Thursday, January 26, 2012

All Hail Rory Linton, the 2011 Fantasy Champion

What a year 2011 was for the game of fantasy. Record numbers were achieved across the board and the playoffs ended up being more excited than anticipated. In the end, long-time fantasy member, Rory Linton, came through in the clutch with his first-ever championship. Here's his interview following the sweet sweet win:

1.) Hey Rory, what a year, huh? Do you have some opening comments, maybe regarding the fantasy championship, best draft award, or your spots in the record book?

After the draft this year, I really liked my team, but I never really thought I had a chance to win the championship until we were down to the Final Four in the playoffs. I was very fortunate that I was able to avoid any major injuries, my players all played well late in the season, and I didn't have anyone sit out week 17. In addition to this luck, I tried to put in the work every week in the waiver wire, and it seems that it paid off.

2.) Is there any one moment in the fantasy season which sticks out in your memory? Something you might remember for years to come.

I'll remember the first round of the playoffs when I scored 164 points. That same week I had 3 bench players score at least 25 points. My team, including bench players, scored 258 points that week. I think this is a record that may never be broken in our league. My team just got really hot late in the season.

3.) I wouldn’t be able to conduct this interview without asking who was your fantasy MVP this season?

My MVP has to be Matt Stafford. He was huge for me all year, plus he had 3 of his 4 best weeks in the fantasy playoffs. I'll put him ahead of Calvin Johnson because I got better value from Stafford, having taken him in the 9th round of the draft.

I'd give my unsung hero award to my 2 49ers, David Akers and the 49ers D/ST. These 2 were my rocks late in the season, and I could pretty much always count on them for 20+ points. Akers even threw for a TD in the championship game.

4.) You had a great draft this season, any tricks that you can reveal which helped you become a league champion?

This year I came in with a clear strategy and a few key players that I was targeting. I have always felt that it is best to wait as long as possible to draft a QB. Because QBs get so many points and each team only needs one, there is always a lot of value at QB in the late rounds. I was targeting Bradford and Stafford and got both of them in the 8th and 9th rounds. This allowed me to get more depth at RB/WR.

Also, I knew going in that I was going to take 2 WR with my first 2 picks because I drafted late in the first round, and I felt that they were safer picks then some of the RBs taken early in the draft.

5.) With the crazy "Year of the QB," do you think the way fantasy football is played is changing?

I think that because of the "Year of the QB", more QBs will be drafted earlier next year, but I think that this also makes waiting for a QB even more viable because there are more QBs that can get you big numbers on a weekly basis. Also, where RBs have dominated in the past, I think WRs are becomming relatively more valuable.

6.) We’re going to wrap it up here with one final question. As your league commissioner, is there anything I need to change about the league to make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone?

I have always enjoyed this league and how active and competitive everyone is. If I could change one thing, I think that I would like to see fewer playoff teams. I think this would make the regular season more important and exciting. Personally, I'd like it if there were 6 playoff teams and structure the playoffs like the NFL playoffs with the 1 and 2 seeds getting byes, or have just 4 playoff teams and have the first round occur in Weeks 14 and 15 and the championship round take place during Weeks 16 and 17.

Update: We will be switching to the six team playoff format for 2012. The one and two seeds will receive a bye and week 16 will mark the end of the fantasy season. I'm also glad to announce that we have all 14 spots filled for the league next season. Stay in touch for the annual Bracket group and any fantasy updates!

What did you think of Rory's first ever championship? Let me know by commenting below!

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