Reflection on the 2007 Fantasy Football Season

After collecting my winnings from this fantasy season and posting the requisite trash talk on the message boards, I proceeded to take off for a fantasy football vacation. I used my time off to reflect on how to better develop Fantasy Football Fools as a resource for those of you looking to win your league next season.

After that painful 15 minutes, I caught a flight to Vegas for Wild Card weekend. I wish I would have spent more time at the sports book and less at the craps table, but in the end, despite winning a few bets, I came out minus all my fantasy football winnings.  A very ROUGH weekend. Unfortunately for me and lucky for you, that 15 minutes of planning and the four hours of crying on the flight home that followed my trip to Vegas made me realize how much I still want all of you to succeed in some capacity in your lives–so why not fantasy football?

Tell your friends about our site, and hit up the comments if you haven’t already. If you need inspiration for what to comment about on this post, tell us what you want to see us talk about this offseason. We love feedback whether it is encouraging or just a general hatred of our souls–dirty and stained as they may be.

Look for our upcoming NFL draft coverage and discussions of what positions you want to take first in the 2008 fantasy draft.

Foolish 2007 College Bowl Picks Results: Shame faces

The results are in. After weeks of preparation and stalking football players and coaches, our records–pitiful as they may be–are set in stone. Here’s how the three of us came out in our predictions:

Jacob: 19-13
Robert: 21-11
Cameron: 11-15

I thought at least one of us would make it through the bowl season with less than 10 wrong calls. I was wrong. In fact, I was wrong 13 times. Right about average around these parts, so I consider that better than last place. *cough* Cameron *cough*

I took some chances on some teams that hurt me (Hawaii) and some that rewarded me (Kansas) based upon my beliefs on their quarterbacks. I still have faith in Colt Brennan, but I guess he needs some more development for the NFL. Typical of this season in college football, plenty of teams surprised us in their bowl games (Oklahoma). At least on the surprises part, I was right.

Robert came out on top by 2 games–luck if you asked me–and Cameron missed the early games that would have padded his score. Maybe Robert will stop gloating enough to share some of his insight for next season. Until then, look forward to the draft talk and start prepping your fantasy drafts cheatsheets.

Foolish 2007 College Bowl Picks

Update: Winners updated. Records in future post.

The holidays have put us a little behind getting our college bowl picks up before the first few games, but hopefully, you had a pretty good idea who was going to win the Papajohns.com Bowl.

Check out our picks and see who’s right more often than anyone else–Yup, me. I’ll be facing off against a little known college football aficionado, Robert. Our picks are in chronological order, and if he is right more than me, we may just have to make him contribue to FantasyFootballFools.com a little more.

Cameron weighs in on our post-Christmas games for some insight from a true college football follower.

San Diego County Credit Union
WINNER: UTAH

  • Jacob: Utah
  • Robert: Utah

R+L Carriers New Orleans
WINNER: FLORIDA ATLANTIC

  • Jacob: Memphis
  • Robert: Florida Atlantic

Papajohns.com
WINNER: CINCINNATI

  • Jacob: Southern Mississippi
  • Robert: Cincinnati

New Mexico
WINNER: NEW MEXICO

  • Jacob: New Mexico (I mean, it’s there bowl and all)
  • Robert: New Mexico

Pioneer Las Vegas
WINNER: BYU

  • Jacob: BYU
  • Robert: BYU

Sheraton Hawaii
WINNER: EAST CAROLINA (What happened in this close one?)

  • Jacob: Boise State
  • Robert: Boise State

Now Cameron joins in for the rest of the picks…

Motor City
WINNER: PURDUE (That was close)

  • Jacob: Purdue
  • Robert: Purdue
  • Cameron: Purdue (Mainly because they are not a directional Michigan school)

Pacific Life Holiday
WINNER: TEXAS

  • Jacob: Texas (Hook ‘em)
  • Robert: Texas
  • Cameron: Texas (Please God)

(Disclaimer: All three of us are Longhorn alums)

Champs Sports
WINNER: BOSTON COLLEGE

  • Jacob: Boston College
  • Robert: Boston College
  • Cameron: Michigan St. (Goin out on a limb. BC lost 3 of their last 5 games)

Texas
WINNER: TCU

  • Jacob: TCU (They’re from Texas)
  • Robert: Houston
  • Cameron: TCU (Houston has lost 7 straight to TCU and their last 8 bowl games)

Emerald
WINNER: OREGON STATE

  • Jacob: Maryland
  • Robert: Maryland
  • Cameron: Oregon State (Coming off a win against in-state rival Oregon)

Meineke Car Care
WINNER: WAKE FOREST

  • Jacob: Wake Forest (When in doubt, don’t doubt the Wake)
  • Robert: Connecticut
  • Cameron: Connecticut (A team I have been high on all season)

AutoZone Liberty
WINNER: MISSISSIPPI STATE

  • Jacob: UCF
  • Robert: Mississippi State
  • Cameron: UCF (With Heisman snub Kevin Smith at the helm, they will run and run)

Valero Alamo
WINNER: PENN STATE

  • Jacob: Penn State
  • Robert: Penn State
  • Cameron: Penn State (After a big win against Texas last year, A&M came out flat. Expect the same)

PetroSun Independence
WINNER: ALABAMA

  • Jacob: Colorado
  • Robert: Alabama
  • Cameron: Colorado (Alabama coming in on a 4-game losing streak)

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
WINNER: CALIFORNIA

  • Jacob: Air Force
  • Robert: Air Force
  • Cameron: Air Force (Cal coming in losing 6 of their last 7)

Roady’s Humanitarian
WINNER: FRESNO STATE

  • Jacob: Georgia Tech
  • Robert: Georgia Tech
  • Cameron: Georgia Tech (Just because)

Brut Sun
WINNER: OREGON (Apparently, Oregon is something without Dixon)

  • Jacob: South Florida
  • Robert: South Florida
  • Cameron: South Florida (Oregon is nothing without Dixon; plus, they have a Leaf brother playing QB)

Gaylord Hotels Music City
WINNER: KENTUCKY

  • Jacob: Kentucky
  • Robert: Kentucky
  • Cameron: Kentucky (Because they don’t cheat and lose half of their team)

Insight
WINNER: OKLAHOMA STATE

  • Jacob: Oklahoma State
  • Robert: Oklahoma State
  • Cameron: Indiana (Never know which OK State team is going to show up)

Chick-fil-A
WINNER: AUBURN

  • Jacob: Clemson
  • Robert: Auburn
  • Cameron: Clemson (Great one two punch at RB with Davis and Spiller)

Outback
WINNER: TENNESSEE

  • Jacob: Tennessee
  • Robert: Wisconsin
  • Cameron: Tennessee (PJ Hill might not play for Wisconsin, which would mean trouble)

AT&T Cotton
WINNER: MISSOURI

  • Jacob: Missouri
  • Robert: Missouri
  • Cameron: Arkansas (Missouri may be a little flat after the Big XII championship loss and may not have the defense to stop McFadden and Jones)

Konica Minolta Gator
WINNER: TEXAS TECH

  • Jacob: Texas Tech (I’m a Big 12 man)
  • Robert: Texas Tech
  • Cameron: Virginia (UV actually has the kind of defense that can hurry up Harrell and knock him down, especially with DE Chris Long)

Capital One
WINNER: MICHIGAN (Never bet against a team devoted to sending a great coach off right)

  • Jacob: Florida
  • Robert: Florida
  • Cameron: Florida (Florida played a way tougher schedule than Michigan, and it will show)

Rose Bowl Presented by Citi–they paid us to say that
WINNER: USC (Illinois should have never been in a bowl game. They certainly weren’t in this one.)

  • Jacob: USC
  • Robert: USC
  • Cameron: USC (I will be pulling for Illinois, but their athletes can’t match up to USC)

Allstate Sugar
WINNER: GEORGIA (I guess he is a system QB and/or the Hawaii linemen or worthless sacks of fatty meat.)

  • Jacob: Hawaii (I don’t think he’s just a system QB)
  • Robert: Georgia
  • Cameron: Georgia (I see this being a very close game with Georgia coming out on top because of their running game)

Tostitos Fiesta
WINNER: WEST VIRGINIA (Ouch, Stoops. Has anyone told the OU players lately that the season isn’t over after the Big 12 Championship?)

  • Jacob: Oklahoma
  • Robert: Oklahoma
  • Cameron: Oklahoma (Don’t expect OU to be caught napping again)

FedEx Orange
WINNER: KANSAS ( It was a clutch victory for Kansas and for my predictions!)

  • Jacob: Kansas
  • Robert: Virginia Tech
  • Cameron: Virginia Tech (Their D will hit Kansas in the mouth)

International
WINNER: RUTGERS (Was there any doubt? Ball State?)

  • Jacob: Rutgers
  • Robert: Rutgers
  • Cameron: Rutgers (Who cares?)

GMAC
WINNER: TULSA (I’m sorry if you watched this game. REALLY sorry.)

  • Jacob: Tulsa
  • Robert: Tulsa
  • Cameron: Tulsa (I love their offense, especially with Paul Smith running the show)

Allstate BCS Championship Game
WINNER: LSU (Can we just put OU and OSU in the same boat and say, “Stop trying.”)

  • Jacob: LSU
  • Robert: LSU
  • Cameron: Ohio State (Because the BCS wouldn’t allow a two-loss champion, would it?)

Check future post for a complete summary of how the three of us came out on this bowl season.

Who to watch this bowl season

It seems like I am practically syndicating these guys lately, but The 5 Minute Drill is back again with some good stars to watch during your bowl viewing.

These guys might be standout rookies sometime soon for your fantasy football draft, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to scout their bowl performances.

[Note: Fantasy Football College Bowl Preview episode of "The 5 Minute Drill" removed due to ONnetworks going offline. You can view the podcasts on iTunes or find out more about them at the Footballguys.com link above.]

Best Bets for NFL Week 17

My debut last week wasn’t the greatest, and it isn’t going to get any easier entering week 17 of the regular season. Hopefully, I’ll step my game up and come through in the clutch like a certain Tennessee QB needs to do this weekend–and I’m not talking about Erik Ainge.

Last week’s record: 6-9

Here are my picks for Week 17:

NEW ENGLAND (-14.5) over New York Giants
Giants will be resting starters with their playoff spot locked. New England will be playing for their undefeated season. Look for New England to make a statement heading into the playoffs.

ARIZONA (-7) over St. Louis
Both teams would like to end on a positive note, but I give the advantage to Arizona playing at home for a chance at .500.

Seattle (+2) over ATLANTA
I just can’t not take Seattle and points verse the Atlanta Falcons. I think back-up running back Maurice Morris is playing better than Shaun Alexander anyways.

TAMPA BAY (+2.5) over Carolina
Carolina looked decent versus a Cowboys team trying to lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but the Bucs don’t want to enter the playoffs on a two-game skid. I like the Bucs at home in this one.

Cincinnati (-3) over MIAMI
I was impressed by the Bengals win over the Browns last week. A win this Sunday might keep Marvin Lewis around for another season. At least you didn’t go winless this year, Miami.

San Francisco (+11) over CLEVELAND
Cleveland choked last week, and they know it. San Francisco has been playing well with Shaun Hill at the helm. I like San Francisco to keep it close and have the fourth quarter decide the winner.

GREEN BAY (-4) over Detroit
The Pack has its playoff spot secured thanks to the no-show they pulled last week versus the Bears, but I think the team plays hard under the leadership of Aaron Rodgers, perennial backup as long as ironman Brett Farve is around.

Jacksonville (+4) over HOUSTON
Jacksonville will want to keep their win streak alive, and Quinn Gray is fairly capable at QB having gone 2-1 in his three starts this season. Houston got spanked by a team that had nothing to play for last week.

Minnesota (-3) over DENVER
Minnesota needs this win for a chance to make the playoffs. I thought Denver rolled over for the Chargers on Monday night. Expect Adrian Peterson to get more than the nine carries he had last week.

CHICAGO (+2) over New Orleans
Chicago got a boost of confidence last week, and it wasn’t even because of Devin Hester. Something tells me the Saints aren’t tough enough to grind out a bad weather game in the Windy City.

Kansas City (+6.5) over NEW YORK JETS
Herm Edwards will want to win this game badly. The Jets just want this season to end so they can start thinking about their high pick in next year’s draft.

PHILADELPHIA (-8) over Buffalo
I think Buffalo over-achieved a little this year, and the Eagles underachieved. I like the Eagles to end on a positive note and, hopefully, quell the rumors about Donovan McNabb’s departure.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over BALTIMORE
I think both teams will play hard in this division game, but in the end, the Ravens extend their league high losing streak to ten.

San Diego (-8) over OAKLAND
JaMarcus Russell will get the first start of his young career in Oakland this weekend. Too bad it’s against a San Diego team that is peaking at the perfect time.

INDIANAPOLIS (+3.5) over Tennessee
Vince Young was clutch throughout his college career with the Longhorns. I expect him to come through in the clutch for the Titans, but I also expect the margin of victory to be a field goal or less.

Dallas (+9.5) over WASHINGTON
I don’t think Dallas wants to see this team in the playoffs, and they will try and knock them out right here. T.O. won’t be playing. Romo will be limited, but backup QB Brad Johnson holds a grudge against the Redskins. I like Dallas in this one.

Week 17 Wire: Find players that still care this week

If you are playing a week 17 championship, my condolences. You really should try to get that changed for next year–and I do mean really.

Week 17 is unpredictable because you don’t know who will start let alone who will show up to play well. Lucky for you, plenty of injuries this week will give you players to vulture off the waiver wire.

Najeh Davenport, RB PIT
Najeh will fill in for an injured Willie Parker. If he plays like he did this week in Parker’s absence, he just might be the hottest pick up for week 17. The Stealers play Baltimore, but the Ravens have nothing left to play for this season. Keep in mind that the Steelers could rest him for their playoff run since they clinched their spot this week.

Musa Smith. RB BAL
If he takes on the full load in Willis McGahee’s absence, he could be a somewhat decent fantasy start. Against he Steelers, I wouldn’t expect much, but the Steelers have already clinched their spot in the playoffs. They might not care about giving Musa or whoever fills the McGahee void a few yards.

Laurent Robinson, WR ATL
Laurent was a preseason standout for Atlanta in a season that was never looking good. This week, he had a breakout performance with over 100 yards and a TD against Arizona with Chris Redman at the helm. He is trying to impress–and succeeding. I had him on my sleeper list to the begin the season–yeah, I’m that good. If you are hurting at receiver, he could put up another standout performance against a Seattle team resting it’s starters.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB NYG
If you didn’t notice him breaking for an 88-yard TD run late in the Buffalo game this week, you should have. Bradshaw will do some great things for the Giants with his speed in the playoffs and could be decent for week 17. Look for him to get some more touches than usual next week against the Patriots. My guess is that the Pats will put a hurting on the Giants to clinch their undefeated season, and the Giants will rest most of their starters for the playoffs–including Jacobs since he is ailing again. Bradshaw could have a decent number of yards but probably won’t have another one of those breakout runs. A short yardage TD might be all to hope for in this one.

Luke McCown, QB TB
Tampa Bay sat their starters early this week, so McCown is sure to see a lot of playing time next week against Carolina. He might be your QB of choice if you were starting Jeff Garcia or someone likely to sit out this last week.

Seneca Wallace, QB SEA
Like McCown, he may see some playing time with Seattle are locked into the playoffs.

If you are looking for subs for your usual starters, try to find players that have something to play for this week. Avoid starters from any of the already clinched teams that look to sit. You might even try to find some young talent that will see more playing time with their starters resting. Follow the reports through the week and see which coaches are looking to play safe and sit their best guys.

Are you a betting man?

Oh, fantasy fools, I thought I would never see you again.

This giant Okie snagged me in an alley this week and kept me in a cage listening to Jessica Simpson albums on loop. He fed me only popcorn, and only let me go because I promised to post his best bets for this weekend.

I only wish I had enough information to file a police report. Oh yeah, he told me his name is Nick.

Check out Nick’s “Best Bets” post.

Best Bets for NFL Week 16

Some of us need more reasons to watch the NFL besides love of the game and fantasy football. That’s where sportsbooks come in. I started betting on NFL games this year and have decided to share my weekly picks with you. I’ll keep track, and post my record as the season goes on. Home team is in caps. Here are my picks for Week 16 in the NFL:

Pittsburgh (-7.5) over ST. LOUIS
Pittsburgh will come back with a vengeance after losing their last two games. Cleveland nipping at their heels for the division title provides extra motivation.

CAROLINA (+13) over Dallas
I like Matt Moore’s enthusiasm, and I don’t like T.O. pouting on the sidelines for the past two weeks. Dallas better hope Romo’s thumb heals or they are going to lose all the momentum they worked so hard to build this season, not to mention home field advantage.

ARIZONA (-10.5) over Atlanta
Both teams will be a little deflated with Arizona officially out of the playoffs and the Petrino hangover still hovering around the Falcons. Arizona is at home though and should easily beat a team that had more turnovers (5) than completions (4) last week.

Green Bay (-9) over CHICAGO
This is a simple question of motivation. Green Bay still has a chance to claim home field throughout the playoffs, and the Bears have…a chance to develop Kyle Orton?

CINCINNATI (+3) over Cleveland
Cleveland isn’t used to games that matter at the end of the year, and I’m betting they show their inexperience by letting this away game slip through their fingers.

Kansas City (+4.5) over DETROIT
Detroit is on a six-game losing streak and wondering what happened. Kansas City has some young players like Brodie Croyle and Kolby Smith who are still fighting to make a name for themselves going into the offseason. I like Kansas City in this one.

Houston (+8) over INDIANAPOLIS
This will be an interesting game. The Colts will be resting most of their starters in an attempt to get healthy for the playoffs. The Texans are playing well right now and would relish any chance to beat their annual tormentors, the Colts, even if they aren’t playing all their starters.

JACKSONVILLE (-13) over Oakland
Jacksonville is looking very good right now, and Oakland will be without Justin Fargas, their lone bright spot on a dismal season. Look for a heavy dose of Fred Taylor and a JaMarcus Russell sighting once the Raiders fall behind early.

MINNESOTA (-6.5) over Washington
This pick was a tough one. In the end, it came down to Minnesota’s defense and whether or not Todd Collins could exploit a defense that will be geared up to stop the run. I suspect he can’t.

NEW ENGLAND (-22.5) over Miami
New England just seems like a team that would enjoy stomping Miami right after their first victory of the season. Tom Brady is still chasing Manning’s single season TD record. I expect no less than 5 TD passes from him this weekend.

NEW ORLEANS (-3) over Philadelphia
I really like the Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, but the Saints will be fighting for a playoff birth and are at home. McNabb won’t be taking any risks as he contemplates where he’ll be playing next year. New Orleans rides Drew Brees and Marques Colston to victory.

BUFFALO (+3) over New York Giants
I like Buffalo in the battle for New York. When I look at the Giants, I just see a mentally soft team. The only Giant who might have some huevos would be Shockey and he is out for the season with a broken leg.

Tampa Bay (-7) over SAN FRANCISCO
Shaun Hill had a good game last week, and I’m happy for him. But there is a big difference between the Bengals and Buc’s defense. Welcome to the real NFL.

New York Jets (+9) over TENNESSEE
Is it a moral victory when you cover the spread and don’t get beat by 24 points? Vince Young looked good last week–too many dropped passes by his receivers though. Titans win but in a close one.

SAN DIEGO (-9) over Denver
Was that really Phillip Rivers completing 27 out of 30 passes last week? San Diego is peaking at just the right time. Getting the ball to LT might have something to do with it.

Balance saves you on low-scoring fantasy weeks

Hopefully, your team wasn’t counting on Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Randy Moss or even Peyton Manning this week. In some sort of crazy upside-down week, the top fantasy performers were horrible–besides LT–while the worst teams in the league took home victories.

Strangely enough, this week both the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins won. I think I might go buy a lotto ticket or something. Today, a Dolphin loss would have actually gotten them something–locking up the first pick in next year’s draft. Despite the win, I doubt they are in danger of losing that coveted achievement when they face the Patriots next week.

The Patriots were stuck in horrible weather and learned how to run again–congrats Maroney owners, you got one good game this season. The Cowboys looked completely harmless against the rival Philadelphia Eagles with Romo throwing no TDs. Manning threw just one touchdown against the Oakland Raiders with one INT, and Joseph Addai didn’t even get one TD against the defense that has handed them out like Halloween candy all season. Worthless.

On a lesser note, the Bills were completely shut out by a Cleveland team that put up just 8 points in a frigid showdown. The game could have been a high-scoring showdown for the playoff wild card spot, but instead, it was two teams bumbling around in the snow. No one besides Jamal Lewis put up decent fantasy numbers in the showing that could have saved your season. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature. Don’t expect a Christmas card.

The takeaway from this whole mess is BALANCE. When your studs have bad games, you must have the depth to back them up with quality production from your supporting staff. Weeks like these are where kickers and defenses can make the difference and where paying attention to weather conditions can save your season if they are going to be as severe as they were this weekend.

On my own team, I was led in scoring by Tony Scheffler (TE DEN) and Mason Crosby (K GB) while getting just single-digit production from Ryan Grant, Joseph Addai, Wes Welker and Lee Evans. I picked both these position players up on the wire in the last four weeks. Yes, there wasn’t really a way to see their great performance coming this week, but sometimes you just get lucky by having some great support in a week where studs are duds–or maybe I got skills.

You just might be looking across the scoreboard at huge numbers put up by Fred Taylor and Aaron Stecker or maybe the first kick return ever for the Tampa Bay defense and special teams. You probably had just as good of a chance of grabbing these players as your opponents did. The waiver wire can be the great equalizer. Next season, draft your studs then look for balance and support throughout the season–just like after happy hour.

Playoff Tips: Play the Match Ups

One of the biggest tricks to playoffs is being smart about match ups. Watch the trends on what kind of scoring opposing defenses are giving up, and don’t be afraid to bench a stud if he is destined for failure. Even the greatest players have rough weeks and substituting a nobody could save you playoff run–just don’t make silly moves like benching a Tom Brady, Joseph Addai or L.T., okay?

If you are having a tough time making a call this week, check the rankings from Fantasy Football Xtreme. While there might be risky plays at WR, there may be potential in playing any WR playing the Browns (Lee Evans), Lions (Antonio Gates) or Bengals (Arnaz Battle, Vernon Davis). I could also say to start any RB facing the Raiders (Joseph Addai), Dolphins (Willis McGahee) or Bears (Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor), but unfortunately for you, most of those names I just mentioned are studs and not sleepers.

Check the list for other stats, and leave a comment if you need assistance–keep in mind that I am not Adult Friend Finder though.