I make my living analyzing sports teams and offering up my opinions, which normally are dismissed with a hearty guffaw and a “what does he know?”
For once, the shoe is on the other foot.
On Wednesday, I took part in my annual Fantasy Football League draft. And if my team stinks and turns out to be the Tugboat League’s version of the Tampa Bay Bucs, I have nobody but myself to blame.
Our league consists of eight teams. To determine the order, we draw cards and I wound up picking No. 2. What that also meant, though, was that I didn’t get to pick again until No. 15, as we reverse the order for the next round. We redraw after every two rounds and fill our roster with 13 players, plus a defense.
For those who don’t know about Fantasy Football, a player’s performance determines your score. In our league, we start a quarterback, two running backs, three receivers (tight ends can be picked) and a kicker. Then you also pick a defense, which can earn points in a variety of ways (fumbles recovered, interceptions, sacks, etc.)
Of course, this is all too complicated for our simple minds to figure out, so it’s done on a computer by Yahoo.
One of the interesting aspects of our league is that Yahoo sends each team a critique of its draft. I received a “B” for my draft, but was picked to finish fifth, which misses the playoffs by one spot.
Whoever critiqued my draft was a big snarky with their analysis.
“With the second overall selection, Fearless (Forecasters, the name of my team) was in position to build a strong team,” the writer said, obviously not knowing that I didn’t pick second in every round. “So much for that. They are projected to finish fifth in the Tugboat League with a 7-6-1 record.”
The writer also said I needed to “invest in a physic or a magic 8 ball to help out with tough decisions.”
Apparently the writer knows our league has some brilliant minds. Nobody ponders more than Rick Kohl, who takes up all his allotted time with every pick as waiting on him is like waiting for a root canal. Jim LaDuke obviously was astute to pick Rob Gronkowski, who scored four TDs in the season opener on Thursday. Myron Barrow somehow has won two of our last three championships and Yahoo says he had the best draft this year. Jeff Krahl, Terry Culver, Doug Fitzmorris and Dave Chartier round out our league, with Dave now living in Parsons and had to pick his players via speakerphone as we have gone high-tech.
Anyhow, I picked Aaron Rodgers as my quarterback — you can’t go wrong with that. My top receivers at this point are Julio Jones, Keenan Allen and Vincent Jackson, with Jason Witten and Steve Smith Sr. waiting in the wings. LeSean McCoy, though he has a bad hammy right now, is my lead running back, with Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde expected to share the number of starts. I have Dan Bailey of Dallas as my kicker and probably chose the plum defense of the draft with Seattle, which I gambled a sixth-round pick on. Most of the others waited until the late rounds to choose a defense.
My other backups are Joe Flacco at quarterback, Chris Ivory at running back and Kendall Wright at receiver.
Yahoo says I have the easiest schedule for the first four weeks, then it gets much harder. If my team is swallowing canal water through four weeks, it might be time to make some adjustments.
Or fire the coach.