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Updates from April, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Matt 2:28 pm on April 28, 2008 Permalink
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    Other thoughts on the NFL draft from a fantasy perspective 

    • The Bucs must be feeling better about Carnell Williams’ surgically-repaired knee – the only RB they took in the draft was Cory Boyd in the 7th round. Cadillac, for his part, says it’s “definitely a possibility” that he’ll play in week one.
    • If going to Atlanta wasn’t the worst-case scenario for Matt Ryan, I don’t know what was.
    • Say what you want about Oakland, they stay true to form year after year. They take the most talented player available, regardless of how horrible a fit he is for their organization. That’s the McFadden pick in a nutshell – they’re more than set at RB already. Still… it might be fun to watch McFadden and JaMarcus Russell working together. Four guys you don’t want to run into at a night club this week: LaMont Jordan, Justin Fargas, Dominic Rhodes, and Michael Bush. You might also want to avoid any burly keeper-league owners who had high hopes for Bush in 2008.
    • The Jets did what we said they’d do.
    • Cedric Benson had to be happy when the Bears made the “no duh” move of taking an OL with their first pick. Then they wiped that smile right off his face with their 2nd-round pick, RB Matt Forte, who will undoubtedly steal at least a few carries and could challenge Benson outright for the starting job. Bears GM Jerry Angelo isn’t mincing words about it, either: “Maybe (Benson’s) not the featured back we thought he’d be.” Ouch.

    Lots more to talk about here but I’m out of time.

  • Matt 9:41 am on April 28, 2008 Permalink  

    Newsflash: There was a draft over the weekend 

    Not that I watched it. Anyone who actually watches the NFL draft coverage should realize that they are on equal footing with the people who sit through an entire American Idol results show. Sure, I’m interested in the outcome (of the former, that is), but I don’t have such a burning desire to know who goes where that I need to find out right at the instant it happens.

    I’m pretty pleased with my Bills, who more than adequately addressed their needs at cornerback (Leodis McKelvin, 11th pick) and wide receiver (James Hardy, 41st pick). It’s exciting to have McKelvin, whom I’m optimistically going to dub Devin Hester 2.0 – Now Including Coverage Skills! Hardy was potentially the steal of the draft; perhaps he fell so far because he’s considered to be something of a character risk, but I’m not all that worried:

    Hardy certainly sounds like the sort who deserves everything he is getting, in a good sense. He grew up in desperate straits, with a father who spent nine years in prison for dealing drugs, and a mother who turned him over to relatives at age 13. He found himself living in a one-bedroom apartment with an uncle freshly released from prison.

    “I would just stay at school,” Hardy told the Buffalo News, “in the gym or on the field so I wouldn’t have to go home. That’s what got me here and I’ll be able to go home to my house and eat right and just be able to focus on being a professional. I take this very seriously.”

    He could be full of shit, sure, but at least he’s saying the right things for the moment.

    As much as I hate to get excited about the Bills offense from a fantasy perspective after getting burned by Lee Evans repeatedly and painfully last season, I’m at least cautiously optimistic at this point. Trent Edwards showed a ton of poise for a rookie and I fully expect him to take the next step this season now that he has two quality targets. Marshawn Lynch is one of the most exciting tailbacks in the game and is ready to be dominant behind the Bills’ above-average (albeit overpaid) offensive line. It’s a well-rounded offense with lots of fantasy potential between these four players. Lynch is a solid #1 RB, and Evans could credibly be used as a #1 WR (for the non-risk-averse). Hardy will absolutely start right away and could be an interesting, high-upside #3 WR. All of this, of course, depends upon the play of Edwards. Would I take him as my #1 QB? Nah… but you could do far worse for your #2.

    The Bills schedule, by the way, is a thing of beauty for the most part. I count at least ten (!!) games against teams that had crappy defenses in ’07. Am much as I hate sharing a division with the Pats, getting to play the Fins and Jets four times a season almost makes it all worth it.

  • Matt 8:42 am on April 25, 2008 Permalink  

    Fleaflicker acquired by AOL for undisclosed amount 

    Couldn’t say I saw this one coming. AOL already runs its own fantasy sports leagues (which I’ve never tried), but they must not be attracting many users, or they must prefer Fleaflicker’s technology over their own. I can’t imagine Fleaflicker holding out for too much money, so it may have been a pretty painless way for AOL to reign in a competitor before they got too big. Now they’ve just got to worry about Yahoo, CBS Sportsline, Fox Sports, ESPN, NFL.com, FantasyPlayers.com, and about 100 other smaller sites. No biggie.

    Brandon and I tried Fleaflicker in 2006, its inaugural season, and were generally unimpressed. We liked the deeply customizable scoring system, but the interface left much to be desired. We moved the league to Yahoo last season, but I kept the old one active just so I could keep an eye on Fleaflicker to see if they improved their interface, but aside from making a few of the buttons bigger, it didn’t appear to me that they had changed much. I frankly don’t know what Fleaflicker has to offer AOL in terms of technology. Maybe they’re still convinced that Techcrunch was right when they called Fleaflicker “the best fantasy football site out there.”

    • Squish 7:09 pm on October 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I never even new that FF changed hands!

      I agree that the Yahoo interface is quite a bit better but for standard leagues I still like flea flicker. This is mainly because flea flicker doesn’t limit the number of teams I can have.

      If I were to run a league with my friends, I’d take Yahoo because it is better for activity due to it’s messaging format and such. Otherwise I’d play FF because the scoring system usually plays out more true to life.

  • Matt 12:02 pm on April 21, 2008 Permalink  

    Michael Rowe thinks you're why sportswriting sucks 

    I didn’t notice this article when it came out earlier this month. Here, someone named Michael Rowe explains why he thinks fantasy football is partly to blame for what he claims is the demise of sportswriting in recent years:

    This internet-facilitated imaginary game, in which you “draft” players whose statistical achievements become points for your team, has become so popular that TV sports analysts and sportswriters routinely advise viewers and readers on which players they should or should not stock on their fake roster. In one particularly entertaining instance, an NFL Network analyst queried ex-coach Jim Mora—who piloted the Saints and Colts before retirement—about his fantasy football squad. Mora dismissed the whole caboodle with mumbles and an eye roll.

    Of course Mora doesn’t get it: He used to coach in the NFL. Football coaches rely on probabilities generated by statistical analysis to inform their play-calling. And that’s the central appeal of fantasy football: It mimics the act of coaching by passing off numbers—who gains more yardage against whom, who tends to choke when, and how one defense fares against a certain offense—as insight into the game. Thus we play at possessing professional knowledge, and, in the absence of the required muscles, numbers transport us inside the game as virtual shot-callers. Mora has no more interest in fantasy coaching than I have in playing a game of “fantasy infant”—been there, done that. It’s the fantasizing spectator who wants to be caught up in what he imagines are the details.

    Rowe’s argument boils down to this: Fantasy sports are worthless because they’re all about numbers, rather than stories and personalities. Rowe imagines fantasy managers the way most people imagine stock brokers – poring over statistical trends, buying and selling assets when the conventional wisdom dictates that they must, drearily blinded to everything but the data flickering on the screen. It’s the oldest joke in the book about fantasy sports, repackaged as a cause for, and reflection of, the decline of sportswriting. (More …)

  • Matt 8:37 am on April 16, 2008 Permalink  

    Hazean mock draft update 

    As I mentioned previously, we’re participating in the Hazean’s 2008 NFL mock draft. We’re representing the Jets and their #6 pick. We went with Vernon Gholston, whose name has been associated with the Jets for a good month now. He’s a perfect fit for them, but I have a feeling that they’ll be very, very lucky if he falls to #6 (the Dolphins are even rumored to be considering taking Gholston with the top overall pick). Our (well, my) justification for the pick is after the jump.

    (More …)

    • Brandon 8:00 pm on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hopefully the Jets don’t take Gholston in real life…I need the Patriots to get him!

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