The FantasySharks.com Great White Shark League, has concluded its draft, and I have to say……
Man have you seen the team I have assembled, and all while balancing the running of all the Shark League drafts too? How do I do it?!? I have not seen a team like this since the one I had two years ago (you all remember, my site championship year?). I have a strategy for leagues where the competition is tough, and that is, fill out your starting 5 skill spots (RB RB WR WR QB) with your first 5 picks, sacrificing depth, and pray your team stays healthy. Then cover QB pretty quickly in the second half of your draft, as they are in general the most susceptible to injury, and get a better kicker/defense combo than most everyone else, again sacrificing depth to do it. And if you are so inclined to try and outsmart everyone with superior knowledge by drafting a guy to start many view as a reserve, do it at TE! I mean, it is a TE, so who cares!?! And if you hit a homer, icing baby! But if not, you are just like the 10 other teams that don’t have Gates (well, pretty much, I concede some are better than others, but none are worth their average draft position, in my opinion).
Let’s face it, you need a bit of luck to win a league like this. You could try to get lucky stocking your team with potential, and hope you hit a homer, you can grab all the back ups, or you can hope to be relatively injury free. The way I see it, depth may mean the difference between finishing tenth and finishing third, and to that I say, BIG DEAL? “If you ain’t first, you’re last,” says Ricky Bobby’s Daddy, and he stole the show! But a superior starting 8, and few injuries, now that my friends wins you a championship.
True enough, an injury might mean last place (see my 3-10 inaugural season) but again, so? Unless you of course want to finish second, then go ahead, pass on a better WR or QB you will start 12 times to draft a RB that if all goes right for you starts what, twice? Because that is what happens when you draft a solid third round talent like Reuben Droughns in that third round AFTER taking RBs 1 & 2. You miss out on a superior starting skill guy, like Harrison, Owens or Boldin. Sure, if your second or first round RB goes down you’ll be glad you have depth at RB to start alongside your second tier WRs, congratulations on that third place finish!
Two more theories of mine came into play this draft too. One, when drafting late, look for second and third year WRs with upside, rather than pedestrian veterans. If you tank, big deal, cut ’em and try again, but if you hit, woo hoo, they are on your roster not another owner’s waiver wire! And if they supplant a starter for you, all the better! Two, BE A HOMER, but don’t be stupid about it. Take your homers but take them when they represent VALUE. I once took a team to the championship starting Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer, Jeremy Shockey AND Kerry Collins. This year, Tiki over Portis was an easy call, as was Eli Manning in the 7th round! Why? Because it is just more fun to root for your favorite players from your favorite team! And fun is why we play.
Following all this, if you are smart, and lucky, you might just end up with a Great 8 and a list of reserves to cover your bases good enough should you get injured somewhere, and STILL win it all on the strength of the rest of your starters. And you’ll love cheering for them each week. That, my friends, is what happened for yours truly in this draft! See for yourselves!
1.04 Tiki Barber – I KNEW he was the better pick between he and Portis! He is THE MAN! PPR is a bonus. No sign of slowing down. And a homer pick too! I love having him on board!
2.09 Tory Holt – WOW, look who is sitting here for me! The RB gorging left some serious talent at WR this late in round 2. No Martz/Schmartz, he will equal or better his numbers of year’s past. In reality, his new coach focuses MORE on his number one WR (albeit one of those was Randy Moss, but shut up, it is MY commentary!).
3.04 Marvin Harrison – Again, thank you all you depth drafters! Peyton’s number one target? In the third round? You have got to be kidding me!!! He still has got it, and he’ll show it. The talent at WR my team has will more than make up for the second RB on my team coming next in the draft.
4.09 Dominic Rhodes – I knew that when Addai went off the board, if I wanted Rhodes, and I did, he need to be one of my next two picks. Thinking the guys on my list next (QBs) would make it around, I grabbed him first. I think Addai is great, and will contribute, but Rhodes will be the primary, and the guy more likely to score of the two. And he can catch. And he has a 1000 yard season in this system under his belt. And he can protect the franchise too. I really like him this year to start strong, and if so, no way a player’s coach like Dungy unseats him for a rookie. Merely a side benefit that I caused the drafter of Addai to proclaim that he “wasted a pick.” Sorry about that.
5.04 Matt Hasselbeck – I LOVE him this year, he will not disappoint. A hungry team, with a slightly less potent running game, will rely a bit more on passing, and a bit more is all it takes for this guy to jump to elite QB status, right up there with Peyton (a first rounder) and Palmer (who’s knee worries me this early in the pre-season).
6.09 Chris Brown – he is NOT hurt, and he is the starter, good enough right there for a 6th round 3rd RB. But let us not forget, when healthy, he plays great. His only real competition has man-boobs and attitude! Brown will be solid insurance I probably don’t even need.
7.04 Eli Manning – this guy has top 5 talent written all over him, and he is my insurance policy should I be wrong about Hasselbeck or should he get creamed. He is so good, he might pull a Carson Palmer on me (last season I drafted Palmer in a league as my early second QB and he promptly found his way to my starting roster). Homer too, and I love it.
8.09 Matt Jones – have you been reading the reports on this raw, second year WR? A 50 yard TD pre-season? And maybe a few gadget plays too (they are so fun to score!). He will start, and is a good bet to lead his team in yards and TDs. And if not, I have Holt and Harrison, remember?
9.04 Ben Watson – I watched this guy chase down Champ Bailey last year on an interception return (boy would I have hated to be Champ in that locker room) and knew he was special. He is my swing for the fences TE, if he misses, I will work the waiver wire and do fine, but if he hits, and I think he will, I will get solid production out of my TE this year. New England likes him, he is smart, and the receiving talent is thinner there. He is primed for a big season.
10.09 Mark Clayton – a solid late season last year from this second year wideout (see the pattern here?) raised him a few notches on my draft sheet. This Giants fan knows offensive coach Jim Fassel likes to pass (the Ravens attempted more passes than 2/3 of the league), and this guy could be the break out second year WR no one is talking about. Worth a shot.
11.04 Cedric Houston – another cheap shot at a homerun, at draft time this guy is in line to take over for potentially retiring Hall of Famer Curtis Martin, and a potential starting RB in round 11 is always welcome to join the squad!
12.09 NY Giants – Homer pick, and why not? Top 4 in the Shark League scoring system last season, and improved. The secondary will play better (it has to, it can’t get worse) and the DL is full of ball hawking QB eating machines! Strahan has some anger issues to take out on the field, Umenyiora is the other pro-bowler, Arrington adds something too. And Chad Morton returning kicks is one of the best.
13.04 Shayne Graham – he is good, a top 5 talent, he is in a top 5 offense, making him one of the top fantasy kickers, and while the Palmer injury status causes me to pause when picking a QB, not so at kicker, where, if I am wrong, I will find in a competitive league like this one that many take only one kicker, and the waiver wire will be full of decent replacements.
14.09 Atlanta Falcons – I like to draft two defenses, and try to work it so I can cut one early. The Falcons fit the bill, their schedule early off-sets the Giants more difficult early games (part of my master plan), so they might actually get two or three starts before I cut them after the Giants week 4 bye to grab a kicker, who will get cut to grab a TE, see how nicely that works?
15.04 Lee Suggs – okay, the first player on my team I don’t like, or think has upside, or really fits in my plan somewhere, but when you are adding insurance for your long shot with an even longer shot (see Houston pick), well, you are having a good draft indeed!
16.09 Troy Williamson – living in Vikings country, I am aware of how highly touted this second year WR (see theme) is. He became the forgotten man after showing some promise. I am willing to take a chance with my last pick that he steps up, with new coaching, and a year under his belt.
I love my team. Of course so does everyone in this league, and for good reason, they are all good teams. You can see examples of great drafting all around at the Great White Shark League. There is a reason these guys are at the top of the chain, they are proven winners! Check it all out at: