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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Diary of a Madman: Draft #2


Before reading this, please look at draft #1 just below.

After reviewing draft #1, and acknowledging the mistakes I looked to correct them last night in draft #2. This league has about the same rules as the last one, with the exception of no 1 pt per reception and there are 6 pts per passing td instead of 4. The big difference is the starting lineup: 1 QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1 Flex, 1 DT, 1 PK. This league adds a flex position which can be a RB or WR. This means that I can start 3 RBs. This is the first time I'm in a 3 RB league, so I'm a little excited to see what I can do since I am a big RB drafter every year.

In this draft, I am picking at #6. Again, as I said before, this is the worst position to draft. For example, in draft #1, the #1 pick ended up with Tomlinson, Owens, and Holt (1 pt catch). In this draft, the number 3 pick ended up with Alexander, Curtis Martin, and Westbrook (flex). The top three picks are the place to be this year, no doubt about it.

Round 1, Pick 6: I select Kevin Jones against my better judgment and after seeing Detroit get declawed on Monday night. Edgerrin James was selected right before me unfortunately. McGahee was available so I may end up to regret the Jones pick.

Round 2, Pick 19: Unbelievably, both Rudi Johnson and Dominik Davis seem to be falling. I do some celebrating prematurely, as they are both picked just ahead of me. Westbrook, Barber, Green, etc. are available, but I pick Lamont Jordan. I can’t tell you why - it’s just a gut feeling. I should have selected him in draft #1 instead of Ahman Green, so consider this a correction.

Round 3, Pick 30: The RBs are all gone. Like I said, the guy at #3 got Alexander, Curtis Martin, and Westbrook. However, I move on and pick Javon Walker. This is something that got me in draft 1, where all the top tier receivers were gone. Not in this draft, as you will see.

Round 4, Pick 43: Some more RBs and WRs go, but I am lucky to have picked Steve Smith. Yet another break I did not get in draft #1. The next best RB has been Carnell Williams for 2 rounds now – I hope to get him in the next round.

Round 5, Pick 54: I stay to plan and select Carnell Williams, as in draft #1. However, in this league, remember, I can start 3 RBs, so he may be my flex starter. I am the second guy in the league to get 3 RBs at this stage, so I’m pretty happy about the draft so far.

Round 6, Pick 67: QBs are flying off the board, and even Carson Palmer has been selected already. I do not panic because mostly everyone has selected a QB and Brady Brees, and Delome are available and some nice WRs. I select Ashle Leilie as my #3 WR. So far, excellent draft.

Round 7, Pick 78: Brady, Brees, and Delome are gone, Houston, I think we have a problem. I’m going to get stuck with an Aaron Brooks – yikes. I select Alge Crumpler because picking Aaron Brooks can come later. It may come down to me thinking about the QB position all year vs. selecting Crumpler. I think I still would pick Crumpler 99 out of 100 times, so I’ll be sleeping fine.

Round 8, Pick 91: Aaron Brooks, of course

The Rest: McNair, Carolina D, Charles Rogers, Travis Henry, D’ Stallworth, Matt Stover, and Mr. Irrelevant, Stephen Davis.

Starting Lineup

QB Aaron Brooks

RB Kevin Jones

RB Lamont Jordan

WR Javon Walker

WR Steve Smith

Flex Alshle Leilie/Carnell Williams

TE Alge Crumpler

DT Carolina

PK Matt Stover

All in all, I am pleased with the draft. I am in a bit of trouble at RB in case of injury because I have Travis Henry and Stephen Davis as backups. Also, my backup QB is McNair, so the position is a weakness on my team. It’s kind of funny, I guess, because I seem to have drafted RBs in league #1 when I needed WRs and WR’s in league 2 when I needed RBs. I am not real pleased about that. If I need to take a position earlier than I want, I’m going to have to do it. And I’m going to have to do it in my final draft, come Saturday night. Draft #3 is almost identical to #1 with the exception of a mandatory TE. 1 pt per catch is going to be a big influence. Again, I am picking at 7. I’m thinking Dominik Davis and Tiki Barber damnit…

In conclusion, although I do not think I have a championship team because of the QB situation, it is a better draft than my previous one. I'll be looking to the waiver wire for RBs and a QB via trade, down the line.

Good luck to me and, of course, you.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Diary of a Madman: Draft #1


I’ve been playing fantasy football since 1991 in a total of 5 different leagues throughout with 6 championships (a repeat in one league). Fortunately, during that time, I’ve played in no more that 3 leagues at a time. Even more fortunate is that I’ve only played in 2 for the past 5 years. I say fortunate because it is a lot of work to run a fantasy football team, let alone multiple ones.

As you would expect, the most important part of running a team is draft day. Hopefully, my experience over the last 14 years will be helpful to yours in some way. In this article, I am going to layout my draft strategy beforehand and then follow up with the results– hopefully no one in my league will read it prior. This year, I am back in three leagues again, so the next two weeks are going to be crazy.

Draft #1 is on Saturday, August 27th. The following offensive rules apply:

4 pts per passing TD

6 pts per rushing/receiving TD

1 point per 10yds rushing/receiving

1 point per 20 yds passing

1 pt per reception (new rule this year)

Starting positions: 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE

Before you get into whom and where you are going to draft, you need an overall round-by-round strategy. In this draft, I am at the 7 position in a 12 team league. Let me say, right off the bat, I have had the most success in drafting in high positions. For example, my last two championships have come from the top of the draft (position #1 to be precise). Also, it should be said that drafting in the middle is the worst spot to be in. Let me explain. If you draft in the top 3, you have a legitimate shot at a stud RB, solid #2 RB, and a stud WR. For example, you draft someone like Shaun Alexander, then a Brian Westbrook (or comparable) at the 20-24 position, and a Chad Johnson at the 25-28 spot. Therefore, drafting at the top sets up your first 3 picks. Think about it, you get Tomlinson/Alexander/Holmes, then a solid #2 RB (the next 4-20 RBs are all about the same), then a tier 1 WR like Chad Johnson.

Again, for me, I’m at picks 7, 18, and 31, etc. So the plan for me is to draft 2 RBs with picks 7 and 18, then a WR with 31. The plan may change in round 3 due to a lack of stud WRs, but solid is good. Above anything else, I want to be in control of my draft and not reactive. Let’s break it down:

Round 1, pick 7: I am going to get a few sighs on this one, but I will pick Kevin Jones (DET). Why? My requirements are that the RB must be 27 years old or younger and be without injury risk. That should eliminate most of the “names” available at this position. My first inclination is to go with Domanick Davis because of the 1pt per reception rule, but Jones is who I want on my team and he’ll be gone by 18. It’s a little early to pick him in this spot, however, my goal, as you remember, is to not let other owners dictate my draft.

What Happened: Obviously, I got him. All the usual suspects were drafted ahead of me, including Peyton Manning just before me

Round 2, Pick 18: Here I am going to select Brian Westbrook (PHI). If he is not there, then, a Tiki Barber or someone. Basically, I’ll be looking to add a pass catching back to make up for Kevin Jones.
What Happened: Here, some turmoil begins with Westbrook taken at #14. I do not follow my plan to take Barber, because I just have a bad feeling – So, I choose Ahman Green (GB). I didn’t get a pass catching RB, so I do not feel to well about the pick.

Round 3, Pick 31: I want Chad Johnson here, but he won’t fall to me. If he does, shame on my fellow owners. If a stud WR is not available and Manning/Culpepper/McNabb is there, I will pick a QB. If no stud WR/QB available, I will pick TE Antonio Gates (SD). If none of the above is available, then I’ll bite the bullet and pick a solid WR like Andre Johnson or Steve Smith. However, if I select Smith, the draft is not going well for me, to this point.
What Happened: The way the draft was going, it looked like a tier 1 WR was going to fall to my pick. However, Javon Walker and Chad Johnson go at #28 and #29, respectively and the top 3 QBs are gone. This leaves me with my option to take Antonio Gates, however, I feel that a WR run may occur leaving me with a less than capable starter in round 4, so I bite the bullet and pick Andre Johnson (HOU).

Round 4, pick 42: I will again go for a WR so that I have 2 RBs and 2 WRs after 4 rounds. Again, if I picked a TE or QB, this is a must pick for a WR or the wheels have fallen off. Steve Smith is the guy to pick here. Again, if I picked him in the 3rd round, I’m in real trouble.
What Happened: Steve Smith and Roy Williams are taken at #40, but I still want the 2nd WR in this round. Combine that with both tier 1 TEs off the board, I take Anqon Boldon (ARI). I’m a little unhappy at this point of the draft because I didn’t get who I wanted at WR, but I, at least stayed the course.

Round 5, pick 55: Interestingly enough, this is a wildcard round. If I don’t have a QB and a run is about to occur, now would be the time. However, I’m going to look at RB here to protect my 1st and 2nd pick. If Carnell Williams (TB), Cedric Benson (CHI), or Ronnie Brown (MIA) has fallen to my pick here, I will be selecting him. If there is nothing available at RB, I will select a QB like Michael Vick, although I want to wait for the 6th round.
What Happened: I was thinking about taking Vick in this draft, maybe even with this pick. However, he went early in the 3rd round in my opinion. Again, I stay to plan and choose Carnell Williams.

Round 6, pick 66: At this point, I hope to have 3 RBs and 2 WRs. This is where I want a QB. I will select Carson Palmer (CIN) here, unless Vick is still there. Although he’s had a dismal pre-season, I’m real high on this guy. If I picked Michael Vick in the 5th round, I will select the top TE on the board.
What Happened: Even though I considered myself weak at WR, there just wasn’t anything of value at WR. In addition, I think Carson Palmer’s pre-season poor performance will allow me to select him later than anticipated. So I follow the plan and take the best TE on the board – Jeremy Shockey. I’m ok with this but will need to protect him later due to injury risk.

Round 7, pick 79: If at this point, I have 1QB, 3 RBs, 2 WRs, then my draft is working to plan. Here I would select the best TE on the board, but I expect them all to be there in round 8. If the Baltimore defense is available, I will select them without a second thought. This is a defense that should be even better than years previous. If they are already off the board, then I’ll pick a backup QB if I selected Vick in the 5th round.
What Happened: I was right on Palmer falling, so I choose him as my starting QB. My flaw will be backing him up with value.

Round 8, pick 90: Finally, I’ll select TE Dallas Clark (IND) as my TE or backup at one of the other positions.
What Happened: Got the TE in round 6. I should select a WR because I feel very weak, at this point of the draft; however, some upside RBs are still available. I choose Ronnie Brown with this pick.

If my draft has gone to plan at this point, barring injury, I’ve got a top team for 2005. Here is what I expect to have as my starting lineup:

QB Michael Vick/Carson Palmer

RB Kevin Jones

RB Brian Westbrook

WR Chad Johnson/Javon Walker

WR Steve Smith

TE Dallas Clark

DT Baltimore

Take this for what it’s worth. You may be selecting in different positions, but you still want to basically target RBs in the first 2 rounds, then WRs, and a QB. Good luck to me and, of course, you.

Actual Starting Lineup:

QB Carson Palmer

RB Kevin Jones

RB Ahman Green

WR Andre Johnson

WR Anquan Boldin

TE Jeremy Shockey

DT Atlanta

PK Jeff Wilkens

What Happened: As you can see, I did stick with the plan, but wasn’t high on the Boldin pick. Also, I didn’t want to take Green as my #2 RB. In retrospect, I should have stuck to the plan fully and selected Tiki Barber because of the 1pt per catch rule. Additionally, I would have liked to get additional WR help because I’m real unsure on Boldin. As it turned out, I didn’t select my 3rd WR until the 13th round (Travis Taylor). On the bright side, I did get plenty of upside RBs in Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, and even Cedric Benson. I also got Dallas Clark in the 10th round. Overall, nice draft but I do not think it is a championship roster.

Flaw #1: If Carson Palmer is a dud, I have Chad Pennington

Flaw #2: No WR Depth.

I will try to correct this in draft 2 and 3 this week. I will post follow-ups on those drafts, as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Crunch Time


Drafting either has already happened or is happening within the next 2 weeks. Are you ready?
This is the main part of your season - this is where all the preparation matters - in making the right pick.
Fantasygods.com can help. Check out the following features:

Don't forget to check out the updated rankings (as of 25-August 2005).

***Pay close attention to this weeks pre-season games - it is your best shot at seeing the teams in action (starters play the longest in pre-season game 3) as next week is garbage time.

Be prepared and have fun.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Deep Thoughts

Most likely, you are about a week away from your fantasy draft, so it’s time to make those final preparations. Of course, you make observations from the many pre-season games you’ve taken in so far. Besides, what are you going to do, watch baseball? Here are some things I’ve noticed from the exhibition season:

Donovan McNabb has looked very impressive without TO, so far. Especially, I liked the 27 yard scamper against the Raven defense on Saturday night. He looks thinner and even a little bit faster, if that’s possible. Also, on the plus side, he didn’t lose his breath (low blow). On the flip side, everyone’s been talking about Kyle Boller this year on it being a make or break. Looks like break to anyone with half a brain. Ok, maybe it was only people in Baltimore doing the talking. Another guy looking mighty awful is Ben Rothlisberger.

Many folks are worried that Dante Culpepper is going to have a down year due to the departure of Randy Moss. However, he has had a rather effective pre-season, with the offense seemingly becoming less predictable. As a matter of fact, Nate Burleson and Marcus Robinson give Culpepper two nice options in what will be a spreading of the ball offense. Because of this, I think Travis Taylor is a good sleeper to target.

I do not understand why Michael Vick is always highly sought after in Fantasy drafts. He is more hype and entertaining to watch more than anything else. What I’ve seen so far this year doesn’t change my mind – especially with such a poor receiving corps. Certainly, his advantage is in running the ball with the potential for 6 point rushing TDs in addition to 4 point passing for leagues that score that way. To me, the running puts him at a greater risk for injury.

Carson Palmer has looked rusty over the first two exhibition games going 16-35, however, I still like him as my starting Fantasy QB. He finished strong last season and everything seems to be in place (aka, the Johnson’s) for him to have a big year.

Willis McGahee is going to make owners cringe this season with knee worries. However, it’s good to note, so far, so good. Speaking of worry, Clinton Portis has been battling an elbow injury in camp. It’s not the injury, per say, that worries me. I’ll put it to you this way, if you draft Portis as your #1 RB, thank you. On the other hand, Lamont Jordan rolled off 9-62yds this weekend and is positioned to put up some monster numbers this year. Did you see Brian Westbrook cut past Ray Lewis for a TD on Saturday night? Looking good as your #2 back, isn’t he... Can someone tell me why Deuce McAllister got 20 carries against New England, Thursday night?. Hey, Jim, it’s an exhibition game!

Steve Smith is looking like he is picking up where he left off. 8-69yds in a half of work convinces me that he should be a #1 WR on someone’s Fantasy team – hopefully mine. From the “3 year WR breakout theory” department, Charles Rogers seems to be poised to put up some numbers this year – if he can manage to keep his collar bone in one piece.


Closing Thoughts

Mushin Muhammad, it was nice knowing you.

What’s up with the trade for Andre Davis in New England? Perhaps you should remove David Terrell from your sleeper list.

Randy Moss likes to toke it every blue moon – and Tiki Barber fumbles…

If you have the #1 pick and do not take LaDainian Tomlinson, you deserve to lose.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Training Camp Position Battles


Fantasygods.com has posted an article on the current training camp battles. It goes over Running Back, Wide Receiver and Quarterback battles taking place right now. Here is an excerpt:
"Carnell "Cadillac" Williams vs. Michael Pittman one pick down from Benson is where we find out next battle Carnell “Cadillac” Williams against incumbent Michael Pittman. Here again we have a highly drafted, highly paid rookie versus an aging (30), average veteran. Even though Pittman had one of his best years in a suspension shortened season, Williams should easily win this battle if he can pick up the blocking schemes and catch the ball consistently. Pittman may be used if beaten as the ‘3 rd down’ back, but it would only be a matter of time before Williams totes the bulk of the load."

To read the entire article click here.


On the Clock - Keep up with who to draft and why with this daily updated feature.

Rankings, analysis, insight, opinion and a whole lot more at Fantasygods.com

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Take it or Leave it!

Hot News!

  1. Cedric Benson, the lone 1st round hold out picked by the Bears has been given their final offer. We will see...didn't this happen with Willis McGahee a few years back?
  2. Antonio Gates has been told to show up to camp by Saturday or face a 3 game suspension.
Interesting dealings in the league this year. We could be in for a wild ride...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Inching Toward the Season


Now that all the teams have had a chance to play at least one game what have we learned?
We learned that pre-season games are meaningless unless someone who is supposed to start gets injured. We see games that do not matter at all in the least bit - we see an archaic method of trying to get players in shape, when in fact these players are in great shape for the most part year round. The NFL wants these meaningless games for additional ticket sales and revenue - that is it. One or two games in the pre-season would be fine.
Enough of that - Rex Grossman has bad luck - the Bears seem cursed. Hines Ward speaks to Bill Cowher and has ended his holdout with the promise of a renegotiation. The Terrell Owens circus starts up tomorrow. Why do I mention all of this? News shapes fantasy decisions.
Examples:
  • Rex Grossman out = knock down all offensive players on Chicago - Chad Hutchinson has never done anything in this league to instill confidence.
  • Hines Ward ending his hold out upgrades the Pittsburgh offensive players - it is good to have your top guy in camp.
  • T.O. - a circus that needs to be monitored. Even if after his meeting on Wed. he comes in, the Eagles will keep him on a short leash - if he plays then the offensive players projections are improved, if he doesn't it is a wildcard. The fact that there will not be a clear direction really hurts you when drafting McNabb or Westbrook.
  • Ronnie Brown finally signs - what does this mean for Ricky and the Miami Running game? Will Williams be out, split time, who knows - the rest of camp may point to an answer.
The news is just one way to constantly monitor what is going on prior to your draft and during your season. Keep reading and analyze the possibilities for change and it will help you to win in your league.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fantasygods.com


Below are links to some great articles on Fantasygods.com to help you with your draft.

      Don't forget to check out the toolkit to help you with draft day and game day preparations as well.

      Also for the Hockey fans out there - articles and insight on Hockey.

      Keep checking back as we are constantly updating the site with articles and information.

      Friday, August 12, 2005

      Test Your Fantasy Drafting Skills

      Think you are a fantasy expert? Think you can draft better than everyone else? Prove it!

      AntSports has kicked off it's 2005 Draft Challenge. They are giving away a HDTV as 1st prize.
      The draft contest is FREE for all to enter.

      Practice up for your league by mock drafting and enter the free contest to win a HDTV. What could be better


      Thursday, August 11, 2005

      TO - Going going...gone?

      Fantasygods.com

      Eagles fans were chanting a new song at Lehigh this afternoon, "TO, TO, TO Must GO, TO...Must Go," and by the look of things, they may be on to something. Though many thought it impossible, TO has raised this training camp "circus" to a whole new level and word on the steet is that the Eagles brass will be importing 4 Elephants, 2 tigers along with a few clowns for practice tomorrow morning. Actually, they can cancel the clowns because they already have one by the name of Terrell Owens.

      What is this guy thinking? Tonight he went on ESPN and though he has been refusing to speak with his teammates, he had no problem talking about them on National TV. On the air tonight Owens proclaimed that Coach Reid told him to "shut up" yesterday after Reid confronted him about blowing off a second consecutive fan autograph session. He then told the coach that he should "Shut the (bleep) up" and that,"my last name isn't Reid." Owens continued "I'm not one of your kids. The last time I checked my last name was Owens." Really, TO, I thought your last name was me, myself and I. Ownes then indicated that he has not spoken with McNabb since he arrived at camp and does not plan to speak with the QB this season (where is Jeff Garcia when you need him?). TO later confirmed that he told his offensive coordinator, Brad Childress, not to speak to him unless spoken to by TO. To top it off, Owens then declared that, "I feel like I'm being ultimately disrespected."

      Excuse me. Did I hear that right? TO is the one being disrespected? What world does this guy live in? What is going on in his head; because from where I sit, TO has thrown away the rest of his career and the money he is so desperately fighting for along with it. According to several league sources, after seeing TO perform "workouts" on his front lawn yesterday with helicopters hovering above, there is no GM in the league that has any interest in him. Do you hear that TO...zero interest. And as far as the Philly fans are concerned, the same ones that would have voted you Mayor after your SB performance, well they could be overheard yelling, "YO Adrian, tell TO to shut up!"

      As far as the fantasy impact of all this, I hope your draft is several weeks away because right now, I would advise anyone drafting to stay clear of this entire team. Why? Well lets just say that this is TO's opening act...he always gets what he wants - no matter what the price! I just hope for TO's sake he likes the cold weather; because there are no warm weather teams in the CFL!

      Wednesday, August 10, 2005

      HOT RUMOR..."Pass the HINES Ketchup!


      Fantasygods.com

      Fantasygods has learned that with the one week "suspension" of Terrell Owens, the Eagles are looking into the availability of another WR holdout...Hines Ward. Rumor has it that the Birds are considering trading for the disgruntled Pittsburgh WR and may be offering a 2006 2nd round pick. The problem is, Pittsburgh may only do it for a 2006 middle first round pick. As far as fantasy impact, bump Hines up to the #4 WR as the Eagles could book their plane to Detroit if this deal goes through. Again it's just a rumor at this point and the Eagles are currently feeling out TO to see what his course of action will be....but if there is a team interested in TO, then this rumor will grow legs - quickly.

      Coach Andy puts TO in Time Out!


      What a soap opera in Eagleville! After 4 straight NFC Championship appearances, the Eagles are having their most interesting obsession under Coach Reid's tenure. Yes, there was the Donovan McNabb holdout, the Jeremiah Trotter release and the Duce Staley stalemate, but this TO situation may be uncomparable to anything that has ever happened in any NFL training camp...ever. Seriously, everyday I rush home to tune into "As TO Turns" to see the latest updates and cliffhangers (I'm starting to feel like a housewife). TO may take this latest development to heart and decide to stay out all year. The Eagles, for their part will not yield and have been overheard saying they would rather go 0-16 than ever give in to TO! WOW! Drama aside, what does this latest turn mean fantasy wise for the Eagles? Well, do not draft TO before round 5...there is too much volatility. That being said, with TO out of the picture, the Eagles may be better off...not fantasy wise, but NFL wise. As far as McNabb, I would bump him down 1 or 2 spots in your QB rankings, but jump Westbrook 4-5 spots as he will now see the bulk of the offensive load. In regards to Philly's NFL success, well the Birds have done more with less, so expect them to make the playoffs with or without TO, but a SB appearnce...well you'll have to tune in next time to "As TO Turns," to find out. Stay tuned!

      Owen's Gets Suspended!

      Terrell Owens was asked to leave a meeting in the morning and then after having words with Coach Andy Reid was told to pack his things and leave Training camp...all is not happy in Eagleville...He has been suspended for a week and I supose a fine to follow. T.O. Can be found at home shooting hoops for the news helicopters and media...what a circus - was Randy Moss ever this bad?

      Tuesday, August 09, 2005

      He's Baaaaak!


      OK, not really. More like hardly. Ricky came back in the Hall of Fame game and posted a mouth-watering fantasy total of 5 carries for 8 yards no TD's. It does make one wonder if he really wants to be there or if he really doesn't want to pay back the 8 mil. Ricky may not have shown fantasy owners his prospective value, but Thomas Jones did carrying 10 times for 47 yards and a TD. We also liked the play of Bryan Gilmore - the way he had to contort his body to catch that awful Gus Ferrotte pass, but as you know it is pre-season. The Dolphins have Boston, Chambers, Gilmore for receiving and Williams and Brown and the other RB's, the only thing they need, still is a QB. The Bears seem to be a little improved, but need Gage or someone to really step up into a #2 WR role to help Grossman and Muhammed. Jones looked good, but needs the QB and WR's to keep the D honest to have a good year. For more insight and information go to Fantasygods.com.

      Monday, August 08, 2005

      Draft Day is Here - What are you going to do?

      'The' day is finally upon you. You have waited since the season ended last year to find a way repeat or redeem yourself. That day is now here. It is the day for your fantasy draft. The drafts come in all shapes and sizes, online, email, auction, live and in-person. I really prefer the live in-person draft. Everyone gathers in a confined space carrying their portable war rooms. Here are a few things to go over so you can get a leg up on the competition on draft day - the most important day in you fantasy year. Here a a few essentials:
      • Be there on time - a little early is better. Pick out your spot and claim it. Get relaxed.
      • Keep your mind on what is going on - you are in this for the win baby!
      • Be ready for your pick and then get ready for your next pick - be prepared.
      • Drinking is for one of 2 things - to get your competition sloshed or to celebrate a great draft.

      Once the draft starts you have your cheatsheet, magazine, program, whathaveyou ready and pen and hi-liter in hand. You know in most cases what your pick is going to be. You should have a pretty good idea at this point who your first 2-3 picks will be based upon researching it with your cheatsheet and looking at the average draft info. Check the news and for injuries prior to getting there.

      Once you get through the early rounds - you should have a base for your squad. These are the bread and butter guys - you did not reach and you did not take a sleeper early here. This is the core of who you will be counting on each week. Now the middle rounds - here is where you will round out your team. Finish the positions you require based on league, start to draft some fantasy backups - it really is too early to draft the NFL backups, but some will. You will also see people fall into the inevitable position run. Don't get caught up in this one - keep drafting for value. A position run is when 3 or more of the same position are taken in a round - this is a must with RB in the first couple rounds, but in the middle rounds people are quite susceptible to the power of suggestion.

      Later rounds - this is where you find those gems, sleepers, etc. This is where you would handcuff people as well. Handcuff is where you draft the backup of a star feeling that they could produce points in that system - examples - Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson, Faulk and Jackson - you get the picture. Some defenses go early, so keep that in mind - better be sure on taking a kicker earlier than the last couple rounds as well.

      Now you have your team - is that it? No way - you have to keep up with them and know what is going on and always have an eye out to pick up the free agent that is hot - it may be all you need to get to the championship.

      Final note - be sure that when you banter or heckle other owners that you stay in your game - you can get them off theirs, but don't let it distract you. It is always fun to make them feel that they made a bad pick.

      Saturday, August 06, 2005

      Injuries, Suspensions and Fantasy


      Injuries have already started to hit teams in camp, but what does it all mean? Here is the rundown so far and what we think it means:
      • Brandon Stokley - Dislocated Shoulder (3-4 Weeks), we don't see this as a huge impact. He may miss the opener, but should not really affect his fantasy value this season.
      • Todd Pinkston - Ruptured Achilles (season), Pinkston is gone for the season and while he would have been drafted, this injury affects the players around him, namely McNabb, Owens and positively Greg Lewis, who takes over for him.
      • Jerry Porter - Pulled Hamstring (?), these are the types of injuries that linger - We'll keep an eye on this throughout camp - this does make us take a stronger look at Ronald Curry in that all too famous who plays opposite of Randy Moss game.
      • Anquan Boldon - Broken Nose (3 Weeks), missing 3 weeks will affect him since he has a new QB to adjust to. It may also hurt in his conditioning, we will see when he gets back on the practice field.
      • Terrell Owens - Strained Groin (?), another type of lingering injury - caused by what? Contract issues? Very reminicent of his last year in SF. Too soon to tell if there is a fantasy impact.
      • Plaxico Burress - Strained Hip Flexor (?), is it me or does it seem like the injury bug has hit him? Plaxico and Manning - waiting to see what it all means - injuries will stall this evaluation.
      • Deuce Staley - Knee (?), he is in that 30 and broken down range so it would be iffy at best to have him as he will likely split carries with Bettis anyway.
      • Chad Pennington - Shoulder(?), He has been hot and cold ever since camp opened regarding his repaired shoulder - we will keep an eye on this.
      Holdouts:
      • Hines Ward - nothing happening here - will greatly impact Steelers and especially Roethlisberger.
      • Brian Westbrook - Nothing new on this front - he may sign the deal that was in front of him, or try for a little more - impacts Eagles greatly.
      Suspension:
      • Ricky Williams, even if determined to be a fantasy factor, faces a 4 game suspension at the start of the season.
      Insight, information, rankings, draft tool kits and more at Fantasygods.com

      Wednesday, August 03, 2005

      Analyzing Average Draft Information


      Many people participate in mock drafts. In doing this they create data that can be used by others called Average Draft Position. Based upon a scoring system similar to your own, you can get insight into who when at or around what pick and use that to assess whether or not a player will be available to you when it is you pick.
      Using the information compiled over at AntSports, we researched this based on a high performance scoring system, with a flexible lineup that includes a tight end. We also just included serious mock drafts and the last week of data.

      The results of what would be the first 2 rounds of a 12 team draft follow:
      1. LaDainian Tomlinson RB - not quite a consensus number 1, but a safe pick
      2. Shaun Alexander RB - A high pick and the data states he was Number 1 in a few drafts
      3. Priest Holmes RB - Alexander probably leap-frogged him based on injury concerns
      4. Edgerrin James RB - No problem here, the Colt offense is not centered around him

      So far...no real issues - all would be good picks at the top of the draft...

      5. Peyton Manning QB - Highest I have seen a QB in a long time - can't argue with 49 TD's

      It is a tough decision to make in the middle of the first round, but he will not be there on the return trip.

      6. Deuce McAllister RB - Up and down
      7. Willis McGahee RB - Great year last year - can he repeat?
      8. Domanick Davis RB - Still the man in Houston
      9. Clinton Portis RB - Sub par year last year
      10. Jamal Lewis RB - Can he stay out of trouble?
      11. Randy Moss WR - Raider nation has the vertical threat now
      12. Kevin Jones RB - Not enough balls to go around?

      So there is the average first round. We see mostly all running backs, 1 quarterback and 1 wide receiver. We believe that the valuation of some of these players is a bit off - Kevin Jones as the 12th pick is pretty high based on last year, and Randy Moss we belive is overvalued based on the team change. Let's look at the second round to see who would move up or down.

      13. Tiki Barber RB - Did great on a crappy team last year
      14. Corey Dillon RB - No respect...should be taken before K. Jones
      15. Julius Jones RB - Bledsoe opens some lanes for Tuna's guy?
      16. Ahman Green RB - how the mighty have fallen
      17. Terrell Owens WR - In Camp - same T.O.?
      18. Rudi Johnson RB - More pressure from Chris Perry this year
      19. Torry Holt WR - Believe he is undervalued and may be the #1 WR
      20. Dante Culpepper QB - may drop to Earth without Moss
      21. Brian Westbrook RB - holding out - 1500 yds, 9 TD's 73 catches last year
      22. Chad Johnson WR - more comfortable with Palmer now
      23. Marvin Harrison WR - TD's and Yds by comittee now
      24. Lamont Jordon RB - How the RB's have disappeared - did you get one?

      So 2 rounds done - did you get your RB yet? This is why everyone puts a premium on trying to get 2 solid backs in the first couple rounds - 24 picks - 18 running backs - now you have to play guess the breakout back or let's hope he can be a stud this year game.

      Best team - I like the Priest Holmes, Chad Johnson or Edgerrin James, Brian Westbrook, if I ended up with P. Manning and T. Holt that would be interesting as well.

      So get prepared - keep up with the news, mock draft and check the average picks so you can get a leg up in your league.

      Tuesday, August 02, 2005

      T.O. Shows, but no Westbrook


      Terrell Owens arrived at Eagles camp yesterday and that was the big story. Overshadowed by this news was the missing 1500+ combined yards, 9 touchdowns and 70+ receptions of the franchise's scat back - Brian Westbrook.
      Westbrook has decided to hold out even though he signed the one year tender. He is not happy with the Eagles attempts to provide him with a long term contract. In our opinion, Westbrook means more to the Eagles offense than T.O. does, but does not get the press because he is a much more reserved individual. On one hand we understand the rationale - long term security. Especially with the Eagles signing another young back this year in Ryan Moats. On the other hand, the hold out thrusts the rookie into a position to play more as well as the returning oft-injured back Buckhalter.
      Westbrook is a large weapon in the Eagles arsenal - this will be interesting to watch as camp moves on.

      Monday, August 01, 2005

      Hines Catch Up?


      Hines Ward has begun his holdout from the Steelers. He said he would not report without an extension and he kept his word. This has a tremendous impact on the Steelers team in the real world and fantasy. Without Ward, Roethlisberger will have a serious slump, the running game will suffer and the defense will be worse due to being on the field longer. Bottom line - The Steelers need Ward to move the football. Fantasygods.com is already seeing a difficult year ahead for Big Ben with Ward playing, without it will be horrible. The opponents will key on the run and force Roethlisberger to make mistakes.
      Ward is the first major Steeler holdout in 12 years. It will be interesting to see how this develops. Many of his teamates are already being vocal as the holdout begins. Will the Steelers deal? All is not good at Hines, I mean Heinz field.