FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary From The Edge: Week 6
Kevin Ratterree
October 8, 2013
 

Sunday was a good day to be a Tony Romo owner. Romo had been steady, yet unspectacular leading up to his heavyweight showdown with the leagues reigning bad-ass, Peyton Manning. But his 500 yard performance was just what the doctor ordered to bump his stats back up among the upper crust in the game.

But then, there was the interception. It’s just Romo being Romo. Let the hate-fest begin.
 
No. Not here. You won’t hear me saying bad stuff about Romo. Without him, the Cowboys would have never made it to the 16th round of that fight. Romo single-handedly overcame a criminal lack of a running game and a defense. He made one mistake, in an otherwise brilliant game. It was a virtuoso performance that was a privilege to watch. But still they plead for more. Get off my boy.

Romo owns the highest 4th quarter passer rating in the league since 2006. Tony Romo is a hall of fame quarterback. Guess what? Nobody in the hall was perfect. Just really good. Romo is really good.

And I only say this out of a sense of fair play. It has nothing to do with the fact that Romo’s legendary statistical outburst helped propel one of my teams to the top of the point’s standings, and kept the other one from joining the dregs at the bottom of the league.

I don’t know what it is like in the vast majority of leagues out there, but in both of my 12 team 20 man PPR leagues, the points standings over the first 5 weeks have been a wild ride. Everybody seems to get their turn at the top, and no teams have really distinguished themselves. Very tight.

A lot of that, I think stems from the running back famine. Take a look at the combinations played this week in one of my leagues. You can start up to 4 running backs in this league, though in most cases that would be a suicidal strategy considering the landscape at the position. Most teams can barely field two RBs. Total points netted by the RB combos noted.

Mendenhall/Charles  38.5
Gore/Bush/Lynch  36.7
Bernard/K. Davis  9.1
Sproles/Rice  35.3
Forte/Tate   21.5
D.Williams/R. Jennings/ R. Matthews   12.2
F.Jackson/ C.Johnson/ D. Murray   55.1
McCoy / B. Powell  26.9
T Richardson/ Lacy/ Z. Stacy  24.1
MJD/ Snelling   23.9
BGE/A. Foster/ Blount   33.6
L. Miller/ Ellington   13.8

Lots of ugliness there. About 4 owners did alright, but nobody is doing cartwheels. Winning teams in this format typically average 15+ points per player. There seems to be a math problem here.

That last wretched combo of Miller and Ellington is mine. Those were the starting running backs on the team that led the league in points this week and took ownership of most points overall. Have running backs really been marginalized to the point where a numb-nuts like myself can leave a player like Pierre Thomas and his 30 point outburst on the bench, plug in a couple of slugs and still lap the field?

Apparently so. I don’t have any running backs and I lead the league in points. Only 93 my 769 total points are from the running back position. Of course, it’s early. But right now you would have a hard time finding anybody winning their league behind the strength of their running backs. You will easily however, finding people vowing to never play this game again after starting a combination of DeAngelo Williams, Rashad Jennings, and Ryan Matthews for a total of 12.2 points this week.

Seriously, this is ridiculous. Yes, I did slough the running back position as I tend to do as a draft strategy. But I totally whiffed on Daryl Richardson in the 5th and Andre Brown in the 6th. And my 4th rounder, Lamar Miller and his personnel decision challenged head coach haven’t exactly panned out either. I have Pierre Thomas, but as you are aware, I never know when to start him, benching him in each of his best performances. A horrible running back crew combined with horrible roster decision skills, and I am sitting atop the league? Yes Virginia, the running back position truly has been marginalized.

But I certainly enjoyed watching you all gnash your teeth over them in the drafts. I took your leftovers, which are only slightly less appetizing than your main course.

That‘s right. I’m feeling cocky now. I have a team that might actually be good enough to overcome all my nightmarish weekly roster decisions. Oh yeah. It’s on now. Just wait ‘til I start doing the opposite of what I decide with my roster choices a’la George Costanza. Definitely on now. It’s my week in the sun, baby. Life is awesome!

So, I wonder which one of my studs will suffer a season ending injury next week?

I picked up Keenan Allen a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of looking like a genius. Score. I even had him in the starting lineup. Can you believe that? Sometimes the stars align I tell you. But I digress. Allen will be a hot commodity on the free agent market this week. I don’t see his junk-time pitch and catch fest as a fluke. Rivers seemed to be looking his direction on every play late in the game. At least that is what I think happened. It was the middle of the damn night and I may have been hallucinating.

It was just a couple of short weeks ago Trent Richardson owners were giddy about the “bust-averting” trade that was to breathe new life into T-Rich. An unexpected mid-season gift of the rarest form. Nope. Just the same kind of surprise Danny Bonaduce got when he unwrapped that tranny.

That’s right. Donald Brown is your official “goal-line” back. Richardson is your official 50 yards a week between the 20s guy. Richardson’ owner is “wishes he drafted anybody else in the first round” guy.

Austin Collie: signed by the Patriots. It gave me a flash headache just hearing it. Does anybody not see the folly in having Collie as insurance for Amendola? Everybody in the league had conscience enough to let Collie remain a spectator. Not the Hoodie. Hoodie needs to win. If Collie can make a few crucial catches before he suffers his last concussion, it‘s all worth it.

I’m assuming Mr. Collie is familiar with the details of the recent settlement, risks and repercussions, and is choosing voluntarily to risk his very life? For the love of Hoodie? Okay then. Just checking. “Look son, that man just turned into a vegetable. Thanks Mr. Hoodie!”

Andrew Luck is a flat-out bad ass. Unfortunately he is living the life Peyton Manning lived before he left, trying to mask a flawed team. I have the utmost respect for him. But why, does a young man with so much going for him choose to have the neck beard? I hate to be selfish here. You have put yourself in the limelight. Being a football fan I am compelled to look at you from time to time. You don’t have to look at yourself (and I’m thinking you probably don’t).  But we do.

Neck beards are for mountain men, or unemployed dudes living in their mom’s basement reading fantasy football columns right now, and the people that write them. They should never be inflicted on the public at large. I get itchy just looking at that brush pile. For the love of everything decent buy yourself a razor. Take a minute away from your film study and make friends with a can of shaving foam. You’ll feel better, and we’ll definitely feel better.

I have only one media note this week, and that is the arrival of Dan LeBatard to the revolving door that is ESPN radio’s afternoon drive slot. I guess it was only a matter of time. At least it isn’t Skip Bayless. The saving grace in the whole deal is that at least you can’t see his face on the radio, and his nearly legible father’s role so far is reserved to a promo voice-over. The silly premises and girly giggles in self-amusement are however intact as always.

Misery Index

10a) Redskins: Apparently even the president thinks the Redskins should change their name. It seems there are people that are very offended with the term Redskin, used in conjunction with a team logo of a noble looking Native American warrior. But I haven’t heard anybody offer up any replacement names. It’s easy to scream for change, but who has solutions? I think we should just do away with all these offensive team monikers and just assign colors to each team. The Browns would of course have first dibs on brown. Who wouldn’t root heartily for the Washington Maroons? And their ambiguous mascot, ‘Rooney. And then they all lived happily ever after in their perfect little world.

10) Eagles: You beat the Giants, and you beat the Maroons. And the only thing more offensive than the Maroons former name is their play on the field. It’s entirely possible you suck much more than this week’s standing would indicate.  Hey, how’s old Andy Reid doing over there….oh. Okay you don’t want to talk about it, I get it.

9) Panthers: Steve Smith looked pretty steamed out there Sunday. Not as steamed as his owners that started him. But he looked pretty steamed. It’s just a matter of time before someone gets punched. So I would suggest speak very quietly around him, and avoid sudden movements. If he wants to catch a pass in practice you better let him. Yes sir. No sir. Would you like some Gatorade sir? Come on, not in the face sir!

8) Cowboys: Long time readers are familiar with my alleged lip-reading skills. I’m pretty sure I saw Jerry Jones tell his buds in the owner’s box “that ought to do it” after the Cowboys took the lead in the middle of the 4th quarter. As he clapped his hands and shook his head confidently. This from a man whose team failed to force a punt all day. Seven minutes left. Peyton Manning on the sidelines chomping at the bit as Broncos tend to do. Jerra says, “We’re good!” Money can’t buy you love, but apparently it can provide for you heaping mounds of delusion. Anybody that has been to a strip club can tell you that.

7) Rams: So you finally found a defense you could repel. I guess maybe we should call you the Jag-Offs.

6) Falcons: When Gonzo announced his un-retirement I doubt he envisioned his crew getting punked on Monday Night Football by Rex Ryan and the “talent-free” Jets. But then nobody expected to see you here, and everybody expected to see the Jets here. And nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition.

5) Texans: Hope that backup works out for you. They usually do. What’s his name again? And more importantly, what will his sandwich be called?

4) Buccaneers: I’d bet Coach Schiano might not have very many friends. And I’d bet Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder would like to punch him in the face about now. They probably won’t though. Maybe Steve Smith will.

3) Steelers: So how bad are things here? The only national pub I saw concerning the Steelers during their off-week was a horrible report about Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis photo-bombing Dan Rooney. I don’t blame Mila. The poor little dear obviously has some sort of mental issues to begin with to pair up Kelso. And what the hell would she know about football?

But Ashton is allegedly a man, therefore is bound to know the history of the league, and show proper respect for its elders. Instead Kutcher used the unsuspecting Mr, Rooney as a prop, to show that even a no talent, granny humping failure of an actor can still get the hottest chick on the planet, and convince her to do horrible, horrible things. What a tool. The bad news is that isn’t even the worst degradation Mr. Rooney is likely to suffer this season.

2) Jaguars: Is it too early to start to feel sorry for their first round draft pick yet? No wonder Clowney is trying to tank his draft stock.

1) Giants: This is set up to be a banner year now. Being shown up by the Jets probable. 0-16 possible, and the season will cap off with a blizzard to ruin the Superbowl at their expensive new shiny stadium.


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