Posted Nov 20, 2010 03:59 PM
Going to stay away from the NFL during this article, because there are only three weeks left in the LiveWorld fantasy football regular-season, and while some things are coming into shape, there’s still plenty left to be decided.
Things in the Fortitude division are settled as far as the playoffs. The Marauders and my own team will be representing the division in the playoffs as we each have a four-game lead over the next closest competitor, and with only three games remaining, that makes it a lock.
However, in the Temperance division, things got very interesting last week when the Losers defeated the Ballers. Even though the Ballers have been the team to beat all season, they still have not locked up a playoff spot. Magnolia Bridges are looking good at 7-3, the Ballers are one game behind at 6-4 while the Losers are still right in the middle of the Chase at 5-5. The Swashbuclers are eliminated from playoff contention at 3-7
Also, to show just how competitive the league has been, prior to the start of this week on Thursday, there were only six total points separating the top three teams! And, while it seems like a large number, there’s only just over 200 points separating the top scoring team from the bottom scoring team. We have had more separation than that by the fifth or sixth week before.
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: a terrible performance this week, worst of the season. Could it be that this team’s destiny, their ability to dominate, all derive from Phyllis cry baby Rivers?? If so, then much like anybody who hitches their wagon to Romo, this team is going to find it difficult in the late-season/playoff portion of the game
- Ar Tarnsmen (2), owner Briant Laslo: a very big victory this week as my own team secures a playoff spot, even with. Big Brother Manning only managing seven points while my defense LOST four points for my team. Without question, the Fred Jackson pick up in the middle of the week made all the difference.
- Mopar’s Marauders (4), owner Larry D’Antonio: another outstanding performance by the Marauders keep them moving up the rankings. They are actually number one overall in points scored right now, and the top three teams are so close in terms of overall power that it might come down to a Photo Finish
- Lunar Losers (3), owner Adam Greuling: they get a big victory, but it’s not a very dominating performance, so they slide down the rankings a little. Still, the victory was the important thing for them this week as it keeps their playoff hopes alive
- Magnolia Bridges (5), owner Usha Kizhakekara: this team has suddenly become very intriguing, dangerous and mysterious. They picked up Blount, which I think is a FANTASTIC pickup and everybody’s favorite, lovable dog murderer is showing that you don’t have to be a good human being to be an amazing player. They have locked themselves into the playoffs, but this is one of the teams that still has the possibility of sweeping all of the awards: overall points total, Super Bowl and top spot of the power rankings. None of them are out of the question.
- Farva’s Fury (6), owner Kathleen Farber: well, they have been eliminated from the playoffs, but they went down fighting! They were actually projected to win this game right up until the Sunday night game and a big performance from Mike Wallace. They have periodically shown the ability to separate themselves from the bottom three, unfortunately it hasn’t been consistent or powerful enough to break into the top five.
- Divine Comedy (7), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: they do enough to stay out of the last-place spot, and that’s about the best they can hope for right now. .
- La Swashbuclers (8), owner Christy Bohannon: in the end, I think that, as I said earlier this season, Larry Fitzgerald was the downfall for this team. Yes, there were other factors, Ray Rice underperformed and Thomas Jones was never a frontrunner. But, Larry was supposed to be the top scoring receiver in the league, and he’s nowhere near that. When you spend such a high-pick on a player that bombs, it can be exceedingly difficult to recover
I fear football tomorrow. If Pittsburgh loses to Oakland, I won’t be able to watch any football the rest of the week
Posted Nov 12, 2010 03:30 PM
I’m not too worked up over a specific topic this week, so I wanted to instead comment on how amazing I find “fans” in general.
First off, let’s just focus on American football fans. If we focused on those who follow various other sports, I think we would wind up including the entire population of the planet..
One of the great things about football fans in America, is that the sport has grown to the point where it crosses over most of your population segments. There is no specific color, race or religion that are particularly drawn to football. The age range is massive, with kids starting to follow their favorite teams as early as 10 or 11 years old and those who remember “the good old days” following their team up to the day they die.
Also, while the world of the football fan does have a majority of males in its population, the female football fan is having more and more of a presence, to the point that the NFL has now released a “for her” line of sports jerseys.
There’s also no real physical/mental makeup that is more or less likely to follow football. From the physically fit to the handicapped, intelligent to the… not quite so intelligent, handsome, ugly, beautiful, overweight… fans arrive and cheer for their teams in all shapes, sizes and any other dimension we can include.
And this brings me to what I think is the most amazing aspect of the football fan: their teams.
No fan has it easy, even those fans of dominant teams feel that their specific team has a special way of torturing them, even when they’re winning. I can speak to this personally having been a fan of the Steelers for as long as I can remember. Yes, more often than not the Steelers are competing for the playoffs, more often than not they are successful in playing past the end of the regular season and more than any team, they’ve gone all the way to take the Super Bowl. Even with all of that success, most of the time I am watching the Steelers game, I feel like there is some element in the universe that is making sure the game is close, threatening to go against us at any time and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I feel like we NEVER have an easy victory where we can take it easy midway through the third quarter and enjoy the victory. I feel like the game ALWAYS comes down to the last minute or two, unless of course we are getting blown out.
Now, is any of that true? Not really. In general, the difference between a beleaguered football team and a really good football team is not that much. That’s why there have been so few winless/undefeated teams in NFL history, even the worst can beat him the best on the right day. So, I believe that every NFL fan feels the same way about their team of choice.
However, let’s be honest, cheering for a team like Green Bay, Dallas, the Giants or the Steelers is a different kind of animal than sincerely cheering for Detroit or Cleveland since they have returned to the league.
All teams go through time frames where they are struggling, rebuilding, competitive or even dominant. Even teams like Pittsburgh and Dallas, who have won 11 Super Bowl between them, go through struggling/rebuilding times. See Pittsburgh in the mid-eighties, or Dallas in the late eighties or this year. But, more often than not, teams like Pittsburgh, Dallas, Green Bay and so on seem to have the ability to minimize their downtime and extend their time being truly competitive for the top spot. Pittsburgh and Dallas have won super Bowls in the seventies, eighties, nineties and 2000s. Green Bay has won in the sixties and nineties, the Giants seem good for Super Bowl at least once a decade, and all of them seem to be competitive.. In my opinion, it’s “easy” to be a fan of these teams (note, there is a huge difference between a fan and a bandwagon jumper, but I’ll address that another time)
On the next level down, you’ve got the teams like Indianapolis, San Francisco and New England. These are teams who have shown the ability to extend their time being competitive, but they haven’t proven their ability to minimize their downturn. San Francisco was certainly dominant in the eighties and early nineties, but they’ve struggled since the departure of Montana, Young and Rice. Indianapolis has been among the elite for more than a decade, winning more games in the past 10 years than any other team, but how much of that is because of Manning and what is going to happen to them after he leaves? Same thing for New England, winning more super Bowls in the last 10 years than any other team, but how much of that is because of the well-documented soul selling incident which I have proven repeatedly with Tom Brady? These are the team’s that I believe most often attract your bandwagon fan’s. Everybody wants to be a 49ers fan when they are winning Super Bowl after Super Bowl, but only the true fans stick with them when they are struggling with Alex Smith or Elvis Grbac.
Now, take a team like Detroit, or even Cincinnati. These are teams that have never won the Super Bowl. I believe Cincinnati has played in two Super Bowls, Detroit has never even been in the game. Sure, the mid- nineties when Barry Sanders was at his height, Detroit was reasonably competitive, made the playoffs a couple of times, but they were never that close to the Super Bowl. Since 1977, Cincinnati has not had two consecutive seasons of winning football, barring a strike. That is 33 years without being able to play winning football two years in a row! Not winning the Super Bowl, not making it to the Super Bowl, not even making it into the playoffs, just winning more games than you have lost two years in a row.
These are the fans that I find the most amazing. They continue pulling for their team, because it’s THEIR team. They have invested a part of their soul in this team, and regardless of what happened last year, or the year before that… or before that, they are going to look for the positive. “Everybody starts out 0-0! I think we might have a chance this year!”
Now sure, many of these fans will not be that positive. The Lions have beaten down their fans to such a degree that I don’t blame a fan for entering the season with little to no hope. But, there are still fans of the Lions (I know one personally) who, every year after the NFL draft, sincerely believe the team has made themselves better and will be competitive this season. “Sure, we have no offensive line, no real defense, no secondary, no running back since Barry Sanders, no quarterback who has shown he can play in the NFL level, but we used our first-round picks in three consecutive years on Charlie Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams, three awesome receivers!”
Is it a form of delusion? Is it some kind of lack of understanding of the game, or perhaps an insanity? Would I myself remain as positive and supportive of my team if it seemed to me that the Steelers had no idea what they were doing and the ownership showed either no interest or no ability in changing that situation? I honestly don’t know. I believe I would, but I’ve never been tested in that way.
And that’s why I don’t believe these fans suffer some form of delusion. I don’t believe they are insane or just don’t understand the game. I believe that these fans are, at the core of things, the very definition of a fan. They are a fan of their team the same way that their eyes are brown, or blue: it is just part of who they are.
So, from a Steelers fan to all those true fans of Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston, all those teams who have struggled to be competitive and continue dreaming every season of the Super Bowl, I sincerely hope your dreams continue to be dreams and that you continue to amaze me in your fanship while I am able to hopefully celebrates another six Super Bowl victories
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: 140 points with superstar running back Chris Johnson off for the week? Yeah, this is the team to beat
- Ar Tarnsmen (2), owner Briant Laslo: a very disappointing performance this past week, and Ryan Matthews hurting his ankle again really has me frustrated. I’m still looking pretty good for the playoffs, but my hold on the number two spot might be slipping, and not necessarily because of the team directly behind me.
- Lunar Losers (3), owner Adam Greuling: probably the most disappointing performance of the season for the Losers, only managing 70 points and losing a crucial game. I still think they have a powerful lineup, IF McFadden and Andre Johnson can resume supporting.Rodgers
- Mopar’s Marauders (5), owner Larry D’Antonio: well, they certainly reclaimed their position in the top half. I seriously considered jumping them all the way up to number three, but that would be a huge jump this late in the season and I don’t think I’m that far off that I require a rankings readjustment. The Marauders have come together in the past couple of weeks, and this is the team that is looking to leapfrog into the number two spot of the power rankings. One more dominating performance combined with another less than stellar performance from the two teams in front of them might just see that happen..
- Magnolia Bridges (4), owner Usha Kizhakekara: they get a victory, but I think there are some reasons to be concerned. They only managed 75 points, and my concern would be coming from Tomlinson. Just as it has happened in seemingly every year of his career, Tomlinson’s point total seems to be dropping the further into the season we get. This team has shown the ability to explode, so the question is going to be can they score consistently if Tomlinson continues to drop off?
- Farva’s Fury (6), owner Kathleen Farber: if we would only look at the top three players, then this team did amazing! 71 points out of a quarterback and two running backs…. And then 16 points out on the remaining six positions. They now face an elimination game against my own team this coming week. If they lose, they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs
- Divine Comedy (7), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: they are playing for pride at this point, but they are playing and that is awesome! Their remaining goals appear to be: stay out of the basement, tried to get to number six in the power rankings, and wreck the playoffs for anybody that they can. .
- La Swashbuclers (8), owner Christy Bohannon: they scored over 100 points, was a good sign, but they still lost their game and now face a must win situation to have any hopes for the playoffs. It’s also not enough to move them out of the basement in power rankings
The week is off to a good start, Baltimore lost in Atlanta, the Steelers play in their third straight primetime game and we now have at least three nights of football all the way until the last week!
Posted Nov 6, 2010 07:35 PM
That’s much better. Even though James Harrison receives another ridiculous $20,000 fine, at least scoring was more in line. I originally really liked Roger as our newest commissioner, I’m starting to think there’s some kind of disconnect between him and the game itself.
The hit the James Harrison delivered against Golden boy Brees was indeed a late hit. He took an extra step before hitting the quarterback, and he was penalized 15 yd. for it. No need for a fine or any additional action by the commissioner or anybody else. Nobody was hurt, there was no intention to injure anybody. End of story, or at least should be the end of the story.
It appears that the majority of players in the league right now believe it is a foregone conclusion that there’s going to be a lockout by the owners next season, resulting in a delayed, shortened or canceled season. Or, perhaps worse, more games with “replacement” players.
Previously, I have been confident that things were going to work out. Professional football is currently the most popular sport in America, it has essentially replaced baseball as “America’s game”. It has a salary cap in place, has had no labor disputes in almost two decades and, possibly most importantly, a legitimate revenue sharing system that enables teams from any market to be competitive. By my way of thinking, there’s no way you would want to screw that up with a strike or a lockout.
Sure, there are some issues. Rookie salaries are getting more and more out-of-control every season. Injuries are on the rise, but the owners still want to increase the season to 18 games (while still insisting that their primary concern is player health remember). So, while owners are not happy paying out millions and millions of dollars to players who have never played in the league before, the players themselves figure if we’re going to keep getting hurt and you still want to increase the season to 18 games, the young guys need to get their money upfront and right away.
But, that can’t be enough to actually cause a strike or lockout, can it?
I didn’t think so either. But now, with the continued interference from the commissioner’s office, even though the players themselves, even the players on offense who are more often than not the ones getting hurt, are saying it’s a game, a violent game, and we understand the risks, I’m starting to think that there is a larger distance between players and owners than I had originally thought.
So, while my most immediate concern is no longer the 56-47 game becoming a regular occurrence, that concern has been replaced with the fear that a lockout is indeed inevitable following the season. And unfortunately, this concern will most likely not be alleviated until a new collective bargaining agreement is actually in place.
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: not much new to say here. They get back on the warning track, have moved into a playoff position, and are still the number one team in the league.
- Ar Tarnsmen (2), owner Briant Laslo: another decent performance from my guys. We are able to get a win and go over 100 points. Ryan Matthews seems to be getting more and more integrated into the offense, and with any luck he will wind up being more of a factor later in the season than he has been during the first half. If Calvin Johnson can stay healthy he is a beast at wide receiver and I would be fairly confident of my chances overall this season
- Lunar Losers (3), owner Adam Greuling: another good performance, McFadden doesn’t explode but still contributes, Charles looks like the real deal and they’ve got enough talent across the lineup that I believe they have reasonably secured their spot as at least the number three team for now.
- Magnolia Bridges (4), owner Usha Kizhakekara: they score less than half as many points as they did last week. Now, Michael Turner was off this week, but this is a definite concern that last week may have been the anomaly and this team is going to go back to not living up to its potential. They stay at number 4 this week with this coming week possibly being in deciding factor on what trend they will follow the rest of the season
- Mopar’s Marauders (5), owner Larry D’Antonio: Romo is gone! Let the scoring begin! Seven of their nine players scored in double digits. If they are able to shake off the stigma of Tony “I’m the most overhyped player in the game” Romo, then they may be able to reclaim their position in the top half of the power rankings next week.
- Farva’s Fury (6), owner Kathleen Farber: well, that charge did not last long. They get a total of 10 points out of six players. I said a few weeks ago that I was pretty sure the bottom three teams in the power rankings were locked into that position, none of them have been able to above the number six ranking since that time. Having seen the recent performances, I still think that the league is pretty clearly divided between the bottom three and the top five.
- Divine Comedy (8), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: well, they lose another game and I think that almost mathematically eliminated them from the playoffs. But hey, they’ve been doing slightly better the past several weeks than the Swashbuclers, so I think they deserve to move up a spot. There’s no guarantee that are going to stay here. Right now it’s more a matter of pride to just not wind up in the basement in record, points and power rankings. .
- La Swashbuclers (7), owner Christy Bohannon: well, the downward spiral has finally hit bottom, and now they have lost Britt for with the remainder of the season. They are only two games back, so they have not yet been mathematically eliminated, but they have fallen into the last-place position of the power rankings and I think their chance of making the playoffs is a long shot at this point.
My Steelers don’t play until Monday night, so I’ll have the rare opportunity to enjoy every Sunday game without worrying too much about how Pittsburgh does.
Posted Oct 30, 2010 08:07 PM
I am back from vacation and it is late on a Saturday night. Getting geared up to go back to work on Monday, but I still have tonight and a full day of football tomorrow to enjoy. Plus, my Steelers are playing Sunday night, so I have that to look forward to all day. Other than that, I’m not feeling particularly inspired this evening.
It’s most likely just the post vacation blues, settling back into everyday life and not having something fun to do or somewhere interesting to go all lined up each day. I could go on a bit about my concerns on this helmet tackling thing.
While I was watching the games last Sunday, and I would see the periodic score updates from the other games, I found myself thinking “seems like a lot of scoring today.” But, that happens from time to time, you see a lot of scoring early and by the end of the day, you realize everything was pretty much in line.
Well, by the end of the Monday night game, the scoring in week seven was the highest average scoring for one week in the NFL in 27 years. That concerns me. I don’t want to see professional football become professional basketball, with players running up and down the field, going over the middle with no fear, catching balls and taking them the distance every other play. There is already an arena league for huge scores, but I don’t think I’m alone in liking the NFL because it is a hard hitting, defensive minded game.
Now obviously, everybody loves a good touchdown. Nobody, including myself, is looking for a game where the final score is 3-0 every time out. There’s this thing called soccer, seems to be picking up popularity in some parts of the world. If you want your scores 3-0, check it out.
What I want is NFL football, the brand I have loved since I was a kid. I want to see breakaway touchdown runs, long balls that arc the length of the field and fall perfectly into the receiver’s arms, 11 men working together to move the ball 3 ft. while 11 other men struggle to make sure they are only able to move the ball 2 ½ feet. I want to see the quarterback standing in the pocket, giants and chaos flying all around him and sometimes I want to see one of those giants come free from the blindside. Sometimes I want to see that receiver, blazing across the middle of the field, and getting laid out by a huge hit. Not injured, but hurt in a way that the next time he is running across the middle of the field he might not stretch his arms out quite so far, he might look away or think he hears footsteps. Or maybe, he will overcome that fear and stretch out just as far and make the big catch.
Nobody wants to see...scratch that. Most people don’t want to see a player get injured. There’s always the lunatic from the opposing stands that yells “drag him off the field!” when a player is lying motionless. But, none of these players are playing with the illusion that this is a safe game. They get paid millions of dollars for a reason. They are able to perform at a high level and put that fear of the career ending injury out of their head.
Now I’m a bit of a roll, so I want to mention a few more things related to this issue.
First, there is a huge difference between “hurting” a player and “injuring” a player. There is nothing wrong with hitting a guy so hard that you hurt him. Hurting a player makes a player not what to do something again. Makes them not want to run across the middle of the field. Makes them not want to fight quite so hard for that extra yard. Hurting a player is part of the game.
Injuring a player is something completely different. You can play if you’re hurt. The question is, can you overcome the fear of getting hurt again? If you’re injured, than you cannot, or should not, play. If you play the game and try to injure somebody, then you’re a dirty player and SHOULD be fined, suspended or ejected from the game.
Secondly, I’m really getting tired of the NFL higher ups being transparent. You are doing this for the safety of the players? You’re fining guys $75,000 because they really hit a player hard and gave him a concussion because you’re concerned for the player’s well being? Really? If you’re that concerned, then how come you don’t institute the same guidelines that they have in boxing or mixed martial arts? These sports, which are so frequently accused of being barbaric have the rule in place that if you get knocked out in a fight, then you can have no other contact with the sport other than working out for at least three months. No fighting. No sparring. Nothing that would risk giving you another concussion so close to your last.
If the NFL is actually concerned over helmet to helmet hits, then what could possibly be the reason that they would not institute this rule? I don’t think anybody actually requires an answer to that, as I said, it’s fairly transparent.
Lastly, once again it seems I’ve had to defend my position as a Steelers fan who is not truly fanatical. I have always said, when I see a player do something wrong, I have no problems saying it is wrong regardless of whether that player is a Steeler or not.
I am still amazed that the NFL fined James Harrison for his second hit in the Cleveland game. There was one dirty play that week, and it was from Meriwether in New England where you could obviously see he left the ground and thrust his helmet into the opposing player’s helmet. He didn’t have to, it wasn’t assisting the tackle, it wasn’t making the tackle, it wasn’t trying to knock the ball loose. It was just trying to injure the opposing player.
James Harrison hit two Cleveland Browns players really, REALLY hard. The first one there was a collision of helmets, but ironically he was not fined for this hit because the player he hit, Joshua Cribbs, was going down and it was just inadvertent helmet to helmet. The second one was an extremely hard hit up high, but it was with forearms and yes, it was obviously with the intention to hurt the receiver as he had already run through two zones and was trying to make a catch.
Then, the NFL makes a statement congratulating James Harrison on his play against Miami because he “played with obvious restraint”.
The NFL congratulating defensive players for playing with restraint. The NFL fining players for making legal hits. The highest scoring week in 27 years. I’m not sure this is a good trend.
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: well, any given Sunday I guess. The number one overall ranked team loses to the number eight overall ranked team, I’m not moving either of them in the power rankings. This I believe is one of those anomalies which shows why I like league to give out prizes based on most overall points your team has scored rather than the record and Super Bowl. Sure, I think head-to-head records are fun, and the Super Bowl is fun. But, for my money, in fantasy football nothing is a better indicator of how good your team is than points scored. I still think this team is the best in the league, I still believe they will score more points than the rest of the teams, and I still think they have a good shot at the Super Bowl. But, this game shows that there’s a good deal of luck in winning the head-to-head title.
- Ar Tarnsmen (2), owner Briant Laslo: we lose our second game of the season, but I’m still fairly happy with the team’s performance. We were beaten by the team directly behind us, but that was due mostly because of the buzz saw named Darren McFadden. For now, I hold on to the number two spot, but if McFadden turns his performance into a trend instead of a quirk, then everybody is in trouble..
- Lunar Losers (3), owner Adam Greuling: you get 43 points out of one player, regardless of the position, on any given week and you’re going to have a great week. They still have a top-notch quarterback and as I just said, if McFadden can even come close to performing like he did this past week on a semi-regular basis, then this team is going to be tough..
- Magnolia Bridges (4), owner Usha Kizhakekara: holy bombardment Batman! 158 points??? I don’t have records from all of the past years, but I think that has to be a record. I mentioned last week about this team not living up to their potential, but this is overdoing it. Every single player on their team which started scored in double digits. Every single player … on their starting roster… scored double digits! See, they started nine players. All nine of them scored double digits! As I mentioned above, this was the highest scoring week in 27 years, the second highest scoring week ever since the merger in 1970. We will see if defenses adjust, but another performance like that and the entire top four could be jumbled up next week.
- Mopar’s Marauders (5), owner Larry D’Antonio: They managed to stay at number five for one more week, but that is in serious jeopardy as they have a hard charging Fury team directly behind them. I mentioned that this team was not deep last week, and now they have lost Tony wherefore art thou Romo, and it looks like Deshaun does indeed have a lingering injury. Both of their tight ends are banged up, and their main receiver. It’s possible that it’s only a matter of time before they drop down, but I’m giving them one more week in the number five spot.
- Farva’s Fury (7), owner Kathleen Farber: last week, seven of their nine starters scored in single digits. This week, seven of their nine starters scored in double digits. I’m not sure where the overall potential for this team is. Looking over the roster, I’m not sure how competitive they could be on a regular basis with the top four teams, but they are definitely in the hunt for the playoffs and moving up to number five next week is not out of the question.
- La Swashbuclers (6), owner Christy Bohannon: remember last week how the last five players in their starting roster score a total of 14 points? Well, this week they scored a total of 20 points. That is essentially 34 total points out of 10 positions over the course of two weeks. This team is now the lowest scoring team in the league and they continue the downward slide that they’ve been experiencing all season long.
- Divine Comedy (8), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: last week I said I believe this team will win a game. I just didn’t believe it was going to be THIS game. So, they get a victory and will not go winless. I suppose there still some sort of theoretical possibility that they could make the playoffs, but they are pretty much in the same boat as the Dallas Cowboys. Take it one game at a time, and see what happens. Adding to the bright note, they are no longer the lowest scoring team in the league, so there appears to be a good chance that they will get out of the basement in the power rankings.
I will be keeping a close eye on the overall point totals in the NFL this coming week in hopes of seeing a regulation in the scoring.
Posted Oct 19, 2010 09:32 PM
Here’s the deal, football is football. Big, strong, fast men are going to collide with each other. Frequently, these collisions are going to be in the blink of an eye. Instinct says that if I’m going to hit a big, strong, fast man who is heading directly at me, then I’m going to lower my head to protect my face and eyes. It sucks, but it is the way it is.
Now, do I want to see all these head injuries? Certainly not. However, I have to say I am totally against players being suspended for helmet to helmet collisions. What you’ll wind up with is players backing off of a tackle for fear of a suspension, and the result will be receivers breaking arm tackles and running free across the middle. This will mean more points and weaker defenses. Maybe some people will like that, but if so, I don’t want to hear any of you crying about how the strong safety from your favorite team pulled up on a tackle instead of blowing the guy up.
It’s football. People are going to get hurt.
This is a shortened article. Next week’s article will be equally as short. But hey, I’m on vacation and nobody around me is getting a concussion, so I’ll be sure to remember all of it.
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: I just think that this team is destined for a Super Bowl this season. They have a slight concern at Kicker now, but otherwise, the roster is loaded with players who can explode any given week. Odds are that 2 or 3 of them will explode on any given week. So, while this team might be hit and miss with individual players, as a team, they are just the strongest in this conference.
- Ar Tarnsmen (2), owner Briant Laslo: Another lucky week as I score more points than anybody in the conference, but that’s mostly because I grabbed Bowe who had not scored all season and scored twice this past week. I am losing faith in Mathews, but so far, I’m managing to hold on to the number 2 spot.
- Lunar Losers (4), owner Adam Greuling: They move up to the number 3 spot. I’m starting to think Roy Williams is the lynch pin for this team. Dallas is struggling, but they are going to score points regardless. They are only 2-4, but they have scored more points than all but two teams in the league. Ultimately, this might be the most powerful team that struggles to make the play offs.
- Magnolia Bridges (3), owner Usha Kizhakekara: Last week I mentioned there’s a point where performance overcomes potential. I have to move them down to number 4 this week, even with Gore, Tomlinson and Turner, there’s just not enough consistent performance here.
- Mopar’s Marauders (5), owner Larry D’Antonio: They hold steady at 5 this week, but that could change if Deshaun has a significant head injury that keeps him out more than 1 week. Plus, Gates is ailing. This team is not deep, and if either of these injuries linger, it could spell trouble for the Maurauders.
- La Swashbuclers (6), owner Christy Bohannon: The last 5 players on their starting roster (2 WR, TE, DEF, K) scored a total of 14 points. That’s going to lock you into a spot in the bottom 3 every week.
- Farva’s Fury (7), owner Kathleen Farber: Here’s the short and sweet of it. When 7 of your 9 starters score in the single digits in this type of scoring system, you are NOT going to move up.
- Divine Comedy (8), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: I believe this team will win a game. Sure, they haven’t won yet and they are dead last in points. But I like the Torain pick up, and I think if they can just start choosing the right players at the right time, they can avoid being the first winless team in LWFL history. Other than that, the season is just about shot.
There’s definitely starting to be some separation in the league. The bottom 3 seem to be hopelessly mired in the cellar, the top 2 are trying to separate themselves, while 3, 4 and 5 fight for the top as they try to stay out of the bottom at the same time.
Posted Oct 14, 2010 10:00 PM
.OK, so pretty much everybody that knows me knows that I’m a Steelers fan. But, even though they are clearly the best team ever, both from an organizational standpoint as well as on the field achievements, I’ve always felt that I am pretty good at being reasonably impartial.
For example, I never liked Plaxico Burress, even when he was the leading receiver on Pittsburgh. I never had any delusions that Bubby Brister was a good quarterback. Even Santonio Holmes, after catching that miracle touchdown pass in the Super Bowl, I had concerns over his reaction of “that’s how you be great!”. It just didn’t seem Steelerly.
I’m the first one to admit when something was a penalty that goes against my team, and the first one who says “yeah, OK, maybe that was a penalty” when the call goes against them, assuming they are accurate calls of course.
I also have no problem when punishments are dealt out for players acting in a way that I would not condone for anybody. So, when our quarterback was suspended six games, later reduced to four games, for allegations that were made against him, sure, I maybe thought four games is a bit much considering no laws were broken and there was no proof that anything happened other than a drunk college girl of consensual age following around a professional athlete from bar to bar that she was obviously interested in, but I don’t exactly want a frat boy being a leader of my team, and if such a suspension is the catalyst to perhaps begin a turnaround in that individual’s life, I’m OK with it.
However, let’s try to be fair about things here. Why is Braylon Edwards still playing football almost three weeks after getting caught drunk driving? And, what exactly are we waiting for with this Brett Favre thing? There’s video, pictures and audio seeming to say that Brett did some rather inappropriate things using a cell phone. Brett hasn’t denied any of it, cried to his team about being a distraction and the Commissioner says there is no timetable for the investigation? What’s that now?
If you’re going to suspend one player when no charges are pressed against him, he denies that he violated any laws and there’s no proof of anything otherwise, then why wait when you’ve got video, pictures and audio that the player doesn’t deny is him?? In both cases, there are no charges. In both cases, there is no actual law that has been broken. In one case, the player in question insists that no crime was committed. In the other case, the player remains silent and doesn’t deny anything. So, why is one suspended for claiming his innocence, while the other seems untouchable even though his actions seem to say he has been a less than upstanding individual?
Now, I understand Brett has always been considered a poster boy for the NFL. Sure, he had his addicted to painkillers thing early in his career, but even that wound up being portrayed as the brave, strong player fighting his addiction while continuing to play for love of the game. But, other than that, we watched him have that ridiculously emotional game on Monday night after his father died. And everybody was behind him as his wife fought breast-cancer. Oh yeah, did I mention Brett has a wife? Ben doesn’t have one of those, but apparently that doesn’t play the role in this.
So, let’s just assume that Brett, for whatever reason, is untouchable. The NFL and the media pays more attention to what Brett is not doing during the off-season than a lot of players get for what they do during the season. OK, good deal. So then why is Edwards still playing?
Here’s a guy who is caught dead to rights drunk driving. It’s not the first time he has done it. It’s not the first time he has been caught doing it. He doesn’t deny that he was drunk. AND the New York Jets are one of the teams that partake in the “player protection program” where players can call number, at any time on any day, tell them where they are and a limousine will be sent to the players location to give them a drive safely home. Despite this, Edwards decided driving himself around drunk would be a better idea. Again, why is he still playing? Anybody who has a legitimate explanation for this, I’d love to hear it.
By the way, I’m actually a fan of Brett. I’m not a fan of Edwards. I think both should be suspended if you’re going to suspend Ben.
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: they win their game, are second in overall points for the week, first in overall points for the season and right now are locked into the number one spot, barricades securely in place, doors locked, guns at the ready and lots of ammo in the basement. They might not have the overall best record in the league, but they ARE the team to beat.
- Ar Tarnsmen (2), owner Briant Laslo: well, that was fortunate. My team only manages 72 points this week, second worst in the league. The worst was 70 points, and I played them. I hold on to the number two spot, but that’s not going to last with many more 72 point efforts. Thank God Detroit was playing St. Louis the week the Steelers were off and the Detroit defense was available.
- Magnolia Bridges (3), owner Usha Kizhakekara: there is a point where the potential power of a team gives way to the actual performance of that team. The three established running backs on this team, plus the rookie Best, give this team a ton of potential power. For this week, that potential has me keeping them in the number three spot but number two and number three slid closer to number four with their recent performances..
- Lunar Losers (4), owner Adam Greuling: they are third in the league in points for this week, but lose another game and are now 1-4. Number two and number three slid down towards them this past week, but at the same time the Marauders are moving up. I think the Losers could be anywhere from number two to number five next week depending upon how they perform..
- Mopar’s Marauders (6), owner Larry D’Antonio: I believe my suspicions from last week have now been confirmed. This is definitely the team everybody thinks they should beat, but nobody wants to play. Let’s take a look at things. They have Manning at quarterback (not the one who scores all the points). They’re leading receiver is… wait for it, Brandon Lloyd? And hey, how about we set Matthew Forte, who goes on to score 30 points. Does it make any difference? Nope. 117 points, the most scored this week, another victory and a 4-1 record, tied for best in the league. There’s no choice but to move them up a spot, and with the way 2-5 performed this past week, they might break into the top half as soon as next week.
- La Swashbuclers (5), owner Christy Bohannon: I almost moved them down into the number six spot last week, and they wind up there this week anyway. However they did get a win, and managing 87 points wasn’t too bad. However, they lost Finley at tight end this past week and it seems more and more evidence that Larry Fitzgerald is going to be an anchor for this team rather than an engine. They are not going to be ranked dead last (Divine Comedy all but has that wrapped up five weeks into the season), but I think they are most likely going to drift between 4-7 and struggle to make the playoffs
- Farva’s Fury (7), owner Kathleen Farber: is not a good sign when you are in a league with a scoring system like this and you don’t have a single player that scores 20 or more points. It’s also not a good sign when five of your starters score in single digits, and two more only manage 10 points.. Overall they are number five in the league in points scored, and they are definitely still in the playoff race as they are only two games behind with lots of time remaining. They’re also doing a valiant job in trying to patch the holes (love the Michael Bush pick up, tried for him myself this past week). As I said before, this is a team I will not count out as I’ve seen them rebuild during a season in the past, but it seems that this season is quite a steep hill.
- Divine Comedy (8), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: man, I’m actually starting to feel a little bad. I mean, we have certainly had teams that have struggled in this league before. But, most of them have struggled because they start out slow and their owners gave up on them really quick. This team still appears to be trying, and that is somehow making it worse. They are active in the marketplace, they are trying to get better, trying to start the players who you are supposed to start and set the ones you are supposed to set. What do they get for it? The TWO players on their bench score 43 points, more than half of what the NINE players which they started scored. The season isn’t over yet, but if they have any hopes of making the playoffs, they have to start winning this week.
I’m going to be going away on vacation for a couple of weeks, but I’m still going to try and get the power rankings done. They might be abbreviated, they might even be nonsensical depending upon what day and time I do them, but why should the power rankings I do on vacation be any different than the ones I normally do?
Posted Oct 6, 2010 06:12 PM
Wow! Now that is what I call the bye week effect! Not a single team reached triple digits. In most of my leagues, we have very deep drafts. I’m a fan of the drafts going deep since I, like most fantasy players, feel that the draft itself can often be the single most enjoyable experience of the fantasy football season. I say, drag out the draft. Make it longer. Draft more players!
Now, I suppose there is the case to be made for a shorter draft resulting in a smaller roster, especially in a fairly casual league whose primary purpose is to hopefully keep everybody competitive and interested throughout the entire season. So, what are the main differences between a short draft with a small roster, and a longer draft resulting in a deeper roster?
Let’s take a look at my favorite kind of draft first. A long draft resulting in teams having a roster of 20 + players heavily favors the experienced fantasy football player. The majority of your significant players are going to be drafted, meaning that the free-agent pool is going to be thin. If you go into a draft where you know your team is going to wind up with 20 or more players, and at any point during that draft you wind up with the guy who blew out his knee last week, then you’re already in trouble before the season even started. I’m OK with this, because I think that’s part of the fun of the draft. It adds a whole element of psyching out your opponent. Am I telling you the truth when I mentioned “Man, that’s too bad about Larry Fitzgerald, huh?” And when you looked confused and I smiled and responded with “oh, you didn’t hear? Nevermind” then laugh, was I just joking around, or did something really happen in practice earlier this morning?
The draft that runs 20 or more rounds demands that the owners involved in that game are knowledgeable about what has been going on. Most, if not all, check out the NFL network at least once a day, have one or more fantasy football magazine’s, possibly a newsletter or two with some sort of insiders information from each of the training camps and watch every preseason game that they are able to. If you draft a bad team in a league like this, then you’re in trouble.
And that is the drawback for a lot of people. Not everyone will follow football from the 32 teams as closely as what is required to be in a deep draft, and that’s where the shorter draft with a smaller roster comes into play.
If you’re only going to draft 13 or 14 people, you don’t really need to know the second running back on all 32 teams. You don’t necessarily need to know who is the third wide receiver on San Francisco and you definitely don’t need to know who is the backup quarterback in Seattle. You can most likely take a look at one web site, download a top 100 player ranking and draft yourself a team. Even if you take somebody who has been injured, or the player ranking you downloaded was out of date and did not keep track of some player movement, odds are you can still recover by picking up free agents.
The drawback, in my opinion, is that it takes away the importance of the preseason draft, and thereby takes away some of the fun. Then, when the bye week hits, everyone needs to try and pick up the best available player. In most leagues, this will favor the lowest scoring teams as they will have the first take when two or more teams are trying for the same player. And that’s why a shorter draft favors more of a casual league and a longer, deeper draft tends to be reserved for those who would make this their living if possible.
There’s really no movement in the actual rankings this week, however there does appear to be some separation that is becoming evident. The top two teams have separated themselves by about 50 points. It’s certainly not a comfortable cushion, but it’s the first legitimate separation that we have seen so far this season. The only other “movement” is that Divine Comedy has, at this point, entrenched themselves in the basement.
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: they tie for the most points scored in the league this week, defeat the number two ranked team and thereby secure their position at the top of the rankings. This may be the first time in league history that the same team has held on to the top spot through the first four weeks of the season. I said early on that I felt this team might have the best roster, and I think that in the long run, they are going to be in it until the end .
- Ar Tarnsmen (2), owner Briant Laslo: my team suffers their first loss of the season, but it’s pretty much as I expected. We hold on to the number two ranking this week, but the off weeks have me concerned. I’m still waiting for Ryan Matthews to live up to the preseason hype, but I’ve been able to hang onto number two so far without him and I’m not giving up hope. If he picks it up, then I think I have a chance at challenging any team in the league.
- Magnolia Bridges (3), owner Usha Kizhakekara: like most of the teams this week, the Bridges didn’t do enough to move up in the standings, but they did enough to not move down any. They’ve got guys like Tomlinson, Turner and Gore who can carry the team on any given week, but once again they have five starters scoring seven or fewer points, and nobody on the bench scored more than six.
- Lunar Losers (4), owner Adam Greuling: I might have been a little overzealous last week, or maybe I was just goofy from exhaustion, but in looking at the lineup for the Losers this week, I’m not sure what I was talking about when I said the top spot was certainly not out of reach. They lose their game but I am keeping them in fourth place for the time being. However, the lineup is not looking all that spectacular to me this week. Other than the quarterback, they certainly don’t have anybody that is guaranteed to get them points every week. Both McFadden and Andre Johnson are injured, and if either of those injuries are of the lingering variety, then this team might have difficulty staying in the top half.
- La Swashbuclers (5), owner Christy Bohannon: I almost moved them down into the number six spot, but even though they lost to the Marauders this past week, I am not 100% convinced that they are the lesser team. The bottom line here is, Fitzgerald is killing them. But, what can you do? This isn’t a flash in the pan receiver, it’s Larry Fitzgerald. The guy has proven himself as one of the best receivers in the league. So, you can’t really trade him for fear that he is going to explode, and even if you do decide to trade him, I’m not sure you would get fair value from anybody at this point. I think that much like my own team with Ryan Matthews, the long-term fate of the Swashbuclers is tied to Larry Fitzgerald
- Mopar’s Marauders (6), owner Larry D’Antonio: this team remains in the number 6 spot, but they obviously don’t care, they just keep on winning regardless of where they are ranked. If not for the huge performance out of Antonio Gates this past week, I would feel much more confident in my number six ranking. It seems like every season there is the one team that when you look over their roster, you’re pretty confident you can beat them. There is always one team that when you look at their overall record compared to their overall points scored and roster, something just doesn’t match up. I think the Marauders might be that team this season. The one team everybody thinks they can beat but nobody wants to play.
- Farva’s Fury (7), owner Kathleen Farber: this was the only team that made a real push to move up in the rankings this week. The teams directly ahead of them did not do poorly enough to let that happen though. As I look at their lineup, I am almost certain they should be ranked higher at this point. But, that’s the great thing about the rankings, eventually true power rises, and I think that might be the case in the coming week for this team..
- Divine Comedy (8), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: this team is just having a bad season so far, there’s no other way around it. The four players on their bench scored 56 points, and their nine starters only scored 69. Now, add in the fact that McCoy appears to be injured to some degree and I think they are going to have a tough time winning almost every week
Well, turns out I was totally wrong last week when I said I was expecting significant movement in the power rankings. Turns out pretty much everybody performed the same, which made it impossible for any kind of significant movement. Still, there were gradual shift in power that might not be clearly visible on the power rankings. I may have to consider the introduction of decimal points!
Posted Oct 2, 2010 07:47 PM
It’s been a long, rough week. So, no-frills, just the rankings this time around
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: they have lost two in a row, but they bounced back with their performance this past week. Even though they are 1-2, I still don’t believe there’s been an indication strong enough to knock them off of the top spot. It’s rough when you score 115 points, lose by two points and your kicker got you zero. However, it’s the number one power ranked team versus number two this coming week, and that will almost certainly decide who is number one next week.
- Ar Tarnsmen (2), owner Briant Laslo: three strong performances out of my own guys. We are 3-0 and in first place overall in scoring, but I’m not sure our number two ranking is as solid as you might think. The bye weeks are here, and I have some real questions about how well my overall depth is going to hold up. I am projected to lose the upcoming game by about 43 points, and if that holds true, I will almost certainly drop down next week.
- Magnolia Bridges (4), owner Usha Kizhakekara: they moved up one spot, but this week it is mostly because the team ahead of them performed so poorly. There are definitely issues here with five of their starters getting four or fewer points. Right now they are number three, but I’m not sold on this team being top three..
- Lunar Losers (5), owner Adam Greuling: well, I said last week that I believed they would get their first victory soon, they knock off the number one ranked team in what would surely be repeated on the NFL network as game of the week. This team is showing great overall balance with double-digit scoring all over the lineup. They move into the top half this week and show signs that the top spot is certainly not out of reach.
- La Swashbuclers (3), owner Christy Bohannon: a bit of a slide here, mostly based on two things. First, a risky coaching move that does not pay off by setting Boldin against Cleveland. Second, and more concerning in the long-term view for this team, is the apparent demise of Larry Fitzgerald. It’s not his fault, blame Kurt Warner and the Arizona coaching staff who somehow convinced themselves Derek Anderson was the way to go.
- Mopar’s Marauders (6), owner Larry D’Antonio: I’m pretty comfortable with this ranking. I think that three games into the season, the bottom three teams are fairly well defined..I think this team is going to explode every now and again between wide receiver Jackson, Romo, Antonio Gates and maybe the occasional big game out of Forte. But, when you’re only carrying three running backs, and the leading scorer out of those has eight points, you’re not going to score too many points. Still, there are 2-1 early on, but wins and losses means nothing in the power rankings!
- Farva’s Fury (7), owner Kathleen Farber: Hillis is going to help add to the solid core of this team, but right now the problem with this team appears to be everything from the wide receiver down. Three wide receivers, a tight end, a kicker and a defensive team scored a total of 31 points. The real issue being those last three, with only five total points coming out of the kicker, defensive team and tight end combined. Normally these positions are all pretty even across-the-board except for the top performers in each area. Still, that kind of production can hold back an otherwise good team..
- Divine Comedy (8), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: I never did get that interview, and once again this team’s overall leading scorer this week was on the bench. But, it’s not nearly as controversial when that leading scorer is Kyle Orton. So far they are 0-3, dead last in points scored and at the bottom of the power rankings. Could a name change to Divine Tragedy be in the works?
I am expecting some significant movement in the rankings next week as we see what kind of effect the byes have!
Posted Sep 23, 2010 11:39 AM
I have a lot of disjointed feelings and thoughts right now about the NFL season in general. I tried coming up with some sort of eloquent way to make one flow into the next and create a cohesive article, but I think that this is one of those “get it off your chest” kind of scenarios. So, instead of a masterfully articulated bit of literature, I’m just going to throw some of my thoughts out there.
Baltimore Ravens. Quit crying! Yeah, OK, the roughing the quarterback call on Suggs was pretty bad. But, Ray Ray, I don’t care if you meant to do it or not, you tripped the quarterback. It’s a penalty. Not intentional. Still a penalty. And those calls cost you the game?? No, four interceptions from your quarterback cost you the game. Beyond all of that, you guys have wanted to be “the bad boys” for over a decade now. You claim to thrive on it. It’s your identity. Well, realize that your identity affects the perception of people around you, including referees.
New York Jets. You haven’t done anything yet! My god, I didn’t think I could dislike an entire team more than Baltimore. Even the Patriots at the height of their cheating scandal, they were still second-place to Baltimore. However, the New York Jets are really pushing for the number one spot. At least Baltimore are some bad guys I can respect. Their defense won them the Super Bowl about a decade ago. They talk a lot, then they come out and hit you in the mouth. The New York Jets literally back into the playoffs last season. Their coach believed that they had already been eliminated, but they faced two teams in the last two weeks, both of which had already locked in their playoff position at the time they were playing the Jets. Those teams sat all of their starters in the second half, New York winds up winning both games in the second half and then they don’t even make it into the Super Bowl, and somehow they are billed as the next big thing? My wish list for the NFL this season? 1. Pittsburgh Steelers win the Super Bowl. 2. The New York Jets collapse in fantastic fashion (drink up Braylon)
Philadelphia Eagles. I’m beginning to believe Andy Reid is suffering from some form of brain damage. First, he is hands down the worst coach at managing the game clock. I don’t even think there’s a second-place in this because Andy has so perfected the art of absolutely mismanaging his timeouts and time remaining in the game that there is no sense in ranking any other coach. Then, after remaining loyal to your embattled quarterback for a decade or so, you trade him away because you’re now convinced that the young Kevin Kolb is the future of your team. Then, after young Kevin plays for approximately one half of football, gets a minor concussion, you decide it’s best to go with the dog murderer as your team leader. And don’t give me this “everybody deserves a second chance” crap. It wasn’t like “oops, I accidentally kicked the dog out of anger”. It was an organized compound designed for animals to kill each other for the enjoyment of humans. Yeah, this is the guy I want leading my team. Oh, and did I mention that they traded that quarterback, the one that the coach supported for about a decade, in their division??
People who felt like making an analogy to Ben Roethlisberger after reading my last paragraph. No, I don’t see any similarities here. No, I don’t have any problem bashing Michael Vick as a reprehensible human being and still saying I can’t wait for Big Ben to get back and lead my Steelers. Do I WANT my quarterback roaming through college bars in Georgia during the off-season? No. Would I want my child acting the way he has acted off the field? No. Do I think there is a huge difference between drinking too much at a college bar and organizing a compound for dogfights? Yes. Do I know what happened between Ben and the college girl that night in March? No. However, what I do know is, the girl herself was under 21. It didn’t prevent her from going out and drinking all night by her own choice. Nothing over the course of the evening prevented her from barhopping place to place, wherever Ben happened to be going. I also know that only two people know for sure what happened in a tiny bathroom/hallway in that bar that night. One of them says they were forced, the other one says everything was consensual. I also have this crazy belief that people, regardless of race, religion or stature in the public eye are innocent until proven guilty. If Ben had been found guilty, I would be the first guy wanting him off of my team. He wasn’t found guilty. In fact, he wasn’t even charged with a crime of any sort. He can restore his image by not being in the wrong place, with the wrong people at the wrong time anymore. Michael Vick is in a completely different boat.
OK, I think that’s enough. I feel that I can now exist happily for at least one more week. Let’s move onto the AFL power rankings!
- Bushwood Ballers (1), owner Jeffrey Smith: the temptation here would be to move the Ballers down at least one spot. Let’s take a look at the reasons why. Well, they were dead last in points this week. That’s one reason. Also, they played the team that I had ranked number two last week, and they lost to them. Seems pretty clear that they should drop down. But, that’s not the way this thing works! They hold onto the number one spot for this week because I still believe their roster might be the most powerful. Chris Johnson is not going to go up against the Pittsburgh defense every week, they are not going to get zero points out of their kicker every week and I think that the first week is a better example of how they will perform on a regular basis. Of course, they won’t be here in the number one spot with another bad performance next week.
- Ar Tarnsmen (3), owner Briant Laslo: a second straight week of solid performances out of my guys. I managed to take the overall scoring title for the week even though Ryan Matthews was hurt and didn’t play much. I still think that the overall, long-term prognosis for this team is going to ride on Matthews.
- La Swashbuclers (2), owner Christy Bohannon: do I have something against this team? I don’t think so, but you can never be too sure. They win their game against the number one ranked team and I still moved them down one spot. Well, it’s mostly based on the fact that there was no indication that Nicks is going to be the break out player that he was in the first week. I think they still have a very strong lineup, but there are a couple of question marks now.
- Magnolia Bridges (4), owner Usha Kizhakekara: this team stays in the number four spot instead of moving up this week based on the coaching decisions as much as the lineup. You set Michael Turner against the Steelers, he gets shut down, you look like genius. You set Jahvid Best against the Eagles, he goes off, not so much genius looking. Still, the power in the lineup is there, but they may need to fine-tune the coaching decisions especially with the injury to Turner.
- Lunar Losers (6), owner Adam Greuling: they lose their second game, but I decided I was right last week and they should have been in the number five spot. Now, whether or not they have the lineup to move higher still remains to be seen, but I have to believe they are going to get their first victory soon.
- Mopar’s Marauders (5), owner Larry D’Antonio: they slide down one spot this week based on a number of things. DeAngelo Williams looks like he might be in for a tough year in Carolina, we will see if the rookie quarterback makes any difference this week. The Dallas offensive line is still struggling mightily, Romo is looking like Romo in a playoff game every week. Mojo is off to a slow start down in Jacksonville. And, on top of all of that, the Marauders sat Matthew Forte, who was their leading rusher. Now, he didn’t get a lot of points, and would not have made a difference in the game, but I think this team will need every point it can get to move up the rankings and be competitive..
- Farva’s Fury (8), owner Kathleen Farber: they squeaked out a victory while scoring fairly decent points. Kathleen shows that ability that I mentioned last week by grabbing Brandon Jackson to replace the injured Grant, but I think there’s going to take more moves than snagging a backup running back to make this team truly powerful.
- Divine Comedy (7), owners Jonathan Richards, Mark Williams: okay, I want an interview! I love co-owner situations where there might be some controversy. I need to know, whose decision was it to set McCoy against Detroit? Can you each share your feelings on what it was like watching him run wild on Sunday, knowing he was on your bench? And then, to lose your game by just two points! Trust me, I have been there more than once, you can share with me, I will understand.
A little bit of movement in the power rankings this week as teams start gravitating towards their actual position. Good luck to everybody in week three!
Posted Sep 17, 2010 05:02 PM
I’ll bet you were scared, weren’t you? I’ll bet you were thinking, “where are the power rankings? Are there going to be any power rankings?! Why am I even playing this game if there are not any power rankings!?! Are you trying to make me kill myself by getting me so upset over there not being any power rankings??? I’ll do it! Give me my power rankings or it will be chaos, anarchy, Armageddon!”
Well, fear not, I would not let our own Mark Williams stand alone against the antichrist! While he is keeping Armageddon at bay by handling the NFC power rankings, I will be doing the AFC rankings, and together we will lead you all to the promised land!
Well, either that, or you’re in for 17 weeks of mostly arbitrary, personal opinion stated as fact in the most important and glowing terms possible. Also, there is a good chance that the glowing terms will be used as frequently as possible in an attempt to cover up the fact that we really have no idea what we are talking about more than anybody else and in the end, the only thing that won’t lie do you in fantasy football are the stats.
So, all of that being said, here are your first look at the AFL power rankings
- Bushwood Ballers (1): well, it’s hard not to rank the overall top scoring team in the league number one. I really wanted to though. I tried desperately looking at the lineups to find a way that I could rank them at least number two, because clearly that would make me appear smart as if I had some sort of insight “beyond the numbers”. But, the truth is, this team is clearly number one, they scored 145 points with only four of those points combined from their kicker and defense. Now, I don’t expect Foster to put up 41 points every week, but Chris Johnson certainly has the capability to prevent similar numbers. If you have two running backs who can both put up an explosive performance on any given week, you’re going to be hard to beat. On top of that, this team had six, that’s SIX, six as in half of a dozen six, players put up double-digit points.
- La Swashbuclers (2): they may have grabbed the breakout player of the season with Nicks. If so, that along with Brady will make them competitive all season long. Throw in the fact that they scored 95 points while many of their players underperformed ( Addai, Rice, Finley) and this team at least has a solid base.
- Ar Tarnsmen (3): a solid opening performance by my own team, especially considering the immensely disappointing performances of Adrian, Ryan Matthews and my kicker. Personally, I think this team might ride on whether or not Ryan Matthews turns out to be the real deal this season in San Diego. If he does, it’s going to give me a great 1-2 punch along with big brother Crybaby Manning.
- Magnolia Bridges (4): this team claims the number four spot based as much on what I have seen in some early coaching decisions as their lineup. They were not afraid to said Michael Turner against a historically strong defense against the run in Pittsburgh, and it paid off as both of their other running backs scored more points. Now sure, they still lost the game, but I think they have three solid running backs, a decent set of wide receivers and if the ancient one can have one more good season up in Minnesota, these guys might be able to beat anybody.
- Mopar’s Marauders (5): if what we saw out of Matthew Forte is an indication that he is going to get turned into another Marshall Faulk by Mike Martz, then I think what we saw out of this team in the first week might be what we can expect each week. However, I’m not sold that you’re going to get that kind of performance out of Forte every week. And I’ve never been a big fan of Tony” big game choker” Romo. That offensive line is looking miserable and the Dallas offense has looked equally bad in both the preseason end the opening week. Going to need some more time to see if this team can actually compete.
- Lunar Losers (6): editing this after I had finished everything, and I’m really thinking that maybe these guys should have been in the number five spot. Their quarterback is widely viewed as being one of the top three, if not number one overall this season. Andre Johnson is going to get them points, and I think they might have a little, miniature GoldMine in Charles. However, I decided best to leave them when they are for this first week, and if they do deserve a high-ranking, then their innate power will rise up and carry them to a high-ranking next week.
- Divine Comedy (7): I know, these guys only managed 58 points, why are they not in last? Well, I think a number of their players just underperformed and they are actually a better team than what was shown in the first week. Schaub Is going to wind of getting some points, Randy is in a contract year so he’s going to perform big whether he’s happy or not, I think Branden Marshall is going to be a beast, so overall I think that’s enough to keep them out of last… this week
- Farva’s Fury (8): OK, I know they have Drew the golden boy as their quarterback, but I think this team is going to need to make a lot of moves to be competitive. They’ve already lost their main running back in Grant, I don’t think Moreno is going to be overly productive, and their wide receivers appear to be pedestrian at best (even though Hines maybe my all-time favorite wide receiver in actual football).Again, anything can happen over the course of a football season, and Kathy has shown an ability to build a team after the draft. I think that is what she’s going to need to call upon this season once again.
And there we have everybody. I might look into throwing in extra insights (read: opinions) from time to time over the course of the season, but for now let’s just wait and see what the second week will bring us!
Posted Nov 24, 2009 07:19 PM
What with a busy week of work last week and the realization that the holidays are upon us, the power rankings got away from me. So, going to recap the past couple of weeks and look forward to the playoffs which are officially on the horizon.
First, wrapping up the Chad Johnson situation from two weeks ago. I remember the list of corners he kept in his locker that season, and I remember the bad press he got about it in the media. I also remember not believing how seriously members of the media were taking it. Does anybody remember watching any interviews with him from that season? I do, and it was obvious the list was in no way a serious thing. I remember after a game against the Steelers and Ike Taylor had shut him down, something like three or four catches for around 30 yd.. They asked Chad after the game what about his list. He kinda smiled, put on the look of “I know you got me on this one, but I’m still having fun” and said something to the effect of “he might have shut me down… statistically speaking! However, clearly in the bigger picture of the game, I was still dominating. That’s another check mark for me” and laughed. I don’t think many corners actually took that list as an insult. It seems like the media has decided that Chad is supposed to be the bad guy, and looks for situations like that to try to make something that is a joke or for fun into something that is serious or insulting. Regardless, I will continue enjoying his personality and hope he doesn’t change a thing.
Oh, and by the way, the NFL fined him $20,000 for the “attempted bride”
Now, moving forward. I like to take this moment each season to give thanks for all of those things that you just don’t think about on a daily basis.
For me personally, I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue experiencing whatever it is life has to offer. I was born with a form of muscular dystrophy and my parents were told I would be lucky if I lived to see five years old. I turned 38 this past July and have no intention of slowing down.
None of this would be possible without my friends and family who have never attempted to tell me “you can’t do that”, even when it was maybe not such a good idea to do whatever that was. They have let me learn my lessons just like anyone else, but more importantly have encouraged me to go out and experience as much as I can.
I’ve watched acquaintances of mine who had the same form of muscular dystrophy die at the age of 10, or 12 or 15. I’ve watched their families “protect” them from the outside world, from getting sick, from traveling… from living. And I’ve come to believe that if somebody has nothing to look forward to, no enjoyment that they can think about experiencing, then they have no reason to live and give up the fight. I believe this goes for everybody no matter how “healthy” someone is.
Then, something that I feel has a direct correlation to the above, I am thankful for my job here at LiveWorld. I know it’s a cliché “I’m thankful for my job”, but I believe that it ties into so many other things that it is often overlooked because it is a cliché. Because of my job I’ve been able to purchase a wheelchair converted minivan, travel to business meetings in Boston, go on a cruise around the harbor, go to Foxwoods Casino, acquire vacation poverty in Virginia, get a new powered electric wheelchair and a host of other things that I would otherwise have had to rely on public assistance, my family or charity in order to receive. More than that, it has given me an avenue to actually be productive in the world, to feel a sense of accomplishment. It’s all part of living and it’s a part I am extremely thankful for.
And, while I could go on, I will wrap it up with one more thing. As always, I am thankful to be a Pittsburgh sports fan. The Steelers are one of the best run organizations in all sports, the Penguins have been a dream story and the Pirates are…well, they are bound to move to another city sooner or later. But, two championships in two sports in the same year with two young teams, I’ll take that.
Reviewing my predictions from a couple of weeks ago, I said Roddy White would go under 100 yd. with no touchdowns, he got 98 yd. and no touchdown, so that is a good call. I said Antonio Gates would go for 100 and a touchdown, even though he did lead his team in receiving, he did not get a touchdown or go over 100, so that’s a bad call. Finally, I said Braylon Edwards would get 80 yd. or a touchdown, no touchdown and 79 yd., that’s a push. Overall record stands at 8-12-5.
Last time I went with three wide receivers resulting in a 1-1-1 record. Going to go with three running backs this week.
I’m thinking Shady McCoy has the opportunity to start making people forget about Brian Westbrook already. Look for at least 100 combined yards or a couple of touchdowns. Also, Kevin Smith has a chance for big game at home on Thanksgiving against a banged up Green Bay defense. I’m looking for at least 100 yd. on the ground and a touchdown.
I expect Brandon Jacobs to struggle in Denver. He is a big guy and big guys usually don’t fare very well in the thin air. He might get a touchdown, but I’m saying under 50 total yards rushing
Onto the power rankings!
1. Amateur Pharmacists (2) – they have continued scoring well over the past couple of weeks and have moved into the number one spot of power. Unbelievably, they are still not locked into a playoff spot. They definitely have the inside track, with this would be the first time there is a possibility that the number one power ranked team would not even make the playoffs
2. Mopar’s Marauders (1) – they slide down to the number two spot, and should be making plans for the playoffs. They almost slipped to number three this week, but they are right in the middle of the hunt for the overall number one spot barring a collapse.
3. MM of M (3) – they hold steady at number three. Actually, they are not even in the top three when it comes to points scored, but overall they seem to have had the most consistent roster over the first 11 weeks
4. Mr. Al Davis (7) – I have to issue my thanks to Mr. Al Davis, his Oakland Raiders beat the Cincinnati Bengals last week, which was of great help seeing as how my Steelers lost. Plus, I actually had money on Oakland, so that doesn’t hurt. In this league, the team that follows the way of the vampire and done extremely well the past couple of weeks in terms of power output and is the biggest upward mover of the week, getting into the top five for the first time this season
5. Team Eagles (6) – another team doing well when they are scoring points were struggling to make the playoffs. This team seems to be one of the more extreme teams, either exploding in points or really struggling. If they make the playoffs, they could be one of the most feared teams as they not only have the potential to win any game, they have the potential to blow out virtually anybody.
6. Dreaded Mercenaries (5) – a really tough loss for the Mercenaries this past week has it looking like they may not make the playoffs. However, they only slipped down one spot over the past couple of weeks and still have an opportunity to make a push in the power rankings
7. Evil Midnight Bombers (4) – they were going to slip down a spot after the 10th week, but it was a complete disaster in the 11th week and they wind and dropping three spots. They are most likely in the playoffs, but I’m not sure if they have the ability to climb back up the charts or go very far in the playoffs.
8. Farva’s Shovelheads (8) – they have continued performing fairly well although they have only managed to go 1-1 in the last couple of weeks. They hold steady at number eight and appear to be ready to move up again, however it also seems that the playoffs are out of reach.
9. Legion of Doom (9) – my own team suffers a tough loss in week number 10 but gets a big victory last week. Holding steady at nine, there is still a possibility that we can move up significantly in the rankings and we are right in the middle of the playoff battle
10. The Bloodsuckers (10) – well, the injury to Williams turned out to really be nothing and Jonathan Stewart is still splitting carries at best. They hold on to the number 10 spot and this coming week may go a long way in determining how their season wraps up
11. Damages (12) – a big point output pushes them up a spot, but overall it’s looking like the playoffs are out of reach and the best they can hope for is a top 10 power rankings finish.
12. OffInThe Shower (11) – a couple of really tough losses have put the playoffs in jeopardy. They are not out of it yet, but they need to rapidly get back into the win column
13. Heavenly Rampagers (13) – they have had a decent showing in terms of scoring output, unfortunately they are all but eliminated from playoff contention. Still, they have the opportunity to play spoiler down the stretch and I would say overall a decent performance for their first year in the league
14. Team Falk (14) – they control their own destiny. If they keep on winning, they will make the playoffs. You can’t ask for much more at this point in the season
15. Gaul Village Asterix (15) – they may have been ranked in the bottom three all season long, but they are another team that controls their own destiny. Keep winning, and they are in. They could be the Cinderella story if they make the playoffs and do well
16. Team S (16) – it was made official two weeks ago, this space now available for advertising
Make sure to have a happy Thanksgiving everybody. Eat a little bit of extra turkey, have a second helping of stuffing, maybe another desert before things are all said and done. Most of all, enjoy the time with your family or friends and watch some football!
Posted Nov 14, 2009 03:42 PM
I’ve come to a conclusion when it comes to my predictions. As Mark pointed out last week, predicting Chris Chambers and Brandon Pettigrew was fairly impressive. And then remember a few weeks ago, when I went with Braylon Edwards two days after he got signed by the Jets on Monday night and he had the biggest game of his season? I’m pretty sure almost all of my good picks have been receivers, or the one tight end I’ve gone with, and the vast majority of my bad picks have been running backs. Case in point, see Chris Johnson from last week.
So, with my record currently standing at 7-11-4 after last week’s totals, this week is going to be an experiment as every prediction I make will be somebody whose main job is to catch the ball.
But first, speaking of people whose main job is to catch the ball, I’m curious what is everyone’s opinion on the recent Chad Ochocinco situation? First off, let me say that I am actually a pretty huge fan of Chad. This is strange for a number of reasons. First, I know that Chad is normally pretty disliked when it comes to the media. Second, I am diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan and Chad does his best to ruin my weekend at least twice a year.
Really, I’ve never understood the apparent despise many people have towards Chad. They use words like “cancer” and phrases like “not a team player” and lots of other combinations of words many of which are not suitable for this particular blog. I can say that I have never actually seen anything like that from Chad and think it is possible he may be the most misunderstood player in the league.
I’ve never seen any celebration from Chad that is designed to humiliate the person he just to beat. I can’t say that I recall ever seeing him hold the ball out tauntingly as he high steps his way into the end zone. To me, it seems like everything he has done, whether it be in his post touchdown celebrations or his pregame smack talk, has been simply for fun… to make the game more entertaining without insulting another player or fan.
When Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh in the 2005 season to lock up the AFC North division championship, was it Chad who delighted in cleaning his shoes with the revered terrible towel with the sole purpose of rubbing it in the face of the Pittsburgh fans? No, that was TJ Whoseyourmomma.
Every week I see players like Chris Johnson, Tommy Harris, Albert Haynesworth or Terrell Owens taunt other players, or fans, for the sole purpose of not making things more enjoyable, but showing up somebody on the opposition. Or they are punching somebody in the face, stepping on somebody who has lost their helmet with the intention of scarring them with their cleats or making so much trouble in the locker room that the team disintegrates around, which doesn’t bother them at all as long as they have the spotlight.
Or, worse yet, there are players like Leonard Little, Michael Vick, Travis Henry or Ray Carruth who are getting drunk and running people over (more than once), staging gladiatorial death matches involving man’s best friend, having so many children to so many different women that despite having an NFL contract that they are going bankrupt and not paying child support or actually murdering their girlfriend. None of these things do I see Chad doing, yet he seems to get lumped in with the bad element present in the NFL.
So, what’s your thought on this week’s situation? If you’re not aware of what the situation is, then you were not watching much football last weekend, but here you go. During a fairly important part of the game, Chad makes a catch alongside lines. The official rules it a catch, but the opposing coach see something and throws the red flag to challenge the play. Upon further review it is fairly clear that Chad does not get both feet down and the play is going to be overturned.
It is at this point that the cameras catch sight of Chad walking alongside line, a crumpled up one dollar bill in his hand. It looks like he is going to try to go over to the referee with the one dollar bill, but the timing is wrong and he’s not able to do it. Afterwards, when asked what he was doing, he explains what was already pretty obvious: he was going to bribe the official so that the call went in his direction. All of the reporters laughed, Chad said it was all in fun, asked the Commissioner to please not fine him and apologized right on the spot, which resulted in more laughter.
On Friday the Commissioner fined Chad $20,000 for the stunt.
Now, I understand both sides of it. If you don’t fine a guy for jokingly trying to bribe an official with a one dollar bill, do you fine guy for jokingly trying to bribe an official with a $10 bill? $20? $100? You get the point. So, I understand that it must be made clear that no joking of any kind can be allowed when it comes to bribing an official.
But, is $20,000 appropriate? Could there have been a statement released along with the fine stating that “while the NFL understands Mr. Ochocinco was only joking, we feel it necessary to make it clear that bribery of any kind is not permitted in NFL”. Could there have just been a reprimand? Vote in the poll and give us your thoughts in the comments!
Now for my newly anointed “death from above predictions”. For my starter who I expect to struggle, going to go with a Roddy White. He has been having a really good season and has a nice matchup in Carolina, but he has been having a tough time in practice the past couple of weeks and I think if Atlanta gets out in front, they will take the opportunity to rest Roddy. No touchdown and under 100 yd.
For my secondary players, since I mentioned Mr. Edwards at the top, going to go with him again here at home against Jacksonville. Edwards has been quiet the past few weeks, but I’m thinking at least 80 yd. or a score from him this week. And then, a guy who has been having a pretty disappointing season fantasy football wise but was drafted near the top of his position, I expect Antonio Gates to go for maybe 100 yd. and a score
Onto the power rankings!
1. Mopar’s Marauders (1) – they hold onto the number one spot just BARELY. Normally it takes the number one team faltering a little bit for them to lose the number one position, and while Marauders are continuing to perform exceptionally well, they may need more of a Herculean effort to hold on to the top spot if things continue going as they have been
2. Amateur Pharmacists (3) – normally, the power rankings are somewhat fluid in nature. Teams move up or down the charts depending not only on how they themselves have been doing, but on how the teams around them have been performing as well. Rarely do we see a team who literally muscles its way up the charts regardless of how anybody else is going. The Pharmacists have found some sort of drug combination and have been able to mimic the effects of the Super Soldier Serum and are now somehow more than human. They appear to be bending the rest of the league to their will and are in position to now forcefully take over the number one spot regardless of how well Marauders perform this coming week. However, despite their staggering point output recently, they are still not locked into the playoffs
3. MM of M (2) – a victim of the rampaging beast known as the Pharmacists, the Monkeys slide down another spot despite a solid performance. They are probably already looking ahead to the playoffs, but points and power rankings are still possibilities for them. Right now I would not want to be playing any of the top three seems
4. Evil Midnight Bombers (5) – they climb back up one more spot and a good performance this coming week could have them challenging for a return to the top three. The main concern right now is injuries with Clinton out and the other running backs all underperforming
5. Dreaded Mercenaries (4) – they continue a slow slide down the power rankings, and they also continue losing games, having lost five in a row now. It’s very possible this slide in the power rankings might just be some sort of self-correcting mechanism relating to the fluid nature of the rankings as mentioned before. Statistically speaking, points and record wise, it doesn’t appear that the Mercenaries should be ranked this high, but no one fully understands the workings of the power rankings, so the Mercenaries remain in the top five another week
6. Team Eagles (6) – the Eagles hold on to number six but find themselves in a death struggle for a playoff spot. The next couple of weeks are going to go a long way in determining the overall success of this team in terms of playoffs, power rankings and overall points
7. Mr. Al Davis (7) – last week’s game was part of an advertising project by the LiveWorld fantasy football league, the game was scheduled to take place in Iceland. The crowd was fairly large and took place at 9 p.m. local time. Of course, since Iceland is currently receiving less than 20 minutes of darkness each night, it was still bright and sunshiny at kickoff. Is it a coincidence that Mr. Al Davis lost this game? Or is this just further proof of the vampiric nature of this team?
8. Farva’s Shovelheads (9) – they rebound from the past few weeks and get a big victory. They also moved back into the top half of the power rankings. This coming week will be big in showing was last week the beginning of another surge, or was it just a brief rebound amidst the struggles.
9. Legion of Doom (10) – my own team continues slowly crawling up the power rankings and have somehow found themselves in position to make the playoffs. Still, recent injury news may put a damper on any positive momentum
10. The Bloodsuckers (8) – the slow slide becomes a bit more of a drop this week as they fall to number 10. There is some reason for hope as the news hour of Carolina is that running back Williams may not be able to go, which is good news for any Jonathan Stewart owners
11. OffInThe Shower (12) – somehow this team as the exact same record as the Pharmacists. They may not be able to make a run at the overall points or power rankings, but they are right in line for a playoff run
12. Damages (11) – they continue sliding down the charts and now the playoffs are looking to be more and more in jeopardy. You can’t blame them for trying as they’ve made 21 free-agent moves throughout the season, they just does have not been able to find a solid running back.
13. Heavenly Rampagers (13) – they get a nice victory, but they are going to need to string eighth few of those together in order to make the playoffs. Barring a miracle (and given the team name I won’t rule it out) they are out of contention for overall points and most likely will not see the top 10 of the power rankings again this season
14. Team Falk (14) – they suffer a tough loss this week, but they’re still right in the thick of things for a playoff spot. There might be some movement in the power rankings for them, but this is another team that seems unlikely to make it into the top 10
15. Gaul Village Asterix (15) – they have lost three in a row, but the playoffs are still a possibility for them. Other than that, this is probably where the team will wind up in terms of power rankings at the end of the season
16. Team S (16) – last week, repeat ad nauseam
And there we have it everybody! Things are getting really interesting in the playoff race, and despite the larger league overall, I think that’s this might be the closest power rankings we have had in our three seasons when looking at teams 1-12.
Posted Nov 8, 2009 01:41 PM
(posted this Friday but apparently it didn't take)
Even busier this week, so this one is going to be little more than predictions and power rankings. But vote in the poll! It’s just over to the right, I’m very curious to see how everybody in the league thinks on this.
Last week was miserable for predictions, going 0-3, leaving the overall record at 5-10-4. Hoping to start making a push towards even this week and I stayed entirely in the AFC West for my secondary players. Chris Chambers has been somewhat the forgotten man in San Diego this season, but now he is in KC and I think he gets on the board this week against the Jags. Then, a slightly more obscure selection, taking a tight end, Brandon Pettigrew against Seattle. For my guaranteed starter that I feel might underperform I am going with Chris Johnson making the journey out West
Onto the power rankings!
1. Mopar’s Marauders (2) – we have a change at the top! The Marauders have been performing very consistently week after week, and this week the Monkeys blinked. Right now, you can’t say there is a solid number one team as there are literally six different teams who could be legitimate number ones right now
2. MM of M (1) – well, I put the curse on the Monkeys I guess. Last week I said things like “dispell any concerns over holding on to the number one spot” and” the monkeys look to be holding on to the number one spot for the foreseeable future”. Of course, I also said, any team can follow apart any given week, and that’s what happened to the Monkeys this week. It’s really their first truly bad performance of their season, but when you’re in the arena with gladiators, it only takes one slipup
3. Amateur Pharmacists (4) – they move into the top three and warranted serious consideration for jumping all the way up to number one this week. They have scored more points than anybody this season and I could certainly envision a leapfrog scenario that lands them in the number one spot next week
4. Dreaded Mercenaries (3) – they are scoring decent points, but they keep on losing! There are a lot of factors that go into the power rankings, and even though head to head record might involve a lot of luck, if the power of the universes against you it’s hard to keep from being pushed down the list.
5. Evil Midnight Bombers (6) – they get back into the top five, just barely, mostly thanks to a great performance from Jonathan Stewart. Still, the running backs are without question the one element that is keeping this team from regaining the number one spot
6. Team Eagles (5) – the top five from last week has become the top six as Eagles slide down one spot but realistically could have been ranked as high as number three
7. Mr. Al Davis (8) – Nosferatu! They climb ever closer to the top five and I fear that only the sacrifice of a virgin will stop them. Anybody want to volunteer?
8. The Bloodsuckers (7) – the slow slide continues and it is starting to look like Mr. Al Davis may be somehow siphoning the power from the so-called blood suckers
9. Farva’s Shovelheads (9) – they managed to hold on to number nine for another week, but they are in the same basic boat as the team directly above them.
10. Legion of Doom (11) – so, this is what the top 10 looks like? Not bad. Not sure I will be able to hang onto it, but it’s nice to be in the running again after such a slow start
11. Damages (10) – they do indeed slip out of the top 10, but it could have been even worse if the teams directly behind them had not also struggled
12. OffInThe Shower (12) – no quarterback? Not that it would have made much of a difference, but what was up with that?
13. Heavenly Rampagers (13) – they stop the slide from last week, but there’s not enough here to move them up right now
14. Team Falk (15) – OK, maybe last week was some kind of brain cramp? They get rid of Tennessee, upgraded with Miami and score 115 points. There still does not appear to be enough talent on the team to make a big push up the rankings, but it’s good to see that they are still trying
15. Gaul Village Asterix (14) – they slide back down because overall Falk probably has more scoring power on their roster and last week’s movement was based mostly on coaching decisions
16. Team S (16) – another week, another loss
Remember, Thursday games start after this coming week!
Posted Oct 31, 2009 07:44 PM
Extremely busy week, so going to keep this short. One of the comments from last week inspired me to create a poll. I’m going to leave it live for a couple of weeks so everybody has a chance to vote. I was very surprised when I heard that the decision to sit a quarterback on Monday night was on purpose to avoid the slim chance of that quarterback having such a horrible night that they would lose enough points to lose the game. I’ve always viewed the head-to-head matchups as kind of secondary honestly, having always felt that overall points is actually the true measure of what team is best. I suppose that a playoff situation where you are ahead by a couple of points, the other team is finished and you have one guy going Monday night that it might make sense to set that player to make sure he doesn’t lose points and you can advance in the playoffs. But, it would never occur to me to not star a quarterback, or any player really, in the middle of a season on the off chance that you will lose half-dozen points and lose a game, when it’s much more likely you’re just going to miss out on the 10 plus points. But, if your main focus is just winning the head to head matchups, it makes sense.
My secondary starters from last week were Donald Brown and Steve Smith ( Carolina edition). Donald looked like he might be in for a big day, getting nearly 60 yd. on just 2 carries, but then he was injured, so that turns into a bad call. Steve Smith wound up with nearly 100 yd. receiving, but no touchdowns, so that’s going to be a push. Philadelphia should have crushed Washington on Monday night, but they really did not look all that impressive except for the two big plays from Jackson. McNabb didn’t actually throw up, but he only managed one touchdown and barely 150 yd., so that’s a good call. Overall, the record is 5-7-4.
For my secondary starters, going to go with two players from the same game. Kevin Smith should do well for Detroit against St. Louis while Donnie Avery has a pretty decent shot to score against Detroit. For my starter who I think might struggle, going to stick with quarterbacks and this week I think Aaron Rodgers might put a little too much pressure on himself in the big “return to Green Bay” game
Onto the power rankings!
1. MM of M (1) – Palmer, Benson and the Eagles defense combined for over 90 points and dispel any concerns over the Monkeys holding onto first place. They seem to be past the toughest part of their season scheduling wise, and while any team can fall apart any given week, it seems that this team is secured at the number one spot for the foreseeable future
2. Mopar’s Marauders (2) - they score over 100 points yet again, but not only is it not enough to move into the number one spot, it’s just barely enough to hang onto number two as EVERYBODY in the top five scored over 100 this week. It’s starting to appear that the very top of the power rankings is going to be a bloody battle where only the most powerful survive
3. Dreaded Mercenaries (3) – they lose their third straight game, even though Barber let them down a little bit this week, they still managed to score over 100 points and hold onto the number three spot. However, there are a number of teams immediately behind them who are now making legitimate pushes to either regain a spot in the top three or get there for the first time.
4. Amateur Pharmacists (4) – did I say the top five was going to be tough? The Pharmacists score 118 points and LOSE. Still, they’ve been consistent in the past several weeks and are as ready as the next team to jump into the number one spot if the Monkeys slipup
5. Team Eagles (5) – they get back on track, scoring more points than anybody this week, but you have to be able to do that consistently in order to move up the charts. Also, it wasn’t just the fact of how many points they scored, it’s how the points were scored. Very evenly spread out over the entirety of the roster, with the exception of tight end. This coming week will be very interesting to see what happens to the top five
6. Evil Midnight Bombers (7) – they score 97 points and move-up one spot, but it was nowhere near enough to get back into the top five. If Forte and Portis were performing as was expected at the start of the year, this team might still be ranked number one overall. But, as it is, they’ve got mostly question marks at the running back position
7. The Bloodsuckers (6) – only 46 points, 27 of those from Big Brother Manning. They’re running backs have scored a total of two points in the last two weeks combined. McNabb did not have a breakout game on Monday night, so I’m not even sure what level of running back that would be able to get in a trade for him any longer. Still, anybody has to be better than what they have
8. Mr. Al Davis (11) – 97 points, and a pretty decent job of spreading the amount evenly over the roster. They climb into the top 10 and I for one would not look forward to playing this team and the Lord of Darkness which leads them
9. Farva’s Shovelheads (8) – they have not really made many moves upward in the power rankings this season, and the descent has been pretty slow. I think if you have to try and identify one reason, it has to be the absolute disappearance of Greg Jennings. Only 52 points this week, and the team is on the verge of dropping out the top 10 for the first time this season
10. Damages (9) – the running back news keeps on getting worse for Damages. Willie Parker is no longer the man in Pittsburgh and now Leon Washington breaks his leg. They slide down one spot to number 10, but they may have a difficult time not dropping out this coming week
11. Legion of Doom (12) – scoring has been coming around, 90 points isn’t bad but not enough for the victory this week. The Donald Brown injury is somewhat bothersome, but it looks like Beanie might be taking over the starting job fairly soon in Arizona, so that would be good. Bottom-line though, I was unable to beat OffInTheShower this week, which always leaves a guy frustrated.
12. OffInThe Shower (14) – Vernon Davis comes up big this week and gives the victory to his team, well, fantasy team anyway. They get out of the bottom quarter of the league and are right on the dorsum of the top 10. The quarterback position has been the flaw on this team all season, they can work something out and upgrade, they would be much more consistent
13. Heavenly Rampagers (10) – they slide down three spots, but it is more a result of walking a slippery slope. The teams immediately around them have all been performing fairly consistently, and Brady has been the only guy to really break out for this team so far. I’m not sure why they are still holding on to Joey Galloway, there has to be a better receiver out there somewhere
14. Gaul Village Asterix (15) – they move up another spot even though they lose their game and only manage 58 points. Still, the ownership of this team is active, and I personally appreciate that more than anything. Sometimes it’s not easy to stick with your team when they are not scoring as you had hoped. I’m pulling for this team to make the playoffs, as long as it is not at my own expense!
15. Team Falk (13) – they don’t start any defense, only score 56 points, but still managed to win their game. Still, there’s no legitimate reason somebody would want to hold onto the Tennessee defense this season, other than some sort of misguided fanship. Even that would be hard to justify. The combination of lack of any real scoring power on the roster and an apparent lack of commitment from the ownership has pushed this team into the next to last spot
16. Team S (16) – another week, another loss. Seems like a waste for AP
One more week in the books and it’s about time to start looking towards the fantasy playoffs. It will get serious in just a couple of weeks when we’re past all of the byes
Posted Oct 24, 2009 08:54 PM
Going to jump right into some of my predictions from last week as what I want to talk about relates to one of the predictions I made.
Last week I thought things might be looking up, this week not so much. Willie Parker is officially no longer the number one running back in Pittsburgh, that was a bad call. Larry Johnson had some decent yards, but no touchdown so going with another bad call. Ryan Grant also did not get a touchdown, but I think his performance was good enough to be considered a push. And then Philip Rivers, only one touchdown and under 300 yd., that was a good call. Overall record is 5-7-3. I will get to my predictions for this coming week in a moment, but first I want to talk about how personal feelings can affect your drafting/managing strategy.
I think it’s pretty clear that there are some players in the NFL than I just don’t like. In some cases, it’s a natural result of a rivalry with my Pittsburgh Steelers. Take for example, any Baltimore Ravens. I don’t know if it’s the influence of Ray Lewis, who I believe is a good linebacker and is also amazingly overrated, or the fact that we play them at least two times every season and they like to try and play football the same way the Steelers always have, with hard-hitting defense. But every time I hear the Baltimore Raven talk, I inevitably come away disliking them even more. Whether it’s the proclamations of “our dynasty starts tonight!” which Ray Lewis and every other Raven repeated over and over again to the media in the week leading up to their first game with the Steelers last season (before losing to them three times the rest of the year) or the seemingly inexplicable comparisons that the media like to make between Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger, every time I hear something about the Baltimore Ravens it always seems to be something I disagree with. As a result, I despised drafting any Baltimore Ravens player on any of my fantasy teams. I remember just this past draft breathing a sigh of relief when the team just before me drafted Willis McGahee because he was still on the board, obviously the best player and I did NOT want to be forced into position where I felt I had to draft him. But, if you’re a diehard fan of an NFL team (defined as: if you have to choose between your fantasy team succeeding or your NFL team succeeding, you will choose your NFL team) then this is perfectly logical to you
However, in many cases, it doesn’t have anything at all to do with whether they perform well or not or how often they play Pittsburgh, there’s just something about certain players that rubs me the wrong way. Take for example Philip Rivers. As I’ve said before, I understand people liking him as a fantasy player. He usually puts up good numbers, even in losing efforts. But, there’s just something about the guy that I don’t like, to the point that I’ve never drafted him onto any of my teams. I really don’t like players who cry and complain any time they lose, and I know, this is becoming a larger and larger group in the NFL.
What made me start thinking about this was watching an interview with Philip Rivers prior to the Monday night football game this past week. Of course, leading up to the game the analysts of ESPN could not come up with enough words to describe how marvelous Philip Rivers is or how devastating the San Diego offense can be. At least one analyst made it clear that after Big Brother Manning and Tom Brady, Philip Rivers is obviously the third-best NFL quarterback in the league. “Better than Drew Brees?” another one asked. “Yes, I believe so” was the response, which was followed by a long string of supposedly convincing statistics, all designed to show the greatness of Philip Rivers. Then, during the actual interview, Philip had the following to say “I hate to lose more than I want to win”. It was at that point that I was able to recognize that it wasn’t anything Philip Rivers did on the field that made me dislike him so much. It was a general, basic makeup of his character.
I have no idea about the personal life of Philip Rivers outside of football. Is he extremely active in the community? Does he give loads of cash/time to charities? Does he love puppy dogs and bunnies? I have no idea. But, the simple statement of “I hate to lose more than I want to win” makes me think the answers are no, no and only if its good for picking up girls. Maybe I’m wrong and he’s a great guy, I just have a feeling that we would see very basic things in vastly different ways. Regardless, with that kind of mentality, I am now more certain than ever that Philip Rivers will consistently choke in any big-time game/national televised game and will certainly never win a championship in the NFL.
So, I feel like that was very cathartic. Let’s see if it helps me in my predictions this week. But going with Donald Brown as a great second running back option this week. Also, Steve Smith (Carolina edition) has really been struggling this season, but he spoke out about how he feels he is no longer useful to the Carolina offense. Normally when a receiver does something like that, he winds up in the end zone the following week, so I expect him to have his best game so far this season.
For players that are usually guaranteed starters that I expect to struggle, it’s a tough week. There’s a lot of lopsided matchups, so I’m going to fall back to my old failsafe choice. Take a quarterback that everybody thinks is great but I believe always chokes under pressure. This week, going to go with the old Super Bowl Puker himself, Donovan McNabb. Most people expect Philadelphia to refocus after that dismal performance against Oakland last week, I expect the bright lights of Monday night football to once again the better of Donovan against a team that they should demolish
Onto the power rankings!
1. MM of M (1) – they lose their first game of the season (you’re welcome everybody) but hold on to the number one spot.. They have one of their worst weeks so far, but they had three significant performers either on their off the week or injured. Overall, it would seem that they still have the best roster from top to bottom, but that can change on any given week and there is a team directly behind them pressing for the number one spot
2. Mopar’s Marauders (3) – the meteoric rise of the Marauders continues. If the monkeys had not been so successful earlier this season, the Marauders probably would have jumped up to the number one spot this week. But, that’s not the way the power rankings work. Still, it seems that no matter whom this team starts, they get points. We’ll see what next week brings, but right now it looks like going to be very hard keeping the Marauders out of the top spot
3. Dreaded Mercenaries (2) – I thought this might be a difficult week for the Mercenaries with Dallas being off, and that proved to be true. They only manage 62 points and lose their game. You know it’s a bad week when the score for your starting quarterback is negative four. They only slide down one more spot, but if Dallas continues to struggle, this team may be on its way out of the top five
4. Amateur Pharmacists (7) – they keep on scoring and shoot into the top five. Right now, the Amateur Pharmacists are indeed firing on all cylinders and might be the most dangerous team in the league at this moment. They really don’t have an obvious weak spot and there’s no reason this team won’t be challenging for the top spot in the next couple of weeks
5. Team Eagles (5) – they hold steady at number five. The return to form of golden boy Drew had to be a welcome sight, but the absolute disappearance of Willis in Baltimore, and really the disappearance of all the running backs for this team kind of balances out that return. If Anquan could stay healthy (anybody else find it suspicious the range of injuries he has had this season after making it clear how happy he was with his contract?) then this team might be able to overcome the difficulties they are having at running back. The golden boy is keeping them competitive, but will that be enough in the long run?
6. The Bloodsuckers (6) – they get a bazillion points out of their wide receivers and zero, as in absolute zero, out of the running backs and it costs them the game. They’re just has to be a trade out there for this team, but depending upon what happened this coming Monday night, they may have waited too long. If McNabb doesn’t bounce back, then there are going to start to be questions about Philadelphia. And if that happens, McNabb loses a lot of trading power. This team is a decent running back away from challenging for the top spot
7. Evil Midnight Bombers (4) – did the Bombers really not start a player at quarterback last week? Or was that just some sort of software issue? Either way, they dropped out of the top five for the first time and the team that I once had solidly in the number one spot is now struggling to stay in the top half
8. Farva’s Shovelheads (8) – they hold steady at number eight, but Greg Jennings is killing these guys. I mean, against Detroit, your quarterback has a big day, and none of them go to the guy you had pegged as the number one receiver. They showed that they can still score points, but they have lost five in a row now and it seems like there may be too many questions surrounding this team for them to get into the top five
9. Damages (9) – yet another team that holds steady from last week. The apparent end of the Willie Parker era in Pittsburgh is a huge concern for Damages. In this point, this team barely has a legitimate number two running back, let alone a real starter. If they can find a trade partner and get a decent running back, they can definitely move into the top half. As it is, they may struggle to hang on to the top 10
10. Heavenly Rampagers (10) – a big victory this week and Brady absolutely explodes, but even Tom can store you 51 points every week. When one player scores more than half of the points on your team, regardless of how many points you scored overall, it’s not a good sign for the long-term successfulness of your team. Still, Brady shows you can still score and if the rest of the team picks it up, then this team might make a push for the top half
11. Mr. Al Davis (13) – another point explosion, and another week where the majority of their points come from two players. But, it’s two completely different players than it was the week before. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a fantasy team have such a lopsided number of points scored by such a small percentage of their roster two weeks in a row and not be at least one of the same players. It doesn’t seem to be like the sort of thing can continue, but there’s no way I can stop from moving them up a couple of spots. They still have no quarterback, but if somebody new keeps stepping up, but I will just have to assume that Mr. Al Davis is using his psychic vampire powers and rank them accordingly
12. Legion of Doom (11) – what the…? We score over 100 points, win another game, and knock off the undefeated, number one ranked team and we drop a spot?! Who does these rankings anyway??? Still, things are looking up a little bit, but with the performance of everybody around my team, the only logical move was dropping down one spot
13. Team Falk (12) – they once again scored decent points and this time start a complete lineup! Unfortunately, they still lose their game and dropped one spot in the rankings. It’s good to see that they are still fighting, it’s just going to be difficult for this team seeing that they have to deal with the underperformance of both Tomlinson and Roy Williams this season.
14. OffInThe Shower (14) – they lose a game, to the team directly behind them, but they hang onto number 14. They desperately need a quarterback if they are going to make any kind of legitimate run. Brandon Jacobs has to find the end zone again eventually, so overall I still think this team probably has the strongest roster of the bottom three teams, but they need a little bit of help to really make a move
15. Gaul Village Asterix (15) – they get back on the winning track, but I still don’t think they have enough talent on their roster to make any major news of the power rankings or as far as overall points. However, they have shown the ability to win games head-to-head, so as long as they remain active this team has a solid shot at the playoffs
16. Team S (16) – MISSING PERSON ALERT! They have a complete starting lineup this week, but it is the exact same lineup as last week. There’s really no way to tell, but at least up to this point it hasn’t made any difference since they haven’t won a game yet
And there we have it, another exciting week of football. It’s hard to believe that we are almost halfway through the regular season of the NFL already.
Posted Oct 17, 2009 04:49 PM
There was a very interesting comment from the owner of the Mercenaries following last week’s blog that I wanted to talk about a little bit. The gist of it was that while she had a feeling about starting one of her backup players, she was convinced by the owner of the Monkeys that you “have to go with your main guys”. The result was that if she had started the backup, she would have won her game. This type of situation may be the single most reason fantasy football can be as much fun, or as horribly agonizing, as it is.
Let me start out by saying in this type of situation, I am 100% behind the Monkeys theory. Anybody who is new to fantasy football, one of the first things I tell them is you have to trust your draft. It’s really basic, and yes, things and circumstances do change throughout the season, but at the bottom line, you drafted that guy number one and that other guy in the second round and then this other guy in the third round for a reason. Sure, there will be unexpected injuries that force you to make a change, there will be changes in coaching or team personnel that adversely affect one of your players. But, 99% of the time, when you can’t make up your mind which player is the best to start in a particular position, it’s the guy you drafted higher, the guy you initially drafted with every intention of being your main guy.
Ah, yes, but that tantalizing 1%. The gut feeling. If the whole of fantasy football consisted of drafting a specific team and then starting that exactly every week it would be outstandingly boring. That 1% of the time when your gut says “I just think Big Brother Manning is going to struggle this week and I should start Matt Ryan instead” and Matt Ryan tosses three touchdowns while Big brother only gets one, that is a nearly euphoric sensation.
Now keep in mind, 99% of the time it’s going to be completely the opposite. You will study all of the statistics, you will know how bad of a defense St. Louis has. You’ll see that they are playing against Seattle, Julius Jones is bound to have a huge game! At the same time, you studied all available information about the San Francisco opponents and see that they are playing the New York Jets. The Jets, with their nearly impenetrable defense are almost certainly going to significantly slow down, if not completely shut out, Frank Gore. You convince yourself that this is the smart move and by Monday morning everybody will be talking about you as the most ingenious fantasy football owner that they have ever seen. And, you remain convinced of this right up until Frank Gore has two touchdowns at halftime and Julia Jones is busting out with 27 yd. on 13 carries.
And the logic versus gut dilemma can reach even further. It can affect your draft or the makeup of your roster through trades and free agency. Three years ago Tom Brady was considered a fantastic NFL quarterback, but was really only viewed as a second level option as far as fantasy quarterback. Randy Moss was viewed as being completely washed up. But, the two of them found themselves together in New England. There was no guarantee they were going to break every offensive record in the book. Some people looked at the statistics and said, big deal, Moss is a slacker and Brady plays in too conservative of an offense. Some people just had the feeling things were going to click. People who followed that instinct were exceptionally happy.
Last season there was a pretty popular belief that Adrian Peterson was going to suffer from a “sophomore slump”. There were even some fantasy football magazine’s that suggested it would be a better idea to take the aging Tomlinson higher than AP. The only reason for this would have to be a gut feeling by the person writing it. Of course, people who followed that instinct were exceptionally sad.
But, here is the rub: even though you are only going to be ecstatic with your decision of following your gut 1% of the time, it’s that 1% that separates the successful owner from the cellar dwellers.. If your gut tells you that the early-season struggles of Michael Turner is an indication of the entire season so you had best trade him while you still can, and you are right, you’re going to be competing in your league. However, if it turns out you are wrong and the Burner pours it on in the second half, you’re going to kick yourself for not believing in your guy and giving up on him too early.
If there was some kind of secret formula, some kind of mathematical equation you could use to decide when it was the 1% time to listen to your instincts, I would tell you. Actually, no, that’s a lie. I wouldn’t tell you. I would keep it to myself and use it to dominate every league I am in. As I am clearly not dominating this league, you can safely assume that no such formula exists.
And so, we all keep trying to figure out some way to know which cup of tea the Iocane powder is in, always hoping that we’re not facing an opponent who has spent the past several years building up an immunity to Iocane powder.
Looking back at last week, things may be picking up, or else I am just no longer trying to fight with my left hand. Braylon Edwards came through in the primetime lights with a huge game, so definitely a good call. I was on the fence about Chad Ochocinco. He put up over 90 yd., but didn’t get into the end zone. Then I heard that even though Cincinnati is 4-1, they were unable to sell out there home games this coming weekend and were going to get blacked out in the local area. That is until Chad purchased the remaining 1200 tickets, along with one of the sponsors Motorola, and will be giving those tickets away to make sure the game is not blacked out. That’s classy. So I’m going with two good calls. I also went with Brady, and he had an OK game once again, not terrible, not fantastic, so going to go with a push bringing my overall season record up to 4-5-1.
This week going to try out the running backs once again. Ryan Grant is really no longer considered a number one running back in most scoring formats, but I look for him to have a good day at home against Detroit. On the second one, I was torn, so actually going to go with three this week. If anybody has the motivation to get back and have a big day it is Willie Parker, I think he gets a chance against Cleveland. Also, something is telling me Larry Johnson gets a touchdown and some decent yards against Washington. As my guaranteed starter, going back to Monday night as I think Philip Rivers once again struggles in a big game under the bright lights
Onto the power rankings, with some significant fluctuations this week!
1. MM of M (1) – here is what is impressive about these worshipers of Curious George, they score 97 points this past week with Frank Gore appropriately on the bench and getting zero points from their kicker. They are still unbeaten and are ever so slightly trying to separate themselves from the pack in overall points, but as far as the power rankings go they are clearly number one
2. Dreaded Mercenaries (4) – they move up into the number two spot, but it’s not a solid hold. They have said that the Cowboys are not going to remain as prevalent on their roster, but how many good options are they going to have? There are some fast risers in the rankings right now, so the Mercenaries might be in trouble this coming week with Dallas on the bye
3. Mopar’s Marauders (8) – it was time for an adjustment in the rankings and the Marauders benefit by jumping five ranks! This team is showing that they are more than just Chris Johnson as they score 118 points even though Johnson only got three. Now, Miles Austin is not going to score you 37 points every week, but this team has been scoring high points fairly consistently. The next couple of weeks will show if this jump of five spots is an over adjustment, or if the Marauders really are a top three team
4. Evil Midnight Bombers (3) – the Bombers get past their toughest week bye wise with a victory by the skin of their teeth, thanks in large part to the apparent complete disinterest of their opponents. They only score 64, but go down just one spot as most of their top-level players were off. Still, the Bombers roster is not looking as formable as it once was. They are still securely in the top five and I expect them to return to form next week
5. Team Eagles (2) – there has to be some concern for the owner of Team Eagles. I would imagine that they are praying that Brees returns to dominance following his off week. They’re running backs totally disappeared last week and much of their success in the early part of the season was because of Willis McGahee. If he pulls a disappearing stunt, which he has done before in the past, then they may find it difficulty to reclaim their spot at number one
6. The Bloodsuckers (5) – they lose their game and drop-down one spot. This is one of two teams in the league that I think should pay special attention to the article Mark wrote on the ESPN site. They’ve got two top-level quarterbacks and no serious number one running back. There are a couple of teams with serious question marks at quarterback in this league, you can’t start Big Brother Manning and McNabb in the same week, and you desperately need a running back. There should be a blockbuster trade available if this team puts out some feelers
7. Amateur Pharmacists (9) – they climb a couple of spots up to number seven. With Michael Turner starting to produce and Schaub seemingly for real this season, they have the potential to beat any team. The fact that they’ve been doing so well with such little production from Ryan Grant is really a surprise to me. This team can certainly break into the top five if they start firing on all cylinders
8. Farva’s Shovelheads (6) – they had their bye week this week, and by that I mean Green Bay was off. They only managed 46 points and drop a couple of spots. But, they are still in the top half of the league and thankfully for them Green Bay only has one off week season. Still, there are lots of concerns at both wide receiver and running back and there are a number of teams in the bottom half of the league looking to move up
9. Damages (10) – they lose a hard fought game against the Monkeys, but they move up one spot in the rankings. There’s a lot of questions about the running backs on this team but I am now convinced their best move might be to open trade talks with a team looking for a quarterback. Damages have two quarterbacks, both of which are performing fairly well. The quality of running back they are going to be able to pickup through free agency is rather limited at this time, but a good trade could land a solid back which is exactly what this team really needs
10. Heavenly Rampagers (11) – does Ronnie Brown read this blog?? Ever since I said he was a great number two running back, he has been a monster in Miami! This team moves into the top 10 on the strength of their running backs. There are major concerns at wide receiver (it’s time to cut Galloway), but if Brady can at all begin resembling his 2007 incarnation, then anything would be possible for this team
11. Legion of Doom (12) – my team creeps a little closer to the top 10. Not much has changed here, there are some signs that at least one of the rookie running backs might be able to consistently performe this season. If that happens, I predict a Solomon Grundy like rampage through the power rankings. If it doesn’t, I predict a Solomon Grundy like report card.
12. Team Falk (13) – they score decent points and win their game, but this is the third week in a row where they start a player who is not playing. There’s a chance that this was a conscious decision and they just didn’t want to lose any of their other players in this situation. But three weeks in a row is somewhat disturbing. I have a feeling that they have NOT abandoned their team as they did set Williams who was injured, but it would be nice to see them start a complete roster at some point again
13. Mr. Al Davis (15) – 116 points and they only move up one spot? Well, here’s why: a staggering 54 of those 116 points came from Roddy White and Austin Collie, which is not going to happen regularly, perhaps not again this season. On top of that, they missed out on 32 points by starting the wrong quarterback. Jacksonville was traveling across the country, which is hard enough for top level quarterbacks to handle, David Garrard has had a couple of good games, but is far from a top-level quarterback. I imagine Mr. Al Davis was sick to the stomach watching his two quarterbacks play each other and knowing he started the wrong one
14. OffInThe Shower (14) – they win another game and hold steady at number 14, but it seems like the bottom half of the power rankings are, for the most part, showing that there may not be that much separation between number 5 and number 14. I’m not sure they have the quarterbacks necessary to make a serious run, but Marshall and Steve Smith (New York Giants edition) make for a serious 1-2 punch out of the wide receiver position. Word out of Houston is that they are committed to the running game, which should be good news for Slaton. If these guys can find a legitimate quarterback, there are some real possibilities here
15. Gaul Village Asterix (16) – they lose their second game in a row but move out of the basement based on the simple fact that they are still competing. They are making moves trying to get as many points as possible each week, their players just are not making it easy for them. However, they are still 3-2 and easily in the playoff chase. I believe overall points and top 10 of the power rankings are unlikely for this team, but if they continue trying and make the playoffs, history has shown anything can happen
16. Team S (7) – MISSING PERSON ALERT! The Commissioner may be taking a look at this team. This week they started two players who were off, had viable players who could have started in their place, and if even just one of them had been started instead, they would have won their game, pulling off a major upset and significantly changing the standings. At least for the moment they drop all the way to the bottom as they have every appearance of an abandoned team
So, entering our sixth week of play and we quite possibly may have lost our first team of the season. It’s always disappointing to me when I see a team that is struggling be abandoned so early in the season. A fantasy football league should be fun for everybody, it should be able to engage everybody regardless of individual team performance. People should play fantasy football because they want to have fun, not necessarily just because they want to win.
There is a story that I’ve told before which is relevant here once again. Other than this league I’m involved in three other long-standing leagues which are considered “professional” fantasy leagues in that there are a few thousand dollars at stake in each. Several years ago my team was dead last in points basically the entire season. By the seventh week it was clear, I was not going to be competing for any kind of prize as far as overall points. However, I knew that the integrity of the season relied on me continuing to play the game as if it was the first week of the season. I had to start viable lineups or else the teams I played later in the season would theoretically have an easy victory compared to the teams I played in the first couple of weeks. Remarkably, while my team continued scoring in the bottom third of the league every week, my opponents consistently scored less. By week 14 of the NFL season, my team had somehow snuck into the playoffs as a wildcard. By the end of our fantasy season, I was still dead last in points by a wide margin. I was also Super Bowl champion that season. There were many games where changes I made in the lineup resulted in an extra couple of points for me that week, and while it had no effect whatsoever for the overall point standings, those extra points gained a victory here and there, and without those I would not have had one of the most memorable seasons of my fantasy football career.
One other story that comes to mind was a season where I was running away with overall points, but struggling to make the playoffs. It came down to the last week of our regular-season and my opponent, who had no chance of winning any prizes that season, continued to make changes to their lineup. The result was them starting the New York Jets defense against Miami on a Monday night instead of their primary defense. With six seconds left in the game, Dan Marino throws a pass for no reason which is unbelievably intercepted. I lose my game by one point and do not make the playoffs. However, over 10 years later, both me and my opponent still talk about that game, which would have never happened had he abandoned his team because, from an individual perspective, he had nothing to play for.
your take on Chad Ochocinco
the attempted "bribery" of an official for one dollar is the latest in a long history of Chad controversies. What is your take on the eccentric wide receiver?
(This poll has expired.)
he is a moron, a cancer, nothing but negative
he is just having fun, good for the team, love him
sometimes he crosses the line