Women and Sports: An Opinion on the new RED Movement

Women are becoming more involved with the sporting world. It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of. But, it seems like with every step forward, there’s a step back. I’m not sure why everything football/female related has to be triple dipped in controversy, but I guess that’s just where we are right now.

The latest gridiron girl controversy is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers new women’s movement they’ve dubbed “RED”. For more info about the program and my opinion on the whole thing, check out my article at http://www.fakepigskin.com or just follow the handy link I have posted at the bottom of this article.

Ladies (and gents) I would love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment or tweet me @draftdaydame. I look forward to hearing from you!!

http://www.fakepigskin.com/2015/08/12/a-female-fans-perspective-on-the-bucs-red-movement/

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Preseason Prep

The time has come boys and girls. It is officially Football Season! Today’s kickoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings Marks the beginning of the 2015 season. But now is not the time to start cracking open beers, and putting on you sweat pants. It’s the perfect time to start your Preseason Prep!

  1. Join a League.

That’s right, you can’t play if you don’t join, and there are a variety of different options for you out there. One option is to create a league with friends. Some easy to use sites are ESPN, and Yahoo. They are very user friendly. However, for season long use I definitely prefer ESPN.

Don’t have friends no problem! There are plenty of ways to beat anonymous people into fantasy submission. Yahoo, and ESPN both offer leagues that you can join. Another great option is a new site http://www.myfantasyleague.com. They offer leagues you can join at any time at a variety of price points. Creating a league requires a little more finesse, but the open drafts are a lot of fun. It’s important to join a little earlier than your typical draft though because the drafts last A LONG time. Check out more about MFL’s here:

https://footballfemme.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/mfl-draft-only-league-the-details

Don’t want to keep up with a league all season? No problem! Daily Leagues have been gaining a lot of traction. Check out http://www.draftkings.com or http://www.fanduel.com to get your daily fix. Another option is http://www.skyllzone.com. Instead of beating your fellow humans, you get to sock it to some computers. Each computer drafter is equipped with its own programming that makes it unique. You have to pay to play, but once you’re in, you can earn skyllpoints that you can use to enter paid leagues.

2. Start your research

If you haven’t already started your research, then now is the time. Seriously the amount of info out there is mountainous. Get on twitter, use the Google, sign up at http://www.yourfantasyfootballcoach.com, the options are endless. It’s not a bad idea to go ahead and print off some cheat sheets and start tinkering to create your own rankings. There is still a full month until the real games begin, so projections are extremely fluid. Keep up with injuries, and preseason performances. Oh yea, and one more thing: MOCK DRAFTS, MOCK DRAFTS, MOCK DRAFTS.

3. Actually watch the Preseason games.

A lot of people ignore preseason games. It’s true that the big names aren’t on the field, and a lot of games don’t have the flash and panache that you see in regular season games, but they still have value. This is where you can find some quality sleepers. Plus why not get a taste of that football greatness as soon as you can?? Some sleepers I have my eye on are:

  1. Eddie Royal
  2. Brian Quick
  3. Dewayne Allen
  4. Cameron Artis-Payne
  5. Roy Helu

So get out there people! Join a league, do your research, and rejoice because fantasy football season is finally upon us!

Possible Replacement For Arian Foster?

By now, you’ve probably heard about Arian Foster’s groin injury. Foster has been injury plagued most of his football career, so his injury isn’t much of a surprise, though it does throw a wrench in many draft day plans. Not to mention being a huge setback for the Houston Texans. Alfred Blue, Foster’s backup, is also currently suffering his own injury woes after being carted off the field during Mondays practice. Though Blue’s injuries don’t seem to be as serious, Blue has yet to show any real promise as a feature back. Even third string running back Chris Polk is dealing with a hamstring issue.

So where does this leave the Texans? The Free Agency has been pretty picked over, but there are a few running backs left that might interest the Texans. Some big names left are Steven Jackson, Pierre Thomas, Chris Johnson, Knowshon Moreno and Ben Tate.

Steven Jackson made some noise after his release from the Atlanta Falcons, advocating for running back rights and the decline of the feature back.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2015-03-09/steven-jackson-save-the-running-back-video-campaign-strb-foundation-fundraiser-falcons-rams-free-agency

Unfortunately for him, his video has seen more appreciation than his pedigree. He’s yet to find a team so far this season, though he expressed a lot of interest in playing for the Dallas Cowboys. In my opinion his age is his biggest hindrance in finding a new team. While he may find a role on a team as a back up, it’s unlikely that he will find work with the Texans.

I was personally pulling for Pierre Thomas. He’s one of the most talented running backs left unsigned. In his eight seasons with The Saints he racked up over 3,700 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns. He’s also one of the most successful pass catching backs in the league. He’s a great committee running back, and would bring a lot of talent to The Texans. Unfortunately, Thomas and The Texans were unable to come to an agreement. The rumor is that Thomas is holding out for more money. He’ll end on a team come regular season, but the jury is still out on which team that will be.

Chris Johnson was tossed around as an option to replace Foster. While Johnson had some explosive seasons early in his career his last season was pretty dismal. In fact, it was his first season where he failed to reach 1000 yards in a season. However Johnson has proven himself in the past, including rushing over 2000 yards in 2009. More appealing to The Texans perhaps is his durability. In seven seasons, he’s only missed one game. With Thomas currently out of the running, Johnson is the front runner to get the job.

A dark horse for a contract is Knowshon Moreno. He joined The Dolphins after his best season for The Denver Broncos, and Moreno came into last season guns blazing. He was averaging 4.8 yards per carry before suffering a season ending injury. While his injury woes would be worrisome for The Texans, his ability on the field is impressive. It’s possible that a committee role would actually be more beneficial for Moreno by limiting his touches. While it’s a long shot for Moreno to earn himself a spot on the roster, his abilities are not to be overlooked.

Ben Tate is entering this season unsigned. In spite of that, Tate has been hitting the gym, and keeping in shape. Tate would be an easy fit for The Texans as he served as Foster’s understudy for three seasons. Tate left The Texans to be the feature back with the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately that failed to work out for both parties. After that he went from the Minnesota Vikings, to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he averaged 3.8 YPC. Tate is still young with plenty of tread left on the tires and is already familiar with the Houston offense, so it makes sense that he would be considered to fill the void left by Foster.

I expect the Houston Texans will make a move sooner rather than later with the 2015 season fast approaching, right now my favorite for the job is still Pierre Thomas, but we’ll see what the future holds.

Terrelle Pryor and the Cleveland Browns

Your Fantasy Football Coach

The Cleveland Browns recently bolstered their wide receiver depth but not by targeting any of the wide receivers still lounging on free agency. Instead, Cleveland picked up former quarterback Terrelle Pryor. In an offseason filled with blockbuster trades, coaching changes, Deflategate, and the re-emergence of Tim Tebow, a quarterback changing positions just seems par for the course in 2015. Will this gamble pay off for The Browns?

Cleveland is sorely lacking in the receiver department, so any help should be a boost. Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins look to be the starting three for the 2015 season. They finished 66th, 91st, and 53rd (respectively) in standard fantasy scoring last year, which is not much of a ringing endorsement for the upcoming season. Hawkins showed flashes of brilliance last season, and he accounted for more first downs (44) than any other receiver or rusher. There are still…

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My Fantasy League: Continued

So far I’m wrapping up my first MFL, and I’m mid way through my second. And there are a few things I’ve learned that I would like to share with those either currently participating in their own drafts, or considering joining one in the future. Now, my MFL experience is relatively small but these are tips that I will definitely use in future drafts.

1. The long draft will be both convenient and frustrating.

It’s nice to be able to not stress about making a draft pick as soon as you’re on the clock. If your pick comes up while you’re stuck in traffic, it’s no big deal. Just wait til your home in the comfort of your PJ’s and wifi. No more using up your data perusing for rankings! However, the extended time does tend to become a strain. Whether it’s the long wait for your next turn, or the annoyance/guilt that you’ll feel by holding up the line when you need a little extra time. There’s really no win here. In my opinion a live draft is always the way to go, but I’m enjoying the experience, and for some the convenience will be invaluable.

2. Your feelings about quarterbacks will be put to the test.

In both drafts I’ve participated in quarterbacks have been a hot commodity. In one league it’s understandable due to the new “super flex” option (more about that later), but even in my other league which is basic PPR scoring quarterbacks seem to be flying off draft boards far ahead of their ADP. I’m not sure if this is just an “MFL thing” or if it’s indicative for this year’s drafts. More and more quarterbacks are putting up consistently high numbers. Last season, 10 quarterbacks finished with a better than 17 point game average in standard scoring, and six of them ended up with 300+ fantasy points. In comparison, only two running backs finished with a better than 17 point PGA, and not a single running back or wide receiver garnered more than 300 points. Theoretically this would keep the demand low, since the supply is so great, but it seems like more drafters are pouncing on the sure thing of a good quarterback. If going with a less than desirable quarterback makes you anxious (think Carson Palmer, or Jay Cutler), you better pull the trigger sooner than later

3. By the end of the draft, you’ll be picking up some deep sleepers.

When doing your due diligence and draft prep you always mark down a few names that you want to take a late round flyer on. But you should keep in mind, In most MFL leagues your going past the typical 15-16 rounds and venturing into the unknown 20 round territory. This means there are about 50 more players being chosen. So root around and find those deep, deep sleepers. There are always a few players that emerge off the waiver wire into fantasy greatness. The extra rounds mean you have an opportunity to find these diamonds in the rough, as opposed to depending on the luck of the waiver wire when you want to stake your claim.

4. The big new thing in fantasy? The super flex.

What is the super flex? It’s the ability to play a quarterback in your flex position. The reasoning behind this newest twist in roster tinkering is due to the change in quarterback value. During the emergence of fantasy football, the elite quarterback was a gem to have during your fantasy season. Now a days, it’s easy to find a weekly starting quarterback as late as the 10th round. As a matter of fact, it’s a strategy that I often recommend. But by opening up another roster spot the quarterback can fill, it gives quite a boost to the value of a good quarterback. To offset this, leagues that use the superflex often have point per reception scoring, or points per carry. The fine line is that you don’t want to make quarterbacks so valuable that it’s far easier to play some ho hum quarterback over an otherwise startable running back or wide receiver. This is my first league with the superflex option, so I’ll have to get back to you on the impact during the season, however, it’s definitely something to keep in mind when you’re drafting. Make sure to check your roster requirements and scoring system.

5. The variety of scoring and player options are becoming both intriguing, and terrifying.

Couldn’t have summed it up better myself.

At myfantasyleague.com the tinkering seems practically limitless, and more sites are opening up their custom options. I have started to question if there’s such a thing as “too much of a good thing”. Remember when people just went to Starbucks for their superior coffee selection? Now it’s more for the “fixin’s”. And it seems the coffee quality, in my humble opinion, has gone down hill as a result. I worry that all the new add-ons and balancing acts, it may take away from the game. Call me a purist but to this day my favorite league is a standard scoring keeper league, where a live draft is mandatory and the rosters are traditional. We add spice to our league by way of ridiculous side bets and merciless trash talk. While the ideas behind such additions are exciting and make for even more analysis and opinionating, it also means more work for commissioners and drafters. Either way, it’s a thrilling time to be involved in the fantasy football world, and the level of customization available is impressive.

These are some things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of joining an MFL league. I think the site will continue to grow in sophistication and popularity, and I for one will be using it multiple times during this fantasy season, and in the future.

MFL Draft Only League. The Details

This is my first Draft Only league to participate in. (shout out to http://www.myfantasyleague.com for hosting) So, even though I have participated in plenty of drafts, I don’t know quite what to expect, or quite how to prepare. The difference in this league is that the draft is completed via email, and it’s loooong. I’m on day three of the draft and I’ve drafted four players, You see each manager gets up to 8 hours to draft. That’s a lot, though usually managers don’t use up their full allotment of time. Notice the “usually”. Either way you’re probably looking at a good week of draft immersion. The good thing is you get plenty of time for research, the bad is that you kind of have to keep up with your draft progress and your email. But in today’s tech savvy world checking your email 8 hours doesn’t seem like too much to ask. I’m excited to try out a new league format, so I decided to share my experience with you! Here’s some notes on what to expect if you decide to try out a MFL Draft Only League.

1. There is no Trash Talking

In most drafts (especially live drafts) you’ll inevitably hear some trash talk. Even the most civil leagues with throw out some snide comments. But for the most part, the in-league dialogue is pretty silent. There is a league chat page, and the web page gives you the opportunity after you draft to brag about your pick, but so far I haven’t seen any use of it. After all, beating your chest after getting Calvin Johnson late in the second round, really loses some oomph when someone reads it a day later when it’s finally their turn to draft. So, if that’s something you’re in to, your taunts will likely fall on deaf (or delayed) ears. If you prefer peace and serenity during your draft then you may have just found your draft day happy place.

2. It’s important to pay attention to scoring details.

During my draft I had the feeling that some may have missed the memo on this one, and it’s important that you’re not one of these people. The site has the option for I think 12 different scoring standards, including the option for custom scoring. If you want a reference for rankings be sure you’re using the correct scoring parameters, and drafting accordingly.

3. The ADP is all over the place.

I recently read a well written article about not strictly going by ADP’s when drafting by @ffcouchcoach. ( http://www.ffcouchcoach.com/draft-strategy-why-its-a-mistake-to-let-adp-rankings-dictate-how-you-draft/) Be sure to keep that in mind when you draft with a draft only format. It’s important to have a balanced roster of core starters along with some players with “boom” qualities. Look for players that may have went undrafted last season due to their “feast or famine” numbers. Players like: Eddie Royal (three games with 15+ points), Mohammed Sanu (three games of 15+ points), Michael Crabtree (three games of 14+ points), Anquan Boldin (five games of 14+ points), Benjamin Cunningham (four games of 11+ points), Ronnie Hillman (four games of 11+ points), or Matt Asiata (six games of 12+ points). It’s a perk that you don’t have to set your lineup and worry about starting one of these guys when they have one of their “famine” days. Just stash them on your bench and wait for the feast.

4. You will not have enough beer, or cheese dip to last the whole draft

Seriously don’t even try. One of my favorite parts of draft day is enjoying a beer and chowing down on some seriously-bad-for-you foods. You won’t have that in this format. If you try your typical draft day routine during one of these marathon drafts you’ll end up somewhere you don’t want to be. I’m not proud that I ate a whole bag of chips over two days absentmindedly snacking while checking stats. A family sized bag. No bueno.

5. You will get frustrated waiting for your turn.

Inevitably, you’ll have “that guy/girl” who will take their full allotment of 8 hours to draft. Maybe they have a busy work/social/home life, but that matters nada to you. You’re just checking your email every couple hours, and it’s still that guy’s turn. It is frustrating, but really it could be worse. It could be that person who’s trashed at your draft, or the person that autodrafts then complains about his team, or the person nagging you to just pick already. Take the draft with a grain of salt and just draft the best team you can. Every league has “that guy/girl”, they come in all shapes and sizes.

I’m still excited to see what kind of team I end up with, and sharing more of this MFL journey with you guys. Sound off in the comments if you have any questions or advice for fellow drafters!

MyFantasyLeague.Com: The future of your league?

I have just signed up for my first MFL league. But what is an MFL league? It’s a hosted league from the site myfantasyleague.com. It is the most diverse, flexible, and unique site I’ve found so far. The customization available is ridiculous, and would be a lot of fun to tinker with, but for the sake of this post, I’m going to keep things pretty light and breezy.

I joined an MFL draft only league. You participate in a snake draft with (in my case) 12 teams. The catch is, that each team owner has 8 hours to make their draft selection. 8 HOURS. This may seem like overkill but it really allows you to make an educated draft time decision. Of course, this means that a draft can last weeks instead of hours so keep that in mind as you sign up. After your team is drafted (20 players). You won’t have to worry about setting a lineup for the rest of the season. “Wait, what the heck?!” Yep, no lineup setting. Your starting lineup is based on your best scoring players for that week. So, you won’t have to agonized over which wide receiver to start every week, worrying that you’ll make the wrong decision. MFL sets your optimal line up. EASY PEASY!  Whichever team wins, based on total points, gets the “W’, and the glory. Each week your starting lineup will change based on best available player per position. It’s a fun way to experience being in a fantasy football league without the everyday hassle of trades, the waiver wire, or weekly roster decisions. This is great for people in multiple leagues, those just starting out, or those who are looking for a different league experience. Not to mention, that FREE leagues exist. All reward, no risk! I’ll keep you updated on how my first draft goes, including advice and pointers for those interested in joining or starting their own leagues.

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN…..to kickoff. 🙂