Last week, Grantland sent out a call for readers to submit a 750-word article on fantasy football. The assignment was to write about five picks and sleeper for the 2012 season. I didn’t publish my entry on the blog because it violated the terms of the contest but today I found out I wasn’t selected. Now that I no longer have a longshot chance to become a semi-famous internet sportswriter, I figure I might as well publish it. Here’s what I had to say:
Everyone knows it’s never good to overthink your fantasy draft. Once it begins, all those mock drafts and hours spent scrawling illegible notes all over your apartment like Kevin Spacey in Se7en are immediately out the window and chaos reigns supreme. Someone is going to take your number one pick and the drunkest guy in the room will grab a kicker in the 4th round. Surely these things will throw you off your game and push you into quick decision-making territory. Don’t be the guy who panics – no one likes the guy who panics.
It’s very important to decide on a simple guideline that will govern all quick decisions you have to make on draft day. This year, I’m going with player names. Having two first names is the best possible scenario. Famous examples include Ron Paul, Ron Jeremy, and Ronnie from Jersey Shore (his last name is “Sammi,” right?). Those people have all excelled in their respective fields so this should work out well for me. [Note: People not named “Ron” can also qualify so don’t worry, Ronnie Brown will not be on my list.] Now, time for the picks:
- Aaron Rodgers – I know people don’t typically spell Roger with a “d,” but we’ll let it slide this time because he’s Aaron Rodgers. He also plays for a team that was notoriously poor on defense last year. This means his games remain closer than they should and he will continue throwing the ball later in the game. Rodgers also has the “discount double check” thing going and State Farm is a Pro Bowl sponsor. I smell collusion, but the terms “good” and “evil” mean nothing in the cut-throat world of fantasy football. Collusion is your friend, folks.
- Tom Brady – He easily passes the “two first names” test and we all know this guy is good. So good, in fact, that he has become the face of Ugg boots, the official shoe of eskimos, college girls embarrassed of what the “freshmen 15” has done to their ankles, and athletes everywhere. Much like my rationale for Aaron Rodgers, the Patriots defense has left much to be desired in the past and Brady will often be forced to pass throughout the 4th quarter. Honestly, even if the game situation doesn’t call for it, Belichick may throw late in blow-out games anyway because he (allegedly) sold his soul to the devil in 1999 for a future Super Bowl ring and a never-ending supply of hooded sweatshirts.
- LeSean McCoy – He doesn’t pass the “two first names” test but the symmetry of LeSean McCoy’s name is reason enough to draft this guy in the first round. In football-related reasoning, we all know Michael Vick is likely to be in a back brace by halftime of Week 2 and the Eagle’s offensive burden will fall to McCoy. Considering he averaged nearly 5 yards per carry and scored a touchdown almost every week of the 2011 season, it’s safe to say he will be up to the task.
- Maurice Jones-Drew – Yes, I know “Jones” is not a first name, but “Maurice and “Drew” both are. It’s a first-name sandwich and this is America, the land of sandwiches and opportunity, so I say it counts for something. We all know MJD has been holding out, but that is bound to end soon because this guy loves fantasy football. He must be watching his stock fall in mock drafts and salivating at the chance to prove people wrong. Be the risky genius who takes a chance because his value will far outweigh the pick spent on him.
- LeGarrette Blount – Much like MJD, this is another value pick. He had an injury in the preseason but it has been deemed “minor.” Still, the injury is likely to scare off the risk-averse owners in your league. Take a chance on LeGarrette Blount. He punched a guy on national television once. It was awesome. You might be saying, “WAIT this guy doesn’t pass the two-first-names test.” Well, my observant friend, you’re right. But I grant him an exception because I knew a guy in college whose nickname was “Blunts.” Not sure why everybody called him that. Cool guy, but he always seemed sleepy. Speaking of sleepy… It’s time for my sleeper pick.
Sleeper: Jason Pierre-Paul. Why? THREE FIRST NAMES. Yes, I am aware he’s a defensive player but trust me, you just can’t go wrong when a guy has three first names. Thank me later.