Saturday, January 16, 2010

Looking Ahead 2010: CustodianPandemonium

This is the second post of a new series of blogs covering each team from Brothers Keeper in detail. We began with the last place team (Kabuki Strikes Back) and are moving to the top of the league standings as it stood at the end of the 2009 fantasy football season. Second up CustodianPandemonium.

Overview of R Smith's Brothers Keeper History
2007 CustodianPandemonium: 7-7-0 (8th Place) 1349.14 points; 17 transactions
2008 The Cleaning Lady: 6-7-0 (3d Place) 1288.31 points; 11 transactions
2009 CustodianPandemonium: 5-8-0 (9th Place) 1279.83 points; 14 transactions

2009 End of Season Commentary
If you were to compare R Smith's Brothers Keeper history to J Fullerton's Brothers Keeper history you would see virtually identical win-loss ratios for all three seasons. Their final position in the league standings all depends on the schedule of opponents in the playoffs. This year (2009) neither team made the playoffs for the first time. The expectations were high for each team to succeed this year. So, what happened?
In 2007, Brothers Keeper initial season, CustodianPandemonium (R Smith) lost to the league champion Yank (J Smith) in the first round of the playoffs by a mere 2.75 points. 2007 also brought the perennial fantasy football stud W Welker WR (currently on IR for a torn MCL and ACL and hated by hospital staff [The Onion]) to his roster as a free agent pick up. In 2008, The Cleaning Lady (R Smith) picked up the talented D Jackson WR as a free agent.

Loaded with WR talent in the last two rounds of the 2009 keeper draft (W Welker 14 rd; D Jackson 15 rd) and with the 7th draft pick position (which happened to be the 3d overall pick because 4 teams prior to him used their 1st rd pick to keep a previous roster member) he decided not to take S Jackson RB (who was drafted in 2007 and kept in 2008) again and go with former Yer X-MOM's (P Smith) star B Westbrook RB (who P Smith drafted in 2007 and kept in 2008). Yer X-MOM drafted S Jackson RB the very next pick at the 8th draft pick position (4th overall). This may have made all the difference for both teams. One won the championship and one missed the playoffs all together. For CustodianPandemonium it became a disaster since B Westbrook RB only scored a total of 73.45 in 2009 and was injured half of the season (in 13 weeks of fantasy play 6 weeks missed due to injuries and 1 more week off for a bye). K Warner QB (The Great Unknowable Freak of the NFL?), had also been on Yer X-MOM's 2008 roster as a free agent pickup was drafted by CustodianPandemonium in the 2d round.

 Weeks 1, 5, and 6 were the only weeks of the 2009 season that Westbrook produced anything near his 1st round draft pick value. In Custodian's own words, "Brian Westbrook is the most overrated sissy in the NFL. Has the endurance of a 60 year old woman... Well, maybe not endurance. 'Fragility' would be a better fit." On the other hand, S Jackson RB produced 228.70 fantasy points for the year and only missed the championship game (week 16) due to injury for Yer X-MOM. It was hard not to like B Westbrook RB in 2009's draft. The previous two seasons saw him score 334.48 fp in 15 games played (2007) and 249.70 fp in 14 games played (2008). The entire Eagles offense used to run through Westbrook either running the ball or passing it to him. The total yards from scrimmage piled up fantasy points galore. It is also conceivable to understand that R Smith was tired of S Jackson RB missing 4 games a year due to injury in 2007 and 2008 and why he might be passed up.
When asked to comment about his team's lack of success despite the amount of talent, CustodianPandemonium reflected the same issues and one additional one, namely, his wedding day in the midst of the season:
Trust me, I'm as confused as you are on that one. Westbrook was obviously a big bust for me, but other than that it is hard to say. Had a couple of games that I lost by less than 5 points, so that's just unfortunate. There were a few other injuries that got me as well, (most notably Welker in the first few weeks). And I admittedly goofed up by focusing on my wedding a couple of weeks and forgot/didn't get time to edit the lineup as much as I'd have liked to.
Going into the season I felt I had a really strong team based on a ridiculously good WR core. They couldn't stay consistent though. Steve Smith from the Giants started out just freaking amazing. And after that he went up and down, averaging around 10 or 11 points, not the 20ish he did previously. Vincent Jackson was real nice up through midseason too. But the last 4 or 5 weeks he's been garbage.
Yeah I just checked the season stats. I have 5 of the top 16 WRs, lol
On October 24th, looking to salvage his season, CustodianPandemonium (R Smith) traded D Bowe WR to Yer X-MOM (P Smith) for F Jones RB and T Choice RB to offset the need at RB. The trade was a moot point in the season for both teams, but it was one in which each team traded from their strengths to assist their weakness. CustodianPandemonium had numerous WRs inactive each week while Yer X-MOM had numerous RBs inactive each week. An easy trade was made. Yer X-MOM's P Smith regretted he had not taken J Stewart RB in the trade to make it an even 2 for 2 player deal. J Stewart was offered and neither team foresaw D Williams RB injuries late in the year making J Stewart RB a great playoff commodity. Instead he ended up in free agency to be picked up later by Favre$Footlong (D Kessler).
2009 was not a wasted year. CustodianPandemonium (R Smith) did what he does best and picked up another great undrafted free agent in J Charles RB. Charles was only started twice over the course of the 2009 season (once by Favre$Footlong [D Kessler] and once by CustodianPandemonium [R Smith]) and is therefore eligible as a developmental status keeper for 2010. With the last three seasons of talented undrafted free agent pickups I admire CustodianPandemonium's ability to build winning fantasy teams. His team performed lower than my expectations/projections and he should be poised to do well in the next few years as a team to be reckoned with.

CustodianPandemonium's 2009 Draft
CustodianPandemonium (R Smith) had the 7th overall draft pick position in the 2009 draft thanks to his strong playoff performance gaining him the bronze medal trophy (3d place). His 2009 draft results are thus (noting that those who were kept from his 2008 final roster:
1. (7) Brian Westbrook RB
2. (14) Kurt Warner QB
3. (27) Vincent Jackson WR
4. (34) Dwayne Bowe WR
5. (47) Darren McFadden RB
6. (54) Jonathan Stewart RB
7. (67) Kevin Smith RB (Keeper)
8. (74) Baltimore DEF
9. (87) Steve Smith WR
10. (94) Hines Ward WR
11. (107) Kevin Boss TE
12. (114) Jason Campbell QB
13. (127) Neil Rackers K
14. (134) Wes Welker WR (Keeper)
15. (147) DeSean Jackson WR (Keeper)

CustodianPandemonium's Final 2009 Roster
I have included the 2010 draft round and pick overall (overall pick is in parentheses) value of each player on CustodianPandemonium's final roster followed by the name of the player, player's position, total # of fantasy starts for the season (only counting through week 13 because he did not enter the playoffs; a * indicates developmental eligibility for 2010's draft; some players were on more than one team but their total starts for all teams is listed); and total fantasy points scored by the player for the 16 fantasy week season (which is not subject to the # of starts):

1. (2) Brian Westbrook RB; 6 fantasy starts; 73.45 fp
2. (19) Kurt Warner QB; 11 fantasy starts; 283.12 fp
3. (22) Vincent Jackson WR; 9 fantasy starts; 181.45 fp
4. (39) 
5. (42)
6. (59) Kevin Smith RB; 11 fantasy starts; 161.15 fp
7. (62) Felix Jones RB; 6 fantasy starts (1 with Yer X-MOM + 5 with CustodianPandimonium); 130.06 fp
8. (79) Baltimore DEF; 12 fantasy starts; 155.00 fp
9. (82) Steve Smith NYG WR; 7 fantasy starts; 210.00 fp
10. (99) Hines Ward WR; *3 fantasy starts; 187.35 fp
11. (102)
12. (119)
13. (122)
13. (122) Wes Welker WR; 10 fantasy starts; 230.79 fp
14. (139) DeSean Jackson WR; 6 fantasy starts; 219.75 fp
15. (142) Jamal Charles RB; *2 fantasy starts (1 with Favre$Footlong + 1 with CustodianPadnimonium); 248.28 fp (Undrafted)
15. (142) Joe Flacco QB; *2 fantasy starts; 263.12 fp (Undrafted)
15. (142) Tashard Choice RB; *0 fantasy starts; 76.50 fp (Undrafted)
15. (142) Benjamin Watson TE; 5 fantasy starts (1 with Favre$Footlong + 4 with CustodianPadnimonium); 79.20 fp (Undrafted)
15. (142) John Carney K; 7 fantasy starts (1 with Yer X-MOM + 6 with CustodianPandimonium); 85.00 fp (Undrafted)

Looking Ahead at 2010
The 2010 draft will be stacked in R Smith's favor on three fronts: draft position, developmental eligibility, and WRs. Let's look at the first: draft position. He has the number 2 draft pick position. I highly doubt he keeps B Westbrook RB as a keeper because he may have single handedly burned down 2009 for R Smith. Once spurned an owner may never return. For example S Jackson RB was bypassed after being on CustodianPandemonium's roster the previous two injury plagued seasons. Next, his late draft picks are stocked with talent leaving the number two draft position an advantage through most of the draft in the odd number rounds. The even number rounds are harder because it is the second to last pick in he round. If other teams use early and mid rounds to keep players then this isn't so bad for CustodianPandemonium.

Second, CustodianPandemonium has a few developmental eligible players he could retain easily. Brothers Keeper rules dictate that one developmental player, that is, one who has been started 3 or less times in fantasy play during a fantasy season (including playoffs) is eligible to be kept for the next season along side 3 other keepers from a fantasy roster. H Ward WR (10th rd), J Charles RB (15 rd), J Flacco QB (15 rd), and T Choice RB (15 rd) all have value at the draft position they could be retained in. H Ward WR will be 34 years old for the 2010 season and therefore probably not as attractive as the other 3 younger players for the long term building of the fantasy team. T Choice RB may still be playing 3d string behind M Barber RB and the talented F Jones RB in the Dallas Cowboys depth charts. He too is doubtful to be kept as a developmental status keeper unless knee injuries occur to the two RBs ahead of him on the Cowboys depth chart in the remaining 2009-2010 NFL playoffs. So the decision comes down to 2 talented players in J Flacco QB and J Charles RB. My best guess is that J Flacco could easily be drafted in the 2010 fantasy draft while J Charles would be a more desired fantasy producer. Thus J Charles RB, if he remains the KC Chiefs featured RB will be the developmental status player kept and for a great value in round 15. Many teams will be jealous of this advantage of talented developmental eligible players.

The third strength that is obvious is the strength of the WRs on CustodianPandemonium's roster. It will be a matter of selecting who has the best projections for the 2010 fantasy season. W Welker may still be hindered by his aforementioned injury. He could be kept and stashed away as a developmental pick in the 2011 draft. Or CustodianPandemonium may decide to forgo that route and go for a dominant 2010 fantasy season by retaining V Jackson WR, D Jackson WR, and K Jones RB. If W Welker is kept my best guess is that K Jones is not. That would mean 3 WRs and 1 RB (J Charles) would the foundation for 2010. However, if the prospects for K Jones are good enough and Welker is still desired then V Jackson will not be kept. His 3d round value would be the detracting factor for him since all others are clearly a value at their positions later in the draft.

My Best Guess at CustodianPandemonium's 2010 Keepers

Brothers Keeper Third Party Consultant's Best Guess at CustodianPandemonium's 2010 Keepers: 
"kind of hard but i would go vjax, desean, charles and i would probly go welker just cuz maybe u can trade him or even keep him for next yr if not i would go steve smith"

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