Thursday, May 10, 2012

Volume 7, Number 4: A Sneak Preview of my 2012 TUFF Draft Wrapup

Update: I have posted the whole 2012 TUFF Draft Wrapup here.

As some of you may know, I'm in a highly competitive, 16-team dynasty fantasy football league called TUFF (Todd's Ultimate Fantasy Football).  "Dynasty," the uninitiated among you are entitled to know, means that whoever you draft, you get to keep for as long as you want.  One thing about being in a dynasty league means that every year, I and the owners of the other 16 teams take on the challenge of evaluating and drafting the best college football players going to the NFL.  This draft takes place every May (about a week or so after the conclusion of the NFL Draft).

As part of my draft process, I take notes on various players so I can figure out which ones I should or should not draft.  Then, as the draft unfolds, I find myself reacting the same way that I do as the NFL Draft proceeds: Wow, this guy's a steal; Whoa, that's a reach; and Oh, I didn't expect that team to take that player at all.  About eight years ago, I shared my thoughts on that year's TUFF Draft with the other 15 teams' owners and they really liked it, and I enjoy doing it, so it's become an annual tradition.  I'm posting it tonight, but I thought I'd give you a sneak preview here, with one of my own picks (38th overall out of 64 picks).  Check it out...

3.06 Detroit Vipers — TE Dwayne Allen

In the real world: Todd McShay said last October: "Allen has burst on the scene with good production this season. He has legit size for an inline tight end, and his speed and body control could help him become the top tight end on the board." His is an example where talent and job situation don't seem to meet very well; he has the talent and tools to be an every-down starting tight end, but not with the Colts, who took Coby Fleener a round earlier. (Then again, I thought Brandon Pettigrew's job situation got messed up after the Lions picked up Tony Scheffler, but Pettigrew's been getting his share of receptions and TDs.) While it is assumed that Coby Fleener will get more looks from Andrew Luck by virtue of 1) being drafted earlier than Allen and 2) having worked with Luck at Stanford, last time I checked, the head coach's name is not Andrew Luck, and the offensive coordinator's name is not Andrew Luck. Besides, draft position goes out the window once the season starts (just ask WR Bryant Johnson, who was drafted a round earlier than Anquan Boldin in 2003, and we all know how that turned out).

In the TUFF world: Even though I don't need a tight end—I already have Jason Witten and I plucked Zach Miller out of the Dallas Junglehawgs' garbage last year—Allen is the most talented player on the board and has arguably as good a job situation as anyone still on the board. It all depends on how well he and the other players fit Bruce Arians' offense. I may need depth at wide receiver more, and one can never have too many running backs. But I just couldn't pass up this talent.

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