‘This is my moment‘– the moment we’ve all been waiting for.
The National Football League owners ended their lockout ceremoniously several weeks ago, and America’s #1 sport seems to have improbably become more popular. Every time I turn on the television, commercials about how “Football is Back” fill the advertising space. Heck, free television in the New York area broadcasted not one, but two preseason games Sunday night; the hometown Jets crushed the Bengals on Channel 2, while Dallas and San Diego squared off on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. One can only imagine the pandemonium that will break loose when the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers commence their title defense at home against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
With the Big 4’s most popular and exciting sport having finally returned, we can finally focus on what expects to be a fantasy draft of epic proportions. Rodgers, Vick, Brady, Brees, and Manning lead the deepest group of top tier quarterbacks in years, benefitting in part to offenses’ determination to spread out defenses in four and five wide receiver sets. Running backs suffered as they found that offenses preferred to score touchdowns via the air. Only eight running backs found the endzone ten or more times, down from twelve in both 2008 and 2009, and only twelve scored eight or more – more than 40% down from the twenty-one that scampered in 2008.
Where did all of the touchdowns go? They flocked to the pass catchers of the NFL universe. Thirteen players caught ten or more touchdowns in 2010, a crazy 160% (Yea, you heard me) up from the measly five that completed the trick in 2006. In the red zone, quarterbacks looked to fade routes and plays that would lead to jump ball, single-man coverage situations instead of pounding the ball down their opponents’ throats.
So how exactly does fantasy football work? As opposed to rotisserie or head to head (most categories) baseball, fantasy football scoring relies upon a point scoring system. Players don’t specialize in certain categories, as the base stealers and closers do in baseball and shot blockers in basketball. Instead, quarterbacks accumulate the same points that tight ends and defenses do, albeit in different fashion. The QBs and WR get their points through the air (that is, if you’re not named Vick), while the RB score theirs on the ground. On the bright side, this allows us owners to easily compare players across different positions. Sadly, the simpler scoring enables opponents to utilize the same tactics. Therefore, there is less inefficiency in the fantasy football market; you can tell how good a player is by the number of points he compiles over the course of the regular season.
Over the next two and a half weeks, we will comb over each position, possible sleepers, busts, interesting (but not too interesting) format tweaks that might occur in your league, a mock draft (or two), a recap, and injury updates. There isn’t a better time to be a sports fanatic.
8/23/11 – Introduction
8/24/11 – Board of 200
8/25/11 – Quarterbacks
8/27/11 – Running Backs
8/28/11 – Wide Receivers
8/30/11 – Tight Ends, Defenses, Kickers
9/1/11 – Sleepers, Busts
9/3/11 – Draft Strategies
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