Wednesday, January 2, 2013

OK, fine, I'll wrap up the fantasy season

Since most of the people who read this blog are likely to have read my previous post about how I'm trying to be more prudent with my time spent on fantasy football, as it's slowly killing my soul.  That being said, I feel that I need to give some closure on the subject, and since the NFL regular season just ended, I'm going to go with a quick-and-dirty season in review.  Just some observations about what I expect to see next year based on this year.  In Jerusalem.
  • I guess we shouldn't have been concerned about going QB-TE in the first two rounds.  The top three quarterbacks (Rodgers, Brady, Brees) and top two tight ends (Gronkowski, Graham) this fantasy season were exactly the same five names as were unanimously drafted at those positions coming into the season.  Granted, all of them fell off from 2011 by an average of 50 fantasy points, but the relative position is still an interesting (if redundant) development for draft strategy next year.
  • Barring injuries in the upcoming playoffs, we might be looking at a much more palatable running back crop in the first 2-3 rounds.  The unstable situations of rookies Doug Martin and Trent Richardson and injured studs Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson proved to not be a concern, while some backs that worried fantasy owners (McFadden, Turner, Mathews) showed fairly conclusively that they really weren't as good as they were drafted to be.  At the same time, the top guys (Foster, Rice, McCoy) didn't do anything to make you question drafting them in the top 10 at their position in 2013.
  • Fantasy owners should have a much higher opinion of Mike Shanahan after this season.  After all, his team produced the 6th best quarterback (who missed a game) and the 5th best running back, and, despite having just the 20th best pass offense, a wide receiver who would have ranked 19th among receivers if he had played every game. 
  • When it comes to top-flight wide receiver production, being the only show in town appears to trump having another guy to distract the defense.  On the one hand, there were five pairs of receivers from the same team that made the top 20 this year.  On the other hand, those ten players averaged a rank of 12, compared to 8 for the solo receivers.  In fact, three of the top four receivers and four of the top seven had at least 61 more targets than the next highest pass-catcher on his team.  And that's with Percy Harvin missing almost half the season and Larry Fitzgerald being beyond grounded by his quarterback play.
  • There is going to be a massive tier of replacement-level quarterbacks next season.  After the Big Three, the Mobile Two, and Peyton, I could see arguments made for any of Ryan, Romo, Luck, Stafford, Wilson, Freeman, Eli, Roethlisberger, and Kaepernick being put anywhere in the range of 7-15, meaning that if you don't get a top-six guy (which you really should do), you might as well wait and take the 11th and 12th guys back-to-back or something.
  • And last but not least, I won the championship in three out of six of my leagues this year.  At least it's working.

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