FANTASY FOOTBALL - 09/07/12
Much like Aerosmith I am back...back in the saddle again. (Apologies...a music reference seemed appropriate here as I am currently watching the VMA's on MTV. Btw...who the hell is Frank Ocean? Is he Billy's brother? I don't even know who half these artists are...is Cyndi Lauper not up for any awards? How the hell old am I again? I don't see Milli *or* Vanilli)
My apologies for my short ummm...365 day delay in posting a new blog. In the immortal words of Carl Spackler "I was unavoidably detained".
But now the lethargy is gone, the summer is over, and I am ready for business BECAUSE IT IS...DRUM ROLL PLEASE...FANTASY FOOTBALL SEASON. (and you know that's important, because much like someone on Facebook who felt that finishing 10th grade was more than enough education, I JUST USED ALL CAPS IN THAT SENTENCE)
My Lock Haven University buddies and I formed The "Haven League" back in 1992 (pic of fellow dorks below) which made Wednesday night our 21st birthday! (and just between us girls, our league may have celebrated by knocking down a few too many Fuzzy Navels. Such a refreshing drink. Nothing)
Just to give you a little perspective on how long ago that was, Thurman Thomas was our first overall draft pick, and a rookie kicker by the name of Jason Hanson was just beginning his NFL career with the Lions. Also, the Internet had not yet been created by Al Gore. And we also
couldn't text girls to break up with them, we had to do it - gasp - face to face! (My god it was brutal living in Frontier times)
As you all know from 8th grade Social Studies, Fantasy FB is by far the most popular and rapidly growing game in the history of the Free world, and not a day goes by that I fail to give thanks to our Forefathers for bringing the rules of the game over from England in the Nina, the Pinta, and the Edmund Fitzgerald, the last of which sadly failed to reach shore. (Editors note: apparently Andy also felt that 10th grade was "just about enough" education as well. Everyone knows the Greeks invented FFB)
So to further honor THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Sorry for the political fervor...I just switched the channel to the Democratic National Convention. Let's hope I don't mistakenly switch over to "Honey Boo Boo". Banjos scare me) here now is the 3rd annual "Fantasy Football Extravaganza". A series of predictions designed to help you win your leagues FFB title, and - more importantly - fuel my complete delusion that I am one of the best FFB players in the country who happens to work at a TV station and have access to a blog that my bosses don't remotely care about because it keeps me preoccupied when I see shiny things.
So without further adieu:
*5 Studs that scare me, plus a few to grow on:
1. Drew Brees: "Scares me" is a relative term here. I just think he has to come down from that record '11 season, and all the bad voodoo (No pun intended) around that team from "Bounty-Gate" scares me as well.
2. Maurice Jones-Drew: As ESPN's Matthew Berry constantly points out, baaaaaad things tend to happen to running backs who hold out. Thank god I didn't select him. Oh wait...
3. Roddy White: See below
4. Eli Manning: I'm cheating a little, because I am writing this after the Wednesday night opener, but bad things also tend to happen to Defending Super Bowl Champions.
5. Cam Newton: His passing numbers dipped precipitously in the last 7 games of '11. And the chances of him reaching double digits in rushing TD's again are slim.
6. Peyton Manning: Anytime I hear the words "neck" and "fusion" in the same sentence...
7. Mike Vick: anyone know if he tends to get injured?
8. Darren McFadden: see above. But if he ever plays even 13-14 games, look out
*5 Guys who are about to go "Next Level":
1. Julio Jones: You can have Roddy, I wanted Julio BADLY. Instead, Megatron Jr. (as I have already dubbed him) was excruciatingly taken one pick ahead of me. (If you are in N.C. and see my buddy Sparky out at a bar, feel free to kneecap him. But do it in the groin)
2. Eric Decker: 80/9/1,200 is my prediction for Manning's new favorite target.
3. Matt Ryan: The Falcons are supposedly opening things up. Matty Ice was terrific in final 8 last year, and outstanding in Preseason. Did I mention I like Julio Jones?
4. Torrey Smith: You can't teach speed. Which is too bad because I would be soooooooo fast. (No I wouldn't. Me was not good at spelin' and learnin' which is WHY I TYPE WITH THE CAPS ON...O.K. I think I have made my point)
5. Antonio Brown: The Steelers gave him - and not Mike Wallace - that huge contract extension for a reason.
*5 Studs who are headed for a statistical dip:
1. Wes Welker: Take my Antonio Brown logic and reverse it. Plus, Brady has a lot of mouths to feed, and a stupid hot wife. Wait...what were we talking about?
2. Michael Turner: Every...single...writer on the Internet claims this will be the case, and I love me a good bandwagon.
3. Marshawn Lynch: I can't tell you why, other than my gut tells me he way overperformed his talent level last year. And he tends to do stupid things and get arrested.
4. A.J. Green: I think A.J. gets some serious extra attention in 2012
5. Steve Smith: Age and a still raw QB bring Smith back to earth
*5 women I would totally hang out and eat Wings and watch FB with if they like totally called me or something:
1. Kate Beckinsale: I have been on board since "The Last Days of Disco", but the new "Total Recall" sealed the deal.
2. Emmy Rossum: "Shameless" may be the absolute best show that you don't watch
3. Olivia Munn: Have you seen "The Newsroom?" Or ummm...the first few minutes of "Magic Mike" (Not that uhh...I have seen that movie. For women. Because I have not)
4. Melissa McCarthy: What? I like to have a good time when I watch FB and eat Wings
5. Maria Menounous: I interviewed her at Super Bowl Media Day. I may now have a small crush. (P.S. Anyone know how far 500 feet is? No reason)
(P.P.S. I just spent an embarrassing amount of time debating in my head about whether or not I would actually choose Kate Beckinsale over Emmy Rossum. As if they sat on both sides of me in Homeroom or something. How crazy is that? I mean...everyone knows Kate Beckinsale would have been in a totally different Homeroom)
*5 Mid-Late Round players I targeted and totally failed to acquire:
1. Antonio Brown and T. Smith: Enough said earlier...
2. Andrew Luck: You can have RGIII. Luck is the real deal. If Cam can throw for 4,000 yards as a Rookie then Andrew Luck certainly can as well
3. Doug Martin: I have not joined the other Internet bandwagon proclaiming him a future star, but I would have grabbed him had he fallen.
4. Brandon LaFell: Yes, I did voice some doubts about Cam. But late round picks are about huge upside.
5. Ryan Williams: If I had a superduper "sleeper" (not that they really exist in the Internet age) it would have been this guy
Bonus: Titus Young: I really wanted a piece of the Lions offense. Wait...is Jason Hanson still alive?
*5 Guys who probably fell way too far in your draft:
1. Miles Austin: 13 TD's a couple years ago. If his hammy cooperates...
2. Kenny Britt: Got off with just a 1 game suspension for his DUI. Has scored 12 TD's in his last 11 games.
3. Tony Romo: Dez, Miles, and Witten all got hurt in camp, and Romo slid waaaaay too far down the chimney
4. DeSean Jackson: Such a huge upside, but health - his and Vick's - scared everyone away
5. Reggie Wayne: Could be a very good #3 WR in a large league
*5 Guys I didn't know what the heck to make of and totally avoided:
1. Adrian Peterson: He's young, he's a physical freak, but man he tore that ACL *late* last season, and he plays on Turf. You take him
2. Trent Richardson: Persistent knee issues at such a young age scared me off
3. DeMarco Murray: I am a 'Boys fan, but he has such a small sample size of success and - RECURRING THEME ALERT - a poor injury history. (Which is why I took the - ahem - always healthy Ryan Matthews instead. Don't ask, I'm not even sure what happened)
4. Percy Harvin: either I am dumb or about to become a genius, but I had Harvin 12-20 spots lower on my lists than every so called expert in the country.
5. Malcolm Floyd and Robert Meachem: I struggled to figure out which one will be "the guy" for Rivers and couldn't. And judging by the 8 sites I read, everyone else did too.
*5 things I hate about Fantasy Football (which admittedly is like finding flaws with Kate Beckinsale. Or Emmy Rossum. Damnit!)
1. PPR leagues: I mean...a catch for zero yards equals a point? A catch for 1 yard equals a point too?!? A catch in the 4th quarter for 8 yards on the final play of the game when your team is losing by 21 is ALSO a point?! You understand how dumb that is, right? You have heard about yardage and TD bonuses, haven't you?!?)
2. 2 QB leagues. From the many sites and mags I read, this trend appears to be growing, to which I say...why exactly? Did I miss something? Do NFL teams actually start *2* QB's in a game? (Minus the Jets of course. Giggle.) Isn't FFB supposed to emulate "real" FB?
3. Guys who brag about the leagues they supposedly dominate (along with their girlfriend no one has ever seen because she lives up in the "Niagara Falls area")
4. Guys who act all superior and snooty when they find out my league only has 8 members. I'm sorry...didn't I mention there was no Internet back in 1992 to tell us how dumb we were? We knew we needed at least 8, so we got 8. And besides...how many of you guys in 12-16 team leagues have been playing with ALL the same guys for more than say...3-4 years in a row? Yeah...that's what I thought (Apologies, it is now 1:41 am. I am so exhausted and cranky I may actually see if "Honey Boo Boo" is on anywhere)
5. Keeper leagues. I hate this more than PPR, and that is saying something. The fun and excitement of the draft is centered around the incredible amount of strategy involved, and the fact that no one knows what the hell is gonna happen. And that would be incredibly diminished by having the Top 16-32 players in the league off the board before the draft even starts. Tell me why exactly you like this?! I mean...even bad teams have 2 good guys to protect. Start fresh every year. It's exciting to have new players.
Alright...Big money, no Whammy's, let's wrap this puppy up. Here are 15 random comments about guys I wanted to mention but didn't:
1. Jordy Nelson: He won't score 15 again, but 12 would not shock me at all.
2. Larry Fitzgerald: It pains me to see him play with inept QB's. But if he had 1,400 yards last year, he can certainly do it again.
3. Andre Johnson: I have him, and I am every bit as afraid as a Darren McFadden owner is.
4. Rashad Jennings: A must have MJD handcuff, and/or a late round stash in large roster leagues.
5. Ben Tate: See above. Big Ben is Top 5 if Arian goes bye-bye.
6. Demaryius Thomas and Denarius Moore. Try and get them both if you can. Because what could be more fun than screaming "Demaryius" when the Broncos have the ball, and "Denarius" when the Raid-uhs have it?!? (That joke got one of our best laughs at the draft. I am not sure what that says about us, but hey, we only have 8 guys)
7. Vernon Davis: He scored 13 TD's a few years ago, and Alex Smith appears not to be umm...terrible anymore. I took him and I am pumped about it.
8. Steven Jackson: I think the old guy has at least one more 1,200 and 9 season in him.
9. Jahvid Best: once the concussions become more frequent, it's over. It was over for Aikman and Young, and it is for Jahvid. And it's a crying shame because he could have been a devastating weapon in that offense.
10. Coby Fleener caught 34 balls last year in College. With Andrew Luck as his QB. He is suddenly gonna be an amazing pro now?!
11. If I had another superduper sleeper, it would be Jared Cook.
12. Stick a fork in Beanie Wells.
13. If Dez Bryant was in a league that awarded points for 1st half production only, he would be little Calvin Johnson. Has anyone else noticed he does NOTHING in the 2nd halves of games?
14. If the number for Matt Stafford is 4,800 and 38 TD's, I am taking the over because...
15. ...Calvin Johnson is Randy Moss 2.0. Say it me with me everybody...MEGATRON.
Hope you enjoyed my opus. I didn't put this much effort into my High School work, which is probably why I tapped out in 10th grade. I wish you the best this season. Unless you are in a PPR/Keeper league, in which case I hope you drafted Coby Fleener. Feel free to return fire on my WWMT Facebook page or at @andypepper7 on Twitter