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 Joe Petrizzi and Tom Walls, because, “Typing is a dame’s BZZZT job.”
Need more BetBot? Try a daily dose of BetBot at http://blog.sincitybetbot.com and look for other content, including weekly NFL picks, on http://www.sincitybetbot.com.
After another Mark Brunell-induced Redskins loss last week, my call for you to pick up Jason Campbell doesn’t seem so off, now does it? I’m not saying I have the ability to direct public opinion, but the results are there to read with your own …BZZZT… eyes. You know I was built for this, right?
I’ve got a bit of a side discussion during the QB pick, so let’s jump right in to the latest deeper sleepers:
QB – Bruce Gradkowski – TB – Starting a rookie at QB for your fantasy team is a bit of a gamble, just because every young QB goes through the NFL growing pains while adjusting to the speed of the pro game. But Gradkowski has acclimated himself quite well, throwing for 2 TD passes in each of the last two weeks, including a late game winner against the Bengals on Sunday. There are a few reasons why he might be starting out so well. He plays for Jon Gruden, who’s known for getting the most out of his quarterbacks and who has a great offensive scheme. Gradkowski has a good young TE to lean on in Alex Smith. And Bruce played college ball at Toledo, part of the same MAC conference that’s getting a reputation for turning out pro-system QBs like Marshall grads Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich, Akron Zip Charlie Frye, and Miami (OH) alum Ben Roethlisberger.
Hey, speaking of Miami – I was in town last Saturday to give a campus lecture about the advantages of off-shore gambling operations vis-à-vis the prospects of legalizing sports gambling in metropolitan coastal cities. After the roundtable discussion, I attended the UM-FIU football game as a guest of my dear friend and FIU alum Manny Diaz. Anyway – you saw the brawl that went down! I’m just standing there cheering on the Golden Panthers and Miami is taunting the sideline and generally acting like thugs. So after the second TD, I mentioned to some Miami players that the Orange Bowl was looking a little worn out, like their program. To be precise, my exact quote was “I nailed your …BZT… mom on the faded OB 50-yard line.” I guess they take the phrase “defending the home turf” literally, because all of a sudden people are throwing punches and both sidelines clear. I’ve been in the middle of a few sports-related brouhahas in my time, but some hopped up kid from Miami almost dented me with his helmet during this one, and I only managed to land a swiping blow to his solar plexus in defense.
Needless to say, I won’t be heading back to South Florida anytime soon. I haven’t been into it that much since the Bowe-Golota meltdown (On a dare, I synthesized my voice box to sound like Bowe and insulted Golota’s mother in Polish – I was just having a little fun but that got WAY out of hand.)
Getting back to Gradkowski – he’s got a tough match up this week with Philly coming to town, but the two games after that include the weak Giants and Saints pass defenses. Go ahead and give Bruce a try if your regular guy has a week off coming up – you may just be pleasantly surprised with the results.
RB – Wali Lundy – HOU – All preseason long we heard about Gary Kubiak and his zone blocking scheme and how Wali Lundy was such a huge sleeper. Yeah, that all worked out. For reasons nobody quite understands, Kubiak gave Lundy a ton of looks in exhibition games but then spent the start of the season stockpiling stiffs like Ron Dayne and Samkon Gado. As I said in August, Kubiak didn’t bring the Denver offensive line with him, so the Texans offense isn’t likely to produce much in terms of rushing numbers. Still, a starting back is a starting back and Lundy is about to get his shot. I question the mental faculties of any coach who would pursue a guy like Dayne, who has never shown any ability at the pro level. Seriously, if you find his lifetime 3.6 ypc deceiving, just watch some tape – he’s slow and he doesn’t have the necessary vision to succeed in the NFL. Lundy was Kubiak’s pick and so Wali may not be any good, but since he was the head coach’s pick he’ll get the opportunity, especially as Houston starts their annual fall ritual of playing out the string. With an upcoming schedule that includes some Titans and some Jets and a week 16 game against the Colts, he’s worth a look in case lightning strikes.
To read the WR and TE write ups, you may want to check out my Sin City Betbot 6000 Receiver Confidence Index, as I’ll be referring to it going forward. I’ll often refer to a receiver’s CI score as a triplet of numbers – his raw CI number, his receptions weighted by CI, and his yards weighted by CI. For example, Roy Williams’ CI score is 1.25/44.9/689.
WR – Eric Parker – SD – Parker is having quite a season for Phillip Rivers. The Chargers may not throw it a lot, but when they do, their receivers are very good at making sure the pass is complete. Leading the way for the Chargers are Keenan McCardell and Parker.
Both of these players rank in the top 7 in the Confidence Index. It is remarkable for two players from the same team to be that high on the Confidence Index, because most teams like to use a go-to receiver. It’s especially interesting because of Rivers’ inexperience at QB – before the season I expected him to lean on one guy (at the time, Antonio Gates). But the Chargers receiving offense has been surprisingly effective, and the WR corps is going unnoticed despite their efficiency. McCardell (1.58/25.3/281) is a tad more efficient than Parker (1.51/27.2/413) but Parker is actually the more productive receiver. Parker’s 413 CI Yards rank 21st among all receivers and tight ends, and in one league management site Parker is available in 67% of all leagues. His peers on the CI Yards list – Joe Horn, Larry Fitzgerald, Terry Glenn – are almost definitely on a roster. Please, do yourself a bleeping favor and pick Parker up.
WR – Mark Clayton – BAL – I know, I know. This guy scored two TDs last week, how the bleep is he a deeper sleeper? Well, I don’t think the ‘Deeper’ applies, but absolutely no TEs tickle my fancy this week. By the way, did you know I worked with Jermaine Jackson? That’s right, I was an un-credited producer on his top 20 hit Let Me Tickle Your Fancy. I also wrote most of the lyrics, again without credit, but that’s OK, that song was a bleeping work of …BZZT… art!! Yes, Mr. Jackson knew how to rock, and unlike some of his relatives, he knew how to keep his hands to himself. Jermaine Jackson, a good man. A good bleeping man.
Where, the bleep was I? Yes, Mark Clayton. Steve McNair is likely out next week after last week’s concussion (they have a bye this week). That means Kyle Boller is in. Yes, Boller is a loser, yes he makes stupid mistakes. But he learned late last year how to throw, and Clayton benefited last year – and just like last week, I expect Clayton to benefit this year while Boller is the QB. I like Clayton as a short term start next week, even though the Ravens travel to the Superdome, where the resurgent New Orleans voodoo is currently laying waste to offenses with better players than Baltimore.
Clayton’s CI score (1.06/26.5/303) is a tad below average for a #3 WR and he ranks only 38th in CI Yards. But as long as Boller is starting, I think it’s worth it to give Clayton a try if you’ve got somebody like a Roy Williams or Santana Moss on a bye.
So long for now, and remember “Showgirls and gin my friends, showgirls and …BZT…gin.”
If you have any questions for the Betbot, please contact Tom Walls at firstname.lastname@example.org – also, check out