- The Season's Over -

ETB’s Fantasy Football Draft Analysis (10-12)

August 21, 2007

Michael Turner: Top Handcuff?

The wheels officially come off in these rounds. People were desperate to find their backups at each position no matter what muscles were strained in their exaggerated reaching. Average defenses flew off the board with reckless abandon. Owners hoping to impress began busting out their increasingly improbable “sleepers,” each hoping to top the last. Conventional wisdom, mock drafts and cheat sheets were cast aside in the name of utter desperation, bedlam and ennui. And when the dust settled, we still had four more rounds to go.

Here’s our take on the chaotic, problematic, ill-conceived, poorly executed, stressful and boring tenth, eleventh and twelfth rounds of the draft in ETB’s First Annual Fantasy Football Extravaganza. Enjoy.

Round 10

Jealousy is Ugly
1. Miami – Trevor Masters
2. DeShaun Foster – Coach Janky Spanky
3. LaMont Jordan – Donaghy’s Don
4. Jerry Porter – The Ghosts
5. Devin Hester – JD – 2 Guys & A Mic
6. Pittsburgh – Fightin’ Snow Devils
7. Michael Turner – McLovin
8. Randy McMichael – Skittlebrau
9. Philadelphia – twins15
10. Vernand Morency – Rushmore Calligraphy
11. Muhsin Muhammad – The Honda Accords
12. Brandon Jones – P**S****.com

-Basically, unless you can land what you deem a top-5 defense there’s no point in drafting one. Brian believes that Miami will once again put up positive fantasy stats that should give him an edge versus weekly opponents, otherwise he would take a high-upside position player. It’s a judgment call. If you don’t think that, it’s a better plan to stockpile talent at WR and RB here, hope it ends up paying off and then just add/drop defenses weekly to play the matchups. Personally, I wouldn’t draft a D after Chicago, Baltimore, New England and San Diego this season. It’s all personal preference.

-DeShaun Foster is currently atop the depth chart for a traditionally solid rushing team, so he needs to get taken somewhere in here. He’s been unimpressive and dangerously close to losing his gig recently, but any starting RB is a valuable commodity this late- and he’s one DeAngelo Williams’ injury away from 6th-round value.

-LaMont Jordan was a first-round pick last season. As such, he single-handedly ruined seasons. It’s been a long year for the young man, but he’s saying all the right things about reclaiming his status as an elite RB. He’ll have every opportunity to do so while Dominic Rhodes serves a 4-game suspension to start the year. Maybe he does, likely he doesn’t, but we’re at the point when any potentially productive back will have his named called, and Jordan should be in the thick of it.

-I like the Jerry Porter pick. He clashed before the season even began with then-coach Art Shell, and it turns out Porter was right to disagree with the antiquated offense Fossil Fuel was installing. Jerry is big, strong, fast and has decent hands, so he’s a capable backup even on this putrid offense.

-I don’t exactly know what to make of this. I’m confused. Sure, he’ll play a little WR this season. And he could return 3-5 kicks. That’s about it. Don’t draft Devin Hester in the 10th round, folks.

-Pittsburgh’s rush defense should be much improved under the youthful Mike Tomlin. He did wonders for Minnesota a year ago in transforming them from average to the best team against the rush in football, nearly the best of all time. They’re top-6 in my book.

-Great pick. Heavily used RBs don’t last forever, and we rarely see their downfall coming. Marshall Faulk. Priest Holmes. Shaun Alexander. Larry Johnson. LaDainian Tomlinson? Who knows, but Turner is a top-flight backup who would be a second-round talent with LT out of the picture. To burgle the most necessary handcuff in fantasy football from P**S****.com is the icing on the cake. It’s a slap in the face . . . with a white glove.

-I’ve always thought Randy McMichael had the physical size, speed, athleticism and hands to be a premier tight end in the NFL. He’s just never had consistent QB play or complementary talent. You couldn’t ask for much more than St. Louis, where he’ll roam free and rarely face off against more than a solitary, overmatched linebacker. He was also the last viable TE option on my cheat sheet and I needed one.

-Meh. I don’t see the point in reaching for a middling defense when there are high-upside players, future studs or valuable handcuffs still on the table. I don’t think Philly is worth drafting.

-Let the games begin. Vernand Morency is the handcuff to Brandon Jackson, and it’s bound to cause Brian some frustration that he couldn’t nab him . . . which may make Morency valuable trade bait.

-I thought about Muhsin Muhammad. Then I realized Rex Grossman is responsible for getting him the ball. Oh, and he’s 34 years old. And he’s not very good.

-Leave it to the man in Ca$hville to grab the lone WR in Tennessee worth owning, Brandon Jones. We’re fans of Vince Young here on a real football level, and he’s going to create some scores. Right now Jones is the most likely target all over the field, and his unrefined talent makes him a nice potential sleeper.

Round 11

Check His Shoes1. Priest Holmes – P**S****.com
2. Brandon Marshall – The Honda Accords
3. Isaac Bruce – Rushmore Calligraphy
4. Chris Henry – twins15
5. Jay Cutler – Skittlebrau
6. Chad Pennington – McLovin
7. Brett Favre – Fightin’ Snow Devils
8. Dallas – JD – 2 Guys & A Mic
9. Daunte Culpepper – The Ghosts
10. Wes Welker – Donaghy’s Don
11. Heath Miller – Coach Janky Spanky
12. Ben Roethlisberger – Trevor Masters

-And I’ll take . . . Jerry Rice. This is a wasted draft pick–Priest is not going to make the team, or even play football ever again.

-A 4th round pick last season, Brandon Marshall is poised to take over WR2 duties in Denver, and has the quicks to be reasonably effective. He should provide a nice deep threat for Cutler’s rocket arm, though he may not see a ton of looks after Javon Walker. His leg is reportedly fully healed.

-Bruce is on his last legs, but he did have 74 receptions for 1,038 yards last season. You’re never going to count on him as an every-week starter again, but as a replacement level player for three or four weeks this season you could do worse. I have to emphasize though, these are the rounds where the soundest strategy is to grab multiple young players full of potential, not an elderly one hoping to just fade gracefully.

-Chris Henry is third on the depth chart and unlikely to overtake LenDale White this season, though he may overtake Chris Brown as LenDale’s backup at some point. Then again, Chris Brown has a chance to assume starting duties for Tennessee and keep them. It’s a weird backfield.

-Cutler was the last QB on the board I wanted to own. I’m a fan of his incredible arm, he’s in a great situation, and if somebody told me he’d be a better pro than Matt Leinart or Vince Young in 5 years I wouldn’t be surprised at all. I don’t intend to bench Carson Palmer much, but injuries do happen. The loser whines about them, the experienced owner prepares for them. Cutler looked great for a rookie down the stretch, and he has weapons on that offense.

-Pennington was a very good QB in 2002. He’s been terrible since, missing 25 games and throwing just 41 TDs and 40 INTs over the last four seasons. He seems like a nice guy, but sadly you don’t get fantasy points for that. Additionally, the Jets offense will be terrible this season (You heard it here first).

-As a Minnesotan, Favre will never find his way on to one of my rosters. I finally have a logical reason for that to be the case. After setting the single-season record for INTs in 2005 with 29, he had only 18 TDs and 18 INTs in 2006. It’s time to hang ‘em up for John Madden’s latent sexual crush.

-Dallas is an above-average defense, but not worth drafting in my mind. It’s unlikely they will produce more fantasy points than a weekly add/drop carousel will versus the league’s worst offenses.

-Daunte and Randy Moss are like strangers passing in the night. Culpepper and Moss had a fantastic connection, but the Raiders ditched Moss just months before they acquired Pep. Daunte will start until Russell is ready to take over mid-season, but the Oakland QBs were the worst in fantasy football (and real football) last season. Not much will change in 2007.

-Potentially a savvy pick here, I have a sneaking suspicion that Welker will emerge as a top-3 WR in the New England offense, making him ownable. He could also return some kicks.

-This is a solid pick; Heath Miller will be worth owning all season. A rare tight end drafted in the first round, he has 11 TDs in two NFL seasons. Miller is still young, improving and a strong red-zone threat in an offense that should be improved after Roethlisberger didn’t try to commit career suicide in the offseason.

-Speak of the Devil and he shall appear. Big Ben can put up the occasionally fantasy-relevant performance, but he’s always been overly hyped due to his team’s success in the standings. At this point in the draft, he’s a mediocre backup option if you only intend to play him situationally.

Round 12

Alex Smith to Awaken?
1. Dallas Clark – Trevor Masters
2. Steve McNair – Coach Janky Spanky
3. Alex Smith – Donaghy’s Don
4. Jacksonville – The Ghosts
5. Greg Olsen – JD – 2 Guys & A Mic
6. Joe Horn – Fightin’ Snow Devils
7. Eddie Kennison – McLovin
8. Reuben Droughns – Skittlebrau
9. Dominic Rhodes – twins15
10. Chris Brown – Rushmore Calligraphy
11. Jake Delhomme – The Honda Accords
12. Reggie Williams – P**S****.com

-There are very few proven commodities left in the player pool here, so it’s worth taking a chance on Peyton Manning’s TE. He’s the kind of player you can throw out there for a spot start and just hope it’s the random week he finds pay dirt.

-The bottom of the proverbial QB barrel is being scraped. McNair’s 16 TDs and 3,050 passing yards were not impressive in the least last season, but he’s a pro and should be more comfortable in Brian Billick’s offense this year. Plus, Mark Clayton is an emerging star and Demetrius Williams could be a major big-play contributor (Before and after he takes Derrick Mason’s job).

-I like Alex Smith, and I like the San Fran offense heading into 2007. Smith didn’t take the strides many expected last season, but he didn’t have much to work with either. With the signing of Darrell Jackson and a healthy Vernon Davis (stud), Smith could be a mediocre backup this year. Just hope you don’t have to count on him.

-I’m sounding like a broken record at this point, but don’t feel the need to draft a defense if you miss out on the big ‘uns. Kicker (Which is wisely absent in this format) and defense are just too unpredictable and too reliant on matchups to necessitate wasting a pick on mediocrity.

-Here we go: JD has a gut feeling Greg Olsen could be a break-out candidate this season, so he spends a late-round pick on him. Well done. That’s what this stage in the draft is for: nabbing your sleepers, not being obliged to take a defense you know you’ll drop at some point. A first-round pick TE on a team that figures to dump the ball off often, JD just might have something here.

-How pissed is Joe Horn right now? He left one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL to be Michael Vick’s go-to receiver. Unfortunately, Mike Vick is going to jail. For a looong time. Remember when Horn was a solid third-round pick? Good times. Despite the nostalgia factor, I’m not interesting in any of Joey Harrington’s WRs.

-Brodie Croyle has looked wild this preseason. And erratic. Like, Rex Grossman erratic. Kennison could be his primary target after Tony Gonzales, but in Larry Johnson and Herm Edward’s offense that doesn’t leave many scraps.

-I had to do it. There was a reasonable chance somebody would scoop up Reuben Droughns before my next pick, and that just wasn’t an option for me. I’m depending on Brandon Jacobs’ production, but he’s an injury worry with his height and upright-running style. In this league with 12 teams and three starting RBs it was absolutely essential I ensured that I owned the New York Giants’ rushing production–now I do.

-Rhodes was pretty crappy in the NFL’s best offense, so I can’t imagine what heights he’ll soar to in its worst. With a four-game suspension and inferior talent around him this season, the possibilities for crappiness are limitless.

-What goes around comes around. After describing the sting of other owners losing out on their handcuffs, I lost mine. Chris Brown and LenDale White are neck-and-neck in the Tennessee backfield competition. Brown might even start Week One. While the Titans obviously want LenDale to take over the job, he’s been riddled with injuries this preseason and suffered a devastating case of the munchies in the offseason. I was kicking myself after watching Brown slip through my fingers (though he went a round or two earlier than I expected).

-Remember when Jake Delhomme was a top-5 QB? Seems like a decade ago. His love affair with Stevonne Smith figures to continue this season so modest production could be there, but the Panthers passing game is pathetic outside of “Steve.” I can’t see myself starting Delhomme in a 12-team league very often.

-Sure, he was the 9th overall pick in 2004. But what has he done since? Word on the street is that Reggie Williams might be cut before the season even starts. Rule of thumb: any player who isn’t a lock to make their real-life NFL team shouldn’t be on your fantasy team. In the offseason that could define his career, Williams has been described as “moping” and “disinterested.” Go with Matt Jones or Ernest Wilford if you must, but steer clear of Williams.

Click here for analysis of rounds 1 – 3.

Click here for analysis of rounds 4 – 6.

Click here for analysis of rounds 7 – 9.

Of course, your league’s scoring format and roster setup are critical in selecting players and assessing a draft. Be sure to learn your league’s settings before the draft, and consider how those settings affect player value.

Roster Positions:
QB, WR, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, W/T, W/R, DEF, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN
Stat Categories (Points):
Completions (.2)
Passing Yards (30 yards per point)
Passing Touchdowns (4)
Interceptions (-2)
Sacks (-1)
Rushing Yards (15 yards per point)
Rushing Touchdowns (6)
Receptions (.3)
Reception Yards (12 yards per point)
Reception Touchdowns (6)
Return Touchdowns (6)
2-Point Conversions (3)
Fumbles Lost (-2.5)
Offensive Fumble Return TD (6)
Sack (1.5)
Interception (2)
Fumble Recovery (2)
Touchdown (6)
Safety (3)
Block Kick (2)
Points Allowed 0 points (12)
Points Allowed 1-6 points (8)
Points Allowed 7-13 points (5)
Points Allowed 14-20 points (1)
Points Allowed 21-27 points (0)
Points Allowed 28-34 points (-3)
Points Allowed 35+ points (-5)

4 Comments »Posted by Andrew Thell on Aug. 21, 2007 at 11:11 pm in ETB Articles, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

4 Responses

Have you been watching Hard Knocks on HBO. Herm loves Priest they were talking baout him being a 3rd down back getting 12-15 carries a game. Yeah he’s on the PUP list for now and say he doesnt make the chiefs he is gonna be on some nfl squad this year. I think he still has it.

Posted by: Seth on August 22nd, 2007 at 11:22 am

Grabbing a defense this “early” in the draft is very out of character for me, I have to admit.

Posted by: Brian on August 22nd, 2007 at 11:41 am

Ok I was wrong about Priest, he is gonna get cut.

Posted by: Seth on August 23rd, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Ugh… Favre. And then Horn.
A bad 2 rounds right there.

Posted by: UtesFan89 on August 25th, 2007 at 5:03 pm

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