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.