Trials of a Closet Fantasy Football Maven II
By Evan Benton
Week 2: Understand and Amend
First things first. I realized last week that the name of my team was never addressed in the first installment I unleashed upon the blog last week. Which, in itself, was strange because such a team besides my own will never be seen again. This is because my team name has a direct reference to Bret Michael’s “Rock of Love”, specifically the second season’s runner up Daisy De La Hoya, who remains steeped in my mind with her blond hair extensions, plastic surgery puffed-out lips (and just about everything else) and incredible and unabashed slut appeal.
Daisy’s Rocks of Love took to the world of ESPN-enabled fantasy football three years ago, and won in its freshman season. Before that I believe the name was Topeka Knights, which used to be Topeka something else – think four letter words that rhyme with “bunt” – and never amounted to anything.
Okay, so even while traveling in Europe I remain ahead of my competitors, winning last week against Dane 118-96. Ray Rice proved to be a hell of a pick, as now he’s being touted as one of the best in fantasy football if he continues to slice up defenses as he did against the Steelers, formerly the best run defense in the NFL. His 107 rushing yards with a touchdown and 42 receiving yards with a score netted me 26 total points to lead both our teams.
As I spoke of in my last post, I had dropped Ryan Torain and picked up the 49ers’ defense, anticipating not only a better display than the Lions’ but one that could be a veritable explosion of picks, fumbles and touchdowns. I was right. Against the Seahawks they tallied one interception, two fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns, which is pure gold in our league, and rarer still. This gave me 24 points – the biggest defensive display in fantasy points for the league.
Reggie Wayne still has shown how dependable he can be in any situation, and was interim QB Kerry Collins’ top target over Dallas Clark, with 106 yards receiving and a touchdown. Chris Wells has silenced his critics with 90 yards rushing with a touchdown to boot, and looks to be a viable option this year as he is on his way to earning guaranteed starter stripes. Both guys put up 16 points each for me.
Philip Rivers started out slow – he made two mistakes which led to two interceptions – and couldn’t really find Vincent Jackson for the pick heave, but still managed by game’s end 335 passing yards. This large number, combined with his two touchdown passes, gave me 17 points.
Santana Moss, although targeted many times only accumulated 76 yards. I remain hopeful that if he continues to get the same number of looks a game then he’ll get the scores. Vernon Davis was a big disappointment, only because he only managed 47 yards (four points) in the fight against Seattle. The main reason I’m sticking with him, as with Moss, is that he was the most targeted of all Niners’ receivers and will eventually get his licks.
Josh Brown missed one out of three field goals, but I believe that was a fluke. Had he made all three I would’ve gotten 9 points – quite a good show for a kicker.
Ah, LeGarrette Blount. I’m not sure what happened in the Buccaneers’ game against the Lions but this back was not in the equation. Five attempts for 15 yards is nothing, as is the single solitary point his mass gave me. Time will tell if he will bounce back, but if not I’ll have to make a decision and soon.
That being said, there were many good things this week. I proved myself to new players and bypassed the quickest morale depletion in fantasy – losing the first game. Even with one back neutered and several guys not measuring up to expectation, it was more than enough and tallied the second-most points totaled this week. And my well-conceived idea to pick up a new defense, which gave me about 15 points more than expected, increases my confidence going into the next week.
Now I’m up against second-year man Brian Chan, whose spuriously named “DeSickest of ‘Em All!” – with a picture of DeSean Jackson sprinting off down the sidelines – has never really amounted to much, but his tendency to talk up a big game is becoming infamous.
He’s coming off of a win over my partner-in-crime Patrick Wall’s “Philadelphia Finishers”, but I aim to stop him cold. His trio of Matt Schaub, Adrian Peterson and Peyton Hillis (my old friend) are the only ones I fear, as its unimaginable they’ll have the same poor performance (25 points combined) two weeks in a row. Right now my only enemy is myself, as I am not sure whether to put Brandon Marshall and his 139 yards last week against the Patriots in instead of Santana Moss – or top put them both in and bag LaGarrette.
[To note, this is one of the best plays I’ve ever seen, and to me certifies NFL record-breaker Brandon Marshall’s legacy even at this early stage.]
What I aim to do – as always in the week before a match – is to consistently and sporadically shuffle some guys in and off the bench. For example, every time I sign in I may put in Marshall, then the next time put in Moss. Same with Davis and maybe Aaron Hernandez. Because many players – I doubt Brian is one – look for the presumed amount of points and plan around that, which change according to who is starting. I use inconsistency and second-guessing to my advantage.
Again, this is one of those little things that, if I win, I’ll bring up again. If I lose, just pretend I never said anything so pathetic.