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Matt Ball | Archive | Email | Twitter
Staff Writer

Earning Gold After The Early Rounds

The early rounds of your draft are obviously critical for your fantasy team’s success. If you end up selecting a couple of busts in the first five rounds or so, you are in serious trouble. However, even if you are able to efficiently navigate through the early rounds, you need to also have a good showing in the mid-to-late rounds of your draft as well. Making strong value selections in rounds seven and beyond is often a key component in a title contender’s success. You should focus largely on filling out your roster with quality depth and big upside players with these picks if you want to bring home the gold in your league.

Below, I have provided average draft position (ADP) information from Fantasy Football Calculator for rounds 7-12 (12-team mock drafts with standard scoring, taking place 8/13/12 to 8/14/12). Along with this data I am sharing my selections for gold, silver and bronze medal value picks. A player earning any of these designations provides a fantasy team with good value, in my view, but obviously the gold medalists are the best of the best.

  = Gold Medal Value
  = Silver Medal Value
  = Bronze Medal Value

ADP Player Pos Tm
7.01 Beanie Wells RB ARI
7.02 Jason Witten TE DAL
7.03 Philip Rivers QB SD
7.04 Torrey Smith WR BAL
7.05 Reggie Wayne WR IND
7.06 Ben Tate RB HOU
7.07 Kevin Smith RB DET
7.08 Mark Ingram RB NO
7.09 Roy Helu RB WAS
7.10 Jonathan Stewart RB CAR
7.11 Kenny Britt WR TEN
7.12 C.J. Spiller RB BUF
ADP Player Pos Tm
8.01 Robert Meachem WR SD
8.02 Jacob Tamme TE DEN
8.03 Denarius Moore WR OAK
8.04 Robert Griffin III QB WAS
8.05 Malcom Floyd WR SD
8.06 Fred Davis TE WAS
8.07 Titus Young WR DET
8.08 San Francisco Defense DEF SF
8.09 Jay Cutler QB CHI
8.10 David Wilson RB NYG
8.11 Brandon Pettigrew TE DET
8.12 Randy Moss WR SF

7.02 Jason Witten: Before his recent spleen injury, I liked Witten’s value quite a bit at 7.02. While his situation is a bit shaky currently, there is a possibility that he could become an even greater value in upcoming drafts. If his injury causes his ADP to trend downward in the next week or two and he ends up missing little-to-no time in the regular season, then he could fall into the Gold Medal Value category. However, before drafting Witten, make sure to read any injury updates when they become available.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Jermichael Finley at 6.04 and Vernon Davis at 6.08.

7.03 Philip Rivers: With Ryan Matthews already hurt, SD could focus more heavily on the passing attack in the interim. Gates is reportedly looking great and is healthier this year than he has been in some time. Rivers will need his WRs to play well, but he has mid-level QB1 upside if things break right for him in 2012.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Tony Romo at 5.07, Matt Ryan at 6.04 and Eli Manning at 6.05.

7.07 Kevin Smith: Not even close to the most talented RB on Detroit’s roster, but he is healthy and capable. Jahvid Best is apparently not fully past his concussion issues and Mikel Leshoure is coming back from a major Achilles injury and will be serving a 2-game suspension to start off the season. I like Smith’s odds of leading the Lions RBs in touches during the first half of the schedule at a minimum.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Stevan Ridley at 6.06 and Ben Tate 7.06.

8.03 Denarius Moore: NFL analysts, his coaches and his QB have all spoken very highly of Moore. He has incredible talent and the situation is ripe for him to take over as the top WR in Oakland. While his nagging hamstring issue is a small concern, the ceiling for this second-year WR is too high for me to give him anything less than a Gold Medal Value at his current ADP.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Eric Decker at 5.08, Jeremy Maclin at 5.09 and Robert Meachem at 8.01.

8.05 Malcom Floyd: It seems probable that one of Floyd or Meachem will put up at least 1,000 receiving yards this year. Right now, I'm leaning toward Floyd, assuming he can stay relatively healthy. I'd pass on Meachem in the late 7th or early 8th round and look for Floyd soon thereafter. Things are shaping up for this veteran to have a very nice season.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Pierre Garcon at 6.09 and Torrey Smith at 7.02.

ADP Player Pos Tm
9.01 James Starks RB GB
9.02 Toby Gerhart RB MIN
9.03 LeGarrette Blount RB TB
9.04 Darrius Heyward-Bey WR OAK
9.05 Ryan Williams RB ARI
9.06 Anquan Boldin WR BAL
9.07 Michael Bush RB CHI
9.08 DeAngelo Williams RB CAR
9.09 Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT
9.10 Santonio Holmes WR NYJ
9.11 Cedric Benson RB GB
9.12 Tony Gonzalez TE ATL
ADP Player Pos Tm
10.01 Nate Washington WR TEN
10.02 Matt Schaub QB HOU
10.03 Lance Moore WR NO
10.04 Houston Defense DEF HOU
10.05 Justin Blackmon WR JAC
10.06 Jacquizz Rodgers RB ATL
10.07 Jahvid Best RB DET
10.08 Randall Cobb WR GB
10.09 Baltimore Defense DEF BAL
10.10 Greg Little WR CLE
10.11 Mikel Leshoure RB DET
10.12 Mike Williams WR TB

9.04 Darrius Heyward-Bey: Denarius Moore is the WR that I am primarily targeting in Oakland, but Darrius Heyward-Bey proved last year that he can make plays. Someone is likely to put up significant receiving numbers for the Raiders this year, and if it's not Moore, it will likely be Hewyard-Bey.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Torrey Smith at 7.04 and Robert Meachem at 8.01.

9:08 DeAngelo Williams: In the 9th round, the available RBs are mostly #2 options in RBBC’s or clear backups. Williams is a guy that I see as an option 1A or 1B along with Jonathan Stewart. Being able to grab Williams nearly two rounds later than his counterpart in Carolina makes him the more appealing option of the duo, particularly in non-PPR formats. It’s surprising to me that guys such as James Starks and LeGarrette Blount are coming off the board before Williams.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Beanie Wells at 7.01 and Mark Ingram at 7.08.

10.01 Nate Washington: He really stepped up his game last year while Britt was out and quietly put up over 1,000 receiving yards. If Britt’s off-field shenanigans continues, then Washington will likely have another shot to post some big numbers. Nice value in the 10th round.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Robert Meachem at 8.01, Anquan Boldin at 9.06 and at Santonio Holmes at 9.10.

ADP Player Pos Tm
11.01 Rashad Jennings RB JAC
11.02 Sidney Rice WR SEA
11.03 Jermaine Gresham TE CIN
11.04 Andrew Luck QB IND
11.05 Philadelphia Defense DEF PHI
11.06 Carson Palmer QB OAK
11.07 Kendall Wright WR TEN
11.08 Evan Royster RB WAS
11.09 Rashard Mendenhall RB PIT
11.10 Pittsburgh Defense DEF PIT
11.11 Michael Crabtree WR SF
11.12 Jon Baldwin WR KC
ADP Player Pos Tm
12.01 Chicago Defense DEF CHI
12.02 Vincent Brown WR SD
12.03 Terrell Owens WR SEA
12.04 Josh Freeman QB TB
12.05 Ronnie Hillman RB DEN
12.06 Green Bay Defense DEF GB
12.07 Andy Dalton QB CIN
12.08 Santana Moss WR WAS
12.09 Austin Collie WR IND
12.10 Daniel Thomas RB MIA
12.11 Brandon LaFell WR CAR
12.12 Jared Cook TE TEN

11.02 Sidney Rice: If not for the Seahawks recent acquisition of Terrell Owens, I'd have Sidney Rice as a Gold Medal Value. His upside is crazy-high and I believe that it is unparalleled in the 11th round of a 12-team draft. Seattle desperately needs this guy to be the playmaker he proved capable of being in Minnesota and I think he'll be afforded every opportunity to make that happen.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Kenny Britt at 7.11, Darrius Heyward-Bey at 9.04 and Mike Williams at 10.12.

11.06 Carson Palmer: Using FFToday scoring, Carson Palmer was the 12th ranked QB in points per game for the 2011 season. He was very effective as a fantasy QB behind center for Oakland. Taking him in the middle of the 11th round could be a great way to land one of the pieces of your bargain bin quarterback-by-committee approach. Tremendous value at this point in the draft.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Jay Cutler at 8.09 and Ben Roethlisberger at 9.09.

11.12 Jonathan Baldwin: Supposedly he has looked great in recent weeks. Bowes absence during the off-season and first part of camp has allowed Baldwin to make his mark in Kansas City. The physical tools are there and it is looking more and more like he’ll get a real opportunity to produce in 2012. Don’t sleep on Baldwin’s upside.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Mike Williams at 10.12 at Kendall Wright at 11.07.

12.12 Jared Cook: He finished the 2011 season with an impressive 3-game run. I like his value at this point in the draft even if Britt plays a full season. Of course, I like him even more if Britt misses some real time.

Potentially similar producers being taken earlier - Tony Gonzalez at 9.12 and Jermaine Gresham at 11.03.