Category:Fantasy Football
Posted on: September 21, 2009 9:08 pm
 

Quick Hits from Sunday

You want to know the most overrated content on fantasy websites?

Projections. For the most part, utterly useless.

We're talking about a computer system spitting out numbers here, and even if they're calculated, they're flawed for a reason that most casual fantasy players don't even realize. What's the difference between your typical No. 1 and No. 3 wide receivers? Well, sure, Steve Smith probably catches 20 or 30 more ypg than Donald Driver, but he's going to score a lot too if Jake Delhomme comes out of his coma. But what probabilities does RoboProjector use when forecasting scoring? I doubt it's analyzing matchups with opposing cornerbacks and changing philosophies, things that make the difference between the guy that the computer projects to score and the player it doesn't.

Use your own analysis, use ours, or use the rankings from reliable websites. What matters is catches, targets and matchups. Those are what truly forecast scoring, and ultimately, who falls in where as far as the best players from week to week.

 

  • Every week we stare at the screen like cavemen trying to make lineup decisions for the most effective scoring, and then agonize over the choices all Sunday long. Being fortunate enough to have good options at my flex this week, here's a step-by-step process of choosing and ranking Mike Bell, Derrick Ward, Nate Burleson and Eddie Royal, all guys who I feel are serviceable No. 2 RBs or WRs this week. (Note that I may be eating crow as I actually write this seeing how Bell already has 40 total yards in the 1st Quarter.)
  1. Derrick Ward - This is the guy sharing the most touches of any of these guys, so why choose him? Sure, Cadillac Williams looked real good last week. But money makes the world go round, and these things matter in football. The Bucs just gave him lots of Benjamins, and all for good reasons I've said before; he fits the zone-blocking system well, he can catch passes, etc. Fact is, all those things are still true, and he got several goal-line opportunities last week. Couple that with the fact that the Bills run defense is going to be hampered heavily by the loss of Paul Posluszny, who is a tackling machine. Eighty total yards with a good chance of scoring seems pretty good.
  2. Nate Burleson - Almost any ranking system you find will have this guy at the bottom of the four. I'm not buying it. Burleson got 11 targets last week to Houshmandzadeh's nine. I'm not saying that's going to always be the case all the time, but I wrote in my Fantasy Filmroom column that Hasselback noted his improvement over the off-season. His problem has never been production, it's been staying healthy. Five or six catches for 75 yards and a score looks good against the Niners seems reasonable.
  3. Mike Bell - This was a dicey situation for owners to approach this week. What was coming out of the Saints' mouths wasn't necessarily what seemed to be the likely scenario come Sunday. Then come kickoff time, the Saints activate Pierre Thomas. I feel sorry for Thomas owners who didn't look closer into this situation, because looking around, he's in some lineups due to that news, and was only activated for emergency duty more than likely. Bell is carrying the load and gets goal line carries. Sixty or seventy yards could be grinded out against the Philly defense, but chances of scoring are going to be tough. (Note: As I was finishing this, Bell scores. Insert crow in mouth.)
  4. Eddie Royal - Is the Cincinnati defense suddenly the Steel Curtain, or did Kyle Orton look real rough out there in the Broncos miracle last week? I'm going more with the latter. Still, I think that improves against a forgiving Browns defense. Marshall is probably back up to speed, so Royal becomes a No. option again. If Orton rebounds this week and shows he can run the offense smoothly I feel better about Royal.
  • Chris Johnson, meanwhile, is having what is going to be one of the best fantasy games of the year. 280 yards helped by three TDs. If you have him in leagues that award bonuses you probably are winning this week even if you're starting Michael Vick and Travis Henry (non-jail leagues). It's the third quarter in a close game and he's got 50 points? Wow. I ranked Johnson No. 5 overall behind LT, but ahead of S-Jax and Michael Turner. Maybe No. 4 overall wasn't so bad, and I'm not just talking this week; his metrics for his runs were excellent for last season. It's going to be fun watching him this year.
  • Chad OchoCinco is definitely going to be making defenses "kiss the baby" this year. Anyone who watched Hard Knocks got the impression that Chad looked healthy and was serious about rebounding. No one questions this guy's heart, if anything. 1,200+ yards along with eight touchdowns looks like at least a good bet with a healthy Carson Palmer, who could also turn out to be a good steal.
  • As Matt Stafford throws into the heart of the Vikings defense for another INT, credit the Jets coaching for playing into the strengths of Mark Sanchez, who's looked great so far today. He's made throws down the field when he takes chances, but they've played it smart. The Meadowlands is incredibly loud, and it's been giving the Patriots problems on the other side of the ball. It's like NCAA Football a few years ago where your controller shakes and your receivers look confused like they've just seen Lady Gaga at the VMAs. Tom Brady is really missing Wes Welker today, and the Jets are throwing great blitz packages. The timing of the Patriots offense is off, and Darrelle Revis has been all over Randy Moss today, who can't get any separation.
Category: Fantasy Football
Posted on: September 11, 2009 9:26 pm
 

Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings

With getting out my 2009 overall fantasy football rankings on here and amongst other places, I'm a little late admittedly on these. I'm omitting players from last night's Steelers-Titans defensive battle. It was a tough blow overall for Steelers fans and owners of their defense losing Troy Polamalu for 3-6 weeks. The guy was everywhere on the field last night, covering Bo Scaife or making plays in the secondary. Willie Parker looked downright awful as well, and I might have been overrating him in moving him up in my rankings at the last minute upon word that he would get the majority of carries. Maybe it's just the hamstring still recovering, we'll see next week.

Quarterbacks

  1. Drew Brees vs. DET
  2. Tom Brady vs. BUF
  3. Payton Manning vs. JAC
  4. Aaron Rodgers vs. CHI
  5. Kurt Warner vs. SF
  6. Donovan McNabb @CAR
  7. Matt Schaub vs. NYJ
  8. Tony Romo @TB
  9. Matt Hasselback vs. STL
  10. Philip Rivers @OAK
  11. Carson Palmer vs. DEN
  12. Matt Ryan vs. MIA
  13. Jay Cutler @GB
  14. Joe Flacco vs. KC
  15. Kyle Orton @CIN
  16. David Garrard @ IND
  17. Chad Pennington @ATL
  18. Shaun Hill @ARI
  19. Jake Delhomme vs. PHI
  20. Brett Favre @ CLE
  • One discrepency between my rankings and a lot of others you'll see is having Rivers barely in the top 10; I've seen him as high as No. 4 some places. The Raiders actually finished 10th in YPGa, but allowed hoards of points. I think those points come on the ground, not in the air. San Diego will try to pound the rock with Tomlinson and Sproles more than the pass, so I wouldn't expect much more than 200 yards from Rivers.
  • I'm sure the Dolphins will see a heavy dose of Michael Turner Sunday, but I'm betting that the playbook opens up and Matt Ryan will "do work" against the Dolphins secondary, in which two of their top three corners are rookies.
  • Don't overrate Brett Favre in his return, especially against an underrated Browns secondary. The Vikings would be smart to play conservative all day, no pun intended, with a Cleveland team that is good at mixing up coverages and creating turnovers. However many touchdowns Favre throws, I say he throws that many INTs as well.

Running Backs

  1. Adrian Peterson @ CLE
  2. LaDanian Tomlinson @OAK
  3. Maurice Jones-Drew @IND
  4. Matt Forte vs. @GB
  5. Steven Jackson @SEA
  6. DeAngelo Williams vs. PHI
  7. Michael Turner vs. MIA
  8. Frank Gore @ARI
  9. DeAngelo Williams vs. PHI
  10. Brian Westbrook @CAR
  11. Steve Slaton vs. NYJ
  12. Brandon Jacobs vs. WAS
  13. Ray Rice vs. KC
  14. Marion Barber vs. @TB
  15. Cedric Benson vs. DEN
  16. Kevin Smith vs. NO
  17. Ryan Grant vs. CHI
  18. Clinton Portis @NYG
  19. Ronnie Brown @ATL
  20. Thomas Jones @HOU
  21. Julius Jones vs. STL
  22. Fred Jackson @NE
  23. Darren McFadden vs. SD
  24. Knowshon Moreno @CIN
  25. Mike Bell @DET
  26. Joseph Addai vs. JAC
  27. Reggie Bush @DET
  28. Chris Wells vs. SF
  29. Donald Brown vs. JAC
  30. Derrick Ward vs. DAL
  31. Cadillac Williams vs. DAL
  32. Leon Washington @HOU
  33. Felix Jones @TB
  34. Peyton Hillis @CIN
  35. Le'Ron McClain vs. KC
  36. Tim Hightower vs. SF
  • Sticking with my overall 2009 rankings, appropriately the top four running backs in those are at the top of this list. Jones-Drew draws possibly the toughest matchup, but history has shown he's had big games against the Colts, so don't be scared away. 
  • I'm weary of some of the time-shares that guys like Slaton and Barber will face. News that Chris Brown will steal carries in Houston tempers by enthusiasm for Slaton slightly. I like Felix Jones to get involved as well, but the Bucs defensive tackles(see: Ryan Sims, failure in Kansas City) and even linebackers are no match for a wrecking machine like MBIII. After we see what kind of splits occur in Week 1, going forward with these running back situations will be much easier for owners.
  • I've seen Thomas Jones higher and lower, and not saying that the Texans are stalwarts against the Run, but Leon Washington will steal his fire and be a safety valve for Sanchez in the passing game. Does he break 100 yards, maybe, I'm not conviced of a score though. I feel like Jones and the next three or four guys below him are fairly interchangable in value this week.
  • For a guy that went undrafted in nearly all leagues, Mike Bell is a great sleeper value for Week 1, and I'm buying in him having more value than Reggie Bush in leagues that don't factor returns. How does 15-20 carries, including goal line chances, along with one or two TD upside sound? I'm starting him over Brandon Marshall, Josh Morgan and Derrick Ward for reference in one league.
  • Speaking of Ward, I'm still buying him as the best bet at running back for the Bucs this week, and the rest of the year. He led the league last year in YPC-average, and can catch passes. Not only that, but he fits the zone-blocking scheme in Tampa. Maybe because I invested so much in him myself I'm getting behind him, but the guy had over 1,400 total yards last year. OK, I'm done.

Wide Receivers

  1. Larry Fitzgerald vs. SF
  2. Calvin Johnson @NO
  3. Randy Moss vs. BUF
  4. Marques Colston vs. DET
  5. Andre Johnson vs. NYJ
  6. Roddie White vs. MIA
  7. Reggie Wayne vs. JAC
  8. Greg Jennings vs. CHI
  9. Steve Smith vs. PHI
  10. Anquan Boldin vs. SF (if playing)
  11. Chad OchoCinco vs. DEN
  12. Wes Welker vs. BUF
  13. Eddie Royal @CIN
  14. T.J. Houshmandzadeh vs. STL
  15. Vincent Jackson @OAK
  16. Anthony Gonzalez vs. JAC
  17. Dwayne Bowe @BAL
  18. Terrell Owens @NE
  19. DeSean Jackson @CAR
  20. Antonio Bryant vs. DAL
  21. Jerricho Cotchery @HOU
  22. Roy Williams @TB
  23. Derrick Mason vs. KC
  24. Braylon Edwards vs. MIN
  25. Lance Moore vs. DET
  26. Kevin Walter (if playing)
  27. Donald Driver vs. CHI
  28. Brandon Marshall @CIN
  29. Devin Hester @GB
  30. Santana Moss @NYG
  31. Lee Evans @NE
  32. Josh Morgan @ARI
  33. Donnie Avery @SEA
  34. Ted Ginn Jr. @ATL
  35. Laveraneus Coles vs. DEN
  36. Chris Henry vs. DEN
  • Johnson is going to see an astronomical amount of targets against the Saints. I ranked Fitzgerald and Johnson No. 1 and 2, respectively, on the year, but Johnson is all he's been advertised and better. I had a chance to see him in two-a-days, and this guy plays with DBs like you played with G.I. Joes as a kid. On the other side of the ball, Colston is ahead of Johnson. Why? Against the Lions last year, 99 yards, and two touchdowns. Why not again is the better question.
  • I like the top 13 this week all as strong bets to either top 100 yards, or score multiple times. And yes, by reflection of my rankings, you should see that I'm predicting a bounce-back year by Chad "don't call me Johnson" OchoCinco. If you think otherwise, child please.
  • What's the concern about Matt Cassel playing or not for Bowe owners? Bowe put up roughly 1,000 yards and five TDs in 2007 when Brodie Croyle played a majority of games. He's going to see plenty of looks no matter who's under center. 
  • If Walter plays, he draws a good matchup. Other questionables? Bernard Berrian has been dealing with a hamstring issue as well, but I'm more skeptical there. That's tough for owners who drafted him as a low No. 2 or high No. 3, but he's better left out of lineups this week either way, so I'd make other plans.

Tight Ends

  1. Antonio Gates @OAK
  2. Jason Witten @TB
  3. Dallas Clark vs. JAC
  4. Greg Olsen @GB
  5. Tony Gonzalez vs. MIA
  6. Owen Daniels vs. NYJ
  7. Chris Cooley @NYG
  8. Zach Miller vs. SD
  9. Dustin Keller @HOU
  10. John Carlson vs. STL
  11. Jeremy Shockey vs. DET
  12. Kellen Winslow vs. DAL
  • Maybe not every week, but based on the matchups, I wouldn't have a problem starting any of these guys this week. Of their particular assignments they draw on defense, I like Witten, Olsen, Miller and Carlson best. Clark had great numbers against the Jaguars last year, as well.

Defenses

  1. Baltimore Ravens vs. KC
  2. Minnesota Vikings @CLE
  3. New York Giants vs. WAS
  4. Dallas Cowboys @TB
  5. San Diego Chargers @OAK
  6. Philadelphia Eagles @CAR
  7. New Orleans Saints vs. DET
  8. New England Patriots vs. BUF
  9. Green Bay Packers vs. CHI
  10. Seattle Seahawks vs. STL
  11. New York Jets @HOU
  12. Indianapolis Colts vs. JAC
  • The Ravens, Vikings, Giants and Cowboys will all feast with sacks on their opposing offenses, and the Eagles, even without the late Jim Johnson, will throw blitzes at Jake Delhomme.
  • The Saints are a great sleeper defense this week, especially with DE's Charles Grant and Will Smith not being suspended. They'll be like Jaws when they close in on Matt Stafford and a typically mediocre Lions offensive line.
  • I'd like to be starting one of the top 10 listed above this week. The Jets and the Colts face teams that will give them problems, even.
Whether I rank kickers or not in the future is TBA, but I'll be attending the Notre Dame/Michigan game in Ann Arbor tomorrow afternoon, so they're getting cut this time. Enjoy, and discussion is always welcome.
Posted on: September 10, 2009 5:41 am
 

The Royalty of Roto 2009 Fantasy Football Ranks

I anticipated on getting these out position-by-position, but with other drafts and preparing other content, this is all of it. Included below are the quarterback rankings and notes from the previous post.

As noted before, a + indicates that a player is both preferred and anticipated to be a good value for his current draft position, and coversely so with a - sign.

Quarterback

  1. Drew Brees (+)
  2. Tom Brady (+)
  3. Peyton Manning
  4. Aaron Rodgers (+)
  5. Tony Romo
  6. Donovan McNabb
  7. Kurt Warner
  8. Matt Schaub (+)
  9. Philip Rivers
  10. Matt Ryan (+)
  11. Carson Palmer
  12. David Garrard (+)
  13. Ben Roethlisberger
  14. Jay Cutler
  15. Joe Flacco
  16. Matt Hasselback
  17. Matt Cassel
  18. Trent Edwards (Last of good No. 2’s – GET BACKUP BEFORE HERE)
  19. Brett Favre
  20. Shaun Hill
  21. Jason Campbell

  Notes:

  • Why 21? Well first of all I'm assuming a size of 12 owners in a league (and have always felt 10 is too few). Personally, I feel like Trent Edwards is the end of the last tier of backup quarterbacks I would prefer to own, but anything after these 21 certainly I won't own on any team of that many owners or fewer.
  • You're not going to find me taking Drew Brees or Tom Brady until about 18-20 players go off the board, and I don't think you should either. The "Fantastic Four" at wide receiver this year and a group of about a dozen running backs should go first before you reach for either of the gunslingers. I landed Brady with the 25th overall pick, or the first pick of the third round in one of my leagues, and if you get him there it's great value.
  • I'd say the top nine on my rankings, and throw in Cutler or maybe Palmer, are going in the early-to-mid rounds, and then there's a pretty steep drop off while teams establish depth. Pairing a couple of the guys that come after Rivers, who I believe to be overrated by some rankings this year, isn't a bad idea either.

Running Back

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. Maurice-Jones Drew
  3. Matt Forte
  4. LaDanian Tomlinson (+)
  5. Chris Johnson
  6. Steven Jackson
  7. Michael Turner
  8. Steve Slaton (+)
  9. DeAngelo Williams
  10. Frank Gore
  11. Brandon Jacobs
  12. Clinton Portis
  13. Brian Westbrook
  14. Marion Barber III
  15. Pierre Thomas (+)
  16. Kevin Smith (+)
  17. Ryan Grant (+)
  18. Ronnie Brown (+)
  19. Darren McFadden
  20. Marshawn Lynch
  21. Ray Rice (+)
  22. Willie Parker (+)
  23. Derrick Ward  
  24. Thomas Jones
  25. Cedric Benson
  26. Jonathan Stewart
  27. Ahmad Bradshaw (+)
  28. Knowshon Moreno
  29. Chris Wells (+)
  30. Joseph Addai
  31. Donald Brown (+)
  32. Larry Johnson
  33. Reggie Bush
  34. Felix Jones
  35. Fred Jackson
  36. LenDale White
  37. Julius Jones
  38. Laurence Maroney
  39. Jamal Lewis
  40. LeSean McCoy (+)
  41. Fred Taylor
  42. Darren Sproles
  43. Chester Taylor
  44. Cadillac Williams
  45. Willis McGahee (-)
  46. Sammy Morris
  47. Rashard Mendenhall
  48. Shonn Greene
  49. Ricky Williams
  50. Leon Washington

  Notes:

  • These rankings have seen several revisions before now throughout training camp and the pre-season. Recent risers include Willie Parker, and although he never rose in my rankings already being ranked fairly high, Ray Rice has picked up a good deal of hype. The big drop has been Derrick Ward, the unfortunate result of the three-headed "monster" Coach Morris plans on using in Tampa Bay.
  • DeAngelo Williams is the end of the sure things at the running back position. I'm taking a wide receiver at this point in drafts at No. 10 overall. In 10-team leagues, this means you might have the option of going with a one-two of Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, or pairing one of the two with Frank Gore. Personally I'm not a Gore fan this year, so I would hope one of the top nine drop. In a 12-team league you're not so lucky. Therefore, I'm convinced that anything but the No. 10-12 slots are fine to draft in this year in 12-team leagues.
  • In 12-team leagues, someone is going to be starting those 20-24 guys as their No. 2 back, but if I'm not stacked at WR or have a top option at QB, my strong No. 2's stop at No. 17 with Ryan Grant. Sure, every player has some questions, but some more than others after that point. If not, I want to pair two players in that No. 18-25 range as my second and third running backs.

 

Wide Receiver

  1. Larry Fitzgerald
  2. Calvin Johnson (+)
  3. Andre Johnson (+)
  4. Randy Moss
  5. Greg Jennings
  6. Anquan Boldin (+)
  7. Steve Smith
  8. Reggie Wayne
  9. Roddy White
  10. Marques Colston (+)
  11. Brandon Marshall (+)
  12. Dwayne Bowe
  13. Wes Welker
  14. Chad OchoCinco (+)
  15. Braylon Edwards
  16. Terrell Owens
  17. Vincent Jackson (++)
  18. Bernard Berrian
  19. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
  20. Roy Williams
  21. Lee Evans
  22. DeSean Jackson
  23. Eddie Royal
  24. Antonio Bryant
  25. Santana Moss
  26. Anthony Gonzalez (+)
  27. Hines Ward
  28. Santonio Holmes
  29. Kevin Walter
  30. Jerricho Cotchery
  31. Torry Holt
  32. Devin Hester
  33. Donald Driver
  34. Laveranues Coles
  35. Donnie Avery
  36. Lance Moore
  37. Derrick Mason
  38. Steve Breaston
  39. Patrick Crayton
  40. Josh Morgan

  Notes:

  • Up until the past week it was Marques Colston, but now Brandon Marshall seems to be the end of the clear No. 1 receivers this year. I didn't waver in sticking with Brandon Marshall as my No. 12 receiver, and with the drama in Mile High seemingly behind, he'll produce with Kyle Orton at quarterback. I grabbed him at 48th overall, or the last pick of the 4th round in a 12-team draft several weeks ago, and any other owners should be rewarded well for grabbing him at a discount when he should be going in the middle of the third round.
  • After the Fantastic 4, there's a lot of debate about the next handful of guys. Why Greg Jennings? Good quarterback, two games against Detroit, few injury concerns, and an average of 1,000+ yards and 10 TDs over the past two seasons. As far as Boldin, how he falls out of anyone's top 10 at the position befuddles my mind. Sure, he misses games, but he also averaged the most fantasy points for all wide receivers per game. Plug in a replacement receiver for those games he misses, and the value you're getting is better, period.
  • Target Vincent Jackson as a No. 2 wide receiver this year and trust me on this one. If I didn't think that the Chargers planned on pounding the rock more this year he would probably see more production, but he's finally established himself as a legit No. 1 receiver. Of the guys ranked 14-16, I'm convinced Chad "don't call me Johnson" bounces back, but the upside on the next two are high, although with unparalleled risk. Jackson, like Derrick Mason in the later rounds, isn't as sexy, but safer.

Tight End

  1. Jason Witten (+)
  2. Antonio Gates
  3. Tony Gonzalez
  4. Dallas Clark
  5. Chris Cooley (+)
  6. Owen Daniels (+)
  7. Greg Olsen (+)
  8. Dustin Keller
  9. Zach Miller
  10. John Carlson
  11. Brent Celek (+)
  12. Kellen Winslow
Notes:
  • If I'm not taking Jason Witten, I'm not taking any of the top four guys. They're going much too high for the production you could be grabbing at the position. Gonzalez and Clark's touchdown numbers aren't much more predictable than the guys below them, which makes me weary of passing up a quality running back in those rounds where they're taken for one of them.
  • I'm not surprised if Cooley or Daniels is in the conversation with either of those guys above them next year, either. The yardage is there, people. Signs are pointing to these guys producing in a big way. In Washington, Moss will continue to get the long ball, but Cooley is the No. 1 red zone option through the air, much like Olsen. Daniels plays second fiddle to Andre Johnson in Texas, but there's going to be plenty of touchdowns to go around, and I'm betting he triples his touchdowns over the two he got solely against the Lions in 2008.

What about defense? The top options are pretty obvious this year with the Giants and Steelers. If you're not grabbing the best ones, I like the Jets, and I seem to be ending up with them a lot at the end of drafts. I play in several leagues where defense is weighted heavier, but in most leagues, don't reach, and by that I mean take two in the last few rounds. Chances are grabbing two with upside you're going to end up with a team that takes a step up, and you won't regret it when the guy with the Steelers defense is lacking depth later on.

Overall, I'm preaching two elite wide receivers this year, with solid depth to be found at running back, and even tight end. My magic number is now 22, as in 22 overall elite players that I want to grab before anyone else this year. That includes the killer B's at QB, the top nine backs, and the wide receivers down to Brandon Marshall. I don't advocate taking either Brady or Brees, though, until after around No. 18 overall; I think you're handicapping yourself at other positions otherwise.

With the busy schedules we have, not everyone has the time to pour over a full set of their own rankings with ample research. If you're still drafting, making trades, or preparing, hopefully this helps anyone make things easier.
Posted on: September 8, 2009 1:59 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2009 3:12 pm
 

Fantasy Draft: Round-by-round

Everyone should take advantage of mock drafts. They're what prepare a good fantasy player best for the real thing, whether you have ample rankings sitting in front of you or not.

So I'm here with a real draft, one that can serve as a mock for anyone else to see where players are landing. Is Brandon Marshall rising again? Is Derrick Ward falling? Well, here's an opportunity to take a gander.

I'll be updating during the draft as much as possible. 10-team league, 2 RB, 3 WR. I believe this means you need to grab wide receivers even higher than if your league uses 2 RB/2 WR/1 Flex, with a finite amount of top-tier receivers out there this year.

Enjoy.

Pre-Draft: I enter the draft room about 10 minutes early, and I've got the No. 6 overall pick. Not exactly where I want to be. Where's Al Davis to trade when I need him? If everyone takes guys according to my rankings, I land Steven Jackson there.

2:02, 1st Round: With the option of Chris Johnson or LT, I decide to Ride the Lightning and go with Tomlinson, who I have ranked No. 4 overall. A lot of Packers fans in this draft, and some cheesehead with the team name Rodgers Pack takes the Green Bay QB at the end of the first round. Hm.

2:05, 2nd Round:
Middle of the pack, I yank Megatron off the board with the 16th overall pick; he's the fourth overall receiver to go off the board. There's a few elite RB's still left, but you've gotta stick to your strategy at this point. Passing on the RB will pay off later.

2:14, 4th Round: A little delay, as I start scratching off guys on my rankings to keep better track. Going against my rankings, I take Marques Colston over Roddy White, who I have one spot higher. Hopefully not a regret I have later. In the fourth round, with the last of the No. 2 RB's that I want available, I go with Pierre Thomas over Kevin Smith, even with the knowledge he probably doesn't play in Week 1. With only two running back slots, you figure some good value will be available to plug in as a replacement.

2:18, 5th Round:
With no one left I really prefer on the board, I go with Braylon Edwards, with Berrian, Housh, and a few other guys out there. I have Edwards No. 15 overall at the position, but I worry about his production. Him holding onto balls is like Michael Jackson holding babies out a window. Sure, he probably won't drop them, but you can't help but wonder.

2:22, 6th Round: I make what might be my first mistake of the draft, going with Chris Cooley over Matt Schaub, who's promptly taken with the next pick. I was deciding between those two, and it always makes you second guess when that happens. Now my quarterback spot is a question mark, possibly.

2:26, 7th Round: Left out there in the rain like Owen Wilson in You, Me and Dupree is Donovan McNabb, who I thought was already picked. My QB problem is solved and my starting lineup almost totally filled out. Waiting on quarterback is always dicey. I'll probably pair him with a decent backup after about four more rounds, though.

2:37, 10th Round: Guys in the default rankings on this site are buried deeper than the national debt, leaving me to loose track of Devin Hester, although I pick the not-so-sexy Derrick Mason as my No. 5 WR. I grabbed Coles in the 8th Round, and Willie Parker in the 9th Round is a STEAL, 2 RB slots or not. The Matthew Barry man-crushes Visanthe Shancoe and Joe Flacco goe back-to-back in the 9th Round, earlier than I anticipated.

2:45, 13th Round:
Ray Rice, 11th Round. Steal of the draft. I pass up picking one of the better No. 1 D's left, or handcuff Sproles, to pick David Garrard. If anything happens to McNabb, he's an absolutely solid fill-in. With three picks to go, I select my first defense in the 13th, the Jets, who I've gotten now in nearly every draft. Rex Ryan, I'm a believer, baby.

2:55, 15th Round:
Draft is finished, and I close up shop with a Pats D and the ever-reliable Elam to seal the deal. Some quick notes otherwise:
  • Brandon Marshall - 39th overall
  • NYG Defense - 61st overall (First defense taken)
  • Eddie Royal - 65th overall
  • Marshawn Lynch - 79th overall
  • Willie Parker, Darren McFadden - 86th and 89th overall, respectively. Great value in 9th round.
  • Derrick Ward - 98th overall.
Picking Ward in one of my high-takes league with the 48th overall pick is making me queasy already, as he's been one of the biggest fallers. I'm counting on him in another league as a No. 2, if not a Flex-back.

A quick look at my team post-draft:

QB - Donovan McNabb
RB - LaDanian Tomlinson
RB - Pierre Thomas
WR - Calvin Johnson
WR - Marques Colston
WR - Braylon Edwards
TE - Chris Cooley
K - Jason Elam
DEF - New York Jets

Bench - QB - Garrard; RB - Rice, Parker; WR - Coles, Mason; Def. - New England

This is a team you put money on if you know you're going to come out of it looking like this. The only position I'm without a top option at is defense, but playing the matchups with 2 No. 1's is a good way to get good value in the earlier rounds. I have good depth or backups at every position in case of injuries as well.

Ideally, if you get to the point where you can nearly do a draft without your rankings, and it's all in your head, that's when you know you're a step ahead of the game. Provided those rankings you've lodged up there are superb like mine, that is.  Jokes aside, don't go into your draft looking like Lindsay Lohan at a movie shoot. Be prepared, through the myriad of avenues there is to do that. The information above can just be one of them.
Posted on: September 8, 2009 4:18 am
Edited on: September 8, 2009 4:21 am
 

2009 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterback

After a journalistic hiatus of sorts, I've returned for some fantasy goodness.

Part of the reason for that hiatus was hours and hours of pouring into preparation for fantasy football. I'll be covering one of my teams as an example of what to do, and not to do in the future, but I want to share the good of what got me there: these rankings. There are no complete projections for them, but they are the combination of reading numerous publications, constant updates of training camp and preseason situations, listening to hours upon hours of podcasts, and absorbing anything else I could into a meticulous ranking system.

Keep in the mind these are for a standard settings league (4 pts. for passing touchdowns, no PPR, etc.). You'll notice players that I prefer to own, or tend to be players with good value this year, are indidcated by a + sign. And with no further ado, the QB rankings:

Quarterback

  1. Drew Brees (+)
  2. Tom Brady (+)
  3. Peyton Manning
  4. Aaron Rodgers (+)
  5. Tony Romo
  6. Donovan McNabb
  7. Kurt Warner
  8. Matt Schaub (+)
  9. Philip Rivers
  10. Matt Ryan (+)
  11. Carson Palmer
  12. David Garrard (+)
  13. Ben Roethlisberger
  14. Jay Cutler
  15. Joe Flacco
  16. Matt Hasselback
  17. Matt Cassel
  18. Trent Edwards
  19. Brett Favre
  20. Shaun Hill
  21. Jason Campbell

Notes:

  • Why 21? Well first of all I'm assuming a size of 12 owners in a league (and have always felt 10 is too few). Personally, I feel like Trent Edwards is the end of the last tier of backup quarterbacks I would prefer to own, but anything after these 21 certainly I won't own on any team of that many owners or fewer.
  • You're not going to find me taking Drew Brees or Tom Brady until about 18-20 players go off the board, and I don't think you should either. The "Fantastic Four" at wide receiver this year and a group of about a dozen running backs should go first before you reach for either of the gunslingers. I landed Brady with the 25th overall pick, or the first pick of the third round in one of my leagues, and if you get him there it's great value.
  • I'd say the top nine on my rankings, and throw in Cutler or maybe Palmer, are going in the early-to-mid rounds, and then there's a pretty steep drop off while teams establish depth. Pairing a couple of the guys that come after Rivers, who I believe to be overrated by some rankings this year, isn't a bad idea either.

I'll be back with some draft results of a league tomorrow, as well as the next part of some rankings.
 
 
 
 
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