Thomas McKenzie
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Fantasy Football Draft


This year is the fourth year of Church of the Receiver, my church's fantasy football league. The first year, I won the title. The second year, I lost the "super bowl" and came in second. Last year, I didn't even make the playoffs.

I noticed that over the years I have increasingly adopted a particular drafting strategy. I drafted from the heart. I would come in with my list, and then, when my name was called, I would draft the guy who I knew/liked best among the best six or seven possible choices. That strategy has gotten me nowhere.

So, this year, I drafted by the numbers. I came in with a well prepared order of players, and a basic drafting strategy that works. The effect of this is that I drafted some players I don't like, and some players I've never heard of, and at least one player I despise. So, here it is, with commentary.

Musashi drafting eighth of twelve, in a typical "snake" draft. In our league, we play one Quarter Back (QB), two Running Backs (RB), two Wide Receivers (WR), one Tight End (TE) , one Kicker (K), one Defense (DEF), and one RB or WR at the last position. I always put a RB in there, so I say we play three RBs. Then we have a 7 man bench.

First round: I took Willie Parker, RB, Pittsburgh. The top five backs are all gone, and if I wait until the next round I won't have a great back. Wilie's the best on the board.

Second round: Edgerrin James, RB, Arizona. Here is a guy I don't like. He did not live up to his own hype last year. However, he is a good runner in an uncontested spot. I could have taken a top flight QB here, but the two top QBs were already gone before my pick, so second RB is the right call.

Third round: Marion Barber, RB, Dallas. A guy a like, on my favorite team. However, officially he's the back-up, but he could be in for a great year. I had no first or second tier QBs to choose from, and the best three WRs were gone. So, I have my final starting RB.

Fourth Round: Marc Bulger, QB, Rams. I can't stand Bulger. I almost always shoot for Brady, who I would have picked in the third round if he had been available. But, here in the fourth round Bulger was by far the best QB available. If I had picked an y other position, I would have been starting an inconsistent QB. Bulger was a great pick for this situation.

Fifth Round: Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants. I don't care about this guy one way or another. However, on my list he was definitely the best WR available in this round at this moment. So, I went with the list (as I had in every pick before).

Sixth Round: Terry Glenn, WR, Cowboys. I like Terry Glenn, and he did well for me last year. He's consistent, and he's opposite T.O., who gets all the double coverage. I needed another WR to fill out the roster. If the top Tight End had been available here, I would have gone that direction. Otherwise, fill out the roster.

Seventh Round: Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants. I hate Shockey. But, he was by far the best Tight End available at this moment, and he fills out my roster. Once again, picking from the heart has done my no good.

Eighth Round: New England DEF. I like to grab a great DEF early, and here was (on my list) the number two DEF in the land wide open. Yes, I could have passed it up and grabbed some back up RB, but a high scoring DEF is worth taking a couple of rounds too early, at least to me.

Ninth Round: Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Jets. According to my list, Cotchery was an absolute steal at this moment. I took this as a gift.

Tenth Round: Vernand Morency, RB, Packers. The back up RB for Green Bay has shown that he has what it takes to be a starter, and I think he will end up with the job. Once again, he was next on the list, and a steal in the tenth round.

Eleventh Round: D.J. Hackett, WR, Seattle Once you get to the 11th round, you kind of get into garbage time. Most of they guys you pick here are going to be back-ups, or you will dump at some point for someone who gets hot. I went with the next WR on my list because I sometimes get crazy and draft too many RBs, most of whom amount to nothing.

Twelfth Round: Chad Pennington, QB, Jets. I have a starting QB who I intend to use every week, regardless. Pennington is a fine enough back-up, and was certainly the best QB left by this time.

Thirteenth Round: Najeh Davenport, RB, Steelers. A good enough RB, but most importantly the back-up for my number one guy, Willie Parker.

Fourteenth Round: Joe Jurevicius, WR, Browns. A competent old receiver that I can stick in during a bye week. 14th round. Whatever.

Fifteenth Round: Kenny Watson, RB, Bengals. Currently Rudi Johnson's number one back-up in Cincy. Pure garbage pick.

Sixteenth Round: Jason Elam, Kicker, Denver. Only incompetent slugs draft kickers before the last round. Statistically, there is no difference among the top dozen kickers in the league. Elam happens to be one of the top five or six kickers (in my opinion), and here he was waiting for me. Some guys drafted kickers in round ten and eleven. I laugh at them.

O.K., that's it. Do I like my team? I don't know. I think I drafted well, but I didn't get any amazing superstars. And, honestly, my experience is that you need at least one amazing superstar on your roster to separate from the pack and take the championship. Statistically speaking, most well-drafted fantasy teams are about the same. Its the LTs and Peyton Mannings who put you over the top. I don't have one of those guys, so I will be lucky just to make the play-offs. But, here we go.



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