Monday, September 30, 2013

btn live blog week #4


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

btn #705

The present and the future of the KayakPirates franchise join the podcast before rivalry week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

btn live blog week #3


Thursday, September 19, 2013

our pets heads are falling off

So this is basically what sums up the first two weeks of the NFL season.

Up is down, down is up. Wide receivers are outproducing running backs. Drew Brees is terrible. Philip Rivers is amazing. And teams are trading away their franchise running backs for pennies on the dollar.

Oh yeah. And AJ is in first place.

The fantasy zombie apocalypse is upon us.

black is for sunday vs. KayakPirates
Some would say my luck has been extra horrible the first two weeks of the season considering I am sitting alone in last place while having the second most points in the league. Some would even say it is frustrating to lose in back to back weeks because of career games from players that were on my team last season. You know what I think some should say? Nothing. I'm tired of their incessant chatter. My luck may not be about to change but Jeff's is... for the worse. Not only is he being plagued by the questions swirling within the team about the true status of RG3 (and out)'s knee. But the sharpest jabs are coming from within his own locker room... from Griffin's own WR1. I don't care if they settle this with a foot race or what but they need to settle it somewhere other than through the media. Between their blatantly racist name and the drama inside the team, I don't want to be anywhere near DC right now. That town is more toxic than ever. I would give Jeff the upperhand as it must be Joique Bell's turn for the best game of his career but there is no one on his team that I traded to him so he has no chance this week. Since Jeff's other running backs are nothing more than a "slow-moving rhombus of plastic spoons," I think I've got it this week.

BackwoodCrazyCajuns vs. The Institute
If the Browns think they know how to tank and play for next year, they need to realize that there is still much to learn from the VZRI playbook in that regard. After a soaring week 1, the league's temporary phoenix just as quickly as he rose from the ashes of his draft came crashing back to earth with twice the momentum. With Spiller sputtering to start the season, the wreckage of the Buccaneers careening to a heap all around the feet of Martin, Fitzgerald and Bryant both slowed by injuries and no answer at quarterback, the Cajun is already looking a lot less formidable than he did back in that hospitality suite. This championship contender is going to need a turnaround in the next few weeks if he hopes to be anything more than a paper tiger. Playing VZ will certainly give him a good start in making progress toward that goal. We're in week 3 and already The Institute is struggling to field nine healthy players.

Jerry's Belt Buckle vs. showmedmoney!
The curse of the number one pick is taking hold with Umphlett's team early. He picks Drew Brees first the one year that every quarterback in the league is playing like Drew Brees except Drew Brees. Then he rounds out his early round selections with the doomed Maurice Jones-Drew and the lame Roddy White. All is not well. Billy snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with a Mike Lombardi type general manager move of benching his most seasoned veteran for his rawest rookie. Too cute by half. But White's loss is Julio's gain. Without the services of Steven Jackson for the foreseeable future, you can expect the Falcons offense to be that much more aerial. This is very bad news for Chris who one day will stop drafting Steelers wide receivers. (BTW, unpopular opinion alert. Seattle will not cover at home versus the Jaguars this weekend. There is no chance that team and those fans get as hyped up for Jacksonville as they were last week. I expect the Seahawks to win by two touchdowns but this won't be a pure blowout. Everyone in the game is getting paid.) Still, Bill shows Chris who the second best team from Gates County is this week.

K Rabbits vs. 40 acres & a mule
At this point, Kris' season and draft strategy is turning out like the end of a Scooby Doo episode. Not drafting Rodgers and bypassing him for Brady is the equivalent of "And I would have gotten away with it too if not for you pesky kids." The problem is those "kids" are grown men who get paid to catch footballs but apparently instead of stone blocks for hands. If Tom Brady is screaming at you in the middle of the game, you know you messed up. That guy rarely gets upset and I mean, honestly, if you were him, would you? He rarely has anything to complain about. Meanwhile, Kris' former beau is dating a new team now. One that is somehow far uglier and yet more successful. We should just rename AJ's team "40 points & mediocre talent." Rodgers may be matchup-proof but 40 Acres hasn't yet seen a matchup of Peterson and Charles against a newly despondent Cleveland and Philly's turnstile of a defense. Expect Kris to put an end to this madness this week.

The Commish vs. the icon
As much crap as I have given the Browns over the last 24 hours, I think I see the strategy somewhat. They don't believe in their current lineup. They want to rework the whole team. Lombardi has been angling for this job for years and he finally has it. He's not going to waste his one shot. Stockpiling a bevy of picks and tanking for Teddy is the way to start fresh and finally reinvigorate a once proud and now struggling franchise. The Commish knows a little bit about what that process looks like over the last 4 years. Speaking of which, these are the only two managers to capture a Fantasy Bowl since 2009. This is a prime early season matchup and I like Jimmy this week to use it to catapult himself once again to the top of the league.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

btn #704

The Institute joins behind the numbers ahead of week 2.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

btn live blog week #1


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

draft battles

During the draft last weekend, in the multitude of time afforded by waiting for Brandon to make his picks, Billy, AJ and I began a GIF battle. In fact, I likely spent more time researching new GIFs than I did researching the players I drafted last Saturday. I had already studied anyone I considered taking so it didn't matter much for me. Apparently, this strategic allocation of time didn't work out as well for AJ. That's why he ended up a part of the draft battle for last place.

Draft Battle #1: The War of Attrition
40 acres & a mule vs. The Institute (#9 vs. #10)

40 acres
Best pick: Aaron Rodgers (Round 2)
Worst picks: If keepers counted, I'd say Michael Bush (Round 10). So instead I'll go with the 5 wide receivers (Greg Jennings, James Jones, Kenny Britt, Stevie Johnson, Lance Moore) of identical value drafted between rounds 5-9 or the wrap-around tight ends selected at the turn of round 13-14 (Martellus Bennett, Antonio Gates).

AJ made a solid pick in Round 2 with Aaron Rodgers (aspirations to be the new K Rabbits?) but then didn't select another player that I would want on my squad this year. Slotting in Montee Ball as a second RB basically screams I read a fantasy magazine from June on my way to the draft.

The Institute
Best picks: Christine Michael (Round 11), Colin Kaepernick (Round 7)
Worst picks: Le'Veon Bell (Round 6), Jeremy Maclin (Round 12), Jonathan Stewart (Round 14)

With $12.50 in the bank for next year and underwhelming keepers like Andrew Luck and Rashard Mendenhall starting out the roster I understand the inkling on my nemesis to play for next year. And if he had assembled a team of Christine Michaels (a player with massive upside and the chance to be in a great situation for the future) and Michael Crabtrees (a player with a proven track record going for below market value because of injury) then I would have backed the move. But what value is there in drafting a borderline WR3 and sending him straight to the IR slot? Or in trading all those picks away just to get David Wilson a round early? Why not just go all out on every player with any chance of breaking out, let the chips fall where they may and sort it out through trades and keeper cash before next year's draft? In the end, I think VZ tried to have his cake and eat it too. Competing in the short term while building for the long term. He failed on both accounts.

Winner: No one. Ends like a Russian love story. They all die in the end.

Draft Battle #2: Anthem of Our Dying Day
showmedamoney! vs. the icon (#7 vs. #8)

Best pick: Kenbrell Tompkins (Round 9)
Worst pick: Jonathan Dwyer (Round 11)

Truthfully, Billy's best pick probably would have fallen to him in round 11 if he had waited. And that would have been a much better outcome than ending up with Dwyer. Not only was Dwyer an undertalented player in a crowded backfield, him getting cut mid-draft sent Billy into a tailspin. I would have been interested to see what this team was like with Aaron Rodgers leading it. (Not that I don't like Matt Ryan but I'm not sure getting Andre Johnson instead of Nicks/Colston/Steve Smith/Wayne makes the difference worth passing on Rodgers.) Might have missed an opportunity there.

the icon
Best pick: Eddie Lacy (Round 3)
Worst pick: Danny Amendola (Round 3)

Overbay didn't have a bad draft by any stretch but I'm not sure he capitalized on the trade with VZ. I'm not a big believer in the ability of SJax and Gore to continue being productive as the hurtle toward the age and workload that has put similar backs down for good in the past. And there is just no chance Amendola plays more than eight games this year. I love Lacy as a breakout candidate and think the icon was very smart with his tight end situation in pairing Gronk with someone who can keep the fire warm in Cameron during his absence. Five picks in the first 33 though with two solid keepers? That team should look better than this one.

Winner: Regret

Draft Battle #3: The Clone Wars
Jerry's Belt Buckle vs. The Commish (#5 vs. #6)

Jerry's Belt Buckle
Best pick: Maurice Jones-Drew (Round 2)
Worst pick: Emmanuel Sanders (Round 10)

Maurice Jones-Drew was an excellent value at the end of round 2 but they don't give out points for draft day value. A back of his age and size can only last so long against eight man boxes and a brutal carry load. I just can't buy in to a huge bounce back season. And two Steelers wide receivers again? How many times do you have to learn the same lesson? The Sanders pick cost Umphlett a shot at Lynch's backup Michael. If Lynch goes down or is let walk at the end of the season by the Seahawks, Umphlett will wish he had reached for Lynch's clone one round earlier for both now and the future.

When Chris found out he couldn't get Stafford on his team this year:

The Commish
Best picks: Trent Richardson (Round 1), Justin Blackmon (Round 12)
Worst pick: Knowshon Moreno (Round 13), Pierre Thomas (Round 16)

By the time draft day had come and gone, Trent Richardson had made me a believer but The Commish still hasn't. I love the value Jimmy got on Blackmon and Golden Tate. Both will start games for his squad this year. But why take washed up retreads for backup running backs unlikely to see the field very much if at all when they are both hopelessly stuck in committees? Vintage Commish teams get strength from the bench. It looks like waiver wire roulette is once again where Jimmy expects to find a championship. One sometimes can wonder whether a real human being still lurks below the Darth Vader mask The Commish dons in the league. I think that answer is yes after this weekend. In twelve live drafts I have completed with Jimmy I have never seen him surprised when it was his turn to pick until Saturday. With the turmoil that has obviously infiltrated The Commish's office, it's no wonder you can find the top man distracted. This is a developing story for this season.

Winner: The Commish but only because the plot of Empire demands it.

Draft Battle #4: The War to End All Wars (#3 vs. #4)
KayakPirates vs. K Rabbits

K Rabbits
Best pick: Tom Brady (Round 3)
Worst pick: Kyle Rudolph (Round 8)

I've said this to several people since the draft. Though I wouldn't say the K Rabbits had the best draft of anyone last Saturday, I walked away the most impressed by his strategy. Everyone in our league has a personality that defines most of their teams. Jeff takes a slow and steady wins the race approach. Overbay opts for established early in drafts before taking shots on breakout candidates. Jimmy builds around cornerstone players for their respective offenses. I'm the hype train. Kris always drafts Aaron Rodgers (or insert other quarterback man crush of the moment). Except he didn't. He changed his strategy thinking that whatever he was doing had brought him as far as he could go. I respect that as all of us our resistant to change (particularly people at the advanced age of the K Rabbits manager). This may not be a championship season but it could be the dawn of a new day for this franchise.

Aaron Rodgers when he found out that Kris passed on him in the first round:

Best picks: T.Y. Hilton (Round 6), Josh Gordon (Round 10)
Worst pick: Dwayne Bowe (Round 4)

The more I look at Jeff's draft, the more I like it. He has solid players starting at every position and a lot of talent on the bench looking to push his starters for their spots. I love his breakout hype-laden package of WRs on the bench. The Griffin-Garcon connection will be strong as long as both can stay healthy. He's insured himself in case Griffin goes down with Matthew Stafford (who would have thought I'd talk about Stafford as a paragon of health two years ago?) And he took some calculated risks for the future. Jeff is getting more serious every year about putting his name on this trophy. I could tell by his late night pre-draft study session. Maybe it has something to do with the Crouton beating down his door for a chance at management but I think he gets rewarded this year for his tenacity. Jeff scooped some good players.

Winner: The K Rabbits never win anything.

Draft Battle #5: The War of the Roses
BackwoodCrazyCajuns vs. black is for sunday

Best pick: Larry Fitzgerald (Round 2)
Worst pick: Chris Ivory (Round 6)

You can't argue with the value that Brandon got any of his players at in the first five rounds. He started with the strongest keepers in the league and built a powerhouse around those players. However, he had to know better than to wait past Round 7 to select a quarterback. That is Fantasy Draft Strategy 101 stuff right there and we're not talking about some green rookie here. Brandon may be a champion of yesteryear at this point but he's better than missing on one of the top 12 QBs to snag a player of Chris Ivory's caliber. In the end, he'll pay something for this obvious mistake. He just has to hope it's the many hits and not this one miss that defines his season.

black is for sunday
Best pick: Lamar Miller (Round 3)
Worst pick: E.J. Manuel (Round 12)

Yep. Crushed it.

Winner: #TeamShade

Monday, September 2, 2013

btn #703

The draft recap podcast as told during three red eye flights to be known as Bill and Brent's excellent adventure.