Last night MDS and a few of his private leaguers did battle and drafted against four experts and some esteemed commenters in Andy Behrens’ fantasy football blog league, the Roto Arcade Invitational. This is a 16 team league with a handful of IDP players mixed in at DL (2), LB(2) and DB(1). The four experts, one for each division, include Roto Arcade editor Andy Behrens (obviously), Paul Bourdett aka The Pick-Up Artist, the Fantasy Baseball Sherpa and a dude from razzball. This was my first IDP league and decided it was best to seek some help from an experienced IDP drafter. Roto Experts’ Antonio D’Arcangelis heard my cries for help and provided me with some links and advice. Heading into the draft, my plan was to get my offense set first, not be the first team to take an IDP player and make sure to take my DB late in one of the last few rounds because we only needed one and there was plenty to be had. After the draft I provided Antonio with the draft results and prepared some questions for him. So with that, lets get into some Q & A with Antonio D’Arcangelis:
1. Quickly skimming over the draft do you think any of the managers reached for IDP players too early and/or stole some players later in the draft? How do you feel about where Patrick Willis (99), DeMarcus Ware (107) and Oshiomogho Atogwe (168) were selected in the draft? These were the players first drafted from their respected IDP positions.
I’d say once it’s Round 7 and your team is pretty much settled, it’s okay to grab a Top LB if they score about the same as an RB3 or WR3. But I’ll always take a Top Tier TE before I grab a Top Tier LB. So no – I don’t think Willis was a reach, because he wouldn’t have made it back to Mackenzie had he passed him up there — LBs DeMarcus Ware, Barrett Ruud, James Harrison, Top 5 DE Jared Allen and LB Jon Beason all were drafted in front of Mackenzie’s next pick. The IDP reach of the draft was definitely Nu-Yawk Giants selection of Antoine Winfield in Round 9 while D’Qwell Jackson, Jon Vilma, Karlos Dansby, Ray Lewis, Lance Briggs and E.J. Henderson were available. And while I think DE-eligible Terrell Suggs by BLAZE in the middle of Round 9 was great value, his O.J. Atogwe pick in Round 11 was a definite reach. Too much volatility at the DB position to warrant DB selections that early. They should’ve grabbed LBs.
2. Which team(s) applied an IDP draft strategy that you find most appealing?
As far as IDP goes, Downfield Vision applied and stuck to the best strategy. He filled his lineup, grabbed a handcuff and a quality backup RB, a solid TE, and then value-drafted defense with precision. LB London Fletcher, snuck in RB Mike Bell, LB Brian Urlacher, DL Justin Smith, DB Eric Weddle, good backup QB in Shaun Hill, DL Dwight Freeney, K, then closed it out with a third-year WR sleeper in Robert Meacham (albeit a perennial sleeper!).
3. What do you think of the four experts teams? Do you think they handled the addition of IDP players well and lived up to the expectations associated with being labeled as an expert?
I really like PUA’s team (I heart E.J. Henderson, R. Mathis and E. Reed) and Razzballer’s got a pretty nasty squad with lots of upside. But Razz should’ve grabbed Cap’N Kirk Morrison, David Harris or even rookie Rams MLB J. Laurinaitis before K.Wimbley, who could blow up this year with sack totals under Rob Ryan but isn’t a Top 20 LB. I think Behrens (Secret Treasure Loaf) has arguably the best all-around team, but I’m biased because I’m HOHILW Steve Slaton and Calvin Johnson this year. Not so sure about T.J. Houshmandzadeh – I might’ve snagged Jason Witten or Antonio Gates there – but I understand there’s not much of a dropoff to Keller, who could go pure apedung this season with capable rookie Mark Sanchez tossing him the rock. The Sherpa surprised with Larry Johnson in Round 3 – figured he should’ve gone WR or TE there, but maybe “The Disgruntled One” will rebound and score 20 a game. We all know he could. He also might’ve gotten the IDP steal of the draft with Laurinaitis in Round 16. As far as I’m concerned, experts they are (though I woulda beat the pants off all of you in this one!)
4. What do you think of million_dollar_sleeper’s team? Did I come out looking like an IDP rookie or did the power of Antonio help me stay afloat against these guys?
The Power of Antonio is a force to be reckoned with (Just ask the dude I had to tackle the other day for using the “N” word repeatedly in my presence and then swinging at me when I told him to stop. Bad move, bub). Actually, aside from the Felix Jones reach in Round 3 (love him but you coulda had him in Round 4) I think A Good Day to Addai has a real shot at taking this one down, MDS…just make sure we keep my waiver-wire addition that I’m gonna give ya on the DEE-ELL. There’s a couple LBs I really like who are left sitting out there on your wire – and I think they’ll be Top 20 IDP guys this year! But F’Your Couch Ninjas probably needs those guys more. He got “auto-effed,” as I like to call it.
5. How many leagues are you playing this fantasy football season and what kind of settings do you prefer? (size, positions, competition level, etc)
I’m playing in probably 15-20 leagues when it’s all said and done, and that includes just about every format available. I like a heady mix – like Hakeem Nicks — ya heard? I prefer 12-team IDP, QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, DL, LB, DB, D-flex, D-flex. That’s my long-standing home league that I play in with my bro-in-law and it is PURE CRAZINESS. The draft is grueling and wonderful at the same time.
6. Are there any players (IDP or not) that have been landing on your teams often? Are you over-invested in any players? Do you have any favorites? Did you miss out on anyone you really like? Are there any specific players you purposely avoided?
I’ve got Donovan McNabb (Eagles look sharp) as my QB in two money leagues (but I have a partner in both, so that kinda lessens the blow of having the QB from the rival Eagles who I have to now root for – I’m a Cowboy fan). I also have Felix Jones in a bunch of leagues, though I snagged him in Round 8 of a 14-team draft last night, so I’m not reaching for him (I draft with Giants fans who hate all Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles – Marion “The Barbarian” Barber and Clinton Portis lasted until like the fifth round last night). I like Shiancoe’s value in middle rounds (got him REALLY late before everybody jumped on in a few), and I love me some Jay Cutler. I’ve repeatedly missed out on Steve Slaton, although it’s a matter of where I’ve drafted. And I’m avoiding Thomas Jones, Jamal Lewis, Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, and Terrell Owens. IDP faves are all the LB/DE types who are DL-eligible (Trent Cole, Suggs, Aaron Kampman, Elvis Dumervil, Justin Smith, etc.) I also love Ruud and DQwell Jackson, as well as DBs Abram Elam and Erik Coleman.
7. Finally, on a scale of 1 to 10, how jealous should Paul Bourdett, the Pick Up Artist, be after watching me draft Chris Gamble 40 picks after he selected Ed Reed?
11 he should be extremely jealous…. ok, thats not Antonio’s real answer. he is it:
Ummm — 5.2? Gamble was definitely a nice value, but I’m one of the only guys out there who think he can sustain his big numbers from a year ago. And I love Ed Reed. Sometimes you just have to draft guys that take it to the hizzy once in a while, and balance the low-risk, high-reward guys with medium-risk, even-higher reward. Reed is one of those guys.
8. If there’s anything else you’d like to comment on?
Until the league is made viewable to the public, youll have to click here to see the full results of the Roto Arcade Invitational draft. If you have any need for IDP sleepers, watch list players, injury replacements or bye week fillers be sure to catch Antonio’s articles. They are highly entertaining and informative.