What do you think of when you hear the words Fantasy Football?  You probably think of the fun and enjoyment it brings to a long arduous football season that, let’s be honest, maybe isn’t going the way you’d hoped.  You might think of the camaraderie you develop with your fellow players, or the bond you share when you crack off a message-board inside joke that only a select few understand.  Maybe you’re the real deal and you play to win prize money.  For most of us, it’s an escape, a way to forget whatever is going on with your team or even your life, and focus on something that is purely for enjoyment.  

Here at GCSN, we are basically volunteers, spending hours of our lives hammering away at keyboards simply, because we love it. Yes the dream is to make it our full-time jobs, and turn it into a lucrative career, but ultimately we all started because we wanted to show the sports world what we had to offer. We come from all different walks of life and from all over the United States and there’s even a couple of Canadians! (Don’t ask me why). It can be difficult to run a sports news outlet from all over with people we have mostly never met in person, let alone people we don’t know very much about. We needed a way to get to know each other that was easy and fun and still sports related so we could develop real friendships beyond a face and a name. What better way to do all that in one neat little package than a fantasy football league?

Without further ado, we give you the Game Changer Sports Network Fantasy Football League! Remember we are volunteers so we couldn’t afford a clever league name like some of the other networks, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Just to get some of the specifics out of the way, it’s a 12-team PPR Dynasty league with individual defensive players. To some hardcore fantasy players that sounds like heaven on a laptop, to others like me who have been playing standard scoring leagues for a decade, you are probably a little overwhelmed.

First, our dynasty league allows you to keep players for up to 5 years after you draft them. You give each player a contract with a number of years, (look ma, we are just like real football!) and each franchise has a cap of 130 contract years when you add up the contracts of each player. The max roster size is 35 and there is even a 10-man taxi squad that allows you to stash rookies for up to three years without using up contracts. For example, I loaded my roster with defensive players because as the old saying goes, if you throw enough shit against the wall, some of it is bound to stick. I have a 40-man roster for one fantasy team, and if that doesn’t scream get a life, nothing will.

Next, to really understand the difficulty of playing with individual defensive players, you first have to accept that no matter how much you know about fantasy, you don’t know as much about defensive value in fantasy as you think. You have to determine what you value more; is it sacks? Maybe you think interceptions and total tackles are the way to go. It is a wrinkle that adds so much to a standard fantasy league in terms of fun, but it also gets you out of your comfort zone a little. Even finding enough data and projections on IDP’s can prove difficult if you don’t know where to look.

Drafting a Dynasty roster creates a completely different draft strategy as well, as highlighted by the wise thoughts of one Joe Sousa, owner of the The San Mateo Goats and the first overall pick. Joe had this to say: “Most fantasy football players always preach the incredible value having star players at the running back position brings. In other leagues I have won multiple championships on the backs of bell cow running backs Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliot. While going through the decision making process, bias almost led me to taking my guy CMC at the 1.01. But as I began to think more and more into the most important decision the San Mateo Goats franchise will ever make in this dynasty league, I started to really think about longevity. Now, I understand it can be detrimental to look to far ahead, and I am a firm believer and preacher of the Patriot Way and Belichick MO, take the game one week at a time. While I sat and debated my options, the success Patrick Mahomes has already had in just 2 seasons is astonishing, and possibly the greatest start we’ve ever seen by an NFL QB. He is one of the few players in the league that non-football fans can watch and say, “Wow that kid is special.” He is a once in a lifetime player. I was hesitant to go QB with my first pick, because typically I am one of those fantasy managers that preaches running backs are top priority, and you can always find replacement level QBs when the same can’t be said for running back. Regardless of position depth, and value above replacement, I decided Patrick Mahomes was the clear choice at 1.01. As Bill Belichick would say, “We made the best decision for the football team.” I wholeheartedly believe here in San Mateo, we did just that.”

On taking Deandre Hopkins in the first round Ian Mcculloch of the Orlando Apollo’s said, “A lot of people think that there’s a certain position you should take in your first few rounds. RB-RB, RB-WR, etc etc etc. It’s not true. Those first few picks you take the best player in the board and you play it safe. The time for reaching is in the later rounds, not with the guy that is meant to consistently get you the most points every week. With all that being said, all the top-tier running backs were off the board except for Dalvin Cook and Nick Chubb since I was picking so late. I easily could have taken one of them at 11, but then my choices for that consistently top tier WR would most likely be limited to Davante Adams and Mike Evans. So either I take Hopkins and then most likely either Cook or Chubb, or i take Cook it Chubb and then get Adams or Evans. Obviously Hopkins is a safer bet than either if them, since even pre-Deshaun Watson he was putting up numbers in Houston, so I went with him. And my suspicions were proven right when the guy after me took Adams when he’d almost certainly have taken Hopkins otherwise.”

The lineups for each week’s head to head matchups are pretty standard: 1 QB, 2-3 RB,3 WR, 1-2 TE, 1 Kicker, 3-4 defensive linemen, 3-4 linebackers, 3-4 cornerbacks, and 2 safeties. You start a total of 21 players based off of these guidelines each week. Every week in this column, we will bring you the results of last weeks Fantasy Matchups, the schedule for the upcoming week, the standings, and a little profile of every player in the league so you can get to know the genius who pulled the trigger on wasting a contract year on Giovani Bernard or the mastermind who started a dud over a stud. This first week’s edition will give you every team’s roster, as well as the week one matchups, and starting lineups. I’ll try to squeeze in a little bit of the thought process that went into the draft as well. Just because he’s the boss doesn’t mean you should be afraid to laugh at Jake when I emerge victorious in dominant fashion. If you hadn’t guessed, we play each other week one.

All kidding aside, we would love our viewers, readers, and listeners to feel like they know us a little better after joining us on this magical journey that is fantasy football. If you took the time to read all of that, you already mean the world to us. Below you can find a list of each team and who the owner is, the rosters for every team, and the week one matchups and starting lineups. We hope you enjoy following along with the league and the column and learn a little bit about the great people behind GCSN.

Owners, Teams, and Rosters:

Matt Peek Mid-life Crisis Response Team
Jake Jollymore-Golden Knights
Bryce Dial-In Godwin We trust
Ian Mcculloch-Orlando Apollos
Martin Lee-The cleverly named Franchise 3
Austin Carr- Hoosier Hysteria
Joe Sousa-San Mateo Goats
Gavin Marlow-Circus Monkeys
Nick Eubanks-Over 9000 TD’s
Joey-Frennette-Bathurst Big Cats
Matt Boyce-Watkins Glen Senecas

Week One Matchups:

Teams with a (- )spread are the favorites.
Hoosier Hysteria is the favorite for now against the Golden Knights
The Orlando Apollo’s take on Franchise 3
The Big Cats take on In Godwin we trust
The Circus Monkeys take on the Senecas
Almost Jameis will play the San Mateo Goats
Can Over 9000 score some TD’s on the Mid Life Crisis Response Team?

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