Feb 1, 2007
I was talking yesterday to someone who runs one of the larger high-stakes fantasy football leagues and he told me they are considering reversing the draft order in round three this year. So the draft would go 1-12, 12-1, and then 12-1 again as opposed to 1-12, 12-1, 1-12. His feeling is that it’s such an advantage to have a top-3 pick these days and the playing field needed to be leveled with the stakes so high.
I’ll admit that I had a top-3 pick in three expert leagues this year and made it to the playoffs in all three and the super bowl in two of them (winning one, the $5000 Challenge). But I was laughing when he told me his plans because I was just thinking that I’d rather have a pick late in the first round this year because I think there are 12-14 really good backs, and I’d love to have a chance to get two of them.
Not only that, but the guys who will be drafted early have some issues. When people talk about the “Madden Curse,” I think they’re really talking about players who earned the cover the previous year based on what will likely be considered their best season, so a dip is inevitable. Most importantly, in many cases we’re looking at players who had a massive workload the year before (guys like Eddie George, Marshall Faulk, and Shaun Alexander are examples) and paid the price the next year.
Obviously, it’s hard to say anything bad about LaDainian Tomlinson, but there’s no way he’s a dominant in 2007 as he was in 2006. Speaking of workload, Larry Johnson set the all-time record for carries in a season, so I think we’ll see a dip there as well. And Alexander of course is likely on the downside of his career.
There are a ton of situations that need to develop (such as Denver, Chicago, Jacksonville, Baltimore, NY Jets, and NY Giants), but I can list 12 guys off the top of my head who deserve #1 picks:
1. LaDainian Tomlinson
2. Larry Johnson
3. Steven Jackson
4. Shaun Alexander
5. Brian Westbrook
6. Frank Gore
7. Rudi Johnson
8. Clinton Portis
9. Willie Parker
10. Reggie Bush
11. Joseph Addai
12. Ronnie Brown – We’ll just have to see about Ricky.
And then there are some attractive fringe guys who have the potential to be excellent #2 RBs such as:
1. Kevin Jones – Could go up or down, depending on his injury situation.
2. Willis McGahee
3. Laurence Maroney – Cracks top-12 if Dillon is out of the mix.
4. Michael Turner – We’ll see where he goes.
5. Cedric Benson – Would have to move him into the top-15 if Jones is gone.
6. DeAngelo Williams – Will be in my top-15 at the position if Foster is gone.
7. Chester Taylor
Right now, I think I’d prefer to have a pick late in the first, and have a crack at, say, Bush and Addai, or Addai an Brown. And considering the drop-off after these top guys, it might be safe to say that you’d be better off picking from like #5 overall on down, since you should be able to get two of these guys listed above.
It’s obviously early, but I don’t think I want a top-three pick in 2007.