Fantasy Football is a hobby that in the Fall usurps a major chunk of my time from video games and movies. Every year I spend countless hours preparing for the multiple fantasy drafts that I'm a part of. Between mock draft simulators, training camp news and updates, scouring my favorite sports sites for the inside scoop and working on my own player inventory spreadsheet (see below), I'm not kidding when I say that I probably spend a couple days worth of time crafting my draft strategy and in-season management plan.
When prepping for my fantasy drafts, I take a very detailed look at each players trends and statistics. As I'm looking into the players I ask questions like:
- Compared to last year, and the year before, how has this player's stat line changed? up? down? no change?
- Has this player been traded? What's their status with the new team?
- How does the coach of this player build his offense?
- Will this team play from behind in each game? Will this player get opportunities to touch the ball?
- What does this player's team schedule look like? How are the opposing defenses ranked against his position?
- How will this player mesh with my overall team in terms of bye weeks?
- How old is this player? Are his best games behind them?
- How durable is this player? Have they consistently been injured?
All these questions are common thoughts for any Fantasy Football drafter who has something riding on the game: trophies, prize money, glory and fame or whatever else may be dependent on your victory; perhaps defeating a father-in-law and garnering bragging rights and ultimately proving to him that I'm better than him at something and worthy of marrying his daughter... Kidding! but not really- I take this game serious!
Where was I? Oh right, Fantasy Football. As you've gathered, my Fall pretty much revolves around my drafting strategy as well as keeping track of my team of players throughout the season to collect the best players and ultimately win the leagues that I'm a part of.
So the challenge is, how to translate that preparation across the fandom from actual football players to the fictional characters that I so love. Every Fantasy Football League has rules and team requirements, all we know about this dream team is that they are up against something dastardly that no one could have predicted. This team of fictional characters must consist of 1 team leader and 3 draft picks. So now that I know the details, lets begin with the leader or team captain.
The Captain/Team Leader: Captain Marvel
She may not be the first Captain that you think of, but I think she is completely suited for the task of leading this fantasy team. As I said earlier I spend a great deal of time looking into each player's statistical history, current status & their long term projections. So let's break that all down for Captain Marvel.
Statistical History: Captain Marvel didn't always have her superpowers, she grew up under a disapproving father and in turn it forced her to choose to pursue a military career to earn her college degree. She joined the Air Force against her families wishes. Quickly rising through the ranks, Carol was recruited into military intelligence and trained as a spy. During this time Carol operated on several missions with characters like Logan Howlett (Wolverine) and Ben Grimm (The Thing) both before gaining their own unique abilities. Carol eventually proved herself and was requested by NASA for a position as head of security. It was as chief of security that Carol met the Kree soldier Mar-Vell as he was posing as a scientist at the base, Dr. William Lawson. Before gaining her powers she was: kidnapped by an alien robotic intelligence, hospitalized by a controlled Iron Man then kidnapped by Yon-Rogg and thrown into the Kree device the Psyche-Magnitron thus altering her genetic structure. [source: Marvel Wikia]
Current Status: Gaining her powers she spent time with the Titan Hecate and Ronan the Accuser to heal her mind from the damage she received from the Psyche-Magnitron. Carol fought along side both the Avengers, the X-Men and the Starjammers. After the Registration Act during the Civil War, Carol was given leadership over the Mighty Avengers.
Projections: Carol is strong, brave and utterly determined to win at all costs. She knows what it means to be a team player and a leader, which ultimately makes her the only person that I would ask to be my teams leader.
1st Round Pick: Snake Eyes
Any Fantasy Football junkie will tell you that your first draft pick is almost more important than the remaining picks of your league. When drafting you have to ask yourself:
- do I take the risk pick and go for who could get me the greatest gain?
- do I go with the solid never-fail option?
My strategy varies depending on where I fall in the draft order, but for this league I'm leaning going with the solid never-fail option, which is why I chose Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe.
Statistical History: Snake-Eyes was a soldier serving his tour of duty during the Vietnam War before joining G.I. Joe. During this tour, Snake-Eyes met Tommy, later known as Storm Shadow. The two soldiers built a strong bond that would remain well after the war. Returning home, Snake-Eyes had no-one left in his family as they had been killed in a car accident by another Vietnam veteran who also died. Snake-Eyes was met with such hostility from the American public that he left for Japan to join Tommy's family business - the Arashikage ninja clan. Taking on a strict training regimen, Snake-Eyes surpassed Tommy, which ultimately drove Tommy to assassinate Hard Master. After Hard Masters death, and the ninja clan's dissolution, Snake-Eyes returned to America to live a quiet life in the High Sierras. It was here that G.I. Joe and Hawk came to recruit Snake-Eyes to join the team. [source: GI JOE Wikia]
Current Status: Even though Snake-Eyes was wounded on a hostage rescue mission, Snake-Eyes retained his strength and his mastery of stealth combat. Snake-Eyes has taken on many mission each time proving his worth. He is the one called on when the mission must be completed, without question. He is intelligent and has the ability to think quickly even while under pressure.
Projections: Even though Snake-Eyes has faced countless challenges and overcome years of harsh training which has taken its tole on his body and mind. Snake-Eyes is still a force to be reckoned with and will absolutely get the job done, without question.
2nd Round Pick: Iron Fist
The second round pick is in essence where you decide your teams ultimate strength. You can focus on one aspect of your team and build a team with a dominant position, or you can diversify and find the best players collectively making a decently well-rounded team. For my second pick, I tend to lean towards a more balanced team, that way if one position has an off week, that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm completely out of luck. In terms of this team though, I'm going with one of my all time favorite characters, Iron Fist.
Statistical History: Danny Rand had a rough go of it as a child. Orphaned as his father was murdered by his business partner, and his mother killed by a pack of wolves- all in the same night. Danny was rescued by the people of K'un-Lun as that is where Danny's family was headed. Danny was apprenticed to a martial arts master named Lei Kung the Thunderer. Danny's training was never-ending, and paid off in the end. Danny conditioned his body for several years before finally given the opportunity to claim the power of the Iron Fist by battling an fire-breathing serpent, Shou-Lao the Undying. [Source: Marvel Wikia]
Current Status: After returning to America in order to exact his revenge on his father's business partner. His time in K'un Lun had given Danny time to cope with his parent's death and ultimately he took pity on the man he swore vengeance against. Later after several other fights, Danny meets Luke Cage and forms the firm, Heroes for Hire, Inc. where they take jobs as bodyguards and detectives. Iron Fist later joined the New Avengers and assisted Matt Murdock, Daredevil, by pretending to be him so that Matt would not be outed as the vigilante.
Projections: Iron Fist may not be an endless powerhouse, and he may be defeated at times yet he has proven time and time again that he will never back down from a fight and he will find a way to ultimately survive and win.
Third Draft Pick: Deadpool
Any avid fantasy football drafter will tell you that you save your last pick for a defense or a kicker. Most people assume that that means your last pick is just picking from the scraps and just winging it. I like going a different route, I use my last pick as a flyer. I pick the player that I have great hope for, the player that could become something great. For this league, I'm doing the same thing which is why my third pick is, Deadpool.
Statistical History: Deadpool is by definition a wildcard. Wade Wilson, as he was previously known enrolled in the Weapon X program where he gained his healing ability from Wolverine. He joined the program to bring out superhuman enhancements, but was rejected from the program after killing his teammate. Sent to the Hospice, which was where failed operatives were sent to be treated. The Hospice, unbeknownst to the Canadian government the rejects were tortured and tested on by Dr. Emrys Killebrew and his muscle, Ajax. After killing a fellow patient (out of the prompting of Death), Wilson was to be executed. Ajax tore out his heart and left Wilson for dead. Wilson's vengeance would not be stopped there and his healing factor would regenerate his heart. Wilson escaped and unloaded 2 automatic rifles into Ajax leaving him for dead. Wilson then began working for hire for various agencies and villains alike. He had no preference of who hired him as long as they didn't get in his way. [Source: Marvel Wikia]
Current Status: Often immature, Deadpool has been in and out of jobs, often unpaid he spends his days traversing the country ultimately meeting with the X-Men in hopes of joining their team.
Projection: Seeing as he is basically un-killable, Deadpool is definitely a character to have on my team. He has great potential, but with that comes the possibility that he could walk away and choose to work for someone else. He is the High Risk - High Reward player on this team.
Needless to say, I take my fantasy football seriously in all aspects whether it's actually related to the NFL or if it's a purely hypothetical fictional character fantasy team.