Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fantasy Life

At 3 am this morning I woke with a start, chilled to the bone, my mind scrambling to figure out why I was so alarmed. It took a few incoherent minutes before I figured it out.

My fantasy draft is Saturday and I have done absolutely no prep work for it. None! Considering how many players have switched teams, rookies I’m unaware of and running backs that have scattered to the wind today is prep day.

If you have no interest in my take or bullshit or fantasy in general feel free to skip this, but frankly, why are you reading this anyway if any of the above is true? This is more my way of getting my thoughts in order, strategy in place and talking myself into passing over players who would have done me some good if I knew what the hell I was talking about.

I’ll skim over the players first then get to my strategy – which is changing up this year depending on where my pick falls.

QUARTERBACKS

Good Bets:

Drew Brees
Tom Brady
Peyton Manning
Aaron Rodgers
Philip Rivers
Tony Romo
Joe Flacco
Matt Schaub (if he can stay healthy)

Frankly, any of these guys are going to give you solid numbers every week. Flacco is probably the biggest question mark, but he has Boldin this year which should improve his impressive numbers from last year.

Meh:

Jay Cutler
Matt Ryan
David Gerrard
Carson Palmer
Eli Manning
Matt Hasselbeck
Kyle Orton

Any of these guys will have good weeks here and there, but if they’re your every week starter you’re going to be in trouble.

Question Marks:

Donovan McNabb
Kevin Kolb
Ben Roethlisberger
Brett Favre
Chad Henne
Mark Sanchez
Alex Smith

Of all of these guys, I would take a chance on Kolb. Sanchez looks good at times, but he’s probably going to be inconsistent for another year.

No Thanks:

Sam Bradford
Matt Leinert (at one point does he become a bust?)
Jason Campbell
Jake Delhomme (for the record 15th straight year allow me to add: Or any Cleveland QB)
Any Buffalo QB (they have one, right?)

Sleepers:

Vince Young (I’m hoping to snag him around the 7th round if possible)
Matthew Stafford (although I haven’t heard how well his shoulder has healed, yet)
Matt Cassel
Josh Freemen (although he broke his thumb in preseason, so watch that)
Derek Anderson

My theory on Anderson is that Leinert will be pulled as starter at some point. Anderson, who thrived in a spread offense in Cleveland could fit right in and jump start both Arizona’s and Larry Fitzgerald’s season.


RUNNING BACKS

Good Bets:

Chris Johnson
Adrian Peterson
Ray Rice
MJD
Ryan Grant (could have HUGE year)
DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart
Jamaal Charles
Frank Gore
Steven Jackson (although he has to crash at some point, right?)
Michael Turner (comeback year!!)
Rashard Mendenhall

If I have to choose, I’m taking Stewart over Williams. I think he gets more carries for the first time this year.

Meh:

Pierre Thomas/Reggie Bush
Joseph Addai
Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams
Marion Barber/Felix Jones
Beanie Wells/Tim Hightower
Willis McGahee
Ahmad Bradshaw
Michael Bush
Justin Forsett

Question Marks:

Cedric Benson (which one shows up this year?)
Kevin Smith (is he healed enough?)
Matt Forte (comeback year?)
Steve Slaton
Shonn Greene
Knowshon Moreno
Brandon Jacobs/Ahmad Bradshaw

If you have to gamble on one, I’d stick with Benson. It certainly SEEMED like he got his shit together last year, but he’s got Terrell Owens and Ochocinco to deal with now, so who knows what that powder keg holds. Forte I just don’t know about. Maybe he and Cutler are just the wrong mix.

No Thanks:

Darren McFadden
LaDainian Tomlinson
Correll Buckhalter (unless he’s your backup)
Any Seattle running back
Fred Taylor
Jerome Harrison

Sleepers:

Clinton Portis (two fossils – Larry Johnson and Willie Parker - are his only competition)
Donald Brown
Arian Foster (depending on which Slaton shows up this year)
CJ Spiller
Jahvid Best (esp if Kevin Smith isn’t fully healed)
Bernard Scott (esp if Benson implodes)
Laurence Maroney
Thomas Jones

Jones has been solid for the past three years yet teams keep dumping him. Maroney opened my eyes near the end of last season and seems to have rediscovered his mojo somewhere along the way. Has looked impressive in preseason, as well.


RECEIVERS

Good Bets:

Andre Johnson
Randy Moss
Roddy White
Miles Austin
Gregg Jennings
Marques Colston
Anquan Boldin (if you think he can stay healthy)
Reggie Wayne
DeSean Jackson
Steve Smith (the OTHER one. From the Giants)
Dwayne Bowe

Meh:

Hines Ward
Donald Driver
Hakeem Nicks
Pierre Garcon
Bernard Berrian
Jerricho Cotchery
Eddie Royal
Robert Meachem
Lee Evans

Question Marks:

Brandon Marshall (Chad Henne?)
Larry Fitzgerald (the Leinert effect)
Calvin Johnson (was last year his break through or a fluke?)
Steve Smith (Carolina’s QB is who?)
Michael Crabtree (could be great, could be terrible)
Mike Sims Walker
Chad Ochocinco
Percy Harvin (have you heard those migraine stories?)
Vincent Jackson (holding out and may not be with the Chargers much longer)
Dez Bryant (hear good things, but you never know)
Santana Moss (new QB, new coach. Again)
Jeremy Maclin (will he even be #2 in Philly with Kolb?)
Santonio Holmes (with Jets now and might be suspended for a bit, too)
Derrick Mason (how does Boldin affect him?)

No Thanks:

Nate Burleson
Sidney Rice (hip surgery?)
Mike Wallace
TJ Houshmandzzhaha whatever the fuck….
Braylon Edwards (Mr. Drop)
Any Oakland receiver. Hell any Raider at all.

Sleepers:

Steve Breaston (although, again, Leinert is in the picture)
Terrell Owens (just saying, maybe not being THE guy will be good for him)
Johnny Knox
Legedu Naanee (love this dude)
Julian Edelman (esp if Welker isn’t really 100%)
Justin Gage (maturing along with Vince Young?)
Some walk on rookie nobody has heard of

Take a look at this list and you’ll notice there are more question marks here than any other position. A lot of those questions will be answered poorly, too. This factors into my strategy in case you were wondering.


TIGHT ENDS

Good Bets:

Dwight Clark
Antonio Gates
Tony Gonzalez
Jason Witten

Meh:

Vernon Davis (no way he’s having the same run he had last season)
Kellen Winslow
Heath Miller
John Carlson
Chris Cooley
Kevin Boss
Jermichael Finley


Question Marks:

Brent Celek (what sort of relationship does he have with Kolb?)
Visanthe Shiancoe (depends on Favre)
Greg Olson (new offense, Jay Cutler, might be better staying away)
Todd Heap (wildly inconsistent and adding Boldin probably won’t help)

No Thanks:

Zach Miller (Raider factor)
Jeremy Shockey
Tony Scheffler
Benjamin Watson (Cleveland factor)
Anthony Fasano (suckiness factor)

Sleepers:

Aaron Hernandez
Brandon Pettigrew
Fred Davis (Donovan does like his tight ends)
Owen Daniels (this Houston offense may light it up this year. All of them)
Bo Scaife (too great a name not to like)

You can figure out defense and kickers because they don’t really matter that much. I would just stay away from Buffalo no matter what. They’re going to be terrible.


STRATEGY

After writing the above it struck me that you’re nearly guaranteed a quality quarterback in a 10 team league. You’ll probably get one or two serviceable running backs, as well.

Receivers, on the other hand, are valuable merchandise. Especially with so many hurt, holding out, with new teams (along with new QBs) or stuck with crappy teams. Larry Fitzgerald is a perfect example. Last year you put him in the top 3 automatically. This year? No Boldin with a Warner replacement that has looked abysmal? I’m not sure I’d risk taking him in the first two rounds.

Now, obviously if you get a top 3 pick you’ll have to take a prime running back (my top three are Johnson, Peterson, Rice). But what if you get pick 7? Or 8 – 10?

If that’s me, I’m taking Andre Johnson. Without hesitation. He’s the only monster receiver on that list that doesn’t have a fuzzy question mark hanging over him. Sure you could wait and maybe get him on the way back, but if not you’ll have to settle for Greg Jennings or Colston (no slouches, but no Andre, either).

Roddy White, along with Matt Ryan, is coming off a subpar year; Reggie Wayne wasn’t nearly as effective; DeSean Jackson and Brandon Marshall are both playing with new QBs; Welker is coming off knee surgery and there is no telling what mood Randy Moss will be in.

In short, the number of can’t miss receivers is down to a handful. Maybe less. If I can get two quality receivers along with the quarterback that throws to one of them (for example, get Shaub and Johnson or Brady and Moss) on my team, I’ll be happy. What I'm trying to say is this:

Don't be surprised if I pick two receivers with my first two picks then fill out the rest of the roster with leftovers. Don't be surprised at all, my friends.

Now, after all that, here’s hoping my picks can stay healthy.


Today’s distraction: It’s simple: Obey the game. Well, the rules are simple; execution…not so much.

3 comments:

Clayton Bigsby said...

My draft is Sunday night. My favorite sleeper this year is Vince Young and Kenny Britt of the Titans. I bet they have monster years.

BeachBum said...

I like Vince, as well. Seems to be at the right moment of his career when he puts it all together.

Hopefully.

Jum said...

Whooaaa lot of Vince Young chatter, it gets me excited...but I doubt CJ can match last year's stats, and there have been so many losses on the defensive side. Color me slightly optimistic about this year for Tennessee.