I’m assuming everyone has experienced the car-buying process at this point. Whether it’s a new or used car, most of us have begrudgingly walked into a dealership to find ourselves a vehicle.
We all know the frustrations: salesmen, warranties, wondering if it’s really the best price you can get, not knowing if there is something wrong with a used car and the entire “let me ask my manager” game. It’s enough to make you scream, and yet it’s safe to say that none compares to my most recent purchasing experience.
“What we’re gonna do right here is go back… Way back… Back into time”
Okay, it’s actually just three years ago, but my fellow Blackstreet fans get that reference. And actually, my desire for the new Camaro did start back in 2006, when I saw the concept picture on the front of a co-worker’s car magazine. At that moment, I knew that I had to own the new Camaro.
When Chevy finally announced that it would come out during the fall of 2009, I started shopping around like mad, trying to find out when and where it would arrive here in Virginia Beach. I cursed the New Yorkers and other major cities as they had first dibs, as VA Beach continued to get minimal supply once we finally had them delivered.
As a result, the sticker price was automatically overpriced by $2,500 for the 6-cylinder and $4,000 for the 8-cylinder (SS model). Being the shrewd dealer I am (not just in Fantasy trades folks), I refused to pay over-sticker and starting looking online. Long story short, I found a dealer in Kentucky who had the exact version I wanted (RS, upgraded sound system, dark grey, striping) and listed it $1,500 under sticker!
I called up the dealer, keeping the utter excitement out of my voice, and negotiated some improved rims to make up for the delivery cost I’d incur. I signed the faxed paperwork, mailed it back with the deposit, and I might have even squealed a little as I closed the mailbox. Then, I anxiously waited like a giddy teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. About a week later, my Camaro arrived off the truck – easily one of the better days in my life.
Two days later, I get a call from Kentucky. Thinking it’s the salesman calling to say congratulations or follow up, I instead hear an unfamiliar voice. “Jake, I’m calling about the Camaro you were trying to purchase from us. I am the manager and needed to discuss it with you.” “Wait, what do you mean ‘were trying’?” I thought to myself – I am driving the thing… “You see, we are unable to accept a payment that low for the vehicle. So, we need you to return the Camaro to your local Chevrolet dealer to have it shipped back to us.” “What do you mean you can’t accept the payment? I already signed paperwork, sent a check and have driven it?!” My blood pressure had to be higher than a hippie at a Grateful Dead concert; I even felt my face getting hot. “Yes Mr. Ciely. We haven’t cashed your check yet as the contract wasn’t approved, as we’d lose money.” After arguing endlessly for 10 minutes – including a demand for compensation for the shipment cost, I was left with an answer of “we need you to return it by Saturday or purchase it for such-and-such a price.”
Is this legal?! Infuriated, I even asked a lawyer, and apparently, it is. I needed a Ross from Friends-like rage suppressor.
To this day, I refuse to buy a Chevrolet, and still can’t believe my purchase got vetoed.
Veto. I chose that word because vetoes in Fantasy Sports anger me nearly as much as the Camaro fiasco. Almost.
It’s about this time every year where I start hearing from readers and followers how they worked out a terrific trade, only to have the league veto it. It’s asinine, and vetoing trades should never happen. There is only one case where a veto should come in effect, and that is if there are teams colluding. That’s it! The only reason. Period. And, you know how many times I’ve seen this happen in the 15-plus years of my playing Fantasy Sports? Once.
Whether or not owners admit it, there are two main reasons behind a veto, and neither is due to “fairness.” The first reason is that a team is mad that they didn’t get to make the trade. They’re frustrated that someone they wanted or needed was dealt and they weren’t on the receiving end. The second reason is jealously. They don’t want to see another team get better. You can even say it’s actually selfishness that is behind both reasons, as these owners want to block another team from improving.
In truth, who are we to say what is fair anyway? Would anyone have thought a trade of Victor Cruz for Miles Austin, Mike Williams (TB) or Jeremy Maclin after Cruz’s first big game in 2011 was fair? In the end, Cruz finished as the fourth best WR, over 100 points ahead of Austin – the closest of the three. There are examples like these every year: Marshawn Lynch for Chris Johnson early last year, Josh Freeman for Donovan McNabb or Peyton Hillis for Frank Gore in 2010, and I could go on.
We’re all adults, even if few of us act like it, especially during football Sunday… or me after I was told to return the Camaro. We’re all trying to better our teams and get the best deal. This veto nonsense needs to end today, everywhere… car dealerships included.
TOP PAIR (Guaranteed a Good Week): Drew Brees, NO; Arian Foster, HOU; Marques Colston, NO – Remember those concerns people foolishly had about Brees (of course, not you though)? Think the top-scoring QB in Fantasy laughs at such thoughts… Foster simply can’t be stopped. His season low rushing yards is 79, and he scored two TDs that day! Week 5 gave him his second 20-plus point game… Back-to-back nine-catch/131 yard-plus games for Colston, but this time he added three TDs!
RIVER RAT (Surprising Top Performances): Alex Smith, SF; Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG; Josh Gordon, CLE – Sure, the matchup with Buffalo helps, but 303 yards and three TDs for Smith when his previous high was 226 yards: surprising… An early fumble? No problem. An early exit for Andre Brown? Even less of a problem. Bradshaw had a career day, literally… Gordon’s ownership was under one percent before Week 5. It’s safe to say no one benefited from two big TD catches.
GUT SHOT (Let Everyone Down): Cam Newton, CAR; Darren Sproles, NO; Andre Johnson, HOU – Not everyone was let down, or at least didn’t know it might happen. Hopefully, as a loyal reader, you’ve listened to my continuous warnings about Cam. When forced to pass, look at what happens… Wait, your QB throws for 370 yards and four TDs, and you finish with five carries for nine yards and five catches for 28 and no TD. Thanks Sproles… One point. ONE! Andre J is supposed to be one of the best WRs. He now has three games with five or less points and was outscored by Clyde Gates. Seriously?
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.
Side note: Looking to make it back-to-back weeks of hitting on nearly everyone! Only Brandon Lloyd didn’t follow his Hold or Fold placement (not counting Danny Amendola and his injury).
Andrew Luck, IND (@NYJ) – My Ranking 9: Luck is proving that rookie, pocket-passing QBs can have success. Through five weeks, Luck sits as the 12th best QB, and with just four games played. He even has more 18-plus point games than last year’s rookie sensation, Cam Newton. With no Darrelle Revis, the Jets won’t be able to slow down Luck.
Christian Ponder, MIN (@WSH) – MR 15: We meet again Mr. Ponder (okay, you can’t tell, but that was in my best Goldfinger voice). I liked Ponder last week against Tennessee and now even more so versus Washington. The Skins allow 19.6 Fantasy Points (FP) and 324.2 passing yards per game. Looking for that fill-in? Look no further.
Michael Turner, ATL (OAK) – MR 12: The Raiders are giving up 22.5 FPPG to RBs, and that number balloons to 38.5 per game away from Oakland. Outside of Week 1, Turner has at least 10 FP and has scored in three of his last four games. The Falcons may be pass-first now, but that seems to have only helped Turner hold on to his late-career value.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN (@CLE) – MR 17: I know you’re concerned after Law Firm’s one-point effort last week. However, Bernard Scott won’t be a factor this week due to injury, and did you see what Ahmad Bradshaw just did to the Browns? Bradshaw doesn’t have much more giddy-up than BJGE, and with a full complement of carries, a RB2-value day is in store.
Fred Jackson, BUF (@ARZ) – MR 24: In the first game of Jackson’s return, he had 13 carries and C.J. Spiller had eight. Second game: nine to seven. Now, neither performance was worthwhile Fantasy wise, but it’s clear FJax is first in line for carries. Arizona is actually strong against the run, but now that Jackson is back to being healthy (and not facing San Fran); he’s worth a flex play.
Mike Wallace, PIT (@TEN) – MR 12: It’s funny how one poor game makes owners panic so quickly. Wallace found the end zone in each of the first three games, but finished with just 17 yards against Philly. Look at the opponent. Tennessee is not in the same class defensively as Philadelphia, and Wallace will get back on track in Week 6.
Dwayne Bowe, KC (@TB) – MR 17: Sure, Brady Quinn at QB makes polar bears shiver, but when Quinn throws it, he won’t have many options besides Bowe. Plus, Tampa Bay is allowing 31.3 FPPG to WRs. No matter how bad Quinn is, he’s not that much worse than what Matt Cassel was doing so far.
Michael Crabtree, SF (NYG) – MR 25: Crabtree rebounded nicely after his worst game of the season in Week 4. The Giants may be better defensively than the Bills, but not by much in the secondary. They are still struggling just to find healthy bodies to put on the field.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (@WSH) – MR 4: Like his QB, Rudy is back again. How can you not like Rudy? The movie too. Who does Ponder look to in the red zone? Exactly. Who has allowed the most red zone attempts in the league? Here’s a hint: I wouldn’t be talking about it if it didn’t have to do with Rudolph’s opponent. Check that, Rudolph the red zone wondeer (yea, I forced it to rhyme).
Seattle Seahawks (NE) – MR 11: The Seahawks defense currently averages 15.5 FPPG at home and 9.0 on the road. Both are quality, but as we know, Seattle is much better in front of “The 12thMan.” They’re obviously not the best play against New England, but I certainly wouldn’t panic or even bench them in many leagues. They held Green Bay to just 12 points in the “game that got us the real refs back.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (@ARZ) – MR 21: The Bills head out west again, and coast-to-coast (close to a coast) travels normally hurt the road team. Fitz looked terrible against the 49ers (three FP), and Arizona actually allows less FPPG than San Fran: 11.0 to 12.2.
Daryl Richardson, STL (@MIA) – MR 44: The only time DRich neared Fantasy relevance was in Week 2 when Steven Jackson got hurt. SJax isn’t hurt anymore, but DRich’s value is.
Shane Vereen, NE (@SEA) – MR 49: Vereen had six points last week! Oh wait, it came on a one-yard TD run and was only his second carry of the year. Sure, Bill Belichick is probably still yelling at Stevan Ridley after fumbling for the second week in a row, but Brandon Bolden and possibly even Danny Woodhead sit in front of Vereen.
Donnie Avery, IND (@NYJ) – MR 48: I talked about it on Twitter quite a bit heading into Week 4 and it appears as though T.Y. Hilton is moving ahead of Avery, or at the very least, on par with him, which limits Avery’s upside. Hilton saw one more target than Avery did last week, and has more downfield potential than Avery. Plus, even combining their numbers still doesn’t equal the monster that is Reggie Wayne.
St. Louis WRs (@MIA) – MR 53/54/UR: Anyone claiming they know who will benefit the most with Danny Amendola out is either lying or some type of evil wizard. There is just no way to tell if Brandon Gibson, Chris Givens or even Steve Smith will emerge as the beneficiary. In fact, it might just be no one, and this offense will vaporize into what we saw last year: worthlessness.
Jermaine Gresham, CIN (@CLE) – MR 19: Gresham hasn’t lived up to the hype he saw from many Fantasy pundits who thought he could take the next step in 2012. While he’s seen a bit of PPR league success, last time against Cleveland, Gresham had just four catches for 37 yards, and the Browns allow just 4.2 FPPG to TEs (tied for second best).
Detroit Lions (@PHI) – MR 21: The Lions defense is awful, and that “fearsome front four” is nowhere to be found. The defense has only three takeaways, all fumbles, and just nine sacks on the year. If you can’t pressure Michael Vick or force turnovers from Philly, you have no prayer.
Joe Flacco, BAL (DAL) – MR 13: The Cowboys are disappointing on the offensive end, which is making people overlook how their pass defense has improved. In fact, they’re one of the best teams in the league at shutting down opponents’ No. 1 WR. Dallas also allows just 11.8 FPPG to QBs.
Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG (@SF) – MR 23: Ahmad Bradshaw, come on down, you’re the next running back to face San Francisco! If I could rank him lower, I would. The 49ers: zero TDs allowed to RBs again, just 6.0 FPPG for all opposing RBs combined per week and they’re at home. Seriously, I tried to move him lower.
Green Bay RBs (@HOU) – MR 28/38/52: This backfield will be more of a headache than a help for Fantasy teams. Alex Green gets the first shot and checks in at 28, but he’s no guarantee to impress, which means James Starks (38) will have his chances as well. Don’t forget about TD vulture John Kuhn (52). Even if someone leads the rushing attack, we know Aaron Rodgers and Kuhn will see the goal line carries more than the rest.
Arizona RBs (BUF) – MR 29/31/55: The same goes for Arizona. LaRod Stephens-Howling (29) – too small to handle a full workload. William Powell (31) – coming off a head injury and has only been a preseason gem. Alfonso Smith (55) – Kuhn part two, and a lesser version at that.
Green Bay WRs (@HOU) – MR 21/28/36/52: The Houston secondary is the best in the league, and the Packers WR squad isn’t the same without Greg Jennings (52), especially Jordy Nelson (21). James Jones (24) has more TDs that the rest combined, but you’re gambling on his finding pay dirt, and his value dips should Jennings play. If Jennings makes it out there, both Jones and Randall Cobb (36) take a hit, but Nelson would return to must-start territory… that is, with the disclaimer that Houston will limit all of their potential.
Giants WRs not named Victor Cruz (@SF) – MR 38/42/47: Bradshaw is reporting that Nicks (42) told him he would play. Since when is Bradshaw working for NFL.com. We’ve heard reports like this before only to see that player ruled out. Even if Nicks sits, Domenik Hixon (38) and Rueben Randle (47) are risky, as Eli Manning has proven he’ll work with whatever the defense gives him. It could even mean Ramses Barden is the lucky dog again.
Scott Chandler, BUF (@ARZ) – MR 15: Fantasy points in weeks with a TD: 9, 11 and 18; in the weeks without a TD: 2 and 2. In other words, 57.1 percent of Chandler’s points (and all of his Fantasy worth) are from TD catches. Arizona is allowing just 3.4 catches per game to TEs. Want to gamble on one of them being a TD?