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14 Nov 2012

Scramble for the Ball: Let the Battles Begin!

by Tom Gower and Mike Kurtz

Tom: Well, Mike, we have the second-half slate of Loser League Names to discuss. As a reminder for the audience, we have prizes to give out, two copies of Gary Myers' new book Coaching Confidential. Based on the excerpt in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback, it looks very good. I'm interested in reading my review copy and should have a report up on FO in the not-too-distant future. I also engaged in a rare bit of foresight and planning, saving the names from the first half. If you repeated a name, we will look down on you for it.

Mike: Wow. That is impressive.

Tom: You can see the full list of names in the weekly standings, available here.

Mike: Right off the bat, I want to point out Blame it on the Blaine. Please tell me that isn't a repeat.

Tom: Not a repeat!

Mike: Hooray! I can't believe nobody has done that yet. Bravo.

Tom: Well, nobody has done it this year. I didn't save last year's names.

Mike: That's all I ask for. Dishonorable mention goes to someone just trying too hard with Jive Turkey Gabberters. I understand where you're going with that, and I'm sure you put a lot of thought into it. The problem being that nobody actually uses the phrase 'jive turkey' non-ironically anymore (exception: NFL head coaches), and Gabbert really, really does not sound like gobble.

Tom: Continuing with the Jaguars theme, we also have Bryan Anger Management. We have an evolution of names out in Arizona: In the first half, we had Skelten-tor. This half, we have Skelton and the Masters of the University of Phoenix. I don't know if that's the same person, but bravo.

Mike: See, that is much better. Not that Skeltentor was bad, just that extra touch makes it brilliant.

Tom: I appreciate is clearly ranked because . is way better than this. > and the attempt to duplicate the zlionsfan madlibs template. Sadly, it just doesn't do it for me as a Loser League name.

Mike: It is also unreadable. We use Drupal, ladies and gents. Keep that in mind when putting text in boxes. There are a few rather topical ones, as I'm sure no-one is surprised. Binders Full of Losers is probably my favorite of that lot.

Tom: We also have GMing by Jerry Jones, The Marcus Vick Twitter Experience, and The Schiano Kneel-Down Experience.

Mike: I am rather averse to 'x experience' just because it's been so overblown. I would go for Marcus Vick if it had some sort of allusion or other clever turn of phrase, like naming him for a smaller, less significant Central American county, like the Bob Panama Twitter Experience.

Tom: Marcus's Twitter rant might have been good fodder for a team name, but that's not it.

Mike: I think you could get more mileage out of that. Is Rock Me Amendola new?

Tom: It was not used in the first half of the season. Nor was The Sproletariat Uprising. I should add Wreck-It Ralph Wilson to the list of timely names, since the movie is coming out.

Mike: I prefer Rock Me Amendola, for the reference to a mediocre song and a mediocre player.

Tom: He's like the Rams' entire passing offense!

Mike: ...And?

Tom: Fine, go hate on the Rams.

Mike: There are a few confusing ones, like one I'm not sure we caught last time: The Pele of Football. First, Pele is a guy. Not a whole team. Second, I'm pretty sure Pele was the Pele of football.

Tom: That's a reference to something. By the way, iPadded Stats is precisely not what you want your Loser League team to do.

Mike I like the unintended statement of mikepbuffalo, which I can only assume is a team run by a guy named Mike P, from Buffalo.

Tom: It is!

Mike: But it also makes the claim that not only is the actual Buffalo football team terrible, but any team associated with Buffalo, regardless of management, will be terrible. The only one that is completely mystifying to me is Jerome Boger Ate My Nachos.

Tom: I hope there's an actual story behind that one, like Andrew Luck's Non-accredited Architecture Degree from last season's second half. Searching Google for "Jerome Boger ate my nachos" (without quotes) yields no further information, though, tantalizingly, there was one result removed pursuant to a complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Sadly, that complaint is not yet available.

Mike: How about that for topical!

Tom: Reid it and weip is one of those that's close but not quite. Playing on notorious Philly sports talk station WIP and Andy Reid's job security was a good idea, but that execution just doesn't do it for me. Another timely name: Expensive Cheesecake Factory Habit. I'm sure this is a reference to Vince Young's spending habits. Also, Muscle Hamster Stew. Not saying it's a great name, but with Doug Martin having a couple good weeks, using his nickname isn't a bad idea. Aside from his nickname being kind of polarizing and hard to form a good Loser League team name out of, that is.

Mike: A pretty exceptional group of Losers all around this half-season. Kudos to everyone, although my trophy goes to Skelton and the Masters of the University of Phoenix.

Tom: Darnit, that was going to be my trophy pick.

(Mike cackles roguishly.)

Tom: Now I have to decide between Blame it on the Blaines and The Sproletariat Uprising. Which means I have to decide how much I want to nickpit. The much more common usage is the adjectival "proletarian" rather than the "proletariat" uprising. Do I punish the unknown LL contestant for using "Sproletariat" rather than the more technically correct "Sproletarian"?

Mike: This is a decision only you could make. Because you are the only person who would care.

Tom: And the answer is, even though it's probably wrong or at least could be better, I like that better. Congratulations, The Sproletariat Uprising, you win our other trophy.

Fantasy Football Update

Mike: I just know the Steelers game sank me.

Tom: The Steelers game actually sank my opponent.

Mike: You lucky dog.

Tom: He needed 15.4 points from Ben Roethlisberger to win. He didn't get them. That means Autodrafted Second Round Quarterback Matthew Stafford's 25 points powered my still underachieving team to a win. Like the Titans, I am now 4-6 with a technically legitimate but still extremely small chance to make the postseason.

Mike: Fan's fantasy team imitates fan's actual team.

Tom: Hey, it happens sometimes.

Mike: Seven points. Seven %#!$%*$ points. And that's my season over.

Tom: Ben's injury meant you lost by that much?

Mike: Basically. In one league, I finally picked the correct week to play Philip Rivers. This week was largely about dominant players who finally played up to their names, with Baltimore's DST putting up a very nice 16.0, and Jimmy Graham roaring back with 30.1. Also strangely present was Jeremy Maclin, with 19.3.

Tom: Hey, it still worked out.

Mike: It did! I won by 19 points, and kept my spot in second place. In my other league ... guess who lost by seven points! Ben Roethlisberger had 10.76 points by my league's scoring before leaving the game.

Tom: How many did Byron Leftwich have?

Mike: In a rather quarterback-friendly set of rules, against a weak defense, even with last night's sub-standard production, he gets another 7. Leftwich basically did nothing and had three. Of course, this is the league where I regularly use my W/T flex on Jermaine Gresham over Maclin. Most weeks this is a pretty good deal. This week? Let's just say I would like those 12 points back. I'm second-to-last place now, and my season is basically done. A very sad run for the reigning champion.

Tom: I was just wondering if in the alternate world where you started team positions instead of individual players if you'd have won.

Mike: Probably not, my giant, gaping holes were Matt Forte (3.6) and Isaac Redman (2.9). I'm pretty sure a league like that would end up with 2 or 3 dominant teams and a lot of losers, honestly.

We Still Have No Idea Who Travie McCoy Is

Mike: So, Pepsi's big marketing push (well, one of their big pushes) this year has been to rope in big-name music stars and have then record "fan anthems." By far the most played is the Cowboys theme, which is actually probably the best of the lot.

Tom: Are there others?

Mike: There is supposedly one for each team. I do not know if they have all been revealed.

Tom: Aerosmith-Pats, Lenny Kravitz-Jets, Travie McCoy-Giants, Kid Rock-Lions, Ice Cube-Raiders, and Whiz Khalifa-Steelers, per PepsiAnthems.com. I do not believe I have ever heard of Travie McCoy.

Mike: Travis McCoy?

Tom: No.

Mike: Interesting. Anyway, that is an incredible wealth of talent, requiring what I am certain is an absurd amount of money to entice into an ad campaign.

Tom: Kelly Clarkson is the only one I've seen in commercial. It's modern pop music, which I've more or less learned to tune out.

Mike: And by and large, the artists do a workmanlike job. But there's a big problem to all of these. They're all packaged marketing material, and as a sports anthem, that makes them feel cheap. Ironically, the slick production and big names serve to dissociate the songs from the teams, the precise opposite of the campaign's intentions. The Clarkson one is strangely enough my favorite of the bunch, despite really disliking that kind of music.

Tom: Perhaps it's because I'm an overall terrible person, but beyond the fact that I think Ice Cube might be a Raiders fan, I have no idea if the others actually support the team whose song they do.

Mike: It's a strange situation to be in, because I live in Chicago and am regularly subjected to Go Cubs Go and Bear Down, Chicago Bears.

Tom: Ugh, Bear Down.

Mike: Both of these are known to cause ear cancer in all age groups. But there's an earnestness and a simplicity that belie camaraderie to both of them; everyone knows the words, they're upbeat, fun, and simple. And you can do a decent job shouting them if you're drunk. Which, as every soccer hooligan can tell you, is 75 percent of the battle.

Tom: "Skål, Vikings, run up the score!"

Mike: Indeed. So while the music may be more clever, and more well-produced, and generally just better, I'll take a bunch of slobs screaming incoherently about their beloved team in a song that was hokey 50 years ago over these anthems any day.

Tom: Yes, but do these songs have any cachet, or are they just in commercials? I'm trying to decide if these are kind of annoying but relatively benign or a true force of evil against which we must engage in an unrelenting struggle.

Mike: They don't, but I'm certain the hope is some of these songs stick to their teams and get some play on broadcasts and on gameday radio.

Tom: In terms of impact, then, these songs remind me of the list of celebrities who root for each team the NFL included in their kickoff information guide. Per the 2010 Kickoff Guide, Samuel L. Jackson is a fan of the Tennessee Titans. Which, I presume, is why it was only a couple weeks later I saw something else that described him as a Falcons fan instead in a much more concrete way, perhaps by wearing a jersey or attending a game. I can only assume these manufactured Fan Anthems will be as eternal as the purported celebrity allegiances.

Loser League Update

QUARTERBACK: Sorry to add insult to injury, but before leaving Sunday night's game with a concussion, Jay Cutler threw two interceptions to go with 40 yards passing. Only 37 yards on the ground kept him in the black at 1 point.

RUNNING BACK: We told you last week Michael Turner would have been a good pick for your Loser League team, and he repaid our faith by putting up only 1 point. Matching him there thanks to a fumble that helped give the Chiefs a surprising advantage was Isaac Redman.

WIDE RECEIVER: If you listened to Mike and not Tom last week, you might have chosen Devin Hester and gotten 0 points for your efforts. Also with the goose egg was Rueben Randle.

KICKER: Two kickers put up 0 this week, neither by the simple method of "playing for a team that does not cross midfield." Justin Medlock made two extra points but missed a field goal in the Panthers' loss, while Alex Henery made a field goal and two extra points but missed an extra point.


KEEP CHOPPING WOOD: The St. Louis Rams came away with an unexpected result against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but it was a tie rather than the win it very likely would have been. First, Brandon Gibson lined up off the line on the first play from scrimmage, resulting in an illegal formation penalty that wiped out an 80-yard gain by Danny Amendola. From there, the Rams very likely win the game. The Rams had another chance to win, but a delay of game negated Greg Zuerlein's 53-yard field goal as holder Johnny Hekker lost track of time getting lined up properly.

MIKE MARTZ AWARD: Of course, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher could easily have avoided that whole delay of game by calling a timeout. Fisher has been a good and savvy game manager in the past, but that was his second screwup that game, after unnecessarily calling a timeout before first-and-goal late in the fourth quarter, a call that gave the 49ers enough time to tie after the Rams took the lead. Still, this week’s honor goes to Mike Smith, for his decision first to kick the extra point down 28-23 in the fourth quarter, then to kick the field goal on fourth-and-goal from the two. WHY DID YOU DO THIS? WHY? WHY? WHY?

Scramble Mailbag

Justin H.: Can I trust Reggie Bush and start him as a flex against in a great match up with Buffalo Thursday? I have Roddy White starting at one WR, so I need to fill my WR2 and Flex with Bush, Randall Cobb, Torrey Smith, Miles Austin, or Mike Wallace. Thanks.

Tom: Bush had a terribly ill-timed fumble against the Titans that saw him benched until the game was non-competitive.

Mike: Wow, that flex slot is like a ballot for the All-Should-Be-Studs team

Tom: He's still clearly the Dolphins' most productive back. Unfortunately, he's been very much in a timeshare since after the Jets game.

Mike: The real problem with this list is that you can't trust any of those guys. Bush is, honestly, the most reliable, I think, with Austin coming in second. Despite my own reservations about Bush and Miami, I think it's hard to bench him.

Tom: I concur with Mike. The Bills' run defense is just that bad. Mike, how seriously do you think about playing Cobb going against a terrible Lions secondary instead of Austin?

Mike: Not very seriously. The Lions may have a bad secondary, but they have a good pass rush, which makes marginal receivers far too great a risk.

Tom: The Lions are surprisingly only 30th in Adjusted Sack Rate on defense. Obviously, sacks are an imperfect measure of pass rush, as our column a couple weeks ago got into, but I think Cobb may be a better play than you think. Still, I agree Austin is your other good bet.

Lock of the Week

Tom: Well, Mike, another week where we picked different games, and another week where we both were right. You picked the Texans to win (or tie) and cover in Chicago. They did. I picked the Saints and the points, and they came away with the victory. After some early season struggles, you are now 6-3 and I am 5-4.

Mike: I think we have a much better grasp of these teams, now.

Tom: That, or we may just be getting lucky. As a reminder, all picks are made without reference to FO's Premium picks, while all lines are courtesy of Bovada and were accurate as of time of writing.

Mike: The game that really intrigues me is the aforementioned game between the Dolphins and Bills. While I think Miami is a better team, Buffalo is at least theoretically capable of throwing up a decent number of points, which I don't really trust Miami to do.

Tom: That's not a line that really stands out a lot to me.

Mike: I think Chargers +8 at Broncos is a trap, honestly.

Tom: A trap? How so? The Chargers have a decent record, but have been mediocre this year. The Broncos are playing like one of the NFL's best teams lately.

Mike: I think San Diego is significantly underperforming, but I think they can keep up in a shootout. Denver's secondary is decent but nothing to write home about. The Broncos are all about Peyton Manning, and while he will likely hang a ton of points on the Chargers' defense, he still starts games off slowly and his favorite target was dinged last week.

Tom: I don't like San Diego's ability to block Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. At all.

Mike: I'd like them at 6.5. Not 8.

Tom: My rule of them thinks this line might be a point or two too favorable to San Diego. Like you, though, lines just a little bit above a touchdown bother me, because teams play to win, not to beat the spread. I don't know if that's a real phenomenon, if teams favored between 7.5 and 9 fail to cover at a greater rate, but the idea of it bothers me. (Yes, it's obvious, I'm not an experienced football bettor.)

Mike: I think I'm going to regret it, but considering how they let Baltimore have their way with them, I think the Raiders are a great team to pick against if the spread us under seven. I don't like the Saints that much, but I'll take New Orleans Saints -5.5 at Oakland Raiders.

Tom: On the road, that one would be a tough call for me. There are a couple lines that interest me. One of them is the Buccaneers favored by two at Carolina. Tampa Bay is the better team, but DVOA indicates Carolina is not as bad as a normal 2-7 team. The Colts are not as good as their record indicates. The Patriots are very, very good. Taking the Patriots and laying nine points is another option that intrigues me. I will instead, however, go with St. Louis Rams -3.5 vs. New York Jets. Both teams are defense-oriented. I like the Rams' defense better, though. And their quarterback. And their running backs. And their wide receivers. They're the better team, and they're playing at home.

Send your questions, comments and checks to scramble-at-footballoutsiders.com!

Posted by: Mike Kurtz and Tom Gower on 14 Nov 2012

35 comments, Last at 17 Nov 2012, 3:22am by BigCheese


by Ryan :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 3:56pm

Maybe I'm just a big softie, but poor Danny Amendola. He was in line to have a huge game coming off a terrible collarbone injury against a very good pass defense (who was at home). Can we call him "slightly better than mediocre"?

by DEW (not verified) :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 4:12pm

Heck, he's actually good AFAIK, particularly since he's being thrown to by a Rams quarterback who passes behind a Rams offensive line. He's just so fragile that all the times he's not actually healthy enough to play average out to mediocre.

by RickD :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 4:56pm

He's just so fragile that all the times he's not actually healthy enough to play average out to mediocre.

The Redskins are interested!

by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 9:06am

I think calling him fragile is a little unfair. He was back practicing off his broken collarbone (media projected recovery time 4-10 weeks) after 3 weeks. He came back to practice from his dislocated elbow last year in 4 weeks (picture here) before tearing his triceps (on the same arm, so a cascade injury).

I guess he might be fragile, but he's damn sure pretty tough.

by DEW (not verified) :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 3:57pm

I think the end of the Saints/Falcons game and the Falcons' performance on the goal line explains a lot about Smith's decision to kick the field goal on fourth and goal from the two.

...Come to think of it, two-point conversions are also played from the two. May just come down to Mr. Smith knowing darn well his offense had no chance in hell of actually scoring.

by Ryan D. :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 4:08pm

I knew I should have named my team "Vick Six" :(

by artmac (not verified) :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 4:52pm

I have a job which unfortunately requires spending a great deal of time in and around Wrigleyville so I've heard Go Cubs Go sung by drunk people about a thousand times and (with all respect to the memory of Steve Goodman) it is both terrible and highly irritating. even worse than the also deeply terrible Bear Down Bears, IMHO. and it's not like team songs can't be good. I'm not sure why soccer is so much better at them, but it is. I mean, You'll Never Walk Alone. also my personal favorite, Sunshine on Leith, by the Proclaimers, for Hibs.

by leatherhead77 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 5:19pm

I can't believe you guys Googled my team name.

by Kenyon reviewer (not verified) :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 5:30pm

Tom, I'd just like to point out that Sproletariat Uprising is, in fact, correct. It is an uprising of the proletariat, not an uprising which is proletarian. So you shouldn't feel awkward supporting it. You may, however, feel awkward about getting your grammar fascism wrong. Much love from a lonely English major here on FO.

by Tom Gower :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 6:06pm

On both Google and Google Scholar, "proletarian uprising" is a number of times more popular a usage than "proletariat uprising." As a determined descriptivist except in cases of clear error (e.g., irregardless), I stand by my critique.

by Athelas :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 9:36am

I'm afraid when it comes to English, Kenyon beats even Google Scholar.
Not in football, however.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 12:52pm

Both are correct with slightly different meanings. A poletarian uprising is one that is in nature proletarian. A proletariat uprising is an uprising comprised of people in the proletariat. Compare "a rebellious uprising" to "a rebel uprising."

Also, descriptivism is just a way to pretend you're right when you know you aren't(!)

by Pepp (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 5:58pm

I came on to defend my grammar only to find my work done for me. Thanks Intropy. Just to clarify (in case it needs it) I used Sproletariat rather than Sproletarian because the uprising (prior to hand surgery) was of Sproles the singular self and not of a collection of small, shifty running backs. Although that could potentially be cool too. Maybe Michael Turner should watch his back.

by TomC :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 6:04pm

But Sproletariat is a collective noun (or at least it should be), so a collection of small, shifty running backs is exactly what it should mean.

by Pepp (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 6:06pm

Fair point. You win. I will spend the rest of the day with my head hanging in shame.

by tuluse :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 7:21pm

Well it's ambiguous, as Darren Sproles could be the entire Sproletariat. It is less ambiguous as Sproletarian, as that could refer to any running back that resembles a member of the Sproletariat.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 8:01pm

As with the Mongol hordes, a sproletariat is any sproletarian group sufficiently puissant to defeat any anticipated foe. Being considered an entire sproletariat by oneself is an honor.

by Pepp (not verified) :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 8:55pm

Is it still an honor for Sproles himself as the namesake, or merely what is expected?

Also, since I didn't say it earlier (too busy quibbling over grammar) thanks for the win Tom! This is the first time in 4 years of losing, reading, and lurking that I've ever won or posted anything. Since I probably never will again, I'll say now that even though I never contribute I love reading the comments here just as much as the articles. Thank you all for the endless, intelligent entertainment.

by Marko :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 6:13pm

I don't understand the dislike of "Bear Down, Chicago Bears." That is a classic. I can understand that it would be annoying if you were a fan of one of the Bears' division rivals, but otherwise, how can you not like such a classic song that also provides historical information (i.e., the reference to the T Formation)? I'm not a Redskins or Eagles fan, but I also enjoy hearing "Hail to the Redskins" or "Fly, Eagles Fly." All of those songs just add to the atmosphere and make it feel more like football, just like some classic college fight songs (e.g., Notre Dame, Michigan, USC, Tennessee) make a game more enjoyable even if you don't have a rooting interest in the game. Old school anthems with a lot of tradition are very enjoyable, unlike contrived crap such as "San Diego, Suyper Chargers!" or these ridiculous fan anthems.

As for other anthems, you didn't mention the NFL Network Thursday Night Football intro with Cee Lo Green (perhaps because that's not a team anthem). That is truly an abomination on several levels, beginning with the fact that I would never think of football and Cee Lo Green in the same sentence. In addition, the lyrics are idiotic and his costumes are ridiculous.

Regarding "Go Cubs Go," I will agree (even as a lifelong Cubs fan) that this song is annoying. One of the most annoying things about it is the line "The Cubs are gonna win today," because they only play it at home games after they have won (which of course is not often the past few years and will not be very often for the next few years). That's why when they play it, I change that line to "The Cubs have already won today."

by TomC :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 6:06pm

This simply confirms that Mike and Tom are irrational, Bear-hating foreigners that should go back to whatever foreign place they came from and get the hell out of America---I mean, Chicago.

Seriously, though, "Bear Down, Chicago Bears"? That's like hatin' on Jingle Bells.

by BigCheese :: Sat, 11/17/2012 - 3:14am

As a born- and raised mexican who has bear Down Chicago Bears as his text message ring tone (and the MNF theme as his call ring-tone), I couldn't agree more.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Jerry :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 7:41pm

If what was shown on the Jumbotron Monday night is what we're talking about, Wiz Khalifa's "anthem" is his hit of a couple years ago "Black and Yellow". (I believe he even performed it live before the championship game with the the Jets.) He's from Pittsburgh, so there's a connection, which looks like it's the case with many of the artists you listed.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 10:38pm

That list of singers for PepsiAnthems is hardly 'an incredible wealth of talent'. It's a bunch of B-listers, except for Aerosmith, which is basically a group of mummies nowadays (judging from Steve Tyler's appearance).

by The Hypno-Toad :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 4:36am

I would tend to think/hope that the tongue was planted firmly in the cheek on the reference to those "artists" as an incredible wealth of talent.

by tuluse :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 1:51pm

Unless wealth of talent implies that it cost a lot of money to get them. Which I would believe.

by socctty :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 8:18am

I just realized I emailed you guys too late, so here's the only question I had that might be interesting:

Is it OK to tank my fantasy team in the final regular season week in order to secure a particular matchup during Week 1 of the playoffs? There's only one team I'm afraid of in my league, and I play him in the final week. We're both pretty much locks to make the playoffs. Looking at his team and the schedule, he looks to be weak in the first week of the playoffs and a monster during the second, championship week. If I have to face him, I'd rather do it during the first week.

by Ryan D. :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 9:27am

Absolutely. Belichick did this in 2005, intentionally dumping the last game of the regular season so the Pats would be the 4 seed instead of the 3 seed (Cincy won the 3 seed). This brought the 5 seed, Jacksonville to town in week 1 of the playoffs instead of the 6 seed, Pittsburgh. It was very smart on his part.

by dryheat :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 4:27pm

Well, you can't tank it, say sitting Drew Brees for Blaine Gabbert and claiming the matchup favors Gabbert. That's unsportsmanlike. However, if you can subtlely sabotage your own team (player x was limited at practice, so I'll go with the greatly inferior, but healthy, player y) go ahead. However, the Alpha in me says that you should believe that your team should be able to beat any other team, on any week.

by Tom Gower :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 4:47pm

On your receiver question, Amendola when healthy has been frequently targeted and put up numbers. I think he's a great PPR start.

On tanking, I would keep things within the realm of at least semi-plausible decision-making. If I wanted to tank this week, I wouldn't go out and pick up Jorvorskie Lane and Charles Clay and start them, even with the Dolphins playing the Bills. Part of my calculation also depends on who I'm in the league with. If I have the roster spots available and am in a Yahoo public league with people I'll never run into again, I might at least think of picking up Lane and Clay. If I'm going up against my brother-in-law or somebody else I'll have to deal with in the future, I'd go the more limited route.

by Ryan D. :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 8:04pm

If trying to channel your inner Herm Edwards here, which part applies?

Do you "Play to win the game!" meaning the individual match up, each and every week?

Or, do you "Play to win the game!" meaning the overall championship is all that matters?

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 8:18pm

You play in order to obtain as a prize the copyright on the Michael Douglas thriller "The Game."

by BigCheese :: Sat, 11/17/2012 - 3:19am

It is absolutely, 100% OK to do this. What is your goal in fantasy? To win the championship. That means that whatever you do to advance that goal WITHIN THE RULES, is not only OK, but what you should be doing. If your league requires a legal roster, play as many guys on byes and injured as you can. If it doesn't, bench everyoneexcept the defense facing the Patriots this week (you have to try for those negative points in case your opponent also benches his squad).

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Athelas :: Thu, 11/15/2012 - 9:38am

Tom: The Patriots are very, very good.

No. The offense is very, very good. The defense makes me cry. They are capable of keeping any team close.

by nath :: Fri, 11/16/2012 - 8:03pm

Oh, damn it, I didn't know Loser League was starting again! Is it too late to join?

by BigCheese :: Sat, 11/17/2012 - 3:22am

1) While I didn't win, it was nice being in the honorable mentions for both halves of Loser League.

2) The pepsi site says that they have teamed up with 5 music superstars to create these songs, so that means that a) there will not be one for every team, and b) they also don't consider Travie McCoy a music star.

3) While team positions sounds awful, I've played in leagues where Team QB is a position, and that's not bad at all.


- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs