That Bearded Mofo

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State Of the League 2013

Published Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:00pm PST

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Men, I have done the reconnaissance. At approximately 0-700 weeks, the National Football League detonated. What remained was the National Hospitalization League. Injuries abound. There were massive casualties.

The Rams have resorted to Brady Quinn, which has been regarded as an act of terrorism.

Our intel says a suicide bomber network that went by the name Indi Anapoli Scolts destroyed themselves in the name of Irsay to take out a family of Broncos.

Also, the Eagles ain't got no QB now.

Thank God no one lost a finger this week. Although I'm sure some of you felt like flipping one. I'm talking to you Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson owners.

Congratulations to the teams who got a win last week, just in enough time to add a little more oomph to your midseason eval. That's right. It's midseason already. Past it, really. But who can count half a week?

Let's get our team breakdowns rolling. Remember, the winner of each conference gets mo-nay! I'm rubbing my fingers together as I typed that. It's even harder than it sounds. As always, Week 10 is the only week left without a single Conference or Division matchup and Weeks 8, 11, and 13 are nothing but. That means those three weeks are everybody's best opportunity to take or keep their conference crown and the booty that goes with it.

At a domineering 26-16 with 5,521.5, the Vertical Conference has the midseason lead for the first time since 2009. Not only does the conference contain the top five teams in the league--that's right, TOP FIVE--but if the playoffs were to start today, all six Vertical Conference teams would be in it. As usual, the North tops the South, but this year, it's by a very close margin that got even closer in Week 7. Let's get started with the number one team and the number one division: the North Division.

North Division

[ARM] ARMAGEDDON 6-1, 1,087.5 pts
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League: 1st
Conf: 1st
Div: 1st
The four horsemen of the Ashockalypse.
We've finally discovered what the A and J in A.J. Green stands for: ARMAGEDDON Juggernaut. Even with the season exit of Julio Jones, Green and team have averaged nearly 160 points per game and never failed to reach 150 until last week. That subpar 138.5 point Week 7 happened to be 'GEDDON's first lost. Subpar? There's about 8 other teams that would sacrifice a virgin for 138.5 points. Even with the loss, ARMAGEDDON's point lead is so grand, his first place spot can only be overtaken by record. Bush and Gates have slowed a bit, but Stafford and the Chiefs D continue to make ARMAGEDDON the team to beat.
Div. matchup wks: 8[DP], 11[BBT]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[RRR], 13[STL]

[BBT] Breaking Bad Tackles 5-2, 834.5 pts
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League: 3rd
Conf: 3rd
Div: 2nd
Tread lightly.
Tackles spent the first four weeks of the season like the Kansas City Chiefs: an undefeated team overshadowed by another undefeated team in the division. He met his Broncos in Week 5 when ARMAGEDDON handed him his first loss. The team has barely averaged 100 points in games since thanks to lackluster performances by different players week-to-week. The "Brady or Pryor" question continues to frustrate as Brady has thrown only 1 TD in the last 3 games. His Seahawks are a beast. But what BBT lacks in points (he ranks 9th) he'll have to make up for in wins, and to do that, he'll need better consistency from Ridley, Rudolph, Miller, etc...
Div. matchup wks: 11[ARM], 13[DP]
Conf. matchup wks: 8[Dx], 9[STL] , 12[RRR]

[DP] Da,Pope 3-4, 962.5 pts
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League: 5th
Conf: 5th
Div: 3rd (last)
Blessed are the patient.
At this time last season, Pope was 4th in the league but ended up number 1. He's now 5th, but has over 100 points more than this time last year...and a worse record. The Doug Martin trade that got so much press at the beginning of the season may not have been a complete BUST, but it was definitely the B, U, and S as the Muscle Hamster is averaging 9.5 with a 14 point ceiling on the season thus far. Add a torn labrum and now you can add that T. Matt Ryan continues to be the Pope's bread and butter despite his lack of Julio and Roddy. If Dez and Brandon can stay consistent, Pope should finish the season with more wins than losses.
Div. matchup wks: 8[ARM], 13[BBT]
Conf. matchup wks: 11[RRR]

South Division

[RRR] RAC ON RAC ON RACKS 5-2, 983 pts
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League: 2nd
Conf: 2nd
Div: 1st
Touchdowns on touchdowns on touchdowns.
Two is the theme as RACKS is also second in overall points. His 4-game win streak came to an end in Week 7 thanks to a rough going for the Manning-to-Welker network on the road in Indy. But ohhh has Manning been a monster. Forty. Forty-eight. Sixty-five! Greaton is singly responsible for RACKS' 140.4 point average. With new elite fantasy tight end Jordan Cameron and high upside DeSean Jackson adding to the mix, the team has outscored opponents by an average of 32.4 in wins. With last week's loss off their backs, expect Peyton, and therefore, RACKS to take it out on everyone. It won't be pretty.
Div. matchup wks: 8[STL], 13[Dx]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[ARM] , 11[DP] , 12[BBT]

[Dx] Detox 4-3, 847 pts
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League: 4th
Conf: 4th
Div: 2nd
Clean and sober.
Detox's conference rank is low but that's only because he has the misfortune of being in the same conference as a bunch of point-hoarders. The team would be number one in the miserable Horizontal Conference. Andy Dalton must've watched the end of Spike Lee's School Daze because he sure decided to "Wake up!" He's thrown 6 TDs over the last two games. Detox's next 4 opponents are averaging a combined 116.4 per game while Detox is averaging 121. This bodes well for the team looking for its first playoff berth. But Detox should beware: he has yet to feel the Bye Week Bite as none of his heavy hitters have yet taken a week off.
Div. matchup wks: 11[STL], 13[RRR]
Conf. matchup wks: 8[BBT]

[STL] STLiens 3-4, 807 pts
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League: 8th
Conf: 6th (last)
Div: 3rd (last)
Sliding down the Arch.
STLiens went undefeated in the first quarter of the season, and has gone winless in the second quarter. The unstoppable beast that is number one draft pick Jimmy Graham has let STL down the last two weeks by not getting a single catch against the Patriots and then not getting a single catch against his couch cushions because he was on bye. Kaepernick-to-Boldin has been a disappointment although Kaep is finally managing to go over 20 of late. And Vick, well... I don't know. It's not looking promising for STLiens. The way the team is headed, he may be the only Vertical Conference team not playing Week 14.
Div. matchup wks: 8[RRR], 11[Dx]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[BBB], 13[ARM]

The Horizontal Conference finds itself waaay on the bottom at 16-26 with 5,067.5 points. At .381, it's the lowest conference midseason record ever in the Gateway League. (Conversely, that means the Vertical Conference's .619 is the highest ever.) Trailing the up-and-down conf by an average of 64.9 points a week, it's no wonder the bottom 4 teams in the league all hail from this conference. The records are identical, but the East Division is slightly ahead of the West in points (only 90.5). Daybreak starts in the east and so do we right now.

East Division

[Hm] Hitmen 3-4, 862 pts
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League: 7th
Conf: 2nd
Div: 1st
Who shot ya?
Win one. Lose one. Win one. Lose one. Unfortunately for Hitmen, last week was time to win one, but instead he half a point. That hurts. Hitmen's whole season has been like that. He won in week 3 with only 102 points; lost the next week with 143. He's had 4 games this season that were settled by 6 points or less, 3 of them losses. Hitmen certainly has the names--Eli, Adrian, Calvin, Vernon--so you always know who's starting. Half of his final 6 opponents are either high in record or high in points (both, in the case of ARMAGEDDON). I say Hitmen goes the way of its hit man: if All Day gets back on track, so does this team.
Div. matchup wks: 8[TBM], 13[FS]
Conf. matchup wks: 11[AM]

[FS] Freeworld Savages 3-4, 797 pts
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League: 9th
Conf: 3rd
Div: 2nd
There will be blood.
One of only 3 teams to start the season 0-3, Freeworld has been near-perfect since. There were a few questionable sits and starts back then, but his only loss after Week 3 came with his highest score of the season (141.5), which shows that he ain't bullshittin' no mo'. Despite the unceasing absence of The Gronk, a slew of players with long-term injuries, and the letdown of a wonky trade situation, these Savages have managed to come into midseason only 1 game below .500. With only 2 of his final 6 games being against teams from the Vertical Conference, Freeworld could find himself at 7-6 and in the playoffs...if he can do it without Jacobs, Jones, and Murray.
Div. matchup wks: 11[TBM], 13[Hm]
Conf. matchup wks: 8[SL], 9[BFS]

[TBM] That Bearded Mofo 2-5, 920 pts
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League: 11th
Conf: 5th
Div: 3rd (last)
The Philadelphia Eagles of fantasy football.
Mofo has the 4th most points in the league. And also the 3rd most points scored against, which explains the horrendous record. The teams that Hairy Face faced over the first 5 weeks are averaging a combined 130.4 points per game. His final five opponents are currently averaging a combined 121.4, meaning TBM and his 131.4 point average could be in for a string of victories late in the year. But only if he can get stronger consistent play from Romo and tight end duo Witten and Gonzalez. Lynch and Charles continue to do all the heavy lifting while whoever is in the wide receiver slot continues to do all the heavy sinking. Plus, way too many Cowboys.
Div. matchup wks: 8[Hm], 11[FS]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[AM], 12[SL], 13[BFS]

West Division

[BFS] Black Francis Soyer 3-4, 892 pts
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League: 6th
Conf: 2nd
Div: 1st
It's all water under the bridge.
Blacky Franks went from 0-3 to 3 spots over the playoff cut line. This was with no thanks to second 1st round pick David Wilson who Soyer acquired through trading Doug Martin. Wilson averaged 2.8 points over 5 games before being injured in Week 5 and dumped by Black Francis in Week 7. But Soyer has made some crafty pickups that have picked his team up. Additions like Redskins TE Jordan Reed and Packers WR Jarrett Boykin have made us go, "Who is that?" and then go, "Dayum! Who is that?!" Soyer has the 5th most points in the league, and he has Brees, so it's difficult to see him finishing below 7-6 or lower than 7th in the league.
Div. matchup wks: 8[AM], 11[SL]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[FS], 13[TBM]

[AM] Allstate Mayhem 3-4, 756 pts
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League: 10th
Conf: 4th
Div: 2nd
You're in good hands...not so much.
Allstate has the fewest points and the 2nd most points scored against. A heavy chunk of those opponent's points came in the first three weeks, including the misfortunate Week 1 matchup against RACKS' Manning and Welker (90 points combined) and the Week 3 bloodbath in which ARMAGEDDON lapped him 3 times. Mayhem was weak at quarterback for the first quarter, but his biggest problem seems to have been, as Vince Lombardi put it, "What the hell's going on out here?!" The studs have been inconsistent to Allstate's dismay. And there's really nothing he can do about it short of crashing the NFL sidelines and coaching the players up himself.
Div. matchup wks: 8[BFS], 13[SL]
Conf. matchup wks: 9[TBM], 11[Hm]

[SL] Savage Life 2-5, 840.5 pts
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League: 12th (last)
Conf: 6th (last)
Div: 3rd (last)
Last gasp.
It's pretty bleak. No team that has come into midseason in 11th or 12th place has ever made the playoffs...except for 11th place Dub, Pope in 2009. It's rare, but it's there. Savage already has more points than 4 other teams, so the right 6-7 finishing record could push him into the playoffs like that Patriots rookie pushed his teammate into the field goal pile that resulted in a penalty and, ultimately, a loss in overtime. Savage went a month and a half without a victory, due mostly to an uncharacteristically bad Ray Rice and to Aaron Rodgers going absent during the September-October changeover. His final 6 opponents are a combined 17-25. It's now or never.
Div. matchup wks: 11[BFS], 13[AM]
Conf. matchup wks: 8[FS], 12[TBM]

And so goes the state of yours and everyone else's team. There's a bit more gap than usual on the fringes this year as 5 teams are 2 or more games either over or under .500. But in the center, 6 teams have a dead even record, so... Hey, it's only 12 teams in a 13-game season where 8 teams make it to the postseason. Seven games in, everybody's always still going to be in it.

So keep at it and keep making this league competitive. I'm not taking my foot off the pedal. And if I do, it's only to put it on somebody's neck.

~That Debriefing Mofo~

Comments (aka, the worst part of the Internet):
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alphonso74 says,
Oct 24, 2013 5:19:32 AM PST
Tread lightly!!!!! lol