Fantasy Football: Keeper League Drops 2014

My keeper league team helmet, Halfmoon Howl
The fantasy football season is upon us and that means making my drops for the greatest keeper league ever...The Tri-State Football League.

Here's a cool snippet from the league's website (written by my brother Howie Mansfield) about the history of the league:

"Fantasy football leagues form in various ways. Some are created from a random smattering of national candidates; a few more are fans of one particular team. In those one-time leagues, you pick your players, run the league, win or lose, and walk away.

In a small demographic of leagues, there is something special going on. Keeper leagues are covering America, and their ties are more personally. Everyone knows everyone else somehow. You carry players from year-to-year and you care deeply about your franchise.

The Tri-State Football League was formed by Corey Mansfield, my brother, from a motley crew of sports fans that cover three states - Vermont, New York and California. Corey's idea is now in its fifteenth season, and growing. I have taken over as commissioner for the last five years, continuing the proud tradition that he started.

We don't just play fantasy football, we live it. All of our league owners are dedicated football fanatics, who spend just as much time worrying about their opponent's QB stats as they are on house chores. Well, maybe that's a bad comparison, but they love our league a lot!"

In our current format we keep 17 of the 22 players on our roster, drop 5 and then re-drafted a new 5. With that said here are my drops for the 2014 season:

David Wilson, Running Back - I drafted Wilson a couple years ago with my first pick with the hopes he could be my fantasy savior. He was a quick back with a high ceiling. He also walked into a great situation with the New York Giants. In 2013, he showed glimpses of greatness but a season-ending neck ended any  fantasy value. Fast forward eight months, and Wilson hurt's his neck again...ending his career. This broke my heart, not only as a fantasy owner but as a football fan.

Michael Bush, Running Back - Once a young stud in college Louisville, Bush was hurt in his final season with the Cardinals and his NFL draft stock plummeted. However, the Oakland Raiders took a chance on him in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft (That same season I took a chance on Bush and he's been on my roster ever since) Bush sat out the 2007 season rehabbing his leg but returned in 2008 to rush for 421 years. Over the next four season his fantasy stats increased and hit their height in 2011 when he rushed for 977 years, and 7 TD's. However, the following season he signed with with Chicago Bears as a back-up role to Matt Forte and his career was never the same. Now at the age 30, Bush has no team going into 2014 season. I'm sure he'll eventually get signed but he has no fantasy value.

Stephen Hill, Wide Receiver -  Hill was suppose to be the big down field threat the New York Jets were missing after two trips to the AFC Championship game. Questions lingered about Hill's experience as a receiver since he came from a triple-option offense at Georgia Tech. I still selected him a few years ago hoping he'd be a sleeper. However, he's never lived up to expectations and is always hurt. The Jets reloaded this off season with new receivers and in predominantly running offense Hill has no value.

Stephen Hill at Jets training camp in 2013 (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

Brandon LaFell, Wide Receiver - LaFell was never a fantasy stud but always put up decent numbers as a filler for "bye weeks." He had a pretty good situation in Carolina with the departure of Steve Smith that could have opened up the door to him being a number one receiver. However, he signed with the New England Patriots in the off season and his currently buried on their depth chart. Unless someone gets hurt, he has no fantasy value.

Chicago, Defense - The Bears defense was on my original 2001 roster but it's time to move on. The Bears organization is all about putting up points and less about preventing them. The team has no pass rush and their safety situation is a mess. In a loaded NFC Central with pass-happy offenses the Bears defense will probably get picked a part. They are nothing more than a bye week filler.

Later this week I'll be posting my current roster with my keeper picks as well as my pre-draft analysis.

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