Thursday - Jan 21, 2021

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The Last Row

Drafting season is upon us, like a muskrat upon another muskrat during muskrat mating season. Or something like that…you know what we mean. It’s August!! Some of you have already completed a draft or three, but most of you have a lot of drafts coming up in the next two or three weeks. We are going to give you some pointers on preparing for a draft. We assume this draft is not an online draft. We assume that our faithful readers (all 12 of you {we refer to you as ‘The Apostles}) get together with some good friends and cool beer to draft (or is it cool friends and good beer?).

Sitting in one spot with your friends for a draft is something to really look forward to. Maybe some friends have moved away, but you still get together for the annual draft. A lot of us have been involved in online drafts, and they are fun, in a purely analytical way, but something is missing. Draft Day, the day when you can hang out with some friends, or good acquaintances, and just worry about getting the best possible team. If you don’t run your draft like this – quick join a league that does.  We swear you’ll see the difference.  (There is simply nothing like being able to tell one of your buddies between laughter and the beer shooting out of your nose that, yes, indeed, Shannon Sharpe DID retire this year.)

First off, make your own list. Sure, there’s plenty of great tools/apps/rankings out there. And you could probably do pretty well for yourself sitting down with only that information, but what fun is that? We’re not suggesting you rank 30 QBs, 60 WRs, 40 RBs (well, you may want to do the RBs) yourself, but rank the top 15 QBs (and TEs and Ks), 30 RBs, 40 WRs yourself. Using multiple sources and a little of your own intuition is a lot more fun that plugging your league’s scoring system into some macro-laden Excel tool and announcing what name pops up on your screen next. You can do a hand written list, or something you work out before hand in Excel…Put your own touch on your list, and use more than one source for your base data.

Secondly, insist that your draft use a draft board. This is a huge help. And use the board to not only see who you need, but what positions the people sitting around you need. For instance, you may have one QB for yourself in the 8th round, you notice that a guy drafting a spot or two after you needs his first QB and that most teams already have their starter. You may decide to grab that second QB to strengthen your team, and possibly hurt another owner. These things are just about impossible to visualize without a draft board. One of the best things about a draft board is that after a draft, you can stand around the board with beers in hand, debating who has the best team.  (In our league, it’s usually unanimously determined to be the team with the most Eagles – your league may differ.)

Some people say you should ‘draft by getting best total value, never draft for a particular position’…Well there are kernels of truth in that statement, but let’s face it, you need a couple of good RBs, and good *starting* RBs in particular. Unless your scoring system really is weighted towards QBs and WRs, and even then we’d still recommend taking a couple good RBs to anchor your team . OK, OK – it’s possible to win with very, very good WRs, and one good RB…and a lot of luck. You need luck, however, to win the whole enchilada anyway.

Don’t get us wrong; the way we figure it, winning in fantasy football is 50% drafting skill, 50% precognitive powers, and at least 50% luck – and since precognitive powers haven’t been proven to exist and all your buddies are probably just about as good at drafting as you are – that leaves you with the luck.  Anyone who says luck is not a major component to winning the whole enchilada is selling something. Perhaps they just won the championship themselves, and want to lay an inferiority trip on you. Really, though, you need a good team to get to the playoffs. To get to the playoffs, to be consistently good during the season, you must draft well, you need to trade and pick up free agents well. But don’t discount the luck factor striking down your opponents best RB and suddenly making one of your scrubs a top 5 back in the NFL. 

Most importantly HAVE FUN. If this is a draft with your friends, make sure you have a good time. Draft well, and make sure you get home safely.  (Better yet, crash on your friend’s couch.  Friend’s wives like nothing better than cooking breakfast for one their husband’s fantasy football buddies – trust us.)

Final Thoughts from the Last Row…

·      We here in the Last Row have day jobs. We know what you’re thinking, “You guys write high quality content almost once or twice a month! Surely you can live off of the proceeds of these columns!!” Sadly, no. Yeah, we have responsibilities and stuff. Anyway, we toil away in our cubicles and share offices with dozens, hundreds of other people. There’s something that has been bugging us. If you are in one of those offices where you have a ‘communal’ coffee room, you know what we are talking about. The coffee is free in the office coffee room; you just need to refill the pot if you happen to get the last bit of coffee in the pot.

There are jerks out there – big, inconsiderate jerks who will not make the coffee when they know they should. Would it kill these people to make coffee? Really…would it kill them? No. If the incredible effort you expend making a simple pot of coffee is going to kill you, you should not be ingesting the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee anyway, the strain on your heart just might be too great. Just make the coffee if you finish the pot. But no; these passive-aggressive jerks (who are most likely Giants fans) don’t make the replacement pot of coffee!! And you see these people sometimes; smirking as they leave after they have avoided making the coffee…like they got away with murder and have outsmarted Sherlock Holmes. We know it was you!! Just make the damn coffee!! DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT!!! 

(Editor: The there were originally 4 “dammit”s contained within the last paragraph, but the FCC made us remove one.)

OK – sorry. We here in the Last Row don’t like losing our cool like that. OK – instead of complaining about these characters we have compiled an OCR Decision Making Tool (it’s below the Top Six List). You can hang this in your communal Office Coffee Room, right above your coffee. Maybe it will help some of the Coffee Jerks remember their responsibilities. We kind of doubt it, but if it makes these people think just a little bit about what they are doing, maybe a couple of them will make the damn coffee.

·      A recent trend in TV broadcasting is also an item of concern. Print sports journalists yelling at each other on TV. Don’t get us wrong; shows that feature sports reporters can be quite good. Take, for instance, “The Sports Reporters” on ESPN. Four guys who cover sports talking about the big sports stories for that week. A relatively reasoned out, calm discussion about what most of us talk about – sports. Shows like this are also produced locally; Philadelphia has a very good show, Daily News Live, produced by Comcast Sportsnet.

There are shows, however, that use sports as a pretense but are really about overbearing sports-writers preening and trying to out-insult each other. You know what we’re talking about; “Around the Horn” is the worst of the lot. ESPN actually made a show that focuses on sports writers out-smirking each other. Writers from across the country (well, the same four cities every week, it seems) yell at each other like WWE wrestlers – except they have ECW scripts – it seems to be a new genre we’ve decided to call ‘Sports Yelling’. Some of these guys are actually (??) getting minor celebrity status because of this. Jay Mariotti should not be a name that we know. His name is not known outside of Chicago because he writes great stories, but because every afternoon he yells at some schmo from Denver, who is yelling at him at the same time!!

This is OK for regular Joes who have nothing better to do than call Jim Rome and yell into a phone, because a normal person can just feel sorry for them. Those callers aren’t getting paid. But some people are getting paid pretty well for this Sports Yelling. The patron saint of this genre is the old host of “Around the Horn”, Max Kellerman, a metro sexual with a wildly out of control ego who now has a show where he puts his knowledge up against everyone else or something. The show is called “I, Max”. That show is so bad it only stayed on for about 2 minutes at Last Row Central (a bar named Gullifty’s on the Main Line). Like we said, we’re not really sure what the point of the show is, but it’s simply bad.

Hopefully “Around the Horn” and “I, Max” die quick painful deaths, but we can’t be that lucky, can we?



The Last Row’s Top Six: Seven Deadly Sins  (with sincere apologies to “Anger”)

6. Pride

5. Gluttony

4. Lust

3. Greed

2. Envy

1. Sloth (by a landslide)




BONUS Top Six: Soft Drinks That We Aren’t Ever Interested in Drinking

6. Sprite Ice

5. Diet Vanilla Coke

4. Fresca

3. Pepsi Holiday Spice

2. Zesty Berry Fanta

1. Mountain Dew Pitch Black


About Fantasy Sharks launched in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is (or has been) home to some of the most talented and respected writers and content creators in fantasy football.