Now that I’ve ensured that no one’s reading this, let me discuss my fantasy teams and their 2005 results.
League one, the AUFL. In five years, I’ve never missed the playoffs until this year. Julius Jones’ injuries and the lack of touchdowns from Jake Plummer and Trent Green sunk me. I also forgot that Drew Bennett hates me. You always have to put that into consideration when filling your roster.
I keep the 2003 Titans’ Yearbook on my TiVo. It’s a cause of constant friction between me and my wife. The key moment to that yearbook, other than Eddie George planting Ray Lewis into the turf during the Titans’ division playoff win over the Ravens, was Drew Bennett dropping that desperation moon ball that Steve McNair threw in that cold January night in New England. The ball landed in Bennett’s hands and he dropped it. There’s heartbreak number one. Heartbreak number two was last year in a Monday Night Football contest against the Chiefs. I witnessed Drew Bennett have one of the best performances in league history. My opponent that week in the AUFL made a 30-point rally because of that performance. He earned the final playoff spot and won the title.
This year I picked Bennett off waivers when he got hurt. I figured that he’d help me in the stretch run. He scored 16 points in the past three weeks. I even watched the sportsline NFL play-by-play and saw Bennett get two balls thrown his way in a pathetic four-down sequence in which the Titans couldn’t score against a Colts team that was winning by 32. Yep, Bennett hates me. At the same time I had a terrible draft and not enough patience with my receivers. So I’m 5-8 and will play for the coveted Colt .45 trophy and a shot at the number one draft pick next fall.
I had mixed results with my dynasty teams. I went 13-13 in both leagues with one 8-5 and one 5-8 finish. My 8-5 team started 0-4, won eight in a row, then lost the finale when I panicked and started Marion Barber when Kevin Jones was inactive. This has been one of those years when you have to be sitting online at 12:45 every week checking for injury updates.
Zealots 17 is my ‘good’ team. I won my division and will play the opening round of the playoffs this week. Proving that no one knows nothin’, my top defensive scorer was Demorrio Williams, who almost didn’t make my 40-man offseason roster. My running back trio of Tomlinson, Jones, and Jones failed to make an impact as a unit. I did pick up Gado a week before his explosion (traded him for a 2nd-round rookie pick in z34), who will give me depth. I do recall that in the offseason I let DeShaun Foster and Mike Anderson go. Anderson’s in the worst kind of RBBC, so that probably won’t hurt me. A QB duo of Jake Delhomme and Steve McNair might. I can ride McNair versus the Texans this week. My wideouts are mediocre but my defensive depth is excellent.
Zealots 34 isn’t so good, but I like the future of the franchise. I like the QB group of McNair/Volek, Roethlisberger, Plummer, and Andrew Walter waiting in the wings. Grabbing Larry Johnson and Torry Holt back-to-back in the third round was huge. Johnson, Julius Jones, Warrick Dunn, Mewelde Moore, Cedric Benson, Marion Barber, and Eric Shelton are my running backs. I’m hoping for a bounceback year from receivers like Nate Burleson, Michael Clayton, Ronald Curry, Ashley Lelie, and Michael Jenkins. My TEs are terrible. I need to get some solid DE and LB depth in next year’s rookie draft. I do have five picks in the first three rounds.
My ‘staff’ league team started 7-0 and coasted to 9-4. I’m just glad that someone drafted David Carr and left me with Jake Plummer. At least I’m winning in a so-called experts league.
Yep, in these four leagues my combined record is 27-25. In a decade or so I should start getting good at this.