Austin Kearns Took Peyton No. 2?
Fantasy football notes from a Nats day game....
In the Nationals recent 10-owner fantasy football draft, Austin Kearns threw a huge curve ball by taking Peyton Manning No. 2 overall. This is way out of protocol; Gene Wang would be furious. Ryan Church, who won the league two years ago, notched something like one win last year and then dropped out this league this year, liked the pick.
"It's huge," Church said. "I would have done the same thing. You've got to throw the monkey wrench in there; as soon as he made that pick, everybody in the room was probably like, '[snap]!' I would have done the exact same thing."
(Why, you ask, did Church drop out? "It's no fun for me anymore, I already won," he said. "I've got better things to do." Wait, better than fantasy football?)
The next moment of draft-day insanity came with Nick Johnson's pick at No.5: Ronnie Brown. I don't understand why everyone is so infatuated with Ronnie Brown; his stats last year were pedestrian, and even if you gave him all of Ricky Williams's stats, he still would have finished way behind Tiki Barber, and slightly behind Rudi Johnson, at least in my league's scoring system. Ryan Church was with me on this point, and thought Portis would have been a better pick at No. 5 despite the shoulder.
"He'll be fine, he'll do a lot better than that Ronnie Brown or whatever his name is," Church said. "Dolphins, right? That's stupid. But that's Nick for you."
Naturally this sent me back to Johnson, who referred me to his GM, Ryan Zimmerman, for a comment.
"Church was too afraid to get in the league," Zimmerman said.
"Tell Church 'nice win last year,'" said defending champion Brian Schneider.
Anyhow, Zimmerman's main defense of the Brown pick was "why not," although he said he thinks Daunte Culpepper increases Brown's value considerably. Johnson also pointed out that he snagged Willie Parker in the last round last year, meaning that his running back judgment should not be doubted.
Zim/Johnson followed up with Marvin Harrison in the second round and Tom Brady in the third. Schneider, meanwhile, got Tiki Barber No. 6, Willis McGahee in the second round, Torry Holt in the third and Hines Ward in the fourth; his quarterbacks are Kurt Warner and Drew Bledsoe, plus he has the Bears defense and Alge Crumpler. Look out.
But the real sleeper team is Robert Fick and Daryle Ward's "Riding Dirty" franchise. (Yeah, Ward's gone from the Nats, and so is another owner, Marlon Anderson, but no matter, they're still in the league.) Riding Dirty nabbed Portis with the No. 9 pick, took Steve Smith in the second, Antonio Gates in the third and T.O. in the fourth. Bizarrely, they also took Jeremy Shockey, but they managed to get Jake Delhomme, Trent Green, Deuce McAllister, Kevan Barlow, LenDale White, etc. Ok, maybe it's not that great, but Fick was happy.
"Stacked," he said.
Geno, what say you? (Btw, Geno and I are entering this Pick the Pros contest; if you enter you can brag that you're smarter than us or whatever.)
September 6, 2006; 12:39 PM ET
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