Hide ya bid buttons, hide ya auction dollars and hide ya co-managers...
Photo Credit: mattockadam
In the beginning stages of an auction draft I tend to nominate players who I do not want and will cost a pretty penny. Obviously the goal is to reduce the purchasing power of my opponents while filling their roster with suspect players. Sometimes I will nominate a player that I want if I'm one of the very first people to step the podium as most managers tend to hesitate in the very early bidding process. When I show up to the online auction draft I fill my queue with players with those I do not want. After the jump I'll share my predraft queue.
Michael Vick is Matthew Berry's No. 1 overall player. He likes to pay for past stats (career years), I do not. We all heard about Vick's improved play under center, but he did fade down the stretch. After seven interception-free games he threw six picks in his final five regular season games. The Vikings and Packers figured out Vick's game towards the end of the season and NFL defenses will study these games and continue to hit Vick this season. His style of play makes him a big injury risk. I'm not going to extrapolate his numbers (huge mistake) and pay for his career season. I will nominate Michael Vick and watch while managers duke it out for an overrated player.
Aaron Rodgers is coming off a couple concussions (two, possibly three). OK, that's my main gripe here, but he is also very expensive ($35 average at Y!). I will not pay top-tier prices for a QB. I want the cheapest option of the top seven Quarterbacks and Aaron Rodgers will not be that person.
Peyton Manning is another expensive QB that has some minor injury concerns. Neck surgery in back-to-back seasons for the reigning iron man of the NFL should not be ignored. Not only does he have concerns about his health, but Dallas Clark and Austin Collie are returning from their own maladies. Something else to keep in mind; Reggie Wayne will turn 33-years old this season and outside of two games last year he wasn't very impressive. I'm sure Manning will be fine, but he's too rich for my blood.
Ben Roethlisberger won't cost anyone $30, but he's dumb, has a stupid name, is overrated and has a bum foot. He is an injury risk (details here). NFL broadcasters love the oaf, but he's played seven seasons now and has topped 20 TD only twice. There's no way I'd take Roethlisberger over Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Matt Stafford, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler or Sam Bradford (all players ranked below Ben at Y!). Over...rated!
Brandon Lloyd is coming off 1,448 yard 11 TD season. Someone will not be able to resist those numbers. He's averaging $23 in Y! auction drafts. I would maybe pay $15 for Brandon, but that isn't happening so I won't even entertain the idea. Denver will experience growing pains as they're undergoing a management change (John Fox likes to run the ball) and it's possible the wild-armed Tim Tebow takes over at some point. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker could emerge to take targets away too. The manager who pays for this career year will be the Harry Dunn to Brandon's Lloyd Christmas.
Wes Welker is a midget. He's not a little person, he's a midget. Let's just get that out of the way. The guy is overrated outside of PPR leagues. He failed to reach 900 yards last year and has never been a threat in the red zone. I can't spend WR2 money on a player who may not get more than 4 TD. With Rob Gronkowski emerging as an unstoppable force, Aaron Hernandez making plays and Ochocinco entering the fold I have little faith in whitey being a difference maker. Someone else can spend $20 on wittle Wes Welker.
Dez Bryant is a talented player, but we're talking about a guy who has topped 86 yards only once and emerged as a viable WR option with John Kitna taking snaps. Tony Romo favors Miles Austin, Jason Witten commands targets and there are three Runningbacks in Dallas who deserve touches. It's nice to see Roy Williams out of the picture, but he was a chump so it's not that big a deal. What is a big deal is Bryant's $24 average price tag. Damn Gina! He's already the 14th most expensive WR at Y! He's going to be a good player, but people are already paying for the speculative bump in stats.
Frank Gore is the Evil Knievel of the NFL. The guy has broken every bone in his body, including his hip last season. Since the '06 season, when he had 312 rushing attempts, Gore has missed 10 games over four seasons. This includes games during our fantasy playoffs in two of those four seasons. Can you trust Frank Gore? I can't. He did me dirty last year. Let's do the rundown: torn ACL (left knee), major surgery on both shoulders, ankle injury, groin injury, broken hip. Normally I don't like to nominate Runningbacks until I have three starters (Flex spot RB), but for Gore I'll make an exception.
Ahmad Bradshaw is another RB I don't mind pushing off the side. He's a bowlegged bastard (source, not my opinion). His "bowlegged ferocity" causes foot and ankle problems, he's an injury waiting to happen. As one of the more expensive RB2s in the draft I can't invest in the unknown commodity. Mad shout outs to all my former Danny Ware promoters.
Tony Gonzalez is an old man. He turned 35 in February, or 53 in NFL years (similar to dog years). Old Man Tony fell off the cliff last season as he averaged only 41 yards per game. He topped 75 yards only once. Despite the obvious decline people are still drafting Gonzo as a Top 8 Tight End. Tony will likely be the teams fourth option on offense as he takes a back seat to Julio Jones. It could get ugly before he retires at seasons end. Tony won't command a large sum of funny money, but it would be nice to eliminate one person from the Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Owen Daniels and Aaron Hernandez sweepstakes. I usually don't have much money left over for my Tight End position.
I thought about adding Maurice Jones-Drew and Steven Jackson to this list, but it's likely that someone else will nominate these players in the early going. I would rather have people spending big monies on Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers before they try to trump my bid on a Runningback. Plus as long as those two are still available people will be less likely to outbid me for the better options at RB. I try to avoid nominating Runningbacks unless I have filled my quota.
There are a lot of other (cheaper) potential busts that we could nominate, but sometimes it's better to let those players sit for awhile. Auction drafts have ebbs and flows where managers will spend freely or enter thrift mode. It's always nice to have a stash of busts to nominate for when people start going crazy (when they realize they have a lot of money and the player pool is thinning). The potential busts that I like to nominate early on are the ones that command big price tags.
Did I forget anyone? Should Dwayne Bowe and his 15 TD from last year be put up for bid right away? Is Jeremy Maclin overrated at $23 cash? The comment section is all yours. Peace - @andrewakamds
Wasn't comparing DJax to Lelie. Just stating a mathematical fact and using Lelie as an example. History is littered with career years followed by disappointments. Vick threw the ball 43 times against the Vikes, let's not extrapolate numbers from a two-game sample size. The bottom line is he vastly overachieved early on, is overrated and presents a large risk to anyone who heavily invests. Someone who takes Vick in Rd 1 or 2 will have to spend a Rd 8 or 9 pick on a backup QB. Taking a QB this early is a mistake and having to spend a mid-rd pick on another just hurts your RB/WR corps even more. He's all yours.
@andrewakamds By comparing the "flame ignition", drawing lessons from, and speaking towards regression by using Lelie as an example is exactly what 'comparing to' is, whether player or situation. Also Plummer was even better statistically the following year but because of scheme wasn't as valuable in fantasy. The scheme in Philly isn't changing. No one is saying Vick will be the same magnanimous player he was last year (i'm not even saying that). But even taking into account regression (as laid out in the math I listed with projections), it still makes it seem like he's the #1 QB in pts per game or even top 2 with mixing in a backup for 4-6 games.
You say not to extrapolate from those 2 games, yet you used those 2 very games to make a judgement call in your first criticism in that "defenses figured him out". And I only played devil's advocate using the same argument to refute the claims because of my own biased beliefs. And I'm not arguing to say buy into career years. But what if the regressed career year is still among the best? The argument reminds me of Jose Bautista this year. People dismissed him saying, "nah won't happen again...career year". But the truth was that even with regression, he'd still be superior in value.
Your sentiment with anything sports related has been among the most valuable I've come across and I only wished to add a perspective that differed. I just think the breadcrumbs lead me to believe in Vick this year as the #1 QB, even with regression. And based on Yahoo's ADP, you could always grab someone like Flacco in rd 11 or Bradford in rd 12 as a backup. Also, even with pushing back a RB/WR pick, you might lose 2 pts per week at that one draft pick, while gaining maybe 4-5 from Vick (net positive).
@FantasyTom we shouldn't be talking Rd 1 - 8 anyway. This is about auction drafting and my personal nominations. I don't play in 10-12 teamers. Flacco would cost you a minimum of $12-14 in my leagues. That's $50 at the QB position. I would call that an awful way to assemble a team, especially when I play with FLEX (WR/RB) spots.
@FantasyTom I've grown bored talking about Vick. Like I said, he's all yours. Enjoy spending $35 on him.
What year was it when Ashlie Lelie caught a bunch of 40-yard passes and ignited flames in everyone's hearts only to be a bust the next season? Lesson: do not pay for all those 60-yard TD passes he threw to D.Jackson. Lots of huge plays = lots of room for regression.
@andrewakamds Granted Lelie was a speedy big-play guy, but him and Djax aren't brothers from another mother. Lelie had 1 season of 3+ TDs. DJax has averaged 8 over 3 seasons. In the year that followed, Lelie's complements were a 35 year old Rod Smith, 32 year old Mike Anderson, and Tatum Bell. Oh and his QB was Jake 'The Snake' Plummer. Anyone who thought a repeat performance was in place ate too many paint chips.
The Eagles offense is a LOT different and contains a LOT more talent. And take what they have been and add even more personnel and line help. The argument commonly made was that MIN and GB "figured him out". And that was not the case at all (from a fantasy perspective which is all that matters). And to think that a) all teams will replicate the strategies let alone have the guys to even attempt that and b) that Vick and the offense won't adjust as well may prove to be naive.
In about 11 full games, Vick essentially threw 21 td's, 3000 yards passing, 675 yards rushing, 9 rushing td's, and only 6 interceptions. Let's say he plays 12 games this year. Would 2800 yards, 18 pass td's, 600 yards rushing, 8 rush td's, and 12 int be a fair projection? I'd say so. And that comes to over 22 pts per game, which is far and away the top QB per game. If you were to go even more conservative, it still puts him in competition to be the #1 QB, no? I'm not expecting him to make mockery of the position but even with regression (and ignoring personnel improvements), he still appears to be numero uno.
Maclin has come into camp around 15 pounds lighter due to having Mono in the off-season. He seems especially risky to me this year. But the one guy I'd suggest nominating early on is Greg Jennings. With Finley back in the fold, he is likely to be more of a deep threat vs the go-to-guy. Over the last 15 games that both Finley and Jennings played together, Jennings has gone 64-1008-6. He will NOT be on my team this year.
Few expect Lloyd to repeat (otherwise his ADP would be a good deal higher), but he is still overrated. But don't think Thomas will emerge (won't even be ready for the start of the season) or that Tebow will take away his value. Lloyd's 3 game pace with Tebow was nearly the same as his year's totals (small sample for sure though). I don't think 70-1250-9 is out of the question, particularly if Orton remains for most of the games.
With Welker, Ocho actually helps his value (WW was at his best with a good Randy Moss to open things up). The increased usage of 2 TE sets will also open up the defense more for him over the middle. Just don't hope for more than 900-1000 yards and 5 td's (PPR only).
Bryant is being priced to production and anytime that happens for an up and comer, usually results in many a disgruntled customer.
Gore is likely to be a PPR special as well, considering the scheme they'll employ, but won't be worth his price tag.
Vick is overrate for sure. But even in the GB/MIN games at the end where defenses "figured him out", he still scored 23.9 pts per game (assuming 25 pass yds per pt and not counting fumbles). That is easily tops in the league. And considering that was against 2 of the toughest defenses in the league, that he has more reps and scheming with first-team offense (one of the best QB coaches in the league too), AND they added a few good bodies on the line as well as Ronnie Brown...he is likely to repeat those "figured out" games for the year. The ONLY concern should be health which is an obvious major asterisk. But even with 10 games of Vick and 6 of a decent backup like Freeman, he is still largely ahead of his peers.
Dez Bryant seems alot like Jason Heyward to me. Alot of year 2 hype, but I'm not paying the inflated price only on speculation. Given Dez may break out as a top 20 WR this year, it's not worth the steep price. I'm shopping for value. Give me Mike Williams TB all day!
I see a lot of people on Tweeter telling Mr. Berry that he changed their mind about Vick. Kind of interested in seeing the ADP differences between ESPN and Y!
Only $1? That's highway robbery. You can afford a solid backup, you'll probably need one. As soon as Starbs gets his in we'll post composite QB ranks.
My eyes go pretty wide when seeing how some people are valuing Vick this season (especially Berry). Won't be paying for him in any redraft leagues. I do have him in a keeper league for $1 though so I am crossing my fingers he stays healthy.