With the start of the 2013 NFL season I embark on yet another fall filled with football. Being a lifelong NY Giants fan I enjoy watching each game thanks to my cable tv choice. Outside of the enjoyment of following my team I get to keep current by following the rest of the league, when various players fill out the rosters of my Fantasy Football (FF) teams.
Yes, I did say teams. I am in 7 different fantasy leagues this season. This may seem extreme to most and it is allot to track. But I am up to the task. I first started playing fantasy football in the late 1980’s. It was quite a big different then than it is today. There were plenty of football geeks then just as there are now, but in the 80’s league commissioners had to filter through the paper or internet and calculate the stats and scores themselves. Being stationed on a U. S. Navy ship during this time made our connection to current information very difficult. I have been in multiple leagues for the last 15+ years. It is not as challenging for me to follow 7 leagues as it would be for most people.
Why 7 leagues? That is not an outlandish question. What makes more than one league fun is the difference in the leagues set up, rules, scoring, and even the # of teams in each league. ESPN is I feel the most popular and generally their 12 teams leagues are the standard format.
I am in one ESPN league this year. This is a keeper league I have been a member of since 2006. We have a max of 2 keepers each year and if a team doesn’t choose to keep two players they get to draft a round earlier than a team that does keep their two players. This league is made up of a bunch of guys I worked with when I was attached to NCIS out of the European Field Office detachment in Sigonella Sicily. One of the things I like most about FF is that I get to keep in touch with people from some of the many places I have lived. We use the following roster spots QB, RB, RB/WR, WR, WR/TE, TE, DP, K , D/ST. Scoring favors QBs a little overall which explains why I have done so well the last few years (won it all in 2010, 2009 , 3rd in 2012, and 4th in 2011). as Aaron Rodgers has been my keeper the last few seasons. We only use on defensive Players (DP) which usually ends up being a LBer. I really like leagues that have DPs. It’s also a PPR or Point Per Reception league which is also a great feature. My draft this last year (live online and I took part) was one of my very best in the last few years. I have Rodgers at QB, Doug Martin at RB, Reggie Bush at RB/WR (think PPR), Larry Fitzgerald at WR, Hakim Nicks at WR/TE and Big Ben and Dwayne Bowe coming off the bench. Should be a very good year. This is a free league where I do not pay to take part.
Yahoo is the 2nd most popular FF league format and again is free. Yahoo has a lot of different options with regards to drafting and team setup. I am in two Yahoo leagues the first is called “Offseason Two”. It has 18 teams which is nice because players that were not getting used in a 12 team league now come into play. What makes this team so much fun is that we have a large roster. It includes: 1 QB, 3 WR, 2RB, TE, 2 WR/TE, K, Def Team, 2 D players, DL, 2 LB, DT, DE, 2 CB, S. Quite large and because of this offer more scores options such as PPR and return yards. Eight teams will make the playoffs in this league. This is also a free league.
My other Yahoo league is called “Swankgang 2011”. I found this league a couple of years ago during a search of yahoo leagues that were open to the public. This is a 10 team league that has a QB, 3WR, 2RB, TE, K, Def Team, DL, LB, DB. I would say it is a RB league but not out of whack with the other skill spots. I have been in this league for 3 years and won it a couple of years ago. I have a pretty stacked team as you would expect from a 10 team format. A. Rodgers, AP, D. Thomas, Nicks, Steve Smith and since I was the first one to hit the waiver wire I stocked up with the defensive players I wanted Luke Kuekly, Peanut Tillmen and Mario Williams are the starters. Since it is such a small league there will be plenty of talent on the wire throughout the season.
The NFL as you might expect has a site for leagues and I have two teams in this format also. The first is named “North East League” and is a 16 team league. I played in this league last season but I do not know any of the people in it I just looked at its set up last year and joined. The commissioner invited me back for this season. I was an auto draft and is set up to allow 4 keeper players so I think the commissioner may try to make this a keeper league. It is another of my free leagues. We have a QB, 2RB, 3WR, 3RB/WR/TEs, K, Def Team, DL, 2 LB, 2DB. This league has a lot of options in it which is what pulled me to it last year. There are 11 different scoring areas for just the QB. I have Eli as my QB, David Wilson, Darren McFadden, Demaryius Thomas, Reggie Wayne, Mike Williams as my key players. Short of major injuries (always a FF issue) my starters are solid. It’s the swing players and bye week replacements that make a team successful in this format.
My 2nd NFL league team is names “USFF ATFP”. There are only 8 teams in this league. This is a work league that I hoped would get more people to play then it did. What makes this type of league fun is the smack talk that takes place during the week at work. The set up is QB, 2RB, 2WR, TE, W/R, K, Def. Pretty standard. Because only 8 teams each team is loaded. I was not able to take part in their live draft but did very well anyway. I have Cam Newton, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Demaryius Thomas, MJD, Jimmy Graham, and Marques Colston. I think #8 overall is high for Newton but I will take the risk and hold on to him. I don’t expect much out of this league and figure it will be a 1 season only thing.
I am also in a league on CBS Sportsline named “Kelly’s Heroes”. I was asked this year to joining this league by a gentlemen that I work with and I took over for another player who dropped out. This league had a live draft but I missed it and came out fairly well with Matt Stafford, Forte, Ray Rice, Colston, Cecial Shorts, and Fred Jackson to go along with Russell Wilson who I kept from the team that I took over from. This league uses a QB, 2RB, 2WR, TE, FLEX, D, ST, and Kicker. The thing I like about this league is that you must have a rookie in your starting lineup each week. I chose Dustin Hopkins Kicker Buffalo as I feel the difference between established kickers and rookies is close. This is a pay league that has been together for over 5 years.
Last is my most important league. In 2003 we started this league up in Sasebo, Japan. I was attached to a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) detachment in Japan and we had a bunch of guys who really enjoyed playing softball and flag football (we were very good at both) and we followed teams from all over the country and this became a hot FFL. The league is called “Sakibe” and is located at myfantsyleague.com which is a smaller less known site that hosts FF. We used a QB, 2RBs, 2WRs, Flex, TE, K, DL, LB, DB. Our roster is 22 deep and this is a dynasty league and we retain 15 keepers year to year. This is a pretty large number of players but it still allows for a draft each year which basically allows the top 6 drafts to target skill players then we reshuffle the backups and D-players. I had the first overall pick in 2003 when we formed this thing up and I had a very tough time choosing between Peyton Manning and Mike Vick. Think back to 2003 and maybe you can see the potential I was going for in Vick (QB rushing yards would be what I thought would put me over the top). Well not a great choice it turns out as Vick has never been top 5 and Peyton is pretty much the best QB year in year out since Dan Marino retired. This league has a $75 entry fee. I paid the first year and have been living off my winnings since then. I had a string of 3 straight years I took 2nd place and that along with winning my division 5 times has paid for my entry. We do a draft that is live but pick by pick so it may take up to a week to complete. Our owners have in many causes left the Navy and are located throughout the U.S. which makes this league a nice way to stay in contact. Each year I would write-up an email for the entire league predicting each teams draft moves based on my view of what they need. This year I was a little late in getting to it so ended up grading the draft instead which I enjoyed a great deal.
This is a pretty quick look at my 7 leagues. Throughout this FF season I will post my weekly efforts and notes as I manage my different teams.