Category Archives: Stud's Stance

Gulfman League Championship Preview

championshipThe 2014 Gulfman League fantasy football season is nearly complete. One matchup remains to decide who will strap on the long, gerthy title belt and spend the next nine months pumping and thrusting in frenzied celebration. That’s right bros and broette, it’s time to get it on one last time.

In one corner we have the Skinny Petes, fresh off their stunning upset of the top-seeded Character Assassins. Now that Heisenberg and his evil blue meth are off the streets, The Petes are clean and sober and ready to seize fake football’s grandest prize. To do so, they’ll need Andrew Luck and Jordy Nelson to rebound after subpar efforts in the semifinals. Andre Johnson will be back from injury, but the venerable Case Keenum will be the one attempting to complete passes to him. Keenum wasn’t good enough to crack the Rams quarterback rotation, sooooooo good luck with that.

In the other corner we have the Weiner Dogs, the used to be old kids on the block turned new kids on the block after a decade long absence. The Dogs own the two hottest properties in fantasy: Le’Veon Bell and Odell Beckham Jr. This studly duo combined for 56.2 points a week ago, which proved crucial to staving off a furious Monday night rally by the No. 2 seed Blind Monkeys.

It’s #3 versus #4. It’s elongated K9 versus reformed drug dealer/addict. It’s ex-Colts legendary quarterback versus current Colts legendary quarterback. It’s ex-Patriots legendary kicker versus current Patriots legendary kicker. It’s Beast Mode versus ODB. It’s No. 16 on the all-time receptions list versus No. 19 on the all-time receptions list. It’s the Guardians of Peace versus Sony.

It’s quite possible this one comes down to Monday night, with Peyton Manning and his balky thigh leading the Broncos into Cincinnati for a huge AFC showdown. Pey-Pey hasn’t scored over 15 points since Week 12, and the Bengals have a solid pass defense. I don’t like Lynch against the Cardinals run defense, especially nursing a bad back. I do like Jordy Nelson to blow up on the road in Tampa. Difference-maker here will be Tre Mason smashing the pathetic Giants rush D.

And the winner is…

Dogs 102, Petes 89

———

On a side note, I’d like to reveal in GIF form how I felt last Sunday after benching Jeremy Hill:

garfield_faceplantEpic DERP.

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2014 NFL Preview Extravaganzanadocane

Divisional Playoffs - Denver Broncos v New England PatriotsYee-haw! Football is back. It seems like yesterday that Peyton Manning was faceplanting like only he can in Super Bowl XLVIII. Ah, the memories. Much has happened in NFL circles since the Seahawks hoisted Lombardi in February. To reap: The Raiders hilariously traded for Matt Schaub and his pick-six magic show, Aldon Smith went Al-Qaeda at LAX, Colts owner Jim Irsay — wearing a shirt from The Electric Horseman — got pinched with a briefcase of pills and cash, Jimmy Graham tried and failed to become a wide receiver, Cleveland added Johnny Football to their quarterback clown car, Ray Rice played Punch-Out with his fiance, the Falcons made Hard Knocks unwatchable, Half Baked star Josh Gordon was suspended for the season, and Wes Welker ingested some bad drugs.

Well, at least nobody killed a guy. So there’s that. Let’s all congratulate Roger Goodell for cleaning up murder in the NFL.

Roger Goodell: A true humanitarian.

goodell-tank‘Tis the season for football forecasters and pigskin prognosticators to wax poetic about which teams will ascend to the mountain top and which ones will join the Raiders in the league’s toxic fume-filled sewer. For better or worse, I am no stranger to publishing predictions. However, I don’t take the lazy route and simply pick the playoff participants. Any jackass can do that. I’m no jackass (stop laughing!). To ensure I look like a genius (or a complete and utter fool) by January, I am going to predict the win-loss records of all 32 franchises for the 2014 season.

Without further ado…

AFC EAST

2014-afceastNew England Patriots (12-4) – They will look like best team in the league when the calendar flips to October. Then Rob Gronkowski will have his arm severed by Danny Amendola’s flying tibia after Amendola is shattered by Cincinnati’s Vontaze Burfict. Have no fear, Darrelle Revis is here! Since the East is shitty, and Tom Brady is dreamy cool under pressure, the Pats will reach 12 wins for the fifth straight year. Chandler Jones leads the AFC in sacks.

New York Jets (9-7) – Now that “Butt-Fumble” is out of the picture, Jets Nation can brace for the beginning of the Geno Smith era (gulp). According to General Manager John Idzik, signing a white wide receiver and a washed-up former 2000-yard rusher are the tools necessary to achieving championship glory. I love the front seven, but the secondary could be the worst in football (look out, Dallas). Still, ol’ foot fetish Rex Ryan should be able to massage 9 wins from gang green.

Miami Dolphins (7-9) – New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was with the Eagles in 2013, so the Dolphins are poised to rack up a shit-ton of yards and points. Right? Listen, I like Lazor. The guy has a bright future. What he doesn’t have is LeSean McCoy, a dominating offensive line, and Chip Kelly’s brain. The Fish will improve on last year’s 26th ranked offense, but not enough to offset Joe Philbin’s stone-faced ineptitude. That said, the defense looks legit.

Buffalo Bills (5-11) – Reaching for E.J. Manuel in the first round of the 2013 Draft was stupid then and it’s even stupider now. C.J. Spiller needs a FRAGILE sticker. Rookie Sammy Watkins is already banged up. Linebacker Kiko Alonso is done for the year after tearing an ACL. Jon Bon Jovi is trying to buy the team. And you thought the lake effect snow in Buffalo was perilous. I can’t envision a scenario where this team isn’t a disappointment.

AFC NORTH

2014-afcnorthCincinnati Bengals (11-5) – Will Andy Dalton be better or worse without Jay Gruden? Dalton don’t care, ’cause he got paid, yo! It’s kinda sorta insane, but Marvin Lewis is entering his 12th year as the Bengals head coach. His career coaching record screams MEDIOCRE! 90-90-1, including 0-5 in the postseason. The defense will be studly again, even if Geno Atkins takes a few games to find his mojo. A.J. Green and Gio Bernard are dynamite. The rest of the offense is, uh, okay?

Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) – Cheech and Chong running back duo. Touchy feely quarterback. A punter named Brad Wing. What’s not to like about the Black and Gold? Big Ben’s boys scored at least 27 points in six of their last nine games in 2013. That doesn’t mean jack squat in 2014, but I found it to be an interesting statistic nonetheless. An 0-4 preseason record is indicative of nothing, although the receiving corps beyond Antonio Brown is an unsolved mystery.

Baltimore Ravens (8-8) – Leads the NFL in starters named Smith (4). Will and Maggie approve. Bad news is Ray Rice can’t run anymore. Good news is Ray Rice excels at knocking out chicks in elevators. Or maybe that should be the other way around? Moving on… the front seven is beginning to show some age, but there is promising depth lying in wait like C.J. Mosley, Arthur Brown, and Timmy Jernigan. Bottom line: Joe Flacco still kinda sucks.

Cleveland Browns (6-10) – If you draft a celebrity college signal-caller who the fanbase is gushing over, you might as well start him Week 1. Alas, freshman head coach Mike Pettine pegged journeyman Brian Hoyer over shiny new toy Johnny Manziel. Because reasons. If Josh Gordon wasn’t banished until 2015, the Brownies would’ve been fun to watch. The defense will be a Top 10 unit and offensive line remains a strength. Too bad the front office dolts ignored wide receiver in a wide receiver rich draft.

AFC SOUTH

2014-afcsouthIndianapolis Colts (10-6) – If you removed Andrew Luck from the Colts, they would be a 4-12 team at best. The offensive line is a dumpster fire. The running backs are the definition of unreliable. The wide receivers are either A) old, B) injury-prone, or C) inconsistent. Their best defender, Robert Mathis, is suspended for the first four games. But they reside in the AFC’s weakest division, so the playoffs are in sight. Unless a calamity befalls Luck. Nah, the football gods won’t let that happen to the chosen one.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8) – That’s right, folks. The Jags are gonna ruin a lot of Sundays for those who, ahem, enjoy wagering on point spreads. Blake Bortles and his howitzer right arm will be starting by Week 4, and Gus Bradley’s youthful defense will be tougher and cockier than they deserve to be. I like the addition of Toby Gerhart (Mike Alstott 2.0) and rookie Marqise Lee could be this year’s Keenan Allen. Better catch these guys early, because by November they will be scaring opponents shitless.

Tennessee Titans (7-9) – If I trusted Jake Locker would play a full schedule, I’d have the Titans pushing for a playoff berth. Sure, the running game blows and the defense lacks elite talent, but Ken Whisenhunt’s offensive wizardry cannot be underestimated. He helped resurrect the careers of both Kurt Warner and Philip Rivers and will have a similar effect on Locker, if Locker puts an end to his reckless tendencies.

Houston Texans (6-10) – Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallett? Really? Newb head coach Bill O’Brien may be a quarterback savant, but I find it difficult to believe either one of those bozos can be morphed into a consistently competent option under center. Arian Foster is one step away from the Cuckoo’s Nest. Andre Johnson is aging and bitter. The offensive line is borderline horrendous. If everyone stays healthy, the front seven will be frightening with the addition of Jadeveon Clowney. I can see them dropping a few 16-10 borefests.

AFC WEST

AP COWBOYS CHIEFS FOOTBALL S FBN USA MODenver Broncos (11-5) –The defense added a trio of big-ticket free agents in hopes of avoiding another embarrassing beatdown like the one Seattle delivered. Peyton Manning’s three-ring pointsapalooza lost Eric Decker, Knowshon Moreno, and possibly Wes Welker if he suffers one more concussion. Montee Ball and Emmanuel Sanders will be suitable replacements, but expecting historic offensive numbers for a second consecutive season would be foolish. No Lombardi for you!

San Diego Chargers (10-6) – With Norv Turner’s putrid stench long gone, Philip Rivers once again looks like an elite quarterback. Yeah, they still have the painfully unreliable Ryan Mathews in the backfield, but look everybody — they signed ex-Colt Donald Brown! Next stop, Phoenix in February. Keenan Allen can straight up ball and a weak secondary should be bolstered by Killers frontman/renowned Mormon Brandon Flowers, and rookie Jason Verrett.

Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) – They tanked at the end of 2013, choked away a 38-10 lead in the playoffs, and have now been rewarded with games against Seattle, San Francisco, New England, Arizona, Pittsburgh, and four against the Broncos and Chargers. Good luck with that. If anything unsettling befalls Jamaal Charles, this team is monumentally screwed. Like Cleveland, the bumbling front office failed to draft any pass catchers, despite a glaring need.

Oakland Raiders (4-12) – Just when you think this once storied franchise couldn’t sink any lower into the chasm of futility, they trade for Matt Schaub. On the plus side, they did draft Derek Carr, who actually has a pro arm. The receiving corps stinks and the blight that is Darren McFadden is still darkening the roster. The “revamped” defense would make an awesome 2010 All-Star squad. Unfortunately, it’s 2014. I’ll take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed that the Raiders won’t win more than five games (I got spare time).

NFC EAST

2104-nfceastPhiladelphia Eagles (11-5) – I’m going against my normal fatalistic outlook for the Iggles, which is bound to bite me in the dumper. Nick Foles will regress, none of the “big” receivers will stay healthy and/or create separation, the defense will again give up acres of yardage, and at least three footies will end up being used. Ah, @#$% it, I’m still all in. Why? Because I firmly believe Chip Kelly is the future of coaching rather than a passing fad. Brass balls prediction: Shady wins MVP.

Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – If it’s possible for a defense to rank 33rd among 32 teams, this Cowboys D will do it. Tony Romo and his surgically repaired back will probably have to score 40 points a week. Dez Bryant fantasy owners rejoice! Jason Garrett has surpassed 9 lives at this point, but he’ll somehow dodge the monumental collapse that’s been awaiting this franchise for nearly a decade. It’s Dallas. They finish .500 every year.

Washington Redskins (7-9) – Could RG III be another Vince Young? While I don’t think he’ll plummet to quite those depths, his wild inaccuracy and penchant for getting bounced around like a bowling pin lends credence to the notion that he isn’t the superstar savior he was crowned as a rookie. Jay Gruden has plenty of playmakers at his disposal, but something tells me the word “underachievers” will be tossed around a lot from now until December.

New York Giants (5-11) – We can all agree that Christian Ponder sucks, right? Ponder started 36 games between 2011 and 2013 and totaled 34 interceptions. Not good. Well, Eli Manning has started 48 games since 2011 and totaled 58 interceptions. Let’s stop pretending he’s actually good just because he fell ass backwards into two Super Bowl titles. Eli is terrible. Big Blue has no business being anything but the worst team in the NFC. That said, I won’t be shocked if they win the damn division.

NFC NORTH

2014-nfcnorthGreen Bay Packers (12-4) – The Packers are so charmed they managed to draft an Alabama running back who isn’t a bust. I’m skeptical the defense is poised for a major rebound. Julius Peppers a 3-4 OLB? Fail. Aaron Rodgers can do no wrong, though. Trips to Seattle and New Orleans are daunting, but the rest of the schedule is chock-full of winnable games. The offense could be this year’s Broncos.

Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – Climb aboard the Purple and Gold bandwagon. There’s plenty of room. Mike Zimmer should’ve been a head coach years ago. He will elevate the league’s worst scoring defense to middle of the pack. Norv Turner is lousy at running a team, but he knows how to move the chains. Even with a Cassel-Bridgewater QB combo, Peterson, Patterson, and Rudolph are all in for big seasons.

Chicago Bears (8-8) – Considering the wealth of offensive weapons, I should be much more enamored with da Bears than I am. I just don’t trust Jay Cutler to last a full season, nor am I overly thrilled with the big name free agent upgrades on defense. They will be fun to watch, especially for fantasy enthusiasts. Problem is they are usually good for two or three head-scratching defeats that will ultimately crush their playoff aspirations.

Detroit Lions (6-10) – I wanna believe in the Lions, I really do. Any team with a stud the caliber of Calvin Johnson deserves to make a Super Bowl run. They just can’t find the right head coach or the right players to shore up a perpetually awful defense. Jim Caldwell seems like a nice man, but he’s not the solution to this organization’s coaching woes. Stafford will throw for a ton of yards, Megatron will make fantastic touchdown grabs, the secondary will get slashed and burned, and Detroit will miss the playoffs… again.

NFC SOUTH

2014-nfcsouthNew Orleans Saints (12-4) – Might be the most complete team top to bottom in the NFL. Offensive line and wide receiver depth are small concerns, but Drew-Brees-to-Jimmy-Graham and rising defensive stars like Cameron Jordan, Kenny Vaccaro, and Junior Galette make the Cajuns a legit Super Bowl threat. As long as Rob Ryan doesn’t institute some unheard of Bounty incentive program for injuring opposing players, the Saints will be just fine.

Atlanta Falcons (9-7) – I put the Falcons in the same category as the Cowboys and Bears. Offense is pepperoni pizza, defense is liver and onions. I follow the NFL obsessively and live less than three hours from Atlanta, and they have two defensive starters I have never heard of. Steven Jackson is old and injured, the offensive line is allegedly better, and Tony Gonzalez works for CBS. Nine wins is very generous.

Tampa Bay Bucs (8-8) – Lovie Smith knows defense, so the Bucs will be tough to score on in 2014. The trade for Logan Mankins helps, but the offensive line is still a disaster. Is Josh McCown another Rich Gannon or a product of Marc Trestman? I’m inclined to lean toward the latter. Some weeks they will look amazing, other weeks they will look shockingly inept. That’s a .500 team if I ever saw one.

Carolina Panthers (6-10) – Red flags have been sprouting since the 2013 season ended. Their two best O-linemen retired. Cam Newton underwent ankle surgery. Greg Hardy was charged with slapping around his ex-girlfriend. They have only one wide receiver of note and he’s a rookie. The running backs are the same aging, injury-prone guys. The secondary lost three starters. They play Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Seattle, New Orleans, and Philadelphia from Weeks 4-10. HOO-BOY!

NFC WEST

2014-nfc-westSeattle Seahawks (14-2) – I take little stock in preseason records or stats, but holy shit did the defending champs look super fantastic in August. Sure, Marshawn Lynch is on the verge of imploding, and Percy Harvin is a good bet to miss at least 8 games, and the defense lost some key depth, and the offensive line is still piss poor. Don’t care. About any of it. Seattle is a juggernaut of power, intimidation, and confidence. Dethroning them will take a herculean effort.

Arizona Cardinals (10-6) – No Daryl Washington. No Darnell Dockett. No Karlos Dansby. No problem. Even though I think Carson Palmer’s arm is one tweak away from disintegrating, I am backing ‘Zona. The offensive line finally appears to be functional, Andre Ellington has Brian Westbrook-like skills, and Patrick Peterson is a beast on the back end. The Cardinals are ready to turn up the heat with a sizzling aerial attack that toasts opposing secondaries and melts scoreboards!

San Francisco 49ers (8-8) – That sound you hear is the rug being pulled out from under Jim Harbaugh. NoVarro Bowman and Aldon Smith will miss more than half the season. Ray McDonald did Ray Rice proud by abusing his pregnant fiance. Frank Gore is really old. Colin Kaepernick is really inaccurate. The margin of error for the 49ers has shrunk significantly. Four straight playoff berths? Not gonna happen. Bye, bye, elder Harbaugh.

Saint Louis Rams (5-11) – Poor Sam Bradford. Dude works his way back from a shredded ACL only to tear it again in a pointless preseason outing. So, it’s deja vu all over again, except this time around Shaun Hill will be the sacrificial backup under center. Good news is the defense will be absolutely terrifying. Maybe Jeff Fisher can Panthers his way into the playoffs by pitching shutouts and small-balling. If he does, he’s Coach of the Year.

Super Bowl XLIX: Seahawks over Patriots 

The Super Terrific Gulfman League Championship Preview… Or Something

‘Tis the season to share.

And then there were two. Is it just me, or did this fantasy football season rocket by at an exceedingly fast clip? Seems like only yesterday that Lericos was declaring his backfield of David Wilson and Trent Richardson the one to beat.

Good times, good times. Anyway, lots o’ shit went down during the last four months of pigskin paranoia that helped us reach this point. In keeping with the Christmas theme, I present the 12 Days of the 2013 Fantasy Football Season, complete with extra mirth and merry.

On the first day of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee: 

A Peyton Manning scoring spree 

On the second Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee:

Two Megatron sixers

And a Peyton Manning scoring spree

On the third Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee:

Three Brees’ TDs

Two Antonio Brown sixers

And a Peyton Manning scoring spree

On the fourth Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee:

17.7 points from Matt Forte

Three Rivers’ TDs

Two Dez Bryant sixers

and a Peyton Manning scoring spree

On the fifth Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee:

Five Romo TDs 

11.5 points from Matt Forte 

Three Arizona interceptions

Two Ray Rice sixers

And a Peyton Manning scoring spree

On the sixth Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee: 

Six DeSean Jackson catches for two TDs

Five St. Louis sacks

11.1 points from Matt Forte

Three Nick Foles’ TDs

Two Vernon Davis sixers

And a Peyton Manning scoring spree

On the seventh Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee: 

Seven Seahawks sacks

Six A.J Green catches for 155 yards

Five points from Adrian Peterson (?)

28.9 points from Matt Forte

Three Matt Stafford TDs

Two Vinnie Jackson sixers

And a Peyton Manning scoring spree

On the eighth Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee:

(Thirty) Eight points from Megatron

Seven Jordy Nelson catches for 123 yards

Six Patriots sacks 

Five yards per carry for Zac Stacy 

Four Marvin Jones’ TDs

Three Dan Bailey field goals

Two Frank Gore sixers

And a Peyton Manning scoring spree 

On the ninth Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee: 

Nine Andre Johnson catches for 229 yards

Eight Keenan Allen catches for 128 yards

Seven Nick Foles’ TDs

Six scores from Riley Cooper and T.Y. Hilton

Five Dolphins sacks 

23.9 points from Matt Forte

Three Russell Wilson TDs

Two Kansas City D/ST sixers

And a Tom Brady scoring spree (Peyton was on a bye)

On the tenth Sunday of the season 

the fantasy gods sent to thee: 

Ten points from Alex Henery

Nine wide receivers with 17 or more points

Eight catches from Gio Bernard

Seven St. Louis sacks and interceptions 

Six (hundred) yards of Saints offense

Five Andre Johnson catches, two of which were scores

Four Matt Forte points (boooo!!) 

Three Tavon Austin TDs

s

Two Andrew Luck two-point conversions

And a Peyton Manning scoring spree

On the eleventh Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee: 

Eleven x 2 = 22 points for the Bengals D/ST

Ten catches for Delanie Walker

Nine for Nick Foles’ jersey number

Eight relevant white wide receivers and tight ends

Seven kickers booting 50-yard field goals

Six quarterbacks throwing for 300 yards

Five for Meagatron’s fifth 20-point game

18.5 Matt Forte points

Three Beast Mode TDs

Two Shady sixers

And a Peyton Manning scoring spree

On the twelfth Sunday of the season

the fantasy gods sent to thee:

12 kickers with double-digit points

Eleven for Tiquan Underwood and his two TDs

Ten Brandon Marshall catches for 117 yards

Nine points each from the Arizona, St. Louis, and Denver D/ST

Eight Cam Newton carries for 51 yards and a TD

Seven for 77 from Nate Burleson

Six Packers sacks

Five Anquan Boldin catches and two touchdowns

11.7 Matt Forte points

Three Philip Rivers’ TDs

Two Jamaal Charles’ sixers

And Peyton Manning’s worst game of the year

FIN.

————————-

Championship Preview: (1) Assassins vs. (2) Steelcats

CAT FIGHT! CAT FIGHT! CAT FIGHT! Don’t look now, but it’s the New York Division Champs versus the Carolina Division Champs for the 2013 Gulfman League strap. WROWWWW!! (Debbie and Tiffany approve.) The Assassins have racked over 300 points in the last two weeks, thanks in large to Shady’s 217 yards in Week 14 and Jamaal Charles’ five touchdowns in the semifinals. Who will they start under center? Campbell? Cousins? Another scrap heap hero? It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.

The ‘Cats have been leaning on a plethora of current and ex-Patriots in Brady, Vereen, Ridley, Corey Dillon, and Vinatieri (not positive about Dillon). Megatron is slumping, but he’s overdue to blow up against a shitty Giants D in a must-win game for the Lions. Will gritty, gutty Wes Welker pass his concussion test? Can Mike Wallace put together competent back-to-back outings? Does DeAngelo Williams fade into the ether after his best game in years? Feel the drama, yo. It’s hot. Nay, WHITE HOT!

Matchups favor the Assassins in a big, big way. However, the Steelcats — like a dirty stray — are pesky as hell. To the prediction machine!

Assassins 108, Steelcats 92

Shady shines against the Bears putrid run D. Assassins avenge a Week 8 thrashing.

————

Merry Christmas, bitches. I leave you with this.

Heh, heh, I bet she’s naughty.

Thursday Nightmare

manuelIn an effort to expand their product, the NFL (in all its infinite wisdom) decided to start scheduling Thursday night games for 13 weeks beginning last year. The move looked great on paper. Another night with NFL football? What’s not to like? Nothing at all, right? Wrong.

Eleven of 16 games played to date have been decided by double-digits. The matchups are often sloppy, turnover-filled shitstorms of ineptitude. Three days of rest just isn’t enough recovery or preparation time for players and coaches to reach their peak level of performance.

Think about it. Players have Mondays or Tuesdays off in a normal week, but there are no off days for teams participating on Thursday. It’s ridiculous to presume players can be sharp physically and mentally only 72 hours after smashing into each other for 60 minutes.

This is especially true for quarterbacks. In 16 Thursday nighters, signal-callers have thrown 42 touchdowns and 42 interceptions collectively. Only five guys have thrown for 300-plus yards: Big Ben, Joe Flacco, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Brandon Weeden (?). Fourteen have thrown for fewer than 200 yards.

For fantasy purposes, this should make owners think twice about rolling with their number one quarterback if he’s not named Manning, Brees or Rodgers. Maybe E.J. Manuel and Brian Hoyer will put on a glorious aerial bonanza tonight, but it’s highly unlikely.

Chip Kelly’s Offense Works… Sort Of

eaglesThe Michael Vick fantasy quarterback we’ve all come to know and loathe as if on cue opened up his narrow ass cheeks and sprayed diarrhea all over Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night. When the gaseous fumes cleared, the final numbers told the story: 13/30, 201 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, one fumble. And it could’ve been much, much worse.

Vick stared down receivers, held the ball an eternity, and fired high and wide. In other words, he was his usual erratic, sloppy self, save for a couple of long runs. The same guy who accounted for 33 turnovers in 2011 and 2012. Curse you, deja vu!

To be fair, the offensive line was atrocious. Jason Peters looked like a once dominant tackle on his last legs. Rookie right tackle Lane Johnson was abused by OLB Justin Houston. And center Jason Kelce coined the term “buttsnap,” due in large to a battered thumb.

buttsnapWhen all was said and done, 5 turnovers and 16 lousy points wasn’t enough to salvage a decent performance from a short on talent defense. Gimme a U, gimme a G, gimme a L, gimme a Y! That spells Chip Kelly is a fraud who should be handed a ticket in coach on the first flight back to the Pac-12.

Or not.

Is Kelly’s gimmicky offense really chock-full of schematic holes that can be easily exploited by big bad professional defensive minds? I’m sure all those pigskin traditionalists out there would answer that question with a resounding YES, while they sip from a whiskey tumbler and puff away on haughty cigars.

Opinions are great. So are numbers. Here are stats from three of the most prolific offenses in NFL history through the first three games, and the Eagles’ offense thus far in 2013.

Team Yards Points TO W/L
’99 Rams 1184 100 5 3-0
’07 Pats 1323 114 3 3-0
’11 Saints 1313 104 4 2-1
’13 Eagles 1385 79 7 1-2

The Eagles win on total yards, but lose on points and turnovers. However, they could’ve scored 40-plus against both Washington and San Diego, and might’ve reached 27 versus Kansas City, if not for a pair of scores by opposing defenses, a touchdown negated by a penalty, and all those damn turnovers. A few bounces/calls go their way and they have around 100 points in three games.

Which brings me back to Vick. As long as he, or whomever is under center, continues to treat the ball like Walter White treats Jesse Pinkman, the Eagles will sputter and stall in stretches. That’s not on Kelly. Yardage is there for the taking. Receivers are getting open. Rush lanes are parting.

Kelly has issues with red zone playcalling, clock management, and the NFL rulebook, but it’s not as if he isn’t adjusting to defenses. After LeSean McCoy gashed the Redskins in Week 1, San Diego stacked the box in Week 2. Kelly’s counter was to dial-up the pass, which resulted in a career high 411 yards for Vick. In Week 3, the Chiefs made a concerted effort to take away DeSean Jackson, who entered Thursday as the NFL’s leading receiver. Kelly’s counter was to once again lean on Shady and Vick, who combined to run for 253 yards.

Kansas City is a Top 5 defense that excels at pressuring the quarterback and forcing mistakes. Yet Kelly’s attack still netted 436 yards. If the Birds ever find a way to finish drives with touchdowns instead of field goals, fumbles, and interceptions, they will be tough to stop, no matter the won-loss record.

Philly’s defense is terrible. Their kicker is shaky. And Michael Vick is their quarterback. The playoffs aren’t in their future, but that doesn’t mean Chip Kelly and his “college” offense isn’t succeeding in the NFL.

Browns Fans React Favorably to Trent Richardson Trade

So long, bitches.

It took the Cleveland Browns two weeks to give up on the 2013 season and go all in on the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes. Gotta respect the front office for recognizing a turd is a turd. Brandon Weeden sucks. Their best wide receiver is a head case. The head coach has a strong aversion to calling runs. So, shipping the always plodding, never healthy Trent Richardson to Indy in exchange for a first-round pick just makes sense. Best of all, Cleveland fan is completely on board with the decision.

The Merry F@#$ing Christmas Championship Preview

The V is for, uh, victory?

Ho, Ho, Ho! ‘Tis the season to seize fake glory. After last week’s nailbiting, edge of the seat semifinals the 2011 Gulfman League title will be decided on of all observances, Christmas weekend. For one lucky owner, they’ll be receiving something a little extra in their stockings this year besides deodorant and Valtrex. I’m talking cash-money, payola, coin, dough, bread, greenbacks, cheddar, flow, loot, paper and last but not least, jack.

As correctly predicted by THIS GUY, the Lame Excuses concluded their late season swoon by falling to those pesky Negotiators, who managed to overcome yet another of their lineup blunders to advance to the championship game. Marion Barber over Michael Bush? I’ll take Bush over a guy with a girl name every time, if you catch my meaning.

My upset special failed to come though. The number one seed Hartstoppers vanquished the Lardasses by a measly two-tenths of a point. I’m fairly certain Indiana will be kicking demselves for not starting Ahmad Bradshaw, yo. But like I penned last week, the fact that they even qualified for the playoffs was a minor miracle. Or maybe it was awesome team management? Nah, I’m sticking to miracle.

Anywho, we’re down to two. Which Gulfman League franchise will take the strap and which one will crawl away with a shitty second-place check? I have the answers.

Behold, a championship prediction!

#1 Hartstoppers vs. #3 Negotiators

Wait a second, the team with the best record and the one that scored the most points reached the Big Game? That almost never happens. I blame the lockout. Why? Because there’s no way to quantify that it’s not the reason. It’s like Cube said, “Life ain’t nothin’ but bitches and money.” I have no idea what that quote has to do with the topic at hand, but I felt compelled to include it for some reason.

I digress. The Stoppers backfield of Sproles and Spiller clocked 45.9 points last week. Can they do it again? Sure, why the fuck not? Buyer Beware, though: last time Sproles played the ATL he scored 0.3. Jeremy Maclin doesn’t have a great history versus Dallas, but he’s overdue for a monster effort. Oh, and guess what Jermichael Finley did the last time he faced the Bears? Scored three touchdowns. Methinks the schizophrenic Vinnie Jackson will have a nice day in a points o’ plenty showdown with the once cowardly Lions.

I’m going to assume the Dealmakers will do the smart thing and start Michael Bush — seeing he has OWNED the Chiefs during his career — and leave the mentally and physically challenged Marion Barber on the pine. Of course, predicting what they might do is an exercise in stupidity. Hey, they made it this far, so who am I to punch holes in their logic? The schedule is kind this week as Arian Foster draws the hapless Colts, who have surrendered 18 scores on the ground. Steve Smith and Julio Jones flopped in their first meetings with Tampa and New Orleans respectively, but I’m liking both to rebound. And footie extraordinaire David Akers racked 15 points the last time he played Seattle.

This has the makings of a doozy finale. And the beauty of it is we’ll have to wait until the Monday nighter is finished to crown a winner. Wunderbar!

As was the case a week ago, Aaron and Arian will be too much to handle.

Negotiators 102.6, Hartstoppers 97.4

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Happy Christmas to all and to all a good weekend.

The Super-Terrific Happy Playoff Preview

Style points be damned.

And then there were four. After weeks of sweating lineup decisions, overpaying for free agents and reading my brilliant recaps (wink, wink), the 2011 Gulfman League fantasy football season comes down to a pair of semifinals and a championship. Before I put on my fearless forecaster cap and predict this weekend’s winners and losers, let’s take a looksee how each of our Final Four combatants reached this point.

Greenville Hartstoppers (11-3) – Finished with the best record despite losing first-round pick Jamaal Charles to a torn ACL in Week 2. Shrewdly snatched Cam Newton off the scrap heap, then promptly traded him for Fred Jackson to replace the fallen Charles. Was able to make the move because they wisely waited until the 8th round to draft quarterback Matthew Stafford, who finished sixth in total points. Stole Darren Sproles in the 13th round. Overcame injuries to Jeremy Maclin and Jackson.

Lame Excuses (9-5) – Raced out to an 8-1 record after engineering a fantastic draft that included Matt Forte in the 3rd, Jimmy Graham in the 6th, A.J. Green in the 8th, SeaBass in the 11th and Ryan Fitzpatrick in the 14th. If only they hadn’t wasted a fourth-rounder on Peyton Manning’s fused neck. Oh, what could’ve been. Survived injuries to Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte, but face the possibility of having neither fully healthy for the semifinals. Lost the total points title by six.

The Negotiators (8-6) – Started 1-3, but won five of their last six to earn a postseason berth and win the points title. Blew 4th and 5th round picks on Chad Johnson and Mark Ingram respectively, but made up for it by stealing Steve Smith in the 7th and Antonio Brown in the 11th. Dropped Antonio Gates the week before he returned, which was dumb. Drafted Michael Bush in the 9th anticipating the inevitable Darren McSofty injury, which was smart. Owns the hottest and healthiest roster entering the playoffs.

Indiana Obesities (8-6) – Lost five of their last six and finished seventh in total points. Their first seven draft picks were either injured or busts. So, how the hell did they qualify for the postseason? Two words: Cam Newton. The remarkable rookie finished number one in scoring and offset an otherwise mediocre roster. None of their runners and receivers rank in the Top 10. The outlook isn’t great, but all it takes is one or two monster performances to advance.

Behold, playoff predictions!

#1 Hartstoppers vs. #4 Obesities

Can a team win a championship with a starting backfield of Darren Sproles and C.J. Spiller? I sincerely hope not, but we’re about to find out. Both runners face Top 10 run defenses: Spiller draws the third ranked Dolphins who held Shady McCoy to 38 yards on 27 carries last week, while Sproles gets the tenth ranked Vikings. Jeremy Maclin is back, but he could be spending his Sunday visiting Revis Island. The schizophrenic Vinnie Jackson needs to come up large versus a tough Ravens secondary, as does Matt Stafford against a vulnerable Raiders defense.

The Lardasses face some difficult lineup decisions. Do they risk Mendenhall versus a Niners rush defense that yields 70 yards per game and has yet to be scored on? What about Ahmad Bradshaw against the ‘Skins? The human bruise Chris Wells has a beautiful matchup with the Browns 30th ranked run D, but he’s hardly reliable. Stevie Johnson had his worst game of the season last time he played Miami and the resurgent Roddy White draws the stingy Jaguars. Looks like Cam will have to be the man, again.

This has ugly written all over it. Methinks the Texans defense will lay an egg after clinching their first ever division title and Bean Wells will run wild on the Brownies. Number one seed goes down.

Indiana 85.6, Greenville 73.2

#2 Lame Excuses vs. #3 Negotiators

It appears Adrian Peterson will be back for the Lame ones. That’s the good news. The bad news is the Vikings will probably get destroyed by Drew Brees and Co., which could limit AP’s touches. Do they roll with a gimpy Jimmy Graham or a healthy Marques Colston? Can J-Stew find any running room against Houston’s third ranked rush defense? Will Mike Wallace regain he early season form? Can A.J. Green exploit a Rams secondary that has been burned for 19 touchdowns? Here are your answers: Graham, no, no, yes.

The Dealmakers enter the fray piping hot. Aaron Rodgers is, well, Aaron Rodgers and the woeful Chiefs will learn that on Sunday. Arian Foster beats up on bad defenses and the Panthers have one of the worst. Ndamokung Sue returns for the Lions, but I’m not sure he’ll be enough to slow down Michael Bush, who seems to produce no matter what the scoreboard says. Antonio Brown is ballin’, Julio Jones is shreddin’ and footie David Akers hasn’t netted fewer than 9 points since Week 8. In other words, this team is stacked.

Barring a monster AP performance, I can’t envision the Excuses notching a W. They’ll put up a fight, but Aaron and Arian are too much to conquer.

Negotiators 108.3, Excuses 96.7

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Good luck to all involved. Toodles.

Dueling Strategies

While reviewing the draft, I noticed a couple opposing philosophies that should be fun to monitor as the fantasy season progresses. Two teams, Steelcats and Blind Monkeys, went against the grain of a normal Gulfman League draft and selected three wide receivers in the first four rounds. As you well know if you read my inane ramblings this summer, I am a proponent of not neglecting the pass catchers.

If I had been drafting in the middle like the ‘Cats and Monkeys, I would’ve gone the same route. Hell, I strongly considered going WR-WR at 11, but not having at least one potential A-list runner in my backfield swayed my thinking. However, Run DMc is hardly a sure thing. In hindsight, I probably should’ve rolled the cubes and snagged Vinnie Jackson in the second. Relying on McFadden and Felix Jones will likely result in several profanity-laced Sundays this fall.

I digress. Rather than snatch wideouts early, the Talkers and ManahManah decided to ignore the position until round four or later and rest their championship aspirations on the shoulders of runners and signal-callers. This more traditional approach could still pay off, but a lack of a true stud receiver on their rosters in a league that starts three is problematic.

So, I pose this question: which lineup is better equipped to win a title?

Walkers Talkers Blind Monkeys
QB – Vick QB – Schaub
RB – Gore RB – McCoy
RB – Blount RB – Grant
WR – Britt WR – Nicks
WR – Harvin WR – Wayne
WR – S. Moss WR – Bryant

Not an easy answer, eh? If Vick blows up again and Britt stops getting arrested, the Talkers will be a tough out. The Monkeys biggest weakness is at number two running back. Grant, the Law Firm and L.T. are all entrenched in committees. That being said, the team is plenty stacked.

Comparison dos.

Steelcats ManahManah
QB – Rivers QB – Romo
RB – Hightower RB – Turner
RB – Moreno RB – Hillis
WR – A. Johnson TE – Witten
WR – Fitzgerald TE – Clark
WR – Bowe TE – M. Lewis

Hmm. If the ‘Cats backfield pans out and nobody gets hurt (obviously), they will be the team to beat. Those three receivers are outstanding. As for the Manah, Turner and Hillis are great in a standard scoring league like ours, but both might wear down by November. That leaves a trio of tight ends and guys like Lee Evans and Hines Ward to pick up the offensive slack. Not ideal.

Anyway, I’m intrigued which strategy ends up being more successful. And don’t worry, the dick/fart jokes and gratuitous semi-nudity will return once the season begins. I know which side my bread is buttered.

The Best and Worst of the 2011 Gulfman League Draft

Another eventful and brisk fantasy draft is in the books. Save for a couple technical snafus, it was smooth as a supermodel’s ass. Thanks to the Commish for once again running the show and a special bow to the drafters for making speedy picks. With the pleasantries out of the way, it’s time to do a little bashing and praising. Some teams look stout. Others, not so much. In case you need reminding, Stud pulls no punches. Just like Chris Brown on a dinner date. *rimshot*

10 Best Draft Picks (in random order)

10) Matt Forte, 25th overall – Lame Excuses: This is what the experts call a “value pick.” Forte finished above Ray Rice, MJD and Steven Jackson in 2010 and yet he slips into the 3rd round. Sure, he plays in the catatonic Bears offense, but he‘s pretty much all they got.  Plus, he’s playing for a new contract, which never hurts.Paired with AP, the Lame ones have a potent backfield.

9) Dez Bryant, 42nd overall – Blind Monkeys: Here’s the deal with the Cowboys. Their defense is shit. New coordinator Rob Ryan will be chewing on his stupid gray hair by Week 2. Which means Romo and Co. will be involved in plenty-o-shootouts. Dez will drop an easy pass now and again, and will probably miss a couple games with a stubbed toe, but he’s got skillz, brah.

8) Tim Hightower, 56th overall – Steelcats: Either the ‘Cats took my receiver rant to heart, or they’re really, really shrewd. Rather than reach for so-called stud runners in the early rounds, they waited and pounced on preseason wonder Tim Hightower in the 5th. Mike Shanahan can be a fantasy migraine when it comes to his backfield, but Ryan Torain is built like Mr. Glass and Roy Helu is a rookie who can’t pass protect. He acquired Hightower for a reason. Think Mike Anderson in 2005. 1000 yards and 10 scores sounds about right in Shanny’s zone-blocking, one-cut scheme.

7) Mike Tolbert, 62nd overall – Savage Animal: Like Hightower, Tolbert is a three-down back who can catch, pickup a blitz and crush inside the five. Ryan Mathews is a better pure runner, but he’s unproven and a tad brittle. The Chargers will score A LOT in 2011, so look for Tolbert to at least duplicate his numbers (900-plus yards, 11 TDS) from a season ago. Not bad for a number three back.

6) Mario Manningham, 64th overall – Furry Beasts: Here’s the deal with the Giants. Their defense is shit. A rash of preseason injuries decimated a promising secondary. Eli will be chuckin’ the ol’ pigskin every week. Steve Smith and Kevin Boss are gone. With Hakeem Nicks drawing coverage, Mario’s deep speed will come in handy, provided Eli doesn’t throw to the wrong colored jersey.

5) Owen Daniels, 68th overall – Lordosis Rex: Brad (really?) probably reached a round early for Daniels, but that’s copastetic because the big tight end is the second receiving option in a powerful Texans offense.  He’s fully recovered from the 2009 ACL tear, so he should post solid numbers in 2011. The magic eight-ball says 800 yards and seven scores.

4) Jermichael Finley, 76th overall – Hartstoppers: Finley went off the board as the first pick in the 5th last year. A torn ACL later causes him to slide to the 7th. He might be shaky in September, but once he finds his legs, look the @#$% out! Aaron Rodgers loves, loves, loves throwing to Finley, especially in the red zone. He’ll be tough to keep on the pine.

3) Nate Burleson, 90th oveall – Blind Monkeys: Like the Steelcats, the Monkeys wisely loaded up on quality pass catchers in a league that starts three. Burleson lit it up in August, snagging a touchdown in all three exhibition games. With Megatron on the other side, Nate Dogg will make a nice security blanket for Matt Stafford.

2) Aaron Hernandez, 109th overall – Indiana Obesities: Great value for the 10th round. Hernandez might be the Patriots best deep threat. More importantly, Golden Boy Tom likes him. And when Tommy likes ya, good things happen.

1) Javon Ringer, 164th overall – Lordosis Rex: If Chrissy Johnson’s holdout carries over into the regular season and beyond, Ringer is an absolute must handcuff. Even if Chrissy plays Week 1, a dreaded hamstring pull or sprained ankle is inevitable. As a CJ2K owner, Brad (really?) wisely snagged Ringer, although Clemson alum Jamie Harper will steal some carries.

10 Worst Draft Picks (again, in random order)

10) Peyton Hillis, 15th overall – Syracuse ManahManah: Too soon to take the White Buffalo. His offensive line just lost guard Eric Steinbach, who was integral to opening running lanes. His bruising style makes him susceptible to injury. And yes, he was on the cover of Madden, if you believe in silly curses.

9) Jahvid Best, 28th overall – Hartstoppers: Spends too much time in the tub. Won’t get the bulk of goal line carries. He’s a Lions running back. Other than that, Best is the best.

8) Felix Jones, 35th overall – Savage Animal: Animal actually loves Felix this season, but admits to reaching for him. Like Best, he’s unreliable and could lose goal line carries to other backs.

7) Chad Ochocinco, 47th overall – The Negotiators: Some people chose to ignore my rant about receivers. Ocho would’ve been available in round seven or eight. Selecting him as a number two behind gimpy Antonio Gates is what the experts call stupid “risky.”

6) Josh Freeman, 69th overall – Hartstoppers: Freeman threw for over 300 yards zero times in 2010. Remove his Week 16 237 yard, five TD performance, he ends the season with 3214 yards and 20 touchdowns. Tampa didn’t add any playmakers to the mix and he plays in a run first offense. Lucky for the Stoppers, they plucked Matt Stafford two rounds later.

5) Marcedes Lewis, 82nd overall – Syracuse ManahManah: There’s no way Lewis repeats his 10-TD season from 2010.  He scored SEVEN total touchdowns from 2006-2009. Jacksonville’s offense is atrocious. I’m just not feelin’ this pick.

4) Braylon Edwards, 83rd overall – Savage Animal: I forgot the 49ers have a pair of waterheads at quarterback. Edwards is a good player stuck in an awful situation. He should’ve signed with the Bears. I punched myself in the thigh after pulling the trigger on this one.

3) Steelers D, 89th overall – Steelcats: I loathe taking a defense before round 12, no matter how awesome they might be.  Just a personal preference.

2) Rashad Jennings, 99th overall – Travelin’ Fools: If the Fools owned MJD the pick makes sense. They don’t. The better pick would’ve been Tokey (Ricky) Williams since they own Ray Rice. Even if MJD goes down, Jennings kinda sucks.

1) Sebastian Janikowski, 132nd overall – Lame Excuses: Someone had to grab a kicker in round 11. This year it was the Terrible Alibis. At least SeaBass is a good one.

Fun fact: Neither Randy Moss or Terrell Owens were drafted. The times they are a changin’.