Monday, July 17, 2006

My one and only fantasy football post for the year. I Promise...

Enough of shooting the fish that are the columnists in the barrel that is Detroit. It's too easy, wastes ammo, and scares the fish...

I plan on boring you about fantasy football instead. Hey, I warned you all on Saturday!

I'm not sure how I got roped into a fantasy football keeper cash league last year. I guess a little background is in order.

Back in the days before Al Gore invented the internets, ESPN was still informative, and I was still married, I was in 16 man fantasy football and hoop leagues, for big money. It was so long ago, you had to wait for those quaint things called newspapers to print box scores. God help us if we had to wait till Wednesday for the MNF box. Emotions would run even higher if the papers didn't see fit to run all the west coast box scores. It got to the point that we had one of the league members who worked at Metro Airport scoop up the out of town papers the travellers left, just to make sure we got our hands on the oh-so-precious left coast boxes.

Despite having to use daily newspapers, graph paper, copy machines, and the USPS, then moving on to Windows 3.1, AOL, and dot matrix printers, it was tons of fun. Draft nights were the drunken highlights of the year. It was with a bunch of guys I knew well, many since before high school. We had played sports together growing up, and continued the hijinks after we graduated by playing softball, and beginning the fantasy leagues to keep entertained in the off season.

Unfortunately, as in all good things, they come to an end. The hijinks went on for over a decade, but life began to get in the way of the big fun. Guys started to have real careers, moved away for better opportunities, got married, wives put their feet down, had kids, got divorced, got old, money had to be prioritized differently, you name it. Basically, we grew up, often not by choice. We still try to see each other, but it's no longer on a weekly basis, it's now more on an "Event" basis. Anyway, that was the end of my fairly successful fantasy sports career. Since those wild and woolly 90's, I've dabbled in on line leagues, but just for bragging rights.

Then last summer, I had a opportunity to jump back in the fantasy fray. My sisters boyfriend invited me to join an 8 man fantasy league. OK, sounded cool to me, $125 a man. Not huge money, but enough to make it interesting. I then find out that it's a keeper league, and I'll be taking over an abandoned franchise. Uh oh.

I did OK last season, but missed the playoffs. I did learn a couple of things about this league that makes it damn hard to improve. As I said, it's a keeper league, but there is no limit to the number of players you can carry over on your roster from season to season. In other words, there is not much roster turnover.

As for the roster itself, they allow huge ones. 3 QB's, 10 RB's, 10 WR's, 4 TE's, 3 kickers, 3 team defenses, even 6 KR's. These 2 rules make draft day more than a tad less interesting than they once were. Those drafts being beer swilling, insult flinging, all night long free-for-alls back in the 90's. This was just a bunch of aquantences (Other than my sister's BF) that I see once of twice a year, sitting in a garage on a 90 degree afternoon. They're good guys, and it was still a nice time, but let's just say that it's not even remotely the same.

So for this draft, with the restrictive rules, you end up taking waiver wire wonders and rookies. The roster moves and the draft for the "Fontes" went as follows.

I ended up cutting only 4 players, JJ Arrington, Isaac Bruce, Eric Johnson, and the Oakland defense. I even made a QB trade, as I had a couple of beers in me, and wanted to keep things interesting. As for my picks?

1. Lawrence Maroney, rb, NE - My backs are on the sucky side of 30, and he was the best RB left when picking 5th in the 1st round.
2. Chad Jackson, wr, NE - Highest ranked rookie skill guy left on the board, nothing more.
3. Brian Calhoun, rb, DET - Sleeper pick, took a flyer on the Mike Martz offense.
4. Charlie Frye, qb, CLE - Hell if I know why I picked Frye, I didn't need a QB, I didn't want a QB. The beer must have been kicking in, or I had heatsroke. Either way, I ended up cutting him lose.
5. Troy Brown, wr, NE - Desperation mode now, so why the Hell not?
6. Pass - Opened another Molson and fired up a stogie.

That's when I stopped drafting. I was getting into a "Why bother" mode. When it gets to the point that I'm drafting a 45 year old 3rd string wide out, it's time to stop and smell the stogie. I'll be better off closely watching the waiver wire the first couple weeks of the season, and looking for the next Willie Parker.

So, without further adieu, here is my roster...

QB - Tom Brady, Chris Simms, Trent Green. Green is whom I received for Matt Hasslebeck, aka the boredom trade I described earlier. I'll just ride Brady till his arm falls off. I almost parlayed Green into Kevin Jones. But the guy I was trading with, whose team did have QB issues, after agreeing to the trade, got buyers remorse, and reneged. Chickenshit thing to do, but I didn't want to raise a stink.

RB - Tiki Barber, Corey Dillion, Lawrence Maroney, Brian Westbrook, Curtis Martin, Cedrick Benson, Brian Calhoun, Brad Hoover. Barber carried me last year. Thing is, can he do it again? Other than him, my backs are either old, unproven, injury prone, suck, or a combination thereof. Nice mix, eh?

WR - Anquan Boldin, Drew Bennett, Michael Clayton, Keenan McCardell, Deion Branch, Jerry Porter, Chad Jackson, Troy Brown, Mark Clayton (BAL). My own biased opinion? Other than Boldin, they are overrated, old, injured, or suck. I can only hope that Ma. Clayton and Jackson develop, Bennett and Mi. Clayton manage to stay remotely healthy, and McCardell staves off watching Matlock reruns for one more season.

TE - Jeremy Shockey, Marcus Pollard, Jermaine Wiggins. It's Shockey or bust. Giving credit where credit is due, I managed to steal Shockey by trading Dallas Clark for him last year. Call me Matt Millen, I'm so smart...

K - The Idiot Kicker, Mike Nugent. In my mind, a kicker is a kicker, is a kicker, good team or bad. They are dime a dozen. Does it really make much, if any, difference who kicks? Idiot kicker or a Bucknut, 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

Team D - Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Tennesee. Same as Brady and Shockey, it's Pittsburgh or bust.

From looking the roster over, I might have a playoff team. If a couple of guys come through, and no one vital goes on the IR, I have a shot. Odds are though, I threw away $125.

I really miss the old days...


  1. You won't be able to resist posting about fantasy football at some point. What if you're doing well? And the Lions are on a bye week? Such temptation...

  2. Bloggers are like chicks, we reserve the right to change out minds...