If Roger Goodell can take the hitting out of football, expand the playoffs and hold the Super Bowl in New York, then we can certainly change a couple long-standing fantasy football rules, right?
As we continue to digest the 2013 season and look toward 2014, molding the rules to ensure both fairness and fun should be a priority. Here’s a simple two-point plan worth bringing to your league’s rules summit.
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If I ruled the fantasy world, there would be no kickers or team defenses. Games are far too often decided by the absolute randomness of these positions, giving the “fantasy football is all luck” whiners a leg to stand on. For example, the top-10 fantasy defenses this year included Carolina, Kansas City, Arizona, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Buffalo. If you had a dartboard, you likely hit one of these at your draft or just scooped them up off waivers. And since turnovers and defensive touchdowns are such a random stat, you got paid. Kickers are even worse. These guys make 50-yarders like they’re extra points now, leading to 16- and 20-point days for fantasy owners (see Tucker, Justin in Week 15). That’s equivalent to a 140-yard, one-touchdown day from a running back. Logic should follow this isn’t right.
With the majority of NFL teams now employing a running back committee as well as passing production operating at an all-time high, there are more stats to go around. Anyone can fill out a team of studs, so to separate the men from the boys we need more roster spots. If I ruled the fantasy world, owners will start QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX. Think about this: In my initial 2014 rankings, guys such as Rueben Randle, Marques Colston and Cecil Shorts fall outside the top-25 wideouts. Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson and Lamar Miller don’t crack the top-25 running backs. There’s too much talent out there these days for the traditional roster sizes.
NBA pickups ...
1. Darren Collison, PG, Clippers — Chris Paul’s shoulder injury leaves Collison with the keys to a very high-scoring car.
2. Randy Foye, SG, Nuggets — Foye started playing big minutes and the Nuggets are hot again. Coincidence?
3. Al-Farouq Aminu, PF, Hornets — Ryan Anderson (neck) is out indefinitely, opening up a huge chance for Aminu.
There’s a big up arrow next to these guys:
1. Kendall Marshall, PG, Lakers – A point guard putting up huge numbers in a D’Antoni offense. Sound familiar, Linsanity?
2. Kyle Lowry, G, Raptors – With Rudy Gay gone, the fantasy monster that lies within Lowry has been unleashed.
3. John Henson, PF, Bucks – The ankle sprain is getting better and the Bucks keep losing. Henson is their present and future.
A big trade went down Monday night as the Bulls sent Luol Deng to the Cavaliers in exchange for the right to waive Andrew Bynum’s contract. The fallout: Mike Dunleavy gets a boost, but it’s a small one because he’s not capable. Jimmy Butler’s boost is bigger. Tony Snell will be overrated as a pickup because he’s just a defender. The rebuilding Bulls figure to give future amnesty candidate Carlos Boozer fewer minutes, making Taj Gibson a must own. C.J. Miles won’t keep up his hot streak once Deng gets settled in Cleveland.
Follow fantasy writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.