Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Fantasy Football Team - How And Why I Drafted

After almost three weeks, my keeper league draft finally finished a few days ago.  I can now reveal to you my choices.  Let me first lay out the rules:

  • 12-team Keeper league; Last year I made the playoffs, but ultimately finished fifth.  I'm out for revenge on a number of my competitors.
  • Each team gets to keep three players from last year.  There's a three-year limit on how long we can keep any one particular player.
  • Our roster spots are qb, one dedicated RB, one dedicated WR, two flex RB/WR, TE, DP, Def, K, with six bench spots.
  • I made a trade before the draft started.  I sent Jamaal Charles (one of my keepers) to another team for Vincent Jackson.  I know Charles is predicted to be a top 5 RB, but I just am very wary about him.  He doesn't get scoring touches, and the Chiefs have a new offensive coordinator this year.  Jackson has a one-year contract, and after holding out for most of last year, has to be very hungry to play.

My team:
  • Quarterbacks -
    • Tom Brady (Keeper) - was my MVP last year; not sure if an improved Patriots defense bodes well for Brady's stats or not; If he stays healthy, he's a perennial top 3 QB 
    • Colt McCoy;  Colt has looked good in preseason, and he will hopefully have a good week the one week I'm planning on using him when Brady is out.  There were some other backup qbs that I wanted (Stafford, Bradford) but they were taken higher than I thought they would.
  • Running Backs 
    • Ray Rice (Keeper) - Rice was frustrating last year when the Ravens offense just didn't produce the way that most analysts thought they would; add onto that the lost touchdowns/goal line carries that were given to Willis McGahee; Well, now the only real backup that Rice has is Ricky Williams, so he should get even more carries this year.
    • LaGarrette Blount  - surprising fantastic rookie season; will he pick up where he left off, or will he suffer a sophomore slump?
    • Beanie Wells - I made this pick before Ryan Williams suffered his season-ending injury in preseason.  Wells will now be the featured back in an offense with a really good, but not great, QB.  
    • Reggie Bush - This was a very late-round pick for me, as I'm hoping that Bush is one of the few dynamic offensive threats that the Dolphins have.  As it is, I'm only looking for maybe half a season worth of quality action before he gets hurt.
    • Javon Ringer - Ringer has shown promise, and with Chris Johnson holding out should be Tennessee #1 RB.  **Update - Johnson just got signed, and will have roughly a week of practices before Week One's game. I'm not buying that Johnson will be able to come in and be nearly as productive this year when he's missed the entire pre-season.  I won't start Ringer, and I may end up dumping him to grab a good waiver pickup, but I'll keep him as long as I can with Johnson's chance for injury being high.
  • Wide Receivers 
    • Vincent Jackson - see above notes
    • Wes Welker - normally I don't like to grab a wide receiver and a QB from the same team, but Welker is a producer.  I had to make sure that I didn't select any more Patriots players (diversification is a key to lasting FF success), but Welker was a bargain.
    • Mike Thomas - supposed to be Jacksonville's #1 WR this year after the loss of Mike Sims-Walker; 
    • Earl Bennett - there are some teams (Chicago and St. Louis come to mind) that never seem to have an absolute #1 go-to receiver in an offense that is pass-heavy.  It makes it difficult to know who to take in each system.  Roy Williams has so far been a disappointment, and Devon Hester isn't good enough to be a consistent fantasy choice.  Bennett has been Cutler's favorite receiver in preseason so far, and could have a breakout year.
  • Tight End
    • Owen Daniels - had a very slow start to last season after suffering a torn ACL in 2009.  Hampered him til the last third of the season with a hamstring injury, and then he started taking off again (avg 15 pts in my league over last four games).  I really wanted Dallas Clark (and am glad I didn't get him with the uncertainty around Manning), but once he was gone, I grabbed Daniels in a mid-round pick.
  • Defensive Player
    • Lawrence Timmons - solid, consistent performer for me last year; unlike skill players on offense, I don't worry about a dropoff in production after the big contract he signed
  • Defense
    • Denver Broncos - okay, don't laugh; this was the last pick of my draft.  Defenses to me are something that I usually switch every week or two until I find a consistently good one.  I never felt like I had a defense that had good value for me when it was my time to pick.  The Broncos play the Raiders at home on Monday night the first week.  Denver was horrendously embarrassed last year at home against the Raiders, giving up 59 points.  With John Fox at the helm, a healthy Elvis Dumeril opposite #2 overall pick Von Miller, I suspect that Denver will make a huge leap in total defense this year.  Week 2 they play Cincinnatti, so I will keep them to at least that point.
  • Kicker
    • Mason Crosby - I was the first in my league to take a kicker, somewhere around the 9th round.  Crosby's production was down a little last year, but a lot of that was due to all the injuries that Green Bay had during the season.  Green Bay was 9th in overall offense, but many feel that they would have been much higher if not for the injuries.  
So, there's my team.  Feel free to criticize.  I will point out that I feel that a good fantasy football player drafts well.  A great fantasy football player drafts well and then manages the waiver wire like a hawk throughout the entire season.  I started 1-4 last year, but through careful roster changes, finished the regular season 8-5.  

No comments: