sproles Mark Tyler 12 Jarrett Boykin Bernhard Samuel

  • Best ADP Values: Wes Welker (45 picks below average by Mark Tyler), Tony Romo (38 picks below average by Steve)
  • Biggest ADP Reaches: Jordan Matthews (72 picks above average by Hog Hunter), Antonio Gates (37 picks above average by Ken)
  • Best Values by ECR: Tony Romo (46 picks below ECR by Steve), Steven Jackson (34 picks below ECR by Alex)
  • Biggest Reaches by ECR: Antonio Gates (46 picks above ECR by Ken), Adam Vinatieri (154 picks above ECR by Steve)
  • Picks I Liked: Kelvin Benjamin (9.11 by Mike), Knowshon Moreno (10.01 by Mark Tyler), Dennis Pitta (10.07 by Sean), Ladarius Green (12.08 by Marc Shea)
  • Picks I Didn't Like: San Francisco (9.07 by Matthew), Mark Ingram (9.10 by me)

Getting Kelvin Benjamin at the tail end of the 9th round was a great pick by Mike.  I picked him to win the offensive rookie of the year award in my Hogs Haven 2014 predictions piece.  The late-round tight end strategy was one of my favorites this year, and Sean and Marc got two good ones late in Dennis Pitta and Ladarius Green.

Green was a good pick for some of the same reasons that Gates was a bad one.  Gates likely won't have to wait long to get his invitation to Canton, but at 34 years old most of his on-the-field glories are in the past and not the future.  Look for Green to take reins at some point this season.  Again, you really don't want to be going "defense" this early, but if you do, you should try to get a good one.  San Francisco has lost about half of it's front seven to injury and suspensions, and the secondary isn't going to do enough to make up for those losses.

My biggest mistake in this draft was probably going with Mark Ingram and Jeremy Hill in the 9th and 10th rounds.  It's not that I don't like them, but rather that this was the time for me to pull the trigger on a QB and I didn't do it.  I would've selected Knowshown Moreno in the ninth had I known that he was there, and when I saw him get picked, I panicked and took Hill in the 11th in an attempt to buttress my RB corps and to somehow correct my mistake.  I have no problem rolling with Roesthlisberger for now, but I may very well make a trade to get the QB position where I want it to be.  However, the important thing for everyone (myself included) to remember is that: quarterbacks just aren't that important in fantasy.

Defenses, Kickers and Fliers

Round 13 Round 14 Round 15 Round 16
1 Andrew Hawkins Bernhard Samuel 1 Tyler Eifert Mark Tyler 1 Washington Bernhard Samuel 1 Kai Forbath Mark Tyler
2 Hakeem Nicks Justin Byram 2 Steve Smith Sr. Mike Harar 2 Arizona Justin Byram 2 Alex Smith Mike Harar
3 Charles Clay Ken Meringolo 3 Kenny Britt James Dorsett 3 Baltimore Ken Meringolo 3 Robbie Gould James Dorsett
4 Martellus Bennett Steve Shoup 4 Marvin Jones Hog Hunter 4 Nick Novak Steve Shoup 4 Brandon LaFell Hog Hunter
5 Chris Ivory Marc Shea 5 Delanie Walker Alex Rowsy 5 Blair Walsh Marc Shea 5 Matt Bryant Alex Rowsy
6 Denver Sean Patterson 6 Josh McCown Matthew Rhodes 6 Philadelphia Sean Patterson 6 James Jones Matthew Rhodes
7 Shonn Greene Matthew Rhodes 7 Greg Jennings Sean Patterson 7 Ahmad Bradshaw Matthew Rhodes 7 Shaun Suisham Sean Patterson
8 DeAngelo Williams Alex Rowsy 8 Aaron Dobson Marc Shea 8 Chicago Alex Rowsy 8 Jerricho Cotchery Marc Shea
9 Cincinnati Hog Hunter 9 Kenny Stills Steve Shoup 9 Tim Wright Hog Hunter 9 Buffalo Steve Shoup
10 Jonathan Stewart James Dorsett 10 James Starks Ken Meringolo 10 Tampa Bay James Dorsett 10 Greg Zuerlein Ken Meringolo
11 Heath Miller Mike Harar 11 Garrett Graham Justin Byram 11 James White Mike Harar 11 Dan Carpenter Justin Byram
12 Joe Flacco Mark Tyler 12 Phil Dawson Bernhard Samuel 12 Tavon Austin Mark Tyler 12 Derek Carr Bernhard Samuel

I'm just going to list some of the picks that I liked here, because it's hard to really consider anything a reach or a bad value when you're this late in the draft.

  • Picks I Liked: Martellus Bennett (13.04 by Steve), DeAngelo Williams (13.08 by Alex), Heath Miller (13.11 by Mike), Greg Jennings (14.07 by Sean) and Ahmad Bradshaw (15.07 by Matthew)

Below you can see how our final rosters came out.  How did we do?  What were the biggest reaches, values and steals in your opinion?  Who has the best team?  Let us hear your thoughts on our teams and yours in the comments section.