MBK Week 10

Ah that time of the year when Christmas music is in the stores too early, gluttony of food has culturally acceptable status, and fantasy football enters the home stretch of the season. Who will lead you to your Shiva? Or help you survive this week? Or end your team? Have a chance at finding out this week in Week 10′s Marry, Bang, Kill.

Marry: Tim Wright
Another player I own makes the board cause I’m lazy he’s in an awesome situation. Rookie QB needs a safety blanket, Mike Williams out for the year, VJax can only catch so many passes thrown his way? Enter Wright. He’s been doing well recently, but after a string of good games and the Bucs likely to suck the rest of the way, passes will be a plenty for him. Get him on the cheap if you don’t have a TE1.

Bang: MJD
Other than the rather soft matchup for RBs, MJD has a shot at really going to town here. Titans don’t give up a lot of points, nor do they let the pass get by easily, and the Jags being their usual mess with the bonus of not having Blackmon means a run game will be needed. If he’s healthy, and it looks like he will be, I think he’s a good ride this week if you have your doubts.

Kill: Trent Richardson (for good)
Drafted on pure skill this year, teams have been disappointed time and again by his production. Every excuse in the book was used to justify his low output. Now we see it was just plain low output. Now he’s hurt, too? Get out while you can. Trade him to someone who still believes his draft value. Otherwise, next year, look to him only as a RB3/4, maybe, with a chance for him to not suck like he has the rest of his career.

How’d I do last week? Pretty decent.
Marry: Rivers – I stand by this one even with the INTs. We knew those were bound to pop up. But dammit if he didn’t throw the light outs again. He rarely fires on all cylinders, but always has a good portion of them going.

Bang: Brady – Booyakusha! That is all.

Kill: Rudolph – Called it wrong, but he got hurt. Vindication!

Fantasy 101: Lineup Choices

Fantasy Football on the surface is a rather simple game. Pick players you think will do well from the draft through the end of the year. That’s about 90% of the game. The rest is a mix of being a higher waiver spot or spending your FAAB wisely, and some X factor ideas I’ll detail here when it comes to lineup choices.

Limiting Opponent Upside:
For instance, let’s look at my lineup choice this week against my opponent, let’s call him Not Ryan. Not Ryan’s team is devastated by byes with him losing both Welker and Cruz as starters. Kudos to me. Anyway, Not Ryan’s few remaining starters included TE Antonio Gates against me. I have Romo and Rivers as my QBs, with both being of approximately equal talent level and matchup upside (Romo v. Vikings, Rivers v. Redskins). I also have Dez and Woodhead to boot. So assuming they’ll both be putting up the same numbers with approximately equal TDs, INTs, and Yards, which is the obvious play?

If you said Rivers, then give yourself a pat on the back. Make sure people see you so you have to explain why you did it. By starting Rivers, if Gates ever gets a TD, so do you. If Gates puts up 100 yards, you get 100 yards. Scoring differences will obviously favor the WR, but virtually any production by Gates requires Rivers to do relatively well also. But Rivers doing well doesn’t equate to Gates doing well. Squares are rectangles but rectangles arn’t squares kinda deal. Rivers has the obvious upside here not in terms of his upside being higher than Romo’s, but because it limits the upside of Gates.

This is of course a lineup choice that doesn’t come around all too often. It’s really meant only for a time when you have 2 (or more) QBs to pick from one week who you think will put up about the same kind of weeks, and your opponent has one of the major pieces to one of those QBs’ passing game.

Same Team Synergy:
My extra bonus was by having Dez and Woodhead. Both of them bring an interesting twist, as Dez’s stock is directly related to how Romo does in the same way that Gates is for Rivers. Woodhead, on the other hand, has only about 1/2 – 2/3rds his production value hinging on Rivers. His scoring a touchdown does not need Rivers to score a touchdown for him, but it is a bonus. Chances are, when the Chargers score a touchdown, it’ll either be one of them or even both of them with how involved Woodhead is in the both the passing and to a lesser degree the running game. Both have some buffer between each other. Though Woodhead does lack the incredible upside of Dez, his floor is in the double digits.

So in this case, is it better to go with Romo since he has Dez or Rivers since he has Woodhead? I went Rivers/Woodhead because my floor against a severely weakened opponent was set very, very high, but my ceiling remains high. This is different from starting two players on the same team as QB/RB, WR/RB, WR/TE, or TE/RB, where points are exclusive and limit upside but raise the floor. And with Woodhead in both the running and passing game, he is an odd hybrid of the double-up high risk pairing with the exclusivity of same team players which with Rivers makes them a dangerous combo. I highly suggest trying to get their synergy on your team. A similar and I’d probably argue better version of this is the Brees/PT Cruiser combo.

Using X factors like to help your team could result in an extra win or so a season, which may be just enough to put you into the playoffs.

Marry, Bang, Kill Week 9

Let’s take a look at week 7′s MBK results (skipped one, oopsies).

M: Finley – Before his scary trip to the ER, he was putting up a beast day (18 via Rotoworld). Now likely just plain out.
B: Foles – Whew did that suck. All of 6 points before he was mercifully removed from the field.
K: Spiller – 4 points, then an owie. No surprises here.

Looking to Week 9, we have quite a few teams on byes and some major injuries changing the landscape. Here’s who I’d MBK.

Marry: Philip Rivers. My #2 QB behind Romo, I keep him around for the epic pain train he can bring at the end of the year. Wks 14-16 are: vs. G-Men, @ Peyton, vs. Panty Raiders. Raiders are the only iffy match up there, rest is cake. Ride this man to a championship, as his only test the rest of the year is a Wk 12 @ Reid the Walrus.

Bang: Tom Brady. Brady has been having a down year so far, but what cures that? The Steelers and having your full compliment of receivers and TEs. Now that the game plan will focus on everyone finding their niche again, I think Brady and Co. come out firing like the good ol’ days.
I’m fully aware this bucks against the current paradigm regarding Brady, but I use this spot to highlight people I think are due for a game, not necessarily a full good year; Amendola is on the team, after all.

Kill: Non-AP Vikings. This should be obvious by now, but people keep playing players on this team. After AP, the drop-off for relevant fantasy options is gigantic. Rudoulf is almost an exception, but with Freeman likely to be back around (hell, even if just Ponder or Cassel are around), he’s not gonna do well on a consistent basis, and week-to-week is a huge question mark.

Surviving the Fantasy Injury Bug

Well, last week was rough. I lose by 0.3 points, barring any stat corrections. Wasn’t helped by the loss of Doug Martin or Finley, both probably for the year. I’m sure the gambit of owners of high name players now find themselves with terrible holes in their lineup between the injuries and bye week blues. How on earth do you survive something like this? Part prep work, part keeping on top of it, part shooting the moon.

1) Draft Well
This goes without saying, but draft smart. Don’t burn early picks (10th round or so) picks on Def or K. Or a second QB (unless you have to). Or a second TE, pretty much at all, ever. Don’t only draft to fill starting positions (unless you see a chance to be stacked); draft for depth. Pick a 3rd or even 4th starting or may-start RB before a TE or QB and a few top WR in there for good measure. Take fliers on RB and WR at the end instead of drafting a second QB or TE, you can almost always find more of those.

2) Avoid too much Risk
This is more 1b, but is important enough to merit it’s own category. Don’t go drafting a team of all injury-prone players. A team of RGIII, Arian Foster, DeMarco Murray, Danny Amendola, Hakeem Nicks, and Rob Gronkowski is great on paper when they all play, but a nightmare once the wheels come off. If you do based on best draft picks available, start sending out trade feelers. Risk is good on a fantasy team, but you typically don’t want a team of all injury-prone high rewards. Sprinkles are good on ice cream, but you’d never have sprinkles alone.
Also don’t go on the waiver wire or trade for one-offs to have as semi-permanent or full time starters. Players like Coby Fleener or Eddie Royal are great plug-ins or good to ride when hot, but you’d never want them starting unless you had to. Be aware of the true value of your players and their honest possibilities before sending them off, and do the same for players you want, on the wire or in trades.

3) Stay Active
Worst thing an owner can do is neglect the waiver wire. Many of your fliers won’t work out. Some will after you left them for dead. But keep an eye out for someone only a step away from being great. A good second receiver on a decent passing team opposite a great one, or a rookie RB getting some snaps behind a run-oriented team, etc.
Don’t forget to trade around or put out feelers. If you have extra starting RB and need WR help, find someone with the opposite problem. Or see if that spare QB1 you have that someone needs would be part of something to net you what you need.

4) If it’s that Bad, Go for Broke
This is for those who are truly desperate. Your team is decimated, your fliers and picks haven’t played out, and now you face the prospect of a lost season. You face a team of healthy titans (not NFL kind). Play your highest ceiling players. We all want to think our players will score 3 TDs in a game, but some have a better chance of that than others. No longer is your FLEX spot somewhere to put a RB who doesn’t catch passes or isn’t a workhouse RB, it is now meant for someone integral to a game and prone for a breakout, typically a WR or even TE.
Look for blockbuster trades if you need them. Peyton is amazing, but his buying price on the open market could net you some fancy other toys if you have a decent QB you can plug in or grab.

Those are just some ideas of mine. Last year I went to the finals on the top 3 items, and this year I’m about to start trying out the 4th.

Good luck reversing the tide if you’re being swallowed up. Key thing from all of this: be smart, active, and a bit ballsy. That may be enough to make a splash of your own.

Week 7 Marry, Bang, Kill

Here’s my Year-to-date MBK calls:
(Point totals per RotoWorld- don’t look at it as exact numbers, but as a metric of performance)

Week 5
M: Pryor- 22, 13
B: Witten- 25, 5
K: Snelling/Rodgers- 13/21

Week 6
M: Romo- 10
B: Cutler- 23
K: Texans passing game- Schaub= 9, AJ= 15, DeAndre= 6, Graham= 4

What does all this mean? 1) I’m much better at physics than at fantasy, and 2) I’m good at banging (highly debatable). Pryor has had one good, one bad so far. Gotta wait and see. Romo had a virtual donut, and that did predictably take down Witten, but the season is pseudo-young. So far, mixed bag. Let’s see if I can make some good calls for the year and week in this edition of MBK.

Marry: Jermichael Finley
Yeah I own him, and yeah I’m a Packers fan. But with Cobb down and Jones hobbled, Rodgers has a resurgent Finley ready to catch and run down field. I think he still has room to trend upward even as a current TE1. PPR leagues are his friend.

Bang: Nick Foles
I’ll bite. I think he fits well in this offense, but with this offense still a big beta test, it’s hard to tell if he’s there to stay and if it’s there to stay. But he plays Dallas this week and a high scoring affair looks to be in order. May call him for a second date if he shows up again this week.

Kill: CJ Spiller
This has been the story of the year: Spiller has underperformed as a first rounder. This can be said of several RBs, notably Martin and Richardson, but Spiller is the only injured one of the three. Spiller is losing carries to an old man and hearts to Dogongo . Buffalo is slowly wilting away in the AFC East, and playing from behind that whole time won’t help his case.

Good luck out there on the couch.