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Fantasy Check

Dispatches From Sin City


If you read my post the other day about two local fantasy players and their high-stakes auction draft, you'll remember I said I'd keep everyone updated regarding their $5,000 auction in Las Vegas in the World Championship of Fantasy Football.

Late last night I received an e-mail from Mark Handwerger about his auction strategy with partner Rob Brotzman. Some highlights:

As you may recall, by this time tomorrow we will have three teams; one $5K auction team that we do together (9 a.m. Vegas time), and two $1K auction teams in different leagues that we each do individually (1 p.m. Vegas time). For all three teams, we are co-managers, but we just wanted to double our opportunity by getting two $1K teams since there are multiple leagues.

While each team will probably end up stocked with many different players, we are planning to utilize the same strategy. Specifically, we believe almost all the top players at each position will garner too much money and that there will thus be some very good values on the tier or two below.

For instance, we plan to nominate Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers and watch folks dig deep for them. We also will let Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb go, and while we would be happy with Kurt Warner or Philip Rivers, we feel they'll be overpriced as well. We are high on David Garrard and feel he will be a steal at $1 to $3. And we are targetting Matt Schaub or Matt Ryan as QBs who may go overlooked and undervalued.

Likewise, we feel there is much better value down the list of RBs, so we are happy to watch the feeding frenzy over the top eight or so backs. We are prepared to enforce prices and jump on an opportunity for players such as Frank Gore or Steve Slaton or perhaps even Brian Westbrook, but the players we are targetting are Ronnie Brown, Kevin Smith, Larry Johnson and Leon Washington. We just feel they are somewhat forgotten players with very generic names and as such will be overlooked. Brown, Smith and Johnson are all solid starters who catch passes, and Washington is just electric and should take over as the No. 1 RB in NY and could easily be a top-10 back by the time the season's done.

Part of our strategy springs from our belief that so many of the RBs this year are fairly close in value. Hence, waiting and letting people stock their rosters and empty their wallets will allow us to save a lot of valuable auction dollars without ceding too much in way of talent. Sure, AP and MJD are more than likely going to out-perform Kevin Smith and Ronnie Brown, but not by enough to merit the extra $15 to $30 they'll probably go for. And the reason we are saving all this money? The WRs.

Again, we feel the top tier or so (around 10 guys) will attract huge dollars and prove to be a drain on overall budgets. We have already witnessed some rabid bidding on the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson and Randy Moss not only in the Bedrock League, but also in an online poker stars' league that was going on when we registered for our event.

By saving money on QB and RB, we should have enough to fill out our WR corps with the likes of Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, Chad Ochocinco (he'll be back, Twittering and all), DeSean Jackson and Lee Evans. Eddie Royal, Braylon Edwards, Anthony Gonzalez and Santana Moss could also come cheap if the spending across the board has been heavy.

At TE, we once again can't wait to see the bidding wars on Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark and Greg Olsen (eveyone's favorite "sleeper/breakout" player . . . so now he's not a sleeper). We've seen Antonio Gates get overlooked, so are prepared to grab him, but we would be thrilled with Chris Cooley, Kellen Winslow or Owne Daniels and are also high on John Carlson and Zach Miller.

With Jeremy Shockey, Heath Miller and Visante Shiancoe also in the mix and probably coming pretty cheap, we feel while the top players will be bid up, the next tier guys will come at a discount. And with bye weeks and the need for a flex, we are happy to get two of our targetted guys. And finally, we love Todd Heap to bounce back as a $1 late auction pickup.

Kickers and defenses are just not really worth a pre-auction strategy, as defenses in WCOFF are almost negligable and kickers come cheap.

Finally, as we sit here and watch the season opener, it's worth mentioning the oddity that occurs when the auctions and drafts are held after a game's been played. Namely, you can "buy stats" since you can retro-actively start a Thursday player. It's always fun to see player values rise and fall based on tonight's game (Scaife has three catches in the first quarter; hhmmmm . . .).


This morning we utilized our east coast sleep pattern by grabbing a 7 a.m. tee time at Royal Links. Each hole is modeled on a different British Open hole, and the course comes complete with a castle/pro shop.

While we enjoyed the golf, we did not partake of the newest Vegas attraction, called Par Mates. Supposedly, these enterprising young women help you enjoy your round and play better by keeping your balls clean and dry and assisting with your strokes. We were impressed to learn these hard-working gals have evening jobs as well. Again, while we did not have the pleasure of their assistance, an eight-some from NYC who were teeing off when we made the turn seemed to have arranged for each player to be "Mated." Only in Vegas.


After reading the blog about the Bedrock League, I just wanted to add that in our seven-year history there has been one multiple champion, and that champion is our current defending champ. Me.

By Gene Wang  |  September 11, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  | Category:  Fantasy Football Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

"Sure, AP and MJD are more than likely going to out-perform Kevin Smith and Ronnie Brown, but not by enough to merit the extra $15 to $30 they'll probably go for. And the reason we are saving all this money?"


Posted by: Mike | September 13, 2009 4:03 PM

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