Top 10 reasons why it’s okay that fantasy football season is over

Originally published 12/28/07. Updated 1/6/10.

It’s that time of year again. Much like the post-draft letdown all fantasy owners go through in August or September, the end of the fantasy football season can be a depressing time indeed. I know a lot of baseball fans are already looking forward to spring training and their fantasy baseball drafts, but I’m not a baseball guy, so I need to look elsewhere for comfort. Here are 10 reasons why it’s good that the fantasy football season is finally over. (Seriously, guys, it’s not that bad.)

1. Your busted picks won’t haunt you anymore.
Just think about it: you don’t have to set your lineup for another nine months. No more looking at the injured Michael Turner or the disappointing Brian Westbrook wasting away on your bench. You can add Larry Johnson, Terrell Owens, Marshawn Lynch, Ronnie Brown, Steve Slaton and Matt Forte to that list. All of these guys were early picks that managed to sabotage fantasy seasons to one degree or another. If you only had one of these guys on your team, count yourself lucky. Two or more and your season was probably over before it started.

2. You can start (truly) rooting for your favorite team.
No more fragmented alliances. If you have a favorite team (and who doesn’t?), chances are that at one point or another, you were rooting against them this year. Either your favorite team was playing against a particular player on your fantasy team, or you needed a field goal instead of an extra point from your favorite team’s kicker. At some point, you wanted your team – whose colors you claim to bleed – to fail, somehow or someway. The best thing to do is fess up, ask forgiveness, and cheer as loudly as you can if your team was fortunate enough to make the playoffs.

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The extraordinary depth of the TE position

By the time the fantasy football season is over, I usually want to crawl into a hole and forget about the topic for a few weeks. But one thing occurred to me as I watched the Week 17 games — there really are a lot of quality TEs out there.

Take a look at 2009’s scoring breakdown for TE1 through TE12, for a high-performance, PPR league compared to the five previous years:

In short, nine slots (TE3, and TE5-TE12) set six-year records. There was unprecedented depth at TE in 2009.

What does this mean for 2010?

Well, there are no fewer than eleven players that I’d feel very comfortable with heading into next season: Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis, Brent Celek, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Kellen Winslow, Heath Miller, Owen Daniels and Chris Cooley (provided they look strong in training camp), and star-in-the-making Jermichael Finley.

Moreover, there are a few more guys whose stock could rise (or stay high) if their environment improves (or stays consistent). For example, Zach Miller (6.2-63-0.3 over the last six games) emerged as the Raiders’ most consistent receiver after JaMarcus Russell was benched. Visanthe Shiancoe should have another top 10 year if Brett Favre plays another season. Greg Olsen (TE10, ranked 8th in targets amongst TEs) should have a better year with another offseason to work with Jay Cutler. John Carlson (TE13, 10th in TE targets) played a lot better with Matt Hasselbeck under center than without. Dustin Keller should improve alongside Matt Sanchez. Even Kevin Boss showed starter potential once he finally got healthy.

That’s 17 players, and I haven’t even yet mentioned grizzled vets Jeremy Shockey or Todd Heap, who each showed flashes of their old selves and different points in the season.

Throw in the fact that Dallas Clark’s stock may slide due to the return of Anthony Gonzalez, and 2010 is shaping up to be a year when fantasy owners would be wise to wait on the TE position. It will obviously still pay to have a stud TE, but with this many quality players, there’s no telling who those studs will be. Would you be shocked if Brent Celek or Vernon Davis outscored Dallas Clark and/or Antonio Gates next season? Me either.


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Love ‘Em & Leave ‘Em: Week 17

Most fantasy football leagues held their championship games last week, but there are still a few holdout leagues that schedule their title games for Week 17. To that end, here are a few players that I like, and a few that I don’t.

The “love ‘em” players are listed in the order that I’d start them this week.

love-em

The Steelers need a win, and Ben Roethlisberger has a great matchup against the Dolphins’ 23rd-ranked pass defense (allowing 236 yards, 1.3 TD per game)…The Giants have struggled to stop the pass of late and phoned it in against the Panthers last week, so Brett Favre should have a good game, especially since the Vikings need to win…The Browns have a sketchy pass defense, so David Garrard should have a nice line in a game that the Jags have to win to have a shot at the postseason…Desperate? Josh Freeman has a nice matchup against the Falcons, who are ranked 28th against the pass. Matt Ryan and Co. looked pretty good in Week 16, so the Bucs will likely have to throw to stay in the game.

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If Nostradamus were in your fantasy football league…

It’s draft day, 2009, and you’ve just arrived at your buddy Phil’s house for your league’s fantasy draft. Fat ass Tank is already there.

Tank: Where’s your guy?

You: Should be here any minute.

Tank: He’s solid?

You: Yeah, I guess. He’s my long-lost uncle. I met him at our family reunion last month. He said if I knew of any fantasy leagues to let him know.

Phil: I can’t believe Ken’s wife forbade him to play the day before the draft. She forbade him.

Tank: Ridiculous.

There’s a knock on the door.

Tank: That’s your guy?

Phil answers the door. It’s your Uncle Nostradamus.

Nostradamus: What up, playas?

Tank: Nice beard.

Phil: Thanks for filling in last minute.

Nostradamus: No worries. Where is everyone?

Tank: We’ve got them on speakerphone.

Nostradamus: Sweet. Let’s do this. What’s my pick?

Phil: Well, Ken – the man with no testicles — had the #1 overall pick, so you get to go first. You know how to play?

Nostradamus: Is this a PPR league?

Phil: Yep. 18 rounds. You’re up.

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Fantasy Football Q&A: Week 17

Most leagues held their championship games last week, but if you’re league is still going, feel free to post your lineup questions here and I’ll do my best to answer them. Be sure to provide your lineup requirements and the type of scoring system your league uses (standard, PPR, TD-heavy).

Fire away.

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