Like O.J., Brett Favre and Elton John’s sick fetishes…I’m back at it and ready to make some noise. Fresh from a 3 week sabbatical my mind is as clear as Joe Simpson’s sick perversions. So let’s get to it...
From a fantasy perspective, rookie running backs in the NFL are so hard to predict. Who knew that 3rd round pick Frank Gore would rumble to become the most successful back in his 2005 draft class after being picked behind Ronnie Brown, Cadillac, JJ Arrington and Eric Shelton (wtf?) And who knew that Ki-Jana Carter would go from the number 1 pick overall to nothing more than a funny punch line to a 4th grade genital joke?
Every year I take a chance on a rookie running back, and every year I’m left with either a gigantic man crush that continues throughout a player’s career or I’m left with a bench stacked with ‘coulda beens’. Let’s explore some of my picks, the good and the bad. Note: The round in which I drafted the player is noted in the parenthetical.
1990: Blair Thomas (3rd round)
Yes, this is what started it all. Blair Thomas was a can’t miss college prospect. All the rage. He turned out to be crap. 600 yards and 1 measely touchdown? I decided not to take another rookie that year, Emmitt Smith. 900 yards and 11 TDs later, Emmitt was well on his way to becoming a fantasy legend.
1994: Errict Rhett (4th round)
2000: Jamal Lewis (4th Round):
I wanted Ja-Lew and I got Ja-Lew. Fourth round sounded a bit early at the time, but it turned out to be a fantastic pick. Ja-Lew rumbled for over 1,300 yards and 6tds in his initial campaign. And though I only had him one other year, I have been a big fan of his ever since.
2004: Steven Jackson (early 3rd Round):
I stretched for this pick. My man crush developed in college for Steven Jackson and was only solidified when he went to the Rams. Not because I like the Rams (I can’t stand them) but because he was joining such a high powered offense. It seemed too good to be true. Well, Marshall Faulk didn’t relinquish his starting role and
2006: Jerious Norwood & DeAngelo Williams (8th and 13th rounds)
I went for it in 2006. I was feeling like I knew something. Warrick Dunn was bound to break in half (right?) and DeShaun Foster was so sketchy - it seemed like a no brainer. Sure, I passed on guys like Maurice Jones-Drew, Laurence Maroney and Joseph Addai, but I thought I knew something. I’ll get to the point. I didn’t know anything.
What have I learned? Nothing. This year I drafted Adrian Peterson (decent) and have recently picked up Brian Leonard (it’s hard to trust this much hype) and Selvin Young (look it up.)
Stay tuned. And get ready Darren McFadden…I like how you run.