The Jeff Jurney Story
2014 Diamond Challenenge Points $25,000 Grand Prize Winner!
It's been quite a journey for Jeff Jurney. He started playing Diamond Challenge Points in 2002, and after 4 years of playing he took a few years off. "I was coaching for my kids teams, and didn't have the time to follow close enough" Jeff said when asked about the hiatus. The 50 year old that works in the University of Maryland Medical Center finance department is happy he started playing again last year. His teams did alright last year, finishing in the top 50 overall, but he never dreamed he'd win the whole thing. "I go into it with the idea of winning my league, and anything else is a bonus" Jeff exclaimed.

The lifelong Orioles fan will be using some of his winnings to attend the Orioles post season games with his son Ryan. But he did not break one of the cardinal rules of playing fantasy baseball; don't play your fantasy team with heart. Jurney's Underdog team winning squad did not have any Orioles on his initial roster, and the only player he bought during the season was Zack Britton. "The main reason I bought Britton was because most of the teams behind me had him on their rosters" Jurney discussed, "and it would make it harder for them to catch me if I had him also. Plus he was having a great year."

"I found it really interesting I could make some mistakes and still win the overall championship" Jeff remarked. His purchase of George Springer in week 4 turned out to be one of those mistakes. "I was deciding between Springer and Charlie Blackmon" he remembered, "and Blackmon had 37 points the following week to Springer's' 7. Two weeks latter he dropped Springer and bought Blackmon, and then two weeks latter he bought Springer back again. "I had a real love/hate relationship with Springer" he said. Another move, or rather the lack of moving, turned out to work in his favor. "I kept Kole Calhoun on my team after he was hurt" he said, "and the strategy really paid off at the end. His low salary enabled me to use stud pitchers the last few weeks".

Jurney's strategy included an initial lineup with some inexpensive starters and stud hitters. And a few other moves he was contemplating but didn't make turned out for his benefit also. "I was tempted to buy Kolten Wong early on, but waited because of his rookie status, and then decided to buy Brian Dozier instead in week 6. Then in week 8 I decided Robinson Cano was not producing enough for his salary, and dropped him for Jose Altuve. Both those moves turned out really well", he recalled. "I was also tempted to buy Garret Richards and Yu Darvish, both players on a lot of teams behind me. But they both got hurt the week I was going to buy them. Saving those two buys for latter really helped, and the teams behind me had to use a couple buys to replace them" he exclaimed.

A pick up of Corey Kluber in week 11 and Clayton Kershaw in Week 13 settled his pitching staff. His last big decision came in mid August when Hanley Ramirez went down with an injury and Troy Tulowitzki was also out. "I had a couple different shortstops I was considering, and decided to go with Danny Santana because I liked Minnesota's schedule." he decided. The move worked well as Santana provided 119 points to his team, and Jurney was able to hang on to win the $25,000 Grand Prize.
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