This article is a rare departure from my realm of sports. It’s not motivated by anything other than my embarrassment for being judged by a piece of technology (rather accurately I might add), and because the beauty of Entry Revel is that I can write about whatever I want and in the words of the great Adam Sandler, “you will listen to every damn word I have to say!”
For my birthday my darling wife got me an Apple Watch. I asked for it and was excited to get it because I’d heard good things and thought it would come in handy given my propensity to fly around by the seat of my pants. I was pretty excited to get notifications of texts, e-mails and calendar appointments through a slight vibration on my wrist. And I definitely was excited to download the Yahoo Fantasy Football app and get notifications on my watch so that I no longer had to feel like an asshole checking my phone while out for lunch on a Sunday with my in-laws (for the record that app was the first thing I downloaded). What I didn’t know, was that the watch would also take its first opportunity to give me an underhanded insult and call me a fat, lazy, piece of shit.
For those that don’t know, the watch has an ‘Activity’ function/app that helps you set and track daily activity goals (how many calories you want to burn, how much exercise you get, and how many hours during the day you stand for at least 1 minute). They all seem straight-forward and easy enough to achieve. It gives you a little buzz on the wrist with daily progress updates, and if you’ve been sitting for the first 50 minutes of a given hour the watch will tell you to ‘Stand up and move around for 1 minute’. I’m all for not developing blood clots, so I was on board. To my surprise, after the 1st week the watch gave me a ‘weekly progress report’ in which it suggested I lower my calorie goal because I wasn’t achieving it. Initially the watch determines your goal based on your age, height and weight. Well it was now suggesting that I cut my goal in half, from 720 to 360 calories.
Let me get this straight…you’re telling me that I’m so lazy that after 1 week, my watch has already cut its goals and expectations for me in half?!?! F**k you watch! Only my wife, my closest friends and family, and of course myself, get to joke about how lazy I am! Talk about motivation. It’s one thing to look at yourself in the mirror and realize you have a sedentary lifestyle and need to get off your ass and be more active. But it’s a kick in the balls when a piece of technology is doing that based on 1 weeks’ worth of analysis. Message received Apple Watch. Oh, and to whoever at Apple headquarters receives my death threat…I apologize. It wasn’t intended for you…it was meant for this insolent piece of stainless steel/aluminum currently on my wrist.
Hey all – just passing along some news and updates on the blog front. We’ve posted the news to Facebook, Twitter and e-mailed our followers, but wanted to post it here as well. My blog has officially merged with EntryRevel.com (you’ll see a link to the site on my Home Page). We’ve been partners for a little while and wanted to make it official, so we’ll be bringing you all the content you need in one place now.
I don’t even know where to start. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster for the last 8 months (which is absurd that it took this long), but we finally have some closure and boy is it oh so sweet justice. Before I go any further, you should probably have this song running in the background while you read this post…
Seeing this news break through on Twitter was just amazing…
Get the duck boats ready, because everyone in Massachusetts feels like we just won the Super Bowl again. Hell, this news probably warrants a parade with all of the drama and media coverage it has gotten. I know it’s not officially over – the NFL has already announced they’re appealing the decision, but still…I want to climb to the top of my office building at work and scream at the top of my lungs: “F**k you Roger Goodell!! Tom Brady!!! WOOOO!!”
And for all those Patriot haters out there who are condemning Patriots fans right now, just suck it up and deal with it. We took plenty of shit from fans of the other 31 teams ever since the initial report. So if you want to cry and pout because ‘Brady and the Patriots got away with another scandal’…you can join Goodell and the NFL in their pity part. I’ll use those tears as sustenance – I’ll eat that shit up.
Speaking of the NFL, they could not possibly look any worse right now. They were so confident throughout this whole process that it quickly turned into obnoxious arrogance and ultimately was part of their downfall. People keep saying that Roger Goodell has egg on his face. That’s putting it way too nicely. It’s more like Goodell took a dump in a brown paper bag, lit it on fire at 1 Patriots Place, and then forgot what was in the bag and put out the fire himself…and then rubbed the shit all over his face afterwards. That seems more accurate.
Frankly, I think they felt compelled to appeal the decision but their odds at the next level of court have to be slim to none based on the way the judge tore into them in his official ruling (the entire report is 40 pages, but if you want some highlights check out this link to ESPN Boston). So they’re just dragging this out further and wasting more money and time because it’s the only possibility (even if it’s essentially zero) to save face. Personally, I would have just chalked it up to the colossal failure it’s been and moved on entirely – that includes from Goodell. But that’s for another day. For today all we care about is that the truth has set Tom free. No more worrying about the week 1 opener…no more speculating about how this is effecting his marriage…it’s time for Brady and the Pats to defend their Super Bowl title.
Meanwhile, this just in to TOSG (through my various league sources)…Bill Belichick is taking the news as we all expected…
But in Belichick fashion, I’ll say that on behalf of Patriots fans everywhere, we’re ready for some football. I don’t ever want to hear the word ‘Deflategate’ again. It’s over. Tommy Boy won and…WE’RE ON TO PITTSBURGH.
With the NFL season kicking off a week from today, I’m doubling up on fantasy football because honestly it’s what everyone is thinking about these days. While you’re “working” you’re obviously checking out rankings or scouring the waiver wire. Driving your kids around to soccer practice, yeah I’m sure you didn’t hear anything they said in the backseat because you’re thinking about that trade offer your buddy sent you. Hell, you’re probably not even 100% focused while having sex with your wife…a part of you is wondering if you should have handcuffed CJ Anderson with Ronnie Hillman instead of taking that flyer in the last round. Okay, maybe that’s just me (just kidding babe – I LOVE YOU), but I digress. As a side note, if this ISN’T enough fantasy football for you – also check out my 10 Commandments for Fantasy Football)
This past November my wife and I had a friend come to visit us from NYC. In the process of catching up, my wife had to ask him of course about his love life. Things were going well, but he mentioned not having a woman in his life right now despite it almost being “cuffing season”. I thought to myself…what the f**k is ‘cuffing season’? No I don’t live under a rock, but I had just gotten married and was with my wife for 8 years before we got hitched…so I’m totally oblivious to the problems facing single folks of our generation.
Anyway, if you’re a fan of Matthew Berry TMR or just frequent the Fantasy Football page on ESPN, you’ve probably seen at some point his annual column where he talks about the guys he’s all in on. He calls it his “Flag Planting”, so this is my take on that. The guys going into this upcoming NFL season that I’m “cuffing” with from September until January, that will hopefully lead me (and you all reading this of course) to the fantasy football glory land…a championship. I’m going to try to spread it across the rounds (i.e. I’m not just going to “cuff” with the top 10 players on the draft board, that’d be pointless) to show you who I love throughout the course of the draft. So let’s get to it…
Adrian Peterson – seems like an obvious name, I know, but I’ve been shocked at the level of skepticism and concern surrounding AP going into this season. I get that he’s 30 years old, missed essentially all of last season and carries a very steep draft price (top 3 pick). I also get the moral dilemma some people face and I certainly don’t support how he chose to discipline his son…but listen, this is fantasy football and all I care about is his production on the field. For me he’s the clear-cut #1 overall player on the board. Call it a gut feeling, but I just think he’s coming out with a vengeance this season – determined to remind everyone across the league how transcendent a player he can be when healthy. Plus, he’s never had this much talent around him. He’s got a good young quarterback, downfield speed threats at WR on the outside in Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson, and a solid tight end in Kyle Rudolph. I know everyone points to how AP will make things easier for those WRs on the outside because teams will bring an extra man into the box. That’s fair, but I think there will also be times where the reverse is true, because once teams start to get burned by 40-50 yard bombs downfield to Mike Wallace, I think they’ll be moving those safeties back a few yards…and that’s all AP needs to turn some 4-5 yard runs into huge plays. If I have the #1 pick, he’s my guy…I’m all in.
CJ Anderson – I understand the doubters who point out he’s unproven, but frankly I think you’re all missing out on what’s important. He’s the running back on a team with Peyton Manning at QB, and to boot it’s coming off a season in which Peyton clearly broke down at the end of the year. They’re obviously going to be more conservative on offense to manage his throws and keep him healthy for what matters – the playoffs. So that means heavy doses of CJ in the run game. Plus, he’s their best back in pass protection and he’s a good receiver out of the backfield. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s now running in a Gary Kubiak offense – one that is predicated on running the ball, particularly in the red zone. He made Justin Forsett into an all-Pro running back last season and the Broncos have much better weapons at every skill position. Anderson will face soft fronts all day long and take advantage.
Julio Jones – outside of a healthy Megatron, I don’t think there’s a more physically gifted receiver in the entire NFL. I think Julio has that kind of upside if he can stay healthy for a full season, which has tended to be his issue. He usually has some kind of nagging injury to slows him down for a few weeks, but when healthy last year he put up some monster games (both receptions and yardage-wise). I’m a believer that touchdowns are fluky, but with Roddy White on the back nine of his career, the running game in a state of flux and no reliable tight end on the roster, I think Julio’s red zone looks will go through the roof. So I’m predicting double-digit touchdowns for JJ this season, and with his upside I think he can be the #1 receiver in fantasy (even though he typically is drafted as the 3rd – 6th). I’m grabbing the dirty bird on every roster that I possibly can.
DeAndre Hopkins – Don’t care that the quarterback situation isn’t great (for the record, Brian Hoyer is a serviceable option at QB). I’m buying up all of the shares I can of Nuk, because I think he’s taking the leap into stardom this season. No Arian Foster, possibly for the first 2-4 weeks (as a best case scenario), and who the hell else are they going to throw to? Seriously, who’s their next receiver in line for targets? Cecil Shorts? Oh, wait, he really might be their other starting receiver? HAHAHAHAHAHA…yeah give me DeAndre all day every day, and hopefully a couple times on Sundays. Seriously, this guy will be a target monster this year – especially in the red zone without Foster on the field.
Brandin Cooks – He’s a popular name, and I think it’s for good reason. Nobody doubts the guys talent, and it’s hard to argue against the opportunity in front of him this season…he’s still playing in a Sean Payton offense, with Drew Brees at QB and they traded away Jimmy Graham this offseason. Plenty of extra targets to split up, and I think Cooks gets the lion’s share of those. Yes, most of his targets will be close to the line of scrimmage. But this guy has the quicks to turn a 5-yard pass in the flat into a big gain. I think he’s PPR gold this season – if he stays healthy all season has the potential for 100+ receptions. He’s drafted as a WR2, but has low-end WR1 upside in my opinion. I’m firmly on the bandwagon…WHO DAT!
Allen Robinson – I know he plays for the Jags, and I’m not a believer in Blake Bortles. But you know what I am a believer in? That junk time yardage and touchdowns still count the same in fantasy football. The Jaguars will be playing from behind….A LOT, and Robinson is by far their best receiver and most polished route runner. I think he has a great year, particularly in PPR formats. I don’t see any Jags offensive player having a high TD total but I could easily see him eclipsing 80 catches and 1,000 yards.
Davante Adams – I had to move him from the ‘Late Rounds’ section due to the Jordy Nelson injury, so now he’s an obvious choice. I’ve been high on Adams from the beginning because of how many 3-wide sets the Packers run, and because he caught my attention at the end of last season once he got comfortable with the playbook. He obviously jumps up into a starting role to replace Jordy and has the potential for a big year catching passes from Aaron Rodgers every week.
Ben Roethlisberger – It pains me to write nice things about him because I think he’s a complete slimeball of a man, but he’s a great option as a fantasy QB. He’s got amazing weapons around him: arguably the most polished route-runner in football…Antonio Brown, the best all-around back (once he’s available week 3) in Le’Veon Bell, and a freakish downfield threat (again once he’s available) in Martavis Bryant. Frankly, I think you can snag Big Ben for good value because some people are worried about the impact of no Bell for 2 weeks and no Bryant for 4. I’m not concerned, you know why? Because the Steelers’ defense is total garbage and Ben will be throwing all day. If they don’t put up big points, they’ve got no shot…and this is about fantasy football, not real football.
Greg Olsen – He’s routinely getting drafted as the 4th (sometimes 5th) tight end and I think that’s just ludicrous. I get that Travis Kelce is a flashier name – when you draft Olsen nobody else in the room will go “ooooh and ahhhhh” or “damn I really wanted him”. But you know what he is? He’s a steady, dependable, and extremely productive player who has a legit chance to improve upon his career year from last season. I don’t think it was a fluke that Cam Newton targeted Olsen 9 times in the 1st half of their last preseason game against the Patriots. I think that’s because he has no other options that he has faith in – Kelvin Benjamin…out for the season. Devon Funchess, the kid everyone assumes will replace him…hasn’t practiced. Olsen is the clear #3 tight end in fantasy, but he’s going behind Jason Witten in some drafts. That is just insane…take advantage and enjoy the results all season.
Tom Brady – Everyone has been skittish about drafting Brady, and understandably so. He’s in line for a 4-game suspension and the Patriots have a week 4 bye so he had potential to miss the first 5 weeks of fantasy; fair concerns. But at this point the odds are pretty high that Brady doesn’t miss 4 games this season – hell he might not miss any if the judge approves an injunction allowing him to play while the appeal process runs its course (or even crazier, if he rules in his favor). Worst case scenario you have Brady from week 6 on, in which case you know he’d come back ready to set the league on fire. Best case, he’s available all season and you’re getting a top 5 or 6 QB option at great value. Swing for the fences and grab Brady if you can while his price is still cheap, and just protect yourself with an adequate backup like Sam Bradford or Ryan Tannehill. Editor’s Note: Obviously the ruling this morning will send Brady’s draft stock sky-rocketing. I’m still cuffed to him in the middle round because he will be a beast this season (just slightly motivated you know)
John Brown – He’s started to dart up everyone’s draft board, so you might not get him as cheap as people did earlier in the preseason. But he’s worth it, even if you have to reach a little to grab him. Bruce Arians has consistently referred to him as a clone of T.Y. Hilton. That’s pretty high praise from your head coach, and since Arians was a huge part of Hilton’s development in Indy, I feel pretty confident that he’ll maximize this kid’s talents. Plus, when Carson Palmer was healthy last season this kid always seemed to show up on film with big plays downfield. With Larry Fitz on the back nine of his career and Michael Floyd recovering from three fractured fingers, Brown will get his opportunity to run away with the job. See what Brown can do for you…
Eddie Royal – The hype train has starter to gain a lot of steam for Royal thanks to all the injuries in training camp to the rest of the receiving core (Kevin White out potentially all year and Alshon Jeffrey battling a calf injury). He can still be had for a good value on draft day and was a favorite of Jay Cutler back in their Bronco days. I expect him to be Cutler’s security blanket out of the slot, and think he’s got a shot to finish with a sneaky 85-90 receptions this year…making him a great WR3/Flex play in PPR formats and a good bench stash in standard leagues.
Matt Jones – Some guys just pass the eye test, you know what I mean? I know that Alfred Morris is the starter, and their offensive line has looked pretty miserable all preseason. I also don’t feel great about Kirk Cousins as the starting QB, but this kid just looks like a dynamic playmaker. Not many running backs at his size (6’ 2”) can move like he can. The Redskins are going to be bad – no way around that – and I think he’ll get involved in their offense sooner rather than later. If I’m throwing darts at the end of the draft, he’s my guy.
Disagree with me? Want to state your claim on another guy for this season? Or just want to tell me how much you LOVED the article (which is obviously what I live for), leave it in the comment section.
Didn’t Bob McNair’s momma teach him to stay out of other people’s business? Seriously dude, what is the matter with you?
In case you missed it, McNair – who owns the Houston Texans – decided to give the media this wonderful nugget yesterday regarding ‘Deflategate’ (and I honestly have no idea how the hell it came up, nor do I care):
“If it was J.J. Watt, I think he would have been cooperative, and it wouldn’t be a question… I don’t think J.J. would destroy his cellphone.”
I don’t fully blame McNair, because I’m sure the reporter was trolling him a bit…just trying to get a headline and it worked. But if you’re the owner of another NFL franchise, why are you getting involved whatsoever in the absurd mess and chaos that has been the ‘Deflategate Saga’. Just stay out of it bro, it’s not your fight. The real result is what I like to call bulletin board material…and the Pats get to play the Texans this season, so thanks for the extra motivation Bobby boy. As if the Patriots wouldn’t be motivated enough to beat Bill O’Brien for bragging rights, they will want to drop a nice 40 or 50 burger on your squad when they meet up. So remember that you brought this on yourself old man when Timmy Brady and Belichick cram it down your throats that Sunday.
Had the live draft for one of my fantasy football leagues last night (a league I’m the Commissioner of), so I figured I would throw together a recap of the draft results. A better version of the ‘Draft Grades’ handed out by Yahoo after the results are in. Just to give you some context, this was a 12-team draft; 0.5 PPR scoring, and the draft was held at a sketchy ‘Knights of Columbus’ where we were likely the only people with full-time jobs and all of our own teeth. So, I’ll run through each team, by draft position, with overall highlights and grades. Sneak preview: it was a very competitive race for Worst Overall Draft and Biggest Reach.
Team #1 – Team THC
With the #1 overall pick, this guy took Le’Veon Bell. I don’t have him atop my big board but I can’t really argue with it…he was an absolute monster last season. Other highlights were Aaron Rodgers at the end of the 2nd round, and wrap-around picks of Travis Kelce and John Brown in the 7th/8th. Outside of that, there were some big reaches which is bound to happen when you’re picking at the end of a draft. Edelman at the top of the 3rd was probably the most egregious one, and that’ s coming from a Pats fan, but he came off the board before Brandin Cooks, Alshon Jeffrey and Emanuel Sanders. That one could come back to bite this guy in the ass. He did secure the rest of the old hot-box duo in LeGarrette Blount. So two of his top three running backs will be out week 1 for smoking weed together last season…well played sir…Official Grade: B-Yahoo Grade: B
Team #2 – AP and the 2011 Pro Bowl Team
He got AP to start off his draft and came back with Andrew Luck in the 2nd round, so that’s certainly a hell of a foundation for a fantasy team. The other highlights were Jimmy Graham in the 3rd, T.J. Yeldon in the 6th and Devon Funchess in the 10th – which is great value for a guy who could turn into Cam’s top target. He seems to be a believer in the revitalized Muscle Hamster hype this preseason, and took Dougie to be his RB2. I don’t buy the hype because I’ve been burned by him too many times in the past, so I think that pick will be vital to this team’s success. From there, I think this dude either got bored or just forgot what year it was because he was taking guys who were studs 2 or 3 years ago: Steve Smith Sr., Victor Cruz, Reggie Bush and Stevie Johnson. I think they all have different levels of value, but I’m a big believer in stocking my bench with young, high-upside guys…and he decided to go a different route. Official Grade: BYahoo Grade: B-
Team #3 – WTF happened to QB??
Lacy in the 1st round was probably the highlight and in hindsight it started to go downhill from there. DeAndre Hopkins and Brandin Cooks at picks 2 and 3 have huge potential and upside…but if they don’t pan out, this team could be in serious trouble because of the gaping hole at QB. But I’ll get to that in a minute. Love the overall WR corps, with Jarvis Landry, Charles Johnson and Eddie Royal. I think people might have forgotten this was a 0.5 PPR league, because Hopkins, Cooks, Landry and Royal are all guys who could catch between 85-100 balls this season. This team also took a gamble on Arian Foster in the 7th round, which in a 12-team league I think is fair value given the upbeat reports coming out of Houston right now. The big, GIANT issue with this team is at QB. I love Teddy Bridge to take a leap in his 2nd season, but would not feel comfortable with him as my starter…this team will probably be hitting the trade market early looking to pry away a QB from one of the many teams that doubled up at the position (before he even drafted 1). For the record, this was MY team, and I want to throw myself into oncoming traffic for drafting Joseph Randle in the 4th…so FML; Official Grade: BYahoo Grade: B
Team #4 – What did I do to piss this guy off?
Now that you know I was picking 3rd, I’ll give some context as to why this bastard was a thorn in my side all night long. He took Marshawn Lynch in the 1st, fine…nothing to get upset about there. In the 2nd round, A.J. Green started to slide and I was hoping he’d make it to me…only to have him go right before my pick to THIS guy. Okay, no big deal. Then, in the 4th round I sat there watching as Melvin Gordon kept sliding…right into my lap I thought. Until THIS guy took him again one spot before me. Happened again with Chris Ivory in the 8th round…and the icing on the cake, he took Sam Bradford one pick before me in the 12th round when he already had Drew Brees on his roster and I desperately needed a QB. I’m going to look up a voodoo witch doctor in the yellow pages tomorrow morning to put a fucking hex on this guys’ team.
Now that I vented and got that off my chest, back to the actual analysis. Aside from him stealing 4 guys right out of my hands, he also made the poor decision of drafting Jason Witten one pick before I took Greg Olsen in the 6th round. That was a HUGE misfire, which prompted me to get on my soapbox and ask everyone if they ‘knew who Greg Olsen was’…what can I say, I enjoy my spot on my high horse. He also took Reggie Wayne in the 14th round, which is just laughable…but at least he knew it when he made the pick. Official Grade: A-Yahoo Grade: B+
Team #5 – Team Hipster
This guy was quiet all night – no trash talk. He just sat there in his skinny jeans and went about his business. He had some success early on – Jamaal Charles fell into his lap at #5 and he got great value on Alshon Jeffrey in the 3rd round. But he was yet another victim of drafting guys that used to be big names 3-4 years ago when they were in their prime. He took Larry Fitzgerald in the 6th and Marques Colston in the 8th. Not terrible value on either guy…but I believe both guys have their best football way in the rearview mirror. I think he’ll be cruising the waiver wire for better options in a few weeks, and will wish that he spent less time gelling his hair and more time preparing for the draft. Official Grade: C+Yahoo Grade: B
Team #6 – Maybe two heads aren’t better than one
This team had two guys co-managing the team. The youngest, a newbie to our company, was supposed to be my assistant with the draft board and have absolutely zero input into the actual draft. All the guys agreed that having an extra brain with input was an unfair advantage. Alas, I decided to NOT be Roger Goodell and let it slide…after all, this is supposed to be fun, right? Anyway, their draft started out amazingly – they got Antonio Brown in the 1st and Jeremy Hill fell to them in the 2nd. Mark this down, I firmly believe that Jeremy Hill has the potential to finish as a top 5 running back this season. I thought they reached a little on Alfred Morris and Davante Adams in the next two rounds, but definitely hit the jackpot with Big Ben in the 6th round. That must have been all the knowledge crammed into those two heads though, because from there all they did was scoop up the Giants RBs and draft two mediocre tight ends (Owen Daniels and Zach Ertz). Official Grade: B+Yahoo Grade: B
Team #7 – At least one team’s QB situation is worse than mine
Before I get into the dire straits that this squad was left in at the quarterback position, there were lots of positives. Julio Jones is the most explosive wide receiver in football in my opinion, and getting Matt Forte at pick #18 is just absurd. Did everyone forget that he caught over 100 passes last season? I don’t care if Marc Trestman is gone and Jay Cutler is still his quarterback, the dude is PPR gold. He then came back with Justin Forsett in the 3rd (who by the way is now playing in a Marc Trestman offense) and then C.J. Spiller and preseason superstar Ameer Abdullah in the 7th round. His running backs are absolutely stacked. Like, stacked more than Eric Decker’s wife…
The only negative, and it’s a BIG negative, is that he totally missed out on all of the QBs and got stuck with Andy Dalton. There’s no way to say this nicely…when your quarterback is a ginger, you know you’re totally fucked. At least he’s got enough depth at other positions that he should be able to swing a trade for a serviceable QB. Official Grade: B (would be an A- if not for Dalton)(This guy also takes a hit to his credibility for asking in the 5th round, “Is Aaron Rodgers still available?”) Yahoo Grade: B-
Team #8 – Fill-in guy/the Ringer
The real owner of this team couldn’t be at the draft, so we found him a fill-in. Unfortunately for all of us, we found him a fill-in with probably more fantasy football knowledge and experience than he actually possesses, so this couldn’t have worked out better for him. In reality, he made his own rankings and this guy was going off his sheet, so I have to give him some credit…but we’ve already decided this guy should be able to co-manage the team; that’s how well the draft went for them. C.J. Anderson in the 1st, which was immediately met by a loud “FUCK” from the guy picking 9th…Beckham in the 2nd, Jordan Matthews in the 4th, Latavius Murray in the 6th, Romo in the 7th and Martavis Bryant in the 8th round. He even grabbed Markus Wheaton in the 12th round. This team is just stacked, all across the board. I feel like this dude made a copy of my personal rankings when I got up to use the bathroom during the day, because he was reading my mind all night. He even took my “sleeper” at tight end, grabbing Tyler Eifert. I have nothing bad to say about this team; literally the only questionable move was picking my handcuff in James Starks, instead of their own for CJ Anderson (Ronnie Hillman). I wish it was my own so I could have come home tonight and done some serious roster-bating. Official Grade: AYahoo Grade: B
Team #9 – This guy MIGHT have been drunk
I’ll start with the few positives that existed in this guys’ draft…DeMarco Murray in the 1st round was a reach in my opinion, but I can’t fault him too much for drafting last years’ rushing leader at #9 overall. Personally, I think he’s going to share touches with Matthews and Sproles – plus I don’t think he stays healthy all year after the absurd workload he had in 2014…but I digress. He took Cobb in the 2nd, who just sprained his AC joint on Saturday…but okay, I’m at least somewhat on-board through this point in the draft. 3rd round is where the wheels fell off the wagon….TODD GURLEY.
Kid’s got plenty of talent, but is coming off an ACL injury and will be eased into things. I’ve already been threatened with a picture of his balls mailed to my house when Gurley runs for 1,800 yards and 17TDs…so lucky for me those are just absurd predictions. If Gurley turns into a legit RB1, then his team might be okay…but if not he’ll be in serious trouble because of these wonderful picks he made later in the draft: Montee Ball in the 8th (by the way he’s their 3rd stringer) and Julius Thomas in the 9th (who had hand surgery yesterday). Those beauties are definitely in the running for worst picks of the night. Official Grade: CYahoo Grade: C
Team #10 – Cam Newton always ruins the draft for someone
This guy was the one who brought us to the magical establishment that we drafted in, so maybe he was too worried about us not embarrassing him in front of his 80-year-old buddies to focus on the draft. He lost interest very quickly, and legitimately wanted to “check out and auto-draft”. He made some solid picks early with Shady McCoy, Megatron and Lamar Miller to start off his squad…but all of his hopes and dreams came crashing down when he drafted Cam Newton in the 6th round (well before Eli, Rivers and Tannehill). He then cursed himself for the next few rounds, repeatedly saying “I can’t believe I drafted Cam Newton”. At least he was smart enough to draft Eli in the 12th round, so he might as well cut Cam loose and chalk that up to a wasted draft pick. By the end he was drafting guys in the form of a question because he had no idea who the hell they were…but Perriman and Latimer might actually turn into something for him. Official Grade: B-Yahoo Grade: C+
Team #11 – The Reacher
There’s always one in every draft…the guy who reaches. Well, here he is in our league. It started early and happened often. He reached so often that I was worried he was going to start giving reach-arounds to other guys in the draft room. Was that too far? I never know. Anyway, he took Dez in the 1st which was solid…but then the reaches started with T.Y. Hilton at 14 overall. That’s just insane – ahead of Megatron, Beckham, Cobb and AJ Green?? WTF were you smoking dude? Seriously…I want some, that must be good shit. He also took Peyton in the 4th, which was met with a loud chorus of BOOOOs from the all Patriot crowd (including the old guys playing pool behind us). He then took two back-ups as his RB2 and RB3 – Gio Bernard and Ryan Matthews, another RB who just suffered a concussion this weekend, and Danny Woodhead about 3 rounds before he should have come off the board. He better hope that Dez puts up 16 touchdowns again, because his only receivers outside of him and TY are Malcom Floyd (who one other owner thought was dead) and Kenny Stills. Maybe I should have gone over the roster positions one more time before we started (there are 3 starting WR spots dude). Official Grade: CYahoo Grade: C (This guy also takes home the prize for most attempted picks of guys taken 2 rounds previously)
Team #12 – Save the worst for last…
I honestly had high hopes for this guys’ draft after he opened up with Demaryius Thomas and Gronk…and did so with a ton of confidence. But WOW did it unravel really quickly from there. I don’t even know where to start, but I can only assume that this guy developed a brain tumor in the 15 minutes between his second and third pick, because he went with Joique Bell at the end of the 3rd round. I know he was desperate for a running back in that spot, but taking a guy who hasn’t practice all preseason and who’s two backups have both looked explosive in preseason is well…just stupid. S-T-O-O-P-I-D, stoopid!! As they say on Felger & Mazz. I wish I could say it got better from there, but it didn’t. The tumor must have grown because he took Torrey Smith in the 5th round and Bishop Sankey in the 7th (Brady was sandwiched between those picks).
But the pick that takes the cake…in the 12th round he innocently asked if Fred Jackson was still on the board. To which another owner genuinely responded, “Yes he is, because he isn’t on an NFL roster right now”.We actually gave him the opportunity to pick someone else and he chose not to…instead drafting a 34-year-old running back who is currently unemployed. He also took his defense and kicker in the 10th and 11th rounds respectively…so I’ve just lost all respect for this guy. May God have mercy on his soul; Official Grade: D+Yahoo Grade: B (they must have gotten their weed from the same guy as team #11)
Latest edition of my Water Cooler Shorts…giving you the quick updates you need to know from this weekend’s game before you go into work on Monday morning.
My “conspiracy” might have been on the money
If you missed the article, check it out here. But basically, I theorized that Jay Gruden was trying to get RG III hurt intentionally. Well, reports have surfaced that he and his coaching staff don’t want Griffin around and even kicked the tires on potential trade opportunities (according to ESPN). So they’ve already named Kirk Cousins the week 1 starter – even though Gruden tried to back-pedal after that was reported. Simple fact is, RGIII is not in his long-term plans and there’s a good chance that both sides part ways before the season starts.
Packers should boycott preseason
A week after losing Jordy Nelson for the season, Mike McCarthy was smart enough to sit out Aaron Rodgers for their preseason game on Saturday. They were down three offensive linemen and McCarthy didn’t want to roll the dice. Makes sense – but he still played his other starters and right on cue, Randall Cobb landed awkwardly on their first offensive series and was seen walking to the locker room with a shoulder injury. Early reports are an injury to his AC joint, and it’s not considered severe. All the Cheeseheads can take a deep breath now, but the Packers should think long and hard before they play anyone that matters in their final preseason game.
Brady played and looked…un-Brady like
All preseason the Patriots have been in a tough spot while they wait for resolution to his ‘Deflategate’ suspension. They want Brady to get reps, but obviously need Jimmy G to be ready to roll week 1 if Brady’s not available. So I was curious how much run Brady would get in this game, one that is commonly referred to as a “dress rehearsal” for week 1. Well, Brady played the entire first half and looked pretty terrible for most of it. He threw two really ugly picks trying to hook up with Aaron Dropson, I mean Dobson…and didn’t build any rhythm for the first 28 minutes of the game. Thankfully, he ran the 2-minute drill to perfection and engineered an 80-yard TD drive at the end of the 1st half that should calm the nerves of Pats fans.
The real question, whoever is QB week 1, is whether they’ll have a complete stable of weapons around them. Edelman is still nursing an ankle injury and hasn’t been a full participant in practice, and Brandon LaFell was in a walking boot and has yet to participate at all. They signed Reggie Wayne this week, but that’s an addition that sounds better than it actually is. Wayne’s got nothing left in the tank, so if they’re relying on production from him to replace either LaFell or Edelman, they’ll be seriously screwed.
Eagles’ offense looked unstoppable
I know it’s just preseason, but the 1st half of their game against the Packers on Saturday was pretty impressive. If you missed it, the Eagles put up 39 points in the first half behind a perfect 10-10 effort from Sam Bradford (121 yards and 3 TDs), and a solid effort from Mark Sanchez in relief (13-19 for 150 yards and 2 TDs). They spread the ball around, got lots of different receivers and backs involved and Chip Kelly’s up tempo offense looked great. If Bradford can stay healthy (which was always the big question mark) he has big-time potential this year. Chip Kelly made a concerted effort this offseason to put his stamp on this roster…and he definitely did. So this is a big season for him to prove that his system works…so far the early results have been extremely positive.
That Tyler Lockett kid is FAST
It’s not like the Seattle Seahawks had major holes going into this season (after back-to-back Super Bowls), but their only criticism has always been the relative lack of weapons around Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Well, they traded for Jimmy Graham this offseason and then they drafted this kid…Tyler Lockett. Not sure how involved he’ll be in the offense, but he’s already made his presence felt on special teams with a kickoff returned for a touchdown in week 1 and a punt returned for a touchdown this weekend. Kid must be wearing his PF Flyers…
Julio got paid $$
The Falcons locked up star receiver Julio Jones with a 5-year contract extension worth $71.25M on Saturday. He then promptly sat out of their preseason game that night. Smart move – you locked up your stud…no reason to trot him out there anymore in games that don’t matter. He’s one of the best in the game and now it’s possible he’ll be doing the Dirty Bird and A-Town Stomp until 2020.
What you need to know from the weekend (and last week) in the NFL:
The big news from this weekend is coming out of Green Bay, where the Packers lost star wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Initial reports are a torn ACL and he’s lost for the season. He’ll have an MRI today to confirm the prognosis, but it’s a tough pill to swallow. If any team is equipped to handle this kind of injury though, it’s the Packers. They seem to constantly churn out productive receivers from every draft and Davante Adams will slide right in to fill Nelson’ s role on the outside. Plus, they still have that guy named Rodgers at QB, so they’ll be okay. The other big injury happened earlier in the week when the Panthers lost their young stud receiver – Kelvin Benjamin. He went down in practice, also with a torn ACL and is officially done for the year. Any time a guy goes down without contact, you know it’s not good and in both of these situations it appears to be worst case scenarios.
One other injury nugget – not as flashy, but still worth noting, is that the Steeler’s Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey injured his ankle yesterday and was carted off. He will require surgery and the timetable for his return is still unknown at this point. Either way, it’s a big loss for a team that wants to establish the run and needs to protect Big Ben.
Jimmy G Update
For all those Pats fans who were on the ledge after week 1 of the preseason, you can step down and relax. Yes, I understand that Garoppolo was facing 2nd and 3rd stringers on the Saints. But he was also playing with 2nd and 3rd stringers on his side of the ball and did what you would expect from a capable quarterback…he led the offense on 5 scoring drives and was efficient doing so: 28/33 for 269 yards and 1 TD (also 1 INT), which I consider impressive considering his top receiving threat was undrafted rookie Chris Harper. Assuming that Brady is out for the first 4 weeks, as I said last week…I think the Pats will be just fine.
No other major news. Week 3 of the preseason will be the ‘dress rehearsal’ for most teams, so expect the starters to get lots of action in preparation for week 1. Knock on wood if you’ve already had your fantasy football draft and pray that your guys make it through in one piece.
As if dealing with the endless saga of Deflategate wasn’t enough for Patriots fans, now they’ve had to listen to other nonsense like Peyton Manning believing the visitor’s locker room at Gillette is bugged. The suspicion dates back to his time with the Colts, but resurfaced this week when Dan Patrick interviewed Tony Dungy on his radio show. It’s just a ridiculous notion…but even as a Patriots fan I have to admit that I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility. Either way, it’s obvious that Belichick had (and probably still does have) a good chunk of real estate in Peyton’s head.
Anyway, it got me to thinking…The Office Sports Guy can do conspiracy theories too! So here it is, my first conspiracy theory of the 2015 NFL season:
Jay Gruden hates RGIII and secretly wanted him to get hurt
Honestly, after watching last night’s preseason game between the Redskins and Lions I feel pretty good about this theory. Even if you just caught the highlights on ESPN, it was blatantly obvious that the Redskins offensive line played horrendously and left RGIII constantly running for his life. He took some huge shots…stuff that would have been primed for the ‘Jacked Up’ segment on NFL Countdown (if ESPN hadn’t pulled it once they finally realized they should be more sensitive to player safety and concussions).
It’s week 2 of the preseason and you’ve got your starting quarterback, arguably the face of your franchise (although there’s obviously some questions on that now) out there taking shot after shot because your offensive line can’t protect him. Any head coach who gave a crap about their “franchise QB” would protect him by either: (a) making more conservative play-calls – i.e. more run plays, max protection, etc. or (b) just pull him from the game because IT’S PRESEASON!!. Get that shit figured out in practice when there aren’t 250-300 pound defensive lineman from an opposing team trying to obliterate him.
But instead, Jay Gruden left him in the game to take a beating. The end result: RGIII left the game with what has now been diagnosed as a concussion, creating questions about his availability for the rest of the preseason and going into week 1.
So the only conclusion that I can draw is that this is exactly what Jay Gruden wanted. Maybe he secretly loves Kirk Cousins and wants him to be the starter. Maybe he’s upset that RGIII did Subway commercials with Jared back in the day. But Gruden definitely doesn’t want him to be his starting QB week 1 or moving forward. Gruden is on a mission to destroy what little faith the Redskins fanbase and locker room has in RGIII (and probably his self-confidence at the same time). If I were RGIII, I’d hire some extra muscle and definitely look both ways when I walk out of the Redskins facility…Jay Gruden might he lurking around the corner, ready to “accidentally” hit him with his car.
Continuing my series of divisional previews; if you missed the first two you can check out the NFC East and NFC West. Next up…the NFC North:
Why they should be optimistic: They’ve still got Matt Forte, who is arguably the most versatile running back in the entire NFL. You look at his rushing stats from last year and it’s nothing that makes you giddy…just over 1,000 yards at 3.9 YPC and 6 TDs. Good, but nothing special – until you factor in what he did as a receiver out of the backfield: 102 receptions for over 800 yards and 4 TDs. Sum it up and you’ve got over 1,800 yards from scrimmage and 10 TDs, which is why he’s still one of the best in the league.
The only other reasons for optimism are that you’ve got some other weapons on offense too. Alshon Jeffrey has proven to be a playmaker in his first three seasons and should step right in to the WR1 role vacated by Brandon Marshall (although he’s already dealing with a nagging calf injury). You’ve also got Martellus Bennett still lurking at tight end, and you added one of Jay Cutler’s favorite security blankets from back in the day…Eddie Royal…to man the slot. If Cutler can get his head out of his own ass, the offense should be just fine.
Why they should be concerned: Da Bears should be concerned because they’re still stuck with Jay Cutler as their quarterback, and the dude is total muff-garbage. That’s why they couldn’t find any takers this offseason when they were reportedly “shopping him”…he’s not a good quarterback AND he’s had issues with prior coaches and teammates. As long as he’s your QB, the ceiling on this team will be pretty limited. Frankly, the only thing Cutler has in his ‘Win’ column is his wife.
The Bears also traded away Brandon Marshall this offseason. I know he’s got a screw loose, but the dude has boatloads of talent. And the kid they drafted in the 1st round to replace him – Kevin White – is already out with a shin injury. He’ll go on the PUP list and best case miss the first 6 weeks; still a chance he misses the entire season…so that’s a good start after 1 week of the preseason.
What are their chances: As long as Cutler is their QB, their chances are about as good as the odds of me watching the next Fast and the Furious movie (what are they up to, #7 now? – who still watches that shit?). They have some talent around him on offense, but the offensive line is shaky and the defense looks poised for another down year. I think John Fox will be able to right the ship, but not this quickly. They’ll take their licks in 2015 in a difficult division, and with a tough out of division schedule. My official prediction = they finish last in the division at 6-10.
Why they should be optimistic: Adrian Peterson is back!! That’s all you really need to keep in mind if you’re a Vikings fan. The Purple Jesus is back and Viking fans everywhere will get to see the big 2-8 steam-rolling over poor defensive backs on his way to endzone, and all will be right with the world again. You can put me down as being in the camp that AP is going to come back with a vengeance and punish the league this year. Struggling to remember just what this dude is capable of, enjoy…
You’ve also got a young, promising QB leading your team in Teddy Bridgewater. He made strides at the end of 2014 and definitely has more weapons around him in 2015 (the aforementioned AP is just a minor upgrade over Matt Asiata) and the Vikings traded for Mike Wallace this offseason to pair him with the emerging Charles Johnson on the outside and tight end Kyle Rudolph. If that group can stay healthy and if Teddy can keep progressing, the offense should be rock solid. His growth should definitely be eased by the return of AP, as teams will stack the box to slow him down – leaving 1 on 1 matchups on the outside.
Why they should be concerned: Personally, I’m a believer in Teddy Bridge, but he’s young and doesn’t even have a full season under his belt yet. So there’s the very real possibility that he has more growing pains and this season doesn’t go real well for the Vikes as he still develops.
There’s also the issue of their defense, which showed signs of improvement last year but didn’t make enough big plays to be a difference-maker. They had 41 sacks as a team last season, but didn’t generate enough turnovers (only 13 INTs and 6 fumble recoveries; 19 turnovers in 16 games just won’t cut it) to help create opportunities for their offense.
Lastly, the offensive line was a huge problem last year as Vikings QBs were sacked 51 times. That’s over 3 times per game. We’ll assume that improves with AP back in the fold, but reports are that the Vikings already lost starting right tackle Phil Loadholt to a season-ending Achilles injury in their first preseason game…that won’t help the cause.
What are their chances: I think the Vikings are the dark horses in this division. They were better than people realized last season, and I think the return of AP is going to have a massive impact on their offense – I honestly can’t overstate how important I think he is to this team. Their defense isn’t great, but I think they’ll be good enough. They don’t have enough to overtake the Packers this season…but they’re building in the right direction. My official prediction = 10-6, fighting for a wildcard spot.
Why they should be optimistic: They still have the man known best as Megatron. He’s struggled with some injuries the last two seasons, but when healthy he’s still the most unstoppable receiver in the NFL. They finally found a Robin for Megatron last season, as Golden Tate had a tremendous season and stepped up huge when Calvin went down with his injury. Plus, there have been rave reviews coming out of camp so far about the young back they drafted…Ameer Abdullah. And for once the hype might actually be worthwhile because there is at least one Jets defensive player in the trainer’s room with broken ankles after their preseason game. Kid can cut on a dime – now the early comparisons to Barry Sanders are just insane…but he did immediately remind me of Shady McCoy, which ain’t too shabby. In case you missed it…
Why they should be concerned: For starters, they haven’t gotten consistent play from Matthew Stafford. He’s got all the physical tools, but has regressed the past few years and his mechanics are just terrible. He reminds me of Nomar Garciaparra with his side-armed throws…and they’re both equally inaccurate. He’s got to be better for the team to have any real success, and he hasn’t shown any signs of taking that step into the upper echelon of QBs.
The larger concern is that it took the Lions over a decade to build any semblance of a defense. They finally had some success, culminating with last seasons’ top-5 defensive unit and right on cue…say goodbye to Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh. They brought in veteran Haloti Ngata to fill the gap, but it’s not enough, and the trickle-down effect should hamper their secondary in a big way.
What are their chances: They’ll be competitive, so they’ve got a chance to keep things interesting heading into December. But that’s all I expect from them – and it’ll be a definite step backwards from last season’s playoff appearance. I don’t expect Dan Orlovsky bad from them again…but with their lousy defense it’ll be more like the days of old with Stafford chucking all day. Keep your arm loose homie. My official prediction = 8-8 record.
Green Bay Packers
Why they should be optimistic: For starters, they have the best quarterback on the planet (right now) leading their team. Aaron Rodgers is in his prime, and the Pack can ride his golden arm as they chase another Super Bowl title. They’re also stocked with one of the best receiving corps in all of football – Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams; and they’ve got the human bowling ball at running back in “I’m not fat, I’m big-boned” Eddie Lacy. Simply put, assuming health, offense will not be an issue for the cheeseheads this season. They’ll continue to be one of the top offenses in the league and put up points at a high clip.
Why they should be concerned: Their pass rush couldn’t generate any consistent pressure on the quarterback last season outside of Clay Matthews and occasionally Julius Peppers. They need more consistent play up front and are hoping a healthy B.J. Raji can be part of the solution.
They should also be terrified if a game comes down to recovering an onside kick again, because that botched play has to be terrorizing the minds of every Packers player, coach and fan. My guess is that they’re spending some time with the “hands team” this training camp.
What are their chances: As far as I’m concerned, you can lock up this division now for the Pack. As long as Aaron Rodger’s arm doesn’t fall off, they’re winning the NFC North going away. I did give the Vikings some love, and they could stay within arm’s reach of Green Bay, but at the end of the day it’s their division to lose. My official prediction = they steam-roll through the regular season schedule and finish 13-3, get a top seed and first round bye in the playoffs. They end up facing Seattle in a rematch of last season’s devastating loss in the NFC title game.