The 4for4 Mailbag: Preseason Week 1

The 4for4 Mailbag: Preseason Week 1

By Jennifer Eakins (4for4 Contributor), last updated Sep 12, 2016

Jennifer Eakins's picture

A proud alumna of the UGA Grady College of Journalism, Jennifer Eakins has been working in the sports industry for well over a decade. She has had stints with CNN Sports, the Atlanta Hawks and the Colorado Rockies. Her first fantasy football draft took place in 1996 where she selected Ricky Watters with the first overall pick, and she has been a fantasy degenerate ever since.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @themondaymommy.

Welcome to the first installment of the 4for4 Mailbag, a new weekly column answering your questions about all aspects of fantasy football including redraft leagues, DFS strategy, advice on handling angry football widows, and even some pop culture. Since it will be published on Thursdays throughout the season, I won’t be tackling waiver wire advice, so be sure to check out 4for4’s valuable articles on streaming and the like, to aid with your weekly roster decisions.

To submit a question for consideration, tweet me @themondaymommy or simply use the hashtag #4for4mailbag.


@CoMakJosh: Favorite type of league to play in? Scoring/flex, etc.?

JE: Over the span of my 20 years involved with fantasy football, I have played in many different types of leagues. Back in the olden days, the 1990’s, most leagues were pretty basic with standard scoring and your rudimentary lineups. (QB,WR,WR,WR,RB,RB,Flex,K,D) Over time, fantasy players continued to evolve inspiring more league creativity, allowing different variations on lineups and scoring to manifest.

Personally, I am a big fan of either 2QB or a super flex slot as I feel it makes the quarterback position more valuable and changes the landscape of drafts. If only one QB is needed, everyone will wait to draft their starter, with the exception of the new guy or the player who only makes homer picks, making the draft a boring sea of WRs and RBs. Adding that extra QB as a starter creates a higher demand for the position and encourages the screwing of your league mates by leaving them with the bottom of the barrel, i.e. the Mark Sanchez and Josh McCowns of the world.

As far as scoring goes, PPR is the way to go there as it offers way more opportunity for points scored and rewards players with higher targets and touches. Standard scoring is fine for those just getting their feet wet in the fantasy football realm, however, points for receptions and touches is a must for degenerates such as myself.


@FantasyGoooroo: Is Devonta Freeman any Gouda?

JE: For some back story here, I am a huge cheese freak and love every type from the basic to the stinkiest. I also happen to be a Freeman fan as the Atlanta Falcons RB was instrumental in my one-loss 2015 season in a highly competitive league that I play in with @FantasyGoooroo.

Last year’s emergence of Freeman was a shock to the fantasy world as no one anticipated him racking up 1,639 yards and 14 total touchdowns. We saw him ignite in Weeks 3 and 4 with Tevin Coleman sidelined, however, he still managed to score an average of 19.2 fantasy points in the 11 games with both of them in the lineup. Atlanta has expressed that they are aiming for more of a backfield tandem in 2016, using both Freeman and Coleman to carry the rock, so his touches could be minimized a bit. Even with an increased role for Coleman, Freeman should still finish as a top 10 back with a second-round ADP.


@RichKurtzman: How many leagues are too many to play simultaneously and still be successful? It seems three may be too many for me.

JE: This is a question most fantasy football players face annually, especially if you have been playing for many years. As the industry grows, so does the number of leagues, the sites that house them, and the people you know who want you to be involved. Early in my playing days, I was in one league for about five years before joining my then boyfriend, now husband’s long-standing league. Since then, I have been in as many as five redraft leagues at once and felt that it was just too much.

Unless you can somehow manage to draft from the same spot in each league, with too many fantasy squads, you end up rostering practically the entire NFL and it just gets confusing from week to week. You’ll find you have the QB from one team along with the opposing QB, plus both defenses and just can’t figure out who to root for. So for redraft, I have found that two is the sweet spot for me.

This does not count DFS and MFL (My Fantasy League) best ball leagues, however, but they are a whole different animal to contend with throughout the season. As a fantasy junkie, I know it’s tempting to sign on for multiple redraft leagues, but it is ok to say no and cap it off at whatever number you feel comfortable with.


@Carlg1000: How do you feel about fantasy losers having to take on a punishment for finishing in last place in their leagues?

JE: Fantasy loser-shaming is all kinds of amazing and I whole heartedly support it. Full disclosure, I have never finished in last place in a fantasy football league, nor have I played in one that imposes a horrific punishment on the loser. However, I can definitely appreciate the photos of some that I have seen over the years and find them highly entertaining.

Some of my favorites include the massive car decal that alerts passing cars that you indeed suck at fantasy football, and the guys that are forced to stand on the street corner in some sort of hideous garb with appropriate signage, also letting folks know how awful they are at the fake football.

One losing sentence that I don’t love is any sort of tattoo commemorating your nightmare of a season. While I am not anti-tattoo by any means, I am opposed to really bad ones, especially when they are sports related. We only get one body per lifetime and having to wear the shame of a bad fantasy season forever is just plain brutal.


@KDKtheMUA: What’s your favorite football movie?

JE: When it comes to films involving the game of football, there are so many different directions to go in, it’s extremely difficult to select just one.

Growing up, I loved The Longest Yard, (the original one with Burt Reynolds) and the movie Heaven Can Wait. For those of you born after 1985, it is the story of the starting quarterback for the LA Rams played by Warren Beatty, who gets killed in a car accident. Realizing that the angels screwed up and he was taken too soon, Beatty’s character assumes the body of a greedy millionaire and attempts to return to football. I admit it doesn’t sound that riveting by my description but it was a favorite of mine as a kid, and one that is worth checking out.

Wildcats was another 80’s football movie that I was a big fan of. Goldie Hawn plays a coach who quits her sweet gig as a girl’s track coach and follows her dream to become the boys’ football coach at an inner-city high school. Hilarity ensues as she overcomes both gender and racial prejudices and succeeds in getting not only respect, but a high level of production from her players. I am extremely surprised that this movie has not been remade yet, considering Hawn’s daughter Kate Hudson would be perfect in the role.

As far as more modern football movies go, you can’t go wrong with Friday Night Lights or Remember the Titans; both quality flicks with plenty of on-field football action. 

Thanks for sending in your questions! See you next Thursday for the 4for4 Mailbag!

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