Fantasy football mailbag

Antonio Brown didn't have a touchdown in Week 1, despite torching the Browns for 182 yards.

Welcome to the mailbag edition of our latest fantasy football lecture. The mailbag is always fun. That’s the good news. The bad news – nobody emailed any questions. It’s understandable, it’s a busy time of year. However, I think I know my students fairly well, so I have a pretty good sense of the kind of questions I would have received. So let’s begin:


Q: In the fantasy playoffs, do you subscribe to the “always start your studs” philosophy, or do you play matchups? – Kevin, faculty of agricultural & food sciences – animal systems

A: Great question, Kevin. I’m a bit of both. Of course, you should dance with the ones that brought you, as the saying goes. But I’m not opposed to benching a stud in a horrible matchup. For example, I actually benched Julio Jones in a quarter final last year because I knew he was going to get very little points. I was right, and I won my playoff game. But the matchup has to be really bad. This year, be wary of starting any receivers against the Jaguars. On the flip side, don’t be afraid of a juicy matchup either, say against the Browns. For me, the ideal playoff lineup is a combination of studs and players with juicy matchups. After all, the goal is to score more points than your opponent, isn’t it?

Q: Where is the faculty of fantasy football located on campus? – Jean-Paul, faculty of arts – philosophy

A: Currently, we are not located on campus, but we’re looking to set up shop there sometime in the future. Possible locations include the loading dock area at the back of UMSU University Centre or taking over a booth at the Greenhouse Cafe.

Q: Hi Fantasy Prof. Our league has a Week 17 fantasy Super Bowl. A good idea or straight crazy? – Tyler, not a real student, I just hang out at IQ’s and play pool all day.

A: Hi Tyler. Definitely straight crazy. Many teams sit players in Week 17. Change your fantasy Super Bowl to Week 16, like most leagues in the universe.

Q: Random, non-football related question. How do you feel about two flavours inside one nacho chip bag? – Wendell, computer science – artificial intelligence

A: Not a fan, Wendell. Call me old school, but one flavour. If I want to mix, I’ll do it on my own. And I choose the flavours!

Q: Why were the first round picks in this year’s fantasy draft such busts? – Jon Snow (not my real name), school of dental hygiene

A: The first round seemed to be a landmine of busts and injuries, didn’t it? Antonio Brown seemed to be the only player to live up to the hype – and more. But if you look back through the years, you’ll find that a lot of first round picks were soldiers in the fail army. In fact, the number one pick overall usually has a high bust or injury rate. What I’ve been preaching to this class is research. Scout the preseason. Watch some games. Read the team beat writers. How you win your league is finding the gems after the first round.

Q: Why is fantasy football such a successful industry? –  Chelsea, Asper school of business

A: First of all, the game of football is extremely entertaining. It’s fast, it’s physical, and – to me – very strategic. Football is a like a game of chess with extremely large chess pieces. But fantasy football is a form of escapism, which is always healthy. Bottom line: people enjoy fantasy because sometimes reality, as the phrase goes, bites. I hope that answers your question, Chelsea.

Well, that’s it for the mailbag edition. I could have listed many more questions, but I think we’ve addressed some important issues here. A few more weeks until the end of the fantasy football regular season. Things are about to get much more dramatic. Enjoy the ride.