Survivor I - Round 12 Commentary
NOTE: this draft was completed on 7/24
Positives - Williamson is a speedy receiver who will stretch the field and catch the long balls. With the departure of Randy Moss, Williamson will look to step in and pick up the some of the slack. The Vikings were willing to spend a 1st round pick (7th overall), so they have plenty of confidence in his ability.
Negatives - Rookie receivers rarely produce in their first season. Williamson will be fighting for time with Nate Burleson, Marcus Robinson, Travis Taylor and Kelly Campbell. The Vikings are promising to pass less this season, not good news for a receiver striving for fantasy points.
Draft Strategy - I expect Williamson to rack up the points several weeks this season, breaking into my lineup, especially during the bye weeks of my starting 3. He will likely disappear some weeks, but with this best ball format, I think he fits perfectly into a lineup as a WR4. Getting him a round later than his ADP was value too good to pass up.
Positives - Perhaps the biggest positive for Kurt Warner is that he finally has a receiving corps similar to what he had in St. Louis. The Cardinals boast three capable receivers in Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Bryant Johnson. All three were first round picks, with the ironic exception of Boldin, who was a second round pick. Not many teams can say that about their receivers. Warner is obviously capable of doing great things on the football field, maybe all he needs is a strong receiving unit, like he had with the Rams?
Negatives - What caused Kurt Warner to fall from grace among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks? The only tangible setback was his injury to his finger. Since that injury, he has had trouble with snaps and holding onto the ball. He doesn’t get the same zip on downfield passes that he used to and thus his passes tend to have more air under them often resulting in an incompletion or an interception. This is a big negative, and could very well be the reason for Warner’s continued decline.
Draft Strategy - I needed a backup quarterback and in my opinion, Kurt Warner was the next best available. I focused on securing my key positions before grabbing a backup quarterback, hence the lack of talent still on the board. I don’t plan on starting Kurt Warner over Daunte Culpepper, so this is not really a pick of importance, but of need.
- Running a high octane offense
- Has three big play receivers to choose from
- Struggled at times in his young career
- Jeff Garcia signed in the off-season
Draft Strategy - I like Harrington in this format assuming he keeps his job. The guy has some weapons at his disposal with Roy Williams, a healthy Charles Rogers and 1st round pick Mike Williams. As my second QB, he could have some big weeks and if he gets yanked, I still have McNabb.
Positives - The Atlanta Falcons led the NFL in sacks in 2004 with 48. They also had 29 turnovers and 5 special teams and defensive touchdowns. The addition of Edgerton Hartwell to play alongside Keith Brooking should make a solid core for the Falcons to attack on defense.
Negatives - Their schedule is tougher this season due to winning the NFC South this past season. The Falcons ran the ball 55% of the time last season, and their success in rushing the ball led to less time on the field for the defense to make plays. They only held opponents to 10 points or less 4 times last year.
Draft Strategy - There are no points for yardage and unless a team throws a shutout, points against count very little as well. The scoring system dictates that turnovers and sacks are where the points come from, and this is what the Falcons do well. I like the additions the Falcons have made on defense and wanted to pick my 1st defense before the runs started. Three more defenses were selected in the 10 picks after mine.
Positives - Derrick Brooks. Simeon Rice. Booger McFarland. Ronde Barber. Brian Kelly. With a pair of shutdown corners, an end always in the running for the sack title, and a perennial pro-bowler at linebacker, the Bucs defense is as solid as they come. Recent departures of aging stars have hurt the unit, but the return of Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson at safety, the maturation of Dewayne White, Ryan Nece, and Jeff Gooch, and the addition of Chris Hovan will help shore up the unit. Monty Kiffen is still one of the premier Defensive Coordinators in the league. However, the biggest improvement in the Bucs defense might be the Bucs offense. Gruden’s shiny new Cadillac will give the Bucs ground game an instant shot in the arm, allowing the offense to control the ball more, which will keep the defense off the field and rested. It doesn’t hurt that Tampa Bay will face one of the easiest opposing schedules in the league next year.
Negatives - In the past two years the defense has gone straight downhill, with their hallmark becoming fourth quarter collapses. This is mainly due to the combination of the Buccaneers defense strength, which is speed, and their Achilles heel, not being able to get off the field. When you pursue as aggressively as the Tampa defense does, you tire fast. Coupled with the offense’s lack of a running game, this lead to the defense getting tired in the fourth quarter and collapsing.
Draft Strategy - Last year the Bucs had a league best 161.2 passing yards allowed per game, held opponents to under 20 points allowed per game, and tied for the league lead with 45 sacks. The addition of a credible ground game will help the offense chew up more clock and keep the defense fresh, which should help them repeat their under 20 points allowed per game performance of last year. With Simon Rice still rushing from the end, a healthy Anthony McFarland plugging up the middle, and the best blitzing corner in the league, Ronde Barber, the sacks will also come. In a league where defensive scoring is more than an accessory, a solid defense is essential. The Steelers were off the board, and I’m a Bucs homer, so they got the nod over the Panthers.
Positives - One of the highest scoring and most accurate kickers of all-time, and he kicks for a team that lights up the board. Near-automatic on XP (has missed only two in his career), and also does well from 40+ (bonus points on the longer kicks). In the final year of his contract, so this could be his audition for a new contract or a new team for 2006.
Negatives - Not-so-strong on kickoffs, he was relieved of that duty last year. The only other negative would be his personality, but if he’ll just shut up and kick the ball, he’ll be fine. No one likes kickers anyhow.
Draft Strategy - While kickers generally have about the same value, I wanted two studs who could put up big points on a weekly basis, instead of one who gets 3pts one week and 15pts the next. Drafting #1 and #12 wouldn’t get me a consistent score, so my goal was to go after #1 and #2, and to do so would require drafting them a little early. While other teams will be relying on their PK2 during their PK1’s bye week, I’ll have PK1 and PK1a.
Positives - Cooley is entering his sophomore year in the NFL (posting a respectable 37 catches for 314 yards and 6 td’s his rookie season), and could be a top target for Ramsey inside the red zone this year. With Laveranues Coles traded back to the Jets, Cooley may be able to take on an increased role as a possession receiver for Ramsey. If he can catch a few more balls this year, Cooley could sneak into the top 10 at TE. Recent reports say Cooley has improved his blocking and Redskin tight ends coach Rennie Simmons recently said that this improvement could lead to him staying on the field in all packages.
Negatives - Quite simply, the Redskins don’t remind anybody of the Colts. There aren’t a whole lot of TDs to go around, and Cooley did quite well hauling in 6 TDs last year out of Washington’s 18 total passing TDs. His TD number could drop this year, and he’ll have to make up for that in receptions if he is going to come anywhere near the top 10 this year.
Draft Strategy - Time to grab a TE. I wanted Eric Johnson in the 9th, but BassNBrew scooped him up. As the 12th TE off the board, I felt I had to grab a couple TEs in the next few rounds to salvage anything out of this position. I didn’t want teams to start grabbing backup TEs and end up with the leftovers at the position.
Positives - Comments from FBG.com: HC John Fox did a characteristically brilliant coaching job, holding the team together after a horrific start snakebitten by injuries to key players. The reigning NFC Super Bowl reps closed out 2004 with a historic 6-2 finish after a brutal 1-7 start, narrowly missing a playoff berth (would have been an NFL first). Carolina was middle-of-the-pack statistically in the NFC... ninth in total defense (336.4 YPG), seventh against the run (119 YPG), eighth against the pass (217.4 YPG) and seventh in scoring defense (21.2 PPG). The Panthers tied for first in the NFL in turnovers (35) and were first in INTs (24). Sacks suffered a drop from top ten in the NFL in '03 (40) to bottom ten in '04 (34). Drafting SS/OLB Thomas Davis (1.14) ahead of WLB Derrick Johnson was one of the more intriguing story arcs of the '05 first round. As intriguing will be what position the Georgia All-American junior plays (a difference maker wherever he lines up)... and who emerges as the better pro. The rare Uhrlacher-like college safety to NFL LB conversion could maximize his strength of attacking the LOS, best positioning him for success. As of press time, we can report that Davis lined up at SS for the first mini-camp... he has stated a preference to play there (also that he would be happy to play wherever the coaches want him to), and the team acknowledged that he he has a comfort zone there. The important point is he has the rare talent and physical gifts to emerge as a star at SS or OLB.
Negatives - n/a
Draft Strategy - n/a
Positives - Although it is probable, there is no guarantee that Tatum Bell will be the starter. While Bell is the most talented of the Denver RBs, he has had some problems with “fumblitis”. Enter Mike Anderson. Anderson has proven in the past that he can handle the work load having had a stellar 2000 season with 297/1487/15 which most have forgotten about. He has been proclaimed (for now) the #1 RB entering training camp. Bell has shown to be prone to injury as well as Quentin Griffin, and with Clarett being somewhat undersized, Anderson is probably the most durable Denver RB at this point. Anderson could see goal line carries as well being the bigger RB.
Negatives - There is potential for Anderson not to be the starter and also the potential for a RBBC situation in Denver. Recent Acquisition Ron Dayne could end up getting some goal line carries as well. Bell and Griffin could get dinged up enough to still be able to contribute, but not be completely sidelined. And the most dangerous scenario of all – Bell stays healthy, stops fumbling, and becomes a fantasy stud.
Draft Strategy - Looking again to “shore up” the RB position and at this point there are only “backups” left so I would use the same strategy as I looked for a backup who was an established RB in his own right, had a good offensive line, and was backup to an injury prone starter. Anderson was one of the best backs left on the board at this point, and had the added advantage of being in a situation similar to that of Larry Johnson who met all three of my criteria. If Anderson does get to start at any point in the season, then the additional production is “gravy” since I am getting him at “backup” RB value. Now I would have two vulture backup RBs in the fold who would be waiting in the wings to capitalize if the #1RB went down.
Positives - Boston has played 3 full seasons since 2000 and posted 200 fantasy points in this format in each of those years, peaking at 300+ points. Even in his partial 2002 season he was on pace for 200+ points. Basically every time Boston has been on the field, he’s produced like a top 25 WR. That’s the type of potential I like to see in my WR6.
Negatives - Well documented…steroids, injuries, fragile ego, Miami quarterbacks.
Draft Strategy - There was a huge QB run since my last pick which included Griese. This pick would become a mini turning point of my draft. I decided not to jump on the end of the QB run and wait on my sleepers until later. At this time I was looking for a guy who could potentially be the difference maker that takes me to a title. There wasn’t a more physically talented player left on the board then Boston.
Positives - Blaylock played well as a starter last year in Priest Holmes’ absence accumulating 540 yards and 5 TDs. He is a quick back yet he shows good strength in a compact package. He also showed he could be a workhorse like Curtis Martin when he rushed the ball 33 times for 186 yards against the Saints last year. Will be the clear number 2 RB on the Jets this year and, if called upon, should be able to step right in and be productive.
Negatives - Was unable to remain the Chiefs’ starter last year due to injury bringing into question whether he’d be able to consistently carry a full load if called upon. Although he was successful last year in Kansas City it is unknown whether that was due to the Chiefs’ system or Blaylock’s talent.
Draft Strategy - Beautiful. I gambled and was able to get Priest’s backup. What? Blaylock’s not with the Chiefs anymore? Well, my gamble to wait until 6.11 to grab Larry Johnson did not pan out due to Marvin88 at 6.09 (thanks Marv, hope he doesn’t leave your bench all year). Thus, I decided to grab the backups for both my other RBs. As it turns out they were each the next selection at RB according to the Draft Dominator and I made them my picks in back to back rounds. Instead of gambling on other backups, I decided to grab my own backups and insure I have starters should injuries strike. I originally planned to draft 6 RBs but am not sure the value will be there to justify another one over a different position.
Positives - Over his 3 year career, Davenport has averaged 5.1 yards per carry. He’s had over 70 carries each of the past 2 seasons in a backup roll. He had the opportunity to run the ball 19 times against the Rams last year and responded with 178 yards and a touchdown. He signed a 1 year contract during the off season and should be extremely motivated to earn a bigger payday as an unrestricted free agent next year. If Ahman Green misses time for any reason, Davenport should, at least, be a capable backup with a chance to be a star.
Negatives - Davenport has struggled with minor injuries over his brief career and some might question whether he can stay healthy as a starting RB over an entire season. Ahman Green has been a fantasy force over the last few seasons and is in the prime of his career. Should Green miss time, there’s no guarantee that Tony Fisher wouldn’t be named the starter or see increased playing time.
Draft Strategy - Due to the nature of this league (no free agent pickups or trades) I didn’t want to leave my roster in a position where a single injury to a key player could ruin my season. My philosophy in this type of league is to make an attempt to back up my top RBs if the primary backup is secure in his position and there is reason to think he could succeed as a starter. In this case I felt that Davenport is the likely backup to Green and could perform at a high level if needed. This pick will protect me against an injury to Green and should lock up the starting Green Bay RB for my team. I intended to take a second QB here, but miscalculated, not expecting 7 QBs to be selected since my last pick. Rather than take a QB at the end of a run, I’m hoping to take a decent second QB with my next pair of picks.