This is what we do when you draft a player we want right before it's our turn...
The end of August means the start of fantasy football (and actual NFL football), and that means the HBFFL is gearing up for its 7th season. There are some new faces in the crowd as we've moved away from the Humor Blogger requisite of our league, much how like everyone forgot Richie Cunningham on Happy Days had an older brother.
The 2014 HBFFL draft was held this past Tuesday and the grades from Yahoo! are in. Let's see what the algorithm bots have to say about who will dominate the season.
|"Is this who's left on the draft board???"|
The Patriots - Grade: A - Projected Record: 10-4 (3rd place)
One of our newbies in the HBFFL, Yahoo! liked them the best with their draft, though strangely projects them to finish 3rd. They went with the tried and true Renal Failure strategy of loading up on RB's, taking Eddie Lacy, DeMarco Murray, and Giovani Bernard with their first three picks. They grabbed Matty Ice as their QB, a solid choice. They'll be leaning on Randall Cobb for WR production, but may be relying too much on Vernon Davis at TE. Your People's Champ wouldn't have given them an A rating just because they chose two kickers and one of them is the suspended Matt Prater.
Cranberry Sauce - Grade: B+ - Projected Record: 11-3 (2nd place)
The newcomers know their stuff according to the Yahoo! bots. Jamaal Charles with the 2nd pick will be their focus at RB because the other RB's (Shane Vereen, DeAngelo Williams, James Starks) don't scare anyone. They loaded up at WR with Jordy Nelson and Alshon Jeffrey, and they got the best value of the 5th round by taking the Seattle Defense, which is about the only defense you can unequivocally count on in 2014. Cranberry won't have to worry much if Matt Stafford goes down with Philip Rivers behind him. But in Renal Failure's opinion, Cranberry should be knocked down to a D in this draft for ruining our plan to take Johnny Manziel with the final pick of the draft to make a very clever Mr. Irrelevance joke. To be fair, we did tell people we were going to do it, but that's because it was too good not to share.
|And now "Deep Thoughts by Eli Manning"|
The HBFFL vet went WR heavy with Megatron, Brandon Marshall, and Victor Cruz in the first four rounds, which Yahoo! says is the best WR trio in the HBFFL. He'll be hoping RB Andre Ellington comes through, despite playing for Arizona. Speaking of Arizona, their D should be solid again this year. We're not sold on his taking Cam Newton as his QB considering he has no one to throw to in Carolina, and if he spends all his time running that ups his chance of getting injured. Backup QB Eli Manning doesn't scare anyone. And Rob Gronkowski's injury issues may bite Bald Spots when he can least afford to be bitten. Still, you can't rule out a team with Megatron on the roster.
Bourbon Blasters - Grade: B - Projected Record 6-8 (7th place)
This is the rare year that the Blasters do not have Drew Brees as their QB, but Aaron Rodgers ain't a bad replacement. The Blasters will be leaning on Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore for running points, but they're not getting any younger. Andre Johnson might be the only receiving threat for the Texans, but do you want to put your faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick getting the ball to him (why do you think no one won with Bills receivers the past couple seasons)? He'll get more production from Julius Thomas and Julian Edelman, but Joe has no Drew Brees so he gets no playoffs. But Yahoo! thinks you draft handsomely. Also we're not sold on Percy Harvin, but Dennis Pitta is a nice TE option.
|Hey LOBO, resolve to fix your autodraft rankings|
Your runner-up in last year's Humor Bowl will have to scrap a bit to get back there according to the Yahoo! bots. though there's a lot to disagree with. Jimmy Graham in the first round was the 2nd best receiving threat in the Top 10 behind Megatron but LOBO was right to feel weird about drafting a TE with their first pick. A.J. Green is another solid WR to build the team around. But the RB situation is a bit dicey. Le'Veon Bell is in drug trouble and Toby Gerhart is Toby Gerhart. Colin Kaepernick will probably be able to bail out PredPress in some tight games, but if he goes down we're not sold on him being able to rely on RGIII. Also, LOBO's autodrafter took Wes Welker way too high for someone with who just got his 3rd concussion in the past two years. But like us LOBO lives for waiver wire pickups so he's got a puncher's chance of sneaking into the playoffs.
Future Ex-Cons (Defending HBFFL champion) - Grade: B - Projected Record 12-2 (1st place)
Troi's chances of winning a third consecutive Humor Bowl are looking good according to the Yahoo! bots, a lot of it due to having the weakest projected schedule (something RF rode hard on last year to get into the playoffs). But they may have stumbled out of the gate by taking Drew Brees AND Peyton Manning with their first two picks. This sort of trade bait scenario rarely works (we know, because we've tried it in the past, e.g. the Tom Brady/RGIII 5-8-1 season of 2012). We like Troi's choice of Zac Stacy in the 3rd round, seeing how we had Zac Stacy last season and he racked up mad points for us in our push to the playoffs. Larry Fitzgerald in the 4th round is a steal. DeSean Jackson in the 5th? Eh... RGIII is not Nick Foles. San Francisco's D in the 6th seemed a bit of a reach as did taking K Stephen Gostkowski in the 8th. Troi will roll the dice with Marques Colston because Brees can't throw to Jimmy Graham all the time. We're going to make an outlandish prediction here: Troi does not win his 3rd championship without trading Brees or Manning, and we don't think anyone's going to make that deal. We may be biased because teams have learned over the years to be wary of trades with Renal Failure (we are the devil!), but the HBFFL has never been a trade-heavy league.
You sleep on Renal Failure, you get snapped in half.
Renal Failure (aka the People's Champion) - Grade B- - Projected Record 7-7 (6th place)
Yahoo! never understands or appreciates how we operate. That's why we're the Wild Card (bitches)! Renal Failure ended up picking last in the draft order for the 2nd straight year, but that's okay because we were 10-4 in 2013. Your People's Champ went with our tried and true method of loading up on RB's - going with Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris, and C.J. Spiller. Then we loaded up with a deep trio of WR's Demaryius Thomas, Jeremy Maclin, and Michael Crabtree. Yahoo! says we took Tom Brady too early in the 5th round, but we couldn't count on quality QB's to be available around picks 70 and 71. Yahoo! says we stole TE Jason Witten in the 10th round but we like getting Jay Cutler as our backup QB in the 8th round even more. We rounded out our draft with some handcuff picks (Riley Cooper, Fred Jackson) and decided to gamble in the later rounds with some adventurous picks with Sammy Watkins, Zach Ertz, and (to make up for not getting Johnny Manziel with the last pick) Blake Bortles. If these youngsters blossom like they're expected to, Renal Failure could rocket themselves into the playoffs yet again. And if they don't, well that's why we pound that waiver wire like it owes us money (that's how over the past 6 years we were into CJ2K, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Brandon Lloyd, Zac Stacy, and Arcade Fire before everyone else was - just kidding about Arcade Fire, we don't see what the big deal is about them).
|In tribute of Tom Brady's 60-point day in 2009|
Manley's Book Club - Grade: C+ - Projected Record 4-10 (8th place)
This newbie to the HBFFL didn't get the Yahoo! draft love, but he did get Nick Foles who had a red hot 2013 and should continue throwing bears into outer space in 2014 (throwing bears into outer space being our term for ridiculously high fantasy football point performances). We personally think he took Dez Bryant way too high, but we don't much care for Cowboys not named Jason Witten (Yahoo! thinks Bryant's going to lead all WR in points this year because of reasons too smart for us to understand). Cordarelle Patterson is slated to have a breakout year at WR, which we agree with more seeing as someone has to catch the ball in Minnesota. Doug Martin will grind out a lot of yards running for the Bucs, and if Montee Ball can stay competent he could get close to those inexplicable Knowshow Moreno numbers from last year (and just to be sure, Manley drafted Moreno too). We're not keen on him wasting a high pick on Roddy White, considering the shit season he had when he was on the Renal Roster last year. Probably could have gotten him much later.
|Sometimes you just get spittin' mad at your draft.|
The commish of the HBFFL never gets any love from the Yahoo! draft bots. Things started off good with grabbing Matt Forte and Julio Jones. Then things went wonky with taking WR Keenan Allen with the 3rd round pick. Reggie Bush in the 4th round was pretty money, as was getting Andrew Luck in the 5th. After that, the rest of his draft decisions don't inspire much emotion other than "Well, you're here, come along." Joique Bell is Reggie Bush's handcuff, so that's something, but the Drank is rolling with two Saints RB's on the bench (Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram) Who do you know in fantasy football who's gone anywhere in the last few year by relying on the Saints running game? At least Tampa Bay's Defense is supposed to be good.
|For when you don't make the consolation playoffs.|
Yahoo! loves and hates the HBFFL rookies. Mile High was granted the 1st pick overall and took Renal Failure mainstay Shady McCoy (Your People's Champ are McCoy hipsters, we were starting him before it was cool). WR Antonio Brown was a solid 2nd round pick. Yahoo! especially liked his 3rd round selection of Arian Foster (hey, we had McCoy and Foster last year too - Mile High knows who to emulate for success). TE Jordan Cameron is projected to be the only person on the Browns catching anything so take that as you will, and WR Vincent Jackson is slated to be the man in Tampa Bay. Rounding out the lineup are QB Tony Romo and a nice pickup in Round 8 of WR Emmanuel Sanders. But the problem is with the rest of Mile High's RB choices. Trent Richardson and Maurice Jones-Drew (a former Renal Failure favorite) aren't going to make teams lose sleep. And Dwayne Bowe? Sure, Renal Failure won a championship with him in 2010 but that was the last time he was ever useful. Better hope Anquan Boldin still has some life left in those legs, or that RB Devonta Freeman breaks out in Atlanta.
We'll see in 16 weeks who the 2014 champ is, and who are the teams that really wanted to forget the 2014 season. Maybe we'll check with the teams who were ambivalent about their season, but they're less fun.
Renal Failure is the People's Champion and original member of the HBFFL. We are the fantasy football team your league deserves, but not the one it needs right now.