Until I started playing fantasy football Christmas and Thanksgiving were my two favorite days of the year. How can you go wrong with presents, delicious food, and family? You can't. Now, however, one event trumps both holidays: Draft Day. I make sure I wake up focused and clear headed (no late-night shenanigans with my broskies the night before), eat a hearty breakfast, and pretend like I give a hoot about anything going on around me (while, honestly, I'm really just thinking about my late-round sleepers and early value picks). A few hours before the draft I like to go over my rankings, make sure I've got a plan and backup plan, and then have a beer as the clock ticks closer and closer to that fateful moment.
My boy, D-Train, requested that I go over my recent draft, and since he's always been such a standup guy, I decided I'd accommodate him (just this once though, Deets...don't come askin' me for any money or anything of that nature). This draft took place on Sunday August 31st, 2009. There are 12 teams in the league and it's a PPR-format (1 point per reception). Leading up to the draft, I'd estimate that there were nearly 100 posts in the league forum, filled with trash talk and ridiculous rants (you think I'm arrogant, you should hear some of these guys). Nevertheless, this league is probably the most serious and competitive organized activity that I've been a part of since high school soccer, and that includes college (which was pretty serious, but comes in third behind this fantasy football league and the Beirut league at Downtown Brew in San Luis Obispo--special shout out for the Black Hole and Bring Bob Barker Back...two great teams that I was proud to be a part of). I'll post 3 rounds at a time, each separated into its own post. **WARNING** Some team names not suitable for children.
1. Adrian Peterson A Brush With...
2. Matt Forte Ice King
3. Andre Johnson Dragon
4. Maurice Jones-Drew Beware! TreeHasCrabs
5. Larry Fitzgerald The Dudes
6. LaDainian Tomlinson shark's in t...
7. Michael Turner BunnyT69
8. Frank Gore the problem
9. Randy Moss World Watchers
10. DeAngelo Williams 8thstreetlatina
11. Calvin Johnson Feed to Suce...
12. Steve Slaton Troubanos
Comments: As I should have expected, the first three picks did not go as I had planned. In my preparation I had figured that the draft would unfold as follows: 1) AP; 2) Maurice Jones-Drew; 3) Michael Turner. With that in mind, I considered Bears RB Matt Forte and Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald. When Forte was taken second overall I was pretty set on Fitzgerald, thinking MJD would go next. As it happened, Kellen (Dragon) went the wide receiver direction and picked up Andre Johnson. AJ's an elite WR, but I can't say I would have done the same thing with the quality running backs still on the board. That pick left me with a no-brainer. Jones-Drew is 2nd in my overall rankings (behind AP) because he's a touchdown machine, has outstanding receiving skills, and no longer shares the backfield with RB Fred Taylor, who's now in New England.
What I found interesting about the remainder of the first round was that, since A. Johnson and Fitzgerald went in the first half of the round, a minor WR run began with Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson coming off the board at 9 and 11, respectively. That's completely understandable in a PPR league. Those two teams probably figured that, given the lack of top-tier WRs left they might as well secure one of them and pick up a talented RB on the way back, which they did end up doing.