Back to Reality: Fantasy Basketball and Joblessness

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I got laid off last week.

After two years of dutiful service, the company that hired me 12 days into a 90-day internship out of college let me go. It’s cool, though, ’cause I trained the Filipinos who will be taking over my projects for them.

I thought a college degree would mean that I wouldn’t go through stuff like this, struggling to pay the bills, but I did get an art degree, so maybe I should’ve expected this. I’ve filed for unemployment, and that looks like a good deal, but in the back of my mind, I’m still a bit anxious. I haven’t not had a job since I was eighteen.

But so far, the week that has followed  has been glorious–amazing weather, a sense of freedom, and some quality jobless bonding with ma lady, who was also laid off from her job recently. We’ve been able to hangout during the day and fill out applications together, which definitely makes it easier.

When I started this blog, it was to show how difficult it can be to maintain a real working life with a fantasy sports life. Well, now that has been made a bit easier. Honestly, fantasy basketball is probably keeping me sane right now. I’m not one of those people who can sit around the house all day, especially when it’s sunny outside. I like to have a sense of purpose, and I thrive on structure, so not having a daily career to attend to has left me playing guitar for hours a day and wishing I could jog more.

I’ve tried to look at this as more of an opportunity than a loss. I loved my workplace, my bosses, and coworkers, but obviously that doesn’t save your position from the financial pitfalls of the higher ups. Anyway, I’ve taken this chance to better myself in a healthy way. I’ve started keeping track of my calories as well as increasing my miles per week running.

I also had the chance to increase my winning streak in our FBB league to six games, but three crucial moves ended up being my demise this week:

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I’ve had a slew of PG’s, and as a result, I’ve had to make a decision about which one to sit. I let go of Brandon Knight, who got 31, sat Tony Parker, who got 35, and sat Kyle Lowry, who netted 42 points. Definitely could’ve won, but my roster moves once again came back to bite me. I ended up picking up Markieff Morris, who has proved a very valuable tool over the last week, though.

So, even though I dropped my first game in six weeks, I’m still feeling confident in my squad. And I’m playing my girlfriend this week…

SO YOU KNOW IT’S GOIN’ DOWN!!!!

I plan on reclaiming my throne as Grand Supreme Leader of the Worsham Apartment

as long as we can still afford the rent.

Tuesday Morning Relief: Week One Preview

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Check out our week one match ups for the Literally Literate FFL and vote for who you think will be the victor!

Click to enlarge photos.

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Humpday Horoscopes: Peering into the Fantasy Future

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For this first installment of amazing telekinetic predictions, I use my ESP skills to gaze into the maddening abyss that is the fantasy football future and return back here in normal space time with some gems of information on players who will return to former glory this year.

Comebacks:

Matthew Stafford (QB)

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After an 80 point decline from his 2011 to his 2012 seasons, one thing is still for certain: they love, love, love to throw the ball in Detroit. Stafford routinely leads  the league in throws, and no one sees that changing anytime soon. The return of Ryan Broyles could open up defenses, who usually only worry about Calvin Johnson. The addition of Reggie Bush should also help out Stafford, as Bush continues to be one of the best receiving RB’s, right behind Darren Sproles. This season Expect to see Stafford in the top 5 QB’s.

Tony Romo (QB)

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No doubt most everyone and their dog blames Romo for the lack of productivity on offense for the Cowboys, but he actually posts amazing numbers despite having almost every offensive weapon hurt at some point every year. The Cowboys and Romo truly have something to prove this year, and it’s time to put up or shut up. If the Boys can stay healthy, expect Romo to creep into the top 7 QB ranks.

Dwayne Bowe (WR)

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Adding Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs roster has bolstered a lot of praise for the output of the oft-hyped Bowe. Many FF owners have been waiting for this prospect to finally eclipse 1,200 yards and 7 touchdowns, only to be disappointed yet again. With a new coach and a QB who can sling lasers, I can see Bowe having a career year, when I look into my crystal ball this year.

Larry Fitzgerald (WR)

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Ol’ Fitzy had one of his worst years ever in 2012, but like Bowe, many are hoping that a new coach and QB can somehow resurrect his career. I see very good things in Fitzgerald upcoming season, including his return to the top 10 in WR categories. Carson Palmer is no Godsend, but he will do for a receiver who can pluck just about any ball from his near vicinity.

Steven Jackson (RB)

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Let’s face it. No one likes playing for the Rams. They have great talent, but no foundation with which to exhibit that talent. Now that Jackson is on the high-flying Atlanta Falcons offense, it’s not crazy to think that their offensive numbers could somehow be even gaudier. Jackson has been considered a has-been for quite some time now, but my powers of telepathy are telling me that he will have a season for the ages! I’ve got him pegged as a top 10 kinda guy.

DeMarco Murray (RB)

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Confidence in Murray’s game is rapidly dwindling. In fact, in ESPN standard scoring, he is slotted just above Danny Woodhead and Vick Ballard, two backups, and just below Willis Mcgahee, who doesn’t even play for a team. This is shenanigans, I say! As mentioned previously, if the Boys don’t win, they get fired this year, in my mind, so it’s now or never for a guy who has crazy upside. I’m calling top 12 stats this year in the RB department.

Notable Preseason Injuries

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Atlanta Falcons:

Roddy White/Julio Jones. These two receivers have drawn a lot of hype in fantasy recently. It’s hard to tell who the star is, but with one going down, it could present a huge opportunity for the other to shine. Right now, Jones is battling a hammie, but seems poised to be able to play. White has a sprained ankle and will miss the rest of the preseason, in order to get some rest.

Baltimore Ravens:

Torrey Smith returned to action after an unspecified injury while Dennis Pitta will have to sit the season out with a gimp hip. Ed Dickson is listed as Pitta’s backup, but I could see Vishanthe Shiancoe getting some PT in his absence.

Buffalo Bills:

Stevie Johnson is being rehabbed for a tight hamstring, but continues to get work on the sidelines. This is a smart move, since the Bills literally have no other receivers. He should be okay for the season though. Rookie QB EJ Manuel is set to have a minor procedure on his knee, which briefly creates a window for Kevin Kolb to start, but with great running skills, many think Manuel could have a breakout season once he gets healthy. TE Scott Chandler is being eased back into play after ACL surgery and could be a nice sleeper pick for league’s lacking in the TE department.

Cincinnati Bengals:

A.J. Green is still listed as probable, although he says he is completely healed from his recent knee bruise. He looks okay to go, and the team is just being cautious with their prized receiver.

Denver Broncos:

Wes Welker is going through an ankle sprain right now, and though no timetable has been given, it doesn’t look to be severe. Ankle sprains can take 1-2 weeks to heal normally, so look for some added production out of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker in his absence.

Detroit Lions:

Calvin Johnson is returning to practice after suffering a knee contusion and should be able to go in week 1.

Green Bay Packers:

Look for James Jones to be a key cog in the offense while Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb continue to sit out in the early going this season. So far, there’s no timetable on their returns.

Houston Texans:

Arian Foster continues to worry fantasy owners with his injuries this preseason. His back and legs keep giving him the fits, and he is quickly dropping in ADP. WR DeAndre Hopkins is also out with a concussion and will soon undergo tests.

Indianapolis Colts:

Ahmad Bradshaw sat out yesterday’s game with a foot injury, and although it doesn’t sound too serious, with him missing so much time in the recent years for similar injuries, it is cause for concern. He is taking reps in practice, though, which shows they might just be taking it easy on him till the season starts.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

MJD looked healthy for the Jags, though Cecil Shorts is still sitting out with a calf injury. Shorts not being available could wreck the already diminished Jags offense in the early going with Blackmon suspended for the first 4 games.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Jamaal Charles is back to practice after a foot injury. Good news for owners who were counting on him to return to form this year. The team will likely let him take his time returning to action.

Miami Dolphins:

TE Dustin Keller tore basically every ligament in his knee while simultaneously dislocating it, which means he’s done for the season. A tough blow to any of his owners, although there are still mediocre TE’s to still grab off the wire.

New England Patriots:

Tom Brady returned to action after a brief injury scare in practice, what most are calling a shin bruise. The Gronk continues to have Gronk-itis, while backup Zach Sudfeld stepped into the starting TE spot to rack up some nice catches and a TD.

New York Giants:

Victor Cruz came up gimp with what the team is calling a heel bruise. Doesn’t sound too serious, and x-rays were negative, but this could definitely affect his salsa dancing.

New York Jets:

Geno Smith appears to be healthy and is poised to get some more PT in the preseason. Many see him surpassing Sanchez for the starting role this year, but given Rex Ryan’s love for The Dirty Sanchez, who honestly knows?

Oakland Raiders:

Darren McFadden was held out of practice with a shoulder injury. This small injuries have often lead to big absences for him in the past, so be sure to keep an eye on his situation if you own him.

Philadelphia Eagles:

Bryce Brown returned to practice, and he should be okay to open up the season in an offense that many feel will cater to his play.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Heath Miller is expected to miss the first month of the season due to knee surgery, but keep an eye on him for the second half, since he proved his worth last year in the Steelers offense.

San Diego Chargers:

Horrible news for the Chargers, as just about every offensive weapon they have is injured. Danario Alexander is out for the season, Malcolm Floyd has a serious knee injury, Eddie Royal has a concussion, and Danny Woodhead has an unspecified injury. All this means they’ll be leaning more and more on Ryan Mathews to produce at RB, a feat he has never really accomplished, thanks to…you guessed it, injuries.

San Francisco 49ers:

With Michael Crabtree out till about November with a torn Achilles, many were looking to Mario Manningham to step up. However, he too will need time to recover from knee surgery.

Seattle Seahawks:

There’s still no timeline on Percy Harvin’s return to the team after hip surgery. The guy has tremendous upside, but keeps getting hurt. He may be back for the second half of the season, but right now, no one knows for sure. The doctor who did the surgery said it went great, but why would he say anything else?

Washington Redskins:

RGIII took snaps in 11-on-11 drills and has made it known that he is mentally ready to return to the team, although the coaches continue to take their time with him.