On the eve of the NFL season (well, not eve, but we are close now) it's that time of year again. Fantasy Football is underway, and my team is ready to battle it out for another year. Now readers who think I am referring to that terrible excuse that is the Barclays Premier League Fantasy Football are mistaken; I am not talking about that, and anyway that is not really the same thing - for a start any participant can select any player they like, so most teams in a single league always have the Rooneys, Drogbas, Fabregas' etc. I don't really see the point in it to be fair, when its structured like that. It's not really a game at all.
I'm talking about the real Fantasy Football, the NFL, where I draft my own players and manage them over an entire season. I hand-pick my guys, and it's tough luck if I don't get someone I had my eye on. Them's the breaks kid. With my NFL chums over at PESfan.com, we are entering another season, each striving towards the ultimate goal... The w00tbowl. This year I was given the 6th overall pick, out of 14 players, so every other round I had the 9th pick (we reverse the order every other round, geddit?). In light of this, here are the results of my draft for the 2010 season:
1) Frank Gore, RB (SF)
2) Larry Fitzgerald, WR (ARI)
3) Ryan Grant, RB (GB)
4) Joe Flacco, QB (BAL)
5) Brent Celek, TE (PHI)
6) Pierre Garcon, WR (IND)
7) Mohamed Massaquoi, WR (CLE)
8) San Fransisco 49ers DEF
9) Matthew Stafford, QB (DET)
10) Montario Hardesty, RB (CLE)
11) Greg Olsen, TE (CHI)
12) Ryan Longwell, K (MIN)
13) Denver Broncos DEF
So let's review:
Joe Flacco will be my starter, a 4th round selection. I wanted one of the more elite QBs but by the time my turn came round they were all pretty much gone and I had to settle for Flacco, who's not known as being a fantasy stud. However, Flacco has another year of experience under his belt and has a new weapon to target this season named Anquan Boldin. I'm hoping for good things from Flacco, a solid QB at least. Stafford is a great backup, who should be better this year under an improved Lions offense.
Probably the strongest part of my team, I should be solid at running back this season at the very least. I had trouble deciding whether to take Gore or Steven Jackson with my first pick, but I went with Gore because A) The Rams aren't very good and rely on Jackson A LOT and B) Gore has been consistent for years now and should be a safe pick. I'm not overconfident about Grant, I know he struggles at times in Green Bay but he's a starter at least and will get a lot of carries this year as long as he stays healthy; he'll be my starter in my RB/WR flex position. Hardesty is my homer pick here. I expect Jerome Harrison to start the season as number 1 in Browns town, but if Hardesty explodes onto the scene with some spectacular performances, then I have him on my team, ready and raring to go. My "sleeper" pick if you will.
Certainly the riskiest department of my squad. We all know Fitzgerald is one of the best receivers in the league but the problem is "Hollywood" Matt Leinart throwing to him. Can he put the ball in Fitz's hands often enough to make my selection worth it? He better do, that's all I'm saying. Garcon is a safe pick but I worry that Manning, who has so many options in Indianapolis, will overlook Garcon on certain days and I won't get the production out of him I'd like. Massaquoi had a mixed rookie campaign in Cleveland, but he's undoubtedly our top receiver for 2010 and if Delhomme connects with MoMass early on in the year, he may become my number 2 receiver sooner rather than later. Overall I reckon I might need to swing a trade or two around the league; this position could do with some strengthening.
I'm pretty pleased with my selections for this position. Celek is one of the top tight ends around these days and Olsen is one of Cutler's primary targets in Chicago too. I like what I've got here and doubt I'll be chopping and changing much here.
I was away when it came around to selecting my defense, but I can't argue at all being given the 49ers. A top defensive unit they've got by the Bay, and Denver are a solid choice as my backup. However I don't expect to use the Broncos much at all, only on San Francisco's bye week I reckon.
Who really cares about the kicker position? Not a big deal when it comes to fantasy, but point are points and Ryan Longwell should get me enough.
So that's my team this year. Not great, but solid, hopefully a playoff contender. This site here has ranked my team and some "experts" have weighed in on what they think. Check it out, an interesting read for sure.
Thanks for reading.