Sure, this year has had it’s fair share of twists and turns, exhilarating highs and crushing lows, but nothing has even come close to the rollercoaster of emotions I experienced today. It was, in a word, “brutal” – tough, at times distressing, and yet, ultimately, incredibly cathartic. I’m thoroughly exhausted and, while a part of me is relieved it’s over, another part of me is bummed because, well, it’s over. Settled. And now, we move forward to the next phase: the regular season.
I’m referring, of course, to my fantasy football league (R.I.P. Stargate) draft that was held this afternoon.
Last year, my Snow Monkeys got off to a slow start that they never really recovered from. And, when Frank Gore went down on Monday Night Football, any hope of a post-season berth went down with him. Some poor coaching and managerial decisions cost us early in that inaugural season, but I’m determined to get us off to a strong start.
Unlike last year, there is only one division. So, no middling performers from inferior divisions sneaking into the playoffs this go-round. 10 teams. 16 roster positions. 1 champion!
It was an interesting draft, full of surprises. The biggest of all kicked off the proceedings. My Snow Monkey were sitting on the number two pick and, while I waited patiently for Reagan’s Raiders to snap up Adrian Peterson, I agonized over my selection: Chris Johnson fresh off his hold-out or Arian Foster nursing a hamstring injury? And then, instead of taking Peterson, the Raiders selected dog-killer Michael Vick (who I predict will have nowhere near the year he had last year). Unbelievable. I wasted no time in grabbing Adrian Peterson and then proceeded to stack my roster with some truly awesome talent: 3 QB’s, 3 RB’s, 7 WR’s, a TE, a Kicker, and a Defense.
QB #1: Peyton Manning – A pretty sure bet and, despite talk of an injury, I doubt he’ll break his ironman streak of consecutive games started. He’ll throwing the ball in week #1.
QB #2: Tony Romo – Rob will no doubt be pleased to hear it. His season was cut short by injury last year, but he’s back and the Cowboys are one of two teams I expect big things from this season.
QB #3: Ryan Fitzpatrick – He lit it up late last season and I think the Bills are great dark horse pick. If he gets the hot hand, I won’t hesitate to call him off the bench.
RB #1: Adrian Peterson – The #1-ranked fantasy player. ‘Nuff said.
RB #2: Jahvid Best – Like I said, I expect big things from two teams this season. The Cowboys are one, the Lions are another. And leading Detroit out of the backfield is the underappreciated best.
RB #3: Knowshon Moreno – Well-ranked and while he’ll certainly be the Broncos’ go-to-runner, I’m going to have to count on him breaking some big runs because Willis McGahee is Denver’s goal line specialist. Trade bait?
WR #1: Roddy White – I was downright envious of whoever it was that had White last season. Well, no need for envy this year because I snapped him up with my second pick.
WR #2: Hakeem Nicks – To be honest, I selected him on the strength of his ranking. Eli Manning is hot and cold but, if he’s hot, then Nicks should be the recipient of many throws.
WR #3: Dez Bryant – He did well for me last season and now that he’s got a year under his rookie belt, I like him even more. And the fact that I have Romo throwing to him offers me a very tempting double word score.
WR #4: Lance Moore – He was one of New Orleans’ more consistent receivers last year and, by all accounts, he had a great camp.
WR #5: Steve Smith – A great player who has to bounce back from a disappointing season. Of course, you can chalk that disappointment up to a weak QB. This season, with Cam Newton at the helm, things may be somewhat better. And if Newton throws the long ball, Smith will be the guy to run under it.
WR #6: Mike Thomas – Speaking of the long ball, the Jags have a high-powered offense (to off-set their anemic defense) and their top receiver last year was Mike Thomas. Here’s hoping the good times continue rolling for him.
WR #7: Mohamed Massaquoi – Admittedly, a bit of a reach, but once he’s fully bounced back from his foot injury – and provided Colt McCoy gels at QB – this pick could pay off nicely.
TE: Brandon Pettigrew – A solid performer for me last year. Here’s hoping he’s 100% for the season opener.
Kicker: Mason Crosby – I was surprised to see the kicker for Green Bay’s high-powered offense still available mid-draft, so I grabbed him.
Defense: The New Orleans Saints – I expect to see them in the NFC Championship.
Other players I kind of had my heart set on that slipped through my fingers: Percy Harvin, Matthew Stafford, and Mark Ingram. Plus a couple more that are on the waiver wire.
The soon-to-be-also-rans I’ll be playing against this year: The Autodrafts, whoa philly, Reagan’s Raiders, The Running Dead (Ivon Bartok’s team), Pigskin PIrates, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Van Isle Vultures, Mighty Molsons, and, my week #1 opponent, Surrey Monkey Poachers.