Fantasy sports are that thing that you wanna talk about but no one else cares. Screw it. This is my blog and I can do what I want...lol.
On Sunday, my 8-team league held it's annual Fantasy Football draft. And we geeked it out hard core. We had a podium set up with a microphone and an amp so we could make our picks. For the first round...I did the Paul Tagliabue thing where I introduced each team as they picked. For the next 17 rounds...everyone got up to the mic and gave their picks as everyone furiously wrote it down.
It was a fun affair. Two guys who used to work with us, but have since left for other pursuits, were there...so we all got to play a little catch-up. And, with a thrilling Reds-Phillies game as a backdrop...we were ready to rock.
Our league is a keeper league, with each team keeping a QB, a RB and a WR. It was an 18-round draft to fill a 21 player roster [yeah, we stack the teams and have limited transactions during the year]. So....here is my new team.
QUARTERBACKS: Colts, Steelers, Redskins
In our league, we do the Team QB thing where we take all the QBs on a team rather than just one individual. The Colts QB [Peyton Manning] were my keeper team. Because of that, I really don't have to look for a QB until late in the draft. In round 11, I picked up the Steelers QB [Big Ben Roethlisberger]. I did so mainly because on Week 6, which is Manning's bye week, the Steelers face the defense-less Chiefs. That's also why I picked the Redskins QB [Mark Brunell] in the 16th round...as they face the Titans the same week. I am very satisfied with my QBs...as I already had Manning and I essentially just covered my butt for the bye weeks. And if something really bad should happen to Manning....I think that Big Ben and Brunell can carry some of the load.
RUNNING BACKS: Clinton Portis [Wash], Brian Westbrook [Phil], Willis McGahee [Buff], Corey Dillon [NE], Fred Taylor [Jack], Ron Dayne [Den]
Clinton Portis was my keeper from last year....and despite his seperated shoulder suffered on Sunday, I think he will have a fine year. My top pick was Brian Westbrook....who I didn't really want when I was starting to do my research...but I grew to like as the draft neared. He was rated the #7 available back on my list [I picked 8th]...and I knew that a WR would go somewhere in the first round....so I settled with Westbrook. But one strange thing also happened. The guy picking before me, for some reason, selected Hines Ward [Larry Fitzgerald was our #1 overall pick]. That meant another RB dropped a bit. That was my #6 rated back, Willis McGahee. I'm not in love with McGahee either....but he isn't too bad. I figured that I could look at decent WRs for my next two picks in the draft. I had back-to-back picks all thru the draft [I had the last pick in the odd numbered rounds and the first pick in the even ones]...so I grabbed both Westbrook and McGahee.
After then scrambling for receiver help, I did pick up Corey Dillon in the 5th round. Not a guy I was really pegging either [since I live in Cincy now, some guys overvalue the former Bengal and usually take him too early]. When my back-to-back picks came for the 5th and 6th rounds....I wasn't too thrilled with two WRs there [I did pick one]. Dillon was still on the board and a decent option, so I scooped him up. In the 8th round, I picked up fragile Fred Taylor. Again, not a guy high on my list...but where I was picking....he looked pretty good. There were no other real starters out there left...and Taylor at least gives me an option if I really need it. My final back was Ron Dayne who I picked in the 17th round. I had intended to just pick a backup [Ladell Betts, Shaud Williams or Ryan Moats] to handcuff one of my other backs....but when looking what was still available on the board, Dayne was still there. So...why not?
RECEIVERS: Steve Smith [Car], Santana Moss [Redskins], Darrell Jackson [Sea], Derrick Mason [Balt], Donte Stallworth [NO], Rod Smith [Den], Michael Clayton [TB]
Steve Smith was my keeper from last year. With my decision to draft two backs with my first two picks....I chanced that I could still pick up some decent guys in the 3rd and 4th rounds. While watching Burress, Chambers, Wayne, Roy Williams and Boldin go....the best guys that were there at those spots were Santana Moss and Darrell Jackson. Moss had a record setting season in Washington last year and Jackson benefits from a very solid offense in Seattle. While not thrilled with the talent level [I had pegged Chambers with my 2nd round pick]....they will do fine.
For the next two back-to-back picks....I split by picking a RB and WR both times. In the 6th round, I picked Derrick Mason. With Air McNair now in B-more...I think Mason will be happening again [like when both were in Tennessee]. In the 7th round, I picked up Donte Stallworth. Hopefully with Brees in N'Awlins, Stallworth can finally reach his potential. In the 9th round, I went with Rod Smith. While other guys were filling out their stable of backs, Smith was still on the board. With Plummer in a battle for his job and with Javon Walker out there on the other side, Smith could have a pretty nice year. And, finally, I picked Michael Clayton in the 14th round. To be honest, I needed one last WR and he was the top rated guy on my sheet.
KICKERS: Jay Feely [NYG], Sebastian Janikowski [Oak]
In my league, people overvalue kickers. The first kicker taken was David Akers in the 5th round [bad pick]. Vinatieri went two rounds later. But, most guys didn't go for a kicker until the 12 round. I picked up Jay Feely in the 13th round. I figured that with that offense, Feely will get more FG attempts than some other cats. Also, unless a kicker has an unreal season [like Neal Rackers did last year], most kickers are the same....point wise. So I was willing to slide on my kicker. Sebastian Janikowski was my final pick in the draft [18th round] and just was a guy who didn't have the same bye week as Feely.
DEFENSES: Colts, Patriots, Redskins
It pained me to select the Colts defense in the 10th round. I had wanted to pick a defense later in the draft. But when my 10th pick came up...I had almost all of my RBs and WRs taken. And without a desperate need for a QB...I went ahead and went for a defense. Same story in the 12th round when I picked the Patriots. In hindsight, I hate that pick [hindsight was about 2 minutes after I made the pick]. First off, the Patriots defense isn't that good. Second off, they had the same bye week as the Colts. So I had to look for a favorable matchup in Week 6 [both Indy and New England's bye week] for another defense. In the 15th round, I pounced on it with the Redskins....who play the Titans that week. And it pained me since that meant I had four Washington Redskins on my team...and it makes me look like a homer. But, Portis was a keeper.....Moss was the best WR on the board....and the Skins QB and Defense made sense where I was picking.