Format: Standard & PPR Leagues
When preparing for a fantasy draft many of us concentrate and script the first seven picks. After all, these picks usually build the foundation of our team. After the first seven rounds, I usually have the “core” of my team selected with at least 3 RBs, 2WRs, 1QB, and 1TE. Of course, some may choose 3 RBs, 3 WRs, 1TE and no QB. What about those tough middle round decisions? Those picks can either “make” or “break” my draft. I usually use these rounds to add depth to my line-up, search for handcuffs for my RBs, and try to find those evasive “sleepers”. Most fantasy football drafts are between 16 and 20 rounds. If we do some quick math, rounds 8 to 11 would be the middle point for most drafts. Depending on my league rules, the next 4 rounds would determine what positions to target and the availability of players at each position. For example, if I was in a PPR league than “extra weight” would be given to WRs for receptions. I will identify some players that may be available in round 8 through 11 and the reason why I would select them.
QBs: Colin Kaepernick / Tony Romo
Tony Romo threw for 4,903 yds and 28 TDs in 2012. He played all 16 games with (9) 300+ yard games.
Colin Kaepernick threw for 1,814 yds and 10 TDs but played in only 13 games. The 49er offense is a run first team and his stats reflect this. The selection is Tony Romo.
RBs: Chris Ivory / Danny Woodhead / Deangelo Williams / Bryce Brown / Rashard Mendenhall
Several starting RBs are still available in this round and if you are weak at RB, this would be the round to take one. Based on the choices above, I would select DeAngelo Williams. Williams should see a lot of carries in the Panther offense this year. With Jonathan Stewart nursing his injuries and Cam Newton remaining more under center in this offense, DeAngelo could be a work horse this year.
WRs: Kendall Wright / Vincent Brown / Golden Tate / Justin Blackmon / Emmanuel Sanders
A very nice selection of WRs to choose from but one stands out above the others – Vincent Brown. The Chargers are hurting for WRs and Brown will start opposite Malcolm Floyd. With the Chargers coming from behind this year, they will have to throw the ball. Vincent Brown should be the recipient of most of those throws. Runner-up: Golden Tate
RBs: Isaiah Pead / Andre Brown / Vick Ballard / Bernard Pierce
I love Andre Brown here. David Wilson is the “hot” back for the Giants right now but Brown is on the field at least 50% of the time. Brown will also see the majority of the goal line carries. Andre Brown would be an excellent choice to add depth to my RB position at this draft position. In addition, I have worries about David Wilson’s size to last all 16 games.
WRs: DeAndre Hopkins / Chris Givens / Ryan Broyles / Rueben Randle / Denarius Moore
A tough choice here between Chris Givens and Rueben Randle. Givens will be “the” big play guy for St. Louis, not Tavon Austin. Rueben Randle will play in 3-wide sets and any injury to Cruz or Nicks would result in him being a starting WR for the Giants. My choice is Chris Givens. Close Runner-up: Rueben Randle
TEs: Jared Cook / Kyle Rudolph
Both of these TEs are not fantasy studs by any means but at least Kyle Rudolph knows how to find the end zone. Jared Cook will have to prove himself in the St. Louis offense and I don’t have the patience to wait until that happens. Selection: Kyle Rudolph
RBs: Jonathan Franklin / BenJarvus Green-Ellis / Pierre Thomas / Ben Tate
This group looks like the “waiting for my opportunity to happen” club. With all the nagging injuries Arian Foster is nursing, Ben Tate looks like my best option.
WRs: Cordarrelle Patterson / Aaron Dobson
Both of these WRs have a nice opportunity to start. Cordarrelle Patterson will have the best chance of making an impact right away. The Patriots are still trying to find their combination of starting receivers. I will go with Patterson.
TEs: Brandon Pettigrew / Antonio Gates /Owen Daniels
If I have to choose between two aging veterans, I will select Antonio Gates. He is not the player he used to be but the Chargers are implementing a short passing attack this season. This just might benefit him. Decision: Antonio Gates.
RBs: Zac Stacy / Jacquizz Rodgers / Michael Bush
All of these RBs are back-ups so which one will see the field first. I am going with Jacquizz Rogers, although Michael Bush is a close second. Rogers will be used sparingly in the Falcon passing attack but he may see more time throughout the year to rest Steven Jackson. Selection: Jacquizz Rogers. Runner-up: Michael Bush
WRs: Brian Hartline / Kembrell Thompkins / Sidney Rice / Malcolm Floyd
Kembrell Thompkins looks intriguing this year. Any receiver that Tom Brady throws to could become a potential fantasy stud. This could be my WR “sleeper” for the year.
TEs: Brandon Meyers / Coby Fleener / Martellus Bennett
All three of these TEs will be productive this year. They will not rank in the top 10 but Martellus Bennett will have the best opportunity in the Bears passing attack.
With Fantasy Football drafts heating up the next two weeks, I will be tracking the players I have discussed above. Hopefully, I will be prepared for “Those Tough Middle Round Decisions.”