I'm sneaking this one into the 2008 In Review series because, technically, it is a look back at the year and it's all I could think of to write about today!
I was in three leagues again this season, each on a different game site (ESPN, Yahoo and Fox Sports).
The league I've been in the longest is called Terror in the Trenches and includes one of my oldest and best friends, Jeff Becraft. He works here. This was my fourth season in the league and I had finished fourth each year. I was actually the only team to make the playoffs each of those three seasons. Well, the wheels kind of fell off this year. We had the option of keeping up to 4 players from last year's team, but only one at each position. I was tired of finishing fourth and wanted a shot at getting over the hump and winning the league, so I decided to rebuild. Well, sort of. I actually kept two players who I felt were locks to be great in 2008 - Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Browns receiver Braylon Edwards. Other guys I could have kept included Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Packers receiver Greg Jennings.
Now, if you've followed the NFL at all this season you probably know that Edwards was a bad choice and Tomlinson's value dropped like a rock this season. You probably also know that Brees has a chance to become just the second player in NFL history to pass for 5,000 yards in a single season. Jennings has nearly 1200 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns this season.
So, my keepers didn't pan out like expected and it killed me this season. I finished tied for seventh place.
Jeff also invited me to a league for a second straight year called West MI Fantasy Football. I don't remember for sure how I finished the first year, but I think I did pretty well. This year I finished second in my division and had the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. I lost my first-round game and the fifth-place game, leaving me in sixth place.
Finally, I started my own league this year on espn.com. I called it Dan's 16 and changed the scoring system around to try to make quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers have equal value. It was the first time I've played in a league with more than 12 teams. It is not easy to play in a 16-team league. The free agents list gets pretty thin.
Well, things worked out pretty well for me in this league. I only lost once and beat Derry Prenkert in the playoffs to win the title.
So, here are my postseason awards which include my players from all three leagues:
MVP: Matt Forte, Chicago Bears rookie running back. I owned him in all three leagues. I think there was only one week the whole season that I did not start him, and paid for it. I think he should be the Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL, but there's a few other guys who could win it as well.
MDP (most disappointing player): Terrel Owens, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to have Owens on two of my teams, but he wasn't the consistently high-scoring player I was hoping for. He had some great weeks, but he also had some clunkers.
MSP (most surprising player): Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers quarterback. I went into the season thinking Rodgers would be pretty good, but he was great. I only owned him in the Dan's 16 league, but he finished as the third highest scoring player for the season in that league. And it was a good thing, too, because I traded away my only other QB (Eli Manning) before the first week of the season and there were only one or two guaranteed starters on the free agents list at any point during the season.
Best pickup: Tyler Thigpen, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback. Where did he come from? He wound up starting for me several times and I was never disappointed. Steelers running back Mewelde Moore was also a pretty good find.
Keeper (the one player from all three teams I would keep for next year if I could): Forte. He's just a rookie and unless the Bears change their entire offensive scheme and become a pass-crazy team, as long as he stays healthy his value is huge.
All-Stars (the best combined starting lineup from my three teams): QB - Aaron Rodgers, RB - Matt Forte, RB - Brandon Jacobs, WR - Randy Moss, WR - Wes Welker, WR - Anquan Boldin, TE - Kevin Boss, K - Mason Crosby, D/ST - Tennessee.
So there you have it, another year of Fantasy Football in the books. I can't wait for next season.
For any fantasy players out there, I could use your help. I'm thinking of changing things around in the Dan's 16 league next year. First off, I'll probably cut the teams to 14. I'm also thinking of eliminating the kicker and defense positions. I may also go to a more standard scoring system. What do you think? Any suggestions? Anyone interested in playing in that league next year?