Monday, August 29, 2011

Frameshmania Year 4 Draft Review

Just an hour ago, the draft for the fourth season of the Frameshmania fantasy football league was held.  As the resident fantasy-obsessed member of the league (and the only person in it with a sports-based blog), I figured it was appropriate to do a little recap and analysis of the 16-round affair.  I’ll go round by round and point out what I think were the best picks and worst picks of each, and maybe throwing in a little extra if I deem it appropriate.  I’ll only go in-depth for the first eight rounds, though, since it gets sort of crazy in the later rounds, and I will then look at the best and worst picks team-by-team in the final 8 rounds.  At the end, since it’s my blog, I’ll display my team as a whole to show everyone how transcendent my drafting talent is.

I should note that the draft order is entirely random, with the apparent exception of the fact that Matt Vogel has gotten the first overall pick each of the last three years.  Here is a guide to the team names:

J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS -- Matt Vogel (the champ's friend)
Salt Lake City Big Tymers -- Alex Vigderman (the champ)
Grenade Whistle -- Jesse Cooperman (the champ's cousin)
Hometown Mamas -- Laurie Dameshek (the champ's mother)
The McGibblets -- Bill Madway (the champ's step-brother's friend's father)
Gym Tan Laundry -- Jon-Michael Frank (the champ's step-brother)
Sabotage the League -- Philip Frank (the champ's step-father)
DelCo's Side-Arm Stud -- Kyle Reynolds (the champ's step-brother's friend -- a different friend)

Round: 1
(1) J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS - Arian Foster RB
(2) Salt Lake City Big Tymers - Adrian Peterson RB
(3) Grenade Whistle - Michael Vick QB
(4) Hometown Mamas - Jamaal Charles RB
(5) The McGibblets - Ray Rice RB
(6) Gym Tan  Laundry  - Chris Johnson RB
(7) Sabotage The League - LeSean McCoy RB
(8) DelCo's Side-Arm Stud - Maurice Jones-Drew RB

BEST: I think that Ray Rice at 5 is a very safe and possibly productive pick by Bill.  I would have taken him at 2 if Peterson was not available, as he has a defined 3-down role on a very good team.  Also, there have been a lot of reports about Rice getting more work around the goal line, meaning his touchdown total should see a spike.
WORST: Not that I can really quibble with a guy who scored 81 more points than the guy I took at Pick 2, but Arian Foster going 1st overall is a bit shaky for me.  He’s only done it one year, his backup (Ben Tate) is actually healthy and looking good in the preseason, and he has had hamstring issues the last few weeks.

Overall, I’m glad that there weren’t any dramatic surprises in the first round to really shake up the draft, as have happened in past years.  The Michael Vick Experience apparently intrigued Philly enthusiast Jesse (he also drafted DeSean Jackson and the Eagles’ defense), and with the possibility that he could set the world on fire again, I can’t argue with him that early.

Round: 2
(9) DelCo's Side-Arm Stud - Rashard Mendenhall RB
(10) Sabotage The League - Andre Johnson WR
(11) Gym Tan  Laundry  - Frank Gore RB
(12) The McGibblets - Aaron Rodgers QB
(13) Hometown Mamas - Roddy White WR
(14) Grenade Whistle - Michael Turner RB
(15) Salt Lake City Big Tymers - Calvin Johnson WR
(16) J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS - Drew Brees QB

BEST: Aaron Rodgers has been a very strong fantasy quarterback the last two years, and with Vick off the board getting him in the middle of the second round is a solid value, considering Bill could have taken him at 5 as well.
WORST: To be honest, I’m pretty satisfied with the picks for the second round.  Again, nobody really shook things up with a strange pick, so I have no gripes.  Maybe I’ll double up in the next round….

Round: 3
(17) J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS - Greg Jennings WR
(18) Salt Lake City Big Tymers - Darren McFadden RB
(19) Grenade Whistle - Steven Jackson RB
(20) Hometown Mamas - Tom Brady QB
(21) The McGibblets - Hakeem Nicks WR
(22) Gym Tan  Laundry  - Larry Fitzgerald WR
(23) Sabotage The League - Ahmad Bradshaw RB
(24) DelCo's Side-Arm Stud - Philip Rivers QB

BEST: I liked Jon-Michael getting Larry Fitzgerald as the fifth receiver off the board.  If this preseason is any indication, he’s going to make a lot of big plays with Kool Kevin Kolb as his quarterback.  I probably would have taken him ahead of Hakeem Nicks and certainly ahead of Greg Jennings.  More on that below.
WORST: I’m going to double up here since I skipped last round’s.  I am very down on Matt’s pick of Greg Jennings, for this reason: in the four games last year that both Jennings and TE Jermichael Finley played, Jennings averaged 8 fantasy points.  Jennings made his hay last year in the other 12 games of the season, averaging 13.4 fantasy points.  Finley is healthy again.  I also was not a big fan of Phil’s pick of Ahmad Bradshaw, mostly because Bradshaw is an injury risk (he played through multiple injuries last year, and I’m not sure he can do it again) and I liked Matt Forte more at that spot because of his more expansive role on his team and lack of health issues.

Round: 4
(25) DelCo's Side-Arm Stud - Matt Forte RB
(26) Sabotage The League - Antonio Gates TE
(27) Gym Tan  Laundry  - Vincent Jackson WR
(28) The McGibblets - Mike Wallace WR
(29) Hometown Mamas - Peyton Hillis RB
(30) Grenade Whistle - DeSean Jackson WR
(31) Salt Lake City Big Tymers - Dez Bryant WR
(32) J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS - Miles Austin WR

BEST: None that I really loved here, but I definitely am a fan of Mike Wallace as the 8th receiver off the board for Bill.  He tied for 5th among receivers last year with Ben Roethlisberger missing four games, and the fact that he’s been working on his route running bodes well for his advancement this year.  I think he had as much number-one-receiver upside of anyone left at that point.
WORST: Yes, Antonio Gates is a beast.  But he’s battled a lot of injuries the last couple years, and should be hurt a little bit by the fact that Vincent Jackson isn’t suspended this year and should take some catches away from Gates.  More than that, though, is that top-10 receivers like said Jackson and Mike Wallace were still on the board, and Phil ended up on the wrong side of a wide receiver run after his pick (8 of the 12 picks until his 5th pick were receivers).

Round: 5
(33) J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS - Reggie Wayne WR
(34) Salt Lake City Big Tymers - Tony Romo QB
(35) Grenade Whistle - Dwayne Bowe WR
(36) Hometown Mamas - Jeremy Maclin WR
(37) The McGibblets - DeAngelo Williams RB
(38) Gym Tan  Laundry  - LeGarrette Blount RB
(39) Sabotage The League - Peyton Manning QB
(40) DelCo's Side-Arm Stud - Dallas Clark TE

BEST: With no reliable top running backs left on the board, Jon-Michael’s pick of Blount as the 17th running back off makes me very jealous of his third RB slot.  I certainly would prefer him to injury-risk/committee-member DeAngelo Williams, and probably more than Peyton Hillis, who went in the previous round.
WORST: I’m not sure which I dislike more of Bowe or Maclin as the 13th and 14th receivers off the board, but I think that there are some real concerns here.  Bowe had a ridiculously productive 7-week span last year, but was largely mediocre for the other 9 weeks.  Maclin is just now recovering from an illness that caused him to lose weight and practice time in the offseason and may take some time to get into shape.  They could both end up being fine, but they’re risky at that spot in my opinion.

Round: 6
(41) DelCo's Side-Arm Stud - Marques Colston WR
(42) Sabotage The League - Knowshon Moreno RB
(43) Gym Tan  Laundry  - Matt Schaub QB
(44) The McGibblets - Jermichael Finley TE
(45) Hometown Mamas - Mike Williams WR
(46) Grenade Whistle - Jason Witten TE
(47) Salt Lake City Big Tymers - Felix Jones RB
(48) J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS - Beanie Wells RB

BEST: Mike Williams (of Tampa Bay, in case you weren’t sure) was the 12th best receiver last year as a rookie with a second-year quarterback.  I don’t see any reason why he can’t repeat that, and getting him as the 16th receiver makes me feel better about Laurie’s questionable pick of Maclin in the previous round.
WORST: I think I’m going to take another opportunity to build up some bad-pick credit for later rounds, as there was a good bit of uncertainty at running-back that prevents me from saying that Moreno, Jones, or Wells are good or bad picks.

Round: 7
(49) J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS - Jahvid Best RB
(50) Salt Lake City Big Tymers - Brandon Lloyd WR
(51) Grenade Whistle - Percy Harvin WR
(52) Hometown Mamas - BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB
(53) The McGibblets - Steelers D/ST D/ST
(54) Gym Tan  Laundry  - Kenny Britt WR
(55) Sabotage The League - Steve Johnson WR
(56) DelCo's Side-Arm Stud - Ryan Mathews RB

BEST: Nothing really stands out here, but I think that the upside of Kenny Britt is certainly high enough to merit commendation.  He had the one huge 200-yard game against the Eagles, but also had some very nice games at the end of the year to show that he had some consistency in him as well. 
WORST: It’s gotta be the Steelers’ defense.  Most fantasy analysts preach not taking a defense until at least the 10th round of 10-team drafts, and that’s about 40 picks later than where Bill took the Steel Curtain.  I agree with the Steelers going first among defenses, but they really should have gone several rounds later with there still being top-20 receivers available that he could have put in his RB/WR slot.

Round: 8
(57) DelCo's Side-Arm Stud - Brandon Marshall WR
(58) Sabotage The League - Daniel Thomas RB
(59) Gym Tan  Laundry  - Marcedes Lewis TE
(60) The McGibblets - Santonio Holmes WR
(61) Hometown Mamas - Anquan Boldin WR
(62) Grenade Whistle - Josh Freeman QB
(63) Salt Lake City Big Tymers - Mario Manningham WR
(64) J - E - T - S JETS JETS JETS - Vernon Davis TE

BEST: I’m torn between Marshall, Holmes, and Boldin, as all have the ability and opportunity to easily have top-15 seasons and have the track record that some receivers taken above them (Lloyd, Harvin, Britt, Steve Johnson) don’t have.  I think that Marshall, despite being taken first among them, has the best shot at a big year because of his ridiculous size/speed combination and the fact that there’s really not much else in Miami.
WORST: Jon-Michael reached 34 picks (according to ESPN ranks) for his tight end Marcedes Lewis, the 4th off the board at his position.  In a down year for tight ends, he finished 4th last year due to his 10 touchdown receptions.  However, touchdowns are incredibly hard to get consistently as a pass-catcher, and Lewis does not have the history of strong seasons that the next two tight ends drafted do (Vernon Davis, Owen Daniels).


BEST: (96) Julio Jones WR – yes, he’s a rookie receiver who is hurt by not having as much preparation time due to the lockout.  However, he’s a physical freak on a team that was the top seed in the NFC without him and wants to throw more this year.  A very high upside pick that I love as a 4th receiver.
WORST: (80) Matt Ryan QB – when you draft Drew Brees, it’s sort of assumed that he’s starting every week.  Why draft a borderline top-10 quarterback to play one game that is 10 weeks in the future?  You’re forgoing drafting a running back or receiver with upside that could end up giving you a lot more value.

BEST: (82) Joseph Addai RB – a starting running back for a good offense with a history of scoring a good amount of touchdowns in the 11th round?  Sign me up.
WORST: (111) Ben Tate RB – why draft the backup to Arian Foster when you don’t have Arian Foster?  Not sure.

BEST: (110) Mike Thomas WR – he was 31st among receivers last year, and that was with Mike Sims-Walker as the nominal top receiver.  I figure he’s got top-20 upside without Sims-Walker there, and you’re getting him at a very cheap price.
WORST: (67) Mark Ingram RB – a rookie running back on a team that likes to spread its rushing attempts around and has two other guys (Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles) to go to doesn’t stack up to known 15+ touch guys like Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Joseph Addai, and Shonn Greene.

BEST: (116) Jerome Harrison RB – with Lions starter Jahvid Best already concussed and an injury waiting to happen, Harrison could get a lot of reps as a starter on a team that should have an explosive offense.  He could have a couple very good weeks like he did two years ago for the Browns.
WORST: (100) Ravens D/ST – I already talked about taking defenses high, and while this wasn’t that high, taking the Ravens fourth among defenses when some of their key pieces are getting older doesn’t seem that great to me.  Granted, it was the 13th round, so I’m not so bothered by it.

BEST: (124) Reggie Bush RB – he hasn’t performed to his expectations out of college, but he has been put on the top of the Dolphins’ depth chart and should put up decent total yards from week to week.  Considering that the guy behind him on the roster (Daniel Thomas) was taken 66 picks earlier, I call Bush a steal.  Finally.
WORST: (76) CJ Spiller RB – I understand his upside as a quick multidimensional talent, but he shouldn’t be drafted ahead of the guy ahead of him on the depth chart or starting running backs like Marshawn Lynch and Joseph Addai.

BEST: (75) Santana Moss WR – a top-20 receiver last year, Moss is the top target on a Redskins team that should be throwing a lot, especially with the teams they’re competing with in the NFC East.  A great value as a fourth wide receiver.
WORST: (102) LaDainian Tomlinson RB – I really don’t dislike this pick much, but considering that he didn’t rush for more than 50 yards after Week 10 or score double-digit fantasy points after Week 11, I’d rather take a guy whose career arc is moving up at that position.

BEST: (71) Tim Hightower RB and (87) Sidney Rice WR – both of these guys figure to be involved prominently in their offenses, and while neither the Redskins nor the Seahawks should light up the scoreboard, they certainly have top-15 upside at their positions that is not outlandish to attain.
WORST: (122) Brian Westbrook RB – I know he took him because he always takes him, but Phil probably could have taken a player that’s on a team.  Just saying.

BEST: (72) Shonn Greene RB – he was often drafted in the top 20 overall last year, and I bet his role is expanded this year with LT aging.  I think he could have a year that he was thought to be prepared for last year, but at a much cheaper draft price.
WORST: (88) Eli Manning QB – Again, with Philip Rivers as your starter it seems silly to roster another quarterback when there are still useful commodities on the board at other positions.

And finally,


QB Tony Romo
RB Adrian Peterson
RB Darren McFadden
RB/WR Felix Jones
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Dez Bryant
TE Owen Daniels
D/ST Lions
K Mason Crosby

WR3 Brandon Lloyd
WR4 Mario Manningham
RB4 James Starks
RB5 Joseph Addai
RB6 Michael Bush
WR5 Plaxico Burress
RB7 Ben Tate

While the fact that I rostered 3 Cowboys is a concern, I think their offense is in for a big year and am not bothered by it at all.  I am also concerned that my starting wide receivers, though they have tremendous upside, have a great deal of injury risk for both themselves and their quarterbacks (at least in Johnson’s case).  My backup running backs (Starks, Bush, and Tate) are on my team just in case something bad happens to the other guy, especially in Bush’s case as I own McFadden.  I think I built a team with massive upside but a great deal of risk, and I feel that I could burn out quickly or show myself to be a dominant team, like last year.  Despite the dominance that my team showed last year (9 players ranked in the top 46 overall this year), I only drafted one player from that championship roster this year, and that reflects my desire for variety from year to year.  That being said, I think my team has as much a shot as anyone to take down the trophy again.

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