Fantasy Faculty

Staff describe competetive fantasy football leagues


Kyle Elmendorf and Molly Holmes, Staff Writer

Many students at Blue Valley participate in fantasy football leagues with their friends for both fun and competition. What most students don’t realize, however, is some of their own teachers have their own fantasy football leagues where they compete against fellow teachers for fantasy football glory.

Two of the teachers involved in their own fantasy leagues are math teacher Matt Shipley and science teacher Manal Siam. Both Shipley and Siam participate in more than one league. Shipley is in two teacher leagues, while Siam is in one. Each participates in their own personal league with friends from outside of BV. They both share one common teacher league commissioned by social studies teacher Jason Dolezal.

Shipley has been playing fantasy football for 11 years, and he said in one of his leagues, commissioned by P.E. teacher Rick McNerlin, the players are pretty serious.

“The main one with McNerlin is for a little higher stakes, so that one is more competitive,” Shipley said. “The league is [athletic director Matt] Ortman, McNerlin, [english teacher Ryan] Mahoney, [math teacher Jonathan] Jost and then some people who aren’t necessarily from the school like some of the other football coaches.”

Shipley said he checks his fantasy teams about two times a week and as far as strategy goes, he recommends drafting good running backs early. Shipley said as of right now, he hasn’t engaged in any trash-talk with his opponents, but he has not ruled it out for later in the season.

Trash-talk has also been underwhelming in Dolezal’s league, Siam said, which she participates in with Shipley. Siam said the smack talk in the league has been less than she has expected.

“The teacher league has been pretty mild right now,” Siam said. “I thought, especially with how serious about football some of the players are, that the smack talking would be at a different level, but right now it’s been pretty tame.”

Siam said she recommends checking the team a few times a week to make sure none of the starters have a bye week. She said when drafting, she tends to focus on wide receivers and running backs in the early rounds, while waiting on defenses and kickers until the later rounds.

“This year, [Patriots’ wide receiver Brandin] Cooks has been my star,” Siam said. “[Dolphins’ running back Jay] Ajayi has been a little disappointing, but right now Cooks, especially last weekend, just went off and had a really great performance.”

Shipley and Siam each said they think social studies teacher Clark Winslow is the best fantasy football player on staff at BV, standing apart from the rest in Dolezal’s league. Siam said, however, social studies teacher Brian Mowry has made some good acquisitions through the waiver wire and also has a solid team this year. Both teachers declined to comment on who they think are the weakest players in their leagues.

Siam said what she enjoys about fantasy football is the opportunity to engage in friendly competition with her friends and colleagues.

“It’s fun to do something different,” Siam said. “It’s fun to be a part of something with a lot of people we enjoy spending our time with.