Space Mountain lost again last week, putting up a sad 72 points in defeat. You know me, though, I was still optimistic going in to the Monday night game with the Steelers defense and Mike Nugent trying to make up a 30-something point deficit. Under TUFFKL scoring rules, kickers have much more value than they do in real life so we had a chance. Field goals over 40 yards get 6 points, and field goals over 50 yards get 9 points.
You don’t have to ask how I feel about Mike Nugent after he missed 2 kicks that would have been worth 15 points. Instead he lost 4 points, but managed 3 extra points for a whopping -1 point for the evening. That’s a 19 point swing in a game that we lost by 23 points. So I headed off to bed, pissed off again, and missed what was apparently a pretty exciting finish.
That’s fine, it was a tough loss to a good team, we’re still in good shape because Matthew Stafford is back and throwing touchdowns to Megatr…what? He’s hurt? No, he just came back from a shoulder injury, that must be the one you’re talking about…another one? What? Come on! Better yet, Come On Man! It’s really getting ugly inside Space Mountain. We have to keep shutting down the ride to make repairs and the childrens are getting upset and going to ride the Tea Cups and that submarine thing. We need to fix this. We need a man the children can get behind. We need a man that everyone in America loves! It’s trade time!
Since the draft we thought that running back was one of our strengths. Actually, other than quarterback (we drafted Stafford and Kevin Kolb) we felt we were strong everywhere. Our running backs this week were DeAngelo Williams (injured), Cedric Benson (a Bengal), Ryan Mathews (a cross between watching “Open Water” and being stuck in traffic), and Brandon Jacobs (our best back?). We were in need of a quarterback because after Stafford we only have Kyle Orton who could be Tebowed in the coming weeks. It just so happened that another team, the Equipment Managers, had three quarterbacks, and a worse running back situation.
His quarterbacks were Michael Vick (an ex-con and the opposite of Sarah McLachlan), Ben Rosinbagger (a penis user), and Carson Palmer (a Bengal…for now). His backs were Jamaal Charles, Felix Jones, Jonathan Stewart, and Cadillac Williams. Combined all of our backs stink this year, but most of ours at least get playing time, they just don’t do anything with it. So I shot off an email to the owner who is a frequent trading partner of Space Mountain’s, in fact we got DeAngelo Williams from him just last year.
My email basically asked if we could swing a back for a quarterback. Oh, I forgot to mention that Space Mountain dropped Danny Amendola and picked up Reggie Bush to add some depth. TUFFKL rosters carry 2 QB’s, 4 RB’s, 5 WR/TE’s, and a wild card spot that can be used anywhere. His 3rd QB was his wild card, our 5th RB was ours. So we could merely trade a RB for a QB straight-up and be done with it. But we hit a snag. Mathews and Bush are on byes this week, and DeAngelo is still out with an injury. That left us with Jacobs and Benson. He wanted to trade Benson for Rosinbagger or Palmer, which we would have done were it not for the bye issues. We offered to wait a week, but he really needed a back this week. He came back with Benson and Stafford (who’s probably out for the year and becomes a dead roster spot) for Vick and Felix Jones. He mentioned that he was unsure if he wanted to do that yet, but he floated it out there. It meant we would have to start Felix Jones this week, but it also meant we’d have Michael Vick who suddenly seems to have a nice fantasy future ahead of him. He can also be kept for 2 more years after this and who knows what team he’ll end up on next year, even if it’s the Eagles, I’ll take it. So we made the official offer and he accepted, just like that we have Michael Vick. I wasn’t expecting that, I was expecting Rosinbagger who seems to wind up on a Space Mountain roster every year, now we have Vick’s rushing yards, long touchdown bonus points, and keeper future. We also have his injury history, but I’m pretending he doesn’t have one.
There is no magic formula for winning TUFFKL. The closest thing I can come up with is you need some form of touchdown production from at least one running back, you need to get lucky on a third wide receiver late in the draft, but most of all you need to have a stud quarterback. Or just have Rob Bironas. Whether Vick winds up being our stud QB for the next few years I don’t know. Two months ago I thought we’d be a lock to keep Brandon Marshall and Ryan Mathews. Now I have no idea, it all depends on where Vick goes next year and who Michael Crabtree and Sidney Rice’s quarterbacks are whenever football is played again. Hell, the TUFFKL trading deadline is a few weeks from now, so our roster could be drastically different in a few weeks anyway.
In Her Sweetness’ work league, Roll Over laid another whooping on some other team. At 4-5, we are the overall points leader, have won 2 in a row (!), and are in 6th place only a game out of 3rd. We already had Joe Flacco and Roddy White play this week, again I went to bed at halftime which seems to help as Flacco did nothing in the first half, but lit it up while I was asleep. We have 46 points between the 2 of them while our opponent, who is also 4-5, got only 14.8 points from Anquan Boldin and Tony Gonzalez. It’s a good start for us, but I’m still nervous.
The trading deadline in that league came and went without a deal on Friday. I don’t remember if I mentioned it here or not, but before last week’s games, I was able to trade Lance Moore for Malcolm Floyd to a team that need a receiver badly with Floyd hurt and his bye coming up. With Reggie Bush back, Moore’s production figures to go down, the same could be said about Floyd with Vincent Jackson coming back, but Floyd is our 5th receiver so it may never matter. I’m still paranoid, though because our three top receivers (Andre Johnson, White, and the Bucs’ Mike Williams) all have some sort of injury. I thought about trying to make a deal for Hakeem Nicks or DeSean Jackson, but decided to do nothing and hope.
We also made a few moves to go all in on our running backs. With only Beanie Wells and BenJarvisGreenEllis behind Arian Foster and Chris Johnson, and no open roster spots, it made sense to me to drop Wells and BenJarvisGreenEllis and add Foster and Johnson’s back-ups, so I did. I’d never start Wells or BenJarvisGreenEllis over Foster or Johnson anyway so why not protect myself with Derrick Ward and Javon Ringer. Done.
We even stumbled into good tight end depth somehow, adding Visanthe Shiancoe and Jacob Tamme, so this team seems good to go. I think I’m most proud of adding the Cardinals defense last week right before their game against the Childress-hating, interception throwing, disaster waiting to happen Vikings.
In this league, there is usually a defense available every week with a decent match-up, but I’m sticking with the Cardinals against Pete Carrol’s team this week. I’m hoping for another Charlie Whitehurst appearance.
Anyway, that ends a fairly optimistic sounding fantasy update. I’ll probably be back with the anger on Tuesday to let you know who got hurt.