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Prepare for Fantasy

In standard fantasy leagues, The Train recommends taking running backs with your first and second round draft picks, such as Darren Sproles, perhaps.

In standard fantasy leagues, The Train recommends taking running backs with your first and second round draft picks, such as Darren Sproles, perhaps.

The Train Daddy is back once again with the pain daddy, and ready to give you, the good people of Murfreesboro, sports in a unique way. If you had to describe my writing style it would be described as a sexy, thoughtful, uncensored collection of words and thoughts melodically put together. Anyone who has read my article knows that I love sports and that football is my specialty; it is a fact that football is America’s game and favorite pastime (not baseball!).

With the return of football just around the corner, it’s that time of the year when millions begin to prepare for fantasy football, a game almost as popular as the game it shadows. An estimated 30-35 million Americans play the game. The time is now to start thinking about fantasy football. As the dust settles from last season, it’s a fresh start. This article is dedicated to giving you the knowledge I have on the game and giving you insight on how the Train Daddy preps for a season of fantasy football. Heck, I said I would give you an article on all things fantasy football last issue. Well, let’s break it down.

First we have to understand the game: Who plays, why do they play, and, for someone who has never played the game, why all the hype? Before we get into this, let me give you people who don’t have a clue how fantasy football is played the quickest explanation possible without completely boring you. The two most popular styles of the game are a basic, standard league and PPR (points per reception). I will explain the most common, a standard league: Typically there are 10 or 12 members in a league and a draft (live or online) where you select individual players in a specific order; each member of the league has a set amount of roster spots and, as the spots are filled, they create a lineup using all these positions: QB, RB, WR, TE, a kicker and a defense. The season starts on NFL week 1, and each week you go head to head with another member of your league, and the winner is decided by total points scored. At the end of the season there is a playoff where, typically, the top four seeds face off, and ultimately one team stands alone as the winner!

Rashard Mendenhall will be carrying the rock down in Arizona this season.

Rashard Mendenhall will be carrying the rock down in Arizona this season.

After doing some research on the game I was a little surprised at some of the numbers I found. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association research group did a study showing the race of an average fantasy player is 93 percent white, 2.3 percent Latino, 1.6 percent black, and 1.1 percent Asian. The majority of these 30-35 million players were male (87 percent), the average age being around 33 years old. Let’s not let President Obama or today’s media get hold of these numbers; they might cry out racial profiling and put a civil rights suit on the game of fantasy football. OK, so that’s my one joke on how crazy today’s media is. I wont get any further into it, but if you are as sick as I am with mainstream media and this never-ending topic, then you understand. And anyone who wants to look down on me for saying that, you don’t know me, obviously. Life is beautiful and all should equally enjoy it; I’m just sick of people trying to stir the pot.

Anyhow, there you go. Now you should have a better understanding of who plays fantasy football. This year 6 million players are projected to be female, a stat that the NFL is salivating over. Anything to add clientele. The NFL embraces these fans, and why not?; reportedly, the fantasy player watches three more hours of football a week than the average fan; it’s all about the Benjamins, baby!

Over the past four years, participation in the game has risen by 60 percent, and is still on the rise. So why all the hype? Why do people play fantasy football? For me and my friends that answer is simple: We all love football, we love competition, it’s a way to stay current with old friends . . . and who doesn’t get a little excited when money is involved? For my league, 12 people play for a $50 buy-in. Money makes it exciting but the people in my league love it so much they would pay just to play, and in the Train Daddy Mafia league, respect and the recognition of winning is priceless. Here is a little recognition for the top three from last season in the Mafia: the champion, Slobber Knocker, runner-up Big Bad Blaston and third place winner Ginja Ninjas. I also told my good friend Courtney, the lone female in the Mafia and the most dedicated Steelers fan I know, that I would give her a shout-out; she did finish in fourth last season, and is confident going into a new 2013 season. Even though any Steelers fan is a dirty towel swinger, dedication to a team represents a true fan, and as ignorant as Steeler fans, Raider fans, Jet fans or Raven fans can be, these kinds of loyal fans, well, they are what make the NFL great. Loyalty is a rare quality.

Here is a list of some potential fantasy names for your team. A great name is very important. Dirty Sanchez, Wanna See My TD’s, Romo Sexual, 4th and Dong, Romo Witten His Pants, Titsberg Feelers, Two Girls one Kaep. OK, so that’s my list of names, remember a good name is the start to a good season.

A lot of people say it is 70 percent luck/30 percent skill. Well, they’re wrong; it’s more like 55 percent luck/45 percent skill. There is a reason the same people in my league typically have success: they follow these steps. First, I am assuming that you are football-knowledgeable, you know players, their teams and which position they play. That has to be second nature. So, prior to the draft, study not for endless hours, but get online, look at the overall Top 200 board, then look at all the Top 50 boards of each individual position. Learn them. The day before your real draft, do a couple of mock drafts online. They’re free. This helps so you don’t freak out during the real draft.

Create scenarios prior to the real draft of who you would take with a top pick or what you would do if you drew the last pick. Strategy changes quickly at that point. My philosophy, which has always served me well, is this: In a standard league I always take the top two running backs with my first- and second-round picks.  Quality running backs are gone quickly, and I always seem to find a solid quarterback around the fourth or fifth round. (This game plan would not, however,  be the case in a PPR league.) One of my last tips for success is to be one of the most active members when it comes to waivers and adding or dropping players. The more transactions you make the better, as it keeps you on your toes.

Sorry if this was one of my less exciting articles; I guess talking fantasy isn’t near as fun as playing it. Look for my article next month, which will be one to check out: everything NFL, and everything Tennessee Titans. Next month will be the opener to the 2013 season! I will break down teams, players and talk more nonsense. Like Albert “Head Stomping” Haynesworth, if you see a hater, stomp that head. Train’s out the station!

AdrianPeterson

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About the Author

The Z-Train is a Murfreesboro resident and enjoys all sports, but bleeds code blue for his beloved Titans, who will one sweet day bring home that beautiful Lombardi Trophy to Tennessee. Always remember the Train’s big F’s: Faith, Family, Friends, Food and FOOTBALL!

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