Well, we are halfway through the NFL season, and that means we are probably more than halfway through most fantasy seasons.
Most fantasy leagues follow this formula: 14 regular-season games, playoffs on the 15th week of the NFL season and the Super Bowl on the 16th week of the NFL season. While there are no fantasy games on the 17th week, most of the time points is still count for the overall point standings.
However, there is a wide variety of possible schedules. Some leagues do not have their Super Bowl until the 17th week. I personally do not like this as many divisional races in the NFL are already taking care of by the 17th week. What does that mean? That means that many teams are setting down their main players in the 17th week to rest of them for the playoffs. This often results in your great team winding up without any players going in the 17th week because they are all setting, and that more often than not results in a Super Bowl loss for your dominant fantasy team. Some leagues don't even score points in the 17th week.
Regardless of how your league is run, we are roughly halfway through and you probably have a pretty good idea of where you are right now.
I have three overall fantasy themes, two of those drafts I went over thoroughly in earlier articles. Let's take a look at where I stand with both of those teams first.
This was the team I was not all that happy with after the draft. The way things went I had to take a number of risks and knew that my team was really questionable this season. Well, halfway through and I'm fourth place in points (top three receive a reward in this league) and I am second place in my division in record, with the top two teams from each division advancing to the playoffs. We have a midseason trading time, after the last game of the seventh week up until the first game of the ninth week teams are able to make deals. I was able to swing a deal for McAllister, only having to give up Quincy Morgan this season. However, next season I had to give up my fifth round pick in exchange for a 20th round. It's going to hurt that season, but McAllister now gives me a second solid starting running back next to Portis in my fantasy backfield. Drew Brees has really been paying off as my risky quarterback pick, and my receivers, while not outstanding, have been solid enough to keep me in most games. Overall, I am extremely happy with this team's performance so far given what I was thinking immediately following the draft.
This is the team that I thought would just dominate this season. I was ecstatic with the team we wound up with. Midway through the season and I am still just as happy. We have been first-place overall in points throughout the entire season so far, and we've won the weekly points total three times out of the first nine weeks. We are first-place in our division with record and have about a 50 point lead over second-place in the point standings in the league overall. This league has no trading whatsoever, but does have a midseason draft where we get to pick up three additional players. We were able to acquire the tight end Owen Daniel's out of Houston, Mike Furrey the wide receiver out of Detroit and then Doug Rayner, the kicker from Green Bay. We didn't really have any glaring needs, so we basically just drafted players "in case" any of our starters were injured. Nothing can kill you quicker than not having a kicker... hey, that's a pretty catchy motto! With any luck, our team will keep on performing and we can wind up sweeping some of the big prizes.
The third team I have is a keeper league team. We protect five players every season and carry them into the next season. This is what some people referred to as a dynasty league as the set up by its nature creates fantasy teams that are dynasties. You get to protect five great players each season or, as was my case the past couple of years, you have to protect five OK players or five potential great players to try and rebuild your team. My young team has been performing surprisingly well with Philip Rivers at quarterback, Kevin Jones and Rudy Johnson at running back and then a solid core of veteran receivers such as Holt, Randy Moss and Roy Williams and some younger guys like Andre Johnson who have been coming on strong. There are only eight teams in this league and I am fourth place in points, but that is a good 70 .out of second-place, and only the top two receive any kind of reward. I am however 6-3 and leading my division. Again, the top two teams from each division make the playoffs, so if I can make the right matchup. I might be able to focus on winning something on my way to the Super Bowl.
As far as the NFL goes, I'm going to gloss over the Steelers situation real quick as the season is just too painful to really go into. We are setting at 2-6 and are all but out of the playoff race, even sweeping our last eight games doesn't guarantee anything. But, I will continue watching the games, everyone of them regardless of the outcome.
Other than that, I have to say the biggest surprise of the NFL season is how well the New Orleans Saints are doing. Everybody is talking about the Chicago Bears, but they were solid last season. The Saints are playing with so much emotion that it seems like no matter who they play, whether they are outmatched or not, they are able to hang in there and have a chance to win the game.
Indianapolis is unbeaten... again. I still don't see much different in them to say they are going to be any better of a team in the playoffs, but we all know I am not a big fan of Manning (big brother version).
Tennessee is terrible as expected, Arizona is worse than expected and so is Houston. Miami is downright terrible and most of my preseason predictions as far as players go have been pretty accurate. I will do a recap of all those predictions at the end of the season.
So, now we get to enjoy the last half of the season and, for the first time in NFL history, see how well a flex schedule works. It starts this Sunday night with Chicago versus New York Giants. Looks good to me so far