Sample ‘Ask the Guru’ questions (2006)

I am in a 12-team keeper league and basically got stuck picking Lamont Jordan with the 15th pick. I have Portis, Maroney, Mike Bell and Norwood as well at RB and my receivers are Roy Williams, Joe Horn and Antonio Bryant (also Jennings and Mark Clayton). I was offered 2 WR's for Jordan (he offered me Branch and Muhammad, although he ranked his WR's as follows: Ward, Branch, Andre Johnson, Mohammed and then Lee Evans) I really think Jordan is going to stink it up this year, so my question is would you trade Jordan for Branch or Andre Johnson and Lee Evans and if so which top guy do you take? I would be hoping Maroney is suitable as a #2 and a few of my receivers blow up so I can trade one later.

I would go with the trade. This would give you a great group of WR on your team. I would try for Deion Branch and Andre Johnson. I like Andre Johnson a great deal this year in Houston with his new coaching staff plus a solid #2WR in Eric Moulds to take pressure off of Johnson. Gary Kubiak should slowly begin to improve that team. Pass protection for Carr still appears to be an issue. Lee Evans is a fine talent but this Buffalo team will have tough sledding come November and December near Lake Erie. The Bills offense is also a weak one in my book. Then, you must acquire another RB by all means. You will be short of quality backs after this trade so work the phones and e-mail your buddies. Try to get a good deal but do not give up the farm. Free agents are always a possibility too.

What do you guys think of Matt Leinart?

We like him but.... He does not have a rifle arm or unlimited mobility even though he went 37-2 at USC with a 64.3 completion rate and a strong line in front of him. He’s going to need good protection to match that percentage in the pros. But many scouts point out that Tom Brady has neither a big time arm nor great mobility. That said, watch the Arizona line the next few years and judge for yourself. He certainly has the targets there.

I ended up with Willis McGahee in both of my leagues. But he was the indirect cause of a diatribe by a rude member of my first league. He was all upset because when I chose him unexpectedly (unexpected by him, that is), that threw off his draft strategy. Well, as we used to say when I was a kid, let's all have a pity party... For one thing, his logic (which I won't go into here) was flawed. For another, if you walk out of the draft room dissatisfied with your draft, you have only yourself to blame. Some people just never matured beyond the third grade. Unfortunately, it seems we had an even worse example tonight in our online draft.

This is what happened. In that league, you can protect one player from your roster of last year at the beginning of each round. So, for example, if you have two studs, you can freeze one at the start of the draft, and then see what happens in round one, and if the other stud makes it through, you can freeze him.

My best player from last year was Rudi Johnson. Borderline first-round pick, I figure. My projections showed that if I let him go, then at worst, I would end up with a player of about the same value as he or maybe better, and then there would be the chance to protect him for the second round. Clearly, under those assumptions, the thing to do would be to let him go. Johnson was nabbed before my pick, the final actual draft choice in the round. McGahee was there, so I grabbed him. No problem.

Well, over from the other side of the room, I hear the blowhard talking about what a downgrade it was to do from Rudi to McGahee.  First issue is the manners. As I said, some people have not gotten beyond third-grade level. Also, I wondered what it was to him. Why should he care if I screwed up? OK, after the draft, the blowhard started spouting again, and I found out what his concern was. Without realizing the person he was talking about was about 10 feet away from him, he was complaining to someone about how he had planned to protect McGahee from his roster in the second round, and that my not protecting Rudi was the only contingency he hadn't figured on.

Well, several comments:

1. Manners, again. Rude and boorish blowhard who never progressed emotionally beyond childhood.

2. If you are going to spout off, be sure the person you are talking about is not right in front of you (unless that was on purpose).

3. Just because he thinks Rudi is far better than McGahee doesn't mean everyone does. Nobody's opinions are the ones that rule the universe. And anyway, if part of his strategy was that Rudi would be protected, then that was his error.

4. Here's the one I love: In actuality, whether or not Rudi was protected was not where his strategy went wrong. 12 players are going to be selected in the first round one way or another. Rudi was selected, so Rudi being unprotected did not change the pool of players available at the end of the first round. Where he went wrong was to assume McGahee would make it through the first round, which he didn't.

5. If you know what you're doing, what others do shouldn't stop you. It isn't my fault he took Julius Jones in round two.

 So to him, I offer the following advice:

1. Grow up.

2. Don't be a blowhard.

3. If you must be a blowhard, at least know who is within earshot when you erupt.

4. Don't think that everyone is thinking the same as you; try to get a better handle on what others are thinking.

5. Take responsibility for your own actions. If you screw up, admit it. Or at least don't blame others.

6. If you are going to ignore everything above this, at the very, very least, don't be stupid. If you're going to go on a boorish rant, don't use faulty logic and look stupid on top of being a rude blowhard...