The NFL is using a “conference-free” format for the otherwise meaningless Pro Bowl and gives a tip of the hat to the fantasy football world by allowing Jerry RIce and Deion Sanders to select their respective teams from all players elected to the Pro Bowl. So instead of a meaningless game of the AFC vs. NFC, we’ll get to watch a meaningless game of the guys Rice was told to pick versus the guys that Sanders was told to select.
To best honor the futility of forecasting the Pro Bowl, John Tuvey and I will select our own teams from the 2013 roster. We’ll use a standard performance scoring system that includes a reception point. Granted John never scored 197 touchdowns like Jerry Rice did and that includes his time with Madden Football. And the only relationship I have to Deion Sanders is that my nephew once played his son in flag football. So not exactly “drop by and chill” stuff.
But while Jerry and Deion combined for 34 years in the NFL, at least John and I total 48 years of experience with fantasy football. And entering our first draft of Pro Bowl players, we already hold these truths as self-evident:
1. The best scorers are always the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Passing is easier and no one gets hurt.
2. Running backs can score but they rarely run more than eight times. There is no such thing as a “Pro Bowl workhorse”.
3. Every year a fullback scores. You have virtually no chance guessing which one even though only two will play.
4. The more talented and veteran a player is, the less likely he will do anything.
5. Anyone in their first appearance or there only as a replacement will be the only players who take it seriously.
6. Plenty of time will be given to showing the wives of players. Unrelated to the game perhaps but still okay in my book.
7. Kickers are even more worthless since recent Pro Bowls average less than one field goal attempt per kicker.
8. Getting injured in a Pro Bowl is like single car accident. It’s considered “on you” and not covered in your contract.
We conducted a serpentine draft for the 30 players that might actually touch the ball in the Pro Bowl. We agreed to split in half the six quarterbacks, eight wide receivers, four tight ends, six running backs, two fullbacks, two kickers and two kick returners. So a bit of strategy went into what positions and players were taken with each pick.
We’ll update this page after the Pro Bowl with the points in case anyone else wants to try their own hand at Pro Bowl fantasy football.
|Team Dorey||Team Tuvey|
|QB||Drew Brees||I know Brees may fit into the “who cares” category but he ended the year on a down note and he is facing a secondary that will play with all the dedication of a gang of teen-aged delinquents tasked with picking up trash on the side of the highway.|
Who doesn’t love throwing to a freakish athlete like Dez? Surely none of these quarterbacks in what amounts to glorified 7-on-7 drills.
Still young, still idealistic… and threw for 205 and 2 in last year’s Pro Bowl. Ever see Luck take a play off? Me neither.
|WR||Josh Gordon||Brilliant pick. Youngster has all the markings of a talented star that doesn’t know enough to take it easy and the quality of QB throwing to him just went up about tenfold. He’ll think this matters in his contract. Those kids…|
|WR||Alshon Jeffery||Big and tall and young. First timer. He’ll probably even learn all the plays. Like his long ball ability against cornerbacks who are mostly thinking how to lose the wife that night and go to a bar.|
Tallied the hat trick two years ago with 6-111-3, proving what he can do with quality quarterbacking. it’s like when a race horse finally gets among his own kind instead being at the Phoenix Burro Ranch.
Top passer in the 2012 game with 190 and 2, and now he’s Comeback Player of the Year.
|WR||Brandon Marshall||He had six catches for 176 yards and four scores just last year. This pick says I am banking on him trying to show up Jeffery who will think this is all real.|
|WR||DeSean Jackson||With Nick Foles in the game, how can 3 or 4 long passes to Jackson not happen? And how can he not catch at least one for a score? I love first timers.|
They don’t run in the Pro Bowl, but if/when they do it’ll be sprint draws and such—perfect for a speed back like Charles. He can catch too.
Did I mention they don’t run in the Pro Bowl? A combined 38 rushing attempts last year, 40 the year before that. But if they throw to the backs, that’s right up McCoy’s alley.
|QB||Nick Foles||Yeah, this is a GREAT pick. Foles will be all intimidated by all the stars around him and think he has something to prove. Classic case of “Dude – you realize we all get paid the same regardless”.|
|TE||Jimmy Graham||I have Brees, there was Graham. Why not. Should be one short TD. I have limited expectations of any TE in the Pro Bowl.|
I’ll close out the category with the other pass-catching back in hopes of picking up points that way—noting that there have been just three rushing TDs the past two Pro Bowls, and two have them have gone to fullbacks.
These quarterbacks will be throwing downfield, which fits Cameron’s skill set. Playing for the Browns means Cameron may never see Hawaii again.
|QB||Cam Newton||I have to choose between Newton and Alex Smith. Newton was one of the best passers last year. This is maybe my easiest pick of the draft.|
|TE||Tony Gonzalez||Tony G gets his final Pro Bowl. Maybe he’ll want to ride off into the sunset with a TD.|
|KR||Cordarrelle Patterson||Vikings always show up in Hawaii; maybe they’re happy to escape the cold? A couple return TDs, maybe some bonus work as a receiver… wouldn’t surprise me if another Viking walked away with MVP honors|
All the other positions are set except for fullback, so I’ll go with Tucker since I’m guessing he’ll be more into this event than a guy whose team just got eliminated from Super Bowl contention.
|FB||Mike Tolbert||Fullback. Had to pick one. I remember Tolbert catching a pass once. Good enough.|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Tuvey scooped up the top backs as if anyone gets more than about 5 to 7 carries. So I’ll take my time since the remaining part of my roster is already set because we are down to just filling out the required positions. Murray steps in and may do something prior to getting injured again.|
Had him slotted much higher, but after Dorey closed out his receivers I was able to wait on the guy who rolled up 7-119-3 in last year’s Pro Bowl.
With Jimmy Graham nursing that foot injury and Vernon Davis coming off a tough loss, I actually had Witten as the top-ranked tight end on my board (yes, even though I went with Cameron earlier). Nice of Team Dorey to let my favorite Cowboy slide to me.
|RB||Eddie Lacy||Youngster, idealistic. May be surprised when no one tries to tackle him. Should get one score before someone tells him “Dial it back, rookie. We all have dinner plans.”|
|RB||Alfred Morris||Man. Not even sure how he got to the Pro Bowl. Shanahan turned him from AlaMo to SloMo.|
I didn’t have a strong preference between Reece and Mike Tolbert, so I let Dorey decide and took what was left. If my pass-catching back theory holds water, this is actually the better option anyway.
You can’t go wrong with any of these wideouts, and after Dorey filled up his receiver slots I didn’t have to rush out to secure Brown.
|PK||Steven Gostkowski||I take him in every fantasy league anyway.|
|KR||Dexter McCluster||Now I can say I have owned McCluster on a fantasy team. Will never happen again. Granted no one wants to race down and get pancaked but then again no one much blocks on kicks or punts anyway.|
Smith replaces Tom Brady, who is opting to stay home with his supermodel wife. Yes, Alex Smith is a Pro Bowler. On the bright side, his short game perfectly fits my backfield strategy.