I had two drafts this weekend (I drafted one player while changing a diaper). I am quite happy with both teams, although the second team has a collection of gambles at quaterback. Here's team one:
- Quaterback: McNabb, Leinart
- Runningback: Gore, McGahee, Benson, Bell, Dunn
- Wide Receiver: Evans, Boldin, Edwards, Jennings, Welker
- Tight End: Heap, LJ Smith
- Team D: Ravens, Vikings
- Kicker: Wilkins
Gore is about as real deal as any runningback in the league. Although the loss of Norv Turner might hurt the offense, Gore showed last season that he's an Eric Dickerson / Eddie George kind of running back who is going to run through the NFL for a few seasons. I feel confident that McNabb will return to fantasy greatness. He was the top quarterback in the league (not Manning) when he went down last year. Boldin and Evans are top WRs. The Ravens are the Ravens (I caught some flack for drafting a defense too early, but in yardage leagues, defense is often the top scoring position-- since defenses can gain up to 30 points and lose up to 10. The Bears and the Ravens are tremendously better than any other fantasy D).
Me thinks I gambled a bit too much with my bench. Save the Vikings D, every pick comes with serious question marks. Bell could be the top fantasy scorer in the NFC. Or he could ride the bench all season. Edwards could be an 80-1,000-8 man or he could be 60-660-4. LJ Smith could make the Pro Bowl, or he could lose his starting job. Jennings could repeat last year, or fall as far as 4th on the depth chart. Dunn and Welker are steady players, but certainly not stars.
Every fantasy coach says this: I have to stay healthy. But I really mean it. This team has extremely questionable depth. If I stay healthy, I expect to make the championship game. But I don't expect to stay healthy. So, while I like this team on paper, I'm probably going to hate them on Sunday. Prediction: one game over .500.
- Quaterback: Lions, Cardinals, Bills
- Runningback: Parker, Johnson, Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams
- Wide Receiver: Evans, Ward, Driver, Reggie Brown, Holmes
- Tight End: Winslow, Witten
- Team D: Ravens, Packers
- Kicker: Rackers
- Defensive Line: Kampman, Burgess
- Linebacker: Merriman, Suggs, Briggs
- Secondary: Samuel, Woodson, Rolle
Parker and Johnson might not be the first names you think of at runningback, but they are extremely consistent, featured backs, and haven't seen the trainers table. Ronnie Brown is a lot better than people give him credit--I stole him late in this draft. The Dolphins should be better with Trent Green, and that should prevent Brown from seeing 8 man fronts every carry. I figure hes going for 1,300 and 9 TDs. Not Great, but not shabby. It should be illegal to have WRs this good--but that's what has helped me win this league the past two years: I think people backed off of Driver because of his injury, but reports yesterday morning were that he should be fine. The initial reports (which caused me to draft Jennings in the league above) were exagerrated. Ward will be better than last season for three reasons: 1) his quarterback isn't recovering from head trauma, 2) Santonio Holmes will draw attention from opposing secondaries, 3) he is a work-horse and will do everything possible to shove his down year down the throats of every commentator who has labelled him as past his prime. Reggie Brown should benefit from the departure of Stallworth, especially as Curtis learns the complex Eagles passing game. Ravens D = incredible. Rackers fell down the K board because he missed 7 field goals last season. Wake up people, 5 of those were from greater than 50 yards. He's a big leg guy, you don't lose points for long field goal misses, and the Cards cannot run in the red zone. Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie.
What the fuck was I thinking. Let me re-phrase that: I believe I might have gambled a bit too much at the quarterback position. Thing is, I had Peyton last year, and Donovan the year before that, so I think I forgot how frustrating 2005 was, when I had an inconsistent Hasselback and Collins. This year, Hasselback might feel like Peyton Manning by week eight!
I think I can three-peat, despite the QB situation (which might not be as bad as I think). Losman was outstanding the last six weeks of last season, Leinhart plays in a big yards but few TDs offense right now (which could see more TD's thanks to new coach Wiz), and Martz rarely disappoints (Kitna was fairly solid last season). Give how steady this running tandem is, and how incredible my WR are, I like my chances. For now...