The Socratic Paradox goes a little something like this: “I know one thing: that I know nothing.”
This famous maxim is derived from Plato’s account of the writings of the Greek philosopher Socrates. So when was the last time you read a fantasy football column that began with a reference to Socrates and Plato? Hey, I’m here to educate as well as entertain, people. I’m so more than just a talking monkey.
Who knows if Socrates wasn’t some secret fake football prophet and closet fantasy football player? Hell, at one point Ashton Kutcher co-owned a fantasy football site and hosted a weekly fantasy radio show. I mean, would you rather get your knowledge from Socrates or Ashton Kutcher? But I digress. Perhaps Socrates knew that Week 10 of the 2014 NFL season would wholly carry out his axiom in every imaginable fashion. At the very least, his declaration absolutely applies.
You need examples? Glad you asked.
- Just … Win (or … Something?), Baby
Al Davis was a maverick, an innovator and a winner. From all accounts, his infectious spirit and leadership infiltrated the entire Raiders organization back in the day. And I’m pretty sure he’d agree with Socrates this year. The Raiders are winless, and leading the pack as the worst team in football. Not overly surprising. But have they really been close yet? What are the loyal and dedicated Raider Nation hanging their collective silver helmets on? I’d suspect it’s not this:
That’s hard to do, I’d think.
Offensive Coordinator: Hey, let’s get James Jones a bunch of catches. I started him in my PPR league.
Head Coach: OK, but I’m playing against him in my standard league, so … let’s keep those yardage totals down.
OC: Winner winner, chicken dinner!
- Big Ben or Medium-Sized Ben?
So you may have heard, Ben Roethlisberger has had a pretty solid last couple of weeks. His last two outings saw him complete 75% of his passes, while averaging 431 passing yards and 6 TDs. Oh yeah, he also averaged 40.2 fantasy points the previous two weeks. Meanwhile, the Jets have been a turnstyle defense, allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs this year. So what happens? Sure, as expected, Big Ben and the Steelers passing attack barely showed up. If not for a last minute 80-yard garbage-time TD bomb to rookie phenom Martavis Bryant, Ben would have finished with under 10 fantasy points.
Perhaps they need to go back to the bumblebee uni’s, or play tougher defenses, like Baltimore in Week 9. Uh oh, Ben could be in trouble again this week; the Steelers are playing the Titans and their soft defense.
- How Did That Happen?
In one of my leagues, Team A (It Ertz When I Pee) faced Team B (The Double Ent-Andre Ellingtons). I do enjoy good wordplay. And you see, the Ellingtons failed to set their lineup this week; not sure what happened exactly—family illness/out of town/conspiracy theory to get the top waiver pick next week?—but they left three spots (WR, K, D/ST) empty.
Additionally, they started Toby Gerhart, so I guess they essentially left four spots empty. But they DID have a guy going who was ALL beast mode. And then the Ertz’ians were done in by Ronnie Hillman and Delanie Walker injuries, as well as no-show’s from AJ Green and Jeremy Hill. So, a team with 40% of their roster empty defeats a league-leader. I know the Ertz Pee’ers blame this on Socrates.
- Name Drop … No, Actually Go DROP These Guys
OK, time for a visit to some name players perhaps still sitting on your roster that you … must … drop. Do not pass go; do not collect $200. It’s safe to go directly to your waiver wire and dump these guys, based on performance. Obviously, the size of your league and your roster make-up apply here, but you know what I’m saying.
- Zac Stacy: This guy was the lead back in St. Louis coming into the season with a seemingly bright future ahead. He was in the Top 15 ADP for RBs. After 10 weeks? He’s #3 on the Rams depth chart and, in standard leagues, he sits at #50. Among RBs. Yikes.
- Michael Floyd: Floyd was to come into his own superstardom in the desert, cracking most drafts Top 20 WRs. Michael is behind Malcolm in the infamous Floyd WR Race of 2014. Michael is at #56 for WRs, and clearly not being prioritized.
- Vernon Davis: Another guy who was relying on name value, Vernon was the #4 TE picked, only behind Jimmy, Julius and Gronk.
Admittedly, TE is the most shallow position for fantasy football this year and he’s been hurt, but C’Mon Man! He’s not even in the Top 30 TEs (total standard points) this year. When Daniel Fells, Josh Hill and Anthony Fasano are ahead of you, something ain’t kosher.
- Prime Time or Slime Time?
Personally, I wasn’t sure that the Thursday, Sunday and Monday night games could collectively get any worse. Then we were treated—wait, we were tricked a weekend late—with the Bengals disappearing act, the Packers beat-down of the hapless Bears, followed by Cam and the Panthers deciding not to show up in Philly. And, as mentioned, we’ll get to witness Pittsburgh visit my fair city (Nashville) next Monday night for a riveting Steelers versus Titans affair. Good thing Nashville is Music City; I may opt out for some tunes and BBQ.
Some Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm
QB: Your Top 5 QBs this week: Rodgers? Check. Peyton? Check. Then Romo and his National Security Back Issue. Um, ok. Then Butt Fumble Mark Sanchez. Really? Then the teary Josh McCown. What??
- RB: CJ Anderson finished ahead of everyone other than Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett with 22.3 points. Coming into the week, CJ had 11.6 points on the year. Now he’s dead even with another Anderson, Carolina backup QB Derek, for #245 in total points.
- WR: Deja vu all over again here, as the rooks show up again bigtime. Four of the Top 7 WRs this week are freshmen. Jordan Matthews makes an appearance on this list at #3, Mr. Productivity Martavis Bryant drops in at #4, Kelvin Benjamin in garbage time lands at #6 and Mike Evans secures the #7 spot. Very impressive, boys.
- TE: Philly teammates showed up on the scoresheet like this: Zac Ertz 1 catch on 2 targets for 17 yards. Brent Celek 5 catches on 6 targets for 116 yards. Coming into the game, Celek had been nearly doubled on targets. Oh yeah, fantasy points? Celek 11.6. Ertz 1.7. It DOES hurt when I pee. [Editor’s note: you might want to get that checked out, Jay.]
- Bonus: A D/ST hits the Top 3 in total points this week for the first time all year, as the Eagles tallied the top DST score all year (31.0). In Week 2, the Patriots D/ST finished at #4. Interestingly, the Eagles now have three Top 10 weekly finishes, also cracking the list in Weeks 4 and 5. Can you say opportunistic?
Well, there you have it for this week. And whether you’re an intellectual Plato/Socrates type or more BBQ and Ertz Pee jokes, we still like you. You’re welcome any day in our little—I guess it’s not actually so little—fake football fraternity. And as such, you must always, always stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS.
Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.