One is never enough. We completed a second FFPC draft as we chase our shot at the $250,000 grand prize. For those unfamiliar with FFPC scoring, teams must start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 2 Flexes, 1 K, and 1 DEF. It’s dynamic point-per-reception scoring with tight ends receiving 1.5 points-per-reception. We drew the 1st pick out of 12. Without further ado, our draft results are recapped below:

Pick 1.01: Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN

Others Considered: Jimmy Graham, TE, NO

Due to TE enhanced scoring, we toyed with the idea of taking a contrarian approach by selecting Graham. However, we selected this season’s de-facto #1 player, Adrian Peterson. Peterson stated that his goal is to run for 2,500 yards. While that total is very lofty, no one is questioning AP. Peterson is locked and loaded as our anchor. 

Pick 2.12: Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI

Others Considered: None

Getting Marshall at the end of the second round is a gift. Marshall’s 2012 season, 108 receptions, 1,508 yards, and 11 TDs, was downright dominant. Quarterback Jay Cutler loves throwing the ball to Marshall and new head coach Mark Trestman will find away to get the ball to Marshall. Marshall is grouped in the second tier of wide receivers with AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Demaryius Thomas. Getting Marshall here is a home run. 

Pick 3.01: Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN

Others Considered: Stevan Ridley, RB, NE; Jason Witten, TE, DAL

In our first draft, we opted to use a RB heavy approach. We wanted to follow suit in this draft, but the wide receiver value was way too good. Peyton Manning and Thomas developed an impressive connection which led to 94 receptions, 1,434 yards, and 10 TDs. With Wes Welker’s arrival in Denver, Thomas should never see a double team. 

We considered both Ridley and Witten, but both players have some drawbacks. Ridley is the centerpiece of New England’s running game, but does not catch many passes. Witten routinely catches over 100 passes, but does not receive red zone targets. Thomas has the ability to finish first among wide receivers and that value was too good to pass up. 

Pick 4.12: Marques Colston, WR, NO

Others Considered: None

Since we only had one running back, we’re focusing on nabbing a RB2. However, Colston fell to us and the running back pool was getting ugly. Colston is the model of consistency, catching over at least 80 passes, 1,023 yards, and 7 TDs over the last three seasons. Colston is the top wide receiver in arguably the NFL’s best passing offense. Colston is a weekly flex player that should dominate his match-up. 

Pick 5.01: Shane Vereen, RB, NE

Others Considered: None

As stated above, the RB pool was getting ugly and Vereen was the last player in the ‘salvageable’ RB2 class. Vereen is a movable chess piece that will line up all over formations. Vereen should assume Aaron Hernandez’s targets and will crate mis-matches all over the field. His role should be similar to Darren Sproles’, but Vereen should see more work in-between the tackles. 

Pick 6.12: Cam Newton, QB, CAR

Others Considered: Josh Gordon, WR, CLE

Seems familiar? This was probably the turning point in our draft. Newton was the last of the ‘Big 5′ starting quarterbacks. Last year, our QBBC was comprised of Eli Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick, so we were open to drafting a QB in the mid-rounds. Newton finished fourth among QBs last year thanks to a monster second half. Newton offers a blend of passing (3,869 yards/19 TDs) and rushing (741/8) that few players can match. Newton posted six multi-TD performances over his last eight games. Mike Shula returns as Carolina’s offensive coordinator and Newton owes a lot of his success to Shula.

Carolina’s offense stunk during the pre-season, but Newton barely ran the ball. Newton’s versatility is Carolina’s biggest threat on offense, so take the pre-season with a grain of salt. In addition, the NFC South is shaping up to be shoot-out city on a weekly basis.

Fun Stat: Over his first two seasons, Newton has run for 1,447 yards and 22 TDs.

We weren’t immediately sold on Newton due to overall QB depth. There were several options ranked below Newton (Luck, Romo, Wilson, Vick) that we were intrigued by. However, Newton has the ability to finish as the #1 player in fantasy and the FFPC is all about swinging for the fences.

Pick 7.01: Jordan Cameron, TE, CLE

Others Considered: Josh Gordon, WR, CLE

Seems familiar? This pick is all about upside. Given the scoring bonuses for TEs, we wanted to lock up at least one upside play. Cameron was the 9th TE selected, but he has the ability and situation to become a Top 5 TE. Cameron is an absolute load of a player (6’5″, 254 pounds) that displays impressive open field speed and strength to secure tough catches in traffic. New head coach Rob Chudzinski turned Greg Olsen into a 70 catch, 1,000 yard player and Norv Turner has a long track record of developing TEs. Cameron had an impressive two touchdown performance during the pre-season and has demonstrated impressive chemistry with Brandon Weeden. Cameron is raw, but we intend to pair him with other TEs in hopes of landing at least one stud player.

Josh Gordon has incredible ability, but will start the season on a two-game suspension. We don’t want any head cases on our team.

Side Note: Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, and Tony Romo were selected after our picks. This outcome validated our decision to select Newton where we did. If we passed on Newton, Matt Stafford and Russell Wilson would have been our options. 

Pick 8.12: Zach Sudfeld, TE, NE

Others Considered: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET

Seems familiar? Fantasy owners can’t expect great rewards without great risk. Sudfeld has inherited the ‘Aaron Hernandez role’ in the New England offense. In addition, Sudfeld will start while Gronk attempts to come back from his back injury. Alike Cameron, Sudfeld is a big body (6’7″, 270 lbs) that offers a premium red zone target. During the pre-season, Sudfeld had his share of highs (leaping TD grab down the seam) and lows (fumbling against Detroit and heading to the bench). Still, New England cut tight end Jake Ballard, who was thought to be Gronk’s temporary fill-in. As of today, Sudfeld and Michael Hoolwanui are the only healthy tight ends on the roster. We’re expecting a lot of suds early and often. We won’t be surprised if Suds remains a mainstay after Gronk returns.

We were considering Brandon Pettigrew, but were ultimately concerned about his tendency to drop passes. Sudfeld offers more upside. 

Pick 9.01: Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL

Others Considered: None

Through our first eight picks, we only secured two running backs. Therefore, we needed to build some depth. Bernard Pierce is Ray Rice’s back-up, but Pierce is by far the most talented back-up RB in the NFL. The Rice-Pierce tandem shredded the Broncos for 153 yards and 1 TD during the divisional playoff. No one will deny Rice’s talent and situation, but he has logged over 1,200 carries in his first seasons. The Ravens may opt to bring in Pierce to spell Rice throughout games. If Rice suffers an injury, Pierce instantly becomes a weekly RB1 starter. Even if Rice stays upright, Pierce has flex appeal. Could Pierce be this year’s CJ Spiller and lead us to a title? It’s very possible.  

Pick 10.12: Pierre Thomas, RB, NO

Others Considered: Joique Bell, RB, DET

Pierre Thomas does not receive much respect in fantasy circles. Backfield mates, Darren Sproles (3.06) and Mark Ingram (6.06) were drafted way ahead of the PT Cruiser, but the Cruiser offers the most value. Thomas is the only Saint running back that can fluidly catch passes and run hard between the tackles. He’s a great RB4 that has some upside if an injury happens. 

We were ready to draft Joique Bell, but the team in front of us nabbed him. 

HALFTIME

Through ten rounds, we have amassed the following line-up:

QB: Cam Newton (6.12)
RB: Adrian Peterson (1.01)
RB: Shane Vereen (5.01)
WR: Brandon Marshall (2.12)
WR: Demaryius Thomas (3.01)
TE: Jordan Cameron (7.01)
FLEX: Marques Colston (4.12)
FLEX: Zach Sudfeld (8.12)
BENCH: Bernard Pierce (9.01)
BENCH: Pierre Thomas (10.12)

Overall, we were pretty happy with this start. Our running backs may be considered a ‘weakness’, but we’ll continue to add depth. Our wide receivers look great and I love the immense upside of Newton, Cameron, Sudfeld, and Pierce.

Pick 11.01: Rueben Randle, WR, NYG

Others Considered: None

A lot of teams were taking back-up running backs, so we wanted to ‘zag’ and fill out our bench with high upside players. Pre-season darling, Rueben Randle, has drawn high praise from Eli Manning. Randle can run the entire route tree and should receive significant playing time on Sundays. If Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz miss time, which is very possible, Randle could explode. Marshall, Thomas, and Colston have bye weeks in the early part of the second half, so Randle may be ready to spot start for us. 

Pick 12.12: Michael Bush, RB, CHI

Others Considered: None

A lot of our RB targets from Draft 1.0 (Christine Michael, Roy Helu, and Kendall Hunter) were drafted in front of us, so we settled on Michael Bush as our RB5. In limited action, Bush ran for 411 yards and 5 TDs last season. Matt Forte missed a few games last season and Bush stepped in and performed well. In Week 12, Bush ran for 60 yards and 2 TDs against the Vikings. He’s worth stashing. 

Pick 13.01: Quinton Patton, WR, SF

Others Considered: Coby Fleener, TE, IND

This is a pure speculation pick. Patton looked awesome during the pre-season and does not have too much competition for targets. During his third pre-season game, Kaepernick threw a quick dump off pass to Patton and Patton accelerated down the sideline for a 43-yard touchdown. Anquan Boldin is the de-facto WR1, but Patton could challenge a group of middling talents for the outside job.  

Pick 14.12: Zach Miller, TE, SEA

Others Considered: None

Another low-risk, high-upside selection. Miller is dealing with a foot sprain, but exploded during the NFC playoffs. Miller caught eight passes for 142 yards and 1 TD against the Atlanta Falcons during the NFC playoffs. Miller is fine as a speculative TE3. 

Pick 15.01: St. Louis DST

Others Considered: None  

The Rams open the season at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals yielded the most points to defensive teams last season. 

Pick 16.12: Baltimore DST

Others Considered: None 

Baltimore is one of the top defenses on the board. We can pair them with the Rams. 

Pick 17.01:  Joe Flacco, QB, BAL

Others Considered: None

We like Flacco’s Week 4 match-up against the Bills on Cam Newton’s bye week. 

Pick 18.12: Nick Toon, WR, NO

Others Considered: None 

This pick is all about upside. Toon may explode if Lance Moore and/or Marques Colston fail to stay healthy.

Pick 19.01: Toby Gerhardt, RB, MIN

Nothing more than Adrian Peterson’s handcuff. 

Pick 20.12: Greg Zuerlein, PK, STL

We picked a dome kicker. 

FINAL ROSTER

QB: Cam Newton (6.12)
RB: Adrian Peterson (1.01)
RB: Shane Vereen (5.01)
WR: Brandon Marshall (2.12)
WR: Demaryis Thomas (3.01)
TE: Jordan Cameron (7.01)
FLEX: Marques Colston (4.12)
FLEX: Zach Sudfeld (8.12)
K: Greg Zuerlein (20.12)
DEF: St. Louis (15.01)

BENCH: Bernard Pierce (9.01)
BENCH: Pierre Thomas (10.12)
BENCH: Rueben Randle (11.01)
BENCH: Michael Bush (12.12)
BENCH: Quinton Patton (13.01)
BENCH: Zach Miller (14.12)
BENCH: Baltimore (16.12)
BENCH: Joe Flacco (17.01)
BENCH: Nick Toon (18.12)
BENCH: Toby Gerhardt (19.01)

FINAL THOUGHTS

This team has a ton of upside. Our foundation of Peterson-Marshall-Thomas-Colston-Newton is rock solid. I love the upside picks of Vereen-Cameron-Sudfeld-Pierce-Patton sprinkled in. Initially, I was disappointed about our lack of RB depth, but things turned around in the middle rounds. This team should be very competitive. 

Best of luck to all participants and to FFPC/FBG staff for making this the premiere fantasy event!