Setting the Stage: Raymond A. DuFour Memorial Fantasy Football League Draft Analysis

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the ceremonious last pick is in. On September 5th, in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and sixteen, at precisely 9:32 pm, the Raymond A. DuFour Memorial League draft closed, and the madness of the regular season officially commenced. While spring is usually said to bring about new life and hope in nature, the opposite could not be more true in fantasy football, as it is the fall that breathes life into good and bad teams alike. With this crisp breeze of change blows in many questions, and all are grasping for order amongst all the chaos.

Which is why, with the first installment of the Fantasy Football recaps, comes the most trivial rankings of all: the post-draft analysis. Usually left in the hands of the continually incapable commissioner, his sluggish bureaucracy have left these rankings instead to the media, a far more appropriate venue for a fair and balanced approach to the ranking system. Fawkes will not take lightly their responsibility to be as impartial as possible in their reporting. (On an unrelated note, we will be fully and continuously advocating throughout the entire season for a violent overthrow of the current commissioner and subsequent ejection from the league.)

The previous weekly power rankings were automatically released by the league office without even a hint of transparency, and these crackpot calculations inexplicably cranked out perennial losers on top and bona fide conquerors near the bottom. This is why this column will attempt to rationalize our rankings each week, even going as far as consulting exterior agencies to conduct internal reviews of the league, as to prevent bias as much as possible.

This week, we utilized the accredited fantasy football site FootballGuys.com, where each team’s draft was imported into the system and playoff likelihood for each organization was calculated. This was also the framework used to discuss a bit about each organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Three chances were generated for each team, assuming average, good, and excellent regular season management. To keep the analysis as balanced and comparative as possible, the lowest chances (average management) was taken as the defining grading of a team’s draft for a more realistic playoff scenario.

So without further ado, here are your Raymond A. DuFour Memorial League members, in order of worst to best draft:

Morgan Token Girl
(34%/55%/70%)

Coming in dead last is the new kid on the block, who was tapped into active service after a previous owner was graciously expelled in what proved to be the only wise decision of the commissioner all of last year. The new ownership looked for a fresh start to a franchise that rightfully left many fans with a bad taste in their mouth last season, as made abundantly clear in the complete cleansing of the old guard. However, electing to not keep a single roster member from the year prior seems to be a costly mistake for the Token Girls, as our draft analyzer placed them at only a 34% chance of even making the playoffs this year. The reasoning seems obvious: their best player will be missing the first three games of the season due to the fact he is so high he cannot even find the stadium; their second best player is coming off a knee explosion only one year prior. It’s hard to even name a third best player on this team, as the roster seems to be in a fourteen-way tie for dead last. Who can leave off such studs from their fantasy squads like Shane Vereen and Clive Walford? As far as re-building efforts go, this organization seems to be heading more the way of Carthage than Chicago.

As Your Reigning Champion
(43%/60%/75%)

This brash champion welcomed a challenge all last season, but retaining the title this season may prove the one challenge too great. The championship hangover appears all too real, as their constant celebrating all offseason left them scrambling come draft-time. After a flurry of research mere minutes before the draft began (where the owner declared he did not even realize what players he even had from the season prior), the Reigning Champions opted to keep Gronkowski and Robinson. The front office then abruptly alerted all other team members that they would be packing their bags, a move that left players, their families, and their fans in a deep state of confusion and sadness. This stratagem seems to be even more perplexing, as the Reigning Champions downgraded in nearly every position, leaving their RB and WR positions with little depth outside their starters. The team did attempt a foray into PR by signing the Thomas brothers, but to fans, it may be too late to win back their good graces. Drafting Andrew Luck may ultimately prove a good move for the Reigning Champs, assuming that the trainers in Indianapolis can keep this hefty bag of tomato soup and punctured kidneys from exploding in more than two consecutive games. Good thing the organization’s name change is celebrating its title all year long, because it looks to be their last for quite some time.

Eighty-Eight Goodells
(44%/60%/77%)

The Eighty Eight Goodells underwent a minor branding change over the offseason, but they are certainly not straying from what they know best: drafting New England Patriots. When Tom Brady is old and gray, thirty years removed from professional football, sitting on some beautiful yacht of his wife’s, scores of little Brady-spawn running about the deck, he’ll kick back and smirk, glad he has retired from the hard-hitting league of the NFL. But unbeknownst to him, he will not be retired from football altogether, as a grizzled and defiant Bostonian will continue to draft him in his fantasy league year after year, even after Tom Brady’s filthy ashes are spread over the shithole that is Foxborough, Massachusetts, while the owner is heard muttering something about “Da spee-rih o’ Fahck-ing Tawm Bray-dee will live ahn faw-evah.” However, what the Eighty Eight Goodells possess in quarterback consistency, they lack in nearly everything else, especially when it comes to the position of wide receiver. Their WR1 is Randall Cobb, which should and does say enough about the organization. The only other plus we can take away from this team is their clever name, which is not in reference to some ungodly parallel universe in which Roger Goodell dabbles in cloning science, but a mere comparison of the most hated commissioner in sports to a man worth $75 million.

Jamaal Charles in Charge
(51%/65%/80%)

Boy, do we have a lot to say about this one. This draft analysis alone was enough to make us question the entire integrity of our supposedly unbiased system, but the facts are there for everyone to see: clearly the evil grip of our commissioner knows no bounds. Our nefarious overlord has somehow sunk his fleshy, black claws deep into the psyche and upper management of FootballGuys.com, giving himself a much superior ranking than deserved. After retaining the corpse of Jamaal Charles solely for a punny name (and a terrible, bigoted one at that), the organization drafted three other running backs to insure their once premier player never steps foot on the fantasy gridiron again. Talk about treating their highest scorer and fan favorite with respect. The backfield is uninspiring; their receivers, even less so. And if you really want to have a bad day, just look at their quarterbacks. Carson Palmer isn’t even a top-10 quarterback, and this is a 10 person league. Let that sink in. In all, we would place the Charles in Charge’s chances at making the playoffs near zero, but, alas, these draft rankings say otherwise. Keep in mind, however, the wide and oppressive reach of the commissioner, and factor that into your interpretation of this analysis.

All Hail Fidel Ferraro
(54%/70%/80%)

Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman, author, and philosopher whose broad and impressive life’s work was (perhaps, falsely) reduced to not more than a sentence: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” We, by the power invested in us by internet access and a keyboard, propose a rebuttal: “Well, yeah, but what about those who welcome evil with open arms?” The organization All Hail Fidel Ferraro may perhaps be the only thing more disgusting than the much-maligned commissioner’s office itself, reducing a once glorious franchise into nothing more than an obedient, slobbering lackey dying to sate its cruel masters heavy hand. If the sniveling sycophant put half as much effort as he did fulfilling the commissioner’s random whims as he did drafting, the league would have a serious contender for championship. The All Hails had a strong beginning to the draft, with picks such as Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Cam Newton, and Greg Olsen, but they seemingly forwent the remainder of the draft to adulate their narcissistic dictator. Outside of Diggs and Foster, this bench is looking even thinner than Air Bud’s high school basketball team’s. What the All Hails seemed to forget when pledging their loyalty this year is that henchmen are always, and I mean always, killed. At least the big bad guy gets to have a cool speech.

Kirsten Dunst
(60%/70%/80%)

The strangely named Kirsten Dunst brings us into the upper half of teams in the Memorial League. Last year, this team was the elite of the elite, boasting a 1-2-3 punch of Gurley, Beckham Jr.l, and Freeman, and went into the playoffs as the team to beat. And beat they were, by a lowly, unclean unmentionable, but that was last season, and this is now. Their draft started strong, electing to retain two of the top five consensus picks, and the Dunsts continued to choose wisely at wide receiver. D. Thomas, K. Benjamin, and L. Jackson are tried and true players, and risks on players such as rookie Tajae Sharpe and big play threat M. Wallace will seem to pan out. Any running back core with Gurley at its helm is a strong one, but their level of skill beyond that dropped off sharper than support of the Rams organization in Missouri this year. And then, without any reason, without so much as a shred of a semblance of intelligence, without even an attempt at rationality, the Dunsts brought back their old QB, Eli Manning. Eli. Freaking. Manning. They opted to retain an old, mouth-breathing face on what looked to be a promising franchise, all but confirming their acceptance of being almost good enough. Just as the real Kirsten Dunst will always almost be the best part of the Spider-Man trilogy, this Kirsten Dunst seems to be fine with being almost the best team in the Memorial League year in after year out.

Jen Brown’s Floppy Boobs
(61%/75%/85%)

The in-your-face, but-we’re-just-having-fun-here vibe of this team seems slightly off this year in a post-Brock Turner world, but we digress. I don’t mean to target a defenseless receiver, so how could I target a defense-less fantasy squad? A team that has Keenan Allen as their second wide receiver could certainly never mean to be offensive. I mean, how could an organization that drafted Ben Roethlisberger not sincerely value the welfare of young women in today’s society? This club’s intentions are noble and pure, like the etymology of Freeman’s patronymic, and we only wish them all the best. We do advise this ranking may be a little flawed, however, as this was only the second most accurate ranking system that we could find.

We Are Gritnesses
(68%/80%/85%)

This perennial losing organization seems to have finally turned things around in the front office. We Are Gritnesses followed the same barn-burning strategy as the Token Girls, firing every player and coordinator the owner laid his eyes on. However, this team’s draft turned out markedly different, taking promising rookie Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, and never looking back when it comes to his backs. The backfield makes a good case to be one of the strongest in the league, and they will certainly need it, as they lack any depth with their receiving corps. Their QB looks serviceable in Rodgers, but the Gritnesses will be in trouble if the extremely unlikeable cheesehead Favre wannabe goes down. The team has opted to just pick up any quarterback from free agency come injury, leaving fans wondering if he will have enough time to learn the playbook to perform sufficiently. In all, the Gritnesses may be looking at a strong postseason run if their backfield and tertiary positions pull through, but could become the king of the loser’s bracket once again if they do not.

Bunch of Mularkeys
(77%/85%/90%)

This Bunch of Mularkeys is certainly a misnomer, as their draft seemed to be anything but. Their running backs are strong with the duo of Johnson/Peterson leading off, only made stronger by Gore/Williams as backups, and Henry/Michaels as possible trade-bait come deadline. This season, their receivers are solid but serviceable, just like Mike Mularkey won’t be. Another anti-parallel this team shares with their namesake is that this organization knows how to recognize efficient dual-threat QBs, with Tyrod Taylor on the pass and the rush, and Philip Rivers on the gridiron and in the bedroom. The team has no glaringly weak spots aside from a man whose name was rejected from a Friends pilot script for being too unrealistic, but this organization nearly guarantees at least there will be one Mularkey in a postseason.

Washington Whiteskins
(86%/90%/99%)

The best team on paper seems to be the Washington Whiteskins, whose name accurately depicts both the racial and geographical makeup of the Memorial League. The team is admittedly closely dear to the author of this article, but even after running the draft analysis through an unbiased source multiple times, the Whiteskins still came out on top. Having Brown, Bryant, and Watkins as receivers cements this as the best receiving trio in the league, and Russell Wilson makes for a strong two-headed monster. But a fantasy football monster must be Cerberus, not a siamese twin. The Whiteskins lack a deep backfield as well, but hope to rely more on their aerial attack rather than their poor ground approach. Unlike their crimson counterparts, the Washington Whiteskins’s chances at the postseason are theirs to lose.

Playoff Chances with Differing Management Skills

Average Management Good Management Excellent Management
Morgan Token Girl 34% 55% 70%
Your Reigning Champion 43% 60% 75%
Eighty Eight Goodells 44% 60% 75%
Jamaal Charles in Charge 51% 65% 80%
All Hail Fidel Ferraro 54% 70% 80%
Kirsten Dunst 60% 70% 80%
Jen Brown’s Floppy Boobs 61% 75% 85%
We Are Gritnesses 68% 80% 85%
Bunch of Mularkeys 77% 85% 90%
Washington Whiteskins 86% 90% 99%

BY L. Xavier

 

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