Monday, December 20, 2010

WVFL Conference Championship Review

PURPLE SWIRLS 106.28 - THE NEV-R-WINS 92.52

Well, now I know how Johnny felt at the end of The Karate Kid. Bad. He felt bad.

Now, it would be megalomaniacal to say everybody is happy that I lost. But this entire column has been megalomaniacal for three years now, so...everybody is happy that I lost. Also, the universe is against me.

Actually, the WVFL might be against #1 seeds. After a 3-year stretch from '05-'07 where the league's #1 regular season won the title, I'm now the 3rd straight Presidents Trophy winner to fall short in the playoffs.

I've spent the past two years arguing that fantasy football is based mainly on luck, so I'm not quite sure why the fates were compelled to remind me of that. I assume it's because they're fickle. Here's a list of the cards they dealt me this week:

- Our league doesn't reseed in the playoffs, I would've beaten the lowest seed
- Foster plays one quarter, goes out
- Peterson misses the entire game
- Jennings has a backup quarterback
- Bowe has a hurt quarterback
- Vick is contained for 40 minutes, then engineers an historically great comeback
- Jamaal Charles runs 80 yards, is tackled on the 2, Thomas Jones runs it in

Those are a lot of snake eyes for one team to handle.

To give credit to Caulen, he did post 106 points. That is all.


HAWKS 80.82 - ST. A'S CRUSADERS 130.16
Probably not anybody was going to slow down the Crusaders, so the Hawks shouldn't hang their heads too low. Just medium low. Chin touching the chest, but shoulders not slumped too far forward. We could talk more about their individual players, but all that really matters is that Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles finally produced to their potential. And Charles did it on 11 carries. As somebody else pointed out, Todd Haley gave his super-speedy, home run back 11 carries, and made his fresh out of surgery quarterback throw 25 times. Todd Haley is seriously very fucking stupid.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

WVFL Conference Championship Picks

LAST WEEK: 1-1
SEASON: 53-27

PURPLE SWIRLS (8-6) at THE NEV-R-WINS (11-2)
Listen, I didn't get into this league and run roughshod over it just to have Matt Flynn, Joe Webb and possibly Brodie Croyle decide my fate. It's like being two minutes away from the chair and finding out a 7-year old has become Governor in some twist of a law from the 1840s. You just can't expect a lot of competency or help.

Fortunately, Jonathan (The Black One) Stewart has been coming on strong and faces a worthless Cardinals team. Matt Schaub isn't officially injured, but should be Questionable - Panic Attacks During Blitzes. But Tennessee isn't interested in playing any more, so Foster should be able to run free.

By the end of the afternoon games, Caulen will be all done, meaning Jennings, Peterson and/or Joe Webb will have a high water mark to hit. If I'm trailing Monday morning, don't feel bad for me. Feel bad for all of the people at work who will have to listen to a 10-minute explanation of how I got in this position after ruling the league with an iron fist.

Dallas is going to kick the shit out of the Redskins so they can call their season a success, and Sexy Rexy Grossman won't help out Torain too much. And the Giants front four actually bottled up a Vick a little bit earlier this year.

The karma factor in this one is through the roof, and I'm sure Caulen would love nothing than beating me 67-65. If that happens, I won't keep a single player next summer out of sheer spite*.

*NOTE - I will not actually do this.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 88 - PURPLE SWIRLS 75


HAWKS (7-7) at ST. A'S CRUSADERS (10-3)
Representing the WVFL West, the Hawks needed a Wild Card win just to reach .500 on the year. And they made a strong to push to go 8-7 as Philip Rivers chucked the ball up and down the field. Fortunately for the Crusaders, the Niners were so useless that Rivers was pulled early for the sake of good taste.

Roethlisberger probably won't put up half as many points as Rivers did, but Ray Rice should triple Ryan Mathews, so the Hawks' Thursday lead won't last too long. Of all people, Darren McFadden will most likely decide this game. Calvin Johnson will be held back by Drew Stanton, the Steelers won't want Holmes to beat them, Anquan Boldin has been quiet all year and Danny Woodhead is just a little thing.

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 103 - HAWKS 87

Monday, December 13, 2010

WVFL Wild Card Review

About 30 minutes into Sunday's action, it occurred to me that I hadn't picked the games. I mean, with the bye, I REALLY took a week off from fantasy football.

Let's call my picks 1-1 this week. I definitely wouldn't have picked the Hawks to win, but I probably would've picked the Swirls. Or I would've picked the Hawks and the Pounders. Come on, my picks are way too awesome to go 0-2. Let's not be silly just because it's the holidays.


HAWKS 92.44 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 73.24
Larry's biggest fear - being exposed as a fraud and a bad father - came true this week. First when his team only put up 73 points because Aaron Rodgers got hurt and second when he let his 6-year old son try malt liquor.

Roddy White also chose a bad time to take a week off, and my saboteur, Chris Ivory, did nothing, just as a I instructed him a month ago. And so a halfway impressive season is flushed down the toilet.

What Deion Branch is doing now that he's back in New England is like Paul McCartney leaving Wings, going back to The Beatles and somehow being even better than before. It's getting ridiculous at this point.


PURPLE SWIRLS 104.40 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 97.48
All of a sudden, the Swirls have momentum on their side and things could break so that I face them in the West View Bowl and really learn how much of a bitch karma can be. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, although I'm sure the Swirls will get 2 defensive TDs every week now.

Vick and McCoy continue running up and down the field, and Polamalu and Woodley neatly cover up the fact that the Swirls had 3 guys combine for 5 points.

Andre Johnson was almost incredible enough to pull off the comeback, and with the Texans starting inside their own 10 in OT, it's possible he had another 7 points in him. But Matt "I'm Absolutely Terrified Of Any Rush" Schaub threw one too softballs off of his back foot and it was game over.

I'm sure it doesn't bother the Pounders at all that 2nd round pick Larry Fitzgerald only had 72 yards and 0 TDs in a 43-13 win, or that both Forte and Lynch were effectively taken out of the game because their teams were blown out early or that the Bears didn't force a single turnover in a snowstorm. Those are not things to spend the next 9 months worrying about. Not. At. All.


THE NEV-R-WINS 56.36 - BYE 0.00

ST. A'S CRUSADERS 86.64 - BYE 0.00

If I could take a page from right wing media for a second and build a straw man...Some people say that a bye week in fantasy football isn't a big deal. Well, why don't you take a look at this!

Of course, the bye week is a big deal because it's simply one less chance to get fucked sideways by the fantasy football goddesses, and everybody already knows that. And the fact that I would've lost to every team this week and the Crusaders would've lost to all but one is all the reward we need for two fine seasons.

And no, I am not at all concerned that the quarterbacks for 3 of my 4 most important players next week could be Brodie Croyle, Matt Flynn and Tavaris Jackson. But I thank you for your interest.

Monday, December 6, 2010

WVFL Week 13 Review

I'm not sure which is the most impressive feat, finishing the regular season picks with a 52-26 record, almost scoring 1500 points on the season, or my beautiful hair. It's the best regular season record and point total since 2005, and me having Tom Brady is especially symbolic, because anything less than a title this year puts me with the 18-1 Patriots. Remembered mainly as a letdown.

But hey, now that we've gone to a keeper league, whatever happens this postseason, I still have the guys that would be the first two overall picks in 2011.


THE NEV-R-WINS 141.84 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 97.40
It was unnecessary for Tom Brady to post 30 points Monday night, and almost certainly tacky, but we needed to see just how far we could take things. Dwayne Bowe ended the greatest 7-game stretch by a receiver in 17 years with a resounding 0 catches, which is what kept me short of 150 points and a much higher tax bracket. Lucky break.

It's two straight weeks that The Nevs posted 140+ and the largest margin of victory, and the entire team was so amazing, that I barely have time to point out how brilliant I was to pluck an injured Jonathan Stewart off of the free agent pile for a playoff run. Man, so brilliant.

Despite flirting with triple digits this week, the Elbow finished with the fewest overall points this season, coming up 19.9 short of the Rockers despite having two more wins. Whoever the second-best available player is in the 2011 draft, that's who Nate will get.


LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 99.94 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 63.64
The All Stars came alive when it didn't matter, winning 2 of their 3 last and dropping a spot in the draft order. But they can build on this! BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 20 points on the bench, but Reggie Wayne had 30 points in the lineup, and Flacco and Freeman are both intriguing enough that it'll be interesting to see if Webster keeps either one.

Brookline scored around 60 in 2 of their last 3 and came up 45 points short of the final playoff berth. Or they could've, you know, beaten one of the league's worst teams in the final week to clinch a spot. When you come this close to the playoffs and points decide who gets in and who doesn't, there are probably a dozen different lineup decision you could point to as difference makers. One bad lineup decision? Having Carnell Williams.


WHIZ-BANG GANG 99.22 - HAWKS 95.60
Better change up the playbooks, because these two will face each other again in the Wild Card round, with the WBG looking to go 3-0 against the Hawks this season. Might not be too hard, as the Hawks have lost 4 straight now. Plus, Sims-Walker and Dez are both hurt for the Hawks.

The Whiz-Bang Gang finished with the fewest points against this season, and an actuary could probably figure out some relationship between that stat and them finishing 10-3. By the way, in my two wins, I accounted for a full 24% of the points against that WBG saw this season. In fact, Whiz-Bang Gang's standing is probably perfect, since they lost to the two teams above them and beat all of the teams below them. I guess they are a median team.


IRON CITY POUNDERS 85.40 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 84.98
The tightest game of the week was also the least consequential. The Pounders were in the playoffs either way, and the Rockers had the #1 pick locked up either way. So it's fitting that it was decided by a single Braylon Edwards reception.

Maurice Jones-Drew and Brandon Jacobs had big running days for the Rockers, but their highlight might have been Dan Carpenter kicking a 60-yard field goal. Unfortunately, the Rockers scored too many points and the Pounders not enough, so the Rockers missed out on the worst record, the fewest points and most against hat trick. That at least would've been something to talk about at Christmas parties.

The Pounders finished as part of the 1180s, the 4 teams that scored 1180-some points this year. The Pounders were the best of the bunch at 8-5, the Swirls were 7-6, the Hawks 6-7 and Deathfromabove 5-8. And, you'll never believe this, the points against for each progress from low to high in that exact same order.


PURPLE SWIRLS 102.98 - DEATHFROMABOVE 61.78
This game ended up being the most direct playoff decider. Whoever won was getting in. DFA did not win.

2-5 in their last 7, the Swirls have gone over 100 in the 3 of the last 4. What do all of these numbers mean? The Swirls will almost certainly be your next WVFL champion. Vick and McCoy continue tearing it up, though Austin is done with Kitna and Goodson is done with Stewart and Blurg is done with Shenan. (NOTE: I made those last two up.)

After a terrific 2009, the window slammed shut on DFA, and now the front office has to ask some hard questions. Questions like, Do I give more contract years to Peyton Hillis or Chris Johnson and, Could I get away with murdering Vincent Jackson?


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 95.08 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 58.06
The Crusaders and I have actually arranged a team vacation together next week during the bye. We're going to Knoxville, TN to see the Sunsphere from the 1984 Worlds Fair.

I'm bringing up this next point not to boast (which I've done more than my share of), but to point out just how insane preseason fantasy rankings are every single year. The Shruggz took Turner, Greene and Pierre Thomas with their first 3 picks. I got Arian Foster at the end of the 4th round. Not one single fantasy "expert" would've thought anything wrong with that whole scenario. I would've been happy to get Shonn Greene, in fact.

That entire threesome had ONE more point this season than Foster did all by himself. Nobody knows anything in August. That's all we know.

It's no accident that the Crusaders earned a playoff bye with a 10-3 record, but it's entirely possible that a 3-10 Denver team with a new coach gives Tim Tebow an extended look in Week 15, which will either screw the Crusaders in game, or force them to start Ben against the Jets defense. Tebow ruining the season of a team named the Crusaders would be both hilarious and awesome. Their God is an awesome God.

Monday, November 29, 2010

WVFL Week 12 Review

THE NEV-R-WINS 143.84 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 94.56
In my last 3 games against them, I've beaten the WBG by an average of 48 points. Last year when I won the title, it was the first time that I ever did better than awful and now I have the best WVFL regular season since 2005 when Nate rode Larry Johnson, Ladanian Tomlinson and Doug Gabriel to a 12-1 record and 1,529 points.

(NOTE: The best WVFL Yahoo total ever was from TK's Go Deep squad in 2003, when they put up 1,667 points, but that was a 14-game season.)

In other words, I'm perfectly set up to fall completely on my face in the second round of the playoffs. I say second round, because this win essentially clinched a top 2 seed and a bye.

Dwayne Bowe continues to go off, and Sunday's 170 yards and 3 TDs was the best game by a receiver since Jerry Rice in the early '90s. Arian Foster had 21.8 points strictly on yardage amd Tom Brady stuffed himself full of points on Thanksgiving Day. Even the Seattle defense managed to block a punt and score before being shredded by the Chiefs and...Dwayne Bowe.

I am Icarus! Nobody can stop me! Look at how high I'm flying!


BROOKLINE'S FINEST 82.32 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 62.70
Nate does not have Tomlinson or Doug Gabriel this season, so things are not going nearly as well. They do have Cedric Benson and Justin Forsett, which probably explains the discrepancy.

Brookline's did themselves a big favor by winning this one, though they could've used more points. Perhaps from Terrell Owens, who called Darelle Revis and average corner before being held to 17 yards. Or from Frank Gore, who got injured early in the game. He was so excited to be facing such a bad Cardinals defense that his muscles exploded off of his bones and he missed the rest of the game. And Rashard Spindenhall finally got hit on the ball during a spin and dropped one, something I've been waiting all season for.

(NOTE: It was actually Gore's hip and he's now out for the season. Perfect timing for a must-win Week 13 game.)

By the way, as revenge for me using the one-sided bully pulpit (like Bill O'Reilly would!) to mock his beliefs on airline security, Scott Henry showed up to my door Sunday, twisted my nuts and left without a word. And he had to fly all the way to Los Angeles to do so! I admire that commitment.


FIREROCK ROCKERS 82.32 - HAWKS 50.80
The Hawks have picked the worst possible time to go through a 3-game losing streak and the worstest possible time to only post 50 points. Rather than moving into 4th place and feeling good, they are now in a 5-way dogfight for one of the final two playoff spots.

But when your kicker is your best scorer, the potential league MVP has 8 points, Dez Bryant has a 0 and new honorary Grand Dragon of the KKK Danny Woodhead has 4.5, you have to reap what you sow.

It doesn't really matter at this point, but since I don't want to condescend to TK and ignore his team...why do you have 2 defenses, and then bench the really good one playing at home against an epically bad offense on a 2-8 team? So you could play the defense on the road against an 8-2 team with a suddenly frisky offense?

But hey, let's look at the bright side. The Rockers are 1-0 in their last 1 game.


DEATHFROMABOVE 100.92 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 80.78
The fuel is low, the aileron is coming loose and it's skimming the treetops, but this bird is still technically aloft. And the Pounders missed a chance to officially tap a playoff spot.

I may be the only person that cares, but I did mention in the preview that the Pounders would need about 30 points from Fitzgerald and Davis Monday night to win. I hit that right on the noggin, as well as the fact that watching Anderson and Smith try to throw to them would be quite aggravating. In fact, even with all of the stats the NFL keeps, it is impossible to quantify how terrible Derek Anderson is.

It's just a shame that Andre Johnson didn't get 6 points for every punch he landed on Cortland Finnegan.

DFA drafted Vincent Jackson hoping he'd miss 4 games and get traded. He ended up missing 10 games because his own team triple suspended him or something. When he finally returned, DFA eagerly and immediately inserted him into the starting lineup, only to watch him tweak one calf, try to play through it and tweak the other calf. Now he's out two more weeks.

But Peyton Hillis has more than picked up the slack. In touchdowns, yards and veiled announcer references to race. Speaking of slack, Chris Johnson had 5 yards rushing Sunday. That's #1 overall pick Chris Johnson, mind you.


ATLAS SHRUGGZ 127.18 - PURPLE SWIRLS 88.58
.500 or better for 0 more weeks. Caulen lost the Brees/Vick conundrum, not that it mattered, and all of his Keiland Williams carping was rewarded with 2 points. The Mike Goodson television production was benched despite stellar rating this week, again, not that it mattered.

The creatives of the Shruggz brought their immense talents back into the free market after sitting out most of the season, keeping faint playoff hopes alive. And it was touchdowns galore for the Shruggz. 4 for Cutler, 2 for Lloyd, 2 for San Diego, a long one for Fred Jackson and one for Turner.


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 94.54 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 72.76
I twisted Webster's arm to get him back into football this season and this is how it went. It's like I picked a restaurant for his birthday dinner and his salad had a worm in it. And then Knowshon Moreno has a good game for no reason to just rub it in. Not cool, Knowshon.

Jamaal Charles had 2 more carries than Thomas Jones, but 105 more yards. And it might have been the first time all season Charles had more carries than Jones. I'm not going to call Todd Haley an idiot, but...I'll just point out that he goes for it on 4th down on a completely random basis. Like going for 4th and 2 from the Chief 40, then punting on 4th and 3 from the opponent's 38. Also, he's an idiot.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WVFL Week 12 Preview

LAST WEEK: 3-3
SEASON: 43-23

Pumpkin pie is in the oven, I've cracked a pint can of Beamish and and I just realized that I never wrote of review of Week 11. Well, we can't live in the past.

These picks are almost made on spec since lineups could change between Hump Day and the Lord's Day (the Lord's Day +1 if you're Jewish), but life itself is mercurial and ever-changing, so deal with it.


THE NEV-R-WINS (9-2) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (9-2)
This 5-Star prime time blowout is also a crucial game for playoff seedings. The Crusaders will likely roll the All Stars this week and move to 9-3 before getting the currently 4-7 Shruggz in Week 13. The Nev-R-Wins get The Anemic Elbow in Week 13, while the WBG face a tough Hawks team in the season finale.

SO! It's entirely possible that whichever team has their 6-game win streak snapped this week will not receive a first round bye. They'll sell you the whole seat for this game, but you'll only need the edge!

Yahoo has Arian Foster pegged for 25 points this week, which borders absurd. A savvy pickup of an injured Jonathan Stewart pays off this week when he returns, doubly so because the WBG need a running back to replace the pined Ahmad Bradshaw. AP will profit from the new coach bump the Vikings will see in DC.

The WBG signed Nev-R-Wins castoff Chris Ivory in an attempt to learn our audible calls, but we've already changed them, so Ivory in the flex will have no added benefit.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 120 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 90


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (4-7) at BROOKLINE'S FINEST (5-6)
Earlier this week, Scott Henry made a Facebook post that anybody who didn't want to be invasively scanned at an airport this week should just drive for the holidays. This whole TSA thing being a pet peeve of mine, I countered that you're much more likely to be killed by a car accident than a terrorist bomb, especially over the holidays.

Here are the numbers for Americans in 2009:
- 33,000+ auto fatalities
- 390 auto fatalities over Thanksgiving weekend
- 25 deaths from terrorist acts
- 34 from lightning

You are 15 times more likely to be killed if you drive this weekend. And even if Al Qaeda managed to bring down a 747 with a crotch bomb this weekend, that would kill about as many Americans as the car accidents would, and they yearly total would only be about 1% of car accidents.

He countered that Americans should just get in line, follow the rules and shut up. I argued that he has the same attitude as a British soldier from 1770 and we're stupidly turning our asses inside out trying to prevent the last terrorist attack, and that they've already moved on to cargo bombs.

You'll find this impossible to believe, but this online argument did not end in agreement.

What does this have to do with football? Nothing! What does this have to do with fantasy football? Even less! But I hate how illogical this country is at times (all times) and I hate when people don't agree with my well thought out points.

Why is it that we're willing to submit ourselves to rub and tugs "in the name of safety," but we raise a ruckus when peanut butter is banned from grade school or playgrounds get 3 inches of padded rubber under the swings "in the name of safety?" Vanity and self-absorbtion. We all assume we'll be on the one plane in 10 years that blows up, but because our kids don't have a peanut allergy, or aren't clumsy, or we've been lifelong smokers without any problems, that nothing bad will happen.

It is sheer lunacy and we are a nation of fools.

Speaking of numbers, Brookline must win this game and run up the score if they want to stay alive in the playoff hunt.

THE PICK: BROOKLINE'S FINEST 99 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 70


HAWKS (6-5) at FIREROCK ROCKERS (1-10)
A win doesn't officially clinch a playoff spot for the Hawks, but it sure would go a long way. So it's a pretty good time to be playing the Rockers.

The good news for TK is that he has about 99% chance to hold the #1 pick next August. The bad news, this is our first keeper year, so we have absolutely no idea who will be available. A 2011 #1 overall of Tony Gonzalez won't be that much of a catch.

The 2007 dream backfield of Tomlinson and Jackson is still going strong, and Rivers is going to shred the Colts secondary Sunday night.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Brandon Jacobs will be benched after he fumbles in the first quarter, so whatever.

THE PICK: HAWKS 110 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 85


IRON CITY POUNDERS (7-4) at DEATHFROMABOVE (4-7)
These two teams have the same amount of points for, but inverse records. The 150-point difference in Points Against probably has something to do with it.

40% of the DFA lineup is missing Thanksgiving dinner, so we'll have a really good idea of how far the Pounders have to go come Friday morning. Of course, with Kitna, Ochocinco, Gronkowski and the Saints D being the 40%, it probably won't be very far. Then again, Chris Johnson and Rush Limbaugh's new favorite player - Peyton Hillis - will be the main draw on Sunday.

The Pounders will need about 30 points from Fitzgerald and Vernon Davis Monday night to pull off a comeback win, and Derek Anderson and Troy Smith throwing the ball will be quite the frustrating spectacle. I only wish I could watch that game with the Pounders and transcribe the conversation.

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 90 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 80


PURPLE SWIRLS (6-5) at ATLAS SHRUGGZ (4-7)
Crucial game for the Swirls, as a loss by them brings DFA right into the playoff picture. And actually, if was a blowout, the Shruggz as well.

With Smith and Nicks out, Manningham should tear up an atrocious Jaguars pass D, but Thomas Jones won't do a thing against Seattle, and I'm picking a Bears upset, so Vick and McCoy should be limited. That leaves Keiland Williams and Miles Austin, which...which is not so good.

The Shruggz will continue their strategy of starting both Bronco receivers. Incidentally, the Broncos are 3-7 and the Shruggz are 4-7. And Kyle Orton is #8! He also has two Jets in what should be a low-scoring Thursday night snoozer and the San Diego D against Peyton Manning in prime time.

The Swirls' playoffs are trending up, are so are the boners of teams who could face the Swirls in the first round.

THE PICK: PURPLE SWIRLS 80 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 68


ST. A'S CRUSADERS (8-3) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (3-8)
Well, the league will have two 9-3 teams come Tuesday. We could go into details, but I haven't I talked long enough?

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 115 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 93

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WVFL Week 11 Preview

LAST WEEK: 5-1
SEASON: 40-20

THE NEV-R-WINS (8-2) at FIREROCK ROCKERS (1-9)
As if it wasn't bad enough watching Tyler Thigpen play QB like a bass that just landed in a canoe Thursday night, we also had to listen to Matt Millen again. Matt Millen, to be direct, is a fucking moron. If he says something happened on a given play, assume the opposite. He's so unbelievably awful that JOE THEISMANN makes fun of him in the booth.

And on top of that, TK and I had to watch our 4 Miami players put up a combined 11 points. Rough.

Did you know that Dwayne Bowe leads the league in touchdown receptions? It's true! Non-segue to...I need the GB/MIN game to be 41-35 with Shiancoe, Jennings and AP.

Mike Wallace is going to get the Nnamdi treatment possibly, but I think he can probably run by him. Ben literally doesn't have the arm strength to keep up with Wallace. He's constantly underthrowing him. I think every other QB would too. Ben should just heave it downfield as soon as Wallace has gone 10 yards.

I'm 1-1 against the Kress family so far this year, making this one an incredibly exciting rubber match.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 91 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 81


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (4-6) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (2-8)
The loser of this one agrees in perpetuity throughout the universe that the victor's favorite Il Piccolo Forno cookie is superior. Chocolate crinkle! Apple mele! Which treat will reign supreme?

By the way, when nobody was looking, the Elbow quietly became the most anemic offense in the league, despite being 2 games up on the All Stars and 3 up on the Rockers. Their best effort since Week 3 was 77 points. Don't expect them to go too much farther than that this week.

Josh Freeman wins real football games, but I'm not sure 210 yards and 1 TD wins a lot of fantasy football games. But you can't argue with the All Stars' coterie of slightly below average running backs.

THE PICK: LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 82 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 75


BROOKLINE'S FINEST (5-5) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (8-2)
Brookline really crimped their playoff standings by graciously giving the Rockers their hymen-breaking win last week, so they really need this win. Fortunately, Eli is going to pile up the points in a stunning upset, Owens will get at least 2 TDs and Janikowski will make 4 field goals while Shaun Suisham goes 1 for 3.

If you want to get the Bang Gangers all riled up, just tell them they're overrated despite their 8-2 record. You'll get an email back full of charts, tables, biometric line graphs and actuarial predictions of a strong finish. It's a touchy subject.

Speaking of which, Skip Henry is pushing irate about the Northwestern game in Wrigley Field only using one end zone like some backyard game because the brick wall is 6 inches behind the other end zone. What are the chances that when they were first scoping out Wrigley to see if it could host a game, they only measured 100 yards instead of 120?

THE PICK: BROOKLINE'S FINEST 98 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 91


HAWKS (6-4) at DEATHFROMABOVE (3-7)
Yahoo is predicting 14 points for Reggie Bush even though he's a game-time decision to return from an injury that kept him out for 8 weeks. That is completely insane. I haven't seen a more amusing number since last week's poll that showed most voters still hate Republicans and don't want them to cut any actual spending even though that's all they talked about for 2 years. We are a really stupid country sometimes.

Also stupid? Thinking DFA will win this one.

THE PICK: HAWKS 105 - DEATHFROMABOVE 94


IRON CITY POUNDERS (6-4) at ATLAS SHRUGGZ (4-6)
Getting 34 fantasy points out of a 16-0 game is an impressive feat. I guess those shutouts go a long way. But with Floyd still hurt, Fitzgerald still held hostage by Derek Anderson and Andre Johnson getting Revissed (the extra S is for shut down), the offensive outburst won't continue.

Brandon Lloyd will finish this one off Monday night in garbage time.

THE PICK: ATLAS SHRUGGZ 88 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 85


PURPLE SWIRLS (6-4) at ST. A'S CRUSADERS (7-3)
These teams could have the same record come Tuesday despite being separated by 200 points. 200!

Caulen already knows Brees is going to outscore Vick this week, because that's just how life goes. I agree with this sentiment, since the Giants' front four will be able to run more of a contain pocket on Vick. Thomas Jones is seeing fewer carries and Keiland Williams is not the answer to any of life's problems.

Oh, I just realized that the Crusaders have Jamaal Charles. Well now. All of those second half carries in a Chiefs blowout just got a lot more interesting. Although it's going to be severely bad times if Gates is a late Monday scratch. Even if the Crusaders cleverly lined up Randy McMichael as an emergency backup. McMichael hasn't been good since one game five years ago.

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 110 - PURPLE SWIRLS 85

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WVFL Week 10 Review

THE NEV-R-WINS 108.10 - DEATHFROMABOVE 97.88
This past Sunday, I attended not one, but two birthday parties for classmates of Abby's. Now, I like the kids and I like all of the parents at the school, but somebody needs a serious talking to about Sunday parties. And of course both party locations had televisions that were off.

To continue on with my most interesting life, I forgot my phone for the second party, which has the Yahoo fantasy app on it. All I knew was I was down after the early games and the Chiefs were getting crowded onto a reservation by the Broncos and I was probably going to lose with 65 points.

Thus, I was quite surprised when I went online at halftime of the Steeler game to find out that Dwayne Bowe had completely gone off in a meaningless fashion. And by the time futility set in for the Steelers, I was rooting for Brady to put 8 touchdowns.

Jesus, not one word of that is interesting.

Here's something interesting to even it up. This was my worst point total in 5 weeks and my 3rd worst of the entire season. My offensive coordinators are getting serious buzz for head coaching spots next year.

Deathfromabove was so, so good last year, then lost in the playoffs. One can hardly blame them for skipping the playoffs this year.


WHIZ-BANG GANG 104.28 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 61.80
At the top of the standings, the Points For read 1083.64 - 983.78 - 1083.88. It's so mismatched that it looks like a goddamn barbell. It's a hoagie of one thin slice of shitty bologna with enormous pepper seeds between two puffed out rolls. But all Whiz-Bang Gang can do is beat who's in front of them, unless a good team is in front.

To their credit, the Garrard pickup to fill in for Rodgers was most savvy. The drafting and eternal keeping of Ronnie Brown is not.

I think we all know that fantasy football is not Nate's forte, but good God. And now he has to cut Jeff Reed too.

By the way, my prediction for this game was 101-65.


FIREROCK ROCKERS 101.84 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 80.52
I really like TK, so I hope he's happy this week, but this win really takes a lot of fun out of the league. The oh-fer watch coming down the stretch would've been invigorating.

This was a tight game, decided on Monday night by the defenses. And frankly, the Washington defense only getting a -3 seems like kind of a ripoff. You give up an historically huge day, you should get at least -10.

If Skip Henry hadn't turned off the TV in disgust by halftime of the Sunday night game, he probably put his foot through it watching Mike Wallace score TDs that were meaningless in real life and killing him in fantasy. Or when Rashard Mendenhall put up a quarter of the points Peyton Hillis did against the same Pats defense. Fortunately, the broken TV kept Henry away from Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC, which would've given him a real heart attack.

(Political side note - The fact that this aggressively dumb, proudly ignorant, wildly egomanical cunt is actually a part of our national political conversation is why we are now ignored at G20 meetings when we make suggestions. We are seen as epically dumb, and this jingoistic know-nothing now has the highest-rated TLC in history at the same time Justin Bieber is selling out arenas. Fuck, at least the fall of the Roman Empire had cool shit, like Vikings. Our modern Vikings are PR reps.)

Hopefully that cheered Henry up, moving on.


ATLAS SHRUGGZ 99.88 - HAWKS 95.90
The Shruggz. Forgot. To pick up. A defense.

BUT!

The Hawks had the Arizona, which posted a ripe 0. It's even!

The Colts defense, left on the waiver wire against a brutally bad Cincy offense, had 20 points.

Cutler, Lloyd and Fred Jackson were the keys to victory for the Shruggz. You read that right.

If I keep writing single sentence paragraphs, I might land a sportswriter gig at a big newspaper.


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 111.98 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 96.98
The Crusaders roared back into the win column in a major way, riding Roethlisberger's garbage time (22 game minutes' worth) to a comeback victory. How running back Jamaal Charles managed 18 points when his team was down 35-10 at halftime is beyond me. Oh, he had 80 receiving yards. There you go. I thought maybe Todd Haley decided a blowout was finally the time to start running Charles more, which is possible, because Todd Haley is a dumb guy who thinks he's smart and is also a prick about it.

For the Pounders, Donald Brown was benched after a fumble, Troy Smith threw for 360 yards while somehow ignoring Vernon Davis the whole game and Matt "5 or 25" Forte had under 8 points in a blowout win.


PURPLE SWIRLS 109.82 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 91.10
When you look at the Week 11 schedule and assume Buffalo/Cincinnati will be a boring 14-13 "battle," think of this game. Sometimes when bad teams get together, they throw caution to the wind.

Despite the empty TE slot and the 3 points from Reggie Wayne and the 2 from Baltimore, the All Stars had a 45-point lead during the Monday evening rush hour. And then Michael Vick electrocuted and drowned them like a dog.

A 0 from Ward, -1 from the Steeler defense, 2 from Thomas Jones and a forgettable Mike Goodson television production...none of it mattered. Vick couldn't be stopped with handcuffs.

Speaking of which, pundits love saying America is the land of second chances, but that really only applies to the rich, right? I haven't heard shit from Joseph Hazelwood in like two decades.

By the way, my prediction for this game was 88-60.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

WVFL Week 10 Preview

LAST WEEK: 2-4
SEASON: 35-19

With the combination of family being in town, horrible picks last week and having run out of funny observations in Week 6 (of 2008), this is going to be a quick hitter. As unfunny as Chris Berman's two-minute drill and thrice as annoying.

THE NEV-R-WINS (7-2) at DEATHFROMABOVE (3-6)
NOBODY CIRCLES THE WAGONS LIKE DEATHFROMABOVE! If Johnny "Fort" Knox, Dwayne Bowe "Knows" and Santana "A Rolling Stone Gathers No" Moss can produce at all, The Nev-R-Wins will fire flaming arrows right through those wagon tarps.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 91 - DEATHFROMABOVE 70


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (4-5) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (7-2)
These two teams inadvertantly entered some sort of "no defense" gentlemen's agreement. You've heard of the No-Name Defense, this is the No-Play Defense! Nick's Buoniconti's son, what an inspiration.

Roddy White "House" has already posted 25 points, but DeSean "Action" Jackson will be ready to match that Monday night.

THE PICK: WHIZ-BANG GANG 101 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 65


BROOKLINE'S FINEST (5-4) at FIREROCK ROCKERS (0-9)
Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me death." Brookline GM Scott Henry said "Give me a baseball team or give Bob Nuttig death." Rashard "By" Mendenhall has a chance to be the best Steeler running back since Barry "Bananas" Foster. Boom. Buff. Pfgh.

(Side note: Is Firerock the first 0-9 team in history projected to post 105 points in a week?)

Old Rasputin himself, Wayne Fontes, says take the Rockers. All they wanna do is rock!

THE PICK: FIREROCK ROCKERS 91 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 88


HAWKS (6-3) at ATLAS SHRUGGZ (3-6)
These two teams have a palindrome of records! With no defense started and Michael "Ike" Turner only posting 3 points, it'll be up to Hakeem "Stevie" Nicks to keep this team thinking about tomorrow. Rhiannon!

THE PICK: HAWKS 78 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 75


IRON CITY POUNDERS (6-3) at ST. A'S CRUSADERS (6-3)
The Pounders think they should've started Matt Ryan and his 25 points, but you can't blame a coach for benching a QB against Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the Baltimore defense. And with Carson Palmer under center, it's hard to go wrong.

(NOTE: That is what Berman would actually say because he's an idiot and always behind the curve. Fact is, Baltimore's defense is entirely average now. And Carson Palmer couldn't post 25 points in 2 games.)

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 97 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 91


PURPLE SWIRLS (5-4) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (2-7)
The Thursday game tripped up yet another owner, as the All Stars have no TE. But Joe "We're Taking Heavy" Flacco put up 21 points.

The Swirls are hoping for another hit Mike Goodson television production.

THE PICK: PURPLE SWIRLS 88 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 60

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WVFL Week 9 Review

THE NEV-R-WINS 122.96 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 86.82
Back to the top of the mountain. It just feels right up here. Feels natural.

And if'there's even been a guy set up to finish the season 10-3 and lose in the playoffs, it's me. Oh, how happy they'll all be.

Arian Foster and Peterson basically won this game on their own, and Foster was robbed of another touchdown by a bad call on a reception. It was certainly a tragedy, but the team just forged ahead. Picking up Shiancoe because Favre had nobody else to throw to? How do I manage these things? Wanna kiss myself!

Remember when Steve Smith was very valuable in fantasy football? Well, when he has three quarterbacks throwing to him IN THE SAME GAME and the best of those QBs is Matt Moore...well, he's not so valuable.

An AFC scout said Shonn Greene looks overweight this year, and the report mention that he got up to 300 pounds at one point in college? Though, to be fair, they put cheese on everything in Iowa.


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 77.66 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 70.16
How bad are things for the Rockers? The Elbow started a kicker who had a bye, Collie had -0.1, Forsett had 0.4 and they still won.

The three best Rockers this - and every other - week are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mike Wallace and Steve Johnson. It looks even funnier in print.


BROOKLINE'S FINEST 104.20 - DEATHFROMABOVE 91.02
I believe I just said that Brookline was a sneakily good team, ready to make a playoff run. Sure, they started Marcel Reece this past week and 90% of people couldn't name what position, team or sport he's with.

Deathfromabove had the joy of watching Peyton Hillis shred the Patriot defense Sunday, followd by the abject misery of watching Palmer throw to Owens instead of Ocho over and over Monday night.


HAWKS 94.40 -ST. A'S CRUSADERS 74.32
It happens to the best of us, but the Crusaders' streak of 6 games with 100+ points came to a screeching halt. Clearly, my dominant victory in Week 8 ruined their confidence. David Akers scored more points for the Hawks than every Crusader except Ray Rice. And the Jets completely took Calvin out of the game.

Ryan Mathews continues to bust it up in bust-like fashion. His season is so odd that I was watching this game, saw him walk off the field with a large air cast on his elbow and then read later that he had an ankle injury.


IRON CITY POUNDERS 79.20 - PURPLE SWIRLS 68.52
Time for Caulen to update his slogan to .500 or above for at least 1 more week...

I didn't think Miles Austin would be as good this year, but I certainly didn't envision this. That said, the Cowboys can't lose enough games this season. It's just so enjoyable. And watching Chiefs-Raiders Short Cuts last night, Thomas Jones was lucky to get those 3.2 points. The holes on closing on him in a hurry.

The Texans lost when Andre Johnson reached for a low pass, caught it, then knocked the ball out of his hands with his own knee and it was intercepted. The Pounders, however, did not also lose on that play.


WHIZ-BANG GANG 115.96 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 74.64
At least half of Rodgers' 28 points were completely unnecessary, both to the Packers and the WBG. Throw in 28 points from the Green Bay defense and the total Cowboy meltdown and that must have been some enjoyable Sunday Night Football in the Schacht household. Beanie Wells' -0.2 really stands out on this team.

Even Brandon Jackson joined in the Packer fun - for the first time all year - but it wasn't nearly enough. I'm starting to think the All Stars are a pretty bad team.


Friday, November 5, 2010

WVFL Week 9 Preview

LAST WEEK: 3-3
SEASON: 33-15

My biggest rush job of the season coincided with my worst picks week of the season. Obviously, I need to make these much longer and more self involved. Speaking of self involved, I have involved myself in a decent bit of pinot noir this evening, so the over/under on typos is 11.5.


THE NEV-R-WINS (6-2) at ATLAS SHRUGGZ (3-5)
I didn't want to bring this up Monday night because it would've seemed tacky in the wacky of my narrow win, but Gary Kubiak is a terrible coach. It's no coincidence that this is the third year everybody thought the Texans would be good and they still struggle to win big games. Arian Foster ran for 250 yards against Indy in Week 1. This past Monday, he averaged about 7 yards a carry for his first 9 totes while Matt Schaub, who is secretly awful in big games, was throwing behind and below his receivers on every pass. Plus, it's not exactly revolutionary that ball control and keeping Peyton on the sidelines is a good strategy. So what happens? Kubiak gives Foster the ball 15 times, Schaub goes something like 2 of 11 on third down and the Texans get killed.

Gary Kubiak, fuck you, you're terrible.

None of that is going to matter this week, though. Peterson and Foster will be huge, Shiancoe is the only target left in Minnesota, Jennings is the only good one left in Green Bay and Nnamdi is out so Bowe can run free.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 120 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 85


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (3-5) at FIREROCK ROCKERS (0-8)
Nate pulled a Bettman this week, screwing up the waiver wire priority and robbing the Rockers of...well, I actually have no idea who they wanted. But I admire TK's enthusiasm for still caring. If I was 0-8, I would've traded my two best players for a bag of dicks by now in an attempt to screw up the whole league.

Which means the best revenge, served ice cold, will come this week when TK gets his first win of the season against the very man...nay! Son!...who boned him out of whichever free agent it might have been. Touchdowns from both Wallace and Miller Monday night will put the Rockers on top.

THE PICK: FIREROCK ROCKERS 84 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 81


BROOKLINE'S FINEST (4-4) at DEATHFROMABOVE (3-5)
People, the time has come when Peyton Hillis is predicted to score 16 points. That's 4 more than Yahoo! is expecting for Spinmaster Flash himself, Rashard Mendenhall. Speaking of which, between Owens, Spindenhall, Nugent and Ocho, this is going to be one interesting matchup in prime time.

Seriously though, what is with Mendenhall and the spins? Him spinning is more predictable the John Boehner saying that tax cuts will create. The main difference is, the spins occasionally do work.

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 88 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 77


HAWKS (5-3) at ST. A'S CRUSADERS (6-2)
The Hawks are going to test out the Team Running Game theory that's catching on in fantasy circles. By starting both Mathews and Sproles, the Hawks will get all Charger running yards. Except the ones that Jacob Hester gets. This idea could revolutionize fantasy football, but not in this game since San Diego will throw about 45 times against a terrible Houston secondary.

If the Crusaders weren't 6-2 and outscoring the entire league by 50 points, they might've garnered more sympathy for this week's loss. But considering that they're about to score another 120, screw them.

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 120 - HAWKS 94


IRON CITY POUNDERS (5-3) at PURPLE SWIRLS (5-3)
There's going to be a week where the Swirls finally score 110 and lose, but it won't be this week. No, this will be another week where the Swirls post the 5th-highest score and still win. The Pounder need to take a tight end off the scrap heap because Davis is on a bye, Bush is the clear backup and Martz gets a rash whenever he calls a handoff to Forte.

Speaking of Davis on a bye, can we please end any and all talk of putting an NFL team in London, Gooddell. A, the league has blackouts in San Diego and Jacksonville. How is a 3-8 London team going to draw in the middle of the Premier League season? B, both teams in the London game have received a bye the next week because of the crazy travel. The first time Arizona plays in London in Week 4 and then loses at home in Week 5 by 30, people will go insane. C, you can't even figure out the goddamn tackling rules. Don't worry about a 33rd franchise just yet.

THE PICK: PURPLE SWIRLS 84 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 77


WHIZ-BANG GANG (6-2) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (2-6)
Larry and family are in Orlando this weekend, so if any late injury scratches come in Sunday morning, you can forget about a seeing a sub. Then again, hurt or healthy, Beanie Wells will score around 0.

For every Rodgers touchdown pass for the WBG, Crosby kicks a PAT for the All Stars, so this game won't be entirely ridiculous. Just mostly ridiculous.

THE PICK: WHIZ-BANG GANG 95 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 80

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WVFL Week 8 Review

THE NEV-R-WINS 117.60 - ST. A'S CRUSADERS 117.50
In the closest game in league history, there are probably 25 plays that could've gone a different way and changed this outcome, but here are my two favorites:

- Jacoby Jones catches a pass, gets hit, fumbles and Foster catches the fumble, picking up 2 yards and 0.2 points.
- A wide open Mike Williams gets hit in the chest with a 10-yard slant at the Raider 1-yard line and drops the ball.

This game also featured a missed PAT from Matt Prater and two defensive touchdowns from the spot start Buccaneers. And each Calvin Johnson touchdown took points off the board for the Redskin defense.


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 75.62 - DEATHFROMABOVE 56.76
DFA scored 135 points three weeks ago and 125 in the two games since. Marshawn Lynch and Seattle combined for 1.7 points in that shellacking (shellaqueing for our Canadian friends) and Jon Kitna was actual the highest-scoring DFAer.

Hightower has lost his job, Kitna refuses to throw to Roy Williams for literally God knows what reason. The Elbow should relish winning even though they scored 40 fewer points than the Crusaders. Now the Republicans have won back the House, the little guys like him are going to be completely ignored.


BROOKLINE'S FINEST 102.94 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 71.40
No Hakeem Nicks, no win. Brandon Lloyd accounted for 38% of the Shruggz output this week and was the only guy into double digits. Probably didn't help that every single one of his position players was on a losing team this week.

Brookline is secretly and quietly good. They can post 100 here and there and have the points to win a lot of playoff tiebreakers right now. The only major problem they're looking at is how epically bad Matt Schaub is in important games, and he'll be playing a lot of important games down the stretch as the Texans fight for a wild card.


HAWKS 94.80 - PURPLE SWIRLS 82.20
The undressing of the Swirls continues.

Did I predict that Mike Sims-Walker would have a good game this week? I hope I did. I meant to, since the Cowboys defense is so completely awful. Lemme see...no, I just made fun of Danny Woodhead in that preview. Ah well.


IRON CITY POUNDERS 76.64 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 49.32
A fantasy football team scoring 49 points should be on one of those Your Birth Year birthday cards that show how cheap things used to be. In your birth year, 1951, milk was 5 cents a keg, a 1500 square foot house cost $9,000 and fantasy football teams averaged 49 points a week. Oh, how times have changed!

And now Randy Moss has been cut.

Larry Fitzgerald actually returned for a game, mainly because Derek Anderson was put back in and just started flinging it. For an offensive guru, Whisenhunt sure is late to realize how useless Max Hall is.


WHIZ-BANG GANG 85.70 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 61.32
All you can do is beat who you play...is what the WBG keeps repeating after moving to 6-2 with a thoroughly mediocre game. Ah, I'm sure Ronnie Brown will become good when the playoffs start.

TK yelled at Nate to reset the waiver wire today. Although I have no idea who he's in a rush to claim or why, I admire his enthusiasm.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

WVFL Week 8 Preview

LAST WEEK: 4-2
SEASON: 30-12

Yesterday, we took a family trip to Disneyland. (Sidebar - It's $300 for 3 adults and a 4-year old to get in.) Today, my brother surprised my with a German beer and food tasting luncheon from noon to 3. Now the Pens are on. I tell you this not to bring up how interesting my life is (as it's pedestrian), but to explain why this preview is going to be so brief and unfunny.

(They're all unfunny, but not all are brief. I love my own thoughts!)

THE NEV-R-WINS (5-2) at ST. A'S CRUSADERS (6-1)
I'd like to call this a clash of the titans, but I'm not sure I'm on the same level as the Crusaders, who are AVERAGING 111 points a game. I mean, I have a 60-point cushion on the team behind me, and the Crusaders are another 45 points ahead of that.

Yahoo is creaming over my team this week, but they're down on AP a bit. Do they think New England's defense is good or something?

I am highly concerned about Charles, McFadden and Calvin. But there's no way DMC (Darryl Mac!) has two good games in a row, right?

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 110 - ST. A'S CRUSADERS 109


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (2-5) at DEATHFROMABOVE (3-4)
People, I am tipsy right now and it's 4:32pm PST. You should see the typos I'm cleaning up. The floor for these beers seemed to be 7.7% ABV.

For the Elbow, Collie is out, Hightower is now the backup, Benson sucks again, and Kitna doesn't throw to Roy Williams because he hates his sinful ways. Let's not kid each other about this one.

Speaking of Kitna, DFA is actually starting him. I can't decide if that's some sort of Andy Kaufman-level prank or not.

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 71 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 64


BROOKLINE'S FINEST (3-4) at ATLAS SHRUGGZ (3-4)
Both Scott Henry and Bill Polian are hoping Jacob Tamme can replace Dallas Clark.

For the Shruggz, everybody except Hasselbeck plays in the earlier game, so the Shruggz' team dinner will be pretty bitter Sunday night.

THE PICK: BROOKLINE'S FINEST 80 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 60


HAWKS (4-3) at PURPLE SWIRLS (5-2)
Danny Woodhead is listed a (RB, WR) by Yahoo. I know he's the latest white athlete sportswriter boner inducer, but come on. Anyway, as with all frauds, now that I exposed the Swirls last week, everybody else will start piling on. Assuming the Hawks actually manage to start a defense.

THE PICK: HAWKS 97 - PURPLE SWIRLS 91


IRON CITY POUNDERS (4-3) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (2-5)
The Pounders have a bad QB, a formerly good receiver with no QB, and the wrong running back from two different teams.

On the other hand, the All Stars are counting on Kenny Britt to have two good games in a row.

THE PICK: LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 81 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 75


FIREROCK ROCKERS (0-7) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (5-2)
I was all excited to pick the Rockers this week to get on the win board and act like I was doing some smart...and Yahoo picks them in a rout. Fuck it, I'm picking them anyway.

Man, that wild board sausage and red cabbage sauerkraut I ate earlier was fandamntastic.

THE PICK: FIREROCK ROCKERS 105 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 79



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WVFL Week 7 Review

My daughter had a little scab on her wrist tonight that she claimed was bleeding and a serious injury. This puts her on par with Brett Favre. "Daw, shucks, my ankle...if I'm not helpin' the team I'm hurtin' the team and daw better naw be out tere if I'm gonna hurt daw team." Fuck. You. Prick.

Brett Favre makes me angrier than any athlete I can think of in the past 10 years. I think it's because he's both conniving and legitimately dumb, a rare combination.


THE NEV-R-WINS 115.56 - PURPLE SWIRLS 86.54
Another completely pedestrian total for Caulen, only it delivered a loss this time. Witten's two touchdowns Monday night sealed the deal, and all of America is excited about the potential of Witna, Jason Witten and Jon Kitna combined into one super-white and powerful passing combo. Miles Austin dropped a sure touchdown that could've made things exciting and DeAngelo Williams somehow only managed 4.3 points in Carolina's first win.

Dwayne Bowe continued his 2-game streak of beating up bad pass defenses, a fortnight I will look back on fondly in December when he scores 3 points.


ATLAS SHRUGGZ 103.68 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 65.42
Most teams might struggle with Manning and Collie on a bye, but the Elbow managed their normal unimpressive output. Since posting 136 in Week 3, they've scored 51, 60, 74 and now 65. That is some kind of penance. The wrinkliest nun with the hairiest mole you can imagine thinks that's an excessive penance. When Justin Forsett is your best back, not even God can save you.

The pick 6 Favre threw Sunday is the kind of pass that, if a rookie made it, you'd say he wasn't used to the speed of the game yet. It was epically awful. Hakeem Nicks continues being a beast and Steve Smith continues being useless on an absolutely terrible team. If this was the Majors, he'd be traded to Baltimore in Week 14.


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 129.52 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 107.04
I don't know what got into the Crusaders lately, but they are absolutely destroying people. Turning back opponent like they were playing the Ottoman Empire. Speaking of which, did you know that croissant are crescent-shaped because a Belgian baker first made them to commemorate Europe turning back the Ottoman hordes? It's true! So go out tomorrow morning and have a croissant to celebrate Darren McFadden's insane 43-point week. And keep in mind that Percy Harvin had 2 touchdowns overturned on review, so this game could've been even worse.

Michael Crabtree continues sucking for the Finest, and things aren't looking up with David Carr throwing batted-down passes for the Niners. Wait, hold on. With Troy Smith getting sacked for the Niners.

HAWKS 110.84 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 92.86
Forte had 5 as opposed to 20, but he wasn't as bad as Mike Thomas, who had -2. But, you know, you start Jacksonville's 2nd or 3rd receiving option with Todd Bouman starting, you deserve negative something. The bigger problem for the Pounders is that they're going to lose Larry Fitzgerald soon when he arrested for murdering his quarterback. Max Hall missed an open Fitzgerald by about 10 yards Sunday and Larry threw up his hands in exasperation and murderation.

The Chicago defense posted 18 points in a game they lost, which is always interesting. Ryan Mathews continues to be useless, as does Mike Sims-Walker. But who cares about them? Dez Bryant went out Monday night and won this game by himself!


WHIZ-BANG GANG 112.80 - DEATHFROMABOVE 69.38
Well, I got the winner of this game wrong and I got DFA's total wrong by about 40 points. Last year, everybody had Chris Johnson rated behind AP and he ran for 2,000 yards. This year, everybody had CJ rated at #1 and AP at 2 and now AP is running wild while Johnson struggles. This fantasy game is a fickle woman.

And now Tony Romo, probably the most overrated QB in the league besides Tebow, is done for the year.

Speaking of the Monday night game, I DVR those games so I can watch when I get home from work and I fast forwarded the fourth quarter when it was 38-20. Apparently I missed another 18 points!

Beanie Wells had the quietest 11 points you'll ever see, but Roddy White had an extremely noisy 36. He had 160 yards and a TD by the 2nd quarter. It might be team to quintuple-team him.


LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 133.50 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 104.74
At this point, it's just comical what's happening to TK each week. He's been over 100 points each of the last 2 weeks, but still drops to 0-7. He's had more points against than anybody else almost 30, and has seen sub-.500 teams put up 130+ on him in back to back weeks. He's made 25 roster moves in 7 weeks, not one of which made a damn shred of difference. He got 25 points from STEVE JOHNSON and still lost. I am legitimately curious to see how crazy this season gets for the Rockers.

If the All Stars can get 41 points out of Kenny Britt every week...they're only two games out of the playoffs right now...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

WVFL Week 7 Preview

LAST WEEK: 5-1
SEASON: 26-10

I'm going to put my soapbox on top of my ivory tower for a moment here so I can stand WAY up above the fray. This recent kerfuffle about big hits in the NFL is complete and utter bullshit of the highest order. If Bud Selig was half as reactionary as Roger Goodell, Barry Bonds would've been suspended after his 600th home run.

Has anybody even come close to explaining what Dunta Robinson is supposed to do when DeSean Jackson is running across the field at full speed like nothing will happen to him? Try to time it perfectly, miss, and let DeSean pick up 15 more yards? Bend in half and hit DeSean in the gut so his spleen explodes instead? Lay down on the ground so DeSean goes flying head over heels and blows out a knee?

And people should be stoked that James Harrison would consider retiring if he can't continue mauling people. If Dick Butkus said that about a rule change in 1967, the same fat, white sportswriters complaining today would have creamed their too-tight tapered jeans.

On one hit, Cribbs was spun around. On the other, Harrison led with his arm, not his head. It's all such shit.

On to the games!


THE NEV-R-WINS (4-2) at PURPLE SWIRLS (5-1)
Well, I've really backed myself into a corner with this one. Anything less than 100 points and a win is basically a failure. Though winning 71-70 would be pretty hilarious. Yahoo isn't giving me much of a chance for some reason. Maybe they don't realize just how bad the Charger and Jaguar pass defenses are, and how nice Brady and Bowe will be. Plus, is Chris Ivory supposed to struggle against Cleveland or something?

On the other hand, Brees definitely won't struggle against Cleveland. But this is only Week 7, the midpoint of the season. And at the midpoint, the loudmouth prick of a protagonist always knocks down our hero before the hero bounces back at the end.

In case you can't tell from the last four years, I'm the loudmouth prick.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 90 - PURPLE SWIRLS 84


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (2-4) at ATLAS SHRUGGZ (2-4)
What happens when the Colts have a bye? The Elbow ends up starting Cassel, Forsett, and Hightower. And the St. Louis defense? Where the hell did that come from? Nate's lineups are so odd lately that it's possible he's being held hostage somewhere and is trying to send us all a coded message. Let's see...the second letter in Cassel is A, the third in Forsett is R, the third in Rams is M, in Police Academy Hightower was strong...

Oh my God! Nate is being held hostage in the old Armstrong Cork Factory! I heard they were turning it into lofts!

Fred Jackson against Baltimore is one of the things happening in this game. And we know Lloyd is going to get Nnamdied. Who's going to win this turtle dash anyway?

Um...gosh. Either way, it won't take much.

THE PICK: ATLAS SHRUGGZ 71 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 59


BROOKLINE'S FINEST (3-3) at ST. A'S CRUSADERS (5-1)
Sterling Sharpe brought up a good point on Playbook AFC this week. Besides the one about crossing receivers sitting down in the zone instead of continuing to run into the defense. He said it was funny that Favre still can't get in sync with Percy Harvin, but Deion Branch caught 9 balls in his first game back.

By the way, if you aren't watching Playbook AFC and NFC Thursday and Friday, you are seriously missing out.

On another note, the Crusaders offered me a pretty fair trade of Lance Moore for Ricky Williams this week, but I turned it down, saying I didn't want to do anything that could help them out even slightly. Look for Lance Moore to lead the universe in receiving from here on out.

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 104 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 98


HAWKS (3-3) at IRON CITY POUNDERS (4-2)
Mike Thomas vs. Mike Sims-Walker. Finally, the battle nobody's been waiting for. Two Jaguar receivers on opposing teams, each vying to catch a wobbly Todd Bouman pass. This game also features Patrick Crayton vs. the guy he was forced out of Dallas by, Dez Bryant. And Anquan Boldin vs. Larry Fitzgerald, which used to be an every week battle for fantasy points. Oh, the intrigue!

This game will come to which two players on which team actually do something, assuming everybody else will do about nothing.

THE PICK: HAWKS 75 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 73


DEATHFROMABOVE (3-3) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (4-2)
Seven DFA players go in the early game Sunday, then Romo and Smith finish it out Monday night. That is going to be an interesting 29 1/2 hour gap for DFA there. And although Yahoo is probably getting a little too excited about Peyton Hillis and Ryan Torain, nobody on Earth is getting excited about Ronnie Brown and Robert Meachem.

The only danger DFA is in Monday night is Romo somehow managing a -2.

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 110 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 80


FIREROCK ROCKERS (0-6) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (1-5)
The Lithium Depression Bowl, brought to you by the "It Gets Better" video series. How bad is this game? Steve Johnson is starting in it. I defy you to tell me what team and what position Steve Johnson represents. Hell, you'd be lucky to tell me what sport Steve Johnson plays.

Here's how this one is going to shake out. TK will have a slight lead after Sunday, 10 points or so. Then it will come down to Brandon Jacobs vs. Felix Jones. Felix will break off an early 30-yard run. Things will look bad.

But TK will hold on when Jacobs scores a garbage time TD to make it 31-17.

THE PICK: FIREROCK ROCKERS 60 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 51


Monday, October 18, 2010

WVFL Week 6 Review

It's possible that the 6-0 week is just not meant to be. Chasing it is as frustrating as snipe hunting.

THE NEV-R-WINS 118.58 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 102.90
It was nice of Jennings and Bowe to finally show up for a game, and I was right about Malcom Floyd not having another 200-yard day. Sure, he got hurt, but I was still right. So now, in four wins, I've had at least 113 points. In my two losses, I'm under 75. That's just the type of consistency you'd love to have in the playoffs.


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 100.88 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 74.88
51, 60, 74. It sounds like I'm listing offensive lineman, but that is actually the Elbow point total the last three weeks. The horrendous, horrendous backfield of Graham and Buckhalter combined for 2 points, with Buckhalter getting all 2. DeSean Jackson actually had 20 points before his spine was blown across the field, so with him out the next two weeks, who knows how bad things will get for the Elbow.

(NOTE: The Elbow beat me 105-74 in Week 2)

St. A's and the Swirls have the same 5-1 record, but the Crusaders get first place because they have the Points For tiebreaker...by 121 points! The wait for Ben was worth it, and if anybody in our league actually ever traded, the Crusaders could move one of their QBs for...well, they don't really need anything.


PURPLE SWIRLS 90.52 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 83.68
The fraud continues unabated. This team is making me paranoid and frantic, like I'm the only guy who knows about Obama's plan to zero out the value of the dollar and start over with krugerands, as his Kenyan father had always hoped. Why can't you people see what's happening here?!? I have a really interesting book you should read. It's written by a guy who was dishonorably discharged from the Coast Guard because he found out too many things they don't want you to know.

Ah, you know what? Maybe the Swirls are the first team that's ever figured out how to play fantasy football defense. They do have the fewest Points Against, you know.

By the way, with their optimal lineup, the Finest would've scored 120. They didn't just let me down, they let down all those people who want to see the 6-0 week. (Which is only me)


HAWKS 81.06 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 67.76
I wonder who the first two picks will be next summer. I wonder who the All Stars and Rockers are jockeying for.

If Gates and Floyd are out this week, I have no idea who Rivers is going to throw to. I guess we'll worry about that then. Though the Hawks should be worrying about Mike Sims-Walker now. He, and all of Jacksonville, blows.


WHIZ-BANG GANG 72.12 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 65.40
It seems so unfair that TK scored 103 and lost again while the WBG won with 72 and the Hawks won with 81. I don't know what happened to Nicks, but Turner and Greene are straight up busta ass busts. And it's weird enough to have two Bronco receivers, but extra weird when they're playing the Jets.

Fat, white sportswriters across America are trying to explain away Welker's gritty 53-yard day. I'm sure the fact that he did nothing in his first non-Moss game can be brushed aside. It's officially time to be concerned about Ronnie Brown, but a W this week sweeps a lot of dirt under the rug.


DEATHFROMABOVE 133.50 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 103.54
The Green Brothers Funeral Tragedy of the Week(TM). But I guess Jahvid Best doesn't have another 30-point game in him. Tony has now seen 102, 117 and 133 points hung on him in the last 3 weeks and he has the most Points Against, almost just to complete the farce.

DFA lost a 106-102 game, but then their 3 victories were 115-101, 125-118 and this one. Take the over, people. I wouldn't make your weekly budget on Ryan Torain getting 20 points, but with DeSean Jackson out for awhile, Maclin could profit. And it was only -2 points, but Romo's late INT to blow the game should've been -30 at least. Who was he throwing to?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WVFL Week 6 Preview

LAST WEEK: 4-2
SEASON: 21-9

I may have gotten blown out last week, but some of my picks are nearing clairvoyance. I predicted the Pounders would beat the Finest 87-69 and the final was 87.18 - 68.94. I said the WBG would have 84 and they put up 82.92, and I said the Rockers would have 59 before they put up 57.90.

Of course, I also said the Shruggz would have 57 and that was off by a touch. Or 60.

But still! Paypal me $19.99 and I tell you what the future holds for you, both romantically and professionally.


THE NEV-R-WINS (3-2) at IRON CITY POUNDERS (4-1)
If Dwayne Bowe can't put up points against the Texan secondary, he's officially officially a bust. Right now, he's just officially a bust. I'm actually picking Dallas and Kansas City to win, so my backs might be down a bit. But the Pats will be looking to prove a point with Moss gone and Jennings can have some balls back with Finley crumpled.

Malcom Floyd is not going to have another 200-yard day, let's just address that right now. And Matt "5 or 20" Forte is due for a 5 day after last week. What are the chances I'm sweating out defensive points come Monday night? Pretty good, actually.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 89 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 84


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (2-3) at ST. A'S CRUSADERS (4-1)
Two teams heading in opposite directions at a high rate of speed. Tito Santana rolled off the mat at the last second and The People's Elbow has landed with a thud. A starting backfield of Earnest Graham and Correll Buckhalter is a plea for help. It looks so odd that it's probable cause to be pulled over on the interstate.

The Crusaders are good and not starting Buckhalter and Graham. Yet another difference between these two teams. Just like real life, Ben and Santonio are going to return from suspension to a triumphant victory.

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 120 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 60


BROOKLINE'S FINEST (3-2) at PURPLE SWIRLS (4-1)
With his keeper hockey team roaring out of the gate, Caulen probably thought about the Swirls half of once this week. And that kernel of a thought was, "Anthony Armstrong caught one long pass last week, lemme pick him up."

Matt Schaub can really suck sometimes, you know that? And Carnell Williams sucks all of the time. But Gore and Mendenhall should run free this Sunday.

This game is like the first secretive call to Woodward and Bernstein. A single thread has come loose and soon everything will unravel as the Swirls are exposed for the frauds that they are.

THE PICK: BROOKLINE'S FINEST 89 - PURPLE SWIRLS 84


HAWKS (2-3) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (1-4)
Philip Rivers is a pass-throwing, curse-avoiding, teammate-blaming machine and he cannot be stopped, durn it. But Mike Sims-Walker is eminently stoppable. Boldin will tear up the JV-level Pats secondary.

It's odd that Brett Favre welcomed Randy Moss to Minnesota by showing him his dong, but that's how it goes in pro sports. I like Josh Freeman, but he seems destined to be one of those guys who is good in real sports, not helpful in fantasy. Felix won't get wide on the Vikings, Knowshon probably won't play again and Kenny Britt just (occasionally) catches touchdowns.

THE PICK: HAWKS 92 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 77


ATLAS SHRUGGZ (2-3) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (3-2)
The WBG is starting Alex Smith. Even Mike Singletary questions that call. They should seriously consider starting Aaron Rodgers, who is actually playing. Ah, I'm sure Larry will be up before 12:30pm tomorrow.

There are actually going to quite a few points posted in this one. Nicks will destroy the Lions, though the Brandon Lloyd comeback tour might miss a date this week.

THE PICK: WHIZ-BANG GANG 115 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 104


DEATHFROMABOVE (2-3) at FIREROCK ROCKERS (0-5)
It's dinner time. Fortunately, picking Rocker games isn't so hard this year.

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 71 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 66

Monday, October 11, 2010

WVFL Week 5 Review

HAWKS 103.54 - THE NEV-R-WINS 66.50
My team has shown an interesting knack for shutting it down when we realize it's futile. In a way, it's good because I don't waste any big weeks or touchdowns from my players. But it sure doesn't look good on the scoreboard. It's fitting that I have Arian Foster, since my team is so similar to the Texans right now. We either blow out or get blown out, but there's a lot of blowing going.

The Hawks have now gone over 100 for 3 straight weeks and I'm happy to be their first victory. If they scored 103 and lost again, they would start making films like The Seventh Seal 2 - The Eighth Seal, in which they play the Specter of Death in fantasy sports.


PURPLE SWIRLS 74.16 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 60.56
The Swirls are 4-1 even though they have the 8th most points in the league. Mainly because they haven't even had 400 points against in 5 weeks. DFA has outscored the Swirls by 30, but they've had an extra 130 points against, so they're 2-3. The Swirls had THREE players post a 0, their backs combined for 7.8 points, but they got 19 defensive points. The Swirls are the NFC West champion, the team everybody else hopes to draw in the playoffs.

Boy, when the Elbow lose, they go all out.


IRON CITY POUNDERS 87.18 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 68.94
With optimal lineups, this one would've been 143.46 - 103.08, which would've been much more fun. But the Pounders benched Matt "20 or 5" Forte on one of his up weeks, when he put up 30. They also benched Malcom Floyd's 31 points. This recapsule would've been a lot more fun if the Pounders lost.

But the Finest lost, dropping to 3-2 and becoming Brookline's Mediocrest. Matt Schaub bombed out, Gore lost two fumbles and Terrell Owens had what is possibly his last good game as a Bengal, since he was quoted today saying he's telling the Bengals how to improve their offense and they're "not listening." One would assume he's telling them to trade Carson for a bag of dicks.


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 138.66 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 82.92
Well, well, well. Now THAT'S how you take over a lead. The Crusaders' worst week is 91. They have a 50-point over the next highest scoring team. They have Holmes back and Charles in line for more carries. Look. Out.

The Whiz-Bang Gang is a lot different from a Whiz Gang Bang. Don't mix the two up if you're Googling.


ATLAS SHRUGGZ 117.36 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 57.90
Tony has 65 fewer points than any team in the league. He's being outscored by 140. He's sealed up the #1 pick for 2011 more or less, assuring that he can have Larry Johnson for one last ride. He got 17 points from his defense to cut the lead to 60. But he's probably in his pool right now without a care in the world.

I watched MNF and Brett Favre was not worth 17 points. He was shit and his elbow is officially cooked. But since Brandon Lloyd is the best receiver in the league for absolutely no reason, Favre's problems matter not.


DEATHFROMABOVE 115.34 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 101.34
The All Stars finally get warmed up and ready to play and they still lose.

Watching the Cowboys-Titans game, there was one play where the Cowboys didn't seal the edge because Ware rushed inside. Johnson just got the ball, took one step toward that open edge and you could tell right then the play was over for Dallas. Sixty yards later, he was shoved out of bounds. He is electric. So it's nice that he finally outscored Peyton Hillis.

Romo sucks.

Friday, October 8, 2010

WVFL Week 5 Preview

LAST WEEK: 3-3
SEASON: 17-7

When I throw up a pedestrian 3-3, it's bad for everybody. Children stop growing, women dry up, dogs steal food from the table, it's bad all around. I'll try to do better this week.


THE NEV-R-WINS (3-1) at HAWKS (1-3)
I really do not mind being in first place. I'm a natural leader, terrific at telling people what to do and think, and I'd be happy to hold the position all season long. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chis Ivory get spot starts this week, and they have a lot to live up to after the Chargers and Davone Bess last week. Although Fitzpatrick does fling it and Jacksonville's pass defense is terrible, so you might be surprised at what he does.

And if not, I still have Foster and Peterson. Speaking of which, with Ray Rice in the 4th round last year and Arian Foster this year, my 2011 4th round pick is more eagerly anticipated than the Florida citrus report in Trading Places. Also speaking of which, cell phone photos of Brett Favre's alleged ding dong surfaced yesterday and I really hope Adrian Peterson is not so light of groin. I'm not sure why I hope that, actually, but I feel like my team should have some sort of standards. And while I didn't need to see Brett Favre's dick to enhance my time on Earth, it's nice to know I can look down on a Hall of Famer about something.

With Tomlinson and Steven Jackson, the Hawks have 2007's best backfield, but with Kevin Walter they have a guy who isn't capitalizing on 2010's hottest trend, Useful White Guys. On the hand, Philip Rivers is going to destroy the Raiders.

This one will come down to Peterson vs. Tomlinson on Monday night. Fortunately, Peterson will have a 20-point head start.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 91 - HAWKS 70


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (2-2) vs. PURPLE SWIRLS (3-1)
There hasn't been a brother vs. brother battle this fierce since...well, not Antietam. I guess since last month, when Nate and Caulen squared off in some other fantasy league. But with Caulen now in San Francisco, this matchup is for control of the entire country.

In Nate's two wins this season, he's averaging 121 points. In his two losses, he's averaging 62. Sylvia Plath was more in charge of her swings. She'd probably also have been in better charge of a lineup, as Nate has two TEs, both of whom have a bye this week. Wouldn't the perfect poison be former Swirl Jermaine Gresham?

Benson is losing carries each week, Collie is out again and Hightower's Cardinals will be trailing early and often. On the other side, Jacoby Jones might not play, but thanks to byes, his only possible replacements right now as McCoy and Vick, who have rib issues like Adam and Eve. But this is actually DeAngelo Williams' week to be good, since Carolina will have a chance and Steve Smith is out.

THE PICK: PURPLE SWIRLS 81 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 80


BROOKLINE'S FINEST (3-1) at IRON CITY POUNDERS (3-1)
The team I crushed two weeks ago against the team I plan to crush next week. It's all about me, me, me! Two Matts (not my name) are the QBs this week. Schaub is missing lineman and his favorite receivers are dinged up, Ryan is spotty at best on the road. Terrell Owens publicly has a bad attitude and leaves teams on bad term, Larry Fitzgerald's bad attitude is growing and he'll be leaving the Cardinals on bad terms when his contract is up after 2011. I guess that's about it for the tenuous similarities.

For Brookline, Alex Smith sucks, so Michael Crabtree (who might suck on his own) ends up sucking too. Carnell Williams came out and admitted he shouldn't be the starter any more, and Devin Hester will catch 2 bad screen from Todd Collins at best. All of this ineptitude will offset Frank Gore slashing through the Eagles.

I suppose it's up to Addai and Bush, then.

THE PICK: IRON CITY POUNDERS 87 - BROOKLINE'S FINEST 69


ST. A'S CRUSADERS (3-1) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (3-1)
The WBG have ripped off three wins in a row, and I can't for the life of me remember where their sole loss came. But their second loss will come this week. The Skins are going to upset the Pack when Rodgers has one of those 180 yard, 2 pick road games and relying on rookie Mike Williams for anything can't be good. Though Roddy White might catch 17 balls against Cleveland.

If you were the Raiders, wouldn't you put Asomugha right on Gates? Sure, it's a bad tackling matchup, but Nnamdi could blanket him and break up passes, and putting him on somebody like Floyd is a waste. Plus, last week, Gates showed what he does when just a linebacker is on him. I would put Nnamdi on Gates.

Jammal Charles is going to have a long touchdown run on the Colts and Calvin Johnson is going to light up the Rams as Detroit wins. But Percy Harvin will be reintroduce himself to Favre after the game.

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 101 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 84


ATLAS SHRUGGZ (1-3) at FIREROCK ROCKERS (0-4)
An enormous game as far as next year's #1 pick is concerned. With Cutler out, the Shruggz will be starting Favre, who was quoted this week as saying you can throw to Moss even when he's covered. Now, Favre thinks that about everybody as default, but if he said it out loud about Moss, a guy he's wanted to play with since 2006...well, expect at least 3 picks Monday night.

The Shruggz' best receiver right now is Brandon Lloyd, and they're actually starting two Bronco receivers against Baltimore. I know Kyle Orton is lighting up the league, but come on. Then again, top 25 pick Shonn Greene is predicted to have 4 points this week.

Tony's first three listed players are Sam Bradford, Legedu Naanee and Dexter McCluster. If this was Week 12, I'd accuse him of tanking for the top pick. This being Week 5, my heart goes out to him. And don't expect a ton from MJD, because Jack del Rio is the absolute worst coach to be with one team long term and Jacksonville is going to lose.

Jesus Christ. This whole game is brutal. The best players in it are rookie Jahvid Best and Brandon Lloyd. Each team is starting one Falcon running back. This game is like a pizzeria that only offers capers and sprouts as toppings. This game existing is almost as sad as the fact that Meg Whitman is a billionaire, yet can't find a hat that will fit her. Have you seen that melon?!?! If she gave you head, she could put you in the hospital! Hey-o! (The wine is kicking in.)

THE PICK: FIREROCK ROCKERS 59 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 57


DEATHFROMABOVE (1-3) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (1-3)
Out here in LA, we have a website, SigAlert, that gives real time freeway updates. When there's a collision, they describe as Car X vs. Car Y. As in, Blk Mercedes vs. Wht Lexus, over to right shoulder. According to Yahoo's predictions, this game is going be Slvr Escalade vs. Bl Smart Car.

BJ G-E is on a bye, so the briefly scuffled over Brandon Jackson brings his 3 points back into the lineup. Revis will shut down Moss like always, and Rex Ryan might quintuple-cover Moss for a joke, just to see if Favre still forces the ball to him (He will). Felix Jones is getting more carries starting this week, a plan Wade Phillips will stick to for at least 10 minutes. And Louis Murphy is a Raider wide receiver.

Teams are stacking the line against Chris Johnson and Vince Young isn't making them pay yet. But Peyton Hillis is...

Whatever. Why am I still talking about this? Have you seen the No Stars lineup?

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 97 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 49

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2010-2011 Gatekeeper Season Preview

2010-2011 GATEKEEPER SEASON PREVIEW

Last year was my worst fantasy hockey year in some time. Both of my teams were absolute busts, my league preview predictions were horrendous, I completely missed the sudden explosion of mobile, young, scoring defensemen, I blew my 20 free agent years like George Steinbrenner tweaked on coke, and I traded for Steve Mason.

But like a movie hero at the 85-minute mark, I’ve come clean with my sins, realized what I’ve done wrong and vowed to fix everything. I’ve shed the year-to-year WVHL and I’m even going to admit what I got wrong about each team in the 2009-2010 preview. It’s a new me, and I have Oprah to thank!

THE DYNAMITE KID

2009 – Totally missed Drew Doughty turning into Bobby Orr, called this team weak at center right before Henrik Sedin scored 112 points, did not account for Ryan Miller.

2010 – Like any great dynasty, The Dynamite Kid isn’t looking to stop at just one title and nine celebratory bottles of Sam Adams Noble Pils. Goalie and right wing were itches for this team. Rashes, really. The kind just under your skin that you can never quite soothe. So they used their three picks on a goalie and two right wings. Of course, if Lehtonen gets hurt (like always) and Turco sucks (like always), that goalie itch won’t go away, even if Larry scratches to the point of scabbing. Stop touching it!

Missing Streit for six months will hurt, as will having Huselius and Kostitsyn healthy, but with Sedin, Staal, Ovechkin, Nash, Doughty, Myers and Miller all on board, the defending champs will have a good shot at defending their champness.

2011 – With 9 guys heading into free agency in the summer of 2011, and 7 pending for 2012, this team will be turning a few locker stalls over in the future. Ah, I’m sure having Myers, Doughty, Staal and Nash all up at once won’t create any tough decisions. Derek Stepan might get called up from the farm squad in October…of 2010.


KLEVVY MUZHIKS

2009 – Called their ’09-’10 outlook “Not amazing” before they won the Presidents Trophy by 17 points. Although I did predict they’d be the most active team in the 2010 draft and they did keep the fewest players. Even when I’m self-flagellating, I’m self-congratulating!

2010 – Trading Patrick Kane for Jonathan Toews and a 2nd round pick that turned into Nikita Filatov has the potential to turn into an all-timer. We’re talking Neely for Pederson level. Then again, Filatov has the potential to turn into a 20-point, -17 nightmare before returning to Russia. Who can say, really? And if he does, Klevvy also has Jakub Voracek.

The Muzhiks also made some great draft picks in Neuvirth (already the starter), Voracek, McBain, Oshie and Simmonds. The hard part will be figuring out how to give 7 guys 15 years without losing half of them in 2012.

But with the guys this team has in net, they might have a title in hand by then anyway.

2011 – In 2011, they might not need to draft more than 2 guys. But in 2012? Oh man. They’d better hope the Mayans were right, or they’re going to be losing some really good players. Of course, that’ll just make room for Schneider and Ekman-Larsson.


KEYSTONE WINTERHAWKS

2009 – Ragged on them for taking Jonas Hiller instead of Giguere before Hiller stole the job and posted 30 wins. I did correctly call the Cammalleri, Carter and Hartnell backslides, though.

2010 – Geez, I don’t know. Last year, I said their current outlook was “cloudy” and this year I have even less of an idea. I think the main thing that bothers me is that they don’t have one dominant player. I’m an American and I like stars, baby! Out of Cartner, Hartnell, Cammalleri and Iginla, at least two of them should bounce back, there’s great blueline scoring and Ward and Hiller should be able to carry a lot of the weight.

About the only interesting thing about this team is that only 5 guys on it play in the Campbell Conference and 3 of them are Sharks. He has more guys from the Patrick Division (7) on the roster. Seems a little provincial, I guess.

2011 – Also cloudy. This team has a weird mix of old guys and young guys and I feel like half the roster is going to be churned through midseason pickups. They should be set in net, I bet.


3FT MEXICANS

2009 – Predicted that most of their guys were going back in the pool one year early. They kept 18 players this summer.

2010 – If you enjoyed the Blackhawks breaking up their team this past summer, wait until you see what the Mexicans do. Guys will be fleeing this roster like it was Sonora. An incredible 13 Mexican contracts expire after this season. And of the guys on 2-year deals, Souray is in Hershey and Savard might miss the year with concussion problems. The Oilers actually hated Souray so much that they sent him to SOMEBODY ELSE’s AHL affiliate. That is really distancing yourself from a guy.

And if those aren’t enough roster hijinks for you, with only two players drafted but 17 contract years needing to be filled, Mason Raymond and Antti Niemi will be getting 9- and 8-year deals. Or maybe a 15-year deal and a 2-year deal. The Mexicans are being run with all the foresight and planning of, well, Mexico.

2011 – Um, well, the team will be a little bit different next year.


AXXX SLASHERS

2009 – Said they had one good goalie and then question marks, which was technically true. But I was referring to Nabokov, not Rask.

2010 – This year, the Slashers drafted for need, not for speed. They came into the draft with two defensemen and one goalie, but left with with four of each. Of course, three of those goalies are backups starting the season.

Marian Gaborik’s games played the last three years are 77-17-76, which I’m sure is a coincidence, not a pattern. And if Gaborik goes down, the Slashers have his linemate, Alexander Frolov, who usually plays a full season but only tries for half of it. Frolov likes to score 20 points in 15 games, take the next 30 off, then score another 25 in the next 20 games. He’s very fun and unpredictable.

Duncan Keith had 69 points last year?!?

2011 – I unno. They’ll still be in the league, I guess.


MOOSEJAWSASKATCHEWAN

2009 – Said they would miss the playoffs, even with Crosby and Luongo, which was wrong. But I was right in wondering why they had so many prospects in Tavares, Varlamov, Little, Filatov, Neal, Stalberg and Lisin. Only Varlamov and Neal are still with the team.

2010 – And Varlamov is about to become Washington’s backup. This team is thin in goal with LeClaire and Varlamov fighting for 40 starts, and thin at center with Hodgson heading back to Manitoba. But they’re deep at right wing and defense, particularly with Byfuglien qualifying for each position.

This team has two huge stars and enough good players to fool itself that it has a chance, but too many holes and iffy players to actually have that chance.

2011 – At least four pretty decent players are leaving town next summer, no matter how those five bonus years are doled out.


VAN MASSENHOEVENS

2009 – Said Ryan Getzlaf would score 90 points for a long time right before he struggled to 69 points, predicted half of his team would go back into the draft pool when he actually ended up keeping 16.

2010 – Kopitar, Getzlaf and Stamkos is about as good as it gets down the middle, but with 10 guys on a 1-year deal, including every right wing, it’s now or never for the Donnies. But with such serious questions on the wings, it’s more likely to be never. Will Nate have the balls to move one of his super centers for help on the wing?!?!

No, probably not.

The Van Massenhoevens had two weird drafts. They opened up by taking two Swedes 20 years apart in age, Paajarvi and Lidstrom. Then they closed the regular draft by taking a guy out with a concussion for 3 months (Mueller) and a guy fighting for a starting job (Niittymaki). Then, in the farm draft, they opened with two guys who will be in the NHL this year and then finished with two Penguins that are long, long, long term guys. Eh, I’m sure Nate knows what he’s doing. His extremely average fantasy hockey record speaks for itself.

2011 – Stamkos, Getzlaf and Heatley locked up for the next three years is a really nice place to start.


THE NERK TWINS

2009 – Didn’t expect the end of offensive defensemen scarcity and overrated my blueline, claiming to have two of the best in the league, was entirely wrong about the value of my goalies, almost everything else I said.

2010 – Believe it or not, I had about the best offense in the league last year, and that was with Franzen and Hemsky missing almost the whole season. But my goalies were so epically bad that the best I could do was win a week 5-4, and the worst I would do is lose 9-1. It was one of the worst performances in net I’ve ever seen from one team, and when I went 0-6-1 through the middle of the season, I was cooked.

The firepower is still on board, and with Spezza, Backstrom, Ryan, Marleau, Hemsky, Eriksson, Koivu, and Franzen, offense will not be hard to come by. If Phaneuf and Chara bounce back and my goaltending is even average, this team should roll.

I know I always love and overrate my teams like any good parent, but seriously, show me a better offense. Show me! Name one!

And if it gets to the point where I’m only starting Lundqvist every week, so be it.

2011 – I hated the Tangradi pick right as I made it, and with this Wheeling mess coming right as the draft contract years are to be finalized, I hate it even more. Two of my farm picks will be in the NHL this year, and Bozak might be decent. He’ll definitely be playing for me after I cut Dubinsky again. And if Corey Crawford takes starts in Chicago, hey, look at me.

Whereas a lot of Gatekeeper teams will be flushing the system this year, I set up myself to lose guys in two years. I have 8 guys on 2-year deals. I already have Presidential Economic Advisor Austen Goolsbee on staff to figure out a way to game these contracts and not let one of my many 40-goal scorers walk free.


WHALE COVE

2009 – I said they were decent. That was overly generous.

2010 – Caulen is moving to San Francisco for a few years, but he should probably be moving to Denver to be near his beloved Avalanche young stars. Then again, maybe distance is a good thing, because if Chris Stewart is anything less than the next Jarome Iginla, Caulen will be heartbroken.

The Whale Cove (named before that Japanese documentary about dolphin meat came out) is putting together a pretty solid core for the future…except his entire goalie corps, Stewart, Duchene and Okposo are free agents next summer. So while it’s probably fun to own the Tavares to Okposo connection and the St. Louis blueline, these guys might not be playing together for too long.

Which means that basically he has four superstars, a bunch of 50-60 point guys and good goalies. Well, two good goalies, at least. Hey, you know what? That’s usually a recipe for success.

2011 – So, ironically, the Whale Cove will improve greatly this season, ruining their draft position for the loaded Gatekeeper 2011 re-entry draft.


SCUDERI 4-EVER

2009 – I said this was a “really, really good team” with a good 2010 outlook and a “really good” future outlook. They lost the first 5 weeks, only won 4 weeks out of 21 and finished last by 12 points. Oops.

2010 – Then again, if you’re going to flame out, do it in the year it delivers Taylor Hall to your doorstep. With Malkin, Zetterberg, Kessel, Green, Visnovsky, Bogosian and Brodeur all in place, this team is primed to avenge last season’s debacle.

Although depth is still a major issue, and if any of the stars struggle again, you’ll see a repeat of last year, when their stars struggled and the team got mauled.

2011 – Scuderi isn’t afraid to trade, and if one star got moved for some depth pieces, they’d have it made.