James M. Toppa Sr. Memorial Fantasy Football League

2016 Power Rankings – Week 9

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Thank god the election is finally over, amirite?! [Turns on news] [Opens Twitter] SIKE!! Oh man, we shoulda elected the broad. You know she’d say a quick “Thanks” and then get right back to work. You’d never hear a peep from her again. Instead, get ready for two Trump speeches everyday (he’s totally gonna be his own Press Secretary), 24-7 cable news coverage, more think pieces, more protests, and every late night host constantly “ANNIHILATING” him, except for Jimmy Fallon, that clown-ass hack is going to be too busy playing beer pong with the 7th Hemsworth.

But it’s November, and that means the best holiday of the year is coming, Thanksgiving. And no matter who you voted for, there is bound to be someone sitting at the dinner table who disagrees with you. Hell, there’s probably someone at the table who agrees with you, but they’re just really annoying. So, I’ve come up with some strategies to steer the conversation away from the election. Feel free to use them. I’ll be damned if I let my Thanksgiving day become the personification of a Facebook meme.

More Wine

If at any moment you sense the discussion about to change to the election, just say “More wine?!” Make sure you be really aggressive with it. Distract everyone with your movements. It’s kinda like when my dog has locked eyes with another dog, I just give him a little tap on the butt and suddenly he he’s like, “Wait, what?!”

And if things are getting really bad, push your chair out real quick, say “I think we need more wine!” and go to the kitchen to get some. Doesn’t matter how many bottles are on the table, just go man.In fact, this year maybe do some advance planning. Maybe leave the beer and wine in the garage this year, instead of bringing it into the house and putting it near the table. You can also include a small group of people in on this plan. Tell your wife or girlfriend, “If I go for a bottle of wine, after 5 minutes, say ‘I’m gonna go check on him, I’ll be right back.'” Your close friends can do the same thing, then Boom. Tiny Thanksgiving with just the people you want to talk to.

The Food

This is similar to the wine strategy. Just keep talking about the food. Keep complimenting people about the dish they made. Ask them how they made it. Did they use a recipe? Have they ever made it before? Oh is that cinnamon? How interesting. But what if they didn’t cook anything, you ask? Well then, did they set the table? My goodness, they did such a nice job! It looks lovely.

If you happen to use all of those conversations up, just keep saying “Mmmm, this food is so good.” Anytime the conversation is about to get heavy, just say that. And keep getting louder if it’s not working. By the end of the night you should be banging your knife and fork on your plate and screaming “GOD THIS FOOD IS SO FUCKING GOOD!!”


My dad has this joke “How bout dem Mets!” It’s funny at face value, but is clearly some joke he learned in the 70s when he first moved her from the UK. It always confuses me. We live in Rhode Island. We follow the Sox. We don’t even watch the National League. But I guess that’s what happen when you get older, you stick to the things you liked: bands, movies, bad jokes. I guess that’s why whenever I get drunk somewhere there’s a DJ, I always berate him to play A Tribe Called Quest. So, the Sox are a good way to steer the conversation, “How are they gonna do without Papi?” “Think Mookie deserved MVP?” etc, etc, etc.

Football would work too. Let’s see… There’s Colin Kaepernnnnope! Or Josh Brownnnnnext one! Well, the Pats are good. So there’s that. But that conversation could end quickly with a “Yeah, they are.” At least with football you can at least discuss the games that are on. Let’s see, we’ve got Vikings-Lions, who are both battling for a playoff spot, even though they both might not be good. Then Washington goes to Dallas take on the Cowboys, no controversy there. Then, as a nightcap, we get Steelers-Colts, which, on paper in March, looked like a great game, but now, will probably blow.

Or maybe Basketball? Woody, I thought the Celtics were supposed to be good. Every morning, the Bleacher Report app tells me they lost. What gives? And go into a lot of detail, this meal is gonna take a while.


Everyone loves TV right? There’s so much great TV out there that it should dominate Thanksgiving dinner conversation from start to finish. Have you seen Atlanta? That shit is dope! Well, maybe the Trump voters haven’t seen it, so let’s find something else. How bout Westworld? Tits and robots! Everybody loves that. And there’s so many theories! Who’s a robot? Who’s not? Are you a robot? I dunno. Maybe even YOU don’t know.

The Weather

The weather is always a solid conversation to cut through awkwardness. Can you believe it’s November? Look at this weather! Of course, the weather could be a dangerous subject, what, with the Chinese making up the fact that 11 of the last 12 months have been the hottest on record, so tread lightly.

Sit near a window

You could always just jump out a fucking window if things get too real.


This Week’s Level: I had a little bit of bullshit at like 4pm and it might’ve ruined my dinner.

So NBCSN’s ratings of Premier League games are down this season. And the ratings are down in the UK, as well. So it’s not just Football! I guess I moved to Brooklyn at just the right time. Sports are no longer cool, guys.

I think when Goodell came over to London for those Jaguars games he talked to the Premier League officials. He was like “Look, you need to squeeze every penny you can from your fans. You’re only playing on the weekends? What’s wrong with you? You have all these other days of the week.” And that’s how we get a situation like a few weeks back, where I look at my phone and a random Friday and realize Liverpool is playing.

Oversaturation is definitely an issue with weekly sports. Baseball and Basketball ratings are actually up, but that’s because they’re not changing the viewing schedule. Baseball is everyday, so that’s not gonna change. And they can’t add more games to the weekly Basketball schedule of the players would breakdown. But by adding Thursday Football games and Friday Premier League games, you’re taking away the one awesome thing your sport had going for it: It was one day a week and it was all day. You didn’t have work, you could literally turn on your TV and just watch for hours and hours. It wasn’t broke! It didn’t need fixing!

But maybe ratings themselves are broken. I watched the Premier League and the NFL every weekend last year*, but I didn’t have cable. I watched the Premier League through the NBCSports app and watched Redzone online. Those don’t factor into ratings. More people watch shit on their phones or iPads or whatever. Redzone itself doesn’t factor into ratings. Say half of Toppa League watched Redzone last Sunday, that would translate to half the football audience, which doesn’t make any sense, since Redzone is on the NFL CHANNEL.

*This year I haven’t been watching as much I moved and went on vacation in October. Wait! Maybe I’m the reason all these league ratings are down! Or maybe everyone else in the country moved and went on vacation?

Why are we still doing ratings the way we did them in the 50s? Do you have a Nielson box? Do you even have know what a Nielson box is? I dunno, but I think we all just learned that using an antiquated data system that takes a random sampling of people might not show exactly what’s going on.

Hot Take Alert: Deflate gate was good for the NFL. Just look. Now that it’s officially over, the NFL’s ratings are plunging. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

Dogshit of the Week


Tight Ends. With the exception of Greg Olsen and Gronk, tight end is a shit show. It’s gotten to the point that if your tight end scores more than 5 points, it’s considered a good day. The 10th best tight end (Jordan Reed) has less than 60 points this season. The 10th best WR has 111, and the 10th best RB has 122. Shit, the 10th best kicker has 76! And it’s not just that the scoring is low; I’d be fine if I just got 6 points a week from my tight end. It’s that you’re just as likely to get 2 points as you are 12. Look at this.

  • Martellus Bennett is the 4th highest scoring TE with games of 24.40, 18.90 and 24.70 points. He also has games of 1.40, 1.60, 4.80, 3.50 and 0.50.
  • Travis Kelce is 6th in scoring among tight ends and is averaging 8.68 points per game. If you remove the one game he scored 23.10 points, that average drops to 6.63 points per game. He also has weeks of 3.40, 3.20, 2.40 points.
  • Colby Fleener has two 20+ point games, but every other game he’s played, he’s scored under 5 points, including 0.60 points in Week 1.
  • Jack Doyle started off the season with 15.50 points in Week 1, then scored 3.70, 6.50, 0.60, 0.80 points in the following 4 weeks.
  • Jason Witten, who scored 26.40 points last week in a spot start for Woody, hadn’t scored in double digits until that point.
  • Zach Miller has one double digit scoring week (Week 3: 19.80 points). He also has three weeks scoring under 4.
  • Cameron Brate has two double digit scoring weeks, with 16.60 and 10.80 points. He also has scored 3.00, 1.60, 3.80, and 2.90 points.
  • Hunter Henry scored in double digits 3 weeks in a row, scoring 12.10, 14.40, 14.30 points. He then followed it up with 1.60 points, 1.40 points, and then didn’t play the following week.
  • Vance McDonald has two games of 17 points, but he also has weeks with 0.40, 2.50 and 2.40 points and 2 DNPs.
  • Gary Barnidge hasn’t scored a TD yet this year.
  • Antonio Gates… is still playing?!?!
  • Julius Thomas has three games scoring under 3 points and has not scored double digits since Week 1.
  • Even Jimmy Graham (second in scoring with 92.50 points) who has 21.00, 18.30, and 29.30 point games, also has weeks where he’s put up 1.10, 4.20, 4.40, and 5.30.

This is fucking ridiculous. Also, who the fuck are half these guys?! Vance McDonald? Cameron Brate? Hunter Henry? Jack Doyle? What?!?!

This position has become so meaningless to fantasy. #Nick and Brendo’s TEs combined for 10 points in their matchup. Kyle Rudolph caught one ball for one yard this week, but that happened to be a touchdown so it was considered a good week. My kicker is more valuable. It’s true! There are 19 kickers who are outscoring my tight end. And my tight end isn’t even that bad.

I propose we get rid of TE and replace it with another flex. We can make it a WR/RB/TE flex so that people can still play Gronk, but the rest of us don’t have to deal with this weekly shit show.

Runner Up: Me?


Playoffs are only 4 weeks away and the race is getting hot. There are 5 teams who are above .500 and have good odds to make the playoffs. There are 5 more teams who are 4-5 and fighting for their playoff lives. Two of those teams are going home.

12. Lance Harbor (Last Week: 7) [Playoff Odds: 31.28%]

Brendo scored under a 100 points this week. This is the third time this year he’s done that. Only two other teams in the league, Wide Right and Wonderland VIP’s, have managed to score less than 100 points this season, and they each have only done it once. Brendo is last in scoring by almost 40 points. He’s averaging only 124 points per week, which is 16 points per week less than the league’s weekly average of 140 points. But somehow, he’s still got 4 wins and has more than a 1/3 chance at making the playoffs.

11. TuesdaysAtSpecks (Last Week: 12) [Playoff Odds: 8.36%]

Timmy’s team sucks. Moving on.

10. Wide Right (Last Week: 8) [Playoff Odds: 51.16%]

JD has now lost two weeks in a row. He’s still in the playoff hunt at 4-5 but he’s got the second worst odds of the five of the 4-5 teams. Both DeSantis boys are in trouble. They’re a combined 1-5 the last 3 weeks.

9. Wonderland VIP’s (Last Week: 9) [Playoff Odds: 5.36%]

Since winning his first game of the year in Week 6 by 86 points, Vegas is 1-2 and has averaged 114 points. If he thought his season was gonna turn around and he’d get back into this thing, he is not.

8. Dr.MarkusWheatonBlvd (Last Week: 6) [Playoff Odds: 73.96%]

Talk about turning his season around. After losing his first three, Buckets has gone 4-2 and his wins are by an average of 30 points. Now he’s got the best odds to make the playoffs of the five teams who are 4-5.

7. #TomFuckinMaini (Last Week: 10) [Playoff Odds: 73.48%]

#Nick may only have 4 wins and is sitting in 7th in both Power Rankings, league standings and points scored, but he’s projected to move up to 5th most points scored and is also favored in this week’s matchup against a free falling Wide Right. That’s why his playoff odds are pretty high.

6. Goodells A Man-gina (Last Week: 4) [Playoff Odds: 94.4%]

While JBiggs’s playoff hopes are looking good, the last couple weeks have been ugly. He’s lost three in a row by an average of 36 points and has fallen to 5th place in the standings. It’s about time for the annual DeSantis & DeSantis trade. The deadline is Saturday night guys.

5. Funky Cold ‘Mendola (Last Week: 11) [Playoff Odds: 68.8%]

PWood has also turned his season around after losing the first three games of the season. During that 0-3 start, he was scoring an average of 126 points per matchup. During the last 6 weeks, he’s averaged more than 150 points per matchup.

4. ErectDecker (Last Week: 3) [Playoff Odds: 99%]

Micho picked up a big win over JBiggs this week. He’s just 2-3 in his last 5. A lot of things have to go wrong for him to not make the playoffs, but after starting the season so strong, he’s got to right the ship if he wants to go far in the playoffs.

3. Princess AmukaMARY (Last Week: 5) [Playoff Odds: 90.56%]

Woody’s finally had some good luck these last two weeks, where he’s put 190+ and still managed to win (deservedly so). Woody is averaging over 167 points per matchup. If you throw out the crazy 55 point loss to Brendo (of all people), Woody has lost by an average of 10 points per matchup. He’s won his matchups by an average of 48 points.

2. Michos A Gurley-Man (Last Week: 2) [Playoff Odds: 99%]

JeffWho has made a serious surge these last few weeks. He’s 3-0 since changing his team name. Sometimes the dynamic in the locker room is all wrong and you need to make some changes. Nice job. JeffWho can clinch a playoff spot IF:

Michos a Gurley-Man BEAT Princess AmukaMARY -AND-

ErectDecker, Wonderland VIP’s, SexyRexy&RobTheSlob, #TomFuckinMaini, & Funky Cold ‘Mendola ALL WIN

1. SecyRexy&RobTheSlob (Last Week: 1) [Playoff Odds: 100%]

How have I not clinched a playoff spot yet? Is it too early in Yahoo’s algorithm to figure that out? That makes no sense, because there are definitely some 9-0 teams out there. Maybe you should spend a little less time worrying about the Red Solo Cup championship and a little more time and putting a little asterisk next to my name for clinching a playoff spot, Yahoo. Get your shit together.

Set your lineups and make your picks. Cleveland is at Baltimore (-7.5) tonight aannnnddd I don’t care. Enjoy the weekend!


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