Thursday, September 10, 2015

Iron Dirigible Draft Recap Part 2: The Winter Soldier

So here's the thing- real football starts in approximately six hours. At that point, all the hand wringing and prognosticating over the draft becomes a moot point. So I could either spend that time making some clever joke about how I don't update this very often and 3 posts in the span of 2 days is some kind of record (I figured some sort of joke about the update taking way longer than a day but being published now due to time travel, but causality loops became an issue and if the phrase "causality loops" is in your joke, it's probably not that funny. But I digress.) OR I could just update the blog. Let's go with "update the blog". When we last left our intrepid heroes, Bean had unknowingly cursed Randall Cobb to almost have a broken collarbone (and would have been fully broken, were it not for the direct intervention of Aaron Rodgers' anti-hobbit magic, which he learned after the Bean cursed him with a similar injury in 2013) and we were starting the 7th and 8th round or, as it is unofficially known, the round where we stop recognizing the players' names.

Rounds 7 & 8

49Travis Kelce, KC TE  Hunterian Velociraptors
50Greg Olsen, Car TE19th Hole
51Doug Martin, TB RBVandy PimpMasters
52Vincent Jackson, TB WRMore Dr Pepper
53Latavius Murray, Oak RBBelmont Godfearers
54Golden Tate, Det WRTeam Tune
55Martellus Bennett, Chi TEWest Katzen Maus Munchers
56Jeremy Maclin, KC WRTeam McLovin
57Jason Witten, Dal TETeam McLovin
58LeGarrette Blount, NE RBWest Katzen Maus Munchers
59Arian Foster*, Hou RBTeam Tune
60T.J. Yeldon, Jac RBBelmont Godfearers
61Andre Ellington, Ari RBMore Dr Pepper
62Owen Daniels, Den TEVandy PimpMasters
63Giovani Bernard, Cin RB19th Hole
64Andre Johnson, Ind WR  Hunterian Velociraptors

Pick I Love: I'm torn between Greg Olsen at #50 or Martellus Bennett at #55. On the one hand, I'm convinced Greg Olsen is the only person in the greater Charlotte area to ever catch a pass in an NFL game before and will be the only act in Camapalooza 2015 with Devin "Bunches of" Funchess as the opening act. On the other hand, Martellus Bennett gives you free reign to quote the 2nd best scene in Pulp Fiction at will ("WHAT DOES MARTELLUS BENNETT LOOK LIKE?!" P.S. 1st best scene in Pulp Fiction is the diner at the end because it's not only really cool, but it delivers an unexpected message as well as the thesis for the entire movie). So anyways, I'm going to give the nod to Martellus Bennett even though I think Olsen is the better player simply because Samuel L. Jackson is a better actor the Mary Kate, Ashley, or Elizabeth Olsen. What? I CAN BE PETTY!

Pick I Hate: Originally, I was going to have this whole thing about how Doug Martin was having all the upside drafted out of him by going this early and that it was a desperate effort to revive the Doug Connection. But I came to a twofold revelation: first, that even 3 years later, I still cannot hate Doug "the Muscle Hamster" Martin after he scored over 50 points in a game for me; second, that Doug Martin never had the phrase "tore his groin muscle right off the bone" associated with him like Arian Foster did this offseason. Currently, the medical prognosis for Foster is "it could be 4 weeks, it could be more than six weeks, who knows? I'm not a doctor." And generally I tend to avoid stashing guys on my bench indefinitely, like a barnacle clinging to a ship. In summation, come back to me, Doug Martin. The other Doug doesn't appreciate you like I do.

Picks I Made: Travis Kelce dueled Anthony Fasano into submission and became the sole Tight End in Kansas City, where state law prohibits Wide Receivers from scoring touchdowns. As a result, Kelce will be a target monster who descends from the foothills to prey upon weary and unsuspecting secondaries. Andre Johnson is the second half of the Murtaugh Duo in Indianapolis & I feel extremely confident in his ability to be a reliable (if unremarkable) fantasy starter, which frees me up to go CRAAAAAZZZZZY on guys with upside in the later rounds. Plus, Andrew Luck is by far the most talented quarterback that Andre Johnson has ever played for. I don't think it's impossible for him to return to 2013 levels of production (when he got 1400 yards and only 5 touchdowns). 2013 production is equal to 170 fantasy points, which would have been good enough for 11th among Wide Receivers last year, and that's pretty good upside for a pick at the end of the 8th round.

Rounds 9 & 10

65Ben Roethlisberger, Pit QB  Hunterian Velociraptors
66Sammy Watkins, Buf WR19th Hole
67Rashad Jennings, NYG RBVandy PimpMasters
68Brandon Marshall, NYJ WRMore Dr Pepper
69Isaiah Crowell, Cle RBBelmont Godfearers
70Chris Ivory, NYJ RBTeam Tune
71Tom Brady, NE QBWest Katzen Maus Munchers
72Mike Wallace, Min WRTeam McLovin
73Shane Vereen, NYG RBTeam McLovin
74Tre Mason, StL RBWest Katzen Maus Munchers
75Julius Thomas*, Jac TETeam Tune
76Jarvis Landry, Mia WRBelmont Godfearers
77C.J. Spiller, NO RBMore Dr Pepper
78Allen Robinson, Jac WRVandy PimpMasters
79Eric Decker, NYJ WR19th Hole
80Ameer Abdullah, Det RB  Hunterian Velociraptors

Pick I Love: Chris Ivory at #70. I think the Jets offense will be better than we think it is. By that, I mean Ryan Fitzpatrick's uninspired quarterback play will be better than Geno Smith's hilariously inept quarterback play. And even with Geno Smith under center and CJ0K stealing half the carries, Ivory wound up a top 20 running back last year (which is as much a criticism of last year's runners as it is a compliment to Ivory's potential). Also, honorary mention goes to Allen Robinson aka The Only Show in Jacksonville. Naturally, I was hoping he'd fall to me but Doug foiled my plans again, because he is a robot sent from the future to hinder my fantasy football plans.

Pick I Hate: Julius Thomas at #75. But not because he had finger ligament surgery that will cost him the first quarter of the season. It's because I think you could wait until the end of the draft once you're the last guy to take a tight end. Even if it weren't for the injury, is Julius Thomas enough of an upgrade over Delanie Walker or Heath Miller that it's worth spending a 10th rounder on him? I feel the opportunity cost of taking Thomas instead of a flyer at WR or RB was too steep.

Pick I Made: Even if I had known Tom Brady was above the law (and I literally mean above the law- it is my understanding he actually lives in a zeppelin that hovers above the government's jurisdiction) and would serve no suspension, I'm still taking Roethlisberger here. In a vacuum, Brady is the better quarterback. But in a world where Roethlisberger has Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell and Brady has LeGarrette Blount and a mostly banged up Julian Edelman, Roethlisberger is the better fantasy option. Plus, I'm not sure I could live with myself actively rooting for the Patriots to score lots of points on the Steelers tonight. As for Ameer Abdullah, I'm all in on the alliterative hype train. For you see, he is not a mere Abdullah, but Ameer Abdullah. In non-wordplay terms, he looked really good in training camp & seems like an extremely versatile back whose only obstacle is the notoriously injury prone Joique Bell.

Round 11 & 12

81Ryan Mathews, Phi RB  Hunterian Velociraptors
82Nelson Agholor, Phi WR19th Hole
83Sam Bradford, Phi QBVandy PimpMasters
84Matt Ryan, Atl QBMore Dr Pepper
85Brandon LaFell*, NE WRBelmont Godfearers
86Michael Floyd, Ari WRTeam Tune
87Seahawks D/ST D/STWest Katzen Maus Munchers
88Bishop Sankey, Ten RBTeam McLovin
89Bills D/ST D/STTeam McLovin
90Martavis Bryant, Pit WRWest Katzen Maus Munchers
91Torrey Smith, SF WRTeam Tune
92Tony Romo, Dal QBBelmont Godfearers
93Charles Johnson, Min WRMore Dr Pepper
94David Cobb*, Ten RBVandy PimpMasters
95Tevin Coleman, Atl RB19th Hole
96Markus Wheaton, Pit WR  Hunterian Velociraptors

Pick I Love: Nelson Agholor. Besides the appeal of a deceptively unpronounceable last name, I also think Agholor could be the only receiver that Chip Kelly doesn't drive out of town. Also, Agholor has much of Amari Cooper's skill set but has the benefit of someone to throw him the ball.

Pick I Hate: Brandon LaFell, and again, this was before we found out he'd miss at least half a season on the PUP list. Once Wes Welker left New England in 2012, the question was "who would succeed him as Tom Brady's #2 target after the Gronkosaurus Rex?" Two years later, I think we can answer definitively: no one. Since Welker left town, the Pats haven't had a single non-Gronk receiver get a thousand yards in a season. Why would LaFell be different from Danny Amendola or Brandon Lloyd before him? It's not even that unique a phenomenon in fantasy football. For the past 8 years, you could trust Drew Brees to put up points and for his top target (either Marques Colston or Jimmy Graham) to be money in the fantasy bank. But after that, it was a total crap shoot. Sometimes it was Lance Moore, sometimes it was Devery Henderson, and sometimes it was the running back.

Pick I Made: If it weren't for DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews would have been a top 10 RB in this year's draft. And guess who has only played one 16 game season in his career? Well, yes, Ryan Mathews is a correct answer... but so is DeMarco Murray! And Murray is coming off a year where he had a workload that historically precipitates a steep fall off in production (the Curse of 370). Grabbing a potential top 10 RB in round 11 is a no-brainer (particularly with Miller, Ingram, and Bell poised to do the bulk of the heavy lifting at the position for my team). As for Wheaton, mostly this is a bet on him being able to improve in his 2nd full season and taking advantage of Martavis Bryant's suspension to become BFFs with Ben Roethlisberger.

Rounds 13, 14, 15, & 16

97Ronnie Hillman, Den RB  Hunterian Velociraptors
98Cam Newton, Car QB19th Hole
99John Brown, Ari WRVandy PimpMasters
100Roddy White, Atl WRMore Dr Pepper
101Darren McFadden, Dal RBBelmont Godfearers
102Marques Colston, NO WRTeam Tune
103Larry Fitzgerald, Ari WRWest Katzen Maus Munchers
104Devonta Freeman, Atl RBTeam McLovin
105Victor Cruz, NYG WRTeam McLovin
106Steve Smith Sr., Bal WRWest Katzen Maus Munchers
107Ryan Tannehill, Mia QBTeam Tune
108Texans D/ST D/STBelmont Godfearers
109Jordan Cameron, Mia TEMore Dr Pepper
110Rams D/ST D/STVandy PimpMasters
111Andre Williams, NYG RB19th Hole
112Cody Latimer, Den WR  Hunterian Velociraptors
113Jets D/ST D/ST  Hunterian Velociraptors
114Adam Vinatieri, Ind K19th Hole
115Delanie Walker, Ten TEVandy PimpMasters
116Broncos D/ST D/STMore Dr Pepper
117Cardinals D/ST D/STBelmont Godfearers
118Stephen Gostkowski, NE KTeam Tune
119Pierre Garcon, Wsh WRWest Katzen Maus Munchers
120Steven Hauschka, Sea KTeam McLovin
121Knile Davis, KC RBTeam McLovin
122Matt Prater, Det KWest Katzen Maus Munchers
123Ravens D/ST D/STTeam Tune
124Justin Tucker, Bal KBelmont Godfearers
125Cody Parkey, Phi KMore Dr Pepper
126Matt Bryant, Atl KVandy PimpMasters
127Dolphins D/ST D/ST19th Hole
128Mason Crosby, GB K  Hunterian Velociraptors

Pick I Love: Steve Smith Senor (pronounced SENN-or as in Senor Cardgage Mortgage) at pick #106. I genuinely do not know why Triple-S fell this far. He had a productive season last year (1065 yards, 6 touchdowns, and #18 among wide receivers in fantasy points), certainly compared to the WRs taken directly before him. His quarterback situation didn't change. The other starting wide receiver left town, so it's not like he's on the verge of being overtaken. The Ravens did get a new offensive coordinator, but it's one who is notoriously pass happy. Plus, you have the added incentive of it being announced as his last season in the league so you know he wants to make a strong last impression. The only reason I guess he fell to #106 is he's not a real high upside pick. But even then, how could you say he has a lower upside than Marques Colston or Larry Fitzgerald?

Pick I Hate: It's kinda hard to hate any pick this late. At this point, all these guys are essentially waiver wire picks anyways. So I'll say I hate Justin Tucker. He knows why.

Picks I Made: As I mentioned back in Part 1, I have a lurking suspicion that C.J. Anderson will, by injury or ill-luck, not be the starting running back in Denver by the year's end. Plus, I've gotten out of some tight spots in the past two years by betting on a backup to take over Manning's running game. Cody Latimer is almost exactly the same logic. You want a part of the Denver offense if you can get it. And I have a feeling we'll know pretty quick whether or not Latimer is a part of the gameplan. And that's what you want from a 14th round flyer: high upside & fast turnaround. Then I know whether or not to cut bait with Latimer by Week 3 and can, presumably, find some waiver wire gem that will, in retrospect, be completely obvious but at present totally eludes me.

IT'S OVER!!!!!!!

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