Survivor I - Round 17 Commentary
NOTE: this draft was completed on 7/24
Positives - Engram has been on the Seahawks roster for 4 seasons with 50 or more receptions 2 of those years. He only possesses average size and speed, but has become a clutch receiver and a dependable target for Matt Hasselbeck on 3rd downs. With Koren Robinson permanently out of the picture, Engram has a great opportunity to win a starting role opposite Darrell Jackson. The last time he was a starter (in Chicago), Engram caught 88 passes for 947 yards. I think he has a very good chance to duplicate those totals should he retain the starting job for the entire season.
Negatives - Engram is 32 years old and may not be as fast as he once was. Should he be named the starter, he will need to master a new set of routes and be able to get separation running outside patterns rather than finding the open spot in the middle of the field as a slot receiver. There is competition on the roster in the form of Jerome Pathon and Joe Jurevicius and a trade to acquire yet another receiver has been rumored.
Draft Strategy - By selecting both Jurevicius and Engram, I should have Seattleís 2nd and 3rd receivers locked up. I donít think Pathon has the talent and consistency needed to earn significant playing time. Barring injury, Iím projecting that Engram and Jurevicius should combine for about 900 yards and 8 touchdowns providing the value of a top 30 WR between them. Engram is a good value here, and, paired with Jurevicius, should provide excellent scoring potential in an offense that has generated over 20 touchdown passes for the previous 2 seasons.
Positives - Stover is one of the most accurate kickers in the league connecting at over an 85% clip each of the last 6 years. The Ravens provide ample field goal opportunities and Stover converts. This has helped him finish in the top 10 in scoring 5 of the last 6 years. Kyle Boller should improve even more this year and the addition of Derrick Mason will certainly help the offense.
Negatives - Stover does not have a very strong leg and thus the ravens use Wade Richey for FG attempts over 50 yards. This will cut down on possible bonus points for Stover.
Draft Strategy - With starters at all other positions, and depth at the important ones, I decided to grab a top 5-7 kicker. Stover is an experienced kicker who consistently finishes in the top 10 at his position. His addition will give me solid, dependable points from the kicker position all year long. And now my starting lineup is complete.
Positives - Reunification with his previous coach from days gone by in San Francisco. Iím not so much sold on Garcia as Iím sold on Williams, Williams, Rogers, Pollard, and Jones. If Garcia does see some playing time, history says heíll vulture some ground TDs which will be a nice bonus.
Negatives - Based on Garciaís performance last year, not only did he leave his heart in San Francisco, he left his game there as well. With Harrington being paid franchise QB money, he will be given every chance to succeed.
Draft Strategy - These QBs are cheap and could possibly end up posting very nice numbers. Itís not unreasonable to think that my lineup may on several occasions have 4 starting NFL QBs capable of posting outstanding numbers.
Positives - Jerramy Stevens put up career numbers last season with 31/349/3. With the departure of Koren Robinson, Stevens could see more passes thrown his way as Matt Hasselbeck looks for other receivers. Hopefully, with the signing of Shawn Alexander, the Seahawkís OFF can get back to some type of normality. His competition, TE Itula Mili, appears to have come into camp over weight so Stevens looks poised to have a lock on the starting TE position.
Negatives - Stevens could be considered an underachiever. His production was inconsistent last year and he only finished 19th among fantasy TEs.
Draft Strategy - Not only was Stevens still around (again, projected as the #13 TE), but now the projected #14-#20 TEs had left the board. So I was able to complete my platoon of TEs with this pick and have a respectable TE combo of the #10, #13 and #16 projected TEs. These (3) TEs combined created a strong SOS with (11) projected favorable matchups against DEFs.
Positives - Comments from FBG.com: The Broncos think they have a gem in Darius Watts. He's quick and separates from defenders well. He's showing the capability to develop into an explosive playmaker with a fair amount of polish for a soon-to-be second year wide receiver. Watts appears to be the long-term answer for the Broncos when Rod Smith either retires or moves on.
Negatives - Comments from FBG.com: Watts hasn't proven he can be a strong receiver in the NFL yet. He's shown flashes of his potential, but he's not even a starter yet, much less a viable fantasy receiver. He's also been known as a "body catcher" meaning he doesn't catch the ball with his hands often cradling it or letting hit him in the numbers first. Smith has shown no signs of letting up and Lelie not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. Moreover, Jerry Rice has recently moved ahead of Watts on the depth chart; so unless Watts can improve his consistency, he may see little action as the fourth WR on the Broncos' depth chart.
Draft Strategy - n/a
Positives - Chris Perry had a great collegiate career at Michigan, and was drafted in the first round by the Bengals in the 2004 draft. Heís a hard runner who has good receiving skills (better than starter Rudi Johnsonís), so he may see some action in the passing game this year.
Negatives - Obviously Perry shouldnít be much of a contributor should Rudi Johnson stay healthy all year. Perry only accumulated a couple of carries last year before suffering a strained hamstring and a pulled abdomen muscle, so heís basically unproven in the NFL.
Draft Strategy - Perry is a capable backup to one of my top RBs, so it was essential to grab him at some point. If Rudi gets hurt or even if he struggles a bit, Perry could get a chance to show what heís got. The Bengals drafted him to be their future at RB, so he will get his chance at some point.
Positives - Heís a QB with grey matter, and spends time camped out in the film room. He was drafted in the first round for a reason, that being he can step in and make a difference right off the bat. Mobile and accurate, he could bring excitement to what was a dull SF team in 2004.
Negatives - Heís a rookie, and will have to earn the starting position. A suspect supporting cast could prevent his skills from being exhibited. SF only plays the Cardinals twice.
Draft Strategy - I wanted a third QB instead of being limited to just two, especially when one is out for a bye. Smith may not be a game 1 starter, but when he does get the nod, he could prove to be a good insurance policy.
Positives - Jones had 3 TDs last season, two of which came in Week 15 and 17 and showed the potential of becoming a dreaded ďGoal Line BackĒ. That role could be expanded this year as Jack Del Rio moved Jones to the Fullback position in the offseason. Jones could fill a role similar to the one Mike Alstott played in Tampa for many years as a short yardage and goalline specialist. Additionally, Fragile Fred is recovering very slowly from offseason MCL surgery. If Taylor isnít ready to go or goes down during the season, Jones has a real opportunity to become the primary back over LaBrandon Toefield.
Negatives - In his rookie season, Jones did not look like the dominant back he was in college, and may not have been fully recovered from knee surgery required before the draft. Jones will have to return to the form he showed at F$U if he hopes to see a significant role with the Jaguars.
Draft Strategy - This is another ďWhat If?Ē pick. If thereís a RB out there to ďfadeĒ staying healthy, itís Fred Taylor. If Taylor does not recover from his offseason MCL surgery, or goes down again during the season, there is a good chance Greg Jones becomes an instant stud. Additionally, Jones could become the Goalline back in an effort to keep Taylor from getting banged up. Again, I think Jones represents better upside value than those drafted around him: Chris Perry, Michael Jenkins, and three defenses.
Positives - A first round selection in 2004, Michael has a season under his belt in the NFL. The Falcons were horrible last season at WR, with Peerless Price and Dez White not making the top 50 at WR. Jenkins is in a position to crack the starting line-up with a good camp, and if Michael Vick improves on his passing attempts, he could be a steal this late in the draft.
Negatives - He is not a sure starter; heís competing with Peerless Price, Dez White, and 1st round selection Roddy White. The Falcons only passed on 46% of their offensive plays, and led the league in rushing. No ATL WR had more than 3 TDs last season, and Alge Crumpler should continue to be the teams leading receiver. There is limited upside for any Falcon WR.
Draft Strategy - We are at WR 72; this is the 8th WR on my squad. He has a chance to start, and at this point in the draft he seemed like a better option than a rookie WR. He did avg. 17 yards/reception last season, although it was only on 7 catches.
Positives - Jonathan Vilma lived up to the hype.
Negatives - Potential problems at corner?
Draft Strategy - I'm going to draft three defenses in this league. I'm thinking that gives me a greater chance of out scoring more teams at that position and I think it'll be more valuable then say drafting another back-up WR or RB, especially when the RB pool is so slim at this point.
Positives - The Dolphins defensive unit has always been a stellar fantasy defense, however last season the unit as a whole took a dive down the rankings as the 20th best fantasy defense. Coming back from injuries include Tim Bowens (missed 14 games last season), Larry Chester (also missed 14 games) and Junior Seau (8 games missed). The secondary took a hit losing Patrick Surtain to the Chiefs, but they turned right around and signed the capable and underappreciated veteran, Lance Schulters. New Head Coach Nick Saban was a defensive genius with LSU and now heís bringing his defensive intelligence to the NFL.
Negatives - Saban would like to use a 3-4 defense, but he may not have that luxury until he gets the right players for the scheme. Even though Saban is a defensive minded coach, he has to adjust to the NFL and that could take some time. The Dolphins defense will likely improve from last season, but will they warrant fantasy consideration? Thatís yet to be determined.
Draft Strategy - I took Miami here, because they have always been a strong defense, despite the down year last season. Iím banking that Nick Sabanís presence will revitalize a team that historically has been strong year in and year out. After finishing 20th among fantasy defenses last year, one has to think that ranking will go up.
Positives - Despite their horrible points against and yardage allowed, the Saints still managed to rank 10th in takeaways with 32 total. Add that to 37 sacks (which ranks right in the middle of the pack at 16), and you have a decent backup defense.
Negatives - The Saints were having a yardage liquidation sale last season, placing them squarely in the NFL basement for total defense. They failed to keep their opponents below 20 points until week 14 (and kept adversaries below 20 for the final 4 games). The team hasnít done much in the off season to upgrade, seemingly keeping their fingers crossed that the current squad will improve by leaps and bounds in 2005.
Draft Strategy - Pickings were a bit slim in the defense department but the Saints meshed pretty well with the Colts schedule. When the Saints have tough games, the Colts have easy ones. And when the Colts have their bye and a couple harder games, the Saints have their easiest opponents. Iím hoping this committee approach will be as good as having a top-ranked defense.