The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Football fans’ way of life

    Fantasy football and I have a very special love and hate relationship. Last year I had two good teams (or at least I thought I did) with Shaun Alexander on one and LaDainian Tomlinson on the other. Alexander has a MVP season and my team finishes fifth out of 10 and LT disappears and my other team finishes real bad, I don’t even remember what spot.
    I’m still trying to block that out of my head.

    Enter this year. First off, I decided to participate in two leagues again this year because when you’re in about five, you’re cheering for every single player in the NFL and cheering against some of your own players.

    OK, onto this year. For those of you who took Donovan McNabb, congratulations. Did people really question his performance last year instead of his whole entire career? What a steal he was in the sixth round in both leagues I am in. McNabb doesn’t need Terrell Owens and he doesn’t need an all-star cast around him.

    The thing about great players like McNabb (and Green Bay Packers fan should relate because of No. 4), they make all the players around them so much better. So kudos to you folks that stuck with McNabb after a forgetful season last year. If he continues to be successful this year he’s a definite first- or second-round pick next year.

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    Peyton Manning is the only other quarterback, in my opinion, that really sticks out this year, but is that a surprise? Manning was the only quarterback consistently taken in the first round for most fantasy football leagues. After Manning and McNabb, quarterbacks are valuable but not having the best one won’t necessarily hurt your chances of winning your league.

    Another item to discuss, so was everyone like me thinking I needed to get at least three good running backs in the first three or four rounds? Truth is, after last week when guys like Owens, Tory Holt, Joe Horn, etc. had big weeks, you start to wonder if you should just build a good solid all around team versus focusing just on running backs. I grabbed Tiki Barber in both leagues (fourth pick in one, sixth in the other) then traded him away in one league because I didn’t want the best player on both teams to be the same person.

    By trading him away I picked up guys like Steve Smith and Frank Gore. Gore, despite his fumbles, has had a great year on a team that is far from being good. This year there were three clear top picks in Alexander, Tomlinson and Larry Johnson, but after that the second tier of running backs are good but are they better than some of the top wide receivers? I guess time will tell for those who drafted a good running back over a great receiver.

    I hope you didn’t waste a good pick on Randy Moss by the way. This proves the notion that a great wide receiver can’t do it without a halfway decent quarterback.OK, back on topic.

    So what is the answer to the question of should you draft running back strong? Yes, but it doesn’t have to be your top three picks. Running back depth is important in fantasy football because when a team gets to the goal line, they tend to run, obviously. But getting the best running backs isn’t always the way to win. Running backs will disappear some weeks and you’ll be left wondering why you selected all those guys so early in the draft when Chicago’s defense is
    scoring you 25 to 30 fantasy points
    a game.

    Speaking of Chicago defense . anyone enjoying their success? In one of my leagues I drafted their defense in the sixth round and they have the highest fantasy points behind McNabb. People even said I drafted them too early. What a joke! Chicago defense is a solid early round pick and they have proved that this year. If this defense is kept intact for next year, do not be afraid to take them early.

    Too many times in fantasy football people are changing their defenses week after week hoping for something good to happen. Why not draft a defense early that you know is going to play hard week after week and get you fantasy points? Plus, look at their division, that’s six games right there that they should win easily.

    Kickers are a hit or miss thing in every league. Josh Brown of the Seattle Seahawks gave me some great results last week after that 54-yard field goal to win the game. In general though, draft a kicker that you know is good with accuracy and that belongs to a team that has an offense that moves the ball down the field. Or you could have just drafted Ryan Longwell who gets multiple field goals a game because a team can’t score touchdowns, and he has a touchdown pass which is two less than starting quarterback Brad Johnson. Can you sense a little frustration from a Minnesota Vikings fan like me?

    Fantasy football is continually growing year after year, I mean look at Yahoo they even have fantasy sports columnists! Same deal with ESPN which often looks at fantasy football. Oh and in case you were questioning my credibility at all with fantasy football, I’m 6-0 in one league and 5-0-1 in the other. Who would have thought Rex Grossman would get negative points that would force me into the situation that I tie. I hate ties! OK I’m not really that cocky (about my records), I just wanted to tell everyone how I am very happy with the good records this year. Now that I wrote this article my team will fall apart, not everything can go your way in fantasy football.

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    Football fans’ way of life