Week One: A Fantasy Football Work in Progress

Week 1 in fantasy football

For my fantasy teams and my liver, Week One was a disaster. I found out that free beer is not really free, things that seem to be a little off usually are, and football is amazing.

I staked out a local sports bar with Josh Deceuster of the Minnesota Deceusters, TV guy who likes to review film of college-aged prospects. We hit the ground running when the out-of-it waitress said that Monday Night pitchers were $15. That was a good moment. When we ordered pitcher two and we ended up with pitchers two and three, well, that was like the parade of Browns fans, half of them wearing depressing jerseys with “Holcomb” or “Richardson” on the back.

Week 1 is drinking out of a fire hose. It’s the same thing at a sports bar. This particular sports bar had a manager who couldn’t figure out the TV situation. We had seven TVs in our viewing area and there were seven games. That’s pretty easy math. Problem was, one fan would ask to change one channel and mess up our precious ecosystem.

Out of the seven games, I probably watched the Rams-Seahawks the most. What happened to their defense? Do I have to send a hand-written apology to everyone I made fun of for drafting Nick Foles? Is Jeff Fisher a demon? It’s easy to forget that the Rams are often frisky in divisional matchups, Seattle didn’t have Kam Chancellor, and it’s the NFL.

The Dolphins beat that Washington team, but they didn’t beat them by enough. Again, it’s the National Football League, not the Sun Belt. Actually the Sun Belt is maybe not the best comparison as my Missouri Tigers snuck out of Jonesboro last Saturday.

The Packers beat the Bears, but they didn’t beat them beat them. James Jones = waiver wire wonder. He’s probably not this year’s Frisman Jackson or Kevin Ogletree.

Same old Browns. Same old Bills — wait a second. The sound I heard was millions of Andrew Luck overdrafters crying out in pain.

Travis Kelce did his own version of Beast Mode with the windmill punch TD celebration. Note, if a player can spend the last 20 yards running into the end zone thinking about his end zone dance, that’s open. He scored 22 points in the first half and that was the peak of my local keeper league’s weekend.

The smallest TV deservedly was on Panthers/Jags. I hoped for points de garbage from Allen Robinson, no luck.

As for the late games, let’s just say I had to Uber it around halftime of those contests and may have slept off the rest.

What did we learn? We learned that even though I had my name printed in a fantasy football magazine, I know nothing. I tied for the lowest score in my local keeper league, what with zero double-figure scores from my RBs and WRs, picked up James Jones off waivers then flipped him for Roddy White. I tried to get the best WR upgrade that I could, considering that I had Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson, Allen Robinson and Nelson Agholor as my four WRs. I stubbornly held onto Isaiah Crowell because most of the waiver-wire options are third-down guys and I’m not trying to roster all short-term projects.

The full trade, because we have very strict roster limits which means you have to draft an even number of positions, was James Jones/ASJ for Roddy White/Coby Fleener. By the following morning I had cut Fleener for Ladarius Green. That might have been hasty as Green’s role has three weeks until expiration and Fleener may get more targets Monday night if Hilton’s out. I just don’t like Stanford guys, I reckon.

In the #sfb, I had the tireless Rich Hribar on the ropes but he Clubber Lang’d me with a one-two punch of Julio Jones and Sam Bradford. To be more accurate, I was Agholor’d. Losing to a guy who conceded defeat is embarrassing although I did finish third in points in my division and points matter in the Fish Bowl.

My dynasty experience was similar. Points for defenders were pumped up a bit and PPR was added so you had to score in the 200s to win. My two-time-defending champ opponent finished first in points, I finished fifth. Guess that makes me a loser.

I won’t recap all of my best-ball leagues because it’s as fun as those seemingly daily updates you get from MFL. I don’t need weekly recaps of my mock drafts but I don’t think MFL can tell the difference. The key with best ball is not to be in dead last, and I’m there in a couple of leagues.

What say I about the Titans and Mariota? Listen to Sigmund and Matt talk it over in this week’s On the Couch. They make the great point that the coaches tailored the offense to Mariota’s skills, but there is a bit of worry that he could be RGIII-fied and unable to adjust to a regular pocket-passer offense. Remember when Lovie Smith was a respected defensive mind? He may still be, but the Bucs are not good. Mariota has a start like he did in the preseason opener in Atlanta and we’re talking about him as a bust. The upside is I have him in the keeper league. The downside is I had to pay actual American money to get a ticket to the home opener next week. No matter what, the Titans will be playing for first place and that’s a weird sentence to write.

It’s up to you how you react to Week 1. There can never be “too much input”. Every league is different, which makes answering “who do I start” questions from strangers on Twitter a bit awkward. We do know the following things:

I’m going to hate every new NFL jersey

If I’m drinking a double IPA and thinking “not bad”, that’s bad news for me

When you read an article about “buy low” opportunities and that’s your entire roster, annoying

If your entire league laughs at a pick you made or a trade you just completed, the only way for you to go is up

Uber is a pretty cool service

Josh is a nice fella and I hope that someone just spiked the Vikings’ Gatorade on Monday Night because they were out of it

Pour one out (into your mouth) for Dez

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