Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Late bloomer"

Last week I left you with a proposed trade to see what you thought of it. I was Team 3 in the scenario and Player A from my team was none other than Carolina Panther running back DeAngelo Williams. I must admit, I have never been keen on the guy. Sure in 2008 he BLEW. IT. UP! But there was always that little tinge in the back of my mind that told me not to completely like this guy. Maybe it was because he played for the Panthers and the interception-throwing-I-choked-my-team-out-of-a-Superbowl Jake Delhomme was his teams quarterback. I’m just saying things out loud, pay me no mind.

(coughing): chokeartist!

Anyhow, in this year’s draft, everybody was down to their final three spots on their rosters and I noticed that DWill was not selected. Personally, I had put him on my DND (Do Not Draft) list, but I was thrifty with my selections and had cash to burn. ESPN had him as their 8th best overall RB, and I landed him for $22. I figured I could always use him as trade bait if anybody was hurting for a RB during the season. That is why I put him as part of the three team deal, which by the way was shot down because certain people wanted unrealistic and lop sided trades, because I never intended to keep him from the get go. I never intended to play him. But last week I did. Mistake. A big, 6-point mistake.

This was my reasoning. Rookie, Jimmy Clausen, was getting the nod to start against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have a pretty good pass defense and an alright run defense. My thinking was that the Panthers were going to have to go to the run game a lot because Clausen was getting this start about two or three years too soon. Williams would at least get a TD. Wrong. I took a gamble and the house won. Big surprise.

This week I lose Tony Romo to the Cowboys BYE. This really isn’t a big deal because I have Michael Vick (35 points on Sunday) and Matt Ryan of the Falcons. In addition to Ryan I have two other Falcon players in Roddy White and Michael Turner. White is going to start, no question and in my OP (Offensive Player) position I am going to play Ryan. Turner has been consistent, but I do not want to have so much riding on the success of the Atlanta Falcons, even though I think the Falcons are going to play in the Superbowl this year. Three players from the same team, filling three spots on a 10-spot fantasy football team = no bueno. My team is 1-2 (two straight weeks where the opposing team has put up 140+ and so you know, 105-110 is average) and I just cannot risk going 1-3 if the dirty birds put up a stinker.

This is why I am contemplating starting DWill again. Be warned that this column is super stat heavy. What do you think?

DeAngelo Williams. The tale of a late bloomer. Have a looksee:

Week 1 60 rush yards
Week 2 30 rush yards
Week 3 45 rush yards
Week 4 05 rush yards
Week 5 23 rush yards
Week 6 121 rush yards

Week 1 85 rush yards
Week 2 31 rush yards
Week 3 27 rush yards
Week 4 54 rush yards
Week 5 123 rush yards

Week 1 35 rush yards
Week 2 80 rush yards
Week 3 65 rush yards
Week 4 40 rush yards
Week 5 152 rush yards

Through my research I found he does not get going until the 5th or 6th week. This week, DWill plays against the New Orleans Saints, a team that he has faced 7 times in his career. The Saints defense is ranked 30th out of 32 teams this season. For his career against them, his stats are as follows.

62 Rushing yards, 9 Receiving yards
0 TDs

7 Rushing yards, 52 Receiving yards
0 TDs

23 Rushing yards, 0 Receiving yards
0 TDs

19 Rushing yards, 0 Receiving yards
0 TDs

66 Rushing yards, 4 Receiving
1 TD (receiving

178 Rushing yards, 0 Receiving
0 TDs

149 Rushing yards, 12 Receiving
2 TDs (rushing)

DNP (Did Not Play)

Over those seven games, Williams averaged 72 rushing yards and 11 receiving yards and .4 touchdowns. But in the last two games alone he has amassed 327 yards and two scores. What will it be? The average or the last two games? Let us dig deeper.

Another item worth noting is the amount of touches (ATT) Williams is receiving per game. His last two games against the Saints, the two monster games, Williams logged 25 and 21 respectively. There is an interesting trend: any time he gets 20 touches or more his games stats jump skyrocket. Dating back to 2006, DeAngelo Williams has had 10 games where he has recorded 20 touches or more. They are as follows:

Two games in 2006:

114 yards rushing 24 yards receiving
20 touches

81 yards rushing 5 yards receiving
21 touches

One game in 2007:

121 yards rushing 2 TDs 0 yards receiving
20 touches

Four games in 2008:

123 yards rushing 2 TDs 25 yards receiving 1 TD
20 touches

72 yards rushing 4 TDs 14 yards receiving
21 touches

108 yards rushing 4 TDs 0 yards receiving
24 touches

178 yards rushing 0 yards receiving
25 touches

Three games in 2009:

152 yards rushing 2 TDs 0 yards receiving
30 touches

158 yards rushing 0 yards receiving
23 touches

149 yards rushing 2 TDs 12 yards receiving
21 touches

A grand total of 1256 rushing yards in 20+ touch games, for a guy whose career rushing total is 4030. In other terms: 32% of his career rushing yards came from games were DWill gets 20 touches or more. As for touchdowns, he rushed for 16 of his career 30—a little over 50 percent—and his one receiving TD out of 4 total, gives us 25 percent.

Week 1 Minnesota rushed 23 times against the Saints, Week 2 San Francisco rushed 26, and Week 3 Hotlanta rushed a whopping 50 times. Will Carolina give him his sacred 20?

Finally, I’ll finish where I started; at my first point of why I think DeAngelo Williams is a late bloomer. 2006 was his rookie season and he did not become a main part of the Panthers offense until the second half of the season (Week 10 on). For whatever reason, this pattern is all he knows, and he cannot get it going from the start of the regular season. Look at this:


717 rushing yards, 4 TDs

1515 rushing yards, 18 TDs

1117 rushing yards, 7 TDs



572 rushing yards, 4 TDs or (80% of yards, 100% of TDs)

1316 rushing yards, 18 TDs or (86% of yards, 100% of TDs)

937 rushing yards, 5 TDs or (83% of yards, 71% of TDs)

Now, do I start DeAngelo Williams this week (WEEK 4) against the crappy run defense Saints which could get him his 20 touches, or will it be foolhardy to even hope for the 20 because I know he will not do anything until Week 5? Will the house beat my gamble two weeks in a row?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A guy can dream

Where to begin? It’s been so long since I’ve had moment to sit down and write about sports. 100% of my fan base—all two of you—is livid. Don’t get me wrong, I have spent plenty of time watching, talking, and obsessing about sports since the start of September. There was even a two hour humbling sports moment last Saturday when a group of us went and kicked field goals after convincing ourselves how easy it should be. There was not even a shadow of a doubt in my mind that I could nail 35-yarders all day. After missing seven straight from 20 yards out and limping around today, I’ll be sure to put a button on it next time a kickers misses. In regards to new columns and in all seriousness, I could have popped something out, but let’s face it: I’m lazy.

I can’t wait until I get paid to be lazy. A guy can dream right? I know I do every day. For the last one and half weeks my daily day dream has been the same. I win the Power Ball lotto. In dream the prize is $660 million dollars and after taxes I get to walk away with an easy $250 mill. I take the lump sum obviously (has anyone ever opted out of the lump sum?). I dream of the obvious things like paying debts, taking care of my family and getting new cars. In the dream I was pretty practical with my car choices. I’d like a new Ford F350 diesel, I’d throw on all the aftermarket stuff I’ve dreamt about for years on my motorcycle, and I’d restore my grandma’s old 1968 Ford Galaxie, Chip Foose style. By my math, the damage done would be about $110,000 for all three. Not bad. No Ferraris or Bugattis. I asked The Boss, not Springsteen but the real boss, what she kind of car she wanted, and she wanted an Audi A4. Not a Rover or a Denali, but an A4. She liked that it was Quattro but most of all she liked the taillights. I tried to talk her in to something else with a bit more swag but she wasn’t having any. In the day dream I pretend she asks for an Audi RS6 Wagon.

Back in reality, I have other problems, real life problems, besides picking out new cars. At the start of the month, I looked at the Red Sox schedule and with their record, I deducted they could only lose a total of 7-8 games in order to make the playoffs. They’ve lost 10 already and for two straight nights they have lost to the Orioles if that says anything. With the way the Rays and Yankees are playing, it will be impossible for us to get in the wild card. But then again, the Red Sox accomplished the impossible in the 2004 season… (there I go dreaming again).

Luckily for me College Football and the NFL are in full swing and that takes away the sting of an injury filled Red Sox season going in the crapper. However, the crappy Red Sox season sting is replaced by a different kind of sting. Where to begin? I’ll go with college. Before the season even started I thought it was possible for the Cougars to go 7-5, if not worse. This was acceptable, whereas last year had the Cougars lost a game I would have been depressed and grouchy about it for the entire week. Now I look at this year and if they lost to Washington in the home opener, with Nevada’s D looming this week, E and I talked about it being feasible to have jumped out 0-4 (shuddering). We’ll be luckily if BYU gets to 2-2.

Everybody spends all their time complaining about the quarterback position and as a result I spend all my time complaining about the complaining. I don’t give two dumps about the quarterback job right now. Jake Heaps is going to be the main guy over the next 3-4 years (and officially the rest of season since Riley Nelson sustained a season-ending shoulder injury); there are much bigger problems, such as the team’s defense, needing addressed right now. I knew we’d have to work pretty hard to put up points but I at least thought they play some kind of defense to make up for it. Any defense really. I do not care if Heaps is going to break out and put up 300+ and two or three scores every game. I want to stop the others team from picking up six yards every time they rush the ball. I want our linebackers to wrap up and I want our secondary to not take the worst angles possible and consequently give up 83-yard rushing touchdowns. I don’t want to become Hawaii and give up 45 points every game and only win because we can score 50 plus. And I want my $660 million dollar Power Ball! I’m a dreamer baby!

To the NFL. The Cowboys are 0-2 and I’m not at point where I can rationally communicate how I feel about it. Needless to say I’m not happy. We’ll talk about ‘The Boys’ when they get a win under their belts. They’ll get their own column, don’t you worry. Relating to the NFL however is my coveted: Fantasy Football (FF).

(Quick rant):

Since the 2002 season I have been doing a keeper league with friends of mine from the state of Washington. At my own admittance, I was not the best at contributing when it came to posting and trash talk, but I held my own from time to time and made a consorted effort. In my defense, I always signed up for the league when I got the text or e-mail giving the go-ahead right away. Heck, there were times I even was on our league commissioner to get the league up and going when summer began to show signs of fall. This season I wanted a FF league I could do with people living close to me because I wanted to have live draft, watch games with the people in the league, and be able to talk trades face to face. Guided by God, like Leif Erickson and Christopher Columbus, I discovered something called an auction draft. For those of you still doing your FF leagues by taking turns picking your players (aka leaving your entire FF season to total and complete luck) you do not know what you are missing. I cannot believe I have been playing FF for eight years the way I have, for as long as I have. The last time I felt this jipped was this last July and ate my first kiwi.

Seriously. Kiwi. Who knew?

Now that I knew I was going to start my own keeper league auction draft—and with a little guidance from Bill Simmons—I set out to find seven others “to join me on this sacred quest”. All I know is I put W-O-R-K in for the league. I made it as close to actually owning and NFL team as possible, ironed out fun wrinkles to make the league unique. You name it; I did it and I took it to the next level. Little known fact about being a league commissioner: it is as fun as getting kicked in the nuts. I had no idea so many of my friends do not watch football. Every time somebody told me they didn’t watch the NFL, it was as if they were telling me they were gay. It was always followed by that awkward moment where you’re standing there, trying to recall in your mind any moments of the tell-tale gay signs, only to recognize the uncomfortable silence, so you say something like, “That’s, cool.. maann?” It took until the night before the Saints vs. Vikings game that every team spot was filled. To take a positive from the delay in getting the league together, having your draft the night before the regular season starts is awesome. You don’t end up drafting guys that get hurt in pre-season but most of all you don’t have to wait for 2-3 weeks to drag by before you see how well your draft really went. You get the night to digest it and then wammo: the season begins.

(End rant).

I must say, I love the fall. Baseball playoffs begin, College Football begins, the NFL begins. Plus, the perfect kind of cool weather settles in for about a month and a half making it the best time of year for motorcycle riders. The leaves change and there are thousands of canyons vying to be claimed the most beautiful. Throw the iPod on and let the judging begin. The only crappy part about it is for those still in school. That begins too. You can’t know the sweet without the bitter I suppose. With that I’ll leave you with a small recap of the FF draft and the first two weeks.

I took a big ass whiteboard from work (because we’re men and don’t do our league via web or do auto picks) and made our big board. I thought I’d crack it out in 30-45 minutes. Three hours later I still wasn’t done. I’ll never return it.

High note: We now have a high quality board we’ll use over the next couple of years
Low note: It took 3 hours to make

Ryan was in Arizona on business and couldn’t be at the draft, so we set up a computer to have him Skype in.

High note: Ryan was not afraid to throw dollars down on players. I was the first to nominate and went with the Jets D. Ryan paid $6 bucks for them. For a defense. A defense that he has not started once all season.
Low note: Skype wasn’t working very well so we had to switch to putting him on speaker over the phone.

Rob’s bench of five players scored 132 points (Arian Foster, Jahvid Best, Hakeem Nicks, Carson Palmer and Vince Young). The ten players he started only got him 96 points.

High note: Reaming Rob that Arian Foster got 46 fantasy points for his bench.
Low note: Rob has Arian Foster.

E drafted Beanie Wells and forgot to sub him out for his game. Had he played any other RB he would have won his game. He did the same thing again this last week. E is 0-2.

High note: E drafted Tom Brady and the very next morning Brady was in a bad car accident (unhurt). It still didn’t stop me from texting him and telling him “Tom Brady was in car accident this morning. Sorry buddy.”
Low note: E has Tom Brady.

When I was picking the league settings, it was my understanding that every single week; each team would be given $100 to bid on players in a silent auction. As it turns out that $100 dollars if for the ENTIRE SEASON. Let’s just say someone whose name rhymes with Bob, sob, Cobb, and knob picked up Jabar Gaffney off of waivers—for $40 dollars. I mean, even if the $100 did reset every week, $40 bucks for Jabar Gaffney? Really? I had to call ESPN and ask them what to do. Homeboy said I would have to reset the draft, solve world hunger and a million other things. The very next day, after I did everything, I noticed a new feature in the League Manager tools that allows you simply adjust every team’s budget. Like I said: it is as fun as getting kicked in the peanuts. To make up for it Kevin Kolb got a concussion, Michael Vick did 2006 Michael Vick things, I picked him up for $3 and yesterday Andy Reid announced Vick would be the starter for the rest of the year. Booyah. Did you know that Vick is fast like a NASCAR?

High note: Michael Vick $3
Low note: Jabar Gaffney $40

Lastly, I’m trying to orchestrate a mega three-team deal. Tell me what you think.

Trade #1
Rob would send Maurice Jones-Drew to Jeff for Reggie Wayne.

Trade #2
I would send DeAngelo Williams and Michael Crabtree to Jeff for Ochocinco and Wes Welker.

Trade #3
I would then swap you Ochocinco and Wes Welker for Andre Johnson and Jahvid Best.

Looking at each trade individually, it doesn't seem like some are balanced, but keep in mind that it is part of a three team trade and everybody is getting what they want. Rob gets 3 solid WRs which he is in dire need of, Jeff gets his much needed RBs, and I get major upgrade at my 3rd WR with Andre Johnson because this deal cannot happen with me. Below is the breakdown on every player since the 2006 season and their season averages. To start let's look at what you'll be getting.

Reggie Wayne
1302 Yards Receiving
8 Receiving TDs

130+48= 178 fantasy points per season (PPS)

1099 Yards Receiving
7 Receiving TDs

109+42= 151 fantasy PPS

Wes Welker
1093 Yards Receiving
4 Receiving TDs

109+24= 133 fantasy PPS

Bringing us to a grand total average of 462 Fantasy points per season. Lets look at what Jeff will be getting.

Maurice Jones-Drew
981 Yards Rushing
12 Rushing TDs
445 Yards Receiving
1 Receiving TD

98+72+44+6= 220 fantasy PPS

DeAngelo Williams
962 Yards Rushing
7 Rushing TDs
215 Yards Receiving
1 Receiving TD

96+42+21+6= 165 fantasy PPS

Michael Crabtree

625 Yards Receiving
2 Receiving TDs
(missed spring training, pre-season and first 5 games of regular season due to contract hold out)

65+12= 72 fantasy PPS

That is a 457 total points per season. If you adjust Crabtree's numbers from 11 to 16 games the grand total jumps to 470. In essence Rob’s team jumps up from 390 points(Johnson and Jones-Drew) + a potentially good player(Best) to 462 points (Wayne, Ocho, Welker). Jeff goes from 462 to 470 + a potentially good player (Crabtree). I get upgraded with Johnson and potentially good player in Best. Everybody wins.

“You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not…”

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Taking forever

Well... I'm slackin. But I think with good reason. And don't worry, I've got a draft that is almost ready to hit the presses and it's a doozy. Below is part of the hold up on new columns.

Start taggin' those back boards!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm gonna be famous!

I’m famous.

Or at least I soon will be… kind of, in a roundabout sort of way. Just roll with me on this one. E and I, which when said out loud sounds like B&I (shout out to the readers from the 253; if not from the 253 Google: Michael Jackson and gorilla) watched the BYU press conference today. Football Independence and all other sports going to the WCC are official; we knew that before. What we did not know before hand, was the 8-year deal Brigham Young inked with ESPN to have each and every home football AND basketball game air on ESPN’s network. I’m gonna be on TV. Every men’s basketball game I will be dead center, decked in white, right above the Cougar Club floor seats. On E-S-P-N. Told you I was going to be famous.

Tom Holmoe, BYU’s Athletic Director, said the ESPN deal made for some provisions stating, “If BYU has team that is really good, the games will be aired on ESPN’s primary channel, and if BYU has a season where they do not do so well, those games will be aired on ESPN2 or ESPN3. We’re comfortable with that.” Games can also air on ABC, an ESPN affiliate. Holmoe further announced a six game series to be played over the next couple of years with Norte Dame and if BYU finishes in the Top 14, they will receive an At-large Bid, a bid that some believed to be the reason behind the jump.

Over the last couple of weeks there has been speculation over the exact motives to move to independence. Some believed it was a coy to get invited to the Big XII in a couple years’ time. Other questioned it as a “panic move” and “rush decision”. My read on the news conference is to the contrary. It is certainly not a stepping-stone to an AQ Conference invite. It had more of a feel like BYU was announcing its swagger. You know what… this is exactly what we wanted. You’re all in deep, deep trouble. We know we’re good and have known it for a long time. We just signed a kick ass TV deal, so pretty soon everybody else will know we’re this good too. We are now positioned to make butt load of cash. That means better scholarships, better facilities and better everything. We’re now going to be able to sign high-caliber recruits with ease. Recruits that used to go and play for you. If the Big XII invited us five years down the road, we’d probably say no. It looks that good for us. Watch out.

Some journalist scoffed and ridiculed the program for even thinking about going independent. That it would be fool’s errand. All they had to do wait two more years and the MWC would become an AQ Conference. Going independent to reach the BSC would not proffer them anything. If anything it would make it harder to reach the goal. Tom Holmoe stated specifically that this move was about national exposure, not about the BCS, and this has been in the works for more than five years. Hardly a panic move. But let us endorse that claim for arguments sake. I like to play the Devil’s advocate. I’m good at it.

Suppose this move was entirely about the BCS and had nothing to with national exposure and the dump truck loads of cash to be made. Somebody please explain to me how the move is not smart? Actually don’t because you look stupid. You say this was a dumb move because the school was on the precipice of becoming a BCS conference? I want to know who said that the MWC becoming an AQ was a sure thing. It is under a four-year “review”. What does that even mean? Listen to who is saying this: The BCS. This is the same committee that sent two 9-2 teams to the National Championship game over an undefeated Boise State. And you trust these guys?!

“Don’t be so naive Calvin.”

This review is being talked about like it is supposed to be some undeniable sure-thing sign. The only sure thing that I know about the BCS committee is its insatiable ability to fascistically endorse the six AQs and rape over everybody else. Then there is the claim that BYU will not get anybody to schedule games with them. They already were getting big schools to schedule games and that was with the worst TV deal ever. Texas has been talking about building crown jewel TV network. BYU already has one and will finally be able to use it. I’m so done watching them play games on the type of channels you have to go over to your grandma’s to be able to watch. (Admit, you’ve secretly wondered where the channels your grandparents’ watch/get come from). An 8-year deal with The Worldwide Leader in Sports to broadcast every home game clears that up.

You mean to tell me, that a BYU football schedule including games played against Texas, Norte Dame, Boise State, Utah, and USC cannot crack the Top 14, and you believe this how…? Even if BYU loses two of those games they still get in. They lost two games last year, with a weaker RPI than the aforementioned schedule and finished the season ranked #12. This move to independence was not done as an attempt to crack the BCS or done as a panic move. However, I do feel that the University of Utah leaving for the Pac-10/12, quickened the process, but definitely was not the spark. The crappy TV deal with The Mountain and Versus is your culprit. Nothing else. I will not listen to the contrary. What I am most excited about is the recognition that will begin to take place over the next decade.

This afternoon at work, I was sending a fax to the University of Alaska and in the spot where it asks you for a return e-mail, I mistakenly put my personal e-mail and sent it off before realizing what I had done. I consider it lucky I noticed at all and I corrected the mistake and went about my day. It got me thinking about how most of us are creatures of habit and do things without really thinking them through. The order of operations in taking a shower, tying our shoelaces, logging in to a website, brushing our teeth and even filling out a fax return with the wrong e-mail. We don’t process what our actions are but rather what we’re trying to accomplish. We just do do do. I don’t know how that correlates with what BYU did in their quest for independence or why I brought that up, but I do know how I’ve felt by following the Mountain West Conference these last couple of years. It has been seasons of frustration from trying to attain some amount of credibility, watching teams from other conferences endure the same sentiments, and complaining the current system/format isn’t right. I never thought beyond two things.

1) getting rid of the BCS by replacing it with a playoff system or;
2) hoping to go undefeated and get a BCS bowl

Independence didn’t cross my mind, but luckily it did in Tom Holmoe’s. Even if the exposure reason is not the BCS reason, it still allows for a better chance to clear those hurdles. I’m tired of being a victim of habit. The habit of being snubbed. I’m not speaking just on the behalf of BYU either. I mean Utah, I mean Boise State, I mean TCU, and any other good D-I team that works just as hard as the LSU’s, Alabama’s and USC’s.

I sincerely hope that the MWC does become an AQ conference in two years. I really do. TCU and Boise deserve it. I’ll still be content with independence if it happens. I don’t hold contempt for Utah darting for the Pac-10/12. Sometimes you got to look out for number one, ya know? Never fault anybody for trying to better themselves and their situation. All I know, is that this is going to be one heck of a final season, and the last game in Rice-Eccles Stadium (as MWC teams) will be one for the ages. Oh yeah, one more thing:

I’m gonna be famous!