Last week, Apex Fantasy Football Money leagues hosted an Expert Writers League. It’s a league for real money that is sponsored by Apex. The league included a star-studded cast with some of the best writers in the industry, including RotoWorld.com’s Evan Silva, ProFootballFocus.com’s Mike Clay, FootballGuys.com’s Sigmund Bloom and 2013 NFFC Champion Shawn Siegele.
It was a difficult draft that I was fortunate enough to participate in. In this article I’m going to run through my selections and explain my thought process. You can see the entire draft board here. Here’s a link to Apex’s PPR Scoring.
I wrote an explanation of my first nine picks in Part I. Here’s the explanation of rounds 10 through 18.
10.05 Jason Witten
With nine tight ends off the board, I was happy to select Jason Witten. Finishing as TE9 last year and TE6 in 2013, Witten will benefit from the Cowboys likely increase in pass attempts. He’s one of the late round tight end value picks. He’s also a good bet to outperform his draft position.
11.08 Lance Dunbar
As my RB5, I selected Lance Dunbar. I also expect Dunbar to benefit from the Cowboys likely increase in pass attempts. He’s by far the best Cowboys’ most efficient pass catcher out of the backfield and could surprise owners. There are reasons to align him as this year’s Justin Forsett.
12.05 Cam Newton
As the 11th quarterback off the board, I selected Cam Newton. I was ecstatic to select him there because Cam has never finished lower than QB8 in any of his four seasons. He also comes with upside as he’s finished as QB4 twice. As funny as it sounds, I waited till round 12 to select my QB and still feel that it’s one of my team’s strengths. One could argue that this pick made my draft.
13.05 Chris Polk
With the Arian Foster news breaking and 54 running backs already being selected, I was happy to take a chance on the player that I felt is the Texans’ most talented in-house replacement. Although it’s a limited sample size, Polk has a career average of 4.7 yards per carry. Asher Molk explains why he’s the player to take a chance on in the Texans’ backfield.
14.08 Doug Baldwin
Although he’s not one of “my guys” by any stretch, I was happy to selected Baldwin as WR69. With Shawn Siegele selecting nine wide receivers in his first 11 picks, WRs were flushed out of this draft early. I wanted to snag my sixth WR and Baldwin was the guy in line for the most targets. He doesn’t come with much upside but if I need a few points, I can plug him in.
15.05 Vernon Davis
A mid-6th round pick last season, you can snag Vernon Davis in the 15th round now. In 2008, Davis had a similarly frustrating season and followed with the best season of his career.
At 31 years old, he’s not too old to produce as a tight end. I don’t mind selecting Davis as the 24th tight end off the board.
16.08 Carson Palmer
Since Cam Newton is going to be starting for my squad the majority of the time, I want someone to start when he has difficult matchups. According to ProFootballFocus‘s Pat Thorman, that is Carson Palmer. In his QB Strength of Schedule article, he discusses pairing quarterbacks. His perfect pair is Newton and Palmer.
17.05 James Starks
In the late rounds, I like to select handcuff running backs who would have value with an injury. While he’s not extremely talented, Starks would see a nice workload on a great offense if Eddie Lacy went down, I don’t mind grabbing him as the 72nd running back off the board.
18.08 Jay Cutler
In Apex leagues, you can pick up a kicker and defense on the waiver wire before Week 1. For that reason, I decided to grab Cutler in case there is an injury to one of my quarterbacks. He’s a guy that I believe should have been drafted so I’m happy to add him to the squad.