November is shaping up to be a pretty wild month. We're fresh off of September's efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer (Have you heard that breast cancer is a thing that exists! Great!), and we move right into November's Salute To Service (Have you heard that freedom isn't free? Great!), and Movember (Have you heard that your butthole can get cancer? Great! Rad mustache, bro!).
And of course, we can't forget that November is also American Diabetes Month. (Have you heard that giant sodas give you diabetes? No? Hmm, well that is a problem. Did you know that in 2013, 70,000 deaths were directly attributed to diabetes and another 234,000 deaths were at least related to diabetic issues. No? Hmm, well...no, I am not afraid of Ebola. That has killed like 1 American ever. No, I don't watch FOX News. No, I am not interesting in your blog.)
Anyway, please make sure to spend $159.99 on one of these terrific black jerseys with camouflage numbers to help support the troops. Who cares that they are uglier than a homeless guy's open sores? Don't you support the troops?!!?! Just please don't ask how these jerseys actually support at the troops, if at all. This is a feel good marketing venture, okay? You're not supposed to wonder how much of the proceeds from the sales go to veterans causes, what those causes are or even should be, and if drone pilots who worked out of an underground bunker in Henderson, NV bombing Arabs through extrajudicial means qualify for the benefits upon retirement. And you definitely should not be uncomfortable with a nation that is a on permanent war footing, no questions asked. And you definitely, definitely should not to draw any through lines between the NFL and US Armed Forces, two institutions that grind up the bodies of 20-somethings to sate the bloodlust of real Americans, only to discard their broken bodies afterwards, with little effort and less money allotted for their lives after they are no longer physically useful.
Listen, will you please sit back and go along for the ride? Just accept that the American economy is based entirely on marketing. The whole thing is basically The Great Oz' lair, except with worse underlying ideas. Just accept that "awareness" is so an actual solution. In fact, it's probably the only solution this country is going to come up with for the next 10 years.
And shit! We haven't even talked about how crazy the AFFL playoff race is going to get! I need to start raising awareness!
ISIS (4-5) vs. THE WHITECHAPEL RIPPERS (3-6)
Welp. In a game that is absolutely crucial to my playoff chances, against an opponent that has lost 6 straight, this is a poor start. It's not enough that Andy Dalton was absolutely brutal last night, and that AJ Green dropped 30 yards of receptions, and I'm starting off with 2.3 points from a superstar that I actually considered benching this week because Joe Haden usually shuts him down but then I thought well, you can't bench your stars. No, on top of all of that, Larry had the Browns defense for some reason (Hates gingers?) and got 15 big points from them.
15-2.3. This is not what I want to look at for the next two days.
So now I need to rely on my other intended superstar, Calvin Johnson, to return from injury and make some noise. While Lacy, Cobb, and Ingram do the same. I'm also going to need Kaepernick to go wild in this one. Forget that noise about Matt Ryan being the better option this week; he's going to struggle in Tampa. Kaepernick should be playing catch up against a bad defense all day, and I'm going to need every one of his 23 points to pull out a win this week.
For the Rippers, early word is that Romo is actually going to play in London. Fitting, because he is basically a tragic figure taken from classic literature. So maybe he draws in over Joe Flacco? Lorenzo Taliaferro, he of the brief ISIS stint, gets the start and I am going to need him to go ahead and not do anything. Same goes for Julio, Colston, and Donnell.
And yet! I keep the faith! Though the pick below is more based on my eternal optimism than any actual, useful analysis. And the warm feeling I will have watching Cody Parkey kick a 4th quarter field goal to hoist the ISIS back to .500.
THE PICK: ISIS 83 - THE WHITECHAPEL RIPPERS 81
LOTHBROK (5-4) vs. HGAC (6-3)
So...we finally got together last night for some dudes and brews. Gary had extremely high expectations, all but admitting that having Chris and I together in person would turn into the barbershop scene from "Coming To America." In actuality, Chris and I agreed on almost everything, and my own amusement mainly came from watching Gary all night. I had forgotten that he moves around like an '80s stockbroker after a coke lunch. Damn, is that guy fidgety!
Also, he managed to have 3 beers, all of which were served in differently-shaped glasses.
Anyway, as excited as he may have been to see his grand man plan come together, he was just that disappointed by the performances of Sanu and Hill. Hill, I mean it's kind of his fault that he fumbled the ball 10 yards away from his body. Hard to blame Sanu, though, when he was targeted like 8 times, each of those targets flying farther over his head than the last.
Only getting 7.1 points out of two dudes is not a great look, and the only player Gary has left with a hope of doing real damage is Julius Thomas.
Of course, HGAC has Demaryius Thomas, Ben, and DeMarco Murray, who is still not yet hurt although he will be shortly. And when Dr. Jerry Jones forces him back onto the field, putting his career in jeopardy, that will be a fun thing to watch. Ivory won't get going against the Steelers, and Odell Beckham is amazing, but rookies don't seem to do much against Seattle in Seattle. No matter, HGAC will roll in this one.
But fret not for Gary as he slips away from the playoffs. According to him, his team is perenially set up for next year. Gary's team is like that corny "Free Beer Tomorrow" sign. Always set up for next year, always managed just how it should be the way the league is set up. The rest of you just don't appreciate a guy that does things the right way.
THE PICK: HGAC 91 - LOTHBROK 64
TIMMY DOESN'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS (6-3) vs. ASSTANNER (3-6)
According to Adrian Peterson's lawyer, he deserves to reinstating in Week 11 now that his court case is settled. The NFL has yet to rule if he's eligible to return from the special We Don't Know What To Do Inactive List, and I would be surprised if Goodell has the guts to make a snap decision on anything for the remainder of 2014. He certainly doesn't have the brains for it.
This is all interesting because Scott dropped AP and franchised Geno Smith a few weeks ago, assuming AP wouldn't play in 2014. And yet...he might. And wouldn't it be great to add him to your team with its undeserved 6-3 record? What a great addition for the playoffs!
Except...the rules clearly state "An owner may not resign his own waived franchise player during the year he was dropped, or draft that player in the following draft."
But the rules don't say anything about trading for a waived franchise player. It seems like it would be possible for a team to pick up the free agent Adrian Peterson and then trade to him to Scott. Possibly in exchange for Scott's 2016 draft. And there's only one team in the league now with the cap space to comfortably fit AP onto their roster.
Gary, of course, has far too much integrity to get into any shenanigans with his own league, but the whole thing is interesting. Especially since there will probably only be a day and a half between the league's announcement on AP's eligibility and the AFFL roster freeze.
This video pretty summarizes the entire AP situation. AP is the guy with the ball, Scott is the white guy, and I am the dudes in the background running out of the gym. It's all so great.
Not to mention the fact that Scott needs to squeeze a kicker onto his roster this week because of Gostkowski's bye. And shoot, we didn't discuss Justin Blackmon yet. Does Scott have some inside information that he's returning to the league? Is this a hopeful move for next year? Not having any draft picks will drive a man to some strange choices.
Anyway, let's focus on this week. Scott is going to lose this week for two reasons. One, he deserves to. Two, Chris has given up hope on his season, and a win here moves him back to 4-6, which is just good enough to keep hope alive for another week or two.
THE PICK: ASSTANNER 77 - TIMMY DOESN'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS 64
RIGGINS' RIGGS (2-7) vs. IT'S ALWAYS RUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (5-4)
Two more revelations from last night. Barker is favor of some sort of system that balances out the luck factor in our league, though he realizes our league would never vote for it because we have the same ill-informed, afraid of change voters as the American midterms. And Gary JUST got the Runny reference in Other Barker's team name. He thought it was some insult about the noses of Philadelphia before realizing LeSean McCoy was on this team. Or used to be, at least.
My continuous argument that Riggins is one of the most talented teams in our league, victims of capricious scheduling and scoring, is waylaid a bit this week by the presence of Mark Sanchez and Bobby Rainey in the lineup.
That's not the only lineup quirk this week. I know the Brothers Barker are close, but they have 2 players in the PHI/CAR game, 3 in ATL/TB, and 3 more in CHI/GB. That's a lot of influence that 3 substandard NFL games will have on this matchup.
One thing that won't be close? This game.
THE PICK: RIGGINS' RIGGS 93 - IT'S ALWAYS RUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA 72
SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTERS (4-5) vs. LITTLE BABY JESUS (6-3)
Tim is going to win this game by at least 30 points. Would you like me to get into the specifics? Well, Sammy Watkins is dinged up again and might miss this game. If he's scratched before kickoff, Sembrat's only other option is rookie Charles Sims since everybody else on his team has a bye this week. Rodger's has an iffy hamstring at the moment, and while the Packers say they worked it out during the bye week, all it's going to take is one weird push during a chilly night game in Green Bay and there it goes. Steve Smith, Sr. is only slightly more effective than Steve Smith, Jr. with 6.7, 3.5, and 3.6 points in his last 3. And starting Jonathan Stewart is classic fantasy football cry for help.
Meanwhile, Tim has Peyton and Hillman going into Oakland, the Steelers defense getting Vick, Kelvin Benjamin with a golden matchup against Philly, and Boldin will score against the Saints.
I could go on, but why?
THE PICK: SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTERS 103 - LITTLE BABY JESUS 73
ANIMAL HOUSE (6-3) vs. THAT KANGAROO STOLE MY BALL (4-5)
Over the past few years, Bri has had good teams that famously only lost to Scott Meyers. So why not switch things around this year now that Bri has a team that's iffy at best and let him bring down Scott for a change? Andy Dalton's -2.4 night will certainly help. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty bad timing for Brady to have a bye. Scott's QB points line since Week 6 now looks like this: 28.3 / 20.7 / 31.8 / 25.5 / -2.4
Now would imagine that Scott will be forced to find a replacement kicker this week, seeing as how he needs to make up points and all. Making up those points will be tough, since Bell faces a tough Jets run defense (and the Steelers should just let Ben throw 60 times at this point), Charles goes into Buffalo against a good defense, and Jeremy Maclin will be held back by Mark Sanchez I don't care what happened in two quarters last week.
Yes, starting DeAngelo Williams is also a cry for fantasy football help (and also an indication that Bri is unwilling to trade good picks for good running backs), but Brown, Bryant, Brandon, and CraBtree will all score.
Look at Bri beating Animal House! It's the feel good story of the season!
THE PICK: THAT KANGAROO STOLE MY BALL 103 - ANIMAL HOUSE 68