As you may remember for previous years, every so often SB Nation likes to run theme weeks where all the blogs do something different and (hopefully) fun along a common theme. This week has been “Marvel Week” at SB Nation and we decided to finish off the week with a fun post.
We got a lot of latitude with how he wanted to take our “Marvel” post, and the obvious route is to compare New York Giants players to Marvel Comics characters. But I didn’t really want to go the obvious route and wanted to have some fun with this one.
So after we got done recording the latest edition of The Chris and Joe Show, I asked Nick and Joe if they wanted to do a “Fantasy” draft. After all, we’re only a week removed from the actual NFL Draft, and talk about NFL Fantasy drafts is starting to kick into gear.
I decided to limit us to suitable characters who appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not Marvel Comics as a whole. I think we can all agree that Gladiator is an ideal DB (a guy who has all the powers of Superman, but his powers are dependent on his self-confidence. Sounds like a cornerback to me), but expanding the pool of potential draftees to the entire Marvel Comics Universe is a bit excessive.
Also, I tend to think that most people are more familiar with the heroes who have appeared in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Those movies have become a cultural touchstone, annual events, and reintroduced comic book characters to massive audiences. And for simplicity’s sake (as though a roster of roughly 75 characters isn’t enough) we’re limiting this to characters confirmed to be in the MCU canon. Obviously, Deadpool would be the No. 1 overall pick (kicker), but despite Disney acquiring the X-Men properties from Fox, they aren’t confirmed to be in the MCU yet and that just gets sticky.
QB: Captain America
WR2: The Wasp
RB1: Winter Soldier
RB2: Black Widow
TE: The Punisher
Defender: Black Bolt
Thoughts: I won the bid of selecting the first Marvel Fantasy Football player in the MFF league and I had to go with Captain America at QB. Yes, typically drafting quarterbacks in regular fantasy football is a proposition to lose, and I’ll make fun of you. But this isn’t regular fantasy football, it’s fantasy fantasy football, so Captain America it is as my signal caller. Roger Staubach move aside, this Marvel character is slingin’ the pigskin. I put heavy thought into going with the Hulk, but was scared off by his temper. Ryan Leaf had a temper and that didn’t go over so well.
I had to come away with a bit of flash at receiver, and I did with Spiderman; his ability to slow time down, utilize elite level agility, and shoot webs out of his wrists to catch arrant throws is invaluable to an offense. He’s a small red zone threat, with rare movement skills through the air, couldn’t pass him up. He may not have went to Richmond, but this spider can play.
For my second wide receiver, I selected The Wasp. I felt her body manipulation gives her flexibility to play the boundary and the slot, while her genetic modifications and telepathic nature could ensure that poor passes would be directed towards her (these poor passes most certainly won’t be coming from Captain America, but maybe Chris’ Iron Man, who does have a rocket for an arm, literally). The Wasp, at her miniature size, can run up to 40 MPH and she can also grow to be several hundred feet, all while having a dangerous stinger to fend off defensive backs. I’m comfortable with the selection.
For my RB1, I went with Winter Soldier, mainly because he’s used to the cold weather. I built this fantasy roster to compete into the fantasy playoffs and I want my RB1 to have success in December, while playing in Chicago, New England, or Buffalo. Also, Bucky Barnes has super human strength, with energy projection, and he’s a skilled assassin...if he can’t get my fake fantasy team more fake fantasy points than Chris or Joe, then that burden shall lie on my shoulders.
I love my RB2 Black Widow. Her and Captain America have a partnership, which in my mind means their on the same team, so I’m going for the double dip here. Yes, the running back and quarterback positions don’t always positively correlate to fantasy success, but Widow is going to be used like Austin Ekler, so I should be getting a lot of 10 point swings in 4 touchdown (QB) leagues. Black Widow’s enhanced immune system coincides with the current state of 2020 and gives me, as a fantasy owner, a safety blanket to the unknown. She’s also a combative tactician who carries around knock out gas...yeah, you try to make that tackle in the B-Gap.
I wanted a tough Mark Bavaro, shout out to my middle name, type of tight end and the Punisher fits that mold. He’s an Italian American who was in the Marines, so I relate to the Punisher and feel his hand to hand combat background will assist him at the catch point. He’ll also be very hard to bring down, like Bavaro...I’m waiting to see Joe’s IDP Luke Cage be taken for a ride like Ronnie Lott, because that will happen with the Punisher.
I have hands down the best IDP pick: Black Bolt. His coach just tells him to whisper at the snap and everyone falls down; the dude gets so many tackles for a loss and sacks just be doing that. But when his voice gets tired, he just uses his telekinetic powers to disrupt passes before the catch point. I also love him on special teams; yes, he can’t jump over the center...rules...but he can fly around the edge or just jump really high to block kicks before they go through the uprights.
QB: The Vision
WR2: War Machine
RB1: Black Panther
Defender: Luke Cage
Thoughts: My approach for attacking this MCU fantasy draft, was drafting the best players at each position group. Nick swung first with the best overall player to run an offense in Captain America. My counter was grabbing Black Panther to play running back, Thor as my tight end, and Luge Cage as my defender.
Chris felt Black Panther had the leadership qualities to be a quarterback, but I didn’t want to pigeonhole the most versatile hero on this list. While having your best athlete play quarterback is a strong approach, I’d rather employ Black Panther at running back. Being listed at 6-foot, he has the size to line up in the slot, and the elite lateral quickness to be my lead, do-it-all running back.
Thor was a clear cut dominant tight end on my board. He has the heigh of 6’6” perfect for a boxout tight end. He also has the bulk and brute strength to unload on defenders while run blocking. Thor also reminded me of Jeremy Shockey with his blonde flow.
Luke Cage was without a doubt the best defensive player on the board. Listed at 6-foot-6, 425 pounds, his monstrous size and strength would be too much for any offensive line to handle. Because of his build and quickness, he has the versatility to drop in coverage if needed.
QB: Iron Man
WR1: Jessica Jones (Jewel)
WR2: Captain Marvel
RB1: The Hulk
RB2: Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver)
Thoughts: Nick nabbed my quarterback target first overall with Captain America, so I moved on to my second choice of Iron Man. Tony Stark is obviously smart enough to pick up a playbook quickly, JARVIS can help diagnose a defense quickly, and he could — literally — have a cannon for an arm.
I decided to go for a “Thunder and Lightning” combination at running back, going for the ultimate angry power runner in The Hulk, and a character who’s entire powerset is “speed”.
At wide receiver I decided that sex doesn’t matter as much when you can bench press a truck, and went with Jessica Jones and Captain Marvel. Between their strength, endurance, and ability to fly, the two will be able to play much bigger than listed.
I decided to go with the biggest size mismatch on the board with Ant-Man at tight end, who can shrink to elude defenders in coverage, then grow to box them out at the catch point, or to block. And finally I decided on Groot as my defender, as he can cover most of the field and is very versatile.