Sunday - Feb 17, 2019

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MVP Time

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.”

 

I spent last week dishing out some hate on my least valuable players, and really I could write another three articles laying into the likes of Daunte Culpepper and Jamal Lewis for the way they gave fantasy owners the old 1-2.   It’s not just me, either.  There were a lot fewer votes in the Tank for the MVP than LVP, which just goes to show that people like tearing players down a lot more…BZT… than giving them ‘props’ as they say in Oakland or somewhere…  However, it’s the Christmas season and we should try to focus on the good things that happened to us this year.  Yes, I said Christmas season, not holiday season, and no, that doesn’t make me one of those freaks that thinks we need to boycott Target because they aren’t using the word “Christmas” in their sales ads.  I must admit I found Lowe’s “holiday trees” amusing, that’s a term only a scared lawyer could come up with.  But people are complaining about the abbreviation “XMAS”?  Get a bleeping grip already; you’re giving us normal Catholics/Christians a bad name.

 

With that out of the way, let’s talk value.  To some, value just means “the best” as in the MVP player is the best player.  But for my MVP vote I like to focus on the players that were drafted late or went undrafted and still made a big contribution to your fantasy team.  Yes, guys like LaDainian Tomlinson and Shaun Alexander are the most valuable players in fantasy football, but they only get passing support for my MVP award.  No, I like to single out the guys who came from out of …BZZT… nowhere to lead your teams to fantasy glory, or guys who were expected to have a solid year but turned in a monster year.  Frank Sinatra once told me, “Bubba, the most valuable thing in the world is the next lady that walks in the room.”  To which I replied, “Especially if she’s never thrown the dice before!”  We both laughed over a couple of dry martinis and six or seven new cocktail waitresses just hired to work the auto dealer convention.  And that’s why I’m still old school, baby.

 

Royal Flush MVP award (6)awarded to the player who was the most surprising (deeper sleeper) fantasy stud at his position – think low expectations, but surprisingly high value (like a bottle of Mezcal).

 

Here’s how the votes get tallied:  First, I take everyone’s vote from the shark tank forums, based on this thread: https://www.fantasysharks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=69792 .  The forum votes at each position account for 15 points out of 60.  To account for the other 45 points, I run my exclusive Jackpot™ algorithm three different times and each run allocates 15 points per position across a group of players.  Jackpot™ was originally designed to set the lines for special all-star football events like the East-West game and the Pro Bowl.  However, Dolfi re-programmed it to analyze the best and worst fantasy performers for the season, which is nice because I can use it to determine exactly which players were good enough to be my …BZT… Royal Flush MVP winners.

 

I’d explain more but, to be blunt, you wouldn’t understand anyway.  Let’s just say that there isn’t a more accurate MVP voting method in existence, and I mean that with all the sincerity of a drunken robot that tallied these up just after three in the morning after my Pollyanna party last Saturday.  Of course, you expect nothing less from the same website that brings you The Progno every week.

 

The votes were a lot closer than last week’s LVP votes.  That makes sense, voting for your MVP is sort of like having to choose between Catherine Bell and Carrie Lowell, in …BZZZZT… their hey-day, a tough, tough choice. In the end, I didn’t have to choose, I had them both…allegedly.  I tell you there’s nothing better than a starlet on a hot drama. They’re famous, make good money so they’re not too clingy, and you always know where they are, unlike movie actresses. Believe you me, if you have a …BZZZZZZT… choice between a TV dame and a movie broad; go with the TV dame, a lot less issues outside the bedroom.

 

Before we get to the winners, let me remind you that the most of the most valuable players and the least of the least valuable players get their own award, the Grand awards. 

 

The BetBot Grand Champion (1) – awarded to the Royal Flush MVP winner who was the ultimate surprise for the year, at any position.  Vote in this thread:

https://www.fantasysharks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=71098

 

The BetBot Grand Balloon Knot (1) – awarded to the Merrill Hoge LVP winner who was the ultimate disappointment this year, at any position.  Vote in this thread: https://www.fantasysharks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=71102

 

Do not take this vote lightly, my …BZZT… loyal readers, these are the most prestigious fantasy football awards on the internet.  I encourage each of you to make your voice heard, voting for the winner in each category and also posting comments that I can use during my gala awards ceremony next week.

 

I’m going to post the top 5 finishers in each race (with first place votes in parentheses) – for the full voting results see the MVP thread in the main tank.

 

QB

Player

Points

Pct. Of Vote

Bledsoe (2)

18

30.0%

Palmer (2)

17

28.3%

E.Manning

10

16.7%

Brees

5

8.3%

Hasselbeck

3

5.0%

P. Manning

3

5.0%

 

This was really the toughest vote, in my opinion, and one of the closest votes I ran this year.  Drew Bledsoe spent the last two seasons ranging from pretty good to pretty awful, and pretty much nobody expected him to have a great fantasy season with Dallas’ less-than-inspiring WR crew.  He went undrafted in …BZZT… several leagues but ended up atop the QB charts for several weeks during the season.  He’s faded a bit down the stretch but getting top 5 QB production from a late draft pick or waiver wire find?  That’s the type of stuff that earns Bledsoe the Royal Flush MVP Award at QB.   Still, Carson Palmer made a strong play for the award, stealing 2 first place votes and coming up just one point short of an MVP share.  The main support for Palmer came from the Shark Tank, where Carson pulled down a healthy 60% of the votes.  No doubt Palmer was the best fantasy QB in the game this year, but he also had some hype during the pre-season and certainly went drafted.  Or, in the words of forum user Marsrover21, Bledsoe gets the win “because no one saw him coming.”

 

Honorable mention to Eli Manning, who was pretty awful last year but posted an unexpected 20+ TD season in his sophomore effort.  However, his recent run of interceptions didn’t help his support in the award voting, and of course I had to take points off because he’s a smarmy little punk.  Drew Brees, Matt Hasselbeck, and Peyton Manning round out the field.  These guys didn’t come out of nowhere, but they either met or exceeded most people’s expectations, which is enough to get a couple points in the voting scheme.

 

RB

Player

Points

Pct. Of Vote

L. Johnson (2)

16.25

27.1%

T. Barber

9.25

15.4%

Alexander (1)

8

13.3%

T. Jones (1)

7.25

12.1%

Tomlinson

6

10.0%

 

Larry Johnson was certainly on our radar in August, but with Priest Holmes standing in his way he fell to the later rounds of the draft as a flyer in case Holmes went down again.  Well, Johnson has been an absolute terror since Holmes got hurt in mid-season, and LJ has been carrying …BZZT… a lot of teams through the playoffs.  Even better, in dynasty leagues he’ll be an especially great value as Holmes’ career may be in jeopardy.  Simply put, Dick Vermeil should be tarred and feathered if Priest comes back as anything more than a backup next year.  This makes Johnson the easy choice for the Royal Flush MVP Award at RB.  You know I have a soft spot …BZT… in my heart for Joe Paterno after my 3 semesters at Penn State.  So maybe I was a little biased, but the Sharks gave Johnson a lot of love too:

 

BuckeyeFtblGod – “[Johnson] didn’t even start half the season but he is Top 5 in production and if he had another few weeks starting it wouldn’t have even been close.”

 

Finn2056 – “Larry Johnson.  He rewarded those who spent a high pick on a backup RB.”

 

Agenda42 – “Larry Johnson — Not much to say here. He’s beating LT over the last 6 weeks, and I got him in the seventh round in several leagues.”

 

Well said, boys, even if you were in the minority in the tank – Thomas Jones won the tank’s first place vote, with 55% of the forum voters throwing their support to TJ.  Still, Jackpot didn’t find Jones’ top 15 performance that impressive, especially considering that he was a starting RB so he was gone by round 3 in any league worth mentioning – he was only found on a single Jackpot ballot.  A few more TDs and a little more health would have made him a much stronger candidate.

 

Honorable mentions to Tiki Barber, Shaun Alexander, and LaDainian Tomlinson, three backs who more than lived up to the preseason hype.  In particular, Barber had another …BZZT… top 5 RB season despite probably lasting to the second round of your fantasy draft, and at an age (30) that implied a decline in production after his supposed career year last season.

 

WR

Player

Points

Pct. Of Vote

Galloway (1)

16

26.7%

S. Smith (3)

15

25.0%

Fitzgerald

12

20.0%

S. Moss

11

18.3%

C. Johnson

3

5.0%

 

Well this was a lot closer than I expected.  Joey Galloway, I thought this guy’s bleeping …BZZZT… career was deader than Terence Trent D’Arby’s (who owes me twenty bleeping bucks, I haven’t forgotten D’Arby).  But not only did Galloway go late in most drafts, he’s been a top 5 fantasy WR and the offensive MVP for the Bucs (with apologies to the fine rookie season from Cadillac Williams).  It doesn’t get much better than that, earning Joey our Royal Flush MVP Award at WR.  Jackpot actually liked Steve Smith a bit better, throwing all 3 of its first place votes behind the Panthers receiver, putting him within a point of an MVP share.  And can you blame me?  Smith came back from a torn knee to crush the WR field this year, he could have been had in the middle rounds and he outplayed every WR in the league.  That takes some moxie and I like moxie.  Galloway earned the top spot on the backs of the shark tank, who served up a whopping 85% of their votes for the former Seahawk:

 

Rg1602 – “Joey Galloway was this guy even drafted?”

 

Agenda42 – “Joey Galloway — I remember at the start of the season thinking that Clayton just wasn’t that good, but I still drafted him because I thought even less of the other TB WRs. Oops.”

 

Finn2056 – “Galloway. Hard to argue with a guy who went from 33 rec, 416 yards and 5 TD’s to 71-1152-8.  Honorable mention — Steve Smith. Did anyone really expect him to lead the league in receptions and yards after missing all last year with a leg injury?”

 

SJSwarm – “Galloway – no one on earth predicted these numbers, not even Joey!  McCardell is a worthy runner up here, both went either super late or were undrafted in every leaque I am in.”

 

Who am I to argue with such overwhelming support?  I know, I know, I’m a super intelligent robot with a taste for Gin and a nasty mean streak.  But it’s the season of miracles and maybe taking some advice from the tank portends a kindler, gentler BetBot in 2006.  Don’t hold your …BZZZT… breath.

 

Honorable mentions go to Larry Fitzgerald, Santana Moss, and Chad Johnson.  Fitz and Moss both put up top 5 or 10 numbers from the middle rounds, helping to revive the careers of Kurt Warner and Mark Brunell in the process.  I’m still wondering what took NFL defensive coordinators 6 weeks to figure out that Brunell could get the ball deep to Moss.  CJ was a beast this season, more than living up to his pre-season hype in a season where supposed studs like Merrill Hoge winner Randy Moss didn’t get the job done.

 

TE

Player

Points

Pct. Of Vote

Cooley (2)

17

28.3%

Gates (2)

14

23.3%

Shockey

10

16.7%

Crumpler

5

8.3%

H. Miller

5

8.3%

 

I was watching the Fanex draft this year with great interest.  The Dolfi/Walls team was a complete disaster, but Tony Holm really nailed it on Chris Cooley.  Who figured Joe Gibbs would find success with a passing attack that featured…BZZZT… Santana Moss and a bunch of ex-fullbacks?  Cooley really came through for owners taking a late draft position and turning in a top 3 fantasy season, including a week 15 blowout against Dallas that hauled many owners kicking and screaming into week 16 championship games.  That kind of performance earns my respect, and also earns the Royal Flush MVP Award at TE.  The tank just loved Cooley, handing 90% of their votes to the Redskin TE:

 

SJSwarm – “Cooley – the only one of the late round tight ends to really make an impression.”

 

Agenda42 – “Chris Cooley – last season’s best kept secret at TE was also this season’s best kept secret at the position.”

 

Rg1602 – “Chris Cooley – at the start of the year ‘Chris who?’”

 

2004 Grand Champion Antonio Gates pulled off another 2 first place votes from Jackpot, who was more than impressed with Gates absolute domination at the position in 2005.  Gates put in a massive season which earned him a close second place in the MVP vote despite his lofty draft status.  Honorable mentions go to Jeremy Shockey, Alge Crumpler, and Heath Miller.  Shockey finally showed what he could do when …BZT… healthy for a full season, and Crumpler continued to be the thumb that Michael Vick likes to suck on when the pocket starts to collapse.  If you see Vick throw the ball 15 yards downfield, chances are Alge is on the other end of the line in double coverage.  Miller posted a very fine rookie campaign for a team that doesn’t pass the ball a whole lot, starting out as a red zone threat and growing into a nice receiving option with the skill to break a 10 yard pass into a 30 yard scamper.  The future at TE looks bright for the Steelers.

 

K

Player

Points

Pct. Of Vote

Rackers (4)

23

38.3%

Feely

19

31.7%

Kaeding

8

13.3%

Tynes

5

8.3%

Graham

3

5.0%

 

Again with the kicker.  I do like the comment below quite a bit though. Congrats Rackers, don’t pull a hammy.

 

Agenda42 – “Neil Rackers — Like this wasn’t an obvious one. The Arizona kicker, a good fantasy play? Who knew?”

 

Rackers earned 95% of the shark tank vote on his way to pulling down all 4 first place votes.  Only a late season calf injury prevented him from blowing away the NFL FG kicking record, which he still has an outside shot of breaking.  He was nearly perfect all season, including a number of 50+ yarders, and he could have been had for a song at the end of your draft.  That’s the definition of Royal Flush MVP.  Have I ever told you that only fools draft a kicker before the end of their drafts?  You could have had Rackers or Jay Feely, our runner up here, off your waivers, why bother with spending a 10th rounder on Adam Vinatieri?

 

D/ST

Player

Points

Pct. Of Vote

Bears (3)

19.25

32.1%

Colts (1)

15.25

25.4%

Seahawks

9.25

15.4%

Giants

9

15.0%

Bengals

2.25

3.8%

 

This one was nearly a slam dunk. The Colts were a popular pick too, but have fallen off lately. The Bears…BZZZT… have been spectacular all year long, being stingy with points allowed and frequently finding the end zone.  Hell, they even ran a failed field goal back 108 yards for a touchdown.  Again, this was a defense that was available on waivers to start the season in any league outside the greater Chicago area.  That, my friends, earns them the Royal Flush MVP Award for D/ST.  I may even root for them through the NFL playoffs if they make…BZZT… another music video.  The tank actually liked Indy better as a D/ST, voting 50% for the Colts and 35% for the Bears and handing their first place vote to Dungy’s boys.  But I actually agree more with tank member Finn2056, who threw his support behind “Da Bears. Lovie’s got it going on, looks like the Monsters of the Midway are back. Honorable mention to the Colts.”

 

The Seahawks would have made the list almost entirely based on their Monday Night game against Philadelphia, which produced enough fantasy points to sink a battleship.

 

And there we have it.  Be sure to check back here in week 17 for my 2nd annual awards gala, where I’ll be handing out the grand MVP and LVP awards and roasting as many people as I can.  You won’t want to miss it.

 

Merry Christmas to all of you loyal readers out there, I hope you enjoy the richest foods and the finest spirits, and I hope you find yourself under the mistletoe with Shirley from accounting.

 

Until next time, Showgirls and Gin, my friends, Showgirls and …BZT… Gin.

About Fantasy Sharks

FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.