Fantasy Update

Down goes the optimism!  Down goes the optimism!  That didn’t take long.  I thought that Michael Vick’s 61-point performance last week may have been a small reward for all of the injuries we’ve dealt with.  It may have been just that, a small reward, because we certainly paid for it this week.  We suffered a 55 point loss this week, (another whooping at the hands of my Father) and of course we have to deal with another injury.  Brandon Marshall pulled his hammy on Thursday night leaving us an extra three days to wallow.  We started Johnny Knox in the Thursday night game as well, and if you’re getting 19 points combined from two receivers, you’re in for a tough week.  Add to that a 2 from Brandon Jacobs, a 3 from Michael Crabtree, and a 2 from Matt Prater, well, that’s 7 points from three more players.  Now we sit 3 games out of first with 6 to go.  Doable, sure, but there’s no room for error, or more injuries.

We have used up all of our drop/add moves for the year.  In TUFFKL we get 10 moves all season, but a maximum of one each week until the 10 run out.  We used our last one on Vincent Jackson last week,

Remember this giant omen from Panthers camp?

and if there was ever a candidate for the next guy to get injured, it’s the receiver who runs deep routes often, but hasn’t played a game all year.  Did I mention DeAngelo Williams got put on IR?  So now we have to carry his dead weight and we can’t even keep him next year.

Our starting line-up, except for our running backs, looks pretty dangerous on paper.  Vick, Felix Jones, Reggie Bush or Brandon Jacobs, and three out of Sidney Rice, Vincent Jackson, Michael Crabtree, Brandon Marshall, and Johnny Knox.  That would be a hell of a Madden team, even a decent fantasy team last year, but this year it’s just dreadful.

(Insert negative paragraph about Ryan Mathews here)

As for Her Sweetness’ league, well, I’m an eater.  When I’m eating, I generally eat the worst thing on the plate first to get it out of the way.  Why waste one of my last five forkfulls on peas and interrupt the porterhouse?  My point is that once I found out that the scoring in this league included decimals down to the hundreths, I knew Roll Over would lose a game my just a few hundreths.  I would have liked to have it happen early on when we were losing every week.  Nope, it happened this week against a team that has made one drop/add all year and started Jonathan Stewart (who didn’t play), Steve Smith of the Panthers, and the Panthers defense.  We lost by .04, that’s four yards from anyone.  Andre Johnson got shut down, Connor Barth missed a field goal, and Drew Brees and Marques Colston lit us up.

Roll Over now stands at 5-6, still a game out of third, and still the overall points leader.  I’m not worried, but I’m worried.  I sure wish the trading deadline in this league didn’t pass a month ago.

In other news:

  • Are you as excited as I am to see Jake Delhomme get the start against the Panthers?
  • If Brad Childress or Wade Phillips get a coaching job in Charlotte next year, I’m moving again.
  • That was pretty funny, Richard Seymour.
  • 9 episodes in and something almost happened on Dexter.
  • Randy Moss must be thrilled.
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Survivor: 3 days late recap

Finally, the pot has been stirred.  For some reason it took Marty’s hair getting voted out for people to wake up.  He seemed to be everyone but Dan’s primary target so it doesn’t really make sense for his elimination to stir things up, but there hasn’t been much sense made this season.

Something clicked in Holly’s head, she decided it was time to play, and to the jury went Brenda.  Yes, Brenda who helped two people find hidden immunity idols, practically made them take the idols instead of taking them herself, and then didn’t see it as necessary to lower herself to scrambling.  All she needed to do was swing one person to her side to replace Naonka, but she couldn’t be bothered.  If Chase is one of your strongest allies, you need to rethink things anyway.  What the hell is that guy’s deal?  Did he really just want to get into Brenda’s yellow bikini bottom?  If he had ever managed to get an immunity idol he would have surely given it away and gotten himself voted off.  Will the Carolinas ever forgive him for his dumbassedness?  Will he win?

Seriously, who’s going to win this thing now?  I have no idea.  Now it seems like Sash and Chase are the next two to go, but at this stage everything changes so much week to week.  There are still two immunity idols, assuming they didn’t go up in flames when the tribe fed all of their wooden chests to the fire, so Sash and Naonka should be safe for a few more weeks.  Jane keeps winning challenges and Marty’s words about her being a lock to win if she makes it are still looming.  It seems like there are a few people that have no right to win (Dan, Absent of Mind Kelly, and Chase), but why vote them off before Jane or anyone else who may actually win a challenge?

  • Remember that time when I was sledding down the side of a volcano in Guatemala with Naonka?  That was awesome.
  • Is Jeff Probst more involved vocally in these challenges than he has been in the past?  Has he ever told another contestant, “Don’t you dare quit on this challenge”?  How about all that gruff he gave the yellow team in the barrel challenge?  “If this were life or death….you’d be dead.”  Good stuff, maybe the producers told him that someone needs to spruce up this season, and then it all came together in one episode.
  • The barrel challenge seemed like it was edited down to 2 minutes when it probably took an hour.  I still say cut it down even more and let me see the school yard picking of teams.
  • Pizza, brownies, green pop, and…banana bread?  Banana bread is out of place there.

    I Google image searched Chocolate Eruption looking for a picture from "Goonies". This came up instead. He's a Bengal.

    How about some molten lava cake?  Or some Chocolate Eruption?  I’m on the side of a freakin’ volcano!  Banana bread?

  • Dan was the fifth one out of the immunity challenge.  That will be his best performance all season.  Even if he manages to be one of the last four people there, he still won’t do better than being fifth out of a physical challenge.
  • Kelly Blank Head’s 20 years of wisdom allowed her to be the only one to vote for Benry.  Even Chase and Sash voted for Brenda.
  • It’s about time for the auction, is it not?
  • Marty should wear a hat.

Survivor Freeze Frame of the Week: Because I’m late, you get a bonus freeze frame.  The first is the understatement of the year.  The second is another “That’s what she Said” moment.

Michael Loves Michael

On Monday afternoon, I sent an email to my Life Associate and Space Mountain co-owner.  The email was sarcastically rooted in optimism.  We were losing our game by 48 points with only one player left, so I did some quick research and found out that the top two performances in the league this year were by Jahvid Best (48 points) and Kenny Britt (49 points).  Jason Hanson had the third highest scoring week.  He’s a kicker, more on kickers later.  As a loyal reader can guess, our one player was the newly acquired Michael Vick.  Just the fact that I’m writing this before 9:00 AM is a hint as to how it turned out.

I hadn’t even planned on watching the game.  Her Sweetness and I made the acquaintance of The First 48 over the weekend.  Long story short, it’s about homicide detectives trying to solve a case in the first forty eight hours after a murder.  I’ve seen it on the guide many times in the past, but I always thought it was a history show about the first 48 states, which wouldn’t interest me.  I was wrong, and I’m glad, it’s a good show.  So I figured we may watch a recorded episode of that before retiring for the evening, but I checked the game just to see what was happening and to verify that the  news of Donovan McNabb’s contract extension was true.  The Eagles were already up 7-0 and had the ball again and only about five minutes had been played.  Then Mike Tirico said that the Eagles had scored an 88-yard touchdown on their first play from scrimmage.  In TUFFKL, scoring 48 points is not impossible, and things like a long touchdown on the first play need to happen.  TUFFKL scoring gives 3 bonus points for every touchdown over 50 yards, so that first touchdown was worth 11 points, that’s a big dent.

Then it just got out of hand.  As you can guess, we won, it wasn’t even close.  Vick scored 61 points, we had the game wrapped up at the beginning of the third quarter, I think I’m in love.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be on the other side of this.  If I were ahead in a game by 48 points and lost that quickly, I probably wouldn’t sleep until Thursday.  There has to be stories all over the country about fantasy games that were won and lost as a result of Vick’s performance.  What if he had only scored 47 and we lost by one?  Whew.

And to think that I was going to come on here and rant about what a bad week it was in TUFFKL.  Our game was going pretty badly on Sunday.  Everybody on our opponent’s team was scoring and no one on Space Mountain was, except for Kyle Orton who we had on our bench.  Brandon Jacobs and Michael Crabtree both had touchdowns called back, Brandon Marshall had two quarterbacks hurt, then he almost threw an interception himself, and apparently Ted Nugent reads my blog, because Mike Nugent blew out his knee on an onside kick.  But then Felix Jones had a 71-yard touchdown before the lights went out in East Rutherford and we were back in it.  Then came the low point of my Sunday.  We hadn’t started Nugent, instead we went with Matt Prater.  Our opponent started Ryan Succop.  At the end of the first half, Josh McDaniels decided to let Prater attempt a 58 yard field goal.  That’s 9 points for us if he makes it, and -2 if he misses it.  He missed it short and the Chiefs ran it all the way back in to field goal range.  Succop hit a 40-something yard field goal, that’s 6 points for our opponent and a 17 point swing in the game. I was mad.

I still had high hopes heading in to the Sunday night game.  We had the Steelers defense and Vick left against only Tom Brady, and we were down by around 10 points.  Surely that seemed doable.  Tom Brady had other plans, though, and he made the Steelers defense look pretty feminine.

But there is joy in Mudville today, readers.  Space Mountain got a win out of nowhere.  It’s one of those fantasy games that I’ll always remember.

I really drafted this guy once?

It’s up there with watching Rex Grossman throw 4 interceptions against the Cardinals in the “Crown their Asses” game a few years ago.  I was ahead 16 points in that game and Grossman ended up with a -12.

So all is well today.  In Her Sweetness’ work league, Roll Over had 110 points by 3:00 on Sunday.  The game actually got a little close last night, because our opponent had the Eagles defense, but we won by 16.  Our opponent started Steve Smith of the Giants who didn’t play, and he had the points on the bench to beat us.  It was that kind of week I guess.  At 5-5, we are now in a 5-way tie for third place.  We have the tie-breaker right now because we’re the highest scoring team in the league.  So with all that good news, this is where I get nervous and start waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Another Trade

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.

Uncle Ted, if you're related to Mike, please stuff him and hang him on your wall at Thanksgiving.

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.

Go Space Mountain!

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.

Here's hoping these two really like the end of "Thelma and Louise".

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.

Survivor: Mr. Farty

And so Marty is gone.  I never really cared for the guy, but for some reason I was rooting for him to stay.  I really don’t know why either, maybe because he was one out of three people that actually seem to be playing the game and not just cruising by “playing” dumb like Fabio, or maybe it was his walk that apparently sucks.  I do look forward to seeing how his hair progresses on the jury.  I hope he doesn’t wash it.

Marty’s game was flawed, though, but he’s not alone.  The flaw was that he focused on Jane too much, when he should have been stirring up the Brenda/Sash pot.  These two are calling the shots and both seem intent on bringing Naonka and her immunity idol to the finals.  Everyone seems to think that they are in an alliance with Brenda and Sash, even Marty did, but Marty seemed to be the last common enemy that they all had.  Now that he’s gone, it should start to get a little grimy and people are going to have to start playing whether they want to or not.

I thought the guys going on the reward may have been the start of something, but Marty seemed blind to the fact that Sash is going to tell Brenda everything.  Any big plot to stir things up cannot be told to Brenda or Sash.  Is everyone missing this?

Clearly Purple Kelly doesn’t have her head in the game.  The first two sentences she spoke in quite a while were, “I’m gonna cry” and “I’m hungry”.  It was made clear that she has no strong alliance with the men, not strong enough for them to give up barbecue anyway.  Smart decision picking the women there, Chase.  He’s another dummy that won’t win, but managed to figure out Marty’s plan to flush out the idol, which just shows how bad of a plan it was.  I’m assuming Holly is just floating along waiting to get eliminated too, but people have won that way.  It could just be that none of these people get along and don’t want to be in an alliance to overthrow Brenda and Sash.  Somehow I can see Dan and Naonka sitting in the finals with the winner of the eventual Sash/Brenda back stab.

There is usually a big move made around this time in the game, and then one more when it gets down to about five people.  But one of the most indifferent casts in the show’s history might just plod along and get eliminated one after the other.  We’re due for a challenge in which the contestants are given three ropes and everyone takes an axe to someone else’s rope.  This usually makes the pecking order and alliances stand out so everyone knows where they stand.  The problem is that I don’t think Brenda and Sash know what the pecking order is.  Naonka seems to be the third in their alliance, but after that it’s a toss up.  Getting rid of Marty was an easy call, but now what?  Fabio, Benry, and Dan all voted with Marty.  Does that make them the next to go?

Survivor Freeze Frame of the Week: Since you’ve been so nice, this week you get two.  The first I call “Mr. Farty goes to Town.”

The second one I call “What Happens when you say ‘Barbecue’ to starving People”

Shhhh.

I almost don’t want to catch you up on my fantasy doings, because I don’t want to jinx anything.  I guess it’s a risk you take when you decide to blog about fantasy football.  Jinx be damned, I’m blogging.

This season continues to be predictably unpredictable.  I remember thinking about the Yahoo league during week 4.  I was contemplating a trade and I remember feeling that my team shouldn’t be in danger of losing a  game until week 8.  You can imagine how it felt to muster only one win since then with the big week 8 match-up upon us.  It turned out to be no contest at all, Roll Over won by 30 points, as the combination of Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, and Pierre Garcon scored a combined 45 points on Monday night.  Because the standings are so close, Roll Over vaulted from 11th to 7th place with only one win.  We are now just one win out of the last playoff spot.  If only Andre Johnson would heal.

As for Space Mountain, well, we squeezed out a big win in a game that I thought we had no right to win.  It’s good to win one of those.  Our opponent was stacked at receiver with Andre Johnson, Kenny Britt, and Antonio Gates starting.  Add Matt Schaub to that and it looked like we were going to have another miserable Monday night.  But then each of his receivers had some sort of injury to deal with, Britt being the worst and getting zero points.  We rode Matthew Stafford’s big effort, and Garcon held off Johnson and Schaub on Monday night to give us a 5-point victory.  We’re 4-4 and only 2 games out of first place.  I’d be feeling pretty confident if the Bengals decided to run the ball or if Ryan Mathews decided to stay healthy for longer than 10 minutes.

This figures to be a pivotal week for both teams, which means I could be pretty sour or downright enthusiastic come Monday.  Either way, I’ll probably have a better weekend than Brad Childress.

Survivor.

I woke up this morning and decided to cook all of you breakfast.  That makes me mad!  So because I decided on my own to do a nice thing and cook all of you breakfast…and it made me mad, I’m taking these Crunch Berries and hiding them.  That’ll teach you to let me do something nice for you.

What the hell is wrong with this Naonka person?  I’ve made it a point to try and not write too much about her so as to not give her ignorance my time.  I also wish that the sports media would just stop asking Terrell Owens and Brett Favre for their opinions, but I doubt either will happen.  Initially I thought she was just trolling for fame by being the rude reality star, now I think it’s something else.  I have no idea what, I’m no doctor.  What do you think, Purple Kelly? (silence)

Bread!  Rum!  Feast!  “We gotta drink all of this…today!”  Right on, Fabio.  Who amongst us hasn’t had days like that where all of the booze just needed to be dealt with, no matter what the consequences.  Back in my 20’s, we called that Saturday.

One thing I never did in my 20’s, or my 30’s,  was P90X.  Apparently Jane has and it seems to be serving her well.

Wanna know what you're playin' for?

Although, for the immunity challenge I’m pretty certain that a Shake Weight may have served as just as good of a training tool.  It looked like it was all forearms and deltoids being worked out in that challenge, that screams Shake Weight to me.  Shake Weight!  Right before the challenge, I asked Her Sweetness, “What’s the over/under on Dan lasting?  Three minutes?”  Then he was out.  That rod is probably heavier than I think. (That’s what she said)

Anyone else tired of hearing Marty blabber on?  I do like what his hair has become, but I’m Marty-saturated.  Dan has nothing to say?  Holly?  Purple Kelly, what about you? (silence)

I do know this, Benry needs to form an alliance with Marty right now.  Bring in Fabio and maybe Holly (make sure you get her South Dakota Word of Honor), then shut up about it.  Otherwise you all become a group of swing votes, why not merge your swingvotedness and dominate?

Anyway, see ya Alina.  Whatever.  Nice try at making a plan out of nowhere with a group of people that didn’t like you.  Nice awareness.

Survivor Freeze Frame of the Week: I call this one “Not Quite Eve”.