Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

After decades in the wilderness and dozens of inappropriate relationships with female grizzly bears, Jeremiah moved back to civilization. Some folks say he moved to Pittsburgh, changed his name to Brett, and took a job as a defensive end.

NFL football is serious business. It’s an eternal struggle, where brother battles against brother and friends become sworn enemies. Vast fortunes are won and lost on that sacred gridiron, a place where boys go to become men and men can be transformed into legends.

Wait…you think I’m talking about real football? I’m sorry, my mistake. What I was describing was fantasy football. Although I’m sure the real stuff is almost just as intense (but probably not as bloodthirsty).

Managing a virtual roster can get stressful, and it looks like you need a break. Seriously, the bags under your eyes could carry six weeks’ worth of groceries. And honestly, you look like shit.

So why don’t you sit back, relax, enjoy some goofy captions and try to forget that you weren’t fast enough to replace Greg Jennings or Jeremy Maclin in your lineup with something that even remotely resembles a serviceable wide receiver (Sean Tomlinson thinks you should still be able to grab Andrew Hawkins).

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If I was eligible to be a replacement ref, on the inside I would absolutely be cheering for every player on my teams. But eventually that would lead to a difficult situation if I was working one of the late or primetime games, and I needed one of my studs to be stud-like. That’s when at some point the mental wall would crumble, and I’d pull Michael Vick aside and tell him to stop being a scared little man, and run dammit.

I’m not remotely qualified, which is why I’m not a replacement official. But I am a fanboy and just a normal dude who likes football, which means I have a lot in common with the scabs, and specifically one replacement ref who really needed LeSean McCoy to be awesome on Sunday.

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With Darrelle Revis out, Antonio Brown has one of the most attractive matchups of Week 2.

Based on their common average draft positions back in August, it’s quite possible that many teams started Chris Johnson, Wes Welker, and Trent Richardson in Week 1. That’s when this happened…

head asplode!

And then this happened…

head asplode :O Pictures, Images and Photos

So together in Week 2 we seek to not only keep our heads in the appropriate upright position, but we also hope to avoid asplosions. Godspeed.

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Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to draft first overall in your league, and you get to pick the stud running back who’s coveted by every other team because he can almost single-highhandedly carry you to a championship.

Then this happens…

Week One: He’s electric, he breaks tackles, finds every hole, and turns two-yard screen passes into 75-yard scampers into the end zone. At the end of the day, he rushes for 275 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s the dominant back that your fantasy team has lacked for years. The league championship is finally within your grasp! You can now justify owning that ridiculously large trophy case that your wife not-so-secretly hates.

Week two: Your stud running back shatters his femur during his first touch of the game. He’s immediately put on the injured reserve, and his season is over.

Or is it?

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The preseason is usually the perfect time for an NFL team to become overconfident. It’s a time of year when players can make ridiculous guarantees, and most of us don’t hold their feet to the flames because we know it’s all just bullshit posturing.

Sometimes a player will, say, take out an entire ad in the newspaper promising Super Bowl glory, or declare his team to be a dynasty. Those players usually deserve our scorn, but for the most part, we just listen to the delusion, nod our heads, and smile. Let them have their dreams, since the grim reality of regular-season football is just around the corner.

In a world of blind optimism, it’s not often that a player admits in the preseason that maybe his team didn’t surround their quarterback with enough talent to be successful.

New York Jets cornerback Derrelle Revis isn’t blind.

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Sometimes when I write things, I look back on those things less than a day later and want to change them. Quickly.

That’s not because the words I wrote were false, and it’s not because they lacked reasoning or logic. It’s because there are times — somewhat rare times — when a storyline develops so much and so quickly that in hindsight, a different conclusion is needed.

As I sit here now looking at what I wrote yesterday regarding Maurice Jones-Drew and my assessment of that ongoing draft disaster, I’m still not entirely sure that I want to dramatically change my final advice to take him early in the second round, but then make sure that you grab someone like a Reggie Bush in the mid rounds, and also run over old ladies to get Rashad Jennings.

And the fact that I’m unsure, and we’re all very unsure, is the real problem here.

Maurice Jones-Drew isn’t even sure where you should draft Maurice Jones-Drew. During a fantasy teleconference last night the noted fantasy addict who also plays real football did little to give you confidence if you’re thinking of taking a risk on him.

From Will Brinson:

“A lot of people were scared last year with me coming off the knee injury but that obviously panned out well,” MJD said. “So if you’re scared to draft than be scared, that’s your choice. I understand that when it’s time to play, it’s time to play. So it’s up to you, you have to do what you want and we’ll see how it pans out from there.”

He promised to draft himself first in his fantasy league too. Surely that will be central to his negotiations with Shad Khan.

I also wrote yesterday that as each day passes without a positive development on the Jones-Drew front, his stock will continue to plummet. That should be modified to each half day, or maybe even every hour.

If Jones-Drew doesn’t have confidence that he’ll be playing and producing at a level on par with previous elite fantasy seasons, then how can you? Toss in the introduction of a new head coach and a new system that MJD would have to catch up on quickly if he miraculously reports, and the outlook is even bleaker.

That’s too simple, though, and the quick drop off after the second tier of running backs in about the second or third round is the reason why right now even with all the uncertainty, a gamble on Jones-Drew is still tempting. Yesterday I said that early to mid second round is still reasonable, which is where Jones-Drew’s ADP in NFL.com leagues currently has him slotted.

That’s the most aggressive end of the gamble, but the other end is a slide past the vast collection of running backs in the early rounds who may have a high upside, but they’re surrounded by question marks due to either injuries or time shares. We’re talking about (in this order, likely) Matt Forte, Darren McFadden, Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Trent Richardson, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, and Ahmad Bradshaw.

That’s a hell of a lot of names (11, to be exact), yet still even once we get to the Frank Gore nightmare platoon and other ilk of similar high risk, Jones-Drew would be a late third-round pick in a 12-team league, and he’d come off the board in the middle of the fourth round in a 10-team league. So, now is he worth it after we knock him down that far? I still say yes with the clear caveat that you get Jennings too, because the fall at this point in the draft to the likes of Bush is significant when compared to the names above.

This is a question we’ll wrestle with a lot until Jones-Drew finally realizes he has no leverage whatsoever, and reports. In the end, it all comes back to risk tolerance.

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Maurice Jones-Drew hates you. He’s never met you, but he hates you. If you own a Wookie, he’ll squish it. If you get in a fight with a bear, he’ll pour honey on you.

These are not known facts, and are instead assumptions based on his current behavior. Jones-Drew is an obsessed fantasy player who hosts a fantasy radio show on Sirius/XM, and long before his holdout began he took himself first overall in an early draft. So surely his priorities are aligned correctly, and he wouldn’t jeopardize his own fantasy season, right?

Dammit, MJD. You were one of the four sure things at an absurdly unstable position. Now you’re becoming one of them, the concerning names who are enticing for many reasons, but alarming for many more.

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