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Andy Behrens

9-on-9: What's NOT in my wallet

Andy Behrens
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Instead of the usual sweep of headlines, let's take a different path in Nine-on-Nine™ today. We're finally at the end of the football draft season, so it's a good time to review the portfolio. Last week, Mr. Pianowski gave you a glimpse of the players he's heavily invested in this year. As a companion to that post, today I'm sorting through the players I've made no investment in whatsoever – not in mocks, not in auctions, not in live drafts.

This is by no means a Benson hate list. Don't misunderstand the purpose here. I'd take any of the guys below if the round was right. These are big names, highly ranked. They just happen to be completely absent from my fantasy wallet (six Yahoo! teams, five rogue teams, many industry mocks). Never pulled the trigger on 'em, despite dozens of opportunities…

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Drew Brees(notes) - Allow me to point out that I owned Brees – and two other players on my not-in-wallet list – in the Friends & Family League last year, on a team that went 9-3-1 (pictured right). I have nothing against Brees specifically. My failure to own him in '09 is about draft value, nothing else. Brees is the new Peyton Manning(notes), the quarterback who gets drafted in the late first or early second round. For me, the likely difference between him and Rodgers, McNabb or Schaub isn't worth the draft day cost.

Kurt Warner(notes) - OK, this one is maybe 35 percent about the price of the player (ADP 39.5), 63 percent about the risk involved, and two percent, um…intangibles. Warner is at the controls of a loaded offense, but he's also 38 years old, he's recovering from hip surgery, and he has just three 16-game seasons to his credit. He was an impossible pick when names like Romo, Rivers and the rest were still on the board.

Michael Turner(notes) - Again, note the roster above. Last year Turner would have been on my all-over-the-[expletive]-wallet list. He definitely returned a profit. My apparent indifference to him in '09 is really an accident of ranks and random draft order. I never rated Turner second overall. When I had an early pick, I went Peterson, MJD or Forte. If I thought Turner had another 17 TD season ahead, then sure, I'd bump him to the top of the board. But the Falcons' run/pass mix seems likely to change – it was 35.0 to 27.1 per game last year – and that can't help a guy who caught six passes.

And the Curse of the Bride of 370 is pure nonsense. Stop it.

Clinton Portis(notes) - He's a high-mileage player who wilted a bit in the second half of '08. A little more Ladell Betts(notes) could ultimately help him avoid breakdown. This is a player I regret not owning, because there could be a fantastic sell-high opportunity. Washington faces St. Louis, Detroit and Kansas City within the first six weeks.

Julius Jones(notes) - Don't talk to me about projected workload. Seattle's O-line is an injured wreck and Jones is Jones. Four touchdowns over two seasons. However, as with Portis, I kinda wish I'd taken the lesser Jones somewhere so as to take advantage of an apparently soft early schedule (STL in Week 1, SF in Week 2).

Anquan Boldin(notes) - The hamstring issue is not an overwhelming concern. Boldin returned absurdly fast from a broken face last year, earning all kinds of plays-hurt credibility. But my enthusiasm for Roddy White(notes) and Marques Colston(notes) (check the preseason WR ranks) and my total faith in DeSean Jackson(notes) meant that Boldin always went to someone else. It's nothing personal.

Anthony Gonzalez(notes) - Had no idea until I took the inventory that I never drafted/ bought/mocked Gonzalez. He should have a very good year, in part because Marvin Harrison(notes) is now an ex-Colt. The only issue with Gonzalez is that the projected increase in targets has been completely built into the price (ADP 50.4). He's another guy going well ahead of DeSean (ADP 56.4), which I cannot endorse.

Roy Williams - Seriously, what is it that you folks don't like about DeSean Jackson? You're thinking there's zero chance of improvement in year two? From a guy who's had an excellent offseason and who's always the quickest player on the field? You're worried about Curtis? Avant? Baskett? Maclin? Quick? Carmichael? I think I deserve answers, commenters.

The Williams excuse is the same as my Gonzalez excuse. Jackson and Royal were higher on the cheat sheet.

Jason Witten(notes) - Great as he is, Witten's ADP is crazy-high (42.4). Antonio Gates(notes) went 10 picks later, Dallas Clark(notes) went 17 picks later, Owen Daniels(notes) 50 picks later, and Dustin Keller(notes) 82 picks later. The position is loaded. No sense paying for the brand name.

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OK, that's nine I don't own. In the everlasting words of D. Boon, "What of the people who don't have what I ain't got?"

Or somethin'. Please share the non-contents of your fantasy wallet in comments…

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