Had yet another “expert’s Draft last night, this one with some pretty big names in the industry, key guys from Yahoo, Fox, ESPN, among others.
I picked 8th, and I definitely took a step forward in terms of implementing and perfecting my ideal draft plan for 2008. I tried to hold off a little on a QB, but couldn’t for too long, and I tried to do the same at TE, but couldn’t for too long. I also failed to grab a good backup QB. You can’t have everything in a draft full of people who really know what they’re doing, but I still came close in this one.
Looking at all the team’s drafted, I think mine has the best combination of balance from top-to-bottom, stability, upside, and depth. It’s very important to understand the league scoring and setup, though. In this league, you start only 2 RBs, which is dumb but it’s the rule. I was late for the draft, as usual, as I was all over the place in the evening, what with my four kids. I had just witnessed my 10-year old son Nicholas slap a game-winning double in little league off the best pitcher in the [...]
I’ve kind of had a bad feeling about Earnest Graham all year, starting when Graham began pining for a new contract. He’s still not with the team, as he protests his low salary, which is a big mistake. Graham did a heck of a job last year, but guys him — guys who languish on the bench for years and come up with a big season — come around and then disappear all the time (see Nick Goings a few years ago). As may know we put up our initial batch of projections yesterday, and I slotted Graham at #22 at RB. But right after posting the projections, I took a call from Rick Stroud from the St. Petersburgh Times for our “32 Writers answer 32 questions” article for our magazine. After taking the call and asking him a question about the Bucs, and about Graham, I’m planning on moving Graham down a couple of spots.Here’s the Q & A:
FG.com: RB Earnest Graham was a great story last year, yet he was still a career deep backup prior to 2007, and the team did add veteran Warrick Dunn, so should those expecting a repeat performance from Graham temper expectations?
Stroud: I would temper the expectations for a couple of reasons. [...]
I did another expert draft last night, this one for Lindy’s Magazine, and I picked 4th. I’m getting a better feel after 2 drafts, but I’m not quite there yet. I think that’s not only because it’s only my second draft of the year, but also because the 2008 season really isn’t in clear focus yet. It will be in August, but I certainly drafted a team with an excellent foundation. It was NOT a PPR league, and I picked 4th, so my big decision was Brian Westbrook vs. Joseph Addai. It was close because of the format, but I chose Westbrook anyway simply because of my great comfort level in and opinion of him, and because of the presence of Dominic Rhodes, who should get a fair amount of playing time to keep Addai fresh. Westbrook did score 50 more fantasy points last year than Addai, even in a non-PPR format.
The main conclusion I’ve come to in my first two drafts is that it’s ideal to hold off little on QB and TE. I really haven’t done that in my first two drafts, and I’ve paid a price. In this one, I was ready to pounce on Andre Johnson [...]
I have my second “exert” draft tonight for Lindy’s Football Magazine, and I’m glad to find out today I pick 4th because I did only “okay” picking 12th in my first draft of the year last week. I like 4th because I don’t have to make the tough call on a QB or WR in the first round, which I like. I do think Tom Brady merits a #1 pick, but I’d still rather take my QB a little later. Picking 4th, I’m guaranteed a true stud back, likely either Brian Westbrook or Steven Jackson (or maybe Joe Addai), and I like my options for my next two picks somewhat close together in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Picking 4th, I’ll likely look to grab a stud wideout or two, or a stud wideout and another back. I can envision holding off until the 4th or 5th round on a QB drafting 4th, and I think I’m going to do well tonight.
I guess people are still watching American Idol, but I’m done with that lame deal. I watched the very early shows this year, by far the most entertaining, but even two months ago I was embarrassed to even TIVO [...]
As soon as the draft was over, it was time to seriously look into this year’s Strength of Schedule. As you may know, we figure out our SOS a little differently than others. We project SOS; we don’t go by last year’s numbers. We will be importing this year’s schedule into our SOS tool shortly, so you can see this year’s SOS by position in your scoring system and for a range of weeks or the whole season soon, but we do view our projected SOS as more important.
The SOS tool goes completely off of last year’s numbers and this year’s schedule, whereas our projected SOS goes off the projected grades we give each defense against the run and the pass compared to each team’s schedule.
The first thing we do is analyze off-season movement in terms of additions, subtractions, coaching changes, etc. and we give each defense a number grade against the run and the pass. Anything over a 90 is an A, and an 80 would basically be considered a D. Here are the grades we’re currently giving each defense against the run and the pass:
Team RG [...]