It’s come to this, people. I’ve been watching preseason football.
Now let’s not kid ourselves here. Preseason football is barely football. It’s basically a two-team practice that gets televised. Don’t ever listen to anyone who tries to convince you that there are stakes for these teams. There are no stakes. There are only mistakes. See: Tony Romo, now out until midseason. (And what team was it that gave him the hit that gave him the injury? Seahawks, naturally. We all agree we hate those guys by now, right? Not that I’m a Tony Romo fan or anything, I just feel sorry for the guy.)
I mean, by the time the fourth quarter rolls around, there’s a decent chance most of the guys on the field won’t play again all year. Many of them won’t have jobs in a week or two. For certain I’m not looking at any of them for my fantasy roster.
But, I’ve been zoomed on football now for a few weeks, and there is literally nothing else on television on Sunday afternoons. So that’s how I spent my Sunday, revising my rankings spreadsheet, reading more about draft strategy, and watching preseason football.
On the bright side, the spreadsheet is done. Or at least, I refuse to touch it anymore before the draft. I’ve updated it after this weekend’s games, but if there are any more late-breaking updates, then too bad. I have enough to go on now. (Also, I need sleep.)
As I explained before, I averaged the rankings of six experts on ESPN’s fantasy football site. Then I weighted that average to favor the rankings of the experts I like best. Then I layered on an additional “subjective value” for teams and players I like or dislike for whatever reason. Mostly team loyalty, some for personality issues. (Sorry Ben Roethlisberger, I’m not over it.) Now, at the end of it, I have some idea who I want to target – as well as which players to go after when the guys I want to target inevitably get taken before I have the chance to nab them.
So for fun, let’s compare the top guys at each position: the experts’ average vs. the Highly Scientific FFT RankingTM.
Position: Wide Receiver
Experts: Antonio Brown (PIT)
FFT: Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)
Thoughts: See Ben Roethlisberger comments above – I weighted all Steelers down a little just because I don’t like seeing Big Ben succeed. Which gives me Beckham as my top guy, who I love to watch play, so I’d be very happy with him. I don’t think I’ve got a good chance to get him, however, because…
Position: Running Back
Experts: Adrian Peterson (MIN)
FFT: Todd Gurley (LA)
Thoughts: Gurley gets weighted up by virtue of playing for the Rams, and AD gets weighted down by virtue of me holding grudges for past misbehavior again. Plus, I realize he’s superhuman, but he’s starting to get old for an RB and eventually that has to catch up with him, right? Gurley’s the guy I really want, and I’ll go after him in the first round if possible. This means I’m sure to miss out on Beckham, and probably a handful of other top receivers too. But I like a lot of the WRs in the 6-12 range on my ranking, so hopefully I get one of them in the second round and it all works out.
Experts: Cam Newton (CAR)
FFT: Aaron Rodgers (GB)
Thoughts: I’m not much of a Cam Newton fan, and I think he’s such a consensus #1 QB that he’ll go much higher than I’d want him anyway. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Rodgers is pretty likely to be gone by the third round too, and unless a lot of other QBs start coming off the board early, I don’t want to draft mine that high. I’m holding out hope that I can get Tom Brady a little later on, and have a backup QB (somebody like Derek Carr) to cover for the first four games. If that doesn’t work out, there’s a handful of guys I like. I just have to watch for when they start getting drafted and be ready to jump in when that happens.
Position: Tight End
Experts: Rob Gronkowski (NE)
FFT: Rob Gronkowski. (NE)
Thoughts: It’s not even close between Gronk and the #2 guy at tight end. Which means I can’t hold out hope of getting him. That’s okay though, there’s lots of good TE options later on in the list. I like Gronk, but he’s not a priority.
Position: Defense/Special Teams
Experts: Seattle Seahawks
FFT: Denver Broncos
Thoughts: Yeah, cuz there was a chance I was gonna pick the Seahawks. I don’t care how good they are, I’ll pass, thanks all the same. I’m going to try to spring on defense a round early to get Denver, but if that doesn’t work I have my eye on a couple of other good options. My favorite former Bruin plays for New England’s special teams, and I think they’re likely to get overlooked, so even if I get hung out to dry on defenses I have options.
Experts: Stephen Gostkowski (NE)
FFT: Stephen Gostkowski (NE)
Thoughts: He was again a unanimous choice by the experts. Who am I to disagree? I do sort of wish New Orleans would just name Kai Forbath their starter already so I could draft another Bruin, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable risking it at this point. Although, it is just the kicker, so maybe I will. If they name Connor Barth (although why would they – Forbath is the man!) I can pick up another guy off of waivers and not be out much. We’ll see. I’m also disappointed that Ka’imi Fairbairn doesn’t have a starting job yet, as I’d draft him in a heartbeat. When he eventually takes over in Texas, maybe I’ll get him off of waivers.
Now there’s nothing to do but wait for the draft…
Which, I’ve just been notified, has been moved! Boo! Now it’s Wednesday, August 31, at 9:00pm Pacific time. I’ll still be livetweeting it though @megthinksaloud, so join me there, won’t you? And I’ll see you on the other side!