Editor’s Note: Before you read this, check out the results of our Not-So Mock Fantasy Draft: http://bit.ly/2yCum8. Hopefully Pat’s ultra-insightful analysis along with our draft results will help you out during your fantasy football drafts this year.
After an online draft which featured plenty of trash talk and lots of cussing when “your sleeper” got drafted two picks before you were going to grab him, I decided to spark further debate by grading the draft team by team. I will go through each teams picks, round by round, and let you know which pick I think was the best pick (MVP) and which was the worst (Marbury). Why Marbury, you ask? Well, when someone makes a bad or questionable pick a common response is “you crazy?” In case you haven’t heard, Marbury is certifiably bat shit crazy (for some evidence, I refer you to this, this, this and this). So I will now break down each person’s Most Valuable Pick as well as their Marbury. Keep in mind that the MVP or Marbury isn’t necessarily the best or worst player on the roster as I’m more considering where they were taken in the draft, team needs, and who they could have got. I’m including each person’s twitter link so you can talk fantasy with them during the season.
Note: I just finished writing this article and now realize just how good of a draft this was. It took me forever to finish and I honestly had a lot of trouble picking my favorite pick for each team, and for many teams picking the “Marbury” was more out of personal bias than actual dislike of the pick. I must say, good draft all around everybody! Should be a fun fantasy season!
*Since @major2829 had some issues logging in, I apologize in advance if I talk about a pick that she didn’t make but was auto-drafted. I know for sure that she was not there for the first three rounds, so I won’t include those.
MVP – Donavan McNabb (5th round) – Considering she was auto-drafted receivers in the second and third round, combined with my belief that quarterbacks are wildly underrated in fantasy drafts, the Hills locked up a top 10 QB. The addition of Mike Vick to the roster took place during our draft, but regardless, McNabb will get the vast majority of throws and having some pressure on him may actually boost his performance.
Marbury – Michael Crabtree (15th round) – While a receiver that goes this far in the draft is probably an easy replacement with a free agent receiver at a later time, this has to be the Marbury pick just for the fact that Crabtree may forgo the entire season and re-enter the draft next year. Often times the point of the last few rounds is to fill a roster spot or take a chance on a sleeper. Well, Crabtree is basically in a coma.
MVP – Steelers Defense (8th round) – Since this is my team, take it with a grain of salt, but I think having a solid defense on your fantasy team is a must. While this may have been a round or two early to pick a defense, I took the chance early and got the top ranked defense. A second reason I do this (and have done it in the past) is to get people after me to panic and start drafting defenses left and right, skipping over positions players who may fall back to me in the next round. While that didn’t work this year (only two other teams took a defense before my next pick), I’m counting on the Steelers D to provide me with some consistency at that roster spot.
Marbury – Ricky Williams (11th round) – I have to admit that reading the little blurb ESPN had on Ricky made me pull the trigger. That blurb read something to the effect of “Ricky has spent a lot of time in the weight room this offseason”. Looking back, why was I impressed that a professional football player spent time in the weight room? Dumb. Looking at players who were drafted after this (especially rookie Shonn Greene) I could do nothing but shake my head.
MVP – Devin Hester (9th round) – Huge big play potential, very good new QB in town, a handful of worse receivers taken before him, and punt and kick return touchdowns = great pick. Really not much else to say about this pick. Hester has been a sleeper the last few years as he’s started getting more touches and plays set up for him. With Cutler tossing the rock around, I think Hester could have a breakout year at the WR. My biggest question is why the Bears coaching staff didn’t use him more often after they saw he was lightning in a bottle returing kicks and punts.
Marbury – Steve Smith (2nd round) – I had to look for awhile to decide a weak spot in lubes51’s draft, but after much deliberation, I think the Marbury has to go to Steve Smith. Steve Smith had a big year in terms of yardage, but caught just six touchdowns in part due to “Smash and Dash” (DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart). These guys eat up yardage and goal line plays, taking away from Smith’s endzone chances. If you take Jake Delhomme’s abortion of a playoff game as a sign of things to come, Steve Smith could be considered a risk taken this high in the draft.
MVP – Jonathan Stewart (5th round) – Stealing Smash of the previously mentioned Smash and Dash in the fifth round is a nice play. The Panthers had the leagues third highest run to pass ratio last year and we can expect more of the same this year. While Williams will get more carries, Stewart does get a lot of goal line carries possibly bringing Double D’s (new nickname) some touchdowns.
Marbury -Darren McFadden (4th round) – While I liked the 5th round running back pick, I’m not sold on McFadden. ESPN had him ranked ahead of Stewart but I’m not sure why. McFadden will be battling Justin Fargas and Michael Bush for the starting spot, one which he will probably win, but it still raises some red flags and, at the end of the day, it’s the Raiders who perennially suck.
MVP – Anthony Gonzalez (6th round) – I’m kind of surprised that Gonzalez was ranked as the 29th fantasy receiver on ESPN. He’s the second receiver on a pass first team with a top three fantasy quarterback. Gonzalez has been a very solid receiver the past few seasons and I would expect more of the same this year along with more looks with Marvin Harrison out of the picture.
Marbury – Issac Bruce (13th round) – I’m all about taking sleepers this late in the draft and with Michael Crabtree crying, Bruce could see some extra playing time. However, Bruce turns 37 in November and our leage doesn’t award bonus points for AARP members. I think that there were some other sleeper receivers available here that have a better chance of producing.
MVP – Drew Brees (2nd round) – Stayed tuned for my next article (where I’ll cover this topic some more) but I LOVE taking a quarterback early. In fact, I would have considered taking Brees as early as the 5th or 6th pick in the first round had I had a feeling that I was in a situation where quarterbacks were likely to go early (which wasn’t the case here). Look at this list of last years top fantasy scorers. See a trend? You can go back years before this as well and see the same thing and, outside of a freak season like LaDainian Tomlinson had a few years back, the fact is quarterbacks score more points more consistently. Brees was a beast last year and with at least 8 games played indoors, conditions will be right for him to air it out.
Marbury – Tony Gonzalez (5th round) – I know, I know, how can I try to tread on Mr. Consistent. I like Gonzalez and he’s the best TE of all time, but for some reason, I think he was a risk at this point in the draft. He’s not getting younger, and he went to a new team, and a team that throws less then his old team. ESPN had him ranked number one, but I’m putting my money on Witten to have a bigger season than Gonzalez with Owens out of big D (this is probably my biggest stretch for a Marbury, just bear with me).
MVP – Chad Ochocinco (5th round) – I like this pick for a few reasons. Chad is one year removed from a streak of six consecutive 1000+ yard seasons and in that span he also had 48 touchdowns. He’s also apparently embarrassed about last year and (if you read his tweets) out to prove everyone wrong this year. I’m in the camp that last year was just an off year and that the player formerly known as Johnson will be back to his old self and have everybody saying “child please”.
Marbury – Julius Jones (6th round) – I can’t get excited about Jones. He’s had one 1000+ yard rushing season and has never found the endzone as a receiver. Word out of Seattle is that T.J. Duckett will be getting the goal line carries this season as well. He’s a respectable fantasy backup, but I’d want at least three other RBs in front of him.
MVP – Chris Wells (6th round) – Landing a huge running back who has speed to spare in the 6th round could be a huge steal. While he’s unproven at this level and there are some durability questions, its reported that with his size and speed he could have a monster season (including getting the bulk of Arizona’s goal line carries). If he stays healthy, this could be a great pick up.
Marbury – Marques Colston (3rd round) – Colston is a good receiver, don’t get me wrong, but in light of the previous two draft picks (WR and RB), going with another WR in the third round is questionable to me. If it was a Randy Moss or a Terrell Owens available, it makes sense, but I think that there were a lot of QBs and a handful of RBs available here that will put up more points than Colston will.
MVP – Jamal Lewis (8th round) – A starting running back coming off of a 1000 yard rushing season in the 8th round? I’ll take it. Granted, Lewis isn’t a touchdown machine, he’s been pretty consistent out of the backfield his entire career falling short of the 1000 yard mark just once in his eight years in the league. If he can manage to sneak a few goal line carries in along with a good chunk of yardage, Lewis may make some of wish we took him a few rounds earlier.
Marbury – Marshawn Lynch (4th round) – Lynch is more likely to make the jail house pro bowl than he will the NFL pro bowl. He’ll be watching the first three games of the year from the sidelines which, in terms of the fantasy season, is a good chunk of time. Trip will have to hope his other backs can carry the slack up until then.
MVP – Matt Cassel (7th round) – Cassel had a great year filling in for Tom Brady last season and now he’s got a new gig with a coach who came from pass happy Arizona. While he doesn’t have Randy Moss to throw to this year, Cassel has some quality weapons in KC including Dwayne Bowe who, by no mistake I am sure, is also on T.H.U.C.’s roster. If those two can form a connection that could equal some big scoring days this team.
Marbury – Thomas Jones (4th round) – Jones is unhappy with his contract situation and the Jets drafted Iowa’s stud RB Shonn Green. I’m doing the math and I’m thinking the Jets are preparing to deal Jones if his attitude doesn’t improve and allow Leon Washington and Green to split the carries. Jones is also 31 years old and coupled with his contract situation, he’s a risky pick.
MVP – Brandon Jacobs (2nd round) – I’m not sure how a back who scored more touchdowns then everyone ranked higher than him outside of Michael Turner isn’t a top 6 back. He’s also poised to get even more touches with the departure of Derrick Ward. Some are leery of too many carries for a RB. But when that RB is a 264-pound human bulldozer, I’m more concerned for the linebackers and cornerbacks who try to take him out.
Marbury – Cedric Benson (8th round) – Not much to get excited about here. He plays for the Bengals, which is a bad start. He’s not that great of a runner and basically a non-factor in the passing game. For some reason, I can see him getting quite disinterested early on if the Bengals start off poorly and crush their playoff hopes by week 7.
MVP – Wes Welker (4th round) – He’s been the Patriots go-to guy the last few years and has caught a ton of balls in that span. While he might not get double digits in touchdowns, he’s going to get a lot of looks and its likely that his touchdown total will rise with Brady back at QB. Moss is still the deep threat on the team, which actually helps free up Wes to grab some shorter passes across the middle and rack up some yardage.
Marbury – Ray Rice (5th round) – Again, I’m picking a solid player to rip on, but considering that Le’Ron McClain will likely get the goal line carries and Rice has to split some carries with Willis McGahee, he might not rack up a lot of points this year. The Warriors might be hoping that McGahee or McClain get injured early to bump up Rice’s carries.