August 4th, 2009

If You Were a Football Player, Would You Draft Yourself?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Let’s say you’re an NFL player competing in a fantasy league with six fellow pros and some guy who won a contest. How early would you draft yourself? Would you pass because of value or conflict of interest?

In the 2009 edition of the NFL Players fantasy league, three of the seven NFL competitors drafted themselves. Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams joined his own team with the final pick of Round 1 in the eight-team collection. Dallas receiver Roy Williams added himself in the fifth round, three rounds after selecting former teammate Calvin Johnson as his No. 1 receiver. Jets running back Leon Washington plucked himself from the board in Round 11, just two rounds from the end.

Chicago running back Matt Forte never got the chance to lead his own team, as Miami back Ronnie Brown snapped him up a pick earlier in the first round. Forte did draft a league-high three teammates, however, choosing QB Jay Cutler in the fifth round, TE Greg Olsen in the sixth and fantasy leaguemate Robbie Gould in the eighth. Gould might have made the draft’s smartest pick by selecting the Bears defense. That should help to protect from at least some of the harassment that might befall other kickers.

In perhaps the ultimate warning sign against his own fantasy value in 2009, Brown passed on himself through four rounds before Roy Williams finally selected him. Houston linebacker and 2008 league champion Cato June couldn’t draft himself because of the format but also had no interest in the Texans defense or any of his new teammates, apparently.

The lone non-football player in the league, contest winner Dave Stasinski, had to like drafting with a group that allowed him to make selections such as Washington running back Clinton Portis in Round 6 and Buffalo back Marshawn Lynch in the 13th and final round.

The full draft can be viewed at via the link provided above.


Matt Forte Excited to Play Fantasy

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

No matter what you think of Matt Forte’s fantasy prospects for the coming season, he seems excited for it to get here.

The Bears’ second-year running back will be one of seven NFLers in this year’s incarnation of the fantasy competition put on by NFL Players, the marketing and business arm of the players association.

“I plan on going all-in,” Forte said in an interview with Mark Donnelly of “This is my first time so I have to get the full experience. I think I have a lot of spare time to do some things. I plan on doing all that fantasy stuff after practice. I think I’m going to get hooked and start playing every year.”

Forte said he got some pointers from friend and Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew, whom he said plays “a lot” of fantasy football. Forte must be catching on quickly, though, because he also said he doesn’t trust the advice of a fellow fantasy player. (Jones-Drew competed in the 2008 edition.)

The competition pits seven football players — Ronnie Brown (Miami), Robbie Gould (Chicago), Leon Washington (N.Y. Jets), DeAngelo Williams (Carolina), Roy Williams (Dallas) and 2008 champ Cato June (Houston), along with Forte — and one contest winner against each other. This is the first time in the three years of the production that a non-NFL participant has been welcomed.

Roy Williams happens to be a fantasy veteran, though he’ll have to hope he learned his lesson last time. The receiver finished last in the NFL Players league’s inaugural season in 2007.

“Consistency is the key and I didn’t have it,” Williams said of his loss, in an interview with “It’s very hard to put your lineup together when you’re trying to guess and sometimes I caught myself guessing a lot of weeks.”

(If he’s looking for consistency, let’s hope he’s not relying on himself at receiver.)

It’s nice that this event gives a taste of the fantasy game to actual players, who might otherwise just know fantasy as the only thing that fans seem to ask them about these days. We’ll try to keep an eye on who comes out on top this time around.