Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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19 Jul 2007

FO vs. The Deepest Fantasy League Ever

Aaron Schatz: A few weeks ago, Dave Richard from CBS Sportsline approached me about joining the CBS Sportsline.com NFL IDP Experts League. It's a hard core fantasy league featuring individual defenders, jumbo rosters, even special teams. The participants included representatives from some of the fantasy realm's heavy hitters: Pro Football Weekly, Foot. Guys, Rotoworld, Rotowire, and of course CBS Sportsline. I loved the idea, especially because I put together IDP projections this year for the first time. Of course, I have never actually played in an IDP league myself, and the draft was scheduled for the week I was on vacation in Cape Cod.

Mike Tanier: Enter yours truly. I have been involved in an IDP league for 15 years. My summer schedule is flexible. Armed with our KUBIAK rankings and plenty of input from Aaron, I would draft the Football Outsiders team.

The first thing I noticed as I began preparing for the draft was that rosters and lineups for the 12-team league were huge. Each starting lineup requires a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, a flex player, two defensive linemen, three linebackers, three defensive backs, a kicker, and a special teams. The 18-player lineups seem unwieldy, but with a 29-man roster to chose from, owners would have plenty of options. Yep, I was staring down the barrel of a 29-round draft. I sent my wife and kids to the pool and ordered an extra large with cream and sugar from Dunkin Donuts.

The lineups are abnormally large, but at least the league's scoring system is straightforward. Touchdowns of all stripes are worth six points. Rushing and receiving bonuses come every 10 yards, passing bonuses every 25 yards. Receptions are worth a point. The IDP rules weren't particularly exotic: one point per tackle, a half point for an assist, three points each for fumble recoveries, interceptions and sacks, two points for passes defensed. There were some distance bonuses for long field goals and other little bits of arcana, but nothing too strange.

Aaron: This league is completely ridiculous, to be honest. 29 players per team? It seems like the kind of thing that would be fun with your buddies, particularly if you are used to playing in deep baseball leagues. (I play in AL and NL-only "Ultra" leagues, with a dozen teams and up to 40 players including reserves.) However, I've always thought that the point of these experts leagues is to be a public example to help fantasy football players get an idea of who they should be drafting, picking up on waivers, and so forth. I can't imagine anybody out there actually plays in a league that looks anything like this. Who among you owns Channing Crowder or Jerome Harrison on your fantasy team? Nevertheless, we figured Football Outsiders readers would get a kick out of seeing the results and what Mike and I were thinking as we (mostly Mike) drafted. Plus, we're not sure what is going on with the Boston-area auction league that features a number of FO writers and gets written about in Scramble every year. We usually don't auction until a week before the season starts, so the results wouldn't show up in Scramble in time to help anyone.

Mike: As it turned out, the league owners snaked through the first two rounds before draft day (Thursday, July 12th), and Aaron was available by phone for the first few rounds of the draft. So in the early rounds, we had a true collaboration. Aaron and I would agree on a decision, then I would go off half cocked and do something different at the last second. Because that's how I roll.

Aaron: Readers should also take note of our new Open Fantasy Football Discussion Board. It will be listed on one of those green buttons on the front page soon.

Round 1
1 Silva (RotoWorld) LaDainian Tomlinson (RB SD)
2 Quintong (Sports Illustrated) Steven Jackson (RB STL)
3 Caplan (Footballinjuries.com) Larry Johnson (RB KC)
4 Hansen (Fantasy Guru) Frank Gore (RB SF)
5 Dodson (KFFL) Shaun Alexander (RB SEA)
6 Richard (CBS) Brian Westbrook (RB PHI)
7 Erickson (RotoWire) Joseph Addai (RB IND)
8 Eisenberg (CBS) Willie Parker (RB PIT)
9 Modglin (Pro Football Weekly) Peyton Manning (QB IND)
10 Norton (Football Guys) Travis Henry (RB DEN)
11 Schatz/Tanier (Football Outsiders) Laurence Maroney (RB NE)
12 Ambrosius (Krause) Reggie Bush (RB NO)

Aaron: I know we're the only people out there projecting Frank Gore to be worth more than LaDainian Tomlinson in fantasy football this year, but I don't begrudge any reader who wants to go against that ranking and pick LT number one anyway. I would probably do the same, no matter what the projections say. I also don't know why my projection system hates the Rams every year, which is why we have Steven Jackson lower than other "experts." I'm comfortable with the idea that we're under-projecting him. However, I feel very confident about our unconventional low projections for Larry Johnson and Shaun Alexander. It's clear that not many other people share our viewpoint.

Round 2
13 Ambrosius (Krause) Rudi Johnson (RB CIN)
14 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Maurice Jones-Drew (RB JAC)
15 Norton (Foot. Guys) Chad Johnson (WR CIN)
16 Modglin (PFW) Willis McGahee (RB BAL)
17 Eisenberg (CBS) Ronnie Brown (RB MIA)
18 Erickson (RotoWire) Torry Holt (WR STL)
19 Richard (CBS) Thomas Jones (RB NYJ)
20 Dodson (KFFL) Carson Palmer (QB CIN)
21 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Steve Smith (WR CAR)
22 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Cedric Benson (RB CHI)
23 Quintong (SI) Edgerrin James (RB ARI)
24 Silva (RotoWorld) Brandon Jacobs (RB NYG)

Aaron: We were very happy with our first two picks. As you will see, the running backs go absurdly fast in this league, because it is so deep, with so many bench spots and the ability to play three running backs per week with the flex position. Edgerrin James is going to be another player where KUBIAK differs from conventional wisdom. We were right about him last year, so I'm pretty sure we're right about him this year too.

Round 3
25 Silva (RotoWorld) Reggie Wayne (WR IND)
26 Quintong (SI) Terrell Owens (WR DAL)
27 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Clinton Portis (RB WAS)
28 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Marvin Harrison (WR IND)
29 Dodson (KFFL) Deuce McAllister (RB NO)
30 Richard (CBS) Roy Williams (WR DET)
31 Erickson (RotoWire) Marshawn Lynch (RB BUF)
32 Eisenberg (CBS) Andre Johnson (WR HOU)
33 Modglin (PFW) Adrian Peterson (RB MIN)
34 Norton (Foot. Guys) Marion Barber (RB DAL)
35 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Donovan McNabb (QB PHI)
36 Ambrosius (Krause) Larry Fitzgerald (WR ARI)

Aaron: Here's our first controversial pick. In a league where passing touchdowns are worth just four points, we have Donovan McNabb ahead of every other quarterback except Peyton Manning. In a league where passing touchdowns are worth six points, he's close with Brady and Palmer. We were stuck deciding between McNabb and Brady. We made the decision based on three elements. Our desire to kill our reputation as Patriots homers pointed to McNabb. Our desire to avoid risk pointed to Brady. Finally, Mike decided he wanted to stay away from having two of our top three players on the same team with the same bye week, which meant taking McNabb.

Mike: In retrospect, I should have taken Brady, like we initially planned to. This league is so insanely deep that having two teammates wouldn't make a huge difference: no matter what, bye weeks will be a scramble. The Patriots offense is going to rock this season, so who cares if we look a little homer-ish and win a bunch of games. But you know what? I often select three running backs in the first three rounds when I pick fantasy teams. Maybe we should have done that here. I'd love to have Cadillac Williams in my flex position.

Round 4
37 Ambrosius (Krause) T.J. Houshmandzadeh (WR CIN)
38 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Antonio Gates (TE SD)
39 Norton (Foot. Guys) Drew Brees (QB NO)
40 Modglin (PFW) Javon Walker (WR DEN)
41 Eisenberg (CBS) Anquan Boldin (WR ARI)
42 Erickson (RotoWire) Lee Evans (WR BUF)
43 Richard (CBS) Donald Driver (WR GB)
44 Dodson (KFFL) Ahman Green (RB HOU)
45 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Tom Brady (QB NE)
46 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Marques Colston (WR NO)
47 Quintong (SI) Randy Moss (WR NE)
48 Silva (RotoWorld) Plaxico Burress (WR NYG)

Aaron: Run KUBIAK for the scoring in this league, and Gates comes out ninth. We still need to install a fix in the KUBIAK rankings that will account for the fact that the top tight end "bench" players are usually on waivers, so the "replacement level" for tight ends is different than for running backs or quarterbacks. It's coming soon. Even with that problem in mind, Gates is still far and away the best tight end, so we had no problem taking him here.

Mike: I like the idea of having a big plus at tight end like Gates. Though again, maybe we should have tagged that third running back.

Round 5
49 Silva (RotoWorld) Marc Bulger (QB STL)
50 Quintong (SI) Jamal Lewis (RB CLE)
51 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Hines Ward (WR PIT)
52 Hansen (Fant Guru) DeAng. Williams (RB CAR)
53 Dodson (KFFL) Laver. Coles (WR NYJ)
54 Richard (CBS) Vince Young (QB TEN)
55 Erickson (RotoWire) Reggie Brown (WR PHI)
56 Eisenberg (CBS) Tatum Bell (RB DET)
57 Modglin (PFW) Cadillac Williams (RB TB)
58 Norton (Foot. Guys) DeMeco Ryans (LB HOU)
59 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Fred Taylor (RB JAC)
60 Ambrosius (Krause) Warrick Dunn (RB ATL)
Round 6
61 Ambrosius (Krause) Matt Hasselbeck (QB SEA)
62 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Deion Branch (WR SEA)
63 Norton (Foot. Guys) Keith Bulluck (LB TEN)
64 Modglin (PFW) Darrell Jackson (WR SF)
65 Eisenberg (CBS) Mark Clayton (WR BAL)
66 Erickson (RotoWire) Tony Romo (QB DAL)
67 Richard (CBS) Jason Taylor (DL MIA)
68 Dodson (KFFL) Julius Jones (RB DAL)
69 Hansen (Fant Guru) LaMont Jordan (RB OAK)
70 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Jerious Norwood (RB ATL)
71 Quintong (SI) Brian Urlacher (LB CHI)
72 Silva (RotoWorld) Calvin Johnson (WR DET)

Aaron: We still didn't have a wide receiver when we hit our fifth-round pick, but we were really starting to get to slim pickins in a league where flex allows you to play three running backs per week. The Taylor pick is a bit of a gamble because we'll need to fiddle with the bench during Jacksonville's bye week. However, more than any other team, Jacksonville has two running backs who should gain enough yards and score enough touchdowns to start every week even in a league without a flex spot, and this gives us insurance if there is an injury to either Taylor or MJD. The defensive players started going earlier than Tanier expected; I had never done an IDP draft before so I had no idea what to expect.

Mike: Taking a linebacker in the fifth round of any IDP league is a serious reach in my opinion. There just isn't enough to separate the top 20 or so defenders from the next 150 or so. The wide receivers were flying off the board so quickly that Aaron and I agreed to go bargain hunting at running back. We both thought that some of our favorite high-risk guys, like Ladell Betts, would last another round or two. Taylor is a good flex-position back.

Aaron: As for the next pick, Deion Branch was simply the best wide receiver left on our list.

Round 7
73 Silva (RotoWorld) LenDale White (RB TEN)
74 Quintong (SI) Matt Leinart (QB ARI)
75 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Todd Heap (TE BAL)
76 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Santana Moss (WR WAS)
77 Dodson (KFFL) Jeremy Shockey (TE NYG)
78 Richard (CBS) Vernand Morency (RB GB)
79 Erickson (RotoWire) London Fletcher-Baker (LB WAS)
80 Eisenberg (CBS) Michael Vick (QB ATL)
81 Modglin (PFW) Tony Gonzalez (TE KC)
82 Norton (Foot. Guys) Ladell Betts (RB WAS)
83 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Donte' Stallworth (WR NE)
84 Ambrosius (Krause) Braylon Edwards (WR CLE)

Aaron: We were actually going to take a fourth running back here, Ladell Betts. At this point, so many running backs were gone, and Ladell Betts was far, far ahead of any other running back left according to KUBIAK. In part that's not an objective stats thing, that's due to the subjective playing time variable. Portis is nicked up and everyone on the FO staff generally agreed when we put these things together that Betts will still get a lot of playing time this season. Anyway, Norton grabbed him one spot before us, so we decided between Stallworth and Terry Glenn, and Stallworth has more upside.

Mike: I was mad. Betts and Cadillac Williams were both taken just before we could pounce on them. This is the first time I ever picked with such a bunch of experts -- no offense to all of the guys who have beaten me up in leagues past.

Round 8
85 Ambrosius (Krause) Zach Thomas (LB MIA)
86 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Donnie Edwards (LB KC)
87 Norton (Foot. Guys) Greg Jennings (WR GB)
88 Modglin (PFW) Terry Glenn (WR DAL)
89 Eisenberg (CBS) Vernon Davis (TE SF)
90 Erickson (RotoWire) Brandon Jackson (RB GB)
91 Richard (CBS) Adalius Thomas (LB NE)
92 Dodson (KFFL) Joey Galloway (WR TB)
93 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Chris Cooley (TE WAS)
94 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Chris Chambers (WR MIA)
95 Quintong (SI) Alge Crumpler (TE ATL)
96 Silva (RotoWorld) Jerricho Cotchery (WR NYJ)

Mike: I generally don't take a defensive player in the eighth round. At that point, we had many receivers bunched on our board, guys like Glenn, Muhammad, and Cotchery. With eight defensive spots to fill and marquee guys leaving the board, I figured it was time to dip our feet in. Edwards will do better than a lot of guys taken ahead of him.

Aaron: In doing the IDP projections for the first time, I discovered that weakside linebackers generally get more tackles than strongside linebackers, but the difference is even more extreme in two different defenses: The Tampa-2, and the Gunther Cunningham system. Kansas City is sort of a cross between the two now, I guess, and we think the Chiefs are going to suck, so Edwards is going to have a zillion tackles. Don't be shocked if he leads the league.

Also, let me add a plug: This year's more advanced projections, particularly those for IDP, would not be possible without Sagata Regression Professional software.

Round 9
97 Silva (RotoWorld) D.J. Williams (LB DEN)
98 Quintong (SI) Vincent Jackson (WR SD)
99 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) D.J. Hackett (WR SEA)
100 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Kevin Jones (RB DET)
101 Dodson (KFFL) Jon Kitna (QB DET)
102 Richard (CBS) A.J. Hawk (LB GB)
103 Erickson (RotoWire) Kellen Winslow (TE CLE)
104 Eisenberg (CBS) Chris Henry (RB TEN)
105 Modglin (PFW) Shawne Merriman (LB SD)
106 Norton (Foot. Guys) Jerry Porter (WR OAK)
107 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Muhsin Muhammad (WR CHI)
108 Ambrosius (Krause) Chester Taylor (RB MIN)

Aaron: The plan was to take D.J. Hackett or Vincent Jackson here and we never expected both of them to go this early. I guess we're not the only people who see them as sleepers. The bad part about grabbing the first tight end and three running backs early is that our starting wide receivers kind of suck. Of course, it is easier to find a reasonable wide receiver on the waiver wire than a reasonable running back. The other part of the plan was to take Chester Taylor coming back on the other side of the "snaking." We got too cute and should have taken him first, then a receiver. Oh well.

I'm a little shocked to see Jerry Porter go so high. Notice that Chris Henry of the Titans just went? He's the third-string running back. We're not even on Round 10. This league is DEEP.

Round 10
109 Ambrosius (Krause) Ray Lewis (LB BAL)
110 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Brian Dawkins (DB PHI)
111 Norton (Foot. Guys) Bran. Marshall (WR DEN)
112 Modglin (PFW) Bernard Berrian (WR CHI)
113 Eisenberg (CBS) Champ Bailey (DB DEN)
114 Erickson (RotoWire) Santonio Holmes (WR PIT)
115 Richard (CBS) Terrell Suggs (DL BAL)
116 Dodson (KFFL) Kevin Curtis (WR PHI)
117 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Brandon Jones (WR TEN)
118 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Jay Cutler (QB DEN)
119 Quintong (SI) Antonio Pierce (LB NYG)
120 Silva (RotoWorld) Jason Witten (TE DAL)
Round 11
121 Silva (RotoWorld) Sean Jones (DB CLE)
122 Quintong (SI) Ronde Barber (DB TB)
123 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Aaron Kampman (DL GB)
124 Hansen (Fant. Guru) DeShaun Foster (RB CAR)
125 Dodson (KFFL) Dev. Henderson (WR NO)
126 Richard (CBS) Adrian Wilson (DB ARI)
127 Erickson (RotoWire) Will Witherspoon (LB STL)
128 Eisenberg (CBS) Julius Peppers (DL CAR)
129 Modglin (PFW) Troy Polamalu (DB PIT)
130 Norton (Foot. Guys) Kerry Rhodes (DB NYJ)
131 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Cato June (LB TB)
132 Ambrosius (Krause) Benjamin Watson (TE NE)

Aaron: Brian Dawkins, baby! Bring on those ridiculous Lincoln Field "pass ten feet over receiver's head" B.S. passes defensed, and those Jim Johnson safety blitz sacks. As for our next IDP pick, Tampa-2 weakside linebackers are swell, and we don't get punished for when June misses a tackle. Unfortunately, we did this draft before I did the upgraded linebacker projections, which dropped June a bit.

Mike: It is still a good pick. In IDP leagues, you want guys who come up with eight or nine tackles per game as the basis of your defense, then you fill in around them with guys who have the chance to contribute a bunch of sacks. We have the tackles covered with Edwards and June.

Round 12
133 Ambrosius (Krause) Matt Jones (WR JAC)
134 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Michael Turner (RB SD)
135 Norton (Foot. Guys) Chris Hope (DB TEN)
136 Modglin (PFW) Julian Peterson (LB SEA)
137 Eisenberg (CBS) Bart Scott (LB BAL)
138 Erickson (RotoWire) Michael Bush (RB OAK)
139 Richard (CBS) Joe Horn (WR ATL)
140 Dodson (KFFL) Reuben Droughns (RB NYG)
141 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Kirk Morrison (LB OAK)
142 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Chris Brown (RB TEN)
143 Quintong (SI) Ed Reed (DB BAL)
144 Silva (RotoWorld) Ronald Curry (WR OAK)

Aaron: Perhaps a risky pick, since we still only have three wide receivers and none of them are good enough to be considered "absolute every week starters," but Turner is a nice gamble for extra touchdowns when the other running backs are on bye weeks, and if anything should happen to LaDainian Tomlinson, look out. Notice that Tennessee's alleged starting running back goes after the guy who ranks third on the depth chart.

Round 13
145 Silva (RotoWorld) Nate Kaeding (K SD)
146 Quintong (SI) Isaac Bruce (WR STL)
147 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Gibril Wilson (DB NYG)
148 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Osi Umenyiora (DL NYG)
149 Dodson (KFFL) Jonathan Vilma (LB NYJ)
150 Richard (CBS) L.J. Smith (TE PHI)
151 Erickson (RotoWire) Charles Tillman (DB CHI)
152 Eisenberg (CBS) Rashean Mathis (DB JAC)
153 Modglin (PFW) Leonard Little (DL STL)
154 Norton (Foot. Guys) Lofa Tatupu (LB SEA)
155 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Andra Davis (LB CLE)
156 Ambrosius (Krause) Philip Rivers (QB SD)

Aaron: This one is a mistake, and all my fault. Like June, Davis was higher in the IDP projections before I did the improved linebacker formulas. It isn't like Davis is a bad guy to have in IDP, but we were deciding between Davis and Indianapolis defensive end Robert Mathis here. We should have taken Mathis, not only because his projection is better vis-a-vis his position, but because we now have three linebackers and no defensive linemen.

Mike: I like Davis, good mix of tackles and big-play ability, and your projection didn't downgrade him that much. But at this point, I realized that the defensive line was going to be the weak point of the defense. I wasn't that worried, because sack totals are volatile, and a lot of IDP fantasy players draft 12-sack defensive ends too high only to catch them during their five-sack follow-up year. Remember how I said that I don't usually take defenders in the eighth round? There's one exception: Julius Peppers. If I don't get him, I draft a bunch of decent guys then scan the waiver wire in Week 1 and 2 for better options.

Round 14
157 Ambrosius (Krause) Nick Barnett (LB GB)
158 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Stephen Gostkowski (K NE)
159 Norton (Foot. Guys) Owen Daniels (TE HOU)
160 Modglin (PFW) Aaron Schobel (DL BUF)
161 Eisenberg (CBS) Derrick Brooks (LB TB)
162 Erickson (RotoWire) Robert Mathis (DL IND)
163 Richard (CBS) Roy Williams (DB DAL)
164 Dodson (KFFL) Keith Brooking (LB ATL)
165 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Ernie Sims (LB DET)
166 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Mike Peterson (LB JAC)
167 Quintong (SI) Charles Grant (DL NO)
168 Silva (RotoWorld) Mike Bell (RB DEN)

Aaron: Once Silva broached the kicker thing with Kaeding, we wanted to get the guy who KUBIAK has higher than any other kicker by a healthy margin. In retrospect, perhaps we should have waited and gambled on our spectacular Jacksonville projections by taking Josh Scobee super late. However, Gostkowski will be kicking for one of the top offenses in the league, and remember, field-goal percentage is inconsistent from season to season, especially on kicks over 40 yards -- which happens to be where Gostkowski struggled as a rookie. This was the last pick where Tanier had me on the phone beforehand. I headed off to the beach to dig sand holes with Mirinae while Mike finished things up.

Round 15
169 Silva (RotoWorld) Ben Roethlisberger (QB PIT)
170 Quintong (SI) DeMarcus Ware (LB DAL)
171 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Derrick Burgess (DL OAK)
172 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Justin Smith (DL CIN)
173 Dodson (KFFL) Randy McMichael (TE STL)
174 Richard (CBS) Drew Bennett (WR STL)
175 Erickson (RotoWire) Ken Hamlin (DB DAL)
176 Eisenberg (CBS) Sean Taylor (DB WAS)
177 Modglin (PFW) Bob Sanders (DB IND)
178 Norton (Foot. Guys) Jared Allen (DL KC)
179 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Kyle Van. Bosch (DL TEN)
180 Ambrosius (Krause) Eddie Kennison (WR KC)
Round 16
181 Ambrosius (Krause) Quentin Jammer (DB SD)
182 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Dallas Clark (TE IND)
183 Norton (Foot. Guys) Will Smith (DL NO)
184 Modglin (PFW) DeDe Dorsey (RB IND)
185 Eisenberg (CBS) Dwight Freeney (DL IND)
186 Erickson (RotoWire) Madieu Williams (DB CIN)
187 Richard (CBS) Cor. Buckhalter (RB PHI)
188 Dodson (KFFL) Derrick Mason (WR BAL)
189 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Dom. Rhodes (RB OAK)
190 Caplan (Foot. Injuries) Barrett Ruud (LB TB)
191 Quintong (SI) Eli Manning (QB NYG)
192 Silva (RotoWorld) Karlos Dansby (LB ARI)

Aaron: Here's the one pick that Tanier and I really disagreed on. My case is that backup tight ends are out there as free commodities. I'll let Mike make his case.

Mike: Yes, yes I know that backup tight ends are useless in most leagues and are relatively plentiful. But look at who is getting selected at this point in the draft: backup running backs, defensive players, and so on. This is a league in which you start three receivers AND a flex guy. At this point, I figured Taylor would be our typical flex guy, but if he was hurt or starting at running back, we might be down to a fourth or fifth receiver. Or, a second tight end. Clark gets lots of opportunities in Indy and is a stable commodity. If Gates gets hurt, we're covered. If he has to fill the flex once or twice, we're covered. Anthony Gonzalez got picked a few rounds after Clark, and this isn't a keeper league. Dee Dee Dorsey got picked a few choices earlier. Clark will outscore both of them this season.

Okay, I am trying to convince myself. You see Derrick Mason a few slots down? He would have been a better option as the safe backup who can flex in a pinch. But hey, it's the 16th round.

Round 17
193 Silva (RotoWorld) Yeremiah Bell (DB MIA)
194 Quintong (SI) Leon Washington (RB NYJ)
195 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Brett Favre (QB GB)
196 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Antoine Winfield (DB MIN)
197 Dodson (KFFL) Dunta Robinson (DB HOU)
198 Richard (CBS) Ant. Gonzalez (WR IND)
199 Erickson (RotoWire) Lance Briggs (LB CHI)
200 Eisenberg (CBS) James Farrior (LB PIT)
201 Modglin (PFW) Wes Welker (WR NE)
202 Norton (Foot. Guys) Tony Scheffler (TE DEN)
203 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Dwayne Jarrett (WR CAR)
204 Ambrosius (Krause) Mario Williams (DL HOU)
Round 18
205 Ambrosius (Krause) Dre' Bly (DB DEN)
206 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Joe Jurevicius (WR CLE)
207 Norton (Foot. Guys) Lorenzo Booker (RB MIA)
208 Modglin (PFW) Jake Delhomme (QB CAR)
209 Eisenberg (CBS) Kam. Wimbley (LB CLE)
210 Erickson (RotoWire) J.P. Losman (QB BUF)
211 Richard (CBS) Michael Huff (DB OAK)
212 Dodson (KFFL) Angelo Crowell (LB BUF)
213 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Troy Williamson (WR MIN)
214 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Michael Strahan (DL NYG)
215 Quintong (SI) Patrick Kerney (DL SEA)
216 Silva (RotoWorld) Tamba Hali (DL KC)

Mike: Jarrett is our gamble on a breakout guy. Jurevicius is a safe bye week sub. After this, I essentially threw up my hands at wide receiver. We can bargain hunt for extra depth once camp opens and we know who is really starting where.

Round 19
217 Silva (RotoWorld) Ron Dayne (RB HOU)
218 Quintong (SI) Mike Furrey (WR DET)
219 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Drew Carter (WR CAR)
220 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Bobby Wade (WR MIN)
221 Dodson (KFFL) Nate Clements (DB SF)
222 Richard (CBS) Chad Greenway (LB MIN)
223 Erickson (RotoWire) Trent Cole (DL PHI)
224 Eisenberg (CBS) Alex Smith (QB SF)
225 Modglin (PFW) Heath Miller (TE PIT)
226 Norton (Foot. Guys) Dwayne Bowe (WR KC)
227 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Steve McNair (QB BAL)
228 Ambrosius (Krause) Michael Pittman (RB TB)
Round 20
229 Ambrosius (Krause) Nick Collins (DB GB)
230 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Donte Whitner (DB BUF)
231 Norton (Foot. Guys) Jeff Garcia (QB TB)
232 Modglin (PFW) Jeff Wilkins (K STL)
233 Eisenberg (CBS) Anthony Thomas (RB BUF)
234 Erickson (RotoWire) Alex Brown (DL CHI)
235 Richard (CBS) ST Bears (ST CHI)
236 Dodson (KFFL) John Henderson (DL JAC)
237 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Asante Samuel (DB NE)
238 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Jermaine Phillips (DB TB)
239 Quintong (SI) Michael Lewis (DB SF)
240 Silva (RotoWorld) Brian Leonard (RB STL)

Aaron: Yes, that says pick 240 and we still have nine rounds to go, and someone just took a rookie fullback. Wow. By the way, the Bears were the only "special teams" to go before round 26.

Round 21
241 Silva (RotoWorld) Chike Okeafor (DL ARI)
242 Quintong (SI) Eric Johnson (TE NO)
243 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Thomas Howard (LB OAK)
244 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Daniel Graham (TE DEN)
245 Dodson (KFFL) John Abraham (DL ATL)
246 Richard (CBS) D'Qwell Jackson (LB CLE)
247 Erickson (RotoWire) Shayne Graham (K CIN)
248 Eisenberg (CBS) Roydell Williams (WR TEN)
249 Modglin (PFW) Derrick Johnson (LB KC)
250 Norton (Foot. Guys) Maurice Stovall (WR TB)
251 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Kalimba Edwards (DL DET)
252 Ambrosius (Krause) Adam Vinatieri (K IND)
Round 22
253 Ambrosius (Krause) Jevon Kearse (DL PHI)
254 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Kevin Faulk (RB NE)
255 Norton (Foot. Guys) Bernard Pollard (DB KC)
256 Modglin (PFW) T.J. Duckett (RB DET)
257 Eisenberg (CBS) David Thornton (LB TEN)
258 Erickson (RotoWire) Gerald Hayes (LB ARI)
259 Richard (CBS) Rod. Harrison (DB NE)
260 Dodson (KFFL) Erik Coleman (DB NYJ)
261 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Matt Schaub (QB HOU)
262 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Jeremiah Trotter (LB PHI)
263 Quintong (SI) Napoleon Harris (LB KC)
264 Silva (RotoWorld) E.J. Henderson (LB MIN)

Aaron: I may have Kalimba Edwards too high in the projections based on his place on the depth chart, but we're in Round 21, so honestly, no big deal. The other starting Lions end, Dewayne White, is still available as a free agent and probably makes a better choice.

Mike: My late defensive line picks, Edwards and Tommy Kelly, weren't my best work. It's not easy picking defensive linemen three weeks before camp opens.

Round 23
265 Silva (RotoWorld) LaRon Landry (DB WAS)
266 Quintong (SI) N. Asomugha (DB OAK)
267 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Ben Troupe (TE TEN)
268 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Rex Grossman (QB CHI)
269 Dodson (KFFL) Ty Warren (DL NE)
270 Richard (CBS) Byron Leftwich (QB JAC)
271 Erickson (RotoWire) Kenny Irons (RB CIN)
272 Eisenberg (CBS) Marty Booker (WR MIA)
273 Modglin (PFW) Devin Hester (WR CHI)
274 Norton (Foot. Guys) Kevan Barlow (RB PIT)
275 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Ahmad Brooks (LB CIN)
276 Ambrosius (Krause) Chris Gamble (DB CAR)
Round 24
277 Ambrosius (Krause) Marcus Pollard (TE SEA)
278 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Carlos Rogers (DB WAS)
279 Norton (Foot. Guys) Gary Brackett (LB IND)
280 Modglin (PFW) Terence Newman (DB DAL)
281 Eisenberg (CBS) DeAngelo Hall (DB ATL)
282 Erickson (RotoWire) Terrence McGee (DB BUF)
283 Richard (CBS) Cedric Houston (RB NYJ)
284 Dodson (KFFL) Shaun Phillips (LB SD)
285 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Neil Rackers (K ARI)
286 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Sean Considine (DB PHI)
287 Quintong (SI) Adrian Peterson (RB CHI)
288 Silva (RotoWorld) Robert Meachem (WR NO)

Aaron: IDP people, don't forget Ahmad Brooks is the starting middle linebacker for a defense that everybody in the league wants to run on. Bring on the tackles!

Mike: At this point, I have been drafting for almost four hours. Aaron is long gone. Here in South Jersey, it is 80 degrees and sunny, and I am sitting at my computer drafting Washington Redskins cornerbacks while my wife and children splash merrily in a municipal pool. I briefly contemplate my own mortality, the paucity of beautiful July days, and the preciousness of children's laughter. I have a brief career crisis. Then I have a salami sandwich. I feel slightly better.

Round 25
289 Silva (RotoWorld) Mike Vrabel (LB NE)
290 Quintong (SI) Robbie Gould (K CHI)
291 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Anthony Henry (DB DAL)
292 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Paul Posluszny (LB BUF)
293 Dodson (KFFL) Maurice Morris (RB SEA)
294 Richard (CBS) Jason Elam (K DEN)
295 Erickson (RotoWire) Tony Hunt (RB PHI)
296 Eisenberg (CBS) Amani Toomer (WR NYG)
297 Modglin (PFW) Charles Woodson (DB GB)
298 Norton (Foot. Guys) Roman Harper (DB NO)
299 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Michael Bennett (RB KC)
300 Ambrosius (Krause) Joey Porter (LB MIA)

Aaron: Yes, that's correct, we have LT's backup, LJ's backup, and the Kool-Aid Man's backup. We're the vultures. I cannot believe this thing is still going.

Mike: You don't believe it is still going? You were buried in sand by this point. Yep, we are ghouls, but we got Turner and Bennett at value prices. Bennett is a fine talent who is one injury away from being the featured back in a run-heavy offense.

Round 26
301 Ambrosius (Krause) Simeon Rice (DL TB)
302 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Tommy Kelly (DL OAK)
303 Norton (Foot. Guys) Mark Anderson (DL CHI)
304 Modglin (PFW) Ian Gold (LB DEN)
305 Eisenberg (CBS) Sammy Morris (RB NE)
306 Erickson (RotoWire) Corey Dillon (RB NE)
307 Richard (CBS) Morlon Greenwood (LB HOU)
308 Dodson (KFFL) Jon Beason (LB CAR)
309 Hansen (Fant. Guru) ST Ravens (ST BAL)
310 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Bertrand Berry (DL ARI)
311 Quintong (SI) Luis Castillo (DL SD)
312 Silva (RotoWorld) Antrel Rolle (DB ARI)
Round 27
313 Silva (RotoWorld) Brett Keisel (DL PIT)
314 Quintong (SI) ST Saints (ST NO)
315 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Josh Brown (K SEA)
316 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Michael Robinson (RB SF)
317 Dodson (KFFL) David Akers (K PHI)
318 Richard (CBS) Greg Jones (RB JAC)
319 Erickson (RotoWire) Sidney Rice (WR MIN)
320 Eisenberg (CBS) Dan Morgan (LB CAR)
321 Modglin (PFW) Marcel Shipp (RB ARI)
322 Norton (Foot. Guys) Patrick Willis (LB SF)
323 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Trent Green (QB MIA)
324 Ambrosius (Krause) Michael Jenkins (WR ATL)

Aaron: Didn't Corey Dillon retire? Trent Green has a terrible KUBIAK projection, but he plays Houston the week Donovan McNabb is on bye, and then he will be waived.

Round 28
325 Ambrosius (Krause) ST Bills (ST BUF)
326 Schatz/Tanier (FO) Dan. Manning (DB CHI)
327 Norton (Foot. Guys) Josh Scobee (K JAC)
328 Modglin (PFW) ST Dolphins (ST MIA)
329 Eisenberg (CBS) Olindo Mare (K NO)
330 Erickson (RotoWire) Bryan Thomas (LB NYJ)
331 Richard (CBS) Nathan Vasher (DB CHI)
332 Dodson (KFFL) Antoine Bethea (DB IND)
333 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Dwight Smith (DB MIN)
334 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) ST Jaguars (ST JAC)
335 Quintong (SI) Ashley Lelie (WR SF)
336 Silva (RotoWorld) ST Rams (ST STL)
Round 29
337 Silva (RotoWorld) David Martin (TE MIA)
338 Quintong (SI) Chad Pennington (QB NYJ)
339 Caplan (Foot. Inj.) Jerome Harrison (RB CLE)
340 Hansen (Fant. Guru) Channing Crowder (LB MIA)
341 Dodson (KFFL) ST Jets (ST NYJ)
342 Richard (CBS) Chris Henry (WR CIN)
343 Erickson (RotoWire) ST Bengals (ST CIN)
344 Eisenberg (CBS) ST Chargers (ST SD)
345 Modglin (PFW) Richard Seymour (DL NE)
346 Norton (Foot. Guys) ST Patriots (ST NE)
347 Schatz/Tanier (FO) ST Redskins (ST WAS)
348 Ambrosius (Krause) Adewale Ogunleye (DL CHI)

Aaron: Dude, I can't believe you got Manning this late! Wait a minute, wrong Manning...

The idea of your starting roster having a "special teams" spot just seems ludicrous to me, since special teams touchdowns are almost entirely random. There's very little correlation from year-to-year, even with the best return men. That being said, I think Antwaan Randle El is the only guy in the league to have punt return touchdowns each of the last three years (if I remember correctly) so I'm happy Mike made this pick for our last pick. I have no idea how anybody could have taken any special teams in any round other than round 29, except perhaps Chicago. Yes, I just typed "Round 29" in a mock draft article.

Mike: Yes, 29 rounds. It started at 1:30 and ended around 6 PM. Really, the last rounds in any draft this long are superfluous. We could have snaked the last few rounds on e-mail, but some of the other guys were going on vacation.

I would rather draft a punter than a special teams. I would love to win a week because Brad Moorman booted four punts inside the 20 or something. I wrote an article for Sports Forecaster once about drafting offensive lines: you get points for sack-free games, points for 200 total rushing yards, that sort of thing. I think a lot of the fantasy services can support something like that.

Aaron: In retrospect, this league would work better if it was more like a baseball "Ultra" league. I don't know about keepers or no keepers, but an auction instead of a straight draft would allow for a lot of flexibility given the number of roster spots. 20 spots could be auctioned, and the final nine bench spots would be a reserve draft to shorten things at the end. With the ability to throw all your money at one position or another, or split it everywhere, there would be tons of strategy options.

How deep is this league? The best remaining quarterbacks are Jason Campbell and whoever starts for Oakland. The best running backs are Mewelde Moore and J.J. Arrington. The best wide receivers are Reggie Williams and Eric Parker, and the best tight end is either Chris Baker or Marcedes Lewis. Holy mackeral. It will be interesting to see how we fare against some very smart football folks who spend a lot more time thinking specifically about fantasy football than either Mike or myself. The website is not open to the public -- at least, not yet, I don't know if that changes when the season begins -- so we'll try to keep everyone updated on our progress.

Posted by: admin on 19 Jul 2007

40 comments, Last at 03 Aug 2007, 6:20pm by RU Serious


by Mike W (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 5:32pm

Vick with the 80th pick. Good luck with that, Eisenberg.

by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 5:33pm

Interesting stuff, but I agree that this is not going to be particularly helpful to many fantasy players.

Also did anybody else find it a little funny that both Larry Johnson and Clinton Portis were taken early by the guy from "Footballinjuries.com"?

by dmb (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 5:40pm

Doggone it! You beat me to it, JasonK.

by beedubyuh (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 5:41pm

What's more weird, participating in a 29-round draft or reading an article about someone else's participation in a 29-round draft? Tough call.

"I briefly contemplate my own mortality, the paucity of beautiful July days, and the preciousness of children’s laughter. I have a brief career crisis. Then I have a salami sandwich. I feel slightly better."

God damn, that's beautiful, Mike.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 5:42pm

4: Responding to a comment on which is weirder is the weirdest, though.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 5:59pm

Thats all pretty weird.

I've never had the patience for fantasy football. The one year I played I let the computer pick my team. I won my first game and then, much like the 2001 Panthers, was blown out the rest of the season. I guess you could say I'm the George Seifert of fantasy football.

by Joey (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 6:01pm

How could you take Danieal Manning over Antoine Bethea???? What were you thinking?!! Just kidding.. I just wanted to be that guy.

by RMGreen (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 6:11pm

I started a dynasty league last year. The initial draft? 45 rounds.

by Karl (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 6:13pm

45 rounds? that's insane.

what does IDP stand for?

by The Other Vlad (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 6:49pm

IDP = Individual Defensive Player

by Unshakable Optimist (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 6:57pm

As for our next IDP pick, Tampa-2 weakside linebackers are swell, and we don’t get punished for when June misses a tackle.

I think that June was guaranteed a starting spot if he signed with Tampa, and the plan is for him to replace Derrick Brooks. I just don't think it's gonna happen this year. He was getting most of his reps on the strong side during OTA's, and that's where they're trying to see if he can play before switching him back to will next year. That'll probably hurt his tackle total a bit.

by Jason Mulgrew aka The Mul Dawg (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 7:05pm

Mul Dawg here to drop some science. Yes, Unshakable Optimist, June is expected to play on the strong side this season.

by Paul (not verified) :: Thu, 07/19/2007 - 7:06pm

This draft perplexed me, as an admirer and adherent of FO's fantasy football draft advice in the past I'm surprised you guys went with RB, RB, QB, TE. If everyone is picking RB, RB, WR, WR, QB, TE I would figure the best bet would be to go RB, WR, WR, QB, TE, RB. The question is how much value over replacement do you lose by not picking WR's in rounds 1-4 vs. how much you gain by picking Gates and McNabb?

by the K (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 2:33am

Just because I don't usually get to nitpick meaningless little mistakes, I have to say I don't think Brad Moorman will boot many punts inside the 20. Brian Moorman, however, might.

by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 9:16am

I hope you guys have a good backup hamstring/wide receiver behind Stallworth.

by Theo, Holland (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 10:08am

It looks like there are more people who don't rank Dallas first in the WR/TE group.

by Shawn (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 11:25am

Who the hell is Brad Moorman? Does he play on that football team with P.J. Losman?

by Woof Mexico (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 1:05pm

#1 & #3

by underthebus (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 2:19pm

"We’re the vultures." I have officially lost all respect for the FO guys.

by jimmo (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 3:30pm

"Who among you owns Channing Crowder or Jerome Harrison on your fantasy team?"

I do! Harrison anyway, picked #176 in a recent dynasty draft. Someone has got to catch Frye/Anderson/Quinn- 's dumpoffs on third down after Lewis is stuffed on first and second. (Drafted Lewis too...)

by Raging Alpaca (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 3:47pm

I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of this draft. Taking McNabb in the third was a reach, particularly with WR options like Fitzgerald, Housh, Boldin, Colston, and Moss around. And while I like Gates as much as the next guy, having Deion Branch as your #1 WR is a recipe for disaster, particularly when he is paired with less than stellar options in Moose and Stallworth.

by TheDudeAbides (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 4:21pm

Based on the draft positions of Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason, Bill Barnwell is still the only person who has the Baltimore WRs in the top 20 in the NFL much less top 5.
Also, does anybody find it strange that the guys who publish Lewin's QB projection system would pass on Jason Campbell? If you merely double Campbell's starts from last season, you get a projection of more TDs than Steve McNair with the same # of INTs. Plus, you know what you're getting with McNair: a very mediocre player who throws barely more TDs than INTs.
Lewin's system projects Campbell as a far above average QB and Campbell gets to play in Al Saunders' QB friendly system. I guess KUBIAK must be really down on him, but even when you adjust for how bad Brandon Lloyd is, it still makes no sense for Campbell to go undrafted in a 29 round draft. It especially makes no sense when the Outsiders explain just how bad the projections are for guys they DID draft.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 4:44pm

I'm surprised you guys didn't point out in the article how thorougly a 29-round draft can just decimate the waiver wire. I heard a lot of mentions of the waivers as fallbacks to many things, and with such deep rosters, the other 11 teams are sure to do some shuffling, so you might be able to get something good off of their shavings, but otherwise, who can you really expect to pick up?Jamaica Rector? Ricky Williams?

On a side note, look at round 29 again. Poor Chad Pennington.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 4:56pm

The most important question about this league is whether or not you guys have a deal set up with Josten's to award the winner with a Fantasy Football Championship Ring.

by JB (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 5:40pm

As mentioned earlier, you'll very likely be disappointed with Cato June's production unless Derrick Brooks is injured. June will struggle on the strong side of the Bucs defense with his inability to shed blocks and tackle consistently. There are also rumors that the Bucs will work some 3-4 into the defense this season, as goofy as that sounds, with June working as one OLB in that alignment. June will be lucky to top 80 solos this season. Eagerly awaiting the arrival of PFP again this year, especially if there is more defensive detail included. Woohoo!

by chris p (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 6:41pm

My IDP league only starts 15 players but we have 20 teams with a 20 round draft.

by joe (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 8:01pm

The Rams Special Teams, even in the 28th round? This was a deep draft....

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 8:08pm

Obviously, you guys are really good at making fantasy projections, but not so good at the actual drafting part. I think you made two absolutely awful picks that are going to hurt your

The third round pick clearly should have been Larry Fitzgerald. Your projections for him are pretty solid (roughly 5th, behind Harrison, Smith, Johnson, and Wayne). Several WRs had gone, including many ranked below Fitzgerald. Also, with the way almost everyone had two RBs, you could see a massive run on WRs coming.

Furthermore, Donovan McNabb at that point was a mistake, as awesome as his projection is. Why? Consider that Philip Rivers, a QB that KUBIAK ranks around 7th or so, was available in the thirteenth round. Which would you rather have? Fitz and Rivers, or McNabb and Andra Davis?

Another problem with the McNabb pick is that he's in that bunched group of four very good QB choices (Brady, Palmer, Brees being the other three.) No need to rush on him, since there are other guys who can offer similar value, and he'll probably be drafted a round later than most of those guys.

The other awful pick is Gostkowski. You could have waited another 7 rounds and still gotten him. There's no way he goes before Vinatieri, and even if he does, it's not a big deal to lose out on your targeted kicker at all.

by The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly (not verified) :: Fri, 07/20/2007 - 9:09pm

Re: 28

I agree, and I would add that F. Taylor was an odd pick, especially when you already had MJD. I'd rather have Dunn (If KUBIAK thinks he'll be healthy and get the lion's share), Norwood (if not), or Julius Jones (clearly favored by Parcells, though maybe not anymore since he's gone). Each of those guys has serious questions and plays as part of a tandem, but so does Taylor. I don't have KUBIAK, but my guess is that Taylor is favored because Jax is projected to be really good and Atl is not. Still, JJ is probably safer than Taylor, especially when you already start MJD. Note that MJD and Taylor don't insure each other because you plan to start both of them. You will still need a 3rd starter if one gets hurt.

I also don't get the Carlos Rogers pick at all. I'm sure it made sense at the time, somehow.

For the record, I love the Michael Bennett pick. To find a competent RB in the 25th round who is virtually guaranteed to start several games is great value. Turner seems to me more like trade bait for whoever drafted Tomlinson.

by rashreflection (not verified) :: Sat, 07/21/2007 - 6:33pm

Agree 100% with Yaguar's post.

#29, though, not so much. Julius Jones was never anything more than a decent flex guy last year, because MB3 stole all the touchdowns; according to footballguys.com, he ranked as the #27 RB in total points. And if anything, MB3 should get more carries this season.

And as for Dunn & Norwood, I see them splitting carries more or less evenly. Dunn *is* old and prone to injury, so Norwood has UPPPPPPPPPSIDE...but the Falcons offense will not be as conducive to fantasy stats as Jacksonville's. Without Vick, the team is going to suck hard, so they could end up having to abandon the run quite a bit.

Taylor was a legitimate starting RB last year (#18 on footballguys), and this season should be similar. He's never had a good complementary back in his whole career before MJD, so I think that helps keep him healthy & productive. Plus, both Jags RBs have even more UPPPPPPPSIDE than Norwood in the event that one of them gets injured. That was a perfectly fine pick at that spot IMO.

And yes, I am also targeting Michael Bennett late in my drafts this year. =P

Additional constructive criticism:

- Since this is a PPR league, I would take Bush over Maroney.

- Berrian > Moose, I think. The two were almost even in total points last season, and Berrian missed a game. Additionally, throughout the playoffs, Berrian was clearly Rex's favored target and ended up as the #1 or #2 overall fantasy WR during the postseason. One of my favorite quasi-sleepers...

- You guys really should've known about DJ Hackett, he's been *the* bandwagon sleeper of the Footballguys forums for awhile now! V.Jackson to a lesser extent, as well.

- Others mentioned Cato June, but you also made a mistake with Donnie Edwards. The Chiefs system actually tends to spread the tackles around all the LBs.

- Steve McNair? Even looking at the following rounds, I'd take Pennington or Leftwich over him. But an even better idea would've been to draft Alex Smith the previous round instead of Jurevicius - he's receiving option #3 on a team with some of the worst QBs in the league and a rough schedule. With McNabb's history, you guys really needed a quality backup, and you don't have one. I do like the Trent Green bye-week sub, though. ;)

- I like Glenn better than Stallworth, and might like Hackett better than either; I suspect he's the reason they traded DJax, just like Colston was the reason the Saints traded Stallworth. Honestly, I think all the Pats WRs are overrated since Brady spreads the ball around so evenly.

- Yeah, I don't get Carlos Rogers either, McGee is definitely better. And Bethea > Manning.

Just trying to help you guys a bit - you've got the projection part down pat, you just need to understand draft strategy a bit better and you'll be beasts!


by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 07/22/2007 - 4:46pm

"Based on the draft positions of Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason, Bill Barnwell is still the only person who has the Baltimore WRs in the top 20 in the NFL much less top 5."

Barnwell has them as top 5 in actual talent, not fantasy performance. Just because he thinks they're really good doesn't mean he thinks they'll deliver lots of fantasy points.

by James G (not verified) :: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 2:35pm

The 27th round seems awfully late for Michael Jenkins. I know he's not a star, but he ended up starting for me last year and I thought he would go late in a 12 or 14 round league, not be a 27th rounder behind rookie fullbacks.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Mon, 07/23/2007 - 4:53pm

Without Vick, the team is going to suck hard, so they could end up having to abandon the run quite a bit.

Do you really think Petrino's going to put the game in the hands of Padraig Harrington's cousin?

by The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly (not verified) :: Tue, 07/24/2007 - 3:09pm

Re: Taylor vs Dunn, Norwood, Jones

OK, I looked it up in PFP2007. Dunn and Jones are not so hot, although Jones is not so far behind Taylor in PPR and ahead in non-PPR (it's hard to predict what role Jones will have being that Barber on merit should be the clear #1). Norwood, however, is better than Taylor in regular scoring and well ahead in PPR. When you consider that Norwood likely could get the most carries on his team and Taylor probably won't, plus Taylor is an injury risk while Norwood isn't but his competition is, plus the fact that already having MJD makes you too reliant on the success of one team's running game with Taylor, I can't justify taking Taylor ahead of Norwood.

I realize that Jax's offense will probably be way better than Atl, but that's not enough to me to take a #2 back with a risky history over a young, healthy #1 back whose competition is risky. The whole point of preferring backs on good offenses is that they get more carries, but if Norwood gets more carries than Taylor then who cares how good their respective offenses are?

by rashreflection (not verified) :: Wed, 07/25/2007 - 5:20pm

dryheat: Given how bad Atlanta's defense is, they may have no other choice sometimes.

Guy with awesome username: OK, a few points here.

I'm not seeing any indication thus far that one guy in Atlanta will get more carries than the other, though the smart money *is* on Norwood. I would like to hear something from the coaching staff, though, as with Brandon Jacobs just recently.

Taylor actually had 65 more carries than MJD last year, and is not as much of an injury risk now as he was earlier in his career. That gap will close, but I'm not so sure that MJD will get more.

Jacksonville had the #3 rushing offense by DVOA last year, and now has its easiest schedule in quite some time. However, Atlanta's sched is a bit easier.

Taylor had 28 receptions last year, Norwood got 15. Even when adjusting for the playing time, I don't see how this becomes an advantage for Norwood. Remember, Dunn's made a nice living from his pass-catching skills...

Again, I see both of these as committee situations most likely. And although both teams use run-heavy offenses, I like Jacksonville to wind up with easily more total carries because they're an actual good team that's going to spend a lot of time grinding down the clock.

Now, even in spite of all this, ordinarily I might agree with you and take Norwood, because he does have an easier schedule and a better chance at establishing a clear #1 role than Taylor.

However, because the FO guys already drafted MJD, Taylor became MORE valuable to them than to any other team. It's the handcuff principle; if either Jax RB gets hurt, they'll have a monster on their hands with the other one.

Additionally, Taylor is an excellent and reliable option for the flex spot, because he gets half the carries at worst. With Norwood, it's tougher to say since his role isn't as clearly defined and the team is a mess.

Thank you for making me research things a bit, though - you may have tipped me toward Norwood in my own drafts, especially since the RB-WR-WR strategy looks good this year.


by The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 1:44am

I get the idea that Taylor is something of an insurance policy if MJD gets hurt. I'm not convinced that this justifies taking both of them to start for you. I don't buy the "monster" principle because if MJD is hurt, then you have the Taylor of the last few years- inconsistent and not a reliable fantasy starter, a guy not found on top fantasy teams. (If Taylor is hurt, you're better off not having him in the first place, since you still get the benefit from MJD.)

I expect MJD to get more carries than Taylor, though it depends on the teams loyalty to the past. Taylor had more than MJD last year because MJD was an upstart rookie and Taylor was an incumbent star. I haven't looked at the numbers, but my recollection is that MJD's touches per game go up as the year went on.

BTW, I heard on the radio today that Dunn is out for the preseason with a herniated disc (or some other back problem, I'm not 100% sure). So it begins. Norwood will be the primary back earlier than I would even have guessed. Even if Taylor is healthy and productive, I'd still rather have Norwood playing with a damaged Dunn.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 07/26/2007 - 9:05am

Rotoworld has the draft up also, if you desire another perspective.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 07/27/2007 - 2:34pm

Was I the only one who's jaw hit the floor when they saw Travis Henry's name in the first round? Especially now that he's in Denver?

by Steve the Pict (not verified) :: Thu, 08/02/2007 - 1:31pm

Deepest fantasy league of all time? I think not. Trench Warfare has been around since 2001: 24 teams, 8 offensive starters and 11 IDPs. And it's a dynasty league.


by RU Serious (not verified) :: Fri, 08/03/2007 - 6:20pm

You guys can't be serious. I mean you are participating in an EXPERTS IDP DRAFT and you think 29 rounds is unheard of? I know you need to direct comments towards the lowest common denominator as far as FF goes but you both just made yourselves sound like idiots. I know of MANY leagues that are full blown IDP Leagues where the drafts are TYPICALLY 40-50+ Rounds and 12-16 teams. Then you go on and spew things about Cato June like you know what you are talking about when most people that play in IDP leagues know that he is playing the SAM this year. Oh wait sorry do you guys know what SAM stands for? It stands for the Strong Side Linebacker. You know the one that is historically the worst performing Linebacker position in fantasy football. On another side note to the guy that thinks June will play the WILL(weak side for the newbs) next yr I would be cautious with regards to that as it seems that Quincy Black will have the inside track to being Brooks replacement. While KC does play some Tampa 2 for the most part they play a right left designation with their Outside Linebackers and while I think Edwards is a very good player he will not outscore any of the 5 Linebackers taken in front of him in this draft(barring injury). Actually Antonio Pierce(10.11) will easily outscore Edwards and I don't need a computer program to tell me that. Wow the gems just keep jumping out at me, June over Kirk Morrison(another guy that should be top 10-15 or better), you do realize that even most novice IDP people aren't drafting June. Seriously, the next time you are invited to participate in an EXPERTS Draft that you don't have any expertise in save yourselves the embarrassment and say THANKS BUT NO THANKS.