Wednesday, December 10, 2014

AFFL Wild Card Review

LAST WEEK: 1-1
SEASON: 50-37


My point predictions were pretty good this week. They were 75% great, in fact. I predicted that HGAC would score 104; they scored 101.2. I predicted that Timmy Doesn't Have Any Friends would score 65; they scored 69. I predicted that Lothbrok would score 68; they scored 64.8.

There was really only one score I was a little bit off on...

LITTLE BABY JESUS 126.9 - LOTHBROK 64.8

I predicted that Little Baby Jesus would score 64; they scored 126.9. I only missed that one by 62 points. Little Baby Jesus doubled up on my prediction just like they doubled up on Lothbrok. I was mildly annoyed that I made such a bad pick, but I think Gary has had a nuclear meltdown here.

You see, I wanted to do another podcast review this week and have a very special guest join me. I emailed Gary Monday morning asking if he wanted to talk about it, if he wanted to call in to the podcast. He told me that he stopped watching football after the Steeler game ended and maybe I'd rather have Little Baby Jesus on it. I replied that it would be much more interesting to have him on, but there was no reply. Then yesterday he sent out the updated playoff bracket with less than 10 words accompanying it. And on a separate thread in which we were trying to arrange cards, he simply replied "I'm out for December."

December!

Gary is mad, folks.

I think he actually thought he had a good team this year even though I kept telling him he didn't.

Even though I had pointed out repeatedly that his team was basically Luck, Julius, and then some random FA pickup fortunately having a huge week. Gary's team was basically a brownstone facade on a Hollywood studio lot. It looks great from the outside. It looks real. The stoop, the intricate brick work, the wonderful window frames...those were the great scoring weeks Gary had. Then you get a little closer and realize, hey, these bricks are actually rubber sheeting laid over plywood. Then you walk through the front door and realize you are still outside. It is nothing but a facade. No roof, no walls, just the back of the plywood and some electrical equipment. Maybe a union guy eating a hoagie. That is what counting on Forsett, Wallace, Hill, Sanu, and Allen is.

It just wasn't a good team. Gary should be excited that he even made the playoffs and can earn a little scratch to offset his 2015 league fees. Other than that, there is nothing for him to do until next season besides convince himself he can trade Sanu, Hill, and Patterson for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd picks in the 2015 draft. That and all the running the league stuff, of course.

As for the game itself, Luck outperformed his matchup with a late comeback, but Forsett stunningly did not score 31 points this week. Jeremy Hill hasn't been as useful since Gio returned, Wallace has been a problem all year, Sanu hasn't been as good since A.J. returned, and Keenan couldn't shake Revis at all, as we expected in the preview.

And it's not like Gary made bad lineup decisions this week. He bench was somehow worse. McFadden 0.5; Patterson -0.4; Terrance Williams and Julius Thomas 0.

If you don't draft well, kids, you end up chasing luck all year long and eventually that luck will run out at an inopportune time.

I said that starting Jonathan Stewart was a desperate cry for help and because fantasy football is hilarious, Stewart had a 70-yard TD run in the 1st quarter on his way to 21.5 points. Ellington has been sent to IR, so let's see if Stewart can follow it up, but a great game here. Sembrat again benched Sammy Watkins for some reason, but this was a such a good week for LBJ that that ended up being the correct decision. Watkins' 11.7 points were less than every skill position starter. 20.5 damn points for Edelman! Mike Evans continues to be unstoppable with 16.5 points, and Gronk chipped in 15.

I had predicted that Gary would be sweating out Rodgers on Monday night. Instead, Rodgers took a victory lap and did some turf donuts on the infield. His 25.7 points just served to run up the score.

Fun fantasy football note: If Animal House had somehow fallen to the #3 seed in Week 13, they would've lost their Wild Card game 126.9 - 125.9 which would've been incredible and amazing and outstanding.


HGAC 101.2 - TIMMY DOESN'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS 69

The great Drew Brees, the fulcrum of Scott's 2014 season, scored 10.4 points this week. You know who had more points than Brees this week? GENO SMITH. Geno had 13.7 points, despite throwing a pick six on THE FIRST PLAY OF THE GAME!

Marshawn Lynch did his part with 16.3, but no mortal man can make up for Bishop Sankey and his 2.7 points. Ugh. Torrey Smith was a mainly a decoy due to his injury on Sunday, which was a bad break because Scott left Andre Williams and his 20.7 points on the bench. The only silver lining there is that another 20 points for Scott would only have covered the spread.

The other slightly positive takeaway for Scott is this game will help him get ready for 2015 when he won't be able to break 70 points in any of his games.

It was a nice game for HGAC this week, but it's not like anybody is surprised that they won. I'm sure McCamey is probably pumping himself up for the semi-finals by noting that he would've beaten me this week 101.2 - 99.9, but you gotta get it done when it counts, man.

Speaking of which, since I am in the second round and scored enough points during my bye to have beaten Scott if I played him, I am counting that as a playoff victory. I am no longer winless in the playoffs! Hooray for me! And we can put that tired old trope to bed now.

Anyway, good games all around for HGAC, and once Beckham had like 70 yards and a TD in the first quarter, his points combined with Murray's Thursday night 28.8 basically ended this game early. Foster and Ben needlessly ran up the score, and since all the drama had been taken out of the room, nobody had to pay attention to the fact that Demaryius Thomas only scored 1.1 points. Or that Tate, Thomas, Santos, and Miami combined to score only 7.1 points. Probably nothing to be concerned about as the playoffs heat up next week. Getting 20+ from 4 guys and under 5 from 4 guys is a viable long-term strategy.
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If you recall, and I'm sure you do, a few weeks ago when discussing playoff possibilities, I mentioned that the AFFL in 2014 had a "Power Four." Four teams that could score 100+ in any given week, the four best teams in the league. Those teams? ISIS, Animal House, HGAC, and Little Baby Jesus. All four of those teams scored 100 points in the Wild Card round whether they were active or on a bye. Four of the league's top 5 scorers are still alive, and any of them would make a worthy 2014 championship.

The league has worked out perfectly this year. More on that Friday...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

AFFL Week 13 Review

LAST WEEK: 7-5
SEASON: 49-36


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.