Fantasy Football Preview 2011!!!
Another year, another Fantasy Football league. Last year’s league, the 2010 Fantasy Football World Cup, is now viewed by many as a debacle. With Kickoff Return Points, 12 teams, expanded rosters, and the near-reality of having a slot for Head Coaches and Defensive Players, the league nearly floundered before it even started. Justin Golson threatened to leave the league, and held out for several days, like some big-headed, white-skinned version of Chris Johnson, and the league struggled with selection of franchises like never before. Reid Golson and his “Canadian Clit Commanders” were an average team on the field, but their name made fans and owners alike gag for weeks. Clayton Coots, although having a cool team name (The New Mombasa Lightning Cats), were a horrid team on the field. Team rosters were odd, with players like Deji Kareem and LaRod Stephens-Howling reserving rosters spots because of their kickoff return ability, and it was a constant struggle to keep up with the constant churning of the Free Agency Pool. But, despite all this, a Fantasy Super Bowl Champion was indeed crowned. Brandon Coots, and his historic franchise, The Tokyo Future, finally claimed their first league title. On the backs of Aaron Rogers, Arian Foster, and Miles Austin, the Future indeed became inevitable.
But, 2010 has passed.
It is now 2011, and a new crop of challengers awaits the chance to harness Fantasy Glory. From the Space State of Lusaka, Marty McBurney’s Centroids are looking to upset the balance of power in the league, while old favorites like the Gridiron Warriors, Locksley Robins, and Mississippi Mudcats look to build upon their already significant dynasties. David Bauerkemper once again returns to the league with a topical name, this time alluding to his impending wedding; yes, the Hitched Home-Starters are looking to put other teams on lockdown this season. Dylan Mahanay typically masks his years of futility with a new name every year, and 2010 is no different; this time he calls his squad McRae’s Dragoon, a clever reference to the greatest Western ever produced. Hopefully you do not suffer the same fate as your namesake. After having relocated from the now-desolate Thomaskirke, the newly-christened Leipzig Running Bachs are looking to take the league by musical storm. The Adelaide Dingoes also return, somehow defying the fact that their GM and Owner has no internet connection. Brandt Self, a familiar face in the league, has also bought a new team this year, but other, apparently more important obligations have kept him from giving his franchise a name as of this writing. Perhaps the Lewisville Procrastinators? Maybe the B&B Off-Roads? Or, to be topical, the Texas Wildfires? No matter what name is decided upon, there will certainly be one obstacle in the path to Glory. The World Champion Tokyo Future, franchise of unparalleled glory and success, currently holds the belt, and is looking to repeat for the first time in League History. But, not even the Future is untouchable; last year’s imperfections call have called into question the Future’s successes, and many wonder if the Future would have won at all, had there been no Kickoff Return Points. Although some claim their legacy is tainted, the Future maintain their position that, “The Future is, in fact, Inevitable.”
No matter the outcome of the League, a few things are certain: Fantasy Football is easier than Fantasy Baseball. Fact. And also, the rigors of last season have left this year’s league diminished: there are now only 10 teams, and to avoid controversy, scoring is now FULLY ESPN Standard. No craziness here. And one final thing is true: The winner of this year’s league will become an unquestioned hero in the annals of league history, because no other year has been as pure, with such a devoted base of GM’s and Owners, and so straightforward a set of rules. 2011 will truly be the Year of the Champion.
That being said, it would be appropriate to examine the chances of each team, and analyze their chances. We’ll start with the defending champs:
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The Tokyo Future:
The Future is inevitable. At least, that’s the word on the streets, but it’s easier said than done. To secure his place in Fantasy Valhalla, Owner and GM Brandon Coots actually used the same draft strategy that he used last year, the year in which he brought home a trophy. What that strategy is, though, will remain a mystery. All that is known by the public is that his team looks strong. 2010 NFL MVP Tom Brady calls the plays in the huddle, while All-Galaxy Receivers Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and Larry “Hairy” Fitzgerald line up out wide. The backfield is crowded with young backs looking to make a name for themselves, but it’s unknown who will explode; will it be highly-drafted Darren McFadden, or the young Knowshon Moreno, or maybe Shonn Green, all of whom play in a run-first offense? All are former First-Round Draft picks, but they’ve either been hurt, or stuck in time-shares, so who knows? Only time will tell, and time, like the Future, is inevitable.
The Mississippi Mudcats
The Fightin’ Phils selected Roddy White, a Bill Jenkins favorite, in the first round, who is perhaps the NFL’s most consistent WR. Then, the ‘Cats went RB-heavy for several rounds, before finally selecting Rowdy Roddy’s battery mate, Matt Ryan, in the 6th round. Fringe players like DeMarco Murray and Kevin Fuckin’ Ogletree look to make a difference late in the season, but who knows if Mr. Jenkins will get stuck in the mud, or ascend to Fantasy Heaven.
With his wedding date of October 2nd creeping up quickly, it’s a wonder Team Bauerkemper (German for “Goalkeeper”) even drafted at all, what with his Bachelor Party hangover headache looming large. Even still, his draft was relatively successful, with recently signed CJ2K heading up the RB corps, and S-Jax and Beanie Wells waiting in the wings. Cowboys favorite Tony Romo will be throwing the passes, while Saints stalwart Marques Colston and Bellichick Oompa-Loompa Wes Welker will be fighting for Yards after Catch and Endzone targets. Both of his starting receivers play for teams that spread the ball around quite a bit, so their touches are not guaranteed, but that doesn’t matter: David invested heavily in RB, and that’s what he’s rolling with, injury risks be damned. The Home-Starters will live and die on the shoulder pads of their backs.
The Lusaka Centroids
Could an awesome name foreshadow an awesome season? Many professional analysts say that Phillip Rivers could have the statistical season of his career, and with FB Vonta Leach now blocking for the Ravens, look for Rampage Ray Rice to have a monster season. Two good players to not a good team make though, so the Centroids will be looking for bounce-back seasons from Ryan Grant and Vincent Jackson. If those guys blow up, watch out. If they’re duds, don’t fear this tomato can.
The Locksley Robins
The Robins took a great risk drafting Arian Foster (2010’s breakout player) in the first round, because Foster currently has a hamstring injury that doctors speculate will keep him out for 2-3 weeks. To compensate, the Robins countered with a safe-as-hell player in the second round, Packers pass-catcher Ole’ Greg Jennings. After selecting talented hopeful Dez Bryant in the Third Round, the Robins inexplicably selected two straight QB’s, Rapist Roethlisberger and Scooby-Doo Schaub. GM Garrett M. hopes to trade one of the QB’s, but as of this writing, no deal has been made. Solid guys like Fred Jackson, Brandon Jacobs, Anquan Boldin, and Pierre Thomas provide depth, but only time will tell what happens to the Robins.
Dylan Mahanay has been a mainstay in both our leagues and our loser’s brackets, but he’s hoping to turn things around in 2011. By drafting back-to-back stud RB’s in Rashard Mendenhall and Michael Turner, Dilly might be on the track to a 180°. Miles Austin will bolster the Receiving corps, but the GM took a gamble in drafting All-Legend QB Peyton Manning, who will likely miss several games at the beginning of the season. Although he purports to have a herd of Pro-Bowlers under center, with currently-injured Matt Cassel as their only backup, the Dragoons’ QB situation looks more like a herd of whores, maybe. McRae’s Dragoon might want to start to think about trading for one of the Robin’s Pro-Bowl QB’s…
The Leipzig Running Bachs
And yet another team suffers from the ripples of Peyton Manning’s injuries. Having drafted Reggie Wayne as their Numer 1 Receiver, the Bachs will roll with the tribulations of the Colts offense in Peyton’s absence. GM Nevin Nichols ain’t scared though, because he’s got Super Bowl winner (and Austin, TX native) Drew Brees chunkin the ball deep, while RB’s Maurice Jones-Drew (who might suck this year), Matt Forte, and second-year guy Ryan Matthews vye for carries in the backfield. Don’t be shocked if reborn WR Chad “85” Ochocinco has an explosive year while catching passes from somebody NOT in a Bengals uniform.
The Gridiron Warriors
Always looking to make a splash, the once-glorious Gridiron Warriors made waves this year by selecting Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rogers with the Number 1 Overall pick in the draft. Then, he balanced out his team by going RB/WR on his next two picks, selecting brittle-boned Frank Gore and black-as-night DeSean Jackson with the 20th and 21st picks. By selecting LeGarrette Blount and Mark Ingram with his next two picks, GM Justin Golson essentially cancelled out any whiteness his team may have hoped to muster, and he briefly considered renaming his team the Gridiron Black Panthers. Only the mega-white Ryan Fitzpatrick and Billy Cundiff stayed his hand.
Team TBA (Team Self)
In an appropriately Self-ish move, Brandt Self has neglected to name his team thus far. Reports have it that players are currently wandering the clubhouse aimlessly, searching for coaches and front office people who can help solve their identity crisis. If they ever make it to the field though, look for “Team Self” to crush opponents, literally. Consisting of guys like Adrian Peterson, Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Bowe, Antonio Gates, and other big guys, “Team Self” is perhaps the largest team in the league, and they’re hoping to romp their competition. LeSean McCoy and Jahvid Best will be the change-of-pace guys, but only time will tell if this team is built to last.
The Adelaide Dingoes
There are risk that blow up in the riskee’s face, and there are risks that reward the riskee. GM Mark Humphrey must believe in the saying that “Fortune Favors the Bold,” because drafting Michael Vick in the first round is just about the riskiest thing a Fantasy GM could do. On one side, Vick has the potential to EASILY be the highest-scorer in the game, but he also carries the possibility of being re-incarcerated at any time for a number of deviant behaviors. No, but really…Vick wont’ go back to jail…he’s a good guy…but, there is a very real possibility that he could miss several games from injury. The fact is that Vick goes hard, and going hard is hard on one’s body. Humphrey compensated for this possibility though by drafting up-and-comer Sam Bradford to step in when Vick goes down. By rounding out his roster with ballers like Andre Johnson, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Felix Jones (all of whom are extremely injury-prone), it looks like the Dingoes could be in for quite an eventful year in Free Agency. Although it’s been heard on good authority that the only reason he drafted Bradford was because his girlfriend told him to, Team HUMP looks poised to challenge for a division championship in 2011.
So there it is, the Fantasy Preview for 2011!!!
Nobody can predict how a real or Fantasy football season will play out, but the men of this league have stake their football reputations on their presumption that their guys will be better than the next guy’s guys. By doing so, they have made a pledge of the utmost sincerity: that they will follow the 2011-2012 NFL season with incredible scrutiny, and that they will shit in the mouths of their opponents, week-in and week-out, if given the chance. We all want to win, but like the Highlander, there can only be one. So, keep an eye peeled on your rosters, and your big toe checking the temperature of the Free Agency pool, because 2011 is going to be The Year of the Champion.
Good Luck, and May Your Backups Become Starters!!!