Happy Labor Day fellow fantasy ballers. Congrats to everyone on a successful and brisk draft. I hope all none of your players end up on IR before week 3. I also hope you enjoy fighting it out for second place, because I have no intention of relinquishing the title I currently hold.
Kudos to the Argentina Mistresses for choosing an appropriately ridiculous fake team moniker. The majority of the American population has no idea where Argentina is on a map, or even that it’s a country, but that’s okay. No need to worry about Veronica being competitive. Once Jughead goes all Big Ben on her, she’ll be too distraught to focus on anything but her impending lawsuit. A big hearty welcome to the Blind Monkeys, who ditched their unlucky “Grizz” handle after a disastrous 2008. I hope these monkeys fare better than the ones in Outbreak.
Enough with the pleasantries. Let’s talk draft. Stud Running Back pulls no punches, so if you can’t take a good smashing, pack up your pink dresses and join an amateur league. I don’t have time to listen to whining or wipe babies’ bottoms.
Rather than dissect each individual roster, I’m going to divide the draft into four sections and highlight the best and worst picks in each section. First up, rounds one through four.
Best Picks (Rds 1–4)
Tom Brady – The guy chucked 50 touchdowns in 2007. After a torn ACL in ’08, Golden Boy Tom is back. Will he toss 50 again? No. But 35 is a good bet. I loathe drafting signal callers in the first round, but Brady is worth the stretch.
Ryan Grant – Grant will finish as a Top 10 runner in ’09. Book it. I was planning on landing him at 27, but the Steelcats swiped him 17th overall. A tad early, but he won’t disappoint. Look for 1600 total yards and 10-12 scores.
Steve Smith – How the hell did “Punchy” last until the 32nd pick? It’s a puzzle inside a mystery wrapped around an enigma. I considered him at 27, but like Roddy White more. That being said, Smith offers great value in the third round.
Kevin Smith – A true number one back NOT in a committee available at 46? Yeah, I know, he plays for the Lions, but this constitutes a huge steal at this point in the draft.
Honorable Mention: Steve Slaton should never slip as far as he did. Good call by the ‘Cuse to grab him at 23.
Worst Picks (Rds 1-4)
LaDainian Tomlinson – I’ll be the first to admit I’m wrong if LT bounces back. However, I don’t see it happening. The fact that he played during the preseason speaks volumes to his desire to prove chumps like me wrong. Well, I watched him attempt to hit the hole this August. Not pretty. The Chargers franchised Sproles a reason.
Chris Wells – I trashed the Negotiators last year for snagging Michael Turner too early and ended up looking like a dolt. Lightning won’t strike twice. I actually like Wells, but not at 25. He would have been there in the 6th or 7th round.
Derek Ward – The Bucs could be the worst team in the NFL. Why they shelled out $17 million for Ward is vexing. Especially, when he’s tangled in a three-headed attack that includes Earnest Graham and Cadillac Williams. If Ward flops, the Lame ones could be in trouble.
Roy Williams – He’s not a number one receiver. Therefore he shouldn’t be drafted as such. Questionable route running skills and being oft injured does nothing to help his cause.
Best Picks (Rds 5-8)
Eddie Royal – With Brandon Marshall doing his best TO impression, Royal becomes the Broncos top target. Since Kyle Orton can’t throw further than 25 yards down field, look for Royal to clean house underneath. 100 catches is possible.
Lance Moore – I wanted Moore as my numero three wideout. The Fools looked anything but foolish when they scooped him up in the sixth round. The dude started only six games in 2008 and racked over 900 yards and 10 TDs. He’s good.
Ray Rice – Another guy I had my eye on. I envision him being a Duce Staley type back for the Ravens. He’s a dual-threat who probably won’t see the end zone much, but he’ll make a fine third runner.
Ahmad Bradshaw – I’m approaching broken record status, but I love me some Bradshaw in ’09. I was hoping he’d make it to me in the 8th round. The Pur-dee-mouths shrewdly handcuffed him for the human bruise, Brandon Jacobs.
Worst Picks (Rds 5-8)
Devin Hester – Not in round five. Not with Ochocinco and Royal still on the board. Hester has some upside now that Cutler is in Chi-town, but he’s far from polished. He will be the ultimate boom or bust pick.
Jerricho Cotchery – I think the Crotch Rocket could be huge providing Mark Sanchez plays like Matt Ryan and not Ryan Leaf. That’s asking a lot. Cotchery will likely lose catches to both Dustin Keller and Leon Washington.
Antonio Bryant – A one-year wonder in 2008, Bryant is still recovering from knee surgery. When he finally does return he will find a quarterback carrousel waiting for him. Not good.
Willis McGahee- He is now the third best option in the Ravens backfield. This was a wasted pick. The Mistresses could have had Bradshaw or even James Davis.
Best Picks (Rds 9-12)
LeSean McCoy – Like LT, Jamal Lewis and Thomas Jones, Brian Westbrook has entered the 30+ club. Oh, he’s also coming off TWO offseason surgeries. McCoy will get his carries and if (when) Westy goes down, he’ll be ready to assume the featured back role.
Jay Cutler – Excellent value for the 9th round. Also offers good insurance for Veronica should Carson Palmer go down again. Cutler won’t be the quarterback he was in Denver, but he’s still worth starting in most leagues.
Petyon Hillis – This cat runs hard. Until Moreno rounds into shape, Hillis is Denver’s best back. Look for him to steal plenty of goal line carries this season.
Laurence Maroney – He’s the starting RB for the Patriots and he was still available in round 12. Sure, he’s stunk so far in his career, but he’s a low risk, high reward selection.
Honorable Mention: James Davis will be the Browns best back in ’09. It’s only a matter of when.
Worst Picks (Rds 9-12)
Michael Crabtree – This asshole is in the running for the NFL’s biggest douchebag and he hasn’t even inked a contract. TO and Ocho better step up their games. Crabs and his gargantuan ego are coming for them.
Brett Favre – Just because I can’t stand him.
Eli Manning – See Favre.
The lesser Steve Smith – Any Giants receiver drafted is destined to suck.
Best Picks (Rds 13-16)
Glenn Coffee – Don’t be surprised if Coffee becomes a goal line back for the Niners. Iron Mike Singletary will make sure this talented rook sees the field early and often.
Earnest Graham – Depending on how the Bucs clouded RB situation shakes out, Earnie could find himself starting. Not bad for a 15th rounder.
Tashard Choice – An injury to either Marion Barber or Felix Jones and Choice will be the… choice.
Worst Picks (Rds 13-16)
There’s no such thing in the last few rounds, although Michael Vick deserves consideration for a myriad of reasons.
Good luck to everyone in 2009. I mean that, I really do. Why would I wish catastrophic injuries to beset all your teams? That would be petty and sadistic. Stud Running Back is neither. Wink.