Friday, July 25, 2014

Disgusted by NFL's views on domestic violence? PUT RICE ON ICE

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell just made a historically inept and unconscionable blunder, imposing a paltry two-game suspension on Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. I'm writing to ask the fantasy football community to join me in doing something about it.

Rice, as you no doubt have heard and seen, was accused not just of striking his then-fiance, but of knocking her out cold in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. The immediate aftermath of that incident was caught on video, as Rice is clearly seen dragging her limp body out of the elevator.

Watch it here.

I don't know any self-respecting man who isn't disgusted by Ray Rice's alleged (wink wink) behavior. Except, apparently, Commissioner Goodell. 

What's nearly as appalling as this act of violence is the punishment handed down by the league: Rice will sit out just two games.

Two games!

Get caught taking Adderall or smoking pot, and the Commissioner will suspend you for four games. Get caught again, and plan on missing half a year. Browns WR Josh Gordon -- clearly, a very troubled young man, if not a complete idiot -- is facing a year-long ban for repeated use of marijuana, a practice that is now perfectly legal in Colorado and Washington state.

An NFL player punches a woman so hard that she loses consciousness gets a two-week unpaid vacation.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
I'm sorry, but that is incomprehensible to me.

So what can you and I do about it? Frankly, not much. 

But 25 million of us fantasy football enthusiasts -- 90% of whom are guys -- can send a message to the league that we believe domestic violence has no place in our society.  And if the Commissioner won't take a stand, we will.

Join me in boycotting Ray Rice in your draft this year. Make a pact with your league-mates that Rice will be persona non grata. Designate him as ineligible for the draft and for waiver wire pickups the entire season. Compete without him, just as the Ravens should be doing.

Purely symbolic? Absolutely.

Will it make a difference? Let's see.

PUT RICE ON ICE. DON'T PLAY WITH RAY.

Tell the world: Real men don't hit women. Ever. And real leagues don't tolerate men who do.

I pledge to use my powers of persuasion to convince the four leagues in which I play to make Ray Rice ineligible in 2014.

Will you join me?




Monday, July 21, 2014

This year, draft better...

Looking for a better place to hold your draft this year?

If you have a Brick House Tavern + Tap nearby, I highly recommend it. Much better food and drink options, extremely comfy seating and plenty of room to spread out your Fantasy Fools cheat sheets!

Here's a video my marketing agency created for them. Alas, if only I could share the uncut version with you. Some pretty funny lines were left on the editing room floor in an effort to keep it respectable...

Even so, I think you'll enjoy. Please feel free to share it with your fantasy friends as well.

And remember...This Year, Draft Better…at Brick House Tavern + Tap!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hangin' with Dan Bailey

Had a chance to hang out with Dan Bailey today. We were filming a (hopefully) funny video for a new client, Brick House Tavern + Tap. They want fantasy football leagues to hold their drafts at their restaurants. Dan does a cameo at the end, and he played his part like a pro.

The video will be out on July 15th. I think you're gonna like it. In the meantime, if you have a Brick House in your town, drop by for lunch or dinner some time soon. You'll see why my leagues will be drafting there this season.

Monday, May 19, 2014

My 1st Mock Draft of the Year

Can't believe we're here already.  The Sporting News Fantasy Source experts drafted tonight for the annual draft guide that will come out in June.  Needless to say, what we all thought was right tonight likely won't hold up well over the next 3-4 months.

For what it's worth, here's what I did from the 7th position in a 12-man standard league (starting QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, DEF):

Pick 1.7: AJ Green, WR, Bengals -- I didn't like my RB options with the 5 "elite" RBs off the table at this point (Jamaal, Shady, AP, Forte and Marshawn).  Intrigued by Lacy, but he just felt like a reach.

Pick 2.6: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos -- Came close to taking him in the first round, so I couldn't believe he was still here.  With Lacy and Arian gone, I turned my sights on Giovanni Bernard as my lead RB.

Pick 3.7: Reggie Bush, RB, Lions -- Dangit.  Gio went in the pick right before me.  I'd like Bush better if this was a PPR league, but it's not.  The perils of drafting WR-WR...

Pick 4.6: Nick Foles, QB, Eagles -- My draft essentially hinges on this pick.  If Foles is what we saw last year (with Maclin instead of D-Jax), I'm golden.  Otherwise, I'm toast.

Pick 5.7: Chris Johnson, RB, Jets -- Yeah, hard to get excited about this, but as a RB2 in the 5th round, he sure seems like value.

Pick 6.6: Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys -- Wanted Jordan Cameron, but he was scooped up a couple picks ahead of me.  Also thought of waiting another round or two for Jordan Reed, but got gun shy about losing out on a top (albeit aging) TE.

Pick 7.7: Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants -- Now I have both of the new starting RBs in New York, for whatever that's worth.

Pick 8.6: Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles -- The only thing not to love about Sproles in Chip Kelly's offense is that guy Shady that's in his way.  Still, I love him as a RB4.

Pick 9.7: Hakeem Nicks, WR, Colts -- If he and Luck develop some rapport, he could be a bargain.  I certainly won't trust TY Hilton again.

Pick 10.6: Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals -- Not that I wanted him, but Johnny Football was taken at the top of the 9th round!  Ridiculous…  Dalton is a solid QB2.

Pick 11.7: Kenny Stills, WR, Saints -- Boom or bust pick here.  The 2nd-year wideout is #2 on the Saints WR depth chart, behind only the aging Colston.  Brees could make him a star.  Or he could be Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem all over again.

Pick 12.6: Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers -- The rookie is expected to start alongside Antonio Brown. Plenty of upside here.

Pick 13.7: Rams defense/special teams -- They have a chance to be very special this year.  Or not.  One of the sites I trust most has them ranked #2, so I'll take their word for it.  Haven't really paid that much attention to the defenses yet.

Pick 14.6: Greg Jennings, WR, Vikings -- Come to think of it, I haven't really paid much attention to the offenses yet, either.

Pick 15.7: Heath Miller, TE, Steelers -- Kept thinking I should take Ladarius Green, but how good can he really be with Gates still in front of him?  Went with a safer backup plan instead.

Pick 16.6: Matt Prater, K, Broncos -- Grabbed the top kicker before most everyone else pulled the trigger.  I know who I want last anyway.

Pick 17.7: Bernard Pierce, RB, Ravens -- Think Ray Rice is going to have a big year?  Exactly. Pierce is the next man up.

There you have it.  Not crazy about my starting RBs, but I'm pretty comfortable with the backups.  My WRs are stellar, my QB could be elite and the rest of my roster is solid.

At least that's the way it all looks on May 19...



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Offseason moves of note in the NFL

Greetings, Fools!  Long time no talk to.

And yet, just as baseball and college hoops fans are about to get all riled up, the NFL is back at the top of the news with another wild and wonderful free agency season.

As always, we're going to keep track of all the offseason trades, retirements, releases and free agent signings affecting offensive playmakers of note here.  Because if I don't keep a running tally, it makes my job in July really hard when I write my first real column of the season: Old faces in new places.

As of June 18, here are the moves that matter…

QBs
Mike Vick, Jets -- They say he won't start over Geno, but we'll see how many INTs it takes to shake that commitment.
Josh McCown, Bucs -- Will compete for starting job in Tampa Bay after stellar showing in Chicago last season.
Matt Schaub, Raiders -- Traded by the Texans for a 6th rounder.  Will he get his mojo back in Oakland?
Blaine Gabbert, 49ers -- The #10 overall pick in 2011 was acquired from the Jags for a late-round draft pick.
Mark Sanchez, Eagles -- Essentially swaps roles with Vick.
Jason Campbell, Bengals -- Will back up Dalton in Cincinnati.
Brandon Weeden, Cowboys -- Cut loose by the Browns.  Picked up as insurance by Dallas.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans -- Set free by the Titans, will try to get a start or two in Houston before some rookie takes over.
Shaun Hill, Rams -- Underrated reliever exits Detroit.
Josh Freeman, Giants -- Eli's new clip-holder.
Terrelle Pryor, Seahawks -- Last year's "hope for the future" traded by Raiders to Super Bowl champs for a 7th rounder.

RBs
Darren Sproles, Eagles -- Multi-purpose back traded by the Saints to free up cap space.  Shady's value just got clipped.
Chris Johnson, Jets -- CJ1K set free from the Titans to look for a hefty payday from another suitor.  Found it in NYC.
Knowshon Moreno, Dolphins -- Former Bronco gives Miami the versatile back they've been missing for years.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Raiders -- Will fight for playing time with Run DMC after leaving Jacksonville.
Rashad Jennings, Giants -- Former Raider moves to the Big Apple.
Ben Tate, Browns -- Arian's backup found a new home.  Interesting…
Andre Brown, Texans -- Houston found a new handcuff for Arian with the former Giant.
LeGarrette Blount, Steelers -- Ex-Patriot will compete for carries with Le'Veon Bell.
Rashard Mendenhall -- Retired after two consecutive injury-plagued seasons.
Dexter McCluster, Titans -- Left the Chiefs for a big-money offer from Tennessee.
Donald Brown, Chargers -- I guess this means the Colts are comfortable leaving their backfield in Trent Richardson's hands, although they also re-signed Ahmad Bradshaw.
Toby Gerhart, Jags -- AP's "handcuff" moves south, and could have a shot at a starting job.
Michael Bush -- Forte's backup released by the Bears.
Ryan Williams, Cowboys -- Arizona's RB of the future is now only in its past. Latched on quickly in Dallas.
Jonathan Dwyer, Cardinals -- Underachieving former Steeler follows Mendenhall's footsteps to Arizona.  Hopes for better results.
Daryl Richardson, Jets -- Claimed off the Rams' waiver wire.
Justin Forsett, Ravens -- Zzzzzzz….


WRs
Eric Decker, Jets -- Leaves Denver for 5-year deal in New York.  And POOF goes his fantasy value.
DeSean Jackson, Redskins -- Scooped up on April Fool's Day by Dan Snyder after the Eagles cut ties.
Stevie Johnson, 49ers -- Following their acquisition of Sammy Watkins with the 4th overall pick, the Bills dealt Stevie to San Fran.
Steve Smith, Ravens -- Aging playmaker picked up by Baltimore after being released by Panthers.
Hakeem Nicks, Colts -- Former Giant gives Andrew Luck a reliable weapon.
James Jones, Raiders -- Leaves A-Rod for, um…, T-Pry?  It was good knowing you, JJ.
Golden Tate, Lions -- Former Seahawk signed to five-year deal in Detroit.
Miles Austin, Browns -- Former Cowboy will try to plug the holes in Cleveland's WR corps, with or without two hamstrings.
Greg Little, Raiders -- In something of a surprise given their WR situation, the Browns set free the drop-plagued wideout.  Quickly scooped up in Oakland.
Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos -- Ex-Steeler will try to fill Eric Decker's shoes.
Andre Roberts, Redskins -- Will have a chance to start in Washington after being mostly a third wheel in Arizona.
Lance Moore, Steelers -- Set free by the Saints.  Picked up by Pittsburgh.
Andrew Hawkins, Browns -- Former Bengal should line up opposite Josh Gordon.
Brandon LaFell, Patriots -- Ex-Panther trades in Cam for Brady.  Will he emerge as anything better than an occasional bye-week filler now?
Jerricho Cotchery, Panthers -- Former Jet and Steeler ain't no star, but he's about all they've got in Carolina.
Tiquan Underwood, Panthers -- Well, Carolina has the former Buc now.  Does that make you feel better, Panthers fans?
Jason Avant, Panthers -- Former Eagle appears to complete a mediocre Carolina receiving corps.
Mike Williams, Bills -- Traded from Tampa Bay to Buffalo.  Brrrrrrrr!
Sidney Rice -- Cut by the Super Bowl champs. Retired in late July.
Santonio Holmes -- Released by the Jets thanks to a bloated salary.
Kenny Britt, Rams -- Underachieving Titan gets his chance to flame out in St. Louis.
Domenik Hixon, Bears -- Moves to Chicago.  Yawn.
Mario Manningham, Giants -- Returns to the team where he made his name.
Earl Bennett -- Released by the Bears, then signed by Cleveland after Josh Gordon got himself in deep doodoo. Then released again.
Devin Hester, Falcons -- Long-time Bear returner/WR moves south.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Steelers -- Will now underwhelm in Pittsburgh.
Jacoby Ford, Jets -- Ex-Raider swaps coasts but fails to upgrade fantasy stock.
Ted Ginn, Cardinals -- Former first-round pick will return kicks and catch 15-20 passes in Arizona now.
Brandon Lloyd, 49ers -- Remember back in 2011, when you would've cared?
Nate Burleson, Browns -- Will now toil in Josh Gordon's shadow.
Lavelle Hawkins, Bucs -- Former Charger and Titan will soon be a former Buc.
Josh Morgan, Bears -- Former 49er and Redskin should probably rent a place in Chicago.

TEs
Brandon Myers, Bucs -- Former Giant signs two-year deal; should start in Tampa Bay.
Owen Daniels, Ravens -- Salary-cap casualty in Houston moves to Baltimore.
Kellen Davis, Giants -- Move along.  Nothing to see here.
Ed Dickson, Panthers -- Former Raven will backup Greg Olsen.

Ks
Rob Bironas -- Long-time, reliable boot cut by the Titans.

Please let me know if I missed anyone important.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

No threepeat for the Chief Fool

Alas, it wasn't to be this year.  My hat's off to CBS Sports' Dave Richard, who swiped the Fantasy Football Writer of the Year trophy out of my cold, dead hands.

Congrats, Dave.  But be warned...I'll be back, keyboard in hand, to knock you off your pedestal in 2014!  Better enjoy it while you can.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Writer of the year again?

Not sure how this keeps happening, but I'm a finalist again for Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the authority on these things, the Fantasy Sports Writers Association

We'll find out next week if I can rock the threepeat -- if that's what you call winning three out of four years. 

Thanks for another great year, Fools; and cross your fingers for the Chief...