Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Looking Ahead 2011: SOCIAL ISoTopes

This is the sixth 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!; Points ON the Bench; and Rmmm's Dropping 3's). Sixth up, SOCIAL ISoTopes (M Peltonen).

The eye is shaded evermore

Overview of M Peltonen's Brothers Keeper History
2007 Scrappy Chickens: 6-8-0 (6th Place) 1476.78 points; 12 transactions
2008 Squash-a-nomics 201: 6-7-0 (7th Place) 1183.33 points; 19 transactions
2009 Sea Buzzards: 5-8-0 (2d Place) 1396.22 points; 20 transactions
2010 SOCIAL ISoTopes: 9-4-0 (5th Place) 1445.81 points; 22 transactions

SOCIAL ISoTopes's 2010 Keeper Declaration
In last year's Looking Ahead 2010 post concerning the Commissioner's team, I correctly predicted his selection of F Gore RB, T Romo QB, L Fitzgerald WR, and M Austin WR (developmental). When it came down to the Commissioner's keeper selection in personal conversation shortly after the keeper declaration I strenuously asked why he would keep T Romo QB instead of keeping G Jennings WR implying I really think he should have kept G Jennings. G Jennings would have been an envied 6th Rd keeper in the 2010 draft. Without waivering on T Romo the Commissioner went forward. "TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad?"

SOCIAL ISoTopes's 2010 Draft
Following the old Keeper League Draft Order Rule SOCIAL ISoTopes (M Peltonen) had the 9th overall draft pick position in the 2010 draft due to his 2009 playoff championship game loss to P Smith's Yer X-MOM. His 2010 draft results are thus (noting those who were kept from his 2009 final roster with a This player is a keeper.):

1.(9)Frank Gore This player is a keeper. (SF - RB)
2.(12)Tony Romo This player is a keeper. (Dal - QB)
2.(12)Larry Fitzgerald This player is a keeper. (Ari - WR)
4.(32)Jason Witten (Dal - TE)
5.(49)Michael Bush (Oak - RB)
6.(52)Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG - RB)
7.(69)Ben Roethlisberger (Pit - QB)
8.(72)Carnell Williams (TB - RB)
9.(89)Dez Bryant (Dal - WR)
10.(92)San Francisco (SF - DEF)
11.(109)Devin Aromashodu (Chi - WR)
12.(112)Derrick Mason (Bal - WR)
13.(129)Austin Collie (Ind - WR)
14.(132)Ryan Longwell (Min - K)
15.(149)Miles Austin This player is a keeper. (Dal - WR)

Here's SOCIAL ISoTopes's 2010 draft compared to the 2010 Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football Ideal Draft Value Chart results:

Last year I wrote that M Peltonen's "goal for 2010 should be to become a better regular season team with a more solid playoff seed thus creating less ambiguity as to whether or not his team is postseason worthy or not. It's not R Johnson bad, but it isn't good either. To achieve a better regular season record, the offseason/preseason goal for 2010 will require more comprehensive draft preparations. Because, as the personal finance sage, Dave Ramsey, says, "90% of making the correct decision is gathering information."

As you can see from his regular season record he improved dramatically. He even made it into the new 6 team playoff team format. But how did he do so? He heeded the advice to do better draft preparation and it showed. Just look at D Pilcher's team and his own! While they both had no draft picks in the first 3 rounds as a result of the keepers chosen, both teams had fruitful draft results in the following 11 Rds (subtracting their developmental keepers later in their draft). While one might initially look at M Peltonen's draft and think it wasn't that good, look at it more closely.

J Witten TE selected in the 4th Rd was easily worth a 3d Rd selection. Nearly every TE selected before J Witten earlier in the draft suffered season ending injuries, J Witten stayed healthy and played. He even played well when his close friend T Romo was injured bad. J Kitna the Dallas Cowboys backup QB did a wonderful job at getting Witten the ball in place of Romo. Yer X-MOM hated having to let Witten go as a keeper after having him rostered for a few years.

In Rd 5 M Peltonen drafted M Bush RB. He missed the Ideal Draft Value Chart by 36.05 FP. That is short by 2.25 FP per week. But the thing is, he still produced despite a preseason injury and a RB rival in the Oakland Raider backfield in D McFadden RB. Either one of those RBs starting without sharing the ball became a fantasy point monster. So maybe this wasn't as bad as you might have thought to begin with. The next pick in the draft was Yer X-MOM's bookend picks of A Foster RB (361.8 FP; #1 in FPOB) and K Kolb QB (80.68 FP).

In Rd 6, instead of keeping G Jennings WR from his previous year's final roster, he selected A Bradshaw RB. He wanted A Foster RB and was upset with Yer X-MOM for picking him with the 50th pick in the draft. "It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire." But A Bradshaw RB did great scoring 224.2 FP and easily scoring above the Ideal Draft Value Chart level. G Jennings, on the other hand scored 211.15 FP. For a team that needed a RB instead of a WR at this point in the draft M Peltonen appears to have made a relatively equal trade by letting G Jennings go.

In Rd 7 he decided to undercut Yer X-MOM by selecting B Roethlisberger QB. Revenge is sweet. Short but sweet. Roethlisberger, coming off a terrible offseason of legal accusations, began the season with a 4 game suspension. With the embarassment over Roethlisberger helped to lead his team to the Super Bowl in Dallas, TX but lost. In fantasy Roethlisberger averaged 23.78 FP per week. That is a very productive QB for a 7th Rd draft pick. Not bonkers great but definitely good and helpful.

The Rd 8 selection of C Williams RB was probably the biggest blight on the Commissioner's draft for his own team. C Williams is older and his rushing attempts went down dramatically as the season progressed.

D Bryant WR really came into his own as a rookie WR later into the year. While D Mason WR and A Collie WR both performed at a good level for where they were drafted, one should recall A Collie's season was hampered by injuries and could have been much more productive.

This was a really good draft by M Peltonen and despite the setbacks it really seemed to set him up for a season that was very interesting to say the least.

End of Season Commentary
Ah the dreadful greener grass concpiracy. I wish to tell you of the horrors of the 2010 playoffs but that is the end of the great story. So "Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story."

The Commish is prone to name changing. But one thing remains constant. His team's logo. The all-seeing eyeball that makes your eyes water in pain at the sight. You can't stop but wonder if it was inpired by Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart or if Edgar Allen Poe was inspire BY it! "I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever."

And so Yer X-MOM did. Before the season began Yer X-MOM saw that the owner of the eye had an injured M Bush RB on the roster. So he grabbed the handcuff RB on the Raiders depth chart, D McFadden before the week 1 game even began. A furious action if there ever was one beyond the A Foster RB draft steal. How dastardly!

"And every night about midnight I turned the latch of his door
and opened it oh, so gently! And then, when I had made an
opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern all
closed, closed so that no light shone out, and then I thrust
in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly
I thrust it in! I moved it slowly, very, very slowly, so that I
might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour
 to place my whole head within the opening so far that I
 could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman
 have been so wise as this? And then when my head was
well in the room I undid the lantern cautiously -- oh, so
cautiously -- cautiously (for the hinges creaked), I undid it
just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye.
And this I did for seven long nights, every night just at
midnight, but I found the eye always closed, and so it was
impossible to do the work, for it was not the old man who vexed
me but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke,
 I went boldly into the chamber and spoke courageously to him,
 calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had
 passed the night. So you see he would have been a very
profound old man, indeed , to suspect that every night,
just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept."
Despite being the 4th best fantasy team in week one, it didn't bode well to begin the season reliving the 2009 Championship game all over again. But sometimes that's the way it goes. Yer X-MOM decimated Sea Buzzards 139.84 - 100.23 for two consecutive losses (counting the 2009 Championship game loss). Not even D McFadden's 24.25 FP on Yer X-MOM's bech would have salvaged the week for M Peltonen (along with an optimal lineup from the Sea Buzzards bench). And so the nights went along.

In week 2 Sea Buzzards faced TheSloppyButts, the eventual 2010 runner up. Sea Buzzards won the close game thanks to a mediocre performance by TheSloppyButts's RBs.

In the third week M Peltonen's team lost to Kabuki Strikes Back. It would have been a much closer competition if he had started the Dallas DEF (14 FP) and D McFadden RB (19.35 FP) on Yer X-MOM's squad. Instead, this was on of the three losses out of four total for the season that M Peltonen suffered in 2010 by scoring under 100 FP. His opening week's loss was 100.23 FP. He had a solid team but was beatable only when his team beat himself. He scored exactly 100.23 in the final game of the regular season too but he easily defeated a lagging CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS. But that is jumping ahead too much again.

Just to backtrack, after going 1 - 2 in the first three weeks of the regular season, M Peltonen then went on a three game winning streak taking down an easy team (CYBORG PIRATE NINJAS's score, if doubled wasn't enough to win) and two tough playoff bound teams (Yankinfowlsandfeline and Redmans CatClippers). Yankinfowlsandfeline could have been more competitive if he had benched G Jennings's 3.1 FP performance for H Nicks (30.5 FP) at WR.

In the seventh week SOCIAL ISoTopes lost a game he so very easily could have dominated in. Playing another playoff bound team in B Garner's Ghost, M Peltonen decided to bench M Bush RB (12.85 FP), D Bryant WR (28.63 FP), and B Roethlisberger QB (25.18 FP). Losing by 10.87 FP was preventable. Beating another playoff team was possible but not to be.

That third loss was followed by another three game winning streak trouncing two weak teams (Simba's Buttkicker! and Points ON the Bench) and the ol' week 1 oppenent Yer X-MOM. It was almost like he heard something: "Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was opening the door little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea, and perhaps he heard me, for he moved on the bed suddenly as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back -- but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. 

"I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening , and the old man sprang up in the bed, crying out, 'Who's there?' " 

"I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed, listening; just as I have done night after night hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

"Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief -- oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself, 'It is nothing but the wind in the chimney, it is only a mouse crossing the floor,' or, 'It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp.' Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions ; but he had found all in vain. ALL IN VAIN, because Death in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel, although he neither saw nor heard, to feel the presence of my head within the room.

"When I had waited a long time very patiently without hearing
him lie down, I resolved to open a little -- a very, very little crevice
in the lantern. So I opened it -- you cannot imagine how stealthily,
stealthily -- until at length a single dim ray like the thread of the
spider shot out from the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.
It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it.
I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue
 with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones,
 but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person, for I
 had directed the ray as if by instinct precisely upon the damned spot."

I was able to access the original photo of the eyeball before it was photoshopped (even with color change) and am presenting the photo of the person's eye in full to you now, thus also explaining the new midseason name "SOCIAL ISoTopes." Yes my friends, if you look at the capital letters you too shall have the truth revealed. R Johnson was too happy to find this out and applauded in rapid succession. "Bravo! Bravo!" he yelled.

O yes, where was I? Week Ten. That's right, Yer X-MOM had made a mistake in his lineup and lost. H Ward WR scored a whopping 0 FP while D Bowe WR scored 34.3 FP on the bench. He would have easily made up the difference in the 140.17 - 128.45 loss. But no matter. Yer X-MOM unfazed waited it out. "And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage. But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye."

The SOCIAL ISoTopes lost in week eleven to the first playoff team he beat, TheSloppyButts. He could have won. Somewhere somehow along the way, the town bike (everyone gets a free ride!) M Vick QB was plucked from the free agency. R Johnson, B Garner, and maybe even another had M Vick at one point or another all along the way. But here he was starting for the SOCIAL ISoTopes scoring only 20.72 FP. On the bench sat two other QBs who outscored that amount. J Kitna (33.88 FP) and B Roethlisberger (41.5 FP). D Amendola WR scored 16.82 FP and M Austin WR put up14.35 FP on the bench while R Bush was in the flex RB/WR spot and gave him a big fat 0 FP. M Peltonen's SOCIAL ISoTopes could have won the matchup falling 86.32 - 109.79. Would this be M Peltonen's undoing? With a 7 - 4 win/loss record he needed to stop losing with guys on the bench in order to succeed with the potential he had. The final two weeks were wins and he looked poised for the playoffs.

Even though he was tied with the best winning percentage (.692) in the league along side Yankinfowlsandfeline and TheSloppyButts, he ranked third in FP and therefore didn't obtain a first round quarterfinals bye. He was below the #2 seeded team by only 2.83 FP on the regular season. Just one more correct sit/start, just one more win, just one more loss by one of those other two teams and he would have appeared a second time in a Brothers Keeper Championship in two years. That is a completely different outcome than the one that took place.

Sleeping through the Sit/Start choice in week 14 buried him.
Heard he went to Disney World anyhow. That's like planning
the parade before the championship is won.
You see, he lost the quarterfinals game by 3.96 FP to B Garner's Ghost, one of the only teams he didn't beat in 2010. "Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! -- do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me -- the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once -- once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But for many minutes the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more. If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly so cunningly, that no human eye -- not even his -- could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out -- no stain of any kind -- no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o'clock -- still dark as midnight."

SOCIAL ISoTopes's Final 2010 Roster
Following the new Keeper League Draft Order, SOCIAL ISoTopes, while failing to win in the quarterfinals had a better regular season winning percentage and fantasy team performance than Redmans CatClippers and Ghost (who actually did win the quarterfinal game). As such, while placing 5th in the standings, SOCIAL ISoTopes will actually have the 7th overall draft pick position in the upcoming 2011 Brothers Keeper fantasy football draft.

I have included the upcoming 2011 draft round and pick number (overall pick is in parentheses) of each player on SOCIAL ISoTopes'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. (7) Larry Fitzgerald WR; 12 fantasy starts; 184.85 fp
2. (14)
3. (27)
4. (34) Jason Witten TE; 13 fantasy starts; 198.1 fp
5. (47) Reggie Bush RB; 6 fantasy starts (2 with Point ON the Bench and 4 with SOCIAL ISoTopes); 67.53fp
6. (54) Ahmad Bradshaw RB; 12 fantasy starts; 224.2 fp
7. (67) Ben Roethlisberger QB; 1* fantasy start; 261.6 fp
8. (74)
9. (87) Dez Bryant WR; 2* fantasy starts; 135.98 fp
10. (94)
11. (107)
12. (114)
13. (127)
14. (134) Miles Austin WR; 10 fantasy starts; 176.35 fp
15. (147) Brandon Lloyd WR; 6 fantasy starts; 213.6 fp (Undrafted)
15. (147) Michael Vick QB; 7 fantasy starts (1 with Simba's Buttkicker! and 6 with SOCIAL ISoTopes); 366.32 fp (Undrafted)
15. (147) Danny Amendola WR; 2* fantasy starts (1 with TheSloppyButts and 1 with SOCIAL ISoTopes); 196.68 fp (Undrafted)
15. (147) San Diego DEF; 8 fantasy starts; 138 fp (Undrafted)
15. (147) Josh Scobee K; 8 fantasy starts; 114 fp (Undrafted)
15. (147) Ryan Torain RB; 4 fantasy starts; 132.45 fp (Undrafted)
15. (147) Toby Gerhart RB; 0* fantasy starts; 61.55 fp (Undrafted)
15. (147) Jon Kitna QB; 0* fantasy starts; 204.3 fp (Undrafted)

Looking Ahead at 2011
There is one thing that can be said for M Peltonen: He made his decision about who to keep easier because he dropped F Gore RB from his roster. However, it is a far cry from being easy as it stands now. He probably already has it in mind who he wants to keep but if not, we are going to tease out the possibilities.

Should he stay or should he go?
After being kept a few years in a row now, L Fitzgerald WR is finally worth a 1st Rd keeper value in 2011. Despite one of the worst the round robbin trio of QBs throwing to him in Arizona in 2010, he still did a really solid job posting 184.85 FP. His TDs were down, but he still managed 90 receptions and over 1,100 receiving yards.The Cardinals are speculated to be in trade discussions for K Kolb QB and other potential QBs including M Bulger (who took over for K Warner QB in St. Louis too), D McNabb QB, and perhaps someone like C Palmer QB, M Hasselbeck, or K Orton QB or worst case scenario, V Young QB or T Jackson QB. Whatever the case, L Fitzgerald will no doubt devote everything he can to the team as he already consistently has. He is a solid fantasy WR and definitely not one that should be overlooked.

In the 4th Rd, M Peltonen will need to consider TE J Witten. He, too, had a couple of different QBs throwing his way and gave it his all. He is a workhorse like L Fitzgerald. There is no reason why he wouldn't be a great pick to keep in 2011 unless he were to be injured. Both L Fitzgerald and J Witten are some of the most standup character guys engaged in quality off the field service projects. Again, not an easy pick to bypass when considering who to keep especially when he produced 30.13 FP above the Ideal Draft Value Chart levels.

A Bradshaw RB is definitely the #1 RB for the NY Giants. Being valued at a 6th Rd pick is a great value for him. No one would sneeze at passing up a 200+ FP producing RB in the 6th Rd. If you look at the graph presented in the earlier part of this post concerning SOCIAL ISoTopes's draft compared to the Ideal Draft Value Chart then you should easily see that he produced 49 FP above the value of his pick. It was M Peltonen's best selection of the 2010 draft for his own team.

M Austin WR did suffer a hiccup in 2010, along with J Witten TE, in the Dallas Cowboys offense once the QB T Romo went down. But he still played fantastic. He was the only one kept from M Peltonen's 2010 roster that exceeded the 2010 perfect market value of his draft position. As a 14th Rd draft pick he would be considered a steal again.

Brandon Lloyd WR played out of his mind in 2010 for the Denver Broncos. He wasn't on anyone's radar. In fact, maybe only E Royal WR was worth a consideration drafting in 2010 following the departure of B Marshall and J Cutler. By the way, does this explain the willingness of the departure of B Marshall from the organization? B Lloyd finally lived up to his potential. Will he continue to be a fantasy football worthy player or will he have only been a one hit wonder? Only 2011 will be able to determine that. On it's own, keeping him in the 15th Rd isn't a terrible loss if he was retained but underperformed. But when you consider that a Brothers Keeper team can only keep 3 players and 1 developmental eligible player for an upcoming season you should quickly realize that with such depth on the final roster of SOCIAL ISoTopes's 2010 team the subsequent choking on a question mark like B Lloyd will be detrimental if not catastrophic in consequences. With that said, passing on a guy who scored 213.6 FP is nothing to sneeze at either. The best thing to consider will be to see what he looks like in the Denver offense in a preseason game if there are any before the 2011 NFL season begins. The reason I suggest this is because there is a tremendous amount of change in the Denver Broncos organization right now. K Orton or T Tebow will be the staring QB. Both have their own strengths but will look very different at the helm of the offense. Depending on who the new head coach goes with will make all the difference. The new head coach is John Fox. He was able to do a really good job while in Carolina early on and even took the team to a Super Bowl. In recent years he's been handcuffed by a weak or injured QB situation and has had to run the ball much more than normal. Will the Denver Broncos even know the playbook? Will they run more? Are they the rumored AFC team aggressively sending out playbooks during the lockout? Perhaps so. Will they be able to do more than run the ball if T Tebow is the starting QB? How will all of this impact B Lloyd at WR is yet to be seen. While he did a fine job at WR in 2010 he remains a big question mark on many levels going in to 2011. But he did score 213.6 FPs.

M Vick QB was so pre-dog-fighting prison scandal in 2010 when uninjured. I cannot believe he was on so many Brothers Keeper fantasy teams before finding a more permanent home. Who knows how many tried but were unable to roster him through the waiver wire order? Whatever the case may be, Philadelphia (and M Peltonen) struck gold when they signed him under the insistence of McNabb despite the presence of K Kolb already on the Eagles roster. Once K Kolb went down in week 1 we never knew who the real starting QB was going to be in Philadelphia. Which one was going to be the healthiest or productive option? In fact, M Vick was sort of like the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde because sometimes you didn't know what you would get. Well, now, M Vick is topping many early fantasy drafts lists of QBs either in great ingenuity or great peril! People are literally debating whether or not to draft him or A Rodgers as the top QB. The potent Philadelphia Eagles were just what he needed to produce in ways he never had done so before. We all knew he could run, but he finally listened to coaching on throwing and it showed big time. He launched the ball to speedy WRs. He ran like there was no tomorrow. He extended plays like crazy and that either put up insane fantasy points on a week by week basis or it got him hurt. It was so awesome to watch late season victories with huge really late in the 4th quarter comebacks like only he and the Philly offense could perform. Whatever will happen in 2011 expect defenses to try to have a better answer than the defenses in 2010 had. Being a 15th Rd keeper value it seems highly unlikely that M Vick would not be kept. But it is the Commissioner's decision.

R Torain RB was another midseason free agent pick up. He did a good job for Mike Shanahan in Washington when healthy. Considering the many years of the Denver offense at our disposal, we know Shanahan loves to run the ball. Torain should not be overlooked outright. Once the backfield cleared up for him and he returned from injury he went on to be at least an average RB if not better. My guess is that he will be relied upon heavily in 2011 when considering the Washington Redskin QB position will be in flux somewhat with a possible D McNabb departure.

THErapist Big Ben?
Now let's think about the developmental considerations... I know, hard to believe we have this much written and we haven't even considered the developmental eligible players on SOCIAL ISoTopes's. But it is true. There are three solid developmental eligible keepers on M Peltonen's squad. B Roethlisberger QB (7th Rd), D Bryant WR (9th Rd), and D Amendola WR (15th Rd). B Roethlisberger leads a consistently competitve offense in Pittsburgh. Despite a four game suspension to begin the season (wasting fantasy teams roster space!) he led his NFL team to the Super Bowl. He still managed to post over 260 FP too. Now that we are in the locked out offseason there have been conflicting reports about whether or not B Roethlisberger's foot had surgery  not, and if so has it healed in time for the upcoming year. At least this year he isn't being loose with his... ahem... package, as he seems to be settling down to marry a girl later on this month (as a side note T Romo and J Flacco have both married this offseason too). Who knows if this too will affect his... foot?

D Bryant WR is a great talent but has had a few offseason blunders with creditors. He isn't the brightest kid on the block but he's got speed and good hands hands and even plays hard when the Cowboys are losing vowing he'll be back where he left off once the lockout is completed. With Romo back, a solid WR in Austin and a high quality TE in Witten, Bryant shouldn't get double teamed. The Cowboys could have a good running game and will look to keep offenses more honest with such a wealth of offensive talent. However this will all fall on the shoulders of their offensive linemen. They need to buy time for the QB or win battles on the line for the RBs. As a result the Cowboys drafted their first offensive lineman early in the 1st Rd of the 2011 NFL Draft since the early 1980's. Yes, almost three decades had passed. With a little more protection and a QB who still might be able to scramble in T Romo and even backed up by a productive backup QB in Kitna, we should see a profitable sophomore year from D Bryant who left school early to play in the NFL. So as a result he is a little younger too and definitely a long term keeper consideration.

D Amendola is on a team on the upswing in recent years. He was overshadowed by a few other WRs on the St. Louis squad in the 2010 preseason but once S Bradford QB started to work his magic the Amendola went free. He was a valuable free agent pickup for sure. However he was only used twice.

Now that we have looked at the players individually let's look at the depth of the positions involved. There are 2 solid QBs, 2 RBs, 4 WRs and one more questionable WR, and 1 TE. How should we narrow that down some more?

If I were to take a random PPR ranking like KFFL's and look at the list I wonder which of the players who are potential keepers are top 5 or top 10 at their position. Both QBs make the top 10. L Fitzgerald and M Austin are in their position's top 10. Also, J Witten is a top 3-4 TE. At RB, I would actually probably argue that A Bradshaw is closer to the top 10 than KFFL's rankings solely because F Gore, J Best, P Hillis, and even K Moreno don't seem worthy to be ahead of A Bradshaw. That would put A Bradhshaw in the top dozen RBs but not top 10.

Can this be pared down even more? It has to. Basically there is only one QB started each week. Do you go with Vick who is worth a 15th Rd pick and ranked higher or Roethlisberger who is great but is a 7th Rd keeper? Roethlisberger could be retained as a developmental if you wanted to toss Vick aside. But then M Peltonen would lose out on keeping D Bryant or D Amendola. But for convenience sake I'm going to guess Vick is kept. The only reason to think about maybe keeping Roethlisberger is knowing that Vick could be hurt at some point during the season. But if he isn't well that would just be a waste of a roster spot except for the occasional weak matchup or bye week. Otherwise Roethlisberger would be considered trade bait to make it deeper into the playoffs if need be.

At WR L Fitzgerald, while ranked high and definitely productive no matter how hard he labors, he just might not be worth the value of a 1st Rd Keeper. Perhaps he could be this year. We don't know yet. But as a 2d Rd keeper in 2010 he scored about 47 FP below perfect market efficiency. He'd be a huge loss if finally released from the SOCIAL ISoTopes after having had him originally from the beginning of the league.

In more messes than one
M Austin would definitely be worth his weight in gold with the return of Romo. In a league where you can start up to 3 WRs a week keeping Vick, L Fitzgerald, Austin, and D Bryant or D Amendola makes a lot of sense. However Vick, with Austin, Witten or Bradshaw, and D Bryant could also work. Is that stronger than Fitzgerald and Roethlisberger instead of Vick and Bryant? Does M Peltonen need to keep a RB? If he lets go of Fitzgerald will he be able to draft Fitzgerald in the 7th spot or pick a RB better than Bradshaw? Lot's of great questions to ask. The Commish will have to answer them for himself to gain clarity if he hasn't already decided. When speaking to him at the end of the season last year he seemed like he felt his team was poised for the future and indeed it is. With which players he will do that with and the need to make that decision in the next month and half will be critical to that future success. I have a feeling the 2011 offseason is a very important place in the history this Brothers Keeper team going forward. The 2011 draft should be a solid one again with adequate preparations. Hopefully he will not be slighted again by the very short margin that he suffered as he did in 2010. It is not an easy step to finalize a championship. There are many viable contenders left to consider in the upcoming Looking Ahead series. But what M Peltonen can control is his team's keeper selections and what a mess that decision looks to be.

My Best Guess at SOCIAL ISoTopes's 2011 Keepers
My best guess as to what M Peltonen will do is this: M Vick QB 15th Rd, M Austin WR 14th Rd, A Bradshaw RB 6th Rd, and D Bryant WR 9th Rd as his developmental. This opens up his 1st Rd selection too. If he thinks that is too Cowboys heavy then switch out L Fitzgerald for M Austin. Either way this selection gives him a solid QB, RB, and 2 stud WRs. That would place him well on his way to building a potential championship team. He needs to move into a win now mode rather than merely building/planning for the future.

Brothers Keeper Third Party Consultant's Best Guess at SOCIAL ISoTopes's 2011 Keepers
What happen to T Romo? O and A Collie? All right Fitzgerlad is a no brainer. I'm almost 100% sure the Cardinals sign a veteran QB this year in FA. That would bump Fitz back to the first Rd value. Lots of rumors out there have Kolb going but I think its more down to McNabb, Bulger or possibly Palmer.

The second guy I would keep would be Vick and to keep him as 15th rounder is crazy value. The guy should perform but if Kolb is there I would draft him as well because you might end up needing him.

I'm gonna roll the dice on Miles Austin. I think the guy is a legit number one and with Dez still needing about a year or two maybe a life time to mature and take that spot. I like Miles. The guy can fly and he's a great route runner plus Romo's back and red Jesus likes to air it out.

As a developmental you have to go with Dez. The guy is your golden nugget for the future. I mean the guy's a beast on the field when he wants to be and as soon as he figures it out and learns to shut his mouth and wear a belt he'll be an All Pro. The only person I would trade Dez Bryant for would be the for Justin Blackman and he's not coming out of Oklahoma State till next draft.

Brandon Lloyd is hard to let go of but in a John Fox offense Tebow and Orton are probably not gonna get the chance to air it out 35-60 times a game like they did last year. Maybe you could work a deal for Bradshaw and Lloyd for another keeper/1st Rd pick to use for a RB.

I like Torrain and Bradshaw as players but Torrain is slow, injury prone, and in a bad offense without a proven QB. So far Bradshaw splits carries with Brandon Jacobs who I've read has gotten over the the foot/ankle/knee injuries and is ready to take over as the #1 back for the Giants again. If Bradshaw does bolt in FA to a team with a starting spot then I would drop Miles Austin and keep him and still probably end up with Austin in one of the earlier picks or hope Bradshaw is available in Rd two. Either way both should out produce the Rd and pick they get taken. If you're a trading man I would take a long hard look at trading for Desean Jackson maybe even giving up Dez if you don't think he'll live up to his billing.

1 comment:

  1. I think it would be worth it to toss Fitzgerald back into the pool this year. Keeping any 3 out of Vick/Austin/Lloyd/Bradshaw would be a good start to a team at an incredible value. Fitz might even be available to pick up with the 1st round pick anyways.