#FLEX League Recap: If Only...
By Jake Ciely
#FLEX League (link)
Wouldn’t you know it? The only two losses for Jamey Eisenberg (@JameyEisenberg) come at the hands of yours truly. The man has dominated this league, and yet, my patchwork team found a way to give him his only defeats. As I've continued to say… if only.
I said it a few weeks back (and multiple times since), things could have been so much different, and these Eisenberg wins would have meant much more. If only… Andre Brown hadn’t broke his leg during our draft causing me to pounce on David Wilson in the second round. If only… Aaron Rodgers hadn’t slipped past Eric Mack’s eyes (@EricMackFantasy) and been available in Round 5. And I could go on, but you’ve heard it all before. If only… I could have easily been in this playoff hunt – actually, had a berth locked in – but so much just went so wrong.
Even after all of my luck and misfortune, there is still just one person that receives my nomination of Fantasy Turkey of 2013. That player is none other than Trent Richardson.
A consensus Top 10 pick. Check. Arguments for Richardson becoming a Top Five running back under the new coaching regime. Check. Comparisons to Adrian Peterson. Check. Drafted ahead of LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch and Matt Forte. Check. Consistent RB1 performances. Uh, hold on. Multiple 100-plus yard games. Err, wait. Continued double-digit fantasy point games. Hrmm, well. His team's go-to workhorse back. Yea, about that.
Richardson has one double-digit game, which sadly is half the number of touchdowns he has. The mighty TRich is averaging a pathetic 2.9 yards per carry and hasn't topped 60 yards all season. Want a few names ranking ahead of Richardson? His teammate Donald Brown along with Mike Tolbert, Bilal Powell, Jacquizz Rodgers, Zac Stacy, Joique Bell, Lamar Miller(!) and even Arian Foster, who played less than six and a quarter games. Sure, Aaron Rodgers' injury hurt teams, but that's an unfortunate circumstance. Ray Rice has disappointed, as did Doug Martin prior to his own injury and C.J. Spiller deserves mention as well. But no one, not one single fantasy player, has derailed seasons and angered owners as much as Richardson has. When you are a Top 10 pick and find yourself on waivers in Week 10 without an injury issue… you are an overgrown, overstuffed, over-roasted turkey! Oh, and let's not forget two NFL teams wasted a first round pick on him. TWO!
David Gonos (@davidgonos) lost his second straight game, opening the door for Matt Schauf (@SchaufDS) to steal the first round bye. John Halpin (@jhalpin37) and Scott Pianowski (@scott_pianowski) rolled along, locking in their playoff berths. Nando Di Fino (@nandocbs) has a slim hope of making the playoffs thanks to Eric Mack's (@EricMackFantasy) fifth straight loss (the man started 5-0 and was the last undefeated team!).
Jamey Eisenberg (Week 12 Opponent)
1. At all disappointed that I'm the only one to have taken you down... now twice?
You are my kryptonite. If I'm going to lose to someone, I'm honored to lose to the commissioner for all the hard work that you do.
2. If Zac Stacy is out this week, how confident would you be in Benny Cunningham (if you owned him)?
I would consider Stacy a must-start option at this point no matter the opponent. I would consider Cunningham just a flex option against the 49ers on the road. The matchup is tough, and I don't have enough faith in Cunningham to start him across the board.
3. The big question: I campaign for how underrated he is yearly, yet everyone says you can't win championships with Tony Romo. Which side are you on?
Romo is a Top 10 quarterback, and you probably drafted him with a mid-round pick, meaning he should be surrounded by a lot of talent on your fantasy team if things went right. I have no need to look for another quarterback with Romo having a standout receiving corps, a great schedule ahead and a bad defense, meaning a lot of throwing down the stretch.
Alex Miglio (Best Ball Leader) (@AlexMiglio)
1. You took hold of first a few weeks back and have held strong, even with Clay making up 35 points on you last week. Do YOU believe in your chances to win (FYI, no one ever says yes)?
I do believe I can win this, but it all hinges on Cam Newton and Brandon Pettigrew. A few off weeks by those two could sink me, given injuries have killed my depth at QB and TE. It was nice to see my running backs picking things up when LeSean McCoy was on a bye. Hopefully, they will do well enough to give me a nice RB2 score from here on out.
2. As a Rashard Mendenhall owner, do you think this his reemergence will stick or just another few-week flash?
I think this is another few-week flash. He has been touchdown dependent for his fantasy points, and I think Andre Ellington is far more talented. But Mendenhall is getting the goal line work and a larger portion of the touches in that backfield, so he has good odds to produce something every week.
3. Who is your fantasy turkey for 2013?
Justin Blackmon. I wish I had gambled on Josh Gordon instead. Can you imagine this team with Josh Gordon on it?
VERY quiet week. Not only are we in Week 13, but we've picked those waivers like those turkey bones come Thursday! I snagged Benny Cunningham for nada, and I was surprised. Don't get me wrong, I'm not starting him against the 49ers, but Zac Stacy is no guarantee for this week or next. I'll stash him. The "big" bid of the week went to John Halpin with Brandon Bolden at $5. I understand it. But I also don't want anything to do with the Patriots backfield outside of Shane Vereen in a PPR league! Eisenberg made a nice pickup with Julian Edelman for free. But, as much as I like his upside, I still hate the inconsistency (what do you know, it's the Pats).
For more waiver wire recommendations, make sure to check out John Kerwin’s Waiver Wire Matinee.
It all comes down to this. While most teams are locked into the playoffs, a bye is on the line between Gonos and Schauf. If I somehow take down the top two teams in back-to-back weeks, and Schauf can topple Eisenberg (hey Matt, I can show you how), then Schauf gets the bye as long as he outscores Gonos by seven points. If Mack wins, he's in. If not and Nando beats Tim Heaney (in the bag, sorry Tim), Nando is in. If Mack AND Nando lose, and I beat Gonos AND outscore Mack by 33 points, I'm in. HA! That's like trying to calculate the odds of that last NFL team with a playoff shot that also needs about 1,600 things to break their way. Ah well, as I've said already (it'll be on my tombstone) "If only…"
Best Ball (link)
As mentioned, Miglio (@AlexMiglio) is still holding on to first, but Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) closed the gap by a good margin – just a 27.42 lead for Alex. JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) kept pace, only sliding eight points back from Clay with a 161.38 score. Jonathan Bales (@BalesFootball) jumped back into fourth with the week's top score of 196.50, while Bob Harris (@footballdiehard) and Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) round out the Top Six per the norm.