It was a dark and stormy fantasy draft night. Wait, no it wasn’t. It was actually a pretty calm night and other than a celebratory brunch with my newspaper crew, last Sunday was actually kind of boring. That is until I betrayed the fantasy player I’ve vouched for the last three fantasy seasons. I didn’t draft Chris Johnson (insert dramatic music here).
It was a dark and stormy fantasy draft night.
Wait, no it wasn’t. It was actually a pretty calm night and other than a celebratory brunch with my newspaper crew after completing the fall sports tab, last Sunday was actually kind of boring. That is until I betrayed the fantasy player I’ve vouched for the last three fantasy seasons.
I didn’t draft Chris Johnson (insert dramatic music here).
That’s right. I had a chance to nab him, but instead chose Jamaal Charles. And I don’t feel bad from a fantasy perspective — somewhere in this odd brain of mine I think Charles is going to be the best fantasy back in 2011 — but Johnson has helped me reach fantasy glory three years straight.
Or at the very least come close to it.
Maybe its my waning interest in the Tennessee Titans. After last season, I proclaimed I was done being a Titans fan and I plan to stick with it, even though CJ could single-handedly bring my interest back if he comes near 2000 yards in a season again.
Perhaps it’s the Titans waning interests in giving their franchise player a lucrative contract he deserves that makes this holdout very scary.
Or it could be fear that Johnson could be wearing down on bad team that appears to only be getting worse.
The latest news Tuesday was Johnson was meeting with Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt today. That could be encouraging news, but that information didn’t exist this past Sunday.
As I’ve said, drafting early is for dummies and I’m the dummy that drafted before Week 3 of the preseason. Couldn’t get out of it.
And even so, I still don’t think I would have drafted CJ. JC (superstar!) was the guy I felt I had to take because even last year, Charles was the more consistent back and in a league where you get bonuses for 50-yard TDs both rushing and receiving, I felt as though I had no other choice.
I’ll miss CJ, especially if he surpasses JC in every statistical category. But I had a gut feeling and I followed it. Just like when I drafted Johnson back in 2008 as a late rounder, took him first with the third pick in 2009 and again in 2010 despite his many doubters.
The importance of top-tier QBs
From time to time I get reader emails requesting advice about trades, drafts and start/sits when the regular season rolls around.
Last Saturday, I received an email from reader Zack Diaz.
He was in trade talks for either Jamaal Charles (KC) or Calvin Johnson (DET) and Kevin Kolb (ARI) from his competitor in exchange for Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Turner.
Diaz already has Turner along with Rashard Mendenhall (PIT), Ryan Grant (GB), and Fred Jackson (BUF) (who I’m very high on, by the way). His receivers aren’t near as impressive: Santonio Holmes (NYJ), Brandon Marshall (MIA), and AJ Green (CIN).
His next available QBs on the roster are Kyle Orton (DEN) and Cam Newton (CAR).
Here’s the deal. I think Diaz should actually keep Roethlisberger and Turner and keep what he has.
Sure there’s a gaping hole at WR with Holmes not being dependable enough week-to-week and Marshall, who will only be as dependable as his quarterback (Chad Henne. Yuck!).
But is it worth losing a top-tier quarterback, even if he’s on the lower rung of that latter? I say no.
Aaron Rodgers (GB), Michael Vick (PHI), Drew Brees (NO), Tom Brady (NE), Peyton Manning (IND), Philip Rivers (SD) and Tony Romo (Dallas) I believe are all ahead of Roethlisberger, though he very well could surpass Romo this year if he stays healthy.
To lose both Big Ben and Turner for Megatron or JC and Kolb I believe is just too steep. Think about it like this.
Last year out of the 25 top scorers under ESPN’s standard league rules, 15 of those players were quarterbacks. Nine of those quarterbacks were in the top 10 (Vick, Rodgers, Brady, P. Manning, Rivers, Brees, Josh Freeman (TB), Matt Ryan (ATL), Matt Schaub (HOU)).
Remember Roethlisberger missed the first four games of the season yet still finished 25th in scoring last season.
Megatron? For was well as he played, finished 38th. Is he really worth the investment in this particular trade, all things considered?
Can’t Wait! Draft edition
This year the “Can’t Wait!” section of the column will be devoted to wavier wire adds. But since most of you smart fantasy football owners know better than to draft this early, this week the section will focus on players you can’t wait too long to draft.
There’s always that one player you can let slip away after underestimating other owners on the board. Don’t let it be you! Unless of course, the person’s thinking about the exact same thing. Then you’re kind of out of luck.
We’ll go back to the six per position format because I think it’s important.
QB: Romo (DAL), Freeman (TB), Roethlisberger (PIT), Schaub (HOU), Eli Manning (NYG), Ryan (ATL)
RB: LeGarrette Blount (TB), Matt Forte (CHI), Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG), Jahvid Best (DET), Felix Jones (DAL), Beanie Wells (ARI)
WR: Dwayne Bowe (KC), Wes Welker (NE), Mario Manningham (NYG), Chad Ochocinco (NE), Julio Jones (ATL), Plaxico Burress (NYJ)
Joey Baskerville writes his fantasy football column every Wednesday. He can be reached at email@example.com or @jmark79 on Twitter.