Monday, August 11, 2008

McGahee, Rice and Handcuffs

The top news today is of course Willis McGahee. McGahee is getting his knee scoped this week (maybe as we 'speak') and will be laid up at least 2-4 weeks. Now, from here on out, Ray Rice is a handcuff you need to have if you draft McGahee and THIS from a guy (me) who is not a big handcuff proponant. (Antonio Pittman might be another nice piece of insurance if you believe Steven Jackson will indeed hold out and you're into handcuffing. Just FYI.)

But Rice was already looking good and generating buzz about taking carries away from McGahee before the scope. Week 1 is in doubt and now you have to look at the following:
  1. McGahee is not going to be a first round pick for you
  2. Ray Rice will be a guy who moves up and you might have to reach for to get him handcuffed to McGahee
And now you see why I hate the idea of 'having' to handcuff your players. Because inevitably you have to reach on the player. Cecil and Sigmund are very much at odds with me on this, as evidenced by last Thursday's Drive Block. I'm not going to tell you they are wrong but I WILL say that they were both drunk, so you can't trust them.

OK, maybe not.

But I will say that while I might like to target Chester Taylor if I draft Peterson with the #2 or 3, his ADP at Antsports is very reasonable at 7.10 (according to and yesterday in my local league's draft he went in round 9. At that point, he's cheap insurance, you've stocked up on higher upside RBs and WRs, probably bagged a TE and at least 1 QB - I mean, THAT's value, not merely a handcuff.

Ray Rice is going even later than that - 11 round and on. That will change right.... about.... NOW. With McGahee hurt and week 1 in doubt, people are goign to gobble up Rice's hype and before you know it, that ADP is going to drop 3 rounds or more in some drafts. He goes from a 2nd string guy like Felix Jones and becomes another Kevin Smith/Matt Forte. I don't know I think he's running away with that job, but he could.

When it comes to handcuffs though, generally it depends upon your league. In my aforementiond local league, my fellow owners do not hesitate to go after handcuffs most years - one fellow specifically will grab a backup if he hangs around 'too long' just so he has a shot at trading him to another owner in case of emergency. In fact, guess who got Ray Rice? Yup. He's already sent an email to the unfortunate McGahee owner this morning.

Other leagues will be populated by guys who are just looking for the best available value. That's how I like to draft. I drafted Addai in the 5 spot yesterday. Didn't sweat getting Rhodes or Hart because there was better value at my spot round after round. Why grab Rhodes in round 13 (his ADP via Antsports) when Ricky Williams is there (ADP round 9, incidentally)? One will sit on my bench unless Addai goes down and even then maybe not put Addai's numbers up anyway. The other could start in my flex right away.

I just like drafting depth. In a draft going 16-20 rounds, you have that luxury most times. Look, why reach for Addais' backup when I can draft a bunch of RBs who could slip in and start or rotate in and out of my lineup? Aside from Addai, I have Jones-Drew, Willie Parker, DeAngelo Williams, the aforementioned Ricky Williams, and then Hail Marys Andre Hall and Steve Slaton. Did Rhodes add anything to that really?

In my opinion, no. Other's mileage might vary, and in the end it's your team. I can't tell you how to run it. But I'd rather have a grip of running backs who might pop at any time, then worry about backing up one particular guy just in case.

Back with some news later.....

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