Tag:Todd Heap
Posted on: May 2, 2008 5:23 pm

Draft days

It's been busy here at the office. Next week, I have two feature stories due for our annual Fantasy magazine; one is written, the other is an easy write. It's chasing down people to get quotes for the stories that's the tough part, but hopefully next week rolls by without incident.

I spent part of my week this week, however, drafting. Yes, in April (technically it was April). Krause Publications held their annual expert's draft, which I got to be a part of. I always look forward to this draft because it features Fantasy luminaries (is that really a good word to describe us?) such as Greg Ambrosius, Adam Caplan, John Hansen and former co-worker, Michael Fabiano. In fact, all of us are in the same division! No doubt, it's going to be a tough league.

I can't divulge the complete results, only my results. I picked 4th in the odd rounds, 9th in the even rounds. We start 3 WRs and a FLEX on top of 2 RBs, 1 QB, 1 TE, etc. There are points per reception; the rest of the scoring is how you'd expect it. Here are the notables ...

ROUND 1: Brian Westbrook. Pretty standard after LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson went off the board. And NOT in that order.

ROUND 2: Larry Fitzgerald. While the running backs weren't entirely thin, I didn't want to lose out on getting TWO good WRs. Fitzgerald's potential for 100 receptions played a big role. Maurice Jones-Drew was also a consideration.

ROUND 3: Wes Welker.
Really wanted Marques Colston here. Steve Smith, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Braylon Edwards went right before my pick. I passed on Torry Holt.

ROUND 4: Derek Anderson. Running backs were still plentiful, so I was able to pass on them and pick one up in a few picks.

ROUND 5: Julius Jones. Loved getting him here. I expect him to go a full round higher in drafts come August. AND, he was the only RB drafted in the round, so the talent pool that I was staring at heading into this pick was still there for the most part for my next pick.

ROUND 6: Kevin Smith. Big risk-reward pick here, but I figure the Lions will put him in at some point as their starter. I know Tatum Bell can't do it. I picked him over Travis Henry -- big, big risk there. I would have preferred Jonathan Stewart here, but he went earlier in the round.

ROUND 7: Todd Heap. Risk-reward, but doing it with a TE in a Cam Cameron offense. Lock it up.

ROUND 8: Santana Moss. Another player I expect to post a nice season. I may be a former Miami Hurricane like Moss, and I like Moss a lot on a personal level, but I've always been able to pass on him in drafts before, figuring that he'd underperform. In Round 8, I cannot pass him up. I hope he goes off for 1,200 yards.

ROUND 9: Vikings DST. HUGE pick there that will either pay off in spades or flub like a party boat filled with ... nevermind. I secretly hoped this would start a DST run, but I was wayyy off (keep in mind, I did draft with guys who know that DSTs are more plentiful than Britney Spears paparazzi shots).

ROUND 10: Bryant Johnson. Lots of upside playing in Mike Martz's offense. Has the size to be a No. 1. Not much competition for him there. Niners will be behind a lot. Not bad for Round 10.

ROUND 11: Jake Delhomme. A guy everyone reading this should target to be their backup QB in 2008.

ROUND 12: Leon Washington. Another guy I'm stealing. Not only will he see 8-to-10 carries a game, but he'll be a gem if something happens to Thomas Jones. That O-line in New York should be much better this year.

ROUND 13: T.J. Duckett. Backing up Julius Jones, with some upside as a touchdown hog.

ROUND 14: Darren Sproles. Just in case ...

ROUND 15: Lorenzo Booker. Backing up Brian Westbrook.

ROUND 16: Nate Kaeding. The necessary evil of Fantasy Football -- placekickers. My goal is to draft ALL of my kickers with my final pick in every single draft I do between now and when I die.

You may comment on my team and draft strategy below. Would love to hear from you.
Posted on: February 25, 2008 3:02 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2008 3:55 pm

McFadden, rankings changes and an upcoming story

If there wasn't enough hype surrounding Darren McFadden, you can add to it the number 4.33 (or 4.27, depending where you read). That was McFadden's 40-yard-dash time at the combine.

How fast is that? It probably took you longer to read the above sentences than it did for McFadden to run 2/5ths of a football field. That's pretty fast.

McFadden has already been flying off of Fantasy mock draft boards. In two drafts I participated in, he was taken within the first 25 picks (including 17th overall by CBS video host Jason Horowitz). And in a 14-team, three-LEAGUE Fantasy SPORT draft (they pick baseball, football and basketball players), fellow Senior Fantasy Writer David Gonos took McFadden in the fourth round.

So already, people are expecting huge things from him. Nevermind the fact that we don't know where he'll be playing, what kind of an offense he'll be playing in, what kind of passing game will complement him and what kind of offensive linemen are blocking for him.

Gotta love the hype that media and highlights can inject into a player. And I'm not saying it's not completely warranted; McFadden is clearly talented and is very fast with great field vision. But there are still some issues -- like the obvious ones listed above -- that need answering before we put McFadden ahead of Fantasy gems like Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Ronnie Brown, Laurence Maroney and maybe even Shaun Alexander.

Part of the reason for the hype is Adrian Peterson's amazing rookie year. A lot of people are calling McFadden "the next AD." They do have a point -- Peterson has been on the radar since his freshman year at Oklahoma, as has McFadden at Arkansas. If anything, McFadden does not have the injury history that Peterson had when he entered the NFL. That makes him more appealing.

But I would be remiss not to think back TWO years ago when a young collegiate dominator was an assumed Fantasy legend without lacing up a cleat. That was when Reggie Bush was taken second overall by the Saints. Just like McFadden this year, Bush was a pre-draft top-24 pick (and back then it was assumed he'd be a Houston Texan with the No. 1 overall choice). How did he work out as a rookie? As a second-year RB?

All I am saying is give McFadden a chance. Let's see where he gets drafted before we make him a No. 2 Fantasy RB with No. 1 upside. The only team picking in the top 10 where I'd be completely comfortable with McFadden going and being a top-25 pick is Atlanta. Every other team has someone there to split reps with.

Our rankings have changed again. You can find the positional rankings here: cbs.sportsline.com/fantasy/football
and the top 200 here: www.sportsline.com/fantasy/football

Here's what's changed:

Cadillac Williams slides. The Bucs have spoken to DeShaun Foster about signing with them, a clear indication that they're not very confident that Williams will be ready to play in 2008 (there's talk that his torn patella injury is career-threatening). I have a personal interest in Williams; I got to know him when I did his draft diary on NFL.com back in 2004. I'm rooting for him to come back. He's a really good guy with some awful luck when it comes to injuries. Anyway, his value is down on the news.

Donte Stallworth gets cut ... and rises?! The Patriots didn't exercise their option on Stallworth, so it's off to a new team for the speedster with the chronic hamstring. That's a good thing because he won't be playing in Randy Moss' (or Wes Welker's) shadow anymore. Stallworth has the stuff to be a No. 1 receiver for an NFL team and a No. 3 Fantasy WR, if not a little bit higher. Tennessee is a perfect fit for Stallworth, who played collegiately at the Univ. of Tennessee.

Tight end movement. Antonio Gates will have toe surgery and Kellen Winslow had a fourth operation on his microfracture-repaired right knee (scar tissue removal, not a huge procedure). Both of them are iffy for the start of training camp (I believe Winslow is on the NFI list already). Both players remain at 2 and 3, respectively, on our positional list, but they dipped a smidge in the Top 200.

We also failed to consider Todd Heap's potential in Cam Cameron's offense. That's why he's up.

I'm starting work this week on an in-depth story on "out-of-nowhere" running backs and whether or not they can achieve sustained success. The idea behind it is to get an idea on whether or not Ryan Grant and Earnest Graham are going to be good Fantasy picks in 2008. With that in mind, I'll give five stars to anyone who posts in the message board if they can name another running back NOT named Willie Parker or Priest Holmes who was NOT drafted and had several strong Fantasy seasons.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com