After two weeks of previews here on Pride of Detroit, I was finally ready for my first fantasy football draft of the season. The league is just a group of my friends that all love football. As I have stated before, I would discuss my picks after I completed the draft. Yesterday, I went through and picked sixteen times. Overall, I feel pretty good about the team, so let's get right into it and see what I got. The tentative starting roster, or at least the picks that filled each spot, will be released and analyzed today. The rest of the roster that includes the late-round picks will be announced later on.
In the first of the many fantasy football previews, I discussed the basics. One of the things I said was that you should build your roster around a quarterback. That was before I got the number one pick overall. Yes, I was the lucky one who got the choice of any player in the league. The number one pick isn't great just because you get the first choice of any player, but also because you get back-to-back picks throughout the rest of the draft (more on that later). Getting the first pick changed my thinking process quite a bit. I narrowed my list of potential picks down to three players; all running backs. It was either going to be Shaun Alexander, Larry Johnson, or LaDainian Tomlinson. In the end, I went with LT.
LaDainian Tomlinson (Chargers) - 1st Overall
As I said in the last paragraph, I had my list of potential number ones down to three players. My reasoning behind taking Tomlinson was because of a few things. Mainly, I think LT is one of the best players in the league because of his explosiveness and versatility. The minor reasons are that Shaun Alexander lost his best offensive lineman in Steve Hutchinson, and he's on the cover of Madden. I don't like to succumb to superstition, but it's become more then a coincidence. Larry Johnson is ranked as the number one overall player in many fantasy previews, but I'm not 100% convinced just yet. He had an unbelievable season in 2005, but is going to have a tougher road in 2006.
Tomlinson is going to have to be involved even more then usual this coming season since Phillip Rivers won't be a star like Drew Brees right off the bat. It'll take Rivers some time to adjust, and until then, LT will be getting the majority of the Chargers' touches.
Jake Delhomme (Panthers) - 24th Overall
My short list of possible quarterback picks was narrowed down to Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Jake Delhomme. Both Manning and Brady were taken by the time the picks got back to me, so I was left to take Jake Delhomme. Here's where the back-to-back picking came in. If I did not have two straight choices, then I may not have taken Delhomme, but rather hoped he went unnoticed until I got another chance to select him. Luckily, I did have those consecutive choices, so I went with Delhomme. With receivers like Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson, Delhomme will be near the top of the league. I like Delhomme a lot, and was very happy with the selection.
Chris Chambers (Dolphins) - 25th Overall
Since I had already taken a running back and a quarterback, it was now time to start filling up the wide receiver position. The WR spot was very popular in the first two rounds of the draft, so I was left without any of the bigger-named stars to choose from. After looking through which WRs were left, I decided to go ahead and take Chris Chambers. Chambers had a breakout season in '05, and will have a great chance of improving on that in '06 with new quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
Joey Galloway (Buccaneers) - 48th Overall
Since the wide receiver position needs to be very deep as there is more starting spots, I decided to grab another player to fill some of those holes. With what was available after the first 47 picks, I was lucky to find Joey Galloway still on the board. Galloway had a very good 2005 season and will hope to continue that into 2006. The quarterback position in Tampa will be somewhat questionable as Chris Simms is suffering from an injury, but I think that'll just add to how much of an impact Galloway can make.
Todd Heap (Ravens) - 49th Overall
Moving down the list of positions with empty spots, I decided that I would pickup a tight end next. The main reason? Well, because Todd Heap was still available. Heap was one of the best TEs last season, and with an experienced quarterback like Steve McNair, he will be even more effective.
Ruben Droughns (Browns) - 72nd Overall
With priority of the more important positions still in mind, I looked at my roster and found that the running back spot still needed another starter. Much to my surprise, a lot of running backs had already been taken, even some of the rookies I was eyeing. Since the potential picks weren't that broad, I decided to draft Ruben Droughns of the Browns. Droughns may not have that great of a team around him, but since he is the only featured back, he'll receive a lot of carries.
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense - 73rd Overall
Before my next pick arrived, some of the top defenses were scooped out from under me. I was hoping to pickup either Chicago or Carolina, but they were drafted right before me. I still was able to land a solid defense that helped lead the Steelers to a Super Bowl crown.
Brandon Lloyd (Redskins) - 96th Overall
Still in need of a third starting wide receiver, I scoped out the players still available from that position before my next pick. Out of all the names I only saw a few that stood out, and one was Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd was a solid receiver on a very mediocre 49ers team last season, and now he joins the Redskins, who have a great passing attack. He will not see the ball as much as he did in San Francisco since teammate Santana Moss is the featured WR, but that'll just open up his coverage.
Lawrence Tynes (Chiefs) - 97th Overall
After my first 8 picks, only one position remained open. That was the kicker spot. I purposely waited and waited until I had to take a kicker since I knew who I wanted, and figured that he would be around for quite some time. Adam Vinatieri and Neil Rackers were taken early-on, so the best two rankings-wise were gone. That left me with Chiefs' kicker Lawrence Tynes. Tynes is not as good when looking at the stats, but he's got an offense that'll put him in position to kick lots of PATs that add up after a while. In my mind, this was a steal.
There you have it. That's what the first nine picks of my fantasy draft looked like, and that'll probably be what the starting roster for week one looks like as well. Next up, Pride of Detroit will take a look at my final seven picks of the draft and see how I did in the later rounds.