Friday - Apr 26, 2019

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COUCH TOMATOES: A Return to the Couch

After watching football for about 60 seasons there is really only one way to really be ready to watch 4-5 games a week over 17 weeks and play fantasy football. Well, besides with a healthy dose of satire, humor and a dash of commentary that is.

Working out, baby! Bonnie and I have been running sprints, alternating between jaunts from the couch to the bathroom and also to the kitchen. Everything was going well until Bonnie tripped on her oxygen tube and was propelled headlong like a bullet past the refrigerator and across the hallway into the bathroom.

Wow! I held up my sign with a big ’10’ on it and gave her a standing ovation. Then I went and pulled her gasping body out of the bath tub. This golden year’s crap can be hazardous if you don’t work out like we do. Hey, throw me another donut, Bonnie. Good arm, babe!

We have been watching one TV series marathon after another to build endurance. During the Olympics we kept changing from one NBC channel to another in our multiple game simulation drills. And I will have you know, in the biggest test of our preseason, I beat Bonnie in the chicken wing eating drills by not three, but four wings.

We have been trying to figure out who we have on our fantasy teams. This summer I concentrated on drafting guys with similar last names. I’ve got your standard Benjamins, lots of Johnsons, some Millers and somehow I got a guy named Smallwood. Bonnie giggled when she saw that and said it was “appropriately descriptive.” What the heck? I’m still trying to figure that one out!

I sat down in April after the draft and took my first look at the 2016 season. Last year was horrible. Living in the Chicago area I seemed to lose more players each week than the one before. It was like watching the Monday news and seeing the recaps of the local shooting carnage from over the weekend. There are places not safe to live here and it can be rough on fantasy football too.

9 lessons learned over the summer:

1. I drafted a safe, cut-proof PK for a best-ball league back in May. Paging Robbie Gould… Paging Robbie Gould… Please report to some new team by this Sunday!
2. Last year I took over a 14th place team in a dynasty league. With some heavy trading, solid drafting and lots of waiver action, I took that team to be the runner up in our fantasy bowl. This summer nobody wanted to trade with me.
3. While I griped about trading not happening there, I joined the Sirius XM Experts Dynasty League. I inherited a very good team and found a league that sure does trade. Our six round draft took almost two weeks to complete because everyone was trading down. And when I say everyone, I say it quite literally.
4. I learned that the NFL has strange discipline rules. I am still trying to understand the Tom Brady suspension. Also, why was Josh Gordon back and almost ready to play with only a four game suspension within a few months after partying with bad boy John Manziel?
5. Bonnie drafted in a supposedly “friendly” league the other night. The entire 18-round draft for the 12-team league only took 45 minutes on NFL.com. Talk about confusing! You could not keep track of who was drafted in the little 2”x2” window, but the ADP rankings of available players took up 60% of the screen. I had to help her a bit because the draft room was so screwed up. For someone used to checking off players as they are selected, it was a total shock. And 45 minutes… it’s a darned good thing Bonnie and I had been doing our sprints. What a pace!
6. In my 32nd annual draft in our hometown dynasty league I got adventurous. I traded for and accumulated 15 picks and drafted pretty much 70% of a new rookie-based roster, mixed in with a few veterans. I knew I was going nowhere otherwise and this just seemed like a good alternative.
7. I watched preseason games and found I was rooting more for no injuries than touchdowns. While some may disagree, losing only Romo and Bridgewater to major injuries thus far seems like a better overall start than last year. But, let’s see what Week 1 brings us before we celebrate too much.
8. Are you as confused as I am? Goff was the prize rookie QB sure to start, while Wentz and Lynch were going to ride the pines. Now Wentz is starting with Lynch getting close. And as for Goff—he like any Fisher QB with the Rams is confused. Hmmm. Is that saying something about coaching or the QBs they draft?
9. Andy Reid told us that Jamaal Charles looked like he would be ready for Week 1. Hey folks—this is an NFL coach. They are trained to lie and mislead us about injuries. They attend the same ethics classes politicians do. Shame on any of you that bought into his line of crap.

At least one thing came to us this summer from the NFL office that nobody saw coming. The fantasy football world has been begging for clarity in the way that teams give us a weekly injury status. Probable, questionable, doubtful and out left too much wiggle room. So what did these wise guys do? Guess what, no more probable status. Now you need a ouija board and a visit to a medium to know what is really going on.

And of course none of this would have happened if we as a collective fantasy society had resisted booing Roger Goodell so strenuously every time we had an opportunity. We had better be on our best behavior now. There is a rumor that he is considering requiring a RBBC for each and every team with playing time percentages keyed to contracts. Also, any other skilled players will be limited to playing in any three quarters of any one game. Remember, player safety is important to the Commish. Fantasy football is not!

Well, now it is time to go. I want to warm up a bit before watching Peyton Manning’s successor, Trevor Simian, right? Oh, it’s S-i-e-m-i-a-n. I would write that down, but why bother? In about a month his name will be filed under obscure sports trivia. By then Paxton Lynch will be behind center for the Broncos.

It’s time to sit down and watch some football. Come on Bonnie! You can balance those trays with your walker. Only 16 more steps!

Good luck! Have fun!

About Mike Nease

Mike Nease is a member of the FSWA and has been playing the game since 1985, while also writing about it since 2001. Over the years he has sampled about all the playing scenarios that fantasy football offers, including re-drafter, keeper, dynasty, auction, IDP and salary cap leagues. He and his wife Bonnie reside in West Chicago, IL You can contact Mike at mnease23@yahoo.com anytime and during the football season follow him @mikeinsights.