Saturday, October 31, 2009

Television Review-The League

Television isn't typically what this blog is about, but in this case, a show about fantasy football is appropriate to talk about. The League premiered this week, and while pilots are often not as good as the show turns out to be, this one has some glaring problems that seen like they will continue. As with most sitcoms, this one will live or die on its actors and writers. The league is effectively mediocre in both categories. It will never be a 30 Rock, but it is a bit snappier than a CBS sitcom. I'll continue to watch, but mostly for the subject matter.
However, it is the subject matter that is the biggest problem with this show. Most of the jokes fall into two categories: the guys take fantasy football way too serious, and the guys don't know anything about fantasy football. This strains my suspension of disbelief too far. We're supposed to believe these guys are willing to make career decisions and kidnap kids to do well in FF but are not willing to sit down and spend 2 hours preparing for their draft, or god forbid, buy a magazine.
When The Office referenced fantasy football with an illogical reference a few years back(noone would have ever traded a top rb for defense) it was acceptable. You don't expect them to know what they are talking about. But when your show is about fantasy football, you should probably know a little about it. It as if the writers of The Office knew so little about offices they had everyone sitting on futons and using typewriters.
Some of these jokes would have worked say 6-7 years ago, when it was much harder to get information about fantasy football. Without 24 coverage on major networks and free draft kits on every sports website, I would buy jokes like the kid being the Oracle. Not now. It is just too easy to obtain reliable fantasy tips. It reminds me of something Bill Simmons was saying the other day. On his podcast, he was complaining that fantasy football is all luck now. He couldn't be more wrong about this. What has happened, is that his advantage has disappeared. 7 years ago, he had a distinct advantage over his friends that did not have sports related jobs. He had a lot more information at his disposal. Now all of his competitors can catch up in a few hours the week before the draft by Reading Berry, Karabell or whoever. The extremely lazy can just use ESPN's projections and really be just as well off as a sports columnist. It's not luck, just an even playing field. Getting back to The League, the landscape has changed, and some of these jokes don't work, if they ever would have.
Now if, I were to make a show about fantasy football, and I did have this idea a while back(it was going to be titled Keepers) I would make some of the characters way to into it. I would have a character or two that was not well informed,(you do want the jokes that are thus provided) but that character would definitely not be that into it.(yes, I have put substantially more thought into Keepers than is probably good for anyone.)
While decidedly mediocre in most elements, the show fails miserably in a few key areas. But in the end, I'm going to keep watching for a while, which is really what they were going for in the first place.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mondays Minings-Week 7

Fantastic weekend at the mines, virtually everything came out right. Starting as usual with Houston, I am very impressed. The defense, as I said last week, is looking better and better. I believe Gore's poor showing reflects the defensive turnaround more than his return. A remarkable turnaround since the first few weeks. Running backs lookout. I now believe Owen Daniels will finish as the number one tight end, he has quite the connection with Schaubers. The one thing this team needs, is a running back. Slaton is great as a rich man's Reggie Bush, but he isn't a feature back. I said this after last year, but I'd be surprised if the Texans enter 2010 with a new guy, maybe Jonathan Dwyer of Georgia Tech.

Chargers blew the crappy Chiefs away. Tomlinson played decently, more a reflection of the defense than anything else. 0-8 on goal line carries in a continuing 2009 trends of coaches being morons on the goal line. Seriously, Norv? 8 times for the giant fork. Gates would have gotten a TD on his one attempt if hadn't been held, which earned a first down, unlike any of LDT's 8 tries. I must admit the Chiefs deserve this after tossing aside my Tyler Thigpen after he guided my to a fantasy championship last year. Bowe continues to be a touchdown threat without really piling up yards. Strange, but he really is just a great talent, without a real team around him.

I know it is blasphemy, and he is putting up fantasy points, but Adrian Peterson does not that look good. I'm worried. You could probably trade him and get an almost as good back and something else. I don't know if I would, I'm just worried. I think his 2010 value is slipping. Better to get out a year too early than a year too late. On the other side of the ball Mendenhall looks incredible. He still isn't getting enough carries, but he just looks so good. SWP shouldn't see much more playing time this year.

Once again, Driver, with the score and more yards than Jennings.

DWilliams puts up 70 against the Bills. Again, they aren't going to get easier than this. Bills are not a tough matchup. They were, but that was 2004 and we currently play in 2009.

Who dey think is gonna beat dem Bengals? Boom. Roasted. Benson looks like a rich man's Peterson. Palmer is on fire and that defense is stifling. This team is better than even I thought they would be, and I was their biggest proponent other than Ochocinco.

1. Cedric Benson
2. Vincent Jackson
3. Owen Daniels
4. Rashard Mendenhall

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NFC Schedules Week 7-16

1E 2D 3C 2B 1A Bye
Mediocre schedule, mediocre playoff schedule. Nothing suggests anything different than a stockpile of yards without the Tds to go with it.

0E 2D 3C 1B 3A Bye
Pretty good schedule but Jones has been shut down easily recently. Forsett might have a little more ability. If he starts to get more carries, he may be a decent option for those late season As.

1E 2D 3C 3B 1A
Gore missed the best part of his schedule but there is more quality left should he return. I have no confidence in Coffee except in the best matchups. A healthy Gore could run all over 7 of those games including a nice week 16.

2E 3D 0C 2B 3A
A schedule that might tempt you into starting a Cardinal back a few times. Don't do it. Don't do it.

1E 3D 2C 2B 1A Bye
Not the best part of the schedule for Peterson, in fact its pretty middling. Not that AD minds that much. You're playing him if you have him, you aren't going to be able to get him if you don't.

2E 2D 1C 1B 4A
Very nice schedule if Grant is your third back, he has more As left than anyone. He has been a bit sort on TDs but I think that straightens out, especially against those good matchups. Great finals matchup.

1E 5D 2C 0B 2A
Would you believe Forte has passed the easy part of his schedule? Looks like there won't be much success for him in 09. Maybe the new offense doesn't work for him. Maybe he just doesn't have it. Either way, there isn't much to like for Forte, including a brutal playoff schedule.

1E 3D 2C 1B 2A Bye
Medium to below average remaining schedule for Kevin Smith, who has satisfies his predictions and surprised me. Smith probably continues as he has, in the low end of the top 20.

0E 4D 2C 2B 1A Bye
Not a pretty schedule, not a pretty situation. Cadillac has feasted off some weak opponents, prepare for the famine.

1E 3D 2C 2B 2A
DWilliams will probably pile up points against those two As and Bs, leading fantasy owners to overdraft him again next year, all the while frustrating current owners with his erratic production. Hint: his playoff matchups are terrible.

0E 0D 4C 3B 3A
This is the best remaining schedule in the NFC. Scary good considering the numbers Thomas has put up in just a few games. If you can acquire Thomas, at any time before his excellent playoff schedule, you should do it.

1E 4D 2C 1B 2A
So sorry, Michael Turner. He may feast on those As, one of which is in the fantasy finals, but there is too much bad here, and he hasn't looked good against the bad so far. One other possibility is that he will face less men in the box from now on as teams realize he isn't the threat he was rumored to be. Still a trade based on his high potential could pay off.

2E 2D 4C 2B 0A
Westbrook owners have probably given up by now, and the schedule won't persuade them to change their minds. If westbrook plays, he'll produce, it's still a matter of when he plays.

1E 3D 3C 2B 0A Bye
It's not great but its the NFC East, great doesn't exist. Treat Portis as you always have.

1E 2D 4C 3B 0A
This is actually pretty good, better than the Boys have seen this far. I don't know if you should acquire a Cowboys back with the timesplit, but you should be happy with the ones you have.

0E 2D 4C 3B 0A Bye
Could be worse, Jacobs should do better against these opponents than what he's done so far. Its middling but h's faced a tough schedule to this point.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

AFC Schedules Week 7-16

Time for a schedule update. Once again, this applies to running backs, A matchups are good, and Es should be avoided.

2E 2D 2C 3B 1A
Not a pretty run of opponents. Unload your Charger backs while you can. It may seem as if your selling low, but this is actually the high point. Terrible playoff schedule ices up their cake. On the bright side, their air attack is crackerjack.

1E 1D 1C 4B 2A Bye
Good finishing schedule but if you are playing Larry Johnson at this point, you have bigger problems. This team is too bad to take advantage. In a very deep league, you might consider moving something worthless to get Johnson, who will have more value from here on.

1E 2D 2C 3B 1A Bye
Meaningless as noone's playing a Raider back. Will it be Fargas from now on? One note, if it gets settled before the end who the feature guy is, they play the Browns with nothing at stake during fantasy finals.

2E 2D 2C 3B 0A Bye
Doesn't look too good, especially for backs in a time share. Hopefully, my favorite UGA alum will see his value depressed and I'll be able to pick him up cheaply next year. Long term, I love Moreno's value, but I don't see much in the second half of 09. Move him if you can. Honestly I'd rather have Larry Johnson to play against Buffalo and Cleveland weeks 14 and 15.

0E 2D 4C 1B 2A Bye
Good schedule for a feature back, not for a time split or uncertain situation. I don't trust Maroney's health or Morris' ability. Will Fred Taylor be back?

1E 2D 3C 3B 0A Bye
The Bills really need those A matchups to produce and they don't have any left. Poor playoff matchups don't help either. The best remaining matchups are the next two, before the bye. IF Lynch has a good couple weeks, it could be a golden trade opportunity.

0E 1D 3C 3B 2A bye
Somehow Thomas Jones has put up fantasy numbers, despite getting absolutely shut out of several games and playing like 2008 Tomlinson every time I've seen him. And he has the easy part of his schedule coming up. I would never feel comfortable starting him, fearing another 12 carry 17 yard game. The playoff games are his bad ones.

1E 2D 1C 4B 2A
Brown has put up surprising numbers and has a bunch of playable matchups left. I still think his numbers won't hold up, but the schedule says they do.

2E 3D 1C 3B 0A Bye
Not that good, but Mendenhall doesn't need that good of a matchup. The catch, trade him before the playoffs. Terrible playoff matchups. I know I'm going to try to trade him for a receiver in at least one league.

2E 2D 2C 1B 2A Bye
Another poor schedule with scary playoff matchups. The gravy ride probably ends here for Ray Rice. Rice for Brown or even Slaton are probably both doable.

1E 2D 1C 4B 1A Bye
So apparently, it gets better for Benson from here on. Great playoff schedule, keep him, get him, do whatever it takes to have him on your roster.

1E 3D 1C 3B 1A Bye
You could play Lewis in those four matchups. Hopefully you aren't.

1E 1D 4C 2B 1A Bye
This is where Slaton kicks it in. Chris Brown has been discredited, the Texans have stepped it up as a team and there are a lot of good matchups. But low if you can, he gets the Rams in the fantasy semis.

0E 1D 4C 2B 2A Bye
Johnson got the tough part of his schedule out of the way early. He has possibly the best remaining schedule. His team is falling apart on him however and may have difficulty getting touchdowns. He's been a top 5 back without many TDs so far, it won't take many Tds to keep him there. Solid playoff matchups.

1E 2D 2C 4B 0A Bye
Pretty solid schedule for a guy who is currently in first and scores in bunches. Expect more of the same and a top 3 finish.

2E 2D 1C 4B 1A
If you have any Colts, your sticking with them, but I wouldn't acquire any. The second half is the harder half for the Colts, but its still pretty easy. Your still waiting for an injury to one of the two.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mondays Minings-Week 6

Starting with Houston, I believe they have turned the corner, especially on defense. Early in the season, their run defense was the worst in the league, but recently, they've become stingy. Benson had his worst game of the season. I wouldn't be surprised if they are considered an average defense within the next three weeks. Benson scored a td even in a bad game, he has established himself as a top back the rest of the year. Slaton is clearly a second starter, he will continue to stockpile yards but he just isn't a good touchdown threat. Owen Daniels should be the goto red zone guy from this point on.

In Tennessee, it seems possible that Fisher finally, after 6 games, gets it. White is bench guy. Collins is awful, give the ball to CJohnson in the flat. The playcalling at the beginning of the game was brutal, and it led to a big lead for the Pats. The Titan run defense gave up very few yards for a team down 50 points. Possibly the biggest disparity between a team's run d and pass d I've ever seen. Send every qb and receiver you can against them, but be wary of your backs.
Kerry Collins has got to go. He cannot play from behind, and that's where this team is likely to be. The games in which the Titans should be most effective are those where their opponent has a poor passing game. Teams like the Rams won't be able to take advantage of Tennessee's gaping weakness, and it should stay close, where CJ will have monster games.

I said it at the beginning of the season, and I'll say it once more: Don't be surprised if Driver ends up with more numbers than Jennings. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if Jennings beats out Driver from this point on, but there's no way he puts up more points than Reggie Wayne, and a lot of fools were drafting Jennings before him.

Don't expect Steven Jackson's touch down disparity to "even out" as the season progresses. He has a bad team, and he's not going to get to the red zone often. Sure, he will get a few, but he is a low risk, low reward play from here on out. This is why I warned not to draft him. Rumors have spread that he may be traded this offseason. If you are in a keeper league and it becomes clear you aren't doing anything this year, I'd trade for him. SJackson on a team like the Packers is a potential number one overall pick. Throw that ability on a team with an offense and defense, and look out Peterson.

Baltimore and Minnesota were not impressive on defense. The elite status of the Ravens should be called into question. Keep an eye out. On the running side, they seem to get gashed by top backs, but hold average backs to below average numbers.

Why on earth did the Saints not run Pierre Thomas at the goal line. That is the last place I would ever run Mike Bell. They will figure this out. Thomas will get more and more of the carries.

Is it too late to sell high on Steve Smith 2.0. I think he ends up in the top ten, but he won't be top ten from here on out. Giants will spread it around a bit more, and there will be more running TDs as it gets colder.

Hopefully Tomlin got the message. Mendenhall is a beast and SWP belongs on the bench. The Browns defense is actually coming around though. It looks much better than a few weeks ago. Derek Anderson, however is not.

If you can fool anyone into taking DWilliams off your hands after a big week, do it. This isn't going to happen again. He plays the Bucs but twice a year.

The Raiders looked really good. Very impressive on defense. Russell even looked good. All around impressive effort, it was the team that played week 1. I don't know where they were for 4 weeks, but apparently they don't play well until someone makes fun of them.

After week 6, I've updated my matchup rankings. As I feel more confident in them, and there are fewer teams that seem to be inbetween rankings, I'm going to post them. RB schedule analysis will be coming later in the week.

E matchups


D matchups


C matchups


B matchups


A matchups


Monday, October 12, 2009

Mondays Minings-Week 5

The mines were partially closed this weekend so the minings will be brief.

THIS has to be it for Chris Brown as goal line back, right? Singlehandedly lost two games for the Texans this year. He got TWO chances to punch it in. Coaches have to recognize their team strengths. Houston, like Philly for the past decade, doesn't have a power running game. Pull it back and let your qb make the play. That tight end flat route seems to work.......always.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville, who had a back that's perfect for goal line work, twice tries to throw it in, twice fails. Frustrating.

Who thought I would utter this quote before the season?
I'm worried about every back besides Thomas, Benson and Mendenhall.
That includes Peterson, who while grabbing touchdowns, has been unimpressive for several weeks now.

Chris Johnson needs Vince Young and fast. Collins can no longer move the ball, and with the collapse of the Titan defense, they are being forced to throw most of the game. This is the best receiver corps the Titans have had in years, it shouldn't be the offensive disaster we have been watching.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday's Minings-Week 4

Its a sad day in the mines, as the Titan's season is over. The first three losses were all close losses against good teams that could have gone either way. Then they went out and were embarrasses at Jacksonville. Kerry Collins was brutal, sadly he ended with a good stat line by throwing in garbage time, but he was dreadful when it mattered. Chris Johnson may be at risk of Steven Jackson syndrome, where he puts up yards but his bum qb kills drive after drive after drive.

To ease the pain, there will be a few "I told you so"s, starting with Slaton and Forte. Last week I said there would be better outputs against better matchups and they both rewarded patient owners this week. Not that Forte looked good, he didn't, but his situation allowed him to put points on the board. His value has always been in his situation. It gets better from here on out for Forte and Slaton.

The Mines' Colts Saints superbowl pick is currently 8-0. Feeling good there/

Benson and the Bengal defense were less than stellar, but I'm willing to overlook a one game slip up. Three games outweigh one at the moment, I'm going to pay attention to both next week.

You can probably drop Tomlinson now. Hey, if anyone picks him up, the joke is really on them. Funny moment from last night, analyst on SNF praises LDT for dancing around behind the line because he managed to dive forward and pick up 4 yards into a huge hole, than the next play slamming LDT for doing the exact same thing, only losing yardage because the hole was filled by a defender.

Looks like Denver defense is real, didn't see this coming at all. Becoming a dangerous matchup. If only they still had an offense. Buut, why is Sam Hurd the number one option for Romo? Sam Hurd being covered by Champ. By covered, I mean abused. Maybe Wade Phillips isn't the best coach.

San Diego, on the other hand, is a fantastic matchup. This was obvious in the preseason, despite the espn hype machine.

Seneca Wallace and Housh are becoming a good connection. This bodes well for Housh, Seattle will be behind all season.

1. Rashard Mendenhall, wow. Man can hit a hole and go. Here's hoping Willie Parker doesn't give him some veteran wisdom to flesh out his game.
"hey rashard, you gotta dance around more behind the line. you want a lot of lateral motion back there. hey rashard, when you see that hole, wait to make sure its a good one before you commit to it."
2. Peyton Manning is solidifying his status as the greatest of all time.
3. Antonio Gates made it look effortless, vintage 2007 Gates performance

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Top Ten

With current levels of confidence, if you were drafting now.

1. Chris Johnson
2. Adrian Peterson
3. Drew Brees
4. Peyton Manning
5. Maurice Jones-Drew
6. Pierre Thomas
7. Reggie Wayne
8. Andre Johnson
9. Phil Rivers
10. Brandon Jacobs