per·fect [adj., n. pur-fikt; v. per-fekt]: adjective
1. conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type
2. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement
3. exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose
4. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings
5. accurate, exact, or correct in every detail
The replacement refs certainly haven’t been perfect… heck, even calling them competent would be a stretch.
Even so, we’re not going to languish on about the blown call, season-changing touchdown, intertouchceptiondown or whatever you want to call it. It’s been covered extensively on every sports media outlet. What I can tell you though, is these refs have been put in an impossible situation.
The refs have to feel the pressure every second of every game. It’s evident when they have to make calls: they’re scared to mess up, even on the mic. Even though the majority of America (57 percent) said they have sympathy for the refs, there is no excuse for the final call of the Packers-Seahawks game.
I was already going to talk about perfection this week, as I know all too well what it feels like to have every detail of your work scrutinized. Hey, I’m not mad. If I couldn’t take it or I let it get to me, I would have never chosen to work in Fantasy Sports.
The truth is I am a borderline perfectionist… some may call it “hinging on OCD.” So what if my DVDs are arranged alphabetically and by format (DVD, HDDVD and Blu-Ray have their own groups)? Does it really make me OCD to like my electronic components spaced fairly even to give them a clean look? Trust me, if you saw the drawers for my sock or unmentionables (which I just mentioned… so…) the OCD thoughts would vanish completely. Yet, I’m still close in many ways.
I graduated high school with a 4.0, or since our school went by numbers for some archaic reason, a 98.7 GPA. There were classes where I even finished with a yearly grade over 100 (topped out at 109 for Biology… yet, I’m still not sure where a frog’s spleen is). In college, I again graduated with a 4.0 in my major, 3.9 overall (don’t get me started on that finance class!). In both high school and college, I’d actually argue wrong answers with teachers and get them overturned half of the time. You know you’re good when you can convince a professor they were wrong in their question and expected answer!
All that said, it actually pains me not being perfect in Fantasy Sports. Now, there is no way any of us can be, as we’re attempting to predict outcomes that are affected by variables upon variables… upon shoddy reffing. At least in mathematics, five times five will always equal 25 – unless you start with that theoretical junk, but thank God, I stopped with Calculus. Yet, every single Fantasy or sports analyst wants to be perfect. After all, our goal is to help you win and hopefully look like a genius in doing so.
Unfortunately, many actually expect perfection. I knew that was the case, but have started hearing back from more this year: maybe it’s the refs, tough-luck injuries, the economy or people are still pissed they spent money on the Battleship movie. I’m not sure of the real reason, but it seems people are more uptight this season.
@Be***ut Your advice:Wk1 bench BJGE 4 McGahee, wk2 play BJGE over Hakeem Nicks, week3 bench Andre Brown. I need better twitter advice
Okay, BenJarvus Green-Ellis out performed Willis McGahee Week 1, and it was against Baltimore on the road. Yea, still would have made the same call, and some infinitely more famous Fantasy advisor did the same. As for Week 2, to be fair, I did say Nicks had the higher ceiling, I just prefer the safety of RBs when I can. Missed call, sure. Who really expected that kind of game from Nicks though? Week 3, do I even need to reason it? You’re going to be mad that I trusted BJGE and McGahee more than a RB who had never started a game and whose rushing total heading into this season was negative one yard? By the way, that same ultra-famous advisor, same call. I don’t say that to compare myself to him or even say one of us is better. It’s only to point out that not one of us is perfect.
@Bu***60 Well you’ve showed me that u guys r just guessing too haha, really bad advice, WRs, cards D, last wk I lost cuz I played Tamme not Rudolph
Let’s dissect this one. The “WRs” he is referring to are Brandon Lloyd, Torrey Smith and Randall Cobb. My advice? “Since you have all late-game/Mon options, wait for Lloyd and if he plays, go him, if not & Smith shows, him.” So, you’re going to be mad about 108 yards and 10 catches because Smith scored twice when Joe Flacco had ignored him for two weeks? The Cardinals defense? I had them 11th, but not over the Jets against Miami! Who still put up a decent week. As for Jacob Tamme/Kyle Rudolph, I think I found one out of 20 rather famous Fantasy analysts who had Rudolph higher, so I guess you can say that’s a blown call if you like.
@mi***16: I agreed with you before kickoff, but D’oh!!!!
One last one to show there was a decent amount not happy that I had Andre Brown ranked as the 23rd RB and not higher – would have needed to rank him over Adrian Peterson here because that’s who I said to play instead.
I know I’m not going to be perfect, it’s impossible. In fact, I’m quite happy with being right about 90 percent of the time, and if I could take that to Vegas, I would! But being mad because a few tough calls didn’t go your way is no more reasonable than the refs trying to validate that TD call for Golden Tate.
Plus, it’s not all bad. Tweets like these make my day/week.
@Mi***er: PAY DIRT BABY PAY DIRT! Great call on Stevie Johnson over Danny Amendola. Thanks bud
@Md***69 thanks for giving me thumbs up on my Barden hunch. No, not sarcasm either
@Un***DP Thanks. I won a close one. Any other combo = loss. “@allinkid: @Uncle_DP Lance and Maclin (if ok…if not, Santonio) and cut Ogle”
@Ra***67: Jake just wanted to thank you for talking me out of benching Jamaal Charles. I was very close
@it***es I won my H2H league! All thanks goes to you! I won the last 8 weeks and won the finals 16-1! // pic.twitter.com/xwNTUFz6
Yep – even a baseball one tossed in during Week 3 of the NFL.
A reader winning because of our help is what makes this job rewarding, fun and puts a smile on my face. It’s why I am in the business, and it’s why I’ll continue to bust my tail to do my best for you even if I fail a few.
So keep the questions, tweets, etc., coming. I’ll never ignore anyone even if one of my few bad calls riles your feathers a bit. Even better, tweet me your anger. It’s good to vent, and I always understand, and heck, you might just find your way into my next column.
TOP PAIR (Guaranteed a Good Week): Ben Roethlisberger, PIT; Jamaal Charles, KC; A.J. Green, CIN – Perennially underrated, Big Ben continues to prove that he too can carry Fantasy teams some weeks. Roethlisberger actually has eight TD passes already… Somebody feels good! I couldn’t be happier about Charles’ outburst as I endlessly pumped him going into Week 3 – okay, I’m sure Charles and the Chiefs are feeling pretty good too… For Green, let’s just say it kind of helps when you start the day with a 73-yard bomb from another receiver.
RIVER RAT (Surprising Top Performances): Jake Locker, TEN; Andre Brown, NYG, Mikel Leshoure, DET; Torrey Smith, BAL – Did the Lions even try to improve this offseason? Jake Locker threw for 378 yards, which included this ridiculous catch by Nate Washington that explains everything about the Lions D… David Wilson, good luck next year… In the best story of the weekend, Smith found a way to play even after his brother’s death and came out huge.
GUT SHOT (Let Everyone Down): Michael Vick, PHI, Tony Romo, DAL, Philip Rivers, SD; Chris Johnson, TEN; Demaryius Thomas, DEN – Take your pick! Week 3 was the epitome of Top 12 QBs disappointing owners as Cam Newton, Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers all failed to hit double digits too… Two points! Good luck trying to get Cedric Benson in a deal for Johnson at this point… Maybe now Johnathan Joseph will start getting the respect he deserves as a shutdown corner. I certainly was giving it already – @allinkid: @Po***ws @Tr***er DThomas vs JJ… Bowe vs NO? Yea, I’ll take Bowe in a PPR and likely even standard – funny, haven’t heard from that guy even though he said I was nuts for taking Bowe over Thomas, and that he’d save the tweet for after Sunday.
Breakdown: Hold ‘Em – start them and/or players I like more than most rankings have them. Fold ‘Em – outright sit them; don’t consider them start-worthy in standard-sized leagues. Bluffs – still start them, but I like them less than most rankings and they will disappoint.
Eli Manning, NYG (@PHI) – My Ranking 7: It used be said that the Giants and Eli Manning struggled in prime time and against the Eagles. In truth, Eli has thrown at least one TD against Philly in every game since 2007, including 14 over the last five meetings. Eli also dropped four TD passes on the Eagles in Philadelphia last season. Don’t over-think Eli’s outlook based on matchup alone.
Andy Dalton, CIN (@JAX) – MR 17: He’s no Mohamed Sanu, but Dalton can toss the rock. After a rough opener in Baltimore, Dalton has 646 yards and six TDs over the past two games. Sure, Cleveland and Washington are poor defensive teams, but Jacksonville isn’t much better.
Doug Martin, TB (WAS) – MR 13: The Redskins just can’t stop the pass. Wait, we’re talking about RBs here right? Just because Tampa Bay’s gameplan should be pass first and second and maybe even third, doesn’t mean Martin won’t have success. The Redskins might try dropping more into coverage, and even if that doesn’t happen, Martin has a good chance to steal a short-yardage TD.
Trent Richardson, CLE (@BAL) – MR 14: I know what you’re thinking, “It’s Baltimore, at home, OH NO!” Not so fast. The Ravens have allowed a rushing TD each week so far and an average of 15.7 Fantasy Points (FP) to RBs. They even let Danny Woodhead and Brandon Bolden both score last week.
Ben Tate, HOU (TEN) – MR 25: The Titans defense is pitiful and just made Mikel Leshoure look like a stud in his first full game. Houston should run away with this one, literally, and that means Tate is a good bet for a dozen carries. Why a dozen as my choice? Tate with 12-plus carries: 94.3 YPG and six TDs in eight games. Tate with 11 or less carries: 29.4 YPG and no TDs in 10 games. Hmm…
Demaryius Thomas, DEN (OAK) – MR 10: Remember the Twitter snippet from above? The Raiders don’t have anyone at corner near the level of Joseph. If anything, this matchup is nearly a 180 from last week with Oakland allowing 22.3 FP to WRs where Houston allows 14.3.
Stevie Johnson, BUF (NE) – MR 11: Some more tweetie excerpt time… @Mi***er: Do you think Stevie can go 3 weeks in a row getting to the pay dirt? – @allinkid: @Mi***er if had to put money on one side or other, I’ll take the TD against Haden-less CLE D. Man, that feels good. So, I guess the big question is if Stevie will go 4-for-4. Why can’t he? The Ravens WRs just torched New England and Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to have to pass more with no C.J. Spiller and with Fred Jackson less than 100 percent, even though he’s back.
Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, GB (NO) – MR 13, 19: You cannot keep the Pack, Aaron Rodgers, that offense, etc., down for long. The only way the Saints defense stops the Packers offense is if Golden Tate dresses out for them.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (@DET) – MR 8: Through three games, Rudolph has 18 targets, 13 catches, 138 yards and three TDs. Detroit is second only to Tennessee in FP allowed to opposing TEs. Don’t worry about Jerome Simpson cutting into Rudolph’s production. If anything, it will open the field more for Rudolph now having a third option outside of Percy Harvin and him.
Atlanta Falcons (CAR) – MR 6: Not the Ravens, Texans, Bears, not even the 49ers. The team that leads the league in forced turnovers is Atlanta with 11. The Giants just showed everyone the best way to stop Cam Newton: force him to throw (and often to the wrong team). Pretty sure Atlanta was paying attention.
Jay Cutler, CHI (@DAL) – MR 21: I’m actually advising owners not to panic completely and to wait out Cutler’s struggles. Be forewarned, those struggles aren’t going anywhere this week. Dallas is one of the top teams against opposing team’s No. 1 WR, and if you take away Brandon Marshall, what are you left with? Alshon Jeffery? Devin Hester? Cutler will be the epitome of bargain basement pricing after Sunday.
Chris Johnson (@HOU) – MR 33: Ranked 33rd, that’s RB4 territory in 10-team leagues! It seems crazy to see CJK this low, but with how he’s played and a game against the Houston defense, I ask, “How can I rank him any higher?” Actually, “Do I still have him ranked too high?” is the better question.
Shonn Greene, NYJ (SF) – MR 38: You should be afraid of the 49ers run defense yet again this year. Allowing just 7.7 FP a game, the 49ers held Adrian Peterson to 10 FP on 86 yards rushing, which took 25 carries to get. Greene is not AP, not even close, not even on his best day and being spotted 20 yards to start. While we’re at it, don’t get cute and think Bilal Powell will do any better, or even supplant Greene at RB yet.
Titus Young, DET (MIN) – MR 46: There were plenty of Fantasy analysts calling for Young to break out this year. Those looking at box scores only might think Young is on the verge. Let’s see, Week 1: one catch, 14 yards; Week 2: one catch 11 yards; Week 3 before the Hail Mary pass: five catches, 29 yards. Breaking out? Me thinks not.
Kevin Ogletree, DAL (CHI) – MR 48: Week 1 seems like such a long time ago, doesn’t it? Still think we’re crazy when we caution you not to get too excited about one week? At this rate, Ogletree won’t equal his Week 1 total (23 FP) until Week 9, once he’s played seven games and combined his numbers.
Jared Cook, TEN (@HOU) – MR 20: Cook would have already been a risky play against a dominant Texans defense that happens to also allow just 5.0 FP to TEs. With an injury clouding his status, Cook becomes a must-sit tight end.
Detroit Lions (MIN) – MR 19: When people think of the Lions defense, two things come to mind: fearsome front four and downright awful back seven. When Detroit decided they would try to mimic the Giants strategy to win championships with a dominating defensive line, they forgot you actually need NFL-capable players behind them… even just one or two!
Alex Smith, SF (@NYJ) – MR 20: Yes, Darrelle Revis is out, and the numbers are rather surprising. Revis on the field vs. Revis off the field: completion percentage for QBs 54.1 percent, yards per attempt 5.4 and TD-INT 15-23 vs. 62.5/7.9/5-0. There is no doubting the Jets are significantly worse without Revis, but we’re still talking about Alex Smith, who had just one game with over two TDs last year and no more than 226 yards and two TDs this season. Don’t go crazy just because Revis is done.
Cedric Benson, GB (NO) – MR 19: Ranking a running back at 19 still places him in RB2 territory. But let’s not get carried away. Benson is averaging just 3.1 YPC and isn’t a focal point of the Packers offense. I do expect a bounce-back week for Green Bay, especially against the Saints defense, and that defense is allowing 32.0 FP per game to RBs. However, Benson needs a rushing touchdown to have a significant Fantasy day, and it’s always risky to hope for a TD over consistent production.
Daniel Thomas, MIA (@ARZ) – MR 34: The Cardinals are real, and they’re spectacular. Well, Kevin Kolb may not be, but the defense certainly is, and Daniel Thomas looks more like Kramer trying to enter a room. After fumbling yet again, Thomas may not have much rope left even with Reggie Bush potentially out, as Lamar Miller is looking better with his share.
Nate Washington, TEN (@HOU) – MR 36: There is a bit of a theme this week, and no, not the Twitter inclusion. It’s that you should look deeper into the reasons behind the numbers. Nate Washington has just seven catches through three games with two TDs and 185 yards. Take away the 71-yard bomb that will give Jacob Lacey nightmares for years, and Washington has little to brag about.
Brian Hartline, MIA (@ARZ) – MR 44: Hartline vs. Johnathan Joseph = three catches, 50 yards for Hartline. Pat Lee and Joselio Hanson = nine for 111. Darrelle Revis (even for less than a full game) = one for 41 yards. Patrick Peterson this week? Looking more like a JJ/Revis output than the Lee/Hanson one, huh?
Marcedes Lewis, JAX (CIN) – MR 21: This is one of those cases where the matchup doesn’t matter. The Bengals may be tied for the fifth most points allowed per game to TEs, but Blaine Gabbert is still at QB for Jacksonville. That alone limits the potential of anyone in that offense not named Maurice Jones-Drew.
By the way, MJD…