In order to thoroughly dominate in Fantasy Football, a plethora of forces must align. Draft strategy, roster depth, injuries and luck all play a part, but just like in real football, it’s the players who will make or break your not real season. Super-studs like Steve Young, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice and Shannon Sharpe are all responsible for bringing many a title to many a fantasy geek over the years.
Those are the big names. You know, the Porsche driving, Rolex wearing, sponsor dropping, mansion dwelling Pro Bowlers with fat contracts and even fatter egos. These athletic wunderkinds are great, but I’m all about the little pards. The pickup truck driving, Timex wearing, local used car lot pitching, duplex renting blue collar fellas who enjoy a sloppy roast beef sandwich from Arby’s.
It’s the non-headline-seeking yeoman who supply the grit and toughness to fantasy lineups. Grab one or two of these JC Penny attired warriors to go along with your Mr. Me superstars, and I guarantee Fantasy success. We here at Stud Running Back are so fond of these under the radar chaps, we’ve decided to pay tribute. First up in our Legend’s series is a dude who helped me capture Fantasy glory way back in 1998. His name is Leroy Hoard.
Hoard entered the NFL in 1990 as a member of the Cleveland Browns. He made his presence felt in 1991 as a serviceable short-yardage back and receiver out of the backfield. That year he would total a career best 48 catches for 548 yards and 9 touchdowns. After six promising seasons in Cleveland, Hoard bounced around the league for two injury plagued campaigns before finally landing with the high-flying Vikings in 1996.
A return to Fantasy Football prominence wasn’t far off for Hoard. He settled in nicely as the preeminent TD vulture on a 15-1 Vikings team led by offensive stalwarts Randall Cunningham, Robert Smith, Cris Carter and Randy Moss. His 10 scores in ’98 helped secure me a pair of fake championships. Hoard was a true team guy. He accepted his role and excelled in it. Hoard hung up his cleats in 1999. He now lives on a small Michigan farm with his wife and three children, and spends most of his days plowing fields or fishing for Brown Trout. (Editor’s note: That last part was made up.)
Next time you sit down to enjoy a cool beverage, pour some out for Leroy Hoard. A true Legend of Fantasy Football.