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Howard marg bar

This morning the Jenkins fam ventured to Bryant.  Our destination: the home of Billy Howard and Mimi Sternberg.  The occasion: the end-of-the-year celebration of the Laurelhurst Fantasy Football League, a 12-person league I started before the 2015 NFL season began.

As it happens it was also a football party.  The Seahawks beat the Vikings 10-9 in one of the coldest games in NFL history. The “highlight”: Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal with seconds remaining that would have sent the purples to Carolina for the Division Championship round.

My performance as a photographer was about what it was during the ffl season: mediocre.  Actually it may have been worse: I finished 13-13 in our inaugural campaign but managed to snap only two photos at the party — the one of the margarita bar above and a league photo (below):

The 2015 Laurelhurst Fantasy Football League (from left): George Brumder, Travis Bagley, league champion Michael Grundmeyer, Jen Gouk, Julie Smith, me, Tim Smith, George Swapp and Billy Howard. (Not pictured: HT Lee, Ethan Gustav and Stephanie Gustav.)

The 2015 Laurelhurst Fantasy Football League (from left): George Brumder, Travis Bagley, league champion Michael Grundmeyer, Jen Gouk, Julie Smith, me, Tim Smith, George Swapp and Billy Howard. (Not pictured: HT Lee, Ethan Gustav and Stephanie Gustav.)

Next up for the Seahawks: the Carolina Panthers on Sunday morning.

And for me?  I’ll wait ’til next year.

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Today was another beautiful summer day in the Emerald City, so naturally I spent its best hours planted firmly in front of my PC. The occasion was my fantasy football draft. We have roughly fifteen minutes between picks, long enough to grab a bowl of cereal but not much else. I ended up spending a fair bit of time perusing through the NFL’s players looking for draft picks and it donned on me — some of these guys have some pretty interesting names.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis heads my NFL Fantasy Football First Name Team.

So interesting, in fact, that I decided to put together my first-ever NFL Fantasy Football First Name Team:

My Starting Lineup
QB – Tarvaris Jackson (SEA)
RB – Montario Hardesty (CLE)
RB – BenJarvus Green-Ellis (NE)
WR – Danario Alexander (STL)
WR – Damola Adeniji (OAK)
WR/TE – Marquez Branson (ATL)
TE – Mercedes Lewis (JAC)
K – Adi Kunilac (CAR)
ID – Tamba Kali (KC)
ID – Jabari Greer (NO)
ID – Ndamukong Suh (DET)

My Bench
QB — McLeod Bethel-Thompson (SF)
RB — Jacquizz Rodgers (ATL)
RB — Deji Karim (JAC)
TE — Visanthe Shiancoe (MIN)
ID — Aubrayo Franklin (NO)

Not to pass judgment on the parents Rodgers, Franklin, etc. but let’s just say these folks have a, uh, creative gear that I just don’t have.

Something tells me that, for that, Finn will be forever grateful.

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’10 fantasy football season is all but over (thankfully).

Next up: ’11 fantasy golf.

A new and improved Cheetah will change things in '11 fantasy.

I won our Yahoo! fantasy golf league last year on the way to finishing in the 97th percentile worldwide — this, despite winning only one tournament. Looking to improve on that this year.

How It Works
If either of my two readers are interested in playing, here’s how it works:

  • Each week you pick eight players — two from the A group, four from the B group, and two from the C group (Yahoo! groups them)
  • You “start” four players — one A, two B’s, and one C
  • You accumulate points based on how a player performs each day. If one of your players has the low round of the day, you score twenty (20) points. Each stroke is worth two points, so if another of your players is seven shots off the best round of the day, you score six more points (20-(7*2).
  • If If you think a player will do poorly the following day, you might bench him. (The most obvious example is when someone misses the cut.)
  • At the end of the tournament you score additional points if one of the players you played finishes first (20 points), second (10) or third (5).
  • The rub in all this is that you can only play a player ten times during the season, so you can’t just blindly pick Tiger, Phil, Westwood, etc. What fun would that be?

    Players win money for weekly wins as well as seasonal (Winter, Spring, Summer) and year-long finishes. The more players, the larger the payout.

    All this takes about five minutes each week, excluding the trash talking. And to protect the lazy guys who don’t get their picks in every week, this year we’re playing with mulligans. That’s right, each trimester players get to throw their worst week out of the equation.

    How to Sign Up
    If either of you are interested, send a check for $100 to: PAB05, PO Box 606, Vancouver, WA 98666. Brad Nelson, our league commissioner/treasurer, will process your entry fee. We’ll get you on the mailing list and signed up in our league.

    The first tournament is in the first week of January. Get your cash in now.

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    I’m fairly new to the world of fantasy sports. With fantasy golf I’ve done just fine.

    Fantasy football — not so much.

    Drafting Jonathan Stewart ...

    My second year ended yesterday — and none too soon enough. I lost my final five games to finish the season 9-17 overall, last place in my six-team division.

    Actually I wasn’t that bad. I scored 1459 points, the eighth most in the sixteen-team Cascade Auto Glass fantasy golf league. That was only forty points less than my fellow competitor BigHeadEd — his 1499 points earned him a 17-9 record. Where I got clobbered was on “defense.” My opponents scored a total 1691 points against me for an average of 65 points/game. By way of comparison, the aforementioned BigHeadEd had only 50 points/game scored against him. The second most points put up against a team was 1529 – about ten percent less than my 1691. Of course, you don’t play “defense” in fantasy football — you just have matchups and hope your opponent doesn’t score more than you. When they do there’s a phrase that comes to mind: “bad luck.” (Had I have had BigHeadEd’s schedule rather than my own, I would have gone 14-11-1 — a full 5.5 games better than I actually did.)

    instead of Arian Foster ...

    To be fair and to accept some responsibility, it wasn’t all bad luck. My running game was all but nonexistent, largely because I drafted Jonathan Stewart when I could have had Arian Foster. Stewart was a disaster with thirty points all year. Foster, by contrast, went for one hundred sixty-three points — including thirty-one points the first week alone. My second back, Dallas’s Marion Barber, scored a whopping twenty-five points all year — about what Foster had in the first three quarters of the first game of the year. My third back, Shonn Greene of the Jets, scored a whole twenty two. To make matters worse, I kept Greene as a holdover from my ’09 team on the thought that ’10 would be his breakout year. Yeah, right.

    To put my running backs’ ineptitude in better perspective, DeAngelo Hall scored 68.5 points this year — 28.5 of them in one game. I picked up Hall as a free agent three weeks into the season. He’s a defensive back.

    and keeping Shonn Greene on my roster as a holdover from '09 made '10 a disasterous year in fantasy football.

    All of this represents a monumental step backwards. I went 16-16 in ’09 — not great, but if I was an MLB pitcher that’s be good for $7-9 million/year. Then I won my fantasy golf league and thought I was really onto something.

    Alas not. Football ain’t golf. In football you can’t control your own destiny nearly as much as you can in golf, where you don’t play against a single opponent each week and where you get new players every week. I made things tough for myself on draft day — lady luck sealed my fate.

    Here’s hoping she smiles on me a bit more when the ’11 season comes around.

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    It’s the halfway point in the fantasy football season, and let me just say this: Thank God for my defense.

    I lamented at the beginning of the season that my offense was so anemic that I had no chance of winning much of anything. I was right about the first part: other than Philip Rivers (128 points) and Terrell Owens (80), my offense has been basically nonexistent. My running backs in particular — Marion Barber (8), Shonn Greene (9) and Jonathan Stewart (19) — are about as bad as any trio could possibly be outside of the Seattle Seahawks’ actual running backs.

    DeAngelo Hall, shown here returning a Jay Cutler pass for a touchdown, has been one of my many miracle workers on D.

    My defense is another matter. Clay Matthews (50), DeAngelo Hall (44), Troy Polamalu (24) and Nick Collins (14) have combined to give me one of — if not the — most robust defenses in the league. Hall and Matthews are ranked 1-2, respectively, in defensive points — Hall having scored 19.5 points prior to me picking him up as a free agent. Matthews actually missed a game with an injury: NFL Defensive Player of the Year, anyone?

    Note that my defensive players are outscoring my running backs. Actually Matthews and Hall are both outscoring all my RB’s by themselves. It’s not supposed to work like that.

    Not that this is doing me all that much good. At 8-10, I’m DFL in my six-team division. On the other hand, I’m ranked fourth in scoring in the eighteen-team league. Not bad for a team with no running game.

    Now, if only I hadn’t passed on Arian Foster for Jonathan Stewart …

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    Today marked the last weekend of the first Greenspan fantasy golf season. And the overall season winner was yours truly.

    That's me, NickKnowsGolf in the No. 1 spot.

    My win wasn’t based on anything spectacular — indeed, I only won once all year. But I top tenned all thirty-seven weeks (the next best player had thirty two) on my way to an overall finish in the 97th percentile nationwide. Not bad for my first season.

    It wasn’t $10 million, like Jim Furyk won for taking home the FedEx Cup. And I didn’t win any of the three trimesters (2nd, 4th and 2nd). But I’ll take the season long title.

    Can’t wait for ’11. I’ll be the commish.

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    Week One of my second season as a fantasy football player is in the books. I went 1-1, but I’m not optimistic about the season. Excluding my quarterback (Philip Rivers) and kicker (David Akers) my entire offense (Marion Barber, Shonn Greene, Terrell Owens, Eddie Royal, Louis Murphy and Zach Miller) scored a grand total of six points. By way of comparison, Clay Matthews, my best defensive player, scored 9 1/2 points.

    Clay Matthews outscored my running backs, wide receivers and tight ends combined.

    Unless Shonn Greene can start hanging on to the ball, or TO gets a second life, this is gonna be a very long year.

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