At No. 2, one QB, two RBs hold major appeal

Posted July 10, 2012 @ 1:28 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

If I get the No. 1 pick in my fantasy draft, I’m taking Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. I am on the record on this. There’s no gamesmanship here, no bad poker face with eyes concealed by cheap sunglasses.

Once I take Rodgers, I will do the following:

• If I am thirsty, I will walk to the refrigerator and crack open a beer, hopefully one of the last Yuenglings I carted back north from Atlanta.

• If I am hungry, I will open a bag of pretzels.

• If I am hungry and thirsty, I will have pretzels and beer.

• If I am at home, I’ll slide back in my chair and put my feet on the computer table. My work here is done.

• If I’m at a friend’s place, I won’t put my feet on the furniture, and no one likes a braggart, so I’ll try to smile wanly and keep my mouth shut instead of smirking like a sharp-fanged cat at a seafood buffet.

There it is, my No. 1 pick strategy. But let’s suppose I get the No. 2 pick. Well, it’s possible that someone other than Rodgers could go first, but it’s also possible that someone’s friend of a friend two seats down from me at my buddy’s draft is picking first, and he’s wearing a vintage Robert Brooks jersey and bearing the glow of a guy who’s going to draft the NFL’s best player and his favorite team’s quarterback.

Then what will I do?

It’s quite clear I prefer Rodgers to every other quarterback, so if I take a passer here, it’s the second-ranked passer on my board, and I’m probably not going to do that. I just think Rodgers is a cut above the other options at the position. Now, I would have no qualms with someone else considering, say, Saints QB Drew Brees or Patriots QB Tom Brady with the No. 2 pick, but I would be hesitant to make that call.

I’m also unlikely to take a wideout here. Yes, the Lions’ Calvin Johnson merits a first-round pick, but I don’t like him in the top five. Nor am I willing to go way out-of-the-box — and over the edge, really — to take a tight end No. 2 overall.

This brings us to back to that old standard — running back — and two options here very much intrigue me at No. 2.

Obviously, Houston’s Arian Foster is a very strong candidate here. Foster scored more points per game than any other back per PFW’s scoring system in 2011 (19.47). He’s a special dual-threat back.

That said, I could understand someone passing on him in the first two picks. He missed three games a season ago, and his backup, Ben Tate, is likely to get 7-9 carries a game. Foster is a blue-chip player, but he’s not a slam dunk to be the top back off the board.

In fact, there’s another back I may prefer on Draft Day: the Eagles’ LeSean McCoy. McCoy, who scored an NFL-high 17 rushing touchdowns in 2011, is an electric talent. He shouldn’t make it out of the top five. I want a major TD threat and a home-run hitter if I’m drafting this high, and McCoy fits those bills.

The best possible outcome for me if I have the No. 2 pick and Rodgers is off the board? I trade out of the spot, preferably to No. 3, and I get either Foster or McCoy. But in my experience, fantasy-football trades are tough to make, especially Draft Day deals in non-keeper formats. I would need time and a motivated wheeler-dealer in the spot next to me to get a trade done.

That combination of factors, of course, rarely comes together. I’ve been to many a draft where the order is determined minutes before the proceedings begin. If you get a pick, you’re pretty much stuck there.

Fantasy owners spend a good deal of time wondering what they will do if they get the No. 1 pick, but preparing for getting that second selection is a good idea. That first pick will come off the board, and all eyes will be on you.

Me? Oh, don’t mind me. I’m headed for the fridge. Want me to get you a cold one?