I was all ready to begin poring over start/sit suggestions from experts on the usual sites (FantasyGuru.com, CBSsportsline.com, Yahoo.com and ESPN.com) late Tuesday night. Yes, thank you Matthew Berry, I realize Eli Manning is a player you "Hate" this season and one who shouldn't be drafted.
I covered that last week (got stuck with him late because QBs went earlier than forecasted). Well, as I was reading the vitriol being spewed about my starting quarterback, I began to think about breaking a trend.
For years, I played in just one fantasy football league. I just felt that anyone can boast about being a league champion if they play in eight leagues each year. The law of averages says that sooner or later one of those teams in one of those years will hit the jackpot.
When I moved to Tyler 10 years ago and joined the Dereliction league, I increased to two leagues per season.
That takes me to last night. For the past three weeks I have been giving advice on how to draft and where to draft them, but was unable to put my own plan in place in my two leagues thanks to a 13th and 12th draft positions, respectively.
On a whim I moved off the Love/Hate article on ESPN.com and decided to see if any of ESPN's free fantasy leagues was drafting in the next 10 minutes and whether there were any open spots. It turns out there was, the Chicago 12-Team 1698508 League. Not exactly Dereliction, but I decided to go for it and drew the No. 7 spot.
This I could work with.
My first pick produced an immediate quandary. Do I take WR Calvin Johnson or RB Eddie Lacy, who had slipped a little. I love Megatron, but couldn't pass up Lacy to lock up my No. 1 running back spot.
The good thing about picking seventh is you are not forced to wait an eternity between picks. I grabbed A.J. Green in the second round and took RB Ben Tate in the third. In the fourth, I reached a little, but I wanted to make sure I got the quarterback this time. Andrew Luck was out there and I pounced.
The rest of my lineup is filled with all of the "upside" guys I've been hearing about and reading about for months. Receivers Michael Floyd (Ari.) and Brandon Cooks (N.O.) and steals (at least I think he was in the fifth round) like running back C.J. Spiller (pictured above) as my flex.
All in all, a pretty good team and now I have three fantasy leagues to take care of.
I plan on bringing home championships in all of them. Well, except Dereliction until I can either move Eli or the younger Manning channels his 2011-12 form.
Hey, it could happen!
Starts of the Week
Quarterback: Nick Foles, Eagles (vs. Jaguars) — Jacksonville gave up 29 passing touchdowns a year ago. It is the second year for Chip Kelly's high-powered attack with Foles pulling the strings. Look for 300+ yards and at least two touchdowns.
Running Back: Frank Gore/Carlos Hyde, 49ers (vs. Cowboys) — This may be the easiest pick I will have this fantasy season. Dallas had one of the worst rushing defenses last year, and this was with Demarcus Ware (now member of Denver Broncos) and Sean Lee (injured). Dallas gave up a league-worst 158 yards per game and eight touchdowns in the preseason. Gore and backup Hyde could both have 100-plus with multiple touchdowns.
Wide Receiver: Percy Harvin. Seahawks (vs. Packers) — Harvin was injured nearly all of last season, but is now back healthy and should shred a pass defense that gave up the 30 TDs receiving last season. In last year's season opener, 49ers Anquan Boldin erupted for 208 yards. I see at least 150 for Harvin.
Players to Target: My philosophy of ABW (Always Be Working) the waiver wire and trading block may need to be lessened a little. There is nothing more frustrating than trading and/or dropping a player you drafted because you believe he will struggle and then goes off in Week 1. Wait for at least this week's games before you run to the waiver wire and drop that upside receiver or running back. Usually week 1 has the slimmest of pickings on the waiver wire, so unless you are a Wes Welker, Josh Gordon, Ray Rice owner, I would hold fast to what you got.
But otherwise, here are some guys who should be available to pick up: Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals (caught 10 TDs last season and yet has gone undrafted in many leagues); Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers (All the talk about Keenan Allen, but Floyd is still No. 2 and could have breakout potential coming off an injury that ended his season prematurely); Mike Tolbert, RB, Carolina (He is not a sexy pick at all, but the man gets the goal-line work and can give you 6-8 points if you're desperate).
Good Luck in Week 1!