The only thing harder than preparing for a 20-team College Fantasy Football Draft is actually partaking in a 20-team College Fantasy Football Draft. Though to be honest the 3 hours and 15 minutes spent drafting was actually less than I expected, because after Round 1 I was certain we may be pulling an all-nighter.
Heading into such a large draft, Jim, Alex and I vowed to focus on non-BCS players. Our theory was that if an opposing team was going to reach, they'd reach to grab a "name" player more often than not. And of the top-25 national offenses a season ago, 15 were from non-BCS programs. So we were intent on making any mistakes with teams that have traditionally posted a few more points.
With the #3 overall pick we had two schools of thought: one, nab the best quarterback on the board, because by the time this thing snaked back to us it may be slim pickings. Two, grab the best running back because by the time this thing snaked back to us it may be slim pickings. We went quarterback, which may or may not leave us kicking ourselves in the end.
Round One: Dwight Dasher, Middle Tennessee
Best available quarterback. Love his offense and his schedule. There is a little bit of concern regarding the loss of OC Tony Franklin, but Dasher's talent will keep him among the nation's elite.
Round Two: Bryce Beall, Houston
In a 20-team draft a team finds itself making system picks, and Beall is just this. We're looking (okay hoping) for a return to his 2008 numbers.
Round Three: Damaris Johnson, Tulsa
Explosive player in explosive offense. We're expecting a huge spike in touchdowns in 2010. Went from 11 scores in 2008 to three a season ago.
Round Four: Derrick Washington, Missouri
The losses at wide receiver mean the Tigers will lean a bit more on their senior back. He's scored 29 touchdowns over his last two years...and he's healthy again.
Round Five: Phillip Livas, Louisiana Tech
Here's my personal favorite. Multi-dimensional talent will explode in new Dykes-Franklin offense.
Round Six: Detron Lewis, Texas Tech
We're taking Tommy Tuberville at his word. This offense will remain a pass-pass-pass unit...right?
Round Seven: Darius Willis, Indiana
Big Ten back was too good to pass up here. Hoosier offense is one of country's most underrated.
Round Eight: Delone Carter, Syracuse
Newly reinstated, Carter will anchor an improving Cuse attack.
Round Nine: Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Another underrated Big Ten star. Love his potential in the early season with matchups against Western Michigan, Florida Atlantic and Northern Colorado.
Round Ten: Matt Barkley, USC
Needed a sure-fire starting quarterback here. Barkley appears a lock for two-three scores each week.
Round 11: Rutgers Defense
Scarlet Knights return a whole bunch and face one of nation's easiest slates.
Round 12: Steven Sheffield, Texas Tech
Little risk, high reward. Sheffield wins the job and we've got a top signal caller. Gig goes to Potts and we're heading to the waiver wire.
Round 13: Moise Plancher, South Florida
Attrition at the USF running back spot means Plancher is the #1 heading into camp. You can never have enough backs.
Round 14: DeMarco Sampson, WR, San Diego State
Obviously we love Vincent Brown, but Sampson will see some single coverage, and the SDSU offense is going to be an improved unit.
Round 15: Dan Bailey, K, Oklahoma State
Veteran kicker on what should be one of the nation's top offenses.
Round 16: Josh Chichester, TE, Louisville
The big fella struggled to get separation against Big East corners, but now lining up against safeties and linebackers he'll pose matchup issues...and he's still 6'8".
Round 17: Syracuse Defense
No, we're not crazy. This is a schedule-match special. When Rutgers is taking a week off, the Orange welcome Maine to town.
Round 18: Jamarr Robinson, QB, Maryland
Alex's sleeper special. He likes his dual-threat capability in what should be a better offense.
Round 19: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Here's my sleeper special. I know there's a three-headed monster at tailback, but Martin is the team's best athlete, and he's coming off a 15-score season. He'll get his carries around the goal line.
Round 20: Ed Wesley, RB, TCU
Jim's sleeper special. Sure there will be split carries in the Horned Frog backfield, but like Martin, Wesley is too good to keep off the field.
Like any draft we found ourselves doing a little second guessing here and there. The fact that Kyle Padron slid so far had us thinking maybe we could have passed on Dasher and went in another first round direction. We also waited too long on Landry Jones, and he was nabbed just before us in the fourth round. For a moment we thought we might luck into a great #2 quarterback.
Alex was bummed that we waited too long on Air Force's Jared Tew and New Mexico State's Seth Smith (take a look at his red zone carries). I pushed hard for Dwayne Harris only to be outvoted on Damaris Johnson. We'll see which was a better pick as we face College Football News and the owners of Harris in Week Two.
We would have loved to of added an upside sleeper quarterback like David Isabelle, Zac Dysert or Steven Ensminger/Ross Jenkins, but with 20 teams drafting they all went higher than we were willing to go.
All in all, the three of us are very pleased with the results of this 20-person super sized drafting extravaganza, and we're sure we'll be a factor throughout the season.
Kickoff is less than three weeks away!