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Thursday 19th Oct 2017

That was the finale to the spectacular Seattle/Green Bay game of Sunday. 

There was a lot of grumbling, that either the Seahawks were inept, or then that Green Bay became so, but in the end, the last 10 minutes of the game were a spectacular dream-of-an-ending.

Note that this will be the final Gerund Zone till next NFL season. In two weeks, the Hotpage returns for its 20th season in this space. Though, there could be a special Super Bowl/The Season is Over piece somewhere on the site by me.

So, what did that mean in terms of DFS and watching, pensively, for seven hours?

Validating: Mason Crosby. Wow, after a month of this, I finally get the kicker right. Although, the problem with the Packers was Crosby was the bulk of the team's offense.

Mystifying: Football--all sports--can show us some kind of game or contest that is epic. You know, games that reflect all that is part of the life experience? Excitement, boredom, tension, triumph, loss. The Seattle/Green Bay game had it all. It was epic.

Admiring: It was obvious just how much Aaron Rodgers was hurting when he ran for that first down. The fact that he muscled through the whole game. Can't help but admire. Honorable mention to Russell Wilson, who hung in there after four picks, and a zero rating the first quarter to lead his team. Also to Richard Sherman, for playing half the game with only one arm.

Profit Making: Todd implored me to start LeGarrette Blount. 32.8 points, and with Crosby, enough to make some change.

Wondering: Where was Donte Moncrief? Did they even throw to him? The opposite of Blount.

Exhilarating: The last five minutes of that Seattle/Green Bay game were as fun and exciting as anything any of us might ever see.

Anticipating: OK, so the football season is over, but stay tuned. Mastersball will be very active in the Daily Formats in a lot of ways, including posting rosters at least five times a week, and offering chances to play us and brag about beating me (it really isn't such a big deal, you know?).

Last week, it was the Calvin Johnson catch that was negated in favor of the Cowboys. This week, it was the Dez Bryant catch, negated in favor of the Packers.

To wit, I have never, nor will I ever be a fan of Instant Replay in any sport. I know the arguments about getting it "right," but both those plays suggest that even with a million angles and stop action, play call is still largely a subjective function. Just like when the ref or ump makes a call on the side- or baseline.

I think the beauty of tossing Instant Replay away is sports are games by human beings. Let those same games be judged by human beings in real time, and move on. For, as we can see, the result of Instant Replay is that the game--and thus the flow--is stalled while we wait to simply see what another set of human beings think. So, why not simply eliminate the second layer and live with it? I mean, if you take Dallas and their playoff Replay wins and losses, it all works out over the long haul, right?

Scintilating: Julian Edelman, who killed us all with a TD pass (he was a college QB). Well, I had him on my FanDuel squad, so he didn't kill me. Just great.

Exciting: All the games during the divisional weekend. Carolina eventually lost the war of the line, but against the best team. Everything else was just great.

Disappointing: Peyton Manning. My cousin Richard, along with Todd, tried gently to tell me this was not the same Manning. Sigh. They were right.

Uncompromising: Tom Brady, who seriously delivers when the game is on the line. Honorable mention to Joe Flacco and Tony Romo.

Exasperating: I love C.J. Anderson, who went to Cal, and whom Scott Pianowski pointed out played in Berkeley with Keenan Allen, yet could only manage a 3-9 Pac 10 record. Sigh, the Bears also had Aaron Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch on the same team and could not get to the Rose Bowl, something I wish they could do before I die. Last appearance was 1959. Help.

Obscurring: Guys like  Tyler Clutts--did anyone seriously play him in a DFS league?--getting a score. Not to mention, is a guy named Clutts getting a TD not an oxymoron?

Anticipating: Next week. I like the Patriots and Seattle. I hope Aaron Rodgers can get close to full speed so the games are as good as this weekend. Going in, I like Brady, Dan Herron, Eddie Lacy, T.Y. Hilton, Doug Baldwin, Randall Cobb, Coby Fleener, Steven Hauschka, and Seattle's defense. Unless I can determine next week's Tyler Clutts (Luke Wilson?).

Happy Monday.

Yes, I know it is a bit late for our normal Extra Points post, but we are making a push to play and conquer Daily Games.

As I was discussing this with Lord Z, I noted that playing daily was potentially addicting, and Todd responded with an agreement, noting a bunch more gerunds. You know what gerunds are: they are verbs that become nouns by adding an "ing" suffix.

And, that just seemed like such a natural way to describe watching your team earn or lose points, as you grumble about who you should have played and who you should have benched.

So, with an eye on what happened, with a little bit of a glance on what lays ahead, here goes a start with a new angle.

Second-guessing: I planned on starting Drew Brees Sunday, against a seemingly weak Tampa team, but thought twice (thanks to Todd's prodding), narrowing things down to either Matt Ryan or Cam Newton, two of my favorite players. In the end, I made the right choice with Cam, but until kickoff, in fact, until the game was over, that was all I was doing (and not just the QB slot, either).

Exciting: Playing Odell Beckham, Jr. was fun, and he delivered, and it was cool watching him rack up points. However, there is an attrition factor as over 40% of my league played the best young receiver in the NFL. Meaning when I got 10 points from him, so did nearly half the league. Meaning I didn't gain anything on them.

Excrutiating: Rob Gronkowski was out, so I made a late move, and grabbed Tim Wright, who did virtually nothing (two points). In the process, I looked hard at Coby Fleener. Oops.

Satisfying: There was a lot of good defense Sunday, especially the Panthers, who completely dismantled the Falcons. Though picking Carolina to stop the red-hot Matty Ice was counterintuitive. So, I went with Kansas City, figuring at home, against a familiar rival, that a strong pass defense would have it over a good pass offense (Philip Rivers). Turned out that was right.

Exasperating: Eric Decker was right there, along with Markus Wheaton as starting options, but at the last minute I switched to James Jones. I guess this is kind of like second guessing, only more painful (and I am still shaking this concept down, and the categories could be, uh, changing).

Addicting: That it is. I am already looking at who to play during the first round of playoff games this coming weekend. Right now, Antonio Brown and Torrey Smith and Justin Forsett have caught my eye. Along with the Camster.

Anticipating: We are coming up to my favorite two weekends of the NFL season for the Wild Card and subsequent games are where the upsets really occur. Though I have to admit that with all that was up in the air yesterday--Atlanta v. Carolina really was a playoff game--that the postseason really did start a week early. How much fun is that?

I love the Wild Card Weekend, as previously noted (I like the Wild Card games in baseball, too, for exactly the same unpredictability reason), and this first weekend did nothing to dispell that.

So, let's get on with this week's look at games and performances and what it all means, if anything.

Exasperating: That was the sentiment that seemed to light up Twitter. A pathetic playoff game, although I was happy to have Cam Newton on my Daily team. But, the fact that Arizona--having the players they did available--were in the game, let alone held the lead for any period of time wrankled. In fact, I was watching with Diane (who doesn't really watch, but it is in the room) and out of nowhere, in total innocence and sincerity, she asks, "Is this a college game?"

Interesting: Same Arizona/Panthers game that irritated the universe, I found interesting. It reminded me of being at Yankee Stadium (the old one) with Trace Wood watching a crazy duel between the Royals and Bombers that ended in 10 with 11-10, when Johnny Damon knocked in the winning run with his sixth hit of the day. This was after Mariano Rivera blew a save, and I said what a great game it was. Trace looked horrified, and said it was a terrible game. Poor pitching, bad defense, and just generally sloppy. "Yeah," I agreed, "but it is way entertaining."

Perplexing: Kickers. Justin Tucker, 15 points. Adam Vinatieri, 16 points. Graham Gano, 10 points. I pick Chandler Catanzaro. Two bloody points, picking the guy on the one team it seemed clear could probably not score a TD (but get close enough for some kicks).

Humbling: .60 of a point is the difference between first ($600) and third ($300). (I hate you Chandler Catanzaro.)

Bewildering: Steve Smith rocks, while Reggie Wayne rolls? And Golden Tate was on my fingertips when I went Wayne.

Depressing: Golden Tate was on my fingertips when I went Reggie Wayne.

Anticipating: Hmmm, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady next week? Or Tony Romo or Cam Newton? Five days to think about it, then five more to second guess waiting for the next cycle.

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