Week 2 Recap: Zeke Elliot Hands on Hips Edition

The NFL never suffers from a lack of things to talk about each week.  Usually there’s too much to talk about and you have to narrow it down.  One of the things that stood out the most to me this week was the absolutely awful performance by Zeke Elliott.  You don’t draft a guy like Elliott to get 8 yards from him.  This is the same guy who led the league in rushing last year.  Most fantasy championship winners had Elliott on their team and rode the rookie all the way to the title.  His pending suspension is the only thing that kept him from being drafted #1 overall.  When it was announced that he likely wouldn’t serve the suspension until next year, Elliott owners rejoiced at the value they got drafting a player of this caliber in the second round or late in the first.  But when they saw effort like this…..

they likely got pretty worried.  And for good reason.  A leader is supposed to set an example, not give up on the play.  When you lead the league in rushing, you’re looked at as a leader whether you want to be or not.  Now that teams have a lot of tape on Zeke you can bet they’ll use this to try and stop him.  If teams know that frustrating Zeke will cause him to give up on the team that gives them a way to beat the Cowboys.  I’m sure that teams are already game planning around this.  They would be foolish not to.  Also, you can’t have Jerry Jones out here making excuses for his star player if he wants the rest of the team to play hard.  You have to treat all players equally if you want to motivate them.  Jones is setting a scary precedent if you’re a Cowboys fan.  You can’t make an exception, you have to hold everyone to the same standard.  Or you could simply not comment to the media about it. This will be an exciting one to keep an eye on.

Eli Manning might be done.  The guy has won two super bowls, defeating the hated Patriots twice.  One of them was probably the best super bowl I’ve ever seen with one of the greatest plays in super bowl history (David Tyree helmet catch).  But to watch Eli now you wonder what happened to him and this team.  They have no offense.  Their defense is still pretty good, although not near as good as those defenses.    When you watch Eli get tackled by a ghost:

all you can do is laugh.  The Lions are much improved and they could go pretty far if they keep playing like this, but what happened to the Giants?  I’m tired of watching this team in prime time games.  Let see some teams that can play football, not QBs that get tackled by phantom defenders.

Marshawn Lynch looks happy to be playing football again for his home town team.

Here’s a word on trades:  When you propose a trade, everyone in the league then has 3 days to vote on the trade if they want to.  If the trade has 3 people vote against it, the trade doesn’t go through.  As the commissioner I can veto a trade instantly, but I will only do that for clearly one-sided trades.  For example, trading Tom Brady for Theo Riddick is a one-sided trade that will be vetoed.

The Games:  Lauren vs. Nick  Lauren had the best scoring week so far behind a great performance from Tom Brady, Ty Montgomery, andTravis Kelce.  This is the exact same thing Brady did last time he got mad.  A mad Brady is a good Brady as far as fantasy is concerned.  I’m sure Lauren hopes he stays mad, but they won’t play many defenses as bad as the Saints. Nick didn’t have a very good week.  87 points won’t win you many match ups.  The important thing is to just get to the playoffs, then the season resets.  But unless these guys play better I don’t know if that will happen for Nick.   If Lauren’s team keeps this up she could win it all.

Brian vs. Colton:  Colton has a pretty good week.  Drew Brees and Emmanuel Sanders were his best players.  The Saints will be playing from behind all year so Brees should put up record numbers again.  Brian had the lowest score of the league this year.  This is basically what his team did this week:

Yeah, you got that right, a belly flop into a pool of mayonnaise.  It’ll get better, by the law of averages, it just about has to.

Mitch vs. Nathan:  Mitch has the best running back situation in the league, and he was able to win pretty handily even with 29 points on his bench.  Kareem Hunt looks to be this year’s Zeke Elliott, and Kansas City looks to be a Super Bowl contender behind his running.  Mitch could ride these guys to a championship  if they keep playing like this.  Michael Crabtree also had a hell of a week.  It must be nice to be in this kind of shape.  Nathan had a good draft, but he’s now 0-2 and trying to plug holes in his roster. Like I said, you don’t draft Elliott to get 4.2 points from him.  Gurley looks to be back to his rookie year form and you can tell coaching makes all the difference in the world because now the Rams are playing good football (even though they lost).  They’ve been stockpiling talent for years, and it looks like they’re starting to put it all together. Cam Newton doesn’t look like himself though.  Might be time to dump him and give someone else a shot.  You can’t usually win with 10 points from your QB.

Ben vs. Jason: Ben won a match up even with his defensive player suspended.  Jason’s stud players like Antonio Brown and Matt Stafford didn’t do much this week and he lost because of it.  I’m sure they’ll be back nest week.  Ben had a lot of points on his bench which is one of the most frustrating things in playing fantasy football, but he won anyway because Freeman and Mike Evans really showed up this week.  If Ben gets the right lineup he could win a lot of match ups.

Chad vs. Jordan: My wide receivers struggles this week while Jordan had a good week out of his and that made the difference.  This was the closest match up of the week and it hurts to see your stud TE get placed on IR and lose a match up because of it.  Jordan needs a better performance from the bottom half of his roster going forward, but the important thing is to win and he did that so he’s in good shape.

I’ll wrap up with this.  Unfortunately this is going to be nine of us:

 

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Proposed Scoring Changes

Nick noticed that the scoring settings did not include PPR and I think we should change it.  When I reset the league to add the new teams in I think it reset the scoring settings and I did not catch it.   I also would like to change the defense scoring settings to lessen the chances that a defense will score in the negative.     This is what is causing the problem with the defense scoring:

100-199 total yards allowed (YA199)  3 pts

200-299 total yards allowed (YA299)  2 pts

350-399 total yards allowed (YA399)  -1 pts

400-449 total yards allowed (YA449)  -3 pts

450-499 total yards allowed (YA499)  -5 pts

500-549 total yards allowed (YA549)  -6 pts

550+ total yards allowed (YA550)  -7 pts

 

I propose changing all the yardage allowed to zero points.  The rest of the defense scoring would stay the same.   Scoring settings can be viewed here:  http://games.espn.com/ffl/leaguesetup/settings?leagueId=242090

 

The important thing is that once I change the scoring settings, it will be retroactive and will apply to all games played.   If we do this, I will have to go in and adjust scores to preserve the scoring and the wins and losses.  So this change won’t affect your record or your wins and losses but it will affect things going forward.  I think this is a good change because we drafted based on PPR and no one wants to start a player (defense) and get negative points for that player.  I know it’s unusual to change settings during the season but since we drafted based on PPR I think this change is needed but we’ll make sure everyone is comfortable with it or we won’t do it.    Let me know your thoughts on these proposed changes.

 

Week 1 Recap

I don’t know if you stayed up last night to watch the Chargers-Broncos game or not, but if you didn’t, you missed one of the all time biggest broadcasting train wrecks in sports history.   The broadcasting crew consisted of Beth Mowins, Rex Ryan, a ticking clock,  and sideline reporter Sergio Dipp.  Social media exploded after they saw Dipp’s sideline report.  It simply must be watched to be appreciated, so here you go:

This is a brand new “Boom goes the dynamite” moment that spawned a bunch of memes last night.

I don’t have a problem with a woman doing play-by-play, but Beth Mowin’s accent last night was just so weird.  Rex Ryan got better as the game went along, but he sounded like he was 10 feet from the microphone and he was like John Madden without the charisma, just giving you basic descriptions of the plays that any football fan would know.  Also, there was a super annoying ticking clock sound that went throughout the entire broadcast.  It sounded like someone was clicking a pen in the microphone.

It was like a high school crew decided to broadcast a game – on ESPN – on Monday night.  No wonder ESPN is losing subscribers.

It was a weird week of football.  Offenses were sluggish, multiple teams were shutdown or didn’t score a TD.  A LOT of stars didn’t do much at all if anything.  David Johnson went out for the season (probably).  Adrian Peterson had 18 yds rushing and looked like he wanted to whip Sean Payton with a switch. Tom Brady was dead last in the league in completion percentage.  But don’t panic just yet, something similar happened last year.  Teams will get their legs under them.  There’s a lot more I could say, but let’s just move on to the games.

Nick v. Nathan.  The closest game going into the week was this one.  Tied up going into Monday night, Nathan had a defense, and Nick had a receiver.  Nick’s Falcons guys did pretty well even though he had Austin Hooper on the bench but Nathan’s Steelers guys didn’t do much.  Zeke Elliott had an alright game but LeVeon Bell did poorly; much, much less than you expect from the first overall pick.  If I were Nathan though, I would be relieved for 2 reasons: 1.  It looks like Zeke will play all season and serve his suspension next season.  And 2, he could have drafted David Johnson first overall.  Nathan’s wide receiver crew is pretty thin.  Nick won a game but had a mediocre performance at best from most of his roster.  I’m sure it will get better though.

Mitch v. Brian.  I thought Mitch’s team was named after those memes on facebook that middle aged women go crazy for but his avatar makes me question that. He had a guy go off for over 40 points though so it’s all good.  I’m not sure why he benched Jordy Nelson, but he didn’t need him as he cruised to a win over Big Daddy Brian who had negative points from his defense. Brian had a decent performance, but let’s be honest, what in the fuck happened to Jimmy Graham?!?  In New Orleans he was a TD machine and he might as well be in the witness protection program now.  0.8 points.  I think I could suit up and get 0.8 points. What round did he get Adam Thielen in? He was the highest scoring WR in this entire matchup and was probably drafted last out of all of them.  This guy is sneaky good and if the Vikings get OL play like they did Monday night they’re going to score loads of points this year.  They looked incredible, but they did play the Saints so let’s hold off on getting high expectations.

Chad v. Lauren. You don’t draft Tom Brady to score 10.7 points.  Here’s some of the guys who scored more than Tom:  Mike Glennon, DeShone Kizer (rookie), and Jared freakin’ Goff.  Lauren didn’t start an IDP player, but it wouldn’t have likely mattered.  I’m worried about Greg Olsen and A.J. Green.  We’ll just put it behind us and move on to the next week.  Lauren had a good week from her RBs.  Dalvin Cook had a great night and he’ll continue to get better.  The Vikings were right to dump AP for Cook.  He’s going to be a great player for a team who could go deep in the playoffs if they continue to play like they did last night.

Jason v. Colton.  I’ll be honest, when Jason drafted the Jags defense I thought he was crazy.  29 points later I feel stupid.  Jason had the strongest week of anyone.  Stafford justified his contract by the way he played.  The Lions put up 35 on one of the better defenses in the league and this could finally be their year.  If the Lions somehow make it to the super bowl it would be a great story.  Their offense is high octane and maybe they got their defense fixed.  Not even an amazing performance on defense from the Rams (of all teams) was enough to save Colton.  You don’t draft guys like Julio Jones to get 8 points from them.  None of his skill guys except for Brees were in double figures.  His RB crew looks a little sparse, but things could change.  It usually takes offenses a couple weeks to get going.

Jordan v. Ben. Jordan got the win, but also some bad news.  With David Johnson out for 2-3 months there’s no guarantee that they will even use him when he gets back healthy.  If the season goes the way most people now think it will, they might shelve him until next year.  They have a lot of old guys so they might decide to write this year off and plan for next.  Jordan should move Johnson to his IR slot and pick up someone else.  Mike Gillislee was a bright spot, but a couple of years ago the Pats had a RB get 3 TDs in one game and then 2 weeks later they cut him.  You never know what they’re going to do with their RBs so it makes it near impossible to plan.  Dak is looking good again so that’s a bright spot as well.  Ben didn’t have anyone score in double figures and he started Mike Evans who was on a bye.  It wouldn’t have mattered though because none of his bench guys would have given him enough points for the win.   Derek Carr might be the better play going forward not only because the Raiders are one of the highest scoring teams in the league, but if Seattle’s OL plays like they did last week,

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Seattle’s O Line in Mid-Season Form Already

 

 

Russell Wilson might not live through the season.  Vontaze Burfict is suspended so Ben also needs a defensive player.

So that’s it for week 1.  Let the mad scramble for Free Agents begin!

 

 

 

 

Team Name Ideas

Nine E’Le’Veon
Zeke-a Virus
Seaucide Squad
Sandusky Shower Boys
Girth Brooks
God Hates Jags
Gronkey Kong
Luck Buddies
Rudolph the RedZone Reindeer
Tickle me Manzielmo
Beef Ellington
Backfield Penetration
Gronkey Punch
Jerry Sandusky’s Second Mile High Club
Any Given Hyundai.
Zac Sabbath
Inglorious Staffords
No Romo
Dirty Landry
Morning Woodhead
Full Blown Aids!
Dead Robin Williams Society
Hobby Lobby Unwanted Miracles
Fourth and Lynches
Manning Faced God
More than a Thielen
FleenerSchnitzel
Dezpacito
Boston TE Party
Dalvin and the Chipmunks
The Real Slim Shady McCoy
Mariota Kart
DakStreet Boys
Dalvin and Hobbes
Dezperado
Graham by the Pussy
Green Eggs and Cam
Immy GOATroppolo
Suh-Tang Clan
Trubisky Business
Gruden Gone Wild
Khalacy
Dolphraki
Saved by Odell
Dirty Landry
Rudolph the Redzone Reindeer
Brussels Wilson
Honey Funchess of Oats
Watt me Whip, Watt me JJ
The Forsett Awakens
Gronktanamo Bay
Ertz, Wentz, & Fire
Under the Influwentz
Jackin’ Goff
Flacco Seagulls
Childish Cambino
American Hoyer Story
Brock Lives Matter
Stafford Infection
Dak That Pass Up

The Draft

The draft will be held Tuesday, August 29th at 5:30 at Hooters on Brainerd Road.  Here is the draft order:

 

  1. Nathan
  2. Jordan
  3. Jason
  4. Colton
  5. Brian
  6. Lauren
  7. Nick
  8. Ben
  9. Mitch
  10. Chad

Please bring $30 with you.  Payout will be as follows:

  • $100 for best regular season record
  • $125 Overall Winner
  • $75 Second place
  • Last Place:  A humiliating task to be decided later

3 Games Left

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This is all your fault.

There are 3 games left and amazingly, no one is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet.  Colton could lose every remaining game and he would be in, but no one else is really assured a playoff spot.  Only 2 games separate 8 teams in the league with the great majority of teams stuck in the 5 win area.  There is no margin for error for Lauren, Jason, Jordan or Coleman.  If any of these teams lose 1 out of the last 3 games the chance they will make the playoffs goes way down.  A lot would have to go right but it’s not possible.

Any of the teams with 5 wins (Chad, Brian, Mitch, David) need to win as many games as possible because not all of these teams can make the playoffs.  In the event of a tiebreaker, points scored will be the deciding factor.  So it’s not just necessary to win games, you’ve got to score as many points as you can.  Someone is going to be disappointed, because only 5 teams can make the playoffs.

At 6-4, Nathan is probably in good shape, but nothing is guaranteed.  If he were to lose 2 out of the next 3 games and a couple of the 5 win teams wins out, it could put his playoff spot in jeopardy.  But for now, he’s the second seed with a first round bye.

Mitch has quietly moved up into the 4th place slot on the back of a defeat of the previously undefeated Colton.  Colton has probably his worst outing this weekend and Mitch had a really good one.  Mitch has gone from 2-5 to now 5-5 proving that you should never give up, as long as you keep winning there’s a chance.  He has the longest winning streak in the league with 3.

I have the longest losing streak in the league with 3 and a huge matchup against Nathan this week.  The prize for best record is still within reach for Nathan but it would entail him winning out and Colton losing out.  We’ll know more after this weekend and if I beat Nathan Colton will have best record regardless of what he does.

These last couple of weeks are super important and when it comes to fantasy football there are really 2 seasons: the regular season and the playoffs.  If your team is hot at the right time, you can go on a run and win it all.  You may have heard me tell this story, but several years ago a friend of mine had Tom Brady and Randy Moss the year when Brady set the record for most TD passes in a year.

My friend went 12-0 in the regular season and he steamrolled everybody he played.  He beat me twice that year.  We did not have a cash reward for best regular season record.  The playoffs started and we did not have first round byes. That week, it was snowing in Boston and Brady and Moss did not do much that week.  I beat him in the first round of the playoffs.  He did not get a chance to compete for third place.  He was out of the race with no cash.  He went 12-0 in the regular season and didn’t win any money.

Moral of the story is that getting to the playoffs is the first step.  From there, everything resets.  At least we have some cash for best record in this league.

Anyway, good luck to all of you this week except Nathan.

Your Thursday Night Thread

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Who designed these uniforms?

So NFL ratings are down for the season?? I’ve got an idea, let’s put Titans-Jaguars on Thursday night. And you know what, let’s dress the Jaguars up like giant bottles of Grey Poupon. Surely that will get people to watch? The Jags are near the top of the draft every year, and Blake Bortles and even T.J. Yeldon were pretty good last year. So what does everybody do? They predict Jacksonville to make the playoffs for the first time in a generation.

The Titans are also near the top of the draft each year and they went the same route as the Jags, drafting an Alabama running back. Both teams did a similar thing in keeping a head coach that badly under performs expectations. The Titans are only in the second year of this coach while Jacksonville is in the 4th year of the Gus Bradley experiment. Somehow though these two teams have switched positions with each other. Tennessee has been better than expected and they have a lot of young talent that look like they will be leading the organization for years to come. They’re 3-4 and Jacksonville is 2-4, but the Titans have been more competitive in all of their games.

Still the fact remains, tonight’s game will feature the Titans and Jaguars. Hey, what’s on PBS tonight? A documentary on the golden age of Russian poetry? Let’s watch that. Better yet, just kill me and get it over with.

I know there’s a rule that every team must be featured on Thursday night so that all teams are treated equally, but let me ask a better question? Why are there Thursday night games at all? I understand Thanksgiving, it makes great sense: there’s nothing else to do when you’re sitting around with your family. Once you make your yearly small talk with that uncle you only see once a year, what else is there to do? Football gives us a common identity and language. It gives us something to talk about with that uncle we never see. But enough with the Thursday games the rest of the year.

Here’s another thing, Thursday night games are bad for fantasy football. You have to make decisions about who to start too early in the week. If you have a good night that’s cool, but too often the players are not fully rested and the games aren’t high scoring enough to make it worthwhile for fantasy football. I’ve never heard of anyone who likes Thursday games from a fantasy football perspective. We’ll have to accept it because there are no signs that it’s going away. I like some of the Color Rush uniforms, but these grey poupon ones you’ll see tonight are going to make you want to throw up.

Nothing left to do but look at last week’s games:

 

2GurleysOneCup @ Titans

Colton is getting close to wrapping up the cash for the best regular season record with 6 games still to go.  He’s been on such a run that he would need to lose 50% of the remaining games and someone else would have to win out.   Injuries can happen at any time as we all are painfully aware so anything could still happen.  I will have to hand it to him though, Colton has played the waiver wire incredibly well.  The only guy he had below double figures was his IDP.  David had a decent week, but he lost by like 60 so that’s little comfort.  Playoffs are still attainable so there’s no need to hit the panic button.

MayTheSchwartz yada, yada, yada @ Spurlock

It gets tiring typing out the team names each week, so there you go.  Nathan continues to romp and adding Devontae Booker this week is only going to continue to help him if the rumors about CJ Anderson are true.  Even though Coleman had a good week you certainly don’t draft Odell Beckham hoping for 4.9 points.  Here is a list of WRs that were better than Beckham this week:  Davante Adams, AJ Green, Mike Evans, T.Y. Hilton, Julio Jones, Randall Cobb,  Kenny Stills,  Michael Crabtree, Marquise Goodwin, Tyrell Williams, Brandon LaFell,  Michael Thomas, Tavon Austin, Russell Shepard, Quincy Enunwa,  Cordarelle Patterson, Ty Montgomery, Tyreek Hill, Mike Wallace,  Antonio Brown, Brandin Cooks, Marquise Lee, Jamison Crowder, Demaryius Thomas, Josh Huff, Jarvis Landry, Willie Snead,  Marvin Jones,  Golden Tate,  Brian Quick,  Chris Moore, Darius Heyward-Bey, Anquan Boldin, JJ Nelson, Emmanuel Sanders, Brandon Marshall, Johnny Colton, Robby Anderson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Coleman, Doug Baldwin, Dorial Green-Beckham, Michael Floyd, Adam Thielen, Dontrelle Inman, Victor Cruz, Kamar Aiken, Travis Benjamin, Joshua Bellamy, Jermaine Kearse, & Julian Edelman.  So nearly everyone.  Let that sink in a minute.   Nathan is in good shape and Coleman is right in the thick of things.  Everything is still on the table.

GronkIfUrHorny @ Barely L’Eagles

Lauren could have had her second win if she had started Gordon.  He’s the #3 RB in the league.  Jason got an easy win keeping him right in the thick of the playoffs hunt.  He didn’t have an amazing week from really anyone, but combined he had nearly 100.  Stafford continues to play well.  He’s an amazing talent I just hope they don’t squander it.

Aye Skipper @ Big Daddy

I’m not sure why Brian is still holding onto Josh Gordon.  There’s 6 weeks left in the season and no indication of his return.  Eric Decker is also out for the season so that could free up 2 roster spots.  Jordan won the matchup on the strength of Andrew Luck.  Just like the Colts, if he plays well Jordan wins, if he doesn’t he loses.  Consistency in fantasy football is key.  Maybe this trade will help his team maintain it a little more.  Both teams are 3-4 so these next 6 weeks will be crucial to sort out the playoff lineup.  You’ll need to win more than you lose.

Bill Cosby’s Sleepers @ Multiple Scorgasms

Mitch and I were the 2 worst teams in the league this week (except Lauren).  I was watching the Monday Night game with a lot of anxiety and I was lucky to get enough points out of my Houston guys to eke out the win.  Houston is not a good team, unfortunately.  For some reason they agreed to pay Brock Osweiler $18 million a year while Trevor Siemian is making $600,000.  You read that right:  Osweiler is making 30 times what Siemian is making.  Whoops.  I wonder how bad the buyer’s remorse is in Houston?   Mitch is still in the playoff race but he will need to win probably 5 out of the next 6 to have a chance at it unless someone at 3-4 tanks the rest of the season.  Brian, I’m looking at you.

Well that’s it for another column.  Enjoy whatever you decide to watch tonight.  I might just take up needlepoint to give me something to keep myself entertained because this game likely won’t be enough to do it.  Happy Halloween guys.