Foolish Thoughts: Rate My 2009 Team

No one can claim to be all-knowing when it comes to fantasy football, and one of the most valuable parts of blogging about it for me is the reader feedback I receive in the comments. Your competition will never share their inner thoughts or concerns about your team — not without offering you a trade based on their opinion. A neutral outsider can help you determine what the rest of your league is thinking about your squad after the draft.

Team managers, of course, always think their team is bound for a championship. That’s a tad biased.

Now that I’ve compiled several of my teams this year, I thought it’d be interesting to discuss one of them and my trading and waiver wire plans for it this season. If you have a team you’d like to share, drop it in the comments. We could all use a good “How’d I do?”

My Team

This 10-team league follows basic scoring rules with no points per reception, but passing touchdowns are six points rather than the normal four points. The starting lineup is QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, DEF.

Here’s the team I trotted out of the bar with after our draft:

1.06 Randy Moss WR, New England Patriots
2.05 Greg Jennings WR, Green Bay Packers
3.06 Steven Jackson RB, St. Louis Rams
4.05 Aaron Rodgers QB, Green Bay Packers
5.06 Darren McFadden, RB Oakland Raiders
6.05 Ray Rice RB, Baltimore Ravens
7.06 Marshawn Lynch, RB Buffalo Bills
8.05 Devin Hester WR, Chicago Bears
9.06 Jay Cutler QB, Chicago Bears
10.05 Chris Henry WR, Cincinnati Bengals
11.06 LeSean McCoy RB, Philadelphia Eagles
12.05 Josh Morgan WR, San Francisco 49ers
13.06 Fred Jackson RB, Buffalo Bills
14.05 Dallas Cowboys DEF
15.06 John Carlson TE, Seattle Seahawks
16.05 Mason Crosby K, Green Bay Packers

My Initial Thoughts

I don’t love Steven Jackson, but even if you hate the guy, you can’t pass on him in the third round. He was worth the risk there, and I think I covered my tracks with McFadden, Rice and Lynch enough to fill in for Jackson’s inevitable injury or failings this season.

My selection of Jackson in the third round was a choice between SJax and Clinton Portis, but I chose Jackson for the upside. We know what we’re getting with Portis, and he’s already banged up this season. Jackson is healthy for now, and he’s bound to start off the season hot.

I made sure to build strength at wide receiver and quarterback in this league, where quarterbacks and wide receivers go early and often, and I like the players I ended up getting. Greg Jennings is one of my favorites going into this season, and Randy Moss should get plenty of touchdowns this year now that Tom Brady is back.

I felt a lot better about Darren McFadden before New Orleans destroyed Oakland in that blowout this weekend, but I like his chances to rebound from that poor performance. I was a big fan of running backs who caught passes in addition to getting carries, and most of my team shows that attraction. Hopefully, I won’t have many of my running backs shut out against tough run defenses because of their dual-threat nature.

I know Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers have the same bye week, but I liked them both this year. I plan on trading away the one I use less after the bye week, and I’ll be left with a stronger team because I’ll be able to choose between the two.

By the time their Week 5 bye approaches, I’ll be able to drop Fred Jackson and pick up an undrafted quarterback to fill in at quarterback. There are plenty of quarterbacks still on the board after just 16 rounds in this league. No one even touched Brett Favre.

In the later rounds, I tried to snag a few sleepers and backups to tighten up my team. Chris Henry and Josh Morgan could be value grabs, or I might be able to drop them after the first two or three weeks of the season. We’ll see how they work out.

After waiting until the very end of the draft to select a tight end, I was very pleased to get John Carlson. He could finish as a top-five or at least top-seven tight end, and I didn’t pay anything for him at all.

Your Thoughts

So what do you think? Where are the weaknesses (risky running backs) and strengths (proven wide receivers and upside quarterbacks) on my team? As always, the comments are yours. If you have a team that you’d like to share with the Foolish community, leave it in the comments with some notes about your starting lineup and scoring rules.

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  • http://ffgeekblog.com FFGeekBlog

    SJax in the third was a definite steal. Interesting first two picks… was Fitz or Andre Johnson available at the 6th pick? If so, curious as to why you didn't take one of them if you were looking for a WR in the 1st round. Not that I don't think Moss is likely to be huge, but his age and Brady's health are two question marks that make me think of him as clearly on a tier below those two.

  • http://twitter.com/fantasysprtsdsh Fantasy Sports Dish

    Wow I think that is the furthest I've seen Jackson fall this year. I think you did great as you covered all of your bases esp with Lynch and Marshall. I'm expecting big things from Rice this year so lets see if he shines like I want him too.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    I just couldn't say no to SJax at 3.06. As for my receivers, I had Andre Johnson first in my rankings, but he went second overall (Texans homer).

    Fitz was third in my rankings, or really 2B, behind Moss because of concerns about Kurt Warner's hip injury, Arizona spreading the ball around with a healthy Boldin and the Madden curse, even if he only gets half of it. Moss felt like a safer option, and he should get most of the passing touchdown looks for the Pats this year. I think Brady and Moss have a good year left in them.

    I had Fitz last year, and Boldin's big games made him a disappointment at times. I was hoping to catch Fitz or Calvin Johnson coming back on the second round, but the receivers went quick around the turn.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    I could not believe that he made it that far either. I thought my decision to take a WR early was going to cost me a shot at a first-round running back. L.T. got taken in the first round, but no one was looking for Jackson early in this draft. I did feel better getting Lynch and Rice later because Lynch could probably step in when Jackson gets hurt this year and put up similar or better numbers.

    I also love Rice this year, and I have drafted him in almost all of my drafts. He could rise above the RBBC in Baltimore, and if he does, he's going to get lots of chances to run and catch the ball for the Ravens. Let's hope he works out for us.

  • http://ffballer.com/ FFBaller

    Rodgers was a nice pick in Round 4. I don't like Jackson either but 3rd round is a great gamble for an injury free year. Your WRs look solid. Only weakness is RB – that unit has a chance to be great or terrible. Nice steal getting Fred Jackson in the 13th.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    Thanks, FFBaller. I thought SJax was worth the risk at that point — fingers crossed he makes it through the year without an injury. The rest of my running backs are risky, but I have a lot of faith in them breaking out this year.

  • Daniel

    Jacob, it would appear that you had a pretty decent draft. Here is my lineup from my draft last weekend. It was solid enough for me and I was pretty happy with some of the guys that fell into my lap, so to speak…so here goes. Let me know what you think…
    QB – Carson Palmer, Matt Schaub
    RB – Matt Forte, Brian Westbrook, Kevin Smith, Cedric Benson, Ray Rice, Glen Coffee, James Davis
    WR – Calvin Johnson, Marques Colston, Josh Morgan, Kevin Walter
    TE – Greg Olsen, Dustin Keller
    D/ST – N.O., Cinci
    K – John Carney

    The rules changed to the lineup this year so we play 1 QB, 1 RB, 1 WR, 1 TE, 3 Flex, 1 K, 1 D/ST. Let me know what you think, if you don't mind. Thanks

    Daniel

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    Very interesting lineup, Daniel. There's a lot of freedom there for building your team. While you have some incredible depth at running back, you're weaknesses are at quarterback and team defense. Palmer and Schaub are both injury risks, and there's a chance they both miss time this season. That said, you'd have to be very unlucky to have them both hurt at the same time, but I wouldn't be afraid to either carry a third quarterback on your roster or keep your eye on one who is a free agent.

    At team defense, I wouldn't trust New Orleans or Cincinnati this year. I'd recommend an upgrade there for sure. Were teams like Philly, Washington and Green Bay already off the board when you selected? I don't know that you can depend on Cincinnati at all this year in their tough division, and New Orleans seems like they'll be boom or bust every week. With Brees' ability to run the score up, the Saints will find themselves in plenty of high-scoring contests.

    I like you're tight ends and love your running backs. I'd imagine that you'll be able to fill your flex positions with additional running backs and sub in Colston during weeks in which he has a great matchup.

    If you're looking to improve your lineup, you might try trading away players like Cedric Benson or Glen Coffee paired with Josh Morgan or Kevin Walter for an upgrade at receiver. If you could land another of the elite (Roddy White, Greg Jennings, Steve Smith), your team would have great depth at wide receiver as well.

    Also, watch Carney as your kicker. Unless he takes the job away in the first four games, Hartley should return and kill Carney's fantasy value. You can probably just replace him off the waiver wire in that case.

    Again, nice team and great depth at running back. You have some very dependable guys there that should net you plenty of points each week. If you have any other questions, feel free to follow up, and thanks for sharing your team, Daniel.

  • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

    Very interesting lineup, Daniel. There's a lot of freedom there for building your team. While you have some incredible depth at running back, you're weaknesses are at quarterback and team defense. Palmer and Schaub are both injury risks, and there's a chance they both miss time this season. That said, you'd have to be very unlucky to have them both hurt at the same time, but I wouldn't be afraid to either carry a third quarterback on your roster or keep your eye on one who is a free agent.

    At team defense, I wouldn't trust New Orleans or Cincinnati this year. I'd recommend an upgrade there for sure. Were teams like Philly, Washington and Green Bay already off the board when you selected? I don't know that you can depend on Cincinnati at all this year in their tough division, and New Orleans seems like they'll be boom or bust every week. With Brees' ability to run the score up, the Saints will find themselves in plenty of high-scoring contests.

    I like you're tight ends and love your running backs. I'd imagine that you'll be able to fill your flex positions with additional running backs and sub in Colston during weeks in which he has a great matchup.

    If you're looking to improve your lineup, you might try trading away players like Cedric Benson or Glen Coffee paired with Josh Morgan or Kevin Walter for an upgrade at receiver. If you could land another of the elite (Roddy White, Greg Jennings, Steve Smith), your team would have great depth at wide receiver as well.

    Also, watch Carney as your kicker. Unless he takes the job away in the first four games, Hartley should return and kill Carney's fantasy value. You can probably just replace him off the waiver wire in that case.

    Again, nice team and great depth at running back. You have some very dependable guys there that should net you plenty of points each week. If you have any other questions, feel free to follow up, and thanks for sharing your team, Daniel.