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The Diary of a Fantasy Virgin: Preseason Part I

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The Virgin-ator is back! It is the 10th time that I get to relive another fantasy football season as a newbie. Every year I am reincarnated as the “Fantasy Football Virgin.” I rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of the year before and football springs eternal. For all of the returning readers, welcome back. For the new readers, it is so nice to have you on board. Whenever you try something like fantasy football completely blind, the expectations are set. There are wild highs and fantastic lows. You are only one injury away from losing the season and one free agent away from winning it all.

Fantasy football is getting tougher and tougher every year because successful teams distribute the ball. This distribution is a collection of very quick decisions followed by a little bit of West Coast offense followed by offensive rotations set to distract defenses. The end result is a melange of weapons at the quarterback’s disposal. Tight ends may no longer block. Wide receivers rule the day. Distribution deafens the sound of large fantasy weeks and parity carries the day. So fantasy football is getting harder. Gone are the days of one back shows that could carry the whole season. Buckle up, my friends. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Now is the time we speak of what has happened since we last got together.

What I Did Over The Summer – Remembrances

We are approaching school time in this great land of ours. Some will have already started by the time this is read!   In my school, we would start off the school year with a brief synopsis on what we did over the summer. Oh, and this is just a friendly reminder for everyone in cyberspace. There were no computers when I was doing this. There was no such thing as cyberspace. The kind of summer fun involved for some that “Brady Bunch” trip to the great national parks. Even just a camping excursion to the Cape was spoken with the same wide-eyed eloquence as the kid who went to Walt Disney World. Every first day of the school year until we were 12 this went on.  

As is my tradition here at FantasySharks and my “Diary of a Fantasy Virgin” articles, I bring to you what my summer was all about.  

What I Did The Summer of 2011

The first half of the year was spent finally getting to complete a workout routine that I have tried twice before. The third time is a charm. It was the workout with the P90 in it, and I had just as much satisfaction finishing that as I did the marathon the year before. Discipline and luck is what it takes to complete a workout like that. And the MC through the DVDs (aka. Tony) is so entertaining that it just works and you never get bored. So thank you, Mr. Tony, for bringing that level of crazy health into my life.  

Right at the end of that workout, I found myself at an RFID conference for my job. And who did I run into? None other than Maurice Jones-Drew! He is a huge fantasy football guy and of course he is also in everyone’s Top 10. What a lucky day! Attached in this article is a picture of his autograph. We talked for a few minutes about fantasy football and he was very knowledgeable. A pros pro talking about the subject weekly on his radio show which he plugged to me a couple of times.

Now onto the summer. Sure there was another trip to Disney. It was our 10th wedding anniversary and we spent it in the Queen Victoria Room at the Grand Floridian. We had an over-the-top 11-course meal prepared by Chef Scott Hunnel. It was spectacular and the manager of the restaurant was so gracious. We will never forget that meal, Melissa. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. For the first time in my life, I actually understood how the judges in Iron Chef experience exquisite and extreme cuisine. Chef Scott was amazing and he was on his game that evening. It is big time eating at one of the finest and most relaxing settings. It was only four hours and three minutes and it flew by. Come on!

Oh yeah, the Colorado Hurricane experts predicted a lot of hurricanes again. And again, knock on wood, the Hurricanes have not come. I know that they were wrong last year and then the tropics heated up later in the year. They may be still right so I am going to knock on more wood. It is unlucky to be wrong about too many hurricanes and foolish to predict too few. What a terrible job to have.

Speaking of luck, it is draft time. Are you ready?

Preparing For The Draft

The draft is coming virgins, and it’s time to get out those stat sheets and read over number upon number or just link into the Fantasysharks recommended draft list by position or print out the custom cheat sheet. The first thing you should realize is that this draft stuff will not only make you, but could also break you. But it makes and breaks everyone so it is not a big deal. Sure, winners turn into busts and previous busts have a great season of vindication. And sometimes, if you draft too early, you draft guys that split town due to injury or just need to leave due to personal “issues”.  

I am going to draft this year like I always did in the past. Just change it up based upon a strong quarterback league or a weak quarterback league. A strong quarterback league is one where when the quarterback gets a touchdown you get six points. If you are in a weak quarterback league, the quarterback gets three points for a touchdown.  

Most leagues give three points to the quarterback and I think it’s a rip-off. In a weak quarterback league, draft athletically but put off the high rated quarterbacks until later. In a strong quarterback league, just look it over, and if you are drafting 10th and Aaron Rodgers is available, go for it.  

In years past, I went with the following sequence … RB-RB-WR-WR-QB-TE-QB-K-DT-TE-RB-QB-K-D/ST. I then repeat the final four sequence (running back through defense/special teams) until the draft is over. This year, I am going to take the dude who (barring injury) will get the most points. Why the change? The running backs have not delivered like they did in the past and they are for the most part very unreliable. One injury and your running back is out of commission. And the league is getting away from the running game. Welcome to the 2011 NFL. For running backs, it stands for “Not For Long” as they get more and more scarce.

The distribution offense favors wide receivers. The incorporation of the West Coast Offense favors the wide receiver. The “no touch” rules favor the wide receivers. Therefore, wide receivers carry the day.

In a strong quarterback league, take WR-WR-QB-TE-K-D/ST-TE-QB-RB-WR-TE-D/ST, repeating the final four sequence (quarterback through defense/special teams) until the draft is over. Follow the custom cheat sheet and fill in the blanks. And if you are really new to this fantasy football gig, don’t worry. Read up on this site from all of my peers and check out the message boards. Knowledge is power, and this site cranks up enough wattage to light Vegas!  

This Year Forget to Incorporate The Bye Week

My last bit of recommendation is to forget to take into consideration those bye weeks. I have tried this time and time again and for the most part it seems to equal out. I have found that for the most part it is not as important as first thought out. But taking into consideration and acting on it is another thing altogether. The point is that you do not get any points when your player is taking some much needed time off. But you can cobble some guys together and get by one week and lose if the team is strong enough the rest of the time.

Well, I will let you know how my draft worked out by September. For some reason it is late this year. It is good to be back friends. Welcome to fantasy football.

Master D.

Tim can now be reached at tdavoll@fantasysharks.com and welcomes your opinions on the “Diary of a Fantasy Virgin” articles.