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We are officially through the looking glass. Your team has experienced nine weeks of fantasy football. Your win/loss record might not reflect the actual talent on your team, but that’s what sets fantasy football apart. You can’t just be good, you have to be lucky.
There are obvious exceptions, such as total points leagues. But in most head-to-head fantasy football leagues, your team fits neatly into three categories at this point:
- (Basically) Locked into a playoff berth.
- Fight for a chance to make the playoffs.
- (Basically) Eliminated from playoff contention.
I spent a ton of time contemplating my fantasy football draft strategy this season. Last year I did quite well, but I think that was at least partially due to the lockout. This year, owners were doing their homework early.
So here comes my moment of honesty. At least as far as my two “most important” teams are concerned, the best draft pick I made was the Chicago Bears defense. Seriously. They have single-handedly won at least two games for me. Not to mention offering me a huge advantage at the D/ST position over almost every other owner.
But we (me and everybody else) tell you during draft season that D/STs and Kickers don’t matter. Here is the dirty little secret: D/STs and Kickers DO matter. In fact, they decide fantasy football match-ups every week.
Think about it. How many kickers scored more points than Marshawn Lynch or Jamaal Charles did last week? At least five, and that depends on your scoring system. Should you run out and trade a RB for a Kicker who did well last week? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean that you should just plug in a Kicker or D/ST and forget about them until they have a bye week.
Fantasy football is a weekly game. But we draft it as a full-season game. That’s fine in baseball and even basketball. We all love football because there are so few match-ups and anything can happen in any given week. If you are not trying to maximize the points you get from your Kicker and D/ST, you’re doing it wrong. Continue reading
The point of fantasy football is to provide an experience that mirrors the actual NFL. Correct? From a parity standpoint, we have arrived. When you look at the current NFL, there are three categories of teams:
- Teams with the potential to dominate (2-3 teams)
- Teams with no chance of winning even 8 games (2-3 teams)
- Every other team (26-28 teams)
Now look at your fantasy league. I willing to bet that there are one or two “dominant” teams, one or two “bad teams” and every other team is grouped at 1-2, 2-2 or 2-1. Continue reading
Okay, let’s keep rolling here and see if we can find some more unsung producers for Week 3. After two weeks, I’ve had some hits and some misses, so let’s try and bulk up the hits category here as we dive into the depth charts. However, before we get into this week, I’d like to talk about Thursday’s hidden gem, Ramses Barden…or “Little Plax”. The six-foot, six-inch, Hakeem Nicks replacement is about to become the most added player next week, and for good reason. He showed very good route running, nice hands and agility as he hauled in 9 receptions for 138 yards and locking up the third receiver spot as we move along. However, once Nicks returns, his role decreases heavily, so don’t invest too much to pluck him off waivers, unless your in a very deep PPR league. Love those hidden gems though, so without getting away from it, here is this week’s picks.
Buffalo @ Cleveland
The Bills looked terrible in week 1 and dominant in week 2. The Browns played stellar defense with a sub-par offense in week 1 and sub-par defense with a stellar offense in week 2. Something’s gotta give here, and until the Bills show me they can do it on the road, I’m picking a Chainsaw Massaquoi this week. The Bills’ secondary has great potential, but it is young and through the first two weeks they are one of the worst, in terms of “WR fantasy points against” and I see Mohamed Massaquoi finding the end zone once, maybe twice this week. Continue reading
Always start your studs. It’s a term widely used in fantasy. However, there are always times when you have to at least think about it. The following is a list of usual starters who I think you should really think about benching in Week 3, depending on the depth of your roster.
1. Adrian Peterson vs San Francisco
Kind of a tricky start to the season for A.P. this year. There wasn’t too many owners who had him starting in Week 1, and an average game in Week 2 wasn’t what owners were looking to get out of him. That brings us to this week, where the Vikings host the 49ers and their very stiff defense that has allowed 3 rushing touchdowns in the last 18 regular season games. Unless your bench is extremely shallow, I would suggest to play it safe this week sit Mr. Peterson. Continue reading
Here we go, in to week two already! Time to dive into this week’s games and find some surprises. Remember, you will not find any names in here that are highly unlikely to be benched, as you don’t need me to tell you Jordy Nelson is a great start tonight.
Chicago @ Green Bay
The Bears showed that their offense is a new machine this year, as the Packers showed that their defense did not change. Randall Cobb showed his versatility last week as, (among other things) the 3rd-down back and Michael Bush found pay dirt twice as my picks last week. Player to watch tonight, although I think Finley will have a good game (but nobody is benching him), is Cedric Benson. Look for the Packers to get Benson more involved this week against his former team. Great flex play and don’t be afraid to use him as RB2 if you are waiting on a Ryan Mathews or lost a Fred Jackson. Continue reading
Free Agency Acquisition Budget. That’s what FAAB stands for. If you’ve never played in a league that uses FAAB, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
- FAAB replaces the free agency waiver wire process completely
- After the draft, each team is given a set amount of money (budget) for free agency. Typical budget amounts are: $100, $250, $1000 Continue reading
Atlanta @ Kansas City
With the first game in the bank, the season has officially begun. I thought I’d throw out a shot at the week one games and some factors that may not be on everyone’s boards. To keep it short, I’ll refrain from the major players, as there won’t be a game where a guy like Julio Jones will be on your bench.
The Falcons were the talk of the off season, with high hopes for a break out season from Matt Ryan. A wide open, fast-paced offense is expected, and for you Michael Turner owners, hopefully you handcuffed him with Jacquizz Rodgers. Don’t get me wrong, I doubted Turner last year with the same headlines he’s getting this year…older, lots of miles on those legs and not much of a receiving threat, but he still rushed for 11 TD making all the doubters eat their words. However, time keeps moving on, and Ryan is getting ready to attack. Enter Rodgers, who fits this scheme so well, I expect him to see more snaps than just the 3rd down back with which he’s been titled.
Buffalo @ New York Jets
The Bills spent money this off season and beefed up their pass rush and overall defense. The offense pretty much remains in tact, with a few new additions including a rookie LT. The Jets will be looking to look past a horrid preseason where the offense could just not get in sync. Their main factor is Darrelle Revis, who blankets receivers and usually makes the “other guy” more relevant than usual. Although David Nelson technically isn’t the wide out opposite Johnson, he’ll be all over the slot and should see a decent amount of targets. Continue reading
Ok so now that my drafts are all over, I can spread my secrets to the world.
In no particular order, here are my 2012 Fantasy Football Sleepers. Keep in mind they’re not all sleepers per say, but guys that will out-perform their average draft position. I just really want to document this and say I told ya so at the end of the year.
1. Justin Blackmon
2. Danny Amendola
3. Justin Turbin
4. Louis Murphy
5. Austin Collie
6. Emmanuel Sanders
7. Kellen Davis
8. Randy Moss
9. Dexter McCluster
10. T.Y. Hilton
11. Alfred Morris
12. Rueben Randle
13. Martellus Bennett