Week 11: New Kid in Town Starts to Pull Away

Eagles New Kid in town2Picture: The New Kid in Town is taking the league by storm.  (R)Andy  “Meisner” Dalton, Glenn Frey, Cam “Joe Walsh” Newton, Justin “Don Felder (and his Beard)” Fayer, and Antonio “Don Henley” Brown have led the newcomer Eagles to the Number 1 spot in the charts.

When joining the league, Jason talked big about how he was going to win it all and it appears he intends to follow through on that. One week after taking first place on a tiebreaker, he has now extended that lead even further.

Just two weeks after the highest scoring week of the season, we now have set a record low scoring week of the season, “beating” the previous mark by nearly 20 points.  And for the 2nd week in a row, Jason took advantage of the low scores and extended his advantage in the standings. The season-long scoring average in the league is just under 194, and the Eagles are the only team to beat that amount in either of the past two weeks.

We are finally getting some separation in the standings as a three game gap has opened up between the top 3 and bottom 3 teams in the league. With a three game gap and 4 regular season games remaining, is still possible for the 4-7 teams to catch the top teams for a spot in the Super Bowl, but it will take everything going just right.  At 4 games behind and a tiebreaker disadvantage to both 7-4 teams, Anand is officially eliminated from playoff contention despite a win this week.

Geno’s Jawbreakers 146.3, The Edgars 73.56

The 1.1 points by Karlos Williams on Monday Night was just enough for the Edgars to avoid getting doubled up by Geno and Co.  Other than that, nothing went right for the Edgars this week.  It didn’t help starting both Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffrey from the Bears when they were both inactive.  But even beyond that, only Larry Fitzgerald and Blake Bortles could manage even double digit scoring.  For the Jawbreakers, the only player to top 20 points was Danny Amendola filling in admirably for Julian Edelman (until he too left the game with an apparent injury), but it was enough to notch the 3rd highest score of the week.

Fly Eagles Fly 200.74, Yukon Gold 190.54

The Eagles took the head-to-head victory for the 2nd straight week to wrap up a season sweep of the Yukon Gold and firmly sink their talons into first place.  Already holding a tiebreaker edge, the Eagles effectively hold a 2 game lead on first place.  Cam Newton abused the real Eagles defense to score over 20% of the teams points with 41.  Only Andy Dalton was able to join Newton in the over-20 club but that was enough to secure the victory and a 2nd straight weekly win.  The Yukoners had solid days from Carson Palmer, DeAandre Hopkins and Julio Jones but they happened to be facing the only team in the league to outscore them.  Oh, and for the 3rd time in 4 weeks, they lost a running back to a season ending injury.

Game of The Week
Mashed Potatoes 135.7, Don’t Stop Believin’ 128.7

It was set up perfectly.  With a win, Don’t Stop Believin’ would pull within a game of the Mashed Potatoes and stay within reach of the top teams.  As the Sunday afternoon games wound down, the Taters were barely over 125 points and had only Brandon Lafell left to play.  The Believers were quite a ways behind but they had a full arsenal of big guns yet to play:  Brady, Blount, Gronk, Gio, and the Arizona Defense.  In the Sunday night game, Gio Bernard did his part with over 20 points although the Cards defense was a disappointment.  But with the three Patriot stars left to play on Monday, the game seemed comfortably within reach.  But both Brady and Gronkowski had their worst games of the season by far.  Brady had what looked to be a sure long touchdown called back on an “inadvertent whistle” by the bumbling crew of officials, and in the end, the Believers fell just a few points short.

 

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Week 10: Changes at the Top

Week 10:  Changes at the Top

Picture:  Terry looked like a fool starting Peyton Manning who threw nearly as many passes to the Chiefs (4) as he did to his own team (5).  Meanwhile, Brock Osweiler stares into your soul.

Just two short weeks after it looked like the Yukon Gold were about to run away with the league, we now have a new team flying into first place.  Fly Eagles Fly scored a dominating win over the Gold to draw even in the standings at 7-3.  But perhaps just as important, the Eagles are now 2-0 against their nearest competitors in the standings.  While the Eagles have split with each of the three teams at the bottom of the league, they are undefeated in four games against the Gold and the Mashed Potatoes.  With only one game remaining against each team, the Eagles are guaranteed a head-to-head advantage in any tie with one or both Tater Teams.

We have finished the 2nd round-robin pass through the league and several other teams have claimed tiebreaker advantages.  Chris has locked up the advantage over Amina, Doug and Anand.  Terry has the advantage over Amina and Anand, Amina holds the edge over Doug, while Doug is 2-0 against Anand.  All other combinations are tied at 1-1

There’s an interesting quirk in the schedule that I just noticed this week. When I set the league up for the season I chose a random schedule order, so each group of 5 games against each other is put into in a random order. As we start a new set of 5 games, it just so happens that all three games in week 11 are repeats of a matchup from week 10.  So don’t be surprised if your competition looks familiar this week.

Important Note:  The league Trade deadline is THIS FRIDAY, November 20th!  Make your offers now so they can get processed!

The Edgars 170.96, Geno’s Jawbreakers 143.98

I’ve tried to point out the bad luck that the Jawbreakers have faced this year, but sometimes, you just get whupped like one of Adrian Peterson’s kids. (Too soon?) Geno and Co. put up their lowest score of the year (by nearly 25 points).  The game was pretty close throughout the weekend, but the Edgars still had Jimmy Graham and Larry Fitzgerald when Geno ran out of players. In a game where fully half of the players failed to reach double digits, there were few stars, but Martavis Bryand and Eli Manning did enough to make up for the combined 1 point from Marcel Reese and Fat Eddie Lacy for the Edgars, while Adrian Peterson putting a beating on the Raiders (Still too soon?) was the bright spot for the Jawbreakers.

Fly Eagles Fly 211.56, Yukon Gold 172

High-flying Antonio Brown followed up last week’s 45 point ouburst with

Antonio Brown Flip
Fly Antonio Fly!

a mere 37.9 points to lead all scorers again this week for the Eagles. Jeremy Langford nearly matched Brown for the Gold, but not enough other players pitched in to help, particularly with a combined 1 point out of the Flex, Kicker and Defense spots.  Brandin Cooks continued his late season surge to help build an insurmountable lead.

Game of the Week
Mashed Potatoes 176.12, Don’t Stop Believin’ 172.0

In the closest head-to-head match of the year, the Mashed Potatoes pulled out a close come-from-behind victory to stay within one game of the leaders in the standings. The Mashers had a slim lead heading into the sunday night game with kicker Steven Hauschka facing off against the Beleivers’ Arizona Defense.  The game looked to be a runaway as Arizona was scoring safeties, and shutting out Seattle in the early going, but as Seattle started to score, including a several kicks from Hauschka, they pulled the Cards defensive score back to single digits. The Potatoes were able to overcome the colossal stinker from QB Peyton Manning (I told you he looks like poop!) behind Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Miller.

Bad Move Benching of the Week

Two teams left two 30+ point scorers on the bench this week.  The Edgars missed out on Kirk Cousins and Ben Roethlisberger (who didn’t even start) having huge days, but starters Eli Manning and Blake Bortles did well enough to secure the win.  But the Award goes to the Yukon Gold, who really could have used the big games of Charcandrick West and Jay Cutler. (Because, yeah, we expect players facing Denver and St. Louis to have monster games against those defenses.)  In particular, starting West over the scoreless Willie Snead at Flex would have made a huge difference, and also starting Cutler over Derek Carr would have given the Gold just enough for a victory.

 

Week 9: Geno Wins Game, Loses Another Player

Week 9: Geno Wins Game, Loses Another Player

See, isn’t it much nicer when you don’t have the title of the article blocking half the picture?!  With Andrew Luck going down for some time with a kidney injury, (something I am suddenly MUCH more sympathetic about), I had to try to capture the M*A*S*H unit that is Anand’s team.

Since I spent so much time on the mid-year thing, I’ll try to keep this week’s recap on the shorter side.

Fly Eagles Fly 254.54, The Edgars 193.58

The Eagles were in the lead from wire-to-wire in this one, taking a big lead on Thursday and never giving it up.  Antonio Brown led all scorers with over 45 points, yet he never scored a touchdown.  Cam Newton wasn’t far behind with almost 40 points.  On the other hand, the Edgars would have been better off starting injured RB Matt Forte over Eddie Lacy and his -1 points.

Mashed Potatoes 249.8, Yukon Gold 233.32

Terry’s Taters snapped the Gold’s six game win streak to tighten up the standings.  Aaron Rodgers desperate attempt to keep up with the Panthers led the way for the Mashers, while Lamar Miller also topped 30 points.  The Gold were led by Derek Carr but the odds were stacked against them with numerous top scorers on Bye this week.

Game of the Week
Geno’s Jawbreakers 209.38, Don’t Stop Believin’ 199.92

Just look at that game flow chart.  Back and forth all weekend long, almost always within a few points of each other.  Geno and his parade of injured stars got just enough points to outscore the Believers. For the 2nd week in a row, Drew Brees was on fire and a balanced attack was able to withstand nearly 40 points from DeAngelo Williams and nearly 30 from Demarco Murray.

Neck and neck the whole way, Anand finaly pulled away on Monday Night
Neck and neck the whole way, Anand finaly pulled away on Monday Night

Week 8: Mid-Season Spectacular

Week 8: Mid-Season Spectacular

The end of week 8 brings us to “halftime” for our season, so we’ll bring in Katy Perry and her beach balls for our halftime entertainment.  Here’s a bit of a recap for the first half of the season.

(Ok, since I didn’t actually get to this last week, I’ll have to kinda go back in time to reconstruct the way things were at the mid-point.  Please forgive any mistakes.)

In the overall standings, the Yukon Gold (7-1) reached week 8 with a two game lead over Fly Eagles Fly (5-3), the only team to have defeated the Gold so far.  Mashed Potatoes and Don’t Stop Believin’ (both 4-4) are right behind Jason, with the Edgars (3-5) and Geno’s Jawbreakers (1-7) picking up the rear.

Through 8 games, the Gold (1781.06)  have a significant lead in the overall points standings as well, but the battle for second is extremely tight.  Despite only 1 win, the Jawbreakers (1582.28) hold the second spot in total points by about 30 points over the Eagles (1551.9) who lead a logjam for 3rd through 5th by the slightest margin.  Less than 7.5 points separate the Eagles, Squished Spuds (1550.6), and the Beleivers (1544.48). The Edgars (1502.3) are still not far behind, less than 80 points out of 2nd place.

The race for weekly wins has been dominated by the Gold, who have had the top score in the league in 5 of the first 8 weeks.  The Mashed Potatoes have had a very Jekyll and Hyde year with 2 weekly wins, but they have also had the low score in the league 3 times.  Fly Eagles Fly picked up the remaining weekly win, putting up the highest score of the entire season in week 3.

Mid Season “Awards”

Mid-Season All Star Team

Our list of top performers has good participation from every team.

Position Name Owner
QB1 Tom Brady Amina
QB2 Andy Dalton Jason
RB1 Davonta Freeman Doug
RB2 Mark Ingram Amina
RB3 Danny Woodhead Terry
WR1 Julio Jones Chris
WR2 DeAndre Hopkins Chris
WR3 Larry Fitzgerald Doug
WR4 Odell Beckham Jr. Terry
Flex Julian Edelman Anand
TE Rob Gronkowski Amina
K Stephen Gostkowski Jason
Def/ST Denver Broncos Chris
All-Bust Team

Players who have severely underperformed expectations/draft position during the first half of the season – Non-injury edition.

Position Name Owner/Draft pick
QB1 Peyton Manning Terry/Rd 4
QB2 Sam Bradford Chris/Rd 11
RB1 CJ Anderson Chris/Rd 3
RB2 Eddie Lacy Doug/Rd 1
RB3 Alfred Morris Doug/Rd 7
WR1 Charles Johnson Anand/Rd 16
WR2 Andre Johnson Doug /Rd 11
WR3 Nelson Agholor Amina/Rd 13
WR4 Roddy White Doug/ Rd 15
Flex Melvin Gordon Terry/Rd 9
TE Jordan Cameron Chris/Rd 17
K Adam Vinatieri Anand/ Rd. 19
Def/ST Houston Texans Doug/ Rd 9
Worst round of the draft

I was surprised how far I had to go to find a single round of the draft that had fewer disappointments (albeit some from injury) than the first round, but I think I found it.  A completely wasted draft round with no redeeming qualities.  We’d all apparently run out of our “good” players and hadn’t yet started taking chances on sleepers.  I present to you the Seventeenth Round:

Tre Mason – Did nothing with opportunity before Gurley came along
Jordan Cameron – has done next to nothing all year
Cody Parkey – never topped 6 points before tearing groin muscles
Isaiah Crowell – Browns running game sucks
Joique Bell – lost his job to Zach Zenner.  ‘nough said.
Joe Flacco – Meh.

Yuck.

All-Injury Bug Team

The most impactful injuries from the first half of the season. Some had a big impact in the first half  but may still return to form, while others will be felt as the rest of the season goes on.

Position Name Owner
QB1 Tony Romo Anand
QB2 Ben Roethlisberger Doug
RB1 Jamaal Charles Jason
RB2 Arian Foster Chris
RB3 LeVeon Bell Chris
WR1 Dez Bryant Anand
WR2 Steve Smith Anand
WR3 Alshon Jeffrey Doug
WR4 Davante Adams Doug
Flex DeSean Jackson Amina
TE Julius Thomas Amina
K Cody Parkey Doug
Def/ST Baltimore Ravens (Suggs) N/A

Mid-Season Team Haiku

Few well-chosen words.
Simple rules for syllables.
Five, seven, and five.

One verse for each team.
Some have pretty pictures.
Pithy wisdom bits.

Don’t Stop Believin’
Brady Bunch
Brady and his Bunch lead the way for Don’t Stop Believin’ this season

Brady revenge tour.
Who needs Luck when you’ve got skill?!
Must have all Murrays!

The Edgars

Lacy, Morris suck.
Hey look, Davonta Freeman!
Okay after all!

Fly Eagles Fly

Ginger at QB,
Gurley looks unstoppable
No Eagles on team??

Geno’s Jawbreakers

Dez and Romo hurt.
Most Points Against by a ton.
Just can’t catch a break

Mashed Potatoes
manning int animated
Yep. Peyton looks like poop.

Woodhead, Lewis: Studs
That’s why some hate PPR.
Peyton looks like poop.

Yukon Gold

Draft running backs high
Wide receivers carry team
to first place in league.

My intention was for a themed pictures for each team, but I ran out of time, so those two will have to do for now.

So what’s this site all about?

So what’s this site all about?

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
– Benjamin Franklin

Well I’m certainly not doing anything worth writing about, so here we are. I doubt I write anything that’s actually worth reading, but I write anyway.  Long story short, I’m tired of fighting the tool on our league site for posting stories.

I cranked out my Douglas Adams inspired article for week 7 on Wednesday night, and felt pretty darn good about the whole thing.  Then the next day I went to read it and bask in the glory of my awesomeness and realized that half of the stuff I’d meant to put in there never made it in, or just didn’t come off the way I’d meant for it to do.

The whole thing with the Dolphins I was supposed to tie back to Terry’s team with Lamar Miller and Ryan Tannehill going off, but never did.  I never mentioned the way Amina nearly won the week. The wording on several things was really awkward and forced. It just didn’t read the way I thought it would when I posted it.

And this isn’t the first time this has happened.  Every week I find myself trimming and skimming trying to squeeze into the mysterious character limit that our site imposes.

And I say mysterious because the site says there is a 5000 character limit for the League Story.  That’s not huge, but it should be enough for most of what I want to do most weeks.  But here’s the catch: it imposes that character limit on the fully formatted version of the story.  I’m pretty sure it adds all the necessary HTML tags and such for the article, the title, the base formatting, the picture and all of that and includes that stuff in its count of the characters. So I do it in Word first, and pretty much if I get up around 3000 characters (including spaces), I know it’s not going to fit so I start hacking away.  Anything that includes any sort of formatting (like the occasional Bold or italics on the week 7 article) is going to be even worse.

Oh, and it doesn’t actually tell you how many characters it thinks you’ve used. It doesn’t actually say you’ve exceeded that limit!  It just says there was an error and fails to post the article. Took me forever to figure out that’s why it was failing. Frankly it’s a pain in the arse.

Plus there’s other little things, like I’ve wanted to add extra pictures in the past, it’s a pain to add hyperlinks, there’s almost no options for formatting. I know. Whine. Piss. Moan.

So I figured I’d just set up a place to post what I want, pretty much the way I want. Of course now I’m running out of ideas for clever stories this year, so I may not have more than 3000 characters to write, but just in case, here we are.

NONow you all may be thinking “No! God! Please! No! Now he’s going to write even MORE of this drivel?!?!!” and wanting that enforced brevity back.  I’ll just say feel free to provide any constructive criticism you feel is appropriate.  I do this because I can have some fun, but I hope it’s fun for you as well, so if it really sucks I hope you will let me know so I don’t waste time for either of us.

It’s been a while since I played with wordpress, so bear with me while I’m fiddling around with things, but hopefully this will work out.