Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ducal Crown Owner Power Rankings

[Editor's Note: I'd like to welcome Neil Morrissette (@neilmorrissette) to the But, I Digress... Fantasy Football blog (It's that time of year when Fantasy takes over). Neil will be helping me write posts for this season to keep the league updated and fresh. I reserve the right to final edit, and will often make snarky comments in this format. So there's something to look forward to. So, without further rambling and spotlight's Neil.]

Welcome back to the fantasy football season! It feels so good to say that. And with training camps (and pre-season injuries) just around the corner, our beloved Ducal Crown has been busy on the Twitterverse talking everything fantasy football related.

Most of you (the 10 guys who play in the league and Tommy Carrico) who read this blog realize that the Ducal Crown has always had a weekly blog with awards or rankings or some general theme attached to it. Well, this year get ready for 2! That’s right; in addition to the esteemed A.J. ‘Comish’ McGraw’s weekly posts, I will be joining him in producing Ducal Crown member led Power Rankings. These weekly rankings will be based solely off the average of how the 10 guys each rank the owners’ in the league, including themselves. I’ll be sharing their thoughts on each team, it’s chances at the playoffs, weaknesses, strengths...look for a different theme to the comments each week, while the rankings will always be the teams from 1-10 from ‘best’ to ‘worst.’ Expect a lot of stats and an argument for and against each team's particular ranking that week.

With that said we have no teams yet since the draft is still 32 (!!!!!) days away. So in this first set of Power Rankings, I’ve asked my league-mates to rank the owners in terms of “their skill as fantasy football managers.” Lets see how they did together (If it is in italics, it’s a quote. Or some interpretation of one):

P.S. I know everyone wants to know the new team names for the year, the draft order, how bad Noord’s keepers are and all that other exciting stuff, but I’ll leave the updates and most of the quips to A.J. for his inaugural pre-season post. The ‘Ducal Crown Manifesto’ if you will. I expect to be crapped on heavily. [Editor's Note: Thy crapping shall commence. As it is said, so it shall be done.]

‘Owner Skill’ Power Rankings

1) AJ McGraw (@DucalAJM)
First Place Votes: 9
Average Ranking: 1.1
Best comment - “Unless his unnatural obsession with the sport diminishes, he’ll likely stay at the top.”

As one member proclaimed, “results tell the story.” So true. AJ has had a winning record in both two seasons of the league, has a 3-1 playoff record (most games played and most games won), and has a title (2010) under his belt. AJ was described in multiple lights by his peers: “Trading fiend”, “cocky”, “smartest trader in the league”, “bastard.”  [Editor's Note: These guys really know me!] We all agree he has a keen eye for fantasy, evidenced by 9 out of 10 owners voting him at the top. (Don’t worry, we’ll get back to that missing vote.)

Why AJ should be here:
            -”AJ has a patent on the, “lol okay” messages in regards to trading and now Ricky has to pay him royalties. (I’m going to add Noord to that as well.) AJ will throw out a trade, frame it 4 different ways, and always seem to get a yes at the end.”
            -”May not “win” in the draft, but I have a begrudging faith in his season.”
            -”He is #1 because he cares way too much”
            -”Has made smart trades to secure good position each year down the stretch.”
            -”He preys on others to get great deals and for some reason they bite.”
            -”Very prepared and puts in lots of time” (It’s true, we mock together)

Why AJ shouldn't be here:
            -”Results tell the story: one title followed by a runner-up...don’t like the downward trend.”
            -”Back to back 8-6 regular season records is no domination like AJ may claim” (Actually true, as 7-7 each year has meant out of the playoffs, and 8-6 or better has meant in.)
            -”If AJ doesn’t make a run one year, may actually have to get off twitter and work.” (Thus leading to worst results in future years I’m assuming...)
            - “My question is whether his head gets too big for our championship crowns.”
            - “Typically has good luck”

Simply put, AJ deserves to be #1. Two solid seasons, played in two championship games, owns a championship. Despite what I deem not great fantasy luck (Jamaal Charles knee injury week one - 3rd rd keeper 2011, Randy Moss deciding football was beneath him suddenly in 2010 [Editor's Note: Brady in '09, Romo in '10]), is “able to re-mold his team positively each and every year.” Will be tough to unseat at the top.

2) Austin Perry (@DucalChamp)
Second Place Votes - 4 (had to give some sort of stat here)
Average Ranking - 3.0
Best Comment - “He has a Ducal Crown to his name. Means something.”

Is it a surprise the other Ducal Crown champion is at #2? Obviously a testament to results mattering the most among all the league owners, and just how much everyone wants that beautiful trophy. Austin has just the 4th best winning percentage in the lifetime of the league (53.57%).

Why Austin should be here:
            - “While humble, Austin will throw his trophy and @DucalChamp twitter handle in your face when needed.” (He did bring his own sound system to the winter meetings...humble?)
            - “Shown an ability to find keepers late in drafts that end up propelling him through the year.” (Hakeem Nicks 9th rd, LeGarrette Blount 15th rd in 2011; Jordy Nelson 9th rd, Nicks 8th rd in 2012...I’d say they are just OK keepers.)
            - ”His continued upward trend is a concern for all others to be wary of.”
            - “Like other things in his life, he has gone from average to above average in his two years in the league.” (Ha.)

Why Austin shouldn’t be here:
            - “Main benefactor of the “Year of the QB”
            - “I have to see how he does without the most dominant fantasy player [Aaron Rogers] on his roster before I put him in the top 2.”
            - “Don’t know how well he did Year 1 because I wasn’t in the league.” (Ducal Crown History Book is there for a reason. Use it!)
            - “Bad RB’s killed him the first year.” (7th place finish)
            - “Only because he is defending champ”

“Biggest question is deciding if his success was skill or simply a team riding the magical hot pants of Aaron Rodgers.” There are two clear schools of thought on Austin: he either got lucky and rode Rodgers/Jordy combination to the crown, or he has shown an ability to identify good players late in drafts to succeed. Admittedly, he trades the least of all league owners. Put best, “we’ll see what happens this year when Phillip Rivers is steering his ship.” Theres your blackboard motivation Austin.

3) Ricky May (@DucalCrownBones)
Second Place Votes - 3
Average Ranking - 3.2
Best Comment - “Consistent performer that usually has a strong team. Problem is, his team lacks identity.”

“Outside of trade talks, the league has heard Ricky say a total of 40 words.” [Editor's Note: lol]

I could stop there. But I won't: “Favorite saying: I am giving up more than I am getting bud, I’m giving you 4 players for one.” “Legit think he would trade his own son for the right price.” “Draft is irrelevant, since he will trade his team by week 3.”

Who hasn’t woken up to the 5am trade offer you declined last week? I wish I never had. But seriously, “If there is one member in the league everyone respects, it is this guy.” As pointed out, “Ricky has the highest win percentage in the league.” 60.71% to be exact.

Why Ricky should be here:
            - ”Relentless and one of the most experienced FF guys in the league.”
            - ”Arch nemesis of Noord” (Yes, I’m putting this in the good category.)
            - ”Always gets off to a hot start” (6-0 in 2010, 5-1 in 2011)
            - ”S.O.B makes it work”
            - ”Trades with purpose and pursues what he wants”
            - ”He was right about Graham being a Top 3 TE. I respect that.” (I don’t. I’m still bitter)
            - “He’s been right outside the playoffs each year but at least he cares” (No doubt he cares, and he made playoffs year one. Actually won in 2009 before ‘Ducal Crown’ was officially formed.)

Why Ricky shouldn’t be here:
            -”Until he shows an ability to trust his player assessment/rankings then I can’t trust him.”
            -”He does a lot of things. Not good things, but a lot of things!” [Editor's Note: see previous note.]
            -”Prone to making emotional decisions and overthinking easy ones, like starting the Bears #3 WR in the playoffs on a hunch.”

I think 3rd in the rankings is perfectly correct for Ricky. He is a persistent fantasy star (18-10 career record), but has yet to win in the playoffs (0-1). I, and the rest of the league, expect a championship run soon.

4) Neil Morrissette (@DucalRalph)
2nd Place Votes - 1
Average Ranking - 4.9
Best Comment: “Neil has put more time into fantasy football over the past year than Ricky has put into baby pictures on Facebook.”

Going to skip the blurb. I’ll let the comments speak for themselves (and my inflated ego...).

Reasons Neil should be here:
            - “Certainly the most improved over the last few years.
            - “This hurts my heart to put you here, but you’ve been above me every year.”
            - “I hate satisfying Neil and his ego. That being said, he isn’t afraid to take risks.”
            - “Cold calls Matthew Berry.” (Look, we got in his fantasy book. Deal with it.)
            - “It’s not gambling if you’re going to win” (All about that cash flow.)

Reasons Neil shouldn’t be here:
            - ”Has continued to make emotional and reactive decisions that have hurt his team.”
            - “Call your team the ‘Dream Team’ again and you will be the worst manager.” (Deal, Wreck-It Ralph is here to stay.)
            - “You’re going to trade away the title again...own it.”
            - “This may be high for a guy that traded away Stafford, McCoy, Vick and himself out of a playoff spot.” (Don’t forget Sproles and Gronkowski!)

To sum it up, “I see a direct correlation between his fantasy football skills and his gambling abilities. High risk, high reward. Will this strategy ever pay off for a title?”  And, “One day it will pay off, or continue to kill him.” (Bookie Ralph is still taking bets. +500 I don’t win a title in the next 3 years. $5 bet wins you $25. You all knew I had to mention it.)

“Neil is a gambler so he falls for a risky trade from time to time, but he claims to have learned from his past. If Ralph can keep his impulse for making moves at bay, he can move into and stay in the top 3rd of the league.” (Booyah bitches!)

5) Matthew Noordhoff (@DucalNoord)
1st Place Votes - 1
2nd Place Votes - 0
10th Place Votes - 1
Average Ranking - 5.4
Best Comment: “Always proposes one sided trades and thinks they are actually fair. At least Rick and AJ know they are trying to dick you.” [Editor's Note: Hey!]

Noord has one fantasy football adage to his name. “Fantasy football is mostly luck.” How true when people are saying “Give him props for getting this far with suspect teams.” Noord is a solid 16-14 overall with a runner-up and 4th place finish.

Reasons he should be here:
            - “Noord is more committed to his team and the league than Sam is to making ‘Merica quotes at Brickhouse.” (OK, slow your horses. Thats ‘Merica you’re talking about!)
            - “You can’t downgrade a guy because [injuries] HAVEN’T happened to him”
            - “Purely on record, he belongs.”
            - “Even when it struggles, Noord trusts his team and it has paid off.”

Personal Reasons he shouldn’t be here:
            - “I’m going to rank myself first because I’m sure everyone does.” (Now read that sentence again...)

Real reasons he shouldn’t be here:
            - “I’m ranking him here because I don’t know that his style is sustainable.”
            - “Two years in a row can’t be fluke; until you look at his teams.”
            - “His team is horrendous but gets hot just in time to sneak into the playoffs.”
            - “Never liked what he’s done with his keepers, and thats part of managing a team.” (Woodhead, Manningham - 2011; Eli, Mike Bush - 2012)
            - “He hasn’t had to recover from a crippling injury to a key player and is harder than a frozen turd to trade with.” (Boom. Roasted.)
            - "Doesn't understand logic."
            - "...and he's a complainer."

Matt is ranked here despite back-to-back playoff berths due to the league's perception that he has the most risk involved in his strategy. He's also perceived to be the most likely of the Top 5 to fall off and win the Neo any given year. What would it take for Noord to be respected more? Probably a dominant regular season in the 12-4 range. Can't call that fluke [Editor's Note: You clearly don't know this league.]. You can, however, "Boo.This.Man." Go for it.

[Editor's (final) Note: Tune in for Part II later this week to see who ranks in the bottom five! Hint: It's the five guys we haven't mentioned yet.]


  1. I tuned in later in the week... got nothing. Weak.

  2. All complaints can be made to Neil Morrissette, the author of these posts.

    Editing the next one as we speak, WILL post today.