I'm halfway through the Fantasy Football Season, and I know you're all wondering how I'm doing. I mean, that's why you come here, right? OK, maybe not, but if you only knew how hard it is NOT to talk about this all the time you'd be sending me Hickory Farms gifts baskets as thanks.
I spent all summer planning draft strategies, assessing the strengths of offensive lines and defensive secondaries, perusing depth charts and late-season scheduling so I'd be prepped for the season. I have a baseline strategy I try to stick to, and had a few sleeper players I was targeting. And as usual, everything was turned upside-down within a couple weeks of the season. Which is exactly why I love this game!
By way of example, here are the sleepers I targeted (and in most cases got) in my drafts:
- Daunte Culpepper
- Ben Watson
- Matt Jones
- Wali Lundy
- Seattle Defense
If you follow football at all, you probably know that my sleeper list was seriously flawed this year. I could have added Stephen Hawking and your grandma to this list and been just as successful. But I'm in four leagues, so you'd think there's at least some chance of success, right? Well, let's take a look.
My "Big Money" League
Team Name: KHAAAAAAN!!! Team Record: 3-4
I've won or placed in this league four years in a row, almost single-handedly justifying my investment in fantasy football (it's not called the "big money" league for nothing). It's also an auction league, so instead of drafting we bid on players based on a limited pool of money. My strategy almost always involves getting two top 15 RBs, but the bidding on that position got out of hand. So I spent my money on depth, shoring up all the other positions (Peyton Manning, Antonio Gates, Larry Fitzgerald) and hoping that Willie Parker and Wali Lundy would carry me. So now there's a loud sucking sound at my #2 RB position (I dropped Lundy after three weeks) and injuries to Donte Stallworth and Larry Fitzgerald have me fielding average WRs. The bye-weeks are behind me (not without some pain), and unless my team gets healthy, I trade some talent, or some back-ups suddenly become starters (I'm looking at you, Cedric Benson) I may miss the playoffs for the first time in four years. It's not over by a long shot, but the time for moves is now.
My "Former Co-Worker" league
Team Name: Pillowpants Team Record: 2-5
I should drop out of this league. I almost did this year, but the pre-season trash talk was so juicy I decided to give it one more shot. I always walk out of the draft with these guys thinking I'm going to go undefeated, but for some reason I always suck. I pay the least attention to it, which probably doesn't help, but having McGahee, Parker, Eli Manning, and Roy Williams should be bringing me much better scores than I'm getting. Starting the Seattle Defense against Chicago sure didn't help...
My "Midwest" League
Team Name: Wrath of God Team Record: 5-2
This is the league I profiled on draft night a few weeks back. I won this league two years in a row in '02 and '03, and came in 3rd last year. After the draft I thought I had a below average team, but taking Torry Holt with my top pick and Brian Westbrook at #2 looks like genius now. The Daunte Culpepper experiment didn't pan out, but I stashed Alex Smith just in case. and Kevin Jones is making me rethink my "no Lions" rule. As always, trash talk is more fun from a position of strength, and needling the guys who bet their drafts on Shaun Alexander and Chad Johnson gives me a warm feeling inside. Stay tuned, because I feel good about my chances for a happy dance in December here...
My "Blogger" League (aka The Blogpound)
Team Name: CroutonBoy Team Record: 5-2
Soon to be named the "Queen of Spain league," I pulled this league together with some famous bloggers you may have heard of. This is the only league I had a high pick in, and I'm sittin' and grinnin' with Ladainian Tomlinson and Torry Holt in my line-up. I've had a couple close losses in the last few weeks, but still feel good about my chances. BUT next week I go up against the Queen of Spain, who managed to land both Donovan McNabb and the Chicago Defense in the draft, which is like printing money. She's rumbled through the league like a steamroller (gloating the whole way) and my top QB (Kitna) is on a bye. I'm going to love bringing her down.
A bit of a mixed bag, but I've been here before. There's still seven weeks to go, and you never know who's going to get injured or what waiver wire pick might emerge. And baby needs a new pair of shoes!