January 12th, 2010

FSWA Looks to Choose Fantasy’s Best

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The Fantasy Sports Writers Association has expanded on last year’s fantasy MVP award (which went to DeAngelo Williams).

This time around, the FSWA also wants its members to pick a rookie of the year and an “All-Fantasy” team. Below is a look at the ballot that has been passed out to FSWA members. (Writers who would like to join the FSWA can find the application form here.)

QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
RB Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
RB Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rookie of the Year:
WR Austin Collie, Indianapolis Colts
WR Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings
RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
WR Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
RB Chris “Beanie” Wells, Arizona Cardinals

2009 All-Fantasy Team
Team Defense:
Top IDP Performer:

Voters are asked to rank the players in the first two categories. The deadline for submitting ballots is Monday, Jan. 18.


New FFOC Millionaire Shares the Joy

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

What’s the first thing that you would do if you won $1 million playing fantasy football? Buy a car? Pay off your mortgage? Go nuts in Vegas?

Detsinh Sayaloune was already there, so he easily could have chosen that last option. The second-ever winner of the Fantasy Football Open Championship, however, started by promising his fellow finalists a shot to beat him in 2010.

“I think that making the Top 15 in a contest such as FFOC, is such a great accomplishment, and I just wanted to award everyone a free team since only the grand prize winner received a free team,” Sayaloune told FSB.com. “They were a great group of guys, and I just want to be able to compete with them again next year and hopefully see them in Vegas again.”

Buying $100 entries for 14 other people certainly won’t break the bank for a million-dollar winner, but it’s a fairly magnanimous gesture considering that Sayaloune only met the rest of the group at the FFOC event (to which he drove from Nebraska with his three brothers).

“Detsinh and his brothers were very gracious winners and a lot of fun to party with,” said Jeff Thomas, CEO of World Fantasy Games and one of the FFOC’s final 15. “Buying each of the finalists a Tier 1 team next year doesn’t surprise me at all — very classy move by a great guy.”

When it came to explaining how he reached the finals this time around, Sayaloune took another somewhat unorthodox step, leading with an all-time fantasy favorite who has lot a couple of steps lately.

“I’m a big LT fan and against expert advice, I decided to draft him in the first round in many of my leagues,” he explained, referring to Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson. “Well, after Week 1 it seemed that everyone was going to be right about not drafting him, since he got injured, but he came back and was one of my most consistent players.”

Of course, Sayaloune got fantasy points from plenty of other sources, led by this year’s ticket to title contention, Tennessee running back Chris Johnson. He also picked up Dallas receiver and second-half stud Miles Austin off the waiver wire, enjoyed the big-play scoring of Philly wideout DeSean Jackson and certainly wasn’t hurt by possessing Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo in a format that allows you to play a second quarterback at a “flex” position.

Sayaloune sat in second place when he flew to Las Vegas to meet the rest of the finalists and said he never felt comfortable about his win until Jay Cutler finally threw his game-winning touchdown pass in overtime of the Monday-nighter.

“It was very nerve-racking because [Adrian Peterson] could have busted out for a 40-yard touchdown and I would have lost my lead,” he said. “I had a pretty good cushion going into MNF but with fantasy anything can happen, so I wasn’t about to celebrate until it was really over.”

Once it was really over, though, the math teacher and Jets fan from Nebraska had plenty to celebrate.

“It still hasn’t sunk in but it feels great to have that title and the grand prize,” he said. Then, in a bit of an understatement, “I’ll be able to live debt-free for a while and I’m very happy with that.”

(World Fantasy Games owns and operates FantasySportsBusiness.com.)