Each week, the Fantasy Island contestants will submit a preview for each of that weekend's games. The best preview from each game will be selected and combined with the others into one comprehensive guide, and points are awarded based on how many individual previews from each writer are selected. Get it? OK. We sorta do, too.
Panthers at Bears
A thought experiment, on the occasion of Panthers GM Marty Hurney’s Monday-morning firing: If millions of devotees followed your fantasy football team with the passion of NFL fans, and this team started the season 1-5 primarily because you used (wasted?) a first-round selection on Cam Newton, would you be out of a job? Newton’s fantasy points are that of a backup QB (13th overall), and the former no. 1 pick is regressing while contemporaries — Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Andrew Luck, RG3, to name a few — improve. Perhaps he’s just suffering from an especially lethal sophomore slump, but this is very concerning. As such, I expect a pick-six or two from the ferocious Bears defense, the 11th highest-scoring entity in all of fantasy football.
The way we define a benching is by asking the question, “If he had played well, would he still be on the field?” I bring this up because there were some borderline benching calls this week — a couple of those sympathy benchings, those-bruised ego benchings, those “If you throw another pick I am going to strangle you on national television so I am just going to put in T.J. Yates right now” benchings. The BQBL committee (read: some dude we’ve never met) has reached the conclusion that both Matt Schaub and Alex Smith were the recipients of this type of merciful benching this week. Even with those extra 35 points, their combined terriblocity couldn’t top what Philip Michael Rivers did last night. When Philip Rivers plays a division rival on Monday night, it doesn’t just go poorly, it goes straight Shakespearean tragedy.
Each week, the Fantasy Island contestants will submit waiver wires detailing their recommended pickups. The best waiver column will be published and awarded points as part of Grantland's ongoing contest to select our fantasy football writer. Get it? OK. We sorta do too.
What follows is a transcript from the latest meeting of Underperformers Anonymous (UA), the oldest support group in the country for underperforming fantasy football players. Names have not been changed, but some details have been omitted to protect the innocent.
Doctor: Welcome, everyone, welcome. I see a lot of faces here today — some old, some new. I’m Dr. Edwards, or Braylon, but most people here just call me Dr. B. I know what you’re all going through. I am living through my sixth year of underperforming, and my third year leading the groups here at UA. [Light applause in room.] Thank you. Our thanks once again to the Holiday Inn Paramus for letting us hold our events in the Springsteen Ballroom. This is an informal group, so whenever you feel like talking, you can. We just like to give everyone a chance to tell his story. Let’s just start clockwise from me, OK? [Nods to his left.]
For most of his time in San Diego, Philip Rivers hasn’t exactly been flush with weapons. This year — with Vincent Jackson’s bolt to Tampa Bay, one more year removed from losing Darren Sproles, and Ryan Mathews’s perpetual spot on the injury report — it seemed Rivers might have as tough a time as ever. And that was before the Chargers lost Vincent Brown. The second-year wide receiver broke his ankle on a touchdown catch against the Cowboys on Sunday, brutal news for a player whom one Chargers veteran described as “our best receiver.”
Originally thought to be lost for the season, reports are now saying that Brown could be back in as little as eight weeks, and the Chargers plan to keep him on the roster. Still, this leaves Rivers with one less target on the outside, and although the word out of Chargers training camp is that Antonio Gates looks as good as he has in years, there’s no doubt that this was a break San Diego could ill afford.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Monday.
Philip Rivers threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns as the Chargers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 38-14 win over the Jaguars. "It's disappointing not to make it to seven," said Chargers coach Norv Turner, "but wait, is this the playoffs?"
Welcome to BQBL 101: If you are Philip Rivers, and you throw a pick-six, what should you do with the next possession? Correct, throw another pick-six. If you are John Skelton and you hold on to the ball too long for a safety, what should you do on the next possession? Correct, hold onto the ball too long for another safety. If you are Curtis TAINTer and you string together consecutive three-and-outs, what should you do on the next possession? What was that? Go three-and-out again? Wrong, you should be replaced by Dan Orlovsky, a quarterback who is best known for spazzing out and running out of the back of his own end zone. (Click on it. He really did that once.)
This week even Philip Rivers’ twin pick-sixes with a Romo chaser couldn’t top the duo of disgusting that was the Colts’ Curtis TAINTer and Orlovsky.
Today is the day that everything returns to normal. No more costumes, no more candy, no more Charlie Whitehurst, and no more Tebowing. Please, no more Tebowing. I have seen enough Tebowing.
This week in football was so bizarre we all just need to get back to our regular lives for a few days to regain perspective. Tarvaris Jackson looked like Warren Moon, Drew Brees looked like Tarvaris Jackson, and the professional athlete who threw for the most touchdowns was Kevin Durant. It was refreshing to see Durant and the bros of Sigma Nu really embrace the lateral to advance the football. I have always suspected it could be more effective in the NFL. True offensive innovators, those Sigma Nu boys. I can’t wait to draft them next season in the Grantland Stillwater Oklahoma Intramural Football Special Teams Fantasy League.
Did you ever wonder what the dude who played The Greatest American Hero dresses up as for Halloween? Me neither. Let’s talk pigskin. Moammar Gadhafi and I had bad weeks. He lost his pulse and I lost 19,500 jermajesties (for you first time readers – Jermajesty is the REAL first name given to his son by Jermaine Jackson and a FAKE name used in this blog by me to denote a dollar value). This week –- nothing but winners. I swear to Tim Tebow’s God!
Some folks have been giving San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers some heat this week for not playing up to his admittedly high standards against the New York Jets this past Sunday. I'm not really worried about Philip Rivers not playing like Philip Rivers; I'm more concerned with Philip Rivers not acting like Philip Rivers.
It happened. Down 23-10 to the San Diego Chargers at the half, and in front of the home fans, Denver coach John Fox finally said: “Screw it. Things can’t get any worse. Let’s put that Tebow kid in.”
And so began the Tim Tebow Era in Denver. Tebow did his Tebowy thing. He ran quarterback draws out of the shotgun, yelled his face red after big plays, and ultimately came up short. But he did give Denver fans and Broncos BQBL owners a lot to look forward to. Denver now has a bye week, which it can use to make the Tebow package bigger, before the Broncos unleash it against the lowly Miami Dolphins. Sorry, I tried as hard as I could, but I simply can’t restrain myself from making Tebow package jokes. I am ashamed.
This week, the BQBL was filled with so much ineptitude that even Kyle Orton’s 34-yard first half, Michael Vick’s four picks, and Eli Manning’s game-losing interception couldn’t top the absolute pee puddle of a performance Kevin Kolb put together. The man who once started over Vick is now being benched in favor of the pride of Tarleton State — Richard Bartel.