Fri Jan 24 11:25am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Mostert helped crown the king
RealTime Fantasy Sports is proud to announce Dave DeRose as our winner of the ’19 King of the Mountain contest. Barczak was the last owner standing in our fantasy contest, winning a prize of $25,000 for his efforts.
If you aren't familiar, here is how the King of the Mountain contest works. You pick one simple lineup each week, consisting of one quarterback, one running back and one receiver/tight end. If the team you pick scores better than just the worst one-third of teams in the contest, you advance to the next week. But here is the catch, you can only pick a player for your team once during season, including the playoffs. If you are the last owner standing, you take home a $25,000 prize for winning the King of the Mountain contest.
DeRose was the big winner of this year's contest. This wasn’t the first time DeRose had played King of the Mountain, but it was definitely his best showing.
“I've played this contest for many years,” DeRose said. “At two entries per year, I never made it past Week 7.”
A new strategy was just the thing to get DeRose to advance farther this year, though. He had to make adjustments after not fairing the best with past chances.
“I used to coach youth basketball and I'm also a high school basketball referee,” DeRose said. “My philosophy with timeouts is ‘you can't take them home.’ Too many people leave their timeouts in the book until it's too late. In past King of the Mountain competitions, I left too many good players on the bench in an attempt to save them for later weeks. My strategy was to play 'best matchups' in at least two of the three positions and just advance to the next week.”
This was a great strategy for DeRose, but it did not come without some close calls along the way. There were several weeks that had DeRose sweating it out, including Week 9.
“My team kept dropping closer to the cut line during the Monday night game (Cowboys and Giants),” DeRose said. “I kept yelling for the game to end. Needless to say, I was the first team that survived above the cut line.”
That week might have been a turning point for DeRose, but at what point of the contest did he really think he had a chance to win it all. It might not be as soon as you think.
“When I survived Week 17, my chances to win officially 'got real' for me,” DeRose said. “I knew that If I made it to wild card weekend, I would have a great chance. Wild card weekend brought me from the top five to the top three, and I felt destined to win. Wentz was my quarterback and he was injured early. My fate was sealed until that final play from Wilson to Metcalf.”
The last week of the contest wasn’t quite as nerve racking for DeRose because he had a leg up on his competition, being able to fill out a full starting lineup. His opponent wasn’t quite as fortunate, missing a key part of his three-man team.
“I was pretty calm knowing I had Garoppolo and my opponent did not have a starting quarterback,” DeRose said. “I felt good about Mostert as my running back and AJ Brown as my receiver. I was anxious for the Chiefs game to end to stop points from Damien Williams. I went to a bar with a friend of mine to watch the final game. We missed the first few minutes of the game. As I was pulling up in the lot, my wife texted me saying, ‘Mostert just scored baby!’ At that point, I felt pretty confident that I'd win.”
So now that DeRose is $25,000 richer, what is he going to do with the winnings? That is the big question.
“I plan to tithe my winnings to our church and to the radio broadcast that feeds my soul,” DeRose said. “I also plan to pay off some debt and use the majority of the remainder for our new house. Me, my wife Heather, and our kids Vincent and Ava are currently building a house and expected to move the first part of April. This extra money is a timely blessing.”
If you want to try to dethrone the king, don’t forget to sign up for King of the Mountain next season for a chance to win $25,000.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
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Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said that wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) is "fully healthy" and has been working out in Atlanta. It's good news after Green missed the entire 2019 season. He's scheduled to make around $18 million in 2020 on the franchise tag, but we may not get to see him until later this summer due to restrictions amid the coronavirus. Green will turn 32 in July and has played in just nine games in the last two seasons due to injuries. But he was a Pro Bowler each of his first seven seasons in the league from 2011 to 2017, surpassing the 1,000-yard receiving mark six times. He'll likely have rookie quarterback Joe Burrow throwing him passes in 2020, which could make fantasy owners even more hesitant to draft Green as even a WR2.
The Los Angeles Chargers remain "very high on" running back Justin Jackson. Melvin Gordon is now playing for the Broncos, so there will be more opportunity for Jackson behind Austin Ekeler moving forward. Jackson, a seventh-round pick by the Bolts in 2018, has rushed 79 times for 406 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in his 20 games (one start) in two seasons for the Chargers. The soon-to-be 25-year-old also has 24 catches for 157 yards in his two years in the league. Ekeler should take over workhorse duties in this backfield with Gordon gone, but Jackson will have a role as a change-of-pace back and could be a great value pick late in fantasy drafts this fall.
There's a chance that the Los Angeles Chargers look to trade cornerback Desmond King. King is seemingly a man without a position now that the Bolts signed Chris Harris Jr. to defend the slot in the middle of the field in 2020. Casey Hayward and Michael Davis can work on the outside, so it remains to be seen what the team will do with King if they hold onto him. The 25-year-old fifth-round pick in 2017 was a first-team All-Pro in 2018 when he had a career-high three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). King had 51 tackles (40 solo) and two passes defensed without an interception in 15 games (eight starts) in 2019. He could be part of a draft-day trade if the Chargers indeed move him.
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The Cincinnati Bengals have high expectations for tight end Drew Sample to take a "significant jump" in his second year with the team, especially with Tyler Eifert no longer in town. Sample caught just five passes on six targets for 30 yards in nine games (two starts) in his rookie season and he was drafted as mostly a blocking tight end. C.J. Uzomah will be the team's primary pass-catcher at the position, but Sample will inevitably see more snaps on offense and should see his offensive numbers take a sizeable rise over his rookie season. The soon-to-be 24-year-old former second-round pick could become interesting in dynasty/keeper leagues with the Bengals expected to take LSU QB Joe Burrow with the first overall pick later this month.
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Fantasy Spin: Ekeler had just one drop and 92 grabs for 993 yards. He rushed 132 times for 557 yards (4.2 yards per carry) as well, and with Melvin Gordon gone, he should remain one of the top five backs in PPR.
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr has seen his teammates drop 216 passes over the course of his six-year career - the most drops a quarterback has witnessed over that span.
Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup was charged with 11 drops in 2019 - the second-highest total in the league.
New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray averaged 2.7 yards before contact per rushing attempt in 2019 - tied for the sixth-best average among qualified rushers last season.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle was charged with only two drops on 107 targets in 2019. He was one of only five players in the league with at least 100 targets - regardless of position - to finish with a drop rate below two percent.
Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller was credited with eight broken tackles on his 90 catches in 2019 - tied with George Kittle for the second-highest total among tight ends.
Denver Broncos LB Von Miller has forced 640 quarterback pressures over the past decade, which are 40 more than any other player within that time.
Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Cody Latimer (Giants) officially signed an undisclosed contract with the Washington Redskins Tuesday, April 7.
Fantasy Spin: Latimer set career-highs with 24 receptions and 300 yards with the New York Giants in 2019. He has a viable path to a notable role within the Washington offense and could become a streaming option by mid-season.
Updating a previous story, free-agent DB P.J. Williams (Saints) officially signed an undisclosed contract with the New Orleans Saints Tuesday, April 7.
Updating a previous story, Dallas Cowboys TE Blake Bell officially signed Tuesday, April 7. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Updating a previous story, free-agent DB Damarious Randall (Browns) officially signed with the Las Vegas Tuesday, April 7. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Updating a previous story, free-agent LB Reggie Ragland (Chiefs) officially signed with the Detroit Lions Tuesday, April 7. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Updating a previous story, free-agent DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Bears) officially signed with the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, April 7. Official terms of the deal were not disclosed.