Commentary From the Edge: Week 2
Kevin Ratterree
September 11, 2012

I spent a healthy portion of last week’s column roasting Emperor Goodell over the referee lockout, in full dread mode over the impending replacement officials fiasco. But the NFL week went fairly smoothly despite the less than qualified officials. Very few calls were overturned on replay. No game outcomes seemed compromised, and there were no injuries that could be directly attributed to the new herd of zebra.

Oh yeah, the flags were being thrown a bit later than we are used to. Some announcers were having trouble pinpointing the infractions as a result, but overall there were no catastrophic events, and none of us missed the smugness that can only be exuded by individuals being paid a 6 figure income for part time work.

These new zebras seemed to spend Sunday trying NOT to be noticed. That was like a breath of fresh air in a Porta-Potty. Rare but much appreciated.

So Emperor Goodell, please disregard my disrespectful column last week where I may or may not have insinuated that you are an arrogant jerk-wad. Upon further review, “arrogant jerk-wad” might be the only language those old zebras understand.

Did you hear that Roy Williams retired last week? I could have swore he retired back in ’08 but he’s got the check stubs to prove me wrong. In any case, it gives hope to all of us that plan to get paid 5 years after we are no longer useful to our employers. Good on ya Roy!

So how did your week one go for you fantasy nuts? This is the hardest week to keep an even keel I think. Some people have good fantasy teams that just under-perform in week one. Some people with bad teams get really lucky as in week one, and then are never heard from again. Overconfidence. Panic. Self loathing. They’re all the rage this week in fantasy circles.

I mean, you draft Calvin Johnson with the 4th overall pick and your boy gets doubled up by some guy named Ogletree. And you can’t get your hands on this Ogletree fellow because you don’t have first pick on waivers.

You drafted Jamaal Charles early in the 2nd, never thought about benching him for Alfred Morris, who you picked up in the last round of the draft, or who didn‘t get drafted at all, but you can‘t get him either because you don‘t have the second pick on waivers.

You lusted after Jordy Nelson in the draft, ended up settling for Jennings, but the one whack-job in the world that drafted James Jones and started him against the 49ers is the genius this week. Or once again, you can’t get him on waivers because your team sucked, but not enough to afford you that privileged 3rd waiver pick.

If you’re like me and you drafted Chris Johnson in the first round, and instead of a glorious sequel to 2009, this looks like the beginning of part 2 of the box office flop that was 2011. And you wonder if you should lower yourself to go ahead and spend half your bidding bucks on Alfred Morris, only to be bitch-slapped by Shanahan when he gives Helu 30 carries next week.

Rostering a Redskins running back is like playing three card monte. Hey alright, just walking down the street in a seedy neighborhood, some dude that looks like a rat is dealing the cards. Hey, look at how easy that game is to win. Draft some guy named Alfred Morris in the last round, start him and score a win. Alright! You want to play again? Oh hell yeah, let me get my wallet out…..

Just keep walking man. Just keep walking. You saw the man take a man’s money last year. You saw it the year before, and the year before that.

Speaking of risky running back games, I jumped in the slightly less precarious Bill Belichick game - Wheel of Misfortune this year. I have Ridley on 3 of my 4 teams. Unlike Shanahan, Belichick doesn’t use misdirection and out and out lies. Belichick gives no information at all. I mean, Ridley sure looked like the rock at running back the Pats need on Sunday, and appears to have the position locked up until his next fumble. But God help us if he gets nicked up and we have to depend on the injury report and Belichick’s cryptic monotone ramblings to guide us through those trying times.

But so far, so good. I have Ridley on 3 of my 4 teams. I kicked some serious ass in week one. 4-0 baby. But my worst fear is that I am “fluke guy.” Oh yeah remember back in week one when that guy smoked everyone and then went on an 8 game losing streak? That was awesome!

That’s the problem with surviving week one completely unscathed. You spend the whole next week wondering if there is a piano about to drop on your head while walking down the street. Because it’s just too good to be true. Never mind, I didn’t say nothin’.

Running backs, and the pursuit thereof have become the bane of fantasy football. Every year there are 3-4 that lap the rest of the field, and the rest of us spend the season gnashing our teeth fighting over the scraps. That’s why we latch onto any hope when it comes to drafting them.

This week blind bidding fortunes will be wagered on Alfred Morris. And many will do it knowing full well, and having a complete comprehension of the risk. They have seen the rat and his sleight of hand but still they will put their money on the table just on the chance they will be the one to beat the unbeatable game.
It’s all quite fascinating. I don’t think I will partake. I drafted him in the last round of my keeper league. That’s enough exposure for me.

Blind bidding motivation is very psychological. If you win handily in week one, and you seem to have a good team and a semblance of depth, you really don’t feel compelled to go balls to the wall for Blind Bids.

If you lost, had injuries and are in panic mode you are like a sailor on furlough in the red-light district. Spend a little here, spend a lot there, fill all the holes you can and get back on the ship broke and queasy.

I really prefer to win in week one (get real, I want to win every damn week-but anyway). Because that gives me the perception of being in a position of power. If I get through week one, and I have a solid looking team, I’m usually treading lightly in the first waiver period. Yeah, I’ll go after someone I really feel strongly about regardless of my situation. I mean, if you are playing in competitive leagues, it is crucial to pack your teams with as much talent and depth as possible. And keeping potential goldmines off other people’s rosters is never a bad thing.

But given the particularly panicky nature I predict we are about to see in this first waiver period, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a few tasty morsels dropped in favor of the flavor of the day. Please know this, I still learn lessons even after 20 years playing this game. I dropped Victor Cruz in these opening weeks last year. Including my freaking dynasty league no less. Be careful who you drop friends. They may end up being that piano that drops on your head in a few weeks.

Perspective? Tim Hightower owners were drunk with power after his week one performance last year. Most ended up in the gutter, the equivalent of a rummy singing, “how dry I am,” just begging for one good swig of running back. Tough Schlitz.

Speaking of drunk people and things dropping on you,, Jay Cutler had to drop a “please shut up” on the hometown crowd for their apparent ignorance of the fact that as a home crowd, you are supposed to shut the f’ up when your team is on offense.

Okay, the Bears have been around since what, 1920? And the QB still has to clue them in on when to shut the f’ up? Really? Everybody is going to say Cutler is the A-hole we’ve always thought he was for telling his own fans to STFU, but I say the fans are the A-holes for making him tell them to STFU. And anyway, he said please. More than once. If I have offended anybody here with my misrepresentation of what Cutler actually said, please be my guest and STFU. I said please too.

Before I get on with the Misery Index, I just have one thing to say about the media. I’m trying to be kinder to the media this year, because it isn’t the people that suck’s fault that some guy who sucks worse hired them and shoves them in my living room while I’m trying to eat. This has been putting the grind on my mind for a while now, and it’s just better if I go ahead and get if off my chest.

This goes for ESPN and anybody else using Auto-tune in any capacity connected with NFL football, or promos for other sports that show up during my football games. Just because you have the technological ability to do something, doesn’t mean you should do it. I get the urge to punch Tim McCarver in the face when he speaks in his normal voice, the urge under the influence of Auto-tune is almost irresistible. I will hold all parties responsible for any damage to my television and subsequent damage to my fist as a result. You have all been warned.

Misery Index

10a)  Raiders:  I tried to give these guys a pass, with all the other misery going around this week, and it being a ridiculously late game and all.  But that circus act on MNF was simply too embarrassing to ignore.  I guess the bright spot is that they aren't scheduled for another prime time appearance until week 14.  Though the fact they had two scheduled prime time games in the first place makes me want to petition the league to start drug testing for the schedulers. 

10) Seahawks: You got punked by He Scare Me. HE - FREAKING - SCARE ME!

9) Saints: Please refer to Roger Goodell for an explanation for this odd phenomenon. (You didn’t really think I was going to make nice with the Emperor forever did you?)

8) Packers: Wow. This seems a bit harsh, no? Maybe. But the fact is the last two games we have seen this team play they got their asses pureed like Cheez Whiz in their own house. By good teams, yes. But those same teams will be waiting for them at season’s end. Seems like a potential problem. Now comes theBears. On a short week. And they are no doubt smelling blood. 0-2 teams rarely even make the playoffs. Thus the harsh.

7) Rams: Gotta give some props here. You took the Lions to the wall in their own house. You made Calvin Johnson look semi-mortal. But you are still a fantasy wasteland. The correct answer to this week’s quiz - “Which Rams player will score the touchdown- is Brandon Gibson. That’s Brandon Gibson. Please place your bets for next week.” (tears up his Steve Smith ticket)

6) Vikings: Alright. You beat another Misery Index dweller. Barely. At home. Not exactly a needle mover.

5) Jaguars: So MJD held out all preseason but Jennings gets injured in week one? Well, so much for that theory.

4) Dolphins: Every bit as bad as advertised. The best thing you did this year was to let Brandon Marshall out of fantasy purgatory and back into the loving arms of Jay Cutler where he belongs.

3) Browns: Weeden got smoked, Little did nothing. And Richardson looked more like Richard’s grandpa.

2) Colts: Hey, it's unfortunate to lose as bad as you did and still move out of the bottom spot, but that’s life in the small city. Big news here. Donnie Avery made it through a whole game without getting injured as best I could tell. That right there tells you Luck is probably going to live up to his name. Break out the party hats and the Yoo-Hoo!

1) Bills: Have you considered changing the name of the team to the Buffalo Dung? Which considering how much you stink, would really be an insult to dung everywhere.

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