The time is drawing ever closer. Soon, players will be taking the field and scoring points in mythical fashion, subsequently allowing one proud, lucky owner to hoist a championship trophy as homage to his, or her's, tireless efforts. I'm talking, of course, about fantasy football - the greatest sporting spectacle controlled on a mouse pad. It takes a cunning and maniacal individual to spend three months behind a computer desk, relentlessly scouring the waiver wire and dissecting their roster week to week. That's why my diabolical self is here to help you prepare.
The most stressful time of any fantasy season is actually drafting one's roster in the beginning. After all, there's really no telling what will actually unfold as the year progresses, so a season's worth of speculation engulfs you in one swift wave of panic as the clock begins ticking. Strategies are dismantled while players are stolen from beneath your feet, and gameplans crumble with every untimely injury. Calm down. We'll get you through this.
In my eye, there are three classes players when entering the draft process: those taken in rounds 1-5, 6-10 and 11-15. The uppermost echelon is reserved for the elite of football stars; those taken early with the intention of leading your team to the promise land. The middle group is where the question marks begin to pile up. These are the boom or bust players who may shuffle in and out of the starting lineup or simply be cut from the roster all together after only a few weeks. Finally, the sleepers come in last. Aside from kickers and defenses, these players are largely chosen based on potential alone. Sure, you could simply wash your hands of these guys after a couple of bad games, but where is the fun in that?
Now come in the variables. How do they all ultimately stack up to other players of their position, and how much weight should be placed on that player's past when imagining their future. Nothing truly matters but what lies in the season ahead; however, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that history tends to repeat itself. You wouldn't make your franchise quarterback an injury risk, would you? Well...let's get to it...
Oh, how the mighty hath fallen. Heading into last season, this future Hall of Famer seemed to be consensus first or second round pick. What happened? He never saw the field, shattering the hopes and dreams of fantasy footballers everywhere whom gambled their fortune on an uncertainty.
Take it from a Steeler fan bound by location – this kid has game. Redman, an undrafted rookie in 2009, didn’t make an impact until his second season, but has been productive when given a prominent role. Coach Mike Tomlin has since named Redman the feature goal line back. Remember: fantasy football is about scoring points.
Due to his unanticipated and moderately ludicrous breakout 2011 season, Laurent Robinson was a hot commodity on the free agent market. With the Dallas Cowboys, Robinson played fast, consistent and healthy; three traits of which fans did not see during his time in St. Louis. He officially earned his big payday on March 14, signing a five-year, $32.5 million contract. That’s great for him, but is he headed for a favorable situation? No.
I trust many at Turf Show Times (if you are anything like me) took a flier on the Rams’ "D" in the ladder portion of your draft last year. I’d also wager that not long after – likely following either Torrey Smith’s or DeMarco Murray’s coming out party – you unceremoniously dropped them in anger and disgust. Shame on you! Didn’t you realize that the Rams were to play the Saints right after the Cowboys?!
No, just no. Like your mother at the grocery store, if I see you reaching for a candy bar at the checkout counter, I’m going to slap your hand and say "We have enough junk!" Actually, I can’t prevent you from selecting Tebow. I don’t condone it, but it’s your team.