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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gordon Ramsey is Inherently Unfair: Early Week 15 Fantasy Football Pickups

There are a lot of things in life that are inherently unfair.

For instance, most reality shows are probably inherently unfair.  Let’s take American Idol for instance.  Now I don’t watch the show at all, but I know some people were up in arms years ago when Kris Allen beat out Adam Lambert on American Idol even though everyone (and by everyone, I’m referring to all those people who either are entirely too preoccupied with American Idol or those people who are bookies in Las Vegas) thought that Lambert would win.  Those same people were up in arms about how unfair that was.

And do we believe that the people who are kicked off ofMasterChef or Hell’s Kitchen are really random?  Heck no!  If you’re not interesting or popular, you’re not bringing in ratings, so of course you have to go.  And who are these people on Hell’s Kitchen anyway?  I mean, most of them barely qualify to work at a McDonald’s drive thru, no less compete for a job running one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants.  Not that working the McDonald’s drive thru is easy.  I’ve done it before and let me tell you, I’ve never met a meaner bunch of people than those who eat at McDonald’s.  Not everyone, of course, but they definitely get more than their fair share.  I was once told by a customer that I packed a bag of food wrong because I put the Big Mac on the bottom and the Fillet O’Fish on the top.  Yeah, I’m still not exactly sure why that was wrong, but the woman at the counter acted like it was apocalypse.  And I think I gained 15 pounds a week just standing in a McDonald’s kitchen.  There was so much grease in the air that I literally inhaled 5,000 calories an hour.  Not to mention that I was already dealing with umpteen thousand pimples as a teenager, so you can imagine how terrible it was to work in a greasy McDonald’s for 30 hours a day.  Oh wait, you’re telling me there are less than30 hours in a day?  Well, clearly working at McDonald’s somehow violates the principles of time and space because it sure felt like 30 hours.  But I digress

Let’s face it, reality shows are inherently unfair.  As are parents who make you work at McDonald’s.  And fantasy football, particularly when you’re in the playoffs.  So you’ve probably already guessed that I lost in my fantasy playoffs.  Andre Johnson, 18 yards?  Really?  And Antonio Gates with only 23 yards?  And worst of all, the Philadelphia Eagles defense, against an Adrian Peterson-less and Toby Gerhart-less Vikings allowed castoff QB Matt Cassell and third string RB Matt Asiataspot 48 points on them?  Really?  I’m really starting to think the Eagles D personally hates me, because no defense can be that bad, can they?  

At any rate, the fantasy season is finally coming to a close.  Either the finals or a consolation game await you before you have to wait another year to play a season of fantasy football.  Sigh.  And with that, I’ll leave you a few final free agent pickups to use in weeks 16 and 17 (as usual, available in at least 50% of Yahoo standard leagues):

Kirk Cousins – QB - 10% Owned
There was significant controversy last week regarding RGIII’s benching for rest of the season.  Mike Shanahan said it was keep the franchise QB safe.  Some thought Shanahan was trying to get fired.  And some thought Shanahan was protecting RGIII, not from injury, but from criticism for his poor play.  We’ll probably never know exactly why it happened, but we do know that Kirk Cousins was tabbed to take over for RGIII for the rest of the year, and he showed glimpses of greatness last year when he stepped in to play for an injured RGIII.  And how did Cousins do?  Well, he completed 29-of-45 passes connecting with nine different receivers for 381 yards and three touchdowns.  Not too shabby.  But along with that offense, he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.  Still, all we care about in fantasy are fantasy points, and we’ll take three turnovers any day if we also get three TDs.  Cousins continues with a good matchup against a burnable Cowboys’ secondary (allowing the most passing yards of any defense in the NFL) in week 16, and for those who play in week 17, he gets the inept New York Football Giants.  So if you’re still hanging on to RGIII, or have a lower end QB option, perhaps you want to throw the dice with Cousins.  Worth consideration in 12-team or deeper leagues, and any 2 QB league.

Edwin Baker – RB - 0% Owned
Willis McGahee was ineffective to begin with, but it took a concussion to take him out of the Cleveland Browns’ game plans.  So the Browns tabbed Chris Ogbonnaya to start, but grabbed Edwin Baker off the Texans’ practice squad last Tuesday.  Ogbonnaya ended up with five carries for 7 yards andBaker had eight carries for 38 rushing yards and a touchdown.  Baker added four catches on four targets for 46 yards.  Baker totaled 12 to Ogbonnaya’s 10 touches.  It says something when a guy out touches after being on the team for less than a week.  McGahee is likely to be done for the year.  He gets the Jets in week 16 and the Steelers in week 17, so there’s not much upside here.  But if you’re desperate, he’s likely to continue to get 8-12 looks per week.

Santana Moss – WR - 7% Owned
Years ago, we all thought Santana Moss could be a top 10 WR.  And this year he was at an all-time low with Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and Aldrick Robinson ahead of him in the food chain.  But Cousins turned back the clock for Moss as he had eight catches on nine targets for 64 yards and a touchdown this week.  That’s the most targets he's had since Week 1 and his firsttouchdown since Week 2. Like Cousins, Moss has a strongmatchup in Week 16 against the Cowboys and in Week 17 against the Giants.  Worth consideration in 14-team or deeper leagues.

And here’s a list of pickups mentioned in previous weeks that I still recommend picking up if they’re still available: Zac Stacy, Nick Foles, Kris Durham, Harry Douglas, Fred Jackson, Brian Hartline, Julian Edelman, Rueben Randle, Jared Boykin, MikeGlennon, Tim Wright, Tiquan Underwood, Brandon LaFell, Doug Baldwin, Justin Hunter, Ace Sanders, Dennis Pitta, Andre Holmes, Michael CrabtreeDa’Rick Rogers and JordanTodman.

If you want to know more about any of these past pickups, go ahead and check out my pick up discussions here:

For those who have been reading all season, thank you.  This will be my last pickups column for the fantasy football season, but I’ll be continuing to write about the Bears, the Packers, and other football nonsense as we head towards the real NFL playoffs.  And I expect you all to come back and read those articles.  Trust me, you don’t want to disappear and make me angry.  I can get McDonald’s level angry.  And I won’t hesitate to pack your Fillet O’Fish on your Big Mac.

By Ha Kung Wong (Twitter: @Rhihan)


1 comment:

  1. BONUS PICKUP -- Andre Caldwell - WR - 12% Owned

    Andre Caldwell might be best known for his flip into the endzone in Cincinnati back in 2011 (check it out if you don't know what I'm talking about -- , but he's been relatively quiet since. Until last week, that is, when he subbed in for a concussed Wes Welker and garnered 6 receptions for 59 yards and 2 TDs. Turns out, Wes is still on the mend and hasn't yet been cleared to practice. This puts Caldwell back in line to play in the powerful Peyton Manning offense. Of course, there's downside, as rarely do ALL of Peyton's weapons (D. Thomas, E. Decker, J. Thomas and W.Welker) get enough to make them fantasy worthy week to week. But if you want a high upside play and can stomach the potential goose egg, then Caldwell might be worth grabbing.