The 40ft POST: Strategy

So I get a text from my dad who has accidently traded away Eli Manning.

He didn't realize that his cash cow Tony Romo was playing the Seahawks this week and freaked because there wasn't a single waiver wire QB to replace him with.

Here was my response:

Tue, Oct 7th, 7:40pm
I promise you. Eli Manning is going to do nothing but break your heart. He's like a cute little redheaded girl.

Dad had to roll with Romo.

Final score: Romo 36, Eli (drum roll please) 6.

I'm not saying that my spidey sense was perfect. I did mention that Austin Davis was gonna throw a lot. (He did throw a lot, just didn't get any one to catch what he was putting out there . . . Final points 13), but I will say this, I've been nothing but ridiculously negative when it comes to Peyton's baby brother with these posts. Kinda mean really.

But for good cause.

I have rolled with Eli (a two time Super Bowl Champion) several times over my three and one third years of playing fantasy football. And there has not been one single time he has come through for me. Not once. Not ever. I made fun of him for his ability to grasp his new offense (as if he had anything else in his life that was going on) and I didn't even back track when it started picking up.

See, I just get the heebie jeebies when it comes to certain players and Eli is the top of my list. First, I get a little butt-hurt when any player derails my fantasy team (Gates, Steven Jackson, Everyone I picked last year) and I honestly don't care how good they're looking now, I hate them and I don't want to watch them play.

But it's more with Eli.

Cause I've watched him play.

And when things are all perfect. Like a strong defense and a womb-like-offensive pocket, and super open receivers, and/or a game against Jacksonville, he's such a good football player. His pedigree and statistical performance is top notch.

But if shit ain't perfect. If the pocket folds. If there's not six yards between his favorite WR and the covering CB, he looks like he just doesn't understand why Jesus isn't providing.

And when he gets behind, he . . . well . . . he's no Andrew Luck . . . he just panics in the same way my wife panics when the phone rings after 11:00pm. It's like he has no idea what's going on and he certainly doesn't have a plan to fix it.

The man's got no strategy.

Which will play later into this blog.

The other thing I want to point out about the Giants/Eagles . . . is that I really need every analyst to shut the hell up about downgrading Shady McCoy.

Seriously . . . shut your whore mouth.

Brady's back. Shady's back (though on Bye) Gronk is back, and Foster is kinda flipping you off for drafting him so late. Buffalo sucks (Who knew?) The Raiders suck, but maybe, just maybe not as bad as you thought. There are members of the Carolina Panthers that didn't even know it was possible to tie in the NFL, which . . . I get . . . because they are now teaching Common Core Math in schools and it's really effing up the next generation, and of course . . . 

The Cowboys beat The Seahawks . . .

. . . in Seattle.

Moment of silence.

My good friend asked me if there were any teams I hate.

Tough question.

No . . . easy question.

Hate the Giants (see above paragraph)

Hate Seattle.

And that's kind of a fallacy of Fantasy Football. I totally love Beast Mode, I love Percy Harvin, I love controlled excellence of Russel Wilson. I love good defense (that's a hold over from my brother's high-school football days)

I also love Seattle.

Second best city in the world. (Manhattan is number one)

But I hate the twelfth man.

I hate loud and I hate what it does to opposing teams.

I hate sitting in a stadium filled with screaming fans. Shut the hell up and let me enjoy my gourmet polish sausage and thimble full of micro-brew. Seriously, stop ruining the game.

So to see the underdog Cowboys come in and clean up shop. Yeah, sorry Dad, that was cool.

(Dad's hates, start and end with the Cowboys. How he ended up with Romo and Dez is a mystery to me)

No emotion.

Or as my best buddy Steve (a diehard Cowboys fan) says "My favorite team, is my fantasy team."

He too hates the Giants, yet was still pissed that I grabbed Donnel under his nose the week J. Thomas was on a Bye.

So it was nice to see Dallas show up and not care that the place was full of screaming nutjobs even though I had no stock in any of that.

OMG! Did I or did I not tell you that last week's Thursday night game was gonna be the one to watch? Man . . . I totally nailed that call. I should do this for a living.

At first . . . of course . . . it looked like the Colts were just going to go on the murder path, ala every other Thursday night game that has happened this year, but JJ Watt and the offensive coordinator that said "Give Foster the Ball for fuck's sake" had other plans.

Down to the wire. Down to the damn wire and the only thing that handed Texas the loss was the worst 2:00 miniute drill in the history of 2:00 minute drills.

Okay, just like I told the Niners - that they need to start going run, run, throw - here's my advice for a Texan's two minute drill:

Don't let Fitzgerald throw.

That's all kinds of dumb.

Run to the outside.

Run to the outside.

Run to the inside.

Call time out. (you have two of them)

Run to the outside.

Run to the outside.

Run to the inside.

Call time out. (okay now they're done)

Run to the outside.

Run to the outside.

Hand the ball to JJ Watt or Arian Foster, don't care.



And that's all I have to say about that.

Okay, now for this week . . .

Sunday Night, 49ers versus the Denver Broncos (Yes, Steve, you are invited for beer and nachos)

A defense the looks impenetrable (okay . . . after the first quarter) versus the greatest offense that has ever been seen. Kaepernick versus Peyton. Gore versus Hillman. Boldin versus an entire defense on 3rd and long. Julius Thomas versus the Ghost of Patrick Willis. Thats gonna be a game that's gonna be four quarters filled with surprises.

Don't miss it.

This week makes me sad. Moreno, done for the season. Cruz, the most painful done for the season. Although Dad can breath freely without that question mark. Stevan Ridley, gone. A lot of offensive and defensive line out (Though I will mention that I was eye balling Trevethan and feel vindicted for my patience). Megatron is gonna be out for a while, Sproles may or not make the week after the Bye. AJ Green might turf toe it for a bit. But again . . . Palmer is back . . . so that's nice.

Let's also put a shout out to QB ankle twister, Vontaize Burfect. You may feel that unnecesary roughness is part of the game, and I'm real sorry Cam was beating you so bad you felt like you had to something to show the fans you weren't afraid of him, what with him being all Cam-like, but I hope the tape gets reviewed and you get banned.

And . . . in my favorite note I will ever write . . . it turns out that Joseph Randle has more in common with Winona Ryder than we actually thought.

If you don't get that reference then God have mercy on your soul.

The Raiders buried the ball and put up a fight.

Put up a fight, god damn it!


And in surprising turn of events, the Niners, well, I know they were playing the Rams on Monday Night Football and had that whole extra day of preperation, but I did not see that coming. They got tossed around a bit in the first quarter. They got several official calls that were in their favor. Kaepernick made some of the most ridiculous throws in all of that which relies on physics, but I gotta say, I was expecting them to continue rolling with the run, run, throw strategy and they totally didn't and it totally worked.

I love 'em, but I don't have them pegged. Which I guess is how you're supposed to do real football. Keep 'em guessing.

It's only kinda irritaing in the fake game.

ForFuns Team (3-3) 4th place
ForReals Team (4-2) 2nd place

Now I promised a full length breakdown of draft strategies this week. And I will not dissapoint. Unless you're my mother, in which case I will always dissapoint.

But I want to take a victory lap this week, because not only did I win both games and beat both projections, but in both leagues I scored the "Highest Margin Win Trophy"

In 52 fantasy football head-to-head games, I have only done that once (thanks to Aaron Rodgers) and this week I did it twice (Thanks to Arian Foster, Jordy Nelson, McCoy, Forte, Bernard, Cutler, Kaepernick, and not rolling with Trevathan)

The Detroit Defense was quite a boost too.

(Note that when I mention streaming defenses again)

So let's dive into a little bit of history:

See . . . in my life time . . . I've only watched maybe thirty entire football games.

The yearly Super Bowls (Which have alway been more like Thanksgiving to me; Food, beer and catching up with the family) The few high school football games my brother played in (only a few because I was an actor at the time and a Friday night off didn't happen very much) and that one time I went to a Raiders game.

Up until the summer of 2011 I didn't know nuthin about anything NFL.

And then one day . . . I remember because it was my birthday (July 24th in case you forgot and have some old scotch laying around) and my brother, my father and I were eating hambugers at The Squeeze (I remember cause it took forever to get our food) My brother mentioned that he needed bodies for his Fantasy Football league and I volunteered based on his insistence that it wasn't that hard and would be fun.

And boy was it.

I now count alcohol, cigarettes, and fantasy football the greatest addictions known to man.

But I've sucked at it and this year I wanted to at least suck for good reason.

I wanted to know everything about everything and now my brain is so bursting with NFL knowledge that I have to write about it on a weekly basis.

So there's the history. Feel better? Good.

So now we come to strategy.

Oh . . . strategy.

Now, I have mentioned before that your fantasy year has a lot to do with your draft. My buddy Steve says that your year is based on your first three picks. That's a lot of pressure. Lot of guys out there can make or break a season.

I also wrote that there are a lot of strategies going into your draft that will determine how the rest of your season goes.

I wrote that the first year I played (2011) it was all about going RB, RB, RB.

I came in dead last.

The next year (2012), if you were paying attention to the analysts, it was all (QB, RB, RB)

I came in third to dead last.

The next year (2013), if your were paying attention to the analysts, it was all HYPE machine.

I came in super/ultra/can'tbelieveit/whydon'tyoushootyourselfintheface? dead last.

(Spiller, Miller, David Wilson, Tavon Austin, for the first four picks, if you want to know)

This year, well this year was all about, and I can't believe I am saying this, but this year, the analyst strategy going into the draft was: Don't go RB . . . RBs go down . . . why not go WR, WR, ?

But to tell you the truth, I got a bit tired of the analyst strategy this year.

I thought, as most of you can probably figure out, why not just go with the best guy available in the round?

You just have to have an idea of who that is.

We call that homework.

Know what you're doing. Know who you want. Know who you don't want. Cross fingers.

Now draft postion has a whole lot to do with your decisions, like you're not gonna grab Peyton while Shady, Charles, Peterson, and Forte are still on the board, but do you go Peyton or Megatron? That's where preference starts to roll in.

I . . . and I can talk about this now . . . since I won't be drafting again till next year . . . I wanted to start with HOMEWORK, next a calculus strategy (If QB then RB or WR, if RB then QB or WR, if RB, RB, WR, then TE or QB or FLEX), and then chase down my dreamboats (based on home work I had a major erection for Forte, Foster, Gronk, Antonio Brown, Crabtree, Sproles, Harvin, Golden Tate, Pitta, Kaepernick, Cutler, Devonte Freeman, Michael Floyd, Matt Ryan, Roddy White, and god help me, Lamar Miller)

Most of those guys I got. Some I didn't. Whatever.

The guys that gave me some serious whiskey dick: Eli (of course), Calvin Johnson (just felt he was gonna get eaten up), in the first rounds Monte Ball gave me the shivers (he lost out to Knowshon "NO SHOW" Moreno last year, how good could he really be?") in the second rounds Marshall is gonna fight with Jefferies is gonna fight with Forte for catches (but at least Forte's gonna get carries) AJ is based on an up and down Dalton, Morris can't catch (PPR leagues), Martin didn't look so good pre-injury, and Corderell Patterson? Really? I mean . . . you guys know that it takes more than three end of season stats to make a player, and I don't care how good a receiver he might become, you kinda need a serious QB to get him the ball. Right? Like . . . am I stupid?

And, it's only because I've been burned by the rookie hype (See Ingram 2011, Tavon 2013) I raised my nose at Sankey, Cook, and Quick.

Might have missed the ball on the middle one there.

The point is, is that I did my homework, ignored the hype, went with the guys I liked, and tossed in a few dreamboats just in case.

However; Now is the time to reap that which we've sown. To take a look at all the choices that have been made by the top 5 competitors of both of my leagues and see what strategy has worked.

ForFuns League:
1. Sheldons: RB, RB, QB, WR (Shady, Stacy, A-Rod, Roddy)
2. Swag: RB, WR, WR, RB (Ball, Dez, V-Jax, Martin)
3. Killer: QB, RB, RB, WR, (Peyton, Morris, R. Bush, Cruz)
4. WaitDad: RB, RB, LB*, RB (Forte, Gio, Lavonte*, Jennings)
5. Ruble: RB, QB, WR, WR (Peterson, Brees, Cobb, Fitzgerald)

Now, not for crazy bragging rights, but I will point out * that my third pick went to LB Lavonte David only because I was filling my queue with defensive players and my wifi went out just before my third pick and ended up autodrafting him instead of Antonio Brown who was my real pick. That one hiccup is why I'm not #1 in this league. (Though I've still outscored the top guys by 100 points, so I'm feeling  like my chances are good.)

But, note this, only two of the top five went RB, RB (Myself included.) And none of them went WR, WR.

Two guys in this league that went WR, WR. 

They are #9 and #12 respectively.

But, it's important to note, that none of these lineups are destined winners. In fact . . . aside from Peyton Manning, not a single pick out of all of these have been barnstormers week-to-week.


 But what about your ForReals league?

Surely thats were the real competitors are . . . right?

Of Course!

Let's break down the drafts of the Top 5:

1. Beers: QB, RB, TE, RB (Peyton, Murray, J.Thomas, Sankey)
2. WaitDad: RB, WR, RB, WR (Shady, Nelson, Foster, Crabtree)
3. Suck it: RB, QB, WR, WR (Forte, Brees, Antonio, Corderell)
4. Woof: RB, RB, QB, WR (Charles, Stacy, Ryan, Welker)
5. Crash: RB, RB, WR, RB (Peterson, Gerhart, Roddy, Gore)

Same essential breakdown, except in this version the 2-5 guys had the 1-4 picks, and the team on top picked 10th. But now we see the HOMEWORK at play. Only two teams went RB, RB, and no one went RB, RB, RB.

In fact not a single team tried that.

But here's the funny:

The two teams that went WR, WR?

I shit you not: 9th and 12th.

That's creepy.

In a bad way.

Now the number one team (Beers) played the pure "get the best guy in the round" game and the results show (if you ignore Sankey in the fourth round) but the rest of their picks were pretty solid and they played the waiver wire were it wasn't.

I got lucky, and it shows (Shady had some bad games, Foster was out, Nelson had a bad game "okay, one catch for 66yrds and a TD isn't exactly a bad game, but still . . . and Crabtree hasn't been a real factor) However, I got some help from my later round picks and I've played the waiver wire.

Suck It has a good team, although Corderelle, cause what I said earlier.

Woof rolled with good later round picks.

And the anamoly goes right to my brother "Crash" who got creamed with a devistating line of bad luck, but he rallied hard with a monster defense (Defense Wins Chamionships) and probably the quickest waiver wire grabs possible.

But thats the thing. Not only is this a PPR league but ther are 4 defensive postions to fill. If you know your football, and you know your league, not only are you gonna make better draft decisions, but your gonna make better decisions along the way.

Crash went from last place to 3rd to 5th in three weeks. Because he had an amazing LB group and he was unapologetically unafraid to drop those guys who weren't performing and go with the next big things.

See, after we draft, we have a tendency to form some emotional bonds with "Our Guys"

But that's just as much a fallacy as going with any particular strategy, or hype.

The way to win, as far as I can tell you, is to do your homework first. Adopt no strategy but the best guy in the round. Play the waiver wire with every breaking bit of news that you can get your hands on. And most importantly, don't form an emtional attactchment to your players . . . 

. . . those guys you targeted all summer and are so glad to have loaded up.

Case in point: If Crash had traded me Kuechley for Kaepernick, well . . . he'd be in second now.

I'd be third.

But Crash went with Eli this week.

And Kaep sat on my bench.

naw . . . I'm just being a dick now . . . don't forget, defenses win championships (especially in this league)

But the break down is true and goes like this:

Know your guys. Know your League. Draft the best in the round (regardless of team affiliates) Avoid the guys that give your the heebie jeebies. Ignore the Hype at all costs unless you have real time information (Not CBS Sports or Hard Knocks on HBO), play the waiver wire hard, get lucky.

Which takes us to predictions:


Oakland Buries the ball and Rivers throws 300yrds (Check and Mate)

Michael Vick rushes for 82 yrds (Nope. Rex Ryan needs to make it to the end of October before he can roll over his 401K)

Cutler and Ryan combine for 650 yrds (Hell yeah . . . 652 yards exactly)

Sproles goes off (Off the field, get well soon)

Austin Davis makes Kenny Britt relevant (Nope. And did you see how old he looked?)


Dallas hands the Giants their second straight Doughnut.

Vick runs for 82 yrds (It's gonna happen, I just don't know when)

Big Ben gets sacked 7 times (8 if Clowney plays)

Carson Palmer throws for 350 and the entire city of Oakland apologizes for blaming him.

Seattle puts out their second string team in the middle of the 3rd Quarter against St. Luis.

That's it for this week.

Special Note: If you see Vontaize Burfect working at a FootLocker at the SuperMall in Peoria, don't let him touch your feet.

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