Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday = football

Greetings and happy Friday. It's a beautiful day in Colorado and I have a very strong desire to spend the entire day outside. Luckily for you, a tiny thing called a job means that I am attached to my computer for the day. So let's talk football.

  • A few days ago I linked to some info on top fantasy defenses - now it's time to take a look at some offense analysis - check out Althon/Grogan's Fantasy Football's Finger On The Pulse: NFL's Most Improved Offenses as well as Gregg Rosenthal's Five Emerging Offenses.
  • I know many of you are looking for IDP information (thanks to that handy poll to your right), so try reading Fantasy Football Starter's On the rise or past there prime? that looks specifically at veteran IDPers.
  • Something else to think about as you prepare for FF season - what kind of draft strategies do you employ? Fantasy Football Fools has a nice summary article, Fantasy Draft Strategy: Tiering Your Player Rankings and Cheat Sheets, on drafting by tiers - and if you're an auction drafter, read the comments section for thoughts on using tiers for auction drafts.
  • And as always, I recommend that you check out Michael Fabiano's Fantasy Mailbag on NFL.com. Lots of these questions relate to keeper league decisions but Fabiano's answers should be helpful to all.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What can I help you with today?

Take a look at the poll over on the right side - if you've got a minute, let me know what kind of information you're looking for as you prepare for your fantasy football draft(s) this summer. This list isn't exhaustive of the kind of information I'll make available over the next few months, but I sure would like to actually provide you all with helpful information. And if I've overlooked something important to you, tell me. So vote, let me know what you'd like to read about the most...and I'll see what I can do!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Post-Memorial Day Football Recap

Three-day weekends are like a blessing and a curse all wrapped up in one - yeah it was awesome to relax and have an extra day of fun, but it's a reminder to me that I'd love to have a three-day weekend every weekend. That's always a bit of a bummer. But my weekend included scoring some amazing seats at a Rockies v Mets game on Friday night (thanks again Bart!), cruising around the Boulder Creek Festival, getting some good runs in, and baking a successful angel food cake at high altitude (harder than it sounds, thank you). It also, sadly, included the canceling of the extra sports tier in our cable package...and thus, no more NFL Network for us. I think we've changed our subscription to the sports tier about 4 or 5 times over the past year depending on how much we're using it (uh, not much at all right now) and I'm sure, come fall, I'll be re-upping it again...

So onto football:

  • Rotoworld welcomes summer with their first Mock Draft writeup of the season in Never too early for a Mock.
  • How many RBs can my Broncos possibly load up on? With Henry nursing an injured hamstring, it's welcome to Broncos Country, Michael Pittman.
  • The guys over at FF Geek Blog turned me onto this article - 2008 Offensive Line Rankings and Analysis with the o-lines labeled anywhere from very good to poor. I'm big on taking a good long look at o-lines and am trying to gather as many o-line rankings or commentary as I can find - if you've got one, send it my way!
  • More from Rotoworld - Gregg Rosenthal posts his top 5 fantasy defenses. I actually think there are quite a few defenses that I would be happy drafting this year.
  • Looking for a bye week grid to help in your draft preparations? Yeah, a little early for me, too, but I love that Pigskin Addiction is already all over this with their 2008 Bye Week Grid - and who knows, perhaps someone out there is doing some crazy June draft or something equally amusing.
Enjoy the short work week!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fantasy Headlines, Cheat sheets and American Idol

I have somehow avoided ever watching more than about 2 seconds of American Idol. It just doesn't appeal to me whatsoever - though I do support entertainment that celebrates real talent rather than just bizarre reality tv, which must be why I can't stop myself from actually watching American Gladiators, right? Ha. But that's a whole separate discussion topic...anyway, I have sadly somehow become a Fox news watcher and by default can't avoid American Idol news. I can't believe I'm admitting that I watch Fox as my news source, but it all comes down to the fact that the local morning Fox news station has a dog that rides around in the traffic helicopter and there are all sorts of dog shots and dog stories from the 'copter. Starts the day off right. But the local Fox station in Denver actually sent a reporter to L.A. for the final American Idol episode as though the winner of American Idol was real news. I was feeling pretty self-important for awhile this morning, passing judgment and looking down on American Idol from my oh-so-high fantasy football throne, until I dawned on me that many, many people out there probably feel the same way about FF that I do about American Idol. Those poor, confused souls. Kidding. But only kind of. So I pledge to be more understanding of other people's passions, considering my own is equally stunning to some.

That doesn't really relate to football but the following links do:

  • ProFootballWeekly takes a long at five top fantasy story lines in Starting to get that fantasy football itch? including questions like, who should be the top-ranked TE and how will GB's transition to Rodgers go?
  • You all know this news on Tony Scheffler pains me - but I'm optimistic since he played so well last season after a little bit of a slow start post-injury. May you heal quickly, Scheff.
  • Junkyard Jake has their 2008 Top 250 Cheatsheet up - they also include average draft position and consensus draft positions (right up my alley!) in their cheat sheet. What I'd really like to be able to do with this cheat sheet is to sort by consensus draft positions or average draft position without needing to open up a new page. Sorry, that's probably laziness at its best but being able to sort on that one cheat sheet would be pretty sweet, Junkyard Jake.
  • FFToolbox - love these guys - have their 2008 Sleepers, Busts and Studs up. Check 'em out even though I heartily disagree on the Delhomme as a sleeper front.
  • Perhaps I spend too much time surrounded by economists since my husband and his cronies are all econ phd students, but I found this Football Outsiders article Walkthrough: Paying the Bills, which talks of the Bills' possible impending move out of Buffalo, of particular interest to me.
Enjoy the rest of the week and here's to a long holiday weekend right around the corner!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2008 Week 1 projections are already up...

Fantasy Football Xtreme brings us a beautiful thing: Week 1 projections for the 2008 season. These guys aren't messing around - it may only be mid-May but there are actually projections up for the first week. And thank you FFXtreme for the Tony Scheffler love I see - nicely done. Maybe I should start to tone down my lovefest for Scheff so that none of my competitors know my weaknesses come draft day.

Read on for other excellent football insights for the week...

  • If you can't get down with Week 1 projections quite yet, how about season-long projections? FFXtreme has those, too: QB, RB, WR, TE.
  • Those of you in IDP (individual defensive player) leagues might be interested in reading up on Rotoworld's IDP Breakouts series - check out the Defensive Backs and Linebackers info with Defensive Linemen still to come later this week. Remember these are breakout players - those who might make big leaps in performance for 2008.
  • Pigskin Addiction has the first installment of their 2008 Dynasty Cheatsheet up for your perusal - I have to say, I'm just not that big on Antonio Gates being the #1 TE for dynasty leagues...maybe even for regular leagues. I'm just down on Gates, I guess. Someone feel free to convince me otherwise.
  • The Hazean led me to this post on RotoNation and I do have to agree that fantasy football creep is a little bit like going to the grocery store around Halloween and hearing Christmas music playing. It just seems a bit early for holiday tunes in October - and it seems a bit early for fantasy analysis in May. Yeah, I'm actually confessing that I think in-depth analysis of fantasy football so early in the season is a bit much. That won't stop me from reading all these articles, but my serious researching and digesting of info probably won't happen for another month.
For those who have asked, I did indeed get a job offer for the job that I interviewed for last week. It means a little bit of change but I'll still be in the same library cranking out the same fantasy links for you this fall - albeit it with a little more stress, sass or edge to my tone but hey, that should keep everyone entertained.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cheat sheets and rankings for the early bird

Greetings and happy Friday. Let's not mess around with my thoughts on Colorado's bizarre weather (yes, I have an insatiable interest in the weather), or how I'm eagerly hoping for a job offer (basically just a tenure-track version of my current library job), or how excited I am for the weekend to arrive (it has been a long week involving the aforementioned job interview)...let's just get right to football:

  • The fantasy football cheat sheet season has begun - the FF Goat has made it his mission to track down cheat sheets far and wide this season. So stayed tuned to the Goat if you're big into cheat sheets.
  • More cheat sheets have also been posted by FFToolbox - check out their QB, RB, WR, TE, K and DEF cheat sheets, all of which will be updated throughout the preseason. Note this cheat sheet includes project fantasy points and there's a Top 100 list available for your viewing pleasure as well.
  • The Saints will no longer be pursuing Shockey, so he's all yours again, Giants fans.
  • Sporting News has the minicamp info that fantasy owners are waiting for - read up in Minicamps: All that you need to know.
  • Fox Sports's NFL Fantasy Fifty is a top 50 ranking that is updated every once in a while in the offseason; last update was May 9th. I'm intrigued by some of the rankings that I see up here - perhaps I'm being too RB-centric and conventional but I don't think I'd draft Randy Moss ahead of AP, Addai and Westbrook. I also think that ranking Tony Romo merely one slot behind Peyton Manning in a Top 50 ranking is unusual. And by unusual I mean a poor idea. I know the Peyton Era will end eventually but I just don't see it happening any time soon. And Laurence Maroney didn't even make it to the Top 50?! Harsh. But I do love reading a variety of opinions and hope to see more of these sorts of surprises as the season approaches. Keeps you thinking.

Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Football thoughts for a Tuesday

Yesterday I was thinking that perhaps the summer is finally upon us - students here at the university of Colorado have finished up for the semester, it was in the low 80s, and people were sunbathing in surprisingly little clothing on the quad outside the library - seems like summer, right? Yup, then it snowed last night. But my mind still thinks it's the start of summer and that means minicamp time.

So, football thoughts for a Tuesday are as follows...

  • In a keeper or dynasty league? Then you'll want to check out Fabiano's thoughts in NFL.com's Fantasy keepers: Running backs. He looks at which players' value has risen, fallen or been steady since last season. And while you're at it, read more of his keeper analysis on QBs, WRs and TEs.
  • Injuries. The deep dark hole that every fantasy player attempts to avoid. For some early injury analysis, read Rotoworld's The Walking Wounded.
  • With minicamps starting and the 2008 season beginning to pick up some steam, there's a lot of value in reading up on your favorite teams with a local perspective. Check out FFMastermind.com's Eye in the Sky Reporting.
  • In case you missed it, seems Spygate is wrapping up.
  • The Baltimore Sun reports on the Ravens' plans to potential start 3 WRs: Mark Clayton, Derrick Mason and Demetrius Williams - this formation change could definitely have a fantasy impact so stay tuned.
  • And finally, keep up with all the NFL news out there with CBSSports' Rumor Mill.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Analyzing run defenses & draft picks

Some of my favorite fantasy football analysis revolves around the components beyond the actual individual player: like schedules (how many top ranked run or pass Ds will your player be facing during the season?) and offensive line rankings (will my RB be lined up behind a power o-line?). NFL.com has posted their Schedules: New England, Buffalo have favorable run slates article today, which is certainly worth a long look. Plus, now my love for Laurence Maroney is feeling a little more validated. But poor Frank Gore, who as Fabiano notes in this article, "will have 10 starts against teams that ranked 13th or better against the run last season."

Another interesting link for the day - The Huddle's NFL Draft: Sneaky Helpful Fantasy Drafts. These are those NFL Draft moves that are subtle and are going to up the value of that team's draftable players. Read on for quality insight.

All for today; more to come later this week!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Back on the fantasy wagon

With my library conferences behind me (for a few weeks at least), I can now concentrate on fantasy football again. If you happen to be a librarian and are interested in how my co-presenter and I tied together fantasy football and information literacy, check out my co-presenter’s blog. Though I imagine most of you would much rather catch up on the following football news and thoughts for the week:

  • I remain a bit dazed and confused by my certainty last summer that Cedric Benson was going to rock my RB2 world in 2007. Didn’t happen and now he’s moved onto ankle surgery, alleged intoxication and resisting arrest on boats. Awesome. You can practically taste Matt Forte’s value skyrocketing here. In fact, wondering about rookie RBs in general? Well then check out FF Xtreme’s The Day After: Ranking the Rookie Running Backs.
  • I love reading articles or stats that challenge my preconceived notions – The Fifth Down’s Chad the Completion Percentage Machine does just that. No offense to those Chad Pennington fans out there, but I just didn’t think he had any “best in NFL history” kind of stats in him. Thanks to the Fifth Down for setting me straight on that one.
  • And speaking of contradicting expectations, I’ve already read several surprised and outraged blogs like the FF Geek Blog about Yahoo!’s Fantasy Football Mock Draft, Round 1, where Jamal Lewis was listed as the #10 overall pick. I certainly would feel very hesitant about drafting Jamal in the first round, but I love the boldness of this pick. Well done, Yahoo! fantasy staff.
  • I really enjoyed this article from FF Toolbox/Andy Benoit, The Big Mystery. Granted it focuses on Ryan Clady and I'm a Denver Broncos fan, but how nice to have such a well-written and insightful piece to read. And now I have a new website to add to my del.icio.us bookmarks - NFL Touchdown.