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Happy Playoffs

15 Dec

Happy Playoffs, Gamers. For several reasons, I have been unable or unwilling to put in the time to develop a proper preview for you guys. I’ve certainly been following the league and our fantastically cool finish last week really put the exclamation point on the year. It came down to a close final game in rivalry week to determine the final playoff team and it sure looked that Vote Dem might make a run. In fact, had Vote Dem played almost anyone else in the league in Week 14, he’d be looking at a playoff spot himself. Tough blow for both Vote Dem and Dutch Mafia as they try to pick up the pieces for the consolation bracket and wonder what could have been.

Let me start off by the game previews by congratulating each participant. Lumpalicious followed through on my pre-draft #1 ranking and made his first playoffs! Ca$h Money, Bad Mamma Jammas, and the Atomic Peckers all make their 2nd appearances. That experience could prove to be valuable ahead.  Ca$h finished 0-2 in his first trip for a 4th place finish, while the Peckers won 3rd and BMJ won 2nd in their appearances. This, obviously, means we will for the first time since Year 3, have a new champion! Yes, that’s right, someone other than Operation Domination and Cold Jerky will hoist the Gnome.

Playoff Semi-Final #1 – Lumpalicious vs. Ca$h Money

Throw out the records, Folks. No one cares if you set records or buried people deep during the regular season – it’s a clean slate here. Ca$h Money is in the playoffs with the worst record of any playoff team in the 6 year history of the league. Who cares? Not me. This is a legitimate matchup – don’t take your eyes off this one.

QB Play – Lumpalicious had the #1 overall pick, Mr. Aaron Rodgers going in Chicago against a Bears team that will either be in complete hibernation or a group of angry Bears after the embarrassment of last week (well, and the 4 weeks before that). Rodgers has a tendency to play well against the Bears and I just haven’t seen enough over the last 5 games to think this will be any different. I think A-Rod can make it to that projection and potentially beat it. Ca$h Money has a bit of a dilemma. RG3 was hurt last week, he’s currently questionable, and if he does go, you’d have to wonder how mobile he will be. Cleveland’s D? Hasn’t been horrible. Reserve options are good to great with Philip Rivers playing the Panthers while Josh Freeman licks his chops to play the Saints. I personally believe Freeman is the play here, but I’m not sure there is an absolute “wrong” choice in this case. I’m going to give a slight edge to Lumpalicious based on the fact that I think the Bears are dead.

Ground Game – Lumpalicious rolls out Stevan Ridley and Ryan Mathews. Ridley has a putrid matchup against SF in what should be a great SNF game and Mathews continues his Disappointment Tour against Carolina. Ca$h Money counters with Frank Gore against NE and Chris Johnson against the Jets in a MNF game that only people that have Chris Johnson playing on their fantasy teams would consider watching. I just don’t like anything here. My gut tells me to rank it Gore, Ridley, Mathews, Chris Johnson. Chris Johnson could break one and change everything, Mathews could put together a legit game – who knows. Nothing is jumping out for me here and I’m going to take the panty waste route and call a push.

Pass Catchers – Lumpalicious rolls in with the hot Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson and Marques Colston playing each other in the barn burner, and Jason Witten against Pittsburgh. Ca$h Money counters with record setter Brandon Marshall against the Pack, Eric Decker against Baltimore, apparently Michael Crabtree against NE, and Heath Miller against the ‘boys. This is probably where everything that could happen will happen in this matchup. Overall, I like the matchups for Lumpalicious more and I think that Andre Johnson can do enough to offset the amazing Brandon Marshall so I’m going to give the edge to Lumpalicious here.

D & K – Lumpalicious goes with the Cowboy’s kicker and the Jets D versus Shayne Graham and Cincinatti for Ca$h Money. I think Ca$h has the big advantage here but I wonder if it can be enough to make up for everything else going on in this matchup.

Overall, I think Lumpalicious will take a big league after the noon games on Sunday but Ca$h Money will continue to believe they are in it with Gore and Crabtree on SNF making up some ground against Ridley and it will come down to needing a big game from Chris Johnson against Lumpalicious’ NYJ defense. It won’t start off well at all and a late TD run in garbage time for CJ will only make the scoreboard respectable as Lumpalicious advances to the finals.

***Note, I wrote this before the Thursday night game. The 23 from Cinci is legit and should put Lumpalicious on upset alert. I will also note that the lineups will like change some before gametime as David Wilson is in the lineup for Lumpalicious.

Playoff Semi-Final #2 – Bad Mamma Jammas vs. Atomic Peckers

Yahoo! really is beating up on the Peckers with this projection, but I can’t really disagree, as I think my picture choice says it all. Unfortunately, the Peckers may be hanging their hat on the ’11 Apostles defense of “well, my best players were all hurt” and he’d be right with McCoy and Gronk out with injuries. The Gronk injury is a double whammy as it helps out Aaron Hernandez. Anyway, let’s get it on.

QB Play – Brady vs. Manning – I can only hope we get a chance to see this matchup in real life in the playoffs. Manning has had a great year and is an MVP candidate. Insert Brady’s name in that last sentence and it holds true as well. Manning plays the Ravens in Baltimore and even though this isn’t the Ravens of old, this isn’t an easy matchup. Brady has a tough draw against SF…but they play at home. After watching Brady toy with a very good Texans D last week, I’m banking on Brady to do it again. Advantage BMJ.

Ground Game – Foster & Lynch vs. AP & …Chris Ivory – Well…this one seems like a mismatch. AP has been amazing and even if we pencil him in for another stellar performance, Chris Ivory doesn’t really register as being worth it in this conversation. I’d say the advantage is obviously in favor of BMJ. Some even moderate roster management could have made this more competitive. Moreno, for instance, could have been won by Peck for just Waiver Priority and $0 in FAAB. Or how about a David Wilson signing? Leaving $80 in the bank does nothing for you now.

Pass Catchers – Thomas & Julio & Denarius & Hernandez vs. Wayne & Golden Tate & LaFell & Rudolph – Okay…first of all, I’m going to assume we’ll see Garcon and Steve Smith to go with Wayne and not Golden Tate and Brandon LaFell…but you know, I’m the last place team so what do I know. Those changes make this closer, but the odds are definitely still with BMJ on this one. The weak spot – Denarius Moore, had a great matchup. Thomas is a plus since it helps offset Peyton points. I think this is another advantage for BMJ.

D & K – Bryant & Lions vs. Gostkowski & GB – I think this is a push and again, it’s nothing that I can see that will turn the tide. I’ll say that the Peckers have the slight advantage because Cutler has been throwing a lot of TDs to the opposite team…in fact, the Vikings had more interception return yardage last week than they had passing yards from Christian Ponder…so there’s that.

I’m hoping that BMJ will come out with some interesting end of the season stats since he’s been tracking everything this year. We’ll surely see something come out, but until that time I wanted to go back and take a look at how I did in my start of the year projections. Believe it or not, I got 3 out of 4 playoff teams correct.

Team     Regular Season Finish    Projected finish

Atomic Peckers                 2nd                          1st

Ca$h Money                      4th                           2nd

Operation Domination   8th                           3rd

Lumpalicious                      1st                           4th

Hurricane Ditka                 10th                         5th

Dutch Mafia                       5th                           6th

Bacon Factory                    9th                           7th

Bad Mamma Jammas     3rd                           8th

Vote Dem                           7th                           9th

Apocalyptic Apostles      12th                         10th

The Good Team                 6th                           11th

Cold Jerky                           11th                         12th

What does all this mean? I’m taking a look at this and I’m overall pretty impressed. 3 out of 4 playoff teams correct, 3 teams within 1 spot of their final finish, 4 more within 2 spots.  I think some of the “movement” from my projections could be explained by some of the big trades. The “buyers” this year with significant investment in selling pieces of next year’s  draft picks were Dutch Mafia, The Good Team, Bad Mamma Jammas, and Vote Dem – all 4 improved from their average projected finish. The “sellers” this year were Hurricane Ditka, Bacon Factory, Apocalyptic Apostles, and Cold Jerky all finished lower than their projected finish.  This is what was somewhat surprising. Lumpalicious finished better than I would have thought, but I had him as a playoff team so I don’t feel too bad about that. Bad Mamma Jammas made a big move for Foster, which has certainly helped, but he’s also made a lot of other wise moves and some of the draft picks have paid off handsomely. This is the biggest upward move. The Good Team was also a buyer and basically bought an entirely new team with his 2 trades. The finish similarly improved prospects but it ended up as too little too late. On the flip side, Hurricane Ditka sold off Foster and another trade to the Good Team to take a talented team with some early season bad luck to a bottom of the league finish. I think all of these big movers can be explained by circumstances and the trades. The only outlier / bad call on my part was Operation Domination. I thought this was a playoff team and when OD got Charles and unloaded Turner, I thought it was game over. But Brees has put up a couple bad games and Murray’s been injured half the year and a lot of those WR bets didn’t pay off. I’m comfortable with saying, I was wrong about my greatest rival – he was worse than I expected. Just remember, OD:

Some of the specifics I put in my draft review / season preview article to note (quotes in italics):

Atomic Peckers: “There was a joke about the best of the 2000’s roster, but I’m a big fan here. Now, when analyzing I’m making a few assumptions and I’m refusing to factor in the fact that you will absolutely piss away a few wins with your management style. This is based on potential.

Like: McCoy – the more I examine the top 3 RBs, the more I’m convinced it’s McCoy who will win the fantasy crown. Peterson is Superman and if he comes back to 85% AP by week 6, you’re set up.

Dislike: WR3…Santonio Holmes?

Best Pick: Love the Garcon pick in the 7th

Biggest Reach: gotta be Holmes in the 8th

Key – Peyton Manning – I am a believer in Manning. Forget the haters, Manning will be back to doing his thing. Maybe the numbers won’t be top 5 worthy, but he’s not going to lose you anything. Assuming AP comes back strong, Manning will determine where this team winds up. But right now – start thinking about endorsement deals.”

This is called absolutely nailing it…too bad McCoy being hurt may be your downfall

Operation Domination: “Like: I like the passing game – I think it could be the strength of the team with Brees, Decker, Lloyd, Bowe and Pettigrew. Bowe was great value and is your WR3…pretty good. I think you’ve honestly got 3 WR2’s on this team, with Lloyd being a potential WR1 or WR3…if that makes sense.

Dislike: I have some questions at running back with this team (I know, rich coming from me). Can Murray carry the load all year? Is Turner slowing down or done? Is there enough depth to cover if these guys don’t make the grade?”

Sounds like I was too excited about those WRs…

Lumpalicious: “Like: A-Rod…duh. I love the RB depth (Kevin Smith, Ridley, Stewart to go with the oft-injured Mathews) and I’m a fan of having Colston as your WR3.

Dislike: Witten…I know he’s your guy but that’s a very serious injury he’s dealing with – dude could die. Also, I’m not sold on Vincent Jackson at all.

Best Pick: Colston in the 5th – he’s the #2 option in a top 3 offense

Biggest Reach: Vincent Jackson in the 4th…yeah, don’t like it

Key: Can you make the right choices early for RB2 to cover for Mathews now…and then do it again when Mathews goes down during the year?”

Pretty good analysis, although I seem to be somewhat on the wrong side of Vincent Jackson.

Hurricane Ditka: “Like: I like the running backs – who wouldn’t? Arian Foster and Fred Jackson make up the best backfield in the league to start the year. Having Doug Martin is a luxury and is valuable backup or trade chip. Ryan Williams may do something, may not, who knows

Dislike: Not getting Tate as described above. I also don’t like the QB situation. Rivers had a bad year last year and I don’t know that I love the situation this year. Big Ben is fighting a torn rotator cuff and a shaky offensive line with a compromised running game. I’m not sure you’ll get what you need from the QB spot.

Best Pick – Muscle Hamster in the 5th

Biggest Reach – Dez Bryant in the 4th

Key: If Fred Jackson can stay healthy, this backfield can carry you far – with or without the rest of the team.”

Think about this team staying the course with Foster and Doug Martin – I’ve seen a lot of rankings with them in the top 3 right now. Pretty good analysis me thinks.

Dutch Mafia: “Like: AJ Green even if he was taken higher than predicted – he wouldn’t come back to you. Taking Jordy right before me was expected and solid in the 4th. Love the value of Gates – big year out of him.

Dislike: Bradshaw in the 3rd – I think you’ll regret that. The Giants have one of the worst running games in the league and Bradshaw has bad feet (I know he’s a warrior, but I’ve avoided him like the plague).

Best Pick: Gotta go Gates in the 5th

Key: I’m going to say Romo. I could see him being QB5 or QB15 or QB injured. Lots of drama in Dallas this year.”

Way wrong on Gates. Right on everything else.

Those were the interesting ones. As for the Apostles, it was a tough year really. I managed to trade for CJ Spiller, only to see him injured for a couple weeks and lose the opportunity to take over the timeshare. I traded for Jamaal Charles at the absolute worst time, then traded him in my sell off to watch him perform well. I traded my #1, #2, #3, and #4 WRs this year (Nicks, Antonio Brown, Torrey Smith, Randall Cobb – no one wanted Lance Moore) but still managed to find some decent receiver talent to plug and play. Graham got hurt and didn’t pay 2nd round money. Stafford was quickly benched for RG3, so I really did have that bust covered pretty well until I made the decision to invest in next season, but wow, what a bust Stafford was. Crazy thing is, he’s likely to set a record for pass attempts in a season and he’s still going to be a bust. This is not a good qb – he will not be an apostle again. It really all comes back to the backfield and it started off horrible and just never established itself. Here’s my stable of nags:

  • Cedric Benson (5th rounder) – Weekly points of 1, 11, 11, 10, 4 and put on IR
  • Peyton Hillis (8th rounder) – Weekly points of 1, 5, 1 and high ankle sprain out for most of year (and off my team), started in week 1, that’s it
  • Jonathon Dwyer (drafted late) – 5, 3, -3, dropped when hurt, missed his 2 good games…
  • CJ Spiller (traded for week 2) – Weekly points of 30, 11, 0, 16, 10, 9, 13, 12, 12, 13, 4
  • Andre Brown (FA pickup week 3) – 26, 1, 0 – hurt and dropped, picked up by Dutch, traded back to me, scores 14, bye week, 12 on my bench but he was hurt and was put on IR
  • Ryan Williams (FA pickup week 4) – 2, 3 – hurt and dropped, put on IR
  • Vick Ballard (drafted late) – never played for me, dropped week 2
  • Jahvid Best (FA pickup week 6) – never played at all, wasted FAAB, dropped week 7
  • Bilal Powell (FA pickup week 6) – never played for me, 1 point week 6, dropped week 7
  • Alex Green (FA pickup week 6) – Weekly points of 6, 5, 7, 7, 0, 5
  • Jamaal Charles (traded for in week 7) – Weekly points of bye week, 0 (against the freakin Raiders), 5, traded away
  • Mark Ingram (FA pickup week 11) – Weekly points of 12 (bench), 2, 7, 6
  • Rashad Jennings (FA pickup week 11) – Weekly points of 0 – injured and dropped, picked back up, weekly points of 2, injured and dropped again. Fool me twice shame on me.
  • Jalene Parmele (FA pickup week 12) – Weekly points of 4, injured, put on IR

That’s 14 RBs on my roster at one point or another and 11 of them recorded at least 1 start. A lot of those guys were hurt at some point & some wound up on the IR list. You want to make an argument that Spiller was worth it? Besides the week of 30, there isn’t a great game in there but I respect the somewhat consistent floor (week 14 not withstanding). Holding on to Charles would have helped? Sure, but not where I needed it. A goose egg against the raiders and a paltry 5 points doesn’t pay the bills, especially when Randall Cobb took off on OD’s squad, becoming the best player in that trade.

At the end of the day, the 1 point loss against BMJ (stat correction and the Cutty sack) really hurt the outlook and laying two consecutive eggs against the ‘Canes and Cold Jerky sealed the deal for this team. I am very excited for next year though as I should be able to cobble together a respectable lineup.

Now, for the total implausible, never would happen even if I had a crystal ball, they’re all going to laugh at you Dream Draft Team based on total hindsight. The rules? Draft from my #9 spot and can only take guys lower than where they were drafted. Here’s my team:

1st Round, 9th overall – AJ Green, drafted 2nd round, 15th overall (not even on my radar)

2nd Round, 4th pick – Adrian Peterson, drafted 2nd round 9th pick (sure, I flirted with it, but I didn’t have the cajones – hats off to Peckers)

3rd Round, 9th pick – Victor Cruz, drafted 4th round 1st pick (I picked the wrong Giant)

4th Round, 4th pick – Doug Martin (I actually thought about this but thought he’d last…ugh)

5th round, 9th pick – Demaryius Thomas (I was wrong to not target him anywhere)

6th round, 4th pick – Tony Gonzalez (No one has ever lost money on drafting this guy)

7th round, 9th pick – RG3 (yeah, I drafted him in the 9th, but I’ll step it up)

8th round, 4th pick – CJ Spiller (He would have been a great RB3)

9th round, 9th pick – Andrew Luck (Pairs well with RG3)

10th round, 4th pick – Randall Cobb (yep, keeping him – I had it working in rounds 9 & 10…)

11th round – Houston D (keeping them as well, this has been a great play almost all year)

12th round – Alfred Morris (seriously, OD got this guy in the 13th round)

13th round – Greg the Leg! (so I could say I drafted this guy before anyone heard of him)

14th & 15th rounds – random bears players so they get drafted somewhere…we’ll say Kyle Adams and Eric Weems

This draft would give me the #1 and 9 QBs, the #3, 5, 6, and 12 WRs, the #1, 3, 10, and 11 RBs and the #2 TE. With that team…I might have a shot at beating those playoff teams…

How about you, gamers? Where did you go right? Or wrong? Who surprised you or disappointed you to the verge of tears? The floor is yours.

Week 13 Preview – Playoffs or bust

28 Nov

Week 13 Preview

There’s a lot at stake in week 13. The playoff picture is finally coming into focus with 5 teams realistically competing for the remaining 3 playoff spots with Lumpalicious having already secured a position. One more win will lock the Lumps into the number 1 seed. For the leaders it’s pretty simple. Continue to win and you’re in. The Peckers can lock this week with a win, no help needed. BMJ or Dutch Mafia can lock with a win and losses by both Ca$h Money and Hurricane Ditka. Ca$h can’t lock this week, but controls his own destiny if he wins out and in the process puts a 6th loss on Dutch Mafia thus forcing a points tie-breaker. This will be my most watched race (after my own). Hurricane Ditka is the longshot needing both to win out and getting some major help (outlined below) since a points tiebreaker is out of reach.

Win out AND;

BMJ or DM to lose two AND Ca$h Money to lose one

or BMJ AND DM to lose two

or DM lose AND Ca$h Money/DM tie in week 14

Game Previews

GOTW #1

Atomic Peckers vs. Hurricane Ditka

There are major playoff implications at stake for both squads in this GOTW. While securing a playoff berth seems to be more of a formality than anything for the Peckers, Hurricane Ditka is scratching and clawing to stay alive in the hunt. The Peckers trot out the name brand lineup with Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, and Adrian Peterson. At first blush this looks like a one-sided affair, but I think there is upset potential here. None of the Pecker receivers have been particularly effective lately and the lack of a backup for Shady McCoy leaves a gaping hole on the Pecker roster. If Hurricane Ditka can conjure some more Doug Martin and Colin Kaepernick magic this weekend then we might just add a little more intrigue to the playoff picture…but I don’t think so…Peckers by 15.

Dutch Mafia vs. Dead Meat 1

Dutch Mafia is steaming coming off a tough loss last week against Bad Mamma Jammas. The playoff hopes are still burning brightly, but this week’s opponent is not one to take lightly. Matt Schaub has come on lately with the Texans defense suddenly floundering and Ray Rice is always dangerous. Both sides have plus matchups this weekend especially Matty Ice taking on the Saints in a Thursday night shootout. I would like to say that this one stays close, but I actually think 90 points is a low water mark for Dutch Mafia and Dead Meat will have trouble matching that. Dutch Mafia moves one step closer to punching the playoff ticket.

Apocalyptic Apostles vs. Vote Dem

This one is for pride and a shot to get into the consolation bracket. It’s been a disappointing season for both clubs as key players struggle at crucial points of the season. Both teams have some explosive playmakers, most notably Calvin Johnson, C.J. Spiller, and Trent Richardson. The Apostles are going to be leaning heavily on Detroit this weekend and Matthew Stafford’s arm. You know you’re in a pickle if that’s the plan. Vote Dem on the other hand has some playmakers at every level (and finally got on the Marcel Reese bandwagon). I think Eli is over the “tired arm” and going against a bottom feeder pass defense. Given all the plus matchups I think Vote Dem wins this one rather easily and keeps some incredibly slim playoff hopes alive.

GOTW #2

Lumpalicious vs. OD

This one isn’t a GOTW due to the matchup or playoff implications since Lumpalicious has already locked up a spot. This GOTW is all about records – namely single season records for best record, most points, and most 100-point games. Lumpalicious is in line to make a run at all three. The current single season record for wins is 12-2 set by Cold Jerky in 2011. Most points 1588 by Operation Domination in 2007. Most 100-point games at 10 by Bad Mamma Jammas in 2007. The record for most points will be the most difficult to attain since it will require an average of 131 points scored over the last two weeks. Lumpalicious has some tough matchups this week which could derail a chance at all three. I’m picking Operation Domination in the upset of the week in a close one.

Bad Mamma Jammas vs. Cold Jerky

This game boasts the largest point spread of the week as Bad Mamma Jammas come in hot off a 146 point outing against Dutch Mafia. Cold Jerky has had a very up and down season and the DeSean Jackson isn’t going to help matters much. This week is a mismatch and I don’t expect this one to go much different than advertised. The biggest story from this matchup will be whether or not BMJ can stay on track to tie the record for most 100-point games along with Lumpalicious.

Dead Meat 2 vs. Ca$h Money

If Ca$h is going to make the playoffs this is one he will have to have. Dead Meat 2 has been reeling as of late so it’s for Ca$h to take care of business. Ca$h will once again have a questionable Percy Harvin and he draws some tougher matchups for CJ2K and Brandon Marshall. Even so Dead Meat 2 doesn’t have much to counter back with even worse matchups for Shonn Greene, Steven Jackson, and Sidney Rice. There’s always the possibility this could be a close one, but I think Ca$h stays alive for a playoff berth.

Ginger of the Week

Laura Prepon of That 70’s Show fame and also nominated as one of the top 13 sexiest female scientologists.

Week 12 Recap – It’s go time

27 Nov

Game Recaps

Lumpalicious (10-2) vs. Atomic Peckers (8-4) – 117-62

12 weeks into the season and I’m still amazed that Lumpalicious is pulling productive players off the waiver wire. The eye for talent and willingness to take a chance panned out with Justin Blackmon’s 13 points this week. It’s definitely one of the reason’s the Lumps are coasting into the playoffs. On the other side of the ball, the Peckers have put things on full on cruise control. Things might look like a lock, but I would still put your best foot forward until that asterisk is on the board. I do like that Pierre Garcon looks like he is finally back and if Gronk can heal quickly he may still be an asset in week 15 or 16.

 Dutch Mafia (7-5) vs. Bad Mamma Jammas (7-5) – 146-93

In two meetings this year, Bad Mamma Jammas has defeated Dutch Mafia with an average margin of victory of 49 points. This is quite misleading as Dutch Mafia was without a couple of studs in the first matchup and left some much needed points on the bench in the other. Losing while scoring 93 and 91 points in each of those games emphasizes how difficult it will be to win in the playoffs this season.

Ca$h Money (6-6) vs. Vote Dem (5-7) – 108-96

This was the swing game of the week. Both teams were desperate for a win to stay in the hunt. Megatron and T-Rich continue to pay dividends for Vote Dem, but the lack of a number two running back looks like it might have cost VD a shot at the playoffs. Ca$h Money gets back to .500 for the second time this year. The move for RGIII is the key to making a late season run. As the schedule stands right now, Ca$h can make the playoffs by winning out and getting the tie-breaker over Dutch Mafia (who he plays in the pivotal rivalry week).

Apocalyptic Apostles (4-8) vs. The Good Team (5-7) – 70-76

This was a case of uninspired football by the Apostles as team while Mr. Roboto keeps a nice little win streak going.

Cold Jerky (5-7) vs. Dead Meat 2 (5-7) – 88-72

The roller coaster season continues for Cold Jerky going from a 5-game losing streak to winning 4 of the last 5. Getting to the consolation bracket would be a nice achievement as the Jerks continue to get past an unlucky streak of injuries but still finds some nice talent on the bench. If Greg Jennings can get back on the field it would be a nice boost.

Hurricane Ditka (6-6) vs. Operation Dominaion (4-8) – 93-85

Usually we’re talking about OD come this time of year, but this week’s loss drops OD to the tier of irrelevance (Sorry, but you’ve already got your 3 championships so don’t take it too hard). This year’s drama belongs to Hurricane Ditka. Left for dead weeks ago, Hurricane Ditka has now moved into 6th place overall. It could be the story of the year going from sell-off to playoff dark horse. While this would be amazing it still falls into the realm of improbable. With the current points disadvantage, Ditka will need to win out and get a lot of help. It would take a combination of at least two of the following scenarios: Bad Mamma Jammas loses two in a row, Dutch Mafia drops his remaining two, or Ca$h Money drops one game. We’ll see what happens.

The resurgence continues…

Week 12 All-NGC Team

QB – Tom Brady – 38 – Bad Mamma Jammas

WR – Andre Johnson – 25 – Lumpalicious

WR – Dez Bryant – 25 – Bad Mamma Jammas

WR – Calvin Johnson – 22 – Vote Dem

RB – Arian Foster – 25 – Bad Mamma Jammas

RB – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 20 – Cold Jerky

TE – Owen Daniels – 8 – The Good Team

K – Shayne Graham – 11 – Ca$h Money

DEF – New England – 25 – Lumpalicious

Week 12 Power of Light Rankings

  1. Lumpalicious (10-2) – On track for a record setting season.
  2. Bad Mamma Jammas (7-5) – Starting to finally click.
  3. Atomic Peckers (8-4) – About time to take things off cruise control.
  4. Ca$h Money (6-6) – Up off the mat for the second time this season.
  5. Dutch Mafia (7-5) – Two weeks to take care of business.
  6. Operation Domination (4-8) – A disappointing season to say the least.
  7. Vote Dem (5-7) – It’s going to take a lot to get back in it.
  8. The Good Team (5-7) – A good win nonetheless.
  9. Cold Jerky (5-7) – Injuries finally catching up.
  10. Hurricane Ditka (6-6) – Playoff hopes?
  11. Apocalyptic Apostles (4-8) – Sad, just sad.
  12. Bacon Factory (5-7) – The roster sure looks like it could perform better.

 

Week 10 Recap – Ugly all around

14 Nov

This was probably one of the sloppiest weeks of fantasy football we have had thus far. I’m not sure how much of this had to do with the Yahoo! site outage this weekend, but there were multiple lineups that either left open roster spots or kept their studs on the bench. Let’s try to clean it up a little bit going forward. Now on to the games.

Game Recaps

Lumpalicious (8-2) vs. Operation Domination (4-6) – 92-77

Earlier in the year this would have had the makings of a playoff preview, but it turned out to be a passing of the torch game. Demarco Murray’s foot injury has plagued this backfield and losing Alfred Morris to a bye was no help whatsoever. The entire week fell on Drew Brees’ shoulders to win and even with a strong performance against the Falcons it was just too much to overcome against a rolling Lumpalicous squad. Lumpalicious didn’t miss a beat with bye week sub Ryan Fitzpatrick. Lumpalicious sports one of the only “homegrown” lineups in the playoff hunt as the remaining contenders traded their draft picks and souls for a shot at fantasy glory.

Dutch Mafia (6-4) vs. Atomic Peckers (7-3) – 152-101

The Dutch have now placed themselves squarely in the championship discussion as Graham puts up numbers worthy of a first round pick and Nicks proves to be serviceable for this week. Dutch Mafia has made the right moves when it mattered and slides into 4th place in the standings. This weekend’s scoring explosion would have been enough to win even if Peck had bothered to set a full lineup. I guess when you go into the week with only 2 losses there isn’t much motivation to actually worry about filling bye weeks and I’m sure Gronk could use the extra rest. Still, the Peckers score over 100 points even with the two goose eggs. Just think what kind of team this would be at full strength.

Bad Mamma Jammas (6-4) vs. Bacon Factory (4-6) – 125-60

BMJ = Good. Bacon Factory = Bad. Move along.

Apocalyptic Apostles (4-6) vs. Ca$h Money (5-5) – 100-73

Oops. This is the type of loss that can ruin playoff aspirations. Ca$h Money came in riding a three game win streak which was halted as Matthew Stafford finally returned to form and Vick finally succumbed to injury. This is reason number one why you can’t take any week or team for granted. Leaving a resurgent Chris Johnson on the bench certainly didn’t help either. The Apostles continue to extract every ounce of talent out of this lineup. Sure some of the name guys have left, but the remaining players are the type of blue collar contributors that make this a dangerous opponent. I’ll forgive benching the Texans against the Bears since none of us really want to root against our real life interests. This team only gets better with Spiller again assuming the full-time role in Buffalo.

Vote Dem (5-5) vs. Cold Jerky (3-7) – 96-60

Eli Manning is looking like a dumpster fire right now. Luckily Vote Dem is bailed out by huge days from Tony Gonzalez and Calvin Johnson (it also hopes to be playing the Jerks). An early season favorite, Vote Dem has struggled as of late and now falls a game back in the playoff race. Bye weeks continue to be an issue with Eli and Cruz taking the week off (though both could definitely use it), but having Hurricane Ditka up next can solve that conundrum.

The Good Team (3-7) vs. Hurricane Ditka (4-6) – 51-81

I guess someone had to win this one which is very disappointing for Hurricane Ditka as they attempt to race to the bottom of the standings. If you really want the number one pick you’ll have to do better (worse?) than that. Maybe try benching Doug Martin in addition to your defense.

You know who’s worth a 1st round pick…this guy.

Week 10 All-NGC Team

QB – Matt Ryan – 38 – Dutch Mafia

WR – Calvin Johnson – 30 – Vote Dem – Finally

WR – Torrey Smith – 18 – Dutch Mafia

WR – Golden Tate – 17 – Atomic Peckers – Really, Peck?

RB – Adrian Peterson – 32 – Atomic Peckers

RB – Fred Jackson – 20 – Hurricane Ditka – Add this production onto C.J. Spiller’s ridiculous YPC average going forward and you have a top-5 back.

TE – Jimmy Graham – 28 – Dutch Mafia

K – Blair Walsh – 15 – Lumpalicious

DEF – Denver – 26 – Dutch Mafia

Week 10 Power of Light Rankings

  1. Lumpalicious (8-2) – Firmly in control. One of three teams to break 1,000 points on the season.
  2. Atomic Peckers (7-3) – I’m still amazed you can score 100 points without setting a lineup.
  3. Bad Mamma Jammas (6-4) – The points are just as important as the wins since this one could come down to a tie-breaker
  4. Dutch Mafia (6-4) – Big points and a Ca$h Money loss helps the Dutch slide up the rankings.
  5. Operation Domination (4-6) – The slide continues.
  6. Ca$h Money (5-5) – One more of these losses and we’re looking at a TKO.
  7. Vote Dem (5-5) – Maybe a little run here gets you back in the hunt.
  8. Apocalyptic Apostles (4-6) – Do you relish the spoiler role or reject it?
  9. Hurricane Ditka (4-6) – Just so you know, it’s customary to activate your defense after you pick them up.
  10. Cold Jerky (3-7) – Big letdown after last week’s upset.
  11. From Parts Unknown (3-7) – And that should about do it for this year.
  12. Bacon Factory (5-5) – Not a good effort. Not at all.

Week 9 Recap – Finally finished counting Doug Martin’s points

9 Nov

Game Recaps

Lumpalicious (7-2) vs. Vote Dem (4-5) – 102-90

Vote Dem is in trouble now having last his last two and falling below .500 for the first time this year. Early season expectations were high, but injuries and a regression of Eli Manning have cost this team dearly. There is still hope as the Bears D continues to build a nice floor for the team and Calvin Johnson is turning the corner (though he is nicked up as well). Lumpalicious on the other hand continues to roll right along. The 7-2 record should put this team in a virtual lock for the playoffs and it is time for this team to start planning for the long-term. The biggest surprise for Lumpalicious has been the continued high level of play from his WR’s. Perennial whack-a-mole Vincent Jackson has been surprisingly consistent as Freeman’s number one target and is on pace for 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns. Picking up the perennially underrated Marques Colston has been another boon for the offense. RB will be a question mark as Ryan Mathews has failed to live up to expectations as a potential top-10 talent in a high volume role. Instead he’s splitting time with Jackie Battle and Ronnie Brown.

Dutch Mafia (5-4) vs. Atomic Peckers (7-2) – 85-128

Overall Dutch Mafia was very disappointing this week. The Jordy Nelson game-time decision/ankle roll hurt the Dutch, but not as much as Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning, and Golden Tate!?!? going off this week. I really think Peck knows something the rest of us don’t when it comes to putting in the right WR3. I’m very interested to see if he can carry it through to the end. There is certainly enough talent at the other roster spots to offset any deficiency. Better yet I would like to see him just empty the slot for the rest of the year.

Bad Mamma Jammas (5-4) vs. Ca$h Money (5-4) – 106-110

This turned out to be the game of the week. Ca$h Money flew out to a quick lead on the backs of Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Chris “One good run” Johnson. It was truly enough to make it look like this one would be over early, but not so fast my friend. Bad Mamma Jammas chipped away at the lead 1 and 2 points at a time while Ca$h’s Minnesota Viking investment came up short. This left a 14 point deficit for Sunday night with Julio Jones and Matt Bryant against Michael Turner. The field goal fest and a couple of long passes to Jones eventually gave BMJ a one point lead until Turner ripped off a long run (as expected he was caught from behind) and eventual score (from 5 yards out which is more his style). A few more long Jones passes and a couple Bryant field goals and here we were 3 points down with 5 minutes left in the game. Falcons moved the ball into field goal range through passing and a tie seemed almost inevitable, but then a swing pass to Jacquizz Rodgers for a 1st down and a couple chances for Turner to get a few yards, reach 100, and get the 2 point yardage bonus for the lock. A crazy Sunday if there ever was one and now a crazy season with Ca$h Money moving up into the 4th playoff slot.

Operation Domination (4-5) vs. Bacon Factory (5-4) – 72-89

Plenty of single digit fantasy performances to go around in this one. If not for some strong play from the San Diego defense on one side and Randall Cobb on the other we could have been looking at some sort of 75-65 game. Things have really started to go downhill for Operation Domination. Coincidentally it was the trade for Jamaal Charles that seems to have cemented the doom for OD as Decker has gone off and Michael Turner has been at least better than J-Mail from a consistently standpoint. Another good reason not to judge a trade too soon as it really looks like that one is going Ca$h Money’s way. There is now the very strong possibility a fresh champ will be crowned.

Apocalyptic Apostles (3-6) vs. Hurricane Ditka (3-6) – 71-133

Somebody needs to tell Doug Martin that his fantasy team has mailed it in this season. The Muscle Hamster has single-handedly lifted the ‘Canes into a two-game winning streak. There may not be a better back to own for the rest of the season than Doug Martin. The 58 points that Doug Martin put up this week ranks 3rd overall in all-time fantasy scoring. You’ll definitely see this guy in the front half of fantasy drafts next season. There’s nothing to say about the Apostles other than they have been victimized by huge outputs the last two weeks from a couple of teams that were supposed to be racing to the bottom. Those two losses cost the Apostles the season and necessitated entering into rebuilding mode.

The Good Team (3-6) vs. Cold Jerky (3-6) – 91-101

The Raiders are not good this year and that usually bodes well for the passing game, but 40 points is some serious output from Carson Palmer. Carson has quietly had a very nice fantasy season in keeping pace with guys like Eli and Stafford while moving ahead of the much higher drafted Michael Vick, Cam Newton, and Tony Romo in overall fantasy points. A soft second half schedule should keep that ball rolling. Unfortunately, Palmer’s huge game put the dagger in the heart of the Good Team. The roster for the Good Team actually came together as a competitive squad albeit about a week too late.

The Raiders defense; assisting both Doug Martin and Carson Palmer have semi-useful fantasy days.

Week 9 All-NGC Team

QB – Carson Palmer – 40 – Cold Jerky

WR – Brandon Marshall – 32 – Ca$h Money

WR – Eric Decker – 21 – Ca$h Money

WR – DeSean Jackson – 18 – Cold Jerky

RB – Muscle Hamster – 58 – Hurricane Ditka

RB – Adrian Peterson – 38 – Atomic Peckers

TE – Owen Daniels – 12 – From Parts Unknown

K – Robbie Gould – 16 – Hurricane Ditka

DEF – Chicago – 27 – Vote Dem

Week 9 Power of Light Rankings

  1. Lumpalicious (7-2) – This looks like it will finally be the year for the Lumps.
  2. Atomic Peckers (7-2) – The weekly output of this team continues to amaze me, but that’s what happens with two of the top-5 RB’s.
  3. Bad Mamma Jammas (5-4) – There is no room for moral victories even with a solid output in a losing effort.
  4. Operation Domination (4-5) – That was just ugly, but still only one game out of the hunt.
  5. Ca$h Money (5-4) – Ca$h makes the biggest jump in the rankings moving up from 8th on another strong WR performance.
  6. Vote Dem (4-5) – Playoff hopes slipping. This week will be a must win with Cruz/Manning hitting the bye next week.
  7. Dutch Mafia (5-4) – Two weeks without Jordy and two weeks against the Peckers. This is not good.
  8. Cold Jerky (3-6) – It’s going to take some more Carson Palmer magic to play spoiler.
  9. From Parts Unknown (3-6) – There was actually a good team here and only two games back for a playoff spot may have been improbable, but not necessarily impossible.
  10. Apocalyptic Apostles (3-6) – The funny thing is that there is still a somewhat competitive team here even after the sell off.
  11. Hurricane Ditka (3-6) – Too bad it’s not a keeper league because that Doug Martin kid is pretty good. Maybe you can pick him up again next year (though it won’t be in the 4th round and maybe not even the 4th pick).
  12. Bacon Factory (5-4) – Last place in scoring, number 6 in the standings.

Week 9 Preview – The Office Edition

4 Nov

Last year we put in a rule that you could trade draft picks for players. We got exactly 2 trades involving picks. One was Antonio Gates, a guy that was battling a foot injury all year and was basically half the man he used to be, for a 7th rounder. The other was a swap of Nicks/Bowe for some lower picks. That was it. We had put in a rule – a maximum of 2 trades involving draft picks, buying or selling. Meaning, only 2 trades total, regardless of whether you were “buying” or “selling” draft picks to make a trade happen. Last year, that rule seemed laughable since no one was doing anything with this new rule. This year, well, it makes a lot of sense. Here’s an update on who can and who can’t make more trades before the deadline:

2 Trades on the books – no more draft pick trades: Cold Jerky (seller), Hurricane Ditka (seller), Good Team (buyer), Vote Dem (buyer)

1 Trade on the books – one more possible: Apocalyptic Apostles (seller), Ca$h Money (buyer), Bacon Factory (seller), Dutch Mafia (buyer), Bad Mamma Jammas (buyer), Lumpalicious (opportunist)

0 Trades on the books – two more possible: Atomic Peckers, Operation Domination

So, that’s really pretty interesting. Only 2 teams haven’t made a trade involving a draft pick – the Peckers, a 6-2 favorite who likely believes he can make a go without help, and a 3 time champion who apparently thinks this season isn’t worth getting in the scrum for and would rather play it out straight up. Otherwise, we’ve really seen this new tool take off this year. As always, I’m willing to discuss tweaks in the offseason (restriction on what week you can start using picks?) but I truly believe this is an interesting piece of the puzzle here. By my count, we could have a maximum of only 5 more moves involving traded picks if everyone maxed out and while I don’t see it getting there, I do think we’ll see maybe 2 more.

Let me also say this – I’ve been to the playoffs 4 times and I have no championships – I’d give up a high draft pick to put myself in position to get one, no question. Yes, there is a risk of making a move and having it not pay off and maybe the market will respond to this point in future years. But, think about it this way, even if you’ve given up a high pick or two does not mean that you won’t have a good team next year, it just means you’ll need to build your team differently. Plus, just because you have a high extra pick or two doesn’t mean you’re automatically in the playoffs. This fantasy game is a funny thing.

I may have mentioned it but in another league, I sold off McCoy and Marshall for a 2 and a 3 because I was 2-4 and my team continued to disappoint. Now I’m sitting at 4-4 with a legit shot at winning this week and the last place team on my schedule next week…I could be looking at a 6-4 squad right in the thick of it without my two best players. Was I stupid to sell? Maybe, but I did what I thought was right at the time. At the end of the day – this is all for fun, so hopefully this twist has helped make it a little more fun for everyone.

Besides the top two teams, Lumpalicious and Atomic Peckers, I think we can all agree this thing is wide open. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the standings. The next 6 teams are all within a game of a playoff spot and the newly pumped up Good Team and the Apostles are down but not mathematically out of it. That’s 8 out of 12 with a good shot and another 2 teams still clinging to some hope of a miracle run. The only ones out of it are Cold Jerky and the ‘Canes…and the Jerks knocked out the Apostles last week by starting the entire SF team.

We’ll probably get into some schedule analysis next week as 6 weeks remaining is just too much to worry about but consider this: The top 8 teams all play each other this weekend – no one gets a free pass. The 3-8 places going into this week could completely jumble depending on what happens this week and we could be looking at a whole new world by Tuesday morning. Because we have such a compelling lineup this weekend, I’m not giving a game of the week as you could argue there are 4 games of the week. To honor The Office’s last season, we’re theming the games with the best characters from the show. Let’s get into it:

Interesting Game #1 – The Michael Scott Game. Steve Carell is extremely funny and this show really helped him go mainstream. I remember watching Steven vs. Stephen on Daily show with Carell and Colbert and they’ve both done very well for themselves.

Lumpalicious (6-2) vs. Vote Dem (4-4) Lumpalicious leads series 4-2

The current #1 vs. the #6 ranked team provides us with an excellent first go at this crazy schedule. A few weeks ago, I gave Vote Dem the kiss of death by proclaiming him the front runner. Since then, Eli has been pedestrian and MJD has literally turned into a pedestrian…albeit a gimpy one. Not protecting MJD with Jennings and not going after him with a pocket full of shells in FAAB money looked like the death kill. We’ll see how worth it Jonathan Stewart was and if Jeremy Maclin in the matchups of all matchups comes back to bite you in the ass. I don’t know if I agree with Mike Williams over James Jones or carrying 2 kickers – but this is a brave new world. Mathews started the week off with a lackluster 6 points and it makes me want to pick the Demers. I think Vote Dem comes to their senses and starts James Jones, and Eli to Cruz comes back for a 2 TD game – advantage Vote Dem.

Interesting Game #2 – The Dwight Shrute Game. Remembering how much I really liked this show, I remember thinking how brilliant they got Dwight’s character. Maybe we don’t know anyone this extreme at our workplaces, but I’ll bet you we have someone who comes annoyingly close. The Dwight-Jim battles are what made this show successful.

Dutch Mafia (5-3) vs. Atomic Peckers (6-2) Dutch Mafia leads series 4-3

By the records, this would be the game of the week, and this game is a straight up projected tie (assuming Peckers start Golden Tate and counting the +1 over projection Gates has, it’s 95-95). So, it all comes down to matchups. I actually like Manning over Ryan and I like McCoy then Forte then AP then Bradshaw so advantage to the Peckers. However, I like AJ then Steve Smith then Titus then Wayne then Smith then Tate. So, slight advantage back to DM. Believe it or not, I think that the GB defense is going to win this game because Arizona’s offense is one of those gift matchups for a team defense and 14 projected points (wow) actually seems reasonable and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t surpassed. Not often I pick a game on defense, but there it is, Peckers continue dominance to go 7-2.

Interesting Game #3 – The Kevin Malone Game. I think Kevin is my favorite supporting role in the show. No one does stupid quite as well as Kevin Malone. My favorite is when the new HR person starts and thinks kevin is mentally, well, slow…

Bad Mamma Jammas (5-3) vs. Ca$h Money (4-4) BMJ leads 4-3

I tend to think that this is the most intriguing game on the schedule this week and I’ll tell you why. BMJ is focused on the playoff hunt. Trading, per usual, has been a cornerstone of this franchise and they simply do not take any week for granted. That being said, this is the toughest bye week for this team as Tom Brady and Hernandez are sipping Mai Tai’s. Btw, here’s the fun thing about this BMJ squad – take a look at the bench: Not counting the bye week guys, there’s Dez Bryant, Reggie Bush, Ben Tate (handcuff), and Rashad Jennings. Those are all guys that could be starting on someone’s roster – that’s the way to build a team. Filling the Brady/Hernandez slots are Freeman and Jared Cook…only about 20 cents on the dollar there. This is why the BMJ are ripe for the picking this week, despite the obscene matchup for Arian Foster. Ca$h money counters with, imo anyway, one of the best if not the best WR corps with newly acquired RG3 and Heath Miller. Basically, Ca$h needs to win the QB, WR/TE game by more than he’ll lose the RB game, assuming the K/DEF is a wash. I’m going to go ahead and say that yes, indeed, Ca$h Money pulls this one out and vaults into a 3rd place tie at 5-4.

Kind of interesting game – Jim Halpert Game. In many ways, this is Jim’s show. The central romance of the show is Jim. The “career growth” of the show is Jim. The hijinx on the show center around Jim and Dwight. I know most will think this is Michael Scott’s show – but it’s really Jim’s. And well, in many ways, this league is Operation Domination’s… I also picked this picture because I know Bacon likes this episode – Bears, Beets, Battlestar Gallactica

Operation Domination (4-4) vs. Bacon Factory (4-4) Bacon leads 4-2

So, this one isn’t maybe as interesting as the others as these two teams seem kinda…well, like longshots at this point. Look, the Bacon Factory sold off pieces to the Good Team…which was somewhat unexpected and now seems kind of odd given the records of those two teams, but the point is, it was a white flag moment. OD just seems like a mess. With more talented rosters out there competing for the same spot, I’m starting to believe this OD squad is not going to make a run. What does that mean? Well, we’ll finally have a 3rd champion in this league as Cold Jerky is already out of it. As far as this matchup goes, the Bacon Factory is saying “thank you Kansas City offense for sucking so hard” as the SD defense put up a glittering 25 and held Dwayne “I can’t believe you didn’t trade me” Bowe to 4 points. Update the projection at OD 87 to BF 103. While I don’t see a lot of gamebreakers on either team this week, I like Newton to exceed the 19 projected against that awful Washington defense. Look for Bacon to build a big enough lead in on Sunday and resist the Brees on MNF. Bacon wins a tough one.

Desperation game or Futility game of the week #1 – Toby Flenderson Game. Toby’s character is brilliant in its simplicity. First of all, he’s the HR guy, which just has to be an awful job. Second, he has to deal with the cast on here. I think his character is perfect and he’s probably just as disappointed in these two teams as he was with the public school system letting down Dwight in sex education…”Toby, where is the clitoris? Wikipedia says it’s at the top of the labial fold…what does that mean?”

Apocalyptic Apostles (3-5) vs. Hurricane Ditka (2-6) Apostles lead 4-3

I’m not exactly surprised at what happened to the Apostles last week, but it was still disappointing. I had assumed that last week and this week would be easy wins, I’d be at 5-4 and I’d have a shot at making a run. My team laid an egg, again, and it’s time to start facing the facts. There really isn’t anything exciting on this ‘Canes roster anymore and even with the RG3 trade, this Apostles team still appears like it could put up points. However, I don’t see any really great matchups and we could be talking about a first one to 80 wins. I’m going to pick myself just because I’d like to believe the Saints guys will have a big week with Sproles hurt. Apostles hold out hope for a week.

Desperation game or Futility game of the week #2 – Andy Bernard Game. I like Ed Helms and I think Andy is pretty funny, but definitely not as funny as the rest of the crew above. He does dress well, even if he disappoints otherwise, and it seems perfect to make the well dressed fraternity man the theme for these two guys…

The Good Team (3-5) vs. Cold Jerky (2-6) CJ leads series 4-1

Well…Yahoo doesn’t have this one as even a close race and I think that since Cold Jerky is currently planning on starting a guy with a broken hand and everyone else is on bye, we can safely say that the Good Team will prevail and cling to the razor thin playoff chance. Seriously folks – who knows, this team could make a run.

Ginger of the Week – Ellie Kemper! In honor of The Office’s last season, we honor Ellie Kemper, the adorable redhead that took over Pam’s old receptionist job. I stopped watching the show around the time that Ellie was cast, but she’d be worth tuning in for. She’s super cute.

KC – You’re on the clock

2 Nov

   

Week 8 Recap – Put up or shut up

30 Oct

If that ain’t one sexy ‘stache then I don’t know what is.

When your response to the question about why Jamaal Charles only got 5 carries is “Now, that I’m not exactly sure either,” it’s time for a change. Romeo obviously doesn’t have the chops to be head coach in the NFL and we are looking at full scale overall of the Chief’s front office and coaching staff this offseason, if not sooner. The same might be said for the perennially underachieving San Diego Chargers as these two sad franchises square off this Thursday night. Both teams has struggled this year, but the fact that San Diego seems to do it with some much more talent is a real head-scratcher. Both Norv Turner and A.J. Smith have done a great job wasting the careers of the players doomed to suffer the mismanagement of that franchise. The biggest question coming out of this Thursday’s matchup is certainly going to be which coach gets fired if they lose. I’d say put your money on Romeo if you have a pool for these types of things.

 

Game Recaps

Bad Mamma Jammas (5-3) vs. Dutch Mafia (5-3) – 136-91

Dutch Mafia runs into a buzz saw this week as Bad Mamma Jammas finally breaks through with a blockbuster game. The trade for Matty Ice pays big dividends to DM with 3 TD’s, but Tom Brady isn’t one to be outplayed and passes for 300 yards and 4 TD’s in 3 ½ quarters of work. Titus Young scores the highest WR of Week 8, but Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas both break out for 120+ yards and a TD. Sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do when the game goes punch and counter-punch. Both teams are well positioned for the remainder of the season with most of their major players through bye weeks. Dutch Mafia gets back A.J. Green and Torrey Smith so the meeting of these two teams again in Week 12 should be even closer. It could also be a deciding matchup to determine who is in and who is out of the playoff race.

Operation Domination (4-4) vs. Atomic Peckers (6-2) – 69-147

Wow. Just wow. It’s time to stop waiting for the wheels to come off. The Peckers are for real and may be the best team no one is talking about. Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson are both leading candidates for comeback player of the year. Reggie Wayne has discovered the fountain of youth and Gronk just keeps on Gronkin’. Operation Domination is walking a very fine line now at 4-4. The WR’s are still somewhat shaky and Demarco Murray can’t get back fast enough for OD. I still believe things will work out in the long term with Drew Brees at the helm, but there’s no room for bad losses.

Apocalyptic Apostles (3-5) vs. Cold Jerky (2-6) – 74-86

Well, it was a good run while it lasted. The Apostles drop a must win game against the sell off Cold Jerky squad. Led by 47 points from the 49ers team, Cold Jerky pulls off a huge Monday night upset. There wasn’t much else of note in this game as seemingly everyone not wearing facing the Cardinals had a rough day. The lone bright spot for the Apostles was the Miami DEF which marks the second time this year the Apostles have made the right call in replacing Houston (who is on bye this week). We will see if the Apostles join the ranks of the sell-outs or if they embrace the spoiler role.

From Parts Unknown (3-5) vs. Lumpalicious (6-2) – 90-93

You don’t see a lot of 10th place teams trading away draft picks to try to make a run and this is why. Even with guys playing to the peak of their expectations there still isn’t enough firepower to take down Lumpalicious on a down week. I know there is still time left in the season to try to make a run, but there are just too many good teams with better records to be able to jump them all. At the other end, Lumpalicious has all but locked up a playoff spot. The team is still clicking and getting solid production from every spot on the roster. If there was a manager of the year award it would come down to Lumpalicous and Apocalyptic Apostles. To think the front-runner has been able to trade and pick up additional draft picks when others try to buy championships is just another example of one of the many nuances that separate a good owner from a great owner.

Vote Dem (4-4) vs. Bacon Factory (4-4) – 72-81

Apparently Bacon Factory did not get the message that he was supposed to be a walk-over win. It certainly doesn’t help when Vote Dem tries to get by with a timeshare running back and an underperforming WR in Calvin Johnson who apparently has a gimpy knee to go with the shaky QB play from Matthew Stafford (this week notwithstanding). VD now enters the 4-4 melee with five other owners. Only one of these teams is likely to make the playoffs so it becomes incredibly important not to drop any more games and Lumpalicious is up next so good luck with that. I’d comment further on Bacon Factory, but this team has checked out for the remainder of the year.

Hurricane Ditka (2-6) vs. Ca$h Money (4-4) – 62-74

Another case of take your wins where you can get them. Ca$h Money could be a dark horse in this race assuming Michael Vick can keep his job. The WR’s are very good and the RB’s are doing just enough to get by. We’ll see how it plays out, but again this is another team with no room for error.

Week 8 All-NGC Team

QB – Tom Brady – 38 – Bad Mamma Jammas

WR – Titus Young – 24 – Dutch Mafia

WR – Demaryius Thomas – 21 – Bad Mamma Jammas

WR – Julio Jones – 20 – Bad Mamma Jammas

RB – Muscle Hamster – 34 – Hurricane Ditka

RB – Trent Richardson – 21 – Vote Dem

TE – Rob Gronkowski – 28 – Atomic Peckers

K – Lawrence Tynes – 19 – Bacon Factory

DEF – Miami – 22 – Apocalyptic Apostles

Week 8 Power of Light Rankings

  1. Lumpalicious (6-2) – An almost certain lock for the playoffs.
  2. Atomic Peckers (6-2) – Favorable schedule for Peyton with strong supporting cast should keep this team on a hot streak.
  3. Bad Mamma Jammas (5-3) – Brady finally delivers on his draft day value.
  4. Operation Domination (4-4) – I’ll give you a pass this week.
  5. Vote Dem (4-4) – This team could go either way. Megatron is a little banged up, still thin at RB, and has crucial bye weeks coming up for T-Rich and Cruz/Manning.
  6. Dutch Mafia (5-3) – A full roster and a winning record keeps this team on the inside track.
  7. Apocalyptic Apostles (3-5) – Rumor has it that the Apostles are posting for sale signs.
  8. Ca$h Money (4-4) – Phase one: Get to .500. Phase two: ? Phase three: Profit.
  9. From Parts Unknown (3-5) – Too bad you’ve reached your limit on draft pick trades otherwise this would be a good time to sell.
  10. Cold Jerky (2-6) – Heavy investment in the 49ers pays off this week.
  11. Bacon Factory (4-4) – Even after the sell off this lineup is bad, but not quite horrible.
  12. Hurricane Ditka (2-6) – On the other hand, this lineup is horrible (Doug Martin excluded).

Crazy 8’s Preview

25 Oct

Do you guys remember the card game “Crazy 8’s”? Yeah, me either. It’s something that I’ve heard of but I’ve never actually played. How have I been able to get through life without playing it? Anyway, this preview is in honor of that game…because there are things in this league I just did not see coming.

Before we get into it, I just want to discuss my pickup and play of Chris Givens. Every once in awhile, I’ll dig in somewhere and find someone that intrigues me. Be it an opportunity for playing time – a next man up situation – or just a guy I’ve caught a flash of that seems more talented than the guy ahead of him, it’s a guy that I find interesting for one reason or another. I’m not counting the tips you get from the fantasy articles – just plain, good ole fashioned research and gut feel. Chris Givens was that kind of guy last week. He put up 80 yfs and now he’s a guy on all the lists as his role is expanding. It also turns out he was the WRONG guy to play last week as Roberts would have got me the tie – however, that’s not my point – the point is that sometimes it is totally cool and fun to just take a chance on a guy. If he’s on your bench, that’s fine, but it’s even better if you’ve got the balls to throw him in the lineup. I’ve scored with this before (see: Hillis, Peyton 2010) and completely whiffed by not taking the chance before (see: Cruz, Victor 2011). I know I’ve seen others do the same with Lumpalicious finding Stevie Johnson. I’m not necessarily encouraging you to suddenly become like the Apostles or the Bad Mamma Jammas – highly active roster management guys – or change your style at all, but maybe, just maybe, when you’ve got a feeling, just go for it.

Game of the Week

Bad Mamma Jammas (4-3) vs. Dutch Mafia (5-2)

Nine wins between these two teams makes this GOTW part 1. The BMJ are good borderline great right now with a lot of good looking names. Yeah, it’s Foster’s bye, but good matchups for Lynch and Dez, not to mention the likely 20+ for Demaryius Thomas. It also helps to have Julio as it takes the potential sting out of a big game from Matt Ryan. The Dutch Mafia are going to miss AJ Green and I’m not sure I see any huge breakout potential from anyone on this roster. This really is a huge matchup in the grand scheme of the league, and it is Crazy 8’s for me to understand how Dutch Mafia has 5 wins given the completely inconsistent point totals, running back injuries, and early QB struggles. 5-2 at the midpoint is very hard to fumble away, especially with such a solid roster of guys that are getting healthy. The luck of the Dutch? Maybe so. I’m going to side with BMJ here, even if it is the kiss of death, because I need some fantasy karma to even out.

 Operation Domination (4-3) vs. Atomic Peckers (5-2)

The other 9 win game is a GOTW part 2. Here’s a double Crazy 8’s for you – how in the world does OD’s team look so pedestrian this week while he of the 2 WR set, the starter of Golden Tate, the guy that has made fewer moves than I’ve made since the start of this article is sitting at 5-2? What’s crazier? I can’t see this going any other way that OD adding to the 4-4 crew and the Peckers earning a 6th win.

Apocalyptic Apostles (3-4) vs. Cold Jerky (1-6) Jerks lead series 4-3

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one except that the Apostles just have to win it. There is basically no margin for error now and the next two games are absolute layups. If the Apostles lose, it’s over, sell the farm, settle in for 2013. Alex Green gets another start – he of the 2 ypc – but this will be the last action he is likely to see for the Apostles, and he’s got an excellent matchup with which to spit the bit on against the Jags. Jamaal Charles makes his first appearance as an Apostle and against an amazing matchup. Incredibly low point prediction from our friends at Yahoo for Charles in this one as if he’s not in the 20’s I’ll be shocked. Most annoying thing about this one is that half the Jerk squad plays on MNF. Here’s something I think I did see coming – Cold Jerky taking the year off after a championship – I’m excited to see the 2013 championship squad though.

The Good Team (3-4) vs. Lumpalicious (5-2) Lumpa leads 4-2

So, The Good Team makes a move, indicating that they think they’ve got a shot this year. I must say that I’m a bit surprised as I don’t see the math working out on that one, a bit of Crazy 8’s, but I respect the gusto. Big Ben is an upgrade over the Cutler/Schaub duo, but still not a topflight option. Fitzy gives a legit WR corps and there’s still Ray Rice (on bye) so overall this team is at least competitive on paper. That being said – the toughest of tough draws with Lumpalicious this week. I realize I keep changing my mind on the frontrunner, but I can’t see anyone but Lumpalicious being the guy right now. Rodgers has the easiest matchup ever in Jax (seriously, 32 projected points, that’s not fair) and Jennings, Greg remains out so James Jones is still relevant. I see Lumpalicious delivering that critical 5th loss to The Good Team, forcing a reality check.

Vote Dem (4-3) vs. Bacon Factory (3-4) Vote Dem leads 4-3

So…Crazy 8’s here…I don’t really think the Bacon Factory has a competitive roster for a playoff team and a week ago I was proclaiming Vote Dem the best team in the league…and I can’t see how we don’t get two 4-4 teams coming out of this game. Vote Dem made an unfortunate mistake in not handcuffing their best player with Rashad Jennings and now that MJD will miss “several weeks” the Vote Demers are stuck with, ah, yep, Joique Bell…seriously, Joique Bell is the answer we’re looking for. With T-Rich on the mend and the Manning-Cruz connection facing a stout Dallas pass defense, I’m not liking Vote Dem at all. Add to that, Megatron can’t have any confidence after Charles Tillman made him look like, well, a very average WR. Seriously, Tillman was awesome. Anyway, Bacon’s got fantastic matchups. If Run DMC doesn’t deliver this weekend, he never will and New Orleans hands out double digit points to opponents so hoorah for McGahee. I’ll take the side of Bacon.

Hurricane Ditka (2-5) vs. Ca$h Money (3-4) ‘Canes lead 7-3

Can’t really say much here – clearly the ‘Canes have packed it in and Ca$h has been showing some spark. I’ll roll with Ca$h here, adding to the 4-4 teams.

By my count, that will put 5 teams at 4-4, 2 at 5-3, and 2 at 6-2. That’s 9 teams of 12 that will still think they have a shot at the end of week 8.

Ginger of the Week – Crazy Lindsay Lohan!

To celebrate Crazy 8’s week, the craziest ginger of them all – Lindsay Lohan takes center stage. Sorry guys, no sexy pictures – just one of the many mugshots. Seriously, what is with these women?

 

Week 7 Recap – In Brief

23 Oct

My apologies for the brevity of the recap. I wanted to get this up, but I’ll go back and add some more color commentary (and photos) tomorrow.

Game Recaps

Vote Dem (4-3) vs. Atomic Peckers (5-2) – 69-102

The game of the week turns out to be a total non-contest. Even with the standard 2-WR set and a couple of donuts on the scorecard the Peckers roll in this one. Adrian Peterson is looking like one of the great steals of draft day. I was afraid I’d have to watch a whole season without one of the best backs in the league, but thankfully AD looks to be back to his old self with over 150 yards rushing. Vote Dem hits some hard luck with MJD going down to a foot injury and Trent Richardson making an early exit. These are not the types of injuries you want to be looking at when your team is clustered in the 4-3/3-4 crowd with 6 other guys.

Apocalyptic Apostles (3-4) vs. Lumpalicious (5-2) 100-110

I really thought the Apostles had a good chance to pull this one out. 11 points down with a very solid kicker going on Monday Night seemed very manageable. Alas, the Bears defense turned over the Lions multiple times in the red zone and Jason Hanson never got a chance to put foot to leather. Lumpalicious is looking extremely solid now that Rodgers is clicking with his receivers again. Scoring over 100 points with the Lump’s lead RB on bye is no small feat. It will take a gargantuan effort for any team to stop the Lumpa train this year. The Apostles are the dark horse in the playoff race. Even with all the backfield gyrations this team is still 3-4 and in the hunt with the 6th most points scored. The addition of Jamaal Charles and some tasty matchups over the next few weeks could put the Apostles back on the map.

Operation Domination (4-3) vs. Bad Mamma Jammas (4-3) 113-102

BMJ told the commish on draft day that he regretted taking Brady over Brees and boy did he feel it this week. It was very kind of Mr. Brees to take his foot off the gas after throwing for 300 yards and 4 scores by halftime of Sunday’s Tampa Bay/New Orleans tilt otherwise this would have been a total blowout. BMJ still puts up a decent effort, but it’s going to take more than this to get past some of this year’s stacked squads.

The Good Team (3-4) vs. Bacon Factory (3-4) 75-68

I guess someone had to win and it was the Good Team this time around. The 3-4 records are deceiving for these teams as their point totals are about 100 points off the pace of the contending teams this year (Except for the incredibly fluky Dutch Mafia). Each of them is doing just enough to not get the number pick in next year’s draft.

Hurricane Ditka (2-5) vs. Dutch Mafia (5-2) 62-81

Dutch Mafia continues to benefit from the softest schedule in the league so far this year with only 535 points scored against (76 points per week). Regardless, Dutch Mafia continues to field a good team and the addition of Matt Ryan should help with the overall consistency of the squad. Jordy Nelson is hitting his stride and A.J. Green continues to be money. Those two guys will have to be workhorses pulling this team to the finish line. Hurricane Ditka has the season on autopilot after trading away his top talent and is likely to spend more time hawking his remaining wares that scouring the waiver wire (though $40 of FAAB money on Felix Jones certainly doesn’t fit that description). I guess if you have the money you might as well spend it.

Cold Jerky (1-6) vs. Ca$h Money (3-4)

I forgot to comment on this earlier. Cold Jerky trade away talent, Ca$h Money still has some. Mark the free space on your bingo card against the Jerks the rest of the way.

Week 7 All-NGC Team

We’ve brought back Manning, Wayne, and CJ2K…now if only we can get Moss and Gates.

QB – Drew Brees – 38 – Operation Domination – Expect Brees and Rodgers to rotate here the rest of the year.

WR – V-Jax – 34 – Lumpalicious

WR – Randall Cobb – 21 – Operation Domination

WR – Victor Cruz – 21 – Vote Dem

RB – Chris Johnson – 38 – Ca$h Money – Great Scott! We must have traveled back to 2009.

RB – Adrian Peterson – 28 – Atomic Peckers

TE – Rob Gronkowski – 19 – Atomic Peckers

K – Sebastian Janikowski – 15 – Operation Domination

DEF – Houston – 20 – Apocalyptic Apostles

Week 7 Power of Light Rankings

This is the debut of the uber-scientific, secret sauce, don’t ask how they’re made, if I told you I’d have to kill you Power of Light Rankings. Wins and losses mean a little less and how well you score means a little bit more and can give an indication on how one might expect a team to trend for the remainder of the season.

  1. Lumpalicious (5-2) – It’s going to be hard to beat this Aaron Rodger’s led squad.
  2. Operation Domination (4-3) – Drew Brees makes this squad a threat each and every week.
  3. Atomic Peckers (5-2) – A great combination of the classics (Manning/Wayne) and the new kids (Gronk/McCoy), not to mention that Adrian Peterson guy.
  4. Bad Mamma Jammas (4-3) – Consistent, but somewhat low scoring roster.
  5. Vote Dem (5-2) – With MJD out and talk of a three-week shutdown for T-Rich things could get ugly for the Vote Dem squad. Put your game face on Joique Bell.
  6. Apocalyptic Apostles (3-4) – This would be a 1-6 or 2-5 team for any other owner.
  7. Ca$h Money (3-4) – This has all the looks of another consolation bracket champion.
  8. Dutch Mafia (5-2) – The Power Rankings say it all. Dutch Mafia has been the recipient of some gift wins this year, but W’s are W’s.
  9. Cold Jerky (1-6) – Expect this ranking to fall with the dealing of the teams top two playmakers. No 145 point explosions here anymore.
  10. The Good Team (3-4) – A very scrappy team in the perfect spoiler position.
  11. Hurricane Ditka (2-5) – Let’s try to make the extra draft picks count next year.
  12. Bacon Factory (3-4) – This is where you end up when your first 2 draft picks bust over the first half of the year.