Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday Hangover, Wednesday-style

Please pardon my tardiness. I have been battling Edgar Allen Poe-level depression/alcoholism since my fantasy season ended with a double defeat Monday night. Season's end, that's natural. Some of them end better than others but most people do not win championships every year so getting bumped from the playoffs, while annoying, isn't much to cry about.
Except when it happens like this:

Sunday morning, looking at my lineup as I prepare to face the worst team in the league. If I win and some clown loses then I make the 4-team postseason. I've got tough matchups but all-star players across the board - except Eli - he's a complete crapsack. The biggest weakness is Shayne Graham playing in an arctic-grade snow dump against a tough D on a team that pretty much just score TDs. Easy bench, right? Let's get a guy in a dome, right? Two of them sitting around, Josh Brown and Mason Crosby. Both are fine and my gut tells me Josh Brown. I get a call from my co-owner before kickoff saying Crosby a better call and he's made the swap. I don't like it, but who cares? Right?

Well, after Michael Turner and MJD get done face-punching me in the 1p.m. games, and the Dolphins and Welker get done curbing my in the 4 p.m.s I'm starting to think that being down by 120 points it might not matter about that kicker after all, I mean Jamaal Charles has already started coasting on his new paycheck and Santonio Holmes is dropping gimmies in the endzone so I stand no chance, right? That's how I felt going into the Sunday night game when out of the blue Kitna and Witten fall in love and DeSean Jackson ascends to a higher plane. All the sudden my 120 point deficit has been cut in half and I still have Eli, Giants D and Andre Johnson left on the plate versus Neil Racker. Not likely but possible.

To shorten this sermon let's just say that Eli must get bonuses for keeping his Defense on the field. But Andre is not to be stifled and that mother brought me to within 3 points of the win. Guess what? Brown outscored Crosby by 4.

There's always next season.

And there's always next season for us too. The Owners are breaking into family/holiday mode and will be posting spottily for the foreseeable future. We won't be here as often but we'll still be around, planning and plotting to make sure that next season no fantasy owner in America drafts Eli Manning, that pimply squid.

Also, we are starting a fundraiser/awareness campaign top make Miller Lite stop making those horrendous ads where the hot bartender mocks her customers for not buying Miller Lite. There is so much wrong with these commercials.
1) I've been in a lot of bars and no one has ever asked if I wanted more taste or less taste. And if they ever did and the More Taste option was Miller Lite I'd kick their mouth shut. Miller Lite is fine. Just fine. But don't come around telling me that it is THE tasty option out there. It's a joke.
2) As long as you are not a dude ordering a Bacardi Breezer, no bartender worth a damn is going to make fun of you. No matter how hot they are. For that matter, the hotter the bartender, the nicer the bartender. Do some research. It's a fact.
3) Would a bartender ever call a customer a Momma's Boy for not ordering a Miller Lite? Does my mother really want me out at a bar drinking Miller Lite but NOT, say, a Coors? It doesn't make any sense.

I've always thought the Miller Lite ads had an edge over the Bud Light ads, but this year it's so lopsided I can't even stand it. And it's not because Bud Light found a funny gimmick. They really didn't. But I can buy a crowd of men looking to Schmeplicate with the sexy aliens for some free beer over the cocktail waitress who calls out the guy for wearing sunglasses at night. Servers live on tips for Christ's sake, they can pretend to be the nicest most understanding people in the world if they think they'll get $5 out of you. And I'm not just saying this because I wear a Sunglasses a dragon shirt and Speedos out to the bar at midnight.

And if I may make one more plea for next season: For the love of GOD someone had better hire Jon Gruden. The Monday Night Franchise will wither and die if Gruden's stream of consciousness is allowed to freely escape into our homes once a week for 4 hours. It's too much. And if he doesn't take a coaching job because he finds that his ego is much better soothed sitting in the limelight making the game all about his thoughts and feelings then I implore Mike Tirico to duct tape him to a chair and pistol whip him for a good 2 hours before airtime every Monday, that should take a little pep out of him.

If you have any crazy playoff stories share them in the comments section, we'll be reading.

-Eric Edwards

Friday, December 10, 2010

What late season injury is most likely to affect the playoffs?

Eric Edwards: Felix Jones, Cowboys. What can I say? Felix hates being the starter. In three years, every time he gets the bulk of the carries he treats the opportunity one of three ways: A) He runs the ball directly into a crowd of defenders and turns his 18 carries into 36 yards. B) He pulls all of his muscles. C) He pulls all of his muscles running directly into a crowd of defenders. I'm starting Tashard Choice.

Peter St. Onge: Steve Johnson, Bills. When Stevie was catching a touchdown a week for five weeks, I was right there, plugging him into my lineup. When the touchdowns slowed but the targets didn't, I hung with him. But when you criticize God in a tweet for a pass you drop in the end zone? That's a good sign the mojo is gone. And so am I.

R. Trentham Roberts: Percy Harvin, Vikings. Even though he's the 20th-ranked receiver in our league, it's the return of Sidney Rice and the schedule for weeks 14-15-16 (Giants-Bears-Eagles) and, oh yeah, the Favre follies, that make him a dicey play.

Trevor Freeze: LeGarrette Blount, Bucs. For the past two weeks, I've been pondering sitting Chris Johnson for Blount, as his matchup (Redskins) is about as tasty as a 250-pound downhill runner gets. Then news broke this week that Blount is in the Tampa doghouse and Earnest Graham might be poaching at the goal line. I'm OK having my eggs poached, but not any playoff TDs. Go over easy on Blount.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Night Lights: Colts at Titans

I could have titled this post: Thursday Night Lights: Which Marquee fantasy player will take a bigger dump on your season? Manning or Johnson?

Because for many, many players that's what this matchup comes down to. How will Manning do on the road against a conference rival in pretty much a Must Win situation? Also, if CJ2K doesn't step up in the next few games will we have to change his nickname to CJ1.1K, I think it'd be only fair. For a guy who was pretty much consensus no. 1 overall this year, who did not face serious injury, Cj has face-slapped his owners about as much as a man can without getting dropped, yes, Ray Rice is in the running (no pun intended), but Rice's nickname doesn't imply that he's going to rush for 2,000 yards, CJ's does.

Manning at least has probably delivered post-season slots for most of his owners, short of the Pollians, and somehow manages never to really stink it up fantasy-wise. Sure, he may drop two backbreaking pick 6's on the colts, but to most fantasy owners that's really just a few negative points off a huge pile of positive ones. And there is a huge fantasy bonus for Manning owners who normally have to start combing the wires when the Colts bench all their starters for the holidays. This year they need every hand on deck and even that may not be enough. I was at a draft where Manning was the first player off the board and I loudly exclaimed to the offending owner that, sure, Manning might get him to the playoffs but come December he was going to be in trouble. Turns out I was almost right, he's going to be in trouble in December but only because he can't be sure if he's going to get the Manning that delivers the 20 or the Manning that delivers the 40. Which I guess isn't a horrible problem to have considering I own the Manning that I'm pretty sure will deliver the 7. Eli you Bastard.

In the end, there are lot of people on tonight's roster that are debatable: Pierre Garcon? Kenny Britt? Bo Scaife? Don Brown? Edgerrin's cousin? But there are two guys that, no matter how far below the bar they are performing at the moment, are unbenchable. So don't even think about it.

Other things to consider: Are the Titans D a start if there's a chance that the Manning-Pick-Six-Parade continues? I don't know. There's a guy I need desperately to win this week if I am to have any chance to secure post season play in my keeper league and for a few days there he had started the Titans over the Pats. Now, the Pats just dominated one of the "best" teams in football and the Tennessee has been giving up the points like a busted pinball machine. But the more I thought about it the more I came to think that it was in fact a genius move. If your D played Manning the last two weeks you were looking pretty good. He ended up starting the Pats against the Bears which is a much safer call in my book, but still, if you feel like you need to score a ton of points, Titans may be a gamble worth taking.

Mostly I'm just sitting back and hoping against hope that CJ does to the Indy D what Arian Foster did in week one...pound it into oblivion and then pound it some more. Go CJ.

-Eric Edwards

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tuesday Hangover - Week 13

Congratulations are in order. For starters we need to congratulate you for making it to the post season. Of course we're assuming you've been following us the whole way and therefore knew not to start Eli Manning or Kyle Orton or Darren Sproles in the crucial final week of the regular season. Not because we told you, just because you could sense from our tone that it wasn't a good idea. So congrats.

If you didn't make the playoffs and you are still here reading then congratulations to us for being much more hilarious then our wives, friends and co-workers give us credit for. We knew the nation longed for more BenJarvus Green-Ellis humor and we didn't shy away. So congrats to us.

But most importantly, congratulations to new Broncos interim head coach Eric Studesville. Not because you get to coach Tim Tebow, but because your name is Studesville and we're pretty sure things have been going your way for a while now. Your future is bright Studesville, pretty much no matter what happens with the whole Broncos thing.

On to the week.

>>>When your team is just good enough to hang around the "maybe" list for the better part of the season it is a foregone conclusion that the end will not be an easy one. Having played my way in and then back out of the playoffs three times over, my fate rested largely in the hands of other owners not living up to the hype. In the final two weeks (This week and next week - we only have a 4 team playoff) I needed three teams to lose at least once, and one team (mine) to win twice. Well, with just the first leg of that highly improbable journey complete I got two of the losses and one of the wins I needed. Now I just need one guy to lose next week and I could miraculously make the postseason. Here's hoping Adrian Peterson plays as well the last 4 weeks of this season as he did last season when he tanked my league-dominating team right into 3rd place. Dirty S.O.B.

>>>But I actually think I would enjoy the entire season more if I worried less about what I was doing and more about who else in the league is getting mauled. This week I was so worried about the games I couldn't control I barely thought of my own team all weekend. It was refreshing.
You know what wasn't refreshing?
Starting Eli Manning.
If you watch the Manning brothers you see similar expressions (mostly scowls), similar tendencies (mostly interceptions) but much different results. And these results demonstrate the wide division between fantasy and reality. In the real world, Eli throws a pick and then hands the ball off for the rest of the day, finally putting up a disgusting 7 fantasy points (depending on format) in a game the Giants nevertheless go on to win.

All the while Peyton is tossing picks like a genie grants a wish every time he turns the ball over, but in the fantasy world they disappear behind a smokescreen of 36 completions, 360 yards and two TDs in a very respectable 31 point-fantasy effort, but the Colts end up losing. So both guys are talking about how they should have played better, but Eli owners are at the bar getting hammered after his 7 point day while Peyton owners don't really give a damn. Fortunately for this guy I made up enough ground with Jamaal Charles, Andre Johnson and the Giants D that I was able to overcome this whelp's pathetic play. But many others were not so lucky. My condolences.

>>>In a rare turn of events, week 13 started to resemble 2009 a little. Tom Brady was hoisting up huge numbers with a little help from Reggie Wayne. Aaron Rodgers continued tearing up the airways between he and Greg Jennings. Maurice Jones Drew carried on with his late-season surge. And a "questionable" Adrian Peterson wents bananas on the Bills.

>>>The best part about AP's "questionable" status was the fool's gold it sprinkled in the face of Toby Gerhart owners who saw their one opportunity to cash in on this deadweight (or even better the waiver vultures who thought they had picked up fresh meat). Didn't work out though. In fact anyone who thought they were being clever with Gerhart spent a lot of time Sunday wondering if they could microwave their head.

>>>Can't leave out Sidney Rice who may have just landed Tavaris Jackson a tryout for the job that he was supposed to have two years ago. This has office politics written all over it. I'm guessing Favre texted something inappropriate to Rice's girlfriend, so Rice waits until Favre goes down to start performing circus stunts. Now Rice looks good. Jackson looks OK and Favre looks like a dirty, beat down, old man. ESPN thinks Favre is still going to start, but I gotta believe that new coach can see what's up.

>>>Happy trails to Dez Bryant and Todd Heap. Especially Heap who did owners the discourtesy of breaking his hammy on the first play of the game. Note to NFL players - stretch, jog a little, get loose. We don't want to see you going down to injury. But if you must, please try to do while performing some game-changing, touchdown-scoring theatrics. Definitely not on the first play of the game.

>>>Dear Dwayne Bowe, following up a 45 point outing with a zero point outing is probably the biggest bait-and-switch since Kenny Britt in went from 55 to 0 from week 7 to 8. That's how TVs get busted. That's how dogs get kicked. A buddy of mine posts that his team put up 145 points last week, this week 25 points. Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Suck. Mood swings like that are a one way ticket to the straight jacket.

>>>But the worst was poor lil Darrin Sproles. This cat caught one pass, got nailed, fumbled the ball and didn't come back into the game with a concussion. Know what that looks like on a stat sheet? Anywhere from -2 to -1. You'd have been better off not starting someone. In my keeper league a guy who I really wanted to win started Sproles (-1.5), James Jones (1), and the Jets D (0). There's no way you can see a trainwreck like that coming at you. Astounding.

>>>My theory is that Josh McDaniels was fired for videotaping the Jets for Belichick. Is there any other explanation for the critical beating that New England handed New York? The Pats couldn't have clobbered the Jets more if Belichick had actually been calling the plays for Rex Ryan. I had been holding out hope that a monstrous defensive display would result in a playoff spot for me, but that was not to be.

>>>Hopefully you got a bye week for your playoffs. Unlike the real NFL there is absolutely no disadvantage to a bye week...or so they say. Honestly there is no rationale reason that a bye week hurts in fantasy, but every time I get one I promptly lose the next week. But the real problem is that we don't really play fantasy to win money, the money is nice, but we play because it's awesome and it makes Sundays more fun. So what's the point of a bye if it means you have to sit around while your players face no one? With that in mind maybe the 4-team, two week playoff is a better option. For starters it really limits the chances of a mediocre team (like mine this year) from stumbling into the playoffs, catching a fortunate matchup and beating a proven winner. Don't get me wrong, I like a good underdog story, but there is a difference between an average team catching some breaks and a scrappy team that builds his team into a contender. How can I tell the difference? If it's my team it's scrappy, if it's your team it's lucky. Simple, see. The other bonus about the 4 team playoff is that the regular season lasts an extra week (giving everyone another week of enjoyment) and then the best teams don't have to sit out while everyone else plays. I'd make the change in my own league, but definitely not this year when I'm the boob benefiting from the expanded playoffs.

>>>Good luck with your games. May your teams all play the Panthers and your opponents all play the Ravens...err, Steelers. Whatever.

-Eric Edwards

Friday, December 3, 2010

What late season injury is most likely to affect the playoffs?

Eric Edwards: Steve Smith, Giants. Smith coming back to the Giants offense in two weeks will give Eli Manning an option to stretch the field that he hasn't had since Smith went down with a pectoral injury. By the time Smith is back Hakeem Nicks also will have returned from his injury and the faltering Giants will have a rejuvenated offense.

R. Trentham Roberts: The Colts. I'll take the Colts for 20, Alex. Indy still has division games against Tennessee (twice) and Jacksonville, plus Dallas and Oakland. The Colts need Addai, Hart, Collie, Freeney, Brackett et al at full speed, because it's starting to become a question of not where they'll land in the playoffs, but whether they'll make the playoffs at all.

Peter St. Onge: Andre Johnson, Texans. Johnson's aggravated ankle sprain threatens to hurt not only Johnson's fantasy owners, but Arian Foster owners and those who've been stuck with Matt Schaub all year. While the Texans seemed just fine after Johnson went down Thursday night, the Eagles weren't exactly game-planning for an Andre-less offense. If he's not playing next week - or doesn't show the same explosiveness, the Texans' fantasy stars could sputter.

Reid Creager: Adrian Peterson, Vikings. Peterson's sprained ankle has to have his owners squirming, especially because the Vikings don't have much to play for in December. How quickly he comes back – and how he's used when he does – figures to be an organizational decision, given his long-term importance. It may be wise not to expect elite RB numbers from him the rest of the season.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis

With thanks to Sean Forde who encouraged me to get into directing when he said: "You're on the wrong side of the camera. Move."