Everyone loves playing fantasy football, and there are millions and millions of teams out there. I’m starting this weekly blog to talk about my players, why I drafted them, who I’ll start each week and why, and to vent about my under performers, my opponents over performers, and just about anything fantasy related. I’m the commissioner of a 12 team league that’s been running for a few years now, and we decided draft order this year with a “Pint Glass Challenge”. Fastest 16oz chug got his pick of draft order and the 2nd fastest got his pick of the 11 remaining (and so on). Draft night came, and I was 4th pick, thinking about the choices between Forte, Adrian Peterson, and Calvin Johnson. Who would you take?
I grabbed Forte after very strongly considering Peterson, and hoped he’d repeat last years stats since my league was PPR. Next came the all important 2nd pick, and the apple of my fantasy eye was still on the board. I grabbed the Steelers WR Antonio Brown, who I think will be a top 5 fantasy WR this year. In the 3rd I got lucky, with Arian Foster still sitting there on the board. I understood people were wary because of his injuries and the Texans crappy team overall, but I had faith in Foster, and hopefully he repays me this season. I wasn’t planning on going 2 RBs early but it worked out that way with Foster still sitting there so I vowed to grab some solid WR depth the next few picks to even it out.
Round 4 made my draft in my opinion, taking a chance on my personal sleeper, Cordarrelle Patterson. The word on the street was that Norv Turner knew how talented he was and was going to find ways to get him into the offense so I took a chance. I mean, how could anyone have this guy on their team and not use him? (<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjxkQXlCAfE”>)
I rounded out my starting receivers (we have 3 WRs + 1 Flex in this 12 person league) with Julian Edelman in the 5th and Jeremy Maclin in the 6th. Edelman will get the majority of Brady’s targets this season and Maclin coming back is part of the reason they let DJax go I think. I’ve got faith in those 2 for sure. All the decent QBs went really early in this draft, so I grabbed some RB depth with Pierre Thomas in the 7th hoping to get a decent QB in the 8th or 9th. Jay Cutler was still on the board in the 8th, and although I didn’t really want him, he was the best I was going to get this late. I figured if I hit on a few sleepers in the late rounds, I could trade him midseason with a package.
In the 9th round I grabbed my starting TE with Jordan Reed, who is a hell of a lot more talented than most TEs in the league. His only knock is he’s fragile, and he was sidelined several games last year after a big concussion. Just to be safe, I grabbed Dennis Pitta as his backup in the 10th and a player with one hell of a chip on his shoulder at all times, the ageless veteran Steve Smith. Roethlisberger was still on the board in the 12th round, so I grabbed a backup QB in case Cutler decided to be bad Cutler this season (always a possibility with that guy).
I’ll finish out these last rounds quickly since most people don’t care past the starters (a common mistake in fantasy….you’ve gotta have a good bench): Andrew Hawkins in the 13th, followed by Denver Defense in the 14th, and the Seahawks kicker Hauschka in the 15th. I took Vontaze Burfict as my defensive player and Miles Austin just in case he felt like breaking out with Josh Gordon riding the pine all season. ([UPDATE] I picked up Josh Gordon once I heard his suspension might get lifted, and he’s currently replaced Austin on my bench. Dunno if I can afford to keep him on my bench for 8-10 weeks though, my receivers are already stacked as is. Will keep you updated on that one.)
So Week 1 games go by…and everything worked out quite nicely. 8 of my 11 starters exceeded their projected points, and I crushed my opponent 149-109. It’s always so nice when all your draft picks work out how you oh so optimistically “knew they would”. The only roster move I made after week 1 was picking up Mr 14 Tackles, Eric Berry and replacing the slightly injured Burfict. I don’t expect him to get another 14 this week, but 10 and a pick 6 would do nicely
Cordarrelle Patterson has the talent to be the next Percy Harvin, but he DOES play for the Vikings, so nobody really knew what would happen. Well, Patterson finished with the 4th highest WR points total in week 1, with almost all of his points coming from his 3 rushes for 101 yards, several broken tackles, and one beautiful touchdown run (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMwWB6RVSwY)
I figured Antonio Brown would be a stud for PPR, but I never knew he would bust out the single best football move of all time, right on the face of the unfortunate Brown’s punter. I’m pretty sure everyone has seen it by now, but just in case…(http://deadspin.com/antonio-brown-kicks-a-punter-in-the-face-in-extreme-sl-1631681037)
So much for having a healthy Jordan Reed and providing RGIII with talent across all positions on offense. Reed got injured yet again, this time on his first catch of the season. They are saying it’s a mild hamstring issue but he’ll be out for a few weeks, if not more. Good thing I grabbed Pitta with my next pick after the oft-injured Reed, who got 15 targets from Flacco in week 1. He scored a lot less Thursday once he was in my starting lineup…but I guess thats fantasy football for you.
I couldn’t get much better for a PPR team, when Edelman and Patterson are getting carries, Foster and Forte are getting receptions, and Jeremy Maclin is catching wide open TDs. I expect every week won’t be this easy, but I couldn’t be happier about the start. Onto week 2 with my biggest question marks of the week:
Why did I leave Steve Smith on my bench again this week (10 pts Thursday night)
Why did I start Roethlisberger over Cutler this week? (7 pts Thursday night)
I’m off to a horrible start this week after Thursday night, should I start Pierre Thomas over Maclin in the flex?
PS- Still up in the air how I feel about the Peterson deactivation and indictment, but I sure am glad I didn’t end up taking him over Forte. Those are the kinds of things that make or break a fantasy team. That’s why I always think its about 60% going with your gut, unless your gut is telling you to beat your kid with a tree branch.