State Of The League 2012
Published Tue Oct 23, 2011 6:45pm PST
My fellow fantasy Americans,
This November, it's time to make a choice. The stakes have never been higher.
Do you continue to go with the 49ers D/ST whose coach values definitive wins over fantasy numbers? Now, Coach Harbaugh's plan just doesn't add up. A safety would have put them 9 points ahead, far enough out of the reach of any successful onside kick resulting in a touchdown and two point conversion. Check the transcripts.
Do you continue to dally with your Coby Fleeners? Your Kyle Rudolphs? Your Scott Chandlers? Vernon Davis is too big to fail. And yet... We live in a world of uncertainty. Excuse me... A world of football uncertainty. When times are tough... When achilles are torn... Now is the time, as a fantasy American, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, drop that no good tight end and pick up Chris Cooley. He's coming back.
Do you continue to scour the waiver wire for running backs that clearly aren't there? We've resorted to starting Felix Jones... LeGarrette Blount... William Powell. I think he was in Next Friday. ... That was Clifton Powell? Anyway, let's please proceed. Times are desperate. Owners are living bye week to bye week, just an injury away from picking up Mike Goodson.
Now, you could believe in the smoke and mirrors of the trade table. The teams that say they have binders full of players to offer. But you know deep in your heart, your team is not to be sold short. You can Kendall Wright the ship. Your Arians will Foster. The Victors shall Cruz and the Reggies will not Wayne. And like happy hour at The Jiggly Room, every Johnson shall rise: from Stevie to Chris to Andre and Calvin. And your team will be great once again.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless fantasy football.
As always, Weeks 8, 11, and 13 are full slates of division and conference matchups and Week 9 has four conference bouts. So focus on winning those four weeks and you'll have money coming to you before the playoffs even start.
Are you focusing? Are you focusing hard enough? That's how fantasy football works, right? You will it to happen?
This year, we pushed the division reset button. It just so happens that exactly half the teams switched conferences. Allstate Mayhem, G O O D G A W D, and Savage Life all moved into the Horizontal Conference (and the same division, oddly enough). ARMAGEDDON, Da,Pope, and Gridy moved into the Vertical Conference. But no matter how you shake up the divisions, the story stays familiar: the Horizontal Conference has come into Week 8 dominating for the past three years.
The Vertical Conference is down a game from this time last year but up 158.5 points thanks in part to the addition of IDP. At 18-24 and 4,684 points, one division is a close fight with the teams separated by only 36.5 points. The other division, well... The South Division contains the number two team in the league as well as the bottom two which have records that look like a number two. But we'll get to that lopsided division in a moment. First up, we go up: up to the North Division.
[DP] Da,Pope 4-3, 843.5 pts
Doling out the blessings.
Da,Pope has proven to be a heavy contender for the conference cash. The team has swept the division (so far), delivered a throat chop to a Brees-less G O O D G A W D, and handed conference leader RACKS his only loss. Pope is super-solid at receiver, but iffy at running back, and it's only a matter of weeks before his sole quarterback Schaub takes a trip to the ouchy room for something bigger than an ear tear. Despite his streak-busting loss to Savage Life last week, Pope seems to have found favor with Someone On High. The rest of his schedule gets a lot better before it gets anywhere near worse. Come Week 10, Dub,Pope just might be the conference leader, as long as tight end Jimmy Graham isn't still hobbling like your gram-gram.
Div. matchup wks: 8[HW], 11[ARM]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[STL], 13[Gr]
[ARM] ARMAGEDDON 3-4, 820 pts
The end is nearer.
In the middle of the pack in points and record, ARMAGEDDON ain't exactly dropping bombs like Hiroshima, but ain't exactly giving peace a chance neither. Stars RG3, A.J. Green, and J.J... uhh...okay, I'll just call him Julio Jones. They're lighting up the boards. They're just not doing it at the same time, which has cost ARM his leg in the standings. Points powerhouse Allstate Mayhem may have staved off any second coming for ARMAGEDDON last week, but there's no time to lick wounds. The team is about to be inundated with a heavy schedule of conference games over the next six weeks. The good news is all these conference matchups allow him a greater opportunity to snatch the vertical crown, as a win for 'GEDDON means a drop for someone else. He just better hope those explosions he hears are his players points, not their bombs.
Div. matchup wks: 11[DP], 13[HW]
Conf. matchup wks: 8[RRR], 9[Gr], 12[STL]
[HW] Hand me your Wallace 3-4, 807 pts
Div: 3rd (last)
Nice and slow... No sudden moves.
HmyWallace opened the season with three straight losses, but has made up for lost time in the last four weeks. Of all of last week's victories, none was bigger than Hand me's win over RACKS. Not biggest in point margin, but in meaning. Taking down the number one in the conference was much needed for a struggling team that only wins when Brady goes for more than 23. Wallace can also brag that he's the only team to take down the top two scorers in the league. Next up, a rematch with division leader Da,Pope. If this week's results are the same as last week's, it will pretty much solidify which direction team Wallace will end up come season's end. With only half of his remaining games being conference matchups, and two of those being rematches of losses, Hand me your Wallace may need to sweep the non-conference matchups to have any shot at the Vertical Conference prize.
Div. matchup wks: 8[DP], 13[ARM]
Conf. matchup wks: 11[STL]
[RRR] RAC ON RAC ON RACKS 5-2, 862.5 pts
Stacked to the ceiling.
There's one less rack on top of the stack after the surprise upset by Hand me your Wallace in Week 7. With Peyton, Welker, Harvin, and too many tight ends to choose from, RAC ON RAC ON RACKS has decimated most opponents, winning on average by a margin of 38 points. But RACKS five wins all came to opponents that average less than 118 a game. With only three conference matchups left, including bouts with division punching bags Gridy and STLiens, RAC ON RAC ON RACKS shouldn't get too comfortable as the other strong teams in the Vertical Conference have more of an opportunity to meet or beat his record. The rest of RACKS' lineup includes four teams that are in the top half of the league in points scored, and all of them itching to knock over his pile.
Div. matchup wks: 11[Gr], 13[STL]
Conf. matchup wks: 8[ARM]
[Gr] Gridy 2-5, 742.5 pts
Every week is a last chance.
With Week 7's 140-plus all out brawl out against Juggernauts, Gridy showed his team is nothing to be slept on. Colston has put up 90 over his last three starts and Eli and Witten are good to go off any week. Unfortunately, the rest of the team isn't always aware that they're allowed to join in. Gridy hadn't scored higher than 105.5 until last week's diarrhea of the points and the team has yet to win a game in which his opponent goes over 91. The addition of Packers rookie Randall Cobb and Raiders top target Denarius Moore are giving a little boost to the sagging squad, but the team will have to get it together quick, fast, and in a hurry for the second half. Gridy's three easiest(?) matchups are first, then the season ends with bouts against three of the four highest scoring teams in the league. That's not the lineup you want to face at the time you're trying to claw your way into the last playoff spot.
Div. matchup wks: 8[STL], 11[RRR]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[ARM], 13[DP]
[STL] STLiens 1-6, 608.5 pts
League: 12th (last)
Conf: 6th (last)
Div: 3rd (last)
STLiens wishes he could get over 88, if not in scoring average then at least in a DeLorean so he can go back in time and draft A.J. Green or Brandon Marshall or Victor Cruz. The team has more running backs than Canton and more quarterbacks than a quarter has backs. Having a bunch of talent at one position often leads to a lot of second-guessing come game time. In STLiens' case, it seems the starter flops while the bench tops. Over the first 6 weeks, STLiens left 203 points on the bench, an average of 33.833 per game. Many feared the owner gave up on the season too early, auctioning his entire roster in Week 3--the same week he eventually won his first game. Now four weeks later, with that win still being his only, still never having crossed the century mark this season, and with his easiest games behind him, some wonder if he's still up to the challenge of putting forth an effort.
Div. matchup wks: 8[Gr], 13[RRR]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[DP], 11[HW], 12[ARM]
With 4,943.5 points, the Horizontal Conference outscores the other half of the league by 37 points a week. At 24-18, this conference's .571 record is fitting as two-thirds of its teams is 4-3. The West Division claims the league leader in record and points as well as the league's number three in both categories. Meanwhile, the East Division has proven to be the NFC West of Gateway Fantasy Football, the weakest of the league, if only because none of its members is in the top half of the current playoff standings.
[Hm] Hitmen 4-3, 819.5 pts
Silently taking 'em out.
With a loss in Week 7, Hitmen lost his one-game division lead but hasn't lost sight of the Horizontal Conference award. The team started the season with three straight wins, division domination, and a 133.5 scoring average. They then hit a speed bump the size of Tracy Morgan's stomach with three losses and a scoring average of 104.75 over the last four weeks. The long-term lack of Hakeem Nicks mixed with the recent iffy play of Vernon Davis has kept this team from being up in the ranks of the heavy hitters. Division rematches bookend the rest of Hitmen's season, starting with Freeworld whom he bested by only 5 points the first go round. The only other conference game is a juicy Week 11 matchup with Allstate Mayhem, the current odds-on favorite to take the conference crown. And Hitmen has already had all of his matchups with the league's basement dwellers, so...
Div. matchup wks: 8[FJ], 13[TBM]
Conf. matchup wks: 11[AM]
[TBM] That Bearded Mofo 4-3, 788 pts
Pulling a flip flop that would make Mitt proud.
After starting the season with three not-even-close L's, That Dude With The Beard has righted the ship with four straight wins. Unfortunately, three of those wins came against the bottom three teams in the league, making it hard to gauge Mofo's true potential. No-shows by Jennings and Gates crippled The Bearded One early in the season, but powerhouse Bears defense and the awakenings of Bradshaw, Bowe, and Lynch have kept him in playoff contention. Fate is in the team's own hands with an even mix of division, conference, and non-conference games to finish the season. But it's far from an even mix of opponents ahead and behind in points. Only one of TBM's upcoming opponents trails him. With clever starts and a little luck of the "others failing" variety, The Hairy Chin Faced Sucka could find himself with a chance of just missing out on the conference prize.
Div. matchup wks: 11[FJ], 13[Hm]
Conf. matchup wks: 8[GG], 9[SL]
[FJ] Freeworld Juggernauts 3-4, 757 pts
Conf: 6th (last)
Div: 3rd (last)
This is how it starts. Then it can't be stopped.
A much needed win last week keeps Freeworld in the hunt for the playoffs. The team's season lives or dies with Cam Newton. Over the first six weeks, when Cam went for 30 or more, Juggernauts was unstoppable. When Cam didn't, not so much. Aside from surprisingly good numbers from McGahee and big play from Vincent Jackson, Freeworld's players have let him down most weeks. Those Juggernauts will face every conference foe in the run from here to season's end, a great opportunity to band together and take the conference title. But with the league's 3rd lowest point total, Freeworld will need to have the most wins for that to occur. At this point, I'm sure he'd settle for 8th place, the same seeding he had when he won the Superbowl two years ago. By the way, he had this same exact record and positioning at 2010's State of the League...but he had fewer points.
Div. matchup wks: 8[Hm], 11[TBM]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[AM], 12[GG], 13[SL]
[AM] Allstate Mayhem 5-2, 906.5 pts
Full coverage at every position.
Without that "Perfect" moniker hanging over his head like a raincloud, Allstate is now closer to it than he was at this point in any of the last four seasons. The season started strong with Matt Ryan ass-whoopins to his division. Then Mayhem got tripped up by the Wesley brothers, but got back on track by gutter stomping ARMAGEDDON last week. The team is already tops in points and "Ryan to Gonzalez" doesn't have any more byes. On a team where Antonio Brown, DeSean Jackson, and Stevan Ridley are the second tier guys, "mayhem" doesn't come close to describing the hurt Allstate will be dishing out once the bye weeks go bye-bye. With Foster and Andre on bye Week 8, the rematch with Savage Life looks dicey. But everyone is wondering if league leader Allstate can stay on top long enough for the Week 10 showdown with closest points competitor and Horizontal Conference leader RAC ON RAC ON RACKS.
Div. matchup wks: 8[SL], 13[GG]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[FJ], 11[Hm]
[SL] Savage Life 4-3, 856.5 pts
The Russian nesting doll of studs.
If not for a Week 1 tiebreaker that didn't fall his way, Savage Life would be boasting five wins right now. He'll have to settle for boasting about jumping two spots overnight after his Week 7 win over Da, Pope. The reigning champ started the season averaging just under 108 per game, but has averaged just over 128 since Week 2. The autopick misfortune of the draft hasn't stymied the team at all. Ray Rice is a beast, Victor Cruz is the dragon that devoured that beast, and Aaron Rodgers is the monster that ate that dragon. The team has no wide receiver depth and even held three kickers at one point. But you can do that when you've got Rice, Jones-Drew, and Charles pounding the rock every week. Savage Life certainly has the points to contend for the conference cash and with four of his upcoming opponents trailing him by a combined 16.31 points per game, it looks like he'll have the wins to contend, too.
Div. matchup wks: 8[AM], 11[GG]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[TBM], 13[FJ]
[GG] G O O D G A W D 4-3, 816 pts
Div: 3rd (last)
He's there. Just can't see him.
Beginning with Fred Jackson's injury in game one, the running game hasn't panned out for G O O D G A W D. The RB corps of Sproles, Jackson, and Doug Martin comprised G A W D's first three draft picks, but keepers Brees and Roddy White have been doing all the heavy lifting. Week 3 brought a steal of a trade for ball catcher Eric Decker who was averaging 9.5 then, but has broken 20 in three games since. In a much needed victory over conference contender Hitmen last week, G A W D managed to snap a two-game losing streak while simultaneously breaking open the Horizontal Conference race for everyone. The second half of the schedule seems to be lighter, with GG's toughest looks coming from division rematches. Lighter may not be enough, though. Until last week, G A W D hadn't scored above 113 except for Week 4 when the starters and bench went off for a combined 245. They must have gotten some orders from Lance Armstrong.
Div. matchup wks: 11[SL], 13[AM]
Conf. matchup wks: 8[TBM], 12[FJ]
And that ends the state of each team in the league. It seems as if this league gets more and more competitive each year, but this year it's almost at the max. Eight teams hover around .500, three under, a whopping five over. It's still anybody's chance. Still anybody's game. I'm going for mines. How 'bout you?
Yes we can.
~That Electable Mofo~
|Oct 23, 2012 9:03:52 PM PST|