The staff of With the First Pick recently held our first expert fantasy football league draft. It’s a 12-team standard-scoring league. My draft philosophy is simple, and it all boils down to value. Like everyone else, I have players I like in real life, ones I cannot stand, players who have led me to titles and have been bitter disappointments in previous seasons, and even the “dead to me list.” But none of that matters on draft day. I will draft players I hate if I think the value is right and pass on players I love if there is a player available I think has better value. Rankings and value are not necessarily the same thing; rankings don’t change and value is constantly changing throughout the draft. The easiest example of this concept is Michael Vick. He went with pick six in our draft and is averaging the seventh pick overall in ESPN drafts. I would not draft Vick in the first round. The risk of injury and the possibility that he reverts to his career stats is too high for me to invest a first-round pick on him. Now if Vick is sitting there in the second round, suddenly his upside and potential to drastically exceed his draft spot make the risks worthwhile. Same player, same risks; it’s all how you weigh the potential against the risks. I also believe it taking mostly proven players, staying away from rookies. When it comes to risks, I don’t mind taking a chance on a player I believe in, but I try to limit my gambles to one or two players at the most. If you reach for players all draft who may have breakout years, chances are even if you’re right on one or two, you will be wrong just as often. I am trying to win my league, not prove how smart I am. Stick with players with a history of producing and sprinkle in a few players primed to breakout. With that in mind, here is my point of view on our recent expert draft.