Building the Perfect Quarterback

Written by :
Published on : December 1, 2016

 

What makes a good QB? Physical gifts? High game IQ? killer instinct? Most would say the greats have all of these qualities. Let’s play Weird Science and build our own perfect quarterback by hacking up the existing NFL stars and stitching them into one marvelous creature. And then we can dress him and name him and teach him the playbook. Some quick guidelines, only current NFL players and can’t use any player twice. Alright, let’s start from the feet up.

 

Legs – Cam Newton

The one of best rushing quarterback in the league. He isn’t just strong and fast but he has shown some real illusiveness in the open field. With these wheels, my monster will always be able to roll away from pressure and scramble for drive-extending first downs.

 

Body/Frame – Ben Roethlisberger

This dude is a beast. A giant beast. He routinely shakes off pass-rushers and uses his body to help keep the play alive. This is an excellent frame to build on. Plus it doesn’t feature tons of tattoos so you can pick your own terrible ink. Bonus!

 

Arm – Matt Stafford

 

One of the strongest around. Can make all the throws. Even those side arm ones that Lions fans love so much. In terms of strength to accuracy ratio, Matt is top tier. I’d love to see all 32 starters line up and chuck the ball for distance. My guess, the deepest throws would be from Flacco, Newton and Stafford. Maybe Winston.

 

Heart – Tom Brady

Tom is the lion king. The roaring heart of a champion. He has the rings but that’s not what I’m talking about. Look at him on the sidelines when things aren’t clicking. He is pissed. He hates losing and he let’s everyone know. This is the muscle that pumps the blood of a winner. Plus, I hear he is a tender lover. Don’t ask how I know.

 

Head – Drew Brees

Calm, calculated and a master of the system. The perfect brain to run my Frankenstein. I just hope he doesn’t make my perfect quarterback do Wrangler jean commercials. What are we? Brett Favre? Who will sell any product, anyone has. Seriously, does Brett need cash or something?

 

Beard – Ryan Fitzpatrick

 

This is a no-brainer. This is also the only part of Fitzpatrick I’d let near my perfect quarterback. I was almost nervous putting him here thinking that the beard could make my QB throw interceptions but that’s crazy. Beards don’t do anything but make women think you’re cool. And sexy. And interesting.

 

This quarterback would be unstoppable. Unless he played on a team with no O-line and had zero running game. Because no one can succeed in that environment. Let me know how I screwed up in the comments below. There is no way you all agree with me.

 

Igor.

 

 


NFL Quarter Season Awards

Written by :
Published on : October 4, 2016

 

 

The 2016 NFL season is a quarter of the way through. Some teams have started slowly, others have flashed brilliance, but all are looking to improve. Let’s glance around the league and hand out some hardware for standout performances both good and bad. These are your 2016 NFL Quarter Season Awards. Or the Quarties as the kids call em.

 

Rookie Award

For the youngbloods who have gone above and beyond their draft status expectations and helped their team in a major way. And the winners are-

 

NFC: QB Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Many rooks have done well in the NFC this season but none more than Wentz. He is 66 of 102 in attempts for 64% completion percentage. 769 passing yards, 5 TD’s and ZERO turnovers. Beyond a taking a few unnecessary hits, he has played mistake free and has his Eagles 3-0 after their bye week. The future is bright in Philly.

 

AFC: QB Jacoby Brissett, New England Patriots

 

He’s only played a few games but this third round pick looked like a pro in his first start. Give Bill Belichick his credit for getting the kid ready but he played with poise and confidence. Oh yeah they beat a solid Houston Texans team 27-0. The Texans were undefeated before that. He lost his second start to the Bills but continues to grow plus there isn’t another AFC rookie that really deserves it.

 

Ageless Wonder Award

In football, 30 is considered old. That’s tough to type because I’m 31. But once you crack that milestone, father time really starts catching up. A few amazing athletes laugh in the face of time and keep kicking ass well past their management created expiration dates. This award is for them.

 

NFC: WR Steve Smith Sr., Baltimore Ravens

Steve is ancient in football years at 37 but through 4 games he leads the team in catches, yards and targets. His 281 receiving yards just edges out another oldie but goodie, Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals. Larry is only 33 and sits at 280 yards. It’s amazing these guys refuse to slow down. I hope Smith can keep up his pace and crack 1,000 yards on the year.

 

AFC: RB DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers

 

33-years-old and doing work. With Le’Veon Bell suspended (again) the first 3 games of the season, the starting running back job went to Williams. He made the most of his time racking up 258 rushing yards, 2 TD’s and zero fumbles in 3 full starts. That’s good for 86 yards a game. Not bad for over the hill. DeAngelo also managed a rushing TD in game 4 with Bell back in action.

 

MVP

This is the award for the best player in the league. Not the best player on the best team. But the single most elite performer playing the game.

 

NFC: QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Matty Ice is killing it right now. Easily the best stats of any quarterback in the league. His 4 starts have seen him rack up crazy video game numbers. 1473 passing yards, 11 TD’s and only 2 INT’s. 368 yards per game is nice but it’s the over 70% completion percentage and few turnovers that have the Falcons flying high at 3-1 and first in the NFC South.

 

AFC: RB Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns

 

The team is 0-4 but at no fault of Crowell. He is running hard. His 394 rushing yards on only 61 attempts is good for 6.4 yards per carry. Which is epic. Crowell also has scored in 3 of 4 games. Maybe if the Browns want to win then they should feed Isaiah the ball. He hasn’t had more than 18 attempts in a game.

 

The Worst

Like the MVP but in reverse. The Anti-christ of playing well. The bottom of the barrel. Pray your name isn’t listed below.

 

NFC: WR Golden Tate, Detroit Lions

Tate used to be a huge part of the Lions’ offense. He posted career years playing with Matt Stafford but is off to a dreadful start. He hasn’t topped 41 yards in any game and only has 14 catches and zero TD’s. He is on pace for 56 catches. For reference, he had 99 and 90 catches the last two years. And he is dropping the ball and running the wrong routes. What happened to this guy?

 

AFC: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets

 

Fitz is only completing 55% of his passes and has 4 TD’s and 10 INT’s. There is nothing else to say about this. He should have never trimmed his beard.

 

The Best

This is for the best units in the league.

 

NFC: Minnesota Vikings Defense

The hands down, greatest D in the league. They average only 9.5 points allowed per game. They swarm on tackles and have playmakers at every level. This unit is the main reason the Vikings are 4-0. If they keep playing like this then a Super Bowl appearance doesn’t seem out of the question.

 

AFC: Denver Broncos Defense

This crew is giving up 16 points a game but is once again leading the way in the AFC West. This franchise is undefeated in 2016 trying prove they don’t need Peyton Manning to be dominate. It honestly doesn’t matter who is under center as long as Von Miller and company keep up their intensity.

 

 

That’s it for the Quarties. Congratulations to the winners. Unless you won the Worst award. Better luck over the next weeks. Till then, champagne kisses and caviar cars.

 

Glitz.

 

 


Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon Week 3 (Special Edition Mamma Pretzel Picks): Derrick Johnson Pick Six and Awakening of the Beast

Written by :
Published on : September 29, 2016

 

Welcome back to Roger Pretzel’s Haunted Dungeon. In this spooky sanctum I’ve poured over all the replay tape to come up with my favorite NFL play of the week. Then it’s straight back to the projector to unspool a film you may have not been aware of…

 

The lights have dimmed, the prisoners manacled, and the graves have been robbed.

 

Week 3 Special – Mamma Pretzel’s Choice: Derrick Johnson Picks Off Fitzpatrick, Rumbles His Way 50-plus Yards For The TD

 

 

Mamma Pretzel is a football fan, and I’m lucky enough that each year her and I head off to Ford Field to see a Lions game in October. As I was chatting about the NFL with her while going over the highlights Monday so I thought I’d hand over the reigns and give her a shot at picking this week’s highlight.

 

I was personally pretty giddy over LeGarrette Blount’s long run for TD on Thursday night, aided by a great Julian Edelman block and capped off with a goofy photo-op celebration with the “minutemen,” but that was rejected out of hand by Moms: “I’m not going to pick anything involving the damn Patriots.” I submit without comment. “Well, I guess it’s gotta be that one…,” she admitted after reviewing Derrick Johnson’s pick of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who then went on to follow his blocks cleverly, end the thing with a nice stiff-arm, and stumble/spin into the end zone. It turned out to be a compromise seeing as how Mamma Pretzel is a bit of a Jets fan and a real-deal believer in Fitzpatrick. Again, I submit without comment.

 

Kansas City had their way defensively with the Jets at Arrowhead on Sunday. Fitz threw a whopping six interceptions, with this one being the final straw late in the fourth. While it was a lost cause for sure at that point, I love the focus by Johnson, as well as the dedication of Jets WR Quincy Enunwa rushing back only to take the rough stiff–arm to the mask that sealed the play. The Chiefs continue to have one of those maddening hot/cold defenses. At their best they are easily in the league’s top three, but that’s not always the team we see on Sunday. Thanks Mom! See you in October.

 

Week 3: Awakening of the Beast

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Director: Jose Mojica Marins
Released: 1970

 

Brazilian director and horror personality Jose Mojica Marins, better known by his top-hatted and long-taloned persona “Coffin Joe” is still working today, but he’s best known in the States for a duo of shockers made in the 1960’s that are lurid, stylish, and sport some great titles: At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964), and This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1967). The flicks are good fright fare with a combination of dreadful tone in the menacing character of Joe himself, and the general theme of the madman subjecting beautiful scantily clad women to torture by all manner of creepy-crawlies. Spider on midriff? Check. Snake around thigh? Check. Marins also has a legitimately threatening presence as an actor, imbuing these two films with a sense that violence can happen to anyone at any minute.

 

Coffin_joe_joe_coffin

 

Awakening of the Beast is sometimes considered the third installment in a trilogy along with the aforementioned films, but given Marins’ scattered and varied output, most of which involves Coffin Joe, I don’t find the assessment to be appropriate. More Roger Corman exploitation cheapie than spook show, Marins uses the hoary old MacGuffin of psychedelic drug use as an excuse to stage skits involving all manner of deviant sexual behavior (S & M, bestiality, and incest all get at least passing attention), and like many other good examples of the “freak out” genre this one switches over from black and white to candy color for a phantasmagoric orgy of sex and violence once the LSD properly kicks in.

 

awakening-of-the-beast

 

Laughably sensationalist treatment of drug culture and cheap thrills and chills aside, Marins using his own Coffin Joe character as a kind of mock-documentary host/educator instead of boogeyman bad-guy is the most fun to watch, and the picture’s crowning achievement.

 

This extremely NSFW opening scene gives you a taste of what Joe/Jose is serving up in Awakening of the Beast:

 

 

This one is pretty hard to get a hold of today, with no easy streaming options I could find, but it looks like Amazon sells DVD copies for pretty cheap. Both At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, and This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse are available for free in their entirety on Youtube.

 

 


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 3

Written by :
Published on : September 21, 2016

 

 

It’s only week 3 and already many big names have gone down with serious injuries. This is the biggest x-factor of fantasy football. Players on your team are going to get hurt. It happens. Champions scoop up their replacements and the next big thing off the waiver wire. So far, we’ve seen Keenan Allen, Jimmy Garoppolo, Danny Woodhead, Adrian Peterson, Robert Griffen III, Doug Martin, Ameer Abdullah, Josh McCown all get added to the injury report. Well, SBS is here to help. First, I’m going to assume you play in a good league and most of the notable players are already unavailable. Below are some free agent options (all less than 50% owned in ESPN standard leagues) to fill the holes in your fantasy roster.

 

QB

Carson Wentz, Philadelphie Eagles – The rookie isn’t totally lighting up the box score but he has been efficient moving the ball and has zero turnovers so far. Owned in 19.5% of ESPN leagues.

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets – Posted 14 and 20 points in his first two starts. Only 1 pick, plus Fitzpatrick has some solid options with Matt Forte, Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall (if he isn’t hurt). Owned in 33.2% of ESPN leagues.

 

RB

Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers – With Jonathan Stewart banged up, Fozzy got the start and put up 100 yards on 16 carries against the 49ers. Stewart’s hamstring may hold him a few weeks longer making Whittaker a must add. Owned in 1.1% of ESPN leagues

 

Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings – AP is going to miss some time and that opens the door for Jerick. Matt Asiata will also be in the mix but McKinnon is the back you want to add. Owned in 24.4% of ESPN leagues.

 

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins – Another replacement killer. Arian Foster is nursing a groin injury so it’s time to add his backup. Ajayi got some work at the end of last game but the Dolphins were behind and not running the ball much. Look for Jay to post a decent stat line in Cleveland. Owned in 46% of ESPN leagues.

 

TE

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – Sam Bradford is in and he is throwing. Rudolph found the end zone for the first time with Sam as QB. Look for this trend to continue as the pass game becomes the focus because of the AP injury. Owned in 32.2% of ESPN leagues.

 

 

Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan is red hot and spreading the ball all around. And there is plenty to go around. Tamme has at least 5 catches in both the first two games and has made it to pay dirt once. Falcons will keep passing and Julio Jones keeps sucking up all the coverage. Jacob is a steal right now. Owned in 10.9% of ESPN leagues.

 

WR

Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys – Rookie QB Dak Prescott (owned in 44.3% of ESPN leaagues) has built a rapport with the wideout and looks for him often. He has been second on the team in targets two weeks running. That consistency makes him a legit plug-and-play option for those in need. Owned in 7.4% of ESPN leagues.

 

Kenny Britt, Los Angeles Rams – Britt has posted 67 yards and 94 yards in two games. He has yet to score a TD but he is LA’s best receiving threat in terms of fantasy. You could do a lot worse. Owned in 8.3% of ESPN leagues.

 

Danny Amendola, New England Patriots – Coming off a 4 catch, 50 yard and 2 touchdown game, Danny will be a popular add. The Pats throw the ball enough that this makes sense, no matter who the QB is. Only owned in 3.5% of ESPN leagues.

 

K

Cairo Santos, Kansas City Chiefs – 10 points in week one, 15 in week two and hasn’t missed a field goal yet. Look at your roster, is your kicker this good? Owned in 28% of ESPN leagues.

 

Nick Novak, Houston Texans – 11 points in week one, 13 in week two and he’s only missed one field goal. Look at your roster, is your kicker this good? Owned in 9% of ESPN leagues.

 

D/ST

Philadelphia Eagles – The Philly D has scored 14 fantasy points in both games. They haven’t allowed more than real 14 points in any game and already have 4 takeaways. Owned in 27% of ESPN leagues.

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers – This unit hasn’t scored a ton of points but they been solid through two contests. Never giving up more than 16 points and averaging two turnovers won per game. Not too bad for a crew owned in merely 21.2% of ESPN leagues.

 

Need more help than that? Then you’re probably screwed. Check back soon for more waiver wire tips as we approach the dreaded dog days of the bye weeks.

 

Flex.

 

 


Fantasy Football Draft Strategies

Written by :
Published on : August 1, 2016

 

 

Thank God, football is coming back. And with it, comes the evil step brother known simply as fantasy. Many drafts are still weeks away but some crazy leagues do them at the start of training camp. So it’s not too early to start talking about it, even though my girlfriend would disagree. But for once, this isn’t about her. This is all about the fantasy football draft and how you should decide to pick players. I’m talking Winston Churchill war room level. The draft is one of the biggest determining factors to who wins the championship. Waiver wire is hugely important but if you select a top trio of QB, RB, WR and they all stay healthy and productive then your path to a trophy is much easier. The big question is, who do you take? And when?

 

If the draft scares you or you think this sounds like too much work then just set your team to auto-draft and sleep easy. We call these people “draft dodgers.” To be fair, I’ve had some pretty decent squads the few times I let the computer pick. My first team back in 2003 was auto drafted and I made the playoffs. Another year, I was hungover and a slept through the draft. Still made the playoffs. Damn, maybe the robots know more than me? Fuck that. I reject that theory. Let’s get to business.

 

1st pick

 

The old fantasy football draft rule was go running back, running back with your first two picks. This is still a viable route because the value of a solid RB is unmatched. Then we saw freak wide receivers and quarterbacks going in the top ten. Players like Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson changed the game. These guys are fantasy studs. No question. But is it smart to use your first pick on a WR or a QB? I say no, because of the the drop off between the production of ball-carriers versus other positions is way out of balance.

 

That means a top QB may get 30 points in a week while a waiver QB may score 20. But when it comes to RB’s it will be a difference of 30 to 3. If you play in a 10+ team league then there just aren’t quality and consistent players available to add. You can find a serviceable QB while there will be zero starting RB’s. For example, last year, I used a combo of Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick (both claimed off the waiver wire) in the final weeks and playoffs. They equaled or out performed my highly drafted competition. I also won the championship. There will always be these type of finds.

 

So, your first pick should be a running back. You can never guess who will get hurt but try and draft someone with a decent o-line and hopefully, a short injury history.

 

2nd pick

 

With your second pick, go either a top pass-catcher (WR/TE) or another clear starting RB. If the back is in a timeshare situation then I go with the receiver who is most likely to either see higher volume and or lots of red zone targets.

 

Note: tight end is another role that has little middle class. Getting an every week starter is a blessing. One less slot to stress over. Just leave Gronk in the lineup until the bye.

 

3rd pick

So we have an elite running back, a big WR and we are back on the clock. I’d still go after a RB. There are lots of attractive QB’s and number two wideouts but they will mostly be there next round. Get that other bell cow now and then you can move to deep threats while everyone else is scrambling and buying high on guys who only see 10 carries a game.

 

4th round and beyond

So far we picked RB, WR, RB. Now get that TE. The top three names will be gone but there’s plenty talent left. If for some reason, all good the tight ends are drafted then grab another WR or your favorite of the remaining QB’s. These are the suggestions for next round anyways. After rounds 4 or 5, it’s hard to recommend position picks, mainly because we don’t know what the board will look like. The draft is all about finding value.

 

The one stat that would best explain this concept is the baseball metric WAR (Wins Above Replacement). WAR relates to a players performance against the average athlete. Keep that idea in mind when you are picking. Where are you finding the best values? And don’t fall into trends. If WR’s are going like hot cakes, don’t sell out your plan just to not be left out. Because after all those teams have receivers, they are going to start taking the other things you need. Stick to your guns.

 

The double down and handcuffing

 

No, I’m not talking about a wild weekend in Las Vegas, I mean the double down aka the double dip, which is drafting players on the same team. Like Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. So when Ben tosses a TD to Antonio, you get points from both players for one touchdown. It’s nice when it can happen but I try and not count on it. Don’t move up/change your draft plan just for a double down. The NFL season is crazy. Tons will get hurt, traded, arrested. Who knows. Diversity is key to a deep squad. Don’t bet the farm on Tony Romo playing all year with Dez Bryant.

 

Handcuffing is when you draft the backup to a popular player. Just in case they get injured. I like this for one skill player per roster. Find that guy you would be screwed without and invest in their nightmare. Look, if your first round pick goes down and someone else scoops the backup then your team lost a huge asset and you handed it to your jerk friend. At least this way, no other franchise gains because of your loss.

 

Wrap up

Take backs early and often, then top pass catchers and more backs. Wait on the QB and stock up on depth. Standard formats see lineups with two RB and two WR with one TE and a FLEX (can be any RB, WR, TE) so it makes sense to address the biggest need. Yes to hand cuffing but no to the double down. And always beware of the celebrity trap. It tricks us, makes us take Russell Wilson too early or draft a defense in the 6th round. Stay strong and you can get through this.

 

Champs

 

 


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