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!"