Monday, December 20, 2010

WVFL Conference Championship Review


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

SEASON: 53-27

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.