I’ve been invited to participate in several industry leagues this season representing the Fantasy Football Cafe, and I wanted to give the Cafe faithful a look at the teams that will be doing battle with some of the best in the business. Performing well against these knowledgeable veterans is never easy, but hopefully we’ll be able to bring a championship or two to the Cafe’s trophy case.
Fantasy Pros Invitational
Invitations were sent out to fantasy writers who represent “the best-of-the-best fantasy football prognosticators in the business.” Nineteen of the most respected fantasy voices in the business (and myself) answered the call. Check out the monster lineup and draft thoughts from all 20 competitors in Yahoo’s draft review. Hat tip to Andy Behrens for hosting the league and doing a great job with the write-up. View the league details here. I had pick 20 of 20 and led things off with a Jimmy Graham/Matt Ryan combo.
QB Matt Ryan
RB Jonathan Stewart, Ben Tate, Rashard Mendenhall, Brandon Jackson
WR Stevie Johnson, Titus Young, Jerome Simpson, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet, Brandon Stokley, Donnie Avery
TE Jimmy Graham
PK David Akers
DF Pittsburgh Steelers
32-Team All-Pro Expert League
This one’s a doozy. Thirty-two teams are competing in the deepest single-league competition I’ve ever encountered. The league employs team QBs, Ks and DFs and restricts each team to owning one of each. During a bye week for those players, their current averages are used in matchups. Last season, we made the playoffs by winning our division but ultimately fell in the first round. Competitors include representatives from Rotowire, Football Outsiders, KFFL, Pro Football Weekly, USA Today, EA Sports, FF Today and more. You can view the league rules here and the scoring here. I picked fifth out of 32, the same position I was in last season. After making the easy choice based on league settings to go with a QB, then putting together an excellent 1-2 combo at WR at the 2/3 turn, I was left picking up scraps.
Team QB Saints
RB DeAngelo Williams, Evan Royster, Lance Ball, Tim Hightower
WR/TE Dwayne Bowe, Torrey Smith, Martellus Bennett, Keshawn Martin
Team PK Dolphins
Team DF Buccaneers
Fleaflicker’s Expert League
Fleaflicker gathered 11 competitors from places like Fantasy Sharks, Fantasy Alarm, Dynasty League Football and more to join them for a 12-team expert league hosted on Fleaflicker. We held a live draft on Aug. 29 and have since made a few changes to our rosters. You can find league rules here and scoring rules here. I drafted fifth of 12 and after going with a running back in the first round, I couldn’t pass up on a couple valuable commodities in rounds 2 and 3 at the same position, even if they aren’t 100 percent right now.
QB Michael Vick, Andrew Luck
RB Darren McFadden, Ryan Mathews, Adrian Peterson, Cedric Benson, Daniel Thomas, Evan Royster
WR Hakeem Nicks, Denarius Moore, Malcom Floyd, Jerome Simpson, Brandon Stokley
TE Fred Davis
PK David Akers
DF Seattle Seahawks
Bruno Boys Expert League
Bruno Boys collected analysts from Yahoo, Rotoworld, Rotowire, Fantasy Pros 911, KFFL, Fantasy Sharks and more for a 12-team league. League rules are here and scoring settings are here. I wound up with the third pick of 12 and started my draft with LeSean McCoy and Doug Martin. I then picked up Larry Fitzgerald, Aaron Hernandez and Jeremy Maclin to comprise the core of my team’s receivers. I was one spot away from landing my fantasy crush Matt Ryan in the fourth.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB LeSean McCoy, Doug Martin, Jonathan Stewart, Beanie Wells, Mikel Leshoure, Daniel Thomas
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Jeremy Maclin, Kenny Britt, Robert Meachem, Jerome Simpson
TE Aaron Hernandez
PK Dan Bailey
DF Chicago Bears
Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Industry Insiders League
The Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) is running a multi-league fantasy competition on RealTime Fantasy Sports for all registered members of the FSWA who are interested in playing some fantasy football. Competitors were split into six separate leagues, and an all-encompassing playoff promises to be very interesting — ever played against one of your own players in the playoffs? You can see all the league rules here. I had the 11th pick in my 12-team division in a live draft that happened several weeks back, and I may have made a huge mistake when I took Maurice Jones-Drew and Adrian Peterson with my first two picks. However, landing Matt Ryan in the fifth round was sweet, even at the time when he hadn’t shot up ADP charts.
QB Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer, Tim Tebow
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Adrian Peterson, Ben Tate, Rashard Mendenhall, Kendall Hunter, Evan Royster, Tim Hightower
WR Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Brandon Lloyd, Santana Moss, Emmanuel Sanders, Brian Quick, Harry Douglas
TE Jacob Tamme
PK Sebastian Janikowski
DF Houston Texans
Fantasy Football Players Championship’s Pros vs. Joes
I was invited to take part in FFPC’s Pros vs. Joes challenge this season. This is a draft-and-follow league, meaning once you draft your team, you’re not allowed to make any add/drops, trades or even lineup decisions. Each team’s best lineup will be used each week, and with an Aug. 23 draft lined up for the Cafe, any misstep when reading the depth chart tea leaves could be disastrous. There are 11 separate leagues, with six “Pros” and six “Joes” in each (though we all know the line between pro and amateur is pretty blurry in this game). The winner at the end of the season will be the team that has the most points not only in his or her league but in all 11 leagues overall. Read all the rules here. I was lucky enough to draw the first pick out of 12 in this one, though one of my players was injured soon after the draft and has been lost for the season (lucky for me, no one major).
QB Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, David Garrard, Matt Moore
RB Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Mikel Leshoure, Jahvid Best, Knowshon Moreno, Javon Ringer, Justin Forsett, Mario Fannin
WR A.J. Green, Wes Welker, Steve Smith (CAR), Justin Blackmon, Santana Moss, Steve Breaston, Eddie Royal
TE Fred Davis, Zach Miller, Kellen Winslow
PK Nate Kaeding, Greg Zuerlein
DF San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe and contributes to CBSSports.com's MLB Rumors blog. He has previously written for FanHouse, Razzball and FanDuel. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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