Tuesday, October 28, 2014

FCNPFFL: Week 8 Results

The theme for this weeks action of football was: 'Are you not entertained?!?' Without having access to all the scoring in this league over the last 17 years I would have to assume that this was the highest scoring week ever (and that includes Jason Jr./Ike leaving Emmanuel Sanders and his 3 TD's on the bench). The league finished with seven teams AT OR OVER 100 points and an average team score of 90.5 points! Kudos to the league for staying on top of their rosters and kudos to the rules in the NFL for not allowing defenses to do anything (except when you're playing Jacksonville)


Waivers will be ran late Wednesday night as always.

Onto the games:

Another week, another scoring barrage from my team who extended their winning streak to five games. I took on a very game Adam this week who got 22 each from the Vikings D and Sammy Watkins (who really should've had 12 more points if not for rookie showboating). In the end it wasn't enough as I got 34 from Arian Foster, 30 from the Dolphins D, 22 from Jay Cutler and 15 from Justin Tucker. With the game wrapped up, Demarco Murray tacked on 17 points to get me to top scoring team for the 3rd week in a row and 4th overall.

Final Score: Escaped Lunatics 120 Biggums' 'Basers 86

Two of the teams to go triple digits were Nate and John as they put on a show. Behind Matt Stafford and his 27 points, Nate got rolling and when Gronk added 27 of his own, Nate must have been feeling pretty good. Then the Eagles game was played. John rides and dies with his Philly trio (a bit awkward for a Dallas fan I'm sure) and this time they came through with flying colors. Nick Foles, Jeremy Maclin and Cody Parkey combined for 70 points and with 13 from the Patriots D and 12 each from Bennett and Bradshaw, John won a shootout and has gotten to 6-2. Nate becomes one of many hard luck losers on the week.

Final Score: The Situation 115 The Bounchers 104

Another game that featured two triple digit scoring teams was the one between Mike and Jody. This also had a little MNF drama as well. In one of the highest scoring performances ever, Jody got 50!?! points from Big Ben who torched the Colts for 522 yards passing and 6 TDs. He also got 16 from Knile Davis and 10 from Denard Robinson to take a good sized league. Mike countered with 32 from Andrew Luck, 21 from Jamaal Charles and 16 from the Browns D. He needed a big Sunday night from his 3 players and that's what he got. 20 from Randall Cobb, 11 from Mason Crosby and 9 from Jimmy Graham put Mike on top. Jody had a chance with Jordan Reed and the Cowboys D on MNF, but they couldn't get anything going.

Final Score: Bookoo Barbarians 117 DoggNutz 100

Joel became the second member of the Hardi family to hit 100+ as he whooped up on Matt. Thanks to a quartet of 20+ scoring players (Rivers/Ingram 23 each, 21 for Forte  and 20 for Antonio Brown), it was smooth sailing to move to 5-3. Matt had a good showing for a normal week, but this was nowhere near normal. He got 22 from Golden Tate and 18 from Matt Ryan, but came up 37 points short.

Final Score: Nikachu 113 Rainbows & Puppies 76

The third member of the Hardi clan, Luke, looked to make it a clean sweep of victories and 100+ points as he took on Ben. Antonio Gates got Luke rolling 15 and the Seahawks D added 14, but it was the SNF combo of Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks that made this a fun game. With Ben leading behind 26 from Peyton Manning and 22 each from Larry Fitzgerald and the Chiefs D it appeared 'no RBs' was going to cruise to victory. But back to the Saints...Brees hit Cooks for a 50 yard, 25 fantasy points touchdown and suddenly Luke was catapulted back into the game. Brees kept throwing and Luke kept scoring. Going into MNF Luke held a one point lead with each team having a Redskins RB and a Cowboys WR going. Ben got the jump with a Dez Bryant TD, but Luke answered with an Alfred Morris long run and subsequent TD as he pulled away late. Ben finishes just 3 points short of being our 8th 100 point scoring team.

Final Score: Deathtongue 113 The Magic Wands 97

Nick B keeps winning despite his lack of moves. He won his 3rd game in a row, this time over Alex who continues his fall from grace as he has now lost 3 in a row. Neither team scored 100 points, but Nick B did get 37 from Tom Brady, 12 from Le'Veon Bell and 10 from Gio Bernard. Alex was led by Teddy Bridgewater who scored 16 points. Unfortunately he had 2 players not even take the field.

Final Score: The Knacks 77 The Worthless Peons 54

And then there was this game. Jason Jr./Ike played against Nick G and the two teams COMBINED for less than 100 points. For shame boys, for shame. It wasn't pretty, but Jason/Ike stayed even with John and I at 6-2 behind 34 from Aaron Rodgers. Nick G got 16 from Ryan Tannehill, but -7 from the Bears woeful D.

Final Score: Myra's College Fund 53 Lollipop Kids 42

Standings after Week 8

Back Wall Division:

Escaped Lunatics 6-2 (T-1/T-3,4)
Myra's College Fund 6-2 (T-1/T-3,4)
The Situation 6-2 (T-1/T-3,4)
The Knacks 4-4
The Worthless Peons 4-4
Biggums' 'Basers 2-6
Lollipop Kids 1-7

Critter Corner Division:

Nikachu 5-3 (T-2/T-5,6)
Bookoo Barbarians 5-3 (T-2/T-5,6)
Deathtongue 5-3 (T-2/T-5,6)
The Magic Wands 4-4
Rainbows & Puppies 3-5
The Bounchers 3-5
DoggNutz 2-6

Schedule for Week 9:

John 6-2 vs. Jason/Ike 6-2 (Game of the Week)
Jason 6-2 vs. Alex 4-4
Joel 5-3 vs. Ben 4-4
Mike 5-3 vs. Nick B 4-4
Luke 5-3 vs. Matt 3-5
Nate 3-5 vs. Jody 2-6
Alex 2-6 vs. Nick G 1-7

A very interesting week as all the playoff contenders play each other and the bottom four teams possibly give us a Toilet Bowl semifinal preview. With six teams on a BYE week and everyone playing an important game, waivers and trades could be a huge factor. I guarantee scoring will be down this week and we'll have a few nail biters.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FCNPFFL: Week 7 Results

Seven weeks in the books and I think it's time to start talking playoffs. {Insert Jim Mora audio clip here} Sure a lot can change over the next six weeks, but it's hard to not start projecting who will be in and who won't. For this league, though, I haven't the faintest idea which six teams will still be standing after Week 13. Going into the week there was a seven way tie for first place. That means that at least one team who was sitting at 4-2, thinking they were in a good position won't even qualify for the postseason. As for the other seven teams, it'll be interesting to see how many can get in with just a half of a season to play.


Waivers will be ran late Wednesday night as is the norm.

Onto the games:

On paper my red hot squad facing the ultra-struggling team owned by Nick G looked to be a mismatch. After Thursday night where Nick G jumped out to a 22-0 lead (20 from Shane Vereen), the game appeared to be much closer. Jordy Nelson got me started with 17 points, DeMarco Murray continued to roll with 18, Jay Cutler added 10 and with a late, meaningless TD on MNF by Arian Foster, I jumped into top scoring team of the week for my third $10 prize of the year. Colin Kaepernick added 17 to the total for Nick G in the losing effort.

Final Score: Escaped Lunatics 87 The Lollipop Kids 61

Nick B continues to defy logic with his team as even without the services of injured Victor Cruz, he not only won this week against Joel, but nearly took home top scoring spot in the league. Behind 25 from Tom Brady, 17 from Pierre Garcon, 16 from Le'Veon Bell and 10 from Adam Vinatieri, The Knacks continue to play good ball while shorthanded. Joel had a good showing too with 20 from Matt Forte, 17 from Philip Rivers, 12 from the Bills D and 10 from Antonio Brown, but came up just short.

Final Score: The Knacks 82 Nikachu 72

Another team looking to creep closer to the pack at 4-3 was Nate who had a tough challenge against Ben and his squad of no RBs. Ben was led by Peyton Manning with 31, but his stats caused Ben's D, the 49ers, to suffer to the tune of -6 points. This opened the door for Nate who was led by his quarterback, Matt Stafford with 24 and Lamar Miller who rushed for 13 points. With a six point lead and the Texans D yet to play, Nate survived a complete implosion thanks to 3 sacks and a fumble recovery to eke out a victory.

Final Score: The Bounchers 59 The Magic Wands 52

The one game that had a pair of 4-2 teams hooking up was not pretty. Alex and John both came out flat as only three total players hit double figures. John had two of those players which proved to be the difference as Kyle Orton...yup, Kyle Orton led all scorers with 19 and Ahmad Bradshaw chipped in with 17. Alex saw his kicker lead his team in scoring and with the loss, teams that have their kicker lead in scoring for the week are now 2-73 all time in FCNPFFL history. Fact. Look it up.

Final Score: The Situation 58 The Worthless Peons 38

Jason II was looking for his fourth straight win while keeping pace with the league leaders at 5-2 as he took on Adam who was in dire need of a second straight victory to keep his division hopes alive. Aaron Rodgers was the top game scorer with 30 points and Jason II had a 25 point edge on the team defense as his Colts scored 19 while Adam got -6 from the Panthers D. Cam Newton did score 17 for the 'Basers in a losing effort.

Final Score: Myra's College Fund 75 Biggums' 'Basers 34

Our two 3-3 teams played a very meaningful swing game this week. Matt and Mike both looked to stay a game out of first and we got a pretty good contest even with each team having two goose eggs. For Mike he got a game high 23 points from Andrew Luck while Matt countered with 22 from Golden Tate. Jamaal Charles tacked on 15 for Mike and Randall Cobb put up 14, but Matt wouldn't go easily as he got 13 from Matt Ryan, 12 from Andre Ellington and 11 from the Broncos D. What cost Matt though was his remaining two players posted just 4 more points while Mike saw his last three players put up 17 points.

Final Score: Bookoo Barbarians 69 Rainbows & Puppies 62

Our last game of the week actually saw a come from behind victory on MNF, which has been a rarity this season. Jody needed this game to keep any chance at making the playoffs while Luke was looking to join the tie atop the league at 5-2. Luke got 25 from Drew Brees and yet another strong outing from Antonio Gates with 10 points. Jody continued to get stellar play from Demaryius Thomas who posted 23, saw Roddy White get rowdy for 12, but lost CJ Spiller for the season as well. He needed 14 points from Big Ben on MNF to win and got 19 to secure win #2 on the season.

Final Score: DoggNutz 59 Deathtongue 52

Standings after Week 7:

Back Wall Division

Escaped Lunatics 5-2 (T-1/T-3)
Myra's College Fund 5-2 (T-1/T-3)
The Situation 5-2 (T-1/T-3)
The Worthless Peons 4-3(T-5&6)
The Knacks 3-4
Biggums' 'Basers 2-5
The Lollipop Kids 1-6

Critter Corner Division:

Deathtongue 4-3 (T-2/T-5&6)
Magic Wands 4-3 (T-2/T-5&6)
Nikachu 4-3 (T-2/T-5&6)
Bookoo Barbarians 4-3 (T-2/T-5&6)
Rainbows & Puppies 3-4
The Bounchers 3-4
DoggNutz 2-5

Week 8 Schedule:

John 5-2 vs. Nate 3-4
Jason 5-2 vs. Adam 2-5
Jason II/Ike 5-2 vs. Nick G 1-6
Luke 4-3 vs. Ben 4-3 (Game of the Week)
Joel 4-3 vs. Matt 3-4
Alex 4-3 vs. Nick B 3-4
Mike 4-3 vs. Jody 2-5

This is going to be a very interesting week. The 5-2 teams can separate themselves as the 4-3/3-4 teams beat up on each other.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

FCNPFFL: Week 6 Results

As we near the midway part of the season, (already?!?) owners should be making the proper moves either to bolster their team for a second half run towards making the playoffs or filling the holes of their team to ensure making the playoffs. Just, for the love of God, whatever you do, don't trade away Yoenis Cespedes!! Oh wait, wrong sport...but you know what I mean. I need therapy.

BYE WEEKS FOR WEEK 7: PHILADELPHIA and TAMPA BAY (although you could make the claim that the Bucs already took their week off against the Ravens in Week 6).

Waivers will be ran late Wednesday night as is the norm.

Before I get to the weekly recaps: I am put any WR not named Jordy on the trade block. All I want in return is a TE who is capable of catching a football. He need not have any other life skill other than possible scoring a single point or two on a weekly basis when it comes to fantasy football. If you don't offer to me, believe me when I tell you that 10-13 of you might just receive multiple offers from me this week if I get bored.

Okay onto the games:

Yet another tough game on paper for my squad as Luke and I were projected to score 183 total points and that was with Luke not even having Drew Brees available this week. I certainly did my part as everyone outside my non-existent TE scored in double figures. I led the league in scoring for the week and finished 25 points off the high water mark for a week of 152 points set back in 2012 by...of course Luke. Jay Cutler had 25 and Arian Foster scored 24 to lead the way. Luke got 14 from Austin Davis, but the rout was in full effect before he even stepped on the field.

Final Score: Escaped Lunatics 127 Deathtongue 55

The highest combined score of the week came in the matchup between the other Jason and Ben who put up a whopping 193 total points. Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers squared off as Rodgers got the edge 28-23 for Jasons' side. Each defense fared well, but again Jason got the edge with 25 from the Eagles while Ben settled for 'just' 16 from the 49ers D. Both teams got 15 from their kickers. Ben received 15 from Julius Thomas and 12 from Larry Fitzgerald while Jason got 19 from Steve Smith. Ben saw his lack of RB help hurt again this week with just 4 points and he came up a bit short.

Final Score: Myra's College Fund 104 The Magic Wands 89

We had our third triple digit scoring team of the week come from the game involving Joel and Nate. The Bounchers finally saw a bit of life out of LeSean McCoy who rumbled for 14 points, but it was nowhere near enough to compete this week. Joel got 28 from Philip Rivers, 25 from Matt Forte, 14 from the Titans D and 13 from this still perfect Chandler Catanzaro. Joel moves to 4-2 while Nate drops to 2-4 and got doubled up to boot.

Final Score: Nikachu 106 The Bounchers 53

A pair of 3-2 teams, coached by Matt and John, went to battle in a big swing game in the standings. Last week Matt made a trade to help bolster his team, but it was the free agent pickup of John last week that proved to be the difference this week. Branden Oliver scored 17 points for The Situation and he got 29 from his trio of Eagles on Sunday night to put the game away. Matt got 17 from the Broncos D and 16 from Matt Ryan in a losing effort.

Final Score: The Situation 80 Rainbows & Puppies 64

Two banged up teams met as both Jody and Mike were in dire need of something positive happening for their squads. Mike had the top scoring player of the game as Andrew Luck posted 28 points while Jody had two players combine for 28 with 14 each in Big Ben and Demaryius Thomas. At the RB position, the four active backs combined for just 3 points. Each team did get double digits from their kickers, so there's that.

Final Score: Bookoo Barbarians 65 DoggNutz 50

Despite leaving T.Y. Hilton on the bench, losing Victor Cruz for the season and getting -6 from his defense, Nick B had no troubles dispatching his namesake Nick G. Tom Brady busted out with 38 points, Gio Bernard scampered for 26 and Greg Olsen chipped in with 10 points to bolster The Knacks to their second win of the season. Colin Kaepernick did everything in his power to make the score look respectable with 36 on MNF, but it wasn't enough to offset three players combining for a single point.

Final Score: The Knacks 94 Lollipop Kids 78

The last game of the week was the only one with a semblance of drama heading into MNF. Alex who was sitting at 4-1 took on Adam who was equally as surprising sitting at 1-4. With 37 points from Cam Newton and 19 from Ben Tate, Adam had a decent lead going into Monday. Alex had received 24 from his Lions D, but needed a huge game from Michael Crabree to get back into it. While Crabtree did catch a TD he could only match Phil Dawson who was the final player for Adam of the week.

Final Score: Biggums' ' Basers 76 The Worthless Peons 61

Standings after Week 6:

Back Wall Division:

Escaped Lunatics 4-2
Myra's College Fund 4-2
The Situation 4-2
Worthless Peons 4-2
The Knacks 2-4
Biggums' 'Basers 2-4
Lollipop Kids 1-5

Critter Corner Division:

Nikachu 4-2
The Magic Wands 4-2
Deathtongue 4-2
Bookoo Barbarians 3-3
Rainbows & Puppies 3-3
The Bounchers 2-4
DoggNutz 1-5

Week 7 Schedule:

John 4-2 v Alex 4-2 (Game of the Week)
Jason/Ike 4-2 v Adam 2-4
Jason 4-2 v Nick G 1-5
Joel 4-2 v Nick B 2-4
Ben 4-2 v Nate 2-4
Luke 4-2 v Jody 1-5
Matt 3-3 v Mike 3-3

This will be a really telling week for the league. With 7 teams at 4-2 and only one head to head game involving them, this league can begin to separate like a broken meringue or congeal like leftover bacon fat. Either way with 9 teams at 4-2 or 3-3 it appears that every game will matter down the stretch and it is still anyone's league for the taking.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

FCNPFFL: Week 5 Results (I'm baaaaack)

After a three week respite where my fellow league mates, Joel and (the other) Jason filled in for me, I am back, better than ever. After suffering through extended hours at work, watching the inevitable collapse of my beloved Athletics and a complete lack of sleep, I have gotten back into Zen fantasy football mode and am ready to complete my duties as commissioner of this fine league that is still going strong in its 17th year.


Waivers will be ran late Wednesday night as always.

We had a trade this week that was consummated while the two owners were watching the Nationals crumble during Game 1 of their series vs. the Giants. That's a solid multi-tasking effort.

Onto the games:

My incredibly difficult schedule continued as I locked horns with Mike who, through some nifty trades including the aforementioned one above now has a pretty formidable roster. We were both predicted to light up the scoreboard and that is exactly what happened. Our two quarterbacks nearly canceled each other out with Cutler getting me 26 and Luck tallying 24 for Mike. The RB situation was the same where he got a combined 22 and I received 20. I had the slight 'edge' at WR/TE if you can call it that as my trio of receivers hauled in just 3 total passes. Luckily one was a 66 yard score netting me 16 points. Mike also got a touchdown and a total of 13 points from his trio, but lost newly acquired TE Jimmy Graham to injury. I squeaked by with a 2 point edge at kicker. During the 1pm games my defense, the Steelers, scored 18 points and I looked to be in great shape until Mike's D, the Chargers, lambasted the Jets. San Diego had 21 points and was pitching a shutout with the entire 4th quarter to play and Mike trailing in our game by just 2 points. The Jets failed to scored, but they also avoided any butt fumbles, sacks or INTs and Mike fell just short.

Final Score: Escaped Lunatics 88 Bookoo Barbarians 86

Last weeks' ghost writer, Jason (who is filling in for Ike, who is playing for his daughter Myra) took on John (who is father to league mate's Luke and Joel, who filled in for me in Weeks 2 & 3, okay enough already). Jason had the big scorer of the week back on Thursday night as Aaron Rodgers put up 23 points. That 23 points was then matched by the Eagles defense who once again scored multiple touchdowns. Those top two scores helped offset three players putting up a bagel for Jason including losing Montee Ball to injury. John was looking to bounce back from his first loss of the season and he got 16 from Foles, 11 from Maclin and 8 from Parkey as the Eagles returned somewhat to form. He was also hampered, once again, from his injured superstar as Megatron toyed with his fantasy owners by playing, but not scoring. He could now be out a few weeks to help make the decision easier.

Final Score: Myra's College Fund 67 The Situation 54

Two teams sitting at 1-2 and in need of a win battled as Jody took on Matt with his new lineup intact after the midweek trade. The two new players, Fred Jackson and Alshon Jeffery helped out with 21 total points while Matt's backup TE (after trading Jimmy Graham away) didn't pick up the slack as his was held scoreless. It was Andre Ellington who returned from his BYE Week healthy that infused life into the Puppies leading them with 28 points and Matt Ryan chipped in 22 as well. As for Jody he saw one of his RBs leave with an injury (who didn't lose someone to injury this week?), while fantasy hero of a week ago, Matt Asiata, returned to form with just 5 points. Big Ben got 15 for Jody who dug himself a big hole that even Demaryius Thomas and his 226 yard, 2 touchdown (with bonus) couldn't overcome. Thomas scored 33 for the 'Nutz, but they still fell by 17.

Final Score: Rainbows & Puppies 86 DoggNutz 69

Alex and Nick B matched up this week in a game featuring two teams headed in the opposite direction. At 3-1 Alex, with a win, would be in line to have one of his most successful starts to a season while Nick B was looking to avoid a 1-4 start. This game went all the way until the last drive of the MNF game between Washington and Seattle. Greg Olsen and Tom Brady were standouts for Nick B on Sunday as they combined for 39 points, but some of that great play by Brady cost Nick's defense, the Bengals as they set a new low score at -7 points!!! This left the door open for Alex who only had one double digit scorer on Sunday with the Lions D clawing out 13 points. He needed a big night from Marshawn Lynch and a quiet one from Pierre Garcon who Nick owns. Garcon scored just one measly point, but that almost proved enough as after a slow start, Alex still trailed midway through the 4th quarter. The Seahawks got inside the 10 yard line where Lynch took over, scoring a TD and closed the gap to just one. On the final drive for Seattle, Lynch rumbled for enough points to tie the game up and then caught a 30 yard pass to seal the deal.

Final Score: The Worthless Peons 60 The Knacks 58

Speaking of teams who are free fallin', Nick G had dropped three in a row after his opening week win. Since then he has lost AP to being a douche and inexplicably traded away Andrew Luck for a bag of magical beans. His opponent, Joel was one of the many teams sitting at 2-2 and looked to seize a great opportunity and climb above .500. Behind 24 from Phillip Rivers, 17 from Matt Forte, 11 from Steven Jackson and 10 from the Texans D, this was no contest. Nick G tried to stay close with 15 from Kaep and 11 from his kicker, but this was over nearly as fast as it started.

Final Score: Nikachu 86 Lollipop Kids 51

Luke looked to join the leaders at 4-1 with a win over Nate this week as he was just trying to get above .500. Both teams had 4 players score in double figures, but Luke was the only team to have a player eclipse 20 as Drew Brees posted 23. Nate's top scorer was his defense as the Colts mustered 17 points. The difference maker had to be Antonio Gates for Luke who continues to defy his age with a pair of TDs and 16 fantasy points. Not even Gronk could match that for Nate as he fell just short.

Final Score: Deathtongue 79 The Bounchers 69

For the second time in five weeks we had our top scoring team of the week take on our second highest scoring team of the week. Fantasy football is a cruel game sometimes and the battle between Ben and Adam proved to be no different. After Adam got 23 from Eddie Lacy on Thursday he had to be feeling good about his chances. Phil Dawson booted in 19, the Panthers D tallied 18 and Cam Newton figured in for 17 to give Adam a huge lead. That was until Peyton Manning and Julius Thomas took the field. Behind 41 points from Peyton and 16 from Julius a sixty+ point deficit was whittled down. With two players still to play Ben now only trailed by 16 points. Late Sunday night his kicker Stephen Gostkowski took matters into his own hands leg. He kicked five FGs including three meaningless 4th quarter scorers to post 19 all by himself giving Ben the win and the $10 for top scoring team of the week.

Final Score: The Magic Wands 101 Biggums' 'Basers 95

Standings after Week 5:

Back Wall Division

The Worthless Peons 4-1
Escaped Lunatics 3-2
Myra's College Fund 3-2
The Situation 3-2
Lollipop Kids 1-4
Biggums' 'Basers 1-4
The Knacks 1-4

Critter Corner Division

The Magic Wands 4-1
Deathtongue 4-1
Nikachu 3-2
Rainbows & Puppies 3-2
Bookoo Barbarians 2-3
The Bounchers 2-3
DoggNutz 1-4

Schedule for Week 6:

Luke 4-1 vs. Jason 3-2 (Game of the Week)
Ben 4-1 vs. Ike 3-2
Alex 4-1 vs. Adam 1-4
John 3-2 vs. Matt 3-2
Joel 3-2 vs. Nate 2-3
Mike 2-3 vs. Jody 1-4
Nick B 1-4 vs. Nick G 1-4

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FCNPFFL: Week 4 Results (guest writer The Other Jason, Who Is Not Ike)

Week 5 Byes: Oakland, Miami. So, generally minimal impact, unless you were banking on a big week from Brian Hartline or Denarius Moore. And if that was the case, sorry?

Thursday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
*Waivers as always will run late Wednesday night.
*Let the trade winds blow

Week 4 is a time to reflect on the standings and determine who the haves and have-nots are in the real life NFL. And it's the same in fantasy too. This is where the cream starts to separate. Except, well, not so much in the Falls Church News Press Fantasy Football League. *After Week 4 play, you have 0 undefeated teams, 0 winless teams, and 10 teams at 3-1 or 2-2. For those not so math-inclined, that's +50% of the league at or above .500 (Sorry, I'm a communication major). And if nothing else, this just means the stretch run is going to be that much more exciting. But before we get to the stretch run, let's take a look back at the Week 4 that was: 

Not Ike's Myra's College Fund put together a dream Sunday bouncing back from a 45 point Week 3 with a 110 point week. Aaron Rodgers continued his 2014 roller coaster jamboree, this time trending upward, leading the way with 31 points. In addition to Rodgers, every player save for the disappointing (but "very talented young receiver"--every TV talking head) Cordarrelle Patterson beat their projections, and in the case of Frank Gore, shattered them with 26 points. Nick's Knacks, coming off a 115 point Week 3 performance, stood little chance playing two players on a bye. Heading into Monday's game needing 80 points from Tom Brady for a tie, the odds were more than stacked against the Knacks.. With Brady coming up a mere 73 points short of the 80 point effort, the win went to the College Fund.
Final Score: Myra's College Fund 110, The Knacks 37
Another blowout, as Jason's Lunatics ran it up on John's The Situation (this likely due in large part to the team's recent indictment). Despite receiving goose eggs from Jeremy Kerley and Ladarius Green, Jason ran away with the win thanks to another standout performance from the future IR-star DeMarco Murray. Add to that 19 points from Jordy Nelson and 20 from Jay Cutler and it was an easy march for Jason. John's first loss of the season falls squarely on the shoulders of his wide receivers, as Megatron and Jeremy Maclin managed just 4 points combined, with Johnson offering precisely zero of those points. Meanwhile, bench player Eddie Royal put up 19 points, proving once again that fantasy football is the absolute worst thing in the world.  *-6 from the Patriots defense!!!!!!!
Final Score: Escaped Lunatics 80, The Situation 37
The trend of non-competitive games continues! Alex's Worthless Peons were led by two Minnesota Vikings players. And as anyone would have predicted during the preseason, those players were Blair Walsh (16 points) and Teddy Bridgewater (24 points). Nick's Lollipop Kids saw a disastrous (-6) performance from the Chicago Bears DST, which really put them behind the 8-ball after the 1 p.m. games and while 26 points from Colin Kaepernick sure did help, getting just 6 from Darren Sproles certainly didn't. Monday night's Patriots/Chiefs game left some bit of intrigue with Alex sending Steven Ridley and Nick sending Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman out on their behalfs. But with Kansas City's defense stifling the Patriots' increasingly pedestrian offense, nothing changed over the course of Monday Night Football as Alex notched his 3rd win of the season.
Final Score: Worthless Peons 75, Lollipop Kids 50
What was projected to be a close match turned into a 50 point slaughtering as Lucas' Deathtongue took Adam's 'Basers to the shed. The surprise performance of the week in fantasy (save for Matt Asiata) had to be Terrance Williams scoring 17 points on Sunday night, thanks to two TD receptions. Add to that 24 Drew Brees garbage points and a great day from his backfield and Lucas is riding high at 3-1. For Adam, the great fantasy axiom "If Your Kicker Was Your Leading Scorer, Something Went Horribly Wrong" held true, as Phil Dawson's 16 points led the way. A disappointing day from Andre Johnson and Julio Jones was certainly to blame, as was the Carolina Panthers defense, as they raked in a (-8) number for the week. 
Final Score: Deathtongue 105, Biggums 'Basers 55
....And another blowout. Jody's week was in trouble by 11:00 p.m. on Thursday as Kirk Cousins went from looking like"the future" in Week 3 "to the future Brandon Weeden" in Week 4. With only Roddy White surpassing his projection total, and Matt Asiata's 26 point performance sitting on the bench, even Knile Davis against the Patriots' rush defense couldn't help Doggnutz. For Joel, there was balance all around. Despite the continued struggles of the obviously ailing Brandon Marshall, the win came easy as Antonio Brown (20), Matt Forte (15), Houston (15), and Phillip Rivers (30) all provided big days. The only question going in to Monday night's game was whether Travis Kelce could score the points necessary to give Joel the "Highest Scorer" crown. And then Jamaal Charles happened. Even a solid receiving night for Kelce was not enough to overtake Charles. Still, a solid win for Nikachu.

Final Score: Nikachu 108, Doggnutz 51

OMG A CLOSE GAME!!!! Riding the train to victory on the backs of Joe Flacco and Larry Donnell, Ben's Magic Wands just needed Stephen Gostkowski to show up healthy enough to score one point to give them the victory over Matt's Rainbows and Puppies. He got 2. If you had asked Ben how he would have felt about getting 14 points from his RB/WR group he probably would have wept softly. At least just a little. But every now and again, Joe Flacco shows up and says, "Hey, I'm a quarterback in the NFL and I can throw a football fairly well sometimes." Sunday was that time, as Flacco shredded the Panthers defense for 32 points. And every now and again, Larry Donnell catches 3 TD passes against a decimated WFT secondary. The saving grace for Matt? This wasn't a case of a bad management decision, as the bench only mustered 16 total points. This was a case of Jimmy Graham scoring 9 points. Against the Cowboys. 
Final Score: Magic Wands 78, Rainbows & Puppies 76
Saving the best for last. Mike's Bookoo Barbarians led Nathan's Bounchers by 7 points heading in to Monday's Patriots/Chiefs game. Mike brought a healthier Jamaal Charles with him. Nathan brought the Fiesta (aka Rob Gronkowski). Ground game v. Passing game. The road to Monday saw Mike getting another solid performance from Andrew Luck (34 points) as well as a 17'er from Randall Cobb. For Nathan, he too was led by his QB, as Matthew Stafford scored 32 against the Jets' horrendous secondary. Even another startlingly bad week from LeSean McCoy couldn't keep Nathan down, as Lamar Miller picked up the slack, finding the endzone twice en route to 16 points. But it all came down to Monday...And it was over before it really started. The Chiefs found every possible way to give Charles the ball, short him kicking field goals, and he answered every call to the tune of 3 TDs. Meanwhile Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots offense did next-to-nothing until it was much too late, leaving the FCNPFFL without anything terribly compelling in Week 4. I blame the guest writer...
Final Score: Bookoo Barbarians 113, The Bounchers 86
*Standings through Week 4:
Back Wall Division
The Situation 3-1
The Worthless Peons 3-1
Escaped Lunatics 2-2
Myra's College Fund 2-2
Lollipop Kids 1-3
Biggums' Basers 1-3
The Knacks 1-3
Critter Corner Division
The Magic Wands 3-1
Deathtongue 3-1
Nikachu 2-2
Bookoo Barbarians 2-2
Rainbows & Puppies 2-2
The Bounchers 2-2
DoggNutz 1-3
*Schedule for Week 5:
John 3-1 vs Ike/Jason Jr 2-2 (Game of the Week)
Alex 3-1 vs Nick B 1-3
Ben 3-1 vs Adam 1-3
Luke 3-1 vs Nate 2-2
Jason 2-2 vs Mike 2-2
Joel 2-2 vs Nick G 1-3
Matt 2-2 vs Jody 1-3
*Indicates added/edited by the Commish

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Just One Game

The sports world is full of cliches including, but not limited to 'It's just one game.' Never more is this true than in the game of baseball where a season of 162 games is played over a six month stretch. So many times a team comes out flat whether it be the starting pitching, the defense or an apathetic lineup. You could even come out strong as bull and be quieted by an opposing pitcher or a batter that just can't make an out. In baseball, whatever the outcome, a good team is confident and resilient enough to turn the page and do it all over again 12-24 hours later, because after all, it's just one game.

The one game that will be played in Kansas City Tuesday night is anything but just one game for the respective franchises. Now this isn't just the Athletics fanatic in me speaking. I truly believe that the winner of this game will be the favorite over the Angels and will put their franchise in a great position to shine in October. The losing franchise will more than likely face the harsh reality of starting over in some form or another...again.

I have, obviously, followed the Athletics very closely over the last six months and, how do I put this bluntly...they have aged me greatly. Thanks to the great invention that is Twitter, I have grown to be somewhat knowledgeable about the life and times of the Kansas City Royals as well. I have a twitter 'friend', @Meouse, who has been a fan of Kansas City ever since the Athletics left town and were replaced by the Royals in 1969. Yes, for those of you too young to realize, this game burns deep for older generations of Kansas City residents. For just over a decade, the Athletics played in Kansas City and left town just in time before they became a mini dynasty with 3 consecutive World Series championships starting five years after their departure. Kansas City was awarded a new franchise and eventually got their lone championship in 1985, but they've haven't sniffed a return to glory since. The Royals will be playing their first playoff game (not postseason in my mind, because this is merely a one game play-in to the postseason) in 28 years. The drought for Oakland is nearly as long, but not nearly as dry, as the Athletics last one a World Series in 1989, but at least they have been to the postseason seven times since that with this year potentially being the eighth.

I ask you which is more painful? To tease you fan base on numerous occasions only to have the rug pulled out from under you time and time again, or to just be so woefully horrid that by mid-summer you are usually looking forward to football or hockey seasons? Yeah, it's probably been much worse to be a Royals fan from 1990 to present, because at least Oakland has provided me with some joy even though the pain in October's past has been quite agonizing.

Getting back to what I have seen between both Oakland and Kansas City this season, the Athletics win easily or lose painfully close while the Royals win close games and lose due to stupidity. In the first half of the season everything that could go right did go right for Oakland. They dominated their opponents and, sure they had a couple of close losses, some thanks to a struggling closer who was shipped out, but who could complain? Then they made some big splashes picking up some front end pitching and gave up a fan favorite in Yoenis Cespedes. Coincidentally, but not because of that, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong in the second half of the season. The close losses piled up as fast as the injuries did. The hitting stopped, the errors blossomed and the bullpen imploded. The funny thing is, nobody pointed fingers and nobody played the blame game. It was just a state of shock for the fan base. Even the experts seemed to believe this was just a small blip on the radar and that things would turn around at some point. They never did. It took until the last day of the season for the Athletics to become the final team to qualify for a 163rd game. Now everyone has the feeling like it will all be better now, because this team was constructed for October (for the first time in Billy Beane's tenure).

As for Kansas City, they came in with as high of hopes as they have had as a franchise in years and not surprisingly, struggled out of the gate sitting under .500 through the month of May. They turned it around thanks to a fabulous bullpen and sturdy starting pitching while their year long theme of free swinging, low power, hitting continued. They made very few personnel moves, but by mid-summer had taken over first place in the AL Central. Then it fell apart again as the Royals went into a mini tailspin once again. They were on the outside of the playoffs looking in as quickly as they had elevated to first place. For every step forward the young Royals took, either the hitting or the managerial decisions of Ned Yost would send them a step or two back. The fan base hates Ned Yost. Okay hate may not be the right word...how about detests or abhors? As late as game 160 I think everyone in Kansas City was still calling for Yost to be fired and replaced with someone who could make everything work (or just not make asinine decisions on a nightly basis). The Royals may not have won the division that Detroit tried to hand them, but they have given their fans at least one night of possible pure euphoria (or one more example of why he won't be around next season).

This leads me to why this game is far more important than just one game.

Let's start on the mound. Two pitchers who were brought to their respective franchises to pitch in a game exactly of this magnitude. Neither Jon Lester nor James Shields will be pitching for these teams next season. One franchise is going to lose their ace for nothing after Tuesday night. They will not be replaced by anyone of equal talent. This is a one shot deal. This cannot be overstated or forgotten. Oh and neither Yoenis Cespedes nor Wil Myers will ever come back either. Tomorrow is going to suck for someone.

How about the coaches? We all know the fate of Ned Yost if the Royals lose tomorrow, but has anyone considered that Bob Melvin could take the blame for what happened if Oakland loses? There has been no talk of Melvin being on any type of a hot seat, but you don't think what happened post-All Star break will just be forgotten because Oakland got to play one extra game after leading MLB record wise as recently as early August do you? Billy Beane won't get fired. He's already going to replace 1/3 of the roster because that's what he does, but it might just be time to find a different voice in the locker room as silly as that sounds.

How about the cities of Oakland and Kansas City. They both already feel like red-headed stepchildren compared to their more popular and more successful in-state rivals, the Giants and the Cardinals. Both San Francisco and St. Louis are in the playoffs as well (San Francisco in the NL's play in game). Those two teams have combined to win 4 of the last 8 World Series. San Francisco is helping in block Oakland from getting a new stadium. St. Louis watches all of their prospects flourish while Kansas City has seen countless top prospects flop for years. The ironic thing is the the last Oakland World Series win came against San Francisco while Kansas City won their championship against St. Louis. Neither city is ready to watch their rival walk away with another trophy and have a parade again.

So how is this going to end? Two teams built on pitching and sporadic hitting. The Royals will try and steal a base or two while the Athletics will probably have to hit a home run to win. In all of Jon Lester's starts with Oakland he has been caught by Derek Norris. This will have to change tomorrow. Derek Norris can't throw to second base right now due to his nagging injuries and he is a liability at the plate currently nonetheless. Of course Kansas City will need base runners and that could be an issue. The Athletics starting pitchers have gone five straight games without walking a batter and the Royals were dead last in team walks for the season. You can't steal first base, right? Jon Lester was 21st in all of baseball with .236 batting average against (which is 4th best of the Oakland rotation) to boot. It won't be much easier for Oakland who really hasn't hit anyone well in two months save for Chris Young. Even though Shields has been quite pedestrian versus Oakland during his career, he didn't get the nickname 'Big Game' just because it rhymed. He'll have the home crowd behind him and a final free agent contract hanging in the balance. First to score could win this thing. The Royals bullpen is their strength. The three relievers that Oakland will have to navigate through if they are behind after six innings (Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland) combined for a 1.28 ERA on the season. Game. Set. Match. Oakland's big four of relievers (Fernando Abad, Dan Otero, Luke Gregorson and Sean Doolittle) posted a respectable 2.39 ERA. Kansas City has the major advantage with the recent struggles Oakland has seen. This means it will be a low scoring, taut affair where a single managerial decision could prove to be the difference. Advantage, Oakland. Simple enough. I believe less will be more during the game. You only get 27 outs, don't waste any of them.

There won't be a winner between Oakland and Kansas City, there will be a team that advances because they made fewer mistakes than their opponent.

Final Score: Oakland 3, Kansas City 2 in 11 mind numbing, heart pounding, puke inducing innings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

FCNPFFL: Week 3 Results (guest writer Nikachu)

I am not writing this next week so be sure to include your offer to
summarize next week's games with your kicker add/drop. {Editor's note: The other Jason has agreed to fill in for Week 4, thank you.}

Week 4 bye weeks are here! Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals,
Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks

Instead of going out on top I am going to complain about the negative
kicker scoring. Why is it minus 2 points for a missed/blocked extra
point? It's only a one-point play! Minus 2 or plus 1 makes it a 3-point
swing ... I mean for an actual NFL team it is only a 1-point swing, you
either make it or don't. And what about those end-of-second-quarter
"what the hell" 59-yard field goals? That's a 7 point swing. Anyway I
don't like penalizing the kickers for missed kicks, especially on long
kicks it seems unfair. Who cares about kickers? Without these negative
points there'd be less variance. /rant {Editor's note: Missed FGs are -1 point, you get an extra -1 point if the kick is 39 yards or under...so screw you Kai Forbath}.

Thursday Thursday Thursday: New York Football Giants at Washington
Football Team

Virtually the entire league is 1-2 or 2-1. We are all just a few swirls
away from the toilet bowl. Last week's games:

Nick's Knacks served notice that they are all about the Hamiltons and
plan to go on a reign of terror through bye week season. All of Nick's
starters put up at least 10 points and even his bench scored 61. Jason's
team put up a strong outing except for Kyle Rudolph, whose value going
forward as Teddy Bridgewater's lead blocker is now in question. {Editor's note: $10 goes to Nick B after I won $10 last week and forgot to put that in}.

Final Score: Knacks 115, Escaped Lunatics 83

The Situation faced off against the 'Basers, and both teams were hurt by
subpar performances from the faltering Green Bay Packers, who put up
only 7 points against the faltering Lions. Julio Jones' explosion put
the 'Basers up early, but then John's smelladelphia combo of
Foles-to-Maclin combined for 45 points, nearly enough to put the game
away. Adam was burned badly by the Panthers D, with minus 7 points, who
actually played well ... for a half. The Situation ends the week as the
only 3-0 team in the league.

Final Score: Situation 92, Biggums' 'Basers 47

After one of the week's most inscrutable trades (seriously, Andrew Luck
for Sproles???), the reinvigorated Bookoo Barbarians rewarded GM Hume
with a victory, as Luck and the Colts D put up 54 points. Jordan
Matthews' 2 TDs from the bench probably earns him a starting spot and
now we are all in trouble. Ben's Magic Wands put up a solid performance
and he was only one lineup change from victory.

Final Score: Bookoo Barbarians 82, Magic Wands 76

On the dumb side of the Luck-for-Sproles trade, the Lollipop Kids faced
historically unlucky DoggNutz. Luck's replacement, Colin Kaepernick,
finally had a decent game, but the rest of the Kids combined for only 19
before the Bears put a hurting on the Jets Monday night. Just drop AP
now, you'll feel better. On the other side, Jody boldly started Kirk
Cousins and was rewarded with a monster day. Knile Davis put up 17, and
now Jody is going to trade him to me for Charles Clay. DoggNutz flawless

Final Score: DoggNutz 85, Lollipop Kids 59

Two of the NFL's most disappointing quarterbacks faced off as the
Worthless Peons took on Myra's College Fund. The Peons are looking
dangerous, as Marshawn Lynch's 22 points paced a solid team effort with
good bench support, overcoming Jake Locker's craptastic 12 points (5
rushing). Ike's team disappointed all around, the team meetings are
going to be tense this week. Next Sunday, Ike's rookies take the field.
One of you guys please trade Jody for one of his 3 quarterbacks.

Final Score: Worthless Peons 80, Myra's College Fund 45

Speaking of disappointing, my pathetic team Nikachu played Luke's
Deathtöngue and fell apart. Luke's team was led by Drew Brees and a TD
from Isaiah Crowell, while Antonio Gates followed up last week's 3-TD
performance by leading Luke's tight ends with 0 points. Meanwhile my
team got zero from Shayne Graham (-2 for a missed extra point! Argh) and
-1 from the Texans D, offsetting a huge night from Antonio Brown. Still
it looked OK for me going into Monday with top-two draft picks Matt
Forte and Brandon Marshall yet to play and only a dozen points to make
up to eke out a victory ... but no, Marshall's TD was called back.

Final Score: Deathtöngue 67, Nikachu 62

In the week's worst game, we should congratulate ourselves because this
is a much better worst game than last week. Rainbows & Puppies vs.
Bounchers, playing at home in breathtakingly beautiful Bounchers
Stadium. Matt Ryan started it off in one of the most ridiculous games of
the year, as the Falcons put up 35 points by midway in the second
quarter and were up something like 49-0 against the Bucs. The ease with
which the Falcons offense and defense scored held back Ryan's scoreline
but he still put up 26 points. Then Matt Stafford and the inscrutable
Lions took the field, delivering victory for Detroit but an unfortunate
8 points for Nate. LeSean McCoy managed only 2 points, as the Redskins
defense focused on stopping McCoy and Sproles and screwing up our
fantasy league, instead of noticing that Nick Foles was running the
Eagles down the field at will in a series of easy two-minute scoring
drives. Anyway, Hamme was led by Shaun Suisham with 14 points. Jimmy
Graham had an off week as the Saints' starters rested the second half
against Minnesota's practice squad. But everyone in this game scored at
least one point, orange slices for everybody!

Final Score: Rainbows & Puppies 67, Bounchers 54