Survivor I - Round 8 Commentary
NOTE: this draft was completed on 7/24
Positives - Tatum Bell, Quentin Griffin, and Garrison Hearst. At the beginning of the season, these 3 Stooges were slapping, fighting and nyuk nyuk nyuking for the starter spot in Denver. Apparently, Shanahan's favorite Stooge is Shemp as Droughns, a footnote in the lineup, shocked everyone by leading the Broncos at RB. Once again the starting Bronco RB excelled, with Droughns concluding the season in 15th at RB.
Negatives - Droughns moves to the Browns where the 2004 starter, Lee Suggs still remains. The 2 backs will surely split time. The question is how many opportunities will Droughns get. Suggs will be fighting for the ball and the Browns have gone with the hot hand in the past.
Draft Strategy - Time to roll the dice. I wanted more potential at RB and pick 84 and 85 were the spots I choose to do it. Cleveland brought in Droughns for a reason. He also finished top 15 last season, while Suggs was below 30. RBBC is definitely a possibility, but I'm betting on Droughns producing and winning the majority of the carries. Besides, at this point, I have to take a chance with the remaining RBs on the board.
Positives - McMichael is coming off career highs in receptions (73), yards (791) and touchdowns (4). This is the last year of his contract, which should raise the eyebrows of every fantasy owner. With the Miami offense looking to make major strides in 2005, this should benefit McMichael. New offensive coordinator Scott Linehan got a lot of use out of his tight ends in Minnesota, but none had the talent and skill that McMichael brings. If you thought last season was McMichaelís pinnacle, you may be in for a surprise.
Negatives - McMichael is no stranger to the law. His off the field antics have him in trouble after allegedly hitting his wife. The league could fine and/or suspend him for his actions, but as of right now, he is not expected to miss considerable time. Another concern is with the change of coaches in Miami. Itís possible that McMichael would have to earn his way back as a major contributor on offense. Itís possible that head coach Nick Saban will focus on the downfield talents of Chambers, Booker and Boston and not so much the tight end position. If thatís the case, it could mean less production from McMichael.
Draft Strategy - I needed a tight end and I kept putting it off to secure value at other positions. Six other tight ends were selected before this pick (Gonzalez, Gates, Shockey, Heap, Crumpler, Dallas Clark). McMichael was the 5th ranked tight end last year and for me to get him in the 8th round as the 7th tight end taken in the draft is reason enough for me to be excited about this pick. Why did I take McMichael and not Eric Johnson, who was also available? Although Johnson had more receptions and yards in 2004 than McMichael, his end of the season rank was 8th compared to McMichaelís rank of 5. I also have more confidence in the Dolphins offense over that of the 49ers offense. McMichael has improved each of his three years in the league, whereas Eric Johnson mightíve had a fluke season. Thatís yet to be determined, but my gut was to take McMichael.
- Had 88 receptions last year, which was 10th most in the league and 3rd highest total of his career.
- Presence of McGahee and Evans means he'll rarely see double coverage.
- Evans emerging as go to guy?
- Starts season with new, unproven QB.
Draft Strategy - I needed to go receiver here and was deciding between Moulds/Evans. I went with the proven guy. I think Moulds will get more chances this year with the 1st year starter. Coming off a "down" year where he was 10th in the league in receiving.
Positives - Eddie has averaged 57 catches and almost 950 yards over the past 3 seasons. He averaged 17.5 yards/reception last season and is the #1 WR on a top three offense. While defenses put their best coverage player on Tony Gonzalez and the focus most of their energy on Priest Holmes, Kennison is in the position to take advantage of the #2 CB. He does not run into double teams and has the ability to separate and make the big play.
Negatives - Kennison is 32 and has only one top 20 finish (18th last season) in the last 5 years. Last years 8 TD catches may have been an anomaly as he had 5 scores in 2003 and a meager 2 in 2002. He is an afterthought in the red zone, probably behind even Jason Dunn.
Draft Strategy - I need to pick up WRs for the next couple of picks after the long layoff. I liked him better than # 2 receivers like Housh, Stallworth, and Givens. Only negative was that he was another player with the dreaded week 5 bye.
Positives - When Peter Warrick went down last year Houshmandzadeh (who will be known as T.J. from here out) stepped in to the #2 WR spot on Cincinnati and posted a near 1,000 yard season with 4 TDs, and averaging near a 100 yard game each of the last five games of the season. T.J. is a combination of good hands, good route running, and good, but not blazing, speed.
Negatives - T.J. has suffered from hamstring problems in the past, which can be an ugly recurring injury. While he does posses decent speed, he is not the breakaway threat of a true top-tier WR. With the return of Warrick and the possible emergence of Chris Henry, T.J.ís status as the #2 WR is not a lock.
Draft Strategy - Iíd be lying if I said I was targeting T.J. with this pick. I was still in need of another starting WR, and was ready to take one, practically drooling on my keyboard as my pick grew closer and closer and Eddie Kennison, the #1 WR on the highest scoring offense in the league was still on the board. Then Nugget ripped my fantasy football soul right out of my chest and stomped on it, snaring Kennison one pick before me. I was caught with my pants down and committed to taking a WR. T.J. has the chance for a great year, but not my most solid pick. Considered several others, but ruled them out for various reasons, including: Dante Stallworth (inconsistent and disappointing last year), David Givens (vanilla, one decent year), Lee Evans (J.P. Losman), and Santana Moss (Coles failed in Washington and is better than Moss). If I had this pick over again, I think I would have taken Brandon Stokley, selected by Mikey T at the end of the round.
Positives - With 58/767/5 last year, he should improve as Pathon is no longer on the team. He has a good supporting cast in Horn, McAllister, and Brooks, and they could be a force if they can all stay healthy and on the same page.
Negatives - Hamstring problems have hurt him in the past, but he did manage to play all 16 games last year. Staying healthy is key to any player. He also needs to kick his maturity level up a notch. He's another player who owns the Randy Moss book; let's hope it gathers dust on the shelf.
Draft Strategy - My load-up of WR and RB continues, though there are a lot more valuable WRs at this point than RBs. Iíll take the WRs that are available now, and pick up the RBs as they come to me.
Positives - Brady and the Patriots love to spread the ball around, so Givens will get his opportunities. Givens has been special during stretches, and has the talent to perform when heís called upon. Had a great start to 2004 before falling off the second half of the season. With David Patten moving on to Washington, Givens will be looked upon more.
Negatives - As mentioned, Givens had a horrible end to the 2004 season, catching 19 balls for 232 yards and no TDs the last 8 games. Has a propensity to disappear for stretches.
Draft Strategy - Wanted another WR here, and it hurt when Kennison and Stallworth were taken right before. Would have taken Lee Evens here, but already had Bruce and Lelie with week 9 byes. Givens is young, and has shown decent improvement in his numbers throughout the last few years. I now have 4 solid WRs to fill 2 or 3 spots each week.
Positives - Comments from FBG.com: Over the last four years Aaron Brooks is among the top QBs in passing touchdowns (3rd), passing yards (4th), and fantasy points (3rd). Brooks is still just twenty-nine years old, and there's no reason to think he's reached his peak fantasy potential. With the development of Donte' Stallworth and Devery Henderson, Brooks will have two speedy receivers to complement four-time Pro Bower Joe Horn. Brooks is extremely durable, and has started sixty-nine straight games for New Orleans. He's one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL, and Brooks is a consistent fantasy producer. He's thrown for 225 yards or a touchdown in forty-six of his last forty-eight games. Mike Sheppard was Brooks QB coach the past three seasons, and will replace Mike McCarthy as the offensive coordinator in 2005. This should certainly promote continuity, and he's vowed to simplify the offense that's often confused the Saints players.
Negatives - Comments from FBG.com: Brooks is never hailed as one of the elite QBs, and many feel he lacks the tools necessary to be an effective West Coast Offense quarterback. He completed just 57% of his passes last year, which ranked 21st best out of the top twenty-four fantasy QBs last year. The Saints have placed an emphasis on becoming a power running football team, which might limit the number of passes Brooks throws. Brooks was a compiler last year, ranking third in pass attempts but eighth in fantasy points. In the first twelve games (when the Saints went 4-8), Brooks averaged 36.5 pass attempts per contest; during the Saints perfect finish, he only was asked to throw 25 times per contest. The Saints may try and limit Brooks' attempts and focus on rushing more to win games in 2005.
Draft Strategy - n/a
Positives - Evans had a remarkable rookie season catching 48 passes for 842 and 9 TDs. He is a deep threat who cannot be double covered with Eric Moulds opposite him at the other WR spot. He also posted rush stats of 5/85 which makes it clear that the Bills like to get the ball in Evanís hands. Even if his production goes down a little, he is still a great pickup as a #3 WR in a 3 WR league. And although he will have to get used to a new QB, the Bills DEF is good enough to give the Billís OFF plenty of touches.
Negatives - : I see two negatives for Evans. One, he is almost certain to draw more attention this year because of his first year success, and two, the introduction of a new QB in Buffalo could hurt his production. It will take some time for new QB Losman to get acclimated. The longer it takes for this to happen, the longer the production of the Billís WRs will suffer.
Draft Strategy - I was prepared to go ahead and take my second QB with this pick and be pretty much done with the QB position, but value raised its head when Evans was still available. Evans glaringly stood out on a list where he was the #25 ranked WR and WRs ranked #26 - #36 were already taken. I went with Evans (ADP 8.03) and decided to wait and grab the best QB still available with my next pick just around the corner. This gave me another top notch WR, strengthened my ability to field a good core of WRs even during the BYE (week 8) for Harrison and Wayne, and gave me (4) of the top 25 ranked WRs. Again, donít forget the 1pt. per reception for WRs.
Positives - As the 11th QB selected in this draft, I felt that I had found decent value selecting my first QB in the 8th round. After an abysmal fantasy start in 2005, Hasselbeck finished the year strong with three touchdowns in 4 of his last 7 games. The lost of Robinson to the local AA chapter will be more than covered by the addition of Joe Jurevicius and Jerome Pathon. Playing the Rams, 49ers, and Cardinals twice each year lends itself to some nice matchups liberally sprinkled throughout the season.
Negatives - Iím hard pressed to find any negatives about Hasselbeck given where he was selected in this draft. Now that the Alexander situation has been temporarily sorted out, paint a downside scenario has become very difficult.
Draft Strategy - Hasselbeck was the last QB in a tier of proven performers and seemed like a table pounding buy at 8.10. After surveying the teams behind me, I didnít think he would make it back to me. I really wanted Moss or Stokley to solidify my WR corps with another explosive option, but felt one would be there at 9.3. As it turned out, strategically Hasselbeck was my worst pick of the draft and a classic case of being tempting by low hanging fruit and veering from a solid plan.
Positives - Great speed makes him a big play threat any time he catches the ball. Not afraid to go across the middle. Showed his potential 2 years ago finishing as the number 8 fantasy wide receiver. Highly limited last year by Paul Hackettís ultra conservative Jets offense.
Negatives - While the Jets were conservative the Redskins were just inept on offense. Should starter Patrick Ramsey falter and be replaced by Mark Brunell, Mossí downfield ability is lessened by Brunellís weak arm. WR David Patten as the other starter wonít scare any defenses. Mossí best year came as the #2 WR alongside Laveranues Coles. Without Coles last year, Mossí catches dropped by 29 and his touchdowns were cut in half. Were last yearís numbers more indicative of the Jets offense or Mossí ability as a teamís #1 receiver?
Draft Strategy - I was really hoping Hasselbeck would make it to me here but for the 3rd time my nemesis BassNBrew got my guy. Man, he is really starting to tick me off. I then turned my attention to best available wide receiver that I hope will help at my flex position. While the Redskins have their problems on offense I think Ramseyís stronger arm will allow them to attack more. Getting a #1 wide receiver at the end of round 8 presents very good value.
Positives - In his 6th year in the league, Stokley finished last season with career highs in almost every receiving category, finishing 11th at the WR position. Heís working with a future HOF QB playing in his prime after just shattering Dan Marinoís passing touchdown record. Even if his numbers are reduced by 20%, that should be good enough to just finish in the top 25 WRs this season. His upside, should either Harrison or Wayne miss time, is off the charts.
Negatives - Stokley was sometimes invisible, scoring or exceeding 100 yards in only 7 games out of 18 played (including 2 playoff games). It was also only the second time in his career heís played in all 16 regular season games. Heís also likely the fifth option on most passing plays behind Harrison, Wayne, Clark, and James. Stokley was only able to put up these numbers as part of a record setting passing performance by Peyton Manning. For Stokley to repeat this performance, a lot of planets would have to line up correctly.
Draft Strategy - Stokleyís upside was too much to pass up here. Itís tough to take a teams 3rd receiver in the 8th round, but I believe Stokley may out score several teamís primary receiver. Again, in a Ďbest ballí format, I donít need Stokley to be consistent, I just need him to put together 7 or 8 good to great games this season for him to live up to this draft position.