Denver Donkey Punches
For the second straight season, Zach has constructed the team to beat in our league. Everyone had a hearty laugh at Zach at the draft but everyone seems to be pretty tight lipped now while they watch Zach swat opponents away like King Kong swipes biplanes on the Empire State Building. But KING KONG AIN'T GOT SHIT ON Z!!! The Kelvin Benjamin pick was deemed a reach when Suer took him in the ninth round but Kelvin could earn some Benjamins for Zach come December. Peyton and Julius have developed a chemistry around the goalline that is unmatched and they are good for close to 45 combined points every single week. This team doesn't look as dominant as last year's squad, which would be really tough, but a team 90% as good as last year's might be enough for Zach to go back to back.
There's really no reason why this team will slow down the rest of the way. There are a couple questions as to the depth and talent of his running backs but this team also has an uncanny ability to find RB's to step up and his receiving trio is filled with sleepers that are making a difference. This team, like all of Denver, just hopes to God that Peyton Manning stays on the field the rest of the season. This is the obvious team to beat for the regular season and point titles.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 12th (worst call ever)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 1st
That's My Forte
Hopefully we can make it back up to Black Hawk for the next draft and if we do, I will make sure to order a humble pie if we dine together. I was quick to jump on both Zach and Meyer for their early draft picks but little did I know that I would be making fun of the two strongest teams in our league like a big dummy. Matt Forte started slow but he's really turned it on lately and is doing a mighty fine Marshall Faulk impression this year. Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson, and Emmanuel Sanders have been inconsistent for most of the year but all three of them could easily see their point production improve the rest of the way. There's no need for Marshall to call out the teammates on this team because they look like a cohesive unit. Meyer might want to thank Zach for stealing Peyton Manning one pick ahead of him because not only did Granger get Forte next but he got Phil RIvers in the 7th round, which is looking like one steal of a deal. Meyer made a bright decision to pick up Bradshaw, who's been great all year and has really rounded out his backfield to make this team complete.
I keep linking Meyer to Zach and Zach to Meyer and I'll do it again. Meyer is the last team to defeat Zach and the way this is playing out, Jeff could be the next team to beat Z in their eagerly anticipated rematch this upcoming week. This team is really starting to come together and there's no reason to think that they can't continue to win in the second half of the season. There are two consistently good teams in this league and they are, you guessed it, Meyer and Zach.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 5th (probably too low but is possible)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 2nd
Ambiguously Gay Duo
We're in a new era of fantasy football where as owners we now have the fear that one of our star players could get suspended at any point. There's no way to predict that Adrian Peterson would be lost for pretty much the whole season due to smacking a kid but that's the harsh reality the Pep's face. The bad news is there is no SSPD roster spot on our fantasy lineups so the Pep's will have to burn a bench spot on Adrian with the hopes he can maybe be a keeper worth taking a chance on next year. The bad luck has been managed well by Ace and Gary with smart picks like Giovanni Bernard, Jordy Nelson, T.Y. Hilton, Jay Cutler, and Greg Olsen, who have picked up the slack. If Hillman somehow becomes a trusted player for the Broncos, it will be another positive step in the Adrian Peterson recovery plan.
I don't know what the hell happened to the Bengals but they've gone from AFC contenders to the same ol' shitty Bungles in the snap of a finger. The D/ST that was an asset for Ace and Gary early this year has turned into a liability as Cincy spirals downward. Bernard has been declawed with the rest of these Bengals and has put up more low scoring games than the Pep's would like lately. If Bernard starts to stall and Hillman loses his role as the primary Broncos back, this team could be in trouble. For all of the half-to-half variability that Cutler offers, he's actually been pretty reliable when it's said and done every week. I can't imagine the Pep's will ever totally trust Cutler until he stops making 4-6 idiotic throws every Sunday, though. The receivers on this team have made some big plays this year but they also need to be a little more consistent in order for this team to avoid the dreaded dud week in the playoffs, assuming they make it. These guys will very likely be in the playoffs but I'll just say this team looks to be more likely of going one and done rather than chugging six Budweisers simultaneously to celebrate a title.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 3rd (could happen)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 6th
Some days this team looks like smart, sexy Rob Lowe and sometimes this team looks like nerdy, awkward Rob Lowe. Chris has had some really good looking weeks but he can't always like what he sees when he takes a look at his final score. Once again, Chris has gotten much less than expected from his top RB selection, which can be counted on just like a Rob Lowe DirecTV commercial every break on Sunday. Stafford has the potential to become a top passer in this league but he just can't shake the shoddy decision making that drives his owners insane. Antonio Brown has been really good once again and Mike Wallace is starting to develop some chemistry with Tannehill. Chris has made some nice coaching moves with Sproles, Flacco, and the Eagles D coming up huge for him, which has helped this team hover around the top 1/4th of the standings so far.
While Chris has done a Bill Belicheckian job by mixing and matching parts, this team still has plenty of holes in their hoodie. I don't know if Chris plays daily fantasy football but he might want to because he's put up some high scores that would win a 20 team league and some low scores to toss away and never think of again. McCoy showed flashes last week, which could be a sign of things to come and if Stafford's favorite target comes back healthy and Graham can get over this shoulder injury, this team will have their major weapons locked, cocked, and ready to unload on this league. If that doesn't happen, Chris will have to endure a lot of high and low scoring weeks and might have to study more film than Belicheck in order to keep this team towards the top of this league.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 2nd (Could happen)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 5th
My championship prediction was stupid. It started out looking incredibly dumb like Billy Madison but this team is graduating from a new level every week and could make his daddy proud when the season ends. Miss Lippy's car is green. Aaron Rodgers' jersey is also green and he's making other owners green with envy with the way he's scoring touchdowns this year. Aaron has been really good this year, in fact, he's almost been too good so far. The Packers have seen themselves in three absolute blowouts which has meant Rodgers attempts have been much less than the rest of the top 5 quarterbacks. Jerome's trade of Ball, Bush, and Sanu for Lacy, V. Jackson, and Hyde has worked out well so far even though Lacy isn't getting a lot of carries in Green Bay, either. Lamar Miller has turned into a nice little RB2 and Martellus Bennet has been much better than the commish thought he would be on draft night. Alshon, Jackson, Torrey Smith, and Floyd have had plenty of good and bad days so far and the commish would like to see a little more yards and rely a little less on big plays. This team probably won't fulfill Jerome's championship dreams but they look poised to break the three year streak of being a team he absolutely hates at this point in the season.
Outside of Rodgers, this team has a lot of pretty good, but not great players on the roster. The groundwork is there and this team has scored 100+ points for five straight weeks and has won four straight so there is reason for optimism here. The floor on this team seems to be high but the ceiling also looks to be low. In order for this team to make a run at the top, they will need some more high teens/low 20 point games from the running backs and receivers on occasion. Aaron Rodgers is pumping up the points like Hans and Frans but the rest of this team needs to put some muscle into it or Romer won't be doing the clean and jerk of the Granger Cup over his head this year.
Commish's Preseaosn Prediction: 1st (you knew that)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 4th
We don't see workhorse running backs anymore which is why we're all looking at DeMarco Murray like he's a unicorn centaur right now. Murray has gotten the ball all day long for Dallas and has made J.P. a very happy horse owner so far. If you pay any attention to the PAR stat I've tossed around, you'll assume that Murray's PAR is off the charts because he's leaps and bounds better than the rest of the running backs in our league. Matt Ryan is still Matt Ryan, which means he'll have a few really great games but not much else over the course of the season. It's not all his fault as that o-line is absolutely decimated and giving Ryan about a half second to make a decision before the pocket implodes. That's bad news for Julio Jones who is going to have to cut his routes short or get used to the sight of his QB on the ground when he turns his head for the ball. Antonio Gates is not just having a nice bounce back season, he's on pace to have his top scoring season ever, which is helping soften the blow of diZerega's 3rd round pick of Keenan Allen, who looks awful.
Obviously, J.P. will be watching DeMarco Murray every Sunday and hoping he doesn't reach for any part of his lower body when he gets hit. Murray has been great but also has a checkered injury history that could derail his and J.P.'s season. I'm a bit surprised J.P. hasn't picked up a Cowboy backup RB just in case. There's certainly no reason to carry Toby Gerhart any more as he's hobbled and probably will be a worthless 4th round selection at the end of the season. Chris Ivory looks like he might be evolving into a reliable RB2 but he also carries some injury baggage with him. Overall, this team has more injury concerns than diZerega can be comfortable with and if DeMarco gets banged up and Ryan continues to struggle, J.P.'s chances of winning the Granger Cup in 2014 will go from questionable to doubtful.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 11th (that won't happen)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 7th
Westminster White Devils
This team, much like Drew Brees should be better but they are just flat out boring. Brees has started to pile up the yards but has yet to have the vintage 400 yards and 4 TD game we've seen plenty before. His trade with Petty has kinda sorta worked out for both of these guys but they look like they just swapped disappointments for disappointments. Arian Foster has looked really good so far and if he stays on the field, he'll probably end up as a top 3 running back. Justin Forsett has turned into a reliable RB for this team, which is nice considering they don't have much else behind him. The receivers on this team have to get going as Garcon, Decker, Wayne, and Welker all seem to be nursing an injury or look one foot away from a nursing home. Gronk is another perfect player for this team as he is used to dominating but has been pretty bland so far. The future potential is there and the past performances are special but living in the present, Fanning's got a team that can't quite find an identity. Although a nice MNF buzzer beating win last week just might bring this team together.
If Brees can start lighting up scoreboards, it would really help this team get the extra 10-15 points they need to pull ahead. Same goes with Wayne and Welker, who sadly look like their best days are far behind them. Gronkowski looks like he's starting to get healthier and is gaining back some trust and we'll see if he takes back the title of best end zone tight end from Julius Thomas before the year comes to a close. This team needs to stay healthy, specifically the running backs because if some of these non-RB starters aren't currently playing up to their potential, you have to assume the guys on the bench are also not forcing Jeff's hand to enter the starting lineup. This team could get better but we might see about all we need to in order to figure out how this story will end. RIght now it looks like a seven seed and a fist round exit to me.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 10th (close enough)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 8th
I'm Your Huckleberry
We were wondering when Andrew Luck would be allowed to throw the ball at will and it looks like the Colts finally wised up and have taken the reigns off of Luck and let him spread it out and chuck it around. The results have been pretty great as Luck leads our league in points and isn't slowing down. Now if we could just improve Andrew's incredibly awkward interviewing skills, he'd be a stud QB on and off the field. LeVeon Bell looks to have taken the next step as well as he was thought of a bruising plodder out of Michigan State but is showing a lot more wiggle for the Steelers and is a bona fide RB1. Jamaal Charles scared the crap out of Castillo early this year but he's healthy and happy now and makes this the best backfield in our league. This team has a lot of high ranked players but it hasn't added up to lots of points and wins for this team. Some of these players are tough to predict and Castillo hasn't done a great job of predicting who will go off and who will piss off each Sunday.
Don't let the lack of points and wins fool you, this is a dad gum good football team. If I were at the ticket window at a horse track, I would place a handsome bet on this team as my darkhorse. The issue for Yo will be figuring out which young, inconsistent receivers to play every week and hoping he picked the right receiver trifecta to maximize the returns. Randall Cobb will never be on the bench and will continue to be a true WR1 for this team all year long and is a stud. It's hard to say if Desean Jackson will make plays with the revolving quarterback door in Washington and it will be interesting to see if Hopkins and Watkins are ready to fill the WR2 or WR3 role for this team and provide consistent points. If that happens, it will really help the already steady QB and RB play of this team and make this team charge hard on the outside as we come down the stretch.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 6th (not a bad call)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 3rd
Tom Brady put a major scare into all Tom Brady owners when he started the season out like an r-tard but Tenacious Tom seems to have figured out whatever the hell was going on earlier this year. Doug Martin was a major question mark going into the season as some people thought he could be a top running back while others figured he would continue his tumble down the running back ranks. The latter appears to be correct. Frank Gore is being about as boring as Frank Gore can be but I doubt Jordan drafted Frank with the thought of him suddenly becoming a top 5 back. D. Thomas has gotten much better as the season progressed and is again in the conversation for the top receiver in all of fantasy. The rest of this roster is loaded with players that could be in Jordan's starting lineup or in the free agent pool. Roy Helu, Miles Austin, Teddy Bridgewater, Greg Jennings, and Danny Amendola are all on Jordan's roster and all could and maybe should be wading in the free agent pool. Amendola has five catches on the season, for fuck's sake.
If we simulated this league 150 times, this team might win one Granger Cup. Just zero inspiration up and down this roster and it's not so much that they're playing below expectations, it's just that they aren't all that great at fantasy football. I don't think Brady or Gore are going to start carrying this team any time soon just like I don't think Doug Martin and Julian Edelman are suddenly going to start being major contributors. I don't know what the answer for this team might be besides trying to swing a trade but based on the lack of talent on this team, I don't see that happening any time soon. If this season was a trial by combat it sure looks like Jordan is going to have his skull caved in very soon.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 8th (That's dang close)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 9th
This has played out pretty much like all seasons do for Dave. A 50/50 mixture of bad players and bad luck. Eddie Lacy was terrible to start the year and his slow start along with Vincent Jackson's slow start tested Dave's patience enough that Dave showed them both the door. Montee Ball's injury was a bad stroke of luck for Dave and it will probably be too late for Dave by the time Montee gets back into the lineup. Montee is far from the only letdown on this team as Cam Newton has been hurt and not good all year except for when Dave benches him, then Cam goes crazy. Corderelle Patterson made a huge play in week one, every fantasy expert started drooling on his nuts, and Patterson has done nothing since. Dave put him on the bench and might just drop him soon enough. Kaepernick has been bad while in Dave's starting lineup and better while on his bench, which gives Dave two QB's he absolutely cannot trust. At least Dez Bryant hasn't gotten hurt or choked out his mother. Yet.
This team is struggling to try to stay alive but it's only a matter of time before they drown. This team is only going to have a snowball's chance in hell if Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick start going bonkers and start doing that while in Dave's starting lineup. Guys like Ben Tate, Joique Bell, and Mohammad Sanu are nice pieces to have on a team but not guys that can carry a team up the standings. Dave has started to pickup some longshot potential to see if he can find lightning in a bottle but this team will have Dave reaching for the bottle early and often each Sunday the rest of the way.
Commish's Preaseason Prediction: 7th (not bad)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 10th
Ray's Elevator Service
It's an old adage that the early round picks won't single handedly win you a league, but they sure can ruin one. Take a look at Kevin's early draft picks, hell, all of his draft picks and it's easy to see why he's toiling at the bottom. Granted, he did trade away some of these mistakes but overall his draft was an undebatable disaster. Brees, Stacy, Fitzgerald, Mathews, Welker, Witten, Bowe, Panthers D, DeAngelo Williams, and Nicks, have all been major disappointments and they were picks 1 through 11 for Petty. Petty finally got it right in round 12 by picking Russell Wilson and I'll give credit to Kevin for trading Brees and keeping Wilson, who might be a better ranked fantasy QB than Brees by the end of this season. Petty traded for Marshawn Lynch who had a couple good games with his new Petty uni but has slowed down considerably since. Kevin was at least able to get a much needed victory last week but overall this has gone about as bad as anyone could've imagined.
This team has pretty much run out of time to redeem itself and Kevin will probably be relegated to playing spoiler the rest of the way. If Wilson continues to make plays outside the pocket, he could help this team steal a couple wins but that's about the only hope. Lynch certainly could get back to his beast mode ways and if he does, Kevin will be one of the few Coloradoans to enjoy a Seahawks touchdown this year. Petty probably wants to purge himself of Percy Harvin much like Seattle did and I would imagine that Kevin gets nauseous at the mere sight of his roster on Tuesday mornings.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 9th (pretty close)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 11th
Here's a list of players that exceeded expectations for Corey and Dan: Steve Smith. This season started out great for these two as a big win in week one might've had them envisioning pouring champagne on each other's heads around the holidays but this has instead turned into a nightmare. That champagne quickly went flat like this team as Foles, Ellington, Spiller, and Kendall Wright have done little to break this six game losing streak. It's not like this team is getting screwed either as the most they've scored in one game over this losing streak is 78 points. Wow. Now, they are getting screwed with the injury bug as these two decided to go WR-WR with their first two picks and both Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green have been injured for a majority of the season. Dan and Corey need to change their team name to Foles Golden Shower because every owner is taking turns pissing on their heads throughout this season.
Maybe Megatron and Green can get healthy and contribute but both of their injuries look like pretty serious ones. I don't think it's really going to matter if these guys are healthy or not because it doesn't look like any of the running backs or QB are going to do enough to make this season interesting. I predicted that this team would be a rollercoaster ride and I was not correct in that assessment because this team is more like the tower of doom where it's been a free fall from the top. This team still has some high ceiling talent and if their receivers get healthy this team could start scoring but I'd say the odds are pretty long that everything will suddenly pop into place for these two that played in the Fantasy Bowl last year.
Commish's Preseason Prediction: 4th (I was way off)
Commish's Midseason Adjustment Prediction: 12th
Commish's Grade of Commish's Preseason Grades: B-
Other things to take up your time
CSU filled their stadium for the first time in a decade and limped away with an ugly win under the lights. I didn't think playing defense was legal in the Mountain West. Rashard Higgins is becoming one of the more entertaining players to watch on a Saturday. Onward and upwards, you stalwart Rams.
The Budweiser drunk driving commercial with the white lab bothers me on multiple levels.
Of course Peyton's keepaway celebration was preplanned. Peyton's entire life is preplanned.
For all the complaining we do about a very good Denver football team, it was nice to see them dominate for an entire game against a very good, albeit very banged up 49ers team. Doesn't Isaiah Burse look like Lil' Wayne out there?
San Francisco Giants in six for no reason whatsoever.
Take a look at the standings and you will see something pretty cool and probably unprecedented. The order in the standings is exactly the order of points scored so far. Everyone is locked in exactly where they would be if we eliminated wins and losses and just played for points. Kinda neat if you're into really dorky trends for a fantasy football league.
You might call Dan a Troy Troy by looking at his fantasy team right now but Dan's got more D12 money in his pocket than anyone else at the moment thanks to his Eliminator Challenge win.
Four of the top five teams in our league also went up and drafted live in Black Hawk this year. It would be foolish for me to say there is a connection here but that's exactly what I'm saying.
This is a public service announcement: There will be a Sunday game played in London on Sunday morning. This game starts at 7:30 AM so if you have any Sunday morning free agent ideas, you might want to take care of business on Saturday night or set your alarm and make some moves while the coffee is brewing on Sunday morning.