It's August and fantasy football is upon us. Any mistakes you make in
your upcoming drafts are mistakes that could haunt your season like
corned beef haunts your lower GI. You've looked at the angles. You've
giggled at your opponents keepers. You've fallen asleep trying to
read Matthew Berry's 100 fantasy football facts - the abridged
version. Everyone knows Aaron Rodgers is a winner, and Ocho Cinco is too worried about the demise of his reality show to even care that he got released by the Dolphins, so we're making it easy by picking
the players we love to hate and hate to draft.
You can't spell Elite without Eli. That's what they've been saying. Guy is just a soft-spoken champion. Just going out there and winning games. Well, sure, that was true last season. CBS Sports even billed last season as "the passing of the torch with Eli Manning becoming the better quarterback than brother Peyton." Sure, pick on the guy with the broken neck...who does that? Oh. Whatever.
The point is that while Eli put together a pretty nice season, finishing the 6th best fantasy QB behind Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and Cam Newton, we should pull up on those reins a little before we go calling him Elite. In fact, we're going to take it a step farther by putting him on our hate-list. Not only does he mope around the field like he lost his puppy when things aren't going his way, there's the little matter of 2010 to consider. Also known as the year he lead the world in interceptions with 25 (he also had 31 TDs, which is not too shabby). Consider if your league settings only allowed, say, 4 points for a passing TD but -2 points for an INT. You know what you'd do? You'd hate the ever-loving snot out of Eli Manning. But that's not all. You have to go back to 2005 to find a year in which Eli was a top 5 fantasy QB. In each season between '05 and '11 he ranged between the 9th and 12th best QB. It's what you might call a "comfort zone." Granted, his receivers are better now then they ever have been, and the NFC East should see some high scoring games. But if you are on average the 10th best QB in fantasy then you are in no man's land. Too good to be a backup, not good enough to build a championship (fantasy) team around. But given that he's probably the 10th best fantasy QB in the league, and he should be drafted somewhere after the 6th round, we're going to draft an actual elite QB and then bide our time until we can get a decent backup in the 10th or later.