Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week 11

Dissatisfaction, although not complete disappointment, in the Village of the Creepers this week.

My teams went 2-2. One team is in second place. Two are in third. One is a half game out of the playoffs in fifth. Ain't no problem that I can't fix 'cause I can do it in the mix.

My failings were due to 2 positions I historically draft late: tight end and defense. Defenses I stream and roll the dice on. Sometimes I hit. Sometimes I don't. But the tight end thing I need to get better at. More on that later in the list.

More dissatisfaction with the Seattle Seahawks. I've been shooting down people early this week who want to say they beat up on the New York Giants. Don't let the score fool you. They barely won.

They were down 17-14 at the half and tied after 3 quarters. They turned the ball over too much. They were lucky to not fumble away the fourth quarter. Russell Wilson was not throwing it well. Only because Seattle's offense wore out the Giants' defense were they able to run the ball well in the fourth quarter.

Seattle would have lost to a playoff-quality team. They'd better tighten up.

I can't wait for the finish of this year. The pressure will be on and I think the Seahawks play best with their backs against the wall. After Kansas City this week, Seattle finishes the season with 2 against Arizona, 2 against San Francisco, 1 against Philadelphia and another against St. Louis, who is always down to play spoiler.

Taking the division won't be easy, but it's in their hands.

What's in my hands? A list of 10 things relative and not relative to this week in fantasy football.

#1 Putting Butt Fumble Jokes on Hold

Maybe Mark Sanchez will not be the death of the Eagles' dreams.

He was supported by a good defense mauling a bad Panthers' offense, but he didn't screw anything up. In fact, his passes looked tight and he had a better vibe about him. Winning does that. The chance of scenery can too. In a pre-game interview, he was ecstatic about the Chip Kelley organization.

So for us fantasy people, don't bail on Sanchez's weapons. You're sticking with Shady. Jeremy Maclin will produce. Brent Celek is back on the radar. Darren Sproles is healthy and dangerous again, but I think he'll be a streaky play. Your situation may vary. Jordan Matthews just became a hot pickup.

And if your quarterback situation is iffy, you can give Sanchez a shot. They go to Green Bay this week. The Packers put up 42 in the first half against Chicago. The Eagles will have to air it out to keep up.

#2 You and I have Tight End Problems

Your scoring is different, but in my Euro league only 6 tight ends are averaging over 9 points a game. If you drafted Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham or Julius Thomas, you got repaid. Yet, about 50 wide receivers and running backs are scoring over 9 per game.

Right now, I'm stinging partially due to Martellus Bennett's bye in two leagues. My gamble on Luke Willson, in particular, did not pay off. After the top few tight ends, it's quite random. My other two leagues, I'm in trouble at tight end. It's definitely a weakness that superior depth at WR is only partly hiding.

Trade deadline's coming soon. I may have to get wheeling.

#3 Fantasy Football Trades are a Myth

Women like nice guys. Cars with big mufflers are always fast. People singing on the radio can actually sing. Trades happen in fantasy football.

All of those things are mostly false almost all the time.

You don't want a guy. You want another guy. You offer a trade and the other owner agrees with you: he doesn't want your dude either.

You want to trade multiple players for one player, hoping the other owner thinks two fives equal a ten. The problem here: he can't start any more players than you. He doesn't want to weaken his starters and strengthen his bench. He'll have to drop someone after the trade anyway.

So fantasy football trades only happen if you trade with a dummy, right? Not quite.

You must search your whole league for someone with a fortunate surplus and an unfortunate paucity. My best trade, and one of my only ones, was one of these. It also pissed off half the league.

Just because you didn't see it and I did doesn't mean you can be upset.

A few years ago, I was having QB issues. I drafted Peyton Manning the year he sat out with the neck injury. I forget the details of this one, but someone traded me Matt Schaub. Then Schaub got hurt and I was in trouble again.

I scanned every team in the league and found one owner with Cam Newton backing up Aaron Rodgers with the byes behind them. No way he's ever using Cam, so I asked him what he wanted. A running back, he said. Which one? I asked. James Starks, he replied.

Okay. He wants my third or fourth running back. I'd have considered a better one, but that's what he offered and that's what I took. The guy in question was in fourth place and firmly in the playoff hunt, but grumblers still wanted to talk collusion.

In a free league, mind you.

Just because you didn't see it and made the move doesn't mean you can get grumbly.

Someone somewhere in your league just might be rich where you are poor and the other way around. Take a shot. You'll probably get shut down anyway.

#4 Pickups this Week

Like I said, look at Jordan Matthews. The Eagles will be chucking it against the Packers.

CJ Anderson may get stuck in a Denver RB committee, but if Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman are less than healthy, he could be an ace.

I still don't know what to think about the Giants' passing game. They keep putting up ugly numbers. Rueben Randle seems to be falling out of the back end while Odell Beckham Jr. looks like the truth. Preston Parker is an interesting acquisition if you need the depth.

If you need another tight end to drive you crazy, Kyle Rudolph is coming back in a week or two. Will he become Teddy Bridgewater's good buddy? Watch and see.

Overall a tricky week for pickups. So many questions with so few answers. I'm sitting with guys like Rashad Jennings and Montee Ball on the verge of coming back. I'm trying to be patient and keep the faith.

Unlike the guy who just dropped Giovani Bernard in Andy's league. He's a Creeper now. Maybe the bit of luck that 5-4-1 team needs.

#5 Defenses I Like

My usual question is: who am I picking on? Pittsburgh failed to crash the Jets last week. They're on a bye so I don't have to decide if I'm still picking on them. So are the Jaguars.

The Oakland Raiders travel to San Diego, so the Chargers are a favorite. After Derek Carr passed to one of his linemen, who fumbled the ball away, I can feel good about this.

The Eagles put up big numbers against the Panthers, but won't do it against the Packers. Will Atlanta hit Carolina as hard? You take that guess. Will the Packers find beautiful Sanchez or ugly Sanchez?

Cleveland looked sharp against Cincinnati on Thursday. They get a long week to prepare for... Ryan Mallett. New starting quarterbacks are always a tempting snack, making the Browns my second favorite defense to stream.

#6 Can I Start an Offensive Tackle?

Garry Gilliam played tight end and defensive end in high school, where he caught 20 passes for 4 scores. At Penn State, he started his career at tight end but shifted to tackle in 2013. He was signed as an un-drafted free agent by the Seahawks this year.

The 6'6" 306 pounder has been seen most often lined up as an eligible extra blocker in power formations. With Zach Miller, Anthony McCoy and now Luke Willson injured, Seattle has been using more 6 offensive lineman sets.

They're throwing to Gilliam one of these days and it will be a touchdown. Don't tell anyone. It's a secret Pete Carroll doesn't want me to tell you.

#7 Is Anything For Certain Anymore?

So many things seem upside down in the league right now. But just past the halfway point, they usually are. That's why they play the games.

Arizona with the best record in the league? Cleveland leading the AFC North? Everyone in the AFC North with a winning record? No one in the NFC South with a winning record? Justin Forsett outrushing Jamaal Charles?

Who'd have called these things? This week looks crazier than most. Looking up and down the schedule, I see no locks outside the Broncos/Rams.

What do I feel good about? The Patriots/Colts game will be a high-flying quarterback duel. You should be able to count on big money from Brady, Luck, TY, Gronk, Wayne, LaFell, Bradshaw, Edelman and one of Belichick's running backs. As a desperate TE seeker, I'm liking Dwayne Allen over Coby Fleener.

#8 5 Vegas Series A Apotheosis Revisited

I first got one of these in my face back in Week 4. I gave it a solid review, but like all new smokes right out of the package, it needed to season.

7 weeks later, it has. I had another. The burn was smoother, the draw was easier and the flavor more expansive. I pick up on more of the cocoa notes. The box press feels a little more puffed up, like the time out of the tight wrappings has allowed it to relax.

This just jumped from an OK cigar to a very good one. I'm glad to have a dozen more aging in the box.

I suggest the whole Series A line and badly want to get cracked in the head with a notoriously intense Triple A.

#9 Is That My Alter Ego, or Just My Ego?

Something I wrote for College Factual about the best academic schools for Division 1 football ended up at USA Today. The site preferred a name that does not sound like it belongs to a robot prototype, so the byline reads "David Klenda". Somehow, that feels weird now.

I'm happy to be published and shared under any name. Call me Betty Boop, just pay me. Still, I've been trying to consolidate my brand and seeing my birth name next to my writing is odd once again.

Where's the best football school for academics? You'll have to look. Not all of the schools on the list are perennial powerhouses, but they will get you a degree that matters in case you are part of the huge majority that goes professional in something other than football.

#10 A Haiku for Al Davis' Zombies

Wideouts are covered
So pass to linemen. Brilliant.
They're always open.

Good luck and happy creepings.