Thursday, September 26, 2013

The FGR Week 4 NFL Picks

We'll get to the FedEx Cup Playoffs wrap-up later but now it's time to pay some attention to the FGR's second child, the NFL. After three weeks, I think we're starting to get a handle on this thing. For the first time since parity began reigning, it seems that the league can be divided into two categories: (1) Teams that have their shit together and (2) Teams that don't have their shit together (to avoid the ongoing crass use of profanity, we will employ the acronyms "HTST" and "DHTST" . . . did you ever notice how obsessed the FGR is with acronyms?). Games that match HTST teams against DHTST teams have become easy to predict like last week's Seattle-Jacksonville game. The tough games are the ones between two HTST teams like Ravens-Texans or two DHTST teams like Jets-Bills. There are also a couple of borderline teams like the Lions and the Titans who have not established their identities yet so their HTST status will have to be evaluated on a week to week basis until we get more evidence.

Based on this latest cockamamie theory, let's try an experiment this week. We're going to label every team as either a HTST team or a DHTST team and in any game that matches one against the other, we're going to ignore the spread and pick the HTST team under the theory that teams that DHTST are going to get hammered in more than half of their games against teams that HTST. When two similarly categorized teams are playing each other like the Drek Bowl between the Steelers and Vikings over in London, we'll go with our gut.

San Francisco (HTST) by 3 over St. Louis (DHTST): The Pick - 49ers

Sorry Sam. Not the best
week to draw the Niners.
In his MMQB column this week, Peter King wrote, "year too early on the Rams optimism." A year too early? Doesn't that statement pretty much cover the entire Sam Bradford era? I know RG, III is off right now but I still say the Rams trading away the chance to draft him was one of the most underrated gaffs of all-time. And if I was doing a suicide pool, I would be very tempted to take the 49ers this week despite the 3 point spread. Patrick Willis is going to pull a Forrest Whitaker and play like Rams fans trashed his car. 

Minnesota (DHTST) Pick 'em v. Pittsburgh (DHTST): The Pick - Steelers

In the 60's, England gave us the Beatles, the Who and Led Zeppelin and we've been repaying them over the years with crap like Hall & Oates, Styx and the Eagles. Now they give us the English Premier League and we repay them by sending over one of the five most unwatchable NFL games of the season every year. This year may be the worst as they're getting the marquee DHTST game of the week. We're apparently having a hard time letting that whole taxation without representation thing go.    

Baltimore (HTST) by 3.5 over Buffalo (DHTST): The Pick - Ravens

By now you've probably heard that Jacoby Jones had a champagne bottle smashed over his head by a stripper while riding in a party bus at 3:00 a.m. last weekend. Ray Lewis has attributed this incident to the leadership void created by his retirement. OK two things: (1) If you've never had a champagne bottle smashed over your head by a stripper, then you're just not partying hard enough and (2) Ray Lewis found himself in an almost identical situation many years ago only instead of a punchline, the story yielded a murder and a conviction for obstruction of justice. People in glass houses should not throw stones and, in Ray's case, people in paper houses should not shoot flamethrowers.

Cincinnati (HTST) by 5 over Cleveland (DHTST): The Pick - Bengals

Let's not get too carried away with the Browns latest version of Derek Anderson or Kelly Holcombe. This is Cleveland. Brian Hoyer is going to find a way to win just enough games to screw them out of a franchise quarterback in the draft.

Indianapolis (HTST) by 8.5 over Jacksonville (DHTST): The Pick - Colts

I don't know this for a fact but I am 99.9% sure that no NFL team has ever gone an entire season without covering a spread. The Jags are currently 0-3 against the number and if they're ever going to break that streak, it's going to be at home against a divisional opponent that is coming-off of an emotional road win right? Before I went with the HTST v. DHTST theme, I picked the Jags to cover based on this theory. Now it looks like we'll have to hold-off until they play the Browns in the "Bridgewater Bowl" on December 1st.

Seattle (HTST) by 3 over Houston (HTST): The Pick - Seahawks

The Texans are barely a HTST team right now. Ron Jaworski noted last week that Matt Schaub always makes one or two plays a game that the rest of the team has to overcome and there he was, right on cue, throwing his third pick-six of the season against the Ravens last Sunday. The Seahawks on the other hand are just plain mean and nasty like the guy in high school who would threaten to kick your ass just because you tripped over his backpack. I could see them winning this game by 20.

Tampa Bay (DHTST) by 3 over Arizona (DHTST): The Pick - Cardinals

I still think that the Cardinals might HTST but I know without any question that the Bucs do not in anyway HTST to the point that they may make a run at outsucking the Jags. They might as well just cut to the chase and let Greg Schiano go coach the University of Texas or Nebraska right now.

"I hate you headset . . . I hate you,
I hate you . . . asshole headset!"
Detroit (DHTST) by 3 over Chicago (HTST): The Pick - Bears

I was ready to give the Lions the benefit of the doubt and grant them HTST status but I can't get the image of Jim Schwartz throwing down his headset after the win against the Redskins on Sunday. It's a fine line in the coaching business between controlled rage and an anger management problem. Schwartz appears to be on the wrong side of that line . . . and nowhere near it.

Kansas City (HTST) by 4 over N.Y. Giants (DHTST): The Pick - Chiefs

No team at this point has TST less than the Giants. On the other hand, Andy Reid appears to have taken a franchise that didn't even know where TS was and gotten it together almost overnight. Speaking of Reid, his new bright red Chief's duds make him look an awful lot like Violet Beauregard from Willy Wonka only if her name had been Rose or Tomato.

Tennessee (HTST) by 4.5 over N.Y. Jets (DHTST): The Pick - Titans

If the Jets pull this one out, we'll temporarily remove the "D" from their acronym but wins over the Bills and Bucs in no way prove that a team HTST especially when they committed 20 penalties last week and their quarterback has thrown twice as many interceptions as touchdown passes. However, anything that makes a Jet fan more indignant about the public perception of his favorite team is a good thing so let's hope this builds for a couple more weeks before crashing into the inevitable 5-11 season.

Dallas (HTST) by 2 over San Diego (DHTST): The Pick - Cowboys

I know this is hard to believe but there is every indication that the Cowboys may finally HTST. I know it's only September and Jerry Jones hasn't fired-up the nuclear reactor on his tanning bed yet but, in light of their NFC East competition, the Cowboys may clinch before they have a chance to start gagging in December.

Washington (DHTST) by 3 over Oakland (DHTST): The Pick - Redskins

This one is tough for the Raiders because, by their standards, they actually appear to HTST but it's all relative as that only yields a 6-10 season in Oakland. I can tell you from personal experience that Redskin fans have already quit on the season representing the most precipitous drop from unbridled optimism to unrelenting pessimism since the 2013 Washington Nationals.

Denver (HTST) by 10.5 over Philadelphia (DHTST): The Pick - Broncos

A team can't just HTST on one side of the ball like the Eagles apparently do (even though I'm not convinced that losing the time of possession battle 2 to 1 every week is a recipe for success). Peyton Manning has thrown 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions against two respectable defenses and the Giants this season. What's he going to do with 40 minutes of possession time against the sieve that is the Eagles secondary? Considering the 10.5 point spread and the 58 point over/under, we're looking at 500 yards and 5 touchdown passes minimum.

Atlanta (HTST) by 1.5 over New England (DHTST): The Pick - Falcons

"You know I die a horrible death right?"
I'm sorry, but wins over the Bills, Jets and Bucs do not mean that the Patriots HTST. Fortunately, their next five games are at Falcons, at Bengals, Saints, at Jets, Dolphins and they still have to play the Broncos, Texans and Ravens. Let's get Moe Greene's take on the matter: "Yeah, let's talk football Tom. First of all, you're all done. The Patriots don't even have that kind of muscle anymore. The Gronk is injured right? You're getting chased out of the AFC by the Broncos and the other teams."  

New Orleans (HTST) by 6.5 over Miami (HTST): The Pick - Saints

The Seahawks and the Broncos have been so splashy this year that we've kind of failed to notice that the Saints really HTST. If Drew Brees' team has a defense that is going to continue to allow less than 13 points per game, just hand them one of the two byes right now. On the other side, the Dolphins have strung together two quality wins in a row and Ryan Tannehill's passer rating is 94.3. If this keeps up, we could be looking at a lot of Mrs. Tannehill this season which is a good thing.

Now I'm going to play golf. Good day.  

Last Week's Record: 10-6 . . . Season Record: 27-20-1

The FGR Week 3 Fantasy Team

Another solid week for the non-existent FGR fantasy squad thanks to an old-fashioned Ed Reed style performance from the Ravens' defense bailing-out an utter no-show by the receivers. Things are looking good as long as Matthew Stafford stays healthy (can't believe I just said that out loud).

Two Defensive/ST scores and the
cheerleaders were rockin' the Daisy
Dukes to boot. Charm City indeed.
Matthew Stafford - 24
LeSean McCoy - 24
Bernard Pierce - 12
Randall Cobb - 5
Marques Colston - 7
Jason Witten - 6
Ravens - 27
Jay Feely - 1

Total - 106


Eli Manning - 3
Chris Johnson - 9
Shonn Greene - 0
Knowshon Moreno - 3
T.Y. Hilton - 1
Julian Edelman - 4
Alshon Jeffrey - 5


* No endnotes this week meaning I didn't have a single random tangential thought (which is mildly disconcerting) so here's one. You know how we're always complaining that old people drive too slowly. Well just imagine the alternative and be thankful.

Email the FGR here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The FGR Week 3 NFL Picks

Inspire me God's Linebacker.
Please. I beseech you.
The NFL picks are not going to get their due again this week and believe me when I tell you that I feel worse than that kid from the Cobra Kai who was ordered to take Daniel's knee out on purpose. (I am literally crying and apologizing while cradling the computer right now). I promise, however, that the FGR will come back strong next week following Ray Lewis's induction into the Ravens' Ring of Honor at halftime on Sunday. If that day doesn't yield some writing material, then it might be time to hang-up the keyboard and/or start smoking Peyote.

We would, however, be remiss if we didn't at least address the major story of the week which was the Browns shipping last year's first round pick, Trent Richardson, to the Colts for a 2014 first round pick. I was hoping to get this out before Bill Simmons wrote 3,000 words on it because it's basically his research that I'm stealing but I didn't so consider this a summary for my seven readers who don't also follow the Sports Guy. The Browns have become the first NFL team to openly embrace the formula for turning around a franchise that NBA teams have been following for years. All you do is simply trade one of your five best players for a future first round pick and in the process you successfully (a) gain a more tradeable asset for moving-up in the next draft and (b) decrease your current chance of winning thereby improving the first round pick you already own. And yes, the Browns did actually have room for unimprovement.

It's a brilliant strategy and it could land them Teddy Bridgewater but there's one problem. I don't think anyone can outsuck* Jacksonville this year. We're only two games in and we can already look at the schedule and determine that they basically have three shots at a win this year (at Cleveland, home against Buffalo and home against Tennessee). You've clearly hit rock bottom as an NFL franchise when (a) you're a 19.5 point underdog and (b) the crawl on one of your CBS affiliates (Orlando) states the following (and I did not make this up): "In accordance with NFL policy, WKMG must carry all Jacksonville Jaguars away games. We apologize for any inconvenience."** As a former resident of the city that was once denied a franchise in favor of Jacksonville when Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said we'd be better off spending the money to build a library, all I have to say is that you don't fuck with the City the Reads because we already have almost as many libraries as methadone clinics so burn on you Tags.    

Here come the picks. The FGR finished strong last week and then nailed the Thursday night game so we're like a can of Schlitz on a fat guy's gut cause we're on a roll.

Tennessee by 3 over San Diego: The Pick - Chargers

Minnesota by 6.5 over Cleveland: The Pick - Vikings

New England by 7 over Tampa Bay: The Pick - Patriots

Houston by 2.5 over Baltimore: The Pick - Ravens (for Ray)

Dallas by 3.5 over St. Louis: The Pick - Cowboys

New Orleans by 7.5 over Arizona: The Pick - Cardinals

Washington by 1 over Detroit: The Pick - Lions

Green Bay by 2 over Cincinnati: The Pick - Packers

N.Y. Giants by 1.5 over Carolina: The Pick - Giants

Miami by 2 over Atlanta: The Pick - Dolphins

San Francisco by 10 over Indianapolis: The Pick - Colts

Seattle by 19.5 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Seahawks***

N.Y. Jets by 2.5 over Buffalo: The Pick - Bills

Chicago by 2.5 over Pittsburgh: The Pick - Bears

Denver by 14.5 over Oakland: The Pick - Broncos

Last Week's Record: 10-6 . . . . Overall Record: 17-14-1

The FGR Fantasy Squad: Week 2

The LeSean McCoy and Randall Cobb picks are looking like genius right now but we're feeling even better about our bench at this point. Bernard Pierce would get the start over Chris Johnson this week and, if not for the brutal 49er match-up, T.Y. Hilton would probably be in there as well. Julian Edelman is PPR league gold as he might become the first receiver in NFL history with 150 catches and he might not reach 800 yards doing it. By the way, when do the Patriots play their first game against an NFL team? I know Roger Goodell is Robert Kraft's lackey but opening the season with the Bills, Jets and Bucs seems a little over the top.

Chip Kelly's new offense and
the Eagles have been very
good to the FGR this year.
Matthew Stafford - 17
LeSean McCoy - 19
Chris Johnson - 9
Randall Cobb - 21
Marques Colston - 6
Jason Witten - 1
Ravens - 15
Jay Feely - 13

Total - 101


Eli Manning - 13
Bernard Pierce - 11
Shonn Greene - 0
Knowshon Moreno - 22
T.Y. Hilton - 15
Julian Edelman - 7
Alshon Jeffrey - 4


* I've already copywrighted "outsuck" so don't even try it.

"I don't care if you're not a
jaguar. Close enough."
** You know there were a handful of poor bastards who spent last Sunday shepherding their entire extended family around Disney World with their one beacon of hope being that when it was over, they could slump into their hotel room beds and watch the Manning Bowl only to discover they were getting Jags-Raiders instead. Over/under on the number of times the phrase "daddy's at the bar" was uttered in Orlando that night: 1,732.5.

*** I know this a huge number but don't forget two things: (a) Pete Carroll spent a lot of time in college running-up the score and (b) Pete Carroll has no conscience.

Email the Fantasy Golf Report here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The FGR Thursday Night Pick

Philadelphia by 3 over Kansas City: The Pick - Chiefs

Holy something to prove game. We've got Andy Reid returning to Philly, Alex Smith trying to lead his new team to 3-0, Chip Kelly trying to prove that he's not just a less entertaining version of Steve Spurrier and Riley Cooper/Cary Williams trying to show that we all can in fact just get along (actually, I don't think Cary Williams cares whether we get along or not). As for the match-up tonight, here is what we know after two games: (1) the Eagles defense is suspect and (2) the Chiefs look like at least a 9-7 team that is going to be in every game thanks to Smith's efficiency and a solid defense. We also know that when Andy Reid gives a crap (unlike his last two years in Philly), he is probably one of the seven or eight best coaches in football.* I'm taking the tortoise and the points over the hare in this one.


"I take great umbrage with
your insinuation sir."
* I would put both Harbaugh brothers, Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy, John Fox, Tom Coughlin and Mike Tomlin ahead of Reid. Notice I didn't have Bill Belichick in there. I think it's becoming clear that there were about a dozen coaches who could have won with Tom Brady. Since 2005, the Patriots' season has ended with losses to the following coaches: Coughlin (2), John Harbaugh (2), Rex Ryan, Tony Dungy and Mike Shanahan. That includes three home playoff losses in the last four years. The only people who still think Belichick is a top five coach pronounce it "chowdah."     

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fantasy Golf: The Tour Championship Preview

Here's what we know heading into the Tour Championship. If you're in the top five now and you win this week, you take the whole enchilada so top five is key (uh, duh). Now, do you want to see something kind of cool? (And by cool, I mean cool only to me). Here is how I picked the top five FedEx Cup finishers in my Playoff Preview alongside the current standings heading into the final event:

FGR Prediction                       Current Standings

1. Adam Scott 1. Tiger Woods
2. Matt Kuchar 2. Henrik Stenson
3. Tiger Woods 3. Adam Scott
4. Henrik Stenson 4. Zach Johnson
5. Zach Johnson 5. Matt Kuchar

What has two thumbs and occasionally poops in the woods while wearing a funny hat? This guy, that's what. (I think I was supposed to say something about a blind squirrel in there somewhere). Anyway, I'm all in on nailing my pre-playoff predictions so, without doing any advanced math, the following picks are designed to make that happen. As it turns-out, they also make for a pretty solid top ten list but let's face it, there are at least twenty players in the field who could win this thing as I didn't even include Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner or Jim Furyk so let's just kick-back and enjoy the culmination of one of the more entertaining seasons in golf history (and root for Adam Scott).

No inspiration on the picture this week so let's go ahead and
introduce a new player. Welcome to the FGR Ms. WIide.
Tour Championship Picks

1. Adam Scott
2. Matt Kuchar
3. Tiger Woods
4. Henrik Stenson
5. Bill Haas
6. Webb Simpson
7. Zach Johnson
8. Brandt Snedeker
9. Phil Mickelson
10. Jordan Spieth

Last Week's Report Card: D-

Do you know the one thing we've promised the Fantasy Golf Report would have from the start? No, not quality but good guess (and you should clearly read more regularly). It's accountability so, with that in mind, we present last week's picks. It would appear that we* went with a 10-spot Keno theme by shooting for the 4 to 1 payout by missing on all ten. The only way this could have been legitimately worse is if I had added Rory McIlroy (T59th) and Scott Piercy (T69th) in place of Furyk and Stricker. I mean was that supposed to be a list of potential winning golfers or a breakdown of Nick Cage's career since 2003 (BOOM!)?     
Captain Corelli's Mandolin?!? Are you
fucking kidding me? You played Sailor
Ripley for God's sake. What happened?

1. Jason Dufner - T54th
2. Phil Mickelson - T33rd
3. Justin Rose - T33rd
4. Adam Scott - T28th
5. Lee Westwood - T67th
6. Henrik Stenson - T33rd
7. Sergio Garcia - T18th
8. Jim Furyk - 3rd
9. Steve Stricker - T4th
10. Dustin Johnson - T62nd

One parting thought . . . it's been a tough couple of weeks for Steeler Nation with the black and gold opening 0-2 and scoring a total of 19 points. (Steeler fan Jim Furyk commemorated this inauspicious start by becoming only the third player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59 and not win the tournament). Most Ravens fans won't admit it, but we're all pretty confident that our team is not going to win the Super Bowl this year and we're kind of ok with that. The problem with that state of mind is that it doesn't really leave you much to passionately root for unless . . . you're offering us the opportunity to witness the downfall of the Roethlisberger era Steelers. The prospect of that just made us slide a little closer to the edge of our seat and think, "now this is a show that I could look forward to watching all season like 24 in its heyday."


"If we're going to poop on the math
teacher's porch, we must act swiftly
before Silver Spoons** comes on."
* Have you noticed the increased use of the collective "we" as the picks have deteriorated over the past few weeks? It's as if I think my imaginary childhood friend Desmond (he's Australian) is helping me make the picks. Desmond is the best. We used to stay-up for hours telling stories and talking about how one day we were going to open our own arcade and not have any Pac-Man games because they sucked and when people asked, "hey, where's Pac-Man?" we would answer, "if he was up your ass you'd know." Then there were those other nights when Desmond would have some reeeeeaaaalllly weird ideas like . . . . what's that? Sorry, Desmond wants me to stop talking now.

** I never actually watched Silver Spoons but it fit the timeframe and, more importantly, made the words fit nicely in the caption. By the way, here is how describes the show: "Ricky Stratton (played by Rick Schroeder) is a spoiled rich kid who lives the life that many kids dream of, but he still suffers from the problems that many teens do." Who knew that twenty-five years later they'd replace Schroeder with "real" people like the Kardashians and lower our collective IQ by 4 points? Though I would be lying if I said I didn't admire the work of Scott Disick (I think it's time to stop talking again).   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The FGR Week 2 NFL Picks

I apologize but the usual full treatment for the NFL picks fell victim to 48 hours of complete indulgence on Wednesday and Thursday followed by a 48 hour reconstruction project (of body and marriage). Believe me, I tried but the best I could come up with was the following series of questions on Friday night while watching the Olivia Munn scenes from Magic Mike* for the 17th time: (1) Is it possible that we overestimated the Jags? (2) Can you overestimate a team that is already regarded as the worst in the league? (3) Is it reasonable to start the 0-16 watch after Week 1? (4) Is Blaine Gabbert Kyle Boller's long-lost brother?

"We're gonna need
a couple minutes."
Speaking of Olivia Munn, don't ever knock on a guy's bathroom door on the morning of a golf trip. If the door is closed and he's not in jeopardy of missing a tee time, leave a note, call his cell or just freakin' wait until he's finished whatever it is he felt needed to be done behind closed doors. We had an unfortunate incident on Thursday morning (that thankfully didn't involve me). To make matters worse, there are some people who have voices that can't be unheard and this involved one of those people. I don't know how things on the other side of the door ended but I'm sure it wasn't pretty (and I mean that literally).

With that touch of class out of the way, let's get on to the Week 2 games. I've gone all out and accompanied each one with the fact, opinion or hunch on which I based my pick.

Philadelphia by 6.5 over San Diego: The Pick - Eagles

Phillip Rivers following the Jake Delhomme path to oblivion.

Baltimore by 6.5 over Cleveland: The Pick - Ravens

Angry Ravens at home versus Brandon Weeden (see Rivers, Delhomme, etc.).

Houston by 9.5 over Tennessee: The Pick - Texans

The Titans still running the ball on 3rd down in the 4th quarter losing by three touchdowns.

Indianapolis by 3 over Miami: The Pick - Dolphins

No more 4th quarter luck for . . . (don't you dare finish that hack sentence).

Carolina by 3 over Buffalo: The Pick - Panthers

If Cam Newton doesn't bounce back from last week's lackluster effort, my son is going to kill me for talking him into drafting Cam over Colin Kaepernick (how's that for sound gambling advice).

". . . and it makes the ladies swoon."
Atlanta by 5.5 over St. Louis: The Pick - Falcons

Sam Bradford + Jeff Fisher = 8-8 . . . apparently having a sweet porn stache makes people think that you're a better coach than your record would indicate.

Green Bay by 6.5 over Washington: The Pick - Packers

Aaron Rodgers is due for a silly 500 yard, five touchdown game and who better to see on the wrong end of that than MeAngelo Hall?

Kansas City by 3 over Dallas: The Pick - Cowboys

Lot's of love for the Cowboys playing less meaningful September games.

Chicago by 6 over Minnesota: The Pick - Bears

It's becoming clear that you didn't want to be desperate for a quarterback entering the 2011 draft - Jake Locker, Christian Ponder and Gabbert - you wanted to be semi-desperate (Andy Dalton and Kaepernick in the second round).

New Orleans by 3.5 over Tampa Bay: The Pick - Saints

The Greg Schiano countdown and inevitable return to making the lives of college players miserable is on.

Seattle by 3 over San Francisco: The Pick - Seahawks

Is it just me, or are the 49ers rapidly becoming the most hateable team in the league (which is saying something when Pete Carroll coaches in the same division)?**

Detroit by 1.5 over Arizona: The Pick - Cardinals

I'm sticking with the Cardinals going 10-6 . . . at least until next week.

Oakland by 5.5 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Raiders

See the above series of questions and add, "do you think the Jags draft room knew they had a problem when they realized they had just drafted a guy named 'Blaine?'"

Denver by 5 over the N.Y. Giants: The Pick - Broncos

Peyton Manning might be playing with his best crew of receivers since Harrison, Wayne and Clark were in their primes. Uh oh.

Cincinnati by 6.5 over Pittsburgh: The Pick - Bengals 

The Steelers lost Pro Bowl center Maurice Pouncey for the season in the first quarter against the Titans and promptly showed-off their "next man up" attitude by rushing for 32 yards and getting completely stymied at home.

Last Week:  7-8-1

As an added feature this year, we'll be checking-in on the FGR fantasy starting line-up each week using the basic scoring formula from one of my leagues (non PPR with a few bonus points for 100 yard rushing/receiving and 300 yard passing games). So far, so good.

Looks like Chris Johnson
is picking-up right where he
left off last season. Sweet.
The FGR Fantasy Squad: Week 1

Matthew Stafford - 23
LeSean McCoy - 27
Chris Johnson - 7
Randall Cobb - 19
Marques Colston - 12
Jason Witten - 19
Ravens - 3
Jay Feely - 6***

Total - 116


* Of course I immediately change the channel for all of the other scenes though I must say that Channing Tatum is quite the dancer.

** That feeling may have contributed to the thorough enjoyment I got out of the Jim Harbaugh part of this video.

*** I didn't actually draft a kicker so I'll take a low-rent guy like Jay Feely from Arizona just to prove that drafting fantasy football kickers is like picking-out toothpaste. They all look slightly different but ultimately accomplish the same thing.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fantasy Golf: The BMW Preview

It's going to be a light golf post this week as we have the colliding currents of our two favorite sports seasons* along with three full days of pretty boy golf on the docket including a return to the site of this situation from last fall. If this week's activity doesn't generate some worthy writing material, I have a great back-up plan in place as I've committed to doing something in ten days that is going to result in an epic FGR accomplishment or an epic FGR failure with no other possible outcome. I don't want to give it away but let's just say that there could be mouth-to-mouth resuscitation involved. For now, let's bang-out a top ten list for the BMW Championship as we advance to what is setting-up to be a FedEx Cup that may finally live-up to the overblown hype that lives within Dan Hicks.  
See below.**

The BMW Top Ten

1. Jason Dufner
2. Phil Mickelson
3. Justin Rose
4. Adam Scott
5. Lee Westwood
6. Henrik Stenson
7. Sergio Garcia
8. Jim Furyk
9. Steve Stricker
10. Dustin Johnson

The Deutsche picks weren't quite an airball but they did take a good chunk of paint with them as they clanged off the back rim. We really should have seen the Stenson win and the Woods/Mickelson regressions coming as they were all long overdue. I'm not quite sure what to make of that Tiger performance which was his worst since the Memorial back in June. Was it just an off-week or is he starting to wear down? I'm guessing the latter considering he's finished out of the top 30 in three of his last six events. You almost have to wonder if deep down he doesn't want to win the FedEx Cup because he knows that by taking that semi-meaningless title along with the Players and two WGC tournaments, he will only succeed in highlighting the fact that he didn't win a major this year. As it stands now, it will already go down as one of the biggest "yeah but" seasons in the history of sports.***  

The Deutsche Report Card: C+
"It takes 43 muscles to frown but only
17 to smile so stop wearing yourself
out. Here, let's practice together."

1. Tiger Woods - T65th
2. Phil Mickelson - T41st
3. Keegan Bradley - T16th
4. Rory McIlroy - T47th
5. Webb Simpson - T53rd
6. Henrik Stenson - 1st
7. Steve Stricker - 2nd
8. Gary Woodland - T41st
9. Zach Johnson - T27th
10. Jonas Blixt - T53rd

And lest we not forget the Thursday night NFL pick as the complete week 2 rundown will not be ready until Friday (at the earliest).

New England by 12.5 over the N.Y. Jets: The Pick - Patriots

Over the next few weeks I think we're going to discover that the Jets' win last week said a lot more about how bad the Bucs are than how good the Jets are (which may be the last time the words "Jets" and "good" are used in the same sentence this year). That pretty much takes care of the housekeeping. See you later in the week with some football picks guaranteed to have your kids working in the dining hall to pay their way through college.

Email the Fantasy Golf Report here or hit us on Twitter here.


* I watched just about every sport on the planet this past weekend including America's Cup sailing. If you haven't checked it out, it's worth a few minutes of your time just to see two space age looking catamarans going 50 mph with the city of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in the background. Before you get in too deep and decide to start rooting for the Americans, however, know that "our" boat is owned by egomaniacal billionaire Larry Ellison and is captained by an Australian guy, coached by a French guy and steered by a British guy. Oh yeah, the "Americans" were busted for cheating and penalized two races so now they need to win eleven races and New Zealand only needs to win nine (and the Kiwis currently hold a 4-1 lead so "we're" screwed). If you're actually still reading at this point, I promise that I will never write about sailing again.
Nice Perms.

** Completely random television recommendation . . . check-out The Bridge with Diane Kruger on FX. It's a Traffic meets Se7en while hanging-out at Lethal Weapons' pool kind of thing.

** The number one "yeah but" season by a mile was the 2007 Patriots when they went undefeated and then gagged away the Super Bowl (cue Nelson Muntz). The number one "yeah but" movie of all-time was Gene Wilder's The Woman in Red when he had a shot at Kelly LeBrock and couldn't make it happen. You were the Waco Kid for God's sake . . . close the deal!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Fantasy Golf Report Week 1 NFL Picks

One of the many early kinks in the PGA Tour's playoff system was that they scheduled the tournaments over four consecutive weeks forgetting that the best players in the world will not play golf for a straight month. I mean come on, what do they look like, World War II shipbuilders? Guys like Phil Mickelson were skipping one of the events and basically saying, "I'll take a week off, still make the Tour Championship, pocket at least a couple million and that's cool." Remember, this is the guy who regularly skips the five day Accenture Match Play and its guaranteed $46,000 paycheck to go on vacation with his family because (a) it's tough to get time-off in his line of work and (b) who knows when they're going to schedule that darned thing every year?

Hey Finchem, the
ocean just called . . .
So at some point, a bunch of guys were sitting around a table in pressed golf shirts snacking on shrimp the size of Twinkies when someone was overheard to say, "hey, why don't we skip the first week of the NFL season when no one is watching our tournament anyway?" I have no idea who that guy was but (a) I bet he got promoted to a seat closer to Tim Finchem's throne and (b) I would like to kiss him right now (in the manliest way possible) because there is no way I'm cranking-out the Week 1 NFL picks and a PGA tournament preview in the same short week (what do I look like, a World War II shipbuilder? . . . nope, still not funny).*

Week 1 is tough to forecast because let's face it, we don't know anything at this point other than the fact that the teams being quaterbacked by Blaine Gabbert, Geno Smith and Terrelle Pryor are going to combine for about 19 points. It is for that reason that I didn't put in quite as much research time as I normally would (that would be none as opposed to some). There is a bit of analysis for the games where I went on more than my gut. You shouldn't have any trouble distinguishing those from the ones where I made my picks by associating teams with people in my office and then based the winner on the first one to walk by my door (the Raiders were a guy we haven't seen in months and frankly we're starting to get a little worried about old Stan from the warehouse). Here we go.

Denver by 7.5 over Baltimore: The Pick - Ravens

I'll be honest, the memory of this
means I really don't care too much
about what happens tonight.
It is a well-known fact that the Ravens have won at least one playoff game in every season of the Harbaugh/Flacco era. A lesser known fact is that the Ravens have won every opening game during that same period including the last two over the Bengals and the Steelers by a combined score of 79-20. Harbaugh and Flacco know how to get ready for Week 1. Combine that with the fact that the Broncos best pass rusher (Von Miller) is currently suspended, their second best pass rusher (Elvis Dumervil) now plays for the Ravens and their Hall of Fame cornerback (Champ Bailey) is out with a bad wheel and I'm having a hard time giving the Broncos more than a touchdown.

New England by 9.5 over Buffalo: The Pick - Patriots

The AFC East has turned into what the WAC** used to be when Brigham Young would ride its weak conference schedule to national championship contention every year. (And just like Brigham Young, the Patriots have an annoying pretty boy quarterback). There is a very good chance the Patriots will play four in division games against rookie quarterbacks who don't remind anyone of Andrew Luck and RG, III and there other two division games are against the Dolphins who appear to be trending back toward the Cam Cameron era. That's all fine because there are few things more satisfying than watching the Patriots lose the AFC Championship Game at home.

Pittsburgh by 7 over Tennessee: The Pick - Titans
"You're betting on Jake Locker?
Well aren't you sweet."

No one is talking about the Steelers this year which has been very pleasant but it makes me nervous. You know Mike Tomlin has been alternately plotting and seething and plotting and seething. With that being said, the Steelers have lost most of the players that once made them great and they're pretty much relying on Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu who look like they've got more mileage on them than the surviving Allman Brothers (if there are any).

New Orleans by 3 over Atlanta: The Pick - Saints

Isn't about time for the Falcons to come out and admit that they're just a mediocre team that found itself in a division that had fallen on hard times? I think this is the year when we discover that they've just looked good by comparison with the likes of the Bucs and Panthers. Remember, waiting tables at Red Lobster is better than washing dishes at Red Lobster but it's still a shitty job.

Tampa Bay by 3 over the N.Y. Jets: The Pick - Bucs

Speaking of the Bucs, I know they're not the '85 Bears but with a now experienced quarterback, a top five running back and a competent defense, how can they be only three point favorites over the low-budget circus*** that is the 2013 New York Jets? Can anyone even name a current Jet other than Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Geno Smith? (There is a sad but funny joke in there somewhere about Antonio Cromartie trying to name his kids).

Kansas City by 3.5 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Chiefs

"How in the hell am I
going to take my halftime
dump in this thing?"
People can laugh at Andy Reid all they want for wearing large down jumpsuits but the fact is that the Eagles went to the playoffs nine times between 2000 and 2010 including four trips to the NFC title game and one trip to the Super Bowl with Donovan McNabb short-hopping his screen passes and throwing-up in the huddle. Look for the Chiefs to be significantly improved in 2013, if for no other reason than they couldn't be much worse than they were in 2012.

Seattle by 3 over Carolina: The Pick - Panthers

I just can't take the Seahawks opening with the 3,000 mile trip 1:00 p.m. road game . . . even if there is significant Adderall involved (BOOM). (This would be one of those minimal analysis games to which I was referring).

Chicago by 3 over Cincinnati: The Pick - Bears

Isn't it about time we nickname Jay Cutler "This is the Year"? If nothing else, he tends to start fast leading everyone to believe that this will in fact be the year until he tweaks a [insert name of joint] and spends the rest of the season on the sideline looking like a really sulky version of 1980's James Spader. As for the Bengals, I tried to get some intel on them by watching Hard Knocks but every time Marvin Lewis started speaking ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .

Cleveland PK against Miami: The Pick - Browns

Being forced to find a new kicker five days before the opener due to injury could happen to any team but, if I made you guess which one, Cleveland would probably be one of your first two picks and you'd be right. The good news for the Browns is that they're opening at home against a Dolphins team that said to itself in the off season, "you know what, we're getting almost TOO explosive on offense so we should probably cut ties with Reggie Bush."  

Detroit by 5 over Minnesota: The Pick - Lions

This may be the only game of the season where both Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford are healthy so look for the Lions to strike while the iron's hot.

Indianapolis by 9.5 over Oakland: The Pick - Colts

"I want my rum and coke faster dammit!!!
Oh . . . well get me another one. Argh!!!"
Terrelle Pryor is going to start this game at quarterback for Oakland. For those not familiar with Pryor's work, his career at Ohio St. ended with an NCAA suspension. He then ran a 4.38 forty making himself very attractive to the Raiders who even chose Al Davis' pallbearers based on their forty times.**** What about his passing ability? Well, his accuracy can be ranked somewhere just above Tim Tebow's but just below every kid who ever drilled his dad in the balls on America's Funniest Home Videos (because at least half those kids hit just what they were aiming for . . . "how do you like that for focus dad?").

St. Louis by 5 over Arizona: The Pick - Cardinals

The Cardinals are going 10-6 and taking one of the NFC wild card spots. You heard it here first. Unless they go 5-11 and then we never had this conversation. (I'm running out of gas on these picks).

San Francisco by 4.5 over Green Bay: The Pick - Packers

The Packers have had eight months to figure-out how to keep Colin Kaepernick from running all over them after he went for 181 yards and two touchdowns in last year's playoff game. (I have nothing to add here).

Dallas by 3 over the N.Y. Giants: The Pick - Cowboys

Give me Tony Romo at home in the first Sunday night game of the season every time (and get me the hell out of these picks now).

Washington by 3.5 over Philadelphia: The Pick - Eagles

(OK . . . need to regroup for the Monday night games). We've got RG, III playing after no preseason work against the new Chip Kelly offense. This is the football wagering equivalent of playing on-line blackjack against the casino where the dealer somehow keeps going 9-5-3-2-2 for 21 to beat your 20 (not that I have any experience with that because who would be so foolish? . . . don't answer that).

"Does my neck look long to you?"
Houston by 4 over San Diego: The Pick - Texans

Quick, name the head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Nope. Not Norv Turner anymore. It's Mike McCoy and he's already perfected his "Phillip Rivers just threw his second pick six in the first half of the Monday night home opener" face. Still feeling pretty good about that Rivers, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger 2004 draft Charger fans? How about letting Drew Brees walk for nothing? Well, at least you'll always have the Schottenheimer era. Sorry. That was just mean which means it's time to stop writing.


* I have no idea what I'm going to do next week as I have 144 holes of golf scheduled over a seven day span on five different golf courses. The only good thing about that is that the FGW is going to be so busy in my absence that she hopefully won't have time to read this until it's over and then I can pull a Mark McGwire and keep repeating, "I'm not here to discuss the past."

** What in the hell happened to the WAC? The current version includes such football powers as Grand Canyon University and the University of Texas Pan-American. That conference has become the old high school buddy who finally signed-up for Facebook and when you get in there and ask, "hey, what's old Dan Meacham up to?" the answer is, "oh no."

*** You know the one where the Ferris wheel is held down by tent poles, half the clowns are wearing ankle monitors and the lion tamer does the whole show with half a cigarette butt hanging from his lips.

**** Yup. I'm going to Hell for that one.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Second Annual FGR Fantasy Football Preview

So who else missed
football season?
This was such a big hit last year, let's run it back. Here's hoping that you're drafting as late as my league this year. If not, let this be a referendum on the what you've already accomplished (or screwed-up as the case may be). We'll be applying the same concept of inserting ourselves into the 7th spot in the ESPN Fantasy Staff twelve team standard scoring draft. A few points of full disclosure: (1) the ESPN draft took place two weeks ago so I have the benefit of more data at my disposal but I can assure that nothing that happened over the last two weeks affected my picks, (2) I did almost no research before writing this and (3) I could see which picks were coming-up so I knew exactly when I had to take a player I wanted like Matthew Stafford (I can't believe I just wrote that . . . thank God this is an imaginary team).

Don't expect a lot of in depth analysis. If you want that kind of insight, I would recommend Matthew Berry at Despite the fact that he claims co-writing Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles as an accomplishment,* Berry understands that having a successful fantasy football season is all about figuring-out what a player is going to do this year and how that can often have very little to do with what he did last year. Berry also actually writes about fantasy football as opposed to just giving you a bunch of lists and meaningless historical data though, like most successful fantasy sports writers, he does tend to wander-off on tangential personal stories.

This is clearly the year of the running back as the first thirteen picks below were ball carriers along with sixteen of the first twenty-four. Aaron Rodgers is the only quarterback to go in the second round which demonstrates the perceived depth at that position. The question this year comes down to whether you want a thrower (Rodgers, Brees, Manning, etc.) or a runner (Newton, RG, III, Kaepernick, etc.). 50+ yard running games from your quarterback are nothing to sneeze at especially when he's putting-up as many touchdowns as a third tier running back. At the same time, it's highly unlikely that you're going to see Drew Brees almost separated from his right leg by a 300 pound defensive tackle while diving for a first down so pick your poison.

No more small talk. Let's get down to it.

Round 1

1. Adrian Peterson; 2. Arian Foster; 3. Ray Rice; 4. Doug Martin; 5. C.J. Spiller; 6. Jamaal Charles . . . and the FGR pick at no. 7 is: Lesean McCoy . . . 8. Marshawn Lynch; 9. Trent Richardson; 10. Alfred Morris; 11. Steven Jackson; 12. Matt Forte.

"Back to Philadelphia again?
Are you f-cking serious?"
Chip Kelly's offense could be a colossal flop in which case this will be a disastrous pick but I see the Eagles putting-up at least decent numbers for two reasons: (1) I think the design of Kelly's system will get the ball out of Michael Vick's hands quickly thereby keeping him healthy and (2) their defense is going to be off the charts bad. They could be the NFL's version of the 1981-82 Denver Nuggets who scored 126.5 points per game while allowing 126.0. We might actually see Scott Hanson's head explode on the Red Zone Channel (warning: this video is not for the faint of heart).**

Round 2

13. Stevan Ridley; 14. Calvin Johnson; 15. Maurice Jones-Drew; 16. Frank Gore; 17. Aaron Rodgers . . . and the FGR pick at no. 18 is: Chris Johnson . . . 19. Dez Bryant; 20. A.J. Green; 21. Brandon Marshall; 22. Julio Jones; 23. Demaryius Thomas; 24. Larry Fitzgerald.

Forgive me Father for I have gone back to the Chris Johnson well again. I'm sorry, I just can't help myself and when you look at the next five running backs selected can you blame me? David Wilson is completely unproven, Darren Sproles is a part-time player, Montee Ball is a rookie and picking Reggie Bush or Darren McFadden is like standing on a table made of Lego to change a light bulb.

Round 3

25. David Wilson; 26. Drew Brees; 27. Peyton Manning; 28. Jimmy Graham; 29. Darren Sproles; 30. Roddy White; and the FGR pick at no. 31 is: Randall Cobb . . . 32. Montee Ball; 33. Andre Johnson; 34. Vincent Jackson; 35. Reggie Bush; 36. Darren McFadden.

I'm buying the Randall Cobb hype this year especially because you know Aaron Rodgers is going to do everything he can to get Cobb to the Pro Bowl to stick it up Greg Jenning's ass. I would not be the least bit surprised to see Rodgers pull a Nuke Laloosh and drill Jennings on the sideline with an errant screen pass nor would I be surprised to see the rest of the Vikings look the other way because he had it coming.

Round 4

37. Wes Welker; 38. DeMarco Murray; 39. Cam Newton; 40. Tom Brady; 41. Lamar Miller; and the FGR pick at no. 42 is: Marques Colston; 43. Chris Ivory; 44. Mike Wallace; 45. Victor Cruz; 46. Eddie Lacy; 47. Danny Amendola; 48. Matt Ryan.

"Bring it!"
Time to pick the receiver with the fewest fleas. I have no faith in the Dolphins' passing game (Wallace), I don't trust Victor Cruz for some reason and I don't think Danny Amendola has ever made it to Halloween in one piece. I also think that Drew Brees, Sean Payton and the rest of the Saints are going to try to pull-off something epic like 60 touchdown passes, 600 points and being the first team to put a bounty on a ref.

Round 5

49. Dwayne Bowe; 50. Ryan Mathews; 51. Reggie Wayne; 52. Le'Veon Bell; 53. Rob Gronkowski; 54. Robert Griffin, III; and the FGR pick at no. 55 is: Jason Witten; 56. Colin Kaepernick; 57. Ahmad Bradshaw; 58. Steve Smith; 59. Antonio Brown; 60. Cecil Shorts.

I took a really hard look at Kaepernick here but I'm not a full believer yet and the fact that he lasted until the 5th round means I'm not alone. When in doubt in the fifth round, take your tight end while there are still difference makers available. It's up there with, "when in doubt, order the steak" and "when in doubt, just don't say anything."***

Round 6

61. Hakeem Nicks; 62. Eric Decker; 63. Tony Gonzalez; 64. Torrey Smith; 65. Giovani Bernard; and the FGR pick at no. 66 is: Matthew Stafford; 67. Vernon Davis; 68. DeSean Jackson; 69. Jonathan Franklin; 70. Pierre Garcon; 71. Shane Vereen; 72. Andre Brown.

"If we need that extra push over the
goal line, you know what we do?"
Stafford threw the ball 727 times last season and somehow only managed to have 20 of those passes result in touchdowns. Apparently, Lions receivers led the league in getting tackled inside the opponent's five yard line last year. To correct that, coach Jim Schwartz took a page from Nigel Tufnel's book and built a practice field that goes up to 110.

Round 7

73. James Jones; 74. DeAngelo Williams; 75. Tavon Austin; 76. BenJarvus Green-Ellis; 77. Daryl Richardson; 78. Jordy Nelson; and the FGR pick at no. 79 is T.Y. Hilton; 80. Steve Johnson; 81. Greg Jennings; 82. Rashard Mendenhall; 83. Russell Wilson; 84. Andrew Luck.

I'm not sure I keep drafting T.Y. Hilton in every league because I genuinely believe he could be the modern version of Joey Galloway in his prime or because I love saying his name really loud in a crowded room (TEEEEEE YYYYYYYY HILTON) but whatever the reason, I've already got him on two teams. Funny story about Galloway. In 1997, I traded him and Rod Smith for Carl Pickens. Galloway and Smith combined for over 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns that season while Pickens racked-up a whopping 695 yards and 5 touchdowns. Oh man that's funny. Still gets me like a well-placed whoopee cushion or two-inch nail straight into the bottom of my heel.

Round 8

"Would you like to come
over and pet my dingo?"
85. Vick Ballard; 86. Miles Austin; 87. Mike Williams; 88. Chris Givens; 89. 49ers; and the FGR pick at no. 90 is: Shonn Greene; 91. Anquan Boldin; 92. Josh Gordon; 93. Tony Romo; 94. Emmanuel Sanders; 95. Kenny Britt; 96. Ryan Williams.

Unfortunately, when you're buying insurance for things like Charlie Sheen's dingo petting zoo or Chris Johnson, it's pretty expensive which in this case means an 8th round pick.

Round 9

97. Lance Moore; 98. Bryce Brown; 99. Michael Floyd; 100. Mark Ingram; 101. Golden Tate; 102. Ronnie Hillman; and the FGR pick at no. 103 is: Bernard Pierce; 104. Jared Cook; 105. DeAndre Hopkins; 106. Jacquizz Rodgers; 107. Fred Jackson; 108. Ben Tate.

If God forbid something happens to Ray Rice, Pierce is going to immediately be a top ten back. (Why would something happen to Ray Rice? Why would you even write that? Now if he gets hurt, it's on you. Hope you're happy. Asshole).

Round 10

109. Vincent Brown; 110. Roy Helu; 111. Justin Blackmon; 112. Ryan Broyles; 113. Michael Bush; and the FGR pick at no. 114 is: Alshon Jeffrey; 115. Danny Woodhead; 116. Sidney Rice; 117. Malcom Floyd; 118. Isaiah Pead; 119. Rueben Randle; 120. Denarius Moore.

I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure who Alshon Jeffrey is but I do know that he's not an injury prone wide receiver (Rice and Floyd) or a 5'5" running back who made his name playing for one of the best offenses in football but is now playing for a Chargers' offense that could be a raging dumpster fire this year (Woodhead).

Round 11

Are you serious Matt? They
haven't started singing the
National Anthem yet.
121. Seahawks; 122. Mikel Leshoure; 123. Zac Stacy; 124. Bears; 125. Greg Olsen; 126. Brandon Myers; and the FGR at pick no. 127 is: Eli Manning; 128. Kyle Rudolph; 129. Martellus Bennett; 130. Kendall Hunter; 131. Kendall Wright; 132. Jonathan Stewart.

Tough call between Manning and Vick for my back-up here but when you take Stafford as your starter, you better have a durable contingency plan and the words "Vick" and "durable" have not been used in the same sentence since his lawyer told him "do not ever grant your brother Marcus durable power of attorney."

Round 12

133. Knile Davis; 134. Michael Vick; 135. Owen Daniels; 136. Michael Turner; 137. Aaron Dobson; and the FGR pick at no. 138 is: Knowshon Moreno; 139. Marcel Reese; 140. Brian Hartline; 141. Cordarrelle Patterson; 142. Texans; 143. Jermichael Finley; 144. Ben Roethlisberger.

You know you're in garbage time when the guy picked seven spots later (Brandon Lloyd) is a free agent. Moreno probably won't amount to much but at least he has a jersey with his name on it.

Round 13

145. Brandon Lloyd; 146. Broncos; 147. Joe Flacco; 148. Robert Woods; 149. Pierre Thomas; 150. Robert Turbin; 151. Kenbrell Thompkins; and the FGR pick at no. 152 is: Julian Edelman; 153. Daniel Thomas; 154. Austin Collie; 155. Bilal Powell; 156. Patriots.

Someone has to catch the passes in New England and I find it highly unlikely that we're going to find-out that a guy named "Julian Edelman" has a criminal past (why? . . . because "Julian Edelman" sounds like a such a great name for a serial killer?). Dammit!

Round 14

157. Antonio Gates; 158. Sam Bradford; 159. Andre Roberts; 160. Lance Dunbar; 161. Joseph Randle; and the FGR pick at no. 162 is: Ravens; 163. Marquise Goodwin; 164. Rams; 165. Jeremy Kerley; 166. Isaac Redman; 167. Justin Forsett; 168. LaMichael James.

The rest is just kickers, defenses, back-up quarterbacks and the inevitable Santana Moss/Toby Gerhart selections because you know, this could be the year. Here is what we ended-up with:

QB: Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning
RB: LeSean McCoy, Chris Johnson, Shonn Greene, Bernard Pierce, Knowshon Moreno
WR: Randall Cobb, Marques Colston, T.Y. Hilton, Alshon Jeffrey
TE: Jason Witten
DF: Ravens

This looks like a pretty solid squad until Stafford, McCoy and Colston are all out by week 7. I'm giving myself an A- for value, a B+ for potential and a D for durability. In the final analysis, that adds-up to about a 4th place team and, since I assume you're not playing just to win your entry fee back, I'd take a look at where I went wrong and learn from my mistakes. (Probably not bad advice for just about everything I write).

Email the Fantasy Golf Report here.


And to think, we had
such high hopes after
we saw the poster.
* I'm reluctant to take a cheap shot at Berry because his writing career certainly outshines mine (in that he has one and I don't) but this bit of self-reflection from his recent Love/Hate piece demands comment: "I was a 35-year-old screenwriter who was miserable, and the thing that made me happiest was my dumb little fantasy sports websites I had started. I wanted to chase happiness by trying to make a full-time living at fantasy sports at a time when only a few people actually did that." Come on Matt. You had just written Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, a movie about which the New York Times critic wrote, "it's a greatest hits collection . . . where nostalgia and comedy are run through a food processor until they become flavorless paste." It's also your last writing credit on so let's at least acknowledge that your decision to start writing about fantasy sports was not completely voluntary.

** Remember a few weeks ago when I said that it took parents awhile to adjust to the HBO era because they always assumed that if it was on TV, it was OK. Well that scene is from the 1981 film Scanners which may have provided mom and dad with their first wake-up call (and if that didn't do it, a deadly silver ball with spikes sticking out of it flying around the halls of a funeral home in Phantasm certainly did . . . yikes).

*** This applies to more situations than I could possibly cover here but it definitely includes the following: (1) conversing with a police officer, (2) anytime you're drunk around your boss and (3) anytime your drunk and your wife is angry (which is pretty much a combination of (1) and (2)).