Another NFL season is about to start, and that means I have another stab at fantasy football glory. Last season I had a near-miraculous 12-1 regular season record but lost in the first round of the playoffs to end up # 3 in the league overall. Still, each of the previous three years has seen steady improvement, so this year could be my chance to win it all! (or not!). I'm smack in the middle of a busy teaching semester, so I won't be able to update as regularly as I would like, but here's who I drafted along with a brief piece of commentary on each player.
Round 1: Cam Newton: I got the first pick in the overall draft, which is actually a tricky position to be in because it means if I screw up most of the best players will be gone before I draft again at spot # 20. I was torn here between Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton; Rodgers was predicted to do better, but I like a QB who can rack up some points through rushing yards as well, and even if Newton regresses a little I'm still stoked to have him on my team.
Round 2: Matt Forte: Really happen he was still around, as he amasses excellent yards both rushing and receiving.
Round 3: A.J. Green: Maybe a little bit of a reach here, but I wanted a WR with some upside. In retrospect, there were some safer picks.
Round 4: Aaron Hernandez: Gronkowski went off the board in Round 2 along with Jimmy Graham, so I decided to go with Hernandez as my feature TE and hope that the Pats continue their two-TE pass offense.
Round 5: Demaryius Thomas: I'm also unsure about this in retrospect, as there were some solid, established WRs still on the board. The theory at the time was that Thomas could explode big with Payton Manning throwing to him, but we'll have to wait and see.
Round 6: Beanie Wells: At this point, I just wanted any RB who was going to get the bulk of a team's carries. Arizona actually had a decent running attack at times last year, but this is a position I'll upgrade if I can.
Round 7: Doug Martin: I know absolutely nothing about this guy, other than the little blurb that told me he's a rookie who is slated to start for the Bucs. A shot in the dark, but who knows?
Round 8: Jay Cutler: I was really surprised to see him available this low, so I snapped him up. That's a damn good back-up QB if you ask me.
Round 9: Robert Griffin III: Grabbed him just in case he comes out smoking like Cam Newton did last year. I feel like I'm set at QB and even have some good trade stock.
Round 10: Jets D/ST: My traditional Defense/Special Teams pick. The Jets are fun to watch and I'm hoping for some big plays to go my way in close games.
Round 11: Sebastian Janikowski: My traditional kicker, and I ignore pundits who say never draft kickers. I've already received a 2-1 trade offer for this guy! (not sure if I'll accept yet or not . . .)
Round 12: Josh Gordon: My required Browns pick. He's looked really good in preseason and I think will be Weeden's favorite target. Probably one of my surprise starters. (hey, I snapped up an unknown Peyton Hillis a couple of years ago with great success!)
Round 13: Jonathan Dwyer: I saw this Steelers back-up RB play in the preseason and he was a bowling ball; with all of their troubles at the position, he might get some playing time and I think he'll be successful if he does.
Round 14: Browns D/ST: This isn't what I would call a great defense, but they're generally solid and most teams are content to just sit on whatever lead they get, given the Browns' terrible offense.
Round 15: Jermaine Gresham TE: A really good-up back-up TE for this late in the draft.
Round 16: Jay Feely: A back-up kicker; he's a fun player because the Cardinals let him run fakes once in a while.
So overall, I'm pretty happy with that spread, as I have a good mix of dependable players and a few with explosive potential. The draft itself wasn't as fun as I think I was the only live player participating after the first couple of rounds, but that's okay.