Thursday, April 29, 2010

Looking Ahead 2010: CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS

This is the eighth post of a series of blogs covering each team from Brothers Keeper in detail. We began with the last place team and have moved up to the top of the league standings as it stood at the end of the 2009 fantasy football season (cf. Kabuki Strikes Back; CustodianPandemonium; Favre$Footlong; Ghost; Redmans CatPunters; Yankinfowlsandfeline; Simba's ButtKicker!). Eighth up, CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS (R Smith).

Overview of R Smith's Brothers Keeper History
2007 The Superbads: 8-6-0 (5th Place) 1524.17 points; 12 transactions
2008 Team Cake Farts: 6-7-0 (8th Place) 1174.03 points; 20 transactions
2009 CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS: 8-5-0 (3rd Place; Bronze Medalist) 1356.46 points; 13 transactions

2009 End of Season Commentary
The "Looking Ahead 2010" series of posts finally reaches the medalists of the league. CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS (R Smith) made the playoffs as the 3rd seeded team and played well enough to garner the bronze medal over Simba's ButtKicker! by a score of 127.02 to 100.64. Unfortunately, CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS was decimated by Yer X-MOM (P Smith) in the semifinals scoring a mere 68.95 to 124.59. That score resembles the results of their regular season week 5 matchup 99.61 to 46.28. That's nearly double the points in both games. But CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS picked himself up off the ground and swung mightily and successfully at Simba's ButtKicker! for the Bronze Medal Trophy:
To those who keep on in the fight 'till the end of the final game the rewards are won. R Smith didn't make too many transactions on the season (13) and only suffered one multi-game losing streak. His lower than average point totals and his 3d place seed combined with the fact that CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS only had one multi-game losing streak indicate that R Smith had an easy schedule of opponents. In fact, only 4 games during the regular season did his opponent score greater than 100 points. Of those 4 games he won 2. The first game of the playoffs also had an opponent score less than 100 points. The 3rd Place Game in the final week of the playoffs saw Simba's ButtKicker! score 100.64 points. So, while the fantasy fairy gave Ghost (B Garner) fits, she was sweet talked into a plush deal with CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS (R Smith)... or else she was just scared into it... it's really hard to tell when you are interacting with CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS.

While CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS may have had an easy schedule R Smith did have the talent to be productive. R Moss WR and D Brees QB have both been a staple of his team since the 2007 draft. Brees had yet to be the top QB in fantasy and R Moss had yet to play with T Brady in NE. Both have produced at high levels since. With D Brees at a 2d round pick twice and a 1st round pick in 2009 and R Moss as 5th round pick twice and a 4th round pick in 2009, R Smith is getting great value out of 2 of his top 5 picks every year. How long will that last? Will he be able to pull enough talent around those two in order to make a championship run in 2010? It remains to be seen but the foundation is there as it has been from the beginning to battle hard most weeks. I say most weeks, because R Smith had an obvious strategy when he loaded up on players who all shared the same bye week. And, on top of that, R Smith didn't sub in other guys to play on those bye weeks thus preserving potential developmental eligibility. That's a couple of sneaky strategies to accomplish the task of making it to the playoffs and preserving eligible players for a developmental status.

CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS (R Smith) had the 6th overall draft pick position in the 2009 draft due to his poor playoff performance in 2008. It should be noted that he has yet to miss a Brothers Keeper playoff. His 2009 draft results are thus (noting that those who were kept from his 2008 final roster:

1. (6) Drew Brees QB (Keeper)
2. (15) Ryan Grant RB
3. (26) Reggie Bush RB
4. (35) Randy Moss WR (Keeper)
5. (46) Larry Johnson RB
6. (55) Roy Williams WR
7. (66) Jeremy Shockey TE
8. (75) Bernard Berrian WR
9. (86) Mason Crosby K
10. (95) Eddie Royal WR
11. (106) Brett Favre QB
12. (115) Earnest Graham RB
13. (126) Carnell Williams RB
14. (135) Miami DEF
15. (146) Tim Hightower RB (Keeper)

CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS's Final 2009 Roster
I have included the 2010 draft round and pick overall (overall pick is in parentheses) value of each player on CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS final roster followed by the name of the player, player's position, total # of fantasy starts for the season (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. (7) Drew Brees QB (1st Rd Keeper Value); 15 fantasy starts; 398.62 fp
2. (14) Ryan Grant RB; 15 fantasy starts; 224.15 fp
3. (27) Reggie Bush RB; 11 fantasy starts; 151.09 fp
3. (27) Randy Moss WR; 15 fantasy starts; 224.2 fp
4. (34)
5. (47) Darren McFadden RB; *2 fantasy starts (2 with Custodian Pandemonium + 0 with CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS); 68.95 fp
6. (54) Roy Williams WR; 6 fantasy starts; 107.8 fp
6. (54) Owen Daniels TE; 6 fantasy starts (6 with Yankinfowlsandfeline + 0 with CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS); 95.95 fp
7. (67) Jeremy Shockey TE; 16 fantasy starts; 94.95 fp
8. (74)
9. (87) Mason Crosby K; 16 fantasy starts; 127 fp
10. (94) Beanie Wells RB; 5 fantasy starts; 136.45 fp
11. (107) Brett Favre QB; *1 fantasy starts; 373.68 fp
12. (114)
13. (127) Carnell Williams RB; 4 fantasy starts; 163.55 fp
14. (134) Tim Hightower RB; 10 fantasy starts; 184.2 fp
15. (147) Green Bay DEF; 15 fantasy starts; 174 fp
15. (147) Mario Manningham WR; 8 fantasy starts (2 with Yer X-MOM + 6 with CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS); 126.1 fp (Undrafted)

Looking Ahead at 2010
R Grant RB had a tremendous year in 2007. He was kept by R Johnson as a 14th round undrafted draft pick for the 2008 season. However, 2008 was a poor year for R Grant in fantasy production and was reluctantly released from R Johnson's roster. Taking the opportunity in the 2d round of the 2009 draft to pick up a quality RB to coincide with D Brees QB and R Moss WR was a nice move. Even better was drafting B Favre QB in the 11th round. Favre was only used once despite having one of his best years in his illustrious career. So he has a developmental eligility tag.

Another late 2009 draft pick came in the form of C Williams RB in the 13th round. E Graham RB, and D Ward RB were on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster already. C Williams was lucky to be on the team trying out for any job at all. C WIlliams was decimated in 2007 and 2008 by blowing out both knees catastrophically (back to back years!). He played in 4 games in 2007 and 6 games in 2008. Everyone expected him to be done. Shortly before the 2009 Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football BBQ Draft in Slidell, LA on Saturday August 29th, word was released that C Williams would be the 2009 starter; not E Graham or the newly acquired D Ward. R Smith took up the challenge and got a productive fantasy footballer. Not a top tier talent, but definitely a solid average fantasy start each week in 2009.

It's easy to pick D Brees QB, R Grant RB, and R Moss WR as the most likely candidates to be kept. The only downside to this possibility is that R Smith's first 3 picks of the 2010 draft would be used for slotted keepers. That's not a bad top three picks in a straight re-draft league. Most would be happy with those three. The success of O Daniels TE, B Wells RB, C Williams RB, T Hightower RB, and M Manningham WR might be worthy considerations as well because of their placement in the draft. However, they would not usurp the value seen in D Brees QB and R Moss WR. R Grant is the questionable one of the top three picks.

So let's see what R Smith has in the developmental eligibility department? D McFadden and B Favre played less than 3 games in fantasy. Favre may or may not come back for 2010 with Minnesota plus he appears to need ankle surgery (see also here; although the ankle injury may not matter since he's had ankle surgeries in the past and Favre himself has now commented on it). McFadden is talented but on a poor team in Oakland. It is unclear what the projections look like for these two in the short term or long term. Both are a possibility. If Favre is kept and it is clear he will play for the Vikings as their starting QB then the unique possibility arises for R Smith. Theoretically R Smith could keep Brees and trade Favre or Brees for other talent he deems necessary for his team. Or, instead of trading one of the QBs he could not keep Brees and have a 1st round draft pick in the 2010 draft and keep Favre as his starting QB as a developmental status and keep another player on his current roster like C Williams or M Manningham. There are some possibilities to toss around. There would need to be some forecasting of scenarios of first round picks in order to discover the potential available talent (akin to the work I did in this section of Yankinfowlsandfeline [J Smith]). But that's hard to do when you have the 7th pick in the draft. It's just as easy to stick with the keepers in the first three rounds and have an early 4th round pick with Favre ready to go in a trade or bye week substitute. But R Smith thinks about the future with his keepers like last year when he kept T Hightower. I would not be surprised to see M Manningham WR or B Wells RB as potential keepers while R Grant is tossed into the free agent pool.

My Best Guess at CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS's 2010 Keepers
D Brees QB (Rd 1); R Grant RB (Rd 2); R Moss WR (Rd 3) and B Favre QB (Rd 11) as developmental.
Brothers Keeper Third Party Consultant's Best Guess at CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS's 2010 Keepers
"ok i would keep brees, moss, wells and as the keeper i would take farve [as developmental] if he comes back. if not as the keeper i would keep mcfadden."

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