Monday, August 20, 2012

Mad Decent Draft Review

            Last night was a bright, shining moment, a glimmer of hope in a murky sea of despair, an angel descending upon us to assuage our pain and fear – my first real fantasy football draft of 2012.  After about a dozen mock drafts, I finally got to go mouse-to-mouse with people I know and pick teams that would not be deleted immediately afterward – unless you’re Jon Patrice and you didn’t get Aaron Rodgers at 5 overall in a 2-QB league.

            By the suggestion of the people in the league, here’s my analysis of the rosters that came out of this draft.  I’ll give ratings for each position for each team (out of 10), and then I’ll figure out some way to compile them and rank the teams.  Life is like a box of chocolates, so as of right now I have no plan for that.  Except that there will be no discussion of kickers and defenses.  Don’t even try it.


Remember: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE, 1 DEF, 1 K, 6 BEN

West Coast Offense

QB1: Matthew Stafford
WR1: Roddy White
QB2: Robert Griffin III
WR2: Marques Colston
QB3: Sam Bradford
WR3: Torrey Smith

WR4: Titus Young
RB1: Chris Johnson
WR5: Michael Crabtree
RB2: Steven Jackson

RB3: BenJarvus Green-Ellis

RB4: Michael Bush
TE1: Jacob Tamme
RB5: Rashard Mendenhall
TE2: Jared Cook

K: Stephen Gostkowski
DEF: Jets

QB -- 6: Two popular sleepers from 2011 and one for 2012, Matt’s got solid upside here, albeit with some serious question marks after Stafford. 
RB -- 7: Solid at the top with Johnson and Jackson, and getting an actual starter as your third running back is nothing to sneeze at these days, especially considering that he got depth at other positions.
WR -- 4: Again solid and consistent at the top with White and Colston, followed by trendy sleepers (at least according to Matthew Berry).  A good combination, but a little more depth might have been a good idea since we start 3 wide receivers.
TE -- 4: If you’re going to wait on tight end, these are two really good options to be sitting on late in the draft.  Tamme’s got Peyton Manning’s trust already, and Cook has Jimmy-Graham-like athleticism.

Juice Springsteen (me)

QB1: Aaron Rodgers
WR1: Hakeem Nicks
QB2: Philip Rivers
WR2: Percy Harvin

WR3: Eric Decker
RB1: Darren McFadden
WR4: Malcom Floyd
RB2: Matt Forte
WR5: Nate Washington
RB3: Willis McGahee
WR6: Doug Baldwin
RB4: Donald Brown

RB5: Peyton Hillis
TE1: Fred Davis
RB6: Daniel Thomas

K: Robbie Gould
DEF: Lions

QB -- 10: If Rivers gets back to being Philip Rivers, this is easily the top quarterback duo in the league.  Trade talks between myself and Dime Patrices are ongoing for a deal surrounding Rodgers and Brees – we’ll see how that goes.
RB -- 8: Consecutive picks at the end of the second and start of the third round netted Forte and McFadden, and a lot of depth behind them makes this a solid group.  Risk, certainly, with McFadden’s injury history, McGahee’s age, and Brown’s Donald-Brown-ness, but I like the possibilities.
WR -- 7: Injury risks abound (Nicks, Harvin, Floyd), but a bunch of guys that I probably value more than most people, so I’m probably more happy with it than others.  The roster hinges on Harvin’s breakout continuing and Decker having passes thrown within ten feet of him.
TE -- 2: Waited a long time to take my only tight end, and it shows.  One of the weakest individual positions of any team in this draft, but I wanted depth at higher-output positions.

Dallas Cowboys

QB1: Cam Newton
WR1: Dez Bryant
QB2: Tony Romo
WR2: Steve Johnson

WR3: Pierre Garcon
RB1: DeMarco Murray
WR4: Denarius Moore
RB2: Fred Jackson
WR5: Brian Quick
RB3: Ahmad Bradshaw

RB4: Isaac Redman
TE1: Jermaine Gresham
RB5: CJ Spiller

RB6: Felix Jones
K: Nate Kaeding
RB7: Rashad Jennings

DEF: Giants

QB -- 8: Some serious variability in this group, with Newton possibly dramatically regressing (and who could blame him after his rookie year), and Romo’s receivers and offensive line being banged up, but also a pretty high ceiling.
RB -- 9: No top-flight guys but a solid top three, although there are some injury / workload concerns.  Matt protected his investments in Jackson and Murray with Jones and Spiller, though, so he’s likely to have consistent production throughout the year.
WR -- 3: Again no blue-chippers, but two potential breakouts in Bryant and Garcon and a solid producer in Steve Johnson.  Moore and Quick are two upside picks later in the draft, one with excellent talent and one with excellent opportunity.
TE -- 3: Clearly having a similar strategy to the previous team, Matt needs Gresham to continue to develop into a reliable target for Andy Dalton to justify being left on an island on this roster.


QB1: Tom Brady
WR1: Brandon Marshall
QB2: Jay Cutler
WR2: Vincent Jackson

WR3: DeSean Jackson
RB1: Darren Sproles
WR4: Darrius Heyward-Bey
RB2: Shonn Greene
WR5: Randy Moss
RB3: Ryan Williams
WR6: Brandon LaFell
RB4: Mark Ingram
WR7: Santana Moss

K: Rob Bironas

TE1: Jimmy Graham
DEF: Raiders
TE2: Greg Olsen

QB -- 9: Brady is as safe as they come, and is virtually guaranteed a top-3 finish at the position, while Cutler has a chance to finally break through with a more mature Brandon Marshall and balance from Matt Forte.
RB -- 2: Clearly Nathan waited a bit to start filling his RB slots, and he needs the Jets to get their act together offensively and Beanie Wells to get hurt to feel good about this position.  Having Ingram to back up Sproles is an interesting idea, but it’s not like one’s injury will pave the way for the other any more…
WR -- 8: A nice combination of proven producers and upside guys, Nathan is relying on the Jacksons to keep up their big-play tendencies, and a breakout from popular sleeper Brandon LaFell could help a little.  Oh, and he’s got two Mosses!
TE -- 10: Easily the best tight-end position in the league, not only is Graham the best at his position in my opinion, but Olsen is a very interesting sleeper that may be able to yield some trade value a few weeks into the season.

Mr. TitleTown

QB1: Matt Schaub
WR1: Mike Wallace
QB2: Carson Palmer
WR2: Wes Welker
QB3: Jake Locker
WR3: Demaryius Thomas

WR4: Lance Moore
RB1: Arian Foster

RB2: Trent Richardson
TE1: Rob Gronkowski
RB3: Doug Martin
TE2: Owen Daniels
RB4: Jahvid Best

RB5: Stevan Ridley

DEF: 49ers
K: Mason Crosby
DEF: Seahawks

QB -- 1: Yahoo’s auto-draft system apparently didn’t much value the top quarterbacks in a 2-QB league, but Schaub, Palmer, and Locker make a solid threesome with moderate upside.
RB -- 6: Foster fell to him at 3rd overall, so he’s got a nice top three at the position with some serious upside in Richardson and Martin, although I think that there’s a bit too much hype for both rookies.  I have little confidence that Best and Ridley will be able to give him any value, though.
WR -- 2: A lack of depth might hurt him here, as Wallace might struggle out the gate even if he makes it back to the field in time for the start of the season.  Welker is always solid, and Thomas is a nice sleeper pick, but having just Lance Moore in the wings is precarious.
TE -- 8: Can the Gronk keep up his inhumane pace from last season?  I’m not betting on it, but he’s clearly no worse than third at his position.  Daniels keeps being a sleeper, but the Texans’ offense might not be open enough anymore to make him relevant.

The Girl (or Julie L’ I.V.   –    no?  not funny?  hm...)

QB1: Eli Manning
WR1: Greg Jennings
QB2: Josh Freeman
WR2: Miles Austin
QB3: Matt Flynn
WR3: Robert Meachem

WR4: Anquan Boldin
RB1: Ryan Mathews
WR5: Rueben Randle
RB2: Marshawn Lynch

RB3: Ben Tate

RB4: DeAngelo Williams
TE1: Antonio Gates
RB5: Toby Gerhart
TE2: Jason Witten

K: Garrett Hartley
DEF: Bears

QB -- 2: Now I’m as much of an Eli fan as the next guy – if the next guy is Tom Brady – but these three quarterbacks don’t inspire much confidence in my opinion.  Both Freeman and Manning have shown wild inconsistency in interception rate, and Flynn is unproven.
RB -- 5: Mathews was obviously a reach given his injury, but I like that she has some serious insurance policies on the bench with top-15-RB upside if someone gets (or stays) hurt.
WR -- 6: Injury concerns abound, as Jennings is coming off a concussion, Austin has a hamstring injury, and Meachem has had injury problems throughout his career.  All have upside, though, and Rueben Randle is a nice sleeper (albeit homer) pick late.
TE -- 9: One of the strongest tight-end combinations, even though they have foot and spleen concerns.  Ew, spleen concerns.  Moving on.

Goddamnit Donald!

QB1: Matt Ryan
WR1: Calvin Johnson
QB2: Ben Roethlisberger
WR2: Julio Jones
QB3: Alex Smith
WR3: Antonio Brown

WR4: Brandon Lloyd
RB1: Jamaal Charles
WR5: Jerome Simpson
RB2: Kevin Smith

RB3: Jonathan Stewart
TE1: Aaron Hernandez
RB4: Jacquizz Rodgers
TE2: Coby Fleener

DEF: Texans
K: Neil Rackers
DEF: Ravens

QB -- 5: Another sleeper/homer pick in Ryan, and Roethlisberger is a pretty decent number 2 if Mike Wallace plays and he can keep his head attached to his neck.  Alex Smith?  He exists.
RB -- 1: One of the shallowest position groups in the league, Thatcher is really hoping that Kevin Smith can carry the mail for the Lions without tearing his ACL while licking a stamp.  Rodgers and Stewart are interesting backups, but absent an injury not likely to be very valuable.
WR -- 10: Top-heavy and deep, this team has massive upside as well as a pretty safe floor.  Lloyd is the wild card, as he has been projected for Moss-in-2007-lite numbers but has to compete with a lot of guys for Brady’s love.
TE -- 5: One of those guys that Lloyd has to compete with, Hernandez has a definite ceiling on his production, but Fleener is an interesting sleeper as well.


QB1: Michael Vick
WR1: Victor Cruz
QB2: Joe Flacco
WR2: Steve Smith
QB3: Mark Sanchez
WR3: Dwayne Bowe

WR4: Laurent Robinson
RB1: Ray Rice
WR5: Santonio Holmes
RB2: Michael Turner
WR6: Greg Little
RB3: David Wilson

TE1: Vernon Davis

TE2: Brent Celek
K: Dan Bailey

K: Mike Nugent
DEF: Ravens

QB -- 4: Lustick tries to make up for trading Vick the year he blew up by taking him with an early pick, and backed him up with some average guys in run-first offenses.  Better hope the hometown Eagles do what they should offensively.
RB -- 4: The only person to draft as few as three players at either RB or WR, he better hope that Turner doesn’t fall off the cliff that many people see in front of him.  Wilson is rumored to not even be the backup in New York, so all the more reason to pray for health.
WR -- 5: Three top-20 receivers is a good start, but all three have their potential issues, and the dropoff after them is dramatic.  Little is a nice lottery ticket, though, as he appears to be the top target in Cleveland.
TE -- 6: Davis has a very high ceiling that showed itself a couple years ago and in last year’s playoffs, but he has been inconsistent the last two years, as has Celek.

Team Functionality

QB1: Peyton Manning
WR1: Jeremy Maclin
QB2: Andrew Luck
WR2: Kenny Britt
QB3: Andy Dalton
WR3: Justin Blackmon

WR4: Reggie Wayne
RB1: LeSean McCoy
WR5: Mario Manningham
RB2: Maurice Jones-Drew

RB3: Adrian Peterson
TE1: Brandon Pettigrew
RB4: Pierre Thomas

RB5: Mikel Leshoure
K: David Akers
RB6: LeGarrette Blount

DEF: Eagles

QB -- 3: My favorite individual position group in the league for the sole reason that Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are on the same roster.  Definite risk-reward situation there, although I actually think both of them will be just good, not anything terribly exciting.
RB -- 10: At the beginning of last season, how much would you have paid to have McCoy, MJD, and Peterson on the same roster?  The backups don’t even matter, because if those three are who we thought they were, we can let Nate off the hook for his receiver situation.
WR -- 1: Maclin is the only reliable guy on this team, and although Blackmon and Britt have serious talent, Britt’s knee and brain and Blackmon’s Gabbert could seriously hurt their value.  I like Wayne a lot this year with a new offensive system and Luck at the controls, while Manningham is a $40 million bum (after I drafted him with such gusto last year).
TE -- 1: Pettigrew is a high-volume target for a high-volume offense in Detroit, and is likely to be a pretty consistent but unexciting producer all year.

Dime Patrices

QB1: Drew Brees
WR1: Larry Fitzgerald
QB2: Ryan Fitzpatrick
WR2: Andre Johnson
QB3: Tim Tebow
WR3: AJ Green

WR4: Jordy Nelson
RB1: Frank Gore
WR5: Sidney Rice
RB2: Reggie Bush
WR6: Mike Williams
RB3: Beanie Wells

RB4: Roy Helu
TE1: Jermichael Finley

TE2: Tony Gonzalez

K: Sebastian Janikowski
DEF: Ravens

QB -- 7: Brees could play angry this year with the whole bounty thing, but there’s really only so much he can do compared to last season.  Fitzpatrick was a great value pick as a second QB, as an injury was likely the cause for his failures down the stretch last year.  TEBOW!
RB -- 3: Two guys whose value is similar but heading in opposite directions, it seems, Gore is getting worn down and is drowning in backups, and Bush had an excellent end to 2011 but is Reggie Bush.  Didn’t he sit next to Vince Young at the Heisman ceremony in 2006?  I wonder how he got those seats?
WR -- 9: Maybe the best group of receivers in the league, with 4 top-20 options, at least for the time being.  We’ll see how the trade situation sorts out (mwahahaha!)
TE -- 7: Oh, Patrice likes the Packers?  I had no idea.  Finley/Gonzalez is a nice tandem, virtually guaranteed to be no worse than middle of the pack with some upside if Finley can find some hands to borrow.

The Verdict

To aggregate these scores, I just used a weighted average of the scores at each position, with the weights directly related to how many players you start at that position each week (counting the RB/WR/TE position as 1/3 of a slot for each position).  That makes the receiver position especially important, while the tight end position really isn’t that critical.  Let’s take a look at the tape.

10. Mr. TitleTown – An uninspiring set of WR’s and QB’s weighed him down.
9. Team Functionality – Excellent RB’s, but not much else
8. lustcheese – Jack of all trades, master of none
7. West Coast Offense – The MoMA wasn’t quite artistic enough to win out.
6. The Girl – “Meh” quarterbacks made up for by solid other positions
5. Dallas Cowboys – Strong QB/RB depth wins out here
4. Goddamnit Donald! – Superb receivers cure his ills at RB
3. Dime Patrices – Very deep at WR and good enough at QB/TE
2. TheChampIsHere – Beautiful man drafts beautiful team.
1. Juice Springsteen – It’s my blog, did you really think I wouldn’t say my team was the best?  Come on, people.  But actually, my team is pretty good.  Right?

No comments:

Post a Comment