The Biggest Questions For the 2011 Fantasy Football Season

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Mike Vick with Philadelphia

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It looks like the new collective bargaining agreement is going into effect sometime today (7/25/2011) and we should start seeing action all over the pro football realm. This means the 25 million or so fantasy football players can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Fantasy football will be played, trades will be made, and trophies will be be won. There is a controversial question that has been hotly debated over the past few months, really since the end of last years fantasy season. Should Michael Vick not only be the #1 quarterback drafted but the #1 overall pick? There are millions of fantasy owners on both sides of the fence. Is there a right answer. I for one am not quite sure there is, but let’s see if we can find it.

Argument(s) For Vick Being The #1 Overall Pick

The main argument for Vick being the #1 overall pick is that he is the most unique and dynamic player in fantasy football. When that fantasy football draft board goes up should he be the #1 pick? Here is what proponents say about that question.

Vick is a risk/reward player but the reward far outweighs the risk. Vick in addition to being dynamic is by far the most dangerous dual threat in the league. He is in a high powered offense where he can pass to any number of highly skilled options. If needs be he can take off and run if things break down. He is as dangerous a player on the field as there ever has been and if you need any proof just go back and look at the numbers last year against Washington and the New York Giants. Only Vick can put up these types of numbers. Sure a running back here and there rushes for 200 yards and 3 scores like Arian Foster did last year but Vick can put up 333 yards passing with 4 passing touchdowns and 80 yards rushing with 2 rushing tds like he did on Monday night against Washington. That’s at least 49 fantasy points in a standard league. Oh well that’s just one week he didn’t do that every week. No he didn’t but Vick did average a ridiculous 27 points a game. The next closest QB was Aaron Rodgers and he averaged right at 20. In standard leagues when Vick played a full game he only once scored “Below” 20 points and that was a 19 point outing against the Giants. The next time he played the Giants he scored 38. Proponents will argue there is no other player that has even close to this type of potential for scoring and anyone would be out of their mind not to draft him first. He is by far the best option to win you multiple weeks by himself and is probably the safest bet to provide you with double digit fantasy points week in and week out. It’s a no-brainer ladies and gentleman, Vick should be the first pick.

Arguments Against Vick Being the #1 Overall Pick

If you want to win your league’s fantasy football trophy, opponents will argue drafting Vick #1 overall would not be a wise choice. Here is what arguments are against Vick going #1 overall.

Fantasy is all about minimizing risk, especially with the first pick. Vick is much to risky of a pick to take first overall. Especially since you only need to start one qb in standard leagues and your next pick in a 10 man league isn’t until pick 20. Take a safe running back instead and wait on a qb. You can likely get Tom Brady or Peyton Manning with your next pick if you wait. Vick has only really had one other season similar to last years, and that was way back in 2002. Brady and Manning have been consistent for a decade. Vick in 2002 still scored less points than he did in 10′ and played 15 games where-as last year he played 12. Last year was an anomaly and not likely to be repeated. He had 9 rushing tds last year and 8 in 2002. The next 15 game season for Vick was 2004 and he only had 3 rushing tds. It’s hard to repeat that type of rushing td performance from year to year, even if you are Michael Vick. In 2003 after the big 02′ season he only played 5 games because of injury. Speaking of injury this is the next argument. Vick is one of the most dangerous weapons on the field, but also one of the most dangerous options to have as your quarterback due to injury. He only played in 12 games last year and took a large # of hits. He no longer is in his 20’s and the hits take a heavier toll in their 30s. If you look at his last 5 or 6 games defenses started blitzing him relentlessly and Vick took a beating. He had to sit out week 17 as a result and really didn’t look in perfect health against the Packers in the wild card round. His style is too dangerous, and injury is too big a concern. If defenses decide from day 1 the only way to stop him is to blitz him, and hit him, until they crack his armor (or worse ribs), then he is going to take a beating. Do you want to waste your #1 pick on a player that will likely miss games due to injury? Take A.P. instead and thank us for it later.

I could keep going with arguments for both sides but these are the main arguments that each side has. One of the great things about fantasy football is that there are arguments like this to be had. Truth is nobody knows the right answer until the season is complete. Vick will either be a fantasy juggernaut and help multiple teams win their championships, he will come back down to earth and score closer to his peers, or he will take a beating, be injured half of the year and be a nightmare for owners who drafted him first. If you really want him and you have the first pick your only option is to take him because he won’t be there when it’s your turn again.

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6 (Not So Simple) Steps for Purchasing a Professional Sports Team

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Franchise For Sale

Who hasn’t dreamed of owning their very own professional sports team? Well it can be done and it would be easy to restrict this list to just one simple requirement, namely, the first item on this list. But there’s more to it than that. Here are six (not so simple) steps for purchasing a professional sports team.

6. Get Rich Quick

Piece of cake, right? Okay, maybe not. But being rich is the first step along the way. They don’t give these franchises away. And some of them are worth billions! So you had better start with very deep pockets.

5. Know the Sport

An in-depth knowledge of the sport is a big help. You need to know if the sport is thriving in the city where your team is located. In the case of football and baseball, this can be a given. But with basketball and hockey, things are a little more hit and miss. Struggling teams can be had cheap but you better be sure you’ve got the know-how to turn them around or you’ll keep losing money.

4. Love the Hate

Fans of your team will hate you. The honeymoon will be over quick so you had better have a thick skin going in. Oh, they will sing your praises as long as the championships keep piling up, but have one bad year and look out! You’ll be public enemy number one!

3. Friends in High Places

You’re going to have tax headaches and permit nightmares the minute you take over your very own team. Without friends in local government, you’ll be hogtied with so much red tape, the fans won’t be able to find the entrances. Every facet of government is going to want in on the deal and free luxury boxes only go so far. Government officials must become your new best friends.

2. Have a Proven Track Record

No professional league is just going to hand you a team for a pile of money. You have to demonstrate a sound business sense and a proven track record for running one or more companies successfully for a number of years. With 100s or even 1000s of employees in every facet of the sport and the local community, you’re now responsible for a lot of mouths that need feeding. You have to know what you’re doing.

1. Get Religion

Soaring player salaries. Players jumping ship for lucrative deals. Taxes. Fan complaints. Permits. Expenses. Bad press. Fighting for TV coverage. Souvenir manufacturing hassles. Profit margins. On and on and on. With all these to worry about and so much more, your team will probably give you more grief than happiness. So maybe a sincere prayer every now and then wouldn’t hurt. You might also want to stock up on the aspirin.

And there you have it: a step-by-step plan that will land you that professional sports team that can’t miss. So save your pennies and you’ll be cheering on your very own team in no time.

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30 Year Old Running Backs FOR SALE—CHEAP!

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Fryingpan Sports

30 Year Old Running Backs FOR SALE—CHEAP!

By Bill Smith

I have found the perfect back—I’ll use my first pick for;

He fast, can catch, and best of all 240 and 6-4.

He’ll blast the line, catch the pass and run like a gazelle;

I’ll cut him when he’s 30 if there’s nothing something left to sell.

By B. Smith 2009

No position in the NFL gets old faster than a running back. History shows that the production of even an above average RB falls off a cliff like a lemming after the back turns 30. The problems are the 30+ back is too old, too slow, too expensive and too fragile. Several teams will have to make some difficult choices about their 30 something RBs this year.

t

LaDainianTomlinson Chargers:

The biggest name on this list is Tomlinson. He turns 30 in late June and in the last couple of years has spent almost as much time on the bench with injuries as he has on the field. Those that drafted LT with the first pick in their Fantasy league were repeatedly frustrated by his lack of production last year.

The problem was made even more critical because the Chargers allowed his backup, Michael “the burner” Turner, to leave via free agency during the last off season. All Turner did was run for almost 1700 yards with a 4.5 yard average. Tomlinson limped through 16 games but only reached 100 yards once.

The Chargers have only mini-back free agent to be Darren Sproles and last year rookie Jacob Hester behind LT. While Sproles has proven he can be a great change of pace back, he will never survive a 250 carry season. Hester was a high draft choice last year and is a potential 1 back in the Chargers offense. But he has yet to prove he can handle the majority of the work in the NFL.

The question that is keeping Charger front office staff from sleeping is should they trade LT and if they do what could they get. According to reports, he has 2 years left on his contract.

My Advice: There will be some team that suffers an RB loss in free agency or in training camp. Put feelers out and get what you can. Hester can do the job if he gets the chance. Grab the draft choice (probably a mid 2nd round) and run.

T1

Larry Johnson Chiefs:

Johnson does not have as much mileage on him as LT but he too has hit the less than magic age of 30. Johnson did not get much work in the early years of his career. He was buried in the depth chart. With a new GM and coach, the team is in the rebuilding mode and LJ want no part of it. He wants to be traded. Last year LJ missed all or part of 7 games and only ran for 874 yards. The Chiefs have second year back Kolby Smith and last year rookie Jamaal Charles from Texas. Neither have much experience and if LJ is gone, a new back will have to come from free agency or the draft.

My Advice: Johnson has had a number of off the field problems and has gotten the reputation of a prima donna. Try to trade him and take what you can get. He has been a big enough problem in the locker room when the team was doing fairly well. Now is the time. If you can’t trade him, cut him and take the cap hit.

t2

Edgerrin James Cards:

The Cards have a lot of issues on their plate and one of them is Edge. James’ production and yards per attempt fell off and he got benched. While he played a little better in the post season, he is history. He will be traded or cut because the team has his replacement in Tim Hightower. Hightower has more speed and that is good. The question still remains is can he pass protect like James? That is doubtful and if you have a 38 year old Kurt Warner as QB, you might want to give him James blocking.

My Advice: Keep James if he is willing to share the ball. If not, let him go and catch on with another team.

t3

Jamal Lewis Browns:

Lewis will turn 30 before next season. The new head coach of the Browns Eric Mangini said yesterday that he was “impressed” with several players including Lewis. Right now the Browns have nothing behind Lewis.

My Advice: I like how hard Lewis runs. Just don’t give Lewis a long term deal but draft a replacement in the 3rd or 4th round or pick up a younger back in free agency.

t4

Brian Westbrook Eagles:

The injuries to Westbrook this year proved that the O dies when he is out of the lineup. BW turns 30 in September and has already more mileage on him than a 1953 Buick. The Eagles have a few backups but none of them have the versatility of Westbrook. No back in the NFL does.

My Advice: Frankly, the Eagles have no choice but to ride BW as far as they can. Draft a couple of WRs early and a stud RB in 2010 if there is a draft.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is wesmith2001@hotmail.com.

Technorati Tags: FOR SALE, Cheap, NFL, Football, fantasy, Tomlinson, Chargers, Johnson, Chiefs, Cardinals, Lewis, Browns, Westbrook, Eagles, Draft, free agent, free agency
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