Every season as we are tweaking and tinkering with our own personal rankings, we have players pegged as busts to avoid, or breakout candidates that we are sure about. Once the season is complete we then get to see if we picked more breakouts than busts, or if we shot ourselves in the foot. Sometimes we’re beaming with pride, and other times we are kicking ourselves. Let’s take a look at how I did this season.
I missed badly with regards to my expectations for the following players in 2007:
• Randy Moss – He was available in the fifth round in most competitive re-draft leagues with standard settings. I passed on him in every one. Ugh.
• Willis McGahee – I did not think he would perform any better behind Baltimore’s offensive line than he did in Buffalo. I passed on him in every re-draft league, and he has been amazingly consistent week to week (he is the number five RB in most formats).
• Thomas Jones – I expected more from him as the Jets workhorse back. Not scoring his first touchdown until week thirteen is simply unacceptable for a guy who I drafted in the third round in multiple leagues.
• Willie Parker – The yardage has been great, but where are the touchdowns? He also blew a lot of games down the stretch when he had extremely favorable match-ups. Arguably, he’s not a first round pick next year.
• Vernon Davis – I stated before the season began that he would be the number two tight end in 2007 (behind Antonio Gates). He’s been injured most of the season and was a victim of this anemic offense.
• Calvin Johnson - Since he was arguably the most promising wide receiver prospect ever, I ignored all the historical data and trends that showed rookie wide receivers do not produce. My thinking was that with John Kitna at the helm and Roy Williams drawing the coverage under Mike Martz’s system, Johnson could prosper as a third fantasy wide receiver. I ending up wasting a 5th or 6th round pick in several leagues.
• Donovan McNabb and the Eagles wide receivers - I thought that McNabb would recover from his injury and return to the form he displayed through the first half of 2006, with Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown being the main beneficiaries. Except for a one-game torching of Detroit in September, all three have been virtually useless.
I also made some hits with my expectations for the following players in 2007:
• Shaun Alexander – Going late in the first round, I figured he was over the hill and would run like a guy who just got paid (and he did). I avoided him at all costs and went with players like Brian Westbrook instead.
• Cedric Benson - I just did not have a good feeling about this guy and avoided him like the plague in every league. He averaged less than three yards per carry and was placed on IR after week twelve.
• Tony Romo – If not for Tom Brady, Romo would be getting MVP talk in my opinion. I drafted him as my starter in the sixth or seventh round in every league I could.
• Ahman Green – Like Alexander, it didn’t take a brain surgeon to peg Green as being over the hill and running behind a questionable offensive line. He signed a four-year, $23 million contract in March and rushed for 260 yards on 70 carries this season before being placed on injured reserve after week thirteen.
• Marion Barber – Even in a timeshare, I bet that he would produce like an number two running back. Amazingly, he was available in the seventh round in two competitive leagues that I played with other knowledgeable owners.
• Wes Welker - I knew about this guy because I owned him in a dynasty league that awarded one point-per-reception. Being a dynamo in Miami, I figured he had the chance to really break out in New England. I typically drafted him in the 12th round or later in almost every re-draft league. As a third receiver he exceeded my wildest expectations.
• Kickers and Defenses - Just like many previous seasons, no top five defenses or kickers from 2006 repeated that top five finish in 2007. If you used anything but a very late round pick on a defense or kicker, you wasted an enormous amount of draft value. All those who used a 5th – 8th round pick on the Chicago or Baltimore defenses (or kicker Adam Vinatieri) have learned their lesson.
Jeff LaGrassa is a Steelers fan and Cafe regular. Besides fantasy football, he enjoys disc golf, skiing, winemaking, and playing the electric bass. You can catch him posting in the Cafe's forums as The Lung.
Questions or comments for Jeff? Post them in the Cafe Forums!
Want to write for the Cafe? Check out the Cafe's Pencil & Paper section!