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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week 8

The Creepers came within 6 feet of 4-0. Had Heath Miller only gained 2 more yards, I wouldn't have lost by 1/10 of a point to my old college buddy. What's up, Rod Dog? I'm sure I did something to deserve it back in '95.

Come on, stat corrections. Nothing better than winning a fantasy football game in the middle of the week.

At least the loss was in my only free league. In my 3 pay leagues, I'm holding tough at 6-1, 5-2 and 4-2-1. Creep on creepin' on. Roll with the punches.

This puts some frosting on the sour pill that was the Seattle Seahawks' game. I could taste it. Seattle was rolling. They got the defensive stop they needed and were about to get the ball back. Russell Wilson had the offense cooking and a game winning field goal was almost on my tongue.

Then that Skittle turned out to be an aspirin.

So let's get to it. 10 things about this week in fantasy football, non-fantasy football and things that are not important, like real life:

1. Jeff Fisher's Testicles are Actually Giant Brains

What the hell is a fake punt return? I'm familiar with fake punts, fake spikes, fake orgasms (I've heard of them), fake lady parts and fake-and-bake. Yet I woke up Sunday morning unaware of fake punt returns.

Now I know. So do the Seahawks.

My wife wondered why the punt return team wasn't watching the ball instead of the St. Louis Rams. If you're looking up while running down on kick coverage, someone is going to end you. So you run to the punt returner and avoid the assembling blockers. Then the ball goes to the other side of the field, where one lonely gunner takes the ball the distance. You, the cameraman and gaggle of 12s are trying to figure out what happened.

Really brilliant, Mr. Fisher. You did your homework, guided your squad and executed a crazy one.

Then later on you had the huevos to attempt a fake punt from your own 18. The balls or the brains? Some of each, but in truth, you hardly had a choice. With just under 3 minutes to go, the Rams were doomed if they punted it.

Russell was on fire. All he had to do was move the ball within Steven Hauschka's ample range and the game was over. If the Rams punt the ball they probably lose.

But execute a fake punt and you win. No doubt. Unless something crazy happens like Tre Mason fumbles the ball away.

I'll admit I can't remember a Seahawks' loss that stung so bad. Nice work. Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel deserves a lot of credit, too.

See you Week 17 in Seattle, you magnificent bastards.

2. What About the 3-3 Seahawks?

Like Aaron Rodgers said: Relax. We're behind the shockingly 5-1 Arizona Cardinals and the 4-3 San Francisco 49ers. We play both of them twice and have four games to get our feces consolidated before that happens. We have good players and we've jettisoned Percy Harvin.

So a star newcomer has beef with Russell Wilson, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin? Two times (and one preseason game) when the team is putting together a comeback he decides he doesn't want to play? Get out. Get your things and go or we'll burn them for you. A draft pick in return? We'll give you him and a draft pick. You wan't to take his salary?


So I was right about Russell Wilson being a fantasy star this year. By ESPN scoring, he's the #5 quarterback. I'm happy I reached for him and own him in 3 leagues.

I was wrong about Percy Harvin being one. I figured the move to a Super Bowl contender with a great quarterback would cure his attitude problems. I still don't think he's more injury prone than the next guy. I think he doesn't want to play, which is the difference between being on the field and being in the trainer's room sometimes.

Get Doug Baldwin on your squad. He always has something to prove. Now he's proving that the Seahawks don't need Percy. His 7 catches for 123 and a score were not a fluke. He wants it and he gets what he wants.

Very cool seeing Christine Michael get some touches. Don't do anything yet, but keep your eye on him.

The next 3 games (@ Panthers, home versus Raiders and Giants) should give Seattle a chance to get things right.

The true problem, and the reason I don't draft defenses, is Seattle's defense. They need to shake things up. Remember last year when the amazing thing was that they played base defense and got things done with man-to-man coverage? Not the case this year. They need to start blitzing, mixing up coverage and surprising teams.

3. Percy and the Jets

I hope you read the 3 pieces I did regarding the Harvin trade. Look at me: I was being topical and timely. As a fantasy owner, don't give up on him yet. He's about to have the biggest game of the season.

It's honeymoon time in New Jersey. The Jets need to prove they made a good decision. They'll pump Percy the ball like he was back in Minnesota. At least this week. Then he'll realize he hates Geno Smith and that 1-6 means 1-6. He'll try to get out before long. Week 8 is the best game of the rest of his career.

Week 8, 2014, will be the best game of the rest of Percy Harvin's career. Cut and paste that.

Ride it while you can and then make your own plans for Week 9. Thankfully, he's only on one of my squads. But he's starting.

Chris Ivory should get a momentary boost from this. He came up big for me this week, although I had little faith in the Jets and started him with reservations. Expect some of that jet sweep/read option stuff that worked for Marshawn Lynch early in the year.

As for Jeremy Kerley, Eric Decker and the rest of them? They get musty in Harvin's shadow for a week. As for the rest? Let's talk about it next week.

4. Some Good Running Back Pickups this Week

The waiver wire has potential. I hated to see it, but Tre Mason looked good and it's easy to drop Zac Stacy now. Benny Cunningham is worth a look, particularly in that kick return yardage league I'm in.

Denard Robinson took over the running back role in Jacksonville. Although I feel nothing good about the Jaguars, except playing defense against them, Robinson is intriguing because he's listed as a WR/RB. He's an instant flex and a big play threat. He'll be a handy bench asset.

Jerick McKinnon seized the starting job from Matt Asiata. Again, I don't feel good about many things Viking, but starting running backs are worth grabbing when they come available.

Anthony Dixon is almost the only back left for Buffalo now that Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are both hurt. We're continuing the theme of starting runners for questionable offenses here.

5. Speaking of Defenses against Jacksonville...

I like Miami against the Jaguars. Blake Bortles is still throwing interceptions. Yeah, they slapped up the Browns last week, but prove me wrong this week.

Yeah, the Cleveland Browns got slapped up this week, but they get the Raiders this week. My FF Defense Rule #1 is: play against the Raiders. Does Cleveland give another team their first win? At least get some sacks and turnovers on your way there.

If you got to, take Houston against Tennessee. Sure, they have JJ Watt, but they don't seem to be able to play a whole game of good defense.

6. Congratulations, Elliott Nix

Thursday, Elliott Nix became the first person ever to ask me online for fantasy advice. He wanted to know if he should start Brandon Bolden or James Jones. Too bad he asked me minutes before the Patriots' game and I was unable to respond in time. Maybe not too bad, because as a Raider Hater I would have told him to go with Bolden, who ended up with 1 catch for 4 yards.

Well, James Jones caught 4 passes for 35 yards. Hope that didn't sway it for you. Did I mention I lost by 1/10 of a point this week?

But thanks for asking and keep reading. Give me a little more lead time and I'll give you some advice worth ignoring.

7. I Have Given Up on Being an Author

No I haven't. I wrote 4 ebooks in the last few years. Somehow I never mention them. The covers and links are on this blog somewhere. Life is conspiring against me. Kids, work and my new freelance writing thing have eaten all my creative writing time. The only creative things I've written in the past year have been slam pieces.

I should YouTube those. I'll whisper them into the webcam when the shorties are sleeping.

Find me on Smashwords. I'm on Amazon, too, but I'm such an underdog fan I'm drawn to Smashwords. Cathartes Aura and the Apocalypse Zoo truly reads better on paper. It's a collection of 10 line stanzas and ereaders just don't show it right.

I thank you in advance.

8. Paul Richardson

The Percy Harvin trade, among other things, is a compliment to Paul Richardson. The speedy rookie is more than just a burner. He runs tight routes, catches tough passes, shows good footwork near the sidelines and was impressive in the preseason. He's been mostly invisible until Harvin was gone. He's done everything but go deep in a game.

Richardson is the new Harvin, only young and humble. In my deeper leagues, I've added him. Maybe it's a hometown move, but I think he could become a factor later in the year.

9. ¡Jesus Fuego! That's a good cigar.

In my last sampler, a very pleasant surprise was the Jesus Fuego Corojo Oscuro Toro.

At 6" x 50, it's a meaty smoke without being chubby. The light and burn were perfectly smooth. The flavor was not my typical style. It's woodsy and leathery with a certain rich tea leaf flavor. Normally, I'm a squid ink maduro guy. But I like this one a lot. It was a good break from my normal, though not too far away, and exactly why you need to try random stuff sometimes. I was unfamiliar with the brand, but now I'll perk up when I hear the name.

And ¡Jesus Fuego! just became my new favorite way to use the Lord's name in vain. I pledge to work it into conversation as often as I can.

"¡Jesus Fuego! Heath Miller couldn't get me pinche dos fantasy points?"

10. Harvin gets a Haiku

I need a new team.
One that loses and likes it
When I cry and punch.

Good luck and happy creepings.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Percy and the Jets Part Three: What it Means for Fantasy Football Owners

Percy and the Jets...

Again robbing Elton John and forgetting to mention Bernie Taupin

Sure the Percy Harvin trade affects real football teams and actual business owners. But what about what really matters? Fantasy football.

One of my four Creepers teams owns Percy. First of all, he's not playing this week. What do I do this week, what do I do next week and how does this whole chunk of mayhem affect the entire fantasy world from here on out?

As mentioned in the latest Creeper Report, Rueben Randle will see more action with Victor Cruz out. I'm plugging him into Harvin's spot in Andy's League. On a wide-receiver deep lineup, I also have Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate and Kelvin Benjamin starting with Chris Ivory and Lamar Miller at running back. I'm looking to be sure that Kelvin plays despite his concussion. I may have to audible in a few hours.

Next week, when Harvin first puts on a Jets' uniform against the Buffalo Bills, I'm sure New York will try to prove they made a good choice. They'll get the ball in Percy's hands. He'll see double digit touches. Start him and expect his best game of the year.

After that? I don't expect him to stay happier with the Jets than he was with the Seahawks. I don't believe in the Jets' offense. The Bills' game could be his best.

I think it will be a good move for Chris Ivory. You'll see some of the same jet sweep/read option stuff Seattle ran with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Harvin will create space and distractions for Ivory. His value will increase.

If you ever thought Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley were startable, stop. They just got pushed toward the rear. One of them may even get punched out.

If you had to consider starting Geno Smith and think Percy may help his fantasy value, quit and get involved in fantasy hockey now. As I said in Part Two, Geno's getting a screen pass to Percy picked for six in the next couple weeks.

Regarding Seattle, the team will come out as happy as you've seen them in a long time. Marshawn and Russell have big days against the Rams. Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse are on the edge of startable. Depends on your team and the depth of the league. Both guys are capable of very useful 6 point games. Yet touchdowns can happen, too.

I'd wait to see what the Seahawks' offense looks like post-Percy before getting too bold.

I added Paul Richardson in two of my leagues. The ones with the deep benches. The other two have benches of four or five.

I think the Percy trade is a vote of confidence for Richardson. Would you pay a speedy receiver a ton of money to create bad chemistry or choose a cheaper speedster whole create none of it?

I'm stashing Richardson way down deep in case I become right.

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: Roped and Tied

Contributed by Kathe Frahm.

The old women walked into the rec room. They brought more food and candy than usual. There were more old men at this game so not much
food went to waste.

They had good times before the game deriding the Dallas Cowboys. The old women told of their dislike for Texas, Texans and the Cowboys, especially QB Tony Romo, another 30+ Quarterback hanging on to play a younger man's game. They were hoping he'd fumble a snap and he did.

The old women heard all the hype about how good the Cowboys' defensive line was. They also believe their Seattle Seahawks could handle anything the Cowboys threw at them. They were wrong. Partway through the first quarter, a feeling of unease went around the rec room. One old woman went to her room to put on her lucky Seahawk T-shirt; another went to get her lucky 'Hawk socks. When they returned to the rec room, they hoped that a little good mojo might help their boys.
The old women were relieved that Steve Hauschka got off an early field goal.

That was a usual start to a winning game. But they worried that their boys were intimidated by the Cowboys defensive line. Russell Wilson was harassed and stopped almost completely. Even Marshawn Lynch and Percy Harvin were held to unimpressive yardage. The old women saw that their 'Hawks weren't having any fun. This was not good. The Cowboys, on the other hand , showed every 12th fan at Century Link Field just how much fun they were having.

The old men in the room yelled at Russell and the Seahawks' offense to man up and move in on the Texas front line and for the defense to not let Demarcus Murray get loose for a big gain. They complained that Murray running for another 100 yards almost untouched made the 'Hawks look like Junior Varsity.

The old women told the men to stop yelling and get a positive attitude.

Often in the lives of old women at the home they'll speak of what they've lost.

Perhaps the 'Hawks losing when they were supposed to win stirred memories of the helplessness they went through when they could see the losses coming . They've lost children, homes, health, husbands, and with that, the loss of security, finance and family, but they've endured. At least here at the home, with the Seahawks and each other the old women are not completely alone. Someone is nearby to comfort and bring a cookie when sadness takes over.

The old women figure the St. Louis Rams, at 1-4, will be more fun to play. Some in the room remember when the Rams were in LA and played at the Colosseum. There were big stars in those days like Merlin Olson, Rosey Grier, Roman Gabriel, Deacon Jones. Though the Rams left LA in '94, the ghosts of an exciting Southern California football team remain.

Today, the St. Louis Rams have 6 or 7 quarterbacks to use. The old women think it would be fun to run through them all.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Percy and the Jets Part Two: What it Means for the New York Jets

He's got electric boots a mohair suit.
You know I read it in a magazine...
Percy and the Jets.
(Still ripping off Elton John.)

The 1-6 New York Jets pulled off the huge Percy Harvin trade with the Seattle Seahawks, assuming Percy's passing a physical right now. He was previously listed as Questionable for the St. Louis Rams game with a thigh injury. Probably not the sort of thing that nullifies a trade.

This whole thing would make much more sense in reverse. A team that won't make the playoffs swaps talent this year for a draft pick next year. A Super Bowl contender adds one more weapon for the post-season run. Seattle giving up talent at this point doesn't make sense.

On the surface.

Reports are now bubbling up about Harvin's fights with Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate. About arguments with Russell Wilson. About Harvin not wanting to get back into the game against the Dallas Cowboys.

If you have beef with hard working team-players who helped my favorite team get a Super Bowl ring, if you aren't interested in being part of a comeback victory, then get the hell out.

But this is about the Jets. NYJ GM John Idzik, and former Seahawks vice president, has been criticized for not getting enough talent in the off-season. He started the year with about $20 million in cap space. Both he and Rex Ryan are on the hot seat.

How is Idzik trying to cool his seat? Big trade. Yet I don't see it coming soon enough to help a 1-6 team. Can the Jets with Percy Harvin with 8 or 9 of the remaining games and burn rubber into the playoffs? Nah.

So what will the Jets look like with Percy? (The fantasy football implications are coming in part 3.)

Look to see the Jets mimic the jet screen/read option stuff Seattle used with Marshawn Lynch. Chris Ivory does a respectable Beast Mode impression. The Jets will have to prove the trade was a good move. They will certainly force the ball to Percy next week against the Buffalo Bills.

I don't think this makes Geno Smith a great quarterback suddenly, although a screen pass that Percy breaks for a touchdown looks good on the stat line.

My prediction, sometime in the next couple weeks, a defender jumps a screen to Percy and takes one of Geno's telegraphed passes the other way for six. Watch for it.

This feels like a desperate move for the Jets. It's a great bit of math for the Seahawks. At 3-2 including a home loss to Dallas, obviously the Seahawks aren't playing up to their potential. If Harvin's attitude was part of the problem, then this is a brilliant move. Subtracting him while adding a draft pick and increasing the amount of money for Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright and other contract moves next year is beautiful.

Did Idzik just help Pete Carroll and John Schneider out of a jam?



And good luck. If Percy's not happy being on one of the best teams in the league, how will he be happy being a Jet?

Part 3: the Fantasy Impact coming soon.

Percy and the Jets Part One: What it Means for the Seattle Seahawks

Say, Petey and Johnny, have you seen them yet?
But they're so spaced out, Percy and the Jets.
Elton John, Sort Of

I was at work when I saw the news pop up on the TV. Percy Harvin was traded to the New York Jets.

Numerous thoughts came through my head. First of all, I trust Pete Carroll and John Schneider. I've seen them build a Super Bowl team. They know the game better than me. I'll not second-guess them.

They traded a first and seventh round pick in 2013 plus a third round pick in 2014. After $18.3 million for eight games played, they're trading him for a second to fourth round pick. Pete and John aren't doing it because it's a stupid idea.

I'll continue to dwell on this trade in the hours and days to come. I'll look at what it means to the Jets, what it means to fantasy owners, what it means to former Seahawks' team-mates and what it means to his new team-mates.

But my initial reactions are these: he obviously didn't fit well with a team that won a championship mostly without him and the Jets are picking up a large chunk of salary that will instead go to Russell Wilson.

And Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright and others. You and I never know exactly what goes on at NFL practices and in NFL locker rooms, but obviously Percy wasn't good for the team.

The two most important words from here on out? Paul Richardson. He's the new Harvin. And he's cheaper. And he doesn't come with the attitude.

More to come. I'll look at every angle of this fiasco.