Friday, September 10, 2010


White to play. Can you spot the winning continuation?
Before you know what the right move is in any game, you have to know all your options. Now that the draft is over, the majority of the decisions any team manager makes will be lineup changes. Let's use this initial, post-draft look at lineup projections as a jumping off point for lineup changes in future weeks.

In descending order...

#10 -- First Down Syndrome -- JBF

First Down Syndrome's Starting Lineup
When you look at the players, it's a little shocking that JBF's team projects as the worst in the league. This projection becomes more shocking when you realize that his defensive starters project to the second highest total in the league. What's going on here?

Consider the youth in the starting offensive lineup and the projections make more sense.

Wells, Mathews, Crabtree, Flacco, and Daniels are all young guys who have massive upside, but haven't proven themselves as elite.  Another way to say this is that although their average projection is lower than average, their variance is much higher than average. Any of the five players mentioned previously are in position and have the talent to become bona fide stars. I wouldn't be surprised if 4 out of the 5 beat their projection listed here.

#9 -- Nude Tayne -- RER
Nude Tayne's Starting Lineup
For a first time participant in the draft, RER showed a quick grasp of CABC's esoteric player valuation. In fact, this team appears well built in every area save one.

Jahvid Best is a rookie player on a lousy team. It's likely that his anemic performance here will be mirrored by his on-field production this season. Undoubtedly, he's a good player with upside and anything can happen, but you should be combing the waiver wire after Week 1 for a new flex player.

Only time will tell if RER has built a contender, or if it will be like HRP never left.

 #8 -- DP Defriended Me -- RSR
DP Defriended Me's Starting Lineup

RSR could be in for bloodbath this year. Both his running back's are risky. Larry Fitzgerald's quarterback got run out of Cleveland. Carson Palmer has the most emotionally immature pair of wide receivers that the league has ever seen. Dallas Clark is an excellent player, but how much can one tight end really do to salvage a team? When David Garrard is your ace in the hole, you might want to start some trade talks.

Of course it's possible that Turner could return to form, MJD could stay healthy, Palmer could mesh with 81 and 85, and Derick Anderson could actually be good. But hey, anything's possible.

#7 -- David Buehler's Day Off -- SKC
David Buehler's Day Off's Starting Lineup

In CABC's quarterback driven format, SKC has landed far and away the best quarterback tandem. Peyton Manning is the best player in the league. He lost the Super Bowl on an interception. He'll be back with a vengeance. Matt Ryan is a fantastic young quarterback on a great emerging offense. I expect big things from him.

So how is SKC's projection third worst in the league? Chalk that one up to "human error". SKC drafted LaDainian Tomlinson with his 2nd Round Pick. He threw away points, plain and simple. "I've made a huge mistake."

#6 -- Foxborough Fellatio -- GMF
Foxborough Fellatio's Staring Lineup
Don't let the projection fool you. This team is solid. Here's the rub:
CABC awards points for long touchdowns,  but no projection system predicts 40+ or 50+ touchdowns. They're just too rare to accurately predict. GMF is undervalued because he's assembled a team of home run hitters: Kolb, Cutler, Austin, and the dreaded Zulu Cthulu. (Get it? "Dreaded?!?!").

I expect each of these players to exceed their projections based on long touchdowns alone. GMF's defense could be stronger, but barring injury the offense looks fantastic.

#5 -- NomNomNom Suh -- SKR
NomNomNom Suh's Starting Lineup
SKR might as well rename his team The Minnesota Vikings. The SKR has hitched his wagon to Favre and Peterson, and he's hoping that they can bring the magic back for one more season. Peterson looked good last night, but Favre just couldn't find a receiver. And was it me, or did Favre just look older than usual? I'm calling it right now: Favre suffers a career ending injury before the season is out.  I'd think about grabbing a backup QB of the waiver wire. Defense looks good though.

#4 -- Cocks Out Crocs Out -- ADL
Cocks Out Crocs Out's Starting Lineup
ADL may have auto-drafted his way to a playoff appearance. Both Romo and Manning are reliable, if not elite quarterbacks. Ray Rice is a great player who'll get 350 touches this year. Defense looks OK, but not great. Many of these defensive starters rely on sacks and interceptions (instead of tackles) to score. Look for this team to have boom and bust weeks.

On another note, ADL also drafted Lee Evans. No team has ever won a championship with Lee Evans on the roster. He's victory repellent. It's science.

#3 -- Assholes Finish 1st -- BEN
Assholes Finish 1st's Starting Lineup
Perennial powerhouse BEN looks to have done it again. Rodgers, Jackson, and Moss make for a devastating QB/RB/WR trio.  If ESPN is to be believed, and Brandon Marshall really is a top five wideout this year, BEN's projection will only go up.

The defense is equally star-studded: Suh, Peppers, Ware, Ryan, Polamalu, and Woodley. These six are all excellent football players, but I question their fantasy value. Players who live on sacks, interceptions and big plays make for defenses that either boom or bust. Traditionally, this means blowing out weaker opponents and losing close games. A nitpick to be sure, but still something to consider.

#2 -- T.O.'s Time Outs -- MMB
T.O.'s Time Out's Starting Lineup
After looking at MMB's team this year, I just had to pull out this old gem:
Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
Looks like MMB is up to his old tricks: he's got another great preseason projection. All solid starters on offense. I even think that Vince outperforms his projection here. Arian Foster is a wild card, but MMB has DeAngelo Williams waiting in the wings if he doesn't pan out.

This defense projects to have significant tacklers in addition to play-makers, which is always a good thing. See you in the playoffs, Mr. B.

#1 -- The Celery Men -- ARB
The championship hopes of The Celery Men ride on the backs of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs play the easiest projected schedule in the NFL in over a decade. Charles is a home run hitter and Cassel has shown flashes of brilliance in the past. I expect Dreamboat and Mendenhall to perform up to par, and hope for great things out of Jackson and Ward. Antonio Gates will be the highest scoring tight end this year. The Celery Men demand a championship this year. Anything less is a disappointment.

Agree? Disagree? Are you a stalker from Ashburn, VA? Let me hear from you in the comments!

(Note: It was brought to my attention that this post was really just a Power Rankings post in disguise. I changed the title to reflect that sentiment.)


  1. You're welcome. Although, believe it or not; that was one of our very first tags. USC is rarely praised.