By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports is proud to announce George Pouria as our winner of the King of the Mountain contest. Pouria 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.
Pouria was the winner in this year's contest. He had a strategy for the contest but it almost burnt him, running low on players as he continued to survive in the contest. But ultimately, his strategy was the winning one in the end.
"I had played in a similar contest a few years ago and found that stacking my quarterback with their most likely receiver made a lot of sense," said George Pouria. "Unfortunately, I didn't read the rules very carefully, and didn't realize until Week 17 that the contest ran thru the first two playoff weeks, so I was very low on usable quarterbacks for the last two weeks."
But even with that said, Pouria was able to win it all. It did not come without some close calls, though. It was not all smooth sailing for Pouria.
"My one serious close call was in Week 10," Pouria said. "I got caught trying to look too far ahead instead of at that particular week and was only one point above the cutline."
That close call in Week 10 helped Pouria the rest of the way. He changed up his strategy a bit, which proved to be a good move en route to his big win.
"That week was a turning point," Pouria said. "After that, I went with whomever I determined had the top potential for that week and stopped worrying about saving them for a future week."
The unlikely combination of Nick Foles, Damien Williams and Travis Kelce ended up being the final lineup for Pouria. This combination scored 52.25 points in Week 19. Water Boys 2 was the other team remaining and had a lineup of Drew Brees, Marlon Mack and Julian Edelman. Unfortunately for Water Boys, that lineup managed just 43.45 points as Mack struggled to do much of anything that week.
"Actually, because of my careless reading of the rules, I really didn't think I would win," Pouria said. "I had to choose Lamar Jackson for Week 18 because I only had Foles and Trubisky left besides him. By taking Jackson, barring an injury, I would have either Foles or Trubisky left for the final week. And I knew that Water Boys 2 still hadn't used Brees."
Pouria wasn't super nervous the last week of the contest because he didn't like his chances all that much, but that quickly changed after the games started.
"I think because I didn't think my chances were too good, I wasn't nervous watching the early game," Pouria said. "But when Damien Williams outscored his running back (Mack) by a wide margin, I did start to get antsy."
So now that Pouria is $25,000 richer, does he have big plans for the winnings? Well, you won't be surprised to see some of his winnings will go towards the sport that won him the money.
"My son and I take a fall golf/Giants football weekend every year somewhere warm," Pouria said. "We will probably get better seats for this year's game in Tampa."
If you want to try to dethrone the king, sign up for the King of the Mountain contest before next season. Here is a link to the contest, including rules for the contest: King of the Mountain.
The battle to be the backup quarterback rages this offseason for the Seattle Seahawks, but Geno Smith is getting a lot of compliments from the coaching staff so far. Head coach Pete Carroll made specific mention of Smith's comfort with handling the huddle and making adjustments at the line, and he compared Smith's savvy to that of longtime backup Tarvaris Jackson. That's high praise from the coach since it's incredibly rare that a backup QB is held in high a regard as Jackson was, but Smith has to win his competition with Paxton Lynch first. Lynch signed with Seattle early in the offseason, but the coaching staff hasn't made any indications about who is winning the job yet. For now, it looks to be a battle that will go on throughout all of training camp.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown filled a red-zone niche for the team last year, but head coach Pete Carroll seems to already be scheming for him in 2019. Carroll told reporters that he felt the team had "underused" him last season and expects to get more out of his this year. Brown only caught 14 passes last year, five for touchdowns, but he's still incredibly fast. With D.K. Metcalf in the mix, Brown could see more utilization in a dual deep threat type of set, and fantasy owners shouldn't forget that Russell Wilson is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league on deep balls. If Carroll is telling the truth about the team's plans, Brown could be a surprise star in Seattle.
The Seattle Seahawks see big things in wide receiver Tyler Lockett, even if he's not very large. With the retirement of their steady No. 1 receiver Doug Baldwin over the offseason, Seattle will be trying to fill big shoes in the passing game. It all begins with Lockett. Lockett had a breakout season in 2018 as Baldwin dealt with injuries that would eventually end his career, and it looks like the torch can be passed in most ways. Both are small, quick receivers who run excellent routes and have steady hands, so the feel of the offense shouldn't change dramatically. The real question will be how much use Lockett will get, even if he is the go-to guy. Seattle is notorious for spreading the ball around and not letting Russell Wilson do too much of the work, but there's no clear-cut No. 2 receiver behind Lockett, so he will likely see the vast majority of the looks, especially on third down.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver David Moore burst onto the scene in 2018 by making a host of acrobatic, highlight-reel catches to announce his presence. Unfortunately, he slowed down with time, and it turned out that his acrobatics covered up for the fact that he struggled to get open on a consistent basis. His highs have been outstanding and stick in peoples' minds, but he also fades into the background during most games. Entering camp in 2019, Moore will be competing against Jaron Brown and D.K. Metcalf to try to lock up the No. 2 spot in the wide receiver pecking order. His competition is talented, but all three receivers have their warts. If Moore can improve his ability to get separation on a regular basis, he could easily run away from the others (metaphorically speaking).
The Eagles are bringing back running back Darren Sproles for one more season. After playing in just six games last year, it looked like Sproles might be done in the NFL, but the Eagles decided to bring Sproles back to an already crowded backfield that features Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, and Miles Sanders. Clement might be in the most trouble from the Sproles signing, but overall it's looking more and more like this is a running back committee that fantasy owners should stay away from. This move does almost guarantee that either Josh Adams or Wendell Smallwood are cut before the season opens.
Denver Broncos QB Joe Flacco threw three interceptions during practice Saturday, July 20.
Fantasy Spin: Flacco is on track to be the starting quarterback this season and will look to post better numbers than he did last season. He will have a decent receiving corps to work with this season but likely will only be a low-end No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul (neck) likely will open training camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury list.
Denver Broncos TE Troy Fumagalli (hip) is considered day-to-day because of a hip injury.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill could be on his way out of KC, according to Mike Florio. Hill has been cleared of his suspension, but the team is not close to an extension with Hill. The Chiefs have some depth at wide receiver, so losing Hill would not be the end of the world. There's a possibility of a tag-and-trade next offseason, but Hill will likely remain in Kansas City this upcoming season. The two sides may continue to talk extension, but it doesn't sound like either side is close at all.
Buffalo Bills FS Kurt Coleman is expected to battle with Siran Neal and Jaquan Neal for defensive snaps as the team's third safety. SS Micah Hyde and FS Jordan Poyer will remain the starters.
With the onslaught of new talent brought in by the Oakland Raiders this offseason, running back Jalen Richard could find more success despite being further down the list of the teams top offensive weapons. Richard will primarily work once again as a pass-catching back, limiting his playing time to third downs and spelling off rookie Josh Jacobs. In 2018, Richard finished seventh among running backs in receptions (68) and targets (81) while picking up 607 receiving yards in the process. With the more dynamic players on the offense creating more space for him to maneuver, he could be the right change-of-pace back the team needs in certain scenarios especially with his proven chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr. Richard is a player to watch as a potential handcuff to Jacobs, and could find value in PPR leagues if he finds more work in the red zone.
Joining the new offensive formula for the Oakland Raiders this season, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow hopes to be a part of it in a big way in 2019. The fifth-round rookie has his eyes on the job for the teams starting slot receiver, sandwiched on the field between fellow newcomers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams. Battling Ryan Grant and JJ Nelson for the position, Renfrow has a dynamic skill set that forced GM Mike Mayock to trade up for him at this years draft. His 510 frame, reliable hands, and excellent route-running abilities give him the proper skill set, but hell have to prove hes the right man for the job during training camp and the preseason. Renfrow is a name to watch out for in the buildup to the regular season and is solely on the dynasty league radar until we know more about his role going forward.
Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray was impressive during offseason workouts, and he is getting ready for his first training camp with practice starting July 25. He is expected to get the starting nod in Week 1 ahead of veteran journeyman Brett Hundley, and he has impressed early on. "I was impressed with how smart he is, how determined he is. His future is extremely bright," future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said after the rookie's minicamp showing. Murray is already moving up the pre-draft cheat sheets, and he is considered a borderline low-end QB1 or top-end QB2 in most fantasy formats, while having considerably higher value in long-term dynasty formats.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been impressed by the quick learning by rookie quarterback Kyler Murray and his familiarity with the offense. "I know him running (Oklahoma head coach) Lincoln Riley's offense is very similar to what Coach Kliff (Kingsbury) runs," Fitzgerald says, "but on the first day he's calling audibles and getting us in plays that are favorable to the offense. So I was really impressed by his ability to take a leadership position first day at the offense." Fitzgerald also remarked that the Arizona offense will be much faster in tempo, with players expected to process pre-snap adjustments considerably faster. Fitzgerald is getting a little long in the tooth, but the up-tempo style should keep him rather productive heading into 2019. He's a reliable WR3/4 or flex fantasy option in most formats.
Denver Broncos RB Khalfani Muhammad had a 'solid' practice Friday, July 19, capping the session with a long catch on a wheel route, according to Andrew Mason of DenverBroncos.com.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate (hip) said he has been medically cleared and will be 100 percent for training camp.
Fantasy Spin: Brate likely will be sharing playing time with O.J. Howard but could still have a decent role in the passing game. He has a chance to be a No. 2 tight end in some fantasy leagues in 2019.
Free-agent RB Darren Sproles (Eagles) signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Friday, July 19. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Free-agent RB David Williams (Jaguars) officially signed with the Denver Broncos Friday, July 19. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The Denver Broncos have signed running back David Williams, who the team originally drafted in 2018 before letting go. Williams was a Jaguar last season, but carried the ball just eight times for 36 yards with Jacksonville. It's hard to imagine a situation where Williams has fantasy value in a Broncos backfield that already has Royce Freeman and Phillip, but stranger things have happened. He's not draftable in any format, but a good training camp could put him in the mix for some of Devontae Booker's snaps as the number-three back.
Free-agent DE/LB Connor Barwin (Eagles) told Sirius XM NFL Radio during an interview Friday, July 17, that he has spoken with general manager Howie Roseman about re-signing. Barwin indicated the Eagles want to take a look at their younger players for a few weeks in training camp first but suggested the two sides will reconvene after that.