17 July 2008

Some idle thoughts...

My brother Greg and my buddy Joe asked me about fantasy football this year and, since I've been posting about it recently, I thought I'd offer some more information about the concept. Fantasy football is a misnomer. It's probably better thought of as "rotisserie football" but since the majority of guys who play are under the age of 30, I guess the whole fantasy tag was part of the hook.

Anyway, the basic idea is that you assemble a team of NFL players and you get points based on the stats they produce. Sounds simple enough, right? So, you play in leagues where each week you go head to head against another player in the league. Whichever player's team scores the most points in a given week gets a win for that week. The teams with the most wins at the end of the fantasy football season (which usually occurs about week 12-13 of the NFL season) make the playoffs.

Now, the key about fantasy football is building your roster. This is the part most people struggle with and it's something that Bill Simmons (a.k.a., ESPN's Sports Guy) has discussed in the past.
Quite simply, each league varies and, while the concepts are usually the same, differences in implementations can make a huge difference.

Here's what I mean. Almost universally, leagues award 6 points for a passing, rushing, and receiving TD and 1 point for every 10 rushing yards, and 1 point per 25 passing yards. However, points for receiving yardage vary and some leagues award points per reception while others don't. (The league I'm in awards 1 point per reception and 1 point per 10 yards receiving.) Then there's the issue of defenses. In most leagues, you have a generic defense/special teams unit but there are some leagues where you can pick up individual defensive players too. Defenses score points based on take-aways, sacks, and points allowed.

Back when I made my first foray into fantasy football, I got screwed by a couple of things. The first was that our provider (Yahoo!) awarded kick (both punt and kickoff) return TDs to the individual who scored them, not to the unit as a whole. Since I had Chicago's defense/special teams unit that season (a.k.a., the year Devin Hester returned 5 kicks for scores), I got screwed. To make matters worse, I couldn't even add him to my roster because it wouldn't let us add defensive players. I also made the mistake of picking several Miami Dolphins higher than they should have been selected.

Bottom line, if you're going to play, learn the rules, learn the players' situations, and build your team to maximize your point output. For example, Frank Gore of the 49ers has run for just under 2800 yards over the past two years and, based on our league's scoring, has produced an average of 287.9 points a year. But you need to know the circumstances. In 2006, he produced 333 points (with Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator). Last year, he produced only 242 points. This year, his offensive coordinator is Mike "What do you mean, run the ball?" Martz. Is Gore someone you want to count on for production? I wouldn't.


Other things

Saw JibJab's latest political satire this morning. For those of you who forgot, these are the same guys who did the Bush-Kerry sign-along to "This Land is Your Land" 4 years ago. Anywhoo, this year they've done a number called "Time to do some campaigning" (which I think is done to Richard Thompson's "Time to Ring Some Changes") and manages to mock Bush, Cheney, Obama, McCain, both Clintons, and the whole political process. I love it. Here's the link to watch it:

http://sendables.jibjab.com/sendables/1191/time_for_some_campaignin#/teaser/1191

Now, if we could just get some candidates that were worth electing...

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The second-half of the baseball season kicks of tonight (although, this year, it's more like the last 40%) and it finds the Red Sox in first place in the AL East. The Sox have a record of 57-40 and look to be in pretty good shape to make another playoff run. Important bits of information to consider for the Sox:
  • they have 65 games remaining (34 at home, 31 on the road);
  • their remaining games are against Angels (6), Mariners (3), Yankees (9), A's (3), Royals (3), White Sox (7), Rangers (6), Blue Jays (12), Orioles (6), Rays (6), and Indians (4);
  • the pitching has been doing well, but they get their lineup monster, David Ortiz, back at the end of the month and that should help produce more runs.
The next 2 1/2 months ought to be exciting.

1 comment:

Ted Williams said...

Doesn't like Frank Gore....duly noted. =)

Love the blog, Frank!