Last Man Standig: Jennings vs. Moore
The "FanEx" fantasy football league is an industry staple and one I've been fortunate to participate in for several years now. We recently completed the 12-team, PPR slooooow draft; it took like two weeks. Something about people having lives. Anyway, during that time, friend of the FFToolbox podcast Matt Schauf (DraftSharks.com) and I engaged in some point-counterpoint action.
The plan was simple: find a player, a topic, and a strategy we disagreed on strongly enough to warrant a viable back-and-forth in long form rather than Twitter. Apparently that discovery came in the sixth round when I selected Minnesota's Greg Jennings as my third wide receiver (we start three and there is a flex) and Matt deemed Lance Moore a better option in that spot. Debate, engaged.
Even though I go into some detail about my roster below, here are the bullet points:
* I took Ray Rice and Matt Forte with my first two picks
* Grabbed Roddy White and Danny Amendola in rounds three and four
* Took the risk/reward plunge with Rob Gronkowski in the fifth.
As for Jennings, he's not exactly a player I'm planting a flag on during this or any other draft discussion. There is reason for optimism and fear with the ex-Packer, obviously. Among receivers, any touting would be reserved for guys like Michael Floyd Chris Givens, Pierre Garcon or T.Y. Hilton.
So why engage in such a debate? For starters, it's fun, but ultimately this for me had more to do with strategy than any specific player. I hope that comes across in the discussion below (also note that the Jennings pick was made August 8, four days after we started and 11 days before we finished the draft). Then again, Moore isn't a player I'm overtly targeting. Therefore, challenge, accepted...
Schauf: We're drafting next to each other in the long-running FanEx "expert" PPR league. You hurt me by taking Patriots WR Danny Amendola just ahead of my 4th-round pick. But I was a much bigger fan of your selection of Vikings WR Greg Jennings in Round 6 ... because I don't want him this year. You made him the 26th WR to leave the board, so I'll start with a question: What do you like about him there?
Standig: This is where I talk about being brainwashed, right? Before I defend the Mr. Jennings pick, let's set up my roster. Through five rounds, I had two RBs (Rice, Forte), two WRs (White, Amendola) and the ultimate risk-reward tight end in Rob Gronkowski. Knowing how the overall board looked, I knew I'd take a QB in the seventh (which I did, selecting Andrew Luck). That meant going RB or WR in the sixth. Since I didn't love any of the remaining backs (Bradshaw, Ivory) and this league requires we start three receivers, I went WR.
Now, do I love, love, love Jennings? Eh, no, seeing as Christian Ponder is no Aaron Rodgers (although the way Jennings keeps jabbing at his former QB that might be a good thing). However, the other receivers in that range either have their own passer issues (Stevie Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Josh Gordon), lacked the upside (Anquan Boldin) or are unproven (Tavon Austin). Jennings obviously has talent, which means his potential this season isn't capped at a pedestrian level. Also, Jennings is playing with Adrian Peterson, which means opposing defenses will bring at least one safety close to the line with regularity rather than leave them at the back end. Until Cordarrelle Patterson emerges, which might not be until 2014, Jennings should dominate the downfield pass targets.
Of my first seven picks*, Jennings is the only one I didn't take a bean ball-worthy victory lap after selecting, but I'm also not worried about him flopping either. Admittedly, some others have better fantasy narratives. Factor in his previous production, relatively high floor (based on those past numbers) and the need for a third WR when I made the move.
( I took Andrew Luck as QB12 in the 7th)
Clearly, you disagree. Let's hear it…