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Drafting against co-workers adds additional spice

LaDainian Tomlinson was the first overall pick.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The only thing better than winning a fantasy league, is winning a fantasy league against your fellow employees. You spend at least eight hours a day with your co-workers and the banter while you are in first place is worth every penny of the entry fee.

Here at The Sports Network, the writers and editors got together last night for the annual draft. Click here to view our draft results.

Through a random draw, yours truly got the No.1 draft choice and selected Ladainian Tomlinson. No surprise there as I have won with him in the past. So although I was tempted to go for Adrian Peterson or hometown stud Brian Westbrook, I went "chalk" and chose "LT."

The first round went about as expected (Peterson, Westbrook, Joseph Addai, Steven Jackson, Tom Brady, Marshawn Lynch, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Marion Barber, Peyton Manning), although the last pick in the 12-man first round was New Orleans running back Reggie Bush. The Bush pick drew some oohs and ahhs from the "gallery."

Randy Moss was the 17th overall pick and led a run on wide receivers which included: Terrell Owens, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne and Braylon Edwards. By the time the picking got back to me at No.24 there was just one top-tier quarterback remaining, Drew Brees and I selected him without hesitation.

To begin the third round I thought it would be a stretch to go for the best available running back so I was looking at a top receiver. It was between Larry Fitzgerald and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. I actually like TJ better than Fitzgerald, but I also know that Kurt Warner throws more to Fitzgerald than to Boldin and with the announcement that he is the Cardinal's starting QB I went with the University of Pittsburgh product.

Houshmandzadeh went at the very next pick followed by the very dangerous Andre Johnson. If the Houston wideout could stay healthy for an entire season he would be a top-five receiver. Later in the third round, Brandon Marshall, Denver's talented wide receiver was selected showing that the one-game suspension (reduced from three games) hadn't hurt his value.

Edgerrin James and Donald Driver completed round three, a little high for both players I thought. James is coming off a 1,222, seven-touchdown year, but does he have another full year in that 30-year-old body? It has taken the abuse that goes with 300+ carries a year over the last five years and there is a challenge from a youngster - Tim Hightower.

Driver was picked ahead of Plaxico Burress, Roy Williams, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith and Wes Welker after completing a 1,048-yard, two touchdown season with Brett Favre as his quarterback. Will he still be the "main man" with Aaron Rodgers behind center and is Rodgers up to the challenge?

The rest of my starters consist of running LenDale White (but I didn't get Chris Johnson...my mistake), receiver Dwayne Bowe, tight end Chris Cooley. kicker Rob Bironas and the No.1 defense/special teams on most charts - Minnesota. Overall, I lack running back depth which I will have to improve either by trade or free-agent pickup.

It should be a fun year. The season begins Thursday night with the Washington Redskins visiting the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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