A quick disclaimer and rant before going on my subjective takes on each and every team, ranking the tiers and poking fun at the different personalities populating my, and most likely, everyone else's fantasy league. Hell, extrapolate this to real life if you want—there's nothing like blatant insults disguised as faux psychological analysis to take the top off an always-subdued offseason.
It's hard to term objectiveness in the case of pretty much anything we deal with on an everyday basis. Facts may state that the San Francisco 49ers might struggle after the loss of a Super Bowl but I'll choose to look at (also) facts that the potential greatness of Colin Kaepernick and the increased depth on the defensive side and pronounce them the NFC West-favorite. This applies directly to your fantasy football team. There's a reason why you reached for Player X or feel like Player Y is the breakout player of the year. Nitpicking certain statistics or articles—that also selectively point to specific arbitrary numbers—only seek to reinforce what you already think. More often than not, we're wrong, we really have no idea what we're talking about, and that's OK. It's fantasy football. Whatever helps making the loser of the next week feel like absolute shit.
Notable League Rules:
Two QBs - 20 yards per point
2 WRs, 2 RBs, 2 Flexes
Reminder: These aren't rankings. Just groupings in accordance to their characteristics. I didn't include many statistics from last season because I'm lazy as shit. So just take my word for it.
Dorian Sun - An absolutely stacked team with few weaknesses. Striking gold with Alfred Morris in free agency last season and stealing C.J. Spiller in the middle rounds helped make draft day stress-free. As much as he'd have you believe running backs are useless, it's only because he has two of the best, and at a low cost. With two top-10 quarterbacks (Brees and RG3), a reliable Roddy White and comeback player Jordy Nelson in the fold, that's the best top 6 anywhere in the league. If there's any weakness, it's that Mike Williams (a mediocre WR as the third option with a bad QB), Brandon Pettigrew (not very good but on a pass-heavy team) and Wes Welker (will lose touches to better WRs on the same team), are low-upside plays. But when the best are literally the best, does it even matter? Barring some health issues, this is the team to beat.
Darrin Mock -
Losing Andrew Luck in the offseason—due to a technicality, at that—made for a slow start but keeping Randall Cobb at a fraction of his cost helped his cause. Stealing Darren Sproles to pair with Trent Richardson forms one of the best duo-PPR backs in the league. Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler is almost as good as RG3/Brees and Julio Jones puts this team over the top. One season after finishing last, this team is poised to break out, with considerable upside everywhere. With Joique Bell, Bryce Brown and Ryan Matthews on the bench, this could steamroll teams during the bye weeks of the season.
The Brady Bunch (fine, that's a lameass name but the majority of the teams in the league are found here. I was tempted to place every other team in this tier so I'll subdivide the ones with more potential and the ones that are solid but probably won't be looking at a first-place finish).
High-Upside with plenty of Bust Potential
Kevin Li - You know what you're going to get with Matty Ice and Matt Schaub. After the Matts, this whole roster is a cataclysmic mix of budding superstars and ex-studs poised to recapture their old form. Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy and Demarco Murray are trying to return to old form, and there's plenty of reason to think they can. Barring Injury? That's every player in the NFL. As for the Rob Gronkowski portion, he still finished in the top-3 in TE fantasy scoring while missing several games. Aaron Dobson (being the WR2 in Brady's offense is a good thing), T.Y. Hilton (ditto but Andrew Luck) and Brandon Myers (PPR stud now in Eli Manning's offense) are major breakout players. Unfortunately, everything I wrote above could be wrong, what with projections falling a bit short, and unfortunate situations to blame. This is a team I can see finishing in the top-3 or the bottom 3.
David Kwong - A team that, a year ago, presented the most upside finished most of the season undefeated before injuries caught up to him. With that formula working, he drafted the same controversial way again, and who can blame him? The guy probably should have won the whole thing last year. To replace the Doug Martin and Peyton Manning upside void, he went with Andrew Luck early and Gio Bernard and Eddie Lacy in the middle rounds. Luck could be a steal at his price, his career and demeanor already matching Peyton's but the real steals come in the form of two running backs in potential high-octane offenses. Lacy in Green Bay and Bernard in Cincinnati's. He only needs one to break out and the running back position is considered the easiest position to learn. Don't mistaken true upside with solid players because along with Jared Cook and Kenny Britt (players with true bust potential), there are solid WRs in Demaryius Thomas and Victor Cruz. All that said, I may be underrating David again. This is a top-4 team.
Jefferson Ye - The reigning champion probably needs his own category for an odd offseason. After losing RG3 due to keeper rules (and not selecting him in the draft for the same price), he instead went to a full PPR format, drafting players that should fit in nicely to those rules. A.J. Green, Dez Bryant are top-5 WRs and Reggie Bush and MJD are PPR machines at running back. That's better that drafting, say, Alfred Morris (not intended to be a slight) or Chris Johnson. And with Vernon Davis ready to break out with the 49ers missing Crabtree, this team is set for a repeat run. But not so fast, the flex positions combined with a very weak bench are cause for concerns in a league that is plagued with injuries year in and year out. Danario Alexander is injury-prone and Rod Streater is unproven as of now. With E.J. Manuel as a third QB, injuries and bye weeks could prove disastrous.
Andy Liu (me) - Here comes the bias! But I did preface this with a disclaimer earlier, right? Regardless, this team probably holds the highest upside-to-bust ratio in the entire league. The only solid players appear to be Cam Newton, Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson. Every other player are true breakout players in perfect positions to succeed, or likely not play up to their billing because they never have. Torrey Smith is the only WR left in Baltimore but might not possess WR1 abilities, Danny Amendola almost died due to a collarbone injury, Lamar Miller has about 50 carries more than me in the NFL, Sam Bradford has been fairly below-average in his NFL career and Shane Vereen had one good game in the postseason. Even the bench is filled to the brim with the same type of players (Golden Tate the only WR standing in Seattle and Josh Gordon an athletic beast with a myriad of off-field issues). I could see this team finishing first or finishing last, but probably ending up somewhere in the 5-8 range.
Low-Upside but likely Playoff Contenders
Grady Zhu - Barring a Michael Vick bench or release—hard to believe until they do it, with his contract numbers—this is as solid as it gets, without posing too much championship upside. Not that anyone can predict what happens in the playoffs. Ask the champion.
The lack of a third QB is concerning with Vick in his predicament but if Geno Smith can't beat out Mark Sanchez by midseason, why even draft him? The rest of the roster has players that you can rely on: Andre Johnson, Stafford, Marshall, Decker, and even Cecil Shorts (who's Gabbert going to throw to?) and Kyle Rudolph (Christian Ponder has to throw, right?). Nothing spectacular, perhaps, but it doesn't make much to get hot in the postseason.
Anthony Clay - I questioned the decision to keep Ridley and Bowe but they're turning out to be decent options at their respective positions. Ridley should dominate carries barring his known fumbling issues and Bowe should catch a ton of balls from the spaghetti-armed Alex Smith. You pretty much know what you're going to get with the Manning brothers, Witten, Greg Jennings and Colston. There shouldn't be any surprises here. I may be higher on this team than others but I'm probably leaning to push them into a playoff spot, perhaps the strongest team out of this subdivision.
Travis Hom - Tempted to leave this team in the other division, I ended up moving them into a playoff contender after understanding the running back-heavy strategy. Like the Detroit Pistons in the NBA, a lack of floor spacing could befall them but it'll be interesting to watch them brick their way to wins. And with the New Orleans Pelicans, it'll be fun to watch them dribble their way into the lottery. With this team, I think the Lynch-APete-Bell-Gore quadruplet could work. All are in excellent situations; the only running back in the system and that could mean 20+ carries per game and plenty of goal-line touches. Those are some excellent offenses they play in, with great quarterbacks. Well, Black Jesus doesn't need a QB. Nicks and Smith are solid veterans, with Nicks an injury concern (groin injury this week) but it's still early. The lack of above-average quarterback numbers—though Dalton finished top-15 last season in our league—may be the downfall to his playoff run.
I Have Questions (everyone is a playoff contender but I found more questions than answers when looking at these teams, though some faults not their own).
Claudio Castro- Losing Dennis Pitta for the season hurt this team in two ways: he had Pitta, and also Flacco, who was looking to become an above-average regular season quarterback. Yes, he won a Super Bowl but is still merely average in non-playoff games (a larger sample size) and a mediocre fantasy QB. The sure bets on this team hold their own bust potential, with Kaep losing Crabtree and only 10 starts, Jamaal Charles in a pass-heavy offense, and Arian Foster wearing down. Oddly enough, the player with the most obvious road to success is Antonio Brown but his second WR is from the same team, and that's a team that will look to run more often to protect Big Ben. To make matters worse, Montee Ball appears to be losing the running back battle to Ronnie Hillman, though I expect him to take over by midseason. Might be a hard-luck season.
Sean King - Choosing to forego Dez Bryant as a keeper looks like a mistake in retrospect. David Wilson, a prized running back keeper, is in a timeshare with Andre Brown. Chris Ivory is also going to get only 15 carries in a shitty offense and Big Ben and Josh Freeman are QBs filled with question marks. While Matt Forte and Megatron should be great, there's more question marks from the top players on this team than necessary, though it's easy to see Garcon and Bennett continue their breakout seasons along with Freeman. I may actually be underrating this team but any squad with Mark Sanchez as their third QB probably loses the bit of slack they had.
Curtis Tang - Victim of an incredibly unlucky Percy Harvin, the makings of a solid team came undone, and with the ill-timed trade of Drew Brees (though somewhat understandable with his lack of depth), there's more answers I want than I thought I knew. Philip Rivers is perhaps past his prime, Rice may lose touches to Pierce (though the Pitta injury can help both), Reggie Wayne certainly won't replicate last season as he wore down late, Bradshaw already hurt and Mike Wallace struggling for chemistry in Miami, that's perhaps not what was expected with a draft so early. However, I can still foresee a solid season because of the lack of true bust potential. This has the chance to make its way to the low-upside, playoff contender section. There are enough proven commodities here to prove people wrong.
And you thought this post was over? We're just beginning. With the nitty-gritty out of the way, I wanted to have some fun. With the increased traffic on the site, it'd be fun and perhaps transparent in pointing out the types of people in fantasy leagues. Keep in mind, I won't name the specific person, and they may not even be in the league, so don't be offended. Or do. That's part of the fun.
Ha, already broke my own rule. This little shit, along with every past winner, gloats all 200-ish days in the offseason, unwilling to stay humble (who the hell does that?) and taking every little chance to take selfies with the trophies, flaunting their wares, making sure to remind us we know who won. More often than not, this person got lucky in the postseason, got surprised he won, and has now felt the need to act as the smartest guy in the room, telling everyone what to do because CHAMPION. And I'm going to be honest, I love this guy every year. We might not need anymore of these people, but we damn sure need one.
People who overvalue the FUCK out their team
Dude 1: "Hey, do you want Player X (for this absurdly vague scenario's sake, let's say he's a solid veteran WR2)?"
Dude 2: "Sure, for who? I'm down to trade anytime, bro!"
Dude 1: "Player Y (let's say he's an RB2 with a bit of upside but holds injury concerns)"
Dude 2: "Fuck no, man! The guy is a stud. I'm thinking he'll break out this year because of *insert some obscure piece on the internet*. Or ESPN."
Dude 1: "How about Player A, B, C, D (now just naming random players because he really wants to get rid of his WR2)?"
Dude 2: "Nah, I'm good. I really like my players. Stop offering me unfair trades."
Stop me if you've had this waste-of-life conversation before.
The asshole Commissioner
This fucking douchebag. Why's he so stickly with his rules? We had like a week before the draft and he he's trying to push us to decide on players that won't play until September? Why's he text me every night about trade proposals, rule changes and just random football shit I don't really care about? And did he really write a 3000-word post about our teams? What's he know about football? He hasn't made the playoffs in the last three years! Those two championships? They were in high school, psh! The guy needs a life. Man, next thing you know, guy is going to turn into a Fantasy Football Hitler. Give a man too much damn power, that's what I say, he'll forget what got him there. Damn communists! *shakes fist at the sky*
Oh wait, this is about the commissioner, yes? I know you guys love me.
The pretentious dude who thinks he knows everything
Ahhh, perhaps the worst kind of person. There's not much to like here. He might be a great person and friend but when it comes to Football Sundays and Draft Day or even a conversation about football, it's ME ME ME ME! He will never talk about your team unless it's to shit on it. He has draft strategies, player projections and swears to the Holy Jesus that this is the only road to success and tells everyone about it until, they either believe it or just tune him out. But he doesn't care because it's ME ME ME ME! The worst part? He wins. He's smart and knows what he's doing. Though the inability to gain perspective is disconcerting, there's a semblance of pride in knowing that they will lose, be it karma itself. But just wait until he wins. Oh. Dear. Lord.
Okay, perhaps that was a bit harsh.
Deserves their own spot because they're so hilarious and sad to watch. These people do two things: make trades quickly without consulting others and are easily convinced by a single person, and also panic during Draft Day and end up drafting Robert Meachem in the 8th round (a player that ended up finishing the year on the waiver wire). Ever have an anxiety attack? Try and go draft with 25 seconds left and all your sleepers gone or click the confirm trade button after a blockbuster deal. Taking a piss every 5 minutes out here.
The silent type
I forgot they were in the league until I was thinking of another portion of this segment to fit them into. No, seriously. They don't contribute much in the way of rules, scorings and overall conversing. They don't care what anyone thinks, but you know they're watching 3 games in a tiny screen on the laptop; just like you are.
People who don't draft, don't update, are nonexistent, and probably have lives and friends. Fuck them. None of them can be found here.