Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome to Fantasy Why? Land

"Zee pick, Boss, zee pick"

Uh-oh. What have I done now? Well I'll tell you what I've done. I've gone and accepted an invitation to participate in a fantasy football league. And not just any league. It's the prestigiousHumor Blogger Fantasy Football League. Seems they're an owner or two short this year and one of the existing owners Unfinished Person asked me if I'd be interested in playing. Well, first of all I'm gratified that they think I'm a humour blogger (and a Canadian, hence the "u" - "hence the u", that's a funny expression, isn't it? Must be Canadian.). My fantasy football skills remain to be seen.

Now if that wasn't enough, a member of that fantasy league runs another one called "FTWL" and he asked me to join that one too. Hey, what the heck. If I'm gonna go down I may as well go down in spectacular fashion.

What do I know about fantasy leagues? My brother (HI WHITEY!) from *spits* Toronto is into fantasy leagues. He's been participating in a national baseball rotisserie league since I can't remember when. But then he's the sports director of a national newspaper. Of course he knows what he's doing.

Me? Yeah I know about individual football players. There are those who e-mail photos of their junk to young ladies. Others breed dogs to fight each other and shoot them if they don't perform. Still others stick a gun in their pants and manage to shoot themselves in the leg in bars. And there was one former player who used to run through airports and after he retired had trouble putting his gloves on.

On the field, I follow the New England Patriots, The Pittsburg Steelers, the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants. A Canadian, who lives in none of those cities or regions, I'm happy to see any of those teams make the Super Bowl.

But fantasy leagues are about individuals from across the league not any one team or another. The irony of fantasy leagues is you may well be cheering for teams you hate because you've got a player or two from that team on your fantasy team. You still with me? Good, maybe you'll be able to help me and give me a few recommendations in the comments about which players to pick.

So instead of sitting on the couch in my underwear drinking beer and watching football all by myself, I'll be able to do it with 10-12 virtual friends. Good times!

Seriously, I'm going up against some pretty solid guys who have been doing this for several years. Me, I've never participated in a fantasy league before. Wish me luck as I embark on my little sojourn to Fantasy Why? Land. I'll update you from time to time unless, of course, I really suck at this and in that case you may never hear about it again.

So long, sucker.

Mrs Dufus has her own thoughts about all this which you can read about at dufus daze. I can't really say she's all that enthusiastic.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kneel Before Renal Failure!

by 2010 Humor Bloggers Fantasy Football League Champion Renal Failure

What's it like to play against Renal Failure? It hurts...

Your People's Champion Renal Failure finds themselves in an unfamiliar position to start the 2011 HBFFL season: being the defending HBFFL champion. Usually we begin the season ready to avenge our not winning it all the previous year, but this year we don't have to because we did win it all (in two leagues, and against LOBO in the championship games no less).

So what does a franchise based on spite and vengeance do when there's nothing to avenge? We crank up the paranoia and say everyone is against, and this time we're actually right because when you're the defending champ, everyone's looking to knock you off of your pedestal. Everyone wants to make a name for themselves at your expense.

Ninja Vicki and Samurai Cathy say "Strike us if you dare, we will destroy you." Not sure what that means fantasy football-wise, but it probably means you should start Charley Whitehurst at QB...

Also, Renal Failure wants to be the first team to break the curse of the previous year's champion not making the playoffs. And once we've avoided that fate, then we can worry about being the first repeat champion of the HBFFL because we know all too well how long and treacherous a fantasy football season can be.

And now with the new scoring changes to the HBFFL, new strategies will need to be employed. No longer will QB's throw up ridiculous numbers, as the league has seen fit to curtail the bear-in-orbit potential of quarterbacks by lowering their passing TD scores to 4, unless the TD in questions is 40+ yards, then it gets a bonus 2 points to go back up to 6. Also this season, interceptions will cost QB's 2 points, as will fumbles lost by any offensive player. This can only mean that there will be lesser bears thrown into outer space this year.

The scoring may have changed, but our devotion to Our Lady of Tight Denim Ines Sainz has not wavered one bit...

We won't have a draft preview because this season the HBFFL is doing a Live Draft rather than the auto-pick we've done in previous years. Usually we would do a bunch of mock drafts and fine-tune how we set up our lists, but now all that goes out the window. No more being forced to take a kicker in the 8th round. Now we build our rosters according to the pattern in our own heads. We can only hope that we don't outsmart ourselves on draft day. And it's too bad we can't trade draft picks during the draft because I think I could trick UnfinishedRambler into another disastrous deal. Well, if we don't fleece him in a trade later the season, someone else invariably will.

So stand tall and applaud your champion Renal Failure, for we defend our title not just for our glory but for the glory of The People. We may be known by many names, (The Wild Card, the Great One, the Macho Fantasy Football Donkey Wrestler, The Duke of New York) but we will always be The People's Champion. And if we have a say in the matter, we will be your 2011 HBFFL champion again.

Renal Failure is one of five remaining original members of the HBFFL, and might be its most-hated owner.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

FF Corner Draft Day Sucker Wheel Bets

Welcome to FF Corner, my column on fantasy football. This time around we focus on bad bets.

Draft Day Sucker Wheel Bets

I worked in Atlantic City one summer back in college. One of the games there was the money wheel, which was nicknamed the "Sucker Wheel" because of the low payouts. Some of the strategies experts advise and people employ in fantasy football drafting are like the sucker wheel. They rarely hit.

These three are my favorites.

1. Pick a quarterback in the first three rounds.

Remember the first time you played fantasy football and you were told never take a quarterback early? Me too. But it only takes a few seasons under the belt before many owners try to break that cardinal rule.

Sure, you might make all the right picks one season. But long-term, year-to-year, drafting a quarterback early means you miss out on players that other teams will start against your lineup. And the difference in points is not enough to make up for it. You will be playing catchup the rest of the draft.

Caveat: If one of the top-three QB's is still on the board in the third round then make that bet.

2. Pick names not tiers of talent.

I see this a lot. I'm gonna go for this guy, then this guy, and I really like this other guy. These are also the same people who say things like this in the draft chat: "Why does everyone keep picking my players?"

Mancrushes do not win fantasy leagues. And they could get you in legal trouble.

Going for names can also lead to over reaching a round or two early, especially if you are on the ends of the snake. Maybe you like the suspense of hoping player x will be there at your turn but the house odds are against you in a big way.

Tiers of talent are the way to go. For every specific player an owner has their heart set on, there usually is another available player that will produce the same amount of points.

3. Draft the handcuff

Many experts throw around this sucker wheel bet: get your top RB's backup. And maybe the QB's too.

I said it last season and I still stick by my words: Handcuffs are a waste of a draft pick and a roster spot. Nine times out of ten the backup is way less talented than the starter. For every Matt Cassell and Michael Turner there are ten Maurice Morris types.

Someone might argue but what about RBBC teams? Same rebuttal: most of the time the committee has two+ backs that are not talented enough to be a fantasy RB1. Why would you want both on your roster?

Since any fantasy team is screwed if their top running back goes down it makes more sense to have a backup that is a clear starter or the #1 in a RBBC than the handcuff.

Agree, disagree, have your own sucker wheel fantasy football bets? Have at it in the comments...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And We Are Back For Another Season

Whew. There almost wasn't fantasy football this season.

Who cares about millionaires and billionaires fighting over money right? Just get on the damn field so we can win fictional championships.

And they finally did.

So here we are, the HBFFL ready to embark on its fourth season and provide our 20 readers with our epic and often gripping tales of the thrill of victory. And the agony of defeat.

Let's start things off with Remy's classic Fantasy Football Rap...