Every season, the ESPN fantasy universe includes many wonderfully talented-but retired players, and forgets to include numerous rookies. This season is no different. While forgetting players like Zach Zenner (who might actually play this year), they include players like T.J. Houshmandzadeh (who is a coaching intern for the Bengals this season). I figured it might be fun to make an all-retired fantasy team on ESPN (i.e. a team built from just retired players still draft-able in ESPN's system). Here's what my roster might look like:
Quarterbacks: Mark Brunell, Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper.
Running Backs: Maurice Jones-Drew, Thomas Jones, LaDainian Tomlinson, Cedric Benson, Bryant Westbrook, Larry Johnson.
Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Donald Driver, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Chambers.
Tight Ends: Todd Heap, Jeremy Shockey and Aaron Hernandez
Offensive Flex: Deion Branch and Cadillac Williams.
Kickers: Neil Rackers and Jason Hanson
Defensive Linemen: Jevon Kearse, Simeon Rice, Richard Seymour.
Linebackers: Ray Lewis, Takeo Spikes, Jason Taylor, Brian Urlacher
Defensive Backs: Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Brian Dawkins, Ronde Barber, Al Harris, Dre' Bly
Defensive Flex: London Fletcher and Troy Polamalu
If you drafted all off these guys in their prime to fill out your fantasy team, you'd have a pretty much unstoppable team. If you're drafting any of these players now, your team probably isn't that good. Unless, of course, you're drafting them to hold a spot until ESPN acknowledges the existence of Zach Zenner (RB, Detroit), Jordan Taylor (WR, Denver), or Chris Harper (undrafted WR for the Patriots; oddly enough, you CAN draft Josh Harper, undrafted free agent for the Raiders, but not Chris).
Hope you enjoyed this blast from the past, and if you're looking for deep sleepers, just don't look too deep, or they might not be draft-able in your league. Just a friendly reminder to check the available players list on the site that carries your league before setting your heart on a player like Zach Zenner...even if you can draft LaDanian Tomlinson instead. From the world's leader in sports, we'd expect nothing less!
Good luck this season in all of your leagues, and happy drafting!
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