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High Staked: Regrets, We’ve Had a Few

Veteran high stakes fantasy football player Monty Phan chronicles his season.

On a Friday three weeks ago my FFPC teammate Matt and I were having lunch in Las Vegas. We had done two high-stakes drafts the day before. Our Main Event draft was the following morning. That left us with nothing to do that day. This was a problem.

We’d already lost money at the blackjack tables the night before. We didn’t feel like donating more. “Why didn’t we just sign up for a Friday Main Event draft instead of Saturday?” I asked him. Then Matt pulled out his phone, checked his email and said there was a live Main Event draft that evening we could do. After checking with our other two absent teammates, we signed up for it. “You know, we just spent $1,800 so that we wouldn’t lose a few hundred at the tables,” I told him. I always know just the right thing to say.1

After three weeks, that Saturday team is looking good. The Friday team, though, is shaky. We had a horrible first week, then a phenomenal second week, then tanked again in Week 3. I should just be thankful for the success of the Saturday team, but I’m a glass-half-empty guy, and I really, really want that Friday team to do well, so that I don’t regret how we jumped in a high-stakes Main Event draft mainly because we were afraid to be bored. In Las Vegas.

Those of you who are 1-2 or 0-3 are feeling the same thing. This is when you start to wonder where you went wrong. You’re going to pull up those draft boards and go through them pick-by-pick, looking at whom you selected and measuring him against the guys who were still available. You have nothing to gain but a descent into a dark hole of misery and despair. Don’t do it.

You’ve already done it, haven’t you? You have.

That’s OK, because I’m doing it, too. I’m doing it right now! For example, in those four Vegas drafts, we took Rex Burkhead in all of them. I advised readers of this very site that the Patriots backfield was “fraught with peril,” but we drafted Burkhead anyway. Four times! He was actually our RB1 on that Friday team, in which we drafted from the 12 spot and took three receivers and two tight ends to start the draft. Our RB2 is Duke “Remember Me?” Johnson. I’m not going to go into the mess of an RB situation we’re currently in, but we did just spend about 12 percent of our free-agent bidding budget on Frank Gore. Did you know that Frank Gore was born before Transformers toys existed? It’s true!

In those drafts, we also took Jimmy Garoppolo twice. Quarterback isn’t as difficult to replace in FFPC redrafts, because there are always a bunch on the wire. For instance, Ryan Tannehill, currently the QB13 in FFPC scoring, was available in two leagues. New starting Browns QB Baker Mayfield was available in three.

Here’s the secret when it comes to FFPC blind-bidding: No one knows what they’re doing. This includes us. I think it’s natural to assume that the guy you want is also coveted by every other team in the league. It’s this kind of thinking that led us to place large bids on Mayfield, landing him in one league by spending five times as much as we needed to, and in another league where no one else put in for him. Same story with Tannehill, but with smaller bids.

Will we regret that too? Possibly. But last week we spent $902 more than we needed to for Tyler Boyd, on a team where we’re already stacked at WR. In another, we lost out on Boyd by a single dollar, on a team where we might have to start Ryan Grant if Doug Baldwin sits out again. We would rather have overpaid than not have him at all.


Speaking of regret, about 41 percent of Will Dissly owners started him in Week 33 after his garbage-time mini-eruption the previous game. Their reward was 1 catch for 4 yards. Seattle has one of the toughest schedules for tight ends coming up, and Baldwin might return this week. It’s quite possible we’ve already witnessed the birth, supernova and now dwarf stage of the star that was Will Dissly.

  1. In case my wife is reading this, the money was already in our account from last year’s winnings, so, really, we were drafting for free. Love you!  (back)
  2. out of an original $1,000 budget  (back)
  3. according to  (back)

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