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2014 Dawgpatch Fantasy Football Draft Breakdown
Last year the Dawgpound proved that staying the course and believing in who you draft will pay dividends and win you a championship. Ryan Mathews was the only player picked up off waivers that contributed. Everyone else was drafted. This year might be a different story.
Considering both of my kickers were booted from their respective squads, I'm forced to use a waiver pick right away on the most insignificant position. That's definitely a bad start. Week 4 is going to be rough for me with a majority of my players having a bye. My first pick, Marshawn Lynch, had a down year by his standards a season ago but I expect he'll produce accordingly with where he was picked. Russell Wilson is a dual threat who had three rushing touchdowns in the first two preseason games. With the shotgun split back formation they will be running, I have high hopes for multiple rushing touchdowns this season for Wilson.
The receivers will be my strongest position. Demaryius Thomas, Marques Colston, Steve Smith, and Mike Evans round out my receiving corp. Julius Thomas at TE will be a solid playmaker as well. Overall, I'm not in love with my team, but I have a solid foundation that can thrive if I pick up a few solid waiver guys. Draft Grade: B
The Stomp have a decent starting lineup. Kaepernick will be a great dual threat QB and the RB position has "some" depth. Eddie Lacey is projected to be a top 5 back this year, and I love what Rashad Jennings has done in New York. Vereen is a solid back, but his production in that offense is streaky at best, not to mention he is prone to injuries. Blount will miss some time for hitting the blunts too many times with fellow back Le'Veon Bell, who will ultimately get a majority of the carries once their suspensions are up. I like Keenan Allen at receiver, but Percy Harvin is a big risk guy with the injuries and migraines. Justin Hunter has looked good in the preseason, but will he have a QB able to get him the ball on a consistent basis? Overall, this is an average team that could have some potential. Draft Grade: C+
At first glance of this roster, I would consider changing the name to the AARP Machine. Let's start with the running backs. I love Montee Ball, but outside of him, I would say Mathews, McFadden, and Williams will miss a combined 16 games this year. Hopefully for the Machine, they aren't all hurt at once! Peyton Manning is my favorite player of all time so it's hard to say anything bad about him. He won't produce the numbers from a year ago, but he will get 4500 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Andre Johnson is washed up, not to mention he doesn't have a quarterback. Heath Miller has a fake hip, but he will be a good back up for Jordan Reed. You will need a big season from Alshon Jeffery, but the question is how much production can he take away from Brandon Marshall? I feel that this is the player that will dictate your season. Draft Grade: C
I would love this team if we were in a PPR league, but I don't see the big points coming from this receiving group. Edelman, Welker, and Antonio Brown will all catch a lot of balls, but the team is lacking a red zone threat. We all know Drew Brees will get his points, but I'm worried about Frank Gore's age and Darren Sproles ability to produce at a high level in the same backfield as Shady McCoy.
Jimmy Graham will produce big points every week, which means Greg Olsen sitting on the bench all year is going to be a waste. I would recommend using him as trade bait the minute he has a big game.
All in all, this team could either be really good or really bad. It's hard to predict, I could really go either way. With that being said, I have to rank you right down the middle. Draft Grade: C
Hand Over Your Money
Despite unproven depth at each of the key positions, I really like this team. Tom Brady is going to have a solid year and you can't go wrong with AD in the backfield. If the Redskins are looking to protect RGIII, which I think they will, Morris should see a lot of touches early and often.
Larry Fitzgerald has proven in the preseason that he can still get down field and make plays. Jordy Nelson is the cut off guy from elite receiver to good receiver. It's split which category he falls into, but with a healthy Aaron Rodgers, I'd put him in the elite category for fantasy purposes. As far as depth, there are a lot of rookies on the roster so their play down the stretch will dictate this team's fate. The player I'd peg as your difference maker is Andre Williams. Both of your starting backs and your QB have a bye week 10. That's an important week in fantasy so you'll need a guy like Williams to step up and score some points. Draft Grade: B
Lack of research is going to hurt this team in the later weeks of the season. Nearly all the players on this team have bye weeks during the 9th and 10th weekend of the season. You have two of the best receivers in the game which will win you some games, but they are both out for week 9, along with two of your running backs and...wait for it...both of your quarterbacks!
Now week 9 is pretty far down the road and maybe you'll have some trade bait, or maybe you'll have to drop one of them for a Ryan Mallett or Colt Brennan (I hear he's tearing it up in Canada). I'm also less than impressed with the running back situation as well. I'm going down the teams in order so I haven't seen the other division, but this has to be the worst team thus far. Your difference maker will be Julio Jones. I do think the combination of him and Calvin Johnson will win you games, as long as Jones remains healthy. Draft Grade: C-
Ace Hole Bandits
At first glance, I'm noticing some felons on the roster. Ray Rice and Matt Prater will both miss some time to start the season so you're going to have to depend on the backups to get you out of the gate strong. Trent Richardson has been two yards and a cloud of dust so I'm expecting nothing productive from this backfield. Randall Cobb has been prone to injuries, but if he can stay healthy the combination of him and Dez Bryant will be dangerous.
The TE position is scarce on this team, so your focus is keeping Aaron Rodgers upright and throwing a lot of balls to Randall Cobb. This team is average at best. Draft Grade: C-
Leave it to Geegan to be the one to roll the dice with RGIII. This guy is made of paper. And not the construction paper, but more like the tracing paper. He will be done by week 5, so this brings in your backup Alex Smith. I love him as a player, but not a fantasy option.
Jamaal Charles will be great, but Doug Martin is a mystery. Will we see 2012 or 2013 Martin? For your sake, I hope it's the 2012 version. I like Bernard as a replacement, so the running back position is pretty solid. Vincent Jackson is a solid receiver, but Floyd, Roddy White, and Nicks are all number two guys on their respective teams. They will get looks, but I don't know if it will be enough to warrant any of them "must starts". I'm sure every pick looked like a good idea at the time, but when you see them all together, it leaves a little to be desired. Doug Martin will be the wild card on this team. If he's great, your team will be in good shape. If he tanks, you're looking at an average season. Draft Grade: C
Overall, I'm more impressed with the bench on this team. I expect Hyde to contribute in goal line situations and I think Chris Johnson is going to have a big year in New York. Bell will miss some time and Reggie Bush is sharing the load, so it's hard to gauge when to play him.
The receivers worry me. I LOVE Emmanuel Sanders with the Broncos. I think he's going to have a huge season. He's the number three guy on that team, and he's the best receiver on this roster, so that's not good news. Maclin hasn't proven to stay healthy a full season so expect to replace him. Golden Tate will be a nice piece in Detroit, but I don't expect him to pull away a noticeable amount of touches from Megatron. Eric Decker was good because of Peyton Manning. Geno Smith isn't exactly Manning, so this is an unproven commodity.
The key to this team will be if Phillip Rivers stays the guy that revitalized his career last season. If he does, you may be in decent shape. Draft Grade: C
Big Red Machine
This lineup may need AFLAC by midseason. DeMarco Murray and Michael Crabtree are your two best players, but they are always hurt. Steven Jackson's tires are bald and MJD is in Oakland, and we all know what that place does to guy's careers.
Normally I'd be excited about the Victor Cruz pick, but the offensive line of the Giants hasn't proven they can give Eli a solid pocket to throw from. This gives me concern that Cruz won't get a lot of action down field. Unless he racks up some YAC, he's in for a long season. Stafford is a high risk/high reward guy. He'll put up some numbers, but unfortunately that goes for interceptions as well.
This leaves us with the wild card of Toby Gerhart. He hasn't been "the guy" yet in his career so it will be interesting to see what he can do in Jacksonville. Big Red will go where Gerhart takes them. Draft Grade: C
I'd have to say that this lineup intrigues me the most. There were some risky but smart picks in this draft. Shady McCoy is (in my opinion) the best overall back in the league at this point in everyone's careers and he will have another huge season. The most intriguing pick is Arian Foster. Only time will tell if this was genius or a blunder. If he comes back from surgery 90% of what he used to be, he will be good for 12 to 15 TD's this year.
The receivers are deep on this team. Brandon Marshall is the obvious guy here, but I think Hilton will end up starting more games that Garcon or Bowe. Either way you go, there's depth for bye weeks and defensive match ups.
Cam Newton is a nice choice to have on the bench and may end up starting more games than Romo if he starts running. There's minimal proven depth at running back. I like West and Sankey, but it's a gamble on playing them. Draft Grade: B
Legion of Doom
The Commish has provided us with a team that boasts two receivers that I think will have big years; AJ Green and Brandin Cooks. Other than that, this team is just ok. Matt Forte is a great dual threat guy out of the backfield but Andre Ellington is a question mark. He could be great, but he has to stay healthy. Ingram has looked good in the preseason, but splitting carries with Pierre Thomas makes his production unpredictable. Lamar Miller will be number two behind Moreno in Miami, so the same can be said about his value.
Andrew Luck will throw the ball all over the field because his running back can't seem to fit through a hole these days. This will provide stable production at the quarterback position. In the end, this teams value will be heavily based on Ellington's health and production. Draft Grade: C