FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary From The Edge: Week 5
Kevin Ratterree
October 1, 2013
 

Often times, it is the stupid little things that trip us up in our lives. Casually answering a question from your mate, without scanning it in your brain first for signs that what you are about to say, may end up causing you soul-crushing marital blitz.

Sometimes it an even more moronic little thing like forgetting to pull the car keys out of the ignition before we slam the car door. And how many of us haven’t been caught up looking over our fantasy match-ups and accidentally watch the opening of bowling on ESPN after Sunday Countdown, coming perilously close to missing kickoff? Some poor souls tend to repeat these kinds of simple life mistakes over and over again. 

I am not immune from such ludicrous rituals. For instance, I have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to my fantasy defense. I always draft one late, a necessary evil so random from season to season they don’t merit a ton of thought and consideration. If I draft a team D and they don’t kick ass in the first week, I bail on them. Churn, churn, churn. I rarely marry a defense.

Case in point. The Bengals were my target in the draft. Okay. First game, Nothing. You’re outta there. Let’s get with the Bills. They look like they might have something going with this sweet match-up in week two. Oops. Bengals kicked ass and the Bills bit me in the ass.

Alright, alright. I over-reacted. Chasing my tail here. I’m not going to be so impatient come week 3. Nope. Sticking with the Bills. And same results. Bengals roughed up the Packers, Bills only roughed me up. Okay then, this is officially a problem. For week 4 I have to get this right. I’m bleeding at the defensive position. Bengals are playing the Browns. FINE THEN! Here goes some bidding bucks to get the Bengals back, who I drafted in the first place. Whew. Glad that’s over. And then Sunday, again, “SONOFABITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

So, it’s time to face an ugly truth. I have some kind of amazing mind control over team defenses. I am a team D dream destroyer. I have managed to get the least possible points from the combination of the Bills and Bengals over the first 4 games of the season. I believe the point of the “rent a defense” strategy is to maximize one’s points. I have managed to do exactly the opposite. It’s a skill I can’t teach you. You just have to be born with it.

But that is only one league. After similar gyrations in my other league I plunked down 15% of my bidding budget to assure I would land the Chiefs defense that had somehow still eluded a roster last week. To this team defense, I thee wed. From this day forward, ‘til bye week do us part. Had I tanked on that one, there wouldn’t be a column today. Just a big splat where my head finally exploded into my laptop.

Yeah, and I would be ecstatic about shacking up with the Chiefs D, had the same team not shafted me with 4 points total from Daryl Richardson and Stevie Johnson. One step forward, 2 schleps back.

Robert Woods and his breakout were safely tucked on my bench while this naptime ensued in my starting lineup. Which can only mean D-Rich is about to go off, and Woods ascent in the fantasy ranks will slam the glass ceiling known as my starting lineup. Plan accordingly. I’m the grim freaking fantasy reaper.
 
Oh, and good news. It’s a Thursday night game with the Bills I only have 2 days to make the wrong decision. Tick, tick, tick…

And just in case you are wondering, I am also directly responsible for Stephen Hill’s concussion. I got tired of waiting for Michael Floyd to hit double digit fantasy points, so I finally started Hill. 13 for Floyd. A hill of concussed beans for me. Sometimes I think I’m lucky I don’t just kick my own ass. I certainly couldn’t blame myself if I did.
  
Interesting tidbit from the weekend. The wife made a rare appearance for a fair portion of the pre-game shows. Jay Cutler is shown warming up before the game. The first thing I see is Jay taking a huge whiff of the end of the football. Soaking in the leather smell. And then flinging it.

The wife makes an observation, “He looks rough, look at the bags under his eyes.”

I said, “Yep, he’s a party boy. Must’ve done up Detroit right last night.” And then I chuckled to myself, Dude was probably up all night getting hammered and nailing one of Ted Nugent or Kid Rock’s many illegitimate daughters in the Detroit metro. That crazy Cutler….hey, wait a minute. Oh my God, I have the Bears in 2 parlays. SONOFABITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And that is why Cutler will never be a champion, and I will never turn a profit gambling. It’s all intertwined like a DNA strand in the shape of a giant “L.”
 
My wife, of all people foretold my impending doom. Too bad she couldn’t have been that intuitive before she walked down the aisle.
 
Remember last week when I talked about desperately putting in a blind bid for Marcel Reece? Well, I had actually done so the week before. I timed the whole transaction quite well, didn‘t I? I figured McFadden’s impending injury surely was at our doorstep. I was right. Unfortunately Marcel Reece immediately suffered the same fate, so my career as a vulture takes yet another horrifying twist. Paid! Nope. Denied! McFadden’s injury not so serious. Reece thought to be serious. Seriously? Even when I’m right, I’m still wrong. SONOFABITCH!!!!!!!!

Media Stuff

I have more complaints. The Red Zone channel. Normally I love it. It’s a dream I could have never even imagined come true. But last week Andrew Siciliano had an unseemly fascination with the London game Steelers vs. Vikings. I don’t care if it was the only game that was competitive, we didn‘t need to see that. I have Adrian Peterson, I was happy checking the crawl. It’s bad enough that we inflicted our Misery Index darlings on the unsuspecting Brits. We didn’t need an update every time one of these losers crossed midfield.

Siciliano actually cut away from the Eagles/ Broncos game for the possibility of seeing Geno Smith get sacked in the end-zone. Well, he damn near did, and Red Zone stayed with that game while the referees reviewed the call. Then the refs decided it wasn’t a safety, and spotted the ball. The teams lined up and the refs blew their whistles and decided to talk some more. Fascinating television there. Finally, mercifully, Siciliano switched back to the Denver game.

But I had already missed valuable minutes in Peyton Manning’s legendary record-setting season. I can’t get those moments back. Oh sure, I could catch it on replay, but what am I suppose to do, miss Duck Dynasty now just because you had an off-day?
 
Maybe he went to the bathroom. Maybe he was just screwing with us. Maybe he was getting his ears powdered and some got in his eyes and blinded him. I don’t know. All I know is I finally had to use my remote and switch between games myself. That is so wrong. That is as wrong as catsup on a hot dog or sweat pants in a titty bar. Andrew, I thought we had an understanding. I put down the remote. And you took me out on the boat and shot me like Fredo. Siciliano indeed.

I heard Jon Gruden refer to Daniel Thomas as a “short yardage specialist.” If by “short yardage specialist” you mean a guy that averages 3 yards a carry and should never, ever be on the football field instead of Lamar Miller under any circumstances, short of the death of Mr. Miller, you are correct. If you are calling him that in reference to particular proficiency in short yardage situations, you are far goofier than your facial expressions might indicate. That is all.

Misery Index

10a) Vikings: And the schedule steps in and breaks the freefall, and we are now reasonably sure you aren’t the absolute worst team in the league. Congratulations.

10) Texans: Yeah, Schaub threw a pick six when all the Texans had to do was just hang onto the ball. And it’s easy to pile on Schaub. But I’d rather pile on the coaching decision. Kubiak may be a lot of good things as a coach, but as a game manager he lacks the “it” factor every bit as much as Schaub. When you have a dog that tends to choke, you don’t let him gnaw on a big old wounded duck.

9) Raiders: It is amazing how much cash Matt Flynn has banked on one late-season game against a limp “is it tee time yet?” defense. That was a pretty limp defense on Sunday. Amazingly Flynn appeared to come out of it uninjured. He may have been responsible for getting Marcel Reece killed however. Hey, no sweat Matt. You do what you do. I’m good over here.

8) Panthers / Packers: These teams have one thing in common. Their only wins are against the dregs of the NFC East. That is the equivalent of beating Glass Joe on “Punchout.” Hopefully you had time to reflect on this during your bye.

7) Falcons: Hey coach, if you are going for it on 4th down, have a play. Okay? Don’t just go eeny meeny miny moe on your clipboard. Just a thought. Oh, did I mention I drafted Roddy White this year too? Did I really need to?

6) Eagles: Remember back after the first game, when they ran roughshod over the Redskins, and we thought Chip Kelly was going to take the league by storm? Right now the only defensive coordinator this offense is creating nightmares for is the Eagles own Bill Davis.

5) Rams: Here is what I see when I watch the Rams. I do see some talent. But they are young. And they are incredibly dumb. At least one player makes a bad decision on nearly every play from scrimmage. It has been my experience that you can’t fix stupid. Bradford realizes it. He’s thanking the cosmos every day that he beat the new rookie pay scale by a season, and when his body is beat into jerky in a few years, he will be able to afford the best replacement body parts money can buy.

4) Buccaneers: Coach Schiano has pinpointed Josh Freeman as a stumbling block to winning. And I believe him. Dude finished .500 in 11 years of Big East football. He knows stuff.

3) Steelers: Look, you could really take any of these winless teams, put them in a compost bin, and whichever one tumbles out first is your #1. So don’t get bent out of shape like I did when that ref handed you a Superbowl. I’m just giving you extra credit for going all the way to jolly old England to prove what a bunch of wankers you are this week. And being a Todd Haley survivor myself, I feel your pain. But better you than me.

2) Jaguars: Hey, you had a good run. Eventually somebody had to scrape you off the bottom of the dung-pile. Bringing Gabbert back was a strong move to try to save your spot. And announcing you are giving out free beer for those with the fortitude to show up and witness your unwatchable home games was solid too. Just not enough though. I hear Brett Favre may be available. Free beer and Brett Favre? Oh HELL YES!

1) Giants: If you have ever wondered what your NFL team would look like with Peyton Manning at QB, Jim Brown at RB, Jerry Rice at WR, and sporting the ‘85 Bears defense, get your popcorn ready. Coming up: Eagles, Bears, and Vikings, oh my.


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