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07 Sep 2005

Scramble Auction Review

by Al Bogdan and Vivek Ramgopal

Al: Alright Viv, here are the results of the auction draft that I just finished in a league that includes a number of the Football Outsiders staff and friends. Aaron, Jason the cartoonist, and my old partner Ian all own teams in the league. We've made a Scramble for the Ball tradition of reviewing the results of this auction before Week 1 of the regular season.

For those of you unfamiliar with fantasy auctions, here's how they work. Each team is given a salary cap of fake dollars ($160 in the case of this league). Instead of distributing players through a draft, player names are called out one by one. Each owner then has the opportunity to bid on each player. The owner that bids the highest gets the player on his/her team. I'm a big fan of auctions because it gives you an opportunity to own any player you want. If you have the sixth pick in a traditional draft, you know that you have no shot to get LaDainian Tomlinson. Each team starts 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DT and is required to carry one backup at each position with an additional flex bench spot. Scoring is fairly standard. There are twelve teams in this league, two more than there were the last time I ran a team myself three years ago.

So, since I'm involved in the auction, it wouldn't be fair for me to start ripping everyone else's draft apart without first allowing a neutral observer to give his opinion. That means you, Viv. Here are the team rosters, but I won't reveal the owners until I hear your opinion on how everyone did:

Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4 Team 5 Team 6
QB Delhomme 2 Culpepper 36 A. Brooks 1 Brees 2 Hasselbeck 7 Pennington 1
RB S. Alexander 68 Dillon 49 Tomlinson 78 J. Jones 59 T. Barber 52 Bennett 14
RB W. Dunn 15 F. Taylor 28 Holmes 62 R. Johnson 53 M. Anderson 39 Westbrook 34
WR R. Moss 37 Javon Walker 16 M. Jenkins 1 R. Wayne 17 Chad Johnson 26 T. Owens 31
WR Burleson 17 D. Bennett 4 Engram 1 Muhammad 1 A. Boldin 8 Holt 28
WR T.J. Housh 2 M. Clayton 5 McCareins 1 R. Smith 1 Lelie 6 Hines Ward 16
TE Crumpler 8 Heap 6 J. Stevens 1 Witten 16 E. Johnson 2 Gates 21
K Wilkins 1 Viniatieri 2 Akers 2 J. Brown 1 Elam 2 Nugent 1
DT Tampa Bay 2 Detroit 1 NY Jets 1 Philadelphia 2 Indianapolis 2 Giants 1
QB Harrington 1 Roethlisberger 1 K. Warner 1 McNair 1 Carr 1 Griese 1
RB C. Benson 1 M. Faulk 5 Barlow 6 T. Henry 1 Droughns 4 R. Brown 5
WR Colbert 2 C. Rodgers 1 Galloway 1 G. Lewis 1 S. Moss 2 Kennison 2
TE A. Smith 1 Putzier 1 Franks 1 Jolley 1 B. Watson 1 Wiggins 2
K Tynes 1 Lindell 1 Rackers 1 K. Brown 1 J. Kasay 1 Edinger 1
DT Atlanta 1 Cincinnati 1 Seattle 1 Kansas City 1 Washington 1 Jacksonville 1
FX K. Curtis 1 L. Suggs 3 Bettis 1 L. Johnson 2 Tatum Bell 6 Duckett 1
Team 7 Team 8 Team 9 Team 10 Team 11 Team 12
QB Green 10 M. Vick 6 Manning 49 Collins 12 Brady 8 McNabb 25
RB D. Davis 65 C. Martin 31 K. Jones 62 E. James 66 McAllister 54 A. Green 48
RB Portis 52 S. Jackson 42 C. Williams 31 J. Lewis 49 McGahee 60 Arrington 10
WR Roy Williams 11 Horn 19 Steve Smith 6 T. Williamson 1 Fitzgerald 11 Harrison 30
WR D. Mason 4 A. Johnson 13 Stokley 1 D. Jackson 5 I. Bruce 6 Burress 5
WR D. Driver 3 J. Smith 4 Stallworth 1 L. Evans 1 D. Givens 2 L. Coles 5
TE L.J. Smith 2 C. Cooley 1 Pollard 1 Tony G. 16 Dallas Clark 3 Shockey 5
K Vanderjagt 2 Carney 1 Longwell 1 Janikowski 2 S. Graham 1 Stover 1
DT Pittsburgh 2 Baltimore 5 Arizona 1 Minnesota 1 Buffalo 2 New England 4
QB Leftwich 1 Plummer 2 E. Manning 1 Bledsoe 1 Favre 2 Bulger 5
RB Staley 3 L. Jordan 30 Toefield 1 D. Foster 1 M. Moore 2 T. Jones 3
WR Keyshawn 1 Chambers 1 Lloyd 1 McCardell 1 Branch 2 Porter 4
TE Troupe 1 H. Miller 1 M. Campbell 1 E. Kinney 1 D. Graham 1 McMichael 3
K Scobee 1 Mare 1 T. Peterson 1 Hanson 1 Kaeding 2 J. Reed 6
DT Dallas 1 San Diego 1 Miami 1 Chicago 1 Denver 2 Carolina 2
FX C. Brown 1 Palmer 2 M. Robinson 1 S. Davis 1 Moulds 2 Ricky Williams 4

Team 1

Vivek: This owner had the best draft in my mind. There is a true star player at every skill position, and yes, I mean that for the underrated Jake Delhomme who very quietly totaled 3800 yards and 29 touchdowns last year. That ultimate value pick, coupled by a $15 Warrick Dunn who will get you 1300 total yards and 7-8 touchdowns, freed up money for Randy Moss, TJ Houshmanzadeh and Nate Burelson. Those pickups easily justified making Shaun Alexander the second highest salaried player in the league.

Al: The owner of Team 1? The person who used to occupy Vivek's seat, Ian Dembsky. I agree that Ian had a nice draft. One of the keys was that he threw Dunn's name out very early, I believe at the beginning of the second round of bidding. There were still running backs on the board that other teams had budgeted a roster spot and $60 for, so people were hesitant to bid up Dunn. Had he been called out three rounds later, Dunn would have gone for at least twice that price.

Team 2

Vivek: With this league, I'm not in favor of spending more than double digits on a quarterback, especially when you see what Delhomme ($2), Trent Green ($10), Brady ($8) Plummer ($2), Favre ($2) and Bulger ($5) went for. Of course you can't knock anyone for taking Daunte Culpepper, but I would have liked a more dependable #2 running back than Fred Taylor and some more production out of the second and third wideouts.

Al: I think this team got some great wide receiver bargains. Bennett and Clayton for under $10 combined is ridiculous. I'm not a big Taylor fan myself, so I would have liked this team to have better backups at RB than Faulk and Suggs. Neither of them is guaranteed to get enough playing time to be regular fantasy contributors.

Team 3

Vivek: Talk about breaking the bank with one position – almost 90% of the salary cap going to the two starting running backs. Aaron Brooks was a steal at $1, but this owner had better hope that he got a lot of sleepers during Dollar Days.

Al: And they'll need Holmes to not break down again and stay healthy all season at 32 years old. For $1 receivers, this team did fairly well. They probably won't all work out, but enough will to keep this squad in contention.

Team 4

Vivek: Another team that went with the cheap QB route. If Kyle Orton can get something going in Chicago, the $1 Musi Muhammed could be a coup.

Al: Team 4 belongs to our fearless leader, Aaron. One of the interesting things in this auction was watching everyone bid up the players Aaron liked. Aaron was in on Domanick Davis and Kevin Jones to the very end, which is part of the reason those players went for more money than they would in most other leagues. This is one of the stronger teams in the league. Solid 1-2 punch at RB. A potential top-5 WR in Wayne, and two solid, if unspectacular #1 WR in Muhammad and Rod Smith. Combine that with Jason Witten and you have a team that should be contending for the championship.

(Ed. Note: Like last year, I get to jump in to make a comment about my own team. The quarterbacks make a lot more sense when you see that Steve McNair plays the Colts, Texans, Cardinals, and Browns in the weeks that Drew Brees plays the Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, and Jets. By the time they both have a bye in Week 10, McNair will probably be broken and I'll pick up someone else. Travis Henry plays the Browns and 49ers in the two weeks that Rudi Johnson faces the Ravens. Larry Johnson is a lottery ticket based on Priest's knees.)

Team 5

Vivek: At first glance, $39 for Mike Anderson might have been a risky spend, considering Tatum Bell could be the starter by midseason. Then tucked away at the bottom of the roster you see a $6 Tatum Bell. $45 for the Denver RB is a bargain. Granted if Al is the owner of Team 5, Ron Dayne will be the featured back by Week 2.

Al: Team 5 belongs to our cartoonist, Jason. Every year I come out of this auction thinking that Jason has the best team, and every year he doesn't win. Hopefully this year will be no different, as I think he has put together the strongest team in the league. Tiki was a bargain compared to the prices of the other backs. The Anderson/Bell combination gives Jason a top 10 back for only $45. He's four deep at WR and got a great bargain with Eric Johnson for only $2.

Team 6

Vivek: The best trio of wide receivers in the league. The entire season for Team 6 hinges on the health of Michael Bennett though, as I'm not so confident about Ronnie Brown being a star runner in 2005.

Al: Yeah, Team 6 is mine. I'm not thrilled with how things turned out, but I still think I put myself in position to contend. I didn't enter the draft thinking I'd go cheap at RB, but I really underestimated how much running backs would go for. I expected Tomlinson, Alexander, Holmes, and James to all go for huge prices. But I didn't expect that every starting RB would go for at least $45. That left me getting Westbrook for what I had him valued at, but in what turned out to be a bargain in this league. I have no confidence that Michael Bennett will hold onto the Viking job all year, so I'll need Ronnie Brown to hold off Ricky Williams after Week 4. I'll start the best group of WR in the league almost every week and the best TE in the league starting in Week 2. My biggest mistake was in the endgame. I was price enforcing on Wiggins and was shocked that I got him for $2. He's not my ideal Week 1 play, but he'll do. I wished I had that extra $1, though, at the end of the draft so that I could get someone like Brees or Brooks instead of ending up with a Pennington/Griese rotation.

Team 7

Vivek: What a powerful top three, but the trade off was with the receiving corps. Joey Harrington and Kyle Boller need to have breakout years for this team to rise to the top.

Al: Portis will be improved, but he's still playing behind an offensive line that was one of the worst in the league last season. The WR are all question marks. Roy Williams was inconsistent last year after suffering an ankle injury and now has to compete for catches with a healthy (for now) Charles Rogers and Mike Williams. Mason has to rely on Kyle Boller, while I'm down on Driver because I'm down on the Green Bay offense as a whole.

Team 8

Vivek: Finally, a league where Michael Vick is right about at his value. Even with a $30 LaMont Jordan on the bench, Team 8 has good value at the top spots. One of the running backs would be good trade bait for an upgrade to Jimmy Smith.

Al: I let Jackson go to Team 8 at $42, which could turn out to be a bargain if Marshall Faulk doesn't take away too many touches. Curtis Martin went for much less than he should have based on last year, but everyone was scared off by the huge potential for decline because of his age and carries. Interestingly, this is the only team to spend double digits on a backup RB. A good idea when you have a 32-year-old as your starter. Carrying three QBs is a huge mistake and one will likely be dropped after Week 1, most likely to pick up Derrick Blaylock.

Team 9

Vivek: You won't find any better trio of receivers for less than $10. Great drafting.

Al: Carnell Williams will make or break Team 9. The inexperience of the left side of the Tampa offensive line worries me. Combine that with the presence of Michael Pittman and I'm not as convinced as KUBIAK that Williams will be the #1 rookie RB this year.

Team 10

Vivek: Darrell Jackson is a deal at $5, but the owner is banking on Troy Williamson mimicking Randy Moss's rookie season.

Al: I don't like this team at all. Lewis is poised for a big decline, and the wide receivers are the worst in the league.

Team 11

Vivek: Isaac Bruce has been valued low in every draft, and that is not justified. No 1200-yard receiver should go for $2.

Al: I like Team 11's backup wideouts more than their starters. Branch and Moulds at $2 apiece is a great deal. $11 is way too much for Larry Fitzgerald.

Team 12

Vivek: I've been souring on Ahman Green as the season nears, and this is coming from someone what has Green in two keeper leagues. Green plus a rookie doesn't give the owner much confidence at that spot.

Alex: Team 12 has an excuse, the owner showed up late, so someone was drafting for him from some general guidelines. 2003 is going to look more like an aberration after Green has another so-so year as the Packer feature back. I like J.J. Arrington, but I wouldn't want to rely on him to put up points for my fantasy team every week. This team was left with a lot of money at the end of the auction as you can probably tell by the amount of money spent on backups.

Vivek: If you have draft results that you'd like us to break down, feel free to send them along since most of these owners won't speak to us after this draft review.

Scramble for the Ball Mailbag

Al: Our apologies to those of you who emailed us after our last mailbag for fantasy draft advice. I'm guessing everyone's drafted by now, so we won't be including them in this week's mailbag. During the season, we'll be running our column on Wednesdays, so if you want your questions answered in this space about who to start, who to bench, who to pick up off the waiver wire, etc. get them into us on Tuesday through the contact form. Now, onto the mailbag.

Rob E. writes:

What do you think about McNair and Big Ben? How likely is Tiki to put up big numbers?

Al: If McNair can stay on the field for 16 games, he'll have a big season with Norm Chow's offense and a defense that will have the Titans so far in a hole that McNair will be forced to air it out to play catch up every week. That's a pretty big if, though. Our own Will Carroll doesn't expect him to play a full season with his injured sternum.

As for Roethlisberger, his fantasy numbers should improve this year as the running game takes a step back and he's forced to carry more of the offensive load. He'll be a decent backup, but not necessarily someone I'd want to count on every week.

Tiki should have another solid year, although I'm not sure if he'll be the #2 or #3 fantasy RB as KUBIAK projects him to be. It's not because of Brandon Jacobs' potentially taking away carries, but rather my lack of confidence in Eli Manning. Early on in the season, defenses will focus on shutting down Barber and force Manning to beat them. If Manning can't show the league that he can, I don't like Barber's odds of finishing among the top fantasy running backs this year.

Chuck asks:

I just recently discovered your site, and I love it. Your stats are the most logical and useful that I've found on the web. Once the season starts, do you guys do weekly individual projections? If not, do you guys know of any sites that give somewhat decent weekly individual projections? I sometimes feel compelled to look at what Hector and Victor have to say, but, like many fantasy owners and reasonable people out there, I hate myself for doing it. Nonetheless, I like to take their wild guesses and stack them against other people's wild guesses when I'm really stuck on a fence. We do our league on Yahoo, and there are sometimes links to Fanball's projections. Other than Hector and Victor or Fanball, do you have any tips? Thanks a lot for the advice, and thanks for the great site. You guys are a wonderful resource.

Al: We don't have plans to do weekly individual player projections for this season, but it's something we'll consider doing in the future. Using things like Hector and Victor, the Fanball star rankings, and columns like Scramble for the Ball are all good ways to make your start/bench decisions each week. But the best thing to do is to make these evaluations yourself. Check out injury reports, look deeper into the numbers of both your players and the defenses they'll be facing the next week. For running backs, I'd recommend checking out the offensive and defensive line rankings that we update on the site every week to find favorable or unfavorable matchups that you may not see by just looking at basic rushing statistics.

Vivek: The injury reports on Sunday at noon are my biggest fantasy tools. Go with your gut and common sense. You'd be surprised how many people actually debate about benching Deuce McAllister against the Ravens defense in favor of Lee Suggs when he plays Minnesota.

Jimmy asks:

I picked up Antonio Gates in the third round, so I need someone to play in Week 1. Who's a tight end that you like that I could grab off the waiver wire to play this week?

Vivek: I am in your boat in a few leagues, as Eric Johnson is now doubtful for Sunday's opener. I've grabbed LJ Smith, who could finally have a breakout season as the primary tight end in Philadelphia. Chad Lewis's departure and the absence of a true number two receiver make him a viable target for Donovan McNabb. Rookie Heath Miller is another one who could become a great safety net for Ben Roethlisberger and pile up some good numbers.

Al: I'm going with Marcus Pollard in one league where I own Gates. Detroit plays Green Bay in Week 1, who were the worst team in the league last season in defending against passes to tight ends.

Finally, David A writes in with a great idea:

One of the guys in my fantasy baseball league proposed something we ought to consider while gathering league fees. Our league's prize money should to go to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. As he put it in an email: "Though we hate to admit it sometimes, this league is fantasy. But this storm, sadly, is reality." I agree wholeheartedly. Right now, with people dying in the streets, prize money means so much less.

Vivek: We cannot put it any better than you just did, David. We are trying to encourage people to donate to the recovery effort as well by offering the KUBIAK fantasy football projections in return for a $10 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund or other hurricane charities. We have raised more than $9,500 thanks to you all.

What We Learned from the Pre-Season

Lesson 1 – Front Offices Are Finally Getting It

Vivek: Javon Walker wanted a new contract. He is still in Green Bay with the same contract. Edgerrin James wanted an extension. He is still in Indianapolis with the same contract. We all know Terrell Owens's situation, and he has let the world know where he still is. John Abraham slinked back to Jets camp with no more than his one-year franchise tender. Antonio Gates held out for a new contract, and when he finally showed up to camp, he was slapped with a three-game suspension (but only one regular season game). Corey Simon wanted a better contract, and the Eagles gave him his walking papers.

Al: I can understand the frustration of NFL players who can be cut at any time by the team they've singed a contract with while they don't have the same option of termination in return. But that is a subject that should be brought up as part of the negotiations of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and not something that should be abused by players coming off a career year. The players made their bed, now they have to sleep in it.

Lesson 2 – There are Too Many Preseason Games

Al: OK, we all learned this years ago, but the NFL hasn't yet. Teams still make their season ticket holders pay full price for two meaningless home games. As we've seen this year, the fourth preseason game is completely meaningless. Jobs are rarely, if ever, won or lost because of someone's play during that game. Starters regularly get a cameo or less. New England sat 32 players against the Giants in their final preseason game. Forcing teams to play a game that no one cares about is a waste of everyone's time and a pitiful money grab by NFL owners.

Vivek: Funny how there are no cries for fewer games after Rex Grossman and Jeff Garcia go down with injuries. When Michael Vick gets hurt, a commission is put together to investigate the exhibition schedule.

Keep Choppin' Wood Award

Al: For those of you just joining us, the Keep Choppin' Wood Award is given out every week in honor of the NFL player who has done the most to keep his team from winning, or has done something to sabotage his own career. The award was first handed out in 2003 after Jaguar punter Chris Hanson injured himself by cutting into his leg with an axe in the Jaguars locker room. What was an axe doing in the Jaguar locker room you ask? It was part of coach Jack Del Rio's motivational plan encouraging his team to “Keep Choppin' Wood.� To drive the metaphor home, Del Rio put a tree stump and an axe in the locker room where players were encouraged to take swings at the wood. It wasn't long before the inevitable happened and someone missed the log and instead chopped his own leg.

My vote for the preseason KCW Award goes to Maurice Clarett. Clarett managed to transform himself from a surprising third round selection by the Denver Broncos to yet another rookie free agent hoping to sign onto a practice squad somewhere. How did he do it? First, Clarett decided to sign an incentive laden contract instead of one that came with a $450,000 signing bonus. Clarett did this despite the fact that he was at best fourth on the Bronco RB depth chart with no guarantees for regular playing time.

Now some players would use the incentive laden contract as motivation to work hard to try and impress the coaching staff so that they would get more playing time and hit their incentives. Not our Maurice, though. Clarett took a different approach in addressing his low standing on the depth chart – not practicing. That's right, Maurice thought that nursing a reportedly minor groin injury on the sidelines would convince Denver to give him more carries once the season starts over the three other running backs that were actually practicing.

So, instead of a young running back with upside that they had $450,000 invested in, the Broncos had a possible fourth string running back who refused to practice and would cost the team nothing if they cut him. Not surprisingly the Broncos let Clarett go and the former Buckeye is still looking for gainful employment at this time.

Best Bets

Vivek: For those of you Scramble newbies, this is our weekly segment where Al and I will be selecting our three favorite lines each week and make our selections as to who we think will cover. This year we'll be working off the lines from Fox Sports.

This year, I'll also take part in a pick em challenge through a sports web site called The Writers . Check out how my picks stack up against some other NFL forecasters.

Last year Al posted a winning record, while my “pick every game� Hail Mary during Week 17 dropped me well below .500.

Al: We'll keep track of our awful prognosticating skills as the year goes on. Of course, these picks are for entertainment purposes only. If you're dumb enough to throw actual money behind our guesses, don't come back yelling at us because of the negative hit on your bankroll. If you do make money, however, we won't stop you from sending some of it in our direction.

KANSAS CITY - 3 over N.Y. Jets

The Chad reportedly was still having problems late in the preseason learning the newfangled offense Mike Heimerdinger has installed in New Jersey. With an improved linebacking corps, the Chiefs will be able to take advantage of any hesitation Pennington may have during the game by shutting down the short routes that Chad has used as a safety valve the past few seasons. The revamped middle of the Jet defensive line will be tested early against a Kansas City offensive line that was #3 in the league in adjusted line yards for runs up the middle last season.

N.Y. GIANTS - 1.5 over Arizona Cardinals

I think Arizona will make some noise this season, but opening on the road isn't where it's going to start. Especially playing against the team that had an up close look at all of new Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner's weaknesses last season. Arizona's offensive line didn't exactly gel together into a well oiled machine in the preseason, so I'm expecting Michael Strahan and rookie Jason Tuck to find themselves on top of Kurt Warner more than a few times on Sunday.

DETROIT - 3 over Green Bay

Even though the idea that Brett Favre can't play in a dome is somewhat debunked by yours truly in Pro Football Prospectus 2005, the Pack will struggle indoors in Week 1. I have a feeling that there will be many more people on the Kevin Jones bandwagon after he picks apart the Packers' weak run defense.


WASHINGTON - 6.5 over Chicago

Year 2 of Joe Gibbs. No Rex Grossman. Gregg Williams's defense versus one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Only a few weeks of training camp from the star rookie running back. If the Redskins cannot easily put away the Bears, Gibbs might have to amend his statement that he is in Washington for the full length of his five-year contract.

Cincinnati - 3 over CLEVELAND

Rudi Johnson owners should be drooling at this week's matchup against last year's worst run defense. The Cleveland pass rush won't be any saving grace either, as that has not made any strides at all during the past few years.

Oakland + 7.5 over NEW ENGLAND

I think a better bet will be the over/under on this game (49.5), and it's realistic to see the teams top that number. What more can you ask for besides a good old-fashioned shootout to open the 2005 season. The holes on the Patriots defense have been well documented, and we will now see if the Raiders' offense will be the fantasy dream team that people are expecting. Still, Captain Charisma, Mr. Tom Moynihan, the former Mr. Tara Reid, whatever you want to call him, will architect a three or four point win, just short of covering.

Posted by: scramble on 07 Sep 2005

51 comments, Last at 10 Sep 2010, 3:07am by uggs outlet


by Parker (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 12:50pm

Is there a reason you use $160 as the cap? The odd number makes it cumbersome to compare prices in your league to that of others that use a more standard $100 or $200.

I realize it's a trivial thing and I shouldn't be annoyed, but somehow I am. In fact, I am outraged. Well, not outraged exactly. Puzzled. Yes, I am puzzled.

by Bruce Dickinson (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 12:56pm

I think Chicago will cover the spread. This has 14-10 or 10-7 written all over it.

by JasonK (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 1:14pm

Re: #1

I'm guessing that they use $160 because each team has 16 roster spots. Budgeting is made easier because players know they have to average $10 per player.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 1:28pm

I'm guessing it's because $10/player is a nice round number.

You’d be surprised how many people actually debate about benching Deuce McAllister against the Ravens defense in favor of Lee Suggs when he plays Minnesota.

I don't wanna seem like an idiot, but ... I guess I'm an idiot. I can't figure out if you are saying it's foolish to even consider benching McAllister, or if you're saying that it's an obvious bench based on the matchup.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 1:28pm

I wish that the comment preview screen also showed you the recently added comments, so I could avoid repeating stuff like that.

by Dman (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 1:51pm

What is with paying for jermaine wiggins? He's a sleeper pick for alot of people and he quietly put up good TE numbers last year but I seem to be the only person who realizes that he isn't even on the depth chart.

by Parker (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 2:59pm

RE: #3

Well, I guess that's a reason, but it doesn't seem like a very good one to me. It would make sense if an 'average' player often commanded around $10, but that isn't the way it works.

The nice thing about using $100 that you can easily plan out your spending as a percentage of the total without having to do any math at all. But mostly I like $100 because that's what most people use, and conformity is really really good.

Okay, now I have posted 2 comments complaining about the dollar amount used in someone elses auction style draft. Thursday night can't get here fast enough as I am obviously slipping into madness.

Please excuse the insanity.

by Al (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 3:46pm

Paying for Wiggins was a mistake. I was trying to bid up a big Viking fan in the auction and got caught. Wiggins was great last year, I thought he'd go for at least $3-4 to a Viking fan.

On the NFL.com depth chart, Wiggins is listed as the #1 TE (along with Kleinsasser as the #1 TE on the other side of the line).

by Sean D. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 4:07pm

It may have something to do with fantasy baseball auctions which are traditionally $160 going back to the original Rotisserie League.

by Mike K (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 4:13pm

Re: #4, Deuce vs. B'more

Yeah Vivek, thanks for making me feel like a dumbass :)

by Parker (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 4:20pm

RE: #9

Ahhh, tradition. TRADITION!!

I can get behind that.

by Whatever0 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 6:20pm

Besides, Kleinsasser is more of a H-back type anyway, and, since the Vikings have no true FB, Kleinsasser will probably still get a fair amount of yards and TDs. Not 2$ worth, but a fair amount.

Al: I've got a question, about Lewis facing a big decline. Are you saying he will decline further from last years campaign, or just that he won't approach 2000 again? I mean, he's only 26, and he's only got one season with over 310 carries. I'm not saying he'll be near 2000 again, but I don't think it's a stretch to say he'll be at least as effective as he was last year. In games he played through last year, he averaged 108.2 total YPG and .7 TDs. I'd figure he's good for 1600 total yards and double digit TDs, if he repeats how he did last year exactly over 16 games. Given what other RBs were costing, I don't think it was that bad a deal.

by Nate (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 7:37pm

Re #2: I think Chicago will cover the spread. This has 14-10 or 10-7 written all over it.
I agree, though I'm a Bears homer. The Bears lost by only 3 last year, and that was with Quinn at QB. The Bears have Urlacher, Tillman, Azumah, and Ogunleye back on D, and various upgrades on offense. What has Washington upgraded? If I recall, they have Lavar back, and Chris Samuel as well. I don't know how that translates into Washington as a 6.5 point favorite.

by Reinhard (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 7:38pm

Paying more than double digit for a qb... $100 WOULD be excessive.

Yeah, the Deuce/Green thing made me think too... enlighten us!

Matchup question:
Mike Anderson @ Mia -or-
Julius Jones @ SD

anyone have any thoughts? I just honestly dont know

by ToddCommish (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 8:01pm

Seriously people, for week one, you put your starters out there (unless you have Gates). Start playing matchups once you see how offenses and defenses are gelling. Don't overthink the first week of the year. You drafted your #1 RB first for a reason.

by NYCowboy (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 10:53pm

#15: You gotta go with JJ. I'm not just saying that a Cowboy fan. He's gonna get at least 25 carries, they have a great offensive line, and he's a better back than Anderson. Anderson might not neccesarily get more than 20 carries, and Miami's run D should be better this year.

by Zac (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 11:30pm

If you blindly follow the 2005 DVOA Projections (not recommended), the best bets look like these:

Tampa Bay +6 vs Minnesota,
Philadelphia -2 vs Atlanta,
and Seattle +3 vs Jacksonville.

Interesting to note that 4 games are projecting to within 1 point of the line.

by Zac (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 11:41pm

Sorry about the double post, just thought I'd note that FantasySharks.com has their lineup coach up, and they disagree with NYCowboy, although it's very close. They give Anderson a value of 21, projecting him for 85 RuY, 1 RuTD, and 4 rec for 30 yards, while they give Julius Jones a value of 19, projecting him for 75 RuY, 1 RuTD, and 4 rec for 20 yards. I'll probably still start JJ and Deuce, but I just thought it was funny.

by Bruce Dickinson (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:14am

I'm high on the Bears here in Chicago too. Perhaps the fact that the game is in Washington this year. Pierson had an interesting article in the Tribune this week about the matchup. He mentioned it being Orton's first NFL start in the league's largest stadium, plus Arrington back and 2nd year under G. Williams defense adding up to a 6.5 point line.
But I'm stupid enough to believe that they can win the game too.

by Bruce Dickinson (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 2:19am

I figure if the Jaguars were willing to roll the dice on Matt Jones as a first round pick, then somebody in this league would have spent a buck on his potential.

by Malene, DK (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 10:57am

Re: #4, #10:

Well, isn't it obvious? Vivek is saying, that though both the Saints and Browns suck equally hard in Off. adj. line yards, the Ravens D has a 0,7 advantage in Def.adj.line yards over league-worst Minnesota. Compare this difference with the 9,3 spread in DPAR between Deuce and Suggs, and you have your answer... no?

Or, since the Saints don't actually, you know, PLAY the Ravens this year, I really wouldn't know Viveks point if it hit me in the head...

by Al (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 11:09am

#12: What reason is there to believe that Lewis can be as good per game as he was a year ago? He's still not fully recovered from his right ankle injury. He's been bothered by bone spurs in his other foot during the pre-season. And let's not forget he spent four and a half months this off-season in jail. If Lewis can stay healthy, maybe he'll be back to his old form by the second half. But I can't see him averaging 100+ yards and almost TD a game until he's fully healthy.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 11:12am

For my WR/RB flex spot, I can choose from:

Reggie Wayne (Indy)
T. Duckett (Atl)
David Givens (NE)
Larry Johnson (KC)
T. Houshmandzadah (Cin - I already have Chad Johnson from cincinnati starting though).

Unless any of these are expected to do amazing and I should use more than one and replace a starter, which seems like the best fit for the week?


by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 11:14am

Re #4,10,21: The saints did play the Ravens in the pre-season this year. Perhaps many people are down on Deuce because of his performance in that game.

by Whatever0 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 11:48am

#22 I don't think the ankle injury is that big a deal. I mean, he put up 130 yards on the Colts and 167 on the Dolphins after he injured it last year, and before surgery. If it wasn't for the that, I'd be much more worried about the injury. Whatever the bone spur injury was (he later recanted, saying it was scar tissue, I'm not entirely sure) he played the last preseason game.

Just trying to figure out if you were saying what I thought you were. I disagree with you, but we'll see.

by TMK (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 12:28pm

RE: #23

Tarrant, take Givens -- the Raider secondary is almost as bad as the Browns (which is why you've got Johnson I assume), and all the others are facing tough opposition.

Most weeks I'd pick Wayne, but against the Ravens' secondary, in Baltimore, it's going to be a rough night.

Why pick Johnson AND Who's-Yer-Daddy, btw? Just a case of best left on the board? Or are you covering for injury?

by SLU 49er (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 12:42pm

My fantasy league finally did its draft last night (I picked last in a ten team league) and this is what I ended up with (rules: 6 for pass/rush/rec td, everything else standard):

1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF, 4 bench

QB: Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks
RB: Domanick Davis, Tiki Barber, Cedric Benson, Derrick Blaylock
WR: Laveraneous Coles, Darrel Jackson, Rod Smith, Plaxico Burress, Keary Colbert
TE: Jason Witten
K: Jeff Wilkins
Def: NYJ

I'm not too happy about my backup RBs, unless priest goes down. But I think everything else is pretty solid.

This was my first fantasy draft ever, so I'm curious if I did something completely wrong that I can fix for next year.

by Mike M (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:02pm

SLU: Hate to break it to you, but you didn't draft a Priest backup. Blaylock plays for the Jets this year. If Curtis Martin goes down, you're set.

This isn't a point per reception league, is it? If so, you hit paydirt with your top two backs - Tiki and Dom have huge value in PPR leagues. Your utility players (TE/K/D) are all strong, but by picking those players (relatively) early on, you sacrificed depth at your skill positions. Injuries to your starters could kill your season, but you have some potential, and not bad for picking 10th in your first draft ever! My first drafts were disastrous.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:04pm

I'm going to post here cause the week 1 discussion thread isn't up yet. I need to put in my weekly picks today (All straight up, no point spread), and I'm having trouble with a couple games: Tampa bay @ Minnesota and NY Jets @ KC. Right now I'm leading towards Minnesota and KC.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:12pm

I’m not too happy about my backup RBs, unless priest goes down.

Priest's backup is Larry Johnson, who you do not have. If you are saying that because of Derrick Blaylock, he's no longer on the Chiefs. (Jets I think, but I could definitely be wrong here.)

Hard to say what you did "wrong" without looking at the actual draft, to see where all these guys were picked, and who is left on the board, but my first impression is that you probably could have gotten away with a weaker 2nd quarterback, drafted a couple rounds later. That would let you slightly upgrade a couple other spots.

Also, I hope you picked the Jets in the last round.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:14pm


I'd go with Minn and KC also

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:23pm

The other game I'm having trouble picking is Arizona @ the Giants. The Giants have too many question marks, but Arizona has Kurt Warner.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:47pm

but Arizona has Kurt Warner

Wait, it seemed like you were looking for positives. Didn't anyone tell you midnight came and Kurt Warner turned back into a pumpkin?

by Adam (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:57pm

1. Start your starters in week one with almost no exceptions.

2. re #23, I'd still start Reggie Wayne, especially with Stokley iffy. Yes, it's Baltimore, but I like the upside.

3. Hasselback @ Jax or Favre @ GB?

by Adam (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:58pm

1. Start your starters in week one with almost no exceptions.

2. re #23, I'd still start Reggie Wayne, especially with Stokley iffy. Yes, it's Baltimore, but I like the upside.

3. Hasselback @ Jax or Favre @ GB?

by Adam (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 1:58pm

Obvs, I meant "Hasselback @ Jax or Favre @ Det?"

Sorry about the double/error.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 2:26pm


I would go with Favre, but that's more of a hunch than anything.

My questions this week:
Carolina D(NO) or Philadelphia D(@Atl)
Westbrook(@Atl) or M.Anderson(@Mia)

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 2:27pm

Pat: It was supposed to be a negative. As in What's wrong with the Giants is all thier question marks. What's wrong with Arizona is Kurt Warner. I guess what it comes down to who's less likely to blow the game, Kurt or Eli.

by Digit (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 4:15pm

re: 37
Carolina D and M. Andersen.

Which two of these three would you go with:

Collins vs NE
Delhomme vs NO
Palmer vs Cincinnati?

by Adam (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 4:17pm

David, both feel like toss-ups to me. I'd go with Philadelphia's defense, and then hedge that bet by sticking with Mike Anderson, even though I think 120 combined yards and a TD is not unreasonable for Westbrook here. (He had 135y combined in the NFC title game.)

by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 4:48pm


I would say sit Collins. I know he has Moss, and there are questions about the NE defense, but I look at it this way - which one of those defenses is most likely to have a really good day and shut a team down? It may not happen often this year, but until I see them play, I'd give NE the benefit of the doubt here. Of course, this is more of a risk aversion strategy. If you want upside, and don't care so much about risk, I'd say Collins and Delhomme have the biggest upsides.

But you shouldn't look to me for advice anyway. I win because of my team-building abilities, not my matchup-picking ones. :)

by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 4:52pm

Thanks Digit, Adam.


If it makes a difference, those choices are in a Yahoo default scoring league (TD=6, 50pyd/pt, 20 rush/rec yd/pt), so getting to the endzone is emphasized.

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 5:42pm

Plummer for $2 and Tony Gonzalez for $16 are great pickups (especially since Gates went for $21, and Witten was also $16). However, Larry Johnson for $2 was an absolute STEAL, even if it wasn't by the Holmes owner.

To wit- There is much talk in Kansas City of platooning the RBs. If KC's running game scores its 3 year average again this season, and Holmes gets 60% of the carries and Johnson gets 40%, then Holmes is the #5 RB in the league, and Johnson is the #12 RB in the league. For $2. Ridiculous. And if Holmes goes down to injury at any point, Johnson automatically becomes the #1 RB in the entire league. Easily.

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 5:49pm

Sorry to double post, but I have to say, I'm SHOCKED to see Aaron pick up Rudi Johnson- and for so expensive, to boot. Wasn't it Aaron who did all the research on RBs coming off of high-carry seasons? Rudi Johnson had 361 carries last season, and a 4.0 yard per carry average. 24 or 44 backs over 350 carries saw their fantasy points drop by 20% or more in season n+1, and only 6 saw their fantasy points actually increase in n+1. Rudi Johnson was hardly an elite RB last season, and there's not much to justify spending top 10 dollars on him, especially since Chris Perry is by all accounts a stud in the making and waiting for the slightest falter to make the field.

I just think that Johnson was a reach based on favorable scheduling, and Aaron would have been better getting the best back available, instead. Portis, Barber, Westbrook, Jackson, and McCallister were all similarly priced or cheaper.

Just my two cents, though.

by Tyler (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:08pm

Don't know if anybody will still check this, but I think I'm starting to be worse than the Madden curse with my top wideouts. Last year, I lost Steve Smith for the year with his broken leg, and this year I lost Javon Walker for the year with his torn ACL. Just curious if anyone had any advice on someone who I should think about picking up? I'm in a 10 team league where we have to start 3 WRs and almost everyone has atleast 1 backup on the bench, so obviously i'm not going to get too many big name guys available (Keyshawn, Marty Booker and Joey Galloway are the biggest names available), so if you think someone young is worth taking a chance on, let me know. Thanks

by DavidH (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:53pm

Patrick Crayton, DAL
Mark Clayton, BAL
Braylon Edwards, CLE

Although obviously the latter two have big question marks at QB throwing to them. And question marks don't have any arms, so that might not work so well.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 4:02pm

I'd take Mark Clayton and keep him as long as Boller isn't the starting QB in Baltimore.

by Tyler (not verified) :: Tue, 09/13/2005 - 1:59am

Thanks guys. I was thinking about Crayton already, and I decided to go with him simply because 1) I don't know how much more I trust Wright than Boller and 2) Being a Steelers fan, I didn't want to deal with the "Well it hurts the Steelers, but it helps my fantasy team" thing twice this season.

by TRak (not verified) :: Tue, 09/13/2005 - 2:02am

Tyler--can You fit a TE that a QB fully trusts? (Shockey, H. Miller perhaps) Otherwise Brandon Lloyd I,d keep my eye on.

by John Doc Hutchings (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 5:40am

Byron Leftfeet is a very nice tough young man. He is however too slow and imobile to EVER have a great team in the NFL. The ball is nearly on the ground behind him on his "wind-up" . Sacks, hurry's drops and block Leftwich
WE made a mistake in drafting him, don't let the monster slow down a winning team. We can win and go into play-off's with David Garrad.
This is my last year watching lefttwitch stumble and fall. No more season tickets if that's my option

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