You may have seen the challenge posted by Greg Kellogg in the forums stating his team will repeat as HAFAX champions in 2004. If you were paying attention last year you know that HAFAX is a unique fantasy league where teams are run by… well teams. Tony Holm is the team owner, Doug Coutts is the General Manager, and Mike Rumsey is the Head Coach. Pat Smith is the Offensive Coordinator, Doug Gaskell mans the Defensive Coordinator position and I handle the Special Teams. Even though we have specific roles, the six of us work together to run the Fantasy Sharks franchise.
We had some success last season, winning our division and made it into the playoffs. But we lost in the first round in a close battle with our division rival Fantasy Draftware. The great thing about this league is that the competition level is very strong as everyone involved has many years of experience winning their local leagues. For more details as to how the league works and our team strategies, check out these articles written for the 2003 season:
HAFAX – Time to Dominate
Let’s get back to Mr. Kellogg’s challenge. Yes his Fantasy Asylum franchise did have a strong inaugural season and won the Championship in 2003. But, he has had turnover in key areas on his staff. Most would also say that his franchise had a little luck since his weekly starting lineups included: Dante Hall, Kevin Faulk, Justin McCareins, Troy Hambrick and Marcel Shipp. FA’s team should be good again, but here’s why the Fantasy Sharks franchise will be better.
Our first order of business was to decide who would be our Franchise players and Restricted Free Agents. Using the RFA tag meant that we could have to spend $1Million in cap money for each RFA that we ended up winning. On defense we decided to Franchise DB Jerry Azumah. At the time Jerry was our stud defensive player but has since gotten hurt and will miss significant time this season. We then used just one of our 2 RFA tags on LB Mike Barrow with the hopes that someone would bid on him and we could receive the compensation. That didn’t happen so Mike joined our team for $1Million.
On offense we had to make two decisions, first do we Franchise Fred Taylor or Marshall Faulk? The second question is do we double RFA tag the other back or do we RFA tag Trent Green (who we got cheap in the auctions in 2003). We decided to Franchise Taylor and double-tagged Faulk, who ended up costing us $2Million against the cap. Trent Green was returned back to the Free Agent pool along with the rest of our 2003 roster.
Our biggest weakness with the 2003 squad was at WR. So that became our priority and we went hard after RFA Chad Johnson and eventually won him. Add in Eric Moulds and Chris Chambers and we hope to have the depth and talent that was missing from last year’s squad at the receiver position. We know at least that our receivers are popular from the trade offers we continue to receive (and reject).
In the rookie draft we were able to pickup RB Tatum Bell and then sign him to a 4-year contract. He is now on our roster for better or for worse until through the 2007 season. In a 16 team league, you can never have enough RBs on your roster.
The offensive starting lineup requirements are 1QB 1RB 2WR 1 TE and 1 Flex. So we are hopeful that our regular starting lineup looks like this: Jake Plummer, Fred Taylor, Chad Johnson, Eric Moulds, Daniel Graham and Marshall Faulk. This leaves us with Chris Chambers, Tatum Bell, and Troy Brown on the bench for bye weeks.
We still have some holes to fill on defense but feel good about what we have done within the minimal budget. We also need a kicker since the only one we had was Morten Anderson who was just cut by the Chiefs. We will need to find some gems on the waiver wire and when we do, we fully expect to make a nice run into the playoffs.
Here is the roster for your 2004 Fantasy Sharks HAFAX team:
So as you can see, our fate will rest on our offense. But our offense is stronger than last year so we are hopeful that 2004 will be the year for Fantasy Sharks in HAFAX. Follow along all season and see how we do.