Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 May 2009

My First Fantasy Team Of 2009

I recently took part in an experts' mock draft for Rotowire Magazine. I figured I'd share my team and see what you all thought.

Some general information on the league: 12 teams, standard rules (no PPR), 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR (no flex), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 D.

QB Aaron Rodgers GB R5 P2
QB Jason Campbell WAS R11 P2
QB Marc Bulger STL R13 P2
RB Adrian Peterson MIN R1 P2
RB Knowshon Moreno DEN R4 P11
RB Jerious Norwood ATL R8 P11
RB Leon Washington NYJ R9 P2
WR Reggie Wayne IND R2 P11
WR Marques Colston NO R3 P2
WR Devin Hester CHI R7 P2
WR Deion Branch SEA R10 P11
WR Brian Robiskie CLE R15 P2
TE Antonio Gates SD R6 P11
K Stephen Gostkowski NE R14 P11
DEF New York Giants NYG R12 P11

Some comments:

- I won't say who the first pick was as to not spoil the magazine, but when it wasn't Adrian Peterson, I was happy to snap him up at two.

- I'm not thrilled with my other back situation, but I think there's some potential there. I do think that Michael Turner's going to miss time with an injury, and when that happens, Norwood would be the starter and has some upside. I also don't think that Leon Washington is going to see Shonn Greene eat away at his time this year.

- I firmly believe Marques Colston is going to be the best wide receiver in fantasy football this year. I also figured that I could grab one of the second-tier backs on the way down, only to have Kevin Smith go a couple picks before me.

- Hester was probably an overdraft because I was watching him run routes the day before while working on his player comment. Suffice to say, I'm really high on the combination of him and Cutler next year.

- I didn't want to take a tight end that early, but thought Gates represented good value as opposed to any of the wide receivers or running backs on the board.

- Totally forgot I'd selected Campbell when I'd selected Bulger. I know, some expert. Either way, I like them both -- Campbell's entering his peak fantasy years (check out Rotoworld's fantasy preview mag for more details when it comes out), and Bulger has a weak schedule and could be flipped in most leagues if/when he gets off to a quick start.

- The Giants defense should have, what, 55 sacks this year? Maybe 143 is too early for them, but again, I was comfortable with my picks at the end of the draft. I know that, in a given league, I'm going to be able to exploit matchups better than most anyone else.

- It was either Robiskie or Nate Washington as the last wideout. I really like Robiskie in PPR leagues, but even in a standard league, there's just so much potential there for him to step right in and play an important role in that offense.


Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 01 May 2009

37 replies , Last at 11 Jul 2009, 12:27pm by Bill Barnwell

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by tally :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 3:59pm

I bet the first pick was a QB.

Hard not to like Wayne and Colston as WRs, especially with 3 starters which forces the WR baseline pretty low. Moreno in R4 instead of a better QB than Rodgers is pretty daring.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Aaron Schatz :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 4:02pm

I should point out that Barnwell was good enough to do this sucker without the benefit of KUBIAK, since I'm not yet done pumpin' 'em out.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Nathan (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 4:42pm

I'm not sure I'm even going to do fantasy this year. I found a simulated football site and it's significantly more fun. You have a team of generated players, and set plays for them to run, when to blitz, tons of options.

Link as my homepage. Way more fun than fantasy football, but much more time consuming as well.

It's like Madden without the gameplay. There's also a gamecast to watch your games.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Robert (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 4:54pm

It's very hard not to love Colston, Wayne and AD. I agree 100% that Colston is going to be the guy. I would be curious to see who was still there QB-wise in the fourth, and what the running back options were when Gates went. Besides that, I think you're in a pretty good way. And if Hester continues to develop this off-season at the pace he did last year, that could end up being a scary set of WR's.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by matthewglidden :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 5:44pm

Is Al Davis in your league? Did he go with JaMarcus at #1?

Hard to complain about the AP + anyone else RB combo, though Knowshon's in a crowded situation. Swapping Shanahan for McDaniels seems like such an X-factor that it'd be ideal to avoid the team and wait for a waiver pickup. Did most of the Denver RBs get drafted?

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Rick (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:03pm

You should add a "share this" link to your articles - they'd get more views. I plan on adding this to my Facebook via NOTES, but a "share this" link would expand the visibility of FO.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:10pm

Moreno: Note my name ofc. Any back behind that O-line is destined for succes. I know it's a logjam, but unless McD works a small miracle with Orton, there's going to be plenty carries to go around.

On the other hand: That team, barring a miracle from "the suit", is going to play from behind a lot too.

It's defenately a gamble. On the other hand Moreno is my early (O)ROY favorite.

I'm torn.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:43pm

I don't see it. He might be OROY, or might not even get the chance, seeing as how the new coach, scheme, coordinators, and journeyman QB are probably not going to scare any safeties out of the box.

So, there might be plenty of carries, but that doesn't mean there'll be plenty of yards.

Just throwing it out there.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Eddo :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:46pm

I agree with you. Moreno is probably a great mid-to-late round pick, as he has tons of potential, but also a considerable chance of being a big disappointment. The fourth round is probably too high to take him.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Anonymous78070 (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:20pm

my guess for 1 is mjd

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Eddo :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:44pm

Gotta be MJD, especially once Jacksonville did not draft a RB on the first day. The only other possible backs that I could see anyone being high enough on to take first overall are Forte and Chris Johnson, but I'd gladly take MJD or Peterson ahead of them (though I'd have them as #3 and #4).

You know what, my perspective is a little skewed. My fantasy league gives a point for every 7.5 receiving yards, as opposed to every 10 rushing yards (note: I made this rule, and I like it a lot). So in my league, I'd actually take MJD ahead of Peterson as well (especially with Peterson coming oh-so-close to 370 carries last year), and Forte and Johnson are probably ranked higher than they would be in some other people's leagues.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:47pm

One might thing - but I bet it was some numbwad who's still high on either Steve Jackson or LT.

I wish we had more of those guys in my league. Granted, I already get to tab both AD and MJD as my two keepers.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Eddo :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:32pm

Wow, that's a nice keeper situation. And here I was, thinking it couldn't get much better than getting to keep Chris Johnson for the cost of a ninth round pick.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Feagles - King ... :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 8:12pm

Could be, but I would think that the participants in this particular draft would avoid that kind of mistake.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Eric G (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:47pm

Any good TE taken in the 6th round is an automatic steal.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:50pm

Who could be number one? Brady, if someone thinks the Patriots offense is going to instantly rebound to early 2007 levels with his return? Moss, on the same basis? Fitzgerald, by someone who sets too much store by a few recent high-profile performances? Kurt Warner, if my brother has suddenly become a Rotowire "expert" and not told me? Or another back?

I think the answer is that someone who has difficulty distinguishing between past production and future performance and doesn't fully appreciate the importance of schedule picked Michael Turner at #1.

I don't doubt that Colston will have a good season (barring injury to himself or Brees), but I don't really see him as the most likely candidate for #1 fantasy receiver. Fantasy's over-prioritisation of touchdowns means the guy who does the most scoring is usually the best fantasy player, and Moss has scored double digit touchdowns in his last four non-Oakland seasons. Brady's back. The Patriots' offense is bound to be good, meaning touchdown opportunities aplenty. Assuming health for himself and Brady, I think the over-under for receiving touchdowns by Randy Moss ought to be about 15. I don't think there's another player for whom it ought to be more than 10, and if there is it's Calvin Johnson. If I had to pick someone outright to lead the NFL in touchdowns from scrimmage in 2009, I would seriously consider going for Moss. Of course, if I had the first overall pick, I would use it on Peterson . . . and trade him for MJD and change.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:50pm

I really don't like that 2nd RB situation, but otherwise I like it. Rodgers I think will be good value in the 5th, and same for Colston in the 3rd.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:51pm

Looks like a solid lineup, Bill. I typically double up on defenses, after comparing which ones play weak opponents week-by-week. But getting the Giants in the 12th round is pretty good.

And Norwood could end up being a steal.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Insancipitory :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:55pm

Too bad you couldn't get Greg Olson. Knowshon is going to be facing a hell of a lot of brutal defenses, in addition to the lottsa RBs, and no QB situation. But that Giants front 7, that looks like it could be one of the all time greats.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by MC2 :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 8:17pm

Overall, I think you're pretty stacked. My biggest concern would be your WR depth. You've got 2 studs, but then you're stuck rolling the dice with Hester, Branch or Robiskie. WR production is so hard to predict on a week-to-week basis that it's much better to just have 3 guys you can plug in every week, rather than trying to play the matchup game.

I also agree with you about avoiding TEs in the early rounds (although Gates in the 6th is hard to pass up), and I share some of the worries about Moreno that others have commented on. I'm not the biggest fan of drafting rookies in the early rounds to begin with, and I plan to steer clear of that Denver backfield situation if at all possible.

Having said all that, I would have to see the other rosters to know for sure, but I doubt anyone else would be a clear favorite over your team.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by MarkV :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 8:34pm

Every time FO has an article that includes anything personal, it makes me think the same thing.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY wish that the Author was displayed below the title instead of at the end of the post.

Nice draft.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Reinhard (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 11:05pm

I'm not sold at all on Moreno as a NFL player, and not at all as a fantasy player.
Putting aside the fact that McD is either crazy or a genius... I don't see good explosion from Moreno, I don't see jukes, I don't see power, I don't see speed. Good hands and reading your blocks; I think you need more than that to play in the NFL. I see him maybe being as good as that Patriots 3rd down back guy that seems to keep getting first downs. But he's not a first round draft pick or fantasy starter.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 2:29am

*Refrains from usual rant about stupidity of drafting defenses before the last round*

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by tuluse :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 2:35am

I've taken the Bears defense rather early in the past 4 drafts, for two of them they were a top 50 "player," and they didn't do too badly last year either. Especially when I got Devin Hester's returns added in.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Eddo :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 3:14am

Kicker: no way do you take early, the position is too unpredictable. But defense: yeah, you can if you feel they're the best option available.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by MC2 :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 5:11am

Kickers and defenses are both crapshoots. However, at a certain point in the draft (usually about 80% of the way through), everybody without major question marks has already been taken, so everybody left is a crapshoot, regardless of position. At that point, I don't think there's any shame in taking a kicker or a defense.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Key19 :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 2:47am

Colston was great for me last year.

...aside from the 8 weeks or so he missed.

That said, I'm willing to pick him again!

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by coboney :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 7:06am

My worry with this team is its lack of depth at most positions - RB there's no one and at WR you're very reliant on Hester turning out (if its a 2WR league... if its 3... then Branch is your top backup)

Very strong startign line up though - assuming minimal injuries you should be good.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by roguerouge :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 9:52am

I'd imagine in these leagues that it depends on the roster situation. Some magazine leagues basically lock in the roster (no waiver wire). That changes how you draft by making locks for playing time more valuable.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by pazz (not verified) :: Mon, 05/04/2009 - 10:46am

I wouldn't be surprised if Moreno has it a bit easier than some think. Up until Orton hurt his ankle the bears had a great offense with limited weapon's. ranking as high as #2. Forte did pretty good and Denver's WR's are miles ahead of Chicago's.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Bill Barnwell :: Mon, 05/04/2009 - 12:23pm

There's been exactly one mention of the guy who actually went first overall.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Eddo :: Mon, 05/04/2009 - 1:03pm

By my count, Fitzgerald's only been mentioned once.

If it's him, wow.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Jimmy :: Fri, 05/08/2009 - 11:12am

Drew Brees / Calvin Johnson / Tom Brady / Kurt Warner?

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by mrh :: Mon, 05/04/2009 - 1:00pm

I wouldn't be surprised if Forte was the #1 pick.

Good core team. It's hard to judge most picks w/o knowing who else was available or how the other teams were building their rosters. For example, I love Rodgers but in many leagues 5.02 is too high. But if half a dozen QBs were already gone, then it might make sense to go w/Rodgers here. I like the move to take 2 stud WRs early and come back with a high upside rookie in rd 4.

Depth is an issue IMO. Too many qbs and not enough rbs or wrs. Here taking a 3rd QB really hurts the team bench, especially since you took your starting qb (and te) relatively early. Rodgers and Gates look like good picks, but by addressing these positions in rds 5-6, you probably need to work extra hard on wr/rb depth in the 2nd half of the draft. I'm not sold on Campbell that early either, I think he's a low end backup. Expert leagues I've seen don't trade much, so moving Bulger is probably not going to happen, particularly as 15-man rosters leave a lot of talent on the waiver wire. This does mitigate having a weak bench, however.

I think, again w/o seeing the draft board, that it would have been better to work on rb/wr depth in rd 11 and take one backup qb in rd 13. When did Buckhalter go? He might have been the guy to snag around this time in the draft. I love Norwood and Washington as backs with huge upside (they can be spot starters in a ppr league, but are not as good in that role in this format). But I'd like a 5th back on this roster.

As for K and D, picking out of the two-hole, if the guy at #1 has no D or K going into the turn, it makes sense to take you're preferred player a round "early". Why not take G-ski at 14.11 if he's the guy you want? And the Giants should be great, but I keep wondering what Spags departure will do. But I like the move to grab those two before the turn.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by tally :: Mon, 05/04/2009 - 4:42pm

Forte was mentioned more than once by my count.

I really can't see Fitzy going #1 overall (despite the lowered baseline on WRs in this format, which should increase his VOB), but I can see Brady (also only mentioned once). People are going to look at his projected fantasy output and just go with that instead of value over baseline.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by dedkrikit (not verified) :: Mon, 05/04/2009 - 9:58pm

This weekend I read another article (si or nfl.com, not sure which) where the guy said he just did an "experts" fantasy draft that had Forte going #1. Putting two and two together here, I'm going to say it was Forte.

Re: My First Fantasy Team Of 2009
by Bill Barnwell :: Sat, 07/11/2009 - 12:27pm

As a followup, the rest of the league apparently voted my team as the league's best. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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