Mr. Irrelevant: A Guide to the Last Pick of Your Fantasy Football Draft

James Hatfield Correspondent IIIAugust 30, 2010

TAMPA, FL - 2009:  Kareem Huggins of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
NFL Photos/Getty Images

It's about this time of year that reading the next must-read fantasy pre-draft article looks about as appealing as a dude in Shape Ups (take note Joe Montana). 

I read all the same fantasy junk as the next man. Buy the same pre-draft magazines with the wow-factor pigskin-style coating on the cover, and mostly read them in my office (downstairs bathroom), just like Johnny C. Average does. I also watch the TV programs, listen to podcasts, Hatty's being at the forefront of these, and surf the websites like everyone else.

There's literally more opinion on your draft gambit than there are plans on how to extricate the troops from the Middle East.

Tiger Woods and his divorce proceedings will get more coverage than say the Australian election—which is of huge significance to the global economic recovery—Australia being a mineral and mining giant, naturally. 

It's a sad America we live in, but you also knew that as well as the next man.

The point of this isn't really about troops withdrawing from Iraq, Tiger Woods, or the Australian election, because I don't care. Most of us don't. Of course it's great that troops are coming home unharmed, and of course no one cares about the merits of Julia Gillard's Labor party. They're just differing ends of the spectrum of inane noise that a 24 hour news cycle produces these days.

Tiger Woods now finding himself at the middle of that column of white noise; and in fantasy circles, the elite wide receiver early argument, and the kickers and defense in the last round only argument occupying a lot of similar column inches.

So this year, while every fantasy piece of advice that exists tells you to pick a kicker and defense in the final two rounds of your draft —I'm standing next to my new toy—the Mr. Irrelevant I'm telling you to draft this season, and laugh when they become fantasy gold, or at the most just semi-precious copper wire, come the start of the season.

I do believe in drafting a defense late, and I do believe in the futility of kickers. But I also strongly believe in the value of a low maintenance, plug and play option in those spots, with a nice week 9/10 bye, that I don't have to think about until the waiver waters of the season are far less murky, and the bench spots flow like wine. I'm talking about a place called "Aspen" (I just lost every non-"Dumb and Dumber" fan).

I have no problems with moving up a round or two to select Nate Kaeding, Rob Bironas, or Mason Crosby, or the Titans, Packers or Saints Defenses with two of my last five picks. These rounds are all about fliers anyways, why not take the thinking out of my team management for the first 10 weeks of the season?

I'm not asking you to go hunting for the Jets D in Round 7, or even throw out a Steelers or Baltimore vibe in the 10th-12th rounds. I'm suggesting jumping up a little to pay for not having to worry about a defense and kicker, and in the process - looking like a genius.

So here they are, seven highly unlikely to be drafted Messrs. Irrelevant for the 2010 fantasy season. And if you really want a Kicker and D/ST recommendation, then take David Buehler and Cincinnati. Just do it and don't ask why.

Pick these studs and laugh as you dominate the fantasy proletariat!

Kareem Huggins RB, TB

Breaking news: Derrick Ward isn't good and Cadillac Williams is injury-prone. Cue rags-to-riches and coach favorite Huggins to emerge as the back of choice in this swamp.

Huggins has 99 yards going in to week 3, off of 16 carries, in addition to 16 yards on two receptions.

That's 5.83 yards per touch, and the last time I checked, Tampa Bay can't afford to cede that kind of production from an already anemic offense, with a surprisingly good front line. Draft Huggins, look cool. It's a simple 2-step plan I'm following this season.


Logan Payne WR, MIN / Davone Bess WR, MIA

Want to grab the winners in the "big" trade of the preseason? The real answer is that it isn't Camarillo you should be hunting for. And while Berrian will probably start flying off the board earlier and earlier, Logan Payne checks all the boxes for surprise candidate—with intriguing speed and height, and glowing reports from camp—he could become Favre's diamond in the rough of the season, especially in the redzone.

On the other side of the trade, Camarillo's 105 receptions over the last two years have to go somewhere, and the third year man Bess seems to be the choice. With 76 receptions and nearly 1000 yards last year, and consistent year-to-year improvement in catches and yards, Bess is poised to haul in a lot of balls this season and in PPR leagues is cheap and effective to target late.

Legedu Naanee WR, SD

Two reasons that I don't trust Malcom Floyd. First - he's a sixth year pro on an offense that has been led by Drew Brees and Rivers in his time there, and at 6'5" with average speed, he should have caught more than 100 passes by now. In six years, and even after Chambers left last season, he's still at 97 receptions.

Secondly, it's all in the name. Naanee is awesome, and Malcom Floyd not only has two first names, but also has a brother named Malcolm (no lie)—huge distrust factor on Floyd. He'll get his for sure, but at the price needed to pay, and the ceiling of both players—I'm taking Naanee out of the two.


Keiland Williams RB, WAS

Remember Mike Bell? Tatum Bell? Mike Anderson? Reuben Droughns? Olandis Gary? TERRELL DAVIS? Trust me on this one, draft Williams or pick him up mid-season, but your best bet to look smart is to do it before the 53-man cuts kick in.

"He catches the ball. He's got a big upside."


Kyle Orton QB DEN

Orton's progression over the last three years as a starting QB are astounding, and yet surprisingly familiar. Let's play compare the QBs real quick here, starting with Orton:

YearTeamGCompAttPct.YdsY/GY/A300 YdTDInt

Then say Rivers:

YearTeamGCompAttPct.YdsY/GY/A300 YdTDInt

And for control's sake, let's look at another more popular option in Flacco this year:

YearTeamGCompAttPct.YdsY/GY/A300 YdTDInt


Will Orton show the same progress as Rivers? I hope so, at least to a marginal extent.

Will Orton be Flacco or better? Probably not, but he'll be close, and with less of a running game in Denver with those hurt backs, Josh McDaniel's scheme, and receivers a year older in the system as well as a first round pick in Thomas—he'll have every chance to run with the big boys for the price of a tiddler.

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Draft Guide $5 2010