Neely and the Hooligans are fresh off a beatdown of the number-one ranked draft class, after finishing in last place in 2018. The schedule doesn't get easier this week, as they face two-time AFC champion Zerger and his Redlegs. Regardless of whether Antonio Brown plays for the Redlegs this week, I am picking Neely to notch his second win of the season (half of his 2018 total).
This may seem odd that the two worst teams in the NFC qualify as the game of the week. But these two are perennial contenders in danger of falling to 0-2. Historically, less than 25% of 0-2 teams have made the playoffs. DominationStation just lost TE Hunter Henry, but I'm counting on Jessen to fill that position and doom the Hippies to an 0-2 start.
The two-time champion against the newcomer. The Havoc joined the league last season and drafted their own team for the first time this season. I'm picking Stanley to knock off the two-time champ Brawlers.
Week One is in the books, and 2019 season is officially in full swing. Click any standings image below to go to the conference's Yahoo page. OPR will be released after Week Four, as the sample size is too small this early in the season for it to mean anything.
For the first time since November 20, 2017, the AMMODOGS have notched a win. That's 658 days, 94 weeks, 22 months, 15 losses, three NFC champions, three Antonio Brown jerseys, two OIL drafts, and one 0-13 season ago. Congratulations to Rogers, as he can look forward to 2019 now that the 0-13 monkey is off his back.
For the fifth year in a row, RateMyLeague.com has reviewed each OIL draft. Below are the audio files and the order in which RML ranked the drafts. Click on the teams to view their roster on Yahoo!.
The AFC is led by . . . Musselman?! Muss has yet to make the playoffs in his OIL career, so maybe this will jump-start his best year yet. Behind Musselman are two-time champion Zerger and 2015 runner-up Roe. For reference, RateMyLeague.com correctly predicted four of six playoff teams last year.
The NFC is led by the Arrogant Americans, who drafted live at the cabin. Behind Cliburn is 2015 runner-up Henderson and 2013 champion Cobb. For reference, RateMyLeague.com correctly predicted only two of six playoff teams last year . . . and ranked the AMMODOGS' draft as the tops in the league. The AMMODOGS promptly went 0-13.
The PFC is led by the Exigent Circumstances, who are managed by Spicer. On his heels are Lutonsky and Straily. For reference, RateMyLeague.com correctly predicted only one of six playoff teams last year.
This is pinned so the commissioner doesn't have to answer 100 "where do I pick?" texts between now and September.
The OIL has released odds of each team winning a championship this year. The odds are based on the manager's previous seasons. This is not dependent on current rosters or standings. It is a barometer based on past performance.
The baseline odds would be 1:13, so you can compare your odds to those. It first takes your history of making the playoffs and converts it to odds, e.g. in 13 seasons, Cliburn has made the playoffs nine times, so his playoff odds are 9:4). It then multiplies those odds by your odds of getting into the second round of the playoffs (2:3, since there are six playoff teams and four make it to the second round) and finally multiplies the result by the odds of winning the title (1:4). The result is 3:8, meaning that, if Cliburn played 11 seasons, he would be expected to win the title in three of them. Morgan's odds are 1:7, meaning that, if Morgan played eight seasons, he would be expected to win the title in one of those seasons. For Leal, the odds are 1:20, meaning it would take 21 seasons for Leal to win one championship (only eight seasons to go, Leal!)
You'll notice that some teams with multiple championships have relatively low odds. For example, Bruesch's odds are 1:6, but he has won three championships already. This is the result of Bruesch making the playoffs in only six of his 12 seasons. Bruesch has been very fortunate when he does make the playoffs, winning the championship 50% of the time that he makes the playoffs. However, he only makes the playoffs 50% of the time, which lowered his odds.
The odds are more representative in the NFC, as it has had 13 years of data to crunch and, thus, a larger sample size. But it's fun to look at the odds throughout the OIL. Again, this can't be predictive based on how you draft, but they can be instructive based on past performance. Without further ado, here they are:
Fourteen years have passed since we first sat at Snow Hall and learned that the 1st Battalion of the 158th Field Artillery regiment was being called up for service in Iraq. A lot has changed during that time, so let's take some time to catch up, this time with Arrogant Americans manager Justin Cliburn.
Are you still in the 158? If, not when did you get out?
CLIBURN: No. My contract was up in 2010. At that point, I was engaged, and my fiancee was not crazy about me going to Afghanistan or something. I was also planning on going to law school, so I ETS'd and moved on.
What did you do post-deployment?
CLIBURN: I moved back to Lawton, went back to work for UPS (where I worked with Duffy), and started college again. I eventually went to law school at OU, and I'm now an attorney in Oklahoma City.
Where are your from and how did you make it into the 158?
CLIBURN: My family is from the Gulf Coast, but we moved to Oklahoma from Florida when I was four. I grew up in Lawton and procrastinated through high school. Before I knew it, I needed a plan for college and the Guard seemed like a good idea. That was April 2001. The 158 was headquartered in Lawton, so I joined it and was assigned to Bravo Battery in Duncan.
Where do you live now?
CLIBURN: Oklahoma City, near the Plaza District.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
CLIBURN: My wife and I volunteer at our local NPR station and are on the board of our neighborhood association. We have a dog, and I like to ride the bike trails in OKC when the weather is nice. I've always been into true crime since watching a lot of Unsolved Mysteries as a kid, and I still listen to true crime podcasts, focusing on missing persons and unidentified decedents. I created the Missing Map to help identify unidentified bodies, and there have been some successes (including two in Oklahoma, one that I linked to a man missing from Canada since the 70s).
What is your fantasy background? How long have you played FF? How many different leagues?
CLIBURN: I first played in 2004, and I didn't care for it (even though I won that league after going on autopilot). In 2005, we were all at Fort Lewis with very little awareness of what was going on in the football world, so I didn't play then (and probably wouldn't have wanted to). I got talked into playing in the OIL during the 2006 mission because . . . what else did we have to do? Something was much different that second time around, and I was hooked. I played in a couple public leagues early on, and we had a brief dynasty side league in the OIL for two years. But I really just play in the OIL. The last two seasons, I've been playing in the Fantasy Sports Alliance, due to bonding with their commissioner over how detailed we both are. And I always get roped into a work league, but the OIL is far and away my focus.
How many championships have you won? How many have you finished second in?
CLIBURN: I have five titles, although one was that autopilot 2004 championship. I've won three OIL championships, and I won in a dynasty league that fizzled out. I've finished second four times, two of those times being in the OIL. I really only care about the OIL though, so I just tell people I have three championships and two second-place finishes.
What is your general strategy in FF?
CLIBURN: I typically go for the "sure thing" in the first few rounds before going for boom-or-bust players in the mid-to-late rounds. I also generally pick QB and TE late.
How much preparation do you do before each season?
CLIBURN: I used to do a lot more extensive research before each season. I would do tons of mock drafts online, charting by hand the differences in results based on each strategy. I had a huge notebook full of research back then, but, thankfully, as I've grown older and had less time for that, technology has improved greatly. Now, I mostly do research by mock drafting on the Football Guys Draft Dominator app, which tracks all the data I used to do by hand. It also takes a fraction of the time to do a mock draft on the app than it used to take doing them online.
Do you find you draft better at the cabin with the guys or at home online?
CLIBURN: I've always drafted with the guys, so I'm not sure. But I bet I would do better away from all the distractions. It wouldn't be worth it though, because the annual draft get-together is what I look forward to all year.
Will you be at the draft cabin next year?
CLIBURN: Of course.
What is the best move you've made in FF?
CLIBURN: 1. Drafting DeSean Jackson in the 16th round in 2008; 2. Picking up Michael Vick off waivers in 2010; 3. Drafting Alvin Kamara in the 13th round in 2017.
What is your favorite FF memory? What is the pinnacle of your FF career?
CLIBURN: As far as one season goes, it was winning my first title in 2010. I was so frustrated losing the 2009 title due to a Week 17 championship game (and three first-half injuries to my star players) that I was expecting to lose again, even after a 12-1 regular season. But I pulled it out, and it capped off the most-dominant season in OIL history.
But what I'm most proud of in my playing career is my sustained success from 2008 to 2013. During those six seasons, we averaged over 10 wins per season, made the playoffs five times, earned a first-round bye four times, reached four different championship games, and won two titles. Perhaps that will be surpassed (Zerger and Brake are certainly working on it), but I doubt I will ever average that type of success over such a long period again.
On a personal level though, the pinnacle of my FF career is the charter bus ride from OKC to Arlington, Texas to draft at AT&T Stadium. The experience at the stadium wasn't everything I'd hoped for, but that bus ride was better than any draft we'd had previously, and I knew it was time to do it big every year. It led to the yearly cabin weekend, and that's the best thing that ever happened to the OIL.
We are one month away from the OIL's 14th season. Fifty-four managers have competed since the first season in 2006. Forty-two of those 54 currently compete in the OIL. Eleven of the 42 have won at least one championship. Three of those 42 are defending conference champions (Brosh, Pyle, and Buehre). One is the defending OIL champion (Brosh). Below are the current OIL managers sorted by career OIL Power Rating.