A short story from our little fantasy football league's draft. First, to up to speed the newbies, the owners are me, KC, and Laurie, each of us overseeing 4 teams in a point-only format. This is our 17th season, and the Fiery Beagles (Scrappy's team, under Laurie's supervision) is the defending champion. We draft in what is called a "serpentine" manner; the last place team from the preceding season goes first, down to the top team, and then from the top team back up to last place, back and forth through the draft. We pick 2 QBs (one's a backup) 2 kickers (ditto), two defenses (ditto again), three RBs and 4 wide receivers/tight ends. Now you are set up.
KC came into it with a battle plan- to go heavy on running backs. Unfortunately for him, this was everybody's plan ( the cheat sheet website we used had 9 of the top 12 running backs), and the first of his teams, the Clock BBQs, drafted 3rd behind Laurie's Angels and my State Ducks; thus, right off the bat his top two desires, Adrian Peterson (who plays for his favorite Vikings) and Doug Martin, were, as the Eagles say, Already Gone. Which wasn't so bad, as he got Arian Foster. But with running backs the main course ( the first wide receiver was taken at #23, which HAS to be a record for any league I've been in in over 20 years of playing), KC began to plan, putting aside sleepers to draft in later rounds, circling the names in the FF magazine he bought.
But planning by geniuses in fantasy drafts is ofttimes undone by idiots, and one by one, Laurie and I picked off his sleepers before he thought they'd ever be drafted. And the fifth round nearly capped it off. I took DeSean Jackson with the second pick of the round. "NOOOOOO!" he screamed. "Why would you take him now? I had him CIRCLED! LOOK!!!"
Sure enough , he did. He then said, "I'm going to screw you over. I'm circling someone who'll hurt you; you'll never figure it out." See, he was planning ahead; drafting towards the end of the round, he knew my Aguas team had drafted Robert Griffin III from the Redskins. He assumed I'd want the best 'Skins receiver, Pierre Garcon, to go with him, but thought he wouldn't go for a couple of rounds yet. So he took Andre Brown from the Giants next (a RB) for the Clock BBQs and my B2s drafted next. What he hadn't counted on was that my eyes were strained so bad at this point, even a vet like me was virtually picking at random. But see, when he picked Andre Brown, he said Antonio Brown, a wide receiver from the Steelers, and by the time we straightened that out, I was just about to draft this other Brown... when my eye drifted down the list.
"Pierre Garcon," I said.
"I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!" KC shouted as the draft mag flew across the room. "How did you know?"
"What, you have got to be kidding?" I said. "THAT'S who you circled?"
But it wasn't over yet. After Laurie grabbed yet another of his sleepers, time rolls on to round 9, when we were taking our backup QBs. At The top of the round, he said, "I've got two QBs circled."
"Kiss of death," said I.
"You won't get these" he assured me.
"I'll get one of them," I said.
Laurie led off the round, and KC suggested a slew of QBs still out there. None of which, I noted to myself, was the one I was sure he wanted. She took Tony Romo.
I took the Dolphin's Ryan Tannehill (more out of pity for my favorite team than anything else) for the Ducks next.
KC's Clock BBQs were next. "Alex Smith," he said confidently. It was time to lower the boom- I drafted for the B2s next.
"E.J. Manuel," I said.
"OMG!!! HOW DID YOU KNOW???" he screamed as magazine met carpet yet again. When I managed to stop laughing, I said, "I know how you think."
After all this, as we wrapped up, he asked if I'd trade him Manuel. I said, "Sure. I only took him to piss you off." I ended up trading back ups with his Sunset Rangers, swapping Manuel for Cam Newton (last years #2 pick, this year's 77th. Last year's #1, Aaron Rodgers, went 8th.)
After KC left, I was watching NFL Network. "Breaking News", came the announcement that I would laugh at... and then text KC:
"EJ manuel needs minor knee procedure out rest of preseason. Thx for the trade!"
Moments later, my loving son texted back:
And that, gentle readers, is why I play fantasy football.