Saturday - Jan 19, 2019

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The Sin City BetBot Presents

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.”

OK, so last week I went over the MVP awards and rightly lauded those players who helped you to fantasy success this year. But the same JACKPOT algorithm I used to determine the most surprisingly good players can also find the most surprisingly bad players. I�m not talking about just bad players � if you counted on Mike Alstott for production, you �BZZT� got what was coming to you. No, I�m handing out my LVP awards to the guys who took down your fantasy team like Sean Salisbury takes down ring dings. Seriously, have you Salisbury�s profile lately? Looks like we may be seeing another Showtime series called “Fat NFL Analyst”.

As you might imagine, the LVP awards are a lot less upbeat than the MVP awards. I mean, these rats looked like players in August but here we are in late December with a fistful of awful. There�s a lot of resentment out there for a lot of these guys, so it�s �BZZT� right up my alley. If you have an opinion here, and I�m sure there are names in this article that will light fires under a few owners, I recommend heading over to the shark forums to vent your frustration.

The Merrill Hoge LVP award (6) – awarded to the player who was the most disappointing fantasy player at his position � think high expectations, low return (like �BZZT� Hoge�s prom night).

The JACKPOT results:

The Merrill Hoge LVP at Quarterback

Steve McNair (TEN) � 14 points(2 first place votes)

Others receiving votes:

Chad Pennington (NYJ) � 10(1)

Michael Vick (ATL) � 9(0)

Jeff Garcia (CLE) � 7(0)

Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) � 4(0)

Mark Brunell (WAS) � 1(0)

Let me say this first, I hate that JACKPOT picked McNair. I really do. Steve McNair was always a classy man, a good man, a good bleeping man. A man�s character does fantasy footballers very little good when that man is on the sidelines, or playing below par. Air McNair only played in 8 games, throwing for 1343 yards. That�s�BZZT� an average of 168 yards per game. On top of that, he threw 8 TDs vs. 9 INTs – Ouch! McNair often went in the first six rounds, and for a top six pick, he is a huge disappointment for�BZT� any owner. Sorry, Steve � you win the QB award.

Pennington and Hasselbeck didn�t have disastrous seasons, but they were drafted way too early for middling performance. Pennington was really a goat, however. He is ranked 23rd among QBs in passing yards and only has 14 TDs � not good enough. Hasselbeck did hurt a lot of fantasy teams, but not nearly as much as Pennington�BZZZT� or McNair did. What can you say about Michael (Mike? Whatever�) Vick ? Well, I know one thing you can say � thanks for nothing! Unless you are a Falcons fan, you are probably furious about this guy�s performance. God forbid Alge Crumpler decides to give up football, what would Vick do then? Vick went in the top three rounds in many drafts, and if wasn�t for his rushing yards, he would have possibly beaten out Pennington for the #2 position. Atlanta needs a quality WR, quick � unfortunately�BZZT� for Falcons fans, they can�t get one until after this season. Mark Brunell � well, Brunell was so awful, he had to be included � not many people drafted this guy high � but he was taken as a flyer in a lot of drafts. Jeff Garcia, I know, you want a cheap joke � well you won�t get it. Let�s just say that Garcia has played like a real rat this year. While he had some good�BZZZT�BZT� performances at home, he surely lost some games for anyone unfortunate enough to start him.

The Merrill Hoge Co-LVP at Running Back

Kevan Barlow (SF) � 12(2)

Jamal Lewis (BAL) � 12(1)

Others receiving votes:

Stephen Davis (CAR) � 6(0)

Travis Henry (BUF) � 5(1)

Clinton Portis (WAS) � 5(0)

Duce Staley (PIT) � 3(0)

Ahman Green (GB) � 2(0)

It�s one thing for an NFL running back to become a “bad boy” with a federal criminal record. We can forgive �BZZT� that kind of stuff. Hell� it might even boost his marketability to today�s misdirected youth. But to just be a “bad boy” because you are actually bad on the football field is something most fantasy football fans cannot forgive you for. Jamal Lewis, I am looking in your general direction. And don�t you hide behind Lewis, Kevin Barlow. While Lewis was bad because he was expected to be so good, you just didn�t perform � at all. Even a little bit. For a guy many grabbed in the 2nd round, you sold more cases of Pepto-Bismol to owners nursing stomach cramps watching your performances then the entire �BZZT� Rite-Aid chain combined.

Stephen Davis was injured, but he was still a more-than-costly pick for many owners this season. Portis and Staley were under-performing wonders for the majority of the season. Ahman Green had the amazing feat of amassing 75% of his entire performance this year into three games. Sure, he flat-out won you three games this season, but he cost you 11 more. I�ve gotten better production out of regulars at the Mustang Ranch when I road-trip to �BZZT� Reno after a 3-day bender. Finally, don�t let me forget about Travis Henry. Sure we all knew Willis McGahee was a better running back. Sure we all knew you�d lose some carries to the rookie this year. But 324 yards on the season coupled with zero TDs? I oughta slap you around like �BZZZT� Frank Sinatra did to more than one hotel manager that wouldn�t let Sammy stay the night in their early traveling days together.

The Merrill Hoge LVP at Wide Receiver

Koren Robinson (SEA) � 10(1)

Others receiving votes:

Santana Moss (NYJ) � 9(0)

Steve Smith (CAR) � 6(1)

Laveranues Coles (WAS) � 5(0)

Hines Ward (PIT) � 5(1)

Anquan Boldin (ARI) � 4(0)

Keenan McCardell (TB/SD) � 3(0)

Peerless Price (ATL) � 2(0)

Deion Branch (NE) � 1(0)

I�ve petitioned the Seahawks to change Koren Robinson�s nickname from “K-Rob” to “K-Rap” after the vile mess he produced in 2004. With only 2 games left to play, Robinson has less than 500 yards and a measly 2 TDs, or about what you might have expected out of �BZZT� Todd Pinkston this year. For someone drafted as a strong #2 or potential #1 receiver? I think not. Couple that poor performance with a mid-season drug suspension that probably saddled a lot of you with a dead roster spot for the last four weeks. Come on, Koren, why beat around the bush (so to speak)? Just start punching people in the stomach on the way to the �BZZT� locker room. Santana Moss was highly regarded after a 2003 season that delivered 1100+ yards and 10 scores. You probably drafted him with dreams of long TD passes from Pennington, not week after week of �BZZT� mediocrity. By the time he finally showed up, you probably had him rotting on the bench in week 9. He�s the Ahman Green of WRs � 3 great games, 12 pokes in the eye. Steve Smith was injured in week 1 � a tough break to be sure, but no consolation to those of you who drafted him as a #1 WR. Laveranues Coles wasn�t injured, but you may not have noticed if you were watching the endzone (1 TD this season, yippee!) Hines Ward may seem out of place since he�s �BZZT� having a decent season, until you remember he was a supposed to be top 5 WR after scoring double digit TDs each of the last two seasons. He�s the only man in Pittsburgh lamenting the end of the Tommy Maddox experience.

The Merrill Hoge LVP at Tight End

Todd Heap (BAL) � 15(3)

Others receiving votes:

Boo Williams (NO) � 10(0)

Kellen Winslow, Jr. (CLE) � 8(0)

Jeramy Stevens (SEA) � 5(0)

Freddie Jones (ARI) � 3(0)

Billy Miller (HOU) � 2(0)

Bubba Franks (GB) � 1(0)

LJ Smith (PHI) � 1(0)

Todd Heap has certainly come through for the Ravens these past couple of weeks, hasn�t he? Well, fat lot of good that does you, my fair reader. Now, don�t get me wrong, if you survived using a top six pick on this guy and limped to the�BZT� playoffs anyway, good for you! Now Heap is coming through. For the rest of you, it�s too little, too late. Kind of like my 56 hour marriage to Britney Spears – a real effort at the end�BZZT� does not undo all of the damage done before. Todd Heap, you let us all down.

Let me take a minute here to talk about Britney. I still love this beautiful sprite. My Cajun Earth Goddess, that�s what I called her. That sweet�BZT� Southern twang of hers made me melt. I said twang! But, we are two very different individuals, we had to break up. Let me tell you something, if you ever, ever get the chance at a session of sweet with an ex-Mouseketeer � take it! You will not be disappointed. Due to the Nevada case Funicello v. Betbot Six Thousand, I can�t mention�BZZT� any other ex-Mouseketeers that I have had sessions of sweet with, but let�s say this � they are all wildcats!!

Where was I? Oh yeah � It�s too bad about Winslow, it would have been nice�BZZT� to see what he could do in the NFL. We�ll find out next year. Perhaps Jeff Garcia would have been better if he had a great tight end he could hit all year. We�ll see that kid�s potential next year I hope. Boo Williams is simply on a team full of disappointments. 323 yards and 2 TDs is not enough from a guy who was drafted in the top 6 or 7 in his position. The rest of these guys simply did not live up to�BZZZT� the preseason hype. Stevens, Franks and Miller were guys who got drafted pretty high and floundered. While Jones and Smith were guys who some people thought would really break through � they didn�t.

The Merrill Hoge LVP at Kicker

Jeff Wilkins (STL) � 8(1)

Others receiving votes:

Martin Gramatica (TB) � 7(0)

Joe Nedney (TEN) � 6(1)

Aaron Elling (MIN) � 5(0)

Olindo Mare (MIA) � 4(0)

Paul Edinger (CHI) � 3(0)

John Hall (WAS) � 3(0)

Bill Gramatica (MIA) � 2(0)

Billy Cundiff (DAL) � 1(0)

Well, these guys are kickers so you were probably able to find a good replacement on waivers, so I won�t rip them too much, except for �BZZT� Jeff Wilkins. He was supposed to provide consistent points swimming in the St. Louis offense. Turns out 2003 was an anomaly � he really does suck � only 20 chances all year and he converted a measly 16 of them. Special mention to both Gramatica brothers � Martin for blowing his season so badly it might end his career, and Bill for failing to �BZZT� make the Giants roster, then showing up in Week 9 for a small outburst with Miami before fading away. I loved having those guys around.

The Merrill Hoge LVP at Defense and Special Teams

Miami Dolphins � 14(2)

Others receiving votes:

Dallas Cowboys � 12(1)

Kansas City Chiefs � 7(0)

Tennessee Titans � 5(0)

Carolina Panthers � 3(0)

Oakland Raiders � 3(0)

Philadelphia Eagles � 1(0)

I remember when Frank and Dino and the guys would fool around after a show and play a little cards on the sound stage. Now, most of the time, it was poker. But on occasion, we�d play Hearts, or Spades, or even a game of Pinochle from time to time. And if people were choosing up sides, they�d usually grab Frank first, cause the guy was a mean �BZZT� card player. Well, the Dolphins are pretty much the same deal when it comes to fantasy football defenses. Only, if you grabbed them this year with an early pick, as so many did, you might as well have picked Joey Bishop to team with you in Pinochle, and let me �BZZT� tell ya, Joey couldn�t read his partner�s tell if you put it on a set monitor and had the cue-card boy jump up and down. For a team like Miami, who was one of the first defenses chosen in most leagues, to end up around #30 in fantasy defenses is a crime. That doesn�t mean the …BZZT� Dallas Cowboys fared much better though. An up-and-coming defense last year that surprised many; this year they simply came-and-went. After giving up a slew of points, too – more than 60 points better than the NFL average. Oh there were others, The Chief�s special teams went from world-beaters, to just plain beaters. The Panthers certainly came up small compared to last years performance. The Eagles fell short on TD production, and gave up too many rushing yards. Even the bad-boy Raiders usually rank in the top half of the NFL�s fantasy defenses, and ended up as the worst D/ST unit in many leagues this year. Oh, don�t let me �BZZZT� forget about the Titans, either. You know that film, “Remember the Titans”? Well, after this season, they should make a sequel � “Remember When the Titans Were Good”.

Help Decide the BetBot Grand Balloon Knot!

The BetBot Grand Balloon Knot award is given to the Merrill Hoge LVP winner who was the ultimate disappointment for the year, at any position. I had Petrizzi post a ballot on the shark forums so that you can help me crown the Grand Balloon Knot and post your comments about the nominees. If you post something interesting, I�ll add it to my column when I present the award during my Week 17 award show, so get out there and vote!

Next week I�ll be back with my Sin City BetBot 6000 Fantasy Awards Show, featuring my Grand Champion and Grand Balloon Knot awards as decided by the shark community. I�ll also be adding some of your shark forum commentary about the awards and some of my celebrity friends will be stopping by � you don�t want to �BZZT� miss it!

Feedback Loop

Dear Sin City Betbot 6000,

Isn�t it true that you used to call yourself �The Fifth Beatle�? The way you name drop, I�m surprised you haven�t claimed to be in that group too.

Steve W.

Austin, TX

Dear Steve W.,

I was going to talk about this anyway, but your letter gives me a reason too, but first let me lambaste you. No one makes you�BZZZT� read my columns, you bleeping punk. I provide quality fantasy advice, and you can choose to take it or not � if you don�t like what you read � well I�m not going to stop you from rotting. If you don�t believe the episodes I choose to tell you about in the incredible ride that is my life � then perhaps you should go away� you petulant�BZT� chunk of misassembled carbon!!

Now � for the rest of you, no I never referred to myself as the �Fifth Beatle�. I did however cut a holiday single with the boys from Liverpool. I was�BZZT� approached in the Summer of 1964 by my good friend Joey � Five Dollar Holler� Dolaherelli. You see, Five Dollar loved the Beatles, and through his connections met Brian Epstein who was their agent. Epstein knew of me and wanted to do a novelty record with me and the lads. Now, I don�t much like rock music�There are some groups I like, but that�s because I met the guys in the band, and grew to like them and their�BZZZT� music. I didn�t want to do this novelty record thing, but Five Dollar�s Dad was well connected, and I couldn�t really say no.

It was going to be a Christmas record, which was convenient � because I needed a musical act for my annual Christmas show. Anyway, we cut the record in about an hour and a half. The lyrics were silly, to say the least, but we sounded good �BZZZT�together. The Beatles then cut another version of this song using the same music, which they called �Help!� . As you are�BZT� probably aware, it was a huge hit.

We did some other projects together, but the cover�BZZZT� photo from our first Christmas single caused some issues for the group. You see, they cut their bassist out of the photo!! Paul McCartney is a good man, a good bleeping man, but he was laid up with a French actress after what was most likely a�BZT� prolonged session of sweet. I had to get on the plane back, and needed to get going, so they left McCartney off of the photo. This was the first crack that eventually led to the Beatles dissolution years later. Sorry about that, but I had appointments I had to keep.

Well, here are the lyrics�BZT� to the song we did � hope you enjoy!

Elph!

Elf! I need some people

Elf! Not just any people

Elf! Little magic people

Elf�

Vers 1) When I was younger not much younger than today

  I never needed any elves to help in any way

  But now I�m older and good help it isn�t free

  Now the workshop is the wife, the elves and me

Chorus) Elf me if you can I need them bad

  And I know it�d make the girls and boys real glad

  Elves help me get all those toys around

  Won�t you please elf me

Verse 2) And now the North Pole�s changed in oh so many ways

  There�s an ozone hole and some of the elves are gays

  Sometimes I feel so old and unsure

  I accidentally stepped on an elf

  And now I need one more

Chorus) Elf me if you can I need them bad

  And I know it�d make the girls and boys real glad

  Elves help me get all those toys around

  Won�t you please elf me

If you have any questions for the Betbot, please send them to his Fantasysharks contact at twalls@fantasysharks.com .

So long, and remember � showgirls and Gin, my friends � Showgirls and BZZZZT 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.