Patrick Dahl

$100,000 Fantasy Challenge Strategy

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$100,000 Fantasy Challenge

Saturday, September 06, 2008


NBCSports.com's $100,000 Fantasy Challenge is back. Click here to signup now!

Way back in 2006, two members of Quincy, IL finished in the Top 5 of the $100,000 Fantasy Challenge. Last year, some dude from Quincy won the whole thing. This year, let's try to spread the wealth so that Quincy's glory is once again relegated to being the belly button of Illinois.

The $100,000 Fantasy Challenge is a fun (and free) alternative to the standard fantasy league, and if you haven't pieced it together yet, the prize is a cool hundred thousand. We urge you to give it a try. Once you go NBCSports.com $100,000 Fantasy Challenge, you might never go back.

The basic premise of the competition is that for the first twelve weeks of the NFL season, contestants build a new team each week. Each player can only be used once, which is where the strategy comes in. At the end of the 12-week "regular season," everyone's two lowest weekly score are eliminated, and the top 5000 participants advance to a five-week playoff. Once the playoffs start, both scores and player availability are reset. Everyone starts off on an equal foot (except Brady Quinn, who we're guessing will have beautifully manicured toenails, putting everyone else's feet to shame).

That the two lowest regular season scores are eliminated begs the question: is it worth tanking two weeks in an effort to save some studs for weeks that really count? This is a daring strategy, as an unplanned disaster week could really leave your totals hurting. If employed successfully, this plan could really pay off, but sprinkling potential duds among proven contributors is much less risky. Your strategy should change as the season progresses. Week 9 might roll around with your team comfortably in playoff contention. You might find that there aren't very many solid match-ups left, so this might be a good week to save the more valuable players for the final three weeks of the contest.

Another thing to consider is injuries. Take a guy like Adrian Peterson. He has a good match-up against Detroit's defense in the sixth week, but can you be sure he'll be healthy then? In general, it might be smart to play injury-prone guys earlier in the season, when you know they'll be healthy. The downside, of course, is that you might not play someone during his optimal match-up.

There are 32 teams in the NFL, and a 17-week schedule for the 100KFC (still love the abbreviation). Starting two running backs means you're going to have to use back-ups at some point, and so it's important to capitalize on a fill-in player or committee member when their value is at a maximum. It might be best to use Ricky Williams during the first week of the season before Ronnie Brown is at full health. Earnest Graham is probably best utilized early in case Carnell Williams can make it back for the second half.

Setting your line-up each week will be a complicated balancing act. For example, Aaron Rodgers faces the Lions' suspect pass defense in Week 2. Is that the best match-up of the week? No, but it might be the best opportunity to use Rodgers. The key is deciding which is more important: utilizing a player's top match-up for the year or the league's top match-up for the week.

Besides setting a lineup each week, we're all going to have the chance to pick one Sunday Night Bonus Player. This guy can be anyone who is playing in NBC's broadcast, and it can be someone you've already used or plan to use again. But the fun doesn't stop there; they call it "bonus" for a reason. Your chosen player will be worth double the points. This is genius, and probably my favorite part of the entire game. There's nothing more depressing than having all of your fantasy players finish by the Sunday night game. Somehow, football is just more fun to watch when you have a rooting fantasy interest. 100KFC ensures that you will be able to follow someone each Sunday night and have a vested interest in his success.

At the very least, the 100KFC gives you another arena in which to display your fantasy prowess. So sign up. Create a league. Invite your friends. You can spend as little or as much time as you want on the game, and the potential reward is huge. Meanwhile, Rotoworld will be here like a tender mother, guiding you through the good and the bad with strategy each week in this column. Good luck to all of you.


NBCSports.com's $100,000 Fantasy Challenge is back. Click here to signup now!



Patrick Dahl covers baseball and football for Rotoworld.com.
Email :Patrick Dahl



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