Most of you know that I am a participant in that wonderfully wacky pasttime known as Fantasy Football. As part of my fantasy football preparations, and more importantly as part of my attempt to distract myself from my job, I listen to ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football podcast featuring The Talented Mr. Roto Matthew Berry and his co-host Nate Ravitz. I mostly listen to it for entertainment purposes, as most of their advice doesn’t really pertain to the rules and make-up of my fantasy league, and, as a four-time champion of said league, I don’t really need much advice (3-1 so far this year, and the league’s highest scorer).
But it’s an entertaining listen if you’re in to fantasy football and have a half hour to kill Monday through Friday. One thing that bugs me is that Matthew Berry is always going on about the importance of handcuffing your studs (for you non-fantasy football fans, this means to draft the real-world NFL back-up of the best runningback on your fantasy roster, in case that best back, AKA your “stud”, gets injured). I think this is one of the most overrated pieces of fantasy advice, leading people to hype the unknown runningbacks that happen to occupy the spot behind your guy in the depth chart, even if that guy has never proven himself a viable fantasy player. NFL players are not interchangeable, so just because one guy performs really well for a team, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy replacing him will also do well.
An example of this came this weekend, when Brian Leonard replaced the injured Steven Jackson as the St. Louis Rams starting runningback, and proceeded to do nothing. Seizing upon this example, I e-mailed the show in an effort to expose the flaw in Berry’s logic. They, in turn, read my e-mail on the show, and then proceeded to engage in a rather spirited debate about the subject that led to a rather exasperated Matthew Berry to exclaim “I hate Andy from Calgary”. For the rest of the podcast, they kept coming back to me and my e-mail, to the point where Nate suggested that I should replace Matthew on the show (as a joke… I’m mostly sure).
As a result of the six minute debate my e-mail set off, I was invited to join the 16 Team Man’s League the show set up, to replace a crazy guy they had to kick out, an invitation I accepted. I expect this to not be the last you hear them talk about Andy from Calgary, as they update league progress a few times a week.
To listen to this ever-so-brief brush with ever-so-small fame, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 then select the Fantasy Focus Football: 10/2 edition and play it (or download if you so chose). Then skip about a third of the way in (in the ESPN player, you can scroll to above the rewind button) and that will get you to the part about me. I keep coming up for about six minutes, then come up again a few times after that.