LAST WEEK: 7-5
First, some business. Scott owes me $5. Although there are still 4 weeks left in the season, so the bet isn't technically official, Geno Smith sits 90 points behind Colin Kaepernick. And as bad as Kaep has been lately, he'd need to be benched for the rest of the season while Geno averages 23 points a game. Neither of those seem too likely, so Gary, you can credit my bank $5 at Scott's expense.
Also Gary, Brian Barker is on the hook for my next league fee. He secretly accepted my bet about him not winning the title in private to me. I deleted the email, unfortunately, but this totally did happen and since he's eliminated from the playoffs on a 7-game losing streak he obviously can't win the title. Here's the good news, Bri. The losses are over. They can't hurt you any more this season.
ISIS 96.2 - HGAC 93.7
ISIS 96.2 - IT'S ALWAYS RUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA 61
Admit it. Not only did you not think I would sweep Week 13 and win the division, you were actively rooting against it. I get it. I know I'm the Ravishing Rick Rude of this league. The perfect specimen who is forced by circumstances to play the heel card. Eventually emotions will subside and I will be seen for the heroic legend that I am. A man that has made the playoffs in 3 of his 4 years in the league. A man who has finally made it to the second round of the playoffs.
Although, since we're admitting things, I will admit that I had a few highs and lows on Sunday. Although I had considered playing Ryan over Kaepernick, I didn't love the matchup against ARI, even at home, and I did genuinely think that Kaep would step up and have a big game for the division lead. That was incorrect.
Side note on Kaepernick. He has definitely regressed this year. He locks on to receivers, he's been inaccurate, and when scrambling he looks to slide instead of gaining yards like Russell Wilson. However, I can see him bouncing back next year with a new HC and OC. Every Niner running play in between the tackles, and they've clearly told Kaepernick to stay in the pocket as much as possible. Harbaugh and Roman have completely ruined that offense for some bizarre reason.
That said, Brian Williams was correct when he said I should've cut Kaepernick and extended Eddie Lacy. Yes, I am capable of making mistakes. Just like you! I could've just rolled through the rest of this year with Ryan or Tannehill. But that rocket arm Kaep has! It's just so tempting! Even if the ball goes anywhere and everywhere.
Anyway, I thought I could override Kaepernick's terrible 1.7 points, but it got me thinking. Overthinking. Maybe Mark Ingram wouldn't be as good against PIT with Thomas back. Maybe Hopkins? But Fitzpatrick stinks. How about Denard Robinson? The Giants are pretty terrible. As it turned out, Robinson was about the worst choice I could've made. Ingram had 12 points. Lamar Miller had 12 points. Oh, and DeAndre Hopkins had 35.8 points on 238 yards and 2 TDs. Why did I not consider playing Hopkins against the guy that traded him to me (IARIP), especially after Alshon Jeffrey scored 19.1 points against me? That was dumb.
Johnny Manziel's late relief effort promptly shaved 4 points off of the Bills defense, and Lacy and Cobb were only average, giving me a 25-point lead over HGAC with Thomas, Santos, and MIA still to play for him. But that lead could've been 70. I should've scored 143 this week. Bah!
An early TD for Demaryius made it seem like I was done in this one. I slowly came to grips with it. Okay, I wouldn't win the division and get a bye, but I would still make the playoffs after kicking the shit out of Runny, as promised. And all of my Week 14 matchups were excellent and I could certainly take down Gary to reach the second round. Things would be okay in the end.
But...then Demaryius didn't score much more. And Santos barely scored at all. A 6.5 point lead with the Miami DST playing on Monday night? With Geno Smith at QB? You know...I actually felt decent about it. I thought the Jets, at home, would run the ball a lot and keep Geno a non-factor. Now, I didn't think they would almost set a league record for fewest passing attempts, but it wouldn't take a lot of rushing yards to knock down Miami's scoring. Fewer passes would mean fewer INTs, fewer sacks, fewer points. As long as Miami didn't score a DTD, which was a real possibility on every play of the game, I'd be fine. And I was!
I did it, everyone! I said I would kick the shit out of Runny, and I did. I said Calvin would have 130 yards and 2 TDs, and he did. I said I would sweep the week and win the division, and I did. Although I still haven't won a playoff game (0-2 lifetime record. Gosh, so awful!), I'm already in the 2nd round.
But be happy. Me hanging on to win this game saved you all a rant about roster decision and Ben putting up like 14 points in garbage time after being totally useless for most of the day.
HGAC 93.7 - SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTER 86.5
SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTER 86.5 - IT'S ALWAYS RUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA 61
At cards on Wednesday night, I complained that the Niners insistence on crashing old ass Frank Gore into the line of scrimmage was ruining the offense and holding back Kaepernick. Brian Barker argued that the Niners needed to give Gore the ball MORE in order to get the offense rolling.
Gore had 3.6 points this week with 28 rushing yards, and could not have possibly looked older or slower. Carlos Hyde at $0.65 or so will be a really nice asset for Whitechapel next season. Which...how interesting would the Niners be next year with Rex Ryan at the helm?
In another backfield change, Barker benched Steven Jackson for Matt Asiata. Jackson promptly went out and doubled Asiata's score, which sounds like a big deal until you realize those scores were 10.1 and 5.7.
It's Always Runny In Philadelphia finishes the year as the only team in the league to not reach 1000 points for the season. Other teams in the modern era with that anti-achievement are Timmy (2013), Timmy (2012), McCamey (2011), and Meyers (2011). It's a pretty exclusive club for losers.
Tim was not too bad this year, and I'm sure that most people are happy to see Peyton and C.J. Anderson out of the playoffs. Tre Mason was another nice pickup for Tim, who did a great job this season of being bad enough to get waiver priority on FA RBs when the starter got hurt. It's just too bad that Mason and Anderson go into the draft next season because Tim signed Ronnie Hillman and Michael Floyd. But he finished the year with 1159 points, his best season total since 2007.
One last thing. I tried to trade Calvin to Timmy earlier in the season for a 1st round pick and Michael Floyd. Tim turned it down because Calvin had a gimpy ankle. I pointed out that he could franchise Calvin, so what do 3-4 missed weeks matter? Had Tim accepted that trade, he beats LBJ in Week 10, he beats HGAC this week, and he makes the playoffs at 8-6 while LBJ finishes 7-5. Oh well. Maybe next time.
LOTHBROK 97 - ASSTANNER 94.1
LOTHBROK 97 - THAT KANGAROO STOLE MY BALL 80.2
As I mentioned last week, some of my picks were hope-based and not really fact-based. I really wanted Bri to complete the amazing comeback and win this most mediocre of divisions, but I didn't think it would actually happen. Brandon Marshall had 21 points in Week 11, 7.4 points in Weeks 12 and 13 combined.
At least Bri starts off 2015 in decent shape with Cam, Gio, Tonio, Martavis returning to the roster. Plus, he finally gets Marshall's untradeable $2.56 cap hit off the books.
I still refuse to believe that Gary's team is that good. He had the weekly high score 3 times this season, and he won his division, so this position probably seems unreasonable. But he won the worst division, won 2 games with 75 and 77 points, and even though he went 100 in 4 games, he was under 70 in 3 games. Essentially, Luck and Julius Thomas are good every week and if one random dude goes off for him, he has a good game. Sanu, Jeremy Hill, Justin Forsett, Keenan Allen. A dud game is coming eventually and Gary will probably be very angry about it. And, like poker night where he literally owns the table (Not metaphorically, the actual physical table) so he has to stick around after he busts out early, since he's the commish he will need to pay attention to the playoffs the whole way through after losing.
Anyway, it was Keenan Allen's turn to go off this week, and Justin Tucker also contributed 15 points. Allen, incidentally, has scored 38.5 points in the last 2 weeks, which is more than he scored in his previous 6 games. He has 59.7 points in his other 10 games this season? Turning things around, or guaranteed to disappoint this week against Darrelle Revis? Time will tell.
Tough loss for Chris here, as Mettenberger went out early with an injury and Brandon LaFell had 15 points on the bench. Percy had 3 points in the starting lineup, so this game was definitely available for Chris to take. Of course, a win would have only served to cost him some lottery chips, so whatever.
ASSTANNER 94.1 - RIGGINS' RIGGS 60.9
THAT KANGAROO STOLE MY BALL 80.2 - RIGGINS' RIGGS 60.9
The Riggins' Riggs result this week is one of the most realistic games I've ever seen. The team that gets eliminated from the playoffs just laying down and dying in the final week of the season when there is nothing to play for. This team had their gear packed up before kickoff. Jimmy Graham literally had a 0 since the Steelers decided to shut him down and let every other Saint beat them instead. Controversial, perhaps, but you have to admit it worked. Graham had no catches, even though the Steelers were destroyed.
Forte, Bryant, Gordon...all under 10 points. The 20 from Sanchez put a cosmetic shine on Thanksgiving for Riggins, but with only 33 points from 3 players on the day, it was essentially over. Like a turkey with beautiful, golden, crispy skin but raw pink meat underneath.
TIMMY DOESN'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS 89.5 - LITTLE BABY JESUS 79.9
TIMMY DOESN'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS 89.5 - THE WHITECHAPEL RIPPERS 69.1
There were 4 teams that went 2-0 this week. ISIS, Lothbrok, Animal House, and TDHAF. Fittingly, Scott had the lowest Points For and lowest Points Against of those 4 teams. Though it would've been highly amusing if Scott went 0-2 and missed the playoffs because 3-year contract superstar Kendall Wright was on the bench when he scored 19 points, that was not to be. All thanks to the great Drew Brees. Scott's entire plan to get Brees for Week 13 when he faced the Steelers worked perfectly! 28 points from Brees - his best game of the season - plus 18.5 points from Torrey Smith were behind this win. Sure, Rivers had 24 points this week, but why you must you constantly focus on the negative? What is wrong with you?
Meanwhile, Sembrat went from a potential #1 or #2 seed to the #6 seed. (Interestingly, I also would've plummeted from 2 to 6 had I lost to HGAC. Everybody's all bunched up!) Ellington only scored 1.2 before leaving with a hip pointer, Mike Evans was bottled up by Cincy, Gronk was tackled at the 2 yard line, keeping him to single digits, and Steve Smith had 1 catch for 2 yards. LBJ has now been under 80 points 2 weeks in a row and they are limping into the playoffs like a Civil War solider. All on one stump, rags around the knee. Or, if you're a more modern fellow, like how Andre Ellington limped into the locker room on Sunday.
ANIMAL HOUSE 103.8 - LITTLE BABY JESUS 79.9
ANIMAL HOUSE 103.8 - THE WHITECHAPEL RIPPERS 69.1
Animal House locked up the #1 seed and posted the highest score of the week even though they started Roddy White, who was ruled out of the game on Sunday morning. Harry Douglas scored 11.8 points filling in, so this total could've been even better. Perhaps Meyers was away on vacation, or still sleeping off turkey, or just wanted to be sporting about it. It would've been incredible if Meyers lost out on a playoff bye because he didn't update his roster on Sunday, but I guess it was asking a little much of Larry and Sembrat to be good this week.
LeVeon Bell continued being beastly with another 31 points this week, giving him 58 in the last 2 weeks. Jamaal Charles didn't do a whole hell of a lot with only 11 points, and Brady had a fairly disappointing game by his recent standards, but 16 points from the SEA DST prevented this one from being close.
Larry locked up the #12 seed with another dismal performance. His 3-0 start seems like it was from another season it was so long ago. He's made some minor agitations about potentially leaving the AFFL (and all of fantasy sports, really), but with the inside track on the #1 overall pick, this would be an odd time to leave. Why sell low? Starting off 2015 with Julio, Sanders, Brandin Cooks, Carlos Hyde, and Lacy/Calvin/Demaryius isn't the worst thing in the world.