Twitter has rapidly risen to become an excellent source of breaking news and a collection of wide-ranging viewpoints. At the same time, however, it can a bit intimidating to the new user. It's sometimes difficult to know who to follow for quality fantasy football-related news. To help erase this difficulty, we have interviewed some of our favorite tweeters.
Name: Gary Davenport
Twitter handle: @IDPManor
Approximate number of tweets per month: 250
Number that are following you: 610 (I only pay 608 of them though)
Number that you are following: 350 (and growing rapidly...lots of valuable info in the twitterverse)
Tweeting since: 2010
Occupation (when not talking about football): There are things in life besides football? Since When?
Family life: I have ten beautiful kids whose names I'll gladly rattle off...oh wait, that's Antonio Cromartie.
Quick Bio (who you are, site(s) you represent, etc.): I'm a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, a Senior IDP Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks, an NFL and Fantasy Football Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report, Contributor to Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., Co-host of Kellogg's Komments on Blog Talk Radio with FSWA Hall of Famer Greg Kellogg, the founder of IDP Manor, and shameless shill for anyone else who will have me.
What is something unique about you that few would know about? I'm something of a "late bloomer" where fantasy football is concerned, having not played in my first league until 2004. I've made up for lost time with a vengeance since though.
What you do for fun during the football offseason: In the NFL there's no such thing as an offseason anymore, and if you want to be successful in fantasy football you'd be well served to keep that in mind. No rest for the wicked and all that.
Favorite NFL Team(s): Cleveland Browns (God help me)
Favorite NFL player(s): Present: Patrick Willis (what a monster) Past: Jim Brown (Best that ever was)
Make your case for why fantasy football addicts should get on Twitter: Twitter is a fantastic place to get breaking news on players and feedback on draft picks and lineup decisions from any number of incredibly knowledgeable fantasy football experts. Most of them don't even bite...much.
Except for yourself, give us three to five MUST FOLLOWS on Twitter: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention @JeneBramel (Doc's the King), and all the FBG IDP staff such as @SigmundBloom and @JohnNorton know their stuff. However, there are quite a few other sharp IDP minds out there, including @TheIDPGuru, @PFF_Ross Miles, @IDPSteve, @FFOasisPaul, and any number of other folks I'm forgetting at the moment. It's exciting to see how much the IDP community has grown in just the past few years.
Years playing fantasy football: The 2012 season will be my 9th (I know, I'm a relative N00b).
Favorite style of play (Dynasty, Redraft, Auction, Best Ball, Survivor, etc): I can't say that I really have a favorite format, as I find playing in a variety of leagues is both enjoyable and helps keeps me on my proverbial toes. That said, I prefer IDP leagues to team defenses all day every day.
Your biggest score(s) in fantasy football: I don't know about an individual score, but for the first time last season I had a pair of teams post 13-0 regular seasons. Of course, in the truest spirit of fantasy football both of those teams lost in the playoffs. C'est La Vie.
Name two players that you expect will be undervalued in most fantasy drafts this year. Explain why you think these sleepers could drastically outperform their ADP:As an IDP guy I reckon I should go with defensive players, and I'll take a dip into Kilroyz Koma Ward for some deeper sleeper picks.
Rookie James-Michael Johnson will begin the season as the Cleveland Browns starting WLB, and by the time Scott Fujita gets back from suspension he may discover he doesn't have a job to come back to. The Cleveland defense will probably be on the field all day, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see JMJ post LB3 numbers for a fraction of the price given his talent and the opportunities for fantasy production he'll see.
Trevor Scott has been manning the elephant spot for the New England Patriots in minicamp, and given Scott's versatility and depending on how long it takes Chandler Jones to acclimate to the NFL Scott could put up DL2 numbers early in the season. That isn't bad for a player I'm seeing go undrafted in a lot of leagues at this point.
Name two players that will not be on your roster at any draft position. Explain why you think these busts could drastically underperform their ADP: Cam Newton and Adrian Peterson.
I feel like I'm beating a dead horse (especially since I said the same thing last year and ended up dead wrong), but James Anderson of the Panthers strikes me as a prime candidate for a letdown season. The arrival of Luke Kuechly will probably bump Anderson from the field in passing subpackages, and the odds of a two-down SLB putting up top 10 (or even IDP LB2) numbers are slim to none.
I'd also recommend against drafting just about ANY defensive back early in IDP drafts. Granted, it may be nice to have a Tyvon Branch, Eric Berry, or Roman Harper on your team, but in most leagues the position is just so deep and so unpredictable that I'd advise loading up on linebackers and defensive linemen. There are plenty of upside defensive backs such as Jordan Babineaux (just as an example) to be had later on.
How much of fantasy football is skill? How much is luck? A wise man once told me that fantasy football is "a random monkey-humping luckfest." Sure, skill plays a significant role, but unless lady luck throws you a bone or three you're probably not bringing home the trophy.
What's the biggest mistake you see fantasy players make? Either not being familiar with their fantasy league's scoring system and rules or allowing themselves to get caught up in the end of a positional run. Both can sink a fantasy season pretty quickly.
What do you wished you had learned about fantasy football five years ago? I wish I'd known about IDP leagues from day one. It adds a whole new element of fun and strategy to fantasy football, and until you've played in an IDP league you just don't know what you're missing.
Give a wild prediction about the 2012 season that most would be shocked if it happened (out on the limb thought): London Fletcher will lead the National Football League in total tackles for the second consecutive season, because apparently he's going to play until he's 50. (I hope...loves me some London Fletcher. The single most underappreciated defensive player in the NFL.)
Super Bowl Teams and Score: Houston Texans 27, Detroit Lions 21 (if only so two more teams that have never played in the big game can make it there, causing my allegiance to the Browns to become that much more pitiful.)
NFL Rookie of the Year: Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins. It's an award for quarterbacks, and Griffin's going to post more wow plays than Andrew Luck. On defense it's hard to argue with Luke Kuechly unless Mark Barron or Morris Claiborne pile up a ton of big plays this year.
NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Unless his legs fall off it's Peyton Manning's award to lose. Defensively safety Eric Berry of the Chiefs would seem an easy choice...solid shot at 100+ stops after a lost 2011 season.
Parting thoughts about anything at all:Thanks very much to the fine folks at FootballGuys for allowing me to take part in this, and best of luck to everyone in the upcoming season! (Unless you're in one of my leagues, in which case get bent.)
Also, if you've never tried an Individual Defensive Players league...DO IT. You'll thank me later.
Others Featured (Listed alphabetically):Interview: Jarrett Behar - Twitter: @EyeoftheGator
Interview: Matthew Berry - Twitter: @MatthewBerryTMR
Interview: Sigmund Bloom - Twitter: @SigmundBloom
Interview: Jene Bramel - Twitter: @JeneBramel
Interview: Joe Bryant - Twitter: @Football_guys
Interview: Ryan Burns - Twitter: @FtblSickness
Interview: Will Carroll - Twitter: @injuryexpert
Interview: Mike Clay - Twitter: @MikeClayNFL
Interview: Jim Day - Twitter: @Fantasytaz
Interview: Eric Dickens - Twitter: @DLFootball
Interview: Gary Davenport - Twitter: @IDPManor
Interview: David Dodds - Twitter: @fbg_dodds
Interview: Joe Everett - Twitter: @RookieDraft
Interview: Michael Fabiano - Twitter: @Michael_Fabiano
Interview: Bryan Fontaine - Twitter: @Bryan_Fontaine
Interview: Chet Gresham - Twitter: @Chet_G
Interview: Ken Griggs - Twitter: @Dexters_Library
Interview: Bob Harris - Twitter: @Footballdiehard
Interview: Bob Henry - Twitter: @bobhenry
Interview: Tom Kessenich - Twitter: @TomKessenich
Interview: Cecil Lammey - Twitter: @cecillammey
Interview: Zach Law - Twitter: @zach_law
Interview: Alex Miglio - Twitter: @AlexMiglio
Interview: Andrew Miley - Twitter: @AndrewMiley
Interview: Sam Monson - Twitter: @Sammonson
Interview: Josh Moore - Twitter: @4for4_Josh
Interview: Chad Parsons - Twitter: @PFF_ChadParsons
Interview: John Paulsen - Twitter: @4for4_John
Interview: Brian Quinlan - Twitter: @BNQuinlan
Interview: Matt Schauf - Twitter: @mschauf63
Interview: Evan Silva - Twitter: @evansilva
Interview: Matt Waldman - Twitter: @MattWaldman
Interview: Chris Wesseling - Twitter: @ChrisWesseling
Interview: Matt Williamson - Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL
Interview: Eric Yeomans - Twitter: @Eric_Yeomans
Interview: Lance Zierlein - Twitter: @SidelineFB and @LanceZierlein
Editor's Note: If you have liked this series, check out Zach Law's interviews here