September 4, 2013

Matt Wilson rates the 2013 Dirty D Draft

I'm sure you all remember Matt Wilson, a (relatively) frequent contributor to this blog. Well, for the second year in a row Wilson took the time to analyze our draft and offer his insight.

Click here to read Wilson's take on last year's draft


So it’s time to review the XFL draft again. Even amateur hour deserves some coverage. This year I got a copy of the drafts results and asked for anything I should be aware of. Props to Bill for going hard. I’ll do a quick write up on each team, post my top 5 best picks, top 5 worst picks, and a Top 3 for the season.

Let me first start off by saying that all of these rosters look kind of loaded after doing multiple 14 team leagues. Yet there were still teams that found a way to leave themselves with no depth. Pretty crazy.

Angry Pirates – When you get Adrian Peterson, you’re off to a good start. I like how this team’s starting lineup filled out in general, but there are some flaws. In spite of his awesome name, I’m an anti-Russell Wilson guy. No running back depth, a gamble at tight end that may or may not even be their top option (I don’t love Gresham, but he’s still there), and a QB in a run first offense with tough divisional defenses. No thanks.

Rental guys – No capital letters, no problem. Another team that I generally like, but there are mistakes. You banking on those James Jones touchdowns? I’m not. It would not surprise me if Jones ends up being their 4th option behind Nelson, Cobb, and Finley. Odds are he is better than Finley, but still wouldn’t surprise me. 4th option, 5th round. Yikes. I go Colston or Nelson before Jones without a thought, then I seriously debate many other options. With all that said, Shorts could be a steal and the receiving core is solid. I am not on the Jordan Cameron bandwagon, though. Vereen gives RB depth; I do like this team, but I’m just not sure they’re a contender.

A Pinch Better – I like this team a lot. I love the value on Darren McFadden. Yes he’s a gamble, but he’s also the 3rd RB here. There are not a lot of teams with a RB3 capable of RB1 value. White and Colston are reliable, Foster and Rodgers are studs. I have a love/hate relationship with Jermichael Finley. All signs seem to point to good things this year. When I doubt him, I remember that ridiculous game he had against Arizona in the postseason. Dude can be a beast when he wants to be. Like the upside on the bench. Biggest flaw is the Defense…don’t love Baltimore…against Denver Week 1. This team is nice.

Godfather – Godfather of what? I can’t take this team name seriously when I see things like Phil Dawson in Round 11. You’re going to cut this guy, man. Why bother? Also hate the reach on the Bears defense. You can’t count on turnovers; they’re all luck. What you’re left with is a team in a division with Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, and Calvin Johnson. Reach city. At least this team didn’t reach on its running backs…oh, wait. Lacy over MJD? C’mon man. As a Packers fan, I feel I am the most qualified person to tell you that you were elected as mayor of reach city. Could it pay off? Sure. But give me the guy who was a top 3 pick two years ago in MJD instead. Receivers are studs, but weak depth.

Boston Patriots – I’m a believer in Chip Kelly, so I’m a believer in the McCoy pick. James asked me to talk him into McCoy at 8 and I think I talked myself into him being a top 5 option. I like some of the backs he passed on, but don’t hate the pick at all. I actually really like this entire starting lineup – and all of the receivers. What I dislike is the depth. Mendenhall is at least a start, but PT Cruiser? Just don’t see upside here. Trade one of the WRs for a RB and we’re in business.

Team Ice Cream – Two years in a row I like the draft plan. Wait on QB is a solid play. I’m pretty sure I originated dominating PPR leagues with RBs that catch passes. Yeah, originated. Fuck the experts – I started that trend. ESPN doesn’t even do PPR as default yet; get on board. I am all aboard the Reggie Bush train this year. I just have a hunch that this is the year people go “oh yeah, dude was a beast at USC”. Love the running back depth. He has that on lockdown. Adam will have made a trade involving a back within two weeks – lock it up. Receivers are okay – I like Garcon, don’t love him. Give me Wayne, Bowe, or Colston before I go Garcon. Also like Antonio Brown over Desean Jackson, though as I said before, I believe in Chip Kelly so he could be a stud. Clearly Adam was sitting on Luck or Vick but shit happens. Running back headed to Eat More Chicken for a QB package?

A1 Providers – Let’s start with the positive. I like the receivers on this team. A lot. I think Brian Hartline is a steal and that’s the #5 option. If you know me, you know I love Brandon Marshall so that’s also a great foundation. The issues here are at other positions. Running back depth is a huge problem. Perhaps Frank Gore was the pick and the Tahiti Loungers sniped him, but I’m probably wrong. Ryan is good, don’t get me wrong, but the difference of Ryan to Romo, who would have been available a round later is far less than the upside of adding Giovani Bernard. I’d much rather the trio of Bernard, Romo, and Vereen than Ryan, Bradshaw, and Steve Smith (given the WR draft acquired later) here. That would have been possible based on where people were drafted. Finally, I felt Owen Daniels was a huge reach in the 7th rd ahead of a number of TE options. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, the mistake is made worse with two more tight ends on the bench. Turn Owen Daniels into Mark Ingram and I feel a lot better here.

Tahiti Loungers – I know James was worried about what to do with the 8th pick, so naturally the Las Vegas Outlaws and Birmingham Thunderbolts let him get one of his targeted guys. After that, he grabs Jimmy Graham and Drew Brees for the Saints connection. Monsters. While I did not originate this idea like I did winning with PPR backs, I was a definite advocate for being the one who took Jimmy Graham and adding Brees is gravy. Think about when you look at who you are playing – aren’t you pissed every time you see you’re the one playing against Brees or Graham? The running back depth is still solid too, with Gore, Ball, and Vick Ballard (Ahmad Bradshaw is a clown). So receivers must suck? Nope, still grabs Jordy Nelson. I am taking credit for this pick as days before the draft, I bet James that Jordy would outperform Randall Cobb this year. Just like I gave him mental permission to take Brandon Marshall last year, I convinced him to take Nelson.(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is ridiculous. I've been a Jordy fan for a long time. Traded for him last year in this league.) Stud. It’s upside city with the other WRs. I like Austin and Thompkins, though I’m not crazy about Floyd or Jeffery. In a 12 team XFL league though, he’ll find replacements.

Crossing Guards – Decent team, especially considering it was auto-drafted. The running backs aren’t terrible with Lynch, Ingram, and Powell. He needs another, but making a trade seems to come easy in this league. I won’t beat up the Matt Bryant pick since it was uncontrollable. In the end, auto draft definitely did better than some people who were there. Amateur hour.

Comeback Story – I like this team. Having no defense is a hole, but picking up the Indy defense for Week 1 (The RAIDERS!) would fix that. Brady is a stud, paired up with Amendola. Great combination…if Amendola is healthy. I am all aboard TY Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders, and Andre Roberts are quality upside guys though. Since I own Alfred Morris in another league, I have sold myself on him. I definitely don’t take him before Forte or Richardson, but it is what it is. I do like Steven Jackson in Rd 2. He’s the definition of an unsexy pick, but the dude is a workhorse. Obviously he is older now, but just take a look at his stats from 2006. If Atlanta is going to include him in the passing game, and he can catch, he can be a  star. Top 5 overall RB upside. Richardson, Ivory, and Hillman give us five starters – yes, some of them suck – but it beats most options on other teams. Tony Gonzalez was a reach…especially ahead of Gronkowski and Witten, but the team still fills out fairly well behind that.

Eat More Chicken – This is a good team. Everyone hates the Cowboys, everyone hates Tony Romo, but the guys just produce for fantasy. In a separate league, there was a team I played against last year that had Romo, Dez, Miles Austin, AND Jason Witten and they won the league. The guys can produce, there are no two ways about it. Dez Bryant and Andre Johnson at WR are obviously solid. Forte (plus his handcuff Michael Bush) should be a strong option. While I am a believer in Lamar Miller, he is still risky, and there’s not a lot of depth at RB here. Even the biggest Romo supporters are smart to grab someone like Andrew Luck. If a WR is dealt for a RB, this team will be tough to beat.

Victorious Secret – Running backs? Check. Quarterback? Check.  Tight end? Check. Wide receivers? Risk mania. Welker has upside, but until I know how Manning is going to divvy up those targets, I can’t support him too much…especially with some of the options available there. After owning Hakeem Nicks last year, I can say the guy is a dick. Get on the field! He is a beast when he plays, but I have so much faith in him that I own Rueben Randle in multiple leagues this year. I hate Notre Dame, I hate Russell Wilson, I hate replacement refs that make bad calls that screw the Packers, so I hate Golden Tate. Then there’s the San Diego situation with Brown/Floyd. I would have rather seen her go all in on one of them and then grab another backup running back, but oh well. Gronk was a huge steal; were you guys all too drunk at the Deutschebank to realize he will probably be back in Week 3? Another solid effort by Kait.

Steals of the draft

5. MJD 23rd overall – Top Five RB upside paired with Doug Martin. Tough for all these teams that I criticized their running back depth

4. Knowshon Moreno Rd 13 – Again, RB depth is a huge problem this year. He is the only RB that Peyton Manning trusts right now and he was kind of decent playing the Joseph Addai role to Manning last year down the stretch. Love the upside here.

3. Brian Hartline Rd 12 – Yeah, I’m all in on Hartline. He was a 1000 yard receiver last year with no other weapons for Tannehill. Wallace is the deep threat, but Hartline will be the target monster.

2. Darren Sproles Rd 3 – Go ahead, let Adam dominate the running backs. See how you like it when he’s raping you on trades.

1. Darren McFadden Rd 5 – As I said before, the guy is frustrating as hell. However, there aren’t a lot of guys with first round upside hanging around in the 5th round. Go big or go home.

Honorable mention – Rob Gronkowski Rd 6 – He missed 5 games last year and still had 800 yards and 11 TDs. If he misses the first 2, he will be healthy for 14. Just saying.

Reach of the draft

5. Tony Gonzalez Rd 5 – It’s not the player, it’s the players he was taken before. Witten and Gronk? Come on now.

4. Chicago defense Rd 9 – They aren’t good enough that I would think about not cutting them, so why waste the early pick? Have fun against their schedule.

3. Eddie Lacy – 22nd Overall – Nobody wants him to be a beast more than me, but there were so many safer options. Yikes.

2. Owen Daniels 7th rd – Mindblowing. Ahead of Olsen, Finley, Gates, Cameron, Myers, etc. Kyle Rudolph went six rounds later. I just don’t get this one. Injury risk in a run first offense – no thanks.

1. Phil Dawson – not in the last (two) rounds – Amateur. Hour.

Honorable mention – Jonathan Dwyer Rd 11 – Dude’s not on a team, bro. Only reason this isn’t a Top 5 reach is I’m assuming you just missed that news because you were too hammered or something. But it did happen Saturday – rough pick.

So now your Top 3…

As I said before, all these amateur teams look good compared to the 14 team league roster’s I’ve become accustomed to these days (to clarify, 14 teams versus 12 teams is not what makes this the minor leagues).

3. Eat More Chicken – This is all about my confidence in Lamar Miller. I feel good enough Lamar Miller (think Doug Martin last year) to put this team in the Top 3). Nobody goes undefeated and the starters match up with anyone.

2. A Pinch Better – As I said above, there are not a lot of holes here. Arian Foster worries me a little, but he is backed up by Tate. If Finley finally lives up to the hype, they could be #1.

1. Tahiti Loungers – The upside for the receivers could pay off and bump the team up, but it could also all fall apart there. Love the Saints combo though; that’s trouble. I didn’t want to rate James #1, but you left me no choice. (Editors Note: Haters Fuel Me)

Honorable mention: Team Ice Cream…if the QB play worked out a little better, I’d feel better. There’s still a ton of potential here. Trade it up.

Less honorable mention: Dan has a similar draft to last year. Generally good, but James Jones and Jordan Cameron in particular drop him out of the contenders for me.

So keep in mind this is all in fun. I know many of the owners in this league; if you’re one of the few I don’t know, don’t take it personally. I’m sure you’re good at other things; your draft just sucked.

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