Saturday, August 16, 2014

Who is ready for some fantasy football?

Greeting Charlotte Observer readers and presumably many a Carolina Panther fan out there. I am excited to first share a little fantasy football background on myself and tee up some articles that will help you prepare and succeed in your fantasy football drafts and the 2014 fantasy football season. 

I was raised in Michigan, and I now live in Charlotte after previously residing in Knoxville, Houston, a few different places in NJ and Seattle. As a now six-year resident of Charlotte, I have adopted the Panthers as my new favorite team. I moved here during what ended up being the height of the John Fox era, a 12-4 season in 2008 with Jake Delhomme under center and DeAngelo Williams surprisingly leading the NFL in rushing TDs with 18 scores that season. John Fox then plummeted to 2-14 and to a large extent squabbled horribly with Panthers’ ownership and general management. Now, we’ve had three seasons of the Ron Rivera era (I mean the Cam Newton era!) and I, like you, am looking forward to the 2014 season. 

I started playing fantasy football back in 1990 after picking up a Miller Lite “handbook for fantasy football” and drafting spontaneously with some of my relatives during the backyard wedding reception of my grandmother who re-married later in her life. This was well before the Internet of course and I fondly remember calculating stats by hand when the Monday newspaper came out, photocopying and mailing newsletters, and sometime down the road getting a second phone line so people could leave lineups and transaction requests. I will be heading back to Michigan soon for what will be the 25th year of our league. I am co-owner and senior writer for Fantasy Football Warehouse and you can also see some of my contributions in the Fantasy Index magazine that can be found at most grocery stores. 

Over the next two weeks I will be sharing a recap of the Panthers from a fantasy football perspective - part of our team "Deep Dive" series. Rankings will be released soon here on the Observer site, plus some other articles and insights are in store. 

Thanks for stopping by, and  for 2014, I would say: 

  • 1) Don't follow the herd - be aggressive and be the guy that lands Saints' WR Brandin Cooks for example; 
  • 2) Rather than taking Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers very early at quarterback, get Andrew Luck a few rounds later or gamble with Jay Cutler, Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaepernick later in the draft; 
  • 3) Don't be afraid to draft rookies on the cheap - they are coming out of college more prepared than ever as more college teams are running pro-style systems and there is a tremendous rookie class entering the NFL - in fact, more wide receivers were drafted in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft this year (12) than any other draft in NFL history. 
Welcome to the blog and stay tuned for more fantasy football good times.