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Fantasy Draft
2008-08-26 17:25
by Will Carroll

Rule #1: Hearing someone talk about their fantasy team is more boring than watching paint dry.

Rule #1a: Hearing someone talk about their draft is even worse.

Ok, so I'm going to break those rules, but I also broke another:

Rule #2: Don't play Fantasy Football with your boss.

I'll go you one better. Don't play in a league with a bunch of people you've worked for. Or experts. In my case, both. Taking on Aaron Schatz, Jeff Ma, Eric Karabell, Chris Liss, and Matthew Berry isn't something you should try at home. Using Ma's new Facebook software, powered by SI, I drafted a team.

Rules: Standard, non-PPR, 12 teams, no flex. (It's easier in football.)

The rest, below the fold

With the 11th pick in the draft, I was just sitting waiting for what fell to me. The standard opening five came with Tomlinson, Peterson, Addai, Westbrook, and Jackson coming off. These are experts, so they made a Manning adjustment for Addai. Not saying I agreed with it, but I understand it. The next few also went more or less to plan with Barber, Portis, Gore, and finally breaking out Brady at #9. With the turnaround at 12/13, I was in an odd position. Could I take a RB at 11 and hope for Manning to make the turn? I decided that I would take Marshawn Lynch or Manning ... and Lynch promptly went at #10.

Yes, the injury guy took Peyton Manning at #11 overall. I'm not saying I'm happy with the pick or even that it was a smart pick, but it's like getting Albert Pujols dropping to you in this year's draft with everyone worried about his elbow. Either he's done and you're screwed, period, paragraph, or he's a monster who you just stole. Same with Manning, except I'm not nearly as sure about which way it might go.

The turn went Randy Moss and ... oof, Reggie Wayne. I had expected I could catch one of them, but I went back to the book (literally, PFP08, which was tough since Aaron Schatz is *in* the league.) I took Jamal Lewis, thinking about Maurice Jones-Drew and even a gamble on Larry Johnson. Lewis was the "safe" pick of that bunch. He's not an ideal RB1, so that had to influence later picks.

There was a long wait to my third pick and I was hoping that Earnest Graham or Willis McGahee would fall. Nope, Jeff Ma and Matthew Berry nabbed them in front of me. I had to go HRHR on the next one and went with the Peter King special, Felix Jones. I now had two risky RB and a QB with a bad knee. Umm, not good times.

The turnaround pick had to be another RB ... except a run on WRs had me a bit squirrelly, so I went with Marvin Harrison. What? Yeah, it's doubling down on risk with injury, but Harrison, if healthy, is a huge steal in the fourth, especially going behind Steve Smith, TJ Longname, and Brandon "Big Mac" Marshall. I thought long and hard about Calvin Johnson, but I'm still dubious of the new Lions offense. Turns out Johnson and Roy Williams would go later in the round, so my thinking isn't far off real experts.

Again, it was the long wait, staring at a team full of question marks, watching guys I liked go off the board. Jason Witten went. Kellen Winslow went. I was sitting on Reggie Bush - not someone I like, but if I was on the HRHR bus already, why not fill the seats? Bush went one pick before me, maybe saving me from myself. That left me with his college teammate, LenDale White. Ok, he's solid, so I'm not unhappy. I quickly paired him up with Dallas Clark. Looking back at the draft, I could have taken Antonio Gates, who went just after White, and probably gotten White on the way around, but that long wait made me so antsy about RB, I missed an opportunity.

Another long wait and some crazy picks like Ray Rice (not a handcuff), Rudi Johnson, and Ricky Williams later, I was left with a couple guys at RB again or the thought of grabbing David Garrard or Jake Delhomme as a hedge against Manning's possible early week trouble. I went with Rashard Mendenhall (over Steve Slaton, who went with the next pick) on hopes of big TDs and a continued Willie Parker slide. I don't LOVE this pick, but I don't hate it.

I didn't like that Garrard went on the turn and I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger on Delhomme. Plan B was to find a big WR, so I grabbed Vincent Jackson. I have a fetish for tall WRs this year and I think Jackson could break out, especially as a red zone guy. I waited again, trying to find a good WR3 in the muck. It wasn't there.

So I went HRHR again, taking Brett Favre. Yeah, I know, but here's the thinking - he's going to be as good as he'll be all season in the first few weeks. The offense will be simple, he won't be banged up too much, and most of the Jets offense is healthy. If Manning gets healthy, Favre is the backup in all but the bye week, which is Week 4 for the Colts. It was worth the gamble at that stage.

I took another flyer trying to find some WR production. Kevin Curtis is hurt and will be out, but at Round 10 prices, why not take the chance? I'd heard good reports on him this week and guys come back from this pretty well. Again, HRHR.

I waited around, watching a lot of guess picks, some HRHR picks, and some handcuffs, seeing Todd Heap fall to me. Solid TE2 and with a young QB in Baltimore, no matter who it is, a big checkdown target like Heap could be welcome if healthy. If not, hey, he's the guy you cut to pick up a kicker or defense in their bye week. I took James Hardy, another tall WR for my WR4 slot on the turn and am left with a really weak WR crop.

All that's left are the last two picks of Defense (Oakland) and Kicker (Vinatieri) and I'm done. Good team? Maybe. It could be high scoring and dominant if everything breaks right, especially given the draft position. It could stone cold suck like Dyson, never losing power through the 13 weeks of the fantasy season. There's probably not much middle ground, so let's tee it up.

Your thoughts?

2008-08-26 18:26:41
1.   dianagramr
McGahee? Third round?? Isn't he banged up?

I took him much later in an 8-team draft, and someone chided me.

2008-08-26 21:26:07
2.   Disabled List
Since I got to read about your draft, you get to read about mine. Same 12-team format. We had a FFL noob who didn't know what he was doing drafting 2nd, which threw everything off a bit. (He took Peyton with the #2 pick. Probably figured that if he does a lot of TV commercials, he must be good. AKA the Jeter Rule.)

Anyway, with the #3 pick I grabbed Peterson. Somehow, Larry Johnson fell to me in the 2nd round with the #22 pick, and I got Colston on the wraparound. (The noob took Reggie Bush in the 2nd round, which actually made me sad. I was hoping for a tough league that I could brag about to friends and watch them die from boredom.)

The rest of my draft went: Derek Anderson, Matt Forte, Lee Evans, Chester Taylor (handcuff), Minnesota DEF (probably too soon), Reggie Williams, Owen Daniels, Jake Delhomme, and some roster filler. Stole Maurice Morris in the last round though.

I doubt anyone is still reading this, but I'm pleased with my draft. The problem is, there are other good players in this league, and they were also able to take advantage of the lousy drafters and assemble some pretty good squads. But it's a head-to-head league, so it all ends up being BINGO anyway.

2008-08-26 22:48:26
3.   Will Carroll
DL - the pick that went wrong was Anderson. I just don't see him getting it done and their defense is going to be BAD. Forte is HRHR, but I don't like a rookie when he'll be facing, well, 11 in the box. Delhomme is nice. I really like him more than Garrard, McNabb, and definitely Favre, but since I had Manning, I didn't think I could risk a guy who's going to be iffy (elbow) in the first couple weeks.

Also, noob or not, I DONT hate Manning (at least a healthy Manning) at 2. I think he's much more 5 or 6 and yes, I know the argument about the shelf, but points is points.

Overall, nice draft wo seeing the others.

2008-08-27 09:24:55
4.   Disabled List
Yeah, Anderson was a reach, but after getting burned on Marc Bulger last year, I vowed not to wait too long to get my QB this time around. I want some consistent production out of that spot, the kind where you don't have to debate who you should be starting. I still hope Anderson can be that guy for me this year; he's got a terrific O-line and lots of weapons to throw to. If he struggles, it's back to the weekly guessing game between him and Delhomme.

I had planned on taking Selvin Young in that spot, and then holding out for Cutler in the 6th round. But I didn't expect to get LJ in the 2nd round, so I figured I was strong enough at RB and went for Anderson instead.

However, I don't think there's much of an argument for taking Peyton Manning with the #2 overall pick. Sure, the points are nice, but taking a QB that high is just going to kill you later on with RB depth. And why Manning and not Brady? Peyton at #11 is about right, injury concerns notwithstanding.

Jamal Lewis was a reach at #14, I think you were better off with Drew-Jones, LJ or even Ryan Grant. And Felix Jones is going in the late 10th-early 11th rounds in the Rotoworld mock drafts. Good luck! Harrison in the 4th round was solid, and I love Mendenhall and Favre.

2008-08-27 22:15:19
5.   misterjohnny
Okay, I'm the football noob drafting for the first time this friday and I have some questions.


And a good source for a draft order?

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