Thursday, November 19, 2009

Round 1: NCAA Fantasy Playoffs

The offseason always seems to creep by at a nearly unbearable pace as we all yearn for the football season to begin. Come summertime, we start to get anxious; we start reading scouting reports, discussing Heisman probabilities, and drooling over the fantasy dream-team we hope to put together. Once Week 1 comes around, we get excited, we pull out our game-day jerseys, our lucky hats, and schedule our “honey-do” days around which games we must watch. But now, we are at that point in the season where things are coming to an end – which means the fantasy playoffs are just beginning.

If you’ve made it into the playoffs, you either (a) know what you’re doing, or (b) you’ve found some luck along the way. Even if you and lady luck have had a couple of nice "outings", you are the one who picked up players, you are the one who set your lineup, you are the one who now controls his/her own destiny. On that note, there’s not much I can suggest, other than two “rules of thumb” that I live by, if and when I make it into the playoffs.

1. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Throughout the season, I have tried to give you new players to look out for every week. As a result, my team has become synonymous with “revolving door”, dropping one just to pick up the next hottest guy. In NCAA fantasy, it is much easier to find the next big thing. But not this time of year. Stick with what works. Trust your gut.

My gut tells me Joe Webb will continue his hot streak this week against East Carolina. Even though Kellen Moore and Boise State play 3-7 Utah State, Webb’s ability to throw and run have proven to be valuable to my success.

2. Beware of the schedule
Unlike in the NFL, some schools still have Bye weeks. For example, Cincinnati, Pitt, and Idaho all have the week off. As a result, Mardy Gilyard (930yds rec, 8TDs, 135FPts), Dorin Dickerson (top fantasy TE in 2009), and Max Komar (926yds rec., 8TDs, 137FPts in 2009) will all have to be replaced.

With Gilyard on my squad, this is something I had to be aware of. I will play Golden Tate, Danario Alexander, and James Cleveland. Alexander has recorded 200yds receiving the past two weeks, and is one of the top 3 WRs in the nation along with Tate. Cleveland is stud/QB Case Keenum’s favorite target, and despite on recording 88yds last week, he will get the start. Houston plays a 2-8 Memphis squad that Joe Webb demolished with 378yds passing last week, so it looks as if Keenum and Cleveland will have a field day.

All-in-all, if you’ve made it this far, you’re doing well. Keep it up. Just make sure you don’t blow it by thinking too much and not trusting your gut, or not thinking at all by failing to pay attention to obvious factors such as a scheduling conflict. Good luck this week. I’ll let you know if I survived.

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