Sunday, August 28, 2005

Don't bother to read this one -- it's about fantasy football

Alright, I promised you inside knowledge on my fantasy drafts, and by golly you're going to get it. And yeah, I know that none of you want to hear about it, because no one ever wants to hear about anyone else's fantasy team, but that's too bad -- it's my damn party and I'll cry if I want to. Maybe if you're lucky, John will delete this before anyone reads it.

I usually play in 3 or 4 leagues, but the big one is with my oldest friends from high school. It's a 25-round monster -- we start 1 each QB, RB, TE, K, DB, and DL, two each WR and offensive flex, and three defensive flex. Yeah, we don't do that pussy-ass "team defense" shit -- anyone can pick one of those. Scoring is pretty standard, except you get penalized more than usual for turnovers and get nothing for attempts, completions, or receptions. The draft is a randomized snake and there are no keepers.

Normally I begin my draft preparation in July with personal tours of traning camps and player interviews. (That, actually, is not a joke.) This year, however, I had a few other things going on and wasn't able to make it to any of them, so I was feeling very underprepared. To make matters worse, I spent a large chunk of the pre-draft hours this year a) driving from Cincinnati to Toledo, and b) watching the Browns game. This meant that by fifteen minutes before the draft, I had only half of my player rankings complete, and no bye-week list. Oh, did I mention that I was using dial-up for this? Yes, woe is me.

By the way, every year two of my buddies and I take bets on who's going to be the first to screw up various picks. For example, who is the first to take a defender, who is the first to take a kicker, and who is the first to take a player that makes everyone go "what the hell did he just do"?

This year I had the #2 pick, the highest I've ever been. Peyton Manning went first overall, so I was more than pleased to take Tomlinson at number two. On the way back I grabbed Portis at 19 and Javon Walker at 22. Things got a little hairy in the next rounds when I panicked and picked Ron Mexico at 39. I had a few other players in mind, but the bye week situation got the better of me, and I figured I might as well take a player I like, right? I immediately regretted it, but felt like I got a pick with solid potential in Cadillac Williams in the fifth round. And I hate taking teammates, especially early, but I got Isaac Bruce and Marc Bulger in the sixth and seventh, respectively. Eddie Kennison and Randy McMichael should basically round out my offensive starters, and I added Michael Bennett as a potential depth guy.

Let's take a second here to talk about Eddie Kennison. I actually though Eddie Kennison was white. I don't know why I thought this -- I guess I've just never really seen him (nevermind why I would draft a player I've never seen). This is a fun game to play, though -- try these out: Barry Stokes, Brandon Phillips, Ken Cloud, and Khalil Greene.

This also seems like a good time to mention that DeShaun Foster went in the third round this year. The third round! This guy gets injured more than Grant Hill. He has two career rushing touchdowns. And you're telling me you'll take him over other RBs like Chris Brown, Travis Henry, Cadillac Williams, JJ Arrington, Ronnie Brown, or even Fred Taylor? My friend Bill said "Clearly, [Nick] watched DeShaun Foster run on the Browns earlier in the night and then picked him 2-3 rounds too early." Good work, Nick.

Starting in the 11th I turned my attention to defense, and got Simeon Rice, Zach Thomas, and DeMarcus Ware. Have you seen this Ware character yet? He's a rookie defensive end/outside linebacker from Troy State, and he can chase the QB like made and picked off a pass last week. The motor on him is just unbelievable -- he can chase down backs from the opposite side of the field and cover tight ends or slot receivers man-to-man. He's probably the draft pick I'm most proud of, and the odds-on favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year, in my opinion.

The mid-to-late rounds are difficult, because not only are you looking for the diamons in the rough, but it's getting close to 1am and everyone is complaining about something or other. I panicked again and chose Donte Stallworth, thinking that he was still returning punts in New Orleans. Let's just say that he could be my first roster casualty. But I also grabbed Dunta Robinson, who had six picks as a rookie, and added Ryan Longwell to kick. I filled out the defense with Kevin Williams, Takeo Spikes, Ronde Barber, and Shaun Rogers. I made a few mistakes in there -- I passed on Kurt Waner in the 19th, for example, and it would have been nice to have Tony Bua, just because he once commented that "people were out there playing like their hair was on fire" -- but I think I made some good picks for depth in Chris Cooley, Jason Hanson, and Ben Roeradhasldgkhasberger. To finish things off I picked up Andre Davis, hoping that he wins the kick returning job in New England and I can plug him in in a bye week, and I added Charlie Frye in the 25th and final round, just in case.

I'm pleased with my team, overall. There are a few rounds I'd like to do over again, obviously, but I'm entertaining some trade offers that could be mutually beneficial, and at least I'm not the guy who got David Akers and Terrence McGee in the 8th and 9th on auto-pick. This year the first kicker actually selected was in the 14th, which I think is an all-time low. And the first reach for defense came in the 9th, which is much better than the 5th rounder my brother spent last year.

My friend Kenny commented, "I've talked myself into liking my team, pending some big ifs at the wideout spot. We'll see." And my brother Pete-Nye says that he thinks my team is "more solid than anyone else's." I feel like I left a fair number of points out there with the Vick blunder and by passing on Warner, but when others don't feel great and think my team is good, I have to feel like I'll be in the hunt. I guess only time will tell.

Next draft is currently scheduled for this Thursday, so be on the lookout for that. And another one should follow next Monday. I think that will be all for me, but you never know.


Nye 1.0 said...

First of all smart ass, the ray lewis faux pas was 2 years ago and in the third round. And secondly you better not waste time posting another one of these on Monday of labor day b/c we have another draft that day.

Anonymous said...

How about publishing a top 25-50 list of defensive players for individual defensive leagues. The scoring sytem is 1pt-solo tackles and 3pts each for: Sacks, Forced Fumbles, Fumble Recoveries, Interceptions. Oh and 1pt for passes defensed and of course six points for defensive touchdowns. Last year the best player under this system was Ed Reed because he freaked a ton of FF, FR, INT, and TDs. Obviously big time linebackers like Ray Lewis, Donnie Edwards and Urlacher when healthy are really good b/c of the consistent solo tackles.

Nye 1.0 said...

Actually last year Ed Reed was not #1. The #1 defensive player, points was was McGee from Buffalo. As for need a ranking system, when you set up the league to draft individual people the hosting site breaks them down into point totals. So just click on the D tab on the draft board and you will have a complete list of the defensive players.

Nye! said...

McGee would have been #1 because he also got return points. If you just want defensive points, last year's leader was Donnie Edwards. If you want anything more than that, you'll have to do the research yourself.