Getting Ready for Fantasy Football 2011

On this blog, we write mostly about leadership and other ministry-related areas. We sometimes post family updates, especially throughout the adoption processes for both Ethan and Sarah. But I’ve also been known to write an occasional post about fantasy football—Fantasy Football (2008), Life Lessons from Fantasy Football (2009), Fantasy Football 2010 Underway (2010).

The thing that makes the 2011 season interesting is the fact that the NFL lockout that lasted 130+ days finally came to an end last Monday (with all the season and pre-season games, except the Hall of Fame game, intact). Immediately, teams and players began scrambling as teams signed draft picks, cut some players, signed other players, acquired free agents, and orchestrated trades. It’s been (and continues to be) a wild week. And all of this will have huge implications for fantasy football!

Time will tell how the lockout will effect the season in terms of team preparedness as well as injuries (because of the lockout, players missed out on all of their team’s offseason organized training and conditioning activities). Injuries make life much more challenging for fantasy owners (not to mention the real teams)!

In my first fantasy football-related post, I listed several of my favorite fantasy football sites. My list of favorites, as well as my strategy, is always changing. As we head into the 2011 season, here’s my basic strategy (which will continue to evolve over the course of the year) …

Follow football and fantasy football experts on Twitter (see my Fantasy Football list, which currently follows 49 people/sources).

Two of my favorite sites for fantasy football research/advice include: Fantasy Football Librarian (daily links to recommended articles at other sites), Fantasy Football Pros (for custom consensus rankings from the experts). I also occasionally watch some of the brief video segments/reports from ESPN, Yahoo, and

During the NFL playoffs last year, I participated in a group sponsored by Pro Football Focus, a statistics analysis site. I finished in first place among 184 participants (and finished in the top 0.1% among hundreds of thousands in the ESPN playoff challenge) and won a premium membership to their site for the coming season (it was a $90 value at the time, but prices were reduced recently to $29.99) – obviously, I was very lucky, but we’ll see if it helps in 2011.

I enjoy fantasy football for the research, the competition, and connection with league-mates at Centre Grove. Probably the thing that I enjoy most is finding the breakout player few expect. In last year’s draft, I drafted Aaron Foster for both of my church teams (I was in both church leagues so everyone has a chance to beat the pastor!). This year, Aaron Foster is the consensus #1 pick (so far).

As I’ve mentioned before, I began playing fantasy football at Centre Grove UMC, where the church began a league when I arrived in 2008. Last year, in our third season, we expanded to two leagues, and soon, plans will be laid for the 2011 season. It looks to be an exciting, unpredictable season!

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