Keeper/Dynasty Leagues

Fantasy leagues come with a plethora of options for how you and your competitors will play over the course of the season, but also how you play over a number of years. Standard leagues reset on a year by year basis. However, keeper and dynasty leagues allow for owners to keep part or all of their roster from one season to the next .

So what are the reasons behind playing a keeper or dynasty league?

I think the main reason people play these types of leagues is to bring more skill into the equation. When rosters (or parts of rosters) are carried over to the next season, it brings in more a real life GM feel to the game. Also, it changes the dynamic of a league to one that replicates real life. The trade deadline becomes a point in the season where the guys who are out of the playoffs can deal some of their better players for future draft picks and/or prospects. In a keeper/dynasty league, owners definitely have a lot more control over their success than those whose rosters are determined by a random generator every year.

However, there are some negative aspects to these leagues. First off, if there is any turnover among owners then the whole keeper idea doesn’t always work out all too well. Also, things are much more simple without keepers. A new year means a new start for everyone, regardless of how they did last year. It gives hope for all fantasy players that this is the year they dominate and take home the championship.

05 31

Some of my friends are already mock drafting for next season.

Way Too Early QB, RB, and WR Rankings

It is a dry season for fantasy sports. Yes I know fantasy baseball is in full swing, but honestly it gets hard to keep checking day by day after about week 2 or 3. Also, my the commish of my league choked and never got our league drafting so I didn’t even get the chance to play fantasy baseball this year…

However, it’s never too early to look forward to the best fantasy football, one of the best times of the year. I’ll give some of my thoughts on who are the top guys at each position heading into the 2016-2017 NFL season. These will definitely change as we head into the summer, with training camp and preseason games making a difference for depth charts. But here we go.

Top 10 QBs:

  1. Ben Roethlisberger (IF he stays healthy)
  2. Russell Wilson (I’m tempted to put him #1 because I love the guy so much)
  3. Andrew Luck (bounce back season – wouldn’t be surprised if he’s #1)
  4. Aaron Rodgers
  5. Cam Newton
  6. Drew Brees
  7. Tom Brady (suspension hurts)
  8. Andy Dalton
  9. Carson Palmer
  10. Tony Romo

Top 10 RBs:

  1. LeVeon Bell
  2. Todd Gurley
  3. Devonta Freeman
  4. David Johnson
  5. Adrian Peterson
  6. Lamar Miller
  7. Jamaal Charles (Both him and AP are very interesting picks to me. I seem them both as risk/reward players)
  8. Thomas Rawls
  9. Mark Ingram
  10. Ezekiel Elliott

Top 10 WRs:

  1. Antonio Brown
  2. Julio Jones
  3. Deandre Hopkins (more weapons around him this season and a competent QB. Could easily be the top dog in the WR rankings next season.)
  4. Odell Beckham Jr.
  5. Dez Bryant
  6. Allen Robinson
  7. Jordy Nelson (Look for a huge comeback year for Nelson after the ACL tear kept him out last year)
  8. AJ Green
  9. Keenan Allen
  10. Sammy Watkins

05 09

I’m hoping for an amazing fantasy season from Russ! Hope to get him on my squad next year.

Draft’s Impact on Next Season

The NFL Draft has now taken place and there were many picks that could make an impact next year during the fantasy season. There are a couple guys who stand out as potential starters for their position next year.

First off, Ezekiel Elliott. The man was absolutely electric during his time at Ohio State. Now he will get the chance to be in the backfield behind the best offensive line in the league that helped Darren McFadden to an 1,100 yard season last year. I think Elliott could go as high as the second round in some fantasy leagues depending on how training camp and the preseason go. I doubt he will be the beast that Todd Gurley was last year, but I’d bet he positions himself as an every week starter by year’s end.

The rest of the first round seems kind of like a jumble to me. I’m not a big fan of rookie quarterbacks leading a fantasy team considering even the best ones are inconsistent. So Jared Goff and Carson Wentz don’t really excite me as fantasy prospects. The WRs taken in round 1 are interesting. Corey Coleman is a stud but is stuck in Cleveland. Both Will Fuller and LaQuon Treadwell will be slotted into the starting lineup for their respective teams, giving them a chance to possibly be a flex or WR2 during certain weeks next year. Josh Doctson is also great but it will be interesting to see how many touches he will get in Washington with so many capable receivers running routes for them next season.

Bonus: Robert Aguayo, Kicker, Florida State. Aguayo was taken in the second round, yes that’s right, by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He will immediately be a good pick for fantasy kickers because he is a heck of a player and an up and coming Bucs offense will give him many opportunities to score.

05 02

 

Free Agency And Fantasy

Now that free agency has come and gone, the fantasy football landscape for next year has been changed drastically. With big trades and signings, many questions over players will be popping up over the course of the next 5 months. Here are some early offseason questions throughout the fantasy football world:

Is RGIII a potential sleeper candidate at QB? – Following a move to the Browns, RGIII is now the leading man to get the starting job in Cleveland. After a groundbreaking rookie year, Griffin has struggled with injuries and his ability to play well from the pocket. However, he was stuck in a situation where he lost strong connections with coaches and teammates and really didn’t have a fair chance to shine. With an offensive guru in Hue Jackson at head coach, the Browns should be able to build a solid offense around RGIII. If Josh Gordon stays out of trouble, I really think Griffin could potentially be a solid QB2.

Will Demarco Murray be a quality fantasy starter next year in Tennessee? – Murray was shipped to Tennessee this offseason for basically nothing so the Eagles could clear cap space. With Murray coming off a disappointment of a season in Philadelphia, it will be interesting to see if he bounces back next year to become a guy owners can trust week to week as a starter for their squad. Murray will have a lot of motivation to prove doubters wrong but he also goes to a Titans team that has been horrible the past 2 years.

04 18

Can’t wait for the fantasy football season!

Fantasy Baseball Draft This Weekend

I decided to join a fantasy baseball league with some friends this spring. I don’t think it is nearly as fun as fantasy football, but I do enjoy taking part in another fantasy sport to pass the time. Hopefully this year I’ll stay interested in the league past the first few weeks.

Regardless of my interest level, my fantasy draft is taking place sometime this weekend. The MLB regular season kicks off next Monday, so we procrastinated quite a bit in terms of getting the draft going. However, a late draft doesn’t really have any negative affect on the season. If anything, it helps people in the league because starters get announced in the week before the season.

I’m not going to lie, when it comes to drafting my team I will be a big homer. Fantasy baseball tends to drag on in my opinion, so I am going to try and get as many Mariners as I can on my roster. This makes rooting for their success even more fun and gives me incentive to keep up with the league throughout the summer. Unfortunately, every guy in my league is also a fan of the M’s. I’ll have to somehow navigate my way through the draft, scooping up all of the best guys I can before any of the other teams pick them. However, if I reach on a couple Mariners early in the draft it could potentially hurt my team quite a bit.

04 03

If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to get Kyle Seager without reaching for him during the draft.

I’m really leaning towards reaching on Mariners and just hoping the team makes an amazing run this year. It would make all of the winning and mashing by the players two times as fun.

The Madness is Upon Us

After the season-long wait, March Madness is finally here. Selection Sunday has come and passed, meaning the match ups are set and ready for millions of people across the country to try and create the perfect bracket. Sadly, all of the analysts and experts really don’t help very much. ESPN puts together 2 hour shows dedicated to predicting the bracket, only for their analysts to put down nearly all chalk.

It’s called MARCH MADNESS for a reason ESPN. We didn’t wait all season for a vanilla tournament full of all higher seeds winning and no great upsets. Your bracket is an opportunity to pick the little guys and root for the craziness that makes this time of the year so exciting. Yes, I know that making big time upsets isn’t always the smartest strategy for picking your bracket, but it is time to have fun.

This season has given us a new record for losses by top 5 teams, so why would it stop in the regular season. It is tough to predict which top teams will lose early, but I really think this tournament could become a blood bath. There are a lot of underdog teams out there that are looking to write their own name into the pages of March Madness history, and a lot of top seeded teams vulnerable enough to let that happen.

I tend to really let the bracket making process stress me out. However, this is one my favorite times of year and I’ll have fun watching the tournament no matter what happens. I tend to pick with my heart too much, but I really think it makes the games more fun when you enjoy rooting for the teams you picked. Whatever you do, enjoy it. March Madness is finally her baby!

03 17

 

Preparing for the Madness

It is officially Champ Week and everyday more teams are punching their tickets to the NCAA Tournament by winning their conference tournament. With so much hype being built up around the Big Dance, it is time to start focusing the strategy it will take when filling out the bracket that will win you your pool with family, friends, or co-workers.

Lots of people argue that selecting a bracket is solely dependent upon luck. I absolutely disagree with this thought. Sure, a random person that has never watched any games can get lucky once in a while, but knowledge of the field and the factors that play into tournament success are vital to picking a strong bracket for years in a row. There is even an algorithm that was created by Davidson professor Tim Chartier that has helped him and other users finish among the highest percentile of brackets over the past few years. This idea of using math to help you predict your brackets has evolved into a website where one can create their own rankings by piecing together different aspects of Chartier’s criteria.

Here is the link: http://marchmathness.davidson.edu/massey/massey_weight.html

There are some simple factors that one may use to make a quality bracket besides a complicated math formula in order to help you understand more about the teams in the Big Dance. History shows that teams who finish hot in the regular season/conference tournament are more likely to go far. Also, take a look at strength of schedule numbers. Teams who are constantly being challenged are more likely to survive and advance once it comes to the postseason. Something I always struggle with is taking my heart out of the equation. However, picking your head is a must if you’re trying to rake in the cash from your pool.

03 14

No matter what strategy you choose, please try to avoid the amount of red this bracket was subject to!

 

Fantasy Baseball?

With the Major League Baseball season right around the corner, it is time to discuss the potential for joining and/or creating your own fantasy baseball league. Because of the number of games played per week, the length of the season, and the sometimes confusing scoring methods, fantasy baseball sits significantly lower than fantasy football in terms of popularity.

Fantasy baseball can be played using a couple different scoring formats, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. I’ll go through a couple of the more popular choices and give my opinion on which one makes fantasy baseball the most fun.

Rotisserie (Roto): Rotisserie is a very interesting way of scoring in my opinion. In this format, teams earn points for how they place in a certain stat category compared to the other teams in their league. For example, if there were 12 teams, the team with the most home runs would be allotted 12 points for that category and the team with the least amount of home runs would earn 1 point for that category. First place in the league is decided by who has the most points overall. This means there are no matchups. You are constantly competing against everyone in the league. I personally think roto scoring does a great job of forcing fantasy players to have a balanced team instead of just focusing in on home runs for batters and strikeouts for pitchers. However, this system of scoring essentially eliminates the majority of players early on because they get so far behind in categories.

Head to Head Categories: H2H Categories is the other standard scoring format on ESPN fantasy baseball. In H2H, players compete against one other team. Like roto, there are stat categories that owners want their team to be the best at. In contrast to roto, each category is only worth one point and you just look to win more categories than your opponent. If you win more categories, you win the game overall. H2H Categories is enjoyed by many due to its week by week matchups that mirror fantasy football and its simple scoring settings.

I really think H2H Categories is the best scoring format for fantasy baseball. I think having one person to compete against improves a player’s experience as well as the league overall. However, I have played in rotisserie leagues before and I think it works well for baseball because there are so many stat categories that are important within baseball. I would personally suggest against H2H Points because it is extremely difficult to accurately identify which stats are most important and how to compare them to each other. Overall, it is really up to the individual league to decide what scoring format they want to use. Only the players know what suits their league.

03 03

Regardless of your league’s scoring format, ESPN has a plethora of writers that are here to help you draft your team.

Streak for the Cash

With not much fantasy action going on right now, ESPN offers a daily fantasy opportunity that is free, fun, and gives users a chance to win lots of cash if they are over 18 years old. This opportunity is Streak for the Cash. It is not a standard fantasy game where you have a team full of players and you compete in a league against other teams. However, I have found that it is really enjoyable and makes random games fun just like fantasy sports.

Streak for the Cash is a pick ’em style game that incorporates prop bets and Vegas style spread bets where users try to create the longest streak of the month in order to be crowned winner and receive the cash prize. Also, there is an extra prize called the “stash” that can be won every month if you obtain a long enough streak.

The concept of picking games seems relatively easy but the Streak Manager, or man in charge of selecting which games you get to pick from, does an incredible job of filling the game with very tough picks. For example, a game that people can choose from tonight is the Washington vs. Utah basketball game. Utah is the better team and is playing at home. Seems pretty straightforward that most people would think Utah will win. However, Streak for the Cash gives the pick a twist by making users pick Washington: win or single digit loss or Utah: double digit win. This obviously makes the pick much tougher.

02 22

With so many tough choices, many streaks are ended everyday. The Streak Manager hooks you into picking games that you really know nothing about. Early morning Russian hockey games seem like a good way to get a pick in while you are sleeping, but they usually end with you waking up only to see that you took an L.

I advise all of you guys to check out Streak for the Cash. You can find on ESPN.com or it can easily be downloaded using the app store for iPhone or Android.

The Wait for March

Now that fantasy football is well over and the fantasy playoffs are coming to an end, we come to an unfortunate time in fantasy sports. As winter drags on, the realization that you’re longing for another team to cheer has been evident for quite some time. Some may have avoided this problem by joining a fantasy basketball league in November, but by now the grind of the long season may have taken away from the joy of winning. So for all avid fantasy sports fans, what is next?

Now that it is February, there is a trace of light that we can see in the distance. There may still be a wait for the competition we desire as fantasy lovers, but at least we know exciting things are coming soon. This light in the distance happens to be March Madness. This great time will be upon us in a little over a month from now.

If anything can live up to the greatness that is fantasy football, it is March Madness. Many people would even say that filling out a bracket is more fun than the season-long adventure that is fantasy football. I don’t know if I could decide if I had to choose between the two, but I will say that it would easily be March Madness if there were more games for a little bit longer stretch of time. However, filling out a bracket provides a different kind of excitement  than fantasy football. You can compete against dozens of family members and friends for the prize of best bracket. There is also the aspect of upsets that could end your chances of winning on day one. This is something that fantasy football doesn’t have. With a season, there is lots of time to recover. Once you submit that bracket and the games begin on Thursday morning, it is make it or break it.

02 04 16

Picture here w/ caption: Seattle hosted NCAA Tournament games last March. UC Irvine, a 13 seed, came one shot away from a big upset against perennial contender Louisville.

Hope all of you guys are just pumped for March Madness just like I am. I can’t wait to spend tons of time researching to try and make the perfect bracket.

Fantasy Football Awards (Part 2)

As I said before, this part of my fantasy football season recap will crown the biggest bust of this season, the best playoff performer, and also MVP of fantasy this season. It was longer layoff than expected but hopefully people are still interested enough to read this.

Biggest Bust: This is a very tough decision. Many guys appeared to throw their hat in the ring this year so it is quite the debate. I’d have to limit the award (that nobody wants) to Andrew Luck, Eddie Lacy, CJ Anderson, and Alfred Morris. Dez Bryant may be named by some but no receiver in the league could put up competent numbers with the quarterbacks the Cowboys ran out there. Of the four I mentioned, it probably has to come down to Lacy or Anderson. Luck was not very good but he also struggled with injuries so he did not have a chance to turn it around later in the season. Morris was by far the worst out of the group but he wasn’t touted as a for sure fantasy star like these other two backs. Lacy was a top 4 pick in most leagues and flopped so bad that James Starks replaced him as the starter during multiple points throughout the season. However, Anderson also lost his grip on the starting job as well. Ronnie Hillman and him split carries for most of the season following Anderson’s major struggles in the first few weeks of the year. In the end, I’d have to say the award for Biggest Bust goes to Eddie Lacy because some looked at him as a guy that could be the number 1 RB this year, and he fell all the way to fringe flex player by year’s end.

Playoff Performer of the Year: Tim Hightower – At first glance, this may seem pretty odd. Hightower is not a big name and didn’t even find his way onto rosters until late in the year. However, Hightower led his owners to championships across the fantasy world. In ESPN fantasy leagues, Hightower was owned on a higher percentage of championship teams than any other player. He might have no been the highest scoring guy, but he was crucial for late season fantasy success.

02 01

MVP: Devonta Freeman – Freeman is my vote for MVP of fantasy football due to his low draft status and his consistency throughout the year. Fantasy football is all about finding a diamond in the rough that leads your team, and this year that guy was easily Devonta Freeman. Freeman tore up the league and finished as the number 1 RB by a long shot. In a year with running backs in flux constantly, Freeman was a rock for his owners.

Fantasy Football Awards (Part 1)

  • In order to cap off the fantasy season, I will give my picks for multiple awards for NFL players when it comes to fantasy. I will decide on things like MVP, biggest surprises, biggest busts, etc. I will also name an all-playoff team and make all-league selections as well. This will be a multiple part piece that will stretch over the next few weeks.

Rookie of the Year: Todd Gurley – Because this is fantasy, the decision was easy. Gurley was a season-changing player for fantasy owners once he finally debuted a few weeks into the season. Gurley was a hurt a little by the fact that the Rams were atrocious in the passing game, but he certainly made a great case for the number 1 overall pick in next year’s fantasy draft.

Surprise Player of the Year: Devonta Freeman – This one is actually pretty tough. Freeman is a deserving winner but Gary Barnidge definitely made a case for the crown. However, Freeman separates himself due to the fact that he finished as the number 1 fantasy RB after coming into the season as a guy picked later in the draft that could maybe have potential to sneak in the lineup as bye week sub or a low end flex player. Freeman led all running backs in touchdowns this season and led many owners to championships. Like Gurley, Freeman put his name in the conversation for the first overall pick come next August.

Next week, we will award MVP, biggest bust, and playoff performer of the season.

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Until then, Go Hawks!

Fantasy Championships Over Break

It was a sad day Sunday. My team took a first round loss and was eliminated from the playoffs. After a season of hard work, it was tough to see my team go out without a championship. However, it was one of my favorite fantasy seasons so far. I took part in a very competitive league with friends and family that challenged me every week.

However, other people are still alive and their fantasy championships will occur while I’m on break. I salute them for their great seasons and I hope all of them come away happy with the accomplishments they made.

I am extremely sad to see the fantasy football season come to an end. I have dedicated dozens and dozens of hours researching and talking about fantasy football with friends. It is something I have looked forward to every week as I was grinding in school. It is always good to root for a real NFL team that has success so the end of the fantasy season marks the beginning of a chance to see your favorite team lift the Lombardi Trophy.

The NFL Playoffs also mean it is time for playoff fantasy. Playoff fantasy is a lot different than regular fantasy because it uses a salary cap and an NFL player can be owned by more than one team. However, it makes some of the games more fun when you can root for individual players. Any time you can play fantasy, you do it.

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After Christmas Break, I’ll be back with my season awards. See you then!

Injury Replacements for Playoffs

Last week, I talked about season-ending injuries derailing fantasy football seasons. I should have knocked on wood because Mark Ingram was placed on season-ending IR for a shoulder injury. I had talked about the injury bug hitting my friend but I have now lost Tony Romo, Dion Lewis, and Mark Ingram to injuries this year. Replacing Romo wasn’t very tough because he went down in week 2, but it took a pretty fortunate pickup in Thomas Rawls to make up for Lewis’ absence. As the season wears on, the waiver wire becomes slim, and finding a replacement for an injured star can be tough. That is the dilemma that comes with Mark Ingram (a top 5 scorer this year) going down.

Here are my guys to target in order to patch the large hole Ingram leaves:

STANDARD/PPR

CJ Spiller – Spiller is available in a good amount of leagues and will have chances to produce now that he is the most skilled back in New Orleans. Sean Payton has said they will have RBBC but Spiller will take over Ingram’s role in the passing game and is the guy with big play potential. If he’s still there to pickup, he is first priority.

PPR

Theo Riddick – Riddick has flown under the radar in fantasy this season. He would really only help in PPR leagues because his work is done almost exclusively in the passing game. However, Riddick is a top 20 RB in fantasy leagues and isn’t likely to lay an egg because he routinely gets at least 3 catches. He is a PPR fill in for Ingram.