This past weekend I was hanging out with some friends I haven't seen in a couple of weeks, and they asked me how my new job was going. Here's exactly what I said.
"I get up every day extremely excited to come to work. Even when I see Elliot Harrison, who downs McDonald's and chocolate at 7:30 a.m. and is still 75 pounds lighter than I am."
When my buddy Geno (a Bills fan) told me he liked the love we were giving to Buffalo, I told him I couldn't believe I was talking about the Bills like this. I mean, we go in depth on Buffalo every single day. I feel like a Bills beat reporter. But they're hot, they're rolling up points, so it's legit, and they might be the best "fantasy" team in the NFL as far as personnel goes.
Or are they?
Who are the best "fantasy friendly" teams in the NFL? Teams that give you the most in stats, so you want to keep starting their players, or trading for them, and when you're looking for a free agent, pick up someone from one of these squads. I devised a very scientific method to figure this out. OK, not so scientific, but it was a good 10 minutes lying in bed after reading bedtime stories to my daughter. She wanted one more Curious George book ("Curious George Visits the Ice Cream Shop"), and I was thinking, yes, about ice cream but more about the following system:
True Team Fantasy Value is measured by how many individual players (QB, RB, WR, TE) are on rosters in any given league. We'll go wide, and say our sample comes from a 12-team league. We'll award two points to a QB who is likely starting in your league -- since there are only 12 of them -- and one point for every RB, WR, or TE who's starting. I'll also award .5 point if a player is probably on a roster somewhere but not regularly in your starting lineup. We'll be generous, we'll include newbies who are playing well now, and we'll include the injured and/or suspended, because when they're active, they're playing or on your bench.
So what teams have the best TTFV? (And yes, I just made it up, TTFV is now a thing.) This week, we'll tackle the AFC and count them down from 16 all the way to number one. (Just watch out for those up-tempo teams when you're coming off a death story. I know, it's obscure. I actually yelled this out to the news room to see if it was too obscure, but no one listened to what I said so I put it in to leave it up to you.)
(INTERLUDE: 11. Indianapolis Colts TTFV -- Just like in music, when you have a slow part of a song in the middle of a huge pulse pounder. Think "Kickstart My Heart". We'll have to do this one differently -- with Peyton Manning and without. With Peyton? You're starting Manning, Joseph Addai, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, and Austin Collie. So that's 7 points total, which is great. Now, without Peyton, since that's where we are right now? 3 points. (Starters) Reggie Wayne, Joseph Addai. (Bench) Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon. Now back to our list.)
7. New York Jets TTFV: 4 points. (Starters) Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller. (Bench) Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, Plaxico Burress, LaDanian Tomlinson. Sanchez should be a sometime starter because the Jets are a pass-first team now. (And yes, Baltimore just has his number.) If Greene doesn't start improving, he will be on his way to your fantasy bench regularly.
Week 4 Players of the Week
After accouting for six touchdowns on Sunday, it's no surprise that Aaron Rodgers ends up as one of the Players of the Week. But **Michael Fabiano** has a few more awards to hand out. **More ...**
4. San Diego Chargers TTFV: 5.5 points. (Starters) Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates. (Bench) Mike Tolbert. Mathews has relegated Tolbert to your fantasy bench unless you're desperate, or they'd be at the top of the conference for TTFV (I love TTFV. I'm going to say it in general fantasy conversation now.)
Now for some obersvations: I was surprised to see Tennessee and Miami in the top half of the AFC, but they're part of the growing trend in the NFL of going to pass-first offenses. Yes, the Bills are that close to the Patriots in terms of production. Yes, the Colts would be at the very top with Manning, which shows you that the Colts' playmakers are Manning creations and not guys who can produce no matter who is throwing the football. And yes, I put the Jets in the middle of the pack so no one can e-mail me and say "Oh, the Jets fan put the Jets way too high." (Okay, that will probably happen anyway.) Hey, I can't twist the facts -- all their guys are on fantasy rosters. NFC next week. Can anyone top the Patriots in TTFV?
That just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?