HIGHLIGHT REEL ROSTER (Current as of 04/04)
This is going to be a little strange writing about what I think I'm doing right and wrong at this point in time. It's likely going to come off like a brag so I'll apologize in advance.
This team is built with Running Backs at the core for consistency and Wide Receivers as a secondary for big points that I hope to get but won't always have the luxury of getting. Foster, Johnson & Jackson combined for 585 points last year. That's with Foster missing 4 games, Jackson missing 6 games and CJ never truly finding his legs. The addition of Ryan Matthews through an off season trade will essentially substitute the production Jackson had and drop 6 years in age. As such, all 3 starting Running Backs will have RB1 production this year and will be 26 or younger at the start of the season.
The Wide Receiver corps is a combination of youth and high end production. Both Welker (30) and V-Jax (29) had their best Fantasy seasons ever last season. Brown, Cruz & D-Jax are all 25 or younger. I expect D-Jax to return to form after he got his contract extension and doesn't have to worry about getting hurt without getting paid. That's 5 WR1 level receivers that can be swapped in and out depending on matchups.
I was fortunate to grab Jimmy Graham in the 2nd round of our draft last year off an odd drop by Rob. He's proven to be a top 3 TE in a perfect system for him and is only 25 years old.
I have picks 1.06 3.06 3.07 4.06 5.06
I essentially crippled my draft in order to make a stronger run for the title this year. 1.09 was packaged with Brandon Marshall to get Chris Johnson back. 2.06 was packaged with Kenny Britt and Mike Williams to pick up Ryan Matthews. While I know where 1.06 must go, the later picks are going to be difficult. A lot of research will have to go into finding sleepers. Last year I grabbed Antonio Brown at 3.05 so no one should be overlooked.
The following players should not be moved short of both their core position being replaced with at least a lateral move PLUS another player or draft pick of quality.
At the present time there are 3 truly elite Fantasy Running Backs. Foster, Rice and McCoy. Prior to his major knee reconstruction I would have put Peterson in that mix. Considering his age, style of play and nature of surgery that's no longer the case. Despite nagging hamstring issues, Foster still managed to put up 250 points this past season. That's with missing 4 games including week 17, which artificially inflates stats. I expect similar production for the next 3 - 5 years.
I consider Jimmy Graham a gift. I was all set to try and make a trade for him last year and then Rob dropped him for no apparent reason. With the exception of Andy, I don't think anyone else was aware of just how great Graham would be coming into last season. Andy passed on grabbing a TE in the 2nd as he was in the midst of rebuild so it was a no brainer for me. He's a TE that puts up elite WR1 numbers (1300 yards + 11 TD's last year). It's like getting a bonus WR. Considering his age, the offensive system he's in and having a top 3 QB throwing to him, he'll be starting every week for years.
My Quarterback situation needs to be addressed immediately. Roethlisberger has been sliding from high QB1 down to mid QB2 status over the last couple of years. He had his 2nd most passing yards but also had more attempts than any other year of his career. He also had the least amount of rushing yards, no rushing TD's and the 2nd most fumbles of his career. The first thing that needs to be addressed with my team is drafting a Quarterback. I'm fortunate in that the needs of our league in the 1.01 - 1.05 are such that it'd be an extraordinary reach for anyone to take Luck or RGIII ahead of any number of Backs or Receivers. I have zero doubt that one QB or the other will fall to me at 1.06 and will be picked up. If for some outside reason both are taken, it means a high level RB/WR will be waiting so it's all gravy.
If looking at the team from the outside, I'd recommend moving Fred Jackson, Vincent Jackson and Wes Welker on a sell high based on age and nothing else. No one has wanted to pick up either Jackson in early off season trading despite offers to fill obvious holes in rosters. Fred put up 170 points over 11 games. Vincent put up yet another 1000+ yard season and tied his own best with 9 TD's in a system where Rivers was nowhere near his previous levels and the offense was dominated by the run. Welker is a sell high for a team looking to make a run. He put up 1600 all purpose yards and 9 TD's last year.
The team is built young and produces high. With an acquisition at Quarterback the primary need of the team will be addressed. After that it just comes down to smart drafting.