As September rolled in, millions of Americans let out a roar: Football season is back, baby! As the teams suit up and hit the turf, a multitude of people will be keeping a close eye on players and teams they might not normally care about. Why? Because they are caught up in the competitive rapture of fantasy football, where office co-workers, friends, family and even strangers form their own online football leagues and choose real-life players to be on their team. How the player performs in each week’s games affects your team’s stats online.
The good folks here at MTV News are no different: Some of us live for fantasy football. As we found out recently, so do several members of the hip-hop community. So we started the MTV News Fantasy Football League with Cool & Dre, Yung Joc, Block Entertainment CEO Block, Lil Wayne, Tyrese “Black Ty” Gibson, Uncle Luke, Method Man, Paul Wall and our own on-air correspondent Liz Hernandez all taking on teams.
Last week, we gathered everyone together for a fantasy draft at Jay-Z’s 40/40 club in New York, where the draft order was chosen by Method Man, who picked names out of a hat (he picked his own name first. Hmmmm …). From there, the gloves came off! Questionable picks got a lot of trash talk: Luke was ribbed something awful when he chose Kansas City’s Priest Holmes, who is all but out of the league, although Luke did show his juice when he called up Arizona Cardinals perennial Pro Bowl running back Edgerrin James and put him on speaker phone). And Liz heard plenty of jokes when she chose the controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens, who has a penchant for missing games due to injuries and discipline from his coaches.
|MTV News Fantasy Football League|
Watch Method Man, Lil Wayne and more run their teams in round-by-round coverage of our first fantasy league.
But now the dust has cleared, the rosters are set and the battle lines drawn. We’ll be here every week, giving you the matchups, the standings and everything you need to know about life in the MTV News Fantasy Football League — some of the team “owners” will even be checking in with us from time to time. Strap your helmet on tight: It all starts here with the week 1 matchups. Here’s how it breaks down:
|Liz Hernandez vs. Method Man|
|Jake Delhomme, Carolina||QB||Carson Palmer, Cincinnati|
|Steven Jackson, St. Louis||RB||Shaun Alexander, Seattle|
|Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati||RB||Willie Parker, Pittsburgh|
|Terrell Owens, Dallas||WR||Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis|
|Randy Moss, Oakland||WR||Chris Chambers, Miami|
|Jason Witten, Dallas||TE||Todd Heap, Baltimore|
|Dallas Cowboys||D/ST||New York Giants|
|John Kasay, Carolina||K||Jay Feely, New York|
Meth’s deck is stacked with more all-stars than a Chunky Soup ad, and he racked up 115 yards from the Steelers’ Willie Parker before anyone else got to step on the field. Liz needs a big day from Terrell Owens to start the season with a “W.”
|Lil Wayne vs. Yung Joc|
|Daunte Culpepper, Miami||QB||Eli Manning, New York|
|Larry Johnson, Kansas City||RB||LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego|
|Reggie Bush, New Orleans||RB||Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia|
|Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis||WR||Anquan Boldin, Arizona|
|Andre Johnson, Houston||WR||Plaxico Burress, New York|
|Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City||TE||Alge Crumpler, Atlanta|
|Baltimore Ravens||D/ST||Seattle Seahawks|
|Neil Rackers, Arizona||K||Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis|
It’s always a risky fantasy strategy to put too many eggs in one team’s basket, but Yung Joc is banking on big things from the Giants’ offense (starting both Eli Manning and Plaxico Burress). Lil Wayne counters with a hometown favorite: rookie Reggie Bush. He could be the wild card Wayne needs to pull off the win.
|Cool & Dre vs. Tyrese “Black Ty” Gibson|
|Peyton Manning, Indianapolis||QB||Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia|
|Ronnie Brown, Miami||RB||Tiki Barber, New York|
|Julius Jones, Dallas||RB||Carnell Williams, Tampa Bay|
|Steve Smith, Carolina||WR||Torry Holt, St. Louis|
|Donald Driver, Green Bay||WR||Hines Ward, Pittsburgh|
|Jeremy Shockey, New York||TE||L.J. Smith, Philadelphia|
|Carolina Panthers||D/ST||New England Patriots|
|David Akers, Philadelphia||K||Jason Elam, Denver|
Cool & Dre know better than to bet against Peyton Manning in primetime. Tyrese counters with Donovan McNabb, a bold move given the Eagles’ question marks at receiver. Look for Black Ty’s secret weapon, Tampa Bay’s Carnell Williams, to make the difference.
|Uncle Luke vs. Paul Wall|
|Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle||QB||Tom Brady, New England|
|Edgerrin James, Arizona||RB||LaMont Jordan, Oakland|
|Kevin Jones, Detroit||RB||Corey Dillon, New England|
|Chad Johnson, Cincinnati||WR||Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona|
|Santana Moss, Washington||WR||Roy Williams, Detroit|
|Randy McMichael, Miami||TE||Antonio Gates, San Diego|
|Chicago Bears||D/ST||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis||K||Shayne Graham, Cincinnati|
Paul got an early high-scoring performance from his defense courtesy of the Steelers (and Joey Porter’s interception return for a TD). Luke has some ground to make up, and he’s banking on a revitalized Edgerrin James — now carrying the ball for Arizona — to deliver.
Check back on Tuesday for the latest scores and standings.