Thursday - Apr 18, 2019

Home / Uncategorized / FROM CHUM TO SHARK! (with a bit of help from my friends)

FROM CHUM TO SHARK! (with a bit of help from my friends)

20 years ago American Football hit the UK like a damp squib . . . with very little interest. If I remember right the first Superbowl showed over there was the Raiders winning against someone . . . I don’t recall who. About 3 months later through the course of my job, I spent 2 great weeks in Philadelphia (I was 17 then), and kind of maintained a following for the Eagles due to some of the great people I met.

20 Years later I am back in the US working in Florida and am asked to enter a 16 team fantasy football league, something I knew nothing about. But being a bit of a gambler, I was instantly interested when I learned that money was involved.

Of all the owners, I would say that about 6 of them actually know what they are doing, 3 have an idea, 2 have family members who really have an idea and are pretty much running their teams, leaving 4 clueless people, and of course me.

It was agreed it would be an auto pick draft, so after doing a bit of research found I could express a preference for certain players. Having followed Philly loosely for a while, I straight away opted for McNabb, this Shockey guy looked good last year, so I put him down, Vanderjagt was another high preference, together with the Baltimore defense, and so on and so on . . . I haphazardly put down about 10 players or teams I was familiar with and let the computer do its business.

And so came the draft and I ended up with:

QB McNabb, Donovan (QB-Phi) QB
WR Randle El, Antwaan (WR-Pit) WR
WR Galloway, Joey (WR-Dal) WR
WR Pinkston, Todd (WR-Phi) WR
RB Bettis, Jerome (RB-Pit) RB
RB Staley, Duce (RB-Phi) RB
TE Shockey, Jeremy (TE-NYG)
K Vanderjagt, Mike (K-Ind)
DEF Baltimore Ravens

Bench Maddox, Tommy (QB-Pit)
Bench Kleinsasser, Jim (TE-Min)
Bench Wayne, Reggie (WR-Ind)
Bench Gordon, Lamar (RB-StL)
Bench Wilson, Cedrick (WR-SF)
Bench Hollis, Mike (K-NYG)

Is this a good draft or what? Duce Staley, Jerome Bettis, hey I have heard of these 2 guys. I got McNabb and Shockey (no surprise there, no-one else wanted them in the 2nd round), and a few wide receivers I hadn’t heard of, but looked okay to me (I think most have heard of Cedric Wilson now). I decided to do some research to see just how good my team was. Through the Internet, I found, bit the bullet and posted my team on the forums. Some of the replies were:

“Uh oh! . . . is the phrase that comes to mind.”

“You are in the unfortunate position of having crappy RBs and WRs.”

“Pray for a miracle because you’ll need one. You might as well start drinking now and drown your sorrows away.”

And finally, Tony Holm himself wrote, most eloquently:
“Wow. What a train wreck of a team.”

But then the constructive comments came, and there were many. Suggestions on who to start, who to cut, who to pick up, who to trade, how to trade, all types of suggestions provided most willingly and cheerfully by the posters on the forums. My first big capture was picking up free agent WR David Boston, who one of the other clueless (or maybe not) players cut. I upgraded my running backs to at least 2nd string RBs through the waiver wire as well.

Then I went after the weaker players. Remember that the British, through the course of history, have picked on weaker nations – raped, pillaged, took all their good stuff – and then gave them independence. Hey, let’s not get into history, but those who do not learn from it are doomed to repeat it, and let’s just say I was looking for some History 101 Fs.

I recognized (with a bit of suggestion) that I desperately needed a pair of RBs. Who should I trade? Well, my salvation came in the first week, when 2 (and only 2) of my players, Galloway and Maddox, had decent games, the rest were terrible. These were two guys my new friends were suggesting I could sell high, and who I could spare. I was told to aim high but settle for average, as what I had to offer was not going to get me a Priest Holmes.

I went after Steven Davis’ slightly clueless owner and offered Galloway as the cure to his WR problems. He snapped my hand off, after all he scored 12 points in the first game. RB number one was added to the team.

We have a pretty nasty Pittsburgh fan in our league, who was drooling over Maddox, particularly after his 22 point first week performance, and I knew he had Ricky Williams. So I asked on the message board if this was a good trade.

“Snatch it in a heartbeat.”

“Put down the computer and pick up the phone! Get that deal done now! Do it and don’t look back! I want to play in your league.”

So I persisted and eventually got my man Williams (and not the bloke from Indy either) for Maddox and Staley.

I decided I needed another good WR and went after Horn for Bettis. Unfortunately his owner had some kind of an idea, and since Bettis had racked up 0 points in the first game, he declined, but I kept after him. He finally relented and gave up Toomer, to which I “reluctantly” agreed (again with the Shark’s whole-hearted approval).

So after another couple of minor trades and waiver wire moves, following more good advice, my team now is:

QB McNabb, Donovan (QB-Phi)
WR Boston, David (WR-SD)
WR Toomer, Amani (WR-NYG)
WR Pinkston, Todd (WR-Phi)
RB Williams, Ricky (RB-Mia)
RB Davis, Stephen (RB-Car)
TE Shockey, Jeremy (TE-NYG)
K Vanderjagt, Mike (K-Ind)
DEF Baltimore Ravens

Bench Delhomme, Jake (QB-Car)
Bench Boller, Kyle (QB-BAL)
Bench Shaw, Bobby (WR-Buf)
Bench Jordan, LaMont (RB-NYJ)
Bench Gary, Olandis (RB-Det)
Bench Jones, Thomas (RB-TB)

I will be dropping Boller after the bye week, hope for Donovan to start to shine, and for some of the other players to start making a few points to up their trade value. Considering what I started with, most would agree this is an improvement.

I’ve played in Fantasy Soccer (Proper Football), cricket, and a whole lot of other things involving fantasy (things I probably shouldn’t mention), but for a game involving over-padded pansies, that run for about 15 seconds, then take a 5 minute rest, and manage to make a 1 hour game last 4 hours (or in Dallas’ case about 6), I must concede this thing is more addictive than all of them.

My aim is now for the playoffs. I have my reservations, as everyone seems to be upping their game when they play me, but can safely say (in my best American accent) “I wouldn’t be where I am without Y’all!”

About Fantasy Sharks began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.