Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week 2

The Internet loves lists. Although it makes me feel like gnawing my arm off in the morning and she is a whore who gets around worldwide, I love the internet.

So the Creeper Report is taking list form. Ten things on my mind regarding fantasy football, real football and the world in general.

I am pioneer of the 10 by 10 poem, after all, and I need to know where to stop and start.

#1 4-0, You Punks

I'm following up on my best fantasy football season ever. All four teams made the playoffs and two won it all. I made more money than I spent for the first time ever. Maybe I've learned how to draft. Maybe I've learned not to overthink.

I won all four games this week. The tightest match was won with a combination of Golden Tate and Joique Bell. Calvin Johnson helped me win another.



My two teams that didn't win it all last year were quarterbacked by Matthew Stafford and tanked at the end of the year when he did.

I say to the Lions like Cheech once said to his cheeks: "Keep it together."

#2 Steve Smith is Still a Beast

I thought Steve Smith was getting old and starting to disappear. He kept getting quieter and quieter in Carolina.

In his 14th year and with a new team, Smith is not being gentle. He tells Pacman Jones to go make it rain someplace else and stay out of his way.

I added him on a couple teams. If Joe Flacco wants to throw 62 times a game, Smith has a spot on the Creepers.

#3 Another Story about the Ravens

And here's my obligatory Ray Rice mention:

Amazing it took over half a year for the public to see video from inside the elevator when the feed from outside the elevator was available instantly. Someone was concealing evidence and the NFL was not pushing hard enough to find it.

I'm shocked that Roger Goodell went from the No Fun League's Grand Inquisitor to a wrist slapper in just a few years. He's like the dad that wore himself out disciplining his eldest child and lets the youngest do whatever.

How do you make a disciplinary decision without seeing that video? You know it's someplace. You run a multi-billion dollar corporation. Use your weight.

But after everyone messed up at least a little, the right thing has been done. Ray's out of the sport and the league is mobilized against domestic violence like they'll be saving the tatas in October.

#4 Pickups this Week

In addition to grabbing Steve Smith if he's available, I like Justin Forsett at least a little this week. With only a few days before facing Pittsburgh, I think he stays hot and Bernard Pierce takes a few more days to get out of the doghouse.

Kelvin Benjamin did good with Derek Anderson at QB. With Cam Newton coming back, he should do better.

Markus Wheaton will find space opposite Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger is bringing Pittsburgh's offense back around.

Ahmad Bradshaw just won't stay down. From cracked feet to neck surgery, Bradshaw has seen a lot of Ps and Qs with some Os. Yet here he is, with 85 yards on 8 touches against a much improved Broncos' defense. He gets Philly this week. If he stays healthy and Trent Richardson slips, he could get 20 touches or more a game. He can still break tackles and outrun defenders.

#5 Things I don't Believe

Neither Ben Tate, Terrance West or Isaiah Crowell emerge as an important fantasy back unless two are hurt.

Allen Hurns will not bust long touchdowns every week. 4 catches on 9 targets? Almost invisible in the second half? I don't trust deep-ball dependent receivers. I don't like whack-a-mole.

The NFL and NFLPA will not radically restructure their drug legislation in the middle of the season. They'll do it, but not until they have time to focus on it. Too many arguments over the details will keep this from going down until the offseason. So don't expect Josh Gordon's suspension to go bye-bye that fast.

I won't be trading Percy Harvin for Larry Fitzgerald and Keenan Allen. Not only do I believe Percy is set to have a huge year, but I roll deep at receiver. I don't need to divide one great receiver into two good ones. But thanks for asking.

I have a side-bet in the East Crown league with a co-worker over which one of us earns the most total points this year. I asked him today what's that guy with mismatched shoes that scores field goals. "A kicker?" he replied. I told him he should own one. Trying to beat me in points with no kicker on the squad? I'm ahead by 29, so far.

#6 Why did Andy Grab Josh Gordon in Every League?

I look up and a buddy in three of my leagues snaked Josh Gordon in each one of them. He's one of the savviest FF players I know. The best sportswriter in the world not writing about sports. When he speaks, he delivers opinion, history and stats without a teleprompter or even thinking about it.

So when he does something like that, I wonder what he knows that I don't. Hours later, I hear about the possible restructure of the NFL drug policy. Oh, that's what he knows.

I don't think it will happen soon enough, but Andy will be ready if it does.

#7 Defenses I Like

I like Philly against the Jags last week and it was a good idea in the second half. Versus Indy this week? Not so much.

So Philly's getting dropped. I like Houston against Oakland, not just because I like picking on the Raiders. Only partly.

I like Green Bay against the Jets. Geno Smith will turn it over against a pissed-off Packers' team. They don't like what Seattle just did to them.

I like Arizona against the Giants. Eli Manning and his squad looked really sloppy. Arizona, despite all the losses on defense, looked good. Larry Foote was flying around, making plays and leading the troops. It didn't look like the Cardinals were weak at ILB.

I even like Tennessee against Dallas. This could go one of two ways. Tony Romo could be cracked and throw more ugly, early interceptions. Or, he could get the air power going for about 95% of the game before blowing it at the end. Do what your gut says.

#8 Percy

Since the moment Seattle traded for Percy Harvin, I've been excited to see how he would open up the Seahawks' offense. After jet sweeps and read options against Green Bay, you can see how disruptive Harvin in motion can be. Him in a wing formation behind Russell Wilson is making 31 defensive coordinators seasick this week.

Double digit touches weekly? I think so, with about 10% of them going big. A good thing for Marshawn too. The rest of Seattle's playmakers will split the other third of the ball, however. Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin will be an occasional flash.

#9 Michael Sam Just Needed a Lousier Defense

Michael Sam got drafted onto one of the best defensive lines in the game. He stood little chance of making the Rams' team. Already they had 8 defensive linemen likely to make the team.

Give him a chance on a horrible defense? Presto, he has a job. And he deserves a shot. He works hard. And he did it the right way.

Just when NFL teams were getting over the Super Bowl and thinking about the draft, Sam stepped up and said: "No surprises. Draft me knowing that I'm gay." By the time rookie camp was starting, all the media blah-blah had died down a little and it was mostly about the football.

ESPN wouldn't stay out of his shower, but that's what they do.

#10 When You've Been in the Restaurant Business Too Long...

I called my dog "Corner" the other night.

In the hospitality biz, we say "corner" all the time when walking around a bend so we don't crash into each other. At my job, I need to say it 3 times just to drop off a dirty plate. I say it hundreds of times a week.

I was playing frisbee with my dog at the local middle school. We came around the building. I got the leash out and called him "Corner". Like a good dog, he knew what I meant, forgave me and walked home with me anyway.

Sorry, Oli.

Good luck and happy creepings.