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Monday 16th Oct 2017

Along with my mate Lord Z, I have been furiously working on our 2013 Baseball content.

While Z is banging away at projections and player profiles, I have been finishing up the Top 250 Prospect List for the coming year, and the plan is the completed spreadsheet will be available next week. Part of what I am doing differently this year is writing a brief--as in usually a short sentence of stats--set of words, even highlighting guys I think are really worth looking at.

That means this weekend I have spent a chunk of time sitting with my laptop, watching movies (Star Wars, Ben Hur, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind) and football reviewing the final list, positions, and adding the verbiage.

As of Sunday morning I had about 90 players to go, with the goal being get up to #200 today. As I gathered stuff from my office, Diane, who was folding laundry (my office also houses the washer and dryer, and I can tell you that LG products are very quiet), asked me what I was doing.

"Sitting on the bed, watching football, and doing player profiles," I replied, continuing with "since the Bears and the Raiders are both on at the same time the chances of my emotions being totally decimated by this afternoon are doubled."

She laughed and I parked on our bed in front of the flat screen with a couple of dogs and my book, cup of tea, AFL scorebook, and other paraphernalia.

As the games began every few minutes I would check the scores in the Utter Genius League where my 9-2 Smith Brothers were matching up against Todd's 8-3 New England Night Owls, and where our teams were pretty evenly matched.

So, I spent the first game tracking, and for a good hour the projected totals for both our teams were within one of each other, writing profiles and just enjoying the morning.

As the morning progressed I started watching Seattle and Miami as Russell Wilson is my #1 QB on the Smith Brothers (we play two Flex spots, and one can be a QB) and I started thinking what a pleasant surprise Wilson was this year, and that made me think of the five players I saw--or owned--during this football season whom I am happy to have.

Russell Wilson (QB, Seattle): In the Utter Genius league I drafted last, and froze Arian Foster, and by my first pick the top QBs were gone. So, I bagged Marshawn Lynch, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, and Miles Austin as my first picks, targeting RGIII and Oliver Luck as my fifth or sixth round QB gamble, along with either Carson Palmer or Jay Cuter. By the time my fifth pick came Cutler, Griffin, and Luck had run out, so I took Palmer and then Wilson as a backup. And, I have watched the guy get better and better and more confident. In fact he does nothing fancy, but so important, he makes no mistakes. And, I think he is going to get a LOT better. Though Seattle lost to Miami Sunday, Wilson had a great game (21/27, 224 yards, 2 TD). He has 15 TDs to eight picks (five fumbles) with a completion percentage of 62.1 and a QB rating of 90.5 (whatever that means).

Joique Bell (RB, Detroit): I tend to acquire RBs who a) get injured, b) underperform, or c) both. Like Ryan Mathews. Or Maurice Jones-Drew. Or Michael Bush, who scores twice when I don't play him, and occupies valuable bench real estate when I do. Well, I plucked Bell off the scrapheap in both the Kathy League Gifford and Lord Zola's North American Internet Fantasy Football League and the guy gets ten points or so every week. Five catches. 57 yards. And a TD. If everyone simply performed like that I would win almost every week.

Danny Woodhead (RB, Patriots): Always a scrappy favorite, I picked up Woodhead much like Bell, to fill obvious, and bye holes and in return the diminutive back has rewarded me with play very much like Bell. Those ten or so points every week, with 46 yards rushing, and 31 yards and four receptions and a score, it seems.

Bears Defense/Charles Tillman: One reason my Smith Brothers team is in first place is that I selected the top rated, turnover crazy Bears as my defense, and man, these guys are as good as a prolific QB. I mean, in the Utter Genius League I started Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, and the Bears, and the respective point total was 28.1, 26.5, and 23. Add in Tillman, who is the top point guy in the Kathy League Gifford (where we play individual defensive players) and well, the reason I am not in last place is due to Tillman, and not Jones-Drew, or Eli Manning, or Alex Smith. But, Tillman became a favorite last year when I saw a spot on him with his baby who was born with some health issues. The sight of big bad Tillman, holding this little special person, and speaking so intimately and sweetly just nailed me (I say this as the parent of a special needs kid who lived to be 22 years old, defying the ods by 20 years). Charles and I could be buds. Seriously.

Lance Moore (WR, Saints): OK, I plead guilty to not playing Moore every week, for in a couple of leagues I have some deep receiving corps, but when I do play Moore, I am almost always rewarded. And, even when I don't, the guy just does some amazing things connecting with Drew Brees. He did it a couple of times against the Niners yesterday, making me sad I didn't play him even if there were not that many points involved.

Fantasy football is a weird duck, as with loyalties. And, we expect the Ray Rices and Aaron Rodgers' to deliver. Which they mostly do. But, the guys who don't and should, like Hernandez, or Mathews, or Jermichael Finley certainly make us grind our teeth.

However, the zen is we also get the likes of Woodead and Moore take out a lot of the sting.

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