The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

A nice cool draft

I've finally recovered from Monday night, so I can actually think enough to write a draft summary.

The draft has come and gone (at least my first draft) and a good time was had by all. The complicated league involved a lot of wheeling and dealing, as well as some savvy salary cap management. (A primer for the uninitiated: there are 2 portions, an auction and a draft. The top 25 players from last year are in the auction, and the draft is like any draft except that the players taken in the first four rounds are like restricted free agents. Other owners can make offers on them, and you have to match the top offer to retain the player). The spending was a bit more restrained this year, as the owners involved, perhaps inspired by the New England Patriots, resisted spending big bucks on star players and instead concentrated on depth. One owner in particular refused to even win an auction player, saving his salary cap room to steal players from the other big spending owners, like me (although I managed to protect Mr. Portis anyway. Haha.).

Here are some observations:

1. I tried a new strategy this year for the auction. I added up the combined cap room of every owner going in, discounted 20% (what I figured everyone would save to protect their restricted free agents) and then assigned values to all of the auction players, using up all of the rest of my cap space figure. By doing this, I thought that I would be able to tell whether or not people were spending too much early, allowing me to get bargains late, or vice versa. It worked fairly well, although since people didn’t spend like they normally do, I overestimated the total amount of money out there.

2. I got Daunte Culpepper for 18 bucks and I felt like a genius. He’s atop 3 QB, guaranteed and in my opinion he should have gone for at least $22.

2a. Danny got Peyton Manning 18 picks later for 17 bucks. He went for 29 last year. I’m starting to feel like less of a genius.

2b. Brett Favre went for $8.50. I’m officially an idiot. Daunte is a better fantasy QB, but he’s not 10 bucks better.

3. Brian Crowley set the fantasy football world record for attempting to draft the most players that had already been taken. I’ve never seen anything like it. Brian had the last pick in the draft, so he always made back to back picks at the end of one round and the beginning of the next. We draft defensive players in this league, and at one point he attempted to draft Rodney Harrison and Jamie Sharper at the same time. Both were already gone and both on the same team. This is annoying but at least it results in some time tested rips like asking in a mocking tone, “hey, is Tomlinson still available” in the 13th round. Good stuff.

4. I kept up my streak of selecting drug addicts (Jimmy Smith, Julius Peppers) with my selection of Ontario Smith. I’m so proud.

5. We had the draft at the Sunset Bowl in Waukesha, WI. We ended up in the kiddy arcade room, because it was the only room with sufficient table space. The machines were all turned on, and every 3 minutes or so this one game made this horrible noise in an attempt to get you to play. Like Krusty the clown yodeling for 30 seconds as loudly as possible. I eventually turned it off, but I don’t think I can go in a Chuck E. Cheese or anything like it for at least a year.

6. Good cheeseburgers at the Sunset Bowl. In the bar they also have a very nice TV setup too.

7. The most expensive player taken was Ladanian Tomlinson at $25.50. He edged out Priest by $.50. I paid $24 for Portis, the same price as Ahman Green.

8. The lowest auction player? Jon Kitna, who set the record with a $2 price tag. It is pretty amazing that a QB who outscored Clinton Portis fantasy-wise last year will not even start for his team this year. Keenan McKardell was second at $8. Man did that guy get ripped off.

9. No one picked Brock Lesnar.

10. Someone did pick Ricky Williams. Good luck with that. Can I interest you in the rights to Barry Sanders? He might come back.

11. Roger flew in from Alaska to be there. Now that is dedication.

12. I believe Stephen Davis went for a mere 2 bucks. That was the steal of the draft.

13. On the way to the draft, I drove by the Elegant Farmer. I did not know that I would do this, as I was following Mapquest directions through back country Illinois, and I don’t really care about the Elegant Farmer (although my wife likes it quite a bit), but it was nice to see the Smiley Barn again on a road trip. It was incredibly stupid of the old Smiley Barn owners to get rid of the face when they became the Amish Barn, and it was similarly brilliant of the Elegant Farmer to purchase it. For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, here is a picture.

14. A fun time was had by all. The last 3 or 4 rounds tend to drag a bit, which is silly because at that point it’s a crapshoot. You’re picking fullbacks, tight ends, and defensive linemen. It should take like 5 minutes to do the whole back end. Shot clock?

15. A production note: The season is a mere 2 weeks away. I will probably try to have everything football related posted by Wednesday every week, by the early afternoon. If you have firewall problems at work, let me know, although you can’t read this right now, so putting it on the site is kind of stupid. I’ll e-mail it to you, old school style.

16. Finally, since I live in Chicago, I am inundated by Bears updates. Believe it or not, they are getting pretty cocky down here, especially the radio personalities. They seem to think the world of Rex Grossman and Justin Gage, and that Adawale Ogunleye will be enough to get them into the playoffs! Seriously. This raises my prospects of the entertainment value of the upcoming season immensely, as nothing in this world is better than seeing the high expectations of a Bears fan crushed into little itty-bitty pieces.

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