2016 Season Preview — 1515 Fantasy League
The room is the dark but a thin sliver of light shines through the black curtains. My eyes are closed, holding on to the last remnants of sleep. It’s early and I’m not ready to be awake. The sunlight beams, giving my eyelids a vibrant reddish tint. I roll over, attempting to piece together my thoughts. What day is it? When will Jerick McKinnon finally get his chance? Am I late for work? What do I need to get done today? Has Freeman finally drafted? Will Fred ever make a trade without asking everyone in the league for their opinion? How many times has Darius slapped his man meat to the thought of his roster? Is Chimdi a real person? Does Jimmy have a picture of Roberto Aguayo hanging over his bed? Are Cody’s legs shaking at this moment? Is John pounding stoobs on his balcony, wishing for better fantasy days? How many pushups has Curt done today? How much is Jake sweating currently? How many 18 year olds are blowing up Parnell’s phone?
I continue to roll around lazily. All of a sudden, a thought rushes to my suddenly refreshed brain. I throw off the blankets and swing my feet onto the floor. The carpet feels soft and warm against my toes. I stand and stretch, my arms reaching towards the heavens.
I remember that it’s September. I remember that fall is right around the corner. I remember that it’s fantasy football season. The preseason is almost over. The real games will begin. NFL Sunday Ticket will be fired up. Football will consume three days of my week. I remember the highs of winning and the lows of losing. But most of all, I remember how happy it makes me when I see leaguemates lose. Especially one in particular. Darius. Mr. Snake In The Grass.
I remember his snake-like qualities. It comforts me to know that he will lose all year long. Injuries will plague his roster. Hopes will be shattered, dreams will be dashed. Slander will be tossed around. Fantasy football season is here.
I smile and open the curtain.
Welcome to the 2016 Season Preview, brought to you by our new sponsors — Boones Farm, Pornhub, Dr. James Andrews, the Snake emoji and Natural Light.
Let’s please take a second to recognize our 2015 league winner, Cody Ledlow. I hope you’ve spent your year as champion wisely because it ain’t happening again any time soon. But for now, we’ll etch your name onto our nonexistent trophy.
2015: Cody Ledlow (6–7)
2014: Jake Donnelly (6–7)
2013: John Stitts (10–4)
2012: Nick Zalewski (9–4–1)
As you can tell, we’ve had two winners in a row with losing regular season records. The rules committee aka all of us have wisely voted on a new, 6-team playoff system with the top two teams getting a bye. Hopefully this means that only the truly deserving will make the playoffs.
All-time records, updated:
John Stitts: (38–16)
Darius Rowan, Sir Fantasy God: (32–20–1)
Beans Baldwin: (31–22–1)
Curt Raffle: (29–24–1)
Jacob Donnelly, PhD: (28–25–1)
Bird Freeman: (28–25–1)
Chimdi Asonye: (25–28–1)
Brett Cline: (25–29)
Matt Parnell: (24–29–1)
Jimmy Bacher: (24–30)
Cody Ledlow: (21–33)
Andrew Pringle: (14–39)
John Stitts vaulted into first place all-time with an excellent 10–3 campaign while Darius fell into 2nd place with an abysmal 3–10 season.
Let’s dive into each team, starting with our most lovable loser and last place finisher, Mr. Pringle.
Key additions: Zeke Elliott, Kevin White, Laquon Treadwell
Rumblings from training camp: Wait, are we sure Pringle’s going to be bad again this year? I don’t think so! He has the best QB in the league (Cam Newton), an incredibly talented RB running behind the league’s best O-line (Zeke) playing for a team that surely isn’t going to hand over the keys to the offense to Dak “Preseason doesn’t mean shit” Prescott.
Also, Pringle’s bench isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen. Boldin and LaFell are boring names but they’re each going to be on the field a lot for their teams and TyGod Taylor is a stud. Also, there’s still Darren Sproles. Pringle, is he available? I’m not sure I remember.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 4.5
Best Case Scenario: Zeke Elliott finishes as RB1 and shows his abs to everyone, Cam Newton finishes as QB1 for the second year in a row, Kevin White has a solid and healthy year and Tavon Austin doesn’t blow his $30mil guaranteed on LA hookers and cocaine.
Worst Case Scenario: Cam Newton gets tired of throwing the football to Teddy Ginn and commits suicide. Zeke Elliott gets hurt. Laquon Treadwell is banished to fantasy disaster-land w/ Shaun Hill. Kevin White battles injuries all year.
Fire Takes and Predictions: POUND THE OVER. PRINGLE IS FINISHED WITH FINISHING IN LAST PLACE. To celebrate a 5 win season, Pringle brings back Sisqo, dresses in blackface, and helicopters his penis for a year straight. Get ready for a Pringle resurgence.
Key Additions: Jamaal Charles (back from injury), Willie Snead, Breshad Permian (back from injury)
Rumblings from Training Camp: Stefon Diggs is heartbroken over the loss of Teddy Bridgewater and so is Curt. Shaun Hill to Stefon Diggs is probably not something we’re going to hear too often this year. Curt has been drowning himself in protein powder and creatine to get through this trying time. Jamaal Charles hasn’t shown that he’s ready to handle a healthy workload. Was Jeremy Hill’s sophomore slump the norm or an outlier? Questions abound. Brandon Marshall hasn’t finished below WR6 in about 5 years — Curt is expecting and needs a strong season from his aging centerpiece.
Many beat writers are wondering why Curt is still rostering Marshawn Lynch. Curt has stayed mum in press conferences about his motives. When recently asked about the player he’s most looking forward to watching play this season, Curt immediately smiles and replies, “Leopard”.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 4.5
Best Case Scenario: Jamaal Charles returns to form and — wait; LEOPARD HANKERSON IS ON THE ROSTER. LEOPARD HANKERSON LEADS THE LEAGUE IN RECEIVING YARDS. LEOPARD HANKERSON WINS MVP. LEOPARD HANKERSON IS IMMEDIATELY VOTED INTO THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME. LEOPARD HANKERSON CURES WORLD HUNGER.
Worst Case Scenario: Jamaal Charles reinjures his knee, LeSean McCoy gets buried in a snowdrift for weeks at a time, and Eli Manning is Eli Manning. Curt gets 2 wins.
Fire Takes and Predictions: Still taking the under. I like Curt at 4 wins. You can’t win in this league without WR’s and Brandon Marshall just can’t do it on his own. Jeremy Hill, however, leads the league in rushing TD’s.
Key Additions: Keenan Allen, Chris Hogan, RGIII, The God Robert Kelley (seriously though, this dude doesn’t even have a picture on ESPN.com — is he real?)
Rumblings from Training Camp: Fellas, the rumblings aren’t great. Players are feeling entitled. They’re upset over last season’s 3–10 record. They know they’re talented, but they’re frustrated that it hasn’t translated to the field. There is a lot of finger pointing going on around here. Marcus Mariota refuses to talk to anyone who isn’t from Hawaii. Latavius Murray is cross-eyed and player’s aren’t sure if they need to speak to him like he’s retarded. Dez Bryant is constantly yelling. Arian Foster is constantly asking players to stretch out his groin. Jordan Reed keeps ramming his head into a wall. Matt Jones won’t stop jerking off in a corner. The players don’t enjoy suiting up for an owner that has proved he’s willing to deal anyone at anytime. Players beginning to wonder is Darius has amphibious genetics. They’re not sure if his tongue isn’t split. Players say that their owner always seems to be “slithering” around. Their words, not mine. Is this finally the year that Team Darius breaks through? Or will another injury riddled campaign cause more finger pointing and more slander?
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 8.5
Best Case Scenario: CJ Anderson is Kubiak’s bellcow and rushes for 1,200 yards. Dez Bryant develops a chemistry w/ Dak “Preseason doesn’t mean shit” Prescott. Darius loses to Brett during the regular season. Darius rides an incredibly talented roster to 11 wins and a championship.
Worst Case Scenario: DeAndre Hopkins gets caught in a house fire. Marcus Mariota tears ACL’s. Jordan Reed pulls a Jovan Belcher (MURDER/SUICIDE BABY, YEAH!). Amari Cooper proves that he’s not better than Michael Crabtree. (Aside — are we sure that Amari Cooper is a top 15 WR? Are we really, truly sure? Related aside: Is Derek Carr good? Questionable…)
Fire Takes and Predictions: For some reason, fellow owners continue to trade with Darius and he pulls off some trade for a RB better than Latavius Murray. Darius wins the championship and we’re all forced to disband the league instead of face his ruthless insults for a year. Fuck off, Darius.
Key Additions: Randall Cobb, Phillip Dorsett, Jameis Winston (promoted to a starting role)
Rumblings from Training Camp: A recent transcript from an interview with owner Jacob Donnelly:
Reporter: Mr. Donnelly, what are you expecting from Jameis Winston this year? Is he ready to lead your team after the departure of Drew Brees to Team Brett? Are you even aware that Brees has finished as a top 6 fantasy QB for 10 straight seasons and you gave him away as a trade throw in?
Mr. Donnelly: I’m the best.
Reporter: That’s nice, Mr. Donnelly, but it didn’t answer my question from before. What do you think about Jameis —
Mr. Donnelly: (interrupting) I’m the man.
Reporter: (audibly sighing) Okay, let’s go a different direction. Do you think Rob Gronkowski will be fine for the first 4 weeks without Tom Brady?
Mr. Donnelly: Do you think I’ve been the man my whole life?
Reporter: Is that a rhetorical question? Do I have to answer that?
Mr. Donnelly: No, you don’t have to. I already know the answer. I’m the man.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 7.5
Best Case Scenario: Jake wins the championship and we get another year of the trophy being called Tootsie Poops.
Worst Case Scenario: Jake loses at any point to Sir Fantasy God.
Fire Takes and Predictions: For as much slander as he receives (and, to be fair, dishes right back), Jake’s roster actually isn’t that bad. He had a great draft, he has some solid young pieces, Chris Ivory is going to score a lot of TD’s, Gronk isn’t a human being . . . I see 8 wins and a playoff birth in Jake’s future. Pound the over! #TeamJake4e
Sidenote: I’ve made it all the way to here in the preview without mentioning that Jake is going to forfeit all of his 2017 picks to Curt for picking Donald Trump to win the presidency. We are going to really see what Mr. Donnelly is made of as an owner. SPOILER ALERT: It’s not going to end well.
Key Additions: Derrick Henry, Josh Gordon (back from suspension)
Rumblings from Training Camp: Players and coaches are disheartened at the loss of Tom Brady. Coaches and owners alike are wondering if they’ll be able to survive and still have enough juice left for a shot at the playoffs.
First 4 weeks: vs. Stitts, vs. Cody, vs. Pringle, vs. Jimmy
At best, that’s a 1–4 stretch, owners around the league are saying. Team Freeman’s coaches are a bit more optimistic.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 7.5
Best Case Scenario: The team survives with Derek Carr (not good) at the helm. OBJ is once again one of the two best players in fantasy football. Emmanuel Sanders doesn’t throatpunch the young king Trevor Siemien. Eddie Lacy isn’t fat. Tom Brady and Josh Gordon return and wreak havoc. Freeman wins 10 games.
Worst Case Scenario: Eddie Lacy is fat, Thomas Rawls stays injured, Josh Gordon continues to smoke copious amounts of weed and get caught for it. Derrick Henry is just another Alabama bust.
Fire Takes and Predictions: Derrick Henry is so good. Like, so good that it upsets me that I don’t have him. Derrick Henry is better than Zeke Elliott. Freeman loses in the Final Four.
Key Additions: Sterling Shepard, I guess?
Rumblings from Training Camp: Have you ever seen the Bad News Bears? That’s this team, except the football version. Players are depressed, coaches are beside themselves. Their owner keeps preaching about The Process and is for some reason infatuated with a certain kicker that I don’t care to mention.
The lack of talent on the roster is overwhelming. Robert Turbin. Knile Davis. Shaun Draughn. Marquess Wilson. Tim Hightower. Those are real NFL players on a real fantasy team. Times are dark and there is no hope in sight.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 1.5
Best Case Scenario: Jimmy wins two games. Is that really a best case scenario? It’s going to have to be.
Worst Case Scenario: Reality.
Fire Takes and Predictions: This is easily the worst roster in the league. There are almost no redeeming qualities about any of these players. Jordan Matthews is cool, I guess. Bortles (QB4!!!!) is alright. This roster makes me want to puke. Jimmy, I’m sorry. The only prediction I have is that Jimmy will continue to be an excellent shit-talker. At least he has that going for him. Pound the under.
Key Additions: Kelvin Benjamin & Jordy Nelson (back from injuries), Michael Thomas
Rumblings from Training Camp: Players are excited about the upcoming season and hope to build upon last year’s 8–5 record. A young team that has already succumbed to some injuries (Dion Lewis, Teddy Bridgewater), looks to ride David Johnson and Kelvin Benjamin to fantasy glory.
Players are, however, skeptical that Ryan Tannehill has what it takes to lead their team. They’ve attempted to sit down with their owner to voice their concerns but he tells them he has to reschedule. His back just ain’t right right now.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 8.5
Best Case Scenario: Tannehill and Jarvis Landry make sweet music together and David Johnson finishes as RB1. Jordy Nelson has a fine comeback campaign and Michael Thomas wins ROY.
Worst Case Scenario: Ryan Tannehill is Ryan Tannehill, and Team Black can’t overcome his handicap. Team Black finishes with 5 wins and misses the playoffs.
Fire Takes and Predictions: I’m taking the over! I like this roster.
Key Additions: Drew Brees
Rumblings from Training Camp: We’re winners. Winners don’t let outside influences distract them during training camp.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 9.5
Best Case Scenario: Championship.
Worst Case Scenario: Doesn’t exist.
Fire Takes and Predictions: Drew Brees finishes as QB1, AB and Allen Robinson finish as WR1–2 and Spencer Ware scores 11 TD’s. Melvin Gordon makes the Pro Bowl. Those are all things that are happening. Take the over. Call your bookie. It’s already done.
Key Additions: Blaine Gabbert (insert crying laughing emoji)
Rumblings from Training Camp: A recent quote from owner Chimdi Rowan as he was leaving afternoon practice:
“Y’know, we really get no love. Everyone spends their time talking about other owners and we kind of fly under the radar. I don’t participate much at Owner’s Meetings. I’m not a talker. I’m a doer. And when I do, I do it big. Look at my starting lineup and tell me it doesn’t stack up with the best in the league. I will no longer be silent. We are going to win this year and every year after.”
Whoa! Shots fired! Chimdi said he was going to win every year from here on out. I think that’s unsustainable, Chimdi.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 9.5
Best Case Scenario: Seriously though, look at the roster. ARodg, AP, Lamar Miller, Mike Evans. I’d take those players all day and twice on Sunday. 10 wins and a championship berth is best case scenario.
Worst Case Scenario: AP goes down and we remember that Gary Barnidge isn’t as good as he played last year. Chimdi limps to a 5–8 record.
Fire Takes and Predictions: Mike Evans leads the league in receiving TD’s and Lamar Miller finishes as RB2. Those are my predictions. They’re scorching hot. Chimdi makes the playoffs and upsets Darius in an all-time great clash.
Key Additions: Ken Dixon, I guess, but none really. Gay.
Rumblings from Training Camp: Quotes from players who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution:
Player A — “We know this league is sponsored by Natural Light, but Fred drinks way too many of them on a daily basis and he gets weird when he’s drunk.”
Player B — “When is he going to cut his hair? The rest of the team makes fun of him for it.”
Player C — “He’s cool to me, I guess, but he’s the worst commissioner in all of sports. That includes the NHL.”
Wow. Strong words coming out of training camp from the players. Damaging to the ego.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 6.5
Best Case Scenario: There isn’t one when you have to choose between Matt Stafford and Andy Dalton on a weekly basis.
Worst Case Scenario: AJ Green gets hurt and Fred OD’s on GB’s.
Fire Takes and Predictions: Fred sucks, wins only 5 games, will yell a lot about the times when other owners drop players after trades.
Key Additions: Corey Coleman
Rumblings from Training Camp: Morale is high. Team Stitts has been a perennial presence at the top of the league standings. The roster is full of talent but players harbor some reservations about the owner. More anonymous quotes:
Player A — “We always know he’s coming because we smell the cigarettes. I think he smokes just a little too much. Whenever he’s around, he just yells “Stoobenville, population Stitts!” and laughs hysterically. He yells it when practice is starting, he yells it after great plays, and he yells it at us as we walk off the field at the end of the day. He’s constantly surrounded by smoke.”
Player B — “We aren’t quite sure why, but all he serves in the cafeteria is potatoes and bbq sauce. I spend most of my salary buying food to eat at home.”
Player C — “I’ve only ever had one conversation with Mr. Stitts. It was when he drafted me. I sat in his office and he asked me if I liked Leo Dicaprio. I said of course, because I didn’t want to make him angry. He looked at me for five minutes straight without saying anything. Then finally, he said he liked the way he smoked in that boat movie. Weirdest encounter I’ve ever had.”
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 10.5
Best Case Scenario: Danny Woodhead finishes as RB 15, much to my Melvin Gordon-owning chagrin. Todd Gurley and Julio Jones are All-Pro’s. James White becomes a PPR force, and Stitts rides them to another championship.
Worst Case Scenario: Mohamed Sanu and Terrance West are forced into significant playing time. Trevor Siemian has to make starts for Team Stitts. Tight bench, fag.
Fire Takes and Predictions: Demaryius Thomas has a renaissance year and Stitts sells him for way more than he’s worth to Jimmy. Julio Jones is awarded the player most likely to get jerked off to by Stitts.
Team Cody (Defending Champion)
Key Additions: Devontae Booker
Rumblings from Training Camp: When players arrived at the first day of training camp, instead of being presented with their championship rings, each player had a 10 gallon Gatorade bucket sitting in front of their locker. Players were confused. They opened the top and looked inside. They saw an empty 2-liter bottle with the bottom cut off. Their buckets were filled with water. Sitting on each player’s top locker shelf was some marijuana. Players looked around. Is this a set up? What the hell is going on?
At that same moment, their owner walked in the door with 35 large pizzas. He laid them gently down on the center table and said, “Boys, let’s celebrate. Gravity bongs for all.”
The team hasn’t practiced since. No one has left the facility. It is impossible to see inside of the locker room. The smoke has overtaken everything. The only form of communication that has come out of the locker room is a tweet from the owner himself. All it said was “champs” followed by the sunglasses smiley emoji.
Vegas Win Total Over/Under: 8.5
Best Case Scenario: Russell Wilson leads a potent attack and Devonta Freeman proves last year wasn’t a fluke. A repeat championship.
Worst Case Scenario: Cody realizes last year’s losing record wasn’t a fluke and it repeats itself.
Fire Takes and Predictions: Cody misses the playoffs.
Can’t believe this is our 5th year. Can’t wait to see how it all shakes out. On to 2016, nerds.