Thursday - Jan 17, 2019

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Drafting the Cardinals

If you are like me, your excitement over fantasy football is often tempered somewhat by circumstance. Watching Andre Johnson haul in a 50-yard-catch for a TD is exciting … right up until you realize you are matched up against Matt Schaub that week. You then sink back on the couch knowing that pass gained you only three points instead of 11. Or worse, your favorite team and your fantasy team collide and every point you score is bittersweet as it dents your real team’s chances for the playoffs. If you’re like me, there is a lot of allure in following this unorthodox strategy below which will temper or even outright eliminate these disappointments will start to sound appealing.

The strategy is simple – just draft a whole team. Pick a team that will score lots of points and go out and get everyone of its major players and start them each week. You want to be competitive you say? Well make sure you pick your team well, and here’s my suggestion to you: take the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals represent a great opportunity to take their major producers while leaving plenty of draft picks for filling out your roster. With an early to mid pick in a 10-team league you could grab Larry Fitzgerald in the first round (ADP 8), Anquan Boldin in the third (ADP 26), Kurt Warner in the fourth (ADP 43), Chris Wells in the sixth (ADP 67) and Steve Breaston in the 10th (ADP 111th); and voila you have a starting lineup that mirrors the Arizona Cardinals with high picks left over.

How well would this team stack up? With your second pick you could grab a solid RB like Clinton Portis, Brandon Jacobs or Marion Barber who all have ADPs that put them in the late first-early second round. Your fifth round pick could be a big upside guy like Darren McFadden or Joseph Addai, or a solid vet like Thomas Jones that pushes Chris Wells into your flex position. You can then round out your team with another back and receiver and a tight end in the seventh to ninth rounds. Are you going to lose your bye week? Sure you are, but most years you will end up with at least one bye week with three or four starters on the bench, and you are unlikely to have any additional bye week problems from that week out. Let’s look at your team.

WRs – The class of your league, Fitz is the consensus No. 1 this year and Anquan has been one of the top points-per-game receivers in the league the past few years (and was No. 1 last year). Breaston put up good numbers last year in relief of Boldin and mitigates an injury to either of your Top 2 receivers; that’s a luxury few have.

RBs – Slightly below average, your No. 1 will put up some points but will likely have some injury concerns throughout the year. Your No. 2 could be either a steady player or a high upside choice. Wells should produce as an above average No. 3/flex player and has potential to be a Top 15 back.

QBs – Good but with injury risk; over a full slate Warner will probably put up Top 6 numbers, but at 38 he’s no spring chicken. Make sure you grab Matt Leinart off waivers if Warner goes down or have a solid No. 2 behind him.

TEs – Up to you but with the option of a seventh, eighth or ninth round pick you could grab any number of guys and get at least average TE production.

For those of you who are looking to build a unique team or are just die-hard Cardinals fans, this type of draft could be a lot of fun while building you a solid team with several upside players who could help lead you to victory this year. Good luck drafting.

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