Yesterday we wrote about the Cleveland Browns and their Fantasy Football prospects. Following that article was my final fantasy football league draft. This is the most creative league I am a part of: a 12 team PPR keeper league with 4 keepers. One other unique specifier is a extra flex, but instead of the normal WR/RB flex (we have one of those as well) its a QB/WR/RB/TE flex. Given this setup QB is a high priority. As the draft went on the issue of being a homer, someone who over values the team they root for, came up in a number of my picks. So I will share here what my draft looked like and get your take on my draft/team and how bad of a homer I am. Important info is that we have 8 offensive starting slots, 1 K and 1 team defense, and only 4 bench positions.
I kept QBs Colin Kaepernick and Ben Roethlisberger and RBs Maurice Jones-Drew and Chris Johnson. I also had Larry Fitzgerald and Julio Jones but chose to go with the 2 QBs and 2 WRS. Those 4 are my first 4 picks so the drafted started in Round 5.
Draft – I had the first pick in every round. (Had network issue at start of draft that greatly impacted my picks)
Round 5: Hakeem Nicks (Was going to be Stephan Ridley) – Nicks will be my #1 WR and after not keeping a WR I needed one. I also could of selected Jimmy Graham or Jones but would of picked Ridley if I didn’t have the network error. Then focused on WRs.
Round 6: Marques Colston – Other WRs and RBs that I would of taken in Rd. 1 were gone and Colston provided the best value to fill a need on the team.
Round 7: Lamar Miller – With a regular and the extra flex position having 3 starting caliber RBs is very important to me. Miller could be a break out player but Miami’s offensive line could keep this from happening. Daniel Thomas also could take some carries away. Because of this another RB soon was in my plan, and I had my eye on one in particular.
Round 8: Daryl Richardson – The player I had my eye on fell. With Jeff Fisher, an improved offensive line and limited and/or young receivers I expect Richardson to have a better then 4th round pick season. With the addition of Richardson and Miller, as well as my 2 RB keepers I now have 4 RBs, 2 WRs and 2 QBs. This is a good balance in my view.
Round 9: Josh Gordon - My first possible homer pick. The next 3 receivers chosen after I chose Gordon were Greg Jennings, Sidney Rice and Chris Givens all selected at least 15 picks later. Gordon as my #3 receiver is a high risk/high reward pick. Health willing he won’t start over my top 2 receivers or any of my RBs at the flex position (QB will play in my multi flex position mostly). I drafted Gordon with the “97th” pick if keepers are included. In ESPN he is ranked the 107th best player, 105 at NFL and 95th on Yahoo, so I drafted him in the right range. Did my Browns fandom impact this pick? The knowledge of Norv Turner’s offense and how they plan to use Gordon may have.
Round 10: Fred Davis – A run on Tight Ends left Davis as the high possible player for me at this spot. Davis was not featured with RG3 last year and is coming off injury, because of this I planned to pickup another tight end with one of my bench spots. So far 2 players are in my 4 bench spots, my 4th RB and 3rd receiver. Davis could be a great pickup with high upside on a free agent contract, or could be waiver material in a few weeks.
Round 11: Jordan Cameron - For the reason noted above Cameron seemed to be the best TE available as he has a high upside. Since many of the other team owners are also from Cleveland I was not willing to wait on Cameron. o drafted him #121 overall. He is ranked 173 on ESPN, 118 on NFL and 109 on Yahoo. The next TEs were selected a round and a half later, Zach Sudfeld and Jared Cook. I thought about Sudfeld but Gronk’s return diminishes him and Sam Bradford’s limitations turned me away from Cook. Based on ESPN I overdrafted Cameron but got good value based on NFL and Yahoo. I had a plan for my 4 bench positions: At least 1 RB, 1 WR, a QB and a second TE. I had my RB and WR and had a plan for my 3rd QB, EJ Manual but was foiled a few picks prior to getting Manual.
Round 12: Cincinnati Defense – If you followed my AFC North Unit by Unit Rankings you know how high I believe in the Cincy defense, especially their front 7. Having them available in the 3rd to last round made the pick easy to make. I expect alot of sacks and with the quarterback pressures hopefully INTs. Adam Jones as a punt returner has also been dangerous and could be a bonus.
Round 13: Brandon Weeden – And I end up picking a 3rd Browns player, if I can trade for Trent Richardson I would have all 4 of the best Browns fantasy players. Again I wanted a 3rd QB but Manual was selected. Ryan Tannehill, Christian Ponder and Jake Locker were the only QBs selected after I chose Weeden. In a Cleveland focused league odds are Weeden would be selected, in fact 1 of the teams were named after Weeden “Garden of Weeden.” Weeden is in a high powered offense and could be dynamic. If he is good my picks of Gordon and Cameron will be as well. If he is not he is a low round pick I will filter out. With only 4 bench spots the bottom of the roster has to be moved around alot, sounds like the Browns huh? Weeden was ranked 242 on ESPN, 190 on NFL and 162 on Yahoo. Obviously NFL and Yahoo like the Browns prospects more then ESPN. I choose Weeden at 145 so he was a reach no matter what rankings I am using, but in a 12 team 2 QB league QBs have more value.
Round 14: Justin Tucker – I almost decided not to draft a K just to be like the Browns. Tucker’s offense could be interesting this year, dependent on Ray Rice and Joe Flacco. My Unit rankings will tell you I don’t believe as much in the pass catchers in Baltimore but do believe in Rice to get them in FG range often. This pick also means I have players from all 4 AFC North teams.
So the Burg Dawgs have 3 Cleveland Browns. Do you think these were #homer picks? Would you of selected the players where I did? When you draft how do you fight your #homerism? Does your dislike of teams impact you in the other way?