At this point if you are reading this post and you don’t instantly know who Ricky Vaughn and Willie Hayes are then you should probably just close your browser, punch yourself in the face and go watch Major League. Seriously, do you live under a rock? I guess that’s a rhetorical question since anyone that could answer should have already stopped reading. If you missed me telling you to close your browser then go back to the first sentence. Otherwise I’m guessing reading comprehension is just not your thing. If you’re still here because you’re being stubborn and refuse to leave, there’s not much I can do. But if you just want to find out what I’m going to say next, I can live with that. However, if you’re still here because you like listening to Brewers games on the radio so you can enjoy some Harry Doyle, then we’ve got something in common. Juuuuuust a bit outside!
“In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.” – Harry Doyle
Never judge a book by its cover. When Spring Training ended and the Cleveland Indians roster was announced, the Cleveland locals (Clevelandites?) were dumbfounded to say the least. Ricky Vaughn? Willie Hayes? I never heard of most of them. Mitchell Friedman? Who are these f-ckin guys?! And that quote right there was the inspiration for this series of posts that I began writing just about two years ago. My idea was to look back at the previous week and hack together a starting lineup of players that would resemble Lou Brown’s rag tag Indians. Players that could commonly be found on the waiver wire that were sure to have your opponents saying “Who are these f-ckin guys” when they looked at your team. Then they’d be pissed when they saw you were playing a team that they were competing with for the last playoff spot. You’d be accused of tanking, when in fact, it was actually brilliance disguised as stupidity.
“It’s my kinda team, Charlie, my kinda team.” – Lou Brown
QB: Black Bortles (334 points, 194 ADP)
RB: Danny Woodhead (203 points, 137 ADP)
RB: Todd Gurley (197 points, 50 ADP)
WR: Doug Baldwin (229 points, 163 ADP)
WR: Jarvis Landry (220 points, 63 ADP)
TE: Gary Barnidge (197 points, Undrafted)
Looking at this team now it doesn’t look all that bad, but had you actually drafted this team you would not have felt so confident when you were staring at your roster post-draft. I mean sure, Todd Gurley had an awesome season, but don’t act like you saw that coming. What’s most interesting about this team is the fact that there isn’t player drafted before the 5th round. With an ADP of 50, Gurley would have been selected with the second pick of the 5th round.
“I only got one thing to say to you, Vaughn. Strike this motherfucker out!” – Roger Dorn
So now let’s imagine you actually drafted these players, and you did so according to their average draft positions. You know what that means? It means that when you look back on your draft at the end of the season, you are going to be considered a genius. That would be true if anyone actually went back after a season ended to accurately grade a draft, but who does that? Nobody! All anyone cares about is who won the league. No one gives a sh!t that Hayward hit a home run off Vaughn in the regular season after Vaughn struck him out on three straight heaters when it really mattered.
“Forget about the curve ball, Ricky. Give him the heater!” – Lou Brown
And now for the best part. This team you’ve just scrapped together might look awkward on paper, but when it comes time to put up or shut up, this group of players would likely beat just about any other lineup thrown its way on any given week. But that’s not the best part. Or is it? Actually I think it is, but here’s another takeaway. You were free to draft anyone else you wanted in the first four rounds. How about these four picks to stash on your bench. Did I say bench? I sure did.
You’ve just assembled a nearly unbeatable team. Sure, you might run into a monster on a given week, but over the long haul of the season, you are emerging victorious and are a near sure thing to win your league. As sure of a thing as you can get in fantasy football. So there!
“Up your butt, Jobu” – Ed Harris
So remember, just because a player looks like he played ball in the California Penal League, that doesn’t make him a bad player. Think outside the box. The right play just might not be the obvious play. They say the grass is always greener, but the way I see it is, as long as there’s grass on the field and players on your bench, we have a game. And if there’s a game, there’s a chance to win. I realize that in writing this post I have the benefit of hindsight, but it should still open your eyes to the possibilities. Week after week I will show you just how sh!tty of a team I could have started that would have beaten any lineup of studs, and there’s nothing you can do about it but agree.
On a side note. I am starting a few new leagues that I’d love to get some of you to join. For a while I have wanted to start a league that was based on the daily fantasy concept. It would be a season long daily league. Each week you’d log in and pick a new team to compete against your league. And each week your scores would combined with previous. It would be a manual process of maintaing the standings, but nothing a small script or spreadsheet couldn’t handle.
Just when I had the details worked out, both DraftKings and FanDuel began offering their own versions of leagues. While they seem great, there are still some kinks that they need to work out. However, I still plan to move forward. I have chosen FanDuel as my platform because on DraftKings if you create a contest and it does not fill, it is automatically canceled. That is just stupid. Why can’t it run with however many people join? FanDuel will still run the contest, but it will be converted to a free contest. This is fine as it still allows teams that have entered to compete. The team that drafted their teams will get points and those that did not will be zero.
Each week I will set up contests on FanDuel in which I will invite you, and everyone else, to join. I will create two 20-player contests. One will be a free contest while the other will have a $5 buy-in for those that want to put a little money behind their skills. After each week I will download the results, combine them with the previous weeks and generate/update leaderboards for each. If the demand is greater than 20 players I will create additional contests each week and combine the results. Unfortunately FanDuel limits private events to 20 entrants. The reason I am not using FanDuel’s league functionality (friends), is because I don’t know who will want to play on a weekly basis and this allows different participants each week. It’s just a more flexible model.
If you are interested in a dedicated league let me know in the comments section because I am starting one of those as well. I’ve got a lot of great ideas for these leagues and think this can be a lot of fun, but we need to start somewhere. Leaderboards and other league details will be hosted on some webpage out there on the interweb. Hope to see you there!
Follow mala on Twitter at @malamoney.