Survivor I - Round 20 Commentary
NOTE: this draft was completed on 7/24
Positives - The Steelers have ranked in the top 10 in kicker scoring 3 of the last 4 years. Reed excelled last season in the less-than-ideal conditions in Heinz Field. Since joining the Steelers, Reed has improved each season and was awarded a 5-year deal. He finished as the 3rd best kicker in 2004.
Negatives - Eight of his games are played at Heinz Field, one of the toughest stadiums for kickers (although it hasn’t affected him much – he has a better field goal percentage at home then on the road).
Draft Strategy - Kicking beside Graham will be Jeff Reed. I also had him ranked in my top 10 and feel this combo should give me a leg up on the competition. Okay, that was pretty lame humor, but after a 7-hour draft, the jokes start failing. My apologies.
Positives - The Lions scored 6 touchdowns on returns or turnovers last season. Only the Bears, Ravens and Bills had more. With kick/punt return specialist Eddie Drummond returning from injury, the Lions are likely looking at similar numbers this season. Rookie Shaun Cody will help an improving defensive line, which should increase the sack numbers.
Negatives - The Lions are an average, middle of the road defense that only has fantasy consideration due to their strong return game. If the return game falters, so does the fantasy production.
Draft Strategy - I like the Lions schedule and I am banking on Eddie Drummond elevating the return game once again. Detroit is my third defense taken. I’m hoping that one of the three that I chose (WAS, MIA, DET) will make significant progress and thus increase my fantasy production.
Positives - Had a nearly flawless career at Ohio St.
Negatives - Rookie.
Draft Strategy - He's a kicker. Hopefully he can adjust to kicking in the pros.
Positives - Alex Smith was the 2nd TE drafted in the 2005 draft. He was a third round selection out of Stanford. He goes to the Bucs, where he will be given the opportunity to contribute right away. His competition is Anthony Becht, who is known more as a blocker than a receiving TE. The TB TEs has been known to have good #’s in the past under Gruden. In 2004 they combined for 59 catches and 4 TDs.
Negatives - He is a rookie and may not see the field right away. He has to learn to pick up the blocking schemes and the playbook, and beat out several veteran TEs. And then he may get to see three targets per game as Clayton, Pittman, and Cadillac Williams should be the focal points of the Bucs offense.
Draft Strategy - I think Alex Smith starts from game 1 and I think he’ll put up top 20 #s. I hope this occurs before week 5 when Shockey is on bye. I thought Travis Taylor would remain until next pick or I’d have selected him here.
Positives - Plays backup QB for St. Louis, which runs the Mad Martz Passing Attack™. Martin’s only significant playing time under center for the Rams came in 2002, when he stepped in for an injured Bulger and threw for over 1,200 yards and 7 TDs in five games.
Negatives - Martin will not leave the bench unless Bulger is hurt.
Draft Strategy - This is another handcuff pick. Even though Pennington is a solid backup QB, with Bulger as my top QB, it is only prudent to grab Bulger in the case of injury.
Positives - He took advantage of Winslow’s absence last year, and gets that opportunity once again. 28/287/5 were some good numbers for a “backup” thrust into the limelight, and could see great improvement upon becoming a “regular”.
Negatives - Will be competing for/splitting time with Shea. Absence of Winslow could hurt the entire passing game, as he would have drawn coverage. Heiden (and/or Shea) must make a Winslow-like impact to benefit both himself and the passing game.
Draft Strategy - With three picks to go, I took my TE2. I was watching my Survivor-mates, as some waited until the last pick to take a TE2/PK2/DT2. They wouldn’t have been happy during a bye week if they had forgotten.
Positives - The Seattle D should be at least slightly improved this year with some free agent additions (LB Jamie Sharper, DE Bryce Fisher, CB Andre Dyson).
Negatives - Seattle was horrible on defense last year. With New England being my other defense, they shouldn’t be expected to contribute to my scoring most weeks, and that’s a good thing.
Draft Strategy - Needed a bye week filler for New England’s week 7 bye. Seattle plays Dallas at home that week, and should be looking to stop Julius Jones after he ran all over them last year. If they can provide me with one or two other good scores during the year they will have done their job.
Positives - Comments from FBG.com: Former first round pick Bryant Johnson is going to get a lot of opportunities this year as the Cardinals will frequently line up three wide receiver sets. Due to the talents of Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals will be hoping for mismatches in the opposing line up. Arizona has a quarterback experienced at working three receiver sets in Kurt Warner, and the steadily developing Johnson is primed for a good season. He has good hands and isn’t afraid to go over the middle. He has improved his route running, and his imposing size will make him a difficult opponent to handle.
Negatives - Comments from FBG.com: For a player with the skills of Johnson, he would normally be primed to make a big impact in his third season in the NFL; however he may be starved of opportunities this year. His development hasn’t been as quick as Boldin or Fitzgerald, and that has resulted in less ball going his way. He is the least disciplined route runner of the three young receivers and has good, but not great hands. If he is to have any chance of success this season he will require top notch production from the quarterback position (something that was lacking last season and something Kurt Warner may not be able to achieve either).
Draft Strategy - n/a
Positives - Carolina’s DEF should give Carolina’s OFF plenty of chances. Kasay also has the ability to kick the 50 plus yard FG (of which he had 3 last year). Kasay is pretty accurate only missing 3 FGs (2 of these attempts over 50 yards; the other attempt over 40 yards).
Negatives - Kasay, by far, kicked more extra points than FGs last year. He was only 24th in fantasy points among Ks.
Draft Strategy - Not much strategy here other than waiting late on a kicker (maybe a little too late – at least for the first one). Kasay was the best K left on the board so I grabbed him.
Positives - A former top ten NFL draft pick blessed with speed. Beyond that, the only positive that makes this pick worthwhile is that he’s upgrading from Boller to Culpepper at the QB position. This pick has a tremendous amount of upside for a WR selected in the 20th round.
Negatives - For four years Taylor has failed to sniff meeting expectations. At some point in time he will just need to be written off as an injury prone NFL bust.
Draft Strategy - Pretty much everyone is filling out there rosters by now and has one wildcard pick left. I felt comfortable that a serviceable defense and kicker would be on the board in the next tow rounds so I decided to pull the trigger on my last flier. With Robinson on board I wanted to take one last foray into Culpepper’s gaudy numbers. I really see Minnesota’s WR2 being a veteran with Williamson being the WR3. Taylor was a second shot at that WR2 production in a high flying offense.
Positives - Jolley is a good receiving TE with good running ability after the catch. He will give Chad Pennington a nice, reliable target who can get downfield as well. Mike Heimerdinger used the TE a great deal in Tennessee and it is expected he will do so in NY as well. The Jets made a play for Jeb Putzier in free agency and when that fell through they traded their first round pick to Oakland for Jolley. This would seem to be a sign they have big plans for the TE position this year.
Negatives - After Jolley’s nice rookie year he didn’t improve as was expected and eventually lost his starting job in Oakland. He’s only scored 5 times so not a big red zone target. With any Jet receivers there’s the possibility Pennington runs into more arm trouble.
Draft Strategy - I like Jolley’s upside this year in New York but I couldn’t take him as my backup due to bye week conflicts. However, once I got to this point of the draft I felt he offered value over the other WRs left on the board. I expect he’ll be effective in the Jets offense. My hope is that combined with Crumpler these 2 will have some nice weeks together and give me another option at the flex position.
Positives - Like my previous pick at kicker, Carney kicks in a dome eliminating any negative weather effects on the kicking game. Carney has never finished any worse in scoring than 15th overall over the last 4 years averaging 25 field goals and 36 extra points each season during that span. He is capable of kicking 50+ yard field goals, completing 2 out of 3 attempts last season. The Saints are a solid offensive team and should provide ample scoring opportunities for Carney.
Negatives - Carney is 41 years old and has not been consistently healthy over his career. The Saints are streaky offensively often disappearing for weeks at a time.
Draft Strategy - I needed a 2nd kicker and liked Carney’s consistency over the past few seasons. I could have waited until the last pick in the draft but liked the idea of having 2 dome kickers on offenses capable of big games so pulled the trigger here.