Fantasy files: Walking the thin line

My dynasty rookie draft is in the third round. I’ll complete my quick narcissistic story about my latest pick and move onto the important task at hand.

When the draft started, I had five picks in the top 30. Once I got to pick 30, I had made five selections albeit not the exact ones that started with. I already discussed my Mikel Leshoure trade. My target player at 1.12 was Delone Carter, although I would be happy with Randall Cobb or Demeco Murray, who I selected.

How soon things change in the league. Marion Barber was a key component to my dynasty team, first as insurance for Julius Jones and in his second year a fantasy force of his own. He is done in Dallas. The idea of Felix Jones as an every-down workhorse seems gone. Pity Tashard Choice, who I thought was a steal in the fourth round of the 2008 rookie draft but has not emerged with even a small portion of a RBBC. Murray seems like the guy.

I tormented over my 2.06 pick. I put one name down and even posted a comment before withdrawing. I put another name down and took a breath before hitting the send button. I finally put the first name back and rehashed the comment and Cam Newton was mine. I had moderate interest in Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick. Gabbert went at 1.08 and Kaepernick wasn’t worthy of the 18th overall selection. I had an WR and RB in mind with the pick but saw the upcoming 2.10 and 2.12 picks and felt like if I missed on my first choice that I’d get the second. I thought the following about Cam. He was a star at Blinn Junior College and Auburn without what you’d call star-level talent surrounding him. Notice how many members of the Alabama national champs were highly drafted? Auburn had Newton and Nick Fairley. That’s it. Newton may not have much receiver talent at Carolina but he’s used to it. And as the face of the franchise, the team is going to develop an offense around him. If you want a comparison, Tim Tebow went 3.03 in our draft last year. If you want a better one, Jimmy Clausen went 1.12 in our rookie draft last year. Hells yeah I think Newton’s better than Clausen. All Clausen has is Newton’s number.

I also knew that the owners selecting between 2.06 and 2.10 had QB issues. Jake Locker and Kaepernick went in those three picks.

The RB and WR I targeted at 2.06? I got Bilal Powell at 2.10 and Vincent Brown at 2.12. I thought about Torrey Smith but he’s a stinking Raven. I’m not completely anti-Raven as Ray Rice is one of my key players. I don’t want to make it a habit.

Let me wash away the self love with some serious talk from the point of view of commissioner. Being a fantasy football commissioner is a less respected position than janitor, teacher, or Republican presidential hopeful. You do all of the work and take all of the crap. With that in mind, you have the leeway to put the smack down on your fellow owners, but only to a point.

The IDP selections in our draft to date have fallen in a familiar fantasy hole. The issue with rookie drafts, and one that the veteran so-called shark can take advantage of, is that the less prepared owners seem to assume that a higher drafted player is automatically better. That’s why Von Miller is going to be the first linebacker drafted even though his real NFL value is going to be less than his fantasy value.

I had pick 3.06, and two of the picks ahead of me in the round were Ryan Kerrigan and Patrick Peterson. In the Zealots draft ADP that I check more often than my e-mail, Kerrigan has been taken in the end of the fourth round. In fact, where he was taken was the highest slot of any Zealots draft to date. Ditto Patrick Peterson, who my good friend commented as “talent”. Oh, he is talent. As a rookie cornerback he’s sure to be targeted by the mostly mediocre QBs of the NFC West. He is a great kick returner. He’s still a freaking cornerback who might get 50 tackles and interceptions are hard to predict.

I could make fun of their picks and “school” them on finding the IDPers who are in the best position to succeed. This is harder to figure than the offensive guys. When drafting offensive rookies, you pretty much look at the depth chart. When looking at defensive players, you need to know the scheme. Is the safety going to play in the box? Is your DE going to be in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme? Will your linebacker see a lot of blockers? I almost never know the answer to these questions, which is why I look at expert cheat sheets. Thanks again,

Instead I keep my big Commish yapper shut and quietly rejoice with Jacquizz Rodgers falls to 3.06.

Come on, fellow drafters, we still have some first-rounders on the board. Get the lead out!

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