The 40ft POST: It's the Little Things

I don't know how you decided to spend most of your Wednesday morning, but I spent it chasing down my neighbor's dog who had escaped from her own treacherous back-yard.

I know what you're thinking.

"But Josh . . . you hate dogs . . . you're scared to death of them."

Yeah . . . alright . . . but Penny is just a little thing and I kind of felt compelled to make sure that my son's friend's dog didn't get eaten or run over or swiped.

And speaking of little things . . . I lied before . . . I do know how you've spent your morning. If you are anything like 97% of the Fantasy Football community, you spent this morning chasing down every waiver-wire, long-shot, handcuff you could get your grubby little fingers on.

Am I right?

Of course I am.  Because every stud on your roster went down. Like . . . not even metaphorically . . . we're talking 'hit the ground and stayed there.'

Now if you're wondering why I chased a dog around the cul-de-sac rather than restocking my line-up, is because, for the first week ever, my team stayed healthy and scored big. I doubt it will last much passed Sunday morning, but right now I feel like Ric Ocasek surrounded by supermodels. And the reason I didn't have much bench woes either was because of this little guy:

Darren Sproles.

Now hopefully your wife let you watch TV on Monday cause Eagles vs the Colts was not a game to miss, and I'm not about to give you a play-by-play, but two things were clear: Sproles is a top ten running back (#1 in my ForFuns League, #4 in my ForReals league) and he was criminally underutilized once the shiny new toy (Jimmy Graham) came to New Orleans.

Uncle Chip knew it and picked up Sproles for a song. (Most likely something from The Grateful Dead's back catalogue)

Thing was, the second I heard the news of the trade, I started salivating a little. A turbo charged humming bird in turbo charged offense plus three years of bed rest in an RBBC. How is he not gonna light shit up?

But the overwhelming analyst opinion was . . . well . . . meh.

He's gonna get like 6-8 carries a game and is really only a late round handcuff if you can nab Shady in the first round.

And in every mock draft I participated in (of which there were way too many) he got chosen after kickers.


Everyone had to know something I didn't.

Which I'm cool with. Again, this is only the fourth year I've watched football with any regularity. In the grand scheme of things, I'm barely out of diapers, so in all honesty, I felt a little ashamed for my early season enthusiasm.

Now in my ForFuns league, Sproles goes in the 8th round, just about the time everyone's loading the bench with possible flex players. I honestly didn't notice at the time because - if you remember - I accidentally lost my 3rd round pick due to wifi issues and a stupidly timed queue filled with line-backers, so I hadn't even filled my roster yet.

But in my ForReals league, I was the guy who nabbed Shady and I spent the entire draft crossing my fingers that I could get Sproles late enough not to look like a dreamy eyed jackass.

And there he was. 11th round. And now he sits, nestled on my bench, and creating a whole new problem . . . which we'll get to in the fantasy portion of The 40ft POST.

Okay . . .

Of course the big news in football right now is domestic violence and child abuse. I'm sorry, but I can't really write funny things about either of those two.

Lesean McCoy tipped his waiter 20 cents for . . . in his words . . . "Not being respectful" and got called out for it on Twitter.

Having been in the retail/food business for over fifteen years, I would like to tell all multi-millionaires something that they probably don't know.

Waiters live off of tips. And when they see a well dressed man in an expensive car, they know that if they put on the shine, they might have a chance of eating something other than Top Ramen that night.

Because of that skewed economic tilt, are only three reasons you get bad service.

One: You happened to catch the guy in a bad moment. Maybe his car broke down, or his dog died, or his girlfriend is sleeping with her cousin. The poor dude's heart just isn't in it. Show the love, tip him big.

Two: He's at the end of a very long day and is punch drunk. Imagine, McCoy, running into Carolina's front seven, not 23 times over the course of an hour, but 423 times over the course of ten hours. Send him to the locker room with a crisp Benjamin.

Three: You're being such a dick-head that he's given up the hope of taking his best girl to the movies and just wants to salvage a little dignity. You gotta self actualize that one, but his body language should be much easier to read than Seattle's pass rush.

Anyway, it's your call.

Honestly, I don't know anymore. Bad teams beat good teams. Good teams beat better teams.  I thought it would be fun to see if Brady was gonna light it up with a healthy Gronk, but we're still on hold. I thought it was going to be fun to see what kind of RB Moreno was gonna turn out to be after going on a tear week one. Ouch. The Niners were finally gonna have a chance to see what their offense could do when they had a full length football field to work with (commit penalties, apparently). And Seattle was going to prove how unstoppable they are.

I forgot how confusing life can get for a Pacific North-westerner when the temperature rises above 76 degrees.

So this week we'll continue with our Brady/Gronk watch . . . cause why not? Let's also see what Cleveland can do now that they've handed Brees a 0-2 start to the season. (If you remember I called a good day for Hawkins last week) Can Foster stay healthy with that many carries? Will Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson continue to do aaronrodgers/jordynelson/things all year long (oh, please please please) And lastly, will the Giants offense usurp the Raiders as the most difficult thing to watch in sports?

Again, not really gonna touch this one. You're already well aware of those players that are gonna be warming the bench, although, a hurt Brandon Marshall is statistically better than a healthy Brandon Marshall, and my brother pulled off the trade of the century scoring the Texan's defense for a yet to be hurt Knowshon Moreno.

That's some Jedi stuff right there.

The one that actually broke my heart was poor Mark Ingram. He was finally getting the call. He was my second round pick in 2011 before I knew there was such a thing as an RBBC, and though he never scored for me, I've been rooting for his success ever since. : (

As for the bad decisions part. Two Pittsburgh running backs caught with a hooker and a bag of weed on their way to the airport = Funny. But that was two weeks ago. Everything else since then has been terrible . . . just terrible.

Someone needs to send Johnny Football back to Vegas or I'm not going to have anything to write about.

Hmm. Well. That was interesting. The Raiders got toasted (but played hard like Rudy) and you gotta feel just awful for James Jones who had two fumbles all of last year and now has two fumbles in one single play. I'm still rooting for them though.

And the Niners vs Chicago. Or as I liked to call it "The 3nOut Penalty Bowl" I guess the key to defeating the Niners is to hammer the offensive line until Kaepernick throws the ball to your corner back, and an injured Brandon Marshall. Don't think that tactic will hold water by the end of the week, and I expect to see a lot more of Gore/Hyde when they play against Arizona. But Kap is still the man and I'm gonna preach that all season either way.

ForFuns League (1-1) 4th place
ForReals League (2-0) 3rd place

So I had one miracle fantasy day, and one bed wetting day. Pretty typical. I probably should have gone with Joique Bell instead of Golden Tate for my flex, but it was against Carolina and I figured Stafford was gonna have to throw it a lot. But who in their right mind would put Bradshaw in for Forte? Or Sanu in for Hurns prior to Green's turf-toe? Anyway, no real regrets.

Except one:

Now there are a lot of theories as to how to draft and deploy your defense. You can draft early hoping to chase down Seattle 2013, or you can just wait til the second to last round. Now there is not much per/game statistical difference between the top 12 (unless you had Seattle in '13) so I prefer to go with the lazy crowd and pick 'em last.

Now if you're with me and the rest of the couch potatoes, there are two strategies you can implement. Since there is little statistical difference over the whole year, you could just stick with what you got and weather the ups and downs . . . or . . . stream defenses in and out based on tasty match-ups.

The problem with sticking with one team, even though it's the safest bet,  it's also terribly boring.

The problem with streaming match ups? Well . . . if you're anything like me . . . you guess wrong an awful lot.

Like last week . . . with Miami . . . in my ForFuns League

They gave me negative points this week.

And my ForReals Green Bay defense didn't fair much better.

Had I stuck with Cleveland (the team I drafted, I'd be in 2nd place instead of 3rd.)

So I've decided for the rest of the season to just chill with the match-up chasing.

Unless someone offers me Seatlle '13 for Grimes.

And speaking of Grimes . . . that takes us to a much heated debate over the usefulness of using a bench spot for your superstar's handcuff. A lot of analysts are against the idea, wasting valuable real estate for someone who might never get the call. A lot of analysts are bullish on the idea because if your stud goes down, you've got a lottery ticket locked and loaded.

I believe it's entirely situational. What I look for with a handcuff are two things. Injury probability and offense situation.

I learned this by picking up Michael Bush in both 2011 and 2012. In 2011, he was the back-up RB for Darren McFadden. Run DMC goes down, Bush comes in, rocks the house. The following year, Bush goes to Chicago to punch TD's for a tired Forte, Forte goes down, Cutler throws to Marshall. Bush keeps sleeping. Same guy . . . different outcome.

So flash forward. I snag Arian Foster in the third round. One of the top running backs in the sport and has had a year off to rebuild some cartilage. But if he goes down . . . and lets all cross our fingers that he doesn't . . . not for fantasy reasons, but for human ones . . . if he gets injured, then the RB behind him is going to get a lot of carries.

That guy was supposed to be Grimes. Third year in the league, second year with the Texans, lit it up in the preseason. His lottery ticket chances are sky-high. But then this week, while letting Arian take a nap after a very long day, Grimes gets some carries, goes nowhere, and then the other back-up, Blue gets some carries and does more.

If Arian goes down (god forbid) what are we likely to see? Rookie Blue light it up? An RBBC with the hot hand that does no one no good. Or was I right in grabbing and storing Grimes?

Could be a thing to watch. Dad grabbed Blue about thirty seconds after the Raiders cried uncle, so thankfully I don't have to agonize over blowing two bench spots in a futile juggle for percentages.

But here's the thing. I'm sticking with Grimes. Coach O'Brian has stated publicly that he doesn't like the RBBC approach and much prefers a single person carrying the rock. That minimizes the RBBC fear a bit. (Only a bit, because coaches lie all the time) And although Blue might be a nice stash, Grimes has more experience on the field and in the league. I think Grimes, despite the show against the Raiders, is gonna be the man.

And who knows?

I might be right . . . just like I was with Sproles.

And speaking of Sproles . . .

My late round McCoy handcuff that has outscored the leading back twice in two games and is currently sitting on my bench.

I have the best problem right now. I don't know whether to start him this week as my flex and have two Eagles RBs in my line up, or go with the safe guy (Joique Bell) who I drafted seven rounds earlier and who is pretty much guaranteed to give me an honest stat line.

Send me your thoughts.

and speaking of thoughts . . .


Hoyer settles down, Hawkins has a big game. (Close)

Arian Foster goes for 200yrds and 4TDs (138 and 1)

Victor Cruz ruins Dad's day by being benched and scoring big (Nope, good call dad)

Golden Tate outscores Megatron (Tate 5-57, Calvin 6-83) Coulda been close though.

Everyone holding Gordon is an emotional wreck (OMG 10 weeks is so long!)


49ers vs Arizona turns into the high scoring shoot out we've been screaming for.

Lamar Miller can't catch a frigging break and Daniel Thomas scores.

Victor Cruz switches jerseys with Donnel and Eli throws four picks.

Arian Foster learns how to share and Grimes goes for 75 yards.

NO matter who I pick with Joique or Sproles, it will be wrong.

That's it for this week. Remember: Keep your friends close and your enemies away from the nachos.

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