Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

         It's almost that time of year again, and there are many fantasy football players who need some draft advice. There are several people that find it hard to draft a team that could win their league. In order to win a lot of fantasy football games, you must have a well put together team. There are some guidelines to follow if you wish to have a great season in fantasy football. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines. They do not have to be used by yourself, but coming from someone with years of experience, these tips will help improve your game.

       First, make sure that you have two elite running backs that will provide more points than most of the others at the position. The running back position is the most valuable to the team, as they have the largest opportunity to score the most points. In fantasy football, most leagues require teams to start two running backs. A general strategy that could help is to draft a running back in the first round, as well as the third round. This would help your team tremendously, because while other people are looking for another running back in later rounds, you would not have to worry about that and have two backs with higher production value. Some people like to draft a running back in the first two rounds, although I do not suggest this, unless of course, you see a player you really want to have on your team.

       The next most important position in fantasy football is the wide receiver. In most leagues, there are three wide receivers used in the starting lineup. Wide receivers do not have as many chances to get the most amount of points as running backs, but still can produce at a high level. Wide receivers should be taken in the second, as well as the fifth round. Examples of Wide Receivers to take in the second round include AJ Green, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, and Julio Jones. These players usually give you solid numbers as your WR1. In the fifth round, there is a good chance that you will not be able to find players of THIS Caliber on the board. However, you can still find players like Reggie Wayne, Randall Cobb, Michael Crabtree, Larry Fitzgerald and Percy Harvin to round out your WR2 Position.

       A quarterback, the most important position in real life football, is the third most important position in fantasy. The reason behind this is because you can find a really good quarterback in later rounds, and not have to waste a high pick on that top three player. For example, last year, a rookie quarterback named Russell Wilson was not drafted in high rounds in fantasy football, but he still turned out to be a really good player at his position. Another example of this is quarterback Andy Dalton, of the Cincinati Bengals. This player was drafted after round eight in most leagues, turned out to be among a top fifteen player at the position. Another prime example of this is quarterback Joe Flacco of the Ravens. Flacco, who may be inconsistant at times, performed really well several weeks, and was drafted between rounds six and ten in most leagues. Flacco went on to win the Super Bowl in 2012. In previous years, there was always about four quarterbacks drafted in the first round. However, people realize that they made mistakes by drafting a QB That high, and in most leagues this year, there will be none. As you can see, it is not necessary to draft a quarterback really early. An ideal round to draft a quarterback this year would be round four or later. Some quarterbacks you should look to draft that would be available in the fifth round this year include Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, Robert Griffin III, Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, and Tony Romo. Top QBs like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady are likely to be picks in rounds two or three and that would be a reach in this year's fantasy football drafts.

       The next position to look at in fantasy football is a team’s defense/special teams. This is referred to as DST. This position gets points for when a team holds an opponent to a certain amount of points, when the defense causes the other team’s offense to throw an interception, or when the defense gets a touchdown, or when they force a fumble. The special teams part of this is when the team returns a kick or a punt for a touchdown. This position should be drafted after you have at least one player at each of the previously mentioned positions, because DST’s do not usually score as many points as the rest of the positions. The best round to draft a defense would be in round seven or later. The top DSTs to draft in the NFL This year include the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, and the Denver Broncos.

       Tight Ends are the next position to draft. There are plenty of tight ends that provide points for your team in later rounds. These players get the same amount of points as a receiver do. Tight ends are not always as consistant as receivers are, thus making them not as important as a receiver. If you see a player that you really like before you pick a defense, make sure you pick the player you like so that you have someone to root for. However, make sure you draft a tight end that is a pass catcher and not a blocker. Examples of TE's to draft include Tony Gonzalez, Owen Daniels, Kyle Rudolph, Jason Witten and Vernon Davis. Brandon Myers could be a sleeper TE with his new team, the New York Giants.

       Once you have drafted all of your starting players, it is time to fill out your bench. The bench are players mainly used to fill in for your startes when they are injured, or on their week off. There are enough spots to back up each position you have drafted, although that is not really necessary to do so. Some people like to grab their third RB before drafting all of their starters, which is fine to do, but you may miss out on a good player at a position you need and be weak in that area.

       The last, and least important position in fantasy football to draft is the kicker. These players only get points when the team that player plays for scores a touchdown, or a field goal. The kicker gets one point for the point after attempt after a touchdown, and also points for a field goal. Another way the kicker gets points is if he kicks a field goal. The amount of points he gets varies on how far away the kick is. Kickers do not score nearly as many points as other positions do, thus making that position the last one you should draft. Try to draft kickers from teams who score a lot of points consistantly so that you can have the best chance to get their points. The Patriots, Broncos, and 49ers have really good kickers because their team scores a lot.

      Remember, you do not have to stick with the team you drafted throughout the whole season. You can add some players, make some trades, and get rid of players you do not like. Thats what makes this game so fun. Make sure to stay on top of who the top waiver wire pick ups are to help improve your team.

      When following this general strategy, drafting a successful fantasy football team should come easy. Make sure that you get running backs early, because they will be harder to find in later rounds. Have fun and good luck drafting!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NFC East Rivals Collide

Rivalries are always the most entertaining games to watch.  You can feel the tension between the two teams as they play each other. The Dallas Cowboys are Playing the Washington Redskins this Sunday.  The first time these two teams met, the rivalry was so intense that there was only one touchdown scored in the entire game! There was a total of 6 field goals by the Dallas Cowboys, who in recent history have been struggling to find a consistant kicker. (Nick Folk, David Beuhler, etc.) However, with all that aside, both of these teams have been playing differently than they were all those weeks ago.  The Dallas Cowboys have recently been red hot; their offense has been clicking, and it seems whenever Tony Romo (Eastern Illinois) does not turn the ball over more than 2 times, the Cowboys can easily get their win.  The Washington Redskins, however, have been all downhill ever since starting 2 and 0.  They have won only 1 game and their record now is 3-6.  They have tried benching QB Rex Grossman (Florida), and starting John Beck (BYU), but that did not work out as Beck was not scoring any points for the Skins. The Dallas Cowboys are looking to stay hot going into this game, and for the rest of the season.  If the Cowboys do pull off the victory, then it will be one of the best in recent memory for the 'Boys.  Look for the Cowboys to use their 2 headed rushing attack DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma) and with solid RB Felix Jones (Arkansas) as the backup to run over the Redskins.  However, if the Redskins can somehow find a way to stop the run game, and get a few turnovers, then they can find a way to end their losing skid and stop the Cowboys' surge.

My Pick:
Cowboys 34
Redskins 10

The Cowboys have been on fire and the Redskins have been struggling to score more than 20 points the past few weeks, and I think that this will happen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Can Tebow Win Under The Thursday Night Lights?

Finally, it is time for some Thursday Night Football! Feels great, doesn't it?  Get to watch some football games on other days of the week, not just Sunday.  Last week was the first Thursday night football game since the very first week, which was the Saints vs the Packers.  Now, after 9 weeks, the next Thursday Night football game was the Oakland Raiders vs the struggling San Diego Chargers.  The reason why I say the Struggling San Diego Chargers is because Phil Rivers keeps on turning the ball over between 2-4 times a game, and it is very hard to win if that happens, and therefore, the Chargers are on a little bit of a losing streak.  Veteran quarterback Carson Palmer took the stage for the Raiders, and played an outstanding game, completing 3 touchdown passes; two to break out year receiver Denarious Moore.  The Oakland Raiders wound up winning on last Thursday, and in my football pool, only 2 out of about 15 people picked the Raiders, and I was one of them.  It made me feel smart.
Tomorrow night, however, is the next Thursday Night football game.  This one is between the Denver Broncos, and the New York Jets.  Quarterback Tim Tebow has been receiving a lot of criticism about his accuracy and throwing motion, and if he can be a successful quarterback or not.  Despite all of Tebow's flaws, he has proven that he is a winner.  The Broncos are currently 3-1 with Tebow under center, and they show no signs of slowing down.  Sure, Tebow may not be the most accurate passer.  The thing is, he knows how to win the game.  Coach Herm Edwards said it best. "Hello, You Play To Win The Game"  Tebow is a great leader and his teamates listen to him and go out there and win for the team.  When Kyle Orton was the Broncos Starting quarterback in the beginning of the season, the Denver Broncos were not winning nearly as much as they are now.  With Orton under center, the Broncos were only 1-3, and with Tebow as their starting quarterback, they are currently at a record of 4-5 and in second place in their division.  Tebow has proven that he can win games, but is his skill to win enough to beat the New York Jets? Cornerback Darrelle Revis does not think so, and he was talking about how the type of offense that the Broncos are trying to run would not work for a full season in the NFL; he said it would only work if Michael Vick (Eagles QB) and Chris Johnson (Titans RB) were on the team because they are some of the faster players in the league.  Tebow was not discouraged by Revis' comments, it made him look forward to playing against him to prove him wrong.  Lets see if Tim Tebow really is a true winner as he faces his first "real" hard Test.

My Pick:
I think that the Jets will get the win but it will be a very close game, my guess is 3 points will decide the winner.
24-21 Jets

Rookie Murray Shines for the Cowboys

In the third round of the 2011 draft, the Dallas Cowboys shocked several people by drafting Running Back DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma) in the third round.  People were questioning this pick.  However, several weeks after the draft, the Cowboys decided to let veteran starting running back Marion Barber (Minnesota) go.  This moved Murray up on the depth chart, giving him a few chances to shine.  Still after being 3rd on the Dallas Cowboys depth chart at one time, DeMarco still caught Jerry Jones eye by his explosiveness. Felix Jones however, has always had injury problems in the past, and to noone's surprise he was injured again this year (Ankle) A few weeks into the season, the Cowboys decided to cut young running back Tashard Choice, after seeing poor performances from him in several games.  In mid October, DeMarco Murray really had the chance to shine.  His break out performance came vs the St. Louis Rams.  On the very first play of the game, Murray ran for a 91 yard touchdown.  This was only the beginning.  Before this, the Cowboys had not had a 100 yard rusher in several years! Murray, with just one run, was only 9 yards away.  Murray had an absolutely amazing performance that game, racking up a total of 253 rushing yards! Ever since then, Murray has been rushing for 100 yards a game in 3 out of the last 4 games!  With these performances, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and head coach Jason Garrett decided it was time for a change in true starting running backs, and went with Murray to be the starter for the rest of the season.  This was a great choice by Jerry Jones as Felix Jones has only been an injury nightmare to the Cowboys, and Murray has young, fresh legs & can rush for over 100 yards a game with touchdowns!  I am really looking forward for the rest of the Cowboys season, and can not wait to see what young rookie Murray can do once he reaches his full potential.