Friday, September 9, 2011
Wings and Things Draft Recap and Preseason Power Rankings
|Wings from Anchor Bar, Buffalo|
This year’s draft got off to a horrible start, thanks to a clerical error on my part and general confusion that I blame on everyone but myself, because I’m the commissioner so I’m the one who doesn’t have to do anything I don’t want to, like be organized. That’s my word and I’m sticking to it.
First we did a live draft lottery, in which Craig and Scott’s G-Men (present) and my Roger Goodell squad wound up with the first two picks. (Imagine the possibilities for my season!) When I went to plug in the order and the keepers, Yahoo! had already generated the random order and made changing it impossible. The best we could do was to take our keepers in the first round and go from there – meaning that Round 2 was essentially Round 1. For those keeping score at home, that makes this the most triple-randomly determined drat order of all time.
Once the dust settled, we were off and running with the third annual Wings and Things draft. The season begins tonight, but not before we look back at the draft and ahead to our first power rankings of the year.
The First Round (actually 2nd)
Those of us drafting from my crib in Brooklyn temporarily blacked out during the pre-draft insanity, but the beginning of the draft snapped us right back into the action. The Champ led off with a curveball, taking Arian Foster over teammate, former Know-Shon co-captain and fellow Johnson, Andre, to go with keeper Chris. Drama already and only one pick in! Tomlin’s Shape-Up wasted no time cleaning up that mess and took Andre, who, along with keeper Mike Vick, gives Soom and Pops a better team already than they had at any point in the last two seasons.
Football Jukes showed the moxie that makes him a perennial contender for most creative GM by picking Darren McFadden third. Bold, but that’s what we have come to expect from him. After EO the Truth took the best WR on the board, Roddy White, it was back to the beginning for the G-Men and myself. Both, it turned out, were hoping to snag Aaron Rodgers in the first round, and it didn’t matter if we were picking 1-2 or 5-6, I wasn’t gonna get him. Dejected, I went back to the drawing board and took Matty Ice over LeSean McCoy…we’ll see how that works out.
The next six picks went as you’d expect: Fitz, Nicks (very sad G-Men), Hillis (over McCoy!), McCoy, Roethlisberger, Gore. Wait a second, no they didn’t. That’s not at all what you’d expect, but the way things started was just nutty and set the tone for a very entertaining rest of the draft.
Steals and Reaches
You could very easily make the argument that the players taken in the 3rd round will be more productive than those taken in the 2nd. Mike Wallace, Michael Turner, Vincent Jackson, Matt Forte, Reggie Wayne, Miles Austin and potential steal of the draft, LeGarrette Blount (AKA LGBT) are all just outside the top group of their positions but completely capable of breaking into, or back into them this season. On a completely unrelated note, is everyone just giddy to see that Danny AKA Vlad Ducasse AKA the married man was the one to take Peyton?
Some other nice picks:
- Young guns Matt Stafford, Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford could turn out to be gems for Joe, Soom/Faj and EO in our new 2 QB format. Eli also went in this round.
- Some picks that look great after last night: Football Jukes with James Starks in the 12th and Big Vlad with Sproles in the 14th.
- The Champ made a couple of homer picks that were no-brainers for him but look like real steals, the best WR in the league last year Brandon Lloyd in the 4th and Knowshon in the 6th.
- -Two other 6th round picks look like Matt Forte-style bounce back candidates (guys who have a good year or a lot of hype, then disappoint, then inexplicably fall way too far and turn out to be studs): Dream Shake with Beanie Wells and Kiss the Baby with Ryan Matthews.
What is wrong with you people?!? I guarantee fewer than half of you could name your kicker, yet nine took one before the last round. NINE! This includes the Bulldogs with one in the 9th (I won’t name specific names because THEY DON’T MATTER!!!!), Know-Shon in the 11th, and EO and Demps in the 12th. Jukes even took TWO kickers! Let’s make sure we get a leg up on the kicking market in case one of these losers goes off for a whopping 9-point game.
Now on to the Power Rankings…
1) RI Bulldogs – Ty Finks’ Bulldogs enter the year as my favorite if for no other reason than they have the bet QB duo. As we saw last night, Brees hasn’t gone anywhere and Big Ben is gonna be a monster this year – ideally on the field as opposed to in tha club – and has to be the best second QB in the league. Love Turner as well and Buffalo fave Fred Jackson is the man there until CJ Spiller does anything.
2) #4 Great Teammate – This team is awesome, and that’s THE TRUTH! A last minute decision to keep Rivers over Gates will prove to be a great one and Roddy White and LeGarrette Blount complete a pretty formidable trio. Add awesome depth at TE (Witten and Marcedes Lewis) and nice sleepers Pierre Garcon and Mike Sims-Walker.
3) G-MEN – It breaks my heart and I know many of yours to put these two guys this high on the list, but that’s what happens when you have Purple Jesus and Aaron Rodgers. They have a very good and underrated WR in Miles Austin who I am actually rooting for big time, because that means that the Giants’ most hated division rival is doing well.
4) Know-Shon – The Champ’s team is a tough one to figure. On one hand, he has CJ2K and Arian Foster and Tony Romo and the best WR in the league last year (who just happens to be Brandon Lloyd) and Yahoo voted his draft the best, whatever that means. On the other hand, Arian has a hamstring injury and there are question marks with the WR core and Flacco is a good but not great 2nd QB. Definitely a team to watch out for…
5) Vlad Ducasse – Out of respect for Danny, I will put him here, but I don’t feel good about it. The reason I don’t feel good: Cutler and Fitzpatrick. Fitz and Dez are a sick WR duo though and Rice could be the top RB in our league with all the receptions he will get. Just glad that Peyton isn’t going to be healthy for Dandyboy.
6) Beefcakes – “I had the best draft by a large margin” – Timmy the Beefcake man. This squad does have some promise behind two golden boy QB’s in Brady and Sanchez and my favorite, LeSean McCoy. We know how much Timmy loved Mike Williams from USC, so I can only imagine he took the one from Tampa with the same name but better skilzz. DeSean was a great pickup in the trade with Tomlin’s Shape-up for Vick, and if Steven Jackson can stay healthy this team could really be dangerous.
7) Roger Goodell – I have to say, I think I rebounded pretty well from the disappointment of losing the #2 pick to the draft order mistake. I missed out on Rodgers but took Matt Ryan, who I see as the leading candidate to be the next big thing QB. Heavy investment in the Atlanta offense is no coincidence, expect big things from Matty Ice, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez. Santonio and Reggie Wayne fell inexplicably and will be the driving forces behind my title run this year, and well as the Goodell workhorse, Rashard Mendenhall.
8) Tomlin’s Shape-up – What a turnaround for this group. They overcame a super-sucky last season and a questionable decision to give up a pick for a keeper (Vick), but enter the season with a legit chance to contend. If Vick comes close to what he did last year they should make the playoffs, and Andre Johnson, Plax and Brandon Marshall give them a monster WR core. Sam Bradford is the best young QB in the league, might force us to remove the “young” before long.
9) Softer Knocks – If Stafford and Gore stay healthy, this team moves up a couple of spots. Jamal Charles is a legit contender for best fantasy back and Mike Wallace and Maclin are awesome representatives of the receiving strength of Pennsylvania. Jermichael Finley is a beast as well, just gotta see how the Pack spreads the wealth around.
10) Kiss the Baby – No team with Eli could be higher than this in the power rankings, but there are some intriguing possibilities for this bunch. Schaub has a chance to put up huge numbers and Jennings/Jackson is a nice duo, but everything comes down to Ryan Matthews and Peyton Hillis…which means I’m skeptical.
11) Dream Shake -- I just don’t like the chances of Kyle Orton being awesome again this year, and certainly don’t see McNabb as an above-average fantasy starter. That said, the WR’s could be awesome (Calvin, Nicks and Stevie Johnson) and there is some interesting RB depth (Forte, DeAngelo, Beanie, Grant), but no sure-thing stars there. They could move up, but we’ll have to see it to believe it.
12) Football Jukes – Who needs Aaron Rodgers when you can get Kevin Kolb and Killa Cam Newton later on? That’s what Jukes says to the rest of the league as he defiantly plucks Darren McFadden in the first round. The strategy is daring, but this gritty squad does not shy away from risks. Only one hyphenated player remains, so it will be up to franchise player Maurice Jones-Drew to carry the torch. Let’s make sure to get those 20 bucks in early, Jukesy…