Who is the top fantasy quarterback? Who should I take with my number one pick? Where should I take a kicker? Is it possible to get laid consistently and be a solid fantasy owner? Today we’ll tackle all these questions and more.
I know what I’m doing when it comes to fantasy football. I know the basics – get a running back first, make sure you’re strong at quarterback and wide receiver, don’t worry about a kicker or defense until late in the draft – and I only get in one or two leagues a season. When you get into 8 leagues with all different kinds of scoring systems, it can get confusing.
“Okay, in this one league, I need Brandon Jacobs to score three touchdowns, but for another league I need Donovan McNabb to throw for one TD, then play defense, pick off a pass and return it for another TD. Then I need Tony Romo to take his jersey off and drench himself in cocoa butter.”
“Wait…what league is that for?”
“Oh….none. I just want to see that.”
So I try to keep it simple. I’ve got a draft tonight, and I have some time-tested strategies that I use. They never fail. For all you beginners out there, here are answers to some questions you may be asking:
WHO SHOULD I TAKE NUMBER ONE OVERALL?
If you know anything about fantasy, you’re only thinking two guys here: Ladainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson. And you should probably take LT. He’s the most consistent back in football, and he’s a triple threat scoring-wise – he can run, catch or even throw touchdowns. This year he’ll probably throw touchdowns to himself.
IS IT OKAY TO CO-OWN A TEAM WITH ANOTHER GUY?
I would advise against it. Most guys have pretty big egos over their fantasy football prowess, and the bottom line is that there can only be one king of the castle. For example, me and my boy Marques are running a team together this year. I don’t want to have my brother Greg broker a tearful Thanksgiving reunion between us thirty years from now because I picked up Josh Cribbs on waivers without telling him.
HOW DO I GET TEAMS THAT ARE CONSISTENTLY GOOD?
Early on, you need to pick studs. Your first and second picks need to be home runs. After that, my strategy has always been to target a consistent group of guys who perform pretty well on a weekly basis. They might not put up huge scores every week, but you could always count on them for a solid output. For a few years I had the same guys popping up in my lineup who I called the Pimp Stable. Guys like Hines Ward, Torry Holt (almost doesn’t count because he used to be a legit stud) Plaxico Burress (before he blew up with the G-Men), and Fred Taylor. I became so notorious for my Pimp Stable that my boys would actually dangle members of said stable in lopsided trades in the hope that I’d bite. That brings us to our next question:
WHAT MAKES A GOOD FANTASY TRADE?
Unless it’s pretty clear cut (i.e. one team weak at RB trades for a WR, and vice versa), one guy is going to win the deal. Fantasy trades are very difficult to make because everybody has a heightened opinion of their guys. (Why wouldn’t someone want Isaac Bruce straight up for T.O? Ike is a model citizen!) Let me tell you what doesn’t make a good fantasy trade: offering five or six middling-to-shitty players for one awesome one. Guys make these kinds of offers all the time. Here’s an example of one such proposal:
TEAM A trades Brian Westbrook. A multi-talented back who runs well and catches passes out of the backfield. By any measure, a fantastic option at running back.
TEAM B trades WR Matt Jones, RB Troy Hambrick, QB Matt Leinart, QB Josh McCown, RB Fred Taylor (token decent player who pretty much provides the cornerstone of the offer), KR Devin Hester, WR Max McGee, and oh, what the heck, let’s throw in K Robbie Gould.
If the owner of Team A accepts this trade, he is an unmitigated toolbox. These types of trades are almost always rejected, followed by the owner of Team B offering an impassioned defense of his offer. Good rule of thumb: if someone has to explain to you how sweet the deal is, like you’re a four year old, get out your veto stamp.
SHOULD I DRAFT PLAYERS I LIKE AND AVOID PLAYERS I DON’T LIKE?
This is one of the hardest rules to follow, and it’s one that I most often break myself. I am a Giants fan. I love Amani Toomer. I would absolutely help him hide a dead body. That being said, I’m not going to draft him. At best, he’s a desperation waiver wire pick-up. He’s on the back nine of his career….shit, who am I kidding? He’s on the 17th green. Again, I love the player, but for fantasy purposes, he’s done. Tell me to draft him, and I’ll tell you I’d rather watch a Bea Arthur sex-tape in IMAX.
Never let a pick be fueled by any kind of emotion, positive or negative.
I fall victim to this every year. I’ve bypassed T.O. yearly for lesser receivers because I didn’t want to root for that human paraquat. And that has undoubtedly hurt me. Judge guys by the numbers, not their character. Hell, Randy Moss drove around with a traffic cop on the hood of his car, but unless being a douche becomes an official statistic, he is the number one wideout
Now, if a guy is talented, yet a douche in the Chris Henry m
old, that’s different. If you think his penchant for douchebaggery may lead to a suspension, by all means stay away. But until T.O. breaks into the Smithsonian and pisses on the Declaration of Independence or something, you have to take him.
HOW DO I WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP?
Get lucky. Most leagues have a Super Bowl that takes place in Week 16 or 17, which is stupid. The team with the best record should be the champion, but that’s not how it is. This has happened to me twice. One year I crushed the league to a tune of of 14-1 only to lose the final because my boy picked up Jake Delhomme to replace Rex Grossman, who had been his QB all year. The whole point of this paragraph was to get that anecdote documented in blog form, because I’m still bitter about it. Leading us to our next topic:
SHOULD I HARBOR DEEP, FANTASY FOOTBALL-RELATED GRUDGES THAT EAT ME UP INSIDE?
Yes, you should.
WHAT SHOULD I NAME MY TEAM?
I usually go with one of three types of name:
1) Movie quotes/titles. Usually Anchorman or Caddyshack
, although I managed to work a Seventh Seal
reference in one year that no one understood.
2) References to your favorite team. Example: one of my team name’s this year is Tyree’s Helmet, commemorating the most awesome catch in Super Bowl history.
3) A reference to an embarrassing incident that one of your fellow league owners experienced. For example, one of my good buddies in one league I’m in had too much too drink at a bar one time. He talks to this one girl for awhile until they both realize that he inexplicably got a little excited below his belt buckle. So what name am I going with?
The Chicago Chubs.
Coming up later this week will be Part II, which will be split into two parts: Ranking the Players/How To Avoid Getting a Chub-Rock in a Public Setting