I had my fantasy football draft last night. Drafting from the 8 spot in a 12-team league, I got the following:
1. RB Steven Jackson, Rams: I actually wanted Rudi Johnson, but the guy drafting fifth took him. It was a bit of a reach. But to his credit I think it was a good reach.
I should point out that both Clinton Portis and Edgerrin James were available, but I preferred Jackson for his upside. Portis's injury leads me to believe last season was better than this season will be for him. Add in the T.J. Duckett addition, and Portis becomes a second tier RB. As for James, the Cardinals are NOT the Colts.
2. RB Willis McGahee, Bills: McGahee has lost some weight this year in order to be faster, like he was two years ago. If he can duplicate his results from then, he is a first round RB at a second round price.
3. TE Antonio Gates, Chargers: The best TE in the game.
I actually wanted WR Chris Chambers in this spot, but he went seven picks earlier. Since all the top tier wide receivers were gone by my pick, I decided to go with the best TE.
4. RB Kevin Jones, Lions: I was toying with picking a QB or WR at this spot, but I saw too many teams ignoring their RB position. Time to punish the poor drafters!
Jones' upside would be Marshall Faulk numbers. While I don't think he will be THAT good, anything close to it makes him worthwhile. As a number three RB, he is a steal.
5. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals: I got a bit antsy here. I did not want to go much further without getting a decent WR, and Housh filled the bill.
6. RB Frank Gore, 49ers: Too many teams ignoring their RB position still. Eat my dust scumbags!
In all seriousness, I like Gore. He has a good work ethic, and who else are the 49ers going to rely on for offense? I am even seriously considering starting him in the first week against Arizona's wretched defense.
7. QB Trent Green, Chiefs: Get one of the top QB's in the NFL in the seventh round? Sweeeeet!
Truth be told, I don't expect Green to duplicate his success of the last several years. But anything close is nice.
8. QB Philip Rivers, Chargers: This is the QB I REALLY wanted. Rivers has tremendous upside. In my opinion, I think he will surpass Drew Brees's numbers. Rivers is THAT good!
Why did I take Green first? Because I knew Green would go before Rivers based on past performance plus the fact this is Rivers' first year starting.
From what I have seen of Rivers in the preseason, he is more than ready for the NFL.
9. WR Matt Jones, Jaguars: Time to give my WR position some love.
I like Jones' potential, which we saw some of last year. He got better as the season went along, especially with Byron Leftwich at QB. If Leftwich stays healthy (big if), Jones could be due for a monster year.
10. WR Drew Bennett, Titans: Why do I like Drew Bennett? Two words: Billy Volek. Two years ago, they had a monster stretch together. If they get hot again, Bennett is money in the bank. For a number 3 receiver, you cannnot argue with that.
11. WR Braylon Edwards, Browns: Sure, Edwards is coming off an injury, and his production may not be 100%. But who else is Charlie Frye going to throw to? For a number four wideout, Edwards is high potential with low risk.
12. K Nate Kaeding, Chargers: A lot of kickers had been taken by this point, so I jumped on the bandwagon with Kaeding, a solid kicker who won't disappoint.
13. Broncos Defense: Nothing exciting here. The Broncos just happened to be the best defense on the board at the time. Defenses are pretty much a crap shoot anyway.
14. TE Tony Scheffler, Broncos: I was watching a replay of the Broncos-Titans the other night, and Scheffler really impressed me. He has good hands and good moves. Even though he is technically second on the Broncos depth chart behind Stephen Alexander, I don't expect that to last, as Alexander manages to underperform or get hurt wherever he goes.
15. K Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots: The next Adam Vinatieri? Perhaps.
I must admit I was amazed when he was available with my next-to-last pick. A lot of kickers had already been taken.
When you draft a guy for your bench who potentially could be better than your starter, you are doing good.
16. Cowboys Defense: I hate the Cowboys, but I like Bill Parcells. Another year for this young defense may be just what they need to get good enough to be dangerous. I hope.
OVERALL ANALYSIS: Except for Housh, my wideouts are my weak spot, and Housh is not a great number one WR. If Jones and Bennett play up to their potential, I might be able to bench Housh. Otherwise, I have to take what Housh gives me and hope for a little production from whomever I start opposite him.
My strongest spot is clearly my running backs. Any or all of them are capable of having huge years. Even if they only produce like they did last year, I can still play matchups with them to get the most production out of them.
I like my quarterbacks. With Green on his downside, and Rivers on his upside, I should be able to at least pull some numbers from this position.
Unless Antonio Gates gets hurt, I am set at TE. With Scheffler as my backup, I have a solid fall back prospect.
My kickers and defenses look solid, but experience has taught me not to count my chickens at these positions until the season starts. That is why I usually wait until the end of the draft before going after these positions.