2012 D.A. Fantasy Football.

Coming to a Stadium Near You.

As luck would have it, I did not win Grantland’s fantasy football writing contest.  I’m not sure if they were offended by my implication that they stole my idea, or if they wanted someone to actually write about the best players.  Either way, I don’t want to write about fantasy football and I need to focus my attention on this league anyway.  Especially since I am now an active participant, and not just the commissioner.  Just so I get some productivity out of the 20 minutes I spent on my Grantland submission, I’ll publish my entry below.  I’m afraid due to several depth chart changes, the information is already a bit dated.

***

You’ll undoubtedly be receiving hundreds of entries, and I don’t trust myself to stand out among the throng who will be touting the skills of Arian Foster and Ray Rice.  Since there is no specification that the rankings must be for a traditional fantasy league, I will be ranking terrible quarterbacks.  I consider myself a bit of an awful QB historian.  I’ve been nosing though the annals of Pro-Football Reference for subterranean QB ratings for years.  I even started a fantasy league dedicated to the anti-QB in 2010.   It’s called Derek Anderson Fantasy Football.  Maybe Grantland stole the idea the next year, maybe it’s just a coincidence.  No hard feelings.  With that in mind, your top-5 and a sleeper:

1. Brandon Weeden.  The history of bad quarterback play is littered with failed minor league baseball players.  Drew Henson.  Akili Smith.  Josh Booty.  Chris Weinke.  Weeden should have no trouble waltzing into this hierarchy of suck.  There’s nothing more overrated in my mind than “maturity,” especially when that maturity is used to explain away drafting someone older than everyone else on the board.  You know what trumps maturity?  Playing for the Browns.  If Weeden ever stops handing off to Trent Richardson, he should have the fans clamoring for Colt McCoy by late September.

2.  Blaine Gabbert.  If you play any type of bad quarterback fantasy football you want Gabbert to have a monster pre-season.   The worst thing that can happen to Gabbert, in terms of awful QB production, is to have his growth stunted by Chad Henne.  Jacksonville gave Gabbert 14 starts last year, but his bad QB fantasy stats were sometimes limited by minimal attempts and conservative routes.  For Blaine Gabbert to reach his potential, Jacksonville has to set him free.  Last Friday, Gabbert went 13/16 for 112 yards and two touchdowns.  Translation:  Gabbert should eclipse 20 INTs this season.

3.  Matt Flynn.  Is Matt Flynn more like Matt Schaub or AJ Feeley?  Every time a QB has a successful cameo for an established team he becomes a hot commodity.  The trouble is, those cameos are becoming shorter.  Two games?  Sold!  At any given moment there are only 10-12 men walking the Earth who can play QB, so when a guy like Flynn goes for 480 yards and 6 TDs, people get irrational.  The Seahawks guaranteed Flynn 10 million.  He wasn’t even a particularly good QB at LSU, but he’s parlayed his Green Bay backup status and one good game against the Lions into a starting role.  All signs point to it not ending well in Seattle.

4. Carson Palmer.  The Raiders always give you room to fail, so Palmer has replaced Jay Cutler In my mind as the veteran quarterback who can throw 5 INTs at any moment.  There are many different types of interceptions.  Where Palmer should excel is in an area I call “The Nostalgia Pick.”  Veteran QBs have trouble remembering they can’t make the throws they made when they were 24.  I can recall Cowboy-era Drew Bledsoe dropping back and firing a 15-yd out.  Problem was, the ball took all day to get there and the cornerback ended up in the opposite end zone.  Carson and his changeup arm speed should set bad QB fantasy leagues ablaze in 2012.

5.  Kevin Kolb.  Kevin Kolb has no credentials to be a starting QB in the NFL.  He’s not mobile.  He doesn’t have a strong arm.  He’s proven to be injury prone.  His accuracy is a myth.  His claim to fame is that he was drafted by Andy Reid and Reid has a reputation for finding QBs.  I’m not sure why.  Have you seen Mike Kafka play?  The only thing stopping Kolb from being a tidal wave of turnovers this year is Arizona may be realizing they made a colossal error investing in the Eagles castoff.  What can’t be ignored is that you want a Cardinals’ QB.  Get Kolb, handcuff him with Skelton and watch the points roll in.

Sleeper:  Josh Freeman.  Freeman has thrown 46 interceptions in 41 career games. The Bucs and Freeman became gambling and fantasy darlings in 2010, but 2011 showed a frightening regression.  Freeman was careless with the ball and the Bucs were bad enough that they were turning him loose weekly in futile comeback attempts.  That’s a recipe for success in bad QB fantasy football.  Names like Tebow, Ponder and Sanchez may be more obvious, but those QBs will too protected by scheme.  For a high reward, Freeman is worth the risk.

***

Did everyone power-skim that?  Great.  Let’s get the season started.  The following teams will be competing for the coveted 2012 D.A. Fantasy Football League Championship.

  1. Eli Esses D
  2. Neckbeards and Codeine
  3. Fake Chow
  4. Kraft
  5. Happy Valley Tickle Monsters
  6. Team Horse Face
  7. The Shiva Cry
  8. Doubleback Vineyards

Week One Draft Order:

  1. BK
  2. Gross
  3. Nichols
  4. DC
  5. JCK
  6. Brian
  7. Kraft
  8. Will

Week One Matchups:  

  1. Eli Esses D. vs. Neckbeards and Codeine
  2. Fake Chow vs. Happy Valley Tickle Monsters
  3. Team Horse Face vs. Doubleback Vineyards
  4. Kraft vs. The Shiva Cry

My D.A. Rankings for Week One:

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. Ryan Tannehill
  3. Christian Ponder
  4. Blaine Gabbert
  5. Andrew Luck
  6. Arizona Cardinals
  7. Jake Locker
  8. Russell Wilson
  9. New York Jets
  10. Sam Bradford
  11. Andy Dalton
  12. Carson Palmer
  13. Josh Freeman
  14. Alex Smith
  15. RG3

4 thoughts on “2012 D.A. Fantasy Football.

  1. Well, 4,000+ entries. It was a tough go. I can’t think they like any implication that the idea was stolen. Especially since the post today alludes to “inventing” the game. Of course, they did invite points for getting arrested, so I certainly can’t take credit for that.

    You sure you don’t want the Giants? It seems like a lay-up.

    • If anything, I’d take the Cowboys. I can see the Giants playing poorly, escaping with a win and everyone then debating Manning’s and Coughlin’s worth. Meanwhile Romo and Garrett get blasted too. It then makes Eagles fans think the division is easy.

  2. good stuff. very sorry you didn’t win. did you get any feedback?

    3-Putt, you’re always a winner in my book, memoir (most of the time) and all. you are especially winning when discussing and making fun of losers.
    that should be your column someday…some people have upbeat, you make the lowbrows fascinating.

    Q

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