Biggest Fantasy Busts of 2017

Written by :
Published on : December 14, 2017

 

 

If your fantasy team is still playing that means you made it deep into the playoffs. Congrats. The rest of us are back to the role of spectator. I made the postseason in one of my two leagues and was instantly bounced. It’s been a rough few months for me. But for once, this isn’t about BRUNO ARKADY TYSH. This is about fantasy football. So looking back at the regular season, we can see some interesting trends that may have lead to the doom of your team. These are the biggest fantasy busts of 2017 fantasy football season.

 

Mike Evans WR, Tampa Bay
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This was a top 10 pick in most leagues. Everyone was expecting huge things from him this year. But that production never really came. Not one game over 100 yards and only 4 touchdowns. He had a few great games but for your number one pick you need solid and excellent production and this wasn’t it. Evans also got himself suspended for one game during the year which is another strike against him.

 

Jordan Reed TE, Washington 

Pre-draft, Reed was just after names like Gronk and Kelce in the tight end department but nagging injuries have mostly kept Reed on the sideline. What’s worse is that it looked like Reed was just a step away from returning to his old form. He even teased owners with a 2 touchdown game mid season just to further trick everyone.

 

Eric Decker WR, Tennessee 
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Decker came to the Titans to be a top weapon for Marcus Mariota but the surehanded wideout never really carved out a consistent role. 1 touchdown and only 1 game with more than 4 catches is not even within the shadow of flex play. That’s the definition of a fantasy bust.

 

David Johnson RB, Arizona

It’s hard to get mad at a someone who got hurt but this was the guy and he got hurt in the middle of the first game. The consensus number 1 overall with a major injury right out of the gate. Ouch. Those owner’s odds of making the playoffs went way down immediately.

 

Odell Beckham Jr WR, New York Giants
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Speaking of injuries, we must talk about OBJ. Not all hurt players are busts but when the hype is so high and the player only plays a few games then that pushes it into bust territory. Sorry Odell. Who I took with my first round pick. In the league where I missed the playoffs.

 

Martavis Bryant WR, Pittsburgh

Bryant was supposed to be the number two behind Antonio Brown on a very high scoring offense. That also never really happened. And after a few games of low targets, Bryant seemed unhappy and asked to be traded, then retracted his comments. Also, this was paired with the rise of rookie, Juju Smith-Schuster, who was seeing more and more attention. After only a few weeks, Bryant went from starter to free agent on the waiver wire.

 

Matt Ryan QB, Atlanta
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Look, Ryan is an excellent QB but his stats last year made expectations maybe unrealistically high. But that’s the world of 24 hour news cycle. Matty Ice is currently the 16th highest scoring QB one year after being NFL MVP. That fall is enough of a drop that it lands in bustville. I also have Ryan in my other league, where I lost in the playoffs. Where Ryan got me 9.6 points in the first round.

 

New England D/ST

They are currently the 19th best unit which means not ownable in any format. The selection of a defense isn’t a huge deal but any time you miss on a draft pick is a blown opportunity and somebody drafted the Pats. Fantasy bust.

 

Jay Ajayi RB, Philadelphia
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The day one starter in Miami, had a rough first few weeks, then was traded to Philly’s crowded backfield and looked to be the first option but more mediocre play turned the situation into a time share. On the year, he has only scored 1 rushing TD with plenty of opportunities. Busty bust.

 

Jordan Mathews WR, Buffalo

The Bills moved on from Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods then added Mathews. The thought was Mathews would become the number one option but for many reasons that move never panned out. Womp womp.

 

Kelvin Benjamin WR, Buffalo
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Then the Bills traded for Benjamin, he became the new top receiving threat supplanting Mathews. But shaky QB play didn’t give Kelvin enough touches to truly make an impact. Another big name that didn’t live up to the potential.

 

Donte Moncrief WR, Indianapolis 

There was a time where Donte thrived playing along side T.Y. Hilton in an air attack lead by Andrew Luck. But with Luck out, the luck ran out for Moncrief. His big play ability all but dried up leaving him as a fantasy afterthought.

 

Jameis Winston QB, Tampa Bay
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As mentioned with Mike Evans, the Tampa Bay offense simply isn’t that good this year. Many hoped for much more and were greatly disappointed. 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions just isn’t enough for a top QB. Better luck next year.

 

These dudes did not pan out and many fantasy owners are still reeling because of it. This all goes to prove a valuable lesson about fantasy football, each season there will be names that you know that fall off and new faces that step up. Championship squads navigate this razor’s edge. Time to start working on next year’s draft board.

 

Bust a move.

 

 


Fantasy Dodgeball

Written by :
Published on : June 13, 2017

 

A question: if you had to make a fantasy dodgeball team made up of athletes from across every discipline, who would you pick? Which sports would you select from? Welcome to the brand new, hyper competitive world of fantasy dodgeball. Now line up against the gym wall and let’s pick squads.

 

Let’s say it’s a five person crew you are building. Who is your top draft pick? The player to anchor your unit. My first guess is to say LeBron James. Safe choice. Big, strong, natural leader, a history of handling balls. Seems like a good fit. But that begs the question: what are we looking for in a dodgeball player? You want athletes with good lateral movement, great hand-eye coordination and some affinity for balls or projectiles.

 

Mar 21, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) look to pass during the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs won 124-91. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

 

The NFL is an interesting place to pull a talent from for the new pro dodgeball league. But what position to choose? Classic logic would say quarterback. Someone with a strong arm and good feet. Maybe Cam Newton type. But what about thinking defensively and taking an NFL safety or corner. Someone to cover the back end and catch thrown or deflected shots. Someone like Richard Sherman. Great instincts, reaction time and hair. Perfect fit.

 

So we have our leader and our back end covered, Now, we need some shooters. Serena Williams comes to mind. Super powerful, great footwork and that work ethic would make her killer on the wing. And for those of you concerned, no racket-no problem. Williams is a mega athlete who can probably do anything. Above all, it’s her court presence that will be the biggest asset moving forward.

 

 

From the ice, I’d like to call up Dylan Larkin from the Detroit Red Wings. Larky is the star of tomorrow and maybe one of the fastest kids on skates today. Every championship team needs that scrappy little guy who just won’t quit. Well that’s Dylan. Don’t let his size fool you. His heart and skill are as big as a mountain. Plus, in a game where getting hit gets you eliminated, being small isn’t the worst thing.

 

On to the world of baseball. Once again, classic logic may lean you towards a flamethrower pitcher but remember, dodgeball is a fluid game. All players must be moving and dodging or it’s game over. This critical emphasis on mobility takes me from pitcher to infield. We want someone with a cannon of an arm but the athleticism to keep up. Say hello to Manny Machado. His arm and glove are some of the best in the bigs. Plus he’s got the strength and speed to deliver some haymakers of his own.

 

 

That’s my team: LeBron James, Richard Sherman, Serena Williams, Dylan Larkin and Manny Machado. Not bad for a first time General Manager of a made up league. Leave your fantasy dodgeball roster ideas in the comments below. And to keep it fun, only one player from each sport. Please and thank you. Now, let the rubber fly!

 

Dodger.

 

 


What to do if you miss the Fantasy Football Playoffs

Written by :
Published on : November 28, 2016

 

 

The fantasy football regular season is wrapping up and many of us (myself included) will not be making the playoffs. Bummer. It could be for any number of reasons that your squad underperformed. Maybe your top pick got injured, or you let a future star go, or maybe you made a dumb trade, or maybe it was just bad luck. Or in my case, all of the above. None of that matters now, we can’t change the past but there is still plenty we can do despite missing the fantasy football playoffs.

 

1. Don’t check out

This is the worst thing you can do. It’s a shitty move and it communicates exactly how selfish you are. “If I’m not gonna win then I don’t care” is a bogus attitude. Fantasy football is supposed to be fun. A league of your buds all sharing an interest. Don’t spoil it for everyone because it didn’t go your way. So stay active, maybe talk less trash (or not), just keep up the effort.

 

chiefs-fans-sleep

 

2. Play spoiler

Stay on that waiver wire. Your low record should keep your waiver claim higher than the playoff bound squads. Don’t let them snag the next big talent. Jump on it. No freebees. A key starter goes down, you get that replacement before anyone. Just one of those moves could determine who becomes champion. Make it as tough as possible on the remaining owners. That means no trades and make sure your roster is in the best shape it can be for those last games. Remember overall records determine playoff seeding.

 

3. Poison your friends

Get them all together and get even. You lost out on the fantasy football playoffs but it doesn’t mean you can’t get revenge some way. Make cookies with laxatives in them, pass them out and watch the fireworks. What do you mean I’m out of toilet paper? If that seems too mean then scale down the prank to your comfort level.

 

4. Learn

Another reason to not check out is you want to know which players are finishing the year in a confident manner. It’s these last games that will determine next’s year pre-draft rankings. Running back, David Johnson, tore up the end of last year and became a top 10 pick this year because of it. These last weeks can teach us tons if we are willing to learn.

 

 

5. Pay up

Time to pay your league dues. Just do it now and get it over with. If you want to be a huge dick you can pay the winner or commissioner in crumpled one dollar bills, or a giant bag of change. All pennies seems a bit much but do you. I’ll be paying in food stamps.

 

6. Remember

Remember all those who have smited you. The teams that beat you, the trash talk, and shady deals. Lock this into your brain and use it as fuel for next season when you storm back and crush your enemies.

 

Enjoy the fantasy football playoffs but don’t forget to take notes. You’ll get there next year. And then they’ll all see how high you can really fly.

 

Sore loser.

 

 


The Route Less Run – An Appreciation of Alternative Fantasy Football Rules

Written by :
Published on : September 3, 2016

 

In terms of being a football nut, I haven’t actually been playing fantasy all that long: only the last five seasons or so. I can’t really remember why I decided to jump in when I hadn’t before, but I’m sure it was something as simple and uninspiring as getting an invitation to join a league run by a friend. “Why not?”

 

It was pretty apparent from the get-go that I was hooked, but it wasn’t until the end of the first season or the beginning of the second season that the league I was so dedicated to, and eager to come back to each year, was very different from the leagues my other friends and coworkers were playing in and talking about.

 

As time has gone on, it’s only become more apparent just how far off the reservation this league’s rules are, and how much fun it is to play against this dedicated collection of lunatics, psychotic geniuses, and unhealthy obsessives like myself.

 

The league at a glance:

 

– Draft type: Auction with $1,000 worth of funny money

– General: PPR Scoring / IDP

– Positions: QB – RB – RB/WR flex – WR – WR/TE flex – TE – LB – DL – DB

– Bench: Four slots

– Roughly sixteen members per season

 

So it’s an auction league with PPR, which is a little unusual, but what really stands out is the use of actual defensive players instead of a team defense. I sat down with my friend, who for purposes of this story we will call “Professor Evin” to get some of his thoughts on alt fantasy options and his league:

 

professorevin

 

“I began Fantasy Football in 2006 and I was in two leagues. One Yahoo and one ESPN. The Yahoo league was begun by a friend of a friend and had a good number of people I knew personally, but the league was as standard as standard could be. There might not have even been a flex position. The ESPN league was by many measures, the polar opposite: PPR, IDP, league dues, home team advantage etc. From the beginning, I remember finding the ESPN league more fun, but that fun was limited because I didn’t really know the guys I was playing with.

 

When I began Members Only Goal Football Club in 2009, I wanted to combine the fun of the ESPN league with a group of owners who knew each other and enjoyed the playful competitiveness of fantasy football.  This was especially important because looking back, I had just become a father, a large number of my close friends lived far away, and I wanted something as fun and intimate as when we were all living closer to each other.”

 

“My first experience with it was identical to that of many people’s with auction. It was long, confusing, with a significant learning curve, but it was undeniably exciting. The auction draft allows for the human element in a way that snake drafts don’t. You enter a snake draft with your rankings. When it’s your turn to draft you take the next player available on your list. While you enter an auction draft with rankings, the team you end up drafting can be wildly different. You find yourself drafting players you never thought you would because they are undervalued and you can get them at a discount. Similarly, if you are too committed to your pre-draft rankings you can risk your whole team because you overpay for a player, cutting into the money your budgeted other positions.”

 

American football field

 

“As far as the rules of our league, they are definitely unconventional, but as fantasy becomes more popular I can’t believe that they are rare. Roster wise IDP and no Kickers are definitely less popular than team defense, and kickers. No one really enjoys picking kickers, if they are on a team, they are usually cut every week, and often their points feel arbitrary. The spirit behind the IDP is to have owners, put more thought into their roster than simply “this is a good defense.” The league is full of good IDPs and if you were doing team Ds you would just be drafting that team for that one player (JJ Watt).

 

IDP gives you more ways to tweak your team week-to-week. But in a way that is more thoughtful than, ‘pick up the D playing the worst team.’ One big weird thing about our league is we have two flex positions RB/WR and TE/WR, as two TE formations become more popular in the NFL it was a way of reflecting that in the league. And finally, I think we value pass TDs equal to rush TDs, which is unique, but I think important considering over the last five years (and before) RBs are less reliable in fantasy and the NFL is a lot more pass happy.”

 

“I think that email I sent about the balance between competitive fun and dickish behavior speaks to the challenges of being in the league and finding new owners. Like I said in that email, at its heart this is just a way for friends to connect over distances. Because of that, when friends decide they don’t want to do the league anymore, it’s a little heartbreaking. Sometimes they give reasons, sometimes they don’t. If they do, it might be because they are busy or don’t have the money, but in the back of my head, I always feel like it’s because they didn’t have fun. I take it more personally than I should but I do my best to run the league like you might host a party, doing my best to ensure everyone is enjoying themselves. I think that’s probably why I do the weekly updates. One of the big challenges with losing and keeping owners is that the league is large. Part of the competitive spirit of the league comes from the fact that is has 16 teams, we could easily run a season at 12 or 14, but I do my best to keep it at 16. But it can be hard to find new owners to keep it there.”

 

Thanks to my buddy, the professor, for answering some questions and for running such a fun league.

 

 


Durant decision screws up fantasy draft strategies

Written by :
Published on : August 6, 2016

 

 

If you pay attention to the NBA in the slightest, then you’d know that the biggest free agent name since LeBron James in 2010 has chosen to take his talents to Oakland, CA.

 

Kevin Durant, the 8-time All-Star, has moved from Oklahoma. His decision conjured up plenty of reactions from fans, analysts, active players and retired players. While some reactions were supportive, others expressed the very opposite.

 


Aside from the beautiful basketball we’ll be tuning in to watch from our couches and some from actual arenas, there may be a slight obstacle frequent fantasy basketball team owners may have to face. With “super-teams” already having a mixed reputation, it doesn’t look to get any better in the fantasy basketball community.

 

The Golden Sate Warriors finished the 2015-16 regular season off with a mind-blowing best regular season record in NBA history of 73 wins and only 9 losses. It included Stephen Curry leading the way with 30 points a night, Klay Thompson‘s 22 and Draymond Green doing pretty much everything else in-between. We saw head coach Steve Kerr and staff maximize the production across the roster. Now, with the signing of Kevin Durant not only do you have a super-team, but a potential dynasty, assuming Durant opts out and signs long-term.

 

Durant

 

On the other hand, with so much fire power from all angles, you may have to reconsider who you take with your first-round draft pick because of the expectation that players like Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and perhaps even Kevin Durant’s production may decrease the longer the foursome stays together.

 

Although, nothing’s set in stone and predictions in early August are anything but accurate, it’s best to stay on the safe side and at least explore some other options if you’re entering a competitive fantasy basketball season. That being said, enjoy the Rio Olympics.

 

Go USA!

 

 


What’s the Devil’s Favorite Sport?

Written by :
Published on : July 23, 2016

 

 

We already figured out the good side of the this story with Jesus and what he would play, so it seems only right to dive deep into the fiery rings of the inferno and have a conversation with the Prince of Darkness himself. This is the Devil’s time to shine. I feel like we talk about the accuser all the time but never ask him what he really likes. Is he a boxers or briefs kind of guy? Probably whichever lets his tail breathe. Whatever. Time to go to hell. Don’t worry, it’s just for a visit, plus it’s all about sports!

 

Football

The fallen angel loves football. Both the NFL and NCAA versions are rife with scandal and criminal activity. Everything from drugs to rape to murder all with a strong dose of lying to wash it down. And let’s not forget that any solid hit could ruin your brain forever. Oh and you can gamble on it. Where do you think Vegas gets their odds from?

 

UFC

 

A natural fit right? Wrong. The dark lord actually thinks two trained fighters in a ring, octagon or any polygon is too controlled of an experiment. Sure, he’ll watch if his friends are into it. But he’s not going to shell out for a pay-per-view unless others are chipping in. Also, he’s super squeamish about blood. Go figure.

 

Basketball

The ruler of demons is a diehard Knicks fan. Brutal right? He loves Carmelo Anthony. Was pumped about the Joakim Noah addition but puzzled by additions of Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose. How are they all going to share the ball? Spoiler alert, the big guy told me Melo leaves next year and joins LeBron on the Memphis Grizzlies.

 

Soccer

Jesus’ favorite. Not Satans. Too slow and not enough action. Not a fair assessment but you tell him you disagree. The deceiver was quick to note how many futbol pros had sold their souls for skill with the ball. The list is long and includes most of Europe’s top talent. I won’t reveal any names but most of your guesses are probably right.

 

Hockey

satan hockey

 

Too cold. Though, the serpent does like the fighting here. It’s raw, impulsive and generally allowed. Despite the physical nature, it’s the high-speed game play that puts him off. Honestly, I think the defiler’s eyesight is a little rusty and he has a hard time tracking the puck. He is pretty old. I only say this because he said he wished they would bring back that blue dot they used to have on the puck for tv broadcasts.

 

Golf

The evil one is super into golf. He digs the exclusivity, the cool clothes and the gorgeous greens. Oddly enough, he never uses a caddie or a golf cart and always carries his own clubs. He says he does his best thinking on the course. Like back in 1935 while putting for eagle, he came up for the idea of parking tickets.

 

Baseball

Leviathan has always loved baseball. There is hitting, crotch grabbing, spitting, racism, steroids, Pete Rose, plus grown men throwing tantrums at umpires. I asked the king of liars what his favorite team is and he said it was a tie between the kids from Sandlot and the Chicago Cubs. He continued on to say that the Cubbies won’t win the World Series until something about a blood oath and some sort of goat sacrifice. I’m a little foggy on the details. But it’s all in this SUPER creepy book he gave me. Let me know if anyone wants to borrow it.

 

Fantasy

In this Aug. 30, 2010 photograph, Brian Sherman, left, uses his laptop to record moves in his team's fantasy football draft, at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Cincinnati. Some restaurant chains around the country have launched promotional drives to score with dedicated players of the growing pastime. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

 

Lucifer plays fantasy everything. I hear he has a league for fantasy newscasters. It’s apparently wild. He really loves fantasy football. His team has won the championship 3 times over the last 16 years. So I’d say he’s on a hot streak. Word is, the son of the morning is drafting Cam Newton with the first overall pick. Not the worst move I’ve ever heard.

 

CrossFit

Beelzebub is obsessed with crossfit. This is hands down his favorite sport. I know this because he brought it up more than a few times. But, to be fair, he is totally ripped. Shredded. Like John Cena but made of granite. I literally bounced a quarter of his ass into a beer (which I made him drink), that’s how insane his body is. Later, I argued that crossfit isn’t really a true sport. Then he benched pressed me 3,000 times and ran around the building before doing what I assume was 10,000 squats. I escaped out the window.

 

So the Antichrist loves crossfit. No one would have ever guessed The Devil Wears Affliction. I think that teaches a valuable lesson. Go talk to people, ask them what they like. Their answers might just change you forever.

 

Feel the burn.

 

 


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