Survivor I - Round 22 Commentary
NOTE: this draft was completed on 7/24
Positives - Minnesota has one of the easiest rushing schedules this year. Onterrio Smith is gone for the year, which leaves one less person Fason battles for playing time. Different RBs have excelled at different times, so Fason has a good chance of proving himself in that offense.
Negatives - Michael Bennett, Mewelde Moore and Moe Williams all have a piece of the RB pie, leaving a very small piece for Fason. Add Culpepper to the mix, and now he has crumbs.
Draft Strategy - Minnesota’s rushing schedule looks promising and Fason has 1 less RB to compete against with the year-long suspension of Onterrio Smith. With an ADP in the 14th round, this may represent my best value in the draft. If Fason can find a way into the top Viking spot, this last round pick could work his way into my regular lineup.
Positives - Brad Johnson is returning to his old stomping grounds in Minnesota where he has put up quality numbers in the past. He will be Daunte Culpepper’s backup and if called upon, would likely have some value, considering the Vikings are a top 5 offense in the league.
Negatives - Johnson’s productivity has decreased over the last few years ultimately resulting in being released by the Buccaneers. Maybe Johnson’s skills are best used on more offensive-minded teams? Maybe age is catching up with him? Backup quarterbacks for the Vikings have seen tremendous success in the past, but that was with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who is now with Miami.
Draft Strategy - I chose Brad Johnson as my last pick, because I knew he’d be available. Why would anyone but the Culpepper owner want to waste a pick on the Vikings backup quarterback? In the event that Culpepper misses time, at least I’ll know that I have the backup that has, in the past, seen tremendous success in that role.
Positives - Veteran kicking for an upstart Giants squad.
Negatives - Meadowlands not the easiest place to kick.
Draft Strategy - Well at least by grabbing both NY kickers I should have at least one guy a week who's playing at home.
Positives - He has the opportunity to outplay Samie Parker for the #2 WR role on the most prolific offense in the NFL. He was a first round selection out of UCLA for a reason, but never meshed with the offense in Philly. Dick Vermeil has found a way to bring the best out of players who have struggled on other teams (Priest, Trent Green, Kennison).
Negatives - FredEx may not make the squad and has never proven himself to be worthy of his high draft selection. He talked his way out of Philly and may become a team cancer in Kansas City. He has never finished the season as a top 60 fantasy WR, and has a career high of 2 TDs in a season.
Draft Strategy - Total flyer pick. He may have a couple of decent games as a Chief. As WR #9, he is not expected to contribute much, but if I can use him twice this season, he’ll have been a successful pick.
Positives - In 2003, Warrick put up over 800 yards and 7 TDs, following up a 600 yard 6 TD 2002. In 2004, Warrick saw limited action due to an injury that kept him out most of the year. Warrick is fast and a dangerous receiver. If he plays as a 3rd WR in the slot for Cincinnati, he will cause some damage.
Negatives - A blown out knee in 2003 followed up by a broken leg in 2004 has crippled Warrick’s short career. It has yet to be seen if he will be able to come back from these injuries and play with any kind of effectiveness.
Draft Strategy - Heavens to Murgatroyd! 22 Rounds? Really? 17½ hours after we started this marathon, of which some people thought the “Unlimited Time” per pick was to be taken literally, I came to my final selection. The fact that I was still awake was miracle enough. But you expect me to be cognizant enough to make a selection as well? Mercy. Peter Warrick was still on the board and seemed like as good a pick as anyone. He may wind up the Bengals #2 WR. He may wind up being cut and playing somewhere else. In the 22nd round of a draft, if you can draft someone with a name other people will recognize, you’re getting some value. Exit, stage left.
Positives - Almost 500yds and 3 TDs in a backup role last year, he has potential. He and Curtis should help take the pressure off of Holt and Bruce.
Negatives - There are just too many horses ahead of him in the Rams stable. He had his knee scoped in February to repair some slightly torn cartilage, so he needs to be back to full speed by camp.
Draft Strategy - For my Mr. Irrelevant, I went with a homer pick. He’s a Sun Devil, man! I ended up with eight WRs, a pretty good mix of starters and up-and-comers.
Positives - While he has only served in a backup and kickoff return role, Morris has shown good moves when given the opportunity and has produced a 5.2 ypc number in only limited duty. Morris should be the guy to step in if anything happens to Shaun Alexander, a consensus top 5 back.
Negatives - Shaun Alexander is a hoss. He hasn’t shown any tendency for injuries in his five year career. Seattle will pound Alexander and Morris won’t likely see much action outside his kick return role.
Draft Strategy - Last round flyer on somebody who could produce if he gets the chance. Seattle has a high-powered offense in which any capable running back will most likely succeed. If Morris gets the chance, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t produce top 10-15 RB numbers.
Positives - Comments from FBG.com: Cedrick Wilson came over to the Steelers from the 49ers in free agency. 2004 was Wilson's most productive season as a pro as he caught 47 passes for 641 yards and 3 touchdowns in a dismal 49ers offense. He is a multi-talented player, having returned kicks and punts as well as playing WR, and he may continue in this role for the Steelers. Wilson is expected to compete with Antwaan Randle-El for the starting WR spot opposite Hines Ward. If he wins the job, his growth will continue and he will likely post numbers that are substantially improved over those of his 2004 campaign.
Negatives - Comments from FBG.com: Wilson's stat line from 2004 looks almost identical to Antwaan Randle-El's, as do his measurements. His game is also very similar to Randle-El's as both are smallish, speedy receivers with good hands. This is not normally a negative, but in Wilson's case it is because the Steelers already have Randle-El on their roster, and he has several years of experience in the Steelers offensive system. Wilson is slated to compete with Randle-El for the Steelers WR2 spot, but it is likely that he will wind up in Randle-El's old position as the WR3 slot receiver unless he performs considerably better than Randle-El in training camp, which is improbable given their similar build, speed, and skill set.
Draft Strategy - n/a
Positives - Dallas should be improved on OFF this year which should help Cundiff’s totals. Cundiff has pretty good range as he kicked (9) 40 plus yard FGs last year. Cundiff’s misses were all over 40 yards as well.
Negatives - Cundiff, by far, kicked more extra points than FGs last year similar to Kasay. He was only 20th in fantasy points among Ks.
Draft Strategy - Best K left and I needed a backup.
Positives - With the scoring format rewarding long field goals, I tried to target a kicker late with a track record of success in making long kicks. In 2003 Hall kicked four 50+ yard field goals and six 40-49 yard field goals.
Negatives - Hall has missed time due to injuries and the Redskins offense was anemic in 2004. Last year three Washington kickers combined to score a mere 90 points.
Draft Strategy - Need two kickers, Hall is a kicker. I refer to TE/K/D as the trash positions. All six of my “trash” selections have different bye weeks, so I’ll always have five of them posting numbers for me each week, which will likely convert several potential close losses to wins in this format.
Positives - Michael Strahan should be fully recovered from injury that cost him 8 games last year. Signed promising MLB Antonio Pierce away from Washington in offseason. LBs Barrett Green & Nick Greisen missed great deal of time in 2004 due to injury and are recovered. Each of the Giants kickoff returners brought back a kick for a TD last year. DC Tim Lewis preaches an attacking style that should force many turnovers.
Negatives - Despite Strahan’s expected return to health, it will be questioned how much he has left in the tank. 2003 first round pick William Joseph continues to disappoint. The starting cornerbacks only have 13 interceptions over the past 4 years.
Draft Strategy - Basically looking for a defense that didn’t share a bye week with the Eagles. If healthy the Giants have the potential to move into the 15-20 range of fantasy defenses. At the very least Michael Strahan should have a good couple games dropping Drew Bledsoe.
Positives - As the last pick in the draft I select David Terrell. Terrell is attempting to resurrect his career in N.E. He has all to tools to succeed and possesses great size (6-3, 210 lbs). He’s caught over 40 passes each of the last 2 seasons on a losing Bears team and is now being reunited with his former Michigan teammate who helped make him a 1st round pick, Tom Brady. Terrell’s lack of previous success could be attributed in part to the less than stellar quarterbacking in Chicago during his short time in the NFL. The Patriots will provide excellent coaching and are known for making the best use of a player’s talents. There is also opportunity in N.E. as current starter David Givens is a free agent next year and David Patton left via free agency. Injuries have also reduced the competition for playing time in training camp making Terrell the early favorite to win the third WR spot on the team.
Negatives - Terrell is a former high 1st round pick of the Bears who never came close to living up to his potential. There is some strong competition for a roster spot including veterans (Troy Brown and Tim Dwight) and prospects (Bethel Johnson). The opportunities may be scarce if Terrell and Brady cannot reestablish their previous chemistry quickly. This is a one time shot for Terrell at this point in his career. If he doesn’t show the ability, work ethic, and dedication (which weren’t evident in Chicago), he won’t last long on this team.
Draft Strategy - As the final pick in this draft, I was looking to strengthen what I consider my weakest position, receiver. David Terrell has what you look for in a fantasy prospect: talent, opportunity, and an offense that fits the player’s skill set. All of these currently exist in N.E. for Terrell. I like the value of this choice with the 264th pick of the draft. Overall, I like my team, but there are at least several others I like a bit more. I think I can effectively compete at every position except receiver which was weakened by selecting Gonzalez over Joe Horn. I’m hoping that in this case quantity (8 receivers selected) makes up for quality (top 3 receivers are Driver, Branch, and Stokley). If my picks at WR remain healthy and are productive, I think I’ll be competitive. Everyone has a chance to win and will succeed or fail based on injuries, picks that outperform their draft position, and some luck. Some teams are definitely at more risk than others but in this league, there is no difference between 2nd and 12th place so some risk is warranted. We all chose our bullets, now we’ll find out how well we aimed over the next several months. Good luck to all.