Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

Maximizing your fantasy experience

MikesucksSo you’ve been playing in Fantasy Football leagues against people online or in a small league with your coworkers. But what you really want is to be in the kind of league you see on the television series The League or read about in Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Life. A league where losers get tattoos, winners get giant 100-pound trophies and league traditions are just as important as the game of football itself. I’m here to help.

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Fantasy Disappointments

By now, every fantasy football owner has invariably settled into three different categories.

  1. Cruising into the playoffs.
  2. Fighting tooth and nail to sneak into one of the final playoff spots.
  3. So far behind that they’re considering blowing up their team in a bitter attempt to destroy the fairness and balance of the league.

I fit into that final category. My team is pathetic. They’ve underperformed and are managed by a brain-dead moron who wouldn’t know how to set a decent line-up if his (my) life depended on it. Unfortunately my work life frequently depends on it (I mean seriously, I write for a football blog), and I’m constantly being harassed by my colleagues who kick the crap out of me every week.

I’m not the only one who’s had a disastrous fantasy season. Here’s a list of players who have woefully underperformed based on their average draft position (all numbers are taken from ESPN fantasy).

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Forget about the watch list for a second – if you need help at running back you should be heading to your waiver wire for William Powell of the Arizona Cardinals. Ryan Williams was uninspiring (14 car, 33 yds) before exiting Thursday night’s game with a shoulder injury. Beanie Wells is out for another 5+ weeks with a toe injury, so a serious opportunity has presented itself for Powell. Even if Williams is not out long term, Powell showed off some qualities that Williams does not possess.

Powell only got one carry (for 7 yards), but he showed the coaches he isn’t afraid of contact, by throwing a couple devastating blocks. He also reeled in 3 catches for 20 yards in less than a half of football. Despite a horrendous offensive line in Arizona, starting running backs are at worst a good trade asset for your team.

On to today’s watch list:

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As long as you keep playing fantasy football, we’ll keep releasing composite rankings lists. For those of you who are new to the site, the composite rankings list is created using the fantasy rankings of experts Michael Fabiano/Adam Rank of NFL.com and Dave Richard/Jamey Eisenberg of CBSSports.com.

We then combine these rankings into five idiot-proof charts. We know that they’re idiot-proof because even I understand how to read them.

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What have we learned through three weeks? Welp, Chris Johnson is still the worst, and running back is still the most injury-riddled position of all time ever. So yeah, pretty much exactly how the script was written.

Oh, and Joe Flacco is leading all quarterbacks in fantasy points, and Rob Gronkowski is behind Dennis Pitta and Martellus Bennett.

Onwards then, for more surprise and heartache awaits.

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Ed. Note: I’m not sure if Oliver Macklem ever sleeps, because he has seven fantasy teams, or at least that’s as many as he’s told us about. But when he does sleep, he dreams or more than just sleepers. He dreams of really, ridiculously deep sleepers. I asked him to write down his dream visions every Friday morning.

The key to creating a useful watch list is to identify players who have the opportunity to see an increase in playing time. Many people get caught up trying to figure out the most skilled backups, and that’s a flawed system. Rashad Jennings might be the best backup RB in the league, but playing behind an all-pro in Maurice Jones-Drew means he won’t see many touches.

To figure out which backups have the best chance of increasing their playing time, we must first identify situations where the incumbents are struggling or injured. Which leads us to our first watch list candidate.

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So it’s the third week now, and hope has been restored, light has been located, and what was lost when minds melted and heads asploded after Week 1 has been found. Serenity now, serenity now.

That will last for, oh, 24 more hours. Week 3, ahoy…

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