Week 3 is complete, only 10 weeks remain in the KFFL regular season. Some teams are starting to pull away (Larson as usual) and other teams are still in preseason mode (Steve, the season already started). Although being 3 weeks into the season I have to be honest; I learned more in Week 3 of the NFL, than I did in 4 years at Ferris State University. Here is a list of what I learned.
- I now know that if Michael Vick would have focused on football and not electrocuting dogs, than the Atlanta Falcons may have won a championship or two. Vick basically made Kolb his bitch (using that in the dog sense) by having a 4 TD day.
- To many injuries. Steven Jackson, Knowshon Moreno, Ryan Matthews, Jason Witten, Pierre Garcon, Jahvid Best are just a sample of the names of players who have suffered injuries in the early part of the season. Just think, if we had two less preseason games, then you could have got 5 weeks of production from these players. Just saying.
- Speaking of making someone their bitch (not using this in terms of a dog) Ryan Fitzpatrick comes out of nowhere…..er Buffalo and gets former starter Trent Edwards released. Is it just me, or did Buffalo miss the memo and just now found out that Trent Edwards was garbage.
- Anyone ever heard the song “Lonesome Kicker”. Yes Garrett Hartley I am looking at you. That was a chip shot, don’t you make those in your sleep. The best part, Drew Brees after the game “You can’t just look at that one play, there were mistakes that led up to that point…..” uh, yes I can. That one play could have won you the game regardless of the prior mistakes.
Moving along to what I learned in our actual fantasy league. Here are some “What were you thinking moments.”
- Keiland Williams. Household name right? For those of you who don’t know he is some backup RB for the Redskins, but John Barley started him. Yes started him. Well I guess his 1 point helped your cause.
- In my best Dennis Green voice “The Hadienaiders are who we thought they were”. Josh’s team comes back down to earth and returns with a loss.
- The Sherminators was one Peyton Hillis away from being 3-0. The worst 3-0 team in fantasy history.
- Really Keiland Williams…. I remember my first fantasy team. (I tried to find a picture of him in a Redskins uniform, um…no dice)
When you finish second to last the previous season you know that you can only go up. Except for that last place finish, which is always possible if you draft like Team Owner Josh Little did in his first season in the KFFL. This week I had a chance to speak with Little and discuss his upcoming 2010 season.
KFFL: Last season you finished 5-8 and struggled to get out of the gates when you started 0-3. What are your thoughts looking back on last year?
JL: Can you wait a second, I don’t have my login information to see my team. From what I can remember since I can’t see my team, is that I drafted like crap. I drafted a bunch of guys that didn’t perform and then had to scour the waiver wires and grab role players. It was a tough season.
KFFL: What changes did you make this offseason to ensure a better season next year?
JL: Well I made the trade with Logan to get Randy Moss. He gives me a guy to build my team around. I would still like to improve my keepers, so I have to make sure I draft better in the early rounds.
KFFL: Who are you looking to keep this year?
JL: At this point Moss is my only certain guy that I am keeping. I think I have arguably the worst keepers in the league so it is going to be an uphill battle. Other then Moss, I am looking at Matt Schaub and either Knowshon Moreno or LeSean McCoy.
KFFL: What is your draft philosphy? What might you target early?
JL: I am going to look for the best player on the board. Since my team is awful I don’t have the luxury of drafting for positions. I have to draft the best players that are out there and hope to replace some of my current keepers.
KFFL: Are there any possible sleepers you might have your eye on?
JL: Good question. I haven’t even thought about it to much (might be why he finishes near the bottom). I like some of the late draft QB’s like Matthew Stafford or Chad Henne. I think Henne will have a good year throwing the ball to Brandon Marshall and Ted Ginn.
KFFL: Umm….. Ted Ginn is in San Francisco now.
JL: Oh that’s right. Well either way, I think Henne will have a good year. By the way, is it possible to draft Jake Long?
KFFL: What are your thoughts on the new rivalry week, when you play Logan for the one and only matchup of the year?
JL: I am looking to beat his ass. His team was garbage as well last year. I am calling it right now, I will be up 50 points on him this year and that is before the Monday night game. Write it down.
KFFL: Which other teams are you looking out for in your this season?
JL: I have to beat Brodie. I feel like less of a man if I don’t beat Brodie. Other then that, I am looking to pretty much smack everyone around since everyone made fun of me and my team last year (rightfully so).
KFFL: What type of preparation do you do leading up to the season?
JL: Well as you can tell, I haven’t done any preparation. I will just cram at the last minute.
Typically the myth is that when players enter their third season they should be due for a breakout season. Nobody could use one more then Steve Slaton, running back for the Houston Texans. Slaton has fallen out of the fantasy world just as quickly as he arrived in 2008 during his rookie year.
As a rookie out of West Virginia Slaton broke onto the scene with the Houston Texans and quickly became the running game that they were lacking. He complimented a passing attack that included arguably the leagues finest receiver Andre Johnson. He started 15 games his rookie season and was a threat to either run or catch out of the backfield. Slaton earned most of his 377 receiving yards via the screen play. He totaled 50 catches during his rookie campaign.
In addition to his pass catching abilities, Slaton was obviously a threat on the ground as well. The ability to make defenders miss, and the burst of speed to break away made him a rookie of the year candidate. The Texans gave him the ball 268 times that year, and he rushed for 1,282 yards. One of the most important statistics that year however was he only had 3 fumbles.
That would all change in his sophomore year. Slaton had now set the bar high for himself. Fantasy draft experts and Sports Illustrated had Slaton pegged as a late first round pick in 2009 fantasy drafts. Many fantasy owners fell victim to drafting him with one of their top picks, only to see him completely fall off the map.
During his second year in the league he started the first 10 games of the season. Things didn’t take long to unravel though, as he quickly developed a fumbling problem. He racked up 131 rushing attempts in the 11 games that he played in, and totaled 437 yards. He was on pace to smash his receiving totals from the previous year as he was already at 44 catches for 417 yards. However during this 11 game stretch his fumbling problem became nearly unbearable. Kubiak benched Slaton for an entire second half of their week 8 game due to his fumbling issues. He had now totaled 7 fumbles on the season, 5 of which were lost to the other team.
The problem never really solved itself, but Slaton’s season was cut short once he had to go under the knife. Slaton now prepares for his rebound season. Not even the Texans were sold on the rookie season of Slaton, so they drafted Ben Tate in this year’s draft. Slaton will certainly not be drafted where he was last season, in some cases, he may not be drafted at all. Owners who take a chance on Slaton could either be rewarded this season, or they will find themselves dropping him early in the season looking for other options, just like the Texans are.
This week I had a chance to interview the newest member to the KFFL. Team owner John Barley joined the league just months ago, but has already made a splash in the league by trading away most of his draft picks to acquire Aaron Rodgers.
KFFL: You were the hottest team at the start of the season last year with a 4-0 start, but then you had to wait until week 12 for your next win. Considering your taking over a team that finished 5-8 last year, and outscored 4 teams ahead in the standings, how do you make sure that doesn’t happen again?
JB: Now with new management I can assure the league that something like that won’t happen again. That was one of the main reasons why I went out and acquired Aaron Rodgers, he gives me an opportunity to compete in each week.
KFFL: What are your first impressions of the league so far?
JB: Well first and foremost I think the commissioner is first class. I think I am coming into the league at a pretty good time, it seems like it really is a time of change. With the debut of a new website, and the first year of actual keepers, I feel like I am coming in at a perfect time.
KFFL: What do you think you can bring to the league?
JB: Well there are a couple of things that I can bring to this league, the first being my experience in fantasy football. I won league championships in other leagues, so I can continue to raise the bar in this league. Secondly, I am the only person in the KFFL league with actual NFL ownership experience. As a current stock holder with the Packers, they constantly call me for my opinion on what to do with the team.
KFFL: Speaking of the cheese heads, explain your decision to go out and acquire Aaron Rodgers?
JB: Aside from being a Packers fan, I think Aaron Rodgers is going to have a big year. Everyone saw what he did last year, and now with improvements to the roster, I feel like he can only improve on those numbers. Having him on my roster gives me a head start on most teams in the league.
KFFL: Who are you looking to keep for next year?
JB: Well because I took over a roster full of a bunch of role players, it has been difficult to decide who I want to keep. Obviously I am going to keep Aaron Rodgers, I would like to improve my running backs, but I think I am going to have to stick with DeAngelo Williams. My third would be DeSean Jackson at this point, but hopefully I can make a deal that lands me a keeper.
KKFL: What is your draft philosophy? What positions might you look to target early?
JB: I have always been someone that likes to go after the big risks guys. I think there is a lot of value in guys that others are passing over. Usually those type of players are very talented but other owners don’t want to deal with the possibility of suspensions or such. But with my lack of talent with my keepers, I have to be spot on with my picks.
KFFL: Are there any possible sleepers you might have your eye on?
JB: There are a few guys that I have my eye on, but I certainly am not going to give any of that information out in fear that Matt Larson will steal my good ideas. From what I have gathered from these interviews, it appears that Larson can’t draft very well, so I don’t want to give him any tips. Speaking of Larson, someone should tell him that its mandatory to have a QB on your roster. Who the hell trades Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers in the same offseason?
KFFL: Which teams are you looking out for in your first season?
JB: Well one nice thing is that I know a good handful of guys in the league. But one team I am already looking to go after is Dave’s team. I saw he already started talking some trash about me and Aaron Rodgers, so he is on the top of my list. I think I will start by hacking into his team account and trade away all of his top guys to someone for a kicker and a defense. That should shut him up.
KFFL: What type of preparation do you do leading up to the season?
JB: Typically I do some mock drafts and lots of reading about training camps. I try to stay current on all of the NFL news.
KFFL: Any idea on when we might see a new team name from you?
10 Storylines for Preseason Week 1
Ok laugh all you want, but the television ratings of the first preseason game between the Cowboys and Bengals tripled the ratings for the Red Sox vs. the Yankees earlier this week. So it is obvious, people want to see their football, preseason or not. So here are 10 intriguing storylines for week 1.
- McNabb debuts in his new colors and we get to see who might carry the ball in Buffalo.
- Kevin Kolb takes control of his new offense as they take on MJD and the Jaguars.
- Brandon Marshall sports teal and Ronnie Brown leads the Wildcat vs. Tampa Bay.
Life without Big Ben begins in Pittsburgh as they take on the Lions.
- Who is the starting RB in Houston, find out as they take on Leinart and the Cards.
- What is life like without Favre? The Vikings find out against Bradford and the Rams.
- The debut of Cutler in his new Mike Martz offense as they take on potential rookie of the year Ryan Matthews and the Chargers.
Jesus, is that Tim Tebow out there, yep. VH1 stars T.O. and Ocho take on the savior and the Broncos.
- Is there a fantasy player on the Browns, we shall see as they take on the Packers.
- Check out the new Meadowlands as the Jets take on the Giants.
We continue to get closer and closer to the start of the NFL season. Today the NFL features its first preseason game. As NFL teams continue to make adjustments to their rosters, team owner, Logan Johnson continues to make moves of his own.
KFFL: Once again let me say congratulations on the new addition to your family.
LJ: Thanks, it certainly is a special moment. I look forward to getting her involved in fantasy football in 4 or 5 years from now.
KFFL: What were your thoughts on how your team performed in 2009?
LJ: Well I certainly thought I was going to do much better then finish outside of the playoffs. The last couple weeks of the season were interesting, I was right there on the bubble. Hopefully this year, I can be on the other side of that bubble.
KFFL: What are your thoughts on the activity in the league?
LJ: This offseason as been an absolute whirlwind. I am not a huge fun of the off-season movement. I have been a firm believer that once the season is over, you can’t make any more trades. On the flip side of that though, I have learned to deal with it and now I just have to play accordingly.
KFFL: For someone who doesn’t like the offseason trades, you did alright for yourself this summer.
LJ: Yeah I was able to work out a good deal with Matt Larson, I mean who doesn’t do deals with Larson. He tries to work deals with people who aren’t even in our league. Now going into the season I know I have some good keepers.
KKFL: Any idea on who you might be keeping this year?
LJ: Well I normally wouldn’t want to tell anyone who I am keeping, but I figure if my draft doesn’t go well, then I can always make deals with Josh Little. His team has pretty much been my farm team, so I have the ability to have a larger pool of players to choose from. In all seriousness though, I am probably looking at Peyton, Ray Rice, and either Colston or Marion Barber.
KFFL: What are you looking to go after in the early rounds of the 2010 draft?
LJ: Well because I swindled Josh to get not only my first round pick back, but to get HIS 2nd overall pick, now I will have the luxury of getting some good talent. I think it depends on which direction I go with my keepers, but at least I know I am going to get some very good talent.
KFFL: Are there any possible sleepers that you’re looking to take this year?
LJ: I am a big fan of the crappy Lions, but it is hard not to think about the potential of Matthew Stafford. He has some very good targets and I just don’t know if his offensive line can hold up.
KFFL: Which teams are you looking out for in 2010?
LJ: There are several teams that I want to beat. I am looking to beat Steel Curtain; he took that last playoff spot from me last year. I don’t worry much about Josh, I am not sure he has figured out how to play Fantasy Football yet. Then of course, I want to beat Larson. He puts so much effort into fantasy football, I just want to see him have a rough year.
KFFL: What sort of preparation do you do to prepare yourself for the upcoming 2010 draft?
LJ: I have a handful of websites that I check each day. Other than that, I take a lot of my advice from my wife.
10 Things I Learned From the 1st Preseason Game
Last night the NFL featured its first preseason game of the year. Of course as many of us know, it is difficult to pick anything up from a preseason match from a fantasy stand point. So what could you possibly learn about two teams that only had their starts play several snaps? Here are 10 things you may have missed.
- The Cowboys offense looked like they were clicking on their first drive.
- Tony Romo looked in midseason form as he stalled the first drive with some erratic tosses.
Carson Palmer targeted T.O. – 4 times, OchoCinco – 0 times. Yet Ocho is drafted 4 rounds higher.
- Cedric Benson looked like he can continue his previous season’s success.
- The Cowboys don’t have a dominant lead running back. Each RB struggled to do anything productive.
- Cowboys 3rd string TE John Phillips looks like he could start for many NFL teams.
- Former drug addict Matt Jones actually looked decent for the Bengals, not sure he can make the roster though.
- Cowboys kicker David Buehler had the best day out of anyone.
- Yes, I really just talked about a kicker.
- Yes the NFL is back…….. but damn the preseason is boring.