Monday, July 21, 2014

This year, draft better...

Looking for a better place to hold your draft this year?

If you have a Brick House Tavern + Tap nearby, I highly recommend it. Much better food and drink options, extremely comfy seating and plenty of room to spread out your Fantasy Fools cheat sheets!

Here's a video my marketing agency created for them. Alas, if only I could share the uncut version with you. Some pretty funny lines were left on the editing room floor in an effort to keep it respectable...

Even so, I think you'll enjoy. Please feel free to share it with your fantasy friends as well.

And remember...This Year, Draft Better…at Brick House Tavern + Tap!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hangin' with Dan Bailey

Had a chance to hang out with Dan Bailey today. We were filming a (hopefully) funny video for a new client, Brick House Tavern + Tap. They want fantasy football leagues to hold their drafts at their restaurants. Dan does a cameo at the end, and he played his part like a pro.

The video will be out on July 15th. I think you're gonna like it. In the meantime, if you have a Brick House in your town, drop by for lunch or dinner some time soon. You'll see why my leagues will be drafting there this season.

Monday, May 19, 2014

My 1st Mock Draft of the Year

Can't believe we're here already.  The Sporting News Fantasy Source experts drafted tonight for the annual draft guide that will come out in June.  Needless to say, what we all thought was right tonight likely won't hold up well over the next 3-4 months.

For what it's worth, here's what I did from the 7th position in a 12-man standard league (starting QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, DEF):

Pick 1.7: AJ Green, WR, Bengals -- I didn't like my RB options with the 5 "elite" RBs off the table at this point (Jamaal, Shady, AP, Forte and Marshawn).  Intrigued by Lacy, but he just felt like a reach.

Pick 2.6: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos -- Came close to taking him in the first round, so I couldn't believe he was still here.  With Lacy and Arian gone, I turned my sights on Giovanni Bernard as my lead RB.

Pick 3.7: Reggie Bush, RB, Lions -- Dangit.  Gio went in the pick right before me.  I'd like Bush better if this was a PPR league, but it's not.  The perils of drafting WR-WR...

Pick 4.6: Nick Foles, QB, Eagles -- My draft essentially hinges on this pick.  If Foles is what we saw last year (with Maclin instead of D-Jax), I'm golden.  Otherwise, I'm toast.

Pick 5.7: Chris Johnson, RB, Jets -- Yeah, hard to get excited about this, but as a RB2 in the 5th round, he sure seems like value.

Pick 6.6: Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys -- Wanted Jordan Cameron, but he was scooped up a couple picks ahead of me.  Also thought of waiting another round or two for Jordan Reed, but got gun shy about losing out on a top (albeit aging) TE.

Pick 7.7: Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants -- Now I have both of the new starting RBs in New York, for whatever that's worth.

Pick 8.6: Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles -- The only thing not to love about Sproles in Chip Kelly's offense is that guy Shady that's in his way.  Still, I love him as a RB4.

Pick 9.7: Hakeem Nicks, WR, Colts -- If he and Luck develop some rapport, he could be a bargain.  I certainly won't trust TY Hilton again.

Pick 10.6: Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals -- Not that I wanted him, but Johnny Football was taken at the top of the 9th round!  Ridiculous…  Dalton is a solid QB2.

Pick 11.7: Kenny Stills, WR, Saints -- Boom or bust pick here.  The 2nd-year wideout is #2 on the Saints WR depth chart, behind only the aging Colston.  Brees could make him a star.  Or he could be Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem all over again.

Pick 12.6: Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers -- The rookie is expected to start alongside Antonio Brown. Plenty of upside here.

Pick 13.7: Rams defense/special teams -- They have a chance to be very special this year.  Or not.  One of the sites I trust most has them ranked #2, so I'll take their word for it.  Haven't really paid that much attention to the defenses yet.

Pick 14.6: Greg Jennings, WR, Vikings -- Come to think of it, I haven't really paid much attention to the offenses yet, either.

Pick 15.7: Heath Miller, TE, Steelers -- Kept thinking I should take Ladarius Green, but how good can he really be with Gates still in front of him?  Went with a safer backup plan instead.

Pick 16.6: Matt Prater, K, Broncos -- Grabbed the top kicker before most everyone else pulled the trigger.  I know who I want last anyway.

Pick 17.7: Bernard Pierce, RB, Ravens -- Think Ray Rice is going to have a big year?  Exactly. Pierce is the next man up.

There you have it.  Not crazy about my starting RBs, but I'm pretty comfortable with the backups.  My WRs are stellar, my QB could be elite and the rest of my roster is solid.

At least that's the way it all looks on May 19...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Offseason moves of note in the NFL

Greetings, Fools!  Long time no talk to.

And yet, just as baseball and college hoops fans are about to get all riled up, the NFL is back at the top of the news with another wild and wonderful free agency season.

As always, we're going to keep track of all the offseason trades, retirements, releases and free agent signings affecting offensive playmakers of note here.  Because if I don't keep a running tally, it makes my job in July really hard when I write my first real column of the season: Old faces in new places.

As of June 18, here are the moves that matter…

Mike Vick, Jets -- They say he won't start over Geno, but we'll see how many INTs it takes to shake that commitment.
Josh McCown, Bucs -- Will compete for starting job in Tampa Bay after stellar showing in Chicago last season.
Matt Schaub, Raiders -- Traded by the Texans for a 6th rounder.  Will he get his mojo back in Oakland?
Blaine Gabbert, 49ers -- The #10 overall pick in 2011 was acquired from the Jags for a late-round draft pick.
Mark Sanchez, Eagles -- Essentially swaps roles with Vick.
Jason Campbell, Bengals -- Will back up Dalton in Cincinnati.
Brandon Weeden, Cowboys -- Cut loose by the Browns.  Picked up as insurance by Dallas.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans -- Set free by the Titans, will try to get a start or two in Houston before some rookie takes over.
Shaun Hill, Rams -- Underrated reliever exits Detroit.
Josh Freeman, Giants -- Eli's new clip-holder.
Terrelle Pryor, Seahawks -- Last year's "hope for the future" traded by Raiders to Super Bowl champs for a 7th rounder.

Darren Sproles, Eagles -- Multi-purpose back traded by the Saints to free up cap space.  Shady's value just got clipped.
Chris Johnson, Jets -- CJ1K set free from the Titans to look for a hefty payday from another suitor.  Found it in NYC.
Knowshon Moreno, Dolphins -- Former Bronco gives Miami the versatile back they've been missing for years.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Raiders -- Will fight for playing time with Run DMC after leaving Jacksonville.
Rashad Jennings, Giants -- Former Raider moves to the Big Apple.
Ben Tate, Browns -- Arian's backup found a new home.  Interesting…
Andre Brown, Texans -- Houston found a new handcuff for Arian with the former Giant.
LeGarrette Blount, Steelers -- Ex-Patriot will compete for carries with Le'Veon Bell.
Rashard Mendenhall -- Retired after two consecutive injury-plagued seasons.
Dexter McCluster, Titans -- Left the Chiefs for a big-money offer from Tennessee.
Donald Brown, Chargers -- I guess this means the Colts are comfortable leaving their backfield in Trent Richardson's hands, although they also re-signed Ahmad Bradshaw.
Toby Gerhart, Jags -- AP's "handcuff" moves south, and could have a shot at a starting job.
Michael Bush -- Forte's backup released by the Bears.
Ryan Williams, Cowboys -- Arizona's RB of the future is now only in its past. Latched on quickly in Dallas.
Jonathan Dwyer, Cardinals -- Underachieving former Steeler follows Mendenhall's footsteps to Arizona.  Hopes for better results.
Daryl Richardson, Jets -- Claimed off the Rams' waiver wire.
Justin Forsett, Ravens -- Zzzzzzz….

Eric Decker, Jets -- Leaves Denver for 5-year deal in New York.  And POOF goes his fantasy value.
DeSean Jackson, Redskins -- Scooped up on April Fool's Day by Dan Snyder after the Eagles cut ties.
Stevie Johnson, 49ers -- Following their acquisition of Sammy Watkins with the 4th overall pick, the Bills dealt Stevie to San Fran.
Steve Smith, Ravens -- Aging playmaker picked up by Baltimore after being released by Panthers.
Hakeem Nicks, Colts -- Former Giant gives Andrew Luck a reliable weapon.
James Jones, Raiders -- Leaves A-Rod for, um…, T-Pry?  It was good knowing you, JJ.
Golden Tate, Lions -- Former Seahawk signed to five-year deal in Detroit.
Miles Austin, Browns -- Former Cowboy will try to plug the holes in Cleveland's WR corps, with or without two hamstrings.
Greg Little, Raiders -- In something of a surprise given their WR situation, the Browns set free the drop-plagued wideout.  Quickly scooped up in Oakland.
Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos -- Ex-Steeler will try to fill Eric Decker's shoes.
Andre Roberts, Redskins -- Will have a chance to start in Washington after being mostly a third wheel in Arizona.
Lance Moore, Steelers -- Set free by the Saints.  Picked up by Pittsburgh.
Andrew Hawkins, Browns -- Former Bengal should line up opposite Josh Gordon.
Brandon LaFell, Patriots -- Ex-Panther trades in Cam for Brady.  Will he emerge as anything better than an occasional bye-week filler now?
Jerricho Cotchery, Panthers -- Former Jet and Steeler ain't no star, but he's about all they've got in Carolina.
Tiquan Underwood, Panthers -- Well, Carolina has the former Buc now.  Does that make you feel better, Panthers fans?
Jason Avant, Panthers -- Former Eagle appears to complete a mediocre Carolina receiving corps.
Mike Williams, Bills -- Traded from Tampa Bay to Buffalo.  Brrrrrrrr!
Sidney Rice -- Cut by the Super Bowl champs.
Santonio Holmes -- Released by the Jets thanks to a bloated salary.
Kenny Britt, Rams -- Underachieving Titan gets his chance to flame out in St. Louis.
Domenik Hixon, Bears -- Moves to Chicago.  Yawn.
Mario Manningham, Giants -- Returns to the team where he made his name.
Earl Bennett -- Released by the Bears, then signed by Cleveland after Josh Gordon got himself in deep doodoo. Then released again.
Devin Hester, Falcons -- Long-time Bear returner/WR moves south.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Steelers -- Will now underwhelm in Pittsburgh.
Jacoby Ford, Jets -- Ex-Raider swaps coasts but fails to upgrade fantasy stock.
Ted Ginn, Cardinals -- Former first-round pick will return kicks and catch 15-20 passes in Arizona now.
Brandon Lloyd, 49ers -- Remember back in 2011, when you would've cared?
Nate Burleson, Browns -- Will now toil in Josh Gordon's shadow.
Lavelle Hawkins, Bucs -- Former Charger and Titan will soon be a former Buc.
Josh Morgan, Bears -- Former 49er and Redskin should probably rent a place in Chicago.

Brandon Myers, Bucs -- Former Giant signs two-year deal; should start in Tampa Bay.
Owen Daniels, Ravens -- Salary-cap casualty in Houston moves to Baltimore.
Kellen Davis, Giants -- Move along.  Nothing to see here.
Ed Dickson, Panthers -- Former Raven will backup Greg Olsen.

Rob Bironas -- Long-time, reliable boot cut by the Titans.

Please let me know if I missed anyone important.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

No threepeat for the Chief Fool

Alas, it wasn't to be this year.  My hat's off to CBS Sports' Dave Richard, who swiped the Fantasy Football Writer of the Year trophy out of my cold, dead hands.

Congrats, Dave.  But be warned...I'll be back, keyboard in hand, to knock you off your pedestal in 2014!  Better enjoy it while you can.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Writer of the year again?

Not sure how this keeps happening, but I'm a finalist again for Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the authority on these things, the Fantasy Sports Writers Association

We'll find out next week if I can rock the threepeat -- if that's what you call winning three out of four years. 

Thanks for another great year, Fools; and cross your fingers for the Chief...

Monday, January 6, 2014

8th Annual Biro’s Heroes and Zeros Awards

We’re almost done.  But not quite.

Before we close the books on another exhilarating / frustrating / victorious / humiliating (circle one) fantasy season, we must take a quick stroll back through 2013 to examine the players we rooted for and against and – with as much objectivity as we can muster – give credit where credit is due.

As always, our annual accolades (and condemnations) have but a few important criteria:

  1. Consistency on a weekly basis is next to godliness.
  2. Production during the fantasy playoffs – for our purposes, NFL Weeks 14 through 16 – is given extra weight.  Players who let their owners down at the worst possible time earn our eternal scorn.  (Hear that, A-Rod?)
  3. Week 17 is dead to us.  (Sorry, LeGarrette.)

Without further ado, I am pleased to present the 8th Annual Biro’s Heroes & Zeros Awards:

Most Valuable Player: Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos.  Manning stood so far above his so-called peers, they needed a telescope to see him.  The next-closest QB (Drew Brees) had 16 fewer passing TDs, for crying out loud.  Runner-up: Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs.

“Peerless Price Memorial” Bust of the Year: Trent Richardson, RB, Colts. There are plenty of candidates here, including Ray Rice, C.J. Spiller and Doug Martin.  But Richardson gets the nod because he was given a new lease on life (the trade out of Cleveland) and yet he still was unstartable virtually the entire season.  His top rushing day?  64 yards.  Runner-up: C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills.   

Rookie of the Year:  Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers.  The hard-nosed back proved that the Packers really can run.  Runner-up: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers. 

Comeback Player of the Year: DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles.  He suited up for only 11 games last season, managing just 700 yards and 2 TDs during that time.  Thanks to Philly’s up-tempo offense, D-Jax nearly doubled his yardage and reached the end zone nine times.  Runner-up: Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers.

Mr. Reliable: Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers.  Delivered at least five receptions and 50 yards in every game.  Usually much more.  Runner-up: Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints.

Surprise of the Year: Julius Thomas, TE, Broncos. If I was better at math, I’d tell you the percentage increase in Thomas’s production from his first two years in the league (1 reception, 5 yards, 0 TDs) and this season (65 for 788 yards and 12 TDs).  I think it’s, like, 282 percent or something.  Runner-up: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos.

Best Waiver Wire Acquisition: Nick Foles, QB, Eagles. No quarterback gave you a better chance to compete with Peyton’s owner down the stretch than Foles.  Runner-up: Julius Thomas.

Mr. Big Play: Josh Gordon, WR, Browns.  Among his nine TDs were scoring jaunts of 37, 39, 43, 47, 74, 80 and 95 yards. Runner-up: A.J. Green, WR, Bengals.

Most Devastating Injury Loss: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons.  He was the top receiver in the land when he went down in Week 5.  Compounding the problem, he took Matt Ryan and the Falcons down with him. Runner-up: Arian Foster, RB, Texans.

Steal of the Draft:  Knowshon Moreno.  Montee Ball was supposed to win the starting role.  Ronnie Hillman was supposed to be the change-of-pace back.  Moreno took both of their jobs, and could have been had in the last round of most drafts.  Runner-up: Fred Jackson, RB, Bills.

Most Overrated: Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers.  His owners seemed almost relieved when he was lost for the season in Week 7, thankful they no longer had to make the painful choice to bench him.  Mike James, then Bobby Rainey, both looked better running behind the same offensive line.  Runner-up: Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers.

“Thomas Jones Memorial” Most Underrated: Fred Jackson.  Despite a quiet consistency that led to his Top 10 finish, skeptical owners routinely questioned whether or not Jackson was start-worthy.  Runner-up: Frank Gore, RB, 49ers.

Made Chicken Salad from Chicken Scratch: Josh Gordon.  On a team virtually bereft of talent to support him, and after being suspended for the first two games of the season, Gordon finished among the top three fantasy wideouts. Runner-up: Rashad Jennings, RB, Raiders.

Biggest Postseason Disappointment: Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings. Gained just 13 yards before injuring his groin and foot in Week 14.  Missed the next week, then returned to post 47 combined yards before being pulled early in a blowout.  Runner-up: Matt Stafford, QB, Lions.

Most Spectacular Bench Performance: Nick Foles.  He was dreadful in Week 7 against the Cowboys before he was knocked out with a concussion.  After sitting out the following week, there was no guarantee he would play in Week 9.  But he proceeded to ravage the Raiders for 406 passing yards and seven, count ‘em, seven TDs, landing a perfect 158.3 QB rating for good measure.  Runner-up: Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns (6 receptions for 66 yards and 3 TDs in Week 3).

Most Marginalized by Pathetic QB Play: Greg Jennings, WR, Vikings. The once-elite wideout’s talents were squandered by a rogue’s gallery of passers, including Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman.  Runner-up: All Jets WRs.

“Frisman Jackson Memorial” Irrational Exuberance Award:  Eddie Royal, WR, Chargers.  Collected five TDs in his first two games.  Then, aside from a couple of cameo appearances, pretty much disappeared.  Runner-up: Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals.

Worst Sophomore Jinx: Trent Richardson.  Awful.  Just awful.  Runner-up: Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins.

Team Bust of the Year (a.k.a. They Are Who We Thought They Were): New York Jets.  There isn’t a player on this team that you regret not drafting.  Runner-up: Oakland Raiders.

“Plaxico Burress Memorial” Bonehead of the Year: Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots.  He makes Burress look like a choirboy. Runner-up: Kenny Britt, WR, Titans.

Most Likely to Succeed in 2014: Gio Bernard, RB, Bengals.  Who would be surprised if BenJarvus Green-Ellis plays elsewhere next season?  Bernard is poised for greatness in Cincinnati’s high-octane offense.  Runner-up: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings.

As always, I’m open to your feedback on these awards.  Feel free to comment below, and be sure to begin your message with “You’re an idiot because…”

Be sure to follow the Fantasy Fools blog for all the offseason news you can use, and we’ll be back in August to chase another championship.