James M. Toppa Sr. Memorial Fantasy Football League

Week 14 Power Rankings

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ToppasXmas

Well it’s officially a week until Christmas. I know it doesn’t really feel like it. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving was just 3 weeks ago. Maybe it’s because it was 65 degrees on Sunday. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done any Christmas shopping or gone to any Holiday parties. I dunno.

But if you’re still looking for that perfect gift for that special someone, Bloomingdales reminds you…

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…why not give her the gift she’d never expect! Nor remember.

In order to get myself in the Christmas spirit let’s throw together some quick Christmas #PowerRanks

White Elephant Gifts

In case you’ve never been to one of these wonderful events, it’s like a Secret Santa where you get to steal other people’s shit. You may also know of them as Yankee Swaps. And if you happen to end up at one where they hilariously call it a “Red Sox Swap,” I want you to roll your eyes really hard when they call it that. Like, really, really exaggerate the eye roll. Make them really feel your contempt for their crappy joke.

Anyway, I think I might hate these parties. One, I hate the anxiety of thinking my present is going to get stolen by someone at any moment and replaced with a cat pillow. Second, there’s nothing worse than getting your drink on, having a good time, then someone slams on the breaks and makes you sit around and watch everyone open gifts one by one while explaining the goddamn rules 456 times.

But if you are invited to one of these horror shows, here’s a list of things you should buy, ranked, to ensure that you will win your White Elephant party. I’m not sure what winning a White Elephant party is. I consider myself an actual human being so I like to think of winning as giving the best gift. But I suppose there are some monsters out there who think you win if you steal from Grandma and come away with the best gift. I know for sure, that losing a White Elephant party is leaving with the worst possible gift.

1. Chromecast ($30)

If you’ve got a limit that’s over $20 because you’re a baller, or, you know, an adult, Chromecast is the way to go. AppleTV is better, but being able to stream ESPN, Netflix, Hulu, SundayTicket, HBO GO, and more for that price point can’t be beat. This will be, by far, the most coveted gift at your White Elephant party. Your aunt will punch your cousin in the face for this bad boy. They should just call White Elephant parties, “Chromecast Parties.” Everyone just buy and exchanges Chromecasts. Merry Christmas.

2. The Rap Yearbook by Shea Serrano ($11.37)

This book is so good. It’s entertaining as hell while being informative, albeit about stuff that isn’t all that improtant. It’s basically like if I had written a book about hip-hop, but I was actually good at writing.

3. Booze ($0.05 below your limit. Don’t be an asshole)

Don’t over think it. Everyone likes booze. Well, except for alcoholics. But even then, you could argue, maybe they like booze a little too much. Those people can always then trade it out for something they would rather should have.

4. Cards Against Humanity ($25.00)

The added bonus is that you get to play after the White Elephant shitshow is over.

5. Novelty T-shirt ($19.99)

That “Haters gonna Hate. Potatoes gonna Potate.” T-shirt is good for a chuckle in the moment, but by the time you get home, it’ll have sunk in: That shit is not funny. And now you have a shirt that says something not funny on it. You will NEVER wear it.

6. Christmas ornament ($17.95)

Ugh! Why do people give Christmas ornaments for Christmas. Not only does this gift suck, I can’t use it for 11 months. I’d be more excited if you gave me baby clothes.

7. CD Wallet ($9.99)

You know… for all those CDs you have!

8. Fancy Soap ($10.00)

There is nothing worse than fancy soap. Sure it has a wonderful fragrance and awww look, it looks like little pieces of fruit! But you will never use it. You don’t just waste fancy soap on your everyday bathroom activities. It must be a SPECIAL OCCASION. And guess what? There is no occasion special enough to be worthy of fancy soap.

Christmas Movies

There are two types of people in this world: Those people who’s favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard and those people who are wrong.

Having a favorite Christmas movie is a hot take everyone is expected to have. “What do you mean you don’t know?!? What kind of person doesn’t have a favorite Christmas movie?! Do you hate Christmas!?!” For no other genre of movie does this happen. Comedy? Action? Rom-Com? Whatever you say, people will, at worst, be like “Really?? Okay…” then walk away. Unless you say Heavyweights. That movie sucks. Thinking about it, I bet Horror movie fans have some scorching hot takes on the greatest horror movie of all time. Those people seem really judgy.

Anyway, as previously mentioned:

1. Die Hard

2. Christmas Vacation

3. Die Hard

4. Die Hard

5. Elf

6. It’s a Wonderful Life

7. A Christmas Story

8. Die Hard

9. Scrooged

10. Home Alone

I’m gonna have to go back and revisit this one. I remember enjoying it as a kid, obviously. Then, throwing some shade on it as I got a little older, mainly, because I couldn’t get over the fact that Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern would, at best, have the worst case of CTE ever recorded, and at worst, be very, very, very dead. But I’ve heard some friends saying they went back and said it was amazing. Not just nostalgia-awesome, but genuinely awesome.

11. Miracle on 34th Street

12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Chuck Jones animated version with Tony the Tiger singing the songs. Not the shitty Jim Carey version. Fuck that movie.

What you won’t see on this list is: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. This is a movie that one of my British aunts and uncles got me for Christmas one year. The British have a weird sense of Pop Culture, always remember that. Anyway, this movie was horrible. Even my 12-year-old self could recognize how gawddawful this was.  All I remember is some really bad actors in green face paint and green spandex kidnapped Santa. So. Bad. It has 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was so bad they made a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode out of it.

Christmas Song

1. Christmas in Hollis – Run-DMC

I know it’s not a traditional pick, but this song is dope. I can listen to this song on repeat. Put it on Christmas eve and I guarantee Nana will be nodding her head.

2. Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby & David Bowie

How’s this one for a traditional pick? Not that traditional either, I know. I love the awkward banter in the beginning of this song. I love picturing Bing Crosby drinking all the scotch, being like “What’s up with this dandy boy?” and David Bowie continuing to not give a fuck.

3. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

4. Last Christmas – Wham!

5. Happy Xmas! (War is Over) – John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Maybe this one is because my dad brainwashed me to love all things Beatles when I was a little kid. Maybe I’m a sucker for little kids singing along to a song.

6. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Jackson 5

Dammit! Young Michael Jackson had some motherfuckin’ pipes!

7. Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi Trio

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8. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

I’m not gonna lie. I used to really dig this song. How can you not? It was Mariah in her prime, back when she was Queen Diva. And it’s super up beat, you can’t help but getting caught up in it. But this song has been beaten so far into the ground, that it’s dead and buried then came back to life and had its head chopped off and buried again. I can’t even hear this song without thinking about walking around the aisles of Target.

Quick Hits

White Lights or Colored Lights?

White Lights. Clearly. This is Christmas, not some tiki lounge in Tampa. Don’t tell anybody this, but my family uses colored lights on their tree and somehow it looks good! I will deny this forever.

Fake Tree or Real Tree?

Real Tree. But having my own place has helped me appreciate the practicality of a fake tree. I get it. It fits in your closet. One time purchase. No needles. But what do I know? I live in New York. My Christmas tree looks like this:

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Eggnog: Yeah or nah?

Is there booze in that shit, then fuck yeah! Booze milkshake?? Don’t mind if I do! But if there’s no booze in it, and it’s just a carton that you got from Stop & Shop? Thanks, I’ll pass.

Playoff Recap

#1 JPP’s Finger Bang 181.80

#8 deMARYius WOODhead 151.20

A.A.Ron is not too blame in this one. He could’ve done better by not handing the ball off to Eddie Lacy every other down (who saw that coming?!), but he played about equally as well as TFB in this matchup.

In this matchup there were 10 players with over 15 points. Unfortunately for Woody, more of them (6) belonged to Brendo. Woody also had a lot more duds this week with Michael Crabtree, Shane Vareen and Devonte Parker all failing to even score 2 points (1.90, 1.00, 1.60, respectively).

But in the end, Brendo showed why he’s the number one seed, putting up the most points of any team this week. No payout for you though Brendo. The invitation strictly says “regular season only” and you don’t mess with the Commissioner Woodell.

#7 #BroNationEjaQlation 157.00

#2 CrisCartersFallGuys 143.85

It was a weekend full of injuries, none bigger than Andy Dalton. Certainly none bigger for Austin. That’s what you get with you play with fire crotches, you get burned. If Austin had played Drew Brees instead, he would’ve cruised to victory. Instead, #Nick got great performances out of Tyler Lockett (32.40 points) and Willie Snead (20.20), but it was those 6.00 bullshit points from DeAndre Hopkins that was enough to pull him into a 1.50 point lead after Sunday night. On Monday night, with no players left for Austin, #Nick got 11.50 points from one of his LB to put the matchup away for good.

#3 Ladies and Edelman 137.40

#6 Big D Brady 127.65

You’ve got to be solid on all sides of the football, not just offensively. Cam Newton put up 37.65 points for PWood’s squad, followed by Sammy Watkins scoring 17.20. That was cancelled out by Jameis Winston’s 17.50 points combined with 39.60 freaking points from Odell Beckham.

The story of this matchup was Defense and Special Teams. PWood’s Kicker, Defense and two Individual Defensive Players combined for 27.50 points. Micho’s, on the other hand, combined for 56.00. That would be the difference in the end.

#5 OBJYN 128.55

#4 ScottHanson’sFluffer 115.80

One more reason to hate Thursday Night Football! I knew I was doomed by the end of that game. Sure, Carson Palmer had 33.80 points, which is very good. But I knew I needed a “very great” game from him to pull this off. Same for Adrian Peterson, 11.60 points is not bad. But I needed a 25-30 points from him this week to pull out the victory.

As a Patriots fan this could’ve been an awful week if the Pats didn’t destroy the Texans. I ended up getting beat by the Jets and the Ravens this week. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 3 TDs, ending up with 36.45 points, and when the stupid Jets weren’t throwing it all over the field, Chris Ivory was busy running for 101 yards, racking up 17.70 points. On my team, two Baltimore Ravens, Javorius Alen and Kamar Aiken, totaled just 11.80 points.

Looking back on it, this was pretty ugly for all players involved. A sad end to a good season. At least I made the playoffs. It was touch and go when I lost 5 straight in the middle of the season. When does my “Top 8” T-shirt come in the mail?*

*There’s an Indianapolis Colts joke to be made here

Props Over Here

  • Timmy stops emailing me props (-1000)
  • No one sends me Dog Shit of the Year nominations (-500)
  • Tyler Lockett scores 2 TDs (-150)
  • Micho eats chourico this weekend (-400)
  • Austin eats chourico this weekend (+400)
  • Tom Brady & Rob Gronkowski combine for a touchdown: 1.5 Over (-110) /Under (+120)
  • Woody gets drunk during the Pats game (-200)
  • Camera shots of Andy Dalton in a cast: 11.5 Over (+200) / Under (-150)
  • Times I say “God, Dan Fouts is the fucking worst!”: 3.5 Over (-200) / Under (+140)
  • The Panthers lose (-220)
  • Raleigh replies to the group text (+5000)
  • Micho replies to the group text (-2000)
  • Devonta Freeman >85 yards (+125)

This week’s matchups:

West Lot Conference Championship Game

#3 Ladies and Edelman vs. #6 OBJYN

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Micho riding high after defeating last year’s champ! JD looking to lose in the championship game again! Who’s going grab victory by the nuts and go to the Toppa Bowl.

Previous Matchup: JD routed Micho 156.75 – 114.00 in Week 10. I have no idea if this was the blowout of the week, but it could’ve been. JD had huge performances from Eli Manning (38.05 points), Brandin Cooks (25.90) and Charcandrick West (31.10). Micho got lousy output from everyone on his team not named Odell and… Joe.

Key Players for Ladies and Edelman: Odell Beckham. This time last year, he turned into the monster we know now and propelled PWood into championship victory; Devonta Freeman, remember when he was the best player in Fantasy? Colby Fleener or Jacob Tamme. Right now the Tight End spot is wide open in Micho’s lineup. He’s trying to send a message to one of these guys, that the job is theirs, they’ve just got to go and take it. Strong motivational tool from Micho. Just kidding, Tight End never matters. Until you’re matched up against a guy who inexplicably scores 30.

Keyplayers for OBJYN: After riding Ryan Fitzpatrick to victory, JD just cut him! That’s some Belichickian shit right there man. Will he put the ball in Eli’s hands this week?; Julio Jones, who needs to revert back to the monster we saw earlier in the season for JD to pull off the upset. He probably won’t though, because Atlanta sucks!

East Lot Conference Championship Game

#1 JPP’s Finger Bang vs #7 #BroNationEjaQlation

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Nick once again has the highest predicted score for the week. Has he been able to turn things around for good or will his losing ways show their ugly face this week? And Brendo, despite being the number one seed and having only 4 loses all year, is a 17-point underdog!

Previous Matchup: In week 5, Brendo beat up the #Nation pretty good, 151..85 – 119.20. Does Nick have it in him again? To come back and get revenge on a team that embarrassed him in the regular season?

Key Players for #BroNationEjaQlation: Tyler Lockett. We could be seeing an OBJ-like fantasy playoff breakout. He’s certainly got a good chance to do it again against a baby-poo-soft Cleveland defense; Ben Roethlisberger, who was held without a TD last week, but he had 4 the week before. #Nick’s going to need a big performance out of Big Ben in order to get a big win.

Keyplayers for JPP’s Finger Bang: TFB and Gronk, who have the mighty Titans coming to town this week. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see some Jimmy G this week. Blow em out by the 3rd quarter and let the big guys rest; Allen Hurns, of the suddenly potent Jags offense? Hurns went for 101 and a TD, including an 80-yarder. I kinda want the Jaguars to get into the playoffs. Fuck that whole division*.

*You realize that between the AFC South and the NFC East, we could have TWO 6-10 teams in the playoffs. Man, I want that to happen. That would be so ridiculous and stupid. People would be so pissed. There’d be SO MANY hot takes. The NFL would probably rewrite the entire rule book. Fingers crossed.

Okay gents, those of you in the final four, be sure to set your lineups. Tampa Bay plays St. Louis (-2.5) tonight. And we have Saturday night football too! The Jets (-3) play Dallas. I don’t know why they insist on calling it a Special Presentation of Thursday Night Football on Saturday Night. What the fuck is wrong with you? It’s Saturday. Call it Saturday Night Football. Or call it a Special Presentation: Saturday Night Football. Or just fucking call it Football. We’re gonna watch it no matter what it’s called, but stop confusing us.

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