No, I didn’t spend all last night partying. I’m just looking at the shattered remains of a horrible fantasy football draft.
A bad draft can feel a lot like a hangover the next day. The wondering why in God’s name you did what you did, how can you fix the damage and vows to never let this travesty happen again.
And, like a hangover, there’s not much you can do to fix the damage you’ve caused.
Going into my fourth draft of the year, I was wildly confident. It was an auction draft and a keeper league, which meant I got to choose four players from last year’s team to keep this year (provided I pay what I paid to draft them last year).
For those keeping score at home, my auction league was also the league where last year I accidentally drafted three quarterbacks (Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton) in a one quarterback league.
This year was going to be different, though. The league changed its settings. We were granted an extra $100 to add to our auction budgets, and, more importantly, we added a second quarterback slot.
Two quarterbacks? Heck yes!
Now I could keep Newton and Manning — and of course I did.
In addition I nabbed LeSean McCoy and Doug Martin for a grand total of $118 out of my $400 dollars. That gave me the No. 1 quarterback, the No. 3 quarterback and the No. 2 running back in fantasy last season.
All I needed was a receiver.
When the draft started, I was nervous. I had the second-lowest amount of money left after declaring keepers. I watched as several receivers were taken off the board: Randall Cobb for $41, Dez Bryant for $50, Julio Jones for $85. I still had no receivers.
Then Roddy White, second-best wide receiver on the Atlanta Falcons, came to the auction.
I got into a bidding war.
Unfortunately, I won.
I spent $88 on a No. 2 wide receiver.
Spending nearly a quarter of your money on one player is never a good idea, but when it’s a stud like Adrian Peterson, it’s at least somewhat understandable.
With a sizeable chunk of my money gone, I was still able to nab “top-notch” players such Chris Ivory, Emmanuel Sanders and Bernard Pierce.
I even drafted so many wide receivers, I couldn’t make my joke pick of Brandon LaFell.
A complete tragedy.
In a league where it was nearly impossible to find a way to fail…I found a way to fail.
But hey, that all could change in a couple weeks. You never know.
That’s what this column is all about, though, ladies and gentlemen. I make bad decisions, and you guys get to learn from my mistakes so you don’t make them.
Have a draft you bombed too? Let me hear about it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: don’t necessarily start these players out of the gate (unless you’re in a deep league), but keep an eye on them to see how they produce.
1) Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Carolina).
Owned in just 51.4 percent of ESPN leagues, count on Benjamin to make a huge splash in his rookie year. Out of the receivers that were on the Panther’s roster last season, none that caught a pass still remain.
None. Zero. Zilch.
Tight end Greg Olsen is the only remaining Panther who caught a Cam Newton pass last year. Steve Smith is now a Baltimore Raven, Brandon LaFell is a New England Patriot and Ted Ginn is an Arizona Cardinal.
To combat this, the Panthers signed 31-year-old Jason Avant and 32-year-old Jerricho Cotchery, in addition to using their first-round draft pick on Benjamin.
Make no mistake, Benjamin will be “the guy” by week two.
2) Coby Fleener (TE, Indianapolis)
Fleener is owned in a scant 25.8 percent of ESPN leagues right now. Obviously he’s no Jimmy Graham, but Fleener made a name for himself in college at Stanford catching passes…..
…from Andrew Luck, who is the Colt’s quarterback.
Fleener saw his stats double in his sophomore campaign over his rookie one. He caught 52 passes for 608 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.
This is a guy you want on your bench for a few weeks to see how he develops. Andrew Luck is projected to throw for four thousand yards by ESPN this season. Even if Reggie Wayne AND T.Y. Hilton post 1,500 yard years, that still leaves a thousand yards for a player like Fleener to grab.
And I don’t think either Hilton or Wayne gets 1,500 yards.
Good luck, fantasy experts! And may my fantasy teams lose, so yours don’t have to.