Monday, October 27, 2008

Rule #1 of Fantasy Football...

... don't spend any time studying for your draft! Seriously, why bother? With draft cheat sheets and average draft position tables just sitting there at your disposal, what's the point in studying? So, were you fortunate enough to land the #1 pick in any of your leagues and go with the consensus top pick, L.T.??? Or how about other stellar running backs like Joseph Addai or Larry Johnson with your first round pick? Wide receivers? Did you take the always reliable Torry Holt, rising star Marques Colston or the irrepressible Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson with an early round pick? Tom Brady? Fellow Patriot Lawrence Maroney? If you drafted any of the above players early, more than likely you're a little disappointed at this point of the season for one reason or another.

Now raise your hand up high if you had Clinton Portis of the Redskins as the number one point producer amongst all non-QB's as week 8 of the season ended. We always knew he had it in him as long as he could just hold onto the ball! Five straight 120+ yard rushing games. Impressive stuff, Mr. Portis! If a draft were being held today, you would be hard pressed not to take him at #1.

Yes, folks. The bottom line is that players are going to underperform and/or get hurt. It happens! Conversely, for every player who underperforms, there are players that will perform beyond expectations. And yes, there are still guys out there who are doing pretty much exactly what you thought they would be doing when you picked them - the Drew Brees and Philip Rivers types for example. The reality is that the fantasy football draft is just a crapshoot. Yes, this is why I don't study for football drafts.

The above said, you can help your chances out a lot in leagues by thinking ahead and drafting smart. Avoid the guys on the downside of their careers and focus on drafting guys with upside and opportunity. How about Kurt Warner? With All-Pros Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald along with a young up-and-comer named Steve Breaston to throw to and a nearly non-existant running game, what was not to like on draft day other than a lazy ex-USC Trojan quarterback standing in his way? Warner was the 22nd QB taken on average in ESPN drafts. Hardly to my surprise, he's been a consistent top 5 producer all year. Breaston was a great receiver in college and was a natural fit in the Cardinals offense. Yet he went undrafted in pretty much all non-keeper format leagues. Boldin got hurt and look who's stepped up BIG TIME? Or how about the latest rookie causing waves, the Rams' Steve Avery? With the aging Isaac Bruce in San Francisco, someone needed to step up and complement the aforementioned Holt. Why pick a backup running back with little upside with your 15th or 16th round pick when someone with blazing speed, ability and LOTS of upside is out there and available? Avery hardly got a look on draft day, not even in keeper leagues... No, I didn't draft either Breaston or Avery in my non-keeper leagues, but I must confess I did draft them BOTH in a contract keeper league this past summer - and they're locked up for me through 2011! :)


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