Monday, November 30, 2009

MNF Live Blog: Pats vs Saints

-A rolling Randy Moss gathers no... stones? We got nothing.-

Here we go again! Sit back and crack a cold one with some fantasy football greatness: you're at a Sweet, Sweet Flacco Action! live blog! How this works - RWPilk and Cole will write in real time with the airing of the game listed above. The blog entries will work downward on this page, the most recent writing occurring at the bottom of the page. All you'll need to do is occasionally hit your REFRESH button of your internet browser to keep up with the mayhem! So kick back and enjoy!

Monday Night Football
New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints
8:30pm on ESPN

Better late than never! While Pilk was off buying beer and complaining about Drew Brees, you missed 10 points. It's already 7-3 Patriots as two odd things happened: John Carney's field goal bounced off the upright and through, and Laurence Maroney looked like a real running back. Yikes.


For those of you who don't know, my fantasy football victory is riding on tonight. Go Brees! Oh, wait, come to think of it so is Cole's. Colebag who are you watching with bated breath tonight?

I dunno...the Saints' DST? I dunno, I already clinched. I'm playing for seeding. I beat you into the playoffs, Peyton Manning! Eat it with sauce.

Whooo hooo! And Brees gets the ball back. And better yet... pretty boy Brady gets dirt in his eye! Let the first of 50 TD throws begin! Right? 50? That's reasonable.

At the end of the first quarter. Ron Jaworski's talking about the way the Saints' offensive line "gets off". I mean, there's not a pause big enough in the Western Hemisphere for this. Oop, uplifting commercial of Brees throwing to Obama. You get points for that, right Pilk?

Oh, ha ha. Oooo and Mike Bell is down. That's not good. He's running back though right? Maybe they'll throw more... Are they in the red zone yet here? Let's go!

And now the Saints go for it on fourth down! Man, I love this new league-wide chutzpah. New Orleans rewarded with a Pierre Thomas touchdown off a screen pass. 10-7 with the extra point.

Oh, yeah. And that gives the Sweet Fancy Moses a momentary lead. I'd link to Our Teams page, however, I'm lazy. It's right over there on our right sidebar. I like the jazz as we transition to commercial. Oh, to the NO-based new Disney movie, too. Is there Popeye's commercial coming up?

Oh man. Don't tempt me. We should've got Raisin' Cane's for some high-quality New Orleans chicken. I -- wait, did Gruden just say "who dat"?

Cole, you were in NO once. Enlighten us. What is WHODAT? Some kinda battle cry?

I may have been there but I certainly wasn't sober. Some kind of chant: "Who dat! Who dat! Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints!" sounds better if you're drinking heavily, the standard rule of thumb for enjoying New Orleans.

Ah, and that's another one for Brees. All the criticism for the Saints for this game is that they haven't really played anyone that talented yet. I get the feeling that after tonight is over that won't have changed. Bam.

Even the girlfriend (surprise surprise, right?) is annoyed at the broadcasters. "Stop jerking off to Tom Brady over here." Costly penalty right after the announcers say, "Oh look, no penalty flags." And now they're talking about how Randy Moss has no catches. Guess what that means.

This game is flying by... it's almost half time. Do you think Belichick yells? I wonder what the this halftime locker room will be like. Maybe it'll just be a "it is what it is" kinda deal.

Oh no. Did you see the protege Kenny Bania Josh McDaniel chew out the Broncos? Trust me. Dude yells.

Another TD for Brees. That makes it NE 10 NO 24. I'm really low on points for my Wild Card race, so let's rack it up here. I want more TDs! I'm actually a little surprised. Pats are a "second half" team, but c'mon. Somebody do something. If NO starts pulling starters, I'll be pissed.

There is way too much offense in this game for someone who uses the Saints' defense. But Pilk, trust me. There is no such thing as a sure thing with the Saints. Go look up the River City Relay.

I don't have time to look up stuff here. Wow, missed field goal for Stanley Kowalski, or whatever the hell his name is. ...And that's halftime. Tell'em how it is, Berman.

Saints 24, Patriots 10 at the half. For your continued amusement -- so you don't have to pay attention to Chris Berman -- we have a special guest. Give a warm SSFA! welcome to Den Santa Claus!


Alright boys and girls, what would you like for Christmas? The Saints defense continuing to somehow shutdown teams and score TDs? Peyton Manning and the Colts to stay as lucky as if he has a horseshoe up his...wait a minute hmmm...? Detroit Lions to win a game or Big Ben to get his yearly concussion? Those gifts came early this year! Ah well Santa is outta time and has to get back to the North Pole and tell Buddy the Elf what my favorite color is.

Well, that was... bizarre. But, we did promise special guests. Oh yes, we look forward to more Celtics post from everybody's favorite guest-blogger, DennyP! I wish I was cool enough to have punctuation at the end of my handle. Now let's go to Cole for this burning question: where's Randy Moss?

There he is: a coupla yards and an immediate drop/recovery. Please stop mentioning him - maybe he'll continue not doing things. As a Saints fan, I'm a little nervous to see how they're going to screw this up. That challenge was not a good start. They're going to need that time out.

I'm watching Maroney, he's on my opposing team tonight. Screw him. Oh, and there's a long one to Moss. I should have just waited a second. What's going on, Saints DST?

Maroney punches it in from the two (his second of the night) and the extra point makes it Saints 24, Patriots 17. I'ma need my Tums before this is all said and done. That or a coupla drinks. Maybe both.

May I suggest a Vesper? -hums Bond theme- Anyway, Saints back at with the ball. And a big throw to Colston... get in the end zone, you bum! And there it is to Dinkins. Bam. After the point, that'll make it NO 31 NE 17.

We don't even have time to make funny comments, just keep up with the points scored. It's like liveblogging a basketball game.

You're right. Let's see what the Pats will do here. God love'em, they're making first downs. And in the red zone. Whoa... was that a Michael Jackson mask in the crowd. I'm not sure. It had a nose.

Looks like the Pats are going for it on fourth down again. Guys, I will insist from now until the end of time going for it was the right call. Time out Pats, and that's not as good a call.

And back it goes to the Saints. In retrospect, a field goal may have helped a little there, Bill. Damn. I can just see the headlines tomorrow. Mark my words, there will be a photoshopped headline photo with Belichick with a dunce cap. The Globe should call me. I have several just sittin' around.

That's really more of a Herald article, honestly. Maybe "Bungling Bill", or is the Beatles reference too obscure?

Meanwhile, the challenge for the Saints is to burn some clock. Even with the sack there, the Saints are moving the ball at will both through the air and on the ground. We're just now at the end of the third quarter, and the score is 31-17 Saints.

And the ball goes back to Pats. Time is getting critical and the Pats need multiple scores to get back in this. Long throw to... Aiken? Who the hell is that? Third and 9. Awesome.

Charles Grant barely misses a sack, and the Pats are forced into a fourth and five. Surprisingly, the Pats punt, and New Orleans has the ball with 13 minutes left in regulation.

Wow all the way to the 4th quarter for a Katrina reference. BTW I've successfully blocked out these commentators tonight. I've missed every awkward quote, every gaff. In a way. I'm a little sad about it. I miss it. Another first down for the Saints. WHODAT!? It was Brees.

I don't -- that's not -- you -- sigh.

Moving on. 10:30 left, and the score is still 31-17 Saints. The commentators are bored -- they're talking about Katrina and how great the Saints' GM is. But there's still worlds of time here, guys. Don't leave yet. It is the Saints we're talking about.

What? I was comfortable with the idea that all of NO just had really bad eyesight. I ain't changin'.

Correction: it's now 38-17 Saints. The NE sideline looks a little bewildered right now. My score is looking sweeeeeeeeeeet though. Highest score of the week? I thinks so.

Halfway through the fourth now and the Pats are scrambling. Brady launches a prayer to ... no one really ... and Darren Sharper picks it off. Good times for those playing the Saints' D. Only 30 yards shy of their ninth DTD.

I need just ONE more point to get the highest score of the week. And that's a missed field goal for the NO kicker. And he looks pissed. Don't take it to heart, buddy. The team will survive.

We have a BenJarvus Green-Ellis sighting, AND a Brian Hoyer sighting. Any time the Law Firm comes in, I think Mr. Belichick is conceding one. It's punted away, and there's four minutes left for the Pats to score another 21. Pats apparently have been outscored 47-10 after halftime in their road losses. This is not a championship team, to rip off Jon Gruden.

Commentators saying Brees is STILL in. He better stay in. I need mad points, yo. And it's the two minute warning. Cole, what can the Pats do to turn this around? Keep in mind, finding a magical lamp does not count.

This year? Not much. The Pats are going to need some defensive help -- Jerod Mayo can't do it alone -- and a power running back, to make defenses back off the pass a bit.

Well, the broadcasters just referenced MC Hammer. I think that's a sure sign the game is over. Final score is Saints 38, Patriots 17 as the Saints improve to 11-0. Good night folks.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Monday: MNF Live Blog!

-Our prediction? Pain. And jambalaya.-

Yes, it's that time of year again! It's time for another installment of SSFA! Live Blogging! This week: Patriots and Saints Monday Night Football! Awesome. Join Cole and RWPilk as they blog it out whilst these two teams engage in what is sure to be one of the best MNF matchups of the year. Who knows what'll happen or who will join us! Maybe Santa! Would like that, kids? Would you like it if Santa live blogged with Cole and RWPilk? Leave out some PBR and cookies and we'll talk.

New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints
Monday, November 30th, 2009
ESPN at 8:30pm


Friday, November 27, 2009

Week 12 Preview: Turkey Hangover

-Stay down before you throw a 5th interception.-

With three Turkey Day games already in the books, a good chunk of Week 12 is almost over... but almost don't feed the bulldog. As Cole kicks back and prays none of his players get injured for the playoffs, RWPilk is waist-deep in rally city. Can he come back and clash pretend helmets with Cole in the post season? Will Cole finish out the season strong with a healthy crew? Let's go bug them now for some non-answers. They got nothing else better to do. Trust us.

Current Standing: 9-2, 1st Overall

Thanksgiving games are weird, man.

I mean, I guess all the Thursday games are weird: they throw off your schedule, they shorten the amount of time you can hit the waiver wire, you have no chance to trash talk before the games, etc. But last year I spent Thanksgiving -- a time of family and friends and being grateful for what you have -- cursing at a 40-year-old, humble, all-American success story because he started off slow in a game few rational people cared about.

It could be because I'm deeply disturbed, or it could be because fantasy football makes madmen of us all. Regardless, I was relieved to find that this year, only my kicker was playing on Thanksgiving, so I was safe in lapsing into a tryptophan-induced* coma. I even got an unexpected bonus: opposing quarterback Eli Manning proved to be less than unstoppable, picking up five points on the evening.

This weekend has a couple of interesting fantasy matchups, beyond the Saints-Pats game we'll be covering. Chief among them might be the Falcons-Bucs game, as everyone who swiped Jason Snelling off the waiver wire hopes for a second productive week before Michael Turner returns to his rightful place as the feature back in Atlanta. Turner could probably play through his high ankle sprain if he had to this week. But a weak matchup against a hapless Tampa Bay defense means he'll probably get a little more rest for the stretch run.

Sounds logical, right? All right, Snelling, I'm sending Khan to the bench for you. It's go time.

*-Wikipedia tells me that, actually, there's not that much tryptophan in turkey, and that it's all the carbohyrdates (stuffing, potatoes, beer, etc.) that makes you sleepy. Thanks, professor!

Current Standing: 5-6, 8th overall

After it was all said and done, and all the belts were loosened, I had a pretty productive Thanksgiving. Four of my players played Turkey Day, and the Packers D, WR Miles Austin, and WR Brandon Marshall put up some really good numbers. My new TE Kevin Boss, after exploding last week, finally came down to earth with a tight end score that looks like everyone else's. Ah, well.

So, onward we march to Sunday, where I really want to see some big numbers from a few people who are due. Exhibit A: Colts WR Reggie Wayne. It's my own fault really, I called him a "sure thing" a few weeks back, and he hasn't found the end zone since. Forgive me, Reggie. And score.

Exhibit B are my RBs. I can just see my '09 wrap-up analysis now: where the hell were all my running backs? They've been constantly rotating slots with no big scores. Right now PHI LeSean McCoy and SD Darren Sproles are in there. No great shakes, but c'mon, one or two dives into the end zone is all I'm askin'!

And yeah, I want a good kicker score. ARI Neil Rackers is hurt... so now I got CHI Robbie Gould in there. Playing the Vikings this week. Let's hope they can get close enough for a few field goals.

That brings us to Drew Brees. Ah, Monday Night Football. Be sure to join Cole and I for yet another hysterical episode of SSFA! Live Blogging. It's sure to be an offensive showcase for both teams... but I'm really just hoping the Saints throw it down. WHODAT!?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Now Eat Your Peas

-You can't spell "turducken" without-- uhhh... BOOM!-

From our indigestion to yours, everyone here at Sweet, Sweet Flacco Action! would like to wish all our readers a Happy Thanksgiving (Yes, all nine of you). You know, that historical day when the Redskins showed the Patriots how to grow corn or whatever, but, more importantly, how to toss the ol' pigskin around. What a joyous time it was! And then the Patriots turned into Cowboys, Steelers, and 49ers ran the Redskins and their Chiefs all out on their Colts and Broncos so that they couldn't even enjoy their Buffalo Bills anymore. What a shame... what a shame.

For your viewing pleasure, don't forget to mix in a little pigskin of your own with your mash potatoes and quality-time inspired drinking:

Packers vs Lions at 12:30pm
on FOX

Raiders vs Cowboys at 4:15pm
on CBS

Giants vs Broncos at 8:20pm


Gimme Five

-Up high! Down low! Too SLOW! ...That'll be five yards.-

Current Standing: 5-6, 8th overall

Nothing screams rompin' good fun like an official statement to the press dispelling the occurrence of a high five.

This week, the media was abuzz with an apparent high five that occured between QB Vince Young and ref Jerome Boger at the end of Titans/Texans MNF. I love stuff like this. Honestly, it looks like a coincidence, but it comes at just the right time where there's little buzzes floating around about refs favoring certain players and all that kinda nonsense/reality. Yee Haw! Eat it up, sports media outlets! I'm gonna run and grab Chris Berman a bib.

Of course, NFL suits are falling over themselves trying to deny it. Happenstance, they say. Serendipitous, yet unintentional, palm slapping. Perfectly understandable. The NFL then added, "Tweet about this, and we'll kill you."

Below is really, REALLY bad footage of it happening. Is it true? A hoax?! YOU decide!

Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. This footage looks familiar... I could swear I've seen this camera work before...

Well, and there you have. That proves it. Pure, unadulterated FACT.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 11 Recap: Long Shot City, Population: Moses

- Welcome to the party, pa -- oh, whoops, wrong McClane. -

Week 11 leads to a divergence of sorts for our authors! While Cole prepares to fortify his roster for the playoffs, RWPilk scrambles to rally his way back into contention.

Ah hell, did I give it away? Man, I suck at this. Fine, read the wrapup. And oh yeah, the Pats-Saints game will be live-blogged (liveblogged? liveblog'd?) next Monday night right here at SSFA!. And probably other places as well. But ours is way better.

Current Standing: 9-2, 1st Overall

One of these weeks I've got to get around to writing the recap titles. Be that as it may, I still get a chance to revel in the fact that I now own a four-game lead with three weeks to go, giving me the Apartment Division title and a berth in the playoffs. I'm lord of the manor, master of my domain, king of the county, etc.

It was a hard-fought battle with Jim to clinch, though; I had a one-point lead going into the Monday night game as Chris Johnson (on my squad) battled Andre Johnson (on Jim's). Years of pent-up sports-based superstition came out in full force, and I stopped moving somewhere after halftime to prevent some sort of negative feng shui from conspiring against Chris Johnson's yardage total (and don't think I've forgotten your transgression, LenDale White). By the end of the fourth quarter, I was rooting for Kris Brown's field goal attempt to sail wide (which it did), just so I could collapse in a peaceful, victorious exhaustion.

Now that's a high-quality game.

Things could have been a lot easier for me, I admit: I guessed wrong with my receivers for the 27th time, sitting Jerricho Cotchery (80+ yds, 1 TD) for Steve Breaston (no receptions). And Jason Snelling's moment in the sun (20 fantasy points) was wasted on my bench behind Khan (7 points). But these things happen.

Besides, I still want to talk about the touchdown vultures. Aside from White's two carries for two yards and six points, there's also the case of LeRon McClain in Baltimore, the Island-of-Misfit-Toys version. Sunday against Indianapolis, when the Ravens had first and goal at the one, the Ravens ran the ball three times: twice to McClain, and once to Joe Flacco, all for naught. Baltimore, of course, lost by two. Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that, in a goal-line situation, you should give your ball to your star running back three times and not some dude you're pulling out of the first row. No, wait a minute, yes I am going to say that. John Harbaugh gets my Lovie Smith Memorial "Why Do You Hate Me?" Award of the week for meritorious achievements in the field of playcalling designed to screw me over.

But I won't complain too much. Now I can just sit back and watch the rest of the season. Saints-Pats? All right.

Current Standing: 5-6, 8th overall

Sigh. You see this? This is me hitting the giant, category-5, blinking red button marked "start panicking".

I lost this week. Rather than go through and blame the people responsible (WR Miles Austin, RB Ahmed Bradshaw, God, K Neil Rackers), let's just go to straight to what needs to be done if I'm to have ANY shot of the playoffs. And, no, it ain't pretty.

1. I need win ALL my remaining three games. Oh, yes. Victories. Cut and dry. Even more important, is that, in our league, the last three games are all against our own divisions. That means my victories in these games can shoot me up the division standings. Hello, playoffs! Goodbye... bitterly weeping myself to sleep.

2. I need to score A LOT of points. I've only had a few triple digit games, and now I need a lot more. See, getting first in my division is highly unlikely, but getting out Wild Card spot is a little more manageable if I'm in second. I just need the highest point total of the other 2nd placers. So rack'em up.

And there it is. Is is possible? Yes. Likely? No. But we're gonna try. We're gonna try like Hell. Onward, Sweet Fancy Moses. Onward.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Week 11 Preview: Into the Home Stretch

-Welcome to the Sweet Fancy Moses, Mr. Boss.-

The regular guy who writes these intros got injured, so I'm filling in this week! Sweet, Sweet Flacco Action! is proud to present the Week 11 preview. Go vote in the Candy Lineup poll! Get prepared to drink heavily and laugh it up, fuzzball, as Cole and RWPilk flounder and curse their general ineptitude in the ugly arena of fantasy football.

Current Standing: 8-2, 1st Overall

It's getting to that time of year. The trading deadline has passed without incident, and Matt "Khan" Forte is still on my team. I have faith in him though. He's a disappointment, yes, and I'll probably curse Lovie Smith out for the remainder of the sesaon. But he's already one up on Ronnie Brown, and you gotta figure the Bears will be running a lot more after the debacle that was Jay Cutler against San Francisco last week.

But I don't really have faith in the Saints' defense/special teams unit. Sure, their schedule is comically easy, but this is a team that gave up over 400 yards and 23 points to the St. Louis Rams. And yeah, they've gotten eight defensive touchdowns, but that's where most of their value lies, and let's face it: defensive touchdowns are by and large luck-based. You don't want to count on constantly being that lucky. Especially when the team in question has the luck of a New Orleans-based institution.

This week The Flabby-Armed Spanking Machine has a tough matchup against The Happy Pappys, the team with the second-most points in the league. The thing to do in this situation is to look for weak matchups. You know, like Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson going up against Seattle. And the Pittsburgh DST facing Kansas City.

Huh. This could be trouble.

Current Standing: 5-5, tied for 7th overall

Ah, I love browsing my team at the end of the week and finding out someone hasn't been practicing... and that I have no back up on the bench. Nothing to wake you up for the weekend like stumbling into the waiver wire drenched with sweat and fear. Enter: Jets TE Kevin Boss, the newest member of the Sweet Fancy Moses. Until there's some word on Todd Heap-- wait, you know what? Screw it. Heap can barely score over 5 points. Boss, you're in! Suit up and report back here in 5 for some Tony Danza jokes.

And, praise the lord, BYE weeks are over and done with. I wasn't hit hard any particular week, but just rather suffered a lot of close margin defeats with my reserve guy scoring "what do I do with the ball, again?" numbers. So, this is the first week I'm marching on to the field with the team I drafted, more or less, season ending injuries and gay-bashing suspensions not withstanding. Will it make a difference? I'm hoping so in these critical last weeks.

A little irony for you: If I beat my opponent this week, I help Cole secure his playoff spot. I wish I had the record to throw the game. Oh, I'd do it. I'm in a competition on a public forum here! What else am I supposed to do? Hello? Is this thing on?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bill Belichick Is Still Smarter Than You

- Guess he does have a drinking problem. And don't call me Shirley. -

Current Standing: 8-2, 1st Overall

I know it's bad for me.

I have a family history of high blood pressure, and I should try to reduce stress whenever possible. So when you get right down to it, I shouldn't let little things like this bother me.

But there's only so much willful stupidity a guy should have to take. When I see the same talking heads who have defended Bill Belichick through thick and slightly-less-thick start calling for his head as if their brains were Etch-a-Sketches, my eye starts twitching again. Look, I know about the 24-hour news cycle, and I know that I'm part of the problem as a blogger, but let's look at the facts here.

You like numbers? Let's start with some numbers. Advanced NFL Stats calculated that, yes, actually, going for it on fourth down was the greatest way to increase the Pats' win probability. Now, you may say there are some problems with this analysis. That's okay, there's a followup that answers a lot of the common complaints.

All right, so win probability makes your head hurt. Fine. Well, how about this: to that point in the game, the Pats had gained 475 yards for an average of six yards per play. Six. And add in the fact that the Colts scored two touchdowns on 79-yard drives in a grand total of 11 plays. Time of possession on both drives? About two minutes.

This isn't about "disrespecting the defense" or any of that hindpsychology bullcrap. Your defense is tired, and so is theirs. Your offense is the strength of your team, and so is theirs. The only advantage you have -- besides the lead -- is the fact that you have the ball. Why willingly surrender that advantage, when the league average on fourth down conversions is around 60 percent? Besides, your defense still has the opportunity to stop the Colts if you fail anyway.

Having said that, there are at least two or three calls on that drive that seem questionable. Why are the Patriots burning a timeout after a kickoff, and again after the third-down incompletion? For that matter, why are the Pats throwing on third down anyway? An incompletion stops the clock, and it's right before the two-minute warning. Don't give them the extra timeout! If you run the ball on third down, you kill more time. If you're not worried about the two-minute warning, what about this: if a third-down run gives you a fourth and short, you hustle to the line and have Brady fall forward on a sneak as soon as the referee sets the ball down. It's almost impossible to defend against.

Belichick isn't going to be shell-shocked by this. He won't suddenly lose the ability to make late-game decisions, and he won't develop some sort of drinking problem. Surely. His consolation should come from the fact that, the more level-headed and thought out the reaction, the more likely it is that the reaction supports his decision.

If that's not enough, well, there's always the Jets to take it out on.

They're Talking About Practice

-Perhaps he should have been making his teammates better.-

Current Standing: 5-5, tied for 7th overall

First of all, you media types should stop referring to Allen Iverson as "A.I." I can't afford to spend more time clicking on NBA headlines hoping to hear about basketball-playing robots. I have things to do. My time is valuable.

Anyway, the non-robotic Allen Iverson just recently parted ways with the Grizzlies and the New York Knicks are already kinda considering bringing him aboard. But not really. At least not yet.

Despite my love that fateful press conference, I don't know much about Iverson. He skipped practice, I hear, and is largely unhappy on the teams he plays for. But, yet, always on a team. What's the deal? This happens to a lot of players. T.O. comes to mind. Randy Moss was one of these types until Belichick reigned him in. A-Rod was on a few teams before being on a team that requires you to be an asshole (there you go, Sawx fans). You know, these players that kinda seem poisonous to organizations, yet can't really be ignored because of their talent/hype. More so their hype. Once you're on a magazine cover, it's hard for teams that are 1-9 to leave you unemployed.

I don't mind. If there's one thing that keeps me watching sports it's personality. With a capital P. Remember Carl Everett? Where's that guy been? Playing for something called Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Screw that, let's get this guy his own radio show. Are you there, Carl? I'm listening.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 10 Recap: Cha-Ching!

-Lions and tigers and bears. Oh, my.-

And another bizarre week of NFL football blows past us. And a profitable one it was. Both Cole and RWPilk come away with wins against tough opponents. What's their secret? Snake oil? Magical beans? A golden goose? Nay! Just good, old-fashioned know-how. Let's go to them now and find out how the heck they did it!

Current Standing: 8-2, 1st Overall

It was an odd week in the annals of the NFL: Bill Belichick looked like an idiot, Maurice Jones-Drew had to apologize to his fantasy owners, an owner gave the bird to the team his team was facing, and Matt "Khan" Forte got more than 10 points for the week.

I'll talk about Belichick later in the week. For now, let's go with something easy: MJD kneeling at the one-yard line. Remember when Brian Westbrook did this a couple years ago? You know, back before all those concussions, when he still had enough brain cells to do something this smart?

The difference here is that the Jaguars were losing at the time. Down 22-21, Jones-Drew broke for the end zone with just under two minutes left on the clock. Once he broke the five, though, the Jets defenders wisely stepped aside, trying to get the ball back with the maximum amount of time for their offense. Jones-Drew denied them the satisfaction, however, going into an awkward slide so the Jags could run down the clock. David Garrard took a couple of knees, and the Jaguars hit a chip shot field goal to win.

Except that a 20-yard field goal is not a guarantee. Jaguar fans should know what I'm talking about, and Saints fans -- the non-bandwagon ones anyway -- are nodding their heads. Still, credit to the embattled Jack Del Rio for orchestrating the affair. Really, Jones-Drew's apology to his fantasy owners (including himself) after the game was just icing on the cake.

Candy Lineup Performance of the Week: It was a rough week for the Vintage Pastries, as they lost big to Gi's Cashmere Sweaters. But the VPs weren't helped by the performance of Tampa Bay's Mike Clayton, who collected a mere three yards receiving. Adding insult to injury, Minnesota's Sidney Rice went for over 200 yards, while Buffalo's Lee Evans caught two touchdowns. Both players' contributions went for naught, however.

Last week, you the reading audience correctly predicted Kurt Warner (25 points) would have more fantasy points than Joe Flacco (6). So, of the three receivers, which would you start this week? Poll's on the right; let's make it two in a row.

Current Standing: 5-5, tied for 7th overall

Well, it was a lop-sided but victorious week for the Sweet Fancy Moses. I got big numbers from the likes of WR Marshall, WR Wayne, and the cheese head DST. Alright gentlemen, take 5. You've made your mothers proud.

One thing that did fall this week, however, is my coaching rating (based on how many points you leave on your bench). Although it hasn't come up, I've been mighty proud to say my coaching rating has been pretty high this season. But, this week I left three touchdowns on my bench. That's business as usual for Cole, but not me. My bench never has that talent. Eagles WR Maclin and Rams WR Avery put up really nice numbers this week while riding the pine. It's probably a fluke, but with WR Miles Austin stinkin' up the joint this week, and RB Brian Westbrook suffering a second concussion, it's good to have options.

Alright, Sweet Fancy Moses. Four weeks to go. Don't fail me know.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Week 10 Preview: Welcome Back, Rackers!

-We kept your desk over there.-

Week 10: the final five. What more is there to say really? Cole has all but clinched his playoff spot, and RWPilk has is back against the wall, ready to crack some skulls down the final stretch and possibly secure the league's only wild card spot. Do our bitter rivals have any insight to what will happen this week? No. But, be honest, what else do you have to do? That's what I thought.

Current Standing: 7-2, 2nd Overall

The Thursday games throw everything off. Instead of catching up on my reading and doing some laundry, I spent four hours yelling at my TV and drinking heavily.

How I've missed you, Thursday night football.

What a terrible game though. Both teams played sloppy football and missed countless opportunities. And then there was Jay Cutler, with more turnovers than a North End bakery. Throw the ball that much, and I'm forced to contemplate why Lovie Smith hates my fantasy team. Oh look, 120 receiving yards for Matt Forte. If you're forced to dump the ball off that much, something's very wrong with your offense.

Now there's something very wrong with MY offense. In this self-proclaimed "year of the quarterback", I'm stuck wrestling between Donovan McNabb and David Garrard. Speaking of awkward quarterback choices, the readers suggest Kurt Warner over Joe Flacco for you, Fred. Good luck.

Current Standing: 4-5, 7th overall

That's right. Rackers is back. Neil, I'm sorry we ever let you go. We left your desk for you. And we'll find a chair for you somewhere around here.

I have a tough opponent this week and, as usual, a few problems with my line up. One is my DST match up. Packers vs Cowboys? Crap. My alternate? Bills vs Titans. Holy God, that game sucks so much light won't escape it. Yeah, there's a science quip for y'all.

And of course, injuries. I have both Westbrook and his back up, McCoy. Who will play? Will they split carries? In times like these, I've learned that the fantasy mantra is to go with with your "best" player. The seniority guy. The name. It's still a best guess if it's 55% probability, right? Game time decision pending, Westbrook it is. And go easy on the noggin, cowboy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Step Away from the C

-Your face is gonna stay like that.-

Current Standing: 4-5, 7th overall

I'll be honest, I miss watchin' the Sox a little bit. They were a pretty miserable team in '09, but there's something special about kickin' back with Cole and a beer after work and watching Terry Francona chew a lot. But ask any diehard fan, dollars to dunkin' donuts, the Sox need to clean house a bit. Well, allow me to hijack a popular Sox Nation mantra: Maybe next year.

This week, it was confirmed that both pitcher Tim Wakefield and catcher (and captain) Jason Varitek would be returning to the team in 2010. Fantastic.

There's no doubt that the Red Sox organization is a pretty sentimental one. Many-a-plan to knock down and rebuild Fenway have been rejected, and, as you can see, Theo Epstein tends to hang to on players for quite a while. But I'm starting to lose my patience a little bit with this pack-rat staffing model. Our back up catcher slot didn't keep us from the World Series. And, Wake, I like ya, but there just might be a better 5th starter out there. And V-Tek can just decide to come back himself for less money, even after the organization passes on him. What is that? That's like showing up to a party with an invitation you made for yourself. Oooh, glitter.

Still, Victor Martinez is a good sign. And I'm still hopeful about getting Jason Bay back. And I keep hearing something about some Halladay pitcher guy. So, c'mon Sox business-types, let's start focusing on getting this roster ready to rock in something other than a chair.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Miami Nice: Year Two of the Wildcat

- 1. Direct snap to running back. 2. ??? 3. Profit! -

Current Standing: 7-2, 2nd Overall

Watched the Pats-Dolphins game Sunday and was not disappointed. The Pats look solid now that Brady has his feet under him, but they have two huge challenges, playing the undefeated Colts and Saints before the end of November. But honestly, I'd rather talk about the Dolphins.

The Dolphins' offense is fun to watch and a chore to defend against, because Miami uses the Wildcat formation* on a large number of their snaps. After the formation debuted against the Patriots last September, Miami rode their new offense to an 11-5 record and their first playoff appearance since 2001. This year, despite some tough losses, Miami is fourth in the league in rushing and is a pundit favorite to surprise people in the second half of the season, taking advantage of a weak schedule in the second half.

The only problem is that the Dolphins need a passing game. After Chad Pennington was lost to injury, rookie Chad "blame it on the" Henne started taking snaps when the Wildcat was called off. And he's been respectable in his first year few starts; his 77.8 QB rating through six games is just above where Pennington's was before his injury. Analysts were excited about Henne before the season started, praising his arm and predicting success for the Dolphins' speedy receivers once they had a quarterback who could get them the ball on a deep route.**

But there is another option for coach Tony Sparano: Pat White. The former Mountaineer was selected by the Dolphins in this year's NFL draft, and as such probably could stand some more seasoning first. But when White came into the Patriots game Sunday, I paid attention. When White is in the game, the Dolphins can run their typical Wildcat option (with either White or Ronnie Brown taking the carry), or they can call more conventional passes or runs. White is familiar with this style of offense already, as it's similar to what he used to great success at West Virginia with Steve Slaton, and would have the advantage of speed over using Henne in this role.

Technically, Ted tells me, using White and Brown in the same backfield isn't really the "Wildcat" formation, it's a shotgun option. And that's fine, even if the name's not as fun. But the important thing is, replacing the aging Ricky Williams with a professional quarterback -- even one with modest throwing ability -- opens up the vertical passing game and could prevent defenses from stacking eight in the box to protect against the run. It's the type of formation that could work well for other mobile quarterbacks: Vince Young and Chris Johnson, for instance, would seem to be prime candidates for this in Tennessee. It still doesn't eliminate the problem of needing receivers who can catch, but that's another issue.

You don't care, do you. Okay, fine. Here's something shiny.

*-For those unfamiliar to the term, it involves snapping the ball to a running back as opposed to their quarterback.
**-Of course, this implies the receivers can catch the ball. I'm looking at you, Ted Ginn, Jr.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bad News, Ladies

-To the moon, Alice!-

Current Standing: 4-5, 7th overall

It's been a couple of miserable weeks for me and the Sweet Fancy Moses. A close margin loss followed by a total team shut down. It's hard to keep one's spirits up going into the final stretch. That's when I found this story. It makes me feel a little better. Tom Cable is being investigated by the NFL for abuse. Yep, not alcohol abuse or drug abuse, just straight up, old-fashioned, tell-people-you-fell-down-the-stairs abuse.

Cable is a time traveling Mutant with a cyborg arm and is actually the son of-- oh, oh. He's just the head coach of the Raiders. Oh, well so what if he roughed up a few of his guys? It's Oakland! They suck. You never saw the Coach where Craig T. Nelson water boarded that Dobber guy? C'mon. Oh, women too? Uh oh.

The Seattle times reported last week that an ex-wife and ex-girlfriend are coming forward saying that Cable abused them too. Not good. ESPN said a thousand times last night, pre-MNF, that this isn't a police matter and that the NFL is just looking into it? Why? It ain't their job to be some Scooby-Doo A-Team crack squad that goes around solving crimes under the fuzz's nose. They want to "privately" investigate it so they can smear it all over their national broadcasts? I don't know, the guy's probably a bastard, just seems a little fishy though.

Man, this story's a downer. I think I just really liked that Craig T. Nelson joke. Ah, well. Cole, cheer us up.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 9 Recap: They're All Screwing Me!


We're halfway through the NFL regular season, as Week 9 came, and saw, and conquered. But what of our valiant morons? Is Cole moving closer to a division crown and a playoff berth? Is RWPilk keeping pace with the wild card leaders? And will either of them shut up and just play the game for once? For more on that, we go to our antiheroes.

Current Standing: 6-2, tied for 1st Overall
Erwin Schrödinger was an Austrian theoretical physicist in the early 20th century. Like all theoretical physicists, he was completely insane. One day (presumably frustrated after trading away Oppenheimer in his fantasy nuclear-scientist league) he put his beloved cat Verschränkung* in a box. He told the authorities that the cat was either alive or dead, and there was no way of knowing until the box was opened**. Schrödinger was given a doctoral degree for this, but was sentenced to work in a university for his wanton cruelty.

In honor of Dr. Schrödinger, I hereby present the first ever Candy Lineup, in which we count down the five biggest performances wasted on the bench, and compare them to the starter they should have replaced.

5. David Garrard, QB, JAC (Flabby-Armed Spanking Machine)
18 pts vs. 11 pts for Donovan McNabb
Sure, last week the roles were reversed, with McNabb catching fire while Garrard struggled. But which defense would you rather face: the Chiefs or the Cowboys?

4. Jay Cutler, QB, CHI (The Cashmere Sweater)
31 pts vs. 16 pts for Peyton Manning
You're never going to sit Peyton Manning. Ever. Even on his bye week you're probably better off starting him than 20% of the NFL's starters. But Gi's in a close game, and the extra 15 points would've been nice.

3. Steve Breaston, WR, ARI (Flabby-Armed Spanking Machine)
14 pts vs. 2 pts for Calvin Johnson
Before the 1:00 games, I asked DennyP! which of these two I should start. Everyone I read online suggested Johnson was the better play, despite Breaston filling in for the injured Anquan Boldin. Now, Johnson is supposed to be a top-flight receiving option (or he was, anyway, before the season started) so I started him and immediately tweeted, "Everyone else, you should go start Breaston." So point to DennyP! on that one.

2. Greg Olson, TE, CHI (Flabby-Armed Spanking Machine)
25 pts vs. 2 pts for Fred Davis
I saw a wrapup that said, "Olsen has never had a game like this in his NFL career, and probably never will again, either." Between Olsen and Matt "Khan" Forte (he of the five carries), I'm convinced Lovie Smith hates me and is calling plays to deliberately screw me over. Whatever I did to you, Lovie, I'm sorry. I will now stick my head in the radiator.

1. Kurt Warner, QB, ARI (Off the Wagon)
40 pts vs. 3 pts for Joe Flacco
I was really excited when I saw that Warner was destroying the hapless Bears because I knew his owner was going against the Moops, second in my division. It wasn't until later I realized the mistake. Poor Fred. Last week he started Warner and collected nine points off five interceptions, as Flacco earned a modest 13 points against Denver. Now instead of scoring the most points as a team, Fred has to sweat out the Monday night game and hope Rashard Mendenhall doesn't beat him.

We feel your pain here at SSFA!. In honor of the Candy Lineup Performance of the Week, we ask you to help Fred out for next week: vote in the poll at right and tell us who you think will do better next week, Warner vs. Seattle or Flacco vs. Cleveland. I'm leaning towards Flacco myself so, if I were you, Fred, I'd run the exact opposite way of that.

*-Named after the cat's habit of playing with yarn. It's cuter in German, trust me.
**-Spoiler alert: the cat was dead.

Current Standing: 4-4, 7th overall

The phrase "sure thing" will not appear under my name again. I was able to jinx just about every "sure thing" with my Week 9 preview. Green Bay got owned Tampa Bay (one of the opponents I drafted GB for in the first place) and WR Reggie Wayne THREW an interception. What in God's name happened there? Jesus, doesn't my team have enough to worry about right now without my players racking up penalty stats from other positions? Reggie, catch the ball. Don't go all Eddie Murphy on me. No one listens to "Party all the Time."

Baltimore K Stephen Hauschka performed so poorly he has me screaming back to Neil Rackers (who totaled 11 points, a season high, in the week I dropped him). This is the position I'm in, people. I'm chasing kickers here.

There are five games left in our fantasy season. Five. I have to win, who are we kidding, all of them if I want a shot at play offs. Makin' a fool of me... by God, you people better get this together! Or a whole night of listening to Eddie Murphy records. The "music" ones!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Week 9 Preview: Please, Dear Lord...

-RWPilk's one sure thing... and we just jinxed him. Dammit!-

And here comes Week 9. Look at her, with her android phone and her miniature dog. Just so smug. That's a handicap spot, you vapid fashionista! Oh, but don't worry. She'll get her comeuppance. Cole and RWPilk are on the scene, ready to deal out some cold, fantasy football style justice. This late in the season, all managers are waiting for some risky dice-rolls to land in the end zone, our humble(ish) authors among them. So, look out your highness! Week 9 very well be theirs.

Current Standing: 6-2, tied for 1st Overall

Let's talk tight ends.


I mean, I could talk about Matt Forte -- again -- but really, I've just accepted my fate. The league's trading deadline is the 17th, and if every half-assed fantasy guru keeps talking about selling high after Forte's one good game, no one will be crazy enough to take a chance on him. It's tempting to package him with the Saints' defense, because there's no way they're scoring a defensive touchdown every week right? Well look at their schedule down the stretch. The Rams. The Bucs -- twice. The Panthers -- twice. The Redskins. Oy. I think I'd like to hang on to the defense going against that juggernaut, possibility of late-season collapse notwithstanding.

But anyway, tight ends. It's a thin position to begin with, and finicky outside the top scoring options: is Greg Olsen going to get 10 points or 2 this week? (Answer: two if you're starting him, 10 otherwise.) And then, in consecutive weeks, Chris Cooley (a preaseason top-six pick at the position) and Owen Daniels (tops at the position in a standard scoring league) were lost to injury. Now, if you're like me in my other league, you have two talented tight ends, like Jason Witten and Antonio Gates (thank you auction auto-draft), this is a good excuse to pick up some talent for the stretch. If you're not like me, and you have a surprising tight end (maybe like Vernon Davis or Visanthe Shiancoe), it might be worth it anyway to try to upgrade another position, even if you end up punting the TE position.

Holy shit, real fantasy advice! Who knew.

Current Standing: 4-4, 7th overall

Week 9 is mine? This is news to me.

Save my bitter loss from last week, no doubt the Sweet Fancy Moses have been more competitive as of late. But it's come at a price. My team is banged up and I've basically pitched a tent on the waiver wire. There's only been a few sure things in my line up. Brees is out of his funk. The Packers D remains a solid bet. And I'm currently carving a solid ivory WR Reggie Wayne bust for my room. You know, to watch over me.

Everyone else, everyone, has proven to be a gamble. I just had to dump K Neil Rackers this week. Why? Because even my kicker slot, the fantasy football equivalent to the points you get for filling in your name on the SATs, was bleeding points. God, and I loved that guy's name. "Rackers". Dammit.

There ain't much else to do though. This, apparently, is how you do this. You play Marshall. You play Westbrook. And, by god, you play Todd Heap and die a little inside. So, see you Sunday. I'll be the guy with the white knuckle clasp on the rabbit's foot.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holy Hand/Eye Coordination, Bruce!

Current Standing: 4-4, 7th overall

Let's jump on this weird sports video headline before it fades in to the distance like so many spent cans of clean, crisp Simpler Times ale. The Kings and the Spurs were playing the other night-- wait a second. Can I pause for a second and address that NBA sports teams names are the worst in American sports? The Spurs? The Nuggets? The Utah Jazz? Is jazz really the first thing you think of when Utah comes to mind? I think my favorite is the Toronto Raptors. Bam! The Raptors! From Toronto. Founded right after the popularity of Jurassic Park, the Toronto Raptors sounds like a 90s artifact. How about the Tennessee Pogs? Are they a team? How about the Bangor Trapper Keepers? I'd like to play them.

Anyway, I digress. The video speaks for itself. Some crazy bat interrupted the game the other night, and Manu Ginobili swatted it out of the air in one shot. Nice job, Ginobili. Didn't you notice the little bat-camera on its back?! Now how will Batman know if the Joker was in attendance or not?! Selfish, selfish bastard.

Like clockwork, the USA's very own terrorist organization reared its self-important, veggie burger-shaped head. What up, PETA?

Bats always try to avoid contact with humans, and there are plenty of easy ways to keep bats out of a basketball arena (or your home). We hope that the next time someone’s life is on the line, Manu Ginobili will take just a few seconds to think before he acts.

Oh, what was that PETA? Sorry, I wasn't paying attention. I was just about to bite into this chicken, veal, bacon burger. With a side of unicorn fries. Yeah, and I'm sprinkling this guy everything. Mmm, mmm good. When I'm done, I'll be sure to address your public statement where you refer to a bat as "somone". In the meantime, pass the salt.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week 8 Recap: It Still Stings

-Sweet, Sweet Flacco/Heap Action? Not likely, sucker.-

Just as the winds appeared to shift in Week 7 towards an RWPilk comeback, they're already shifting back in the opposite direction with a definitive Cole victory. Damn you, finicky winds! With your flippin' and your floppin'! Anyway, let's go to the authors now to see just what in the hell happened this week. Parental guidance suggested.

Current Standing: 6-2, tied for 1st Overall

Since I'm delusional to write this thing, let's go all-out delusional here. Let's attribute my team's bullish performance to Gi's trash-talking marathon Friday. Let's say her post provided fake bulletin board material, giving my team the edge it needed to record its second-highest point total to date en route to an 18-point victory.

Sure. Or, we could give the metaphorical game ball to my ever-faithful stable of running backs. To Ray Rice! May you continue to put up points despite a grueling schedule. To Chris Johnson! May you always display getting-away-from-the-cops speed. And to Matt Forte! May you play the Browns every week.

And let's not forget the Saints' DST, with a stellar 17 points this week and their sixth defensive touchdown. Where would I be without my favorite waiver-wire pickup? Probably not 6-2, I can tell you that much. It's worth pointing out that they have more touchdowns off interceptions than the Browns, Lions, and Raiders have passing touchdowns. (Source) Oh, hello, Calvin Johnson. Yeah, I'll deal with you later.

The only sour note was my acquisition and subsequent starting of David Garrard over Donovan McNabb. The Jaguars were supposed to have an easy matchup against the Titans, the Eagles were supposed to have a tough matchup against the Giants, yadda yadda yadda, I left 23 points on the bench.

So I still have a three-game lead, now with six games to play, meaning the unfortunate-but-still-comical epic collapse should be juuust around the corner. Next up is Queen of the Castle, fresh off a tight victory over Pilk. Fun fact: Queen of the Castle's entire bench was devoted to bye-week players last week. Weird.

Current Standing: 4-4, 7th overall

There seems to be a pattern going on in our league. There's always one miserable match where both teams do pretty terrible, and one just happens to win by being a little less terrible that week. Last week, Cole was in that game and lost. This week was my turn, and, oh, what a turn it was. This one really hurts people. This one was my bad.

After a waiver wire buffet last week, I also executed my first trade with Cole. He wanted QB Garrard (that he immediately put in for McNabb, say whaaa?!) and he offered me RB "I'm built of Legos" Westbrook's back up, McCoy. To be honest, I totally forgot about the trade and when I was alerted it was approved Sunday morning, I blew it off. I just had fixed my RB situation via said waiver wire... What's McCoy gonna do?

My waiver wire restructuring was a total bust. TE Todd Heap, some mook I'm now stuck with the rest of the year, scored one point. And, by golly, RB Darren Sproles, the guy I picked up before trading with Cole matched that score. McCoy, on my bench? Fifteen points. My loss deficit this week: 6 points.

Of course, it's easy to look at my trade gaff as the smoking gun here, but honestly, the rest of my time wasn't helping. Packers DST got destroyed, Brandon Marshall was off playing solitaire somewhere, and even Neil Rackers scored under 5 points. Ho-leeeee Christmas, you know it's a bad week when after the dust clears, even your kicker has a blue note.

I'm off to cry into some beers now.