Fantasy owners are facing some tough questions this fall, but perhaps none tougher than what to do about Adrian Peterson.

The Vikings running back was a fantasy monster for the past few years, racking up at least 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns every year since 2007. But Peterson tore his ACL and MCL last December, and while Peterson says he'll be ready for the Vikings' season opener, it's impossible to know if he'll be the same player this year.

To draft AD or not to draft AD, that is the question.

Sign up today for Yahoo! Fantasy Football.

Carly Rae Jepsen is here to help. Inspired by the plethora of 'Call Me Maybe' parody videos that have circulated this summer, a group of creative fans created a spoof dealing specifically with the Adrian Peterson dilemma. Their answer? Draft him.

The video opens with Tom, who has the last pick of his league's first round. He explains that last year he took Michael Vick, but that didn't work out too well for him. So this year, he's looking for a can't-miss running back.

That's when Adrian Peterson (actually, a guy wearing his jersey) pops up and explains why people shouldn't be afraid to take him. And his argument is to the tune of none other than "Call Me Maybe." Some of the best lines include, "I know it's risky, and kind of scary, but I am ready, so draft me maybe" and, "My knee is better, and it's all gravy, so take a chance and draft me maybe."

And, of course, this video wouldn't be complete without a jab at Tim Tebow's throwing abilities (or lack thereof).

Either this is a sincere attempt to vouch for one of the best running backs in the NFL, or a crafty ploy to encourage people to waste a pick on Peterson by hypnotizing them with the song. You'll have to decide for yourself.

Sign up today for Yahoo! Fantasy Football.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

There was a time when the typical fantasy of a red-blooded American male was Phoebe Cates dripping wet handling a carrot. "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" being over a quarter century ago, those same men would now be quite content to have a durable top-flight running back, a swarming defense intent on stripping the ball, and a quarterback with a great interception-to-turnover ratio. These are the stuff of dreams.

Yes, those same testosterone-laden men (and some laden with extra testosterone, like Melky Cabrera) are all about the fantasy football now. You wait all year for this, study your charts, listen to the experts, alienate family, ignore friends, only to have your efforts derailed early on from a bad draft position or a freak injury. (My first pick last year was Jamaal Charles. Nuff said.)

Sign up today for Yahoo! Fantasy Football.

So what's your strategy? It depends on what type of league you're in. Is it a keeper league? Do you make bids? Are you totally on board ... unless you can't pick Tom Brady? Does your league allow you to pay after you pick? Are you planning to not pay if you don't get your first choice?

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Regardless, the draft is just the beginning. You're the general manager. You need to be up on the news. Rosters need to be in ten minutes from now! But your best player is "questionable" to start. What the heck does that mean?! You need to know!!! Will he start?! Dammit, that's the question!

This has become our national pastime. The fanatics are now even more fanatic. As players, it's not enough you have to help your team win, but now you have to do well individually. A win on the field could still be a loss for some random guy in Omaha (as opposed to the specific guy in Omaha). Talk about increased pressure!

At the recent Harold Pump Foundation dinner, raising money for the Northridge Hospital in California to support the fight against cancer, I caught up with a few former gridiron greats and asked what they thought of the fantasy phenomenon.

"It was amazing to me," says former Raiders receiver Tim Brown, "'cause I had some of my good golf buddies back in Dallas who were fantasy players and when I would come home in the offseason, they would be mad at me. I mean, literally, they'd say, ‘Dude, all you had to do was run out of bounds at the 1-yard line, and Tyrone Wheatley would've scored and I would've won the game.' And I didn't know what was going on till I found out they were playing fantasy football."

He doesn't play himself because he's a busy man in his "retirement."

"I would love to," says the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner. "Y'know, I started out about five or six years ago trying to do it and I just haven't had the time to do it."

The theme comes up again when talking to "Broadway Joe" himself who also complained of the time commitment. "I was involved a couple of seasons ago," says Namath. "I really wanted to make it work, studying, getting help and all that. And what I've learned is I have to admire the people who are involved because it takes passion to take that much time in to study the athletes and their games, and keeping up with the week to week, and making the deals and all."

But he had no problem memorizing the playbook week in and week out? "Well, yeah," the former Super Bowl III guarantor explains, "but that was when you were living it. So the fantasy game has just added a wonderful time for fans and participants of fantasy football."

Would he have picked himself in the first round? "I don't know. With a bad knee, it depends." Another questionable!

Then there's the flip side. Former three-sport star and Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield doesn't even concern himself with it. "I don't follow it at all. I know it's a big thing, but don't follow it at all. AT ALL," he says again for emphasis, flashing his broad smile.

Meanwhile, one of the players who was consistently a lock to be an early-round pick pondered not even being an option for the fantasy players. With the Olympics just ended, Marshall Faulk had his own fantasy.

"If I could've gone back and done it all over again," the recent inductee to Canton began, "I would've come back and probably played table tennis and badminton, or -- I don't know what the gymnast is called with the little string, but that looks fun too. It has a name. i don't know what that's called. We'll call it that."

I imagine he would've been a Hall of Famer at that, but he's not so confident. "I would've be graceful. If my knees would've been a little better, I would've been good."

So my fantasy is now this: I get a top-three player at all the skill positions, they don't get hurt, have career years, and I'm able to withstand all challenges to win my league.

But I know that at the end of the day, it'll be just that, a fantasy, and I'll be left with Darren Sproles as my top tailback and Mark Sanchez, who will most likely be benched for Tim Tebow in Week Two, with my arch nemesis having the foresight to pick him up before I can.

It's going to be a long season. Why isn't it called Nightmare Football instead?

Sign up today for Yahoo! Fantasy Football.

Full Story >>

After a while, determining fantasy football draft order randomly can take some of the excitement out of the game. So in an effort to spice up his league's selection process, one Baltimore Orioles pitcher got creative.

Reliever Darren O'Day initially wanted to have a snail race to select draft order for the Orioles' league, but he nixed that idea because it's difficult to buy snails.

O'Day, who lives by the harbor in Baltimore, found his inspiration one day when looking out over the water. He saw crabs galore, and he had the answer to his quandary.

"I thought, 'Beautiful," O'Day told the Baltimore Sun. "That’s what you do in Maryland. Crabs and football, right?'"

O'Day, an animal biology major at Florida who once wanted to become a veterinarian, stopped by a local crab house and picked up 24 live blue crabs. He taped their claws and assigned 12 crabs to each of the 12 fantasy owners on the Orioles.

Sign up today for Yahoo! Fantasy Football.

Then, the crabs were off to the races.

Along with league commissioner and fellow reliever Jim Johnson, O'Day set up an 8-to-10 yard course in the tunnels at Camden Yards. Pitcher Jason Hammel's crab got off to the best start but couldn't finish. Meanwhile, first baseman Chris Davis' crab came from behind to pull out the victory.

"@ChrisDavis_19 picked the Adrian Peterson of crabs to win first pick. This dude was stiff arming and juking everyone," tweeted O'Day.

Unfortunately for the crabs, they didn't have much time to celebrate. They were made into crab dip.

-- Follow Robbie Levin on Twitter @Levin_TPG.

Sign up today for Yahoo! Fantasy Football.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

The exact details are lost to history, but it probably went like this:

Six dudes, all in their mid-20s, are sitting in a suburban basement. Wood paneling on the walls, shag carpet on the floor, six cans of Stroh's on six coasters. One guy is leafing through last week's Sports Illustrated, the issue with Greg Luzinski on the cover. Another is staring at a list of names on a legal pad.

"C'mon," says a guy in a BTO concert shirt. "You gotta pick somebody."

"Just a sec."

He sips his beer, he scans his list, he runs a hand through his feathered hair.

"OK, I got it." He looks up. "I'm taking Kenny Stabler."

And with that selection, a six-man fantasy draft was underway. It was early September, 1977.

"That was Walter Payton's third year and Tony Dorsett's rookie year," says Paul Goodman, a 60-year-old attorney and founding member of what might be the world's oldest ongoing fantasy football league. "And I had both of them on my team."

Goodman says this with evident satisfaction, as if it were 34 years ago he'd just clinched his first championship. Payton and Dorsett finished first and second in the NFL rushing TDs in '77, so you can understand why Paul still takes an occasional victory lap.

To be clear, Goodman and his five original league-mates didn't invent fantasy sports -- although they were playing two full years before Daniel Okrent and friends pioneered roto-style baseball -- but they were clearly in on the ground floor. It's generally accepted that fantasy football originated in Oakland in the early 1960s, with a game devised by Raiders limited partner Bill Winkenbach, team public relations man Bill Tunnell and Oakland Tribune writer Scotty Stirling. (First pick in the first draft: George Blanda). The concept did not exactly spread in viral fashion, but it persisted, eventually creeping toward the Midwest.

"One of the guys in our league, Rand Brichta, who's been with us the whole time, he had heard of something like this," explains Goodman, the de facto commissioner. "It was either through work or through a friend. He said, 'Hey, this is a great idea. We've got to do this.' The first year we had six guys. The second year we moved it up to nine, and then we've had 11 or 12 every other year."

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Five of the original six owners were college friends, fraternity brothers at the University of Illinois, and the sixth was Goodman's business partner. All but one of the founding members remains involved in the league. For their first 20-plus years, the scoring system was points-only: TDs and field goals, nothing else. Yardage was irrelevant.

"Our scoring didn't change until recently, in the 2000s," says Goodman. "The reason we didn't want to change it is that we kept score ourselves, from newspaper box scores. We took turns."

As you might have guessed from the sometimes odd number of owners, this group has never adopted the weekly head-to-head format favored by most fantasy leagues.

"No, we don't play head-to-head," says Goodman, with clear disdain for standard settings. "We play weekly prize for the highest scorer, then high-score for the year. In these head-to-head leagues, it's almost random who wins."

In Goodman's league, there's little room for randomness. Who's won the most titles?

"I have," he says. "By far. Ten of the first 12." By his count, Goodman has actually claimed the league championship 19 times.

"But only nine of the last 22," he adds, almost disgusted. This man is probably the winningest single-league owner in the history of fantasy sports, yet he apparently feels as much like a 15-time loser as a 19-time winner. The sweetest title for Goodman might be his first, back when the league only went half-a-dozen teams deep, and the NFL schedule lasted just 14 weeks.

"Basically back then, you had to have a good quarterback to win," he says. "Passing touchdowns scored the same as rushing. I can tell you the first round of the draft exactly, I think. Stabler was picked first, then Bert Jones. Then Roger Staubach. [Ken] Anderson was the fourth pick. Fifth pick was some running back, probably Franco [Harris]. And the last pick of the first round was Jim Zorn."

Goodman snagged Payton near the top, and then Dorsett fell to the middle-rounds. Even then, a rookie bias existed in fantasy. "I got Dorsett in the seventh or the eighth, because it was his first season. He wasn't even starting. Preston Pearson was the starter, I think."

But Dorsett wasn't the draft's filthiest steal.

"The funny thing is," says Goodman, "I drafted my quarterback – I drafted Ken Anderson in the first round -- and then I wound up using him for only about three or four weeks. My last pick in the draft was Bob Griese, and he had an unbelievable year, out of nowhere."

Griese led the NFL in passing touchdowns that season. He was also the essential player in the highest-scoring week in the history of Goodman's fantasy league, under the original rules. In league lore, the record-setter is simply known as "The Nat Moore Game."

"I think that was Thanksgiving, that first year," says Goodman. "Griese threw for six touchdowns, three of them to Moore, another of my starters."

The box score from November 24, 1977 confirms the details: Griese went 15-for-23, passing for 207 yards and six scores in a 55-14 mauling of the St. Louis Cardinals. Moore caught seven balls, crossing the goal line from 4, 9 and 28 yards. On that same Thanksgiving Day, in the greatest season of his Hall of Fame career, Payton found the end zone twice at Detroit, gaining 244 scrimmage yards. Dorsett would add another score on Sunday. The only member of Goodman's active roster who was shut out that week was Oakland tight end Dave Casper.

It's incredible that a fantasy scoring record from '77 would endure so long, because that was an era in which stats were scarce and hard-earned. Any penalty on a defensive back essentially required an assault. Griese's league-leading touchdown total was 22; Joe Ferguson led the NFL in passing yards with 2,803. This season, through three weeks, Tom Brady is already halfway to 22 TDs. At his current pace, Brady will pass 2,800 yards in Week 8.

You might think a 35-year fantasy veteran like Goodman would view the NFL's passing explosion as the game's greatest seismic shift, but no.

"The reason I won those early years is that I knew where to go to get information," he says. "My wife worked for Pro Football Weekly, so I used to hang around there to get the information. I was always coming up with guys like [Eagles running back] Wilbert Montgomery, who came out of nowhere. Or Sherman Smith on Seattle.

"But now you can't do that. Now everybody's got the same information. I'm not smarter than everybody, but I knew where to go."

But still, nine titles over the past 22 years is hardly an embarrassment.

"Frankly," says Goodman, "I might be a little more interested in football than most of the guys."

-- Sign up today for Yahoo! Fantasy Football.

Full Story >>