Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome to Final Fantasy: Football!

Before I go any further, I would like to address a rather interesting and clever suggestion by ESPN.com's Nate Ravitz. Nate, on the Fantasy Focus: Football podcast, pointed out that in order to carve out a reputation as a brilliant predictor of fantasy ability, aspiring fantasy football writers should make an outlandish, unlikely prediction, in the off chance that it may pan out. He suggests, for example, to predict that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert will have a shockingly good fantasy season, despite most evidence pointing to the contrary.

I believe that in the 2012 NFL season, Blaine Gabbert will have a shockingly good fantasy year.

Sweet! Either this will not happen(most likely scenario by far, by the way), and it makes no difference because precisely zero people will care, or it WILL happen(incredibly unlikely, but still possible), in which case I can add it to my list of accomplishments as a fantasy football analyst. Genius, Mr. Ravitz. Go Jaguars!

Now, on to the blog. Let me first say that I am not a fantasy "expert" by any rational definition. I don't win 50% of my leagues. I don't participate in a 16 team, dynasty, AFC only, two quarterback, TE flex-eligible, individual defensive player, expert only league. I haven't devised a cunning metric that accurately predicts the best fantasy kicker 78% of the time. In fact, I like to draft Robbie Gould as my kicker because, several years ago, one person in my league decided he had a Jewish grandmother, and it's fun to say "Robbie, get your sweatuh, you'll catch a cold!" in a delightful North Jersey accent as your kicker knocks in a 40 yarder.

I do, however, pour an immense amount of energy, effort, and love into the world of fantasy football. I participate in a single, simple league of close friends and colleagues. We are at times brilliant, at times mind numbingly dumb. We trash talk, we console. We set waiver priorities and stay up until 4 am to see who we get, but sometimes we forget that we have to do that before Tuesday. In short, we are the prototypical Fantasy Football League that millions of Americans can relate to. I fully believe that this league is as exciting as nearly any major sports league, up to and including Major League Baseball. OK, only if you're a Mets fan. Which I am, so my point stands.

Many websites devote their energy into the business of winning fantasy football leagues. This will not be one of them (unless, of course, I actually do win my league. In which case, feel free to emulate my greatness). What this will be, however, is a full accounting of my experience in our league, complete with my personal draft strategy, my roster decision making, everything funny that happens at our draft, any trades I want to make, any trades I DO make, and anything else that is tangentially related to the core topic: what is it that makes fantasy football so much fun?

My league is called Draft and Draught.

My 2012 team is called the Rich Liberal Trendy Cause. It has a lovely logo depicting an anti-fracking symbol over the outline of the state of New Jersey.

For the record, I am against fracking. I identify as a liberal. I am not, by any account, rich. And I find the way rich liberals prioritize their important causes to be amusing. I will not be talking about politics again, but as it is my team's name, I felt I should address it. If you are a rich liberal and are offended, I apologize.

I pick 6th out of 10 teams. I'm crossing my fingers that (Player's Name Withheld) or, oh please sports gods, (Player's Name Withheld) falls to me. After that, it all depends on the most magical day of the year, Draft Day. Wish me luck!


  1. OK, wise one...pick Vick or not?

    Looks like he's sitting out the rest of the pre-season (ribs now), and the young'un behind him looks like he can play.

    1. Oh, Michael Vick...

      Rarely does a player capture the concept of risk/reward quite so dramatically. He has no ceiling. He has no floor. He could be the MVP. He might not last a half.

      As for the young'un, Mike Kafka? I doubt Vick is shaking in his boots over that particular quarterback competition.

      My answer is going to sound flaky, but it really, really depends on when he's available. In first 3 rounds? No way. But it will get harder and harder to pass on him and his upside as the draft goes onward.