By Mark Clark
Remember back at the first of September when I told you about how pitiful my selections were for my annual Fantasy Football League team? Well, I might have underestimated the success/failure rate of the squad I selected. I remember starting out saying t
he following about my participation in Selection Sunday at the Kushmar household:
“Anyway, I joined friends this past Sunday afternoon to go through our annual Fantasy Football draft. It took about three hours –about the length of an NFL game – to get the job done. We went through 14 rounds. I think we had 14 people participating. So, that’s 196 players drafted and a lot of ribbing the other players for their selections.
When the draft ended, I was satisfied that I indeed had selected a pure fantasy of a Fantasy Football team. When you make your picks, if you have not already done so, I hope you have a better team when you are done than I have.
“To tell the truth, I may have been able to select a better team had we just drawn the names of players from a jar. After about the first three rounds, the selections – everyone’s selections – became sketchy at best. We were just going down the list looking for the next best available player with the right bye week to fit with the other players we picked.”
As you can read, I was not very enthusiastic about my selections. I had no hopes of having a chance to compete in the league this year. In the past, I have won the league title. I think I came in third one year. But, according to me, there was no way I had a chance in 2017 – none whatsoever.
Do you remember the players I selected? Here is my original squad. I, unlike most of the people in my league, spent a lot of time trying to get better. Well, at least I was trying to be able to fill out a roster each week and dropped players for players who were injured or met the criteria I needed that week – you know, not having a bye week. But, for good or bad, this was the bunch I wound up with:
“Yes, I made some very bad picks when you look at the overall group I will call my team.
“I had the No. 4 pick in the draft which is not too bad, but we go No. 1 through No. 14 and then reverse the order each time through. It takes a long time to get back to No. 4 from No. 14 and a lot of players are off the board by the time you get to pick for the second time. . .
“My No. 1 selection – which was the No. 4 pick overall – was Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans. Evans was ranked No. 7 overall on the list I had. My second pick was Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette, a rookie ranked at No. 17. All the top running backs were gone by the time I got to pick Fournette. My third pick was Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon. At No. 4, I took Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
“I did not select a quarterback until my eighth pick and I went with Jameis Winston of Tampa Bay. My next quarterback came with my 10th pick – the Buffalo Bills’ Tyrod Taylor. I told you things got sketchy after the third or fourth round.
“The rest of my team is Seattle running back Eddie Lacy, Baltimore running back Terrance West, Buffalo receiver Sammy Watkins, Carolina receiver Devin Funchess, New York Jets receiver ArDarius Stewart, Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker, Pittsburgh tight end Jesse James and Detroit kicker Matt Prater.”
I concluded the column by saying, “I doubt if you could have selected a worse team than I did. Then, again, who knows? I could have the best team of the ones selected Sunday. Yeah, right and the New York Jets are headed for the Super Bowl.”
When the season ended after Week 16 of the NFL season, my team put me in my place. With that “who knows” part and “I could have the best team of the ones selected Sunday,” I really stuck my foot in my mouth, or rather, the players I selected made me place my foot in my mouth. I tied for the best record in the league at 13-3 – though I still think I should have been 13-2-1 since I tied a player one week only to have him awarded the win because his running back had more points than mine did that week. I had the team that scored the most points and allowed the fewest points. I came in second place overall because the guy I tied – Alex Kushmar – beat me head to head in the one game we played against each other. Had that not happened, I would have dominated the league with my squad of players.
Maybe next year I will not doubt my selections when I make them – if I play next season. I might just think too highly of my ability to make selections. I will not think any more highly of the New York Jets next year. I will go on the record now by saying the Jets
will not make the Super Bowl then, either. That was the only thing in that column that I felt secure about.
Mark Clark is a local sports writer for The Citizen of East Alabama.