McGee Survivor League Kicks off Season Two

by Eddie Mayrose

When last we left the McGee Survivor Fantasy Football League, in-laws Dr. Pete and Jenny Tyler-Moore had laid waste to three different families on their way to the title game, a contest won by the good doctor.  Both were true survivors, having each hung on through some difficult weeks to avoid elimination.  They’re back this year, with the rest of the clan, but, this time, with targets on their backs.

It’s a unique league, in that there are no head-to-head schedules.  Rather, all 14 eams compete weekly against each other with the lowest scoring squad eliminated from competition. Bye weeks become critical, something the good Professor Wagstaff learned the hard way last year when he was summarily bounced in Week 11.

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Buck the Trend, Grab ‘em Early

By Eddie Mayrose

If you’re a Wagstaff follower, you’ve heard this refrain before.  “Grab the best Fantasy Receivers as early as possible.”  It’s a theory put into practice every year by the Professor as he constructs his Fantasy Football Roster; one that has annually provided a tremendous edge over Fantasy Owners locked into the standard system of front-loading running backs.  Here’s why.

It’s a widely accepted (yet flawed) idea that the elite ball carriers produce more than the best wideouts.  While I’ll agree that running backs are guaranteed significantly more touches, it doesn’t guarantee better production.  Texans’ star Andre Johnson was a Wagstaff first rounder in every draft.  Compare his 1,500 YDS and 9 TD to Stephen Jackson’s 1,300 YDS and 4 TD.  Now, it’d be crazy to pass on Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson or Maurice Jones-Drew with any of the first three picks but, after that, guys like Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Randy Moss are way more likely to deliver their career averages than what’s left in the backfield.  Not to mention that running backs are infinitely more likely to get hurt.

So, take advantage of those in your Fantasy Football League that are mired in the conventional wisdom.  Stockpile two of the elite receivers before anyone realizes how that the position has thinned out and then scoop up mid-round running backs who’ll still help your team. Continue reading »

McGee Survivor Fantasy Football League Loses Another Holmdel Franchise

After a one week reprieve, the Holmdel division of the McGee Survivor League suffered another casualty as affable,Horsefeathers4 young Edward saw his LeGarrete Blounts go down in flames. If you’re scoring at home, that’s the fourth of six from Old Mill Lane to bite the dust. Things look dicey on Long Island, this week, however, as Dr. Pete’s Samurai Shortbus must replace a number of starters on their bye week. Wagstaff rode the coattails of Thomas Jones to his best week of the season and might actually make it past the year’s halfway point. We’ll see.

Fantasy Football News and Notes

Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson says his ankle is fine and he’ll start Sunday vs. Pittsburgh… LaDainian Tomlinson, plagued by injuries all year, missed time this week because of the flu… Anquan Boldin’s ankle kept him out of practice this week but he’s expected to be in Arizona’s starting lineup… Bills’ RB Marshawn Lynch, who missed the season’s first two games due to suspension, may have his first big game against Carolina, whose run defense is terrible… Colts’ WR Anthony Gonzalez, out since the opener with a knee injury, is close to returning to practice… While Greg Jennings’ hip injury kept him out of practice on Thursday, he will play on Sunday according to Packer coach Mike McCarthy… The Broncos refuse to mess with success and will continue to have Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno split carries; disappointing Fantasy owners of both players… Eagles’ WR Kevin Curtis will not play Monday vs. Washington… Jets’ WR Braylon Edwards has been bothered by a sore quad all week but is expected to play… Clinton Portis is dealing with multiple leg problems including knee, calf, ankle and plantar fascitis but will play Monday.

Fantasy Football Star

- Things line up extremely well for Laurence Maroney this week as the Patriots fly to London to face the Bucs. An injured Sammy Morris did not make the trip, leaving Maroney as the Pats’ go-to back, Tampa Bay’s run defense is one of the league’s weakest and he’s coming off a 123 yard effort last week.

Fantasy Football Stiff

- If you were waiting for Pittsburgh RB Willie Parker to return to your lineup, you won’t be happy to read this. Head Coach Mike Tomlin announced this week that Rashard Mandenhall, successful during Parker’s absence, will get the bulk of the work in the backfield.

Fantasy Football Sleeper

- Those Fantasy Football wners who drafted 49′ers WR Michael Crabtree may actually get some return on their investment this week. He’ll be used a s a slot receiver which may give him a few opportunities for yards after the catch. He’s an explosive player who should bump Josh Morgan from the starting lineup before long.

Fantasy Football Slipper

- Bad enough that the Jets have had their vaunted defense slapped around over the last few weeks but now they must continue without the services of NT Kris Jenkins, thought by many to be the unit’s best player. He’s lost for the season to a knee injury; severely jeopardizing the Jets’ ability to stop the run while sending waves of pressure at the QB.

by Professor Wagstaff

So, here we are. Week 1 for Fantasy Football Owners and the inaugural season for the members of The McGeeHorsefeathers4 Survivor League, a pressure cooker of a Fantasy Football League made up of Nieces, Nephews, In-Laws and Uncles; all vying for the bragging rights that will turn the family Christmas party into their very own championship locker room. In a brutal format that does not allow for trades or free agent pickups, the lowest scoring team of the fourteen that make up the league will be eliminated each week until only one is left standing. Or, simply put, don’t screw up your Fantasy Football Draft because you could be one and done. Advice that the good Professor should have followed in Round 6 when I got caught watching the Miami-Florida State game. I didn’t realize I was on the clock until after the computer auto picked Cincy TE Chase Coffman. Now, Wagstaff readers know I like the Bengals’ rookie but not that much. He was in my queue for a last round pick until he became my sixth. I spent the rest of the draft one player short as I scrambled to cover the mistake. It probably won’t matter anyway because, with two girls in the league, the guys don’t have a chance. The Fantasy Gods seem to love women and these two know what they’re doing; a double whammy. So, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Beanie Wells can get something done and hope that Reggie Bush, the player Coffman should have been, doesn’t light it up in New Orleans. Good luck to all.

Fantasy Football Studs

Have to love San Diego’s Philip Rivers against any divisional foe but especially the Raiders. With Tomlinson and Gates healthy, Rivers has too many weapons for the defenseless Raiders to handle… Think Carson Palmer is anxious to get back on the field for the Bengals? He couldn’t ask for a weaker secondary to face than Denver’s. Chris Henry had a great preseason, the former Chad Johnson seems motivated and Wagstaff has to hope that Chase Coffman has a big year… Pity the poor Lions, trying to rebuild and having to face Drew Brees on opening day. Look for 300+ YDS and 3 TD from the Saints’ QB.

Fantasy Football Stars

Love the Texans’ and Saints’ DST as both will face rookie QBs. Four sacks each and a few INTs should be easy pickins’… With Terrell Owens in Buffalo, look for Dallas QB Tony Romo to rely heavily on TE Jason Witten in the season opener against a rebuilding Bucs’ squad with a lot of defensive problems…

Fantasy Football Sleepers

With a rookie QB facing a strong pass rush, the Jets’ will probably gear their passing game to a short, quick hitting style. Great news for owners of TE Dustin Keller… The Rams are undergoing a complete rebuild, especially on their D Line, which could make for a big afternoon for Seattle’s Julius Jones on Sunday… The Bills fired their O Coordinator during the preseason, cut a starting OT and will open vs. New England with three rookies on the O Line. Something tells me the Patriots D is licking its chops.

Fantasy Football Slippers

Injuries to QBs Kyle Orton and Chris Simms and the uncertain status of WR Brandon Marshall will result in a tough debut for Denver RB Knowshon Moreno, who may not even get the lion’s share of the carries… Not that Eli Manning isn’t a Wagstaff favorite, he is, but the Giants’ game plan this week will probably not be well suited for a big game from the QB… Cards’ WR Anquan Boldin has the Professor a little nervous. He’s got a bad hammy, is ticked about his contract and didn’t have a good preseason.

Fantasy Football Stiffs

You can blame Eric Mangini if you’re the owner of whoever starts at QB for the Browns this week. With Cleveland facing one of the top Defenses in the league, it was no time to let Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson twist in the wind. One of them will pay the price on Sunday… Still think that Matt Cassel’s success was a product of the talent surrounding him last year. He heads into the season with a trained knee that limits his mobility against the Baltimore Ravens; not a recipe for success… The Colts’ D will struggle this week vs. the Jags, especially with S Ed Sanders hobbled.

HorsefeathersThe calendar says it’s early July, time for most to enjoy a summer that is just beginning.  For an ever increasing contingent of Fantasy Football players, however, the calendar tells them there’s three weeks until training camps open as they count down the days of summer in anticipation of the coming football season.   The Fantasy preview magazines have hit the stands, there are fantasy rankings to consider and draft cheat sheets to be written.  There is also the very important business of deciding where to house your online fantasy football league and what kind of players should be a part of it.

In its infancy, Fantasy Football appealed to its participants for a number of reasons.  It allowed them to pit their knowledge of the game against one another, compete for cash prizes and stay connected with friends.  Back in the day, anyone that wanted to play fantasy football had to first assemble at least nine others with a common passion; not always an easy task. Next, one of the members needed to agree to be the “stat guy”, diving into the NFL summaries each Monday morning in order to update the league’s standings.  Weekly transactions became problematic if league owners were remiss in phoning in their lineups.  Not a perfect system but, all in all, better than the alternative: no league at all.

Before the advent of online fantasy football, many who wished to be participants found themselves on the outside looking in.  Simply put, if you couldn’t find enough guys to play, you couldn’t play either.  Until CBSSportsline, Yahoo and ESPN came to the rescue.  Now, individuals have the ability to link up with each other regardless of their geographic location and experience the same enjoyment as those in a friends’ league.  With the new technology, however, comes a number of choices to be made regarding statistics, rankings and drafts.

Of the three, I prefer CBSSportsline.  While free leagues are offered, their premium leagues offer quite a bit more than Yahoo and ESPN for the fee charged.  Mock drafts, player updates, rankings, cheat sheets, injury reports roster grids and a player comparison tool are all featured on a site more easily navigated than its competitors.  YAHOO and ESPN offer more than enough to satisfy the Fantasy Football Fanatic and do so mostly at no cost.  The one thing each has over CBS is the ability to tailor free friends’ leagues, something not available on CBS,

Finally, for Mock Drafts, the pick here is Mock Draft Central, as it offers free signup for once daily drafts and membership options that range from monthly to yearly.  Essentially, for a few bucks, you can sign up for one month in July and get unlimited mocks until your draft in August.  Also, members are allowed to create drafts, giving you an opportunity to simulate the draft circumstances that exist around your own tailored leagues.

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