Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team: Week 8

Last week, I just got hosed.  There’s no way around it.  Oh sure, I hosed myself in many respects – I could’ve made a harder push at picking up Indy’s defense, or drafted a better group of quarterbacks – but I pretty much put out the best team I could’ve and I got beat.

Sloane N Steady ended up starting Nick Chubb over Isaiah Crowell, which in the end made all the difference (8 points, when he won 143.95 – 141.44), but that shouldn’t have even mattered.  He was saddled with a big, fat 0 out of Melvin Gordon – whose 6:30am London start time was too early for my opponent to realize he was out with injury – and I honestly thought I had the week in the bag.  I was over a 75% favorite heading INTO the Sunday afternoon games!  Hell, I just needed 34 combined points out of Andy Dalton and Tyreek Hill in the Sunday Night Game (he had no one else going at this point).  While Hill did his job, Dalton only got me 9.4, and that was that.  Andy Fucking Dalton, worthless pile of shit, playing in a Primetime game, sucked too many dicks and I lost yet another week of fantasy football I should’ve won.

I’m now 3-4, in 5th place in the league, and I’m still 3rd overall in points scored (while down to 6th in points against).  It’s just unbelievable.

At this point, I don’t know what else I have to do.  Making a bunch of panic moves feels like a mistake.  Honestly, it’s not any one thing that’s setting me back.  Sure, I’m pretty shaky at quarterback, but I’m never going to find anyone better without giving up a king’s ransom of talent at other positions, and quite frankly I just don’t have enough depth on my bench to make up the difference.  Every week, it’s something else.  As much as I despise that loathesome ginger-headed quarterback, getting only 3 points out of the Bears’ defense is the biggest culprit.  Had I known they were going to be THAT bad against the Pats – and that my game was destined to be this close against me – I sure as shit would’ve risked losing Calvin Ridley to pick up a better streaming defense last week.

My life goes from bad to worse this week, as I’m without Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette – two of my three keepers from last season.  Fournette is obviously a worthless pile of shit (whose team just traded for Carlos Hyde, to make my life even more miserable, as his value with the Jags continues to plummet); Elliott, on the other hand, is on a BYE, which leaves me with 1 healthy running back in the 500 year old Adrian Peterson.

The best available RB was Latavius Murray, who might get the nod over Dalvin Cook, but is also set to face the Saints, who are one of the best run defenses in football (so, I didn’t put in a claim for him and someone else snapped him up).  The other usual suspects are/were out there – Javorius Allen, Wendell Smallwood, Jalen Richard (who also got claimed on waivers), Frank Gore – but none of them are all that enticing.

Someone did, however, drop Chris Carson, so I used my 5-waiver priority to pick him up.  I won’t know if I get him until tomorrow, so consider that a teaser for next week’s recap!

Here’s this week’s lineup:

  • QB1 – Carson Wentz @ JAX
  • QB2 – Andy Dalton vs. TB
  • WR1 – Tyreek Hill vs. DEN
  • WR2 – Adam Thielen vs. NO
  • RB1 – TBD
  • RB2 – Adrian Peterson @ NYG
  • TE – Jordan Reed @ NYG
  • FLEX – Robert Woods vs. GB
  • K – Matt Prater vs. SEA
  • DEF – Chicago vs. NYJ

My bench is:  Carr, Elliott (BYE), Ridley (BYE), Fournette (IR), Golladay, Olsen, Devonta Freeman (to be waived for a healthy replacement RB).

I’m feeling super dumb about holding two tight ends on my roster, when both of them are as mediocre as can be.  When I think about all the other guys I could’ve had – ON WAIVERS, not to mention in the draft – it drives me crazy.  The last thing I wanted to do this year was waste two roster spots on the tight end position, yet here I am.  I started Reed over Olsen this week because the Ravens’ defense is pretty stout, so it seems unlikely the Panthers are going to move the ball well.  I don’t have much hope for Reed either, but he feels like a slightly better proposition.

This week, my opponent is The Lance Petemans.  He’s won our league every other year for the last I don’t even know how many years, which makes him both one of the better fantasy football owners in our league, and also probably the luckiest.

He’s always been smart about his keepers, and this year was no different.  He’s had Brady and Gurley the last two seasons, with Jimmy Garoppolo as his third, who was looking like yet another monster fantasy producer until he hit the IR.  The rest of his team is, as you’d expect, pretty solid up and down the lineup … except for that #2 QB spot.  To wit:

  • QB1 – Tom Brady @ BUF
  • QB2 – C.J. Beathard @ AZ
  • WR1 – A.J. Green vs. TB
  • WR2 – Alshon Jeffery @ JAX
  • RB1 – Todd Gurley vs. GB
  • RB2 – Tarik Cohen vs. NYJ
  • TE – Eric Ebron @ OAK
  • FLEX – John Brown @ CAR
  • K – Dan Bailey vs. NO
  • DEF – New England @ BUF

His bench is:  Sony Michel, Ryan Tannehill, Will Fuller V, Dion Lewis, L.A. Chargers, Jimmy G (IR).

So, for starters, what did I do to deserve back-to-back opponents having their respective quarterbacks go up against Buffalo & Arizona?  You can pencil those guys in for 60 points RIGHT NOW!  And that might be conservative!  Really, he’s got matchup darlings up and down his lineup.  Green against Tampa’s grotesque defense; Jeffery against the suddenly-mediocre Jaguars defense (while also poaching points from Wentz with every pass he catches); Gurley against the Packers’ nothing defense; Ebron against the Raiders’ less-than-nothing defense.  And the shit-cherry on top of the shit-sundae:  the Patriots defense against the Bills, who hand out pick-sixes like they’re full candy bars on Halloween.

If The Lance Petemans don’t score over 220 points, I’ll be shocked.  I’ve got a pretty good team, but even with an active and healthy Zeke and Fournette, I don’t think I’d have a shot in Hell.  You could probably add up my entire roster – including all bench guys – and I don’t think I’d come close to beating his starting lineup.

Hapless Seahawks Narrowly Edge Hapless Cowboys

At that spot near the end of the game, where it was clear the offense was playing it safe – playing not to lose – by keeping the clock running and settling for the go-ahead field goal to make it 13-12 with a little over a minute left, I was envisioning the blog post I’d write about the game.  The working title in my head was, “Just Fuck You, Darrell Bevell”.  I guess that’s why I like to wait until the next day to write this thing (that, and because I’m usually in some form of food/football coma by the end of the day on Sunday, and the three working braincells I have left, I need to get me home).

We have Jimmy Graham.  We spent a great deal to bring Jimmy Graham to Seattle.  We gave up a starting, Pro Bowl-calibre center and a first round draft pick to get Graham and a third rounder.  Jimmy Graham is 6’7, with some of the best hands and leaping ability in the NFL.  He may not be quite as good as Gronk when it comes to purely catching the ball, but he’s close.  We brought him in here because we have a need for a reliable red zone target in the passing game.  That’s priority number one when it comes to Jimmy Graham.  Or, that is, it SHOULD BE priority number one.

And yet, there we were, with a little over two minutes left, at the seven yard line.  The PERFECT spot to utilize Jimmy Graham’s unique physical gifts.  As I alluded to before, the Seahawks were down by two points going into this drive.  They NEEDED a touchdown, which would force the Cowboys to go for a touchdown, which never would’ve happened in a million years because they had Matt Cassel and we had the Legion of Fucking Boom.  The Seahawks scoring a touchdown there might as well have meant the Seahawks scoring a 50-burger there; there was no coming back.  On the flipside, kicking a field goal would mean the Cowboys only needed a field goal of their own to re-take the lead and win the game.  As the announcers mentioned during the game, Dan Bailey is the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history.  They were also playing indoors.  He had also in that game nailed a 52-yarder like it was nothing.  The Seahawks playing it safe and settling for the field goal was putting the game in jeopardy that we didn’t need to do.

Unless you don’t trust your quarterback, which is another conversation altogether.

You know what I love about how New England utilizes Gronk?  When they’re down near the goalline, they’ll line him up wide (sometimes on an island, sometimes with another receiver in the slot).  If he’s on an island, and he’s being guarded by a lone cornerback, then it’s just an easy hitch route or fade route, pitch n’ catch, touchdown.  It’s the bread and butter of the Pats’ offense.  If he’s on an island and they’re double-covering him, then more than likely you’ll get the middle of the endzone wide open.  Or, you can throw a screen the opposite way and have the numbers in your favor.  Or, shit, you can just run the ball up the middle because there won’t be enough defenders in the box.  There are any NUMBER of options at your disposal when you use your weapons effectively like the Patriots do.

Let’s say you put Gronk out wide, with a receiver in the slot; I don’t even need to tell you what comes next.  Gronk runs a slant, or an in-route, and picks off the other receiver’s defender, while the receiver runs an underneath out-route, catches the pass going away from Brady, and easily finds the edge for a touchdown as now both defenders on that side are tangled in a heaping mass of Gronk.  As you can see, I’m not saying that the Seahawks have to get down there and throw it to Graham three times.  But, if we had an offensive coordinator who didn’t have his head so far up his own ass, he might design some plays that utilized Graham as a decoy effectively enough to still get us the touchdowns that we need.

What do we do instead?  We run left, which Marshawn Lynch mystifyingly takes out of bounds.  Ostensibly, this was because the Cowboys were out of time outs and we wanted to drain the clock to the 2-minute warning.  Then, on second down, we run it AGAIN, because there were still seven seconds left before the 2-minute warning.  Once again, the run is stuffed for a loss, but at least now we’ve got two minutes to go, so the Cowboys can’t stop the clock again without an incomplete pass or running out of bounds.  At this point, you have the big decision:  do you drain 40 seconds with another run, kick the field goal, and pray your defense can do what it hasn’t done all year:  hold a close 4th quarter lead?  Or, do you go for the throat, utilize Jimmy Graham smartly, and take a chance at the endzone and really putting this game away?  Granted, in that second scenario, they probably get the ball back with 1:50 left in the game if the pass falls incomplete.  But, when they’ve got a kicker like Dan Bailey, do the extra 40 seconds really matter?

In this instance, I guess it didn’t matter, as we were able to harass Cassel enough into turning the ball over on downs (after an idiotic personal foul penalty on Michael Bennett to start the drive).  But, I argue the Seahawks’ decision was asinine in that situation, and they’re LUCKY it didn’t bite them in the ass.

I can hear you arguing with me now, though.  Yes, I saw the third down play.  Yes, I saw Russell Wilson take the ball on a bootleg, run to his right, and when no one was open, tuck the ball and run for a few yards.  I saw all of that.  But, I would argue – for starters – that the Seahawks never really had any intention of throwing on that play whatsoever, unless there was a complete breakdown in coverage, which obviously wasn’t the case.  I would also argue, if they were serious about throwing the ball, WHY IS JIMMY GRAHAM LINING UP ON THE LINE, INSTEAD OF OUT WIDE???  What have I been writing about all day?  How the Pats use Gronk, and how he helps them become the best red zone team in football.  Why aren’t WE doing THAT???

You know what a roll out near the endzone gets you?  It draws every single defender to that third of the field, as well as the majority of the receivers who are out in the pattern.  It’s like trying to throw the football through a tornado; the odds of completing that pass are almost nil.  And NFL coaches are so pissing-their-pants afraid of throwing back across the field, they almost never send any receivers out the other way, for fear of having the ball picked off and run back to the house.  So don’t give me this shit about the Seahawks trying to throw for the touchdown there; they had no intention whatsoever.  That play may have been a run/pass option, but it was designed to fail from the creator himself, Darrell Bevell.

You want to know why Darrell Bevell has never really been seriously considered for a head coaching job, and why he’ll never ever have one at the NFL level?  Because he’s a chickenshit little loser with impotent play design who could be out-coached by a 10 year old playing Madden.

That’s why, John Schneider, you’re going to have to spend this whole upcoming off-season revamping our offensive line with quality draft picks and free agent signings.  It’s time to cut off Darrell Bevell; he gets no more offensive weapons until he figures out how to play with the ones he has.