Ten Trends from 2009 DraftsTuesday, August 04, 2009
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Every season is different. The owner that keeps the same old strategy every year is the owner that doesn't win any money.
Here's a look at ten factors that make this year's draft unlike any other.
Editor's Note: And for all the cheat sheets, projections, columns like this, average draft position data and every stat tool imaginable, check out Rotoworld's Draft Guide on sale now.
1.Open-ended First Round
The top of this year's first round is the most wide open of any in the last decade. There is very little consensus after Adrian Peterson. This is how it should be every year because fantasy football is too unpredictable for everyone to have the same ideas.
There are a lot of different flavors available. Some will like Michael Turner's power attack, some think LaDainian Tomlinson will rebound, and others will bet big on the young guys like Chris Johnson and Matt Forte. A few will believe that a steady quarterback like Drew Brees or a receiver like Larry Fitzgerald is a safer pick.
Maurice Jones-Drew is the happy medium between veteran and youth, potential and safety. It would be surprising to see him fall too far, especially in points-per-reception leagues.
2. Top Wideouts Are Going Higher
You will read a lot of preseason literature about how wide receivers are going higher than ever as owners react to the uncertainty at running back around the league.
This is true because of the depth at the top of the wideout rankings. Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson are often drafted by pick 15. But Fitz is only being taken eighth overall, so the very top of most drafts remain a running back party.
Check out Gregg's daily updates on Twitter. Rotoworld football headlines are there too.
3. More Wideouts in Rounds Two and Three
The real difference in receiver drafting strategy shows up in rounds two and three. Using Mock Draft Central's data, wideouts take up all but six picks between No. 15 and No. 33. That's a 50 percent jump from the same group last year.
While Rotoworld disagrees on some of the names and placement of these wideouts, our Top 200 reflects a similar trend. There are roughly 15 rock solid wideouts we believe you can play every week, and they are safer picks than many RB2s.
4. The Running Back Drop
The flip side to more wideouts in rounds two and three? There are less running backs there than usual.
I see a big drop in value around RB14: Clinton Portis or Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs has an ADP of 18; the next highest back is Ronnie Brown at 28. There is another seven-pick wait for a back after that.
If you can't get a top-14 back, there still will be quality RB2s to grab. (Our favorites include Brown, Pierre Thomas and Kevin Smith.) But the ADP data indicates you don't need to be in a hurry to take them in the second round.
5. The Big Three QBs
Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are getting drafted within nine picks of each other in the second and third rounds. The Rotoworld rankings have them even closer. That's the price tag if you want to roll with an elite passer.
Brady and Manning traditionally go higher, so the value isn't bad. I've seen them slip into the late third or fourth round occasionally.
After the big three, ADP indicates there is a two-round wait until the next group of quarterbacks. This includes Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo.