Thursday, September 07, 2006

more than just an inept political observer

That's how I fancy myself, at least--much more than the bumbling idiot that takes 5 hours to "perfect" a 2,000 word article--which, ultimately, was why I stopped blogging in the first place.

But I'm back now, and I'm branching out!

One of the reasons I love this time of year is because of the return of the pigskin to national prominence.

I love football. I love playing football--although I am particularly unskilled at the endeavor. I love watching football. I love talking football.

And nowadays, I love managing football--fantasy football, that is.

(Click here to see what kind of a man that makes me)--thank you Bud Light! (With a shout out to Survivor, too--there's the 80's tie-in that I'm always looking for!))

And tonight starts my season--and I am EAGER! Last year, I made it all the way to the finals of my league before getting trounced by the resident bad guy. He's not really a bad guy, of course--just a skilled manager who doesn't mind doing the grunt work necessary to have a successful fantasy league team. But that's a story for another day--or more appropriately, another week.

TODAY I'm going to talk about my team. It's important to note that my league consists of 12 teams, and when we did our live draft 2 weeks ago, I was saddled with the 12th pick. (I also got the 13th pick, though--I suppose in the end it works out approximately even. Although I sure would have loved to get Peyton Manning for a 3rd year!) So keep that in mind when I talk about the team below:

My QB is Tom Brady of New England. He's a consistent scorer, and in some games he's totally amazing. He was my first pick in the draft, and I'm pretty confident that he'll hold up as a solid choice.

My backup QB is Ben Rothelisberger--who obviously is getting benched this week. The nice thing about this league is that if your starting QB goes down, you automatically get his real-life backup. SO if I wanted to, I could use Charlie Batch for my quarterback this week. But I don't want to. . .not against that Dolphin D.

My backs are slightly above-average, if I do say so myself. I've got Miami's Ronnie Brown, Atlanta's Warrick Dunn, and Jacksonville's Fred Taylor. I'm playing Brown and Taylor this week (I figure Brown will benefit from Rothlisberger's absence, and when Taylor plays he's always very good--probably doubly so this year with Greg Jones injured). On a week-in, week-out basis, this figures to be the most difficult position for me to choose properly.

My receivers are Miami's Chris Chambers (supposedly he's due for a monster year), Denver's Rod Smith (how can you go against Mr. Consistency?), Tennessee's Drew Bennett (I've always liked him--when healthy, he puts up some decent numbers), and Jacksonville's Ernest Wilford (a "flyer", to use a fantasy league term--we'll see if he can put up any good numbers this year). This is not a super-deep group, but there is potential there. Chambers could be off the charts this year; Smith will give me about 1000 yards and 7-9 touchdowns, and IF Volek is up to the task in TN, I could see Bennett being a worthwhile member.

My tight ends have always been awful (I think all of last year I scored less than 30 points with my TEs), but this year I'm hopeful that Alge Crumpler (from Atlanta) can give me some scoring. He's not a good choice for this week, playing at Carolina against a stout defense--but since my back-up, the Bucs' Alex Smith, is ALSO a bad choice, I'll go with my horse.

I have two defenses: the Seahawks and the Vikings. I like the turnover-creating potential of both those teams--but they'll also play in a few shootouts. Hopefully they will complement each other well this year. I'm going with Seattle this weekend--I think they ought to have a lot of fun against Detroit.

The kicker is Ryan Longwell, who plays for Minnesota this year. Hopefully the dome will be helpful for his stats this year.

So that's my team. And since it is a "team" game, victory is all about beating the other team. This weekend I face my good friend Wayne, proud owner of Prairie View A&M. His team is named that because for 2 years now they have been the doormat of the league. It's not Wayne's fault--he's had some seriously bad luck. For example, he's a huge Vikings fan, and last year with his first pick he chose Daunte Culpepper, who was coming off an absolutely monster year. Well, as you may know, last year Culpepper wasn't very good. . .I mean he was REALLY not very good. And Wayne suffered.

This year, however, I think A&M is poised to make a resurgence. He's got key elements of the potent Rams offense (both the QB and the RB), the best TE in the game (Gates, from San Diego) and one of the best WRs (Boldin from AZ). Throw into the mix some wildcards--like Denver's Javon Walker, Philly's recently-acquired Donte Stallworth and Oakland's Lamont Jordan--and you can see that this is not Wayne's regular patsy of a team. In fact, I see big things for him this year. . .I just hope not this week.

Now if you'll pardon me, I gotta go find an imaginary box seat from which to watch my imaginary game.


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