This is Houdini's first Pyro article. Expect many more from a man that knows and loves his fantasy football more than anyone else I've ever met. Welcome aboard Houdini!
FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT #8 OF 10
So I have the 8th pick of 10 teams in a draft. At this point any control that I hoped to have is gone and now I have to adapt to what happens before me. So in this draft of all the contributors of Pyromaniac Football I have to bide my time. When the 8th pick does come around here is what I am left with: the top 5 RB’s are gone (Peterson. Johnson, Charles, Rice & Foster), followed by the top 2 QB’s (Rodgers & Vick). Many of you have been in this situation before. You go into your draft thinking you are going to get one of the top 5 RB or top 2 QB and you have convinced yourself this was the best way to form a Championship team. Well, what do you do know that all those options have gone… simple…in this year’s draft I took Andre Johnson.
At this point in the draft there is no one left that you can take that will make you smile every week at the RB or QB position. Also, if you take a QB or RB here your trading value is lower than taking the best WR you can at this point. All Andre Johnson has done is average 101 catches 1453 yards and 8 TD per year for the last 3 years. Realizing that Roddy White had his best career year last year I would be tempted to take him now, but from my experience players that had career high years that challenge the best years of all time ALL fall down the following year. The addition of Julio Jones and the added attention to White this year, is why I stay away from him as the #1 WR this year. Andre Johnson is a safe and the right pick based on his track record, and imagine if the Texans ever become a 10+ win team….that would mean Johnson is an MVP candidate.
As will happen in most drafts when you draft the first WR all that happens after is that nothing but running backs are taken…why should today have been any different? It wasn’t, Turner, McCoy, McFadden and Mendenhall go off the board. So now your and my hand was forced, and I have to take RB here because there are only three legitimate #1 RB’s left (Gore, S. Jackson and Forte). I take Gore here because the lack of talent at QB in San Fran means that Gore is and must be the focal point of this offense. This is also why if he starts strong I will look to trade him as he most likely will wear down after 8 weeks.
By the time my third pick comes around my opportunity to grab a QB is long gone as Brees, Manning, Rivers, and Romo are gone. Not to mention that at the WR position R. White, C. Johnson, L. Fitzgerald, G. Jennings, H. Nicks, and M. Wallace are gone. So this is one of those points you will be in no matter what position you pick in a snake draft…you hate all your options at this pick in the draft and would Jerry Angelo it and trade down if you only could. For my team at this point I figure that the RB pool is low and I am going to have to dip into it a few times in the next 4 rounds to make up for the depth taken so far, but which could lead to a stellar bench and trading potential…let’s see how that works out for me. I take a flier here and take R. Matthews. This guy was pegged to have a great year as a rookie but fell prey to injury. I am a believer that he is going to bounce back and pay those dividends this year, but not so sure that I won’t back this pick up soon.
As will happen, as happened before, when I took Johnson and all that went were RB’s, after I took Matthews all that were taken were WR’s: V. Jackson, M. Austin, R. Wayne and M. Williams (TB). So I have Andre Johnson, Frank Gore and R. Matthews …I need help at QB and WR and need a piece that will be a pick of strength and not a pick of need. Those QB’s of strength are not here so I have to look to the WR’s. The top 7 of what is left is (D. Jackson, D. Bryant, P. Harvin, B. Marshall, W. Welker, D. Bowe and S. Holmes). I take Brandon Marshall for 2 reasons at this point. Brandon Marshall recently came public with a personality disorder he suffers with which must have lifted a huge weight off of him as a person and he is the best receiver from a PPR league perception as he can easily garner 90 receptions. The others, while great receivers don’t have the same opportunities for targets as Marshall does.
As the picks came back around, and I am waiting with my 2 RB & WR each, the picks fall to the point where I am left with some slim pickings at the three main positions (QB, RB, WR). Also at this point the only TE taken is A. Gates (whom I was not targeting due only to his planter facetious which I think will cost him games this year). So with A. Johnson and B. Marshall I feel confident waiting to take another WR as the value of that pick versus taking, in my opinion, the best TE all be it if healthy, J. Finley. Finley is the type of guy that the NFL has to change everything they have done in order to stop him. He has one of the best QB in Rodgers and from his limited time we know Rodgers loves to throw him the ball. This could be the pick that puts me over the top or if he proves to be an injury bug the one that ends my chances. I still like taking my chances on a TE that could score better that all but 10 WR this year.
The wrap comes quick and I find the opportunity I was looking for to back up my Matthews pick with another young player with high upside in K. Moreno. I love this pick here as it gives me another young RB, but this one in a system of a coach (J. Fox) who loves to run the ball. He or Matthews could be traded during the season to upgrade elsewhere. **I always like taking a back up at any position who could be better that another teams starter, because it will allow me to get more in a trade**. I also now have my bye week RB.
For my next pick I still have no need to jump on a QB so I am looking to add a sure punch to my WR core. I have Johnson and Marshall so I know that I can either take a chance or take another sure thing, especially in a PPR league, so I took D. Amendola who developed a nice rapport with S. Bradford last year and could be the NFC’s version of Wes Welker. If he has 80+ receptions and close to 1000 Yds with 6+ TD I have just scored big with my WR3.
Even though I like my last pick of Amendola I know that I am risking a lot so I need to cover my bet which I do with the next pick in Pierre Garcon. Here is a guy that P. Manning knows can make great catches and who is still trying to become the next R. Wayne as Wayne became the next M. Harrison. This allowed me to feel very good for bye weeks as well.
After this I realize that we are in the 9th Rd and while almost every other team has take a QB I need to get one NOW. As it comes up I still have choices so I went with M. Ryan over (Big Ben and Eli Manning) because I love R. White and the addition of J. Jones means that Ryan could start to throw 300+ yard games more frequently.
As the wrap comes quick I decide to capitalize on my pick of Finley and take D. Keller to have strong young back up and because there is not much depth after him (Olsen, Cooley and Pettigrew). This also gives me trade bait.
In the final rounds I jumped on the first K in Nate Kaeding because he is great and because I went to Iowa and have to have a Hawkeye on my team. I am also able to snare Josh Freeman who is poised to breakout this year along with the Lions defense. I added depth in L. Murphy at WR and in the last 2 Rds I added P. Thomas and LT to my running back stable.
I feel this team can compete and at the very least be a playoff team that makes some noise if not the eventual champs. This can help those of you who do not have the top picks and think you have to follow convention when drafting. The key is that convention in picking toward the end of a draft is capitalizing on those picks in front of you and being able to adapt on the fly when you best laid plans are destroyed.