Survivor I - Round 10 Commentary
NOTE: this draft was completed on 7/24
Positives - The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round… Most people felt the wheels on the Bus were worn thin entering the 2004 season. But when Staley got injured, Bettis transformed himself into a younger model and posted a career-high 13 touchdowns. With the run-oriented Steelers philosophy, Bettis will still see playing time, particularly at the goal line.
Negatives - Bettis may join Barry Sanders in the retirement home this summer. With rumors he may call it quits before the season starts, makes this a big gamble in a league where your team is locked after the draft. Even if Bettis plays again, Staley returns and reclaims his starting job, limiting the Bus to spot duty.
Draft Strategy - For once Nipsey didn't steal my targeted player. Instead, Wheelhouse did. I was going RB with this pick and was hoping for Marshall Faulk. With him going, I grabbed my next ranked RB, which was Bettis. This is a risky choice as Bettis could easily retire which would make this a wasted pick. But I'm banking on him sticking around for 1 more season. And another Staley injury could make this pick a steal. Yep, I need some stars to align…
Positives - T.J. Duckett scored 19 touchdowns over the last two years (11 in 2003, 8 in 2004), that’s not too bad considering he’s backup running back to Warrick Dunn. If given the opportunity to start, he could put up big numbers. Regardless though, he’s capable of putting up multiple rushing touchdowns on any given Sunday, simply because he’s clearly the Falcons goal line back.
Negatives - Even when Duckett does get a chance to start (Dunn injury) he has shown inconsistency as the starting back. The Falcons offense is much more in sync when they can rely on a pass-catching back, unfortunately, Duckett is not one. Duckett seems to get the majority of his yards in the 2nd half, to give Warrick Dunn a rest. Although, he seems capable, he may not be able to put up consistent numbers, even if he is given the starting role.
Draft Strategy - I wanted Jerome Bettis, but he was selected one pick before me. T.J. Duckett is another insurance pick for me - not because I have Warrick Dunn (I don’t) but because I needed to get another “value” running back, before they are all picked over. When other owners are choosing the Kevin Faulk’s and the Moe Williams’ of the league, in the 15th and 16th rounds, I’ll be choosing an unsigned free agent wide receiver or a quality kicker. Getting my running back roster taken care of now, will pay dividends in the rounds to come.
- Burress added on the other side should take pressure off him
- Manning will be better in year #2
- Coming off a year where he was hurt and scored no touchdowns
- Competing with Shockey-Tiki-Burress for balls.
Draft Strategy - Toomer is a great value in round 10. He's been very consistent throughout his career and should be able to bounce back from a down year in 2004. Guy was dinged up for the entire season last year and it showed in his numbers. Toomer gives me another receiver who capable of having a nice week.
Positives - Justin is a young receiver who has improved his catch total each of the last 3 years. The reunion with his offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger from Tennessee and a healthy Chad Pennington should lead to a top 30 finish for Justin. He has ideal size (6’2” and 218 lbs) and led the team in targets last season.
Negatives - Pennington had a great chemistry with Coles before he left to go to Washington, and his return should make Coles the #1 receiver. Pennington has to remain healthy for the offense to click, and reports of his arm strength being weakened will not help Justin.
Draft Strategy - Considered QB and Defense at this point, but I really like Kerry Collins as my #1 this season and only 2 defenses have been selected as of this point. Of the remaining WRs, I think McCareins has the most available upside. Coles should be the possession receiver, while Justin can be the big play man.
Positives - Randle El becomes the #2 WR in Pittsburgh with the departure of Plaxico Burress, which all but guarantees a significant increase in his production of 600 yards and 3 TDs a year ago. When Burress was out for five games with an injury last season Randle El put up 350 yards and 2 TDs opposite of Ward. Extrapolated over an entire season, one can realistically expect 1,100 yards and 6 TDs. With punt and kickoff return duties and trick plays with him at QB, Randle El has plenty of opportunities to score extra touchdowns.
Negatives - Randle El will not pose the same threat that Burress did; however, he has proven he can fit into Pittsburgh’s offense as the #2 WR. Roethlisberger is still young, and Pittsburgh will always define smash-mouth football with their run-first approach. Randle El will also have to compete with Cedrick Wilson for the #2 spot.
Draft Strategy - Another pick and another scramble. I had a short list of four players I wanted at this selection: Jerome Bettis (to handcuff Staley), T.J. Duckett (to handcuff Dunn), Amani Toomer (a solid and forgotten about receiver), and Justin McCareins (reunited with his former O.C. in New York). The four picks immediately preceding mine were: Jerome Bettis, T.J. Duckett, Amani Toomer, and Justin McCareins. Somebody must have hacked my cheatsheet. I was forced to go to my fifth option in Randle El. Not that I’m unhappy with this pick, just not what I was targeting.
Positives - If you can look past the last 12 months, he was a damned good RB.
Negatives - He's a pot head, a fruit cake, a quitter, a....well, you get the picture. He has a big mountain to climb, what with a four-game suspension looming, trying to come back from a year off, 20-30lbs lighter, a much-heralded rookie in Brown ahead of him.
Draft Strategy - Well, someone had to be the Mississippi River Boat Gambler, and I decided to give it a shot. Will it pan out? We shall see. If all he does is break loose for a 70yd TD on a 3rd and inches play just once, that might be the kick I need to avoid elimination. Once I start sending him telegrams that I buried some pot in the endzone, I'll have the Steal Of The Draft(r) on my hands.
Positives - Charles Rodgers has tons of talent and will be given tons of opportunity. This is a pick with a ton of upside. Rodgers was unbelievable in college and showed flashes of that in his first few games as a pro before breaking his collarbone. He has speed and size, along with an offense that should be greatly improved this year.
Negatives - Unfortunately, this pick also has a huge downside. Rodgers has not shown that he can stay healthy for any extended period of time as a pro, only playing in 5 total games in his first two seasons. He his a huge injury risk. Also of concern are his two WR mates, who could snatch up a ton of balls.
Draft Strategy - As mentioned, huge upside pick here. Rogers can be something special if he stays healthy. Wanted more WR depth, and the WR herd is getting thin at this point. Still waiting on the TE position at this point, and would have taken McCareins if available at this pick.
Positives - Comments from FBG.com: Kevin Faulk has come up with many key plays for the Patriots over their recent years as the NFL's most dominant team, whether it was via running, catching, or returning the football. Faulk had a career high 4.7 YPC average last year and contributed to the resurgence of the Patriots' rushing game. Faulk has averaged almost three receptions per game over the past few seasons and has produced decent numbers as a change of pace, third-down, and long-yardage running back.
Negatives - Comments from FBG.com: After six years in the league, it's clear that Kevin Faulk will not become a featured back. At 5'8", 202 lbs., Faulk has not shown that he can fill the role as a full-time starter even when the Patriots tried to give him the chance. With Dillon on board, Faulk's opportunities for a steady workload are limited, and even with an injury to Dillon, Cedric Cobbs would probably get the core of the carries. Faulk missed five games last season due to personal reasons, and his on-field performance suffered because of it.
Draft Strategy - n/a
Positives - Buffalo’s D/ST was one of the best last year from a fantasy standpoint. Here were the stats: 2nd in overall DEF, 2nd in INTs, 5th in fumble recoveries, and tied for 3rd in sacks. Add Terrance McGee running back (3) kickoff returns for TDs and the DEF scoring (4) TDs of their own and you can see why they produced so well. The Bill’s DEF seems to want to improve as they do not appear satisfied with being #2 according to linebacker Jeff Posey.
Negatives - The Bills DEF will have to replace cover corner Antoine Winfield and DT Pat Williams. They also have a more difficult SOS.
Draft Strategy - My main need at this point was at TE. But there was a big drop off in point projection from the 3rd ranked DEF to the 4th ranked DEF so I decided to go ahead and pick up a top notch D/ST with this pick.
Positives - After doing in depth statistical analysis while preparing for this draft, I found a very interesting trend regarding 7th year WRs in a 2nd year West Coast offense that pointed to Price as a super sleeper in 2005. Yeah, right…actually if I’d known that I’d have to come up with some positives in a write-up about Price before the draft, I wouldn’t have made this selection.
Negatives - The Falcons passing attack has been woefully the last two years. Since this draft occurred, Price has been demoted to the bench with the coach questioning his toughness. Hopefully that will ignite a fire under his rear to perform up to the level which he’s being paid.
Draft Strategy - After my last blunder, I felt like I needed to load up at WR to recover. QB could wait as people were starting to dip into the RB lottery abyss and actually draft defenses for some unknown reason, which was buying me time. Obviously the WR ranks were pretty much picked over by this time.
Positives - Steve McNair is one of the toughest players in the NFL. Before last year McNair was a fixture in the top 10 rankings finishing 7th each of the previous 3 years. McNair adds to his value as a runner having averaged 3.5 rushing TDs per year over his career. A weak Titans defense will force McNair to throw often.
Negatives - McNair has had a host of injuries over his career and they finally knocked him out last season. In fact there was even talk of retirement. Has he recovered and how much does he have left? McNair lost his favorite target in the offseason as Derrick Mason left for Baltimore. Although Drew Bennett had a huge year last year, will he be able to handle the #1 assignment? There are also questions surrounding the injury recoveries of WR Tyrone Calico and TE Ben Troupe.
Draft Strategy - After drafting my starter late I felt I needed to get a top backup quarterback before the run on them started. I like the potential of Griese and Delhomme this year but hey both have the same bye week as Brady. If healthy (there’s that qualifier again), McNair is a proven top 10 QB. If he survives opening against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the schedule becomes very favorable.
Positives - Galloway has great speed and game breaking ability. He finished in the top 15 for 4 consecutive years in Seattle before an injury marred season and a subsequent trade to Dallas. Galloway is more of a big play receiver capable of taking it to the house on any given down. Galloway developed a nice chemistry with Brian Griese late in the season scoring 5 touchdowns in his final 5 games. He also worked well with Michael Clayton late in the season as the receiving load was fairly balanced between the two.
Negatives - Galloway has had a tough time of it recently with his last finish in the top 10 coming in 1998. Since then, he hasn’t finished any higher than 26th overall. Part of his downturn could be attributed to his 4 years in Dallas with constant struggles and turnover at the QB position. He’s missed significant time in his career due to injuries including the first half of last season. He’s 33 and could lose his starting job to Ike Hilliard or one of the other receivers on the roster should he get hurt again.
Draft Strategy - As with my previous WR picks, I’m not looking for week to week consistency, just the potential for 6 or 7 good games during the course of the season which I believe Galloway is capable of as long as his health holds out. I believe there is some upside here as well, as Michael Clayton may see more double teams this year and, with the emergence of Carnell Williams, Galloway should see primarily single coverages allowing him many opportunities to make big plays for the Bucs. I don’t think Galloway was a great value here, but I definitely think he deserved to be selected at this point.