Nordic Love Gods Win!

Jason

For the love of all that is holy, can it be true? It is, lady and gentlemen (I use those terms loosely, of course), it is true: The Nordic Love Gods have shaken off the bad juju of the past year and actually beaten someone other than the Untarnished Krones. What a weekend of football it was!

The Nordic Love Gods faced off against Rudolf and his Red Zone Reindeer across an icy gridiron, fog swirling, two titans of the pitch staring each other down like bull moose on the high tundra…

Nah, it wasn’t anything like that. This game, though exciting as hell for the Love Gods, was a bit of a snoozer. Neither team scored many points, but Jason’s crew managed to put a few more on the board in most of the positions. The bright light on Jason’s team was Emmanuel Sanders, who scored 18. Mike Arnold’s team was, apparently, trying to lose. Six total points were tallied by his running backs, and 11 by his wide receivers. It wasn’t pretty. The Love Gods had the win secured going into the Monday Night game, where Jason had an inconsequential decision to make: should he start Kenny Golloday or the still-recovering Odell Beckham, Jr.? “He’s this year’s Stefon Diggs, I’m tellin’ ya!” So was the justification from Jason’s mouth as he went with Golladay. Lil’ G. ended his contest with one reception for 8 yards and zero fantasy points (OBJ only had 3 though) so he may not actually be this year’s Stefon Diggs. It was a good thing for Jason the game wasn’t decided on this decision. The Love Gods wrapped this one up, 77 – 55 over Rudolph the Red Zone Reindeer.

Speaking of trying to lose, Mike Arnold didn’t actually have the lowest point total this week. That dubious distinction went to Our Lady of the League, Nicole Holand. Nicole went from the high scorer last week to the low scorer this week, as she had the misfortune of tangling with Patrick’s Dig Bick. Only one player on Patrick’s team did not perform to expectations and that was Jordan Howard, whose sore arm limited him to only seven rushing yards and zero fantasy points. Led by outstanding performances by TE Travis Kelce (16 pts.) and kicker Matt Bryant (14), DigBick rolled to 103 points. Nicole had poor performances from Matt Stafford at QB, then got dragged down by her TE, flex, and defense. Patrick nearly doubled up on Nicole this week, 103 – 52, and happily became the first player in our League this year to dispatch both members of our married couple.

The Untarnished Krones finally blew the dust off their season this week, in their match with dA cHaMp. Neither Craig nor Nick had any player score higher than 15. For Craig, it was Tampa Bay WR Mike Evans, who hauled in seven receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown. Nick’s fifteen-pointer was Philadelphia WR Alshon Jeffery, who hauled in seven receptions for 93 yards and a touchd…freaky. Oh wait, Alshon only had 92 yards. Nick got an even worse performance out of Zeke Elliot than he did in week one, and WR Jordy Nelson suffered a quad injury early in his game, leaving Nick in Craig’s dust with a dearth of points and an abundance of regret. It was this lack of points that made the difference in this one, as Craig’s players all put up merely fair numbers. In the end, the Krones beat Da cHamP, 83 – 67. Fun fact: In a head-to-head matchup in week 1, the Krones would have won that one, too. This week, I’m sure Nick will be pondering the return of Jordy Nelson and whether or not teams have figured out how to defend against Zeke Elliot.

On the high end of the League scoreboard, The Crown played virtual host to C Killin it K this week, and this one did not disappoint. Both Jeremiah and Caleb had QBs over 20, running backs who scored 22, and double-digit tight ends and flexes. This was a slugfest. Jeremiah had the better QB (Brady), Caleb won the battle of the running backs (Gordon and Gurley), Jeremiah’s receivers scored more than Caleb’s. The Raiders defense made up the points Derrick Carr lost to Tom Brady. One could argue that Caleb’s wide receivers lost the game for him and, well, one would be right. The thirteen-point deficit in the receiver lines (18 – 5) was just too much for Caleb’s other players to make up. For Jeremiah, Kareem Hunt continued his dynamic feats of daring-do on the field (22 pts.), and Rob Gronkowski added a welcome 17 points at tight end. The Crown took this one from C Killin it K, 108 – 98.

Justin Walter finds himself in a position he has often enjoyed: weekly points leader. Justin had only two disappointing lines on his scorecard this week: RB Demarco Murray scored only two, while WR Antonio Brown scored six. Palmer, Eifert, and Walsh all scored about what they should, but C.J. Anderson, Michael Crabtree, Ty Montgomery, and the Ravens’ defense were all monsters. Those four players scored 93 of Justin’s 121 total points this week. Meanwhile, Eric Martens’ Team Quagnis scored 80. Patriots WR Chris Hogan was the only real standout for the Quags this week, if you can call him that, garnering 13 in the flex. It was another disappointing week for Eric, as he joins Mike as the only two winless teams, while Justin joins Patrick as the League’s only remaining undefeated squads. King Slayer with the win, 121 – 80 over Team Quagnis.

Another fun fact: the most bench points this week were put up by the the Nordic Love Gods, with 74. Meanwhile, Da ChAmP had the fewest with 16.

Good luck in week 3!

Crown Lost! Week 1, 2017

Jason

Week 1 is in the books! Some of us had to deal with injuries, some with the weather, and some with the asshole across the virtual field. Some of us dealt with all three, but I’m not naming any names.

The big story of week 1 was the rematch of last season’s Championship Cup, DigBick Imhof vs. The Crown. After the shaky draft Jeremiah had, I don’t think anyone was surprised Patrick was forecasted to win, even though three of his roster spots were occupied by quarterbacks. (He should really do something about that.) But at the end of the first quarter of the season opener (Chiefs at Patriots), it looked like Crown was going to open up a sizable lead on DigBick, on the backs of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Alas, the refs made some appropriate calls and the Chiefs finally woke up. Kansas City ended up spanking New England at home, holding Tommy B. and Robbie G. to a collective 13 points. The door was open for Patrick to drive his big di…truck through, and that he did. Though somewhat anemic, Patrick’s fairly balanced attack brought home the win, despite the heroic efforts of the Rams’s defense for Jeremiah (29 points!). For the first time since December 8, 2015, Crown was dealt a loss. This one ended Digbick Imhof 75, The Crown 69.

The Nordic Love Gods, looking for redemption after a dismal 2016 campaign, geared up to take on da Champ who, arguably, had the best draft this season. The Love Gods were looking pretty good going into this one, until about five days before the contest began. Hurricane Irma brought her real-world destruction into the virtual world by forcing the postponement of the Miami-Tampa Bay game. This left both general managers, Jason and Nick, scrambling for substitutes. On top of Irma, Odell Beckham, Jr. was ruled out for his game week 1, depleting the Love God’s lineup even further. Nick gained the upper hand in the battle of the backups, as substitute QB Sam Bradford had the most individual points of any active player in our League this week with 25 and fellow Minnesotan Delvin Cook added 13. Meanwhile, the Love Gods were dealing with two wide receivers who had QB chemistry issues, T.Y. Hilton getting balls thrown his way by a couple of eighth graders from Fort Wayne Middle School. Or something like that. Jason’s hopes for a win were pushed at least one more week, as Nick Simon took home the win: da Champ 77, Nordic Love Gods 51.

Mike Arnold, the League’s rookie this year, showed he is not going to be anybody’s door mat. Mike rode his Red-Zoned Reindeer into battle against the King Slayer, Justin Walter. As you go down the scoreboard, this one was a see-saw affair. QBs about equal, better RBs for Mike, superior WRs for Justin, dominant TE for Mike, the edge to Justin at the FLEX. Down to defense and kicker, this one was even. At the very bottom of the board, however, Justin prevailed in both positions. Both defenses put up some decent numbers, but Pittsburgh topped Carolina by five. At kicker, Blair Walsh, who still gets nasty comments from Minnesota fans on his Instagram feed, doubled up on some guy named Hopkins from Washington. King Slayer emerged victorious in this one, 80 – 90 over Rudolph the Red-Zone Reindeer.

The Lopsided Bowl this week was between Caleb’s C Killin It K and Eric’s Team Quagnis. The Quags just couldn’t get anything good going in this one. Carr out-dueled Cousins at QB, RBs Gurley and Gordon out-gained Carlos and Hyde, WR Stefon Diggs single-handedly nearly doubled the combined output of Damarius Thomas and Doug Baldwin, then got a little help from Larry Fitzgerald. Even Marshawn Lynch got in on the action. This one was a good, old-fashioned beat down. C Killin It K 98, Team Quagnis 61.

“Hello, I’d like to report a murder.” Thus was Craig’s summary of his team’s defeat at Nicole’s hands. The difference in this one wasn’t as extreme as Caleb’s victory, but Nicole was the high scorer this week, with 100 points. Gronk ‘a’ Holic’s victory was enabled by three key factors: Russell Wilson fell asleep at Lambeau field, Matt Stafford inserted guided-missile technology into the footballs he threw, and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense tied for the highest point total of any roster spot this week. The Untarnished Krones started out well with some defensive points of their own, but Craig apparently forgot to put in more tokens, because the ride didn’t last. Fortunately for Craig, at least one of us (ahem, Patrick) has an extra QB on staff. The Gronksters beat the Krones, 100 – 79.

The blockbuster trade of the week was between Nick and Jeremiah, RB Kareem Hunt for WR Jordy Nelson. Nick may grow to regret this, as David Johnson broke his wrist in week 1, and Zeke Elliot looked just slightly better than average his first week out. Nick still has other running backs, but he may have given away his best one.

Good luck to everyone in week 2!

Welcome to the 2017 Season

Jason

Listen, sonsabitches, first off, I apologize for dropping off the face of the earth last season. Life got in the way and writing about fantasy football took a back seat. It’s probably a good thing, in retrospect, because the headlines would have become monotonous:

Fifth in the Bag for Crown
Crown Takes Sixth Win
Crown’s Lucky Number Seven
Another Win for Crown
Crown…Again
Crown Remains Unbeaten
Can Anyone Beat Crown?
Crown’s Ego too Big for Doors
Jesus, Somebody Please Beat Crown
Crown Boasts During Bye
For the Love of All that is Holy, Crown is One Win Away
Despite DigBick’s Best Boning, Crown Crowned

You got it: Crown Roof, led by the inimitable and highly inappropriate GM Jeremiah Walter, went completely undefeated last year. A perfect record, in a league of people who work at it.

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What was it? What was Crown’s x-factor? To be sure, there were a few great moves during the year, but Crown’s success was built on the foundation of David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliot. Johnson was on at least five fantasy teams two seasons ago, and never lasted more than three weeks on any of them. His contributions were marginal, at best. What turns a running back from a wannabe to a force of nature? I don’t know, but both David Johnson and Jeremiah Walter took a double dose of it, like Donald Trump and Russian urine in a Moscow hotel.

Then there was Zeke. Rookie RBs have rarely done well for fantasy owners, and most of us had trouble buying into the hype surrounding Zeke Elliot. Not Jeremiah. He grabbed onto Elliot as soon as he could, and never let go. Zeker rewarded Jeremiah with an outstanding rookie season, and cemented himself as a top-five, maybe even a top-three pick for the 2017-2018 campaign, barring injury or other off-field shenanigans (ha!).

Jeremiah was so pleased with his performance last season, he went to the trophy store and bought himself a gawd-awful commemorative belt. I’m not even kidding. Most of us are loathe to admit we covet the damn thing, but we do. Congratulations to Jeremiah on a perfect season.

For the second year in a row, runner-up honors were taken by a Rookie. We’ve made it part of our tradition now, that any rookie who makes it at least to the championship game earns the title Rookie of the Year. Patrick Imhof took that title in the 2016 season, along with a lot of shit talk from Jeremiah Walter. Said Patrick, “That fuckin’ guy…he’s a good fantasy player.” He’s still waiting for his RotY plaque.

Speaking of Rookies of the Year, Jason Gunderson took that title (from 2015) and threw it in the trash, finishing dead-ass last in 2016. It was like watching a train wreck, and it wasn’t pretty.

An early draft to kicked off the 2017 season for our League, and the Nordic Love Gods actually have a decent team. Sadly, he faces Nick Simon’s dA cHaMp in the first game, and it is dA cHaMp who has everyone looking at him. Nick Simon grabbed David Johnson with the first pick in the draft, then threw caution to the wind and nabbed Zeke Elliot and someone else with picks 20 and 21. Nick is hoping Zeke’s legal team can keep Goodell and Company tied up in the courts so he doesn’t have to serve his suspension. At least for week 1, the strategy is working.

In other news, we have another rookie this year. Mike Arnold has taken over for Adrian Simser who, on opening day, might finally be wondering if he should be checking his fantasy team. Mike is shaping up to be a much more involved owner, one who isn’t afraid to dish out a little smack when the opportunity presents itself. Welcome, Mike.

Let’s get out there and have a great season, kids!