SANDISAYS Fantasy Football???

In my 62 years of life I have been consistently successful at ignoring football; for many reasons I suppose … 1st that I am a baseball girl tried and true … having been a SF Giants fan since I attended my 1st baseball game as a young girl at Candlestick Park in the 60’s and was absolutely mesmerized by the sight of “green” grass … having only seen games on our black & white TV.

My dad was equally a tried and true SF 49er fan … despite their off and on  “dark years”.  I learned to ignore football in those early years when my sister and I were not allowed to make any kind of disturbance or distraction while a game was on.  I remember one year my mom and I were in a car accident on a rainy, “early”, Monday night.  As the tow truck pulled our car away … my mom belabored over calling my dad to come pick us up.  I finally convinced her to give him a ring.  I am not sure how the phone conversation actually went …. but my mom and I stood … cold and wet on the El Camino Real in Santa Clara until my dad showed up after 9:00 p.m. when the game was over.  He was not happy, my mom was not happy, I was not happy.

Fast forward … September 1, 2019 @ 5:30 p.m.

I drafted my 1st fantasy football team known as “Sandi’sTightEnds”.  I know nothing about Fantasy Football.  I know nothing about FOOTBALL … except of course that song that plays before a game … dut, dut, dut, duuhhhhhh … and that it is best viewed with a beer!  So … why did I even join a Fantasy Football Team you ask?  It has become a family “thing” that joins my family in the east, central and west coast … and … my nephew, who I dearly love, is the commissioner guy.  (Love you JohnE!)

As an academic, I began frantically taking notes in a little black journal … but, it became too laborious … because I have too much to learn.  So I am chronicling my Fantasy Football escapades here … in a cut and paste world where the information I log is always available to me (heading out on a 5 week road trip to Indiana … to visit said “commissioner” and family!)  Besides … as it turns out … once you draft a team … the work is not over!!!!!  (Who KNEW?).  Also, it is hard to find information for the “football illiterate” … if there is another like me out there; hoping to understand this seemingly simple yet complex game ……. I hope this helps you also!

preparing for draft day

Being an academic, I began studying each of the “jobs” available for players on a team.  I was happy to find out in Fantasy Football you don’t have to learn all the players’ jobs …. just a handful.

  • Quarter Back/QR – He communicates “plays” and is the one who catches the ball after it is “snapped” (thrown through the legs of another player ….. really, … just turn around and hand it to the guy!).  After the QB catches the ball he throws or passes it to another player.
  • Running Back/RB – They stand behind the QB and are responsible for taking a handoff and running forward on the field to gain yardage. Other responsibilities include catching passed balls and blocking to protect the quarterback.
  • Wide Receiver/WR – They run routes downfield so that the ball can be passed to them.
  • Tight End/TE – can be a pass or catching position.   Their position is near a tackle position on the offensive line. (This makes no sense … a defensive position on the offensive part of the team!).  They are usually large, physical players who can play the role of an offensive lineman, but also have soft hands for catching the ball. (who knew … Football players with soft hands? … and “tight ends”!!!)
  • Kicker/K – the K guy only takes the field for field goals, extra points and kickoffs.

For help on actually drafting a team the website I primarily went to was:

I was happy to learn that you can let the computer auto pick for you … but, where is the “nerd fun” in that?.

The “jist” of Fantasy Football is

  1. Join a league
  2. Prepare for the draft by “scouting” (looking on the cheat sheet – for players
  3. Build a team on draft day (you can practice with “mock” drafts.  It was helpful for me … I drafted 4 QB’s … my new son-in-law was kind enough to suggest 2 are plenty.
  4. Your team competes against another Fantasy Football Team each week (except each team has a “bye” week when they do not play)
  5. You make moves to improve your team (This totally scares me!)

As a “dummie footballer” the information I immediately found most helpful was  FFB (see … I’m already using acronyms!) terms, lingo and definitions:

  • Auction:  A fantasy draft style in which owners use a bidding system to acquire players.
  • Breakout: When a player goes from average to great.
  • Bust: A player who underperforms and does not live up to expectations.
  • Bye week: Every NFL team is inactive once during the regular season; an NFL team’s off week is its bye week.
  • Cheat sheets: The lists of pre-ranked players — overall and by position
  • Collusion: Two coaches working together to win a league. (something I am sure my daughter and son-in-law are doing!)
  • Damaged goods: When a player involved in a trade is hurt. (really … the poor guy is injured and we label him “damaged goods”?!?!?!)
  • Draft: A process in which fantasy team owners take turns selecting players to fill out their roster.
  • Elite: The highest ranked players at their positions.
  • Fantasy formula: A simple way to evaluate a player’s potential: skill plus opportunity equals success. (opportunity?)
  • Fantasy worthy: He plays enough to make a fantasy impact.
  • Fleecing: Taking advantage of a bad coach in a lopsided trade. (Just Mean!)
  • Flex: A slot in your lineup that accepts more than one position; flex positions usually accept wide receivers, running backs, or tight ends.
  • Free agent: A fantasy player who is currently not on any team roster and has cleared waivers. (Where do we find these secret agents?)
  • Game-time decision: Waiting to see if a hurt player will start.
  • Handcuffing: Drafting a backup and a starter from the same NFL team.
  • IDP (Individual Defensive Players): Instead of using team defense, this league type allows fantasy owners to choose individual defensive players for their team rosters.
  • IR (Injured Reserve): A player who is currently injured and is eligible to remain on a fantasy roster without taking up an official roster spot.
  • Keeper league: Coaches retain a certain amount of players from one season to the next.
  • League settings: The league rules and stat modifiers that determine fantasy point values.
  • PPR (Points Per Reception): Scoring system in which players receive an additional point for each reception they have.
  • Pre-rankings: How NFL players are rated before the draft.
  • Private league: A league you can join by invitation only and that’s controlled by a commissioner.
  • Public league: A league where anyone can sign up and play.
  • Sleeper: A little-known player who’s ready to awaken and be great.
  • Stud: A top-rated fantasy starter.
  • Trade bait: Good players who you can offer to other coaches.
  • Trading deadline: Last day of the season to make trades.

Coming Next ….. Draft Day!

draft day!!!

The day before draft day, I was not only as ready as I could be … but, was admittedly a little excited. 

My little black notebook

  After learning I did NOT get to pick a “Fantasy Team” (to which I say … why call it Fantasy Football!!!).  Anyway ….  I logged on to practice I mock draft and felt like I had my ducks (and black notebook) in a row … only to learn that a special Praise a Worship night was at the EXACT same time as the draft … … … football or Jesus?  Having been on the loosing end when put up against football … I determined to pick Jesus and let the auto draft do its thing.  Turns out … you can set up your top choices for an automatic draft.  Problem solved!  Thank You Brad!

Fans … I present to you “Sandi’s Tight Ends”!!!! 

Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 3.27.52 PM

Bye-the-Way … the little red “Q” next to the persons name means “questionable”.  My QB, Cam Newton had a “Q” by him all week … I even researched what his issue was … and learned he was not necessarily out.  Luckily, he does not have a “Q” by his name any longer … GOOD THING!

Next up will be “Scoring” … … … I have already tried to understand this … with no avail … but, again, have learned that the FFB wizards put out that information on Tuesday evening. *NOTE*: Turns out I need to investigate how to discover the “strengths & weaknesses” in my team before I learn scoring … … … … …

Post Draft Strategies (LOL)

It turns out “scoring” is not the next most important piece of information I need to acquire in this FFB escapade …. but, analyzing my teams’ strengths and weaknesses.  Apparently, I am to begin creating “post-draft strategies” … ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

Here are my notes

  • The most important responsibility a fantasy coach has is to field the best possible team every week.
  • Check the free agent pool and waiver wire often.

(I do not yet understand “waiver wire” … so I concerned myself this week with the “free agent pool” and made some changes to my team. After much research … it seems the best team roster should have 2 QB’s, 4 RB’s, 5 WR’s, 2 TE’s, 1 FLEX, 1 D/ST, 1 K. I had 3 RB’s (1 too few), 7 WR’s (2 too many), 1 TE (1 too few). Sooooo …. with my breath held … I dropped 2 WR’s for 1 RB & 1 TE.

The New Team! (Yes, in the little black notebook … some things just could not be cut & pasted!)

Additional things to consider

Injuries: Injuries happen often; If my best player gets knocked out for the season, I can bench the injured player and insert a benched player into my lineup each week.  (The NFL … or somebody … must put this information out somewhere).   

Teams designate injured players with a P (probably) or greater than 75% chance of playing, Q (questionable) or 50% chance of playing or D (doubtful or less than 25%.). Typically, a player designated “P” is started without worry and a player with a “D” should be avoided. The “Q” players are the worrisome ones because they can go either way.  Apparently, I won’t know if that player is going to play until after the game has started so a lot of my bench may already be locked. (NOBODY TOLD ME MY BENCHED PLAYERS GET LOCKED OUT!!!!).

Sometimes players can get suspended or even traded to other teams (IN REAL LIFE), which could affect their FFB performance.

Matchups: Each fantasy team has a core of “stud” players that must start every week when healthy. “But when making choices at my other lineup positions, I need to consider each NFL game and which of those matchups are more likely to give my FFB the best chance to produce.”  (WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???)   Luckily, I understand the most important rule which is “When setting up my weekly lineup: PLAY MY STUDS! 

Bye weeks: During the season, each NFL team has a bye week, during which I need to bench that team’s players. It is important not to get stuck having several “studs” out of action at the same time.  (NOTE TO SELF:  HOW DO I BENCH AND REPLACE PLAYERS?). (*On ESPN – you go to the drop down menu; Players/Add Players … choose an “add”, then choose a “drop”)

Performance: Athletes tend to play in streaks, either hot or cold. When making the tougher lineup decisions, I can check the stats for the last few games and see who’s playing well and who needs to take a seat on the ole’ bench.  Word is:  to be patient with my stud players. Every player will have a bad week or two. Try not to make any rash moves with my core group of players.

The free agency pool: all undrafted fantasy players begin the season as free agents, which means they’re available to be added to your roster at any time.

The waiver wire: If another team drops a player, the player goes on waivers for a limited time before becoming a free agent. All coaches then have a set amount of time (usually two days) to decide whether to add him to their teams.  To add a player on waivers, I must drop a player from my roster. 

After a claim is awarded, my waiver priority drops to the lowest number. If no owner puts a claim in for a player that is on waivers, and the waiver period has ended, that player will become a free agent, and any team can pick that player up at any time.

Trading with other owners: Another way to acquire a player is to make a trade offer. In order to do this I have to give up someone good in order to get someone good.