Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fantasy Football Week 4 Awards

If you're going to have a nickname in the NFL you want it to be a good one. Randy Moss is the "Freak", Walter Payton was "Sweetness", there was William "The Refrigerator" Perry, and Joe "Cool" Montana. To me, however, all pale in comparison to my most recent free-agent pick-up, BenJarvus Green-Ellis aka, the Law Firm.

With a name like BenJarvus Green-Ellis there is little need of, or room for, a nickname. However, if the name fits you must acquit! I must use it. In honor of brilliant nicknames, we'll be referring to everyone in the league strictly by their misnomers. Re-read this if you forget who is who.

Here are the Week 4 Awards, as always we'll start at the bottom of the league.

The "Always Trust a Manning" (Just as long as they're not named Eli) Award- Uncle Kracka, easily the most offensive and inappropriately spelled nickname of the bunch, gets his first win this week against Ralph. It was an epic duel, the tale being told by the performance of two quarterbacks. Ralph's QB, Mike Vick, was injured at the hand of the Washington Redskins Wrecking Crew and exited the game after earning only 3.66 fantasy points. Meanwhile, Kracka's QB, Eli Manning, played a full game against the Chicago Bears and garnered a less-than-impressive 3.60 points. That was for four full NFL quarters, against a Bear's  team that had their quarterback sacked 10 times compared to someone who left in the first quarter cause 27 ribs were broken. But hey, a win is a win. So congrats, Subtitles, on the win and the award.

The Miller Lite "Good Call" of the Week Award- Samwise gets the nod here with his last minute decision to start LaDanian Tomlinson over Joesph Addai this week. In his mind it was a risk, in the mind of competent fantasy owners it was a no brainer. LT exploded for 133 yards and 2 TDs, Addai finished the day with a very respectable 20 fantasy points, still 7 short of LT's total. And that is why Samwise gets the award. He had four running backs on his team score two touchdowns in their games. He was forced to bench one because of roster availability, and he managed to bench the one player who scored the fewest points. To be exact, Addai finished with .6 fewer points than Rashard Mendenhall. Good call.

The Nostradamus Award- I'll take this award, but in order to be fair, Wheels and Creasy also get a share of it. I predicted last week that their game would be the matchup of the week, and it easily was. Heading into Monday Night Football, Wheels held a slim 2.32 point lead over Creasy. Wheels entered the contest with Tom Brady left to play, and Creasy had kicker Stephen Gotskowski and RB Ronnie Brown. Once the dust settled, Creasman came out on top winning by the narrow margin of 1.56 fantasy points. It doesn't get much closer than that. And I predicted it. Consider Wheelman and Creasman to be my puppets. Now dance!!

The M. Knight Shyamalan Award- This award not only continues Bones' consecutive hit streak for winning an award, but it comes with a surprise twist! And it will surely disappoint, in the same way Bear's QB Jay Cutler did. Similar to Mr. M. Knight S., you enter a theater (or game) with high expectations based on past reputation. Cutler was having a tremendous fantasy season the first three games, proving that last year was a fluke (just like M. Knight pretends he never made The Happening). He caused us to buy in with the promise of great visuals (his improved game and dating reality TV "star" Kristin Cavallari), and all of a sudden we're thinking, "Hey! If Reggie Bush dated Kim Kardashian and won a Super Bowl and Lamar Odom married Khloe Kardashian and won a title, maybe reality TV "stars" are the key to professional sports success!" Much like you probably bought in on The Last Airbender, thinking it was M. Knight's return to fame. Then all of a sudden, TWIST! Cutler gets sacked 9 times in the first half, refusing to throw the ball away quickly and taking the hits. The Last Airbender earns an unimpressive 6% on, and cements M. Knight's reputation as a hack. Meanwhile, Cutler gets concussed (or, as I like to think, he gave up because he was tired of being hit) and leaves the game after having no significant impact other than throwing one interception. He finishes the game with -2.32 fantasy points, and we realize, "Oh yea! He's still Jay Cutler!"

Yet, as Bones always does, he finds a way to win his game. Even with negative points from his quarterback AND benching Andre Johnson who was out with an injury. Which brings us too...

The Jamarcus Russell Award for Failure- Per Per takes home our only prestigious award for losing a fantasy matchup to someone starting a quarterback with negative fantasy points. Austin's team, as mentioned before, is up-and-down. Its either 70-some fantasy points, or 100+. This week was 70-some. Time to start lining up some trades.

The Incredible Series of Transitions Award- Obviously this goes to me. I just got us from Jay Cutler and M. Knight Shyamalan, to Jamarcus Russell and Austin Perry, all the way down to trading within the league. Our league is terrible at trading. We're like a bunch of fourth graders in the 50s guarding our marbles cause they're special to us. Hm...perhaps a more relevant analogy is required. It's like we're back in the 5th grade trying to collect as many Pogs as we can. Never wanting to give away the ones we have cause they have meaning to us. Our perceived value on what we own is far too high. Yeah, thats the one.

The 5th Grader Pog Collection Award- (Another amazing transition!) This award goes to the entire league, except Bones. It takes longer for a 75 person Asian delegation to get through TSA at the airport than for us to get a trade agreed on. Too many owners suffer from over-valuing their players, and being unwilling to give them up in a trade. And with that, my rant shall begin....

For some reason, we tend to think, "Hey, I've got to be at least 75-80% smarter than everyone else in the league. Therefore, it should not be difficult to convince someone to trade me Adrian Peterson (really good) for Mark Sanchez (not really good)." There is an expectation, for some weird reason, that we're going to "pull-one-over" on the competition. You are not the Catholic Church and Cedric Benson is not an indulgence guaranteeing me safe passage to heaven (or fantasy glory) if I trade you Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson for him.

Look, trades in fantasy are never going to be ridiculously one-sided. You won't get $2.50 on the dollar for your secondary running back, just because someone is interested. Trades benefit both sides. For instance, I made a trade with Ricky earlier this year.

I gave him Ahmad Bradshaw and Wes Welker in exchange for Calvin Johnson. Here's what I figured, Ricky needs an RB1 (Bradshaw is the starter in NY), and I did not trust Welker's knee. Plus I also have Randy Moss and I didn't want two wide receivers from the same team. I expected Calvin Johnson to have a bounce-back year and I wanted two #1 wide receivers on my team (Moss and CJ). Ricky gets an RB1 and a WR2 and I get a WR1. I gave up two good players for one that I liked a lot. Perceived value in both of our eyes.

If you need a tight end, guess what? You're going to have to part with a WR or a RB that you probably like. If you're currently 1-3, and can't put together a win, its time to start making moves. Things don't magically fix themselves. No player is un-tradeable for the right deal. Why not flip one of your studs for two great players? The key to a quality fantasy team is balance across the board. If you're consistently getting 30 points from your RBs combined, but only 10-15 from your WRs you'll never win consistently. Flip a RB for two WRs and fill out your roster.

Sure, the value varies by player and perceived value is really what's of importance. But there are holes in all of our teams, why wouldn't you want to try to fix them? If nothing else, its exciting and fun to talk about.

So, league, we all get an award for being too sheepishly foolish to make trades or only proposing ludicrous ones.

That said, someone make a trade with me. I'm bored, and its fun.

Predictions- Bones improves to 5-0, the game to watch is Noord v. Samwise, Per Per vs. Subtitles will result in the lowest scoring matchup of the week. Randy Moss scores 7 touchdowns in his first week with Minnesota.

I can hope, can't I?

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