Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is it Sunday Yet? A Rolling Moss Gathers No Points (W8 Recap & W9 Line up)

I knew when MIN lost to NE and Randy Moss had 0 points that he would explode.

And, he did.

Moss is now a Titan and I decided to cut him too. He is now on my league’s waiver wire. I am going to let one of the other owners in my league deal with him.

What did this mean for me last week? Well, I lost 81 to 87. A TD to Moss could have helped. Of course, I had other problems: Big Ben was shut down by NO, Torian got hurt, Branch saw very few passes, and my kicker, Gostknowski, did little too.

But, I am going to concentrate on Moss because he was my second draft pick. In fact, let’s look at my top three draft picks:

#1 MDJ (JAC) – is just starting to make points
#2 Moss (NE/MIN/TEN) – one drama after another
#3 Grant (GB) – out for the rest of the season after the first game

….and let’s not even talk about Finley (GB)…..

These guys were supposed to be my studs!

Okay, enough of the pity party. On to a new and – I hope – improved Fighting Irish team:

-         I picked up New Orleans WR Colston. Yes, I have climbed aboard the NO wide receiver merry-go-round. I may be in for a lot of headaches, but at least Colston is going to stay on one team and that team is not NE or MIN.

-         I picked up San Diego WR Crayton. He is a sleeper. I am hoping that the fact that all of the regular starting WRs and ball-magnet TE Gates are out for this game means that Crayton will score some points. They are playing Houston – the worst team against the pass. I had to drop Branch to do it, but it seems like a good gamble. Then again, for all I know, San Diego is planning to play the water boy. Actually, if I knew the Charger’s water boy’s name, I would be looking for him on the waiver wire. 
-         I have started playing musical defenses. I am really beginning to appreciate the impact of a good DEF. This week I have Green Bay and they play Dallas. It is going to hurt when my TE Witten scores, but such is life. I just have to hope only Witten scores for Dallas.

Here is Week 9 Lineup for the Fighting Irish:

QB: Flacco: He is good at home and just not sure about Ben@CIN

RB1: The Lawfirm (NE): Please keep it up!

RB2: Blount (TB): Please keep it up too!

WR1: Colston (NO). This is risky because he has had two good weeks and Brees moves that ball around. Honesty, I don’t have many choices.

WR2: Smith (NYG). He is back from his bye! Never thought I would have to lean on him – but Eli seems to be and this makes me hopeful.

WR3: Crayton (SD). I am playing him instead of Harvin. MIN is imploding and reports are that Harvin is mad and injured. Plus, I get play a Charger – my second favorite team.

TE: Witten (DAL). Please be Kitna’s go-to guy again.

DEF: Green Bay. Please shut down Dallas, except for Witten.

K: Gostkowski (NE): I am sticking with him, even though he only made 5 pts last week.

On the bench: Big Ben, MJD (bye), Torian (bye), Tolbert, and Havin.

And, one more thing….

I am not sure if there is a football god. But, if there is: Please help the Bills win in Toronto this week. We are good fans. We do not boo our players (well, at least most of the time). We wear our gear proudly in public. Almost winning – repeatedly and in OT (twice!) – is tough on fans and players. Our boys deserve a break. Anything you could do to help would be greatly appreciated.   

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Is It Sunday Yet? My Dad the True Blue Fan (W6 & W7 recaps and the W8 lineup)

I am back from a personal bye week (and ½) – I hope you missed me, at least a little.

I was at a research conference in Toronto and my dad came up from Buffalo so that we could celebrate his birthday a little early. We had a great time. This gives me an opportunity to talk about being a true fan.

My father loves the Bills. He wore a Bills shirt everywhere we went. Several times people passing by would say to him “Go Bills!” “I hope they win!” My father would wave back and said that they would, while telling me privately that we were in trouble against the Ravens. (And then, we almost won that game…).

I hope the Bills win this week and when they play the Bears in Toronto the next week.

But, one of the things of like about being a Bills fan is the loyalty you see.

I think the fans of another team – which will remain nameless, but rhymes with Plowboys – could learn a lesson here. (Did you really need to boo when the backup QB was in? Doesn’t he have enough problems?)

A True Blue fan wears the shirt proudly in public, even when their team is dead last.

You make me proud, Dad!

On to the recaps and the Week 8 lineup…

**Week 6 Recap**

I played the top team in my league Week 6 and almost won!  

The final scores:
   Me = 82 points
   My Opponent = 87 points

I had picked up Addai because he was my lucky charm last year and he did great – until he got hurt (and hurt badly…) Had he kept going, I am pretty sure I would have defeated the scary Bunnies. Thanks for being the player that you are, Addai, and get well soon.

**Week 7 Recap**

Decided to make some changes after coming so close to another victory. I had traded SF WR Crabtree for WAS RB Torian and dropped SD RB Tolbert for DEN RB Moreno.

My starters were: QB = Flacco, RB1 = MJD, RB2 = WAS Torian, WR1 = Moss, WR2 =  Smith (NYG), WR3 = Branch, TE = Witten, K = Gostkowski, and DEF = Seahawks.

As you can see I made a few other changes in places (K and DEF) and benched Harvin and Moreno. (We now know that was a mistake – but it happens).

My opponent has Chris Johnson and Roddy White – enough said. I did not expect to win.

But, I did it!
  Me = 120 points (yeahhhhh!)
  My Opponent = 102 points

We were neck and neck all the way up to MNF…

She had the NYG RB Brashaw and I had NYG WR Smith and DAL TE Witten. I was lucky that Witten got a TD right away and happy to see the DAL QB getting the ball repeatedly (although I must admit I never thought I would write that). The more time Dallas spent on the field, the less time Bradshaw would be running around on the field.

And then…Romo got hurt. Badly.

The Giants began to dominate. This was great for my WR Smith. But, it also meant that I could be watching long black streaks across my computer screen that represented Bradshaw running up and down the field. I am so close to winning and the backup DAL QB Kitna is getting sacked and sacked…

Then – Kitna found the one Dallas player that could catch his throws – Witten.  (Joy!)  I was watching small, but multiple, streaks across the pages that said “Witten for 9 yards”, “Witten for 4 yards”, etc.
Kitna was checking down and I was earned enough points to win.

**Week 8 Lineup ***

This week I play one of my best friends, Steph, who is 6-1 right now. She has Romo for her main QB and several players on a bye week, so my win should have been a no brainer.  

Except…I made a potentially fatal error….

Many of my RBs are on a bye next week and I thought I would be savvy and look ahead for another RB. I saw the new upcoming RB for Tampa Bay, Blount, and thought I should take him now in case he really breaks out this week and someone else takes him.

After deciding on playing Big Ben instead of McNabb - who I picked up specifically to play this week because Flacco is on a bye - I dropped McNabb and picked up Blount.

I did not look at my opponent’s roster. If I had, I would have seen that…

  • Her backup QB is on bye too and that she would immediately pick up McNabb.
  • Santana Moss is one of her WRs. McNabb likes to throw to him because, well, they are on the same team and S. Moss likes to catch passes that turn into TDs.
  • AND, Washington is playing Detroit. Detroit does not have the best DEF (which is why I kept McNabb on my roster...)

I basically handed my opponent McNabb…


Now I am running scared again. But, if I lose, I really have only myself to blame.


QB: Big Ben Roethlisberger (got to hope he can passes through the NO def)

WR1: Moss (he’s playing his old team and might explode if he does not get the ball)

WR2: Havin (benching him last week was a mistake, but does he need Favre?)

WR2: Branch (he is still questionable, but Smith is on a bye)

RB1: MJD (please let it be a good week, please)

RB21: Torian (I need WAS to RUN the ball - A LOT)

TE: Witten (think JAC DEF also knows Kitna likes to throw to him? This might be risky.)

K:  Gostkowski (I want the MIN DEF to wake up and force NE to kick FGs. Except for throws to Branch, of course. Yep - I want a lot.)

DEF: TB Bucs (They are playing ARI and I need ARI to keep playing like ARI).

BENCH: Flacco (Bye), Smith (Bye), Moreno (might do well), BJGE (not feeling confident about him anymore), Blount (is he a one-hit wonder? We will see this week)

Wish me luck and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is It Sunday Yet? W6 - Getting Ready to Play the #1 Team

I usually post my lineup much earlier on Saturday. In fact, I usually know who I am playing by Thursday. I am having trouble choosing starters this week.

This week is different because:
  1. Some players are on a bye week
  2. Some players are injured
  3. Some injured players are getting better and may play (or may not or they may play and get re-injured…or maybe no one knows what is going to happen but they are really good players and I need them!...SIGH)
  4. I am playing the #1 team in my league and it is going to be tough  
  5. BUT - I almost beat a really great team last week and with smart adjustments might beat the #1 team this week...

You only have to look at our cumulative totals across the last five games to see why I might be reaching in #5…

      My total after 5 games: 377  
My opponent’s total after 5 games: 577

My opponent’s team name is the Dust Bunnies, but please do not let this fool you. Her team is the most feared in the league. I think of the Rabbit of Caerbannog in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when I think about playing them.

(Run away! Run away!)

She has Brees, Forte, Best, Foster, Austin, B. Lloyd, B. Edwards, Knox, Keller and the Charger DEF. Would you call this team the Bunnies? Hmmm? They are more like the Beasts! There is so much talent there that you have to wonder how the rest of us let this happen.

I have a lot of respect for my opponent - but, she is 5-0 and needs to feel the agony of defeat. I will do what I can...

MY Week 6 STARTERS (unless I tinker with
  QB:     Big Ben (yes, I grabbed him of the ww – I have to take a chance)

  WR1:  Moss (here I go depending on Favre again…)

  WR2:  Havin (Ditto)

  WR3:  Smith (Okay Eli, I need repeat of last week)

  RB1:   MJD (please be healthy, please run – Run Like The wind!)

  RB2:   Addai (I had him last year and did well – but see #3 above)

  TE:     Witten (I am still mourning Finley…)

  K:       Bryant (Let’s hope ATL needs a few FGs)

  DEF:  GB (doing okay with them so far)

MY Week 6 BENCH:
  -Flacco (this might be a mistake)

  -McNabb (yep, I have 3 QBs again)

  -The Law firm (Brady might throw a lot)

  -Crabtree (Is he is a one-hit wonder?)

  -Tolbert (might regret this too…Thought process while making this decision: "Matthew is healthy again…but, he might not be or might get hurt again...but, he might not…such is the life of a FF team owner)

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Did I Do? W5 – Gotta Love A (almost) Comeback!

Monday Night Football was an absolute blast for me. As you all know, I started Moss and Harvin and they made me 35 points – in one game!

Sure, I lost by 2 pts. But, it was so much fun to watch my score climb and climb…everyone in our league chat room getting excited…(omg!  Another pass to Havin!  You could win!) ...that I almost did not care.

And, I just knew that there would be fireworks in the 4th quarter. Yes, I did find myself yelling at Favre out of sheer frustration for the first three quarters (You have everything you need, Favre!  Man up, Favre!). But something inside me just knew that he was not going to go all night without throwing to a TD to Moss.

I loved it.

It was also fun because I played against one of my best friends - I have known her since the 2nd grade. She is a very savvy FF player. She grabbed Hillis, Torian, and Vick off the waiver wire before any of us could blink. I look at which players she drops just in case I can use them. (I am not above grabbing another owner’s hand-me-downs). And, she is married to a Buffalo Bills fan – which shows that she has great taste. Congratulations, Allison! It was a pleasure playing against you this week.

It was not all roses for me, however. My TE Finley is hurt – which really hurts my team. He is one of the best TEs out there. And, the Bills shutdown MJD (I know, I should be happy for the Bills – but I could have won with those points!).

I still have work to do. I'm at 1-4 now.  

But, in the end, it is all about the fun for me…and boy it was fun this week.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Is It Sunday Yet? Top 5 Random Acts That Impact FF

A lot can happen in a week or even on a Sunday. Here are my top 5 *random* acts that can impact your fantasty football scores every week:

*5. You picked the wrong guy during the draft.

People are picking players at a fast rate during the draft and it is not uncommon to click on the wrong player while you are reaching for your beverage. Example: Adrian Peterson was sitting in the To Be Drafted box, unspoken for, when I picked MDJ. Oops!

4. Your player is injured.

This is a common and painful thing for both players and FF owners. I had to deal with the first week. My opponent had to deal with it all day last Sunday. It is never-ending and not completely predictable – can you really know who is going to get turf toe?

3. Your player is benched for bad behavior.

I had to face this one the first week too when the media reported that two of my WRs, Crabtree and Britt, were in the doghouse. The DUIs, bar fights, etc, etc – I can be Madden-ing.

2. Your WR or TE does not have the right chemistry with the QB (or the reverse).

Something magical needs to happen between QBs and the WR/TE. You can see it when you watch the game. Experts often talk about “looks”. You would think we were talking about courting and…hmm...maybe we are. Some of this is knowable. We know some famous couples like: Matt & Andre, Phillip & Antonio, Peyton & Reggie, Eli & Steve (or so I thought), Drew & Marques, Drew & Lance, Drew & Robert (okay, some QBs are more monogamous than others). But, FF owners are always looking for those new relationships - looking for the "looks"...

1. Your player is traded to another team.

Moss is a Viking! See what a difference a week makes. Now, there are so many questions. Will Randy have chemistry will Brett? Will Tom start looking more at Brandon or will he venture outside the home and talk to WRs on other teams? What about the bridesmaids, Wes and Percy? Will Wes see more attention from the defense? Will Percy get less attention? And, of course, we will get to see a Randy-Darrelle reunion on MNF. Let’s hope it is fun. And, let’s hope this trade is a game-changer for me.

And…on that note…Here are my Starters for Week 5:

QB: Flacco (I liked the chemistry I saw last week)
WR1: Moss (Go Randy!)
WR2: Smith (please, Eli, show him some love!)
WR3: Havin (picked Percy off the waiver wire)
RB1: MJD (did great last week, yeah!)
RB2: Tolbert (I think he is a steady-eddy)
TE: Finley (great chemistry with Rodgers)
K: Bryant (did well last week too)
GB: Green Bay (did fantastic last week)

Okay - I am excited. Wish me luck. I want to be 2-3!

*Not to be confused with pick a guy on purpose and he does not perform well. This one is not random folks because some players are better than others – but, it is a painful reality that we begin to face around week 5.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How Did I Do? Guest Blog by My Opponent (and BFF) Jen

Greetings, Sports Fans/Blog Fans!

My name is Jennifer, and I’m a fantasy football-aholic (Hi, Jennifer!). Dr. McGuire has graciously asked me to guest blog for her this week. She thought it would be a great idea since we were playing each other, and I would probably have tons to say about the week in fantasy football. The truth is, I’m still in shock.

First let me say that I love Shirley. I root for her every week. I’ve done that for two years! She always comes soooooo close, only to have some freak occurrence break her poor little Irish heart. Again…and again…and again. One time, I swear I saw her running back drop the ball, dribble it, spin around five times, and streak towards the opposite goal. I swear I’m not making this up. She lost by a safety.

Anyway, my team is aptly named “The Berzerkers”. Like our Viking namesakes, we tear through our opponents showing no mercy and wreaking havoc on the league. I was 3-0. WAS 3-0. Until I had my own freakish comeuppance in Week Four. I’ll admit it…I was cocky. With the Fighting Irish as my opponent, 4-0 seemed a done deal. That was before I received a phone call AND an email informing me that practically my whole team was on a bye week. This was Thursday…or was it Friday? I don’t remember. As I said before, I’m still in shock. The phone call was from my friend Melanie, the counselor at my school. “Hey Jen, just wanted to remind you that we have to meet with that crazy parent in an hour, and oh…by the way…what are you going to do without Adrian Peterson this week?” WHAT?!? No Adrian Peterson?!? Adrian and I are tight. We scored hundreds of points together. Well…65. That’s a LOT in fantasy football. I hung up the phone in a haze, checked my email, and found a message from my girlfriend Laurie informing me that I needed to get online RIGHT NOW and change practically my entire lineup! So after finishing my work day teaching children about feudalism and the Black Death, I finally had a chance to look at my lineup. Sure enough, I had five players on a bye week. Now I’m not making excuses for myself because I hate people who do that, but:

1.       My #1 running back in the league…byebye.
2.       My tight end…and I love the guy…byebye.
3.       My kicker…not such a big deal…but byebye.
4.       My backup running back, backup wide receiver, and…
             wait for it…my entire defense…bye bye bye.

No problem, really. Just check out the players list and plug in some new people. It sounds so simple. But there are 12 teams in our league, each with at least two running backs. Imagine who would be left. I didn’t recognize any of the names. I think one was my gynecologist. I can’t be sure, but he looks sporty. So I randomly pick a running back, a tight end, a kicker (again..who cares?), and a defense. I put ‘em in, and hoped for the best. At least, thank God, I still had two highly ranked wide receivers, and a quarterback who had the good sense to attend Ole Miss (damn right). Set the lineup…bring it on! I’m playing against Shirley…how bad could it be?

Sunday comes. I’m in my comfy chair, got the Red Zone on the TV, and a nice cold drink, just waiting to be 4-0. Ten minutes until game time. Then I heard it…Donnie Brown will not play. Huh. Wasn’t that the guy I randomly picked to replace Adrian Peterson? Mmhmm. Back online. Close my eyes, scroll down, click…pick up another running back. Even after all this, I have to say I still thought I was going to win. I was playing Shirley. The first games get going. I glanced at my score from time to time, and wasn’t real concerned when it didn’t seem to change. I take that back. Shirley’s score changed, but I was in single digits, even with my defense playing, and that’s supposed to give you ten points automatically! But it was early. I think I was napping when Laurie tapped me on the shoulder and looked at me kindly…gently…and in the softest, most caring voice she could muster (and that’s not easy for her), informed me that the virulent disease known as turf toe had taken down my best starting wide receiver, Andre Johnson. Do you all know Andre Johnson? He’s about eight feet tall, hands the size of frying pans, and runs like Secretariat. Turf toe.  Really?!? Turf toe? Is that anything like a green thumb? No! It’s a horrible, horrible injury that can ruin a life…mine! Okay…back online I go! Gotta get a wide receiver! What am I gonna do? Find one, stick him in there, whatever. I get back into the game, glance over at the score…I swear…single digits…almost unheard of. Take a quick bathroom break, come back, and Laurie says, “Steve Smith just got hurt…he’s on the sideline”. Steve is my other wide receiver. Holy crap.

What followed next was a bloodbath. I wanted to chat with my friends online, but I swear, I couldn’t speak. Not that it would matter, but I never could type. I just had nothing to say. So I decided to do something that I haven’t really done for a couple of years now. I decided to sit back, and just watch football. I wasn’t worried about my score any more. It was one of those “wait ‘til next week” moments. And truly, I had someone to root for. And that would be Shirley McGuire. Because even when you’re playing against Shirley McGuire you can’t help but root for her. These freak things that happened to me this week…why, that’s just a normal week for Shirley. She’s dealt with this kind of adversity since we started this whole fantasy football thing last year. At the end of the day, which happened to occur Monday night, I was still 3-1, and Shirley was 1-3, and ecstatically happy. And I was happy for her. Sort of. No, really. A little. She deserves it. Love you, Shirley! P.S. – I’m changing my name to JenJarvus Green-Dunlap.

From FFootballGail: Thank you, Jen! You are the best!  And, yes folks - I won. Thank you MJD and BJGE! 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Is It Sunday Yet? W4 - Know Thy Defense

It is time to finalize my starting line-up for Week 4. I have a few difficult decisions to make - but that is the whole point of FF.

Last year, I rarely thought about the teams My Guys were playing. I was lucky to know players names. Whenever I asked my oldest brother (I have 3 brothers) for advice on who to start, he would always say: "Who are they playing?" This week my middle brother (the Ravens fan) had to kid me about benching Flacco: "He was playing the Browns!"

This year I plan to take defenses a little more seriously.

I knew to be nervous when Randy Moss was facing the Jets. The Jets have a great cornerback, Darrelle Revis. He is so good at intercepting balls thrown to WRs that his area of the field is called Revis Island. But, Randy out ran him for this great one-hand catch.  That is why Moss is considered an Elite player or Stud.

And, you always play your Studs - no matter what the match-up is. Moss is an easy decision - a "must play" every week.

My other WRs? Steve Smith is usually Eli's go-to guy and, therefore, a stud. Things have been shaky for Eli and I am not so sure - but I will play Smith as my WR2 because he is talented. I am not so sure what do at WR3.

My RBs? Maurice Jones-Drew is an elite player too...or at least he was. I have to play MJD because I drafted him in the first round. All the experts say he will "break out" this week. Let's hope so. I have to play him - I have no other choice at RB1. But, I do have a major decision at RB2.

My TE Finley is a Must Play now. He may be the GB QB Rodgers' favorite target (which would be awesome because Rodger loves to throw the ball!)

I will play the GB defense because they are doing well.

I dropped my kicker Tynes and picked up the Atlanta kicker Bryant because it looks like ATL is on fire and their kicker is good.

....And then...there is my QB situation.....

Here are my decisions to make....
QB: Flacco or McNabb??
RB1: Tolbert or Stewart or (new player) Green-Ellis??
WR3: Crabtree or Washington?

There are A LOT of webpages and TV shows devoted to helping people with their starting line-ups. One of the factors that everyone takes into account is...yep...Who are they playing?

My QBs:

Flacco is facing saftely Polamualu (who intercepted him during the playoffs last year) and the rest of Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain. Yikes! The PIT DEF is one of the main reasons that are No. 1.  Polamualu can read where the ball is going.

McNabb is also facing a tough Philly Defense - but it is not as tough as PIT. PIT scares me. (Also, McNabb is walking into his old stadium...maybe he will be extra motivated to play well? Hmmm?)

Decision: I'm playing McNabb

My RB2s:

Stewart: I am still not convinced he will get the ball much. His partner in crime, DeAngelo Williams, is doing well. So, I am keeping Stewart on the bench for now.

Tolbert: Before SD's main RB Ryan showed that he was well enough to play, I was definitely playing Tolbert. Arizona's defense is second to the last in defenese against the run. I even considered playing Tolbert, even though he will not start.

BUT...I dropped GB RB Jackson and picked up NE RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis, aka "The Law Firm". Deciding whether or not to play him every week is going to drive me crazy because you never know who NE is going play at RB. But, he is the only RB right now on that team and Miami is #16 against the run.

Decision: I'm playing The Lawfirm (I just love that nickname!)

My WR3s:

This is always a tough one to pick. Your WR3 is your lowest level WR. They are the new kids, the old guys, the injured, the inconsistent. If the weren't, they would be WR1s or WR2s

Thomas/now Harvin: I dropped DEN WR Thomas because, while QB Orton looks great, you cannot tell who is going to throw to. I want to avoid the WR merry-go-round. I picked up Harvin  because he is great when he is well. But he is on a bye this week - so he won't play.

Crabtree, the infamous SF WR,  is suppose to be a stud-in-waiting (aka a sleeper). I am just not seeing it yet. Sure they have a new offensive coordinator, but some say the '9ers are unraveling.   Crabree is either going to do great or go down in flames again. Do I want to take a chance? I want to play TEN WR Nate Washington?

Hmmm...SF is playing ATL and TEN is playing DEN. ATL is #21 against the pass and DEN is #26 against the pass....

Decision: I am going to play Washington.

My Starters:
QB: McNabb
WR1: Moss
WR2: Smith
WR2: Washington
TE: Finley
K: Bryant

We will see what happens. Wish me luck!