Message from Footballguys Players National Champion


I had my worst fantasy football sesason in 15 years - by far - until I got this email below.

I had my worst year in 15 seasons playing fantasy football. I made the playoffs in only 50 percent of my leagues. In fact I had four teams miss the playoffs, which accounts for 40 percent of my total non-playoff qualifiers in my career in the hobby. But a nice consolation has been the number of fantasy owners emailing me over the past few weeks thanking me for suggesting they consider a different approach to drafting teams, which I termed the Upside Down Drafting strategy.

But the email I got this afternoon from Ronald Eltanal, the $125,000 winner of the Footballguys Players Championship, makes me feel like a champion even if I didn’t win one this year. See below…

Matt,

I just won the Footballguys Players Championship (I still can’t believe it as I write it). I’m writing to thank you for your advice this season, in your footballguys articles and in the stuff you write for your rsp blog. Take a look at the squad I drafted, and you can see it has your fingerprints all over it:

1.11 Calvin Johnson
2.2 Roddy White
3.11 Micheal Turner
4.2 Mark Ingram
5.11 Tom Brady
6.02 Marshawn Lynch
7.11 Aaron Hernandez
8.02 Rob Gronkowski
9.11 Michael Bush
10.02 Sidney Rice
11.11 Jermaine Gresham
12.02 Eagles D/ST
13.11 Donald Driver
14.2 Jerome Harrison
15.11 Montario Hardesty
16.2 Jason Hill
17.11 Stephen Gostkowski
18.02 Donovan McNabb
19.11 Terrell Owens
20.02 Eric Decker

I pretty closely followed the blueprint of your upside down drafting strategy, and grabbed guys you recommended targeting like Calvin Johnson, Lynch, Bush, Hernandez, and Decker. You’ll also see guys who didn’t pan out, like Ingram, Harrison and Hardesty, but it’s this kind of low risk-high reward approach to running backs that made Lynch and Bush the “lynchpins” of my team.

If you need a testimonial or something for any ventures you do on your own, or for footballguys, I’d be happy to write one. In the meantime, I’ll make a few shout outs on the message boards where people have congratulated me.

Thanks again, and keep up the great work you so obviously love doing,

Ron

—–Original Message—–
From: The FFPC
To:
Sent: Tue, Dec 27, 2011 5:00 pm
Subject: Ronald Eltanal Wins $125,000 in Footballguys Players Championship!

Ronald Eltanal Wins $125,000!

Ronald Eltanal stands alone on top of 2,963 other teams as the 2011 Footballguys Players Championship National Champion. On behalf of Alex Kaganovksy, Chris Lambert, Joe Bryant, David Dodds and myself, we want to offer congratulations to Ronald for his amazing team and a fantastic season! For his achievement, Ronald wins $125,000 and a custom-made TitleCraft trophy. On just a $350 entry, Ronald wins a huge six-figure payday.

Ronald’s team finished the regular season 7-4, with 1651.70 points. He was the #2 seed and had the most points scored in his league. Ronald ended up winning both of his league playoff games and took down his league title. That is when his squad went into overdrive.

Ronald’s three week playoff round scoring total was as follows:

Week 14: 178.55
Week 15: 244.90
Week 16: 162.50

That is a 3 week average of 195.31 points.

Let’s go all the way back to the draft and take a look at Ronald’s draft, where he had the 11 pick:

1.11 Calvin Johnson
2.2 Roddy White
3.11 Micheal Turner
4.2 Mark Ingram
5.11 Tom Brady
6.02 Marshawn Lynch
7.11 Aaron Hernandez
8.02 Rob Gronkowski
9.11 Michael Bush
10.02 Sidney Rice
11.11 Jermaine Gresham
12.02 Eagles D/ST
13.11 Donald Driver
14.2 Jerome Harrison
15.11 Montario Hardesty
16.2 Jason Hill
17.11 Stephen Gostkowski
18.02 Donovan McNabb
19.11 Terrell Owens
20.02 Eric Decker

Ronald has some excellent value picks in Brady, Lynch, Gronkowski, Michael Bush and Eric Decker.

Ronald ran a 3 RB, 2 WR, 2 TE lineup for the playoff run. Here was his typical starting lineup in the playoffs:

QB – Tom Brady
RB – Michael Turner
RB – Marshawn Lynch
WR – Calvin Johnson
WR – Roddy White
TE – Rob Gronkowski
Flex 1 – Michael Bush
Flex 2 – Aaron Herndandez
K – Stephen Gostkowski
D – Seattle

They were plenty of winners last night in the Footballguys Players Championship. We will be paying out $1,000 or more all the way down to 60th place. I also want to recognize our 2nd through 5th place teams, as they really, really scored well and deserve to be congratulated as well:

2nd – $20,000 – Queen Maud – Kathleen Augenstein – 708
3rd – $10,000 – JRDogs3 – Joe Pike/Ryan Myers – 707.95
4th – $8,500 – Chosen One – Jared Darling – 705.57
5th – $7,000 – Beantown Patriots- Azzurri – SteveGutadauro/DonTerminello – 697.4

Here are all 160 teams that placed in the FPC Championship Round (scoring is unofficial):[Editor's Note: I cut it to the top nine for brevity.]

The 2011 Footballguys Players Championship Bracket

FPC Champion – $125,000 plus Custom Titlecraft Trophy – Billsville Trojans – Ronald Eltanal – 736.1
2nd – $20,000 – Queen Maud – Kathleen Augenstein – 708
3rd – $10,000 – JRDogs3 – Joe Pike/Ryan Myers – 707.95
4th – $8,500 – Chosen One – Jared Darling – 705.57
5th – $7,000 – Beantown Patriots- Azzurri – SteveGutadauro/DonTerminello – 697.4
6th – $6,000 – Rackham’s Legion – Mike Gurini/James Lynch – 694.69
7th – $5,500 – CRUSHERS 2 – john holguin – 690.91
8th – $5,000 – Justice Prevails – Gary Berman/Rick Hoehn – 689.2
9th – $4,500 – Fantasy Heros – George Hohman – 687.77

Categories: Reads Listens ViewsTags: , , , , , ,

7 comments

  1. Way to go Matt! I too followed the upside down method and won a family league I’m been trying to win for 6 years. I can hardly wait to see what Matt has in store for next years rankings

  2. Thanks Frank! And congratulations to you! Still get a good laugh with your Poseidon Adventure parody ;)

  3. Matt, I did not win either of my league championships but that was solely a result of my own mental failings and the preordained nature of the universe conspiring against me in my quest for make-believe glory (my history: 11 Fantasy Seasons, 7 Championship Weekends, 0 Championships). Following your advice this year (as I have in previous years, even prior to your joining FBG) resulted in my best fantasy teams ever! I am a fan of your blog, the RSP, The Gut Check and your weekly appearances on The Audible. I cannot wait to hear the gang in this year’s road trip, promises to be the best one ever.

    Thanks for your advice and witty writing for these last five-ish years (is the crank score ever going to make a come back?).

    Hazaa Hazaa!

  4. Thanks Emil! Congrats on the success of your teams and much appreciation for reading the work I do here.

  5. I have to admit Matt that I wasn’t aware of your “upside down strategy” and just finished reading the original article. Looking over the the team that Ron drafted, it appears that he strayed from your strategy quite a bit. Cut from your original article “By the end of round four, a fantasy owner should have two excellent receivers, an elite tight end, and either a third receiver or top quarterback.” By the end of round four…Ron had two elite WR’s and two RB’s.

    “This year, I would even consider the idea of waiting on a tight end until round five and opt for one third- or fourth-round runner. ” Ron waited until round seven and took Hernandez.

    ” I suggest drafting at least four backs between rounds 5-10 and then alternating backs with other positions in the late rounds.” Ron only took two backs (6.02 Marshawn Lynch and 9.11 Michael Bush) in rounds 5-10.

    Obviously your strategy requires some flexibility once a draft is taking place and it is not an exact science that is followed to a “T”. But being a new reader of your concept, I am trying to understand it and when I see someone claim they used your strategy yet I see that he strayed alot from it, I come away confused.

    • It’s true, he did vary it but I think the overall point of his email is that he targeted specific players and often times in places that he read about from the combined sources he says he’s read of mine this year. And as I’ve talked about in so many other places, the strategy isn’t a magic pill, it’s just a template for looking at your draft differently. It’s like cooking and baking. Fantasy football drafting is best if you view it from a cook’s perspective on recipes: there are delicious variations inspired from other sources. In contrast, bakers are very exact/literal about their process. They have to be in most cases.

      If you approach strategy like a baker, then yes, he varied quite a bit from the strategy. But unless you play in an easy league, then a baker’s approach to fantasy drafting isn’t going to good for you. If you approach it like a cook, then you’re flexible enough to understand the spirit of the approach.

      I’m not trying to sell a “this is the way of doing things” approach to fantasy football. I’m just giving a very specific example of how and why one can think differently on draft day and come up a winner. He looked at my thoughts on players, agreed with a lot of them, and then made good decisions within his draft to win.

      Just thinking of this in a little more flexible perspective to get it.

      Thanks for writing

  6. In my league (10 owners) owners have tendencies to draft the same style each year. If you get a feel for what an owner likes and then incorporate Matt’s Upside Down ( also known as poseidon drafting), you can scoop up high value safe picks early ( including rb’s- IE: Ray Rice) and by the fifth or sixth round, you are stacked at Wr, TE, QB with maybe 1 RB. The other owners are then following standard practice and grabbing non rb players while you get players like Lynch, Hightower, M Bush and Sproles ( who wasn’t drafted). In our draft, picking 3rd, I got Rice in the 1st and did not pick up another RB until the 8th round. i finished 12-4 with a championship against owners who have been playing 10-15 years each. Draft Day was a bit tough with the heckling, but I’m guessing next year, those other owners will be looking at the drafting board differently, all thanks to Matt Waldman and his “outside the box” approach

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