Friday, September 30, 2011

WVFL Week 4 Preview

LAST WEEK: 4-2 (Nate Picks!)
SEASON: 12-6


The preview is on a roll of going 4-2 every week, even with the Nate Picks(tm) from last week. Clearly something powerful is going on with the weekly preview. Something that none of us can understand with our Earthly minds.


THE NEV-R-WINS (1-2) at THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW (1-2)
Same record, but two completely different teams. In the sense that one of them is good. All three of my backs are Probable this week, but will definitely outscore Benson and Hightower. Celek and Julio (say Jewel-ee-o) Jones will get their first TDs of the season this week, and you can put that in a bound book.

I'm reminded that both of my fantasy leagues are Pittsburgh-based when I see so many teams starting Emanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. Like how every hockey league I was in for the past four years had Chris Kunitz in it.

Also, Early Doucet sounds like the name of a tea.

THE PICK: THE NEV-R-WINS 101 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 55


LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (0-3) at IRON CITY POUNDERS (2-1)

Jeff Webster is currently fishing for trout while being eaten by mosquitos in some wooded part of the Carolinas. So he's probably not going to remove Daniel Thomas from his starting lineup, even though Thomas has been ruled out of Sunday's game. Nope, it's all James Blake and Dale's Pale Ale for Web. He won't even notice he's 0-4 until Wednesday at the earliest.

I'm going to let you in on a secret: Matt Ryan is not very good. The Pounders actually 3 players going in the Atlanta-Seattle "battle," which is sure to be a 13-7 blast of tryptophan. They are also starting the Arizona defense, which is one of the worst in the league. This is about to be the fakest 3-1 team this side of, well, Atlanta.

THE PICK: IRON CITY POUNDERS 70 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 64


FIREROCK ROCKERS (3-0) at HAWKS (1-2)

Rocker fever is sweeping the North Side. I can't tell you how many paper-thin bootleg t-shirts I saw guys of indecipherable nationality hawking today. "Climb The Rock!" "ROCK ON!" "Rawk the Hawks!" They have them all. It's nice to see such a historically downtrodden fanbase enjoying their moment in the warm sun.

The Rockers do have some trouble spots this week, though. Cincinnati is actually a good defense, Jacksonville will be down 14-3 early, taking the ball away from MJD, and Jahvid Best just plain isn't scoring because Calvin can't be covered, so why bother running?

On the other side, Steven Jackson is still a little hurt, and Dez Bryant is out this week, bringing somebody of dubious stature into the lineup. Plus, Boldin is vacationing on Revis Island this week and Decker did everything in one game.

So the Rockers may be down, but they're still going up! Somebody put that on a t-shirt.

THE PICK: FIREROCK ROCKERS 88 - HAWKS 80


ST. A'S CRUSADERS (3-0) at PURPLE SWIRLS (1-2)
Our 5-star explosive matchup of the week, brought to you by Zambelli Fireworks.

The Swirls are starting Brees this week, so run out and bet Philly to cover -9, no problem. Look for a final of 41-10 in that one. And who to start at QB each week isn't the only question the Swirls have. Mike Thomas and Johnny Knox leave a little to be desired in the starting lineup. In fact, I'm starting to think the Swirls deserve their record.

Is Malcom Floyd out this week? Does it even matter?

THE PICK: ST. A'S CRUSADERS 110 - PURPLE SWIRLS 90


WHIZ-BANG GANG (1-2) at DEATHFROMABOVE (3-0)
If you have Aaron Rodgers in fantasy football and miss the playoffs, it's time take a long look in the mirror. Preferably while fully nude. Because there is something wrong with you, and in movies, that is how people come to realize there is something wrong with them.

Larry is also in my other fantasy football league, where I have AJ Green, Ryan Grant and Mark Ingram. And I had Dwayne Bowe in the WVFL last year. Plus, I'm the one who told Larry that Aaron Rodgers is good. Why don't you just get the same haircut as me!?!/

Ndamakung Suh is going to break Romo's good ribs, stick them into his good lung, pull the whole thing out, and then eat it like something you buy at the county fair. It is not going to be pretty.

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 120 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 101


ATLAS SHRUGGZ (1-2) at BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT (1-2)
Since nobody cares about this game, I want to talk about something else in the NFL. This weekend starts October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So players will be wearing pink gloves, shoes, tape, wristbands, and cups for the entire month. And it is so, so ugly.

I don't say this to be cruel, and there's nothing funny about cancer, which is a brutal disease. But is there anybody in this entire country who isn't aware of breast cancer? Do we really need to raise awareness by turning the already aesthetically-challenged Falcons/Seahawks game into something resembling puking after a trip to Old Country Buffet?

On top of that, last year we were supposed to grow mustaches in November for prostate cancer, which somehow turned into September beards this year. Again, we are all aware of cancer. And again, I stress that I am not joking about cancer. Rather, the fact that this is entire country is based around nothing but marketing. We produce nothing in this country except spin and entertainment. In fact, I feel lucky to work on the fringes of Hollywood, as entertainment is America's only remaining growth industry. Besides fracking, of course.

Everybody is aware of how bad breast cancer is and that women should be screened on an (semi- /tri- /nobody can decide-) annual basis. But we're going to have our retinas singed by the be-pinked Bengals on Sunday because another sacred calf must be sacrificed at the altar of marketing.

All we do any more in this country is come up with empty, meaningless gestures that give people the ability to feel good for six micro-seconds without actually getting involved and making a scintilla of difference.

I will now end this bellyaching before this turns into a term paper for Noam Chomsky's American sociology class at Berkeley.

THE PICK: ATLAS SHRUGGZ 85 - BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT 70

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WVFL Week 3 Review

Between the two fantasy leagues and the one confidence picks pool and the one survivor league pool I'm in, I've reached a point where every single NFL play has both a positive and negative effect on me in some way. Each momentary high is immediately balanced out by a reciprocal low. It's really the pinnacle of Gen X emotional neutrality.


WHIZ-BANG GANG 106.58 - THE NEV-R-WINS 86.58
Before the games started on Sunday, Larry texted me that he hoped if he lost, he at least got blown out so he could continue to complain about his rotten luck. This is the attitude of chubby office managers who have cats and a neverending string of physical maladies. If it's not her knee, it's her wrists. And don't even get her started on her back!

Instead, Rodgers and Ahmad Bradshaw lit it up, and even Dwayne Bowe - angry that he didn't make my keeper list this season - showed up for a touchdown. So the office manager won $5,000 at the Rivers Casino and immediately blew it on a trip to Toronto to see "Phantom of the Opera" for the 10th time.

Hey, remember when everybody thought I was going to dominate this league with my amazing lineup? That was a fun couple of days.


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 132.56 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 70.70
Whereas the Crusaders are actually dominating the league. Darren McFadden had 34 points against what most people consider to be the best defense in the league and even Ben had 15 in a pretty terrible game. It's going to be half a tragedy when the Crusaders lose in the playoffs.

A full tragedy would be the Elbow lineup. All three Elbow receivers combined for 8.9 points, which is what Calvin Johnson scored on a single play touchdown. On the bright side, the Elbow have absolutely no hope of getting better, and they don't even have good players they can trade for 2012 draft picks.


DEATHFROMABOVE 113.80 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 95.32
It's a crying shame the All Stars lost a game in which they scored so many points. In fact, they've scored an average of 101 the last two weeks and lost both. Reggie Wayne has joined a support group run by Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Smith to learn how they dealt with bad QB season that suddenly killed their stats. The answer? A lot of yelling.

Wes Welker had 217 yards and 2 TDs Sunday, which was good for 40.60 points. Jermike Finley had 3 touchdowns, which netted him 26 points. Pinball has come to fantasy football, and these are interesting times indeed.


IRON CITY POUNDERS 105.50 - ATLAS SHRUGGZ 77.52
The Shruggz have two big name players that suck. Roy Williams, everybody knows he sucks. He dropped a clear touchdown Sunday, proving the theory of everybody but Roy Williams that he sucks. The other player, which may surprise some, is Michael Turner. He has zero burst these days, and even a massive hole in the line only nets 10-15 yards because he can't pull away from the defense any more. So when you have these two guys sucking on your team, your team is going to suck.

Rob Gronkowski had 22 points. The Buffalo-New England game was spinning the dials like somebody putting 91 octane into their car these days.


BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT 95.38 - HAWKS 89.44
There have been 18 game winners thus far this season, and only two of them didn't crack 100. The Rockers in Week 1 and the Forts right here. The fact that Kenny Britt only had one catch, which he then fumbled because his knee exploded, probably did not help the Hawks in this one. In fact, it directly hurt them, as Britt posted a -0.2 Also not helping was Philip Rivers throwing pick after pick in a game that should've been a blowout and only posting 8.44 points.

It would've been really interesting if Brookline lost because of Ocho's clearly dropped touchdown.


FIREROCK ROCKERS 133.40 - PURPLE SWIRLS 117.90
TK momentarily considered benching Sexy Rexy for Monday night's game as a sort of virtual endzone dance. But he ended up starting him and pocketing 11 more points for playoff standings. It's hard to believe Stevie Johnson only had 15 points, because every time the Red Zone channel cut to that game, he was catching another 20 yard pass.

By the way, last year Firerock earned their third win in Week Never. They were 2-11. It's a Bills-like turnaround for the man who has...hey, look at that! Two Bills on his team!

In their two losses, the Swirls have faced 133 and 126 points. In their one win, they faced 71. So they can beat the bad teams at least. The Swirls have scored 407 points. Brookline and the Elbow have scored 246 and 238, respectively. All of those teams are 1-2.

The good news is, Caulen finally got the Brees/Vick problem right for one week, though mainly because Vick was likely to miss the game.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WVFL Week 2 Review

FIREROCK ROCKERS 132.60 - THE NEV-R-WINS 112.22

How bad is my 2011 karmic retribution tour going to be? Well, Arian Foster went out early and his backup (on my bench) had a great day. I sat Santonio Holmes because I thought the Jets would go easy with him, and not only did he score a TD by 10:15am, I was playing against him in my other league. I scored 112 and lost by 20. TK's tight end, kicker and defense combined for 9.7 points, and he still scored 132.

By the way, I had the best team and lost in the playoffs last year. If anything, I should be 15-0 this season as karmic retribution. So what am I being punished for?! That crazy ass draft? If so, then this is more like some "Twilight Zone" episode where winning the lottery somehow gives a guy brain cancer.


HAWKS 136.82 - THE PEOPLE'S ELBOW 59.88

The game we all knew the Elbow was capable of. When Tim Hightower is your best player of the week by far, you won't be counting up your points for very long. Earlier this week, Football Outsiders examined the age-old question whether a receiver's stats are indicative of the receiver's ability or the quality of his quarterback. Austin Collie and Vernon Davis probably have very strong opinions on this subject.

Desean Jackson had 2 points. Partially because he got hurt, and partially because Jeremy Maclin was hogging all of the points for himself. After being sick with whatever this summer, this game from Maclin rivals Lemieux returning from Hodgkin's and winning the scoring title. The Hawks were so confident about this win that they started Dexter McCluster a week early.

By the way, Nate Kress, you win the blowout loser of the week award! Your prize is the right to write the Week 3 preview! Come on down to collect your prize. I'm sure you have a few things to get off your chest.


ST. A'S CRUSADERS 128.42 - LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 107.22

It's a goddamn shame the All Stars lost this one, because they probably won't be over 100 points for the rest of the season.

Remember in that weak ass preview when I said the Crusaders had 4 great running backs and could trade one of them for a better receiver? One of those backs stepped on the first down marker Sunday and blew out his knee. So long, Jamaal Charles! Todd Haley will probably be gone by the time you're ready to play again.


IRON CITY POUNDERS 140.16 - WHIZ-BANG GANG 94.72

Speaking of Todd Haley, the Chiefs have been outscored 89-10 this season. The WBG have been outscored 308-166. The 2nd-highest Points Against so far is 250. You think I have a persecution complex? Talking to Larry right now is like talking to the offspring of Mel Gibson and Sarah Palin.

Inflation may or may not be coming to the American economy. Hard to say, as there's nothing left to inflate. But inflation has definitely come to fantasy football. The Pounders had the most points this week, went over 100 both weeks, and are still only the 5th-highest scoring team in the league. They had 140 with Mike Williams putting up -0.4! His only touch was a reception for a 4-yard loss, and that was a fly on the windshield.


DEATHFROMABOVE 137.40 - BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT 85.60

The more I think about it, the less I understand Skip Henry's team name. I had to Google this Pirate guy since I've cut baseball and ESPN out of my life. His nickname is "The Fort" and his last name is McKenry. I don't know what any of this has to do with Brookline and why the three words are in this particular order. Here's what I do know - this team sucks.

Starting little Darren Sproles, who is a third-string change of pace back and kick returner, and getting 12 points from him is borderline genius. And the one-handed falling TD catch Vincent Jackson made deserved at least 5 bonus points for style.


ATLAS SHRUGGZ 124.06 - PURPLE SWIRLS 121.68

The Kresses only made it to 3-3 this week, not the 6-0 I was predicting, which is a terrific letdown. Though apparently there's a cousin or something that I wasn't accounting for. I won't point out that Caulen would've won had he started Brees over Vick (Guess what? I secretly just pointed it out! Hee hee!), but I do feel confident that Caulen hopes Vick sits this week just so he doesn't have to make the decision again.

Brandon Lloyd's surprise late scratch almost boned the Shruggz with a surprise 0, but Nicks' touchdown and Manningham's falling concussion catch provided just enough Monday points for the come from behind victory.

Wouldn't have been enough had Brees started, but whatever.

Friday, September 16, 2011

WVFL Week 2 Preview

LAST WEEK: 4-2

SEASON: 4-2

Somehow in a Week 1 filled with aerial acrobatics, strained muscles and enormous American flags, there was no real waiver wire hero that everybody was jostling for. After like eight years and one blown 2011 draft, Nate FINALLY adjusts the waiver wire order properly and nobody even cares.

Why does he even try, people?!


THE NEV-R-WINS (1-0) at FIREROCK ROCKERS (1-0)

I’m playing in a golf tournament Sunday because I’m white as hell, which means I’m going to spend the first few holes constantly fiddling with my phone, trying to use the Yahoo Football ’11 App for injury updates and roster moves. Is Arian Foster playing? Yes, maybe. What about Santonio Holmes? Check back later. This will not be relaxing.

Anyway, Sims-Walker will be good against a depleted Giants defense, and Brady will continue going off every week. Mike Wallace will post over 100 yards on Seattle, but MJD is going nowhere against the Jets, and the Rams’ front four might concuss Eli. I might recommend starting Bradford against that injury-plagued Giants defense I referenced earlier.

Then again, I am the Rockers’ opponent this week, so maybe I’m just trying to sow discontent and confusion amongst that team. Who can say, really? I would totally start Jacobs over Fred Jackson, though. Or would I?

THE PICK: FIREROCK ROCKERS 99 (GOING 2-0!) – THE NEV-R-WINS 90

THE PEOPLE’S ELBOW (1-0) at HAWKS (0-1)

The Kress family is currently a combined 3-0, the happiest moment for the family since the first grandchild was born. And, believe it or not, Nate should keep the dream alive thanks to Benson and Hightower. Rick Perry says he decided to stay a farmer one year because it rained 30 inches after a drought, and he considered that to be a sign from God. Nate going 2-0 thanks to Benson and Hightower is a sign from God that we’re all going to die before Week 3.

By the way, if that’s how Rick Perry makes his decisions, the previous number tree on roulette tables must’ve sucked a million dollars out of him by now.

Steven Jackson is out this week, which puts some generic backup in the lineup for the Hawks. Plus, Dez Bryant is going to be limited, which seems to be a recurring theme, despite Al Michaels’ best attempt to brand him the #1 receiver in the league following one catch last Sunday night.

THE PICK: THE PEOPLE’S ELBOW 101 (GOING 2-0!) – HAWKS 82

LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS (0-1) at ST. A’S CRUSADERS (1-0)

Well, Yahoo predicts the score of this one to be 114-79, so you tell me how close it’s going to be. As a responsible league, we should start interview replacement owners for Jeff Webster now, because I don’t know how much more of this he’s willing to take.

This one is going to be insane for the Crusaders, even with Jamaal Charles and Todd Haley continuing to drive people insane.

THE PICK: ST. A’S CRUSADERS 202 – LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS – 02

IRON CITY POUNDERS (0-1) at WHIZ-BANG GANG (0-1)

Speaking of Todd Haley, according to Jason Whitlock this week, Haley decided to use the preseason as a conditioning program to make up for the shortened camp. Scott Pioli didn’t like that so much, so Haley overreacted and played his starters deep into the second half of preseason game 4, which is when star tight end Tony Moeaki got injured. Haley also yelled at John Harbaugh for running up the score after a preseason game in which the Ravens scored two TDs in the last 3 minutes, even though the entire point of preseason is to find out who should make the team. Todd Haley is quietly one of the dumbest coaches in the league.

So that Dwayne Bowe pick isn’t looking too awesome right now. Rodgers will naturally carve up Carolina, and Carnell should provide some points until his knee explodes for the fifth time, but other than that, it’s pretty thin for the WBG.

Of course, it’s also thin for the Pounders. But they have 2 good players to the Gang’s 1, so give them the edge.

THE PICK: IRON CITY POUNDERS 87 – WHIZ BANG GANG 71

DEATHFROMABOVE (1-0) at BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT (0-1)

The oldest kid has started kindergarten, so I’m getting up a 6:30am now, and when I try to write this at 4:30pm, I can’t even pretend to care about this game, even after some coffee.

THE PICK: DEATHFROMABOVE 105 – BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT 78

ATLAS SHRUGGZ (0-1) at PURPLE SWIRLS (1-0)

And on top of that, I didn’t even do a real season preview. I’m really bringing the weak lately. So how about this? Since the team that wins the biggest blowout of the week gets rewarded by appearing in a Toyota ad, whoever loses the biggest blowout of the week gets to write the Week 3 preview. A free chance to unload your frustrations! (And if that person doesn’t want to do it, I’ll just do it in their voice…assuming I know anything about them.)

THE PICK – PURPLE SWIRLS 1,130 (KRESS FAMILY GOING 6-0!) – ATLAS SHRUGGZ 88

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WVFL Week 1 Review

THE NEV-R-WINS 120.88 – IRON CITY POUNDERS 102.56

I don’t like his hair, I don’t like his team, I don’t like that he endorses UGG boots in an ug-bearable TV ad, but I do like how Tom Brady can put up 511 yards and 40 fantasy points. I like that quite a bit, in fact.

It looked like early on that Brady was going to feed Gronkowski so much that I wouldn't be able to catch up to the Pounders, but after I went on Yahoo and told Brady to stop throwing to Gronk, he did and I passed the Pounders on Welker’s 99-yard TD reception. Great job of coaching by me right there.

The Pounders can rest easy knowing that starting the wrong Ryan at QB (Matt over Fitzpatrick) didn’t end up costing them a win, but a combined 6 points from Fitzgerald and Lee Evans during two offensive explosions probably doesn’t inspire the warm and fuzzies.

THE PEOPLE’S ELBOW 107.76 – LOWCOUNTRY ALL STARS 79.76

GM Nathan Kress was so incensed by this space’s panning of his team in Friday’s preview that he transcribed the entire preview on the team’s chalkboard in a frantic scrawl that resembled the writing on Kevin Spacey’s bedroom in Seven. But he didn’t stop there. He also wrote it down on paper and taped that paper inside each of his players’ facemasks.

Normally, this would hurt a team’s performance, but the Elbow was playing the All Stars, so no concerns there. The dynamic duo of Benson and Hightower, aka Thud and Dud, combined for 30+ points, and Janikowski’s 63-yard field goal provided as many points as a touchdown would. The only drawback was a 0 from Austin Collie, probably the first of many.

Jeff Webster has a full, rich and fulfilling life and gives back to the community. So this trivial little hobby of ours doesn’t upset him all that much.

DEATHFROMABOVE 113.78 – HAWKS 109.20

It’s hard to decide what was more painful for the Hawks this week, having the 5th-most points and losing, or losing by 4.58 points while getting a -3 from the vaunted Steelers defense. Though we can’t rule out watching Wes Welker run in a 99-yard TD reception, a 16-point play. That play alone was worth 5 times what Vincent Jackson provided DFA with.

Chris Johnson, nothing. Peyton Hillis, nothing. Jermichael Finley, nothing. Nate Kaeding, blown ACL on the first kickoff of the season. None of that mattered after Welker finished off that stiff arm at the 30.

FIREROCK ROCKERS 98.92 – ATLAS SHRUGGZ 80.26

Although they were the only winner to stay under 100 points (reflective of America’s new austerity!), the Rockers might have been the most consistent throughout the lineup. His 5 keepers combined for 64 points, perhaps grateful to have steady employment in such a rocky economy.

Matt Cassel and the Chiefs were abysmal this week. Cassel provided nothing to the Shruggz, and the bloodthirsty audience at last night’s Tea Party favors letting him die over starting him again this week, true to this team’s Randian principles. At least the Shruggz can start Matt Stafford for the next two weeks before he himself needs some Obamacare.

ST. A’S CRUSADERS 114.40 – BROOKLINE MCKENRY FORT 66

The fact that Ben had even 9 points qualifies as some kind of miracle. Incredibly, he was only 1.7 points behind Matt Schaub, and the Texans won 34-7. Ahh, the vagaries of fantasy football. The rest of the Crusaders performed as expected, and the rest of BMF performed as expected as well, thus the result was as expected.

Credit does have to go to Scott Henry, though. Not just for his unchecked credulousness in May when he thought the Pirates might actually make the playoffs, but for loving that team so much that he built his fantasy team just like them – holes at every position.

PURPLE SWIRLS 168.28 – WHIZ-BANG GANG 71.48

I need to choose my words carefully here, as Caulen seems intent on turning him and me into the Baltimore/Pittsburgh of the WVFL. Me, I’m just here to have fun and share a few laughs with friends. But he seems hellbent on tearing others down with his words so he can feel better about himself. I don’t understand people like that.

How insane was Caulen’s week? Beanie Wells had 16 points. Steve Smith, late round draft pick, had 34 points with a rookie QB making his first start. (Note: Newton’s 42% completion rating in the preseason means start your receivers against the Cardinals) He left 34 points from Drew Brees and 27 from Mike Tolbert on the bench, and that was a source of humor for him. Miles Austin caught a touchdown that was intercepted first. Reggie Bush had 15 points in a game that everybody agrees was a disappointing debut. Adam Vinatieri had only 1 point and still won the K position battle. (Mainly because David Buehler is no longer the Cowboys’ kicker, even though he is the WBG kicker)

I can only say this to the league: Do not trade for Vick or Brees. Do not help Caulen out. It isn’t worth it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

2011 WVFL Season Preview + Week 1 Picks

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