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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary From The Edge: Week 8
Kevin Ratterree
October 22, 2013
 

Does anybody but me find it ironic that Patriots fans are up in arms about losing a game based on a rarely called somewhat obscure rule? Yeah, I had money against the Pats on a snowy night in New England lo these many years ago. I still remember getting tucked like it was just yesterday.

I was on the Jets Sunday so I found nothing wrong with the call whatsoever. And from a more pragmatic viewpoint, I hardly think the Pats can claim they are on the short end of such “oddities” over the course of time. Basically, yeah you might have been tucked Sunday. But if you are looking for sympathy you are barking up the wrong tucking tree.

Speaking of barking up the wrong tree, how about that NCAA? Here is an idea. Let’s finally give the people the “playoff” system they have been waiting for, form a selection committee and fill it with everyone except those that would be most qualified.

College football experts like Herbstreet or Phil Steele? Who needs ’em. Numbers guys from Vegas who track college football for a living? Really KNOW what is going on because it is their livelihood and their passion? Not interested. We need names people recognize. And let’s include someone from the government, since they’ve been doing a bang-up job.

The NCAA is like the grotesque, obnoxious, over-perfumed, whorish loud drunk chick at the party that honestly has convinced herself she is all that. She is dictating the action at the party, but has no idea people are laughing about her behind her back, and just wish she would leave.

I hope Bob Costas gets offered the baseball commissioner’s job. I’d hate to lose him on Sunday Night Football, but I am willing to sacrifice for the good of the sport. Sadly, Major League Baseball seems to have the same kind of difficulties as the NCAA getting out of its own way however, and I fully expect the next commissioner of baseball to be Dick Cheney.

Why? I have been conditioned like the rest of you to expect the absurd. I mean, we are living in a country where a man named Wiener, falls from political grace after sending pics of his namesake to prospects. You can’t make stuff like this up. If you submitted that script to Hollywood they would laugh you out of town. And we’re talking about an industry with low standards. Vanilla Ice Goes Amish anyone?

The Colts had a script for their prodigal son last week. Your old team wants to throw you a tribute before the game. You can’t say no. You owe it to the fans. And they are going to do it whether you want them to or not. I don’t like it. But it certainly played into the gamesmanship exhibited all week by the tweeting owner. Irsay crawled right inside Manning’s head and made himself comfortable. Modern technology, It is a marvel.

I have to admit, I got sick of hearing about the owner’s tweets. Anybody that thinks the tweets weren’t heat seeking missiles is sadly mistaken. The inference was clear to me. When Irsay evoked the name of Tom Brady in his comparisons, that was a direct shot across the bow at Peyton. And no amount of back-tracking would convince me otherwise. I thought it was cheap, bush league, and unbecoming anybody outside the walls of a high school. And highly effective.

It worked. Well, that and endless harassment from the Colts defense. Manning was not Manning on Sunday night. (Although he was probably still a Hillman fumble away from pulling that game out. And what the hell is Hillman doing on the roster; let alone carrying the ball at a critical juncture of the game?)

But Luck was Luck. The Colts have now beaten the 49ers, Seahawks, and Broncos. I would say it is about time to start taking them seriously. Well, if they can keep enough people healthy enough to field a team.

Injuries are just ridiculous right now. You keep thinking it can’t get any worse, and then it does. And we’re only halfway through the season. In one of my 20 man leagues I drafted 5 players that are either out for the season or have been kept from the field by injury. Add that to the 10 players I drafted that tanked, and I think you can see how my season is going. Not an uncommon story. This season has a “last man standing” feeling to it. If you can field a team, I’m saying there’s a chance…

One could begin to question whether the limits to off-season practice and conditioning brought forth in the last collective bargaining agreement is a catalyst to this cataclysm of calamite. Just keep in mind, limiting off-season workouts was done for the safety of the players. Isn’t it nice when a plan pays off immediately like that?

But from a fantasy perspective, it isn’t just the injuries. It’s the wild point swings from week to week. In one of my leagues where I am scraping for WRs, I acquired Brandon Gibson and Jeremy Kerley over the last few weeks. After their last performances I wasn’t about to start them over Andre Ellington at flex and Michael Floyd at WR. Those seemingly sane roster choices cost me 30 points. And that is how you become a league donor.

Maybe next season I should just name my team “Fee Donors.” I wish I was brilliant enough to figure out this season’s puzzle, but right now I feel as useless as Snooky’s fat clothes. By the way, somebody please get that poor wreck a double cheeseburger. Stat. Before someone mistakenly hangs her on their door as a Halloween decoration.

It’s like this. I have always thought of fantasy football along the same lines with table games such as blackjack or craps. Yes, there is an element of luck involved, but deft decisions can give you better odds of winning. But this season feels more like a slot machine. I’m just a mindless drone pushing the button hoping for that big hit. Trying to influence the outcome seems futile. The NFL is just a giant random number generator.

So it is a frustrating season. Is it the end of fantasy football as we know it? We have all this wonderful information at our fingertips, yet the game has become so specialized, as far as players roles from game to game, it is harder to make the right roster decisions than ever before. While I have always strived to build teams based on dependable week to week production, those players are just far and few between. You can find them at the top of the player rankings in your league. Not many of them.

Doug Martin, while he may have been a huge disappointment based on his draft position, at the very least was delivering steady, consistent, double digit points every week. And that is a bit of a rare commodity.

My keeper league team blew the doors off the rest of the league through 4 weeks. Since then the team is 0-3 with the worst points total during that period. Nothing has changed. No injuries of note. Same lineup. Steadiest team I have, went from killer to cupcake overnight. This is fantasy football 2013. Don’t get comfortable. You will wake up in a different world next week.

I could let a monkey pick my lineup and be no worse for wear. Anybody know where I can get a monkey? And how should I break it to my wife she‘s about to do some monkey diaper changing.

I saw Marshall Faulk on NFLN wearing a bright pink bow tie. I assume this has to do with the continuing breast cancer awareness campaign. At least I hope that was the connection. If Marshall was wearing that just for “stylin”, it was a bigger cry for help than the ESPN guys “war of the obnoxious socks” going on between Herm Edwards, Keyshawn, and Chris Carter. I found the sight of that big bald “baby head” of his coming out of that tight pink ring unnerving. Marshall, Marshall, Marshall!

Misery Index

10a) Bears: Losing Cutler was a blow. Briggs too. Especially considering your defense was already in shambles. No quarterback and no defense makes you the Vikings. Good luck with that.

10) Rams: Sam Bradford: 6 years. 78 million dollars. Disappointment and a torn ACL. I told you Suh was the guy you wanted. You could have had the guy trying to cause ACL injuries, instead of the guy sustaining them. You could have had Suh, and RG3. But did you listen to me? Hell no. You have only yourselves to blame. And let’s all wait ANOTHER season on Bradford, right? Because it’s going to happen…someday.

9) Cardinals: So anyway, a few weeks ago, I got all excited about what Andre Ellington might do in this stagnant Cardinals offense. And things were going fine. And he is creating offensive numbers. He’s chipping out a role. And then he was my starting running back on my team with no running backs. And then Ellington touched the ball 5 times on Sunday, surprisingly in a Cardinals loss. I made the mistake here of assuming the coaches would make the connection between Ellington touches and actual offensive productivity, and as with most assumptions, the ass is me.

8) Falcons: To the guy in my league that got 28 points from Harry freaking Douglas, the week after I lose Julio Jones for the season: You may osculate my gluteus maximus. Vigorously.

7) Redskins: Well, I did it again. I trusted Shanahan. Helu? Was it me you’re looking for? No it was Morris dammit! I’m Charlie Brown, and Shanny is Lucy pulling away the football. I really thought I was going to kick it this time. Sigh. Good grief.

6) Vikings: The Vikings were all about celebrating and bravado early in the game against the Giants. Primal screams after “tackling” a running back that slipped and fell down. Jerome Simpson got all excited when he caught the Vikings only first down just over the marker in their first drive. They were pumped. Then later, when the Vikings were down 10, Simpson dropped a sure touchdown pass in the end zone that Freeman put right in his hands. No celebration on that one. It made me sad for him. But not all that much.

5) Raiders: There are only 4 baseball fields being used right now. St. Louis, Boston, San Francisco and Oakland. Being the grumpy old “get off my lawn” guy that I am, you might think the Raiders ridiculous old, OLD school field would strike me as charming. Nope. It makes me sad for them. What? No land left out there for a new damn stadium? I’ve got one word for you. Pontoons.

4) Texans: I have to tell you, when I heard Case Keenum would be making his pro debut in the unfriendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium, I thought Kubiak’s brain had sprung a leak. But then the pick-six streak ended. And Keenum didn’t even suck as much as Schaub. And the Texans resembled an NFL team for the first time in weeks. That’s Case Keenum. Undrafted and unheralded. But the head coach’s ass is on fire. And it’s Schaub to the curb. Where I am sure there will be a psycho waiting to berate him one more time. It makes me sad for him. Well, both of them.

3) Giants: It’s really amazing the Giants have amassed the stats they have. Receivers running bad routes. Dropping balls when they run good routes and Eli manages to hit them, and Eli just flat out missing them when they run the right route and get wide open. Every once in a while someone in the right colored uniform catches a pass, but it is purely coincidental.

2) Buccaneers: Talk about sad. I’ve kicked Schiano around pretty good in this column, but at this point it’s like pummeling a corpse “Casino” style. I’ll probably kick him some more later, but right now I just feel too sad for him to rail once again what a monumental tire fire he is tending. Nice to see that Coach is in the Halloween spirit with the flaming bag of dog poo he left on the Vikings doorstep.

1) Jags: If you drafted Justin Blackmon, you hit the lottery when he came back with league leading PPR numbers in his first two weeks back. Probably not as excited with his 11 point week 7, hamstring pull, impending week 8 match-up against the ’Niners, and week 9 bye. The team however, is ecstatic about the bye, as are fans of real football everywhere.


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