So my fantasy football league held its annual draft last night.
I’m pretty pleased with my team, but I think my wife’s team is outstanding.
Just a few notes about the league for those that follow fantasy sports: We draft two QBs, two RBS, two WRS, one tight end, one WR/RB, one WR/TE, one kicker and two team defences. We also have six bench spots.
Our league stats are also a bit different. Touchdowns are worth 6 points each, and every 50 yards passed, and 20 yards rushed and received, are worth an additional point. You can lose points for interceptions, sacks, fumbles lost and missed field goals (and point after touchdowns).
Another note: I am the returning champion of the league.
I thought it would be interesting to show my thought process during my draft.
Round 1, 8th pick: Brian Westbrook
There were plenty of surprises right off the bat. Eli Manning was chosen third overall. In total, three first-round picks were given to quarterbacks (with another two chosen in the second round). So there were plenty of runningbacks available early. My strategy has always been to draft a runningback first, and Westbrook was the best available option.
Round 2, 12th pick: Randy Moss
I knew a certain owner was going to pick Moss in the second round. He took Brady in the first round (and in total, six of his 18 roster positions are taken by New England Patriots players). I also figured there would be a run on wide receivers if people are over-valuing quarterbacks (seven WRs went before my next pick, so I guessed right), so I went with the best option at the time in Moss.
Round 3, 28th pick: Aaron Rodgers
Seven quarterbacks were gone at this point, so I wanted to get a good QB early. I wanted Kurt Warner, but he was selected right before my pick. Rodgers was the next-best choice.
Wife update: By the end of the third round, my wife had three RBs selected: Michael Turner, Brandon Jacobs and Steve Slaton. Those three combined for 4,070 yards and 41 touchdowns last year. She’s easily got the best runningback combination in the league (she also got Le’Ron McClain in the 13th round as her bench player, a guy who scored 10 rushing touchdowns last year).
Round 4, 32nd pick: Anquan Boldin
I was torn between Boldin and Terrell Owens. There’s a lot more options in Arizona, so Boldin may not get as many looks. But with Larry Fitzgerald being a high target of defences this year, it should actually open things up a bit more for Boldin. But the big thing was the Buffalo Bills quarterbacks. I don’t trust them enough to take a chance on Owens.
Round 5, 48th pick: Marshawn Lynch
Because of the run of QBs and WRs, and because of his three-game suspension, Lynch fell down the board a little bit. I decided to grab him while I could to give me a good second RB. Sure he’s not there at the start of the season, but he’ll be there near the end, when fantasy playoffs on the horizon.
Round 6, 52nd pick: Brett Favre
Sure, you may think I overvalued Favre, but I think the opposite has happened. I think so many people are turned off by Favre constantly retiring/unretiring and remember the end of last year when he was with the Jets, that he’s undervalued. Favre has a weapon in Adrian Peterson, meaning defences need to be worried about the run. That should open things up for Favre, and I think because of that, he could easily get 3,500 yards and 30+ touchdowns.
Round 7, 68th pick: Jonathan Stewart
I still wanted to get some quality runningbacks, and Stewart gives me just that. I understand he’s been injured, but if he can get me 10 touchdowns in a league where there’s a lot of value on touchdowns, then it was a good pickup.
Round 8, 72nd pick: New York Giants
I couldn’t resist picking up a team defence here. I think team defences are underrated when it comes to fantasy football. When a quarterback gets injured, he can get replaced and the backup still put decent fantasy numbers. But defences don’t have the luxury. A sucky defence is going to be a sucky defence. Having the best could mean the difference between a fantasy championship and missing the playoffs.
Round 9, 88th pick: Chicago
Same reasons as above. Plus, as I blogged about a couple of weeks ago: “I think the Chicago Bears will have a great season. Yahoo has them projected to be the eighth best defence, but I think they’ll actually finish #1. First, because last year they had a ton of injuries, so a healthy squad should be a better squad. And two, they have a better quarterback who can stay on the field. With Rex Grossman throwing so many interceptions, the Bears would get tired getting as much playing time as they did. But Jay Cutler can keep the offence on the field, meaning the defence won’t be out there as much to be scored on. So look for them to have a great season.”
Wife update: Since her three RBs domination, she has picked up Donovan McNabb, Chad Ochocinco, Carson Palmer, Hines Ward and the Pittsburgh and Baltimore defences. Tell me she’s not going to dominate.
Round 10, 92nd pick: Tim Hightower
Should be getting more touches now that he’s the number one runningback. As the backup RB, he still scored 10 touchdowns last year, so I’m hoping for that to continue.
(Note, because we’re getting more into the bench players, I’ll be shortening the explanations.)
Round 11, 108th pick: Mark Sanchez
A quality backup in case Rodgers or Favre disappoints or has a bye week.
Round 12, 112th pick: Indianapolis
Back up defence for when my top two are on a bye week (or facing a team like the Patriots). Indy’s defence is usually underrated. Because they play so well and take early leads, their opponents have to throw the ball more. That leads to more interceptions, which means more fantasy points.
Round 13, 128th pick: Kevin Walter
Almost 900 yards last year and 8 touchdowns. A solid extra wide receiver option at this point of the draft.
Round 14, 132nd pick: LeSean McCoy
Will get some touches as a backup with the Eagles, but I need him for when Westbrook starts getting his yearly annual injuries.
Round 15, 148th pick: John Carlson
I like the fact I can get a tight end that is a starter that will get me 600+ yards and five touchdowns. He’s my only tight end on the team (for the record, the tight end position is the most overvalued position in fantasy football).
Round 16, 152nd pick: Isaac Bruce
Another quality backup wide receiver. He bounced back last year with seven touchdowns after a couple of bad seasons. If he can keep up last year’s pace, I think he’ll be a quality bench player.
Round 17, 168th pick: Laurence Maroney
I have no idea where Maroney is on the depth chart, mostly because I don’t trust any depth chart that begins with “New England Patriots.” They move their players around so much and so well that anyone can have a breakout game any given week. Maroney was injured last season, but the two years before that, averaged almost 800 yards a season and six touchdowns.
Round 18, 172nd pick: Neil Rackers
Of course, you save the kicker for last. It’s pretty much hit and miss. I try to get an accurate kicker since missed field goals and points after will lose you points. Because of those reasons, I tend to stay away from kickers who play a lot of games in the cold and windy outdoors (such as Chicago and Miami). Those guys will cost you points late in a season as the temperature dips and the winds pick up.
So that’s my roster. For the record, I’m favoured to win my first week by 17 points (I’m playing against the guy who chose Eli Manning third overall). My wife is favoured to win by five.
Here are both of our final rosters:
QB: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez
WR: Randy Moss, Anquan Boldin, Kevin Walter, Isaac Bruce
RB: Brian Westbrook, Tim Hightower, Laurence Maroney, Marshawn Lynch, Jonathan Stewart, LeSean McCoy
TE: John Carlson
K: Neil Rackers
Defences: New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts
My wife’s team:
QB: Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, Brady Quinn, Matthew Stafford
WR: Chad Ochocinco, Hines Ward, Lance Moore, Donald Driver, Antwaan Randle El
RB: Michael Turner, Brandon Jacobs, Steve Slaton, Le’Ron McClain
TE: Visanthe Shiancoe
K: Jason Elam
Defences: Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills