Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2021: Playing For The Third Pick

It was a highly disappointing, yet predictable defeat. 185.10 to 108.24. My quarterbacks got a combined 6.5 points (Heinicke & Jones), while no one got me over 20. The only possible good news that came out of my week last week was picking up T.J. Hockenson as my likely tight end keeper heading into next year. He’s missed four games this year, yet he still sits in the Top 10 of all tight ends. If he averaged 10 points per week in those four weeks he missed, he’d be in the Top 5 right now. Seems like a no-brainer.

Now I’m up against The Lance Petemans to try to get the 3rd overall draft pick. We’re both about as bad as it gets. I don’t want to talk about it.

Splinter League Round-Up!

BUCK FUTTER added to my woes this week, as I lost in humiliating fashion. The Chargers’ defense got me -8 points. Had I started the 49ers’ defense, I would’ve won. Had I kept Mark Andrews in my lineup over Russell Gage (I benched Andrews because the Ravens were on their third stringer at quarterback), I would’ve won. Instead, I tinkered where I shouldn’t have, and I deserve my fate of playing for third place against my brother (the first place team, who also lost in an upset last week).

Third League Round-Up!

The lone bright spot is RUM HAM! We came from behind to defeat Beer Thirty, thanks to a solid game from Jaylen Waddle on Monday Night. I scored the most points in the league last week, and will need every bit of that kind of production again to defeat Steel Curtain for the title. I joined this league on a whim – it’s run by my brother’s work friends – and my only goal was to avoid last place. Instead, I could be looking at a nice little payday when it’s all said and done! I haven’t won a title in a real league since 2009 (any titles I have since then came from random leagues I joined where most of the people dropped out midway through). It figures the league I care about the least is the one I do the best in.

I Napped While The Seahawks Lost To The Bears

Not for the whole game, but for a good chunk of the “action” in the second half. Who can watch this team for three straight hours?!

It’s impossible for me to keep rehashing all the ways the Seahawks are a disappointing mess. Obviously, we’re all just running out the clock on this dreadful season before massive changes will be made. What will those changes be? Ditch the coach and GM and keep the quarterback? Ditch the quarterback and keep the coach and GM? Ditch all three and completely start over?

I know there are fans who want to blow the whole thing up. I get that impulse. Sometimes, different is better, if for no other reason than your peace of mind. Different might still be bad on the football field, but it’s not the same ol’ bad with the same ol’ people you’ve grown to loathe.

There are also lots of fans who have drawn their battle lines in the sand. They’ve chosen a side in this impending divorce. That’s sort of where I’m at right now. If you’ve read any of my Seahawks coverage lately, you probably know where I land. I feel like most Seahawks fans side with Russell Wilson. They see Pete Carroll as holding this franchise back with his old and stodgy ways. They see John Schneider whiffing on countless trades and draft picks in recent years. They see an elite, franchise quarterback, with a bad offensive line and a bad offensive scheme that doesn’t fully utilize his talents.

Well, you know what I see? I see a spoiled brat of a quarterback. I see someone who didn’t get his way and is throwing a temper tantrum every time he goes on the field. I see someone being told what to do, then going out and doing the opposite.

Here’s the thing: you can’t keep it all the same, because that hasn’t worked since 2014. At least one of those big three (GM, coach, QB) has to go. This will never be a Super Bowl-winning trio ever again; it’s time to try something new. But, I also don’t think the Seahawks should blow it all up and start over.

Yes, it’s extremely difficult to find a franchise quarterback. But, you know what else is hard? Finding a coach and GM who know their asses from a hole in the ground. I’m simply terrified by the notion of going into the next few years with absolutely nothing in place.

Maybe I’m way off-base. I’m willing for that to be so. But, I’ve seen Pete Carroll and John Schneider have tremendous success before in building a roster from scratch. Granted, a big piece of that roster was Russell Wilson, but that was a version of Russell Wilson who worked within the scheme that was set in place. The scheme can work! There’s no one unifying way to win in the NFL. You can pass a lot, you can run a lot, or you can do any variation in between (so long as you have a good defense; that’s always going to be the key come playoff time). Where the scheme fails is when you have a quarterback constantly going rogue and refusing to run the scheme.

We’ve yet to see this team – as carried by Russell Wilson – get us to the promised land. For as good as he was from 2012-2014, he was also severely hamstrung by a conservative scheme, and carried by an elite defense. Ever since the defense started falling apart, and the scheme started being tweaked in his favor, we’ve had middling results, never even making the NFC Championship Game again.

Russell Wilson, by himself, isn’t good enough to lead a team to a championship. You can argue no quarterback is THAT good, and that they all need a quality cast of supporting players to help them succeed. But, I would also argue that Russell Wilson isn’t even in the elite class of quarterbacks who make the players around them better. When you think of all the games won by Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, who have always been LUCKY to have a single quality receiver (in Brady’s case, in the pre-Tampa years), these are guys getting by with less-than-elite receivers, while making them look competent. Russell Wilson has D.K. Metcalf and is somehow making him look WORSE!

We’ve had great success with Russell Wilson, and we’ve now had tremendous failure with him. We know what he is. He’s never going to get with the program, and the program is never going to fully adapt to his aging skillset.

If we fire Carroll and keep Wilson, that means we’ll have to hire some hotshot offensive mind and hope he’s a Matt LaFleur and not one of the countless fucking duds that are hired and fired within three years because being a head coach was too much for them. The thing is, you can’t hire any ol’ hotshot offensive coordinator and hope he’s going to work out as a head coach. Some guys don’t have that skillset. Some just got lucky as an OC and took advantage of being in the right place at the right time. Some guys are just better suited to be play-callers and not actual coaches. Matt Nagy was supposed to be some amazing new head coaching prospect; can you imagine the next Matt Nagy paired with Russell Wilson? It would be a disaster!

I would argue it’s more difficult to find a quality head coach than it is a franchise quarterback. Coaches are the ultimate scapegoats, and at the slightest inkling of misfortune are replaced in favor of a disgruntled QB. There are plenty of franchise quarterbacks who hold down jobs in the NFL for a decade-plus; how many head coaches have that kind of longevity before being demoted to a coordinating job, or going back to college? Even Super Bowl-winning head coaches can’t keep their jobs forever! Yet, there are always 10-15 franchise quarterbacks out there still kicking; there are maybe 5 head coaches who’ve remained with their same teams for just as long.

Give me Carroll and Schneider, let them trade Wilson, and let’s see if we can rebuild this thing into a winner again! Let’s see if we can get the same old scheme humming along. We know this team doesn’t work with Wilson; let’s see if the scheme also doesn’t work without Wilson. If they fail, then so be it, we only had a few more years left with them anyway.

But, the thought of just handing over the team to Wilson, and continuing to struggle in this fashion, because the new head coach wasn’t capable of being a head coach, just sickens me to no end.

I believe in Pete Carroll. I love watching football teams who run well and defend well. Granted, I’d love it a lot more if we found a defensive coordinator who knew what he was doing, but I have to hope putting resources towards the defense – and away from the quarterback spot – will be the spark we need to turn things around.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2021: Bring On The Consolation Bracket!

What a refreshing BYE week for those of us in the Consolation Bracket (as well as the top two seeds in the actual playoffs; I feel like such a big shot!).

In all seriousness, what truly sucks about it is that I scored the second-most points among my Consolation Bracket brethren. And, indeed, I would have beaten my upcoming opponent – Sloane N Steady – if our little mini-tournament had started last week. There’s some conjecture involved there, but in looking at the players he left in his starting lineup – as well as his bench – I had him either way. His guys did nothing.

Which means, of course, that I’m going to get my ass handed to me, now that everything is on the line. I can’t even begin to tell you how important this game is this week. A top two draft pick vs. a draft pick in the 3 or 4 spots doesn’t seem like a lot, but we JUST converted to a full dynasty league, which means all future drafts are going to have a very small pool of talent from which to draw. We’re relying on incoming rookies, or trying to find a diamond in the rough from the leftovers who weren’t kept. Recall in our league, there will be 100 players kept – 10 players on 10 teams (each one of us will keep 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 K, 1 DEF) – so the odds of finding a leftover gem are pretty remote. Just as remote as finding a quality rookie.

The thing with rookies is: usually there’s one or two obvious studs on offense. But, three or four? Especially in a year without a clearcut baller at quarterback?

This Consolation Bracket feels just as important as the actual playoffs. I’m just as invested as if I were playing for the prize money. I might be more invested, to be honest! The money is nice, the name on the trophy is nicer, but I haven’t been close to that trophy in years. I’m trying to start a dynasty! I’m trying to build a team from the ground up and contend for that trophy for years to come! I’ve been mediocre for too long, and now I feel I’m close to turning a corner. I just need a break. A spark. Something to ignite my team starting in 2022 and going forward.

Getting that spark starts right now, beating Sloane N Steady. I have to! I need this!

  • Mac Jones (QB) vs. BUF
  • Justin Fields (QB) @ SEA
  • Diontae Johnson (WR) @ KC
  • D.K. Metcalf (WR) vs. CHI
  • Javonte Williams (RB) @ LV
  • Ezekiel Elliott (RB) vs. WAS
  • Mike Gesicki (TE) @ NO
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. WAS
  • Ryan Succop (K) @ CAR
  • L.A. Rams (DEF) @ MIN

I have an interesting decision to make at quarterback. Everything else is pretty well set. I could toss in CEH against a porous Steelers run defense, but I just don’t trust him. No, my conundrum is what to do between Jones, Fields, and Taylor Heinicke. Jones famously had that 3-pass game against the Bills three weeks ago. I’m banking on that not happening again (obviously, since he scored less than a point in that game), but my alternative – Heinicke – scored only 8.9 points two weeks ago against the Cowboys (and this game is on the road!). I dunno, I may flip-flop before Sunday; the Bills give up the second-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks (though, they’ve given up a bundle the last two weeks, to Tom Brady and Cam Newton, two QBs who are NOTHING like Mac Jones at the moment).

This is another one of those situations where whatever decision I make will be the wrong one. I’m probably so off-base that Fields will actually be the big stinker of the three. You know what’s funny? Last week – again, on my BYE – was only the second time all year that both of my starting quarterbacks scored 20+ points in the same week. How sad is that? Did I say how much I need to win this game (and a top two draft pick for next year)?

  • Aaron Rodgers (QB) vs. CLE
  • Zach Wilson (QB) vs. JAX
  • Mike Evans (WR) @ CAR
  • Michael Pittman (WR) @ ARI
  • Nick Chubb (RB) @ GB
  • Dalvin Cook (RB) vs. LAR
  • Kyle Pitts (TE) vs. DET
  • Chase Claypool (WR) @ KC
  • Brandon McManus (K) @ LV
  • Kansas City (DEF) vs. PIT

I have Rodgers and Evans in the Splinter League, so I need them to do really, really well. I have Pitts in my third league and need HIM to do really, really well. The other guys on his roster mean nothing to me, but boy does he have some excellent matchups! Wilson against a terrible Jags team? The Chiefs against a terrible Steelers offense (Big Ben should be good for a minimum of two turnovers and forty sacks). Cook is always a superstar, and I’m sure this is the week Chubb gets over 30 points again. FML.

Splinter League Round-Up!

BUCK FUTTER had a relaxing final week of the regular season, going up against a team that had fully given up and didn’t even field a full roster of starting players. It was a good time to have my fourth-lowest scoring output of the season, since it didn’t matter and I won anyway. I finished the regular season 11-4, one game behind Beer Thirty for the top spot. I also finished second in total points scored (behind Beer Thirty, who looks like a true juggernaut). I get to avoid him in the first round, but this league is so stacked at the top, it really doesn’t matter who you face in the playoffs, it’s going to be a tough matchup. I go up against Vinegar Strokes this week, who scored the third-most points this year. I lost the only time I played him, when I scored my lowest output of the season. I have to go into the playoffs without Chris Godwin, who was one of my best position players, now on the IR. I might be without Mike Evans to boot, depending on how fast he heals. I managed to pick up Antonio Brown, so I might run it back with two Bucs receivers, or I might just slot Brown in for Evans if the latter is out this week. We’ll see.

Third League Round-Up!

I did it! I actually beat the top team in the league, and I had no business doing so! I scored among the lowest points in the league last week, but he scored the absolute lowest. I had to sweat it out all the way to Tuesday night though, needing Jalen Hurts to outperform Rashaad Penny and the Rams’ defense. He did, so I make the playoffs! If I’d lost, I would have fallen all the way to sixth place. Instead, I’m in second place, even though I scored the third-fewest points in the league this season. How about that? Everything is gravy at this point. Which is good, because Beer Thirty is also in this league, he scored the second-most points this season, and he’s going up against me this week in the playoffs. Yikes! Wish me luck!

The Seahawks Predictably AND Unpredictably Lost To The Rams

I thought the Rams should’ve been favored anywhere from 8-10 points, and they ended up winning by 10. If you listened to me yesterday, took the Rams, and laid the 7, you’d FINALLY have some money in your pockets! Look, I’m not the sharpest gambler in the shed, but I have my moments. A broken clock is usually right a few times a day and whatnot.

My point is, that’s the predictable part of what happened in yesterday’s 20-10 Rams victory. The unpredictable part was how good the Seahawks’ defense looked. I was living in a world where the Rams put up 30+ and the Seahawks would struggle to keep pace; however this game was tied 3-3 at halftime and 10-10 heading into the fourth quarter. It took two monstrously horrific calls by the refs (as well as a lot of plays the Seahawks simply failed to make, but that’s neither here nor there) to gift-wrap the game for Los Angeles, the second-biggest media market in the NFL (surely, the league isn’t sorry to see the Rams contending for the division title and the top spot in the NFC).

There was a defensive holding call that went against the Seahawks that simply wasn’t holding. That happened on a third down play that would’ve resulted in the Rams punting deep in their own end. Of course, there’s no guarantee the Seahawks would’ve converted their subsequent possession into a score; but we know what DID happen: the Rams went on to score a TD of their own.

Even worse was the non-pass interference call against DeeJay Dallas that would’ve given the Seahawks a fourth down conversion late in the game. That would’ve put us damn near the red zone with plenty of time to try and tie it up. Again, there’s no guarantee the Seahawks would’ve actually done so; but we know what DID happen: the Rams took over deep in Seahawks territory (after a DeeJay Dallas frustrated unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, kicking the football after the refs botched their second huge play of the game) and kicked a game-sealing field goal to go up 10 with just under two minutes to go.

Again, I reiterate, those two plays alone didn’t cost us the game; there were still opportunities for us to overcome them, as well as hypothetical plays for us to make had the refs done their fucking jobs. But, the Seahawks aren’t good enough to win on the road when they’re going up against the Rams, the referees, and the National Football League front office. The Rams are really fucking good, the referees are really fucking inept and/or corrupt, and the league had every opportunity to force the Rams into playing on Sunday, and they gave them a massive reprieve. Why? Because they play in Los Angeles, and it behooves the NFL for the main team in Los Angeles to be good and go deep into the playoffs. That’s it. The NFL got lucky with other teams having COVID outbreaks as well, because they can maintain plausible deniability by also postponing the Browns/Raiders and Eagles/Football Team games, but make no mistake: if the Rams were the only team with a significant COVID outbreak, they still would’ve played this game on Tuesday. Not so much to fuck the Seahawks, but most definitely to benefit the Rams.

Not to get all JFK assassination conspiracy theorist on you, but follow the money sheeple!

It’s hard to get too upset, of course, because the Seahawks are so mediocre, particularly on offense. Russell Wilson was, again, wildly off-target all game. It hurt him a great deal not having Tyler Lockett for this one, as Dee Eskridge came up short on a number of opportunities. But, that doesn’t excuse Wilson vastly underthrowing D.K. Metcalf on a deep pass where he had Jalen Ramsey dead to rights. That wasn’t the only underthrow, counterbalanced by a few overthrows for good measure. Wilson finished 17/31 for 156 yards. As someone who is supposedly a Top 5 quarterback – who is certainly EARNING Top 5 quarterback money – that’s unacceptable. Russell Wilson is doing a great job of playing his way off this team; I can’t wait for him to get traded somewhere else and start kicking ass again. I still contend, though, if you’re truly an elite quarterback, then this is the kind of game where you pull the team on your back. He hasn’t done that once all year. I don’t care if he’s been carrying this team in seasons past, that only shows a further lack of heart, to give up so easily on the team that has made you a multi-millionaire many times over, as well as an internationally-renown superstar. He’s a petty frontrunner who shrinks when the going gets tough.

I never would’ve thought it would end so miserably with Russell Wilson. But, I’ll say this: he is NOT an elite quarterback, full stop.

The Seahawks fall to 5-9. The only good news is that there’s only three games remaining before this season is mercifully concluded.

The Rams To Cover Against The Seahawks Seems Like The Easiest Money I’ve Ever Seen

It sure does seem like the Seahawks have been screwed by the NFL postponing our game against the Rams in L.A. thanks to their rampant outbreak of COVID this past week. The extra two days have allowed the Rams to get back some of their best players – like Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller – while it’s led to the Seahawks losing guys like Tyler Lockett, D.J. Reed, and Bryan Mone (although, I get the argument that a couple of these positive tests came down on Sunday, in time to eliminate them from competition for that day; you wonder if there wouldn’t otherwise be some delayed reporting at play if the game indeed took place as originally scheduled).

Of course, the Rams always had Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, and Matthew Stafford available, so it’s probably fair to assume they would’ve roundly defeated the Seahawks anyway. What might’ve been a forfeit for L.A. is now looking like a certain victory, especially considering they have everything to play for (a win would put them in the driver’s seat for the division) while the Seahawks have next-to-nothing to play for.

It’s baffling, then, why the Rams are only favored by 7 points. This is as big of a no-brainer as I’ve ever seen; I would’ve figured the spread would be anywhere from 8-10 points considering the matchup, regardless of what’s been happening with the comings and goings of COVID-tested players the last few days.

Earlier this season, at home, in primetime (when we usually play our best), the Seahawks lost 26-17. Granted, that was the game where Russell Wilson mashed his finger; but that injury happened late enough for the game to already be decided (10 fourth quarter points led by Geno Smith against a prevent defense doesn’t – as Shania Twain once said – impress-ah me much).

Last year, the Seahawks famously went 1-2 against the Rams, losing on the road by a touchdown and at home in the playoffs by 10 points. In 2019, we lost in L.A. by a whopping 16 points. Putting up points has been exceedingly difficult against the Rams in recent seasons, particularly due to the fact that their defensive line owns property in our backfield. Every third down feels impossible, because one or more individuals are right on top of Russell Wilson within a second or two.

It doesn’t matter what year we’re talking about; this dates back for the entirety of the Russell Wilson era in Seattle. Now, focus in on 2021. These 5-8 Seahawks have been pretty atrocious, especially on offense. The O-Line has been a miserable failure, Russell Wilson has yet to adapt to the new scheme, and points have been VERY hard to come by. Who in their right mind would expect this Seahawks team to hang with a 9-4 Rams team playing for the division and a possible top seed in the NFC?

7 points feels like a gift. Even assuming some sort of back-door cover, the worst you should expect is a push. But, this feels like a game where the Rams will get a two-score lead early and coast to victory. I expect something in the 33-13 range, with a minimum of 4 sacks on Russell Wilson, and something like a 20% conversion rate on 3rd/4th downs. It’s required a hostile takeover to get back the Taylor Family Farm, but I’m willing to once again put it all on the line in this one. The Rams will have no trouble whatsoever dismantling the Seahawks later today. Get your bets in now; you can thank me later!

Cooper Kupp against a depleted secondary (missing both Reed and Jamal Adams), the Rams’ running game against our depleted defensive line (losing Mone in the interior is huge towards our ability to stop the run), and, of course, Aaron Donald & Co. will continue beating our asses like the red-headed step-children that we are.

When it’s all over, once and for all we can give up the dream on the 2021 season (if you haven’t already done so). Just in time to lose two of our next three games to close out the year in miserable fashion. Yay football.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2021: Toilet Trophy Championship

Sloane N Steady tried to do me a solid by not updating his team until after the Thursday night game started, accidentally leaving Dalvin Cook (and his 35.2 points) on his bench, but that only spared me the indignity of him dropping 200+ points on me. As it was, he had no trouble putting up 171.20 points, which easily eclipsed my 134.36.

Taylor Heinicke stunk. Ezekiel Elliott clearly isn’t healthy, as Tony Pollard was out and he STILL didn’t even get the most carries on his team (ceding a good chunk of snaps to Corey Clement of all people). And, of course, D.K. Metcalf was outscored by my kicker. In the end, I got bulldozed by the combo of Aaron Rodgers and the Chiefs’ defense scoring a combined 74.05 points.

The loss dropped me to 3-11 on the season, one game (and a shitload of points) behind Korky Butchek. I’m officially in last place for the season, and that means I’ve won myself the league’s Toilet Trophy. I’ll make sure to take a picture for posterity.

All isn’t totally lost, as we still have the Consolation Bracket yet to go. But, I can’t say I have the highest of hopes. I’m a combined 1-4 against my Consolation Bracket foes, and that lone win was pretty flukey. Worst-case scenario is I’ve spent all of 2021 playing for 2022, and I end up with the fourth overall draft pick (which is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things).

Our league has a 6-team playoff system, with the remaining four teams in the aforementioned Consolation Bracket. The way it’s set up, the playoffs start today, with the top two teams on BYE. The way Yahoo has set it up means that the entire Consolation Bracket is also on BYE, which nobody is happy with. I think, as losers, we’re all ready for this season to be over with as quickly as possible. But, we have to wait until the bitter end.

Which is a bummer, because I have the Rams’ defense going up against the Seahawks this week. I feel like that’s a 20+ game just waiting to happen.

Splinter League Round-Up!

At least there’s good ol’ BUCK FUTTER! We soundly defeated Look At Me Run by the end of Sunday, when I still had two more players left to go to pour it on! Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, I guess we’ll see), Beer Thirty also won to stay a game ahead of me for first place. The good news is, I’ve locked up a spot in the playoffs, making next week’s game meaningless. Of course, I’m going up against the last place team who has given up on life, so that should be an easy win regardless. All that’s left to be determined is playoff seeding. This league is extremely top-heavy and extremely bottom-heavy. The top six teams all have 8 or more wins (with the three teams who’ve clinched a playoff spot all having 10+ wins); the bottom four teams all have 10 or more losses. So, there really aren’t any easy options for me heading into the playoffs. I’m going to have to beat two REALLY good teams if I’m to win this championship!

Third League Round-Up!

I joined an established third league this year that I haven’t talked much about, because it’s standard scoring, with 0.5-point PPR. They’ve got other interesting wrinkles to the rules that make it fun, but it’s obviously not what I’m familiar with. My goal going in was to avoid last place (which I’ve managed to accomplish with relative ease). Last place has a penalty where you have to buy drinks for everyone at the end of the season. Then, I started winning so many games, the playoffs started looking like a real possibility! As of the last two weeks, I’ve held down the second place spot, after back-to-back clutch wins against my potential playoff foes. But, this most recent week I got my doors blown off. Thankfully, everyone right below me also lost, so I’ve held my ground. But, I have the third-fewest total points in the league, and I’ve got five teams below me all within a single game (I’m 8-6, they’re all 7-7); I’m going up against the top team in the league (in both record and total points), and there’s a scenario where I still manage to hold my spot in second place, or a scenario where I fall all the way to sixth or seventh. It’s a nightmare! Win and I’m in; lose and I need A LOT of help!

The Seahawks Blew Out A Terrible Texans Team

As a fan, when you get too close to a team – you obsess about them week-to-week, you sit enrapt during every game, you might even pour over the footage after it’s done to try to glean extra nuggets of information to spout out on your social media outlet of choice – it’s easy to get swept up by the rollercoaster.

  • Week 1 – The Seahawks handily beat the Colts, we’re headed to the Super Bowl!
  • Week 3 – The Seahawks blew two winnable games in a row, fuck my life
  • Week 4 – The Seahawks stole one from the 49ers, maybe we’re okay
  • Week 5 – Russell Wilson’s hurt, please kill me
  • Week 7 – We’re 2-5, stick a fork in us
  • Week 8 – We’re 3-5 with the BYE coming up, let’s see if Russ comes back
  • Week 9 – Russ is back, just in time!
  • Week 10 – Shut out at Green Bay, uh oh
  • Week 12 – Lost three in a row, 3-8 overall, season’s over
  • Week 14 – Won two in a row, so you’re sayin’ there’s a chance …

Sure, technically, if the Seahawks win out, they’re 9-8. 9-8 is probably enough to make the 7-seed in the NFC (that’s ignoring the fact that 6 of those 8 losses are to NFC teams, which probably precludes us from that particular very important tie-breaker, but that’s neither here nor there), but what happens when the Seahawks lose to the Rams this week? Then, we have to try to talk ourselves into an 8-9 team making the playoffs? Where does it end?!

My point from above (if this is even interesting to talk about at all), is that it’s a lot easier to avoid that rollercoaster of emotion – and see this team for what it is – when you’re not as invested. When you stop obsessing about them as much during the week, and when you blow off halves or entire games on Sunday, and go out and live your life.

I watched the first half of this Texans/Seahawks game, and you know what I saw? I saw the REAL Seahawks. I saw a team with superior talent struggle to cling to a 16-13 lead at halftime. I saw a defense with very little pass rush and soft coverage let a nobody quarterback march his team up and down the field. I saw an offense with a terrible line give up repeated pressure. Sure, I saw some good things too, but they were drowning in mediocre results.

And then I brushed my teeth and washed my face and left the house to go do something more enjoyable. What was there for me in the second half of that game? Well, as it turns out, there was a 17-0 finish in favor of the Seahawks, to give the game its 33-13 final. But, it just as easily could’ve been some weird scenario where the Seahawks keep shooting themselves in the foot on offense, and squander the game away late. Is Davis Mills really THAT much worse than Colt McCoy? And Colt McCoy has beaten us in back-to-back seasons!

You watch that second half, and you might go on to delude yourself into thinking this is a Seahawks team that’s capable of making the playoffs. But, the taste that’s still left in my mouth? It’s not nearly so scrumptious. I’ve missed the best parts of the last two weeks (the entire victory over the 49ers, and the half against the Texans where it was a Seahawks rout), so my last visions of these guys are a baffling loss to the Washington Football Team, and whatever I saw in the first half yesterday morning.

My outlook is far less rosy. My hunch is: the Seahawks go 2-2 the rest of the way (and not necessarily the 2-2 that you THINK is going to happen – where we beat the Bears & Lions at home and lose to the Rams & Cards on the road), finish 7-10, and hand-deliver the Jets a quality draft pick very close to the top 10.

Some interesting nuggets from this Texans game include Rashaad Penny busting out for 137 yards on 16 carries (including 2 TDs). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Penny could’ve run for 300 yards against the Texans and I still wouldn’t trust him with a contract extension if I were the Seahawks. DON’T get suckered in! Let him walk! Especially if there’s an ounce of a possibility that Chris Carson recovers and returns next year. Just, please, give us all a fucking break. Penny had a good game; I hope he has a great end to this season. And then I hope he signs on elsewhere and has a lovely finish to his career with another team. I’m done, you hear?!

Pretty decent game for the Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett connection. Wilson had 260 yards overall (17/28 passing) with 2 TDs and 0 INTs. Lockett caught 5 of those for 142 and a TD. That somehow left only table scraps for my guy D.K. Metcalf, but you can’t win ’em all.

Al Woods had another monster game in this one; boy is he fun to watch when he’s wreaking havoc! Give him half a sack and a tackle for loss (5 tackles total). Darrell Taylor had another sack, bringing his total to 6 on the season (a team high). Also, Bobby Wagner had another 15 sacks, to give him approximately a billion on the year (or 152, to lead the NFL, because all guys who lead the league in tackles are on mediocre defenses, it’s a rule; Jordyn Brooks is third in the NFL with 135).

I dunno. More guys got injured in this one, Jason Myers missed two extra points, and only two of Michael Dickson’s four punts were inside the 20 yard line. You hate to see it.

Jamal Adams’ 2021 Season Is Over

Jamal Adams suffered an injury to his shoulder against the 49ers this past weekend. It’s a similar injury to one he had last year, both of which necessitated surgery. As a result, his season is done.

It’s been a disappointing year for the Seahawks, who sit at 4-8 and have the remotest of chances of making the playoffs. They would pretty much need to run the table AND get help, which – this far out from season’s end – is never a good sign. Last year, Adams largely played through multiple injuries (though, he still had to miss a few games), but it doesn’t make any sense to have him continue playing now, considering the Seahawks are going nowhere.

It’s also been a disappointing year for Adams, who returned on time and fully healthy – after multiple offseason surgeries – but hasn’t been the same player. Part of that has to do with scheme – he’s simply not rushing the passer as much as he has in seasons’ past – but part of that has to do with Adams himself. He’s failed to take advantage of the opportunities given, and for the most part has been a non-factor anywhere in the defensive scheme. Granted, his play improved of late – he has two interceptions in his last four games – but for a so-called Impact Player, there’s been relatively little impact on the positive side for the Seahawks. Numerous dropped interceptions have plagued his brief Seahawks career dating back to last season. And his 0 sacks and 2 quarterback hits this year certainly don’t amount to anything in my book.

The gray cloud extending over everything is the fact that the Seahawks ARE so bad, and they still owe another first round draft pick to the Jets next year. Right now, it’s a Top 10 pick, and the loss of Adams leaves open the possibility that it becomes a Top 5 pick.

Fans are justifiably disgruntled by this. We wouldn’t mind the loss of a first round pick if it were in the 20’s, because the Seahawks would be a playoff team in that scenario. But, seeing this team for what it is – and all the holes that need filling by younger, hungrier players – and knowing this is probably Russell Wilson’s final year here, a lot of fan ire is directed towards Adams, fairly or unfairly.

Of course, there are plenty of fans who are upset with the front office – and, by extension, head coach Pete Carroll – which makes a lot more sense. Regardless of where you place your blame, this is a worst-case scenario playing out before our very eyes.

Whenever something like this happens, I immediately check to see what the rest of Adams’ contract looks like. Cutting him after this year leaves us with $16 million in dead cap money. Subtract $4 million per year over the next four years to get a sense of what we would owe if we don’t let his deal play out though the 2025 season. Spotrac lists a “potential out” after the 2023 season, which is two years away (and still has us owing $8 million in dead money), but that’s when his base salary balloons to over $16 million per year.

The sickening thing about all of this is that he’s in his Year 26 season. He’s so young, and yet the last two years have seen him play a total of 12 games per. For someone who plays as physically and aggressively, for someone of his size and stature, and the nature of his injuries (shoulder, which is what you lead with when tackling someone as physically and aggressively as he does), it’s disconcerting to say the least that he’s breaking down in this way already, with at least 2 years left before we can realistically cut him.

As we saw with Kam Chancellor, strong safeties in this mold don’t age well. What a nightmare.

You can argue there’s a double-whammy going on as we speak, because I don’t think it’s a question that Quandre Diggs is the best safety on this team, healthy or otherwise. He’s probably the best defender on this team, and he’s in the final year of his deal (having been dicked around by the front office, due to salary constraints). He’s going to command a huge salary going forward – as a likely Pro Bowler this year for the second straight season – and I don’t think the Seahawks can afford to keep him. Either we extend him to top-of-the-market money – and employ the highest-paid safety tandem in football – or we let him go and put that money to better use elsewhere. When, in reality, Diggs is the one who deserves Jamal Adams-type money, and Adams never should’ve been traded for in the first place (hindsight being 20/20 and all that).

My brain is numb. The Seahawks are an utter and complete shitshow, and it’s still somehow getting worse by the day. We’ve all jumped out of an airplane, but our parachutes have been replaced with a bunch of dishes and silverware that are now scattered across the sky above us. Brace for impact, folks!

At what point does the Jamal Adams trade become the worst trade in franchise history? We’ll be debating that after this season, when we see what that other Jets draft pick turns out to be. But, suffice it to say, it’s ranking right up there with the Jimmy Graham deal. Not great, Bob!

Husky Football Is Making More Coaching Hires

I figured it was probably important to talk about the new offensive coordinator, since the last couple were so horrible. Ryan Grubb is taking over for John Donovan, also coming over from Fresno State, to keep things going with head coach Kalen DeBoer.

This was something we all saw coming, since they’ve coached together for much of their respective careers. What’s not to like? Grubb runs DeBoer’s scheme, and together they should work in tandem to get this offense humming again. That is, assuming DeBoer’s scheme is worth a damn. That, of course, remains to be seen.

Naturally, the Fresno State offense with Grubb calling plays was wildly successful this past season. I don’t think we would’ve gone poaching in that general direction if that wasn’t the case. Again, it’s comforting – at the very least – to be hiring someone who is coming off of a successful tenure. You’d think that would just go without saying, but as I’ve lambasted the Huskies for time and time again, neither John Donovan nor Bush Hamdan have ever had success as an offensive coordinator or a play-caller.

Courtney Morgan was also hired, to be Director of Player Personnel, a position I didn’t even know existed in college sports. He’s another guy who worked under DeBoer in 2020, but had the same job with Michigan this past season (his alma mater), so that’s interesting given Michigan’s success making the playoffs this year.

What does the Director of Player Personnel do? Apparently, they just recruit. So, that’s cool, the Huskies certainly need help in that area. It sounds like Morgan is good at what he does; this is being touted as quite the get for Washington, to not only draw him away from his alma mater, but to draw him TO a program that is clearly in rebuilding mode (and, at least from a national perspective, to be a step down as far as a football program is concerned, given the name recognition and recency bias of the Michigan Wolverines’ success in making this year’s final four).

He’s a “west coast guy”, which is how it’s being explained away. But, he was able to step into Michigan’s program and make an immediate impact, so here’s hoping he can do the same here. Recruiting always suffers the most in the immediate aftermath of a major coaching change in a program (we’ve already seen at least one high profile player decommit from the 2022 class), so if Morgan can stop some of the bleeding, that would be huge.

Courtney Morgan has also been with four different programs in the last four years, so it’s fair to wonder what exactly he wants from his college football career. I would say it’s a safe bet he won’t be here long, but we’re getting him at a time when we arguably need him the most, so I’m happy about that. Maybe DeBoer is promising him advancement within his staff? Maybe he’s simply making more money here? Or, maybe it’s just a stepping stone to get him back on the west coast, and back in the Pac-12, where he can eventually jump to Oregon or USC, before making his way to the southeast. Who knows?

I’m fairly encouraged by the coaching hires so far. I’m not blown away, I’m not losing my mind over here. But, so far, I don’t see any setbacks; it all looks like improvement – however incremental – compared to what we had in the 2021 season.

I’m honestly more excited to see Oregon’s coaching world torn asunder with Mario Cristobal going to Miami of all places!

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2021: Mac & Me

I’m in a little text thread with two of the other guys slated to play in the Consolation Bracket this season. They’re both pretty disgruntled with the new Dynasty format, and have been since the very beginning. I turned out to be one of the swing votes, in that in the past I had always voted against hard change in the league. But, after slowly building things to where we went – to four keepers per year – it finally felt like it was time to make good on a long-ago dream. If you weren’t in a Dynasty League mindset by now, you were never going to get there. I got there, and I’m all in.

I love the Dynasty League! And I’m in absolute last place, with no real hope of climbing out before the end of the season. Spoiler alert: Snoopy & Prickly Pete lost to Toot Cannons 191.85 to 164.35; meanwhile, Korky Butchek won his matchup against The Lance Petemans (the two I referenced in the above text chain) to all but guarantee his avoidance of the Toilet Trophy. Oddly enough, had I won, there would’ve been a three-way tie at the bottom (all 4-9 records) with Korky and my upcoming opponent, Sloane N Steady, which would’ve created a legitimate Toilet Bowl scenario, where – depending on the outcomes – any of the three of us could’ve taken the trophy. As it is, I think it’s mine for sure.

Anyway, my point is, as the worst team in the league, I have the most right to be disgruntled with the new format, but I’m all in. Because I’ve spent the last few years cultivating this mindset. Patience. Playing for the future. Acquiring future keepers either via free agency or trades. It helps that Javonte Williams has gone off the last two weeks (including scoring 29.8 points this past week, when he was given full starter’s reps), shoring up one of my running back spots. I feel like I’m ALMOST there. It’s not a perfect team, that’s obvious. It might not even be a good team next year. But, I should see improvement. I should avoid last place at the very least! Between what I’ve done this year, and how I set my team up going forward with the next year’s draft, there could be a nice little shake-up! We’ll see.

The key to it all is, was, and always has been finding at least one viable quarterback in 2021. Ideally two. But, one for sure. Granted, this is something I’ve been looking for since I can’t even remember anymore. Forever, probably. I thought I had something good with a rookie Carson Wentz. I lost my mind last year when I was able to nab Tua off free agency before he was handed the starter’s job. But, I’ve always kind of half-assed it. I was trying to have it both ways, develop an elite quarterback of the future, while trying to also win. I succeeded in doing neither. This year, it’s been all about the QB position. I’ve had up to six QBs on my roster at any given moment; right now, I have four, including Jordan Love as a lottery ticket. Love is my option if no one else asserts themselves in the next few weeks (or in offseason workouts).

I think I have the one, though. Mac Jones. There’s a lot to like there. He’s in a good system, with a good coaching staff. He’s got good players around him. He’s careful with the football. He’s got some skills and put up some nice fantasy numbers as a rookie. He looks like, at the moment, the best quarterback of this rookie class. We’ll see if that translates to future fantasy success, but he’s the best quarterback I’ve got at the moment.

Well, technically Taylor Heinicke has the most fantasy points on the year, but that’s as underwhelming of a dynasty quarterback as you can get. With that noodle arm? He’d have to be the next Peyton Manning, and I don’t think he is. For me, it’s down to either Justin Fields or Jordan Love as my second QB option heading into next year, but I’m pretty well convinced that I will need to address this position again in the draft next year.

But, I can’t throw away a second season trying to chase down the quarterback position. I need to figure it out next year. Which means I need to be right on Mac Jones. If I have him already in place, then I’m in pretty good shape. There’s hope that he’ll take a step forward in his second season, and then we’ll be off and running.

Unfortunately, I needed him this past week, and he failed to deliver. As noted, Toot Cannons came to play. The return of Kyler Murray buried me in a pretty deep hole. But, Diontae Johnson put up 30.5 to go with Williams’ high score, and the rest of my team did just enough to get me to within 28 points of winning. I had Mac Jones going against Buffalo on Monday Night Football. 28 points isn’t outlandish! An elite quarterback should be able to give you that in a pinch. Of course, Mac Jones has only reached that lofty target a few times this year, so we really needed him to give it all he had. It turns out, I got next-to-nothing from him, as the Patriots threw the ball only three times in their 14-10 victory over the Bills. Mac Jones had zero turnovers and was healthy for the entire game, yet he came away with 0.65 points. That’s not inspiring a ton of confidence heading into next year. (of course, the weather was a mess, with wind gusts up to 55 mph, but that’s neither here nor there).

This is it, the last week of the regular season. I’m 3-10, going up against the 4-9 Sloane N Steady. I would need to win, have Korky Butchek lose to Beasts, and outscore Korky by 59.02 points to avoid the Toilet Trophy. It ain’t happening. You hate to see it. Here’s my team:

  • Taylor Heinicke (QB) vs. DAL
  • Justin Fields (QB) @ GB
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ WAS
  • Diontae Johnson (WR) @ MIN
  • Javonte Williams (RB) vs. DET
  • Alexander Mattison (RB) vs. PIT
  • TBD (TE)
  • D.K. Metcalf (WR) @ HOU
  • Ryan Succup (K) vs. BUF
  • L.A. Rams (DEF) @ ARI

Mac Jones is on a BYE, as is tight end Mike Gesicki. I’m going to try to pick up another tight end to keep on my roster the rest of the season, but we’ll see how it goes. At some point, I’m going to have a roster decision to make, because I can only abuse the IR slot so much. Right now, Jordan Love is on COVID IR, which should only work for a day or two (since he’s truly vaccinated and not just immunized). I’ve been trying to shore up my running back position heading into this offseason, but I’d like to keep some options open depending on what happens going into next year. I’ve got some choice backups on my roster I’d love to hold onto, but my team is just too damn healthy at the moment! I might end up dropping a kicker for a little bit until things get less hairy.

Here’s what Sloane N Steady has to work with (he’s another future Consolation Bracket foe I might have to contend with again in the near future):

  • Derek Carr (QB) @ KC
  • Aaron Rodgers (QB) vs. CHI
  • Mike Evans (WR) vs. BUF
  • Chase Claypool (WR) @ MIN
  • Nick Chubb (RB) vs. BAL
  • Darrel Williams (RB) vs. LV
  • Kyle Pitts (TE) @ CAR
  • Mark Ingram (RB) @ NYJ
  • TBD (K)
  • TBD (DEF)

My boy got swallowed up pretty good with the BYEs this week. He’s gonna have to make some moves to fill out his roster; I’m sure there will be ample opportunities out there for him. He also has a number of players that I’m going with in other leagues, so I would love for those guys to play really well (you know who you are).

Splinter League Round-Up!

BUCK FUTTER had the week all wrapped up before Monday, so we didn’t need Mac Jones to do anything (thank Christ!). The win leapfrogged me over Eddie’s team, into second place at 9-4. I’m one game behind Beer Thirty at 10-3, with two weeks to go. I’m not locked into a playoff spot yet, but with one more win I’m all but guaranteed. I have the second-most points in the league (50 behind Beer Thirty), which is appropriate. I just need to not fall apart over the next two games and I should be all right! Then, it’s playoff time, and we let the chips fall where they may. Shout out to Chris Godwin, Matthew Stafford, and the Indy defense for really carrying me last week!