But at last, here I am. And I bet many of you are wondering: How do these self-proclaimed fantasy experts do? Well, in my case the answer is pretty well. The thing with fantasy football as people know, is that there is so much variability that even newcomers can win leagues their first year. And in comparison to fantasy baseball, it is much harder to predict seasonal outcomes. For instance, a player in baseball will most likely hit around their mean numbers no matter what team they are on or how good that team is. But in football, a good quarterback who loses his left tackle or top wide receiver has much less certainty to match their average output. So with fantasy football predictions, one's educated guesses could in fact be just as valuable as my sister's predictions based on the best looking players.
So anyways, this year I participated in 8 leagues. First time in a while that I was not in double digit leagues! I had only one team tank with a 4-9 record, but the other seven made the playoffs. So seven out of eight is not too bad I must say. In fact, I'd say that's pretty darn beastly. And in those seven playoffs appearances, I made four championships. Of those four championships, I was crowned CHAMPION with a championship belt in ALL four leagues. So gimme dat!
The main reason for most of my success came this year through drafting Doug Martin in four leagues (I wanted him in every league) and Reggie Wayne in three. RGIII also saved three of my leagues and put me over the top. My best team? Well, Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood featuring a lineup that put me in the 98th percentile in official ESPN leagues. My lineup had Aaron Rodgers, Martin, Adrian Peterson, Demaryius Thomas, Randall Cobb, and Jimmy Graham. How's that for a championship team?
So as a recap of players I told you to target or to avoid in the draft, here are my biggest hits and misses.
HITS on players to draft
Benjarvus Green-Ellis (ADP 56.4, finished 19th among RB's): He started the year slow but closed out with a strong second half, helping those who stuck with him this year. He's exactly what I thought he would be, a serviceable top 20 back.
Reggie Wayne (ADP 93.8, finished 15th among WR's): Many thought his career was done. I didn't. Andrew Luck helped revive Wayne and help him become a solid wide receiver all year. And if you had him in PPR leagues, you more than likely did very well with getting Wayne in the ninth round.
Eric Decker (ADP 77.7, finished 8th among WR's): Remember when my column on Peyton Manning's impact right when he went to Denver? Yeah, this is his impact.
Demaryius Thomas (ADP 59.8, finished 5th among WR's): And him, too.
Randall Cobb (ADP 130.0, finished 17th among WR's): Needed a very late round gem. This was your guy.
Julio Jones (ADP 26.3, finished 9th among WR's): A bit inconsistent but still a stud. Will be a top five pick next year for sure.
AJ Green (ADP 30.4, finished 4th among WR's): He was a rock of consistency as he had either 100 yards or a touchdown in 12 games. And his stretch of nine straight games with at least one touchdown? Gimme dat.
Brandon Marshall (ADP 34.2, finished 2nd among WR's): Those who though he was too risky missed out on a pretty safe, pretty lights out pick. I also feel like I should mention something about Viagra here . . . But Marshall lit it up this year as Cutler looked his way an astonishing 192 times. After the season ended, it was reported Jay Cutler actually did not know the team had other receivers. He merely though Devin Hester was lost and confused while looking for the punt return unit.
HITS on players to avoid
Maurice Jones Drew (ADP 10.7, finished 50th among RB's): Holding out for that long made him far too risky of a pick. And an injury proved that. Otherwise, he did play just okay when healthy.
Fred Jackson (ADP 46.3, finished 39th among RB's): The emergence of CJ Spiller and health concerns made Jackson a non-factor this year.
Willis McGahee (ADP 52.5, finished 24th among RB's): McGahee played very well for 11 games. But 11 games is not enough to be considered worth it.
Panther's Running Backs (ADP 68.4, 90.4, finished 52, 23rd among RB's): DeAngelo Williams literally did nothing till the last four weeks while Jonathon Stewart made virtually no impact. Both were a waste of a roster spot. And Mike Tolbert did some nice touchdown stealing.
Mike Wallace (ADP 26.1, finished 25th among WR's): He was far too inconsistent and definitely not worth a second round pick.
Eli Manning (ADP 32.0, finished 15th among QB's): This is one of my "I told you" picks. I hope you listened to me here.
Matt Stafford (ADP 16.5, finished 10th among QB's): At least he finished in the top ten but just barely! Perhaps the biggest bust of the draft considering he was going in the first round of some drafts.
Darren McFadden (ADP 25.8, finished 28th among RB's): Same ol' same ol'.
Vernon Davis (ADP 50.0, finished 15h among TE's): So much for the year of the tight end. He started out with three strong games then completely fell off the map.
|I think I see Jermichael Finley in there!|
Demarco Murray (ADP 19.4, finished 25th among RB's): See McFadden.
Misses on players to draft
Antonio Brown (ADP 73.4, finished 43rd among WR's): One of my big sleepers, Brown failed to capitalize on Mike Wallace's failures.
Philip Rivers (ADP 69.1, finished 21 among QB's): Oh boy. That was bad.
Jacob Tamme (ADP 118.6, finished 26th among TE's): C'mon, man. You were supposed to be the next Dallas Clark.
Michael Vick (ADP 42.2, finished 27th among QB's): There certainly was potential there. . . for injuries galore.
Ryan Mathews (ADP 37.0, finished 31st among RB's): First I though he was being over-drafted badly. Then he got hurt. So I tried to claim he'd be a value at his new average draft position. Turns out injuries do not make for better fantasy players. So . . .
Tim Tebow (ADP undrafted, finished around 456 or so among all players): Well, I clearly did not advocate him as a stud or anything. Just a viable option if he got to start. Darn you, Rex Ryan . . .
Misses on players to avoid
Cam Newton (ADP 21.7, finished 4th among QB's): Huh. Turns out he finished about exactly where his draft position indicated. You fooled me, Cam, for two years in a row. Argh.
Vincent Jackson (ADP 57.4, finished 6th among WR's): I wrote about him multiple times. How he would never be a number one option. I ranted how he never had more than 68 catches, 1,167 yards, or 9 touchdowns. Well, he put together career highs in receptions, yards, and was just one touchdown short.
Peyton Manning (ADP 39.5, finished 5th among QB's): I told you all his receivers would benefit from him. But I still considered him far too risky of a pick. Glad I never said the same about Adrian Peterson at least . . .
Calvin Johnson (ADP 7.5, finished stinkin' numero uno among WR's): So I never took him in a league this year. Madden curse. Stafford drop off. Deep wide receiver pool. Oh well, things still worked out for me but Calvin destroyed any Madden curse thoughts and lit it up in a historical, unforgettable season. For all those who are wondering, I never called him a potential bust, just a player to avoid.
episode that Sports Science did on him. Slow motion pouring of Skittles into his mouth? Priceless.