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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary From the Edge: Week 9
Kevin Ratterree
October 30, 2012
 

(Note to readers: From this point forward I will be using the word “Chiefs” as a replacement for the four letter word for excrement.)

While perusing the starting lineups in my FFPC online league last week, I was thrilled to discover that I was to be the beneficiary of the bye week roulette wheel. My opponent had not only Arian Foster, but also A.J. Green on a bye. Oh, and Andy Dalton too. Don’t you love it when that happens? What’s this? The fantasy gods throwing me a bone? Instead of actually boning me? What a pleasant surprise.

And then the games started. My good fortune took a bit of a hit on Thursday night when his replacement quarterback, Josh Freeman netted 25 points against the “tough” Vikings defense. On the road. Sure. Okay. Yeah give me a big plateful of that Chiefs!

This was a pivotal game in my league. There was a 5-2 logjam at the top of the standings, and our two logs were dueling it out for the upper hand. Okay, that didn’t sound right at all. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I digress.

The good times returned when my opponent made a last minute lineup change, benching Dexter McCluster (remember I told you I dropped him the week before last, and virtually guaranteed big games in his future?) and instead going with Shane Vereen.

Yes, it was to be a happy day, as I was poised to virtually cement a spot in the playoffs for this 11 week league. Everything was going smoothly. By the time the late games started Sunday, I only needed average efforts from Austin, Cruz, and Bowe to assure victory, with Sproles and bye week replacement, Rob Housler set to tack on unneeded points in the later games.

But it was not meant to be. Even with Austin‘s 22 point outburst my big bad receiving trio combined was outscored by my opponents last remaining position player, you guessed it, of course Jason MF’n Witten.

Wow, that was a buzz kill. But hey, I’ve been there before. I mean you don’t get cynical and bitter enough to write a column like this without getting blasted in the coconuts a few thousand times.

Before the late games started I was all like, “Man, it would take a 50 point effort from Witten for me to lose now!” Nope, it would have only taken 30. 47 did the trick just fine. Buried my sorry ass in Loserville cemetary. Chiefs Sonofabitch.

So instead of relaxing a bit, enjoying the weeks leading up to the playoffs, I can get in some quality stress time. My dynasty team is 6-2 and playoff bound. My keeper team is 7-1 and in cruise control. My other redraft team is 4-4, and far away enough from contention they are buried in the calm cellar of my mind. I just needed that one more win to enjoy a bit of a mental vacation. Nah.

Instead I will worry about Dwayne Bowe, and the Chiefs Chiefsy quarterback situation. I will worry about Chris Johnson taking a mental vacation of his own, leaving me wanting to strangle the Chiefs out of him as I did so frequently over the first portion of the season. I will worry about Owen Daniels holding up physically, and continuing to give me a “get out of jail free” card for drafting Fred Davis as a TE1. I will worry every time I put Malcom Floyd in at flex, because let’s face it, the Chargers suck, and so does most anybody else I might use in that flex spot.

But hey, what’s a fantasy season without colon clenching tension and stress? How could I write my column if I was suddenly content? Hell, I can barely write it when I’m pissed off. Did you see that piece of crap last week? I should have known after that fiasco it wasn’t going to be my week. But no, there I was, just walking along happy go lucky as Gomer Pyle. Surprise, surprise, surprise!

Really though, what do I have to complain about? Dwayne Bowe outscored Calvin Johnson last week. Calvin Johnson owners are telling me to just shut the f’ up right now. They don’t want to hear my sob story. They’ll trade their CJ for my CJ (Chris Johnson) in a heartbeat about now.

Yeah, Chris Johnson has his owners conditioned to trust him again. Everything’s just fine. Except that the Titans just finished a pretty cushy part of the schedule from a rushing aspect. If you own Johnson like I do, you are pretty much bound to keep starting him, but you should of course know as I do, that he is waiting around the next bend, behind a bush ready to jump out, give you a twitch and a swift kick in the nuts, then run into the back of his lineman 2 feet up field and fall down. I’m not benching him, but I am fully mentally prepared to be violated without benefit of a reach-around. Right now I’m taking breaks from writing this column to stick pins in a little Steven Jackson doll, hoping Daryl Richardson will save my ass when CJ goes Jimmy Hoffa on us again.

This is what I have been reduced to. I’m a small, small man with a small book that looks like the Steelers throwback uniforms called Black Magic for Dummies. I have found rock bottom at last.

But hey, none of that doom and gloom for my future compares for the doom and gloom of my past. I traded for Philip Rivers in my dynasty league during the off-season, thinking he would shore up a weak position on my team. That worked out pretty well. Realized I was in deep Chiefs at quarterback a couple of weeks ago and traded for Romo. Truly desperate. Would whoever out there has been sticking pins in little Philip Rivers dolls arms please give it a break for a few weeks so I can move his sorry ass for a 3rd round rookie draft pick in 2014 please?

Okay so some of our season’s aren’t going as we planned. But don’t quit on your league. No matter how bleak. No matter how hopeless you may be. No matter how pathetic. Keep on filling out your lineups, keep grabbing free agents if you can. Don’t check out. I’ve seen some wild comebacks in fantasy football. The second half of the season will likely look a lot different than the first. Good teams will falter and bad teams will rise from the dust. It happens every season. And even if you don’t stage a miracle, it’s still fun to crush other people’s playoff dreams. Stick around. And stick it to somebody. That‘s what it’s all about.

Is it a rule that every star ex-player gets a shot on national TV? Ladainian Tomlinson was a fine running back, but as a commentator he’s more of a Lawrence Phillips level talent. Painful to watch as your average Thursday night football game. Speaking of which, up this week? Chiefs and Chargers! Yeah! I’m going to further alienate my wife for that crap? And then you‘re only going to give me 2 late afternoon games on a Sunday? Not really getting my money’s worth on the Redzone channel with only two games. Need a re-think here.

Gruden continues to battle Mike Mayock for the most over-zealous announcer of the year award. “What a comeback,” he exclaimed after Moss juked a defender and seemed surprised to find an open field in front of him en route to a touchdown. It was his 13th catch and pushed him over the 200 yard mark for the season. Decaf Mr. Gruden. Decaf.

I would be remiss if I didn’t pay further homage to the Steelers throwback uni’s. Weren’t those the uniforms the Three Stooges wore in one of their football episodes? Or maybe I’m thinking of one of the prison episodes. In any case, the sight of full grown men running around in those things like a bunch of bees escaped from their hive they built too close to the nuclear power plant was an unpleasant experience. No wonder nobody gave a rat’s ass about football back in the 30s. Who could watch that? Those sideways stripes hurt my eyes, and I had to watch the game in very small doses to avoid vertigo.

In any case, I will say this. Big Ben looked kind of natural in those stripes. I guess he couldn’t find a lawyer to get him out of that deal. If you find yourself buying one of those jerseys, you might want to take an extra long look in the mirror. Ask yourself if this is necessary. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish here. Ask yourself if you can outrun the entire beehive when they come a courting’ their nuclear queen.

Misery Index

10) Rams: What a nasty bit of reality that was. Oh well chaps, it wouldn’t do to ’ave the Patriots take it on the chin in jolly old England now would it? And that was an ‘ome game now wasn’t it? You gave up a game in St Louis to play this one then aye? Well then that was a bit of luck for those ‘ometown fans oo didn’t have to buy a ticket to watch that bloody mess now then isn’t it? There’s your silver lining then,eh yank?

9) Cowboys: So Romo throws 3 picks in the first half. The Cowboys were down 13 when they got the ball back on a punt with :15 to go before halftime. And the few fans that hadn’t migrated to the bars and the amusement park were booing when Romo took a knee. Really? Did you really want to see Romo chuck another pass, with Dez Bryant jogging the wrong route, have it intercepted and run back for a touchdown? Because you know damn well that’s what would have happened. And then you would have missed out on giving a rats ass whether that thrilling touchdown got called back or not at the end of the game.

8) Redskins: Shanahan said he felt like a dumb-Chief for sending his recently concussed franchise quarterback out on a pass pattern, to be predictably blasted by a defender. Don’t worry coach, what you lack in common sense and judgment you make up for with self awareness and razor sharp self-evaluation.

7) Eagles: Andy Reid has his players attention on about the same level my wife has mine while I am watching football. “You guys need to start tackling.” Yes honey. “Come on now, lets hold onto that ball now.” Yes dear. “If you guys on offense don’t start playing better we’re going to fire our defensive coordinator” Sounds good. Hey do we have any of those chips left?

6) Chargers: If the owner of this team has any balls or brains, or any semblance of a clue, he will go ahead and ditch Norv and A.J. ASAP. There’s really no reason to drag this out any further. Norv and A.J. are like your kids you left to watch your nice house while you go on a business trip and they trashed it. You warn them not to do it again, but you come back the next time and it‘s full of beer bottles, used prophylactics and puke. Well guess what Spanos? Your house is now a disaster. Your neighbors all think you are a jackass. Kick your boy’s asses out on the street, pull up the pot plants and hose down whatever that stench is. Failure to do so and we’ll have no choice but to assume my theory that Norv and AJ have photos of you in a compromising position is a valid one.

5) Saints: 400 yards allowed in 7 straight games is an NFL record. From a record setting offense to a record setting defense. Ya’ll still have those paper bags handy?

4) Jets: Ryan was a better head coach when you could look at his teeth without wearing sunglasses. But not by much. Congratulations coach, that internet video you did is now only the second biggest public embarrassment of your life.

3) Browns: Okay, you beat the Chargers. You beat Glass Joe in Punchout. Body blow, body blow, body blow and they’re down. Congratulations. Call me when you beat a team with a clue.

2) Panthers: Wow. Just wow. I could pay your way into the bunny ranch, find you a Jessica Alba look-alike, cram a bottle of Viagra down your throats, draw a big red arrow toward her goodies, and you still couldn’t score.

1) Chiefs: What a pile of Chiefs we have here.  It’s really a shame that the Chiefs won that game in New Orleans, because this team is historically bad despite their failure to lose every game. The Chiefs have still not run a play from scrimmage with the lead in any football game yet this year. You have to go back to the 1920s to find ineptitude like that. Crazylegs Hirsch was 6 years old. He was only known as Quirkylegs back then for cryin’ out loud.  Romeo Crennel forgot to give his best player any touches in Sunday’s loss, and for the 3rd game in a row the Chiefs turned over the ball with their first possession of the second half. Suggestion? More make ’em tackle. More protect 'em balls.  Less smoke ’em peace pipe.


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