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Sunday, November 11, 2012

NFL Fantasy Football: Go With Your Gut

So as week 10 of the NFL season approaches, J-Rod's Sportszone would like to take the time to drop some fantasy football knowledge on his readers. After all, while he missed the Alabama-Texas A and M game by a mile, he did finish second in 2011 in his work-related fantasy football league, despite drafting 10th out of 10 teams.

If I have learned anything from my years of playing fantasy football (2012 marks the seventh consecutive season I will have played in any fantasy football league, standard or custom), it is that when choosing players for your team, always trust your gut. Always.

To further illustrate what I mean, let us take a look at my starting lineup for week 10:

QB- Philip Rivers, San Diego  Chargers

WR- Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers

WR- Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers

WR- Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys

RB- Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

RB- Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens

TE- Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos

Flex- Desean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

K- Greg Zeuerlein, St. Louis Rams

Defense/Special Teams- Denver Broncos

Players on a bye this week: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals, and Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers

Not a bad lineup, eh? Well, let's take a look at some of the top players by position (total standard scoring in 2012) and compare them to where I drafted some of these same players.


 Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

RG III, Washington Redskins

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Now, consider where I took Rivers, my starting quarterback: in the fourth round, 38th overall. Of those quarterbacks, only Rodgers, Brees, Roethlisberger and Brady were selected ahead of Rivers. Manning and RGIII, coincidentally, were selected in the fifth round.

This is interesting because many of you might remember an article I wrote before the season hyping up Peyton Manning's return to football. (You can find that here ) Additionally, I was well aware of the potential of both Luck and RGIII, having covered their Heisman campaign(s) all of last season.

Moving along, let us look at another position:

Running Backs

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns

My starting running backs are Rice, whom I selected in the first round at No. 3 overall, and Jamaal Charles, whom I selected in the third round.

I doubt anyone would question my selection of Rice, arguably one of the top five backs in the league, even at No. 3.

As for Charles, there are many who said before the season started they would be hesitant to draft him due to his uncertainty surrounding is ACL. I even went against my own strategy in picking him, as before the draft I told myself that if Richardson (the Cleveland Browns' rookie who I saw play on more than one occasion for Alabama) was available in the second round, I would select him. Richardson ended up being the first selection of the third round.

Finally let us examine the top scoring receivers thru week 10 of the regular season:

Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Victor Cruz, New York Giants

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts

My top two receivers selected were Larry Fitzgerald, who is a top-tier receiver hamstrung by woefully inadequate play from the Cardinals' quarterback position, and Greg Jennings, Green Bay's No. 1 target who has been injured for most of this season.

Needless to say, if I had selected Trent Richardson in the second round instead of Larry Fitz, both Green and/or Cruz would have been available for me in the third round.

This is not to say all is lost for me, however. I currently stand fifth in my league at 5-4, and, last season I placed second despite being the last playoff team in.  My point is merely that, as you choose your fantasy squads for the rest of 2012, make sure that at the end of the day you go with your gut.

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