Every year, he shows up on draft day with a thick stack of rankings, notes and $8 preseason preview magazines.
He drafts at least one player you've never heard of, just to show how much he knows.
Best of all, he makes transactions at a dizzying rate, dropping players on a bye-week whim, picking up every long-shot sleeper of the week he can get his hands on.
Maybe there's someone like this in your league. Maybe it's you.
My league has one. His name is Kurt, and he manages a formidable first-place fantasy squad called 'No Spin Zone.'
Now, No Spin has had its ups and downs over the years. Kurt once famously selected three tight ends in the first six rounds of a draft. They were the best players available, he reasoned.
But this year, No Spin can do no wrong. First, Kurt drafted Daunte Culpepper, Terrell Owens and Tony Gonzalez. (Darius Watts and Ron Dayne, too, but I'll let those slide.)
Then, he did what he does best he worked the waiver wire like it's his second job. Or his first.
The results speak for themselves. Last week, No Spin buried my sinking squad with a lineup that included running backs Michael Pittman, Reuben Droughns and Derrick Blaylock. All three were plucked off waivers earlier in the season while I, apparently, was stubbornly sticking with Travis Henry.
Other shrewd selections (all of whom were later dropped) include Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Willis McGahee, Nate Burleson, Michael Clayton and Dallas Clark.
Point is, a good draft is only the start. Of the top 50 players in this year's fantasy rankings, roughly a quarter of them went undrafted in most leagues. And Week 12 features a rare three-pack of RBs that would fit nicely into just about any starting lineup Chester Taylor, Julius Jones and Nick Goings.
This is probably your last chance to add a useful player this season, so get to it. Then get yourself some turkey and settle in for a long, lazy afternoon of family and football.
Quick hitters Call it the year of the
tight end? With his three TD catches against St. Louis, Buffalo's Mark Campbell became the first tight end to make the weekly top five. He was one of 13 TEs to catch at least one TD pass last week and Kansas City's Gonzalez wasn't one of them.The depth of talent at the TE position has been one of the surprises of this season. Used to be that if you didn't get Gonzalez or Todd Heap, you could write the position off. No more. Campbell is one of nine tight ends with at least five touchdowns this season. There were two all of last year.Joining Marky Mark in last week's top-five Funky Bunch were mainstays Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb, newcomer Goings and Campbell's partner in passing, QB Drew Bledsoe. The NFL serves up a Turkey Day fantasy feast with the Colts-Lions early in the day, giving a national audience a chance to watch Manning continue his pursuit of Dan Marino's TD record. Manning has thrown 18 touchdowns in his last four games, and there's no reason to think he'll slow down this week against Detroit's 24th-ranked defense. The Colts offense features six must-start fantasy performers, so plenty of fans will watch this one with interest.For Detroit, rookie Roy Williams has slipped to 26th in the fantasy WR rankings following a fast start, but another rookie, RB Kevin Jones, is on the rise. Jones piled up 100 yards on 19 carries in Week 11, becoming the first Lion to crack the 100-yard mark this season and the second in two years (Shawn Bryson ran for 105 in Week 15 last year). He could make it two straight against the Colts.Later in the day, check out Dallas rookies Julius Jones and Drew Henson and
ah, forget it. It's Cowboys-Bears. Just sit back and let the tryptophan do its thing. I can't recommend Henson with any more enthusiasm than I did Eli Manning a week ago. Yes, he looked good on a fourth-quarter TD drive against an indifferent Ravens defense. But he won't be a fantasy factor this season. As for Manning, he was cool and collected in his debut last week, but you don't want him on your fantasy team. Check the schedule the Giants next four games are against Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Yikes. New England's Deion Branch was a popular pickup this week, and for good reason he's Tom Brady's favorite big-play target and a top-20-caliber fantasy WR when healthy. Branch, who missed seven games with a knee injury, returned to the Patriots' lineup in style last week, making six catches for 105 yards and a score on Monday night against K.C. His return knocks David Patten out of the starting lineup and makes him a poor fantasy choice. David Givens remains a starter, but his value takes a hit as well. Consider adding Green Bay RB Tony Fisher, Kansas City WR Eddie Kennison, Tampa Bay WR Joe Jurevicius, New Orleans WR Donte Stallworth, Cincinnati defense; Consider dropping San Francisco QB Tim Rattay, Dallas RB Eddie George, Oakland RB Amos Zereoue, Carolina WR Keary ColbertStarting nodQuarterback: Brett Favre, Green Bay The Packers might not have a healthy running back come Monday night, which means Favre is a good bet to throw for 300-plus yards and a few TDs vs. the Rams.Running back: LaDanian Tomlinson, San Diego The bye week seemed to do LT's ailing groin some good, and he ran for a season-best 164 yards last week. He could top that this week against K.C.; Fred Taylor, Jacksonville Taylor's surpassed 100 yards in three of four games, though he has no TDs to show for his hard work. He's set up for a big game against the Vikings.Wide receiver: Terrell Owens, Philadelphia The Giants had no answers for T.O. in the opener, and he scored three TDs. There's no reason to expect anything less the second time around.; Muhsin Muhammed, Carolina There isn't a hotter wide-out in the game than Muhammed, who has seven touchdown catches in four games after notching two TDs in his first six.Tight end: Alge Crumpler, Atlanta Coming off a two-TD game, the Falcons' top option in the passing game figures to get in the end zone again this week against the Saints.Kicker: Adam Vinatieri, New England The Ravens don't give up much, but they have surrendered 17 field goals in 10 games. Vinatieri can throw a little, too.Defense: Miami The Dolphins and Niners rank 1-2 in turnovers, having combined to commit 51 on the season. This isn't a game you want to watch, but it should produce plenty of fantasy points for both defenses.Ravens reportThis week brought more bad news for Jamal Lewis owners in what has been a long and frustrating season. Lewis sprained his ankle early in the first quarter last week, leaving lots of unlucky teams with a big fat zero in their RB slot. Word came Wednesday that the injury will sideline Lewis for this week's game and possibly longer, clearing the way for Chester Taylor to start in his place. Taylor averaged 83.5 yards in two starts last month, and he scored his first TD of the season last week. He's a great short-term starter for those that kept him around for insurance or claimed him earlier this week.If not for the limping Lewis, the big news would be Kyle Boller, who's progress is worth noting. I never thought I'd write this, but Boller isn't a bad option as a No. 2 fantasy QB. Over the last four weeks, Boller has ranked 12th in scoring among quarterbacks. He's been better than Michael Vick, Aaron Brooks, Matt Hasselbeck and Roethlisberger in that span. Don't give up on Clarence Moore, either. His poor numbers last week (one catch for 24 yards) can be attributed to the fact that he woke up with the dreaded "flu-like symptoms" and received intravenous fluids before the game.The Ravens have given up 20 or more points only twice this season, but their defense gets a test this week against the league's ninth-ranked attack. Quarterback Tom Brady has at least one TD pass in every game this season, and the return of Branch (see above) boosts the Patriots passing game. Running back Corey Dillon is coming off two-TD performance, but he hasn't fared well against the Ravens in his career. Dillon has averaged 56.0 yards and scored three TDs in 13 games vs. Baltimore.Dave Alexander is a sports producer at baltimoresun.com. Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun