With the league expanding to 14 teams this year, and half of the owners being foolish at best, the annual WVFL draft was as unpredictable as ever. In most years, our benches went as deep as the ingredients on a shampoo bottle. Between that and the incredible reluctance of most GMs to swing a trade, the draft set your season. But now, with a league as deep as John Kenneth Galbraith and rosters as thin as Dean Koontz, things are more up in the air. Still, we need a season preview and useless predictions that will be off the mark, or this can hardly be considered an official league.
Stringfellow Hawks - Like the first guest helping himself to the juicy center of the 6-foot long party sub, the Hawks took Tomlinson with their first ever WVFL pick. Then he took Willis McGahee in the second round, which made everybody like him just a little bit more. And then Willie Parker in the third round. The newcomer is clearly an advocate of the RB-RB-WHATTHEHELLONEMORERB school of drafting. Marvin Harrison might be a fourth round steal, but Bernard Berrian is a sixth round jail sentence as punishment.
Best Pick - Tomlinson. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, Stringfellow.
Worst Pick - Bernard Berrian isn't even Minnesota's best receiver. And even if he was, he has to get the ball from Tavaris Jackson.
Playoffs?!? - As Nate can attest, Tomlinson has carried some horrible teams to the playoffs. But with six playoff teams and eight not, this is going to be one of the eight not.
Deathfromabove - That loud pop you heard during the draft was Matt Hasselbeck's back. The 4th round DFAer is hurt and Seattle isn't sure how badly. Sixth rounder Ahman Green is also hurt and so is eighth rounder Reggie Williams. So look out, fellow even round picks Jamal Lewis, Kolby Smith and Tennessee defense! Bobby Engram is the hurt Seattle receiver, so maybe Burleson gets a boost, and it's a pretty good backfield. but DFA is going to need a lot of luck beyond their top four.
Best Pick -If he's anything close to last year, and that's a plus-size if, Jamal Lewis isn't bad at 27.
Worst Pick - Mmm...no flat out dogs, but either Gage or Kolby Smith have to be dropped for a kicker at some point.
Playoffs?!? - It's going to be close. Would you be comfortable if your playoff hopes rested on Nate Burleson? If so, please send supportive emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purple Swirls - Caulen loves his team and he will tell you so. He also loves chest hair, as we all learned from the draft video. And looking at Caulen's roster, you can see just how thin WVFL teams are this year. He's set at receiver, but only halfway home in the backfield and Garrard simply doesn't throw for enough yards to stand out at QB with our new 25 points per yard scoring system. A lot of Caulen's games are going to come down to Witten and choosing the right flex play of the week.
Best Pick - Steve Smith was the ninth receiver off the board. Not the shabbiest.
Worst Pick - Julius Jones is barely holding on to his job after one preseason game.
Playoffs?!? - He makes them every other year, so I won't pick against him.
Atlas Shruggz - In his first fantasy season, Atlas has to root for the success of the Patriots and Chad Johnson. It's a bittersweet...symphony...this life. The author of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, more or less advocated worrying only about yourself and screw everybody else. However, Atlas Shruggz is going to need help all over the place. Laurence Maroney needs Coach Worstpersoninamerica to give him goal line carries over New England's ten other backs. Jonathan Stewart needs DeAngelo Williams to not be good. Greg Jennings needs Aaron Rodgers to help him. Anthony Gonzalez needs Marvin Harrison to get hurt. Deuce McCallister needs a great knee surgeon (and he needs to pay for his own healthcare) and Donte Stallworth needs Braylon Edwards to draw quadruple teams. Ayn Rand shrugs at this team in shame.
Best Pick - Greg Jennings could be a middle round steal if Aaron Rodgers doesn't implode from pressure like a deep sea skin diver.
Worst Pick - This is harder than normal with our expansion. Um...Jonathan Stewart. That's pretty early to take a rookie backup.
Playoffs?!? - If this was a real team, Tom Brady would be yelling at his teammates every week for letting him down. But no sportswriter would call him out on it. Shruggz will be one of eight teams out of the playoffs, putting him in the majority! Hooray!
Vanduhlay Industries - An NFL star hasn't held out through regular season games in quite some time, but man will Vanduhlay be more comfortable when Jackson is back in the stable. If Brandon Jacobs goes in the third round for the second year in a row, but puts up 15 touchdowns instead of 6 this time, I will be quite angry indeed. Johnson, Jackson, Jacobs and Jbell. This team better invest in gauze and ice packs.
Best Pick - As far as I know, Justin Fargas is still the starter in Oakland, so a nice 10th round flyer. Hey, did you hear he's the son of Huggy Bear? No? Watch a Raider game some time for five minutes. They'll mention it.
Worst Pick - Matt Forte is a rookie, his quarterback might be Kyle "Beardo" Orton, his offense might be the worst in the league and VI already had two backs.
Playoffs?!? - I will say yes, actually. Cutler should be able to pile up enough yards to be decent at QB, Bowe will improve and Johnson and Jackson are monsters. But JUST into the playoffs.
Lake Balboa Ladybugs - After every draft, I think my team is great and I flounder. This year, I think my team is average so I'll probably go undefeated. With the sixth pick, I knew I'd be choosing between Addai and Barber and until late this afternoon, I was going with Barber. Hey, when those live fantasy draft bullets start flying, training goes out the window! Knowing running back was especially weak this year, I wanted to open RB-WR-WR and so I did. Addai, Colston and Boldin can go toe to toe with any top three in the league, but my running game is completely at the mercy of some sort of mystical luck that never ends up working out.
Best Pick - If any of the ravings about Shockey being on the Saints come to pass, getting him 90th as the 8th tight end taken could be pretty good.
Worst Pick - Chester Taylor, Chris Brown and Chris Perry all need to break out and they all have a bye in week 8. Just like Selvin Young. So...pick one of those.
Playoffs?!? - In '03, I was 9th. In '04 and '05, I skipped the league to protest the Iraq war before realizing nobody cared about brown people losing arms in explosions. In '06 and '07, I needed a win in the final week to make the playoffs and lost. BUT! In my last three seasons, I finished 9th, 8th and 7th. So that means 6th this year and that's good enough!
The People's Elbow - If you added up Nate's last four draft positions, they wouldn't equal his 7th spot this year. (1+1+1+1=fuck you already) Uncomfortable with picking so in the middle, where he couldn't breathe, Nate might have submitted an all-time poo stink, on par with a Brian Bosworth movie. Brandon Marshall is suspended for three weeks, Jerry Porter possibly died in a car accident last week, and Felix Jones is a backup but still better than Kevin Jones, who is out until Week 7 or he gets used to his prosthetic foot, whichever comes first. Nate his going to give himself angina this year when he subs in Tomlinson's weekly points for Gore's to see how he could've done. Silver lining? The WVHL draft is coming up.
Best Pick - Uh...Cooley? I unno. Gotta be somebody, right? But that's like being the funniest line in Epic Movie.
Worst Pick - You should never pick a defense as early as the 8th round, and if you must, it shouldn't be Arizona.
Playoffs?!? - If we switch to an NFL-style draft order for 2009, Nate might get the first pick again.
Crafton Tough Kids - I invited Larry to the league and he basically drafted my team by proxy after I talked up Barber and Fitzgerald for two weeks. This could be a sneaky good team. Palmer was weird last year, but our new scoring is so heavily weighted to passing yards that he could be really useful. LenDale White is sneakily useful for such a chubber and Ward and Cotchery should combine for strength at WR2. Assuming the CTK start the right one each week. On another note, CTK would be a good name for a restaurant in L.A. As long as people don't confuse it with bld, BLT Steak, AOC, STK or CPK. And no, I did not make any of those up.
Best Pick - If it's not Cotchery, it might just be...Ricky Williams...in the 10th...at running back...with the hash pipe.
Worst Pick - A kicker should never be taken before the last round.
Playoffs?!? - This might actually be one of the better teams in the league. And I'm not just saying that because I know my friend can be crippled with insecurity. It's his two lazy eyes. He thinks people stare and he is right.
Brookline's Finest - It will be amazing theater to watch Scott Henry on Sunday night of Week 2, Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh. "No! Get him! Get him! Noooooooooo! Knock it down! Goddamn it! Cleveland touchdown! Oh wait...Edwards caught it. Yes! Double points. Wait...but that...that puts the Steeler over 28 points allowed. I lost a point there and now we're down 31-27. I...um...weeble...what do I want to happen now? Ooh! Kick return touchdown!" And it'll only get worse when Pittsburgh plays the Patriots and Anthony Smith is supposed to cover Moss over the top. Or when Rudi Johnson plays the Steeler D twice. Scott Henry, the most conflicted football fan in America.
Best Pick - If you're going to wait until the fourth round to take a back, Fred Taylor is a pretty good one to have. Especially considering that he will pass JIM BROWN this year in rushing yards.
Worst Pick - Even if they look alike, that was too early for Scott to draft Kevin Curtis.
Playoffs?!? - The two best receivers in the league will carry Skip to the tournament. And when Scott Henry is in the playoffs...HE GOES TO THE FINALS!
LetsGoPens - Clint skipped the draft and he's probably going to want to skip the season. But you can't be too hard on a guy who plays even though football isn't in his top five sports. Or top twenty. And when I look into the big green eyes of his avatar...I go to mush. I can't bash the guy. But I can bash Yahoo!, who thought Clint would like to have Ronnie Brown and Darren McFadden back to back. Go to hell, Yahoo!! The first exclamation point is theirs, the second is mine.
Best Pick - Terrell Owens? I guess? Good work, HAL 9000.
Worst Pick - With Darren McFadden 4th and Calvin Johnson 5th, Yahoo must've thought this was a keeper league.
Playoffs?!? - Nah.
Lowcountry All Stars - Jeff Webster hated his team before the draft and hated it during the draft. But now? He can probably keep hating it. No player in the league is more frustrating than Lee Evans...except maybe Reggie Bush. Roddy White has to get the ball from Matt Ryan and Jerious Norwood can't even get on the field. As usual, Webster will hate his team all year, but when I try to trade for one of his guys, he'll shoot down every offer. What a dildo.
Best Pick - With more points for yards and fewer deducted for picks, Eli is a great pick in the 7th round.
Worst Pick - Man, Reggie Bush sucks. Plus, he's going to get in trouble with the NCAA this year and that carries the death penalty, right?
Playoffs?!? - Mmm...Webster will be middle of the pack, but not top middle. And that's what makes the playoffs.
St. A's Crusaders - Football is not really what St. A's excels in. It's more of a baseball school. Brees is a great pick for our league, but the receiver corps is an entire supporting cast. Crayton and Welker can't exactly be counted on week in and week out. Then again, neither can the rest of this team. If you really, really, really are dying for an angle on this team, how about this? If Julius Jones, Reggie Bush and Deuce McCallister all go down, St. A's will have the most fruitful last two picks in the league.
Best Pick - If Galloway is even close to last year, 10th round is a great value.
Worst Pick - Rashard Mendenhall in the 6th round? Even in a Pittsburgh-heavy league, that's pushing it. Although in a Steelers-only league, it's the steal of the century.
Playoffs?!? - St. A's hoping to make the playoffs and this guy. Two prayers that will go unanswered.
Newbomb Turk - Steven Jackson in 2007 and Shaun Alexander in 2006. If Tony Kress drafts you, it's one year too late and your body is in danger. Look out, Larry Johnson! Again. Between Johnson, Edgerrin James, DeAngelo Williams and Kevin Walter, it's entirely possible than TK doesn't have a single starting running back by Week 4. At receiver, Roy Williams is never as good as everybody expects him to be and neither is Chris Chambers. And Tony Romo is bound to face a huge distraction in the middle of the season when he dumps his girlfriend in frustration. Fortunately, TK is running nine other football teams this season that will take the sting off of this one.
Best Pick - If he didn't get Romo, I'd hate to see who his QB would've been, so..Romo.
Worst Pick - It could be Edge, but let's say Bobby Engram since his leg just fell off or something.
Playoffs?!? - In some league, yes. But not our league.
Iron City Pounders - Imagine being so excited for the draft to start. You have some players in mind. You can't wait to get in there and see what you get. Except you're picking last in one of the deepest leagues in the country. So while Tomlinson went at 7:45:11pm PT, you're not picking until almost 8:30. By that time, you just want a running back whether he's a superstudstar or not and you get Maurice Jones-Drew. So picking 14th out of 14 isn't the greatest draft spot ever. But imagine the excitement in Week 7 when the Pounders are out of it and other teams start dropping trade offers for Peyton Manning. Now that will be fun!
Best Pick - If you name your team the Iron City Pounders, you are definitely from Healthcareburgh. But why not prove it by taking Santonio Holmes earlier than almost every other Yahoo! draft?
Worst Pick - Kevin Smith is a rookie playing for the Lions. You guess how that will turn out.
Playoffs?!? - I've seen crazier things happen. But not in this case.