The Fantasy Football season has come and gone (just like the Bears playoff chances) and a new king has been anointed for the WCG Fantasy league. That's right, this guy is your champion. Jump ahead for a final look at the WCG league, a few lessons learned this year, and some random thoughts for next year's fantasy football season. Jump smart, jump S-mart.
The regular season of the WCG league established a clear top two - my 11-2 Drunken Polar Bears and MalloMania's 10-3 Purple Cobras. No one else had more than seven wins, so the playoffs predictably played out with a 1 vs 2 championship game. Happy to play the role of Vince Vaughn to Mallo's fat Ben Stiller, I was down 22 points heading into the Monday Night game thanks in part to Mallo's well-timed promotion of Kahlil Bell into his starting lineup. But, I still had Colston, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, and Matt Bryant still to play while the Cobras had only Roddy White. While White had a strong game, it wasn't enough, and in the end, the writer beat the reader, the good guys won, and all was right with the world.
Third place went to Just Dave's MobyDickinaFishBowl who took down Schweickert's Punters for MVP in the consolation game, while Ashley took the heralded "Golden Toilet" award for finishing last with a 2-11 record.
In a twelve-team league, my roster looked solid from the start, and I didn't make many changes in part to always missing out on key guys during the waiver process. Lesson learned from this and other leagues I did: if your league sends you to the bottom of the waiver order after each transaction/claim you make, make sure that claim counts. I lost out on finding good additions during the season thanks to minimally impactful roster tinkering.
Thanks for this victory go out to Tom Brady, LeSean McCoy, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston, and even DeAngelo Williams, my third-round pick who stunk for almost the entire year but came through in the championship game for me with two touchdowns.
Other lessons I learned this fantasy season:
1. Don't mess around with your Quarterback position - my other two leagues featured Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco as my top QB's until I made some roster changes. Needless to say, both those money leagues left me penniless and out of the championship game.
2. Have a good flex position option(s): If your league has two starting WRs and RBs each and a flex position, have some options to fill it. They probably won't be studs, but make sure you have guys that could either step into a starting role early, are starters that could out-perform expectations, or scour the waiver wire early for emerging players. I lucked out always having either Julio Jones or Anquan Boldin fill the flex position.
3. No Homer's Allowed: Letting your homerism effect your draft is an obvious no-no. Since the writer's league featured all Bears fans, I would've only drafted Bears if the round dictated it. MalloMania got Forte at the top of round two (a great pick), but the Bears' D went first among defenses, and Gould was the second overall kicker drafted (not in terrible places, but I wasn't counting on drafting them since others probably would over-value them).
4. Trading Places: Don't be afraid to experiment with trade offers to others, since week-to-week you don't know what you'll get for someone who just came off a great week or if you can low-ball offer for a guy struggling early. We had eight trades overall which involved guys like Brees, Arian Foster, Calvin and Chris Johnson, and Cutler, so don't be afraid to tinker with your roster if you think it'll help you. I should've sold on Andre Johnson after he came back from his first injury, but instead I held onto him (in another league) and it potentially cost me in the playoffs.
Lastly, some predictions for next year:
1. Cam Newton's year two will resemble Vick's year two as an Eagle, and he'll be over-valued come draft day.
2. Big-name free agent wideouts changing teams will struggle (potentially Bowe, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson) to live up to their expectations.
3. 2012 will not be the Year of the Quarterback, Part Deux. Instead: the year of big-play special teams/defenses and a lot of surprise names at the top of the RB and WR performers for the year.
4. Cutler will be a top-12 fantasy QB (if he's healthy and Martz returns) and Forte will not finish as a top-15 running back.
5. The Bears top offensive skill-position player (in terms of fantasy points) other than Cutler is not currently on the roster.
Sound off on any insight you'd like to provide from this past year, and any predictions you have for next year. Hail to the King, Baby!