Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grantland Contest Submission

Grantland, a website I frequent (initially because of my unabashed man-crush on Editor In-Chief Bill Simmons, but now because the content is good and I have to read something during the day), is hosting a contest to hire a Fantasy Football Writer. Well, I like writing and I also like Fantasy Football, so I thought I'd give it a go. 

Below is the 750 word (which, for me, felt like a straight jacket) submission on my "top five fantasy players and one (and only one) sleeper". 

Before you read, I wanted to thank you for supporting my writing and visiting my blog and encouraging me when I get overly excited about things like this. A lot of you tweeted at me to submit something and that extra motivation helped me get to a final product.

Special thanks to Michael and Rae Bartlett for being my covert ghost editors, they are great and everyone should give them $100. 

Grantland Fantasy Island Submission

If you’re going to win Fantasy Football, or lose and keep your sanity, you’ve got to pick players you trust, based on what you know. If Mike Wallace is the “next best” wide receiver on the board, you don’t have to take him over Dez Bryant, who you love because you think Miles Austin’s hamstrings are made of silly putty. At the end of the day you want a roster you can be confident going into battle with.

So, here are Five Confidence-Boosting, Battle-winning, fantasy players (and one sleeper).

1.  Tom Brady, QB, Patriots – Brady (and Aaron Rodgers) are fantasy quarterback gods. They impose their will on and off the field, putting the ball wherever they want and eliciting fearful sobs from opposing fantasy owners. Brady has made two tight end sets the norm, and forces you to guard both as elite receivers. His personal assistant, Wes Welker, gets to any spot on the field and Brandon Lloyd is coming to replace the bungling Chad Johnson as the deep threat. Brady will give you implausibly high scoring production all year, redefining “elite fantasy quarterback” with another 5,000 yard season.

Don’t over think it. Get Brady (or Rodgers) and don’t look back.

2. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens – If I’m not taking one of the aforementioned quarterbacking ramrods, sign me up for Ray Rice. Arian Foster and Lesean McCoy are great, but Rice doesn’t have the injury history of Foster and, like McCoy, his OC didn’t announce they’re reducing his touches. Joe Flacco has the confidence of a middle schooler changing in a public locker room. He’ll continue to dump it off to Rice whose low posture and shifty running style will rack up mega-yardage. He had 76 catches in 2011 and is the best offensive weapon in Baltimore by a mile. Expect Rice to slice through the line behind two-time All-Pro full back Vonta Leach to another year as the most reliable fantasy running back.

3. Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears – While everyone else in your league worries about how he’s “a little crazy, right?”, rest easy in taking Marshall this year. These are grown men who choose to have larger grown men launch their bodies at them multiple times a week. Don’t you want your receivers to be a little crazy? Marshall had 88 catches for 1,200 yards and 6 touchdowns with Matt Moore’s pool noodle throwing him the ball. Now he’s reunited with Jay Cutler and Jeremy Bates, the quarterback coach who led the tandem to back-to-back 100 catch seasons in ’07 and ’08. He’s the only receiving weapon the Bears have and you can expect a massive year from him.

4. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons – He’s the trendy pick this offseason and, try as I might to avoid it, I have to include him. It’s common sense. I can rant and rave about his raw talent, speed and YPC. Or I can remind you that the Falcon’s expect Matt Ryan to work in three wide-receiver sets and out of the no-huddle offense more. Julio has elite athletic ability, is in a faster offense and Roddy White and Michael Turner both expect their roles to be reduced. If you’re not on the Julio Jones bandwagon I assume you’re holding out for your Crystal Pepsi stock to rebound.

5. Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints – Graham is in a passing offense with one of the top three quarterbacks throwing him the ball and had 99 catches for 1,300 yards and double digit TDs in 2011. Don’t. Over. Think. It. Graham is the ultimate tight end, long and athletic with great hands and the leaping ability of a startled house cat. You’ll feel confident drafting him and will be able to trust his production. With the depth at wide receiver, Graham’s reliability is worth taking as early as the second round.

Sleeper – Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons – Skill, opportunity, and value. That’s what you’re looking for from your late round sleepers and Jacquizz has all three. This Falcon’s team wants to play fast and Rodgers can be the type of player Darren Sproles is for the Saints, a matchup nightmare who can slide under and around defenders. Sproles had 86 catches and 1,300 rushing/receiving yards last year, top 10 at his position in standard leagues, top 5 in PPR. When Michael Turner runs out of gas, Rodgers will see his role increase and has the potential to have a huge impact. He’s the 48th running back off the board and worth the risk late.


So there it is, let me know what you think (but only if you have nice things to say, otherwise, go away).  

Also, if you're in any of my fantasy leagues feel free to use this advice against me (it won't help you anyways). 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Ducal Crown Manifesto

We’re back.

Year Three of the Ducal Crown Fantasy Football League is set to begin. Although the pre-season Manifesto marks the official start, league activity has taken off faster than a girl who just heard the words, “I’d like to introduce you to my friend Neil.” The Ducal Crown is maturing rapidly; new rules are emerging, the shape is starting to change, and we’re beginning to ask questions we weren’t concerned with last year. At this rate, our league will be able to grow facial hair before TJB.

As we enter the exciting stages of Fantasy League puberty, let’s take a moment to look back on a few of our changes, re-introduce the owners and figure out what that new patch of hair is for.

Allow me to present to you the first annual Ducal Crown League Manifesto.  

“I see no changes, all I see is--newly developed and structured Fantasy league divisions to promote interleague play based on geographic location--I mean, racist faces”

The newest addition to our little family is interleague divisions. We divided the league into a North and a South division so we can have control over the schedule, force “cross-division rivals” (more on that later) and bring new elements to the table. Do you become loyal to your Division wanting divisional teams to win if you’re out of the playoffs (like rooting for an NFC team as a Skins fan because the AFC is for coconut humping cromagnums)? Or are you internally hostile and focused only on conquering your own division, even rooting for the other side (like Redskins fans do for the Cowboys/Eagles/Giants and vice versa)? Or, are you like Sam, and won’t notice we’ve added divisions at all until Week 13 when you’re deciding whether to start Evan Royster, Roy Helu or Tim Hightower (all of whom you drafted)?

The Divisional Break-Down
North Division (aka, Federales)
Austin Perry
AJ McGraw
Bryan Gunst
Jimmy Hostetler
Noord Noordhoff

South Division (aka, Stonewallers)
Eric Creasman
Neil Morrissette
Ricky May
Sam Persons
TJ Beuerle

Not that you care, but each team will play their division teams twice, the opposing division once, and their Division Rival one extra time (14 games total). And, since you asked, here are the Division Rivals:

Division Rivals
Austin Perry vs. TJ Beuerle- Our reigning champ meets his Fraternal little brother in the fantasy world where they will go at it like enraged sea lions. They will also play each other in Fantasy Football as Division Rivals, but that’s less weird than the other stuff they’ve got going on.

My pick: TJB over Austin 2-0

AJ McGraw vs. Neil Morrissette- Neil and I have been appropriately matched as rivals this year. I’m unconventionally obsessed with Fantasy Football, spending hours of my time doing research, draft prep, and tinkering with different strategies. He uses the same time to develop strategies that don’t work. I formulate my own opinions based on analysis done by professionals. He listens to the same analysts, but forms opinions that backfire. I use 60% of my words each blog finding new ways to humiliate and chide Neil for everything he does (totally undeserved), he spends 60% of his time plotting my death by alpaca stampede (totally deserved).

My pick: Naturally, we’ll tie our series matchup 1-1, and will have to revisit next year.

Bryan Gunst vs. Eric Creasman- Call it “The Matrix Revolution” as these two Neos* fight for the honor of least inept of the last place finishers. This is also a battle of SigEp giants, a former Regional Director up against the current Alumni Volunteer Corporation President. Can I propose the loser gets paddled?

My Pick: Tied 1-1

Noord Noordhoff vs. Ricky May- These two owners are blood thirsty and already have a wager on the season: whoever finishes higher at the end of the year buys the other dinner, a drink, tickets for a romantic comedy and, if they play their cards right, a good night kiss at the door (no tongue. OK, maybe a little tongue. Actually, probably a lot of tongue. Ew).

My Pick: Ricky over Noord 2-0 (sorry Noordy)

Jimmy Hostetler vs. Sam Persons- Dubbed “The War of Northern Aggression”, this Big/Little combination will slug it out in what has been called “the lowest scoring matchup I’ve ever seen” and “wow, these teams suck”, not to mention “I don’t really have a comment on Sam and Jimmy, you don’t have to mention me in the blog. Seriously, AJ, just be cool for once.”

My Pick: Sam over Jimmy 2-0**

*The Neo is the award for the owner who finishes in last place. He is subject to a number of undesirable responsibilities and humiliation.
**These predictions made before the draft, so it’s really a shot in the dark. Except for when I’m accurate, then it’s because I’m a genius.

The League
Without further ado, allow me to reintroduce the 9 most fearsome men in Fantasy Football! (and Neil- had to get one last dig in.)

All quotes are from the owner’s themselves, all bracketed comments and keeper situations are from me.

Noord Noordhoff
Team Name: RGSPE
Important Skills: My emphysema laugh and ping pong skills.
Movie Title that best describes the upcoming fantasy season: Magic Mike (only if I draft Mike Wallace) [And probably even if he doesn't. This guy loves Channing Tatum.]
If you were an NFL player, what would you get arrested for?: Drunk in public, public urination
Your Fantasy Strategy in One Word: Moneyball
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: Jimmy 
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: Me (don't stop believing) #hehateme

Keeper Situation: Grim. Very grim. (Eli Manning in the 10th, and, maybe, Mike Bush in the 9th)

My Take: We all love Noord’s confidence and optimism, and, to be honest, the results have backed him up. He’s one of two teams to have made the playoffs in consecutive years and has an overall winning record. I hate to say it, but I think he’ll find a way to get it done this year and remain in contention. I think his fantasy team feeds off his swagger. You know, if a big guy with a shaved head and laugh that sounds like a blown gasket can have swagger.

Neil (Ralph) Morrissette
Team Name: Wreck-It Ralph
Explanation of Team Namewww.wreckitralph.com
Important Skills: Bacon Eating Champion
How you're going to win the league this year: By not trading my starting RB's [LOLOLOLOL! YEA! RIGHT!]
Favorite NFL Player: Michael Crabtree
Least Favorite NFL Player: Michael Crabtree
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: Jimmy and Noord. Neo Bowl
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: Me!
Additional Comments: Bet on Bookie Ralph's 2012 Lines! Thank you very much.

Keeper Situation: Things have to go right. (Ryan Matthews in 6th, Ben Tate in 11th)

My Take: I like Ryan Matthews in the 6th, he's got the highest upside of any running back this year, and, if Arian Foster's hamstring acts up we know Tate is a legit producer. Then again, Matthews has never played a full season and Tate is a backup who broke his ankle in 2010. I think we’ll see a slightly more conservative game plan from Neil this year with a few calculated risks. He has strong opinions on a few players, and it’s going to come down to whether he nails those or not. Long story short, 7-7, no playoffs, blah blah blah.

Ricky May
Team name: No Blaine, No Gain
Explanation of Team Name:  Blaine Gabbert is the Jags QB’ so I figured I’d take a knock off of the old cliché “No Pain, No Gain” and go with “No Blaine, No Gain” [The analysis here is scintillating]
Favorite Personal Nickname:  Bones….unfortunately not so “Bones” anymore….good ole home cookin and occasional “drinks” will do that to a married man [What are "drinks" are those different from drinks? Are they "special" drinks? Don't answer this...]
Least Favorite Personal Nickname:  Boner…self explanatory 
Important Skills:  Fantasy football, throwing a football better than Jimmy Hostetler with a cast on each arm in pouring down rain, pretty much anything athletic or academic, convincing Noord he's horrendous at fantasy football, Madden,…[Wait, what?! Did he just say “pretty much anything athletic or academic”!? Well, my goodness! I didn’t know we were in the presence of such a high and mighty Lord of all sport and study! Shall we bow before you thine most gracious leader of leisure and learning?! We are not worthy! WE ARE NOT WORTHY!]
How you're going to win the league this year:  Sheer intimidation via Twitter and mass e-mailing. 
Your Fantasy Strategy in One Word:  Volume
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year:  Noord – outside of our rivalry, I just think he’s had such over-performances the last two years. Karma is due to switch this year and flip him on his head.
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown:  Me of course…I’m due, simple as that.

Keeper Situation: Injury prone (Mike Vick in 14th, Fred Jackson in 5th)

My Take: Ricky texted me yesterday to tell me his wife (HIS WIFE!) said she could outdraft me. This was entirely unprovoked (lol, jk) and I’m not sure how the mother of a sweet, chubby cheeked baby could be so cruel.  Apparently giant ego runs in the family, except Katie can back it up. 

TJ Beuerle
Team name: [undecided] was TB2
Explanation of Team Name: TB2 is like RG3. Gonna change it though cause two other people went RG3 themed after I did. Pretty bitter about it. Probs going back to Moose Tracks. [Probs.]
Least Favorite Personal Nickname: Guy that lost to Moose in a vote but still got in the league
Important Skills: Making Neil feel like some of his ideas are good, being able to piss anyone off in like 5 minutes, not falling for Ricky's dumb trades, not Noord
Favorite NFL Player: Ryan Kerrigan (also have a man crush on Tom Brady)
Least Favorite NFL Player: Eli Manning
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: Jimmy
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: Gunst is in great position with his keepers and draft spot, but question his ability to manage a team.

Keeper Situation: Strong. Very Strong. (Jimmy Graham in 14th, Lesean McCoy in 2nd)

My Take: I can beuarely spell this guy’s name ceuorrectly, let alone preuovide coherent fantasy analysiseus. What do you weuant from me? I’m just one meuan.

Eric Creasman
Team name: God.Bless.Day.Beers
Explanation of Team Name: Who doesn't like Day Beers??? They make everything better and I praise Him for giving them to me. [I, um…sigh.]
Favorite Personal Nickname: Tuck. Mike Martin (Matt's Dad) likes to compare some of my drinking binges with their family as a downhill skier just going along, going along and then hitting the 'tuck' position pointed straight downhill.
Important Skills: Hand to hand combat, negotiating, balling outrageous, drinking prowess (out drink out draft).
Favorite NFL Player: I've got Peyton man love, we all know this.
Least Favorite NFL Player: Everyone on my opponent's roster, [expletive]
If you were an NFL player, what would you get arrested for?: Ballin' outrageous, drunk and disorderly, public intoxication, making it rain
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: Sam worries me, but his keepers and high draft SHOULD keep him out of the cellar. Gunst should also have the weapons to stay clear of the basement. I think Noord is due for a fall but... I think the kid brings. Ricky. DOWN! (I have no idea)
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: AJ is hard to bet against because he seems to find a way each year, luck or skill a W is a W. So...by default and lack of faith in much other consistency I say AJ.

Keeper Situation: A quantity of quality. His options are (Marshawn Lynch in 5th, Drew Brees in 2nd, Julio Jones in 5th, Wes Welker in 3rd, Peyton Manning in 6th).

My Take: www.aa.org

My Real Take: I think we see another strong showing from Creas this year, if he chooses his keepers correctly. Banking on the wrong guys can ruin his draft, affect his strategy and leave his team compromised. I think he's already traded the rights to one of his keepers, which will be made official after the draft. In terms of fantasy management he might be making the smart moves early, mitigating risks and trying to take advantage of his excess of keepers and late round draft position. A forward thinking move from our resident geriatric, maybe I'll move him from 9th to 8th in my owner power rankings (heh heh).

Jimmy Hostetler
Team name: B-Button Spin Move
Explanation of Team Name: I've spent more money on video games than Neil makes in a year. It's only appropriate that I have a video game related team name
Important Skills: Consulting maps
How you're going to win the league this year: Hard work, determination, strong leadership, throwing farther than Ricky
Movie Title that best describes the upcoming fantasy season: The Princess Diaries
Favorite NFL Player: Not surprisingly and not for football stuff, but Rob Gronkowski currently [Yo soy fiesta!]. On the field, Brett Kiesel right now. Dude and his beard are out of this world.
Least Favorite NFL Player: Ed Reed, hands down. Guy looks homeless and plays like 6 games a year.
Your Fantasy Strategy in One Word: Pray
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: Neil just because of all the hype he's had around himself. 
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: TJB has some stout keepers from what I hear
Additional Comments: AJ enjoys the company of nude men [I, um…sigh]

Keeper Situation: Half-way excellent. (Rob Gronkowski in the 15th, BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the 14th)

My Take: Jimmy will unabashedly continue in normal form knowing more about NFL football than Fantasy football and being proud of it. Which is fine with me. Plus, anytime you can have a guy with four names on your team, you have to take it! I know its easy to bash Jimmy, but remember, he has two first round picks this year and Gronkowski. If Gronk does anything even close to last year, Jimmy will have a shot in almost all of his games. Can't count him out yet.

Austin Perry
Team name: Pledge Prez Perry
Favorite Personal Nickname: "DJ Garlic Sauce" "Ducal Champ" is nice too.
Least Favorite Personal Nickname: "Puke King"
Important Skills: Speed eating, finding late round studs, cell phone photography, and slow pitch softball
How you're going to win the league this year: Shonn Greene 2012
Favorite NFL Player: Chris Cooooooley: luscious locks, nude twit pics, pottery
Least Favorite NFL Player: Jason Witten, boring, looks like Boomhower, is a vegetarian (unconfirmed)
Your Fantasy Strategy in One Word: Teabag
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: Noord
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: BGunst

Keeper Situation: Solid. (Hakeem Nicks in 8th, Jordy Nelson in 9th)

My Take: Perry comes in with his WR core locked up and the 5th and 11th overall picks (oh, did I forget to mention we introduced draft pick trading this year?). He's in good shape to have four studs on his team by round two. The key will be who is quarterbacking his team and who he can fill in at RB. He and I have both proved you don't need elite RBs to win the league, but they sure do help. The big question is whether Perry can avoid drafting Marques Colston and Shonn Greene for the 3rd year in a row.

AJ McGraw
Team name: deSPEcable me
Explanation of Team Name: It’s a championship winning name, can’t change it.
Favorite Personal Nickname: Quickdraw
Least Favorite Personal Nickname: One-ball McGraw
Important Skills: Alliteration, Snark
How you're going to win the league this year: Same way I won it two years ago, relying on the poor performance of other teams.
Movie Title that best describes the upcoming fantasy season: There Will be Blood
Your Fantasy Strategy in One Word: Swindle
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: Noord
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: TJB

Keeper Status: Confident. (Matt Stafford in 6th, DeMarco Murray in 15th)

My Take: I love Stafford, but Murray scares me. His value is too good to pass up. If they can stay healthy, and I can get some supporting players around them I'm going to feel confident in my starting lineup. Unfortunately, your starting lineup usually doesn't win you fantasy titles. Your bench depth does. 

Bryan Gunst
Team name: WheelsGoNonStop
Explanation of Team Name: My nickname is Wheels because Richard Brammer knighted me so in myrtle beach. In one of the many glorious songs that were written during undergraduate winter breaks, one of my lines was "Wheels go non stop" and thus, my name was born.
Favorite Personal Nickname: Wheels or Gunssssssss
Least Favorite Personal Nickname: This is a trick question so you and everyone in the league calls us this all year. I don't know. I guess Melissa's Brother. [It took us 9 people to finally figure this out. Atta boy, MelBro!]
Movie Title that best describes the upcoming fantasy season: We Bought A Zoo
Favorite NFL Player: London Fletcher
Least Favorite NFL Player: Albert Haynesworth, or anyone on the Patriots
If you were an NFL player, what would you get arrested for?: Breaking and entering into the Hidden Valley Ranch Factory
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: Noord (based on keepers and lack of draft shenanigans to make up for them)
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: Me. If you don't think you're going to win it all than why are you playing?
Additional Comments: Is the draft BYOR or will ranch be provided free of cost?

Keeper Status: Solid, like a well crafted turd. (Arian Foster in 3rd, AJ Green in 8th)

My Take: I’ll have to check, but I think Bdubs will be providing ranch for $.50.MelBro is looking at starting the year with Aaron Rodgers, AJ Green and Arian Foster. Arguably two first overall picks in his lineup, you gotta love that talent. Unfortunately, Foster's obvious (and necessary) handcuff is tied up on Neil's team so if Foster goes down, so could this team.

Sam Persons
Team name: Need for SPEed
Explanation of Team Name: Need for SPEed? Somewhat self explanatory. I called upon the powerful 80's classic film Top Gun and did like everyone else and capitalized our fraternity letters lol. Also, if I could make my avatar on Yahoo! a pic of me playing volleyball shirtless in aviator sunglasses and tight blue jeans I definitely would. Moreover, I'm willing to get paid for such a photograph.
Favorite Personal Nickname: Sammy. My childhood name. Only my closest friends and family call me this. (Side Note: there is also the AJ McGraw special "Sam-a-lam-a-ding-dong")
Important Skills: The ability to not know whats happening in the league until a vote has already been taken and your vote doesn't count. (I need to get a smart phone....)
How you're going to win the league this year: In the words of Jimmy McGinty..."You gotta have heart!" and perhaps a little bit of luck. (Note: Jimmy McGinty was the head coach in The Replacements)
Movie Title that best describes the upcoming fantasy season: The Expendables! Lets not kid ourselves we're all aging, but that doesn't mean this season won't be filled with action, cheesy one liners and excellent pyrotechnic displays! [Sammy’s on the board!]
Favorite NFL Player: Darrell Green, hands down. Great football player, better person. Also, he likes tootsie rolls.
Your Fantasy Strategy in One Word: Pray [This is also Jimmy's exact strategy. LET THE WAR OF NORTHERN AGRESSION BEGIN!]
Most Likely to 'win' the Neo this year: After a great bounce back last season. Creasman falls to the bottom of the barrel to claim his 2nd Neo in 3 years.
Most Likely to win the Ducal Crown: I'm thinking there will be a surprise this year at the top. TJB makes a major push for the Crown.

Keeper Status: Very strong. (Cam Newton in 15th, Victor Cruz in 14th). OK, wildly strong.

My Take: Who wouldn't feel confident with a starting QB and WR2 coming to you in the last two rounds of the draft. Sam also cleverly acquired the 12th overall pick (from me) to go with his 3rd overall. At this point, in the second round he's looking at a team of Cam, Cruz, Welker, Ray Rice....that is a PPR scoring DREAM TEAM. Oh yea, I'm invoking the Dream Team label already. Muahahahaha, #sabotage.

Here’s the final count-
Votes for Neo: Noord leads with 5, Jimmy has 3. Are we looking at our Neo Bowl?
Votes for Champ: Tied between Gunst and TJB, with 3-apiece. Could these teams represent the Federales and Stonewallers in the title bout?

Pre-season is under way, and we draft August 25th....two and a half weeks from now. I couldn't be more excited. But, for now, I need to go look at myself in the mirror and tell myself how beautiful I am. 

Let the #DucalCrownChaos begin!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ducal Crown Owner Power Rankings (Part II)

[Editor's Note: We resume where we left off last week ranking the owner's of the Ducal Crown Fantasy Football league based on composite rankings from all the owner's in the league measuring their skill as fantasy football managers. Neil Morrissette guest writes these posts, all complaints can be directed to him @neilmorrissette.]


Comments will now feature "Why this player should be higher" and "Why they should be ranked here".

6) TJ Beuerle (@DucalBurly)
10th Place Votes - 1
Average Ranking - 6.5
Best Comment: “TJ has been known to party like he’s still in 1990 at Ducal Crown functions, but stays dry when it counts.” (Expect so much more on this in the Ducal Crown Manifesto.)

The newest member of the league, “TJ is still wet around the pants.” Many of the members seem undecided on where to rank him due to the leagues unfamiliarity with him, and an up and down first year (0-5 start, 7-2 finish).

Why TJ should be higher:

- “TJ doesn’t take nothing from nobody” (Then how does he get anything?)
- “Has the advantage of only playing in the league for one year, so his strategy can change and surprise people.
- ”Smartly acquired assets in a losing season to be in a great position this season.” (McCoy late 2nd rd keeper, Jimmy Graham in the 15th!)
- “TJ at 8.” (This is the world-class analysis we seek from our fantasy league.)

Why TJ should be here:
- “Need to see repeated results over more than one year to rank higher.”
- “I think he could be higher but needs to prove it first.”
- “Bottom half of the league when it comes to football knowledge.”

- "We was, 'disoriented', during the Winter Meeting. You can count on us feeding him drinks at the draft and saying, "I'm telling you, Keyshawn Johnson is on the Cowboys now! He's starting!"

TJ is ranked here mainly because he has played one season in the Ducal Crown, but I think it fits well. He was quite unlucky starting the season 0-5 last year, but rebounded to finish 7-7. Can you rank him above guys that have made the playoffs before?  “He’s my sleeper to jump 2-3 spots in the rankings after another year in the league.”  (Mine too. I found the comments surprisingly weak about TJ. He is a douche. Talk more shit next time. Thanks.) [Editor's Note: Touche.]


Now, our four last place finalists. The guys who make playoff runs possible and dreams come true. The comments were here were (as you can assume) less than positive. So I took the liberty of manipulating some quotes to give these guys hope for the future.


7) Eric Creasman (@DucalCreas)
10th Place Votes - 0
Average Ranking - 6.7
Best Comment: “I trust his fantasy judgement but doubt he will be hoisting the Ducal Crown any time soon.”

"Creasman went from worst to first in regular season play" It truly was amazing last year, when Eric made his run behind Drew Brees arm and Ray Rice's legs. There wasn't a single person who wasn't rooting for him in the playoffs (Mainly so AJ and Noord wouldn't win).

Remember when Megatron and Stafford combined for 80 points in the first round of the playoffs last year and AJ decimated Creasy's hopes of a run at the title? That has to be the greatest fantasy playoff appearance of all time. "OF ALL TIME!" - Kayne West. #Boy got smacked. Oh whoops, I forgot to put [Editor's Note] at the start of this paragraph. I'm new at this.

Why Creas should be higher:
- "A very realistic and witty member of the league, loves the use of #boy more than Neil loves wearing al paca boxer briefs." (So comfortable though.)
- "He made it far last year despite being the Neo the year before." (Everyone does realize prior years results have no effect on future play? Brand new team, and the worse you do, the higher first round pick. Last year, his was Adrian Peterson.)
- "Should have won last year, but I'm pretty sure he is drunk 24/7" (I view this as a positive thing) [Editor's Note: STAFFORD TO MEGATRON AGAIN!!! THEY'RE UNSTOPPABLE!!!]
- "Made the playoffs, think he is on the rise."

Why Creas should be here:
- "If you have a Neo you've got to be close to the bottom."
- "Probably doesn't deserve to be this low...but he owns a Neo."
- "I see him having the biggest fall this year."

A "Beautiful example of how fast the tables turn in fantasy football” I predict the trend continues. Back to the Neo Bowl for Eric.

8) Bryan Gunst (@DucalBG)
10th Place Votes - 3
Average Ranking - 7.5
Best Comment: “See the people below him. He kind of defaults to this spot.”

Why Bryan should be higher:
- "I give him a slight pass for last year and being on the road."
- "The Foster pick two years ago is looking very good"

 - "[The Neo] is much like a D.C. sports team, with expectations so low he is bound to overachieve."
- "Keepers lead the way

Why Bryan should be here:

- "The Neo must wear his crown with (dis)honor"
- "Poor trades last year showed lack of foresight and poor player evaluation."
- "You've had Foster on your team for three years now...why are you so bad?!"
- "You'd have to pour ranch on the waiver wire to get Bryan to notice good pick ups."

I will let a member comment sum up the Neo's future season: "Dude is set to be STACKED this year. Two great keepers (Foster in 2, AJ Green in 8) and the #1 pick...could kill it this year, or...blow it in a big way? I hope he does a more solid job this year, for his manhood's sake."

9) Jimmy Hostetler (@DucalJDean)
10th Place Votes - 1
Average Ranking - 7.7
Best Comment: “Jimmy is salivating this year for some postseason action.” (Or for sausage. Either works fine.)

Good old “Jiffany.” This name was used by multiple members in the comments section. Why this hasn’t stuck yet I do not know... [Editor's Note: On it.]

Why Jimmy should be higher:

 - “You must applaud him for consistency” (7-7 two straight years.) (No applause.) [Editor's Note: Same exact win percentage as Neil over that time span (8-6, then 6-8). They're both .500 teams, but Neil is in the top five?]
 - “Result of misapplied knowledge rather than lack of knowledge.”

Sadly, those are the only 2 positive comments I could finagle out of three-quarters of a page of notes on Jimmy. What I do have are other reasons Jimmy should be called Jiffany:

 - “Jimmy has the advantage of having his fiance as an outside consultant who has quietly been spying on the league for years.”
 - “Think his fiance runs his team to be honest.”
 - “Needs to just let Tiffany come draft for him. Actually, why does Tiffany still come to our drafts?”
 - “If they were ranked as a team they would be ranked a few spots higher.”
 - “All the right tools, but hasn’t used them in recent years.” (I’m assuming that meant Tiffany’s advice?)

Why Jimmy should be here:

 - “Consistent non-factor.”
 - “Jimmy Dean talks about himself in the third person.” (Neil thinks it is normal.) [Editors Note: AJ thinks it is normal as well.]
 - “I feel like each year Jimmy is the team I am most comfortable playing.”
 - “I am rarely scared of his talent, seems to settle on sub-par QB’s each year.” (Roethlisberger....apparently the correct spelling for that was in Word, amazing work Microsoft.)
 - “He will suck your D.” (/ST, you know, Team Defense)

We can all agree Jimmy doesn’t deserve to be here...but Jiffany does. Some advice from your league mate, “I think this year will be big if he can take Brady and draft well late.” (No shit, Sherlock.) 

[Editor's Note: Foul! Draft tampering! Someone alert the Olympic officials! I smell doping!]

10) Sam Persons (@DucalSPE)
10th Place Votes - I lost count...we’ll guess around 37.
Average Ranking - 9
Best Comment: “We’ve seen increased interest this offseason, so this ranking may improve; but the league is competitive and catching up won’t ever get you ahead.”

The good news: Sam has not been the Neo. With this ranking you wouldn’t believe it. Let’s see what the league thinks, and if Sam should be at the bottom, all by himself. (By a wide margin.)

Why Sam should be higher:

 - “Sam has assembled great assets for this upcoming season.” (Cruz and Newon, 14th, 15th rd respectively)
- “Finishing school and being in a full time job will get him back into paying attention and winning."
  - “Once he stops drafting Redskins and Antonio Gates in the 3rd round, he may have a realistic starting lineup."
“I'd be lying if I said Cam and Cruz didn't scare me."

Why Sam should be here:

 - “Sam will have at least one Redskins player on his team at all times." (Always a bad thing)
 - “Trading for an injured WR while you’re team is already bad will put you in the bottom two real fast.” (Sam traded a healthy Andre Johnson for Phillip Rivers, then two weeks later traded Phillip Rivers for an injured Andre Johnson)
 - “No idea, but I have very little confidence in his fantasy play.”
 - “He is very erratic and confusing.”
 - “Needs to prepare a little more before I boost him in my rankings.”
 - “Hasn’t been engaged enough during the offseason to be considered a top fantasy owner.”
 - “Sam will trust his team to pull out wins, hit the inevitable losing streak, and be down for the count again this year.”

Sam has had two seasons in the Ducal Crown, and two losing seasons. He has the second worst lifetime win percentage. He didn’t score many points last year, and had a lot of points scored on him. I think the motto here is don’t draft Redskins and you should be just fine. That's not me talking, that's Redskin fans everywhere talking. [Editor's Note: sigh.]


Thank you to everyone for reading the Inaugural 2012 Ducal Crown Power Rankings. All power rankings spreadsheets can be found in the new 3rd tab of the ‘Ducal Crown History Book.’ Draft day is August 25th in Richmond, VA; the preseason Power Rankings analyzing those rosters will be released shortly there after. I hope this has given each and every member of the league something to think about, work on, and bitch about on twitter. Are you ready for some football?

[Editor's Note: Yes.]