• My Office League 2008: A Real Draft in Review

    by  • August 3, 2009 • Mock Drafts • 6 Comments

    I’ve been mock drafting and really drafting for a few weeks now, but it’s hard to judge a draft when the season still hasn’t even started. For some added perspective and lessons learned, I took a look back at the team I managed last year in my office fantasy football league — one of my more disappointing teams last year.

    For the record, most of the managers in this league know their football, even though they may have drafted kickers and defenses early like uninitiated fantasy footballers. Maybe a few of you will find this league more representative of your regular office league and less like the fantasy mock drafts I’ve recently done. I have removed the names of the other teams — besides my own “Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour,” that is — to protect the innocent, er … non-blogging fantasy footballers.

    The Draft

    Round: 1
    (1) LaDainian Tomlinson RB
    (2) Adrian Peterson RB
    (3) Tom Brady QB
    (4) Tony Romo QB
    (5) Brian Westbrook RB
    (6) Joseph Addai RB
    (7) Steven Jackson RB
    (8) Marion Barber RB
    ** (9) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Terrell Owens WR
    (10) Randy Moss WR

    I went with a receiver this round, which, knowing what I know now, wasn’t the best plan. T.O. was fairly disappointing last season without Romo for three games and with the lackluster Cowboys’ offense bringing him down. I would have been much better off drafting Frank Gore or Clinton Portis in this spot, but hey, that’s what I get when I look back on a draft one year later.

    Round: 2
    (11) Peyton Manning QB
    ** (12) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Reggie Wayne WR
    (13) Frank Gore RB
    (14) Clinton Portis RB
    (15) Marshawn Lynch RB
    (16) Drew Brees QB
    (17) Ryan Grant RB
    (18) Maurice Jones-Drew RB
    (19) Ben Roethlisberger QB
    (20) Larry Johnson RB

    As if I hadn’t made enough of a mistake by taking an unfortunate receiver in the first round, I doubled down by taking another in the second. I needed a running back but went with a receiver while banking on my sleeper running back picks to save me later in the draft. My run on receivers was largely ignored by the rest of the league.

    I can’t completely denounce the WR-WR draft strategy, but it certainly didn’t work for me in this draft. To my credit, Wayne and Owens had been two of the more consistent and productive receivers in the game … until last season.

    Round: 3
    (21) Braylon Edwards WR
    (22) Plaxico Burress WR
    (23) Willis McGahee RB
    (24) Dallas Clark TE
    (25) T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR
    (26) Andre Johnson WR
    (27) Carson Palmer QB
    (28) Larry Fitzgerald WR
    ** (29) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Marques Colston WR
    (30) Reggie Bush RB

    And I tripled my mistake by taking Colston. This league started two receivers, one running back and one RB/WR flex. At this point in the draft, I was planning on having three receivers and one running back start for me each week. I believed that Owens would produce more points than a second running back might have gotten for me at my draft position. I just picked the wrong receivers for this strategy … as we saw with Colston’s injury, Owens’ disappointing season and Wayne’s struggles while Manning recovered from his surgeries.

    Round: 4
    (31) Darren McFadden RB
    ** (32) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Willie Parker RB
    (33) Michael Turner RB
    (34) Chad Johnson WR
    (35) Wes Welker WR
    (36) Brandon Jacobs RB
    (37) Thomas Jones RB
    (38) Torry Holt WR
    (39) Jason Witten TE
    (40) Santonio Holmes WR

    I passed on a chance to take Michael Turner, Brandon Jacobs or Thomas Jones to snag Willie Parker, who was a super stud right up until he got himself injured early in the season. I’m starting to notice a trend here with my picks so far…

    Round: 5
    (41) Philip Rivers QB
    (42) Roy Williams WR
    (43) Antonio Gates TE
    (44) Marvin Harrison WR
    (45) Kellen Winslow TE
    (46) Brett Favre QB
    (47) Laveranues Coles WR
    (48) Calvin Johnson WR
    ** (49) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Jay Cutler QB
    (50) Anquan Boldin WR

    Making sure I didn’t lose any ground at the quarterback position, I took Cutler, who was a nice anchor on my team in 2008. His performance week-to-week kept me in this league, but his lackluster games really hurt when I needed him most.

    Round: 6
    (51) Earnest Graham RB
    ** (52) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Jamal Lewis RB
    (53) Donovan McNabb QB
    (54) Tony Gonzalez TE
    (55) Steve Smith WR
    (56) Anthony Gonzalez WR
    (57) Brandon Marshall WR
    (58) Greg Jennings WR
    (59) Sidney Rice WR
    (60) Selvin Young RB

    Here I pay the price for drafting receivers in the first three rounds. Jamal Lewis was a consistent running back last year but hardly the guy you wanted to put in your roster over a stud receiver or hot hand.

    Round: 7
    (61) Nate Burleson WR
    (62) Santana Moss WR
    (63) Edgerrin James RB
    (64) Fred Taylor RB
    (65) Patrick Crayton WR
    (66) Laurence Maroney RB
    (67) Hines Ward WR
    (68) Jerricho Cotchery WR
    ** (69) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Lee Evans WR
    (70) Jonathan Stewart RB

    It’s torture looking back on all the receivers I took in this draft knowing now how my first picks would turn out. I wish I had taken Matt Forte with this pick. At least I’m stocking up tradebait at the wide receiver position.

    Round: 8
    (71) Matt Forte RB
    ** (72) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – LenDale White RB
    (73) Chris Cooley TE
    (74) Ronnie Brown RB
    (75) Heath Miller TE
    (76) Derek Anderson QB
    (77) Donald Driver WR
    (78) Roddy White WR
    (79) Jeremy Shockey TE
    (80) Todd Heap TE

    This draft wasn’t full of a lot of rookie scouts. Even though I lost out on Forte, I knew that I could snag Chris Johnson later in this league. I took LenDale here to secure the handcuff in advance of the stud — risky … but successful.

    Round: 9
    (81) Eli Manning QB
    (82) Vince Young QB
    (83) Julius Jones RB
    (84) David Garrard QB
    (85) Alge Crumpler TE
    (86) Matt Hasselbeck QB
    (87) Ricky Williams RB
    (88) Dwayne Bowe WR
    ** (89) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Chris Johnson RB
    (90) Matt Schaub QB

    As predicted, I stole “Every Coach’s Dream” here in the ninth round. This move keeps my running backs respectable, but I still bet on the wrong receivers in the early part of this draft.

    Round: 10
    (91) Ted Ginn Jr. WR
    ** (92) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Tony Scheffler TE
    (93) Felix Jones RB
    (94) Seahawks D/ST D/ST
    (95) Chester Taylor RB
    (96) Chargers D/ST D/ST
    (97) Vikings D/ST D/ST
    (98) Bears D/ST D/ST
    (99) Cowboys D/ST D/ST
    (100) Colts D/ST D/ST

    Other managers started to make an early run on defenses here. I chose to lock up the quarterback-to-tight-end connection by getting Tony Scheffler to pair with Jay Cutler.

    Round: 11
    (101) Stephen Gostkowski K
    (102) Nick Folk K
    (103) Javon Walker WR
    (104) Shayne Graham K
    (105) DeAngelo Williams RB
    (106) Giants D/ST D/ST
    (107) Mason Crosby K
    (108) Marc Bulger QB
    ** (109) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Kurt Warner QB
    (110) Patriots D/ST D/ST

    Most of the league shows their not-so-veteran backgrounds by drafting a starting lineup before taking their fliers at the end of the draft. I pass on taking a kicker here — because you only take those in the last round — and grab Kurt Warner to backup Jay Cutler. I now have on of the strongest quarterback sets in this league, and, in the preseason, the best wide receiver corps.

    Round: 12
    (111) Owen Daniels TE
    ** (112) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Chris Chambers WR
    (113) Adam Vinatieri K
    (114) Justin Fargas RB
    (115) Kevin Curtis WR
    (116) Joey Galloway WR
    (117) Aaron Rodgers QB
    (118) Vernon Davis TE
    (119) Rudi Johnson RB
    (120) James Hardy WR

    By this point, I’m just drafting for value. I know I probably need to trade some receivers for running backs, so I might as well stock up on receivers now so that I have plenty of depth.

    Round: 13
    (121) Eddie Royal WR
    (122) Bernard Berrian WR
    (123) Packers D/ST D/ST
    (124) Kevin Smith RB
    (125) Phil Dawson K
    (126) Rashard Mendenhall RB
    (127) Donte’ Stallworth WR
    (128) Steelers D/ST D/ST
    ** (129) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Eagles D/ST D/ST
    (130) Rob Bironas K

    I missed out on most of the defenses by sitting around until the final rounds, but it’s nice to land a solid team like the Eagles D/ST in Round 13 after almost everyone has their starters assembled. There was no reason to waste an earlier pick during that run on D/STs that most of the league made.

    Round: 14
    (131) Kevin Walter WR
    ** (132) Britney Spears’ Comeback Tour – Matt Prater K
    (133) Kenny Watson RB
    (134) Ray Rice RB
    (135) Robbie Gould K
    (136) Jerious Norwood RB
    (137) Jerry Porter WR
    (138) Nate Kaeding K
    (139) Deuce McAllister RB
    (140) Brandon Jackson RB

    Prater was my pick at kicker last season since I had so much invested in Denver already. Might as well bet on them having a potent offense, right?

    At Season’s End

    Starting Roster

    QB Kurt Warner
    RB Warrick Dunn
    RB/WR Chris Johnson
    WR Reggie Wayne
    WR Terrell Owens
    TE Tony Scheffler
    D/ST Jets
    K David Akers

    Bench

    QB Jay Cutler
    WR Lee Evans
    WR Kevin Curtis
    RB Jamal Lewis
    RB Willis McGahee
    RB Joseph Addai

    Season In Summary

    Injuries to Willie Parker and Marques Colston early in the season immediately ravaged my team. Peyton Manning’s injury and Tony Romo’s struggles kept Wayne and T.O. from being very effective, even though they were locked in as starters for me every week because of their high ceilings.

    You can’t sit T.O. or Reggie Wayne when they are projected to explode every week, right? Well, that hurt.

    Tony Scheffler’s injury after the first few weeks forced me to carry a second tight end for a good part of the season. Cutler ended up struggling in a few late games while Warner turned it on, so I switched to Warner as my workhorse. When bye weeks started, I took my chances dropping the Eagles D/ST and rotated through quite a few weekly plays before settling on the Jets D/ST to finish out my season.

    By midseason, I was hurting for a stronger running back, but an injured Marques Colston wasn’t very convincing tradebait until I found a willing buyer with a banged-up Joseph Addai. I had picked up Warrick Dunn and Willis McGahee off the waiver wires to help my RB corps as well, but in the end, none of them could save my season.

    My team finished the season 5-8 and missed the playoffs in this league, which was disappointing since I was looking for payback last year after taking my sleeper team of 2007 all the way to the championship game in this league.

    Lessons Learned

    1) Be careful with your first picks. Play it safe and avoid baggage.
    You should be very careful about who you invest in during Round 1 and Round 2. T.O. and Reggie Wayne seemed like solid picks, but the baggage surrounding them — or at least Wayne — should have steered me towards a more solid running back.

    2) WR-WR may be a good strategy, but don’t draft WR-WR-WR.
    While drafting two wide receivers is all well and good, drafting three is usually going to catch up to you. If I had landed Forte and Johnson, I might have survived my risky move, but it’s hard to bet on landing all your best sleeper picks.

    3) Reputation means nothing. Make moves when you need action.
    Holding onto T.O. and Reggie Wayne all season was my greatest error. In a league like this one, I might have been daring and traded T.O. and a lesser running back for Greg Jennings and a running back with more opportunity. Most people would inflate T.O.’s value even in a slump, which would allow me to get out from under the burden of playing him every week while strengthening the running back group I had. There were plenty of trades I could have made, but I should have looked to unload my less productive players early. If you aren’t firing on all cylinders by Week 4 or Week 5, don’t be afraid to make something happen.

    I hope diving into my past has been educational for you. It’s been painful for me. I invested some time in saving this league after injuries started to derail me, but I have to admit that I put more energy and effort into my more competitive leagues throughout the season. As you prepare to draft this season, make sure to be mindful of these lessons.

    As always, the comments are yours.

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    About

    Jacob started Fantasy Football Fools in 2007 as a outlet for all the fantasy football conversations he couldn't have in-person. Since then, well...it's only gotten worse.

    http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com

    • http://www.artofthefan.com/ Art of the Fan

      It's nice to look back on your previous drafts sometimes, great article…

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      You say nice. I say painful. Regardless, I hope it was educational. Thanks for the comment (and the compliment).

    • ron_freshour

      After Looking back at that draft, I can't believe I DIDN'T go back-to-back in that league! I had the 8 pick (Team Killface) to your 9th pick… Between McNabb, Turner, Gore, Baber, Megatron, Fitzgerald and the Steelers D, I'm still beside myself that I lost a game, let alone the title!!!

      Good luck in all your endeavors this season, Jacob!

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      No kidding. I thought you had it in the bag when we hit the playoffs last season. Barber's injury and Gore's wear and tear hurt you a bit, but you had a very nicely drafted team.

      Oh, well. Such is fantasy football. Good luck to you this season as well.

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      No kidding. I thought you had it in the bag when we hit the playoffs last season. Barber's injury and Gore's wear and tear hurt you a bit, but you had a very nicely drafted team.

      Oh, well. Such is fantasy football. Good luck to you this season as well.

    • http://www.fantasyfootballfools.com Jacob

      No kidding. I thought you had it in the bag when we hit the playoffs last season. Barber's injury and Gore's wear and tear hurt you a bit, but you had a very nicely drafted team.

      Oh, well. Such is fantasy football. Good luck to you this season as well.