The Bucket List: Don't Draft and Drive
I'm going to toss around a few words and you tell me what they all have in common. Ready? Here we go.
Birth of a Child.
Yearly Fantasy Football Draft.
Did you guess the happiest days of your life? If so, you're correct.
Okay, so it might be a little bit of stretch but a lot of us don't have all these things in our lives. The fantasy draft can literally be one of the most prepped and distinguished days on your calendar and in the words of Eminem "you only get one shot". Unless of course you're that guy who is comfortable saying "There is always next year!". Protip, nobody wants to be that guy.
Fantasy football is loved by many and approached differently by many. There is the casual player who is content playing in a league with some crazy rules, maybe a few abandoned rage quits, and a small yearly pot. Maybe you just play in free public leagues, there is nothing wrong with that. Then there is the competitive player who refreshes his league page every ten minutes watching moves. He has outgoing trade proposals looking to always better his team. He goes to bed thinking about numbers and then dreams about sabermetrics. No matter which side you fall on one thing remains the same: The draft is the framework to your building and you can get condemned before you even lay that first brick.
To put this in non-bad-analogy terms... Come Prepared!
I like to consider myself a fantasy veteran. I've played fantasy football for over 60% of my life and every year I find myself progressively doing more and more to prepare. For example two years ago I just did research and mock drafts. Now I own a website and tell you about my research and mock drafts. No no no, I am not saying to go out and start a website, I am telling you that do the amount of research you know you will need to do. Don't over-think it, but don't wing it. You need to have a base plan and even if you are posed with a decision stick to your guns. However every draft there comes along that one decision you will have to make that you never thought you would.
My 14 man, half PPR league's draft was on Saturday and regardless of how much preparation I did the draft did not go to my thinking. I don't know if the "draft running backs early and often" game plan got blown out of proportion or if everyone just knew more than me. Now all this 'mock draft season' I have stuck to my guns of going RB-RB-RB unless my third round pick possessed too much WR value to overlook. But a WR in the first round was never really an option. Holding the 12 pick I knew I would most likely have a shot at Forte or Morris and then Jackson or Ridley on the wrap-around. But then it happened...
Peterson.. Martin.. Foster.. Charles.. Spiller.. Rice.. Lynch.. McCoy.. Morris (what is happening) .. Forte.. Richardson.. WELP.
Calvin Johnson fell to the 12 spot and there I was. A deer in the headlights, the headless horsemen but not the badass one, a fly on a wall of fly-swatters. The muttering of obscenities under my breathe was probably loud enough to hear through the room. Now, me being commish, I stood alone at the podium. I was like Roger Goodell doubling as a GM helplessly announcing that they took a lineman because he was "what's best for the team". There was so much upside to take Calvin Johnson but so much downside to betray my months of study. And then I did it...
Now, reception was mixed. I mean, 11 guys just passed on Calvin Johnson and at this point I am nothing but a statistic. But Calvin couldn't keep falling, could he?
With the 13th pick in the Foots and Balls draft...
With the 14th pick in the Foots and Balls draft...
With the 15th pick in the Foots and Balls draft...
I'd like to say there is no message here. This post isn't to give you some insider secret. It's not intended as a cut-throat analysis. It's to simply say come prepared for anything. You never know what could happen. All mock draft season I toyed with the idea of taking Dez Bryant and maybe A.J. Green. I played around with Jimmy Graham and Drew Brees, stretched on Rodgers, and drafted five straight running-backs. I literally did over 150 mock drafts to different results, but never once did I think Calvin Johnson would sit available when it was my turn to seal the envelope. This year there is a centralized theme and that is running backs. Whether that means you take Steven Jackson over Calvin Johnson is up to you to decide. But one thing is for sure. I had a plan... And I stuck to it.