Archive for January, 2011

It begins…..

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment

I see the ground outside my window at work blanketed with snow.  The temperature, although warmer than usual, is cold enough to put some freeze in me.  Much of the country is the same way.  And yet…..

…..some people want to get fantasy baseball started.

Take CBS Sports for example.  Not only can you start to register teams for it, but they have draft kits available for you to start plotting your roster for 2011.

Over at ESPN, they have already gone ahead with a mock draft for this season, along with early rankings for this season.  Last week, they even held a ‘summit’ to discuss how those rankings came about.  But you can’t sign up yet to register a team.

FOX Sports has nothing yet, apart from some analysis.  But they least tell you when the show gets ready for them.  Personally, never been a fan of them.

MLB doesn’t have anything yet really, on par with the same stuff as FOX Sports.  They run their system a little different, if you play for free.  On MLB’s official fantasy game, you get points throughout the week, and the most points wins the match-up.  I like it, and grew fonder of it when I basically forgot about my 5 teams on there in June (thanks to the tornado), and rediscovered that I won a championship after the season ended.  Slacking off pays off!

And checking out the host for the Illinois Fantasy Leagues, Yahoo!, their fantasy blog as started a mock draft, along with various analysis of teams’ needs.  But you can’t sign up yet.

So, to review, some sites are getting ready for 2011, and only CBS is letting you sign up so far.

MLB season starts Thursday, March 31st.  That means the draft for the 2011 Illinois Baseball League is Sunday, March 27th at 7:00 P.M. CDT.


June 5th, 2010

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

For those of you (probably just a few) that follow the blog, you know that there were a couple interruptions in updates.  One happened during the baseball season, and the other during the football season.  The interruption during the football season can be explained to an unsure work schedule, and the craziness of trying to catch up with that.  And yes, the baseball season interruption was also on a work-related reason, but it was much bigger.

The title of this blog post is the day that would change a lot of things, and it is slightly referenced here.  On June 5th last year, a tornado plowed through the town that I work in, Streator, and left a lasting legacy on the city.  In this post, you’ll learn about my experiences about an event that one rarely thinks they will ever encounter in their lives.

Read more…

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2010 IFL Season in Review

January 7, 2011 Leave a comment

We’ve come to the end of the first year of the Illinois Football League.  14 teams took the journey to be the one known as the first ever champion of the IFL.  Congratulations again to The Other Side for earning that honor.

To begin the season in review, we’ll start with a short interview with the owner of The Other Side on his reflections of this season.

  • How does it feel to be the first champion of the Illinois Football League?
    • It’s a great feeling, especially because this is my first fantasy championship. The Illinois Football League was competitive all season, and the level of competition makes this championship all the more special.
  • What do you think was the key to you becoming champion?
    • Any championship is won through a mix of luck and skill, and this one isn’t any different. There were some wins that shouldn’t have happened, and some losses that simply came out of left field. A dropped pass here, a broken tackle there, and I could have come in dead last.
  • Was there a moment this season that you realized that you have a very good shot to win it all?
    • I had a solid winning streak during the season where it looked like the team I put together had staying power. I knew once I got to the playoffs that the momentum was on my side. Every week is close in a league like this, but I was lucky to be able to field a team every week that was competitive in every circumstance.
  • Are there any games or moves that you regret from your championship season?
    • Playing Jay Cutler against the Patriots in the final week of the season was a bad move on my part. Beyond that, I got lucky with a lot of my moves.
  • Do you have any favorite moments or memories from this season?
    • Watching the championship game unfold was a lot of fun; but in total, the high level of competition throughout the league made every week as interesting as that final game.
  • Will you be back next season to defend your title (provided the NFL isn’t in a lock out)?
    • Absolutely. Hopefully my good luck will follow.

Congrats again to The Other Side, and we hope everyone will return for year #2….along with the NFL.

And now here’s a look at some stats from the 2010 season.  First up, here is the draft order for 2011:

  1. The Grove Johnsons
  2. DaBearColts
  3. 2001 Redskins
  4. B1R
  5. Niemi No No
  6. Muse Academy Muses
  7. Tim TebOwned
  8. Most Daring
  9. ItsonlikeNdamukong
  10. Sparland Hilltoppers
  11. The Brady Bunch
  12. Bad News Bears
  13. Da Win
  14. The Other Side

So are you curious as to how players stacked up in the league, here’s a list of the top 25 scoring players for 2010 with the teams they were on:

(Note: These totals are for all 17 weeks, as listed on Yahoo!)

  1. 371.00 points – QB Tom Brady, The Brady Bunch
  2. 360.48 points – QB Aaron Rodgers, ItsonlikeNdamukong
  3. 352.32 points – QB Michael Vick, Bad News Bears
  4. 351.80 points – QB Peyton Manning, The Grove Johnsons
  5. 341.60 points – QB Phillip Rivers, Tim TebOwned
  6. 335.20 points – QB Drew Brees, DaBearColts
  7. 325.80 points – RB Arian Foster, The Other Side
  8. 308.44 points – QB Josh Freeman, Sparland Hilltoppers
  9. 308.40 points – QB Matt Ryan, Da Win
  10. 293.60 points – QB Matt Schaub, Bad News Bears
  11. 293.08 points – QB Eli Manning, B1R
  12. 283.14 points – QB Matt Cassel, The Other Side
  13. 281.28 points – QB Joe Flacco, Muse Academy Muses
  14. 275.80 points – QB Carson Palmer, ItsonlikeNdamukong
  15. 267.26 points – QB David Garrard, Free Agent
  16. 259.00 points – DEF Pittsburgh, The Other Side
  17. 256.16 points – QB Jay Cutler, The Other Side
  18. 250.00 points – DEF Green Bay, The Brady Bunch
  19. 249.88 points – QB Kyle Orton, 2001 Redskins
  20. 244.90 points – QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sparland Hilltoppers
  21. 243.60 points – QB Ben Roethlisberger, DaBearColts
  22. 239.90 points – RB Adrian Peterson, Most Daring
  23. 237.50 points – RB Jamaal Charles, Niemi No No
  24. 236.14 points – QB Mark Sanchez, Niemi No No
  25. 233.92 points – RB Peyton Hillis, Niemi No No

The list is dominated by QBs and RBs with a couple of high-scoring defenses thrown in.  So what about the other positions that did not appear on the list?  Here’s the top five for WRs, TEs, Ks, and DEF:

Wide Receivers

  1. 209.00 points – Brandon Lloyd, ItsonlikeNdamukong
  2. 206.60 points – Dwayne Bowe, Sparland Hilltoppers
  3. 201.20 points- Roddy White, B1R
  4. 198.40 points – Greg Jennings, The Other Side
  5. 189.60 points – Mike Wallace, B1R

Tight Ends

  1. 154.20 points – Jason Witten, Bad News Bears
  2. 138.20 points – Antonio Gates, Muse Academy Muses
  3. 135.40 points – Vernon Davis, B1R
  4. 126.00 points – Marcedes Lewis, Most Daring
  5. 112.60 points – Rob Gronkowski, DaBearColts


  1. 171.00 points – Sebastian Janikowski, The Other Side
  2. 164.00 points – David Akers, Bad News Bears
  3. 150.00 points – Josh Brown, Free Agent
  4. 148.00 points – Nick Folk, ItsonlikeNdamukong
  5. 147.00 points – Adam Vinatieri, The Brady Bunch


  1. 259.00 points – Pittsburgh, The Other Side
  2. 250.00 points – Green Bay, The Brady Bunch
  3. 227.00 points – Chicago, Free Agent
  4. 220.00 points – New England, Muse Academy Muses
  5. 206.00 points – New York Jets, Muse Academy Muses

If you noticed the front page of the league, you noticed a banner for something called the Greatest Fantasy Victory, sponsored by Toyota.  The GFV shows which team had the largest point spread of the week.  Here is a breakdown of those stats:

  • Greatest Fantasy Victories claimed:
    • 3 – ItsonlikeNdamukong
    • 2 – Bad News Bears, The Other Side, Sparland Hilltoppers, Da Win
    • 1 – TimTebOwned, DaBearColts, Muse Academy Muses, Most Daring, 2001 Redskins, Niemi No No
  • Greatest Fantasy Victory losses:
    • 5 – TimTebOwned
    • 3 – Niemi No No, DaBearColts, The Grove Johnsons
    • 1 – The Other Side, Sparland Hilltoppers, Da Win
  • Largest Victory of 2010
    • 101.34 – Da Win over Niemi No No, Week 14 (165.68 – 64.34)

Here are the 5 highest scoring performances of 2010:

  1. 165.68 points – Da Win, Week 14
  2. 145.40 points – Bad News Bears, Week 14
  3. 140.58 points – The Other Side, Week 8
  4. 139.82 points – The Other Side, Week 11
  5. 139.14 points – B1R, Week 7

And to wrap up the season summary, a look at the 5 lowest scoring performances of 2010:

  1. 13.20 points – B1R, Week 8
  2. 38.76 points – DaBearColts, Week 5
  3. 40.86 points – Sparland Hilltoppers, Week 1
  4. 41.26 points – Bad News Bears, Week 4
  5. 42.90 points – (tie) B1R, Week 4; Tim TebOwned, Week 12

I want to thank everyone again for a great first season in the IFL, and look forward to 2011.

State of the Leagues

January 6, 2011 1 comment

Welcome to the first annual State of the Leagues address.  This address will be used to cover some of the various topics and concerns going on with the Illinois Fantasy Leagues, as we complete the first year of them.

2010 was a great start to the Illinois Fantasy Leagues.  The season began with the Illinois Fantasy Baseball League and 16 teams, followed up by 14 teams in the Illinois Football League.  Also under the fantasy leagues banner is the Mid-American Hockey League with 5 teams, and the Illinois Basketball League with 8 teams.  There has been good to strong participation in year one, and we are hoping for continued success after that.

League Fees
One common staple of fantasy leagues is paying a fee to get into the league.  Other pay aspects of leagues that I have learned of, include fees for transactions, fees for losing match-ups, and others.  Although there has been strong consideration to begin enacting league fees for 2011, along with votes in support of the motion, we will not enact fees to participate in the leagues next year.
One of the reasons for this decision is that the leagues are not strong and viable enough yet to enact the fees.  I feel that paying fees to enter leagues will not be viable until a good core of fantasy players has been developed, and who participate on a consistent basis.  There is a group of that currently, but not big enough to start considering fees.  Enacting fees can bring players in, but it can also turn players off, and the effect of it is unknown at this time.  There are also other concerns with the fees, which arguably could be sorted out before the 2011 IFB season; prize structure, side fees, how to pay, how much to pay.
Fees could be in place in 2012.  But for now, next year’s leagues will be free to play.

Leagues for 2011
It is the decision of the commisioner that we not sponsor hockey and basketball leagues for 2011.  This is based off the support seen for all four sports.  Baseball and football saw strong numbers, while numbers in hockey and basketball were down.  It must be noted though that the MAHL was put together only a few days before the draft, and it should be commended for the efforts made so far.  But lack of support and interest in MAHL and IBL will lead to its discontinuation after this season.

Potential NFL Lockout
Everyone is aware of the news, and aware of the possibilitiy that the NFL will lockout and not play a 2011 season.  If that is the case and turns out true, then there will be no other sport to replace it for 2011.

# of teams
I feel good with the number of teams in place for each league in 2010; 16 in the IFB, 14 in the IFL, 5 in the MAHL, and 8 in the IBL.  The baseball and football leagues had strong turn-outs, while the hockey and basketball leagues showed respectable numbers.
Going into 2011, the goal for the IFB and the IFL was 20 teams.  After further reflection, I came to the realization that 20 is too high of a number of either of those leagues.  But, after seeing the success of a 16-team IFBk, that will be the goal for the baseball and football leagues next season.
It should also be noted that division play will continue into 2011.  The leagues will continue to have the intention to have 4 divisions, and every attempt will be made to have an even number of teams in each division.  If that is not met, then 2 or 3 divisions will be used.

Length of Seasons
The IFB next season will continue to have the same length as it did in 2010; 22 week regular season, with an 8-team, 3 week postseason.  This topic is being raised due to concerns with owners in regards to the length of the IFL season.
Next year, the IFL will be reduced by one week.  That means the Prairie Bowl will occur in Week 16 of the NFL season, not Week 17.  Reasons for this include concerns with certain players not playing in the final week of the NFL season, along with Week 16 as the traditional end of the season.  That means that next season in the IFL will have a 13-week regular season, and a 3-week playoff.

Hosting Sites
For 2011, the Illinois Fantasy Leagues will continue to use Yahoo! as its base for hosting the leagues.  Other sites have their advantages, but a poll of owners voted to keep on Yahoo! for next season.  And based of my past experiences, Yahoo! has been the better operator of fantasy leagues.

Owner Participation
Concerns have been brought up by other owners about the participation levels of other owners in the leagues.  This is a great concern, as it was learned during the IFB season that one owner had deleted their account, and thus could not access their team anymore for roster moves and lineup changes.
Unfortunately, there is no way to punish an owner for lack of participation, even of said owner has admitted a lack of participation.  Once a season begins, players are on that team until traded or dropped.  Forfeit wins would not be a fair option either, as teams play some more than once, and the rest only once.
Therefore, no action can be taken against unattentive owners.  The only way to combat this is to find owners that will participate the entire season.

Drafts will be continued to be held at the same time next season; 7:00 P.M. Central time on the Sunday before the start of the professional season for the related league.  That means the draft for the IFB will take place on March 27th, 2011.  The draft for the IFL season has yet to be determined, due to an unsure NFL schedule, along with the possibility that the NFL season in 2011 may not occur.
Drafts will continue to be live.  They have proven to be a success, with lively participation.  For future seasons, a live draft where all or a majority of the owners come together to one centralized location to draft is being considered.

Social Media
I realize that I have not been keeping up on the blog as much as I would like to.  Numerous events have caused that; work situations, free time, etc.  But you have my word that the Illinois Fantasy Leagues blog will be updated in a more consistent and regular manner for 2011.
The league is doing well to venture into social media as well.  The blog address is .  The leagues also has a Twitter account at @ilfantasyleague, and I am looking at a fan page on Facebook.  I am also considering the possiblity of creating a forum as well for the leagues, so owners may discuss aspects about the leagues, and other non-fantasy sports topics.

Keeper Players
The Illinois Fantasy Leagues for 2011 will tentatively use keeper players for teams that return.  That final decision will be made based off the fesability of using keeper players, and whether or not Yahoo! will allow it, along with the logistics.
The tentative plan for keeper players will be as follows for baseball:
You may choose to keep at most one position player and one pitcher from your final roster for the 2010 season.  You may not keep two of the same, only one of each.
Owners are NOT required to keep a player on their final roster from the 2010 season.  It is a decision up to the owner.  Owners may keep one position player and one pitcher, or one position player or pitcher, or keep no players.
If an owner keeps a player, then the owner must give up a pick in the draft that corresponds where the kept player is projected to be on draft cheat sheets.  Length of rounds will be determined by how many teams are in the league.  For example, in a 16-team league, Team A selects to keep Adam Wainwright.  Wainwright is projected to be 52nd overall in draft cheat sheets.  Therefore, Team A must give up their 4th round draft pick if they keep Wainwright (52nd pick would be in the 4th round).
A summary of final rosters can be found at the 2010 season archive at .  Owners must e-mail the commissioner at by March 25th on what players they would like to keep for 2011.

Trades and Waivers
One of the hottest topics amongst league owners during 2010 was trades.  The incident that brought out the most concern was a potential trade between Muse Academy Muses and Bambinos in the IFB.  Members felt the trade was an unfair one, considering the timing of the trade and the players involved, and voted to veto the trade.
Trade rules in all the leagues for 2011 will not change.  Owners may make any trade they want with another owner, as long as they have an owner willing to participate in the trade.  Once a trade is completed, then there will be a two-day review period, in order for other owners to review the trade.  Owners can let the trade go through by not taking any action, or voice their disagreement with the trade by voting to veto it.  If enough owners veto the trade, then the trade will not occur.  This system is the most fair, because it allows for open trading, and for owners to be able to voice opinions on trades.
The waiver rule will change in the IFB next year, but not in the IFL.  The free agent budget option will not come back to the IFB.  Instead, waiver priority will be determined by current standings, letting the worst ranked teams have first priority at free agents.

Names of Divisions, Championships
The league will continue to use names of Illinois-related Presidents to name their divisions in 2011 and beyond.  It is a more honorable system, and works better than the directional division route.
The championships for each will be named as follows; the IFB Championship will be known as the Illinois Series, and the IFL Championship known as the Prairie Bowl.

As always, comments are encouraged.  If there are other topics you would like to see addressed in the future, leave a comment here or on Twitter or e-mail me at

2010 Season in Review: The Other Side

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

The Season in Review Series wraps up with the first IFL Champion:

The Other Side

  • Record – 13-4 (6-1 Lincoln)
  • Playoffs – IFL Champion
  • Points For – 1446.82 (1st)
  • Points Against – 1242.22 (7th)
  • Playoffs Points For – 347.32 (1st)
  • Playoffs Points Against – 240.42 (4th)
  • MVP – RB Arian Foster (325.80 points)
  • Best Win – Week 13, Tim TebOwned (126.74 – 60.10)
  • Worst Loss – Week 7, Sparland Hilltoppers (135.18 – 69.72)
  • Longest Win Streak – 6 (Weeks 8-13)
  • Longest Losing Streak – 1 (Weeks 1, 3, 7, 14)

When you have the highest scoring team in the league, you tend to go far in fantasy sports.  The Other Side has the top scoring team in the regular season and the playoffs.  Led by team MVP Arian Foster, fantasy surprise QB Matt Cassel, a respectable WR group, and a dominating Pittsburgh Steelers defense, TOS never scored below 69 points in a week, and racked up an impressive 1446.82 points on the season.

The Other Side rolled through the playoffs too, scoring in the triple-digits each week and picking up victory margins of 34.30, 41.36, and 32.56.  TOS’ late-season winning streak of 6 games helped propel them to the 3rd seed, and set up a run for the championship.  The story of The Other Side in 2010 is points, and with more dominating players for 2011, TOS could make it a repeat championship.

2010 Season in Review: Da Win

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Installment #13 features the IFL runner-up:


Da Win

  • Record – 10-7 (3-3 Lincoln)
  • Playoffs – Runner-up
  • Points For – 1309.16 (5th)
  • Points Against – 1189.24 (5th)
  • Playoffs Points For – 280.84 (3rd)
  • Playoffs Points Against – 253.16 (5th)
  • MVP – QB Matt Ryan (308.40 points)
  • Best Win – Week 14, Niemi No No (165.68 – 64.34)
  • Worst Loss – Week 11, The Other Side (139.82 – 95.32)
  • Longest Win Streak – 3 (Weeks 8-10)
  • Longest Losing Streak – 2 (Weeks 1-2, 11-12)

They weren’t the strongest team…they didn’t get hot and go on a run….but when it mattered most, Da Win followed their IFB counterpart (2010 Not a Holliday) to the championship round.  Unfortunately the same results happened, with a defeat in both cases.

The 5th-seeded Da Win pulled off victories over 4th-seeded Sparland Hilltoppers (gaining revenge for a defeat in the IFB Championship), and upset top-seeded Bad News Bears, before losing the Prairie Bowl to 3rd-seeded The Other Side.

Da Win was led this year by strong performances from MVP QB Matt Ryan, and a strong RB combo Darren McFadden and Ray Rice.  One key to last season victories was the addition of QB-WR Joe Webb, which effectively gave Da Win two QBs to play each week.

Da Win will be looking to build off of 2010’s successes, and look for a repeat trip to the Prairie Bowl, and potentially reverse their fortunes.

Categories: Uncategorized

2010 Season in Review: Bad News Bears

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is installment #12 of the Season in Review Series:


Bad News Bears

  • Record – 12-4 (7-0 Reagan)
  • Playoffs – 3rd Place
  • Points For – 1405.96 (2nd)
  • Points Against – 1096.50 (1st)
  • Playoffs Points For – 304.62 (2nd)
  • Playoffs Points Against – 237.74 (3rd)
  • MVP – QB Michael Vick (352.32 points)
  • Best Win – Week 14, Muse Academy Muses (148.40 – 92.20)
  • Worst Loss – Week 4, Da Win (58.62 – 41.26)
  • Longest Win Streak – 5 (Weeks 10-14)
  • Longest Losing Streak – 2 (Weeks 8-9)

Bad News Bears was the odds-on favorite to win the first even IFL Championship.  BNB was the 2nd-highest scoring team in the league, and had the least amount of points against them.  A 6-1 start was slightly derailed by a 2-game losing streak in Weeks 8 and 9, but a 5-game winning streak to end 2010 gave BNB all the momentum going into the playoffs.

The top seed in the playoffs (and the only team to be undefeated in their division) had a convincing quarterfinal win over Tim TebOwneed, but BNB was upset in the semifinals with a loss to 5th-seeded Da Win.  In that match-up, BNB only mustered 75.72 points, it’s lowest total since a Week 4 loss (41.26).  BNB took care of business and defeated The Brady Bunch to salvage 3rd place.

A strong team that featured top-pick RB Chris Johnson was bolstered mid-season with the pick up of their eventual MVP, QB Mike Vick.  With the right players, Bad News Bears could make another run in the playoffs next year and make up for a disappointing defeat.

Categories: Uncategorized