My high school fantasy football team

Kevin Wandra's picture

Fantasy football is a national — and even international — phenomenon, a game that has an enormous following that has enveloped football and non-football fans alike.

Seemingly everybody has taken part in a fantasy football league at one time or another. Up until this year, despite being a die-hard football fan, I had bypassed entering a fantasy football league because I thought it would take away from the fun of watching football.

Boy, was I wrong.

Here at The Citizen, I’m in a league hosted by Yahoo with nine of my colleagues. Partaking in the league has been enjoyable, following my team from week to week, hoping it can contend for the league championship. I still cannot believe I hadn’t joined a league much earlier.

Last week, as I was contemplating making some roster moves, an idea popped up in my head: Writing a column on local high school football players I would want on my team if a high school fantasy football league actually existed.

Here’s the setup: Following Yahoo’s lineup rules, the team features one quarterback, three wide receivers, two running backs, one tight end, one w/t (wide receiver or tight end), one w/r (wide receiver or running back), one kicker and a five-player bench that can include any combination of skill-position players. I decided to exclude a team defense and individual defensive players to save time and make the whole selection process considerably easier.

The players I selected were ones who scored often and/or piled up a significant amount of yards.

QB: Landmark Christian’s Tanner Bryant: 98 of 179 passing, 1,677 yards, 20 TDs, 11 INTs, 125 carries, 838 yards, four touchdowns. No quarterback in the area accounted for more touchdowns this season than Bryant. He did an exceptional job of directing Landmark’s high-scoring offense, and I have no doubts whatsoever that that he would flourish on my team, particularly surrounded by so many playmakers.

WR: Sandy Creek’s Braxton Lane: 55 catches, 1,071 yards and 11 touchdowns. His name was one of the first that came to mind when considering putting together this team. Hands down, Lane was the best wide receiver in the area this season.

WR: Our Lady of Mercy’s Jarrell Bankhead: 43 catches, 678 yards, six touchdowns, one kickoff return for a touchdown. Bankhead was the Fightin’ Catholics’ top receiver and another no-brainer for my fantasy team.

WR: Landmark Christian’s Jimmy Eden: 31 catches, 470 yards, seven touchdowns. A late-season injury didn’t prevent Eden from finding a starting spot. His touchdown catches, in an injury-shortened season, were tied for second-best in the area with his teammate Matt Thornton.

WR: Landmark Christian’s Matt Thornton: 29 catches, 502 yards, seven touchdowns. Thornton and Eden combined to give Landmark the most potent receiving duo in the area. They give my team what matters most, points.

RB: Fayette County’s Matt Daniels: 1,408 yards rushing, 21 touchdowns, six catches, 137 yards, one touchdown, one touchdown passing. Daniels is the closest local player you could get to San Diego Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson; both players can do it all — run, catch and pass — and most important, they rack up touchdowns and yards in bunches. Either Daniels or Lane would be my first overall pick.

RB: Landmark Christian’s Walter Lenard: 1,281 yards rushing, 15 touchdowns, 18 catches, 448 yards, four touchdowns. Based on the all-purpose numbers he compiled, Lenard was a no-brainer. He reminds me of Philadelphia Eagles standout running back Brian Westbrook, a dynamic, all-purpose threat.

TE: Fayette County’s Barack Little: nine catches, 135 yards, two touchdowns. Little’s numbers aren’t outstanding, but he was the best tight among a group of local tight ends who didn’t put up big numbers this year. Plus, something tells me that Little, a big target, would eventually break out.

W/T: Fayette County’s Terrow Davis: 12 catches, 157 yards, one touchdown. Like Little, Davis didn’t get his hands on the ball much this season, but when he did, he was clutch. Davis, a sure-handed possession receiver, would be a superb complement to my group of talented starting wide receivers.

W/RB: Whitewater running back Thomas Frierson: 715 yards rushing, 12 touchdowns, two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Frierson had a breakout season, utilizing his blazing speed and elusiveness in the open field to lead Whitewater in touchdowns. He also provides special teams points, which always come in handy.

Kicker: Whitewater’s J.C. Jennings: 10 of 20 field goals, 21 of 22 PATS. Jennings is short, but the powerful, strong-legged kicker packed quite a punch for Whitewater. A reliable kicker can provide the necessary points to pull out a close victory or two in fantasy football.


QB: Fayette County’s Brandon Boykin: 600 yards rushing, six touchdowns, 285 yards passing, five touchdowns. Anybody who scores double-digit touchdowns for the only undefeated team during the regular season has a spot on my team. Boykin is arguably the best athlete on my team, and that’s saying a lot, considering the number of immensely talented players I’ve picked.

RB: Our Lady of Mercy’s Christian Willis: 789 yards rushing, eight touchdowns. One of the fastest players in the area, Willis was one of the primary reasons the Fightin’ Catholics recorded their best season in school history. Had he not missed the last couple of games with torn meniscus, Willis’ numbers would have been even more impressive.

RB: Our Lady of Mercy’s Dominique McDermott: 729 yards rushing, seven touchdowns, 41 catches, 453 yards, five touchdowns, two touchdown returns on special teams. McDermott was Mr. Do-Everything for Mercy, catching touchdown passes, rushing for touchdowns and returning kicks for touchdowns. Scoring points was his specialty.

RB: Sandy Creek’s Ragion Neal: 669 yards rushing, seven touchdowns. Neal was Creek’s most reliable back this season. His ability to reach the end zone propelled Creek to the second round of the state playoffs.

RB: Fayette County’s Tim Pettaway: 494 yards rushing, four touchdowns, one touchdown receiving. Pettaway, along with Boykin and Daniels, gave Fayette one of the most dynamic backfields in the state. Pettaway’s breakaway speed and vision enabled him to gash defenses when given the opportunity among a deep group of Fayette running backs.

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