ya, i agree. your fundamental mistake was drafting defense and kicker way too early. for the most part, those can be interchangable parts. i personally like to go for sleepers, high risk, high reward guys before i even think of getting a kicker. there's a chance those guys can contribute to your team down the line. kickers? pretty much a crap shoot. i stream them anyway.
i'll try to break down what i like on your team:
- graham is good but i prefer gronk. anyway, worth a 2nd round pick. those two were huge last season and are easily in a separate class of TEs
- aj green is a huge value pick in the 4th round. consider that a steal. i think he finishes in the top 5-10 WR after the season. i'm assuming julio jones was off the board when you went after white in the 3rd round. anyway, great WR duo going forward for you
- i don't have a real problem with you taking ridley in the 6th round. he's one of my sleeper picks and he could provide low end RB2 production
- i like titus young. he was huge down the stretch for the lions. they're going to air it out a lot and he has prototypical WR size that is going to cause a lot of mismatches. lions goal is to spread it out, outscore you and kill you with their incredible WR corp
- hillman could be a nice sleeper
- i like bess simply because he should see a lot of targets since he's pretty much miami's best WR and one of the only options
- robinson is another good pickup. a lot of it hinges on gabbert continuing to play as well as he has in the preseason but he flashed plenty of talent at STL
now, onto the negatives:
- rivers, yikes. i had him on my team last season and he was pretty bad. he just lost vincent brown to a knee injury and he's also lost v jax in the offseason. i don't know what your draft board looked like but i wold have gone for a RB here
- you didn't draft a backup QB. huge mistake, man. not only do you need it for phillips bye week, but it's also nice to have some flexibility in case phillips struggles or gets hurt. teams now can put the squeeze on you during trades because you could end up getting desperate for a QB down the stretch. just keep an eye out for a QB that gets hot. cam was a huge pickup last year early on. tebow was another, but starter worthy QBs are hard to find in FA
- garcon isn't bad but just beware that his hands aren't great so he can pretty inconsistent week to week
- roy helu, just kinda meh on him. shanahan has been known to be really fickle with his RBs
overall, my advice is to try to package a couple of guys for a RB2 or backup QB. maybe trade cook, helu and garcon. see if you can get a guy like f jax or charles. if that doesn't work, maybe package two for a guy like mendenhall who could help you down the line. you would lose depth but your WR/RB corp would be insane. you could also target reggie bush. i don't see him putting up the same #s as last season, but he's more valuable in PPR leagues. bush is also in a contract year so any risk makes sense there.
i also like mcgahee as a late pick. if you can trade one of your cheaper guys for him, i'd think about it. i know he's old and has had injury issues but he had a resurgent year last season and a healthy manning should only help in the passing game. rivers for flacco and change? flacco is another guy in a contract year.
there's no one i really hate on your team, so that's a good sign.
if you don't feel like trading, just keep your eyes peeled. did russell wilson get drafted? he's been named the starter and if he has a good week 1, you might want to think about dropping an end of the bench guy for him. the biggest knock on wilson is his height. if he were 2-3 inches taller, i have no doubt he'd be taken in the early 2nd round at worst. the thing i noticed about wilson is that he moves around to avoid his pass being knocked down. that won't always work but it's good to see the recognition there. he can make plays on his feet and completion % means jack schitt in fantasy. he should get some okay yardage and he could throw in a couple rushing and passing TD's. you might even consider taking him now if he's still out there; the upside is there.
and honestly, if you don't like my advice, just discard it. one thing i learned is that there is multiple ways to win. there's a good amount of luck involved as well and that's just the nature of the game. a lot of it has to do with picking up healthy players and picking the right matchups along the way. don't be too rigid in your gameplan. some risks do pay off.
don't worry about the terminology. you'll recognize it as you familiarize yourself along the way. one of my mistakes early on was reading every piece and article i could. i oversaturated and it just caused me to doubt my every move, lol. also, feel free to take a couple days to review trades. you don't owe the other owner an instant reply.
i've never really tried to give a team a rating because i think everything is fluid, but 7/10?
anyway, not a bad draft but there's some things you could have done better. just remember, drafting is a big part of it but it's not the end all. keep active on the waiver wire and free agency since gems pop up along the way. don't hold onto deadweight unnecessarily but at the same time, don't panic if your guys have a bad week or two.
just pay attention to trends and look at ways to improve your team. keep an eye on injuries and depth chart. for example, felix jones went down last year for the cowboys. i knew he was going to be out for at least a few weeks, so i immediately picked up the backup, demarco murray. not only was he rosterable, the dude finished as a top 7 RB during his stint. these are the types of pickups you have to look out for.
it's really rare to be inactive and finish top 3. you can have an amazing draft and that won't guarantee anything. in general, the most active teams that continually looked to adjust and improve make it to the playoffs. have fun and good luck