Week 13 Fantasy Recap: Scoregasm

I pointed out a few weeks back that the scoring landscape has been a bit barren in 2014. With few exceptions, there haven’t been a lot of super studs rampaging up and down fields on a weekly basis. With scoring spread out over a shit-ton of players, finding guys to count on consistently has been a challenge. An assload of points finally lit up scoreboards in Week 13. Unfortunately, a lot of those numbers were wasted.

Ryan Fitzpatrick ripped up the Titans to the tune of 36.9 points. In Gulfman League, he was unowned. DeAndre Hopkins was the beneficiary of Fitzpatrick’s career day, scoring 35.8 points. In Gulfman League, he was on The Negotiators’ bench. Coby Fleener and Donte Moncrief combined for 361 yards and four touchdowns. In Gulfman League, both were unowned.

I’m not trashing us for not having these guys on our rosters or in our lineups. Really, I’m not. I mean, the Dogs were shrewd enough to play Tre Mason, and the Talkers wisely plugged in Joique Bell once Reggie Bush was deactivated on Turkey Day. We might be idiots, but we’re not morons.

What’s to be done when Colt McCoy outproduces Rodgers, Peyton, and Brady? What’s to be done when Roy Helu gets a touchdown and Alfred Morris doesn’t? What’s to be done when Dan Herron finishes with better stats than Jamaal Charles and Marshawn Lynch? What’s to be done when Davante Adams upstages both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb?

Nothing. Not a damn thing. That’s what makes fantasy football equal parts fantastic and frustrating.

On to the Week 13 recap.

RIP, Johnny

manzielJust when everyone was ready to merrily skip aboard the Johnny Football bandwagon, Browns’ coach Mike Pettine mowed them down with a gatling gun by naming Brian Hoyer starter for Week 14. Mike Pettine obviously never watched Manziel in college. HE WAS AWESOME!!!

The world needs more Richard Shermans

Praise Richard Sherman. Fuck the NFL league office.

This is embarrassing, even for the Raiders

Matt Schaub, Aaron Donald52-0. Six sacks. Three interceptions, including a pick-six. Two lost fumbles. 244 yards of offense. At least they won TOP 36:56 to 23:04. Atrocious doesn’t begin to describe the Raiders franchise.

WTF, Jimmy Graham

graham-WTFZero catches. Zero targets. And please don’t tell me the Steelers did a pristine job covering him, because they didn’t. At least Ben Watson and Erik Long scored. Ugh.

Bad Golden Boy, Good Golden Boy

Settle down there, Tom. Intense yelling has been scientifically proven to cause crows feet. I’m sure Gisele has needles of botox lying around the house like throw pillows, but no need to tempt the skin gods.

Now, this is more like it:

Be still my heart.

brady-lookI would live in that hair if it was socially acceptable.

Never doubt a Harvard man

Houston Texans vs. Tennessee TitansAfter Ryan Mallett tore his pec and was lost for the season, the Texans turned back to bearded wonder Ryan Fitzpatrick. 358 yards and 6 touchdowns later and Fitzpatrick is the toast of Texas. That is until he throws two picks and loses a fumble versus Jacksonville on Sunday.

Playoff Scenarios

playoffsOne week to go in the fantasy regular season and there are still a bunch of Gulfman League teams alive for the playoffs. Week 14 will be huge. Nice.

In – Character Assassins

Unofficially in – Blind Monkeys (even if they lose to the Petes, total points all but guarantees they advance)

Oh so close – Petes, Glue Factory, Dogs, Negotiators

Need a W and loads of help – Lame Excuses (four teams have to lose and they have to score something like 200 points)

2015 will be their year – Beasts, Pots, He-Rain, Crab, Talkers

If the Petes take down the Monkeys, they are pretty much in based on points. However, a loss and they could be doneski.

A Skinny W also leaves the Factory, Dogs, and Negotiators dueling for the final invite.

There are too many permutations to ponder. To make it simple, four teams are fighting for two spots. Good luck to all involved.

Week 13 Golden Nutsack Award: Chester Copperpots

nutsack2Welcome to 2014 Shady McCoy and Keenan Allen. It only took you three quarters of the season to start producing. I’m sure the Pots are ecstatic that you decided to deliver your best efforts of the season long after they were completely eliminated from playoff contention. Better late than never is bullshit in fantasy.

Prerequisite Eye Candy

candy-14For fans of the ladies.

For fans of the beefcake.

Week 14 Fearless Forecasting

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I predicted Eddie Royal would net 84 yards and a score. He got 81 and a score. I’m a realist — there’s no way I’ll do better than that. Alas, I’ll give it a go. The envelope, please:

Robert Woods: 102 yards, 1 TD

Allow me to spring on a limb: the Bills will have to score a lot of points to keep up with Denver. Sammy Watkins is beat up, so that leaves Woods to lap up some of that glorious GTP.

———————–

Stud Running Back will return…

Where the 2014 Eagles Stand After the Thanksgiving Day Massacre

eagles-13I’d like to issue a formal apology to LeSean McCoy. He has no idea who the hell I am and never will, but I feel obligated to eat a heapin’ helpin’ plate of crow for my misguided criticism of him over the last several weeks. I called him slow and hesitant. I chastised him for dancing way too much. I blasted him for going to the turf too easily. Basically, I trashed him for not being the same guy he was in 2013.

I knew the battered and bruised offensive line was a major factor in McCoy’s struggles, but that didn’t stop me from nitpicking his performances. I mean, every damn starter along the line started every damn game in 2013. Of course that’s going to maximize the running game’s production. That’s football common sense.

For Pete’s sake, the Cowboys were being lauded all season because their vastly improved offensive line was opening gaping holes for DeMarco Murray to explode through. Last week’s victim, Tennessee, can’t run the ball worth a shit because their offensive line is abysmal. Same for the Bucs and Falcons. Bottom line: the O-line matters. A lot.

I knew all this and yet I still went after Shady. Why? Because I’m a reactionary idiot, that’s why. I have no excuse, really. He was an easy target, so I pounced. Well, McCoy is now second in the league in rushing, behind only Murray, who he proudly outgained 159-73 in yesterday’s dismantling of Dallas.

McCoy has amassed 289 yards and two touchdowns in the last games. Are the Titans and ‘Boys horrible at defending the run? Yes, but that should take nothing away from Shady’s efforts. Because the Panthers suck at run defense too, but he still went for 19 pathetic yards on 12 carries back when the line was still in flux. And hey, the same five offensive linemen have started the last two games. Coincidence? I think not.

The test next Sunday against Seattle’s fifth ranked run D will be tough. So there’s a good chance Shady will struggle. If that happens, you won’t find me pointing the finger of blame. I’ve learned my lesson.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia EaglesAnd while I’m handing out mea culpas, I might as well send one in the direction of Casey Matthews. He’s already set career highs in tackles, sacks, and recorded his first forced fumble in three-plus seasons. His sack of Romo on third down early in the third quarter after McCoy coughed it up was gigundous. Does he still take the occasional bad angle? Yes. Does he still get torched in coverage from time to time? Yes. That said, for the most part, he’s been steady in relief of DeMeco Ryans.

Hell, even Mark Sanchez was competent in Big D. Andrew Gardner bailed him out on another boneheaded fumble, but Sanchez is beginning to look comfortable operating Chip’s attack. As long as he keeps the negative plays to a minimum, the offense should be fine. However, the red zone flops need to stop. I love Cody Parkey, but I’d much rather see him booting PATs than field goals.

This Eagles team still has work to do. The next two games will go a long way in deciding where they will be at season’s end. So far, so good.

Week 12 Fantasy Recap: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Every fantasy football season, players emerge from nowhere to help fake owners seize fake glory. Few if any of the experts/pundits see these guys coming, but their importance to bringing home the ultimate prize can’t be overlooked. Here are a few of these found treasures and how they stack up against so-called studs drafted way ahead of them.

  • A) 859 yards rushing, 3 TDs
  • B) 903 yards rushing, 7 TDs

Player A is LeSean McCoy, the number one overall pick. Player B is Justin Forsett, who went undrafted. Forsett is this year’s answer to 2013 Knowshon Moreno. Both backs went from third-string to starter by staying healthy and being flat out better than everyone else.

  • A) 645 yards rushing, 6 TDs in 8 games
  • B) 681 yards rushing, 2 TDs in 11 games

Player A is former ‘Bama bust Mark Ingram, drafted in the 10th round. Player B is Frank Gore, the last pick in the 3rd round. The Saints backfield is beginning to get crowded again, but Ingram has been money more weeks than not. Gore is running out of gas and losing carries to Carlos Hyde.

  • A) 49 catches, 841 yards, 8 TDs
  • B) 52 catches, 618 yards, 8 TDs

Player A is rookie Mike Evans, nabbed in the 9th round. Player B is Brandon Marshall, selected 23rd overall. When Glue Factory swapped Alshon Jeffery and Lorenzo Taliaferro for Lamar Miller and Evans, I thought Evans was a throwaway piece. I was dead wrong.

  • A) 61 catches, 641 yards, 2 TDs
  • B) 50 catches, 635 yards, 6 TDs

Player A is Keenan Allen, taken 24th overall. Player B is rookie Jordan Matthews, the 11th pick in the 10th round. Allen was last year’s lone rookie wideout to become an every week starter. Matthews is one of about ten rookie receivers from the 2014 class to squeeze his way into lineups.

On to the Week 12 recap.

Aaron Rodgers ‘Crushes’ everything

rodgers-crushNFL record books. Cornerbacks’ souls. Insurance commercials. Olivia Munn. Grape soda. Aaron Rodgers isn’t a player, he just crushes a lot.

Daniel Thomas scored a touchdown?


I honestly thought Thomas was run out of the league in 2012.

Superhero loses his cape

NFL: Washington Redskins at San Francisco 49ersFor the second time in the last two years, Robert Griffin III has been benched. Chalk it up to poor health, poor play, or a combination of the two. Whatever the reasons, RG III’s reign as Washington’s savior is over. Jay Gruden is a first-rate moron, but suggesting that Colt McCoy gives the ‘Skins a better chance of winning isn’t a completely wackadoo notion. I for one find this whole kerfuffle all kinds of exciting. My dream of RG III overthrowing Percy Harvin because he ran a shitty route as the Jets are being pummeled 42-3 is one step closer to fruition.

Mr. Unappreciated

Did you know that Anquan Boldin is tied for 15th on the all-time receptions list with 922? That’s more grabs than Hall of Famers Steve Largent, Shannon Sharpe, James Lofton, Michael Irvin, and Charlie Joyner. Despite playing with marginal quarterbacks for the majority of his career, Boldin has done nothing but produce. It’s time we gave him his due.

Meet Fantasy Football’s Lord Voldemort

Remember Jonas Gray? Neither does Bill Belichick. A week after Gray rushed for 201 yards and four scores against the Colts, he received nary a carry on Sunday. Instead, LeGarrette Blount rumbled for 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The same Blount cut by the Steelers five days earlier for basically being a whiny dick. Belichick don’t care. He’ll take a childish malcontent over an oversleeper and a chronic fumbler any day.

Catch it like Beckham

beckhamThis snag was so good, ODB might get himself a coveted ESPY for Greatest Play by a Stud Rookie on a Shitty Team That Finds New and Creative Ways to Choke Away Games.

Playoff Scenarios

playoffsIt’s that time, boys and girl. Let’s spin the ol’ playoff wheel and see where it lands.

In – Character Assassins (10-2)

Looking good – Skinny Petes (8-4), Blind Monkeys (8-4)

In the hunt – All four are 7-5: Glue Factory, Lame Excuses, Negotiators, Weiner Dogs

Need mucho ayuda – Beasts (5-7), He-Rain (5-7)

LOL – Copperpots (2-10), Crab (3-9), Talkers (3-9)

Petes and Monkeys meet in Week 14, which is A) awesome, and B) huge in deciding who will qualify for the postseason. Loser could be doneski, particularly if one of the 7-5 teams wins out. Regardless, da Monkeys look like the team to beat, having won six straight and topped 100-plus points in four of five.

And how about the number one pick finishing in the dumper? That rarely happens. Take a collective bow, LeSean, Keenan, Vinnie, Zac, and Pierre.

Week 12 Golden Nutsack Award: Furry Beasts

nutsack2Oooooh, I love it when a backfield curb stomps a defense. The duo of Justin Forsett and Eddie Lacy combined for 56.8 points to help the Furry ones bitch slap Skinny Pete into a blue meth haze, and in turn keep their super slim playoff hopes alive. That’s nutsack material, plain and simple.

Prerequisite Eye Candy

candy-12For fans of the ladies.

cake-12For fans of the beefcake.

Week 13 Fearless Forecasting

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Sheesh, I suck at this. Welp, I’m digging deep into those convoluted DVOA stats for this pick. The envelope, please:

Eddie Royal: 84 yards, 1 TD

The Ravens are especially vulnerable to No. 2 and No. 3 receivers, so I’m going with the king of fantasy trolls to have one of his out-of-left-field big weeks.

——————–

Happy Thanksgiving. Stud Running Back will return…

Where the 2014 Eagles Stand After Week 11

eagles-11Well, that didn’t go well. The lambasting at Lambeau ended up being Chip Kelly’s most horrific defeat as a pro coach. Worse than the Mile High massacre from last September. Both games were eerily similar: Hall of Fame quarterback eviscerating the secondary; special teams giving up touchdowns; inability to sustain drives and score points; a thorough ass-kicking.

I didn’t have a great feeling going into the game, but I didn’t anticipate a total team meltdown, either. It was disappointing to watch, but that Aaron Rodgers guy is pretty damn good. He was rarely off the mark, used his legs effectively, and delivered the ball without hesitation. In other words, he did what stud franchise quarterbacks do when they are firing in all cylinders.

Bill Davis’s defense was clearly overmatched. I mean, the outcome was a forgone conclusion after Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson for a 27-yard score midway through the second quarter. The pass rush that had been so dominate for the previous five weeks was MIA. The cornerbacks were miserable. The tackling was piss-poor. The overall effort for the only time this season was severely lacking.

Bitching and whining about Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams is a waste of breath. They aren’t going anywhere until 2015. And the impending free agent cornerback class leaves much to be desired, unless you believe Tramon Williams, Antonio Cromartie, or Brandon Flowers is the answer. I’m fairly certain the position will be addressed in the draft, but there’s no guarantee whomever is added will make an immediate or future impact.

The bottom line is simple: if the front seven doesn’t apply consistent pressure, the back end is in trouble, especially against elite signal-callers. Davis is doing the best he can with the guys he has. The good news is the Eagles won’t face a quarterback in Rodgers’ class until the playoffs, should they advance. Two meetings with Tony Romo will be their toughest assignments. Flopping in one or both of those games and the postseason is in jeopardy.

Offense:

Mark Sanchez is exactly who I thought he was: an average quarterback who loves giving the ball to the other team. Six turnovers in 2 ½ games is awful. And if you think those stats will suddenly improve you haven’t been watching Sanchez throughout his career. Missing open receivers and coughing up the pigskin in hilarious fashion is what Sanchez does. Get used to it.

The running game is broken. Blame Shady, blame the line, blame defenses stacking the box. Whatever the reasons, the holes aren’t as big and McCoy isn’t hitting them as fast. He’ll have a couple more good efforts, but don’t expect the 2013 version to magically reappear.

How ’bout that Jordan Matthews! The kid ain’t too shabby, eh? Back-to-back 100-yard efforts and four of his scores in the last three games. Sanchez deserves credit for looking his way often and giving the rising rookie opportunities to shine. Matthews and Maclin should be a potent duo for years to come. Yes, Maclin is coming back. No way Howie and Chip let him get away.

Zach Ertz remains a mystery. He made headlines this week for admitting he’s been frustrated with his role in the offense. I have no idea what to make of his strange season. He seems to be open every Sunday, and appears to have improved as a blocker. And yet his playing time is decreasing. Reading between the lines of Chip’s comments regarding Ertz leads me to surmise that the head coach isn’t enamored with his young tight end. It just isn’t clear why.

Defense:

Not to belabor the point, but Bradley Fletcher played one of the worst games I’ve ever seen by a cornerback. It was deplorable. Moving on.

Special Teams:

It was bound to happen. After 10 weeks of doing no wrong, Dave Fipp’s unit blew a punt coverage and gave up a touchdown. I have faith they will return to normal in Week 12.

Turnovers/Penalties:

Two fumbles, two interceptions, two defensive TDs allowed. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Against quality opponents, this shit won’t fly. 6 penalties, 53 yards. The PI by Fletcher was a back-breaker.

Looking Ahead:

Back at the Linc to face the 2-8 Titans coming off a short week. If Davis can’t find ways to batter and confuse rookie Zach Mettenberger, he isn’t doing his job. Tennessee ranks 31st in rush defense and just gave up 204 yards to Le’Veon Bell. If Chip Kelly can’t find ways to gash them to pieces, he isn’t doing his job.

Fun fact: Eagles have lost the last three in the series by a combined score of 95-56. That can’t happen again. Right?

Week 11 Fantasy Recap: Tabula Rasa

Forget all that came before. There are three weeks remaining until the fantasy playoffs begin. Thin at a certain position? Better find a warm body. Sick of holding onto draft day dead weight? Dump their asses. Have eyes for another team’s player? Pull the trigger on a trade.

The clock is ticking.

On to the Week 11 recap.

Eli/Peyton Face

It's been a solid week for Manning face. (CBS/Fox)

Seven combined picks. Two humiliating defeats. Priceless.

The Redskins are an abomination

First of all, that winter hat/hoody combo is fantastic. I need one now. What isn’t fantastic is everything else to do with the Washington, ahem, football team. RG III makes an innocuous platitude about needing 11 guys to win. Then alleged head coach Jay Gruden blasts his alleged franchise quarterback for suggesting that the entire roster is rotting garbage. OH NO! DISTRACTIONS!!

Allow me to sum up this mess. RG III stinks. DeSean Jackson is the voice of reason. Jay Gruden is in way over his head. Daniel Snyder is a shitty owner. The Redskins are a dysfunctional franchise. Which is why they are 6-20 since the start of 2013. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

WTF Stats

35bc7-wtf

  • Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at Lambeau Field since Week 13 of the 2012 season.
  • Randall Cobb has caught 54 of his 74 targets for 10 touchdowns. To put that efficiency in perspective, Jeremy Maclin has caught 58 of 102 targets for 9 scores. Demaryius Thomas has caught 72 of 111 targets for 6 scores. Point is, Aaron Rodgers is really, really accurate.
  • Since 2011, nine different Patriots running backs have carried the ball. This includes five in 2014. Don’t get too excited about Jonas Gray.
  • Tim Wright has caught 18 of his 20 targets for four touchdowns. Daniel Fells has caught all 10 of his targets for four touchdowns.
  • The Eagles have scored 9 D/ST touchdowns in ten games. The Raiders have scored 17 total touchdowns in ten games.

Last chance, dick

With Ahmad Bradshaw done for the season with his annual broken bone, Trent Richardson and his hefty 3.3 career yards per carry average gets one final shot to prove he’s not a useless tub of guts. What could possibly go wrong?

Ya know who’s back

As the late great Nate Dogg once said: “Smoke weed everyday.”

Run ’em into the ground

37. 36. 33. 29. Those are the amount of carries Jonas Gray, Alfred Blue, Le’Veon Bell, and Tre Mason received on Sunday. And guess what? All four of their teams won, including St. Louis shocking Denver. The snow is beginning to fly. Time to lean on the ground attack.

Good riddance

Adrian-PetersonAdrian Peterson said before the season he’d like to end his career as a Dallas Cowboy. Your move, Jerry Jones.

Week 11 Golden Nutsack Award: Kentucky Glue Factory

nutsack2Two words: Mike Evans. He’s a rookie. He’s on the horrid Bucs. His quarterbacks are Josh McCown and Mike Glennon. He plays opposite the proven Vinnie Jackson. And yet this young stud ranks 10th among all wide receivers in yards, and he’s been unstoppable for three straight weeks. As such, the Glue Factory sniffs the sack this week.

Prerequisite Eye Candy

candy-11For fans of the ladies.

cake-11For fans of the beefcake.

Week 12 Fearless Forecasting

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Last week’s pick Greg Jennings got hurt because he’s Greg Jennings. My bad. Time to redeem myself yet again. The envelope, please:

Cecil Shorts: 105 yards, 1 TD

I dunno. Blake Bortles has to throw it to someone when the Jags are down by three touchdowns in the second half.

——————–

Stud Running Back will return…

Where the 2014 Eagles Stand After Week 10

eagles-week10For all my whining an complaining about this year’s Eagles, I really do enjoy watching them play. Yeah, LeSean McCoy looks like he’s running inside an alternate universe. Sure, the secondary is a backbreaking mistake waiting to happen. Okay, Mark Sanchez is the quarterback. Alright, Zach Ertz has been a major disappointment.

Whatever.

All of that matters, but somehow it doesn’t. Ya see, for the first time in years, I actually believe this team can beat anyone. Every time they take the field, no matter who’s under center or which key player is injured, I genuinely think they have a shot of winning. And that includes this week’s matchup: at Aaron Rodgers’ Packers.

Hardly any of the national pundits are giving the Birds much of a chance. Vegas has set the line anywhere between 6-7.5 in favor of the Packers. Rodgers has been lights out all season, especially at home. The dynamic duo of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have combined for 18 scores. The opportunistic secondary has picked off 12 passes. Clay Matthews is beginning to heat up.

I get it. If I was gambling on the game (I’m not), I would back the Pack, because that’s what smart money dictates one should do. Even though the Eagles haven’t lost by double-digits since Week 15 of last year, I would have a hard time laying money on them in this one. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think they can spring the upset.

Maybe that’s what Chip Kelly meant when he was caught on camera telling a practice squad player that “culture beats scheme every time.” Those words have now become a mantra inside and outside of Philly. Hell, they even have shirts:

culture-winsLest we forget, the 2014 Eagles have lost twice by a total of 9 points with the ball in their hands inside the red zone with less than two minutes on the clock. Despite a ravaged offensive line and inside linebacking corps, an underwhelming season from Shady, suspect cornerbacks, Riley Cooper, and the Foles/Sanchez combo, they are 7-2 with the NFC’s best point differential.

Maybe I feel good about this team because Connor Barwin is beasting every single week. And Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks are meeting lofty expectations. And Jeremy Maclin is making people forget about DeSean Jackson. And Brandon Graham is emerging. And Jordan Matthews looks like the real deal. And Darren Sproles is turning into the steal of the century. And Cody Parkey is money. And Chip Kelly is never satisfied.

Even if Green Bay blows them off the field on Sunday, my confidence in this year’s team won’t be rattled. Not one bit.

Offense:

Sanchez not turning the ball over was the most impressive thing about his Monday night performance. He still makes his share of WTF throws and will continue to do so (brace yourself for impending horrific interceptions). But he stepped up in the pocket, eluded pressure, and fired with velocity. His rapport with Matthews is a boon for an offense in desperate need of another downfield threat besides Maclin.

Sproles continues to be A) awesome, and B) underutilized. He needs and deserves more touches. I still can’t figure out McCoy. He just isn’t making guys miss like he did in 2013. Luke Kuechly was all over him on Monday. Then again, Kuechly is a stud, so it might be unfair to be overly critical. That said, the Shady Swerve appears to be hibernating.

Defense:

Forget about the two meaningless touchdowns by Kelvin Benjamin in the fourth quarter. The Eagles thoroughly smashed the Panthers in every phase. Barwin, Cole, Cox, Logan, Graham, Thornton, Curry, and Kendricks were pests all game long. Bradley Fletcher played his best game as a pro, although I’m not convinced he will be anything close to that good against Jordy Nelson. Same for Cary Williams.

Casey Matthews once again did a solid job when called upon. He did get torched by Greg Olsen on a sweet throw from Can Newton, but Olsen is putting up numbers every week. Besides, Casey isn’t and never will be reliable in coverage. Emmanuel Acho looked okay, too. However, power rush attacks like Seattle and Dallas will prove to be much stiffer tests down the road.

Special Teams:

A+. That is all.

Turnovers/Penalties:

For the first time in 2014, NO TURNOVERS! Hopefully that will become a trend rather than an outlier. 5 penalties for 50 yards. Hard to argue with that. A couple of procedural calls, which are always frustrating. Chalk those up to new quarterback and Evan Mathis’ first game since Week 1.

Looking Ahead:

A trip to frigid Lambeau Field. Forecast calls for below freezing temps, which will have little to no impact on the outcome. Pressuring Rodgers will be critical for the front seven. If he has time to set up and pick his receiver, he will shred the secondary. Guaranteed. This Rodgers guy needs to be knocked down a peg or two. His life is too charmed:

Screen Gems And Jerry Bruckheimer Films With The Cinema Society Host A Screening Of "Deliver Us From Evil" - After PartyWho the hell does he think he is, Tom Brady? Please. Eagles mildly shock the world and win by 3. Or lose by 17. How’s that for being noncommittal?

Week 10 Fantasy Recap: When the Levee Breaks

leveeFor the most part, fantasy points have been hard to come by in 2014. If you can hit 90 points on a weekly basis, you’re probably doing okay. Shit seasons from proven studs like LeSean McCoy, Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Eddie Lacy, Keenan Allen, Alshon Jeffery, and Andre Johnson, among others, has something to do with the slide in production. But it’s the sorry state of the RB position as a whole that’s the main culprit.

Le’Veon Bell isn’t scoring touchdowns. Gio Bernard is hurt. Frank Gore isn’t getting enough carries. C.J. Spiller is out for the year. Shane Vereen plays for Bill Belichick. Darren Sproles is stealing touchdowns. Ugh.

The Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice debacles have had a trickle-down effect in Minnesota and Baltimore. Rather than leaning on a featured guy, both teams have been forced to turn to maddening committees. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon have had their moments for the Vikings, but neither is an every week starter. Justin Forsett has been solid for the Ravens, but his first multi-TD game didn’t come until this week. Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro? No thanks.

Want more committees? Feast your eyes on the migraines in Cleveland, Atlanta, Tampa, Detroit, Carolina, New England, Tennessee, Denver, San Diego, Oakland, St. Louis, and Buffalo. None of the backs from these teams can be pegged as reliable fantasy contributors. That’s 14 teams, nearly half the league, without a clear-cut number one runner.

It’s frustrating as hell it what it is. It’s also today’s NFL. It’s also why fake teams fortunate enough to own a pair of stud runners are kicking ass.

On to the Week 10 recap.

Monday Night Madness

The Assassins entered Monday night trailing by 51.1 points. Dud efforts from Matt Forte, Jeremy Hill, Antonio Brown, and the useless Michael Floyd had all but sealed their fate. Unless the Eagles D/ST and rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews blew up. Well, they and he did blow up. In a big, big way. 52.8 combined points later and the Assassins shocked the Beasts to move to 9-1 on the season. Crazy.

The vanishing

Marques Colston is officially dog shit. He’s always been banged up and prone to prolonged disappearing acts, but now he’s flat out dropping game-changing gimme touchdowns. The one he flubbed on Sunday versus the Niners probably cost the Cajuns a much-needed home victory. He’ll look great in a Jets uniform in 2015.

Batman and Robin

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb have combined for 18 touchdowns in nine games. That’s more than 23 teams, including twice as many as the Bengals, and three times as many as the Vikings. If you dabble in DFS, this duo is absolute money in the bank.

Megatron denied

I doubt there will be an interception this season more impressive that the one snagged by Fish corner Brent Grimes. That’s an automatic six most Sundays.

Daaaaaaaa Raiders!!

raiders-derpIf this derp of epic proportions doesn’t sum up the Raiders, I don’t know what does. Just watch and be amazed by the hilarious ineptitude.

Poor Brock

osweiller

Not so fast clipboard holder. Pey-Pey ain’t done eviscerating Oakland yet. Brock Osweiler is genuinely pissed, which is just plain awesome.

Andy Dalton: DEFCON 1

If Andy Dalton is going to vomit up these kinds of numbers, why don’t the Bengals sign Tim Tebow and elevate him to starter? They’d save a shit-ton of cash, and best of all have Jesus on their side. It’s a win-win when you think about it.

Week 10 Golden Nutsack Award – Skinny Petes

nutsack2Owning Marshawn Lynch and Jordy Nelson in Week 10 was fantasy bliss. Beast Mode racked 40.3 points and it could’ve been more if a 5th TD wasn’t negated due to a penalty. A team that starts Antone Smith and Kyle Orton and still wins by 30 equates to total domination. Lift your hand and cup the sack, Skinny. You’ve earned it.

Prerequisite Eye Candy

candy-10For fans of the ladies

cake-10For fans of the beefcake.

Week 11 Fearless Forecasting

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Effing nailed my Jordan Matthews pick. The rook’s 25.8 points helped me get a W and for once made me look good as a prognosticator. Time to conjure up another under the radar gem. The envelope, please:

Greg Jennings: 99 yards, 1 TD

Have you seen the Bears defense the last two games? The Starks from Game of Thrones have seen less abuse. Even toddler-armed Teddy Bridgewater can pick apart these clods.

——————-

Stud Running Back will return…

Where the 2014 Eagles Stand After Week 9

eagles-week9Well, we don’t have Nick Foles to kick around anymore. At least until the end of the regular season. For better or worse, the engineering cap to the 2014 Eagles playoff train has been handed to Mark Sanchez. Yeah, that Mark Sanchez. Oof.

To recap, Sanchez was run out of NYC after suffering a slow-healing shoulder injury and committing the infamous “butt-fumble.” Never forget:

Mark Sanchez of the 70-71 career TD-INT ratio. Mark Sanchez of the career 20 lost fumbles. Mark Sanchez of the career 55.2 completion percentage. I’m not crapping on the guy as much as I’m pointing out the facts. If you thought Foles was turnover-prone and inaccurate, Sanchez is the definition. In other words, be careful what you wish for, Birds backers.

The one good thing about Sanchez being under center is that it should help balance the offense. Chip Kelly claims he doesn’t give two shits about balance, but he knows better than anyone that his up-tempo attack is fueled by running, not passing. Defensive alignments and offensive line injuries certainly contributed to the increased number of dropbacks over the last few weeks, but J.J. Watt terrorizing the entire line last Sunday served as a reminder that going Andy Reid pass happy isn’t conducive to consistent offensive production.

LeSean McCoy and Chris Polk’s second-half domination was vintage 2013 Eagles. They neutralized the Texans’ fervent pass rush and controlled the clock. With Jason Kelce back at center and Evan Mathis set to return Monday night, the line will be stronger than it has all season. Even without Todd Herremans, who was wisely placed on IR with his torn left biceps. Matt Tobin now shifts to right guard; he’s been okay thus far, but Herremans will still be missed.

Defense:

Speaking of missed, DeMeco Ryans was the one guy, besides Malcolm Jenkins, the defense could ill afford to lose. Ryans was playing at a Pro Bowl level and was a huge reason why the run defense has been so stout. The prospect of facing DeMarco Murray twice, Eddie Lacy, Marshawn Lynch, and Alfred Morris without Ryans is daunting. Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho have massive shoes to fill. Let’s hope Mychal Kendricks uses this opportunity to fully realize his potential, because his speed and playmaking will be needed.

The pass rush notched four sacks and harassed Ryan Fitzpatrick early and often. However, the lack of forced turnovers is the missing piece on this defense. Twelve fumble recoveries is great, but only four interceptions, and none by Brandon Boykin or Carey Williams, is weak. Overall, Billy Davis is doing a solid job with a unit low on talent. That said, more disruptive plays are needed.

Special Teams:

Cody Parkey was clutch. Ho-hum. Having Darren Sproles back returning punts was nice to see. Again, no complaints from Dave Fipp’s charges.

Turnovers/Penalties:

I’m paraphrasing, but the Eagles are something like one of five teams in league history to be 6-2 with such a piss-poor turnover differential. That number is -10, which is atrocious. And given Sanchez’s history, not likely to improve. Careless blunders cost them against Arizona and will do so again until they clean it up. 7 penalties for 55 yards. Oddly, Jason Peters leads the team with 7 infractions, although only one has been for holding. Silver lining, I guess.

Looking Ahead:

Monday night at the Linc wearing midnight green (hooray!) versus the Panthers. To be kind, the ‘Cats have looked horrendous of late. The offensive line is a disaster, the defense a mess, and Cam Newton erratic as hell. Carolina will either fight tooth and nail to get a win, or completely fold their tent and get destroyed. Sanchez under center is too great an unknown to predict how this one will turn out. I feel good about the Eagles in this spot, but the loss of Ryans is a concern when facing an athletic freak like Newton. Speaking of freaks:

How ’bout that Jeremy Maclin!

Week 9 Fantasy Recap: An Early Thanksgiving

After watching all the games (yes, I watch all the games) from Week 9 of the 2014 NFL season, I came away feeling joyful over the sheer number of fantasy football treasures. So much so that I’ve decided to throw an early Turkey Day extravaganza. Time to slip into that pilgrim suit and break bread with a Redskin (Kirk Cousins is available). I’m thankful for…

  • The Bucs and Browns backfields being complete and utter quagmires.
  • Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger shredding opposing secondaries.
  • Arian Foster once again proving he’s totally unreliable.
  • Teddy Bridgewater’s grade school arm strength.
  • 10 carries, 26 yards, 3 touchdowns.
  • Giovani Bernard’s perfectly timed hip injury.
  • Mark Ingram’s career resurrection.
  • Stellar play from rookie wide receivers.
  • Brandon Weeden.
  • Percy Harvin once again duping people into thinking he might be good.
  • Golden Boy Tom Brady.
  • Names like Crockett Gillmore.
  • Mark Sanchez inevitably crushing the hopes and dreams of another fanbase.
  • The Bucs stupidly turning back to Josh McCown.
  • Antonio Brown and Jeremy Maclin.
  • Both New Jersey football teams.
  • Jim Harbaugh’s curious coaching catastrophes.
  • Chip Kelly press conferences.
  • Jerry Jones’ bloated ego.

Time to feast on the Week 9 recap.

Peyton Face

Needs work to compete with little bro.

An epidemic of mass proportions

Four current and former Jets quarterbacks sullied fields this past Sunday: Mike Vick, Matt Simms, Mark Sanchez, and Kellen Clemens. That’s four Jets quarterbacks too many.

The kids are alright

Seven rookie wide receivers are ranked in the Top 50 in fantasy scoring. That list includes not one, but two Jacksonville Jaguars — Alan Hurns and Allen Robinson. Just outside the Top 50 and climbing fast are Odell Beckham Jr., Martavis Bryant, Jordan Matthews, Jarvis Landry, and Davante Adams. It would appear that this massively hyped class of neophyte pass catchers is actually meeting expectations.

Clash of the Titans

clash-titansIt was the New York Division-leading Lame Excuses throwing down with the Carolina Division-leading Character Assassins. in Week 9 of Gulfman League. The Lame ones were hampered by DeMarco Murray’s worst outing of the season and a second straight flop from Greg Olsen. Meanwhile, the Assassins rode the legs of Matt Forte replacement Jeremy Hill and the unsinkable Antonio Brown; the duo combined for 48.7 points which helped offset Philip River’s horrid performance against the Fish. Methinks these two powers will meet again down the road.

The great quarterback experiment (update)

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I realize no one but me gives a poop about my desire to prove that quarterbacks are tremendously overrated in fantasy. That said, I’m having a blast playing signal-caller roulette in my other fake league. After 5 weeks I stood at 4-1 using the following chaps:

  • Week 1 – Jake Locker – 24 points (Win)
  • Week 2 – Geno Smith – 19.5 points (Loss – Thanks, AJ Green)
  • Week 3 – Kirk Cousins – 33.6 points (Win)
  • Week 4 – Mike Glennon – 22.1 points (Win)
  • Week 5 – Austin Davis – 32 points (Win)

After Week 9, I’m 6-3, tied for second in my division, and third in total points.

  • Week 6 – Brian Hoyer – 14.9 points (Loss)
  • Week 7 – Kyle Orton – 22.1 points (Win)
  • Week 8 – Zach Mettenberger – 22.9 points (Win)
  • Week 9 – Ryan Fitzpatrick – 23.1 points (Loss)

I wanted Sanchez for this week, but the Foles owner swiped him first. Instead, I’m rolling with Alex Smith versus the Bills.

WTF stats

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  • Ben Roethlisberger has 12 touchdown passes in his last two games. The Lions have 11 touchdown passes in eight games.
  • The Jets defense has surrendered 24 touchdowns in nine games. The Lions defense has surrendered 9 touchdowns in eight games.
  • Matt Asiata has 9 career touchdowns. Three games with three scores and 33 games with zero scores.
  • LeSean McCoy has 349 of his 622 yards in his last three starts. His next three opponents rank 26th, 32nd, and 28th versus the run.
  • Antonio Brown is on pace to catch 135 balls for over 1800 yards. The only wide receiver with more receptions than Matt Forte is Antonio Brown.
  • Brandon LaFell scored 4.6 fantasy points in the first three games of the season. Since then he’s scored 76.8 fantasy points.

Bengals botch of the week

That would be Andy Dalton tossing a ghastly pick of his own left tackle’s back. Don’t go changin’, Cincinnati!

Week 9 Golden Nutsack Award – He-Rain

nutsack2Jeremy Maclin and Gronk are straight up crushing it lately. J-Mac netted 58.5 points the last two weeks while Gronk was racking 49.4 points. Who needs healthy knees? Torrey Smith has yet to crack 100 yards, but he’s found the endzone four times in his last four starts. If Colin Kaepernick stops playing like bad Michael Vick, He-Rain will be dangerous down the stretch.

Prerequisite eye candy

candy-8For fans of the ladies.

For fans of the beefcake.

Week 10 Fearless Forecasting

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A much-needed break has (hopefully) rejuvenated my forecasting skills. I’m putting my money where my mouth is. The envelope, please:

Jordan Matthews: 85 yards, 1 TD

Sanchez and the rook had sweet chemistry in August. And yes, Matthews will be in my lineup this week.

——————–

Stud Running Back will return…

Where the 2014 Eagles Stand After Week 8

eagles-week8I’ve been calling the Eagles an enigma for weeks. Why? Because I just can’t figure out if they are actually good. Sure, the record is 5-2, tied for second best in the league. Sure, they’ve lost two games by a combined 9 points with chances to win each game as time expired. Sure, they’ve endured despite significant injuries to the offensive line and linebacking corps.

But…

This team ranks dead last in red zone offense, 29th in turnover ratio at -7, and 26th in passer rating differential. In other words, they are swimming in the same sewer as the Jaguars, Raiders, Jets, and Bucs when it comes to advanced stats. It doesn’t take a big-brained pundit to discern that being associated with that horrific quartet is bad, really bad. Speaking of bad, let’s talk about Nick Foles.

Foles has coughed it up 12 times in seven starts and has only one game without a turnover — Week 3 versus Washington. He can spew all the platitudes he wants at his pressers, but he is holding this offense hostage right now with all his egregious blunders. At least he admitted his words mean jack shit until he proves it on the field.

The alarming thing about Foles’ play is we are seeing the same mechanical breakdowns every single week. Chip and Pat and Bill and are obviously pointing these out to Nick in film study, and yet he isn’t making corrections on Sundays. This is frustrating because Foles is fully capable of setting his feet properly and delivering strikes. Like this bomb to Maclin versus Arizona:

We’re not talking about Blaine Gabbert or Christian Ponder here. Foles has talent, but lapsing into Kevin Kolb territory once too often won’t convince Chip and Howie that he’s the answer under center for years to come.

The constant backpedaling and improper foot alignment is amateur hour garbage. Is the makeshift offensive line contributing to his struggles? Yes, but even when he has a clean pocket, he’s not stepping into his throws consistently. He’s panicking when he sees multiple blitzers crowding the A gap. The red zone woes are partly due to curious playcalling, but are mostly due to Foles’ inability to plant his feet and fire into tight windows without the benefit of open space.

Throwing more to McCoy and Sproles might help, but Foles has been inaccurate on short tosses as well. That said, Shady is on pace to set a career low in receptions, which is puzzling. Defenses are keenly aware of Chip’s propensity to use runners on screens, although I find it hard to believe that he can’t scheme to get either back open on slants and wheel routes.

Perhaps the return of Jason Kelce this week and Evan Mathis next Monday night will alleviate some of these pressing issues. Then again, Todd Herremans playing with a torn left biceps is another setback for the beleaguered line. How is he going to successfully drive block or pass protect with one arm? I admire Todd’s toughness, but J.J. Watt will destroy him on Sunday.

Defense:

Nate Allen gives up a backbreaking 75-yard touchdown and now he’s suddenly hurt. Hmm… In all seriousness, Earl Wolff probably isn’t much of an upgrade, but he deserves a shot to prove otherwise until he limps off the field holding his knee, which will inevitably happen at some point.

I still love the front seven, especially once Mychal Kendricks’ calf is fully healed. I just hope he doesn’t aggravate it by playing before he’s all the way back. No sacks against Arizona isn’t a big deal. Give Carson Palmer credit for getting rid of the ball early; I mean, he was 20-42, so it’s not as if he carved up the secondary, save for a pair of huge touchdowns.

Uh, where is Brandon Boykin?

Special Teams:

Again, no game-changing plays, but Cody Parkey nailed another 50-plus yarder and Donnie Jones pinned a pair of punts inside the 20. Coverage units also did a solid job on Ted Ginn.

Turnovers/Penalties:

I’ve slammed Foles enough. Let’s just say the awful interceptions need to stop ASAP. Josh Huff is a rookie so I’ll excuse him for fumbling while trying to score. This time. 11 penalties for 103 yards. Yuck. The officiating crew effed up the rhythm of the game early by tossing flags on seemingly every other snap. Arizona had 1o infractions of their own, so they were equally victimized. I despise refs who insinuate themselves into the action. This was an example of how not to call a game between a pair of 5-1 teams.

Looking Ahead:

On the road again versus a sneaky good Texans team being held back by their quarterback. Sound familiar? Houston has a dynamic dual-threat back and a pair of legit wide receivers. They also have Ryan Fiztpatrick. It would be nice if someone besides Malcolm Jenkins could notch an interception. I think the Eagles can pressure Fitzy into mistakes and do a reasonably good job shutting down Arian Foster on stretch runs. However, I can’t trust Foles to play a clean game, so this is going to be another toss-up:

Shady scored two touchdowns and totaled 130 yards the last time these teams met. Maybe this is the week he blows up. Or not.