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Even Fantasy “Experts” Make Mistakes

DeSean Jackson (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

DeSean Jackson (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

By: Andy Wheeler

You know what the worst part about fantasy drafts are? Other people! I swear you have a plan, you think certain guys will fall, but they don’t. And why is that? Much like our current political system, not only do other people have different ideas, they have different values as well. This is okay in both fantasy football and politics. However, you need to be able to adjust, have multiple plans and not panic when somebody you wanted goes earlier than you expected. This is how drafts go.

For the record, I’m in 2 leagues. The “CBS 3 League” which is an auction format and the “Straight Cash, Homey!” league which is snake format. I’m going to share my drafts with you and what I think of both teams. I haven’t made any moves in the “SCH” league, but I made a flurry of moves in the “CBS 3. ” As you will see, the finished product shows the importance of the opening round of the waiver wire .

CBS 3: Budget $200

There are many different kinds of auction strategies. You can spread your money around on players mostly below $30. I have done this before and had very good results. I have also had success buying one really expensive player, $60+, and then spreading my money around. The 3rd strategy, which is the most dangerous and something I had never tried before, is, what I like to call, the “Big Spender” method. You decide which 2 players you think will have the best season and then you go get them no matter the cost. I always wanted to try it, so I did.

Oops. I’ll never do it again.

After getting my 2 guys in the first 15 minutes of the draft, I sat there for an hour with no other players on my roster. It may have been the most depressing feeling I’ve had in quite some time. Part of the problem with auctions is that if somebody knows you want a player and will outbid them no matter what, they make you suffer. This happened to me on all 3 of my targeted guys: Tom Brady, LeSean McCoy and BenJarvis Green-Ellis. These 3 players accounted for 89% of my budget.

Note to self: Never publish a list of the guys you think are sleepers BEFORE your auction draft next season.

Here’s the team with some comments:

Tom Brady $71
With so many weapons and now the deep threat of Brandon Lloyd, this may be his best chance at surpassing his 50 TD season.

LeSean McCoy $80
I had to have Shady, I think he’s going to have a great year

Sebastian Janikowski $1
He’s my favorite kicker, if such a thing is possible, and he’s good for a few 50+ yarders a year.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis $27
I made a side bet that he rushes for over 1000 yds and scores +10 touchdowns. I think that’s pretty safe expectations. I totally overpaid for him but someone that reads this blog made him more expensive for me.

Pierre Thomas $2
Not really thrilled with him, but he’ll do.

Carson Palmer $2
I think he’s going to have a big year and I only need him 1 week.

Peyton Hillis $3
The fact that I got a guy that’s almost a lock for 150+ carries and 10 TD’s for only $3 made me scream in my condo. I screamed YES!

Denarius Moore $3
He’s Oakland’s #1 Receiver and hopefully that’s a good thing.

Greg Little $2
I was desperate for Receivers.

Jacquizz Rodgers $2
Watching Michael Turner at the end of last year makes me think this guy is going to get a ton of carries.

Austin Collie $1
Desperate for Receiver

Patriots Defense $1
Yuck

Dustin Keller $1
Double Yuck

Randall Cobb $2
He’s fast and Aaron Rodgers throws to him. A total gamble that could pay off big.

Brandon LaFell $1
Steve Smith had a monster year as Cam Newton’s primary receiver. LaFell is the man on the other side and is a big guy. I am hoping for Redzone targets.

Alshon Jeffery $1
I drafted him with the intent of trading him.

My initial reactions to this draft were both panic and optimism. Panic because my receivers are at best suspect and my tight end stinks. I got a bunch of guys with the hopes that 1 or 2 of them pan out. I also ended up with a few guys that I don’t believe in at all.

That’s the problem with an auction. When people have more money than you, they get who they want and you don’t.

So it was off to the waiver wire. The waiver wire after a draft seems pretty bare, unless you know where to look. I also made a trade. Here’s what my team looks like now.

Tom Brady
LeSean McCoy
BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Peyton Hillis
Brandon LaFell

Kendall Wright (Waivers)
Super talented guy that looks like he’ll be the #1 receiver in Tennessee for a while

Brent Celek (Trade)
I got him for Alshon Jeffery. I think he’s going to have a big year for the Eagles

Cardinals Defense (Waivers)
Dumped the Pats for them because Patrick Peterson is their return guy and that could mean points. Plus, the Pats will be giving up a lot of Garbage yards since they’ll be playing from ahead.

Sebastian Janikowski
Pierre Thomas
Carson Palmer
Denarius Moore
Randall Cobb

Dexter McCluster (waivers)
He’s explosive and isn’t a bad pick up since he’s had a good preseason. This might be his break out season.

Dallas Clark (waivers)
Maybe he doesn’t get hurt and has a solid year for Tampa. Maybe he doesn’t. Either way it’s worth the risk.

I don’t feel as badly as I did after the draft. I’m still not happy overall with my team, but if McCoy and Brady stay healthy (KNOCKING VIOLENTLY ON WOOD) then I should be in it every week.

Straight Cash Homey!: Snake Draft, 7th pick

Even “fantasy experts” make mistakes. Not only did I break my own rules and draft a kicker and a defense before the last 2 rounds I also paid very little attention to bye weeks when drafting.

I am a big believer in taking the guy you really want and forget about the bye week. However, once you pick the 3rd or 4th guy on the bye week, you’re just being stupid. I was REALLY stupid. I now have 5 guys on bye week 7, including 4 in my starting lineup. It also handcuffed me from taking other players later in the draft that I felt had decent value because they too were on bye week 7. I may lose week 7, but overall I think this team is really good.

Here it is round by round:

1st LeSean McCoy
The fact that he fell to me made me feel all warm and gooey inside! This league is populated by mostly West Coast guys which explains part of it. If they don’t know he’s a Top 3 pick they will next year.

2nd Jimmy Graham
This felt weird picking a TE this high, but Graham should have another fantastic year. Factor that in with all the elite QB’s, RB’s and Calvin Johnson were gone. It just made sense.

3rd Julio Jones
He’s been a hot name this year in the build up to the season as the guy most likely to break out huge. I agree. I had him going in the 2nd round which made me happy to be able to make him my first WR.

4th Willis McGahee
I’ve been rooting for McGahee since I saw his knee explode in the National Championship game. He’s the main guy in Denver, and they’ll run. A few articles ago in my “First Glance” at Fantasy, I said you need to watch games not involving your favorite team to be able to judge other players. I saw Denver play twice and he looks great!

5th Brandon Lloyd
He’s another hot name among the Wide Receivers. I couldn’t afford him in the auction league to pair with Brady, so at least I got him here. A talented deep threat that’s catching balls from Tom Brady shouldn’t last until the 5th round.

6th DeSean Jackson
This is where I basically made the decision to lose week 7. DeSean being out there was just too good for me to pass on. I’ve owned him before and aside from last year, he’s pretty fun to own. He’ll be maddening because of his inconsistent catch total, but he has the ability to single handedly win a week for you. In the 6th round, I just had no choice.

7th Jay Cutler
Right after I picked DeSean I realized, “Hey, I don’t have a quarterback!” Unfortunately I missed out on Matt Ryan, whom I was hoping to pair with Jones. Cutler having Marshall back as his main target could mean big things. However, I personally don’t like anything about Cutler, thus my next pick.

8th Robert Griffin III
How could I not? I wasn’t thrilled with Cutler so I decided to hop on board the hype train. Do I think he’ll be this years version of Cam Newton? No. Do I think he could be really good and is worth the risk? Heck yes! This could be the pick that defines my season.

9th 49ers Defense
I hated myself for doing it, but looking around I was loaded at WR for this point in the draft and basically my first wave of guys I wanted was gone, so why not? I know I advise against this very thing, but the potential points out of the Niners defense was a no-brainer in comparison to what was out there.

10th Daniel Thomas
I don’t believe Reggie Bush can do it again and Thomas looked pretty good at times last season. Basically he’s a wait and see with potential to be a starter.

11th Rashad Jennings
The fact that the guy that took MJD didn’t grab Jennings before this was his fault. That hold out looked ugly then and now Jennings has been announced as the starter week 1. Yay me! I’ve been waiting to hear from MJD’s owner in this league since the draft. The price is just going to keep going up!

12th Jared Cook
I love this guy. He could end up doing nothing, but he is a physical beast. I won’t need a tight end (hopefully) expect for when Graham is on bye…but I love the upside here.

13th Kendall Hunter
If you think Frank Gore won’t get hurt please raise your hand. Nobody? Really? Yeah me either. He could end up the starter at literally any second.

14th Mike Tolbert
Mike Tolbert is in a really crowded backfield, but in the dictionary next to “ touchdown vulture” you see a lovely picture of Tolbert. Could be a valuable commodity down the road.

15th Rob Bironas
I know… I know… I said you shouldn’t, but his name is fun to sing to the tune of “My Sharona” on Sunday’s when he hits a field goal. You can’t say that about any of the other kickers in the league .

16th Jacoby Ford
He’s fast, he returns punts sometimes and this league awards points to the players for TD’s. I’ll probably release him.

17th Santana Moss
I threw up a little in my mouth when I took him, BUT if he’s healthy he somehow always gets 3 or 4 catches a game. I’m going to release him soon.

How do you think I did? Feel free to comment below. Or you can tweet me @TheAndyWheeler

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