NFL.com held its experts league auction mock draft of the year on July 26. The standard scoring league consists of NFL Fantasy LIVE members Michael Fabiano, Elliot Harrison, Jason Smith, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Molly Qerim and Dave Dameshek. Also in the league are NFL.com fantasy editor Marcas Grant, associate fantasy editor John Juhasz, researcher Bill Sudell and fantasy product manager Evan Singer. Each owner was required to put together a lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one flex (RB/WR/TE), one tight end, one kicker and one defense/special teams unit.
What was your draft strategy?
In auction drafts I try to get as much bang for the buck as possible without getting all bargains. At the end of the day, you still need at least two studs on your team to win, which means you're going to pay a bit more than you are comfortable with ... that's OK, so long as you pick the right guys to get in a bidding war over. Usually, one of those studs should be a running back. To that end, I was able to secure Doug Martin for $52. Not cheap, but lower than Adrian Peterson ($64) and Arian Foster ($63), while still getting a solid fantasy back ... and allowing me room to acquire a solid QB and another premium RB. The cap was $200.
Did your draft strategy work?
Yes. Considering Foster went for $63, obtaining Martin for that cheap and then Alfred Morris for $37 was great. I was also able to draft Drew Brees for just $22. So my team got a top five quarterback and two top 10 running backs (maybe top five) for $111. That's fantastic. Once I had those big-time players, I looked for bargains the rest of the way while not feeling the pressure to draft premium players. I merely needed to hold my own at WR and TE, which I did -- having a top five QB and two of the eight best RBs in fantasy allowed me the freedom to not overspend at the other positions.
What was your favorite pick(s)?
I loved the fact that I was able to secure Robert Griffin III as my backup for only seven bucks. Not a bad bye week starter for Brees, huh?
What was your worst pick(s)?
Definitely the Lions defense. I was wanting to get a sleeper for a dollar or two over the course of the final bids. Somehow I was put on auto draft ... and suddenly I was the not-so-proud owner of the Lions defense. Oh the joy.
Who drafted the best team?
Please see my main man Akbar Gbajabiamila's answer to this question. That will explain everything.