Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football 2012 Confessions – My 5 Biggest Mistakes

Michael VickIt is time to confess our fantasy football sins. It is easy for us bloggers to stick our chests out and brag about the right predictions they made this season. But how often do you hear them admit to their failures. That ends today.

I love fantasy football and it has been a guilty pleasure of mine for about the last 5-6 years, minimal I am sure compared to most. I eat it, sleep it, study it, and become obsessed with preparing for drafts and weekly matchups. As a father and husband it is my one guilty pleasure and I certainly make the most of it. That is why a losing season or bad decision will eat at me for days, weeks, and sometimes an entire season.

I am coming off the ultimate dream season for any fantasy football player. I played in 4 leagues last season and won three titles while losing in the championship game of the other league. It doesn’t get much better than that and those kinds of results don’t just happen by accident. I knew it would be tough repeating as this season I am entering my drafts with terrible spots in my drafts. I just didn’t realize it would be this tough.

The season is halfway over and I think it is a great time to start assessing the mistakes I’ve made along the way. This year I am playing in three leagues (four but I honestly don’t pay much attention to that one). I have winning records in two while badly losing in another. Winning records are nice but these aren’t the winning records I had last season. I am barely holding on and it is time to start reflecting on the mistakes that put me here.

So with that said it is time for me to start confessing my fantasy football sins and coming clean with my failures at the halfway mark.

Michael Vick – Yep, I bought into it. I thought with a full offseason to prepare and a happy DeSean Jackson that he would be putting up lights out numbers. He is absolutely burying me in one league. I should have known better as an Eagles fan but I was looking back at the past and not the future. I don’t agree that quarterbacks necessarily make or break your season because I think you can still win with an average one. Vick is below average compared to other QBs taken in those spots and a player that I should have been smart enough to avoid. Don’t get me wrong. Just about every expert in the world believed in him too. But at the end of the day you have to account for your own mistakes and this one was a doozy.

Tight Ends – I waited a real long time in my drafts to take tight ends. I believed then and still believe that anyone who took Gronk or Jimmy Graham in the first round was a sucker. I on the other hand went completely opposite and waited as long as I could to grab tight ends. I wound up with both Jermichael Finley and Jason Witten very late in one draft. I thought I had two steals, especially after Finley’s first big week. In hindsight I should have stuck to my own rule which is to only take consistent players and lord knows Finley has been anything but consistent in recent years. I quickly realized in week 2 and beyond that I was screwed at the position. Witten still has potential if he is over the spleen injury so I may have a steal there. I grabbed Brandon Pettigrew late who has been decent in my PPR league, but my tight ends are struggling for the most part across the board. The lesson learned here is while I would still never take a tight end in the first or second round, I also need to suck it up and grab guys like Vernon Davis who are consistent but not world beaters earlier than I’d like.

Pittsburgh Steelers – I grabbed the Steelers in three drafts and boy have I been regretting that one. I disagree when the experts tell you that defenses don’t win championships. I had the Ravens defense in two leagues last year and it makes a huge difference when you can count on a defense to give you double digits by the week. I grabbed the Steelers late in drafts and I had no idea how badly the injuries would impact their play. Are the Steelers losing games for me? No, but it is tough to win when you get 3-4 points from your defense every week going up against someone who has the 49ers, Ravens, and other top scorers. The lesson here is that if you are sure about a defense is to reach for them early instead of waiting around to grab whatever is left.

Maurice Jones-Drew – I am not ready to count MJD out just yet but thus far he has been a killer. I took him with my first pick in one league (a keeper pick) and he has not produced what you’d expect to grab from a pick at that position. I didn’t have better options as a keeper (Marshawn Lynch was a toss-up but his preseason injuries scared me) but in retrospect, I would have been better just throwing him back in and grabbing two other running backs. He certainly has had the bad luck of playing some great defenses early but the MJD of 2011 found a way to get it done against anyone and everyone.

Darren McFadden – Oh yeah I bought into that hype also. Why wouldn’t I? The guy was a beast last year until he got hurt. Not only was he coming back healthy, he had no Michael Bush to vulture TDs. So what happened? I and many others never accounted for the fact that a new offense could change McFadden’s production. Other than that quite frankly I have no idea why he isn’t delivering. He’s another guy that could still turn it around now that his bye week is out of the way but thus far he has killed me in my losing league

Now don’t get me wrong. I have had plenty of draft picks that have turned out to be steals at this point. Robert Griffin III, Reggie Wayne, Ryan Matthews (I’m a believer), Jamaal Charles, and Percy Harvin are all players that I got great value for. None of those players were lucky picks as I was a big believer in all of those guys knowing that they were falling far below their value.

But as most of your obsessed fantasy players know, it’s the mistakes that weigh on your mind not the hits.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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