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.

Monday, October 4, 2010

WVFL Week 4 Review

THE NEV-R-WINS 127.72 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 77.64
For the record, I really did think I could lose this game. Peterson was out, and I wondered how real Arian Foster was. Well, as it turns out, he's very real, posting 2 TDs and 30 points despite being benched one quarter for disciplinary foofaraw. And, as it also turns out, Davone Bess and San Diego combined for 43 points in the greatest free agent pick up spot starts in WVFL history. As it lastly turns out, I'm your Toyota Greatest Fantasy Victor for the second week in a row. One more of those next week and get a free 6-month lease on a Prius.

Randy Moss did not have a single catch this week, further showing how much control I have over Tom Brady. And Webster can't even console himself with Joe Flacco's game-winning TD pass meaning anything in this game, as it meant beyond nothing.


IRON CITY POUNDERS 92.22 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 51.88
What can you even say when a team doesn't crack 52, even with a 20-point effort from the QB? Well, probably a lot, but what's the point, really? Cedric Benson's 60 yards was the most any Elbow gained this week. Rough.

I was right about Forte either scoring 20 or 5, but I was wrong about everything else in this matchup. In fact, the actual result here is practically an inverse of my prediction. There were rumblings of Addai missing the game, and instead he had two touchdowns. And will Braylon Edwards please make up his mind about whether he's good or not?


BROOKLINE'S FINEST 116.28 - HAWKS 107.14
The Hawks fall to 1-3 on the season, despite scoring 109 and 107 the last two weeks. You should all be extremely happy that I don't run the Hawks or else this review would be more rambling than the manifesto of that guy who took over the Discovery Channel building.

After being run over by the Toyota last week, the Finest bounced back with the 2nd-most points this week. Call them the Almost Finest. How the Browns pulled out that win while allowing Owens 222 yards is beyond me and Mendenhall's second touchdown was a doubly joyous run in the Henry household.


WHIZ-BANG GANG 111.14 - PURPLE SWIRLS 67.76
Well, well, well. If it isn't the Potemkin Swirls. The Vick thing of course blew up in Caulen's face, but at least it wasn't the reason he lost. Everybody else anti-pitched in as well. It's just a shame that the Swirls wasted a good game from DeAngelo Williams, an increasing rarity.

Did anybody notice that the Packers almost actually lost to the Lions? It's true! No, really. Even with Rodgers, Driver and the DST combining to give Larry 49 points, they only beat Detroit by 2. I've offered to trade Larry Ricky Williams and maybe that will pick up steam after another dud from Ronnie Brown. Or maybe not. I'm sure Ahmad Bradshaw's badly tweaked ankle will be fine.


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 102.34 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 68.04
Even though he didn't break 70, Tony was still high Kress for the week. He and his boys easily went 0-3 in Week 4, only scoring 187.68 points combined and losing by a total of 118.02. By coming up only 34 points short, TK also played the closest game of a Kress this week. It was a bad week. The good news is, hockey is starting soon.

Mike Wallace of course only had 2 points after the Tampa Bay game, probably as revenge for being benched. And although it seems like Tony finally stumbled into a halfway usable quarterback, Sam Bradford was left on the bench this week. Which means he'll get the start next week and only score 2.

Kyle Orton is secretly the best QB in the league right now, and I know Ken Whisenhunt is an offensive guy, but maybe after the first 100 yards receiving, you put more than a linebacker on Antonio Gates. Darren McFadden popped his hamstring, Ray Rice is kinda hurt and John Kuhn is extremely white, so the 102 points sorta mask the Crusaders' problems at running back.


ATLAS SHRUGGZ 84.68 - DEATHFROMABOVE 71.58
In the StatTracker box, there's a tab for Optimal Lineup. It shows you the points you could've scored in a week with your, well, optimal lineup. The QB Shruggz should've started this week?Brett Favre, who had a bye. Jay Cutler had -1.32. And Shruggz still won!

Chris Johnson was outscored by Peyton Hillis by 12.6 points. Not one fantasy expert out there suggested drafting Peyton Hillis first overall, however. But as it stands, Hillis has 63 points this year and Johnson has 59. This may be part of the reason while perennial contender DFA is 1-3 right now.

Friday, October 1, 2010

WVFL Week 4 Preview

LAST WEEK: 5-1
SEASON: 14-4

A few years ago, we were driving home at night. In the distance, we could see neon bordering a building's roof. Idling in traffic, we guessed how far away it was. I guessed four miles. I was EXACTLY right. Exactly 4.0 miles ticked off the odometer. In the 1860s, this would've made me a great Union scout. Today, it makes me a mild diversion.

Today, my fantasy football game picks are 14-4 and I guessed 4 teams last week within 10 points of their actual total. I missed my own score by 2 points. There has to be something more I can do with this than garner 18 blog hits a week.


THE NEV-R-WINS (2-1) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (1-2) + KARMA (INFINITE)
The amount of shit I've talked about the All Stars this season mixed with AP's bye week is a dangerous cocktail indeed. If you need a visual, picture a pewter goblet bubbling over with dry ice. If I lose, I basically can't say a thing about the All Stars the rest of the year. If I win, people will care about as much as they do when I beat my daughter in a foot race.

A lot of this game will come down to night games, between Brady, Moss, Ricky Williams, Olsen, Green-Ellis and Bess. By 4pm my time Sunday, I should be down 30 points and hoping some freelance fill ins come through.

I don't like it. This whole week feels weird. Moss against Jason Allen is going to be a horror film for me come Monday.

THE PICK: LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 79 - THE NEV-R-WINS 76


THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (2-1) at IRON CITY POUNDERS (2-1)
Nate has to cut a player to pick up a sub defense this week. May I suggest Kevin Smith, who has 0 points for the season? Or hell, with Manning and Collie facing Jacksonville, just leave Minnesota in. You might not need the points. Especially if Miami's non-coverage of Dustin Keller last Sunday is any portent for Aaron Hernandez this week.

This Pounders team is like Lindsay Lohan. Major name recoginition, nothing really that good about it. Forte either scores 20 or 5 each week, Addai scores 10 or 5, Fitzgerald is hurt and Malcom Floyd is missing his second L.

THE PICK: THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 91 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 75


BROOKLINE'S FINEST (2-1) at HAWKS (1-2)
India is hosting something called the Commonwealth Games right now. It's like a mini-Olympics for countries that used to be part of the British Empire. Cricket is probably three different events. Speaking of which, we had a morning softball game last month and when we arrived, dudes were playing cricket on one field. It is weird looking.

Anyway, India looks bad right now because they're having a dengue fever outbreak, one athlete found a cobra in his room's closet and an entire dorm was overrun with aggressive macaques. Amazingly, the solution to the macaques is a different kind of monkey that is extremely territorial, but not aggressive to humans. Also, it's still legal to ride a train by hanging out a window by your toes. What the fuck is with India, anyway?

That mess is about the other thing weirder than this matchup. Schaub will be a letdown during a surprise Oakland upset, while Rivers is about to destroy Arizona. If Andre Johnson is in, Kevin Walter will be good. If Johnson is out, Walter will be useless because he'll get Nnamdied as the new #1. Mendenhall will do better than predicted against a worse than predicted Baltimore defense, while Jackson and Mathews are both kinda hurt. And Dallas Clark will have at least twice as many points as TO, because Carson Palmer is a worse QB than Charlie Batch.

It's all odd.

THE PICK: BROOKLINE'S FINEST 86 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 60


PURPLE SWIRLS (2-1) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (2-1)
It's your A-1 Steak Sauce A1 matchup of the week. When you have Mike Tolbert in your lineup and Yahoo still thinks you're going to post 106 points, big things are coming. That vaunted Swirl defense is going to have trouble keep the points against low this week with Rodgers shredding Detroit and Ronnie Brown getting loose against a terrible, terrible New England defense.

Caulen claims Vick is in his starting lineup right now as a smokescreen. I presume to make the WBG practice a spy defense. But Caulen is already worried that choosing Vick or Brees each week will always end in the wrong choice, so that should be be fun for him.

Carolina will be down early, so forget about points for DeAngelo, and you should always forget about Manningham and Forsett. The Swirls will lose this week, like the Bears, and we'll all be left wondering whether the 3 is fluky or the 1 in their 3-1 records.

THE PICK: WHIZ-BANG GANG 120 - PURPLE SWIRLS 85


ST. A'S CRUSADERS (2-1) at FIREROCK ROCKERS (0-3)
Tony has arrived in Arizona, welcomed with open arms thanks to his Vietnam service, mustache, whiteness and leather sandals. He's one immigrant they hope sticks around for a while. TK is starting Wallace this week, which of course means Legedu Naanee will score two touchdowns. TDs he'll get to see, since the Cardinals are his new home market game. Fortunately, he won't have to witness MJD and Snelling doing a heaping pile of nothing.

The Crusaders picked up John Kuhn, pronouncing him the poor man's Peyton Hillis'. He's more a third world Peyton Hillis. While Hillis' one move is the shoulder pump, he has moderate speed. Kuhn has no moves and no speed and protects the ball with both arms as soon as Rodgers hands it to him. John Kuhn is a Milwaukeean who won some sort of contest, I'm sure.

Now, Kenneth Darby is a poor man's Terrence Trent D'Arby. And while I do think St. Louis will beat Seattle Sunday, that won't be because of Darby. Or D'Arby. Moore had 2 TDs last week, so count him out. Rice is facing the Steelers, so count him out. But Oakland might give Houston fits with McFadden, so...

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 78 - FIREROCK ROCKERS 65


ATLAS SHRUGGZ (0-3) at DEATHRFROMABOVE (1-2)
DFA is going to win this one. Let's not spend any more time ruminating on it than need be.

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 94 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 81