Aug 222012
 

We held the first annual Gridiron Rats fantasy football draft on Monday night, in our sixteen team pay league. If you’ve never been in a sixteen team league, let’s just say it ain’t easy. Because our league is heavy on quarterback and receiver play (recognizing life in today’s NFL), quarterbacks are at a premium, and so many NFL teams conduct running back by committee that it is equally difficult to get a feature back. Receiver depth is typically not a problem, but with so many teams running three and four wide receivers, it is easy to accrue points over a season, but harder to count on week to week consistency. My thought on winning this league is that quarterbacks are most valued, receivers are second (along with the top tier tight ends), and running backs are third, unless the running back catches a lot of balls out of the backfield.

Yet that is the type of league that we run, given our desire to include as many interested players as we can, to have our teams perform like real teams and, since we are a pay league, to accrue as much prize money for our players as possible. So Monday night we got down to business, and thirteen of our sixteen managers were able to join us for our live, online draft. The results are below.

Speaking for my own team (Ghost Rats), I feel I was able to construct a competitive team, barring major injuries. I drafted twelfth/fifth in a snaking draft, but was relieved to find one of my top five quarterbacks (Matt Stafford, QB-Detroit) still available by the time I got on the clock. With my next pick I was able to snag Julio Jones (WR-Atlanta), whom many people are expecting great things from this season. Twenty-three picks later I went after Aaron Hernandez (TE, New England) and then grabbbed Willis McGahee (RB-Denver) as my primary back. After four rounds, 64 players are off the board, and now the real test of the draft begins; rounding out a roster and creating depth). Needing to fill out my second receiver spot, I landed on Stevie Johnson of Buffalo, who I was surprised was still available at Pick 76. Then at Pick 85 Jonathan Stewart (RB-Carolina) was available to round out my starting running backs.

It’s a long spell to wait until Pick 108, and I wait as players such Peyton Hillis, Erin Decker, Pierre Garcon, LeGarrette Blount and David Wilson all come off the board. I still need someone to fill out the flex WR/RB position we have on our active rosters , but am also watching as some of the top defenses have come off the board already. San Francisco was selected early in the sixth round, and Baltimore and Chicago closed the sixth round, while Green Bay (wow) went in the middle of the seventh round. So seeing that three of the receivers I wanted were still available, I buckled to pressure and selected Philadelphia’s defense with my seventh round pick. At pick 117 I was surprisingly able to land Titus Young (WR-Detroit) to round my offensive starters. At 140 I chose Montario Hardesty (RB-Cleveland) as a backup running back, taking a chance that he will get a healthy dose of playing time either to spell Trent Richardson or to replace him in the event of further injuries. At 149, I selected Brian Quick (WR-St.Louis), a promising rookie who might be a surprose fantasy producer this season. By Pick 172 I knew I needed a good backup quarterback in the event that Stafford goes down, but most of the quality quarterbacks had vanished from the board by then. Given the choice between Jake Locker, Matt Flynn, and Carson Palmer I went with Locker (QB-Tennessee), but have since agreed to a straight up trade for Palmer (QB-Oakland). I am not a Carson Palmer fan, but with any luck this is a one game starter for me. At 181, most of the top tier kickers were already off the board, so I again buckled to some pressure and grabbed Jason Hansen (K-Detroit), figuring with the Lions’ offense Hanson should get plenty of opportunities again this season.

By now the pickings are slim, and most often just projections of hoped-for production. I waited until Pick 204 and selected Davone Bess (WR-Miami) hoping that he will become a preferred target for Ryan Tannehill. At 213 I took Kevin Smith (RB-Detroit), a total shot in the dark, given that Smith is trying to come back from an injury and is off to a slow start. Set with running backs (we mainatin a maxiumum of 4) and quarterbacks (2), I went after a backup tight end, selecting Tony Scheffler (TE-Detroit) with Pick 266 and then grabed another tight end by accident at 245, taking Dennis Pitta (TE-Baltimore). I must have momentarily blanked out, as I needed another defense and not another tight end. So I dropped Scheffler and am awaiting waiver wires for another defense. But if the worst that happens is that I made that error, I feel pretty good about the draft that I had, despite the fact that of the 16 players I targeted for selection by round, I ended up with only three of them (Julio Jones, Aaron Hernandez, and Brian Quick).

So that’s a peek into the madness that drove my draft. I had pre-ranked players at each position, landing my #5 & 17 quarterbacks, #21, 22, 24 and 46 running backs, my #4, 19, 31, 33, & 46 wide receivers, my # 2 and 21 tight ends, my #2 defense, and my #5 kicker.

As for our entire league, here’s how the draft played out:

No I in Lapdance (Like Gandhi, But Taller)

1. (1) Aaron Rodgers (GB – QB)
2. (32) Andre Johnson (Hou – WR)
3. (33) A.J. Green (Cin – WR)
4. (64) Jason Witten (Dal – TE)
5. (65) Donald Brown (Ind – RB)
6. (96) Chicago (Chi – DEF)
7. (97) LeGarrette Blount (TB – RB)
8. (128) C.J. Spiller (Buf – RB)
9. (129) Alshon Jeffery (Chi – WR)
10. (160) Randy Moss (SF – WR)
11. (161) Terrell Owens (Sea – WR)
12. (192) John Kasay (NO – K)
13. (193) Mike Tolbert (Car – RB)
14. (224) Heath Miller (Pit – TE)
15. (225) Dan Carpenter (Mia – K)
16. (256) Jason Campbell (Chi – QB)

JUSTmyLUCK**
1. (2) Tom Brady (NE – QB)
2. (31) Darren Sproles (NO – RB)
3. (34) Roddy White (Atl – WR)
4. (63) Antonio Brown (Pit – WR)
5. (66) Beanie Wells (Ari – RB)
6. (95) Baltimore (Bal – DEF)
7. (98) Coby Fleener (Ind – TE)
8. (127) Mario Manningham (SF – WR)
9. (130) David Akers (SF – K)
10. (159) Alex Smith (SF – QB)
11. (162) Matt Cassel (KC – QB)
12. (191) Randall Cobb (GB – WR)
13. (194) Rashad Jennings (Jac – RB)
14. (223) Matt Bryant (Atl – K)
15. (226) Washington (Was – DEF)
16. (255) Kendall Hunter (SF – RB)
** over quarterback limit; must drop one

Chump Change** (Flip Stricland)
1. (3) Arian Foster (Hou – RB)
2. (30) Jamaal Charles (KC – RB)
3. (35) Greg Jennings (GB – WR)
4. (62) Jermichael Finley (GB – TE)
5. (67) Torrey Smith (Bal – WR)
6. (94) Carson Palmer (Oak – QB)
7. (99) David Wilson (NYG – RB)
8. (126) Santonio Holmes (NYJ – WR)
9. (131) Sam Bradford (StL – QB)
10. (158) Jerome Simpson (Min – WR)
11. (163) Buffalo (Buf – DEF)
12. (190) Kyle Rudolph (Min – TE)
13. (195) Rob Bironas (Ten – K)
14. (222) Brandon LaFell (Car – WR)
15. (227) Bernard Scott (Cin – RB)
16. (254) Ryan Tannehill (Mia – QB)
** over quarterback limit, dropped Ryan Tannehill

Reyno Island (Reyno Island)
1. (4) Ray Rice (Bal – RB)
2. (29) Michael Vick (Phi – QB)
3. (36) Frank Gore (SF – RB)
4. (61) Dez Bryant (Dal – WR)
5. (68) DeSean Jackson (Phi – WR)
6. (93) Michael Floyd (Ari – WR)
7. (100) Jermaine Gresham (Cin – TE)
8. (125) Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buf – QB)
9. (132) Denarius Moore (Oak – WR)
10. (157) New York (NYG – DEF)
11. (164) Toby Gerhart (Min – RB)
12. (189) Joe McKnight (NYJ – RB)
13. (196) Mike Nugent (Cin – K)
14. (221) Jacoby Ford (Oak – WR)
15. (228) Anthony Fasano (Mia – TE)
16. (253) Stephen Hill (NYJ – WR)

Team Dan Mocci
1. (5) LeSean McCoy (Phi – RB)
2. (28) Fred Jackson (Buf – RB)
3. (37) Wes Welker (NE – WR)
4. (60) Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG – RB)
5. (69) Vincent Jackson (TB – WR)
6. (92) Matt Schaub (Hou – QB)
7. (101) Owen Daniels (Hou – TE)
8. (124) Lance Moore (NO – WR)
9. (133) Mark Ingram (NO – RB)
10. (156) Malcom Floyd (SD – WR)
11. (165) Dustin Keller (NYJ – TE)
12. (188) Christian Ponder (Min – QB)
13. (197) Kendall Wright (Ten – WR)
14. (220) Minnesota (Min – DEF)
15. (229) Emmanuel Sanders (Pit – WR)
16. (252) Graham Gano (Was – K)

SG-1 (Brodrick Kincaid)
1. (6) Cam Newton (Car – QB)
2. (27) DeMarco Murray (Dal – RB)
3. (38) Hakeem Nicks (NYG – WR)
4. (59) Tony Gonzalez (Atl – TE)
5. (70) Brandon Lloyd (NE – WR)
6. (91) Isaac Redman (Pit – RB)
7. (102) Andrew Luck (Ind – QB)
8. (123) Anquan Boldin (Bal – WR)
9. (134) Sebastian Janikowski (Oak – K)
10. (155) Ryan Williams (Ari – RB)
11. (166) Dallas (Dal – DEF)
12. (187) Jacksonville (Jac – DEF)
13. (198) Early Doucet (Ari – WR)
14. (219) Ryan Grant (GB – RB)
15. (230) Benjamin Watson (Cle – TE)
16. (251) Daniel Thomas (Mia – RB)

WD Forte (Cankles)
1. (7) Drew Brees (NO – QB)
2. (26) Michael Turner (Atl – RB)
3. (39) Marques Colston (NO – WR)
4. (58) Vernon Davis (SF – TE)
5. (71) Reggie Bush (Mia – RB)
6. (90) Pierre Garcon (Was – WR)
7. (103) Michael Bush (Chi – RB)
8. (122) Pierre Thomas (NO – RB)
9. (135) Nate Burleson (Det – WR)
10. (154) Jabar Gaffney (NE – WR)
11. (167) Mark Sanchez (NYJ – QB)
12. (186) Ed Dickson (Bal – TE)
13. (199) David Nelson (Buf – WR)
14. (218) Robbie Gould (Chi – K)
15. (231) Oakland (Oak – DEF)
16. (250) Miami (Mia – DEF)

Madden All-Stars
1. (8) Calvin Johnson (Det – WR)
2. (25) Marshawn Lynch (Sea – RB)
3. (40) Jordy Nelson (GB – WR)
4. (57) Antonio Gates (SD – TE)
5. (72) Shonn Greene (NYJ – RB)
6. (89) Eric Decker (Den – WR)
7. (104) Stevan Ridley (NE – RB)
8. (121) Sidney Rice (Sea – WR)
9. (136) Andy Dalton (Cin – QB)
10. (153) Tim Hightower (Was – RB)
11. (168) Danny Amendola (StL – WR)
12. (185) Matt Flynn (Sea – QB)
13. (200) Devery Henderson (NO – WR)
14. (217) Alex Henery (Phi – K)
15. (232) Tennessee (Ten – DEF)
16. (249) St. Louis (StL – DEF)

Lawdawg04
1. (9) Chris Johnson (Ten – RB)
2. (24) Adrian Peterson (Min – RB)
3. (41) Mike Wallace (Pit – WR)
4. (56) Ben Roethlisberger (Pit – QB)
5. (73) Dwayne Bowe (KC – WR)
6. (88) Peyton Hillis (KC – RB)
7. (105) Green Bay (GB – DEF)
8. (120) Ben Tate (Hou – RB)
9. (137) New York (NYJ – DEF)
10. (152) Dallas Clark (TB – TE)
11. (169) James Jones (GB – WR)
12. (184) Jon Baldwin (KC – WR)
13. (201) Scott Chandler (Buf – TE)
14. (216) Eddie Royal (SD – WR)
15. (233) Nate Kaeding (SD – K)
16. (248) Rueben Randle (NYG – WR)

Bruisers
1. (10) Brandon Marshall (Chi – WR)
2. (23) Jay Cutler (Chi – QB)
3. (42) Demaryius Thomas (Den – WR)
4. (55) Jeremy Maclin (Phi – WR)
5. (74) Fred Davis (Was – TE)
6. (87) Roy Helu (Was – RB)
7. (106) Jahvid Best (Det – RB)
8. (119) Mason Crosby (GB – K)
9. (138) New England (NE – DEF)
10. (151) Mikel LeShoure (Det – RB)
11. (170) Mike Williams (TB – WR)
12. (183) Ronnie Hillman (Den – RB)
13. (202) Greg Olsen (Car – TE)
14. (215) Chad Henne (Jac – QB)
15. (234) Neil Rackers (Was – K)
16. (247) Kansas City (KC – DEF)

InNae
1. (11) Ryan Mathews (SD – RB)
2. (22) Darren McFadden (Oak – RB)
3. (43) Steve Smith (Car – WR)
4. (54) Doug Martin (TB – RB)
5. (75) Kenny Britt (Ten – WR)
6. (86) Jacob Tamme (Den – TE)
7. (107) Josh Freeman (TB – QB)
8. (118) Houston (Hou – DEF)
9. (139) Stephen Gostkowski (NE – K)
10. (150) Justin Blackmon (Jac – WR)
11. (171) James Starks (GB – RB)
12. (182) Doug Baldwin (Sea – WR)
13. (203) Tony Moeaki (KC – TE)
14. (214) Tim Tebow (NYJ – QB)
15. (235) Billy Cundiff (Bal – K)
16. (246) Atlanta (Atl – DEF)

Ghost Rats** (Ghost Rat)
1. (12) Matthew Stafford (Det – QB)
2. (21) Julio Jones (Atl – WR)
3. (44) Aaron Hernandez (NE – TE)
4. (53) Willis McGahee (Den – RB)
5. (76) Stevie Johnson (Buf – WR)
6. (85) Jonathan Stewart (Car – RB)
7. (108) Philadelphia (Phi – DEF)
8. (117) Titus Young (Det – WR)
9. (140) Montario Hardesty (Cle – RB)
10. (149) Brian Quick (StL – WR)
11. (172) Jake Locker (Ten – QB)
12. (181) Jason Hanson (Det – K)
13. (204) Davone Bess (Mia – WR)
14. (213) Kevin Smith (Det – RB)
15. (236) Tony Scheffler (Det – TE)
16. (245) Dennis Pitta (Bal – TE)
** over tight end limit, dropped Tony Scheffler

Brownie Bites (Fat Jesus)
1. (13) Tony Romo (Dal – QB)
2. (20) Jimmy Graham (NO – TE)
3. (45) Percy Harvin (Min – WR)
4. (52) Miles Austin (Dal – WR)
5. (77) DeAngelo Williams (Car – RB)
6. (84) Cedric Benson (GB – RB)
7. (109) Evan Royster (Was – RB)
8. (116) Detroit (Det – DEF)
9. (141) Joe Flacco (Bal – QB)
10. (148) Greg Little (Cle – WR)
11. (173) Laurent Robinson (Jac – WR)
12. (180) Kellen Winslow (Sea – TE)
13. (205) Steve Breaston (KC – WR)
14. (212) Isaiah Pead (StL – RB)
15. (237) Arizona (Ari – DEF)
16. (244) Rian Lindell (Buf – K)

It’s Complicated
1. (14) Maurice Jones-Drew (Jac – RB)
2. (19) Victor Cruz (NYG – WR)
3. (46) Eli Manning (NYG – QB)
4. (51) Robert Griffin III (Was – QB)
5. (78) BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Cin – RB)
6. (83) Brent Celek (Phi – TE)
7. (110) Darrius Heyward-Bey (Oak – WR)
8. (115) Seattle (Sea – DEF)
9. (142) Jacquizz Rodgers (Atl – RB)
10. (147) Santana Moss (Was – WR)
11. (174) Martellus Bennett (NYG – TE)
12. (179) Felix Jones (Dal – RB)
13. (206) Mohamed Sanu (Cin – WR)
14. (211) Cincinnati (Cin – DEF)
15. (238) Nick Novak (SD – K)
16. (243) Plaxico Burress (NYJ – WR)

Lambda Chi Guy
1. (15) Matt Forte (Chi – RB)
2. (18) Rob Gronkowski (NE – TE)
3. (47) Matt Ryan (Atl – QB)
4. (50) Steven Jackson (StL – RB)
5. (79) Reggie Wayne (Ind – WR)
6. (82) San Francisco (SF – DEF)
7. (111) Nate Washington (Ten – WR)
8. (114) Joshua Cribbs (Cle – WR)
9. (143) Dan Bailey (Dal – K)
10. (146) Dexter McCluster (KC – RB)
11. (175) Devin Hester (Chi – WR)
12. (178) Danny Woodhead (NE – RB)
13. (207) Matt Hasselbeck (Ten – QB)
14. (210) Joel Dreessen (Den – TE)
15. (239) Preston Parker (TB – WR)
16. (242) Jason Avant (Phi – WR)

nylifers
1. (16) Larry Fitzgerald (Ari – WR)
2. (17) Trent Richardson (Cle – RB)
3. (48) Philip Rivers (SD – QB)
4. (49) Peyton Manning (Den – QB)
5. (80) Brandon Pettigrew (Det – TE)
6. (81) Robert Meachem (SD – WR)
7. (112) Jared Cook (Ten – TE)
8. (113) Pittsburgh (Pit – DEF)
9. (144) Michael Crabtree (SF – WR)
10. (145) Rashard Mendenhall (Pit – RB)
11. (176) Phil Dawson (Cle – K)
12. (177) Austin Collie (Ind – WR)
13. (208) Johnny Knox (Chi – WR)
14. (209) LaMichael James (SF – RB)
15. (240) Deion Branch (NE – WR)
16. (241) Brandon Jacobs (SF – RB)

Who do you think had the best draft? Feel free to leave a comment.

Ghost Rat

Football fan and longtime follower of the New England Patriots. Happily married father, professional, and author.

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