Introduction to Monk's 2007 NFL Fantasy Football Week by Week Draft Preparation

Welcome Fantasy Football Enthusiasts!

The mission of this weekly blog is to not only help you become as prepared as possible for the upcoming 2007 Fantasy football draft, but also help you with "start/sit" during the season.

Introduction and Background of Monk's Fantasy Experience
I still remember the day it all clicked for me. I never had any hobbies that I was truly passionate about. I always loved football growing up and I played college football at a D-II school in Pennsylvania. However, anyone who has ever taken their childhood love to the next level, quickly finds out that it becomes "a job" and "fun" is no longer part of the gameplan. (Kinda like making your high school girlfriend your wife. It may seem like a good idea until you do it.) But all things heal with time and it only took me a few short years after college to stop despising football and get my old NFL itch back. At that same time, I was also teaching myself how to design websites so I was behind the computer around the clock. Whenever I would take breaks, it was usually to go to the sports page on ESPN.com or SportingNews.com. One day, when reading an article on my beloved Redskins last game at RFK stadium, I saw a banner ad on Sporting News about playing Fantasy Football for free. I remembered hearing people talk about this, but never fully understood the concept. I wasn't quite ready to sign-up yet so I decided to do a Yahoo search (Google wasn't big yet. This was when people thought it was just another search engine where some kid did the logo in crayon.) on "NFL Fantasy Football" and one of the great sites I came across was Fantasy Sharks (FantasySharks.com). It had a nice Fantasy Football 101 article that helped me understand the basics. And it finally clicked why I heard people idolizing Marshall Faulk so much when they talked fantasy. My first step was to try some of the free mock drafts that Sporting News was offering. I remember thinking to myself, "these guys are nuts", Trent Green is way better than Stephen Davis so why does Davis keep going so high in these drafts. So I did what all rookies do. I drafted "by popularity". I took big names like "Amani Toomer" and "Steve McNair" while other guys were taking 2nd tier running backs. I was running out of time to sign up before the season started so I signed up for a free league and drafted the very next night. I felt good about the guys on my team when I was done, but as the season went on, I learned my "running back" lesson as all fantasy rookies do. I finished with a measely 2 wins and was determined to learn this game and do better next year. That offseason was when my addiction truly kicked in. Studying team's offseason moves, watching the NFL draft for the first time with actual interest and, of course, reading every fantasy football article I could get my eyes on. The irony came when we got closer to the season and the grocery store starting carrying the fantasy magazines. I probably spent $40 dollars on Fantasy magazines to prepare to compete in a free league. This is when I learned my second lesson. If you are truly passionate about fantasy football, get in a pay league where you know the other teams in your league will show up and not quit part way through the season. Another piece of advice, don't buy fantasy magazines. They're written months in advance of your draft date and too many things change in that amount of time.

My second season went much better thanks to my extra preparation. I won both free leagues I got involved in at NFL.com and SportingNews.com. This didn't mean much looking back since many teams didn't even set their lineup some weeks, but it was still gratifying to me. I never played a free league again. I will be starting my 6th season this year and I have made the playoffs in every league I've ever entered. I have won the championship in my most competitive pay league 2 years in a row now, but most importantly, I now have a hobby that I really love and look forward to every year.

In the upcoming weeks, I'm going to share my tips, secrets, rankings and past downfalls to help you become a better fantasy baller this season. Hope to see u around!

-- WRArtMonk