Monday August 20, 2012: Draft schedules are released
I think we all know the ramifications of this event. It’s no longer about “Bounty Gate,” Free Agency, and Coaching changes. I realized that despite the vast knowledge that I think I have in my head (like that time I called Russell Wilson a good bet in the NFL) I was woefully unprepared for my upcoming fantasy drafts. That may have been the product of being out in Southern California working for Warren Moon (a fellow fantasy player in his own right) and taking in what I could of California’s endless sunshine. I just knew that I this point, I’m staring down five set draft times within a three-day span and I’m not sure which defense is ranked number one or even if I believe it
Authors Note: Turns out I agreed to disagree because defenses become as interchangeable as kickers unless you find one that is once in a generation such as the 85′ Bears, the 01′ Ravens, the 06′ Bears etc.)
Tuesday August 21, 2012: Let the opinions wash over you
I get a call from my buddy in Greensboro, North Carolina who tells me he’s all in on Matthew Stafford. He comes at me with this statistic:
“Matthew Stafford had over 5,000 yards last season…”
Which absolutely threw me for a loop. So much so that even with the vast tools and resources we have through the internet I refuted this claim. But sure enough, he threw for 5,038 yards. Besides feeling even further behind I was left to wonder if I was missing out on this Stafford bandwagon. I’m an avid University of Georgia fan and any chance I get I should support stellar former players. Especially those that put up those kinds of numbers. Then I looked at my notes and my list of top-5 guys at that position and realized I was comfortable with it looking like this:
- Aaron Rodgers
- Tom Brady
- Drew Brees
- Tony Romo
- Matthew Stafford
Despite the glowing review from a respected colleague I took the opinion for what it was: HIS opinion. My brain started to shake off the cobwebs and I realized my number one rule of thumb is always go with the guy you know will be right there at the end of the season. Stafford is 24, and the same injury problems that plagued him in college followed him to the pros his first two seasons and I can’t bank on that changing until I see it year-after-year.
Wednesday August 22, 2012: Never trust anyone to do your draft, even if you have no choice
As I mentioned, there is an annual office draft at my internship that has very strict rules. I would expect no less of a competitive nature from a Hall of Fame quarterback after his playing days are over, in fact if anything Warren Moon may be even more competitive which is why he is so successful. That said, I had to take a hit on this draft and realized that I hadn’t put any say into who should be picked where. Needless to say, I ended up with Carson Palmer as a quarterback and Jason Witten as a tight end. There is something very wrong with this, especially when you consider Aaron Rodgers was still on the board at quarterback and so was Aaron Hernandez (due to the nature of the draft, they are still available along with Andrew Luck).
I’m low on Jason Witten, even before the spleen issue, and I’m not even interested in Carson Palmer. Not to mention in the past four years I’ve never taken a running back first. Why? I am under the impression you can get a quality back round two or three, and if not you load up elsewhere and figure out the rest.
Thursday August 23, 2012: Is all this running back hype warranted?
I hear it every year from my buddy Dave in Newport News, Virginia. He’s all in on running backs like LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, and pre-injury Adrian Peterson. He has good reason, they’re stud backs with loads of fantasy value on any given year. But isn’t it funny how often we hear things like this:
“Man, without Drew Brees last year, my team was dead to rights”
Or even something like this:
“Tom Brady won my league for me last year.”
I began to realize that the narrative that is true in the real NFL is true in our fantasy bonanza. it is a quarterback league and will remain one until someone says otherwise. Getting those guys is great, but not in round one; and I will always contend it is a lot harder to get a Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Calvin Johnson etc. than it is to get a solid running back. Because for every “Tom Brady won my league for me last year.” quotes, there’s always that poor sucker in week six who gives you one of these:
“My receivers are so whack!”
Friday and Saturday August 24-25: War Room time
By this point all my buddies and I have stopped speaking. ‘m already kicking myself for spilling the beans six months too early on Russell Wilson (I frequently give myself pats on the back so deal with it). I’m also upset I didn’t plan sooner and missed out on Doug Martin and David Wilson nuggets ( I admit when I miss as well). Now you have it all set in your mind what you’re gonna do and no one is going to be smarter than you on draft day.
Sunday August 26, 2012: Draft Day
So what did I come up with? I’m not afraid to share so without hesitation my average draft picks combined for all five teams looked like this:
QB: Drew Brees
RB: Michael Turner
RB: Frank Gore
WR: Mike Wallace
WR: Antonio Brown
Flex: Larry Fitzgerald/Desean Jackson (Tie)
TE: Aaron Hernandez
K: Jason Hanson
Def: Houston (reluctantly)
Is it perfect? No. Am I happy with this team? Absolutely. Especially when you consider my bench is loaded with the likes of Jason Tamme, Eric Decker, Doug Martin and David Wilson.
Despite it all, when it’s all said and done, I’m hinging my bets on a breakout year from Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins.
Let the fun begin.