First off, I want to thank Kurt Turner, Keith Lott, Joe Bond, Mike Rigz, Brendan Cole, Jacob Trowbridge, Jason DiRienzo, Roy Daniel, David Gonos, Michael Tomlin, and everyone else who invited me to participate into this league. This means a lot to me as I’m just breaking into this industry. I get to be with all these established vets and I really appreciate this. Now let’s get down to business. Having the 11th pick is very similar to eating Mexican food. Seems like a great choice at the time, but you look back with regrets while you’re on the toilet. If I could do things differently, I would probably take a WR with my second round pick because of how many receivers were taken.
With the 11th pick, I started the draft off with two RBs because there was a drop off at that position after the Top 15. I thought that was a good move, but boy oh boy was I sadly mistaken. A lot of the guys decided to go with a Zero-RB strategy. What that means is, the other people loaded up on WRs and that is what hurt me. I had slim pickings for the WR position once my 11th pick in the third round came around.
There are three pairings that you should be aware of with the 11th overall pick. With the RB/RB strategy you could get two prominent backs and do Zero-WR. Most likely both backs can finish in the top 10 or better and that is very appealing. WR/WR is what multiple people in our draft did such as Kurt. He drafted Antonio Brown in the first round and then Doug Baldwin in the second round.
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If you’re looking for a more balanced attack with the 11th pick, then the WR/RB route is more up your alley. You could do RB/WR, too depending on what players are available. That was one of the options I had, but went against it. I could’ve drafted Julio Jones (WR) with the 11th pick overall and then either Melvin Gordon, Dalvin Cook, or Leonard Fournette (all RB’s) with my second round pick. Those three positional pairings are solely based on your preferences and how your draft progresses.
Industry Draft Results
Here is the team I put together with the 11th pick:
- 1.11 Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
- 2.2 Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
- 3.11 Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
- 4.2 JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers
- 5.11 Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots
- 6.2 Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins
- 7.11 Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
- 8.2 Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings
- 9.11 Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
- 10.2 Rams D/ST
- 11.11 Mike Williams, WR, Chargers
- 12.2 Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks
Overall, I am very happy with my team. I was hyped to get Dalvin Cook with the 11th pick overall. He falls into the Bell and Nelson Effect and he’ll be by guinea pig to see if my research is correct. If you are unsure what that is then take a look at the link. Coming back from a torn ACL is alarming to some, but not to me as I am fine with taking a shot on him. Melvin Gordon increased his receptions in 2016 to 2017 by 17. He went from 41 to 58 and could get 65 or more catches with Hunter Henry out the whole season.
In Round 3, I had my eyes on Larry Fitzgerald, but Jacob quickly dashed those hopes. Demaryius Thomas is a safe player to have because last season was his worst season to date. From 2013 to 2016 he had 90+ catches for 1000+ yards. Last season, the lack of QB play really hurt his production. Now Case Keenum is in Denver; that can only help Thomas get back to 90 catches and over a 1000 yards.
I’m not upset at taking JuJu, but I’m nervous about his PPR potential. He is at best the third receiving option in Pittsburgh behind Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Going into the fifth round I was optimistic about getting another starting RB to be my backup. Mark Ingram, Jay Ajayi, Derrick Henry, Lamar Miller, Dion Lewis, and Ronald Jones were all taken before me in the fifth round.
This left me with Rex Burkhead as my best option. He’ll be the starter for New England as Sony Michel recovers from his knee procedure. Even when he comes back, Burkhead will continue to get first team reps and be a weapon in the ground and passing game. Jamison Crowder could possibly be a steal because of his new QB, Alex Smith. Smith is notorious for checking down and there are reports coming from Redskins Training Camp that those two have a good connection.
Now with almost all my starter positions filled it was time to fill my bench. The 11th pick or not, the one person I want to have on my roster in 2018 is Julian Edelman. Why you ask? The Patriots no longer have Brandin Cooks, Jordan Matthews, Danny Amendola, and Malcolm Mitchell. I have to believe that Tom Brady will want to throw to his friend and most dependable WR in Edelman. The main reason I wanted him is because just like Dalvin Cook, he is apart of the Bell and Nelson Effect.
One of two remaining starting spots left on my team to fill was the TE spot. I went with Minnesota Vikings TE, Kyle Rudolph. I think he’ll have a great 2018 season now with Kirk Cousins under center for Minnesota. He is very touchdown dependent, but so isn’t Jimmy Graham. I was able to get Rudolph two rounds after Graham though. My selection in the 10th round was very questionable, but I think it’ll work out. I took Kirk Cousins in order to stack him with his TE.
Too Minnesota Heavy?
The problem I face here is that I have three Vikings players. So, right away I have three players on a bye week. My goal in most drafts is to stack a QB with one of his WR or TE. I’m not totally upset about it because once the Vikings get in the red zone I have a high percentage of getting points. If Dalvin runs for a touchdown I get points, if Kirk throws it to anyone besides Rudolph or Cook I get points, and if Kirk passes it to Cook or Rudolph I get double points. It is a very smart strategy to follow.
Throughout the draft there was a lot of smack talk, compliments, and the most common trend in the chat was about defenses. Everyone kept asking if we were drafting a D/ST and no one would respond. I was the one who drafted the first defense and then chaos ensued. In my defense (no pun intended), I only saw two bench spots and the 30 second timer was counting down. I didn’t want to get stuck with a K or a player I didn’t want, so I went with a D/ST.
I took the Rams defense and everyone decided to take one defense. It was just a big miscommunication between everyone.
Then I had two picks left to round out my team and these players are strictly upside players. I decided to go with Chargers WR, Mike Williams, and Seattle RB, Chris Carson.
According to Mike Williams, he has a big role in the red zone with Hunter Henry on the IR with a torn ACL. He was the seventh overall pick in 2017 draft, so the Chargers are obviously high on him. He is not primarily a deep threat receiver like his teammate, Tyrell Williams. There is a good chance that Mike Williams could play opposite of Keenan Allen for Los Angeles.
Chris Carson could be the steal of this draft for the sole fact he could be the starting RB in Seattle. Seattle drafted Rashaad Penny with the 27th selection in the first round. Yet Carson showed he still has it when he took on the Indianapolis Colts last Thursday. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry for 26 rushing yards. If Carson stays healthy, he’ll fight Penny for the starting role and could win it.
Melvin Gordon is my favorite pick because of his top five potential. Having the 14th overall pick is definitely a benefit of the 11th pick. In PPR formats he is guaranteed to get over 1,500 total yards. I know I have said this a lot, but there are 65 available catches with Hunter Henry gone. He got 83 targets in 2017 which was seventh most in the league. I can only predict there is a chance he gets 100 targets. In 2016, he recorded 10 touchdowns and I know he can get double digit touchdowns again. There isn’t any threat of a third down back taking work away from it him, too. Gordon has a ton of talent and there is a good chance he is the fifth best back in Fantasy Football this upcoming season.
Player I Might Regret:
I might regret taking Crowder because last season he was banged up and had a very slow start. I know this was a value pick with selecting him in the sixth round, but I need him to be a WR3 or better for the first four weeks. In his first six games he had a total of 19 catches for 149 yards and he didn’t have a single touchdown. Plain and simple that isn’t good and I am a little nervous with his past production. This was one of the reasons I took Edelman as an insurance pick in the next round. Hopefully in 2018, he can turn it around and be the main weapon in Washington.
Player Who Could Make Or Break:
#19 WR / PITTSBURGH STEELERS / EXP: 2YRSHeight: 6-1 Weight: 215 lb Age: 21 College: USC Bye 7
JuJu Smith-Schuster is a man who lit it up as soon as he stepped onto that field. He plays on one of the highest scoring and skillful offenses in the league. The problem I face is that Juju is more suited for a Standard scoring format. I know he had seven touchdowns in 2017 and there is a chance at getting seven again. As I wrote about him before, he is the third option on this team. With Pittsburgh trading WR Martavis Bryant to Oakland, that leaves 84 targets and JuJu could see a lot of those. Last season, he had 80 total targets and with 84 free targets we could see JuJu get over 100.
He had a lot of up and down games in 2017 and that makes me the most nervous. He had a game of 193 yards on seven catches with a touchdown. Then he had a game with only four catches and 17 yards. Three of his touchdowns were in games that he had less than 50 receiving yards. You could say he is touchdown dependent with that stat. In the 13 games he played he had 60 or less yards in eight of them. He could certainly win me some weeks, but the real question is can be a WR 2 and win me my league?
It’s a question that might be posed by many with the 11th pick
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