No, I haven't drafted my 2009 Manly Football League squad yet (Aug. 29th), but it's been a busy offseason for the Snobs as we head into our 19th year in the world's greatest fantasy league. The MFL is a touchdown-only keeper league, with each team granted three slots with which to protect players from the previous year's roster, but protected slots may be traded. With that in mind, consider that I'm set up to start this year's draft in the 3rd round -- with an unprecedented six protected players already on my roster (my only current roster holes are in the 6th and 8th rounds.
Here's the lineup:
Adrian "All Day" Peterson
He's not quite the consensus No. 1 overall, particularly in a touchdown-only league, but the third-year RB in generally considered as the best runner in the game. Average draft position: 1.1
I drafted the Bears' 2008 rookie in last year's draft, then traded him away early in the season for WR Calvin Johnson and then-unseen rookie RB Steve Slaton. In the offseason I went and got him back, dealing Slaton and my 2010 No. 1 pick to reacquire him. Average draft position: 4.9.
Calvin "Megatron" Johnson
I'd coveted this stud WR ever since he came into the league in 2007, and when I saw a chance to acquire him for Forte (who was essentially a reserve for me last fall), I jumped at it. Johnson was a 2008 star despite a train wreck at Detroit's quarterback position. Average draft position: 18.8.
Bowe enters his third year in the league as one of the most promising players at his position. He is big, physical and fast, and an off-season coaching change in Kansas City brought him a pass-friendly offense and a quarterback who can get him the ball. I picked him up on Monday as part of a three-team combo deal. Average draft position: 38.0.
Best known for his celebrity girlfriends and the Cowboys' playoff troubles, Romo is nonetheless a fantasy god who finished near the top of quarterback scoring in 2008 despite missing several games with an injury. I'm betting the departure of Terrell Owens winds up having little net effect on his statistics. I drafted him in what amounts to the ninth round of the draft two years ago and he's been a mainstay ever since. I acquired an extra protected slot for him early in the off-season. Average draft position: 39.3.
He suffered through a statistical slump in 2008, but the famously tough Witten is healthy again and should regain his status as Romo's favorite red-zone target. Not only is Witten considered one of two top-tier tight ends by most fantasy experts, his value is increased in leagues like the MFL that require owners to start a tight end each week. I traded an 8th round pick for him Monday as part of the multi-team deal that also added the protected slot I needed for him. Added bonus? Witten gives me a dangerous 10-point touchdown hookup with Romo. Average draft position (includes leagues where TEs are not required): 44.9.
Basically, this is the kind of super-talented starting lineup I've dreamed about for years. It won't be enough to win a title (you need quality depth or you're going nowhere), but it puts me in serious contention at the start for the first time in a long time (after winning the league's second championship game, I've lost my subsequent appearances a record four-straight times).