Archive for the ‘Fantasy Football’ Category.

2014: Another round of busts

Not much has changed since 2013. Looks like I’ll finish the 2014 season 5-9 after starting with another weak draft:

Round 1, #7: WR Calvin Johnson. Thought this was a no-brainer, but injuries left me without his services during the meat of the season. He really only had 5 weeks when he produced like a WR1. I guess I can’t predict injuries, but I did think a WR was a safer pick than an RB. No QBs had been picked yet, so going with Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning would have been much better in hindsight. Getting really tired of burning my first pick each year.

Round 2, #26: QB Matt Ryan. I reached a bit here because quarterbacks were going fast and Ryan had a lot of buzz as an elite pick this season. He hasn’t been bad, but certainly not elite. Would have been a different season if I had gone {Aaron Rodgers, Julio Jones} with my first two picks.

Round 3, #39: RB Andre Ellington. Despite his injury last week, I still like this pick. Ellington has been on the cusp of a top 10 RB all season, which I think is great value for a 3rd round RB in a 16-team league.

Round 4, #58: WR Victor Cruz. Ugh, not that he was producing much prior to his season-ending injury, but I think there was potential for him to be a top 15 WR. As it was, injury erased my second WR, just like my first.

Round 5, #71: RB Bishop Sankey. This guy ended up way below the preseason expectations. Under 500 yards and only 2 touchdowns is not going to cut it for an RB2.

Round 6, #90: RB Lamar Miller. This wound up being a great speculative pick. An injury to Knowshown Moreno opened the door for Miller to hover just outside top 10 RB status. Definitely can’t complain about this one.

Round 7, #103: TE Jordan Reed. We don’t have to start a TE in our league, but as a UF fan I know that Reed can produce in the passing game. Injuries to Reed and miserable performances by RG3 made this a wasted pick.

Round 8, #122: RB Carlos Hyde. This was reasonable speculation, but Frank Gore stayed healthy and no timeshare ever emerged.

Round 9, #135: WR Rueben Randle. This was the wrong Giants WR2. Never stepping up after Cruz went down, and missing out on Odell Beckham Jr, I kept expecting something out of Randle and never got it.

Round 10, #154: WR Brandin Cooks. This was a nice pick late in the draft. Cooks helped cover the injuries to my other receivers… until he himself was injured.

Round 11, #167: WR Jordan Matthews. Matthews would have been a great find, if I had held onto him. At the beginning of the season I had good WR depth and it looked like Matthews wasn’t going to be too involved as a rookie. Now he’s a top 20 WR – something my battered squad could have definitely used.

In terms of free agents, I was able to get some value out of RB Ben Tate and WR Martavis Bryant, but not enough to overcome the lack of studs. I ended up around the middle of the pack in terms of fantasy point production, but second highest in points against, which certainly didn’t help. Injury or not, I think grabbing Calvin Johnson was a mis-pick. Given that situation again, I think a guaranteed stud QB would have been better.

How to fill your roster with draft busts

As the 2013 fantasy football season draws to a close, I am struggling to reconcile the amount of pre-draft research I did with how terrible my draft turned out to be. I began the season feeling like I had a great draft, happy with the value I was getting at nearly every position. But now at the close of Week 13, I’m 6-7 and lucky to be there given my draft.

KEEPER: RB Trent Richardson. It was between him and TE Jimmy Graham. As you’ll see I wound up getting Graham anyway, but spending my keeper on Richardson was a huge loss. With a 2012 season that included over 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns, how could I not keep him? All the experts had him in RB1 territory… seemed like a no-brainer. Maybe the lesson I can take from this is to consider an RB’s yards per carry – Richardson was at 3.6 YPC in 2012 which could maybe be a warning flag.

ROUND 2, #30: RB Steven Ridley. Here I thought I was building my team around two strong running backs. In terms of RBs, I passed over Eddie Lacy, Chris Johnson, and DeMarco Murray – all of whom turned out substantially better than Ridley. He now rides the bench due to fumbling issues, meaning that the 23rd-ranked RB’s value will fall even farther. I did have a doubt in the back of my mind about choosing a Patriots’ running back, but I deferred to expert consensus. He had 4 fumbles last year which is on the high side I guess – perhaps that is a stat I should consider going forward.

ROUND 3, #35: TE Jimmy Graham. My only high draft pick that turned out the way he was supposed to. Was really happy grabbing him in the third round of a 16-team draft.

ROUND 4, #62: WR Dwayne Bowe. That’s right, my WR1 turned out to be the league’s 43rd best receiver. Guys I passed over like Anquan Boldin, Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson, and DeSean Jackson all have marked improvements on their 2012 stats, but Bowe will be lucky to match his modest production from last year. Maybe there was the expectation that Andy Reid would open up the Chiefs’ offense, allowing Bowe to time warp to 2010 when he went for over 1000 yards and 15 touchdowns. The better play here would have been to lock up QB Russell Wilson, realizing that I’d already lost my chance to get a pre-season WR1.

ROUND 5, #67: QB Eli Manning. Quarterbacks get snapped up quickly in this league, so I tend to punt a bit and go after reliable options with top 10 upside – like Manning should have been. What I got was the league’s 21st-ranked QB who is on pace to have his worst TD:INT ratio since his rookie season. So my punting strategy turned out to be a double-fail: I didn’t get value in the early rounds, and “reliable-with-upside” QB turned out to be “bye-week-fill-in-at-best”.

ROUND 6, #94: RB Ben Tate. Tate would have been a decent pick if he continues his current production and if I’d had the roster space to retain him.

ROUND 7, #99: WR Chris Givens. Worthless option, despite having had some pre-season promotion. Pickings were slim here, but guys like Alshon Jeffery and Michael Floyd were still available. I just didn’t hit the late round WR lotto.

Despite these disasters, I have a shot to finish .500 this year. I did grab WR Josh Gordon in Round 8 (who I traded away a few weeks ago for Russell Wilson), and RB Pierre Thomas in Round 10 who has outperformed my top two RB selections. Free agent WR Keenan Allen has helped out, as has RB Andre Brown who I grabbed prior to his return from injury.

Obviously I’d like to avoid a draft like this in the future, but I don’t think I made any significant blunders given the information that was available at the time. In the end I guess it’s just hard to strategize against bad luck.

The League: a television flop

The League is a sitcom about a group of 30-something adults who are in a fantasy football league. After seeing the promo (and being a fantasy football addict), I raced to the DVR to acquire some League action. I’ve since slogged my way through six episodes and am now at the point where I just cannot bear to punish myself anymore.

I thought I was going to get a comedy that satirizes both fantasy football and the people who are involved with this national obsession. Instead, The League is a poor attempt at TV-for-guys-who-like-TV, composed of painful caricatures, pointless vulgarity, the occasional NFL player cameo, “zany” scenarios that have nothing to do with fantasy football, and a few flat jokes about the game itself.

The premise is solid, the acting is fine, but the plot lines and writing are miserable. Every now and then the show gets a chuckle out of me, but that’s just kind of like how a stopped clock is right twice a day. At the moment when the characters were in a car, screaming and yelling as a monkey was jumping frenetically around the interior, I hit the stop button, deleted the episode, and decided I was done with The League.

If you really want to bring out the comedy in the fantasy football craze, you can’t just toss together a crappy sitcom, make a few fantasy football references, and expect to bask in rays of accolades. If I had the resources and the opportunities, here is how I would do it:

Ditch the sitcom paradigm and move to something closer to sketch comedy – a Daily Show or SNL model, if you will. The drama of the NFL and weekly fantasy impact hold so much material that you could put out a show every, say, Wednesday. If actual NFL footage could be incorporated into the show, then you could have something really huge. The point is that the comedy would be focused on fantasy football and it would be current – the show would be extremely relevant to the millions who are playing this game.

A number of blogs exist that combine humor, analysis, and fantasy football fallout, but for a medium like television, The League should be disbanded.


Fantasy football lessons learned in 2009

Last year I wrote Fantasy football non-lessons learned in 2008 so maybe this is becoming an annual tradition. My sorry draft this season has hopefully taught me a few lessons that I can learn from going forward:

Avoid one-hit wonders

RB Matt Forte exploded out of nowhere in 2008 and has comparatively disappeared in 2009. I was a little scared of a “sophomore slump”, but I bought into the hype that Forte could be even better with Jay Cutler at the helm. In the end, I chased after a one-hit wonder instead of using my 7th overall pick for a reliable stud (e.g., QB Drew Brees).

Don’t bank on wide receivers

Starting with the second round, I went Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings, and Jason Witten. Johnson has produced, but Jennings and Witten have both fallen well short of expectations. The WR position in general lacks consistency, so basing your team around a core of receivers isn’t necessarily the best idea. I think it might be better to go after the late-rounders or free agents who invariably wind up rising to the top (e.g., Miles Austin, Mike Sims-Walker, Sidney Rice, the Giants’ Steve Smith).

Two upside quarterbacks do not equal one stud

Last year I had an injury prone Matt Schaub and an inconsistent Jake Delhomme. This year, my QB corps of Carson Palmer and Matt Cassel (later traded for Matt Hasselbeck) is not much of an improvement. Since his bye week, Palmer’s FP production has been a pathetic {15, 7, 16, 11, 9}. Those performances from Palmer are a big reason why I’m out of playoff contention.

Don’t break strong RB monopolies

I had the RBs for the defending Superbowl champs in Willie Parker, Mewelde Moore, and Rashard Mendenhall. The second it looked like I had a three-headed RB monster on my hands, I started dropping these guys. Currently Mendenhall is playing for another team and has more fantasy points than Matt Forte or any of my other crummy backs. I need to think very carefully in the future before I give up an RB monopoly on a good team. Though with the way the Steelers have been playing lately, I’m not sure that we can call them “good”…

Next season I am almost certainly going to take a QB in the first round. After two straight seasons of flaky QBs and 1st round busts, I want some reliable production. Aaron Rodgers, say hello to your new team for 2010: the Shambling Corpses!

Group think among fantasy football experts

In my last post, I talked about grading the rankings of fantasy football experts using the root mean square error (RMSE), and listed some results for Week 9. This time, I took the data from ten analysts and examined their performance for weeks 1-9. The numbers seem to imply a certain amount of group think:

Analyst QB RB WR TE K DST 8 14.5 21.1 6.7 7 6.9 7.8 15.2 20.8 7.3 7 n/a
(Yahoo) B. Funston 7.7 14.9 21.4 7.2 7.3 6.6
(Yahoo) A. Behrens 7.5 14.6 20.9 7.1 7.6 6.6
(Yahoo) B. Evans 7.8 14.6 21 7 7.4 6.5
(Yahoo) S. Pianowski 7.8 14.6 20.7 6.9 6.8 6.5
(ESPN) M. Berry 7.9 14.8 21.8 7.6 7.6 6.4
(ESPN) C. Harris 7.7 15.2 21.5 7 7.5 6.8
(ESPN) E. Karabell 8 14.9 21.2 6.8 7.7 6.5
(ESPN) E. Kuselias 7.9 15 21.2 7.1 6.8 6.3

The results are pretty discouraging… all the analysts are basically the same! The biggest difference is 1.1 between the WR performance of ESPN’s Matthew Berry and Yahoo’s Scott Pianowski. So if Pianowski tells you that Randy Moss is the #1 WR for the week, then Moss is pretty much guaranteed to be in the top 21; if Berry tells you that Andre Johnson is the #1 WR for the week, then Johnson will fall somewhere in the top 22. Is that a big enough difference to say that Pianowski is a better analyst than Berry?

Amusingly, if you sum up the errors for each analyst, you’ll find that Matthew Berry, face of ESPN’s fantasy football team, is the worst. Still, they are all so close that being best or worst doesn’t have much meaning.

All this homogeneity had me wondering if there was a bug somewhere in my code. As a sanity check, I decided to see how different the rankings of the analysts were from one another. To do this, I took the average of the standard deviation of the rankings for each player. The result:

Analysts Avg(StdDev)
All 3.90563914
ESPN 2.99869145
Yahoo 2.96695123
ESPN+Yahoo 3.44933692

So you end up with an average standard deviation of about 4 for each player ranking. That is a pretty small number when you consider that each of these analysts is ranking 40 running backs and 50 wide receivers. If you include only rankings in the top 10, then the number plummets to 1.42704758.

Even more interesting is the very clear illustration of group think. The ESPN guys have an average deviation of about 3 amongst themselves, as do the Yahoo guys. But combining the two groups, the number increases by about 15%. It’s all very fascinating; the conclusion I draw is that these analysts are not significantly different from one another.

Notes about methodology

When calculating the RMSE table, I leveled the playing field by using the top N rankings from each position; see the table below:

Position Players ranked
QB top 20
RB top 40
WR top 50
TE top 15
K top 15
DST top 15

The other thing to note about the scoring is that I capped the maximum error for situations where a player’s actual output put them outside the top N rankings. If they were outside of N, then I squashed their ranking to N+1. This was to avoid the situation where a player posts a goose egg and therefore winds up amongst the hundreds of other players with zeros.

Was it worth it?

I had fun doing this as a hobby project, but I was disappointed not to uncover a “super analyst”. All these guys are doing better than if you were to draw names out of a hat, but I wonder how much better they are than the average Joe Football. I am half-tempted to try ranking players myself and see if an amateur can compete with the experts.

Grading fantasy football analysts with the root mean square

UPDATE: added the ESPN guys.

Last year I considered writing some code that would grade the performance of fantasy football analysts. This year I’ve actually finished up the code and can post a few results. What I am doing is very simple:

  1. Download an analyst’s weekly rankings.
  2. Download the actual player rankings (based on fantasy point production).
  3. Compare the two for each position using the root mean square error (RMSE).

The following table shows the RMSE of CBS Sports’ Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard for Week 9. Similar to the Netflix Prize, the lower the number the better. In this case, the RMSE tells you how many rankings off the mark the analyst tends to be.

EXAMPLE: Using the table below, we see that Dave Richard’s RMSE for quarterbacks is about 8. So if he says that a QB is going to be ranked #10, then you can be pretty confident that the QB’s actual rank will be between #2 and #18. That may seem like a large error, but keep in mind the random, uncertain nature of pro football: Tampa Bay beat Green Bay last week; Cedric Benson is the 7th top RB; Smith Smith of the Giants is the 7th top WR; the Titans are 2-6. Predicting this stuff is nearly impossible, but I have a hunch that some analysts will be better than others.

Position Eisenbergc Richardc Berrye Harrise Karabelle Kuseliase
QB 8.5 7.8 8.3 8.2 8.3 7.5
RB 13.2 12.4 13.3 13.6 13.3 12.6
WR 20.6 19.6 19.8 18.9 19.9 19.5
TE 8.1 7.7 8.6 7.8 7.3 7.9
K 6.2 6.4 6.7 7.2 8.1 5.9
DST 9.4 8.4 10.1 10.0 9.3 10.0
  • C = CBS Sports
  • E = ESPN

I will look to post data covering more analysts later this week!

Fantasy football: temporary trades, borrowing, and collusion

Here’s the scenario: player A has two QBs on a bye in Week 8, and player B has two QBs on a bye in Week 9. Both players want to keep their QBs, but they also need to cover their respective bye weeks. To solve the problem, they work a temporary trade where they swap one of their quarterbacks before Week 8, then swap back after Week 9. Is this collusion? Is this a legal trade?

Intuition says that something fishy is going on, but producing a rational argument is difficult. The arguments I found on the web were frustrating, boiling down to nothing-statements like, “It’s illegal because it’s unfair.” The problem is that the classical example of collusion involves a lopsided trade, where Team A becomes weaker in order to make Team B stronger. But in the case where the teams are borrowing from each other at equal value, the balance of the trade is even.

So I was left trying find a logical reason behind the following two assertions:

  • ALLOWED: a permanent trade that is mutually beneficial to both owners.
  • NOT ALLOWED: a temporary trade that is mutually beneficial to both owners.

For me, the key was to view the trade graphically. Consider two teams, each having a roster of 9 players. Here are what the teams look like before a trade:

Two teams prior to a trade

When dealing with a permanent trade, any number of players move from one team to the other, but the teams are still separate entities:

Two teams perform a permanent trade

But when we deal with a temporary trade, then during the time period in question, the two teams are overlapping their rosters:

Two teams overlapping their rosters via a temporary trade

By performing a temporary trade, these two teams have effectively done the following:

  • circumvented the roster limit by storing a player on each other’s bench.
  • gained access to quality players at no cost.
  • formed an alliance that, while acceptable in a game like Risk, really is not in the spirit of fantasy football.

I think those reasons are sufficient to nullify any temporary/mutual borrowing trades.

If you’re curious, I originally began exploring this idea when commenting on this blog entry.

The annual fantasy football woes

Just like last year, I am finding that what I thought was an awesome draft has turned out to be less than mediocre. The season is halfway over in my 16-team league, and I remain unimpressed with my top 10 draft picks:

  1. Matt Forte (7th overall) – I thought I was getting a great deal by having Forte drop out of the top 5 and into my hands. Drew Brees was on the board, but my thought was that an elite RB was too good to pass up. Of course, what has happened is that Forte has been a bust – you don’t spend a 1st round pick on the #30 RB in fantasy point (FP) production.
  2. Andre Johnson – an exception to my poor draft, the first WR off the board has paid off. Johnson is the #1 WR in my league, meaning that finally one of my players has lived up to their draft expectations. If only this happened more frequently for me…
  3. Greg Jennings – deciding to secure two elite wideouts, I took the 5th WR in the draft with Jennings. Yes 5th off the board, but currently 32nd in FP production. Roddy White, Marques Colston, and Chad Ochocinco are all looking really good in hindsight.
  4. Jason Witten – my league has no TE position, but does have a WR/TE slot. My thought was that Witten should produce like a high-end receiver, but being the #59 WR/TE isn’t what I had in mind with a fourth-round pick. Witten consistently gets a number of short targets by Tony Romo, but the TE’s last three FP totals of {3, 4, 5} just aren’t cutting it.
  5. Willie Parker – ugh, see my 10th pick.
  6. Carson Palmer – there was a big run on QBs early in the draft, but I decided to be patient and go for a middle-tier QB later on. Palmer is currently the #7 QB in the league and just came off a 5 TD game. He’s been up and down throughout the season but I’ll feel pretty good if I end up with a top 10 QB in the sixth round.
  7. Marshawn Lynch – Lynch fell really far in the draft due to the suspension. When Fred Jackson performed well in his absence, I began to worry that Lynch was not going to pay off in the way I had hoped. His post-suspension output of {4, 12, 7, 10} isn’t spectacular, but certainly nice for a 7th rounder.
  8. Kevin Walter – I just dropped Walter this week. Coming back from the injury with a 16-FP game, I thought I might have something good on my hands. However, I can’t reserve a bench spot for a WR whose last four games have been {4, 3, 2, 2}.
  9. Matt Cassel – meh, a low-end draft pick for a low-end QB. Can’t really complain about this one, especially since I’ve just traded him away for Matt Hasselbeck who hopefully turns things around and stays healthy.
  10. Rashard Mendenhall – I had the foresight to draft Parker’s handcuff, but not the patience to retain him on my bench. In the early goings of the season, it looked like Parker would be the guy for the Steelers. Now Mendenhall is the #16 RB and playing for one of my opponents.

Despite the lackluster draft and the Mendenhall blunder, my team is still 4-3. I’ve made good moves with free agent DSTs, cashing in on a 25-FP performance from Denver, and a massive 43-FP from the 49ers. Surprisingly, kicker Lawrence Tynes has been a solid free agent acquisition, averaging over 10 FP/game. I also managed to have a good run with Glen Coffee, using the RB to help me through a couple of bye weeks.

The second half of the fantasy football season is going to be crucial for my team, the Shambling Corpses. If Forte, Jennings, and Witten can get going, then I should be playoff bound. If not, then I’m just going to have to keep hitting that DST lottery.

Fantasy football non-lessons learned in 2008

I just lost Week 15 which means I’m out of the Championship game and will be playing for third place. I sort of choked because I made a bunch of lineup tweaks and started these guys:

  • QB Shaun Hill [10 FP]
  • WR Davone Bess [2 FP]
  • K John Carney [6 FP]

When I should have stuck with my usual crew of:

  • QB Matt Cassel [31 FP]
  • WR Bernard Berrian [10 FP]
  • K Rob Bironas [14 FP]

Those moves cost me a shot to win it all. The problem is that I had very logical reasons for making these decisions. For example:

Matt Cassel had put up -2 FP against the Steelers, barely had a decent 19-FP game with a last minute TD against the miserable Seahawks, missed practice time grieving over the loss of his father, and was about to face a Raiders team ranked in the top ten against the pass. Meanwhile, Shaun Hill had two TDs in 4 of his 5 previous games and was facing a Miami D ranking in the bottom half of the NFL against the pass. What happens? Cassel throws a career high 4 TDs while Hill is shut out of the endzone.

The problem is that you can look over the stats, make decisions that seem logical, and then have everything blow up in your face. You want to play the matchups, but most of the time they don’t mean shit. You want to listen to the experts, but they’re right barely 50% of the time. You want to apply some sort of reasoning to the whole process, but there is so much randomness that it doesn’t seem to matter.

So what is the lesson here? There is no lesson. Wanna see the top draft picks of the newbie owner who is going to the Championship game? Here are his first five rounds:

  1. Eli Manning
  2. Willis McGahee
  3. Marvin Harrison
  4. Vince Young
  5. Fred Taylor

If you can go to the playoffs after a draft like that, what the hell is the point of playing at all?

I guess I shouldn’t complain so much. After all, I made the playoffs and had the potential to play for the whole ball of wax. The season was so much more enjoyable with the tools and gameflow that CBSSports provides as opposed to the garbage that Yahoo puts out there. I mean even consider a “premium” league for 2009 to get a little more customization.

The Shambling Corpses will rise again!

Fantastic Fall

I went into the 2008 fantasy football season thinking that I’d scored a hole-in-one with my draft:

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson
  2. Terrell Owens
  3. Earnest Graham
  4. Wes Welker
  5. Jason Witten
  6. Willie Parker
  7. Jake Delhomme
  8. Patrick Crayton
  9. Colts DST
  10. Matt Schaub

Eleven weeks into the season, these guys have been bad enough to land me 11 out of 12 in my league in overall fantasy point production. Let the bitchfest begin:

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson – leave it to me to break the best player in fantasy football. LT hasn’t even been a top ten back this year, and his lack of consistency has been a killer. After a 10-FP game in Week One and a 3-FP game in Week Two, I sat LT… he blew up for 20 FP on my bench in Week Three. I gritted my teeth and bore it when he put up 5 FP in Week Five, 11 FP in Week Six, and 6 FP in Week Seven. At that point I needed a win and just couldn’t run him out there for a game in London halfway around the world. He exploded for 22 FP on my bench. I picked up 10 FP from him against a terrible Kansas City rush defense, then benched him for a 15 FP performance against the Steelers. It’s bad when a player underperforms, worse when that player’s performance is so flaky that you have to make week-to-week decisions on him. That’s not why I drafted LT second overall.
  2. Terrell Owens – unlike LT, I’ve put TO in my lineup for each of the 10 games he’s played. Early on I had a chance to trade him for Philip Rivers, but no more. Here is TO’s FP production over his last five games: {3, 3, 3, 7, 3}. That’s terrible. That sort of production from a 2nd Round WR is a team-killer.
  3. Earnest Graham – I dropped Graham last week for Cadillac, and now it looks like Graham might be done for the year. Graham gave me #2 RB numbers, but I had been hoping for a lot more. At 737 all-purpose yards and 4 TDs this season, he’s fallen well short of the 1,222 all-purpose yards and 10 TDs from last season – even though he had the same number of starts in both seasons.
  4. Wes Welker – another Tom Brady casualty. The yardage has been there for Welker, but his lone TD will require some padding if he wants to hit the 8 touchdowns he had in 2007.
  5. Jason Witten – like TO, Witten produced as expected early on. Then there was the Romo injury along with Witten’s rib injury; his last five games: {5, 4, 0, 0, 3}.
  6. Willie Parker – a great deal in the sixth round… or he would have been if he hadn’t spent five games benched with injuries.
  7. Jake Delhomme – ugh. The first of my “upside” quarterbacks. You have good Jake with games like these: {15, 23, 19, 19, 19}; and bad Jake with games like these: {3, 3, 3, 0, 9}. I played the matchups well and didn’t get burned by Delhomme until these last two weeks. Against a 2-8 Oakland team and a 0-10 Detroit, Delhomme totaled 170 yards, 2 TDs, and 4 picks. If 9 FP is the best I can get out of Delhomme against the winless Lions at home, there is no way I can trust him down the stretch.
  8. Patrick Crayton – bust.
  9. Colts DST – bust.
  10. Matt Schaub – my second “upside” quarterback. When Schaub went through a mid-season stretch of {24, 20, 29}, I thought I had a QB whom I could ride for the rest of the season. But after a 1-FP Week Nine performance when he injured his MCL, Schaub is pretty much done for the rest of fantasy football in 2008.

So what looked like a phenomenal draft has turned into a bunch of scrubs. It’s not just that one or two players have underperformed… they all did.

Fortunately I did a decent job taking advantage of my high waiver priority to make a few key pickups:

  • RB Steve Slaton – only one fantasy point less than LT’s total, Slaton has provided consistency even while Ahman Green eats into his carries.
  • WR Bernard Berrian – has more total fantasy points than Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Lee Evans, and Braylon Edwards.
  • Baltimore DST – the #8 DST in total scoring, Baltimore’s 143 FP is a huge gain over the Colts’ miserable 85 FP.

Those free agents have kept me from sinking beneath the waves, putting me at 6-5 with an outside shot at making the wildcard. Every week I think, “this is the week we’re going to let loose with both barrels”, then Delhomme throws four picks, or TO gets 33 yards and no touchdowns, or LT rushes for only 41 yards.

Still… surely, this is the week when it all comes together.