By: Chase Wheetley
Chasing Glory is going to be changing a bit, with an original article at the top and a short section on player events at the bottom. For the first week of the new format, I can’t think of anything better to talk about than the live DraftMaster put together by Jim Day (@Fantasytaz) and our own Dave Cherney (@RoadWarrior_DFW). I want to take this chance to mention that I will be a guest on Michael Bronte and Shane P. Hallam’s Big F’n Dynasty Show this Tuesday night. I will be tweeting more information on that, but I hope you will join us for what is always a great show.
A 16 round draft with a one minute limit on picks filled with experts from sites all over the Interwebs guaranteed to be a tough challenge. This wasn’t your average fan’s redraft league, with magazines open and enough time to make calm, collected decisions. I attempted to live tweet my picks (you can find my commentary on my Twitter feed (@Chase_DFW), and by the time I got a tweet out I would find myself on the clock again.
DraftMasters are interesting, because each week the system picks your best possible starting lineup for you. This makes guys like DeSean Jackson and others a little easier to stomach on your roster, since you won’t be stuck with Jackson in your starting lineup with a 2 point outing.
Below you’ll find a short and sweet review of all 12 teams in the DraftMaster. It may not be the most insightful review, but it’s late, and at least you have a link to the rosters, draft report, and to a number of great follows on Twitter. You should be following everyone involved in this draft if you’re not already.
Strength: Gronkowski at TE. Gronkowski and Graham are two of the greatest VBD guys available this year.
Weakness: Flex spot is likely to be interesting for the entire league, but it’ll be a tossup between Donald Brown, Heyward-Bey, and a few others for Taz’s flex positions each week. None of the options are very exciting for me, but everyone had to compromise somewhere in this draft.
Strength: John should get a few solid starters at running back every week between Arian Foster, Reggie Bush, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Jahvid Best.
Weakness: Owen Daniels is his only tight end. One week he’ll score 0 points, and the other weeks he will start a middle of the road tight end at best.
Strength: Andrew has one of the better all-around teams in the league, with a QBBC of Eli Manning and Robert Griffin III along with receivers consisting of Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and Antonio Brown.
Weakness: All that value came at a cost, and while Tony Gonzalez will probably post TE1 numbers again, if he finally slows down Andrew has no backup plan since he didn’t draft a TE2.
Strength: Lloyd, Marshall, and Demaryius Thomas should be one of the better sets of wide receivers in the whole league.
Weakness: I don’t like depending on Matt Ryan as a starter even in a DraftMaster. Luck will probably have some decent games, but quarterback isn’t going to be a position of advantage for Bill.
Strength: Nic got an absolute steal with Cam Newton at 5.3. I was sitting at 5.6 praying Newton would fall to me. He managed to back Newton up with Roethlisberger at 11.3, and between the two will have one of the top scores at quarterback each week.
Nic’s tight ends also stand out. He landed both Gates and Witten, and if both are healthy one is a good bet as his flex starter every week.
Weakness: Behind Ray Rice at running back, Nic has Steven Jackson, who should be a good starter as long as he holds up, and DeAngelo Williams.
Strength: Early in the draft I felt like wide receiver value just kept dropping to me. I ended up with Andre Johnson, Kenny Britt, and Dez Bryant, so my starting receivers and one flex spot should be filled on most weeks.
Weakness: Running back became an issue as soon as I passed on running back early in the draft in favor of wide receivers. I took Mathews at 1.6, and didn’t take another until Beanie Wells at 6.7. I took several that I feel could have good weeks here and there, but it won’t be pretty.
Strength: Shane’s team is going to be very strong at quarterback and tight end with the Brees-Graham connection. Going quarterback and tight end early in drafts makes for an interesting roster makeup, but he is going to get a lot of points out of those two.
Weakness: Maurice Jones-Drew should provide starting numbers every week, but after that he is depending on Shonn Greene, Ben Tate, and Gerhart/Pead to contribute. I liked Tate a lot at 8.4, but every week will be a question mark at running back.
Strength: Jay’s receivers rival the top teams in the league, Calvin Johnson, Jeremy Maclin, and Hakeem Nicks penciled in as starters.
Weakness: Jay may have the ugliest running backs in the league. Jonathan Stewart is his RB1, followed by some combination of James Starks, Mark Ingram, Kendall Hunter, and Daniel Thomas.
Strength: He has Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, so that goes without mentioning, but he also has one of the best sets of running backs in the league, with Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson, Redman/Mendenhall, and David Wilson.
Weakness: His tight ends could both have nice seasons and are awesome dynasty prospects, but he may be a year or two early on getting top flight production out of Fleener and Rudolph.
Strength: This could be one of the teams that has a couple of pretty consistent high scoring running backs in Jamaal Charles and Trent Richardson.
Weakness: A lot of people see Aaron Hernandez continuing to improve, but Brandon Lloyd’s targets have to come from somewhere, and I think Hernandez may be losing some targets this year. Keller is unexciting depth behind him.
Strength: By waiting for value at quarterback (where he ended up with Peyton Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick), Brian was able to amass great potential at running back, with a core of LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, and CJ Spiller, with Rashad Jennings and Michael Bush as depth. I could see Spiller and Jackson both being startable some weeks this year. It’s one of the first times Brian might be able to say it pays to be a Bills fan.
Weakness: Olsen and Tamme are good values in the ninth and tenth rounds, and it’s a DraftMaster so it’s not as worrisome, but I think both of these guys may end up disappointing to a certain extent. We don’t really know what to expect out of them at this point.
Strength: DeSean Jackson is the ultimate feast or famine wide receiver, and only in a DraftMaster would he be a nice player to own. He is paired with Larry Fitzgerald and Victor Cruz, along with a couple of high upside guys in Cobb and Vincent Brown.
Weakness: We keep waiting on Jermaine Gresham to break out, and while this may be the year, if it doesn’t happen, Jeff’s team will struggle some at tight end.
DET RB Mikel Leshoure- Jim Schwartz says Mikel Leshoure will help the team pick up tough yardage this year.
There’s no telling who is going to lead Detroit in touches this year. At the moment I find myself attracted to Kevin Smith, who has the cheapest price tag of all three. In a 16 team IDP league I recently traded Dion Lewis and a 2013 third for Smith.
FA WR Braylon Edwards- ESPN.com reports that the Bills may be interested in Braylon Edwards.
Edwards probably won’t cost you anything in your league, and he probably won’t give you any production either, but at least he has shown he is capable of it before. He’s worth a pickup in deep leagues.
GBP RB James Starks- Although Ryan Grant would still like to re-sign with the Packers, the team is not expected to add another running back.
James Starks will get every chance to become Green Bay’s lead back this year. This is probably his best shot at establishing himself in that offense.
ARI WR Michael Floyd- After Larry Fitzgerald called him out on Twitter, Floyd finally showed up at Fitzgerald’s wide receiver camp.
This was overlooked last week, when Fitzgerald publicly called Floyd out for not showing up several days in a row. I like Floyd as the top rookie wide receiver this year, but this is concerning for me, especially knowing how much Fitzgerald’s camp has proven to help young wide receivers.
CLE WR Josh Gordon- Cleveland spent a 2013 2nd rounder to land Josh Gordon, who should become the immediate starter across from Greg Little.
I like this move for Cleveland, as they continue to add weapons for Brandon Weeden and compile a young offense. We know virtually nothing about Gordon, so I will not be one of the owners bidding first round picks on him, but if you can get him for a second, go for it. He has high upside, but don’t forget he comes with many question marks.