ASSTANNER (3-5) vs. ISIS (3-5)
Hot news coming in over the wire this morning with the Asstanner grabbing Todd Gurley and paying him for his signature on a 2-year contract. Pfft. College boy. I feel like Chris made this move for two reason: One, he wanted to ruin my prediction that Scott was going to franchise Gurley, which...fine. Scott and Chris are like the left Twix and right Twix, so I'm counting this prediction as 50% correct. And two, he doesn't know what he's doing.
If you're wondering, Chris does indeed have a 3-year contract slot open, but I guess he doesn't like like Gurley, he just likes him. Between this season being burned off, and the inevitable rookie RB curve of Looks Good In Camp --> Needs To Work On Blitz Pickup --> Needs To Protect The Ball Better --> Named Starter in Week 10 After Veteran Starter Is Hurt, Chris should get a good six games out of this Gurley contract.
And with the signing coming in Week 10, he'll get to pay like $1.20 next year for it. Good thing he didn't give him that 3rd year at $1.80 or whatever.
Also, since NFL teams have figured out that running backs are more or less fungible, with the first back off the board in 2014 being Bishop Sankey at #54, the best case scenario is that Gurley ends up on a good team behind a quality veteran. Worst case is that some bad team picks him and throws him in the headfirst. I don't mean Asstanner, I mean a bad NFL team. The teams I could see taking Gurley before the end of 2nd round are Jacksonville, Oakland, Minnesota, and Tampa. If he falls further, maybe Baltimore, Indy, or Dallas (if they let Murray walk) take a swing.
Anyway! Let's worry about this week, which will go a very long way toward determining which of these teams stay alive in the playoff chase. CBS is predicting 15.6 points for Vick, which seems...generous? (Again, Scott and Chris. Left Twix, Right Twix. They just love those Jets quarterbacks! And what's not to love about a 1-7 team going on the road to Kansas City this week?)
I might have picked up Dalton, who gets AJ back this week against Jacksonville, or Eli against that Indy defense that Ben just shredded, but what do I know? I'm just a 3-5 owner. I'm also surprised that Chris isn't starting Percy this week, since there's approximately a 175% chance the Jets run at least one Wildcat play with Percy at QB and Vick split out wide. Sure, it'll end up being a 2-yard loss, but think about how exciting it would be to watch with both guys in your lineup!
As for me, CBS has once again guesstimated that I'll hit triple digits this week. Thanks, guys. We did get off to a good start with Ingram and his 23 points last night. The two times the Saints got down around the 5, I was basically quivering with anticipation. Sitting there hoping Ingram would get the ball felt like I was 17 again, making out with a chick, desperately hoping to get some over the jeans ding dong touching. Those were some exhilarating touchdowns, boy howdy.
There are a couple of new faces in the lineup, thanks to my remarkable SIX players on a bye this week. Get it all over with at once, I say! Kelce will either score 4 or 14, but I do like having Hopkins this week against Philly, and I like my haul from that trade in general. Though I'm sure Scott will explain to me in 2 years how and why I actually lost this trade.
AJ is back, as mentioned, and Kaep shouldn't have much problem torching the Rams at home. I, and more importantly, you, am going to get a week off from any complaints about bad luck. I won't even have to sweat out Allen and Hilton playing on Monday night.
THE PICK: ISIS 109 - ASSTANNER 80
THE WHITECHAPEL RIPPERS (3-5) vs. LOTHBROK (4-4)
Brandin Cooks is a boom or bust player at this point in his career, and his 3.8 points last night neatly sums up the boom or bust Rippers. Three wins to open the season, and five losses since, on their way to six. Even if Romo plays, there's no guarantee he gets through 60 minutes against a ferocious Cardinals defense, even if Jerry Jones drags him back onto the field on a pallet jack. Word is that Gio is going to miss this week, and not only is that a tough loss against Jacksonville, it also means that Gary can plug Jeremy Hill into his lineup and plunder those possible points. Double trouble!
Gary and Larry will also be battling for Manning touchdowns in Foxboro, with Sanders on one side and Julius on the other. Taken as a whole, both of these teams have one good option in the lineup, and then a whole bunch of middling ones. Larry should have the advantage at DST since Denver should move up and down the field against Gary's Patriots DST, but Gary has an advantage at QB. That advantage at QB is all the...Luck that Gary will need this week. (SFX: Trumpet noise)
THE PICK: LOTHBROK 81 - THE WHITECHAPEL RIPPERS 67
HGAC (6-2) vs. ANIMAL HOUSE (5-3)
Your titanic, colossal, two thumbs up, five-star, highly recommended matchup of the week. This is the business expense steak dinner game. The gluttonous celebration of the folks in the Kansas City office. Sure, I'll take crab meat and bearnaise on top of my ribeye? A $6 charge? Okay! This delightful wine says I could go for it!
Meanwhile, the Gary and Larry game reluctantly discussed above is the drive-thru KFC picked up on the way home from gymnastics practice. A celebration of nothing but the unavoidable fact that it has to happen. You have no choice.
CBS says this one is going to finish up 114-111, with Animal House laying claim to the #1 seed in the league. I'm not so sure. Bell will have a tough time against Baltimore, Charles will have a tough time against the Jets, Tate has really only had one good game (2 TDs against PIT), and franchise player Andre Johnson has fallen off a cliff. Maclin has been incredible with the touchdowns this year, but he also has a 5.7 and a 1.6 game sprinkled in there.
And it's not like HGAC is free of issues this week, either. Ivory faces a tough defense that will be stacking the line against Vick and containing everything towards a gross pile of humanity in the middle. Murray has obviously been incredible so far, but if Romo goes down, it'll be tough sledding against that Cards defense. Beckham doesn't pile up enough yardage yet to offset a 0 TD game, and Rivers has to fly across the country to face a tough defense at 10am on his body clock. Oh, and Demaryius should see a decent dose of Revis on Sunday. Tough times all around.
So, like many overhyped events in our marketing-based country, this game will probably end up being a disappointment. But who will be more disappointed?
The magical regular season for HGAC will not be stopped. It's fitting that he has been riding Demaryius so expertly this year, since he is the Peyton Manning of the league right now. An amazing regular season performance that has seen scoring records fall, destined to end in playoff agony.
THE PICK: HGAC 92 - ANIMAL HOUSE 84
IT'S ALWAYS RUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (5-3) vs. TIMMY DOESN'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS (5-3)
It's the Undeserved Success Bowl, sponsored by the Bush Family! Please join us at 12:45pm Sunday for a special pre-game ceremony with George W. Bush, George P. Bush, Lauren Bush Lauren, Jeb Bush, and Prince Bandar! With special guest Liz Cheney!
It will be interesting to see if Runny wishes they still had DeAndre Hopkins for this one. Frank Gore is on fumes, and I understand that Andrew Hawkins is the #1 option with Cameron concussed, but I don't know if I'd want to rely on him or anything.
Wilson being on Runny and Lynch being on TDHAF is interesting, because you would assume the Seattle blows out Oakland at home this week, and so the entire second half will be Lynch piling up points while Wilson puts it in neutral. Still, Wilson should at least match the 17.1 that Brees put up last night. Hey, interesting side note to the Brees trade. Not about Scott's record. That is a sunk cost and it has become canon that it's had zero effect on his record. No, this note is about Barker's record, and the fact that only one of his game would've been different had he kept Brees. He lost 96.2-86.9 in Week 7 with Brian Hoyer only posting 4.1 points. With Brees in there, Barker wins and is 3-5 instead of 2-6.
Anyway, you might want to think Welker would have some sort of revenge factor going back into Greater Boston, but he's scored under 1 points in each of the last 2 weeks, so I wouldn't hold your breath. Between him an Dwayne Bowe in the lineup, this is an awesome 2010 roster.
Since these two teams each have a kicker in the big Broncos/Pats tilt on Sunday, it would be amazing if a late field goal decided this matchup, but that can't happen since Ahmad Bradshaw is playing on Monday night. Thanks, Ahmad! Way to go!
So...how to pick this one. The lowest-scoring team against the second-lowest. Five underserved wins against five undeserved wins. Whose luck will win out? Barker's, with Ahmad Bradshaw scoring a TD with 4:34 left on Monday to clinch a 3-point Runny win? Or Scott, when the Colts go play action in that situation and throw a TD to Dwayne Allen?
I say Scott. Scott's lucky streak of a season is destined to end in a Wild Card game drubbing so he can say, "Hey, at least I made the playoffs with a terrible team. What did you do?"
THE PICK: TIMMY DOESN'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS 71 - IT'S ALWAYS RUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA 68
LITTLE BABY JESUS (5-3) vs. RIGGINS' RIGGS (2-6)
It's the matchup we've all been waiting for! Austin Davis versus Brian Hoyer!
Not content to have only one player from the Cleveland / Tampa Bay matchup, which is certain to be laden with offensive fireworks, Barker is also running Bobby Rainey out there this week. A 2-6 record. Good players on a bye. Hoping Bobby Rainey can score a touchdown in Cleveland. A more depressing thing I cannot imagine. Fantasy football as a concept should be banned if this is what it forces people into.
Dez is going to have some issues if Brandon Weeden is involved on Sunday, though maybe Steve Smith can get open against the Steelers. I know, try to picture it. Getting 14.3 from Jimmy Graham last night is a pretty good start. Unfortunately, that might be the individual high score of the week for Riggins.
Oh my God! Sembrat is starting Mike Evans! This matchup has THREE players from Browns/Bucs in it? Jesus Christ. What are we doing here, people?
By the way, today was the 8th time I looked at Sembrat's bench and wondered, "Why isn't he starting Michael Floyd this week? Oh, that's right. Malcom Floyd. That's why."
Sembrat is starting new addition DeSean Jackson, but who knows what effect the return of RGIII will have there. A Bridgewater/Griffin matchup is sure to rile up some of the NFL's...let's say...more traditional fans. But this Jesus/Riggs matchup riles me up. It's a big ol' crapfest and we're all invited.
THE PICK: LITTLE BABY JESUS 74 - RIGGIN'S RIGGS 66
THAT KANGAROO STOLE MY BALL (3-5) vs. SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTERS (4-4)
Byes, injuries, and bad moves continue to conspire against Bri. Antonio is possibly a top 3 receiver in the league, and Bryant has superstar makings, but I'm not sure you want to start two Steeler wideouts against the Ravens defense. Morris has had 3 good game out of 8 attempts this season, and I don't think we have to worry about Jordan Reed too much at all.
Poor Bri. What did he do to deserve such a foul team? Probably nothing. Bri is a good and kind man, just trying to get through a decent 71-74 years with his wife, five children, and eventually to be 35 grandchildren. Do you think mornings at the Williams household are like the opening scene of Caddyshack? Fights for precious bathroom space? Bri all eating his Raisin Bran Crunch, looking at some kid at the table and asking, "Who are you?" Poor Bri.
At least if he loses this weekend, he can cheer himself with the $340 worth of mini candy bars that his 5 trick-or-treaters can bring home. What a haul! Gonna be like 28 little Mounds bars sitting in thar pantry until May.
But will he actually lose this one? Could he manage the win that keeps him alive in his division? Well, Manning and Hillman should be able to score against the Patriots, and Carson Palmer is quietly hot since returning, so Floyd and Fitz might be okay against Dallas. Though, on the other hand, the Dallas D has been fairly decent, and F&F definitely mix in some dogshit games amongst their good ones.
Benjamin was held down last night by the very excellent Keenan Lewis, who I really, really wish stayed with the Steelers. On the other hand, I don't think the Lions DST is going to put up a ton of points this week, seeing as how they're on a bye and all.
So when the Steelers/Ravens kicks off at 8:30pm, and Brian is trying to fight off diabetic shakes by making a dessert soup out of microwaved Milky Ways, and he's down by 17 points, what will happen? Will Brown and Bryant team up to lead the comeback? Can B&B outdo F&F?
I say yes.
THE PICK: THAT KANGAROO STOLE MY BALL 68 - SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTERS 64