What does fantasy football have in common with Lorde's "Royals"? More than you think

      October 9, 2013 @ 17:00:11 PDT

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed
Encore performance

The best song covers honor the original while adding a unique spin. Think of all the memorable tributes: Jimi Hendrix's iconic adaptation of "All Along the Watchtower" ... Derek and the Dominoes' epic "Little Wing" reconstruction ... Jeff Buckley's haunting, heartbreaking "Hallelujah" ... Bruce Springsteen's appropriate "Jersey Girl" (that was Tom Waits, folks) ... even The Smashing Pumpkins' "Landslide" brings the house down. The list goes on.

I've stumbled upon a new personal favorite. That song "Royals" we've heard everywhere is quite catchy. Well, the chill Mayer Hawthorne "funk[ed] it up," in his words, for his contribution to VEVO's Unexpected Covers series. It's on heavy rotation in this house.

Dude. Get to the fantasy football. Fine, impatient one: Finding certain traces of the original song in every rendition feels like connecting the dots for fake football predictions.

Look for similar receivers who have succeeded against a particular secondary. What physical and technical types of running backs -- and accompanying O-line schemes -- have trampled a defensive front? Did scoreboard conditions affect strategy, or was history just skill beating lack thereof?

For example, an intriguing Week 6 bye/flex/fill-in play is athletic tight end Jordan Reed against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys' pass D has been atrocious, and Tampa 2 defenses abhor facing this position, especially if the starter can run like a wideout and cause mismatches along the seams. Remember what Julius Thomas did to the 'Boys last week?

This may be a bit obvious, but it's only the tip of the Titanic-wrecker in terms of necessary observations. We're about one-third of the way through the season, meaning enough time has passed to glean useful tells from the statistics and results. Our notion of what means what in terms of "strength of schedule" has shifted since August. If you haven't adapted, you're falling behind.

Putting forth a winning effort involves recognizing, appreciating and maximizing patterns, whether it comes in musical composition or in picking the right one-week play. If you spot recurring gameplay models and set your lineups accordingly, even Lorde, and especially your competitors, will be forced to call you king or queen bee.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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