Early 2012 Ranks

For no reason whatsoever, I’m doing early positional rankings for 2012. Check them out.

QB

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Tom Brady
  4. Cam Newton- Holy Rush TD Batman
  5. Michael Vick- no way he has only one rush td again next year, and assuming he plays all 16 (sigh)
  6. Matthew Stafford- should probably be higher but I doubt he repeats 2011
  7. Peyton Manning- injury and team concerns me, but if he plays all year he’ll be better than 7.
  8. Tony Romo
  9. Matt Ryan- maybe surprising here, but he finished the 2011 season as the 6th QB. With Turner’s load decreasing, he’ll continue to move up.
  10. Eli Manning
  11. Tim Tebow- under the assumption he remains the starter in Denver (or anywhere)
  12. Phillip Rivers- Should be higher, but after some of his performances in 2011 I just can’t do it.
  13. Ben Roethlisberger
  14. Andy Dalton- I think he only gets better and stays solid. Like a good Josh Freeman (see 2010).
  15. Josh Freeman- If he can find a happy spot between 2010 and 2011 he’s better than 15th.

Overall my QB rankings are fairly boring as there are no real surprises. The main takeaway is that QB will be an extremely deep position in 2012. When Rivers/Roethlisberger are the worst option in a 12 team league, that’s insane.

RB

  1. Lesean McCoy
  2. Arian Foster
  3. Ray Rice
  4. Maurice Jones-Drew
  5. Marshawn Lynch
  6. Ryan Mathews
  7. Matt Forte
  8. Darren McFadden- if you combine their performances, OAK RB was a top 5 RB.
  9. Rashard Mendenhall- Gross, but it’s about carries.
  10. Demarco Murray- probably a little high, but he will have all the opportunity to star in 2012.
  11. Michael Turner- took a strong decline in 2011, and finished top 8.
  12. Jamaal Charles- hard to rank, but he was injured in week 2 so he’ll have had time to heal, hopefully back to pre-ACL Jamaal.
  13. Chris Johnson- bust of the year, but he finished 17th. Sleeper pick if he’s there this late. (He won’t be)
  14. Steven Jackson- all about the carries, but he’s aging fast.
  15. Reggie Bush- more than proved he can be a feature back with 1300 total yards and 7 td. Concern is more work for Daniel Thomas
  16. Darren Sproles- total yards all day
  17. Fred Jackson- I am skeptical of his 2011 but if he is anywhere close, this is a steal.
  18. Frank Gore
  19. Beanie Wells
  20. LeGarrette Blount- I am betting on a rebound year for TB’s offense.
  21. Cedric Benson- unless CIN drafts someone else
  22. Michael Bush- pure speculation pick, but he is a free agent and he’ll get paid by someone (IND, CLE, DEN, etc.)
  23. Roy Helu- he seems to be the guy in WAS (as little as that means) plus I think Peyton will be his QB.
  24. Ahmad Bradshaw- I have a feeling NYG drafts a RB, but if not Bradshaw should be ranked higher
  25. Shonn Greene- boring carries.

In 2011, RB was ugly after the top 4 guys. There was way too much inconsistency and injury to be happy unless you had a top guy. Perhaps the lockout took some toll on the position, but a farther shift towards passing will change the fantasy RB landscape in the future. A feature RB will be worth even more than they have been considering there may be ten or less of them.

WR

  1. Calvin Johnson
  2. Wes Welker
  3. Larry Fitzgerald
  4. Roddy White
  5. Andre Johnson- hard to rank considering he hardly played all year. He’s still AJ though.
  6. Greg Jennings
  7. Mike Wallace
  8. Hakeem Nicks- Had him over Cruz on consistency and catches. Lower risk in my opinion.
  9. Brandon Marshall- Seemed to really connect with Matt Moore later in the season. Like him less if Moore is replaced.
  10. Steve Smith
  11. AJ Green
  12. Victor Cruz
  13. Vincent Jackson
  14. Dwayne Bowe- He is MUCH better with Cassel.
  15. Jeremy Maclin- Injury riddled season for him, could be a steal late.
  16. Percy Harvin- Ranked him too low, but he concerns me. Easy boom or bust guy.
  17. Brandon Lloyd- Sam and Brandon sitting in a tree…
  18. Jordy Nelson- I don’t think he repeats the 12 td. Maybe 6.
  19. Dez Bryant- highest Dallas receiver and he’ll go higher than this from hype.
  20. Stevie Johnson
  21. Julio Jones
  22. Marques Colston
  23. Denarius Moore- big reach here, but I think he is good. More time with Palmer can only help.
  24. Antonio Brown- came to be Ben’s go to guy late.
  25. Mike Williams, TB- rebound season

WR was the hardest position to rank because it easily had the craziest year of any position with guys like Jordy Nelson and Victor Cruz ending up top 5. So my rankings favor consistent players, for the most part. Obviously these could also change the most based on QB moves. (i.e. wherever Peyton goes)

TE

  1.  Rob Gronkowski- Duh
  2. Jimmy Graham- other duh
  3. Antonio Gates- Without the injury he would have been top 3
  4. Jason Witten- his role is diminishing but TE is gross
  5. Jermichael Finley- not a Finley fan but TE depth goes away fast.
  6. Aaron Hernandez
  7. Tony Gonzales
  8. Owen Daniels- much better with Schaub
  9. Fred Davis- if there are no negative repercussions to 2011 behaviors.
  10. Brandon Pettigrew- he gets catches. The yards will come.
  11. Dustin Keller
  12. Vernon Davis
  13. Dallas Clark- Peyton Manning assumption
  14. Jermaine Gresham
  15. Jake Ballard- because he is my boy and if Manningham goes he becomes the third option. 50+ catches and he may be a top 10 option.
  16. Kellen Winslow-catches (he was 7th in catches among TE in 2011)

TE may be the most depth-deprived position in 2012. Not different from most other years, but unless you plan on drafting a top 3-4 guy, you wait late for the Davis-Winslow group or you hope to pick up a 16 td TE in free agency.

 

2011 Review Spectacular

Week 16 of the NFL is over, and with its end comes the end of the 2011 fantasy football season. First off, a congratulations are in order for the two league champions, Team Black Guy and High Noon, and for the Owner Championship winner Bush. In this post, I will review the playoffs and announce the final owner standings, give some season awards to players and fantasy teams, and look forward to next season.

PLAYOFFS

Week 16 was the last week of the fantasy playoffs. As I have already listed each league’s winners, let’s look at all teams that placed.

In Awesome, Black Guy finished up a fine season with a strong playoff run that can be summarized by the word RodGronkMegaCruz. In the finals, he handily defeated an All Day team that was finished when Romo left the game after two pass attempts. I predicted this matchup, and this result, in my playoffs preview for Awesome. In a not-so-surprising way, Dirty Birds ended the playoffs as the third place team (highest scoring team not in the finals). Dirty Birds led the league in scoring and had an early playoff exit thanks to a big week from I Kill. Third for Birds only further cemented Bush’s impressive season.

There is a bit less to say about the finals matchup in The League. High Noon entered the playoffs as a four seed and, thanks to a fluky record-breaking touchdown from some guy named Brees, pulled the 0.5 point win over Brodown Showdown. My first inclination was to be angry at Bush for not setting Brodown’s lineup (which would have got him the win) then I realized he had the privilege of facing himself and realized it was not even necessary -_-. In an surprising turn of events, White Power led The League in non-finals team scoring over the four week playoffs to get third place.

Owner Standings

Here’s a look at the final standings for the Owner Championship Belt:

  1. Bush 8686- Not much to say about this season for Bush. His teams were dominant throughout and he even got a chance to beat himself in one league championship. There were a few weeks mid-season where Jacob and Corey pulled close but he ran away with it in the finals. I think there would be no debate that Bush deserves this title after this season.
  2. Wilrd 7812- Easily the biggest mover throughout the season, Wilrd jumped from six to two and everywhere in between through the season. Thanks to owning two of the best players in fantasy this year in Rod and Gronk, his scoring stayed average but he led a strong win streak after week 7 to finish the regular season in third place. Black Guy helped him out by winning the Awesome championship to move him to second place. Wilrd was certainly the “Tebow” of this season as some questionable (or ridiculously silly) starts led to some wins but there is no discounting the last 6 weeks for Wilrd as his teams were all steady and led to a solid second place finish.
  3. Jacob 7393- Although the Stubborn Mister Roto led owners in scoring heading in the playoffs, playoff impotence led to shooting blanks and a third place finish. All jokes aside, injuries and some playoff no-shows led to nothing doing in the playoffs and a win from Wilrd led to the drop to third place. Third place was certainly nothing to scoff at this season when all you could do was hope to come in second behind Bush.
  4. Corey 7364- There is something to be said about consistency and Corey is the best at it. His teams stayed solid all season long and, moreso than any other owner, Corey sticks to his players. Although he was unable to pull out a great playoff run, All Day was solid and finished in second place in Awesome to keep Corey in a very close 4th place in the owner standings.
  5. Colton 6311.7- With an impressively unlucky points against and terrible record, there was not much going on here. This dashing, intelligent, and good looking owner can’t be great every season and this was certainly a low. With two high-seeded playoff teams, he came out with nothing to show for it and hence you have the large gap from 4th to 5th place. Many things can be said about a mediocre to bad season but most importantly screw Lesean McCoy.
  6. JJ 6103- With a little more desire to win and perhaps a freaking alarm clock, JJ could have fared much better this season. Although he had some injury issues, none of his teams were helpless. Having Cam in both leagues should have led to a better than sixth place finish. Maybe next year JJ will learn to be active and make roster moves/set lineups… Right?….. Right??

2011 Awesome Fantasy Football Awards

2011 had its ups and downs for many players but we are here to celebrate those who excel, those who were the best (and worst) this season.

Best Kicker: Screw the Kicker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYvkgJYWCus

Best D/ST: 49ers. They are the obvious pick, but there is something nice about being able to consistently rely on your DST to score 10-15 points every week. Honorable Mention: Lions.

Best TE: Rob MF’n Gronkowski… Enough said.

Best WR: Victor Cruz. I know you say Megatron and that’s fine, but Cruz was undrafted in basically all leagues, finished third among WR, and from weeks 3-14 was the best fantasy WR. Honorable Mention: Jordy Nelson.

Best RB: Lesean McCoy. I do not like him, but there’s zero debate here. With 20 td and better consistency than any other RB, McCoy finished as the number one RB. Honorable Mention: Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch

Best QB: Aaron Rodgers. With one game less than 21 points, no one else did more for their fantasy owners in 2011 than A-Rod. Honorable Mention: Cam Newton. Undrafted. 14 effing rushing td.

Bust of 2011: Chris Johnson. Although he wasn’t terrible ALL season, he was most of it. To have been the second most expensive auction player, and a top 3 pick, there was no bigger bust this season. Dishonorable mention: Rashard Mendenhall. A preaseason top 8 RB who barely made the top 20. Yuck.

Fantasy Rookie of the Year: Cam Newton, duh.

Mr. Comeback: Darren Sproles. In SD, Sproles was not very fantasy relevant. In NO in 2011, Sproles finished as the 12th best RB.

2011 Fantasy MVP: There are plenty of great choices here. From a surprising rookie QB to undrafted WR to a RB with 20 TD to a WR who was on pace to break Moss’ TD record to a QB who threw for 5,000 yards, but in my opinion there was no one who separated from their position and made teams win than my fantasy MVP. Rob freaking Gronkowski. In a bad season for the TE postion, Gronk finished 92 points ahead of the third best TE. With 1200 yards and 16 total TD, Gronk had by far the best TE season of all time. An undrafted (in our leagues) TE who played like a top 20 overall player. Quite valuable.

 

Best Fantasy Team: Dirty Birds. Thanks to owning Brees and McCoy, Birds led all fantasy teams in points per game this season and even through some injuries held that spot almost all season. Honorable Mention: Black Guy. Factoring the playoffs, Black Guy led all teams in scoring.. and had RodGronk.

Worst Fantasy Team (Award Disclaimer: Only non-JJ teams) : Team Loser. Thanks to a trade gone south (I ❤ Arian), Loser struggled all season to pull anything out even though it had some nice times with Helu, Reggie, and Wes Welker. If JJ sets lineups all year, Loser finishes lowest in scoring and has top pick next year. Honorable Mentions (disqualified): Crackers and White Power

Best Pickups of the Year

Awesome: Ryan Grant. This may be a confusing pick, but Black Guy picked up and started Grant over Ced Benson in round 1 of the playoffs and won thanks to a long Grant TD. As crazy as this pick was, it changed who would win the championship.

The League: Rob Gronkowski. Darn my (former) principle of not owning players in both leagues.

Looking Ahead

Thanks to new interests, The League will (most likely) be dropped next year in favor of a twelve team dynasty league with 12 different owners. We will still keep Awesome and, pending league vote, the owner belt will be given to the Awesome champ each year. Hope everyone enjoyed the season, the blog updates, and the awards. Congrats again to Bush. Peace out homies.

Week 15 Matchups Preview

Every fantasy football season has it’s triumphs and it’s heartbreaks. Week 15 means only 2 weeks left in this fantasy football season. Let’s take a moment to look back at some of the heartbreaks and triumphs from the 2011 fantasy football season.

Heartbreaks:

  • Jamaal Charles’ ACL in week 2 putting a disappointing end to an exciting player’s season.
  • Michael Vick being picked 8 overall in Awesome.
  • Chris Johnson going from CJ2k to CJ1k to CJareyouOk?
  • Black Crackers ending the season as the worst scoring team thanks to three straight weeks of lineup ignorance.
  • Last year’s “Owner Champion” taking an impressive first to almost worst fall.
  • JJ being JJ again. We can only hope this doesn’t happen next year.
  • WOW’s terrible end to a season thanks to Ryan Grant.
  • Rob Gronkowski not drafted in either league
  • Last, but in no way least, the probable death of the keeper league. Unless a majority of the owners wish to keep playing the keeper league next year while also playing awesome and the new dynasty league, the keeper will die after two short years.Triumphs:
  • DeMarco Murray, while it lasted.
  • The strange emergence of every team’s WR2 being better than their WR1. (Victor Cruz, Jordy, Garcon, Laurent Robinson, Torrey Smith)
  • Wilrd owning A-Rod and Gronk in both league’s and not managing to lead either league in scoring. (It’s a triumph for 5/6 of us)
  • Rob freaking Gronkowski
  • AJ Green. The UGA receiver proved that the Falcons should be very angry at the Bengals for backing out of a draft day trade at the last second.
  • Michael Vi…. sorry wrong section. -__-
  • Most important here, the underdog story. Two ago, Adam Wayne Bush joined Awesome just for kicks and amusement with pals. Fast-forward to now and the ruthless High Noon himself has taken 2011 by storm raping and pillaging all along the way. Hats off to Adam as he enjoys this season, and the Owners belt that will surely come with it.

Now to what you all came for, the matchups preview. In week 15 The League will begin round 2 of the championship with Mr. Bush holding both teams in the final.

2. Brodown Showdown vs. 4. High Noon

In my preview of round 1, I picked High Noon to lose to Reaper. While they proved me wrong, I still am not high on High Noon. Having experienced firsthand what Brodown can accomplish. High Noon has the top 2 players in this matchup in Brees and McCoy, but Brodown is stronger overall and I see them finishing this matchup as the winner.

212-191 Brodown

My original picks were Reaper in first, Brodown in second, and Order in third. Losing Greg Jennings may have ended Order’s chances for third and it looks like a 3 way race between White Power, Trap Card, and Reaper. Thanks to 2 players, I’ll take Trap Card to pull out third.

Awesome will play round 2 of their playoffs in Week 15. After a couple of upsets in week 1, I find these matchups a bit less compelling. Three of the teams that lost in round 1 were, in my opinion, top 4 teams so it was hard to watch them have to exit early. That being said, playoffs always seem to make themselves interesting.

8. I Kill for Pleasure vs. 4. I Got All Day

All Day had the best scoring round 1 of any team, but I Kill was a close second. I Kill pulled the upset over Dirty Birds in round 1 thanks to big games from MJD and Antonio Brown. All Day managed over 130 whil getting almost no help from CJ and McGahee who only combined for 10 points last week. I do not expect that this week as McGahee gets NE and, more importantly, CJ faces the Colts. I expect I Kill to get a nice game from Felix this week, but MJD may have limited upside against a dangerous Atlanta run defense. I Kill had a nice round 1, but I think All Day gets by this one and advances to the Championship.

116-97 All Day

6. Don’t Stop Believing vs. 2. Black Guy

Thanks to a fortuitous matchup against the lowest scoring team and one of Julio Jones’ random great games, Don’t Stop sneaked through round 1 to the semi finals. I don’t have much to say about this game. Thanks to a depressing season of injuries for Don’t Stop with the Murray injury last week putting the nail in the coffin, I expect an easy week for Black Guy here. Black Guy has A-Rod and Gronk and it does not seem to matter who they start elsewhere with the season those two are having.

114-81 Black Guy

To recap, in my Playoffs preview, I picked Black Guy to defeat All Day in the finals and Wow to come in third place. I think my finals matchup will take place, but with All Day’s recent play and the need to avenge for Wow, there could be an upset. I picked Wow for third place and right now it is between them, Warrior, and the loser of the I KIll/All Day game.

Thanks to a timely trip home and a week of work, there most likely won’t be a Week 15 Review or a finals preview. Good luck to those of you lucky enough to compete in week 15, and check back here after week 16 for the super-sized season in review and the final standings for owners points.

Week 14 Review

Before we begin, let’s look at all the team’s who had their playoff lives die this week and hold a moment of silence in their honor.

The Dirty Birds. I Am Man. They Call Me Warrior. Wow You Suck. Order of the Phoenix. Reaper Crew.

These teams all suffered losses in the first rounds of their playoffs during week 14 and will not win a championship.

In the League, we have our finals matchups set. Much to the chagrin of the other owners, Bush’s two teams will be facing off in the championship. While the Order and Reaper Crew both put up a solid fight and were the 5th and 4th highest scoring teams in round 1 respectively, Brodown and High Noon would not be stopped. The story of round 1 was big name letdowns from stars on teams. Reaper was forced to play without their stud, AP and The Order played without Vick in week 13 and a letdown game from Vick in week 14 sealed the deal. I picked Reaper Crew to beat Brodown in the championship so I won’t be correct here. I’ll cover the finals matchup between Brodown and High Noon in my Thursday Previews.

 

Awesome had round 1 of its playoffs in week 14 and this meant the end of 4 playoff teams.  Don’t Stop Believing and I Kill pulled off upsets in week 14 over I Am Man and Dirty Birds. Man was the biggest letdown team in week 14, scoring the least of any playoff team thanks to a bountiful -7 from the Cowboys DST. I Kill pulled off the 8-1 upset against Dirty Birds thanks to a career game from MJD. The bad beat of the week goes to Wow. I’ve said for a while that Wow was an underrated team and a scary 7 seed, but it is hard to face the Tebow-like Black Guy this season. With another monster game from Gronkowski and a questionable Ryan Grant start, Black Guy edged this game out by two points on Monday. While I am excited personally that Black Guy won because I picked them, it is hard to watch Wow exit round 1 when I think they are the best team in the league right now. The second worst beat of the week goes to Warrior. Warrior lost by nearly 20 but was the third best scoring team in the league. All Day got solid games from all their studs and will be all the more formidable with the return of Adrian Peterson. I’ll cover round 2 and update my predictions in my weekly playoffs.

Thanks to a grossly heartbreaking playoff exit in both leagues (yes I can complain, I lost to the top scoring team in both leagues round 1 but that was expected since I faced the most points all season), I’m ready to look forward to next year. This has little meaning at the current point, but I am going to give my top 12 players for next year in my early round 1 rankings.

  1. Aaron Rodgers- obvious at this point considering his dominance at the QB spot this season.
  2. Lesean McCoy- the 2 can be debated, but in my opinion Shady is the pick here. He leads all RB in scoring this year thanks in large part to his emergence as the Eagle’s only go to option.
  3. Arian Foster- Although he missed 2 and most of 3 games this season, he is still a top 5 RB on the year and I think he would be one had he missed no time. He has proven that 2010 was not a fluke.
  4. Ray Rice- I said I thought Rice would finish the season as the best RB and so far he has only managed to be second best. That being said, I expect similar production from him next year. While his offense has been average, he has managed to put up points. It also helps to be on a team with a great D so he usually has the lead to rack up late carries.
  5. Adrian Peterson- I am personally not a huge Peterson fan, but it is impossible to argue against his consistency as a first round worthy RB. Although missing three games this season, he has still been worth his draft position.
  6. Maurice Jones-Drew- He has proven this year that he has no downside. With an abysmal offense he has still managed to lead the league in rushing yards this season. He’s as safe of a pick as you can make.
  7. Ryan Mathews- my first wildly debatable pick. Call me crazy, but ignoring weeks 7-11 (where I fully believe he was playing hurt), he has been every bit of a top 5 RB this season. Sure you lose the vulture TD from Tolbert, but he makes up for that in yardage and volume. This offense was terrible most of this season and I expect them to rebound next year.
  8. Calvin Johnson- While his performance has decreased from the early season, he has still been dominant most of the year. I believe another year with Stafford, Young, and Pettigrew and with a healthy RB, Calvin could keep a spot as a top WR and a solid round 1 pick.
  9. Matt Forte- An injury ended his season early, but prior to that he was a top 3 guy. I may be too low on him, but having owned him late in the year helps that. He started hot but tailed off way too much for comfort near the end. His value is based on yardage and volume. The Bears hopefully find a remedy to the lack of WR, and he has another solid year in 2012.
  10. Marshawn Lynch- Lynch started 2011 slowly but since week 8 he has been absolutely dominant. He has scored every game since week 8 and averaged over 100 yards rushing a game since then. Lynch is still a young and has been dominant before. He will only get better as a young Seahawks team improves.
  11. Darren McFadden- This ranking assumes to some extent that Michael Bush chooses somewhere else in free agency. Prior to an injury in week 7, McFadden was a top 5 RB. He has not played since that injury and may not play again all season. His performance early in the year showed that he clearly has the talent of a top 5 guy and his injury issues may drop him into the late second round. If, and it is a big if, he ever finishes a season, he may be a top RB.
  12. Wes Welker- With the emergence of Gronk as the best TE in the league, and some guy named Brady, Welker will most likely finish this season as the top WR. This ranking is more reflective of his targets and catches. Welker has always been a reception monster and, with Gronk emerging, those receptions are going for more yards than previously. Welker seems to have a ceiling since he likely won’t score as many TD as he has this year, but he has first round value because of consistency.

 

Week 14 (PLAYOFFS?) Preview

That’s right gentlemen. We’re talking about playoffs. With week 14 comes the Awesome, and more important for history purposes, playoffs. Before we look at this week’s games for Awesome. Let’s check the playoffs in The League:

1. Reaper Crew 91.5 vs. 4. High Noon 125.1

High Noon got off to a hot start in week one of this two-week matchup. High Noon was helped to a 125 point game with big weeks from Brees, Lesean McCoy, and surprisingly Rashard Mendenhall. Reaper Crew had a solid week, but with Blount putting up a dud and none of his players scoring big, 91 points wasn’t enough to keep up with High Noon. Last week, I predicted this game to end 190-184 in Reaper’s favor. While I was correct in predicting that Reaper might struggle, I was wrong about High Noon. With almost a 30 point lead, I don’t know that Reaper can pull this one out even though, once again, I don’t expect much from High Noon. But, with the way Brees is playing recently, it is hard to pick against High Noon to hold onto their lead.

209-197 High Noon

2. Brodown Showdown 119.5 vs. 3. Order of the Phoenix 104.9

Both of these teams had good weeks in week 13, but Brodown had the better week. Brodown’s score can be misleading though. With 30 from Ray Rice and 30 combined from the K and DST, his score looked great, but most of his other players were average last week. Alternatively, Order’s RB and WR all played fairly well but with their QB, TE, DST, and K combining for a meager 20 points. I expect Order to put up a very good fight for this game with Vick returning this week and, although projections disagree, a very nice matchup for Witten against NYG. While I expect Reaper to outscore Showdown this week, Showdown may prove too strong for Reaper to close that 15 point deficit. I predicted 216-209 Brodown last week and I still stand by that prediction.

216-209 Brodown

Here are the current top 3 standings for the third place race in the league. I left current playoff teams off the list because we aren’t sure who will be first and second, and because two playoff teams would be top 3. I predicted Order to win third place in last week’s preview. Remember third place is the team that scores the most points in the playoffs, but does not finish first or second.

  1. White Power 132.2
  2. Suck for Luck 105.8
  3. Yes We Eh 99.8

Now as all you readers are of keen mind you will no doubt have noticed Bush is projected for first and second place in the league. If this happens, Bush almost certainly locks down the belt for 2011.

Here’s the playoff preview for Awesome:

1. Dirty Birds vs. 8. I Kill for Pleasure

Dirty Birds led the league in scoring for most of the year and has remained fairly dominant throughout. While Dirty Birds is still a solid team, it has declined since the beginning of the season thanks to losing Fred Jackson and the slow disappearance of Steve Smith. Heading into the playoffs, I question Birds’ ability to go far because of inconsistent WR play and Bush still playing Scott Chandler at TE -___- I Kill has been up and down throughout the year and has been down some recently and dropped to the 8 seed. MJD is the strongest player I Kill has and that type of RB can lead a playoff drive, but I question the big game ability of the rest of his players through the playoffs. I wanted to choose I Kill this week, but I worry about the ever-possible Vincent Jackson no-show and, more importantly, the Rams offense right now killing S Jax. I’m taking Dirty Birds here thanks to Drew Bress, but close.

92-89 Dirty Birds

2. Black Guy vs. 7. Wow You Suck

I’ve said for a few weeks that I thought Wow would be a scary team to face in the playoffs. We saw what they can do last week as they scored 118.3 points, albeit in a loss to Black Guy who scored 123. Aside from, the now irrelevant, Dwayne Bowe, Wow may be the strongest team in the league top to bottom, especially at RB with Gore, Lynch, and McCoy. Their main weakness is a solid QB. Sanchez has been a top 12 guy all season, but a top 5 QB would make Wow the favorite for the title. Speaking of top QB, Black Guy has been led to a two seed this year thanks to one Aaron Rodgers who is easily this season’s fantasy MVP. Second-place for that MVP would be Rob Gronkowski, also on Black Guy. Having Megatron and the hottest WR in fantasy, Victor Cruz, has also helped. Even with a very ugly trio at RB and Flex, it is hard to pick against Black Guy. I picked Wow last week and Black Guy got an insane game from Pierre Garcon. I know better this time.

109-104 Black Guy

3. I Am Man vs. 6. Don’t Stop Believing 

Man has been a top team most of the season. Ryan Mathews’ resurgence and Greg Jennings’ consistency will be an important factor in the playoffs. I worry about Mike Wallace’s recent play and the underperforming Pettigrew in the playoffs. (On another note, WTF ESPN?! Last week you project Pettigrew for 11.1, he scores 1.3. So what do you do this week? 11.3? Again? Are you effing kidding me? Sigh,). Don’t Stop has been decimated by injuries and lackluster ownership this year so I think their playoffs end here.

109-88 Man

4. All Day vs. 5. They Call Me Warrior

All Day enters the playoff on a four game winning streak, thanks in large part to the return of CJ2K. Jordy Nelson and Jimmy Graham have been essential to all day’s success this season, especially in recent weeks as they climbed to a 4 seed. Warrior had a strong midseason, but has been all but eliminated recently. Vick returns this week, but Forte is likely out for the rest of the fantasy season after a knee injury in week 13. Both of these teams are strong teams. Warrior’s WR trio looks strong but I worry about Brandon Lloyd with both Bradford and Feely likely out this week. But you can never underestimate Vick and Arian who have all the potential to combine for 60 points. For All Day, I’m concerned with McGahee this week against Chicago, but I think CJ2K continues his solid play against NO where he could rack up receiving yards late. Ultimately this game will come down to how the WR play for Warrior, but I am skeptical of their ability. I’m taking All Day here.

112-106 All Day

 

So after the first playoff week, I have the top 4 seeds advancing (which is highly unlikely). I’ll go ahead here and predict the final standings for the playoffs. In round 2, I think All Day will defeat Dirty Birds and Man will lose a close game to the Rod/Gronk tag team. In the finals, I have to go with Black Guy again. The influence of A-Rod and Gronk has been profound this season and quite honestly, I think whatever team had Gronk would be in the finals because of how dominant he has been at his position. Having A-Rod is the icing on the cake. So All Day comes in second, and I will take Wow for third place.

 

Good luck in round 1 loyal readers, and check here Tuesday for the weekly review.

Week 13 Review

I’m going to make this post semi-quick today. First, let’s look at the playoff matchups for Awesome:

1. Dirty Birds vs. 8. I Kill for Pleasure

4. All Day vs. 5. They Call Me Warrior

3. I Am Man vs. 6. Don’t Stop Believing

2. Black Guy vs. 7. WoW You Suck

So there are the matchups, based on points scored in the regular season. On ESPN, the seeding won’t be correct, but these are the official ones so the matchups will be correct each week.

The League had its first week of the playoffs. Here’s how they are going:

1. Reaper Crew (91.5) vs. 4. High Noon (125.1)

2. Brodown Showdown (119.5) vs. 3. Order of the Phoenix (104.9)

All 4 of these teams got off to a nice start in the playoffs, but with the four seed High Noon starting the strongest. Reaper Crew gets AP back this week, but it is going to have a hard time catching up from a 34 point deficit. The Order kept it close, but Brodown still pulled out a 15 point victory. If Bush does pull out both of these wins in round 1, it almost guarantees that he wins the owner belt. That’s a good transition to looking at the final regular season owner standings.

  1. Bush 7461.4
  2. Jacob 7393
  3. Wilrd 7112.1
  4. Corey 7014.1
  5. Colton 6311.7
  6. JJ 5927.5

As I mentioned before, with a solid lead bush would lock down the belt if he managed to get first and second place points in the league.

Come back Thursday for the Awesome playoff previews and a longer post.

Week 13 Matchups

Here we are at week 13. The final week of regular season play, at least for Awesome. I’ll preview this weeks matchups for awesome, and the playoff matchups for the league. For the 8 teams not good enough to make the playoffs, I won’t preview matchups, but instead will do a playoff preview for each team and discuss the team and their chances to win the third place spot.

Here are the week 13 matchups for Awesome:

Dirty Pirate Hooker (3-9) vs. I Got All Day (8-4)

These teams enter as polar opposites, with All Day on a three game win streak and Hooker enters on a three game losing streak. As I mentioned in my week 12 review, All Day heads into the week as the 4 seed for the playoffs. All Day will probably not have All Day again this week due to an injury, but they do have Chris Johnson. Chris Johnson had a season high 190 yards rushing last week against TB and I expect him to continue that with another good week, albeit to a lesser extent, against the Bills. Hooker has Tim Tebow, and both Panthers’ RB starting, need I say more? Last time these teams played, All Day won 112-69. I’m taking All Day here.

104-82 All Day

True Grit (4-8) vs. Dirty Birds (7-5)

The owner points leader faces himself here. Dirty Birds is the top scoring team in the league, and True Grit is a team that has been trending down since some trades have gone awry. Stevie Johnson had a nice outing last week, on True Grit’s bench, and seems to be back on the right track. A monster week from Brees and Lance Moore saved Dirty Birds from a close game against Hooker last week. While I expect less out of Brees and Moore this week, I expect much less out of True Grit. Last time these teams played, Grit won 69-67, I expect different results this time.

88-71 Dirty Birds

Loser (5-7) vs. Crackers (5-7)

In the 2011 Awesome League Toilet Bowl, the two lowest scoring teams face off to end the season in week that could have top draft pick implications. Regrettably, Crackers lineup has not been set since they made a solid trade pickup two weeks ago and I don’t expect them to be set this week, much to Loser’s draft pick dismay. Loser’s players have some nice matchups this week so I expect a nice week scoring from Loser. Last time they played, Crackers won by 30. That won’t happen again with two open roster spots. Crackers, I am disappoint.

102-61 Loser

They Call Me Warrior (7-5) vs. I Am Man (7-5)

The last time Warrior played I Am Man, Warrior scored 150 points and won by 65. While I love the WR Warrior is playing this week, I don’t see 150 again. With Vick and Maclin out again, Warrior will be rolling with Vince Young and Shonn “I never get a goal line carry” Greene. The Bears seem to have forgotten Matt Forte the last three weeks, and his fantasy points show it, but I expect somewhat of a revival game here. I’m not fond of the RB on Man, but their QB stands out this week as I expect a monster game from Brady against his hated, and currently terrible, Colts. Call me biased, but I question the ESPN projection of 11.1 for Pettigrew and 5.8 for Gates. Regardless of questionable TE projections, I like Man here.

114-106 Man

Don’t Stop Believing (6-6) vs. I Kill for Pleasure (5-7)

Don’t Stop is coming in with a three game losing streak, thanks in part to injuries/byes, but no lineup moves or free agent pickups could also be to blame here. Demarco Murray has been great for Don’t Stop, and his touches show that Felix is no more than a handcuff now. I like a big week from Demarco against Arizona, but I’m not sure that’s enough for the Don’t Stop win. I’m not fond of the matchups for I Kill’s RB, and their WR are very hit-or-miss, but I don’t see Don’t Stop having a better week. I do like D Jax this week, if he decides to catch the ball when Vince hits him. I Kill won 90-68 last time these teams played. I’m taking I Kill here in a “upset” special.

96-79 I Kill

Wow You Suck (6-6) vs. Black Guy (9-3)

This is a matchup of two playoff teams, and a possible round 1 game. Black Guy had a nice week last week, but lost a close game to I Am Man. Victor Cruz has been the best WR in fantasy for the past 5 weeks as he has become Eli’s go to deep ball target. Black Guy also has A-Rod, Megatron, and Gronk who are all the number 1 at their respective positions. Other than those guys, Black Guy has some holes at RB/Flex but has managed to overcome them this season as they’re currently the 2 seed for the playoffs. I’ve been outspoken about my feelings on Wow and I still think they are the scariest lower seed team in the playoffs.  Wow’s RB could put up huge numbers this week, but I worry about Bowe with Palko at QB. It’s hard to pick against the team with the league’s best record, but I’m taking Wow in my game of the week.

112-104 Wow

That’s it for Awesome’s preview. I don’t expect many changes in the playoff race this week, but this is it for the regular season, so we’ll see Tuesday when week 13 finalizes.

The League:

The League starts their playoffs in week 13. Just so everyone knows, the seeding in the “Scoreboard” section on ESPN is incorrect. The actual seeding, based on scoring, is:

  1. Reaper Crew
  2. Brodown Showdown
  3. Order of the Phoenix
  4. High Noon

Those teams will be the four competing for first and second place in the championship game weeks 15 and 16. Here are the matchups previews, non playoff team previews, and my early picks. I will preview and predict the playoff games this week, but I will also review them next Thursday.

1. Reaper Crew (8-4) vs. 4. High Noon (9-3)

Thanks to a midseason scoring surge and a hot start from Fred Jackson, Reaper Crew finds themselves in a favorable matchup to start the playoffs against High Noon. High Noon has had a nice season, scoring the fourth most points in the league, but a league high 9-3 record is helped by having the second least points allowed all season. Brees, Lesean, and the Ravens D have carried High Noon all season, but I question how far a WR/Flex group of Moore, Manningham and Tolbert can carry them. As of right now, it appears Reaper will start the playoffs without Fred Jackson, who is now on the IR, Adrian Peterson, which has a chance to put them down after week 13. Spiller was average in Jackson’s place last week, as was Gerhart in Peterson’s (although a TD helped his scoring). Like I said, Reaper Crew fell into a favorable matchup,as I feel either of the 2 or 3 seed teams would likely beat them with AP out. But, thanks to questionable depth for High Noon, I expect Reaper to edge out this week and move to the championship.

190-184 Reaper

2. Brodown Showdown (8-4) vs. 3. Order of the Phoenix (8-4)

Brodown led the league in scoring most of the season, until about week 8 when they slowed down. With Ray Rice and Calvin Johnson as their team MVP, they have remained solid all year through ups and downs from Fitzgerald and the RB position. Some of their players, including Reggie Bush, Gonzo, Big Ben, and even Megatron, have slowed down through the season and that could prove problematic in the playoffs. The Order was a top 4 team all season thanks to Vick, Arian Foster, and Greg Jennings. They certainly slowed down through the lack of production from Stevie Johnson and the sub-par or absent games from Michael Vick. Against personal bias, I am taking Brodown here in a high scoring matchup, but I expect the loser to be in the running for third place.

216-209 Brodown

As for the third place race, I think it is a toss up between 4 non playoff teams, and the two losing first round playoff teams. Footlongs, Lazy Frogs, Death Eaters, Trap Card, Order, and High Noon will all be competing. I think it will come down to The Order and Footlongs, but thanks to ridiculous playoff matchups for The Order’s RB, and perhaps personal bias I suppose, I’m taking the Order.

So my Championship game projection is Brodown vs. Reaper Crew. I’ll preview these matchups each week as they happen, but my early pick for the Championship is Reaper Crew, with Brodown in second, and The Order coming in third.

Check back here Tuesday for the weekly review to see how wrong I was.