One of the cardinal rules of playing fantasy football is that you never let homerism get in the way of who you decide to draft. Most fantasy players break this rule habitually, and for one very good reason: it’s just way more fun to have players from your favorite team on your fantasy squad.
There are some people who take this rule to extremes and compose fantasy squads that consist ENTIRELY of hometown players. People like that are morons. But I’d say the occasional sentimental reach only adds fun to the game.
This works the other way as well. While you may be inclined to pick up players from your own team, you may be less inclined to pick up players from rival teams that you can’t stand. Happens to the best of us. I’ll be seen hanging naked in a Bangkok hotel room closet before I ever draft a Green Bay Packer. That’s just how I roll.
Coming into the 2009 season, there’s going to be a handful of fantasy players where your personal bias, Mr. Cowboy Fan, will influence where they stand on your draft charts. You may be fine with this. But in case you really are dead set on winning that fantasy title in a completely objective manner, you should be aware of which players are impacted by Cowboy homerism. And here they are.
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PLAYERS YOU MIGHT REACH FOR
Felix Jones: Everyone just looooves Felix Jones. This tends to happen when the player in question runs for nearly nine yards a carry during his rookie season. If he could do that for a whole season, he’d rush for over 46,000 yards! Maybe you should take him first overall!
Of course, the hard fact is that Felix is still a back stuck in a timeshare with Marion Barber, who will get most of the goal line carries. Felix may have explosive games here and there, but it’s also possible there will be weeks where he does most of his damage on special teams and not on that stat sheet.
There’s also the injury risk. On average, Yahoo! has Jones going in the 10th round of all drafts. I’m betting you think he’s 3rd or 4th round material.
Miles Austin: He’s the Double-J’s boy, and like Jones, he’s shown flashes of explosive playmaking. But Yahoo! stats have Crayton being drafted earlier. And Austin will likely split time with Crayton and Sam Hurd all season long. Like one scout said in Sports Illustrated, Austin is like a nice car that’s always in the shop.
Martellus Bennett: Everyone is high on him coming into camp, and his love of chicken makes him just like you and I. But he’s still a backup tight end, and that won’t change unless Jason Witten contracts Legionnaire’s Disease. He’s waiver wire fodder.
PLAYERS YOU MIGHT LET SLIDE TOO FAR
Terrell Owens: You may be glad he’s gone, and Lord knows he drops half the passes thrown to him in the end zone (Grrrr), but he’s also the rare receiver who’s caught double digit TD’s over the past three years, which makes him still somewhat useful. He’s averaging going in the third round over at Yahoo! If you see him in rounds 4 or 5, you might want to put your bitterness aside.
Donovan McNabb: He averages going in the 5th round over at Yahoo!, which makes for a pretty good value, given that he has a new left tackle and two talented new rookies to play with. But you might say, “No way! I hate that guy! He’s a choker!” Which is exactly what Philly fans say about, you know, YOUR quarterback.
Eli: Just kidding. Eli blows.
Yours in the comments. And, by all means, let all Redskins fall as far as you like. I’ve seen the Redskins’ offense. It’s like watching a Vincent Gallo film.