I thought I would finally dip my toes into the daily football leagues, using some of my winnings from the Draft Street Fantasy Baseball Freerolls to fund an entry this week. I opted for a salary cap format where you assemble a squad by keeping your lineup under a set dollar amount, using the salaries set by the site. Of course, the better players cost more and after perusing the numbers, Draft Street also takes into account the matchup and adjusts accordingly.
As always, the key to this set-up is identifying the low end entities that allow the deployment of high end studs. Unfortunately, while I have followed the season to this point, I admit I’m not as intimate with the inventory as usual so my ability to peg the break-out guy is going to be limited. My intention was to look for injury replacements, but dang it if Draft Street wasn’t all over that, elevating the prices of potential injury substitutes.
QB: Aaron Rodgers – I usually start cheap and fill in with the stars, Rodgers was a must-have so I plunked him in there and built around him. I am a bit concerned that the Packer wide outs are a bit dinged up but Rodgers throws to laundry, he doesn’t seem to care about the name on the back of the uniform. So long as it is the same color as his, Rodgers is cool with it.
QB: Ben Roethlisberger – The Steelers are a pass-first squad now and Big Ben takes full advantage. Washington’s defense in vulnerable and I expect a huge day for Roethlisberger.
RB: Rashad Jennings – Going so strong at QB means I am going to be light at running back (which may propel me to enter a second squad with cheaper QB’s and top tier RB’s). Jennings is taking the spot of Maurice Jones-Drew and will be the bell-cow for the Jaguars for the next few weeks. I like the fact he will be active in the passing game and the Jags are going to need to air it out to (try to) keep up with Green Bay.
RB: Jonathan Dwyer – I don’t love this pick but due to salary constraints they all can’t give you the warm and fuzzies. If Bradshaw is out for the Giants, I may try to squeeze Brown into this spot, but short of that, I’ll take my chances on a starter going against a week D, even though I am already playing the Pittsburgh QB.
WR: Reggie Wayne – I was hoping Wayne would be in the bargain bin, but Draft Street had him priced with the elite, but I am still sufficiently bullish on the Colts’ receiver that I found a place for him. Wayne is showing that he was not just a product of Payton Manning. I expect another huge effort.
TE: Heath Miller – I wanted another piece of the Steelers’ passing attack and thought Miller provided a good bang for the buck, along with filling a positional need.
FLEX: Alex Green – My main hesitation with this pick is my bed of knowledge about Green is strictly from reading and hearing about him, I have yet to see him play myself. So I am relying on the optimistic ranking of the sources I trust, even though like Dwyer, I am also utilizing Green’s signal caller.
FLEX: Steven Jackson – Jackson is running with a purpose and with the Patriots’ sieve like defense, I expect Jackson to have a decent day and find the end zone.
D/ST: Detroit - Here is where I struggled the most as I kept bouncing in different defenses in an effort to maximize the flex spots. I looked at Cleveland and New England before finally settling on the Lions. The interesting aspect of D/ST scoring is you are docked half a point for each point allowed. This means you can’t just take the lowest priced unit and hope they sneak in a handful of sacks or turnovers. You have to be cognizant of the points they may allow.
So there’s my squad, pending injury or even weather changes. After writing it up, I am really considering going with an alternate squad with stud running backs and weaker quarterbacks. Good thing I hit on multiple baseball entries so I have the bankroll to experiment a bit with house money.