When the Yahoo draft report cards came out, I was given a B-, which I wasn’t too pleased about. Based on their projections, I was poised to finish in the lower tier with a 4-10 season–but my 6-5 squad has already exceeded their expectations. No thanks to my draft, though. In fact, this has to be the first time I’ve ever cut my two top picks…and I’m maybe just a week away from sending four of my first five selections to free agency.
Ironically, Yahoo’s analysis praised my early picks, stating “The top half of the Russell Wilson FTW! roster is one of the strongest in the league.” That top half included running backs Arian Foster, Trent Richardson and David Wilson, who are no longer on my team. Of course, Foster suffered a season-ending injury, Richardson never adapted to a mid-season trade, and Wilson put just 17.40 fantasy points on the board before going on IR. In fact, I cut the Giants back after Week 1!
On the other hand, I’ve stuck with Roddy White, my fourth-round pick, all season–although he hadn’t been in the starting lineup until a Wes Welker injury combined with a Golden Tate bye forced my hand this week. White’s initial decision to play through an ankle sprain slowed him down big time, and though he’s supposedly been back at full strength for three weeks now, he only has 80 yards to show for it. With those stats, he’s not even trade-bait, simply bench fodder.
That said, I did not expect to say the same about Tom Brady. My third-round pick has been one of the best QBs in the league since he first took over for Drew Bledsoe back in the day, but with a lack of weapons at his disposal, his numbers have been (fantasy) backup-worthy, with just 14 TDs and 7 picks through Week 11. As a matter of fact, I haven’t even started him in a month…
But even with this supposedly-elite “top half,” I was still picked to finish eighth. So how am I sitting in fifth right now? Well, let’s just say a few guys from the bottom half of my draft–which Yahoo gave me absolutely no credit for–have come through in spades. Wes Welker was a steal in the sixth round, leading the league in receiving TDs before suffering a concussion last week. Let’s just say I hope his head’s still game. And I’m awfully glad I hedged my bet on Brady by taking RGIII in the eighth. The Skins have been behind in so many games that he’s been putting a whole lotta passing yards on the board of late. But my best pick mighta been Mr. Irrelevant. With the last overall pick in my fantasy draft, I took Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, who’s given me 119 fantasy points in return. Meanwhile, Matt Bryant, who Yahoo considered a steal when some bozo took him in the ninth round, is currently sitting on waivers. Whoops!
That said, my WR situation dictated that I had to cut Hauschka on his bye week ahead of the Thursday nighter. Which means that aside from busts Brady and White, the aforementioned Welker-RGIII duo are the only remaining draftees on my roster. Let’s just say I’m a bit of a waiver-wire wizard…
It helped that I had the first waiver priority after Week 1, which I used on Denver RB Knowshon Moreno. Despite splitting time in a crowded Bronco backfield, he’s been good for nearly 1,000 total yards and 9 TDs behind Peyton Manning, making him by far my highest-scoring non-QB. Trading for Golden Tate has also given my offense a big boost–I got him and Antonio Gates by jettisoning Danny Woodhead and Mike Wallace, a win-win if you ask me (I won twice on that one). But with my poor choices in the backfield, I’d had to rely on a bevvy of waiver wire RBs, ponying up priority for jettisoned cargo like Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew. My latest add was Tampa RB Bobby Rainey, who might cement himself as my RB2 if he comes anything close to matching last week’s performance. I also just grabbed Rueben Randle from the resurgent Giants, slotting him in as a WR3. Hey, it’s not that I haven’t been outbid for some players along the way, but I have landed a few good ones.
That said, my RB situation is still looking a little desperate. I actually just traded away Redskins TE Jordan Reed–another waiver pickup–for Darren McFadden, in the hopes that he comes back strong from his pulled hammy. It’s a high-risk move, seeing as he might even be the RB2 for the Raiders upon return…but hey, he can’t be any worse than any of the backs I actually drafted.