21 October 2008

General update

I've been ranting about politics for a while now so I thought that I'd use this time to talk about some other, non-political things.

I'm going to start by sharing an update on the status of my fantasy football team. We stink.

After 7 weeks, I've compiled a wretched 2-5 record and I'm averaging less than 110 points a week, which ain't all that good. A healthy part of the problem has been the status of the players I drafted. In general, I think that my strategy (focus on receivers who have lots of catches and rookie running backs) was sound, but that my execution could use serious improvement.

Anyway, here's the status of the guys I drafted:

Still with the squad:
Round 1: Braylon Edwards, WR, CLE
Round 3: Jason Witten, TE, DAL
Round 4: Wes Welker, WR, NWE
Round 5: Matt Forte, RB, CHI
Round 7: San Diego Defense
Round 8: Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
Round 11: Jake Delhomme, QB, CAR

Round 2: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, CIN (traded for Amani Toomer and Randy McMichael, both of whom have been subsequently cut. Ironically, Housh has been subsequently traded)
Round 9: Felix Jones, RB, DAL (traded with Jackson and Fasano for Lee Evans and Eli Manning)
Round 10: Vincent Jackson, WR, SDG
Round 13: Anthony Fasano, TE, MIA

Round 6: Marc Bulger, QB, STL
Round 12: Davone Bess, WR, MIA
Round 14: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
Round 15: Kevin Jones, RB, CHI
Round 16: Phil Dawson, K, CLE

I replaced Dawson with Gostkowski. I replaced Bulger with O'Sullivan and then cut him. I dropped Bess, Bradshaw, and Jones, and have worked through several WRs and RBs, including Steve Smith (from the Giants, not the Panthers), Reggie Brown, Koren Robinson, Duece McAllister, and Ricky Williams.

Now, what have I learned from all of this? Next time, I shouldn't simply go with WRs who rake in passes because situations can change and without proper research, it can blow up in your face. Had I known that the Bengals gutted their offensive line, I might have been able to avoid selecting Houshmanzadeh that high because a WR is only as good as the QB throwing to him and Palmer hasn't had the time in the pocket to make the throws.

Also, when it comes to any player whose job it is to catch the ball, see how often they get the ball thrown to them. Something I heard about a week before my draft was that while TO is Tony Romo's deep connection, his favorite receiver is still Jason Witten. That was all I needed to hear to bump Witten on my board.

What I also learned was that you should really think twice before picking a QB higher than the 8th round. Yeah, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady put up gaudy stats, but when your league gives you 1 point per 25 passing yards and 1 point per 10 receiving yards (plus a point per reception), receivers offer better value in the higher rounds.

And, lastly, never draft a defense/special teams unit before the 12th round. Unless you're going after the Chicago Bears, there isn't any significant difference between the #2 ranked defense and the #12 ranked defense so don't waste the draft pick.

I guess those are things to think about next year.

Another thing on my mind is music. I was digging through a stack of old backup CDs and I came across a CD with a bunch of MP3s on it. On of them, was a track from Tribe of Judah called "Left for Dead" that my buddy Joe hooked me up with. Tribe of Judah is Gary Cherone's post Van Halen project. The track isn't bad at all. Thanks again, Joe!

And of course, we have the Red Sox. The dirt dawgs made a season out of it by not only beating the Angels
(who only posted the best record in baseball this year) in the Division round playoffs, but took the Rays to Game 7 of the ALCS after being down 3 games 1 and trailing by 7 runs going into the bottom of the 7th inning of game 5. Kudos to them because I really had moments this year when I doubted their ability to make the playoffs, let alone win a game or a series. They really surprised me and I'm very happy to have enjoyed the season as much as I did.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how things transpire this offseason. The Sox have some very hard decisions to make regarding two guys who've appeared in 5 American League Championship Serieses with the Sox, namely Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek. They need to add depth to their bench as well as a quality right-handed bat to the bench. There's also the starting pitching which is very much in flux right now as well. It's going to be a very interesting November in Red Sox nation.

My last thought before I close this post is this: the most anticipated (at least, most talked about) album of the decade is actually due to be released next month. Yes, Guns N Roses' "Chinese Democracy" actually has a release date, November 25th. I'll wait until I hear something from it before I even consider buying it because the idea of GNR without Slash, Duff, or Matt is almost as bad as Boston without Brad Delp.

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