Sports 101 Blog

Sports 101 is hosted by Eric Pedigo and Mark Gram Sunday mornings 9am - 11am on Sports Radio 1450.  It's a discussion-based sports talk show that spans any and all sports.  Eric and Mark offer up their opinions, ideas, and observations on all of sports' most intriquing topics.  Whether you love it or hate it, agree or disagree, Eric and Mark love to get your take. 

So call the show at 217-529-1450 and weigh in on whatever the guys are tossing around.  

Mark Gram
Springfield, Illinois
High School: Quincy High School
Loves: Illinois sports, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, reading, and politics

Eric Pedigo
Birthplace: Chatham, Illinois
High School: Glenwood High School
Eric is a Chatham native and Glenwood graduate.  He and his wife Amanda live in Glenarm with their three children.  Eric started hosting a sports talk radio show on the internet in 2005. In 2008, he began co-hosting Fantasy Football 101 with Adam Stark, Mark Gram, and Nicorelli. Eric can be heard every Sunday morning from 9-11am on Sports Radio 1450.
Posts from August 2012

The 10 Rules of Fantasy Football
Heading into the 2012 fantasy football season, it's best to lay out a few ground rules before assembling your team and heading into pretend battle.  Here are ten basic guidelines to follow to ensure maximum success as you embark upon your fantasy journey.
  1. Do Your Homework- It's not that hard to pick up a magazine or check out a  website or two a few weeks prior to your draft.  You never want to be the one drafting the guy who just retired or was released in the offseason. 
  2. Understand Your League- How many roster spots are you allowed?  What's the scoring system?  Is this a keeper league?  What do your starting lineups look like?  How many teams are in this league?  Does your wife know about this?  Why aren't you answering? 
  3. Arrive to Your Draft Prepared- You can show up without a cheatsheet, a writing utensil, and your entry fees if you really want to, but you may be subjected to a severe beating from your fantasy peers, and those guys are tough.
  4. Draft the Best Player on the Board...Usually- That website that duped you into paying 50 bucks for a bunch of information you could have got from ESPN for free may tell you that you have to draft a running back first, then two receivers followed by a QB, but that might not be your best path.  Usually the best player available is your best option.  The trick is to draft the best player to fill out your starting lineup. 
  5. Don't Get Duped into Paying Money to a Fantasy Site- It's not that they're not good at what they do, it's that they can't give you any information you won't find on one of the major sites for free. 
  6. Don't Get Hammered at Your Draft- It's fine to have a drink or two while drafting with your buddies, but you really want to keep a clear head on draft day.  However, getting your opposition drunk is both encouraged and appreciated.  Try bringing a 12 pack and handing out 9 or 10 of them.
  7. Don't be a Negligent Owner- Everyone whole-heartedly hates owners who all but abandon their teams.  Respond to trade requests, maybe even offer a few yourself, and whatever you do, DON'T FORGET TO SET YOUR LINEUP! Real talk
  8. Prey on the Weak- Not all fantasy owners are created equal.  Some are created super dumb.  Take full advantage of these people via lopsided trades, not-so-honest "friendly" lineup advice, and all around shady behavior. Side note- this is sound advice to apply to your real life also.
  9. Never Draft a Kicker or Defense Before the Last 2 Rounds- It just doesn't make sense.  They're the only two positions that you can get top ten producers in the last round.  Listen, because you chose to wait until the last round, you HAD to settle for a top ten defense.  How do look yourself in the mirror?
  10. Have Some Fun, it's Just a Game- Make fun of each other on your message boards, maybe even get a little too personal.  Taking a shot at a recent divorce, or an owner's ugly kid will always get a laugh.  Just don't let anything get you too upset.  A known truth about the guy who takes fantasy football way too seriously is that he's the guy everyone else in the league is making fun of.  Calm down.
  11. Listen to Fantasy Football 101 Every Sunday Morning at 9:00 on Sports Radio 1450- That's the most imortant rule of all...Happy drafting!
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Eric's 2012 Fantasy Football Rankings
It's fantasy football time!  The Olympics are adorable, they really are, but I think it's time we enjoy our sports on a more grown up level.  So, let's go to a place with good bar food and draft us some pretend football teams!  And just like trades, waiver wire claims and a little too personal trash talk, preseason rankings are a part of the ritual.  Because looking into the future is mostly impossible without the right deck of cards, fantasy owners should keep in mind that preseason rankings are just an indicator of who is your safest bet in the opinion of who's doing the rankings.  What I'm saying is, don't get fresh with me because you think Marshawn Lynch should be higher in my rankings.  If you love him so much tell him on Twitter and maybe he'll retweet you, but I don't care.  Let's start with QBs...
  1. Aaron Rodgers GB
  2. Tom Brady NE
  3. Drew Brees NO
  4. Matt Stafford Det
  5. Cam Newton Car
  6. Eli Manning NYG
  7. Phil Rivers SD
  8. Tony Romo Dal
  9. Jay Cutler Chi
  10. Matt Ryan Atl
  11. Mike Vick Phi
  12. Peyton Manning Den
  13. Ben Roethlisberger Pit
  14. Matt Schaub Hou
  15. Joe Flacco
  16. Andy Dalton Cin
  17. Ryan Fitzpatrick Buf
  18. Josh Freeman TB
  19. Carson Palmer Oak
  20. Robert Griffin III Was
  21. Sam Bradford Stl
  22. Andrew Luck Ind
  23. Matt Cassel KC
  24. Mark Sanchez NYJ    
  25. Jake Locker TEN
Next in line is the RB position.  Good luck because there are only about five that are any good.  Side note- all of my rankings are based on a point per reception scoring system- the best sytem in the world.

  1. Ray Rice Bal
  2. Arian Foster Hou
  3. LeSean McCoy Phi
  4. Chris Johnson Ten
  5. Matt Forte Chi
  6. Adrian Peterson Min
  7. DeMarco Murray Dal
  8. MJD Jax
  9. Darren McFadden Oak
  10. Ryan Mathews SD
  11. Jamal Charles KC
  12. Steven Jackson Stl
  13. Darren Sproles NO
  14. Frank Gore SF
  15. Marshawn Lynch Sea
  16. Michael Turner Atl
  17. Fred Jackson Buf
  18. Beanie Wells Ari
  19. Trent Richardson Cle
  20. Reggie Bush Mia
  21. Willis McGahee Den
  22. Ahmad Bradshaw NYG
  23. BJGE Cin
  24. Roy Helu Was
  25. Doug Martin TB
 The perception of wideouts this season is that it's a deep position, and it couldn't be any more or less accurate.  If you have a couple of guys from the top 25 in your lineup you're in good shape.

  1. Calvin Johnson Det
  2. Roddy White Atl
  3. Larry Fitzgerald Ari
  4. Greg Jennings GB
  5. Wes Welker NE
  6. Andre Johnson Hou
  7. Brandon Marshall Chi
  8. Mike Wallace Pit
  9. Steve Smith Car
  10. Victor Cruz NYG
  11. AJ Green Cin
  12. Stone Cold Miles Austin Dal
  13. Julio Jones Atl
  14. Vincent Jackson TB
  15. Stevie Johnson Buf
  16. Hakeem Nicks NYG
  17. Marques Colston NO
  18. Jordy Nelson GB
  19. Percy Harvin Min
  20. Dwayne Bowe KC
  21. Dez Bryant Dal
  22. Demaryius Thomas Den
  23. DeSean Jackson Phi
  24. Kenny Britt Ten
  25. Pierre Garcon Was
 Having a good tight end can often be the missing piece to a fake Super Bowl title.  Take a look at the jerk's roster who won your league last year and I'll bet he had a stud tight end. 

  1. Jimmy Graham NO
  2. Robbie Gronkowski NE
  3. Jason Witten Dal
  4. Brandon Pettigrew Det
  5. Vernon Davis SF
  6. Antonio Gates SD
  7. Jermichael Finley GB
  8. Tony Gonzalez Atl
  9. Jacob Tamme Den
  10. Fred Davis Was
  11. Jermaine Gresham Cin
  12. Aaron Hernandez NE
  13. Jared Cook Ten
  14. Brent Celek Phi
  15. Dustin Keller NYJ
  16. Ed Dickson Bal
  17. Kellen Winslow Sea
  18. Greg Olsen Car
  19. Owen Daniels Hou
  20. Dallas Clark TB
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