Jesse vs. Autodraft
By Jesse Pantuosco, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Internship wasn't a particularly memorable film, but one scene did resonate with me. Here it is.
OWEN WILSON: Obsolete ... what does that even mean?
JOHN GOODMAN: It means everything's computerized now. It's cheaper for a machine to tell companies what to order than a manufacturer's rep. They don't need us anymore.
WILSON: People have a deep mistrust of machines. Have you seen Terminator? Or two? Or three? Or four? People want to deal with people, not terminators.
GOODMAN: People hate people!
Odds are, if you've played in a Yahoo, Fox, CBS or ESPN fantasy league in the last few years, you've probably encountered Autodraft. What this evil creation does is pick your team for you based on rankings set by a computer.
For people who have other commitments and can't make the draft, it's actually pretty convenient. But what if Autodraft wasn't just a safeguard? What if each of us abandoned our free will and handed over the reigns to some faceless computer programmed to serve all our fantasy needs? Could the mighty hand of technology eventually run us all out of business?
Sure it could. But we're not going down without a fight. To see what I was up against, I went on ESPN and let the computer draft for me. Here's how it turned out.
1st Round, 2nd overall pick
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Let's be honest, it's hard to screw up the second pick. I would have taken LeSean McCoy, but who am I, to complain about AP? So far, so good. The second round is wide receiver central so I'm hoping for Dez Bryant or Brandon Marshall. For those interested, Jamaal Charles went first.
2nd Round, 19th overall
Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams
I can't argue with this one either. It's hard to believe Stacy was still around at No. 19. Maybe people are concerned Tre Mason will cut into his carries. I had Stacy on three of my teams last year so I know he can bring it. Now that I'm squared away at halfback, let's go get me a wide receiver.
3rd Round, 22nd overall
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys
I guess that fills my flex spot. Murray's okay but I definitely would have taken a wideout here. Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery, Julio Jones and Jordy Nelson were all still available. At No. 39, the best I can hope for now is probably Pierre Garcon or Wes Welker. I really wanted a top-ten wide receiver. This is creating anxiety. Ughhh.
ESPN has Rob Gronkowski ranked 35th. If he falls to me at No. 39, that's either going to be amazing or the worst thing that's ever happened. Gronk is the ultimate high-risk, high-reward player.
4th Round, 39th overall
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
The plot thickens. Fitzgerald is a big name but he's way past his prime. Garcon and Keenan Allen, who went right after "Fitz," were better options. I have to say, letting the computer play out like this is taking an incredible amount of restraint. If you're a control freak like me, I would stay far, far away from Autodraft. If I don't get a QB soon I might have a panic attack.
5th Round, 42nd overall
DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins
I liked Jackson a whole lot better when Nick Foles was throwing to him but I guess this will have to do. With Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton off the board and Andrew Luck sure to be taken before I'm up again at No. 59, my quarterback dilemma is very real. Foles, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson should still be around, but if the computer skips them, I might be stuck with Tom Brady or Matt Ryan in the 10th or 11th round. Yikes.
I see Ray Rice and Trent Richardson are still floating around. The computer couldn't possibly draft me another running back, could it? If you need me, I'll be pacing around my room for the next ten minutes.
6th Round, 59th overall
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
I finally have a QB. We can all breathe now. Mostly, I'm just relieved the computer didn't pick Richardson. That would have been a nightmare.
So here's what I've learned. Since Richardson was ranked higher than Griffin (I assume Richardson paid off ESPN so he could get a higher ranking), the way Autodraft works is it fills up your starting nine before moving onto the bench. I really hope this doesn't mean I get a kicker in the ninth round.
7th Round, 62nd overall
Chris Johnson, RB, New York Jets
Well, there goes my theory. There's a lot wrong with this pick. First off, Johnson is useless. Even if he gets 1,000 yards, which he won't, Chris Ivory is going to vulture all his touchdowns. But more importantly WHERE IS MY TIGHT END? Jason Witten would have been perfect here. The only way this draft can be salvaged now is if I get Jordan Cameron in the eighth or ninth round.
Rounds 8-10 (79th, 82nd & 99th picks)
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
I'm getting heated. It's like the computer completely forgot about tight end. At this rate, I'll end up with some clown like Charles Clay or Delanie Walker.
I knew the computer wasn't going to do this but I definitely would have taken Seattle's defense in the ninth round. It's like having Jimmy Graham at tight end. While the rest of the league is putting out nobodies, the Seahawks give you 15 points every week.
With that said, these aren't bad players. Sanders is replacing Eric Decker in Denver (you know, the team that had the greatest offense in NFL history last year) while Hopkins and Wright are both up-and-comers. At least I'll have a good bench.
Rounds 11-13 (102nd, 119th & 122nd picks)
Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
Three more picks and still no tight ends. What else is new? Also, I'm not sure why I needed three quarterbacks. Fun fact, all seven of my bench spots are filled. Go home, Autodraft. You're drunk.
Rounds 14-16 (139th, 142nd & 159th picks)
Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins
Did I call it or what? Charles Clay at No. 159. Unbelievable. At least Autodraft actually got me a tight end. Better late than never, right? Not really.
Is this the worst fantasy team ever created? Probably not. But I know I could have made a better one.
FINAL SCORE: Jesse 1, Autodraft 0
Thanks for playing.
08/14 16:13:01 ET