Tag Archives: Ryan Mathews

Fantasy poop.

This may be my final fantasy update of the season as I have no teams with anything to play for.  When we last spoke, Roll Over needed a small miracle to make the playoffs.  We had to win our game against the first place team, then have the 4th place team lose to a 4-9 team.  The 4-9 team started off with a zero from the Titans’ defense against the Colts on Thursday night, that didn’t bode well.  With his opponent starting Aaron Rodgers against the Lions, all seemed lost.  Then Rodgers got hurt early and I let a little slice of hope creep in….dummy.  The 4-9 team had picked up Lance Moore earlier in the week, but in this league, if you pick someone up they aren’t automatically placed in your starting lineup.  So this guy had a vacant spot in his lineup as the 4:00 games approached.  He had Lance Moore and Vincent Jackson to choose from, so I figured he was just waiting to see if Jackson was active.  4:15 came and went and he didn’t make any changes.  That was that.  His opponent had DeSean Jackson going on Sunday night to throw the last shovelfuls of dirt on our grave.  We won our game by 52 points, by the way, and are the overall points leader by more than 70 points.

What went wrong with this team?  Long story short, we were a victim of the schedule.  We were one of the top three scoring teams most weeks, but just happened to play someone that scored more that week.  In weeks 12 and 13, when all we needed was one win, we lost by a combined 1.74 points.  I blame Chris Johnson’s two week crapfest, and Andre Johnson’s ejection for this.  That’s that.

As for Space Mountain, ugggh.  As predicted Matt Prater got hurt, leaving us with no kicker, because we have no drop/add moves left.  This week, Kyle Orton got benched, or is he hurt too?  Honestly, I stopped looking.

I think there’s a chance we can finish in 4th and make some money, but I don’t care enough to do the math, because there’s a tie involved.  Ryan Mathews apparently had a good game finally.  Suck it, Ryan Mathews, suck it all day long.

What looks like our only bright spot, will surely lead to some frustration.  We actually have a lot of decent players to pick from when thinking about our two keepers next season.  Michael Vick, Mathews?, maybe Felix Jones, Brandon Marshall, Sidney Rice, Vincent Jackson, and Michael Crabtree.  Some of these guys will be on different teams, or have new quarterbacks, or new coaches, so a lot needs to happen.  First we need to find out when they’ll be playing football again.

There you go.  At least I’m sleeping much better than I was in August.

Space Mountain update.

In the middle of my daily coffee ingestion period yesterday I came across the type of news that makes me the way I am about fantasy football.  To review, in TUFFKL, Space Mountain’s running backs heading into this week were Ryan Mathews, DeAngelo Williams, Joseph Addai, and Tim Hightower.  You’ll remember that I was thrilled with what I considered great depth as of last Monday.  Winning will rot your brain that way.

The first bit of news that I saw was that Beanie Wells was most likely going to be making his return this week.  Not good for Hightower.  I then saw that Joseph Addai missed practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury that I was unaware of.  Then I saw that Ryan Mathews was “iffy” to play with what some were reporting as the dreaded high ankle sprain.  Now we at Space Mountain are no fools.  We realized that Tim Hightower’s numbers were sky high right now, but mostly because he hasn’t been splitting time with Beanie Wells.  Since that’s probably ending this week, it made sense to try to sell high on Hightower.  Personally I can’t stand the headache of playing match-ups every week.  I want as many studs as I can start and not have to think on Sunday morning about who to play.  So what if Austin Collie had a big week and outscored Randy Moss.  Would you ever sit Randy Moss for Austin Collie?  Having Hightower splitting carries and Addai hurt with Donald Brown breathing down his neck for playing time does not make me giddy.

How did Space Mountain handle this?  First I looked at the league rosters to find out who had Beanie Wells.  Maybe they’d be willing to take Hightower just to handcuff the two.  There may even be a time where they’re as successful as DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart (last year) and it’s possible that you play them both the same week.  As I found out Wells’ owner (The Toads)  was also 0-2.  Last place teams are always more willing to trade than teams higher up in the standings.  His other running backs were Cedric Benson, Clinton Portis, Steve Slaton, and Laurence Maroney.  Portis has been slowly declining in fantasy terms for the last year and a half, and he’s coached by fantasy football hater, Mike Shanahan.  Needless to say I wouldn’t trade Hightower straight up for him.  Benson is the stand out of that group anyway.  He’s their lone back and the Bengals next three games are against the Panthers, Browns, and Buccaneers, that’s not bad if Mathews is out for a while.  As long as DeAngelo stays healthy.  You’ll remember that The Toads drafted Benson with their first pick in the draft so it was going to take some wrangling to get Benson.

My Life Associate and I emailed back and forth a few times to discuss what to offer.  We settled on Addai and Hightower for Benson and Maroney.  We probably wouldn’t keep Maroney, and when and if Mathews is ever healthy we’d always play him and DeAngelo unless they were on byes, so Addai and Hightower were just headaches that could have big weeks on our bench.  The same could be said for Benson, but I’d certainly rather have three studs and one scrub than two studs and two “sometimes” performers.   A stud running back that can be kept for two more seasons has way more value in this league if we have to trade out of more trouble.

I sent the offer to The Toads.  We had debated on whether to ask for Portis instead of Maroney as Portis will still score a few touchdowns, but decided we could use the flexibility of Maroney’s slot on our roster.  I failed to mention how Kevin Kolb’s benching and A.J. Smith’s being Grand Moff Jackass put a damper on Space Mountain’s week.  We had to drop Kolb and pick-up Matt Hasselbeck, I was actually happy that he was available.  We’ll also  be dropping Vincent Jackson too, because he’s not playing this season.  Anyway, after we sent the offer we debated on whether or not we’d trade DeAngelo and Hightower for Besnon and Maroney if The Toads countered with that offer.  We didn’t even have time to think about it, because he accepted our offer pretty quickly.  As a result we now have DeAngelo Williams, Cedric Benson, the off this week Ryan Mathews, and Laurence Maroney as our running backs.  Wouldn’t you know it, Laurence Maroney’s value is already climbing.

Wrong Benson.

So there you have it.  We’ll be starting Benson and DeAngelo this week as the Panther’s host the Bengals in Jimmy Clausen’s first game as a starter.  Feed the beast, Jimmy.  Feed him!

TUFFKL Draft

After 3 laborious days, the TUFFKL draft was completed yesterday.  I must say that I’m pretty pleased with my our team.  My Life Associate and I went in with a plan and executed it for the most part.  We let the draft come to us for the most part and some pretty good players fell into our laps.

The draft technically began after the last preseason games on Thursday night/early Friday morning.  We didn’t really get going until about 7 or 8 AM on Friday.  Most people were working.  I was emailing my Life Associate the draft’s progress and thoughts on our next picks, while guzzling coffee.  At some point I got so draft-caffeine jittery that I typed an entire draft-related email to my Life Associate in the IM chat window that I was talking to Her Sweetness in.  These things happen.

To review, the league has this many teams, you’re allowed to keep 1 or 2 players, we kept 1 (DeAngelo Williams), and were drafting 3rd overall and 2nd in the supplemental round, 14th overall.  The last minute surprise to this whole thing was the team drafting 2nd, the Devils, decided to keep no one, allowing him to jump ahead of us in the supplemental round.  Another team, the Toads, wasn’t keeping anyone either, but he was selecting after us in the supplemental round.  After we each got our first supplemental pick, they each got one more and then the draft resumed in serpentine fashion.

Our debate all along for our first selection was between Ryan Mathews and Randy Moss.  Figuring the Devils were starting from scratch we thought he would select a stud running back or Tom Brady with the 2nd pick, after Adrian Peterson went first.

Welcome aboard, now get to work.

In our minds, Mathews was the best back available even though he’s unproven and the Chargers have some offensive holdouts that could impact their productivity.  In this league, it’s imperative to have one stud running back.  We can only keep DeAngelo through this season, and wanted to lock up a stud back for the next few years.  Mathews is that.  So when Steven Jackson got taken 2nd, we took Mathews without blinking.  It’s a nice pairing with Williams and we figured there was enough stud receiver depth in the draft that we’d get DeSean Jackson at the very least to add as our first receiver.  Randy Moss in a contract year is tempting, but his hamstrings are older and we’ve both been burned by the Randy Moss that goes half speed when he’s having a bad day.

Now, DeSean Jackson would have been fine, and I had been talking myself into the fact that Greg Jennings may be available, but his stock has been soaring lately.  We assumed that the good receiver talent would get snapped up quickly.  Moss, Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, Jennings, Brandon Marshall, and Larry Fitzgerald were all available.  I spent the night before the draft doing some simple math and realizing that there were 10 picks between our first and second selections so we would need four running backs and Brady to get taken and we would lock up Jennings, or someone out of that group.  Low and behold, Ryan Grant, Shonn Greene, Cedric Benson, Pierre Thomas, Arian Foster, and Brady all got selected.  Moss, Calvin Johnson, White, and Fitzgerald also got selected leaving us Jennings and Brandon Marshall to choose from.  Holy hell!  How’d that happen?  We chose Marshall given the lack of other receiving weapons in Miami compared to Green Bay.  Keeping Mathews and Marshall for the next few years doesn’t sound so bad, if Marshall can start actually catching the ball.  Colston and Anquan Boldin went with the last two supplemental picks, leaving the team drafting 12th, last year’s winner to select Jackson to go with Fitzgerald.  He adds those two to Chris Johnson and Tony Romo for a damn good first four picks in the draft.  I’ll hit you bullet-style so this doesn’t take as long as the actual draft:

  • We planned on taking two receivers with our next two picks, Dallas Clark was the first one (tight ends count as wide receivers in this league).  With our next pick, there was a lot of sameness with the available receivers and still some good backs left.  We were either taking Johnny Knox, Jermichael Finley, or a good back.  We went with Joseph Addai and locked up some big touchdown producers in a highly productive offense.  Then we hoped that Knox or Finley would make it back to us 18 picks later.  Wouldn’t you know it?  They both made it back to us.  We took Knox and then waited for the short 4 pick turn around and Finley was there so we snagged him.  Now we have Addai as our back up running back and Finley or Knox as our 4th receiver, we start 3 with no flex.
  • We decided before the draft that we would wait a while to select a quarterback.  7 were kept and Brady went early, leaving Joe Flacco as the only QB worth taking in the first few rounds.  Had he been available when we selected Knox, we probably would have taken Flacco, but he got picked right after we took Addai.  That meant more waiting.  We were looking to take two QB’s back to back at some point, maybe Cutler and Palmer, something like that.
  • Needless to say Palmer, Cutler, McNabb, and Eli Manning all went before we picked again.  One team took the same approach and selected McNabb and Cutler which kind of hurt us.  That left us with Matthew Stafford and Kevin Kolb.  Favre was on the board, but we’re in the club that doesn’t feel good about that situation this year.
  • After that the Steelers defense was on the board when our turn came around again.  We hadn’t planned on taking a defense that early, but the run had started and they were available so why not?  I’ve never had the Steelers defense on a fantasy team of mine so I’m pretty happy about it.
  • We took Vincent Jackson after that.  This was before the 6:00 deadline on Saturday for him to report or add another 3 games to his suspension.  We took a shot anyway, it was late in the draft, he’s our 5th receiver.  We’ll see, it may end up being our worst pick, but it was worth the risk at that point.
  • We picked Tim Hightower after that to fill out our running back stable.

    The other Hightower.

    Adding another kinda sorta starting running back that gets touchdowns in the 12th round makes me happier than it should make a civilized person.

  • We filled out our roster with Jacoby Jones, Matt Prater, the Panthers defense, and Mike Nugent.
  • The only time that we were bummed out was when we started talking about taking Dexter McCluster too late.  Looking back, we probably should have taken a shot on him instead of Vincent Jackson.
  • One team kept Reggie Wayne and Miles Austin.  With his first pick he added Calvin Johnson.  Holy hell.
  • The Toads, who kept no one, but could have kept Benson, Jennings, and/or Colston selected Benson and Jennings with his first two picks.  Had he kept them, he could have added Roddy White, Calvin Johnson, Fitzgerald, or Marshall to that pairing.  But hindsight is 20/20 they say.
  • Sidney Rice got taken with the last pick in the 4th round.  I don’t know if the owner knew his injury status or not.  But this is the team with Phillip Rivers, Frank Gore, and Peterson, so he could get pretty deadly around week 9.
  • Overall, I’m pretty happy with the draft.  There are prizes for scoring the most points overall each week.  Last year Space Mountain didn’t win any.  I feel like this team should at least improve on that.  Ultimately it comes down to injuries and the schedule.  I dread the type of season where your team scores the second-most points in the league that week, but you’re always playing the team that scores the most.  That’s the worst.

I’ll be back Thursday with my Super Awesome Football Spectacular.  Be there!