Back in September, before anyone knew the Patriots would go undefeated, several Foolish writers picked their own fantasy football teams. Since this is the Fool, our teams were made of stocks, rather than actual players.
We're long-term thinkers here, so we would never give you investment picks with an investing horizon as short as a 17-week football season -- even including the bye week. That said, as the Super Bowl approaches, it seems like a good time to check on those picks.
Score some points
Tom Brady may know how to sling the long bomb, but he's got nothing on the Brazilian behemoth Petrobras (NYSE: PBR ) . With a lot of oil in the ground, and the price of the stuff above ground going through the roof, it's no wonder that this Motley Fool Income Investor pick is up 73% since Toby Shute started it on his team's offense.
Other high-performing picks are Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD ) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , which are up 18% and 15% respectively since football's opening day. There were solid performances in the fourth quarter from both the drugmaker and the software maker, but both are trading off the 52-week highs they set in midseason.
Mitigate the losses
None of us knew it when we made our picks, but the playoff season turned out to be a pretty good environment to test our defensive picks, given the S&P 500's 8% drop since the contest began.
The winner thus far was a pick I wouldn't have thought of: Wrigley (NYSE: WWY ) . Do people like to chew gum through a recession? Actually, the dividend probably has a lot to do with the defensive tackling abilities of Wrigley, as Steven Mallas surmised in his bull argument in a recent Dueling Fools article.
Not counting dividends, Dave Mock's pick is just a tad short of breakeven at this point. That's not the best performance, but when the other teams in the league, along with the S&P 500, are letting in touchdown after touchdown, it's a solid enough performance to make the playoffs.
Pharmaceuticals are usually a pretty good defensive bet, but surprisingly, they gave up quite a few first downs. Then again, both Brian Lawler and I picked GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) -- clearly, there wasn't a draft involved with our contest -- leaving little diversity on the large-cap drug front. For this contest, I should have used my pick for best stock of 2008, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) , which ended the season higher than it began.
Special teams on injured reserve
We all did pretty poorly with our special-teams picks. There were a lot of missed field goals and a muffed punt or two, but I'm not sure you should judge us too harshly. By definition, the special teams aren't on the field very much. They shouldn't be a very large percentage of your portfolio, unless you're really good at picking them.
The short time frame for the contest probably affects these special contenders more than any other, since they often grow in sudden spurts. Heck, in my corner of the stock world, multibaggers can happen literally overnight.
In case you're wondering, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL ) was the best of our special-teams picks, essentially keeping pace with the market over the course of our season.
The best offense is a good offense
Thanks to Petrobras's stellar performance, this season's award goes to Toby Shute's Team Energy. Its high-flying offense was able to cancel out losses from Toby's other two picks, including Precision Drilling Trust. It just shows that offense should be the centerpiece of your portfolio.
Will energy continue to dominate through March Madness and into the baseball season? You can make your opinion known on our Motley Fool CAPS service.