Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nine Head Coaches Who Ruined Your Fantasy Season (Part II)

- Imagine how we feel. -

Current Standing: 11-4, totally not bitter

On to round two of those real-life head coaches that gave ulcers to fake head coaches worldwide. Part One, for those who missed it, showed up yesterday.

4. Jim Caldwell (Indianapolis Colts)
There's only one real offense here (I'm not counting ruining the Donald Brown sleeper pick), and that's sitting the starters during everybody's finals. It's definitely brutal enough to warrant inclusion though: think of the number of people you screwed over by shutting down Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and Joseph Addai with 20 minutes left. Imagine counting on Manning with money on the line: "Okay, doing all right, just need one decent touchdown and I'll be golden, still a lot of time left in the third quarter, I'll just-- wha-- but-- who-- Curtis F$^@*ing Painter?!? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?!" Not cool, bro, not cool.

3. Gary Kubiak (Houston Texans)
They used to call baseball manager Sparky Anderson "Captain Hook" because of his habit of removing relievers with extreme prejudice. Given the overreaction of ol' Koobface to his running backs' fumbleitis pandemic, he may very well have inherited that nickname. We can also come to three bonus conclusions: (1) anyone who drafted Steve Slaton got screwed over down the stretch; (2) anyone who picked up and used Arian Foster for week 15 probably lost their matchup, only to see him score 15 points the next week after they were eliminated; and (3) the Houston Texans will have a new running backs coach next year. Who will make not fumbling a top priority.

2. Lovie Smith (Chicago Bears)
As a rule, we try to avoid profanity on this blog, but holy shit, Lovie Fucking Smith. I mean, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. What the hell was that shit? Letting Jay Cutler create more turnovers than a friggin' bakery is one thing. You don't have a backup quarterback; I get that. But you had safety valves: how many times was Greg Olsen -- a preseason top-six tight end -- involved in your game plan? Why must you always aim for your terrible receivers? Also, you had a running back. A real running back. A running back who went for 1,200 yards in his rookie season. But oh no, all he did this year was run into the back of your crappy line 10 times a game, and never touched the ball again.

Normally, with bad picks, you can say things like, "Instead of Dwayne Bowe, I could've had Brandon Marshall or DeSean Jackson" or whatever. Here's a list of running backs you could've had instead of Matt Forte, considering when you drafted him:
- Like all of them.
- Literally anyone else in the National Football League
- Because everyone drafted him in the top five.
- Okay, so Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, and maybe Michael Turner were already off the board.

And I haven't even started on his terrible defense, which was a preseason sleeper because, allegedly, Smith is a defensive mastermind. Allegedly. Please don't blame their underwhelming performance on injuries, because the way this defense transformed into Mort Goldman ("oh God don't hurt me!") makes it look like Brian Urlacher was the Incredible Hulk in pads and cleats.

1. John Fox (Carolina Panthers)
Honestly, when I sat down to write this, I assumed Lovie Smith was going to take this, far and away. I didn't even really think there'd be competition.

But then I remembered the Carolina Panthers.

Let's start with Jake Delhomme. That guy sucked this year. I guess between him and Kerry Collins, we learned that, hey, there's a reason some of these guys are journeymen. What we also learned was that, if you started any defensive back going up against the Panthers, they would probably end up with more "receptions" and touchdowns than Steve Smith, a premier receiver before the season.

This is only amplified by the performance of some dude named Matt Moore. Now, no offense, but it's not like Johnny Unitas rose from the grave to lead the Panthers to a magical stretch run as super spoilers. Matt Moore is the definition of replacement-level, and for all I know, he was picked out of the stands at halftime Eddie-style. But Moore came in and led the team to back-to-back pastings of the Vikings and Giants, teams that had at one point this season been considered among the class of the NFC.

But that's not the worst of it. Before the season, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were a huge one-two running back punch, up there with Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams and (to a lesser extent) Chris Johnson/LenDale White as the rare split in which both backs deserved drafting. But Fox's playcalling meant Williams, a first-rounder, languished early as Delhomme threw pick after pick. Stewart, at least, lived up to expectations thanks to a monster December. But the split meant Williams lost 10 touchdowns to Stewart, just as Williams owners feared.

Add in the defensive struggles that by now are par for the course for this list, and John Fox screwed over people who drafted his star running back and wide receiver, the handful of poor bastards who started Delhomme, and anyone who had faith in his defense. Congratulations, Mr. Fox. Take your trophy of "Biggest Screw-Job of Fantasy Owners", and display it with pride as you listen to irate football fans throughout the greater Charlotte area call for your head.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nine Head Coaches Who Ruined Your Fantasy Season (Part I)

- It's just not Eric Mangini's day. -

Current Standing: 11-4, 108 points in week 16

With the close of week 16, it's time for that time-honored tradition among unsuccessful fantasy football owners: the airing of grievances, in which blame is assigned to everybody but themselves for their crappy fantasy teams. Since I fall in that category, here's a list of the worst real coaches for fantasy purposes.

(This post went longer than I originally anticipated, so I'm saving the last four for tomorrow.)

9. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots)
No, I'm not listing him for that whole fourth-down thing against the Colts, and I'm not going to criticize his defense's performance, since I told you the Patriots' defense was going to be weak this year. I am, however, going to include him based on his egregious sin of the "running back by committee". True, injuries limited the damage this did, and the Pats don't run the ball especially well anyway. But I'm 25 points up in my two-week finals because Dave started Laurence Maroney (0 points) as opposed to Sammy Morris (15 points).

8. Josh McDaniels (Denver Broncos)
Pilk wants me to include him for his little pissing match with Brandon Marshall at the beginning of the season, and that's fair, since it cost Marshall some playing time and left fantasy owners scrambling a little. But it also meant Marshall became an absolute steal once he found the field, so really, his megalomanaical power play turned into a solid sleeper pick, as well as helping team discipline.

7. Eric Mangini (Cleveland Browns)
If you were relying on any members of the Cleveland Browns to take you to the fantasy football promised land, well, then I'm sorry for you. But when you consider the stellar performances of Jerome Harrison and Josh Cribbs over the second half of the season, it's a little infuriating to think that Mangini kept trotting out Jamal Lewis week after wasted week. I'd complain about the whole nuclear-launch-code-style secrecy surrounding the choice between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, but if those were your starting quarterback options, you'd wait as long as possible to make your decision public too. Poor dude was probably hoping for a cyanide pill.

6. Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans)
Fisher at least made strides over last year, making sure touchdown vulture extraordinaire LenDale White saw more than his fair share of pine. But to stubbornly insist on playing your 40-year-old career journeyman quarterback despite starting the season 0-5, and despite being down 45-0 at halftime, and despite having the third-overall pick in the 2006 draft holding a clipboard... The Titans haven't looked like quite the world-beaters they were last year, but they looked a lot closer once Vince Young started taking the field. Frankly, the only thing saving Fisher's skin in real life is his 13 years with the team, and his hypnotically sweet moustache.

5. Dick Jauron (formerly Buffalo Bills)
The guy lost his job, so maybe that's enough, but if Fisher gets mentioned for sticking with Collins too long, I have to complain about Jauron: "Oh, look at that, Marshawn Lynch is back from his suspension. And just in time too! It's not like Fred Jackson was tearing up the lea... he was? Oh. Well, we can't have that." Factor in the early success of Ryan Fitzpatrick and you wonder just what exactly he was using to assign playing time.

Wow, You're Terrible

-I'm sorry, that's incorrect.-

Current Standing: 9-7, destroyed in the finals

Just when I thought the blog was winding down, Cole goes and writes a bunch a posts. Oh, we're doing things now? Well, Jesus, let me get on a bathrobe, at least. Christ. Banging on doors at eleven o'clock in the morning... what are we, Amish? Whatever, here we go.

As you can see above, although I made the Seinfeld League superbowl... well, let's save that for later. Cole and I will whip up some kind of analysis of our experimental season later. But for now, let's make fun of someone. Oh hello, Oakland Raiders.

When I'm on MSNBC and have had enough reading about pig diseases and balloon children, I usually stop by PFT for a laugh or two. Yesterday, they reported that Oakland coach Tom Cable took some time away from his busy schedule of punching things to blame his QB, JaMarcus Russel, for all of Oakland's woes. And god knows, there's a lot of them.

"It's a quarterback-driven league," says Cable, "Without even asking that question (would you have done better with an average QB), you know we would have." (burn.)

Seems a little unfair to me. Still, what is it like to suck so much the Oakland Raiders diss you? Goddamn. That's like being told you'll also need a second pair of training wheels on your front bike tire. Yeah, it's not what all the kids have to do. My mom told me that. She lied.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This Whole Post Bothers Me

- "Coach, your daughter's five. You could've at least stopped blocking her shots." -

Current Standing: 11-4, Embarrassed in the First Round

The Sunday afternoon tilt between the New York Jets and the undefeated Indianapolis Colts was broadcast throughout much of the country on CBS. So if you're like me and tried to get escape the familial obligations with a little pigskin, then some big drunk uncle took the remote while you were getting more egg biscuits and started watching Jeff Dunham. Pain in the ass.

But I'm going to assume that you were more viligant than I, and that you saw head coach Jim Caldwell channel his inner Jim Mora and pull his starters in the third quarter against a Jets team fighting for its playoff life. The Colts, leading 15-10 at the time, allowed 19 unanswered points and lost 29-15.

Now, there's two ways to look at this. The gut reaction of the sports blogger is to criticize, so let's touch on that first: by sitting his starters, Caldwell does a disservice to the history of the NFL by not continuing to strive for perfection. And let's not forget the fans who paid in body parts for seats at Lucas Oil Stadium to see the Colts' B-squad. No wonder they were mad. If this were Philly, we'd be talking about the poor decision of the late Jim Caldwell.

Of course, the counterargument is that by resting his starters, Caldwell prevented a horrific, season-ending injury to Peyton Manning that would have resulted in more time spent filming commercials. So really, we should be thanking him for that. Plus we don't have to listen to Mercury Morris talk about the damn kids in his neighborhood again.

But that's all pretty hackneyed, and if we're going to recycle jokes, we might as well go whole hog:

Aah. Look at that sweet Zapruder-style footage.

Honestly, this whole post may have been an excuse to link to that video again. But let me leave with this: the running joke on Jim Caldwell was that no one knew that he was actually coaching (or, for that matter, awake) during Colts games.

Well, they know he's awake now.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays from SSFA!

-Ready... set-- goddamn it.-

From everyone here at SSFA! Happy Holidays and a Happy 2010. Thanks for reading and sticking with us this season. While RWPilk and Cole are still deciding what to do now that their epic rivalry is resolved. But you can at least look forward to fantasy football '09 analysis and a few chuckles coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy the holiday weekend match-ups, our new poll and wish RWPilk as he plays in the Seinfeld League final. We'll catch up with you after the eggnog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fantasy Football '09 Wrap Up: Live!

-No pressure, big guy.-

Uh... so, yeah. Our authors Cole and RWPilk gotta little tied up yesterday and didn't keep up with any of the live blogging. I mean they were literally tied up. Yeah, Albanian rebels seized their apartment and drank all their beer right in front of them. Good God, the humanity. But they're back now and ready to enjoy some MNF and discuss the epic match up that was this weekend (and perhaps this oh, so illustrious fantasy season as a whole). So get the refresh button ready... 'cause it be on!

Monday Night Football
Giants vs Redskins
8:30pm on ESPN

Current Standing: 8-6, 4th overall
Current Score: 93

Alright, let's kick this mofo off. Apologies for the abandoned live blog yesterday for those who joined us for awesomeness. But we'll try and bring the awesomeness here tonight, it hasn't expired yet. We smelled it to make sure. Our fantasy teams were busy, however, doing what they do best: scoring points and inspiring heavy drinking. But more on that later.

And that was kick off, Giants with the ball. Fantasy players aside (Ganther and Boss for me tonight) I think I'm rooting for the Giants tonight. They're so scrappy. You just wanna eat'em up! And that's Bradshaw already with a TD. He'll enjoy it on my bench.

Current Standing: 11-3, 1st Overall

Current Score: 59

ell, you really did it to me this time, Pilki -- ait, the Giants are scrappy? They're from Ne York. No one from Ne York has ever been the "little guy". No ay.

But my life is miserable tonight. My fantasy team embarrassed itself out there all around. Every crappy bust I had all year let me down, but so did every clever pickup I made this eek. No my thumbs are broken, I'm eating soup and toast because I have no money for food, and I broke my "vv" key, so you on't see any of those all night.

Oh good, now it's time for Tom Coughlin and Jim Zorn to star in "The Men ho Stare Blankly at the Field." Aesome.

Cole's had a tough week, the prophetic missing "w" from his keyboard. Yes. No "w" for Cole this week, barring some kind of TE Fred Davis miracle game. Bradshaw is kicking ass tonight. Perhaps RB Ganther was a bad replacement move... Oh man, that's another touchdown for him. Between him and TE Todd Heap, my coaching rating is going straight into the toilet.

Coach rating. hat a pain in the ass. All that means is you have no options on your bench that are in the vicinity of being orthhile. You ant a useful measure, look at points. For instance, Mark ill be joining you in the finals despite being ... 10th in the league?! hat the hell is that shit? hatever.

Regardless, I don't kno hat I'm going to do next eek no. atch the games normally? Then I'll end up critiquing things like the fact that the Redskins are earing red pants and red jerseys. Yamahama.

It's Giants 17, Redskins nothing with just over 6 minutes left in the 2Q. This a really quick game. So let's get to the nitty gritty: Cole, my man, what the hell happened this week? I was shaking in my boots all week. 11-3! No one close to that record. Now you need TE Davis to score like 40 points to have a prayer against the Moses. Give us the breakdown.

Oh it's broken. Look, here's the deal: my running backs had orse eeks than your receivers. Like infinitely orse. Chris Johnson scored 13 and Ray Rice had nine, but hen Reggie ayne and Miles Austin both drop 19 on me, it's a big hole to climb back from.

I got eight points from both of my receivers combined, and a nice -1 from Arian Foster, thanks to a fumble on the first drive and subsequent burial on the bench by Gary "Captain Hook" Kubiak. But I'd like to give a big middle-finger to the asshole ho said, "Hopefully u weren't burned by the #Texans backfield. Yes, Foster was a hot pickup, but that didn't make him a must-play!!!" Maybe not, but the fact that everyone and their mother told me to start him, that made him a must-play.

One more thing I've learned here this season: if you have a defense that you picked up off aivers, and they're ranked #1 based solely on their ability to score defensive touchdons, you should trade them for a real defense before they crap the bed against decent offenses. But that's another story for another day.

I've been between 1st and 3rd all season with my receiving. Austin, Marshall, Wayne. Can't complain there (although I'm sure I did a bunch of times). To be honest, I thought I was finished after Saturday night's special presentation of Thursday night football when Brees walked away from the game with 1 TD, 1 pick, 2 fumble, and 11 points. With the New Orleans defeat, I thought Cole had sealed the deal. I didn't really relax until RB McCoy found the end zone Sunday evening. I really thought you had it.

The Redskins just bombed it down the field. Positive yards for these guys. Finally. And a drop in the end zone by Fred Davis. Yikes.

Until McCoy? You ere up 30 from the end of the Saturday night game on. This as a orse game than the Redskins-Giants debacle e're currently atching. hat is that deal ith that special teams debacle by the Redskins at the end of the half. Oy.

Halftime: Giants 24, Redskins 0. I think Jim Zorn has left. He's bored. Like us. How many competitive games have we live blogged? One? We're a total live blog jinx.

I'd like to give a shout out to the four votes that came in to our poll today voting for me after yesterday's score was posted. I admire your courage. Thomas Jefferson, Susan B. Anthony, residents of the new Iraq... you share their spirit. Shine on.

Hey, I voted for you like 4 pm yesterday. Until next time, Gadget.

No, no, no, you're not going anywhere yet. Fred Davis just scored a touchdown. That puts you down by only 29! This is what we call a code red, people! Well, maybe not red. A more soothing color. A code lavender!

Yeah, pause. That's orth a pause. Oh, hello Kevin Boss.

Boss ran down an official. That should be extra points. That puts me at 99 and Cole at 67. Summer of Love, Bryan. Summer of Love.

Yeah yeah aesome. Meanhile, I spent hours and hours poring over scouting reports, carefully selecting a lineup, and I got outscored by pretty much everyone else in the league. If you're going to lose, you might go out with a bang so people say, "Man! No that guy got CANNED!" Losing on a nebulous tiebreaker ould almost be orse.

Wow... just-- wow. Jason Campbell just lobbed it to an opposing player like they were playing catch out in the ol' back yard. That makes it 38 to 6, Giants. Bryan reports that "Redskins" is a trending topic over at Twitter. It's popular like slowing down to see a bloody accident on the side of the road is popular.

Redskins punch it in but don't get the to-point conversion. This isn't even a game. This isn't even an approximation of a game. This is like, if you're playing Cranium and you have to dra a picture of "football game" with your eyes closed and your left hand, that's what this game is.

ait, as that Ganther? Oh for...can I go already?

Oh, they're throwing punches! They're fighting! Oh man. This game is awful. Even the players are like f*** it, let's rumble. And, yes, that was RB Ganther in the end zone... making me not look like a complete idiot.

Fred Davis collects a couple more yards in garbage time and I at least collected 12 points from my tight end. I don't kno hen the last time I got that many points from a tight end, but I did get 16 over my last five eeks. Lovie Smith and Greg Olsen, you too are not on my Christmas card list. You either Matt Forte.

Ah, scre it. One more time!

We've said it before, tight ends are tough. Anything four is an above average score for them. Unless you have Clark or something. Alright the commentators are talking about how tall the Manning brothers are. If they can't make this game interesting, we sure as hell aren't. Any last words, Cole?

I can't post that Khan video again, can I?



Broke Up the Post Pattern

- CBS Sports' crack team creates playoff tiebreaker scenarios. -

Current Standing: 11-3, 1st Overall
Woof. That was one of the most embarrassing performances in recent memory.

Only a couple of posts all day? Pathetic. At least we had that open-comment thing going on, which was kind of cool.

Oh yeah, and my team sucked up the place too.

Don't worry, though. We're going to recap everything tonight anyway. Copious amounts of alcohol are listed as "probable".

Join us tonight for MNF!
NY Giants vs WAS Redskins
8:30PM EST on ESPN

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sabbath Day Spectacular: Live!

-Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen. Can't we settle on a handshake?-

Join us one and all for one damn good fantasy football showdown! Our authors Cole and RWPilk are locked head-to-head in an end-all, be-all playoff battle! Who will win? Who's fantasy sports theory will have to eat the most crow? It's all come down to this! Our brave scribes will update throughout today with live updates on their score as today's NFL happenings will seal their fates forever! So, keep that refresh button ready (most recent updates at the top) and watch all the insanity unfold! It's on!

Live Score:
Cole's Flabby-Armed Spanking Machine: 59
RWPilk's Sweet Fancy Moses: 92

-total Sunday score-
I'm lucking out here with two fumbles by Cole's guys early in the 1pm game. RBs Johnson and Foster with the butter fingers... Meanwhile in the Patriots game, Bills look like they could give them a little trouble. But it at least look like Moss is paying attention this week.

Current Standing: 11-3, 1st Overall

I really expected a lot of trash talking, but mercifully both parties seem to be playing the humble defeatist card, trying to out-woe the other all weekend. It's another battle I'm prepared to lose this weekend, and as I shiver in my still-heatless room, I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. Rob has a 49-10 advantage on me with Brees, Austin and Wayne down; mercifully, that's most of his big guns, but it still means I'll have to have a very good week in order to beat him, especially given the five points I got from both the Saints' defense and kicker.

Couple of last-minute audibles: Matt Forte finds the bench -- again -- in favor of Arian Foster of Houston, while Antonio Bryant of Tampa Bay replaces the off-again, off-some-more-again Calvin Johnson who should see quadruple coverage against the Cardinals.

Oh well. At least the house Christmas party means that I've started drinking already.

Current Standing: 8-6, 4th overall

I can't tell if I'm in good shape or not. While WR Reggie Wayne and WR Miles Austin were pretty great... however Brees just barely got into double digits with 11 points. Not good. Still, there's a lot of football left. My score won't change until after 4pm EST... But here's hoping that Cole's team doesn't get too far ahead before that happens. Yikes.