Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fantasy Football: Register ramps up coverage this season; get the edge for your draft

The New Haven Register and its nationwide newspaper group 21st-Century Media/Digital First Media is ramping up its fantasy football coverage this season.
One feature for fantasy football team owners to key on for some in-depth advice is the weekly Fantasy Football Lunchtime Chat held on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. The chat is conducted through our Michigan newspaper group with fantasy football experts Drew Ellis of the Oaland Press and Don Gardner of the Macomb Daily with yours truly serving as the third host.
The first chat was held on Wednesday (Aug. 21) and you can access the complete transcript at the following link:

Various subjects were discussed to help fantasy football owners get the edge in their upcoming league drafts from sleepers and injuries to what round is the most advantageous in drafts this season.

Throughout this week the New Haven Register has been publishing my top 10 fantasy football rankings with a different position published each day. My overall top 50 ranking (all positions combined) will be published on Sunday.

Here are the links to the top 10 rankings published through Thursday:

Top 10 quarterbacks:

Top 10 running backs:

Top 10 receivers:

Top 10 tight ends: To come

Top 10 kickers: To come

Top 10 defenses: To come

Dan Nowak is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and has been covering fantasy sports for over 20 years. He won the FSWA Insiders Fantasy Football League national championship in 2010.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fantasy Football: Nowak's first draft of the season was challenging

I participated in my first of six fantasy football drafts on Monday night, the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Insiders Fantasy Football League, and as it always is with my fellow fantasy sports experts at the FSWA, it was a challenge. Among the fantasy football experts in my league are Jamey Eisenberg of and Mike Barner of

The FSWA Insiders Fantasy Football League is comprised of 60 members of the association who are split up into five 12-member leagues. It is a point-per-reception league. No one has won the national championship in this tough league more than once and I plan to be the first. I won the championship in 2010.

The playoffs for this expert league are a little more complex than your normal playoff system, as it should be with its high level of competition, using both rotisserie style (total accumulated points) and head-to-head style.
After11 weeks of head-to-head play, the top two teams from each of the five divisions with the best record and the top two scoring teams (two per division) advance ro the playoffs. In the playoffs, each team starts with their average score from the regular season. In weeks 12-14 there is a rotiisserie format with your total points added to your score. After week 14 the top four teams with the most accumulated points advance to a two-week (weeks 15-16), single-elimination four-team head-to-head tournament to determine the champion.
Whew...sounds more complicated than it really is folks.

Anyway, as it happens with me sometimes, there was a glich in the drafting of my team and it happened in the coveted first round where I had the 10th pick overall. I wanted to select LeSean McCoy but inadvertantly hit the wrong button and ended up with quarterback Drew Brees. A mistake, but it is a mistake I can live with since he is the No. 1 ranked QB in my Top 10 QB ranking list (see links to my Top 10 rankings below).
My second pick was receiver Brandon Marshall and by the third pick I was desperate for a quality back and went with my 2013 sleeper Giants back David Wilson. My fourth pick was New England receiver Danny Amendola and I took a chance with my fifth pick and went with Patriots injured tight end Rob Gronkowski.
In our league, we have a flex position where you can plug in a back, receiver or tight end.
My next two picks, to cover myself if Gronkowski misses the first four games, I went with Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley and in the seventh round I went with another tight end, Cincinnati's Jermaine Gresham.
The challenge with this draft is it is the only one I'm in where there are 20 rounds. After the 12th round, it gets pretty dicey trying to find quality players in any draft.

But as it turned out, I'm fairly happy with my team:

QB: Drew Brees
RB: David Wilson, Ahmad Bradshaw
WR: Brandon Marshall, Danny Amendola, Miles Austin
TE: Jermichael Finley (if Gronkowski is out)
K: Phil Dawson
Def/Special teams: San Francisco
Flex: Jermaine Gresham.

QB: Carson Palmer
RB: Danny Woodhead, LeGarrette Blount, Daniel Thoams
WR: Jacoby Jones, Santana Moss, Santonio Holmes
TE: Rob Gronkowski (starts if healthy)
K: Stephen Gostkowski
D: Giants (my last pick of the draft)

Links to Dan Nowak's Top 10 fantasy football rankings:

Quarterbacks -

Running backs -

Receivers -

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