Saturday, September 4, 2010

WVFL 2010 Season Preview


Like a Vassar English lit professor who complains about the coarsening of American culture and our growing idiocy as a country, but caught two minutes of Jersey Shore and now doesn’t miss an episode, I have a shameful hypocrisy in my life.

For years, I raved about my smarts and railed about all the luck involved in fantasy football...and then I went out and won the whole league. Now I don’t know what to think. Pretty sure it’s still mostly luck, but if I win again this year, then it’s definitely my smarts heroically overcoming the whims of the universe. Time will tell.

Presented without further ado, since the above was enough ado, here is the 2010 WVFL season preview, now with keepers!


Last season’s #2 seed was wasted in the second round of the playoffs, but that pain was eased with the draw of the #1 pick and getting Chris Johnson for the next five years. Sort of like popping a Vicodin four months after spraining your ankle.

DFA is like almost every other WVFL team this season, not overly intimidating but certainly not terrible, either. Parity has finally come to our mediocre league. Though not every team has two defenses and a two tight ends on the roster.

This should the most up and down team because, outside of Johnson, everybody on this team is capable of both 3- and 30-point games. Romo, Ocho, Smitho, Granto, you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have an average team, oh, an average team.


2011 KEEPERS – Johnson


The New Orleans Jazz moved to Utah, the Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles, the Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary and they didn’t change their names, so I’m not changing mine. Plus, we have five gross of team logo pens sitting around and no need for them to go to waste.

Last year’s championship team was built in the fourth and fifth rounds and I’ll need to do the same this year to repeat. That said, the buzz around Dwayne Bowe and Arian Foster is getting so buzzy that they basically have no chance of being good. I was still defending Cedric Benson in Week 8 last year and trying to trade Ray Rice in Week 3 when McGahee was the goal line back. Like Hines Ward and the Tea Party, I thrive on the me against the world because the world is against me mentality.

Every single guy on my bench is either going to be a complete bust or the breakout candidate of the year. I didn’t mean to hoard scratch and win tickets, it just happened that way.


2011 KEEPERS – Peterson, Brady, Foster


The Crusaders had the 6th-most points last year, but dropped the last 4 games to finish 5-8. This year, they have one of the most interesting teams in the league. Interesting because they have two defenses, both ends of the Super Bowl XLIII game-winning touchdown pass (who are both suspended for four games), Sidney Rice as a possible keeper assets since he’s out at least six weeks and possibly all season, and San Francisco’s third running back.

But they also have the two young rushers everybody wants in Rice and Charles and Calvin Johnson. Since nothing in this world makes any sense, look for the Crusaders to have the 5th-fewest points this year and go 8-5.


2011 KEEPERS Rice, Charles, Johnson


The Rockers had the 5th-most points last year and atually dropped the last 5 games to finish 5-8. Point of order, either team would’ve made the playoffs at 6-7 based on points. Yet another casualty of Matt Forte’s swath of destruction in 2009.

But that was then! And this is now! And now they are not at all concerned about the rumors that Maurice Jones-Drew had some sort of vague knee procedure, and they’d thank you to stop asking about it.

Last year, the Rockers had Shady McCoy a year too earlier and TK liked being on vanguard so much that he went out and got Kevin Kolb, Kareem Huggins, Dexter McCluster and Mike Wallace a year too early. Oh, and Brandon Marshall a year too late and Larry Johnson five years too late. Johnson has since been dropped like…well, like a running back who is very slow and petulant.

This is a not all that great team that is going to have a couple of insane weeks where they destroy their opponent with 113 points. But only a couple.


2011 KEEPERS Jones-Drew, Best


People who read Atlas Shrugged wish it was still 1951 and Atlas Shruggz drafted like it was 2001, opening with three straight backs, the old Steve Smith and then Brett Favre. Favre, by the way, is already feeding the media tidbits about doctors draining cups of fluid and bone particles from his ankle, since he’s such a gutty hero. He's more annoying that a frat boy who saves his bottle counts so he can tell everybody how many beers he's had tonight.

The Shruggz also set themselves up for confusion by drafting Hakeem Nicks, who becomes the teammate of both Steve Smith in the NFL and Steve Smith in the WVFL. This will be hard to keep track of.

By the way, Shonn Greene is a good back, but he’s going to be seeing 11 men and 2 coaches stacking the line of scrimmage because Sanchez is so awful. Atlas has has two tight ends and two kickers. The two TE, two K, or two DEF move is a fairly common one in the WVFL, and one that I’ve never understood. And I never will!


2011 KEEPERS Turner


If you’ve ever needed a sure sign that fantasy football information is no longer a commodity but a utility, look no further than Andre Johnson going 6th overall with nary a batted eyelash. We all know the same things and we all have the same moves. Fantasy football has turned into NASCAR, basically.

The Pounders followed that one up with another receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, obviously enamored with me riding the WR-WR start to the title last year. Of course, I was in the 12 spot, which is a little different. Still, they managed to grab Addai and Forte next year, and I’d say except Addai’s annual injury, the Pounder backfield is probably on par with the Shruggz backfield.

The only down marks for the Pounders, really, is that there’s no way Vernon Davis catches another 13 touchdowns, and they have no depth on the bench whatsoever.


2011 KEEPERS Johnson, Fitzgerald, Forte


After winning the title as Brookline’s Finest, then slogging through two terrible seasons as the Brookline Bucs, this team is now Brookline Finest, a name that sounds like the opening of a slogan. Brookline, Cleanest T-Stops in Town!

But 2010 is already a success for Skip Henry, because he gets to watch Mendenhall churn out runs for his team. And besides that and Matt Schaub constantly throwing the ball in the fourth quarter in vain comeback attempts, that’s all that Brookline will enjoy this season.

I mean…their #1 receiver, Michael Crabtree, was just yelled at in practice by Vernon Davis for being lazy and having a bad attitude. That’s like being yelled at by Glenn Beck for being paranoid and melodramatic.


2011 KEEPERS Mendenhall, 5 year deal


The 1990 Denver Broncos went 5-11 after losing the previous Super Bowl by 45 points. In fairness, it’s hard to play football when you’re wondering the point of life is. The Whiz-Bang Gang would do well to study this cautionary tale after losing WVFL Bowl VII by 73 points.

The WBG were in a no-win spot with the #8 pick, so Aaron Rodgers is a pretty decent grab there. That’s where the compliments end. The WBG backfield consists of Ronnie Brown, who gets hurt every year, Beanie Wells, who isn’t good and is named Beanie, Clinton Portis, who died two years ago, Leon Washington, who is the 3rd down back on a terrible team, and Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is pretty good, actually.

Oh, and Welker is in his first year back from a procedure everybody says it takes two years to recover from.


2011 KEEPERS – Rodgers, Bradshaw


Nate’s team was automatically drafted by his iPhone, which means it won’t be as good as everybody hopes when the season finally starts. And like most Apple products, it came with a few bugs. Like drafting a second tight end and that tight end being New England’s fourth tight end and not the one everybody is talking about. Or the wrong bad Cardinals back. Or Mark Sanchez as a backup QB. Or Austin Collie, Indy’s 6th option, before other teams’ 1st or 2nd option.

This app is clearly not the Deep Blue of fantasy football.


2011 KEEPERS – Manning


The Stringfellow is superfluous, it seems. Also superfluous was the hype surrounding Ryan Mathews, who finds a second T superfluous for his surname. Mathews is a good back and San Diego is good team, but every year some guy shoots up draft boards solely because he’s a projected starter. It doesn’t always work out. (See: Slaton, Steve)

Of course, if the Hawks took Steven Jackson 10th and Mathews 15th, they would have the same backfield, so whatever. And they can always trade McNabb for a decent WR2, since there’s no chance Mike Sims-Walker lives up to anything.


2011 KEEPERS – Mathews


There’s just no way Miles Austin repeats last year, right? I mean, he just…can’t. And Jermichael Finley would have to score 15 TDs to match the enthusiasm people have for him.

That said, this is a pretty nice team, and stealing LeSean McCoy in the 4th round was a pretty slick move. Assuming McCoy is able to fit through the miniscule holes the Philly line struggles to pry open. Maybe he’ll just run wide all year.

And, now that I think about it, Carolina might only score five touchdowns all year, so DeAngelo should have some troubles. Justin Forsett is competing for carries on a terrible team that will never be running out the clock, Robert Meachem is a study in frustration, Jacoby Jones is the fourth option by now and I don’t know who Jermaine Gresham is, except that he’s Caulen’s second tight end.

Maybe I don’t like this team so much after all.


2011 KEEPERS – Brees, McCoy, Austin


Nate and I twisted Webster’s arm for about a week to get him to return to the WVFL. We were like Steve Hutchison and Ryan Longwell flying down to Mississippi to cup Favre’s nuts. But in looking at the team he pulled together, I feel like I talked him into some real estate investment and the land was too sandy to build or farm on and now he’s been wiped out.

Going WR-WR in the 12/13 boomerang is hotter than hating Justin Bieber right now, and Moss and Wayne are solid…but then it got ugly in a hurry. Knowshon is hurt, Felix Jones is splitting carries and injury prone, Michael Bush is hurt, and Housh and Derrick Ward were both released.

But here’s the good news! It’s a keeper league now.


2011 KEEPERS - None


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