A year ago I hosted a fantasy football league in which the grand prize was the opportunity to write an article on whatever the hell you wanted and have it posted on these pages. Lucky for all of you, my friend Pete won the league. He has a tendency to rant and rave a little bit, while occasionally making no sense at all. I’d also wager that it took him all year to write this article, as it’s the longest piece of prose in the history of the world. If you get through the entire thing and learn something, I commend you on your work ethic.
I’ve edited certain parts of his work, but also left some especially entertaining parts unedited for your reading pleasure. Included in-text are italicized parentheticals with my notes and translations of what the hell this guy is talking about. Best of luck with this.
An Untitled Masterpiece On Fantasy Football And Some Other BS
(Editor’s note: The editor came up with the title.)
By Peter Lawrence
So your first question is probably, “Who the heck is this guy?” Some random dude got to write an article and have it put up on Seattle Sportsnet and you didn’t. Well this dude right here won the 2009 Seattle Sportsnet fantasy football league, while also claiming the illustrious and vaunted 2009 Pearce Fantasy League trophy.
Some of you might know me from the Asian-bisexual looking photo Alex posted awhile ago (editor’s note: reposted at left), his attempt to get in a burn after my team, the Tehran RoosterIllusion, won the PFL while his Compton Honkies won two games. I’ve also started this thing called Twitter where you can follow the1andOnlyPete@twitter (editor’s translation: @the1andonlypete)…is that how that thing works? I’ll keep you updated with fantasy news and my goings-on.
For those who don’t know, the PFL is possibly one of the best fantasy leagues in existence. It’s highly completive (editor’s translation: competitive) with a wide range of owners, some of us who are borderline obsessive (I still think a trade for the naming rights to my first born child are legit; my wife not so much), and some like that one dude who is surprised each year to find out he is still in a fantasy football league.
I’m here to send you folks free-of-charge some of my fantasy advice covering a wide range of topics from keeper to auction to free leagues.
For starters, you should know what type of league you are taking part in. A lot of people get worried about overspending in auction leagues. Who cares? Become the Yankees and just outbid people and get a stellar lineup. I’d rather have Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson than LeSean McCoy and Felix Jones. Nobody is going to congratulate you on your “thriftiness.” PPR leagues mean that the white dude from the Dolphins has some value. Find guys that get a ton of touches each game.
(Editor’s note: If you’re wondering how the above paragraph relates to the rest of the intro, that makes two of us.)
Fantasy League Rules
1. Football season never ends, so why are you putting away your draft cheat sheets when you finish the draft? I have a binder that routinely gets pulled out each week during football season and a few times a month in the offseason to start recording info for myself come draft day. Ask those members in the PFL (it’s a keeper league) if there is ever a month that goes by when I’m not trying to sling some trade or other deal.
2. Know thy enemy. Unless it’s a free and random league, you usually know who you’re playing against. Who likes which player and their drafting styles. That’s right, I said drafting styles (editor’s note: he said drafting styles). Take notes, figure out what rounds your opponents like to draft certain players; there is a pattern in their trust me (editor’s note: he meant “there”).
If you are playing against some Coug fan and those late middle-round picks are coming up and you just have to have Jerome Harrison because he smoked some crummy DEFs at the end of the year (KC, OAK and JAC) well you might have to get that pick in before he does. Always know which idiot will trade you the good picks and which one won’t ever get back to your offers.
3. Draft smart and draft the players you want and have fun. Look, this is both a bad and good thing. If you have to have Calvin Johnson, then overpay for the man. At least you can then enjoy the Thanksgiving game or Detroit highlight reels when you see him.
Fantasy football is all about winning and having fun. If I wasn’t having fun, I wouldn’t have written this article down for Alex.
I post on our league message board multiple times a day. I even post in the offseason, even if it’s just me talking to Alex. I’ve traded for waiver wire position, the rights to choose when a team would draft, and included a clause in a trade that didn’t allow a team to draft a certain player. Why? Because I can, and because it’s a new wrinkle I can add to the game to frustrate the league manager as he tries to put everything together.
Just because ESPN, SI, Fox Sports or whoever say you should draft or play a player go with your gut. Right or wrong, it’s your team and you have nobody to blame but yourself. Don’t overthink this stuff. In the end, it’s just football. Stick to who you think gives you the best chance to win.
4. RB-RB, WR-RB. Just go with the best players available. This falls in with the “don’t overthink it” philosophy. Three years ago I tried to get fancy and went RB-RB-RB. Two of those backs (Shaun Alexander and Rudi Johnson) were old and tired RBs who got worn down and did nothing for me but act as trade bait off name value. Maurice Jones-Drew was solid and netted me some trade value at the mid-season trade deadline.
If you followed the WR fancy of last year and took Larry Fitzgerald you were probably a little ticked as Andre Johnson went big. If I had been smart a few years back, I would have stayed away from the old and worn down backs and made the better picks.
5. Trade, trade, trade. This is the closest most of us will get to being able to swing a trade involving Drew Brees and Randy Moss. Members of the PFL always say I offer the wackiest trades. Well in the end, I always get the player or pick I’m after. Come in low and then work your way up. Have a baseline set. Set up a list of a few core players (picks included for keepers) that no matter what you can’t give up. Then start working the wire.
You better have every phone number, email, Facebook, Twitter, and any other method necessary to contact people in your league about trades. I’ve considered adding Alex to a family plan just so we have a line devoted for trades (this involves baseball, as well, plus general bitching about Seattle sports topics). Get after these people; hell, if you have to, wear them down ’til they just accept your trade out of annoyance. That’s what Glenn Beck does. If I yell “Nazi!” at you enough times, people are going to think you’re a Nazi, doesn’t matter who you are. (Editor’s note: That Glenn Beck reference came out of nowhere.) You can work the wire all you want but it’s not going to get you the big name guys that are going to win you a championship.
One of our good friends was just recently married. Congrats to Jon and Stacey. You bet I tried a few angles at the wedding in hopes of scoring some draft picks.
6. GO WITH THE FLOW. Remember how I just said that you should have a few players you won’t trade? Forget about it (other than Chris Johnson, Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Andre Johnson a few others). Nobody is really untradeable. If you want something go and get it. That said, if it’s week five and you are still desperately clinging to the Marshawn Lynch life raft believing he’s going to go into beast mode let it go he’s done and ruining the chances of you winning (BTW, know who is suspended for the first few games before you draft a player). (Editor’s note: That last sentence really just happened.)
If you had Matt Forte last year, you know about the anger of a first round pick underperforming big. That said, you should have packaged him in a trade and let somebody else deal with him. Don’t let draft position force you to hold on to a sinking ship.
(Editor’s note: Moral of the story, sinking ships are bad.)
7. Trade some more. Again, in week 11 the waiver wire won’t help you win the big one.
8. Have fun and be active in your league. I could care less about what others think. Heck, I started this off by reminding you all of that picture that made me look Bi-Asian that Alex had up on the site. Kick the hornet’s nest every now and then. I don’t remember half of what I post, whether it’s some political rant or something about the God-I formation. But if it gets a few more league members posting, then I’ll do it.
Oh, and Glenn Beck is an idiot. If you believe anything he says or follow his advice you shouldn’t be allowed to breed. (Editor’s note: Without having read this whole diatribe yet, I’d expect more of this Glenn Back stuff. By the way, is anyone still reading? Anyone?)
Always have fun, talk trash. Before the championship game, I declared myself the champ. I’ve sent league-wide emails as my alter-ego Mahmoud Ahmadinejad multiple times declaring my dominance of the league and death to whitey. I’m sure the FBI is sick of reading my fantasy football emails at this point.
(Editor’s note: By now, if you’re still with us, you’re probably wondering if this man is right in the head. I don’t really have an answer for you, unfortunately.)
Guys I Like In 2010
(Editor’s note: I don’t think Pete realizes he actually entitled this section “Guys I Like In 2010.”)
I won’t put the big names up here but I’ll throw out some guys that I’m going to be watching closely in the preseason, as well as some names that might have been pushed aside amidst all the hype. (Editor’s note: I don’t know what hype he’s speaking of.) Oh, and watch the preseason games, though it might make you drink the Glen Coffee. (Editor’s note: I’ve got nothing on that last sentence. Just shaking my head.) Also, keep an eye on Sidney Rice and Vincent Jackson. If they fall far enough and are worth the pick go for it. (Editor’s note: Connect Four. Anyone remember that commercial? “Go for it! Connect Four!”)
Cleveland RBs not named Jerome Harrison. Look, the Ghost (editor’s translation: he’s referring to Harrison) has some skills and destroyed the Kansas City Chiefs — THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS! Okay, so remember that guy James Davis? Yeah, he was a stud at times last preseason and was ranked as a possible sleeper. Well he’s still there. But keep a real eye on Montario Hardesty, the dude is big. That said, he has some injury problems, same as Davis and Hillis. You remember Peyton Hillis, right? The Great White Hope of 2008? The dude tore it up for a few weeks before getting hurt and disappearing in the Josh McDaniels regime.
Some other names to consider:
RB Fred Jackson BUF – Yeah, C.J. Spiller was the big first round pick guy, but it was Fred Jackson that was doing some real damage early in the year back in 2009. He’s still around and the Bills options at WR and QB haven’t really improved.
RB Anthony Dixon SF – Maybe it’s all that Glen Coffee I was drinking last year (editor’s note: more head shaking), but Gore does get hurt and Dixon weighs 245 pounds. What’s not to like about that? Oh, and Coffee is gone now.
RB Redskins – If it was 2005, you would dominate Fantasy Island with this squad. Seeing as how most of us are fantasy gurus we all know about Shanahan and what he does to our fantasy hopes and dreams. Wait and pick up the waiver wire guys after your buddy goes after Clinton Portis dreaming of what Portis and Shanahan did in Denver back in the day. Throw out a late pick hail-mary for Larry Johnson.
RB Michael Bush OAK – But only if you want Darren McFadden to finally do something with his pro career. Be the guy that picks Bush after the other dude picks McFadden. At least then you can feel better if the Oakland Raiders suck.
RB Cadillac Williams TB – Looking for a late-round guy who should get a majority of carries? He’s constantly injured, but it’s worth a shot in those later rounds.
WR Troy Williamson JAC – He looked solid in August and was doing some work against Arizona before he got knocked out for the year. Again, another player to keep on your radar and see what he does early in the season.
WR Kenny Britt TEN – If you have to own a player on the Titans not named Chris Johnson or Vince Young, it should be this guy.
WR Chaz Schilens OAK – Look up what he did in the second half of last season and then remember the QB situation in Oakland. Now add a better QB and think big. Just don’t be the guy with Darrius Heyward-Bey on your roster.
WR Julian Edelman NE – He’s the white guy not named Wes Welker. Keep an eye on what happens with the knee injury to Welker. Welker looks healthy for now, but a knee injury is one heck of a nasty thing.
WR Nate Burleson DET – Coverage will be rolled to Megatron’s side and should open up Burleson to post some nice numbers this season.
WR Eddie Royal DEN – Somebody has to catch the balls in this offense.
TE Owen Daniels HOU – He was dominating in the first half of the season, then, like Welker, suffered a nasty knee injury.
QB Vince Young TEN – His numbers weren’t too terrible over the second half of last season. He isn’t a No. 1 type guy, but he should help you win a game or two.
QB Carson Palmer CIN – Add T.O. and you should bring back some of those big passing numbers he was posting just a few seasons ago.
Like I said, do your homework. Go to as many websites as you can to look for sleepers (and then realize everyone else has this same info, so they aren’t really sleepers anymore), as well as last minute injury news that you might not have heard about.
There are a ton of sites out there with good info, and below are the quick and painless ones to hit up.
FFToday.com – Lets you tailor the site to your league settings, giving you an idea on projections and rankings based on your team.
ESPN.com, SI.com, FoxSports.com and all the other major ones have some great and simple information.
(Editor’s note: I know what you’re thinking and the answer is no, there were no other websites on this list.)
Go out there and have fun and be active. The drafts are great, but if nobody is active in the league it gets boring really quickly.
Make trades if you want that championship.
Try an auction league. It’s fantastic and brings an entirely new element into the game.
It’s nobody’s fault but your own if your team sucks. Don’t blame Matthew Berry, myself, or anyone else. You picked the players, and in the end isn’t it really the coaches’ and players’ faults for not performing?
Oh, and after hacking through my grammar I made one promise to Alex: I don’t edit any of my posts on our fantasy league message so I’m not touching this one either.
Last but not least, I’m going to dominate the Mario Bailey/Seattle Sportsnet fantasy league.
(Editor’s note: I stayed up until 12:30 AM editing this. It took about an hour, in spite of the fact that I kind of spaced out in the middle there. Pete, I love you like a brother, but I’m reminded of that episode of Saved By The Bell where Slater tries his hand at radio sports reporting and fails miserably.)