Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Looking Ahead 2011: Rmmm's Dropping 3's (a.k.a. Redmans CatClippers)

This is the fifth post of a series of blogs covering each team from the 2010 Brothers Keeper league in detail. We began with the last place team and are moving up to the top of the league standings as it stood at the end of the 2010 fantasy football season (cf. CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS; Kabuki Strikes Back; Simba's Buttkicker!; and Points ON the Bench). Next up, the team called Redmans CatClippers until a very late season change to Rmmm's Dropping 3's (D Pilcher).

Don't let the hat or the cake color fool you. He's red through and through.

Overview of D Pilcher's Brothers Keeper History
2007 RedMans Warriors: 10-4-0 (7th Place) 1795.57 points; 39 transactions
2008 RedMans CatChuckers: 7-6-0 (6th Place) 1303.53 points; 33 transactions
2009 Redmans CatPunters: 6-7-0 (6th Place) 1494.79 points; 14 transactions
2010 Rmmm's Dropping 3's/Redmans CatClippers: 8-5-0 (6th Place) 1451.1 points; 24 transactions

Redmans CatClippers's 2010 Keeper Declaration
No one envies having to toss talent back into the pool of draftable players. According to the 2010 Brothers Keeper Keeper Declaration D Pilcher tossed aside players like P Thomas RB 3d Rd, E Manning QB 5th Rd (developmental), F Jackson RB 9th Rd, D Driver WR 10th Rd, and worst of all L McCoy RB 11th Rd. Can one honestly believe keeping M Bell RB, Denver's perennial throw away RB turned mall vendor, over and above the Superbowl Champion E Manning QB as his developmental was a good choice? Nope. Neither was letting L McCoy go worth it... especially as an 11th rounder.

But when you keep T Brady QB 1st Rd, R Wayne WR 1st Rd, and M Forte RB 3d Rd, well, as long as they produce they'd be worth it. M Forte did exceed the Ideal Draft Value Chart but R Wayne and T Brady did not. No one could have foreseen that P Manning would struggle so mightily or that R Moss would exit New England's offense or that L McCoy would dominate as such a skinny RB. But that's what happened.

Last year I wrote, "If Redmans CatPunters wants to show up late for the 2010 draft he mind as well keep P Thomas or M Forte. At least he'd hurdle his first three obstacles called draft picks." This actually probably best explains why he kept the three he chose to keep. As you will see, D Pilcher has a dirty little secret.

Rmmm's Dropping 3's 2010 Draft
Following the old Keeper League Draft Order Rule Rmmm's Dropping 3's (D Pilcher) had the 4th overall draft pick position in the 2010 draft due to his 2009 1st Rd playoff loss to R C Smith's CYBOG PIRATE NINJAS and subsequent 5th place game playoff loss to J Smith's Yankinfowlsandfeline. His 2010 draft results are thus (noting those who were kept from his 2009 final roster with a This player is a keeper.):

1.(4)Tom Brady This player is a keeper. (NE - QB)
1.(4)Reggie Wayne This player is a keeper. (Ind - WR)
3.(24)Matt Forte This player is a keeper. (Chi - RB)
4.(37)Jahvid Best (Det - RB)
5.(44)Brent Celek (Phi - TE)
6.(57)Dwayne Bowe (KC - WR)
7.(64)Felix Jones (Dal - RB)
8.(77)Terrell Owens (Cin - WR)
9.(84)Jay Cutler (Chi - QB)
10.(97)Marion Barber (Dal - RB)
11.(104)Pittsburgh (Pit - DEF)
12.(117)Johnny Knox (Chi - WR)
13.(124)Brandon Jacobs (NYG - RB)
14.(137)Adam Vinatieri (Ind - K)
15.(144)Mike Bell This player is a keeper. (Phi - RB)

Here's Redmans CatClippers's 2010 Draft compared to the 2010 Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football Ideal Draft Value Chart results:

As I hinted at above, there's a dirty little secret about D Pilcher's 2010 Brothers Keeper Draft. It wasn't him who drafted his remarkable team. But it was D Pilcher who sank his team. There just is no excuse not to draft your own keeper team and then sink it's chances. But that story will be detailed in the End of Season Commentary. For now, suffice it to say that Pilcher's son-in-law, the venerable Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football League Commissioner, M Peltonen drafted in his father-in-laws place much of the draft. After all, D Pilcher did give permission to the Commissioner to marry his daughter. Well, it was time to pay up some good standing with the father-in-law so M Peltonen being the good son-in-law drafted players he himself wanted for his own team, the SOCIAL ISoTopes. M Peltonen was as prepared as ever last year and it showed. Under normal circumstances D Pilcher probably never would have heard of the rookie from the 2010 NFL Draft J Best RB or perhaps wouldn't recall the name of the TE in Philadelphia who surged late in 2009, B Celek. But according to M Peltonen, "He did like his team though." He's such a good son-in-law.
This is how he drafted in 2010.
Will he draft this way in 2011?

D Pilcher did not have a draft pick until the 4th Rd. When comparing the draft to the Ideal Draft Value Chart we can see that the first couple of selections, J Best and B Celek, actually underperformed. B Celek played with the revolving injury door at QB between K Kolb and M Vick and was thus worse off.

The middle draft rounds had much more success in D Bowe WR, F Jones RB, and T Owens WR. The next pick was J Cutler QB, who could have been a lot closer but probably still below perfect market efficiency if he hadn't missed a game due to injury. M Barber RB wasn't a terrible pick for the 10th Rd as anyone drafted after the 9th Rd would be below replacement level and not a regular starter. He was the insurance for the 7th Rd F Jones RB selection as the handcuff of the Cowboys running game. This was followed up by 3 really tremendous picks in Pittsburgh DEF, J Knox WR, and A Vinatieri K. Considering the previous four teams in the Looking Ahead 2011 series of posts, the combination drafting by M Peltonen and D Pilcher looks much more like a successful draft.

End of Season Commentary
Week 1 was a dominating week that was 2 years in the making. T Brady QB (29.32 FP), R Wayne WR (17.95 FP), M Forte RB (29.55 FP), and J Best RB (19.8 FP) flashed the potential 2010 sleeper candidate's team. It was impressive. Redmans CatClippers was only outscored by one other team to begin the season. Thankfully he played the worst team of week 1 and easily doubled his opponents FP total. D Bowe WR only scored 1.65 FP and was promptly dropped... the move that sunk Redmans boat. Perhaps Redmans CatClippers will be blessed by the Fantasy Fairy this year with a ridiculously easy schedule?

In fact, D Pilcher was blessed by the Fantasy Fairy with the easiest schedule in the league. It was so blessed that it was 100 FP easier than the 2d easiest regular season schedule. In week 2 Redmans CatClippers scored the highest FP total and played the lowest scoring team again. Poor Yankinfowlsandfeline didn't have a chance. However, this 2 week dominance was followed by 2 straight losses. The first loss to Points ON the Bench by 5 FP could have easily been avoided by starting bench players. Week 4's loss to Ghost was unavoidable. By week 3 D Bowe WR was breaking the 10 FP barrier but was on Yer X-MOM's team not Redmans CatClippers.

Feeling enraged Redmans CatClippers clipped Simba's Buttkicker! in half. For the second time in 5 weeks of fantasy play Redmans CatClippers easily doubled his opponent's total FP embarrassing the competition with the second highest FP total of the week. He had foiled two of his nemeses as well. Life was looking good with a 3 - 2 win/loss record.

Then came 2 defeats. In week 6 D Pilcher's son-in-law out maneuvered the old man and won  95.51 - 103.02. Only D Bowe's 23.4 FPs could have saved D Pilcher's hide but he was long gone. In week 7 D Bowe scored 19.05 FP against Redmans CatClippers. Yer X-MOM beat Redmans CatClippers with a player Redmans CatClippers had drafted! Salt in the wound doesn't feel good.

The week 8 opponent should have been warned. TheSloppyButts lost to Redmans CatClippers 89.10 - 81.47. In all fairness, there was nothing TheSloppyButts could have done as his whole bench except for the injured S Rice WR was on a bye. Redmans CatClippers could have scored a few more FP and not made it as close but a win is a win after 2 losses and he took what he could get winning another two weeks after that.

Before week 11's game against Yankinfowlsandfeline, Redmans CatClippers was sitting pretty with a 6 - 4 record. He was solidly producing fantasy points and wins. Now he faced the nemesis he beat in week 2. This time Yankinfowlsandfeline got him with a solid 147.54 - 111.99 win. D Bowe was laughing on Yer X-MOM's team scoring 23.45 FP.

In week 12 Points ON the Bench could have bested Redmans CatClippers by starting M Cassel QB but it wasn't the case. Remdans CatClippers finished the season with a 2 game winning streak and entered the playoffs scoring the highest point total in week 13. He was primed to do damage.

Entering the playoffs hot with the 5th overall seed, an 8 - 5 win/loss record playing the 4th seeded Yer X-MOM with an equal 8 - 5 win/loss record in the quarterfinals looked to be a good matchup. But scratching below the surface, we discover these two teams were different. Yer X-MOM scored 1633.19 total FP in the regular season while Redmans CatClippers scored 1451.10 FP. That is a difference of 182.09 FP. D Bowe WR scored 195.05 FP in the regular season. That is a mere 12.96 FP difference.

But something more haunted D Pilcher. In the previous 3 years of Brothers Keeper league play, he had lost every year in the quarterfinals. Would the 2010 quarterfinals be another loss making it 4 years in a row? Would he be dealt another blow by the very man he drafted but dropped after week 1, D Bowe?

The quarterfinals had been redesigned in the middle of the season. In the previous years of Brothers Keeper history the 5th seeded team played the 4th seeded team in the quarterfinals as it still would happen in 2010 after the change. No rule change was going to change what took place next.

After the Sunday night game was completed, before the Monday night game began, Redmans CatClippers had a commanding lead 129.46 - 77.03. Yer X-MOM was down by 52.43 FP. He started an injured A Gates TE and didn't score any FP for the TE position as a result. The stout defense of the Baltimore Ravens was going to face the Houston Texans on Monday night. Yer X-MOM had D Mason WR, A Johnson WR, and A Foster RB playing. Even if Yer X-MOM had started B Westbrook RB in place of R Mendenhall RB he would have been down 41.93 FP or even 34.29 FP if he had started D McNabb over M Ryan at QB. But as it stood, he was 52.43 FP below a tie.

A Johnson WR scorched the Baltimore secondary scoring 28 FP. A Foster RB ran hard against the tough run defense scoring 15.25 FP. It all came down to the ancient one, D Mason WR. What he did next was just the icing on the cake of his long career. He scored 21.9 FP. It will probably be his last dominate fantasy football performance of his career. Yer X-MOM had just picked him up for that game and dropped him right after the game. Those 3 Monday night players scored a combined 65.15 FP. It was an unbelievable come from behind performance with the odds stacked against Yer X-MOM with A Johnson and A Foster playing against such a formidable defense. The game even went into overtime. With the hometown Ravens victory P Smith was flying high.

Redmans CatClippers lost 142.18 - 129.46 to Yer X-MOM. Surprisingly D Bowe only scored 1.15 FP on the bench of Yer X-MOM. It was a half of a point less than his week 1 effort for Redmans CatClippers the team that drafted him. So this wasn't the reason why he lost. He lost by 12.58 FP. On Redmans CatClippers bench sat two men who could have helped narrow the gap. A Hernandez TE scored 2.95 FP while the player he started, B Celek TE, scored 0 FP. Next, D Brown RB scored 8 FP while M Forte RB scored 6.3 FP. With B Celek and D Brown active Redmans CatClippers would have still lost by 7.93 FP. T Ownes WR was the next irreplaceable offender scoring 2.1 FP. Just a few days beforehand, even Redmans CatClippers could have snagged D Mason WR off of the free agency pool and won.

Rmmm's Dropping 3's Final 2010 Roster
I have included the upcoming 2011 draft round and pick number (overall pick is in parentheses) of each player on Rmmm's Dropping 3's final roster followed by the name of the player, player's position, any 1st Rd Keeper Value players, total # of fantasy starts for the season (a * indicates developmental eligibility for 2011'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. (6) Tom Brady QB (1st Rd Keeper Value); 13 fantasy starts; 392 fp
1. (6) Reggie Wayne WR (1st Rd Keeper Value); 13 fantasy starts; 212.75 fp
2. (15) Matt Forte RB; 13 fantasy starts; 237.25 fp
3. (26)
4. (35) Jahvid Best RB; 10 fantasy starts; 171.85 fp
5. (46) Brent Celek TE; 6 fantasy starts (4 with Simba's Buttkicker! and 2 with Redmans CatClippers); 91.95 fp
6. (55)
7. (66) Felix Jones RB; 9 fantasy starts; 160.5 fp
8. (75) Terrell Owens WR; 12 fantasy starts; 175.15 fp
9. (86) Jay Cutler QB; 0* fantasy starts; 265.16 fp
10. (95)
11. (106) Pittsburgh DEF; 11 fantasy starts; 183 fp
12. (115) Tim Hightower RB; 5 fantasy starts (1 with CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS and 4 with Redman's CatClippers); 123.4 fp
13. (126)
14. (135) Adam Vinatieri K; 13 fantasy starts; 136 fp
14. (135) Donald Brown RB; 2* fantasy starts (1 with CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS and 1 with Redman's CatClippers); 91.95 fp
15. (146) Denver DEF; 0* fantasy starts; 48 fp (Undrafted)
15. (146) Javarris James RB; 0* fantasy starts; 57.88 fp (Undrafted)
15. (146) Kenneth Darby RB; 0* fantasy starts; 41.75 fp (Undrafted)

Looking Ahead at 2011
Last year I pontificated in this section:
Potential is a funny word. Potential could become squandered. Ask the 30 year old C Palmer QB if his potential has been squandered. I bet he might be furious inside. At least he has the money to show for it. I guess. For Redman's CatPunters I see the potential for squander. T Brady and R Wayne are nearing the end of their peak years of performance. They might be able to keep Redman's CatPunters in 6th place again, you know, just those two alone. ... Because Redmans CatPunters seems so willing to occupy the 6th place spot annually I am going to guess he stays with the two guys who have kept him there the past 3 years in T Brady QB and R Wayne WR.
Falling short in the quarterfinals for a 4th time in a row, and his 3d year in a row 6th place finish definitely puts the Looking Ahead at 2011 section into clear focus. He needs to win a quarterfinal game. Pure and simple. Otherwise the potential his team has will be even more squandered.

So where does D Pilcher need to get that last umph into the semifinals? Well, his team was poised. It was there. He had a lot of fantasy points on the season. In fact, if he had played either of the other quarterfinal teams in 2010 (his son-in-law's SOCIAL ISoTopes or B Garner's Ghost), he would have won. They both scored below his team's effort in week 14. It was a bad playoff seed this year that cursed him. The Fantasy Fairy's ride of an easy schedule was over. D Pilcher just needs to do what he did in 2010: Let the son-in-law draft his team and maybe next time, don't drop D Bowe.

As for his team's final roster, D Pilcher needs to figure out who to keep. This will be a tougher choice than his 2010 choice almost a year ago but it will still be pretty simple too. T Brady QB Rd 1 and R Wayne WR Rd 1 are a year older now though. M Forte RB Rd 2 is still the RB in Chicago. If D Pilcher keeps those 3 players again, no one would think he didn't have a good first three rounds of draft picks in 2011. There's no reason to believe R Wayne could do better in 2011 if all his other WRs are healthy and keeping defenses more honest. T Brady has a slew of shifty white guys who can catch the ball still despite being without R Moss WR potentially. M Forte will still be relied upon with J Cutler at the helm in Chicago.

J Best RB Rd 4 might be a good candidate to consider instead of one of those 3 guys but he will have more competition in the Detroit Lions backfield now that they have drafted RB Mikel Leshoure in the 2011 NFL Draft. Jim Schwartz will likely spread the carries and passes and goal line TDs to his running backs according to their strengths when they are all healthy. Perhaps 40-45 %. From a 2011 draft perspective, keeping J Best instead of T Brady, R Wayne or M Forte frees up a 3d Rd draft pick.

F Jones RB 7th Rd might be a good keeper to consider too but with M Barber RB and T Choice RB the Dallas Cowboy backfield is crowded too.
Can you say, "multitasking"?
Fantasy sports and watching twins.
Can you say, "socks and crocks don't match"?

The player formerly known as T Owens WR appears to be recovering from an offseason ACL injury repair according to recent news reports. After being on 3 different teams in the last 3 years he has been like the walking dead at his ripe old age. He will turn 38 in December. I'm sure he could beat me in any foot race after he recovers from his surgery but 38 is just old for a WR in the NFL and he is no longer worth having as a regular starter. Maybe he pulls a C Ochocinco and becomes a Kicker! If not, he should not be touched with a 49 and a half foot pole despite his agent's claims that he isn't retiring.

From the available developmental keeper choices D Pilcher should only seriously consider J Cutler QB for 2011 who appears to be recovering well from his late injury. I might give a nod to D Brown RB if I knew that J Addai RB was going to be gone but not until I knew for sure. While Cutler has gotten a bad rap, one that in my opinion is incorrect, about being a softy not playing through injuries, J Cutler would be a pretty good backup QB to T Brady. At the very least he could be trade bait to a team in need of a QB too. Giving up a 9th Rd pick to retain Cutler is not just a steal, but also wise to do. Now that J Cutler has been in Chicago a year, maybe his chemistry with J Knox WR, M Forte RB, and others is beginning to solidify into a more effective offensive machine.

My Best Guess at Rmmm's Dropping 3's 2011 Keepers
Yeah it would be fair to say I think D Pilcher will keep T Brady QB, R Wayne WR, M Forte RB, and J Cutler QB as his developmental. He'll stick with the guys he's had lose the quarterfinals every year.

Brothers Keeper Third Party Consultant's Best Guess at Rmmm's Dropping 3's 2011 Keepers
The Comedian Wayne Brady
"I'm going with Brady, Wayne, Forte and Cutler. I really like Wayne Brady as a comedian and as individual players but Forte is kind of a hard choice to make. The guy's a great player when his line plays decent but when his line can't block for him (9 out of 12 games) he sucks. He does catch passes which makes up for the carries he loses cuz of the long second and 3rd downs. I kind of like Felix over him if [the] Cowboys are gonna let him touch the ball 200+ times in limited time. The guy [has] been a stud but injuries and sorry coaching keeps him grounded. I really do think Forte is a solid player but Jones is an elite player if he's a starter. I would wait it out till the last few days to decide between those two if Felix is a starter."

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