C’moooonnnn, lucky 7’s! No whammies, no whammies! Check out this week’s matchups for the Literally Literate FFL:
“Who do you think I should I play?” I ask my girlfriend.
Yes, halfway through the season, it’s already to the point where I throw strategy out the window and shoot arrows in the dark. “Darren Sproles or James Jones?”
“I like James Jones,” she tells me.
“Well, Sproles burned me last time I sat him.”
“That’s true. I don’t know, I just like Jones.”
“Yeah, he is playing a weak D, and his numbers have been real solid so far.”
“You should totally plaaaayyy himmm,” my girlfriend teases me.
“Eh, I think I’m just gonna leave my lineup like it is.”
“All right,” my girlfriend says.
I exit the fantasy football app on my phone and set it on the coffee table in the living room of our two-bedroom apartment, at about 11:50 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Ten minutes till kickoff.
“You know, I expect James Jones to have a huge fantasy day, against a Baltimore D that has allowed some huge receiving numbers this year,” Matthew Berry tells Tim Hasselbeck on ESPN’s Fantasy Football Now “FLEX Appeal” segment.
“Isn’t that the guy you were thinking about playing?” she asks me.
“See, even the ESPN people said he’s good,” my girlfriend tells me.
I grab my phone and take another peak at my lineup. I’m unable to view the “points against” category on my phone, so I dodge to the man cave. Opening our league’s home page and viewing my lineup, I can see that the Ravens D really does have holes.
Five minutes till kickoff, but my roster has the GB game as already in play.
What the HELL? Can I not change my lineup?
I start to slightly freak and double-check that I can still make roster moves at this point.
It looks like just a glitch.
I insert James Jones.
The game has just started.
“Rodgers to James Jones for ten yards,” the announcer tells us.
Yes! What a great start!
“Isn’t that the guy you started?” my girlfriend asks me.
“Oh, yeah! Pretty good start so far!”
The next play is a run for Eddie Lacy for about three yards.
“And it looks like James Jones is down.”
“Isn’t that that guy you started?”
First of all, I don’t really understand how my girlfriend can’t memorize all 32 offensive rosters either. I mean, there’s only like 200 players to keep track of. Get it together, babe.
But most importantly, I can’t seem to get the FLEX position worked out just right. Both James Jones and my Christlike self-confidence would not return that afternoon.
Early this season, WR’s and TE’s had the vast majority of scoring and TD’s while teams have since mellowed out and started to rely on RB’s more in the red zone (Teams like the Pats, the Browns, and Broncos, and the Chargers giving it to the backs at an outstanding rate).
My lineup just straight up sucked this week, though. My highest point-getter was my kicker. So, yeah. I was hoping for a W, to move up into a more solid spot in the rankings. Instead, I’m now bunched right in the thick of the playoff hopefuls. Halfway through the season, and I’m 3-3, so no real signs of dominance there. Hopefully I can get a winning streak together.
Here’s how the other games shook out:
[Br]eaking [Br]adshaw continues to stomp the life out of the competition, and he didn’t even play Justin Blackmon, who I ended up dropping for Jonathan Franklin a week before Blackmon’s suspension was up.
Kicking myself on that one.
But I will take credit for the good call after the draft, though. The management issues, those clearly fall on my girlfriend’s intuition.
Oh, the agony!
Nothing stings quite like the loss of a stud fantasy player.
We’ve all done it. Drop a dude on a hunch, only to see him score four touchdowns. Makes ya wanna stab yourself. However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
If you checked out my post The Dreaded FLEX, then you know I have a weekly love/hate relationship with my lineup changes.
This week, Darren Sproles was my questionable FLEX. He came up inactive at the 4:00 EST game. I consequently moved him to my IR spot, grabbed Brandon Myers, since he was activated around the same time, to play for Heath Miller, dropped Danario Alexander, and added Chris Ivory.
I subbed in Ivory and Myers for Sproles and Miller, thinking they would score touchdowns.
Myers did. Ivory didn’t do shit.
Alexander, though? Twenty one fantasy points, on 2 TD’s and 7 catches for 96 yards.
Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one. Here’s a peak at some players that were dropped in our league in the week leading up to the games:
Blackmon scorched the Houston Texans for 236 yards and a touchdown on 7 of 13 targets. Blackmon was dropped in our league, and was available when Sproles was moved to inactive. Coulda had him! But, honestly, I can’t trust anyone from OSU (just more proof orange is a horrible color).
This ass went off for 2 TD’s and 21 fantasy points! I couldn’t stand it, but it makes it a little easier to know that this was also partially credited to refs who “granted” him one extra one. These kinda things happen, and the reason I dropped him was the uneasiness of Norv Turner. His team is hard to trust offensively. He is a genius mind, but picking the one or two best players each week that actually produce is proving to be more difficult. I traded away Ryan Mathews early because of this, and I honestly thought Ivory was a better choice.
After weeks of mediocre play, Davis was dropped in our league, only to score a TD and rack up over 80 yards receiving. This is a case of frustration after waiting for so long. These are conundrums. Davis is, without a doubt, a hall of fame candidate. Yet, these old dudes have rough patches. Being able to stable these studs is tough when they aren’t producing. But the law of averages is bound to kick in!
Here’s a list of defenses that were left untouched in our league that also went over 10 fantasy points:
Just another example of how easy it is to pick a D up, on a weekly basis. But please don’t kick yourself.
A lot of these big numbers were flukes and were not truly foreseeable. Honestly, the Jets doing anything worth putting in your local newspaper is news in and of itself! Those dudes suck! Blackmon seemingly came from nowhere, but it seems like the Jaguars were just starting the wrong QB in Blaine Gabbert. Vernon came out of a funk, and I’m currently watching the post game new conference, and Jim Harbaugh seems perturbed that anyone is shocked by Davis finally getting looks. Jesus. Here’s the one thing to remember when you’re in the fetal position, bitchin’ about what coulda been..
You can’t tell the future, dudes…you can only bet on it!
“You are obsessed,” my girlfriend says to me with added emphasis.
I can’t blame her. For most, spending your allotted work from home days doing copious amounts of research in an attempt to predict the athletic futures of whiny twenty-something-year-olds seems trite. And I can understand. But there’s one aspect these naysayers are forgetting–it’s exciting!
There’s two types of fantasy sports players–those who used to play sports and those who didn’t.
If you used to play sports, you get no better feeling than controlling a heap of people with greater ability than you and passing your judgment upon them daily.
If you’ve never played sports, then fantasy athletics provides you a perfect in. Being a fantasy guru immediately draws the drool of people who think you can predict the future. And what nerd doesn’t like to be called the “smartest” at something?
For me, I’m a bit of both. I played sports my whole academic career up until college, where I got into some intermurals. After I graduated, I had a career and seemingly no sports life. Until fantasy…
My first career lead to my first fantasy football league (Golden Tate Showers), which I have been absolutely tearing up!
And by “tearing up,” I mean sucking ass at.
It’s definitely frustrating.
It seems as if, every week, I face a daunting flex decision (2012 Roster). I swore to Zeus that Stevie Johnson would be the death of me, and indeed he has been! I actually acquired him in one of my shining (and they’re very few) moments of the season, though–a trade with my boss.
Long story short, this dude gotta make moves!
And this is where my girlfriend comes in.
Setting your alarm to 4 a.m. to hopefully grab free agents, so you can save your waiver spot is somehow foreign to her. All in all, though, she has adjusted quite nicely to my glorious new hobby.
She’s actually really good at picking winners.
I love being with her, but yesterday was the Thursday night matchup on the NFL Network–Bills and Dolphins. And I’d be lying if I said Stevie Johnson wasn’t on my mind.
Nestled there in her bed, all cuddled up, all I could think about was whether that goddamn rollercoaster of a receiver would find the fucking end zone or not. Believe me, he haunts my dreams.
I left my place at about halftime, and he had already amassed 57 yards receiving (most on the team). Though Johnson didn’t have a TD, I felt semi-confident in him…which, for him, is impressive. But upon entering the domain of the girlfriend, Stevie was in the hands of the Fantasy Gods.
It’s kind of a queazy feeling.
The next morning, I got back to find out that the Bills couldn’t find the end zone on offense, period.
He did go for 7 fantasy points, but man, oh man, I would have liked to see those other six!
So, since I used Johnson as my WR2 in the early game, I’m now down to my dreaded flex question. Right now, I’m sitting on James Jones, but I’ve got Darren Sproles, Mike Williams, Jonathan Dwyer, and Danario Alexander chillin’ in the stable.
When picking a player, you have to choose your sources of information carefully. One ranking system I really like is FFToolbox. Although, I will say, they are rather slow with critical injury and rankings updates. A great sit/start tool can be found at Fantasy Pros. They actually accumulate data from a multitude of the popular sites and compile rankings based upon averages and accuracy alike. You’re able to literally see how well your best advice givers are doing during the season.
With that said, I have some research to do.
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