What transpired in Week 14 of the 2013 NFL/fantasy season was the stuff of legends. Beginning last Thursday night when the Jaguars of all teams delivered a death-blow to the Gary Kubiak era in Houston, to the Monday night thrashing perpetrated by the Josh McCown led Bears on the December blues ‘Boys, and every wild, woeful, and wintry game in between, it was a football blitzkrieg to remember.
A snow-covered field in Philly. A sideline in Pittsburgh. The final five minutes in Baltimore. The final 61 seconds in Foxborough. A cacophony of ineptitude in D.C. A record-breaking day in Mile High. A heavyweight TKO by the Bay. An expected outcome in the Superdome. A slaughter at Soldier Field. When the NFL is staged right, it is unscripted drama at its finest.
All-Day sprained a foot. Gronk shredded a knee. Welker suffered another concussion. Reggie Bush didn’t even make it out of warmups. RG III was benched.
Seven quarterbacks eclipsed 300 yards. LeSean McCoy rushed for 217. Matt Prater booted a record-setting 64-yard field goal. Rookie receivers Da’Rick Rogers, Cordarrelle Patterson, Keenan Allen, Justin Hunter, and Marlon Brown combined for 513 yards and 7 touchdowns. When the snow cleared, a record 90 touchdowns were scored on Sunday.
What time is it? Time to pop open your Week 14 fantasy recap 12-pack. Oh, yeah!
11. NFC Fleeced
Trolling Eli in San Diego.
Dedicated Redskins fans.
Dallas being Dallas.
10. Mea culpa
I’ve spent a good portion of the last four years trashing Chargers “running back” Ryan Mathews. Brittle, unreliable human garbage is just one the of many unflattering ways I’ve described him. Harsh, I know, but he cost me many a win with his terrifyingly horrendous brand of football. Well, he’s still not an elite number one back, but dude hasn’t missed a start in 2013, has played through minor injuries, and currently ranks as the 16th best runner in Gulfman League scoring. Apologies, Ryan. Now don’t screw it up by pulling a hammy in practice this week, you fucking useless bag of dicks.
Absolutely no concern for the growing water shortage.
8. Blurred lines
Anyone who’s participated in fantasy football knows that fake championships are often won and lost on the waiver wire. Peg the right free agent and you could be kicking it on easy street come January. Waste cash on injured quarterbacks with little hope of returning and you’ll be kicking puppies on your way home from work. Such is life for the fantasy owner. At any rate, here are the undrafted/dropped gents who kicked ass in 2013.
- Philip Rivers (278.2 points) – Considering how awful Rivers looked in 2011-12, it’s no wonder he was tossed to the scrap heap on draft day. There’s no way I would’ve squandered a pick on him, not with what appeared to be a weak set of playmakers. Who knew new head coach Mike McCoy would resurrect Phil’s career with guys like Eddie Royal and Danny Woodhead catching balls? Chalk it up to the Norv Turner Effect. Not having Norv and his foul stench stink permeating the San Diego locker room has been a breath of fresh air for the entire Bolt organization.
- Knowshon Moreno (208.6 points) – Amazing that the fourth best runner wasn’t even drafted. If any us bothered to pay attention this past summer, we would’ve realized that Moreno was going to be the go-to back for the Broncos. Montee Ball was too green and Ronnie Hillman was destined to be banished to the bench. Ball has since become a factor, but Moreno has only three games of less than 10 fantasy points. Yeah, he’s good.
- Zac Stacy (119.3 points) – It was apparent from the start of the season that Daryl Richardson was too frail to be the Rams’ featured back. And since Isiah Pead stinks, that left a rookie from Vanderbilt to be the main ball carrier in Jeff Fisher’s run heavy attack. Stacy was incognito until Sam Bradford was lost to a torn ACL, but this year’s Doug Martin proved to be a serviceable option once the leaves began to change. Expect him to go in the 3rd round of 2014 drafts.
- Antonio Brown (168.6 points) – The Petes inexplicably cut Brown after Week 2, only days before he destroyed the Bears with 196 yards and two touchdowns. I wasted little time swooping in to scoop him up for $15, and it ended up being money well spent once Reggie Wayne went down with a knee injury. This guy is the definition of consistent: at least 5.7 points in every game thus far.
- Keenan Allen (120.6 points) – The 2013 rookie class of wide receivers wasn’t highly regarded entering the season. Tavon Austin received most of the hype and with the exception of a couple of huge games, he’s been a bust. Allen took advantage of injuries to Danario Alexander and Malcolm Floyd to become Rivers’ top target in the rejuvenated Chargers offense. In only ten starts, the ex-Cal Bear has surpassed 100 yards five times.
- Julius Thomas (128.5 points) – Like Moreno, Thomas was atop the Broncos depth chart in August and still managed to squeak through the draft unclaimed. His injury-prone label still applies, but he’s been money when healthy, scoring at least one touchdown in all but one start. Tight ends in a Peyton Manning offense always produce (see Marcus Pollard, Dallas Clark, and Jacob Tamme). Shame on us! By the way, doesn’t Orange Julius look like a relative of Keyshawn Johnson?
6. Dumpster fire candidates
Without fail in every fantasy campaign a bevy of high draft picks ruin the dream of achieving fake glory by swallowing shit for part or all of the season. Be it nagging injuries or just all around awfulness, these ass clowns are more than deserving of our disdain and ridicule. In other words, FUCK THESE GUYS.
- Arian Foster – The cumulative effect of all those touches from 2010-2012 finally caught up to Foster. His annual preseason injury should’ve sounded alarms, but didn’t. Owners across the land crossed their fingers that he would be a-okay by the end of September. Instead, he was done for the year a month later after undergoing back surgery. The entire Texans franchise began circling the drain shortly after.
- Spiller/Rice/Richardson – What a trio of terrible. Ugh. Spiller isn’t big enough to handle the load, Rice is in full-blown Super Bowl hangover mode, and T-Rich is a plodding piece of horse shit. I can’t recall this many first-round backs monumentally flopping in such epic fashion. Doug Martin is also worth cursing, but unlike Foster, he carried little risk heading into the season before tearing a shoulder labrum in Week 8. Spiller and Rice will bounce back in 2014. As for Richardson, raw sewage has more value.
- Danny Amendola – Surprise, surprise, look who missed four games to injury and was useless in all but two games. Anyone who actually believed Amendola could replace Wes Welker is a moron. Yeah, I’m talking to you Bill Belichick.
- Hakeem Nicks – Since you show little interest in putting forth the maximum effort, just retire already.
- Matt Ryan – No Julio Jones. Gimpy Roddy White. Steven Jackson MIA. 2013 quickly escalated into a perfect storm of disappointment for Ryan. Oh well. Next season is only nine months away.
- Colin Kaepernick – He wasn’t a complete bust, but with his rushing stats way down from a year ago, Kap’s average passing skills weren’t enough to make him an every week starter. Not having Crabtree hurt, but his needs a lot of polish before being classified as elite. On the plus side, he’s in really good shape.
5. No fear
Here’s all you need to know about first-year head coaches Marc Trestman and Chip Kelly: They have balls. Forced to play with backup quarterbacks for long stretches of their inaugural seasons, both coaches have eschewed the conservative approach in favor of aggressive vertical passing attacks capable of exploiting defenses at multiple levels on the field.
LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte are the unquestioned center pieces of both offenses. However, the reason why the Bears and Eagles rank 2nd and 9th in scoring is due to their down field prowess, not their run games. In five starts, Josh McCown has tossed 11 touchdowns, 1 interception, and added one rushing TD. In eight starts, Nick Foles has accounted for 17 touchdowns, 1 interception, and three rushing scores.
Trestman and Kelly don’t care about being misrepresented by pundits, or what narrative beat writers want to pen, or the vociferous objections of peers and/or fans about the faulty structure of their “CFL” and “college” offenses. All they care about is scoring, wherever, whenever, and however they can.
Which is why players like McCoy, Forte, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Riley Cooper are enjoying career seasons. Just chuck it up and let them make a play. It’s a philosophy that won Joe Flacco and the Ravens a Super Bowl. It’s a philosophy that has made Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady three of the most prolific passers in league history. It’s a philosophy that separates the innovators from the dinosaurs. Those willing to adapt on the fly versus those too stubborn to alter their singular visions.
4. An example of how not to tackle
Oh those adorable Bengals. Even when they crush an opponent, they never fail to remind us of the innate ineptness that clings to every fibre of their being. Don’t go changin’ Cincinnati!
3. Week 14 ballers, yo
Matt Prater (Monkeys) – If a footie kicks a 64-yarder, I will set aside my hatred of kickers for one week and give the bro some love.
Bobby Rainey (Beasts) – Oh those prescient Beasts. Benched Frank Gore for Rainey, and Rainey goes off. That’s Gulfman approved.
Josh McCown (Assassins) – Yet more evidence to support my theory that quarterbacks are overvalued in fantasy. A 34-year-old career backup put up Peytonesque numbers.
2. Playoff Preview: (3) Beasts at (2) Steelcats
It’s a rematch of the 2006 Gulfman League Championship won by the Furry ones, so expect plenty of blood and scratches. Will the ‘Cats roll with the Gronkless Brady, or take a gamble on the underwhelming Romo? Can Willis McGahee shred a turnstile Bears run D, and who fills in for a concussed Wes Welker? The Beasts face a QB quandary of their own: Wilson or Dalton, each with a favorable matchup. And do they dare bench Frank Gore again? Will Brandon Marshall get the better of Browns cornerback Joe Haden? So many questions, so little time to ponder. I foresee a monster game from Megatron being the difference.
Steelcats 98.3, Beasts 89.9
1. Playoff Preview: (4) Armpits at (1) Assassins
The two highest scoring teams will throw down in a titanic tilt that should be worth the price of admission. It’s a contrast of styles in this donnybrook. Armpits rely on a lethal trio of pass catchers to inflict copious amounts of damage, while the Assassins lean on fantasy’s top two runners and a potent special teams. Might be a bad omen that the Assassins scored the most single-game points in Gulfman League history last week. Will Shady and Jamaal have anything left? And who will be under center if Jay Cutler returns to the Bears? More importantly, can Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffery be contained? It will likely come down to Matt Stafford on Monday night versus the Ravens. Assassins luck on Mondays has been poor. Pits pull the upset.
Armpits 111.4, Assassins 100.7
Bedrood, bitches. I leave you with this.