As the "Great American Sports Desert" drags along, we must keep our eyes on the NFL oasis just a few miles away!
My best ever redraft fantasy team was in 2004 in my first $ league. Coming off a less than stellar 5th of 10 finish in my first ever league in 2003, I added a second league for 2004. This was a group of grizzled fantasy veterans and drafting against them was a little intimidating, especially after they chuckled at my second round pick. But you can't make a diamond without a lot of pressure!
I drew the 10th (last) pick in a standard serpentine draft. (rookie hazing perhaps?) I thought this was a terrible spot to draft!
Round 1: Peyton Manning: 4,550 yards 49 TD's the record year!
First 9 picks were 8 running backs and Culpepper, so should I take the best QB or the ninth best RB?
Round 2: Bryan Westbrook: 1500 total yards and 9 TD's in 13 games
Not great, but pretty solid. Who was laughing in December?
Round 3: Corey Dillon: 1,700 total yards and 13 TD's in 15 games
This pick kept me from being one of the many "took Peyton in the first round/crash and burn" teams. Not often you get a 1600 yard rusher in the 3rd round. Corey was undervalued that year after his disastrous last season in Cincy. I figured New England = wins = lots of carries in the 4th quarter!
Round 4: Javon Walker: 1,400 yards 12 TD's
His breakout season! He looked good at Florida State and I figured this was a good season to have him!
Round 5: Santana Moss: 850 yards, 5 Td's
This pick was a bust, can't win them all
Round 6?: Somewhere around here I drafted Kellen Winslow. DUMB! Way to high for a rookie TE with motorcycle riding delusions of grandeur. After he broke his leg in game two I needed a replacement. I scoured the waiver wire and found Jason Witten. Never heard of him but he is a starter, let plug him in! Result: 980 yards 6 TDs. (Better lucky than good!)
Round ?: Drew Bennett 1250 yards, 11 TD's
I figured he was about due for a breakout season but wow! This is still his only 1,000 yard season to date, talk about lucky timing. Since then I have had an unhealthy habit of overvaluing Bennett and Billy Volek. Sigh!
Not a bad starting line-up. Some good research, a little skill and a WHOLE LOTTA LUCK! After a solid 9-5 regular season I went 2-0 in the playoffs for my first title. Anyone up for a chorus of memories? You never forget the first time!