The Superlative and Substandard of Week 3

The first-half champions of the world.

I’ve been playing fantasy football since 1993. During the years since, I’ve won a lot of fake glory and a healthy pile of real money. I’ve also watched promising teams implode and flushed copious amounts of cash down the crapper trying to salvage miniscule playoff hopes.

I’ve drafted stacked rosters that underachieved and average rosters that overachieved. I’ve engineered trades that made me look like a genius and others that colored me stupid. I’ve schooled leagues filled with rank amateurs and been humiliated in leagues dominated by professional experts.

I’ve owned teams ravaged by injuries and had others escape the season unblemished. I’ve drafted duds in the first-round and studs in the tenth. I’ve won titles with Tony Banks and Tyler Thigpen and lost titles with Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.

I’ve been burned by Jerry Rice and Randy Moss and helped by Ed McCaffrey and Wayne Chrebet. I’ve made last-minute lineup changes that paid off and others that blew up in my face. Some years I’ve worked the waiver wire to perfection, other years I’ve swung and missed on every single pickup.

I’ve cheered for Michael Irvin to score and screamed at Barry Sanders to stop dancing. I’ve started the “bad” Michael Vick and the “good” Michael Vick, and lost with both. I’ve known the joys of owning Kurt Warner and Marshal Faulk from the ’99 Rams and endured the agony of owning Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens from the ’05 Eagles.

Throughout all these ups and downs I never stopped smiling and I never threw in the towel. I don’t play fantasy football to feed my ego and bank account — okay, maybe I do, but the main reason is because it’s fun. Call it a welcome distraction from the sometimes mind-numbing monotony of the daily grind.

If you’re 0-3 or your roster has been decimated by injuries, don’t fall to your knees weeping that the sky is falling, the apocalypse is nigh and Norv Turner is a worthless prick. Look to your bench, make a trade, bid for free agents, sell your soul to Beelzebub — whatever it takes. Unless you’re relying on Mike Vick. In that case, you’re fucking screwed.

Trendspotting

Behold, bullet points!

  • Going back to 2010, Chris Johnson has been held under 60 yards rushing in five straight games. This season he’s averaging 2.1 yards per carry and scored zero touchdowns. If he ever gets his act together, Brad (really?) will have himself a scary team.
  • Adrian Peterson has 22 carries for 66 yards and no scores in the second-half this season. The Vikings have blown double-digit halftime leads in all three games. Hmm…
  • Wes Welker is on pace to catch 160 passes. Normally I’d scoff at the notion, but after watching the Pats for three games, I’ve concluded it’s reachable. Too bad this isn’t a PPR league.
  • Ex-Eagles wide receiver Brandon Gibson has 12 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. Current Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has 10 catches for 153 yards and a touchdown.
  • Darren McFadden, LeSean McCoy and Fred Jackson are averaging over six yards per carry. Rashard Mendenhall, Frank Gore and Jahvid Best are averaging three yards or less per carry.
  • Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Cam Newton have already surpassed 1000 yards  passing. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo and Matt Hasselbeck are all over 900 yards.
  • It’s only three weeks, but if you own an Indy Horsie, it might be — oh hell, you know where this is going.
  • Tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Jermichael Finley, Tony Gonzalez, Scott Chandler and Jimmy Graham have combined for 22 touchdowns. Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, Vernon Davis, Jason Witten and Marcedes Lewis have combined for 1 touchdown.
  • The six Gulfman League Week 3 victors won by an average of 32 points.

Now is the time at Stud Running Back when we exploit chicks for being hot and/or slutty. It’s childish and boorish and totally sends the wrong message to impressionable young girls, which is precisely why we do it.

The Alison Brie Wonders of the Week

Furry Beasts (120.1 points) – NBC’s “comedy” lineup has been abysmal for a decade. The Office and 30 Rock were watchable for three seasons, but like most long-running sitcoms they have overstayed their welcome. The attempt by network suits to identify suitable replacements has resulted in calamities like The Paul Reiser Show and Perfect Couples. *fart sound* And who the fuck greenlit Whitney and why did they hire writers from 1987? I’d rather spend a night on the streets of Tripoli than watch another episode of this rotting garbage juice. Thankfully, Community is still around. It’s smart, original, consistently funny and unabashedly lampoons standard sitcom conventions that plague inane shit like Whitney. Plus, it has the oh-so fetching Alison Brie, complete with her tight sweaters and faux Catholic schoolgirl innocence. In a word: delicious.

Speaking of delicious, the shaggy critters overcame injuries to Steven Jackson, Miles Austin and Mario Manningham to feast on the Fools. Wes Welker once again proved short white guys can be good at football and Mike Thomas, who plays for some team called the Jaguars, caught a touchdown toss from some guy named Blaine Gabbert. For a minute, Stud thought the Beasts were starting CFL players, only to learn Montario Hardesty is in fact a real NFL running back. Weird. It’s not all beer and wings for the Furry Fiends. Austin could miss another couple of games and Steven Jackson and his gimpy quad play for a team that’s been outscored 96-36.

The Tara Reid Disasters of the Week

Walker’s Talkers (56.1 points) – When I was 12, I went to the hobby store armed with three months worth of allowance to buy a remote-controlled airplane. There were two models within my price range. My dad suggested I go with the World War I era biplane, which was plenty sturdy but kinda blah looking. The other one was a sleek jet constructed of flimsy plastic but with a cool red-yellow paint scheme. Against my dad’s advice, I ponied up my life savings for the latter. Six days later it clipped the garage roof, nosedived into a concrete walkway and burst into an array of red and yellow ‘Made in Taiwan’ pieces. Not one of my sounder investments.

A quick perusal of the Talkers roster reveals a veritable who’s who of injury-prone athletes: Vick, Gore, Britt and Harvin. It’s the ultimate high-risk, high-reward team. Right now, risk is winning in a landslide. Vick is facing an 0-2 count, Britt is done for the season, Gore’s ankle is sprained and Harvin has an anchor strapped to his back named Donovan McNabb. (Stud is convinced Andy Reid is functionally retarded. It’s the only explanation for why he keeps rewarding massive contracts to inaccurate quarterbacks who can’t read a blitz, hold the ball too long and play a style conducive to suffering serious maladies.) It’s not all dire for the Windbags; Bob Meachem has scored in three straight and Greg Olsen is getting more targets with defenses gameplanning to shut down Steve Smith.

Toss ’em on the Dung Heap

The following bozos should be benched or dropped:

DeAngelo Williams – 27 carries for 61 yards. Well worth that 5-year, $43 million contract.

Lee Evans – A fantasy tease for the last six years. He stinks and he’s hurt, again. Dump his sorry ass.

Shonn Greene – The extra N in his first name stands for ‘nuthin’ because that’s pretty much what he gives you every week. He’s the new Lee Evans.

Reggie Bush – The funniest joke I’ve heard all year was the one told by Tony Sparano about Bush being a featured running back. Good one, Tony. By the way, you’ll be fired before Halloween.

Chad Johnson – He no longer merits the Ochocinco moniker. Next stop, Chicago.

James Jones – 6 catches for 40 yards. Well worth that 3-year deal he signed in July.

C.J. Spiller – Strange that running roughshod on Duke and Wake Forest doesn’t translate to the NFL.

Wave goodbye to Week 3. Stud needs a nap.

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