I make a lot of questionable decisions and rarely have anything to show for it. Which is, I'll admit a weird way to get started here. But wait, that's not entirely true.
I own a box of 2003 Bowman Chrome Xfractor Auto Brandon Wood cards. I think I paid about $500 for it. It is probably worth about three bucks right now. They are in the closet next to my box of Gregg Jefferies cards.
I own a David Boston Chargers jersey. Look, I bought season tickets for the first time and I wanted a jersey. I thought that was a no-brainer. His arms were really big and you figured he'd be great in San Diego.
I own a copy of "The Guilt Trip" from Blockbuster because the location went out of business before I could return it. Even though the manager transferred to another location and wanted me to drive the copy all the way to Garden Grove. You can give many reasons why Blockbuster folded, but it wasn't because of the diligence of this manager.
I'm still trying to pay off a credit card bill from a Vegas bender in 2004 when I repeatedly bought Jäger-bomb shots for a girl I'm pretty confident was Trishelle from the "Real World Las Vegas." And don't you sit there and judge me, because you know that if you were presented with the same opportunity, you would do the same thing. Cast your judging eyes elsewhere. But hey, there is something to show for it, because I get a nice statement from Chase Bank every month!
So yes, sometimes I do make some questionable decisions with modest returns. My fifth-round pick in the NFL Fantasy Live league is not one of those things that gives any return. And unlike my dalliance with the Jäger-bomb shot girl, I can't blame it on the booze. Well, not always.
Let's take a look at my most recent fifth-round picks. I don't want to say that they are jinxed. But it's like if you took the Madden cover winner and then put him in the Friday the 13th edition of Sports Illustrated.
Ameer Abdullah was my guy last year; he had 92 points. Though I'm pretty sure most of those points came in Week 1. Although, in fairness, he did have a pretty decent game in Week 15. Cordarrelle Patterson scored 60.1 fantasy points in 2014. Lamar Miller scored just under 100 in 2013 (97.9). And then I'm not allowed to talk about the player I drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 fantasy draft. He went from 910 yards and seven touchdowns the previous year, to 483 yards and just five touchdowns the following season when I had him.
Then I got super-depressed looking over these players and I threw my hands up in the air and started buying more Jäger-bombs.
I will take a kicker.
People laughed it off. "Good one, Rank."
Here's the thing, though. I'm the kind of guy who lives up to his reckless proclamations. Especially when I've been drinking. I don't want to be the guy who signs a yearbook with the initials K.I.T. when I never have any intention of K.I.T. I know too many people who are like that. Some of them work for NFL Media and will remain nameless. (Obviously Akbar isn't one of them. Because that dude backs up what he says. Which is dangerous. Because Akbar is like one of those guys who throws around nonsensical statements like a drunkard. Yet the dude doesn't drink.)
So it's one of my things to stay true to my word. I might or might not have had a few belts under me when I told "The Kid" that I would show up at his fantasy draft back in 2014. (Honestly, I don't know his name. He's listed as "The Kid" in my phone.) I even set aside an entire weekend for the occasion. I even skipped a trip out to Las Vegas to see Petros and Money (the radio show our own Matt "Money" Smith does with former USC tailback Petros Papadakis) to be at "The Kid's" draft.
"The Kid" screwed me and his entire league ended up doing the draft online. But I was there at that Buffalo Wild Wings ready to go!
So I stick to what I say. And when I said I would take the Gost with my fifth pick, I did just that in our recent mock draft.
Oh, and the mocking came from social media as folks were outraged by such a move. Fellow Bears fans turned on me. Industry legend Jake Ciely barely speaks to me any more. Even at home, I felt shunned in my own neighborhood. Well, mostly because I wouldn't help hide Easter eggs this year. I mean, my daughter Ahsoka Tano Rank is just 11 months old. She's not going to be hunting for Easter eggs.
But a bunch of people were giving me (expletive) for it.
Take away my fifth-round foolish folly. I mean, I like to take risks in the fifth round. You figure that most people have two running backs and two receivers by the time the fifth rolls around. You can either take a quarterback (probably still too early), roll the dice on the tight end run, or take a risk. I'm 0-for-4 in the NFL Fantasy Live league over the last four years. So it's worth the chance.
But what's wrong with taking the best player at his position in the fifth round?
I know people like Ciely want to get rid of kickers completely. That's a different argument. You want me to sign a petition to rid kickers from fantasy, I'll sign it. Most leagues have kickers. If you're required to have one, why not take the best?
Gostkowski scored 168 fantasy points (based on leagues where you get four points for field goals of 40-49 yards as the Lord intended). He outscored the following players who had an ADP of the fifth round. Jonathan Stewart (139), Carlos Hyde (66), Jordan Matthews (139), Julian Edelman (107), Latavius Murray (148) and DeSean Jackson (72). Two quarterbacks carried an ADP of the fifth round last year, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. Both obviously had more points than Gostkowski.
Overall, Gostkowski held his own and exceeded most of the other fifth-round picks.
Of course, there are those of you who will say, "But you could get Gano in the 10th round." Which is fine. But yes, you could have built a team of Blake Bortles, Devonta Freeman, David Johnson, Doug Baldwin, Michael Crabtree and Gary Barnidge from late-round picks and the waiver wire. So why draft anybody at all? You can find value much later.
But I can just about guarantee you I'm going to have the best player at his position. I get it; I might not need to draft him in the fifth round. I could probably wait until the ninth or 10th round. However, that was not what I said. I said I was going to take Gostkowski in the fifth round. And I always do what I say I'm going to do. Just ask Trishelle from the Real World.