Survivor I - Round 13 Commentary
NOTE: this draft was completed on 7/24
Positives - This will be Kevin Curtisí 3rd year in the NFL placing him into the mythic 3rd year WR category. It was obvious that Mike Martz began incorporating Curtis into his game plan more toward the end of last season. In his final 3 games, including two postseason appearances, Curtis totaled 17 receptions for 335 yards and a touchdown. He had at least one reception for 34 yards or more in each of these games. There have also been rumors regarding Curtis possibly playing some WR2 in the Ramís offense this year. Should Isaac Bruce (33 this year) miss any time, Curtis could shine.
Negatives - Curtis isnít the only young WR with potential on this team. Shaun McDonald has also shown flashes of great ability and should also have more passes thrown his way. Itís also not outside the realm of possibility that McDonald could outplay Curtis, bumping him to WR4 or at the very least, greatly limit his opportunities. The running game should also be better this year with Steven Jackson starting, decreasing the teamís reliance on the pass (if thatís possible in a Mike Martz designed offense). Curtis has only shown potential up to this point.
Draft Strategy - Just like Stokley, Curtis has the ability and potential to perform like a top WR for 5 or 6 weeks this season, possibly more should everything fall into place for the young WR. When Curtis has his productive weeks, he should put up solid WR2 numbers, whereas, a WR like Keyshawn Johnson may be a more consistent performer, guaranteeing me a handful of points on a weekly basis, but rarely, if ever, having the breakout game. Since I donít need to choose starters each week in this format, Iíd rather take a chance on Curtisí upside realizing that heíll likely disappear at times as well. I may have reached here a bit, but didnít think Curtis would be there for my next pick. I may live to regret not selecting Marcus Robinson at this spot.
Positives - The Eagles finished 2003 as the #8 fantasy defense in points scored per game. Their young secondary has another year of experience. They resigned big free agents in Jeremiah Trotter and Hugh Douglas. They finished 2nd in sacks last year with the addition of Jevon Kearse. The return of ND Kalu on the other end will also help the Eagles sack numbers. They play 6 games against Drew Bledsoe, Eli Manning and Patrick Ramsey.
Negatives - At draft time Corey Simon was a threat to holdout for a new contract after being designated the Eaglesí franchise player. The Eagles only ranked 22nd in turnovers last year. In the offseason the Eagles lost their top kickoff returner JR Reed.
Draft Strategy - I grabbed the Eagles defense as the 8th off the board which I thought was fair value. If they can create more turnovers they could be a top 5 or 6 defense. Still, they have the talent to at least finish top 10. The 6 divisional games should give them plenty of opportunities for interceptions and sacks. In retrospect I probably could have held out another round and grabbed the Jets defense as better value.
Positives - Robinson finished ranked in the 30ís last year at his position on a team that feature both Burleson and Moss in the top 20, which makes him a great value pick this late in the draft. With Moss departing to Oakland, there are currently a pile of Viking receptions available for the taking to the Viking wide out that jumps up to the occasion. With Culpepperís ability to throw the deep ball, Robinson will likely post several usable 20+ point games.
Negatives - Robinson has been a perennial underachiever since his huge year all the way back in 1999 for Chicago. Yes, itís been that long.
Draft Strategy - Seems like Iíve developed an appetite for WRs, this being the fourth selected in the last four picks. This seemed like the time for one last homerun swing before getting on with the chore of filling out the rest of the roster.
Positives - With Rex Grossman back at QB and the acquisition of WR Muhsin Muhammad, whoever ends up as the Bears #2 WR could see some production. Gage has been impressive during the off-season. He is tall, which gives him an advantage over defenders, and he is also fast. He had pretty good rapport with Grossman last year before Grossmanís season ending injury. Add the fact that the Bears DEF should be improved means the Bears OFF should see more touches.
Negatives - Gageís numbers were not that impressive last year catching less than (20) passes. Not only that, but he could potentially lose the #2 WR spot to Bernard Berrian. Though Gage has made a good impression during the off-season, Berrian has made a good impression as well, so it is not clear as to who will get the #2 WR spot. If Gage is demoted to the #3 WR then, obviously, his production would be hurt.
Draft Strategy - Simply looking for more skill position players and finding the value with this pick at the WR position. Gage appeared to be the best compliment to my lineup left on the board.
Positives - Comments from FBG.com: Taylor has decent speed and tremendous elusiveness. He has excellent field vision as a runner, and will find the hole and squirm through it. Taylor doesnít have great size, but he is deceptively powerful and has good balance, so he can be effective running inside as well as outside. Taylor is also a very good receiver out of the backfield. Although he is not used frequently in goal line situations, he does have leaping ability to jump over the pile.
Negatives - Comments from FBG.com: Taylor doesnít have great size, and although he has excellent quickness, he is not a true speed-burner. He is effective as a change-of-pace back, but may not be able to take the pounding as a featured RB for an extended period.
Draft Strategy - n/a
Positives - Buckhalter has shown that he can score when called upon. In 2003, sharing duties at RB, Buckhalter accounted for 8 TDs on 126 carries, including two games of 20+ fantasy points. If Westbrook goes down, Buckhalterís value obviously skyrockets, but even if Westbrook stays healthy, Buckhalter could get ample opportunities close to the goaline, throughout the game to keep Westbrook fresh, or in end game situations when the game is out of hand. In the 13th round you canít find a backup RB with more opportunity and upside than Correll Buckhalter.
Negatives - Injuries, injuries, injuries. Obviously, injuries are a theme throughout the ďnegativeĒ side of a lot of these picks. Buckhalter has had two serious knee injuries in the last few years, missing two whole seasons as a result. Also, while Buckhalter is a good inside runner, he wonít catch a lot of balls and that limits his time on the field.
Draft Strategy - At this point in the draft, all major starting positions are filled and itís time to draft ďupsideĒ players. At some point this season, there WILL be a team that loses their starting RB to injury for a decent portion of the season. I think to win a league like this you need to get lucky and be the guy that owns that teamís backup. Even if Westbrook stays healthy for a full season, I think Buckhalter will provide starting RB like numbers for at least a couple of weeks.
Positives - Heís a workhouse-type back who was a surprise sleeper in 2003, and had high hopes for a great 2004 season before getting sidelined for the season with an injury. He blocks well and can catch the ball, a well-rounded back. If healthy, he should get the starting nod should highly touted and drafted rookie J.J. Arrington not pick up the pro game fast enough. As a backup, he could still vulture some TDs, and that may be enough for a Survivor win during a given week.
Negatives - Umm, heís a Cardinal? Once he finds another team, heíll likely lead them to the Super Bowl. lol He returns from a broken leg and dislocated ankle suffered in the 2004 preseason. If heís fully recovered and can stay healthy, heíll have to beat out his other negative, Arrington, for the starting spot. Heís climbed that hill before, bumping future Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith to a backup role last season before getting injured.
Draft Strategy - I deviated from my kicker plan as I felt Shipp wouldnít last another round. I had only three RBs to this point, and the pickinís were gettiní slim.
Positives - Vinatieri hit 31 of 33 field goals last year and lead the league with 141 points and averages 82% and 117 points a year for his career. The Patriots offense is like clockwork and they will score their fair share of points this year.
Negatives - The Patriots will have to overcome the loss of both Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel as the Evil Geniusí lieutenants. This could result in the defense struggling to give the offense good field position and the offense struggling to move the ball, two things that could spell disappointment for Vinatieri.
Draft Strategy - It was time to round out my starting lineup by adding a kicker. There are two premier kickers in fantasy football Mike Vanderjagt and Adam Vinatieri. With the Patriotís franchise tag, his starting job is more than secure, and he will consistently put up points regardless of the weather conditions. I took Vinatieri as the second kicker off the board, with all other starting positions already filled, in a round where such studs as Justin Gage, Chester Taylor, and Marcel Shipp went off the board.
Positives - Jabar is the # 2 WR on the Houston Texans coming off of his best season as a pro. His yards per reception increased to 15.4 last season as he hauled in 41 receptions for 632 yards. As the offensive line in Houston continues to improve and Domanick Davis establishes the running game, Carr should have more opportunities to utilize his WRs. Andre Johnson will demand the double team, allowing Jabar the opportunity to take advantage of man coverage.
Negatives - Jabar is recovering from off season rotator cuff surgery and will need to be fully recovered to make an impact. He has three seasons under his belt, and has yet to distance himself from his competition. Jabar had 70 targets last season, compared to 142 for Andre Johnson. Corey Bradford and Derrick Armstrong would like some of those targets.
Draft Strategy - At WR 58, Iím hoping for three or four big games were he has 5/80 and a TD. He is a player who should never see action in a standard redraft, but may have some value in a best ball format. #2 WRs are hard to find at this point, and with the start 3 WR requirement, I need more wide outs desperately.
- Took the Steelers to the AFC Championship in his rookie season.
- Coming into his second full season.
- Hines Ward possible hold-out?
- Didn't have a ton of huge fantasy outing last year.
Draft Strategy - I wanted to have three QBs and with the pickings getting slim, I decided to take who I thought was the best available. An insurance policy for Harrington.
Positives - Ronald Curry is pretty much as athletic as they come. Last season he gave us a glimpse of what heís capable of, until he suffered a torn Achilles tendon and was lost for the remainder of the year. Curry, like Hines Ward, was a quarterback in college. He knows the game well and only recently has begun to showcase his talents at the wide receiver position. As of right now, Curry will be the 3rd wide receiver option on a very potent Raiders offense. In the event that something happens to Randy Moss or Jerry Porter, Curryís value could sky-rocket.
Negatives - Letís not forget Curry tore his Achilles tendon late last season (week 13 to be exact). Even though heís an athletic stalwart, he still has to recover. September will be nine months after the injury - will that be enough time for recovery and rehabilitation? That remains to be seen. Even if fully healthy, he is still only the #3 option for the Raiders passing game. Brandon Stokley has shown that #3 receivers can produce, but it isnít likely that Curry will be able to put up similar Stokley-like numbers without something happening to either Randy Moss or Jerry Porter.
Draft Strategy - Ronald Curry really impressed me last season and I think heís capable of being a big contributor to the Raiders offense this season, especially with the talents of Randy Moss drawing coverage his way. Curry has speed, hands and the presence of mind to know what the quarterback is thinking, seeing as how he was a former quarterback himself. Last season, pre-Moss, Curry (as the #3 WR option) managed to secure 50 receptions and 6 touchdowns by the end of week 13. If he can do that again this season, heíll surely outperform his ADP and would likely give my team a big lift grabbing a talent like that in the 13th round.
Positives - Boller has much better receiving options this year with the acquisition of Derrick Mason and rookie Mark Clayton. Heap looks to be returning from injury as well. New offensive coordinator Jim Fassel is hoping to open up the offense which should bring more opportunity for the young Boller to succeed. His numbers improved in the 2nd half of 2004, and with a better cast of receivers this year, he has nowhere to go but up.
Negatives - Bollerís play can be quite erratic at times. With a healthy Jamal Lewis on the team, the main focus of the offense will still be run first with some passing sprinkled in for good measure. At this point, Bollerís numbers only make him worthy of QB3 in most leagues.
Draft Strategy - Entering the draft, I targeted Boller as my QB3. His schedule this season looks good and he finally has a top flight WR in Derrick Mason, plus Todd Heap is (hopefully) back from injury. With Vick, Brees and Boller to choose from each week for the top score, I feel my QBs are the strength of my team right now.