She’s back. We honestly can’t get rid of her. She keeps showing up on our doorstep, trying to look through the peephole to see if we’re home. We think she might also be following us around town. We figure if she’s gonna be here, might as well let her keep writing. That’s right, Diane Sevenay has another very serious and factual sports breakdown to share.
I’m not sure who received worse news about his groin this week, Arian Foster or Lenny Kravitz. But while all Kravitz needs to do is buy a pair of pants that fit, the Houston Texans have a much tougher road ahead as they attempt to replace Foster. Reports say that Pierre Thomas turned down the Texans’ offer to join their backfield, and this leaves Houston with only a 14-year-old girl and a department-store mannequin to play running back this year. However, there can be help on the way if the Texans decide to bring in one of these possible replacements:
1. Ashton Kutcher – If he replaced Charlie Sheen, he can replace Arian Foster.
2. OJ Simpson – Pros: Outstanding slasher with a killer instinct. Cons: He’s a 68-year-old man who’s currently in prison.
3. Ronda Rousey – Who in their right mind would attempt to tackle Ronda Rousey? Sign her, Houston, or she’ll beat you up.
4. Jason Pierre-Paul’s index finger – This finger was an NFL star once, and it could be again if given an opportunity.
5. Rudy – Could there be a better story than RUDY leading the Texans to the Super Bowl? Yes, Rudy Ruettiger is a 66-year-old man who wasn’t very good at football when he played at Notre Dame in the 1970s, but nothing can stop this guy once he sets his mind to something.
6. Michael Strahan – Since joining “LIVE with Kelly and Michael,” this former NFL superstar has had people saying, “Regis who?”
7. Groot – He’d be the first sentient tree in the NFL. Make this happen, Texans.
8. Donald Trump – He swears he’ll make America great. Why not start with Houston?
9. Jim Thorpe – Pros: Thorpe is one of history’s greatest athletes and football players. Cons: He has been dead for over 60 years.
10. Batman – He’s not the hero Houston deserves, but the one it needs right now.
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.
As you have heard by now, the NFL stepped in it AGAIN. This time they banned the first ever National Fantasy Football Convention, just weeks before its scheduled opening.
Tony Romo has been the public face of the event, the NFFC, for the past several months. However, in the proverbial eleventh hour, the NFL put the deep-6 on the convention on, get this, moral grounds. The League had concerns about the event being held at a Las Vegas casino, because, of course, gambling does not look good for pro sports (see Tim Donaghy, Pete Rose, and the 1919 Chicago Blacksox).
The NFFC would have provided a great opportunity for players and fans to meet, greet and mingle. Not that anyone would want to help GROW the NFL brand, or anything.
Tony Romo, who only recently joined Twitter, thanks in part to the investigative work of our Founder, Jamie Kelly, said in one of the few tweets from his account:
NFL has canceled our fantasy football convention this year in Vegas and that is disappointing. I'm sad for the fans and players.
Fantasy football is a $3 Billion industry that affects every facet of the NFL. It brings in more fans who love fantasy sports, and it increases viewership, which obviously helps the League.
The NFFC was to feature Cowboys Romo, Bryant, and Jason Witten, and many other NFL stars, including Jamaal Charles, Antonio Brown, DeMarco Murray, T.Y. Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, Julio Jones and DeMarcus Ware. It was to also feature around a dozen media personalities, including Michael Fabiano of the league-owned NFL Network and NFL.com. Fabiano‘s participation alone further proves that the NFL has known about this event for some time, and simply chose to wait until it was beyond the point of no return to pull the plug.
This three-day event was scheduled to be July 10-12 at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas. The NFL confirmed via email a Fox Sports report about the league’s longstanding policy that, “Players and NFL personnel may not participate in promotional activities or other appearances in connection with events that are held at or sponsored by casinos.”
HUH? The NFL won’t allow that, but they allow NFL owners to own stock in racetracks in New Jersey, Baltimore and Florida.
The NFL‘s indignation about gambling is a glorious, joke. It is estimated, conservatively, that anywhere from $70-100 BILLION is wagered on NFL games each year, and only a small part of that is done legally. I’m sure that many of you have participated in office pools, bought squares for a big football game, or even bet someone a Coke on a game. Obviously gambling boosts attendance and TV revenue. When you have money invested in something, you’re typically going to watch.
I’ll give you an easy example of how the NFL‘s actions are counter to what they say about gambling. The League requires each team to state before games (usually on Thursday) which players may have to sit out due to injury, and which players are questionable. Why? The information benefits gamblers. Does the League care that newspapers run the points spread? Of course not.
Just when you think it can’t get any worse… No, on second thought, I think we all agree that it can, and will, get worse. There are, in fact, several documented cases of the NFL getting in bed with either organized crime or big time gamblers.
1. The Chicago Bears
In the early 1920s, George Halas turned to a man who was a noted bootlegger, gambler, racetrack owner and known associate of Chicago’s Al “Scarface” Capone‘s mob to finance the Bears. His name was Charles Bidwell. Yes, THAT, Bidwell. Later on, Bidwell bought the Chicago Cardinals. Guess whose family owns the Arizona Cardinals? Yep. The Bidwell family.
2. The Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns were owned by crime syndicate bookmaker Arthur “Mickey” McBride, the head of the Continental Racing Wire, the mob’s gambling news service. The U.S. Senate’s Kefauver Committee called that news service “Public Enemy Number One.” In 1961, the team was sold to Art Modell, who among many things, was a partner in a horse racing stable with Morris “Mushy” Wexler, whom the Kefauver Committee named one of the “leading hoodlums” in McBride’s wire service. In 1969, Modell was married in Las Vegas at the home of William “Billy” Weinberger, who just happened to be the president of Caesar’s Palace, whose hidden owners included: Tony “The Big Tuna” Accardo, Sam “Momo” Giancana, and Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” Alo. When he finally died in 1996, The Las Vegas Sun called Weinberger the “dean of casino gambling.”
3. The San Francisco 49ers
The Youngstown DeBartolo family, long involved in casinos and racetracks, owns the Niners. In the late 1990s Edward DeBartolo Jr., then the head of the 49ers, paid the Louisiana Governor $400,000 to get a riverboat casino license. The Governor went to jail for that crime, and DeBartolo got a slap on the wrist. He did have to leave the 49ers, but his family still runs the team while DeBartolo Jr. runs the company that is based back in Youngstown.
Now, here’s an oldie but a goodie. In 1969, a hypocrisy of all hypocrisies happens in the Big Apple. New York Jets quarterback, Joe Namath invested in a Manhattan bar. The National Football League told him to sell his shares because the joint had ties to big time gamblers and unsavory individuals.
The league said NOTHING about Modell‘s ties or the unsavory ties of numerous other team owners. The late Carroll Rosenbloom, a high roller with major interest in a mob-run casino, owned the Baltimore Colts AND the Los Angeles Rams at different times.
I personally think that the NFL got its feelings hurt because this National Fantasy Football Convention did not include them, nor were they going to see a red cent of monies from it either.
And, lastly, the NFL showed it’s immaturity when the NFL tweeted this to Tony Romo:
Was the league trying to be funny, or were they trolling Tony Romo? In either case, the league looks bad, and guess who’s the head of the NFL? Good ol’ Roger Goodell.
America! You can gamble on our games, but please don’t ask our players to have a meet, greet, and mingle with you at a resort because well, we have our integrity to protect.
Ronnie Garcia is the Voice of Reason at The Scoop. He is also an avid guitarist, educator, and all around smarmy guy. Ronnie co-hosts The Fanatics on Monday nights from 7-9pm on KTSR-db. You can follow him on twitter @TheRonMann.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
(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.
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.
Week 9 of the NFL season comes on the heels of All Hallow’s Eve. For 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.
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? How 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.
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?
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.
Giants and Colts: TREAT
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.]
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.
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.
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?
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.
My favorite thing about Halloween is watching children become diabetic.
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.
Peyton Manning’s Forehead
-Huge costume. Literally.
Slutty Antonio Cromartie
-Cromartie has 74 children with 81 different mothers. Feel free to show cleavage.
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.
Eli Manning Face
-Are you crying? Sleeping? Having a seizure? If it looks like a combination of all three, that’s the costume.
Tom Brady, with Uggs
-Because shoes make the quarterback. Or in this case, women’s shoes make the quarterback.
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.
-Marijuana is sold separately.
-Enjoy Halloween with your “girlfriend” right by your side.
Tony Romo’s Surgically Repaired Back
-Sometimes a great costume hurts.
Wes Welker, Extremely High Munchkin
-A tiny wide receiver all messed up on “Molly” is the PERFECT costume for your child.
Hans and Franz and Aaron Rodgers
-This three-person costume will PUMP YOU UP.
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.
I 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.