As it turns out, today was Draft Day for my fantasy football league! Following a season in which I dedicated most, if not ALL of my free time to researching the NFL, only to miss the playoffs, I decided to take a more laid-back approach to the process this year. I waited until the last moment, browsed some online articles, printed up some “expert” cheat sheets, and then discarded everything in favor of a “gut” approach on draft day. So, how’d I do?
Well, not bad. Not bad at all.
Also, not particularly good. Not particularly good AT ALL…
I got the fourth overall pick and decided to choose the Bears’ Matt Forte over Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy on the assumption that the Packers have always been a past first, second, and third team – and why would that suddenly change?
My strategy was to pick up another RB or a high-end WR in the second round but when I saw Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers sitting there (see above), I had to pick him up.
To compliment Rodgers, I picked up his #1 WR, Randall Cobb – unwittingly putting myself in a very bad position in week 9 when all three of my picks-so-far are on a bye.
In round 4, I selected former Viking RB Toby Gerhart who finally gets his chance to step out of Adrian Peterson’s shadow and into the limelight…in Jacksonville. The Jaguars can’t really throw the ball, so I’m assuming Gerhart will see a lot of touches.
With my fifth pick, I went with the 49ers Michael Crabtree, back from an injury-plagued season to reassume the mantle of San Francisco’s #1 receiver.
Round 6, I got New Orleans receiver Marques Colston. Very happy with this one. I expect he’ll see a bunch of targets this season with his ankle fully healed.
In round 7, I gambled on Bills RB Fred Jackson who has shown no signs of slowing down.
Then in round 8, I saw Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams sitting there, so I grabbed him. Not many lead RB’s left on the board at this point, so I was glad to get him.
I’m not convinced I made the right choice in round 9, choosing former Seahawk Golden Tate, but I figured he’s speedy and looking to impress on a team that likes to throw the ball A LOT in Detroit. Megatron should draw all the double and triple teams, allowing Tate to get some looks. Will he be able to step up is the question.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Former fantasy beast Darren McFadden was just sitting, waiting for someone to pick him up in round 10, so I did. He’s been dinged up quite a bit over the past couple of seasons and even though MJD is now in Oakland, McFadden should see plenty of touches on a team that will have to rely on the run when their passing game comes up short. Which should be most of the time.
I reached a little and took Cecil Shorts in round 11. No, the Jaguars can’t really throw the ball but when they did, last year, the speedy wide-receiving duo of Shorts and Blackmon got all the looks. And with Blackmon now gone – the NFL and Jacksonville front office tired of his off-the-field antics – that leaves Shorts to hopefully pick up the slack.
By the time round 12 came around, the herd had been thinned. I picked up former Packer great (and present Viking mediocre) Greg Jennings who showed a spark of promise last season. Maybe if the Vikes can sort out their QB issues, Jennings could well pan out nicely.
And another gamble in round 13 with former Panther WR Steve Smith who now finds himself in Baltimore. He’s a scrappy player. I love his attitude.
This late in the draft, I shifted my sights to landing a defense. I don’t really subscribe to the “Draft a Top D school” of thought simply because the top D’s change every year. Instead, I decided to plug-and-play, choosing a different defense each week based on their match-ups. I’d been eyeing the Bears D which will hosting the Bills and their anemic passing attack – but somebody nabbed them. And so, I had to settle for the Steel Curtain, hoping the Pittsburgh D can have a field day with Cleveland’s equally shaky passing game – and suspect running game.
With my second to last pick, I finally got around to picking up a TE. The drop-off from first tier Jimmy Graham to the second tier likes of Gronk and Julius Thomas is debatable. But there’s no debating the drop off from that second tier to the sizeable crowd who make up the third tier. In the words of the Gilligan’s Island theme song: “…and all the rest!”. I picked up Travis Kelce because I figured he’d probably be very involved in a KC passing game led by short play dump-off master Alex Smith.
And so, in the final round, I got around to picking up a kicker. Kickers are always a crap shoot. If you pick a kicker on a high scoring team, you’re often saddled with a guy who kicks nothing but extra points. On the other hand, if you pick a kicker from a team with a weak offense assuming they’ll have to settle for field goals when they can’t punch it into the end zone, you’ll be disappointed with a guy who rarely gets a shot because his team is never in field goal range. And so, with my last pick, I took veteran Adam Vinatieri because I’m backing on QB Andrew Luck getting the Colts inside their opponents 2o plenty of times – only to come up short because their running game is mediocre at best.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the 2014 soon-to-be-champions SNOW MONKEYS…
And these are the results of a computer analysis of today’s draft. I figure if I replace all of my starters with all of my bench players, I’d take over the No. 1 ranking:
So, how’d everyone do on THEIR drafts?