With the opening game of the NFL season just three days away, it’s time to do the mindless preview of the league I run with a few other bloggers. We held the draft last Saturday — got victimized by Yahoo’s new drafting screen and a stupid “co-managers can’t draft” that I didn’t know about until it was too late — but it should work well enough.
Defending champion Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports decided to go out on top, so the 10 competitors will be fighting for an empty throne and useless bragging rights.
I play with a starting line-up of QB, 2 WR, 2 RB, a W/R slot, TE, K, and DEF. This year, I counted special teams touchdowns in the defensive rating and also made the sensible decision of holding the playoffs in weeks 14-16 (last year, we got screwed when coaches decided to sit guys in week 17.)
Meet the competitors we’ll be following through the season, after the jump.
Monday Night Jihadis – run by yours truly:
- QB: Tony Romo and Philip Rivers
- RB: Brian Westbrook, Jamal Lewis, LenDale White, Ricky Williams, and Chris Johnson
- WR: Chris Chambers, Wes Welker, Donte’ Stallworth, and Patrick Crayton
- TE: Dallas Clark and Benjamin Watson
- DEF: San Diego and Seattle
- K: Ryan Longwell and Mike Nugent
If one of my wideouts gets hurt, I’m in serious trouble. Solid QB combination, overloaded at RB if everyone stays healthy.
TSW – run by The Starter Wife, of Black and Gold Tchotchkes:
- QB: Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning
- RB: Darren McFadden, Julius Jones, Chris Brown, and DeShaun Foster
- WR: Terrell Owens, Larry Fitzgerald, Hines Ward, Roddy White, Jabar Gaffney, amd Jerry Porter
- TE: Kellen Winslow and Owen Daniels
- DEF: Steelers and Eagles
- K: Jeff Reed
Probably one wideout too many and no solid running backs. Too much Steeler homerism. Solid QB pick to start, good starting TE in Winslow.
- QB: Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler
- RB: Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Jones, Deuce McAllister, Warrick Dunn, Fred Taylor, and Kolby Smith
- WR: T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Dwayne Bowe, Plaxico Burress, Anthony Gonzalez, Reggie Brown, and Robert Meacham
- TE: Tony Gonzalez
- DEF: Jaguars
- K: Jason Elam
Thin in the bench outside of the three glamour positions, will have to trade for or pick up good sub defenses, kicker, and TE off waiver wire. Major obvious drop-off from Manning to Cutler. Could be very set to make serious deals in the trade market. Elam doesn’t hit anything from long distances any more.
Matt Jones’ Yayo – run by BP of Awful Announcing:
- QB: Donovan McNabb and Jake Delhomme
- RB: Adrian Peterson, Ryan Grant, Earnest Graham, Selvin Young, and Kenny Watson
- WR: Braylon Edwards, Chad Johnson, Nate Burleson, and Kevin Curtis
- TE: Vernon Davis and Donald Lee
- DEF: Giants and Titans
- K: Shayne Graham and Mason Crosby
QBs good if they stay healthy, Purple Jesus leads a bunch of serviceable backs, thin on the WR corps because of Curtis’ sports hernia (this is what happens on autodraft sometimes.)
- QB: Carson Palmer, Brett Favre, and Jon Kitna
- RB: Willie Parker, Edgerrin James, Justin Fargas, and Steve Slaton
- WR: Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Jerricho Cotchery, Bernard Berrian, and Ted Ginn Jr.
- TE: Chris Cooley
- DEF: Patriots and Cardinals
- K: Rob Bironas and Kris Brown
Best starting WR combo in the league in Moss and Wayne and good arms at QB. Thin on RB if either Parker or Fargas is hurt, will have to trade for/pick up a TE at some point. Major drop-off between Pats’ D and Cardinals’ D.
APIAS FTW 2.0 – run by the boys from A Pudge Is A Sandwich:
- QB: Drew Brees and Tavaris Jackson
- RB: Joseph Addai, Laurence Maroney, Brandon Jacobs, Jonathan Stewart, Kevin Smith, Chris Perry, and Darren Sproles
- WR: Calvin Johnson, Marvin Harrison, Santana Moss, and Sidney Rice
- TE: Jason Witten and Leonard Pope
- DEF: Houston
- K: Stephen Gostowski
Too many backs, could use one more solid wideout, but presence of Witten on the roster may make up for that.
- QB: Tom Brady, David Garrard, and Kurt Warner
- RB: Frank Gore, Ronnie Brown, Rashard Mendenhall, Chester Taylor, and Kevin Jones
- WR: Torry Holt, Marques Colston, Santonio Holmes, Lee Evans, and Devin Hester
- TE: Heath Miller and Kevin Boss
- DEF: Ravens
- K: Phil Dawson
Best quarterback from last season, plus some good receivers, and if Mike Martz doesn’t completely refuse to use Gore, damage can be done. Baltimore’s defense is getting a bit long in the tooth, though.
Pyle of List – run by Jon and D-Lamp of Pyle of List:
- QB: Marc Bulger and Vince Young
- RB: Steven Jackson, Larry Johnson, Willis McGahee, Rudi Johnson, Ahman Green, and Ahmad Bradshaw
- WR: Greg Jennings, Joey Galloway, and Brandon Marshall
- TE: Antonio Gates and Tony Scheffler
- DEF: Bears and Packers
- K: Adam Vinatieri and David Akers
Victimized by accidental autodraft, but it’s salvageable if this team can pick up another wide receiver off the waiver wire.
- QB: Derek Anderson and Aaron Rodgers
- RB: Marion Barber, Clinton Portis, Michael Turner, Matt Forte, and Felix Jones
- WR: Steve Smith, Roy Williams, Donald Driver, and Bryant Johnson
- TE: Todd Heap and Alge Crumpler
- DEF: Vikings and Colts
- K: Nate Kaeding and Neil Rackers
Autodraft did OK by RUTS — landing him some good RB stock and a good receiving corps once Smith comes back from suspension. He probably could use one more WR in the itnerim to be safe, but this is a pretty good team right now.
Area Man – run by Marco of Storming The Floor:
- QB: Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Schaub
- RB: LaDainian Tomlinson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Reggie Bush, and DeAngelo Williams
- WR: Andre Johnson, Anquan Boldin, Laveranues Coles, Javon Walker, and D.J. Hackett
- TE: Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen
- DEF: Cowboys and Buccaneers
- K: Nick Folk and Josh Scobee
Autodraft also did pretty well by Marco — if you have 1st pick and get LT, you’ve made out OK. Hasselbeck will be in yet another pass-first offense in Seattle. X-factor in his lineup: whether Bush will produce and whether Andre Johnson can stay healthy for a full season.
Here are the Week 1 match-ups:
- TSW vs. Monday Night Jihadis
- Twisted Fister vs. Kellen Me Softly
- Pyle of List vs. Matt Jones’ Yayo
- ROFL House vs. Chocolate Squirrels
- Area Man vs. APIAS FTW 2.0
Let’s do this.