Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Hangover - Week 10

Note to terrorists: If you want to know how to inspire fear and rage in the hearts of middle America, do what CBS Sports.com did this Sunday - separate fantasy owners from their live scoring updates. Really doesn't need to be that long, 10 minutes, an hour at the most and a majority of us will already have started lighting our homes on fire out of frustration.

Yes, in a weekend filled with fantasy and actual football madness -- including but not limited to a Cadillac Williams touchdown (is there anyone who can't score on the Panthers?); 12 minutes of suspended play in the New Meadowlands due to either complete and total darkness or Jon Kitna; or David Garrard pulling some old-school Doug Flutie mayhem out of his yonder -- the most notable event for millions of CBS Sports users will be the hour they had to add up yards in their heads while they watch football without really knowing if they should be caring.

I'll go ahead and admit it, I'm no pansy, love-of-the-game purist. I love football, sure. But I love it a whole lot more when I've got something on the line. And short of moving to Vegas, sleeping on my buddy's couch and sweating the tiniest shifts in the Bills moneyline, fantasy is the cheapest, most comprehensive way for me to care a little about a lot of football. F'rinstance, I'm a 49ers fan (yes, condolences, I know) but they are tragic so I spend most of my time watching the Chiefs hoping that guy standing in the backfield is wearing a no. 25 and isn't Thomas Jones. Fantasy is pretty embedded in my Sunday routine. I get up early, play with the kids, try to make everyone exhausted so they go to sleep right about the time the early games starts. Then I'll sit in The Man Chair with my laptop and something fried and I bounce around DirecTV for as long as the kids will let me. When I'm not bouncing my eyes are glued to the gametracker that updates me instantly on every painful point that my opponent's kicker is amassing while my guy is busy missing extra points (True story, I started Shayne Graham and almost cried when he shanked that PAT - who misses a PAT? It's negative points for my team, it should be at least a pay cut for him).

Take that away and I'm an angry, helpless, blind man. If I can't tell whether I'm winning or losing, then who gives a crap about who's ACTUALLY winning or losing? This game is not about them - it's about me. It's about my brilliance, my decision-making and how bad my opponent must be made to feel when I dominate him. Or, conversely how he has somehow cheated me out of a hard earned victory (I'm talking to you Hicks). So for approximately 1 hour on Sunday I was like a rat trying in vain to get a treat out my laptop. I refreshed, I rebooted, I logged off and back on, I actually started looking for a phone number in the fine print like there's a CBSSports.com fantasy help hotline staffed every weekend for my sense of well-being. After what was perhaps the longest hour of my life the updates came back and my blood pressure settled down to its regular 160/120. An hour later I was barely thinking about lighting a torch and marching on CBS HQ. But it'd better not happen again.

On to the week:

>>>QBs, QBs, and more QBs. You say your QB didn't have a 300 yard game with 16 TDs? You may be an idiot. You are definitely unique among fantasy owners. But I shouldn't make fun, my cousin who is in 2nd place in my league and knows what he's doing (generally) started Chad Pennington upon hearing about Chad Henne's benching. That's some bad mojo right there. What if I told you that 13 QBs would post 300 yard games this weekend (NFL record) and Peyton Manning wouldn't be one of them? Would you lose control of your bowels? I think I just did.

>>>Speaking of bowel relief, how many owners were sitting on handsome leads when Michael Vick's 57 point day came knocking? Admit it, no one saw a 57 point game coming. But let's face it, Cassel's 54 point day in a loss was actually more surprising and in most cases benched.

*Bonus hilarity - In my big league the following QBs were on the bench this week: Matt Cassel, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Jon Kitna, Matt Schaub. To be fair, the guy who benched Schaub started Orton and won. The guy who benched Brady had a good day out of Shaun Hill and won. The Matt Ryan bench looked bad right up until Garrard's angel pass, then Garrard started to look like an OK start. But let's face it, you don't want to wait until the last second of regulation to get affirmation that you made the right call. The guy who left Cassel's 469 yards 4 TD game on the bench? Let's just say 24 of those points would have come in handy.

>>>And where balls are being thrown, balls are being caught. Favre knows a thing or two about that.

But seriously folks - Did anyone in America either start or play against any of the following stat giants: Seattle Mike Williams, Dwayne Bowe, Jacksonville's Mike Thomas! No, of course you didn't. To be fair Mike Thomas should have been credited with a 1 yard reception and whichever jackwad Texan defender that handed him the ball should get credit for the passing TD. How bad does that guy feel right now? The funny thing is that Jag's hail Mary that bounced off the hands of the Texan's DBack and into the waiting arms of Mike Thomas happened right before the CBS servers went down. My theory is that whoever was updating that game had his life savings on the Texans, saw the play, had a stroke, spilled his coffee on the only hard drive at CBS that matters and it was 45 minutes before the swing shift came in and found him. Don't worry, he's now resting comfortably in the free clinic.

>>>If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: If you start Fred Jackson every week eventually you're going to be sitting on a fantasy gold mine. My words are golden. I've said the same about Felix Jones but I actually DID start Jackson and I didn't start Jones. Felix and I have had a turbulent season. I drafted him everywhere, then dropped him in my big league where he got picked up from waivers and benched, then earlier last week he became a tagline in a trade that netted me Eli Manning, Jones and Patrick Crayton for Vince Young, Mercades Lewis and Seattle Mike Williams. Feeling prettty, prettty, good about that one right about now.

There is a feeling you get sometimes that a bench player has just made himself viable. It's harder to "feel" with wide receivers until you see them put together a string of successes, but when you see a RB have a breakout week, especially when you've been waiting for it, double especially when he just got a new coach, it may be time to promote him to a starter. I think Felix has finally arrived. I'll miss him when he breaks his leg next weekend.

>>>The best storyline for me coming into Monday night was needing DeSean Jackson to add about 6 points to get me over the top - no problem right? Well, before the first snap I admit to being nervous, he's a hot or cold guy (mostly hot, sure but he's laid an egg or two). On top of that there seems to be a cosmic pattern that makes me sweat out these tiny point differentials one increment at a time over 4 quarters so that I'll never have resolution until the last minutes of the game. Yeah, not last night. I hadn't even gotten geared up to worry myself to death when he put the nail in my opponent's coffin. But then after that 88 yard TD, not a peep. Did he take the rest of the shift off? Do they do that in the NFL? "I'm down for 88 and a TD, I got you 88 and a TD and now I'm going home." It's the only explanation. Wait, nevermind, he just got a 10-yarder 3 hours after the game ended. Extended lunch break? Damn players union.

>>>Jerome Harrison. Speaking of guys you haven't heard from this season who went for 100 and a TD. It's a one week thing, the Eagles janitor scored on the redskins. Don't pick him up. Don't do it. But I'm definitely going to try.

>>>One thing I'm noticing here is that good quarterback play in general is devestating to defensive score. Probably it's a time of possession issue, but defenses got massacred this weekend. I've got the Chiefs (-2), the Giants (5), Cardinals (7), Steelers (3), Ravens (8), and my favorite Redskins (-6). And this is in a league that starts D's with 22 points.

-Eric Edwards


J said...

In my money league, where the average game score is 150-125 because of all the bonuses we dole out, the SNF game started with me losing 176-77. Yeah, I had 2 players going and 2 Eagles in the MNF game, but I didn't see them putting a C-note up. Who were my SNF guys? Tom Brady (56 pts) and Mike Wallace (43). MNF, I had Celek and Macklin. As soon as Macklin took that end-around for 11 yards and gave me the one point I needed, I went to bed. Turns out he got me 18 points. Celek is useless, and I will start Zach Miller (Raiders version) the rest of the season, no matter how bad his foot hurts.

I did notice the CBS stats not updating, but that was while my opponent was building his 99-point lead (he started Kyle Orton), and as he led the Broncos to 47 first-half TDs I stopped looking at the website. Good thing some good fortune was headed my way in the night games.

119 points from 4 players in the last 2 games to get the win. Just like I drew it up last Wednesday (HA!).

The Owners said...

very nice. I can never decide if I like it better breaking out to a big early lead and sweating it, or trying to play catch up. Last weekend my guys were all over the place. One thing I hate is when your opponent has a big thursday play (Matt Ryan would have been a good example of this, had my opponent not benched him. ha!) and you have to sit around for two days questioning your lineup. It can wreak havoc on your team.