Now We Are Slightly Less Tied

At this point, everyone in the league is either at 1-2 or 2-1. There is still no telling who’s really going to make it to playoffs, so fret not if you are in the former group.

It didn’t help that this was a pretty weird week for Fantasy Football players everywhere. I mean, Daryl Richardson didn’t even play. The Giants laid a giant egg. Shiny top QBs from the 2012 season, like Kaepernick, Flacco and Eli Manning, were total duds and newcomers like Terrell Pryor and former 3rd Stringer Brandon Hoyer were major studs. So don’t get too discouraged if your fantasy team failed to perform to your liking this week. Weird things happen sometimes.

What do you mean the Giants lost 0-38 against the Carolina Panthers?!

Anyway, here’s how the week went down for us:

Mary vs. BELT

I got a great head start with Jamaal Charles, who was really the top fantasy performer from the entire Thursday night game. Maria gave a strong counter attack with Cam Newton, who threw for three TDs and rushed one in himself. But alas, her team was no match for Jordan Cameron, who is shaping up to be the second best TE in the NFL right now (after Jimmy Graham, of course, but more on that later). Add great performances from Russel Wilson against the Jags and the still-injured Julio Jones and this was a solid victory for my team.

LHAM vs. EWCC

For a while, it looked like Lauren was going to take this one. LeSean McCoy was really the star of the Eagles’ offense on Thursday night, giving her a strong 25 point start. Then came mediocre performances from both teams. Lauren had Eli Manning, Sue had Colin Kaepernick. Lauren’s Dez Bryant balanced out Sue’s Marques Colston. They were pretty much neck and neck until Antonio Brown got two TDs and 196 ReYDS, giving Sue the win.

TD Antonio Brown!

That’s okay, Lauren. Here is some Clay Matthews for you troubles.

KUMA vs. TOMN

Our league’s two autodrafters faced each other for the first time to see who autodrafted better. The answer was Shilpa, mostly because Peyton Manning put together another record breaking performance against the Oakland Raiders on Monday. (He broke Tom Brady’s 2011 record for most TD passes in the first 3 games of a season with 12.) Otherwise, Mike totally had this. Shilpa actually played two players that were out. But I guess that’s the power of Peyton.

BAMF

BULN vs. SHAH

This was a close one! Ashish has Jimmy Graham, undoubtedly the best TE in the NFL. He was good for 38 points. And by double dipping with Drew Brees, he got 35 more points! Jayson tried catching up with valiant efforts from Joique Bell and Calvin Johnson, plus a great performance from the Chicago Bears. But his Monday numbers from Wes Welker just couldn’t make up the difference though. Funny story though – in the Dacuma Family league, Jayson was winning by a slim margin to a girl who was playing Wes Welker. So by losing to Ashish, Jayson won in a different league. Fantasy football problems, man.

Around the NFL

Eric Berry Overcomes His Fear of Horses, Sort Of – Eric Berry is a two time pro-bowler and a great Safety for the KC Chiefs.

He also has equinophobia, an irrational fear of horses. This is a bit of an issue as the KC Chiefs’ mascot was a live horse named Warpaint. NFL Films caught his fear on tape and it went viral. Now NFL Films is at it again with an updated segment delving into Berry’s traumatic childhood that led to this crippling fear and the steps he is taking to combat it.

If there is nothing else you take from this Week’s LM Note, in the name of all things good and holy, you will watch this video. You’re welcome.

Trent Richardson Traded to Colts – This Sunday, Trent Richardson went from being the best offensive player by a mile on the Cleveland Browns to being one of the really good players on the Indianapolis Colts. By trading Richardson for the Colt’s 1st round draft pick (which, given the strength of the team, will probably be mid to late first round), the Browns effectively did this to their 2013 season:

In his 2012 season NFL debut, Richardson finished the regular season 18th in total rushing yards and broke the Brown’s record for most rushing yards by a rookie. Despite his contributions to the team, management conveniently forgot to tell Richardson he was being traded. Richardson found out because his cousin heard it on the radio and told him. So yeah. Nonetheless, Richardson is very much looking forward to his new opportunity. Let’s be real. He got the better end of this deal. And the Browns can continue working on their “rebuilding year.”

Rashad Johnson Lost a Finger – I know the league is focused on concussions and brain safety right now, but holy crap! Arizona Cardinals Safety Rashad Johnson lost a finger. He felt a pain in his hand after tackling Saints RB Darren Sproles, took off his glove, and realized a PIECE OF A FINGER WAS STILL INSIDE. Doctors managed to reattach the finger and will watch it closely over the next few days in case an infection arises. I, on the other hand, will try very hard to forget the image of taking off a glove and realizing you LEFT A PIECE OF YOUR FINGER IN IT. GAAHHHHH. He tweeted photos of the injury, but I couldn’t handle it. Here is the bandaged version:

Jacoby Jones Gets Hit Over the Head With A Champagne Bottle By a Stripper Named Sweet Pea –  There isn’t really much else you can add to that, except that it was on a party bus for his teammate’s birthday. Coach John Harbaugh is not amused. And neither is the stripper, who claims that she and the rest of the girls were waitresses. Here’s the photo. Discuss amongst yourselves.

She’s the blonde bringing you that Nene Leakes realness.

Anyway, don’t forget to mind your bye weeks, or I will send Gronk after you. You know he’s better now, right?

And speaking about “Bye Bye Bye” weeks, you know Joseph Fauria practiced this in the mirror just in case he ever made a touchdown?

Apparently, when he was playing flag football as a kid, he would do the Macarena. Jimmy Fallon actually promised to donate $10,000 to charity in the name of the first player to do the ‘NSYNC endzone dance, so now the Make-A-Wish foundation will be getting a lovely donation.

On that note, I hope you guys get to do your victory dances this weekend. And then you cherish those moments in the wake of what will inevitably be a tragic ending to Breaking Bad.

 

 

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Week 4 – “Who’s On the Waiver Wire”

I’m working on your Week 3 recap. Hand to God, it will be done by tomorrow. It might even be done tonight, but I can feel myself getting sleepy. Either way, I wanted to get you guys this cool new series that I am going to do just for you.

I noticed that we’ve had very few transactions (add/drop/trade) in our league. That’s actually quite common for the first few weeks. But Week 4 is the first of the bye weeks. And by the time you hit week 8, you would have had to make at least a few adjustments. And since a lot of you are new to this, I am going to make some of my own fantasy picks.

Mind you, I make no promises. I don’t have ESP. I encourage you to continue reading Fantasy news from people who are paid to be accurate, as well as employing you math and data analysis skills to analyze the stats. (Need a refresher? Click here.)

But anyway, here it is. Your very first edition of “Who’s On the Waiver Wire.”

Waiver picks are due tonight. Any other add/drops can be done up until the player is locked for the week. As always, ask me if you need anything.

Good luck!

We Really Do Like Each Other

How f*cking cute are these salt and pepper shakers?

You know how I know? Because we take turns winning. Everyone who won in Week 1 lost their matchup in Week 2, meaning that everyone has a 1-1 record.

The matchups were pretty definitive even before the Sunday night game, so there’s not really a recap needed. Also, every emotion I had has been decimated by the last episode of Breaking Bad. That show is monopolizing my bandwidth of feels.

I’m trying to remember happier times.

Thus, we are going to discuss tiebreakers and playoffs.

Tiebreakers and Playoffs

To refresh your memory, the top six teams are entered into playoffs. Our divisions are divided like so:

By the time we hit playoffs, chances are low that you will have the same record as someone else in the league. But if it happens, the tiebreaker is the total points a team has scored.

The two division leaders each get the first week of playoffs off, guaranteeing themselves a matchup in round 2. The remaining four teams will play each other in round 1 for a spot in round 2. Of those four teams, the two with the higher seeding gets a 1 point home team advantage. If you think that sounds insignificant, you should know that last year, there were no less then three matchups that were determined by a 1 point difference.

If you ever have any questions about the standings, just click on the “Standings” tab from the league’s homepage. It will take you through a full breakdown of each team’s record. And if you click the “Projected Playoff Bracket,” you can speculate about your potential journey to the championship and a year’s worth of bragging rights. There are still 12 weeks before playoffs and anything can happen. Don’t get too discouraged/comfortable where you’re at.

Dues. Seriously.

You guys. Pay your dues.

Around the NFL

I’m rewatching “Ozymandias” AGAIN because I just can’t get enough. I’m going to make this quick.

Sibling Rivalry – It was Manning vs. Manning for the third time in Peyton and Eli’s pro-football careers. Peyton won again. Eli is 0-3. Sorry Eli.

I know it’s mean, but Sad Eli is so cute!

The 12th Man Comes Through in Seattle – The 12th man is what people call the general spirit (and horrendous acoustics) of CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle that magically gives Seahawks a significant advantage. In the repeat performance of Wilson vs. Kaepernick, the 12th man actually hit a stadium record of 136 decibels. Whether it was that, all the 49ers penalties, Marshawn Lynch or the sick Seattle defense, the Seahawks pwned the 49ers for the second consecutive year. And at 29-3, this was truly the ass-kicking of the week. I hope for Sue’s sake that Kaepernick won’t actually shave his eyebrows. Like, that had to be a joke, right? Oh wait…

And Speaking of Shaves… – There were quite a few close ones this week.

  • Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings – I had a lot invested in this game. Last year, the Bears were knocked out of the playoffs by Adrian Peterson the Vikings, and I was out for blood. It was neck and neck until Tobbie Gould kicked a 20 yd. FG just as the half ended, putting Chicago ahead 24-21. Then for the rest of the half it was nothing but field goals from Blair Walsh – three of them, to be exact. In the last minute of the game, it looked though the Vikings would take this, 30-24. Suddenly, a touchdown! Cutler throws it to Martellus Bennett, their second endzone connection of the day, with just 10 SECONDS LEFT on the clock. Clutch, Jay. Robbie Gould, flawfree as always, scores the extra point needed to get that victory. Bears go 2-0, and I continue to speculate how Christian Ponder stays employed.
  • Carolina Panthers vs. Buffalo Bills – The ending of this game was sick. The teams were tied at the half, 14-14. Then Graham Gano of the Panthers kicks a FG. No big deal. He kicks another field goal. That’s okay – Dan Carpenter kicks one, too. With only a minute and a half left in the game, Gano kicks yet another field goal, and now it’s time to panic. There isn’t enough time for the Bills to score 2 field goals, so they need a TD to tie and an XP to win. They progress towards the goal line, but time is running out. Then with TWO SECONDS LEFT, they score a TD. They use the last second of the game for the kick. EJ Manuel wins his first game as a starting NFL QB.
  • New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – This should not have been as difficult as it was. New Orleans had a marginal lead for most of the game. The score was 13-7 for the Saints going into 4th quarter. Eventually, Mason Foster intercepts a pass by Drew Brees and takes it all the way to the endzone, tying the game. And the XP from Rian Lindell meant that the Saints had just over 12 minutes to try to get something on the board. No problem, right? I mean, it’s Drew Brees. Except the Tampa Bay defense just kept interrupting his passing game. And when the Tampa Bay offense was in play, they took their damn sweet time with the ball, letting Doug “Muscle Hamster” Martin go for several short runs. They had possession for almost three times as long as the Saints did that quarter. Next thing you know, there’s a minute left and the Saints are still down by 1. But it’s moments like this where you can see why Brees is an elite QB. In less than a minute, Brees threw three passes for almost 55 yards. Hartley kicks a field goal as the clock runs out and the Saints take home the win.
  • San Diego Chargers vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Both teams were looking for the first win of the season. And they fought pretty hard, showing a lot more potential than they had last season. The teams were tied at the start of the 4th, 20-20. Nick Novak kicks the field goal, bringing the Chargers to 23-20. Then Michael Vick runs in a TD, bringing the lead back to the Eagles at 27-23 and showing why he was a better fantasy QB than Matt Ryan this week and you should listen to your girlfriend next time. Chargers take back the lead shortly thereafter with a TD pass to Eddie Royal and the XP from Novak. And then the Eagles counter with a FG from Alex Henery, tying the score and leaving less than 2 minutes on the clock! Relying heavily on Antonio Gates, Danny Woodhead and a no-huddle offense, Rivers takes the team down just within field goal range. With 7 seconds on the clock, Novak kicks a 46-yarder for the win.

Kansas City Chiefs Go 2-0 – Somehow they managed to come from behind against the Cowboys. This technically counts as a close shave, but it’s such shocking news that it merits its own paragraph. You see, the Chiefs only won 2 games the entire 2012 season. Unless they don’t win another game for the rest of the season (not likely, given their momentum, Andy Reid’s encouragement and Alex Smith’s arm), this is a vast improvement. I am pleasantly amused.

Defense! Also, Romo is mediocre at best. AT. BEST.

For real though guys, pay your dues. It shows that you are committed to this league and that we are all in this together. Aren’t we? I mean you said… We were supposed to be together. We all got tied records together and everything! YOU CAN’T JUST LEAD PEOPLE ON LIKE THAT.

So pay your dues.

And get excited to watch the Chicago Bears help Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers go 0-3 on Sunday Night. BEAR DOWN!!!

Week One for the Money

You made it though Week 1. Not so bad, right? In fact, maybe kind of fun, right? Yeah, I thought so. In case you weren’t stalking your score yet all weekend, here is how everything went down.

Week One Recap

Jayson vs. Shilpa

In case you didn’t hear, Peyton Manning had a crazy good game. How good? He tied or broke 5 records in less than half an hour. That kind of good. So basically anyone who started Peyton Manning this week pretty much locked in their victory by Thursday night. Thanks to Peyton and two TDs each for Vernon Davis and Larry Fitzgerald, Shilpa won a clear and early victory.

I take back all the times I said Peyton was on the decline.

Suzie vs. Maria

Peyton’s sweeping performance was bad news for the Ravens defense, who actually put Maria in the negative before the weekend. However, she rallied early Sunday and put herself in a competitive position against Sue thanks to fellow USC alum Reggie Bush, who rushed for 90 yds and gathered 101 receiving yds, including a 77 yd. TD.

FTFO Reggie!

But sadly for Maria, Sue’s fave QB Kaepernick threw for 412 yds and 3 TDs, and then Jason Witten had two visits to the endzone on Sunday night. Maria would have had a chance if Alfred Morris performed like the top 10 RB he is. But the Eagles defense kept him at bay and even made him fumble. Not even DeSean Jackson’s 100 yd. performance could salvage it.

Mike vs. Ashish

It was roommate vs. roommate in Week 1. Ashish got a great head start as Demaryius Thomas caught 2 TDs, including one for 78 yds. But GODDAMN Adrian Peterson. He was not kidding when he said he was going to try to break the record for most rushing yards in a regular season. (Some of you may remember that he came up 3 yds short last year following an injury to his ACL. Beast.) Peterson scored a 78 yd. TD the minute he touched the ball, and then scored two more TDs besides. Compound that with stellar contributions from AJ Green and Aaron Rodgers and House Tommen quickly pulled away in a cruel, Lannister-esque victory.

Excellent work, House Tommen!

Mary vs. Lauren

This was the only matchup to extend into Monday Night. At the start of the Eagles-Redskins game, I was projected to win by four (a very uncertain margin). I was hopeful at first. But then LeSean McCoy just kept running! Lauren was in the lead going into the second MNF game, and furthered that lead with two TDs from Owen Daniels. While My last player in action, Andre Johnson, was still good for 30 points that evening, he also had a 67 yd. TD and a 51 yd. pass overturned. So sad. It wasn’t enough. Lauren takes the win, and I drowned my sorrows in a reasonably sized serving of skim milk and Nesquik.

Side note – but who remembers this flavor? And who remembers when it was called Nestle Quick and you had to pry open the top with a spoon? Good times.

Around the NFL

One for the Record Books – Like I said, Peyton Manning tied or broke 5 records in under half an hour:

  • Manning extends the NFL record for most three-TD games in a career with 74.
  • Manning ties Brett Favre for the NFL record for most four-TD games in a career with 23. (Favre still beats Peyton in the number of alleged penis photos floating out in the public.)
  • Manning ties the NFL record for most five-TD games in a career with seven. Only four other people have hit this record, and the last time it happened was in 1969.
  • Manning sets the NFL record for most six-TD games in a career with three.
  • With his seventh TD, Manning ties the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single game. Only five other people have hit this record, and the last time it happened was in 1969. Of these record holders, he is only the second to throw all seven without an interception.

Superbowl Champs Lose Season Opener – Cry more, Baltimorians! (Randomly, that is half of this league.) This was the second time ever that a reigning Superbowl champion has lost the opening game of the season since they started the tradition that reigning Superbowl champs host the opening game of the season. This happened last year when the Giants lost to the Cowboys. Who knows if it’s a new tradition? I hope it’s not, unless the Packers win it this year.

The Kansas City Chiefs Won – No, really. And not only did they win, they kept the Jacksonville Jags to just 2 points! I know this because I played both Maurice Jones Drew and Cecil Shorts in my family league and was tremendously disappointed. So the team that finished the 2012 regular season with the worst record in the NFL is technically in first place in the AFC based off of team record and what the NFL calls “strength of victory.” Well, damn.

Funny story – the touchdown that inspired this dance was actually overturned.

Other Surprising Performances – Many wondered if RG3 would be able to perform at his 2012 level following a knee injury in his playoff game against the Seahawks. The answer is yes, but he will take half a game to get it going. The Redskins managed to come from behind and ultimately win the game on Monday night.

And how about those Eagles? Former Oregon Coach Chip Kelly showed a lot of promise with his new team. Thank goodness, too. Remember when he totally told everyone he wasn’t leaving, and then left? That would suck if he ended up being a crappy coach.

And while the San Diego Chargers ended up losing to the Texans by a field goal in the last few minutes of the game, Philip Rivers and his O-line seemed much more cohesive than they’ve been in the previous years under Norv Turner. (Not like we didn’t all see that coming, but whatever.) This is great news for me as I have a Chargers shirt that I have been too ashamed to wear on game day for the past two years.

League Announcements

Pay your dues.

Also, be sure to stay current on NFL news. I know it’s only week one, but there have already been a few injuries (Tony Romo, who they say is okay, but who knows, Shane Vereen, Danny Amendola).

And if you aren’t happy with your team or are just looking for an edge, don’t forget to refer to my previous posts about player transactions. We are a small league with small rosters, and there are plenty of great people still available.

On a final note, now that you might have built up some confidence, feel free to engage your opponents in some trash talking. Please. Because Lauren and I tried it and we are SO bad at it. I need you guys to raise our standards.

We need to do better.

Just One More Day…

Personally, I am in a glass case of emotion right now.

Kickoff begins tomorrow! The Denver Broncos will try to avenge last year’s playoff loss against the Baltimore Ravens thanks in no small part to this 70-yd miracle TD to Jacoby Jones that put the game into overtime.

If you have anyone playing in that game, please don’t forget to set your lineup accordingly. And for everyone else, set your lineup before Sunday. Wake up early Sunday if you have to, whatever.

Dues

For those of you who have already paid me dues…

To the rest of you, just try to get it to me in the next two weeks. It’s $5 and I can take cash, check, BofA Transfer, Chase Payments or PayPal, whatever is easiest.

Around the NFL

With kickoff looming, indecisive coaches made final decisions on a number of their open positions.

Celebrated rookie Geno Smith will start as the QB for the Jets while Mark Sanchez nurses his career bruised shoulder. Mark Sanchez is in the last year of his current contract with the Jets. At this rate, it will probably be his last year with any contract with the Jets. Let’s be real.

Maybe the Jets just wanted a QB who didn’t wear neon headbands?

EJ Manuel has been named the new starting QB for the Buffalo Bills after the team dropped Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kevin Kolb endured a possibly career-ending concussion. Adorably, his mother, who was unable to attend many of Manuel’s games last year as she was fighting breast cancer, will be present to witness his first game as a starting QB for the NFL.

Let me tell you about Matt Damon Flynn. The Seattle Seahawks paid a hefty price for this guy last year to be their starting QB, but rookie Russell Wilson ended up taking the job. Wilson led the Seahawks to a playoff game and finished the season third in rushing yards among QBs and fourth in overall QB rating. Flynn only gets known for his uncanny resemblance to Jason Bourne and taking up too much room in the Seahawks salary cap. This season, Flynn got traded to the Oakland Raiders, presumably to replace former QB Carson Palmer. But damn those rookies! In comes Terrell Pryor, outperforming Flynn by not throwing interceptions and working that read-option offense. (Ask me if you want to know what that means.) Terrell Pryor has been named the starting QB for the Oakland Raiders, and Flynn will continue his slow descent into obscurity.

I mean COME ON!

After weeks of speculation, Ronnie Hillman has been named the starting RB for the Denver Broncos over Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno. Realistically, Ball will still receive plenty of play time, particularly at the goal line. And analysts say that Moreno will still have a fair share of passing downs. While this news does raise Hillman’s fantasy value, the actual impact of his new title will reveal itself over the next few weeks.

On Saturday, coaches had to submit any names of players who would be named “Physically Unable to Perform,” and thus ineligible to start until Week 6. This provided forced clarity for Fantasy owners with injured players.

  • Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski was not placed on this list. He has suited up and practiced some light drills. He won’t be playing during week 1, but may take the field late this month.
  • Rumors are that TE Dennis Pitta, who is currently on the Injured Reserve list for the Baltimore Ravens after a dislocated hip during training camp, might be able to return to the field as early as week 9. Given that Pitta finished the 2012 regular season 9th in receptions and 11th in receiving yards among TEs, this may be good news later in the season.
  • I don’t know what the deal is with these TE’s, but Heath Miller of the Steelers was also injured all preseason and has just been activated for Week 1. That doesn’t mean he’s going to play. It just means that the Steelers are free to start Miller whenever he is ready. He may also be another one to look out for.
  • Andre Brown, RB for the Giants, broke is leg. He was put on the Giants’ IR and tweeted “See y’all week 8.” Take note whoever has (or would like to have) David Wilson, who will likely get more action in Brown’s absence.
  • Percy Harvin, who was traded to the Seahawks this season to be a primary weapon, is making “serious progress” after injuring his hip in the preseason. While it was originally thought that Harvin wouldn’t return until well after Autumn, if at all, Harvin told fans to keep an eye out on Week 7. I, for one, will definitely be keeping a close eye on his progress. Just look what this guy can do.

Good luck to all of you this week. As much as I’d like to stay in front of my TV in my pjs all Sunday until the second round of games end (it’s happened before, don’t left), I will be in Point Fermin Park in San Pedro to compete in my first ever (and probably only ever) competitive eating contest! I’ve got this, guys. I know it. But watch those games if you get a chance. You’d be surprised what a new experience it is when you have ulterior motives as to the outcome. And if you can’t, then feel free to check that app once every five minutes like I will for scoring updates.