It is never too soon to get in a few mock drafts in preparation for your actual fantasy football draft. The season, after all, is less than three weeks away, and there are a lot of what-ifs to consider. A team doesn’t have a kicker yet? No big deal. Coaches aren’t sure who is going to win the starting quarterback position? In that case, pick neither of them in your draft. Is that rookie running back healthy? Healthy enough to make you think about it. Is that receiver still holding out? He’ll sign, eventually. Did that tight end retire? Supposedly.
While everyone else has been scrambling to rank the best players available in 2015 and the best rounds to draft those players, I went a different route. I studied the depth charts and free agent market. I broke down the VBD statistics. I scouted the players at restaurants and bars.
Now I bring you the best worst fantasy football players for the 2015 season. These players can actually be drafted in some online fantasy football leagues, and will probably not score a single fantasy point the entire season. Here they are, for your mock draft trolling pleasure.
Quarterback: Sage Rosenfels
Sage Rosenfels has had an interesting football life. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft only to be traded to the Miami Dolphins a year later for an even lower draft pick. He was the backup quarterback in Miami until 2006, when he went to the Houston Texans and started a few games. Rosenfels then went to the Minnesota Vikings, where he played as Brett Favre’s body-double. He was then traded to the New York Giants, where he proved a formidable place-kicking holder.
Now Sage Rosenfels is retired and blowing up social media as one of the more down-to-earth sports personalities in the public eye. He is also currently available to draft in many online fantasy football leagues in case your team needs a boost of “good guy” skills.
Running Back 1: Brian Westbrook
Brian Westbrook hasn’t run a football with any serious intent since he was backing up Frank Gore in 2010 with the San Francisco 49ers. Before that, Westbrook was racking up Pro Bowl slots and losing in the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles, so you know that he’s got talent.
Unfortunately, Brian Westbrook is retired right now. But that shouldn’t stop you from drafting him as your #1 fantasy running back. Westbrook is only 35 years old, and has probably regenerated plenty of tread on those legs during those four years of retirement.
Running Back 2: Joseph Addai
How often can you pick up a Super Bowl-winning running back on the cheap and slot him in as your #2 running back? Not very often. Unless, of course, you are drafting Super Bowl-winning running backs who haven’t won, lost or even played in a real football game since 2011. Joseph Addai could be that running back on your fantasy football team.
Sure, Addai was only running for the Indianapolis Colts when Peyton Manning needed to rest his arm for a play here and there, and his yardage may seem sub-standard in those conditions. But just think of how much wear and tear Addai has left if a team picks him up! He’s probably had as much game stress as one of those guys running with the down markers!
Wide Receiver 1: Chad Johnson
Currently, Chad Johnson is the only offensive player on our list that is actively playing football, so it makes sense that he is listed as draftable in fantasy football databases. It should be noted, however, that the receiver formerly known as Ochocinco is currently playing in the final season of a two-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.
With that said, drafting Chad Johnson may look like a sneaky play and not at all a trolling pick. Therefore, make sure to draft Johnson as your first or second pick to show everyone in your mock draft just how serious you are.
Wide Receiver 2: Steve Smith
Let’s look at the fantasy football stats from last year: 79 receptions; 1,065 yards; 6 touchdowns; 1 lost fumble. Those are some pretty good numbers for a #2 receiver in a deep PPR league, or a flex spot in any league. That’s Steve Smith for you.
But we’re not talking about that Steve Smith. That’s Steve Smith Sr. The Steve Smith you should troll mock drafts with had a 1,000 yard season with the New York Giants in 2009 before dwindling away into obscurity. The last time he caught a pass in the NFL was with the Rams in 2012. That Steve Smith.
Tight End: Aaron Hernandez
Okay, so this is the third year that fantasy football drafts can be trolled with a good ol’ Aaron Hernandez selection as your tight end. Some would say that the joke is getting stale.
I say we have one more year. Hernandez was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison just this past April. The past two seasons had a glimmer of potential to see Hernandez come back, so the joke was a little different. Now Hernandez has absolutely no chance to help your fantasy football team, but he is absolutely still draftable on some fantasy football sites.
FLEX: Jeremy Shockey
A good fantasy football team has balance, and a trolling mock team should be no different. With the “good guy” role filled by our quarterback, Sage Rosenfels, we need a heel for our team, the yang to Sage’s yin, the sriracha on our tofu. That player is Jeremy Shockey.
Jeremy Shockey has been the sort of player who ages coaches 20 years. But he last played in 2011 with the Carolina Panthers, at least until they decided that Greg Olsen would be their tight end. Those are the perfect stats for the flex spot of any trolling fantasy football team.
Defense / Special Teams: Washington Redskins
Unlike all of our other positions, the DST slot of a fantasy football team needs to be filled by a legitimate NFL team. I’m sorry, but it can’t be helped. It’s not as if the Saskatchewan Roughriders are listed on fantasy football databases. Believe me, I checked.
This year, the honor of a trolling DST is awarded to the Washington Redskins, who failed to score a special teams or defensive touchdown last year, let opposing teams run wild on them and ended up with 48 points for the year. The only teams worse than Washington fantasy-wise were the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders, but those teams have a much higher ceiling this season based on the draft, development and off-season pickups.
Let’s not be too hard on Washington. They did manage to draft a linebacker in the second round with Preston Smith. Sure, Smith played as a defensive end in college, but it’s close enough to a filled hole for the third-worst fantasy defense in the entire league.
Kicker: Lawrence Tynes
Every fantasy football team needs a kicker. Almost everyone in fantasy football drafts the position last, but they still draft one. A kicker can be the difference between a win or a loss, just like in real football.
The problem is, most kickers are barely known when they are signed with a team. A kicker who is unsigned has as much notoriety as the assistant towel boy. So who should you troll a fantasy football draft with? How about Lawrence Tynes? He’s kind of known, even if the last time he was in the news was because he contracted a MRSA infection in his foot after signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tynes was also involved in two Super Bowl victories with the New York Giants. So, at the very least, you’ll be trolling fans of the Giants and Bucs with Tynes as your kicker.
Potential Bench Players
Donovan McNabb – QB
Jeff Garcia – QB
A.J. Feeley – QB
LaDainian Tomlinson – RB
Thomas Jones – RB
Terrell Owens – WR
Randy Moss – WR
Todd Heap – TE