Today we (using the “we” pronoun somehow sounds more impressive than “I” despite being a little inaccurate) welcome a marvelous guest poster to the blog. He’s part of the HTF Fantasy Football league and has some knowledge to drop on us. Take it away, Mark.
Many of you spend your Sunday autumn mornings scrambling eggs and frying bacon while your children awake from their slumbers. Or you might congregate as a family at church to teach religious values. Some families walk their children to the park to play on the swings and enjoy a picnic.
Well, I fall into none of the above categories. I am a couple years south of 30 years old working in management consulting in the Financial Services industry and living in a spacious (I say that loosely!) one bedroom in Manhattan with my girlfriend. I have always been a bit obsessive compulsive about sports and as a child yearned to be the general manager of the New York Mets (at this point, an elementary school educated child would be an improvement for the Mets front office). I am far from a natural athlete, but do take pride in being dragged out to local trivia nights and being designated by friends as the ‘Sports Guy.’ As a result, when I was introduced to Fantasy Football as a young pup in college, I welcomed the challenge. It quickly became a top three hobby of mine (only after fine dining and beach wiffle ball) and a real showstopper to any productivity on Sunday mornings (my college GPA was always significantly lower in the fall semester). I have nixed many Sunday morning plans along the way for Fantasy Football, much to the chagrin of Rachel, who is my overly patient girlfriend and a real saint during the Fantasy Football season. Sunday mornings are always spent as follows:
10AM: Wakeup, egg and cheese on a toasted plain bagel, Vitamin Water, and coffee from the local deli. Espn.com is crucial to check on headlines.
11AM: Cbs Sportsline offers detailed injury updates.
11:30AM: ESPN 2 televises a fantasy football show with mildly useful insight.
12:00PM: If Rachel is home, she must leave the main room for closed captioning on ESPN 2 and volume on Yahoo’s Fantasy Football live show on the PC. Frequent checking of updates on CBS Sportsline is part of the multi-tasking routine.
12:30PM: Frenzy of phone calls and texting to the Braintrust for final touches on the lineup
1:01 PM: Will my fruitful management decisions pay off this week (all decisions are locked by 1PM!)?
Although I joined the HTF League a few weeks into the season as a co-manager on the NY Trainspotters squad (my third league of the season), I plan on passing on a key piece of wisdom for those now hooked on Fantasy Football. Develop an inner circle of Fantasy Football experts to help you win.
As you can imagine, my sports-minded interests lend themselves to many friends who also enjoy conversing about sports. However, liking sports is much different than understanding the statistics and strategy important to Fantasy Football. Understanding individual match-ups and trends can baffle even the most educated sports nut. Advice falls from ‘trees’ during Fantasy Football season; often, everyone has an opinion and it is difficult to tune out the white noise. Trust your inner circle for advice, bounce ideas off of them, and do not feel even the most asinine trade idea is worth keeping quiet about. In this section, I will thank this season’s braintrust: SW, TS, JT, DZ, PK, MF, BB, and DB who provided me invaluable insight to prospective championship campaign(s).
Preview of Week 14’s Quarterfinal matchups:
· Rabid Possum (#1) vs. Christy’s Crusher (#8)
Skinny: Possum is foaming at the mouth for this match-up. She was the queen of the waiver wire all season; she built her team with quality players such as Miles Austin and Rashard Mendenhall. Although CC is employing the best QB on the planet, there is no way she can overcome some of her other starters’ inconsistencies.
Prediction: Possums are generally nocturnal, but this possum cruises to the semifinals with a huge day on Sunday afternoon.
· Diamonds and Dynamite (#3) vs. No Sup(er bowl) 4 You (#6)
Skinny: Always enjoyed the play-on words from the No Soup for You! squad, but Dynamite has the Maurice Jones Drew and Moreno TNT ready to explode this week. Dynamite is reeling after a loss vs the beloved NY Trainspotters and is looking for revenge. If Jonathan Stewart plays full-time like last week, Dynamite will be in for a closer contest.
Prediction: Dynamite is one of the strongest teams in the field and she will blast herself to the semifinals with an 80 point blowout over her Seinfeld competitor.
· Blue Blood (#2) vs. Pigskin Cannibals (#7)
Skinny: This is a typical trap match-up for our Cold Blooded friend. In every league that I have partaken in, the #7 team always seems to beat the #2 team in the first round of the playoffs. Pigskin has McNabb against a porous Giants defense and starts the 3 best WRs in the league (Fitzgerald, Boldin, and Driver). Frost-Bite Team does have Peyton Manning and Randy Moss, but has too many holes to compete with Pigskin.
Prediction: The Cold Blooded team keeps it close, but Pigskin pulls away with Monday night Football magic in the names of Fitzgerald and Boldin.
· NY Trainspotters (#4) vs. HTF (#5)
Skinny: Our commissioner, superdad of 4, and blogger extraordinaire is limping into the playoffs! Team Roopa is sizzling hot with three wins in a row. Trades and waiver wire pickups have certainly helped narrow the gap between the top of the league and Trainspotters. Ward disappointed mightily on Thursday night, but I fully expect AP and surprise RB Jamaal Charles to carry NY Trainspotters to a narrow victory.
Prediction: Well, well, well-HTF has some major management decisions to make for Sunday? Will HTF consult with his ‘braintrust’? Kurt Warner breaks HTF’s heart late on Monday night to catapult Trainspotters to the semifinals.