Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Looking Ahead 2011: Yankinfowlsandfeline

This is the eighth 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; Rmmm's Dropping 3's; SOCIAL ISoTopes; and Ghost). We will now cover Brothers Keeper's Third Place Bronze Medaltist Trophy Winner, and 2d runner-up, Yankinfowlsandfeline (J Smith).

On the left in front of his BBQ conspiring with D Pilcher.

Overview of J Smith's Brothers Keeper History
2007 Yank 9-5-0 (1st Place) 1723.24 points; 42 transactions
2008 YANKINHALOSKIKINCATS: 4-9-0 (9th Place) 1392.81 points; 30 transactions
2009 Yankinfowlsandfeline: 10-3-0 (5th Place) 1717.89 points; 27 transactions
2010 Yankinfowlsandfeline: 9-4-0 (3d Place; Bronze Medalist) 1478.1 points; 14 transactions

Yankinfowlsandfeline's 2010 Keeper Declaration
At the 2010 Keeper Declaration deadline J Smith kept M Jones-Drew RB (1st Rd), R Rice RB (4th Rd), A Rodgers QB (11th Rd), and J Forsett RB (15th Rd) as his developmental eligible keeper. Each one of them performed well (see R Rice's value on the upcoming Looking Ahead 2011: TheSloppyButts article). Obviously A Rodgers took his team to the Super Bowl and was a great value in fantasy too. This freed J Smith so he could concentrate on drafting WRs and TEs through the draft; an excellent advantageous position.

M Jones-Drew RB missed 2 games and would have come much closer to the 1st Rd value he was kept at. He was a regularly utilized chess piece by Yankinfowlsandfeline just as he was by the Jacksonville offense. No one would not have thought M Jones-Drew RB would not push himself hard.

Yankinfowlsandfeline's 2010 Draft
Following the old Keeper League Draft Order Rule Yankinfowlsandfeline had the 3d overall draft pick position in the 2010 draft due to his 2009 quarterfinal historic playoff collapse to M Peltonen's Sea Buzzards and subsequent 5th place game playoff win against D Pilcher's Redmans CatPunters. His 2010 draft results are thus (noting those who were kept from his 2009 final roster with a This player is a keeper.):

1.(2)Greg Jennings (GB - WR)
1.(3)Maurice Jones-Drew This player is a keeper. (Jac - RB)
2.(18)Jermichael Finley (GB - TE)
3.(23)Steve Smith (Car - WR)
4.(39)Cedric Benson (Cin - RB)
5.(43)Percy Harvin (Min - WR)
6.(58)Hakeem Nicks (NYG - WR)
7.(63)Kellen Winslow (TB - TE)
8.(78)Christopher Ivory (NO - RB)
9.(83)Jeremy Maclin (Phi - WR)
10.(98)New York (NYJ - DEF)
11.(103)Aaron Rodgers This player is a keeper. (GB - QB)
12.(118)Jabar Gaffney (Den - WR)
13.(123)Chad Henne (Mia - QB)
15.(143)Justin Forsett This player is a keeper. (Sea - RB)

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

Before the draft but following the keeper declaration, M R Smith (TheSloppyButts) traded away his 1st Rd and 4th Rd picks to J Smith (Yankinfowlsandfeline) for R Rice RB (4th Rd) and a 14th Rd pick. So right off the bat Yankinfowlsandfeline became the de facto 1st overall pick since Kabuki Strikes Back used his first round pick to keep P Manning QB and L Tomlinson RB (both were valued as 1st Rd picks). TheSloppyButts did not keep B Westbrook RB from his 2009 roster and for good reason. He also had the 2d overall draft pick position. Therefore he had ownership of the first overall pick in the 2010 draft. Yankinfowlsandfeline wanted it more than R Rice RB and let it go. Here is what the trade looked like before the season began using the 2010 Ideal Draft Chart values:

2d overall pick: 117.19 FPOB
39th overall pick: 32.87 FPOB

38th overall pick: 34.12 FPOB
138th overall pick: -17.98 FPOB
The 38th overall pick was R Rice RB 94.92 FPOB who exceeded his draft value position by 60.8 FP.

Good bye lil' Ray!
The trade looks like this after the end of the 2010 season:

Ray Rice RB 248.8 FP (94.92 FPOB)
M Prater K 81 FP (-39 FPOB)
TOTAL: 329.8 FP (55.92 FPOB)

G Jennings WR 211.15 FP (57.27 FPOB)
C Benson RB 188 FP (34.12 FPOB)
TOTAL: 399.15 FP (91.39 FPOB)

It is a difference of 69.35 FP in favor of Yankinfowlsandfeline. If we were to look at it from a FPOB perspective, and cut M Prater out of the equation (being below replacement and therefore not count him against R C Smith), we would see that the trade favored TheSloppyButts by 3.53 FP. It was a very even trade from that perspective. It is good to see people trading in such a way that teams know the values well and execute deals that are mutually beneficial. Yankinfowlsandfeline was immediately able to draft quality depth at WR which was lacking following the keeper declaration for the price of 3.8 FP per week at RB.

By looking at the draft, we can see that G Jennings WR did not perform to the Ideal Draft Chart level (FPOB) for the second overall pick but from the drafted WRs he was the 2d highest scoring WR of the available WRs after the keeper declaration. Only D Bowe's 220.5 FP outscored G Jennings's 211.15 FP of unkept WRs. Yankinfowlsandfeline capitalized on his opportunity to have the first available pick of the free agent pool.

J Finley TE and S Smith WR (Car) were the next players drafted by J Smith. Neither one of them did as expected. Both were hampered by an injury. S Smith only missed two games but he was also hampered by a bad QB situation. J Delhomme's departure left a gaping hole for Carolina to fill at QB. As a side note, S Smith was on J Smith's final roster at the end of 2009 too.

J Smith's next 4 picks did an excellent job beginning with C Benson RB. He was on Yankinfowlsandfeline's team the previous year (drafted in the 7th Rd). In 2010 he was drafted right on schedule as a 4th Rd pick. He virtually scored the same number of FP as he did in 2009 (4.35 FP more in 2010). It is interesting that C Benson has turned out to be a dependable RB in fantasy and for the Cincinnati Bengals after a pretty rough entrance into the pros.

P Harvin and H Nicks made up for the depth at WR that S Smith was not. K Winslow added depth to the TE position which was no doubt worthwhile as J Finley was injured early on. C Ivory was drafted pretty early but had spot starts with P Thomas and R Bush injured for the Saints. C Ivory also suffered an injury and the Saints were less able to keep defenses honest with the lack of a solid running game. I wouldn't call it a huge mistake drafting either since it was the 9th Rd. This is about where you'd see normal replacement level fantasy talent get drafted.

With J Maclin WR and the NY Jets DEF J Smith's excellent drafting was complete. Only one player really varnished such an excellent draft by J Smith, namely, S Smith WR (Car). Beyond that, this draft looks to me to be the best we have reviewed thus far. There was a consistent ability to draft depth above Ideal Draft Value levels and it showed during the regular season when injuries and unforeseen drops in production also occurred.

2010 End of Season Commentary
In 2009, we saw the choke of ages. In 2010 we saw a repeat choking... much like Homer's repeated offenses toward Bart. In 2010 it wasn't to the same degree as in 2009 but not too far off either. In 2009 Yankinfowlsandfeline dominated in the fantasy points and was ousted by the number 8 seeded team, Sea Buzzards. No doubt an embarrassing loss.

In 2010 Yankinfowlsandfeline scored the second highest fantasy point total in the league but topped the regular season standings thus earning himself a #1 seed in the playoffs and a 1st round (quarterfinal) bye. Things were looking better than 2009 already. Under the new playoff format he automatically didn't have to suffer a quarterfinal embarrassment.

"No matter what comes against me,
I believe in God. I’m going to
have a positive outlook for my life!"
 During the regular season Yankinfowlsandfeline only had 4 games where he scored under 100 FP. Out of those 4 games he had a 2 - 2 win/loss record. The other 2 losses (back to back) he suffered during the regular season were against fellow playoff contenders: SOCIAL ISoTopes and Yer X-MOM. In week 5's loss to SOCIAL ISoTopes J Smith could have won by starting K Orton QB and H Nicks instead of A Rodgers QB and C Ivory RB (Flex). In Week 6 he could have started J Maclin WR for some more help too. Yer X-MOM had a ton of bench points he could have capitalized on too but without going into the details, a loss is a loss. His 4th loss of the season came 2 weeks later in week 8 to Kabuki Strikes Back. From that point on J Smith ran the table until the semifinals. In fact, his team appeared to be scoring higher totals and getting stronger. Definitely a positive feeling going into the playoffs.

When the 2010 semifinals finally arrived for Yankinfowlsandfeline, in week 15, J Smith suddenly found himself in a terrible dilemma. Both of his QBs, who had been playing at the top of their games, were down due to injury. A Rodgers and K Orton were not going to start in week 15. Late in the week he had to decide if indeed they were to start or not. Yer X-MOM saw this issue and wondered too, if he should grab T Tebow QB off the waiver wire so Yankinfowlsandfeline couldn't use K Orton's backup against him. But Yer X-MOM didn't know who to drop in time and J Smith grabbed T Tebow instead. He started T Tebow and he scored 25.32 FP. But it wasn't enough. Yer X-MOM had him. Yankinfowlsandfeline would have needed to bench M Jones-Drew and G Jennings and start P Harvin and J Maclin in order to be able to win by 3.03 FP but you just don't bench M Jones-Drew and G Jennings. They were the guys who had been stalwarts for the regular season and now is not the time to bench them. Jennings did all right without A Rodgers but subbing J Maclin for M Jones-Drew was still short by .06 FP.... yes "POINT" 06. P Harvin would have helped give him the edge. Besides, Yer X-MOM's optimal lineup still would have beaten Yankinfowlsandfeline's optimal lineup. A loss in the playoffs is still a loss, but it is just more final.

When the dust settled J Smith ousted Ghost for the Bronze Medal winning 154.98 - 141.83. No matter. It wasn't a second Brothers Keeper championship. It was a second choke. Brothers Keeper needed a two time champion and it got one. It also needed a two time choker and got that too. Two birds with one stone in 2010.

Yankinfowlsandfeline Final 2010 Roster
According to the new draft order Yankinfowlsandfeline will have the 8th draft pick position in the upcoming 2011 Brothers Keeper fantasy football draft since he failed to win in the quarterfinals against Yer X-MOM. He beat out Ghost in the 3d place game (154.98 - 141.83), had a strong regular season, and solid fantasy point total. Therefore he was the third best team according to the 3 Factor Power Rankings and thus won himself the 8th draft pick position.

I have included the upcoming 2011 draft round and pick number (overall pick is in parentheses) of each player on Yankinfowlsandfeline'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. (8) Maurice Jones-Drew RB (1st Rd Keeper Value); 13 fantasy starts; 218.25 fp
1. (8) Greg Jennings WR (1st Rd Keeper Value); 13 fantasy starts; 211.15 fp
2. (13)
3. (28)
4. (33) Cedric Benson RB; 10 fantasy starts; 188 fp
5. (48) Percy Harvin WR; 11 fantasy starts; 198.2 fp
6. (53) Hakeem Nicks WR; 7 fantasy starts; 198.07 fp
7. (68) Kellen Winslow TE; 10 fantasy starts; 132.5 fp
8. (73) Christopher Ivory RB; 2* fantasy starts; 99.45 fp
9. (88) Jeremy Maclin WR; 2* fantasy starts; 181.1 fp
10. (93) Aaron Rodgers QB; 12 fantasy starts; 383.48 fp
11. (108)
12. (113)
13. (128) Darren Sproles RB; 10 fantasy starts (10 with Points ON the Bench); 165.13 fp
14. (133)
15. (148) LaGarrette Blount RB; 3* fantasy starts; 136.4 fp (Undrafted)
15. (148) Carolina DEF; 1* fantasy starts; 103 fp (Undrafted)
15. (148) Kyle Orton QB; 1* fantasy starts; 275.88 fp (Undrafted)
15. (148) Shayne Graham K; 1* fantasy starts; 74 fp (Undrafted)
15. (148) Tim Tebow QB; 1* fantasy starts; 111.86 fp (Undrafted)

Looking Ahead at 2011
Because J Smith's 2010 team was very talented it will be a complicated decision for him to decide on who to retain for 2011. A Rodgers QB (11th Rd) looks like a given and there is no reason to assume he wouldn't perform as a Super Bowl Champion would. So aside from A Rodgers at QB, who else might Yankinfowlsandfeline keep? There are 2 RBs and 3 WRs. By strictly considering fantasy points there are two that scored over 200 FP. One RB and one WR: M Jones-Drew RB (1st Rd) and G Jennings WR (1st Rd). P Harvin, H Nicks, and J Maclin all came close but did not score over 200 FP.

M Jones-Drew RB has some injury concerns to monitor (here's MJD on MJD). After all, even the Jaguars offensive cooridnator hasn't discussed holding back on M Jones-Drew. Overall, he seems like he'd be a given to be retained.Without him J Smith would need to scramble for a quality RB and would have to wait until the second round to do so if he kept G Jennings WR. If either one, or both, are worth a 2d Rd consideration then we should hope to expect J Smith to put himself in a good position for 2011 by hanging on to them. But if we've seen anything, we should know that J Smith might do a lot of different things. For instance, he is the one who traded R Rice away before the draft last year. If he keeps M Jones-Drew, he could trade him. He could keep 2 WRs and A Rodgers and trade some of them for a RB of his choosing.

If you think that part of J Smith's decision is difficult, just wait until you see his developmental eligible keepers. They, too, are numerous. Vying for one spot is vexing. C Ivory RB (Rd 9), J Maclin WR (Rd 10), L Blount RB (Rd 15), K Orton QB (Rd 15), and T Tebow QB (Rd 15) all have the potential to be some big producers. If A Rodgers is kept, he alone would be reason enough to toss aside the Denver QBs from this discussion. But if you wanted a backup QB which one would he keep? K Orton or T Tebow? Well K Orton looks to top the depth chart according to the new head coach Jon Fox. On the other hand T Tebow has a believer in John Elway (now in upper management). He could be the next M Vick without all the dog fighting or bar room shootings at birthday parties. T Tebow is a quality guy and will work hard in any organization. If he has already been made into a bobble-head you just know he's going to be great. Plus he can take a practical joke. Remember the bad haircut?

If J Smith doesn't want to dabble in the QB controversy in Denver then he will still need to decide on whether he wants to invest in a RB or a WR. There are two RBs to consider. Each will have to be monitored to see where they end up on the depth chart. In my opinion L Blount will more likely be a starter than C Ivory but both are solid candidates as the future feature candidate for their organizations. J Maclin WR is an excellent WR but defenses will adjust to his successful 2010 campaign. He will also have to deal with having a smaller share of targets with a healthy D Jackson WR, B Celek TE, and L McCoy RB. They all will depend upon M Vick's success as a QB.

My Best Guess at Yankinfowlsandfeline's 2011 Keepers
The following seems to me to be the safest choice J Smith could make but he could do other things: A Rodgers QB, M Jones-Drew RB, G Jennings WR (since the Packers should be set for the next decade), and L Blount RB as his developmental choice. But will he make the same decision?

Brothers Keeper Third Party Consultant's Best Guess at Yankinfowlsandfeline 2011 Keepers
"I would keep Aaron Rodgers, MJD, and Hakeem Nicks. I know it's crazy to not keep Jennings when you have Rodgers as your QB1 but Nicks will be entering into his 3rd year and was a beast last year! He would have easily finished the year off as top 3 fantasy WR if he wasn't hurt for 2 games. I like Jennings and he had an awesome year last year but he only became relevant once Jermichael Finley went down. Before that it was impossible to sell Jennings. Nobody wanted the guy and since Finley is coming back this year I expect Jennings to cool off some.

"Finally, as a keeper, I would roll with Tebow I look at per game avg’s for Rodgers and Tebow and Tebow crushes Rodgers. But Tebow did only play 3 games one was Houston who he torched. The other two were decent defenses. He faced Oakland his first game and did okay. And against the #1 overall defense (Chargers) he did really well with 300 total yrds and 3 TDs.

"Blount is also a great looking RB and either one looks good as a keeper but a guy like Tebow who scores through the air and on the ground is hard to give up.

"Maybe its the heat that's making me crazy but I have no idea how I came up with those guys. lol"

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