The Coors Light League fantasy draft went down recently with 15 rounds of action that will set the stage for the 2009 fantasy season.
Here’s one fantasy writer’s take on some of the more intriguing picks from the draft.
5 Great Value Picks
1. LaDainian Tomlinson RB San Diego Chargers
Team: The Infamous BSO
The Scoop: I love this pick. Many owners are scared of L.T. this year because he turned 30 years old in June and is coming off a “down” season. What many owners fail to realize is that a “down” season for Tomlinson meant a top-10 fantasy finish among running backs and 12 total touchdowns while battling injuries. He’s now 100% healthy and plays on an explosive offense. No way he should fall to No. 8.
2. Tom Brady QB New England Patriots
Team: Real GM
The Scoop: I’m not a huge fan of drafting quarterbacks early, but there is no way Brady should have fallen outside of the top 20, especially with Drew Brees being selected during the top half of the first round. Yes, the knee may concern some people, but credit Real GM for pulling the trigger on one of the NFL’s All-Time greats. Brady, Moss and Welker are going to light up the skies in 2009.
3. Greg Jennngs WR Green Bay Packers
Team: Real GM
The Scoop: Real GM strikes again, this time grabbing one of the most underrated wide receivers in the game. Jennings doesn’t run his mouth, doesn’t call out opposing cornerbacks and doesn’t get arrested…meaning (as a wide receiver) he doesn’t get noticed. He finished 2008 in the top 5 for fantasy wideouts and with quarterback Aaron Rodgers set to take the next step in 2009, this will be the year that Jennings gets recognized as one of the game’s elite pass-catchers.
4. Aaron Rodgers QB Green Bay Packers
Team: Rumors and Rants
The Scoop: Rodgers topped Peyton Manning in fantasy production in 2008 and I expect him to do it again this year. Quarterbacks entering their second year as a starter almost always show improvement-something that should scare the rest of the Coors Light League since Rodgers ranked No. 2 last year among QBs in standard scoring formats.
5. Brandon Marshall WR Denver Broncos
Team: Awful Announcing
The Scoop: Arguably the toughest receiver in the NFL to bring down, Marshall is plummeting down draft boards because of his very public standoff with Broncos’ management. Remember, B-Marsh is entering a contract year and word around the league is that the guy is close to broke. He can’t afford to blow his chance at a monster payday. Expect top 8 fantasy numbers from the 15th receiver off the board.
5 Guys Who Went Too Early
1. Clinton Portis RB Washington Redskins
The Scoop: The oldest 27 year old in the history of the NFL, “Southeast Jerome” has way too much wear on his tires to be considered a first-round pick. He’s topped 325 carries four times in the past five years and the only reason he didn’t reach that mark during the 2006 season is because he appeared in just eight games. The Redskins offensive line is below average and quarterback Jason Campbell is going to struggle yet again. The situation in Washington is not good heading into 2009.
2. Ronnie Brown RB Miami Dolphins
The Scoop: Brown’s a good running back, but there is no way he should have been drafted before Steve Slaton, Frank Gore AND Andre Johnson.
3. Marshawn Lynch RB Buffalo Bills
Team: Beast Mode
The Scoop: Shocking. Hammond pulls the trigger on Lynch in the second to avoid missing out on his boy. With Frank Gore sitting ripe for the taking, Dewey opts to take a guy won’t step foot on a football field until Week 4. Oh yeah, he’s also running behind an offensive line that will start two rookies (Eric Wood, Andy Levitre) and traded away Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters.
4. Jason Witten TE Dallas Cowboys
The Scoop: Witten’s a stud, but in a 12-team league he should not be coming off the board in the third round.
5. Le’Ron McClain RB Baltimore Ravens
The Scoop: Big Boy McClain will score some touchdowns, but it’s going to be the Ray Rice show in Baltimore this season. Amazingly, Rice lasted until pick No. 60.
1. Lee Evans WR Buffalo Bills Sixth Round
Evans is a top 20 wide receiver who is once again falling below the radar this season. What most owners don’t realize is that the addition of Terrell Owens HELPS Evans by drawing coverage AWAY from him.
2. Vincent Jackson WR San Diego Chargers Sixth Round
Don’t fault V-Jax for playing in a city where people would rather surf than watch football. Nobody talks about San Diego, which is why one of the game’s up-and-coming wideouts fell so far.
3. Derrick Ward RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers Seventh Round
There’s a lot of talk about a time share taking place in the Buccaneers’ backfield this year. Until I see it, I’m still pushing hard for Ward. The guy racked up 1,400+ total yards as a backup in New York last season.
4. John Carlson TE Seattle Seahawks Eleventh Round
This could end up being the steal of the draft. Carlson is the 12th tight end off the board and has the potential to put up top 5 numbers. A healthy Matt Hasselbeck could mean big things for this young tight end.
5. New England Patriots D/ST Thirteenth Round
The Pats were ranked No. 2 among fantasy defenses in 2007-the year they went 18-1. What makes this unit so deadly is the offense. When New England gets up big in football games it forces their opponents to air it out in an effort to keep up. Bad move. The defense knows it’s coming and sits back in nickel and dime coverage for the majority of the game, allowing them to rack up the interceptions.
Who’s The Team To Beat?
In my opinion, there are four teams that will be trotting out solid starting lineups in 2008. Who do I like to take home the title? Awful Announcing. If this team stays healthy (I’m looking at you Schaub), they are going to make a run at it.
Quarterback: Matt Schaub
Running Back: Matt Forte
Running Back: Frank Gore
Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall
Wide Receiver: Antonio Bryant
Flex: Kevin Smith
Tight End: Antonio Gates
Defense/Special Teams: New York Jets (this is a big question mark, especially with no other D/ST on the roster)
Kicker: Rob Bironas
Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh