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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Sports: My Fantasy Football Draft Part I 

My league had two guys (more girlie men than real guys) drop out yesterday afternoon; one had to go buy his wife a new car, and the other had a work project spring up "at the last minute." Rather than scrambling to recruit two replacements, we all decided to play with a 10-man league, which if nothing else, might shave time off of the 20-round draft process.

In past years, my fantasy draft prep consisted of maybe printing out a mock draft or a player rankings sheet, and picking straight down the list. When in doubt, I took a Cowboy. It's not that I didn't know anything, it's that I didn't really care. Few things annoy me as much as the football "fan" that will cheer against his own team if it means that his #3 Flex WR gets three extra points. I don't care about that. If I'm watching Dallas go into Giants Stadium on Monday Night Football, and I need Tiki Barber to run for 30 yards to give my team a win, I'm still hoping Roy Williams or Dexter Coakley knocks him into next week everytime he gets a yard past the line of scrimmage.

This year I decided to put a little more effort into it. Sure, the Cowboys still come first and my inevitable wagers will come second, but it's much more fun to talk trash when the fantasy team has a winning record. I started compiling various rankings sheets and mock drafts a few weeks ago, complementing those with team reports and strategy pow-wow with my friend Robert. When I walked into Draft Central (aka my buddy Porter's place) last night I felt like a dork for sure, but a prepared dork.

The draft took slightly more than four hours to finish. We drank, played Madden 2005, made fun of each other's selections, and debated which guys had the best teams. I probably wouldn't call mine the best, as of yet, but I think I came away with a solid squad. Here are my picks, 1-20:

1: Randy Moss, WR-MIN (6 overall)
2. Domanick Davis, RB-HOU (15)
3. Tiki Barber, RB-NYG (26)
4. Tyrone Wheatley, RB-OAK (35)
5. Steve Smith, WR-CAR (46)
6. Marc Bulger, QB-STL (55)
7. Charlie Garner, RB-TB (66)
8. Brett Favre, QB-GB (75)
9. William Green, RB-CLE (86)
10. Jason Taylor, DL-MIA (95)
11. Justin McCareins, WR-NYJ (106)
12. Drew Bennett, WR-TEN (115)
13. Byron Leftwich, QB-JAX (126)
14. Justin Fargas, RB-OAK (135)
15. Ryan Longwell, K-GB (146)
16. Mushin Mohammed, WR-CAR (155)
17. David Carr, QB-HOU (166)
18. Kevin Faulk, RB-NE (175)
19. Byron Chamberlain, TE-DEN (186)
20. Sean Taylor, DB-WAS (195)

My league employs a QB-RB-WR-TE-K, 3 O-FLEX, 3 D-FLEX lineup. Thus, I'll need to grab a defensive player off of the waiver wire, but defensive players always seem a like a crapshoot anyway.

The only "reach" I felt that I made was Wheatley in the 4th Round. But because I opted for Moss over Alexander with my first pick, I needed another RB. My sheet showed Wheatley as the best available at that position, and drafting Fargas later on provided insurance.

I'm sure that I'll explore a few trade options, but we have plenty of time before the season starts. This afternoon I'll analyze more of the draft, including some of the best and worst picks of the night.


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