Tuesday, November 20, 2012

FAABulous: Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 12

Dallas Clark's OT TD capped probably the greatest gambling moment of my life. (Getty)


FAABulous will recap the week of football activity and point fantasy owners where to spend their hard earned (not really) FAAB or waiver priority. Players will be owned in at most 50% of Yahoo! FFL. This is the one time where mo' money probably wouldn't mean mo' problems.

No one likes to hear about gambling wins. Gambling losses are usually much more pleasurable in a schadenfreude kind of way than how someone hit on their 4 team parlay, but I feel I must jot this particular gambling win down in the annals of history so that I can reflect on this when I'm old and gray. What occurred on Sunday might just be the apex of my gambling life.

Anyone that gambles on sports knows the feeling of sitting on your couch staring at all of the games going on and realizing your 3 team parlay is dead and buried. You have about 20 minutes to mull over whether to double down and try to make your money back in the afternoon games, or just cut your losses.

I was pondering this on Sunday probably the same time my younger brother was placing bets for the afternoon games.

We've both gambled on football for a bit. I'm less intense about it than he is. I'll use www.sportsbook.ag, while he has a bookie. I'll usually bet less money than he does, but we do enjoy it and as disturbing as it sounds, it's a good way to stay in touch. We will text or call Sunday morning to discuss games we like and games we don't. Get another perspective on things and see if we come to an agreement on teasers or parlays that could work out for us.

Most of the time we go our own way, but on Sunday we came to an agreement on a 3 team parlay.

Our bet was as follows:

Eagles/Redskins under 45 points
Packers (-3)
Bucs (+1.5); although I think my brother got them as a pick-em

There's nothing Earth shattering about those picks, but how they came to win is what makes this bet perhaps the gambling apex of our lives.

**I'm sure there are real gamblers out there who spend thousands of dollars a week on bets, have won more money than I'll ever see and so on and so forth, but this is for me and my casual betting self. 
The bad news is, that it's never a good thing to realize the moment you hit your apex in anything. By defnition it's all down hill from here. The good news is, with gambling, you can never be exactly sure. The best gambling moment of your life will always be in hindsight, less you win Powerball and collect a couple hundred million dollars. I can sit here right now, and say, yes, that's probably my gambling apex, but I have no idea. There could be a 5 team teaser in my future or...even who knows what kind of gambling options will even be available 10 years from now? This may be a drop in the bucket...at least that's what I have to tell myself to continue gambling and having fun doing it.

That does not apply for your sexual apex. If you're just a regular guy, then I'm pretty sure most of us know exactly when our sexual apex hit. A moment where, yes, it may not get better than this. Like, if you somehow find yourself in bed with Mila Kunis, it's probably time to jump off a high building (John Mayer need not take note of this).

For some the sexual apex is more obscure, or in reality not much of an apex, but a high note. A blip on the fooling around radar. For others it's a thunderous body slam that rocks your world forever. A friend told me that he knows a guy that knows a guy that took a certain famous actresses virginity while they were in high school. They went to prom together and there's photographic evidence of that. Whether they went all the way, well, I'm not cracking open an investigation. But if you're that guy and you got it on with this B-list actress, then where do you go from there? It's not like you're going to meet Kate Upton at the supermarket. For the rest of your life, that will be - without a doubt - your sexual calling card.

Dates may not seem as sweet, the allure of a woman might be limited to the fact that she hasn't starred in movies and TV shows, or let's face it, you may just not nab a better looking chick for the rest of your life.

So the good news is: I've never had sex with an any letter actress and I can still pretend my gambling apex hasn't happened. Go gambling!

Like most things this season, unfortunately, the outcome of the Eagles game was never in doubt. The Skins were on cruise control, and this Eagles offense has put up more than 20 points only 3 times all year. Final score WAS 31 Eagles 6.

However, the other two games looked like lost causes. The Packers had been struggling most of the day against Detroit, and the Bucs were down 10 against the Panthers with 6:00 minutes left.

When Doug Martin fumbled at the goal line with at the end of the 3rd quarter leading to a Panthers TD drive, I'd say things were just about sunk.

On the subsequent Bucs drive, they made a 40 yard field goal courtesy of Connor Barth, making it 21-13 with 4:03 remaining in the game.

My brother and I were both thinking that Cam Newton owed us a pick 6, as he hadn't thrown an INT all game, but that was not in the cards. We did get something positive, which was a punt after the Panthers had run off 3:01 of game time. The legendary Josh Freeman had the ball with 1:02 remaining in the 4th quarter, down 8.

Meanwhile, in Green Bay, the Packers had taken the lead from the Lions. An Aaron Rodgers led 82 yard drive ended in a Randall Cobb floating TD pass (his 7th TD catch of the year, by the way). The next Lions possession was lost on downs and netted -5 yards. The Pack were up with 1:19 left in the 4th quarters.

Back in Tampa, Josh Freeman had no timeouts and needed a TD. What happened next was a 7 play 80 yard TD drive that lasted all of 50 seconds. Freeman's TD pass to Vincent Jackson was a laser between three Carolina defenders.

While Freeman was doing his thing, the Packers had run out the clock the best they could. With 19 seconds left they kicked a field goal to go up 24-20. In real life, this served to force the Lions to have to score a TD, but it was pretty insignificant. How insignificant? I couldn't even find a picture of the field goal kick on ESPN's game wrap. In gambling life, the Packers had covered, and Mason Crosby owed everyone that bet on the Packers as he had missed his previous 2 field goal opportunities that day.

So now, in the span of 4 minutes of NFL game time, our bet had gone from dead to very much alive. The Eagles/Skins and the Packers were in the books. The Bucs had just made an improbably drive, but still needed the two point conversion to force overtime. Freeman dropped back and found his best friend (and now, probably mine) Jackson on a slant for the conversion. We were going to overtime.

The Bucs got the ball first, which under the new rules, doesn't mean a whole lot, unless you score a TD. They were again on their own 20 with 80 yards of grass to go. Huh, some deja vu for Josh.

He had his timeouts now and could utilize Martin as a result. The Panthers were reeling and after some big Martin runs, Freeman was able to ice the cake with a 15 yard pass to Dallas Clark. Touchdown! Bucs win! Our parlay wins!

From losing hope for a day to having a complete turnaround in about 8 minutes of NFL game time with all of those games going on simultaneously was crazy, crazy, crazy. My life gambling bar is set pretty high. I'll probably never put $10,000 on black or be in a high stakes baccarat game like James Bond, so I guess the goal now is to somehow top this one.

I have a feeling I'll fall short a good amount of times.

Onto some adds for Week 12. As playoffs near, injuries have been a big part of the narrative last week as well as this one. However, this week, some bigger fantasy impact players took a tumble. As I've mentioned most times this season, just because a back-up gets the starting job, it's not a reason to jump all over him. There are always good back-up and just back-ups.

I'm a very important person! (philly.com)

Bryce Brown, RB - PHI (5% owned) CAR

Bryce Brown is a rookie running back for Philadelphia. Something else you may know about him is that he was taken in the 7th round. You might even know he ran a 4.37 40 at the combine. Here's something you may not know, coming out of college, he was ranked higher than Trent Richardson and Matt Barkley which makes sense because he was the top recruit in all of high school football his Senior year. So yeah, he was a big deal back in the day. To say he has the pedigree would be an overstatement. He transferred to Kansas St. after a year at Tennessee, then had a multitude of issues that completely derailed his once promising career. With LeSean McCoy getting a concussion late Sunday, there's no reason the Eagles should bring him back Monday against Carolina, and they should probably sit McCoy longer than that.

Brown has yet to prove himself above the high school level and will be running behind a horrible offensive line, but against a weak defense. Monday Night seems like an interesting time for Brown to shine and let people know who he is.

Lance Ball, RB - DEN (2%) @KC

Another injury knocked Willis McGahee out for most likely the rest of the season with an MCL tear. The play here is Ronnie Hillman, but I profiled him back in Week 4 as an add, so for the sake of repeating myself, Lance Ball is the other option in Denver. With Denver's offense the way it is and Philadelphia likely plugging McCoy back as soon as he's healthy, Hillman is the big free agent this week.

Justin Blackmon, WR - JAX (27%) TEN

Blackmon was late arriving to the 2012 rookie bonanza, but he kicked in the door and made sure people took notice. It's interesting what will happen when a wide receiver has a quarterback that actually throws the football and takes chances. Some of Blackmon's biggest plays, including an overturned TD catch due to a holding penalty were jump balls that Chad Henne threw up there for him. Blackmon was a high pick for a reason. He has the physicality that can set him apart from a big possession receiver.

With his titanic 236 yds 1 TD performance, the stock will be high for Blackmon, but that game against the Texans was just screwy. With Henne keeping the job I like Blackmon a bit more moving forward, but I won't expect any repeat performances.

Julian Edelman, WR - NE (4%) @NYJ

The biggest injury of the weekend was Rob Gronkowski breaking his forearm. The TD machine was injured on the 59th point of the game. An extra point. Grand.

There will obviously be a redistribution of looks in New England, but with Aaron Hernandez finally due back from his high ankle sprain, the Pats may not lose much of a step. One player that has come on recently has been Edelman. he had a big week last week and unless the Pats have a lot of confidence in Visanthe Schancoe, any leftovers could be Edelman's for the taking.


PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED

Jalon Parmalee, RB - JAX (6%) TEN

We've been here with Rashad Jennings and we're still here looking to replace Maurice Jones-Drew. Parmalee isn't the answer just like Jennings wasn't. Only if you're desperate should you add Parmalee.


THE 1%

Shane Vereen, RB - NE (6%) @NYJ

A better RB option would be Vereen. The offensive benefits are clear, and Bill Belichick has shown that although Stevan Ridley is the starter, there's still room for Vereen.

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