Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fantasy Friends Draft Recap: Part 1

It was a dark Sunday evening. Papers piled high next to not one, not two, but three laptops on the coffee table. The clock struck 9:30PM, and then all of those resources were useless: the most competitive fantasy football draft I've ever been a part of had begun. There were twists and turns from pick 1 until pick 288. I had the pleasure and misery of picking fifth amongst this all-star cast of characters. My picks will be in CAPS and will most likely be the worst of each round.

Round 1:

1. Toole: Ray Rice, RB Baltimore

2. Kingston: Tom Brady, QB New England

3. Rzepka: Adrian Peterson, RB Minnesota

4. Mertz: Aaron Rodgers, QB Green Bay


6. Bateman: Michael Vick, QB Philadelphia

7. Andrade: Jamaal Charles, RB Kansas City

8. Heim: Drew Brees, QB New Orleans

9. Stanton: Chris Johnson, RB Tennessee

10. Alsip: LeSean McCoy, RB Philadelphia

11. Last: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB Jacksonville

12. Ortiz: Andre Johnson, WR Houston

My pick: There wasn't a single tweet that could scare me from taking Foster at pick 5. The potential upside of a consensus #1 pick until a few days ago was too much to pass up. I was shocked to see not one, but two quarterbacks already taken in the top 4 picks. It's clear that the 6 points per passing touchdown in this league was valued more highly than the 1/2 point per reception. My goal of nabbing one of the top quarterbacks in the third round was looking to be foiled.

The Rest of the Round: Toole started the draft with my original target for pick 5 in Ray Rice. We had engaged in conversations about switching draft positions but could not agree on which extra pick would be necessary in compensation. Regardless, we were on the same wavelength on who to take first. Immediately after selecting Rice, Toole posted "let the hate begin." No hate here. First surprise came at pick #2 with Tom Brady being taken as the first QB by Kingston. He was talking about taking a QB first and he stuck by his position. The strategy of taking QB first was a popular one with three more QB's being taken in the first round, which left a number of quality RB/WR options available in round 2.

Round 2:

13. Ortiz: Roddy White, WR Atlanta

14. Last: Calvin Johnson, WR Detroit

15. Alsip: Phillip Rivers, QB San Diego

16. Stanton: Darren McFadden, RB Oakland

17. Heim: Rashard Mendenhall, RB Pittsburgh

18. Andrade: Frank Gore, RB San Francisco

19. Bateman: Greg Jennings, WR Green Bay


21. Mertz: Steven Jackson, RB St. Louis

22. Rzepka: Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona

23. Kingston: Michael Turner, RB Atlanta

24. Toole: Hakeem Nicks, WR New York (n)

My Pick: Hillis was my preferred target in the second round and I got him. I now have the recently injured Foster and the “cursed” Madden coverboy in Hillis. Curses, like rules, were made to be broken so I had no fear in taking the best biceps in football. My only debate was taking Larry Fitzgerald with my pick but I have always had the philosophy to never let a RB who catches passes and gets goal-line touches go, and I stuck to it.

The Rest of the Round: Alsip upset me a little bit by taking Rivers, who I wanted in the third round, but overall this round went as planned. Andrade had to be pleased that his team consisted of Gore and Charles, two great PPR options at RB. Bateman decided to go QB, WR in the first two rounds respectively, which has proven to not be the most successful strategy in the past, but Bateman has a great track record of out-of-the-box thinking to get him into the playoffs, so I will reserve judgment.

Round 3:

25. Toole: Mike Wallace, WR Pittsburgh

26. Kingston: Vincent Jackson, WR San Diego

27. Rzepka: Matt Forte, RB Chicago

28. Mertz: Reggie Wayne, WR Indianapolis


30. Bateman: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB New York (n)

31. Andrarde: Dwayne Bowe, WR Kansas City

32. Heim: Miles Austin, WR Dallas

33. Stanton: DeSean Jackson, WR Philadelphia

34. Alsip: Knowshon Moreno, RB Denver

35. Last: DeAngelo Williams, RB Carolina

36. Ortiz: LeGarrette Blount, RB Tampa Bay

My Pick: My plan was to take Mike Wallace or Matt Forte here, but Toole and Rzepka ruined that plan so I went with Gates over Bowe because I give the PPR edge to Gates. I typically punt the TE position, but this year I see value in the TE considering the ½ point per reception.

The Rest of the Round: Have to love what Rzepka is doing grabbing Peterson, Fitzgerald, and Forte in the first three rounds. He has learned previous miscues and ignored taking any Buffalo Bills multiple rounds too early. Bateman had to be tickled pink seeing that Ahmad Bradshaw was still available to fill his RB1 slot, but Alsip grabbed one of my early round sleepers in Moreno who will benefit greatly from new head coach John Fox’s running system in Denver.

Round 4

37. Ortiz: Matt Schaub, QB Houston

38. Last: Peyton Manning, QB Indianapolis

39. Alsip: Mike Williams, WR Tampa Bay

40. Stanton: Josh Freeman, QB Tampa Bay

41. Heim: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB New England

42. Andrade: Ben Roethlisberger, QB Pittsburgh

43. Bateman: Jason Witten, TE Dallas


45. Mertz: Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB Arizona

46. Rzepka: Marques Colston, WR New Orleans

47. Kingston: Jeremy Maclin, WR Philadelphia

48. Toole: Felix Jones, RB Dallas

My Pick: I am not satisfied with the available WR and thought that Felix Jones would make it back to me in round five, so I decided to corner the market on TE and draft Clark for my FLEX spot. Some may see all of the Colts as a risk, but when Peyton Manning does return healthy they will be valuable trade commodities. I do not intend to keep two top tight ends on my roster the entire season.

The Rest of the Round: Ortiz took who I wanted in Matt Schaub at pick 37 to accompany his first round selection of Andre Johnson, a dangerous duo. As expected, there was a run on QBs, but the selections of Freeman and Roethlisberger were a little too early for my taste. Interesting side note, the three main guys in Tampa Bay (Freeman, Blount, and Williams) all went within four picks of each other.

Round 5

49. Toole: Wes Welker, WR New England

50. Kingston: Jermichael Finley, TE Green Bay

51. Rzepka: Fred Jackson, RB Buffalo

52. Mertz: Ryan Mathews, RB San Diego


54. Bateman: Vernon Davis, TE San Francisco

55. Andrade: Brandon Marshall, WR Miami

56. Heim: Owen Daniels, TE Houston

57. Stanton: Steve Johnson, WR Buffalo

58. Alsip: Santonio Holmes, WR New York (a)

59. Last: Lee Evans, WR Baltimore

60. Ortiz: Jahvid Best, RB Detroit

My Pick: I got very fortunate to see Dez Bryant fall all the way to pick 53 so I could fill my WR1 slot. I figured that someone was going to take Bryant between my previous pick at 44 and this one at 53. My only other consideration was to take Ryan Mathews, but Mertz made my decision very easy when he selected the second year running back for my beloved Chargers.

The Rest of the Round: Toole made a fantastic value selection by taking the receiver with the most receptions since 2007 in Wes Welker. Naturally, Rzepka needed to fill his quota of Buffalo Bills on his team so he took Fred Jackson. The one big surprise of the draft was Last taking Lee Evans. Evans has shown some great things for Baltimore this preseason after being traded there from Buffalo, but taking him above his counterpart in Anquan Boldin was a bold move. Can’t wait to see how that pans out.

Round 6

61. Ortiz: Shonn Greene, RB New York (a)

62. Last: Brandon Lloyd, WR Denver

63. Alsip: Cedric Benson, RB Cincinnati

64. Stanton: Pierre Thomas, RB New Orleans

65. Heim: Anquan Boldin, WR Baltimore

66. Andrade: Ryan Grant, RB Green Bay

67. Bateman: Jonathan Stewart, RB Carolina


69. Mertz: Marcedes Lewis, TE Jacksonville

70. Rzepka: Matt Ryan, QB Atlanta

71. Kingston: Mike Tolbert, RB San Diego

72. Toole: Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans

My Pick: Could not ask for more than to follow up my pick of Dez Bryant with the selection of Tony Romo. I’m sure this pick was much to the dismay of Rzepka who was also looking for a QB. Only other consideration was to take another WR but there were plenty still on the board that I wanted so I decided to wait.

The Rest of the Round: Kudos to Alsip who took the underappreciated Cedric Benson. Fantasy wise, Benson is one of the few RB options that does not have any competition for carries. Last year, if I told you that Ryan Grant was a sixth round pick, you would have laughed me. This year, Andrade grabs a steal in the Green Bay lead back. Heim also found value in this round taking Anquan Boldin.

Round 7

73. Toole: Percy Harvin, WR Minnesota

74. Kingston: Austin Collie, WR Indianapolis

75. Rzepka: Tim Hightower, RB Washington

76. Mertz: Mario Manningham, WR New York (n)


78. Bateman: Plaxico Burress, WR New York (a)

79. Andrade: Chad Ochocinco, WR New England

80. Heim: Joseph Addai, RB Indianapolis

81. Stanton: Kenny Britt, WR Tennessee

82. Alsip: Daniel Thomas, RB Miami

83. Last: Sidney Rice, WR Seattle

84. Ortiz: Pierre Garcon, WR Indianapolis

My Pick: Santana Moss was my consolation prize after Rzepka selected Hightower. Not a bad WR2, but also not a good one. This is definitely the weakness of my starting lineup on offense.

The Rest of the Round: Mertz could no longer go by seeing his beloved Giants be drafted by other players so he grabbed Manningham. Kenny Britt fell all the way to Stanton at 81, so he got great value there. Sidney Rice was a good value pick by Last because if Rice plays like he did two years ago in Minnesota, Last will do some damage in this league.

Round 8

85. Ortiz: Marshawn Lynch, RB Seattle

86. Last: Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Buffalo

87. Alsip: Joe Flacco, QB Buffalo

88. Stanton: Kellen Winslow, TE Tampa Bay

89. Heim: Brandon Jacobs, RB New York (n)

90. Andrade: Jerod Mayo, LB New England

91. Bateman: Michael Bush, LB Oakland


93. Mertz: Eli Manning, QB New York (n)

94. Rzepka: Malcom Floyd, WR San Diego

95. Kingston: Ray Lewis, LB Baltimore

96. Toole: Matthew Stafford, QB Detroit

My Pick: Another consolation prize after Ortiz selected Lynch at pick 85. Moore does stand to gain the most from Reggie Bush’s departure. The speedy receiver will get more bubble screens and opportunities to hit the big play in the passing game. Also, for a small receiver, he catches a lot of balls in the red-zone.

The Rest of the Round: We get our first taste of defensive players! And none of them are named Patrick Willis! Needless to say, I am surprised. Andrade keeps up his reputation from last year being the first guy to draft a defensive player, but instead of drafting Willis (like he did last year), he goes with Mayo. Kingston follows suit by going with whom he calls, “Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Murderers.” Mertz is not satisfied with one Giant so he makes it two in a row with the truncated version of his last pick of Manningham in Eli Manning. Toole finally drafts a QB in Stafford. If Stafford can stay healthy, Toole will have a great chance to win the league.

Round 9

97. Toole: Jimmy Graham, TE New Orleans

98. Kingston: Ndamukong Suh, DT Detroit

99. Rzepka: Julio Jones, WR Atlanta

100. Mertz: Steve Smith, WR Carolina


102. Bateman: Roy Williams, WR Chicago

103. Andrade: James Starks, RB Green Bay

104. Heim: Braylon Edwards, WR San Francisco

105. Stanton: Patrick Willis, LB San Francisco

106. Alsip: James Harrison, LB Pittsburgh

107. Last: C.J. Spiller, Buffalo

108. Ortiz: A.J. Green, Cincinnati

My Pick: This is a pick that I look at in shame. Mike Thomas is not very good, and I had the opportunity to take Patrick Willis, but I blew it. Hopefully this pick will not bite me in the butt too much.

Rest of the Round: Stanton grabs Willis at pick 105 and will be a thorn in my side all season. Alsip following Willis up with Harrison was a good idea, as well. Unlike in the real-life NFL draft, A.J. Green gets drafted after Julio Jones. Andrade correctly grabs the handcuff to his Ryan Grant pick in James Starks. This was one of the few rounds where I really think I made the worst selection.

Round 10

109. Ortiz: Johnny Knox, WR Chicago

110. Last: Zach Miller, TE Seattle

111. Alsip: Greg Olsen, TE Carolina

112. Stanton: Reggie Bush, RB Miami

113. Heim: Hines Ward, WR Pittsburgh

114. Andrade: Visanthe Shiancoe, TE Minnesota

115. Bateman: LaDanian Tomlinson, RB New York (a)


117. Mertz: Davone Bess, WR Miami

118. Rzepka: Kevin Kolb, QB Arizona

119. Kingston: Paul Posluszny, LB Jacksonville

120. Toole: Danny Amendola, WR St. Louis

My Pick: Justin Tuck is the best defensive-line option in fantasy and I grabbed him. I was very happy to see him still available after the run on defensive players.

The Rest of the Round: Everyone in this round made great selections. I particularly loved Alsip’s choice of Greg Olsen, Stanton’s pick of Reggie Bush, and Mertz’s pick of Davone Bess, even though I’m sure he would have loved to have had Tuck.

Round 11

121. Toole: Sam Bradford, QB St. Louis

122. Kingston: Mark Sanchez, QB New York (a)

123. Rzepka: Rob Gronkowski, TE New England

124. Mertz: Trent Cole, DE Philadelphia


126. Bateman: Robert Meachem, WR New Orleans

127. Andrade: Clay Matthews, LB Green Bay

128. Heim: Tony Gonzalez, TE Atlanta

129. Stanton: Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay

130. Alsip: LaRon Landry, S Washington

131. Last: James Jones, WR Green Bay

132. Ortiz: Jerome Harrison, RB Detroit

My Pick: Now was as good a time as any to find a backup QB given the run on the second-tier QB’s in the recent rounds so I went with Cutler. Hopefully the one week he has to play for me he will not throw 5 interceptions.

The Rest of the Round: A few picks didn’t make much sense to me, like Rzepka selecting Rob Gronkowski over Aaron Hernandez and others at tight end. Tony Gonzalez was another puzzler when Brandon Pettigrew was still available, but Kingston took the cake selecting Mark Sanchez. As a Patriots fan, he should be shunned for owning both Brady and Sanchez.

Round 12

133. Ortiz: Ryan Torain, RB Washington

134. Last: Brandon Pettigrew, TE Detroit

135. Alsip: Stephen Tulloch, LB Detroit

136. Stanton: Willis McGahee, RB Denver

137. Heim: Danny Woodhead, RB New England

138. Andrade: Jared Allen, DE Minnesota

139. Bateman: Denarius Moore, WR Oakland


141. Mertz: Lawrence Timmons, LB Pittsburgh

142. Rzepka: Matt Cassel, QB Kansas City

143. Kingston: Charles Woodson, CB Green Bay

144. Toole: Terrell Suggs, DE/LB Baltimore

My Pick: Berry showed why the Chiefs selected him in the top-5 two years ago in the real-life NFL draft. I’m wicked excited to add him to my team and see him get tons of tackles after Antonio Gates beats him on some post routes.

Rest of the Round: We started to see the transition to building the defensive rosters in this draft. Kingston taking Woodson and Toole taking Suggs were particularly nice picks. Timmons and Tulloch are no slouches by Mertz and Alsip, respectively.

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