Yesterday [uh, Sunday], me and 7 of my friends held our 2005 Fantasy Football League Draft at my house. It had all of the normal FFL fare. Guys with fantasy guides, clipboards, folders, notecards and when a pick was made, they were furiously jotting it down with a few screaming in anger that their "sleeper" was just swept away.
My wife made a delicious snack-feast.....with meatballs, cheese-n-crackers, chips and taco or chili dip, cupcakes, these southwest chicken thingies, etc. Guys brought in veggie trays, chicken drums, lunchmeat-n-bread, potato salad, beer and pepsi [I don't drink, so I take the soda].
I had my rankings and paperwork ready to go. After spending about a month researching and trying to figure our which magazine was credible and who should I listen to....I just combined everything. I took the rankings from FoxSports.com, ESPN, TheSportingNews, CBSSportsline and a couple of fantasy webites and added their positional rankings together. I then ranked the players according to their added rankings, lowest number best, and went from there. So, according to my sheet...the top 4 backs were Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee, Domanick Davis and Clinton Portis.
We had the draft on a real Draft Board that I bought from Fantasy Football - Content. I will say that it was well worth the $33. The board holds up great...and they provide you with 500 NFL players and defenses on stickers to use. It is a heck of a lot easier to just put the stickers on instead of writing everything out and tend to your own team's needs as well. [If you ever are hosting a draft...I'm telling you, get this board!]
So the draft. We each got to keep one QB, one RB and one WR/TE from our team we had last year. I kept Peyton Manning, Ahman Green and Tony Gonzalez. Most of the big names are already gone [except for those teams that had two studs last year at a position and had to let one go]. The first pick in the draft was Willis MaGahee of Buffalo. I was a tad surprised...since most figured Edgerrin James would take the top spot. James went #2...then Chad Johnson went #3 [kind of a surprise as well]. I picked #4 and took the Texans' Domanick Davis. Kevin Jones went #5, Rudi Johnson went #6, Curtis Martin #7 and Steven Jackson #8.
So, in our snake draft...we went in reverse for round two. Reggie Wayne went #9, Javon Walker went #10, Andre Johnson went #11 and Joe Horn went #12. Hmm. There seemed to be a run on receivers that I really, really didn't expect [I was holding out hope that Walker would be there for me at #13. So...at #14, I did what anyone would probably do: drafted the curiously skidding Clinton Portis. That was a coup for me. I had Portis rated as my #4 player on the entire draft board [Davis I had #3]. Heck, if James, MaGahee and Davis were gone went I selected in the first round....I had every intention of taking Portis with that pick. Lucky day for me!
So...after 18 rounds...144 players drafted to go along with our 24 keepers....here is my 2005 lineup:
QB: Peyton Manning [Ind], Jake Plummer [Den], Kurt Warner [Ari]. I should explain, in our league we play with a "team QB"...meaning that you get all the QBs that play for those teams. So if Manning gets knocked out of a game...I get his backup. Since I knew I had Manning in the bag...I really refrained from looking at the QB spot, which really paid off. I love what Plummer brings to my team...and there was a point in the early rounds I thought of snatching him up. But, I kept with my game plan and got him further in the draft. I drafted Warner with my 2nd-to-last pick....and that was just due to the fact if I really needed him...he's throwing at some bad defenses. I'm very happy with my QB.
RB: Ahman Green [GB], Domanick Davis [Hou], Clinton Portis [Wash], Cedric Benson [Chi], Marshall Faulk [Stl], Najeh Davenport [GB]. Hey...I have Green, Davis and Portis to fight over my two starting spots each week. Davis and Portis are both off Week 3...but that's why I drafted depth. Like I said, I think I have 3 of the top 12 running backs in the NFL....and Benson should get a lot of run in Chicago. I drafted Faulk very late in the draft since I was busy building up my receiving corps. No, Faulk isn't that good anymore...but he was better than what was left on the board. Davenport is just insurance if Green goes down. I am extremely happy with what I have here.
WR/TE: Tony Gonzalez [KC], Darrell Jackson [Sea], Roy Williams [Det], Steve Smith [Car], Mushin Muhammad [Chi], Chris Chambers [Mia], Eric Moulds [Buff]. This could either be a glaring weakness or a surprise for me. I mean, I have no stars...but according to my sheet, the 6 guys I drafted were all in my top 24. Other than Gonzo, my keeper, and Williams..I really had no plan to take any of these players. I like Jackson...I just don't like the fact he has no other receivers on that team. Williams is a great red zone threat and the only Lions WR that can be counted on right now. I really targeted Steve Smith and was happy to get him. That was 3 straight rounds I drafted a WR since I missed out on the top tier of talent. My last three guys I had no love for. I had Muhammad last year and worked out great for me. But 2004 was a fluke for him and he's now got Rex Grossman throwing to him. Eric Moulds has steadily declined. Chambers is a freaking Dolphin receiver...but most fantasy guides rated him high...and he was by far the best available at that time. I start 3 wide-outs....so it truly will be a jumbling of the lineup each week. I like my guys here...but I could be cussing them out by year's end.
K: Jeff Reed [Pitt], John Kasay [Car]. I drafted these two in the last 5 rounds or so. Why? Well, I read that between the top 15-20 kickers..there really isn't THAT much of a difference point wise that should make you over draft on one. I kept this in mind as guys like Akers [my guy last year], SeBas, Vanderjagt, etc were going. My thinking paid off. At worst, I thought, the #8 kicker is Jeff Reed. Reed plays for a running team that should get a pretty good amount of opportunities to kick FG. Kasay was the best available. I'm fine with these guys.
DEF: Ravens, Falcons, Saints. I think I did excellent here as well. About the 5th or 6th round...defenses started to go. But it was the Bills, Steelers and Eagles. With my pick coming up...Davis and Portis as my backs and just drafting 3 straight WR...I went ahead and locked Baltimore in. On my sheet...I had them way above anyone else. So I feel I got the best D in the draft. Later in the draft...as people were getting WR and RB...I went after the Falcons, another great defense. Ifigure that I'll play B-more most weeks and the weeks that the Ravens are off or face tough offenses....I got them as a great insurance. The Saints were my final pick in the draft.