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2006 Preview

Frozen Tundra 2006 Recap:

I asked at the top of the season:  “Why not?”  Why not my team winning it all this year? 

The answer:  Creepy Crawlers. 

The CCs tied with RD for the most points scored ever in a season.  So the XLs knew they needed production on all fronts to win this game.  Sadly for them, their WR corps came away with nothing.  That, combined with another Ravens trashing of the Steelers, yielded the first league title for CCs. 

Picks:  1-3 (ouch!); Season:  38-26 

Championship Game        

(3)Creepy Crawlers 102, (4)The XLerators 90 

This one started out good for the XLs, with Driver producing a mere four points on Thursday and the XL-ent move to add Ron Dayne.  Unfortunately for the XLs, Creepy Crawlers matched them point-for-point in RB production.  On defense, CCs got what they were hoping for:  Another Steelers beatdown by the Ravens.  

That put CCs in the lead by 11 with one more position to go on Monday night.  The XLs got half of what they hoped for with Reggie Brown getting only a single point, but could only sit and watch their title dreams slip away as Terry Glenn managed only a single catch for 17 yards – which sealed the deal for CC’s. 

An ironic twist:  The XLs expected that the Packers would get a lot of opportunities on offense last Thursday – which was true.  Nevertheless, had the XLs played Minnesota’s defense, they would have produced enough points to put XLs over the top!

 

Third-Place Game: 

(8)Yardbyrds 84, (7)TL’s Outlaws 73 

This low-scoring affair came down to Yardbyrds’ WR producing points (even with Ocho-Stink-o’s –1).  This one would have been different had the Outlaws stuck with Bulger. 

This marks the best effort ever seen by a #8 seed.  For that matter, it marks the best effort seen by a #7 seed.

 

Fifth-Place Game:

(5)Dakota Cheddar 110, (6)Daboys 48

Oh, if only the Cheddar had been in the title game!  Dakota Cheddar finishes strong yet again as they capture their second straight Consolation Championship!  Meanwhile, DaBoys’ luck runs out yet again as relying on a Mostly-Dallas squad dooms them.

 

Seventh-Place Game:

(1)Rapid Delivery 81, (2)Da Raidaz 70 

Lastly (figuratively and literally), we have the #1 versus #2 match-up.  And, fittingly, both teams score well below their season averages.  Makes me wonder of either of them were watching this game?

   

1st 2nd 3rd
Creepy Crawlers The XLerators Yardbyrds

Final thoughts: 

So, did anyone see this coming?  The Creepy Crawlers had one of the best drafts this year, and figured to be the dark horse.  In true dark horse fashion, they marched right into the playoffs and to the championship.  Congratulations to them on a fantastic season! 

Also deserving congratulations are the XLs.  Certainly a season to remember, even if they came up a playmaker short of the top.  Not bad at all for a team who had 8 wins in their entire history coming into this year, and a great showing in their first-ever playoffs.  The question for 2007 is:  Are they here to stay? 

Teams that showed they are here to stay:  Yardbyrds and Dakota Cheddar.  The Byrds hid out in the cellar all year and nearly went all the way.  All else being equal The Cheddar would have been league champions had they not slipped in Round 1. 

Two teams who hope for better things in 2007:  TL’s Outlaws and DaBoys.  The Outlaws joined Yardbyrds in the cellar, only to spring to life come playoff time.  If the Outlaws are able to find some consistent scorers, they will be a force to be reckoned with in ’07.  DaBoys, however, seem to be stuck in the same “team loyalty” bit that the XLs were plagued with in their first two seasons. 

And two teams who find themselves in very unfamiliar territory:  Rapid Delivery and Da Raidaz.  Perennial favorites are NOT supposed to be reduced to playing for 7th place, yet here they were.  I think we have polar opposites, however.  Rapid Delivery kept pace with CC’s on point production, where Da Raidaz seemed to take a step back.  While we will likely see RD at or near the top again in ’07, we’ll have to wait and see if the same will apply to Da Raidaz. 

With that, we bring another Frozen Tundra season to a close.  In addition, we bring the XLerators’ name to a close as the Steelers took the year off after winning the Super Bowl.  Never fear:  They will be back.  And so will…. 

The T.A. Starfires 

(this is where you go “and that means what to me??”) 

See you next year….

 

 

Round 3 preview 

The end is here!  And we know there will not only be a new Frozen Tundra Champion after this weekend, but it will be a team whom have never gotten this close to the top before! 

We’ve often heard of the phrase regarding truth being stranger than fiction.  Well, in the case of the Frozen Tundra playoffs, BOTH have been pretty darn strange! 

Who’d have thought:  The top two seeds playing for seventh place…SEVENTH!?!?  The bottom two seeds reaching the 3rd place game??  The XLs in the finals?!?!?  WHAAAAAT???? 

The apocalypse should be next…. 

Round 2 recap: 

Championship Bracket: 

(4)The XLerators 105, (8)Yardbyrds 78 

“About time!”  That’s what the XLs – not to mention every owner with Peyton on their roster – must have been thinking late Monday as their ticket to their first Championship game was punched.  Yardbyrds, who suffered the same case of non-production from their receiving corps as the XLs, also got a doughnut from their QB Kitna…KITNA?! 

(3)Creepy Crawlers 94, (7)TL’s Outlaws 39 

As much potential as we saw from the Outlaws in Round 1, we saw as much disappointment in Round 2.  You can’t blame the Outlaws for putting their hopes on Brees and the Saints.  Who saw a loss to the Skins coming??  Meanwhile, the CCs roll on easily, and stand to be the favorite in the title game. 

Consolation Bracket: 

(5)Dakota Cheddar 123, (1)Rapid Delivery 69 

Let me get this straight:  San Diego won, but Rivers went negative on fantasy points?!?  While its certainly hard to imagine RD falling so hard from grace, their 69 points are NOT the lowest they’ve scored this season.  Of course, the last time they came up so short was back in Week 7. 

The Cheddar roll into their second straight Consolation Final.  Hardly the goal they had coming into this year, but given all the weird stuff that has transpired, any hint of consistency is a welcome sign. 

(6)DaBoys 105, (2)Da Raidaz 78 

How come my XLs never managed triple digits when fielding an all-Steelers team?! 

It was hardly the Best of Carson for Da Raidaz, whom once again fall short in what has been a greatly disappointing year for them.  Time will tell whether they can rebound against their arch-nemesis in the 7th Place Game…or whether either will care… 

Final Picks: 

Last week:  3-1; Season:  37-23

Championship Game        

(4)The XLerators vs. (3)Creepy Crawlers (-9) 

Finally!  Some respect for CCs!  They are indeed favored going into the title game.  No wonder – considering the last Baltimore-Pittsburgh meeting and the Jags’ lackluster effort against Tennessee. 

The interesting thing is this:  Despite their record, the Steelers still have something to play for against the Ravens.  The XLs strength all year has been their QB and their defense.  If they can hold serve, and can get help from their receivers, it could make this match-up interesting.  Another note:  This is the third meeting this year of these two squads, with the first two tilts being decided by six points or less…. 

Pick:  The XLs to cover.

 

Third-Place Game 

(8) Yardbyrds vs. (7)TL’s Outlaws (+8) 

For the two season-long cellar dwellers of 2006, this is a remarkable coup.  Both had to knock off the top two seeds to get here, both of whom are perennial favorites no less.  Quite the accomplishment! 

My guess is, as Peyton and Indy did, that New Orleans will rebound against the Giants.  And, unless Yardbyrds dump Kitna, should be enough for the Outlaws…. 

Pick:  TL’s Outlaws to cover.

 

Fifth-Place Game 

(6)DaBoys vs. (5)Dakota Cheddar (-22) 

With Favre possibly singing his Frozen Tundra (pun intended) swan song, and LT being LT, the Cheddar should be able to hold off the DaBoys – even if they are playing Philly…. 

Pick:  DaBoys to cover. 

 

Seventh-Place Game 

Or, since everyone got into the playoffs, The Toilet Bowl 

(2)Da Raidaz vs. (1)Rapid Delivery (-17) 

Its not surprising to find these two teams facing one another in the final week of the playoffs.  But to see them in the 7th Place Game is downright surreal. 

For what it’s worth, all signs point to an RD rout, which would at least let them exit on an up note.  The spread is tempting, but not tempting enough: 

Pick:  Rapid Delivery straight up

 

Round 2 Playoffs Preview

I think its time someone told Peyton to stop doing commercials long enough to throw some touchdown passes every once in a while.

Wow, talk about a shake-up right out of the gate.  The top two teams go down, making the drive to the Championship a potential Cinderella story in the making.

Of course, let’s not forget Yardbyrds.  Could they have been playing us for suckers all along???

Round 1 Recap:

(4)The XLerators 99, (5)Dakota Cheddar 82

As stated above, Peyton has not put up big numbers lately – which I thought meant Consolation Round for my XLs.  Fortunately for them, some key Cheddar players decided to take the day off as well.  This marks the first time since Week 7 that the Cheddar failed to score 90 or more.  I noted that RD gave the XLs the nod in the voting this week, tho I would imagine their being undefeated against them and looking ahead to the potential Round 2 matchup was part of that…

(8)Yardbyrds 113, (1)Rapid Delivery 108

This could be touted as the biggest upset in Frozen Tundra history, but bear in mind that we’re talking about the defending champs in Yardbyrds.  It IS the first time a #8 has beaten a #1, tho (kinda like the Steeler’s run last year).  To RD’s credit, they made a run via the Chi-town D late, but in the end it was too much ground to cover.  RD may have been looking ahead to a hoped-for match against the XLs and on to the finals.  Now fifth place is the best RD can hope for (never thought I’d say that!).

(3)Creepy Crawlers 88, (6)DaBoys 75

This was probably the only match-up that WASN’T a surprise.  The CCs have established themselves as a true contender, while DaBoys are making the same mistake that the XLs had made in the past two years (relying mainly on one team).  But you had to admit the CCs looked like they were in trouble after Fast Willie’s night, didn’t you?

(7)TL’s Outlaws 107, (2)Da Raidaz 98

Da Raidaz came out strong enough, and I did say the Saints would give the Cowboys trouble…but 42 points?!?  The upset-minded Outlaws might not be done yet, either.

Round 2 picks (Last week:  2-2; Season:  34-22):

Championship Bracket

 (8)Yardbyrds vs. (4)The XLerators (-5)

Remember last year’s 80-point shootout between Cincy and Indy?  The XLs and Yardbyrds are obviously hoping for a repeat this week.  Have to admit, I actually was thinking about benching Peyton (what!?!) in favor of Hasselbeck.  The difference between this year and last, however, is that Indy still has something to play for.  It may also come down to whether Pittsburgh can shut down another NFC-South foe, and whether Jay Cutler still experiences growing pains against a Cardinals squad on a sudden win streak….

Pick:  The XLerators straight up (like I said at the start of the season, “why not?”)

(7)TL’s Outlaws vs. (3)Creepy Crawlers (+5)

Again – CCs getting no love!  Hard not to knock Brees’ effort for the Outlaws last week, as we expect more of the same against a suspect Redskins team.  But with Baltimore facing Cleveland and the Pack facing Detroit , I say this one comes down to the wire….

Pick:  Creepy Crawlers to cover

Consolation Bracket

(5)Dakota Cheddar vs. (1)Rapid Delivery (-2)

As intriguing a match-up it is, the fact it’s happening in the Consolation round is a downer.  That said, somebody’s gotta win.  Favre should have a field day in Detroit , which may be enough (assuming Chicago ’s D doesn't run rampart again) to propel the Cheddar to their second straight Consolation Championship game….

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar straight up.

(6)DaBoys vs. (2)Da Raidaz (-10)

One team you figured would be here.  The other not.  In any case here they are.  If the prediction of a Cincy-Indy shootout come to pass, expect Da Raidaz to have the edge here.  That said Dallas will probably rebound nicely against the Falcons….

Pick:  Da Raidaz straight up.

 

Playoff Preview - Round 1

So – a Bush on the bench is NOT worth a Smith on the field.  An exciting finish to the regular season, to be sure, but come on:  I’ve heard of garbage touchdowns, but garbage field goals (Creepy Crawlers should send Coach “Chucky” a thank-you card)?! 

So, my XLs are stuck in the same bracket as Rapid Delivery (which may be a moot point seeing how we face Dakota Cheddar first).  Aaargh! 

Final 2006 Power Rankings

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

PPG Notes

Prediction

1

Rapid Delivery

10-3-0

1

95.5 Oh, look:  It's playoff time and RD is loaded again....riding a four-game winning streak

See you in the finals!

2

Creepy Crawlers

8-4-1

3

95.8 logged a record 1,246 points for the season

As long as they don't slip in Round 1, we could see these guys in the Championship 

3

Da Raidaz

9-4-0

2

87.0 Lost two of their last three, bringing NOTHING against RD in regular season finale.

May be in line for Consolation Title

4

Dakota Cheddar

5-8-0

5

94.0 Have failed to reach 90 points or more only ONCE in past nine games

Do NOT let the record fool you.  The Cheddar is primed for major upsets.

5

The XLerators

7-6-0

4

81.6 Tumbled badly after an impressive 6-3 start

Unless Peyton starts playing, the XLs could be one-and-done in the Championship bracket.

6

TL’s Outlaws

4-9-0

8

80.8 Last two wins came against CCs and the Cheddar

Potential for a Round 1 upset...and beyond?

7

DaBoys

4-8-1

6

83.1 Losers of three straight - including a dismal 59-point effort in Week 13.

One or two Dallas collapses from "watching from home." 

8

Yardbyrds

4-9-0

7

74.5 Lowest point total in league, but owns two-game winning streak

One and done in Championship bracket

Round 1 Picks:

Week 13 Picks:  2-2; Season final:  32-20

(8)Yardbyrds vs. (1)Rapid Delivery (-3) 

I kind of figured there was a decent chance of seeing a “Champion vs. Champion” matchup, but I never thought it’d be in Round 1, with #1 vs. #8.  But the 2004 Frozen Tundra Champion (RD) and the 2005 Frozen Tundra Champion face off this week.  Looking at the lineups, at looks every bit a toss-up – despite Yardbyrds’ streak of underachieving all season long.  Could they have been saving the best for last? 

Pick:  Rapid Delivery straight up. 

 

(5)Dakota Cheddar vs. (4)The XLerators (+7) 

Dakota Cheddar swept the regular season series by a combined total of 20 points – but that includes a close 3-point margin in their last meeting.  We’ve heard about the “hard-to-beat-the-same-team-three-times” logic in real football.  Could the same apply in fantasy football as well?  Not unless the XLs find some more points.  In the past five games, the Cheddar scored into triple digits in all but one (that one totaling 96).  The XLs haven’t cracked 90 since….their last game against the Cheddar.  And with a struggling Peyton facing a dangerous Jags squad, and the Steelers facing a division foe, I smell one-and-done for the XLs in the Championship Bracket…. 

Pick:  The XLerators to cover.

 

(6)DaBoys vs. (3)Creepy Crawlers(+9) 

Kind of surprised to see CCs coming in as the underdog here.  I have to think that New Orleans is real enough to pose a problem for Romo and the Cowboys.  That said, Baltimore didn’t look too sharp last week, and for my Steelers’ sake, I’m hoping that continues…. 

Pick:  Creepy Crawlers to cover.

 

(7) TL’s Outlaws vs. (2)Da Raidaz(-12) 

It looks like an easy day for Da Raidaz here – with Palmer against Oakland’s D.  Of course, Atlanta is facing Tampa Bay, and Brees with a chance to show the Saints are truly for real…. 

Pick:  Da Raidaz straight up.

 

Week 13 Preview

The end is near!  One regular season game to go and the playoff picture is clear…well…semi-clear…well…

We do at least know whom the top four and bottom four seeds are – we just don’t know where exactly they’ll end up.  One thing’s for sure:  You probably don’t want to be the #8 seed.  For that matter, you don’t want to be the #4 seed either – with either DaBoys or The Cheddar ready to spring the mild upset!

Power Rankings (through Week 12):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Rapid Delivery

9-3-0

1

And it all comes down to a match against your arch-nemesis!

2

Da Raidaz

9-3-0

2

See Rapid Delivery...

3

Creepy Crawlers

7-4-1

4

Donovan who?

4

The XLerators

7-5-0

3

45 points by Indy does not add-ai up for XLs

5

Dakota Cheddar

5-7-0

5

May seem down, but they're hardly out.

6

DaBoys

4-7-1

6

See Dakota Cheddar

7

Yardbyrds

3-9-0

8

Facing either Rapid Delivery or Da Raidaz in the first round.  Can we say "one and done?"

8

TL’s Outlaws

3-9-0

7

See Yardbyrds

Week 13 playoff picture:

Week 12 Picks:  1-3; Season Total:  30-18

Week 13 Picks: 

Creepy Crawlers vs. The XLerators (-3) 

The XLs and CCs find themselves in a possibly precarious situation entering the final game of the season:  Win and rise to the #3 seed – where they would likely face a hot-and-cold DaBoys squad.  Lose and fall to #4 – where you face a hot Dakota Cheddar team who has broken the 100-point mark four weeks running. 

It could come down to whose WR will be catching balls for Brees (Henderson or Colston), and whether Baltimore can do the same to Cincy as they did to the Super Bowl Champs.  The last meeting had the XLs eeking out a win.  I doubt they’ll be as lucky this time…. 

Pick:  Creepy Crawlers to cover.

 

TL’s Outlaws vs. Dakota Cheddar (-1) 

The Outlaws are limping into the final game while The Cheddar are hitting a hot streak scoring-wise (which is always good come playoff time).  That said Cheddar’s QB didn’t look too good last week.  Can we expect him to look any better against the surging Cowboys? 

Pick:  If Hines Ward can play, I pick Dakota Cheddar straight up, TL’s Outlaws straight up if he cannot. 

Da Raidaz vs. Rapid Delivery (-7) 

This has got to be the game of the year!  The winner gets the #1 seed and the inside track on the Championship game.  If we could be assured that Addai repeats his Sunday Night performance, I’d say RD gets the nod.  That said I doubt Peyton will be held to the same mediocre stats he had last week….

Pick:  Da Raidaz to cover

 

Yardbyrds vs. DaBoys (-12) 

Hard to go against the surging ‘Boys right now – especially after dumping Vanderjagt…. 

Pick:  DaBoys straight up.

 

 

Week 12 Preview

Well, the luxury of waiting till Friday to make my picks is gone – and not just for this week either – bloody savages!

Remember when Thursday football was once a year?  Remember when Indy was still perfect?  Remember when the Steelers were left for dead?  Remember when the Vikes looked like contenders.  Oh, for the good ‘ol days….

Power Rankings (through Week 11):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Rapid Delivery

8-3-0

2

Would hate to be #8...

2

Da Raidaz

8-3-0

1

Memo to Da Raidaz:  The Cheese has you.

3

The XLerators

7-4-0

4

Sweeps DaBoys, but 70 points a game is NOT going to cut it come playoff time!

4

Creepy Crawlers

6-4-1

3

And all the Chunky Soup from big mother hen....couldn't put McNabb together again...

5

Dakota Cheddar

5-6-0

6

Big upset against Da Raidaz keeps the fight for the top spot up for grabs....

6

DaBoys

4-6-1

5

Not even a gift defensive touchdown (come on, you KNOW that shouldn't have counted) could help DaBoys take advantage of an XLs scoring lapse...

7

TL’s Outlaws

3-8-0

8

Whoo hoo!  Threatening to climb out of the cellar!

8

Yardbyrds

2-9-0

7

A late-season surge, not to mention a championship repeat,  seems less and less likely...

Week 12 playoff picture:

Week 11 Picks:  4-0; Season Total:  29-15

Week 12 Picks:

Da Raidaz vs. The XLerators (+9)

The XLs have already clinched a winning record for the first time in franchise history and have all but clinched a top-four seed, dispelling any talk of “they’re in only because everyone’s in.”  The question becomes:  Can they take the next step?  Looking down the line, and considering that Da Raidaz are coming off a big loss to the Cheddar, it could be suggested that the XLs are poised to do just that.  That said, Da Raidaz are averaging just under 90 points a game.  The XLs haven’t cracked 90 since Week 8 – not the mark of a team ready to “take the next step…”

Pick:  The XLerators to cover.

Creepy Crawlers vs. Dakota Cheddar (-4)

The CCs took a major hit by losing two key players early – and likely for the season – last week.  Meanwhile, the Cheddar seem to be hitting stride coming off a huge win against Da Raidaz.  Even if Colston is ready to return, I’m guessing that Pittsburgh will give Baltimore a little too much trouble for the CCs to handle….

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar straight up.

DaBoys vs. Rapid Delivery (+5)

Amazing!  Rapid Delivery again rises to the top and STILL can’t get any respect!  Being the underdog against a mostly-Cowboys team?!  That said, that “mostly-Cowboys team” just knocked off the last undefeated team in the NFL, and are going into their “always at least for pride” Thanksgiving game with a lot of momentum.

That said I think Philly’s in trouble with the loss of McNabb – which should mean big points for Indy, and whomever has key players in their lineup.  Add Rivers versus a weak Oakland team, and a seems-for-real Chicago defense, and I say advantage RD….

Pick:  Rapid Delivery to cover

Yardbyrds vs. TL’sOutlaws (-1)

The “battle to avoid having to play RD in Round 1” is on!

While its tempting to assume that Chad and TJ will have their way with the Browns, I wonder if Cleveland will take out their “would have/should have” frustrations regarding coming up short against the Steelers last week on Cincy.  With my Steelers still clinging to faint playoff hopes, I can only hope….

Pick:  TL’s Outlaws straight up

 

Week 11 Picks:

DaBoys vs. The XLerators (-1)

After a lackluster effort last week, the XLs are hardly in the clear in their attempt to evolve into contenders.  A loss here against DaBoys would knock them down a peg into the realm of pretenders.  That said, as much as it made sense to play "all Cowboys" last week, it makes no sense at all this week.  While it could be argued that Indy has hardly looked like world-beaters lately, I think they put the world back on notice here....

Pick:  The XLerators straight up.

Da Raidaz vs. Dakota Cheddar (+8)

As well as Favre has done lately, this one could be a shootout.  One question:  Will Seattle's D need to spend extra time on the field if a rusty Hasselbeck comes back earlier than expected?  Another question:  Will Winslow and Ronnie Brown be ready to go?

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar to cover.

Yardbyrds vs. Rapid Delivery (-2)

I expect to see a shootout, like we saw with Pittsburgh, with the Cincy-Saints game.  But I also wouldn't be surprised to see a shootout between Arizona and Detroit.  Do I smell a "trap" game?

Pick:  Rapid Delivery straight up.

TL's Outlaws vs. Creepy Crawlers (-42)

Last week, I missed a perfect 4-0 pick week when CCs covered a 33-point spread...33!!  Now, I am being tempted once again with an even bigger spread.  The CCs only need 20 more points to break 1000 for the year - and with three games left!!  Am I being set up for another miss???

Pick:  TL's Outlaws to cover (go freak!)

Week 11 Preview:

Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!  Steelers win!...

Not that we're surprised or anything....

Well, we've seen the Manning Brothers play better, the Barber Brothers play worse, and the receivers named Moss play...well, we just can't remember exactly when...

Week 10 Picks:  3-1; Season:  25-15

Power Rankings (through Week 10):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Da Raidaz

8-2-0

1

Should be set up nicely for the playoffs.

2

Rapid Delivery

7-3-0

3

Games against XLs = wins.  'Nough said.

3

Creepy Crawlers

6-3-1

5

CCs cover a 33-point spread!

4

The XLerators

6-4-0

2

The "Bells" toll for thee.  Too bad they can't score for thee...

5

DaBoys

4-5-1

6

Yep, here they come again....

6

Dakota Cheddar

4-6-0

4

Cheddar get swept by DaBoys in what might have been a first-round playoff preview.

7

Yardbyrds

2-8-0

7

Could this be the only fantasy team in America playing people from Detroit?! 

8

TL’s Outlaws

2-8-0

8

It could have been worse...you could have been playing the XLs....

Week 11 playoff picture:

 

Week 10 Picks:

Week 9 picks: 2-2; Season:  22-14  

Rapid Delivery vs. The XLerators (-3)

The XLs are enjoying their best showing by far.  They are two wins away from matching their win total over the past two seasons combined.  One thing they have yet to do:  Defeat Rapid Delivery.  Noting Chicago's dreary performance last week would make one think this may be the time.  But I know better than picking against RD in general, especially coming off a loss....

Pick:  Rapid Delivery to cover

DaBoys vs. Dakota Cheddar (-6)

With Dallas playing the Cards this week, having DaBoys' lineup makes sense.  Whether it will be enough to offset a hot Cheddar squad (did somebody say "Nachos?") will depend on how well Eli plays against an angry Chi-town team, as well as whether Big Ben decides to wear gloves or not (see Hines Ward).  It may be curtains for DaBoys if it comes down to a field goal try....

Pick:  DaBoys to cover

TL's Outlaws vs. Da Raidaz (+2)

Da Raidaz came charging back late last week to rise to the top of the league standings.  With their next two games being against teams with losing records, they could find themselves with the #1 seed in the playoffs all but wrapped up within a fortnight.  That said this match up looks like the Virginia Senate race:  Too close to call.  Will Rex Grossman play like Rex Grossman...or Rex Grossman??

Pick:  Da Raidaz plus the points

Yardbyrds vs. Creepy Crawlers (-33)

And this is withOUT any byes, folks:  CCs are 33-point favorites!!  Question is:  Did they get McNabb enough Chunky Soup to keep him going?  I'm going to have to say no - and even that notwithstanding, that point spread is too much to pass up....

Pick:  Yardbyrds to cover

 

Week 10 Preview

What was that "Man Law?"  That if your team is tanking you can call it a "rebuilding year" even if no rebuilding is actually happening?  Can I even use the "rebuilding" thing since my team is actually still Super Bowl Champs?  Yikes!

Weird things have happened already this season - maybe more "weird" things are in store.  We'll see....

At least the Purple got a soft opponent to rebound against after that loss to the Pats....what?....oh CRUD!!!!

Power Rankings (through Week 9):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Da Raidaz

7-2-0

2

Disaster averted as Defense loads up on double lattes prior to kickoff!

2

The XLerators

6-3-0

3

Doing just enough to win (and I mean JUST enough), despite the matchups.

3

Rapid Delivery

6-3-0

1

We're Baaaaaaack...out of the top spot.

4

Dakota Cheddar

4-5-0

5

Ze limburgeer ez on ze roll....

5

Creepy Crawlers

5-3-1

4

CCs get -2 from Brady....BRADY!!?!!

6

DaBoys

3-5-1

6

Maybe Bledsoe can kick???

7

Yardbyrds

2-7-0

7

Ocho Cinco?  More like "Cero Cero (0-0)." 

8

TL’s Outlaws

2-7-0

8

Can we have The Champ RD2 back for one week to play these guys??

 

Week 9 Picks:

Yardbyrds vs. The XLerators (-25)

Many look at the huge Sunday Night game as "gut check" time for Peyton.  And while it may be risky to play him, his performance at Denver makes it a worthwhile risk.  While Yardbyrds are sure to fill in their bye openings, while injuries and tough opponents face most of the XL's position players, I think having the touchdown-scoring Vikings D against a weak San Fran squad will be enough to make the difference....

Pick:  The XLerators straight up.

Rapid Delivery vs. Dakota Cheddar (-11)

RD went big time last week - largely in part to the emergence of Vick and Chicago's D.  It looks like the same will happen again this week, but with the Cheddar seeing action against weak opponents as well, this should be a close game - and possibly two straight in close games for Cheddar....

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar to cover

TL's Outlaws vs. DaBoys (+9)

Last week DaBoys surprised Creepy Crawlers to force a rare tie.  This week, despite Redskins' woes, I wouldn't expect another tie, especially with the Outlaw's matchups....

Pick:  TL's Outlaws straight up.

Creepy Crawlers vs. Da Raidaz (-5)

Even with an opening via a bye, Da Raidaz look to be in good shape with LJ being LJ again.  Meanwhile, CCs are betting on Tom Brady being Tom Brady - even against the Colts.  Unless the Cincy-Baltimore tilt turns into a shootout, the CCs may wish for another tie....

Pick:  Da Raidaz straight up (please change to CCs to cover if Moss cannot play and the open slots are not filled).

Week 9 Preview

How do you limit a team to 98 yards on offense and lose?

As the Steelers cling precariously to the "defending" tag of their title "defending Super Bowl Champs," I can't imagine many outside the Steeler nation are willing to shed a tear for them.

At least the Vikings are looking like world beaters - oops, just saw the score on the telly - never mind!

And a tie - A TIE - between DaBoys and CCs.  Thanks for messing up my picks, guys!!!!

Week 8 picks: 2-2; Season:  20-12

Power Rankings (through Week 8):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Rapid Delivery

6-2-0

4

We're Baaaaaaack!

2

Da Raidaz

6-2-0

2

Another win, yes - but 84 points would have beaten only one other team this week.

3

The XLerators

5-3-0

1

How ticked off must the Steeler D be at Big Ben right now?

4

Creepy Crawlers

5-2-1

3

Somebody get McNabb some more Chunky Soup!!!

5

Dakota Cheddar

3-5-0

7

Chi-town kicker gives XLs Das Boot

6

DaBoys

2-5-1

8

Maybe this rib guy won't be half bad.  Wonder if Tommy Maddox can find Bledsoe a job?

7

Yardbyrds

2-6-0

5

Byrd's "big cats" seem to have lost their bite.

8

TL’s Outlaws

2-6-0

6

Did we HAVE to play RD again?!?

 

 

Week 8 Picks

Dakota Cheddar vs. The XLerators (+3) 

The XL’s stay on top of the power rankings will likely be short-lived – especially now that Cheddar has players (lots of Bears – gulp) back from a bye.  While Pittsburgh should have a field day against Oakland, Peyton will likely have a much harder time than his little brother Eli (you couldn’t have a bye THIS week, Cheddar?!!?)…. 

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar straight up

 

TL’s Outlaws vs. Rapid Delivery (-6) 

IS Micheal Vick going to repeat his stellar performance (for my Steeler’s sake I hope so)?  Can Seattle and KC step up, each without their starting QB?  Looking down the matchups, I think RD has a slight edge.  Despite having only scored 53 points last week, I know better than to pick against RD after a down week…. 

Pick:  Rapid Delivery straight up

 

Creepy Crawlers vs. DaBoys (+21) 

Forget T.O. – there’s a QB controversy in the Big D after all!  While that 21-point spread is tempting, I can’t seem to bring myself to picking a team whose quarterback runs rib joints (oh wait, that’s Tony ROMA – sorry).  The REAL story here is how Carolina responds after dropping one against Cincy.  I’m going to say very well…. 

Pick:  Creepy Crawlers straight up

 

Yardbyrds vs. Da Raidaz (-7) 

Dunn may be “done” as a reliable fantasy starter, but Rex may get a chance to “flex” against San Fran.  While I think Delhomme will have a good game against Dallas, I wonder about the rest of the lineup.  That said, another Atlanta shootout should be enough in this case…. 

Pick:  Yardbyrds to cover

 

Week 8 Preview

If you had told me at the top of the season that my two favorite teams, the Steelers and the Vikings, would be 2-4 and 4-2 by this point, I would have agreed with you.  "Sure," I'd have said:  "Steelers 4-2 and Vikes 2-4."

That's why they play the games.

My Steelers find themselves in a hole once again after losing a winnable game while the Vikings suddenly appear as world-beaters after upending the defending NFC champs.  Talk about role reversal.

Speaking of role reversal, take a look at this week's power rankings....

Week 7 picks: 3-1; Season:  18-10

Power Rankings (through Week 7):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

The XLerators

5-2

2

Four-game winning steak nets XL's first stay on top.

2

Da Raidaz

5-2

3

Win against cellar dwelling DaBoys helps Da Raidaz keep pace (but of course any other team would've beaten DaBoys this week).

3

Creepy Crawlers

5-2

4

RD picked Leinart over Vick?  Whew!  Not to mention CCs having THREE players on a bye!

4

Rapid Delivery

5-2

1

NOT picking Vick makes RD sick ("we let 'em off the hook!")…

5

The Yardbyrdz

2-5

7

Look to be the best of the worst right now.

6

TL’s Outlaws

2-5

5

Late charge comes up short as the Outlaws appear to the be the tough-luck team of '06

7

Dakota Cheddar

2-5

6

Covered the spread despite having THREE players on a bye (see CCs).  Perhaps saving themselves for the playoffs??

8

DaBoys

2-5

8

Drew blew.  Enough said.

 

 

Week 7 picks

TL’s Outlaws vs. The XLerators (-5) 

The XLs come into this matchup with their highest-ever power ranking (#2) and a 100-point game to their credit.  Meanwhile, the Outlaws are riding a two-game winning streak and in their first year already have more 100-point games than the XLs have had in their history. 

In their past three games, the Outlaws have a 98.3 PPG average, whereas the XLs have 94 PPG.  That does not bode well for the XLs, whose defense will have a tougher time against the two-prong rushing threat of Dunn and Vick.  The question is:  Will the Outlaws’ D do any better against a rejuvenated Pittsburgh O? 

Pick:  TL’s Outlaws to cover.

 

Yardbyrds vs. Dakota Cheddar (+12) 

Somebody tell Cheddar that the season’s still going on!  As of this posting, he has THREE players sitting via a bye!  And with Byrds’ defense playing Houston, that may be all they need! 

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar to cover, assuming they fill their empty spots

 

Creepy Crawlers vs. Rapid Delivery (-16) 

Again with the byes!  I wish my team could play more of these.  Actually, I have no doubt CCs will fill those spots by kickoff.  Of course, the mix of McNabb, Smith, and Indy’s D might be enough on its own with RD playing with a suspect Arizona squad.  Yes, they’re playing Oakland, but don’t be surprised to see Denny Green with more stuff to scream about come Sunday night (where was that emotion when he coached the Vikes?)…. 

Pick:  Creepy Crawlers to cover

 

Da Raidaz vs. DaBoys (+18) 

While Palmer and Johnson & Johnson may have their difficulties against game opponents, I don’t see Dallas having as easy a time as they had last week.  Add the fact that Denver’s D is licking their chops at getting to face the Browns…. 

Pick:  Da Raidaz straight up

 

Week 7 Preview

How ‘bout that for a topsy-turvy week??  No more undefeated/winless teams!

I’m not sure WHAT Dakota Cheddar is doing with leaving holes in their roster via byes (good thing I threw in my disclaimer over the weekend).  Maybe they’re just trying to make things interesting.

Speaking of interesting, The Freak and his Outlaws are on a sudden upswing.  I’d hate to be the team facing them next.  Wait – that IS my team!  For the love of…

Week 6 picks: 2-2; Season:  15-9

Power Rankings (through Week 6):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Rapid Delivery

5-1

1

The pick of Vick makes RD sick…

2

The XLerators

4-2

3

A late “garbage” touchdown by the defense “Steels” one from the CCs.

3

Da Raidaz

4-2

4

That speed bump caused Da Raidaz to leapfrog RD in another "revenge" game (Lord knows his QB didn't help)!

4

Creepy Crawlers

4-2

2

Two-game losing streak comes at worst possible time (facing an angry RD squad next week)

5

TL’s Outlaws

2-4

6

Outlaws on a roll as they face the upstart XLs next.

6

Dakota Cheddar

2-4

5

Last year, Cheddar was short changed by a rule change.  This year, leaving byes on the roster have them short changing themselves.

7

The Yardbyrdz

1-5

8

After spotting the rest of us five games, Yardbyrdz start making their move.  Beware!

8

DaBoys

2-4

7

As was the case last year, losing to the last winless team all but clinches the bottom for you!

 

Week 6 Preview

Whoops – I guess I AM saying “Oh, how the mighty have fallen” in regard to my Steelers.  And my Twins.  And my Golden Gophers (OK, maybe not them).  

Well, as we saw last year, it’s not how you start, but how you finish (though it’d be nice not to have to start 2-3 games out of first!).

Week 5 picks:  4-0; season:  13-7

Power Rankings (through Week 5):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Rapid Delivery

5-0

2

The last undefeated team in the league (BIG surprise there)!

2

Creepy Crawlers

4-1

1

Epic father vs. son battle as CCs fall short against the Cheddar.  Maybe they’re lactose-intolerant?

3

The XLerators

3-2

4

A close call for the XLs as Da Raidaz storm back late.  But Detroit (and whoever’s defense is facing them) always cures what ails you!

4

Da Raidaz

4-2

3

A brief speed bump, or a sign of things to come?

5

Dakota Cheddar

2-3

6

Upset of the year saves the Cheddar’s season

6

TL’s Outlaws

1-4

7

The Freak gets in the win column!

7

DaBoys

2-3

5

At least you get to play Yardbyrdz this week!

8

The Yardbyrdz

0-5

8

The last winless team in the league (BIG surprise there – no, really!)

Week 6 picks:

Creepy Crawlers vs. The XLerators (+1) 

The XLs have never been above .500 this late in a season, whereas the CCs are off to a fast start, slowed only by a big upset by the Cheddar.  While many position players for the XLs play seemingly softer teams, don’t forget what Tennessee almost did to the Colts.  This may actually come down to the defenses.  So, which Steelers team shows up to play K.C. – the late-season-2005 version, or the early-season-2006 version?  While I am thinking the former, it’s hard to pick against a team that has gone triple-digits 3 out of their first five games, especially when going against a team that has yet to do so once in their history…. 

Pick:  The XLs, plus the points (or is it "point?").

TL’s Outlaws vs. Dakota Cheddar 

Again with a tough pick (no line, tho Cheddar has one player on a bye).  My guess is that Cheddar will not make the mistake of leaving that spot open.  And while Bulger and Co. have been making strides, my guess is they will be more “Scoreless with Seattle.” 

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar straight up (assuming Cheddar replaces Harrison).

 

Da Raidaz vs. Rapid Delivery (+11) 

At first glance, this looks like the last undefeated team going down this week.  That said, I would look for Boldin to get more looks without his sidekick, and Da Raidaz’s “Johnson & Johnson” duo may find points at a premium against two teams desperate for a rebound game…. 

Pick:  Rapid Delivery to cover

 

Yardbyrdz vs. DaBoys (-2) 

While I suggested that the last undefeated team may get their first loss, I would suggest that the last winless team tasting victory this week is far less likely.  While I know from experience that playing mostly with your favorite team is often the kiss of death, it makes more sense when that team’s opponent is the punchless Texans.  Whether the Byrdz can pull this off may come down to whether McNair can continue his success against a game Panthers' "D" and New Orleans' "D" can hold off Philly…. 

Pick:  DaBoys straight up

 

Week 5 Preview

Now THAT’s more like it.

A little more of what we expected to see this season is coming to pass.  Cincy not quite the “top dog” they thought they were.  Vikings are not quite as ready as they thought they were.  Despite losing again this week, The Outlaws are not quite as “dead in the water” as was thought.

Speaking of dead in the water, Yardbyrdz seem to be sinking fast....oh, how the mighty have fallen (hope I'm not saying that about my Steelers by this time next week)....

Week 4 picks:  4-0; season:  9-7

Power Rankings (through Week 4):

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Creepy Crawlers

4-0

1

On pace to set the record for scoring in a season...

2

Rapid Delivery

4-0

2

Keeping pace with CCs...

3

Da Raidaz

4-1

3

No brownie points for beating a team resting two players....

4

The XLerators

2-2

5

...and that was WITHOUT Moss' 3 TDs!

5

DaBoys

2-2

4

Finally gets the XL's bad-luck bug (how does your favorite team destroy their opposition like that, yet you STILL lose?!?)

6

Dakota Cheddar

1-3

6

Wow!  Cheddar nearly won - and with two players on a bye-week!

7

TL’s Outlaws

0-4

8

No shame in losing to CCs, especially when scoring > 100 points in the process!

8

The Yardbyrdz

0-4

7

Remember last year when they were the bottom feeders?  Is a rise back to the top in order?

Week 5 picks:  

2006 has definitely been a fun sports year thus far.  My Steelers winning the Super Bowl.  My Twins in the playoffs after everyone wrote them off.  I’m hoping the positive vibes continue to rub off on my XLs….  

Da Raidaz vs. The XLerators (-21)  

The XLs have an interesting question:  Do they go back to the tough Steeler defense going against a tough opponent, or stick with a suspect Vikings defense going against a soft opponent.  Speaking of D, Da Raidaz haven’t made a call yet on whom to send in – and will Chicago have the same problems against Buffalo that Minnesota had?  

Pick:  Da Raidaz to cover

 

Creepy Crawlers vs. Dakota Cheddar (+9)  

With Hines < 100% with a sore hammy, and San Diego facing Pittsburgh , expect Cheddar points to be at a premium.  That said Creepy may see a drop in points as well, especially if Denver has decided it’s for real….  

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar to cover

 

DaBoys vs. Rapid Delivery (+21)  

This match-up may be advantage DaBoys (unless T.O. has another “pain med interaction”)….  

Pick:  Rapid Delivery to cover

 

Yardbyrdz vs. TL’s Outlaws (-6)  

Sometimes, a battle between winless teams can be just as exciting (and just as hard to pick) as a battle between undefeated teams.  In short, something’s gotta give.  Right now, the Outlaws seem to have the hotter hand….  

Pick:  TL’s Outlaws straight up.

 

Week 4 Preview

OK, how do you face such a porous Houston D and have your WRs come away with so little?!  Arrrgah!  And how do DaBoys do so well patching up a team so quickly on a bye week?!!  Aaaaarrrrrgh!!

Well, my Steelers have again dug themselves into a hole.  AAAARGGH!!!!  I would guess they’ll find a way to climb back out of it.  My XLs on the other hand….

Oh, and I realize that Creepy Crawlers took out Smith, but I said to change the pick if he played – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it (come on, I’m desperate here!  I could always count my online vote for RD as a pick change too….).

Well, based on the past two weeks (and, once again, sorry about the whole “power lock” thing, DaBoys), I am splitting my posts into two parts:  The Power Rankings update (every Tuesday), and the Picks for the coming week (every Friday).

Oh – and NO MORE “power locks.”

Week 3 picks:  2-2; Season:  5-7

Week 3 Power Rankings

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Creepy Crawlers

3-0

2

Birds of prey leave Creepys Crawlin’ their way to the top!

2

Rapid Delivery

3-0

1

Finally, a close one against the XLs – but a win is a win.

3

Da Raidaz

2-1

3

Games against Cheddar and XLs should allow Raidaz to keep pace.

4

DaBoys

2-1

7

What bye week?!?

5

The XLerators

1-2

5

Finally, a close one against RD – but a loss is a loss.

6

Dakota Cheddar

1-2

4

Ouch!  And to a bye-week patched team!

7

The Yardbyrdz

0-3

6

Grounded now, but remember this is how they started last year….

8

TL’s Outlaws

0-3

8

And it doesn’t get any easier….

Week 4 picks

DaBoys vs. The XLerators (+3) 

And, as with past seasons, it has come to pass:  The watershed game against DaBoys.  In each of their past seasons, the XLs have come up against DaBoys – only to lose.  To make matters worse, it seemed to set the tone for the XLs season the rest of the way. 

So here we are:  Find a way to beat DaBoys and the XLs may turn it around.  Lose, and expect yet another downward spiral towards the league cellar.  With Dallas facing a weak Titans squad, plus catching one of the best defenses (Steelers) in a bye week, it would seem like the latter scenario will yet again come to pass.  That said the XLs counter with Glenn – and if Minnesota can continue to play well on defense, maybe this will be the year…especially with Manning at the helm. 

Pick:  The XLs to cover

Da Raidaz vs. Dakota Cheddar (+45)

Even though the Cheddar have two spots filled with players on a bye, this feels like it could be that kind of a blowout.  If Chicago struggled as they did against Minnesota, don't expect any better vs. Seattle.  That said, I'm curious to see whether Cincy has a letdown after their big win last week....

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar plus the points

Yardbyrdz vs. Rapid Delivery (+17)

The Brydz are desperate for a win - and this appears to be their week at first glance - considering how Vick barely got enough points for RD last week against the XLs.  But I don't know if ANYone would ever pick Pennington over Vick, or would be ready to believe the Saints are for real....

Pick:  Rapid Delivery to cover

TL's  Outlaws vs. Creepy Crawlers (-16)

CCs already have several 100+ point games to their credit so far - and with a resurgent McNabb and a re-born Baltimore defense, this could result in yet another.  That said the loss of Alexander is a big blow, and the Outlaws may yet be wheelin and dealin to fill those bye gaps by kickoff....

Pick:  Creepy Crawlers straight up.

 

 

Week 3 Preview

What kind of a world do we live in where you score over 100 points and lose?  That the pick to go all the way to the Super Bowl starts 0-2?  That the 49ers could be the bane of your existence?  The Vikes 2-0?!  Steelers shut out?!?!  My going 0-4 in last week’s picks (I think that’s a first)?!?

Well, at least SOME things are starting to go according to plan.  The brothers Manning are playing to form, Cincy is geared up for their showdown against the Steelers, and Detroit still sucks!  But not enough went according to plan to save myself for a horrible week of picks (ouch)!

Week 2 picks:  0-4; Season:  3-5

Week 2 Power Rankings

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Rapid Delivery

2-0

1

Can RD treat this year’s matchup with XLs as a bye?

2

Creepy Crawlers

2-0

3

I TOLD you to watch out for these guys….

3

Da Raidaz

1-1

2

Win against Yardbyrdz doesn’t seem so impressive now…

4

Dakota Cheddar

1-1

4

News Flash:  Big Ben broken; causes drop in Hines stock

5

The XLerators

1-1

6

Steelers almost gave XLs another loss!

6

The Yardbyrdz

0-2

5

Not the way to start a season

7

DaBoys

1-1

8

What QB controversy?!?

8

TL’s Outlaws

0-2

7

This dismal start is brought to you by the letters ‘S’ and ‘F’ – and by the number ‘49’

 

Week 3 picks: 

Rapid Delivery vs. The XLerators (off) 

Have to assume RD will have a TE in play by kickoff, so assigning a point spread now would be unfair.  What has also been unfair is RD’s complete domination of the XLs in seasons past – I can’t remember a single game that was even close.  With the XLs hitting a new franchise high in points (89) last week, it would seem as good a time as any to buck the trend.  Big questions loom, tho:  Will the Jag’s D give a healthy Peyton the same trouble as they gave a still-hurting Roethlisberger?  Will the pair of S. Moss and Randle El finally break out against a weak Texans D?  

It may come down to this:  Which Defense will do better?  The odds say Chicago will snap the 2-0 Vikings into reality, while Cincy will exact their revenge against Pittsburgh.  I had said last year to never underestimate a division foe.  But could that not cut both ways?  Could the Vikes actually take it to the Bears?  Could Pittsburgh rebound and hold serve at Heinz Field?  I said I’d probably regret picking against RD last week and sure enough I did.  I really shouldn’t press my luck again….ah heck with it! 

Pick:  The XLerators straight up ß UPSET SPECIAL!!!!

 

DaBoys vs. Dakota Cheddar (-57) 

That’s right – a 57-point spread!  It appears that DaBoys are suffering the Bye Week Blues (just as the XLs had in the past), but that’s what happens when you pick mostly from your favorite team!  It almost appears DaBoys penciled this one in as an automatic loss, but I’m guessing they will try to make a move or two by kickoff.  

I like to think I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong:  DaBoys, I was wrong about last week being a “power lock (where I picked the Outlaws to beat you).  That said, THIS week is a power lock: 

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar straight up.

 

TL’s Outlaws vs. Da Raidaz (-7) 

Da Raidaz’s having Holt dilutes TL’s having Bulger.  And if the Cincinnati/Pittsburgh tilt is anything like December 4, 2005, having Palmer alone may be enough for Da Raidaz.  The Outlaws have a shot should Seattle wilt against Eli and Plax, but I think Atlanta is heading into a “trap” game – with the emotional reopening of the SuperDome this Monday night…. 

Pick:  Da Raidaz, minus the points.

 

Yardbyrdz vs. Creepy Crawlers (off) 

Again, some pieces are missing, so no line.  Should my upset special hold, this would leave CC as the only undefeated team this year (I think it took 5 weeks for the last undefeated team to go down in 2005).  My first thought was to see CC remain undefeated.  However, Carolina is desperate for a boost – and playing a reeling Tampa Bay squad may be just what the doctor ordered! 

The “wild card” of all this, however, is Steve Smith.  If he would be able to play against the Bucs, then I think the advantage swings back to CC. 

Pick:  Yardbyrds straight up (please change pick to CC if Smith plays)

 

Week 2 Preview

If somebody would have told you that Peyton Manning and Co. would have to settle for field goals in 3 trips to the Red Zone…that Carolina would lay an egg against Atlanta…that Cincy’s D would throttle LJ and the Chiefs…you’d call them crazy, right?

Welcome to another crazy year of fantasy football, people!

My XLs, as I grab my crying towel, pick up where they left off – products of bad luck and bad timing.  Of course, no one was more unfortunate this week than the Yardbyrdz and Outlaws.

Oh, for at least ONE week of normalcy!!!!

Week 1 picks:  3-1; Season:  3-1

Week 1 Power Rankings

Rank

Team Name

Record

Last week

Skinny

1

Rapid Delivery

1-0

2

RD is back on familiar ground – the top!

2

Da Raidaz

1-0

4

Revenge factor in full effect (too bad they couldn’t do this in their last game)

3

Creepy Crawlers

1-0

3

Watch out for these guys….

4

Dakota Cheddar

1-0

5

I thought Portis was sitting!!!

5

The Yardbyrdz

0-1

1

Not the way to start a Championship defense….

6

The XLerators

0-1

7

Oops – picked the wrong Manning!

7

TL’s Outlaws

0-1

6

Everyone seems to start this way against Rapid Delivery

8

DaBoys

0-1

8

At least T.O. decided to play!

 

Week 2 picks:  

Yardbyrdz vs. The XLerators (+7)  

This smells every bit like the ‘ol “Why couldn’t we have played them last week” deals for the XLs (which sprang up all-too-often for them in 2005).  The Brydz scored an uncharacteristic 59 points last week, while the XLs matched their franchise high of 81.  That mark will likely not be enough for the XLs this week, as the Brydz’s WR corps gets decidedly easier assignments over XL’s wideouts.  Look for the XL’s 3-game regular season losing streak to continue….  

Pick:  Yardbyrdz straight up.

 

Rapid Delivery vs. Dakota Cheddar (-8)  

How in world does a team, after setting a league record for points scored in a game (142), go into the following week as the underdogs?!?  When the bulk of their squad has to face the defending NFC champs as the Cheddar face somewhat softer opposition (and Cincy's defense won't even have to take out the opposing QB this time!).  Yes, Seattle didn’t look too good last week, but we saw most clubs start slow in Week 1.  Don’t expect more of the same in Week 2.  And, while I will probably shoot myself for doing this, I am actually going to bet against RD….  

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar straight up.

 

TLs Outlaws vs. DaBoys (+3)  

As unlucky as the Outlaws were last week, they are equally as fortunate this week:  Playing the weakest team in the league while facing much more manageable opponents.  Add Bledsoe’s looking over his shoulder (can we say QB controversy?) to the mix, and this pick is as close to a power lock as you can get….  

Pick:  TL’s Outlaws, minus the points.

 

Creepy Crawlers vs. Da Raidaz (-3)  

If it were just between defenses, I’d say advantage Crawlers.  That said I have to give a slight edge to Da Raidaz with a seemingly healthy Palmer.  I think Green Bay playing against New Orleans helps Creepy, but probably not enough to turn the tide….  

Pick:  Da Raidaz straight up.

 

Week 1 Picks:

Dakota Cheddar vs. The Xlerators (-16) 

The XLs look good on paper with Peyton Manning, but The Cheddar counter nicely with his favorite target.  What this comes down to, then, is the defenses and the other wide-outs.  Is Randle El going to hit the ground running – or hit the ground hard?  With Jurevicius going against a weak Saints team, and Williams going against a strong Seahawk “D,” plus the question mark of Hines Ward and his hamstring, the edge may go to the XLs, but I wouldn’t say it’s a 16-point edge…. 

Pick:  Dakota Cheddar, plus the points 

TL’s Outlaws vs. Rapid Delivery (-7) 

The Outlaws have the misfortune of going against the league juggernaut while their position players face tough squads.  This being Week 1, however, you never know.  That IS why you play the game, but I think RD has the “edge” in this one…. 

Pick:  Rapid Delivery minus the points 

Creepy Crawlers vs. DaBoys (+12) 

Hopefully for the Crawlers, this will come down to a Vanderjagt field goal try (har har).  Actually, DaBoy’s hopes may ride not only on B.O. (I mean T.O.) and his ability (and willingness) to play for his new squad, but on whether Bledsoe is fit to play…. 

Pick:  Creepy Crawlers straight up

Yardbyrds vs. Da Raidaz (-6) 

In this 2005 Championship rematch, this one looks too close to call.  One possible swaying factor is whether Palmer will be ready to go.  Of course, if he is, this favorite target Johnson gets points as well.  That means advantage Byrdz….unless the “revenge factor” comes into play….

Pick:  Yardbyrdz straight up.

 

The Frozen Tundra – 2006 Preview 

Anyone else see that coming????

Any loyal fan worth their salt will always have a place in their heart where they think:  Why not?  Why not my team winning it all this year??  While that thinking is often tempered by various doses of reality, its still there.

My Steelers thought “why not” last year.  And won.  

In front of my very own eyes, no less (thanks to my better half for pushing me into trying to get a ticket)!  Must have been the lucky sock (a choice few of you know what that means)!  

I'm sure a few people out there are still sitting around thinking "they actually WON the whole thing?!?"  

I know I had even said, after their Dec 4, 2005 loss to Cincinnati, that they may have become pretenders versus contenders.  All they did after that was win every single game going forward.  And I guarantee you that, even during the frenzied final minutes against Indy, and when it looked like Seattle was going to waltz into the end zone for the go-ahead score after their second pick of Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl, I still found a part of myself saying "why not?"

Why not indeed....

And now, as a new Frozen Tundra season approaches, I ask of my T.A. Starfires:  Why not?  Why not us this year?

Maybe it’s the name – maybe a shake-up is in order.  In tribute to the Super Bowl Champions, The T.A. Starfires shall be renamed:

The XLerators!

(This is where you go “oooh” and “ahhh”)

Anyway, here is how the teams shake out coming into 2006 (2005 final rank is their power ranking, not their official order of finish):

2006 Preseason Power Rankings

Rank

Team Name

2005 Record

2005 PPG

2005 Final Rank

Key Stats:

Skinny/ Prediction

1

The Yardbyrdz

9-5

79.3

1

Started 2005 with a 1-3 record before hitting stride.  Blew away competition in the playoffs.  Big Ben got the One for the Thumb, but can his thumb stay healthy this year?

They will stay in the mix again in ’06 – but the defending Champions no longer have the element of surprise.

2

Rapid Delivery (formerly Minot Cardinals)

10-4

79.1

2

Indy played well for Minot – too well as they clinched home field when Minot needed them most.  Goodbye Indy, hello to the Cards (again the dark horse pick this year)

Despite stumbling in the playoffs last year, this is still the team to beat.

3

Creepy Crawlers

--

--

--

The Crawlers come back after a year off – and have arguably the best draft in the league.

As Mossy Raiders did before them, expect Creepy Crawlers to make some noise in 2006….

4

Da Raidaz

9-5

71.1

3

Two straight championship game appearances, two straight championship game losses.

The window of opportunity may be closing for Da Raidaz…especially relying on two QBs sporting bum wheels.

5

Dakota Cheddar

6-8

65.3

5

The Cheddar make huge strides in 2005 in winning the Consolation Championship, with only a mid-season rule change in scoring keeping them from the championship bracket.

With Eli and the Super Bowl MVP in tow, expect The Cheddar to evolve into contenders in 2006.

6

TL’s Outlaws

--

--

--

The Outlaws are a new team manned by a former Minnesota-based football star, who shares the same moniker as a certain “Freak”

If key players like Moss and Bulger find ways to produce, the Outlaws should stay in the mix (especially since they shied away from T.O.)

7

The XLerators (a.k.a. The T.A. Starfires)

4-10

59.7

8

The XLs actually played better in 2005 (59.7 PPG versus 50.9 in ‘04; 4 of their losses were by 10 points or less), yet still managed to have a worse record.

WHAT?!  No all-Steelers?!  Letting Big Ben and Hines get away?!  The blasphemy!!!!

With their new-found willingness to diversify and the “law of averages (no team can be THIS unlucky forever)” working for them, expect The XLs to make their first playoff appearance in franchise history (of course having an 8-team league with an 8-team playoff bracket helps).

8

DaBoys

7-7

54.6

9

As in 2004, cashing in on being lucky vs. good got Da Boys into the postseason in 2005.  This year sees another mostly-Cowboys squad (did they learn nothing from the Starfires?!?

The fact everyone will make the playoffs stands as the only reason DaBoys will not be on the outside looking in this year.