Primetime Discussion

2009 NFFC Primetime Champion Profile - Bill Strickler

Postby Tom Kessenich » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:55 am

The dream season. Every fantasy football player has one. You know, the perfect season where everything falls into place just the way you want.

Fantasy football nirvana.

Start out with the perfect draft. You land a stud player with your first pick and then get plenty of value in the middle and late rounds. You then land a strong contributor or two off the Waiver Wire during the season.

It’s the type of season fantasy owners wish they could have every year. The truth, however, is those seasons are few and far between.

But not for Bill Strickler in 2009. Strickler’s dream became reality in the National Fantasy Football Championship’s Primetime event.

And when the dream faded and reality set in, Strickler emerged as the top player in the event, its second-ever overall champion and the proud owner of the $40,000 grand prize.

Perfect indeed.

“Winning the Primetime championship was a great feeling,” Strickler said. “It was shocking to see t hat I had won.”

Perhaps it shouldn’t have been when examining how Strickler’s championshp season unfolded.

It began with a strong draft. Strickler drafted from the No. 1 spot in his league and selected Adrian Peterson with the top pick. Peterson had a strong 2009 season but he was by no means the only top player Strickler secured on Draft Day. Strickler got quality value throught the draft. Among his top value picks:

Wes Welker - 2nd round
Vincent Jackson – 3rd round
Donovan McNabb – 5th round
Dallas Clark – 6th round

Each of those players were among at the top players at their respective positions throughout the season. Another strong draft pick was Jamaal Charles (12th round). Charles took over the starting job in Kansas City late in the year and finished the season as one of fantasy’s most prolific performers.

Five quality draft picks is good work but by no means did Strickler stop there. He also made a pair of critical in-season pickups off the Waiver Wire which proved to have huge significance as well.

“Getting Miles Austin and Jerome Harrison off the free-agent wire were my biggest additions to my team,” he said.

There’s no question about that. Austin became a Top 10 wide receiver in 2009, while Harrison closed out the season with some mammoth performances in December after becoming the starting running back for the Browns.

That type of talent and depth is vital for any owner who wants to win the Primetime event. So Strickler was in a good spot entering the playoff weeks.

He had gone 9-4 with 1,888.3 points during the regular season and began the postseason ranked 12th in the Primetime field. But it didn’t take long for Strickler’s team to flex its muscles.

Team Strickler jumped into the top spot after the first weekend of playoff action thanks to a strong 213.85-point showing. Strickler’s team than generated 177 points in Week 15 and 177.2 points in the final week to secure the title.

Despite the strong showing in the final three weeks, Strickler admitted he had plenty of anxiety wondering if his team was going to hang on and claim the overall championship.

“After the first week of the playoffs when I scored 213 points I still was not sure I could win,” he said. “But the second week when I scored 170 then I knew I had a chance, but there were some good teams who were doing great so I knew the last weekend would be close. I scored 177 points and was able to hang on.

“The keys to winning were preparing and staying healthy. I read a lot of the posts on the Message Board. There were a lot of great opinions there and I’m not too proud to say that I took all of that in and found it to be very helpful.”
The 44-year-old Strickler lives in Holiday, Fla. with his wife Joyce and he said he has no grand plans for how he’s going to spend his $40,000 prize.

“We will be paying bills and getting my wife and a new car,” he said. “We’ll also be getting another dog and naming him Miles after Austin.”

Is that all?

“We’re also going to be going to Vegas next Labor Day,” he said.

In other words, be prepared all you Primetime participants in 2010. The champ is coming back and he has his sights set on a repeat.
Tom Kessenich
Manager of High Stakes Fantasy Games, SportsHub Technologies
Twitter - @TomKessenich
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