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Players that win Fantasy championships

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Charlie Sheen has made the word "winning" into one of the most overused and annoying catch phrases we've heard in several years. But to Fantasy owners, winning is still important. And yes, we have to talk about it all the time.

But what is the key to winning in Fantasy Football? Is it a good draft, where you get every player in every round that you want? Or is it playing the waiver wire and adding the right players before they become stars?

The answer for most Fantasy champions is likely both. The smart Fantasy owner knows the team picked on Draft Day rarely looks exactly the same by the time the playoffs start. At the same time, you don't want to be on the waiver wire every week and tweaking your roster in a complete overhaul.

To win a Fantasy title you need a solid roster on Draft Day and then make enough good additions during the year to have your team peaking in the postseason. And the data we have here for winning percentage over the past two seasons supports that notion.

Based on data from CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues, owners with Arian Foster had a .623 winning percentage in 2010. That's not hard to believe since Foster was the No. 1 running back last year, but his average draft position was Round 5. Even if you took Foster in Round 2, he was still a steal on Draft Day.

At No. 2 was Michael Vick (.573 winning percentage), and we all know he wasn't drafted in the majority of leagues. The same goes for Peyton Hillis (.550) at No. 8 and Jacob Tamme (.549) at No. 9.

The study is based on the winning percentage for Fantasy owners of all players owned by 80 percent or more in leagues on CBSSports.com, which came to about 160 players. Only commissioner leagues were considered with at least eight Fantasy teams or more. And the results showed some interesting points.

For example, owners who added Tamme after Dallas Clark went down in Week 6 with a wrist injury were happy. Adrian Peterson (.544) and Aaron Rodgers (.533) were the only players drafted in Round 1 last year that finished in the Top 20 in win percentage.

San Diego tight end Antonio Gates didn't factor for Fantasy owners in the playoffs because of foot and toe injuries, but he still had a .542 win percentage, good enough for No. 12 overall. And his teammate, wide receiver Vincent Jackson, only played in five games following a holdout, but he still had a .533 win percentage at No. 21 overall.

To fully understand this study, you have to realize that the players with the highest win percentage were all part of quality rosters, which accounted for their high total. Based on their average draft position, it's conceivable that a Fantasy owner drafted well with Peterson in Round 1, Roddy White in Round 2, Jamaal Charles in Round 3, Gates in Round 4, Dwayne Bowe in Round 5, Ahmad Bradshaw in Round 6 and Mike Wallace in Round 7 -- players who all had a .536 win percentage or higher, good enough for the Top 15.

If they whiffed on quarterback, all they had to do was add Vick off the waiver wire, and Tamme would have been a suitable replacement for Gates. You also could have added Hillis, Brandon Lloyd or Ryan Torain off waivers, and your Fantasy team was likely a championship contender.

On the other hand, you could have had this draft: Randy Moss in Round 1, Ryan Mathews in Round 2, Shonn Greene in Round 3, Steve Smith of the Giants in Round 4, Carson Palmer in Round 5, Beanie Wells in Round 6 and Donald Driver in Round 7. These players were all in the bottom 30 of win percentage at .475 or lower. Only a perfect trip to the waiver wire could have saved this team, but that's probably unlikely.

If you look back at the 2009 winning percentage, the data suggests again that a good draft followed by quality additions off the waiver wire is the key to success. In 2009, Chris Johnson (.604) had the highest win percentage along with other top draft picks like Aaron Rodgers (.567), Ray Rice (.564), Maurice Jones-Drew (.550), Andre Johnson (.542) and Reggie Wayne (.541).

But if you take a closer look, you'll also see names like Garrett Hartley (.563), Jerome Harrison (.557), Fred Davis (.548) and Jermichael Finley (.539) in the Top 15. These guys were added off the waiver wire and helped many owners win championships.

It might seem obvious that a good draft along with the right additions off the waiver wire is the key to winning in Fantasy Football. But you'd be surprised how many owners walk away on Draft Day saying that they won or lost their league based on the picks they made.

Playing the waiver wire might be more important than the draft. If you make the right moves, you might end up with a winning roster. It's something to keep in mind when looking ahead to 2011.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can also follow Jamey at @jameyeisenberg . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

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Player News
Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos hits both attempts Week 12
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:35 am ET) Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos hit both his field goal attempts Week 12 against the Raiders.

Santos managed to hit from both 24 yards and 25 yards during the contest. He also connected on two extra point attempts in the loss. Santos will take on the Broncos Week 13. 


Chiefs backup pass catchers do little Week 12
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:33 am ET) The Chiefs backup pass catchers did little Week 12 against the Raiders.

Anthony Fasano was the biggest winner, hauling in two passes for 30 yards and score. He hooked up with Alex Smith on a 19 yard strike in the third quarter. Albert Wilson also had two catches, gaining 27 yards. Frankie Hammond caught one pass for 7 yards. Fullback Anthony Sherman had one reception, but failed to gain any yards on the play.

They'll take on the Broncos Week 13. 


Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pulls down three catches
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:29 am ET) Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe caught three passes Week 12 against the Raiders.

Bowe finished tied for second on the team in receiving with 42 yards. Most of his production came on a 24 yard reception in the fourth quarter. Bowe had a chance to add to his total late in the contest, but a replay overruled a 13 yard reception. Bowe was targeted five times.

Bowe will take on the Raiders Week 13. 


Chiefs TE Travis Kelce leads the way Week 12
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:23 am ET) Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce led the team in receiving Week 12 against the Raiders.

Kelce hauled in four passes for 67 yards. Alex Smith was his usual self, spreading the ball to nine different receivers, meaning Kelce led the team despite an underwhelming total. Kelce did have two of the biggest plays of the night for Kansas City. He hauled in a 21 yard pass and a 27 yard pass during the contest. Those were the second and third longest passing plays of the night for the Chiefs. 

Kelce will look for more Week 13 against the Broncos. 


Sebastian Janikowski scores six points in Raiders win vs. Chiefs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:08 am ET) Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski made his only field goal attempt Thursday, adding three extra points in his team's 24-20 win over the Chiefs in Week 12.

Janikowski's 40-yard field goal in the third quarter extended the Raiders' lead to 17-3 before the Chiefs scored 17 straight points to take the lead in fourth quarter. However, the Raiders offense didn't fold, retaking the lead with less than two minutes left, and the defense was able to hang on for the team's first win in more than a full calendar year. Janikowski is set to kick indoors in the team's Week 13 matchup against the Rams in St. Louis.


James Jones scores winning TD in first Raiders victory Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:05 am ET) Raiders wide receiver James Jones caught five of his six targets for 47 yards and hauled in a game-winning nine-yard touchdown in his team's 24-20 victory over the Chiefs in Week 12.

Jones benefited from his man slipping on the decisive play, hauling in a relatively easy pass to give his team a lead with less than two minutes left in the game. The defense was able to hold up, putting an end to the Raiders' 16-game losing streak. Jones' TD, which was his first since Week 6, gives him four scores to go with 54 receptions and 545 yards. The Raiders are set to face the Rams in Week 13.


Chiefs' DeAnthony Thomas, Knile Davis get limited reps
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:04 am ET) Chiefs running backs DeAnthony Thomas and Knile Davis received limited reps against the Raiders.

Thomas had just one carry, gaining 9 yards. He caught two passes, picking up 15 yards in the receiving game. Davis had two carries, but came up with just 2 yards. He did not receive a target in the passing game. 

Both players will look for more Week 13 against the Broncos. 


Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles turns in another solid game
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:01 am ET) Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles turned in another solid performance against the Raiders.

Charles had a decent game on the ground, gaining 80 yards on 19 carries. He wasn't able to break any long rushes, with his longest run going for 11 yards. Charles did make up for that in the passing game, though. He caught four of his team-high seven targets for 42 yards and a score. Charles' score was his only big play of the night. He caught a pass about two yards past the line of scrimmage, and tore through the Raiders defense for a 30 yard touchdown. 

Charles will look for more Week 13 against the Broncos. 


Andre Holmes leads Raiders with 55 receiving yards in Week 12
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/20/2014) Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes caught five of his 10 targets for a team-high 55 receiving yards in his team's 24-20 win over the Chiefs in Week 12.

Holmes broke off a 37-yard gain late in the third quarter to pick up a first down on a second-and-20, but his other receptions were short and didn't make much of an impact, with none of his other catches earning his team a first down. He'll look to build upon his performance in a Week 13 matchup against the Rams.


Chiefs QB Alex Smith tosses two touchdowns
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/20/2014) Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith tossed two scores Week 12 against the Raiders.

Smith completed 20 of 36 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He did not turn the ball over during the contest. Smith was his usual conservative self, averaging 6.5 yards per attempt. His longest pass of the day was a 30 yard touchdown to Jamaal Charles, but the ball actually traveled two or three yards past the line of scrimmage. Charles took it the rest of the way. Smith attempted to lead his team back with under two minutes to go, but gained just 24 passing yards on the final drive. 

He'll take on the Broncos Week 13. 


 
 
 
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