When it comes to fantasy sports, nothing comes close to fantasy football’s domination even when the season has been over for seven months. Think about it. The fantasy season ended when the NFL regular season ended. Since then, players have been released, re-signed, resigned, injured, arrested, and drafted out of college. Even before training camp, football news was running rampant, and where there’s news, there are predictions as to who is going to be awesome in the coming fantasy football season.
It is also time for fantasy football mock drafts. True, we don’t know if the New York Giants are that clueless about their new playbook. We don’t know if Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel will be the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns (okay, I admit, if you are looking at either of them to head up your fantasy football team, you’re in trouble.) We still don’t even know if Josh Gordon’s appeal is going to lead to a suspension for just a few games again or the whole season. But we still pretend to draft as if we know all the answers, or keep our fingers crossed as we press that big “draft” button on the screen..
Mock drafts are supposed to provide a glimpse into how other fantasy players will work a draft so that you can gauge when a player will probably be taken, and fine tune your own selections. Some people do it once to take the temperature of the public. Others do it over and over again so that they can assemble the best case team for every possible draft placement, and still end up playing for the Sacko.
Then there are players like me who don’t take mock drafts seriously until a week before their real draft is supposed to happen, and decide to troll mock drafts with the worst possible selections that you didn’t even know were options. Last year, it was popular to go into a mock draft, be given the first pick, and promptly take the incarcerated Aaron Hernandez, causing half of the other players to leave the draft, most of the other half to type as many expletives at you as possible, and maybe one guy who wants to see who you’ll draft next.
Using my expert knowledge of free agency, statistics, general football knowledge, and tested in live online mock drafts on ESPN, I have assembled the greatest fantasy football troll team for the 2014 season, from quarterback to flex bench players. This is the definitive, complete mock draft for jerks, guaranteed to ruin mock drafts everywhere.
Quarterback: Tim Tebow
I know. Picking Tim Tebow as my quarterback is so “ever since Tebow came to the NFL and made Skip Bayless crush hard,” but my first pick, Jared “Hefty Lefty” Lorenzen, was not draftable. I don’t know why. It’s not like Lorenzen has any worse of a shot to play in the NFL again as A.J. Feeley or Daunte Culpepper (both draftable) or… Tim Tebow!
But I have to pick Tebow because, if nothing else, it sends up a red flag in your mock draft that says, “Okay guys, if you’re not into this, you’re welcome to leave.” And it’s not just because Tebow hasn’t played a legitimate snap under center since his 2012 season with the New York Jets (trust me, I’m using the term “legitimate snap” very loosely.) It’s not even because Tim Tebow once started a game where he completed two passes for 69 yards and won the game because, well, the Chiefs. I picked Tebow because he’s just so damn stubborn about playing in the NFL as a QB or nothing.
Ask anyone in sports except Skip Bayless, “Is Tim Tebow a good quarterback?” You will get some form of the word, “No,” usually interlaced in a string of profanities. Tim Tebow is not a good quarterback, especially by NFL standards, but he has refused to try a change of position to, say, tight end or halfback. It’s not a bad thing. He won the Heisman and two BCS Championships, got a huge payday, and had his dream come true when he became a starting quarterback in the NFL. Now the only way Tim Tebow is starting at quarterback is in my mockery of a fantasy football draft.
Running Back #1: Thomas Jones
Thomas Jones was never the flashiest running back in the game. He was just always there, crashing into lines, finding holes, and gathering up over 10,000 rushing yards slowly but surely in his twelve-season career. He was great for fantasy football teams, but the coming of Jamaal Charles ended the need for the Chiefs to share rushing attempts with anyone else.
Just like his career, Jones’ retirement seems to be catching on slowly and surely, but fantasy football draft boards haven’t quite caught up. I wouldn’t be surprised if most players would need to look up Jones when you select him.
Running Back #2: LaDainian Tomlinson
I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t LaDainian Tomlinson retire?” Yes he did.
Tomlinson retired in 2012 after signing with the team that he earned his Hall of Fame stripes with, the San Diego Chargers, but he is still eligible to be drafted in many fantasy football mock drafts.
Unlike Thomas Jones, Tomlinson officially retired with a huge press conference, bow-tie, and probably a full band from the ’70s playing the Chargers’ fight song. Suffice to say, Tomlinson is not coming back to play, unless fantasy football gurus know something that we don’t. Chances are, they just forgot to take him out of their rotation.
Wide Receiver #1: Terrell Owens
A ridiculous fantasy football draft isn’t complete without the former controversial superstar Terrell Owens. He may not have played a real snap since 2012 as a receiver for the IFL’s Allen Wranglers, but that has not stopped some fantasy football leagues from keeping him listed as a player. It is believed that T.O. will not rest until he has managed to annoy the fans of every single NFL team. Currently, those fans include those of the Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
We can only hope that being drafted for a fantasy football team will prompt T.O. to engage in a new, ridiculous touchdown dance. Or at least type one out on Twitter while having a good cry.
Wide Receiver #2: Randy Moss
Randy Moss is slowly taking a page out of the book of Brett Favre. After “officially” retiring in 2011, Moss returned to the NFL in 2012 to play for the Super Bowl-losing San Francisco 49ers. This may be common knowledge for any die-hard Niners fan, but the rest of us forgot about Moss until his name was mentioned after the two Super Bowl plays that he was involved in.
With a year of sports analysis under his belt, Moss has recently accepted a coaching position at his son’s high school, but is still available in fantasy football drafts. I guess he hasn’t officially retired again so that he can be a ringer for a high school team.
Tight End: Aaron Hernandez
Last year, it was all the rage to draft Aaron Hernandez first if you were trying to screw up a mock draft. Hernandez was fresh off a career year of being Rob Gronkowski’s replacement as the starting tight end of the New England Patriots and even fresher off being charged with the alleged murder of Odin Lloyd. And yes, I’m saying “alleged” only because I have to.
Hernandez was one of those perfect storms for fantasy football mock drafts trolls. He was a player that could very well be drafted accidentally by someone who doesn’t follow football, or the news in general, which would incite ridicule for the rest of the season. So drafting Hernandez first could incite the hilarious responses that us jerks crave, while allowing us to build up to even bigger, but more vague, draft choices later on.
So why recycle the same joke by picking Hernandez again, a year later? Because he’s still available a year later, and has added two new murder charges to his resume since then with new evidence linking him to a 2012 double homicide in Boston. I don’t know what will come first if Hernandez is found guilty: the official suspension of Hernandez by the NFL, or Hernandez finally being taken out of eligibility for fantasy football drafts. Here’s hoping for another year!
Johnson Ochocino Johnson
Out of all of my ridiculous fantasy football draft picks, Chad Johnson is the only wide receiver still playing football in a professional capacity.
Okay, so the player formerly known as Ochocinco is only playing in the CFL at the moment, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make a triumphant return to the NFL. He had a chance to start for the Miami Dolphins in 2012, and was poised to beat out players such as the great… Brian Hartline and the Hall of Fame bound… Davon Bess. See? He could have made the Dolphins a contender!
Unfortunately, his arrest in 2012 due to a domestic battery charge caused the Dolphins to release Johnson and end those hopes for a comeback. Now Johnson can only hope to be the receiving version of Ricky Williams. But he’s still draftable in fantasy football, and that’s what’s important.
Defense: Dallas Cowboys
Unfortunately, there is no way around drafting a legitimate defense in fantasy football. The Houston Oilers defense is not available to draft, nor is the entire city of Los Angeles even though they have arguably the highest capacity of any current or former NFL football stadium (due to antiquated seating, but who cares! It’s football! I’ll sit on a rock for three hours if I have to.)
So I have to pick a defense? I’ll go with the Dallas Cowboys, who got rid of Rob Ryan and ended up becoming even worse. Maybe the Cowboys defense isn’t bad enough to give me negative points every week, but this draft pick may have me in the red by the end of the season.
Kicker: Austin Signor
Nobody cares about kickers. They’re the last to be drafted in fantasy football, the first to be dropped, and are never, ever kept during their bye week because, again, who cares?
To really troll a fantasy football mock draft, you may want to draft a kicker first, just to show everyone that you mean business. Even better, pick a kicker that you’ve never even heard of before, like Austin Signor. Signor hasn’t played an official NFL snap since, well, never. He came out of Iowa in 2007, and has been visiting NFL mini-camps ever since.
Why draft Austin Signor, you say? Why not?! Unless, of course, he is picked up by a team before preseason starts.
Bench / Alternatives:
A.J. Feeley: QB
Daunte Culpepper: QB
Cadillac Williams: RB
Larry Johnson: RB
Braylon Edwards: WR
Plaxico Burress: WR
Tony Gonzalez: TE
Jeremy Shockey: TE
In order to complete an amazing mockery of a fantasy football mock draft, you can’t just pick players for the starting positions. It takes a dedicated troll to fill up your bench with some of the most useless big-name players instead of filling it up with kickers and defenses.
Some players, like Larry Johnson, have just fallen off the map. Others, like Tony Gonzalez, have only recently retired. Will they ever make the starting rotation of my mock draft? Only time will tell.