Fantasy Curling: Draught Night

That’s right folks, Fantasy Curling is right around the corner! Here’s how me and 9 of my buddies fared in our draft. It was a random order of 10 teams picking from a pool of 20 Olympic teams from either gender in a serpentine style. Here’s how our completely random, hell of a fun time draft ended up:

Do the Sochi Sweep!

Draft Picks Peeps Team Name Country 1 Country 2
1, 20 Jackson Sweep Sweep Beer Canada (M) Japan (W)
2, 19 Steve Bitches Love Brooms Sweden (W) China (M)
3, 18 Tim   Sweden (M) China (W)
4, 17 Alex   Great Britain (W) Denmark (W)
5, 16 Ryan Curly Broom Hair Canada (W) Switzerland (M)
6, 15 K Ris Got Stoned and Swept Like a Baby Great Britain (M) Russia (W)
7, 14 K Walt I’m Sweeping with the Swedish Women’s Curling Team Switzerland (W) Germany (M)
8, 13 Kyle   South Korea (W) Denmark (M)
9, 12 Pat Getting My Rocks Off Russia (M) Norway (M)
10, 11 Alan Team ‘Merica United States (W) United States (M)

As you can see we still have hilarious names to add, but I’m a fan of all I’ve seen so far. Wish me luck with my Scotsmen and my Russian Dolls (Like I need it, the Russian girls were a steal and the Men’s of GB I think will be second only to the Canadian Men, if at all).

I’ll be keeping a daily recap here on For S and G, I have no doubt other commentators will as well. All progress of this inaugural year of Fantasy Olympic Curling will be kept on this spreadsheet:Fantasy Curling Tracker

Now to wait til the 10th… Remember all you watching at home, SSSWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPP!!!

Fantasy Curling: Yes, Really

I’m sure many of you fantasy junkies are trying to get by with NFL playoff games, hockey, or basketball- or even starting to brush up on your SABERmetrics. But the hardcore of you know it’s never enough; we all need more reasons to talk smack to our buddies and waste time at work. Well what if I told you I had another option for you during the fantasy nuclear holocaust that is the winter and it involved the greatest sport that can be watched at any bar? That’s right, Fantasy Olympic Curling can and will exist on this great planet of ours.

Cause how often do you get to post a picture with matching pants like these?

Some background on curling: Two teams alternate curling stones towards the other end of an ice sheet. Teams win when they have the most points after 10 ends, or win in extra ends [much like extra innings in baseball], or the other team forfeits. The team throwing second in the end is said to have the ‘hammer,’ and is typically most likely to win the end and earn points. ‘Stealing an End’ happens when the team going first scores in the end. The game is best enjoyed with a BAC above 0.10 at the bar.

The mechanics of it are pretty simple albeit different from normal fantasy games. As many of you curling enthusiasts know, there are no individual stats in curling. So here’s how it breaks down for February’s Curling in Sochi:

There are 10 teams for each gender, making a total of 20 teams. After relearning how to add and multiply, I found the best way to do a fantasy league (really more like mini-game) was to allow a maximum of 10 teams in a league with each team picking two teams from either gender. Teams are drafted one at a time in a serpentine draft order (or for people who really don’t care, randomly). And if you can keep track of the following numbers, I found this was the best way to ensure a fair league no matter the draft spot.

Scoring is a bit more interesting. Without individual stats, all points are based on team performance. I personally use the stats of: Wins (3 points), Extra Ends Loss (1 point) [equivalent to an OT loss in hockey], Points (1 point per point), Stolen Ends (1 point per stolen end), and Forced Forfeit Ends (1 point per end forfeited by opposing team. ex: team A forfeits after 8 ends to team B. Team B’s owner earns 2 points). You sum the points from both your teams in the Olympics up until the medal rounds. Tiebreaker is average shooting percentage of both your teams..

Another kicker to the league is in the olympics curling is played in draws of 8 teams per gender, with multiple draws played per day. So head-to-head is out. But I think that’s a good thing in this case; the league lasts all of a week, so a Roto league works pretty well with still tons of chances to yell at your buddies while falling out of a bar stool.

If you followed all that (or didn’t) here’s a summary:
-Maximum of 10 people per league, each gets two teams, picked in a serpentine draft or randomly.
-Roto league with 3 points per Win, 1 point per Extra Ends Loss, 1 point per Point scored, 1 point per Stolen End, 1 point per Forced Forfeit Ends. Points summed for both teams.
-Tiebreaker is average shooting percentage for both teams.

And the best part of all this: I have a pre-built Excel sheet here for anyone to use to keep track of it all and modify for curling or other sports. All you have to do is enter the numbers in. Or you could be lazy and check in on our site for my daily point updates per team and just remember what Far North teams are yours.

Shratweiser Reaction: My Nightmare Watching the 49ers Play in Lambeau

Let’s get one thing straight from Sunday’s game between the Packers and the 49ers. The Niners were lucky to get out of there with a win. Everything about the game had that Packers-are-destined-to-advance type feeling. The Niners completely dominated the first quarter, only to come away with two field goals despite being first and goal inside the 7-yard line two different times. We also burned our first two timeouts of each half within a few minutes, but I think that was just Jim Harbaugh’s way of playing down to Mike McCarthy. Like when you spot your little cousin the first seven points in a pickup game.

But let’s get to the play where I knew, for sure, that the Packers were going to win. 13:28 left in the 4th, Niners winning 13-10, Packers on the San Francisco 30 yard line, 4th and 2: Aaron Rodgers is stuck in the pocket, with Niners defensive tackle Ray McDonald all over him, about to bring him down for a sack (with the help of Ahmad Brooks. Then, out of nowhere, Rodgers somehow escapes the pocket in the luckiest, most Eli-Manning-Super-Bowl-Helmet-Catch type way and throws a 26 yard dart to Randall Cobb; first and goal Packers at the 4-yard line. If that play doesn’t scream, “You’re screwed, we’re getting every break and winning this game”, then I don’t know what is.

By the way, I’d like to issue a warning to those slobbering over Colin Kaepernick’s performance. He did not play well on Sunday. Aside from missing numerous open receivers, he was extremely lucky to be only intercepted once, instead of thrice. On their first possession, Kaepernick was almost picked off in the endzone by Tramon Williams, who dropped what would’ve been a sensational one-handed interception. And then on the Niners final drive, Kap made a bad decision on an out-route to Anquan Boldin that should’ve been intercepted by Micah Hyde. It was in Hyde’s hands, and he dropped it. Those two plays are the game right there. Kaepernick made some excellent plays with his arm and his legs in the 4th, but he needs to play exponentially better next week in Carolina for the 49ers to have any shot at advancing.

When the Panthers came to San Francisco in Week 10, I had the pleasure of being in attendance. And in my only experience in the cesspool that is Candlestick Park, aside from having the pleasure of seeing some of the worst 49er fans in the history of sports, I watched Carolina take down the Niners in excruciating fashion.

Check in later this week for the entire breakdown of this Sunday’s game in Carolina. Or don’t. It’s your choice, there’s no need to be all rude about it.

Fan Reaction: 49ers at Packers

So several of us here at S and G had a vested interest in this gem of a playoff game. I myself am a Packers fan with Doogie and Tammy being San Fran men. Here’s my take on the game:

49ers: What else is there to say about this team? Their front 7 is great and attacked the incredibly weakened Pack O-line to get to Rodgers. Their RB is still great, posting good gains on an albeit weak defense. Their QB is a clear Pack-killer, shredding the inexperienced and injured Packers D (last real play of the game, Bush made the rookie mistake of running in and not playing contain, letting Kaep get loose). This team played hard and won hard, and is a major reason they still look good to make their way back to the big game. They face Carolina next week in what looks to be two near-mirror image teams facing off. Overall, their game I rank as a A-. They faced a weakened opponent but in adverse conditions and while they struggled to put them away, they did the job. I’ll be rooting for these guys to take the NFC.

Pack: As disappointing as the game was, I have to feel some pride as a fan. I thought they were going into a buzzsaw even though they had homefield on Hoth. Their defense, injured into inexperience beyond belief (not helped by two more loses in the first series), managed to hold Kaep and Gore most of the game, for the most part preventing big gains except when Crabtree or a running Kaep were involved. Rodgers and Lacy, with no O-line to protect them, managed to batter and push the offense downfield when they needed to. For a team that squeaked into the playoffs, they were barely knocked out. I look forward to next year when the Pack will (hopefully) have a health Lacy and Rodgers and a fixed up O-line and Defense (McCarthy is known for drafting very well since he drafts on value available not how many QBs can a team have- looking at you Jags). I give them a B+. They were a team that faced an uphill battle and were only thrown off just before reaching the top.

Fans on either side of the ball must have been on edge the whole game, but I think both teams walk away from this with their heads held high. I see both teams doing as good or better next year and look forward to the next match-up in a possible rivalry (once the Pack can take one of these…).

Bridging Fantasy Football 2013 and 2014

Ah that time of year where presents are exchanged, trophies are won, and expletives flow like egg nog. Some of you woke up this Monday as champs, if you did, congrats. Many factors can lead to a victory, most of all a good draft, good eye on the wire, and tying it all together, luck.

Virtually no one wins a fantasy season without drafting moderately well and/or being really good on the wire. Most all, don’t be afraid to take some chances on the two. This is important to remember for next year. Many players sulk from a bum draft pick or two, a great player they missed or dropped to the wire, and/or their injury situation. Fact is, you can draft as well as you want and have as good of an eye as you want, but luck and chance is the name of the game in fantasy. Let’s analyze the bulldozer of my league, my girlfriend’s fantasy team:

QB: Peyton
RBs: McCoy and Reggie Bush (MJD acquired for Decker), and DeAngelo
WRs: Demarius and Antonio Brown
TEs: Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker
DEF: Seahwaks
K: Prater

Obviously, the Broncos turning into the greatest passing offense basically ever seen bouyed her immensely. But picking Peyton was obviously a risky move, and it worked for her. Who knew at the start of the year he would average over 25 points a game. McCoy was another question mark- Kelly’s offense was never tested when the draft came around. Bush was, and remains, injury prone, but a PPR beast when on the field. Brown stepped up to be a great WR, but that was far from a given at the start of the year. Walker turned out to be a beast for her in both the TE slot when Vernon was on Bye and in the Flex. The Seahawks were probably the only spot that offered her little risk, but still substantial reward.

Long story short: she (probably unwittingly) took some big chances with this team. But all her chances worked. She could’ve picked Lynch and his consistent production or McCoy and his possibility of going bananas in a new offense. Can I say this is the safest route? No. But did taking chances reap her great rewards? Hell. Yes.

Remember this for next year redrafters: you only have one chance at the Shiva. Draft smart (i.e. don’t pick kickers prior to the last round), but remember to take gambles on huge upside players if the opportunity presents itself (player falls far down, or is a small reach). If you don’t take chances but draft safe, expect a middle of the pack finish. Sure there’s a chance you a pull a me and draft Martin and Finley, but I also stole DeSean and Lacy later on, so take the chances and then let  luck take over. It sucks, but fantasy is not a science; it’s more like craps. You can bet the good odds, but they’re still odds.

Go for the win at the draft next year; don’t fear failure, embrace the excitement for a chance to win it all.