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Thursday, December 27, 2012

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY FOOTBALL HORROR SHOW: WHAT WENT WRONG

For those who are religious followers, yours truly has always fared much better in fantasy baseball than in fantasy football.  Whether it is that more luck is involved with football or whatnot, baseball is where my best work has been done to the tune of winning Experts League # 1 four years running and Experts League 2 three of the last four years (with a rotten fourth place finish included). 

As far as the Experts League in fantasy football, I have won two titles in 7 seasons, with none in the last two years.  Despite having five non-winning seasons, I have either lost in the title game or advanced to the second round of the playoffs each year until 2012.  To say that 2012 was a brutal year would be an understatement as, despite making the playoffs as an a non-deserving sixth seed, got bounced in the first round of the playoffs and finished with a 6-8 overall mark.  All of this despite going into the season thinking I had a team destined for greatness. 

So what went wrong?  Allow me to go back down the awful memory lane that was the 2012 Fantasy Football Season.

1.  Running Back Was My Primary Undoing:  There is no doubt that running back was the position that killed me the most, both for injuries and for poor decisions on my part.  It all started on draft day when I picked LeSean McCoy fourth overall (after Ray Rice, Darren McFadden (Raiders fan), and Aaron Rodgers) over Arian Foster.  My thinking was that Foster had a history of leg injuries and had a very capable Ben Tate looking to take some carries.  McCoy however chose 2012 to be his worst season since becoming a regular, missing the last quarter-plus of the season with a concussion.  Foster meanwhile has his third stellar season in a row, finishing behind only Adrian Peterson in fantasy football points scored by running backs.

My second big problem was that my other starting back was DeMarco Murray.  You know the DeMarco Murray who missed almost all of 2012 with a nagging foot injury.  Yes he made it back for the stretch run but by than my team was on fumes.  I had to get by with the awful Felix Jones and DeAngelo Williams.  I said in the summer that Murray was a boom or bust player, capable of a huge PPR season if he stayed in one piece but also capable of ruining your team if he got hurt again.  Well the latter came true for me at least.  Not good.

2.  I Have Too Much Loyalty To Andre Johnson and Jason Witten:  Again those who are religious followers know that the two guys I love more in fantasy football are Andre Johnson and Jason Witten.  Both guys have been on my team each of the last five years with much success along the way.  However as great as these two guys are, the only big issue with both is that they don't score touchdowns.  As dominant and unstoppable force as Johnson is, he scored all of four touchdowns this season.  Witten?  Only 2!!!!  Yes in our PPR format these guys are awesome but they also need to supply at least 6 touchdowns as well which they didn't.  Again I still love these two but next season I need to get more touchdowns out of the receiver spots like a Julio Jones, Vincent Jackson, or A.J. Green.

3.  It Wasn't All Bad:  My Touting Of Matt Ryan and Eric Decker Paid Off:  Two of the underrated value plays I touted heavily in the summer both came through big time as Matt Ryan absolutely exploded like I knew he would in new offensive coordinator Dirk Kotter's passing attack and Decker found live grand on the receiving end of Peyton Manning tosses.  Ryan is in the conversation of fantasy football MVP but he his no-show against the New Orleans Saints of all teams in Week 13 cost me a higher seed and an easier first round opponent.  Also as good as Decker was (especially scoring), he went ice cold from Weeks 12-15 which again cost me big time in the seedings.

4.  Injuries:  Yet another major tout of mine was Aaron Hernandez who I drafted over Witten as my number 1 guy amid reports he was going to be the clear top dog in the Patriots' passing offense.  Well Hernandez lived true to his habit of getting hurt and missed the middle portion of the season with a high ankle sprain.  I than was forced to trade for Witten (a steal on my part as I dealt Miles Austin and Fred Davis for him) and had to juggle which one to start when Hernandez returned.  When he was on the field, Hernandez was unstoppable and I fully believe he would have been a monster if he didn't get hurt.  But like with Murray, and guys like Hakeem Nicks and Darren McFadden, Hernandez just can't stay in one piece.

So there you have it.  A bunch went wrong and here I am sitting with nothing to show for this season.  I haven not won in two years now and am determined to learn from this.  More touchdowns to go with the receptions is the goal for next season, along with continuing to go after value plays at QB.  Looking straight ahead now and not back anymore.


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