That’s what he said: Final Fantasy Football

They say fantasy football is just Dungeons and Dragons for jocks.

It’s also Dungeons and Dragons for people like me, who just so happen to enjoy the actual game of Dungeons and Dragons and the deep intricacies of football combined into one SUPER AWESOME EXPERIENCE.

Fantasy football is the perfect mix of statistics, creativity, taking chances and studying player styles, all of which are similar skills and functions of the wildly popular table-top role playing game and the video games emulating similar game mechanics.

For every die rolled to determine the outcome of a wizard, cleric or warrior, the same chances are taken in drafts, waiver-wire pickups and crafting the “perfect” fantasy team. Injuries, like bad dice rolls, are just an awful stroke of luck and can turn an awesome encounter into a wrecked fantasy season or awful D&D experience.

It seems every time I talk about fantasy football, I call it Final Fantasy Football at least once in conversation.

My mind is trying to tell me something.

The Final Fantasy series, which is really just a digital version of D & D, has continued since the inception of the Nintendo Entertainment System. It requires players to create a mighty band of travelers with certain powers and conquer the evils of magical worlds and collect treasures untold.

Fantasy football is no different. You assemble a team of players with certain powers who you think will do well in certain environments, conquer your opponents week in and week out as your band of merry men score points based on performance and then collect wins in hopes of challenging for the championship trophy and large sums of U.S. Dollar treasures at the end of the season.

Since we’re talking about this and because I’m such a nice guy, I want to share with you three players who I think can help your team slay the enemy so you can collect your loot and stand victorious in your league.

These are players who aren’t really getting much attention and could catch unsuspecting opponents off guard, as you should be able to get them in later rounds or even off of the waiver.

Don’t worry. You can thank me later with a cut of your winnings, or, at the very least, a swift high-five and some bro grabs.

QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (44.7 ADP)

This may just be the year Ryan finally makes a major blip on the fantasy radar.

Though he threw for 4,200 yards, 29 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions last season, he rarely gets the recognition he deserves.

Generally the sixth quarterback to come off the board in most leagues this year, “Matty Ice” has the weapons to be really dangerous, especially as a value pick.

Second-year pro Julio Jones has made defenses look pathetic in the offseason, and Roddy White is no slouch either as he led the team last year in receptions and has had a superb offseason.

Throw in an aging Michael Turner, a pass-catching Jacquizz Rodgers and the ageless Tony Gonzalez and you have a recipe for awesome-sauce behind the Falcons signal caller who could be passing a lot more in a high-flying offense.

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (64.95 ADP)

His name alone makes him cool enough to draft him. Aptly nicknamed “The Law Firm” for his sensationally hyphenated last name, Green-Ellis is primed to shoulder the load in Cincinnati, as Cedric Benson has left for “greener” pastures in Wisconsin and left the race for the backfield wide open for the Bengals.

The Law Firm hasn’t fumbled once in his NFL career, and though he hasn’t had more than 200 carries in any season, it is still impressive to watch him protect the ball and gain yards .

TE Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (130.41 ADP)

I know. You drafted him last year and expected big things.But instead, he decided to show you glimpses of his skill in some games, and completely disappear in others.

Jake Locker, the second-year QB out of Washington, has been handed the keys to the offense this year in a hotly contested battle with incumbent Matthew Hasselbeck, and that means Cook’s value is on the rise.

Enter Cook, whose blazing speed and ridiculous vertical leap make him a prime candidate to receive a lot of attention from the fast-learning Locker.

Column by Edward Marlowe, staff writer