August 20th, 2011
I made my way around the ‘Riders clubhouse in Northwest Arkansas before batting practice yesterday and found a few guys who are pretty passionate about fantasy football (like I am). It was fun learning who they believe are this year’s sleepers, busts, and breakout players.
LF, Mitch Hilligoss
Favorite team: Chicago Bears
Sleepers: Chad Ochocinco
Busts: Arian Foster, Kevin Kolb
Players targeting the most: Tom Brady, Chad Ochocinco
Draft philosophy: RB, QB, WR in the first three rounds
Leagues: Mitch plays two leagues: one with current teammates, and one with former teammates from when he played in the Yankees’ system.
Mitch told me a great story about when he played in the minors for New York, he and his teammates would meet back at the hotel late after a game near the end of the season, order and bunch of pizzas, and do a live fantasy draft.
LHP, Derek Hankins
Favorite team: Chicago Bears
Sleepers: Felix Jones (especially in a PPR league), Jordy Nelson
Busts: Arian Foster, Brandon Lloyd
Player targeting the most: Ray Rice
Draft philosophy: In a PPR league, two WRs with his first three picks
Leagues: Derek, like Mitch, plays in two leagues: one with some former teammates from Round Rock, and another with some friends he played with while in the Pirates’ farm system.
After talking with Derek, it obvious he’s a huge football fan. He loves his Bears and has already purchased a Roy Williams and Marion Barber jersey – two free agent signings this off-season. Although he doesn’t live in Chicago, he gets to a few Bears’ games each season.
Congrats to Derek who is getting married during the off-season. Hopefully his fiancee knows he has a standing appointment with his couch every Sunday afternoon.
RHP, Tyler Tufts
Favorite team: Cleveland Browns (poor guy)
Sleeper: Ryan Williams (who suffered a potentially season-ending injury in a preseason game against Green Bay.
hours after Tyler and I talked Chalk it up the the ‘Riders Insider Curse.) Also, Plaxico Burress.
Busts: Michael Vick, Reggie Wayne
Players targeting most: Andre Johnson, LeSean McCoy
Draft philosophy: RB, RB, RB with first three picks (non PPR)
Leagues: Tyler plays in the ‘Riders team league with Mitch and also plays in a league with his family.
Tyler, like our own Brian Boesch, has lead a tortured life as a Cleveland sports fan. Fortunately, both have fantasy football to keep them going no matter how the Browns play.
Although we didn’t talk about it, Greg Little is a nice mid-tier sleeper for the Browns this season. He had two catches, one for a touchdown, Friday night in a preseason loss to Detroit. Other than TE Ben Watson, who else does Colt McCoy have to throw to? Little is a big target (6-2, 220 lbs.) who has a chance for a nice year. I was able to get him with my final pick in my first fantasy draft of the season.