Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Playoff League Lineup

Hey everyone.

I decided to go ahead and use a variation of my Strategy #2 for this year's Playoffs Fantasy Football season on

I have chosen to isolate the two teams that I feel have the best shot at winning the NFC. Meaning that I will not be playing any Packers or Saints. So it should be pretty easy picking for the first two weeks. The tough calls will definitely come in the round before the Super Bowl when I need to pick the winner... or go home crying.

My lineup for Week 1:

QB: Matthew Stafford
It was between Stafford and Matt Ryan for me. Both quarterbacks are playing defenses that can give up big points through the air. And both are playing on the road. I went with the team that I think would have the highest score, and since Stafford did some great things in the regular season, he is my man. And I don't feel like I have to save him for later, because I think the Saints take this one.

RB1: Arian Foster
If you have looked at my playoff rankings, you will see that I have Cincinnati winning in Houston this weekend. I don't think it is too far fetched seeing how the Texans have fared in the past few weeks. With all of the injuries, the only real threat for the Texans is Foster, which is why I have him plugged in today. Just hoping that my upset prediction pays off. This one does feel a bit risky.

RB2: Michael Turner
I like the Giants at home, so I wanted to get him on my fantasy playing field before all Atlanta Falcons become null. Giant's front has been pretty good this year, but not spectacular. And really I just like Turner here over the others that I have to choose from: Kevin Smith, Cedric Benson, Willis McGahee, Isaac Redman, Ahmad Bradshaw, and backups.

WR1: Calvin Johnson
I am putting a lot of my eggs in the Saints beating the Lions basket... but go big or go home. Johnson has been a beast all year. I don't expect that to change any, especially with the first Lions playoff game, seemingly since the inception of the NFL.

WR2: Victor Cruz
My first player that I've decided to go with who is on a team that I predicted to win. I feel that he is safe to use, because even if the Giants find a way to make it further in the playoffs, I still have Hakeem Nicks that I can rely on.

TE: Tony Gonzalez
All of the high tight ends either have byes or are on the team that I decided to save til the end. Gonzo has to be the highest ranked tight end this weekend that isn't in a Saints jersey. Although I did toy with the idea of going Gresham, he's just too up-and-down for me.

K: Neil Rackers
As long as you don't end up playing both kickers that make it to the Super Bowl, you really can't miss here. I'm choosing to save the six kickers that I think have the best shot of making it to the big show. Next week... David Akers.

Defense: Pittsburgh Steelers
Defense is tough. Hard to expect any defense to really put up a lot of points. Almost all twelve teams in the playoffs are putting up insane numbers on offense no matter who they play. So I'll be going with the Steelers here. Denver is awful. Tebow has been a turnover machine lately. It doesn't get much easier than this.
My Defense strategy (Which is really one that you can use at the QB, TE and K positions as well) is simple. I'm only going to be playing AFC defense. That way I can ensure that I will be able to play a defense when the Super Bowl rolls around. I'll likely be doing the same with my kicker after this week where I will only play those in the NFC. Saving an AFC kicker for the Super Bowl.

So there you go. Hope everyone has a roster filled out. Enjoy Wildcard Weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Playoff/Postseason Fantasy Football Strategy #2: Isolate a Conference

In my last article I outlined a strategy for postseason fantasy football leagues like the one that you can find on It showed you the strategy of working from the Super Bowl to the Wildcard games to set your lineups and end up in the top of the league.

To check out a less condensed description of how to play postseason fantasy football, check out this article.

The key to coming out on top of one of these playoff leagues is absolutely planning ahead. My advice before employing any of these strategies is to fill out a playoff bracket and predict how you think the season will turn out. You can check out my predictions that I have based my picks on, and a list of all NFL players worth playing by following the links.

In this article, we are going to check out a different strategy that is a great one considering the layout of this year's NFL playoffs.

The basis of this strategy is simple. It is something that I thought about employing last year, but really couldn't because of the layout of the playoffs. This season though is the perfect time to unveil this strategy.

Basically, for this tactic, you are going to isolate one of the conferences, AFC or NFC. From that conference, you pick the three teams (or two, if you are so bold) that you think are the ones that have the highest shot at making it to the Super Bowl. And you simply do not play any player from that team for the first three rounds.

By picking three teams from one conference, you are giving yourself a 50 percent chance of getting that conference's Super Bowl team picked. And when one of the teams that you picked makes the final game, you know that you will have all of their players to choose from, making your Super Bowl team stronger than the majority of other fantasy players.

Analyzing the AFC teams that made the playoffs, we see that there are definitely three teams that stand out as the only real candidates to make it to the Super Bowl: New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The rest of the conference candidates (Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals) are definitely dark horses, meaning that your chances are actually much greater than 50/50.

So, let's say that you employ this strategy, and for the first three weeks of the playoff fantasy season you choose to sit all Patriots, Steelers and Ravens. You are now free to start any player from any other team in the AFC and all of the NFC at will. With such great fantasy talent in the NFC, you are sure to have a strong weeks no matter what your lineup.

And once you get to the Super Bowl, you can play whatever players remain in the NFC combined with the entire team from the AFC that you 'rested.'

That means that from New England, you will have Super Bowl access to Tom Brady, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez (actually if you choose to sit all Patriot players, you can feel free to use one of their stellar tight ends whenever you like), Stephen Gostkowski, and the Patriot's turnover-inducing defense.

If you sit the Steelers, for the Super Bowl you can call out Ben Rothlisberger, Isaac Redman, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Heath Miller, or the Pittsburgh kicker or defense. All of whom are excellent plays.

And for the Ravens, you automatically get the fantasy play of Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Ed Dickson, Billy Cundiff and the always-intimidating Baltimore defense.

Don't feel like quarantining yourself from the fantasy prowess of three top AFC teams? Try it with just two of them. Or use the same strategy with NFC teams, by choosing to sit the two big time favorite teams: Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints.

There are multiple ways to pull out this strategy. If you've got a different favorite team to make it to the big show, then by all means, throw them in there too.

Disadvantages are pretty minimal. The main one being that you have two or three untouchable teams for the first three weeks of the playoffs. And the teams that you choose not to play that don't make the Super Bowl are thrown out, unused. And there is the slight chance that one of the teams you save will not even make the Super Bowl. Which would, well, kinda suck. Better luck next year.

Advantages are straightforward. Most other postseason fantasy players are going to go at the game all willy-nilly. By the time they get to the playoffs, they will have likely already used a number of great players at all positions from both teams. This strategy 'guarantees' that you will have all of the players, at all of the positions, from one of the two teams in the final week.

In short, by isolating a conference, you can have a team in the first three weeks made up of players from three of the twelve playoff teams. And in the final week, you will likely have a team far stronger than most others playing the game. Sounds like a good call to me.

Postseason Fantasy Football Strategy #1: Back to Front

For those of you playing in a playoff league for the first time, let me break it down for you to begin. Each week, you pick 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DEF, just like regular fantasy football. The catch is that you do not keep these players. Once a player has been selected for your team, they are no longer available for selection for the next round(s) of the playoff season.
Taking last year for instance, if you had Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback for the first week of postseason fantasy football, and in the second week you had Ben Roethlisberger as your starting quarterback, then when the Super Bowl week rolled around, you could only play one of their backups, greatly depriving you of fantasy points in your final week.
I have written out a list of all available players from all playoff teams (the ones that are really worth starting anyways) for your convenience. You can find them by clicking here. This list will be updated each week, deleting the players from teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs.
So, the key to winning in these leagues and getting a high point total through the entire fantasy postseason is planning ahead. Before the first set of games even start, you need to have the entire postseason planned out. I present to you what I consider to be the smartest, safest strategy to use for this game: Back to Front.

Like all other playoff fantasy strategies, the first step is to completely lay out your playoff bracket. You can see mine here. Pick who you think will win each set of games in the wild card rounds, then go on to the semi-finals, the conference championships and finally the Super Bowl. I like to make two different scenario brackets. One that is the most likely to occur (with all of the favorites winning) and one that is just your predictions. Once you have these laid out the way you like them, you can begin picking your players.
Rather than picking players for Week 1 first, I like to start at the end, which is what makes this system a bit unique. When you start from the beginning, you can make mistakes like leaving out key players or running out of players once you get to the Super Bowl. By starting at the end, you can ‘ensure’ that you are going to have enough quality players for each set of games… so you don’t get stuck starting Brees’s backup once the big game rolls around.
So, beginning with the Super Bowl, fill out your roster, using your prediction bracket. Using my predictions as an example, I can players from the Saints and Ravens. Once I have my lineup set there, I can move on to the Conference Championship matchups.
In this round, I already know which players that I do not want to play, because they have already been laid out for me in the Super Bowl round. If I select Brees, Rice, Ivory, Colston, T. Smith, Graham, Cundiff and NO Defense, that means that I have the remaining players from the rosters of the Saints and Ravens, in addition to the players from the Packers and Patriots (the two other teams I think will make it to this round based on my prediction bracket).
And from there it is simple. Once this roster is filled out, move on to the next, and once that is finished, you can go ahead and fill out your first week roster.
The drawbacks to this strategy are pretty slight. The main one is that if you do not predict either of the Super Bowl teams correctly, you could very well be completely screwed once the Super Bowl rolls around. This is why I suggested making a second bracket with the favorites winning. Go ahead and compare that to the lineups that you have made, again starting at the Super Bowl. Since your Favorite Bracket would have Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady as the two quarterbacks playing in the Super Bowl, go through your entire postseason schedule and make sure that one of them isn’t being started at any time for you. You can repeat this step with all other major positions, especially TE, K, and DEF, since you can only start one of them per week and (with the exception of New England tight ends) there is really only one solid starter at each of them.
Like any other strategy for postseason fantasy, there are going to be drawbacks. Because the deciding factor of this style of game is predicting the outcome of the games in addition to which players will have big games, there is the chance that when the final rounds roll around, you could have some pretty mediocre options. But that is really just the nature of the beast.
Advantages of this strategy are that the chances of ending up in the Super Bowl without key players is minimized. Also, because you were working from back to front, you got to skip out on a lot of the headache of the later rounds. With the Back to Front strategy, you are minimizing risk while taking positive steps at having maximum roster strength in every week of the playoffs.
More fantasy strategies will come, so stick around!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Playoff Fantasy Football

Just set up my Playoff Fantasy Team on Hope you all join me. Team name is MegaStarks vs. Giant Hawktopus. Yeah, I'm proud of it.

Anyways, in the next few days I'll be getting into the rankings and a few strategies for tackling postseason fantasy sports.

You can see my playoff predictions and my list of all available playoff players in the top pages section under the title.

If you have anything you want me to write about in particular in the next week to get set up, go ahead and put it in the comments.

Also, I got a few questions on Twitter about what they should do for a keeper league. If you have any keeper questions for me, go ahead and ask away.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Already Prepping for 2012 Fantasy Season

Happy new year everyone.

I'm currently working on a bit of stuff for anyone playing post-season fantasy football. We'll be getting into strategies and rankings later this week. I'm signed up on to play their version. Hope lots of you are as well.

Right now though, I just want to talk about some housekeeping.

We've had a good year. I got a great response from readers on the site and on twitter about their championship victories. Congrats to you all. Now it's your turn to help me out.

I want to hear from you what you want out of this site for next season.

Tell me what features you want to see.
What articles you want me to write.
What I can do to make this site the best on the internet.
What you'd like to see in the offseason.

If you have any ideas about what changes can be made. Let me hear about them.

And if you're not doing post-season stuff. Remember to keep GHL bookmarked for next year and add us on Twitter @godhateslosers.

Thanks everyone for a great season.