Fantasy files: The draft

I want to write a long, rambling post about draft day, the sites, sounds, and smells that are like none other. Seeing as I spent about nine hours at the draft locale and consumed a lot of booze, I’m a little shall we say tuckered. I’ll do a quick post about my team.

It’s a three-keeper league with one keeper allowed per position. Draft is opposite the previous year’s final standings, except that the winner of the “Colt .45” playoffs between the worst four teams gets the top pick. The last-place team gets renamed.

My keepers were Ryan Mathews, Calvin Johnson, and Jimmy Graham. I had the idea of drafting the best team for opening day while letting the waiver wire help me out with the players who would break out later in the season.

I assumed, because that’s what you do, that running backs would go fast in the first round. It’s a shallow position overall and we can start up to three. I was a little taken aback when three of the first five picks were wideouts. They were Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings and Julio Jones, so the picks made sense. I had my choice of my top-five running backs, when I initially thought I wouldn’t get any of them at my 1.06 pick. I took the guy with the highest upside who may or may not be a fantasy workhorse right away.

1.06: Trent Richardson

I did think that Doug Martin would be my guy at that pick, but for the second straight year, I’ll take the rookie RB from Alabama in the first round. Last year, Mark Ingram never became a  focal point of the Saints’ powerful offense. I’m fine with Richardson as a main guy on my team, although it’s not certain if he will be a top ten RB from opening day.

2.07: Dez Bryant

This would begin my streak of three consecutive players who got laughs when I selected them. In an unsuprising move, wideouts were the focus of the second round. Doug Martin went the pick before me, which was a major disappointment. Last year Bryant was the 19th rated WR and he seemed like a huge bust. This year, there’s going to be no doubt who the top WR in Dallas is.

3.02: Brandon Lloyd

This pick earned a ton of scorn. Lloyd has been skyrocketing up rankings all summer but those didn’t make it to the magazines and lists that my friends printed out. I was surprised to see him in the late 20s in terms of wideouts. I had two picks in the round with a 24-pick wait for my next pick and decided that I’d take my WR3 and wait on RB3. Lloyd is the most talented Patriots’ wideout since Randy Moss of 2007. In 2007, Randy Moss went in the third round of our draft and I didn’t take him.

3.06: Jay Cutler

In most of my mock drafts, a QB or two would go before this pick. I decided on the way to the draft that I would take a QB in the third no matter what. With the draft board falling as it did, I felt more confident in Cutler being the lead in a QBBC over the likes of Peyton Manning. Manning may shock the world like Favre did a couple of years ago. The odds are against him. I’m not 100% sold on Cutler as my QB1 for 13 weeks, but he has the best odds of finishing in the top five of any of the available QBs.

The two-round break was a critical time of the draft. Our friends hosted the draft and they gave us a major spread of food. There also was a major spread of booze and by this time I had consumed a lot of it. During my wait, I drank only water and Coke Zero. It helped me re-gain the focus I needed to finish. The pizza didn’t hurt either.

5.06: Peyton Hillis

I got a Peyton. C.J. Spiller kept dropping but sadly went a couple of picks before mine. I believe that Hillis will out-touch Charles this year and is likely to score more touchdowns. He’s not an old-school third RB but I think 15 touches a game are possible. He’s going to be a must-start guy while Mathews is out and hopefully the Chiefs ease Charles into the lineup.

6.07: Kenny Britt

I debated between Britt and Kevin Smith with this pick. I got the fantasy injury luck when Smith got hurt last night. It came down to upside. I think while he plays, Britt’s going to be a top fantasy option and Kevin Smith has the talent but is less likely to do it on a weekly basis. One guy came up to the board in the fourth round, started to  pick Britt and backed off.

7.06: Jake Locker

I did want RGIII or Luck on my team. I thought RGIII would go either before my 3.06 or right after. He went 3.07. Luck went the pick before my fifth-rounder came up. One rule of fantasy football is you’re going to like more players than you’re going to be able to roster. Locker has the highest upside of the remaining QBs and while he’s not going to put up Cam Newton numbers, I see 3500-4000 passing yards with 25-30 total TDs and he could run in a few. Locker has more of a reputation of a runner than he does in practice, so  he might be an Aaron Rodgers type who gets three or four on the ground. He won’t be an Aaron Rodgers type in the air. 55% completion percentage is his ceiling this year as far as I’m concerned.

8.07: Brent Celek

In the early days of our league, a guy like Frank Wycheck who caught 60 passes a year with four touchdowns was a TE1. To show how important the TE position is now, three of our keepers were tight ends and one had been kept in league history. I have Jimmy Graham and Jimmy Graham will start every week but his bye week. I didn’t want to be left out in the cold in case he gets hurt, and Celek sitting there in the 8th round was too much value.

9.06: Rashad Jennings

Since I waited on RB4, the pick was all about upside. If MJD misses time in the regular season, Jennings is more than capable of shouldering the load and being an every-down RB. I mean if MJD is out, Jennings will be a rare guy who doesn’t often leave the field. In the 9th round I’ll take that over the Redskins flavor of the week.

10.07: Bills D/ST

Week 1 against the Jets seems like a tasty matchup.

11.06: Alex Henery

I had him last year and he heated up after a slow start.

12.07: Russel Wilson

Hello, upside QB3. I doubt he starts a game for my fantasy team.

13.06: Chiefs D/ST

That one’s for Rumford.

14.07: Josh Scobee

Yeah, we have to roster two kickers and two team defenses.

Probable week one lineup:

Jay Cutler

Trent Richardson

Peyton Hillis

Calvin Johnson

Dez Bryant

Brandon Lloyd

Jimmy Graham

Alex Henery

Bills D/ST


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