My Fantasy Football Draft: 2012

Hi. I just instagrammed my well-documented fantasy football strategy. Don't look if you're in my league.

So, I have some substantive things to tell you about, I think, sometime soon. My week has pretty much been occupied by feeling weird and preparing for my fantasy football draft. Earlier this evening, I sat my son down and told him the following:

Son, you had one opportunity in life to mess with my fantasy football draft. That was the year I was pregnant with you and didn’t drink more than one beer maybe once or twice a month after the first trimester, which is useless in terms of fantasy football draft strategy. You don’t get to mess with my fantasy football draft tonight.

So while Ben and I were drafting, Soren played with Play Doh. He drew on Peaches with an orange highlighter. He partially dismantled Coltrane’s crate. He peed, sometimes where he was supposed to and sometimes not. He ran shrieking through the house. He did other things of which I’m sure I’ll become aware at an awkward time in the future, possibly with carrots.

If you know anything about me, you know I’m really serious about fantasy football. I love playing fantasy football. How well I do in fantasy football directly affects how much I enjoy any given NFL season. So you can imagine my dismay this year when I entered our draft lobby to see that I had the 12th pick (of 12 teams).

Okay, that sucks. But I prepared my strategy for this inauspicious beginning. I might end up having to decide between Marshawn Lynch and Matthew Stafford. Worse things could happen. I’ll probably get Jimmy Graham. (My original strategy was, briefly, as follows: Get an awesome QB. Get an awesome TE. Load up on RBs and WRs.) Okay, that’s cool. Picking last isn’t the end of the world, because you get to pick first in the second round. Jimmy Graham is awesome and I’m going to get him. I was really excited about getting Jimmy Graham.

But then something happened. A thing appeared on my screen saying the draft was over. I closed out of the draft and the main page for our league said that our draft wasn’t in progress. That was weird and it was almost time for the draft, so Ben and I were getting a little stressed. Finally, we were able to get into the draft lobby again and this time, I had the 11th pick and Ben had the 12th pick. It turned out our commissioner’s wife had some sort of problem getting in and he had to reset the draft. Then, long story short, Ben cried and the commissioner reset it again. So we had random draft order #3. This time, I had the 4th pick (Ben had 8th). This was a huge improvement for me, but if I can non-problem problem for a second, I was prepared to pick 12th and all of a sudden I was picking 4th and our draft was starting in less than a minute and holy crap I wasn’t sure what I was going to do after taking Aaron Rodgers.

So, anyway, here’s my team. I ended up with some guys (Larry Fitzgerald (2nd round), Santonio Holmes (10th round)) I really didn’t want to pick but they fell so far I figured what the hell.

So I loaded up on RBs and WRs and waited until the end to pick a D/ST and K. I failed at getting an awesome TE but got a fantastic QB.

QB Aaron Rodgers
RB Fred Jackson (LOL I originally had this as “Fred Rogers,” because it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Dork.)
RB Willis McGahee
RB Michael Bush
RB C.J. Spiller
RB Kendall Hunter
RB Delone Carter
WR Larry Fitzgerald
WR Dez Bryant
WR DeSean Jackson
WR Santonio Holmes
WR Michael Crabtree
TE Fred Davis
D/ST Broncos
K Matt Bryant

And don’t worry, I won’t talk about my fantasy football team after this because I know nobody cares about my fantasy football team besides me. But this is what I’ve been thinking about all week. If you play fantasy football, good luck! I hope you have an awesome season!

What to Do with the First Pick in Your Fantasy Football Draft: 2012 Version

Don’t worry — I’m not going to write about fantasy football as much as I did last year. But people really want to know who to take with the first pick, so here are my top 12 guys for the 2012 draft.

1. Arian Foster
2. Ray Rice
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Tom Brady
5. LeSean McCoy
6. Calvin Johnson
7. Drew Brees
8. Chris Johnson
9. Andre Johnson
9. Matt Forte
10. Matthew Stafford
11. Maurice Jones-Drew
12. Marshawn Lynch

I think it would be reasonable to take Foster, Rice, Rodgers, or Brady with the #1 pick. Matthew Berry said something like this — you’re not going to win your league with your first pick, but you could lose it. This year, I recommend caution and when in doubt, going with the best available player in the first round, even when the best available player isn’t a running back.

(I love Larry Fitzgerald but can’t put him on this list because who in the hell is throwing to him.)

Good luck!

Update: For a little more on my 2012 fantasy football draft strategy and if you want to see who I actually drafted this year, go here. I had the 4th pick. I think I did okay.

Fail.

So.So, this happened.

Remember how I was undefeated in fantasy football for much of this season? Of course you do, because I blabbed about it approximately every 10 seconds. Remember how I was in first place (in our 12-team league, where at least most of the people know what they’re doing) for the entire season? Well. A lot of good that did me, because I didn’t even make it to the Super Bowl.

You guys. My Super Bowl dreams hung in the balance last night — all my guys had played and my opponent was down by a few points and still had the 49ers defense. That’s iffy, but might not be so bad. They’re playing the Steelers. The Steelers don’t totally suck. It’s just too bad they don’t automatically get points solely on the basis of Troy Polamalu’s hair, right? The Steelers will score at least a touchdown or two and I’ll be fine.

No. Do you know how much I hate Ben Roethlisberger right now? I hate him so much I’m not even going to google his name to make sure I’m spelling it right, which I normally always do when I’m not totally sure (see, e.g., Polamalu). I probably am, spelling it right, that is, because I’ve been talking so much shit about him since yesterday it’s like forever engraved in my sad, feeble mind. It’s a good thing the game was delayed by a power outage and Soren was asleep by the time things got really ugly. I was still in my gym clothes (Does that make it sound like I wear a junior high P.E. class uniform to the gym? I don’t, but that would be kind of hot, I mean, not on me but on someone hot. “Workout clothes” sounds annoying. Point being, I hadn’t even showered yet.) sitting on the coffee table in the living room screaming my fool head off at Ben Roethlis. . . using the worst language that has ever been used in the history of life. That fucker threw 3 interceptions and completely sucked ass in a way that made me think for at least 1/10 of a second that Caleb Hanie isn’t actually that bad. Big Ben sucked as much as a quarterback could suck and as a result, the 49ers defense scored like 100 points, which means I lost my first-round playoff matchup.

It was ugly. I’m not a good loser. I lashed out in anger all night. It was just so . . . stupid. Some stupid asshole with a gimpy ankle prevented me from taking my rightful place in the Super Bowl. But yeah, of course I can’t totally blame him. I screwed up. I mean, only a crazy person would’ve started Donald Brown over Adrian Peterson, but goddamn if I’ve never figured out the complex mathematical equation that, when performed correctly, reveals precisely which tight end, Aaron Hernandez (Is he kind of hot?) or Jermichael Finley, I should start on any given week because I almost always do it wrong. My protip for next year, not that I’m qualified to give one, is don’t have two arguably good (Jermichael Finley was more arguable than good this season) tight ends on your roster because it will drive you to drink.

Speaking of drinking, to drown my sorrows right now, I’m drinking some Oak Aged Yeti (imperial stout), which is totally insane awesomeness. The Yeti is involved with my birthday cake, which is in the oven as we speak, so it will be ready for my birthday, which is tomorrow. Did you know that in my many years on this planet, I don’t think I’ve ever made myself a birthday cake? Now that I have a kid and make a big deal about his birthday cake, I realized it’s kind of lame that I don’t make a big deal out of birthday cakes for me or Ben. So now I’m on the birthday cake bandwagon, if there is such a thing, and my first self-made birthday cake involves Oak Aged Yeti. If it doesn’t totally suck, I’ll tell you about it soon, at which time we will totally not be talking about fantasy football (for which I’m sure you’re as grateful as I, right?).

Bad Day (Album Version) by Daniel Powter on Grooveshark

Mornings With Baby

Back in the day, I hated mornings. I’ve always been a night person, so that makes sense. I’d hit the snooze button 800 times, often sleeping through the alarm. I’d wake up late and be totally rushed to get wherever I was going. I’d get ready as fast as I could and swish out the door, late as always and irritated, partly because I was late and partly because I was in a hurry and partly because why couldn’t I ever just get my shit together and do anything on time ever?

This is the weirdest, most random thing, but I love mornings now. Aside from having to actually go to work, mornings I go into the office are kind of the best. It might be the result of getting older (things I’ve noticed about old people is that they’re always cold, they don’t eat a ton, and they don’t sleep as much or as well as young people), but now I actually wake up when my alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button twice (maybe three times if I’m being crazy) and then get out of bed. It’s not an exaggeration to tell you that for me, that’s kind of groundbreaking. chillinI even get up earlier than I need to get up to make it to the office at a reasonable time.

I make coffee, get ready, get in Ben’s way in our one tiny bathroom, and even have time to check the internet. (Ben, for the record, gets up a little later than I do and leaves way earlier than I do. I make coffee and the bed and he feeds the animals.)

Sometime between when I wake up and am ready to walk out the door, Soren wakes up. (He usually gets up anywhere from 7:00 to 9:00.) He’s almost always in a good mood in the morning. He asks for milk (or “bilk” as he usually says, although not as often any more), gets a diaper change, and hangs out entertaining himself with toys or the animals or whatever.

Before we leave, I get him dressed for the day. Although he’s a relatively opinionated 2-year-old (aren’t they all), he could give a, well, poop, about what he wears (I’m sure this will change). Usually this is when we talk about the day ahead — I like to talk to him about things he’s about to experience (“Are you looking forward to doing ____ and seeing ____?”) or things he just experienced (“Did you have fun at school today? Did you see your friends Bob and Audrey [not their real names]?”). His response to many of these conversations is simply, “Sophie!” Sophie [not her real name] is Soren’s classmate and as best I can tell, he is completely in toddler love with her. He talks about her all the time. I was worried it was a one-way thing until the day I dropped him off and she said, “I want to sit by Soren!” Oh my goodness.

That’s about it in terms of toddler maintenance in the mornings. Sometimes you have to wipe boogers, but usually it’s not all that much work.

I don’t even mind loading up my car (there’s a lot you have to bring every day when you use cloth diapers) and driving totally out of my way to take Soren to daycare. I have to navigate the building security system and wait for Soren to hug the woman who is usually sitting at the front desk (so cute). We walk down the hallway to his classroom and usually (we arrive on the late side) the kids are in the middle of breakfast and, this is the dorkiest thing ever, but it’s just so nice to see everybody in the morning. In the morning, everybody is fresh and relatively clean. The kids are all — well, I was about to say “rosy-cheeked and hopeful,” but fucked if that kind of shit doesn’t make me want to vomit. I think you get the point.

Soren is usually happy to see everyone and happy to have the opportunity to eat the world. Sometimes he’s sad and sometimes he doesn’t want me to leave, but his teacher almost always knows how to distract him and make him happy. I like my job and like going to the office, but most of the time as I’m standing there realizing I should go, I totally don’t want to leave.

I’m going to do all I can to keep mornings awesome for as long as possible. I know it’ll get much harder to do as Soren gets older and mornings become more complicated and chaotic, but getting the day off to a good start is fantastic, so I’m going to try.

Disclosure: The awesomeness of my mornings must be credited at least in part to two important factors: (1) I have a low-maintenance child (so far); and (2) no part of my morning commute (home to daycare or daycare to the office) is more than 3 miles and traffic, even downtown, just isn’t that bad.

I’m telling you this stuff not because I think I’m special simply as a result of spawning or because I think being a parent is some sort of magical thing that makes everything superfantasticawesome. I’m telling you this because I think it’s cool the way parenthood does this thing where it makes you like stuff you didn’t used to like or see things in new ways. The good parts of being a parent kind of sneak up on you in unexpected, quiet ways. I love that.

_______

In other news, if you were unfortunate enough to read my smug fantasy football posts earlier this season, you will be happy to know I lost this week. I lost to, of all people, my husband. I almost won. Aaron Hernandez scored a touchdown during the last minutes of the MNF game, but it was taken away because some New England asshole got a penalty. I was all “YESSSS!” and then I was all “NOOOOOO!” I could’ve won, if I played Cam Newton instead of Tony Romo or BenJarvus Green-Ellis instead of — okay, I’ll shut up. Oh well, it had to happen eventually. I’m 10-1. I’m still in first place and will make the playoffs, so it’s all good. More or less.
Well, that sucks.

Fantasy Football: It’s a crapshoot.

Before we get to this week’s fantasy football update, here’s the best thing I’ve heard anyone say about the Denver Broncos all season:

Breaking news from Denver: Denver has waived all of their players except for Tim Tebow. Tebow will hand the ball off to himself, throw to himself, and block for himself on all running plays. The defense will consist of a force field generated by Tebow’s strength of character. In a practice scrimmage, Knowshon Moreno ran into the field and burst into flame. Team officials classified his injuries as “Holy Fire Burns.” It’s like that Bugs Bunny cartoon where he took on an entire baseball team by himself.

 

Back to fantasy, you’ve been waiting for me to lose, right? My week 6 matchup was rough. Aside from Fred Jackson, my guys didn’t do much. I should’ve started Tony Romo instead of Cam Newton. I should’ve started Aaron Hernandez instead of Jermichael Finley. (Why are people so in love with Jermichael Finley? Aside from one mindblowingly awesome week, he’s done jack shit this season. ESPN is finally saying, “He’s probably been a bit of a fantasy disappointment so far this year.” Probably?! Dudes. I have to start him this week because it’s the Patriots’ bye week but after that, he’s cheap trade bait or off to waiver city.)

Anyway, blah blah yada yada I’m 6-0.

fantasy football week 6

Can we skip the accountability portion of this week’s post, because really, nobody cares? Thanks.

Week 7 Fantasy Football Pickups

This is the time in the season when you might be struggling to fill bye week positions. I’ve been having a hard time with this. Last week, I picked up Hines Ward because I needed a WR. He didn’t do much. This week, my team is looking a little sparse in the RB department. I stupidly dropped Delone Carter too soon and somebody else got him. At this point, waiver wire pickups in a 12-team league are just a crapshoot.

  • Donald Brown (RB): If you can’t get Delone Carter, take a look at Donald Brown. He might be worth starting if Addai is out again this week.
  • DeMarco Murray (RB): With Felix Jones out, Murray will see a decent amount of playing time.
  • Danario Alexander (WR): He should be sharing receiving duties with Brandon Lloyd.
  • Demaryius Thomas (WR): He’s more a future-potential guy than a start-this-week guy, unless Eddie Royal doesn’t play or is traded, in which case you might want to start Thomas.
  • Kevin Walter (WR): Start Walter only if Andre Johnson is out.
  • Curtis Painter (QB): If you really need a QB.
  • Carson Palmer (QB): This is highly speculative. If he gets traded to the Raiders, he’s worth considering.
  • Browns (D/ST), Broncos (D/ST), Chargers (D/ST)

Good luck!

Fantasy Football: This shit is bananas.

fantasy football week 5
I can’t even brag about my fantasy football team any more because, holy crap, there’s only so much one person can say about how awesome her team is. I’m 5-0. Okay, done.

Sit/Start Strategy

Something I’ve been trying to do this season is develop my own sit/start strategy (instead of relying too much on weekly projections, which are often wrong). It’s worked pretty well so far. My strategy goes something like this: I have guys who are pretty good in a pretty reliable fashion (Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Larry Fitzgerald). They are default starters. If one of these guys has an off week, I’m not even going to think about benching him the next week. After two weeks of bad performances, I’ll start thinking about benching a guy.

Here’s how this has worked for me. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a shitacular week 3 (1.8 points). Stevan Ridley, another NE RB, did better in week 3 (5 points). Fantasy peeps started going nuts for Ridley. Hell, I bought into the hype by telling you to pick him up. They were down on BJGE. I figured everybody has an off week and left BJGE in for week 4, and he had 14.4 points. Good move! People were still up on Ridley and down on BJGE for week 5. Despite my two-bad-weeks-before-benching philosophy, I thought about benching BJGE and putting in Isaac Redman, who’s also been getting a good amount of hype. But then I realized that would be dumb because BJGE, the one bad week aside, has been a good, trustworthy running back so I left him in. In week 5, Redman had 6.1 points and BJGE had 28.9. If I’d benched him too soon, I would’ve missed out on all those points.

All that said, I’m still a dumbass who finally started Eric Decker for the first time and he had negative points. I’ve been high on him for weeks but I’m giving him a big downgrade now. He had a great connection with Kyle Orton, but if it’s going to be Tebow time (puke) in Denver, we might never hear from Decker again.

Accountability

Here’s who I told you to pick up last week and how they did. (Points taken from my ESPN league.)

  • Matt Hasselbeck (QB): 12.8
  • Denarius Moore (WR): 0
  • Stevan Ridley (RB): 1.3
  • Dexter McCluster (WR/RB): 1.8
  • Devin Hester (WR) (questionable for week 5): 3.2
  • David Nelson (maybe on him): 6.6
  • Jared Cook (TE): 5.9
  • Benjamin Watson (TE): bye
  • Steve Breaston (WR): 17
  • Ryan Torain (RB): bye
  • Isaac Redman (RB): 6.1
  • Antonio Brown (WR): 3.3
  • Michael Crabtree (WR): 3.6
  • Jacoby Jones (WR): 0.9
  • Bengals D/ST: 15
  •  Patriots D/ST: 4

I don’t know. There were a few gems in here but I suspect a monkey could throw darts at a list of NFL players and come up with better pickups than these. Always remember, though, that aside from D/ST, I’m not telling you to start these guys the week you pick them up.

Week 6 Pickups

  • Guys from last week to consider this week: Steve Breaston, David Nelson, Jared Cook, Ryan Torain, Isaac Redman, Benjamin Watson.
  • Tim Tebow (QB): I know. I don’t like him. But he’s one of those huge-upside-potential guys who could turn out to be a Cam Newton.
  • Hines Ward (WR): He’s not widely available but is in my league for some reason.
  • Darrius Heyward-Bay (RB): Like Breaston, he’s been improving — after doing nothing in the first three weeks, he was pretty awesome in weeks 4 and 5.
  • Greg Little (WR): He’s starting game 6.
  • Delone Carter (RB): Of course, the week after I dropped him, he scores a touchdown. Joseph Addai has a hammy and is questionable for week 6 — keep an eye on this one. Carter might be worth starting if Addai is out.
  • Donald Brown (RB): I’d put him behind Carter but you might consider him if Addai misses any time.
  • Alex Smith (QB): This is a more exciting pickup than Matt Hasselbeck. This week’s matchup against the Lions isn’t ideal, but it might not be a bad idea to snap him up now.
  • Jason Avant (RB): He’s another guy on an upswing.
  • Devin Aromashodu (WR): He might be a bit of a stretch but has good potential, especially if Bernard Berrian doesn’t improve his attitude and his play.
  • Vikings D/ST, Redskins D/ST, Raiders D/ST

As always, good luck!

Fantasy Football: Rolling on to Week 5

fantasy football week 4

I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a complete asshole, so I’m just going to own the fact that I’m a complete asshole. But I’ll put it in quotes so maybe you’ll think it came from someone else.

The Wesley Willis Football Fiasco is dominating this season the way few fantasy football seasons have been dominated. As the only undefeated team in the league, WWFF could go all the way </Berman> to the Super Bowl!

I updated last week’s post to say I was starting BenJarvus Green-Ellis over Roy Helu and Cam Newton over Tony Romo. The first decision wasn’t that hard — Green-Ellis, notwithstanding last week’s bomb — is pretty reliable. Roy Helu plays for a team coached by Mike Shanahan, and if there’s one thing we all know about Mike Shanahan it’s that he looks like a crayfish. If there’s one other thing we know about Mike Shanahan it’s that he’s into the running-back-by-committee thing and you never know who’s going to get points. The Redskins have Tim Hightower, Ryan Torain, and Roy Helu. Unless you’re psychic, in which case you’re not reading this because you already know what you’re doing with your fantasy team, you have no idea who to play. (Ben, who has Hightower and Torain, has it way worse than I do with Helu hanging out on my bench).

The Cam Newton/Tony Romo decision was much harder. Romo was ranked a little higher than Newton. But Romo is hurt and he didn’t do well last week. Romo was up against the Lions, whose defense is normally very, very good. Newton was up against the Bears, who also have a great defense, but — let’s be honest — the Bears aren’t really who we thought they were so far this season — or they are, but they’re not really who we Bears fans hoped they would be. I went back and forth. I had Romo in. Then I changed to Newton. Then I changed back. Then Sunday morning over breakfast of leftover pizza and coffee (my Sunday morning tradition involves eating Saturday night’s pizza leftovers — this is getting harder to do while sitting next to a toddler who is eating waffles but also wants “Pizza!!!”) I finally decided on Newton. Then I did that thing I do where I’m at the gym on Sunday morning lifting heavy things and putting them back exactly where I found them and obsessively checking my fantasy football app. First Romo looked good. Then Newton looked good. Then I realized I had to stop freaking out every time one of these guys scored any points. Long story, um, long, Newton ended the day with 34.5 points (his best showing so far) and Romo put up 21.2. So yay me! Also sorry, I’m going to stop being that asshole who goes on and on about her fantasy football team.

Accountability

Here’s who I told you to pick up last week and how they did. (Points taken from my ESPN league.)

  • Denarius Moore (WR): 7.9
  • Stevan Ridley (RB): 16
  • Nate Washington (WR): 6.2
  • Dane Sanzenbacher (WR): 1.6
  • Dexter McCluster (RB/WR): 3.8
  • Matt Hasselbeck (QB): 19.3
  • David Nelson (WR): 1.8
  • Devin Hester (WR): 6
  • Redskins (D/ST): 14
  • Chargers (D/ST): 10
  • Titans (D/ST): 12

Aside from Sanzenbacher and Nelson, these weren’t too bad. Fortunately for you, I’m too lazy to go back and tell you how guys I told you to pick up in earlier weeks have been doing, the one exception being Eric Decker, who had 17.7 points this week. Of course I picked him up but of course he was sitting on my bench.

Week 5 Fantasy Football Pickups

Are you ready for some bye weeks? (Note: That is not an endorsement of Hank Williams, Jr., because WTF.) I’m not. I’m scared. I have four guys on bye this week (Anquan Boldin, Tony Romo, Roy Helu, and the Redskins defense who I just picked up for week 4). Bye weeks are going to suck for me because my bench is stocked with RBs like Helu, CJ Spiller, and Delone Carter who aren’t ready for prime time.

  • Last week’s pickups you can still pick up: Matt Hasselbeck, Denarius Moore, Stevan Ridley, Dexter McCluster, Devin Hester (he’s questionable for week 5), David Nelson (maybe on him); you’re probably too late for Nate Washington.
  • Jared Cook (TE): He had 15.3 points in week 4 after not doing much before that. With Kenny Britt out for the season and the Titans lacking a WR who can come close to replacing Britt, Cook is a decent gamble.
  • Benjamin Watson (TE): This is Ben’s scoop — he’s been thinking about picking up Watson to replace his TE who does nothing. Watson has decent numbers and is more consistent than many other TEs.
  • Steve Breaston (WR): He’s the latest “if you have to have a Chief, it might as well be him” guy. I’m playing him this week in place of Boldin.
  • Ryan Torain (RB): If you can handle the uncertainty and he’s still available, he’s worth getting.
  • Isaac Redman (RB): Maybe, if Rashard Mendenhall misses any time.
  • Antonio Brown (WR): He’s pretty reliable.
  • Michael Crabtree (WR): His numbers are going up (slowly) and he has a favorable matchup this week if you need to play him.
  • Jacoby Jones (WR): This is risky because he hasn’t done anything yet this season, but there’s a very good chance Andre Johnson will be out for week 5 with a hammy (and hammies like to linger).
  • Bengals D/ST, Patriots D/ST.

As always, good luck!