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Does anybody get the Spinal Tap reference? No? Well it’s a great movie, I suggest you go watch it sometime. Deciding on a team name is one of my favorite parts of the fantasy season. The name of the other teams in this particular league can get quite vulgar. However I don’t want to bore you with the details of a new team name. Hey, maybe “The Thunder” won’t be chosen by Oklahoma City and I can swoop in and take it.
I have my first football draft of 2008 coming up on July 26th. No doubt a day that will be spent face-to-face with several other league members while we exchange feeling of mutual respect and admiration while at the same time commending each other for what great picks we have made and telling each other how good each other’s teams are. OK, maybe a day of expletives and mockery will be going down. But hey, a man can dream.
This league I am in has been in existence since 2004 and has become a cut-throat competition ever since. Most recently I finished 10th out of 12 teams in 2007 after what I would call a terrible draft (Rudi Johnson and Edgerrin James were my first 2 picks). This was particularly painful because in 2006, I had won the league championship over SoB’s KC in a heartbreaking defeat for our beloved Celtics writer. Thanks to Yahoo! Sports, I was able to go back to that league in 2006 and read my victory speech/story of the championship that I wrote after I had secured victory. I’ll be sure to post that in the near future. KC knows the story by heart. Poor KC.
So a year later I finish 10th and now 2008 brings some new hope. I blame my demise last year on my draft. Unlike baseball where if you have a bad draft you can still recover, football’s winners are decided in the online draft room. Having a good draft is essential if you want to bring home the championship trophy to your fake team. The consensus in fantasy football circles is that the draft strategy for the first two rounds is: RB, RB. Seeing as this position gets you on average the most points per game, then yes, it is the safe, conservative play. How have I played this game in my last four seasons? Well, lets have a look at the draft results. This is how the first two rounds of the drafts have gone in each year I have been with this league.
R1– Randy Moss
R2– Kevin Jones
Can you tell it was my first year doing fantasy football? Want to know the pathetic part? I had first overall pick and I took Randy Moss. Oh it burns! What was I thinking? I could have had LaDainian Tomlinson or Priest Holmes! In 2003, Moss had 1632 yds and 17 TD and every year before that he had 1300 yds and/or 10+ TD’s per season. Then in 2004 he is injured, plays only 13 games and fails to reach 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. As for Kevin Jones? Well, I am notorious for rookies and Jones was arguably the best rookie RB to have. In my defense, 2004 was the only year that Jones had over 1,000 rushing yds and the only time in his career that he averaged over 4.0 yds per carry. I didn’t draft my 2nd RB until round 6. FYI, it was Warrick Dunn. It’s not all tears though. I actually made the playoffs with a 6-8 record and miraculously made it to the championship game where I was defeated by fellow Fantasy guy Dev.
R1– Dominack Davis/Williams (He changed his stupid name)
R2– Kevin Jones
What the hell is it with me and Kevin Jones? Well, Jones sucked. There is no other way to put it, lets be blunt. Jones played only 13 games and rushed for 664 yds. As for Dominack Davis/Williams, my first round pick got me less than 1,000 yds rushing and only 2 rushing TD’s. See, I went RB, RB and I still got screwed. As for my finish, I rightfully missed the playoffs with a 5-8 record.
2006 (My Championship year)
R1– Edgerrin James
R2– Anquan Boldin
Oh My God! Edgerrin James? Do I know anything about football? Yes, now here is my side of the story. James was a fantasy force with the Colts and 2006 was his first year in Arizona. Nobody expected that much of a dropoff. James wasn’t even my first choice. I was all set to take Portis until he got injured in the preseason. So, I had to change my strategy less than a week before the draft. Anquan Boldin was a good solid pick considering at the time he was a top-tier receiver. Surely I got my 2nd RB in the next round. Round 3, I took Santana Moss. OK, so R4 I got Daunte Culpepper. That had to be a mistake. Where the hell is my 2nd RB? Oh here he is, all the way in round 19. Round 19? I waited until round 19 of the draft to select a starting RB for my team that requires two RB positions. Well, I am all for waiting on a RB, but even I have to slap myself across the face for this one. In round 19, I took Greg Jones, the projected starter in the Houston backfield. After a preseason injury wiped that out, I ended up streaming backs until I picked up Ron Dayne. Dayne then carried me through the playoffs which included a 153 yd, 2 TD game against the Colts.
R1– Rudi Johnson
R2– Edgerrin James
Screw Edgerrin James. Never again! When Rudi fell to me, I called it a blessing in disguise. When we look at it now, we see an injury-plagued season where he ran for 497 and 2 TD’s. I considered taking Brian Westbrook but was turned off by his proneness to injury. Well, 1333 rushing yds and 7 rushing TD’s tell a different story. Actually, Westbrook’s receiving numbers (90 rec, 771 yds, 5 TD’s) alone made him better than Rudi Johnson.
So now we finally come to 2008. I have been saddled with pick 11 in our 12 team league. We start 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 DEF. We have always used Yahoo! leagues and according to their player rankings, the 11th best players falls to Buffalo RB Marshawn Lynch. Although he is expected to be the focal point of the offense, there has been talk that he may lose some work load to fellow RB Fred Jackson. Legal problems wont be an issue anymore after the matter was finally settled in court on June 27th. However, I won’t be taking him considering he didn’t live up to expectations his rookie year and the fact that Buffalo’s offense is nothing to write home about.
I know for a fact that the people in our league are crazy about taking players way before they should be. I can guarantee everyone that both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will be gone after round one. Also, with everyone being so RB heavy, odds are I have a very good shot at taking the best WR in the draft. Yes folks, once again I am looking at Randy Moss in round one. Coming off a career year and NFL record 23 TD’s, Moss will once again be the main WR threat for New England. The Patriots aren’t going to be very run-heavy considering the arsenal they have at WR in Moss and Welker. 23 TD won’t happen again but, you expect well over the 1,000 yard mark and 10+ TD’s from Moss once again. Those kind of points are just as good if not better than some of the RB’s being taken in round one. So I get RB numbers at a shallower position.
Now since I’ve been talking about my round one and two picks, why not see who I can have in round two. Having pick 11 has the benefit of getting your next pick almost immediately. At pick #14 Yahoo! says I should take Willis McGahee from Baltimore. Well I’ve never been one to conform to the normal rules. I have my eye on Braylon Edwards from Cleveland. Since his rookie year in 2005, Edwards’ numbers are getting better every year. Cleveland’s defense gave up 359.6 yds. per game last season and a total of 382 points which is about 23.9 points per game. Since they will probably be playing from behind most of the time, you can expect Derek Anderson to be constantly throwing the ball. With a high-power offense like the Browns and a defense that promises to not allow them to run the clock out, Edwards is looking mighty tasty in round 2.
Oh wait, am I going to skip the “RB, RB” method for the 3rd time in 5 years? Odds are the answer is yes. But hey, anything can happen on draft day.