WEEK 4 Staff Picks ATS (2013)



Date & Time Favorite Spread Underdog
9/26 8:25 ET San Francisco    -3 At St. Louis
9/29 1:00 ET Pittsburgh    -2.5 Minnesota
9/29 1:00 ET Baltimore    -3 At Buffalo
9/29 1:00 ET Cincinnati    -4.5 At Cleveland
9/29 1:00 ET Indianapolis    -8.5 At Jacksonville
9/29 1:00 ET Seattle    -3 At Houston
9/29 1:00 ET At Tampa Bay    -2.5 Arizona
9/29 1:00 ET At Detroit    -3 Chicago
9/29 1:00 ET At Kansas City    -4.5 NY Giants
9/29 4:05 ET At Tennessee    -3.5 NY Jets
9/29 4:25 ET Dallas    -2 At San Diego
9/29 4:25 ET Washington    -3 At Oakland
9/29 4:25 ET At Denver    -10.5 Philadelphia
9/29 8:30 ET At Atlanta    -2 New England
9/30 8:40 ET At New Orleans    -6.5 Miami


  Roid Rage     Ginger King     Dr. Mike     Vegas Vinny  
  W L T     W L T     W L T     W L T  
Last Week 7 8 1     7 8 1     8 7 1     8 7 1  
Season to-date 20 25 3     21 24 3     24 21 3     23 22 3  
  STL     SF     SF     SF  
  PITT     PITT     MINN     MIN  
  BAL     BAL     BAL     BAL  
  CLE     CLE     CIN     CIN  
  IND     IND     IND     IND  
  HOU     SEA     SEA     HOU  
  ARIZ     TB     ARI     TB  
  CHI     CHI     DET     CHI  
  KC     NYG     KC     KC  
  NYJ     TENN     TENN     TEN  
  DAL     SD     SD     DAL  
  WAS     WAS     OAK     WAS  
  DEN     PHI     DEN     DEN  
  NE     NE     NE     NE  
  MIA     NO     NO     NO  
LOTW BAL     NO     CIN     IND  
LOTW Record 2 1 0     0 3 0     1 2 0     1 2 0  
Gratuitous shot of cheerleaders.

Gratuitous shot of cheerleaders.

Tuesday Teabag, September 24, 2013 – Jacoby Jones

This is his "about to get hit in the head with a champagne bottle by a stripper" face.

Jacoby’s “about to get hit in the head with a champagne bottle by a stripper” face.

Now that football’s back in full swing, it’s really hard to find a non-football related teabag.  There are a lot of stupid people in the NFL.  Don’t get us wrong:  if The Machine had unlimited amounts of money, power, and fame, we’d do a ton of stupid shit (our life would be somewhere between Jackass and Billy Madison).  Until then, we’re always on the lookout for the biggest and baddest teabags, and while we scour all sports-related issues, we really need go no further than the NFL. 

This week, there were several NFL Teabags to go around.  Honorable Mention Teabags (“HMTs”) go to Von Miller for trying to circumvent the NFL drug testing policy by submitting someone else’s urine.  One small problem: the specimen was submitted from a different City then where Von was…sort of dead giveaway it’s not your pee.  Come on Von, just order one of these.  Also, Aldon Smith of the Niners gets a shout out for his (second) DUI arrest, this on the heels of getting stabbed at his own party and (allegedly) shooting someone at his own party (separate parties, btw).  But Jacoby Jones has them all beat…he may have helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl last year, but he’ll now be remembered for something totally different.

Now, who hasn’t gotten hit over the head with a champagne bottle by a stripper?  Am I right, fellas?  That’s what happened over the weekend to Jacoby Jones, (now) The Machine’s favorite NFL player.  Jacoby was at Bryant McKinnie’s b-day party (yes, that Bryant McKinnie, a/k/a The Machine’s second favorite NFL player) on a limo bus full of strippers, when he was hit in the head with a bottle of champagne by a stripper named Sweet Pea.  There are so many incredible parts to this story, I don’t know where to begin.  Let’s break it down.

1. Mobile Strip Club

Best.  Idea.  Ever.

Best. Idea. Ever.

You know the most annoying part of going to a strip club is being surrounded by meatheads and drunk 40-something divorcees.  Plus, you have to drive there (gross).  Not anymore.  Now, you can actually motorboat on the highway, and get twerked at a rest stop.  Fucking genius.

2. Bryant McKinnie was involved

You can find Bryant in one of two places:  on the field...

You can find Bryant in one of two places: on the field…

The Machine knows two things about Bryant McKinnie:  he plays football and he LOVES strippers.  Bryant was the Captain of the infamous “Loveboat” as a member of the Vikings back in 2005, and you can tell he’s learned a lot from that incident.  The stories from that little shin dig are epic.  But Bryant learned his lesson, and that lesson was:


NFL players + strippers + boat = trouble,


NFL players + strippers + bus = enjoyable Sunday evening.  (Note:  guaranteed this equation was on Bryant’s Intro to Math final at The U). 

or in the club!

or in the club!

Forget Hard Knocks.  The Machine wants McKinnie Cam!  We’d pay top dollar to get an inside look at this dude’s life. 

3. A Stripper Named Sweet Pea

Prior to this weekend, there were three categories of stripper names:  spices, jewels, and cars.  The Machine fondly remembers helping Cinnamon, Sapphire, and Mercedes save for dental school.  But now, The Machine has another category:  flowers.  Flowers are no longer just things your grandma plants or you pee on in the backyard at night.  They’ve been elevated to stripper status.  [cue sleezy stripper DJ Voice]:  “Alright, alright, gentlemen, we got 2 for 1 well drinks goin’ on all night, but right now, put your hands together for Sweet Pea and Rhododendron!”

4. Ace of Spades

Comes in two sizes:  Regular and Scourned Stripper.

Comes in two sizes: Regular and Scourned Stripper.

What really completes this story is Jacoby getting beaned upside the head with a bottle of champagne.  And not just any bottle of champagne…we’re talking about the Ace of Spades, which (if you’re not familiar) comes in a big ass bottle.  Lord knows where that bottle was prior to it being used as a baseball bat. 

This is a plea to all public address announcers at NFL stadiums:  Please, please please, when Jacoby is being introduced, or makes a catch.  Shit, whenever you see him on the sidelines, play this song:

It doesn’t matter if Jacoby wins another Super Bowl or cures cancer, he’s always going to be that guy who got lit up by a stripper.  You’d like to think there’s a lesson to be learned from this, but we’re guessing it’s serve champagne in plastic bottles.  The Machine has definitely learned something:  we’re inviting Bryant McKinnie to everything, including our kids’ birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, and of course The Draft Party. 

Enjoy your teabag.

WEEK 3 Staff Picks ATS (2013)

WEEK 3 Roid Rage     Ginger King     Dr. Mike     Vegas Vinny
 Big Red Sports Machine W L T W L T W L T W L T
Last Week 9 6 1 7 8 1 7 8 1 10 5 1
Season to-date 13 17 2 14 16 2 16 14 2 15 15 2
Date & Time Favorite Spread Underdog Total
9/19 8:25 ET At Philadelphia    -3 Kansas City 51 KC PHI KC KC
9/22 1:00 ET At Tennessee    -3 San Diego 44 SD SD  SD SD
9/22 1:00 ET At Minnesota    -6.5 Cleveland 41 MIN MIN  MIN MIN
9/22 1:00 ET At New England    -7 Tampa Bay 44 TB NE  TB TB
9/22 1:00 ET Houston    -2.5 At Baltimore 44.5 BAL HOU  HOU BAL
9/22 1:00 ET At Dallas    -4 St. Louis 47 STL STL  DAL DAL
9/22 1:00 ET At New Orleans    -7.5 Arizona 48.5 ARIZ NO  NO NO
9/22 1:00 ET At Washington    -2 Detroit 49 DET DET  DET DET
9/22 1:00 ET Green Bay    -2 At Cincinnati 48.5 CIN GB  GB GB
9/22 1:00 ET At Carolina    -1 NY Giants 45.5 CAR NYG  NYG NYG
9/22 4:05 ET At Miami    -2.5 Atlanta 44.5 MIA ATL  ATL ATL
9/22 4:25 ET At San Francisco    -10 Indianapolis 46 SF IND  IND IND
9/22 4:25 ET At Seattle    -19.5 Jacksonville 40.5 JAX SEA  SEA JAX
9/22 4:25 ET At NY Jets    -2.5 Buffalo 39 BUF BUF  BUF BUF
9/22 8:30 ET Chicago    -2.5 At Pittsburgh 40.5 CHI CHI  CHI CHI
9/23 8:40 ET At Denver    -15 Oakland 49.5 OAK DEN  DEN DEN
Lock of the Week DET NYG  INDY CHI
LOTW Record 1 1 0     0 2 0     0 2 0     0 2 0

Tuesday Teabag, September 17, 2013 – The 0-2 Racetrack

In this week’s Tuesday Teabag, The Machine analyzes the 8 teams that are 0-2 and tells you whether they have a shot (i.e. there’s still hope) or not (fuhgettaboutit).  I’m sure you heard the stat, but since 1990 only 8% of the teams that made the playoffs (22 out of 276) started out 0-2.  #numbersdontlie #hashtagsinpostsdonothing.  If that holds true, only one of these teams will make the playoffs.  Who has the best odds of being that team?  Let’s break it down and lay some odds horse track-style.

New York Giants, 3:2

I’d like to think I’m being objective, and not a complete homer (if Roid Rage can love the hoodie, I can objectively analyze the G-Men) but, out of all the 0-2 teams, the Giants have the best shot to turn this around.  That’s not saying much…it makes them the skinniest kid a Fat Camp, but let’s look at how they got there. 

We've seen a lot of Pouty Eli thus far.

We’ve seen a lot of Pouty Eli thus far.

They have absolutely no running game.  David Wilson has gone Full Tiki (circa 2003).  This forces Eli to press, which in turn results in interceptions (seriously is there another team that throws more tipped ints than the Giants?) which in turn results in Pouty Eli.  On the other side of the ball, their defense is equally atrocious (Perry Fewell, you’re on notice).  You only need to know this one stat to understand why the Giants are 0-2:  in two games, they have fewer rushing yards (73) than points allowed (77).  And, just for shits and giggles, they also lead the league in turnovers (10).

So why, then (other than because I’m a homer) do the G-Men have a shot?  First, the Giants have history on their side.  In 2007, when they won the Super Bowl (18-1 bitches), they started out 0-2.  Their MO is to start out slow, catch fire, and then limp to the end of the season, hovering somewhere in the 9 to 10 win range.  And 9 or 10 wins is all it will take to win the NFC East this year.  And even in that 6 turnover opening game, the Giants still had the ball at midfield with 2:00 minutes left and a chance to win.  Pouty Eli usually turns into Elite Eli in those situations.  Despite all their problems, the Giants are a tipped pick away from being 1-1. 

If Coughlin can solve David Wilson’s fumbleitis, the offense will balance itself out right around the time the defense starts to click, and that, coupled with a mediocre NFC East, will make the Giants legitimate playoff contenders. 

Minnesota Vikings, 5:4

All AP needs is a Top 20 QB

All AP needs is a Top 20 QB

Christian Ponder apologists have been blaming the organization for not surrounding him with enough talent to succeed (do you really need more than AP?).  So, in the offseason the Vikings picked up Greg Jennings, and drafted Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round.  Those two guys, plus AP and promising TE Kyle Rudolph, give Ponder plenty of weapons at his disposal.

The verdict:  Ponder’s not good.  He’s 23rd in Yards Passing (behind Brandon Weeden and Geno Smith), 2nd in Interceptions, and 26th in Completion Percentage (58.6%). 

Gratuitous shot of cheerleaders.

Gratuitous shot of cheerleaders.

However, consistent quarterback play is the only thing holding this team back.  Their defense is good, and they lost at Chicago by one point on a last second TD.  If Ponder can play just a little better (like Top 15-20), that will keep defenses honest and open up more lanes for AP to run wild.



Washington Redskins – 6:1

Does this knee brace make me look fat?

Does this knee brace make me look fat?

What a difference a season makes.  RGIII has gone from franchise savior to backup, as people are calling for Kirk Cousins to start.  RGIII (and the Skins) insist he didn’t rush back from his knee surgery too soon, but he certainly looks like a different QB so far.  Not only does he look a step slower when he gets outside of the pocket, but there’s less “zip” on the ball.  Both problems are likely the result of a knee that’s not 100%, as he’s not able to run as fast or put as much pressure on his legs when throwing. 

If he’s not 100%, the Skins should shut him down until he is.  A one-dimensional RGIII is simply an average QB, plus he runs the risk of doing further damage to his knee (he still is the future of the franchise, btw).  Start Cousins and give RGIII the time he needs to properly recover, and the Redskins should be alright.  The problem is Shanahan is such an egomaniac that to put Cousins in will be to admit that he was wrong, and he’s never wrong.

Washington’s saving grace, like the Giants, is their division.  The NFC East was a solid 0-4 this past Sunday, and for the season a stellar 2-6.  No one is going to run away with the division this year. 

Tampa Bay Bucs, 12:1

The party's over in Tampa.

No more smile fest in Tampa.

Who had September 17 on their “When Will Revis Complain Pool”?  We told you this was a bad move (seriously Tampa, please start reading our Teabags).  Revis will never, and can never, be happy.  Even worse than being not happy, he’s divisive.  We’re two weeks into the season and Schiano has already lost the locker room.  The whole Josh Freeman voting scandal, coupled with him missing the team photo speaks volumes, so does the rumor that he wants out.

Everyone knew Schiano was a no-nonsense Coach.  They wanted a change from the player-friendly Raheem Morris era.  It’s amazing how losing paints him as too strict, and winning paints him as bringing “much needed focus.” 

The sad thing is the Bucs have good, young talent, and a much improved defense.  However, as long as the QB/Coach relationship is strained, this team will go nowhere.  And good luck with the Revis holdout next year.  Suckers.

Pittsburgh Steelers, 20:1

This is Ben when he has time to throw.

This is Ben when he has time to throw.

Historically the perennial powerhouse in the AFC North, the Steelers suddenly got bad overnight.  Injuries on the O-line and a horrible running game is not a good combination.  Also, there is no one that holds on to the ball longer than Big Ben…probably why he leads the league in getting sacked. 

Getting back Heath Miller will help, but it won’t be enough to overcome the loss of Maurkice Pouncey.  Likewise, on defense, losing Larry Foote for the year is also fatal.

Sorry Steelers fans, but your team is old, slow, and injured.  Welcome to rebuilding mode.

Jesus, even the mascot's dejected.  Poor kitty.

Jesus, even the mascot’s dejected. Poor kitty.

Carolina Panthers, 25:1

For some reason, the Panthers, unlike the Vikings, have refused to provide a supporting cast for Cam Newton.  Steve Smith is approaching 80, and the supporting WR cast consists of the following:  Ted Ginn, Brandon LaFell, Domenik Hixon, RJ Webb, Armanti Edwards, and Kealoha Pilares.  These guys would have trouble starting in the CFL, and that’s just one example of questionable roster decisions by this team.

Why have 3 QBs, 2 FBs, and 4 TEs?  And why is one of those QBs Jimmy Clausen?  That’s a lot of roster space that could be used to bring in a legit WR2.  Fortunately, Cam has enough talent to keep them relevant.  Unfortunately, they face a pissed off Giants team this Sunday, and are looking at going 0-3, which will likely seal the deal for the Panthers.

Cleveland Browns, 1,000,000,000:1

Actual Browns helmut.

Sorry, Cleveland.  If Baltimore winning the Super Bowl and LeBron winning (another) NBA Championship wasn’t enough to rip your hearts out, your Cleveland Browns will come in and finish the job.  Good luck with Johnny Football next year.  His maturity level definitely screams “NFL Ready!”

Jacksonville Jaguars – Glue Factory

Plenty of good seats still available.

Plenty of good seats still available.

What’s more pathetic than holding a Tim Tebow rally?  Having 15 people show up for a Tim Tebow rally.  There’s no chance in Hell (sorry, H-E-double hockey sticks –for Tebow) the Jags are going to resemble anything close to competitive this year.  Blaine Gabbert being injured is actually a good thing.  MJD going down is not. 

Jacksonville’s streak of 5 consecutive Top 10 first round picks is firmly in check. 

Forget Tebow, not even JC himself can help this team.

Enjoy your teabag.

Fantasy Pick Ups – Week 2

We’re one week in, but that’s never too early to scour the waiver wire and make some last-minute adjustments.  Here’s out Top waiver wire pick-ups for Week 2.

Harry Douglas, WR – Atlanta (6% owned in Yahoo! leagues)

Harry has a great chance to see the endzone today

Harry has a great chance to see the endzone today.

With Roddy White still “undetermined” with a high ankle sprain and Julio Jones banged up, Harry comes in as the best receiving option for the Falcons (besides Gonzo who’s a must start).  Harry had a decent game last week (4/83/0) even with Roddy and Julio in the lineup.  Atlanta will still look to air it out, and Harry’s in line to get a lot of looks.  He’s a WR3 or Flex option.

It'll be like Terrelle's back in the Big 10 for a day.

It’ll be like Terrelle’s back in the Big 10 for a day.

Terrelle Pryor, QB – Oakland (25%)

Yes, we’re telling you to pick up an Oakland Raider, and, if you want to shake things up and look like a fantasy stud, we’re telling you to start him.

Pryor makes the Raiders mildly entertaining to watch.  He had good stats against Indy last week, (217/1/2) but add to that 112 rushing yards, and that’s where his value really shows.  Pryor is in line to have a monster game today.

The Raiders are at home and playing Jacksonville.  The Jags are a decent pop-warner team.  Seriously, they’re awful, as in already playing for the #1 draft pick awful (their streak of 6 Top 10 First Round picks is not in jeopardy).  The Raiders should have no problem moving the ball against the Jags, and Pryor should be able to rack up good number both in the air and on the ground.

I’d start Pryor over the likes of Romo, RGIII, and yes, Russell Wilson. 

Joique Bell, RB – Detroit (75%)Just a matter of time before he's the starter.

Joique’s value has skyrocketed this week, he’s gone from owned by nobody to now 75% of Yahoo! leagues.  If he happens to still be available in yours, pick him up immediately.

Bell had a great game last week, only 25 yards rushing but he added 2 tds and also caught 5 balls for 67 yards.  Plus, add into the mix that it’s only a matter of time before Reggie Bush gets injured, and picking up Joique now (on the cheap) will help your club down the road.  Even with Bush in the mix today, Bell has a good matchup against a weak Cardinals D.


How I learned to stop HATING and love THE HOODIE!

If you’re a regular BRSM reader this won’t come as a shock to you, but let me just get this out of way: I love the Buffalo Bills.  As with most self-respecting Western New Yorkers, my obsession passion is borderline unhealthy.  The shout song played at my wedding…multiple times.  My sports Mt. Rushmore consists of Jim Kelly, OJ Simpson, Bruce Smith and Hunter Kelly.  I’ve got Champagne on ice for the day when the last member of the ’72 Dolphins dies.  My four German Sheppard’s are named: Flutie, Losman, Fitzpatrick, and our newest pup, Manuel! When the Bills say jump, I’ll be the one driving the school bus off the cliff.   So it should come to no surprise, that as a life-long Bills-backer I’ve been programmed to hate all things Miami Dolphins, NY Jets and New England Patriots (note: I still hate the Colts even though they were banished from the AFC East in 2001).

But I can no longer hide my man-crush for this guy:








The hoodie.  Literally every Patriots game that I’ve watched the hoodie pulls some crazy stunt.  It’s not always over-the-top, like going for it on 4th down on your own 30 yard line, or taking an intention safety.  Sometimes it’s subtle craziness.  Like Sunday, when the hoodie has LeGarrette freaking Blount returning kickoffs.  Yes, this LeGarrette Blount:

Oregone Boise St Blount Football

Why?  Why not.  Just for shits and giggles here is how Blount stacked up Sunday against the other AFC East kick returners:

AFC East Player Weight Height Pos 40 time   KRs Yards Avg.
Buffalo TJ Graham 6’0″ 180 lbs. WR 4.34 s   1 19 19
Miami M. Thigpen 5’9″ 195 lbs. RB 4.45 s   3 7 2.3
NY J. Kerley 5’9″ 188 lbs. WR 4.56 s   1 9 9
NE L. Blount 6’0″ 247 lbs. RB 4.74 s   2 35 17.5
*One of these is not like the rest*

That’s just Bill being Bill.  Always the contrarian.  It’s these deviations from the norm that make watching the Patriots enjoyable and how I stopped hating and learned to love the hoodie!

Can’t wait to see what he has in store for Rex and the Jets tonight!

The Patriot Way!

The Patriot Way!

WEEK 2 Staff Picks ATS (2013)

WEEK 2         Roid Rage     Ginger King     Dr. Mike     Vegas Vinny
        W L T     W L T     W L T     W L T
    Last Week 4 11 1     7 8 1     9 6 1     5 10 1
    Season to-date 4 11 1     7 8 1     9 6 1     5 10 1
Date & Time Favorite Spread Underdog Total                      
9/12 8:25 ET At New England    -12 NY Jets 44   NYJ     NE     NYJ     NYJ
9/15 1:00 ET At Philadelphia    -7.5 San Diego 54.5   PHI     PHI     SD     SD
9/15 1:00 ET At Baltimore    -6.5 Cleveland 43.5   BALT     BALT     CLE     BALT
9/15 1:00 ET At Houston    -9 Tennessee 43   TENN     HOU     HOU     TENN
9/15 1:00 ET At Indianapolis    -3 Miami 42.5   MIA     INDY     INDY     INDY
9/15 1:00 ET Carolina    -3 At Buffalo 44   CAR     BUF     BUF     BUF
9/15 1:00 ET At Atlanta    -7 St. Louis 47   STL     STL     ATL     ATL
9/15 1:00 ET At Green Bay    -7.5 Washington 49.5   GB     GB     GB     WASH
9/15 1:00 ET At Kansas City    -2.5 Dallas 46.5   DAL     DAL     DAL     DAL
9/15 1:00 ET At Chicago    -6 Minnesota 41.5   CHI     CHI     CHI     MINN
9/15 4:05 ET New Orleans    -3 At Tampa Bay 47   NO     NO     NO     NO
9/15 4:05 ET Detroit    -1.5 At Arizona 47.5   ARIZ     ARIZ     DET     DET
9/15 4:25 ET At Oakland    -6 Jacksonville 39.5   JAX     OAK     JAC     OAK
9/15 4:25 ET Denver    -4.5 At NY Giants 55   NYG     DEN     DEN     DEN
9/15 8:30 ET At Seattle    -3 San Francisco 44.5   SEA     SF     SF     SF
9/16 8:40 ET At Cincinnati    -7 Pittsburgh 40.5   CINCY     PITT     CINCY     CINCY
        Lock of the Week   BALT     NO     CHI     INDY
        LOTW Record   0 1 0     0 1 0     0 1 0     0 1 0

Dr. Mike’s Injury Report – New England Patriots

Question: Who will Brady throw to against the Jets?  Answer: it doesn't matter.

Question: Who will Brady throw to against the Jets?
Answer: It doesn’t matter.

Just in time for tonight’s match up against the Jets, Dr. Mike provides us with another pulitzer-prize worthy write-up.

As avid haters of all things Boston (Sam Adams and Harpoon notable exceptions), the injury bug that is plaguing the Patriots makes The Machine wicked happy (note: anyone over the age of 25 that uses “wicked” in their daily vernacular should be shot on site).  However, what do all of these injuries mean for our fantasy teams, and, what do they mean for those of you (like Ginger King) that picked New England in this weeks’ Survivor Pool?  Dr. Mike explains. 

First, let’s talk about the RB position. Shane Vereen played almost the entire game on Sunday with a fractured wrist bone (for that Dr. Mike gives him the Bad Ass of the Week Award), but was placed on IR with designation to return after it was decided he would undergo surgical stabilization of the fractured bone (which may or may not have displaced because he played the whole game).  This means he is ineligible to practice for 6 weeks and cannot play in a game for 8.  The Pats are off Week 10, so the earliest he can return is Week 11.  I am going to assume (since the Pats organization does not release any information that they are not required) that the fractured bone is his scaphoid.  This small peanut shaped bone on the thumb side of your wrist is the most common fractured carpal (wrist) bone (and fractures are commonly misdiagnosed as sprains).  The issue with the scaphoid is the lack of blood supply to half of the bone when fractured.  Surgical fixation should correct this problem (up to 10% of fixated scaphoids fail).  The time off will be plenty of time for his wrist to heal, but he will have to undergo rehab to get back his motion and strength.  Bottom line is unless you have an IR spot on your roster; it is safe to release Vereen, and maybe snag him off the wire after Week 9. 

The Pats are not short on RB options.  In theory Stevan Ridley should see a significant amount of action on Thursday night, but since his fumblitis (a/k/a David Wilson Disorder) has recently flared up again, he will probably be on a short leash.  After Ridley that leaves Leon Washington, LaGarrette Blount, and Brandon Boldon.  Out of these 3 guys only Washington is a viable weapon in the passing game (though he is listed a questionable because the Pats put everyone on the injury report).  Unless you are short on RB’s in an extremely deep league, you should avoid all 3 of these guys like a four-toothed hooker. 

Now on to the WR/TE position.  Oft-injured Danny Amendola is at it again, this time with a flared-up groin injury.  He is currently listed as “doubtful”, but he is almost a guarantee not to play Week 2.  These injuries tend to nag and, with Amendola’s history of injuries, I would not be surprised if he is out until Week 4 or 5.  It’s not time to panic, and I would not release Amendola, but you better find a good backup.  This groin injury could be an ongoing theme this year, especially if the Pats try to bring him back too soon. 

With Gronk still out for at least another week and Zach Sudfeld’s hamstring issue, the Pats are thin at TE.  Hamstring injuries have a tendency to flare-up and nag, especially if proper healing time is not given.  Sudfeld only saw 1 target in Week 1 and is now banged up, so his upside is limited and is unplayable in all fantasy leagues this week. 

So who on the Pats is startable this week?  As always, Tom Brady is a must start, but I would downgrade expectations as many of his weapons are out.  Even if the receiving corps was made up of Gisele and a bunch of her super model friends (supermodels in football pants…you’re welcome for the visual) Brady would still complete passes, but we saw how out of sync he was with Kenbrell Thompkins last week (14 targets only 4 receptions).  Julian Edelman is a start this week, and is the only real weapon Brady has in the passing game.  Stevan Ridley is a flex start in deeper leagues, but be ready for him to get pulled the first time the football even shimmies in his arm. 

Turning to the actual game itself, even with all these injuries, the Pats should have enough to outlast the Jets at home.  Unless, of course, this happens:


Tuesday Teabag, September 10, 2013 – NFL Week 1 Recap

OMFG, The Machine has just recovered from an epic Week 1.  So many great games and storylines.  Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense was a success (for now), AP takes his first run to the house, the Bills remind us that, even with a new coach and QB, they didn’t forget how to lose at the last second, and Peyton Manning reminds us all that he’s still a boss.

Likewise, there was an abundance of teabags to go around.  They say football is the ultimate team sport (we’d argue beerpong too) but there are times when one individual can completely screw it up for everyone.  Here’s a look at 3 players who made horrible decisions on the field, and cost their teams greatly.  We’ll go in order of least offensive to most egregious.

Clay Mathews, LB – Green Bay 

Juuuust a bit outside.

Juuuust a bit outside.

There was so much hype and drama leading up to this game, you knew someone was going to do something stupid (and costly).  Clay was one of the biggest pre-game talkers, going on and on about wanting to hurt C-Kap and make up for that playoff beat down.  Well, he made up for it alright.

With the game tied at 7-7, 3rd and 10 at the Green Bay 10 yard line, C-Kap scrambles and is clearly on his way out-of-bounds, short of a first down…until Johnny Meathead dives at Colin, wraps an arm around his neck, and takes him down, all of which occurred out-of-bounds.  Clay then gets in a kerfuffle with Joe Staley (more on that in a bit) and they both get off-setting personal fouls.  They replay the down.  This time, C-Kaps throws a dart to Anquan Boldin for a touchdown, putting the Niners up 14-7, instead of 10-7.    

When is hitting someone with a helmet on ever a good idea?  Afterwards, perpetually-pissed off Coach Jim Harbaugh added more fuel to the fire, saying “I think [Clay] works very hard on being a tough guy.  He’ll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.”  Come on Jim, you’re the coach, you have to act like a parent (not their friend) and let your players to the talking.  Speaking of which, C-Kap chimed in with “If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one.”  Now that’s more like it. 

If for nothing else, those extra 4 points helped San Fran cover the spread (thanks, dick).

Ray Maualuga, LB – Cincinnati

Tough guy stare + headband = super badass

Tough guy stare + headband = super badass

Ray’s used to making bad decisions off the field, but this time he brought that same level of poor judgment and life skills on the field. 

With Cincy down 3 late in the game, the Bengals D comes up with a big stop on third down.  Chicago would be forced to punt and give Cincy a chance to win (or tie) the game…except Ray steps in and gets a personal foul for fighting after the play.  First down Chicago, Cutler takes a knee to end the game. 

Sure, it’s no guarantee that Cincy would score if it got the ball back, but at least they’d have a chance.  Unfortunately, Ray’s reckless temper cost them that chance.

Lavonte David, LB – Tampa Bay

What?  Did I do something wrong?  Didn't think so.

What? Did I do something wrong? Didn’t think so.

Now we get to the crème de la crème of idiotic linebackers.  Tampa was on its way to eking out a 2 point victory in New York, after Rian Lindell nailed a 37 yard field goal with 34 seconds left to go up 15-17.  All the Bucs needed to do was kick off, play some prevent D, and not do anything stupid.  This time, 2 out of 3 is bad.

On the Jets ensuing drive, Geno Smith (the only undefeated QB in NY) was running out-of-bounds (with 7 seconds left) when Lavonte hits him and gets flagged for a personal foul.  Had Lavonte not hit him, there would’ve been 7 seconds left, Jets with the ball at the 45, and they’d be forced to throw a hail mary.  Instead, Jets get the ball at the 30, and Nick Folk drills a 47 yarder.  Game over.  Don’t believe me, here’s the video proof:


Lavonte’s hit made absolutely no sense.  Geno was running out-of-bounds, there was no need to even touch him.  And make no mistake:  this cost them the game.  But for this penalty, the Jets are not in field goal range.  Universally, (outside of the Bucs organization) it was regarded as a bone-headed play, reminiscent of Cleveland’s Dwayne Rudd back in 2002 when he prematurely took his helmet off to celebrate (also during Week 1*).  You’d think Lavonte would act like a man, take the heat, and accept the blame for his unquestionably dumb decision.  A simple “I let my emotions get the best of me and it won’t happen again” is all it takes.  However, Lavonte decided to go another route, which is the (surprising) “I didn’t do anything wrong route”.  Seriously.  In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, David said the following:

“That’s the way our defense is, we just play aggressive, we just play physical.  You’re going to get those calls and you may feel like that’s not the right call but you can’t do anything about it. You can’t let it change the way you play the game.”

Where do I begin?  Actually, jackass, there is something you can do about it.  Don’t hit players out-of-bounds, and don’t commit penalties that cost your team the game.  You can play aggressive defense without committing dumb penalties (see 49ers, San Francisco).  Absolving yourself by saying you were playing physical shows that you just don’t get it, and probably never will.

Enjoy your teabags.

*stat courtesy of our Useless Stats Dept.

Week 1 – What to Watch For

The sun is shining.  Birds are chirping.  Mrs. Machine is rocking her Big Red Sports Machine hoody.  That can only mean one thing:  it’s time for football!!! 

Yes, I’m back from my (perfectly timed) family vacation, and now, for the next six months, can focus on nothing but football (perhaps the occasional World Series game).  I’m already a perfect 1-0 on the season (suck it, Hank Goldberg) so let’s get right in to some of the Week 1 games we can’t wait for.

New England (+10) at Buffalo

It’s tough to bet on football on Week 1.  Tough, but not impossible.  One thing you want to look for Home Dogs.  The Pats at Gronk-less and double-digit favorites.  Buffalo is unveiling the much-hyped Doug Marrone, and the much-hyped EJ Manual.  With CJ Spiller and Stevie Johnson, EJ could become the missing piece of this young, revamped Bills offense.  If nothing else, we like the Bills -10 because it’s September, and Buffalo always plays its best ball early.  Spirits are high in Buffalo (for now), and the fans will carry them to a less than 10 point loss, which folks in Buffalo will consider a win.

Green Bay (-4.5) at San Francisco

Ginger King’s lock of the week (LOTW).  Aaron Rodgers and crew are back in San Fran and that playoff beat-down is still fresh in their minds.  This will likely be the only time all season the Pack are underdogs.  Both teams are the studs of the NFC.  Harbaugh and his tough as nails defense and read option (yes, it’s still a fad) offense, and McCarthy with his high-powered (and now balanced?) Green Bay Packers. 

This game has last second field goal written all over it. 

New York Giants (+3.5) at Dallas

Another game that should come down to the wire, The Giants march into Dallas, where they are undefeated (4-0) playing in the house that Jerrah built. Dez Bryant should be able to get past the G-Men secondary at will, the question is whether the Giants d-line can put enough pressure on Romo.  Eli has a healthy (for now) Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, and the Giants will throw early and often, and sprinkle in the home run running game of David Wilson.  The Giants average 35 pts. a game in Jerrah’s house.  Expect a high scoring affair.