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The 2014 NFL season was my first as a Fantasy Footballer. Well, I'm hooked. Excitement reigned supreme as I awaited this years drafts for my pair of Fantasy Football teams. Big boards, mock drafts, ADP's...the whole nine yards. I make it a point to never do anything half-ass. After all, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing!
As part of an ongoing weekly series, I'll be sharing my results, transactions and strategies with all Fantasy Footballers. Since I'm still a neophyte at this game, I hope you'll share your thoughts on how I can improve my teams and perhaps win a league championship or two!
The Snake Drafts - Strategies & Rationale
To prepare for my pair of Fantasy Football Snake Drafts, I came up with a game plan for successfully drafting the best team(s) possible. The game plan included 6 draft tenets:
1/ Research is king. I spent a considerable amount of time researching players/teams, entering mock drafts and creating a draft board of 200 players.
2/ One of the goals in each draft was to take a balanced approach through the first five rounds. In each draft I managed to take quality players at a number of positions without reaching: 2 RB's, 1 WR, 1 QB, 1 TE.
3/ I place more importance on the Defense, Placekicker and Tight End than many Fantasy Football participants do. I believe these positions can win weeks for you. I like to have both my PK and DEF selected between picks 85 and 120 if possible. If I can draft a quality Tight End, I'll take one fairly early.
4/ I like to target a half-dozen or so specific players that I feel will be available at certain points/rounds in the draft. This year, my targets were RB Arian Foster (dropped in most drafts due to injury), WR Larry Fitzgerald (a great connection with returning QB Carson Palmer), RB David Johnson (a versatile, high upside rookie with a team who knows how to use him; a great fit), RB Melvin Gordon (the rookie bell-cow back for San Diego), QB Tom Brady(dropped in most drafts due to the threat of a 4-game suspension), and TE Tyler Eifert (looking to rebound from injury).
5/ I'm never afraid to take a chance on rookies and higher-risk players with upside.
6/ In the mid-to-late rounds I tend to trust my board. BPA rules and I'm always searching for value, especially at the RB and WR positions.
Team Dubs (TST Live 1 Yahoo - 8 Teams)
Pick Position Player Team 1.3 RB Marshawn Lynch Seattle 2.14 QB Andrew Luck Indianapolis 3.19 WR A.J. Green Cincinnati 4.30 RB Melvin Gordon San Diego 5.35 TE Jimmy Graham Seattle 6.46 WR Jeremy Maclin Kansas City 7.51 WR Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 8.62 RB Arian Foster Houston 9.67 QB Tom Brady New England 10.78 TE Julius Thomas Jacksonville 11.83 WR Eric Decker NY Jets 12.94 DEF Denver Broncos 13.99 K Dan Carpenter Buffalo 14.110 WR Kendall Wright Tennessee 15.115 RB David Johnson Arizona 16.126 RB Andre Williams NY Giants
Frank's Team (Yahoo Public 1103417 - 10 Teams)
Pick Position Player Team 1.6 WR Dez Bryant Dallas 2.15 RB DeMarco Murray Philadelphia 3.26 QB Russell Wilson Seattle 4.35 RB Melvin Gordon San Diego 5.46 TE Travis Kelce Kansas City 6.55 RB Alfred Morris Washington 7.66 WR Sammy Watkins Buffalo 8.75 WR Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay 9.86 DEF St. Louis Rams 10.95 RB T.J. Yeldon Jacksonville 11.106 WR Nelson Agholor Philadelphia 12.115 K Justin Tucker Baltimore 13.126 TE Owen Daniels Denver 14.135 QB Joe Flacco Baltimore 15.146 RB Tevin Coleman Atlanta
Results & Statistics
A crazy week for me. One where I made some great decisions...and some stupid mistakes. A week filled with injuries, byes and plenty ups and downs. The best and worst decisions revolved around Atlanta RB Devonta Freeman.
For some inexplicable reason, Freeman was available as a Free Agent in both leagues. I added him to both of my teams. Freeman's performance last week elevated him to the top of the fantasy points standings for running backs through 4 weeks of the season. Except I didn't start him in either league. Marshawn Lynch's injury status wasn't determined until late Sunday (for Monday's game). At that point I literally couldn't bench him, for everyone else had played already. Freeman/Lynch was the difference between a blowout win and a tough loss.
With Tom Brady on a bye week and Andrew Luck out with an injury, I needed to scramble to find a decent QB. Andy Dalton came through with a fine performance. With both Sammy Watkins and Dez Bryant out with injuries, I once again scrambled to find a wide receiver, adding Marvin Jones. Jones ended up being a poor choice, as he scored only 1 point for Frank's team. I've since replaced Jones with Green Bay's James Jones.
5 players I'm glad I selected/added: Devonta Freeman, Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green and the Denver Broncos defense. 5 players who are my biggest disappointments: Andrew Luck, Marshawn Lynch, Melvin Gordon, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant. My top two players drafted in each league have woefully underperformed. Luckily, solid drafting overall and dismal performances by my opponents have left me near the top of the standings in both leagues.
Week Team Dubs Opponent PF PA Rank Record 1 95.12 88.72 95.12 88.72 1st 1 0 2 93.90 78.06 189.02 166.78 1st 2 0 3 150.32 59.58 339.34 226.36 1st 3 0 4 72.84 81.94 412.18 308.30 1st 3 1
Position Player Team Fantasy Points QB Andy Dalton Cincinnati 18.44 RB Marshawn Lynch Seattle 0.00 RB Melvin Gordon San Diego 4.60 WR A.J. Green Cincinnati 8.20 WR Jeremy Maclin Kansas City 14.80 Flex Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 7.90 TE Jimmy Graham Seattle 2.90 PK Dan Carpenter Buffalo 6.00 Defense Denver Broncos 10.00 Total Points Week 4 72.84
Player Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Tom Brady 27.62 28.24 22.72 Bye Andrew Luck 19.72 11.40 18.50 Out Andy Dalton 18.44 Marshawn Lynch 12.40 6.20 2.30 0.00 Melvin Gordon 4.70 9.80 5.10 4.60 Andre Williams 1.40 4.30 8.90 Waived Devonta Freeman 32.90 Arian Foster Out Out Out 1.50 David Johnson 11.50 16.50 4.10 12.10 A.J. Green 6.30 10.50 34.70 8.20 Kendall Wright 16.10 1.70 16.80 Bye Larry Fitzgerald 8.70 29.20 25.40 7.90 Jeremy Maclin 5.20 5.50 20.10 14.80 Eric Decker 9.70 15.70 Out 10.60 Jimmy Graham 11.10 1.10 14.30 2.90 Julius Thomas Out Out Out Waived Dan Carpenter 11.00 2.00 13.00 6.00 Denver Broncos 16.00 22.00 16.00 10.00
Week Frank's Team Opponent PF PA Rank Record 1 91.34 79.82 91.34 79.82 3rd 1 0 2 91.14 60.66 182.48 139.88 2nd 2 0 3 68.90 119.06 251.38 258.94 4th 2 1 4 82.38 54.94 333.76 316.48 4th 3 1
Position Player Team Fantasy Points QB Russell Wilson Seattle 15.48 RB DeMarco Murray Philadelphia 4.80 RB Melvin Gordon San Diego 4.60 WR Travis Benjamin Cleveland 7.90 WR Marvin Jones Cincinnati 1.00 Flex Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay 20.70 TE Travis Kelce Kansas City 2.90 PK Justin Tucker Baltimore 15.00 Defense St. Louis Rams 10.00 Total Points Week 4 82.38
Player Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Russell Wilson 16.14 23.04 16.20 15.48 Joe Flacco 2.68 22.56 21.48 8.56 DeMarco Murray 14.00 5.50 0.00 4.80 Melvin Gordon 4.70 9.80 5.10 4.60 Devonta Freeman 32.90 Alfred Morris 12.10 7.20 1.90 6.50 T.J. Yeldon 6.70 8.30 4.20 10.90 Tevin Coleman 8.00 9.20 Out Waived Travis Benjamin 29.50 8.50 7.90 Sammy Watkins 0.00 12.00 3.90 Out Marvin Jones 1.00 Vincent Jackson 5.10 11.40 4.00 20.70 Dez Bryant 4.80 Out Out Out Nelson Agholor 0.50 Waived Travis Kelce 22.60 5.80 10.00 2.90 Owen Daniels 0.50 1.90 8.80 Waived Justin Tucker 10.00 15.00 6.00 15.00 St. Louis 14.00 4.00 11.00 10.00
Week 4 - Added RB Devonta Freeman, Dropped RB Andre Williams
Week 4 - Added QB Andy Dalton, Dropped TE Julius Thomas
Week 5 - Added TE Charles Clay, Dropped QB Andy Dalton
Week 2 - Added WR Tavon Austin, Dropped WR Nelson Agholor
Week 2 - Added WR Travis Benjamin, Dropped WR Tavon Austin
Week 4 - Added RB Devonta Freeman, Dropped RB Tevin Coleman
Week 4 - Added WR Marvin Jones, Dropped TE Owen Daniels
Week 5 - Added WR James Jones, Dropped WR Marvin Jones
Week 5 - Added QB Andy Dalton, Dropped QB Joe Flacco
Week 5 - Added TE Ladarius Green, Dropped RB Alfred Morris
Week 5 Starting Lineups
QB - Tom Brady
RB - Devonta Freeman, Arian Foster
WR - A.J. Green, Jeremy Maclin, Larry Fitzgerald
TE - Jimmy Graham
PK - Dan Carpenter
DEF - Denver Broncos
Out - Eric Decker (Bye), Andrew Luck. Marshawn Lynch (Injury)
QB - Russell Wilson
RB - Devonta Freeman, T.J. Yeldon
WR - Vincent Jackson, Travis Benjamin, Sammy Watkins
TE - Travis Kelce
PK - Justin Tucker
DEF - St. Louis Rams
Out - Dez Bryant (Injury)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: How To Set Your Fantasy Lineups For Week 5: Sports Illustrated
Fantasy Football Week 5 Start 'Em And Sit 'Em: CBS Sports - Jamey Eisenberg