NFL Football and Fantasy Sports

I can’t wait for the next NFL football season to start. I like NFL football more than any other sport, though I have to admit a large part of that interest is fantasy football.

For instance, I’m in a dynasty league where I engineered a big trade with the worst team in the league to get the #1 pick in the draft. I gave up a dear price: Dez Bryant and two 2nd round picks. What I received in return was what ended up being the #1 pick overall, a 5th round pick, and Miles Austin (injured at the time). To get that second 2nd-rounder, I gave up a 3rd rounder and Rashard Mendenhall (before his ACL) for a 2nd rounder and the Packers running backs (ugh). I got to a point where I hated Mendenhall, because you just couldn’t depend on him. Of course, you could depend on the Cheesehead runners to suck.

Please Don't Do This for the Browns

All that maneuvering means I should be able to draft Trent Richardson, who I hope does a lot better than Mark Ingram did. Where Trent Richardson lands in the NFL should have a lot to do with that.

Believe me – I have my preferences. It might be better to say that I have a sense of creepy dread, because there’s one team I absolutely don’t want Trent Richardson to go to and it’s looking more and more like that’s a possibility.

Where Does Trent Richardson Go?

So because of fantasy football, I’m particularly interested in this year’s NFL Draft. After the Redskins traded up to the 2nd pick to select Robert Griffin III, I’m a little concerned the Cleveland Browns are going to select Richardson 4th overall. That would be a disaster in my eyes, because the Cleveland Browns are a disaster when it comes to fantasy player values. I guess Peyton Hillis had a good 2010 season, but his 2011 season was nothing short of awful.

One of my best friends is from Cleveland originally and he’s an irrationally big fan of the Browns, so I’m aware the team is supposed to have a good young offensive line. Mike Holgrem helps, but the Browns play the Steelers and Ravens tough run defenses 25% of their schedule every season, so it’s a bad place for Trent Richardson to land. I want no questions on who I draft with that pick, after having finagled so much to get it. Mainly, I don’t want to have to depend on the Cleveland Browns for years to come.

Hopefully, the Browns realize the regular NFL game has become pass-happy and they need a quarterback or wide receiver more than a running back. RBs are devalued in the NFL these days, so Richardson should slide out of the Top 10 if he gets past the Browns. That would be best, since Richardson could fall to an average team in the middle of the round instead of a bad team with no other weapons around him. You would think the Browns would see what happened with A.J. Green in Cincinnati last year and hope to duplicate that success (and help Colt McCoy) by drafting Justin Blackmon.

With my luck, the Browns forget all that and decide to draft Trent Richardson anyway. They may be motivated to draft the stud RB because they’re still haunted by the decision to draft Joe Thomas instead of Adrian Peterson in the 2007 draft. I mean, Joe Thomas is an excellent offensive lineman, but Peterson is just a rare stud. Every time I see that video of Adrian Peterson stiff arming the Brown, I wonder if he wasn’t thinking about the Browns’ decision to pass him up for a lineman. But maybe he was happy to avoid Cleveland…

Daily Fantasy Basketball

I’ve been trying to bridge the gap recently by playing a little fantasy basketball. I don’t have enough buddies interested in the NBA to have a league (they all seem interested in “NASCAR” this time of year–good lord), so I’ve been playing daily games every once in a while at Fantasy Sports Live. I can’t explain how FSL works, so here’s a Fantasy Sports Live review. The great thing from my point of view is it’s totally legal. I might try their fantasy baseball games this year, but the last time I did, Chase Utley cost like $12 on a $400 salary cap (in an oversight), so everybody I played every day always had Chase Utley in the lineup–so that kind of sucked.

Tim Tebow vs Mark Sanchez

The recent trade of Tim Tebow to the New York Jets is going to cause a stink the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Tim Tebow became a national phenomenon last year, but that was in the NFL outpost of Denver. Now he’s in the Big Apple and the New York/East Coast media are going to really obsess about Tebow-Mania. Combine last year’s Tebow-Mania with Linsanity and that’s what you can expect.

It doesn’t even matter that Tebow was brought in to be the backup. In fact, that’s going to make it even bigger. The fan favorite player on a football team is the backup quarterback and the football media loves nothing more than a quarterback controversy. The first time Mark Sanchez has a bad game (somewhere between Week 1 and Week 3), the controversy will start. The preseason will already have been full of talk and comparisons between their stats in meaningless preseason games. But when the games are real and Sanchez throws a couple of picks in a loss, look out.

I’ll be fascinated to see it, but I bet I’ll hate everything Jets by midseason. Between Tebow and the usual Rex Ryan quote machine, this is going to be pervasive…perhaps ubiquitous.

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