SbS Fantasy Football League: Season Preview

September 3, 2014 by SbS Football Staff | with 0 comments
Filed under: Fantasy, Football, Hometowns

During the 2014 season, SbS Football will be simulating a fantasy football league in which the teams are based on the hometown states of current NFL players. The SbS Fantasy Football League is designed to highlight where some of the current NFL stars are from, as well as provide a unique illustration of what parts of the country produce the best football players. Although fantasy football is not necessarily a true measure of the best players in the NFL (and usually includes only offensive skill players), more often than not, a good fantasy player is also a good NFL player.

Overview of League
The SbS Fantasy Football League is based on a typical fantasy format. Below is a snapshot of the league rules.
  • Basics – ten teams, two divisions, and a 13 week regular season schedule.
  • Playoffs – six teams qualify (three from each division); division winners get a first round bye (week 14); semi-finals are week 15 and the Fantasy Championship is week 16.
  • Scoring – 1 point for every 20 yards passing or 10 yards rushing/receiving; 3 points for a TD thrown and 6 points for a TD scored (rushing/receiving/special teams); 3 points for a FG; 1 point for extra-point kicks; 1 point for a 2-point conversion thrown and 2 points for a 2-point conversion scored.
  • Starting Lineups – 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE and 1 K (no defenses); lineups for each team will be based on the highest ranked players by position for that specific week (note: we will use ESPN.com for the weekly player rankings, with other credible sites utilized as needed); lineups will be set one hour before kickoff of the Thursday games and adjusted as needed one hour before the Sunday games begin.
Overview of Teams
The ten teams that make up the SbS Fantasy Football League were developed by dividing the United States into ten geographical regions based on where NFL players are from (their hometown state). The ten teams were created through two main guiding principles: 1) each team has a similar percentage of current NFL players from its state(s); and, 2) the states associated with each team are in a similar region of the country.
 
Because NFL players come from some states more frequently than others, three teams will be based solely on players from one state (California, Florida and Texas), while other teams will have players from multiple states. Each team represents a state, or states, that consists of as close to 10 percent as possible of all NFL players (i.e. we attempted to make the pool of players available for each team as evenly as possible). Below is a list of the ten teams (by division), including the current percentage of NFL players from the states that make up the team.
 
Eastern Division
Florida (11.9%)
Georgia / South Carolina (8.9%)
Mid-Atlantic (8.1%) – DC, DE, MD, NC, VA
Northeast (10.2%) – CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
Ohio River Valley (9.1%) – IN, KY, OH, TN, WV
 
Western Division
California (12.6%)
Gulf Region (9.7%) – AL, AR, LA, MS
Midwest (9.8%) – IA, IL, MI, MN, MO, ND, SD, WI
Texas (9.8%)
West (8.7%) – AK, AZ, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, UT, WA, WY




Below is a list of the projected starting lineups and key reserves for each team.

Florida
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Geno Smith
RB: Alfred Morris, Giovani Bernard
WR: Brandon Marshall, Antonio Brown, Pierre Garcon
TE: Ladarius Green
K: Blair Walsh
 
Key Reserves
QB: Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles
RB: Frank Gore, C.J. Spiller, Chris Johnson, Trent Richardson
WR: Andre Johnson, T.Y. Hilton, Sammy Watkins, Riley Cooper
TE: None
K: Sebastian Janikowski, Graham Gano, Caleb Sturgis
 
Analysis: This team is deep at RB and WR, but will need one of its young QB’s to have a big year; lack of TE depth is a concern.
 
 
Georgia / South Carolina
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Cam Newton (GA)
RB: Andre Ellington (SC), Juwan Thompson (GA)
WR: Calvin Johnson (GA), Demaryius Thomas (GA), A.J. Green (SC)
TE: Jared Cook (GA)
K: Chandler Catanzaro (SC)
 
Key Reserves
QB: Zach Mettenberger (GA)
RB: Marcus Lattimore (SC), Bobby Rainey (GA), Mike Tolbert (GA)
WR: Alshon Jeffrey (SC), Cordarrelle Patterson (SC), Roddy White (SC)
TE: Brandon Bostick (SC)
K: None
 
Analysis: The best core of WR’s in the league, with four players projected as top ten fantasy wide-outs; lack of depth at all other positions could hurt this team.
 
 
Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NC, VA)
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Russell Wilson (VA)
RB: Rashad Jennings (VA), Ben Tate (MD)
WR: Keenan Allen (NC), Torrey Smith (VA), Percy Harvin (VA)
TE: Jimmy Graham (NC)
K: Nick Novak (VA)
 
Key Reserves
QB: E.J. Manuel (VA), Michael Vick (VA), Mike Glennon (VA)
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw (MD)
WR: Tavon Austin (MD), Hakeem Nicks (NC), Justin Hunter (VA)
TE: Vernon Davis (MD), Dwayne Allen (NC), Eric Ebron (NC)
K: Ryan Succop (NC)
 
Analysis: The number one ranked TE and a solid starting QB are its strengths; lack of RB depth could cause this team problems.
 
 
Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT)
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Matt Ryan (PA)
RB: LeSean McCoy (PA), Knowshon Moreno (NJ)
WR: Victor Cruz (NJ), Marques Colston (PA), Kenny Britt (NJ)
TE: Rob Gronkowski (PA)
K: Steven Hauschka (MA)
 
Key Reserves
QB: Joe Flacco (NJ), Chad Henne (PA), Matt Schaub (PA)
RB: Ray Rice (NY), Bernard Pierce (PA), Andre Williams (NY), Shonn Greene (NJ)
WR: Miles Austin (NJ), Mike Williams (NY), Andre Hawkins (PA)
TE: Jordan Reed (CT), Greg Olsen (NJ)
K: Robbie Gould (PA), Brandon McManus (PA)
 
Analysis: If Gronkowski stays healthy, this could be a surprise team as they have arguably the best fantasy RB in the game.
 
 
Ohio River Valley (IN, KY, OH, TN, WV)
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Jay Cutler (IN)
RB: Le’Veon Bell (OH), Bishop Sankey (OH)
WR: Randall Cobb (TN), Golden Tate (TN), Cecil Shorts (OH)
TE: Jason Witten (TN)
K: Mike Nugent (OH)
 
Key Reserves
QB: Ben Roethlisberger (OH), Brian Hoyer (OH)
RB: Benny Cunningham (TN)
WR: Brian Hartline (OH), Lance Moore (OH), Aaron Dobson (WV)
TE: Kyle Rudolph (OH), Tyler Eifert (IN)
K: Nate Freese (OH)
 
Analysis: Maybe the weakest team on paper, they will need one of their young RB’s to be a star and cannot afford many injuries.
 
  
California
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Aaron Rodgers
RB: Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin
WR: DeSean Jackson, Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks
TE: Julius Thomas
K: Nick Folk
 
Key Reserves
QB: Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick, Carson Palmer
RB: Arian Foster, Reggie Bush, Toby Gerhart, Ryan Mathews
WR: Robert Woods, Steve Smith, James Jones, Kenny Stills
TE: Jordan Cameron, Dennis Pitta, Zach Ertz
K: Kai Forbath
 
Analysis: With fantasy studs at every position, this team should put up a lot of points; WR is the only position lacking significant depth.
 
 
Gulf Region (AL, AR, LA, MS)
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Peyton Manning (LA)
RB: Matt Forte (LA), Eddie Lacy (LA)
WR: Julio Jones (AL), Mike Wallace (LA), Reggie Wayne (LA)
TE: Charles Clay (AR)
K: Stephen Gostkowski (MS)
 
Key Reserves
QB: Phillip Rivers (AL), Eli Manning (LA)
RB: Zac Stacy (AL), DeAngelo Williams (AR), Stevan Ridley (MS)
WR: Rueben Randle (LA), Jordan Mathews (AL), Jerricho Cotchery (AL)
TE: None
K: None
 
Analysis: With the number one ranked QB and three top ten RB’s, this team should be very competitive; lack of TE and K depth could be its downfall.
 
 
Midwest (IA, IL, MI, MN, MO, ND, SD, WI)
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Tony Romo (WI)
RB: Montee Ball (MO), Joique Bell (MI)
WR: Larry Fitzgerald (MN), Eric Decker (MN), Michael Floyd (MN)
TE: Coby Fleener (IL)
K: Adam Vinatieri (SD)
 
Key Reserves
QB: Kirk Cousins (MI), Kyle Orton (IA)
RB: Mark Ingram (MI), Pierre Thomas (IL)
WR: Jeremy Maclin (MO), Greg Jennings (MI)
TE: Antonio Gates (MI), Owen Daniels (IL)
K: Billy Cundiff (IA)
 
Analysis: This team's success will rely heavily on Tony Romo staying healthy; can the trio of WR’s from Minnesota put up numbers?
 
 
Texas
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Drew Brees
RB: Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles
WR: Dez Bryant, Michael Crabtree, Emmanuel Sanders
TE: Martellus Bennett
K: Phil Dawson
 
Key Reserves
QB: Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, Nick Foles
RB: Fred Jackson, Chris Ivory, Christine Michael, Khiry Robinson
WR: Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams, Mike Evans, Danny Amendola
TE: Jace Amaro, Jermichael Finley
K: Justin Tucker, Mason Crosby, Matt Bryant
 
Analysis: The best team on paper with top five fantasy players at all positions but TE; four QB’s in the projected top ten and seven in the projected top twenty.
 
 
West (AK, AZ, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, UT, WA, WY)
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Jake Locker (WA)
RB: DeMarco Murray (NV), Darren Sproles (KS)
WR: Jordy Nelson (KS), Vincent Jackson (CO), Markus Wheaton (AZ)
TE: Jermaine Gresham (OK)
K: Dan Bailey (OK)
 
Key Reserves
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick (AZ), Shaun Hill (KS)
RB: Danny Woodhead (NE), Stevan Jackson (NV), Ka’Deem Carey (AZ)
WR: Wes Welker (OK), Jermain Kearse (WA)
TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (WA), Zach Miller (AZ)
K: Dan Carpenter (MT), Greg Zuerlein (NE)
 
Analysis: Although it has three projected starting QB’s, none are ranked in the top twenty for fantasy and at least one will need to shine for this team to be successful.


Schedule
Each team will play 13 regular season games; two games against all division opponents and one game against non-division opponents. Weeks 14, 15, and 16 will serve as the Fantasy playoffs for the six qualifying teams (three from each division). Below is the weekly schedule of the regular season.

Week 1
Florida vs. Georgia / SC
Mid-Atlantic vs. Northeast
California vs. Ohio River Valley
Gulf Region vs. Texas
Midwest vs. West

Week 2
Florida vs. Mid-Atlantic
Georgia / SC vs. Ohio River Valley
Gulf Region vs. Northeast
California vs. West
Midwest vs. Texas

Week 3
Georgia / SC vs. Texas
Mid-Atlantic vs. Ohio River Valley
Florida vs. Northeast
California vs. Midwest
Gulf Region vs. West

Week 4
Georgia / SC vs. Northeast
Florida vs. Ohio River Valley
California vs. Gulf Region
Texas vs. West
Mid-Atlantic vs. Midwest

Week 5
Georgia / SC vs. Mid-Atlantic
Northeast vs. Ohio River Valley
California vs. Texas
Gulf Region vs. Midwest
Florida vs. West

Week 6
Florida vs. Georgia / SC
California vs. Northeast
Mid-Atlantic vs. Ohio River Valley
Gulf Region vs. West

Week 7
Florida vs. Mid-Atlantic
Georgia / SC vs. Ohio River Valley
California vs. Gulf Region
Midwest vs. Northeast
Texas vs. West

Week 8
Florida vs. Ohio River Valley
Georgia / SC vs. Gulf Region
Mid-Atlantic vs. Northeast
California vs. Texas
Midwest vs. West

Week 9
Florida vs. Northeast
Georgia / SC vs. Mid-Atlantic
Ohio River Valley vs. West
California vs. Midwest
Gulf Region vs. Texas

Week 10
Northeast vs. Ohio River Valley
Gulf Region vs. Mid-Atlantic
Florida vs. Texas
Georgia / SC vs. Midwest
California vs. West

Week 11
Georgia / SC vs. Northeast
Mid-Atlantic vs. West
California vs. Florida
Ohio River Valley vs. Texas
Gulf Region vs. Midwest

Week 12
Florida vs. Midwest
California vs. Mid-Atlantic
Northeast vs. Texas
Gulf Region vs. Ohio River Valley
Georgia / SC vs. West

Week 13
Florida vs. Gulf Region
Midwest vs. Ohio River Valley
California vs. Georgia / SC
Mid-Atlantic vs.Texas
Northeast vs. West


Note: NFL players were assigned to teams based on the state their hometown is located in (per official team websites, NFL.com, college team sites, or other credible sources); SbS Football does not guarantee the accuracy of the information and the definition of "hometown" may vary.