The competition for the top spot in the Joes Be Pros League remains close with four teams sitting at 5-2. Adam’s Team has regained the overall lead after his solid win in Week 7, and his 1,096.96 points puts him 133.46 points ahead of second place Maaaarv, who has just 963.50 points. While that may seem like an insurmountable lead, a lot will depend on how the next four weeks play out.
A total of 20 NFL teams will have their scheduled bye over the next four weeks; six teams each in Weeks 8 and 9, and four teams each in Weeks 10 and 11. This is the time of the season in which we see just how much mettle the Joes have. The Better Cardano, managed by Michael Cardano Jr. nabbed Green Bay WR Davante Adams and Detroit RB Zach Zenner off waivers this week to help carry his sixth-place team through the byes. Meanwhile, Luke’s Team manager Luke Benigno is banking on K Sebastian Janikowski of the Raiders and Redskins WR Jamison Crowder to help lift his sagging ninth-place team in the standings.
Since Luke’s Team is facing the now completely gone Liberty City Wrath in Week 8, Benigno can probably assume a win. Somebody needs to tell Gabe Morency that it’s not cool to mail it in every week and give away unearned wins to other team owners. The Better Cardano won’t have it so easy, as he is matched up against Mike Blewitt’s Joe Buck Lite. Cardano has Odell Beckham Jr. on a bye this week but he is otherwise at full-strength. Since Cardano’s team is one of two among the Top 6 in the league with more points against than points for, his hold on a top spot is tenuous at best. By the end of Week 8, both teams managed by Joes could be looking up from the depths of the basement.
Scott Engel’s Kai Forbath Fanclub got great performances from Julio Jones (26.40) and Andy Dalton (24.32) but none of it mattered. Gabe Morency and his Liberty City Wrath have thrown in the towel, and thus, they were squashed by a score of 154.62 to 33.84. This total blowout would be insignificant under most circumstances but the win propelled Engel’s Kai Forbath Fanclub into third place.
Entering Week 8, Engel is matched up against the second-place Maaaarv, Chris Meaney’s squad. Typically, we look back at the previous week and ask one of the owners in the Joes Be Pros league to reflect on their lineup choices. Since the Liberty City Wrath nearly put up a goose egg against the Fanclub, we’re going to ask Scott Engel about his intentions for the coming week instead.
Engel’s Week 7 lineup included two running backs, a typical strategy shared by most of the owners in the Joes Be Pros league, simply because the running back position has been a vast wasteland this season. Engel went with Jordan Howard of the Bears, and Frank Gore of the Colts. He benched Raiders RB Latavius Murray, who was returning to action after missing two games with a bout of turf toe. Engel was being cautious no doubt since Murray had been somewhat ineffective (to put it nicely) prior to missing time. As it turned out, Murray scored a couple of touchdowns to put up a total of 20.30 points.
I asked Engel about his running back choices for Week 8 and whether he intended to start Murray or go back to the well (a shallow well at that) with Howard, or perhaps give recent acquisition Rob Kelley of the Redskins a shot to be paired with Gore.
My questions were: “You benched Latavius Murray this past week in favor of Jordan Howard. Murray put up 20 points to Howard’s 2.20 points. For this coming week, do you trust Murray to continue producing? Will you have him active or will you go with either Howard or Rob Kelley of Washington, one of your waiver pickups this week?”
Engel answered, “I am leaning towards playing Murray. His workload increased last week and should continue to be heavy going forward. He is a consistent TD threat in a good offense that will set him up for regular scoring chances. Howard is not a consideration as his role is quickly shrinking.”
WRAPPING UP THE REST OF THE MATCHUPS
Adam’s Team (5-2) put a hurtin’ on Beat Engel’s Team (3-4) 151.92 to 125.24 in a match that was never close at any point. Adam Ronis is sitting pretty now. He picked up Denver RB Devontae Booker, who is likely to get most of the RB touches going forward with the injury to C.J. Anderson. Between Booker, DeMarco Murray, Matt Asiata and LeSean McCoy, Ronis is solid at the RB position for the second half of the season.
Gregg’s Super Team recorded 160.72 points, the second-highest point total of the week, to decimate The Better Cardano, who only managed 98.82 points. Cardano must be at least somewhat nervous about his squad, which currently has six players listed as “Questionable” for Week 8.
George Kurtz joined Kai Forbath Fanclub as the only teams to win two games in a row in Weeks 6 and 7. Kurtz scored the highest point total in the league this week (162.28) to defeat Joe Buck Lite and their fm m 117.88 points.
Jay Ajayi put together his second 200-plus yard effort in a row to garner 33.60 points and carry Luke’s Team past FerdinandoD’s Team 146.44 to 82.78.
In a battle of two of the better teams in the Joes Be Pros League, Hi There, managed by Tony Cincotta, knocked Chris Meaney’s Maaaarv off the top of the mountain in what was the closest match of the week 133.44 to 124.26. Both teams have a legitimate shot at a title, although, Maaaarv clearly has the better chance, as indicated by his lofty point total. However, it’s doubtful he actually has a better team.