I got absolutely dummied twice today. The first time, I was standing over a 55 yard approach shot after a 285 bomb down broadway, and walked over to the ball knowing I was in trouble. With absolutely no confidence in what I was trying to do – not that I had a plan to begin with – I muffed up a 40 yard duff eliminating what looked like a golden birdie opportunity. However, I rebounded by bumping it up 2 feet from the hole and left with a par.
The second time was tonight in my fantasy football draft. I picked 4th Overall, and immediately realized, that once again I had no confidence, and even worse no plan of how to attack the draft. I was going with Calvin Johnson, especially in a PPR League. But after that I realized right away that unless I was going to reach for Doug Martin in the 2nd Round there wasn’t a running back worth selecting, and I really didn’t like any other options.
I went with Ryan Matthews. I am not pleased that my 2nd round pick isn’t going to be contributing for me immediately, but considering that in between my 2nd and 3rd picks Gronkowski, Cruz, White, Welker, Jones-Drew and Richardson were the players selected I realize that the home run potential of Matthews was the right decision. So I wasn’t devastated yet. The previous mentioned Doug Martin went 29th overall right after my 3rd round pick of Greg Jennings, and was followed by Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson. Perhaps I should have taken two of those three, but the upside of Matthews combined with the security of slotting in two of the best receivers in football in a PPR League is a nice security blanket. The 3rd round also saw Darren Sproles and Fred Jackson come off the board.
I watched Reggie Bush and Frank Gore came off the board in the 4th Round, and I realized that at this point I have absolutely no chance at decent options at Running Back to start off the season. Michael Turner or Ahmad Bradshaw are not draftable for me in Round 4. I grabbed Mike Wallace. I am worried about a holdout hangover, but he is the man, and I love watching him go deep. So my Running Backs are clearly in trouble, but I now have the best wideouts in the league and in a PPR format how bad can that be?
So I continued to neglect running back again, and went with Aaron Hernandez in the 5th. This was a panic selection, I was in dummy mode at this point, still scrambling to figure out what to do about my running backs. I had no idea who to take, looking back, perhaps I should have jumped on Dez Bryant and just bolstered my team enabling me to throw him in the flex spot, but Hernandez is a beauty and I’m a Gators fan – I’ve been watching him for 4 years. At this point, I’ve decided also that I’m not drafting guys I don’t want, and/or don’t like.
Now for the dummy duff of the night. I was throwing Running Backs I liked into my queue with Willis McGahee and Shonn Greene as my top two – preferably McGahee as my 6th Round pick. They went back to back at 65 and 66 and I had nothing. I went to the list and looked for the best value out there. I didn’t want to take Tony Romo this early, but he clearly was the only guy I’d draft at this point, but I couldn’t pull the trigger, I looked again and there wasn’t a single player I could pull – said trigger on – AND BANG – I got the highest player in my queue, Jacquizz Rodgers, time was up.
I was angry and upset, and I felt stupid. In over 20 years of Drafting in pools and leagues I have never been without a pick next to immediately upon my chance to select. I got dummied. With my 6th pick I took my 3rd running back, who is likely my first week 1 option – Rashad Jennings, and I doubt he is even close to being advisable. I now have the worst running backs in the league. Although, I really like Rodgers’ upside, and the potential that the 3 backs I have now might be golden in weeks 9-16, I am in trouble getting started, and I like starting with wins and not chasing the playoff pack.
Quarterbacks were getting thin, and I went with Jay Cutler in the 7th. He is in for a big season and the next two off the board were Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck, so it was time to secure an arm. Cedric Benson went before I got another chance to pick, and I might have been better off to select him, based on the situation that my team is in, but I don’t really trust him either. So I followed up Jay Cutler with Pierre Thomas, who I recently selected with my final pick in a Non-PPR 10 Team League, and even discussed his dropability. So clearly, I have gone with a different approach tonight.
I strengthened my wideouts with two #1 options on their respective teams in Malcom Floyd and Santonio Holmes. I have owned both in the past a few times, and know quite well just how average at best they are. But, they do have some value and are modestly reliable. I grabbed Matthews’ handcuff Ronnie Brown, who is terrible and I wouldn’t have drafted him except for the fact that I still didn’t have a NFL team’s guaranteed #1 Running Back for Week 1. Seriously, the only sure thing starting running back for week 1 I own was grabbed in Round 12. I also selected Felix Jones, Chris Ivory and Montario Hardesty to give me seven running Backs in total and I feel awful about every single one of them.
I neglected kicker, as per usual, and grabbed Andy Dalton and Houston’s Defense to finish off my 17 Player Roster. I am big on the Texans defense this season, and really think you can expect a lot from them. I now have taken Dalton late in back to back drafts – again this time it is a nice bye week matchup against the Browns, when Cutler rests week 6. Dalton has some easy games to start the season too, although he finished extremely poorly last season.
|1.||(4)||Calvin Johnson(Det – WR)|
|2.||(21)||Ryan Mathews(SD – RB)|
|3.||(28)||Greg Jennings(GB – WR)|
|4.||(45)||Mike Wallace(Pit – WR)|
|5.||(52)||Aaron Hernandez(NE – TE)|
|6.||(69)||Jacquizz Rodgers(Atl – RB)|
|7.||(76)||Rashad Jennings(Jac – RB)|
|8.||(93)||Jay Cutler(Chi – QB)|
|9.||(100)||Pierre Thomas(NO – RB)|
|10.||(117)||Malcom Floyd(SD – WR)|
|11.||(124)||Santonio Holmes(NYJ – WR)|
|12.||(141)||Ronnie Brown(SD – RB)|
|13.||(148)||Felix Jones(Dal – RB)|
|14.||(165)||Houston(Hou – DEF)|
|15.||(172)||Chris Ivory(NO – RB)|
|16.||(189)||Andy Dalton(Cin – QB)|
|17.||(196)||Montario Hardesty(Cle – RB|
Perhaps my team isn’t that bad. I am extremely pumped about having huge wideouts, and right around week 8 my team could be as good as any other team in the league. It is just going to be absolutely critical to get a couple wins early, and hope for a few favorable matchups within the league. Overall, the potential of Rodgers and Matthews paired with my receivers going into the playoffs could be large and I think that I’ll be able to produce fantasy points, and that is what matters.
I realized immediately that I wasn’t prepared for this draft, though. I wasn’t ready strategically to take advantage of my draft position, and although I stuck to my plan of BPA early, it ultimately ruined me as I continued to neglect my backs. I am going to have to be active to the point of being extremely risky on the waiver wire in order to compete early, and I am banking on a huge bump in my points week in, week out when Matthews returns. Finally, if Calvin Johnson isn’t as good or better than last season I am also in for a world of hurt.
Time to get active on the trade front, on the waiver wire and on the scouting from week to week – This is not a lineup that will be similar from week to week I’m afraid, but that only means there is more fun to be had. This is already my favorite fantasy football team because of the challenges ahead. I made par after the first time I got dummied today, I wont know the results as quickly for the second time, but I’ve still got my sights on birdie!