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Well, after one long Friday night of friendship and camaraderie, the College Football Fantasy Draft 2014 is in the books.
I can't say that I am terribly happy with my draft. I was drafting for myself and about 4 other guys while running the clock and writing down draft picks. That made it a little hard for me to keep my head on straight. You would think I would learn. Same thing happened last year. OK, so I can't complain too much about last year. I lost to the eventual champion. Who happened to be my boss. So, if you are going to lose to anyone, make it your boss. Or your wife.
Ironically, my wife and my boss are both playing this year. My wife may have drafted the best team in teh league, BTW....
Anyway, so I lost in the first round of the playoff last year. But, it was minutes after the Prayer in Jordan-Hare. As I exited the stadium, I saw that my kicker had been injured in warmups and didn't play. I ended up losing by 1 point or some such. At least that's how I remember it. It's hard to be mad when you win a game like that.
Anyway, so I wrote a decent piece about the Top QBs in Fantasy Football. Guess what. I didn't draft any of them. Why? Because I knew my opponents would be reading it. Suckers. Just kidding. I was a mid-round pick and all those guys were drafted. Instead, I put into effect the "Double Point Strategy." Sorta....
So, here is who I drafted and why.
Shane Cardin, ECU-As a junior, Carden threw 33 TDs and only 10 INTs on his way to 4,000 yards . I will take that ratio. He is a returning senior who has the rare benefit of have a returning senior target in Justin Hardy. He is projected at 370 fantasy points, which is good for 8th overall. However, unlike the rest of the top 20, he doesn't play near the amount of competition. My only real drawback is, he is no threat to run the ball. In this league, rushing points are worth double. But, considering that he has been a stud for several years, he was as safe a bet to carry my team as my QB1 as I could find. On the very next round, I was planning to draft Hardy, so that I could get double points. That is, for every TD, Hardy is awarded 6 points, as is Cardin. Even better is that Hardy is far and away his #1 target. What I don't want is to draft a QB and a WR from the same team if the WR isn't a clear cut favorite. Alas, it wasn't meant to be and Hardy was drafted right before me. Cardin was my overall first pick.
Bo Wallace, Ole Miss-As stated above, rushing yards are worth double. Despite being one of the hottest commodities in fantasy, Wallace has a history of being boom or bust. It's worth mentioning that no one should pin their hopes on an SEC player simply because of the level of competition. That being said, against the mid-pack in the SEC or non-conference matchups, Wallace is a solid play, especially since he is already carded as a Heisman watch. Freeze won't pull Wallace when they are up big, as he wants to pile up the stats. Wallace has proven to be a gritty competitor who can take hits. Just don't play him against top compeitiion. I took him as my 2nd pick, as I identified that Treadwell was likely to be open. With Moncreif gone to the NFL, Treadwell is the clear #1 target. Though Treadwell didn't have monster stats, he started as a true freshman in the slot and had over 70 catches. Surely he will move to the outside as the deep threat.
Terrance Broadway, UL-Laf- Broadway is a player that I have had my eyes on for about 2 years. He has matured as a run first, very raw QB to a decent dual threat player. Each year he has made strides in his completion percentage. But, he throws a TON of INTs. But, he rushed for 12 TDs last year, making him a decent player despite the INTs. He is a senior, giving me faith that his maturity will keep him out of trouble. Additionally, he has to be thinking about making an NFL roster, so while he can run and he will run, he won't be taking the shots. UL-Laf does play some good competition from time to time, yet, he is more of a threat against top competition, logging 3 games with over 35 points against good defenses.He is a solid play against Sunbelt competition this year, though he has had letdown games in the past.
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska-back to back 1,000 rush yard years, with over 1,600 yards in 2013. Abdullah averaged a jaw dropping 130 yards per game. The problem? 9 total rushing TDs in 2013. That's an amazingly paltry number for a guy who ran for as many yards. He has 20 TDs in his career, where a player with 1,600 yards should have 20 TDs a year. Surely that streak can't keep up. He also has 4 career receiving TDs to complement him. The bottom line? He isn't a big fantasy numbers guy because of the lack of TDs. But, he is good for a lot of yards. If you can start a flex RB who is a short yardage guy, you are in business. Personally, the TDs HAVE to go up. And he will have a monster year. Pelini hasn't put together a passing attack at Nebraska, though Kenny Bell (I didn't draft) will remain one of the top deep threat players in the game. Abdullah will be the work horse. Even if he picks up a few more TDs, he will be a game breaker.
Storm Woods, Oregon St-Though I didn't draft Woods last year, he may have been one of the biggest busts of the year. It didn't help that he was out for two straight weeks midseason. During the 5 game skid in 2013, he scored a total of 24 points in Pac-12 play. On the other side of the equation, Mannion put up big numbers while playing from behind. Oregon State was an overall bust, and they will be a much better team in 2014. As long as they don't play from behind, Woods will be a threat both toting and catching the rock. Keep in mind that he had receiving yards in every single game.
Kelvin Taylor, Florida-Easily the ONLY bright spot in 2013, Fred Taylor's son managed 500 yards on a terrible offensive team. And I mean terrible. While he will have competition in the backfield, I have a lot of confidence that Taylor is a solid flex RB. I admit that he is a big gamble, but I believe the zone-read with Driskel will explode this year....in a good way.
Jordan Chunn, Troy-I am not so sure about this pick. But, Fantrax had him on the board and I liked what I saw. Specifically that he is 6 feet tall and 226 pounds. He isn't a big flashy guy, but at a school with a spread offense, sometimes you need a short yardage back to pound it in from the 5. In 2013, he only had 2 games without a TD, though he never broke 100 yards. Another SOLID flex player.
Speedy Noil, TAMU- Few players have received the hype that Noil has had heaped upon him. He enrolled in the spring and has been the most impressive player at College Station. A massive flip from LSU, he is expected to contribute immediately as a true freshman. Receiver is probably the only position in the SEC that you can play that early. TAMU lost most all of their receiver corp, though Seales-Jones is back. TAMU isn't a threat to run the ball much out of the backfield. Early indications show that Sumlin wants the ball in his hands as much as possible. This guy is a jet-sweep home run hitter. Just the potential of him running the ball made him worth the draft pick.
Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss-Few players were more impressive to me than Treadwell in 2013. In fact, he amazed me with his ability in the opening game of 2013, on a Thursday night. I penned him immediately as a break out star in 2014. Add in that I had drafted his QB for the "Double Point Strategy" and he was a lock for me. Though he only had a few TDs in 2013, he played in the slot while Moncerif was the deep man who got the long ball. Expect the touches to remain around 70, but the TDs to double.
Gabe Marks, Washington State-Marks caught 74 balls in 2013 for 7 TDs in Leaches 2nd year running the Cougars. Few teams will toss the rock as much as Washington State will. Additionally, when playing a team who starts Halliday, playing Marks and fellow receiver Mayle is a solid strategy. Marks isn't very consistent, but he is able to have monster games. Just not against premier competition.
Vince Mayle, Washington State- 42 catches and 540 yards to go with his 7 TDs, Mayle is a solid player to have in a pinch. Like Marks, he is a solid play against a team starting Halliday.
Mekale McKay-An Arkansas transfer, he had 16 receptions for 500 yards and 7 TDs. He is a deep threat, averaging 21 yards per reception. This is a gamble, but if he catches on, he could be as deadly a deep threat as there is in college football. At 6'6", he is a mismatch against anyone. If Cincinnati can become stable at QB, watch out.
Evan Engram, Ole Miss-In his first 7 games in 2013, he had 3 TDs. In his first 3 games, he was targeted 30 times before heading into the games with Alabama and Auburn. Then, he was hurt in week 7, missing the remainder of the season. Freeze said of Engram's absence. "We changed last year when he went out. We were not the same." This guy is one of the highest rated TEs in the game. Though he is a solid play in and of himself, having him start with Wallace could be a game breaker.
CJ Uzomah, Auburn-Yes, this is a bit of a homer pick, but Uzomah has proven to be an elite redzone target on a team who run the ball nearly 100% of the time inside the redzone in 2013. Hhe has elite size and hands. Auburn won't be the running team it was in 2013, but that isn't a bad thing. With the variety this this Auburn team will flash, it will lend itself to showcasing Uzomah. Malzahn hasn't made it a secret that he wants to get CJ the ball. This kid is special.
Roberto Aguayo, Florida State-Best kicker in the game on the best returning offense in football. I didn't want to draft a kicker at all, but I did. In the 9th round, he was still there.
Auburn-Yes, another homer pick. Auburn's defense hasn't been up to snuff in recent years. But, it's special teams have. I drafted Auburn for one reason alone: the return game. Auburn has the best return man in the country in Corey Taillights Grant. He will have 3 TDs on returns in 2014. Book it.