Michael Vick, Jordan Shipley, Adrian Peterson, Denario Alexander, Mark Ingram, Shonn Greene, Mark Sanchez
Justin Fensterman and Trevor Ray discuss several players that let their teams down last week in the semis and what they expect from them this week. They also discussed some of the surprises from last week.
Doug Martin, Eli Manning, Brandon Lloyd, Danny Woodhead, Beanie Wells, Sam Bradford, Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, RGIII, Brandon Weeden, James Jones, Knowshon Moreno, Steve Smith, Anthony Fasano and Lance Kendricks.
(1) I’ll present you with an opportunity to join a league at DailyJoust.com in which you can have a shot at winning part of the $1500 Free Roll — for free (it’s in the title).
(2) I’ll review the team that I drafted for the National Fantasy Football Championship because I’m always about transparency with my fantasy squads.
DAILY JOUST – $1500 FREE ROLL
I’ve been telling you all about DailyJoust all baseball season, but you know they also do basketball, hockey and football, right? Here’s an exciting option for the 2012 NFL Season.
DailyJoust is offering a $1500 Tournament in which $1500 prizes are available (top prize is $150.00, and the top-200 places receive a prize as well).
The best part about the tournament is that it is FREE to sign up.
Obviously there is no reason on earth that you shouldn’t take a few minutes out of your day to sign up for a free game in which you can win real cash. Not to mention the fun that accompanies cheering on your fantasy squad as you demolish the competition. So get over to DailyJoust and make it happen (you can easily sign up from the link that takes you to the BaseballGuys/DailyJoust partner page).
NATIONAL FANTASY FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
On Saturday I was part of a 12-team league in the NFFC 12-team Online Championship (I wrote about the league in Beat Ray Flowers, Win $100,000?). Today I’ll review the squad (you can still sign up for leagues with the NFFC so go ahead and head that way when you get a chance).
12 teams, 20 rounds, #10 draft selection
3rd round reversal (more on that below)
KDS (more on that below)
Starting lineup: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, Flex, K, DEF
6 points for all TDs
QB: Philip Rivers (7th round), Christian Ponder (16), Tim Tebow (17)
RB: Darren McFadden (1), Adrian Peterson (3), Fred Jackson (4), Roy Helu (8), LeGarrette Blount (10), Ronnie Brown (12), Mike Goodson (14)
WR: Larry Fitzgerald (2), Jeremy Maclin (5), Darrius Heyward-Bey (9), Kendall Wright (11), Danny Amendola (13), Alshon Jeffrey (15)
TE: Fred Davis (6), Heath Miller (20)
K: Matt Prater (18)
D: Atlanta Falcons (19)
Quarterback: As I say everyday on Sirius 210, XM 87 on The Drive (Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), I’m not going to go nuts on the QBs early. This league was a perfect example of that. I’m a huge fan of Matt Ryan and Tony Romo, but they went in the 4th and 5th rounds. I happily waited for Rivers, the 10th QB taken. I grabbed Ponder late, like the foot/arm combo, and then took Tebow. I don’t ever draft three signal callers, but two things. (1) This league drafts 20 players, an extremely deep total forcing more aggressive drafting with so little left on the waiver-wire. (2) I’ve said this since before last season, if Tebow is starting he’s a top-10 QB option every week. I’m not sure that Mark Sanchez will hold him off for that starting spot all year, an if so I got me a great late round bargain, or at least blocked someone else from getting the chance to grab a potential starter at the end of the draft.
Running Back: If DMC and AD are healthy this will be the top duo in the league. If DMC ends up injured and AD lacks his normal boost coming back from knee surgery, my team is in trouble. Go big or go home I say. F-Jax gives me the best RB3 in the league. All this nonsense in Washington — Helu is still the most talented back there. Blount has been undervalued because of the Doug Martin hoopla. I think he carves out a bigger role than most. Ronnie Brown could get a couple of starts while the always brittle Ryan Mathews heals that shoulder. Goodson was my must add handcuff for DMC.
Wide Receiver: My weak link. Fitzgerald is amazingly consistent, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Maclin ended the year as a WR1. I like DHB but would have preferred his teammate, Denarius Moore. That’s a decent trio that I like a lot, but DHB doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies even though he had some excellent games last year. Wright could be big as a rookie with Kenny Britt’s woes, and Amendola may not score but he catches passes (85 two years ago). Jeffrey was my go for broke late selection. He has the talent, and opportunity, to be a big player as the season progresses.
Tight End: Fred Davis, as long as he stays healthy and away from illicit substances, will be the breakout player at the tight end position this year. I would have preferred Rob Housler as my backup over Miller but Housler shares the same bye week as Davis.
K/DEF: Per usual, I just waited and grab the best available options at the end of the draft.
This league was a Third Round Reversal (3RR). What that means is that after the first two rounds the draft order flip flops.
Picks 1-12 are then followed by pick 12-1 as always in snake drafts. However, in round three the order is reversed so it ends up looking like this: 1-12, 12-1, 12-1.
Since I had the 10th pick I ended up with: pick #10, pick #15, pick #27
Since everyone knows I’m not gonna take a QB or TE that early, I felt like if I ended up with a pick at the end of the first round I would be able to grab a runner in round one, a pass catcher in round two, an another runner in round three. Guess what? I did exactly that.
How did I know I was going to end up with a late first round selection? Because the NFFC allows you to bid on which pick, #1-12, you want by use of the Kentucky Derby Style process. In this setup, each player submits their list of preferred draft slots (in my case, I went 10, 11, 12 etc.). Players names are then randomly drawn and they are assigned their highest preference on their draft list based upon which spots remain. Luckily for me I got the spot I wanted at the end of the round and my strategy played out perfectly. Now we’ll have to wait and see if my strategy was sound or not.
*** DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 NFL FANTASY FOOTBALL GUIDE.
By Ray Flowers
If you listen to my radio show on Sirius 210 and XM 87 each day (Monday-Friday from 5-8 PM EDT), you know my thoughts on talking fantasy football in June (let’s just say I think it’s premature). Given that fact you’re probably wondering why there is a picture of Chris Johnson adorning my article today. I’m all about transparency at BaseballGuys, and one of the ways that I accomplish that is by always being open with you about the teams that I draft (you can find my review of the expert baseball leagues I participated in this year in the Fantasy U section). Therefore, I’m going to take a one day diversion from baseball to break down my FSTA Experts Draft for the NFL that was completed Monday night in San Francisco. I’ll return to baseball tomorrow in my mailbag article, and you can always follow me on Twitter for the rest of today for your baseball fix.
Teams: 14 (I had the 7th selection)
Rosters: 1 Quarterback , 2 Running Backs , 3 Wide Receivers , 1 Tight End, 1 Flex Player (RB, WR or TE) , 1 Kicker , 1 Team Defense/Specials Team, (6 reserves)
Passing: 1 point for 30 yards. 3 points for TD. (-1) for fumbles/interceptions.
Rushing: 1 point for 10 yards. 6 points for TD. (-1) for fumble
Receiving (PPR): 1 point for 10 yards. 0.5 points for RB. 1 point for WR/TE. (-1) for fumbles.
The most obvious oddity in this scoring system, and why wouldn’t it be odd given that there simply isn’t any standardized setup in fantasy football (ugh) is that passers are really devalued here since most leagues award six points for passing touchdowns and all give at least four points. There is also the fact that yardage is dinged too (most leagues are one point per 25 yards with many giving one point for 20 yards). You all know I like to wait on quarterbacks anyway, but this setup just made that easier.
The second point is that runners only get half a point for receptions versus a full point for wide receivers and tight ends.
With that, here are some thoughts from the draft.
Four QBs were taken in the second round which seems a little heavy to me given the scoring system. Tony Romo and Philip Rivers in the 5th round seem like strong values. Peyton Manning went before Eli Manning as well. At this point hasn’t the younger brother surpasses the elder statesman?
I love Darren McFadden, and per game he is dynamite, but #5 overall is just too early. I feel the same way about Marshawn Lynch at #9. MJD would be a top-5 selection in every draft if it was clear that he wouldn’t be a holdout concern (he slipped to #8 here). Trent Richardson might be a dynamically skilled player but I’m not taking a rookie runner in the first round (#13 overall).
In a PPR setup, seems like there are a strong group of receivers available at the top of the draft. Wait past the middle of the draft though and you start taking a lot of shots on talent that lacks the numbers, or vets with the numbers who may be on the downside of their careers.
Jimmy Graham went off the board one pick after Ron Gronkowski in the second round. After the two elite ends were taken another didn’t go for 34 selections.
QB: Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer
RB: Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Daniel Thomas, Ryan Williams, Isaiah Pead
WR: Brandon Marshall, Jeremy Maclin, Denarius Moore, Titus Young, Alshon Jeffery
TE: Jermichael Finley, Martellus Bennett
K: Alex Henery
DEF: Seattle Seahawks
I waited on quarterbacks an ended up with a solid duo in a 14 team league.
CJ2K and AD. If Peterson is healthy in Week 1, and CJ rebounds just slightly from last year, this duo could lead me to a championship.
I’ve got Marshall who is a lock for 80 receptions and 1,000, and then it’s an uber talented group of four youngsters behind him. I think Maclin has legit top-15 WR potential, and Moore could be the breakout star at WR this year.
It was Vernon Davis or Finley when I drafted my end and I avoided being a homer and chose the Packers tight end who is making all kinds of proclamations that he is going to go off this year.
K/DEF = Oh yeah, we have to roster those two dong we?
FINALLY… for more on the weekend events at the FSTA give a read to my diary of the weekend in How Good AM I & Lil’ Kim.
By Ray Flowers
I’m sitting here at the airport in Las Vegas, and unlike that killer flick The Hangover, I actually remember what I did my entire time here (and for those of you that saw the movie, no, I’m not wearing my jock strap right now). For those of you who didn’t read my previous post, and shame on you if you didn’t because it was one hell of a read (Vegas Baby!), I’m in Las Vegas, not just to get my swerve on, though I cannot confirm or deny that something like that did or did not happen, but to help facilitate the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC). Here are some of my thoughts on my time at the event.
* I saw two leagues where guys drafted three consecutive wide receivers in the first three rounds in 14-team leagues. The leagues are point-per-reception with a bit of a twist – RBs only receive 0.5 points per catch while WR/TE/QB receive a full point. I know there is a RBBC in something like 50 percent of the backfields anymore leading to even more value at the wide receiver position, but I still think it takes a lot of guts to pass on backs until round four in such a deep league. I’ll keep an eye on how that strategy works out.
* It was great to meet the fans and to get a chance to interact face-to-face instead of just through email or instant messaging. If you can believe it, and I’m not making this up, I ran into a guy who literally lives on my block back in California. How is that even possible, that I traveled all the way to Sin City and ran into a guy who literally lives 1000 feet from me down the street? That’s just crazy.
* James Davis – welcome to fantasy relevance. Reports continue to swirl out of Cleveland that Jamal Lewis is basically done. In fact, there was fairly widespread speculation that Lewis might actually be cut because of the money he is due this season. Wasn’t it just a month ago that Jerome Harrison was all the rage? Well, Harrison was hurt (leg) and into that void Davis has clearly asserted himself. By mid-season we might be looking at Lewis either being on the street or operating as the third choice out of that backfield. Davis was clearly one of those players who was drafted much earlier than his ADP value over the weekend.
* Who had the idea of starting a mecca of pleasure like Vegas in the desert? I mean it was like 106 degrees during the day, who needs that?
* Drew Brees and Tom Brady seemed to be going early, somewhere in the 9-14 range, and then there was a good 10-15 selection spread before we saw Peyton Manning go off the board. I wouldn’t take any of the three that early, but if I was of that ilk I would certainly prefer Manning at the end of the second than the “B” boys at the end of the first.
* I had no idea that the Flamingo had a clothing optional pool (that’s where the event took place – not at the nudie pool, but at the hotel). I’ll never say a bad word about the Flamingo again.
* Someone, hello law enforcement, needs to get those guys off the street that try to hand you those little “hey I’m cute, call me for a good time” cards. Everyone knows you can find that stuff in Vegas, after all it is called Sin City, but I don’t want to slip on those Zerva that Magnificent cards on the sidewalk when I’m walking around in a drunken stupor late at night. Oops, I mean I don’t want drunk people to slip on all those discarded cards.
* Last year we gave away about $850,000 in the event. Yeah, that’s nearly a million dollars in prizes awarded to the hundreds of people that participated (the grand prize is $100,000).
* Totally off topic, but I was utterly shocked to see so many babies in Vegas. Walking around the strip on Saturday night it seemed like every 15th person was a mother pushing a stroller with a kid in it. I don’t know about you, but I think I would wait to introduce my child to “Sin City” until they were at least old enough to vote.
So there are a couple of thoughts from the event in Vegas (it was held simultaneously in Chicago and New York as well). Good luck to everyone who participated, and for those of you who didn’t, the National Fantasy Baseball Championship is a mere seven months away. Now I gotta shut off this computer and get on the plane. Is it just me or do you miss getting those peanuts or pretzels on the plane? I know the economy has taken a bit of a downturn, but really, I can’t get me a free bag of some nuts on the place? I mean, what do they cost, 25 cents?
By Ray Flowers
So everyone wants to know what we do as fantasy sports guys. Some people think we sit around all day dreaming about ladies and “fantasies.” We might do that, but only on our free time late at night when we are alone. Others think that we sit around the water cooler all day eating pizza and breaking down the outlook of the backup middle infielder from Venezuela that no one outside of our office has ever even heard of before (that doesn’t happen everyday, only the second Thursday of the month). In truth, it’s mostly long hours spent pounding away at the keyboard and going blind reading spreadsheets. But sometimes it is nirvana, and right now is one of those times.
The Fanball crew was brought in from around the country this week to work on our soon to be released Just Cheat Sheets Magazine for the football season. So what are we actually doing for the magazine? Drafts, and lots of them. In fact, over the next 36 hours we will be doing, get this, 10 fantasy football mock drafts that will be included in the magazine. Point Per Reception, TD-Only, QB-Heavy, 50-50 Scoring etc. The bottom line is that we will mock until our appetites for fantasy football are satiated with a draft for pretty much every format in existence. This is the truly “fun” part of the entire fantasy sports gig, and while it doesn’t quite measure up to being stranded on a desert island with a keg of Mai Tai’s and Rosalyn Sanchez by my side, it’s pretty damn great.
So yes, this is the week you would want to be me – minus of course the fact that I’m single and lonely (j/k). Fantasy sports is never more fun than when you have the chance to pit your wits against like minded fantasy fanatics in a battle royal of fantasy drafting. For that, I want to thank my fellow employees as well as the greatest fantasy entity on the planet – Fanball.
It isn’t always a glamorous ride, but this is one sunset I wish would never end.
By Ray Flowers