Getting Defensive

This draft is likely to be an outlier from a defensive standpoint. Only three times since 1970 has the first defensive player off the board lasted past the fifth pick.

1995 – Kevin Carter DE – 6th overall

1999 – Champ Bailey CB – 7th overall

2005 – Adam Jones CB – 6th overall

That the first defensive player might not come off the board until pick 7-10 doesn’t mean this draft is devoid of talent on that side of the ball. Fortunately, this draft appears to be strong in areas we want to address.

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Offensive Thoughts

Unlike last year, when everybody knew we were drafting wide receivers early, there are unlimited possibilities for the Broncos in this draft. So, I won’t be focusing on any particular position groups this year and will just offer up some comments about a lot of players I like and a few I hope we avoid. The plan is to cover offense today and defense tomorrow.

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More About Wide Receivers

The 2020 WR class is as good as advertised. There are 13 players at the top worthy of 1st or 2nd round grades. At least a dozen more who could be contributors to NFL teams eventually. I covered Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs III here.

Today, I want to dig a bit deeper into the next ten players on my board, which I’ll break down into two tiers. I’ll include some capsule comments about several other receivers as well. 

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Bronco Draft Thoughts

The Broncos off season started well, ended weird, and left the team with a number of holes still to address in the draft. Taken collectively, Jurrell Casey, AJ Bouye and Graham Glasgow are upgrades, but they’re replacing quality players who cost the team less in 2019, so this is really closer to a push. Resigning Justin Simmons and reclaiming Shelby Harris at a discount were exceptionally good moves. Harris is younger and healthier than Derek Wolfe and he was more productive than Wolfe last year. 

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NFL teams passed for over 100,000 yards in 2018 and most of it went to wide receivers, thus this is the deepest position group year after year. Due to this depth, you can select an anchor WR early then load up on running backs. The rise of the RBBC has also made the Zero RB an effective but tricky to execute strategy.

Target charts are nice tie-breakers if you’re stuck deciding between two players. New coordinators or teammates can have drastic impact on projected targets both good and bad, so be aware of changes.


Like last year, I’m going to break this down into two parts. This one will focus on quarterbacks and running backs.

Before I get started, I have a few helpful links you can keep open if you’re drafting online.

It’s nice to have a schedule grid handy to keep bye week business straight.

You want to peruse an injury list before drafting to keep up on the latest status impacting health issues. Some poor slobs drafted Lamar Miller 30 seconds before his knee blew out today. No helping those people, but the ones who drafted Miller 30 minutes after the fact are going to feel like jackasses.

I also keep Twitter up during drafts to keep myself apprised of fluid situations, such as holdouts, injuries, out the blue retirements.

Fantasy Football Volume II

Wide Receivers: The thing I like best about fantasy sports is there are so many different ways to build a winning team. I’ve mentioned before that the NFFC tends to favor large rosters. The Cutline leagues which I prefer feature 26 man rosters. This allows me to usually focus on running backs early. I will rarely go four rounds without collecting two running backs. I usually have a couple of them after three rounds. Then I draft a bunch of wide receivers and I’m typically able to mine some WR gold out of the lower reaches of the ADP.  Then I mix and match my WR stable against opposing secondaries.

That said, if you’re picking late in the first round, doubling up on WR this year looks like a great strategy as well. Just know that if you’re picking 10th in a 12 team draft and you start off WR/WR, when your pick comes around in round three, you’re going to find the top 15-18 running backs off the board. I don’t like feeling compelled to take a back with that 3/34 pick and I almost always see more value in the WR available in that range than in the available running backs.

The WR pool is always deep. Tiers upon tiers. I’m listing these mostly in order of how you can probably expect to them come off the board and less by preference, especially once we get out of the top 20. My rankings can and will change based on camp news and my own pre-season observations. The capsules for each player should give you an idea of how I feel about their fantasy league potential for this season.

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Fantasy Football Volume I

As I started typing this up, I realized I would have to break it into two parts. I’ll cover QB and RB today and finish up tomorrow. I generally play in redraft Point Per Reception leagues of 10 or 12 teams and my comments and rankings reflect that preference.

In overview, I stress to draft, or purchase in auction, the players you really want. Don’t be swayed by ADP numbers. These are averages and some shrewd owners in your league probably like the same sleepers you do. If you get greedy and try to steal them, you’ll lose them. Unless you’re in a league that’s very casual, it’s wise to assume you’re competing with some people with the same knowledge level and preparation you have.

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The Worst Football Article of August 2018

The distinction worst football article of August 2018 is an important one. There were hundreds of worse articles than the misbegotten dreck I’m about to review written just over the last two days, but I’m confident you’re not going to find a worse article about football.

Rarely do I read anything so bad it inspires a point by point refutation, but Mark Madden’s self-serving hit piece on JuJu Smith-Schuster encouraged me to get my Fisk on this morning.

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