Friday, September 7, 2012

Sin Bin Fantasy Football Draft 2012: A Pick by Pick Insight

As those of you who listened to our show know, our 2011-2012 team "All Along the Hightower" had a pretty successful season (FRED JACKSON!!), going 8-5 and losing in a close championship game. We weathered the storm of the dynamic 1st and 2nd round picks of Chris Johnson and Knowshown Moreno (again....FRED JACKSON!!!). But Mike and I were so very, very excited about Johnson and Moreno when we drafted them. So we thought it might be fun to keep some live notes during our draft this year. After the jump we'll have our (mostly) live notes of this year's draft.

I'm panicking. We have no team name. To me, a good, funny team name is like 3% of the battle. However we joined a draft that is going to start in 2 minutes, and haven't come up with a name yet. I start tossing names out left and right. Mostly puns; a few that are mildly offensive (Suh Girls, One Cup anyone?) and some that I love (Cadillac Benson and Sproles Royce), but we can't agree. "Hug 'Em and Suissam" is being used for out other team. "Coples Therapy" was one that Mike is using for another team, sadly. "Iupati like it's 1999" is another of mine. The clock hits zero, and we go to the draft lobby with no name. Mike thinks this isn't a big deal. I kick over the trash can for the first (but not last) time. I take it as a bad omen, look for a chicken to sacrifice, and cross my fingers as we await our draft pick. 

Sixth overall. Only two teams picked names, and they're drafting first and second. Damn you ESPN and your need for creativity. Oh, for the record this is an 8 team league. So 6th could be worse, but whatever we're gonna roll with it. 

We're trying to figure out who would fall to us. In this year's draft, there's essentially two "Big 3 Bs" as we just coined them: The Big 3 RBs (Foster, Rice, and McCoy--who will be henceforth be known in this space as Lady Gaga) and The Big 3 QBs (Rodgers, Brady, Brees). Being smart guys, we realize that's 6 players and since we're picking 6th....well like I said, smart guys. We make a pact to take whichever one of those 6 are left (in fairness, we didn't take into account for someone going off the board and taking Megatron. Then we would have been forced to, you know, actually make a decision).

I realize that this means we could be taking Tom Brady, who happens to be Mike's favorite player in the entire league (slight sarcasm). I point this out to Mike, who opines that if we take Brady, he's going to shoot himself. I tell him that if it means we can get Brady, I'll buy the gun.

The first guy immediately goes on autopick. Seriously? Who instantly goes on autopick? Either way, Foster goes first which was unexpected. The second pick takes the guy down to the 1 second mark to take Aaron Rodgers. Apparently knowing for 3 minutes that he was going to pick second wasn't enough, so he needed the extra 1:29. The picks after that were Brady (Mike dodges the literal and figurative bullet), Rice and Gaga.

With the easiest, most drama free pick in the entire draft, we take Drew Brees. I'm usually a RB first guy, but as like I said...the highest ranked RB at this point are Maurice "Holdout" Jones-Drew, Chris "I screwed over everyone's fantasy teams last year" Johnson, and Marshawn "I'm Marshawn Lynch" Lynch. Not optimal.

As much as I said I didn't want to take Chris Johnson, I actually don't mind him in this spot. Unfortunately, the guy picking 8th nabbed Stafford and then Johnson on the backswing. So much for that. Gronk was taken next, which is fine because Mike + Patriots = no go. Also, it's pretty optimistic to think that Gronk is going to  put up the same numbers again with the addition of Brandon Lloyd, the surgeries, AND the stripper parties. We notice that the non-Megatron WR options are still there, while the best running back on the board is Matt Forte (while the "others" include question marks like MJD, AP, and Lynch). We decide on Larry Fitzgerald. Yes, the fact that he has one of the worst QB tandems in the league throwing to him is scary. But Andre Johnson had the injuries last season, and so did Matt Schaub. If Schaub goes down, you're looking at the T.J. Yates/John Beck tandem again. Plus, we figure with that Foster/Tate is much more likely to be productive than Wells/Williams. Fitz is the pick, and we move to the third round.

Jimmy Graham was taken with the first pick of the round. With Gronk and Graham off the board, this pretty much confirms that we won't be taking a TE until the later rounds. The difference between reaching for Vernon Davis (likely the next TE off the board) and one of the other guys later in the draft isn't enough to pass on some of the other option available now. (As an aside, the guy who took Graham also has Foster and Andre Johnson. Yikes). Trent Richardson went with the second pick in the round, ahead of AP, Jamaal Charles, and DeMarco Murray. Given the "success" of most rookies, the complete blowitude of Cleveland's offensive line (outside of Joe Thomas) and the injuries, it's questionable to say the least. We could go running back or wide receiver...we haven't taken a RB yet, so we''re leaning in that direction. Mike Wallace is the top ranked WR here, but I'm not a huge fan. He missed some time due to the lockout, and I think Antonio Brown might actually be the better player anyway. Ultimately we pick running back, and we go with Jamaal Charles. Look, Charles' injury happened in Week 2. That's plenty of recovery time, so it shouldn't be an issue. And frankly, the Peyton Hillis signing doesn't scare us much. Charles was most successful splitting carries with Thomas Jones anyway. We're looking for a bounceback season from Charles.

Peterson and Murray were the next two picks after we took Charles. Mike and I decide that we're either going with Greg Jennings or Wes Welker. Even though it isn't a PPR league and Mike has Patriot issues, I think Welker is still a great play. With a QB, a RB, and a WR on the team already, we could also go with a RB. Both Jacksons are still there (FRED JACKSON!!), as is Gore...Jennings gets taken, and we go with Wes Welker. Look, the Patriots have about 9,000 tight ends on their roster (Gronk, Hernandez, Shiancoe, Winslow, Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, etc.,) and they also added Brandon Lloyd, so it's possible that the Pats are going to spread the ball around. But Welker is still going to do his thing, and that means he's going to get the ball. A lot. Which means she should towards the top of fantasy WR's this year.

As an aside, Mike points out that he can no longer hope that David Harris delivers a crushing blow to Welker over the middle, riddling him with a terrifyingly bad concussion. Or knee injury. Or decapitation…

We kinda sorta still need another RB. Unfortunately, both Jacksons got taken (FREDDY!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!). I'm heartbroken. Sproles also was drafted, and then there was a run on WR's. Wallace, Cruz and Nelson got picked leading up to us (and Steve Smith and Brandon Marshall went after). The RB options are not great...Ryan Matthews, Michael Bush and Willis McGahee are all there, and all have their red flags. They also all have a week 7 bye, as does our RB1 (Charles) so that makes things difficult. Ultimately, Mike and I go with BPA, which is Hakeem Nicks. I know Nicks has foot problems, but I like taking him over the RB available. I'll take the #1 WR in an offense that's going to throw for 5,000 yards. If anything maybe we can use one of our WR as trade bait.

We pick again in 5 picks, so we're hoping to grab our RB2 at this point. No one takes a RB, so all the options are still there. McGahee versus Ahmad Bradshaw seems to be the debate now. I threw in a wildcard: taking Matthews and figuring we could still get GreenEllis or someone like that later. Bradshaw has the upside, and this is the 43rd pick of  the draft…and Bradshaw is ranked as the 43rd overall player. We bite the bullet, and go with back to back G-Men. Ahmad Bradshaw it is. This makes me more than a little nervous, given my uncanny ability to have players of my favorite team bomb when they're on my fantasy teams. Bradshaw has injury problems, and the Giants offensive line is horrific. This team was, after all, 32nd in the NFL in rushing offense last year. Still, he can find the end zone. We hope. 

We run the clock down before making the Bradshaw pick. Some jokester opines: "All that for Ahmad Bradshaw?" I am officially SEETHING. Literally seeing red. I tell Mike to type: "Sorry, I would have picked sooner but I had to finish with your mom first." Begrudgingly Mike does it, and then points out that this asshole took Trent Richardson and MJD. Mike then types to him that he had a fantastic pick nabbing a midget who had a tremendous workload last year and is currently holding out (in the first round, no less) and a rookie running back for a team with an offensive line on par with the Giants who has already had knee surgery. BOOM. 

I note, incredulously, that someone took defense. With the 49th pick in the draft (ironically, it's the 49ers defense). And shocker, it's our asshole friend with the shot clock. He responds to our momma joke with "Don't worry about me or MJD. Bradshaw? Really?" Mike fires back with "Defense already? Really?" I wanted to say "I'm not worried about you, I'm more concerned with how far your mom's back can bend." I accept that Mike's retort is better, even if mine was more distasteful. 


We're in no man's land here. There are a ton of players we don't really need, and it's still too soon for my sleeper picks.  We're looking at players like Reggie Bush and Beanie Wells. Like I said, we're entering the "Do I have to take a player in every round?" Portion of the draft. I actually don't mind Bush (mainly because I still have no idea who the hell Tannehill is going to throw the ball to...besides Bush), but maybe I'm just overvaluing the beast mode he went on in the last 4 games of last season. We end up taking BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Yes, I understand that he no longer plays on the Patriots. Yes, I understand he's an unspectacular runner. But we're hoping he can still find the end zone, and he's never fumbled. So there's that.*

*Note: Now that I said it, the Law Firm will set the single season record for fumbles lost. Mark it down.


I want Antonio Brown; he gets taken two picks before we go. I curse. Loudly. In hindsight, perhaps we should have drafted him in the 7th and waited for the crap cavalcade of running backs to fall to us here. Oh well. Miles Austin, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brandon Lloyd are all there. We decided to take Jeremy Maclin. I'm happy; Mike asks if he has cancer still. Fair point.

QB: Drew Brees

RB: Jamaal Charles
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw
WR: Larry Fitzgerald
WR: Wes Welker

FLEX: Hakeem Nicks


BN: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jeremy Maclin

I don't hate our lineup so far. Don't love it, but I've won with worse. We quickly realize we're on the clock again and have no idea who we're taking. The Ravens defense just got taken, and I point out to Mike that we're going to be taking our defense at the end. I look for Doug Martin and see he was picked just ahead of us. I curse (again) and now we have 10 seconds left. I literally look at Mike and say "F**k it, let's take Torrey Smith." We do. That's science, folks.


First kicker is off the board; Gostkowski goes with the last pick in the 9th round. Again, we'd rather take roster fliers and potential sleepers now and grab a kicker in the last round. We're looking for another running back. Do we grab Peyton Hillis in case Charles doesn't holdup? Ultimately, we go with Isaac Redman. Who knows when Mendenhaal is coming back, and how healthy he's going to be when he does.


We're at the point where we're trying to figure out which running backs are hurt the worst so we can draft their backups (see: Redman, Isaac). We realize there are still some "still breathing" WR left, versus the absolute dead dog RB options we're looking at. No point in taking a crappy RB just for the sake of taking a RB. We go with Bobby Meachem because we figure that retarded Bobby Hill is going to have to throw to somebody with Vincent Jackson gone.


We're looking towards TE or D/ST. The Eagles, Steelers, Seahawks and Jets are available (ranked in that order). I actually like the Jets defense this season to bounce back...I thought they underperformed a bit last year. Plus we already have 2 Giants on the team, so this way we stay bipartisan. As for TE, Mike really likes Jacob Tammie due to the "Manning Factor." We end up taking Jason Witten, mainly because he might have the most upside of any of the TE here (even if he has no spleen).


The Seahawks defense just went. I actually really like their defense (mainly because they're playing the Rams, Cardinals and 49ers) but we weren't planning on taking them anyway. We're thinking about either Toby Gerhart, or Rashad Jennings. At the time of the draft, MJD was still holding out. Not to mention, he had an astronomical workload last year, and missed all of training camp. He could be a prime candidate to get hurt. We went with Jennings under that line of thinking.  

We're thinking D/ST, or David Wilson. Wilson has looked explosive in the preseason, and Bradshaw is almost guaranteed to miss time with an injury. Since we already took Bradshaw, it isn't a horrible insurance play. Ultimately, we go with the Jets defense and hope that Wilson will be available when we pick next. 

Kenny Britt has huge upside, but his health is a major concern. Ultimately, we stick with the plan from the previous round, and draft David Wilson.

We more or less forgot kickers are players (can you blame us?) so we have to take one here. Alex Henery and Matt Prater are the top two left. Mike wants Prater because he kicks in Denver, and I don't want to pick any more Eagles. This seems like a pretty natural fit. Matt Prater is our last pick.


The Falcons' defense was taken last overall, making them the irrelevant pick. Just like the entire city of Atlanta has been for the last 20 years.

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