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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Fantasy Man: Stuck with the 8th Pick in the Draft?

As if the fantasy gods are beside me every year routing for me to lose, I can't help but notice that I seem to land the 7th, 8th or 9th pick every freakin' year in just about every draft. Never fails. Last night, I participated in a $100 money league with yup, you guessed it, the 8th pick in the draft. This is a PPR league so strategy changes a bit. I am splitting this team with a friend so it's good that we can bounce ideas off each other which ended up being the inspiration of this post.  This post is more about deciding what to do with an 8th pick in a PPR league specifically.

It's no secret that the talent drops off dramatically in the first round at running back once Frank Gore, Stephen Jackson, and Michael Turner are gone because after that every running back you look at either has a huge question mark, is unproven, or is stuck in a platoon role. So what do you do?

We had the 8th pick, it's PPR and we new in advance that Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, and Frank Gore were definitely going to be picked first leaving us to choose from Michael Turner, Stephen Jackson or Andre Johnson. Here's the problem with each....
Turner - He doesn't catch passes but he'll score more TD's
Jackson - Catches passes but how many more TD's than 4 will he score this year?
Johnson - There's more solid upside receivers later on than there are full-time running backs.

Next, we was between Jackson or Turner, but who would be the best option in our league. Using the average of typical fantasy projections from various sites, here's a summary of our thoughts...
- Turner in a better offense, should have more running opportunities with team playing ahead.
- Jackson quite the opposite as the Rams offense looks to be slightly better than last year but overall, not great so they'll probably play from behind a lot.
- Jackson will be the main focus in the offense, so he'll get a majority of the opportunities. On the flip side, defenses will forcus more on stopping him.
- A new quarterback will depend on Jackson for depenability and will look more his way in short passing situations which will help rack up more than the expected amount of catches.

When you break down the projected numbers assuming 6 points for TD's, 1 point, 1 point for catches and 1 point per 10 yards for running and receiveing, the numbers look like this.....
- Turner doesn't catch passes but will score about 15 TDs (90 points) on 1500 (150 pts) yards and lets say he catches 5 passes (5 pts). That puts Turner at about 245 total fantasy points give or take a few.
- Jackson does it all on a bad team. Assuming the Rams are slightly better than last year and given that S-Jax runs for about 1400 yards (140 pts) and 300 (30 pts) yards receiving with say 40 (40 pts) catches and 10 TD total (60 pts) that gives us about 270 points total.

So there you have it. If the average projection is right, Stephen Jackson will prove more valuable. Plus, we decided that in a PPR, the extra catches Jackson gets will outweigh Turners TD production. Of course, Turner can come out and score 20 TD's and we'll look like idiots. But at the same time, Stephen Jackson can stay healthy and rack up 1800 yards and 10 + total TD's! So Stephen Jackson was our target with the 8th pick.

As it turned out, it went Johnson, Peterson, Rice, MJD, Gore, Johnson, Turner and then we took Jackson... so our mind was made up for us anyway. In a PPR league, if you're going to go RB with that first pick, you really want a guy who's going to catch passes. Plain and simple. If you steer clear of the the non-catcher and the platoon guys, you'll be better off overall. Good luck in your draft!

The Fantasy Man
Fantasy Football Express

Monday, August 30, 2010

2010 Fantasy Football Tight Ends Rankings

2010 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings

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1. Antonio Gates - Has a bad foot which he's had for years but he's #1 when healthy
2. Dallas Clark - You know what your getting
3. Jermichael Finley - This year's TE hype machine
4. Vernon Davis - On the rise with major upside, most athletic of the bunch
5. Jason Witten - He's still top 5 in a great offense
6. Brent Celek - Big target, Kolb likes Celek as a target and should have a stellar season
7. Kellen Winslow - Probably the best receiver on team right now, heavy work load, always an injury risk
8. Owen Daniels - Should be his best year yet
9. Tony Gonzalez - Still a producer but starting to fade
10. Visanthe Shiancoe - He's more a 5-7 TD guy than a yardage guy but with Sydney Rice out, he could get more looks
11. Heath Miller - Solid all-around TE, could get heavy work the first few weeks without Big Ben
12. Greg Olsen - Cutler's favorite target, Mike Martz offense, should be better than last year
13. Zach Miller - Catches a lot of passes for solid yardage but could lack TD's again
14. Dustin Keller - Has the upside to be a top TE, nice sleeper pick
15. Kevin Boss - Won't rack up yardage and catches but he'll rack up 5-7 TD's
16. Chris Cooley - Should be back as the starter but he'll end up splitting time with Davis
17. Fred Davis - This guy looked like a superstar in the second half last year, he could be a nice red zone threat
18. Jeremy Shockey - You'll have to deal with the injury bug
19. Jermaine Gresham - Bengals spent a first round pick on this guy and should start
20. Tony Scheffler - Good receiver who can take advantage of Brandon Pettigrew's injury
21. Rob Gronkowski - Rookie who should start with Ben Watson in Cleveland
22. Jared Cook - Bo Scaife still in the mix but this guy could take over at some point in the season

The Fantasy Man

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Fantasy Man - First Fantasy Football Draft of the Year!

I know I've been late to the party this year as far as producing some fantasy football content but I finally got around to drafting my first team. It's a private league, 10 team, non-PPR, with a $25 entry fee, so we have something to play for.

We drafted at NFL.com which is actually a first for me. I'll be honest, the draft software wasn't bad. I know they did a new design and such and it was solid. If there was one thing I would have like to see is that there be more options when editing rankings for the autodraft. For example, I'd like to see an option where I can rank my players but also rank what positions to draft at each pick. I don't like getting stuck on autodraft with seven tight ends picked because thats all I had in my queue. Other than that, I liked the software. It was simple and has the basics without there being too much flash.

Anyway, on to the draft. It was 10 teams, 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1Flex, 1TE, 1K, 1DEF and 6 bench spots. Pretty basic. QB's get 4 points for TD's and 1/25 but with -2 for Interceptions, WR's get 6 points and 1/10, and RB's get 6 points and 1/10. I had the 3rd pick so I figured I'd be happy with either Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson or Maurice Jones-Drew and I landed MJD. Here's how it played out...

1. Maurice Jones-Drew RB
2. Randy Moss WR
3. DeAngelo Williams RB
4. Beanie Wells RB/FLEX
5. Percy Harvin WR
6. Vernon Davis TE
7. Jay Cutler QB
8. Joe Flacco QB
9. Justin Forsett RB
10. Malcolm Floyd WR
11. Heath Miller TE
12. San Francisco 49ers DEF
13. Ryan Longwell K
14. San Diego Chargers DEF
15. Dez Bryant WR

So obviously it's a pretty shallow league. I was banking on the fact that QB's only get 4 points for touchdowns so I wanted to be strong at RB/WR/FLEX knowing I could get solid QB's later. When I chose Jay Cutler, I couldn't decide if I wanted Cutler, Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan.  Problem was, they all had bye's week 8. So I grabbed Cutler and then Flacco as insurance. I figure by week 8, I'll trade either one and pick up a fill-in like Chad Henne for that week.

My big thing this year in the beginning of a draft is to grab running backs who have the full-time job. I don't want to mess with a platoon situation and I don't want to pick Jamaal Charles in the 2nd round pretending he's going to be insane because he's not, at least in the beginning, as Thomas Jones is going to take away plenty of carries for example. So If I was going to pick a 2nd round RB, I wanted someone I could count on full-time. That didn't happen so I was torn between Randy Moss and DeAngelo Williams. Anytime you have a chance to grab the best at the position, you do it, so I grabbed Moss. When the snake pick came back shortly, Williams was still there. I was deciding on Reggie Wayne and Williams but I thought I could get some solid WR value picks later on so I went strong on DeAngelo. Beanie Wells and Pecy Harvin were my upside picks. I liked Wells as he was one of the few left with top notch upside and I like Percy Harvin considering Sydney Rice will be out for a while, so Harvin will easily be #1 in Minnesota. Keeping the momentum the same, I wanted a top TE and I think I did well with Davis and his upside, I mentioned the QB situation, and then I stole Justin Forsett in the 9th. That's the value pick right there and my personal steal of the draft. I drafted Forsett on the bench but I'm thinking once someone falters I can sub this guy in fairly easily.

Malcolm Floyd and Dez Bryant are high upside bench picks and probably the first to go if they don't perform and I need to make moves. I got a top defense in San Francisco and another top defense in San Diegio along with the top kicker in the league in Ryan Longwell. I went with San Diego because first, I like to have that strong bye week fill-in, second because the waiver wire is still full of useful players, and third I like to use a top defense in that trade offer with that extra QB I have for a top player later on. That kind of deal never fails it seems. Other managers looking for an opportunity to strengthen their QB and DEF can do this at the same time and it's tough to pass up when your in the playoff hunt.

Overall, I'm happy with this team. I won't say it's the best but the upside is there for it to be the best. I don't feel I reached to much except for the kicker and defenses but at that point, I already had a solid set of starters and bench. As with all upside type teams, this one could be a disaster as well. Randy Moss contract year, DeAngelo Williams somewhat disappointing last year, Beanie Wells on the rise, Justin Forsett value pick, and Jay Cutler with a Mike Martz offense can make this team insane. Jay Cutler throwing 30 interceptions, Beanie Wells breaking down, Randy Moss getting emotional and DeAngelo Williams accepting mediocrity could make me start praying for fantasy baseball a lot sooner!

The Fantasy Man

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010 Fantasy Football Running Backs Rankings

2010 Fantasy Football Running Backs Rankings

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1. Adrian Peterson - Better team, more consistency, durable, will catch passes, you can't go wrong here
2. Chris Johnson - Who doesn't like this guy? But, if you think he's going to repeat what he did last season, your going to hurt your fantasy team. Expect a great year, but don't expect Johnson to become the greatest RB whose ever played, which is what everyone is making this guy out to be
3. Maurice Jones-Drew - It's too bad his team stinks but two upside WR's could help relieve some pressure and give MJD is best year yet
4. Frank Gore - He's a yardage freak and I think SF offense will be surprisingly better, slight injury risk
5. Michael Turner - I like Turner over Rice in non-PPR for the TD's and yards, complete runner but doesn't catch passes
6. Ray Rice - He's all over the place, simple as that but I'd rather go with Turner for consistency, in PPR Rice is king though
7. Stephen Jackson - I know, should probably be lower because of his team and injury risk but he can be insane if the Rams can just figure out the basics on offense
8. Rashard Mendenhall - Looks like he'll be a 300+ carry guy since Big Ben will misses a few games
9. Cedric Benson - Last of the true full-time RB's that you can count on...on paper
10. DeAngelo Williams - Dynamic runner, will rack up yards but lose TD's to Stewart
11. Ryan Grant - He's as solid and durible as they come but usually starts off slow
12. Knowhon Moreno - Solid down the stretch last year, will be the main guy in 2010 with upside
13. Ryan Matthews - The first hype machine of 2010, everybody "loves" this guy which is funny since no one has seen him play in the NFL yet, don't get too caught up just yet, this is where you can kill your draft
14. Shonn Greene - The second hype machine of 2010, could be a beast but has LT to share with
15. Beanie Wells - The third RB hype machine of 2010, but will get plenty of opportunities to run with Leinart still learning
16. Jonathan Stewart - All in all, Stewart is more versatile of the two and will get more TD opps
17. Ahmad Bradshaw - He's healthy, looks great in preseason, will be out there more to keep Jacobs healthy, best year coming up
18. Jamaal Charles - If it wasn't for Thomas Jones, he'd be top 10, can't rank much higher if he's sharing the backfield
19. Justin Forsett - Should be the full-time runner and grow on last years success
20. Brandon Jacobs - 3rd down back, TD machine in 2010
21. LeSean McCoy - No solid back up, Kolb risky and may have to rely on the run so full-time opps will be there
22. Joseph Addai - Brittle, but catches passes and will get plenty of opportunities
23. Clinton Portis - Should get most of the opps in WAS but Shanny will keep him fresh i.e. Larry Johnson
24. Marion Barber - A bruiser who must share time but will probably lead the three in TD's
25. Felix Jones - The one in Dallas with the most potential
26. Ronnie Brown - If healthy could continue where he left off last year before he got hurt
27. Jerome Harrison - Not many options in Cleveland and he was solid last season
28. Matt Forte - Probably somewhere between 2008 and 2009 but Cutler is too pass happy
29. Michael Bush - Should be the starter in the beginning, big, breaks tackles *SLEEPER ALERT*
30. Reggie Bush - Does it all, catches, runs, amazes but isn't offenses main focus and is injury prone
31. LaDainian Tomlinson - I bet he produces more then your expecting... you read too many mags
32. Tim Hightower - Last year everyone said he's lose his job, and he was great all year, will catch passes while Wells runs
33. Arian Foster - Looks like a starter so far this preseason *SLEEPER ALERT*
34. Donald Brown - Value is down because of poor rookie season, Addai is brittle so he should provide some surprising value
35. Chester Taylor - He's a catch machine, nice for PPR
36. Thomas Jones - Will split with Charles but will work more than expected
37. Jahvid Best - Rookie who should get plenty of opportunities to play in Detroit
38. Willis McGahee - TD machine if he can stay healthy
39. Cadillac Williams - Should be the "Earth" to Wards "Wind"
40. Fred Taylor - Could be a strong starter but will probably fade down the stretch
41. Ricky Williams - He's older, but doesn't have the mileage since he missed a few years, fresh legs
42. Tashard Choice - One of three backs who could break out but won't be the main focus
43. Fred Jackson - Could rack up yardage and catches but TD's will be low
44. Darren Sproles - Change of pace back for Matthews
45. Derrick Ward - Dynamic runner if TB offense can get their act together
46. Laurence Maroney - If Fred Taylor bites the dust, he'll take over and be decent
47. Steve Slaton - Neck injury last year but lost some weight this year to get speed back, risky
48. Darren McFadden - Super low value for a playmaker who underperformed but will start behind Bush, could be a second half sleeper
49. Larry Johnson - Mike Shanahan loves RB's so you might catch lightning in a bottle with LJ
50. C.J. Spiller - Must compete for yardage with Fred Jackson since neither will get many TD opportunities

The Fantasy Man

Monday, August 23, 2010

2010 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers Rankings














2010 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers Rankings

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1. Andre Johnson - Arguably the best WR but he hasn't been a TD machine, maybe that changes this year
2. Randy Moss - Brady/Moss should outperform last season
3. Reggie Wayne - Reliable, durable, consistent
4. Larry Fitzgerald - Warner gone, Boldin gone, Leinart in, young RB's, who are defenses going to focus on?
5. Calvin Johnson - Stafford with a year under his belt means CJ could have his best year yet, TD machine
6. Miles Austin - Big break out last year and Dez Bryant can help or hurt him
7. Roddy White - Ryan/White with another year of experience and Turner to refocus defenses
8. Brandon Marshall - PPR monster
9. DeSean Jackson - Super big play ability but is Kolb for real?
10. Sidney Rice - Farve back, huge physical WR, up and coming
11. Marques Colston - Many option in New Orleans keep him from being a superstar but still a top target
12. Anquan Boldin - Let the Flacco-Boldin connection begin but he's an injury risk
13. Greg Jennings - Has big play ability but Rodgers has too many other options
14. Steve Smith (NYG) - Catches a ton of passes and has big play ability
15. Steve Smith (CAR) - Might want to see what happens with the QB situation
16. Wes Welker - Preseason says he's back baby!!!
17. Chad Ochocinco - I think he'll still be the go-to guy in Cincy
18. Pierre Garcon - Has size and speed and will be #2 next to Wayne
19. Vincent Jackson - Out for a few games but should have a great second half, stash away
20. Mike Wallace - *SLEEPER ALERT* Not much to say, just watch this guy take off even w/o Ben
21. Mike Sims-Walker - Wore down in the 2nd half, Garrard not a TD thrower but MSW has #1 talent
22. Michael Crabtree - Lacks speed and but should catch a lot of balls and make plays
23. Dwayne Bowe - Has the talent, the size, the speed but he's a pain in the a$$ with coaching staff
24. Hakeem Nicks - Nice size/speed, could be Eli's Plaxico
25. Percy Harvin - This guy can be amazing if Farve can keep his head on straight
26. Dez Bryant - Tabbed as "the next Randy Moss".... whatever, he's still young enough to have the upside
27. Terrell Owens - Has to share with Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant, maybe one last harrah...who knows
28. Hines Ward - Was great last season but Big Ben out half the season
29. Donald Driver - He's aging but I bet he still has a bit left in the tank
30. Santana Moss - One name..... Donovan McNabb! Moss is the older slower version of DeSean Jackson
31. Mike Thomas - Caught 77% of passes thrown to him last season *SLEEPER ALERT*
32. Malcolm Floyd - 6'5" monster, red zone threat with VJ out of the mix for a while, *SLEEPER ALERT*
33. Jeremy Maclin - "You don't know what you have until it's gone"
34. Jabar Gaffney - Looks to be #1 in Denver right now, no one looking at this guy *SLEEPER ALERT*
35. Antonio Bryant - Has upside, sharing ball with 85 & T.O, I bet he emerges as a #2 over one of the stars
36. T.J. Houshmandzadeh - Two disappointing years
37. Steve Breaston - Becomes #2 with Boldin gone but will Leinart be able to connect
38. Devin Aromashodu - Caught 22 passes  for 282 yards and 4 TD's final 4 games, *SLEEPER ALERT*
39. Johnny Knox - Speedy and bigger than Hester
40. Devin Hester - Aromashodu seems to have more upside but who will Cutler like more?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2010 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks Rankings

2010 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks Rankings

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1. Drew Brees - He's the sure thing, tons of weapons, durable as they come
2. Peyton Manning - Same as Brees, coin flip here for me as I like the durability and consistency
3. Tom Brady - Down year last year maybe because of injury means upside for this year
4. Aaron Rodgers - He's great and all but let's tone down the hype a bit
5. Tony Romo - Durable with a great offense
6. Philip Rivers - I wouldn't be surprised if this guy breaks the top 5 this year
7. Matt Schaub - Always hurt but spreads the ball around when healthy
8. Joe Flacco - Big sleeper pick in just about every mag/website but now has Anquan Boldin
9. Jay Cutler - He's an interception machine even in the Mike Martz offense, no star receivers
10. Brett Farve - He has weapons, he's durable, he's 60 something and still better than half these scrubs
11. Matt Ryan - Extreme upside, Michael Turner takes a lot of focus off the rest of the offense
12. Carson Palmer - Is this guy healthy? Used to be highly touted, two aging superstar receivers
13. Eli Manning - He looked pretty bloody the other day so I don't know....
14. Donovan McNabb - I bet you he comes out of the gate strong
15. Kevin Kolb - I'm thinking the Matt Cassel of last year
16. Chad Henne - Another one of the hype machines where the mags/sites are setting you up for disaster
17. Ben Roethlisberger - He'll miss 6 games and be out of shape, good if he's your week 10 replacement
18. Mark Sanchez - Has some upside and a wealth of capable receivers
19. Vince Young - Turned the page late last year, he's either boom or bust in 2010
20. Matthew Stafford - The Lions still suck so don't go crazy just yet other than your #2
21. Matt Leinart - All saying he's going to hand off all year, I say he's had plenty of time to learn, sleeper
22. Matt Hasselbeck - boring, no upside pick
23. Matt Cassel - Could be a nice low value pick as a #2
24. David Garrard - Too inconsistent but has MJD and two capable WR's in Thomas and Sims-Walker
25. Alex Smith - Just when you think the ship has sailed, this guy could break out, the Rickie Weeks of 2010
26. Sam Bradford - You never know with rookies

I'm not even going to waste your time trying to get to 30....

The Fantasy Man