Thursday, September 20, 2012

NFL Thursday: In which I try not to mush the Panthers

Tonight the big tent rolls into Charlotte. The Super Bowl champs (and my current least favorite team of all time) the New York Giants coming off an incredibly emotional comeback over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take a deep breath and dive back into the waters of the NFC South to face the Panthers.

Only tonight they do it without no. 1 receiver Hakeem Nicks and no. 1 rusher Ahmad Bradshaw.

Despite Eli's 500-yard game and recent claims by supporters that he walks on water, I remain unsold on his ability to maintain a consistently high level of play. Especially when his two most potent weapons are at home catching up on recent episodes of Honey Boo Boo and Chandler Bing's new show.

Last week my horribly inaccurate crystal ball showed me a smoky future where the Bears and the Packers went up and down the field for hundreds of actual points and thousands of fantasy points. Turns out the smoke wasn't a vision, it was my crystal ball getting high. So high.

It wasn't that I thought the Pack would lose, I just thought they'd win in a tight, high-scoring affair. The complete dismantling of the Bears' offense was surprising to say the least. But that's what happens when your coach game plans for the Titans when he's playing the Packers.

Since we're still very early in the season I'm not yet completely gun shy about making outrageous claims. So here goes: Even with a 35-point win over the struggling Saints, it feels like the Panthers haven't really opened up the offense yet. I'd bench both defenses and look for some big plays on both sides of the ball. Victor Cruz no longer has to share the spotlight with Nicks, but the Panthers no longer have to leave him in single coverage. He'll probably have a good day, but I'm not expecting him to push the 200 yard mark no matter what kind of deficit the Giants have to overcome in the 4th. Basically I'm looking for a Giants hangover from Sunday's game and for the Panthers to be amped up. Feels like it's time for DeAngelo's numbers to get right, and for, Mike Tolbert and  Brandon LaFell to step up. I don't own Williams, but I'm starting LaFell (Probably a sure sign he'll break a kneecap).

Bottom line: If this game turns into a slowed down, field position game and the fantasy scores are in the single digits I'm going to start calling this pregame column The Thursday Mush and you can just count on reading my words and then having the opposite happen.Which, by the way, you're welcome.

 *For those not familiar with the term, in gambling parlance a "Mush" is a gambler who does nothing but lose. Kinda like William H. Macy in the movie "The Cooler," he'd walk up to a table and suck the life out of it. In the world of sports betting the last thing you want is a mush to get on board your bet with you. Even the biggest lock can get easily mushed by a gambler who just can't win. Well, folks, when it comes to gambling, I'm a huge mush. I've had success with fantasy only because it's not so zero-sum based. But the second I start predicting how games are going to play out, just head the other direction and you'll be very successful. Remember, bad advice is just as good as good advice if you can spot it.


Puptodi said...

"...bad advice is as good as good advice if you can spot it."

Nice stuff. I have enjoyed your stuff so far. Frankly, I think your writing is a notch above both Tom and Scott's.

ericdedwar said...

Thanks, that's high praise. I appreciate it. Imagine if I had an editor to catch all my typos? But I try not to dream too big.

Anonymous said...

I took Matthew Berry's advice when assembling my team this year due largely in part to the success my team found last year following his instructions leading me to draft Mike Vick in the first round.

Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment?

Either way, after the draft this year I thought I had a team of studs, but every stud has categorically underperformed. I'm 0-2 and my team got throttled 100-60 in our Yahoo! league this past week. When I got picks like Rodgers, Julio Jones, Jamaal Charles, Fred Jackson, Sproles, Reggie Wayne and DeAngelo Williams, I thought I was headed for fantasy gold.

Well... with the exception of Reggie Wayne and Julio last week, pretty much everybody has underperformed.

Bah. I have the Giants D, who has stunk, Greg Olsen for my TE and am also starting LaFell. Thus, my prediction for this evening:

Giants 42
Panthers 38

Greg Olsen and Brandon LaFell will be held without receiving TDs, Giants D will give up TONs of yards and points and the Panthers will still lose.

Since that is the exact opposite of what I want to happen, it shall be done.

J said...

You know what I love about fantasy football? Every player believes Murphy is surgically attached to his team and expects the worst possible outcome for every possible scenario. We all think our best player is going to break every bone in his body this week. We expect every game to be consumed in a monsoon or blizzard that only negatively affects MY players. The ultimate lose-lose scenario is when our fantasy player goes up against our favorite team, and either our fantasy player dominates and our favorite team loses, or our favorite team wins but our fantasy player gets completely shut out, or both our fantasy player and our favorite team get shut out.

I am spared the ultimate doom this week, with Nicks perched in his La-Z-Boy in New York. And faced with starting a fantasy lineup that includes either Jason Avant or Early Ducett, I am free from the pressure of winning the fantasy matchup. No fantasy team with Jason Avant or Early Ducett starting has a snowball's chance in hell to win. So I can be a complete homer for the teams I like.

There is no way on God's green Earth the Giants put up last week's numbers with Bradshaw, Nicks, Hickson and Diehl out. The only Giant that is going to blow up is Martellus Bennet, because, as we know, God Almighty long ago issued the edict, "Thou art Panthers. Thou shalt never cover nor tackle a tight end, under any circumstance, for any reason, lest ye die." On offense, if the Panthers know what's good for them, Cam will run a lot, and throw many checkdowns to Olsen and the running backs, because our O-line has no shot at blocking that Giants D-line for any length of time. I'm highly confident the Panthers will win if they do so.

Now, back to deciding, Avant or Ducett.........