Welcome to the revamped Fantasy Oracle. This year there will be special sections devoted to the three local teams, the Steelers, Browns and Bills. In addition, there will be monthly contests to identify the locations where the Oracle is Tebowing.
Of course, we will still cover the moves you will need to make your fantasy team successful.
I had my first draft and it was like a combination of Dr. Seuss characters meeting the Zombie Apocalypse. I saw picks that made my head explode and had me really questioning what they might do next, which made the draft highly entertaining.
One particular person must have thought they were "gifted" a thousand shares of the floundering Facebook IPO at $38 per share (currently $19). They thought they had the greatest draft ever - I just smiled and thought that team will be lucky to win four games all season in this head-to-head fantasy league.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
One man's cackle may turn into the next million dollar instant scratch off ticket like recently happened in Bradford. Think Victor Cruz last year.
Most of my readers know where to go in the first few rounds, but finding those fantasy football lottery tickets is the key to winning the whole thing.
Players who I'm targeting in the middle to late rounds are Rashad Jennings, David Wilson, Ryan Williams, Mikel Leshoure, Taiwan Jones, Robert Turbin, Daniel Thomas, Montario Hardesty, Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson, Randall Cobb, Greg Olsen and Jared Cook.
Shayne Graham is worth a look in your last round as your kicker as the Texans are going to put up points.
The sleeper defense is the Buffalo Bills; they play 13 games against teams that are not offensive powerhouses. Weeks 4, 9 and 10 they play the Patriots twice and the Texans - the only offensive teams on their schedule. They should pay great dividends as a sleeper defense.
Here are my personal fantasy take on area team's players and where they should be drafted (round in parentheses) under normal circumstances in a 12 team league that has 16 rounds. A "UD" means that player should go undrafted.
Browns position players: Brandon Weeden (UD), Trent Richardson (2nd ), Greg Little (10th), Mohammed Massaquoi (UD), Montario Hardesty (14th), Benjamin Watson (UD), Phil Dawson (UD), Browns Defense (UD)
Steelers position players: Ben Roethlisberger (7th), Isaac Redman (7th), Rashard Mendenhall (11th), Jonathon Dwyer (UD), Mike Wallace (3rd), Antonio Brown (5th), Emmanuel Sanders (13th), Heath Miller (UD), Shaun Suisham (UD), Steelers D (9th).
Bills position players: Ryan Fitzpatrick (12th), Fred Jackson (3rd), CJ Spiller (6th), Stevie Johnson (5th), Donald Jones (UD), David Nelson (UD), Scott Chandler (UD), Rian Lindell (UD), Bills defense (14th)
Think Calvin Johnson is going to repeat his 1,681 yard effort from last year? Think again; no receiver has ever followed a year with 1,600+ yards receiving with more than 1,413 yards (Marvin Harrison in 2000). The average is 1,218 yards and of the previous 13 times it has occurred, the receiver recorded between 1,213 and 1,413 yards 10 times, while the other three failed to even reach 1,000 yards. The worst season was Randy Moss' 767-yard dud in 2004 following his spectacular 1,632 yard effort in 2003.
On the subject of Calvin (and this pertains to Rob Gronkowski also), did you know that history shows no receiver/tight end who has had 16 touchdowns receiving in a year ever had more than 13 the following year (three times - most recently Randy Moss in 2004).
Throwing out Sterling Sharpe, whose career ended after his 1994 18-touchdown effort, the average is just under nine the following year with 11-to-13 touchdowns happening eight times, while five receivers failed to catch more than four the following year.
What does all this mean?
I think those picking Calvin Johnson in the first round will regret it. He will put up about 1,300 yards and score 11 times if the historical mean is indicative, which is definitely second-round territory and more than likely to land him fourth or fifth in the final wide receiver rankings.
On the subject of first round picks, do you realize that only one time in history that a quarterback threw for 4,800 yards in a season did the same quarterback manage to start every game the following year (Dan Marino in 1985). Of the previous five times in history that the magical 300 yards a game plateau (4,800 yards a season) was reached the best follow-up year fell 681 yards short of the previous year (Drew Brees 2008/2009 from 5069 to 4388 yards). The list is cluttered with injuries we all remember Tom Brady, Kurt Warner and even Dan Fouts. A word to the wise for all of you jumping on your QB in the first round: history is stacked against Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning. I do not expect any of them to equal last year's success, but I really expect a Stafford drop-off.
The WTO Laid Back League fantasy draft is this weekend. Owners are current and former WTO staffers: Bob Patchen, Jon Sitler, Allen Seybert, Brian Ferry, Jake Perryman, Josh Cotton, Jonathan McAfoos, Derek Farr, Cody Elms, Mitchell Wilston, Brian Hagberg and The Fantasy Oracle.
The WTO Not So Laid Back League has already drafted with defending champion Tyler Leichtenberger somehow randomly getting No. 1 pick. He took Aaron Rodgers. Then it went: 2. Jon Sitler (Tom Brady), 3. Rob Stewart (Arian Foster), 4. Jon Myler (Ray Rice), 5. Mike Campbell (LeSean McCoy), 6. Paul Mangione (Maurice Jones-Drew), 7. Brady Grosch (Drew Brees), 8. Brian Hagberg (Calvin Johnson), 9. Travis Myler (Chris Johnson), 10. Frank Galeazzo (Darren McFadden), 11. Andrew Morrison (Larry Fitzgerald), 12. Joe Mangione (Cam Newton).
The Fantasy Oracle can be followed on twitter at #Fantasyoracle1. Any and all comments are appreciated.