All through July and August, fantasy football players struggle with the planning of their NFL fantasy draft. They review the experts' picks, look at matchups, check the injuries on the offensive line, and at some point in the late summer sit down and spend a couple hours selecting their team. With all of that, most drafts look the same. The same players get picked in the first round, the second round, the same defense gets picked first. And with all that, it's safe to say nobody got it right this year, because with the fantasy regular season over, here's what the perfect 2010 fantasy football draft looked like (with average ESPN draft position in parentheses).
Round 1 - WR Roddy White, Atlanta (23)
"Interesting, interesting," is what your draft buddies would say. Everybody in your draft had a shot at Roddy White in the first round. If you had the No. 1 pick in the whole draft, you made a mistake if you didn't take Roddy White. He would have ended up as your No. 3 receiver, but he was the best value here. By the way, White was my No. 1 draft pick in my fantasy draft (with Jim) this year.
Round 2 - TE Antonio Gates, San Diego (44)
"What? A tight end in the second round? You haven't picked a running back yet. See you in the toilet bowl!" I can hear the cackles from your fellow draft buddies now. They have a sucker on the line, and they can't wait to kick your ass all season long.
Round 3 - RB Arian Foster, Houston (47)
"Okay, good pick-up." Foster was high on a lot of lists. Maurice Jones-Drew said in August the one big break-out fantasy player this year would be Foster. So your buddies would be kicking themselves for not taking him earlier.
Round 4 - WR Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City (62)
"Bwahahaha! He drops more than he catches!" And that crappy QB throwing to him. It's back on the razz train.
Round 5 - WR Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh (75)
At this point everyone is just focused on their own draft and has stopped paying attention to what you're doing. Wallace won't even start for you most weeks, but he'll be trade fodder if you want to use him there.
Round 6 - WR Terrell Owens, Cincinnati (78)
"Dude, what are you doing? That's your fourth wide receiver and you don't even have another running back yet." The rest of the guys would get a chuckle, but they've essentially written you off for the season at this point.
Round 7 - RB Darren McFadden, Oakland (107)
"He shouldn't have even been drafted this high in the REAL NFL Draft." Most "experts" think McFadden will share too much time with Michael Bush, and many think Bush will be the starter by mid-season at the latest.
Round 8 - DT Pittsburgh Steelers (113)
"A defense? Dude, you haven't picked a QB yet. Are you trying to lose?" Ha ha ha ha ha.
Round 9 - K David Akers, Philadelphia (139)
And then the party starts. They have to stop the draft as your buddies spend ten minutes laughing. Some of them are on their phones calling and texting their other friends to tell them what an idiot you are for taking a kicker in the ninth round. The league commissioner asks you to pay your entry fee on the spot because he doesn't think you're good for it. Oh, they're loving this.
Round 10 - QB Kyle Orton, Denver (153)
You skip over Roethlisberger and Mark Sanchez for Orton. More laughter.
Round 11 - QB Michael Vick, Philadelphia (200)
The coup de grâce. That which ends any possible hope you had of winning a single game this season. You pick a quarterback who isn't even his team's starter. "You think he's gonna play some wide receiver?" Your buddies joke. Your season is lost.
Round 12 - RB Peyton Hillis, Cleveland (NR)
Another guy who isn't even the starter on his team. "Your draft will go down in history as the worst ever. I can't wait to email Matthew Berry this one. He'll frame the email!"
Round 13 - WR Brandon Lloyd, Denver (NR)
Guys want to laugh at every pick now, but this one isn't that funny. Except that you have the Denver QB and starting WR. And Lloyd isn't even their No. 1 guy.
Round 14 - TE Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville (NR)
"What, you gonna draft a backup kicker next?" Hmmmm...Dan Carpenter's on your list, but you'll stick with just Akers for a couple weeks....
Round 15 - RB Mike Tolbert, San Diego (NR)
The guy who make a "great pick" by drafting Ryan Matthews in the second round already scooped up Darren Sproles as insurance. So you're left with lumbering Mike Tolbert. Curses.
Round 16 - WR Steve Johnson, Buffalo (NR)
With your final pick of the draft you select a guy buried on the depth chart. He'll finish 12th overall for wide receivers in fantasy points scored, but he'll never see your starting lineup. Eventually you'll have to drop him to snap up a kicker for a week. Or you'll trade him. But for now, he's one of the many laughing stocks of your "disastrous" draft.
So that's it: It's all you had to do to get these results:
QB rankings: 1, 7
RB rankings: 1, 2, 4, 16
WR rankings: 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 12
TE rankings: 1, 4
K rankings: 1
DT rankings: 1
Chances are you wouldn't have lost a single game all season. In fact, chances are you wouldn't have won by less than double digits all season. Sure, the week Vick got knocked out of the game you would be hurting if you'd started him over Orton (who had 340 yards and 2 TDs that week). But I guarantee this: You'd be the only one laughing now.