Somewhere between insomnia and the prospects of a Sanford and Son binge, the question of “Is there a viable Fantasy wrestling site?” led me down a path to DropTheBelt.com, which is entering its 20th season online. Twenty years is impressive, as the site’s origins started at the peak of the famed “Monday Night War” between the then-World Wrestling Federation (now, of course, WWE) and World Championship Wrestling.
From the nWo to the Balor Club, DropTheBelt.com has been the go-site for fans who want the added element of feeling like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan on a weekly basis.
Rather than watch the very special Sanford and Son when Fred calls Lamont a “dummy,” I signed up. The format is pretty simple: each league has five teams consisting of six wrestlers. (sorry, Vince McMahon. I know you love the phrase “superstars” when referring to the wrestlers, but I’ll take the liberty of calling them what they actually are) Points are awarded for wins, team-wins (tag matches), disqualifications, draws and the famed squash match.
There are bonus points to be had in a variety of ways that include everything from foreign object usage to putting someone through a table. A player can also score big from the host of stipulations that their wrestler is involved in, while the points can rack up if your performer happens to be holding a championship belt. Trading is also allowed, so if you’re wondering if a Brock Lesnar for Seth Rollins and Bobby Roode deal is fair, well, the door is open for speculation.
Much to the chagrin of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor and Impact! Wrestling, DropTheBelt focuses solely on WWE events (Raw, Smackdown, 205 Live and the 12-14 special events that used to be pay per view before WWE Network arrived in 2014).
Whether or not I have stumbled into new Fantasy territory is an intriguing question. However, I have been a wrestling fan for years and still follow the industry a bit. Let’s see how this foray goes before we start doing Fantasy wrestling draft kits.
Find Liberty From Bell
I wouldn’t use a high draft pick on Le’Veon Bell this summer. Coming off a 407-touch season that also saw his yards per carry dip almost an entire yard (4.9 in 2016 to 4.0 in 2017), Bell should be high atop the overrated list when Fantasy Football draft season commences.
Bell’s latest stunt may have been the final chapter of his career with the Steelers, who still hold the option to franchise him this spring. However, with a cheaper option in James Connor and one of the deepest crops of running backs in this April’s draft, I wouldn’t be shocked if Pittsburgh moves on. While he will be regarded by most as a first rounder, my advice would be not to use a pick in the top 8-10 on him because he smells of regression.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) January 19, 2018
Stack it a Mile High
Friday’s Suns-Nuggets game is the best weekend Fantasy stack in the NBA. Phoenix allows 112.7 points per game on the road while Denver has two players (Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris) averaging better than 30 Fantasy points per game and a third (Will Barton) sitting at 29.61. Even with T.J. Warren ($6,700 at Fanduel) questionable, building a lineup around Devin Booker ($8,500) and Jokic ($10,000) is a solid foundation that also could include Denver’s Trey Lyles ($5,400) and sneaky good Phoenix guard Isaiah Canaan, who comes in at a low $3,700.
Consider Keenum, Just in Case…
Eagles fan I am, yet I’m going with Case Keenum at quarterback for my Champion of Champions team in Yahoo. Keenum comes in at $27 and is the safest option among the other three QBs available for Sunday’s conference title games. Tom Brady comes in at $40, yet the concern over his hand — combined with the Jaguars’ top-ranked defense — makes him too risky to play. While the news of Brian Hoyer being ready to play feels like a ruse more fit for wrestling, I wouldn’t want to bank it all on Brady.
Again, Nick Foles sits at $20. Again, I think there is some value in Foles. Tempting as Blake Bortles ($29) could be against the Patriots’ suspect pass defense, I’d still say play it safe with Keenum.
One of my favorite Fantasy pastimes is finding orphaned teams, regardless of sport. Unlike the creepy movie of the similar name (Esther was a very bent “little girl”), orphan squads represent a challenge that, at least to me, exudes more pleasure than starting a team from scratch. It’s like finding the neglected piece of furniture at a garage sale and spending long hours restoring it beyond its original shine. Granted, my weekend afternoons tend to be either vegefests or working to ensure the future financial security of a family (cheap plug) in the Houston area, so the furniture search is left more for those who actually get off on that kind of thing.
With basketball and hockey in midseason and baseball keeper/dynasty leagues starting to warm up, this is one of the best times of the year to find orphaned teams, as owners have bailed out on them. I’ll work up a To Do list when it comes to finding a good orphaned team, but I’d suggest you give it a whirl if you’ve never taken the dip.
*How many Rotisserie bucks would you spend on Babe Ruth in his prime?
*Why I do get the feeling Brice Butler could be a 2018 sleeper at receiver?
*Dating in my mid-40s isn’t as fun as I thought it would be.
*It’s snowed in Houston twice this winter. Weird, although the fact we’ll go from 17 degrees on Tuesday to 72 on Sunday isn’t. Texas weather at its best.
*In a movie villain draft, Hans Gruber (Die Hard) is a top three pick.