It’s been said to me that while most fantasy sports are games of skill, fantasy football relies more on pure luck. Gotta be honest, I didn’t really buy into that. Sure, there’s a modicum of luck that falls into most any endeavor, but I firmly believed that some good NFL studying and a pile of research would ensure that I took this league easily.
That belief is a giant load of horse crap.
There is, of course, plenty you can do on the research and skill side. You can check who’s hurt, who’s unavailable to start for a variety of reasons, what the weather’s like somewhere, who has homefield advantage, etc, etc, etc. The list could go on for 6 paragraphs that would be even more boring than that sentence, but I would never do that to you guys. Or myself. I’ve got all our backs here, people.
What you can not research or predict is what has happened to the poor boys of Percy No Evil nearly every damn this week this season. Throughout the course of a normal fantasy season, you win some and you lose some. Sometimes you win by a lucky last minute 9.4 point touchdown or sometimes you lose by 80. Not me. Not ever. The Bad Luck Queen of the East has ridden her black pony all the hell over my matchup every week. That shining 3-6 record? It boasts a point differential of 2.5 with all but one loss by a greater margin than 7.5.
Oh and did I mention that nearly all of those under 7.5 point losses were determined in either the 4th quarter of Monday night’s game or some record-breaking horror? No? Sad but true. I took my loss to Tina thanks to a 4th quarter Monday night interception thrown by the always effervescent QB Aaron Rodgers. I dumped the San Diego defense in favor of Denver the week Oakland scored a franchise high against them to lose by under 5. Last week’s loss to the Commish was thanks entirely to a late Monday night surge by Mike Wallace while Neil Rackers and I just looked on and wept. It’s been a Choose Your Own Nightmare novel every week. The story plays out a little differently each matchup, but it all results in my losing by a margin so small that I want to light my entire apartment on fire. Luckily I don’t believe in arson, but I very nearly had an crisis of conscience the week A Rod QB’ed his way to a magnificent 9 points against the Jets.
That is both the beauty and the ugly of fantasy sports. As terrible as it is to be the one going down with an OT touchdown is inversely proportional to how great it will be when one goddamn day I am the pigeon and not the statue. While you can plan your match-ups all you want, somewhere the fantasy gods are laughing at you for having a plan. It adds dimension and interest to games you otherwise might not care about. Just because your team bit the big one on Thursday night doesn’t mean you won’t be captivated straight through to Monday night.
How can I properly display my feelings about Kevin Walter’s performance this weekend? How can one properly show gratitude for the golden zero he put up, forcing Percy No Evil to yet another loss?
Maybe a haiku will do it justice.
Sweet Kevin Walter
With your fat giant goose egg
Hope your contract burns
No, that won’t suffice. Perhaps this photo I found on the interweb of Kevin and I hanging out.
Well as promised, here is the much-anticipated sequel to the highly acclaimed War Room post, complete with the damage we all did during the draft. I know I said I would post these along with my thoughts on the draft, but it turns out that I don’t really feel like doing that. So I am going to leave it up to you. Who do you think has the goods to go all the way? *Hint: Choosing Percy No Evil assures that your comment will be featured in an upcoming article tentatively titled “The Glory of a Champion: Why Neil Rackers Is Your Daddy”.
Things That Have Happened to Me Previously in All-Girl War Rooms:
– Someone drafted the wrong Adrian Peterson.
– Someone drafted only players with uni-sexual names.
– Someone has taken a kicker first because her thought he was handsome.
– Someone attempted to draft only players whose names start with De or La.
– Someone (possibly me) drafted Brady Quinn with a first round, first pick for aesthetic purposes.
With these being my past experiences with Estrogen War Rooms, I was never too worried about all-girl drafts. I’ve joked that I know the least about football of GGP (which remains the truth), but I have never been a slouch with my football knowledge. This time around, however, was different. This league is filled to the brim with serious football gals and my rudimentary football knowledge was not going to cut it here. I was forced to turn to my lovely fantasy football consultant James. And no, it isn’t cheating. It’s being smart. Even the damn President has a cabinet. This use of consulting practically makes me a politician.
James provided me with a series of great tips that I would love to share with all of you who aren’t quite sure what to do in a heavily populated league.
“It’s a 14 team league, with 7 spots playing every week (defense & kicker don’t count). That’s 98 active players every week. A normal 10 team league only has 60 players every week, so depth instantly becomes the biggest issue. Your first 3 round picks are going to be crucial and you have to hope for some great sleeper picks.”
Ok, check. Don’t draft Brady Quinn until much later.
“QUARTERBACKS: There’s only 7 SOLID quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo, and Phillip Rivers. I like them in that order. If you don’t land a pick in the top two, I would seriously advise you to take a quarterback with your first pick. We can find running backs and receivers later, the second tier of quarterbacks (Eli, Donovan Mcnabb, Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer, Brett Favre, etc) can’t match the top tiers production. With this many teams, every team is going to be weak in some places. Quarterback is the one spot you’d rather not be (unless you pick early and get a Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson).”
So what he is saying here is that Adrian Peterson is not a bitch and that anyone would be lucky to draft him.
“RUNNING BACKS: Every starting running back is going to be drafted. You can find depth charts, etc on ESPN.com or cbssports.com. A lot of teams rotate running backs. Meaning there will be two guys to choose from. Like Marion Barber & Felix Jones in Dallas (you’d prefer Jones) or Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs in New York (you prefer Bradshaw). Here’s a list of running backs who have jobs by themselves. It’d be a good idea to target these guys: Chris Johnson- TEN (you won’t get him unless you have first pick), Adrian Peterson- MIN (You won’t get him unless you have second pick), Maurice Jones Drew- JAX, Stephen Jackson- STL, Frank Gore- SF, Ryan Grant- GB, Cedric Benson- CIN, Matt Forte- CHI, Jerome Harrison- CLE, and Clinton Portis- WAS.”
I have to say this was spectacular advice. I think it might be logical in any league, regardless of size, to go after RBs with jobs by themselves. I’m sure someone will think that’s wrong and correct me. I’m here to learn, people.
“Wide Receiver- This is where you’re going to win this league. There’s a ton of receivers out there. The best ones, Andre Johnson- HOU, Reggie Wayne- IND, Randy Moss-NE, will all go early. But you can find receivers anywhere. Obviously, the #1 receiver on any team is a good bet, but in a league like this it’s good to look for the #2 (even the #3) receiver on a big time passing team. So any Packer receiver, Or a Texan (I love Jacoby Jones), Saint, Colt. Many times a #2 or # 3 receiver on a team like that (think Pierre Garcon) is better than the #1 option on other teams (think whoever is a receiver for the Browns).”
All I got out of this was that I am going to win this league.
“TIGHT END- Tight ends are deep this year. While other people are spending early picks on Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates, you can wait and get a Chris Cooley or a Zack Miller while stocking up on better receivers & running backs.”
You can’t start a paragraph with tight ends are deep this year and expect me to garner any semblance of comprehension. That’s just unfair, James.
Assuming you get a pick in the middle of the first round, I would suggest drafting like this.
Round 1- Quarterback
Round 2- If any of these WR’s are available, take them: Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Roddy White. If they’re all gone, best running back available
Round 3- If you took a WR, best running back available. If you took a RB, best WR available
Round 4- Best WR/RB available
Round 5- Whatever you didn’t take in round 4, take the other.
Armed with this knowledge, I was ready to draft. But so were the other girls. The draft was intense and quick, going from start to finish in just about an hour. Everyone had their targets locked and loaded. These were girls with a plan, ready to win. The vibe felt much like that of being the only girl in all-guy draft… if all the guys were former head coaches and scouts. Quite frankly, the only mistake I saw happen in the draft were an onslaught of 6th round kicker selections. Obviously, they all should have held on and drafted my main man Neil Rackers (more on that later.)
That is not to say that it was all a battlefield in the war room. No matter how knowledgeable any group of females are, topics such as “Who’s dated a Steve Smith?” and “Is anyone really going to draft that rapist?” are bound to come up. Stay tuned for the next post where I will dish on who everyone selected, what I think about that and ask for your opinions on who’s going to take the title.
So I was just sitting here, polishing up a post about what a draft war room with 14 ladies is like. And I guess what I mean by polishing up a post is that I was thinking about going to the vending machine to get some Oreos. While I debated whether or not the vending machine would actually deliver me my favorite cookie snack (there’s a for real war going on between me and that machine, y’all), I decided that it was actually more important to give this site a banner.
Now to expound on why I have been named the Girls Guide Pro webmaster: In addition to knowing the least about football of the clan, I also am the worst designer we have. No joke, I actually managed to turn the layout upside down, text and all. I couldn’t tell you how if I tried, but that went down. When the thought of needing a banner arose in my head, instead of asking our resident graphic designer, I clearly decided to put my artistic skills to the test.
First I went and got the goddamned Oreos, because hey, I’m worth it. Once I felt the sugar rush come on, I wandered down the hall and had a chat with my co-workers. After I ran my mouth for a while, I was ready for the 2nd most important phase of creation – the hunt for inspiration. I scoured through tons of artsy pages and great sports sites with spectacular banners, when finally I found it.
After stumbling upon Brent’s page, I was hit with a wave of creativity and came up with this gem:
Your move, Celek.
Draft post coming at you when I am good and ready.
Welcome to the inaugural post of Girls Guide Pro. We hope you follow along with us all season while our very special group of female sports experts battle each other in the ultimate competition – fantasy football.
The countdown to the GGP draft is officially on. The smack talk, of course, started weeks ago, spearheaded largely by Anita. Luckily, no one but me is terribly sensitive to it. Maybe this season will teach me not to take personal offense to someone calling Adrian Peterson a bitch. I doubt it though. I’m nothing if not unreasonable. Just ask Melissa who had to stop me from putting my fist through a wall last year when the Vikings lost their Super Bowl hopes on that Saints interception.
Maybe I should stop dropping random names and introduce you to the crew. Are you ready for some ladies who love football?!
Let’s start with the Big Boss cuz, shoot, I know where my bread is buttered. Our Commish is none other than the lovely Jordan Zucker. Jord runs a fantastic website called Girls Guide to Fantasy Football, though she may be better known as annoying intern Lisa from the hit TV show Scrubs. Jordan loves football and cooking, so gentlemen, take a number and get in line. She’s the ish. Jordan will be coming at you all season with her series on cooking special dishes based on top NFL match-ups.
Next up on the list is our resident Olympic gold medalist and Celebrity Apprentice, Summer Sanders. Summer has won more Olympic medals than I’ve won games of Scrabble (which is saying something as I’m a damn ninja when it comes to cheating at Scrabble) and is additionally a tv show host. Just looking at her resume is making me tired. She’s a killer athlete, personality and humanitarian. Basically anything you can do, Summer can do better.
Then there’s the league sweetheart, Miss Melissa Hope. Melissa is another one with a dizzying array of life accomplishments. Melis is your quintessential Manhattan gal, though she’s a lot nicer than Gossip Girl would have you believe she’s capable of being. She’s known for her ability to bring people from all walks of life together and knowing when it will work. She comes from a wonderful dichotomy of a sports and casting background. She lives and dies for Big Blue, though I’ve seen her get really rowdy for the New York Green Machine. Girl loves the game and her NY teams.
Never one to be left out, we are joined by the beautiful and multi-talented Tina Cervasio. After years of working as a sideline reporter covering the Boston Red Sox, Tina made the move back to NYC where you can catch her working on the sidelines for the New York Knicks and the New York Red Bulls.
And we have the fabulous Anita Marks. Anita is maybe the most terrifying foe in this league. When it comes to football, chick doesn’t mess around. If football was a religion, Anita would be the Popess. (That word barely makes sense written. I’m gonna use it a lot.) Anita played professional women’s football for 5 years and is currently a radio personality on New York’s WFAN. Despite her slender stature, she would probably whoop Ray Lewis in a fight and would DEFINITELY own me. I’m a lover, not a fighter. That’s actually untrue, but this is my blog post and I will give myself a good reputation if I want to.
Susan Shan, our resident Asian sensation, is an independent sports analyst and writer. Susan’s favorite one-on-one interview came at the ripe young age of 16 where she chatted with Donovan Mcnabb after winning a national sports writing competition. You can check out all of Susan’s work on her blog. I dare you to find a sport or a player that Susan can’t talk you in circles about!
Amanda Rykoff is our resident OCD chick. She may actually be the only acceptable Yankee fan I’ve ever known. Amanda runs a spectacular blog and I’d call her a social media whore if that term wasn’t so socially unacceptable. Let’s call her a social media lady of the night. Amanda is an ex-lawyer and former co-host of the ESPN podcast Play Ball. When she isn’t using Foursquare to check in at the synagogue, she’s putting her extremely talented photography skills to work.
Lauren Deford Spencer is the former Executive Producer of WNBC Sports and Producer of NBC’s Olympics. This Emmy nominee is one of the most talented writers and sweetest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. (Compliments don’t fall lightly from my mouth, so this one is legit!) Lauren is still lamenting over the ending of Lost, but will soon be comforted by a brand new baby on the way!
Melissa Jacobs launched The Football Girl in September ’09 to provide a source for women and others to get off the sidelines and get engaged in the x’s and o’s of the greatest game there is. Melissa brings a rich career in the sports industry, starting out as the youngest executive producer ever at KNBR Radio in San Francisco and continuing on to ESPN, where she helped start the Talent Production Department and served as a talent producer for SportsCenter, NFL Lines, Outside the Lines and more. She also helped produce Jim Rome is Burning and served a managerial role at the ESPY Awards. While at ESPN, Melissa won two Sports Emmys for her work.
And let’s not forget the always delightful and unfortunately (for her) roommate of mine, Gina Corrao. Gina breathes Eagles football, much to the chagrin of her Giants fan boyfriend. Miss Corrao is a graphic designer extraordinaire, so when you see a smoking hot Hooters chick, tip your cap to her. They don’t actually look that good. Gina, along with Anita and myself, represent the Browns in a ZogSports two-hand touch league. Gina and Anita go for the sport and the competition. I go for the beer. I’m an embarrassment to my very competitive team.
Melissa Ferdinand is a part-time ninja and a full-time portrayer of Snow Off-White at the Disneyland ripoff, Cartoonville. She enjoys spear fishing, baking exotic pies and grudge paintball matches. When she isn’t playing fantasy football, she can be found deep in Alaska crossing building an igloo off her bucket list. (Disclaimer: All of this may or may not be true. I have never met Melissa and she did not send me bio information. Everyone was warned I would make things up. I feel this could be close to the truth, though.)
Laree Brantley is another Big Blue die-hard and a fantasy sport expert. I truly believe if she could find fantasy ping pong, she would play and get all sorts of worked up about it. Laree works in music licensing, but her real passion is sports. This Virginia native admittedly sobbed like the woman she is when the Giants took their last Super Bowl. When I locate the photo evidence, I will share it with y’all.
Ann Marie Sclafani is our fashionista, being an extraordinary jewelry designer and occasional guest on The Shopping Channel. Though by day she is an incredible design and merchandise talent, by night she is the Bill Belichick of Girls Guide Pro. She is sly and sneaky and always looking to scam a good trade out of the rest of the girls. She’s known for her ability to get away with it, too!
Lastly, here I am, Katie Des Londe, the likely author of this blog as I absolutely know the least about football of the whole gang. When my employer, the New York Mets, isn’t making me totally insane, the true love of my life, the Minnesota Twins, is. I additionally am the co-host of the talk sports radio show “What’s Brewin'”. I can usually be found playing amateur sabrematrician and incessantly and obsessively refreshing boxscores. While my heart belongs to the Minnesota Vikings, I’m going to take the advice of my fantasy football coach and occasional arch-nemesis James and not draft ALL Vikings. Just mostly Vikings.
So there you have it, your not-at-all comprehensive detailing of your Girls Guide Pro. Stick with us, kids and maybe you’ll learn something. Or maybe you’ll laugh as we fumble along. There’s only one way to find out.