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A Noob in Fantasy Football Stage 2.1: The Official Draft

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Most of what I learned about fantasy football has been from watching The League on FX. We’ll see how that holds up as I explore my first season in a fantasy football league.

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Stage 2.1: The Official Draft

After changing 3 times, my league finally held its official draft! Finally I would be able to finalize my monster team based on a non-PPR, head-to-head league like Yahoo! defaults every team to in fantasy football.

Or, so I thought. A few days after my draft, as I began to look over my players and masturbate to how awesome my team is, I looked at the settings again. The league had become PPR. It was still head-to-head, thankfully. The waiver wire was gone, meaning anyone could pick anyone up at any time, regardless of the last time they picked up a player. Trades would not be based on league voting, but by the commissioner.

Luckily, my team seems just as good in the PPR department as regular scoring by accident. Or maybe destiny. We shall see.

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Round 1 (#5)

Jamaal Charles: RB (KC)

Andy Reid and his utility belt will, at worst, turn the Chiefs into a West Coast offense that runs the ball when they’re down by 21 points and throws the ball to the running back while the tight end blocks because Alex Smith can’t hit anyone beyond 15 yards. That target is Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs’ version of LeSean McCoy.

Round 2 (#16)

Jimmy Graham: TE (NO)

When it comes to selecting tight ends, you either take Jimmy Graham early, or you take whoever is laying around at the end of the day. Luckily, Jimmy Graham was still sitting there for me in Round 2.

Round 3 (#25)

Demaryius Thomas: WR (DEN)

Peyton Manning has a lot of targets in his receiving corp, since they have Eric Decker and gained Wes Welker, but Thomas is still the long-bomb guy. As long as Peyton’s head doesn’t unscrew from his shoulders, Thomas is getting those “I still got it, bitches” throws.

Round 4 (#36)

Maurice Jones-Drew: RB (JAC)

This could be the greatest drop ever, or the biggest bust ever. MJD helped everyone understand what a Lisfranc fracture in the foot is last year when one ended his season before it even started. Now he’s back, presumably in good shape. He better be, as this is a contract year. I also considered that MJD screens are as far as Blaine Gabbert can throw.

Round 5 (#45)

Matt Ryan: QB (ATL)

Eventually you have to take a quarterback, and Matt Ryan should be even better than last rear. His receiving corps are all back, and Steven Jackson is a backfield threat that may force defenses to actually crowd the box with their entire defensive line. Who knows, they may even throw a linebacker in there from time to time.

Round 6 (#56)

James Jones: WR (GB)

This pick annoyed me the moment I used it. I knew I had to grab another receiver, and I knew that Green Bay receivers are a safe bet. Unfortunately, every Green Bay receiver is a safe bet, not a stand-out bet. At the very least, James Jones will share in the catches Greg Jennings used to get last year. He’s also probably going to sit on the bench most of the time for my team.

Round 7 (#38)

Reggie Wayne: WR (IND)

The Colts screwed me by picking up former Raiders wide bobbler Darrius Heyward-Bey and slotting him higher in the depth chart than T.Y. Hilton. Hilton is supposed to be the successor to the Wayne dynasty, who was the successor to Marvin Harrison. Since Wayne is going to be the every down receiver, I took him as a safety precaution, prune juice and all.

Round 8 (#76)

Steven Jackson: RB (ATL)

Steven Jackson should have gone higher, but he’s a bit sketchy considering the talent the Falcons have in the passing game. I figured he’ll gather a ton of points when the Falcons are up 20 points against a bunch of slobs, and he’s lined up to drain the clock.

Round 9 (#85)

Houston: DEF/ST (HOU)

Maybe drafting a defense is a little early here, but Houston is supposed to be a monster on defense again this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if J.J. Watt literally breaks off a lineman’s arm and beats a quarterback with it.

Round 10 (#96)

Antonio Brown: WR (PIT)

Brown kind of fell into my lap. Ben Roethlisberger may not have much of a line anymore or the legs to scramble like he used to, but when he let’s loose a bomb down the field, it’s going to be to Antonio Brown for a Pittsburgh Steelers touchdown.

Round 11 (#105)

Ryan Mathews: RB (SD)

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh. The Chargers have to be able to do something right besides having Rivers throw the ball to Antonio Gates. Maybe Mathews will answer the bell.

Round 12 (#116)

Michael Floyd: WR (ARI)

This is definitely a gamble pick. Everyone knows that Carson Palmer is going to look for Larry Fitzgerald first on every passing play, but what if Fitzgerald has two cornerbacks, both safeties, and a linebacker on him? Palmer will then have to glance over in Michael Floyd’s direction.

Round 13 (#125)

Ben Tate: RB (HOU)

I have been on the “ARIAN FOSTER WILL KILL FANTASY TEAMS” bandwagon this whole off-season. Since Ben Tate was still on the board, I took him as a “just in case” pick. You know, just in case Foster needs a full-body cast.

Round 14 (#136)

Carson Palmer: QB (ARI)

I know, why would I pick a quarterback that was tossed aside by the Bengals and then the Raiders? He’s lucky to not have been forced into an old folks home already. Still, it’s hard to count out any quarterback who has Larry Fitzgerald to throw to. Unless, of course, you’re talking about a quarterback on the Arizona Cardinals, as we saw last year. Hopefully Palmer is the 2nd coming of Kurt Warner, just without the Super Bowl ring.

Round 15 (#145)

Steven Hauschka: K (SEA)

Last, and usually least, is my kicker. There were some decent choices left over from most of the league picking kickers abnormally early, but I’m comfortable with Hauschka. The Seahawks should get into field goal range quite a bit and, seriously, if you can kick in an outdoor stadium in Seattle or New York, you can kick anywhere.

How I Did

Yahoo! gave me a big thumbs up on my draft with an A+. This scares the shit out of me. Who the hell is Yahoo! to say how good my team is? Does this mean I am a rankings whore? Was I too conservative?

My worst position is quarterback, probably because even Yahoo! doesn’t believe in Carson Palmer. They actually went as far as to recommend Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, and Philip Rivers. They also recommended Alex Smith, who I’m keeping an eye on just in case.

Coming up next, Stage 3: Week 1 tinkering, playing, and (hopefully) winning.

Stage 1: Setting Up Your Fantasy Football Team

Stage 2: The Draft! Well, Not Really…

Stage 2.1: The Official Draft

Stage 3: Playing Week 1

Stage 4: Playing Week 2

About Author

Patrick is a self-proclaimed NFL analyst, critic, and lampooner, but he has also been known to provide commentary on baseball, basketball, hockey, MMA, and even cricket one time when he was delirious. Patrick is also a major homer when it comes to sports teams in his home state of NY, although he reserves the majority of his mockery to those teams. His heartbreaking teams are the New York Jets (football), New York Knicks (basketball), New York Islanders (hockey), Long Island Lizards (lacrosse), and evens it all out as a fan of the New York Yankees (baseball).