Wildcard Weekend – NFC (Saturday)

 

Are you ready for some (mildly entertaining) football?

Are you ready for some (mildly entertaining) football?

Hell, yes!  We’re back, and ready to take on the New Year!  Our New Year’s resolution (drink more Coors Light) is going really well.  #achievablegoals.  And the best part about the New Year??? PLAYOFF FOOTBALL!  As usual, Roid Rage will handle the AFC (just put the Pats in already, ok?) which leaves me with the crapshoot that is the NFC.

Detroit @ Seattle (-8), Saturday, 8:15 pm

This is a game of two teams heading in different directions.  Seattle is entering the playoffs on the rise.  Let’s be clear:  Russell Wilson had a down year.  He (quietly) threw for over 4,000 yards, but threw a career high in interceptions, and also had career worst QB rating and QBR.  Reasons vary for why Russell was off this year…but The Machine knows.  Once he got a taste of the high life, his concentration suffered.

Totally understandable

Totally understandable.

But none of that matters anymore.  Except the still banging my super hot wife.  That’s continues to be pretty important.  Anyway, winners of 3 of their last 5 games, Seattle seems to have gotten their old swagger back.

And then, we did it again!

Detroit, meanwhile, got into the playoffs the wrong way.  They had a chance to make their recent struggles disappear last week, with a home game against the Packers for the NFC North.  But alas, the Lions lost (at home), which capped off a disappointing 0-3 end to the season.

Detroit seems to be stuck in the same loop (sorry, I just got done binge watching Westworld).  Every three years or so they get to the playoffs, only to be summarily beaten.  Their last 7 playoff games (dating back to 1993), the Lions are a scrappy 0-7.  Mathew Stafford has played in 2 of those games, throwing for over 300 yards in both losing efforts.  Will the Lions continue in their path of one and done playoff appearances, or will they gain consciousness, take control of their lives, and re-write their story (seriously, go watch Westworld).

If only this guy were still around...

If only this guy were still around…

We’re not buying it.  Although The Machine’s already exposed the fraud that is the 12th Man, Seattle is still tough to beat at home.  They were 7-1 at home on the year, and that one loss was a last second field goal.

Glad they kept the 12th Man an organic, fan-created idea, and didn’t go all corporate.

Here’s another fun fact:  The Lions haven’t won a road playoff game since 1957.  That’s right, since the Eisenhower administration.  And that streak’s not going to end this weekend.  Eight points is a big spread to cover in the playoffs, but we like Seattle’s chances.  Maybe it’s our East Coast bias, or our general apathy for the Mid-West, but it’s tough to get excited for this matchup.  This game will rival the Raiders/Texans for least watched playoff game.

Final Score:  Seattle 27, Detroit 17

Actual footage from last Detroit Lions road playoff win.

Actual footage from last Detroit Lions road playoff win.

The Machine’s Draft Day Drinking Game

Cheers!Can’t make it to The Machine’s Draft Day Party?  Well, that sucks for you.  But have no fear…we got your back with our play at home game.  How can you make the Draft better, you ask in amazement?  By playing The Big Red Sports Machine’s Draft Day Drinking Game.  It’s fun, it’s easy, guaranteed to impress the ladies, and you can play at home or at your favorite watering hole.  Here are the rules:

1.  Draft catchphrases.  There are certain phrases you only hear during the Draft.  Why?  We don’t know, but we love them.  For this reason alone, we give ESPN the slight lean over the NFL Network for your draft day coverage.  That, and, Kiper.  Duh, winning!

The following phrases are worth a shot of beer:

  • Raw talent
  • Off-the-field or character issues
  • Live arm
  • High motor
  • Straight line speed
  • Great Value
  • Upside
  • Best player available
  • Intangibles or Measurables
  • Trade Down
  • War Room
  • New Regime
  • Read-Option
  • Edge Rusher
  • Gets to the Second Level
  • Quick feet
  • Plays in Space
  • Advanced Stats (*new for 2016)

2.  Videos/references.  Each of these are beer-finishing worthy:

  • Reference to Mel’s hair
  • Player on-stage photo-op with family/entourage of 15+
  • Reference to Cleveland Browns front office ineptitude (cough, Trent Richardson, cough, Brandon Weedon, cough, Johnny Manziel)
  • First shot of Drew Rosenhaus in his newest client’s living room
  • First player to cry when their name is called
  • Reference to when Tom Brady was drafted (we’ll also accept Brady’s Combine picture)
  • Reference to Aaron Rodgers draft day slide
  • Video of Brady Quinn in the green room
  • Video of Bill Tobin’s infamous “who the hell is Mel Kiper?” interview during the ’94 Draft

3.  On the Clock Chug.  When your team is on the clock, you have to finish a full beer before the pick is called.  Note:  if your team trades down, they’re on the clock twice, meaning that’s two full beers.  Cowboy up, it’s the Draft!

Basically, if it doesn’t look like this than you’re probably doing it wrong…..

Beer Chug

Or this:

Beer Chug 2

Mock Draft (Roidrage 3.0)

It's Draft Week!

It’s Draft Week!

Relatively speaking its been a pretty boring week, what with the Chargers not trading their pick.  What, nobody willing to mortgage their future on the arm (or mustache) of Paxton Lynch?!  Luckily for us there are so many wild cards in this draft (Jack, Lynch, any-WR) and unresolved situations league-wide (Mo Wilkerson, Kap, Bradford) that fireworks should be a plenty throughout the draft.

Shave that thing, bro.

Shave that thing, bro.

On to the picks….

Round 1 Team Pick Position
1 LA Rams Jared Goff (Cal) QB
2 Philadelphia Eagles Carson Wentz (North Dakota St.) QB
3 San Diego Chargers Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss) OL
4 Dallas Cowboys Joey Bosa (OSU) DE
5 Jacksonville Jaguars Jalen Ramsey (FSU) CB
6 Baltimore Ravens Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) OL
7 San Francisco 49ers DeForest Buckner (Oregon) DL
8 Cleveland Browns Myles Jack (UCLA) LB
9 Tampa Bay Bucs Vernon Hargreaves (Florida) CB
10 New York Giants Ezekiel Elliot (OSU) RB
Chip Kelly can't help himself. But he might not get the chance; DeForest could be the first non-QB off the board.

Chip Kelly can’t help himself. But he might not get the chance; DeForest could be the first non-QB off the board.

 

11 Chicago Bears Paxton Lynch (Memphis) QB
12 New Orleans Saints Sheldon Rankins (Louisville) DT
13 Miami Dolphins Jack Conklin (MSU) OL
14 Oakland Raiders Leonard Floyd (Georgia) LB
15 Tennessee Titans Darren Lee (OSU) LB
16 Detroit Lions Shaq Lawson (Clemson) DE
17 Atlanta Falcons Reggie Ragland (Alabama) LB
18 Indianapolis Colts Taylor Decker (OSU) OL
19 Buffalo Bills Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky) DE
20 New York Jets William Jackson III (Houston) CB
floyd01

Mack & Floyd off the edges, lookout!

21 Washington Redskins Chris Jones (Miss St.) DT
22 Houston Texans Corey Coleman (Baylor) WR
23 Minnesota Vikings Jarran Reed (Alabama) DT
24 Cincinnati Bengals Josh Doctson (TCU) WR
25 Pittsburgh Steelers Eli Apple (OSU) CB
26 Seattle Seahawks Ryan Kelly (Alabama) OL
27 Green Bay Packers Andrew Billings (Baylor) DT
28 Kansas City Chiefs Laquan Treadwell (Ole Miss) WR
29 Arizona Cardinals Vernon Butler (Louisiana Tech) DL
30 Carolina Panthers Mackensie Alexander (Clemson) CB
31 Denver Broncos Kevin Dodd (Clemson) DE
Laquan opposite Maclin would be.....well, it would be a massive upgrade!

Laquan opposite Maclin would be…..well, it would be a massive upgrade!

 

 

Mock Draft (Ginger King 3.0)

Need more proof of the power of the Draft?  All week, the biggest stories were Kobe’s last game, and Golden State’s quest for 73 wins…until Thursday, when the LA Rams (need to get used to that again) mortgaged the future to move from 15 to 1 in a blockbuster trade with the Titans.  Suddenly, nothing else matters.

Make no mistake:  this trade affects everything.  It ensures that qbs go 1 and 2 in this draft (although Roid Rage and I differ on the order – check out his latest mock).  Biggest winner from this trade:  Paxton Lynch.  With qbs going 1 and 2, Lynch now becomes highly valuable, as the drop off in qb talent after him is significant.  Will he crack the Top 10?  Biggest loser:  Laremy Tunsil.  Plugged in as the number 1 overall for weeks and weeks, Laremy will most certainly fall from the top perch. The question is how far?

And with that, let’s get right to the action.

Round 1 Team Pick Position
1 LA Rams Jared Goff (Cal) QB
2 Cleveland Browns Carson Wentz (North Dakota St.) QB
3 San Diego Chargers Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss) OL
4 Dallas Cowboys Jalen Ramsey (FSU) CB
5 Jacksonville Jaguars DeForest Buckner (Oregon) DE
[cue Tupac]:  California Love!!!

[cue Tupac]: California Love!!!

6 Baltimore Ravens Joey Bosa (OSU) DE
7 San Francisco 49ers Myles Jack (UCLA) LB
8 Philadelphia Eagles Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) OL
9 Tampa Bay Bucs Leonard Floyd (Georgia) LB
10 New York Giants Vernon Hargreaves (Florida) CB
11 Chicago Bears Ezekiel Elliot (OSU) RB
12 New Orleans Saints Paxton Lynch (Memphis) QB
13 Miami Dolphins William Jackson III (Houston) CB
14 Oakland Raiders Sheldon Rankins (Louisville) DT
15 Tennessee Titans Jack Conklin (MSU) OL
16 Detroit Lions Corey Coleman (Baylor) WR
17 Atlanta Falcons Laquan Treadwell (Ole Miss) WR
18 Indianapolis Colts Taylor Decker (OSU) OL
19 Buffalo Bills Emmanuel Ogbah (Ok St.) DE
On the rise.

On the rise.

20 New York Jets Jarran Reed (Alabama) DT
21 Washington Redskins Reggie Ragland (Alabama) LB
22 Houston Texans A’Shawn Robinson (Alabama) DT
23 Minnesota Vikings Chris Jones (Miss St.) DE
24 Cincinnati Bengals Will Fuller (Notre Dame) WR
25 Pittsburgh Steelers Eli Apple (OSU) CB
26 Seattle Seahawks Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky) DE
27 Green Bay Packers Kenny Clark (UCLA) DT
28 Kansas City Chiefs Vernon Butler (Louisiana Tech) DT
29 Arizona Cardinals Darren Lee (OSU) LB
30 Carolina Panthers Josh Doctson (TCU) WR
31 Denver Broncos Kevin Dodd (Clemson) DE
So much depth at DT.  You can't go wrong.

So much depth at DT. You can’t go wrong.

 

Divisional Weekend – Round 2

NFL DivisionalSeattle (11-6) @ Carolina (15-1), Sunday 1:05 PM

Line: Sea +2.5 O/U 44.0

With all due respect to Russell Wilson, he’ll be the second best quarterback on the field today. If The Machine’s application is approved in time, SuperCam will definitely get our vote for MVP this year. Cam has been putting up ridiculous numbers in the passing (and running) game all season; including Week 6 at Seattle, where Newton threw a 26-yard TD dart to Greg Olsen to cap a come from behind win against the reigning NFC Champs. While Newton was picked twice in that game, he added a rushing TD along with the Olsen score, and, like all season, made big plays in big spots. He is seeing the entire field, spreading the ball to his ho-hum receiving corps, and trusting his freakish athletic ability. He’s been a force at home (to go along with 257 rushing yards + 6 rushing TDs):

homesplitUnfortunately for Cam and the Panthers, they are facing one of the hottest…and easily the luckiest…teams in the league. After being gifted a ticket to the Divisional Round, Seattle is playing with house money, so they’ve got no reason not to play free and loose. Plus, they get BeastMode back, who has a penchant for making game-changing plays in the playoffs.

Defensively, Seattle is much more average on the road than at home. Cam Chancellor has looked like a liability in coverage, as evident on the final drive last week, where he drew a 19-yard PI penalty only to get torched by Kyle Rudolph on the very next play for 24-yards. That *should* have cost the Seahawks their season. Greg Olsen should see double-digit targets and put up big numbers (he gashed the ‘Hawks this year to the tune of 7/131/1). The Panthers boast a formidable front-seven and a true lockdown corner in Josh Norman. Their athletic line backing corps should be able to contain Russell Wilson and keep him from creating outside the pocket and on broken plays, a lethal facet of his game.

Vegas basically has this one as a toss-up if it were on a neutral field. After facing a tough defense in Minnesota, and traveling across country this week to face the best team in the conference, I think Seattle’s luck runs out in Carolina.

newton gifPrediction: Carolina 20, Seattle 17

*************************************************************************************************

Bengals-ScalpPittsburgh (11-6) @ Denver (12-4), Sunday 4:40 PM

Line: Pitt +7.5 O/U 41.0

If the first game is the “good” than this one promises to be the “bad and the ugly”. The Steelers come hobbling into Mile High to face dead-arm Peyton Manning. Both teams are playing for the right to get whipped by Brady and Company.

Let’s start with the home team. The Broncos formula for winning is simple: play great defense (1st in total defense, allowing only 283 yards/game), run the ball (with the uninspiring duo of CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman), and don’t let the quarterback lose the game for you. Peyton Manning, the first ballot Hall-of-Famer, has been physically reduced to a game-manager that got (rightfully) bench for Brock-freaking-Osweiler this season.

If you’re to believe the cockgobblers Nance and Simms, Peyton Manning’s presence sparked the running game in their Week 17 victory over the Chargers. Admittedly, we might have been a few cases of Silver Bullets deep at the time, but we’re not blind. Manning was 5/9 with 65 yards and he was launching ducks all over the field. The spark in the run game probably had more to do with San Diego’s atrocious run defense and less with Manning’s presence. But that’s just our analysis.

I liked the Steelers to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year. That was before Antonio Brown was decapitated and Big Ben’s arm fell off.  Adam “Pacman” Jones claimed Antonio Brown (who was clearly knocked out before he hit the ground) was faking his injury (as if the refs needed more justification to throw a flag?!) and predicted Brown would be cleared to play this weekend. Yeeeeah. Pac also thinks his Enron stock will rebound and Jupiter Ascending will take home the Oscar for best picture. We long for the days when Pacman did what Pacman does best: make it ran dolla dolla bills (and bullets) in da club. Already reduced to a running back committee of Fitzgerald Toussaint (sounds like a French painter) and Jordan Todman, Brown’s play-making ability is a huge lose. Pittsburgh will rely on young but capable wide outs Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton, while Heath Miller figures to be peppered with short targets.

While Brown’s injury is devastating, Roethlisberger’s busted shoulder is of greater concern. Reports out of Pittsburgh claim that Ben is driving the football with good velocity, but isn’t that exactly what you would expect reports out of Pittsburgh to say? He certainly wasn’t able to throw the ball down the field during the final drive in Cincinnati; a fact that was overshadowed by the Bengals meltdown (with an assist from Joey Porter). This isn’t exactly uncharted territory for Ben, as he annually seems to be a walking infirmary.

So who do you trust more: and banged up Big Ben or going-on-40 Peyton Manning? Manning was no good in cold-weather playoff games in his prime when he had an arm (Eli clearly got all the clutch genes). Despite how decimated the Steelers are, I have to believe they can make enough plays to keep it close. The Steelers could easily lose by a touchdown, so I love getting the ½ point hook. I’m guessing Pacman Jones likes the Broncos to run away with this game in a shootout; so give me the Steelers and the points.

Prediction: Denver 17, Steelers 12

steel01

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 10 PICKS / LOCKS / SURVIVOR

Never forget.

Never forget.

The PICKS
Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
73-54-5 67-60-5 57-70-5 66-61-5 66-61-5
BUF BUF NYJ BUF NYJ
GB  GB GB GB GB
DAL  DAL DAL TB DAL
CAR  CAR CAR TEN CAR
CHI  CHI CHI CHI CHI
NO  WAS NO WAS WAS
MIA  MIA MIA PHI MIA
PIT  PIT PIT PIT CLE
JAC  JAC BAL JAC BAL
MIN  MIN OAK MIN OAK
DEN  DEN KC KC DEN
NE  NE NE NE NE
ARZ  ARZ ARZ SEA ARZ
CIN  CIN HOU CIN CIN
Lock-it-up-of-the-Week
Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
6-3-0 6-3-0 6-3-0 2-7-0 3-6-0
JAC  PIT MIA GB BAL
Survivor Pool Pick
Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny

footballlocks.com

footballlocks.com

Week 9 Scorecard

Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
Week 1 GB GB SEA GB ARZ
Week 2 ARZ NO *DEAD* NO NO
Week 3 SEA *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD*
Week 4 SD *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD*
Week 5 NE *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD*
Week 6 MIN *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD*
Week 7 STL *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD*
Week 8 CAR *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD*
Week 9 ATL *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD* *DEAD*

 

 

WEEK 8 PICKS / LOCKS / SURVIVOR

GOAT!

GOAT!

The PICKS
Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
52-36-3 50-38-3 36-52-3 46-42-3 43-45-3
NE NE NE NE MIA
DET  DET KC KC KC
MIN  MIN CHI CHI MIN
TB  ATL ATL ATL TB
NYG NYG NYG NO NYG
SF  STL STL STL STL
ARZ  ARZ ARZ CLE ARZ
CIN  PIT PIT PIT CIN
BAL  SD SD SD SD
TEN  TEN HOU HOU HOU
NYJ  NYJ OAK OAK OAK
DAL  SEA DAL SEA DAL
GB  GB GB GB GB
CAR  CAR CAR CAR INDY
Lock-it-up-of-the-Week
Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
6-1-0 6-1-0 5-2-0 2-5-0 2-5-0
GB  GB ARZ GB CIN
Survivor Pool Pick
Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
CAR **DEAD** **DEAD** **DEAD** **DEAD**
footballlocks.com

footballlocks.com

Week 7 Scorecard

Week 7 – Waiver Wire Pickups

Are you ready?!?

We’re at the halfway point for most fantasy leagues.  We were a mixed bag last week.  C-Kaep had the breakout game we expected, throwing for 340 yards, 2 tds, and 0 ints.  Reuben also turned in a respectable performance, catching 5 of 6 targets for 44 yards.  With some big names coming off the injury list soon (Big Ben, Dez, Romo) the waiver wire is still an important place to round out your squad.  Let’s take a look at our top picks for the week.

Blake Bortles, QB Jags (67% owned in Yahoo! leagues)

Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal now.

Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal now.

When we started writing this post last night, Blake was owned in only 43% of leagues (thus meeting our 50% ownership rule).  Overnight, much like the Google image searches for his girlfriend, interest in Blake skyrocketed.  And for good reason.

Blake is the 6th highest fantasy scoring QB in the league, ahead of guys like Cam Newton, Peyton Manning, and Russell Wilson.  He ranks 5th in TDs, 6th in rushing yards, and 7th in passing yards.  He is a top 5 QB this week, playing across the pond against the Bills.  The Bills used to have a good defense, way back in Week 1, but recently they have (much like Rex) been exposed as frauds, giving up big games to Andy Dalton and Eli Manning.  Look for Blake to continue that success.

Blake is a legitimate starting QB for the rest of the season.  FWIT, Blake started his hot streak in Week 3, when he was only owned in 11% of leagues.  What could have jumped started his career, you ask?  Probably this.

Stefon Diggs, WR Minnesota (58%)

Stefon DiggsDammit.  If only we were more motivated to finish this while watching the Royal/Blue Jays game last night.  Stefon was owned in only 2% of leagues last night.  He took a meteoric rise overnight and is now up to 58%.

You may ask yourself, who is Stefon Diggs?  Well, if you’re draft nerds like us, you’d know he’s a rookie 5th round pick out of Maryland.  We thought he could’ve gone as early as the third round, so the Vikings really got a steal.  And now he’s starting to prove us right.  Over the last two games, he’s become Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target, average 9.5 targets per game.  We expect a shoot-out on both sides against the Lions this week, and Stefon is in a good position to continue his stellar performance.  We like him as a WR3/Flex.

Theo Riddick, RB Detroit (29%)

PPR stud.

PPR stud.

For the reasons we like Stefon, we also like Theo.  The Lions/Vikings game is going to be pass early and often.  We expect 80 passes total.  That benefits Theo, who surprisingly leads all RBs in receptions.  He’s a low end RB2 but makes for a great Flex play, especially in PPR leagues.

Nick Foles, QB St. Louis (10%)

If you're desperate, Nick can help you out (for one week only).

If you’re desperate, Nick can help you out (for one week only).

With Andy Dalton, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers on byes this week, and assuming Blake is not around, you may be in a pinch for a quarterback.  With names like Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater, and Nick Foles likely available, how do you know who to pick up?  Of those QBs, our money is on Foles this week.  But wait, isn’t Nick coming off a wretched 141 yards, 4 interception performance?  Well, yes, but that was on the road against Green Bay.  Foles has been solid at home this year, averaging nearly 250 yards.  We think he’ll hit that number at home against Cleveland tomorrow.

Week 7 TNF Picks

Sea chickens!

Sea chickens!

The PICKS
Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
52-36-3 50-38-3 36-52-3 46-40-3 43-45-3
SF SEA SEA SEA SF

Week 5 TNF Staff Picks

Roid Rage Ginger King Dr. Mike Big Daddy Vegas Vinny
HOU HOU INDY INDY HOU
Butterface Fanbase

Butterface Fanbase