Friday’s First and 10 – Week 9

Week 9 of the NFL season comes on the heels of All Hallow’s Eve. Baby Andy Reid CostumeFor those who have lived under a rock or have not discussed with their pagan friends, All Hallow’s Eve is, naturally, what we now know as Halloween. And what’s more Halloween-y than picking between tricks or treats? This week’s fantasy football week will provide a bit of both. So in the spirit of TGIFFF (Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday) and #Halloween, don your best football-inspired costume and get ready for the weekend.


  1. RGIII: TREAT

The Washington versus Minnesota game poses many questions with regard to one Robert Griffin III. How can he perform in his first game back, under duress from a surprisingly solid Vikings D (against QBs)? Will he have his trademark contribution to the Washington running game? rgiii subwayHow many Subway commercials will we have to/get to see him and his lovely dreads? Perhaps the greatest recipient of his return would be his boy Pierre Garcon. RGIII loves him some Frenchy. In the past five games, Garcon has averaged less than five targets per game from Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. In the previous 15 games with RGIII at the helm, he targeted Pierre a whopping 10.3 times per game. So … fantasy owners, get PG into your lineups, especially in PPR leagues.

  1. Which Vick Will You Get?: TRICK

So any guesses which Vick will come to the ole ballpark Sunday? The crazy, whoop—whoop—whoop, scrambling style of old? Or the stumbling, fumbling, bumbling, negative fantasy points version, affectionately known as 2014 Mike Vick. In a week full of bye hell—when QBs like Rodgers, Stafford, Cutler and even Ryan and Orton are all riding your fantasy pines … AND Romo is iffy—many are looking for replacements this week. Yours truly is in this bind. I went out and was forced to pick up Vick in a league where Ryan is sitting and Romo is hurting. I’m praying to the #FantasyFootball god—in this case, that fantasy god unfortunately looks like Rex Ryan —that the Vick of old gets me points with his legs and doesn’t gift-wrap more than four fumbles for Andy Reid’s boys. I’m asking a lot; in fact, I’m sorta spooked to do it. Anyone else feeling risky?

  1. Rams RBs: TRICK

Week 8 saw the snap count for Ram’s RBs as follows: Tre Mason (19), Benny Cunningham (18), Zac Stacy (15). The Jeff Fisher School of Belichick Trickery left us hanging. Only one week after the Tre Mason Show launched, when Mason had an 18/85/1 statline versus the Seahawks, the Rams went back to a true, equal three-headed monster. Or, more appropriately said, a three-headed lamb, as none of the three eclipsed 35 total yards last week. So, the trick here will be to know which of the backs takes the lead role. Bonus trick? Is anyone daring enough to start any of them versus the Niners Sunday? Friends don’t let friends start Rams RBs against San Francisco.

  1. Giants and Colts: TREAT
USA Today
USA Today

There’s a young Amish man residing in Indianapolis these days. He’s on top of the (fantasy football) world. [To date, Andrew Luck ranks as the top scoring player in all of fantasy.]

Reuters
Reuters

There’s a bewildered-looking, big-city boy relentlessly striving for respect … not just in fantasy football, but in his own family. [To date, Eli Manning is the 16th-rated fantasy QB.] Having said that, this game could be a fantasy treat. The Colts defense just gave up 639 yards and 51 points last week to the Steelers. That’s scary! And their top corner, Vontae Davis, is almost assuredly at less than 100%, potentially opening up the secondary for some bigger hits in the passing game. So, Eli and Luck—it’s a given Amish Andrew will find Hilton and his teammates with relative ease—should be happily passing out Halloween prizes for each of their fantasy recipients. This game should be a treat, so get your Colts and Giants into your lineups.

  1. Brady versus Manning: TREAT

Not only are these two legitimate household names—beyond the world of sports—each are legendary winners and leaders on the field. Both guys rank in the Top 10 (real football) in passing yards, completions, TD passes and QB rating. With regards to fantasy, over the past four weeks, they are the top two fantasy QBs in football, averaging 27.1 (Brady) and 26.1 (Manning) points per game. There’s not much terrifying about playing these two, even with potentially inclement weather in Foxboro Sunday afternoon. It’s pretty safe to say we should see a fantasy treat in this one.

  1. Tony Romo: TRICK or TREAT?

Will Tony Romo treat America’s team with his presence? Or will he trick us and pull a ghost-routine, by not showing up. Literally. A skeletal look at Romo’s surgically-repaired yet re-injured back may be the most talked about national health crisis since Obamacare. If Romo doesn’t go, the ‘Boys will be led by no-longer-whippersnapper, Brandon Weeden. Talk about scary. Reminder: Weeden was let go by the Browns. Need I say more? To be fair, BWubs—yes, I just gave a slow, over the hill, redheaded backup QB a trendy nickname … because, as we all know, everything’s bigger in Texas!—looked serviceable in his 12 plays on Monday Night. Yet, if the Cowboys hopes are in the hands of said BWubs, I’m not starting any Dallas players not named DeMarco or Dez. Are you brave enough to do so?


Eats

In case I’ve not made it clear, today is Halloween, or Stuff Your Face With Everything Chocolate Day. And here in the United States, we don’t do anything half-assed, of course. So that means there should be enough sugar-coated treats floating around every household in America to feed … Honey Boo Boo. So, splurge on those super-sized leftover candy bars, assuring yourself to a sugar-induced stupor that should last you until our eating binge holiday … Thanksgiving.

Being high on sugar or chocolate is no excuse to not stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. Fantasy stats are courtesy of FantasyPros.com.]


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

#FantasyFootballCostumes, from Guest Writer Diane Sevenay

Tom Berg/Icon SMI/Newscom
Tom Berg/Icon SMI/Newscom

“Boo!” 

The 2014 fantasy football season already feels like Halloween with its share of superheroes (Andrew Luck), ghosts (Calvin Johnson), Cowboys (DeMarco Murray), and criminals (Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson).  So what better way to spend this diabetes-inducing holiday than by dressing as your favorite fantasy football hero?

Without further ado, I’d like to present…

#FantasyFootballCostumes   *Feel free to play along on Twitter.*


Super Creepy Ben Roethlisberger

-A redundant costume, because Big Ben is already SUPER CREEPY.

Ben Roethlisberger Looks Drunk


Peyton Manning’s Forehead

-Huge costume. Literally.

Peyton Sheriff Woody


Slutty Antonio Cromartie

-Cromartie has 74 children with 81 different mothers.  Feel free to show cleavage.

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Ray Rice, America’s Sweetheart

-A horrible costume based on a horrible human being.


Amish Andrew Luck

-Andrew Luck’s beard is not allowed to use electricity.

USATSI
USATSI

Eli Manning Face

-Are you crying?  Sleeping?  Having a seizure?  If it looks like a combination of all three, that’s the costume.

NFL Network
NFL Network

Tom Brady, with Uggs

-Because shoes make the quarterback. Or in this case, women’s shoes make the quarterback.

FantasticalFootball.com
FantasticalFootball.com

Brett Favre’s Penis

-There are at least five Twitter accounts named after this tiny costume.

[NOTE: Picture intentionally left blank. Um, no one wants to see pictures of that. You hear that, Mr. Favre? No one.]


Baby Andy Reid

-Because regular Andy Reid is nowhere near this cute.

Baby Andy Reid Costume


Josh Gordon

-Marijuana is sold separately.

FantasyFootballOverdose.com
FantasyFootballOverdose.com

Manti Te’o

-Enjoy Halloween with your “girlfriend” right by your side.

@HumbleSportsGuy
@HumbleSportsGuy

Tony Romo’s Surgically Repaired Back

-Sometimes a great costume hurts.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Michael Prengler
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Michael Prengler

Wes Welker, Extremely High Munchkin

-A tiny wide receiver all messed up on “Molly” is the PERFECT costume for your child.

KorkedBats.com
KorkedBats.com

Hans and Franz and Aaron Rodgers

-This three-person costume will PUMP YOU UP.

State Farm
State Farm

Diane Sevenay, a friend to The Scoop, is a writer and comedian who claims that she “invented the Internet.”  Follow her immediately on Twitter at @diane_7a or face dire consequences. Check out all of The Scoop’s great content, including more Fantasy Football snark, atTheScoopZone.com!

A note from Fantasy Football Lead, Jay Marks: Diane and I connected due to our shared love of comedy and fantasy football. She attributes her unique and off-kilter take on fantasy football to her being “off her meds.” If there is a funnier, more irreverent fantasy sports writer than Diane, it’s news to her. 

Fantasy Football Mid-Season Awards, from Guest Writer Tyler Dalton

Pool-PartyI was tired, packed around a bunch of college students, and worst of all, I needed another beer. The neighborhood I resided in was throwing a pool party just a few days before school started to celebrate another completed summer, even though most of the people there were at the pool every day.

I preferred to think of it as a celebration after my local fantasy draft.

My league is a tight knit group, so it wasn’t shocking that two of my friends were in the corner of the pool shouting at each other. Was it over a girl? Was it over a spilled drink? No, it was about Arian Foster. My friends were living the college version of The League, the show that used to be funny but now serves up only a few cheap laughs. What started as a conversation between a couple of friends quickly sucked in half of our league.

The debate raged on, including topics such as Julio Jones’ ability to bounce back, and how Cam Newton would produce with hardly any weapons. Insults were dropped, glares were given, and plenty of girls “couldn’t even.” What was fun at the time became totally irrelevant once opening night was upon us.

See, no matter how you feel about your team, the countless mock drafts, endless research, bookstore trips to check out every fantasy football magazine you can find, fan forums, and everything in-between are enough to make any normal person feel crazy. Because you just can’t predict fantasy football. Your sleepers will hit the snooze button and your busts will bust out to personal highs.

In honor of that craziness, I present my mid-season awards. We’re going to laugh at our pain, crown our achievements, and maybe we’ll even escape our regrets.


Every year, some no-name players bust out for a couple scores one week,and everyone flocks to the waiver wire, fully knowing there’s a pretty good chance that will be their best performance all season.

USATSI
USATSI

This year, that honor goes to Allen Hurns. His 100-yard game and two scores left owners swooning over a potential breakout player in Jacksonville, a place where it just doesn’t happen very often. How quickly Hurns fell into disappointment, not even coming close to his opening weekend numbers for the next seven weeks.


The next player I would like to mention is sort of like a newer Adam Sandler movie; you have no idea why you’re there, you probably panicked, and now you’ll have to live with the regret, probably forever.

NFL.com
NFL.com

Say hello to Doug Martin. Despite his drawbacks, he was still picked high in the 2nd round, at least according to his average draft position. With quite an established medical report, and the mess that was going on in Tampa Bay, I wanted no part of him. Unfortunately, some people had to fall into that trap. Hopefully you owners dug yourselves out in time. Hopefully. “Why do we fall down? To get back up.” I’m pretty sure that was in a Batman movie and also probably some other places, point being … just be Batman.


How about a positive award? How about a mid-to-late round guy who is bringing you a lot of fantasy success?

USA Today
USA Today

You can go many ways here, but how about we highlight Greg Olsen. The former Miami product never seems to get enough love. Which is weird because Cam Newton can’t throw the ball to invisible bodies, and Olsen is actually a pretty talented player. He’s on pace for a career year in every category, and has developed quite the buddy-cop chemistry with Cam. Pretty excited about this duo in Lethal Weapon 5.


I can’t think of a better player for my next award than Tom Brady. I’ll give you a little while to guess what it is. By the way, after seeing Gone Girl and Fury, I have to tell you that I have pretty high expectations for films for the rest of the year. I also like to sneak in Hawaiian rolls with some slices of ham to the movies.

Associated Press
Associated Press

Okay, anyway, the award that I’m giving to Brady is for being that guy who you don’t give up on; you stick it out. Or, the guy you traded for because some other owner gave up on him. Either would suffice here. Now, as far as my knowledge of the American Revolution, it really only comes from my middle school textbook. Along with that Mel Gibson movie and one of those Assassin’s Creed games. Brady’s season went from the Battles of Lexington and Concord to straight stabbing Red Coats with the American flag. He’s dropping bombs like on Bunker Hill. Anyway, if you’re still reading, Brady is on fire now. Every Sunday in Foxboro is like the 4th of July.


My last award goes to the flash-in-the-pan guys. The “I need to score a touchdown” or “I was worthless this week” guys.

New York Post
New York Post

Larry Donnell, Terrance Williams, Kendall Wright, Stepfan Taylor, Eddie Lacy, and well, pretty much whomever is on your team that frustrates you every week. This award is for the people. The people who maybe almost did major damage to a pool table after a bad shot because they saw Donnell goose-egg after his outrageous game the week before. This also goes out to the guy, who is my neighbor, who was drunk one night and said his only problem was drafting LeSean McCoy first overall. Just let it out guys.


Tyler Dalton is a guest contributor at The Scoop. He spends his nights in Tuscaloosa, either writing, or in a bar quoting Arrow. Obviously, he’s living the life. Outside of Alabama losing, his usual stress comes from setting his lineup in a million different fantasy leagues and a fridge with no beer. By the time you’ve read this he’s probably tweeted. You can follow him on Twitter @tylerd91.

A note from Fantasy Football Lead, Jay Marks (@FFHottieAsst): I became aware of Tyler from his days of stellar writing for TopTeamFantasy. Since then, I’ve chosen to remain friends from a distance, due to his blatant Crimson Tide devotion. And the fact that I don’t live in Alabama.

The Voice of Reason: Five for Fighting … in the NFL?

NFL-logoOur beloved, NFL, formerly known as the National Football League, may be changing its acronym.

 

It could be the, No Fun League, or the Not For Long league, possibly the, Non-Functioning League!

Perhaps the best acronym would be the NUMEROUS FLAG LEAGUE! To help illustrate my point, let me show you this table. It displays the number of penalties called per season, for the past five years, and the corresponding lost yards due to penalties.

2014 to-date 2013 2012 2011 2010

1679
penalties

3245
penalties

3319
penalties

3374
penalties

3217
penalties

14,474 yds 28,029 yds 28077 yds 28,487 yds 27,045 yds

Despite all the extra, added benefits that offenses enjoy, it appears that the flag totals are remaining constant. The amount of penalties called, and the yardage amassed, appear to be in line with previous years. I bet you can guess which penalties are the most frequent. Ready?

In the last three years, the following are the most popular penalties called, by a LONG shot!

  1. Offensive Holding (Who saw that one coming?)
  2. False Start (Really? THAT one??)

false startThere are NO other penalties that come close to these two. The interesting tidbit I found was that in 2011 the reverse was true; False Start was the most popular penalty called, followed by Offensive Holding. It was this way for several years.

It’s very true that you could ostensibly call holding on every play, but now there are many more penalties added to the rule book.

  1. Hands to the Face
  2. Horse Collar Tackling
  3. Roughing the Passer (You can no longer make contact with the QB above the shoulders.)
  4. Defensive Holding (Yeah I know, but they are just NOW calling it.)
  5. Illegal Contact (See above, and thank you Seahawks defenders.)
  6. Pre-Snap Movement, aka False Start (No more head bobbing, QBs too.)
  7. Lining Up Over the Center on PATs, FGs, and/or Punts
  8. Use of NFL Equipment as a Prop (No dunking on goals, but leaping into stands is ok.)

It’s no wonder NFL games, which used to be a good 3-hour investment, are being turned into 3.5-hour marathons. It’s about who can outlast who.

Onto the officials who help determine, or in some cases literally determine, the outcome of games. If I were to ask you which referee’s crew called the most penalties, could you tell me? Do you know? Lucky for you, I do. Here they are as of two weeks ago.

images (1)
Carl Cheffers

The number one referee whose crew calls the most penalties is Carl Cheffers.

According to the data from ESPN, if you see Carl show up to your game, expect a long, drawn out affair.

images (2)
Clete Blakeman

However, if you get Clete Blakeman, he tends to let the players decide the outcome.

 

I have a great idea on how to curb penalties. What if the NFL treated in-game penalties like NHL does?

For every holding call, the offending team plays a man down for 2 plays, a power play of sorts. For every false start penalty, you play short-handed for 1 play.

Personal fouls get a “5-minute major,” where the offending team plays short-handed for 5 plays. Yes, I know this sounds silly, but so does turning a 3-hour game into a 4-hour beatdown.

Sure, this solution may be far-fetched, but the point is that there’s nothing wrong with brainstorming something new and innovative when it comes to assessing penalties. (But, can you imagine the damage you could do playing 9 players vs. 11? Exciting! Scoring would go through the roof. Then, that would make a 4-hour game bearable.)

Just a thought… What creative ideas do you have? I’d love to hear them! Hit me up on Twitter and give me “the scoop!”


Ronnie Garcia is the Voice of Reason at The Scoop. He is also an avid guitarist, educator, and all around smarmy guy. You can follow him on twitter @CapnDD.

Tuesday’s Takeaways from the Trenches — Week 8

I took a one-week hiatus from my preview column last week. And what happened? Fantasy Fireworks! Coincidence? Perhaps I’m a fantasy jinx.

rgthinkcreative.com
rgthinkcreative.com

Week 8 of the 2014 NFL season is complete. And a historic week it was. Christmas came early for fake football nerds everywhere, as we were treated with touchdowns, tons of yardage, throwing the ball out of the proverbial yard, scoring … and LOTS of it.

A mind-boggling six—count ‘em, SIX—players topped the 30-point mark in fantasy football last week, in standard scoring. And if you lean PPR variety, that number reaches EIGHT. Over the first seven weeks of the this season, there’s been an average of less than TWO players topping 30 points, so it’s a significant leap.

pantherzfans.com
pantherzfans.com

What caused the jump this week? I read somewhere it’s the culmination of the cyclical, yet uncertain odds of an individual’s performance capacity … combined with the abstract nature of negative physiological human probability … combined with air-circulated global, ozone patterns … combined with the incessant, colloquial coach-speak—and Mad Chucky faces—thrown out by Jon Gruden on a weekly basis. Granted, I wrote it down earlier, then I read it back to myself. But, technically, I DID read it somewhere.

Whatever the case, let’s recap Week 8.


Some Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm

  • QB: The quarterback formerly known as The Neckbeard, Kyle Orton, finished as the #4 scoring QB of the week.
    buffalobills.com
    buffalobills.com

    Just four weeks removed from backing up EJ Manuel, this week he outscored every QB not named Big Ben, Tom Terrific and Amish Andrew Luck.

  • QB Part Deux: In his two series of play, Brandon Weeden (6.3)—oh, Twitter was gushing with stupendous Weeden material Monday night, continue reading for stellar samplings—outscored both Cam Newton (5.2) and Joe Flacco (5.0).
  • RB: Backup Lorenzo Taliaferro (18.9) scored more than LeSean McCoy (9.7) and Marshawn Lynch (6.4) combined.
  • RB Part Deux: Mark Ingram, who had essentially not played since Week 2, returned to a suddenly bare New Orleans backfield to outscore every RB other than Foster, Forte and Charles. Fantasy owners surely fantasize as to his value if he owned the Saints backfield. Weekly bonanza?
  • WR: In a game where Andrew Luck threw 45 times, had 400 yards and completed 26 of those passes, and the 1A WR was out (Reggie Wayne), the depth-chart #3 WR in Indy had one catch for 27 points. Ya think Hakeem Nicks has lost a step? I even thought I saw him playing DE for the Saints. Oh wait, that’s Akiem Hicks.
  • WR Part Deux: See the Young Guns point below, but … three of the Top 9 WRs this week are rookies.
  • TE: Coming into the week as the #2 fantasy TE, averaging 11.3 per game, Greg Olsen finished the week with 1.6 points, or good for #36. Among TEs. Yikes.

Quick Hits

  • Gotta Be the Uggs: Since many in the fantasy community left Tom Brady for dead after the first four weeks of the season, Tom Terrific put on his big-boy-boots (Uggs, of course). Over the past four weeks, he’s put on quite the clinic, leading all fantasy quarterbacks in scoring in Weeks 5-8.

    I’m very thankful, since I handpicked Brady as my QB bounce-back, sleeper candidate this preseason. I just figured he’d be looking at Peyton’s historic 2013 season and not want to be out-headlined. Speaking of … Week 9’s Peyton-versus-Tom matchup could be as juicy as they come.

  • Young Guns. Or Is That Young’Uns? Former NFL coach Brian Billick and NFL.com contributor said, “Wide receiver has become one of the toughest positions for rookies to adapt to in the pros,” and explains further here. Well, Week 8 just chewed that theory up and spit out out. Check out these cray cray numbers from a handful of young WR brethren.

    And, other than Benjamin, all finished in the Top 16 of fantasy WRs this week. Keep it up, diaper dandies; keep it up. 

  • Bye Week Blues: Week 9 sees six teams sitting out on the bye week, as Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Tennessee rest. Plan accordingly; some big-time fantasy names will be stuck on your bench. QBs like Rodgers, Cutler and Stafford. RBs include Forte and Lacy. And WRs of note are Julio, Sammy Watkins, the Bears boys, as well as Jordy and Cobb. [NOTE: As many of you know, I live just outside of Nashville, where the Titans play. Did you notice I didn’t include any Titans on this list of bye week sits? There’s a reason, peeps.] It should be implied here, but roster manipulation and waiver claims this week are likely as important as any week this year. Follow Brady’s lead and put on YOUR big-boy-boots.
  • Twitter. On. Fire. As I referenced, Twitter was nothing short of gold, during Monday Night Football, when we were treated to—for at least part of the 4th quarter—a quarterback showdown between former Cleveland castoffs, Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden. Here’s just a sampling of the twitter magic you may have missed:

 

Never change, #FantasyTwitter. It was almost more entertaining than the solid MNF game.

All right, everyone, enjoy your post-fireworks week, get your waiver claims in and stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. Standard scoring fantasy stats courtesy of FantasyPros.com]


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead at The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

 

Takeaways from the Trenches – Week 7

Week 7 is in the books.

AP Photo/Gail Burton
AP Photo/Gail Burton

And I don’t mean to brag, but … it was my first undefeated week of the season. Though my fantasy football brags may not be as top-shelf as @TheDailyTay‘s, I’ll take an undefeated fake football weekend … especially when I survived starting Matt Ryan in two leagues. Thank you, Demaryius Thomas, DeMarco Murray and Roddy White.


Quick Hits

  • Fear the Beard(s)

This week, I think I’m most proud of the results in my Duck Dynasty Points Per Beard (PPB) league, where it all came down to a classic Monday Night Football clash for the ages.

CBS
CBS

Ryan Fitzpatrick and his Ivy League beard versus the Steelers DST, of course led by PPB veteran, the legendary Brett Keisel.

profootballtalk.nbcsports.com
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Oh, the drama. I’m certain you can feel said drama emanating through your computer screen / device as you read. By now, you know how it went down; Keisel’s classic facial furniture—and his 4th quarter interception—overcame Fitztragic’s younger, less experienced face fuzz—and his early MNF prowess—to prevail in this battle for the ages.

[Note: There is no Duck Dynasty Points Per Beard league. At least that I know of. But if there is one, I need to be all over it. Especially since my own personal stubble project has finally eclipsed the peach fuzz stage. It’s no @JFOH_Razzball, with his impressive display of chin bristles. But at least my goals are set high. I want to be Jack Full of Hate when I grow up.]

[Note Part Deux: If you really needed my assurances in that first note, then you probably don’t need to read my stuff.]

  • Did You #GetPercy’d?

I don’t mean to brag, but I do revel in the fact that I am obviously the catalyst behind the shocking Percy Harvin trade from Seattle to the J-E-T-S.

NY Daily News
NY Daily News

After all, I have taken to the campaign trail, launching nationwide support groups for anyone and everyone who can claim, #IGotPercy’d. After fantasy-relevant calls / non-calls in Weeks 2 and 5 cost countless fantasy owners wins, some owners—ahem—cried foul, or #IGotPercy’d. Hence, the nationwide revolution was activated. And friends, as it is a political voting year, take time to show your support by using this hashtag early and often. Because, if you think about it, this proclamation is now a legitimate battle cry for fantasy owners (myself and … well, there must be at least another one), entire NFL franchises (Seattle? The Vikings?) and even other real football players (Golden Tate?). Or does that last one just put a black-eye on this whole story? I don’t mean to brag, but … #SeeWhatIDidThere? Friends, I am #ClipboardJaysus, and I support this message.

  • It Hurts When You Get Buffalo’d

You may recall that before the start of the 2013 season, the Bills coaching staff famously cautioned or bragged to whomever would listen—granted, most who cared are fake footballers like you and I—that they would allow CJ Spiller to tote the rock until he threw up. Well, you’ve heard the famous saying ‘A year late and an ailment short’ (or … something like that).

Jamie Germano
Jamie Germano

They did allow Spiller to run until he … broke his collarbone. You say vomit, I say fractured skeletal mass. It does suck for Clifford Spiller, Jr. [You know me. I like to employ nicknames whenever possible. In this case, however, I’m going all reverse nickname on you, using his given—and generally unfamiliar—name.] Spiller’s window of capturing that Buffalo backfield had just opened, with a multi-week injury to venerable teammate Fred Jackson occurring previously in Sunday’s game. Said window then immediately slammed shut. The subsequent window has now slightly cracked open for either of that dynamic duo of Bryce Brown or Anthony Dixon. Can either take the ball and run? And then regurgitate? Let’s hope the TV cameras don’t capture that.

  • What the Helfet?

Gavin Escobar, Cooper Helfet, Jeff Cumberland, Daniel Fells, Lance Kendricks. What is this list, you ask? The final contestants on The Bachelor? The newest reincarnation of ‘N Sync? Ladies and gentlemen, I present half of your Top 10 fantasy TEs for Week 7 (standard scoring). Granted, Jimmy Graham was effectively PUP (Physically Unable to Perform), but otherwise, the normal TE crop was in play. They (several of them) just didn’t actually show up to play. Who was not in this week’s Top 10? Gronk, The Big Weirdo (Martellus Bennett), Jordan Reed, Orange Julius, Delanie Walker and Jordan Cameron. As @Pat_Thorman said …


(More) Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm

Any given Sunday, people. Any given Sunday.

  • QB: Philip Rivers, who entered the week as the #2 overall fantasy score through six weeks, finished as the #47 scorer for Week 7. He finished with fewer points this week than the Jaguars and the Vikings DST. Read that again.
  • QB Part Deux: Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton were each outscored by Charlie Whitehurst. What, you thought I’d get through a column without touting my boy, #ClipboardJesus?
  • RB: Denard Robinson and Stepfan Taylor finished Top 9 for RB rankings this week, ahead of Jamaal Charles, Andre Ellington and Arian Foster.
  • RB Part Deux: Tre Mason (14.5), who was inactive through the first five weeks of the year, scored more than combined scores of Marshawn Lynch (7.1), Alfred Morris (5.4) and Giovani Bernard (1.6).
  • WR: Julio Jones (5.6) barely cracked the Top 50 for WR’s and finished at #162 in fantasy scoring. Who said offensive line doesn’t matter?
  • WR Part Deux: The stud Bears WR combo of Brandon Marshall (4.8) and Alshon Jeffery (0.9) totaled less fantasy points than did Carolina’s Brenton Bersin (8.1). Uh. Wow.
  • TE:
    themccordlist.com
    themccordlist.com

    The aforementioned Cooper Helfet (12.1), Seattle’s 3rd string tight end—this pic is for you, ladies—scored more fantasy points than Martellus Bennett (5.8), Julius Thomas (2.7), Delanie Walker (1.7), Heath Miller (1.3) and Jordan Cameron (0.5) combined.

 

 

 


Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret

Soooo, I was wrong.

  • I thought Matt Ryan “may just toss a couple of TD’s and 250 yards” on Sunday. He threw for 228 and a TD. Oh, he also lost a fumble. Sigh.
  • Of Justin Forsett, I said, “there’s a good chance he scores, and big, this Sunday.” Unfortunately, Forsett did not score, and finished with only 9.5 points. 

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back

Yessssss, I was right!

  • I said Raider Andre Holmes would “come back to earth.” After a 24-point Week 6 game, Holmes scored only 3.4, finishing outside the Top 60 WRs.
  • Justin Hunter had averaged nearly 12 standard points per game in his previous two games. I didn’t think that could continue. He caught one pass for 6 yards. Crickets.

So, if you want to brag, tweet us your best Week 7 accomplishment, and we’ll retweet it for the world to hear. And remember, friends, stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. Standard fantasy stats courtesy of FantasyPros.com]


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

The Voice of Reason: Do You Like Topsy-Turvy Football?

Here we sit, at Week # 8 in Pro Football and Week # 9 in College Football.

It. Is. Insane.

LITERALLY. INSANE.

myfoxmemphisLet’s tackle the college game first. (Get it? Tackle? I’ll show myself out.) At any rate, if I would have told you last year that the #1 team in the nation in mid-October 2014 would be Mississippi State, you’d have told me to step away from the crack pipe. Crazy thing is, THEY ARE.  Want another crazy fact? Ole Miss is #3!

Never, in any alternate universe, would you ever expect those teams to be in the top 10, much less the top 5!

You have your usual schools, the Alabamas, the Florida States, the Auburns and Notre Dames. Here come the relative newcomers into the “NCAA Playoff” discussion. Where are Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M? They are struggggaaaaling. If you are a fan of parity, then you are loving this. LOVING this.

I have to admit to rooting for the “little guys” like Mississippi State. I am a huge fan of their quarterback, Dak Prescott. He’s had a great year, as has Ole Miss’s Bo Wallace. Both of these young men should be in the “Heisman talk.”

It is fun to watch on Wednesday nights, Thursday nights, Friday nights, and Saturdays to see what these guys pull out of their collective sleeves. College football is fun, and if you aren’t a fan, you are missing out on some terrific football. Those who were once on top, are now at the bottom, and the bottom teams are on top. Is this GREAT or what?

Now on to the pros.

usp-nfl_-arizona-cardinals-at-seattle-seahawks-4_3_rx512_c680x510Last year’s champions, the Seattle Seahawks are in trouble. They are only a game out of last place in the NFC West. The Seahawks are officially on a losing streak. If that sentence looks weird, it’s because you haven’t read it in over two years. Before Sunday’s loss to the Rams, and last week’s loss to the Cowboys, the last time Seattle lost two games in a row was during Weeks 7 and 8 in 2012.

Is it time to hit the panic button in Seattle? They still have two games against the division-leading Cardinals, the streaking 49’ers, the KC Chiefs, and the dangerous Philadelphia Eagles. They could potentially miss the playoffs. They are sitting at a crossroads at 3-3.

According to ESPN stats, teams that start a season with 3 wins and 3 losses make the playoffs 38.3% of the time. 38% of the time. Seattle has some work to do, and their schedule doesn’t get any easier.

Across the rest of the NFC, there are a few more surprises, for sure.

The Dallas Cowboys, who had an awful defense last year, were picked by many pundits to finish last or next to last in the NFC east. They are arguably the hottest team in the NFL right now, ripping off 6 straight wins. We all knew that they had a talented offense, with Romo, Dez, and Witten, but the defense with Rolando McClain,and a bunch of no names? They are playing well over their heads.

In the tough NFC West, everyone knew that Seattle and San Francisco were going to be there, but who saw the Cardinals? No one. The fact that they have used three quarterbacks and still managed to win, is a testament to the Cardinals coaches.

Up in the frigid NFC North, the Detroit Lions are making noise in a division that has long belonged to the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Granted, the Lions and Packers are tied for the lead, but anyone who saw that coming should have bought a lottery ticket.

Head down to the NFC South, and you find a Carolina Panthers team that is up and down, but still leading the division with a 3-3 record. What happened to the New Orleans Saints? The Atlanta Falcons? A lot of “meh” going on there. Matty Ice has been COLD. As in not hot.

The NFL prides itself on the “Any Given Sunday” mantra. So far this year, it has proven true. There is a lot of football left to be played, and anyone can be beat on any Sunday. I love it. It has the feeling of a season where any team can get hot and make the playoffs and then win it all. See the NY Giants.

I hope you like this topsy-turvy sports world. I know I do.


Ronnie Garcia is the Voice of Reason at The Scoop. He is also an avid guitarist, educator, and all around smarmy guy. You can follow him on twitter @CapnDD.

Friday’s First and Ten — Week 7

If you’ve read any of my stuff with any regularity, you know I’m a sucker for a salty nickname. I especially love some of the more random, humorous or enigmatic names thrust upon NFL players, such as:

  • Doug Martin: Muscle Hamster

    pixgood.com
    pixgood.com
  • Kyle Orton: Uncle Rico
  • Darren Sproles: Half-Size Hummer
  • Martellus Bennett: Orange Dino
  • JJ Watt: The Milkman
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzmagic … or Fitztragic (oft-times, changing from one play to the next)

I’ve had my fair share of nicknames over the years. When just a little tot, I apparently scooted my little body around the carpet at home … so naturally, I was Scooter. As a budding baseball star—a shortstop—in my teen years, I was deemed Hoover. Why, you ask? I apparently had the reputation of being able to scoop up everything in my general vicinity. And for those unaware, a Hoover is / was (?) a brand of vacuums. And, of course, I’ve recently been known as the FFDude, The Pool Boy and now #ClipboardJaysus.

Add one more to my growing list of monikers … Stat Nerd. Today’s TGIFFF (Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday) column is me going all fantasy football and statistics geek on you. Check it.


  1.  Matty Ice … Ice Cold?  

In the three outdoor road games Matt Ryan has played thus far this year, he’s thrown 5 TDs and 6 INTs.

Pinterest
Pinterest

Additionally, his completion percentage in those games is less than a 60% average. Where does he play this week? Outdoors. In Baltimore. With a severely banged up offensive line. Add in that the Ravens have given up only two passing TDs at home this year, and the 3rd fewest points in real football this year. So that Ice in Matty’s nickname just got a bit more chilly. He’ll face a stiff test to get it done. And yet … I’m going with my gut against the grain. I have this feeling he may just toss a couple of TD’s and 250 yards. Not an off-the-charts day, but certainly not a dumpster fire either.

  1. What up, Holmes?

If you know even a bit of Raider history, then you know that when the late Al Davis ran the team, the Raider Way involved speed at the wideout position to develop the vertical game.

Tony Gonzales / Raiders.com
Tony Gonzales / Raiders.com

The Raiders have employed Olympic sprinters (Willie Gault, former 400m Olympic medalist), college track stars (Jacoby Ford was a sprinter at Clemson) and guys living in the ‘hood outrunning the cops after ripping off the corner mart (we won’t disrespect anyone here by naming names). Bottom line: that have traditionally liked dudes with speed. Granted, some of these guys didn’t quite have the greatest hands in the world. But who’s counting? Speed kills, or so Mr. Davis wholeheartedly believed.  Now along comes Andre Holmes, who is built more in the big-body and less burner receiver mold. Some within the Raider brass are comparing him to Brandon Marshall. Whatever the case, it appears Derek Carr has himself a legit #1 WR. Over his last two games, he’s had 9 catches, 3 TDs and is averaging over 23 fantasy PPG. Can he sustain this pace, Watson? I’m afraid he comes back to earth a bit.

  1. Justin Case You’re Hunting for a Sleeper

Staying with the young, big-play, big-build receiver theme, Justin Hunter is beginning to show signs that he can play in this league.

Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports

The past two weeks, he’s played over 93% of all Tennessee snaps and averaged nearly 15 fantasy points per game. On the year, the Redskins give up the 8th most fantasy points to WRs. If Checkdown Charlie—yes, I’ve just assigned my namesake, Clipboard Jesus a new nickname—doesn’t play, meaning Jake The Hurt Locker does play, Hunter’s chances for upping his fantasy numbers greatly increase. Until then, I’m afraid Justin Hunter is Justin Case.

  1. Justin Case You Want to Force It

So any guesses who the fifth correct name in this trivia question is? Name the five RBs who have scored at least 6 (standard) fantasy points per week thusfar this season. DeMarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell, Gio Bernard, Marshawn Lynch and—wait for it, wait for it—Justin Forsett.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of nowhere, literally, he began the year behind Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Forsett is on the field for nearly 60% of snaps, has averaged 14.5 touches per game and sits at #8 for fantasy RBs. Can he keep this up? Well, um, the Atlanta defense has given up 11 rushing touchdowns to opposing RBs this year; that’s 4 more than another other team. So, I’d say there’s a good chance he scores, and big, this Sunday.

  1. Fun in the Sun in the Desert

Assuming Carson Palmer can stay upright for a full four quarters, the arrow for that offense sure seems to be pointing directly up, at that Arizona sky. It’s amazing these Cardinals—with all the injuries and in that division—are an impressive 4-1 and sitting in first place. On a related note, isn’t it ironic how well Bruce Arians is doing in his ‘retirement’? If you’re not familiar, definitely check this out:

And now we return to our regularly scheduled program. In spite of the fact that the Cardinals, employing three different starting QBs this year, still have not thrown an INT … Palmer absolutely makes that offense tick. His presence all the offensive weapons fantasy-relevant.

  1. Miller the Killer in South Beach?

Now that Knowshon’s No More Tears routine sadly will not be renewed for the remainder of this season, the Miami backfield should now wholly belong to Lamar Miller.

Steve Mitchell / US Presswire
Steve Mitchell / US Presswire

What will he make of it? Miller didn’t beat out Daniel Thomas last season when presented the opportunity. He’s averaging 16 touches per game, currently at #13 among fantasy RBs (PPR) at 75.3 total points. Those numbers would most certainly appear to continue trending up. I say he ends up a Top 12 RB on the year – both standard and PPR. And this week, at Chicago? Yeah, let’s go ahead and start off ROS with a bang by blowing up against the Bears. Lamar may found himself have a new nickname, Miller the Killer.


Eats

For my culinary friends, and in honor of National Pasta Day—what, you didn’t know that was today, October 17? I mark it on my calendar every year—I’m recommending you whip out your rigatoni, cavatappi, gnocci, rigate, rotini, tortellini or ziti. Or for those of us less refined, I’ll just take my Kraft Mac n’ Cheese in a box, microwave that bad boy and pop open a Bud Light.

So, whether you’re a ‘foodie’ or a ‘fast foodie’, until next week … stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.

[NOTE: This week’s NFL and PPR fantasy stats courtesy of eDraft.com.]


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

Takeaways from the Trenches –- Week 6 (AND A CONTEST!)

baltimoresportsreport.com
baltimoresportsreport.com

As we begin this week’s column, you need to know … Joe Flacco just threw another touchdown. Much more on Flacco Time later. Who knows? By the time I finish writing this, maybe he’ll throw another. Or two.

SPECIAL NOTE: In today’s edition of the Takeaways, keep an eye out for quotes or phrases used in the classic film, The Princess Bride, sprinkled throughout. Take notes, kids, because at the end of this column, there will be a quiz. And you just may get lucky and win yourself a prize.


Six-Week Report Cards

Six NFL weeks should be enough time for experts and prognosticators alike to develop a legitimate understanding of the powerhouses and the push-overs in the league, right? In just six short weeks, we’ve witnessed enough to draw a few conclusions. Hear me out, as I attempt to make sense of it all, using these examples:

  • In the AFC East, the Dolphins beat the Patriots, the Bills beat the Dolphins, and the Patriots beat the Bills. Conclusion? The J-E-T-S, not having yet lost to any of their division rivals, must be the class of the division. Don’t let the facts (namely that they’ve not played the rest of the division) get in the way of this masterfully crafted hypothesis.
  • In Week 1, EJ Manuel’s Bills beat Jay Cutler’s Bears.
    Associated Press
    Associated Press

    In Week 2, Cutler’s Bears defeated Colin Kaepernick’s Niners. In Week 4, Kaep and the 49ers overcame Nick Foles and the Eagles. Conclusion? According to the Transitive Property of Equality, EJ Manuel is a better QB than Nick Foles. Right? Even while riding the pine, having been benched in favor of the NeckBeard himself, Kyle Orton? Makes sense to me.

  • And for a mind-blowing display of dizzying intellect, follow along now, won’t you? And don’t get lost. In Week 2, the Bengals took care of the Falcons. Subsequently, as the season has progressed, the following scenarios have played out: Atlanta beat the Saints; the Saints beat up on the Vikings; the Vikes handled St. Louis; the Rams squeaked past Tampa Bay; the Bucs bested the Steelers; Pittsburgh clawed past the Panthers; and, of course, Carolina tied the Bengals this past Sunday. Conclusion? It’s obvious; all NFL teams—other than the Jags and Raiders—are equal.

Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm

You want crazy stats? As you wish …

  • QB: The Top 5 fantasy QBs are Cam Newton (he was obviously using his 50/50 hindsight), Flacco, Kaepernick, Tom Brady and Derek Carr. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. No Peyton. No Rodgers.
  • QB Part Deux:
    Associated Press
    Associated Press

    Matthew Stafford finished the week behind the likes of Glennon, Bortles, Orton and Geno, at #25 on the list, just ahead of Charlie Whitehurst. [Those that read my stuff know I could not make it through a column without mentioning my namesake, #ClipboardJesus.] Anyone think Calvin makes a difference in that Lions offense?

  • RB: Week 6 RB rankings shaped up with regular, expected names topping the list. Names like Forte, Arian, DeMarco, Gio. However, coming in at #7 was Theo Riddick, who finished ahead of names like Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, LeSean McCoy and Andre Ellington.
  • RB Part Deux: Combined, Eddie Lacy (4.0), Frank Gore (3.8) and Shane Vereen (1.7) had less than 10 fantasy points on the day. Fozzy Whittaker, Dexter McCluster, Darren McFadden and Trent Richardson all scored more than 10.
  • WR: Your #3-5 WRs this week? Andre Holmes, Mohamed Sanu and Brandon LaFell. Any given Sunday, people. Holmes finished the week with 28.1 points, nearly doubling his season total through five weeks (31.8). Hello, Derek Carr.
  • WR Part Deux: Robert Woods came in at #7 with 22.8 points, outscoring the combined totals of Roddy (7.0), Emmanuel Sanders (6.8), Jeremy Maclin (3.6), Percy (2.9) and Welker (1.8). Yeah. Saw that coming.
  • TE: One stat here is enough. The Jets Jace Amaro was the top TE play in Week 6, with 22.8 points. Prior to this week, his single-game high score was 10.8, and he’d not scored a TD all year. Geno to Jace? I smell a new trend.

Quick Hits

1. #IGotPercy’d: After five weeks of erratic fantasy play from Sir Percy, I am officially the President of the #IGotPercy’d Support Group.

emeraldcityswagger.com
emeraldcityswagger.com

In Week 6, it wasn’t missed calls (see Week 2) or penalties negating a big offensive day (see Week 5). This time around, Percy unveiled his new magic act—The Incredible Disappearing Percy—by netting a preposterous negative 1 yard on 6 touches. Inconceivable! And no, that is NOT a typo, my friends. A guy who was drafted in the Top 25 WRs, Harvin currently sits outside the Top 65 WRs, averaging less than 10 fantasy points per game. And that’s in PPR! Drop Percy in all leagues and tweet me for local chapter meeting locations. Meetings take place weekly on Sundays, just after #IGetPercy’d again, where we discuss the topic: “Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

2. Carrying the Load: Last year, the Bills coaching staff warned (or was it boasted?) that they’d run CJ Spiller until he threw up. I’m no puke professional, but I’m pretty sure CJ’s barf-to-target ratio was pretty low, as far as those ratios go. On the flipside, DeMarco Murray has been the very definition of a workhouse this season.

Associated Press
Associated Press

I’m not sure if he’s upchucking on the sidelines between series or not, but on the year, he has touched the ball on over 41% of ALL Dallas offensive snaps. [By comparison, Matt Forte is at 34% and Le’Veon Bell is at 30%.] He’s on pace to finish the season with more carries (424) than Larry Johnson’s record of 416 in 2006. So, on behalf of fantasy owners everywhere, DeMarco, get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.

3. No Moral Victories: Hey, Jags and Raiders fans. You will win a game this year, I assure you. And although there are no moral victories in the NFL, you showed up. I mean, it’s not as if the Titans and Chargers, respectively, said, “I just want you to feel you’re doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed,” and let you stay close. You played hard and with heart; and—from the all-important fantasy perspective—showed promise for next week and beyond.

Associated Press
Associated Press

Guys like Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson (mancrush alert) and Storm Johnson from Jacksonville, as well as Derek Carr and Andre Holmes for Oakland. There could be a bright-ish fantasy future ahead. We want you to feel you’re doing well.

4. #WeAllGotFlacco’d: Really? Anyone see this coming? No one will accuse Flacco of doing things slowly now, will they? Joe Flacco had as many TD passes in the first half—FIVE!—of Week 6 as Aaron Rodgers had before everyone started R-E-L-A-X’ing (Weeks 1-3). That’s only two TD passes less than Matthew Stafford has … on the year! So what happened? The Bucs defense happened for Flacco. But what to do with him moving forward? Tread with caution. Week 7 at home against Atlanta looks good, but don’t look for this sort of production on any regular basis. Or … get used to disappointment.

5. Welcome Back, Cameron: It’s been said, “There’s not a lot of money in revenge.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

But there is pride in revenge. Pittsburgh beat Cleveland in Week 1; in Week 6, the Browns got said revenge, handily taking down the Steelers, 31-10. The fourth overall TE selected in fake football this year, Jordan Cameron, showed back up in a big way, even with limited targets. His 3/102/1 line won some folks their fantasy weeks. Or, in the case of one fantasy football writer who left Cameron sitting on his bench, lost a fantasy week. Oh well, revenge cometh again next week.

6. Teammates Top the Top 15: Check out the Top 15 fantasy scorers (PPR) through six weeks. Only one Bronco made the list, which is surprising to me. Omaha, Omaha. The 2nd QB on this list? Anyone want to make a guess, after Amish Andrew Luck? Peyton? Rodgers? Nope. Cry Me A Rivers, Philip Rivers comes in at #6 overall. And four sets of teammates make the list.

  • Packers: Jordy (#4), Randall (#13) and Aaron (#14). No shockers there.
  • Colts: Andrew Luck (#1) and … TY Hilton (#12). Really, Hilton? Yeah, those 40 catches help.
  • Bears: Matt Forte (#3) and … Jay Cutler (#15). Go smoke your cig now, Jay.
  • Steelers: Really? I guess that defense IS that bad, and fantasy isn’t reality, as Antonio Brown (#5) (mancrush alert) and Le’Veon Bell (#9) make the list.

Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret

Soooo, I was wrong.

  • From the Department of Redundancy Department, I was unequivocally incorrect about Mr. Percy Harvin. I predicted he would go off against Dallas at home. There’s only one word for my gaffe here. Hell, no!
  • I thought Wes Welker might have a big game, against some previously suspect slot corner coverage from the Jets. Welker’s 1 for 8 yards didn’t really do the trick. Perhaps some Molly is in order?

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back

Yessssss, I was right!

  • I predicted a breakout game for Shady McCoy (mancrush alert), and it FINALLY happened. All my attempts to buy-low on acquiring him are shot.
  • I thought Gio Bernard would—how exactly did I say it?—have a “huge game.” 22 touches for 157 yards and a TD. Yeah. That’s a pretty fair day at the office.

Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

OK, so did you catch all of my The Princess Bride references? BE THE FIRST TO TWEET ME WITH THE EXACT NUMBER OF REFERENCES (@FFHottieAsst), AND WE’LL SEND YOU A PRIZE. No, it’s not a collector’s edition #ClipboardJesus bobblehead. I’m keeping that one enshrined in my trophy case. But do go watch this flick again; it’s well worth your time. It will help you stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. PPR fantasy stats courtesy of eDraft.com.]


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

The Voice of Reason: Putting Men’s Health Magazine to the Test

By now, I am sure you have heard about the Men’s Health Magazine piece that caused a rather sizeable uproar. It created so much backlash that MH wound up removing that post/article/blurb.

In case you missed it, here it is:

rapgenius.comNot all women share your passion for sports, in case you hadn’t noticed. The reason? They need story lines. “Most women don’t care about stats,” says Andrei Markovits, Ph.D., coauthor of Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States. So while you’re enthusing about Dominic Moore’s scoring record, she’d rather hear about how he supported his wife’s battle with cancer—and even took a season off from the NHL at the height of his career. Treat your heroes as people and not just players on a field and you’ll suck her in. Just don’t expect her to wear the foam finger.

What may have actually been a decent point was lost in the approach. The way the piece was worded insinuated that women are not as knowledgeable about sports as men. I disagree with that. For example, I know A LOT of women who are huge baseball fans, who can tell you about RBIs, ERAs, WAR, and RISP averages. I know some females who can keep a pretty darn good game book.

I decided to try the Men’s Health approach at home with my wife while watching football recently. Surprisingly, it worked.

americanmmcarver.comI found that if I made the game personal for her, she was genuinely more interested. Rather than saying, “Jason Witten is a complete tight end,” I told her about how Witten won the NFL Man of the Year Award in 2013. I told her how much he does for his foundation, how he helps the inner city youth with football camps, and how he has spoken out on domestic violence issues. She’s in. Sure, she understands the game of football, but she hated watching with me because I “yell at the TV like a madman.”

I tried the strategy again when I watched the Cowboys-Texans football game with her last week. Yes, she asked a lot of questions, but when I explained certain nuances of the game, and added personal tidbits about players, she started to “develop relationships” with them. For example, when I told her that Cowboys WR Cole Beasley went to SMU, and is from the Dallas area, she became a fan. When I told her that LB Rolando McClain had some issues off the field with maintaining his desire for the game, but is now focused on playing for his two daughters, she became a fan.

My point is this: while Men’s Health may have had a reasonable point, it was lost in the condescending message. Yes, women like sports. No, they are not dumb. They are actually, in some cases, more rabid than the male populace.

My wife tells me that she is now more willing to watch sports with me, which makes me happy. The other good thing is that when I DVR the game, I can pause it as needed to answer questions, and or share interesting tidbits about the players.

I plan on DVR’ing basketball, football, and hockey, so I can watch with her and we can enjoy sports – TOGETHER.

Oh yeah, and on one final note. We hate foam fingers. Just sayin.


Ronnie Garcia is The Voice of Reason at The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @CapnDD.