Roto Arcade - Fantasy

On Wednesday evening I assembled a group of eight for a Midseason PPR Fantasy Football Draft; a chance for us to assess the landscape, make fun of one another, propose side bets and finish the rest of the Octoberfest grog in the fridge (okay, that was me). We'll tabulate everything over the final nine weeks, using best-ball scoring – your best after-the-fact lineup is what counts every week. No trades, no pickups, no decisions, it's just a draft-and-watch exercise (hey, don't knock it until you try it).

The results are below for your perusal. Scoring is fairly basic: four points for a TD pass, six points for any other touchdown, 1/25 on the passing yards, 1/10 on rushing and receiving yards, one point per catch. We're filling jumbo-sized rosters: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 PK, 1 Head Coach (point differential is all that matters) and 3 flexes (RB, WR, or TE).

I invited about 25 people, and these are the chaps that accepted the challenge (Doc Behrens had a Cribbage Tournament to get to, while Chaz Liss was out with the Doublemint Twins):

- Herbie Teope, Time-Warner Cable
- Mark Stopa, Rotowire
- Kevin Cuozzo, Free-Lance Writer
- Dalton Del Don, Rotowire
- Kevin C. Payne, Rotowire
- Scott Pianowski, Yahoo!
- Mike Salfino, SNY & The Wall Street Journal
- Andrew Mak, Yahoo! Gaming Legend

And this is how we assembled our teams:

1.01 Teope: Arian Foster(notes)
1.02 Stopa: Chris Johnson
1.03 Cuozzo: Adrian Peterson
1.04 Del Don: Frank Gore(notes)
1.05 Payne: Roddy White(notes)
1.06 Pianow: Darren McFadden(notes)
1.07 Salfino: Michael Turner(notes)
1.08 A-Mak: Calvin Johnson(notes)

2.01 A-Mak: LeSean McCoy(notes)
2.02 Salfino: Hakeem Nicks(notes)
2.03 Pianow: Jamaal Charles(notes)
2.04 Payne: Ray Rice(notes)
2.05 Del Don: Rashard Mendenhall(notes)
2.06 Cuozzo: Steven Jackson
2.07 Stopa: Andre Johnson(notes)
2.08 Teope: Reggie Wayne(notes)

You can probably roll out those top three backs in any order and they'll make sense. … White has earned the right to be the top wideout off the board. … I can't say I'm supremely confident making McFadden a Top 6 pick, but my Plan B would have been Charles and I wound up snagging him as well.

3.01 Teope: Philip Rivers(notes)
3.02 Stopa: Maurice Jones-Drew(notes)
3.03 Cuozzo: Ahmad Bradshaw(notes)
3.04 Del Don: Brandon Marshall(notes)
3.05 Payne: Peyton Manning(notes)
3.06 Pianow: Peyton Hillis(notes)
3.07 Salfino: Matt Forte(notes)
3.08 A-Mak: LaDainian Tomlinson(notes)

4.01 A-Mak: Anquan Boldin(notes)
4.02 Salfino: Brandon Lloyd(notes)
4.03 Pianow: Terrell Owens(notes)
4.04 Payne: Miles Austin(notes)
4.05 Del Don: Antonio Gates(notes)
4.06 Cuozzo: Cedric Benson(notes)
4.07 Stopa: Larry Fitzgerald(notes)
4.08 Teope: Greg Jennings(notes)

We're actually using "team quarterbacks" as opposed to the individuals, but I listed the starters just because it reads better. … I botched my fourth-round pick, intending to take Gates and then getting distracted when it was time to select. … My strategy was to roll up as many pass-catching backs as possible, so a Top 3 of McFadden, Charles and Hillis sounds good on paper. The top backs will easily outscore the top receivers, and I see better depth at the WR position anyway.

5.01 Teope: Marques Colston(notes)
5.02 Stopa: DeSean Jackson(notes)
5.03 Cuozzo: Drew Brees(notes)
5.04 Del Don: Jahvid Best(notes)
5.05 Payne: Mike Williams (TB)
5.06 Pianow: Steve Smith (NY)
5.07 Salfino: Ben Roethlisberger(notes)
5.08 A-Mak: Jeremy Maclin(notes)

6.01 A-Mak: Thomas Jones(notes)
6.02 Salfino: Ryan Mathews(notes)
6.03 Pianow: Aaron Rodgers(notes)
6.04 Payne: LeGarrette Blount(notes)
6.05 Del Don: Michael Vick(notes)
6.06 Cuozzo: Steve Smith (Car)
6.07 Stopa: Pierre Garcon(notes)
6.08 Teope: BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes)

I'm not sure what to make of Best at the No. 36 slot; he's had trouble shaking that toe injury and the Lions used Kevin Smith(notes) just as much last week. … Blount also seems a little early to me; as much as I like him as a runner, we're still talking about an undrafted player who was cut by one team over the summer. The Bucs seem to like Blount, but Cadillac Williams is secure as the third-down back and the pass-catching option. … The "Philadelphia Quarterbacks" pick is a juicy one, since the injury risk of Vick is removed in our format. Kevin Kolb(notes) isn't that much of a drop down, and a mid-game injury won't kill you since you get credit for everyone at the position. … With just eight owners in this league and plenty of RB and WR slots to fill, you'll notice most of us didn't make the quarterback spot an early priority. Brees and Rodgers would never last this long in a traditional format.

7.01 Teope: Marshawn Lynch(notes)
7.02 Stopa: Mike Wallace(notes)
7.03 Cuozzo: Dwayne Bowe(notes)
7.04 Del Don: Knowshon Moreno(notes)
7.05 Payne: Chad Ochocinco(notes)
7.06 Pianow: Hines Ward(notes)
7.07 Salfino: Vernon Davis(notes)
7.08 A-Mak: Jason Witten(notes)

8.01 A-Mak: Eli Manning(notes)
8.02 Salfino: Percy Harvin(notes)
8.03 Pianow: Brandon Jackson(notes)
8.04 Payne: Ronnie Brown(notes)
8.05 Del Don: Santana Moss(notes)
8.06 Cuozzo: Beanie Wells(notes)
8.07 Stopa: Mike Tomlin
8.08 Teope: Shonn Greene(notes)

I like the value of Moreno here; he's shown a little more wiggle and juice in recent weeks, and he's starting to get more work in the passing game. … Jon Kitna(notes) has been looking Witten's way constantly since the Tony Romo(notes) injury; Witten finished with 10 catches (on 12 targets) in the loss to Jacksonville. … Greene will get his share of the rushing numbers when the Jets roll to easy victories, but he remains utterly lost in the passing game. … How healthy is Harvin, and how much is he going to miss the presence of that Moss fellow?

9.01 Teope: Randy Moss(notes)
9.02 Stopa: Danny Woodhead(notes)
9.03 Cuozzo: Mike Williams (Sea)
9.04 Del Don: Austin Collie(notes)
9.05 Payne: Tom Coughlin
9.06 Pianow: Davone Bess(notes)
9.07 Salfino: Dez Bryant(notes)
9.08 A-Mak: Ryan Torain(notes)

10.01 A-Mak: Wes Welker(notes)
10.02 Salfino: Felix Jones(notes)
10.03 Pianow: Jim Caldwell
10.04 Payne: Fred Jackson(notes)
10.05 Del Don: Joseph Addai(notes)
10.06 Cuozzo: Steve Johnson(notes)
10.07 Stopa: Brandon Jacobs(notes)
10.08 Teope: Mike Tolbert(notes)

Woodhead might have gone earlier if not for the location of our draft; the My Fantasy League software was set up with summer ranks, so surprise players were buried under 10 feet of snow. … Why have the Bills stopped throwing the ball to Jackson? And did you know that the last 12 Buffalo touchdowns have come through the air? … The uncertainty of Torain's hamstring pushes him down to the No. 80 pick. … Everyone knows about Tolbert's work at the goal line, but he's been sneaky as a receiver as well. This story is not going away. I was prepared to take him in the 11th round, had he lasted. … Bess has taken Welker's mantle as the best slot receiver in the league. Welker's two-touchdown opener got a lot of people jazzed, but he hasn't done much since (255 yards, one score). … Had we drafted a week ago, Seattle's Williams probably goes 15-20 slots higher.

11.01 Teope: Darren Sproles(notes)
11.02 Stopa: Ricky Williams(notes)
11.03 Cuozzo: Reggie Bush(notes)
11.04 Del Don: Johnny Knox(notes)
11.05 Payne: John Harbaugh
11.06 Pianow: Mike Sims-Walker(notes)
11.07 Salfino: Michael Crabtree(notes)
11.08 A-Mak: Tom Brady(notes)

12.01 A-Mak: Jonathan Stewart(notes)
12.02 Salfino: Rex Ryan
12.03 Pianow: Tony Gonzalez(notes)
12.04 Payne: Lee Evans(notes)
12.05 Del Don: Vincent Jackson(notes)
12.06 Cuozzo: Zach Miller
12.07 Stopa: Bill Belichick
12.08 Teope: Dustin Keller(notes)

Jackson could be a shrewd pick – he's eligible to return to action Week 12 agains the Colts, and obviously he's working with a world-class passer in Rivers. … I guess I've done a 180 on Sims-Walker, in part because David Garrard(notes) has been quietly effective over the last month or so. … In a vacuum I'd rather have Zach Miller to Gonzalez, but Oakland's looming bye and the presence of McFadden on my roster pushed me away from Miller here.

13.01 Teope: Chris Cooley(notes)
13.02 Stopa: Malcom Floyd(notes)
13.03 Cuozzo: Lance Moore(notes)
13.04 Del Don: Pierre Thomas(notes)
13.05 Payne: Brent Celek(notes)
13.06 Pianow: Danny Amendola(notes)
13.07 Salfino: Aaron Hernandez(notes)
13.08 A-Mak: Braylon Edwards(notes)

14.01 A-Mak: Kellen Winslow(notes)
14.02 Salfino: Norv Turner
14.03 Pianow: Jacob Tamme(notes)
14.04 Payne: Robert Meachem(notes)
14.05 Del Don: Santonio Holmes(notes)
14.06 Cuozzo: Mike Smith
14.07 Stopa: Marcedes Lewis(notes)
14.08 Teope: Matt Schaub(notes)

What's it going to take for Holmes to get more snaps than Jerricho Cotchery(notes)? Holmes still received No. 3 receiver treatment after the bye, while Cotchery received 13 targets. … It's just one game but I've bought in on Tamme. He's got the skill set of a wide receiver and he's working with the best quarterback of our generation.

15.01 Teope: Jabar Gaffney(notes)
15.02 Stopa: Heath Miller(notes)
15.03 Cuozzo: Sean Payton
15.04 Del Don: Jeff Fisher
15.05 Payne: Owen Daniels(notes)
15.06 Pianow: Steve Breaston(notes)
15.07 Salfino: Mike McCarthy
15.08 A-Mak: Mario Manningham(notes)

16.01 A-Mak: Andy Reid
16.02 Salfino: Kyle Orton(notes)
16.03 Pianow: Matthew Stafford(notes)
16.04 Payne: Marion Barber(notes)
16.05 Del Don: Todd Haley
16.06 Cuozzo: Joe Flacco(notes)
16.07 Stopa: Nick Folk(notes)
16.08 Teope: Sebastian Janikowski(notes)

Gaffney is a nifty value this late in the proceedings. … Is Manningham the best No. 3 wideout in the NFC? You can make the argument. … Orton comes at a nice price here, as Salfino will also get credit for any Tim Tebow(notes) stats. But Mike probably doesn't want to see Tebow take over completely in December (which is possible if the 2-6 Broncos don't start winning some games).

17.01 Teope: Dan Carpenter(notes)
17.02 Stopa: Matt Ryan(notes)
17.03 Cuozzo: Visanthe Shiancoe(notes)
17.04 Del Don: Sidney Rice(notes)
17.05 Payne: Jon Kitna
17.06 Pianow: Derrick Mason(notes)
17.07 Salfino: Jason Snelling(notes)
17.08 A-Mak: Adam Vinatieri(notes)

18.01 A-Mak: Brandon Pettigrew(notes)
18.02 Salfino: Derrick Ward(notes)
18.03 Pianow: Rob Bironas(notes)
18.04 Payne: Ryan Longwell(notes)
18.05 Del Don: Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes)
18.06 Cuozzo: Michael Bush(notes)
18.07 Stopa: Vince Young(notes)
18.08 Teope: Raheem Morris

Pettigrew is going to be a Pro Bowler some day. … Young's got a lot going for him if he can just stay healthy – rushing ability, Chris Johnson in the backfield, and eventually a Moss and Britt combination to chuck it to downfield.

19.01 Teope: Mark Sanchez(notes)
19.02 Stopa: Stephen Gostkowski(notes)
19.03 Cuozzo: Matt Bryant(notes)
19.04 Del Don: Mike Shanahan
19.05 Payne: David Akers(notes)
19.06 Pianow: Tom Cable
19.07 Salfino: Darrius Heyward-Bey(notes)
19.08 A-Mak: David Buehler(notes)

20.01 A-Mak: Tony Sparano
20.02 Salfino: Lawrence Tynes(notes)
20.03 Pianow: Jason Hanson(notes)
20.04 Payne: C.J. Spiller(notes)
20.05 Del Don: Jeff Reed(notes)
20.06 Cuozzo: Josh Scobee(notes)
20.07 Stopa: Donald Brown(notes)
20.08 Teope: Gary Kubiak

With no roster maintenance available in this format, injured players are risky propositions. No one took the plunge on Donald Driver(notes) (big surprise) or Kenny Britt(notes) (mild surprise).

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Images Courtesy Associated Press

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