Initially built by NASA to set lines for the Las Vegas casinos in the late 50’s (who do you think funded the Apollo missions? The government? It was the mob…), The Sin City Betbot 6000 calculated lines for over 30 years. The Betbot was given various upgrades through the years, not always with the best equipment, but he was very good at setting lines, and living the good life.
The Betbot was de-commissioned in 1990 after San Francisco destroyed Denver in the Super Bowl. The 45 point spread simply fried a number of the Betbot’s wires and he retired. The Betbot was discovered by Fantasysharks.com and retooled to give fantasy advice. He lives now to help your team with deeper sleepers to start each week.
The Betbot’s column is transcribed each week by Chris Dolfi, Joe Petrizzi and Tom Walls, because, “Typing is a dame’s BZZZT job.”
The week after game 1 of the football season is my favorite week of the year. There are always players that have unexpected good and bad days, and if it happened in week 8 nobody would care. But for a Daunte Culpepper owner nowadays it’s suddenly Armageddon. My favorite …BZT… fantasy articles are the ones that come out after week 1, extolling patience. Just wait, they say, it will get better. You won’t hear that nonsense from me – now is not the time to be stingy with the free agent bucks, baby, now is the time to spend like the government! Why? I’ll give you three reasons:
Big Opportunity – Everyone else in your league is sitting on their hands saying, “oh, Hines Ward just had a bad week.” Meanwhile, the waiver wire is stocked like …BZZZT…my suite’s mini-bar. Listen people, if your #1 WR only had 2 receptions last week it’s time to start looking for a replacement before he submarines your season. Maybe you don’t pull him onto the bench just yet, but let’s get someone on the roster just in case. If I smell smoke coming from the kitchen I don’t call 911 immediately – it may be burnt toast – but on the way to investigate I’m grabbing the phone, understand? Wait too long and all the best sleepers will get …BZZT… snatched up.
- Small Cost – Like J-Lo always says, “Roster spots don’t cost a thing.” You don’t have to drop Ward under the assumption that his season is going to go missing like D.B. Cooper. But you likely have a second kicker or defense wasting roster space – you may even have a late round draft flier that got cut or buried – dump that junk and take a stab at a sleeper with some upside. Don’t panic, you still have plenty of time to sort out your bye week replacement for Shayne Graham. And while we’re on the subject, only …BZT… women are supposed to talk about the size of J-Lo’s rear end like it’s a bad thing. If you fancy yourself a classy man, complaining about J-Lo’s butt makes you sound like a tool. Classy men never talk badly about a fine, fine woman, even if she’s been tainted by that putz Ben Affleck. Besides, the looser the waistband, the deeper the quicksand, or so I have read.
- Depth Is Good– Speaking of depth, you can never have enough. Having too much depth is like having too much Gin in your martini – what else do you want in your glass – air? You’re surrounded by air! Go ahead and stash away that sleeper instead of, say, a RB handcuff. Save the handcuffing for late in the season when the waiver wire closes and an injury can …BZZZZT… impact your playoff performance. Better to spend your early weeks stocking up on players who can earn a spot in the starting lineup by outperforming your top draft picks (rather than earning a start by taking out your #1 draft pick with a lead pipe to the knee.)
Before we get to my deeper sleepers for the week, a word about when to pull the plug on a so-called “stud”. Realizing you have an under-performer on your hands is like …BZT… chasing after some girl only to realize that she’s really needy as a girlfriend. It was only 2 or 3 weeks ago you thought she was this hot thing and now all she wants to do is spoon together while watching Lifetime. Just remember this – a player’s draft position doesn’t win championships, results do. Sometimes you find yourself stuck with someone you really liked, someone high on everyone’s draft list. But if that person isn’t putting out, you need to find a replacement, even if it’s a temporary solution while your supposed stud gets with the program. Give your players 2 weeks to get it together – the football season is too short to waste time pining for stats that never show up.
Here are some considerations for your roster – some of these guys are real long shots, and some are pretty obvious for my regular readers. If you’re new here, I don’t cover the obvious sleeper picks – lots of articles will tell you to pick up Willie Parker, and they’re right. So I don’t need to tell you again.
Adrian McPherson – NO – So I just spent 30 seconds explaining that you need to use roster spots in early weeks on players with a chance to perform, and now the first guy I’m touting is a backup QB for the Saints? What am I …BZT… drunk? Yes, oh yes. It sounds crazy but some people out there have very deep rosters or dynasty leagues. MacPherson is the classic deeper sleeper – nobody is talking about him now but one bad hit to Aaron Brooks and he’ll be at the top of every guru’s pickup list. Why? This kid’s got some wheels, that’s why. QBs who can run are the fantasy shark’s pinup girls, because it satisfies our inner need to …BZZZZT… fill the starting lineup with as many RBs as possible. Now is the time of the season to take some chances – I’m telling you having a guy like this on your roster is more valuable than an extra defense. It’s also possible that this is the Gin talking after too many preseason games.
Anthony Wright – BAL – Have Kyle Boller as your starting QB? That was dumb. The nice thing about backup QBs is that they don’t have a job to lose so they tend to air it out a bit more than the starter. Nobody cares if Wright throws a bunch of INTs because he’s supposed to suck, and this week he grabs the …BZZT… lowly Titans defense. If there’s one thing I love, it’s spot-starting a player with nothing to lose going up against a bad defense. Also, I thoroughly enjoy a session of sweet with a temperamental Russian fox. Grooowl. Anywho, Wright will be itching to show what he can do, if you need help at QB already he’s worth a one-time nod.
Chester Taylor – BAL – He’s like Jamal Lewis except without the foot and ankle problems. I bet Taylor could step into the starting lineup on Sunday and outperform Lewis, and I’m not just saying that because Taylor played admirably in Lewis’ absence last season. Look, this is exactly the kind of backup RB you want on your roster – a good player behind an injury prone starter in a system that loves to pound the …BZT… rock. Other chumps in your league are wasting time on stiffs like Ron Dayne, guys like Taylor are a much better play. Also, consider that “Chester” and “Taylor” give you two chances to dazzle your friends with the “Chester? Taylor? I hardly even know her!” line. That’s a classic double dip.
Moe Williams – MIN – I don’t understand why everyone is jumping on the Mewelde Moore bandwagon when Moore can’t even get out of Mike Tice’s doghouse. Moore is constantly hurt, or …BZZZZT… missing blocks, or failing to get out of bounds late in some game. You want to tout the guy whose career is starting out like a Keystone Kops movie? Meanwhile, Moe Williams gets totally ignored. Let me repeat the keys to sleeper RB success:
- Already a good player . Check. Moe’s hauled in almost 25 TDs over the last three seasons and he’s the goal line back.
- Plays behind an injury prone starter . Check. I’m waiting to hear that Michael Bennett pulled a hamstring picking up the morning paper. Coming soon to ESPN: The top 5 reasons you can’t blame the Vikings for playing fragile running backs.
- Is named Moe . Check. Ok, so the Vikings don’t necessarily run an offense that “pounds the rock”, but they did as recently as 2003. Plus with the defensive improvement in Minny this year they’ll have the opportunity to run the ball more.
Kevin Curtis – STL – The third WR in STL, he went 7-63 in week 1, more than twice as many receptions as Isaac Bruce. The Rams throw the ball all over the place and Curtis has the benefit of working inside against nickel backs or safeties while Bruce and Torry Holt draw the heavy coverage. I advocate using a #3 WR in your fantasy lineup as often as I …BZT… advocate replacing the cream in your coffee with bleach, but there are some exceptions. Seven balls is seven balls, if Curtis keeps this up he’ll join Brandon Stokely as solid fantasy receivers working from the slot. He’s also first in line to replace Holt or Bruce in case of injury. Have I mentioned that Bruce is 32?
Patrick Crayton – DAL – I had this guy locked up as a sure sleeper until Petrizzi spilled the beans 3 weeks ago in the forums: “Keep Patrick Crayton on your radar as well. The starters in Dallas are old, and I’m pretty sure Terry Glenn had his legs replaced with fluorescent light bulbs at some point. Caught all seven balls thrown to him at the end of last season, and Bill Parcells has a good memory. People who hold grudges are pesky like that.” Now everyone …BZZZZT… knows about him. It doesn’t hurt that Crayton posted 6-89-1 on Sunday against San Diego, but still you know I hate to look bad. No matter, the guilty party has been properly punished with a redeye to the left forearm.
Terrence Murphy – GB – This selection brought to you by Ron Popeil: What would you say if I told you about a rookie WR playing for an offense with a pass-happy QB? But wait. What if I also told you that the defense on his team was so terrible they’ll be forced to air it out a lot on offense to keep up? But hold on. What if the #1 WR on this team, one of the best in the league last year, just went down for the season with a knee injury? Would you want to know more? The only thing standing between Murphy and solid fantasy production are 30 year-old possession receiver Donald Driver and injury prone Robert Ferguson. Keep an …BZT… eye on this kid.
Chris Baker (NYJ), Daniel Wilcox (BAL) – Take your pick, they’re both worthy of your attention following a solid week 1. I don’t care what scoring system you play in – a TE that gets 7 or 8 balls in a week is someone to look into. They’re better bets than Alex Smith or Courtney Anderson, TEs who had a couple TD grabs but …BZT… not a lot of action otherwise. I’m giving a special nod to Baker since I wrote a piece last year telling you about his future nickname, “the touchdown maker”. You simply cannot go wrong with a classy nickname like that. The nice thing about robotic arms is they are easily extended for patting oneself on the back.
Teyo Johnson – ARI – Interesting sleeper opportunity for Johnson here, since the Cardinals offense is light on TE ability but heavy on receivers. Just because Norv Turner doesn’t like him doesn’t mean Teyo can’t play. Give him a few …BZT… weeks to acclimate himself to the arid desert climate and then let’s re-visit the situation. Myself, I love the dry desert air. People assume that cold air is good for computer circuitry but that’s just because a couple computer geeks in WarGames made that claim. In reality, line-making robots love the heat – why do you think all of the automated sports books are set up in Vegas and the Caribbean?
WarGames, now there’s a movie I can’t talk enough about. First off, I’m all for any movie starring Dabney Coleman because he’s a good man. A good bleeping man. He just plays a jerk in all the movies, honest. Also, it …BZZZT… stars Ally Sheedy, one of the all time hottest women to get addicted to sleeping pills. Seriously, I’ve known lots of real foxy ladies with problems but not many as piping hot as Ally Sheedy. Also, I hold a soft spot in my CPU for her after the compassionate way she cared for Johnny 5 in Short Circuit. There was a time not so long ago when I was confused and wandering around Manhattan, alas Ms. Sheedy was in rehab at the time. I guarantee I wouldn’t have been as annoying as Number 5 – Ally and me would have made her moves in High Art seem as innocent as baking cupcakes after a few BetBot-style Martinis.
No kickers and defense this week, folks – it’s too early. Once we have a few games under our belt I’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
If you have any questions for the Betbot, please send them to his Fantasysharks contact at firstname.lastname@example.org .
So long, and remember – showgirls and Gin, my friends – Showgirls and BZZZZT Gin.