Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fantasy Football Dossier 6.0

"Ohhhh, I've been missing you
And the way you make me feel inside."

What it is, what it is? So great to be back in the football mix in this, the year of our Lord, 2014. This is especially true for Pats fans, as we are gearing up towards a year of perhaps historical significance (everyone back home is expecting 13-14 wins and a Super Bowl birth, and really no one can definitively say they can't, so yeah, it's nice).

Well I'm no good at intros...or drawing...or ice skating...or cohesive thoughts, so let's dive right in shall we? As always, I'm doing a random ESPN draft with people I don't know on my F'd up laptop that still kinda functions (so long as you don't try and open another window or do anything outside of typing in Microsoft Word). I'm choosing to do a 12-teamer snake draft with a Flex and D/ST, which is essentially the no limit hold 'em, or the Cadillac, of fantasy football. You can make a much better team via auction drafts and managing budgets and all that good stuff, but still, the vast majority of people are doing snake drafts, so we're going to be leaning pretty heavy on that (also all the drafts I do are snake...why can't my friends get with it?)

Along the way, I'm going to go through my team, which of course, is gonna be super duper (at least in the present tense...we can only hope I know what I'm talking about), and also I'm going to mention a few guys that I missed out on, or that I wanted to miss out on. In any event, like I always say, this is ultimately your team and your decisions, but I am glad that you decided to check me sexy minx...whoa, whoa what just happened there? Okay moving right along...

Team Name: SCLSU Mud Dogs: So I feel like there are not enough references in team names to The Waterboy, and I kinda just wanted to throw that out there. This isn't the greatest name of all time, but I'm just trying to make a point...and I am mostly not clever with that shit at all.

Draft Pick #: 3: Okay this is nice to know. While I certainly love Eddie Lacy, Megatron, Forte, and Jimmy Graham...theory time (da-duh, da-da-da-da-da, dahhhh dahhh, bum-bum-bum bah...that's the phonetics for the intro to Simon Says by Pharoahe Monch by the way...if you look it up, or if you already know, yes, I do need that sound to drop right here, but no, no clue how to make that happen...somebody help me!)

Theory #1: AP, LeSean McCoy, and Jamaal Charles Must Go Top 3: Hey, like I've said before, you gotta start off with the easy stuff and work you're way from there. I would probably go McCoy #1. I just think even without DeSean Jackson, Philly will have a fairly dynamic offense. Maclin, Cooper, and Ertz are going to take plenty of pressure of McCoy (who also has his fair share of catches). Next I would go Peterson, because who the hell is going to say "Adrian Peterson?...that was dumb" ever?

#3: LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia: Okay at this moment I want to point out Peyton Manning went #2, and while that's bogus, the rest of the draft was fairly well accounted for...and also it's a draft with a bunch of strangers for a team I probably won't keep up with, so whatevs. So yeah, getting the best player at #3 is always nice.

Okay, so there's a fairly lengthy amount of picks before my next selection, so I'm going to go ahead and make you aware of the "Dudes That I Like/Don't Like" section. In between picks, if there's a dude who I like or who I think was of good value, I'll let you know, and there's a dude I don' know I think you're smart enough to figure all the rest out...anywho...(pick taken is in parentheses, just like this statement!)

Dudes That I Like: Essentially a facsimile of the aforementioned group, but Lacy (7th), Megatron ( 9th? Really??), The Jimmy (6th), Forte (4th), A-Jizzle (AJ Green, 12th), Demaryius (13th), Le'veon (17th), Brandon Marshall (18th) Zac Stacy (19th), Big Al (Alfred Morris, 21st)

Dudes That I Don't Like: Marshawn Lynch (10th), DeMarco (15th), Arian (17th)...literally for all of these guys, I think they're going to get hurt. I don't wish it on them, but I can just see it all going down. I had this instinct about Troy Tulowitzki in baseball this year. Despite drafting him in the first round last year, I decided not to keep him for this year because I just had a gut feeling about it. So the first three months, he was literally having one of the greatest fantasy seasons (and real ones) of all that was not sitting well with me. Anyway, fast forward to now, he just had successful hip surgery, but he's done for the year. Obviously it would have been nice to have those first few months, but long-term, I knew I needed someone to help me when the playoffs hit that I was at least a little assured that they would remain healthy and playing in those crunch time games. So again, I don't wish this on any of them, but just call it a feeling.

Oh, and Doug Martin (21st)...his value has gone kerplunk.

#22: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta: I would consider using a top 10 pick for him. I don't know what it is, but Julio Jones does it for me. He's just cool and composed...Dez Bryant's got that Michael Irvin bad attitude on the sidelines shit coursing through his veins from that #88...makes it tough to root for (oh did I mention he plays for Dallas too?). I don't know why I had to mention Dez Bryant here. I guess it's because he's so talented and I loved him at Okie State, but now, it's like man, we get it, you're really good. They should throw the ball to you. Understood. You should talk to the coach in private about that, and not make a scene. That just doesn't sit well with me. I get pissed when people don't do their jobs, he gets pissed because he doesn't get enough's like oil and vinegar. Anyway, love Julio. I want him across the board on all my teams, because I draft guys I like to root fact, that sounds like theory potential:

Theory #2: Don't Draft Guys You Hate Or From A Team That You Can't Stand Because Ultimately, They Will Probably Screw You Over: That's actually a lot more fact than fiction from my early days of playing fantasy (when you were young, and your heart was an open book...)

#27: Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England: Yes I'm a total homer, but I'm pretty sure if you're actually reading this, you probably already knew that. The top 3 TEs have to be Graham, Gronk, and Julius Thomas. Those are the only guys worthy of top 30 picks because they could all end up outgaining the likes of an A.J. Green or a Dez Bryant...not saying it will happen, but it's possible. As you see my team unfold, you'll start to realize what a lynchpin Gronk could potentially be. It's a big if, but if healthy, he's a top 10 player for certain.

Dudes I Like That Random Anonymous People Drafted And, Ergo, Are Dickbags: Alshon Jeffery (29th...oh GD you don't even know how proud I am of AJ1 making his talents transition so smoothly from USC to the NFL...he's a ballllllleeeeerrrrrrr...GAMECOCK!), Montee Ball (33th...this is strictly value...if you do Yahoo! (oh help you God if you forget that exclamation point), he's going top outside top 30 here...that's enough of a disparity to take a gamble), Larry Fitzgerald (37th...he will resurrect to a top 5 receiver), Andrew Luck (43rd...what is all this talk of he has no one to throw to?...everyone knows they have T.Y., Reggie Wayne...AND Hakeem Nicks now? He was 9th overall in points last year on Yahoo!...AND he has Hakeem Nicks now?), Ryan Mathews (44th...tremendous value)

Dudes I Said "You Go Right Ahead And Destroy Your Team By Taking": Ben Tate (30th...again, gut feeling...I do not like the future here...I almost liked him more as Arian Foster's backup honestly), Reggie Bush (36th...he will have games that will make him worthy of going this high, but he will also likely have more games where he's so not, and you are basically inclined to draft Joique Bell as a handcuff...and it gets to the point where it's like "why am I drafting a guy that I almost HAVE to draft his backup?"), Trent Richardson (38th...holy shit people are taking him this high?...I made the mistake of banking on him last year, and wow does he look suddenly like a #2 on his own team, let alone on a fantasy team).

#46: Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee: 

Theory #3: Drafting Rookie RBs, Especially In Keeper Leagues, Is Imperative: The reason you are able to get a guy like Sankey this low is the great unknown. I mean if you say to anyone, no matter if they know anything or everything about football "hey, here's a guy who ran for 1,870 yards in what was arguably the best two to three conferences in the you think he'll be any good now?"...wouldn't you think they would say yes? Sankey has zero competition, and considering how well top flight rookies have been doing lately (Lacy, Le'veon, Stacy, Doug Martin two years ago), I would expect him to be in the keeper conversation come next year.

Two Dudes In A Row That I Wouldn't Touch With A Ten Foot Pole: Frank Gore (47th), Toby Gerhart 48th...noooooooooo thank you)

#51: Julian Edelman, WR, New England:

Theory #4: Julian Edelman Will Finish In The Top 3 In Receptions This Year: In somewhat of poetic irony, Wes Welker went the pick before at 50...and then I take the "Welker Clone" who is now simply known as Julian Edelman. Not only will I not be surprised if he's in the top 3 in receptions, but I believe he will have a better year than Welker, and furthermore, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he led the whole league in receptions. You just have to trust me on this (especially if you're in PPR leagues...oh man is he going to be dynamite there).

Dudes I Like Here: Matthew Stafford (52nd), Keenan Allen (53rd), Cordarrelle Patterson (62nd), T.Y. Hilton (66th)

Dudes That, Yeah, Not So Much: Michael Crabtree (58th), Ray Rice (59th...not so much for the fact that he's a wife-beater...oh I'm sorry...fiance-beater, but his game took a turn for the worst last year, and Bernard Pierce is essentially on the same level, if not more valuable than Rice right now), Sammy Watkins (65th...great talent, but he's going to have to be the man immediately, and I'm not sure he's going to be able to make it happen).

#70: Tom Brady, QB, New England:

Theory #5: Tom Brady, Yes That Tom Brady, The First Ballot Hall Of Famer, Is The Most Underrated Player In Fantasy: In ESPN's rankings, they have him #111 overall...111? That's a three-digit number...I'm sorry, but Brady should be in the top 100 even if he's throwing to armless receivers because he's Tom Brady. This is insanity that he is this low. Obviously he is coming off a "down" year (I know, only 4,343 yards..what a bummer), but he has all his receivers back for another year in the system, and, again big if, but if Gronk stays healthy, he should be tipping 5,000 yards this year. Now Tom Brady has a fantasy football chip on his shoulder...what's next?

Quick sidenote: I've been thinking about this recently, but it's amazing how the careers of Tom Brady and David Ortiz have intertwined. Both are viewed as almost god-like by their respective fan bases. They have three titles a piece, including winning that first title that seemed like the unreachable star for literally my entire life up to that point, and in line with that, they both participated in the wildest series of events to win that first title (The Snow Game, Down 3-0 to NY) They were essentially cast off and wound up becoming future Hall of Famers (Brady for sure, Papi...I mean I think he's in. This whole "a DH can't be in the HOF" thing is totally ridiculous), and both were supposed to have slowed down by now. Papi just hit his 400th home run in Boston, giving him 459 for his career, so you have to believe 500 is well within reach, and Brady could be a Pro Bowler again this year...good stuff.

#75: Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego: Our old friend of Patriots nation has found a home in San Diego, and is now one of the best flex options there is based on two things. First, he fills it up with rushing and receiving yards so that he is good for at least 80-90 total yards a game, and second, there is always the possibility of a Ryan Mathews injury, which would give him even more touches.

Dudes You Can Label Me Intrigued By: Brandin Cooks (80th...LOVE him), Michael Floyd (82nd), 

Dudes Who Are Extremely Questionable: Maurice Jones-Drew ( can argue value here, and I can argue that I think he only plays half a season), Jeremy Maclin (83rd), Pierre Thomas (88th)

#94: Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets: Okay so I kinda broke my theory here by taking a Jet, but the guy is going to be on my bench anyway, and getting a guy with Decker's credentials this late is a steal.

#99: Khiry Robinson, RB, New Orleans: I absolutely think Robinson takes the starting job away from Pierre Thomas sooner rather than later, and could potentially be a nice flex option this year.

Dudes I'm Rocky Mountain High On: Charles Clay (103rd), Riley Cooper (109th), Bernard Pierce (115th)

Dudes I'm Death Valley Low On: Deangelo Williams (110th), Dwayne Bowe ( can tell that guy smokes a ton of weed)

#118: Patriots D/ST: Pats D? No way!! Look, this wasn't the best unit last year, but this is how much confidence I have in how they will come together this year. With Mayo and Wilfork back, and the additions of Revis and Browner (coming Week 5), this should be a top 10 D. Also, with Edelman returning punts, there is the potential to double down if he were to score a TD on a's-ah-nice, high five! (you loving these dated references?).

#123: Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco: The Niners may have found the heir-apparent to Gore. I was really hoping it would be Marcus Lattimore, but he is continuing to work his way back into at least attempting to become a professional. I really hope he can return to his former glory, but in the meantime, Hyde is making it look like a potential time-share situation, as he is becoming what they always wanted Kendall Hunter to be: Someone to take the load off of Gore.

Dudes I'm Considering: Darren McFadden (124th...he's actually the backup now, which could be the best thing for his career if you can believe that), Zach Ertz (135th...I'm HUGE on fact, I kind of wish I drafted him instead of Hyde, but oh well), Tavon Austin (137th), Mike Evans (139th...hmmm...another guy I probably should have taken over Hyde...well, that's why it's a mock draft I guess)  

Dudes That I'm Like Hall And Oates Being All I Can't Go For That, No Can Do: Mark Ingram (132nd), Antonio Gates (141st)

#142: Johnny Manziel, QB, Cleveland:

Theory #6: Buy In On Johnny Football: Most likely, someone is going to pick him way above his ranking, but I would suggest that if you do draft him, just know that it may take some time for him to actually become the guess is after their bye week in Week 4, Brian Hoyer (assuming he gets the starting job to begin the season) plays okay, but not spectacular, and the Browns go 1-3 and they have no choice but to put him in. Once that happens though, this guy could be a fantasy juggernaut. Also, because Brady doesn't have a bye until Week 10, it gives me time to see where Manziel is at, and if need be, I'll find someone else, but the risk/reward is too great here.

#147: Jared Cook, TE, St. Louis: Gamecock! Getting Cook this low brings yet another theory:

Theory #7: The Tight End Position Is Surprisingly Deep: Cook will be a backup on my team, but in actuality, he's a borderline top 10 TE. The same can be said about a ton of guys you can get in the 100s...Ertz, Ebron, Delanie Walker, Ladarius Green (in the likely event he becomes the starting TE in San Diego), Kyle if you miss out on the big three, fear not. I would scoop up some skill players and wait until the 9th or 10th round to start looking at a tight end.

At this juncture, I'm just gonna keep it to dudes I like because when you're this far into the draft, everything is relative.

More Dudes I Like: Ronnie Hillman (148th), Justin Hunter (149th), Ladarius (152nd), Andre Williams (160th)

#166: Rod Streater, WR, Oakland: I actually don't like how many people have listed him as a sleeper. Usually when that happens, we're all left with egg on our face. Hopefully this is not the case, but to get him this late, I figure what the hell right?

#171: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina: He's in a very similar situation as Sammy Watkins in that he's a rookie, but yet he's the essentially the de facto #1 receiver for the Panthers. The difference is that the pressure will be much less on Benjamin, and he also has a much better QB throwing him the ball. This guy is definitely a guy to look for towards the end of the draft as becoming a major steal.

#190: Ryan Succop, K, Kansas City: Wooooooo Succop! Gamecocks baby!!

The Last Drafted Dude I Like: Ka'Deem Carey (191st...really looking forward to see how the Bears implement him...dynamic back here)

The Undrafted Dude I Really Like: Blake Bortles (he may get the job out of camp, but if he doesn't, it should read very much like how it will in Cleveland if Manziel doesn't start Week 1...if the Jags start off slow, they're going to go to the rookie, and by all accounts, he should be just fine considering he has absolutely no real expectations...nothing even close to Johnny Cleveland)

So of course that went really well...probably too well. Here's the squad in case you were scoring at home...

QB: Tom Brady
RB: LeSean McCoy
RB: Bishop Sankey
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Julian Edelman
TE: Rob Gronkowski
FLEX: Danny Woodhead
D/ST: Patriots
K: Ryan Succop

BN (QB): Johnny Manziel
BN (RB): Khiry Robinson
BN (RB): Carlos Hyde
BN (WR): Eric Decker
BN (WR): Rod Streater
BN (WR): Kelvin Benjamin
BN (TE): Jared Cook

So yeah, that's pretty much everything I could have wanted. Tons of star power, tons of Pats, tons of value. If you do enough of these, you can really get a feel for how drafts are unfolding. My suggestion would be to do a few mock drafts before hitting the real thing. You want to have contingency plans in place once you're actually on the clock for real. There's nothing worse than hearing that stupid countdown clock as you're trying to make a decision on who to take. Check out ESPN's ADP calculator (right here) before the draft to find out which guys are moving up or slipping in drafts and plan accordingly.

Well, it's about time to hit the old dusty trail. Thank you so much for taking your time to read this, or tolerating this link popping up on your Facebook news feed. Hope it was somewhat entertaining and insightful. Also, I mean most of you are at work...what else do you have to do? Oh come on! Anyway, best of luck to all of you (unless you're in a league with me...then you can suck a D). Enjoy this season. LET'S GO PATS!! Peace.


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