Monthly Archives: August 2014

This Is What I Know – Divisional Breakdown

We are one week away, with College Football as an appetizer this coming weekend.  NFL action three nights per week, waiver wire pickups, trades, and stressful lineup decisions are right around the corner.  Our busy schedules are about to get even more hectic.  I’m excited!!!

Last week, I touched on each Fantasy Team in our league, so this week I want to briefly look at each division and give my predictions for the upcoming season.  The standings you will see are those from last year, and may be the only true facts you see in this week’s post.  Starting next week, I will try to focus on weekly matchups and players that stood out the week before.  I am going to dive right in beginning with the AFC.

AFC East

New England – 12-4

New York Jets – 8-8

Miami – 8-8

Buffalo – 6-10

This division collected more wins than I remember last season.  The Patriots are clearly the favorite here again.  I believe that Tom Brady’s numbers will improve this season, based on my belief that Rob Gronkowski (7), Shane Vereen (8), and Danny Amendola (12) should play more snaps this season.  The numbers you see are games played for each player last season.  Expect another twelve or thirteen win season for New England.

Geno+Smith+New+York+Jets+v+New+England+Patriots+DaYa6TRoS2Il

The team to watch in the AFC East is the New York Jets.  Geno Smith will be more consistent this season and the team added Michael Vick, Chris Johnson, and Eric Decker.  Johnson has looked good in preseason, 29 touches for 159 yards and a touchdown.  I feel this team can get to ten wins, and should grab a Wildcard spot in 2014.

Buffalo and Miami will not match their win totals from a year ago.

AFC North

Cincinnati – 11-5

Pittsburgh – 8-8

Baltimore – 8-8

Cleveland – 4-12

Let me start by saying Cleveland’s offense is terrible.  I do believe their defense will be elite and keep the Browns in games, but four wins sounds about right again this season.

The Steelers and Ravens both had frustrating seasons in 2013, getting to 8-8 was an adventure for both teams.  I look for both of these teams to be a bit better in 2014.  Ray Rice had 660 rushing yards last year, and only 4 touchdowns.  I predict that total will climb to 850 yards and he will add 2 additional touchdowns.  His ability to run more efficiently will open up the rest of the offense.

I think the improvement of the Steelers and Ravens will bring Cincinnati closer to the nine win mark also.  This division will be a three team race late into the season.  I will take Baltimore as AFC North Champions and the Steelers as the second Wild Card team.

AFC South

Indianapolis – 11-5

Tennessee – 7-9

Jacksonville – 4-12

Houston – 2-14

No change here, as I think this is the worst division in the NFL.  Andrew Luck will have his best season as a professional, and the Colts will run away with this division again.  I will be a bit bold here, but only because the Houston Texans were abysmal in 2013.  The Texans rebound, and get to eight wins this season.

AFC West

Denver – 13-3

Kansas City – 11-5

San Diego – 9-7

Oakland – 4-12

I think Denver goes back to the Super Bowl this season.  Peyton Manning has been throwing the ball all over the field this preseason.  Emmanuel Sanders had 5 receptions for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns this past weekend.  Demaryius Thomas is a stud.  The Broncos will play with a lead and their defense has pass rushers.  And let’s face it; the AFC West is not that good.

Jamaal Charles will come back to earth, along with Alex Smith and the rest of the Chiefs.  I look for the Chargers to claim second place in this division and fall just short of the postseason.

AFC Playoff Prediction

  1. Broncos
  2. Colts
  3. Patriots
  4. Ravens
  5. Jets
  6. Steelers

 

NFC East

Philadelphia – 10-6

Dallas – 8-8

New York Giants – 7-9

Washington – 3-13

I do not want to talk about this division.  I have mentioned previously that I am a Cowboys fan, and I fear this season will not be enjoyable for my favorite NFL franchise (see my comments on the Dallas Defense in my Preseason Week 1 post).  Having excepted that, let’s get bold!  History will repeat itself.  The past three seasons, the team playing the Cowboys in Week Seventeen wins the NFC East.  Washington has weapons and they are only one year removed from sitting at the top of the division.  The Redskins win this division.  Philadelphia lost DeSean Jackson to Washington, but added Darren Sproles to do similar things offensively.  I believe the Eagles will win nine games, and fall just short of a postseason berth.

NFC North

Green Bay – 8-7-1

Chicago – 8-8

Detroit – 7-9

Minnesota – 5-10

All of these teams will have better records in 2014, than in 2013, but the standings will remain the same.  The Packers were limited by Aaron Rodger’s collarbone last season.  The Bears may have the best offense in the NFL.  The Lions also have an explosive offense and should at least be an 8-8 team.  The Vikings brought in Norv Turner and will improve solely because of his play calling.  I will pencil in eleven wins for the Packers, ten for the Bears, eight for the Lions, and six for the Vikings.

NFC South

Carolina – 12-4

New Orleans – 11-5

Atlanta – 4-12

Tampa Bay – 4-12

Carolina will not have double digit victories in 2014.  In fact, the Panthers will struggle to be 8-8.  New Orleans is the perennial powerhouse in this division and I do not expect that to change.  The Saints will win this division, somewhat comfortably.  I believe the Falcons will regroup and just miss the Postseason in January, behind the 49ers and Bears.  Steven Jackson, Julio Jones, and Roddy White staying healthy will be the key.  Tampa continues to struggle here.

NFC West

Seattle – 13-3

San Francisco – 12-4

Arizona – 10-6

St Louis – 7-9

The best division in football will see more of the same in 2014.  Arizona will be good enough to win all of the other divisions in the NFC, but they will miss the playoffs again.  St Louis will be in most games, but simply do not have enough, on offense, to conquer the other teams.  Seattle owns San Francisco and will win every regular season game played in Seattle.  After Week Seventeen, the standings should look very similar to what you see above.    

NFC Playoff Prediction

  1. Seattle
  2. Green Bay
  3. New Orleans
  4. Washington
  5. San Francisco
  6. Chicago

Slam Dunk

arizona_cardinals_stadium-9018

San Francisco will comfortably claim a Wildcard spot, avoid Seattle in the playoffs, and take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLIX.  Peyton Manning, and the Denver Broncos, will be comfortable and prove to be too much, as the roof will be closed in Arizona.  THIS IS WHAT I KNOW!

This Is What I Know-Draft Day Recap

I was mostly correct; see my original post regarding our draft.  Alex takes McCoy.  I wanted Adrian Peterson all along.  Manning goes to Lucas, but some were surprised. Read my posts, guys!  Charles was next, Cribb’s choice between Jamaal and Matt.  Lacy and Forte were selected next, but in reverse order from what I predicted.  Calvin went seventh, check.  Run on wide receivers, yep. (I’m still counting Graham as a WR.  He is that much of an advantage at the Tight End position.)  Lynch to Joe, yes indeed. 

A few things surprised me.  Paul surprised me, which I predicted.  I also predicted he would draft teammates, but Montee Ball was not mentioned in my first article.  Dez Bryant fell to Joe in the second round and he cheered out loud.  He announced his first two picks three weeks ago at a cookout, and I did not think Deavers would allow that to happen.

In this edition of This Is What I Know, I am going to take a quick look into each team.

Alex– I like Alex’s Big 5 (Luck, McCoy, Bernard, Nelson, and Cruz).  The combination of these five guys should match or exceed their total production from last season.  Andrew Luck is the next great Quarterback in the NFL.  In order to be the man, you need to prove you are the man.  I think Luck has to make up for the void the Colts have at running back, this season.  And, I expect his Passing Touchdown Total to rise significantly over the next few years.  Alex hopes that progression begins in 2014.  With Ray Rice, Michael Floyd, Marques Colston, and Emmanuel Sanders, the flex position will be Alex’s focus this season, if he wants to make it a great one.  His core of five will make him a tough matchup weekly.

andrew-luck

C.W.– This draft went exactly how I was hoping it would NOT!  My plan going into the draft was to draft Adrian Peterson and then three receivers and an additional running back with my next four picks.  I already had Le’Veon Bell, but I didn’t want to ignore the running back position.  DeMarco Murray fell; Jordy Nelson was the end of my top tier receivers, and so I ended up with four running backs through three rounds (Peterson, Murray, Stacy, and Bell).  The jokes began and rightfully so.  “You know you can only play three of those guys per week, right”.  The good news is that all of those players have different bye weeks.  Pretty insignificant, I know, but I’m trying to make myself feel better.  My Wide Receivers are Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, and Josh Gordon.  Pencil me in for the 2011 Fantasy Football Championship Game.  Sadly, the three guys I can depend on opening day are aging quickly.  If I can get 3,000 yards out of those three guys and/or have the NFL smile down on the Cleveland Browns and Josh Gordon, I may be ok.  If not, I will be in dire need of a trade or struggle through a long season.

*Editing Insert- Le’Veon Bell is facing pot charges, maybe this draft went perfectly.

Lucas– Peyton Manning’s numbers will decline from that monster season last year, but he can decline significantly and still be the league’s leading Quarterback.  My concern for Lucas is that taking Manning so early, significantly altered the rest of his draft.  I think he has three bounce back players this year in Morris, Spiller, and Richardson, but those are his only three running backs.  Last year’s champion will not go quietly, however.  He will wheel and deal his way into the playoff race and probably beyond.  Afterall, he is in my division and notoriously beats up on me every season.  Without a significant trade, I just do not see the weekly advantage Lucas had last season.

Cribb– “Wait, did Charles get hurt”?  Slightly sarcastic, but overly happy with his fourth overall pick, I would assume.  He paired Charles with Foster and Gore, which should be a good trio.  Health could be a big issue here, but if all three stay healthy everyone reading this post knows exactly what Cribb will get out of his backfield.  Speaking of knowing what you are getting, Cribb drafted Jason Witten in the seventh round.  I love this pick!  You can book sixty yards a week and around five touchdowns over the course of the year.  Brandon Marshall was an expected second round pick and this pick helps Cribb’s core significantly.  My concern, however, is Percy Harvin, TY Hilton, and Terrance Williams.  One of these guys will have to start weekly.  Cribb will work trades, along with the waiver wire, all year long.  After all, he generally gets bored with winning teams on a yearly basis.  This lineup will look completely different by October 1.

Zach– Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, I’m done there.  Lacy, Bush, Ridley, and Jackson, at running back, would concern me a bit, but I do not have a huge problem with these guys.  I like Forte better than Lacy, but Ridley and Jackson could be Top Twenty material in 2014.  My biggest concern for Zach’s draft is the fact he took Julius Thomas in the third round.  Personally, I would have preferred Alshon Jeffery or Antonio Brown with the twenty-fifth overall pick.  Because of that pick, Torrey Smith is Zach’s highest drafted Wide Receiver.  For now, I will place Zach in the middle of the pack.  He could potentially be very good, but disappointment could also be waiting.

Mikey–  With the sixth pick in the 2014 Draft, Mikey selects Matt Forte.  This pick is insane to me!  I would have considered him at pick two or three.  I love Forte this season.  Read my “Slam Dunk” from my August 7 post.  Matt Forte is at the top of that list, for me.  RB2 is going to be a weekly scramble for Mikey, but he will enjoy that, knowing he has Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery, Keenan Allen, and Michael Crabtree to bounce around at receiver.  In a year where everyone was scared of picks six, seven, and eight, Mikey nailed it.

MattForte

Tov– Readers, you may be here a while; he was not voted worst team for nothing.  Let’s start at the top.  Calvin Johnson, Drew Brees, and Gronk, I like it!  The next five picks are much less significant, however.  Toby Gerhart, Ryan Mathews, Brandin Cooks in the sixth, Julian Edelman, and Kendall Wright complete Tov’s first eight rounds.  He also has Cordarrelle Patterson, his future pick from last year.  I like Edelman and Wright, but I think Tov may like his team better if he would have selected Trent Richardson, Chris Johnson, or Ray Rice instead of Cooks.  Cooks could have been a later, value pick.  None of these reasons is the reason I voted Tov the worst team this season.  “Fantasy Football isn’t fun anymore”, was sadly whispered to me in the eleventh round after, with a smile on his face, Lucas selected Luke Kuechly. (Tov’s favorite player)  Selecting an IDP, that early in the draft is done intentionally to really stick it to another guy in the room.  No one cares, right?  Wrong!  We all have moments when the fantasy football season becomes too much.  We need a break, we want to give up, or playing is not fun anymore.  Losing hurts!  When that moment is spoken with eight of your closest friends in the same room, on draft night, your season may be in trouble.

Paul– Unorthodox, against the grain, bizarre, intelligent, looking for an edge and success driven are all characteristics of Paul.  We have already talked about Paul’s first two picks, so let’s see what he did after drafting two Denver Broncos (Demaryius Thomas and Ball).  Doug Martin in the third scares the hell out of me (I was forced to do it myself in a different draft)!  I like Pierre Garcon this year, especially as a fourth round pick.  Paul lost me with his fifth and sixth round picks, however (Jordan Cameron and Robert Griffin the Third).  A single pick after Cam Newton is not the area to draft RGIII, in my opinion.  He did regain some value after these picks with Vereen, Watkins, and Golden Tate, however.  Paul will do some scrambling this year while setting his lineups.

Joe– He got his wish with Lynch and Dez.  Antonio Brown at the end of the third was an absolute steal in my opinion.  Marshawn Lynch, Rashad Jennings, Ben Tate, and Lamar Miller could all be a bit questionable, but if healthy, these work horses could pay dividends.  Cam Newton in the sixth provides value, especially being backed up by Tony Romo.  I also like Jordan Reed in the eighth round.  My biggest concern for Joe is that he forgot about receiver after drafting Dez and Antonio.

Deavers– AJ Green and Jimmy Graham will anchor this team.  Andre Ellington is about as good as Deavers had available, in the third.  I like the pick; however, Ellington plays the Chiefs, Rams, and Seahawks in weeks fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, should Deavers make the playoffs.  I like Stafford.  I was considering him in the fourth or fifth, had my draft went as planned.  After further review, I think Andrew Luck should have been the guy I was targeting instead.  Deavers will be good, but his running back situation scares me.  Ellington, Sankey, Pierre Thomas, and Fred Jackson do not leave much to be desired at that position.

I am at 1,708 words before I do my editing.  I started way too in depth, so I will go back and adjust a few of the early sections.  I do owe you my Slam Dunk of the Week, before I publish this post.  I did not talk about receivers much last week, so I will focus on that position.  Reggie Wayne will outscore TY Hilton in fantasy points this season.  Michael Floyd will outscore Larry Fitzgerald in fantasy points this season.  And, Riley Cooper will outscore Jeremy Maclin in fantasy points this season.  THIS IS WHAT I KNOW!

This Is What I Know-Preseason Week 1

Football is back! This past Thursday, some friends and I enjoyed a few cold ones and watched multiple football games simultaneously. It is the best time of the year! Well, at least we’re almost there. September 4, 2014, Packers at Seahawks, is three weeks away and fantasy drafts are about to hit their peak. So while we watch Ryan Mallett fill up the stat sheet, with Tim Tebow like numbers (5-12 for 55 yards), let’s try to learn something amidst our laughter, enjoyment, and criticisms.

tebow3

Quarterbacks

By my count, twenty-six of the thirty-two starting Quarterbacks took snaps in Week 1 of the preseason. The six QBs missing action were Bradford, Brady, Brees, Newton, Rodgers, and Romo.

Like every season, some teams have close competition at the Quarterback position, during the early weeks of preseason. The Cleveland Browns are leading these talks this year with Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel. There was no real progression in this race, through week one (Hoyer: 6-14 for 92 yards. Manziel: 7-11 for 63 yards.). The Browns have minimal weapons without Josh Gordon, suspended, and with Miles Austin on his last leg, literally. This fact, is why they must start Manziel and don’t be surprised if fantasy teams are spending big FAAB money on him sooner than later.

johnny-manziel-nfl-2014-nfl-draft13

A few more things, quickly:

Eli Manning: 0-2 (Coming off a terrible year last year, you do not want to own this guy. However, he plays my beloved Cowboys twice a season, more on The Cowboys later. **Consider Eli as an option in Weeks 7 and 12.)

Peyton Manning: 10-13 (Count them THIRTEEN pass attempts! This number is unheard of for a stud quarterback in Week 1 of the preseason. You think the Broncos and Peyton are focused on throwing the football a ton and getting back to the Super Bowl? That, I know.)

Running Backs

By my count, and opinion, twenty-one starting running backs had at least one carry this week. Ball, Foster, Gerhart, Gore, Steven Jackson, Lacy, Lynch, Murray, Panthers (Stewart/Williams), and Peterson did not. Lastly, Ingram played and Pierre Thomas did not have a carry or reception.

This post is getting lengthy and I have more to say, so here are a few quick things, regarding running backs, that stand out through Week 1 of preseason:

  • There is a group of running backs near the top of drafts that scares me (Ball, Bell, Bernard, Foster, Lynch, Martin, Morris, Murray, OH MY!). Sure, several of these guys will have a great season, but tread lightly. Of this group, I am least likely to own Doug Martin.
  • Ryan Mathews fumbled on the goal line and has Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead looking to cut into his workload.
  • Cowboys’ running backs received eight targets in Week 1 of preseason. Murray should have a big role in Scott Linehan’s scheme.
  • Rashad Jennings had a seventy-three yard touchdown run for the New York Giants.

Slam Dunk

Our ShowTime League drafts on yahoo.com. For sake of argument, I used the Players tab on our league page to construct this week’s Slam Dunk prediction. When I sorted running backs by projected rankings, RBs 26-50 contained the following names:

Chris Johnson (26), Trent Richardson (27), Stevan Ridley (28), Pierre Thomas (29), Ben Tate (30), Steven Jackson (31), Ray Rice (32), Maurice Jones-Drew (34), Fred Jackson (35), Darren Sproles (40), and DeAngelo Williams (41).

Of that group of eleven players, Chris Johnson and at least two others will finish Top Twenty, in running back points, at the end of the season.

NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Tennessee Titans

Why Chris Johnson? CJ(K), not plural, will gain 1,000 yards rushing this season, just like he has every other season. Proceed with caution, however. If you own Chris Johnson, he will frustrate you. If you try to count on him weekly, he may damn near kill you. Here is the trick! If you can rotate your RB2/Flex positions AND hit on Chris Johnson’s several big weeks, he could be the lightning in a bottle you need.

Wide Receivers

I have spoken too much! I will briefly say that Wide Receiver is deep, but make sure you get a good one. With this position, you run into a very large group of the same player, with a different name, very quickly. Grab one of the Top Ten and a few of those other productive guys.

Flex And Waiver Searching

Before writing this post, I glanced at the Week 1 Preseason stat leaders on NFL.com. Nothing stood out except that one of MY DALLAS COWBOYS led the week in tackles. Let me step away for a second. The Dallas Cowboys defense is terrible, the worst of all time last season. Sean Lee is out for the season. DeMarcus Ware has left for the Broncos. His replacement, DeMarcus Lawrence, is out until mid-October. And, Orlando Scandrick has been suspended for the first four games. Back to my point, the Week 1 Preseason tackle leader was a Free Safety, not good. If you need a fill-in this season during byes or injuries, look at the Cowboys schedule and the available players on the team they are facing. The San Diego Chargers’ Quarterbacks were 14-16 for 243 yards last Thursday. THIS IS WHAT I KNOW!

This Is What I Know-A Look Into Our Upcoming 1st Round

What’s up guys and gals?  Welcome to my weekly segment, entitled This Is What I Know!  Let’s start there!  Guys, get your gals involved in Fantasy Football.  I co-owned a team with my fiancee  last season and we won our league.  Not only that, but she understood the game better, cared about teams such as the Buffalo Bills, and she has completed all seasons of The League on FX.  More football knowledge equals more football on TV!

Since the ShowTime Fantasy Football blog was created, you have read a lot about our upcoming draft.  In this post, I will focus on the upcoming 1st round, explaining what I know about each pick.

1) Alex- Sam Bradford is an injury risk and Alex’s second favorite player is LeSean McCoy. McCoy had a career year last season.  With the first pick of the 2014 draft Alex selects LeSean McCoy.

Sam Bradford

2) C.W.- I own Le’Veon Bell, future pick from 2013.  See Lucas below.  Does that effect my draft strategy?

3) Lucas- Peyton Manning led Lucas to last year’s Championship.  I think Lucas believes that will happen again.

4) Cribb- If Manning goes at three, Cribb is overly happy.  Depending on picks two and three, he will likely get his choice between two of these names: Charles, Forte, or Peterson (ordered alphabetically).

5) Zach- Steven Jackson is not a first round pick this year.  Zach loves drafting running backs.  Peyton and the four backs previously mentioned are off the board after this pick.

6) Mikey- “I will be happy with six guys.”  I think five of those players are gone.  Crabtree was his future pick last season, so I believe he focuses on running back.  Lacy?

7) Jordan- “Tov” was not originally happy with seventh pick, but the pick seemed to grow on him.  I think a streak of wide receivers could start here with Calvin or Jimmy Graham (I know he lost the case!).

8) Paul- Could have had the third pick, but chose number eight.  He drafted Calvin and Dez last season, from the eighth position.  Same strategy, right?  Wrong, because this is what I know!  Paul likes to shake it up.  I believe that Paul wants Peyton or Graham, followed by that player’s teammate in the second.  (Thomas or Brees)

9) Joe- Last year’s first, second, and third rounds ended quickly for Joe.  See his Humble Pie post regarding Martin, Jackson, and Ridley.  I think he sticks to the strategy here though and selects Lynch or Foster.

10) Deavers- Deavers likes proven guys.  Deavers knows Joe wants Dez Bryant.  Based on those facts alone, I predict he selects Lynch or Foster in the first round and Dez to begin the second.

Facts, leading to my conclusions is how this post will work.  I will also make a Slam Dunk prediction each week, since dunking on the goal post is now a fifteen yard penalty. (Thanks Jimmy Graham!)

Jimmy Graham

My first Slam Dunk involves the Big Three we have heard about all summer.  The running back with the most points at the end of the 2014 season will not be named Charles, McCoy, or Peterson.  THIS IS WHAT I KNOW!

2014 Four Round Mock Draft

Mock drafts, while fun, are fairly pointless.  There is always someone who skews the results by taking Johnny Manziel in the 3rd round or teams on auto-pick end up allowing user drafted teams to become way too stacked.   However, mock drafts do have there uses if the individuals involved are serious.  They allow you to plan out what type of player you expect to be there when you are picking. Going any further than 4 rounds is fruitless as well, because around this time is starts to be much more about hunches than sound logic.

An anonymous Owner and myself decided to do a 4 round mock draft with the actual draft order for our league.  If some picks look strange, you may want to check who was a Future from last season or our unique rules.  I drafted the Orange teams and the anonymous Owner drafted the blue teams.

Untitled

Three Things I liked:

  1. The amount of really good players available at the end of round 2 and the beginning of round 3
  2. The ability to get an elite running back/wide receiver combo with picks 4-9
  3. Cribb getting Adrian Peterson at 4th overall

Three Things I didn’t Like:

  1. Brandon Marshall going before A.J. Green and Julio Jones
  2. I think Sankey has a lot of upside, but I don’t know if I could take him in the 4th round
  3. Julius Thomas over Morris/Martin/Bernard is a stretch considering the dearth of running back talent

 

Road to the Draft

As draft day is quickly descending upon our Showtime Fantasy Football League, preparation becomes more strenuous. Or at least it should. Here’s why your preparation might be/probably is lacking to the point you’re going to butt-fumble your Draft picks away:

sanchez

Common Belief: I can just show up on draft day with a printed copy of ESPN’s Top 200 Projected Fantasy Football Players of the year, pick the next best player available for each pick, and put together a Championship worthy squad…..

…Don’t lie, this is EXACTLY what you did as a newbie to the Fantasy Football game. And Hell, you might actually end up putting together a decent team. More likely, however, is your team will Mark Sanchez all over the place (See Above). It’s the easy way out. How could you be proud of a team you drafted like that? I’ve learned that going “chalk” rarely ever pays off in the end whether it’s FF or an NCAA Tourney Pool.

Luke Kuechly

This is why preparation is so important. Put in the time beforehand and find out what works for you. Do countless mock drafts, view trends, read blogs ;), and most importantly, go with your gut (Unless your gut is to draft Luke Kuechly in the 3rd Round, Jordan). I will say, I love my prep. routine. It’s thorough, fun, and it has been proven worthwhile: Reigning Champ over here. I can’t reveal my routine, but I can say it involves mock drafts, an entire college ruled notebook, and a fine point sharpie. Not to mention, a pretty good amount of time. So come up with your own plan and stick with it on draft day. Just make sure you have a Plan B and C as you never know for sure what curveballs will be thrown your way.

This is what I have found to work for me. It can for you too. Build your routine. Prepare. Plan. Draft. Win Championships. Don’t take the easy way out, unless you don’t take FF seriously. In that case, I wouldn’t want you in my life and you probably wouldn’t even be reading this.

Take the X’s and O’s Over the Jims and Joes

You are building a Fantasy football team. Not a real football team. A Fantasy football team.  When I starting getting into playing fantasy, I notoriously sucked.  I was the fantasy version of Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder with a Jacksonville Jaguar budget.  In a real football game, you were toast.  In a Madden football game, you were toast that was attacked by one of Kahleesi’s dragons.  What’s the most valuable lesson to learn? Real talent does not translate to fantasy production. Here’s a list of talented guys whose systems could hurt their value.

Sammy Watkins:

hi-res-460443917-sammy-watkins-of-the-clemson-tigers-runs-with-the-ball_crop_north

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Freak athlete and one of my favorite college football players to watch last year.  We’re talking about a guy that was the best WR on his team with Deandre Hopkins.  Not bad.  Here’s the deal. If you’ve been doing your homework, you probably already know that there are even better rookie options than him.  We’re dealing with a situation where EJ Manuel is the starting quarterback (PS: Talk to a Florida State fan about EJ Manuel for a minute and see if they think he’s going to be a superstar). His season averages? The math had him averaging 197 passing yds and 1 TD a game.  That’s not enough for Sammy.  He made Tahj Boyd look good, but this is the NFL.  Avoid his training camp highlight reel and understand the offense he is going to be in.

Continue reading

Humble Pie

Every year, while sitting in Mikey’s basement, we critique every pick. Some people get made fun of while other players get applause with a late round steal or a risky, but well thought out pick. Every one of us leaves the draft room thinking one thing: championship.

Little do we know, that at some point throughout the first month of the season, we’re in for a big slice of humble pie. This slice can come through injury to one of our stars, a high pick not producing, or getting beat out on the waiver wire after bidding on a player who shakes up the whole league. Last year, we laughed at Alex’s “rookie” draft and then he laughed all the way to the championship. We questioned Jordan’s early pick of the Panthers defense and they ended up helping his team to multiple wins throughout the year. Each of us enter the draft and leave the draft thinking we are experts on fantasy football; and rightfully so; we do run the best league this side of the Mississippi.

My taste of “humble pie” came really early last year. I realized that Stephen Jackson is playing like he’s 75 years old, Doug Martin had a sophomore slump, and “The Hoodie” has a huge love/hate relationship with Steven Ridley from week to week. My genius draft idea of drafting three starting running backs with my first three picks blew up in my face by the middle of October. Coming off of a championship year, I, like everyone else, thought I had the winning formula on my team.

While we encourage you to take notes on how a great fantasy football league is ran and how we’ve been working to perfect this league since we were in college watching Sunday football on tiny TVs, I also want to acknowledge how fantasy football, especially “Showtime” can make you feel like a genius and an idiot in a span of a few short months. When we throw our money in on draft night, we’re convinced that we’re going to be getting that money back in six short months. By February, we again realize that we just gave a huge loan to one of our friends in an effort to, for five or six months, show that we somehow have more knowledge than the other nine members of the league.

Lets Go Bargain Shopping

Fantasy Football is all about finding the best value.  Anyone can draft Adrian Peterson in the first round, but it takes a smart player to pass on a big name player because the same value can be found later in the draft.  Everyone, myself included, is more inclined to draft players who are talked about often on TV broadcasts and in the run-up to the game, but drafting big names doesn’t win you fantasy championships.  Bargain shopping wins you fantasy championships.

In this article I will discuss 1 bargain at the 4 major positions compared to a player that is being over drafted based on a variety of reasons.

Overpriced:  Matthew Stafford

If you do not include Stafford’s amazing 2011 season (5000 yards and 41 TDs) his production has been only been slightly above average.  Over the past two seasons, Stafford has averaged 4808 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions.  The yards total is very good, but the touchdowns and interceptions pose a problem to Stafford’s fantasy value.  The main reason he is overpriced is because he is one Calvin Johnson injury away from being a below average fantasy QB.  Johnson accounted for 15oo yards and 12 TDs last year, while lacking a serious 2nd option in the passing game.  If he goes down with an injury, Stafford’s value plummets.

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