The Most Exciting Fantasy Football Team Imaginary Money Can Buy in 2015, by Grantland
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Football
Featuring Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, and Steve Smith thanks to these videos...
Loving the writeup of Tom Brady:
There are few better feelings during a fantasy draft than landing a guy who starts the skeptical murmuring among your leaguemates. Just imagine what it would be like to draft Brady this year. As soon as the auctioneer could say “sold,” the jokes would roll in.
Plus, drafting New England’s QB would give you an actual reason to make Courtroom Brady your avatar. I guarantee that will make at least one person in your league screw up a lineup change as he’s hypnotized by its majesty.
The real reason Brady is quarterbacking this team: It gives us a chance to roll with Tom and Emperor Palpatine Belichick as they attempt to burn down the league for the final 12 games of the year. I hope we all realize it by now, but if not: When the football starts, Tom Brady becomes fucking crazy. He’s going to do all he can to head-butt the entire planet this fall, and you better get on his side before that starts.
There’s really nothing quite like having Gronk on your fantasy team. I remember when the guy in our keeper league finally had to cut him loose. He cried. He actually cried. OK, fine, he didn’t, but he was close. And he probably should have cried.
Gronk is everything you want. He’s a touchdown machine, he’s liable to say just about anything, and there’s a 94 percent chance an amazing cell phone video of him pops up during the season. Plus, we already have Brady, and trotting out a quarterback-receiver tandem every week is fun as hell. Remember: Double points are the best points.
And the underpants thief from the Dallas Cowboys, Joseph Randle:
Let’s get this out of the way: Joseph Randle is going to be starting for the Cowboys.
At this point, it doesn’t matter how many incredibly dumb things he says. Darren McFadden is nursing a hamstring injury, and Dallas still hasn’t brought in any other running back help. By default, this is Randle’s job. Mark it down.
Also by default, anyone running behind that Dallas offensive line will be worth watching. But Randle, in particular, has a knack for ripping off big gains, and that goes back to his time at Oklahoma State. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry for Dallas last season, and even though it seemed like he received plenty of garbage-time action, he carried the ball only 51 times. Also, we, um, don’t have an unlimited budget, so Randle and the Cowboys O-line promise the most potential enjoyment for a reasonably low price.
And Todd Gurley!
A force-of-nature running back at the height of his powers is still unlike anything else in football. The most recent example that comes to mind is Adrian Peterson ripping off an 82-yard touchdown in St. Louis the year he won the MVP. While watching it happen, I couldn’t do anything but laugh. He put his foot into the ground, shredded through a couple of arm tackles, and game over.
The majority of NFL running backs can essentially be interchanged with each other — their success or failure depends on the offensive line in front of them. Of all the running backs I’ve watched, only a handful ever truly became appointment television, their every carry worth watching because there was just no telling what could happen. At his best, Peterson fits that description. LaDainian Tomlinson did. Marshall Faulk could be that in his own way, and Marshawn Lynch can, too.
I don’t know if Gurley will ever get there, but if the flashes we saw in college are any indication, he has a chance to come close. He’s a 225-pound terror who’s just as happy to put you into the ground as he is to outrun you. When it comes to raw talent, this dude is scary as hell. After all, running backs coming off a torn ACL don’t get drafted 10th overall unless they’re special.
As a rule of thumb: If the word “special” can reasonably be used to describe a football player, we want him on this fantasy team.