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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Commentary from the Edge - Week 6
Kevin Ratterree
October 12, 2010
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I don’t know why any of us listen to the words that come out of coaches mouths. We manage our fantasy teams with a measure of skullduggery and misinformation amongst our league mates. We never reveal our true intentions to our competitors. We wouldn’t think of it. What makes us think NFL coaches would?

At this point I give the same credence to coach-speak as I would give to a stripper-speak.  Coaches and strippers.  Oh, I may admire them from afar. I may like their style, and their command of the stage. They tell me the things they think I want to hear. But both of us know it’s mostly BS.

I’m not the cutest guy Raven has seen tonight. Her mullet-headed husband over in the pool room takes that honor. And I wasn’t the biggest lap-dance she has given. That low-life over in the corner wearing sweatpants is obviously packing the big lumber in this room. And not every running back on Green Bay’s roster is a “three down back.” As a matter of fact, none of them are.

Should we blame the coaches or the strippers for telling us ridiculous lies, or should we blame ourselves if we believe them? We know the score. But still, once in a while, we all get pulled in.

And mullet head in the pool room gets another Dew Rag for Christmas, on us. Merry Christmas mullet-head. And now you’ve got three Green Bay running backs on your roster. It turns out they were actually all “one-down backs” and you can’t start any of them.

So you finally realize you have been played, you bench or drop Brandon Jackson and he goes off. Welcome to fantasy football.

It is pure folly to try to base our fantasy decisions based on what the head coach says. I  believe we are far better served to base our decisions on their actions, and the actions of the players. For instance, in the Green Bay running back situation. Everybody can clearly see the void in the Packers running game. We have tried to will them to trade for Marshawn Lynch with our message board musings. But alas, Seattle landed that charming little scamp.

Green Bay isn’t really into the problem child. It’s hard to hide the problem child in a small town.

So now, we are imploring them to trade for DeAngelo Williams or Tashard Choice, or any running back from any team at any price. We are really good at spending the owners money and draft picks.

Yet, what has happened? Nothing. All quiet on the Packers trade front. What are we to make of this? It seems to me this situation is a bit like it was in ’07. Only then it was Brandon Jackson that was to be the starter. His performance was similar to the performance we have seen so far this season. But the Packers had a guy they had signed off the Giants practice squad that they were high on. His name was Ryan Grant. You know the rest.

So if we dismiss the coaches words, (McCarthy has described each running back on the roster as a three down back) but pay attention to his actions, or rather inaction as far as going for a trade, the coach must have something up his sleeve for the balance of the season. And most of us forward thinking fantasy football minds have concluded that the thing up his sleeve must be James Starks. Yeah.  Who?

Yeah, that’s right. The guy that started the season on the PUP list. The guy that hasn’t had a carry in a football game for nearly two years. We, the hardcore fantasy community have decided through process of elimination that James Starks must be the savior for the Packers, and quite possibly for our fantasy teams.  Really?

He is eligible to play in week 7, If he does make the active list, he will have 3 weeks to play before a bye week. So here is the situation in a nutshell. Starks at best will be active 3 of the next 5 weeks. He hasn’t played football for two years. It seems unlikely he will be prepared the reality of the NFL. He didn’t pick up blitzes from the likes of Clay Matthews playing at the University of Buffalo. He has 3 players ahead of him on the depth chart including Dimitri Nance, who the Packers have not even given a sniff yet. And as a bonus, it would appear the Packers offensive line is not going to be helpful anytime soon.

Yet with all this, James Starks is already stashed on both of my re-draft rosters. Not dynasty, redraft. Lunacy.

And this is what it has come to in 2010 James Starks, whoever you are. Mongrels who ain’t got a penny, scrounging for tidbits like you on the ground. Goodbye yellow brick road.

Seriously, I have never had so many long-shots on my rosters as I do this year. Part of it was by design. I kind of sensed this chaos in the running back world. Not exactly out on a limb with that supposition, but I did build my teams around one "good" running back, and a bunch of possibilities. And I wasted no time rotating in new lottery tickets for those that I drafted in err. I think I have almost all the bases covered in my four leagues. Torain, K. Williams, Ivory, Kuhn, Blount, and now Starks.

Put those guys all together and you had a pretty decent score for one running back last week. Nice work by me so far.

Yeah, I knew who these guys were before the season started. But if you told me they would be littering my lineups in week 5, that Torain and Ivory would be anchoring my dynasty running back crew, I would have reacted the way chicks with no interest in 40 year old married quarterbacks react to being texted pictures of said quarterback’s junk.

Brett, Brett, Brett. Nobody wants to see Grandpa’s sausage. Nor his sagging buns. Nor his pants on the ground, pants on the ground. Looking like a fool with your Wranglers on the ground.

Even grandma doesn’t want to see that. Unless you just bought her a new Escalade. But even then she only pretends she is happy to see it. If we could carry on the whole thing without the woman ever seeing it, that would be fine with most of them.

Women do not share our fascination with genital photography. Trust me, if the leering, inappropriate innuendo, primordial grunting, and desperate pleading tone of your voice messages didn’t move her needle, sending her pictures of the "Little Gunslinger" probably won’t seal the deal. I would instead try texting pictures of my bank account statements. That way your conquests will have a good idea of how much to ask for in the impending settlement.

I mean, it’s one thing to go around trying to lay the wood. But to go cyber trench-coat to get your freak on? That is as pathetic as stashing an incredible long-shot on your fantasy roster, and then showing the fantasy community a snap-shot of your semi-flaccid lineup in your weekly column.

Due to the fact that so many professional athletes are seemingly clueless about the potential repercussions of their texts, one can only imagine that it is just a matter of time before we are inundated with a virtual explosion of  of alleged “jock cocks.”  If I had any real initiative, and a much stronger stomach, I would already be setting up a web-site. I wonder if Jock-Junk.com is taken yet?

The really tragic part of all of this is that John Madden has been locked in a bathroom with his laptop ever since the pictures went public.  We may never see him again.  Nice work Brett.

And I would be remiss if I were to neglect to comment on the “hair wars.” Yes, it turns out that Randy Moss and Tom Brady got into a little tiff over each other’s grooming habits.

Brady seemed to be repulsed by Moss’ unkempt “homeless dude” beard, while Moss was similarly disgusted with Brady’s “greasy teen-idol” haircut.

Let's get real here guys. (and I use the term loosely). You both look like ass-clowns. Everybody can see that. Arguing over which one of you looks more of an ass-clown than the other is really quite pointless. Brady is going "Keith Partridge" to keep the wife properly lubed, and Moss is going "railroad hobo" because he has a deep-seated shame about the appearance of his neck. Maybe he has a scar from a tragic bong accident.  Or maybe he has a bad case of the neck-zits.  Did you ever shave off a neck-zit Tom Brady?  I didn't think so.

In any case, neither of you were going to talk each other off of those points. Men don’t change the way they look for other men. You pretty much need a vagina and the threat of withholding it to close that deal.   

But hey, all the grooming fuming got each of them out of the other’s hair, so I guess some cat-fights aren’t pointless after all.

Misery Index

10) Bengals: Batman and Robin are tied up on the conveyer belt, heading for the giant saw. On the television series, this is the point where the Joker or the Penguin would leave them unattended to make their escape. I have a feeling the Falcons and the Dolphins will not be so accommodating.

9) Chargers: When you get your ass kicked by a Misery Index mainstay like the Raiders, your fate is sealed. You are 0-2 in a division that you were supposed to dominate. A loss to the Rams next week in St. Louis will make your journey to the playoffs rougher than a relief map of Norv Turner’s face. You know Norv Turner’s face right? It’s the one that will be engraved on the headstone of the Chargers “window of opportunity” but nobody will be able to recognize it because A.J. Smith will undoubtedly sign off on the cheapest bid.

8) Rams: Well, that was a fun ride. Out of the Misery Index and into the magical world of hope. But nothing brings you back to earth, and the hell that is the Misery Index faster than letting the Lions beat you up and take your lunch money. On the bright side, this team is a seemingly non-ending source of waiver wire receivers, as long as you realize that once one ascends to the “go-to guy" he will suffer a season ending injury.

7) Browns: So let’s assess. You have one healthy quarterback. a third string rookie.  His first challenge, the pent-up Roethlisberger and rested up Pittsburgh D.  After that it's on the road to battle Drew Brees in the dome. Then after a merciful bye, here come the Patriots and the Jets. By the time you play “winnable” games against Jacksonville and Carolina in weeks 11-12 you will probably have lost the will to live. So what I am saying is, this 1-4 run is the good old days. I will reserve a slot for you further south on the list like always.

6) Vikings: Randy Moss, welcome to your new reality. I sincerely hope it is everything you dreamed it would be. If Monday night was any indication of what you dreamed it would be, you probably need to dial down the THC level of your chronic a notch or two. While I am handing out advice, and this applies to all Vikings players, if Favre leaves his cell-phone unattended, do not pick it up and start nosing around the “sent” file. If you think starting the season 1-3 makes you want to blow chunks, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

5) Lions: A couple of weeks ago when I left Lions off the Index? They didn’t deserve that. Likewise, after their beat-down of the Rams they probably don’t deserve this. So we’re all square now?

4) Cowboys: Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips. One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you tell me which thing is not like the others. When will Jerra admit he is wrong?

3) Panthers: When I clicked the link to the Panthers website I was met with an alarming pop-up. It seems there are 1900 tickets left for the game against the 49ers. I find this hard to believe. There are still tickets left to witness these world-class epic failures clash? Oh sure, the ‘Niners could beat the Raiders next week and take the luster off this Misery Index showdown. But are you really going to risk missing out if they don’t? Look Carolina, you only live once. And your team can’t be this bad forever. Don’t look back on this moment and wish you had appreciated it more. The ticket windows are open. You know what to do.

2) Bills: I think you guys missed the league memo concerning “parity.” See, this system is set up so bottom dwellers can climb out of the muck and into glorious mediocrity. We don’t like seeing things suffer. But here you are like the lead character in the movie “The Fly,” at the end, frail and helpless, caught in the spiders web, screaming “help me, please help me!” If I could find a big enough rock, I’d do the right thing.

1) 49ers: I can’t imagine the level of desperation and despair that leads a large fan base to join in unison and chant the words “We want Carr” on a nationally televised football game. But if that is where you are at, here is where you belong. Here’s hoping you all get the help you need.  I believe a video collage of Carr's career in Houston would be the preferred therapy for this particular form of delusional behavior.

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