Archive for August, 2011

Draft Day

Posted: August 31, 2011 in General

(Gotta comment on the Tag Photo, who do you think wins these guys league?)  Here are the draft results from a recent keeper league I am in PPR 12 team QB’s score 6 points for a TD otherwise standard scoring.  Start 1 QB 2 WR 2 RB 1 Flex 1 TE 1 K 1Def.   You are required to keep four players so the first four rounds are filled with those keepers in no particular order.

1.    (3)   Ray Rice
(Bal – RB)
2.    (22)     Roddy White
(Atl – WR)
3.    (27)    Ahmad Bradshaw
(NYG – RB)
4.    (46)    Tony Romo
5.    (51)    Felix Jones
(Dal – RB)  Felix represented my first pick 3rd overall essentially in the 5th round.  Originally I had him projected in the next round, but as my crush of the year and his recent jump in the rankings I was not going to see him available with the 70th pick in the draft.  Felix has not shown much as far as consistency just glimpses of what may be so I admit this is a risky pick.  I could have went safe with the likes of Brandon Marshall.  I felt it was a big plus to get a good receiving back others that were available Blount (not a receiving threat) and Deangelo Williams (big unknown) were not as appealing.  I did go option C as my first two choices Matt Forte and Desean Jackson were off the board, but in my case at least I was ready with a plan C.
6.    (70)    Santonio Holmes
(NYJ – WR)
7.    (75)    Austin Collie
(Ind – WR)
8.    (94)    Kenny Britt
(Ten – WR)  This little run of wide receivers was a little unexpected, but you take the draft as it comes to you.  I was hoping to get an elite TE by round 6, but they were gobbled up in the previous round, and then again in the 8th looking to target Kelen Winslow.  These three receivers are firmly entrenched as WR 2 with talent to be WR 1.  Each has his own issue Holmes (conservative offense) Collie (fragile) Britt (the law), but I expect one most likely 2 to pan out into something special.  Good news after the draft Britt will not be suspended which I believe this fear led him to slip in the eighth round
9.    (99)    Ryan Mathews
(SD – RB)  Another scorned fantasy commodity previous year first round Ryan Mathews had everybody running for the hills.  I was thinking about taking him in the 6th round using my draft plan A or B, but since I went C he was not in the cards.  At best I may be getting a running back of the future 1000 plus yards and double-digit tds.  At worst I say 600-700 yards and 6 tds not bad for a 9th round backup selection.
10.    (118)    Willis McGahee
(Den – RB)
11.    (123)    Davone Bess
(Mia – WR)  This guy is the epitome of PPR not much value in standard leagues, but he is going to catch 80 balls.
12.    (142)    San Francisco
(SF – DEF)  A little earlier than I preached for defense, but by this time I had every picked mapped out so really these final four guys could have been flipped.  Towards the end of the draft I go for what I want I don’t follow the rankings.
13.    (147)    Dustin Keller
(NYJ – TE) To me my biggest disappointment was not getting my TE early, but that is how the draft fell.  Getting Keller here is a bargain, and he is has the potential to be top 10.
14.    (166)    Ricky Williams
(Bal – RB)  My prized position is Ray Rice so even though there were a few other guys that intrigued me here, played it safe and went with the handcuff.
15.    (171)    Billy Cundiff
(Bal – K) Kickers that’s all I have to say.

Feel free to harsh on me or give me worthless tips about what I should do instead.  Also if you want me to grade your draft post it along with your setting and I will gladly do it.


Plan of Defense

Posted: August 26, 2011 in General

In a previous post I gave you my take on taking the top ranked kicker and defense early.  Here is a plan for waiting on Defense.  Defenses are a bit more predictable year to year than kickers but there are always unknown factors in the fantasy world.  Assuming your Def gets points for tds and maybe even return tds its tough to determine which team will score the most defensive tds.  Defensive touchdowns can add up to a ton of points and the team with the most tds isn’t necessarily a top ranked defense in real football.  Keep in mind the NFL rule changes on kickoffs, and I believe we will be seeing a lot less return tds.  Streaming defense is the rout I like to take looking at who they are playing and how their opponents are playing.  I think some defenses are must start until they prove otherwise (Jets, Steelers, Packers).  If you wait for the streaming plan you won’t see these defenses available.  They will be swooped up in earlier rounds when you are looking at upside guys, handcuffs, and solid players.  This plan isn’t always safe as teams come out of nowhere to produce and your current plan based on schedules will fail.  The beauty of your plan though is it’s fluid chances are at least 12 defenses will be available week to week to swap out and play the matchups.  So even if you do make a poor draft day defense pick improvement is just a week away.

Trolling for RB’s

Posted: August 24, 2011 in General

Beyond the top 100 overall ranking useful players can still be found, sometimes a star is born (Darren McFadden 2010 ADP 116).  In this article we will look at potential breakthrough stars not just a useful player in the late rounds.  What makes a star, sometimes the right system or injury also youth is on his side.  Ranked at 105 we have the ever popular MJD handcuff Rashad Jennings, and awesome play in last years playoffs when MJD went down some think Drew isn’t healthy and Jennings will replace him this year.  he is considered the #2 clear back up running back in most drafts behind Michael Bush.  Lets dig deeper the 132nd ranked player rookie Delonte Carter moving up the depth charts seeming to pass Donald Brown as Joseph Addai’s backup, a good spot to be.  There may be some highly touted rookies left after the injury bug, specifically Devin Thomas and Mark Ingram, but Peyton Manning’s rb is a valuable commodity.  Finally we come to our 172nd ranked player Stevan Ridley New England is the most consistent running back train to ride, but somebody there always produces, and in the preseason Ridley has posted back to back 100 yard games out playing fellow Pats rookie Shane Vereen for a roster spot maybe more

Scorned Players

Posted: August 21, 2011 in General

This is an unwritten rule in fantasy that owners draft safe.  If somebody has helped them in the past they are more apt to draft them again.  Well lets turn the tables on that, what about the players who have failed them.  It leaves a bad taste in your mouth like a scorned lover you would rather it be somebody elses problem.  I had this feeling with Larry Johnson, I took him with the third overall pick after his magical season, and he was my fantasy headache all season.  I vowed to never draft him again.  It turned out to be a good choice.  Switching gears last years version of Lance Berkman turned me off to him completely, but we made up and an early waiver pick up later we are best buds again.  Qb’s tend to do this via injury remember Tom Brady 09, ouch, he hurt many fantasy owners that year.  He is back as a top-tier QB.  Last year Romo’s injuries derailed a productive fantasy season (3rd in per game points last season).  I am not shying away from Romo he may be a steal coming off the boards as the 7th QB, he may very well be back in the top 3.  He has all the weapons to get back to the top.  Nothing is a sure bet in fantasy, but quarterbacks seem to be the most consistent at producing, especially in the pass happy league the NFL has become.  It is easy to look at your past experiences and write off a viable player.  If you can throw your bias to the wind and draft without emotion you will find some gems.  Easier said than done.

I Think I Am Going To Write Raiders

Posted: August 19, 2011 in General

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I have never done this before, but I found this Pre-Halloween picture of Al Davis and it is priceless.  I am writing based on the image instead of the topic.  Yikes I am glad he is not my boss looking more Freddy Kreuger than NFL Owner.  So in running back world we have the big 3 Arian Foster, AP, and CJ (Foster has only been around for 1 fantasy relevant year so he doesn’t get initials yet) Jamaal Charles is creeping into the discussion as well, but I like McFadden.  It is tough for me to say because I laughed when as a rookie people drafted in thinking he would repeat the previous rookies breakout campaign of the season before, Adrian Peterson.  Well he didn’t it took him awhile, I don’t think being on the Raiders helps your cause.  He may be one blade of grass away from an ACL injury, but the guy is explosive.  I like him in the Ray Rice range a top five pick, and I don’t think we have seen his best year yet.  The Raider’s have the best one-two punch in the backfield in football because Michael Bush is a bruiser, and he will get his stats as well.  Off the top of my head Bush would be the clearcut #1 on several NFL teams (Detroit, Buffalo, San Diego, Washington, Arizona, Seattle, Dallas) to name a few.  McFadden is quick, Al Davis likes his speed almost more than he does putting together a quality football team.  With the Raiders trading their leading receiver, Zach Miller, over the past 3 seasons McFadden becomes their best receiver.  He should become a PPR monster if his health holds up.  If you practice your mock drafts you should be able to own both McFadden and Bush becoming possibly the #1 RB combo in the game.  McFadden is currently mocked at late first round early second round and Bush is mocked at the 13th round.  I may pick Bush a little earlier than the 13th round just to play it safe.  Happy Drafting.

One Year Too Soon

Posted: August 16, 2011 in General

So I wanted to dig deep for this article in search of potential fantasy diamonds in the rough found on the waiver pile.  My criteria for these sleepers was to simply look beyond the top 180 ranked fantasy players or the amount a standard 12 team 15 round draft would pick.  Interestingly enough I found a few guys that were hot topics last year that failed to perform up to their predictions and have fallen out of favor with the fantasy community.  First lets look at Jerome Harrison highly touted before last years draft to start in Cleveland before Hillis’ breakout season.  Harrison finds himself in a favorable offense and now is battling with a fragile Javid Best for position on the depth chart.  Harrison had a huge 09 fantasy playoff run, and hasn’t been given a chance since then.  I think both backs will get playing time, but Harrison has shown he can be an every down back in the right situation.  Another is Demaryius Thomas, Denver’s answer to replace Brandon Marshall until Lloyd blew up last year.  If his QB situation becomes stable look for Thomas to make strides in the right direction even in a conservative John Fox offense.  Finally there is Donnie Avery whose season ended last year before kickoff.  In 2009 Avery made strides to be the number 1 option in St Louis.  I think the implementation has Josh McDainel’s pass first offense will benefit a guy like Avery.

If you are like me every year as soon as football training camp open, I switch into a football only gear where everything else is secondary.  This year especially with the lockout football was non existent then became in full swing overnight.  This is no excuse to neglect your fantasy baseball roster, and perhaps the perfect opportunity to jump a few spots over your distracted owners.  My team has enjoyed an up and down season for various reason including mass injury.  Currently it is flailing, and I am hoping to throw it a life line.  For starters Ervin Santana has turned up the pitching 3 complete games in his last 4 including a no-hitter.  Although it may be a little early I sucumed to temptations and grabbed Strasburg for a playoff run.  he is unowned in 60% of leagues right now, but that number is falling.  Once he does get the callup he will provide stikeouts and a low era.  if you can stash him do it especially if you have an open dl slot.  September is prime for the minor league callups and some rather unusual hot streaks.  Once it becomes all or nothing in the playoffs I have no problem dumping my slumping star for the flavor of the week. It’s a gamble, but I think it is the way to go if you feel like you don’t have the best team going into the playoffs.

Draft Strategy

Posted: August 11, 2011 in General

I was reading an article on ESPN regarding a draft strategy to implement in the upcoming draft.  The basis of the strategy is drafting Michael Vick with the number one pick or in the first round regardless of your position.  The other part of the strategy was drafting an elite tight end in the first four rounds, and the other two picks being a combo of wr/rb, wr/wr, or rb/rb.  Vick’s ADP is around 8.5 in standard leagues so unless you are in the back end of the first round you would be drafting Vick before his ADP.  The argument makes sense to me is you compare his last year stats as just a QB: 3000 yds 21 tds and 6 ints over 12 games (he may get hurt) then add a backup like Sam Bradford (or comparable) for the other four games you get Matt Schaub (8th best qb).  Then you take his running stats from 2010 676 yards and 9 tds and you get Cedric Benson (15th ranked rb).  So basically you get a top 10 qb and an RB2 wrapped into one with Vick.  However we don’t play 2011 fantasy based on 2010 stats.  I did my own research in the Mock Draft Room, drafting Vick and any TE from Gates to Vernon Davis, and I didn’t like my results.  I would end up getting somebody like Matt Forte, Ahmad Bradshaw, or Blount as my RB1 then a Marshawn lynch type as my other starting RB.  I don’t feel real comfortable rolling like that, but an interesting strategy nonetheless.  The argument for this strategy is solid on paper, but I think I will pass when the time comes to draft

I got the #1 Kicker

Posted: August 10, 2011 in General

In the perfect fantasy draft world everybody would draft their defense in the second to last round and their kicker in the last round.  Everytime time I see somebody draft one of these positions before I think to myself: one this guy doesn’t know what he is doing, and two that just helps my draft out.  Around the 7-10th rounds prime backup rb and wr time some owners just get a little itchy to pull the trigger on the Jets, Steelers, Ravens, Bucs (if you go way back in drafts).  Sometimes it works out, and they do come through with the best defense, but even then the strategy is not very successful considering the point differentiation between the number one defense and the number twelve defense is around 2 points a game.  That is hardly worth taking a defense 7 rounds earlier for 2 points.  I shouldn’t even have to make this argument about kickers, the problem in drafting a kicker is similar to defense the point difference is between 1 and 12 is nothing, and it is even tougher to predict kicker stats each year.  This advice seems so simple, but every year in every draft I have ever been in somebody does it.  Once the pick is made i just shake my head and move on.

Hometown Hero?

Posted: August 4, 2011 in General

I can’t ever say growing up I was an avid Seahawks fan.  I guess you could call me indifferent, as being a fan would entail loving them no matter what.  i do appreciate the fact that we have a NFL football team.  As I get entrenched in my studies of fantasy football drafts the Seahawks have given me a few reasons to get excited.  Yes last year they won the division, and yes last year they went 7-9, but their offense beyond the Mike Williams surprise and a few weeks from Lynch was terrible.  Hasselbeck has been old since 2008 hence the 34/44 td/int ration since then and he hasn’t played a full season in 5 years.  Since the beginning of last year the Seahawks have upgraded their running game (Lynch), third down back (Leon Washington), receivers (Mike Williams and Sydney Rice), tight end (Zach Miller), offensive line (Gallery and others), and finally their quarterback (Tarvaris Jackson).  First of all this is a huge upgrade from an old, fragile, stagnant quarterback to a young, mobile, strong armed one.  So for this team the upgrade is huge, but from a statistical stand point i believe the Seahawks are on the verge of becoming a middle of the road offensive team.  It has been awhile, but the last time Jackson got a chunk of playing time in 2008 he came up with a 3-1 record and 8/1 td/int ratios.  His new top 3 receivers stand at 6’4″, 6’4″, and 6’5″.  The best part is they are all pretty good, and add an ok running game to the mix Jackson and former Seahawks QB’s go from not drafted to a solid backup with an upside of QB2.