Week 9 — preview – view from the pit

Week 9 is here. The doldrums, the calm before the storm? the early flush of enthusiasm waning? the ‘come on lets get to the playoffs bit? no chance. It seems that almost all coaches are finding their fantasy feet this year, making it tougher all round. There’s certainly a bit more real world NFL knowledge doing the rounds, whether its out there in the open on the blog or played close to the chest in the waivers and Thursday to Saturday subs. These next few weeks see the real separation, a combination of focus and a good match up against a coach who might be losing interest a touch could see some changes before the playoffs.

It’s non divisional again, so taking the matchups in order of closest to widest spread across the league table;

Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars (8) vs Tranent International Tornados (9)
Jimmy picked up the Bengals and Montee Ball this week whilst Tornados picked up the Eagles and Travaris Cadet. RBs are in short supply so its no surprise to see anything and everything being grabbed with both hands – even if its a crocked Ball and an ‘also ran’ runner – Tornados are really struggling at RB now, but Cadet has an outside chance of a few points on Thursday as the Saints go to RB for passing plays, however Saints opponents  Panthers have been giving up plenty of points to WRs and QBs so unless their secondary coverage improves, it would have to be a lucky TD for this Cadet to graduate to double digit scores. Nicky Looks much better off at Wideout, and could be needing a massive game from both Fitzgerald and Hilton to see a chance of victory this week. Demarco Murray for Jimmy is AVERAGING 20 pts a game, can that continue? Perhaps not against the Cardinals but with Lynch and Millar at the Raiders and Chargers, Jimmy’s RB score alone could be 60+. The Pit Prediction is for the Jags by 20 pts
dodgy touchdown (2) Mercy Flush (7)
A Sunday only game by the look of it for these 2. Compressing the game into nearer real time makes it a little easier to track the scores, Paul probably hoping to build an unassailable lead by bedtime Sunday or risk a sleepless nail-biting night. Touchdown will be forced to play second string QB Roethlisberger, but high scoring QBs are ten a penny, even in week 9, and in fact he’s so far outscored Ryan this season, thanks mainly to a monster performance from the touchdown bench last week, so with any luck that shouldn’t slow Russell down. elsewhere in the lineups Touchdown appear to have a slight edge at most positions, thanks in part to Eddy Lacy being on a bye for Flush – Touchdown flex could be a secret weapon as NFL.com only predicts half a point for Thompson – the Broncos Pats game could be a thriller, so expect a few more goal line chances for him. Flush have a solid, near ‘ perfect 10’ prediction with scores across the board, but the Pit Prediction is a win for Touchdown by 10 pts.

Kelso 187’s (6) Earlston Earthquakes (1)

Euan’s 187s travel to beyond the purple door this week and the rest of the league (well, Kirk division anyway) is possibly hoping for a big surprise for league leader Chris’ Quakes. Euan has lucked out with 4 of the quakes stars on byes, but he’ll need to capitalise on that if he’s to have a chance at TJ Hooker division where its just about all square. Euans Wideout team had a massive week 8 – Brown looks like having a better chance of a repeat of that performance with the Steelers wideout going up against the Ravens ,who’ve given up plenty of points to receivers this year so far. Thats in the Sunday late game though, so Euan may just trust to get those 20 points in his sleep. Chris will get to see most of his points scored in the Sunday early game, unless those pesky kids demand some attention again! Both teams have points to score on Monday night too, Euan has the best of that with players on both sides of the Giants Colts game. With quakes relying on second stringers everywhere but RB, the Pit prediction is a win for the 187s
Fog on the Tyne (10) Earlstonian Bohemians (4)
Fresh off their 2 win resurgent streak, Fog are looking to cement their place as a real contender in the league this year. Bohemians need this win too if they are to have a chance at Kirk division. This looks like being a close one from all angles, NFL.com has the teams level pegging by midnight Sunday and then again early Tuesday morning – Drew Brees on Thursday could make all the difference (again). Fogs consistent high scorer leads the Saints against a panthers defence who have let plenty points through. Saints have been pretty lax about stopping points for wideouts as well – so Benjamin could have a big game for coach Ally. It’s close all the way to the end so where’s the play that will make the difference, players are spread right across the NFL, but perhaps the colts Giants game will be crucial with ally’s QB and Stuart’s 2 Ind Stars hoping to bounce back from Injury, its too cloase to call for sure, but the Pit gives it to the Bohemians by 5 pts
Pilton Panthers (12) Oakbank Oddities (5)
another predicted close game for dead last Panthers against TJ Hooker leaders Oddities. It’s about time for another win for the panthers, looking at Robert’s overall breakdown, he’s been slightly unlucky with weekly matchups and should be more like 3-5 than his actual 2-6. Oddities are also slightly ahead of their real score though, so its anyone’s game, Panthers need a standout game from Hillman as well as Jamaal Charles at RB, Hillman had a wee knock at practice today though so Robert will need to keep an eye on that for Sunday. No Action on Thursday, but the match up will be decided Monday night at the Colts Giants game, Ahmad Bradshaw for Harry has been more in form that Rueben Randle for Robert, but it only takes 1 touchdown to change that prediction. In any case The Pit gives it to Oddities by 5

Nitten Pickaxe (3) SanFran-Gordon 69ers (11)

Pickaxe again have a wide spread match up, facing the 69ers a whole 8 paces down in the league. Pickaxe may finally get their star Wideout team playing together as it looks as if AJ Green may be playing this week. Coach Rich has a lot to do Friday in the waivers needing to find a QB or risking the game. Coach Gav has a recurrent problem of picking between 2 allegedly great TE’s but only one of whom seems capable of having a good game each week – hoping to pick the right one this week, at least there’s no decision to make at QB this time. Rich is playing it cool with QBs but as mentioned above there are still plenty to choose from. The big problem this year for the 69ers has been that only bye week QB Rogers has figured in the top 50 scorers, we have to go down to 66, 67 and 68 to find David, Royal and Vereen, however, all of them have had 20 point games this year, so if they all fire up at once, this game might not be as one sided as it appears now. The Pit still gives it to the pickaxe by 20 points tho.

so that’s it for the week – the Pit predictions coming true would cement the lead in all divisions except Kirk – and with just 2 weeks to the divisional games, the highest losing playoff spots are the most up for grabs.





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Where you’re getting your points from- Week 08

The table below shows how well your position group is performing compared to the league average in each game. For example- The Bohemians QBs have scored 5.40 points more than the league average per game whereas their K has scored 0.25 points less than league average in each game.

TEAM QB RB1+2 WR1+2 TE FLEX K DST
Bohemians 5.40 -6.80 2.97 4.46 -0.10 -0.25 -0.45
Flush 1.02 -1.78 -2.85 -1.38 2.92 -0.13 -1.32
Earthquakes -0.59 8.62 -3.29 -1.69 4.15 -1.38 3.80
Tornadoes 5.65 -8.12 1.37 2.40 -0.67 0.88 0.43
Pickaxe 0.29 -4.34 3.70 2.35 -1.78 1.25 1.05
Panthers -4.15 -0.25 0.00 -1.75 -1.19 -1.50 0.18
187s -3.35 2.77 5.62 -0.08 -1.83 -2.13 2.55
Oddities -2.38 -0.55 -0.33 3.42 0.41 2.75 -2.82
Jaguars -1.53 13.15 -8.56 -3.80 3.85 -1.38 1.68
Tyne -0.38 -4.60 4.25 -2.06 -3.46 -0.75 -2.95
Touchdown -1.92 7.13 2.04 -0.76 -0.98 1.63 -1.95
69ers 1.93 -5.22 -4.93 -1.11 -1.33 1.00 -0.20

Week 08 Review- A Clearer Picture?

This is it! The home stretch and just 2 more inter-divisional weeks remain before the key divisional match-ups see us into the playoffs.

Non -Divisional Games

(3-5) Tranent International Tornadoes 107.84 – 139.46 Kelso 187s (4-4)

Top Scorers:E Sanders 30.6 (187s), A Brown 25.8 (187s), P Manning 23.44 (TT)

Points left on bench: Tornadoes (21.7) 187s (3.2)

The highest scoring game of the weekend saw the 187s take a shock early lead that they never relinquished.

TNF saw Coach Guthrie take an early lead over the Tornadoes with the game’s top scorer E Sanders posting one of the highest WR scores of a WR friendly weekend. A Brown pitched in 25.8 points from the other WR spot. The game was won with the 22 point swing produced by the Dolphins DST (26 points) as they ran in 2 TDs against the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. The 187s also got strong performances from C Palmer and L Bell and with 3 other players scoring over 6 points they made I Crowell’s 0.9 point day almost irrelevant. The 187’s face the high flying Earthquakes next week in the last of the Keith Robertson Cars  bragging right games.  The 187s will need a performance like this week to stop the league’s top scorers.

For Coach Nicky it was a tale of another very good performance against an opponents top game of the season. These results are frustrating, but as every experienced coach knows every point counts! P Manning started the Tornadoes week very well with 23.44 points and with WRs L Fitzgerald and T Hilton producing 22 and 21.5 points respectively along with 15.5 points from TE M Bennett the Tornadoes would normally had enough firepower to win against most opponents. Again the Tornadoes Achilles heel has been the supporting positions. L McCoy produced a steady 9.7 points, but the other 4 starters produced a paltry 15.7 points. The Tornadoes face the slumping Jaguars where one of them will have to face a 3 or 4 game losing streak.

 (6-2) Dodgy Touchdown 104.62 – 98.84 Pilton Panthers (2-6)

Top Scorers:M Forte 24.8 (DT), J Charles 23.7 (PP), N Foles 21.84 (PP)

Points left on bench: Touchdown(49.46) Panthers (8.1)

A week that could have gone so wrong for the Touchdown in the end turned out well. For the Panthers their win streak was halted at 1 as they slumped to their 6th defeat, fell 3 games behind their division leaders and all but eliminated themselves from the wildcard chase.

This week’s performance for the Touchdown was all about their bench performance with Pittsburgh pair H Miller and B Roethlisberger producing 17.2 and 44.78 points. Thankfully for Coach Russell, M Forte (24.8) and 4 other double digit performers spared his lineup blushes. Yet again we’re talking about an all-round consistent fantasy team performance and that has been the hallmark of the Dodgy Touchdown season. It wasn’t spectacular but on a weekly basis it’s enough to see of 75% of the EFFL. Next week is the Wheatley Bowl.

Coach Rab’s bad luck continues.He’s faced the toughest schedule in the EFFL so far and his team although consistent just hasn’t been able to keep up with his high scoring opponents. This week N Foles and J Charles both produced 20 point games with support from R Hillman (13.8) and R Cobb (18.6). It was the rest of the team that let him down with the remaining 5 starters producing just 21.2 points. Against an opponent like Touchdown that was never going to be enough. Next week the Panthers face the inconsistent Oddities.

(5-3) Nitten Pickaxe 75.38 – 81.14 Fog on the Tyne (3-5)

Top Scorers:D Brees 25.04 (FT), P Rivers 19.78 (NP), Patriots 13 (NP), J Witten 13 (FT)

Points left on bench: Pickaxe (27.92) Tyne (24.9)

It was a trap game for the Pickaxe and they fell right into it as the Fog on the Tyne continued their revival and extended their win streak to 2 games.

Fortunately for the Pickaxe, despite their loss they managed to maintain their divisional lead with the Panthers and Tornadoes both losing. For the 4th time this season the Pickaxe left over 20 points on their bench and this profligacy ended up costing the game. They had 4 double digit performances from P Rivers, Patriots, A Ellington (12.5) and A Vinatieri (10), but it was the performance of Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland that decided this game on Monday Night. Unable to find star WR Dez Bryant, T Romo started targeting Tyne TE J Witten for his highest output of the season. Next week the Pickaxe face the slumping 69ers who took a shellacking (or was that a defenestration?!?) from the rampant Bohemians.

The Fog on the Tyne extended their winning streak to 2 games and finally caught 2nd place Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars. The Tyne are the lowest scoring team in the EFFL, but over the last 4 weeks only 5 teams are scoring more points than them. This week D Brees produced his best game of the season with 25.04 and with A Jeffery, D Thomas and M Crosby (11.90, 10.5 and 11) scoring double figures they did enough to mask disappointing scores from the Bears DST (-3) and C Johnson (2). The Chiefs DST were left languishing on the bench despite scoring 19 points against the Rams, but they face an even more mouth watering tie against the Jets next week (although the Chiefs haven’t beat the Jets since 2005). Next week the Tyne face the Bohemians who stopped their 4 game win streak last year…..a chance for revenge?

(6-2) Earlston Earthquakes 123.68 – 78.76 Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars (3-5)

Top Scorers:A Foster 35.3 (EE), J Cutler 21.68 (EE), G Tate 21.1 (EE)

Points left on bench: Earthquakes (4.3) Jaguars (17.1)

What began as a grudge match ended up as a stroll in the park as the slumping Jaguars hit a 3 game skid and the Earthquakes continued on their Championship winning form.

Yet another strong week for the Earthquakes as they dominated the Jaguars. A Foster, J Cutler and G Tate led the way with almost 80 points between them. The rest of the team was solid and unspectacular, but with 3 players producing those sort of numbers that’s usually all that’s required. The Earthquakes now lead the league scoring with a +35.18 margin over second place rival the Bohemians. They’ll look to continue their high scoring form as they face their garage rivals the 187s.

For the Jaguars the misery continues. After 2 harsh lineup losses, this game got away from them early and they never really had a sight of the Earthquakes in the entire match. D Murray (20.1) continued his wonderful form and he was aided by D Jackson (13.6), R Wilson (13.46), C Parkey (10) and L Miller (9.9). But against a high scoring opponent like the Earthquakes scores of 0, 1.3 and 4 from Colts, V Jackson and J Reed just weren’t going to help. At least Coach Jimmy can take heart that the decision to leave M Ingram (23.5) on the bench wouldn’t have made any difference to the game. The Jaguars face the Tornadoes and one of those teams will face an extended losing streak by the Tuesday morning.

(4-4) Mercy Flush 90.06 – 105.64 Oakbank Oddities (4-4)

Top Scorers:T Brady 34.16 (MF), S Watkins 21.7 (OO), E Lacy 18.2 (MF)

Points left on bench: Flush (11.8) Oddities (2.9)

A close game that came down to the wire on Monday Night Football. In the end the Oddities did just enough to claim the win and push the Flush out of the No.6 wildcard spot.

The Oddities finally put their lineup woes behind them and the team responded with 5 double digit starters, led by S Watkins (21.7) and supported by C Ivory (16.3), A Bradshaw (14.7), S Gostkowksi (15), G Bernard (10.7). With only TE J Thomas scoring under 6 points this was always going to be a tough performance for their opponent to overcome and it was left to the Dallas DST to secure the win on MNF. The Oddities face the rock bottom Panthers next week and will hope to secure a win that will allow them to put some daylight between themselves and the 187s.

The Flush posted their best score in 3 weeks, but unfortunately it was not enough to catch the Oddities. T Brady led the team and was supported by RB E Lacy. J Forsett added a solid (10.5) score, but there just wasn’t enough support from the rest of the team with no one scoring over 7 points to offset M Floyd’s 0 point outing against Philapdelphia. The Flush have had real problems at WR1+2 this year scoring nearly 3 points less than the league average, perhaps the pool of rookie talent on waivers may tempt Coach Paul into making a change? The Flush go to the Wheatley Bowl needing a win to keep pace with the rest of the Kirk Division.

(5-3) Earlstonian Bohemians 141.2 – 78.92 SanFran-Gordon 69ers (3-5)

Top Scorers: R Gronkowski 32.9 (EB), J Maclin 30.7 (EB), A Luck 26.6 (EB)

Points left on bench: Bohemians (4.6) 69ers (3.3)

The Bohemians keep pace with the Earthquakes whereas the 69ers lost for the 3rd time in their last 4 games.

The Bohemians had two of the strongest positional scores of the weekend in TE R Gronkowski and WR J Maclin. A Luck added nearly another 30 points to the top 2 scorers in the game and with the Bills DST adding 16 points that was more than enough to outscore the 69ers. The other 5 starters pitched in with a solid 35 points. Again RB is a problem for the Bohemians, but with consistent performances like this from QB, WR and TE, then RB3 and 4 scores may be enough. The Bohemians face the improving Fog on the Tyne who will have revenge on their mind after last year’s game.

The 69ers just couldn’t live with the Bohemians as their best players just couldn’t support dismal performances at other starting positions. A Rodgers led the team with 24.82 points and J Graham, K Davis, Seahawks and M Prater adding 43.8 points. But it was low scoring days from J Edelman (1.4), J Kearse (1.4) and E Royal (2.9) that left them with just too much ground to make up. The 69ers face another tough matchup in the Nitten Pickaxe and will need to win to keep themselves in the playoff hunt.

He came to our house and we kicked his ass….

Welcome to my Fantasy: Week 8

Two weeks ago I made the statement that, due to being heavily effected in weeks 9 and 10 by bye weeks, I needed to win weeks 7&8 against the league leader then the highest points scorer of the league. So what did I go and do, only bloody well that! After victory against Russell I came up against my oldest and dearest friend in the league and I completely destroyed him to take my season record to 6-2. My average score is now the highest in the league(by some way I think) and I’m cementing myself into top spot in the Kirk division.

Now some of you may have heard some of the stories from my past life regarding my relationship with Coach Jimmy but I’m going to chronicle some of them here and now to try and give some understanding as to why this game, and no doubt future EFFL games, are what I consider my derby game. I’m not going to lie, I can’t fully recall how we ended up as friends, I just remember a couple of groups of lads with some common ground somewhere started drinking together and the rest was, as they say, history. Back then I was a decent kid who enjoyed my sport but never really liked the competitive side of things, I loved training, having a kick about down the park and if anyone suggested a new sport I was always willing to give it a shot for something to do and possibly have a laugh doing it. Now Jimmy, on the other hand, was(still is mind) very talented at sport he was mainly into his football but give him a club/racket/bat he was pretty solid at those things too. He also had something I lacked greatly. If he was playing he was playing to win, he also had very little time or patience for anyone who didn’t feel the same as you were just wasting time. That may be harsh because we’ve played team games in our past like pub league cricket and that was for fun….hang on, we won the league at our second time of asking and followed it up the year after…..it was still just a bit of fun mind.

I don’t know, you would have to ask him, if he set out to change my mentality when it came to winning or whether it was a by product of getting beaten when I was on his side but he did make it one of his goals to change my attitude in regards to winning. The clearest example of this for me was when 4 of us took up badminton. If memory serves it was on a Thursday evening in Kelso High School games hall for about an hour and we would rotate the foursome after every game. He was a pain in the arse to play against due to the fact he was brilliant at telling you what he was going to do, why you didn’t have an answer for what he was about to do and then go ahead and do just what he laid out and execute it perfectly, didn’t always work but he did have a pretty high hit rate. All that said, that was the easier games to handle, when you teamed up with him that’s when it got very tough for me. “What was that?” “Your pittin it right where he wants it” and more, so much more. This used to boil my piss, I would start off by telling him to “shut the eff up”, “let me play my shot” then after a bit I would go quiet and that’s when he knew he’d got me, I would see his grin come over his face and that’s when I would want to smack him in the puss. I never did, I just got my head down said nothing and in my quiet rage would start playing with a killer instinct just to get him off my team and out of my effin face. After the hour was up though it was always over for him, he’d won, lost or drawn(never that happy with the latter two) but he left it there. Me, not so much, I would be still at boiling point for quite a while and more often than not storm away home without speaking to anyone.

Now what is the moral to all this, you may ask, and to be honest there may not be one because this was how it was, as I recall it, and it can never be changed. I have change from the young lad that wanted to just play, I do now like to win and never do things just to compete but as proved earlier this year after a week of trash talk that led to a defeat I hit my default setting, I went very quiet, got my head down and got my killer instinct back. This is now my weakest time, historically this is were I take my foot off the gas, the hard work is done. This is where I have to tell myself my biggest challenges are yet to come and that failure cannot be an option. Right now this could go either way, let’s see what happens against the 187’s to see if it gets any clearer.

From Behind the Purple Door.

Week 09 Waiver Wire Special

Over the remaining 6 weeks of the season we’re going to try to interview some of the “greatest” minds of the EFFL and invite them to identify their favourite waiver wire pick-ups. This week we spoke to Jaguars and Earthquakes owners and head coaches Jimmy and Cozy.

We’re working with what’s available in our league (which is sweet FA if you need a RB) so before you scream at some of our choices….”It’s the market baby!”.

We initially wanted to identify 4 or 5 waiver wire categories, but in order to keep this condensed we settled on a general waiver chat and then followed it up by trying to identify a rookie who’s role is growing and will strengthen our team just in time for the playoffs. Here’s what we think. These are our own thoughts, but i have cleaned up the grammar and language!

Our Waiver Wire Chat (including rookie pickup of the week)

Ally: Before we make a start on our rookie pickup of the week lets start with some of the players you think are worth targetting this week.

Jimmy: Landry WR miami, Starks RB GB, Rudolph TE Min, Cadet RB NO. Now u know all my secrets.

Ally: I‘m going for D.Adams WR GB, Cadet NO, Rudolph and Charles Clay. I also want to talk about Johnny (Manziel). Glennon would’ve been on that list but he’s now on my roster along with the Titans DST (for the playoffs).
Jimmy: I CANNOT believe that you have listed on here your 1 week match up selection as A TE the very week that my opponent and the 3rd member of this group needs a bye week cover at TE!
Cozy: I have Mr Jenkins. I don’t need Clay.
Jimmy: I’m sorry I’ve picked up James Starks, I just think if Lacy goes down his ceiling gets a lot higher, where as Stewart’s will always be low. It was a hard call to make.
Cozy: What’s your thoughts on Theo Riddick? Think he’ll get dropped when Bush is back or has he shown enough to water down the Lions fantasy worth further?
Ally: I’d say when Bush is back he’ll see less time.But until he is he’s always going to be more useful than someone like Anton Smith or Chris Johnson.
Ally: Ok, we’re off on a complete tangent from what we were trying to do and that was pick a rookie waiver of the week. Given that the RB pool is empty apart from Charles Sims lets concentrate on WR. From the players we’ve discussed offline and are available which one of Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry, Martavias Bryant, Donte Moncrieff, John Brown, Jordan Matthews and Paul Richardson who are available on waivers would we pick up and why?
Cozy: Jimmy likes Landry.
Jimmy:Yes I like Landry but he is still not producing the numbers (Landry 31 targets in 6 games 25-255-1). Robinson is the best pick on targets and snap counts but plays on a poor team. Brown has an big advantage on the others if Floyd can’t go this week. Moncreiff looks like he has secured a place on a top passing offence. I would pick Robinson as a pick up, high snap count weekly team leader on targets and back to back TDs. Moncrieff will be a stop gap until Wayne returns. He’s probably a better short term answer than some of the others.
Ally: Any thought on Bryant? Just on roster, and 2 very good weeks. 12 targets 7 catches 123 yds and 3tds. Is he worth a flyer? and at 6’4″ he’s no smurf.
Jimmy: Personally I would give him another week, and if its another good one well then it will be too late probably. But if I had 2 defences and 2 kickers and I was hanging on to an injured panthers RB as if he was Walter Payton then I would take a chance and pick him up this week.

Jimmy: Moncreiff will stay ahead of Nicks tho’ when Wayne returns which I like about him.
Ally: That advice seems very specific, hmmmm. Yeah. It’s a beast of a pass offense, but Luck is like Manning and Brees. He likes to spread the love. You’ll not be guaranteed good days every week, but when they come they’ll be happy ones. For me Landry and Robinson are the steadier picks at the moment. But I’d be drawn to the higher ceilings of Bryant and Moncrieff.
CozyI like Robinson due to his targets but not for his team. I like Moncrieff for his team but not his long term this season. I think, though, I would plump for John Brown. He may be the smaller of the group but with Fitzgerald improving and with Palmer getting better he is on a good passing team with layered targets, he gets redzone targets and is established as the 3rd receiver.
Ally: Yeah, good thinking. He’s probably the safer choice with the potential for a higher upside. Ok so we’ve gone with 3 different choices, 🙂 Personally, I think we need to think long term. So lets rule out Moncrieff and Bryant just now, agreed? So that leaves us a choice of Landry, Robinson or Brown.
Cozy: Brown
Jimmy: They are all good calls for the rookies so just pick which u want to go with
Cozy: Robinson is more consistent but Brown has had x2 17 point games with Palmer. I go Brown.
Jimmy: Brown it is
Ally: Ok fantastic. So I our first waiver wire rookie of the week choice is:
John Brown (WR) of the Arizona Cardinals.
But if you’re the Head Coach of the SanFran-Gordon 69ers then we suggest you dump one of your defenses and DeAngelo Williams and pick up Martavias Bryant WR Pittsburgh Steelers and Charles Sims RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Other waiver wire thoughts that we never got around to talking about are as follows- B LaFell WR, T Wright TE , K Rudoph (injured) TE, T Eifert (injured) TE, C Sims (injured) RB, J Starks RB, K Orton QB, J Stewart RB, T Kadet RB, B Cunningham RB, A Hawkins WR.
Comedy picks for this week: J Manziel QB, B Quick WR, K Stills WR and Z Mettenberger QB

 

Pick um or Stick um Wk2

Here are your week 2 picks.

Coach Euan:

187s, Bohemians, Flush, Fog, JJJ, Touchdowns.

Coach Ally:

187s, Oddities, Bohemians, JJJ, Touchdowns, Pickaxe.

Coach Nicky:

TiT, Bohemians, Flush, Earthquakes, Pickaxe, Touchdowns.

Coach Paul: 

Flush, Bohemians, Earthquakes, Pickaxe, TiT, Touchdowns.

Coach Stuart:

Fog, Panthers, TiT, Bohemians, Flush, Earthquakes.

Coach Russell:

TiT, Pickaxe, JJJ, Flush, Bohemians, Panthers.

Coach Gav:

187s, Oddities, Bohemians, JJJ, Touchdowns, Pickaxe.

Coach Richie:

69ers, Oddities, JJJ, Fog, TiT, Touchdowns.

Coach Cozy:

Earthquakes, Bohemians, Flush, Pickaxe, 187s, Panthers.

Coach Jimmy:

JJJ, Bohemians, Oddities, Pickaxe, 187s, Panthers.

Coach Harry:

No entry submitted

Coach Rab:

No entry submitted

So here is how the voting went.

Bohemians 9 picks

Pickaxe 7 picks

JJJ 6 picks

Flush 6 picks

Touchdown 6 picks

187s 5 picks

TiTs 5 picks

Panthers 4 picks

Oddities 4 picks

Earthquakes 4 picks

Fog 3 picks

69ers 1 pick

So there you have it this weeks Pick um are Bohemians with 9 votes and this weeks stick um are the 69ers with 1 vote. Well I guess you need to vote for yourself don’t you.

Standings

Team              Correct               100%

Pickaxe                6                   1

Earthquakes       4

187s                      4

Touchdowns       4

JJJ                           3

Flush                     3

Oddities                3

Bohemians           2

69er                       2

Fog                         0

Panthers               0

TiT                          0

View from the Pit – Week 8 previews

Week 8 ,  how did that happen? We are halfway through the regular season and the playoff spaces are getting closer – Shatner and Uhura both have obvious leaders at the halfway point, but as Bohemians Coach ally has reminded us, at this stage the whole of Kirk would be making the playoffs, whereas in Uhura, no one is on the positive side of their win/loss divide. Week 7 saw a .1pt match last placed Panthers just pipping the 187s and leaving TJ Hooker with the hard maths to work out why they are top middle or bottom in the league.

My view last week wasn’t so much of the Pit as of Thomas and his many, many money grabbing mates, but it was straight back to it with the waivers after an injury filled weekend – though it looks like there have been better players dropped than I managed to pick up, roll on Friday. If you’ve not done it, its worth a look at the overall, breakdown, coach and true rankings (on the league tab at NFL.com) this gives you stats about how many games you’d have won if you played all 11 teams every week, combines them with your crappy bench choices and your points for and gives you a summary ‘true’ account of your coaching abilities – this puts Coach Chris and his Earthquakes at the top on their own. oh well you can console yourself with being the ‘winner’ in the fourth tab along whilst others bask in the glory of the front page. Obviously having low rank on the ‘coach’ tab simply means you have a deep bench, isn’t that right Harry?

There’s no big top or bottom of the league crunch matches this week, and we have to wait till week 10 for the start of the ‘Dicing with Death Divisonal Decider (not quite) month’ (TM) – but there is a mid table tussle ,so lets start there:

Tranent International Tornados vs Kelso 187’s

the TITs and the 187s are at the very middle of the league – standing at 6 and 7 respectively. there’s little to separate them on the stats front except that coach Nicky is so far making the best lineup choices in the league…things start early with star QB Peyton Manning and WR Emmanuel Saunders in action across both teams in the Broncos v Chargers Game, chargers have been pretty tight fantasy wise against the pass, so Euan need to hope that Chargers energies are put to Thomas and Welker and that any success Manning has goes to Saunders. For the main event on Sunday NFl.com gives Nicky a slight advantage at most postions, but all those projections are based on fractions of TDs, so it will be easy to swing the match either way. Nicky will have to wait till Monday night for the last kick of the Cowboys/Washington game to see if he can clinch his projected 25-30% victory. The Pit prediction is not for him though, 187s by 5 pts.

Next up its Mercy Flush vs Oakbank Oddities at 5 and 8 respectively in the league. both Teams could end up all square or Paul might see a step towards the playoffs and leave Harry with a lot of work to do in the Divisional games. both teams start early with chargers kicker Novak for Paul and Broncos TE Julius Thomas for Harry. Thomas has been a bit hit or miss, but should still see his regulation 10, so things could well be pretty even on Friday morning. Sunday sees RBs up against each other in the Ravens Bengals match – both Justin Forsett and Giovani Bernard are predicted good points in the teens, Ravens are second best against the run though so it could be slim pickings for Bernard. Terrence Williams hopes to seal the deal for flush late on Monday, but his points come almost exclusively from TDs and against Washington, mid placed against the pass? even with the benched QB in place, NFL.com still have the Flush to win by 20-25%, the Pit has it the other way – Oddities by 5-10

4th place Earlstonian Bohemians  take on 10th place  SanFran-Gordon 69ers in the first of the big spread match ups, coach ally suffered a crisis of confidence last week, plumping for the Jags to win, but a few solid performances and a shocking bench decision saw the team win despite his fears. 69ers surely wont make the same mistakes, but the predictions make poor reading for Rich – on the plus side neither team starts till Sunday so he has a few more days to pick off some waiver surprise stars. With 4 players on byes, maybe coach Rich is looking to week 9 already. There’s not much to say, Bohemians look to have an advantage at every position – maybe the Seahawks Defence can have a standout game for Rich against the Panthers, that doesn’t seem likely however. The Pit prediction is right alongside NFL.com on this one – Bohemians by 10-15

Earlston Earthquakes  vs Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars. A deceptively easy match up for second placed Earthquakes against the 9th placed Jags. Cozy’s strategy of letting us in behind the purple door for his strategy tips has certainly worked so far, but maybe he’s revealing too much? NFL.com has Jimmy’s Jags to steal the win on Monday night but cozy starts his points early with Brandon McManus kicking for the Broncos on Thursday – he missed practice this week, and a Thursday game could be too early, plus although he’s been scoring consistently he’s not had much shot at field goals, as the Broncos offence has just cleared the path to the end zone. Jimmy’s RB team looks unstoppable this week, with 3 of the top 10 scorers on the ground so far this year, Cozy will have to hope that Golden Tate and Brandon Marshall both have outstanding games, its possible, particularly for Marshall at New England, but the pit prediction is for the Quakes to be shaking more from a painful jag than from creating any earth movement; Jags by 5-10 pts.

3rd place Dodgy Touchdown take on dead last Pilton Panthers in another seemingly easy challenge. Looks can be deceptive however and maybe its the week for the Panthers to strike? Robert has player in action from Thursday to Sunday night – making his graph look the flatest – but as our esteemed commissioner is fond of saying – slow and steady does the job with steady 10-12 predictions across the team. Touchdown have stars at  RB and WR and when they both perform its a hard pincer move to counter, Matt Forte and Jordy Nelson have also been among the most consistent high scorers, not just boom or bust players. The graph has it all square on Sunday night, leaving any points from Touchdowns Alfred Morris to end hope for the Panthers. The Pit has to agree, though a consistent ‘perfect 10’ performance from the Panthers looks likely, with consistent stars for Touchdown it looks like being Russell’s week; touchdown by 15-20

Last but not least, reigning champions and half way league leaders Nitten Pickaxe take on their nemesis from last year, Fog on the Tyne who are fresh off their second win this season. This looks to be a close game, and both teams have action all the way from Thursday to Monday night. Pickaxe look to Philip Rivers on Thursday whilst Fog have Branden Oliver on the ground for the chargers and Demaryius Thomas plucking the air for Broncos – this game could seal the whole match up – if the chargers go to the pass and win, then coach Gav could be home and dry, but if they stay on the ground and lose, its Stuart’s game to lose. DSTs are also up against each other in the early evening game Sunday – Pats at the Bears. On Monday both teams will be rooting for a Dallas win – star WR Dez Bryant hasn’t quite lived up to expectations so far this year, but should be in line to double TE Jason Witten’s Score – so really, it’s anyone’s game. The Pit prediction is a win for Pickaxe, by 3-8 pts

With that I’m signing off, thanks to Richie for a fine smackdown version last week, look forward to some more of those blogs too.

Welcome to my Fantasy: Week 7

Week 7 is in the bag. This week I was up against Captain Russ and his high flying Dodgy Touchdown team, his record going into this week was 5-1 which had him at the top of the overall standings, and a victory would put us both on the same record so for me this was a must win and win I did. I may have left it late but your fantasy team can play up to 540 minutes and if it takes you to the final 2 minutes of that to secure the win then so be it. This was a perfect example of the 10 point rule, meaning you have 9 players and if they can score 10 points each then you stand a decent chance of winning, even if the projections are telling you that you should hit 120 points. I ended up at 90.7(95.26proj) with Russell at 84.82(119.42proj), so I get my 10 point average with Russell, not so much. I’m now back atop the Kirk Division and 2nd in the overall standings, I may add I’m the top points scorer with the biggest points difference too(it’s my trumpet to blow).

This week I thought I would share my thoughts on what the fantasy league has change the way in which I view American Football now and how that has changed since getting into the game back in the 80’s. As with every other male of a certain age in the UK(sigh)it was Channel 4 that introduce this wonderful game to me and along with my group of friends we all picked a team to follow. I chose the Minnesota Vikings mainly, I think, for the Hershel Walker trade and my desire to pick the next big thing. This has never quite happened for my Vikings but at the beginning we made the play-offs regularly in the early 90’s with Coach Green and his band of purple people eaters. My mates would come round to my flat for the Wednesday night club were we had our own Madden league on the Sega Mega Drive in which we went head to head with each other with our teams, my get out of jail play was a HB Toss Right w/man in motion to Hershel who would then be unstoppable down the sideline.

I lost touch with the NFL when it went to Sky so there was a few years in the wilderness that was mainly covered by staying up to watch the Superbowl and not much else, sad times indeed. Then came broadband internet where I hear you can get access to many sports without having to sell your soul to the man and be a bit of a thorn in the side of the man, that’s what I hear anyway. Then mobile apps with loads of NFL coverage, another great step, but throughout this I was still only interested in the Vikings and was content to catch a game in the pub or watch highlights on the app. Then came fantasy.

Thanks to fantasy I have watched some mind blowing plays from some extraordinary players, in week 7 alone the Rams special teams unit pulled off not 1 but 2 not to be missed game changing plays. I now marvel at the sight of Arian Foster breaking the line, cutting and battling his way for big gains, he is coming back after major back surgery but you would never think it watching him. I’m cheering for the Chicago Bears, WTF!

Last night I was down by 12pts, after midnight I put on Madden 15 and played the Texans at the Steelers. At the half I was down 10-3(I was the Texans, I have Foster and the D), at 1.15 I get onto twitter to check everyone is starting, at 1.30 I go to bed with Gamepass on my phone and my headphones on. I finally succumb at 2.30 and I’m ahead by 12pts, I stir again and check, the game is going into the fourth quarter and I’m now trailing by 2pts. I wake again at 5.30 to check, I’ve won by 6pts, happy couple of hours sleep before I get up to use this weeks smackdown on Russell.

Fantasy hasn’t just got me back into a sport that I drifted from years back, it has changed my way of thinking in regards to sport and how it is quantified in the modern sports arenas, but sport can never be a simple by the numbers game, just ask Johnny Hekker the Rams punter.

From Behind the Purple Door.

Week 07 Review- Halfway to Heaven

The halfway point has been reached for the EFFL. The playoffs loom large and teams have begun to jockey for position.

Non -Divisional Games

(5-2) dodgy touchdown 84.82 – 90.7 Earlston Earthquakes (4-2)

Top Scorers: M Forte 22.9 (dt), G Tate 21.4 (EE), R White 16 (EE)

Points left on bench: touchdown (9.38) Earthquakes (3.7)

The game of the week lived up to its billing and was only decided in the last 2 minutes of Monday Night. Dodgy Touchdown fell to 5-2, but with their main rivals also losing the effects weren’t disastrous. The Earthquakes got back into early season form and maintained their control of Kirk division.

The Earthquakes had a number of key performers in the game in addition to their top scorers. A Foster scored a respectable 15.5 points and was helped out by new Vikings starter J McKinnon who added 10.10 points. The Earthquakes rely heavily on Bears pair J Cutler and B Marshall and they could only muster a disappointing 12.7 points. However, weekly inconsistencies aside, the Earthquakes are the league’s top scorers and a handful for any team facing them. Next week promises another headline game featuring the Earthquakes as they face their fiercest rivals the Jaguars.

Dodgy Touchdown had another solid outing as they continued to improve their overall scoring rate. The shock defeat of Cleveland at Jacksonville started Dodgy Touchdown in an early hole with B Tate producing a poor 3.4 points, but it will be the dip in form for M Ryan that will be worrying Coach Russell more. He’s failed to produce a 20 point QB1 performance since week 04. However, this week’s loss could be laid solely at the TE position as H Miller posted a disappointing 1.3 points with starter Z Ertz on a bye. M Wallace and J Nelson continued their excellent seasons scoring 14 and 11 points respectively. Next week Touchdown face the Panthers.

 (4-3) Mercy Flush 85.64 – 72.22 Tranent International Tornadoes (3-4)

Top Scorers:P Manning 28.62 (TT), T Brady 22.44 (MF), E Lacy 13.3 (MF)

Points left on bench: Flush(5.4) Tornadoes (2.9)

There was always going to be a morning after the night before and unfortunately for the Tornadoes it came one week after their stunning 150+ point outing. After last week’s embarrassment the Flush took an early lead and never looked like surrendering their advantage.

The Flush produced a solid game when it mattered in a low scoring week with T Brady (22.44), E Lacy (13.3) and M Floyd (10.7) all making double figures and every other starter except T Kelce making 5 points. They’ve had an inconsistent season and this can largely attributed to 2 positions QB and RB.

This week both of their underperforming players T Brady (22.44) and E Lacy (13.3) posted respectable scores, but unfortunately neither have reached the QB1/RB1 scoring consistency they were drafted to produce. The concern is with Z Stacy losing carries and M Ingram returning to the Saints starting lineup Flush will need to find a consistent RB3 to see them over the final 6 weeks.

It was always going to be tough for the Tornadoes to reproduce last week’s performance especially with star back L McCoy on a bye. P Manning (28.62) and T Hilton (10.7) scored well, but it was disappointing scores from A Smith (0.9) and L Fitzgerald (2.1) that ultimately left them short of victory.  The biggest problem going forward is the lack of depth and scoring at the RB position for the Tornadoes as they’re currently producing around 7 points less than league average per game.

Next week the Tornadoes face the 3 game losing streak 187’s whereas the Flush face the inconsistent Oddities.

(2-5) Fog on the Tyne 86.78 – 65.9 SanFran-Gordon 69ers (3-4)

Top Scorers: D Thomas 29.1 (FT), A Rodgers 24.3 (SF), S Vereen 23.4 (SF)

Points left on bench: Tyne (17.8) 69ers (15.3)

Two wins in three weeks finally gives the Fog on the Tyne hope that they can turn their season around whereas the 69ers have won just 1 game in the last 3. The game was close until Sunday night when D Thomas helped P Manning break Brett Favre’s touchdown record by pulling in an enormous 29.1 points.

The Tyne got another solid score for the third week running with D Brees (20.98) and T Richardson (11.8) adding to Thomas’s score and supporting disappointing performer’s Jeffery (0.9), R Wayne (1.5) and J Witten (2.7). Like many teams in the league Fog’s RB positions have been underperforming, but the resurgence of T Richardson and the emergence of B Oliver will at least allow the Geordies to be competitive over the final 6 weeks of the season. A playoff run looks unlikely , especially with the competition in their division, but nothing is impossible in Fantasy.

For the 69ers it was a familiar tale of 2 standout performers and a cast of also-rans. This week A Rodgers and S Vereen scored almost 3/4 of the 69ers points with 4 starters producing a frustrating 3 points. The 69ers have the core of a good team, but outwith A Rodgers there is a real lack of consistency especially among the WRs. Next week they face one of the leagues most consistent, but not necessarily highest, scorers in the Bohemians. If they want to take control of a weak TJ Hooker division they’ll need to produce a week 4 rather than a week 6 performance.

(2-5) Pilton Panthers 86.54 – 86.44 Kelso 187s (3-4)

Top Scorers:R Hillman 22.3 (PP), L Bell 20.5 (K), R Cobb 18.3 (PP)

Points left on bench: Panthers (11.7) 187s (17.7)

In a game of inches the 187s came up just a couple of yards short of victory. In an absolutely cracking game the Panthers did just enough to hold off the 187s and win their first game since week 2. For the 187s it just heaped further misery on them as they slid to their 3 straight defeat and lost control of TJ Hooker division.

The Panthers had their 3rd best score of the season with nearly 40 points from RBs  R Hillman and J Charles (16.7). They added another 25 points from their WRs R Cobb and R Randle (7.4). More worryingly is the continued poor play from QB where A Dalton played a 5 point stinker in N Foles’ bye week. The Panthers need to improve in a number of areas and are 3 games back on Shatner division leaders Nitten Pickaxe. Hopefully the bye week will have breathed some life back into N Foles and the Panthers season.

For the 187s their slide has come at just the wrong time and has allowed their divisional opponents to catch and then surpass them. In this game 5 players made it into double digits; L Bell, J Flacco (14.72), A Brown (13.12), D Allen (11.2) and E Sanders (10.1), but their Achilles heel in this game and throughout the season has been their inability to find an effective Flex player, consistent play at QB and a kicker who makes over 8 points a game. The 187s face the equally inconsistent Tornadoes next week in an attempt to avoid their 4th loss in a row.

(4-3) Earlstonian Bohemians 91.16 – 81.60 Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars (3-4)

Top Scorers:A Luck 20.26 (EB), D Murray 19.2 (JJJ), C Newton/L Miller  14.3 (both JJJ)

Points left on bench: Bohemians (11.2) Jaguars (36.12)

Coach Jimmy will be left to rue some lineup decisions that in the end cost him the match and leverage for a wildcard spot. The Bohemians on the other hand will be happy with their first decent RB production of the season that helped fuel this smash and grab result.

The Bohemians will be very happy with a win against one of the league’s strongest teams. Their week started slowly on Thursday night with E Decker and R Gronkowski producing a solid, but unspectacular 13 points. Yet again it was left up to A Luck (20.26) to lead the team in scoring. He was finally supported by decent production from RB with D McFadden and J Bell scoring nearly 25 points. Rookie K Benjamin (12.1) continued his surprising season and the Bills DST chipped in a game winning 10 points.

The Jaguars continue to produce points and are led by a strong stable of RBs. This week D Murray, L Miller and M Lynch posted nearly 45 points, but it was again the TE and WR (just 13 points) positions that led to the team losing. Coach Jimmy will regret leaving R Wilson (37.12) and O Beckham (16.7) on the bench, but this loss was more about TE and WR depth rather than lineup decisions.

The inconsistency of the starting pair D Jackson and V Jackson is causing the Jaguars problems, but hopefully the emergence of O Beckham will alleviate those concerns or will it? Beckham has started his pro career strongly, but NFL defenses learn very quickly. The Jaguars only have 5 weeks to wait before J Gordon returns the question is can they afford to wait that long?

The Bohemians face the 69ers whereas the Jaguars face a stiffer test with the Earthquakes.

(3-4) Oakbank Oddities 86.22 – 96.2 Nitten Pickaxe (5-2)

Top Scorers: S Watkins 24.2 (OO), A Bradshaw 18.8 (OO), A Ellington 16 (NP)

Points left on bench: Oddities(21.3) Pickaxe (10.36)

It’s not very often a team with the top 2 scorers in a game loses, but to add further ignominy the Oddities had the top 3 scorers in this match-up. The Pickaxe can count themselves fortunate to move to 5-2, whereas the Oddities lost like all their TJ Hooker division rivals and fell to 3-4.

Despite not having any standout performers the Pickaxe had a consistent team effort with 6 of their 9 starters scoring more than 10 points. They were led by A Ellington and waiver wire pickup T Smith (14.1). P Rivers (14.2) had a sub-par week for him, but the story of the game and Pickaxe’s season is a strong team scoring performance from every position. RB is still below league average and with the loss of C Spiller there is a danger that their lack of depth could be exposed later in the season. Next week they face the improving Fog on the Tyne.

The Oddities frustrating season continues…..This week it was the turn of C Ivory (18.5) to score big despite playing a match-up in which no Jet back had ran for over 100 yards in 9 years whereas the strong Bengal running game and G Bernard (1.6) were posted missing against the light weight Colt D. Also on Coach Harry’s bench C Patterson woke briefly from his 4 week hibernation to post 7 points as F Jackson (2.8) ripped parts of his groin muscle from the bone and left early with injury in another “good” match-up. On a more positive note S Watkins had a breakout with 24.2 points in the same game and looks good to support the team until Megatron makes his return. The Oddities take their random adventures to Mercy Flush next week. Expect fireworks or more damp squibs.

Coach Harry on his team’s performance: “infamy, infamy they all have it in for me!”

Where you’re getting your points from- Week 07

The table below shows how well your position group is performing compared to the league average in each game. For example- The Bohemians QBs have scored 5.43 points more than the league average per game whereas their K has scored 0.35 points less than league average in each game.

TEAM QB RB1+2 WR1+2 TE FLEX K DST
Bohemians 5.43 -6.32 1.01 1.69 0.40 -0.35 -1.54
Flush -0.65 -2.88 -0.75 -0.92 3.44 0.65 -1.25
Earthquakes -0.71 6.90 -2.82 -1.58 2.81 -1.35 4.61
Tornadoes 6.17 -7.48 -1.31 1.82 -0.57 1.51 1.18
Pickaxe 0.57 -4.35 5.78 3.75 -0.95 1.23 0.61
Panthers -4.80 -2.39 -0.08 -1.28 -0.65 -0.92 0.61
187s -3.79 4.18 1.71 0.05 -1.87 -2.06 0.46
Oddities -1.01 -0.26 -1.49 4.88 -0.77 2.23 -2.82
Jaguars -0.61 14.50 -8.58 -3.62 4.07 -1.77 3.18
Tyne -0.95 -3.53 4.99 -2.92 -3.16 -1.20 -1.68
Touchdown -1.37 6.53 4.46 -1.65 -2.10 1.08 -2.82
69ers 1.72 -4.90 -2.91 -0.20 -0.65 0.94 -0.54