This series is more about the learning process and less about the ability to brag about some of the dealings that go on in our Writers' League, and sometimes we accomplish the learning process by looking at some of our greatest failures. And sometimes, you can find some of your worst failures in the most unusual of places.
I don't really have much in the way of a funny or sad story to share regarding this phenomenon, but I can give a few hints as to what you can do if your super-awesome-fantastic-neato draft decides to fly south on you, or if things fail to break just right for you.
First, I guess I would like to share a bit from a 2009 team I owned, the first ever "serious" league I played in. With the 8 pick in a 10-team draft and playing .5 PPR, 6 point passing touchdowns, with kick return yardage, my draft fell with Larry Fitzgerald as my first-rounder, then Stephen Jackson, Pierre Thomas, and Aaron Rodgers at the fourth. My fifth turned out okay with Chad Ochocinco, but the sixth and seventh weren't so great, as I pulled out Larry Johnson and Lee Evans. Evans was dropped on October 1st and Johnson didn't even make it past September 24th. Owen Daniels made it into the 8th round and as I recall led our league in tight end points until he was injured. The rest of my draft finished up with the Dallas defense, Knowshon Moreno, Domenik Hixon, Donnie Avery and Neil Rackers.
Not the most solid draft for a 10-team, 13 slot (4 bench, 9 starters) team, but sometimes you just have to go to work when trades aren't going to go down. I picked up Green Bay and dropped Dallas by the middle of September, which went on to lead our league in defensive points, and Lawrence Tynes was available at the end of the month, who went on to lead our league as well. Yes, kickers and defenses do matter, but they aren't consistent enough to draft much higher than the latter rounds.
With return yardage on, no one realized how many points Jamaal Charles was racking up until I picked him up for Moreno in November - talk about holding something past its expiration date.
Either way, long story short, it took a ton of work, but after an opening week blowout loss, I went on to finish the season at 8-5, knocked my brother out in the final week, and took fifth in the playoffs.
So, a couple things: There's a reason the season is 13 weeks long before playoffs. If you make a mistake in the draft, you have time to correct it with a well-grabbed free agent or trade. But you also don't want to give a highly-drafted player the boot too quickly. If a highly-drafted player isn't working out and you aren't convinced he'll come back to form, someone may still feel differently, and you might be able to get a player you're a little more high on.
I'll leave you with a little advice from my brother, that sums this whole topic up perfectly:
And remember: just because you drafted Steven Jackson, Braylon Edwards, and Chad ocho cinco as your first three picks, it doesn't mean you can't get first place overall.
True story - happened in his 2008 season, prior to me joining his league in 2009.
With that, what are some of your bad drafts turned into good seasons?