Monday, September 6, 2010

Fantasy Sports: “Are you ready for some fooootball?”

I’m in a 12-team fantasy football league that started back in 1995. I’d like to think I’m fairly competitive (my record since 2001, when CBS Sports began archiving the standings, is 83-64). Last season I made it to our Super Bowl, but this year I nearly forgot about the draft! Thankfully, Joe Pruett, a fellow leaguer, called me. I think his opening words were, “Hey, dumbass, you’re on the clock.”

So, here’s the result of my picks (I drafted seventh):

  1. Ray Rice (RB, Baltimore)
  2. DeAngelo Williams (RB, Carolina)
  3. Roddy White (WR, Atlanta)
  4. Chad Ochocinco (WR, Cincinnati)
  5. Brandon Jacobs (RB, New York Giants)
  6. Pierre Garcon (WR, Indianapolis)
  7. Brett Favre (QB, Minnesota)
  8. Tony Gonzalez (TE, Atlanta)
  9. Bernard Berrian (WR, Minnesota)
  10. Bengals Defense (DST, Cincinnati)
  11. Matt Cassel (QB, Kansas City)
  12. Sidney Rice (WR, Minnesota)
  13. Leon Washington (RB, Seattle)
  14. Jeremy Shockey (TE, New Orleans)
  15. Adam Vinatieri (PK, Indianapolis)

Like I said, I nearly missed my draft so, lacking research, I relied heavily on two things: the site’s 2010 projections, and feedback from Joe, who I kept on the phone with me the entire 90 minutes of our draft. In fact, I have to give him the credit (or the blame) for Brett Favre in round eight (thin picking there—I was debating between Alex Smith and Matt Cassel, to which Joe said something akin to, “I’m not a Smith fan. And why would you take an unproven guy over a veteran and future Hall of Famer?”) and for Leon Washington in round #13 as my back up and a sleeper pick. I’m hoping he becomes an integral part of the Seahawks’ offense. The guy has great hands, makes defenders look silly, and averages well over 4 yards per carry. Good potential as a #2 RB if he can tote the rock 15-20 times a game.

(I love to articulate in Sportspeak when I’m blabbing about football. ‘Tote the rock.’ Heh-heh.)

I’m happy with my backs. I’m not a Baltimore fan since they’re divisional rivals to my home team, but Ray Rice is a big time stud and averaging pick #4 overall in CBS drafts -- I got him at #7. DeAngelo Williams is going 12th overall and I got him at #18. I’m thinking that puts me ahead of the game. And Brandon Jacobs, my third RB, will grind out lots of 3rd down and goal line carries for some luscious touchdowns.

There was a run on quarterbacks early, so I waited on taking mine until later in the draft. I'm putting my faith in Favre, who’s been going around #74 and I managed to get him with the 90th pick. I’m really hoping Bernard Berrian becomes his go-to option. I took a late flyer on Sidney Rice (pick #138 for me, who would have been a Top 15 WR if healthy) and I can stick his butt (and the rest of him) in my free Injured Reserve slot until his return. I think Berrian will see lots of throws his way with Rice out (and with Percy Harvin susceptible to those sporadic migraines). Taking them at ninth and twelfth was worth the gamble. I think Rice will give me a great second half surge at WR, since he’s projected to return around Week 7.

It seems every year I go into the season with a so-so receiving corps. This year, I’m feeling a little more confident with Roddy White and Chad Ochocinco as my one-two tandem (last year my first two picks were Larry Fitzgerald and Eddie Royal—one of those worked out for me at least), as both are projected as WRs to get 1,000 yards-plus. Our league awards for yardage as well as TDs, so they *should* give me some explosive games. Pierre Garcon lines up as the #2 wideout to Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis, and with Garcon’s sure hands and good route running for Peyton Manning, I think he’ll see a lot of single coverage opportunities. Because of this I think the guy has a legit shot at 1,000 yards, as well. If I have three WRs who eclipse 1,000 yards and 7+ TDs each, this league is mine. Garcon’s a great value for a 3rd WR (yep, we start three).

I seem to end up with Tony Gonzalez at TE every season, and he rarely disappoints. The guy will be Matty Ryan’s go-to in Atlanta and I reckon I have the top two options for the Falcons tied up; when Atlanta scores, a lot of those will either be in White’s or Gonzalez’s big fricking hands.

Marvin Lewis and his defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer have the Bengals defense primed, and they were near the top of the NFL in positive turnovers last season. I can see that happening again, especially now that the corner duos of Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall have had another season together and injured DE Antwan Odom has returned to the team. Acquiring former Jaguars first-rounder Reggie Nelson at safety will help the team since Gibril Wilson’s injury, but who I’m hoping to see really step up in his second season is LOLB Rey Maualuga, who’s primed for a breakout season (as long as he can stay sober). Ninety-plus tackles and four or five sacks is not out of the question for this beast, especially if he moves to the MLB position in the 4-3 defensive sets, which Zimmer will use often to stuff the run. Zimmer has also reported he plans to blitz more in 2010, a lot more.

Then there’s Adam Vinatieri, my place kicker. Not a whole lot to say. He’s a former #1 PK. He’s in Indy. He’ll be kicking at least half of his games indoors. Gotta like that. And I do.

Jeremy Shockey is another sleeper pick. He’s not the player he once was, that’s for sure, but Drew Brees is a Pro Bowl caliber QB who likes to air it out, and if Shockey can stay healthy, he’ll put up respectable if not consistent numbers. Heck, I’m mainly thinking he’s a BYE week replacement anyway… or trade bait, as he does have a little name value still. Which reminds me, I need to review the other teams in our league and see who might be weak at TE.

Preseason trade anyone?


What’s your analysis of my team? How did I draft? How will the Saskatoon Sea Wolves fare this season? Let me know. Leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, so I'm 0-1 to begin the season. The Bengals D/ST stunk and got negative points, and Brett Favre didn't do me any favors either.

    Maybe next week...