Thursday, September 27, 2012

weep not for the memories

Week 3 of the NFL season is in the books and now it's time for rivalry week! One that should be exciting and I'm ready to break down the weekend's coming attractions for you. But before I do, it's important for us to take a moment to remember what we've lost. It's true. The NFL replacement refs are no more. Ed Hochuli's 24 inch pythons will be back stalking the sideline by Sunday but now is a time for reflection and rememberance. Let's all take a moment.
Gone but never forgotten.

Jerry's Belt Buckle vs. K Rabbits
We'll start with what amounts to a virtual elimination game. Umphlett, in a season that started with so much promise, isn't just hoping a for a breakout performance but any legitimate contribution that doesn't end in injury. He has already had four players on his roster miss games or parts of games after going down with various ailments. Kris, meanwhile, better be adding resurrection to the list of his scholarly topics of study. He may have to put it to use on his team before long (and not just because most of his players are likely to die of natural causes before the season ends.) Word out of K Rabbits camp is that Michael Turner was seen carousing late night with one Brent Cozart before receiving his DUI. It's clear this is a team spinning out of control. Maybe Jermichael Finley's agent was right. Considering one of his keepers just went on IR and LaMichael James is still on his roster, I'm not sure Kris is even noticing the outcomes of the games anyway. Still, though the K Rabbits have the vacuum in leadership afflicting the New Orleans Saints, it's the Belt Buckle who has their plight. I'll go with the KRABS in this race to the bottom.
Pick: KRABS by 3

black is for sunday vs. The Institute
Much like VZ's star player LeSean McCoy and Osi Umenyiura, sometimes it's difficult to tell if these two players are just joking or if they really have beef. From the outset of the modern era of the league to journalistic skirmishes to "fuzzy numbers" and his long winning streak over his star-crossed rival, this game has led to some instant classics over the years. Normally, I would be worried about not having any players going after the 4PM EDT (or 1PM for Jimmy or whatever time it is on Mars for Umphlett). However, given my players' propensity to $#!^ the bed the last two weeks in the clutch, I'd rather rest on building a lead and watching someone else try to make a comeback for a change. With Sunday night (Eagles vs. Giants) and Monday night (Cowboys vs. Bears) games that may not yield great stats for either team, VZ could find himself facing a challenge. I'll be sweating it out all the way into late Monday night but I still like my team by the slimmest of margins this week. (Take a break from your blood feud against me for one week, fantasy gods!)
Pick: black by 1

40 acres & a mule vs. showmedamoney!
Apparently, there is a widespread Revolution-style internet outage in Charlottesville. Someone may want to investigate just to make sure the zombie apocalypse is not headed our way any second. I've already been over Kris' odd roster, now I see that 40 acres is keeping two mules in Brian Quick and Ronnie Hillman on the team even though they have been healthy scratches in the majority of their teams' games and combined for as many fantasy points as I have in fantasy leagues this year. (Redraft leagues, go get Brent Woodcox! He's got upside!) Arian Foster actually went for 40 points against the Titans last year topping more than 100 yards on the ground and through the air while scoring three touchdowns. This is a problem for Billy and Andre Johnson because it's not injury but opportunity that is holding his star receiver back now. The bottom line is the Texans have learned how to win without him. Oddly, even with a perfect record so far, Billy is due for his first big game of the season from McFadden and Brady. McFadden has both his best career game against the Broncos and some of his worst games showing his true boom or bust character as a fantasy player. But Brady always torches the Bills. As I said I see an ugly Giants/Eagles game on Sunday night sounding the death knell for AJ's chances. I like Billy here by a comfortable margin.
Pick: show by 7

the icon vs. KayakPirates
In a game that pits our defending champion against the team making the best case so far for this year's championship, we should see some fireworks. Overbay's last couple opponents have not put up much of a fight as he got off to much stronger start this year even with a team that seems significantly weaker than what he had last year at this time. That all changes when Ray Rice comes to town. Rice is a cold-blooded killer... with kindness. He nicely and respectfully ran for 200 yards against the Browns in one of last year's tilts (*ding*) and for a guy that once played for Greg Schiano, he certainly takes out his aggression in much more productive ways than his former coach. Calvin Johnson's stats against Minny have been hit or miss through his career and if Cam Newton doesn't respond to the criticism swirling around him inside of Charlotte this week I think even Catherine might give up on him. I can't think of a more unlikely scenario than Mike Shanahan adopting the Baylor pistol/triple option offense other than RGIII lasting the whole season if he keeps getting hit like he does while playing it. (Newsflash Redskins: He's your whole franchise now. Handle with care.) It's like watching a guy sell his house to buy an Aston Martin then driving it right off a cliff. I don't think the league has historically seen this as one of our more heated rivalries but this week Jeff has a chance to make a statement and I think he does it.
Pick: Pirates by 2 1/2 

The Commish vs. BackwoodCrazyCajuns
A once storied rivalry is once again rising to the top. Brandon has been the captain of the Notre Dame/New York Knicks/Dallas Cowboys of our league for years now. The league is more fun when they're good. They just haven't been in so long it's starting to get hard for anyone to remember it. (Think about this. When Brandon won his last championship, none of the league's children were born yet and a mere fraction of the league's managers were married at the time.) This year though both of these managers are back to their vintage selves. The Commish won the Mike Shanahan running back roulette and is slowly putting together a squad that looks more intimidating as the weeks pass by tweaking his roster slightly with each passing waiver claim. And Brandon has had a resurgence of his competitive fires going full on blast with his previous patented premature bravado and yet with some players in his starting lineup to back up his puffed up promises. Unfortunately, the Cajuns are still decidedly thin on the bench and losing the league's top rusher would be a lot for any manager to overcome. Brandon is still the only manager to beat Jimmy with a championship on the line. It just seems like Jimmy has won every consequential rematch since.
Pick: Commish by 10

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