Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Are you Ready when the Lockout Ends?

As I had mentioned in my last posting, publishers are starting to roll their fantasy football magazines out already this despite the fact that the NFL lockout goes on. The lockout is a big roadblock in the path to the start of the 2011 NFL season but if the players and the owners keep talking like they have been it’s possible that this lockout could be over in time for the season to start.

That would be a great thing.

There are some well known fantasy football sites, being one of them, that are already signing people up for the new fantasy football season. Sure it’s exciting to start seeing that happen but there are a lot of people out there doubting that the season is actually going to start on time. So why sign up for fantasy football now? Why not wait until we know that the league is actually going to have a season this year?

If you are a serious fantasy football fan you may have seen the lockout as just a minor annoyance on the path towards one of your favorite things in the world. Perhaps you are already preparing for the upcoming fantasy football season without being sure that there will actually be a season.

Well there will be an NFL season and your time to prepare for your upcoming fantasy football season is now. You should start taking looks at players that you know aren’t going to be going anywhere and thinking about whether or not you want to draft them. You might also start looking at the teams that have new head coaches and try to figure out if and where you want to draft any of those players.

Remember, players from teams with new head coaches haven’t had a chance to learn the new system that they will be in so that will stunt their progress at least to start the season. You may want to be wary of those players and if you draft one of those guys you should realize that you may have to be ready to leave them on the bench until things straighten themselves out.

The rumor right now is that the league and it’s players are close to an agreement and that something could get done by the start of July. So if you are preparing for your 2011 fantasy draft then keep it up because eventually football will come and you just might be better off than your fantasy partners are.

So buy those fantasy football guides, read as much as you can about the upcoming fantasy football season and be prepared. The fantasy football season will happen and if you aren’t ready you won’t be winning much next season.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How the NFL Lockout affects Fantasy Football

I was surprised to see a copy of a popular Fantasy Football magazine in my mailbox the other day. I had to double check to make sure that it was a 2011 edition and sure enough it was. I wondered how anyone could put something like that out with the NFL lockout in place. After all, there has been no free agency and if there is how would they know where players went?

Then I thought about good of a marketing idea this was. With nothing going on in football right now putting out a magazine like that will certainly attract fan’s attention by giving them something to read and think about while the lockout goes on. I believe that people will buy this left and right even if there might be several changes that render the publication basically inefficient when it’s time for fantasy football to begin.
Anyone who is a die hard fantasy football fan and loves to watch every move that’s made by NFL teams in the offseason must be upset at what has been happening between the NFL and its players. Ever since the matter went to court it’s appeared as if nothing is going to get resolved quickly it may go on much longer.

If you usually start preparing for your fantasy draft at this time of the year there is nothing holding you back from doing your research on the players that are already in position on their teams. To be safe, take a look at guys that don’t have any risk of being a free agent because it’s still possible that the league could have some kind of free agency period when things are settled.

If that does happen you have no idea where those free agents are going to go so don’t spend a lot of time researching them. We don’t know where they are going to go right now or if there will even be free agency.

Another thing to keep in mind is those players that have new head coaches coming into the season. The lockout has prevented those coaches and players from getting together to discuss the new systems that they plan to implement. This spells trouble for those teams. If you have your eye on a player that is on a team undergoing a coaching change you should be wary of that player because things aren’t going to be the same for them this year.

And their development in the new system will be seriously hampered thanks to the lockout.

Finally, the other thing to consider is how rusty players are going to be when things finally get solved and they get back to work. You should keep a close eye on which groups of players are working out together because even though the workouts are informal and perhaps not that well put together those players will be better off when the season starts.

Don’t get frustrated that there isn’t anything going on with football right now and that the season or at least a part of it may be in jeopardy. Both sides will realize the mistakes that they have made and get back to football soon.

It’s inevitable.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fantasy Football Insider: Who could the Top Kickers be in 2011?

Kickers really don’t matter right? In fantasy football that’s not entirely the case. Just like in the actual game on the field game, kickers can mean the difference between winning and losing. And sometimes teams that can’t generate much offense may only have their kicker to score points for them and that means a lot of points for that one single player.

You can’t be without a kicker on your roster and it’s not only important that you have one but that you should try to have a good one. No one kicker is the same and some are better at some things while others are better at other things.

So what should you look for in a good fantasy kicker? First, you need to find someone who is consistent. There are 32 starting kickers in the NFL and each one has different consistency when compared to the others. Some are virtually automatic while others struggle to kick field goals in any situation.

You must also be wary of the health of the kickers that are available in your fantasy draft. Kickers get hurt just as often as some of the regular players out there (running backs, quarterbacks etc.) and you have to investigate their injury history to make sure that they won’t leave you in a bind during the season.

Finally, when you are looking at kickers you have to look at the kind of offense that kicker’s team has. If they have an offense similar to that of the Indianapolis Colts, the kicker may not have a lot of opportunities to kick field goals and thus bring you a lot of points. But, if the kicker is part of a team with an offense like the Kansas City Chiefs there may be plenty of opportunities to kick field goals.

So which of the 32 NFL kickers may end up being the top five kickers heading into the 2011 season? Let’s find out as we take a look at five of the best kickers in the NFL and see if they might be someone that you will want on your fantasy team.

1. Nate Kaeding-San Diego Chargers-You can count on the Chargers to put up a lot of points during any NFL season and Kaeding has been there to help them add to their point’s totals for a while now. There are times when Kaeding’s accuracy has been questioned (most of that came in his earlier years) but being a part of a high scoring offense has helped cement him as one of the top fantasy kickers in all of fantasy football.

2. Mason Crosby-Green Bay Packers- The Packers have a high scoring offense so their kicker stays pretty busy game in and game out. Crosby has been as accurate as they come and he gets a lot of opportunities to score points. Keep an eye on him as you work through the later rounds of your fantasy draft.

3. Garrett Hartley-New Orleans Saints-The Saints are another one of those teams that tend to score a lot of points and their kicker has helped keep them scoring on a regular basis. Hartley has struggled with his field goals at times last season but gets many more opportunities to kick than some other kickers in the league making him a valuable commodity in any fantasy format.

4. Stephen Gostkowski-New England Patriots-We all know just how well the Patriots score points and with that, Gostkowski has come on to be one of the best fantasy kickers in the NFL. He’s been one of the top kickers selected in fantasy football drafts (according to last year’s statistics) and will surely be one of the top ones selected again this season.

5. Rob Bironas-Tennessee Titans-Fantasy owners who have had the opportunity of owning Bironas in their leagues have found out that he is one of the most productive kickers in the history of fantasy football. Bironas should get several opportunities to kick field goals next season with a change coming at the quarterback position so the Titans are going to want to score whenever they can. This could mean that Bironas is going to get used a lot making him one of the most valuable fantasy kickers of the 2011 season.

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