24 grueling rounds. An email thread so big it became unruly and we had to start a new one. Twice. It's time to kick off the ATQ Fantasy Football tournament with our first region, a triangle of talent. In one corner, we have ATQ head honcho jtlight.
QB - Kellen Clemens, RB - Bobby Moore, RB - LeGarrette Blount, WR - Jaison Williams, WR - Terry Obee, TE - Josh Wilcox, OT - Steve Barnett, OG - Gary Zimmerman, C - Brad Ecklund, OG - John McKean, OT - Fenuki Tupou, DE - Matt LaBounty, DT - Haloti Ngata, DT - Vince Goldsmith, DE - Mike Walter, LB - Jeremy Asher, LB - Blair Phillips, LB - Joe Farwell, CB - Chris Oldham, CB - Jim Smith, FS - Steve Donnelly, ROV/SS - Anthony Newman, K - Nathan Villegas, P - Mike Preacher
What he lacks in good looks and personal hygiene, he makes up for in shrewd football knowledge. Here's what he has to say about his team:
When picking players in the ATQ fantasy draft, I had one criteria: value. Oregon has had many great QBs, and many great running backs. They've had stellar cornerbacks. They've had few truly great defensive linemen or offensive linemen. Where the value was, that's where I was going.
And while a lot of my competitors wants to go with the sexy picks that play in the offensive backfield, I was busy assembling two lines that would mop the floor with any other line in this draft. Ironically, the only defensive line that would stand a chance against my offensive line, is my own. One thing will be clear, in any of the matchups, my lines will be able to control the entire game. While other teams have assembling some great skill position players, it's tough to run when your running back can't get to the line of scrimmage, and your QB has only few moments to get the ball away. And even if they could, the rest of my defense is rock-solid. The secondary has two All-American corners and All-Pac 10 safeties. The linebackers are a mix of accolades, talent, production, and leadership.
On offense, while I may not have the star names other teams have, I have top notch players that will be able to take advantage of the great line in front of them. Kellen Clemens is accurate and efficient. Ahmad Rashad and LeGarrette Blount make up one of the most exciting backfields. Jaison Williams will at the very least be able to help out the offensive line, and Terry Obee will be able to stretch the field.
Over the last few years, we've seen great offenses derailed time and again when they can't control the line of scrimmage. With 3 of Oregon's 4 Morris Award winners (giving to the best lineman in the Pac-10), and 3 of Oregon's 4 All-American lineman, that control is all but guaranteed.
After the jump, the other two teams make their pitch, and you, dear reader, get to vote on which team is best!
Next up, we've got ATQ founder and best ATQ mod at growing a beard, David Piper. Here's his squad:
Team David Piper
QB - Akili Smith, RB - Onterrio Smith, RB - Maurice Morris, WR - Bob Newland, WR - Lew Barnes, TE - David Paulson, OT - Paul WIggins, OG - Adam Snyder, C - Fred Quillan, OG - Palauni Ma Sun, OT - Tom Drougas, DE - Matt Brock, DT - Igor Olshansky, DT - Steve Baack, DE - Peter Brantley, LB - Ernest Jones, LB - Casey Matthews, LB - Derrick Barnes, CB - Cliff Harris, CB - Walter Thurmond III, FS - John Boyett, ROV/SS - Michael Fletcher, K - Jared Seigel, P - Len Isberg
Notes from Mr. #1:
Going into the ATQ fantasy draft, I really had a two pronged strategy in mind: I wanted talent, and I wanted balance. I didn't want to ignore and leave a weakness at any position. You'll see other teams that neglected to draft linemen until the last couple of rounds. Teams that ended up with guys like Jordan Kent and Ricky Heimuli. On my team, you'll just see the best players. I believe I have the #1 or #2 unit in the entire draft at every position.
On offense, I wanted the best QB to build my team around, and I picked the one with the best skillset. While Smith was a controversial pick, he has the best passing season in Oregon history, was great at making plays on the run, and had fantastic scrambling. He could do everything. He's accompanied by two of the best all-around running backs in Oregon history (O. Smith and Morris), the ONLY two first-team All-American wideouts the school has ever had (Newland and Barnes), a first team all-conference tight end who is a great pass catcher (Paulson). Finally, the line is solid at every position, with a first team All-American (Drougas), the best Oregon lineman in the last 25 years (Snyder), a future two time Pro Bowler at center (Quillan), and third round draft pick (Wiggins), and a 330 lb. guard who twice led the team in pancake blocks (Ma Sun). There is not a weakness on the offense.
Same holds true on the defense. The line is anchored by a big 300 lb. run stuffer in Olshansky, but also has two guys who each had 19 career sacks (Brock and Baack), and Brantley, who had a 10.5 sack season in 1989. The linebackers also get to the QB, as Jones is second in Oregon history with 29 career sacks, and Barnes also makes the top ten at 16.5. The other LB is Casey Matthews, who is one of Oregon's best all around linebackers ever. So your offensive line better be good, or your QB is going down, and I can blitz a lot as I have two of the best cover corners in Oregon history (Harris and Thurmond), as well as Boyett and Fletcher to help out.
Finally, if I do run into trouble, I can get field goals from anywhere with Siegel as my kicker, and Isberg is a great punter as well.
So other guys think their team is great because they have a lot of old school guys, or because they have Kenny Wheaton, or whatever. Just look for the most talent. When you get to my roster, you've found it.
Last, but not least, Matt Daddy. He has a habit of pissing off people with his words, as well as with his stubborn refusal to wear pants to the gym. Will his "bad boy" image carry him through to the next round? Here's his team:
Team Matt Daddy
QB - Dennis Dixon, RB - Rueben Droughns, RB - Kenjon Barner, WR - Pat Johnson, WR - Jordan Kent, TE - Jed Weaver, OT - Geoff Schwartz, OG - Jordan Holmes, C - Max Unger, OG - Jeff Kendall, OT - Nick Steitz, DE - Nick Reed, DT - Junior Siavii, DT - Brandon Bair, DE - Kenny Rowe, LB - Jerome Boyd, LB - Matt Smith, LB - Spencer Paysinger, CB - Alex Molden, CB - Aaron Gipson, FS - JD Nelson, ROV/SS - Eddie Pleasant, K - Matt Evenson, P - Norm Van Brocklin
Here's what Matt has to say:
On defense my speed and innovation only get better. I have Rowe and Reed on the edges of the D-line. Nobody was faster off the line then these two guys. Plus Rowe adds the versatility of being able to drop into a hybrid LB position and innovate into a 3-4. Siavii (315) and Bair (280) give good size without giving up speed at the DT position, and Bair showed he was able to innovate into a DE last year. Linebackers and safeties add even more speed, but they also bring power. The Eddie Pleasant army can blitz off the weak side when Rowe drops into a LB, JD Nelson will patrol the middle looking for someone's head to take off. I have the best CB to ever play for the Ducks in Alex Molden locking any WR down. You know why Wheaton made that pick on the slot receiver? Cause they sure as hell weren't going to throw towards Molden's side.
My team is so loaded with speed and innovation that I had to pick an All-American, 2 time Super Bowl Champion, and NFL Hall of Famer and make him my punter. Sorry about that Van Brocklin, just no room to start on this team.
Alright ATQ. You've heard all three sides. Now it's up to you. Vote for your favorite team, and the team with the most votes by Saturday will earn the first spot in the semifinals. Now get voting!