BEFORE AND AFTERMATH 2017: SUPERBOWL
Published Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:50pm PST
Bearded Mofo's War Journal
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
What a bloody year. Bodies. Bodies everywhere. Aaron Rodgers. Deshaun Watson. Omarosa. When will the carnage end?
Antonio Brown, Hunter Henry, Marqise Lee all went down. Carson Wentz the week before. But those are just real injuries. What about the fantasy owies?
Three weeks ago, Da,Pope got blown to bits. He dropped 10 grenades into his own tank. Black went not too far behind him, eaten by sharks. The Black & The Goaled got thrown off a cliff. And HUNTing for a title! went down a trap door; never saw it coming. ... Then on Tuesday...
Actually, it was the following week. Black Francis Soyer took two knives in the back from Chris Hogan and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. EXPLOSIVE got put in an 80s-style LAPD chokehold by Alex Smith. Allstate Mayhem died under mysterious circumstances. And Hitmen got kicked in the nuts to death. ... Then on Wednesday...
Really, again, it was the week after, which was this past weekend. Try to keep up. Two more deaths. Me myself personally never made it out of bed. Went peacefully leaving absolutely no points on the field. Much like Tevin Coleman who knocked out STLiens and dragged him into a ditch.
But wait a second. STLiens is still moving. And, for that matter, so am I. It's a Christmas miracle! I can't believe--oh boy, he's coming at me with a knife. Where's my blowtorch? There can only be one!
Plus whoever finishes first.
There can only be one plus one!
That Highlander Mofo
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO...
(But Really Still Four)
In the undercard, we have two teams that both missed out on what would have been their second ever trips to the Championship game. South Division scrappers STLiens (9-6) and Mofo's Eleven (6-9) come together in a battle of "who's injured the most?" STLiens missed out on getting back-to-back Superbowl appearances, so that 3rd place consolation prize will have a lot of consoling to do. Mofo is just happy to be in this position after an unfortunate 3-8 season finally kicked into gear at the end. It's time to make money money make money money money for that number three honey honey three honey honey honey!
Detox (13-2) vs X (11-4)
It's a Horizontal Conference showdown as the two teams who chased each other for the conference lead all season meet one last time for all the marbles. This was Detox's first time making it past Round 1 of the playoffs and he goes right to the big dance. This is the 7th year in a row that a team has made it to the Superbowl for its first time. X was part of that streak four years ago. This will be his second time around, the first time ending in sweet, sweet victory.
Since joining the league in 2008, Detox only managed two playoff appearances, both ending in first round exits. None of that matters now as Detox has steamed his way through the regular season and the playoffs tied for the highest record and among the most points. And he did it without his #1 running back for six weeks. Since joining the league in 2006, X has played more postseason games than any other team in the league. This week makes game number 24 and he's hoping to bring his postseason record to 14-10.
The first time these teams squared off this season was only four weeks ago back in Week 12. Detox got the best of X then in a massive beatdown of 173.3 to 99.1. It was Detox's highest score of the season until last week's Gurleypalooza netted him 178.2. Don't read too much into the beatdown, though: it was also X's lowest score of the season and the only time he has dipped below 115 all year. Shady McCoy and Travis "Unsportsmanlike" Kelce didn't show up for X that week while Carson Wentz and Alvin "Catch Me If You" Kamara showed up over and over again for Detox.
Detox already has money coming his way by claiming the Horizontal Conference prize. He can thank good waiver wire moves and a fortunate first round draft for that. LeSean McCoy, Jay Ajayi, Jordan Howard, and DeMarco Murray were the four players (all RBs) taken before Detox settled on Todd Gurley with the #5 pick. The team formerly known as Gridy has been spoiled, experiencing only two measly losses this season, one of them by less than a full point. The team hasn't lost a game when scoring 104 points or more. That is an incredibly comfortable threshold, especially for a team averaging 132.49 on the season and 150.63 over the last four weeks.
X started off having a baller season of his own, experiencing his first two losses over the same 9-game stretch as Detox. However, X went 2-2 to finish the regular season. The hardest loss must have been Week 8 when X scored 150.9 but lost to Allstate Mayhem's 181.4. That's a head shaker. X has been a points giant all season, topping 150 in five different games. With a season average of 134.87 per game, X has never lost when his opponent scores less than 135. Wheeling and dealing must have paid off: X secured six draft picks in the first three rounds through fierce trading in the 2016 season.
Alright, both teams are good. We get it. But what does it all mean? Who should you bet your chips on? Who should you make nice with in hopes he kicks a little prize money your way for Christmas? Only one way to find out and that's with full roster analysis. Here we go!
QB (opp vs pass)
Blake Bortles @ SF (19th)
Avg: 21.17 Rk: 15 Pos: 13
The Jaguars are good this year. Who'da thunk it? Bortles has only had one game below 20 points since his Week 8 bye. He'll most likely be without his best target Marqise Lee this week, but against the Niners D things should be okay. But wait, why is Bortles starting?
Carson Wentz vs OAK (23rd)
Avg: 29.49 Rk: 2 Pos: 2
Oh yeah. This is why. Because Wentz unadvisedly sacrificed his knee for a touchdown that didn't stand. I guess no one told him the playoffs were on the line--the fantasy playoffs
Derek Carr @ PHI (22nd)
Avg: 20.32 Rk: 21 Pos: 17
Wha' happened? This was supposed to be a big year for Carr and his receivers. Carr is averaging 19.57 over his last seven games. He's a risky play from week to week.
Matthew Stafford @ CIN (8th)
Avg: 23.71 Rk: 8 Pos: 8
Cincy is not a great matchup, but since Marvin Lewis is leaving, maybe the team won't care to play hard anymore. You know, just like they don't in the playoffs. Stafford flattened his hand a couple weeks ago, but it hasn't seemed to phase him.
Tyrod Taylor @ NE (29th)
Avg: 18.85 Rk: 24 Pos: 20
Starting Tyrod against New England sounds pretty tempting. But when he played them just three weeks ago, he connected 9 out of 18 for only 65 yards and 32 yards on the ground before leaving with a knee injury. He had his 2nd best fantasy game of the season against Miami last week. But with as many single digit games as he has had games over 25 points, Tyrod is too risky a start for any given week.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs JAC (1st)
Avg: 16.85 Rk: NR Pos: 39
They want to crown him the next Joe Montana already. But against Jacksonville? They'll be calling him Ga-flop-polo by halftime.
RB (opp vs run)
Todd Gurley @ TEN (3rd)
Avg: 21.91 Rk: 14 Pos: 1
Todd Gurley returns for his third straight Gateway Fantasy Football League Superbowl. Take note, kiddies: Gurley is the key to playing in Week 16. The running back scored 15.5 and 16.2 in the last two Week 16s. But he didn't score anywhere near 43.5 in those Week 15s like he did last week. The Titans may be 3rd against the run, but Gurley is averaging 29.77 over the last three weeks. You know he's gonna hurt 'em.
Ezekiel Elliott vs SEA (17th)
Avg: 20.1 Rk: 82 Pos: 13
He's baaaaaack. And he's home against the Seahawks who were just gashed by fantasy teammate Gurley last week IN SEATTLE! Zeke was on the decline when we last saw him, but that's because there's nowhere to go but down when you're scoring 40.4 on the road. Hopefully, the six-week suspension has knocked some sense into him. I'm sure it's made him hungry for scores.
Alvin Kamara vs ATL (9th)
Avg: 17.11 Rk: 26 Pos: 4
Goddamn! When is this cavalcade of running back beastdom going to end? I hate Kamara... Why wasn't he on my team?!
LeSean McCoy @ NE (26th)
Avg: 15.19 Rk: 44 Pos: 7
LeSean has quietly been good all year. And despite teams' inabilities to beat the Patriots, New England couldn't defend a ham sandwich this season. McCoy should do fine this week.
Christian McCaffrey vs TB (23rd)
Avg: 12.42 Rk: 68 Pos: 9
McCaffrey has only had three games this season with fewer than 6 targets and Tampa Bay ranks last against receiving. Last! Do you know how hard it is to be last in a field that's 32 deep?
McCaffrey didn't do so hot against the Bucs eight weeks ago, but he's in line for a big game this week as the NFC South battles it out for playoff contention.
Dion Lewis vs BUF (25th)
Avg: 8.78 Rk: 147 Pos: 26
Touchdown dependent. Why are we even talking about him?
WR (opp vs receiving)
Mike Evans @ CAR (12th)
Avg: 12.42 Rk: 67 Pos: 22
It's been a disappointing season for Evans. Suspended one game. Single-digit fantasy points in four others. In fact, he hasn't scored over 19 since Week 7 and he's only done it twice all season. It could just be because the Bucs are awful; but that doesn't make you feel better about him.
Stefon Diggs @ GB (24th)
Avg: 13.66 Rk: 79 Pos: 24
Better matchup than Evans. Better average than Evans. Better QB than Evans. But more single-digit games than Evans. More missed games than Evans. More chance that his defense is so good the offense won't need to throw than Evans. Hmm. It's one to think about.
Jermaine Kearse vs LAC (4th)
Avg: 11.14 Rk: 88 Pos: 28
Oh, hey, Kearse. You're here too. That's nice.
Michael Thomas vs ATL (14th)
Avg: 16.61 Rk: 30 Pos: 4
Thomas had his biggest fantasy game of the season against the Falcons two weeks ago. And that was in Atlanta. He had his most targets, most catches, and most yards (tied with Week 10) of the year in that game. And he got a touchdown. If he were a house, I'd get a helluva commission for how hard I'm selling him.
Marvin Jones @ CIN (8th)
Avg: 14.21 Rk: 50 Pos: 12
The fantasy numbers aren't very impressive and the name isn't flashy. Playing wide receiver for the Lions has never really meant anything unless your name is Megatron.
Golden Tate @ CIN (8th)
Avg: 13.91 Rk: 53 Pos: 14
The fantasy numbers aren't very impressive and the name isn't flashy. Playing wide receiver for the Lions has never really meant anything unless--waiiiit. Where have I heard this before?
Doug Baldwin @ DAL (21st)
Avg: 13.26 Rk: 56 Pos: 17
Last week was a very bad week. Uncharacteristically bad for the Seahawks in general and Baldwin in particular. Factoring out that 1 catch, 6 yard game, Baldwin was averaging 11.68 over his previous four. Not the kind of numbers we expected for him this season. Seattle will, without a doubt, have to throw on Dallas and you'd expect Baldwin to be in the mix. But like I said, we've had expectations on him before and...
TE (opp vs receiving)
Kyle Rudolph @ GB (24th)
Avg: 11.09 Rk: 90 Pos: 7
Kyle Rudolph! He's our man! If he can't do it...okay.
Austin Hooper @ NO (7th)
Avg: 7.74 Rk: 188 Pos: 15
Travis Kelce vs MIA (10th)
Avg: 15.7 Rk: 42 Pos: 1
Just keep Kelce away from the refs and it's all good. This hothead has had six games of 90+ yards this season. He's good for busting out a 24-point fantasy game any week.
Greg Olsen vs TB (32nd)
Avg: 6.88 Rk: NR Pos: 52
Olsen makes a back-to-back Gateway Superbowl appearance. He's finally back--really back from being sidelined by a broken foot. His 26.6-point game last week shows that he probably would have been double-teaming with fantasy teammate TE Kelce every week this season had it not been for the cracked tootsie. And he's against Tampa Bay this week. Remember? Last-ranked Tampa Bay? Last.
K (opp vs pts)
Ryan Succop vs LAR (5th)
Avg: 8.43 Rk: 156 Pos: 10
Are you ready for this detailed analysis? I don't know if your brain will be able to comprehend the deep-diving breakdown I'm about to give you. Put your phone on "do not disturb", your mail on hold, and brace yourself for this...
He's a kicker, so, whatever.
Stephen Gostkowski vs BUF (16th)
Avg: 10.07 Rk: 109 Pos: 2
F**k the Patriots.
IDP (opp offense)
Jason Pierre-Paul (DL) @ ARI (21st)
Avg: 4.89 Rk: NR Pos: 8
He's still missing fingers.
Bobby Wagner (LB) @ DAL (15th)
Avg: 8.96 Rk: 142 Pos: 2
Damn Seattle is hurting. It shows over the last two weeks. Wagner needs some help.
Blake Martinez (LB) vs MIN (8th)
Avg: 8.46 Rk: 154 Pos: 3
I've never heard of a more Whiter Mexican name.
Barry Church (DB) @ SF (14th)
Avg: 5.21 Rk: NR Pos: 28
Is he good or not? I can't tell.
Melvin Ingram (DL) @ NYJ (25th)
Avg: 5.5 Rk: NR Pos: 6
On the upswing over the last 4 games. Bring on the Jets.
Deion Jones (LB) @ NO (1st)
Avg: 7.71 Rk: 189 Pos: 9
Never heard of him. He's averaged 9.33 over his last three games. Oh, THAT Deion Jones.
Sean Davis (DB) @ HOU (16th)
Avg: 6.0 Rk: NR Pos: 6
Keep doing what you do, whoever you are.
DEF (opp offense)
Bears vs CLE (26th)
Avg: 12.26 Rk: 69 Pos: 6
The Bears defense is good?! When did it become 2006? And they're playing the Browns??? That's highway robbery.
Seahawks vs @ DAL (15th)
Avg: 11.34 Rk: 84 Pos: 10
I don't know, man. We'll see.
Cardinals vs NYG (21st)
Avg: 10.33 Rk: 103 Pos: 15
Great matchup. And that's all I can say about that.
Good luck, competitors.
It was this time last year that I signed off for good with the not-a-promise that maybe I'd put out one or two columns on special occasions. Well, I held up that not-a-promise this season which surprised the hell out of me. I hope you enjoyed them half as much as I enjoyed making them.
We've got five days til' Christmas. Well, almost four now. Enjoy the holidays with your family, your loved ones, or even your enemies if you roll like that. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and here's to the most meaningful thing this time of year... No more stressful Monday nights until September.
~That Bearded Mofo~