The countdown is on to the start of the 2011 NFL season and I can't wait. From my perspective, so much time has been devoted to FantasyFootballNerd.com over the past few months that I feel like the 2010 season never ended. With all that effort, it's easy to forget why we do this. I was reminded of the "why" when I got an email from Scott, an FFN user and participant in one of the FFN Users Leagues. Scott's in Raleigh, NC where he was grazed by Hurricane Irene as she ravaged their coastline. As he said, we play for those moments. His "fantasy moment" was when he was losing his matchup and only had Chris Johnson left. It's 3rd down with 1:40 left on the clock and the Titans are 35 yards away from the endzone. Yes - CJ2K ripped it off and that 35 yard score put Scott over the 100 yard mark giving him bonus points and the win by only a fraction of a point. That's why we play this game and that's what I'm looking forward to. It's kind of like golf - one amazing shot makes everything worthwhile.
Things have certainly changed since July 30th of this year. That's when Peyton Manning signed his 5-year, $90 million contract. Fast foward less than a month and the Colts are bringing Kerry Collins out of retirement to serve as Manning's backup. As the preseason nears its end, more and more folks (including Peyton) are unsure if #18 will be suiting up for the opener against Houston. I participated in a draft last evening where Peyton didn't go until the 8th round. The 8th round! Even then, he went as a backup QB. It's not just Manning or the Colts who are nervous about that offseason neck surgery. Prior to a few weeks ago, it would have been sacrilegious to have Peyton as a backup. Fantasy fans are worried and there's reason to be, but keep in mind that this is Peyton Manning we're talking about. Even if he misses 3 games, he's still going to be an elite QB when he returns. Ben Roethlisberger missed 4 games and still ended the year with solid numbers. Manning is currently ranked 6th among all QB's on the FFN draft rankings. It will be interesting to see if that changes over the next few days.
Just wrapped up the draft for the FFN Experts League. 11 of the leading fantasy industry experts plus yours truly have come together to battle it out this season for charity. Each expert has chosen a charity to play for and Fantasy Football Nerd will make a cash donation to the winner's charity of choice. I think that makes it a little more interesting and it makes me feel good knowing that even if I lose, someone far more important than me will still win.
It's mid-August and that means that we're entering the thick of fantasy football drafts. This is the culmination of all of your research and strategy. I don't know about you, but my drafts rarely, if ever, go the way that I plan for them. Someone inevitably makes a pick that I scratch my head saying "What?" or the pick that I'm anxiously waiting to make is made by the guy in front of me. Maybe someone reaches for a pick. Maybe there's a run on a position well before I anticipated it. Even with a deep pool of QB's this year, it seems that as soon as we hit that 2nd tier (I put Rodgers and Vick in Tier 1 and they'll be gone right away), someone will start the run on QB's and as I'm planning on picking a quality RB or WR, I'm stuck with the dilemma of getting a decent QB or playing with a sub-par QB and sticking with my plan.
A good boss can be the difference between a Super Bowl winning team and one unable to even catch the playoffs. A good boss can positively motivate and shape a team while a horrible boss can destroy one. I recently saw Horrible Bosses and while I have to admit that working for Jennifer Aniston would certainly have it's...ummm...perks...it's probably not the best working environment. Watching the 2011 Hall of Fame class get inducted however reminds me that each of those guys had positive influences on them. I guarantee that they each have had great bosses during their careers.
How would you like to beat the Nerd? I'd like to put together a small league made up of FFN users just for fun. I can't promise you fame or fortune, but I can promise you bragging rights if you can beat me....of course, that's a big "IF". If anyone is interested in playing, please let me know.
There has been quite a bit of movement already. I had considered doing a piece on the fantasy football implications that these free agent changes have. As I was procrastinating, I checked out the fantasy football news section and saw that Jamey Eisenberg from CBSSports.com had already done this (and exceptionally well). As I finished reading the article it became apparent to me that none of the recent player movements had any significant impact to us in the fantasy world...at least...not yet. I think Chad Ochocinco and Roy Williams certainly increase in fantasy value with their moves and could very well surprise everyone. I believe that Tom Brady makes a good WR a terrific WR and he can do that for Ochocinco. Who is Jay Cutler going to throw to in Chicago? Hester and Knox? Neither has been able to meet expectations. I think Williams could have an up year in the windy city.