You could have had this fantasy team…

We’re only two weeks into the NFL season and some fantasy owners are already lamenting their teams. Nobody – not a NFL team and certainly not a fantasy team – likes to start 0-2, and while some owners are furiously trying to improve their teams, others are no doubt wondering, what if?

As always, I’m here to help. Below you’ll find the team you could have had. The rules? Pretty simple. To ensure the player is available, we have to draft him a round early. That is, if the player has an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 3.02, we have to take him in the second round. The plan is to start one QB, two RB, two WR and a TE, and I’ll leave the K and DT to your imagination. I’ll mow through the first twelve rounds so that we have a starter and a sub at each position.

Keep in mind, this draft is for a 12-team, Points Per Reception (PPR) league, with the Antsports’ High Performance Scoring System.

Off we go…

Round 1 – Reggie Bush (2.07)
Drafted: RB12
Actual: RB3

Someone actually gave me grief about considering Bush in the second round of my Industry Insiders league, and while there are a lot of (Reggie) Bush haters out there, the fact of the matter is that in a PPR league, the guy produces. Through two games, he’s averaging 127 total yards, 7.5 receptions, and 0.5 TD per game. He’s on pace for a 120-catch, 2000-yard season.
Alternate: Tony Romo (2.09)

Round 2 – Jason Witten (3.11)
Drafted: TE1
Actual: TE1

I know, it seems way too early for a TE, but Witten is as solid as they come and gives this team an advantage just about every week he plays. He has 13 catches for 206 yards, so he’s on pace for 104-catch, 1648-yard season. He hasn’t even caught a TD yet, but with numbers like that, who cares?

Round 3 – Willie Parker (4.08)
Drafted: RB20
Actual: RB5

A lot of people (myself included) were down on “Fast” Willie this offseason after the Steelers used a first round pick on Rashard Mendenhall. It’s not often that a team burns a first round pick on a RB and doesn’t at least utilize him in a RBBC approach, but the Steelers have given Parker the vast majority of the workload, and he’s responded with 122 rushing yards and 1.5 TD per game.

Round 4 – Dwayne Bowe (5.06)
Drafted: WR 23
Actual: WR15

No sophomore slump thus far for the talented Kansas City wideout. Even with the likes of Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard and now Tyler Thigpen throwing to him, Bowe has still racked up an average of 5.5 catches, 70 yards and 0.5 TD per game. The Chiefs look like they’ll be trailing for the rest of the season, so Bowe should get plenty of work against loose secondaries in garbage time.

Round 5 – Santana Moss (7.03)
Drafted: WR29
Actual: WR4

There isn’t a player with an ADP in the sixth round that is playing better than Santana is and, besides, we need to keep our Round 6 pick open for a certain QB. Moss hasn’t been hurt by the Redskins’ move to the West Coast Offense. He has posted an average of 6.0 catches for 100 yards and 1.0 TD per game. He looks like the Santana of old.

Round 6 – Jay Cutler (7.04)
Drafted: QB9
Actual: QB1

I advocated drafting Cutler in the sixth or seventh for those owners that missed out on one of the top six QBs – Brady, Peyton, Romo, Brees, Big Ben and Palmer. Brady is out for the count, Palmer is struggling big time and Roethlisberger looks a little iffy (though I think he’ll finish with great numbers). Back to Cutler, who is not only the top fantasy QB, he’s also the top fantasy player. In short, Cutler is off to an awesome start and I’d be happy as hell to have him on my roster right now.
Alternate: Matt Forte (7.08)

Round 7 – Chris Johnson (8.11)
Drafted: RB36
Actual: RB9

The Chris Johnson hype started sometime in the middle of the preseason. The table was set for the young speedster. He was joining an offense that featured a great running game and a veteran back (LenDale White) who had taken up residence in the head coach’s doghouse. Throw in a lack of talent at receiver and you have the makings of a very nice fantasy season. Thus far, Johnson has racked up an average of 124 total yards, 2.5 catches and 0.5 TD. He makes a heckuva RB3.

Round 8 – Tony Scheffler (9.11)
Drafted: TE11
Actual: TE2

Since we have the Denver QB, we might as well draft the Denver TE. The sure-handed Scheffler is averaging 3.5 catches for 68 yards and a TD through two games. And with the receiving corps surrounding him, there’s no worry that he’ll be double-teamed.

Round 9 – Aaron Rodgers (10.05)
Drafted: QB19
Actual: QB3

Thus far, this kid has succeeded under enormous pressure. How would you like to spend your first offseason as the presumed starter answering countless questions about Brett Favre and his on-again/off-again retirement? You take the field on Monday night, knowing full well that half your fan base is wishing #4 was still under center. Then, over two games, you average 253 yards and 2.0 TD, while rushing for another 30 yards and 0.5 TD. I drafted Brady in one league and was fortunate enough to have Rodgers on my bench to step in. Whew!

Round 10 – Chris Perry (11.09)
Drafted: RB44
Actual: RB33

Granted, the Bengals offense is really struggling, but Perry averaged 50 yards and 0.5 TD per game versus the Ravens and the Titans, two very tough defenses. Those are adequate numbers for our RB4. Plus, he has some upside.

Round 11 – DeSean Jackson (13.04)
Drafted: WR51
Actual: WR12

It’s tough to count on rookie WRs, but the writing was on the wall in the preseason. Always keep your eye on a talented rookie wideout headed to a team with a good QB that is desperate for playmakers in the passing game. Jackson surely benefited from injuries to Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown, and now that he’s started his career with consecutive 100+ yard games, it doesn’t look like he’s giving up his starting spot anytime soon. (By the way, had he not made the bonehead fumble play against the Cowboys, he’d be WR9 right now.)

Round 12 – Eddie Royal (15.01)
Drafted: WR58
Actual: WR3

Not to toot my own horn (which inevitably leads to someone tooting their own horn), but I had Royal ranked as my #1 Impact Rookie WR back in late August. (I had DeSean Jackson ranked #3. Who was #2, you might ask? Josh Morgan. Hey, they can’t all be winners.) Royal had a great preseason and he carried it over to the regular season, posting nine catches for 146 yards and a TD, making DeAngelo Hall look foolish in the process. In his encore, even though running mate Brandon Marshall almost set a record for catches in a game, Royal still caught the go-ahead TD and 2-point conversion against the Chargers.

So after 12 rounds, here’s our squad:

QB: Cutler (QB1), Rodgers (QB3)
RB: Bush (RB3), Parker (RB5), C. Johnson (RB9), C. Perry (RB33)
WR: Bowe (WR15), S. Moss (WR4), De. Jackson (WR12), Royal (WR3)
TE: Witten (TE1), Scheffler (TE2)

Alternatively, if we had taken Romo instead of Bush in the first and Forte instead of Cutler in the sixth, this would have been our squad:

QB: Romo (QB5), Rodgers
RB: Parker, Forte (RB8), C. Johnson, C. Perry
WR: Bowe, S. Moss, De. Jackson, Royal
TE: Witten, Scheffler

Obviously, either squad would be the favorite to win a title at this point in the season, but I prefer the first team.

Feel bad? Don’t fret, you could have this team:

QB: Brady, Bulger
RB: Maroney, R. Brown, R. Johnson, McAllister
WR: Colston, Ocho Cinco, Walker, Ginn
TE: Da. Clark, Crumpler

Is there a more motley crew of fantasy football n’er-do-wells?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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