The following is an edited transcript of our Chat Room discussion between Dan Grogan, Kelly Grogan, Russ Bliss, and members of our community done on July 17th. Most grammatical errors have been cleaned up and some posts may have been edited or deleted due to relevance or incomplete nature. Our 3 Fantasy Football Experts were given 3 topics pertaining to upcoming fantasy drafts.

1) How to deal with soaring QB values
2) What to do after the top 3 RBs are gone in round 1?
3) Should you consider a TE in Round 1?

(Chat rooms are exclusive for Championship Package members and one of the many perks they enjoy. Not all Chats will be transcribed and provided to non-Championship members. If you haven't already, and would like to, upgrade to a Championship Package, do so now!)
Just as a side note, we lost Kelly about half way thru due to an internet connection interruption. There was a FFS member named Dan also in the room, so all posts by the Grogan's and Bliss have been so designated with last names.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:00:04): Welcome to our first chat of the 2012 season with our new analysts, Dan Grogan and Kelly Grogan! Many know the Grogans from their long time in the industry providing fantasy help for years with their magazine. I greatly appreciate them joining us here at STARTERS and think all of us will benefit from their vast experience. We'll be going for about 30 minutes. Questions and comments are encouraged, but because of time limitations, should be kept brief. The first topic for today's chat is: "How to deal with soaring QB values?"

Larry (07/17 12:01:12): That was my question, why are there so many high in my draft order this year?

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:02:09): Our league starts 2 and they seem to score the most points year after year.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:02:21): The top 5 (Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Stafford, Newton) are all going by the end of round 2 usually, with the top 3 by the end of the 1st round in many cases. If you want one, and you believe the top QB's will continue to put up monstrous numbers, you'll need to spend a high pick to get one. I do expect the trend of high fantasy scores from QB's to continue.

Kelly (Grogan) (07/17 12:03:02): I don't think I would change too much at this point as usual it comes down to individual league scoring. If you are at 6 points per TD pass, the QB position is at a premium level and going after an elite QB early is a good strategy. If QB scoring is at 3-4 points per TD pass, I wouldn't change my normal draft strategy too much. I like our Fantasy Football Starters Cheat Sheets rankings with Rodgers, Brees and Brady leading the class of QB's for 2012. If I was in a league where the QB position was a premium, I would definitely consider taking one of these three QB's from picks three on. I do like the depth at the QB position this year. After the first three are off the board, the next 5-6 QB's are very close and I still believe have the opportunity to post some strong fantasy numbers and would plan on drafting one of these players by the end of round two. But, if I'm in the second tier of QB's I would consider a back-up a little bit earlier as insurance in case of poor performance or an injury.

Larry (07/17 12:03:37): I haven't changed my scoring system in years, but they are ranked higher than in previous years. Is this a scoring enhancement? Trend?

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:03:55): You can't afford to concede a lot of points at the QB position. Last year, Matthew Stafford was the 5th valued Fantasy QB and he held a 50-point edge over the next guy and was 70 and 80 points better that many others. I think a good draft strategy for this position is to stay competitive. Maybe taking a QB in the first round is too great a price for you, but according to recent ADPs, guys like Rivers, Romo and Peyton Manning are lasting until the 4th round which allows you 3 solid picks before pulling the trigger.

Nic (07/17 12:04:32): I would think it was due to RB depth. Many injuries to top RB's last year, mediocrity among some, more RBBC's. It leaves many questions at the RB position beyond the top 3. QB's just produce, particularly the top 5.

Kelly (Grogan) (07/17 12:05:12): I think there is something to be said for that!

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:05:57): There has been a change in that there is much more depth at RB than ever before. And if the top scoring QB's are going to outpace the rest at the position like the elite RB's used to do at their position, it places more emphasis on the elite QB's

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:06:04): No doubt, your scoring system plays into it too. 3 pts vs. 6 for a TD pass makes a big difference what you do

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:06:28): Scoring system always plays a huge part in how to execute a draft.

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:07:16): Starting 2 QB also makes a difference

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:07:59): Yeah, 2 starting QBs almost makes you take one in the 1st.

Larry (07/17 12:08:03): I have used the tier sheets provided here for years... So I guess at what point does it make a difference to switch tiers... are the tier 3 QBs that much worse than the tier 1? Are tier 2 QBs rated over tier1 RBs?

Kelly (Grogan) (07/17 12:08:06): Big difference

Nic (07/17 12:08:09): Yeah agreed Russ. When I was talking depth at RB I meant depth of 'elite' RB's.

Jason (07/17 12:08:13): I was in a 4 pt-passing TD league last year, but the elites ,like Rodgers and Brady, still had a major impact.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:08:24): If you start 2 QB's in a league, it becomes critical to get two who put up above average starting numbers. That's a big plus for being able to win in those types of leagues.

Dan (07/17 12:08:53): So Russ, do your suggested round by round picks still apply for this season. I've used your strategy in the past and it worked out very well. Should I take an elite quarterback earlier than you've suggested?

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:09:36): Tiers don't go across positions. It's up to the drafter to decide which position is of greater benefit

Jason (07/17 12:10:19): If I target a top TE in rd 2 I think it leaves me out of going QB rd 1 or otherwise I end up with a 3rd rd RB as my #1 which I don't like the idea of

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:10:19): I think there are some decent backups at QB like Cutler, Schaub, Palmer

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:11:21): The revised 2012 E-Book is with the publishers and I am hopeful it will be ready very soon. It has new specific round by round instructions tailored for this season, along with updated ADP charts showing how many players at each position are being selected by the end of each round

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:11:21): Yeah, we'll be getting to that question about what to do about Gronk and Graham

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:12:09): I really like the value of Michael Vick as the 6th QB being taken and think he has bounce back capabilities this year, but my best value has to be Matt Ryan as usually a 7th round pick and the 11th QB off the board. He was the 8th highest scoring QB last year and is entering his prime. With an offense expected to open things up more thru the air, and a future elite WR in Julio Jones, Ryan is poised to finish amongst the elite this season.

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:12:33): 11 QBs threw for over 4000 yards last year; 3 over 5000!

Cannonball (07/17 12:12:51): the NFL has gone air crazy lately

Kelly (Grogan) (07/17 12:13:06): It's a passing game

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:13:17): Those are unprecedented numbers and I think it a trend and not just the anomaly

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:13:48): I think the key to your draft is knowing beforehand what you're going to do about that QB position and not waiting until the decision is upon you

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:14:09): Preparation is key to a successful draft....

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:14:25): You bet, TH

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:14:33): Let's move on to our next question: "What to do after the top 3 RBs are gone in round 1?"

Larry (07/17 12:14:44): Dan, that's a tough thing though as drafts are so dynamic right? I don't know my draft position until draft day and it really depends on what happens ahead of you.

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:15:07): Yeah Larry I am in the same boat

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:16:04): I agree, but I'm just saying to have the scenarios in mind ahead of time rather than being in a decision you haven't already thought thru

Jason (07/17 12:16:18): I run our league and we give our players a couple weeks ahead of the draft to know what spot they are drafting. Can be a big advantage for those that want to prepare.

Dan (07/17 12:16:44): After top 3 RBs gone, I say you have to go one of the top 3 QBs.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:16:55): You should always be prepared for any draft position.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:17:09): My 4th player off the board is Calvin Johnson. Since he came into the league I have believed he is the most physically gifted WR over all others and he is finally coming into his own. What we saw in 2011 could just be the beginning of a string of seasons where he flirts with insane numbers for the position. Especially if Stafford stays healthy.

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:17:37): As tempting as it might be to grab an elite QB, I'm going to hold off if I have a pick in the 4 through 8 range. I'd be thrilled with Calvin Johnson, but a RB like MJD, Chris Johnson, Ryan Mathews or even Darren McFadden would be OK with me. If my pick is in the latter part of the first round, I'll consider an elite QB like Brady, Brees or Stafford there. I'm assuming that Rodgers will be long gone. I think there are enough strong RBs and WRs that can be had with an early pick in round 2.

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:18:03): Ryan Mathews? Come on...

Larry (07/17 12:18:13): Russ, I agree (Side note, did you guys see the two FF magazines this year both have the same picture of Calvin on the cover? lol) Cant' remember which ones, Rotoworld and another one..

Nic (07/17 12:18:19): and I don't see Detroit slowing down, they will continue to be pass happy even with Leshore and Best back

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:18:40): Lions trying to get back a running game and be more balanced. Calvin will get his for sure, but will share with RBs and Titus Young. It may cut into his catch totals.

Jason (07/17 12:18:43): CJ2K, MJD and Mathews are all capable of being the best at their position so I call them the Elite 3B

Nic (07/17 12:18:46): Not taking McFadden first round, no way...

Dan (07/17 12:19:13): Good call Nic. I got burned last year.

Nic (07/17 12:19:17): prove to me you can make it a season first

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:19:29): I think Mathews will have a bigger role this year, Should see 50-60 catches too.

Jason (07/17 12:19:36): McFadden's just an injury waiting to happen. Killed me last year.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:19:48): I like Chris Johnson a lot myself to bounce back this year, but after Megatron, I would actually take one of the top 3 QB's before considering another RB. The fantasy landscape is changing to where it is now more beneficial for you to take the sure stud over the potential stud.

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:20:00): Mathews is durable and I question his commitment, he is a risk with some potential

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:20:06): The stud RB's aren't as severely outscoring the middle of the pack RB's like they used to, but the stud QB's are definitely doing that to the middle of pack QB's.

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:20:11): Mathews isn't durable I meant

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:21:00): Mathews missed 2 games last year

James (07/17 12:21:13): Plus. Mathews fantasy playoff schedule stinks!

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:21:21): Stafford wasn't durable until last year and look what happened there!

Larry (07/17 12:21:38): Is FFS going to do some expert mock drafts with commentary this year?

James (07/17 12:21:49): Law of averages. McFadden might stay healthy this year.

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:22:16): True about Stafford, he had a few modest years and was finally healthy and we saw what numbers he could put up...

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:22:20): Larry, we'll discuss that and see what we come up with.

Larry (07/17 12:22:32): Thanks Russ

Jason (07/17 12:23:00): Injury prone RB's like McFadden and D. Murray have to drop to rd 2 or 3 based on their injury history. The will miss at least a game or two guaranteed.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:23:25): I'd like now to ask the final question for today: "Should you consider a TE in Round 1?"

Jason (07/17 12:23:36): No

Dan (07/17 12:23:45): No

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:24:09): I'm seeing a lot of mocks where both Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham are going in the early part of round 2 (and even some in late round 1). But I just can't take a TE in round 1. Everyone is chasing Gronkowski's monster 2011 season and I don't see him repeating 1,300 yards and 17 TD's again.

Larry (07/17 12:24:16): Gronkowski kicked butt for me last year, but I got him late. My guess is someone will pick him up early

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:24:18): The catch is that neither are lasting very long into the 2nd rd

Dan (07/17 12:24:32): Don't be blinded by what Gronk and Graham did last year.

Jason (07/17 12:24:37): There are only 2 elite TE's and the drop off is 50 points from the rest so that warrants a rd 2 but not rd one.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:24:52): Don't get me wrong, I believe both Gronk and Graham are clearly the elite TE's, but I would wait until round 2 and see exactly who else is available as someone I value more may have slipped thru.

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:24:52): That's fine let someone waste a pick on a TE early just frees up talent at the other positions for you to draft.

Jason (07/17 12:25:18): Gronk will lose 4-6 TDs this year lowering his totals a bit but will still be elite.

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:25:22): I think taking either Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski in round 1 can really mess up your draft. My feeling is that you're left scrambling trying to make up ground at the other positions. Unlike the QB position where there are a number of guys that can put up elite stats and you're almost forced to keep up with your competition, there are just two guys of this caliber at the TE position. I think there are plenty of tight ends that can give you 7 TDs and 800 yards and that's not bad. And by passing on Graham and Gronkowski, you will land a stellar player at one of the other spots.

Nic (07/17 12:25:57): Yeah, no way I am taking a TE in the first round even if Gronk and Graham are like WRs

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:26:03): The only way I would consider a TE in round 1 is if you play in a league that requires you to start more than one, or a league that gives extra bonuses specifically to the TE position.

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:26:22): Good point Russ

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:26:30): I've been surprised at how popular those have become in recent years

Jason (07/17 12:26:34): My League has 1 required TE start and a WR/TE spot too and I still wouldn't go rd 1

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:27:06): I'd consider it more in that case

Jason (07/17 12:27:26): NFL is a copy cat league so I think we'll see more elite QB's and TE's that will shrink the point gap too

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:27:45): In one league, they gave 1.5 points per reception, and 1 point for every 5 yards instead of 10 yards. It made TE scoring ridiculous!

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:28:01): I think we'll see more 2-TE offenses in time.

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:28:03): Trying to level the playing field, so to speak...

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:28:08): And it was only for the TE position.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:28:44): Everything cycles in the NFL. 3-4 defense is popular, than it disappears for a while, then it comes back

Jason (07/17 12:29:22): TE's are just getting hot so for a couple more years at least I think we'll see a surge there until DST's figure it out.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:29:44): We'll see the QB's and TE's dominate for a while, but then defenses will figure this out and it will come down so the RB's and WR's are again proving to be more valuable.

Dan (Grogan) (07/17 12:31:07): And that's why the people who stay ahead of this stuff win in fantasy

Throwball Heroes (07/17 12:31:20): The TEs are more athletic, LBs have a hard time with the good ones, but defenses don't want to commit a DB to cover them, thus they flourish, like we saw last year.

Russell (Bliss) (07/17 12:31:22): Well, that was a fast 30 minutes... Thanks for the time and chat and we'll be doing more of these very soon!