Safe, or sorry? The All-Risky team
Posted Jul. 24 at 04:33 AM
I took part in an experts draft last week, run by Draft Sharks. It went a whopping 24 rounds, as it's a no-transaction league where we'll get a best-ball lineup each week. Looking at my lineup afterward, I had a little trouble sleeping.
In this FFPC scoring system that gives 1 point per reception and 1.5 points to tight ends, I used my first-round pick on Jimmy Graham. I drafted a top quarterback (Tom Brady), snagged a couple of early pass catchers (Victor Cruz, Jordy Nelson) and waited until the middle rounds to take running backs: Roy Helu, Jahvid Best, Pierre Thomas.
In the later rounds, I drafted some of the sleepers I like this year: rookies Kendall Wright and Ronnie Hillman, second-year guys Titus Young and Randall Cobb. From start to finish I took a whole lot of youngsters who could hit it big this year, or be stuck in reserve roles for much of the season.
There are different version of unsafe players than talented guys who have yet to emerge. Last week Marshawn Lynch, Dez Bryant and Kenny Britt made the headlines for arrests, and curious as to where the general mood was on these players, I posted a poll on the site.
As of this morning, with more than 350 votes cast, almost half of you (44 percent) would look to draft those players at a bargain, while more than a quarter of the voters (29 percent) would avoid all three. It's not science, but I could say that about half of you are willing to gamble on risky players in drafts, while about a quarter would prefer to avoid such risks. (Most of the rest, 20 percent, simply want nothing to do with Britt.)
I could boldly extrapolate such data to contend that half of you will nod in endorsement of my team laden with Shanahan running backs (I also took Evan Royster), concussion risks, and young receivers. The other half will look at the team and say Hey! You'll have some good weeks there, and then a lot of others where you'll get a combined 5 points out of your running back corps. And did you really use a first-round pick on a tight end?
So today I'm going to put together two entire teams of "risky" players. I've focused primarily on early-round picks -- we all understand late-round rookies and fliers or guys who might not start like Jake Locker are risky -- and divvied them up into moderate and extreme. It took me a while to figure out which category "Shanahan running backs" fall into. I'm using a lineup flex spot to account for the large number of risky runners out there.
As the preseason and season move along, I'll check in on these lists and see how things are turning out. At the end of the year maybe we'll have a better idea just how much risk is too much, and how much is involved in putting together a team of championship players.
Incidentally, if you think anyone on either lineup should be replaced by a riskier early-round type of player, let me know. My mind can certainly be changed.
QB: Michael Vick
RB: Adrian Peterson
RB: Jamaal Charles
RB: Marshawn Lynch
WR: Kenny Britt
WR: Dez Bryant
WR: Brandon Marshall
TE: Antonio Gates
QB: Peyton Manning
RB: Darren McFadden
RB: Jahvid Best
RB: Roy Helu
WR: Andre Johnson
WR Hakeem Nicks
WR DeSean Jackson
TE: Jermichael Finley
Posted by Russell Ditnes | Jul. 24 at 06:00 AM
I'd flip flop Charles and Lynch for McFadden and Best.
Posted by Scott Anderson | Jul. 24 at 07:03 AM
I'd exchange Marshall for Andre Johnson. Marshall, I believe he is gonna have a big year. (Assuming the Chicago O-line performs acceptably.) Johnson is old & injury prone - he's "extreme risk" as far as I'm concerned; I do think the Texans have a good year, but I think a no-name or two will step up at WR with a healthy Schaub & that ridiculous running game.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Jul. 24 at 08:26 AM
I had another comment regarding Marshall on Facebook, so flipping those two guys could happen. Russell, you might be right...originally I had Best on the Extreme list. I will see what other comments come in.
Posted by JUSTIN ELEFF | Jul. 24 at 12:44 PM
I'm with Russell on Best. Any player who's one solid hit away from RETIRING (not an illegal hit, not an unusual Jacked Up-type hit, just the right contact -- which is to say, the wrong contact -- between his helmet and almost any surface) is an extreme risk in my book.
Posted by daniel olsen | Jul. 24 at 02:34 PM
how do we see the draft board
Posted by david erickson | Jul. 24 at 02:57 PM
I don't believe Marshall or Bryant belong on the extreme list. Nicks being ready for opening day is a big question mark & even if Johnson is healthy, Schaub returning from that horrible foot injury is my concern w/ his production. I think McFadden should move up over Lynch as he suffered the same foot injury.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Jul. 24 at 06:00 PM
Daniel -the results are behind a subscribers-only wall, but I can give you the bulk of my team. Brady, rivers, helu, best, p.thomas, Cruz, Nelson, Titus Young, Cobb, wright, jimmy graham, Greg Olsen,Bironas, San Fran D. Various youngsters and handcuffs filling most of the rest of the slots. Good team, I think, if those runners pan out.
Posted by Jason Spann | Jul. 24 at 09:42 PM
How is Bryant an extreme risk? Even if something really happened, you think the Cowboys are going to let his mom take this any further?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Jul. 25 at 05:12 AM
The incident alone makes a suspension possible, regardless of whether his mother pushes things. I think anyone whose name keeps showing up in stories unrelated to football is risky. I like the guy's talent, but picking up the newspaper and reading about him being arrested isn't surprising, and that pretty much defines a risky player to me.
Posted by Jason Spann | Jul. 25 at 11:04 AM
Going on that logic, Gronkowski should be at least a moderate risk. He loves to party topless.
Posted by Nathan Kline | Jul. 26 at 07:31 AM
Charles will have had almost a full year to heal by the time the season starts. Fred Jackson is going in the third round as well, more often then not, and has had less time to recover from a bad injury himself. I'd say he is a bigger risk.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Jul. 26 at 08:29 AM
I am not a big FJax fan, but recovery from a broken fibula worries me far less than from a torn ACL.
Posted by David Grace | Jul. 29 at 09:16 PM
I don't understand why Charles and Marshall would qualify for the extreme list. I suppose Charles might take a little time to get up to full speed, but the history of runners who are returning from ACL tears that happened early the preceding year is pretty darn good (Jamal Lewis 2002, Duece McAllister 2006). In my mind Marshall doesn't carry the risk that a WR switching teams usually has. He has played with Cutler and had Bates as a coach before, why is he any more than a slight risk?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Jul. 30 at 06:45 PM
David -fair point on Charles. He is more of a speed back than those guys you mention though. With Marshall it is the off-field stuff more than changing teams (which seems like a positive).
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