DISCLAIMER – This is a recap of the fantasy draft that I recently did with all of my friends from college. If you weren’t part of this draft, it’s probably not going to be funny for you. But, if you want to learn something, I’ve included the draft results if you’d like to play along and pretend like you matter to us…
(Or more appropriately, ‘Doug tries to write fantasy football jokes and recapture his 2012 comedic form.’ Honestly, It took me 20 minutes to write this sentence. I feel like Coach Ritter playing pickup basketball with his high school kids and pretending that he’s still the guy who made Justin Anderson yell, ‘I’M GOING TO MARYLAND, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’)
Well gang, welcome to the second annual post-draft write up in the history of our fine league. To be honest, I wasn’t planning on writing anything this year because, frankly, who wants to read the fantasy football musings of a guy who:
• Drafted CJ Spiller third overall last year.
• Has hitched his wagon to Dwayne Bowe for the last three years (and I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to trading for him this year – Jamal Charles can’t touch the ball every play!).
• Thought Stevan Ridley would get over his fumbling issues with a little encouragement (high and tight, Stevey!).
But, Joel asked me to write something, and he’s taking me to the Eagles vs. Redskins game in December, so I’m not really in a position to refuse his request (just think Nick, if it weren’t for Joel you could be calling in all kinds of favors right now). As in past years, we’ll do a quick analysis of everyone’s team names and draft results. If that’s not good enough, then tough toenails – 12 teams is a lot to cover.
Before we do that though, allow me to digress briefly.
Taking part of a live draft and not being there is a bizarre and difficult experience. Drafting is hard enough as it is. Think about it: what do fantasy drafts, Alex Ritter’s relationships, and 24 full-season story arcs have in common? Something always goes wrong. Multiply the uncertainty of a live fantasy draft by the factor of NOT BEING THERE AT THE DRAFT THAT IS MEANT TO BE PERFORMED IN PERSON, and you’re in deep soup. For example, here’s a list of things that went wrong or frustrated me during this draft:
• An hour before the draft, my power went out, causing my WiFi to stop working.
• So, I had to plug into the router in my guest bedroom, which is just out of range of anywhere to sit or anywhere to place my laptop. Nothing enhances the fun of a fantasy draft like sitting on a rug for five hours against a wall.
• Since I could only use one device with internet, I couldn’t video chat and keep track of the board, so I had to call Ritter in order to hear what was going on.
• For some reason, the ClickyDraft board wouldn’t update itself, so I had to click refresh approximately 500 times, which stopped me from doing the necessary in-draft prep work for each pick.
But, while these were bad, the two worst things about not being at the draft were the following:
• Nobody got to hear any of my 12 Draft Day jokes that I thought of throughout the draft.
• It’s harder than it seems to place people’s voices with who they actually are, and I couldn’t figure out who kept douchily quoting Matthew Berry the whole draft. He was definitely white, though.
But enough whining, let’s get going, shall we?
Team Description in One Sentence: More tight ends than a Brazzers video.
Team Name: I can’t wait until Nick isn’t the defending champ anymore so we can make fun of how lame this team name is again (this is exactly what I wrote last year, ugh).
Suggested Team Name: “Slight Ends”
Draft Analysis: Nick pulled a Doug by picking a strategy by going wayyyy overboard with it (I’ll be the first to admit that I always try to be smarter than I actually am). We’ll see if drafting the top two tight ends pays off, but I’m skeptical since I’ve tried it before and failed spectacularly. Nick did the popular move this year by ignoring running back until round six, and hoping to find value there late, which allowed him to have three really solid receivers (I’m shocked that Dez Bryant didn’t go earlier than 13). But outside of his WR/TE picks, there’s a lot of uncertainty looming on his roster. Will Tony Romo’s back hold up? Will Frank Gore fall of the old-age-cliff this year? Will Stevan Ridley fumble again and get locked in Belichick’s basement? Will Fred Jackson finally let CJ Spiller take the reigns? Who the heck knows.
Projected Finish: At least one of Nick’s running backs will pan out, and he has enough power at his other positions to carry him to the playoffs. Plus, someone will be dumb and trade him a stud running back by year’s end. Expect him to have a shot at three-peating this year.
• Kudos to Nick for putting this whole thing together for the second year running. As the future champion of this league, my rule will be that Nick has to run everything for me next year.
Team Description in One Sentence: “The guy who drafted Seattle in the 9th round” is like the guy who wears the fedora in a group of friends – no one’s happy about it, but someone has to do it.
Team Name: Can’t knock Drew for being consistent.
Suggested Team Name: Not naming his team “Legion of Toon” was a huge missed opportunity, especially after drafting Seattle!
Draft Analysis: I’m fine with Alfred Morris at 8, and I love Antonio Brown this year (I was really hoping he’d fall to me where I got Jordy Nelson at 24). Cordarelle Patterson might have been a bit of a reach, but with the hype around him he wasn’t going to go any later. Jay Cutler might be a top five QB this year, and I think getting him as late as Drew did was a steal. I hate hate hate the Trent Richardson and DeAngelo Williams picks, and I’m guessing they’ll both be on the waiver wire by week five. Also, call me old fashioned, but if you’re drafting a defense and kicker before the last two rounds, you’ve made a mistake.
Projected Finish: I think Drew swung and miss on his running backs after Morris, and it’s going to cost him. I think the Toon Squad misses the playoffs, and MJ becomes enslaved on Moron Mountain.
• This isn’t backed up by any research, but I think this is the first year I’ve ever seen Drew not pick Cam Newton.
Team Description in One Sentence: Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the 2014 Detroit passing attack!
Team Name: I’m assuming this is a Drake reference, and I’m in favor of any and all things related to Drake references.
Suggested Team Name: If we’re going to go the Drake route, I’d rather go with “5 AM in Detroit,” or “Calvin’s Room.”
Draft Analysis: Can’t get mad about Calvin Johnson, and Peyton Manning at 16 is great value. I think Terrance Williams and Jarrett Boykin are going to both be top 20 receivers at the end of the year, and to get both that late in the draft was a huge win. I think Todd has a huge hole at running back – Ben Tate couldn’t stay healthy as a backup, and now he’s supposed to start 16 games? Danny Woodhead is a great bye-week solution, but I don’t see him as RB2 material. I really like Ladarius Green, but not when you’ve already burned a 4th round pick on Julius Thomas.
Projected Finish: I think Todd will spend the entire year looking for a solution at running back, and it’s going to cost him Calvin Johnson to do so. I’d be surprised if Megatron is on Todd’s roster by end of year. I’m predicting Todd will be on the playoff bubble, but will miss with a 7 or 8 finish.
• Todd’s fantasy teams always seem to translate to the best Madden rosters.
Team Description in One Sentence: Proving that drafting from a wacky time zone CAN lead to success.
Team Name: Superb job. If only Patrick was funny in real life…
Suggested Team Name: I couldn’t think of a better one
Draft Analysis: There isn’t much to disagree with here. Montee Ball could be the best back in fantasy this year, and AJ Green is great value in the second round. The only pick I don’t love is Toby Gerhart, but I’m assuming Patrick got some inside info from Tad about how he’s looked at practice. And the rest of Patrick’s backs could all end up being starters by mid-year, which is a great haul for where he picked them. Nick Foles won’t do what he did last year, but I’m telling you this Eagles offense as a unit is actually going to be better and faster than last year. More snaps = more fantasy points, and I’m angry at myself for not investing in more of my hometown boy this year. The only glaring hole in Patrick’s roster is at tight end, but after the first four come off the board, there isn’t much to get excited about anyway.
Projected Finish: Patrick will be a championship contender, and will be a top 4 seed in the playoffs.
• By default, Patrick might be the best fantasy football player in all of Pakistan.
Team Description in One Sentence: If this were three years ago, this team would be UNREAL.
Team Name: I mean, Ciroc tastes good?
Suggested Team Name: “Ciroc and Sproll”
Draft Analysis: Terrence went pretty safe with most of his picks, which is fine. There is nothing wrong with relying on proven commodities, especially when they’re called Aaron Rodgers and Brandon Marshall. I think Reggie Bush is still going to have a major role in Detroit this year, despite the Joique Bell hype, and CJ Spiller is still an unbelievably gifted running back who by all accounts is healthy this year. Maclin is an Eagle, and therefore a great fantasy player, and I think Stevie Johnson was an absolute steal late in the draft. I don’t understand the Phillip Rivers pick in the 11th round, when you already have Aaron Rodgers. You just used an 11th rounder on a guy who is going to start one game for you this year.
Projected Finish: I think Terrance will make the playoffs as a bottom seed (4-6, somewhere in there). By playing it safe, he should be consistently decent.
• There were basically two ways to spin this team
o Playing it safe and taking proven players, OR
o Not being well-versed enough in football so you only had the balls to draft guys you had already heard of years ago.
• Wait, didn’t Terrance not even draft his team? If it was McGruder, then I’m guessing is was bullet number two.
Team Description in One Sentence: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Biller did an adequate job – maybe he’s finally grown up to take this seriously (which is why he’s calling himself Michael now)!
Team Name: C’mon – at least try.
Suggested Team Name: “The Lynch Mob”
Draft Analysis: I don’t love Marshawn Lynch this year. At 5, I probably would’ve gone for a WR or Lacy. But, Lynch has been studly for the past few years, and maybe that will continue. Assuming Bell doesn’t get suspended for 100 years, he should be the focal point of that Steelers ground game. Randall Cobb is great value at the third round, and he’ll catch 115 balls this year. Whenever Michael Crabtree is healthy, the 49ers offense becomes very good, and this isn’t a coincidence. I also loved Aaron Dobson in the 14th round. He’s been flying under the radar this preseason because of his injury, but he’s still Tom Brady’s best deep threat. San Fran in the 10th round was dumb, but at least it wasn’t in the 9th.
Projected Finish: Biller might sneak into the playoffs, assuming Marshawn Lynch doesn’t totally bottom out and Le’Veon Bell doesn’t get into the harder stuff. On second thought, he won’t make it.
• Is it me, or are these write-ups getting shorter and shorter?
Blaine Gabbert’s Boys
Team Description in One Sentence: Drafted like Gabbert’s hair – stupendously.
Team Name: I don’t really get it, but at least it’s not “Michael’s Team.”
Suggested Team Name: “Friday Faces,” or even better, “Friday Laces.”
Draft Analysis: Lacy and Murray are a huge one-two punch at RB, and I think this is the year where Murray finally is healthy for 15ish games. Heath went with big names at WR too, which is fine: Andre Johnson seems to be refocused this year (according to my insiders, ya know), Victor Cruz is still very very great (despite Eli Manning being very very not great), and Reggie Wayne has had ample time to recover from his knee getting blown to smitherines. Heath’s biggest blunder was drafting Desean Jackson. Desean is going to take it personally that he wasn’t drafted higher, pout for the first three weeks, have a huge run from weeks 4-9, get angry because Heath isn’t personally paying him, and hold out during the playoffs. I hate that guy. Russell Wilson in the 7th was a major miscue, I think. There is NO WAY Wilson should have gone ahead of Newton, Phillips, or Cutler. I love the Ertz pick; if he had gotten to me at that round I would’ve taken him. He’s the TE not named Gronk or Graham who has the best chance to finish in the top three in scoring at his position, if you ask me.
Projected Finish: Heath is solid enough across the board to make the playoffs, and I’m predicting a 3-5 seed.
• I’m kind of shocked that Heath didn’t Snapchat at all during the draft. Unless I just missed them.
Team Description in One Sentence: You can’t be from Philly and not draft Shady first, right?
Team Name: I’ve found my teams are always better when I do player joke instead of something about myself. “The Showmasters” were a disaster. “The Travis Henry Welfare Fund” was a juggernaut.
Suggested Team Name: “The Shady Bunch”
Draft Analysis: Looking back on it, I would’ve been happier drafting at 4 than one, because I think the top four backs all have similar value. For my money though, Shady had the least question marks and most upside of the four, so I went with him. I know Jordy Nelson isn’t a sexy pick, but at 24 there weren’t any top tier receivers left, and I didn’t want to wait another 24 picks to take my first one. I’m psyched about the rest of my running backs – I think Ellington and Vereen will be studs this year. Also, Pierre Thomas led all running backs in receptions last year, and now will get even more with Sproles out of the picture. Mark my words: Jeremy Hill will be the best back in Cincy this year, and Ahmad Bradshaw will start more games for the Colts than Trent Richardson. I’m not in love with my receiving corps, but Torrey Smith should be a fine number two, and I think Rueben Randle has a shot at 80 catches and 1000 yards this year. I waited too long to get a tight end – I was hoping Ertz would last another round (based of his ADP he should’ve), but missed him. Also, I don’t love Matthew Stafford, and was actually targeting Mike Wallace with that pick, but once he was gone I couldn’t pass on a QB who should’ve been picked two rounds ago. Overall, I’m happy with my draft, but knowing me 90% of my roster will be different by week 5.
Projected Finish: Maybe this is my hubris talking, but I think I’ll be a top 4 seed and a championship contender. I think I’ll find another WR down the road, and can discover a tight end on a weekly basis enough to tread water there.
• This is the first time I’ve ever picked number one overall.
• I researched more than I ever have for this draft. Hope it pays off!
Poolio S Jones III
Team Description in One Sentence: Putting your faith in Doug Martin and Chris Johnson is like trusting Hannibal Lector not to eat your face.
Team Name: It’s probably funnier than I’m giving it credit for.
Suggested Team Name: “Poolio S Bow(e)ns III”
Draft Analysis: AP just CANT keep this up forever, right? Even LaDainian Tomlinson fell off the cliff eventually. I just wouldn’t want to be the guy who drafted AP the year he got bad. Doug Martin and Chris Johnson could either be very good or very bad, and I have no idea which way they’ll go. I really like Poole’s receivers; Larry Fitz will be fine, Harvin will finally contribute to the Seahawks, and I swear I actually think Dwayne Bowe will be a big time player this year (there’s just no one else to throw to, and Jamaal Charles just can’t get 40 touches a game forever). Even if Bowe doesn’t pan out, one of the group of Nicks/Jones/Matthews/Lee/Beckham will break out and be a serviceable WR3. Also, I really wanted Zuerlein as my kicker, as weird as that sounds.
Projected Finish: Poole has the roster strength to make the playoffs, but I don’t think he’ll be disciplined enough to make the moves during the season to keep up with the heavy hitters. PROVE ME WRONG, POOLE.
• Are we done yet?
The EJ Fanboys
Team Description in One Sentence: Do you look at anyone on this team besides Demaryius Thomas and get excited?
Team Name: I’m in.
Suggested Team Name: As long as your next fantasy basketball team is called the “Ill-Advised 40-Foot Pull Up Jumpers,” I’m good for now.
Draft Analysis: Thomas might be the best receiver in fantasy this year, so I like the pick there in the first. People are forgetting how unbelievably good Julio Jones is because he was hurt last year, and getting him in the second is good value. I don’t like Rashad Jennings in round three – that felt like Ritter was getting a RB because he felt like he had to. I would’ve rather had someone like Victor Cruz there. I’m not as high on Joique Bell as others, but I do like Ray Rice. I think he’ll have a semi-bounceback year and finish as a top 20 RB. Stealing Tom Brady in the 9th round is criminal; we should all be ashamed for letting that happen. Overall, I think Ritter had a sort of bland draft – I just don’t see the magic here.
Projected Finish: Unless he finds some help mid-season, I don’t think Ritter makes the playoffs. And I swear it’s not just because I don’t like you.
• Shoutout to Ritter to being on the phone with me for three hours during the draft. You’re a true friend, pal.
Team Description in One Sentence: ‘Drafting at JMU is SO much sicker than UMW…’
Team Name: What he means to say is, “I miss Mary Washington.”
Suggested Team Name: “The Dansfers”
Draft Analysis: Forte at 4 is A-okay with me. I’m not a big believer in Gio though – I don’t think the new offensive regime trusts him to be a featured guy like everyone assumes he will be this year. Alshon Jeffery will be fine, and Roddy White will have a solid year. I thought getting Ryan Matthews in the fifth round was a great pick; he’ll get 1000 yards and 6 touchdowns this year, at least. Welker scares the heck out of me – do we even know for sure that he’ll ever play football again? Loved Cam Newton in the ninth round too – the guy has NEVER been out of the top 5 in QBs for a season. I know everyone’s afraid of his supporting cast this year, but the rushing yards and touchdowns will still be there. I also really like Mark Ingram this year, and he’s looked great in the preseason. He’s someone I was trying to pick in that range, and Danny did well by getting him where he did. Greg Jennings will be a sneaky WR3/4 this year, and if Miles Austin is healthy, he’ll be the best receiver in Cleveland – worth a 15th round flier for sure.
Projected Finish: I could see Danny finishing in the top 4 if Gio comes through like the second round pick that he was. (I haven’t been tracking my predictions – I probably have like 6 people in the top 4 by now. Oh well.).
• Did Danny even try to communicate with anyone during the draft? Did he even have fun? Has he ever smiled? Classic Mahoney.
The Camel Jockeys
Team Description in One Sentence: I don’t hate it (sorry Joel, you were the 12th team and I’m exhausted).
Team Name: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Suggested Team Name: “The Middle-Eastern Motors”
Draft Analysis: Joel did great by finding three solid running backs through the first three rounds. Charles is a no brainer, of course, but I think Arian Foster is flying under the radar a bit, and Zach Stacy will be decent because he has to be. Jordan Reed in the fourth round was WAY TOO EARLY, but he’ll be a great tight end this year. If there is any sort of sure thing in the NO receiving corps, it’s Colston, and I like that pick in the 5th. I love Mike Wallace in the 6th, and was praying he would get to me before I settled for Stafford (big things are brewing in Miami this year through the air). I don’t trust Watkins, but as long as DeAndre Hopkins works out, Joel will get by if he whiffed on Watkins. RGIII in the 9th is great value – he’s the only guy in that tier who would be a top 3 QB by year’s end. I also think Riley Cooper will be fine this year and could improve on last year’s numbers – I’m predicting a more even spread between him and Maclin this year, rather than the lopsided numbers that Jackson had last season.
Projected Finish: Joel will miss the postseason because I’m pretty sure I had to pick one more person not to make it. Honestly though, it’s not crazy to think that Charles faces 9 man boxes all season and struggles, Foster can’t handle the workload anymore, and Stacy is affected by a putrid Rams offense.
• Joel, don’t be mad – you asked for this.
So there you have it; to recap, here are my projected playoff teams, in order of seed:
1. The Patrickstanis
2. The Commish
3. The Raymakers
4. The Transfer
5. Blaine Gabbert’s Boys
6. Ciroc Boys