All posts by jaythescoop

Tuesday’s Takeaways from the Trenches — Week 10

The Socratic Paradox goes a little something like this: “I know one thing: that I know nothing.”

sodahead.com
sodahead.com

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.

USA Today
USA Today

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.

The League, FX
The League, FX

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Vernon Davis: Another guy who was relying on name value, Vernon was the #4 TE picked, only behind Jimmy, Julius and Gronk.
    AP Photo/Greg Trott
    AP Photo/Greg Trott

    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

  • WTVT
    WTVT

    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.

[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 for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

Tuesday’s Takeaways from the Trenches – Week 9

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Election Day. And I want to encourage you to go out and vote. Seriously. No pun or witty comment here. We all have a voice. Go vote.

How does that relate to fantasy football? Well, I’ll show you who made my ballot in this week’s Quick Hits and Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm.

Week 9 was another fun one for me, going undefeated in my main LOR’s (Leagues of Record). I’m climbing back into the races, y’all.


Quick Hits

  • Jerry’s Kids

OK, so I’ve done my darndest to avoid too much Cowboy Nation chatter in this column. But, I can’t resist the urge any longer, kids. Up front, may I just pronounce that the frailty and foibles on this team are, at worst, oppressive to fans and, at best, mesmerizing to haters.

Sarah Hoffman/Dallas Morning News
Sarah Hoffman/Dallas Morning News

At times, watching the Cowboys is like watching an 8-car pileup; you don’t want anyone to get hurt, but it’s too entertaining to not look. You’ve got Jerry Jones’ infamous stubbornness and arrogance, Dez Bryant’s oft-times childish rants and Tony Romo’s pervasive injuries. For the record, I also want to add that, as a long-time closet champion of Romo, at least his fantasy game, the dude is one tough soldier. Perhaps too tough for his own/the team’s own good. I mean, should he really be sitting on a plane for 10 hours with a recurring bad back to go play the Jags? Is this a must-win? Is Brandon Weeden that bad? OK, so you may have a point there. But they have the best offensive line in football, and Demarco Murray leads the NFL in rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing TDs and yards after contact.

ESPN.com
ESPN.com

Additionally, his personal Beast Mode season also has him leading all fantasy RBs in scoring.But my real question surrounding the Cowboys is this: Why isn’t it garnering more media attention that the Cowboys have the first father/son combo playing for an NFL team? Slot WR Cole Beasley is Brandon Weeden’s long-haired, rebellious son, right?

  • #IGotPercy’d … The Sequel to The Sequel (to The Sequel)

After the litany of well-documented flubs and snubs that one Percy Harvin has dished out to the fantasy community, Week 9 provided the latest in the maddening line of unpredictability from the man.

DAVID EULITT/THE KANSAS CITY STAR
DAVID EULITT/THE KANSAS CITY STAR

One week removed from a 7-touch, 8-point (PPR) game in his first with the Jets, he soared to a 12-touch, 24.7-point (PPR) game this week. One of my college buddies had asked me what to do with Harvin immediately after the trade. I advised to remain in a holding pattern, to see how he would be utilized by the beautiful mess that is the Jets offense. And yet, even I didn’t follow my own advice, dropping Percy this week. Then the Jets braintrust—is that an oxymoron? Asking for a friend.—decides to bombard Percy with targets (13) in the passing game. Will it last? I’d love to see someone’s crystal ball on this one, so that I don’t reach the baker’s dozen on my #IGotPercy’d quota this season.

  • Alf Being Alf …With Help From RGIII

Well, Sunday was Alfred Morris being Alfred Morris … from 2012, his rookie season. Prior to Sunday’s contest, Morris was averaging 10.1 fantasy points per game this year, or 18th in average PPG. But after Week 9’s performance (22.9), he now sits at #8 for fantasy RBs (standard).

Redskins.com
Redskins.com

Many have said RGIII’s presence alone would catapult Alf’s production. In Weeks 1 and 9 (RGIII weeks), he’s averaged 5.6 YPC. Without Griffin? He’s averaged right around 3.5 YPC. The arrow is point-up, my friends. Keep an eye of Morris. Perhaps Alf needs to make some guest appearances on those Subway commercials. After all, they do seem to go together more than RGIII and Justin Tuck, no?

  • Here’s Lookin At You, Kid(s)

For a second time this season, the rookie WR class came to play this week. And make a splash they did. You all know me and my affinity for playmaking WRs—after all, I AM a card-carrying, founding member of WR Hoarders, Anonymous—so this bullet-point makes my heart sing. If you placed your vote for one of these freshman wideouts in your lineup this week, your heart might be singing, as well. Mike Evans (#2 fantasy WR, 24.4 points), Allen Hurns (#3, 23.2), Martavis Bryant (#7, 16.7) and Odell Beckham Jr. (#9, 15.6) all cracked the Top 9 fantasy WRs this week. Keep ballin’, boys.

sportige.com
sportige.com

Let’s point out one note in particular here. Martavis Bryant now has five TD catches on the year; sixteen other WRs have at least five, as well. He’s reached that mark in three games and less than 100 snaps. The next fewest activity from the 5-TD Club? Eddie Royal’s 371 snaps. Can you spell “production?” I think it’s spelled M-A-R-T-A-V-I-S.

  • Someone Else’s Garbage …

With this being election season and all, I had to vote on a fill-in QB this week in one of my main leagues.

Bill Kostroun, AP
Bill Kostroun, AP

I was stuck, given Matthew Stafford’s bye, and Romo’s injury. Fortunately, I was able to pick up the younger Manning. For those who watched MNF to the bitter end—for the fantasy perspective, of course—you witnessed that late, pointless touchdown drive by the Giants, as Eli racked up 69 yards passing and a touchdown. Garbage time, you say? I beg to differ. I won that matchup by less than 3 points. Smelled like garbage? No, my friends, that is the smell of victory.

  • Bye Week Victory

One of the more comical things I heard this past week was a variation of the whole “your team is so bad, they might lose on their bye week” dig. Well, living in Titans country, I heard a local sports radio caller express his opinions this way. “The Titans were a 3-point underdog to the bye … and the bye covered the spread.” I wonder who is the worst team in football; there seem to be a few suitors. The Raiders? The Jets? The Titans? Or one of the two Florida teams, the Jags or Buccaneers? It will be a race to the finish before final results are counted. I may lean toward the Jags. Ya know, because Chads are synonymous with Florida football (Chad Henne) and election season (Hanging Chads).

ESPN

 

 

 

 

 

 


(More) Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm

Did YOU see these coming?

  • QB:Philip Rivers entered the week as the #4 fantasy quarterback. He had with less points than any QB who played this week. And less points than you had this week. He had a NEGATIVE 2.2 fantasy points. I don’t typically call myself an expert, but that’s not very good, I don’t think.
  • US Magazine
    US Magazine

    QB Part Deux: Eli Manning outscored Peyton Manning this week. Other than in Super Bowl wins, how often can we say this?

  • RB:Matt Asiata outscored every RB other than Jeremy Hill and Marshawn Lynch, all while getting the 24th most rushes (10), and only four receptions.
  • RB Part Deux: In your Top 9 this week: Jeremy Hill, Matt Asiata and Denard Robinson. Their average Draft Position Position is 10 to the nth power. With n being Jerry Jones’ ego.
  • WR: It’s TBT (Throw BackTuesday) apparently, back to Week 1. Allen Hurns had exactly the same number of fantasy points as the combination of: Dez, Crabtree, Michael Floyd, Steve Smith Sr, Kelvin Benjamin, Pierre Garcon and Andre Johnson.
  • WR Part Deux: Speaking of Andre Johnson, he was outscored by the likes of Kevin Norwood, Jeff Maehl and Albert Wilson. Who? This in a game where he played 61 of 63 snaps and had eight targets. Hello, DeAndre Hopkins.
  • TE: One-third of your Top 6 this week are Mychal Rivera and Chase Ford.
  • WhoDaThunkIt?: As a quick bonus point here … who in their right mind would have predicted Mark Sanchez and Michael Vick would be the starting QBs for their new swapped ballclubs? In the same week? Gotta love the NFL.

Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret

Soooo, I was wrong.

  • I thought Pierre Garcon would benefit greatly from having RGIII back in the lineup. Uh oh. Wow, that was wrong. PG had a scary 1.5 fantasy points on only five targets.
  • Am I the only one who thought Brady versus Manning would be a bit more alluring? I mean, neither played poorly—from a fantasy perspective—but I also wouldn’t have guessed Eli would outscore his big brother.

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back

Yessssss, I was right!

  • I said I’d not start Cowboys because of the aforementioned Gramps Weeden starting. Yeah.
  • I said to get your Colts into your starting lineups. That Luck guy is pretty good. Especially when they let him throw it 46 times..

So, go out there and let your voice be heard. Yeah, in fantasy AND in the real-world voting booths. But, beyond all, 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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Friday’s First and 10 –- Week 6

On Tuesday, we’ll be more than a third of the way through the fantasy football season. And what do we have to show for it?

BleacherReport.com
BleacherReport.com

For starters, we have J.J. Watt with more RECEIVING touchdowns than Keenan Allen, Anquan Boldin, Dwayne Bowe, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Emmanuel Sanders, Percy Harvin and Wes Welker. (Hint: those last eight guys are on the field for the specific purpose of SCORING RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS.)

And, in standard leagues—yes, I’m bemoaning the struggles of my favorite mancrush … again—LeSean McCoy has been outscored by pedestrian running backs Matt Asiata, Knile Davis, Chris Ivory, Antone Smith, and Bobby Rainey. And even Trent Richardson. Pick it up Shady, or I may have to shift my mancrush allegiances. There are other fish in the sea, ya know.

But for now, Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday. On this TGIFFF, I’m looking forward to some things.

  1. Percy’d Again?

Dallas plays in Seattle Sunday, with Tony Romo attempting to NOT wilt under the 12th Man’s Spells and transform into Turnover Tony. But I’m more concerned with Percy Harvin, and his impact on MY fantasy world. I love me some Harvin, but have been Percy’d two out of five weeks already this year (as I outline here: #IGotPercy’d). So, what happens this Sunday? Will I be snake-bitten again by another Percy performance? I predict a big game for Percy; I’m calling for a long TD catch & run, and TD another on a running play. Dear fantasy football gods, I don’t want to be Percy’d again. I’ll be eternally grateful.

  1. Ball Buster
DenverPost.com
DenverPost.com

Now that Montee Ball is down for the count for a couple weeks, who will Peyton trust to occupy his office on Sunday? The most popular waiver wire replacement pickup was Ronnie Hillman—and he should, indeed, get the bulk of the early game looks, with C.J. Anderson sprinkled in. Having said that, this game has more of a Peyton to Demaryius and Emmanuel sort of feel to it. After all, the Jets yield the 6th most fantasy points to WRs on the year. But humor me here. I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see short Wes Welker completions take the place of the running game a bit, especially since Jets slot corner Kyle Wilson, who will likely line up across from Welker on most routes, has allowed 10 completions on 12 pass attempts this season.

  1. What Can Brown Do For … You, Versus the Browns?

I referenced earlier in this column, that I’m considering transferring my mancrush allegiances away from one Shady McCoy. Potential suitors include Percy Harvin, Brandon Marshall, Andre Ellington, the youngster Allen Robinson and Antonio Brown. Brown tops all fantasy WR scoring so far this year, and in that Pittsburgh offense, shows no signs of slowing his pace. After all, other than Heath Miller every third week, no other Steeler pass-catcher is showing up on the stat sheet. Big Ben has targeted Antonio 23 more times than any other Steeler WR (Markus Wheaton). Factor in that the Browns pass defense is 28th in the league, and Joe Haden is hobbled? You’ve got yourself a potential Brown-anza, my friends. AB could literally go off for another 200 yard and 2 TD game.

  1. Hurt Locker, ClipboardJesus or The Whiz Kid?

Jake The Hurt Locker Locker is still banged up. If you read my stuff at all, you know I’m a cult Charlie Clipboard Jesus Whitehurst follower. But he and his hair need to remain on the sidelines with said clipboard. So is it Zach The Whiz Kid Mettenberger’s shot this Sunday versus the Jags at home? Yes, I just gave him that nickname; let’s see if it sticks. The Titans are winless since Week 1, so why not give the kid a shot. And wouldn’t Jacksonville, at home, be the right opportunity for him to grow up? Reports have Jake sitting this one out, with Charlie getting the start. If Clipboard Jesus doesn’t work miracles for the Titans, I’d say we’re gonna see The Whiz Kid.

  1. Red Rover, Red Rover … Let Shady Come Over [IE: Ditto]

Shady McCoy’s slow start is well-documented. Through four weeks, McCoy is the 26th ranked (PPR) RB in fantasy. He’s averaged less than 3 YPC on the year. Right tackle Lane Johnson returned this week, to give the Eagles three of their five starting five on the offensive line. I continue to try and pry McCoy away from a couple other owners, with buy-low offers. So that should tell you I’m seeing some light at the end of the Shade. I say the slump is broken this week. What, you’ve read this before? Cut n paste works here, baby.

  1. Tears for Fears?
CBS Sports
CBS Sports

It’s being reported that Knowshon is nearing (?) a return to the field from a dislocated elbow; perhaps we’ll even be treated to one of his famous tear episodes? As well as his on-the-field know-how and veteran presence on display? Fantasy owners are left hanging, though, as Lamar Miller has performed admirably with Moreno on the shelf, averaging 14.95 fantasy points (standard) over his past two games—after only 8.55 per game in the first two. Will a timeshare be in effect? Will Knowshon revert to his 19.4 from game one? I think if healthy, Knowshon wins back the fantasy points battle.

  1. Cat Fight

The Bengals play the Panthers in the infamous Ferocious Cat Bowl. What, you’ve not heard of this? I read it was a thing. Of course, I wrote it down, then I read it. But still. One thing I’m watching in this matchup? Assuming A.J. Green sits out to rest his ailing Green Toe—see what I did there?—whose fantasy value increases? I picked up Mohamed Sanu in a couple leagues. BUT, I really think the Bengals lean on their run game, especially since Carolina gives up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing RBs. So, I’m looking for a huge game from Giovani Bernard. And to a lesser extent, Jeremy Hill, as well.

  1. Battle of the Pretty Boys?

I asked a female football fan this week what she thought of Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan. You know, from a … not strategic, on the field perspective. She called them both—and I quote—pretty boys. Whatever the case, I find this Bears at Falcons Sunday tilt incredibly enticing, fantasy-wise. Chicago’s defense yields the 8th most points to opposing WRs. And other than the Packers, they’ve not played anyone with WR weapons like Julio and Roddy. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s defense gives up the most points to opposing RBs. Hello there, Matt Forte. I will say I think Martellus Bennett continues a slow slide, not keeping up his early season gaudy fantasy numbers. So, my fake football friends, crank up your Falcons and Bears skill position player options. Forte. Brandon and Alshon. Julio and Roddy. And, of course, the pretty boys Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler. It should be a field day for fireworks and fun.

  1. Where Does It Hurt?

Like you, I’m keeping my watchful eye out for the other injury-riddled guys—and their replacements.

  • Will Megatron play? If not, how does this affect Matthew Stafford (likely down) and Golden Tate (likely up)?
  • The quarterback situation in Arizona remains a bit of a mess. Carson Palmer looks to be out (at least) another week, and Drew Stanton doesn’t look to be ready from his concussion. So, Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd get to run routes for Logan Thomas, he of the 1-for-8 passing and two sacks taken on ten dropbacks in relief last week. It seems we’ve heard this one before for Fitz and company.
  • The Bucs WR corps are banged up. Mike Evans looks good to go, as does Vincent Jackson, this week, though neither are at full strength. They’re going against a Ravens defense giving up only four passing TDs through five weeks. This bodes not so great for Mike Glennon.

Eats

I’m doing nachos, fajitas, soft tacos and Coronas Sunday. Why? Because I can’t go more than a couple days without eating Mexican-American / Tex-Mex food. And, hell, we’re into Week 6 now. I’m going through withdrawals.

Besides, a wise man once said that Mexican food and beer help you stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS. Nope, that wise man was not the Dos Equis Man.

[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.

Takeaways from the Trenches –- Week 5

They say time flies when you’re having fun. Well, my mom has said it for years. And I’d bet she got it from her older—MUCH older and MUCH wiser—sister. And SHE likely got it from her boyfriend’s grandmother, who … well you get the picture. I’m not sure anyone knows where that phrase originated.

www.youngfreeroyal.com
http://www.youngfreeroyal.com

But I’m here to say that fantasy football season time flies as well … even when NOT having fun. Or at least when not winning, which I’m experiencing far too often this fake football season. We just completed Week 5 already.

Really, doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we were gearing up to avoid the pointless Bob Costas and Hines Ward halftime editorial perspectives on opening night? I mean, come on, I have nothing against either guy—in fact, I’ve long been a huge Costas guy, and Ward was an on-field fav—but, truthfully, what do they bring to each broadcast? Serious question here. If someone knows, please tweet me.

In the meantime, let’s look at some high-or low-lights from Week 5. Some of these PPR stats are downright sick, I tell you. Sick, as in not good. Not sick, as in very cool.

Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm

  • QB: So yeah. Austin Davis, Brian Hoyer and Kirk Cousins (against Seattle!) all finished with more Week 5 fantasy points than Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Just as we all thought.
  • QB Part Deux: In fact, both Davis and Hoyer EACH had more fantasy points than the combined total put up by Nick Foles and Matthew Stafford.
  • RB: Ladies and gentlemen, I present your leading fantasy RB for Week 5 (PPR). One Branden Oliver finished with 34.2 points on 114 yards rushing, 68 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. Paging Donald Brown. Paging Donald Brown.
  • RB Part Deux: Oliver, undrafted out of Buffalo (college) after breaking James Starks school career rushing yardage record, scored more fantasy points than the combination of LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Giovani Bernard and Alfred Morris.
  • WR: Three of the Top 10 WRs this week were Kendall Wright, (who scored more in Week 5 than combined prior three weeks), Brian Quick and Travis Benjamin.
  • WR Part Deux: Taylor Gabriel, who cannot be higher than fifth in the ‘looks’ pecking order for Cleveland, finished with more fantasy points than Antonio Brown, Wes Welker, DeAndre Hopkins, Marques Colston, Julian Edelman and Steve Smith, Sr. Oh yeah, and more than Percy Harvin. [See below.]
  • TE: Showing up in your Top 10 fantasy TE list for this week? Timothy Wright and Jim Dray, both backup TEs on their respective teams (NE and Cleveland). Yes, I love fantasy football. Really, I do love fantasy football. I keep convincing myself.

Quick Hits

  1. Happy Fun Time with Tom and Bill: Have you witnessed a more annoying, yet comical, presser than Coach Belichick reminding the Boston media who the Patriots next opponent is?
    Patriots.com
    Patriots.com

    Repeatedly? On every question? In his monotone drone? I may be getting this wrong, but I’m pretty sure The Hoodie was trying to let everyone know the Bengals were coming to town. I think. And then, Brady’s SNF touchdown celebration (Is that what that was?) took me right back to 7th grade. From an outsider perspective, anyhow, those two seem like such polar opposites. I can just hear one of their conversations now.

TomTerrific: Hey, Coach, how’s it hanging?

Hoodie: We’re on to Buffalo, Tom.

TomTerrific: Whatevs. Have you seen the forecast yet?

Hoodie: [pause] Tom, you know we don’t focus on anything but the gameplan. It’s the Patriot way.

TomTerrific: Chillax, Coach. I just mean, will it be cold enough for me to wear my new Uggs? They’re totes amazeballs.

Hoodie: [irritated glare] We’re on to Buffalo.

  1. Getting Percy’d: I’m starting this new phrase, which of course means getting ripped off, hoodwinked, swindled, victimized, bamboozled. You may recall me lamenting that in Week 2, I lost a matchup due to my opponent unfairly receiving touchdown points on a long run, when Percy Harvin actually stepped out of bounds. In other words, I got Percy’d. But I’m not bitter.
    NFL.com
    NFL.com

    Well, it happened again in Week 5, when … not one, not two, but three times, Mr. Harvin scored on touchdown receptions. And all three were nullified by penalties. I’m sure I’m not alone here, but I lost a matchup where, this time, I owned him, and obviously didn’t receive those points. I’m starting a Percy Support Group. Won’t you join me?

  2. Have You Lost Faith in Jesus? Clipboard Jesus, that is. Charlie Whitehurst entered the Titans game versus the Browns in the 2nd quarter when—shockingly!!—Jake Locker got dinged up. His first three plays from scrimmage produced this stat line: 2 completions for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns.
    AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
    AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

    I think many believers had hands raised and were singing his praises. He didn’t make any game-changing mistakes on the stat sheet; yet he also wasn’t able to keep the Browns from changing water into wine … or more specifically, a 25-point deficit into victory. And now, rumblings in Nashville are that—assuming The Hurt Locker can’t go Sunday—the Titans may give rookie Zach Mettenberger a look against Jacksonville. Clipboard Jesus, let someone else take the wheel here. Believe me, there are an infinite number of puns to include in one short paragraph here. So many puns; so little space in this story. 

  3. Throwback Top 10: A quick look at the Top 10 fantasy RBs (PPR), through Week 5, provides a couple of major surprise performers from the “After the Top 4” bunch (DeMarco, Forte, Le’Veon, Marshawn); you’ll want to sit down to hear #5, #6 and #8 on the list. That’s right folks, Justin Forsett, Ahmad Bradshaw and Fred Jackson occupy those spots. [Honestly, I’ve discount double-checked this three times to confirm accuracy, because I find it hard to believe.] They all three are part of a timeshare backfield, and their average age is 30—otherwise known as the fated cutoff point for NFL RBs. Granted, receptions play a huge role in all three cases, but it’s still something to watch for. As the season progresses, will the name backs—I’m looking directly at you, Charles, McCoy and Lacy—rise to the top of fantasy lists? Or will it be next man up, in other NFL cities? Speaking on behalf of old guys everywhere, here’s your reminder: Don’t count out the old guys.

Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret

I’m man enough to admit when I got it wrong.

  • I said a Week 5 matchup with the Rams would be Shady McCoy’s slump-buster. Boy was I wrong. He barely topped the 10 point mark (PPR), essentially with volume (28 touches). But he’s still averaging less than 3 YPC and remains outside the Top 25 of fantasy RBs. At this point, you have to wonder if he can be counted on as a reliable RB2. Scary to think, much less, type that last sentence.
  • So, I wasn’t alone on this one! I thought Bishop Sankey would dance like a star against the Brownies. As my friend @RotoPat said, “Did I say more touches for Bishop Sankey? LOL. Whoops. I meant fewer touches for Bishop Sankey. Sorry about that. Love, Whiz.” Seriously, 8 touches, and playing less than 1/3 of the snaps? That’s not gonna cut it for your most talented back. You listening to me, Tennessee Titans? I speak for all of #FantasyFootball Twitter.
  • Jeremy Maclin entered Week 5 as the 6th rated fantasy WR, averaging right at 18.3 points per game. I thought he’d slow a bit, with more target distribution from Napoleon Dynamite’s twin. I was wrong, and I’ll give the fantasy gods their due here for consistency. Maclin finished Week 5 as the 6th rated fantasy WR, and scored right at 18.6 points.

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back

I also pump my chest when I’m right because I’m the MAN!

  • I will quote myself here; I said Demaryius Thomas “explodes back into relevance” in Week 5. Yeah. 8/226/2 isn’t a bad line. And 42.6 (PPR) fantasy points isn’t bad either. And it could have been even more explosive. Thomas had a 77-yard TD called back due to penalty.
  • I predicted that Martellus Bennett’s fantasy value would slow, and I said it would be due to lowered targets. Shazam! Although playing 86% of the snaps, he was only targeted five times, resulting in three catches. He’d averaged 9 targets per game through four weeks. His 4.7 fantasy points were well below his 20.6 average. Sorry, Big Weirdo.
  • So I picked Justin Forsett to have a good game versus the Colts. Fantasy owners like me were pleased with his 13 touches for 97 yards and a touchdown. Oh yeah, the 22.7 fantasy points didn’t suck either. Now, will it last? I have to ask, ya know, “Justin case”.

So, yeah, fun can come in many forms. In my case, I’ll say I’m having fun getting my ass kicked in a couple leagues. Yeah, that’s fun. But at least I always do my best to stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS. You should too. Until next time …

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


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