Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ducal Crown 2012: A Year in Review

First of all, I want to congratulate Neil on winning the Ducal Crown Fantasy Football league in 2012!! Hm? Oh, Austin won? Then why is Neil orgasmically celebrating Austin’s victory on Twitter? Running nude through the streets with “Austin Perry 2012!” painted on his chest? Making paper mache footballs with and eating glue?

Who knows, he’s spent a lot of time on an alpaca farm.

In seriousness, a hearty congratulation goes to Austin Perry for winning the league this year. He defeated what can only be described as the fiercest and most adept of competitors (me) in a rigorous battle of will. By “will” I refer to my pleading sobs to Aaron Rodgers to ‘Stop it!’ as he threw touchdown after touchdown to Jordy Nelson Sunday night.

Alas, it seemed destiny for Austin to take the league this year. After losing star RB Darren McFadden to injury for the last half of the season and suffering early season injuries to Aaron Hernandez, Hakeem Nicks, and Marques Colston, it never seemed Perry’s team would be fully healthy. Nothing inspires confidence in a team like starting Shonn Green, LeGarrette Blount or Beanie Wells at RB. Then again, Aaron Rodgers covers a multitude of line-up sins.

And so it was that the “Pledge Prez Perry’s” took the title out of my feeble grasp, and so the trophy passes on to a worthy opponent.

Don’t worry though. I’ll get it back next year.

Shall we do end of year superlatives then?

1.  Austin Perry – The Champ
No need for anything clever here. Trust me; it never gets old forcing people to refer to you as “The Champ.” So enjoy it, Champ.

We often say winning in Fantasy Football is somewhere along the lines of 80% skill and 20% luck. Perhaps it’s 50/50. Austin winning, however, shows us some very interesting things about Fantasy Football.

1)      You don’t need to make a million trades or waiver wire transfers (that won’t stop me though). Austin made only a few small trades, nothing major, and largely stuck with the lineup he drafted, despite it having Marques Colston and Shonn Green in it….again.
2)      You don’t need stud RBs if you want to win a title, you just need a rock solid QB. The starting RBs in the championship game were: (for Austin) Shonn Green and LeGarrette Blount, who combined for something like 10 points; (for me) Darren Sproles and Willis McGahee (who combined for somewhere around 22 points. How did I lose this again?!
3)      What really helps is having elite QB’s favorite targets as your WRs. Perry started Hakeem Nicks, Marques Colston and Jordy Nelson (Eli’s, Brees’, Rodgers’ favorite targets). I started Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, and Antonio Brown (oh yea, that’s how I lost this week). I lost Greg Jennings to injury, Big Ben didn’t play and thus couldn’t throw to Brown, and Demaryius Thomas….crap.

So maybe that’s the strategy to follow. Or maybe that’s just that worked this year. We’ll have all offseason to speculate and mock draft and try to discover sleepers, but until this time next year…let the Champ reign.

2. AJ McGraw – Most Likely to Have a Lot Less To Say Next Year
Ya know, cause I got stomped in the finals. At the end of the year my bench looked like this: Matt Ryan (backup QB), Kevin Smith (a good start, but hurt most the year), Donald Driver (picked up because Jennings was out), Greg Jennings (out for regular season), DeMarco Murry (IR), Jamaal Charles (IR, keeper potential).

That’s three players on my bench who were out for the remainder of the regular season or beyond. One backup quarterback (just in case), an injured RB and a 36 year old WR.

Things get desperate at the end of the year, hence Demaryius Thomas starting for me in the title bout. No matter though. My twitter handle may be a bit shorter these days, but the fighting spirit lives on. I now have the meaningless honor of saying I’ve been to back-to-back title games. But we’ll talk more about meaningless honors later.

3. Eric Creasman – Best In Show
Kudos to a guy for playing FF the way it should be: losing to me in the playoffs. TAKE A NOTE AUSTIN!!

He went from worst-to-first this year (regular season), and rode good draft picks (Brees, Welker) and good trades (acquiring Mendy, Ray Rice, and Marshawn Lynch) to a 10-4 record, and a spot a top the league, before suffering the unrelenting torture of Matt Stafford throwing to Calvin Johnson.

In case anyone needed a reminder, in our playoff matchup Stafford and CJ combined for 80 points.

After posting 173 points the following week, Creasy should be cutting his (or my) wrists, had he got past me no team would have stopped him in the finals. Instead, in the spirit of good competition, he bought me a funny t-shirt, made his gripes on Twitter, and got over it fairly quickly (doubtful, I think he’s still griping, but who wouldn’t?).

4. Matt Noordhoff – Most Likely to Think Everyone Hates His Team, Him Personally, and His Family
Kudos for a stellar run from everyone’s least favorite team on paper to a rock solid playoff team. I’ve given him credit before on the moves he made to get himself into playoff contention, so let’s turn our focus to the created hate Noord brings on himself.

First, I deserve a fair amount of blame. I lived with Noord for two years, ate about 1,300 meals with him during college, and know how he works. So, for example, let’s say I’m at work and need a distraction but know that no one is on Twitter. I’ll send out a tweet like, “How pissed is @mattnoordhoff gonna be when he loses this week?”

All you have to do is wait a few minutes and then….. “clearly you haven’t looked at my matchups this week #boy. You aren’t even close to me in points either. #enjoy4thplace”

In his defense, I think he meant “I’ll be enjoying 4th place while you go on to the championship game….again, sir.”

Point being, we know the man’s buttons, and deep down we all love when someone is the villain. We poked and prodded Neil when his team was dominating, then we fought with Ricky when he was on top of the league. Once those two Fantasy Failures dropped out of the playoff race we were happy to have Noord available to deliver the trash talk.

It’s why we play Fantasy Football in the first place, isn’t it?

5. Neil Morrissette – Most Likely to Resume the Role of the League’s Little Brother, aka #PhillyNeil, aka League Villain
Oh #PhillyNeil, how we’ll miss you. Last year we watched Ricky trade his way out of the championship game, and this year we saw Neil give away stud players for guys who joined his team and immediately injured themselves (Ryan Matthews, Matt Forte, Cedric Benson, Desean Jackson….I consider him as having a permanent mental injury).  To note, he gave away Lesean McCoy, Mike Vick, Rob Gronkowski, Matt Stafford and Darren Sproles. Ouch. Let’s change subjects.

I suppose his unquenchable thirst for praising Austin comes from a deep Fantasy kinship they share. You see, Neil beat me early in the season on the back of his Kicker and Defense combining  for 40 points. In the title matchup, Austin’s kicker posted 16 points and his defense posted 17.  In my defense, Dallas kicker Dan Bailey netted me an impressive 1 point.

I hate Dallas.

I look forward to next year’s draft when Neil’s insatiable desire to talk up his team irrationally comes back. Secretly I’m hoping he keeps Tebow. Why shouldn’t the most polarizing player in our league have one of the most polarizing players in the NFL?

It’d make me hate on Neil less. Probably.

No. It wouldn’t.

6. Ricky May – Most Likely to Disappear after the Trade Deadline Passes
That silence you heard after November 18th was all of our cell phones going quiet. We stopped receiving 15 text messages a day from Ricky proposing every possible trade conjurable.

In fact, the only tweets Ricky had to offer during the playoffs had to do with the championship game… that he was playing in…in his work league.

To be honest, our league wouldn’t be the same without a guy like Ricky. Sure the constant trade offers get annoying, but he also feeds all of our desires to make trades and keeps the league interesting. And, let’s be honest, who among us didn’t get a little feeling of satisfaction when on the trade deadline Ricky made moves to acquire Fred Jackson, Mike Vick and Adrian Peterson? All of whom missed all, or most, of the games the rest of the season. It was like karma.

7. Jimmy Hostetler – Most Likely to have the most Bi-curious Bi-Polar Team
Either everyone on his team scores, or no one on his team scores. On paper your matchup against him looks good. Starting RBs? Jon Stewart, Mike Tolbert, James Starks, or some combination of the like. Big Ben at QB, and his only real threat is Gronkowski at TE. If you don’t pay close attention you’ll miss his guys scoring TDs and piling up yardage in meaningless NFL games. Next thing you know you’re down 15 with no players left.

Or, his team lays a massive turd of an egg and you roll on him without losing a second of sleep.

What we do know, is trading Cedric Benson and some change for Rob Gronkowski was the move of the year (once again, at Neil’s hand).

8. TJB – Most Likely to Win the League Next Year
You know, if you don’t believe in karma. Owner of one of the top five teams in the league, he missed the playoffs then lost two consolation games to secure (as of now) a top three pick. He has two of the best keeper options (Lesean McCoy in the 2nd, and Jimmy Graham in the 14th) and a top 3 pick, meaning Aaron Rodgers, Ray Rice, and someone like Matt Forte will likely end up on his roster.

Assuming those guys stay healthy that’s a fearsome core to build around. Then again, TJB spent most of this year in the 20% Luck category. 100% of it being bad. Seriously, how does a team with Brady, McCoy, Turner, Miles/Laurant Robinson, Holmes, Graham, etc etc miss the playoffs and then lose both games in the consolation round?!

Either he’s had really bad luck, or sneakily good luck. He’s in great position heading into next year’s draft.

9. Sam Persons – Most Likely Read this Four Days After I Post It
It’s not that Sam isn’t around much, it’s that we don’t really know where Sam ever. Perhaps the other 9 of us are too consumed with FF. I dunno though, I don’t see anything wrong with spending an entire day looking at your Ducal Crown Twitter Feed waiting for someone to talk Fantasy with you. It’s one of my few joys in life.

Ultimately, Sam was the beneficiary of an incredibly tight league. Heading into the last few weeks he was still in playoff contention if the games went his way. They didn’t, and he ended up with the second pick in the draft next year.

So you’re telling me I can be in the playoff hunt up until the end of the season, then if I miss the playoffs I have just as good a chance at getting a top 3 pick?

I love this league.

10. Bryan Gunst – Most Likely to Have More Pushups than Fantasy Points Counted this Year
It’s just the facts people, I don’t make the rules.

Gunst has a few good things going for him next year: the rights to Andrew Luck Aaron Rodgers, AJ Green in the 8th and Arian Foster in the 3rd. Quite a nice starting lineup with his second round pick available to fill a spot. Not a bad start to your season if you ask me.

We’ll see if our favorite RD can turn his luck around and go from worst-to-first like our resident grandfather, Creasman. If he can do it, anyone can.

Just goes to show, there’s always something to look forward to next year.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A blog by my wife, about her new job.

**This was written by Michele about her new job. Which, I'm hoping, you got from the title of this post. If you didn't, please rewind and start again.**

It’s crazy how early educators, parents, and family members start asking us what we want to be “when you grow up.” In first grade, I wanted to be a Disney Princess. I mean, when you’re 6 years old that seems like a realistic option, right? Maybe for you it was fireman, policeman or superhero. For most of us, it changed weekly, and when our parents asked us what we wanted to be and we shouted “SPIDERMAN!” they got a good laugh. Of course, as we start to get a little older we begin to think more realistically.
At age 10, I was advised that I needed to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and be baptized. So, I did. I didn’t really know what they meant, but thought that if I didn’t pray and read my Bible everyday I’d probably get struck down by a bolt of lightening. Eventually, I began to figure out who Jesus was on my own. I attended a youth conference in 7th grade, and I re-dedicated my heart to Christ.
Shortly after that, when people started asking me what I wanted to be when I grow up I’d say, “I don’t know. I just want to help people.”
As I got into high school and college, when people asked me that dreaded question, I’d give them various answers that I thought sounded the most professional. I got my bachelor’s degree in English and my minor in Journalism, but still felt that heart tug as I thought of the Middle School version of myself.
Post college I worked a handful of awful and not so awful jobs. In my recent position, I knew that I wasn’t where God wanted me. I needed to figure out what he had called me to do.After several weeks of praying about what I was supposed to be doing with my life (Disney Princess crossed my mind once or twice), Pastor Eddy came to me and asked me if I’d be interested in working with him for Oneighty. I think I said, “Yes!” before he finished asking the question. In a way only God can, I was blown away with an amazing and direct answer to prayer!
In the few short days I’ve worked for the church, I’ve felt an incredible sense of fulfillment that tells me this is the place God has called me to be. That his purpose for my life was to bring me to this place, to serve and work alongside the high-schoolers in Oneighty. And I feel so incredibly blessed to be here.
Turns out the Middle School version of me knew where I was supposed to be the whole time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 12 Rankings, Playoff Predictions, and more!

There’s too much going on to waste time on a long, overdone intro. This league is tighter than Noord in a schmedium t-shirt and with two weeks to play in the regular season eight teams have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs.

Four teams are tied with records of 7-5, three teams tied at 6-6. Creasman sits alone, on top, at 8-4 with a rock solid lead on points scored. So that’s where we’ll start…

1. Creasman (8-4)
Points Scored: 1,502.26
With a huge (and apparently really easy) win over Neil last night, Creasman jumps to the top of the league and holds an enormous one game lead over the four of us in second place. Riding Drew Brees’ 5 TD performance last night, Eric also gets the giant benefit of having an +80 point differential over the second highest league scorer (Ricky: 1,424.98).

What does that mean? Creas is a lock for the playoffs. In this league, 9-5 gets you a playoff spot and 8-6 gets you into the tie-breaker (total points scored). With an 80 point lead and two games left to play, Creasman will walk into the playoffs even if he loses his next two (at Noord, and home to Sam).

In a surprising move, Eric went counter-culture and decided not to throw his season intentionally like his hometown favorite Colts. Who are, and I repeat, throwing their season intentionally by trotting out Painter, Orvlosky, and company. Intentionally. Throwing. Their. Season. Scoundrels! All of them!

Also worth noting, this continues the streak of “Only Writing Blogs when Creasman is at the Top of the League”. I’m inconsistent…like Vincent Jackson. And Desean Jackson…and Mike Vick…and Anquan Boldin….and Fred Davis.

Speaking of all of those guys:

2. Ricky (7-5)
Points Scored: 1,424.98
After losing two (read, TWO!) starting RBs, Fred Jackson and Adrian Peterson, last week to injury we figured Ricky was dead in the water. But, in the ultimate show of Brotherly Love, our dedicated Regional Director for Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Inc. offered Ricky the opportunity to go ahead and win this week despite starting Toby Gerhart and CJ Spiller at RB. Thanks Bryan! You're a pal! 

Added in was an injury to Mike Vick, that kept him out for the second straight week, and the only logical starting QB for Ricky was Vince Young. Let me remind you that he won this week. AND SCORED MORE POINTS THAN MY TEAM! With Vince Young! Absolutely, un-real.

Never count Ricky out. He always hangs around. Like a parasite. A parasite with a really cute son.

3. Perry (7-5)
Points Scored: 1,417.36
Has his karma finally run out? After squeaking out win after win after win, Perry has dropped two huge games in a row. With tough matchups against TJB and Ricky in the next two weeks its possible he finishes 7-7. It’s also very possible Aaron Rodgers takes him to 9-5. dreamy.

More pressing, however, was Perry losing Darren McFadden and not handcuffing him to Michael Bush. That was a crucial mistake this season and may well cost him the playoffs. Instead of Perry continuing to dominate the league, we've been forced to watch Noord climb the rankings riding the incredible production of Mike Bush in DMC’s absence. I’m proposing that if Noord wins the league 15% of his winnings should go to Perry for this egregious lapse in judgment.

4. Noord (7-5)
Points Scored: 1,396.30
He had no help from his WRs this week (Dez and Mike Wallace combined for 7.7 points), but he’s been riding a wave of RB production that makes Ricky salivate. With MJD producing like MJD in 2009, and Mike Bush producing like…well…Darren McFadden, and CJ2K’s random appearances as a competent running back, Noord’s team is capable of scoring in bunches.

What happens when DMC returns and CJ2k goes back to CJ0k?  I assume Dez and Wallace combine for 40 that week. It’s a dangerous team, folks. Watch out.

Even though his rapid ascension was slowed momentarily by that scrappy Sam Persons team, he’s still a favorite to make the playoffs in my book.

Keep an eye out for the huge matchup between Noord and Creasman this week. It can take them both to 8-5, or allow Creasman to clinch a playoff spot at 9-4 with one game to play (vs. Sam).

How exciting is this league?!?! And we’re only at the 4th ranked team?!

5. AJ (7-5)
Points Scored: 1,381.50
I’ve been squeaking out wins over teams during their bad weeks. I have two must-win games coming up (let’s be honest though, what game isn’t must-win at this point?) against Ricky and Neil. I have to win those two if I want to get into the playoffs because trying to win a tiebreaker at 8-6 won’t work. I’m currently 7th in the league in Points Scored. 7th….out of 10.

I’m telling you, I’ve been sneezing my way through these wins. I haven’t had a dominate win for a couple of weeks. I need my guys to get back on track! With Stafford’s finger in a splint, Calvin hasn’t been producing (which means Stafford’s been mediocre too). Jennings is coming off injury, Finley is lost in the assortment of passing options Rodgers has, Sproles’ production has dropped off and I’m fighting week by week on whether to start Antonio Brown or Willis McGahee in my flex spot. DeMarco Murray has been a bright spot for me though. So there’s one. Out of seven.

6. TJB (6-6)
Points Scored: 1,420.56
So the guy with a .500 record who is in 6th place is 3rd in the league in points scored and only 4 points behind the guy in second (Ricky). He’s been steadily climbing since he started 1-5 and couldn’t buy a win (I’m sure it’s because he wasn’t allowed keepers), and I honestly think he’s going to make the playoffs. If he can beat Perry (who’s been sliding) and Jimmy (who's up and down) he’ll win the Points Scored tiebreaker and get in at 8-6.

Then again, he’s been unlucky all season so it’d be fitting if he crushed Perry and then got decimated by Jimmy. He’s the New York Giants of the Fantasy League: always seemingly a contender at the end, but a mess during the beginning, middle, and the first part of the end.

7. Sam (6-6)
Points Scored: 1,388.20
For some reason we’ve all doubted Sam this entire season. All attention has been given to TJB for having an unlucky season but look at these point totals from Sam:

108, 118, 98, 110, 128, 105, 121, 133, 119, 73, 129, 140

That only got him six wins?!

He’s only had two weeks below 100 points, and seven above 118. I’ve given credit to his sneakily good backwards trades, but he’s built a solid all-around team and stuck with it. Victor Cruz has been a tremendous surprise for him after losing Andre for most of the season. Baltimore’s Defense has come through for him in a big way multiple times, Brandon Lloyd wasn’t a one-year wonder like we all thought, Cam is the real deal (in Fantasy value, not NFL Wins-value), Gore has exceeded expectations and Cedric Benson has even added value in recent weeks.

Am I bitter that my team is better on paper, has more wins, yet fewer total points, and a worse shot to make the playoffs than Sam’s team? Only a little bit. With wins over Jimmy and Creasman, he could slide into the playoffs at 8-6 on his point total (again, which is higher than mine).

8. Jimmy (6-6)
Points Scored: 1,283.90
Our final playoff contender. Jimmy’s lackluster point total will likely keep him out of the playoffs, but he’s got a team that can surprise you any week. Just like this one when he trumped Austin 120-103. You really never know what you’re getting with Jimmy’s team, which makes him dangerous. With games against Sam and TJB he’s more likely to keep someone out of the playoffs than he is to make it himself. But anything, literally ANYTHING, is possible in this league.

9. Neil (5-7)
Points Scored: 1,375.78
That was satisfying to write. A ninth place fall from grace from Philly Neil? It’s incredible really, but almost entirely self-inflicted. Giving up Vick and McCoy for Forte, Ryan Matthews, and Desean Jackson just doesn’t seem right in retrospect. But things happen in Fantasy Football. His QB production has been mediocre all year, his WR production has been severely limited, and his RBs just haven’t been consistent.

At some point he’s had all these players start for him: Mike Vick, Tim Tebow, Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald, Steven Jackson, Matt Forte, Lesean McCoy, Ryan Matthews, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, Desean Jackson, and Sebastian Janikowski.

That team should be putting up 160 points a week, right?

All that's left is trying to convince Gunst to pass up on Aaron Rodgers next year.

10. Gunst (1-11)
Points Scored (not that it matters): 1,233.76
Aaron Rodgers! Arian Foster! AJ Green! Not bad to start your season with those guys drafted in rounds 1, 3, and 8 respectively.  Or you could go Peterson/Foster. Or Rice/Foster.  Megatron/Foster (don’t take Calvin from me!) The possibilities are limitless!

I guess what I’m saying is…it’s never too early to start developing your draft strategy for next year.

I give credit to the guy for never giving up, playing for pride and making a good trade right before the deadline to fill out his starters. And hey, if Creasy can go worst-to-first, so can you. Next year.

Modified Playoff Predictions:
1. Creasman
2. Noord
3. Austin
4. TJB

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Attention Penn State University

Let me be clear: I know how much Joe Paterno means to Penn State. I know how much Nittany Lion Football means to the pleasant utopia of Happy Valley. I know JoePa will always be synonymous with Penn State Football, and rightfully so.

I’ve been to Penn State on game day. I have many friends who go (or went) there, and I’ve experienced firsthand what it’s like. I also understand how much PSU students love their school, their football team, and their college experience. And, although I’ll never fully understand how it feels, I get why the students feel the need to respond emotionally to this ordeal in some way.

But how dare they.

How dare they support this man, this school, and this program? How dare they rally around a figure during an event as egregious and nefarious as this?

Now is not the time to celebrate PSU tradition! Now is not the time to support an iconic figure! Now is the time to react, weed out the guilty, and punish all those involved in this morally putrid wrongdoing.

I won’t get into the moral responsibility of Mike McQuery, Joe Paterno, the Athletic Director, the Vice President, and so on. They’re all in the wrong and all need to be fired and given leave to deal with their deplorable consciousness.

I will get into the stark reality that says this vile, evil, and most despicable of all acts was covered up for TWO DECADES to save the reputation of a coach and iconic football program.

Happy Valley has put the reputation of a man and an athletic program over the sanctity and well-being of innocent little boys. The very thing PSU students appear to be celebrating is the very thing that was used as a justification to not pursue, convict, and destroy a man who was molesting young boys.

When did we forget who this was really about?

I don’t care about JoePa’s part in this. That couldn’t concern me less, but he is the figurehead so the attention is his.

I do care about the lives of young boys who will never be the same. They will never be whole again. They have been scarred in the deepest ways physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For two decades this went on. For two decades this was covered up, not looked into, and no legal action was taken.

And for what? Football? Reputation? Tradition?

I spit on the reputation of a school willing to let a football program be more important than the lives of children.

Now is not the time to celebrate what the school stands for, or to give your support to Joe Paterno. Now is the time to root out the evil that has infested this organization in the most corrupt way imaginable.

We grilled Michael Vick for years. We hated him, spat at him, defamed him, and mocked him relentlessly for fighting dogs. Now we chant “We want Joe!” when young boys (humans!) are molested and raped.

When did we become so morally bankrupt? How did we let a football program, and a man, become so big?

Those PSU students standing up for child abuse and rallying around the families and victims, I applaud you. But, to the others, do not celebrate the tradition of a school that has been so penetrated by vile men so willing to put a football program above the sanctity of human life.

I weep for the kids. No one else.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Ducal Crown Rankings - Founders Day Edition

This post in honor of Sigma Phi Epislon's Founder's Day (Nov. 1), and the Christopher Newport Univeristy's VA Pi Chapter's Founder Day (Oct. 31)...and Fantasy Football

Seven years ago, a group of fresh faced college students signed a sheet of paper indicating they were interested in being a part of a fraternity. None of them knew what they were getting into or signing up for. It was a group as eclectic as the crowd at a Wiggles concert featuring Busta Rhymes.

You had athletes, academics, musicians, gays, straights, Butters (both), partiers, Christians, Christians who loved to party, ROTC guys, black, white, Asian, Nader (wherever he’s from), flaccid armed 98-pound weaklings (Ricky May), and…well…Eric Creasman, who is quantifiably un-categorizable. They were uniquely able to grind each other’s gears, rub each other the wrong way, and get in each other’s faces, while disagreeing on every issue and building one of the elite chapters of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Now home to two Buchanan Cup’s, the highest award a chapter of SigEp can achieve.

Seven years later we recruit that same assorted platter of individuals, this time on purpose. Only through diversity do we achieve growth. And, to this day, when they show up to their first recruitment event, they don’t know what they’re signing up for.

I’m proud of my fraternity. I’m proud of the way we break some stereotypes and reinforce others. I’m proud of the type of men we recruit, and, more importantly, the quality of the men we recruit. I’m proud of the unique bond that ties us together, and the stupid disagreements that make us treat each other like, well, real brothers.

I’m proud to have been affected, challenged, and had my thinking changed by people who were nothing like me. I’m proud to have as good a relationship with guys who are four years older than me as I do with guys who are four years younger than me. Because, what brings us together transcends age, race, creed, or poop jokes.

And I’m proud to have a group of guys who will support my writing, my bizarre sense of humor, my deep love of Aaron Rodgers, and forgive me when acting like a self-righteous, pompous donkey.

You’ve taught me you don’t have to be a Christian to be a good person.

But you should. No seriously you guys, you wanna talk about fulfillment in life, JC is the answer. SigEp shouldn’t be the answer, it should be an accent to your life, and amplify your faith and relationships. But that’s just my opinion. It also happens to be right.

Happy Founder’s Day (week), it’s been an honor to have you all in my life and to beat you on the fantasy football field.

Rankings in order of league standings because everyone is too lazy to send power rankings.

10. Gunst 
Poor Bryan. Poor, poor, Bryan. His entire team finally produces and he loses to me by 4 points because of a few garbage time catches by Dez Bryant. Not to make the wound fester, but they announced Beanie Wells would play right before the game started and, had he been placed in Gunst’s lineup, he would have scored 8 more points than Marshawn Lynch (his replacement). Those 8 points would have given Gunst a big win, and made me want to jump off a bridge into a vat of Kris Humphries’ tears.

9. Jimmy
You can’t say the guy gives up. Or that he doesn’t believe in his team. Or that he can throw a football further than Ricky. Especially if rain, left-hands, and kiddie pads are involved.

He certainly doesn’t have a good fantasy football team, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a dangerous one. I think Neil is still in denial that he lost to Jimmy last week when his Eagle’s were on bye. Latest report I heard was that Jimmy was texting pictures of himself in an Eagles’ thong to Neil with “How do you like my Vick?” painted on his chest.

You’re welcome.

8. TJB 
Home to, probably, the most terrifying lineup on paper (Tom Brady, Miles Austin, Adrian Peterson, Lesean McCoy, Jimmy Graham) TJB’s team can do some serious damage...keeping other teams out of the playoffs. Sitting at 3-5 it MIGHT be too late for him. Then again, I wouldn’t put it past him to string together 6 wins and make the playoffs.

Also, I feel like that’s what I write every week about TJB. So I’ll add something new, he has girlish features.

7. Noord
6. Sam 
Funny how the two teams who normally sit in our 9th and 10th spots have crawled out of the depths into 7th and 6th place. Credit to both for putting together some nice trades this season. Noord picked up Fitzpatrick off waivers and traded him for Jennings and Jennings for Fred Jackson, effectively, picking up the #1 fantasy running back off of waivers. Then again, he’s trying to hock Eli Manning and Tony Romo to a bunch of Redskins fans.

Sam, on the other hand, might be our league’s alternate universe’s version of Al Davis. Not only is he alive, but all his seemingly ridiculous trades pan out for the best. Remember when he gave up Rashard Mendenhall for Anquan Boldin? Boldin wins that matchup. Remember when he traded away Andre Johnson (after getting 3 weeks of 15+ points per game out of him) for Philip Rivers, then traded Rivers back for the injured Andre Johnson? I still take Andre in that matchup. Rivers is terrible and Sam is starting Cam Newton every week anyway. What about when he acquired Frank Gore and Victor Cruz by giving up Jeremy Maclin and Pierre Thomas?? I don’t even have to tell you that Sam killed in that trade getting two starters and giving up one.

We were GRILLING this guy for those trades. Now he’s 4-4, tied with Neil and gets Andre Johnson back in a week or two. I’m actually a little scared of his team.

Shows how much we know.

5. Neil
Neil is in a bad way right now. He lost three straight and faces #2 Ricky this week and Sam the following week (presumably when Andre Johnson returns). After Neil inexplicably traded away Lesean McCoy, his team did a great impression of the White House in Independence Day.  All of a sudden he has three of the league’s top WRs (in 2010), who each barely scrape their way to 10 fantasy points a week. Rubbing salt in the wound, Ryan Matthews got himself hurt in that awful Monday Night game and might miss a week.

To be fair, Ricky did warn you 100 times he was injury prone. And, well, you still have Mike Vick.

4. Perry
This week marks a brand new season for Austin. All of his players are healthy and past their bye weeks, so he’s going at full strength the rest of the way. I’m not going to say I’m little scared of Aaron Rodgers, Hakeem Nicks, Darren McFadden, Marques Colston’s re-emergence as a premier WR, LeGarrett Blount returning from injury or the increased number of carries Shonn Greene is getting…but I will say I’m very scared.

3. AJ
Easily the most attractive and egocentric player in the league. What else is there to say?

Oh yea, I have three of the top 5 fantasy WRs on my team thanks to a few trades with Ricky. Granted, I don’t have a second starting RB…but whatever! My WRs!! My WRs!!!

Perry feels me…

2. Ricky 
In leadership we call it “escalation of commitment”. It’s that thing of when you talk yourself so far in to a fantasy player’s value that you can’t justify trading or moving that piece. It’s what Neil has done with Mike Vick. Convinced himself that his keeper value is so important that he ignores the fact that no one is going to trade him a top 10 RB and a top 10 WR for him. Most of us want to win this season.

In Ricky’s case, the raging Twitter argument betwixt himself and Noord, has driven him to boast proudly, “I GUARANTEE Rivers outscores Tony Romo and Eli Manning the rest of the season!” It’s possible. But it’s also possible you’re banking your entire fantasy season on a guy who fumbled the snap on a run play to set up a game winning field goal.

Field general indeed.

1. Creasy 
Apparently I only do blog posts when Creasy is ranked #1. What can I say? I want him to trade me Ray Rice for a ham sandwich and free drinks. Despite his ranking and his record, I’ve actually seen Creasy’s team slip a little bit in points per week. Sure he won this week, but only because he played Perry, the only person in the league to score fewer points than him. Seriously, every other team in the league would have beaten Creasy. Which leads me to repeat something I read on Facebook, “It’s not about how many points your fantasy team scores, but how few your opponent does.”

In conclusion, I love my fraternity, I love my fantasy team, and I love it when you call me Big Poppa.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week 5 Rankings – Don’t Poke the Bear

As I headed into this week I promised myself that if I won I would win gracefully. Not talking a lot of smack, not throwing insults around willy-nilly, and refraining from letting my already large ego run loose, pridefully flaunting my achievements. I wanted to show my fellow league mates how to win, and how to win like you’ve been there before. You win, you move on and prepare to win next week.

Fortunately (for the blog and the league) I did not win. Instead, I let a squirmy little git weasel out of a sticky situation and escape with a hugely undeserved win. Then again, perhaps it was deserved. Who can say?

Me. Now shut up and let me rant.

It looked like it would be a close matchup from the start. Philly Neil’s team boasting Mike Vick, Lesean McCoy, Roddy White and Larry Fitzgerald, and mine with the unstoppable duo of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, not to mention Vincent Jackson and Mike Turner. What did I have going for me? Percy Harvin and Ryan Grant making appearances in Neil’s lineup, while counter to them I was starting Darren Sproles and Willis McGahee (newly appointed lead back in Denver). That was my advantage right there, Sproles/McGahee outscoring Harvin/Grant by almost 20 points.

20 points. A funny number. A number every owner wants at least one of their players to reach each week. Or, if you’re Eric Creasman, you have four players score over 26 points (Brees, Peterson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Pierre Garcon). As Creasman would probably say it was because he, “Balls outrageous”.

20 points, also something you don’t ever expect your kicker to put up. Alas, the formidable Sebastian Janikowski, netted three 50+ yard FGs, added a 42 yarder and an extra point. Why not, right?! WHY NOT!

Even that I could handle, everyone gets lucky and Seabass was likely defending the late Al Davis’ controversial pick of him in the first round on former Commissioner, Owner, GM and Head Coach’s memorial Sunday.  

What I couldn’t handle was a final play pick-six by the Bengals defense. In a game they had already won, on the final play, they intercept Blaine Gabbert and return it for a meaningless TD. Meaningless for them perhaps, but a crucial 8 points in a fantasy game decided ultimately decided by 9. The last point? A missed PAT by my kicker Mike Nugent…message boards relived the tale saying, “The wind took it.” Whores. Or, consider the -4 points my defense took on a final meaningless TD pass by Big Ben to Mike Wallace in a game they won by about 100. I can make excuses all day, but I still lost and I can’t change that.

That wasn’t what totally upset me though. Sure losing to Neil sucks, but he had a done a commendable job keeping his mouth shut and not boasting about his team, full of underperformers this week. I respected that. Tuesday brings out another beast, however. One unafraid to boast and beat his chest because the final score is posted and he can live happily behind his record.

Yet, on Monday night I remember hearing a different tale from this large chinned mouthed buffoon. A loud talker during the week and on Sunday, I turned Neil into a quivering little girl on game day. He regressed into a self reverse jinxer, a lamenter of sorts, and one who begged Trey Wingo to not let Calvin Johnson catch ANOTHER TD pass. There’s a probably a proverb that says something like, “Those who talk loudest often turn into insufferable sniveling snobs until things go their way again.”

Soon as the pressure of Monday Night Football was off he returns to his fa├žade of masculinity and confidence. Must be nice hiding behind a shroud of lies.

I propose a league vote to re-name his team, “Shroud of Lies”.  I’ll accept that you probably want to re-name my team “Insufferable Snivelling Snobs”. I accept.

That’s the rant, love you Neil. Great win this week. One could argue I’m less upset about losing to you and more upset about having the same record as Jimmy and…..and...NOOOOOORRDDDD!!!!!!!!

The rankings:

10. Bryan Gunst (WheelsGoNonStop)-
Last Week:  7
Change: -3

A new number ten! Congrats! That sound you hear is the last gasp of remorse squeezing out of Gunst as he finishes his 5,000th push-up. One for every minute he regrets trading Greg Jennings for Ryan Fitzpatrick.

9. Sam Persons (Touchdown Jesus)-
Last Week: 9
Change: 0

Who am I to rant and rave about losing to a good team? It’s not like I put up insanely high points or anything. Sam had his best week of the season and would have beat 8 teams in the league this week. Of course, the one he couldn’t beat was Creasy’s. As I say, “Fantasy football…she is a cruel, cruel mistress.”

On the bright side, Cam Newton outscored Phillip Rivers and Andre Johnson is due back next week. Things are looking up!

8. Matt Noordhoff (O Rak^3 Po)-
Last Week: 10
Change: +2

His highest ranking yet! I wonder he’ll start submitting rankings now that he’s not the consensus number ten. Creasman is still ranking him there, however, “On principle.”

7. Jimmy (B-Button Spin Move)-
Last Week: 8
Change: +1

People don’t know what to make of Jimmy’s team. In the past four weeks he’s been ranked 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th in some order.  When you don’t know how to make fun of Jimmy, do what Creasman does and just say his, “Mom still has fake boobies”. I presume that’s followed up by someone else saying, “He’s not wrong.”

6. TJB (Moose Tracks)
Last Week: 6
Change: 0

NAME CHANGE! Still putting up Carolina Panther like stats and coming home with Carolina Panther like wins. I’d feel bad for the guy…but his inability to win is what’s keeping me ranked in 5th and him stuck in 6th. Might be looking for a new 10th member if this keeps ups…..

Just kidding.

No, but start winning or you’re done here.

5. AJM (deSPEcable me)
Last Week: 5
Change: 0

I think I’ve said enough already.

4. Austin (Pledge Prez)
Last Week: 1
Change: -3

Former roommates and cuddle buddies, Gunst and Austin both drop 3 positions in the rankings this week. Naturally we can blame everyone saying that Austin should easily win against Ricky (without his two best WRs) on his loss. Neil takes a different approach, “If [Ricky] doesn't get Rivers for nothing in that trade, he loses this week. Thanks again Sam.”

To clarify, Sam traded Phillip Rivers for an injured Andre Johnson. Meaning Ricky would have had Dez Bryant on a BYE, and Andre Johnson out due to injury. He would have started Matt Ryan (1 TD pass, terrible fantasy day), Steve Smith (acquired in a trade with TJB), and probably Plaxico Burress. You’re telling me anyone wins with that lineup!?

Sorry Austin. That’s a frustrating way to bring home the first L. I’m sure if this was your blog and if you were as self-centered as I am the opening paragraph would have been all about a cheap loss to Ricky. Hopefully these three paragraphs make up for it. No? I’ll throw in a bonus fourth for free:

Ricky sucks. O’Doyle rules.

3. Neil (Shroud of Lies)-
Last Week: 4
Change: +1

I guess when you beat the former champ you’re allowed to move up in the rankings. Oh, and don’t think for a second I’m not going to milk this “former champ” bit for all its worth. I worked hard last year to get it! I’m not giving it up that easy! Only 9 regular season fantasy weeks left before I’m eliminated from the playoffs….

2. Ricky (Baby’s R Us…probably)
Last Week: 3
Change: +1

A few names that should inspire long-term confidence in this team: Jackie Battle, Montario Hardesty, Plaxico Burress, Brandon Pettigrew. These are the fantasy giants loading up Ricky’s roster. He better hope Forte, MJD and Fred Jackson stay healthy all year…and play during their BYE weeks.

Trading for Steve Smith was a good move….for TJB. I loved his acquisition of Jimmy Graham, Drew Brees’ new favorite target. Great keeper value in the TE over an aging WR who is having a career resurgence. We all know how many seasons “career resurgences” last, don’t we? Don’t we???

One season. They last one season. Man you guys are dumb.

1. Eric Creasman (DayBeers)
Last Week: 2
Change: +1

Congrats on your first week as number one! Don’t expect to hang around, we’ve had five #1’s in six weeks of Power Rankings (including pre-season). Ricky is the only to have a repeat appearance.

To be honest, I think Creasy breaks that trend. Starting Drew Brees, Wes Welker, Miles Austin (returning to the lineup), Rashard Mendenhall and Adrian Peterson….his bench could be full of CNU alum and I’d still rank him #1 overall. Throw in Curtis Painter’s love of throwing TD passes to Pierre Garcon and you’ve got top level guys at all positions but TE.

What’s that? You wanna give me Welker for Owen Daniels? I dunno….throw in Mendy and you’ve got a deal. Tell you what. Drive down to Newport News and throw Neil in the James River and I’ll give you him for free. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Week 4 Rankings – Quarter Season Awards, and Creasy’s Birthday!

I have to get out of the habit of writing posts for people’s birthdays. I did it last week for Ricky and Katie May’s first child, Jackson, and this week it’s Eric Creasman, who...well...acts like a child. At least I’m consistent. Happy birthday Eric.

We’ve completed Week 4 which means, including the pre-season rankings, we’ve not only compiled Power Rankings four times, but we’ve written Power Rankings, discussed Power Rankings, fought over Power Rankings and posted Power Rankings at least four times.

Needless to say, I’m tired of Power Rankings posts. So this week I’m resurrecting one of my favorite gimmicks, ranking teams alongside their NFL doppelganger. This is fun for a few reasons but mostly because I get to call my team the New Orleans Saints and Noord’s team the Seattle Seahawks.

To keep the hardwork of the league from going to waste, I’ll post them in reverse Power Rankings order with last week’s ranking in (parenthesis).

10. (9) Matt Noordhoff – Seattle Seahawks

Coming off an impressive playoff run last year, this team was primed for improvement the following year. Until that year happened. Plagued by quarterback issues (Tavaris or Whitehurst? Rex or Romo!?!) and having their hopes of a productive season from their running backs deflated like a moonbounce full of soccer players, it’ll take a miracle to get this train back on track. Fortunately for the Seahawks, they are surrounded by three other terrible teams in the division. Kind of like Sam, Jimmy and Gunst…the rest of the NFC West.

9. (10) Sam Persons – Arizona Cardinals

These teams entered the year with promise, putting all their hope in freshly acquired new team members. Sam quickly traded away Andre Johnson (when he was good) for Phillip Rivers (also good), and Rashard Mendenhall for Anquan Boldin. He recently re-traded Phillip Rivers (still good) for Andre Johnson (now hurt and missing 4 total weeks), and sent Jeremy Maclin away for Frank Gore. Sam knows his team is hurting and is trying to make whatever moves he can to get value from other teams. Kind of like the Cardinals did sending away Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and two draft picks for Kevin Kolb. A lot of people thought that was too high a price to pay. The Cards think Kolb is the answer and the future. Unfortunately, I’m not sure Kevin Kolb is actually all that good. Same might be said of the player’s Sam has acquired, but we have 10 more (fantasy) weeks to figure that out...too bad Andre Johnson will only play in 6 of them.

8. (7) Jimmy Hostetler – San Francisco 49ers

Every year we think the 49ers are going to be a  good team and we ignore the fact that Alex Smith is an awful quarterback. Every year we think Jimmy is going to have a good fantasy team and we ignore the fact that Big Ben is an awful fantasy QB. Will anyone ever learn?

7. (8) Bryan Gunst – St. Louis Rams

The epitome of a ground-and-pound team. Stacked at running back (Foster/Wells/Bradshaw/(and formerly Gore) for Gunst and Steven Jackson for the Rams), these are teams that should be shoving it down your throat (cool it Austin, not like that). Instead, their RBs are constantly injured or not playing and have started relying too heavily on a QB who has only had one good season (Bradford and Freeman). This is a team that should be good. They shouldn’t by relying on weak WRs and a middle of the pack QB…but they are.

6. (5) TJB – Carolina Panthers

Not thought to be much at the beginning of the season, we made them the butt of, perhaps, one too many jokes. Both are relying on rookie play callers so our expectations were understandably low, but we appreciated them showing up every week.

Then…the points started to flow. The yardage! The scores! The resurrecting of Steve Smith’s corpse! It was awesome! Amazing! Unprecedented!!

….and still hasn’t translated into wins. At least not yet.

5. (6) AJ McGraw – New Orleans Saints

As former champs (yup, that’s where I’m starting), this team is always expected to be a contender (my blog, I say what I want). This year, however, it seems like maybe something is missing. Hurt by injuries to key players (Jamaal Charles, Marques Colston) this team is going to have to grind it out to return to championship form. What they both have going for them, however, was the sneaky good acquisition of Darren Sproles. He’s a dynamic player that totally changes the makeup of the team. As an addendum, suck it Neil.

4. (4) Neil Morrissette – Philadelphia Eagles

Are you even a little surprised? Of course not. The self-proclaimed Dream Team is more familiar with self-promotion than winning games. Neil hasn’t had the winning games problem that the Eagles have, but he’s totally nailed the ego-centric self-endorsement reminiscent of Mike Vick’s bumbling band of superstars.

Credit to him for assembling a high scoring team week in and week out. I preach consistency over anything else in Fantasy Football, and he’s been solid through four weeks. With McCoy and Vick on his team, a mouth like Vince Young and the swagger of Andy Reid’s mole remover, Neil fits this bill perfectly.

Clearly, other managers fear Neil's ability to sustain the performance over a full season, hence the ranking at #4. Could be that, or could be Ricky insisting on ranking you 13th each week.

3. (1) Ricky May – Dallas Cowboys

A perennial powerhouse of talent, this is a team that is always expected to be good. Famous for putting together big numbers in the regular season, and infamous for collapsing in the playoffs, they are marked by inconsistent quarterback play and major injury issues at WR. For both, these injuries have shown a startling lack of depth, but as we know, Jerry Jones and Ricky May will stop at nothing to win championships. Even if it requires Ricky to make four trades in one day…he’s dealing more than Pablo Escobar. Blech...not proud of that joke.

2. (2) Eric Creasman – Buffalo Bills/Detroit Lions – A two-fer-one birthday special!

Both known for missing the playoffs for the last 15 years (numbers estimated…but still pretty close), and their general incompetence during the regular season (now I’m just being mean), these teams have all surprised us by the way they came into the season swinging. Now they’re so high scoring they’re almost unstoppable on offense and surprisingly well rounded. It seems like these teams have been building through the draft for years and are all of a sudden really good. The question is, as it has been all year, can they keep it up? So far, so good.

But because it’s your birthday, I’ll rub in one more joke (COOL IT AUSTIN!), can you imagine this team WITH Ray Rice!?!?!

1. (3) Austin Perry – Washington Redskins

What? You think I’d pass up an opportunity to rank the Redskins number one? That, and I just had to give my fellow Hog the home team designation, it only seemed right. Both are currently ranked #1 above other very strong divisional teams (Philly/Neil, and Cowboys/Ricky). I think a lot of people are surprised by their performance thus far with a ragtag group of players. Fortunately, both have the next Joe Montana as their QB (Aaron Rogers and Rex Grossman), so we’re clear in that category.  

Unfortunately, each have let us down late in the season in past years, so we’ll have to keep an eye on things as they develop. I, for one, believe Austin will continue his reign of terror over the league and dominate the regular season coasting through the playoffs into the championship game. I’ve been right so far haven’t I? Thinking about it, I should have compared him to the Green Bay Packers cause he’s going to win it all this year!

See you on Twitter where you can tell me where I screwed up, or what team would have been better. The answer is, "Nowhere, sir!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 3 Power Rankings: Happy Birthday Jackson!

Today we welcome into the world Jackson Kenneth May. Born this day under the watchful eye of his father Ricky, as he fervently tweeted his fantasy league the details about what was happening in the delivery room.

Not really, but that’d be gross wouldn’t it?!

Jackson, as you enter this world, I feel it is my responsibility to impart a few words of wisdom to you about your father. If you know these things, you’ll live a long, happy, well-adjusted life.

Lesson #1: Don’t be surprised when Dad tries to trade you his broccoli for your chicken nuggets. He’ll try to justify it saying the broccoli has high upside, and is really going to come on strong after the meal. He’ll say the chicken nuggets are an injury concern and who can rely on their ketchup? When you turn him down be prepared for the final assault. He’ll offer you broccoli, peas and some weird Eastern European dessert just for your nuggets. Don’t buy it! Even if it looks like a good deal, there’s no WAY you’re eating all that food without leaving something uneaten on waivers your plate that he will sweep in and take for free.

Lesson #2: Don’t give your dad your email, phone number, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Friendster, or any other account information until you absolutely have to. That is, unless you want to hear about this Nuggets for Broccoli trade six times a day for a week straight.

Lesson #3: Don’t just be a starter, be a finisher. We all know Ricky wins (seemingly) every regular season game only to flame out in the playoffs. Honestly, it’s a miracle he could conceive you. I don’t doubt his ability to get things going…but, as a closer…well, it’s not his strong suit.  Be a finisher in life.

Lesson #4: Rush SigEp. It’ll help you achieve lesson #3.

Lesson #5: You have a great dad, and an even better mom. You’re a lucky kid being born into a great family and we are all so happy to welcome you into this world. In 15 years we’ll be happy to make you the 10th team in the Ducal Crown League of Champions.

Bonus Lesson #6: Don’t trust your “uncle” Ralph. He’s not your uncle and he’ll probably ask you when bath time is a lot.

Time for the Week 3 Power Rankings! Murder! Intrigue! Shake ups galore! Now with the added fun of not telling you who provided the quote so you can go on a witch hunt on Twitter immediately following the blog posting! That's what I call value added!

10.  Sam Persons (Touchdown Jesus)
Last Week: 9
Change: -1
First Place Votes: 0
Fun Fact: Not Noord.

Or as Creasy would say, “Sam, at least he isn’t Noord.” From there, the comments are all downhill. Centered on him trading away his top 2 players for Phillip Rivers (who has largely, and disappointingly, underperformed all year) and Anquan Boldin, the rest of the league chimes in:

If we let him have an extra player he still wouldn't win games. Starting to think he felt sorry for Moose and let him run the team.
Like trying to decide if the Wizards or the Orioles are the better team.”
Best and Hightower scare me more than going through [a Newport News] drive-thru with Noord. They will be less offensive but probably equally as dangerous.”

9. Matt Noordhoff (O Rak^3 Po)
Last Week: 10
Change: +1
First Place Votes: 0
Fun Fact: In College, bald by choice. In life, bald by genetics (Probably).

As we’ve all been made painfully aware, Noord won his first game this week against Sam despite starting Deion Branch who scored zero points. Once again, proving Noord’s ineptitude knows no bounds.

In seriousness, Noord made a big trade last night with Gunst giving up Ryan Fitzpatrick and Malcolm Floyd for Greg Jennings and Joe Flacco. Love Noord acquiring Jennings which will give him a WR core of Jennings, Mike Wallace and Mario Manningham (who I still think is going to come on strong). Credit to Noord for following the same method as another Fantasy Football genius (me) stacking up on WRs in a PPR league and saying, “Running Backs?? What running backs?!?”

8. Bryan Gunst (WheelsGoNonStop)
Last Week: 7
Change: -1
First Place Votes: 0
Fun Fact: Loves push ups.

“This man is stock piling starting RBs. If any of them start playing to their potential you have to respect his team. However, his naivety about his QB situation rivals Tom Livengood’s claims that he graduated from college. For goodness sakes just trade me Beanie Wells for Kevin Kolb.” - Austin

That about says it all. Trading for Fitzpatrick gives him a legit starter, although weakens his WR core. Arian Foster coming back this week means this is either the calm before the storm, or the calm before a depressing fall from mediocrity to irrelevance.

7. Jimmy Hostetler (B-Button Spin Move)
Last Week: 6
Change: -1
First Place Votes: 0
Fun Fact: His team is the new Wrecking Crew.

Last week I played Jimmy and my starting RBs (Jamaal Charles and Felix Jones) were both hurt and left the game. Charles is out for the season. This week, Perry played Jimmy and lost Kenny Britt for the season. Either Jimmy is a voodoo practicing witch doctor, or he’s Fantasy owner with “good players on a bad team.” Although in this case, the “bad team” they’re referring to might be Jimmys.

Weakest. Zing. Ever.

Speaking of zings, someone submitted a comment for Jimmy’s team comparing his team’s failure to “blow up” to a girl we knew in college who got fat. So yes, our league does consist of single, or soon to be single, guys.

6. AJ McGraw (deSPEcable me)
Last Week: 8
Change: +2
First Place Votes: 0
Fun Fact: Still shaking his head from the previous comment.

Winning cures all woes. Well it cures a few. I beat TJB this week by 6 points, and probably should have lost. I wonder, though, if I had lost and went to 0-3 would I have been ranked 9th overall? Shows you how valuable winning is (see Austin's team later for more).

Fun numbers from my matchup with TJB (only in-depth analysis for my team cause I’m selfish):

AJ’s Team
TJB’s Team
Matt Stafford (QB)
29 points
Tom Brady (QB)
33 points
Calvin Johnson (WR)
26 points
Ryan Matthews (RB)
28 points
Darren Sproles (RB)
17 points
Ray Rice (RB)
18 points
Owen Daniels (TE)
16 points
Fred Davis (TE)
2 points

Sometimes I’m thankful for Rex Grossman’s ineptitude.

Now for my favorite quote from Neil who seems to be fed up with the harassment, “[AJ] got [his] first win, [and] could get on a roll quickly with WR's and Stafford…or could suck and die.”

Love that guy.

5. TJ Buerle (Trail of Tears)
Last Week: 4
Change: -1
First Place Votes: 0
Fun Fact: Not pleased with Fred Davis. Self-proclaimed “smartest retard”.

Gonna steal/edit a comment from Austin: 'TJB gets the award for “Most Thuggish Receiving Core”. Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall and Santonio Holmes have all faced suspensions for poor off-field behavior. Collectively, however, they catch more [poop] from their baby mommas than TDs. However, having Tom Brady on his march to throw for a bajillion yards may catapult him to the playoffs.'

TJB keeps putting up big scores (3rd in the league in Points For), but has had unlucky matchups. Been there bro, been there. I ended up winning the league after a season like that…then again, I’m a competent fantasy owner.

4. Neil Morrissette (Team Ralph)
Last Week: 2
Change: -2
First Place Votes: 0
Fun Fact: Future gambling degenerate…and proud of it!

Common theme in the comments was, “When Vick is hurt he’s finished!” People fail to realize he has two elite WRs (Fitzy/Roddy), a sick RB (McCoy), the best PPR TE (Witten), ANOTHER top 3 TE (Gronkowski), and Michael Vick. With Vick scoring only 8 points this week Neil still netted 132 total. His team has depth on the starting lineup but a gaping hole at RB2 (smart, or lucky, call starting Jacobs this week).

People may forget that last year Neil was the clear favorite to win halfway through the season with Vick, McCoy, Peterson, and whomever else on his team. He had a down week in the playoffs against Noord and was out of it just like that. As much as it pains me to admit, if his WRs, TEs, and McCoy stay healthy, he’s going to be a force in this league.

He just called his bookie and laid a dime on himself (-250).

3. Austin Perry (Pledge Prez Perry)
Last Week: 5
Change: +2
First Place Votes: 0
Fun Fact: “Aaron Rogers is too sexy”- Bryan Gunst

It’s true, he is.

Teams Perry has faced this year have averaged an absurdly low 104 points per game (thanks to Neil for the stat). He beat me Week 1 with RBs totaling 5 points. He beat Sam last week (its Sam so…you know), and he beat Jimmy this week who put up a dismal 100 points. Give him TJBs schedule and he’s 0-3. Interesting how fickle Fantasy Football is. In his own words, “I believe Matthew Berry ranked the Ducal Crown strength of schedule for each team and gave me a score of ‘Paris Hilton easy’”. 

Hopefully she doesn’t read my blog.

Personal Soap Box: Remember how I said Austin always kills me in the rankings? I have statistical evidence now! (I'm not a self-absorbed nerd). On average, Perry ranks me two position ranks below the average. Pre-season? I was consensus number 1, and Perry ranked me 4. Week 1? Average rank 5, Perry ranked me 7.  This week? Average rank was 5, Perry ranked me 8, and now I'm 6th overall!

No. I’m not taking it personally. You whore.

2. Eric Creasman (God.Bless.Day.Beers)
Last Week: 3
Change: +1
First Place Votes: 2
Fun Fact: He’s got a pretty girl in his life and is smiling more than usual these days.

I think the league says it best:

His team is stacked. Welker is a PPR demi-god and when Miles Austin comes back, he’s got #1s all over his team.  If Mendy produces even a little bit, Creasy’s team, IMO, is the team to beat and best on paper.”
“Elite QB, great WRs, great RBs, only see good things.”
Eric Is a TE away from having the best starting line-up in our league. He will go as far as Wes Welker’s stubby legs can take him.” (Personal favorite)
Can Brees and Welker stay consistent with those totals? I dont know, but Mendenhall clearly loves Day Beers. He and Frank Gore must be playing quarters before their games this year.”

All this for the guy who finished in last place last year, had two of the worst keepers (BJGE and Austin Collie) and was ranked as the 7th best team in pre-season.

Then again, not everyone was thrilled with Creasman:

[Eff] this kids couch. [He] received 62% of production from 2 guys, and only 3 players besides kicker scored over 8 fantasy points...good luck with that over a full year #hateful”

1.  Ricky May (We Had a Baby Boy today!)
Last Week: 1
Change: 0
First Place Votes: 6* (only 8 members submitted rankings so cumulatively, this does not equal 10)
Fun Fact: Only team to stay in the same ranking position this week. Something about a baby.

It’s a stark realization when one of the guys in your fantasy league has a child. You immediately remember you’re not 21 and in college anymore. Sigh. Thanks for reminding us of our mortality, Rick!

Yet again, the league has all the material:

Until Fred Jackson slows down this team is too stacked to not be about to pop.”
Can't knock the hustle... Bastard”
"Matt Ryan for your best player." (The trade we've all heard)

We’re even trying to talk ourselves into beating him:

“His team is good, bound to have a bad week eventually. Right?” ….Right?? RIGHT?!?!?!
“Really wish someone would challenge him one week, too bad it won't be this week.” (NOTE: Ricky plays me this week…so thanks for that Neil.)

Probably the most astute observation:

“For another year, Ricky’s trading bonanza has vaulted him to #1 in the league. Only 3 of his current position player starters began the year on his team. When will we learn to stop giving him first place? has traded away anemic receivers like Santana Moss, Pierre Garcon, and Brandon Lloyd in deals that netted him Fred Jackson, Andre Johnson, and Dez Bryant. Only losing two starters, QB (Phil Riv) and 1 of his 2 quality TEs (Jermichael Finley).” -Austin

To be fair, I haven’t made a trade with him yet.