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A good commissioner can make draft day more fun
By John Dietz | Daily Herald Columnist

Matt Forte had his best rushing game of last season against the Detroit Lions, which makes him a good bet for this week's fantasy football play.


Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/9/2010 1:15 PM

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Draft day.

Our favorite day of the year.

It's sort of an unofficial Man Holiday in one of my leagues. One guy flies in from Idaho ... every year. More than half the league takes a Tuesday off and we golf.

And there's always pizza and plenty to drink at the draft.

But this year was different, and a big reason was the lengths our commissioner went to do something I have never seen at a draft.

After looking at last year's results, he came up with awards for each team based on their finish.

A couple guys got personalized T-shirts (one of which wouldn't have fit a 12-year-old), and a few of us got specially made trophies (mine was of a donkey, thanks to my putrid, last-place finish in 2009 ... hey, even "experts" can have an off year!)

But the best part was the creation of the championship traveling trophy. Any league that's going to be around for a while should create one of these, and you can buy them on-line for around $50. There are plates on the side that you have engraved for 16 or 24 years (or more).

The winner brings it home (and likely puts it in the garage), then brings it to the draft the next year to hand it off to the next champ.

Anyway, this is part of what makes fantasy football so much fun - and why having a top-notch commissioner is so important. So kudos to ours, and I encourage each commish out there to make all of your draft days fun and memorable.

So without further delay, here is the first installment of Good Bets and Bad Bets for the 2010 season:

Good bets

• Bears RB Matt Forte vs. Detroit. I'm not super-high on Forte, but when he fell to me deep in the sixth round, I felt obligated to take him. This is a great week for Forte owners as he faces the only team he went over 100 yards rushing on last season (and he did it twice).

• Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown at Buffalo. Like Forte, if you took a chance on Brown, Week 1 should pay instant dividends. The Bills were 30th against the run in 2009, and Brown gashed them for 115 yards and 2 TDs in Week 4.

• Bengals WR Terrell Owens at New England. With Randy Moss on the other sideline, T.O. will work O.T. to show the world he's not yet washed up.

• Bucs RB Carnell Williams vs. Cleveland. For those of you with a flex option, Williams is as good a play as there is because he's facing last year's fifth-worst rushing defense.

• Texans WR Jacoby Jones vs. Indianapolis. Jones fared well in both meetings in 2009. Now, with an expanded role, he's a great play as a WR3.

• Chargers WR Malcolm Floyd at Kansas City. No Vincent Jackson means hello, Mr. Floyd.

• Colts RB Joseph Addai at Houston. Addai's best fantasy game last year came against the Texans (14-63-1 and 5-49-1). He wasn't superb in the rematch (15-69), but I like him in this spot.

• Niners defense at Seattle. Mike Singletary's team will put a chokehold on one of the NFL's most suspect offenses.

Bad bets

• Ravens QB Joe Flacco and WR Anquan Boldin at the Jets. When one of my leaguemates took Boldin in the third round, I said, "That's a good pick, but you'll have to sit him in Week 1." He looked quizzically at me, I uttered two words (Darrelle Revis) ... and he understood. You can hope Revis (who held out all of training camp) isn't ready, but it's a risk I probably wouldn't take.

• Steelers WRs Hines Ward and Mike Wallace vs. Atlanta. Rashard Mendenhall must keep Pittsburgh from falling too far behind because QB Dennis Dixon will be lucky to complete a dozen passes.

• Eagles RB LeSean McCoy vs. Green Bay. Gut feeling here. I think the Packers get up big and Philly abandons the running game. Your only hope is McCoy catches 5-7 passes.

• Cowboys QB Tony Romo and RBs Marion Barber and Felix Jones at Washington. Dallas' beat-up o-line scares the heck out of me. I think this could be a 16-13 final.