Fantasy Sports Live Journal Week 1

NFL Week One - Fantasy Sports LiveThe first week of the NFL season is here, and I couldnt possibly be more excited.

Not only am I in six fantasy football leagues (yes, I am a geek), but Im also going to be hitting Fantasy Sports Live hard and heavy.

I dabbled last year and was less than successful, but this year is going to be different. 2008 is going to be the best fantasy football season – ever.

Blogger Fantasy Football Battle

One of the contests Im most excited about will be running each Sunday on Fantasy Sports Live. Dubbed the Blogger Fantasy Football Battle, anyone with a sports or gaming blog is eligible to compete. Luckily, I resemble that remark.

Besides winning weekly cash, you can also get money for having the highest fantasy score of the season or winning the overall title. Towards the end of the season, all the players who had high scores in previous weeks will get a seat in the Tournament of Champions contest. For this event, a minimum of $150 will be added to the prize pool. Sweet!

Current Bankroll

I started out by depositing $500 into my Fantasy Sports Live account. Its all entirely legal, so theres no hassle when it comes to using a credit card or PayPal.

Since I entered three contests this week, my bankroll after paying the entry fees is now $445. Hopefully, Ill be above my starting amount when Monday rolls around.

Fantasy Sports Live Football Contests – Contest #1

Blogger Battle – Week 1 (24120)
$11 entry fee with a 950 point cap. 10 players compete.
First place pays $50. Second place pays $30. Third place pays $20.

Cap = 950
Spent = 934
Remaining = 16

Quarterback – While I was tempted to get Brady, Drew Brees was a whole 55 points cheaper. He had the highest quarterback rating of all players in the preseason, and hes loaded with pass-catching weapons like Marques Colston, Reggie Bush, Robert Meachem and Jeremy Shockey. He should put up numbers just as good as Brady for a cheaper price. Thats important when youre dealing with a cap.

Running Backs – Once again working with a cap, I decided to go with Frank Gore and Thomas Jones. Gore had strong games last season against the Cardinals, and new offensive coordinator Mike Martz should be able to inject a little life in the 49ers listless offense.

Thomas Jones, on the other hand, faces the NFLs worst rushing defense from 2007 in the Miami Dolphins. This season, they wont have the services of linebacker Zach Thomas or defensive end Jason Taylor, so they should be even worse than last season. With the defense keying on Brett Favre and his new receivers, Jones should have plenty of room to run.

Wide Receivers – When it comes to making big plays and catching touchdowns, Terrell Owens is about as good as they come. This weeks game against the Browns could become a shootout, and Owens would certainly benefit from that. Regardless of what happens, hes a player who should always be started when healthy.

Santonio Holmes had the highest yards-per-catch average in the league last year, and hes now entering the magical third year of his career. This is when most top-level receivers really step up their game. It doesnt hurt that the Texans top corner, Dunta Robinson, will be standing on the sidelines with an injury.

With a cost of only 66 points, I couldnt pass up Calvin Megatron Johnson. His quarterback, Jon Kitna, has looked great in the preseason, and I fully expect Johnson to pass Roy Williams as the Lions top receiver. He should have a nice touchdown total to end the year, and it all starts this week against the rebuilding Falcons.

Tight End – While there were certainly tight ends I wanted more, the salary cap demanded that I go with value on this pick. I got L.J. Smith, a very reliable weapon for the Philadelphia Eagles. Their top receiver, Kevin Curtis, is out with an injury, and McNabb has always liked to throw balls to his tight ends. While Im not expecting huge numbers, he should more than exceed his 28-point price tag.

Kicker – The Colts take on the Bears on Sunday night, and I expect Vinatieri to get plenty of opportunities. He rarely misses, which is nice considering that points are deducted for such things. The Bears defense should stop the Colts on at least a couple of drives, so Im expecting multiple field goals and extra points.

Defense – In 2007, the Chiefs scored the second-fewest points in the league and gave up a league-high 55 sacks. This week, theyll be taking on the Patriots with the inexperienced Brodie Croyle at quarterback. I couldnt pass up the Pats on this one.

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Fantasy Sports Live Contest #2

Heads-Up – Week 1 (23965)
$22 entry fee with no cap. Two players square off with one another.
Winner receives $40. The loser gets nothing.

Quarterback – Since this contest didnt have a cap, I figured I would take Tom Brady based on last years performance. Hes still got Moss and Welker to throw to, and the Pats seemed delighted to run up the score on everybody last year. Belichick seems like a petty little man, so I expect that practice to continue.

Running Backs – While Gore faces the hapless Cardinals defense, Brian Westbrook should see plenty of attention against the Rams. They ranked 20th against the run last year and also gave up 16 rushing touchdowns. Westbrook is the teams most consistent weapon, and the lack of injured receiver Kevin Curtis will ensure that even more passes are thrown his way. As long as he can avoid getting dinged up, Westbrook is money n the bank.

Wide Receivers – Moss, Owens and Colston. Man, I love the contests without a salary cap! All of these guys are touchdown machines, and I see no reason why each of them shouldnt have one or more this Sunday. Of course, my opponent might also select these guys, as everyone has access to the same talent pool.

Tight End – Jason Witten had a huge season in 2007, and he and Tony Romo shouldnt miss a beat in 08. Many of the other elite tight ends have question marks surrounding them, so Witten seemed like the smart play at the position.

Kicker – I again went with Vinatieri, as I feel like the Bears defense will be good enough to keep the Colts from scoring on a few drives. That should translate into chip-shot field goals for one of the most reliable kickers to ever play the game.

Defense – Last season, the Bears allowed almost 3 sacks per game and had 34 turnovers. Kyle Orton is now the starting quarterback, and hell be facing the healthy Colts defense and the crowd at the all-new $720m Lucas Oil Stadium. Its gonna be a long night for the Bears.

Fantasy Sports Live Contest #3

Heads-Up Week 1 – (23948)
$22 entry fee with an 800 point cap. Only two players compete.
First place receives $40, while second place gets nothing.

Cap = 800
Spent = 784
Remaining = 16

Quarterback – Since I have faith in Brees, I also took him in this contest. Im gonna live or die by Brees.

Running Backs – I grabbed Thomas Jones again, as his price tag was under 100 points. The 800-point salary cap was even more unforgiving, so I really had to stretch out my budget.

Michael Turner is facing the Lions, a team which gave up 19 rushing touchdowns last season and an average of 119 yards on the ground. If Turner is going to live up to his hype (and his fat contract), this is a perfect time to start. Also, he only cost 30 points (while his backup, Jerious Norwood, cost 63 points). If you really dig, you can sometimes find values and oversights like this at Fantasy Sports Live.

Wide Receivers – This time around, I went with Colston, Holmes and Calvin Johnson. They were all reasonably priced compared to big guns like Moss and Owens, and I feel they have a chance to do just as well.

Tight End – Working with the cap, I again needed a tight end who offered value at a low price. Once again, I went with L.J. Smith.

Defense – I was happy to get the Patriots again, as I much prefer them to the more expensive Chargers D. Their game against the Chiefs should be an absolute demolition. I almost feel sorry for Brodie Croyle.

Now that my teams are picked, all I can do is sit back, cross my fingers, and spend Sunday watching football until my vision starts to get blurry. Check back next week for another journal entry, where Ill be discussing how these picks worked out, as well as making all-new picks for Week Two of the 2008 NFL season.

Hope to see you then!

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