James M. Toppa Sr. Memorial Fantasy Football League

2016 Power Rankings – Week 12

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I heard this on Sunday as I was reaching for a chip: “Cameron Wake is 34 years old and coming off a torn Achilles.” I didn’t put the chip back, but I felt really bad about eating it.

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The Patriots defense is not good. It’s not awful, but it is not good. They can’t get to the quarterback. It’s a fact. And if they can’t get to the quarterback, why are they rushing only two and three guys? And I can’t even remember the last time the Pats blitzed. Now, blitzing wouldn’t be necessary if you had a front four that could reach the quarterback. Denver is the best example of this, the Broncos lead the league with a 10.2 percent sack rate on passes when not sending extra pressure. Of course, it helps when you have Von Miller. But anyway, the Pats rank 30th in pass rush, are 24th in total sacks, and have an adjusted sack rate of just 4% of every drop back (the NFL average is 6.1%). They are in the top 10 of the league in QB hurries, but are in the middle of the pack in completion percentage. All this equals out to if you give a quarterback time (which they do), and he knows he’s not gonna get hit (which he’s not), he’s gonna pick you apart. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Russell Wilson or Ryan Fitzpatrick. And I’m not allowed to be worried about this?! Anybody who’s been in a Braga Bowl knows if you don’t have someone to count to “5 Mississippi” the quarterback is gonna make plays. Maybe send an extra guy now and again!

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Huge sigh. Okay, there’s good news. Maybe this is just for me, since I’m apparently the only one who’s worried. The Pats are second in yards after catch, which backs up what I’ve been thinking for a couple years now: this team tackles really well. The Patriots are third in points allowed and 4th in touchdowns allowed, meaning ‘Bend But Not Break’ is still a thing. And the offense is really good. So as long as they don’t give up more the 24 points, every game is winnable.

The other good news is, for a reason I don’t have the time to research, there’s basically no completely balanced team in the league. The Patriots D kinda sucks, but they’re the 3rd best offense in the league. Dallas? Atlanta? Oakland? Great offenses (1st, 2nd, and 5th, respectively) but terrible defenses (27th, 24th, and 26th). Baltimore? Denver? Minnesota? The exact opposite. Great defenses (1st, 2nd and 6th) but terrible offenses (30th, 24th, and 25th). Seattle, Pittsburgh and Kansas City are arguably the most “balanced” teams, but Seattle just put up 5 points against Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh are a snap away from being Roethlisbergerless and KC has Alex Smith. Again, I have no reason why this is the case. If I were to guess, I’d guess that the salary cap prohibits you from spending enough to make both sides of the ball elite, so teams have to make a choice based on their current personnel, but I have no justification for that take. This does mean, the Pats are not as bad as I think, since everyone else is kinda bad too. As long as they get home field advantage throughout they’ll be in good……ish shape.

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If you didn’t notice, this email came in at 12:12pm and was 12 lines of “TFB12” 12 times. I gotta give #Nick props for creativity. #Nick has really enjoyed this whole RHYSNICE WAS WRONG week. It’s because you live in Georgia now, huh? Not much to do huh, buddy? Maybe join a Meetup group or something.

I enjoyed pixelating #Nick’s last name and email address, because it makes him look like a sex offender. Which…. *shrugs shoulders*

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I love me some Redzone, but there is one downside to it. There are no commercials, so I never have a time when I know I can run to the bathroom. Luckily, my man Scott Hanson has me covered yet again. He has a secret code phrase every week that lets you know it’s okay to take a break. It’s kinda like You Can’t Do That On Television, where the secret word gets you slimed, but this one lets you know it’s okay to get up and take a piss. This week’s phrase was “we now go to the Bills-Jags game.”

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I didn’t have time to write this last week, but I learned a lesson while I was in San Francisco. I’ve learned that Murphys go on the Murtaugh List. All of them. Friends, Brothers, Fathers, Mothers, Cousins. I am too old for that shit. I am no longer 22. I cannot get blackout drunk multiple nights in a row and eat nothing but greasy meat covered in cheese. It sounds wonderful and fun, but it turns out it’s not actually that healthy for you. I spent the whole trip shitting, having to shit, or feeling like I had to take a shit, but couldn’t. Also, random parts of my body started aching and I did no physical activity whatsoever.

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There was this guy who came to the Niners-Pats game with us. I guess he was a friend of a friend. And he seemed like a cool guy. He was one of those guys who, you know, talks to people in a new group of people, which I guess is a thing normal and/or cool people do. But, I should’ve known this kid was not cool. In hindsight, the first tell was the fact that he was dressed like he was gonna play 18 at pebble beach, not dressed to go watch a football game. (If you dress like a golf referee, however, that’s fine.) He was wearing a polo shirt, khaki shorts and a white sox hat. He claimed it was because it gets really hot in Santa Clara, but if he had looked at the weather report, he’d have known it was predicted to be somewhere between 100% rain for an hour and 1000% rain for 13 hours. Had I recognized this was a sign that he was a douchebag, I could’ve ignored him right off the bat instead of being friendly to him. Instead, I had to listen to him talking about when he was trying to figure out whether he could hit on Boom Boom or her friend. You should know, he had a girlfriend. Also, who’s trying to hook up at a football game? What are you a Lions fan? I would’ve been pissed but I knew I could’ve put his head through the wall without really trying. It’s also great when a guy says something like that and you can watch women physically trying to stifle laughter.

I also had to listen to this guy talk shit about Garage Beer Pong playlist on our bus ride home. It apparently wasn’t “HARD” enough for him. Come on, bro. A little bit later, he put on a poncho and took a piss in a bottle of cranberry juice, because he couldn’t hold it. In front of Murph’s parents.

So, fuck that guy. The lesson as always, don’t trust people who aren’t socially awkward.

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I feel like every dude weekend has a running joke throughout it. A joke that is pretty funny, but takes on a whole life of its own throughout the weekend. It only gets funnier and funnier as you get drunk and hungover and drunk and hungover again. Last time I was in San Francisco, that joke was Murph almost throwing up on me while taking a shot at the bar. Basically every 45 minutes for 5 days, we mimicked the dry heave noise he made. Someone may have even done it during his wedding.

The Member Berries were that joke while we were in San Francisco this time. Honestly, the source material is hilarious, but it became a quick and easy way to make a joke: just throw “Member” in front of whatever you were talking about and you’ve got comedy gold. I’ve made and heard so many Member Berry jokes over the last week and a half that I can’t tell if I love them or hate them.

Do women do this? They definitely don’t do this, do they? Like, do they go to bachelorette parties and tell the same joke 154 times in 48 hours? Are they at their fancy dinner and like, “Guess what, outta tampons again!!!”? Are they touring wineries and being like, “Fuck you, Lorelai! Hahahaha!”? Who knows? Such a fascinating species…

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Last night, I woke in a cold sweat remembering that Woody sent me this text. I thought that he could be sending me a “RHYSNICE WAS WRONG” letter in the goddamn mail! That woulda been some shit. I probably woulda broke down and cried had I opened a physical envelope with a diss in it. I checked the timestamp, and he sent that text before I thought the Patriots were gonna lose. So it’s probably just a Christmas card. And now it’s too late to be like, “Good Idea, Rhys!” scribble scribble scribble. The mail will never be delivered in time. You missed out. How am I better and more creative at dissing myself than you all are? It’s really pretty pathetic.

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This was a sick burn, except you fucked it up. I definitely made my “WRONG” comment last Sunday, which was in November, and very much not June. This joke is null and void and therefore not funny. How do you not know November is the 11th month?! Jesus, you better get Mary shooting hoops now, the future is bleak. Why don’t you send her to Uncle Rhys’s house so she can learn to read?

Or is the school year that bad already that you’re just can’t fucking wait for June? As an ex-teacher, I can appreciate that.

If we win the Super Bowl, I will buy and wear that shirt. To ToppaDraft VII.

 

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This Week’s Level: A big, huge, fat blunt filled with bullshit

Yesterday I saw a spot on CBS News This Morning about how Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan is asking the NFL to look into the drug cannabidiol, or CBD, and its possible uses for helping fight CTE. If the word cannabidoil looks familiar, it’s exactly what you think it is: an oil that’s made from marijuana. It’s already being used to control seizures in some kids with epilepsy and Jake “The Snake” Plummer (Remember him!?) uses CBD to help with the constant headaches he has.

The NFL made a statement, which started like all NFL statements, that its “top priority is the health and safety of our players,” which is a lie. Then followed it up with “medical experts have not recommended making a change or revisiting our collectively-bargained policy and approach related to marijuana.” So let’s just keep giving all the players as much oxycodone as they need and forget about it.

The NFL also said it’s starting a committee to look into using alternative forms of pain management. Which, of course, is the way shit-eating, money-grubbing lawyers deal with everything. We’re forming a committee to look into it! Sure. Let me know your fucking findings. Maybe I’m gonna start forming a committee to get away with all my shit. Rhys, why are the dishes still in the sink after you said you’d clean them? I’m forming a committee to see what soap I should use. Rhys, you missed your last deadline to file that proposal. Well, I formed a committee and their findings aren’t complete yet. I need some more time.

Then like two hours later, I read about the NFL suspending Bills offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson 10 games for violating the substance abuse policy. Why? Because he smoked pot to help alleviate the symptoms of his Crohn’s disease. He ended up having 2 and 1/2 feet of toxic sections of his small and large intestines removed in surgery and was unable to take traditional pain killers. So he smoked some pot to deal with the pain.

The NFL will never look into using pot as a preventative measure and/or remedy for head injuries (they’re still claiming that football doesn’t cause head injuries!) because it’s too much of a hot button issue. They’re too scared of how the PR will look. Just a buncha potheads over there in the NFL. Lock em all up! But this is a forest for the trees thing. If they took a step back and said “Okay, we’ll look into it. There might be something there.” AND if the NFL actually said “We know this may be a controversial subject, but we’re looking into every single way to keep our players safe.” then maybe I might believe them. And as for Henderson, why not just be like “We don’t usually make exceptions, but considering this guy is missing 2 and ½ feet from his stomach, we’re gonna look the other way on this one.” Who is complaining about this!?!

Pot is only going to become a bigger and bigger issue for the NFL. Just look, the last 3 Super Bowl champions are from states where marijuana is, or is about to be, legal.

Dog Shit of the Week

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Robert Kelley. FAT ROB!! In a game that featured 500 yards of offense from the Washington Racisms, going up against a Cowboys defense that is ranked 27th in the league, Fat Rob only managed 37 yards on 14 carries, averaging 2.6 yards per carry, and 4.20 fantasy points. That was after scoring 39.70 points last week and averaging 21 points in his last 3 games. Buckets ended up losing a by 5 points and could’ve used a great game (or even a decent one) from Fat Rob.

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Oh boy, 1 playoff spot left and 3 teams fighting for it. It all comes down to this week.

12. SexyRexy&RobTheSlob (Last Week: 2) [Playoff Berth CLINCHED]

Fine. FINE! I’ll rank myself last. I’ll cop to it. I doubted the Patriots. You know shit is bad when Austin, the kid who leaves Patriots games in the 4th quarter when they’re losing and has shit on both Tom Brady and Belichick, calls you out. I just had an awful feeling that it was gonna be one of those games where the defense ends up giving up a soft touchdown at the end of the game and leaves Tommy only 20 seconds to drive the whole field and then he doesn’t do it and it leaves you feeling terrible. I’m sorry. It’s not like I’m the only one who felt that way. I’m just the only jackass who said it on the group text. Like I was the only one who was nervous the Patriots were losing to a shitty Jets team? They were making Ryan Fitzpatrick look like… I dunno, anyone other than Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Pats were 9.5 point favorites and they were losing to Quincy Enunwa’s asshole. It’s not like I was actively rooting for the fucking Jets, it’s that I was pissed it looked like we were gonna lose to the fucking Jets. But all of you guys were so fucking confident. Not a single drop of sweat. Fuck that and fuck you.

Honestly, I had just spent 4 fucking days with my family. After going through that and a tie score at halftime and a hurt Gronk, I should’ve been on fucking suicide watch.

And another thing! You all should be fucking thanking me. That was the one of greatest reverse jinxes of all time. I single handed swung the outcome of that game. But this is the fucking thanks I get.

Most likely playoff spot: 1 seed (100%)

11. Lance Harbor (Last Week: 9) [ELIMINATED from Playoffs]

Technically, Brendo’s not eliminated from the Playoffs. All he needs is a win this week, and Buckets, PWood and Vegas to all lose. He also needs to score 282 points, assuming Buckets, PWood and Vegas all score what they’re projected to. Better make it an even 300 just to be safe.

10. TuesdaysAtSpecks (Last Week: 12) [ELIMINATED from Playoffs]

Timmy’s done. Like I can’t even make up a scenario where he’d make it into the playoffs. I guess just focus 100% of your energy on gambling instead of most of it?

9. Wide Right (Last Week: 5) [Playoff Berth CLINCHED]

JD didn’t really join in on the piling on festivities, until he sent a picture of his baby today saying I was wrong. So fuck you JD. And fuck your baby.

JD did not clinch his playoff berth by winning his matchup with his brother, he also didn’t get the turkey leg this Thanksgiving. He was stuck with dry breast meat. Ugh, it’s the only time of the year when white breasts are not what I want. Anyway, because both Timmy and I won, JD clinched a playoff berth this week. I shoulda lost on purpose.

Most likely playoff spot: 7 Seed (52.8%)

8. Funky Cold ‘Mendola (Last Week: 10) [Playoff Odds: 18.04%]

PWood has now lost 3 in a row and his playoff chances have dropped from over 40% to under 20%. He HAS to win this weekend and he also needs Buckets to lose. That would put him in a tie for 8th, and currently he’s leading in the overall points tie breaker.

7. Michos A Gurley-Man (Last Week: 4) [Playoff Berth CLINCHED]

Most likely playoff spot: 5 seed (41.4%)

6. Princess AmukaMARY (Last Week: 1) [Playoff Berth CLINCHED]

Most likely playoff spot: 5 seed (40.9%)

JeffWho and Woody were a combined 8-2 over the last 5 weeks, but both of them put up big losses this week. Woody only managed to score 123.80 points, which is almost 40 points less than his league leading 162.47 points per week average. JeffWho got smoked by Vegas by 68 points. Both have over a 60% at the 4 or the 5 seed. Which means we could see 1st and 3rd highest scoring teams going up against each other in a Round 1 slobberknocker.

5. Dr.MarkusWheatonBlvd (Last Week: 8) [Playoff Odds: 66.56%]

Buckets has yet to be mean to me via the group chat. And I appreciate that. I’m fucking sensitive, alright?

I once had someone tell me to stop being so sensitive. And I was like, Yeah, I’ll work on that. But now I think, That’s exactly the type of shit a mean person would say. And, maybe you should stop being such a fucking asshole. I’m pretty sure if you go from being a dick to being a nice person that world ends up +1. Not sure if that’s the case if I become more jaded.

Buckets can clinch a playoff spot if:

  • Dr.MarkusWheatonBlvd BEAT ErectDecker; OR
  • Princess AmukaMARY BEAT Wonderland VIP’s -AND- Goodells A Man-gina BEAT Funky Cold ‘Mendola;

4. ErectDecker (Last Week: 6) [Playoff Berth CLINCHED]

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Thank god for Micho. At least when I’m getting shit on by the group text, he’s there to pretty much always get shit on by the group text.

Most likely playoff spot: 2 seed (47.3%)

3. #TomFuckinMaini (Last Week: 7) [Playoff Berth CLINCHED]

#Nick took his destiny into his own hands, beat Buckets in a very tight contest this weekend and clinched a playoff berth. He’s probably going to end up with a decent playoff spot since he has more than 50 total points than the next potential playoff team.

Most likely playoff spot: 6 seed (84.9%)

2. Goodells A Man-gina (Last Week: 3) [Playoff Berth CLINCHED]

JBiggs broke from tradition and didn’t trade with his brother over the dinner table. It didn’t help since they were playing each other this week. Instead he took another step closer to the 2 seed by winning the DeSantiseseses Bowl.

Most likely playoff spot: 2 seed (32.7%)

1. Wonderland VIP’s (Last Week: 11) [Playoff Odds: 13.92%]

Holy Shit! Vegas scored the second highest total of the year and somehow uneliminated himself from the playoffs! He went from a 0% chance of making the playoffs last week to a 14% chance this week. That’s some fucking Woody Math right there.

Here are your playoff scenarios heading into the final week of the season.

  • If Buckets wins, he’s in and that’s it.
  • If Vegas and PWood lose, Buckets is in and that’s in.
  • If Buckets and Vegas lose and PWood wins, Buckets and PWood tie for the 8th seed, where the tie-breaker is points scored.
  • If Buckets and PWood lose and Vegas wins, Buckets and Vegas tie for the 8th seed, where the tie-breaker is points scored.
  • If Buckets loses and both PWood and Vegas win, Buckets, Vegas and PWood all tie for the 8th seed, where the tie-breaker is points scored.
  • Currently, the total points scored looks like this:
    • Funky Cold ‘Mendola: 1651.55
    • Wonderland VIP’s: 1620.5
    • Dr.MarkusWheatonBlvd: 1598.65
  • Oh right, and if Buckets, PWood, and Vegas all lose, and Brendo wins AND he scores like 350 points, Brendo gets the 8th seed.

Set your lineups and make your picks. Dallas (-3) is at Minnesota tonight. This is actually a pretty good game. Dallas is obviously good and Minnesota is either collapsing or…. collapsing. But their defense could keep them in this game. Both these teams played on Thanksgiving too, so they’ve had a full week’s rest before this game! What a concept! AND Minnesota’s Color Rush™ is actually fire emoji:

Purple on purple with that yellow? That shit is fire. And Dallas’s Color Rush™ unis aren’t bad either:

This has all the makings of a good one. So, it’s totally gonna suck!

Enjoy the games this weekend. And yes, RHYSNICE WAS WRONG.

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