SIRIUS XM 2010 CELEBRITY FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT
Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square NYC
by James Weston
Photo Credit: Sirius XM
In the first of many, Sirius/XM Fantasy Sports Radio held their inaugural Fantasy Football draft live in front of 200 fans at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and broadcast live on their new station. If you have a chance to check it out next year, I would highly recommend going. It has the feel of a real draft with pick by pick analysis by Rich Gannon and a rowdy crowd ready to let you know how they felt about each pick.
The league is made up of Sirius/XM hosts Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo , Gary Dell' Abate , Scott Ferrall , Jay Thomas , Jeremy Roenic , Steve Phillips , Maurice Jones-Drew , a team consisting of all hosts from the Morning Mashup Show as well as four experts in John Hansen , Kyle Elfrink , Scott Engel , and Chris Liss . The odds makers would expect the money to be put on the experts. However, it became obvious early that there were some experienced managers in the field and it wasn't going to be an easy league to win.
Coming into the draft, it was obvious that the most intriguing story line would be the selection of Maurice Jones-Drew, who owned the eighth pick. There was a sense from the pre-draft interviews that owner of the first pick, Gary Dell'Abate was well aware that he could use Jones-Drew as bait to add more value later.
However, Dell' Abate used the first ever pick in the Sirius/XM Fantasy Sports Radio Football Draft to select Chris Johnson. Jeremy Roenick used the second pick wisely and locked up Adrian Peterson to anchor his team. Unfortunately for the eighteen year NHL vet, it was all downhill from here. Jones-Drew was finally selected by Jay Thomas at number three, Jones-Drew, who had hinted at moving up to the fourth pick pre-draft, immediately started the trade talks.
The draft continued to move on while Thomas and Jones-Drew negotiated their deal and the 4th pick was made by Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo. Mad Dog stayed local and took NY product Ray Rice with the fourth pick. The fifth pick went to the John Hansen, the first expert to select, who took Michael Turner. Frank Gore was taken next by expert Kyle Elfrink at number six. The Morning Mashup crew then took the first quarterback off the board when they selected Drew Brees.
In the final terms of the trade between Jay Thomas and Maurice Jones-Drew, Jones-Drew would send his eighth, sixteenth, and 41st picks for himself and the 22nd pick. With six running backs and one quarterback off the board, it appeared that Andre Johnson had the most value on the board. But Thomas stuck with a running back and selected Steven Jackson.
Sports talk host Scott Ferrall was next up at number nine and he also passed on the top Wide Receiver on the board when he selected De'Angelo Williams. Pouncing on his competitors old-school picks Scott Engel, the third expert in the field, gladly accepted his early birthday present and made Andre Johnson the tenth pick of the draft.
The funniest moment of the first round took place next when Steve Phillips, former Mets General Manager, took Mo Vaughn eleventh. All kidding aside, Phillips took Randy Moss and drew a mixed reaction boos and laughter from the crowd. You could hear boos from the Jets fans and laughs from the Mets fans who felt the Moss pick was a bad one. Then with the final first-round pick Chris Liss, the fourth and final expert in the draft, selected Rashard Mendenhall.
Overall the first round was pretty straight-forward with the first six picks being top tier running backs. All six managers should feel pretty comfortable with their picks. Andre Johnson stood out as the best available for picks seven through ten, so the best value pick would have to go to Scott Engel at ten.
It's hard to go wrong in the first round, but if I had to choose the worst pick of the first round, it would have to go to The Morning Mashup crew. They really showed their inexperience by selecting Brees seventh. It would haunt them through out the rest of the draft when they would not have the same depth they would have had if they sat on a quarterback till the second round at least.
My favorite and some interesting picks of the draft...
Jonathan Stewart went seventh to Elfrink who called for a 2000 yard season.
Calvin Johnson twelfth to Dell'Abate. He offers offers a ton of value at 24th overall.
Roddy White was taken sixth and the twelfth overall Wide Receiver. Another great pick by Elfrink, who was pleasantly surprised to have White waiting for him at his pick.
Steve Smith of the Giants third to Engel was huge when you consider that ten more picks would go by before another wide receiver was taken.
Matt Schaub twelfth to Dell'Abate appeared at the time to be an excellent pick and made Dell'Abate's team appear very strong going into the firth round. After this pick he would stray from value picks and may have taken too many shots on players when there were more obvious picks on the board.
Somehow Michael Crabtree fell to the sixth pick of the fifth round and 54th overall. Elfrink quickly snatched him up.
LeSean McCoy ninth to Ferrall could have saved his team.
Brett Favre third is more interesting than I like it. Engel probably could have waited, but Favre's question marks mean less and less every year.
Matt Forte sixth to Jones-Drew is a shock. Forte is the guy in Chicago and he was a top five selection in most drafts last year. Lots of value to MJD
Jeremy Maclin sixth may be more upside than value, another Elfrink pick.
Brett Celek eighth and the eighth tight end selected. Big drop off after Celek at his position and MJD recognized that.
Marion Barber ninth to the Mad Dog was interesting. How much do we take away from Barber because of his offense and the competition he has? Considering Felix Jones went in the fifth, Barber in the eighth is a steal.
Dez Bryant tenth by Jay Thomas is another interesting upside pick. A little early, but there wasn't a WR with more talent left.
Ben Tate tenth by Scott Engel makes sense. The Texans took Tate 58th overall this spring and will get a chance to win the starting job out of camp. If he does win the job, he'll prove to be one of the best picks in the draft.
Montario Hardesty eighth was another rookie coming into camp with a shot at winning the starting job this summer. John Hansen may have saved this pick for the tenth round, but you can't expect him to go this high in a normal draft. I sense this pick had more to do with getting Montario's name on people's radar and this was the last round broadcasted on the radio.
View the full draft at http://www.fanball.com/siriusdraft/
To read about the pre-draft experience, read part one...