Well, it’s either really early, or somewhat late. We’re telling ourselves it is really early, for the ’07 season, but I think that may just be a motivating tactic. There is no way this is going to be remotely relevant once training camps open in late-July. I will admit it is interesting though, and I love drafting, so why not draft now with nothing on the line.
So Smitty, quite the character from over at FFXtreme, shoots me an email last week asking if I want to be in a fantasy football mock draft. It kicks off the day after the Super Bowl. Why not? Pretty standard setup: Performance scoring, no points for receptions; Start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 O-Flex (RB, WR, TE), 1 K and 1 DEF. Serpentine draft, and I happened to draw the first overall pick. Now why didn’t that happen once all of last year!
We are into Round 5 after 4 days. Here is how Round 1 shook out:
- FF Today – RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD
- CBS Sportsline – RB Larry Johnson, KC
- XpertSports – RB Shaun Alexander, SEA
- Fantasy Tailgate – RB Frank Gore, SF
- FFToolbox – RB Steven Jackson, STL
- Football Diehards – RB Brian Westbrook, PHI
- Footballguys – RB Rudi Johnson, CIN
- FantasyFootball.com #1 – RB Willie Parker, PIT
- Junkyard Jake – RB Ronnie Brown, MIA
- FFXtreme – RB Clinton Portis, WAS
- Coachbox – RB Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
- FantasyFootball.com #2 – RB Edgerrin James, ARI
No surprise here that all 12 picks were RBs, especially with no PPR and the option to start 3 RB versus only 2 WR. Having the 1st pick was an easy selection. Not that one expects LT to duplicate an NFL record breaking season, but this all about playing the probabilities. What player is most likely to have LT’s success next year? LT.
The 1st Round does not typically lead to surprises, or shall I say major surprises. However, there were a couple minor surprises for me. I’m surprised Steven Jackson dropped all the way to 5. I had him #2, with a drop-off after that. The way he finished the season was remarkable. Many will continue to have Larry Johnson as the #2 selection, which is fine and easily justifiable, but I get an uneasy feeling about all those touches LJ had in ’06, a declining offensive line and my gut feeling about the direction Herm Edwards is taking the Chiefs’ offense.
Frank Gore is not a surprise but a high-risk pick at this point, with the very possible departure of offensive co-ordinator Norv Turner to the Dallas Cowboys. Remember LaMont Jordan’s fantasy stock plummeted through the floor last season, the year after Turner left the Raiders. Gore shouldn’t fall that far as he has a better supporting cast, but pick 1.04 is too rich for my blood.
I’m surprised Edgerrin James went in the 1st Round. I thought people were so down on this guy, he might slip through the 2nd in some drafts. Now, I like Edge and do believe last year is not indictive of his true talent. He had no holes to run through, and I hope for a bit of a bounce back to which Edge represents some value this year. There is little value with Edge in the 1st. Until we see some moves to shore up the offensive line, he remains a marginal RB2. Will Arizona make the necessary moves? Well, let’s just remember everyone is optimistic in the pre-season. We are 5 months from what I would even term “pre-season”, so there is lots of time to imagine trades, signings and draft picks that the team should make. I’ll take a wait and see approach with this one, myself.
Jones-Drew in the 1st does not surprise me much. The presence of Fred Taylor and coaching philosophy clouds the picture slightly, but that guy is a bowling ball (in a good way).
I am surprised Reggie Bush did not go in the 1st, or Joseph Addai or Laurence Maroney. I’d take all 3 before Edge. Really, I could push Addai all the way up to Top 5 territory. I was that impressed with him as the season progressed, and I don’t see that offense slowing down with a full season under his belt. Dominic Rhodes’ Super Bowl performance notwithstanding, he isn’t a major concern to hinder Addai’s production. Rhodes may not even be a Colt as he is a UFA coming off an incredible resume booster of a game on the biggest stage possible. My only question with Addai remains if he can stay healthy, which was an issue in college. But hey, it’s only February. Let’s be optimists…
More draft commentary another time. Follow the rest of the draft.