Breaking Down My 4-0 Fantasy Football Team

Breaking Down My 4-0 Fantasy Football Team

With bye weeks looming, and injuries to players piling up, the fantasy football season always gets more challenging as it goes on

The NFL season is in full swing and fans across the nation are loving it as per usual. One of the many traditions fans like myself take part in is fantasy football, the online game where you draft players and earn points based on their performances. I'm off to a great start in my tournament league. In fact, I currently sit at an undefeated 4-0 record. Here's the team I have and the players that got me to this point!

Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota

There's nothing better in fantasy football than knowing you're set under center. Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota are both great quarterbacks capable of putting up big yardage both as passers and as runners. Wilson is my starter and has played great, and as long as Mariota is healthy, you can usually count on him to have a decent game.

Running Back: Devonta Freeman, Jordan Howard, Ty Montgomery, Matt Forte

The running back position is the pride and joy of my team. When I drafted this team, I wanted to make sure I would never be lacking at RB since good fantasy RB's are hard to find. Devonta Freeman and Jordan Howard are top running backs in the NFL who I can count on for triple-digit yards and at least one trip to the end zone. Ty Montgomery is my go to Flex player, and Matt Forte offers depth.

Wide Receiver: Emmanuel Sanders, Devante Parker, Jeremy Maclin, Torrey Smith

This is probably the weakest position group on my roster. Emmanuel Sanders is the only one that puts up decent numbers week to week. Devante Parker is decent but inconsistent, Jeremy Maclin is affected by Joe Flacco's struggles, and Torrey Smith is more of a depth player fantasy wise.

Tight End: Jason Witten, Eric Ebron

Even in his 15th NFL season, Jason Witten continues to produce at a good level. Witten usually gets a good amount of targets, and there's always a good chance he'll be thrown to in the end zone. Eric Ebron hasn't been great since the Lions drafted him, and he still needs to develop as a player. I'm only putting in Ebron if Witten has a bye or gets injured.

Defense/Special Teams: Patriots, Titans

Both of these defenses have potential to be top units this season. Sadly, the potential hasn't been reached yet. The Pats and Titans sit at just 2-2, and their porous defenses are huge reasons why. Hopefully, the early season rust comes off, because these defenses are better than what they've shown.

Kicker: Blair Walsh, Caleb Sturgis

Blair Walsh has been a solid starting kicker for me. I tend not to do a whole lot of moving and shaking at this position because you can't really predict how well a kicker will do. But, I do need to make a move at kicker. Caleb Sturgis is confirmed out for the rest of the season on injured reserve, having been replaced by rookie phenom Jake Elliott. Dropping Sturgis will give me room to get another RB.

With bye weeks looming, and injuries to players piling up, the fantasy football season always gets more challenging as it goes on, but 4-0 is 4-0. Here's hoping for continued good luck in one of my favorite things about football.

Also, I have a second fantasy team in another league. I'm 0-4.

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Sports Teach Learn Life Lessons That May Not Be Learned Anywhere Else

You have to practice to become better and that you must push yourself to get better every day.

Ever since I was a little boy, I have always loved sports. I was drawn to them and couldn't get enough—whether it was playing or watching. I always wanted to try and play every sport possible; even when I had no time for anything else, I always begged my mom to let me play. This continued throughout my childhood, but baseball was always my favorite to play.

I have played baseball ever since I was 4-years-old, and I continue playing it today at the University of Wisconsin on their club baseball team. Baseball (and sports in general) have taught me many different lessons and have shaped who I am as a person today.

Sports have impacted my life greatly and showed me the way I should live. It has always made me want to become the best that I can be, whether on the field or off. Many sports are a team game and you have other people relying on you to be the best you can be.

You have to practice to become better and that you must push yourself to get better every day.

This mindset has correlated with my life outside of sports. I have tried to push myself in every aspect of life to be the best that I can be, and I have learned that from sports and I am grateful. I strive to get better every day of my life and that is all due to the values sports have taught me.

I have met some of my best friends through sports. There are some of my close friends that I met by playing flag football or t-ball with them. Also, when I was going into high school I didn't know a whole lot of people because I went to private school from K-4 through 8th grade, and a lot of my friends were going to different high schools.

So, being the big sports fan I was, I decided to join the football team as a freshman because I had played before. That is probably the best decision I could have made my freshman year because through practice and summer lifting, I met friends that I've had before the first day of high school up until this day.

Sports make people become really close because of a common goal: winning. If you want to win, you must have good team chemistry. Bonding with your teammates through wins and losses really creates amazing friendships that can last a lifetime.

Sports have taught me that no matter the outcome of the game, as long as you leave everything out on the field and give the game everything you have, then there is no need to get down on yourself.

There is nothing more you could have done, and if you want the outcome to change the next time, then you must get better.

Only you know if you truly gave your all and that you tried to better yourself for every game, so you must hold yourself accountable... no one else will. This applies to everyday life, too, because if you know you tried and truly did your best with anything, then you know that is the best result that could have occurred from it.

Sports have changed my life for all good, positive reasons and have taught me many important lessons that I carry with me throughout my life. I highly encourage everyone to at try and go out for a sport, because it teaches many lessons that can't be taught in a classroom or through studying.

The only way to truly learn important life lessons like these is to get out there, get involved and challenge yourself. If you do that, then I promise you it will change your life for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Moneyball: Can It Find Its Legs In Cleveland?

With the major changes taking place in the Browns front office, is there room for Moneyball?

"Moneyball" is probably one of my favorite sports movies of all time. It's right up there with "Remember the Titans" and "Glory Road." The nice thing about "Moneyball" is it brought me and countless other sports fans into a brand new way to think about sports...with math. The whole concept of the movie was that a successful baseball team could be created using unappreciated players. By unappreciated, the idea was that teams were utilizing statistics that were overblown. They were ultimately not very helpful in determining a player's actual value to a team. In order to fix this, all new, more accurate statistics had to be created to better gauge the value of a player.

Baseball has been a very statistical game for as long as anyone can remember, so you might think that finding these new and improved stats might not be that difficult. And you might be right. But what about football?

Paul DePodesta was credited with revamping of the Oakland A's that came as a result of Moneyball. A few years ago, Paul was hired as the Chief Strategy Officer of the Cleveland Browns, ideally bringing with him a new way of thinking about the game of football. Previously, a good football player was only determined via their game film and often today that is still the case.

Football is so very different than baseball, with so many different schemes and options. I'm left only to wonder what DePodesta is dreaming up in the Browns front offices. Needless to say, his tenure with the Browns has gotten off to a slow start. The Browns have won only a single game since his hiring and Sashi Brown, the de facto general manager during Pauls first year and a half with the team, has been fired along with other personnel. Still, core members of his coworkers remain among him. With the hiring of John Dorsey as GM, Eliot Wolfe as assistant GM, and Alonzo Highsmith as VP of Player Personnel, people are tentatively saying the Browns front office is now one of the top three in all of professional football.

My hope is that DePodesta remains. At the time of Sashi Brown's firing, Paul and his staff's futures were uncertain. Given that when a new GM comes into a situation with former members of another GMs staff, the old team goes and the new GM brings in his own team. While it is difficult for me to look at the results on the field and point to why Paul should remain employed by the Browns, my belief is that he is intelligent enough to figure out this game and how to beat it. I believe that if he doesn't do it in Cleveland, he will do it somewhere else. I don't know how most of you feel, but I'm tired of former Browns players and staffers finding success elsewhere. I want the talent we have to hit their stride in Cleveland.

One day I'd like to talk to Paul and some of his staff about what they are doing to change the sport of football. It could be something so simple that the rest of us haven't thought to consider it. Maybe there are better drills for players to run at the combine that can better determine their talent. For all I know now, they might not have any idea what underutilized stat or exercise they can exploit to their advantage. This overhaul of the game might not even exist in the same state as it did with baseball. But what I do know is that when the guys in our front office figure out the secret, I want them to do it as members of the Cleveland Browns.

Cover Image Credit: Skitterphoto

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