Sometimes I wonder how successful the NFL would be without fantasy football. I don’t ever recall being that enthralled with the spectacle until 2004 when I first started playing the game. There was finally a reason to cheer for players that I would never care about otherwise. There’s something unique about it, in that fantasy baseball feels like a job and is NEVER satisfying, even when you’re winning. Fantasy basketball I have yet to try, but I imagine that it’s on the same level of fantasy golf. Slow, unrewarding, and probably a bit too nerdy for public perception.
Fantasy football, however, is a MAN’s sport. At this point, I think it would be fair to say that ~90% of people in the United States play fantasy football. That seems like a huge exaggeration in some regards, but if we included ‘Pick’Em Leagues’ and simple work leagues and bets, that figure might be an understatement. Everybody does it.
You know who’s really good at it? Pretty much nobody, including yours truly. You can certainly put the research in before the draft, but it’s almost still kind of a crap-shoot. Darren McFadden was a great pick until he sat on your bench the last 8 weeks of the season, right?
But that’s why we play the game, friends. Some notables about this upcoming season:
1) I was really looking forward to the revival tour of Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, and Randy Moss. I was almost going to publicly make a bet with Adam to wager on who would have the best season. Now that Chad Johnson’s out of the running, the stakes seem a little diminished. Never the less, there are still going to be two super-seasoned veterans (who I believe are both tied for second place in all time touchdowns) trying to revive their careers in the public spotlight. The traditional fellah would tell you to take Randy Moss. He’s playing on a Super Bowl contending team, Alex Smith is throwing to him, and Jim Harbaugh likes to air the ball out.
On the flipside, Matt Flynn will be throwing to Terrell Owens in Seattle. Flynn had an awesome season last year (basically, 1 game), but he definitely raised some eyebrows. Moss has competition in Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree, and Ted Ginn Jr., where as Owens has absolutely none. I think he’s going to get the ball a lot more. If I had to place my money today…. I think I’m taking Owens.
Also, side note, but Chad Johnson has absolutely destroyed his life and I kind of feel bad for the guy. The Dolphins cut him immediately, his TV show got cancelled, and now he’s probably going to get a divorce from one of the hottest women on the planet. He wasn’t even performing that well on the field. You can say he was arrogant and maybe boasted too much, so now look at him, etc, but every other star receiver who’s doing really well pretty much acts the exact same way. You almost have to build up the ego to survive that much pressure. You don’t, however, need to BloodSport Van Damme a bitch in her head.
2) Call me crazy, but I’m going to draft a QB first…. again. I don’t really understand the logic behind drafting a running back first. Even in systems where QB touchdowns are 4 points and they get 1 point for every 25 yards, you’re still not going to find a more consistent option. At the end of the year, the top 10 quarterbacks always surpass the top 10 running backs in total points accrued. Unless the league nerfs quarterbacks ridiculously, it seems like a no-brainer to me.
3) I tried to implement a two-quarterback system in my league this year and was met with violent protest. It was eerily similar to people rallying against health care reform. I would make a point, backed up with statistics and information to solidify that point, and then people would just angrily shoot it down with belittling comments. If I recall, the biggest argument against a two-quarterback system was “it was stupid.” Well played.
Hear me out, folks. There are two positions in the traditional fantasy league roster that contain overly dominant players in comparison to the field. Quarterbacks and tight-ends. If you had Vernon Davis the past 3 years, you would know that no one is coming close to you in that category. It was almost absurd. For quarterbacks, Drew Brees pretty much ran the table during 2011-12. Sure, other quarterbacks did stellar, but in total yardage and touchdowns, he was a landslide (he totaled nearly 1000 yards more than the next closest QB.)
The two-quarterback system would definitely balance out that dominance. Two above-average quarterbacks would beat out Drew Brees and Colt Mccoy any day (they do, I’ve done the math.) Plus, it would be more fun. You’re back up quarterback would actually become a part of the game rather than waiting to fill your one bye week where he amounts to nothing. More points = more fun.
Alas, it won’t happen this year, but like many great pioneers, it will take some time to make the masses understand.
4) Some of these guys are going to suck, under-perform, or simply get injured. Some of these guys are going to be awesome. I have segregated them for you:
Guys who will suck
Guys who will be awesome
Prove me wrong Fantasy Gods!!