Tag: fantasy football

[Business Day One] A Friend of Fate


Allow me to set the stage for you.  I was 4-0 in my one and only Fantasy Football league, hoping to make it five straight against a team with Tom Brady at quarterback.  We can start one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex player (RB, WR, or TE), one kicker and one defense.  I’ve started more or less the same line-up in these spots for all of my games this year: Phil Rivers at QB, Joseph Addai at RB, T. J. Houshmandzadeh and Santonio Holmes at WR, Antonio “Third Round was not too soon to draft him” Gates at TE, Larry Maroney (I call him Larry) at Flex, Josh Brown at Kicker and Minnesota’s Defense as, of course, my defense.  Great team, built around consistent points.

But not for Week Five.  Maroney and Addai were both out.  They were, it is important to note, my Shame I didn't have him...first two draft picks.  Losing one of your first two selections is often the kiss of death.  Losing both is what’s known in fantasy sports as the “Getting Shot in the Head, and then the Chest” of death.  My RB back-up, Chester Taylor, was on a bye week, along with his team’s (Minnesota’s) defense.  Santonio Holmes, I learned halfway through his game, was out with a sudden hamstring injury.  Favored WR back-up Santana Moss was also out.  Phil Rivers was still Phil Rivers, and was playing a Denver team that is exceedingly tough to pass against.  Oh, and I’ll save you the suspense now – Josh Brown didn’t record a single point.

 So, my starting line-up was as follows:

QB– Phil Rivers
WR– T.J. Houzy Whatzit
WR– Donte’ “Oh right, that other guy” Stallworth
TE– Antonio Gates
Flex– Antwaan “Oh right, that other guy” Randel El (waiver wire acquisition)
K– Josh Brown… so, NONE
Defense– Cardinals (waiver wire acquisition)

To call this team “patchwork” would be an insult to the fine quilt craftswomen of America.  Read More

Fantasy Football Woes


Let’s talk for a moment about how terrible my fantasy football team is.

Not Phil RiversFirst, these are some ancient quarterbacks, and I starteth one of three: Elisha Manning (New York Football Giants), Philip Rivers (San Diego Superchargers) or Jeff Garcia (Tampa Bay Bwa-ha-ha, no please, stop laughing). Of these, Eli has consistently been the best, bringing me 12 points this week and a ridiculous 48 in week 1 (the only week I’ve won so far). Of course, the week I bench Phil Rivers, he throws for 300 yards and 3 TDs against the Packers (to lose!), so I clearly don’t know what I’m doing.

My running game: Maurice “The Champagne of Running Backs” Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jagoffs), Deuce “And a Quarter” McAllister (New Orleans Ain’ts), Ladell Betts (Washington Deadskins) and Musa Smith (Baltimore Ravens). MJD has gone from being the most potent RB on my roster to the least. Musa Smith – a guy who’ll only get the ball when Willis McGahee has both his hands bound to his sides with duct tape and can’t tuck the ball under his chin to run it for an easy 3.8 yards – puts more points on the board than MJD. I have no running game. I couldn’t even ask a running game to the prom. I couldn’t even have my mom call up a running game’s mom, spend five minutes making small talk about the condo board, and then oh so casually drop the hint that, gee, does running game have a date to the spring formal yet, because Perich doesn’t have one either, etc, all of which I overhear to my deepening mortification while I play my Nintendo DS in the living room, paralyzed between the alternatives of entangling my mom in my dating life and going without a date, even if it’s some pimply, awkward, third-string date from UCLA with chronic knee trouble.

Oh God, It HurtsIn light of my epic misfortunes, I started a WR in the RB/WR option slot and it paid off big. Not big enough to overturn my opponent (Brian Westbrook burned his body in a holy fire this week, rushing for 110 yards and 2 TDs before the Eagles’ repulsive uniform corroded his very flesh and returned him to Questionable status), but better than I expected. Derrick Mason (Baltimore Ravens) is Steve McNair’s favorite, Jerricho Cotchery (New York Jetropolitans) alternates between spectacular and sub-par weeks and Mike Furrey (Detroit) is just no good.

Only my defense and my kicker keep me competitive at this point, and anyone who knows fantasy football should laugh out loud and stop reading. For the rest of you: the Vikings D contributed 10% of last week’s points, and Adam Vinateri another 18%. So that’s more than a quarter of my team’s score riding on draft picks #15 and #16. Somebody hang me.

The available RBs are only marginally better (Jesse Chatman from Miami; Justin Griffith out of Oakland; etc). My best hope at this point is for someone to lose all of their QBs in a freak bus accident and be so desperate that they’ll offer up Joseph “Ad-do or” Addai in exchange for Jeff Garcia. I’m not counting on it.

[Business Day One] An All Day Event

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The Titans and Saints have yet to play their Rose Bowl II: The Reckoning tonight, but Week 3 is more or less on the books.  And the season is shaping up as all NFL seasons do after three weeks – a hearty mix of expected starts, both good and bad, and surprising over- and under- performers.  The one guarantee in professional football is that there are no guarantees.  That’s why they play the games and that’s why we spend our Sundays watching them.  On that note, I offer today’s Business Day One column.

Football is best enjoyed in groups.  The hard hits, impossible passes and exhaustive analysis crI will make a suit out of these.eate a perfect storm of manly, chest-bumping, “great to be alive” camaraderie.  Fans gather across the country in stadium parking lots, lucky bars and packed living rooms and celebrate the day that, for many, is the highlight of their week.  And darn it, it should be.  Sundays during football season are a party and must be treated like one.  Actually throw a party!  If you, the readers, have never thrown a Regular Season Football Watching Party, then you better get to it.  Appease the Gods of Sport and impress your friends by inviting a bunch of them over for food and festivities.  If you get six buddies at your house for Week 4, maybe one of them will volunteer his or her place for Week 5.  It’s like Pay It Forward, only less terrible.

You may be thinking that you are ill-equipped to throw a Regular Season Football Watching Party.  Without necessarily knowing you, I can already say that you are wrong.  Here at Nerds on Sports, we’re in the business of education.  So let me do my part destroy some of the misconceptions that are no doubt keeping you from having this shindig. Read More

[Business Day One] Priorities


Bottom of the ninth inning and David Ortiz stood in against Mariano Rivera.  The bases were loaded, there were two outs and the Red Sox were down by 1 against the Yankees.  Fenway was shaking with energy, with waves of noise cascading down from the Faithful on to the field as their Hero cocked his bat against the fireballer.  Could Papi do it again?  Or would the Best Closer In Baseball notch another save in the most enemy of enemy territories?  A Sox win would extend out their lead in the East to five and a half.  A Yankees win would keep the pressue on Boston down a grueling final stretch.  Ramifications of a single at bat, a singular moment in time as watched by millions of fans.  If a scientist were to distill an entire season to get the extract of pure Sport, he would get this.  Mariano winds and delivers…

But alas, I wasn’t watching it.  A diehard Yankee fan in front of a television on a Sunday night five miles from Fenway, and I wasn’t watching it.  In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about it.  I was awake, and in my right mind, but had no interest in the outcome of the game at that moment.  It was only this morning that I realized I don’t know how the game ended.  I turned it off when Pedroia was batting, and so had to check the final score on my cell phone at 8:30 this morning.  It was a stark realization on this windy day.  The team I grew up rooting for was not my biggest sports priority.

It was a pretty jarring thought, and one that I wanted to make my peace with as soon as possible.  Thank goodness I write for a sports blog, eh?  On my commute to my office, I counted all of the sports-related concerns that were on my mind last night that took precedence over my Sox/Yankees interest.  I shuddered when I realized that this relatively important baseball game barely cracked the Top Five.  For sake of healing, I am putting my Top Five here:

1.  Patriots/Chargers Sunday Night Football – Read More

[Business Day One] – Fantasy Etiquette Part 2


As I wrote about last week, fantasy football is as much about friendship and being a good sport as it is about compiling the perfect team. At least it should be, anyway. Sure, there’s trash talk before the draft, audible “you just drafted Eddie Kennison” groans during the draft and jokes about where you’ll put your trophy after the draft. But that’s in good fun. It’s the jokes that friends make among friends. And there’s a line between that and being “that guy.” You know the one. “That guy” whose eyes flare wide when they hear the term bye week carried on the wind.

I’ve got an issue with folks that have obsession issues. It’s why I don’t go to comic conventions or Magic: The Gathering tournaments. Nerds (I will use the term “nerd” in this article to describe anyone with an aggressive love of any hobby) have this nasty habit of flexing their nerd muscles publicly. They not only express their powerful and startlingly well-researched views, but they want to demolish yours. A conversation with a nerd becomes a power struggle. Any opinion you offer somehow jeopardizes the sanctity of their intellectual nerd fortress. Even if you agree that Wedge Antilles was the linchpin of the Rebel’s fighter strategy at Endor, if you don’t agree hard enough, a nerd will scoff and pelt you with Dippin’ Dots. Fantasy football managers, don’t be that guy. Don’t ever be that guy. Your team is together and you’re proud of it. And that’s awesome. But I do believe that sport is more about unity than division. Naive, maybe. But I’m trying to push my canon and you folks are reading, so hopefully I’ll get a couple of head nods out of you. I won’t hit you with highly processed ice cream if I don’t, though.

So Miss Manners is back once again, to give you some post-draft fantasy football etiquette advice that you can use throughout your seasons:

Be aware that any fantasy football team sounds amazing before Week 1. Read More

Getting a Good Look at a T-Bone


It’s hard out there for a sports-blogger, especially ones like us who work only occasionally and try not to work blue. So for the first time ever, a little “behind-the-scenes” up the butcher’s ass at NerdsOnSports, via gchat between myself and Will. I think I’m pretty much right; there isn’t a single angle on Ookie Mexico that I can come up with which hasn’t been covered by someone already. Except that time he got serious about dolphin-safe tuna…

Anyway, two boring nerds talking ahoy:

12:03 AM Will: I’m supposed to write something for wednesday

my mind is blank

12:06 AM me: you’re better off than me

i’ve been sooo unable to come up with anything

i’m trying to compare wacky japanese USB products to fantasy football picks but…

12:07 AM well…

that’s insane.

Will: yes

me: and it doesn’t work, quite frankly

Will: I believe you could continue your epic

or talk about a game with 30 runs

me: true

12:08 AM “lo, gil meche did commence sucking a fat one right around the all star break”

33 runs, if you add them both together

12:09 AM Will: right

only 6 of them charged to my pitcher

me: wait til next year, GM.

12:10 AM either way: not much else to cover

seems that the problem is blanket coverage


me: and that proves my point

everything that could be written has been written

well, not EVERYTHING

12:11 AM but we’re getting there

We needed a Wednesday update you say?

12:12 AM Will: well, my day is wednesday

me: we’ll call it collabo then

Oh, and hey, Starbury? Don’t ever, ever open your mouth again. You dumb bastard. Nobody asked you, don’t volunteer it. Matter of fact, that goes for everyone. Quit forgetting the lesson of Bad Dudes: “Never Trouble Trouble ‘Til Trouble Troubles You.”

[Business Day One] Fantasy Etiquette


Baseball’s not over yet. Not by a long shot. Most teams still have around 40 games left, and the divisional and wild card races aren’t buttoned up. Plenty of baseball left, to be sure. Oh, and Beckham fever is going strong. ESPN reported that 66,237 showed up for Saturday’s Red Bulls/Galaxy game. And the Little League World Series is as compelling as ever, with plucky kids from all over the country playing their hearts out for a shot at glory. Truly, a wonderful time to be a sports fan.

And all of this great stuff will be waiting for you when you get back. You see, you all are going to be busy for the next couple of weeks. It’s fantasy football draft season!

With fantasy football being as prolific as it is nowadays, I work under the assumption that everyone I know (including you the readers) is going to be drafting sometime between now and the start of the season. I also assume you’re already researching your late-round fliers and trying to figure out which non-LT, non-Steven Jackson running back is worth reaching for in the first round. As such, I’m not going to kick down your door and give you a sure-fire draft strategy that will win you a championship. You already have one, in theory. (Unless you plan on drafting wide receivers early. If that’s the case, I’m sorry. No one can help you.) No, what I’m here for today is to help you marry your fantasy football draft into the rest of your life. To let you know that it’s ok to be doing this, and to not do other things in order to do this. To put my hand on your shoulder and say “Hey, buddy. You can avoid a child’s soccer game to do a live draft at your old frat brother’s condo.” I’m like a modern day Miss Manners. If Miss Manners was a bald Italian that comes up with inspirational nicknames for all of his players.

So below is a list of commandments and suggestions that will help you navigate the tumultuous non-draft parts of your life during this most sacred draft time:

Your girlfriend will not understand why this is so important, so don’t explain the specifics. Read More