Monthly Archives: December 2010

Championship Week!

Championship Week

 


Once again we arrive at the biggest game of the year, the main event of the MLOM 2010 season.  And here are the notes about that week, notes that will be read by just two people, and one of those is writing them.

To be honest, Commish has been in a funk all week.  That let-down in the meadowlands last Sunday sapped my will to live, and sort of hastened my desire for the football season to just be over.  I watched the game itself with a massive hangover, a hangover which unexpectedly and ironically numbed the pain of the loss on the actual day, and I was probably too mentally slow and sluggish to really process what was happening.  Each passing day after Sunday, however, I grew more and more depressed when thinking about how in the hell the Giants could lose that game.  Top three Giants losses of all time, I say, and incredibly frustrating to think about.

It wasn’t until Christmas Eve that I had a little perspective on it and the sting of that horrific loss softened just a touch so that I could focus on preparing the Crackheeds for the Title Game and also consider sitting down to write anything about football, or fantasy football for that matter.  Yes, the pain is still there as a Giants fan, and yes the wounds could be opened right back up this Sunday against Green Bay, but at least I have the strength to face it again.

And in terms of fantasy, here we are again in Championship Week, when the last two survivors pit themselves against each other in an all-or-nothing struggle for the greatest thing that ever was:  The Crown of Tin Foil.  Two battered and weary warriors lick their wounds, straighten their armor, and begin to circle.  One shall stand, and one shall fall.

Inter-Division War

Final Regular Season Tally: Predators 17 wins, Aliens 12 wins

Post-Season Tally: Aliens 1 win, Predators 0 wins

The regular-season portion of the inter-division war is history, with the Predators proving clearly to have superior overall talent.  They will go down in the books as the top division in 2010.  However, a potential giant asterisk looms over the whole endeavor if the 6th seeded Rat Pack win this Title, because, if it happens, it will mean they climbed over two Predator teams to do it and none of the four Predator teams (out of five total) in the playoffs was good enough to take it all the way.

It’s only fitting that Eryn and I went and saw Aliens vs. Predator back in its opening week in August, 2004.  I was in San Diego for a trip away from residency, and I remember being giddy with anticipation, chanting “A-V-P!  A-V-P!” as we sat down to be entertained.  The movie was terrible, but in a good way, and I remember laughing at how every Predator was like Ray Lewis making dramatic tackles and how several of the main characters figured out completely nonsensical and overly complex story elements in mere seconds, a nifty plot device which had us howling in our seats.  Ah the memories.

That was all in fun, but this time it will be much more serious.  One Predator, one Alien, one fight.  Will the Predator crush an Alien Skull and then remove its spine as a trophy?  Or will the Alien skewer the Predator with its razor sharp tail and hiss in its dying face?   We find out the answer to those questions very shortly.  One question is already answered for everyone else in this league (who isn’t reading this anyway):  Whoever wins – we lose.

Quick, Which One of These Monsters is the Scariest?

 

 

Past Championship Games:

I wanted to take a quick look at the past championship games and see if they could avail us any information.  Whatever happens this week, this game will go down into the lore of MLOM history.  A new winner will be added to the Hall of Champions, and similarly a new team will enter the “First Loser” category in short order.

1999: Crazy Canucks defeat LT’s Crackheeds

2000: Los Pescaderos defeat Crazy Canucks

2001: LT’s Crackheeds (3 seed) defeat Over the Hill Gang (8 seed), 104 to 85

2002: LT’s Crackheeds (2 seed) defeat Over the Hill Gang (4 seed), 133 to 107

2003: Rat Pack (8 seed) defeat 1.21 Jigiwatts (2 seed) 107 to 99

2004: The Gang (1 seed) defeat The Brown Trout (2 seed), 162.98 to 104.11

2005: LT’s Crackheeds (2 seed) defeat Fightin’ Birdmen (4 seed), 164.21 to 97.45

2006: Fightin’ Birdmen (2 seed) defeat The GBP (5 seed), 101.42 to 68.73

2007: Crazy Canucks (1 seed) defeat Los Pescaderos (2 seed) 154.3 to 121.42

2008: The Rat Pack (3 seed) defeat Los Pescaderos (5 seed) 97.71 to 58.47

2009: Mormon Defenders (2 seed) defeat Fightin’ Birdmen (4 seed) 132.23 to 99.63

2010:  ???

Quirks and Numbers Analysis:

-This will be the first championship game featuring the 6th seeded team

-This will only be the third time in (recorded, so not including 1999 and 2000) league history that the 2nd seed won’t be included in the Title Game

-The Rat Pack are the 6th seed, and are the only playoff team with a losing record (regular season).  If they win, they will join their 2003 ancestors as the only other team to win a Crown with a losing regular season record.

-The Rat Pack are 2-0 in Title Games

-LT’s Crackheeds are 3-1 in Title Games

-Including the eventual winner of this game, half of the Crowns ever won will be by versions of these two teams

LT’s Crackheeds (7-6, 4th Seed) vs. The Rat Pack (6-7, 6th seed)

Recent History:

Week 10, Rat Pack 148.35 Defeat Crackheeds, 93.61

-Michael Vick goes off, dropping 59.96 points against the Redskins on MNF

-Going into the MNF game, Heeds were ahead 93 to 76, Rat Pack with just Vick and Akers left…

-Easily the Crackheed’s biggest loss of the season, but their only loss in their last 8 games, including playoffs

-Crackheeds 93 points was respectable in light of the Brees/Colston/Jennings/McFadden bye week

-There might have been more to this game, but why discuss anything but Vick?  He put  up the performance of the season.

Long-Term History:

Regular Season: Crackheeds 8 wins, Rat Pack 4 wins  (The Rat Pack have won 3 straight)

Post-Season:  Played just once, with the 2-Seeded Crackheeds defeating the 6th seeded Rat Pack 87 to 66 in a semi-final back in 2002.  Crackheeds went on to win the Crown that year.

Run to the Title Game: A look at the path of each team

LT’s Crackheeds

Talk about your up and down season for the Heeds.  Things started slowly, VERY slowly, and ultimately hit a pit of despair in week 7, when what appeared to be a nice looking win turned into a horrific loss at the hands of the Birdmen.  The fantasy game ended on the last play of the last game of MNF to boot, an extra point which took the NYG defense into the next scoring bracket, thus increasing the negative point bonus, pushing the Birdmen over the top, all of this after an absolutely meaningless Dez Bryant touchdown (his third of the game) and of course all of that on the heels of Carson Palmer’s 40 point blow-up in the George Dome, 37 of those points coming in the second half of that game.   It has been called by many, without hyperbole, the WORST loss in the history of fantasy football.

That loss took the despondent Heeds to 2-5, and the threat of the league ending or at least the Commish opting out the next season (as a manager – not as the Commish) was very, too real – a Cuban Missile Crisis of sorts for MLOM.  But then, the Heeds loosened up a bit, and played a hell of a lot better as a result.  Lee Evans Bitch made an appearance and The Heeds snuck a quick win over the gang.  Then came wins by “Bullshit Psyche Job”, “Straight E-Hurt”, “Fury of Batson”, and “Skippy Beau”, all helping propel the Heeds into the playoffs.  (Of the sassy names, only “Charlie Fucking Wax” couldn’t get the job done against the Rat Pack in week 10).  A huge win over The Brown Trout in week 16 sealed up a lot of things for the Heeds, a playoff spot, a pink jersey bet winner (and more importantly, loser), and a chance for another run at the Title.  The name went back to the classic, LT’s Crackheeds, two playoff victories followed, and here we are.

The reason for Crackheed success near the end of the season actually stems (oddly, for a team that started out so poorly) from Draft Day.  The Heeds spent a combined 167 dollars on just four players: Brees, Peterson, Jennings, and Colston.  Down the stretch it was the performance of those four players who anchored the playoff and eventual Title run for the Heeds.  (Since week 8, the beginning of that run, Brees hasn’t been under 20 points and only 3 times did Colston, Jennings, or Peterson not produce at least 10 points each.)    Over the course of the season the Heeds put up the third most points, quite respectable, and the consistency of that core group of players is what has helped them stay steady down the stretch.

The Rat Pack

After a disappointing end to the 2009 campaign – a season which featured a semi-final one and done loss for the 11-2 Rat Pack, who were also coming off their second consecutive scoring crown – the Rat Pack seemed destined for a mediocre season at best.  They played QB roulette at the draft and in the first few weeks, but then something magical happened – they stumbled upon Michael Vick (it happened September 18th, 3:54 pm, according to the MLOM official waiver ledger).

Despite acquiring the season’s top free agent to be, the Rat Pack still struggled in the early portion of the season.  They lost their first four games and were just 1-5 before starting to turn things around.  From week 7 on they went 5-2 and secured a playoff berth with a huge week 13 win over the struggling GBP.  That win, a 120-40, 80-point drubbing, was the largest margin of victory by any team in the league this season.   Perhaps more important and more clutch was a 6 point win over The Gang in week 12, fueled by Vick’s 30 point outing against the Chicago Bears.

The Rat Pack have put it together this year with an odd mix of blow-up potential players (Vick, Charles, Vernon Davis) coupled with solid consistent players (Steven Jackson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis), great defense and Kicking play (Tops in Kicker points this season, near the top in defense), and superstars in less than ideal team situations (Austin, Fitzgerald), who though struggling at times can still put it together on certain weeks.  It’s an iffy formula because it can potentially be inconsistent, but it has worked.

This is a team that has gotten steadily stronger.  A 67-point stink bomb opened their season, but they haven’t looked back, scoring more than 85 points in every game since and breaking the 120 point barrier four times in the regular season and once more last week in the semi-finals.  Including the two recent playoff games, they’ve been over 100 points for four straight weeks and haven’t been under 96 points since week 7.

Title Game Analysis:

Commish’s initial thoughts on this game came down to this.  One team has Vick and one team doesn’t.  And in the end, it’s still sort of that way, but let’s take a quick look at the QB and RB positions to find out where the meat of this game will be.

Quarterback

Heeds:  Brees, 334.29 points (2nd overall at position)

Pack: Vick, 333.86 points (3rd overall at position)

Analysis:  In the old days you would say Brees was a predictably streaky quarterback, playing well at home and struggling on the road.  This year that hasn’t been the case, and he’s been consistent throughout, or at least harder to predict.  And Vick, is well, Vick.  He’s missed at least four games this season due to injury or not starting (Kevin who?), and still he sits at third in his position (by less than a point) and has the potential to drop 50 points more so than any other player, possibly in the history of fantasy football.  Right team, right time, right talent.  Vick is downright scary.  He also gets a cake match-up this week at home against a Vikings team that has more or less given up, while Brees goes on the road for a tough divisional struggle.  Is Vick up for the challenge after the huge divisional comeback last week?  Commish can only hope for a let-down game from Vick.

Edge: Rat Pack

Running Back

Heeds: Peterson (218 points, 5th), McFadden (214 points, 6th)

Pack:  Jackson (175 points, 13th), Charles (191 points, 11th)

Analysis:  Normally this is a Crackheed category and that’s that.  But this week AP’s health is highly questionable (as is his injury designation), and he could be another scratch.  Problem is he’s the late game on Sunday night, so the risk is huge.  Odds are Commish has to sit him and plug in a match-up play.  Luckily there are a few around it seems.  McFadden is solid and will be facing the Colts soft run defense.  He’s a must start.  For the Rat Pack, both Jackson and Charles have nice match-ups and could easily turn in great days.

Edge: Rat Pack

Final Analysis:  As I sit and look down the match-ups above as well as the rest, the overall feel of my prediction is clear.  As the manager of the Heeds, I’ll be telling my boys any given team can win on any given day, we all put our pants on one leg at a time, Drew Brees can blow up at any time and all that.  But as an “objective” Commish looking at all the information, assessing the very probable lack of Adrian Peterson and presence of fantasy monster Michael Vick, it actually becomes a very easy prediction.  This is the season that fantasy and real football combine to push the Commish to the utter limit, with horrendous fantasy losses for the Heeds and even more horrendous real-life losses for the Giants.  This is a week that just might break me as a football fan, and even a human being.  It might only be fitting that the Crackheeds lose a title match because of an Eagle’s quarterback one week after that same quarterback ripped out my heart against the Giants.  It’s all too much, frankly, and I have this sense of foreboding that things are simply headed that way.  The more I brace for it, the easier it will be to bear.  Maybe.

Prediction: Rat Pack

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Playoff Preview, Round 2

Playoff Preview – Round 2

Welcome to the Semi-Finals Round here in MLOM.  We’ve got just four teams left and just two weeks to go until we know who will win the vaunted Crown of Tin Foil and be declared Champion of the Universe of the Century….OF THE WEEK!

With the Gang and Birdmen bowing out in close games last week it’s down to the Canucks, Crackheeds, Pescaderos, and Rat Pack.  So far in the history of MLOM, there have been 11 Crown Winners.  And of those eleven Crowns, eight of them are owned by these four teams.  That tells this Commish that we’ve got an experienced group on our hands duking it out for the Title.

The Crackheeds look to grab their fourth Title and stay two ahead of the next best.  The Canucks and Rat Pack both eagerly seek to tie the Crackheeds at three franchise Titles, and Los Pescaderos dream of joining the other three teams in the Semi-Finals as the multi-Crown winners of the league.  From a historic perspective, it seems whoever wins will dramatically reshape the Hall of Champions.   And no matter what happens this week, our Title Game will feature an inter-divisional battle, a nice little extra to add the dramatic climax of the 2010 MLOM Season.

OK, only about an hour to go until Commish has to get ready for the Mon Mothma Kwanzaa Blow Out Celebration 2010, so these notes will be short and to the point, focusing on brief previews of this week’s match-ups.  At the end of the year, I’m hoping to do a season wrap up notes no matter who wins, so stay tuned for that. (And as we all know Commish is incredibly consistent at delivering on his end of season Commish Note promises – you can take ‘em to the bank basically.)

New odds for the Crown of Tin Foil:

-Los Pescaderos 3:2

-Rat Pack 3:1

-LT’s Crackheeds 3:1

-Crazy Cancucks 4:1

Games Preview:

LT’s Crackheeds, (7-6, 4th seed) vs. Crazy Canucks, (9-4, 1st seed)

Recent History:

Week 2: Canucks defeat Crackheeds  114.85 to 101.55

-Rodgers outduels Brees 30 points to 25

-Canuck WRs (Moss/Jackson/Cribbs) outduel Crackheed WRs (Jennings/Colston/Smith) 44 to 15

-Peterson/McFadden outduel Thomas/Bradshaw 43 to 19

-Battle of Zach Miller vs. Heath Miller is a dud, 4.7 to 1.2

-Baltimore’s defense against Cincy scores just 2 points for the Heeds, starting a season long trend of the Heeds being in some way schooled by Carson Palmer

Week 11: Crackheeds defeat Canucks 147.60 to 95.94

-Rodgers goes for 42 points, with 3 TD passes to Greg Jennings (34 points)

-Brees drops 37 of his own

-Randy Moss throws up a goose egg against the Redskins

-Colston puts up 26 points

-Tomlinson puts up 11 points, Bradshaw just 0.08 points for the Canucks

-Peterson and McFadden limited to just 11 points between them, Mercedes Lewis scores 12.90

Long Term History:

Regular Season: Crackheeds 10 wins, Canucks 7 wins

Post-Season History:  Canucks defeat Crackheeds in Title Game, 1999, to win the inaugural Crown of Tin Foil;  Crackheeds defeat Canucks in semi-final in 2005 (The Chris Cooley game), go on to win the 2005 Crown;

Thoughts/Prediction:  The Canucks enter this game the number one seed, but their recent record is not all that good.  They were once 8-1 before dropping 3 or their last 4 games.  They haven’t scored over 100 points since week 9 and did it just once in their past six games.  Now they come in with injury issues everywhere.  Harvin is a mess, DeSean Jackson has a foot injury, Pierre Thomas is a disaster, and of course Aaron Rodgers, who has been the lone bright spot for this team in recent weeks is not going to play.  That leaves the Canucks scrambling to fill positions, never a good sign when it’s happening at so many different spots.  With nothing to lose, the Canucks can simply go for it with reckless abandon, and they can play pure match-ups, which in all honesty seem to win more and more fantasy games these days, especially late in the season.   The Crackheeds, despite a recent hot streak (winners of 4 straight including last week, and 6 of their last 7), are also full of question marks this week, namely injuries to some receivers, tough match ups (Brees/Colston in Baltimore against the Ravens) and a likely lack of effectiveness from stalwarts such as Greg Jennings and Adrian Peterson who suffer from being in less than ideal team situations at present.  One thing the Heeds have been is consistent this season (never scored less than 86 points all year), and Commish suspects that this week that will be enough, unless Canucks can overcome a lot of obstacles and really pull something out of their asses come Sunday.

Prediction:  Heeds win

Los Pescaderos (8-5, 2nd seed) vs. The Rat Pack (6-7, 6th seed)

Recent History:

Week 1: Los Pescaderos win 133.36 to 67.85

-Schaub puts up just 6.77 points, but outduels the quickly injured Kevin Kolb (just 0.86 points), which would ultimately be a good thing for the Pack

-Wes Welker and Ochocinco blow up for 45 points for Los Pescaderos

-The Pack put just two players over 10 points, Miles Austin (23.73) and Larry Fitzgerald (10.37)

-Arian Foster busts onto the 2010 scene with a 41.22 point performance

-Pittsburgh defense begins their domination with a 9 point outing, besting Eryn’s Negative 3 points from Cincinnati (who wouldn’t stay on the roster long)

Week  11:  Los Pescaderos win 159.88 to 96.93

-Ryan Fitzpatrick drops 34.80 points for the Pescaderos (against Cincy)

-Michael Vick is held to 19 points against the NYG defense (whom he plays again this week, in NY)

-Los Pescas are basically unstoppable, with all but 2 players getting double digit points.  Weak links include Frank Gore (6.88 points), and Chris Cooley (9.57).  Bironas and Pittsburgh defense go off for a combined 34 points.

-Not a horrible game for the Rat Pack, with the exception of Vernon Davis (0.70) points.

Long Term History:

Regular Season: Los Pescaderos 11 wins, Rat Pack 5 wins

Post-Season:  Los Pescaderos defeat Rat Pack in 2001 Sem-Final;  Rat Pack defeat Los Pescaderos in 2008 Title Game

Thoughts/Prediction:

Last season the Rat Pack were in the Pescadero’s position, waiting for the semi-finals with a division title and a points title all locked up.  Then an uppity 4-seeded Birdmen came in and knocked them out of the dance.  Will Los Pescaderos similarly suffer a letdown this week?  The key once again for the Rat Pack is Michael Vick.  Commish can rest assured that Gabe will be with him in full support of the NYG defense this week.  Last time Vick played the G-Men, he put up 19 points in Philly.  This week’s game is in New York, and it seems it could go either way. Both of these teams enter this week’s game red hot, and Commish suspect this game is likely to be close.  In the end, Commish must support the efforts of the destruction of Michael Vick this week, and with nothing better to go on will go ahead and predict victory for Gabe and his high scoring squad, who have more than any other team clearly earned the right to play for the Title.

Prediction: Los Pescaderos

Commish


Playoff Preview – Round 1

Hey League,

I wanted to get out this playoff preview before kickoff of the #%*$*# Thursday game (which I hate).  Look back for more notes later this week regarding regular season finale stuff.  Before the playoff preview, let’s do some odds for the potential Crown Winners this year.  Odds are based on seeding, schedule, roster, and Commish sense.

Assuming for a moment than every game is a coin flip (50 percent chance of winning), then the “probability” of winning the Crown is 25 percent for teams with a bye and 12.5 percent for teams without a bye.  So if nothing else were to be considered, and all games were essentially a coin flip, then the odds would look like this:

Canucks/Pescas: 3:1

All other teams: 7:1

Now figuring in all that other stuff, here are the Commish’s Official odds of winning the Crown before the playoffs start:  (Anyone care to place a bet?)

-Los Pescaderos 4:1

-Crazy Canucks 9:2

-Birdmen 9:2

-Crackheeds: 7:1

-Rat Pack: 7:1

-The Gang 10:1

In my mind, the bye is HUGE.  Keep that in mind – I used it when setting the odds.

OK, let’s preview the games.

Playoff  Games Preview

LT’s Crackheeds, 7-6, 4th seed  vs.  The Gang, 7-6, 5th seed


Can Brees lead the Heeds to their fourth Crown?

Is Josh Freeman the answer for the struggling Gang?

Recent History:

Week 1: The Gang win 97.16 to 94.66

Highlights:

-The closest game of the year in the entire league

-Hakeem Nicks goes off for 25.00 points, opening up what turns out to be a monster season, and Romo adds 19  to help the Gang

-For the Heeds, Peterson puts up just 9 points, McFadden bursts onto the 2010 scene with a 20.58 point game

Week 8: Crackheeds win 97.62 to 90.11

Highlights:

-Brees puts up 24 points at home against the Steelers

-Peterson and McFadden combine for 34 points

-Kitna puts up 15 points for the gang

-Kenny Britt puts up a goose egg, Blair White just 1.6 points – the difference

-PPR gets 19 points from Dan Carpenter and 19 more from Oakland (vs. Seattle) Defense

Long Term History:

Regular Season: Crackheeds 10 wins, The Gang 6 wins

Postseason History: Crackheeds 2 wins, The Gang 1 win;  Crackheeds defeated the Gang in successive Title Games in 2001 and 2002;  Gang Defeated Crackheeds in early round match-up on their way to the Crown in 2004

The Lesson:  When these two play in the post-season, the winner gets The Crown.

Thoughts:

This game features a pair of Jekyll and Hyde teams.  The Crackheeds started the season 2-5 but then went 5-1 in their last 6 games, and haven’t scored less than 93 points since week 5.  The Gang started the season 5-1 but went just 2-5 in their last 7 games.  Despite going 1-3 in their last four games, they haven’t scored less than 102 points in those final four games.  Just 22.93 points separate the team totals here for the season – all things considered these are remarkably even teams record and points wise over the course of the year.  The Gang are notably decimated by injuries, but might have Hakeem Nicks back in time for Sunday’s match-up, causing the ever bothersome dual rooting issues for the Commish.   Match-up wise this week things seem to slightly favor the Crackheeds.  Matt Cassel became the latest casualty for the Gang this week after having his appendix out Wednesday.  PPR notably picked up Josh Freeman, can he pave the way for a playoff win?

Predictions: Tough game to call, and the close nature of the 4 vs. 5 seed is in full effect here.  Commish will go homer style and pick the Crackheeds to win, but only because his stars seem to be playing strong at the right time.  PPR is the one mostly stuck playing match-ups due to his injuries, and that strategy, though essential in this case, definitely has boom or bust potential.  This one could easily go either way.

Final Prediction: Heeds win another close one.

Fightin’ Birdmen 9-4, 3rd seed, vs. The Rat Pack, 6-7, 6th seed


Peyton Manning – Even his stretching is intense

Enter the ex-dog Terminator and current Fantasy Terminator

Recent History:

Week 2: Birdmen win, 113.26 to 107.35

Highlights:

Fairly even game position by position with a few key advantages for Birdmen

-Cutler (vs. Dallas) barely out-duels Peyton Manning (vs NYG) 30.74 points to 29.66 points

-Birdmen RBs (Turner and Portis) total 21 points, Rat Pack RBs (Jackson and D. Williams) total 19

-Birdmen WRs (Wayne/Garcon/Breaston) total 18 points, Rat Pack WRs (Fitz/Austion/Meachem) 26 points

-Birdmen TE (Gates), 18 points, dominates Rat Pack TE (Davis) 9.20 points

-Birdmen DEF and K  (Jeff Reed/Minnesota) total 25 points, Rat Pack DEF/K (Akers/Tampa Bay) total 22 points

Long Term History

Regular Season: Birdmen 8 wins, Rat Pack 5 wins

Post Season History:

Played just once, with the 4-seed Birdmen defeating the 1-seed Rat Pack 115.92 to 89.98  in the semi-final just last season in 2009.

Thoughts:

The Birdmen put together an impressive season with 9 wins and just 4 losses.  They were under 100 points just 3 times this season (all losses) and they won 6 of their last 7 down the stretch.  The Birdmen have a solid team from top to bottom and put up the second most points of all teams in MLOM in 2010, falling just 36 points of the leader Los Pescaderos.  They drafted well and then hit free agent gold with Brandon Lloyd and Steve Johnson.  The loss of Dez Bryant hurts to some extent, but the shoring up of the second RB with Forte (who has had a good statistical season) really makes the Birdmen into contenders.  Peyton Manning’s recent struggles are more “real football” concerns than fantasy concerns, and odds are the interceptions will be reduced in coming weeks.  If Gates gets fully healthy again, then look out for the Birdmen in these playoffs.  If they had secured the bye, Commish would probably have them as favorites for the Crown this year.

The Rat Pack in contrast started out just 1-5 before going on a late season tear and finishing at 5-2 down the stretch.  Their point production was solid throughout, and helped immensely by the play of Fantasy Rocketship Michael Vick in recent weeks.  The Rat Pack haven’t scored below 93 points since week 5, which was the end of their big losing streak.  Starting QB’s for the Rat Pack this year, week by week, look like this:

Kolb, Cutler, Vick, Vick, Hill, Cutler, Cutler, Stafford, Vick, Vick, Vick, Vick, Vick

The record without Vick in the line-up:  3-3

The record with Vick in the line-up:  3-4

Interestingly, the perceived beast of Vick has not translated into the dominating win/loss performance one might expect, though the point production and the ability to “make opponents physically ill” at the thought of playing against Vick has been fairly staggering.

Predictions: A lot of attention is rightfully paid to Michael Vick, but he (probably) can’t win it alone.  The problem for the Rat Pack this week is match-ups, and Fitzgerald is being held hostage at gun point by Derek Anderson (and being covered by Champ Bailey) and Miles Austin has been more miss than hit this season.  Lance Moore is a total wild card.  Steven Jackson is unlikely to have a huge game in the Superdome and Jamal Charles might be on team featuring Brody Croyle as the QB (Cassel had his appendix out Wednesday).  Does Eron gamble on James Starks (RB – GB)?   Vernon Davis is always a nice match up but both Rat Pack defenses are in a tough spot this week, going against NE and IND respectively.    For the Birdmen you can bet Manning is angry, let’s call his match up vs. Michael Vick a wash.  From top to bottom the Birdmen seem to be in a better match up place this week, especially if Antonio Gates is healthy.  A timely pick up of the Atlanta Defense (coveted by the too slow Commish) could be really nice.  All in all, the Rat Pack is the team that scares the hell out of everyone right now, but Commish favors the strong and steady Birdmen in a fairly close game.

Final Prediction: Birdmen win




Commish Notes Week 12 – Running Toward the Playoffs

Twelve weeks down and just one to go until the MLOM 2010 Regular Season goes officially into the books.  There’s plenty of drama left for all involved.  Most of these notes will focus on the somewhat cloudy playoff picture, and we’ll get to that shortly.  The week twelve game results all seemed to gravitate toward the idea of keeping it close down the home stretch and frankly, here in MLOM, most of us wouldn’t have it any other way.

Inter-Division War

 

Before we dive into the playoffs, let’s take a quick look at the inter-division war.  The Predators have clinched the battle and currently lead the Aliens by count of 16 to 12.  There is only one game remaining, and it’s a doozy, between LT’s Crackheeds and the Brown Trout here in week 13.  As far as inter-division wars go, this won’t be the most extreme (as when the Ninjas lit up the Samurais 19-11 back in 2005) nor will it be the closest (as when Cobra defeated GI Joe by a 15-14 margin in 2008), but nevertheless, it will be a part of MLOM history.

 

Ok, on to the topic at hand.

 

 

Playoff Picture

We’re just one game away from completing the 2010 regular season.  What makes it so exciting is that the playoff picture is still  a mess and can go a lot of different directions.  The Predators Division is still up for grabs, while the (much weaker) Aliens division belongs solely to Los Pescaderos.  We currently have four teams clinched for the playoffs, and just two spots remain.  Those two spots will be fought over by four teams this week.   Two teams are entirely out of the hunt, but still figure prominently in shaping the playoff picture with their performances this week.

Given all the combinations/permutations, I decided to try and approach this from two angles in order to (hopefully) simplify and clarify the playoff picture.  The first approach is to look at each week 13 game and state what’s on the line.  The second is a team by team look which looks at every team in the playoff hunt.

Here’s what we know right now:

In the Playoffs:  Canucks (8-4), Birdmen(8-4), Gang (8-4), Pescaderos(7-5)

In the Hunt for the last two spots:  Crackheeds (6-6), Brown Trout (6-6), GBP (6-6), Rat Pack(5-7)

Out of the Hunt: Defenders (3-9), Jigiwatts (4-8)

Of the two divisions, the Aliens Division is the only one clinched.  Los Pescaderos, despite lacking the official Yahoo Asterisk of Playoff Certainty, are in the playoffs and have clinched the (weaker) division.  Their division record, even with a loss this week, would still top all others within the division and their points are far and away ahead.  So they’ve clinched not just a playoff spot, but a bye, and no less then the number two seed.  Nice work Gabe.  That said, Los Pescaderos still have important work to do, because what remains up in the air is perhaps the most important issue of all – the Pink Jersey Bet.  Gabe can clinch that too with a win or a Brown Trout loss.  If Los Pescaderos lose and the Brown Trout win, well then we all lose because the hated (tell ‘em Adam) pussy cushion factor comes into serious play as both teams would likely tie.  If that happens, then one of the Buhr Brothers must win the Crown itself to make the other team lose the bet.   Lastly, if both teams win, then Los Pescaderos win the bet UNLESS the Brown Trout also win this week, make the playoffs, and then go on to win the Crown.

 

Let’s start breaking this down with a look at this week’s upcoming games:

 

LT’s Crackheeds (or other name) vs. The Brown Trout

What’s at stake:   Basically, a playoff spot, because the winner is in.

If the Crackheeds win:

-The Crackheeds are in the playoffs

-The Brown Trout are OUT of the playoffs unless the Rat Pack win their game against the GBP and The Brown Trout outscore the Rat Pack this week by 90 points.  (So basically, if the Brown Trout lose they are out)

-Los Pescaderos win the Pink Jersey Bet.

If the Brown Trout win:

-The Brown Trout are in the playoffs

-The Crackheeds are out of the playoffs if the GBP beat the Rat Pack.  If the Rat Pack win that game, it comes down to points, with the higher point total between the Crackheeds and the Rat Pack making the playoffs.  The Crackheeds are currently 47 points ahead of the Rat Pack.

-The Pink Jersey Bet is prolonged based on the outcome of the Los Pescaderos game this week and the possibility of either Buhr brother winning the Crown.

Mormon Defenders vs. Crazy Canucks

What’s at Stake:  The Canucks can clinch the division and the number one seed

If the Canucks win:

-They clinch the Predators Division and the Number One Seed

If the Defenders Win:

-The Predators Division is up in the air.  If the Birdmen beat the Gang, the Birdmen would clinch the division and the number one seed.  If the Gang beat the Birdmen, it will come down to who has more points between the Gang and the Canucks.  The Gang are currently 53 points ahead of the Canucks.

The Rat Pack vs. The GBP

What’s at Stake:  A playoff spot, most likely.  (And definitely for the GBP)

If the GBP win:

-The GBP clinch a playoff spot, and the Rat Pack are done.  The remaining playoff spot goes to the winner of the Crackheeds/Brown Trout game

If the Rat Pack win:

-The GBP are out of the playoffs for sure

-The Rat Pack can make the playoffs IF they have more points than the loser of the Crackheeds/Brown Trout game.  They currently have an 89 point advantage over the Brown Trout, and a 47 point deficit to the Crackheeds.  (Translation: They need to win and root for a Brown Trout loss.)

1.21 Jigiwatt’s vs. Los Pescaderos

What’s at Stake:  Overall seeding for Los Pescaderos and the Pink Jersey Bet

If Los Pescaderos win:

-The Pink Jersey bet will have a winner, and more importantly a loser, and the winner is likely Gabe

-They have a shot at the number one overall seed if The Canucks and Birdmen both lose.  It will come down to points.  They currently lead the Birdmen by 48 points and the Canucks by a million (125) points.

If 1.21 Jigiwatt’s win:

-Los Pescaderos are the number two seed in the playoffs (they have already clinched their division)

-They could potentially tie in the Pink Jersey Bet, in which case the rest of the league loses

-Fwats, feel free to throw this game for the good of the league!!!

The Gang vs. The Fightin’ Birdmen

What’s at Stake:  Possibly the Number one Seed in the playoffs and a bye

If The Gang win:

-The Gang can actually clinch the division if the Canucks lose AND they outscore the Canucks.  They currently have a 40 point edge on the Canucks.

If the Birdmen win:

-They clinch the division with a Canucks loss.  If the Canucks also win, the Birdmen lose the division by way of division record and points are irrelevant.

 

 

OK, now a team by team look for those in the hunt:

Crazy Canucks:

If they win this week:

-Clinch the division and the number one seed

If they lose:

-Will be seeded anywhere from 1st to 4th depending on outcome of Birdmen/Gang game and Pescaderos/Jigiwatts game.  (Too many potentials to list)

Fightin’ Birdmen:

If they win this week:

-Clinch the division with a Canucks loss OR

-Clinch number 3 seed if Canucks win

If they lose this week:

-Will be either number 3 or number 4 seed depending on total points vs. The Gang

The Gang:

If they win this week:

-Can clinch the division IF the Canucks lose and the Gang outscore the Canucks (currently they have a 40 point edge)  OR

-If the Canucks win or outscore the Gang overall, will be either 3rd or 4th seed (based on points vs. The Birdmen)

If they lose this week:

-Will be seeded either 4th, 5th, or 6th based on other results, but likely 4th or 5th (looking at current points)

LT’s Crackheeds:

If they win this week:

-Clinch a playoff spot, seeding either 4th or 5th

-Guarantee the Pink Jersey bet does not end in a horrible, horrible tie

If they lose this week:

-Can still make the playoffs IF The Rat Pack defeat the GBP but do not outscore the Crackheeds for the season (Heeds currently have a 47 point edge); if this happens they would be the 6th seed

Los Pescaderos:

If they win this week:

-Win the Pink Jersey Bet unless the Brown Trout win the Crown

-Can seed number one if Canucks and Birdmen both lose and they remain ahead of Birdmen and Canucks in points (they lead the Birdmen by 48 points, the Canucks by over 100 points), otherwise they seed number 2

If they lose this week:

-Still win the Pink Jersey Bet if the Brown Trout lose

-Will seed number 2 in the playoffs

The Brown Trout:

If they win this week:

-They clinch a playoff spot, either 4th, 5th, or 6th seed depending on the outcome of the Gang/Birdmen game as well as points against the Gang (if they lose) and the outcome of the GBP/Rat Pack game.  Basically, they win and they’re in.

-They can TIE (lame!) the Pink Jersey Bet if Los Pescaderos lose, and that tie would only be broken if one of the Brother’s Buhr won the Crown (double lame).

If they lose this week:

-They are out of the playoffs UNLESS the Rat Pack beat the GBP and The Brown Trout outscore the Rat Pack for the season (unlikely as the Rat Pack currently have a 90 point edge).

-They lose the Pink Jersey Bet

The GBP

If they win this week:

-They clinch a playoff spot, either 5th or 6th seed

If they lose this week:

-They are out of the playoffs (Rat Pack would have them on points)

The Rat Pack:

If they win this week:

-The clinch ONLY if they have more total points than the loser of the Crackheeds/Brown Trout game.  They currently trail the Crackheeds by 47 points and currently lead the Brown Trout by 90 points.

If they lose this week:

-They are out of the playoffs

 

And so it goes, a fairly convoluted playoff picture with a fair amount of mystery just one week away from the dance.  Sunday should prove exciting to multiple teams this week if nothing else.

 

And there it is.  I wanted to get these out as quick as I could.  No time for stats or other analysis this week.  Hopefully when the dust settles from week 13 we can take a look back at the regular season and also preview the playoffs and follow the run to the Crown.

 

Good luck to all teams this week, except The Brown Trout.

 

Commish