Fantasy Drafts, Fantasy Football

Drafting for 2017 Fantasy Football

Are you as ready for 2016 to be over as I am? I mentioned in my last post that this has been by far my worst season so far. And while some leagues are going strong into Week 17, both of my leagues have declared winners. In my 10-team NFL league, I placed 7th while my good friend and first time player based on my recommendation won the championship by less than 2 points. In my 12-team PPR Yahoo league, I finished 9th while it looked as though our eventual winner might not make the playoffs after the first several weeks, let alone draft day.

Speaking of draft day, there were so many players that I treated like safe bets and certainties moving into the year that turned out to be wrong that it seems pointless to say before the 2016 season is even over how next year is going to shake out.

I do know some things definitively, and I’ll share them with you now:

My 2017 Do Not Draft List Continue reading

Fantasy Football, Season Diagnosis

Fantasy Football Season Recap – What I’ve Learned This Year

colin-kaepernickLife isn’t fair, and neither is Fantasy. That’s what I’ve come to realize this year in the wake of a garbage election and a garbage performance by me in my Fantasy Baseball league and both my Football leagues. The world didn’t end in November, but my seasons sure did. Things have been looking dour for a while, and somewhere between me getting a job and finding more important things to do and not wanting to justify why everything is going so horribly for my teams lies the real reason to why I haven’t been writing these recaps.

I wish there was more to report. I’ll start by sharing a couple of unwritten fantasy rules: You’ll always lose only because someone else’s team went bat shit crazy, that amazing play you just saw that would’ve saved your day will always get called back on a fucking penalty flag, and your team will start doing well AFTER it stops mattering. Continue reading

Fantasy Football, Weekly Recaps

Fantasy Football Week 8 Recap – Matt Ryan Ruined Me

mattryanI haven’t been writing recaps in a while because I was in a place the last few weeks where I was dominating, but at the same time I was busy. For as high as I was scoring, the weeks were fairly uneventful, a lack of real choices. I was happy to report that my team in each league started performing up to expectations, and in at least my Yahoo league, I’ve been the best team over the last three weeks, quickly climbing the rankings into playoff contention.

But Week 8 proved to be very tumultuous, with some last minute scrambling and real time outcomes that shaped my week dramatically.

Let’s start with the one that didn’t go so great.

Week 8
Opponent The Other Brian’s Team – Brian
Outcome 100.30 – 105.22 L
Meltdowns Player Team Points
QB Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts 18.40
RB1 Devontae Booker Denver Broncos 12.40
RB2 Jeremy Hill Cincinatti Bengals 13.30
WR1 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers 15.40
WR2 Brandon Marshall New York Jets 6.80
TE Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots 16.90
FLEX Terrelle Pryor Sr. Cleveland Browns 12.10
K Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts 2.00
DST Arizona Cardinals 3.00
BN Terrance West Baltimore Ravens BYE
BN Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings 3.10
BN Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings 0.00
BN Doug Martin Tampa Bay Bucs 0.00
BN Seattle Seahawks 10.00
BN Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles 12.50

Allow me to set the stage. It’s about 4 PM Los Angeles time. The second batch of games are wrapping up in the 4th quarter, and I have about a 20 point lead on my opponent, also named Brian, and also the only person playing in both leagues with me. Remaining players for my team include Jordy Nelson and Devontae Booker, and for him, Melvin Gordon, Matt Bryant and Matt Ryan. I felt pretty good before even these games started, and already looking at a Jordy TD and a Booker TD at this point, I felt confident that I would come away with the win.  Continue reading

Fantasy Football, Weekly Preview, Weekly Recaps

FF Week 6 & 7 Recap and Preview – It Starts Now

My team has arrived! And all because a few of those guys I drafted actually showed up to play last week. #FreeLamarMiller #GronkYouTour2016 #WhateversGreatAboutTerrenceWest

I was the #1 and #2 point finisher in each league respectively this week, and I won both of my matchups to help boost me in the rankings. You get the sense that my team is finally starting to play as expected. Gronk went off for 7 catches, 162 yards and a touchdown and even got flagged for taunting while he was at it. Miller and Houston looked like they might’ve been having some trouble figuring out how to win, but it turns out the Colts are far better at figuring out how to lose, and allowed him to run in for two TDs and 149 yards. After that performance, Miller ranks 5th in rushing yards overall and 9th overall among running backs, despite having only scored two touchdowns in six weeks. His schedule is a lot more favorable moving forward as well, so I’m fortunate I didn’t sell high. Gronk still has some work to do to catch up to the likes of Greg Olsen and even his teammate Martellus Bennett, but the production is coming.

Wildcats Player Team Points
QB Derek Carr Oakland Raiders 11
RB1 Lamar Miller Houston Texans 31
RB2 Jordan Howard Chicago Bears 11
WR1 Kelvin Benjamin Carolina Panthers 16
WR2 Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles 10
WR3 Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers 18
TE Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots 29
K Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons 6
DST Philadelphia Eagles 16
BN Sterling Shepard New York Giants 6
BN Kirk Cousins Washington Redskins 17
BN Seattle Seahawks 10
BN Cameron Meredith Chicago Bears 22
BN Dennis Pitta Baltimore Ravens 9
BN Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs 12

Continue reading

Fantasy Football, Weekly Recaps

Fantasy Football Week 5 Recap – Showing Some Life

Would you like to know how I know I’m a pessimist? Despite being up by as many as 60 points going into Sunday’s middle afternoon games in one of my leagues, I was in a tight, and ultimately losing race in my other league. Guess which of those I spent all day dwelling on?

In both leagues, my teams showed some signs of life, bouncing back with some high point totals among my best this season, and that’s what you want. That’s why I drafted these guys or made these additions. You just wish that when things start to go right that it actually translates into a win.

So let’s start on that losing side and see what went wrong, shall we?

Week 5
Opponent Sarknado 2 – David
Outcome 128 – 139 L
Wildcats Player Team Points
QB Derek Carr Oakland Raiders 25
RB1 Lamar Miller Houston Texans 3
RB2 Jordan Howard Chicago Bears 24
WR1 Kelvin Benjamin Carolina Panthers 12
WR2 Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles 10
WR3 Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers 19
TE Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots 15
K Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons 12
DST Philadelphia Eagles 8
BN Sterling Shepard New York Giants 3
BN Kirk Cousins Washington Redskins 16
BN Seattle Seahawks BYE
BN Jamison Crowder Washington Redskins 12
BN Dennis Pitta Baltimore Ravens 12
BN Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs BYE

128 points was my second highest point total in my Yahoo PPR league this season, but it came against the 139 highest point total put up by the previously 0-4 team sitting in last place. David started Theo Riddick, Philip Rivers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Amari Cooper against me, and they all paid off in bigger and better ways than my standouts. Riddick, a running back, caught both of his touchdown passes for an extra jab of points, and they came against my Philadelphia defense, which I streamed this week in place of Seattle on a bye week. I started Derek Carr, who delivered a solid 25 after playing well from behind in the first half, but of course Carr’s primary weapon was Amari Cooper, so any of those gains were effectively neutralized. And while the Raiders may have won that game, Rivers came away with the bigger fantasy day, throwing four touchdowns despite throwing two interceptions.

And finally let’s talk about that Packers-Giants game. Full disclosure, I’ve actually proposed a trade to Sarknado 2 acquiring Odell Beckham Jr. in exchange for Randall Cobb and Dennis Pitta. So I was interested in the outcome of this game for a handful of reasons. If either player had faltered and failed to put up solid numbers, either I would cancel the trade or he would decline it. But the way the scores would have it, I needed Beckham to have another poor game and for Cobb to get back on track. In fact, Cobb did get back on track. He had nine receptions on 11 targets, the most of either in all four of the Packers’ games. He even found the endzone in a play that was ultimately called back. The touchdown that wasn’t called back however was Beckham’s controversial late TD, in which it was a question as to whether he actually landed in bounds. Could you imagine if both of those had gone my way? I’d be writing a much different column today.

But look back at my chart above and tell me if you notice any other deficiencies on that roster. Got it? It’s Lamar Miller! Three points? Are you kidding? If you recall in my preview from last week, I expected that against Minnesota, this would not be the week that Lamar Miller would turn it around, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad. Orleans Darkwa scored more points against him in Week 4 than Miller did in Week 5. There’s something wrong with the Texans, and there’s something seriously right about the Vikings. It’s a situation where I’m not sure what to do with Miller. If he doesn’t turn it around against Indianapolis in Week 6, then you hit the panic button and try and cut bait while you can. But after this, do I still start him over Jamaal Charles finally returning from an injury against the Raiders? It’d be impossible to sit Jordan Howard after he’s quickly emerged as a borderline RB1 and will be getting Jacksonville in Week 6.

Jordan Matthews had a slow day and might be finally settling back into a WR3 role, hardly the target monster you were expecting after the first four weeks, Gronk looked good but ended up having all the TDs go Martellus Bennett’s way, and Kelvin Benjamin might’ve had a more productive day had Cam Newton been behind center. I finished this week having my best record since Week 1, so you hope if I can keep this up things will eventually turn around.

Week 5
Opponent Poopshoot – Tony
Outcome 116.28 – 90.26 W
Meltdowns Player Team Points
QB Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts 22.18
RB1 Terrance West Baltimore Ravens 8.90
RB2 Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings 4.60
WR1 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers 9.80
WR2 Brandon Marshall New York Jets 17.40
TE Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots 10.90
FLEX Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles 6.50
K Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts 21.00
DST Arizona Cardinals 15.00
BN Doug Martin Tampa Bay Bucs 0.00
BN Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills 15.76
BN Jeremy Hill Minnesota Vikings 1.20
BN Seattle Seahawks BYE
BN Sterling Shepard New York Giants 1.40
BN Terrelle Pryor Sr. Cleveland Browns 5.30

In my other league, you look at that point total and it’s very easy to get excited. It was good enough for beating six of the nine remaining teams in all, and my lineup choices of benching Jeremy Hill and Sterling Shepard were smart ones.

But I might not want to get too excited. Take away that Adam Vinatieri performance, five FGs, two of them 50+ yards, and you have a much more pedestrian day. Maybe it’s still a win over a team that only posted 90 points, but it’s not as much cause for celebration. Running back still proves to be a sore spot. Doug martin and Jerick McKinnon both go on bye in Week 6, limiting me to Terrance West and Jeremy Hill. West has been great, but still could lose his job to Kenneth Dixon once he’s fully healthy. Hill continues to be boom or bust, and next week he plays New England. I dropped Darren Sproles in favor of the Seattle defense, but I may regret that. Seattle next week gets Atlanta, and I won’t feel comfortable starting them after seeing their statement victory over Denver in Week 6. Sproles meanwhile looked good in Week 5, but nothing so exciting as to think he has enough upside to be owned in a 10-team league. During the waivers this week I may be looking to add someone like Jalen Richard or Cameron Artis Payne and still sitting Hill until I see some more consistent production.

Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Week 5 Preview: Is this the week?

I should be clear, my real sports priority this weekend is watching the Cubs ruin the Giants’ Even Year Magic. They got Game 1 in the bag last night, so let’s hope we can take 2 while we’re still at Wrigley.

Though now that I’ve gotten past a few Bye Weeks, and now that Tom Brady is back throwing to Gronk, I feel like this is finally the week that my team will start showing up to play, and proving why I drafted them in the first place.

Meltdowns Player Team Points
QB Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts
RB1 Terrance West Baltimore Ravens
RB2 Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings
WR1 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers
WR2 Brandon Marshall New York Jets
TE Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots
FLEX Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles
K Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts
DST Arizona Cardinals 15.00
BN Doug Martin Tampa Bay Bucs
BN Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills
BN Jeremy Hill Cincinatti Bengals
BN Seattle Seahawks BYE
BN Sterling Shepard New York Giants
BN Terrelle Pryor Sr. Cleveland Browns

New additions this week to The Meltdowns were Terrence West and the Seattle Seahawks, who someone perhaps unwisely dropped while on their Bye. I kept them in my other league in order to stream the Eagles, but in truth in this standard NFL scoring, the Seahawks are only the 12th highest scoring defense. That’s not even technically startable in a 10-team league. Thankfully the Cardinals got off to a good start, scoring a garbage time safety and making Blaine Gabbert look like a high school quarterback.

West should be an exciting an addition, especially against a Washington defense this week. He’ll be good for at least this week, especially with Justin Forsett now cut, but thankfully if things change by next week, Kenneth Dixon is still out there on waivers, and in two weeks time I might even have Doug Martin back.

It’s a coin flip between Jerick McKinnon and Jeremy Hill as my RB2. McKinnon gets a tough Houston defense this week, but he proved he has the ability to be explosive to get yards after the carry AND have the ability to score a touchdown, Matt Asiata be damned. Hill has run really well the last couple of weeks, but still could be boom or bust if he doesn’t end up in the endzone. The Bengals opponent Dallas by the way has been tough on the goal line.

If Andrew Luck doesn’t show up this week against the Bears, it’s time to get worried. The Bears have played surprisingly decent defense thus far, but a week like this is the reason you drafted Andrew Luck. He needs to make an impact this week or I need to make a trade.

My opponent has Drew Brees, Doug Baldwin and Christine Michael all on Byes, not to mention his kicker. He’ll be rolling out Andy Dalton instead, but he’s got a good team otherwise and it won’t be a surefire cake walk, especially considering my team’s ability to crap the bed.   Continue reading

Fantasy Football, Weekly Preview

Fantasy Preview Week 4: Do or Die

Last week I opened my NFL league 0-3, and I’ve done the same this year, but now’s the time to turn things around. I’ve got a tough matchup and didn’t have an electric game from Jeremy Hill on Thursday night, but can I finally pull off a victory?

Meltdowns Player Team Points
QB Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts
RB1 Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings
RB2 Jeremy Hill Cincinatti Bengals 7.10
WR1 Sterling Shepard New York Giants
WR2 Brandon Marshall New York Jets
TE Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots
FLEX Terrelle Pryor Sr. Cleveland Browns
K Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts
DST Arizona Cardinals
BN Doug Martin Tampa Bay Bucs 0.00
BN Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills
BN Chris Ivory Jacksonville Jaguars
BN Darren Sproles Philadelphia Eagles BYE
BN Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles BYE
BN Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers BYE

New additions this week include Darren Sproles and Terrelle Pryor Sr. Sproles’s usage is no fluke, so rather than wait until next week and have him snatched out from under me, I decided to drop Duke Johnson Jr.. Johnson would’ve likely sat on my bench again this week, and it’s arguable that he doesn’t even need to be owned in a 10-team league, even with the dearth at RB.

I’d much rather have his Cleveland Browns peer Pryor (upgrading from a Jr. to a Sr.), who now looks poised to be quite literally the only options the Browns have. In Week 3, sans RGIII and Josh McCown, Pryor played as a receiver, a running back AND a quarterback. Pryor caught in eight of 14 passes for 144 yards, he rushed 21 yards and a touchdown on four carries and completed three of five passes for 35 yards as QB. I would’ve added him in my other league as well, but he was already owned, and I’ll be playing against him this week as well as starting him. Just my luck.

Beyond those additions, my options were somewhat limited this week. Both Jordans, Nelson and Matthews, are on Bye this week. With Tyrod Taylor playing New England this week, and with Sammy Watkins officially out for eight weeks, his days as my backup QB may be numbered. You don’t love Jerick McKinnon’s matchup against the Giants, but anything can happen in primetime on Monday night, and the Vikings are looking like a Super Bowl contender even without Adrian Peterson.

With Eric Decker also officially ruled out for Week 4, here’s hoping Brandon Marshall finally has a bounce back week. He could be shadowed all day by Richard Sherman, and the Seattle defense could give Ryan Fitzpatrick some more trouble as well, Fitzy having coughed up five picks last week.

Finally there’s Gronk. Both of his backup QBs are listed as questionable this week, but a report suggests that Jimmy Garoppolo will be starting in place of Jacoby Brisset, which should improve his value (although I can’t exactly explain why that would be. I guess he liked Martellus Bennett in Week 2?). In this league, I currently don’t even own a backup TE, having dropped Eric Ebron. If Gronk, also listed as questionable doesn’t go, then I’ll be making a last minute roster switch. Continue reading