Laugh at the Pro Bowl all you want, but there is something inherently intriguing about Hall of Fame wide receivers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin and current NFL players and Pro Bowl captains J.J. Watt, Joe Haden, DeMarco Murray and Antonio Brown participating in a live fantasy draft.
The Pro Bowl draft took place Tuesday and Wednesday, and Team Irvin and Team Carter are now set to square off Sunday for bragging rights. Let’s take a glance at the draft results and teams before the all-star showdown.
|Pro Bowl Fantasy Draft Day 1 Results|
|Position||Team Carter||Team Irvin|
|DT||Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Dontari Poe||Aaron Donald, Sheldon Richardson and Geno Atkins|
|G||Mike Pouncey, Josh Sitton and Evan Mathis||Zack Martin, Marshal Yanda and Kyle Long|
|C||Maurkice Pouncey and Jason Kelce||Travis Frederick and Nick Mangold|
|FB||John Kuhn||Marcel Reece|
|P||Pat McAfee||Kevin Huber|
|K||Cody Parkey||Adam Vinatieri|
|ST||Justin Bethel||Darrell Stuckey|
|Returner||Devin Hester||Darren Sproles|
|2015 Pro Bowl Day 2 Draft Results|
|Round||Team Carter||Team Irvin|
|1||Andrew Luck, IND||Tony Romo, DAL|
|2||A.J. Green, CIN||Odell Beckham Jr., NYG|
|3||Jamaal Charles, KC||Tyron Smith, DAL|
|4||Patrick Peterson, ARI||Luke Kuechly, CAR|
|5||Mario Williams, BUF||Cameron Wake, MIA|
|6||T.Y. Hilton, IND||Jimmy Graham, NO|
|7||Joe Staley, SF||Von Miller, DEN|
|8||Justin Houston, KC||Jason Witten, DAL|
|9||Drew Brees, NO||Joe Thomas, CLE|
|10||C.J. Moseley, BAL||Robert Quinn, STL|
|11||Aqib Talib, DEN||Vontae Davis, IND|
|12||Calais Campbell, ARI||T.J. Ward, DEN|
|13||Donte Whitner, CLE||Clay Matthews, GB|
|14||Duane Brown, HOU||CB Brent Grimes|
|15||Jordy Nelson, GB||Trent Williams, WAS|
|16||Connor Barwin, PHI||Eric Weddle, SD|
|17||Antonio Cromartie, ARI||Elvis Dumervil, BAL|
|18||Sam Shields, GB||Matthew Stafford, DAL|
|19||Justin Forsett, BAL||Matt Ryan, ATL|
|20||Lawrence Timmons, PIT||Mark Ingram, NO|
|21||Glover Quin, DET||C.J. Anderson, DEN|
|22||Antoine Bethea, SF||Mike Adams, IND|
What to Watch: Interesting Quarterback and Wide Receiver Pairings
Let’s be honest—if you are watching an all-star game in any sport, you want to see scoring. With so many superstar players all over the field, touchdowns seem only natural.
Team Carter must have had that in mind. It used its first pick on Andrew Luck and also grabbed Drew Brees and Andy Dalton later in the draft. The matching of Luck and Brees with a number of the league’s top receivers should thrill fans tuning in looking for those explosive scoring plays.
Brees led the league in passing yards with 4,952, while Luck led the league with 40 touchdown passes. Naturally, the league’s leading receiver, Brown, is also on Team Carter and creates a fantasy football player’s dream scenario of Brees the yardage machine pairing up with Brown the yardage machine.
If touchdowns are more your speed, Brown and Jordy Nelson were both second in the NFL in touchdown catches with 13 and should connect with Luck for a couple of deep scores.
Throw in T.Y. Hilton and A.J. Green, who are both superstars in their own right with more than 1,000 receiving yards apiece on the season, and Team Carter is loaded with interesting quarterback and receiving matchups.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis discussed Green’s position as a Pro Bowler this season, via Paul Dehner Jr. of Cincinnati.com: "A.J. does not quite have the numbers he had the last few seasons, but the voters know he's missed time with injuries and has been not quite 100 percent at other times. They know he's still the player he always has been, if not better, when he's at full speed.”
On the other side, Team Irvin will rely on a handful of wide receivers who were somewhat overlooked on their own teams this year. Emmanuel Sanders was often overshadowed by Demaryius Thomas on the Denver Broncos, Randall Cobb often played second fiddle to Nelson on the Green Bay Packers and Golden Tate was usually the second option behind Calvin Johnson for the Detroit Lions.
However, standout rookie Odell Beckham Jr. is the player to watch for Team Irvin after he tallied 1,305 receiving yards, 12 touchdown catches and a number of highlight plays this season. It will be interesting to see how he pairs up with fellow NFC East superstar Romo or even Stafford, who is accustomed to throwing deep balls to Johnson and Tate.
Beckham Jr. did enough this season to earn Pro Football on ESPN’s admiration and distinction as its top offensive rookie:
With teammates Luck and Hilton, Dalton and Green and Stafford and Tate all landing on the same squads, there will be some familiarity to the passing games in the Pro Bowl. Still, the most interesting feature of the Pro Bowl is the chance to see some different pairings between superstar players.
Fans will get to see exactly that during the 2015 Pro Bowl.
Follow me on Twitter: