Three Leagues, One Championship

I’m in three fantasy leagues, and this year it’s about all I can handle. We’re heading into week nine and my teams are 4-4, 4-4, and 5-3. Dominant I am not.

League one is the local keeper league. This is our 11th year of participation. I won the first and third titles, lost in the fourth championship game, and had a Detroit Lions period before making it to the semis the last two years. I had Eli Manning (actually missing the little fella) but decided to trade up for Peyton Manning, and that’s crippled my team all year. I’m limping through with Tebow and Beck as my QBs. My dynamic duo of Mark Ingram and Ryan Mathews might be benched this weekend. I’m going to “war” with Kevin Faulk and Mike Tolbert. My attempts to pick up that fourth speculative lottery ticket RB have failed, and now I’m hoping for ten points from Faulk to get my record over .500. I have the misfortune of having the fourth highest scoring team in the league, but only the third highest in my division. I did trade for Calvin Johnson and draft A.J. Green/Jimmy Graham. That’s kept me afloat.

To win the title, I need the following: Tebow to have a couple of performances that are good in fantasy and real life. Mathews/Ingram to get healthy or me to find that speculative RB off the waiver wire like Kendall Hunter who dominates in the last month. I like my top two WRs and I think Mario Manningham and Percy Harvin are going to be huge. I got the suddenly hot Chiefs D. Oh, and I need the top teams to implode in the playoffs.

League two is my dynasty league. I started this league in 2004 and am the Commissioner. I go to the playoffs almost every year and my best finish is runner up in 2006. I made a blockbuster deal in the offseason to get Mike Vick. I’ve had Romo for a few years but his injury last year kind of sunk my squad. I traded for a ton of extra rookie picks and thus felt comfortable taking Cam Newton at pick 2.06. Oh, the glory. Matt Forte and Ray Rice are my RBs, both selected in the glorious first round of the 2008 rookie draft. Hillis has dropped off but I’m able to use guys like DeMarco Murray and Michael Bush to fill in. At WR I’m shocked to see that Victor Cruz is .2 points behind Hakeem Nicks. Marques Colston and Sidney Rice have been my other starters. At TE, I started the year with the Cooley/Moeaki combo platter. I’ve started guys like Daniel Fells and Delaine Walker, and while my trade for Julius Thomas will work out, it probably will not be this year. Babin/Johnson have been fantastic at DL. Donald Butler’s been good at LB but David Harris and James Harrison have let me down. I’ve been trying to find DBs to pair with Charles Tillman all year.

In this league, my 4-4 record earns me first place in the division. We just realigned the divisions and the two guys who were in my three-team division last year are 7-1 and 8-0. I’d have to pull off three upsets to win the title, which is one reason why I’m dangling a QB to get a TE.

League three is the work league. I thought, considering the roster of fantasy experts at my beck and call, that I’d be able to rule this league. I’m 5-3, third in the standings but second in points. I made the mistake of taking Chris Johnson at 1.04, but I got lucky and took LeSean McCoy in the second round and Mike Wallace in the  third. Matthew Stafford in the 11th saved me.  With Johnson’s inability to play up to his normal level and me falling for the Ingram curse yet again, I’m having trouble with that second RB position. This week it could be Chris Ogbonnaya. I did trade Willis McGahee for Mario Manningham and think that Man Hands will help me down the stretch. Getting Aaron Hernandez off waivers right before week one helped.

I’ll need a little luck to win this title, but I have as good a shot as anyone.

That’s the most interesting part of being in multiple leagues. If you “love” a guy and it doesn’t quite work out (Mark Ingram, Tebow mmmaybe), you’re in trouble. Roster diversity seems to be the way to go. It is nice to be in leagues with distinct rules. League one is a keeper with PPR but we have fixed roster spots, as in we can only have four running backs. I love to hoard RBs so this is tough. League two is dynasty, so you have to consider the long term in every move that you make. League three is more of a free for all, with some good players and some who haven’t looked since draft day. Maybe we should just say that fantasy football is the great equalizer.

Come on, just one stinking title.

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