22 December 2009

Tuesday Gridiron (14/2009)

See these two clowns?  On the left, Jay Culter is doing as much for the Chicago Bears as he's done since late September.  As of this typing, his interception count for the season has drifted past the 25 mark.  The guy on the right, Bears coach Lovie Smith, has lately become better known for botching replay challenges than more trivial matters such as, I don't know, coaching.

Pick either man, and you'll have an idea of how badly my fantasy-football week went.  Here's the correct way to look at the final score for last week's consolation semifinal:
  • Team Venture starters:  1 touchdown, 58.61 points
  • Team Venture reserves:  8 touchdowns, 72.94 points
It gets worse:
  • The only starter who scored was Danny Amendola, the one nominal wide receiver who isn't supposed to score.  (He's in for his return yardage.)
  • My actual score included San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding and the fading Minnesota defense.  The bench's score didn't, because neither Kaeding nor the Viking defense had backups.  (Kaeding doesn't need a backup, but the Vikings sure do.)
The phrase you may be looking for is "career low."  It's hard to worry about beating the guy running the other team (101 points) when you've just gotten your ass kicked by your own bench.  I literally could not dump my two worst starters -- Bears tight end Greg Olsen (23 total yards in the last 3 weeks) and Houston RB Arlan Foster (0 points) -- quickly enough.  Yahoo! made me wait until Monday morning.

Actually, things could be worse.  In next week's seventh-place game, my opponent is WRs Aren't Our Forte.  That team started the playoffs seeded first, but now it's trying to avoid the playoff cellar.  That must really suck, because I'm unlikely to ever have a week this bad again.

At 7-8, my big decisions rest on the question of just how low Cutler, Smith and the rest of the Bears have sunken.  Specifically, I have to decide whether the Bears could provide a tonic for a Viking squad that's been struggling.  If so, then Brett Favre and the Viking defense keep their starting spots.  If not, Vince Young (at San Diego) and the Cleveland defense (at Oakland) might be better choices to start.

The Victory Weighted standings this week give virtually the same playoff results as the official NFL version.  The only difference involves officially eliminated Atlanta.  Their Strength of 29 leaves them within a game and a half of sixth-seeded Dallas (Strength 35), and so still in contention.  Even under Victory Weighting, the Falcons would need "help" from the Cowboys and the Giants.

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