Monday, September 7, 2015

And the Winner of 2015's Best Fantasy Football Draft Is ...

Welcome to the 8th installment of the Madison Fantasy Football League! We've had some good years and some bad ones, but most importantly we've had a lot of fun and I want to continue running a league that everyone enjoys being a part of.

As a tradition, I've picked the team who had the best draft each and every year. I once had a stretch where I picked either the champion or the runner-up four years in a row. I haven't been so lucky over the past couple of years, but here's another shot at it.

For a peak in to how I picked the winners this year, I took my personal draft list (secret rankings) and rated all 13 fantasy teams (excluding mine) to see which teams drafted most of the players I really liked in my top 75 this year. Here were the three best teams and why I chose them:

3.) Tom Albrecht (Pending Name Change)

Specifics: 3 Players in my Top 50 (RB LeSean McCoy, RB Mark Ingram & WR Golden Tate)

Team Talk: I'll be honest and state that during the draft I thought Tom was crazy for picking McCoy so high, but after looking at it a little more, I don't necessarily have a problem with it because I think he will have a big year in Rex Ryan's new Buffalo offense. I think both McCoy and Ingram are both on downward trending teams, but they will be the workhorses on bad teams. My favorite pick of Tom's was Golden Tate who I think can challenge Calvin Johnson for being the most productive fantasy player on the Lions (he'll benefit from Johnson's double-teams and sometimes triple-teams).

Randomness: Why is Tom holding a fish? Because that's what Tom does!

2.) Goin' Get Got (Dustin Anderson)

Specifics: 5 Players my top 75 (WR Antonio Brown, WR Jarvis Landry, RB Doug Martin, WR Victor Cruz, RB Ameer Abdullah)

Team Talk: Dustin went for the depth award and grabbed the most players that I really liked in my top 75 outside of myself of course. He has Antonio Brown and Jarvis Landry who I think could be on his way to being the new Antonio Brown. He also snagged Doug Martin and Victor Cruz who I think people are discounting way too far this year. Dustin knows his fantasy football and that's why I know he'll make a push at the playoffs this year. He nearly won the best draft award, but he like everyone else in the league doesn't have what the next team has.

Randomness: Dustin takes pride in his extensive bobblehead collection.

1.) Team Lowenberg (Nick Lowenberg)

Specifics: 3 Players in my Top 50 including TWO TOP 10 PLAYERS (WR Dez Bryant, WR Odell Beckham, TE Greg Olson)

Team Talk: When you're in a 14 team league and you can manage to get two elite players, you're doing something right. For some reason, Lowenberg always seems to get the best group of wide receivers ever. Not only did he grab Dez and ODB, he grabbed Greg Olson who is basically the Panthers only receiver at this point. I also think Lowenberg is getting helped out by Arian Foster's magical groin that is somehow healing at a unexplained pace. While looking at his team, it makes me think he's using some of those actuarial skills to derive value out of each and every round. Good job Nick on drafting the best team of 2015.

Randomness: Nick was once bold enough to grab the behind of a female boss and still kept his job.

Good luck to everyone and please let me know if you have any questions!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Interview From the 2014 Champ and Ramp Up for New Year!!!!

When it comes to football, I feel like I have the patience of my four year old son ... Is it here yet?

Besides watching countless hours of youtube highlights of college stars (partially out of a work obligation with RotoWire and being starved of real football), I've been contacting with our 2014-15 champ who now lives in Alaska.

Congratulations to Anthony Grande who became our first two-time champ in this league! Couldn't be happier for a guy who pretty much learned how to play fantasy football through this league. There was one time when he was the worst team in the league by a comfortable margin (he still holds the longest losing streak of nine games in 2011).

Without further adieu, here's the interview from the champ:

1.) Any opening comments about your fantasy championship (your second one)?

I really never anticipated winning the championship this year until the final two weeks. It's amazing to me how dominant Robert was throughout the entire season. He had a historically good year, and yet when it came to the championship game, things didn't quite go his way. I thought for sure, fate would continue the trend of having a new champion every year, but somehow I was able to come up with my second title. Maybe it's just good luck, but my team really came through when it counted most.

The funny thing about this year for me was that I made no significant waiver wire pickups or trades during the season. The guys that won the championship for me were all people I drafted back in August.

2.) Was their a so-called defining moment to your 2014 Championship season? Something you will always remember from this special year?
My number 1 draft pick this year was Peyton Manning, which worked out well for the first part of the year. But what I remember most about this year was when The Broncos started becoming a running team toward the end of the year. That storyline made me cringe because it spelled doom for my fantasy hopes this season. It turned out that Manning contributed very little for me in the fantasy playoffs, but somehow that was ok.
3.) Who's your fantasy MVP this season?
It has to be Antonio Brown. I'm loving the WR position in the past few years. As long as I've played fantasy football, I never remember having a solid RB group. The WRs have always been the difference for me. I never predicted when I drafted him, but Antonio Brown turned out to be the #1 WR in fantasy this year and really the only "sure thing" for my team week in and week out.

4.) What's your thoughts on the uprise of rookies, particularly rookie receivers in the fantasy game (you had Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans)?
 It certainly benefited me! Well, like I said before, the WR position has always been the one I value most in fantasy. Even Antonio Brown broke expectations and became a star player this year. I basically had Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans in the starting lineup every week, so I really trusted those guys. There's so much parity in the NFL, not just among teams, but also among players. People can come out of nowhere and perform at a really high level, even rookies, and my fantasy team is really an example of that. 
5.) Do you have any rule change that you would like to propose to the group?
Some good stuff from the two-time champ!