Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday hangover: The week fantasy football saved the NFL

My niece turned 1 this weekend so I got a lot more than my usual amount of cake, I got to hear a lot more blustery conversation about the dominance of the SEC than I have the patience for and I got to drive back from Richmond Va. and miss every single early NFL game this week. But if my fantasy scores are any indication I didn't miss much. And if I needed further proof that week 7 was a bust didn't have to look any further than the Sunday and Monday night games.

I can only assume that when the Saints showed up at Indy they came armed with a prepared statement that the Dolphins had just managed to lose at home to Tim Tebow's horrific Broncos, and if Indy was remotely interested in Andrew Luck then they'd do well to roll over and play dead. Indy would have listened to this warning if they had not already started playing dead 2 hours before.

And when the architects of Monday Night Football decided the best way to beef up this putrid Jags v Ravens match up was to open* the broadcast with a scientific dissertation on how being teeny helps two of the shortest running backs in the league - I knew there was no way I was going to make it through the whole game. And I didn't.

In fact if I didn't have 3 fantasy games on the line I might not have made it past the first two possessions as it became clear I was witnessing the worst football game of all time. I'm pretty sure that by the time I went to sleep the only fantasy points that had been scored were by the defenses as running backs coughed up more fumbles than Notre Dame, wide receivers played keep away from the ball and coaches threw every available red flag in between fits of fuming at their respective teams ineptitude.

Were it not for my waning interests in Percy Harvin and Mark Ingram I might not have watched any football at all. And for the first time this season my life might have been fuller for missing the games. Unfortunately next week doesn't provide all that much to look forward to. Dallas v Philly on Sunday will be a great game and New England at Pittsburgh could be decent but somehow Kansas City sneaked onto the Monday night schedule against San Diego in a game that might be exactly as unwatchable as Ravens/Jags was.

Seriously, look at these: Cardinals/Ravens? Dolphins/Giants? Saints/Rams? Denver/Detroit? Seattle/Cincinnati? The only early game that looks remotely competitive is Vikings @ Panthers and most of the drama there is due to two rookie QBs and not much else.

On to the games:

-If you started Ryan Torain either of the last two weeks are you having a hard time even getting excited about Tim Hightower's injury? Sure, without Hightower Torain is bound to be the go to guy in DC, but the Redskins just managed to scrape together just 92 yards rushing against one of the worst rushing Ds in the league. Let's just say don't run out and trade for Torain just yet.

-In another week of low scoring you could almost look at a team's score and know whether or not they owned Arian Foster, Drew Brees, DeMarco Murray, Matt Forte or Marques Colston. I personally own none of the above but in 4 leagues I think I played against all of them this week. Still I went 2-2 and for that I'd like to join every Darren Sproles owner in wishing my diminutive back a a hearty thanks. And thank you also Jimmy Graham. If your team consists of Brees, Graham and Sproles I bet you are at or very near the top of your league. Every week I decided whether I should start Ingram or Sproles, I think from here on out I'm going to start both of them.

-Minnesota is sneaky. They put up a hellafight against Green Bay, going into the half with an actual lead. This was later revealed to be a false front when in the first series of they second half they somehow managed to let Greg Jennings run all by himself down the sideline for a 70-yard catch and run for a TD. Jennings was so alone on that play he had to go back and check his medical records to make sure he didn't have some infectious disease he was unaware of.

See folks, it doesn't take a lot to blow a game to keep the losing streak alive, just one or two well-timed flops and whammo you are back in the losing column.

-Yep - the Suck For Luck sweepstakes is really heating up. St. Louis, Miami and Indy certainly have the inside track but the Vikings are right in there. I have to think that despite their losing efforts this weekend they are going to pick up another win somewhere and it'll be just too big a obstacle to overcome. There is just no way the other three teams are going to win 2 each this season. No WAY.

-And a fond fare thee well to the Denver who played right into Miami's hands with that marvelous comeback by Tebow capped by the 52 yard field goal to hand the Bronco's their Andrew Luck elimination card. If you watched the game the crowd in Miami cheered when that ball went through the uprights. They know what's up. Well, at least Denver has Tebow. He managed to string together two good possessions against the worst team in football and eeked out a win against a team dying to lose - definite keeper.

-Anyone else out there ready to smother Vincent Jackson with a pillow? For all the people who mocked me for picking up Anquan Boldin in the second round (and to be fair he's been average at best) at least I didn't use that spot to acquire VJax. His seasonal fantasy output so far: 1, 29, 6, 16, 3, bye, 1. Sure that 29 point game was nice, but there is nothing worse than watching your no. 1 receiver post 1 points games multiple times.

*Was Hank Williams Jr. the only musical act in the country that was free to work on Monday nights? Surely Matchbox 20 has space on their schedule. Aerosmith? Queen Latifah? Anyone. Please.


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