So tonight is the official Gridiron Rats fantasy draft… which of course means time away from watching my Patriots (the tvs are not in the same room as my hardwired compuuter, and my iDevices are not designed to work with the Yahoo! draft system, or at least not in any way that I have found workable. That’s OK thoughh, since I understand that Brady, Mayo, Lloyd, Hernandez, Welker and Gronk are all being held out of tonight’s game. It looks like the second string from the get-go tonight.
Drafting in the #12 spot is a challenge (16 team league), as the big names are likely to be ticked off my draft sheet and I will already be into the top of my second tier of players for my first pick. Of course with a snaking draft, the great equalizer is that I will get to pick fifth in the even rounds, but that fact still does not net me one of the marquis players that I would love to have on the roster. The key to a 16 team league however, is depth, and that’s where I hope my obsessive planning over this draft comes into play. We shall see, and by 11pm tonight I should have a pretty good idea as to whether or not I will have a competitive team this season.
I will now pause here to provide you time to picture Rat’s Widow rolling her eyes as she reads this. .. she is good to humor me as she does.
The best part about our draft of course, is that it means the start of the season is very close now.The Patriots have three games over the next ten days (thank you NFL schedule-makers) before we are officially at Week One.
Before I sign off, some quick thoughts about the pre-season to date:
– I realize the regular season has not started yet, but I am not sure if I have ever seen a more pathetic display of offense than what the Jets threw at the Giants on Saturday night. Given that the Jets likely will not run the wildcat offense in the AFC East, if I were a Jets fan I would be very nervous about my team’s ability to score points with a mediorce receiving corps, poor running attack, lack of an elite (or even very good) quarterback, and an offensive line that looks very suspect on the right side. And no matter how good the Jets’ defense is, if the offense has a lot of three and outs, the defense will eventually break, and badly. They have just two weeks to get this corrected.
– Denver fans are excited to see Peyton Manning play (or maybe just happy that Tim Tebow is in New York), but Manning’s arm strength is not where it needs to be, and the belief is that he can not throw the ball downfield with both strength and accuracy. I still see this team as the class of the division and even at his current strength, Manning is better than half the quarterbacks in the league. But I would understand why Broncos’ fans might just be holding their breath a little bit.
– The NFL continues to push forward with replacement officials who, in my view, have been anything but stellar in the pre-season. The league seems to be in denial with the quality of the officiating, acting like the mistakes are no big deal and only being magnified because of the lockout. Texan’s owner Bob McNair went so far as to say he did not see any difference at all in the quality of officiating. I call bs on you Bob; the calls are poorer and the games are longer so far, and I don’t suspect the situation is going to improve before the start of the regular season. Once again… the NFL needs to get over it’s fear of investing money in the game and work out a long-term deal with the officials now.
That’s all for now; wish me luck on my draft!