Tuesday, November 12, 2013

FAABulous: Fantasy Football Pick-ups Week 11

Eagles' WR Riley Cooper apologizing for using a racial slur before the 2013 season. (cbssports.com)
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.

Colonel Nathan R. Jessup: 

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

I do my best to avoid preaching on here. Without a proper dialogue, anything that rubs someone the wrong way nowadays can be misconstrued, taken out of context, and tossed as kindling and catches fire that burns a flame of controversy whose ember never dampens. 

Last night, the NFL had the misfortune of putting the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football a week after the world's microscope has been focused on them for abusive behavior that reached a point where starting tackle Jonathan Martin left the team. The main culprit in this abuse was starting guard Richie Incognito. 

This has been a #HotSportsTake to say the least bringing in all aspects of race, bullying, football culture, warrior culture, leadership, and anything else that talking heads on sports television and radio want to stoke the flames with. What makes this so interesting is that the people talking about this Dolphins situation all have different perspectives. Some are current and former football players, some are writers, some are bloggers, some are investigative reporters, some are lawyers, some are members of Dolphins' brass, some are parents and normal everyday people.
Yes, what has made this such a BIG DEAL is that everyone is able to chime in. Furthermore, everyone can look at this from their own perspective and have their own opinion, and the tricky part is that no one is really wrong.

Each person that has their own opinions is entitled to them, but everyone has to realize that personal experiences dictate how you'll look at this or any siutation. I put the quote from A Few Good Men at the beginning of the article to show how different opinions contradict different views. While Col. Jessup was doing what was best for his country, all Kaffee was doing was defending two potentially innocent Marines who followed orders.

Ultimately Jessup was arrested and charged for ordering the "code red" but he didn't think he was wrong. From his unique experience that Kaffee's Harvard mouth could never understand is the brutality and real life decisions that take place within the Marine core.

Everyone wants to be omipotent and speak on behalf of everyone when it comes to having an opinion. No one wants to be wrong in their opinion or seem ignorant for how someone else might feel. Well, we don't live in a utilitarian society. Never have and never will. People are allowed to express their feelings and can make it a personal one.

As this investigation develops, there has already been special committees and investigations launched. People will probably lose their jobs. There is punishment to be dealt and policies to be reviewed. There is a common need to not want a situation like this to happen again, but attempts to understand what happened or cancel out the so-called warrior mentality and culture that probably floods NFL locker rooms is something maybe we don't want to know. Maybe we want to praise performances and commend players on the field, but seeing first hand what it takes to become that player is too dark for a Sunday afternoon.

These back corridors of society where the elite occupy aren't happy and care free. They are brutal and competitive and stressful. It's easy to paint Jonathan Martin as a victim because that's probably how most people respond to hearing this story. The only place you hear differing opinions are among the players that know that world the best. It seems odd that while many players voiced displeasure during Riley Cooper's incident earlier this year, a seemingly worse incident with Incognito is getting a mixed reception. Is this because this had more to do with the culture of football as opposed to say at a Kenny Chesney concert? Maybe words used by both Cooper and Incognito were both unacceptable and acceptable in their locker rooms/one-to-one relationship as teammates? These are all aspects of this complex case that can't be unfurled through an investigative report.

In today's message board culture, it's easy to just post a response. It's harder think about why something happened.

The truth of this matter lies deep within the people and the individuals involved in this case. With the generations of football from the NFL level, to college, to high school that breed these types of people. People that have transgressions just like anyone - athelete or not - but maybe have to be hard wired to truly succeed and be an NFL player or a UFC fighter or a CEO or a General or a scientist. Everyone has their own motives and reasons for why something happens. If you're not one of those people, and you try to understand it, you won't. And if you dig deep enough you probably won't like what you find.

Tavon Austin showing some footwork in Week 10. (sportsgrid.com)

Shane Vereen, RB - NE (49% owned) +Carolina Panthers 

Vereen is due back in the fold in New England. This isn't great news for Stevan Ridley owners as Vereen appeared on the cusp of taking over a higher percentage of carries in the New England offense before his injury. As Andre Brown showed us last week, just because you're back from IR doesn't meant your team won't feed you the ball.

Tavon Austin, WR - STL (44%) BYE

By definition, Austin's blow up performance last week was an outlier of a game. Over his past 6 games Austin averaged 1.15 fantasy points per game. He could have scored 75 points against Indy and it wouldn't have made up for all the damages he's caused this year. He has a bye this week, and is facing some pretty solid defenses for the rest of the year, so I'm still not a believer, but in the off chance the guy did finally have the light bulb go on - he's worth an add just to see.

Dennis Johnson, RB - HOU (21%) v OAK

Arian Foster is done for the year and Ben Tate has busted ribs. Johnson looks to be in the fold and get a good amount of touches. Should anything happen to Tate, then Johnson would be the man.

Rashad Jennings, RB - OAK (49%) +Houston Texans 

Our failed fantasy savior is back. After we all hoped Jennings would rescue Maurice Jones-Drew owners only a little while back, he's now firmly entrenched in Oakland with Darren McFadden injured (shock!). If you can't add Andre Brown this week, Jennings is a good and cheaper alternative.

Rishard Matthews, WR - MIA (4%) v SD

He looks to be taking to that slot receiver role very well. Worth a look for this week against the Chargers.

Tyler Eifert, TE - CIN (18%) v CLE

Second on the team in targets last week with Jermaine Gresham out. Of course that could mean something if Andy Dalton isn't your quarterback. The first tight end selected in this past year's draft looks to be rounding into form a bit.


Mark Ingram, RB - NO (16%) v SF

It's nice to see one Alabama running back trying to not be terrible this year. But unlike Austin, where at least there is upside, there isn't much for Ingram this year. He's still mixing things up with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles, and he doesn't have a good match-up next week against the 49ers.

THE 1%

Bobby Rainey, RB - TB (4%) v ATL

I wasn't on the Mike James bandwagon, and he actually looked pretty good filling in for Doug Martin. Rainey looked impressive against a poor Dolphins team, so I wouldn't put too much stock into that overall, but Rainey has the ability to out pace Brian Leonard for snaps.


Josh McCown, QB - CHI (8%), Jarrett Boykin, WR - GB (44%), Kenny Stills, WR - GB (40%), Mike Tolbert, RB - CAR (37%), Case Keenum, QB - HOU (30%),  Riley Cooper, WR - PHI (49%), Andre Brown, RB - NYG (49%), Donald Brown, RB - IND (16%)

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