How to spot what a defense is doing….

I played football, not for very long or at a high level, but I played. I played 4 seasons at cornerback for the Glasgow Lions between the age of 15 and 19 (the equivalent of high school level in the United States). I never progressed to Senior football, injuries and distractions would be the cliché reasons for me giving up, but the truth was simpler, money. It was expensive to play the game in the 1990’s and with the disastrous way in which it was administered it almost put paid to the entire game in this country.

Football has progressed a long way since then. I’ve just returned from watching one of my former team-mates strutting his stuff for the Edinburgh Wolves at the sprightly age of 42 and I can tell you the urge to be out there was almost overwhelming!

It’s actually from this game that this article was germinated.  Most guys I watch or talk football with in Scotland understand the game. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if the knowledge and understanding of fans in the UK rivaled ordinary fans in the US. I expect it’s probably to do with the fact that it’s not part of the furniture when we grow up so there is more thirst to find out more.

However, playing and watching are two different things. My understanding of the game changed the second I stepped on the field at that first practice in Toryglen Park in Glasgow. There were 6 hard core players in my hometown. We all had enough skill to play, but after the first couple of practices only two of us had the stomach to take it further. The level of aggression needed to play is only matched by the level of savvy you need to understand what’s going on around you.

After that trip to Edinburgh it got me thinking. What if I explained a little bit about the way I watch football and while I’m at it explain some of the concepts that will give you some extra depth to your viewing. I’m not professing to be an expert it’s more just passing on some of my 30 years experience.

I’m going to start with something familiar to me (defense) and then if I have any requests I’ll progress from there. However this won’t be a football 101. There are plenty of sites and articles out there that describe the difference between a nose tackle and a safety). The blog will concentrate on the basics of a commonly seen defense and how it sets up to stop the run and pass.  I’ll also touch on how a good QB reads a coverage and uses them to his advantage.

Before I start it’s important to remove some of the preconceived ideas you may have in your head about man-to-man and zone coverage. Essentially all defenses are based on both concepts and need to use both to succeed.  When you hear analysts talking about man to man schemes versus zonal schemes they are usually talking solely about the cornerbacks in the defense. Personally I don’t like hearing this simplification. Football is the ultimate team game. A successful defense is the result of 11 players working in unison not the product of 2 players on the perimeter covering the pass or the 3 players in the middle at the heart of the running game.

It doesn’t matter whether we’re dealing with a 3-4 or 4-3 as essentially every defense is defined by it’s basic coverage against the pass. The coverage or shell in both the 3-4 and 4-3 involve the same personnel groups; four guys who rush the passer and seven who drop into coverage. Any change to this basic grouping is essentially a special situation package that we’re not going to discuss at this stage.

It’s also important to note that the 7 guys who drop into coverage can vary, but we’re going to concentrate on the basic x2 cornerbacks, x2 safeties and x3 linebackers personnel group.

Let’s breakdown our first defense. They’re usually defined by the type of coverage used or shell. The one I’m going to discuss is the shell most commonly found at lower levels of football i.e. high school and college due to its simplicity, safety and versatility against both the pass and run.

Cover 3

Although it’s one of the most common shells used in football it doesn’t mean it isn’t found at the highest level. The best example of Cover 3 in action is last year’s NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. Although they add their own particular concepts their base D is essentially the good old Cover 3.

In general terms the Cover 3 defense is a zonal defense. This means each defender is responsible for a small area of the field. In Cover 3 the field is split into 7 zones. There are 4 short zones near the line of scrimmage (LOS) and 3 deep zones (where the term Cover 3 comes from) that start 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage (see image 1 below).

defense in cover 3 alignment

defense in cover 3 alignment

The reason Cover 3 is the most common defense seen at lower levels of football is because it’s also one of the safest to employ. It’s designed to limit long passes and be strong against the run. It does this by allowing one of the safeties to help out near the line of scrimmage (or join the “box”). This effectively gives the defense 8 run defenders while still having 3 players deep preventing long gains in the passing game. As it’s a zone based defense the Cover 3 is strong against the run, but we’ll talk about specific run responsibilities in another blog.

The aim of the defenders in Cover 3 is to keep the offensive players in front of them at all times and be quick to react to the developing play. Generally, the 2 cornerbacks stay back from the line of scrimmage and retreat to the deep outside zones with one of the safeties taking the other deep zone (central). The linebackers and other safety are then responsible for the 4 shorter zones.

So how do you spot the Cover 3 defense?

The Cover 3 is actually one of the easiest defenses to diagnose (although at the NFL level this isn’t always the case). The important thing is for you to try and diagnose the key concepts when the defense is employed. Just like a QB you need to use pre-snap keys to help you diagnose how the defense is set-up. In the case of Cover-3 you’re looking for 2 pre-snap keys.

The first key is the location of the two safeties (generally one close, one further back favouring the centre of the field). The second key is the position of the cornerbacks. They will usually be playing 3-5 yards away from the LOS (advanced-the corners will usually take an outside shade, meaning they’ll face the QB and have their back to the sideline and there is also a good chance the SS on the strong side will be closer to the LOS than the CB).

On the snap of ball the defenders will move quickly to their zone areas rather than attempting to divert or slow the receivers releasing from the LOS. As the play progresses you should see the 3 deep defenders quickly take their positions in a classic Cover 3 look (see image 2 below).

cover3

Seahawks showing Cover 3 in action

The defense does have a number of significant weaknesses. As you can see above although the 4 short zone defenders have smaller zones to defend they are extremely vulnerable to short, quick passes. This is even more so in the case of the two short outside zones and especially on the weakside (the blue zone in image 2 next to the 20 yard line marker) where the defender (usually a linebacker) also has critical run defense responsibilities.

The cover 3 can also be attacked using “flood” routes. This is where the offense sends multiple receivers into a single area. The final key weakness is routes that attack the free safety. This is usually done by sending a receiver across the gap between the short and deep zones parallel to the line of scrimmage and then sending another receiver vertical along the hash marks.

So there we go. Hopefully that’s a good starting introduction to a basic defense. Next time I’ll break down Cover 2 and it’s variants.

 

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View From the Pit 2015 – week 4

Week 4 is here already – that’s just 10 regular season games left – don’t be surprised if the playoff berths are all but booked by week 9 – so that’s just 5 games left to really make a mark. Several teams really have to pick up the pace, though fortunately for everyone else we’ve avoided anyone going 3-0. That means that its all to play for in every division. Its a non divisional week all round, a chance to get in a sneaky win against some low hanging fruit from across the league? Or a bad luck week to meet one of our monster scorers? Last week’s record score from Jimmy sets a new marker, one that will be hard to beat, with 10 offensive and 2 defensive Tds plus a safety and a 2 pointer to boot – that’s one lucky week.

Anyway – much as the pit predictor feels for Cozy down there on 0-3, with the mighty pickaxe you can bet it’s more of the same this week, so lets soundtrack with a tune just for those who cant get started this year

Panthers at Bohemians

Both at 2-1 the Panthers play the Bohemians at Bohemian Park.

Ben Roethlisberger is listed as out in week 4 due to an injured knee , and that could be bad news for Rab. 17.98 from Joe Flacco would be a decent substitute and could beat Dalton or Rivers for the Bohos, Dalton at the Chiefs has the better matchup, but it might still be a tough choice for coach ally.

There’s some London interest on both sides, Rab has Bilal Powell  and Ally has the jets dst as well as Dolphins receiver Rishard Matthews. Powell’ ceiling hinges on whether Chris Ivory is fit and gets touches, so there may be some tinkering on the phone in London.

Rab is looking to get one back as Bohemians coach Ally holds a 3-0 all time record over the Panthers, unfortunately the pit predictor can’t see that happening this week, it’s a win for the Bohos.

Pickaxe vs Earthquakes

in this bottom of the table clash, 1-2Pickaxe play the 0-3 Earthquakes at The Cauldie.

This game could rest on some London action, if Chris Ivory can get fit by Sunday that will boost coach Gav no end, if not then it will be a tough night on Monday with Lynch on the injury bus too. Pickaxe made their lineup look even more hawk like, picking up Thomas Rawls as security for lynch. That all means the Chris needs to score a ton of points by midnight Sunday to stop a 4 pronged ‘Hawk attack from Gav on Monday night. Chris has to hope some of the many ‘Q’s on Gav’s team turn to ‘O’s

In the 2-year history of this rivalry, Nitten Pickaxe hold a 2-1-0 all-time series record against Earlston Earthquakes. This looks likely to grow this week, as it will be the Pickaxe who move the earth and confine the earthquakes to a mere tremble at 0-4

Pirates vs Tigers

the 2-1 Pirates face off against the 1-2 Tigers at Polson Park.

Pirates can expect a 18.64 point effort from Andrew Luck in week 4, a bit better than the Tigers’ Peyton Manning and his 16.24 predicted points.

Pirates lucked out last week with a match up against the lowest score of the week, but this week could be a bigger test as Nicky’s tigers are predicted some decent scores, and seem much more likely to hit the end zone too. The Hawks DST could come to the rescue for the Pirates on Monday though – if they can get into the teens that could change the game.

This is the first game between these two franchises in 2015, MFL has it Tigers all the way – but the Pit prediction has to go with the Pirates to have a standout game and pinch it on Monday.

Avengers vs 187’s

1-2 Avengers play the 2-1 187’s at Compton palace

Matt Ryan for the 187s is predicted nearly double the Avenger’s Sam Bradford, but that could all change with the loss or gain of a couple of passing tds.

Elsewhere Euan’s187s seem to have a small edge at most positions, and overall that gives them a 20 pt cushion, but that could go pear shaped very quickly with a lucky play on the other  side. If Bradford connects with Jordan Matthews a couple of extra times, for example, that will be  double boost for Stuart’s Avengers.

However, that’s an outside chance, Euan’s boys have the advantage and the pit predictor has to go with the numbers –  this week that number is 187.

Jaguars at Fire

both at 2-1 the Jaguars challenge the Fire at Balbirnie Stadium.

MFL reckons Fife Fire can expect a 16.3 point effort from Le’Veon Bell in week 4, but surely he will be itching for a massive game after being out and a ‘just above average’ game last week. He has a lot to prove being the number 1 ranked RB despite a 2 week suspension, and coach Shaun needs that to happen this week to have a chance against the on fire Jaguars. Julio Jones is the number 1 WR, and even carrying an injury has run every defense ragged so far, but can Jimmy have a repeat of last weeks stellar performance across the team?

Maybe not, but it still looks like the Jags will win it here, and that’s my prediction.

69ers at Fog

2-1 69ers face off against the 1-2 Fog at New St James Park.

69ers  Aaron Rodgers has gone from 20-25 predicted points in the space of a day this week, whist Free agent pick up Tyrod Taylor could be an outside bet to get more than his alloted 15 points. The only other place where the 69ers have the edge is WR AJ Green, everywhere else the outlook is decidedly foggy. With some big scoring in the first couple of weeks, Richie looked to be an early championship bet, but has he peaked too soon?

Fog have a 3-1 all time advantage in this clash and it could just be that that will stretch even further come next week – the pit prediction is for the Fog.

That’s it this week folks, see you in London!

Panic and Podcasts!

Welcome everybody to my first blog of the 2015 EFFL season. As some of you may know, some may not, last year I wrote about my weekly trials throughout the season in relation to my decision making and my thoughts on the players I was working with in any given week. I have decided to change the format this year as I feel I don’t want to do the same thing and I doubt anyone else would want to read the same stuff over with only the names changing. That said, I’m in a very different position this year than I have been in the previous two seasons of the EFFL. Heading into week 3 win less with a team who have  failed to deliver on every front, a waiver wire that is so thin it’s anorexic and injuries popping up daily, it would appear that the record of 0-3 seems like an inevitability. Here was me thinking this sort of thing only happened to Rab and Nicky. So do I panic, the answer to that is……..not quite. The talent of my players, I believe, has not just disappeared but certain factors of their individual teams set up has changed. I still feel that if the Broncos and Eagles sort out their offensive lines then Murray and Anderson will come on strong after all Eddie Lacey didn’t start well last year and was looking like a complete bust before picking his game up and finishing strongly, the same is true for Tom Brady who was written off then ended up with some new jewellery on his fingers. In my last  two seasons I have started very well and been on the cusp of a comfortable play-off berth for it all to go a bit pear shaped before spluttering out of steam and exiting after the first play-off game. In a standard scoring redraft league I feel there is benefits to a early waiver pick into mid season to establish yourself with a solid deep team, hopefully I’m the kind of coach who can pull that off. Only time will tell.

This year our league was joined by Shaun and Stuart who replaced Russell and Harry and it got me thinking about how I go about my research into all things fantasy and if there was anything I could do to help these two rookies out, and anyone else for that matter, so I thought I would set out some of my tools and links to them with a bit of reasoning into why I like and use them.

On our first year Twitter was my crutch, I had never really got a handle on the old Twitter up to that point but there are so many great analysts and on the spot beat reporters working on the medium that it is the on tool that I can check quickly and get a great deal of information from in a short space of time. At the end of this I will put some Twitter handles that should be followed for reliable information.

My next research tool, as anyone who knows me, is the podcast. I love a podcast, it was another thing that I hadn’t really paid much attention to pre EFFL but it has been a saving grace for me. All my working life, 28yrs(!), I have always listened to the radio. If I’m doing anything around the house, in the car, out walking/running I need either music or radio as company, helps me focus I suppose, I have never thought of it as a distraction at all and I absorb more info that way than by reading screeds of articles, web pages and the likes.

The first podcast I got on board with was ESPN’s Fantasy Focus with Nate Ravitz, Matthew Berry and Stephania Bell. Nate has now went off to “push paper” and Field Yates now has the task of keeping TMR in check. They may tout the advice as “mediocre” but I can safely say over the years I have gleaned some solid heads ups on future stars weeks before they became the number one pick on the waiver wire. Nate was always a great foil to Matthew and would bring him back to earth when he was running away with a player, Cordarrelle Patterson being a fine example of this. Field has yet to get there but comes across as a very good evaluator of talent and how they fit in the organisations for which they play. Stephania Bell was my first injury analyst and does great work deciphering injury reports and has me primed every week that if they don’t practise Friday then things aren’t going to be good this weekend. There is great chemistry within the team and it has some real laugh out loud moments and features. Almost forgot Podvader and now Secret Squirrel are the guys on the buttons.

Through Matthew Berry I invested in the Rotopass subscription which gives you access to Football Guys, ESPN Insider, Rotowire, Pro Football Focus, Rotoviz apps, Fantasy Insiders and a couple of DFS sites, the cost for Rotopass for the year is about £35 which may seem pricey but that’s a night out in the Red Lion if truth be told.

Out of these I first used Football Guys. They are brilliant. The site is jam packed with all the facts and figures you need with really well research articles on every facet of the game. The Audible is their podcast and is presented by Cecil Lammey, Sigmund Bloom, Matt Waldman and Doctor Jene Bramel.  These guys know their stuff, are really enthusiastic about Fantasy Football and have a depth of knowledge of the game that really puts them as leaders in the market. Sigmunds On The Couch pod is a philosophical take on the approach to Fantasy Football and the guest he has on are top notch. Dr Jene will go back and watch tape on player injuries and can give a solid breakdown of time scale and long term effects of said injuries on players ability to perform if back early. Matt Waldman is your go to guy for rookie evaluation. Cecil is a specialist on the Broncos but has more firepower in his cannon than that, as a team they have the lot covered. It can be a bit intimidating when you initially listen, as fact,and figures fly about at a hundred miles an hour but sticking with it these become your bread and butter when you are evaluating your players and, hopefully, your future pick ups on the year.

I have picked up two more podcasts this year and I find I’m getting different spins on things from both, which goes to show that not one group of people have it all down pat.

The first one is the Harris Football Podcast, the little podcast that could. Christopher Harris worked for ESPN last year and did the Fantasy Underground pod, I listened a couple of time but didn’t really get into it. This year I found out he had set himself up in the market so I thought I would give him another try, and I’m glad I did. His mantra is ignore the box score and look at the tape, he watches every game, I assume this is coach film and assesses the players on ability, can a back cut to make extra yards or just balloon through a crater style hole for 8yds, can a wideout make separation and run a clean route or is he a yard short on pace for what’s required on the play. This is invaluable  stuff when your studs aren’t performing and you just want rid of them in a hurry. He has helped me focus on where the problem lies, be that with the player or with the o-line or even the quarterback. He also gets good guests on and gives them room to air their thoughts. He has quirky segments including a music slot and a weekly spot for his cousin Josh.

The last one now, found via the Harris Football pod, is Living The Stream. I have always streamed my defence, quarterbacks and Tight ends to some degree. Hosted by J J Zachariason and C.D. Carter this pod concentrates on which of the aforementioned positions are likely to score well at the weekend. This is a weekly pod and the guys have there own secret formula as to who to pick up on waivers that week, as with all these podcasts none of this is guaranteed but I like their approach and can see positives in the results so far. These guys live and die by the predictions so they have to be on their game. I’m tracking them thus far and they may not have been killing it but they are far from duds, let’s face it weeks 1 and 2 have been bizarre to say the least.

That’s enough from me, I’ll put Twitter handles below,

From behind the Purple Door.

Twitter Handles: Matthew Berry @MatthewBerryTMR

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Eric Karabell @karabellespn

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Greg Cosell @gregcosell

Stephania Bell @Stephania_ESPN

Adam Rank @adamrank

Michael Fabiano @Michael_Fabiano

Tristan H. Cockroft @SultanofStat

Christopher Harris @HarrisFootball

Chris Mortensen @mortreport

Sigmund Bloom @SigmundBloom

Jene Bramel @JeneBramel

Matt Waldman @MattWaldman

Cecil Lammey @CecilLammey

That should do for a start.

Week 02 (2015) Waiver Wire Special

Two weeks in the bag and with virtually the whole league sitting at 1-1 it’s time for some waiver wire action or is it? Given the threadbare pickings I’m just about to list for you perhaps you’re better hanging on to those hair tearing annoying 0 pt douche bags filling up your starting line-up and bench.

QB Andy Dalton – Yup, here he is listed again. Nobody was desperate enough to take him last week, but do two above average games tempt you into starting the Red Rifle. Well consider this…Dalton is apparently great when a team hasn’t seen him before. This week he’ll face his divisional nemesis the Ravens, tempted? Thought not. Plus have you seen his schedule over the next 5 weeks.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – Everybody loves FitzMagic. Personally I’d never start him as he’s always one game away from morphing into Shitzpatrick and with regression to the mean likelier every time he has a good game that means the week YOU start him it’ll happen. But hey at least one coach in this league swears by him…..they even dropped Andrew Luck for him. Of course they’re also sitting at 0-2 this week 😉

QB Derek Carr – He looked good last week against a Ravens D that one week earlier made Peyton Manning look old. Is this the start of something beautiful in Oakland?

QB Johnny Manziel  – The Browns would be dumb to bench Manziel. Think of him as a rookie (a daring one at that). Playing Oakland he has the chance of scoring big, but he’s also still a turnover machine and that will keep me observing from afar.

QB Kirk Cousins – See Fitzpatrick above. He’s due a 4 int game…..

QB Jameis Winston – Despite the gushing fantasy analyst praise, i’m not convinced by Winston…..yet.

QB Brandon Weeden – We’re kicking tyres here……

QB Jimmy Clausen – See above

QB Blake Bortles- See above. He’s playing New England expect it to get messy.

QB Luke McCown – New Orleans give nothing away when it comes to injuries so we’re completely in the dark over Bree’s injury. If he starts he’ll be like all McCown’s = average play and interceptions.

RB Charles Sims – Another handcuff who’s seeing some touches, but are Tampa really a hot bed of fantasy production?

RB Chris Johnson – Bruce Arians loves RBs who don’t fumble and average 3.0 yards a carry. He’s doing a job in Arizona keeping the D honest…..he has absolutely no value to your fantasy team.

RB Mike Davis – The 49ers running game looks decent. Hyde will get a LOT of work this year. Davis will be first in line if anything happens to him. The downside is he’ll be playing with Colin Kaepernick.

RB Jeremy Langford – Matt Forte’s handcuff….do you really need a Bears RB handcuff?

RB Andre Williams – No, he really isn’t worth it…..unless you can stomach no production and the odd 1yd TD.

RB Dexter McCluster – A faster, smaller Bishop Sankey.

WR Kamar Aiken – Aiken is keeping the seat warm for Perriman. Expect 4-43 numbers and if you’re really lucky you might get a TD.

WR Doug Baldwin – He’s a WR and plays for the Seahawks…..that is the reason he’s on waivers.

WR Aaron Dobson – He’s in a high powered offense.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham – If you have room he’s probably worth a stash.

WR Ted Ginn – Carolina’s offense stinks. Ginn is fast so you might get lucky on a Cam Newton bomb.

WR Allen Hurns – I like Allen Hurns. The fantasy gods don’t thats why he’s in Jacksonville.

WR Robert Woods – He’s totally wasted in Buffalo.

WR Ty Montgomery – Montgomery is a stash and he plays with Rodgers.

WR Marques Colston – He’s old and so is Brees. Take a minute to remember how great the Saints were as a fantasy offense. Got that picture……I’m afraid to say that’s all gone now. Move on!

WR Willie Snead- See above

TE Anthony Fasano – When the shit hits the fan Mariota is looking for the biggest people on the field. Fasano fits that picture…..don’t be fooled into thinking this is worthwhile pick-up tho’

TE Coby Fleener – Allen is hurt so it should mean more targets for Fleener. However this offense has changed and the WRs are the primaries now.

TE Eric Ebron – Two weeks of trash time production. He’s perfect for the Pirates!

TE Charles Clay – Despite the crazy stats last week the Bills pas offense is shit. It’s a surprise to see Clay on our waivers considering the complete lack of TE talent out there at the moment.

TE Jake Stoneburner -no….you’re not that desparate

View From the Pit 2015 Week 3

Week 3 sees everyone bar two on a 1-1 record. The 69ers are riding high on 2-2 whilst the quakes are shaking on 0-2, pick it up eh Chris, no one wants an earthquake in the foundations!

There’s no room in the EFFL for anyone without production, and with and injury strewn league, even places on our teams benches have become precarious as folk start settling in for the long term – eyeing up whether holding on to a crocked star is worthwhile, chopping and changing was rife last week and today with the waivers hotting up. this leads to inevitable moans from league leaders and those who never practiced the waiver system!!! Shocker, you’re not getting that star running back at pick 5, let alone pick 12. Week 3 should see the teams settle into some sense of order and consistency, but who knows. In previous seasons there has been a link between transactions made and league position.

The pit predictor has a guest blogger this week in the form of the MFL Bot, he’s a bit annoyingly chirpy, but lets give him a break eh?

let’s get this overwith, can you pick us a tune MFL Bot?

Divisional

Kirk – Earthquakes at Pirates

Coming up in a week 3 Earlston Fantasy Football League intra-divisional classic, the 0-2 Earlston Earthquakes play the 1-1 Tweedbank Pirates at Gun Knowe Stadium.

Earthquakes can expect a 16.72 point effort from Carson Palmer in week 3, expected to get by the San Francisco 49ers defense for 258 passing yards and 2 passing TDs

“We have to crank it up,” Earlston Earthquakes coach Cozy said.

PP: no, no he didn’t. Didn’t he say something more like “this crop of losers better buck the hell up, this is making me look bad” only with more sweary words?

Pirates are looking at a 19.86 point effort from Andrew Luck in week 3, who is expected to blaze past the Titans defense for 304 passing yards and 2 passing TD in addition to 17 rushing yards.

“We must capitalize on our opportunities,” Tweedbank Pirates coach Paul said.

PP: just stop that. ok?

This is the first game between these two franchises in 2015, and is sure to be a classic showdown. In the 2-year history of this rivalry, quakes hold a 3-1-0 all-time series record against Pirates (in their former Flush guise).

Ah well MFL Bot – you can fill in the blanks but you’re no match for the original Pit predictor. This game looks close, and Cozy will be banking on his slightly better placed RB and WR team. However, there’s not a lot of difference in those rankings and Paul has the lead at all important QB, K and DST – going 0-3 would be a disaster, but that’s the pit prediction this week I’m afraid.

Shatner – Tigers at Panthers

This week sees a big cat, beat down, battle in the form of  the 1-1 Tranent Tigers vs  1-1 Pilton Panthers at Pilton Park

Tigers are led by Peyton Manning in week 3, who is expected to get by the Detroit Lions defense for 277 passing yards and 2 passing TDs (17.8pts)

Panthers look for similar numbers from Big Ben Roethlisberger (17.12), who is expected to get by the St. Louis Rams defense for 268 passing yards and 2 passing TDs in addition to 4 rushing yards.

This is the first game between these two franchises in 2015, and by tooth and claw those cats will be fighting till the last, Tigers will probably get in some early bites with at least 1 WR in action on Thursday night – whilst the Panthers waits for late numbers from his double Chiefs RB team on Monday night

This has the hallmarks of a close run thing – with potential massive numbers on both teams, especially at RB – but bigger predictions make for bigger spreads – making tyhis a hard game to predict. Tigers outweigh panthers, but it’s that steathly black Panther that could play the waiting game till monday This time the Pit predictor is going with Rab’s Panthers.

Non divisional

Bohemians at Pickaxe

The 1-1 Earlstonian Bohemians face off against the 1-1 Nitten Pickaxe at New Victoria Park.
Bohemians look for a good haul from Philip Rivers (18.28) in week 3, whilst  Pickaxe wait for the enevitable massive game from Beastmode  (16.5)

Coach Ally looks to have the advantage at WR, where last week Pickaxe scored just 1 pt between WR 2 and flex – Roddy White as an invisible man in the Falcons offense, with just 1 missed target all game. White is inexplicably predicted a decent score again this week – time will tell if coach Gav can forgive him.Mind you – Coach Ally had his own share of duds last week, mercilessly cutting a zero points TE in the waivers this week.

In the 2-year history of this rivalry, Earlstonian Bohemians hold a 2-2-0 all-time series record against Nitten Pickaxe.

the Bot has the Pickaxe by a mile, Whatever, it will be closer but the Pit goes with Pickaxe this time

Fog at 187s
1-1 Fog on the Tyne play the 1-1 Kelso 187’s at Compton Palace.

187s have had a bit of a confidence boost with the naming of their stadium this week – coach Euan started the trash talk pretty early, but Fog’s Stuart is having none of it, I’d say he had a bulletproof jacket, but no one wears them in Newcastle.

MFL Bot reckons Fog’s Brandon Marshall will lead the scoring in week 3, expected to sneak past the Philadelphia Eagles defense for 68 receiving yards and 1 receiving TD in addition to 1 rushing yards. That Robot cannot add up I tell you – at least 1 of Stuarts RB team will do better than that, and they’ll have to to outscore Antonio Brown and Randall Cobb for the 187s

Flex could decide this battle – and 187s have 3 top 10 wideouts this week, so that’s a likely play for them, and that could put the bullet into the fog – anything can happen with boom or bust Wide Receivers, but the pit prediction is for the fog to clear and Euan’s WR team to catch everything they need – including a win for 187s

Jaguars at 69ers
Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars face off against the 2-0 SanFran-Gordon 69ers at Castle Greyskull.

Jaguars might have been left out of the catfight this week,but can expect a 17.02 point effort from Tom Brady in week 3, who is expected to get by the Jacksonville Jaguars defense for 268 passing yards and 2 passing TDs in addition to 3 rushing yards.

Just pipping Brady, 69ers can expect a 17.64 total from Aaron Rodgers in week 3, who need to get past the Chiefs defense for 246 passing yards and 2 passing TDs in addition to 18 rushing yards to score that.

In the 2-year history of this rivalry, Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars hold a 2-0-0 all-time series record against SanFran-Gordon 69ers. with 69ers riding high, is there a chance for them to get a victory back here – you bet, it looks pretty even everywhere but TE – where the Gronk could be the difference that Richie has needed for 2 straight years.

Its the 69ers as the Pit favourites this time, which would put them on pole position

Fire at Avengers

Its the rookie showdown last. 1-1 Fife Fire face off against the 1-1 Kelsae Avengers at Samuel Sawyer Memorial Park. Both teams used up their beginers luck in week 1 and came crashing down last week – which of our noobs has the strength to make it through this Rookie Wrestle?

Fire will be led from the front by a predicted 18.04 point effort from Drew Brees in whilst Avengers can look to the backs with Eddie Lacy. The Avengers may have to call in a few of those lesser known super heroes to put some numbers up as as badboy Leveon Bell returns to action for the Fire. Fire could be a bit of a 1 trick pony this week  as the matchups don’t look great for the rest of the team, though if your QB is going to get injured, its handy when the backup has a great match up, its win win for Stuart here, if Brees is fit then he’s in, but if not, it makes things easier for backup Cam Newton.

Calvin Johnston has not quite been up to form this year, is he too old or is it just a matter of time before the numbers start rolling up – Stuart hopes for the latter of course, and he may need that, as DST and PK dont look like winners for him this week.

The Pit prediction is for the Fire to keep burning this week

that’s it for this week – thanks to the bot for some ‘help’

From the deep pit – Random stats blog

A rainy bank holiday with the kids means a few spare minutes whilst they watch some DVDs

The spread of scores in week 1 and 2 is pretty big – from 60ish way up to close to 130. I thought I’d take a look at the averages for last year in some different ways – first up this week its average yards and average tds:

In 2014 regular EFFL Season:

Average Passing Yds/game 272.3yds (10.9 pts)
Average combined passing rushing yards were 428.2yds (42.8 pts)

Average passing TDs/game 2.03 (8 pts)
Average combined passing rushing TDs/game 2.81 (16.9 pts)

so that’s a combined total of 53.7 points for yards and 24.9 for TDs

So what?
well firstly just for the hell of it – with less than 200 yds so far this week i just wanted to see how far down i really was, but more importantly to bang on yet again how big a deal TDs are to your score.

Of course – you can to an extent predict how many likely TD opportunities your players might get – are they red zone targets for example – but its still quite random and varied from 1 to 9 last year – a big point spread. its way more unpredictable than the yards gained – which remains relatively closely aligned.

Even in the 187s week 5 game last year – where they had just 1 receiving TD, they had 458 rush/rec yards and 235 passing yards (well within the average spread)

Conversely in the week 4 game, the 187s scored 3 of each type of TD but they still only had 447 rush/rec and 248 pass yds – very similar to a week later in yds but a huge 42 points more in terms of TDs scored.

So – what does this mean for you? if you are flying high after week 2, there will inevitably be a fall, but maybe more importantly if you are down on your luck it might not be time to dump those players just yet – as they have to get their chances sometime.

Week 1 (2015)- Waiver Wire Special

I’m back with my first waiver wire and free agent report of the season. It’s a little late compared to our normal schedule, but hey I don’t get paid for this job!

So without further delay here’s my take on the best of the guys not on your roster who could help with this week or down the line.

QB Tyrod Taylor – Taylor looked decent in his first start, but wasn’t asked to do a whole lot in Buffalo’s 1920s offense. The Patriots aren’t great against the run so any problems he may have throwing should be offset by his rushing yards. Remember 40 yards rushing is equivalent to 100 yards passing.

QB Andy Dalton – Andy Dalton looks much better now he actually has some weapons back on offense. He’s not the greatest QB out there, but he should be able to sustain low QB1 numbers this season that’s until he shits the bed in the next big game.

QB Nick Foles – He looked good against the Seahawks and his performance should  give you a QB1 option this week against Washington.

QB Johnny Manziel – Manziel will be the starter in Cleveland sooner rather than later. He’s a turnover machine, but he’s bold and can make plays with his legs. Probably a better stash at this stage of the season.

QB Alex Smith – Smith is a quality QB2 going forward don’t expect anything else.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – A cross between Andy Dalton and Alex Smith. Don’t expect much and he’ll do you proud.

RB Bilal Powell – Ivory is the clear No1 for the Jets. But Powell saw the same number of snaps as Ivory. Expect decent numbers as they feed Powell to protect Ivory.

RB Khiry Robinson – Until Spiller returns Robinson will have value. Given that Spiller and Mark Ingram don’t have great injury history he may be worth kepping around.

RB Devonta Freeman – It looks like Coleman is winning the job in Atlanta…..however, Coleman didn’t play on third down, did no inside running and can’t pass protect. Freeman will continue to share this less than appetising RBBC.

WR Cole Beasley – Until we know where Dez’s targets are going he’s worth picking up as insurance.

WR Allen Hurns – Hurns is the No2 in Jacksonville. It’s a bad offense that will play a lot of catch up. Expect low catch rates and non-predictable output.

WR Tyler Lockett – Lockett looks sensational and saw some snaps on offense. Worth monitoring to see if his role increases. Lets face it there isn’t much competition ahead of him.

WR Tavon Austin – He’s did nothing through the air, but Austin is electric with the ball in his hand. Stash him and hope the Rams begin to feed him. If they do he’ll be a great flex play.

WR Cecil Shorts or Nate Washington- Last weeks targets and numbers were probably a symptom of Houston being behind. Given the ineptness of Hoyer and the spray gun of Mallet it’s something that could happen to Houston a lot this year.

WR Leonard Hankerson- Saw just 4 targets and made 2 catches last week. He’ll have value as the No3 in Atlanta, but perhaps not immediately.

TE Eric Ebron – Still not making difficult catches, but worth stashing to see how things develop.

TE Richard Rodgers – It looks like he’ll be the primary TE in Green Bay. That doesn’t guarantee targets due to the competition, but anyone catching passes from Aaron Rodgers has value.

TE Scott Chandler – It’s always tough to second guess the Patriots and their gameplan’s each week. If they move forward with twin TEs then Chandler will be a must own.

Week 1 Review

Earlston Earthquakes (67.74) at Earlstonian Bohemians (70.66)
(MyFantasyLeague.com Fantasy Times Sources – Sep 15, 2015) In a week 1 Earlston Fantasy Football League intra-divisional matchup, Earlstonian Bohemians squeaked by a tough Earlston Earthquakes team by a score of 70.66 to 67.74, behind the support of 66,654 faithful fans.

Earlstonian Bohemians were led to their 2.92 point victory by a 19.96 point effort from Philip Rivers, who tore apart the Detroit Lions defense for 404 passing yards and 2 passing TDs. They also got help from a 12.20point effort from Mark Ingram, who snuck past the Arizona Cardinals defense for 24 rushing yards in addition to 98 receiving yards.

We knew this would be no cakewalk,” Earlstonian Bohemians coach Ally said.

Earlston Earthquakes were helped out in a losing cause by a 14.00 point effort from DeMarco Murray, who snuck past the Atlanta Falcons defense for 9 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD in addition to 11 receiving yards. They also got help from a 11.74 point effort from Ryan Tannehill, who got by the Washington Redskins defense for 226 passing yards and 1 passing TD in addition to 7 rushing yards.

Give them all the credit,” Earlston Earthquakes coach Cozy said.

Adding salt to the wound, Earlston Earthquakes could have scored 82.34 points and earned the win with their best lineup, but Cozy left key players like Austin Seferian-Jenkins and his corresponding 23.00 points on the bench.

Earlstonian Bohemians took advantage of their schedule this week, as their point total would have gone for a loss against 9 out of 10 other potential opponents in week 1.

This brings the record for Earlstonian Bohemians to 1-0, and drops Earlston Earthquakes to a record of 0-1.

Coming up in week 2, the 0-1 Tweedbank Pirates are at Earlstonian Bohemians, where Earlstonian Bohemians are an early 5.9-point favorite, while the 0-1 Pilton Panthers are at Earlston Earthquakes, where Earlston Earthquakes are an early 3.0-point underdog.

Earlston Earthquakes
Player Pts
Tannehill, Ryan MIA QB 11.74
Anderson, C.J. DEN RB 4.80
Murray, DeMarco PHI RB 14.00
Adams, Davante GBP WR 5.90
Brown, John ARI WR 10.60
Cooks, Brandin NOS WR 5.30
Miller, Heath PIT TE 8.40
Crosby, Mason GBP PK 7.00
Buccaneers, Tampa Bay TBB Def 0.00
Total: 67.74
Earlstonian Bohemians
Player Pts
Rivers, Philip SDC QB 19.96
Ingram, Mark NOS RB 12.20
Miller, Lamar MIA RB 7.50
Randle, Joseph DAL RB 10.70
Beckham, Odell NYG WR 4.40
Johnson, Andre IND WR 2.40
Daniels, Owen DEN TE 0.50
Bailey, Dan DAL PK 9.00
Vikings, Minnesota MIN Def 4.00
Total: 70.66
SanFran-Gordon 69ers (119.16) at Tweedbank Pirates (82.62)
(MyFantasyLeague.com Fantasy Times Sources – Sep 15, 2015) In a week 1 Earlston Fantasy Football League battle, SanFran-Gordon 69ers embarrassed a hapless Tweedbank Pirates team by a score of 119.16 to 82.62, silencing a partisan crowd of 68,869.

SanFran-Gordon 69ers were led to their 36.54 point victory by a 30.20 point effort from Carlos Hyde, who beat the Minnesota Vikings defense for 168 rushing yards and 2 rushing TDs in addition to 14 receiving yards. With this performance, Hyde was the number 1 ranked overall fantasy scorer for week 1. They also got help from a 27.40 point effort from Rob Gronkowski, who got by the Pittsburgh Steelers defense for 94 receiving yards and 3 receiving TDs.

I’m speechless,” SanFran-Gordon 69ers coach Richie said.

Tweedbank Pirates were helped out in a losing cause by a 19.00 point effort from the Seattle Seahawks Defensive Team. With this performance, the Seahawks was the number 2 ranked defensive team for week 1. They also got help from a 17.72 point effort from Andrew Luck, who got by the Buffalo Bills defense for 243 passing yards and 2 passing TDs in addition to 20 rushing yards.

We dug ourselves a deep hole,” Tweedbank Pirates coach Paul said.

This brings the record for SanFran-Gordon 69ers to 1-0, and drops Tweedbank Pirates to a record of 0-1.

Coming up in week 2, Tweedbank Pirates are at the 1-0 Earlstonian Bohemians, where Earlstonian Bohemians are an early 5.9-point favorite, while SanFran-Gordon 69ers are at the 1-0 Fife Fire, where Fife Fire are an early 32.4-point underdog.

SanFran-Gordon 69ers
Player Pts
Rodgers, Aaron GBP QB 23.06
Crowell, Isaiah CLE RB 3.30
Hyde, Carlos SFO RB 30.20
Williams, DeAngelo PIT RB 13.20
Green, A.J. CIN WR 6.30
Robinson, Allen JAC WR 2.70
Gronkowski, Rob NEP TE 27.40
Prater, Matt DET PK 4.00
Bills, Buffalo BUF Def 9.00
Total: 119.16
Tweedbank Pirates
Player Pts
Luck, Andrew IND QB 17.72
Blue, Alfred HOU RB 4.90
Gordon, Melvin SDC RB 4.70
Morris, Alfred WAS RB 12.10
Bryant, Dez DAL WR 4.80
Jackson, Vincent TBB WR 5.10
Walker, Delanie TEN TE 10.30
Gostkowski, Stephen NEP PK 4.00
Seahawks, Seattle SEA Def 19.00
Total: 82.62
Pilton Panthers (98.54) at Nitten Pickaxe (104.64)
(MyFantasyLeague.com Fantasy Times Sources – Sep 15, 2015) In a week 1 Earlston Fantasy Football League intra-divisional rivalry, Nitten Pickaxe squeaked by a tough Pilton Panthers team by a score of 104.64 to 98.54, behind the support of 72,270 faithful fans.

Nitten Pickaxe were led to their 6.10 point victory by a 22.00 point effort from Chris Ivory, who got by the Cleveland Browns defense for 91 rushing yards and 2 rushing TDs in addition to 9 receiving yards. With this performance, Ivory was the number 3 ranked running back for week 1. They also got help from a 21.00 point effort from the Carolina Panthers Defensive Team.

We’re tickled to death,” Nitten Pickaxe coach Gav said.

Pilton Panthers were helped out in a losing cause by a 23.80 point effort from DeAndre Hopkins, who got by the Kansas City Chiefs defense for 98 receiving yards and 2 receiving TDs. With this performance,Hopkins was the number 2 ranked wide receiver for week 1. They also got help from a 18.04 point effort from Ben Roethlisberger, who tore apart the New England Patriots defense for 351 passing yards and 1 passing TD.

We came out flat,” Pilton Panthers coach Rab said.

Causing further embarrassment, Pilton Panthers could have scored 112.84 points and earned the win with their best lineup, but Rab left key players like Kendall Wright and his corresponding 16.10 points on the bench.

This brings the record for Nitten Pickaxe to 1-0, and drops Pilton Panthers to a record of 0-1.

Coming up in week 2, Pilton Panthers are at the 0-1 Earlston Earthquakes, where Earlston Earthquakes are an early 3.0-point underdog, while Nitten Pickaxe are at the 0-1 Tranent Tigers, where Tranent Tigers are an early 0.6-point favorite.

Pilton Panthers
Player Pts
Roethlisberger, Ben PIT QB 18.04
Charles, Jamaal KCC RB 16.30
Martin, Doug TBB RB 5.40
Stewart, Jonathan CAR RB 8.10
Hopkins, DeAndre HOU WR 23.80
Jeffery, Alshon CHI WR 7.80
Olsen, Greg CAR TE 1.10
Bryant, Matt ATL PK 14.00
Packers, Green Bay GBP Def 4.00
Total: 98.54
Nitten Pickaxe
Player Pts
Wilson, Russell SEA QB 15.14
Ivory, Chris NYJ RB 22.00
Lynch, Marshawn SEA RB 12.40
Vereen, Shane NYG RB 6.00
Jackson, DeSean WAS WR 0.00
Thomas, Demaryius DEN WR 6.00
Graham, Jimmy SEA TE 11.10
Hauschka, Steven SEA PK 11.00
Panthers, Carolina CAR Def 21.00
Total: 104.64

 

Kelsae Avengers (73.44) at Tranent Tigers (67.3)
(MyFantasyLeague.com Fantasy Times Sources – Sep 15, 2015) In a week 1 Earlston Fantasy Football League rivalry, Kelsae Avengers squeaked by a tough Tranent Tigers team by a score of 73.44 to 67.30, silencing a partisan crowd of 71,658.

Kelsae Avengers were led to their 6.14 point victory by a 15.90 point effort from Eddie Lacy, who got by the Chicago Bears defense for 85 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD in addition to 14 receiving yards. They also got help from a 13.44 point effort from Sam Bradford, who beat the Atlanta Falcons defense for 336 passing yards and 1 passing TD.

We snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat,” Kelsae Avengers coach Stuart said.

Tranent Tigers were helped out in a losing cause by a 17.00 point effort from Brandon McManus, who beat the Baltimore Ravens defense for 4 field goals made and 1 extra point. With this performance, McManuswas the number 1 ranked place kicker for week 1. They also got help from a 13.00 point effort from the St. Louis Rams Defensive Team.

We had our chances but we let them slip away,” Tranent Tigers coach Nicky said.

Causing further embarrassment, Tranent Tigers could have scored 83.70 points and earned the win with their best lineup, but Nicky left key players like Darren Sproles and his corresponding 12.60 points on the bench.

Kelsae Avengers took advantage of their schedule this week, as their point total would have gone for a loss against 8 out of 10 other potential opponents in week 1.

This brings the record for Kelsae Avengers to 1-0, and drops Tranent Tigers to a record of 0-1.

Coming up in week 2, the 1-0 Nitten Pickaxe are at Tranent Tigers, where Tranent Tigers are an early 0.6-point favorite, while Kelsae Avengers are at the 0-1 Fog on the Tyne, where Fog on the Tyne are an early 24.4-point underdog.

Kelsae Avengers
Player Pts
Bradford, Sam PHI QB 13.44
Lacy, Eddie GBP RB 15.90
Yeldon, T.J. JAC RB 6.70
Johnson, Calvin DET WR 3.90
Matthews, Jordan PHI WR 10.20
Williams, Terrance DAL WR 6.00
Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE 5.30
Catanzaro, Chandler ARI PK 7.00
Eagles, Philadelphia PHI Def 5.00
Total: 73.44
Tranent Tigers
Player Pts
Manning, Peyton DEN QB 4.90
Forsett, Justin BAL RB 5.60
Peterson, Adrian MIN RB 5.20
Boldin, Anquan SFO WR 3.60
Sanders, Emmanuel DEN WR 6.50
Watkins, Sammy BUF WR 0.00
Bennett, Martellus CHI TE 11.50
McManus, Brandon DEN PK 17.00
Rams, St. Louis STL Def 13.00
Total: 67.
Fife Fire (86.4) at Kelso 187’s (85.52)
(MyFantasyLeague.com Fantasy Times Sources – Sep 15, 2015) In a week 1 Earlston Fantasy Football League intra-divisional rivalry, Fife Fire squeaked by a tough Kelso 187’s team by a score of 86.40 to 85.52, silencing a partisan crowd of 70,621.

Fife Fire were led to their 0.88 point victory by a 18.00 point effort from Jason Witten, who snuck past the New York Giants defense for 60 receiving yards and 2 receiving TDs. With this performance, Witten was the number 5 ranked tight end for week 1. They also got help from a 16.50 point effort from Drew Brees, who tore apart the Arizona Cardinals defense for 355 passing yards and 1 passing TD in addition to 3 rushing yards.

This team shows a lot of resiliency,” Fife Fire coach Shaun said.

Kelso 187’s were helped out in a losing cause by a 19.30 point effort from Antonio Brown, who beat the New England Patriots defense for 133 receiving yards and 1 receiving TD. With this performance, Brown was the number 3 ranked wide receiver for week 1. They also got help from a 16.62 point effort from Matt Ryan, who got by the Philadelphia Eagles defense for 298 passing yards and 2 passing TDs in addition to 7 rushing yards.

We didn’t match their intensity,” Kelso 187’s coach Euan said.

Causing further embarrassment, Kelso 187’s could have scored 95.72 points and earned the win with their best lineup, but Euan left key players like Danny Woodhead and his corresponding 18.20 points on the bench.

This brings the record for Fife Fire to 1-0, and drops Kelso 187’s to a record of 0-1.

Coming up in week 2, the 1-0 SanFran-Gordon 69ers are at Fife Fire, where Fife Fire are an early 32.4-point underdog, while Kelso 187’s are at the 1-0 Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars, where Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars are an early 6.5-point underdog.

Fife Fire
Player Pts
Brees, Drew NOS QB 16.50
Bernard, Giovani CIN RB 8.80
Ellington, Andre ARI RB 11.60
Fitzgerald, Larry ARI WR 8.70
Johnson, Charles MIN WR 2.70
Smith, Torrey SFO WR 1.10
Witten, Jason DAL TE 18.00
Walsh, Blair MIN PK 3.00
Broncos, Denver DEN Def 16.00
Total: 86.40
Kelso 187’s
Player Pts
Ryan, Matt ATL QB 16.62
Abdullah, Ameer DET RB 15.40
Murray, Latavius OAK RB 8.00
Brown, Antonio PIT WR 19.30
Cobb, Randall GBP WR 9.80
Edelman, Julian NEP WR 10.60
Rodgers, Richard GBP TE 3.80
Vinatieri, Adam IND PK 0.00
Texans, Houston HOU Def 2.00
Total: 85.52
Fog on the Tyne (99.24) at Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars (146.52)
(MyFantasyLeague.com Fantasy Times Sources – Sep 15, 2015) In a week 1 Earlston Fantasy Football League intra-divisional battle, Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars embarrassed a hapless Fog on the Tyne team by a score of 146.52 to 99.24, behind the support of 65,297 faithful fans. With their 146.52 points, Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars is now the proud record-holder of the 9th-highest weekly point total in league history.

Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars were led to their 47.28 point victory by a 27.62 point effort from Tom Brady, who got by the Pittsburgh Steelers defense for 288 passing yards and 4 passing TDs in addition to 1 rushing yards. With this performance, Brady was the number 2 ranked overall fantasy scorer for week 1. They also got help from a 26.10 point effort from Julio Jones, who beat the Philadelphia Eagles defense for 141 receiving yards and 2 receiving TDs.

This team always seems to find a way to win,” Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars coach Jimmy said.

Fog on the Tyne were helped out in a losing cause by a 22.60 point effort from Matt Forte, who beat the Green Bay Packers defense for 141 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD in addition to 25 receiving yards. With this performance, Forte was the number 2 ranked running back for week 1. They also got help from a 22.14 point effort from Tony Romo, who tore apart the New York Giants defense for 356 passing yards and 3 passing TDs.

We didn’t get the job done,” Fog on the Tyne coach Stuart said.

Fog on the Tyne drew the short straw with their schedule this week, as their point total would have resulted in a win against 8 out of 10 other potential opponents in week 1.

This brings the record for Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars to 1-0, and drops Fog on the Tyne to a record of 0-1.

Coming up in week 2, the 0-1 Kelso 187’s are at Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars, where Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars are an early 6.5-point underdog, while the 1-0 Kelsae Avengers are at Fog on the Tyne, where Fog on the Tyne are an early 24.4-point underdog.

Fog on the Tyne
Player Pts
Romo, Tony DAL QB 22.14
Forte, Matt CHI RB 22.60
Gore, Frank IND RB 3.10
McCoy, LeSean BUF RB 8.70
Cooper, Amari OAK WR 4.70
Landry, Jarvis MIA WR 6.70
Cameron, Jordan MIA TE 7.30
Tucker, Justin BAL PK 9.00
Dolphins, Miami MIA Def 15.00
Total: 99.24
Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars
Player Pts
Brady, Tom NEP QB 27.62
Hill, Jeremy CIN RB 18.30
Lewis, Dion NEP RB 12.00
Allen, Keenan SDC WR 16.60
Jones, Julio ATL WR 26.10
Randle, Rueben NYG WR 2.30
Kelce, Travis KCC TE 22.60
Parkey, Cody PHI PK 6.00
Jets, New York NYJ Def 15.00
Total: 146.52

View From The Pit 2015 – week 2

Week 1 is out of the way – a couple of lucky breaks for the new guys and a huge spread of scores. The Pit predictions were about 50/50 last week, but don’t let that put you off – it just looks like some players are going to have to settle into their seasons.

Rookies and those still sleeping after the summer – do not be fooled; there is no warm up, no free weeks and no complacency – reigning champ Jimmy signalled his intent to be first to get his name on the trophy twice with a massive score against the Fog.

Lets soundtrack the preview with a warning to those whose lineups left a little to be desired last week – you only have 12 weeks left for a playoff spot!!!

Divisional Games:

Kirk – Pirates at Bohemians

The Bohos lucked out in their first match up with the lowest winning score of the week against a woeful Quakes performance. The Pirates must be cursing those lilly livered landlubbers that this matchup wasnt week 1, as they scored a reasonable 82 points.  Quick tip for our newbies neither Ally or Paul’s stats were THAT bad – they just didn’t quite convert their yardage to touchdowns. Anyhow, this week should see the pirates Luck change with the wind, as the colts QB has  a decent match up against the Jets – that has to wait till Monday though. Everyone else worth playing looks like sunday games, Paul will miss injured Dez Bryant but still looks to have a decent chance at WR. This game could be close, but the Pit prediction is for Luck to seal the deal with a monster performance on Monday to give the Pirates their first win in the new strip

Shatner – Pickaxe at Tigers

Pickaxe come of a cheeky win where the Tigers are still waiting to pounce on their first win in the new name. Peyton Manning had a bit of a disaster, so expect that score to grow a bit – however he’s still only ranked 13th this week, and needs to prove he’s still got the game in Kansas. The match up this week are pretty close, Pickaxe have lost Desean Jackson, but then he contributed zero points to the week 1 win anyway. The waiver wire could be buzzing for both these coaches on Wednesday but there’s not enough barrel scrapings there to save Nicky’s Tigers – its a win for Pickaxe in week 2.

TJ Hooker – 69ers at Fire

Fife Fire logged their first win to launch their EFFL career – so a chance of a perfect season? not looking good from the Pit I can tell you – Leveon Bell is still out and they’ve probably lost Ellington too (though he played on dodgy legs most of last season – tough cookie?). With the niners straight off the second best score and with plenty of RBs to drop on the waivers it looks likely that Richie will benefit from a slightly doused Fire – The Gronk could make sure of that if he repeats his superhuman week 1 performance at Buffalo – the Pit goes for the 69ers this time.

Uhura – Avengers at Fog

Avengers won last week, and with only 1 QB and 1 outfield TD – not bad for a rookie? but they lucked out against a slightly kitten like Tigers team. This week could be very different – the Fog looking for blood after putting in a strong performance but ending up facing the Jaguar juggernaut. Fog look to have the lead at most positions, but only just and those oh so tricky red zone touches will decide this game, the points may not show it if one team lucks out her, but expect the yards to be pretty similar – the pit goes with the Fog

 

Non divisional

Panthers at Earthquakes

Both of these guys coming off the back of pretty close losses, a chance for one of them to set the balance back. The quakes might opt for an early start with some points for Anderson on Thursday night, because you can be sure that Jamaal Charles will put the Panthers into double digits. It looks like the rest of it will fought out on Sunday – the rankings give the Panthers a wee edge at most positions, but its so close it will be tough to prize them apart, the Packers v Hawks game may be the game to decide it, with both teams plumping for the packers – the rest of the players are spread across too many games, making it hard to keep track let alone watch – this week the Pit is going for the Panthers

187s at Jaguars

There might  be some quaking going on in this game, but it could just be Euan worrying about those Jerman Jaguars pouncing over the North Sea on the back of last weeks leading score. Dont get too uptight though, Jimmy isn’t holding the trophy for nothing but 4 QB TDs and 6 for the outfield is a monstrous 52 points worth – surely that cant happen 2 weeks on the bounce? 187s lost their first brotherly grudge match and will look to make their mark on the league here, got to say that the rest of the league might be banking on you too Euan – just to prove that Jimmy didn’t out think the whole internet with his draft. Anyway Travis Kelce could decide this early in the week on thursday night – a big game from him could see this tie slipping away from Euan before he’s even started – if that doesn’t happen Euan has the advantage on Sunday – the Pit goes for that outcome – it’s a win for the 187s

A new draft strategy or… How I recruited my crew Aaaarrrggh!

Any search for ‘Fantasy NFL Football’ or ‘Fantasy NFL’ over the months of August and September will yield fathoms of articles about draft strategy.  Over the last 3 years i have read too many to count of these articles trying to find that one strategy that could bring home the bounty but alas it has not (I got to the Earlston Bowl last year but fell way short).

This year I took a new approach and only time will tell if i have left my crew adrift or swimming with doubloons.

This year I based all my research on duds… that’s it.

Instead of spending my summer reading about who might outscore who and who might make the starting spot and who might not, I focused on who i don’t want, I then fed that information into Football Guys Draft Dominator and let them do the number crunching to see who i should draft and in the main blindly follow what it told me (with some exceptions which i might write about in a future post).

How did it do?  Well buckle your swashes, grab a flagon of ale and i will tell you.

Note, these are not in order.

QB’s

Luck Andrew IND
I am very happy with this pick, Luck had a great 2014 and much as it pains me to say this, I believe Colts will beat the Pats to the division title this year.
Winston, Jameis TBB
I went off the charted course with my 15th Pick, took a gamble, lets see how he gets on.

Running Backs

This is the part of my crew that I am more concerned about, hopefully the rest of the crew will pick up the slack but these guys are definitely the cabin boys of the Tweebank Pirates.
Blue, Alfred HOU
This could work out okay for me for a few weeks until Foster is healthy again, after that we might be throwing Mr Blue Beard over board.
Gordon, Melvin SDC
Second of the rookies on my team.  Lets hope San Diego get him a nice pair of gloves and he might not fumble as much, fingers crossed.
Helu, Roy OAK RB
Mr Helu joined the Pirates (at that time the Flush) in their first season in the big leagues, Roy (we call him Roy in the backoffice) was with the redskins at the time, he was picker up by the Raiders in the offseason and will likely see a bit of work in late downs with the lions share of the work going to Latavius Murray
Jones, Matt WAS
With the QB situation in Washington being a little unsure at the moment I am gambling that this will result in more work in the backfield… i can hope.
Morris, Alfred WAS
Hmmm, 2 Washington Backs, Another place where my strategy might back broken a bit.  Morris should be the go-to-guy but we will see.   Either way my comment above still stands.

Wide Receivers

Bryant, Dez DAL
Very happy here, the backs situation in Dallas should see Bryant getting an increased workload which is only good news for the Pirates.
Baldwin, Doug SEA
Wilson doesn’t pass the ball alot, but when he does, he looks for Baldwin.
Jackson, Vincent TBB
Jackson joined the Pirates (then The Flush) as a RB2 late last season in a trade with Jimmys Jerman Jaguars and he did not live up to the over selling JJJ’s general manager used to seal the trade.  Either way, we have renewed his contract as an occasional FLEX this year, lets see if Winston can make a good wideout of Jackson (His name is also quite piratey, so I am happy there)
Tate, Golden DET WR
Tate rejoins the Pirates after a year away and we are happy to have him back.  He is a RB2/FLEX while Johnson is healthy but some dodgy grog slipped into “Megatron’s” gatorade and we have some big upside on this chap (and… totally a pirate name!)
Wheaton, Markus PIT
This is a stash and hope for the best kind of pick.  Wheaton needs to get his carcass into the red zone a little more to make this Pirate crew, but we will see what the season brings.

Tight Ends

Walker, Delanie TEN
Happy with this, Mariotta could make a big difference for the Titans and few on that crew could have a bigger upside from that than Walker.

Kickers

Gostkowski, Stephen NEP
He’s a Pat, hes the leagues top scoring kicker, nothing else to say here

Defence

Seahawks, Seattle SEA
Took the ‘Hawks earlier than i would have liked but I made a decision early on to follow the map no matter where it took me and it took me to Seattle.  Not complaining though, the Hawks are a quality defence even with Kam Chancellor‘s possible departure.

This might be the worst move a fantasy GM has ever done or it might be the best but as with everything, following the cowpaths makes you mediocre at best, I am in this to win it, there is no glory for second place.  Lets hope i don’t need to skuttle the ship mid season!

Cheers mateys!