Well, well, well, we’re back and ready to attack!
Guess what? I watched a lot of football this past week and it was awesome. Despite a power outage on opening Thursday, and a Direct TV fiasco for the early games on Sunday, I wasn’t the least bit dampened in my appetite for the NFL. I somehow got through all of Friday on radio silence without hearing a thing about the Saints/Packers game and got around to watching it Friday night. On Sunday we were at the bar all day and then I got to watch the Jets/Cowboys on DVR later that night. That game, by the way, was the best viewing of the weekend. On Monday I watched the entire Pats/Dolphins game and though I lost my fantasy game because of the events therein I was still pumped, and not the least bit because Jaws dropped an S-bomb on the air. I was only able to skim the Raiders/Broncos game due to how late it was on, but I made up for that on Tuesday by watching two of Direct TV’s “Short Cuts” (Atl/Chi and a replay of NYG/Wash) which feature every play from an entire game in a half hour – a great way to catch up on anything you missed. (Although a sad commentary on just how much actual football is played in a “3-hour” game.) It was just a great week to suck up a ton of football. Man I’m fired up the season is back.
And with the NFL, MLOM too is back and already blowing up. We’ve got good teams, bad teams, ugly teams, injuries. In many ways, feels like we never left. I’m writing the bulk of these notes AFTER doing the first ever MLOM podcast which Iwan and I wrapped last night somewhere around midnight. It was a ton of fun to do and remarkably easy compared to actually sitting down and writing Commish notes, which take hours longer.
Because we did the podcast I feel that I can shorten these notes a bit, focus on a quick recap of week 1 via our Players of the Week segment, speak briefly about the inter-division war, and then move on to some quick power rankings. I’m still feeling my way on how to best document the season, but I’m thinking that a good mix of podcast and brief notes should keep everyone entertained. Comments as always are appreciated and welcome.
With that, let’s jump right to the weekly awards.
Game of the Week:
Crazy Canucks (142.51) over LT’s Crackheeds ( 123.79)
MLOM’s oldest rivalry claims the game of the week honors with a shootout between the Commish’s team and the team the Commish trashed in the draft grades and early power rankings. Good at every level, we ‘ve got a score of 42 to 39 after Thursday night, 99 to 95 after Sunday Day games, 112 to 108 after Sunday night, and then finally the Welker explosion on Monday night putting the Canucks on top for the win. It doesn’t get much tighter than that (that’s what she said – oh!). A lot more on this epic battle in the podcast.
Players of the Week
Tom Brady, 45.91 points, 32 of 48, 517 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Int, 3 rushing yards (key)
Just days after Brees and Rodgers put up an epic duel in Green Bay, Brady one ups them both by going off to the tune of 500-plus and 4 TD’s. The 99-yard TD to Welker, besides being a dagger to the Crackheeds, was a straight up Madden play and just a sight to behold. I could have done without the constant verbal fellatio of Brady from the MNF crew (It started about one minute into the game and certainly didn’t quit), and certainly without that godawful Uggs commercial, but still this performance was one for the ages, and certainly worth our award for:
Costacos Brothers Poster of the Week: (New feature!)
If you’re thinking right now, “Oh my God is that Bernie Kosar in a flight suit standing in front of a fighter jet?!?” you can most certainly rest assured that it is. Congratulations to you Tom Brady, for winning this prestigious award.
(A note on the Costacos Sports Brother posters: I had about half of them in my room in high school, and they pretty much rocked. This year I’ll try and feature one each week and award to it a Player or Team (or Coach) of the week. Couldn’t start with anyone else but Bernie Kosar and his fabled Air Raid. Oh my God the sirens!!! Bernie’s back to pass – Get to the shelters, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! Just look at how he fills out that flight suit! So awesome.)
Running Back of the Week
Ray Rice, 28.72 points, 107 yards, 1 TD, 4 rec. for 42 yard, 1 rec TD
Lots of potential nicknames for Ray Rice, including the classic Ray Ray and any one of a number of plays on the word Rice, but I’m going to go with Ray “Anything but Vanilla” Rice, Rice Baby, at least for this week. It’s a mouthful (insert joke here), but Rice was a beast this week, an absolute handful (insert joke here) for the Steelers and led the attack for the two-headed monster that is Mitchell’s Marauders.
Wide Receiver of the Week:
Wes Welker, 29.67; 8 for 160, 2 TDs (including a 99 yard TD rec)
Bill Simmons called it the greatest fantasy football play ever, and I be inclined to agree if it didn’t happen in week 1. Imagine that play happening in Week 15! It killed my beloved Crackheeds (up until then Iwan and I were going right back and forth in our aforementioned epic game) but I must give it props. What’s most hilarious to me is how it will affect Wes Welker’s yard-per-catch average over the course of the season. His career average is 10.9 YPC. His current average is 20.0. How many 5 yard curls will it take for his average to go back to baseline?
Tight End of the Week:
Aaron Hernandez, 19.37 points (7 for 103, 1 TD)
It looks like a complete sweep for the Patriots in the passing game this week. The Patriots two-tight-end attack was impressive indeed against the hapless Dolphins secondary, and I look forward not only to having Gronk on my squad but also trying the dual-TE tactic in Madden this year. Combine Hernandez and Gronkowski into one player and you might have the best tight end in the history of fantasy.
Coach of the Week:
Iwan Thomas, Crazy Canucks
I’m not sure what happened in the Canuck locker room this week, but I’m willing to bet that Iwan took my draft grades and pinned them promptly up on the bulletin board. Then his mostly-white team gathered round and became angry. Real angry. Wes Welker was especially frothing. Then they went out and put up 142 points on the Crackheeds’ heeds. Not only that but GM Canuck was also active this week, snagging Jordy Nelson with an oft forgot Thursday FA rule and then getting this week’s FA prize, the Steeler’s defense at home against Tavaris Jackson (One man’s trash is another man’s treasure apparently). My God that’s a juicy matchup. Congrats to the Canucks.
Team of the Week:
The Gang, 142.77 points
The Gang took command in their season opener, dropping a league high 142.77 points on the poor Pescaderos and making a bold move toward the top of the power rankings list. Using Tom Brady’s 45 points as an anchor, they looked solid across the board from Lesean McCoy’s 27 points to another 20 from defense and special teams. In the process they achieved their highest score since the middle of 2009. Well done Gang, you’re our team of the week.
Goat of the Week:
Pittsburgh Defense, -4 points
It’s never as fun to rank an entity, such as a defense, as the goat of the week. Generally it’s more fun to pick a person. But the Steelers putting up negative 4 points after being projected at 12 is tough to ignore, especially when that 16 point swing would have won the Birdmen the week. Hey Stillers’, come get your horns. You might be great other weeks, just not this time.
As so often happens in movies, the villains strike first with PPR leading the Enemies of the Crown over England’s finest. Gabe’s team looked shaken (not stirred – oh!) at the onslaught of the mighty Gang this week, and that was all it took for The Enemies to take a quick lead. There was confusion, too. At one point in the bar after a long TD catch from LeSean McCoy, I said “Uh oh, Gabe, ‘Leseando’ with a long touchdown run…” Gabe, thinking I had said “DE-Seando with a long TD run”, began to get up and dance around, doing quite the jig. When I got his attention again, and informed him of his mistaken assumption, he stopped dancing and his facial expression changed a fair bit. By the way, if Gwen and I have a son, we’re going to have trouble decidine between the following names: Jamichael, Jermichael, Lemichael and Demichael. What do you think?
PPR’s win this week was sponsored by:
“Good luck with the floor James. I’ve set the timers for six minutes, the same six minutes you gave me. It was the least I could do for a ‘friend’.”
Slap Chop Official Power Rankings:
Here’s a recap of the rankings after the draft last week:
1)The Brown Trout
5)The Rat Pack
And here’s how things look going into week 2. The escalation of Mitchell’s Marauders basically drops a lot of other teams. Don’t want to read too much into week 1 alone, so I kept most movement fairly limited, but the two-headed monster could not be contained. Overall, these rankings are like football itself, a game of inches, and I think every team is in this thing, even the 9th place Defenders. I honestly worry for the Birdmen, though. Curse you Peyton Manning’s Spine!!
1)The Gang (1-0) Huge opening week for the Gang who look fierce with a major stud at every level (Brady, McCoy, Nicks) and good complements. The 142 point outing to start the season was damn impressive. The injury bug stopped the Gang last year, what if they stay healthy this time?
2)Mitchell’s Marauders (1-0) The two-headed monster is like a mullet, business up front and party in the back. They come at you from multiple angles. If Steve Smith’s corpse has truly been reanimated this year, then look out. Word is that these guys are the talk of Hollywood, not to mention MLOM. Easily one of my favorite teams so far.
3)The Brown Trout (0-1) Didn’t quite live up the hype on opening week, of course opening week’s just not their style (0-7 in their last seven consecutive openers). Don’t want to read too much into one week, but the curse of the Commish looks to be in full effect, not to mention the curse of the Little Buhr (RB position failure).
4)Los Pescaderos (0-1) Great team on paper but has to produce. High likelihood of injury and a question of Schaub’s fantasy reliability hold this team back. Luckily they have the best leader in the history of animated robots who transform, Megatron, who should rally them when needed. Look for Los Pescaderos to find their stride in time.
5)LT’s Crackheeds (0-1) Still have a solid core of players, but the biggest question mark is also the most expensive. How well can Adrian Peterson do this year with a shitty line and McFlabb at QB? Fun game for everyone else: Watching McFadden (half the price) outperforming Peterson each week this year and the resultant shame spiral it generates for the Commish. Hey look, they play each other in week 2!
6)The Rat Pack (1-0) Probably far too low to rank the Champs who are still loaded with perhaps the game’s top two playmakers at their respective positions (Vick, Charles). Britt might be solid, but I don’t quite trust the WR corps yet. However, I suspect we’ll see this team higher in coming weeks. Can’t wait to see which scraps Eryn picks up and turns into gold by the playoffs.
7)Crazy Canucks (1-0) Out of the cellar thanks mostly in part to a huge week from Welker. Great stable of backs and perhaps I forgot a bit about the power of Aaron Rodgers in my draft grades/initial power rankings. In this league with our scoring rules, hard to be less than the fifth best team with that guy at the helm. He looks utterly unstoppable out there.
8)The GBP (0-1) Another middle of the road team pushed too low by other rankings. I still like the GBP and expect them to climb out of this spot in time. It’s only a matter of time before Rivers gets to play the AFC west secondaries, and a bunch. If this team’s boom or bust WR corps all hit on the same week, we could see a 170 point game from these guys, easy.
9)Mormon Defenders (1-0) A win is a win for the Defenders, who need to square away their receiver situation a bit with Colston out. As I look at this roster, I think how can I have this team ranked 9th? They’re better than this, they just have to go out and prove it. Chris Johnson and MJD look so good on a roster, but will they live up to their namesakes this season?
10)Fightin’ Birdmen (0-1) Ugh, the Peyton Manning debacle and a sour opening week had the Birdmen flipping over nearly half the roster. Will it work? Turns out it’s hard to replace a Hall of Famer and all of his teammates that rely on him. Luckily they get two games against the Crackheeds, so that’s two wins at least.
Once again, check out the podcast (last post) if you haven’t listened yet. I just listened to the whole thing again, and here are my thoughts:
-Thought it worked fairly well overall.
-I must have said the phrase “If he stays healthy” about 6400 times. Need to check that in the future.
-I like the format. In the future I think we’ll focus on tightening it up a bit and shortening it down to no more than an hour.
-If I or the guest or both taunt your team a lot, please don’t take it personally. I don’t think anyone here would, but just in case. Like the Cable Guy, “I was just talking trash”. Hopefully, unlike the Cable Guy, I didn’t ruin the game.
Please comment on the podcast if you can. I talked to Bob who said he really enjoyed it and thought it got better as it went, when it focused on game breakdowns and management decisions and smack talk of the league itself. Eryn also seems fired up. But also, if it’s just ‘meh’, or things aren’t working for you, or it’s dull, please tell me. I think it can be a neat addition if done right. It was definitely fun to do. I need to work on the technical aspect to permit call in recordings for some weeks. I will also try and find a way to post the file of the recording up there for download. It was recorded in MP3 format.
Also I changed the format of the blog a bit, mostly to have a more columnar look to this thing. When rereading posts I got tired of scanning miles across the page. I prefer the tighter column look. Hope you do too.
Good luck to all teams in Week 2! I will try to tweet this week during the games.