Last night I had the chance to attend the NFL's official fantasy draft at the Edison Theater in New York City. Twelve teams made up of various companies in business with the NFL got together for a live draft hosted by Scott Hanson, of the NFL's "Red Zone" channel, and NFL.com's fantasy guru Michael Fabiano. I had a chance to chat with Fabiano about his favorite 2010 fantasy sleepers and his personal draft strategies.
QB - Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Kevin Kolb - His top sleeper QB is Eagles new starter Kevin Kolb. Fabiano cited his accuracy, weapons, and the pass happy Philly offense as the main reasons he "loved" Kolb. He told me he has Kolb ranked ahead of former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb on his fantasy draft boards. Despite being an admitted Cowboys fan, Fabiano said that he's already taken Kolb in several of his drafts this year.
RB - Houston Texans RB Arian Foster - Fabiano said he expects Texans RB Arian Foster to have a breakout year. With the strong way he ended last season and the fact that appears to be the favorite to start for Houston this year, Foster could end up being a top fantasy back that you can get somewhere in the middle rounds of the draft.
WR - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace - Last year as a rookie Mike Wallace had a good fantasy season, but with the offseason trade of Santonio Holmes Wallace instantly becomes a starter in the Pittsburgh offense. With the aging Hines Ward opposite him, you could argue that Wallace is already the Steelers' #1.
TE - Packers TE Jermichael Finley - Although it's tough to call Finley much of a sleeper anymore, Fabiano sees him as a possible dominant fantasy performer this coming season. He finished off last year very strong, has had a nice preseason, and plays with the top fantasy QB in the NFL in an offense that likes to throw. Of all the players we talked about last night, Fabiano was most excited about Finley.
Fabiano also chatted about his draft strategies. His biggest piece of advice was to not overdraft quarterbacks. After the top three or so elite fantasy QBs, the dropoff between the rest of the options is not particularly large. He said he's seen quarterbacks taken in the 3rd and 4th round that are likely to put up similar fantasy numbers to those taken in the 7th round in many leagues. He recommends you wait until the 6th or 7th round to grab your QB if you decided to pass on or miss out on the likes of Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning. He mentioned guys like Matt Ryan & Kevin Kolb who will likely give you solid starting fantasy points that can be had in the 7th or 8th round.