Soooo. I like a lot of unmanly stuff, like Glee and Dirty Dancing, so I sometimes feel the need to "man it up" a bit, for lack of a better term. In that spirit, here are the results of my fantasy football draft. (And if you'd like to purchase that awesome shirt, you can do so here.)
Last year, my buddy and I did OK, making the playoffs as the fifth or sixth-best team in a 12-team league. You can see my picks from last year right here. Surprisingly, Brady turned out to be an OK pick at #2, although I would have been better off going with Drew Brees. Moreno was frustrating with his inability to stay healthy, but good as a fourth-round pick, and Mendenhall was a steal in the eighth round.
My strategy last year was to stock up on running backs and receivers throughout, since the quarterback pool is pretty deep. For the most part, I think I succeeded in this, and I managed to talk my co-owner out of some of his sillier ideas, saving the "Patriots homer" picks for the 11th round and later. But enough stalling - Let's get to the picks. We picked fifth, 16 picks overall, with a "snake" drafting pattern.
1) Rashard Mendenhall, running back, Steelers. This drew some puzzled looks and catcalls from the room, until I reminded them that Rothesl-rapist is out for the first four to six weeks of the season. Without him, the Steelers are going to be running a lot, Willie Parker is no longer on the team, and Mendenhall had a good year last year as is.
2) Steven Jackson, running back, Rams. This is higher than I would have liked to take him, but the other elite running backs were gone. I don't think the Rams will be that good, but with Bradford back at QB, Jackson will probably get a ton of carries, meaning I can pencil him in for the starting spot each week.
3) Steve Smith, wide receiver, Giants. This pick also got a bit of a response, but hey, I needed a receiver and he was the best one available. Moss and Reggie Wayne were gone, and unfortunately, Larry Fitzgerald went ONE pick before this - ugh. The remaining running backs were mostly of the type that would be the better back in a job-share, so I figured they would be available on the way back around, and thus...
4) Ricky Williams, running back, Dolphins. ... Ricky Williams fell into my lap. Ronnie Brown was also still available, but his injury woes worried me. Williams seems to hold up better, with a lesser peak, so I was willing to settle a bit.
5) Matt Ryan, quarterback, Falcons. He was the best of the lot still available, and the elite tight end - Gates - had already went. The other quarterbacks available had injury or "new team" issues, but Ryan is in a stable situation, and hey, he's a local guy.
6) Dwayne Bowe, wide receiver, Chiefs. I wasn't really in love with this pick, but my co-owner was a fan. "Didn't we like him when he was on our team last year?" Well, kind of - I played him all the time and you kept trying to convince me to bench him :/ But hey, I think he has a decent chance to stick in our roster from week-to-week, although our roster is pretty deep at WR.
7) Hines Ward, wide receiver, Steelers. We can start two WR and three RB, or three WR and two RB, so it's probably going to come down to Ward vs. Bowe most weeks in terms of the final roster spot. However, at this point in the draft, he was clearly the best available player left, as some guys were trying to round out their roster with (inferior) running backs.
8) Donovan McNabb, quarterback, Redskins. I thought he was a decent choice as a back-up, although his fragile health, and the fragile health of the rest of his team, and the strength of his division, gave me pause. However, I thought he was a good value at this point, since the remaining QBs were iffy starters (David Gerrard, the bane of our team each year) and rookies.
9) Donald Brown, running back, Colts. I'm not really sure how he dropped this far. The Colts pass a bunch, but someone will get some goal line carries from time to time, so I thought he was a great pick as our fourth running back. I think he may have slipped through the cracks, since some teams were picking back-up RBs at this point.
10) Steve Breaston, wide receiver, Cardinals. Yup, another freakin' receiver. Again though, too talented to pass up at this point in the draft.
11) Gronkowski, tight end, Patriots. My co-owner kept bugging me to pick him as early as the fourth round, but I kept telling to wait for it. If you're unfamiliar with him, he's a rookie tight end who has been excelling in garbage time in the preseason for the Patriots. I have no idea if he's even going to start for them, but pretty much every other tight end of significance had been drafted by this point, as had most of the quality players outside of WRs.
12) Ravens defense. Our defense pick. Strangely, they were easily the top-rated defense on my board, yet in the teens on some others. *shrugs* There's no accounting for taste sometimes.
13) David Akers, kicker, Eagles. Just rounding out the roster at this point. I had a feeling that the guys we wanted as sleepers would last until the end anyway.
14) Julian Edelman, wide receiver, Patriots. Our fifth receiver pick, and a hedge against Wes Welker being injured. If Welker is hurt, then Edelman immediately becomes a very valuable player. If not, then he's a decent third WR who probably gets cut when we need to make a roster move. He's like a "prospect" for us.
15) Devery Henderson, wide receiver, Saints. He's older, and the Saints are loaded at receiver. But each guy always seems to have at least one monstrous game, so why not grab a lottery ticket?
16) Jarious Norwood, running back, Falcons. And finally... I picked him last year because I thought Turner would break down at some point. Maybe a year later, he finally will.
Note: I made no attempt to spell check most of the names, because really, names in the NFL are silly.