My favorite fantasy football league drafted today, and it was as good a time as ever. I usually follow up the draft with a lengthy analysis of everyone’s picks and season outlook, which I just finished. I spent enough time on it that I thought I’d make it a blog post, even though most of you have no idea who these people are. Enjoy (as best you can). I’ll include screen caps of everyone’s team in case that is of interest. Note: this is a 10-person PPR league with yardage bonuses. Everyone had two keepers going into the draft.
Great draft today, all. It lived up to expectations and I had a lot of fun. I’m always curious to see how everyone’s team stacks up, so I thought I’d take a few minutes (OK, probably over an hour) to pour over everyone’s team and distribute my analysis. I was going to start by tallying up the projected fantasy points for everyone’s team, but it wasn’t working. Some people have 3 QBs which skews the totals, and others have no K or DST which also inflates their total score. So I scrapped that and have opted to go with a team-by-team narrative instead. These are in no particular order.
Rosenbaum (Keepers: Michael Vick, Ray Rice):
You really flipped the script on everyone by keeping Vick over Mathews. I know Leeper’s draft strategy was definitely turned on its head as a result of this move. But after seeing QBs fly off the board in the first round, this was probably a good move. Nobody went more bold in round 1 than Rosey in grabbing a 2nd QB early. Romo certainly has plenty of weapons, but injuries are running rampant in Dallas these days and he could get the crap beat out of him with that shaky O-line. There’s nothing to say about Rice. Your WRs definitely aren’t sexy, but should do the job. As long as Harvin takes an Excedrin before each game, you should be fine on that front. I think you’ll be starting Lance Moore before long; that was a great value pick. BJE is not an ideal PPR back, but his goal line carries could pick up that slack. Your have some decent RB depth in the event that BJE doesn’t pan out.
Jade (Keepers: Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster)
I will admit, your team looks decent on paper now that I see it assembled. But that draft…man. The look of shock in the room when we heard you take Hernandez with your first rounder…PALED in comparison to the look of horror when you took AKERS mid-draft. Truly baffling. That said, let’s get back to your team. Rodgers and Foster…what more is there to say there? Absolute studs. Murray could be a nice #2 (especially where you drafted him), but there is risk there. Your WRs: I mean, yeah, not bad. Colston will be sneaky good this year. It’s impossible to know whether Cruz will repeat this year (as an Eli owner, I’m hoping he does), and Decker has a high ceiling with Manning at the helm. If RGIII is this year’s Cam Newton, your team will compete, but I’m seeing a one game over .500 season for you, just missing the playoffs.
Merz (Keepers: Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson):
This team is an enigma. I just don’t know what to think. I really do think CJ will bounce back this year, so no problems there. That said, I think Andre is past his prime. You’ll be lucky to get 9-10 games out of him this year. Bradshaw isn’t a bad #2, but I could see Wilson eating into his production. That, and I think the Giants will throw a lot. I think Gates will have a big year, but again, there’s always injury risk there. As for your QBs, I would have to say that this is probably up there with the weakest tandem in our league. If Rosenbaum’s theory of QBs winning the league holds true, this team will struggle.
Burns (Keepers: Drew Brees, LeSean McCoy):
For the third consecutive year, this team is anchored by the trusty Brees and McCoy tandem. I just love these guys so much. As for the draft, I think I did OK. All of the studs I was hoping I’d have a chance at in the first round (Sproles, Charles, Graham) were taken in front of me, so I decided to pull the trigger on Gronk. I like this pick and think it will pay off even if he regresses from his historical season. If he doesn’t pan out, guess what…I’ve got the other huge target for Brady in Mr. Brandon Lloyd. He is going to be special. My RB2 spot is a concern, but I tried going heavy on RBs late in the draft to give me someone to fall back on if Martin is a bust. I think the Brees/Eli combo again this year is going to be tough for many teams to overcome. I give myself a really good shot at winning this year.
Sean (Keepers: Cam Newton, Larry Fitzgerald):
This is a typical Sean team: full of guys I don’t like. Newton, Lynch, Gore, Floyd—more chances of bust than boom here. I can’t like your first pick enough, though. Graham is a stud. Fitzgerald will be Fitzgerald: somehow producing with abysmal quarterback play. Concerns: six WRs is just excessive, especially when I view three of them completely droppable. Two TEs is also one too many. I view your RB situation as pretty fragile. You got Gore very, very late, so you don’t have much to lose there. I suppose you got his handcuff, but is Kendall Hunter any good? I don’t know. LaMichael James could wind up being their guy by mid-season. Who knows. Anyway, you are on thin ice, my friend. Sub-.500 season coming up for you.
Brennan (Keepers: Matt Forte, Roddy White):
Man, I really like your RBs. If Bush and Freddy can stay healthy (and on the field, in Bush’s case), I think you’ve got one of the best 3-RB packs in the league. You did the best you could at QB. There wasn’t much out there and it would have been ugly had you passed on Rivers in the first round. This is another team with six WRs, so you may find yourself scrambling for RB depth should an injury come about. Britt was a nice late pick; he could blow up. I think Brennan could be sniffing a playoff spot this year. Carry him Mr. Forte, indeed.
Leeper (Keepers: Peyton Manning, A.J. Green):
Clearly coming in with the weakest keeper situation, Leeper had his work cut out for him in the draft. Talking nothing but Julio Jones/Jamaal Charles all week with his #2 overall pick, Leeper’s world was rocked when Rosenbaum opted to throw Mathews back into the pool. Frankly, I was shocked when Leeper took Mathews. The injury risk alone would have had me passing on him in the 9th spot had he fallen to me, but I have never been much of a Mathews fan. He could be a Forte-type PPR back if he can stay on the field, so maybe it’ll turn out to be a great pick. Time will tell. I think getting Steven Jackson with his next pick was a steal. He’s no longer sexy, but the guy just gets it done and snags a good amount of balls. Great pick there. WRs: top two are very, very nice. I’m telling you guys: Antonio Brown will be a top 12 PPR WR this year. This guy is the black Wes Welker. The Steelers didn’t just pay him $42 million in the offseason for nothing. They are going to use him a lot. I was pretty disappointed with the Finley pick. He was a trendy name a couple years ago, but I have moved on from him. I think Leeper has a good balance of WRs/RBs. My guess is he’ll ditch his 3rd QB after week 1, but for now, this team is much improved over last year.
Souder (Keepers: Adrian Peterson, Darren McFadden):
Those RBs…if these guys stay healthy and live up to expectations, wow. Souder had no choice but to take Stafford with his top pick. Stafford will be Souder’s rock and will be keeper-worthy for years to come. I don’t mind the gamble on Richardson. Souder’s WR core will not jump out of the page at you, but they could be solid. I will say that all four of these guys tend to lean on the big play as opposed to a heavy volume of receptions, so there is some boom-or-bust risk here given the PPR format. But I think there will be plenty of weeks where they all put it together and give Souder big points. Gerhart was a very nice handcuff, but I really hope you won’t need him. The only major concern I have here (aside from AP’s knee) is the QB2 situation. Alex Smith didn’t make too many mistakes last year (only 5 INTs), but he had 9 games where he threw for under 200 yards. 11 games where he threw 0 or 1 TD. In all honesty, this is the one team where playing a QB in that OP position is not a no-brainer. Souder will need to get creative here. Aside from that OP spot, this is a greatly improved team that will make strides. Bold prediction…wait for it…a playoff spot for Souder this year.
Andrew (Keepers: Maurice Jones-Drew, Wes Welker):
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when Jarred was poo-pooing on Welker being a legitimate keeper going into this season. The man led the league in receptions last year by 22 catches! 2nd in receiving yards too. Welker has a doctorate in PPR. And MJD…man, how lucky did Andrew get here? MJD announces his return THE MORNING OF the draft. The fantasy gods were smiling on Andrew today. To the draft: I have no qualms with your top pick here. I was salivating at the thought of Charles at #9, but alas, he didn’t fall. Great pick. Dez Bryant’s ceiling is sky-high, so he is bound to break out, right? I hate Shonn Greene, but as a #3 RB, alright, fine. Major concerns: your QBs. The third most shocking pick of the draft (behind Jade’s two) was Matt Schaub. I can’t remember which round you grabbed him in, but I do know it was before Eli Manning, which I think you will sorely regret. Schaub is coming off of knee surgery and is on a team with a crippled top WR and will also run the ball A LOT. Schaub is a sexy name, but not a sexy QB this year. I’m OK with you taking a flyer on Luck as your #2. I think he’ll be serviceable. Now, let’s talk about your bench. Reggie Wayne: I really like him this year. You got him late and I think he will reward you. Moving on…the rest is just ugly. A 3rd QB, and a readhead to boot? Even given his ginger status, I say he has a better year than Matt Schaub. Stokley? No reason he should have been drafted. Chemistry with Manning or not, this league is just not deep enough for Stokley to be relevant. And finally, T.O.? I get that he’s your guy and you feel the need to draft him every year, but why do you still have him? This should have been an immediate drop after the draft. Please hit the free agent pool ASAP and rid your roster of this jobless clown.
Roberts (Keepers: Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson):
Good lord. This is easily the deepest WR core we have ever seen. Calvin, Jordy, Marshall, Stevie…WOW. I just don’t know what to say. That is an unreal lineup. Sproles is a great #1 PPR RB, so long as he can repeat in catching 5-8 balls a game. I have no concerns there. Turner is an OK #2. The fact that you got him while still going WR heavy early in the draft is impressive. Your TE may not be ready to go in Week 1, but there are other options out there. My biggest concern is your RB depth. Things could go south if either Sproles or Turner go down. That said, I could see Roberts breaking the single week scoring record sometime this season. His WRs are that explosive. And of course, Brady is going to have a seriously huge year. Look out for this team. This is a virtual playoff lock.
Projected final regular season standings (I haven’t done the math to see if these records are even mathematically possible):
1. Burns, 10-3
2. Jarred, 9-4
3. Brennan, 8-5
4. Souder, 8-5
5. Jade, 7-6
6. Rosenbaum, 7-6
7. Leeper, 5-8
8. Andrew, 4-9
9. Sean, 4-9
10. Merz, 3-10
Rebuttals, rippings, and counterpoints are all welcome.
Good luck to all this season!