Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Fantasy Focus

Since we had our fantasy football draft yesterday, I'm going with the NFL this week. Oh and by the way, my team is stacked for a 10 person league. So here's what I'm going to do... I'm going to list my team and tell you why I picked them and why you should pick them... Unfortunately that's about all I can do, because I can't exactly write a book for you. I don't get paid for this.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb, PHI (6th round, 60th overall)
There's only one word to describe McNabb: Dangerous. Injury risk? You bet he is. Donovan's missed over 31% of the Eagles' games the past three years, but his upside is so great it was hard to pass him up in the 6th round. In McNabb's career he's thrown 171 TDs compared to only 79 interceptions, so he probably won't be getting me negative points. It hurts that he doesn't have T.O. there to catch balls for him anymore, but he's got Mr. "Wes Welker before Wes Welker was cool" Kevin Curtis, and Brian Westbrook is starting to shine. I'll be praying to the football gods every week, asking not to see Donovan on the injury report.

Runningbacks: LaDanian Tomlinson, SD (1st round, 1st overall)

Do I even need to describe why I took L.T.? The only other person I would have considered with my number 1 overall pick would have been Adrian Peterson, but he's an injury risk... A.P. hasn't played a full season since his sophomore year with the Sooners in 2004. Almost as scary as McNabb. We play a points per reception league so that makes L.T. even better. I need to stop wasting my time here. Obvious pick. Next player.

Jamal Lewis, CLE (4th round, 40th overall)

Lewis may not be the punishing bulldozer he was back in 2003 (2,066 yards), but he bounced back nicely with the Browns last season after some thought his career was done. Jamal's only sat 6 games since 2002, and he's big enough that he deals the punishment. 1,300 plus yards last year and 11 total TDs sounds good... Unfortunately he doesn't catch the ball out of the backfield much (30 catches in '07). But Lewis had the 6th most fantasy points for runningbacks in our league last year and grabbing him 15 runningbacks into the draft made me feel VERY good.

Wide Receivers: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, CIN (2nd round, 20th overall)

"Who's your mamma" is a solid go-to guy for Carson Palmer, and the more he and "Ocho-Cinco" bicker, the more balls come T.J.'s way. He's definitely on the rise. The last 4 seasons his receptions and touchdowns have steadily increased, and with the exception of '05 (in which he only played 14 games) his yards have too. The Bengals might struggle this year as well, which means they'll have to throw the ball if they trail...not to mention Rudi Johnson isn't anything special anymore so they have no run game. Another 4,000 yard season for Palmer and another 1,000-plus for Houshy.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (3rd round, 21st overall)

Second straight year and 3 out of the last 4 that I've had Fitz on my team. The guy is just so solid. 1,409 yards last year and 10 touchdowns. Hopefully the Cards don't keep Leinart in for long because Fitzgerald and Warner are a lethal combo. Some questions about how many catches he'll get now that Anquan Boldin is back, but they were both together in 2005 and I mean they just played terrible together...cough...1,400-plus for both of them....cough. I'm not worried. Arizona actually has a shot at winning their division and plays some weak defenses on their schedule: (Miami, NYJ, St. Louis and San Fran twice each).

Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ (5th round, 41st overall)

I may have been able to get this guy a little later in the draft but I didn't want to take any chances. Cotchery had a very quiet 82 receptions for 1,130 yards last year on a dismal Jets offense. With Jerricho taking balls from Brett Favre now, I feel even better about this pick. Can you say, "sleeper"?

Tight End: Tony Scheffler, DEN (7th round, 61st overall)

Scheffler is young but has great hands and very good speed for a tight end. I'm sure losing 15 pounds in the offseason will help that speed even more. He has the ability to shine, no doubt. He's too big for corners and safeties to stop him and he's too fast for linebackers. Jay Cutler's young too, still getting used to playing in the NFL, and the first thing young QBs look for is a security blanket short and across the middle. Scheffler is his man. And even if this pick doesn't work out, I've got Ben Watson sitting on my bench.

Kicker: Shayne Graham, CIN (12th round, 120th overall)

With Vinatieri, Folk, and Josh Brown off the board already, I figured I would stick with Mr. Consistency here. First off, you know the Bengals are going to put some points on the board. Graham's never been injured while with Cincy and he's a career 85% kicker. Over the past four seasons he's averaged 125 points, and he's coming off a year that he scored 131 and only missed 3 kicks all year. A career 79% from 40-49 jumps at me too.

Defense: Indianapolis (8th round, 80th pick)

With a healthy Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney, this defense can be downright scary. Freeney and Robert Mathis on each end will put a lot of pressure on QBs and force some tough throws. Kelvin Hayden and Bob Sanders will be the secondary's anchors. Unfortunately I didn't reach the Chargers defense in time...they will be spectacular. But Indy's D is very solid if it can stay healthy.

Bench: Isaac Bruce, Fed Taylor, Matt Schaub, Ben Watson, Deuce McAllister, Philadelphia

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