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Fantasy Scoreboard 2014: Week 2

In an ideal world, I would have made it more than one week before I got lazy with this column but alas, we live in a fucked up world. Contributing to my laziness are the following factors:

1. As Makeda previously discussed, Saturday night was rough. We attended a combination going away (me)/birthday (her) party and attempted to party like we were 22 again. It resulted with a very hungover and discombobulated Sunday.

1A. As evidence of my Sunday confusion, at one point during our RedZone viewing, a strapping young man in this jersey appeared on the sideline. My (unfortunately out loud) comment: “Wow, Phillip Rivers is a lot bigger than I thought.” 

Get it? I saw PHILLIPS and thought Phillip Rivers. Makeda laughed so hard she cried. And just to make it worse, this guy used to play for the Cowboys and we called him John Phillips Sousa. I had a nickname for him and still couldn’t process it!

2. My fantasy teams scored a combine total of 149.9 points this week. Shockingly I still managed to win a game, but clearly things are out of sorts.

3. I’m moving to Phoenix in 13 days (!!!!) and apparently there is a lot of work involved in a cross-country move that I’ve been putting off for the past 6 months.

Since I’m lazy and don’t have much to say I figured I might as well make this interesting for my handful of readers. Therefore, here are this week’s studs and duds as told through the Madden GIF Generator which DEAR GOD IS MY FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD.

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Go For Two: What to watch NFL week 2

I'm not fat anymore!

First let me say I don't know what is going on in a world where the Packers and the Bears are 0-1 and the Vikings and the Lions are 1-0.

This world is topsy-turvy.

Week 2 is a little early in the season to decide what "big" games to watch. It's still anyone's season, no matter what they tell you. However, some are still very intriguing.

What games should you keep your eye on for week 2 of the NFL?

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NFL Preview: AFC North

Every year I suffer through the pain of baseball season, knowing that each drunken Nats game brings me a little closer to the beginning of football season. While this summer was no exception, somehow real life got in the way and football snuck up on me. Therefore, no extensive research went into the writing of this article. I basically read Deadspin’s Why Your Team Sucks series and called it a day.

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Go For Two: Green Bay versus Seattle at 5:30 PM PST Thursday September 4th

Green Bay versus Seattle. The first game of the season. The most important for Green Bay.

Everyone will be watching.

What do you need to know?

 

 

 

 

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NFL Preview: NFC West

First of all, wow has this division pulled itself out of the gutter in the last few years. Want to know what I think about that?

Who gives a shit.

San Francisco Niners

I live in San Francisco. There could not be worse fans here. That's why it's so hard to get behind this team. When I moved here in 2004, I was excited. What a storied history between the Green Bay Packers and the Niners. I thought, how great. When my team isn't playing, I'll go down to the local sports bar and watch with some Niners fans. Nope. There were none there. I asked some doctor friends of mine if there were a lot of Niners fans. They said no, pretty universally. The Niners sucked, so no need to watch. Wow. What faithful fans.

McTeagues on NFL Sunday  in 2004

 

Now, they come out of the wood-works.

Stupid new fans

 

San Francisco in general has gotten pretty douchey. I'm sure you have read all the articles about the Google buses, and the protests, and of 88 year old people being kicked out of their apartments because they have rent control at $800 a month for a 600sq ft apartment and the owners want to charge $3-4K. Yes, this is true. So a bunch of pimple-faced, too good to say hi to you on the street kids come into the city from San Jose and create all kinds of annoyances.

I say this because our football stadium just moved to Santa Clara, which is smack dab in the heart of Silicone Valley.

First of all, lets be realistic. The old stadium sucked. I went in October 2005 to see my beloved Peyton Manning when the Colts played the Niners. My seats sucked. There was a huge pillar in the way so that I couldn't see anything. Thank God I didn't wear my Colts hat, because someone would have killed me.

The fans were annoying, the stadium wasn't accessible, my seats sucked, and it took forever to get there. Public transport was a joke.

The new stadium? Nothing has changed. Well, I think the seats are good.

IMG_3679Apparently, there was a soccer game there and people sat on the freeway or whatever the heck people call them here in San Francisco for hours. My friends IMG_3678left for the stadium 4 hours before a preseason game because of the rumors about the soccer game. Four hours!

FYI, my friend's seats, for a preseason game, cost $170 a piece! He said some games were upwards of $400! What the F!

So all I have to say about the NFC West San Francisco 49ers is that when you see the game on tv, you are watching from a much, MUCH better seat.

What do I think about their year? They will be great, but people will be figuring out Kaepernick. Plus, they will have one less win this season since they don't have to play my Green Bay Packers.

 

 

Seattle Seahawks:

What can I say about this team? They have a great QB in Russel Wilson. They secured their stars on defense, Sherman and Thomas. The offense still has running back Marshawn Lynch. I'm never clear if there are any star receivers for Seattle, but who am I to say anything? Seattle dominated Denver in the Super Bowl and I really don't see much changing.

The NFC North pulled the NFC West rotational schedule, or whatever the hell they call it. All I know is the best team in the NFC North has to play the best team in the NFC West, and down the ratings chart. That's why Green Bay pulled Seattle to play this year. Fine. Whatever. We have opened our season each year with a beyond difficult team, or last years Super Bowl winner. So yay us.

I don't put much stock in the Fail Mary being a repeat issue for the opening game of the season. I'm pretty sure no one on the Green Bay team cares anymore. However, to note, it's very hard to win in Seattle, due to the outstanding fans -- lovingly called the 12th man.

The Fail Mary was played in Seattle, and we should have won. So I'm not as concerned for Green Bay when it comes to playing in Seattle against the 12th man. Our defense, save for our Julius Peppers acquisition, is pretty much the same. We still have Dom Capers. So, forget about the 12th man. I'm worried about one man, Dom Capers and his distinct inability to manage a defense.

Here is the Seattle Seahawks depth chart.

 

Arizona Cardinals:

This is a good football team, lest people forget, they went 10-6 in a division with Seattle and San Francisco. I would not overlook this team this year. If I had to play them, and, do I? Wait, let me check ... I don't. I would count this game as a 50-50 chance. You don't know what you are going to get.  Preparation for a game against the Cardinals is a necessity.

They have a skilled quarterback with Carson Palmer. I know, he's old, but I'd rather have him than say Andy Dalton. They have a fantastic coach in Bruce Arians. That is no small thing. Larry Fitzgerald is still on the team, so that is a huge weapon. Newcomers in their second year now will be making the leap, like Mathieu.

I would keep my eye on this team if I were you. Poor Lions pulled the Cardinals. I wouldn't want to play them.

 

St. Louis Rams:

Who?

Just kidding.

Every year we hear how this is their year. How they win a game or two in the beginning, and everyone gets fired up. Then they fizzle out. Last year was no different. However, a lot of the misery of the season can be bestowed on Sam Bradford and that horrific injury he sustained. I'm a nurse, and man, that looked ugly. It's been a long road to recovery on his ACL.

Honestly, I don't even know who else is on the Rams.

Here is a Rams depth chart, for all of us.

They went 7-9, 1-5 in the conference. Yikes. They were 3-3 for their first 6 games before losing Sam Bradford against the Panthers. So, having Sam Bradford back is not like getting Aaron Rodgers back from a collarbone injury. No miraculous season just by having him back.

The Vikings got the Rams. That may be an equally matched game.

Championship Weekend Picks and Preview

Sunday is one of my top three, if not my top football day of the year. The quality of games is always impressive and it is all about the football. My plan is to smoke a turkey, have some brews, and enjoy two incredible games. These are the ones we all wanted to see.

Here are the picks for the NFC Championship game --- San Francisco @ Seattle

Jacqueline: San Francisco --- For weeks, even months, I thought Seattle was going to win. At the last minute I am shying away from that certainty. Maybe it is San Francisco's great play down the stretch. Perhaps it is the healthy receiving corps for San Francisco versus a concussed Percy Harvin. Even the experience and coaching arguments are pulling me in the 49er's direction. This just feels like SF is going to run away with it.

Makeda: Seattle ---  Reader poll: Last weekend, my friend turned to me during the Saints/Seahawks game and asked me who #12 was, because she saw so many Seattle fans wearing jerseys with a 12 on them. Is this something she should have known as a football fan or is it a relatively obscure fact for someone who only watches the Seahawks in prime time? In any event, as far as this weekend is concerned, I AM THE 12TH MAN!!!

Madeline: Seattle --- I absolutely hate living in San Francisco and having to hear about how the Niners are going to get their 6th ring. God, I hope not.These are the biggest fair-weather fans on the planet. They certainly do not deserve a 6th ring. Plus, I want all the news about them to stop here. There is nothing worse than living in a town when you hate their sports team. Besides, if I have to pick between Seattle and San Francisco, I pick Seattle.

Allen: San Francisco --- I say this partly to be a contrarian, but mostly because I'm just not sure Seattle is ready. Much as I love Russell Wilson, he's been shaky lately. I have complete faith in the 49ers D shutting down Marshawn Lynch. That leaves Wilson without a healthy Percy Harvin, and I think that leaves the Seahawks in trouble. It'll be close, but I'll take the 49ers.

New England @ Denver

Jacqueline: Denver --- I just can't pick the Patriots. I don't see the talent. Maybe if Aaron Hernandez breaks out of prison and treats Gronk with some illegal procedure from South America, then the Patriots would have a real shot at it. I think Denver wins and I am hoping for their victory as well.

Makeda: Denver --- I know the AFC was really weak this year, but I still can't believe the Patriots have made it to this point. This game is either going to be a Broncos blowout or a crazy nailbiter. I think it's going to be the latter and I'm not confident I'm picking the right team, but at some point, this Pats team has to choke, right? RIGHT?!

Madeline: Denver --- Passion pick. I love Peyton Manning. However, the Patriots do love keeping us on our toes and guessing. If the Patriots win, it will surprise no one.

Allen: New England --- The quarterbacks are a wash. Two of the ten greatest of all time. New England has absolutely been doing it with mirrors to get this far, but they are here, and somehow turned their running backs into Payton and Brown just in time for the playoff run. This could be the last great run for Brady and Belichick. The Broncos defense scares no one. And this most of all: can John Fox beat Belichick in a game like this? The quarterbacks are a wash. The coaching is a mismatch. Brady will be packing his Uggs, but also his cleats, for a trip to the Super Bowl.

College Recap: End of an Era

fsu1

Say this for the BCS, and say no more: it was better than nothing. Crotchety old men like me, your Eligible Receiver token male, remember the old days and not fondly. In those bygone times, Auburn would have been contractually bound to the Sugar Bowl, and Florida State to the Orange. We would have had to deal with days of debate without resolution over the "true" national champion, and we would have missed a damn good game. But the best thing about the BCS? It's gone, and something better is coming.

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Fantasy Scoreboard: Week 16

Howdy, friends and welcome to the 2nd to last edition of the 2013 Fantasy Scoreboard. I’m sure I’ll find some way to share my thoughts with my adoring fans during the playoffs, but it’ll be a little different than this. I’m currently in the air somewhere over Kentucky-ish, listening to Bobby D and waiting for the flight attendant to bring me more coffee. I’m trying to get this done now so that I can spend all my time at home maximizing basset-snuggle time and family-togetherness time. I’m also too cheap to pay for the in-flight wifi, so let’s do this from memory. COOL.

Disclaimer: I could not have been less invested in football this week. My reasoning is as follows:
• At 11pm Saturday night, my good friend gave birth to her first child. On Sunday I embraced all feminine stereotypes and spent the afternoon snuggling the cutest newborn ever and being completely transfixed by Tyler Adam’s baby hiccups (seriously y’all- CUTEST NOISES EVER).
• Even though my fantasy team is in the playoffs, I’m playing my best friend. We’re taking a trip to Tokyo together in February so before the playoffs we decided that if we end up playing each other in the championship, we’ll take the money to Japan and treat ourselves to an indulgent night of sushi or a sumo wrestling show, or something equally awesome. Win or lose, I win and thus had to be reminded to start a kicker this week.
• I know they don’t get a lot of press, so you probably haven’t heard about this yet, but the Cowboys have been trying really hard to lose in December and not go to the playoffs. I’m also going to shock you silly by telling you that sometimes I get really worked up about the Boys and the past few weeks have been a bit…. stressful… for me. And probably those closest to me/random unfortunate strangers on the street, truth be told. I was pretty sure the Boys were going to lose to the Skins this week, so I wasn’t too devastated to miss the game.

That said, for many people not playing in my farce of a league, this week was your last week of fantasy. Champions were decided this week. Fates of nations weighed in the balance. Who helped you win the trophy and who degraded you to the Sacko? Let’s try to find out, but mostly let's just get this over with.

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Sideline Picks: NFL Week 16

Colts @ Chiefs

Pick Sideline Commentary
Jackie
41-26
Arrowhead is tough to play at in the cold. These dome boys won't make it happen.
Makeda
40-27
I just believe the Chiefs are a better team. Jamaal Charles is going to steamroll this Indy D.
Lauren
39-28
I think the Chiefs are better, but I think the Colts are a sneaky pick. I'm too scared to commit to the sneaky pick, but I won't be surprised if Andrew Luck pulls one off.
Allen
38-29
I believe in the power of Arrowhead.
Madeline
35-27
At home? Chiefs.

Saints @ Panthers

Jackie
41-26
Are the Panthers still sore from two weeks ago? We shall see.
Makeda
40-27
I can't believe I'm making this pick but...yeah. I'm blinded by my Who Dat love. Plus, as my friend pointed out, this game can give the Saints home field advantage in the playoffs. They will definitely show up to fight for that.
Lauren
39-28
I'm going to dare to be different here and vote for Cam Newton. Drew baby, I still love you.
Allen
38-29
I still don't believe in the Panthers. Sean Payton against Ron Rivera is a mismatch no matter where the game is played, and Brees is clearly sick of hearing how he can't win on the road.
Madeline
38-29
My gut says not to root against the Saints.

Steelers @ Packers

Jackie
41-26
Rodgers still isn't clear as of the 12/19 am. The Steelers are playing tough, but I still think the Pack takes it at home.
Makeda
40-27
Because they beat Dallas last week, and I reward teams who do my team favors.
Lauren
39-28
Hey Makeda? FUCK YOU. I'm real glad I saw this pick and reminded myself this game is on Sunday. I think the Steelers will win, but on the off chance they don't, I'm totally flying home in my Clay Matthews jersey on Monday. Hope my dad doesn't leave me at the airport....
Allen
38-29
I went back and forth on this one, but I think with the playoffs on the line Rodgers is going to play. If he does, Packers win at home.
Madeline
38-29
This is a playoff game for both teams. If the Pack can win just one more and go into Chicago with Aaron and Randall? That would be outstanding.

Patriots @ Ravens

Jackie
41-26
For the first time ever I am pulling so hard for the Pats. They bounce back AFTER THEIR LOSS TO THE DOLPHINS!
Makeda
40-27
I am OBSESSED with Justin Tucker, y'all. He is SUPER cute and can sing opera and can kick all the field goals. And the Pats will still win this. Because Brady.
Lauren
39-28
I'm daring to be different again and pull for my Longhorn Justin Tucker & the rest of his adorable singing teammates. Plus, the Ravens never lose at home, so there's that. This game is definitely going to be decided in the last minute though since that's how these teams work.
Allen
38-29
It'll take more than field goals to beat New England.
Madeline
38-29
I really wanted to say Ravens here, because I have been enjoying the games, but the Ravens barely beat Detroit, barely beat the Vikings (although, they did win). Ugh.

Bears @ Eagles

Jackie
41-26
I am hoping for Snow Bowl II. I think the Eagles win at home.
Makeda
40-27
Homer pick, plain and simple. COME ON, PLAYOFFS!!!
Lauren
39-28
Bears fans were real nice to me in Chicago, so I'm going to return the favor. This has absolutely nothing to do with needing the Eagles to lose so the Cowboys can maybe go to the playoffs because god knows, my heart can't handle the stress of a postseason.
Allen
38-29
The Bears are rolling, and despite my bitterness over McCown, I think they'll win.
Madeline
38-29
I really, really need the Bears to lose though.

Go For Two: Game of the Week

Who knew he was so hot?

This is an impossible post to write. There are so many games this week with so many implications. It is too hard to pick. I mean, look at the NFC North. If Green Bay wins out, they go to the playoffs. They must win this game. The same goes for Chicago. They have to win if Green Bay wins. Lions have to hope for a total catastrophe on both the Packers and the Bears.

As for the NFC East -- Philadelphia and Dallas are in hot pursuit of the division title. The next two weeks are must wins. It's interesting how these two divisions, NFC North and East were pitted against each other this year and windup having the same necessities to go to the playoffs. Only the divisional winners will get in. Neither division will see wildcards come out of their divisions. This is what make December football great.

Staying with the NFC, probably the game of the week, although I am biased, is the Saints versus the Panthers. This game will decide who is the divisional winners and most definitely seeding in the NFC playoff race. I'm pretty pumped!

On to the AFC, the Patriots/Ravens game will be very interesting. The Patriots underperformed last week without Gronkowski. This is definitely not the time of year to be figuring out your game plan. You need to be playing your best football, not trying to come up with workarounds. I have been impressed with the Ravens as of late. My favorite part of the game the Ravens played against the Lions was when the kicker, Justin Tucker, kicked his 61 yard field goal, but not for the reasons you would think. It cracked me up to watch Joe Flacco wander around with his water in his hand, as if he didn't have a care in the world. Like he had just got himself a nice afternoon coffee, and ho-hum, glances over his shoulder to find out if the kicker made the 3 points. As if it was an afterthought.

Kansas City against the Colts will be interesting too. The outcome could shake up the seeding. Now that I look at it again, if Miami beats the Bengals, and Baltimore loses, there could be a wildcard shake-up too.

See what I mean! It makes my head spin!

All I have to say is Go Green Bay! Matt Flynn ... win one more for us so there can be a final showdown the following week against the Bears with Cobb and Rodgers back. That would be one for the ages! All we have to do is win this one!

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.