LAST SEASON: 54-28
The annual season preview - really the only reason any of us play in this league - fell woefully short this year. I'll spare the boring details, but being actually busy these days is a real - and uncomfortable - change of pace for me.
So the season preview is extra truncated - and succinct - followed by the Week 1 picks. Expect a lot of my new - and annoying - style choice, unneeded hy-phens.
THE NEV-R-WINS (LAST SEASON: 11-2) at IRON CITY POUNDERS (8-5)
NEV-R-WINS GOOD: Commissioner Nate Bettman "accidentally" rigged the draft so that the league's marquee team could put together a roster that should plow the league like the '07 Patriots.
NEV-R-WINS BAD: The '07 Patriots and '10 Nev-r-Wins didn't win the title.
POUNDERS GOOD: They probably have the best receiving corps in the league.
POUNDERS BAD: And one of the worst backfields.
Okay, let's get this out of the way up front. I had no idea the draft was going to work that way, and I almost missed my first pick. When I realized what was happening, I thought it was hilarious and stuffed myself like a fat kid at a sundae bar. Then, having an amazing roster secured, I started drafting boom or bust lottery tickets. And, I'm not going to lie, I'm happy we didn't redraft.
So. That all leaves me in the following position: win, and hear people grumble about how I never should've had a team like this. Lose, and watch the comment board light up like Pennsylvania Avenue the night bin Laden was killed. Now I know how those bankers feel whenever Obama singles them out for criticism before not actually doing anything about it. You guys don't know how tough it is at the top! And hopefully you never find out.
Caulen voted for the Pounders to win this matchup, but that has to be out of spite, not analysis. Although Johnson and Fitgerald will be huge, Jennings already had a good night and Foster will shred the Colts in the first half before resting his leg in the second.
THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 96 - IRON CITY POUNDERS 88
UPDATE: Foster is likely out for Sunday as of now. Derrick Ward is going to steal carries from Ben Tate and I am going to lose on the first leg of my 3-10 Karma 2011 Tour.
THE NEW PICK: IRON CITY POUNDERS - 88.1 - THE NEV-R-WINS - 88
THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (4-9) at LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (4-9)
ELBOW GOOD: Give me some time to think about this one.
ELBOW BAD: He has 3 QBs, one of which just had a neck fusion, and the other 2 play the Steelers a total of 4 times. Also, those running backs are some sort of sick joke.
LOWCOUNTRY GOOD: Jeff still has a beautiful, thick head of hair at the age of 38 or so.
LOWCOUNTRY BAD: This team is colossally awful. I mean, this is like an expansion team that was only allowed to draft cut players.
This game will be blacked out in all markets, on both television and radio. Looking at the All Stars is like looking at that woman who had her face ripped off by a chimpanzee. First, you're morbidly curious, then you're repulsed, then you feel so bad for the person.
Cedric Benson and Tim Hightower in the same backfield. Bleg. If two guys ever illustrated the insanity of fantasy running backs and their value being inflated simply by a lack of intrateam competition, it's these two.
THE PICK: THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 45 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 30
HAWKS (6-7) at DEATHFROMABOVE (5-8)
HAWKS GOOD: They snuck into the playoffs last year like the 7-9 Seahawks, earning some extra revenue for the team's coffers.
HAWKS BAD: They kept Steven Jackson and Ryan Mathews, which means their first draft pick was Jeremy Maclin. Jackson and Mathews suck, and Maclin has feline leukemia.
DFA GOOD: They had the balls to start Darren Sproles and he had a return TD last night.
DFA BAD: They have Randy Moss on their team for some reason.
Rivers is going to win the QB battle by a mile, as Romo will be lucky to not have his shoulder broken against the Jets. (Speaking of New York, did you know this Sunday is the 10th anniversary of 9/11? No, seriously. I'm surprised the media isn't doing any stories about it. Like, about how if you look at our current military spending, economy and political environment, Al Qaeda won.)
CJ will have an amazing first half until he pulls his hamstring in the Jacksonville heat, but Hillis will struggle against an underrated Bengal D. Fortunately for DFA, the other team has Mathews and Jackson who, as referenced above, suck.
THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 82 - HAWKS 70
FIREROCK ROCKERS (2-11) at ATLAS SHRUGGZ (5-8)
ROCKERS GOOD: He will be better than 2-11 this season. Also, he raised two fine boys.
ROCKERS BAD: Keeping five guys from a 2-11 team is like Carolina giving out $150 million in contracts to keep guys from a 1-15 team.
ATLAS GOOD: Another nice receiving corps.
ATLAS BAD: They need some serious help in the backfield, and won't be able to trade Michael Turner by Week 3 when everybody realizes he's not good any more.
This game features an amazing QB/WR offset, with TK starting Eli and Shruggz rolling out both Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. TK should switch to Bradford because not only is he much better, he will actively dislike any Eli touchdowns.
Jahvid Best is going to be really enjoyable for his 1 game of the year this week, but the Baltimore defense is going to get lit up by Pittsbugh. The Steelers are going to win 31-13 and terrify the rest of the league like Green Bay did last night.
THE PICK: FIREROCK ROCKERS 92 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 85
ST. A'S CRUSADERS (10-3) at BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT (6-7)
ST. A'S GOOD: Toyota draft sponsorship aside, this team is extremely good. Ben is going to be a top 5 QB this year, and they have 4 #1 running backs. This is actually the favorite team in the league this year.
ST. A'S GOOD: There are no payouts in the WVFL for being the week high scorer or the #1 overall seed.
BROOKLINE GOOD: Scott Henry got himself a new job.
BROOKLINE BAD: That new job is in the PR wing of CONSOL, where he now has to convince people that clean coal is a real thing, that pumping 50 million cubic liters of carbon dioxide gas into the bedrock is a good, safe idea, and that earthquakes in State College are perfectly natural and actually quite exciting. And also that ignitable tap water is a great timesaver for home cooks.
Matt Schaub is going to be awesome this week, but the Brookline (Visit Brookline! Home of the brick-paved road!) receiving corps features one guy who hasn't been good in 4 years, one guy who is playing his first game since leaving jail, and one guy who is Kerry Collins' 2nd or 3rd option.
St. A's is going to double up on Brookline's point total, but they'll only get credit for 1 win. Kind of a drag.
THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 111 - BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT 55
WHIZ-BANG GANG (10-3) at PURPLE SWIRLS (7-6)
BANG GOOD: Rodgers and White are really going to air it out.
BANG BAD: Picking up one of my castoffs, Dwayne Bowe, really smacks of a sad younger brother syndrome. Also, Ryan Grant has already lost his job.
SWIRLS GOOD: They won last year
SWIRLS BAD: The strategy of picking up the 3rd-highest scoring player in the league on the waiver wire is hard to repeat every year.
I understand thinking that Vick is going to get hurt, but I don't understand using two keeper contracts on two quarterbacks. What if Brees gets hurt? Then what? What if an asteroid hits the Earth? (Spoiler alert: We'd all be dead)
The 2 QB conundrum already burned Caulen this year, as Brees put up 400 yards and 3 TDs while riding the Swirls' pine. But hey, I'm sure Caulen has a good reason for starting Vick even though Philly has a young and new offensive line that almost got Vick killed in the preseason and the St. Louis front four is remarkably good and I've never been entirely sure what a run-on sentence is but this must be getting close to qualifying.
Furthermore, Darelle Revis is going to take Miles Austin out of the game, Steve Smith will be enraged by Cam Newton at some point Sunday, Vinatieri and the Colts might not score 10 points, Beanie Wells isn't actually good and Reggie Bush?
Seriously, Caulen being the reigning WVFL champ is a bigger discredit to our league than Nate's hamfisted mismanagement of the draft. Good gravy.
The WBG sure needs some running backs. Maybe they should ring up the Crusaders.
THE PICK: WHIZ-BANG GANG 88 - PURPLE SWIRLS 65