Approx. 12:49 EDT September, 9 2012: laptop illuminates your retinas, the scent of slow-cooked game sweetness serenades your nostrils, a chilled Kool-Aid and brandy sweats onto a football-shaped coaster, as you twist your gas station purchased NFL lid frontward and backward then drum In the Air Tonight-style on your keyboard and slap “Enter” completing your 5th flex starter change today (we call this the game-changer). In the defensive virtual football battlefield us savages face comparable conundrums, but when the rent-a-refs spot the pigskin September 9 we all start fresh no matter how neurotic or materially equipped the individual. It’s foolhardy and hardly fool-proof to prognosticate victory before week 1 concludes. Nevertheless, it’s natural to feel accomplished after online drafting until your eyes lock up or staining buffalo sauce on your onesie during that live pajama draft party that sounded fantastic at a certain segment in time. Regardless of format one must exude confidence around his or her picks, as the computer-stored fantasy football franchise sinks or swims based on one’s draft results. Although “winning” a fantasy draft does not mean you’re winning the league due to: injuries (2011 Eric Berry), sleepers hit the alarm clock button popularized by Chris Rix (2011 Mike Williams (TB)), scheme changes occur (2011 Lawrence Timmons), and before you can crack your first Oktoberfest someone’s dropped Chad “89” for DeMarco Murray and also dispels of Michael Huff for Sean Lee tipping the scales like an Al Haynesworth physical on Thanksgiving night.
Without further ado/sentimental-stream-of-consciousness here are some notable selections yours truly made in a recent 14 team IDP keeper league draft (full team draft results and scoring specifications provided below). If your draft isn’t a bias-clouded, dogmatic lens of virtual football intuition than I say U better recognize!
1) Eric Berry (Round 7) – From the outside looking in this league’s scoring might seem Gallagher-at-a-county-fair-vegetable-contest-whacky from the defensive player scoring standpoint. However, as I mentioned in my pilot piece, evening out the defensive player scoring with the offensive side of the ball proves entertaining and logical. Nonetheless, perception is reality and in this league offensive players go first, therefore I attempted to front load my draft with offensive difference-makers and roll the dice on high upside IDPs like Eric Berry in the middle rounds.
2) Luke Kuechly (Round 8) — This 3-year Chestnut Hill, MA resident resides as the textbook tackling rookie ILB to draft this year from an individual defensive player point of view. Hold the instant impact phone, as Kuechly now finds himself slated to line up on the outside of the talented, albeit injury-prone Carolina linebacker corps. His WLB spot still didn’t hinder my mid-round draft-button trigger finger. There’s more certainty around Albert Puljols’ actual age than Beason and Davis’ ability to stay on the field, so Luke’s versatility makes him a useful IDP chip to stash.
3) Brian Cushing (Round 9) — Possessing a physicality that allows him to treat oncoming blockers like Jon Snow’s sparring opponent, Cush needed to be rolled up into my roster in the middle rounds. The sky is the limit for Cushing at the age of 25, as he should garner more tackle opportunities with the departure of DeMeco Ryans. I was surprised to see Cush fall to me in the 9th round with most IDP ‘perts projecting a point production uptick similar to Bobby Valentine’s blood pressure while motioning to the bullpen. After reaching for the former Boston College Golden Eagle the round prior I was quickly forced to shuffle my draft queue in pursuit of a more established LB2/LB3 option. Cushing is the better 8th round pick from redraft rankings standpoint, so I consider myself lucky that he slipped to this spot.
4) Trent Cole (Round 10) – Netting Cole as my DL1 almost made me drop the Carlton dance after watching overvalued household name commodities fall off the board (i.e. Freeney and Peppers) just before. If I miss out on the top tier linemen (i.e. J.P.P and Allen) I typically try to stash wildcards due to the drastic production decrease at the position, but this school of thought was dismissed as the rock-solid Cole emerged as we rounded out the middle rounds.
5) Malcolm Jenkins (Round 13) – Unable to secure my 2011 Rip Van Winkle twinkle/twinkle little defensive back Morgan Burnett it was imperative that I grabbed the newest member of the broken alarm clock club: Jenkins. Coming off of a spectacular preseason the recently named Saints defensive captain will be busy defending against a pass-happy schedule. I’m expecting around 6 solos a game with some explosive playmaking ability sprinkled in like crushed Oreos on your mudslide.
Solo Tackle = 2 points, Assist = 1 point, Sack = 6 points, Interception = 6 points, Forced Fumble = 6 points, Fumble Recovery = 6 points, Pass Defended = 4 Points
QB, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, W/R, K, D, D, D, DB, DB, DL, DL, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN