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The source for back issues of Football Thoughts.

For 11/9/2006

Well, I did it. After years of avoiding Fantasy Football like the plague, I finally took the plunge this year and joined a league. I have to say that the experience has been something between an addiction and an exercise in frustration. However, in doing so, I've learned a lot about the concept of fantasy football.

As you'd expect, your draft is key. However, one thing that I've had pounded into my head is that prepping for the draft is a trip into the dark realms of objective statistical analyses and that there's absolutely no place for emotion what-so-ever. It doesn't matter if you went to college with Donovan McNabb or whether Dallas Clark is your brother-in-law's cousin. The bottom line fact that you need to consider is "How many points is this going to get me per week?"

Which leads me to my next point: every league is different. Therefore, you need to build your team in such a way that will maximize the number of points you're going to get each week. While that may sound obvious, it sometimes goes against conventional fantasy football wisdom.

Here's what I mean: in most fantasy football leagues, RB dominate the selections in the first two rounds. Why? Because starting RBs are usually a lock to rack up between 800-1200 rushing yards and score about 8 TDs and most leagues award 1 point per 10 rushing yards and 6 points per TD. Put simply, a good RB can be counted on to get you between 130 and 170 points per year.

However, my league, while RBs are nice, WRs and TEs who haul in catches like there's no tomorrow are as good if not better. Why? Because we assign 1 point per catch, and 1 point per 10 receiving yards. Translation, a WR who averages 800-1200 yards receiving and 8 TDs will get you between 130 and 170 points in a season but they will also score you between 64 and 96 additional points for receptions (assuming an average of 12.5 yards per catch).

As insane as it sounds, this is a system in which Deion Branch is probably as good of a pick as Barry Sanders.

It is not a good season to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL.

First, Brian Billick fired his good friend Jim Fassel in Baltimore because the offense was stagnant. Then, Denny Green demoted Keith Rowan from the offensive coordinator's role in Arizona because the offense was inept. (In case you didn't know, Rowan was already Green's second OC in Arizona -- the first guy lasted 1 season.) And then Maurice Carthon resigned in Cleveland.

We're barely halfway through the season and at least 3 teams are already on their second OC of the year and possibly a two others will be seriously reassessing the position as Tom Walsh's offense in Oakland has been described as "high school" and the Dolphins' Mike Mularkey presided over an offense that has been both stagnant AND inept.

As always, I love to see how guys are performing over time periods outside of just the confines of this season. Here are some interesting tidbits about some players:

  • In his last 40 regular season games, Peyton Manning has thrown 94 TDs vs. 23 INTs.
  • Is his last 16 games, Larry "Grandmamma" Johnson has run 438 times for 2060 yards (an average of 4.7 yards per carry) with 23 rushing TDS. On top of that, he's added another 51 receptions for 557 yards and 3 more TDs. That's more than 2600 yards on nearly 500 touches. What makes it all the more interesting is that he's only fumbled the ball 5 times.

And, in the realm of "just looking at the stats", here are some other things that jump out:

  • For those who thought Tom Brady was having an off year, here are numbers that back it up:
    + a career 61.8% passer, Brady is completing only 58.1% of his passes this year
    + during the 2004-2005 seasons, Tom averaged almost 7.8 yards per pass. This year, he's averaging 6.7 yards per pass.
  • For 5 of the past 6 seasons, the NFL's leader in rushing attempts has had something happen which limited their effectiveness the following season. This year, 4 players are on pace for at least 350 carries.

Lest you have nothing better to do that fill your time with mock drafts, here is the NFL's current draft order at the mid-season mark.

Pick / Team

  1. Arizona
  2. Detroit
  3. Cleveland
  4. Houston
  5. Miami
  6. Oakland
  7. Pittsburgh
  8. Tampa Bay
  9. Tennessee
  10. Green Bay
  11. San Francisco
  12. Buffalo
  13. Washington
  14. Minnesota
  15. NY Jets
  16. St. Louis
  17. Dallas
  18. Carolina
  19. Philadelphia
  20. Cincinnati
  21. Atlanta
  22. Kansas City
  23. Seattle
  24. Jacksonville
  25. Baltimore
  26. San Diego
  27. New Orleans
  28. New England
  29. Denver
  30. NY Giants
  31. Chicago
  32. Indianapolis

Please note that several teams are tied for picks. In the case of a tie at the end of the season, the NFL resorts to a coin flip to settle matters.