The Jeff Downs Story
2014 Football Challenge Roto Grand Prize Winner!
With 3 top 35 finishes in the last ten years playing the Football Challenge Roto contest, Jeff Downs knew the standings could change on the last weekend. Jeff has been playing the game since the 90's and knew the categories could change dramatically. For example, in week 16, a bad week by Quarterback Andrew Luck cost him 240 points in the passing yards average category, and he fell from first place in the overall standings.

After the early games had been completed on week 17, winning was coming down to the last game of the year being played by Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Jeff had Ben Roethlisberger, and the number 2 overall team had Jeremy Hill. They both had Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. "It was the 68 yard passing play late in the 4th quarter from Big Ben to Brown that probably made the difference" Jeff surmised, "that one play brought my passing yards average up over 8 and made the difference I needed to win the whole thing."

While one play sealed the victory, it took 17 weeks and a good team to start with to win. His strategy selecting his initial roster of players was to not take the most expensive players, "and I learned from the past that having just cheap kickers wasn't the best way to go" Jeff suggested. "My team started off good, so I didn't see a need to use a buy until the end of September. Then I made 6 in two weeks" he remembered, "sometimes it's picking players at the right time that makes a difference in winning and losing." Buys of Aaron Rodgers, Justin Forsett, Le'Veon Bell, CJ Anderson and Ben Roethlisberger all worked out well. But perhaps the best buy was his last one with 3 weeks to go, a purchase of Odell Beckham Jr. "The guy in second overall didn't have him" Jeff commented, "and Beckham had some huge weeks at the end. The only player I regretted not having picked up was Jeremy Hill, especially that last game. He could have made the last week a lot easier on me if I had him."

Jeff's team, the Whining Millionaires, was very consistent, holding first place overall 9 of the 17 weeks. He credits the research tools on the Football Challenge website for much of his success. "Everything you need to make educated decisions is there" he exclaimed, "from the percent of players taken on teams to researching the top players in each category. It's great!"

The 65 year old insurance broker from Azusa California (Pasadena suburbs) plan to use some of his $22,100 in winnings on a trip to Kauai with his wife. "I love this game and always have" he added, "and I can't wait till next year to defend my title!"
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