Fantasy Football Week 7 Recap

Between recovering from the Umphrey’s McGee show at the Crystal Ballroom and preparing for the debut of the Harmless Eccentrics Sunday night, I was able to put together another 2-0 week for my fantasy teams.

Vancouver Volcanoes (5-2) 140,
Amite Steelmakers (3-4) 133

The league’s Player of the Week award went to Carson Palmer, who combined with Chad Ochocinco for a monstrous 75 points, but Cincinnati’s defense kept my opponent within striking distance. Had I trusted Lee Evans over Steve Breaston, I’d have had a bit more breathing room. Instead, I watched nervously on Monday night, hoping that none of the Redskins multiple 4th quarter red zone chances ended up in the hands of Santana Moss. This week’s matchup with the Madisonville Maggots looks to be a much lower scoring affair, with tough matchups for some of our biggest producers.

PDX Prowlers (5-1-1) 142
TDs ‘N Beer (4-2-1) 89

Another award-winning blowout, thanks t0 huge games from Drew Brees, Vernon Davis, DeSean Jackson and the Philly Defense, the latter two putting the game way out of reach on Monday night. Not only did I outscore my other team in the much higher scoring ESPN league, this was the highest point total recorded all year in this league, putting me comfortably ahead of the pack with the all-important tiebreaker, total points for the season. Next week, the roll looks to continue against the winless TwoManningsOneCup (eewww!)

Fantasy Football Week 6 Recap

Last Sunday should have been a forgettable day. Both of my teams were involved in lopsided matchups, one winning and one losing. But after weeks of sick and/or lazy Sundays, I was ready for some fun. I watched the early games at a great sports bar, then had quality rehearsals with two of my bands, Mystic Canyon and Harmless Eccentrics. Turns out the best way to get over a crushing loss for the Giants is to jam late into the night.

North Coast Greenleaves (4-2) 162,
Vancouver Volcanoes (4-2) 120

Jason and I had been looking forward to this matchup for a few weeks, as it also happened to be the week that his Saints faced my Giants. We met at the Cheerful Bullpen for the 10am start. While the game was painful to watch, the breakfast was tasty and the Spanish Coffee strong! Drew Brees gave Jason an early lead, and Randy Moss sealed it later in the day. Like the Giants, the Volcanoes put up enough points to win against a lesser team, especially during the bye weeks. But there was no catching Jason, even if Pierre Thomas had managed to be one of the 7 Saints to score a TD.

Things don’t look too good for Pierre this week either against a stiff Miami defense, but the rest of my team looks solid going into Sunday’s matchup against another New Orleans native, Steve, and his Amite Steelmakers, who are gonna need to make some moves due to injuries and byes this week.

PDX Prowlers (4-1-1) 111,
Degoba Green (1-4-1) 55

It was a small consolation as my Giants went down in flames that Drew Brees’ huge game was at least helping me in this league. But the Prowlers’ biggest point total of the year went to waste as my opponent didn’t even show up. Greg Jennings remained on his bench from the previous week’s Bye, and he never picked up a Defense to replace the ones that weren’t playing this week (Miami and SF.) At least I got the Toyota Biggest Fantasy Blowout award for the week, a new feature on Yahoo’s league page. This weekend’s matchup holds a lot more promise as I look to break a first place tie with TDs ‘N Beer.

Fantasy Football Week 5 Recap

As much as I love this game, it can be quite frustrating. I like to let my victories speak for themselves – smack talk has always been bad karma for me – and I like to think I am gracious in defeat, especially if I can’t pin the loss on a poor personnel decision on my part. The most infuriating thing for me is a tie, so for the last 36 hours I have been driving myself crazy with all of the ways I could have scored just one more point, praying that a miraculous stat correction from the league could sway the result my way. You win some, you lose some, and I can deal with that, but you tie some? Aaarrrrggghhhh!!!!

Vancouver Volcanoes (4-1) 136,
Team Johnson (0-5) 118

All of Jimmy’s players were playing in the early games Sunday, so he got off to a great lead despite the injury to Calvin Johnson and a Baltimore game plan that mostly ignored Willis McGahee. But my RB tandem of Turner and Bradshaw put me in great position to catch up with 5 TDs between them. By the time Sunday night came around, all I needed was a few points from Reggie Wayne and/or the Indy Defense to put me over. Fred Jackson’s production is tailing off as expected, but with my crucial bye weeks passed, he has served his purpose. Another highlight was a showdown between my two QBs; although Carson Palmer won the battle on the field, Joe Flacco proved to be the wiser choice for our scoring system, which rewards a high completion percentage.

Next week’s contest will be huge; not only am I playing Jason, commissioner of the league and the other half of the Mystic Canyon percussion section, but Jason’s favorite team, the Saints, will be hosting my Giants. I wish my boy good luck, because after last week, when he dropped Jeremy Maclin and started Mike Sims-Walker, he’s going to need it!

PDX Prowlers (3-1-1) 78,
Krest Street Killaz (0-4-1) 78

My fretting about this matchup began early in the week, when I realized I had no QB. With Brees on a bye week and Pennington done for the year, I needed to spend my #1 waiver priority on a decent backup. My best option by midweek was Seneca Wallace, so I picked him up, only to learn the next day that Matt Hasselbeck would be back under center for Seattle. I briefly considered sticking with Wallace, assuming he’d get some work, but I took a no-guts-no-glory gamble on Daunte Culpepper that paid off. In this 16-team league, it was either him or JaMarcus Russell, and I wasn’t going there.

I guess I can’t be too upset, as our lineups were quite evenly matched. I got a big game from Houshmandzadeh, while he got a slightly better performance from Nate Burleson. My DeSean Jackson put up a zero, but so did his Laveranues Coles. Defenses, kickers, tight ends and running backs were all within a point or two of each other. In the end it came down to Sunday Night – the Killaz were done and all I needed from Nate Washington was 40 yards. He went for 37. And dropped an 8-yard pass in the 4th quarter that would have won the game (for me, certainly not for the Titans.) Still I have to take the blame myself, because had I stuck with my original plan, going with Hakeem Nicks instead of Washington, I’d have won.

My next opponent, Degoba Green, has tasted the bitterness of deadlock as well. At 1-3-1, this team looks to break out huge next week with a trio of hot receivers (Marshall, Jennings and Edwards) in favorable matchups. This matchup also has a heavy Giants-Saints element, as Eli Manning faces my returning Drew Brees. It might be a close one, but please, no ties! There can be only one!

Fantasy Football Week 4 Recap

My lineups required some minor tweaking to account for the absence of Eagles, Falcons, Cardinals and Panthers from the Week 4 schedule. But roster depth and foresight prevailed as both teams won in relatively easy fashion.

Vancouver Volcanoes (3-1) 120,
Wyoming Ball-Busters (2-2) 71

As the score suggests, there was not much drama in this matchup. My WRs, Wayne and Ochocinco, were solid and the Redskins Defense has been a steady contributor. Pierre Thomas more than made up for off-weeks from the other RBs (Fred Jackson and Ahmad Bradshaw.) The Ball-Busters got solid performances from Matt Forte and the Denver D, but single-digit scores from everyone else. Had he started Rodgers or Favre over Schaub (and yes, he does have all three!) things would have been a little closer. Week 5’s game is against Team Johnson, a perennial playoff team looking to turn around a winless season at my expense.

PDX Prowlers (3-1) 77,
Orton’s Neckbeard (0-4) 55

This one had the potential to be a lot closer, as Drew Brees turned in another lackluster week, and I got zeroes from McFadden and Stuckey. Thankfully, my gamble on the Texans paid off as Steve Slaton got in the end zone twice while the Texans D held the hopeless Raiders to 2 FGs. I had snagged the Texans D right after the draft knowing I would need to cover Philly’s Bye Week, so that foresight was a game-winning strategy. Oddly, both of my opponents started Matt Schaub this week, but because this Yahoo League doesn’t penalize sacks and incompletions the way the ESPN league does, Schaub was Neckbeard’s most productive player. My next match-up is against the Krest Street Killaz, another winless team that has a much better lineup than one would think. With Brees on a bye and Pennington done for the year, the search is on for a starting QB.

We Opine on Pearl Jam

Over their nearly 20-year career,  Pearl Jam has become a hard band to define. Of course some will forever think of them as a Grunge band, but while 1991’s Ten somehow both defines and transcends the subgenre, their follow-up Vs. shows the band had already outgrown the limitations of that label. Fifteen years and seven more studio albums later, the band’s instantly identifiable yet unclassifiable sound combines punk energy, progressive complexity, folky melodic simplicity and arena rock bravado.

Some critics have seized upon that seemingly incongruous blend and suggested that Pearl Jam may indeed be a jamband! And while the very thought may send a shiver down the spines of longtime Ten Club members, the comparison does have its merits. Though they don’t tour every year (and perhaps because of this) fans follow the band for multiple shows, and lasting friendships and families have been born from the resulting community atmosphere. And while they don’t scramble the setlists every night to the degree that Phish does, there is a true sense that any song in their catalog is in play on any given night.

To really get to the essence of Pearl Jam, all you need to do is see a show like the one they played last Saturday at the Clark County Amphitheater in Ridgefield, WA. It becomes apparent that this band does not need a label or a genre. You know what you are getting at a Pearl Jam concert – a heavy dose of the new album, plenty of singalongs from Ten and Vs., a few lesser-known album tracks and a song or two that will not be heard again for the rest of the tour. All played with the same urgency and passion as the day they were written. 

 I suppose it’s become somewhat cliche’ to say that a band transcends genres and defies classification, so let me just say it this way. Pearl Jam is a rock band. When was the last time anyone had to explain what kind of music is the Who or Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones or U2, Bruce Springsteen or Jimi Hendrix? While Pearl Jam may not have reached as wide an audience yet, they have earned the respect given to those legendary names by creating music that defines their era.

Sep 26, 2009
Set 1
Gonna See My Friend, Last Exit, Why Go, The Fixer, In Hiding, Johnny Guitar, Green Disease, Amongst The Waves, Even Flow, Off He Goes, Unthought Known, Daughter, Supersonic, Present Tense, Got Some, Once, Life Wasted
Encore 1 Golden State*, The End, Red Mosquito**, Inside Job, Go
Encore 2 Do The Evolution, Not For You(Modern Girl), Black, Porch, Yellow Ledbetter(The Star-Spangled Banner) 
*Eddie w/Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) 
** w/Ben Harper

Donna was psyched to get a t-shirt with the classic stick man logo.
Donna was psyched to get a t-shirt with the classic stick man logo.