Wednesday, August 31, 2011
BEG FOR MERCY
Emperor Zod's Draft Review
It ain't easy being a megolomaniacal Kryptonian general. I should know. I spent ages imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, a harsh sentence issued by my former friend, Jor-El. Upon escaping and discovering Krypton had been reduced to interstellar rubble, only one avenue of vengeance remained to me.
Along with my former cellmates, Ursa and Non, I set course for Earth, the new home of the last son of Krypton. Kal-El, better known to you tiny ants as Superman, was my target. His blood had to be spilled to satisfy my desire for revenge. Sadly, my infinite greatness faltered, and with underhanded cowardly trickery, my henchmen and I were bested.
And now, years later, a further indignity has been visited upon me. Last week, I drew the final pick in a sixteen team PPR snake draft. As an evil mastermind, however, such a minor disadvantage could not be allowed to stop my plans to burn my enemies with lasers from my eyes, restore my dominance, and ultimately complete my ascendance from General to Emperor.
This is how a deity drafts. I present to you: The Art Of (Draft) War.
A casual perusal of our scoring system reveals a few interesting facts. Let's review them before we begin.
1. Quarterback touchdowns score 6 points, with bonuses for deep bombs, and a substantial 5 point bonus upon reaching 300 accumulated passing yards. Combine the high QB scoring with the scarcity caused by 16 teams requiring one, and I expect to see an early QB run. They are at a premium.
2. The running backs and wide receivers also have bonuses for long scoring plays, but when one factors in the point per reception, the wide receivers are weighted slightly more heavily. I expect those who have read the rules to opt for a wide receiver when all else is equal.
3. I've read numerous articles on myriad fantasy websites about the perils of drafting on past performance. Often these articles cheerfully display the percentage of QBs, WRs, and RBs who repeat as top 10 players at their positions from year to year. Inevitably, the conclusions show that QBs have somewhere around a 70% repeat rate, WRs 50%, and RBs 35%. These figures are approximate and drawn from memory, and may not be exactly accurate, (hatred for Superman clouds my recollections) but the point stands that the safest way to guarantee production from early picks is to err towards QBs and WRs.
In this league, all things considered, doing so is obvious. The question becomes, are my league mates paying attention?
Under the looming threat of a glorious hurricane, the draft began.
10 of the first 16 picks are running backs. This bodes well for the mighty Zod. The only quarterbacks selected among the first 15 are Aaron Rodgers at 5, Tom Brady at 11, and Michael Vick at 12. The top remaining options are Brees and Rivers. Emperor Zod, with the final pick of round one, gleefully selects Drew Brees. (16)
The board is mine. With my quarterback slot filled, it is time to own a top end receiver. The finest available are Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson, Greg Jennings, Hakeem Nicks, and Mike Wallace. None will make it back through the next thirty picks. Zod chooses Larry Fitzgerald. Zod chooses... wisely. (17)
I notably passed over Philip Rivers and Vincent Jackson. This was not premeditated, nor was it related to any negative outlook I have on the Chargers' offense this year. I expect greatness from both. I just felt the other two options were a slight notch above.
Round 3 and 4
My third pick is the 48th overall. My leaguemates have eschewed the wisdom of safer surefires, ignored the intricacies of our scoring system, and have proceeded to deplete running backs to a staggering degree. If I do not choose one now, the field will be utterly barren upon my next two picks. However, I cannot bring myself to take, with my 3rd and 4th picks, the likes of DeAngelo Williams, Beanie Wells, Mark Ingram, Fred Jackson, or Tim Hightower. Not when the values at WR and TE are still so supple and strong. Last year I struck gold with late round selections of Peyton Hillis and Arian Foster. I will attempt to do the same here, and use that top 10 RB high turnover rate to my advantage.
Emperor Zod selects Mike Williams (48) and Jason Witten. (49)
After four rounds I appear as such:
QB: Drew Brees
WR: Larry Fitzgerald
WR: Mike Williams
TE: Jason Witten
It is now time for picks 80 and 81. I was sad to miss Marshawn Lynch by two picks. All that remains at RB are goal line TD vultures, handcuff backups, and various other gambler's options. Being an extended draft, training camp has not progressed to the point where these facts are widely known: Reggie Bush will start in Miami, Brandon Jacobs is outshining Ahmad Bradshaw, and Ryan Grant may not be the starter. As a result, I didn't know it may be wise to take a chance on James Starks. I knew Daniel Thomas has been iffy, but was still considered the starer. I first fill my flex spot with Danny Amendola (60) and then deign to finally grab a running back, Daniel Thomas. (61) In retrospect: It's only a matter of time until Reggie Bush goes down with injury, right?
Here I began raking up lottery ticket RBs. Aside from an auxillary WR in round 9, Antonio Brown (144), I netted the following: Jonathan Stewart (112), Michael Bush (113), Bernard Scott (145), Isaac Redman (176), Montario Hardesty (177).
Will J-Stew gets his 35% of Carolina's carries? Wil DeAngelo stay healthy? I know Stew is talented. Same situation for Michael Bush, almost exactly. At the time, Cedric Benson looked likely to go to jail and/or face a suspension, hence the Bernard Scott pick. There's a deep and rich history of Super Bowl running backs breaking down in the subsequent year, and this year that is Mendenhall, hence my choice of Isaac Redman. Finally, Hardesty, because well, why not?
The backup quarterbacks were almost gone. I grudgingly decided I want one for Drew's bye week, and took Jason Campbell. (209) I wanted a sleeper TE to use as a trading chip, and to fill the bye week, so I took Lance Kendricks as well. (208) His bye week, it turns out, is the same as Witten's. This is what I get for drafting a backup tight end.
Emperor Zod will not discuss his kicker and defense. Such talk is below Emperor Zod.
Despite the glaring weakness at running back, which I believe can be overcome in-season via aggressive roster management, I believe I have a better than average shot to win this from the bottom of the draft pile.
I am coming to your planet. I will rule without mercy.
KNEEL BEFORE ZOD! 9:20 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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