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The Diary of a Fantasy Virgin: Preseason Part I

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Did you hear that? The bell is ringing in the town square. The “Virgin Chronicles” are back. This is now the 11th time that I rise from the experience that was the season before. I throw it all away, for I am renewed again, and all of you will get to come along for the ride on the fantasy football ship HMS Virgin.

For all of you 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 indeed wild highs and fantastic lows. You are only one injury away from losing the season in its entirety and one free agent away from winning it all.

The NFL has changed dramatically since I started writing this article oh so many years ago. The West Coast Offense has changed football dramatically. The idea that you can spread the field and control the game via a 5-yard pass was completely foreign only 10 years ago. With more and more offensive records being broken, all you can ask is “What happened to the defenses of my youth?” The moral of the story is that fantasy football is getting tougher and tougher every year because successful teams distribute the ball, taking advantage of all the pieces on the team. But with more offense comes more fantasy points at your disposal. Now an effective kicker can win you a game every now and then. What is up with that? Before we get into football, now is the time I reminisce on 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! As school starts earlier, the ideal circumstances are that you get out earlier in June. This works unless there are school closings due to weather. In my school, we would start off the school year with a brief synopsis on what we did over the summer. Every first day of the school year this happened until we were 12. Did something special happen when we turned 13?

As is my tradition here at Fantasy Sharks and my Diary of a Fantasy Virgin article, I bring to you what my summer and offseason was all about.

What I Did The Summer of 2012

The first half of the year was spent with two recovery situations. The first was recovering from a marathon that I ran in January 2012. Contrary to what you think, it takes three or four months before you feel right running again. The other recovery was from the death of my dad. That meant no Father’s Day with him, no fishing this year and no Traveler's Championship. It is amazing how much you miss a person when they are gone. I am thankful for all the people I know and love them all. Time really is short.

So back to the summer. My wife and I decided to do something a little bit crazy. Before our traditional June Disney trip, we snuck in a week during the “extra day” campaign. Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim were open 24 hours on the day of Feb. 29. One “extra day” … get it? From 6 a.m. Feb. 29 to 6 a.m. March 1, these iconic parks were open. Well we spent 22 hours in Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando and left with a few hours left because we were zombies. Then Micky Dolenz of the Monkees announced he was filling in for Davy Jones after his untimely death, and, well, just like that we went down for a weekend. To make a long story short, we met Dolenz! It was purely by accident. He came into the restaurant where we were dining. He took time out and spoke to my wife and I and asked what we did for a living. He was very cordial. My wife told me Dolenz was MFM which stands for “My Favorite Monkee.” What a thrill! And all of that happened before June!

Now onto the summer. Sure there was the standard trip to Disney. It was our 11th anniversary, and we spent it having a lovely meal at Citrico’s located in the Grand Floridian Hotel. It is a wonderful restaurant. I highly recommend everyone who loves Mediterranean cuisine fused with French elegance give it a try. Speaking of trying, how about those Olympics?

I have been writing for this website since opening week, 2002. Has it been that long? I have the fortunate opportunity to see if I mentioned anything about the Olympics in my past articles. In 2004 I said absolutely nothing about Athens, Greece. In 2008, I mentioned the opening ceremonies from Beijing being broadcast in high definition and how spectacular they were. This time we have the games from London, which just concluded. And for some reason this time I had full Summer Olympic fever. I watched every night and DVR’d it nightly from 10 p.m. - midnight so I could manage some sleep. But even the closing ceremonies were entertaining. It could be because they are an English speaking country. Anyway, I really enjoyed them. Will I say the same about Rio in 2016? Only time will tell. If I am lucky I will still be writing for the greatest fantasy football website on the world wide web.

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

Preparing For The Draft

The draft is coming, virgins. It’s time to get out those stat sheets and read over number upon number or just link into the FantasySharks recommended draft list and 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 do, 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. If you are drafting 10th and a quarterback is still available, go for it. Last year I took over the commissioner duties of my league and I instituted a strong quarterback league. And everyone did not take a quarterback in the first round. I was dumbfounded. The 10th-rated quarterback will still score more than a go-to wide receiver in a strong quarterback league.

This year, I am also going to still take the dude who (barring injury) will get the most projected points every round and avoid running backs in the early rounds. Why no running backs? Since the league is getting away from the running game, running backs become a risk that is very high. They can 'win you big' but also 'lose you big' with untimely injuries.

The distribution offense favors wide receivers. The incorporation of the aforementioned West Coast Offense favors the wide receivers. The “no touch” rules favor the wide receivers. Therefore, wide receivers carry the day after quarterbacks in a strong quarterback league. Only take wide receivers first if your league is not a strong quarterback league.

Knowledge is power, and this site cranks up enough wattage to light a moonless night!  

Well, I will let you know how my draft worked out by the first week of September. With the NFL starting on Sept. 5, our draft settles everything on Sept. 3. No rest for the wicked. It is good to be back, friends. Welcome to fantasy football 2012.

Master D.

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