Commentary From the Edge: Week 7
Kevin Ratterree
October 16, 2012

The Jets are in first place in the AFC East. All four teams are 3-3. And the AFC has only two teams with a winning record. I think that says all you need to know about the 2012 NFL season. 3-3 is the thing to be.

The Falcons are the outlier at 6-0, but they certainly don’t present an invincible challenge. They have been taken to the wall a couple of times, most recently by the Raiders. The Raiders, playing essentially a 9AM game by their body clocks, gave the Falcons all they could handle. And the Raiders were maybe a Darren McFadden injury and a few Raideresque penalties away from winning that game.

Before last week, the Texans were seen as the class of the AFC. But the downtrodden Packers, (who I lashed out at in the column last week over their suckitude) put a humiliating beat-down on the front-runners. Oops. Seems our chosen ones are in deep doo-doo if they have to play from behind. The Packers rubbed their noses in it in front of a national TV audience. Crushed ‘em like an Armadillo on a Texas roadside. Crunch-time.

And the uncertainty over who will beat who on any given week extends into the fantasy realm. I have teams with 80 point spreads between my best and worst games. The good weeks are huge. The bad weeks are embarrassingly bad. This is not an ideal scenario for the upcoming three week tournament. Assuming I survive the inevitable dogfight just to grab a spot at the table.

But enough of my misery, how about yours? Hey, how is that Brian Hartline thing working out for you? About like the Kevin Ogletree, Andre Brown, Donnie Avery and Ramses Barden things worked out? Yep. This year the waiver wire is rougher than Madonna’s landing strip during her peak slut-years. The only people more pissed than duped Hartline owners are any fans of football in the state of Texas. Rough week. Lone Star football fans that started Hartline must be downright morbid.

Being a Missouri resident I have little sympathy for the Texas crowd.

But back to the sad waiver wire situation.  I have turned a few guys out on waivers I regret. Of course. It wouldn’t be a fantasy season without it. I took a flier on Josh Gordon in my keeper league draft. He was one of the early casualties of waivers.

What I should really do is just tell you in advance who I intend to drop on waivers, because they are guaranteed to go off in the following weeks. I dropped Dexter McCluster in the two leagues I still had him rostered in last week, and his total of 10 points was equal to his production over the last 3 weeks. I virtually assure you a 20 point effort is coming in the next game.

Of course, as with anybody my luck is not all bad. With bye week misery in full swing I felt I had nothing to lose by starting Chris Johnson last week. His 15 points actually ended up being enough to propel me to two victories over similarly “point challenged” teams. So here is my mea culpa for CJ and all the nasty keyboard daggers I’ve tossed his way over the last few weeks. CJ, thanks for not making be bend over to pick up the soap again. I was getting a bit like Madonna’s landing strip during her peak slut years back there.

But as always, for every solution a new problem. Now I am going to have to consider starting him when I actually have a choice again, so there are probably more bars of soap in my future.

No, this week it was Stevan Ridley that sent me reaching for the Lifebuoy. Lots of speculation last week about whether Belichick would put him in the doghouse for fumbling the week before. And despite dropping an early pass, and immediately giving way to Woodhead for awhile, Ridley ended up with enough touches to produce fantasy points. He just didn’t do it.

Hey Ridley, losing a fumble, dropping an easy pass, and going for two yards a clip on most of your carries isn’t exactly a path to the pro-bowl. Holy crap. And this all took place with the backdrop of Brandon Bolden getting injured and taken out of the game. It could have been even worse. Oh right, because 2 points is so much worse than 4 points.

My teams are 5-1, 4-2, 4-2 and 3-3. The 3-3 team really isn‘t even 3-3 good. 3rd lowest points in the league. And I am anything but confident about the winning teams. Every week I feel like I am whistling past the graveyard. 

James Jones is a point ahead of Julio Jones in the PPR rankings. That’s just wrong. Just like I was wrong to draft Julio Jones over A.J. Green in last year’s dynasty draft. I would feel sorry for myself, but I can’t help but think about the poor bastard that drafted Mark Ingram over both of them. Ouch. That definitely left a mark.

No matter how many times I see it, I never cease to be amazed by the stupidity of punching a guy with a helmet on. Then again, this is coming from a guy that drafted Jermichael Finley. So who am I to be the judge of stupid?

Misery Index

10b) Rams: I may not know stupid, but I do know smart. Jeff Fisher’s football IQ has raised about 40 points since he had the malignant growth known as Vince Young removed from his back.. That being said, it’s hard to out-gain a football team by over 200 yards and still lose. That’s not going to cut it in the NFC West. The AFC East yeah, but not the NFC West.

10a) Chargers: Advice? Cut Eddie Royal and replace him with a houseplant. At least Rivers will always know where the houseplant will be.

10) Steelers: You made the boys in Vegas very happy Thursday night, along with anybody desperate enough to start Chris Johnson. The throngs of Pennsylvania fans that shelled out airfare, scalper prices, and two nights stay at Billy Joe Bob‘s Truckport Hotel and Moonshine Lounge? Not so happy.

9) Lions: Okay, so you beat the Eagles. That’s a nice win. I suppose. Don’t let me disparage your V just because it came against a QB sloppier than Madonna after her peak slut years. I’m guessing the Bears won’t be quite as charitable as the Eagles, or Madonna.

8) Eagles: I wrote in this column, if memory serves me correct, that Andy Reid’s decision to change the direction of the organization and put it in the hands of Mike Vick would lead to his downfall. Mike Vick is a coach-killer. Dog killer. Coach killer. Dream killer. For the first year, it looked as though my opinion had been misguided. I had been a fool.  But at this point, Reid looks to be straddling the open hatch under the hangman’s noose, with Mike Vick below hanging onto his ankle and thrashing wildly over the edge of a cliff. Don’t worry Mike, the people that run the NFL are very forgiving once you have become useless to them. I mean, they let you live. They don’t electrocute you or anything.

7) Jacksonville: No, they don’t kill you. They might however torture you. Maybe ship you off to hold a clipboard for Blaine Gabbert in Jacksonville. Come in every time Gabbert gets injured and chuck some misguided passes to receivers that will make you miss the stylings of Jason Avant. That karma bitch will find you every time.

6) Cowboys: It’s funny, the Cowboys probably have as good a team as the Falcons, but unlike the Falcons these guys always find a way to lose the close ones. They are like the Falcons in an alternate universe on planet Jerra revolving around a very dark star. There are apparently no clocks there. Did you see these clowns milling around at the end of the game? Like the line of scrimmage was mined or something? What’s wrong coach, do you have to consult with Jerra on every play? Dude is 100 years old. He stopped making decisions that fast 50 years ago, and he sucked at it then. Just pretend the freaking headset isn’t working, put that Princeton education to good use, and pull something out of your ass. Or hey, you could give Romo a couple of plays to use in just those situations and let him run the damn team for a few seconds. I’m just thinking out loud here. I swear this team could fall in a blooming flower garden and come out smelling like a pile of crap.

5) Panthers: Reporter: So Cam, it seems you are having a bit of a sophomore slump, why are you struggling?
Cam: I know you are, but what am I?
Reporter: Some have questioned your leadership, any comments on that?
Cam: You’re not the boss of me.
Reporter: How are you handling losing after always being a winner at every level before the NFL?
Cam: (grabs self) Handle this loser!
Reporter: Some have called you a diva, how do you respond to that?
Cam (fingers in ears) Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala

4) Saints: I could have sworn that ‘Nawlins voodoo lady stuff was real, but Goodell’s junk hasn’t turned green and fallen off yet to the best of my knowledge, nor has his enormous ego or head shrunk any, so maybe there’s nothing to it after all.  

3) Raiders: I probably should cut you some slack. I mean, you had the Falcons bending over for the soap. But in the end you bailed them out with an NFL season high 12 penalties. The Index heavily weights pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. And your commitment to excellence in this category is above and beyond the smell of doody.

2) Browns: I would have bet my left nut against this team winning a game before their match-up against the Chiefs in December. The wife might have never missed it, but I‘m pretty sure I would have. So I guess it’s best that I didn’t do that.

1) Chiefs: After seeing Brady Quinn filling in for Matt Cassel, it appears the Chiefs fan’s enthusiasm for anybody besides Cassel may have been misplaced. We can only look forward to the faithfully disappointed fans repeating their ugly scene when Quinn gets laid out behind that offensive line that takes such offense to the offensive behavior. It’s only fair. If you are gonna be a-holes you should at least be equal opportunity a-holes.

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