#FLEX League Recap: Poker-Like Cruelty
By Jake Ciely
#FLEX League (link)
You're sitting there with pocket aces, you move all in and someone with a King-Jack off-suit calls. Flop comes out J-7-5, turn is a 2 and the river is a Jack. It happens all too often if you play as much poker as I do, and that same feeling and luck (or lack thereof) is exactly what I'm going through now. Luck. Fickle mistress, blah, blah, blah. She can go kick rocks!
As a reminder, I came out of this draft with Trent Richardson in the first round and David Wilson (minutes after the Andre Brown broken leg news) in the second. Demaryius Thomas followed them in the third with Dwayne Bowe and Aaron Rodgers next. This is a PPR league, so I felt as though I had a terrific "hand" with my first five picks. I loathe drafting QBs early, but Rodgers in the fifth was a steal… too bad he's been far from Rodgers-eque. And, you all know the disappointment that is TRich, Wilson and Bowe. Aces? Please. This hand turned out to be a suited 4-5 with an all face cards flop.
Too many poker references? I'll make it clear for you. Three straight weeks of under 100 points with two under 90 isn't going to win you any games. Just for one last proof of luck, I actually still could have won with 88.5 points if I had played Matt Schauf (@SchaufDS) who managed just 87.72 due to Jay Cutler, Larry Fitzgerald and having to start LeGarrette Blount. Just take my chip stack and put me out of my misery!
That score from Schauf helped Eric Mack (@EricMackFantasy) avoid his second loss, even though he scored just 103.94. Jim Day (@Fantasytaz) notched a second straight win with big games from Russell Wilson, Jamaal Charles, Rob Gronkowski and… Jacquizz Rodgers. We have three teams at 6-1 with Schauf being the only 5-2 team. Mack and David Gonos (@davidgonos) square off in the Matchup of the Week, guaranteeing we'll have another two-loss team next week. Ryan Hodge (@thefantasybums) and I are in the bizarro Matchup of the Week, as we both sit at 2-5. Who's going to be in last place all alone? The fans need to know!
Time to check in with the owners.
John Halpin (@jhalpin37) (My Lucky Opponent)
1. Nice win. Although, did it sort of feel like the Giants beating the Vikings? (Okay, your team is much better than the Giants to be fair).
I was 2-4 with Jimmy Graham on a bye. I'll take any win I can get, especially after scrambling to pick up Michael Cox on Sunday morning. MICHAEL COX!
2. Jordan Reed went from sleeper pickup to tight end stud in a few weeks. What are your expectations the rest of the way?
Robert Griffin III seems to really like Reed, and so do I. I'd have no problem making him my TE1 for the rest of the season. If you grabbed Reed as your TE2, trading the guy ahead of him would be an interesting move, at least if it isn't Graham, Gronk or Vernon Davis.
3. Let's role play - mind out of the gutter folks! - and have you as my team's owner. With Trent Richardson, David Wilson, Greg Jennings and now-traded Dwayne Bowe, would you be in "knock others out of the playoffs" mode?
Nah - there's still time to rebound, but you need to be bold. Nando Di Fino's team is in the mix, but his gamble on Michael Vick is coming back to haunt him (who could have seen that coming?), and he just used all his FAAB on Mike James. You have Aaron Rodgers and Colin Kaepernick - offer him Rodgers for one of his good RBs, and hope for a Kaepernick resurgence. (Editor's note: Halpin must not know of Di Fino's "I never trade for a QB" motto. I've been there and tried that… several times).
Additional thought: We talked early in the season about my RBs being shaky. I now own Cox, Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis. Is covering all bases with bad runners a good strategy? Good grief.
- I'm sending out bold offers left and right. Unfortunately, Rodgers and Demaryius Thomas are my only significant trading chips, and well, people aren't budging. As for Reed, big fan myself and completely agree with Halpin about trading/having him as my TE1.
Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) (Newly Dethroned 2nd Place Best Ball Owner)
1. After dominating the first five weeks and staying in first place for the first six, your entire team petered out in Week 7, sending you into second. Do you think you can easily recover?
I definitely think my team is good enough to stay in the mix. Quarterback is a bit shaky, but I like my talent and depth at each of the other skill positions. All picked after the ninth round, Terrelle Pryor, Knowshon Moreno, Brian Hartline, and Martellus Bennett have already helped my cause quite a bit, and figure to maintain their fantasy relevance going forward.
2. Which big name do you have more concern over? Arian Foster or Victor Cruz
I wouldn't really say I'm concerned with either guy. Both have already eclipsed 100 points and have been a big part of my strong start. Foster has been one of only a few solid options at running back this year, so landing him 10th overall was a value. I suppose I can be slightly more worried about him considering that he missed most of Week 7 due to injury. He seems set for a return following the Texans' Week 8 bye, however. Cruz is putting up big numbers despite a struggling Giants' offensive attack.
3. If this were a standard league, what's the one area you would be looking to improve/trade for?
As mentioned earlier, quarterback is my weak spot, but I do have some solid depth there with Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and Pryor. I don't mind that too much in Best Ball, but in a normal league, I'd eye an upgrade.
- Clay built a rather deep team outside the QB position, and I think he'll be in the hunt. As he said, QBs could be his downfall. Alex Miglio (@AlexMiglio), the new leader, lost Jay Cutler but has Cam Newton, strong WRs and decent RB depth if Stevan Ridley can maintain his scoring ways. Jonathan Bales (@BalesFootball) and Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) present threats as well, with Peyton Manning single-handedly making Bales a contender and Bloom just praying that Steven Jackson can return soon.
And here I thought I was going "all in" on Mike James. Nope, my $71 (out of $72 left over) bid on James wasn't enough. Di Fino with his 87 running backs topped us all with a $95 bid. Jeff Mans won Darrius Heyward-Bey for $9, which is a decent gamble. Can DHB step up?… or the better question should be, "Can DHB consistently catch the ball, finally?" Tim Heaney (@Tim_Heaney) grabbed Brandon Bolden for $8, which I like in a PPR league, and Halpin picked up Peyton Hillis and Jeremy Kerley for $5.
For more waiver wire recommendations, make sure to check out John Kerwin’s Waiver Wire Matinee.
Assuming I can't swing a deal, I head into Week 8 with Joique Bell and Greg Jennings in my lineup. That's all you need to know. Hey, maybe my off-suit 4-7 can hit… maybe.
Best Ball (link)
Some additional recap notes (much was touched on with Clay): Bob Harris (@footballdiehard) had a big week, only topped by 0.76 points via Bloom's team, and jumped into fifth place. Ryan Bonini (@ryanbonini) slipped back to seventh with JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) joining Harris in passing Bonini. Nick Raducanu just can't climb out of last place with a 113.04 score. Not good my friend, not good.