Flying? Or Falling? My Early Season Struggles.

Two weeks of the football season have come and gone, and frankly I am surprised because everything I knew or at least thought I knew is being flipped upside down and my fantasy football team is taking the hit. My team has scored an abysmal 163.95 points in two games; recording the second lowest total last week (luckily it was against the only guy with less, thank you football gods). So much for being the defending champ. I have never had such a bad start to a season. As I cannot appropriately express my frustration with vocabulary that is adequate for a blog, I resort to this GIF:

In week one I lost one of my favorite players in the whole league, Eric Berry, to a torn Aquilles tendon. Berry is a cancer survivor, and one of the most explosive safeties in the league; I bid him well in his recovery because he is one of the true heroes of this sport. I also had two players with negative point totals resulting in a disappointing 85 point performance. Russell Wilson and the Seahawk’s offense looked unimpressive and have only scored one touchdown through 2 games this year. The other player was T.Y Hilton, last year’s leader in receiving yards has been contained to under 60 yards in two games. Adding a fumble only makes it worse if you consider the drastic -4.5 penalty. Well, at least there were not any interceptions which would total -4 points, or a sack, which gives -2.5. Oh wait, Russell Wilson has been sacked 3 times!!! There is a lesson here, when your league commissioner goes crazy, you have to adapt. It’s that simple.

On another note, remember that time I said I wasn’t sure about drafting Mike Evans? Well guess what; after his first game of the season I am satisfied with my selection. He was my highest point scorer with a whopping (sarcastically) 12 points. I don’t mean to diminish his good points total with my sarcasm he actually put up some good stats, I am simply frustrated that my team has been underperforming and I have no good solutions. I am generally not much of a trader of players, but I think I can get some good value for either T.Y Hilton or Adam Thielen (or both). But the question here is what to get in return. I have a solid pair of running backs and quarter backs who have simply had a string of bad games. It will turn around, I think. Maybe I can cash in and get a decent tight end? To be honest I might not get anything at all because they are not high end players so far. Well, this puts me in a bit of a pickle. But for now I think the best thing to do is let it play out a little longer and see how it goes.

One thing I have noticed though, is that the scores for all the teams in my league have been lower than usual. And as I look back at the games, the scores and the highlights I realize that there have been a lot of low scoring games this year! Maybe I can blame my struggles on that.  Turns out it would be a legitimate reason, as indicated in this article posted on the Wall Street Journal. Which discusses that due to the aging quarter backs in the league offenses have become less explosive, and that possibly, defenses have simply figured out how to stop these pass happy offenses. But in all seriousness I am trying to use this struggle and mismanagement as a long term learning experience. I am going to try to be patient, observant and for 4 weeks to see if I can see and improvement; if not, some serious changes will be made. Because lets face it, everyone hates losing.

 

Fantasy Football Fantasy

It is once again that magical time of the year; the time when despite the looming end of summer and a new school year, which, as always promises to be harder than last year there is one thing to look forward to every weekend. Football. But not only am I enthused… no, more like hyped, about watching NFL and college football, I am also ready to show my friends, ex-teammates, and former coaches once again that I am better than them. It is fantasy football season.

Yes boys and girls the wait is over, as of last Sunday (draft day) I have now entered the domain of couch quarterbacks and overly involved fans. I was dealt the underwhelming 12th pick in a 14 team league, leaving me two almost consecutive picks (as it will alternate between 12th and 3rd) with long waits in-between. While it is a disadvantage to pick later than everyone else, having picks close together like that can prove to be useful.

The Plan of Attack

My strategy, as always, was to use my first two picks on running backs, followed by one wide receiver, and then look to fill in the gaps with the next best talent available. That was the plan and it has been the plan for the last 3 seasons which have rendered one third place finish; but most importantly it won me last year’s coveted first place spot, a $2,500 peso prize (about 120 USD). But most importantly, it won me bragging rights. So as you can see this plan is good. The theory behind it is that running backs contribute to the game on the ground and in the air; and a selective few play special teams also. This leads to big yardage totals and many touchdowns also but what I like most is that they do not depend on quarterback play (that much).  Quarterback play is important also; but there are many good QBs out there, the one thing I am extremely careful about is finding a quarterback that does not turn the ball over.

What Actually Happened.

Inevitably it seems that in this world of fantasy; nothing goes as planned. With my first pick I was fortunate enough to watch the elusive LeSean McCoy drop all the way down to pick number 12. After that I was forced to make a choice: stick to my plan and get another running back, or secure an elite receiver such as Mike Evans. In my 4 year playing this I have never secured an elite wide receiver. It was too tempting. . . I took him. I broke my only rule, mainly because the talent pool at running back was still pretty full so I decided to risk it all and wait another 23 picks. Knowing me if this doesn’t pay off I will be dreading it for the rest of the season. Fortunately I got my favorite sleeper running back, rookie Dalvin Cook, a speedy running back with sneaky power. Below are the rest of the pics.

I am most excited about watching how Adam Thielen and Austin Hooper turn out. Last year they put up slightly higher than average numbers towards the end of the season so I hope that this year they will break out and finally have significant consistent contributions to the team. My worst two picks are Eric Ebron and Matt Forte. Ebron has been posed for break out seasons for the past two years… and he remains a low yield pick with ocasional brilliance.

The Final Word

I would like to add this small section at the end of each entry in which I take time to discuss the ridiculous occurrences of my league. This week due to hurricane Irma the Tampa Bay vs Miami game was cancelled. This of course messes up the fantasy outlook for anyone who drafted any star players from any of these teams (I’m looking at you Mike Evans). This messes up planning for bye weeks and even draft order which we could not have predicted. The commissioner of my league even proposed to cancel this week’s match up and a redraft (like we have nothing to do). In all seriousness we I hope a solution to this problem is found not only for fantasy purposes but also social purposes. In a time when many are going to be suffering from the fall out of this disaster, football is a distraction which will allow the public to keep their minds entertained.