Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 5

Did you have either Julio Jones or Matt Ryan in your lineup last week? Both? Or did you leave one on your bench because you underestimated how good they are paired together?

matt-and-julio

It’s hard to doubt these two again for a while, right? They (the unstoppable force) take on Denver (an immovable object). Ryan is the the highest scoring quarterback in Fantasy Football. The Denver defense leads the league in sacks, have only allowed 1 touchdown reception (to Kelvin Benjamin) and have allowed just 3 receptions on 7 targets in the red zone.

X-Factor? Julio being Julio. He’s a Mutant and likely future X-Men, so there’s that.

Mail Time!

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TE: You have a strong predicament there, considering both TEs are facing really terrible defenses. With Tom Brady returning and Rob Gronkowski back to 100%, I feel more comfortable with Zach Miller’s targets this weekend than Martysaurus Rex. Miller is definitely going to be depended on more with the loss of Kevin White and he is going up against The Replacements…being the Colts linebackers.

QB: Neither matchup looks pretty for your quarterbacks but there are two things to consider:

  1. Matt Ryan is playing like the best quarterback in football right now.
  2. The Eagles defense hasn’t allowed a passing touchdown yet this season.

The Falcons run game helps setup Ryan and his receivers better, even against the Broncos defense.

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TE: Martysaurus. 

RB: I like Giovani Bernard’s ability in open space against Dallas much more than Tevin Coleman having to play second fiddle against the Broncos.

WR: Sammy Coates was one of the best WR pickups you could snag on the waiver-wire this week but I like Quincy Enunwa much more in this matchup, with Eric Decker likely to sit out. Steeler’s are ranked 30th in defending #2 WRs.

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QB: I’m shocked Philip Rivers is available in your league. If you can get him, play him. The Raiders are THE WORST at defending pass yards and are in the bottom 3rd in allowing pass touchdowns.

DEF: The Rams will be your best bet this weekend, as they are SMOTHERING quarterbacks this year and not even Tyrod Taylor can out run Aaron Donald.

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TE: Ertz. Carson Wentz loves throwing to his tight end and the Lions haven’t figured out how to defend the position in the past season and a half.

WR: For the reasons I like Philip Rivers above, I REALLY like Travis Benjamin. You don’t have a bad play though, considering Jordan Matthews plays out of the slot and will do so in a very good matchup. The Lions allow the 6th most fantasy points against receivers.

 

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I also don’t feel good about Stafford this week, but if you can stream a QB…go with #HoyerTheDestroyer. He has 300+ yards and 2 TDs in each of his past 2 starts and it should continue this weekend against a Colts defense that has 3 TDs to 2 of the 4 QBs they have played against this year.

 

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QB: I feel better about Wentz against the Lions than I do Jameis repeating Matt Ryan’s murderous work. I don’t think you’ll be particularly wrong with either though.

RB: GAH…it pains me to say it because I’m not a big fan of his Fantasy prowess (love him as a person though) but you have to go with Frank Gore in this matchup. Davonta Freeman is facing the best defense in football. Gore is not.

 

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We don’t normally do Keeper League things on here, but I do want to talk about Kevin White. White was getting better every week before he was placed on IR. He had more receptions than any Bears receiver in their first 4 games. I think it depends on how desperate you are for an extra roster spot, what’s available, who will emerge to pickup for your draft next year…I haven’t given up on White’s potential and I like the prospects of him playing with a new quarterback in 2017.

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Ben. 

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I hope you didn’t go with Michael Floyd…

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The best thing in this trade appears to be Michael Crabtree. Problem is…Kelce has all the ability to be a top end Tight End and could be elite paired with a Top 10 quarterback. You don’t seem to be needy for a major trade but Crabtree would help you in the short run…Kelce would help you in the long run. I’ll let you decide.

 

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter

Brewers Association Sends Peyton Manning A Craft Beer Package

No, not fans of the Milwaukee Brewers who may be partial to Miller-Coors.

Brewers slide

Following his Super Bowl 50 win, and likely his ride into the sunset of an incredible career, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight…I promise you that.”

It felt like one more ad for Budweiser, although not nearly as good as the one featuring Helen Mirren. Some people were angered by the gesture, calling Manning a sellout. I had no problem with it, considering someone does the same thing every year or yells that they are “going to Disney World!” It turns out that Manning wasn’t paid by Budweiser to say anything, according to the head of their marketing-communications department.

Maybe Manning just really likes Budweiser. I don’t mind it myself, but I would prefer drinking craft beer…and so do the Brewers Association.

Posted by CraftBeer.com (the official medium of the Brewers Association), the “not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers” has sent Manning a care package of some of their favorite beers.

“Wouldn’t he rather have a beer more fitting of his superstardom; maybe a beer that more closely represents the Bronco’s status as an underdog? That’s what we believe small and independent craft brewers represent.” 

Here are the beers included in Peyton’s package (get your mind out of the gutter):

  • Black Bavarian (German-style Schwarzbier) | Sprecher Brewing Co. | Glendale, WI
  • Apricot Blonde (Blonde Ale) | Dry Dock Brewing Co. | Aurora, CO
  • Craft Lager (American Lager) | Upslope Brewing Co. | Boulder, CO
  • Colorado Kolsch (German-style Kolsch) | Steamworks Brewing Co. | Durango, CO
  • Racer 5 IPA (India Pale Ale) | Bear Republic Brewing Co. | Healdsburg, CA
  • Samuel Adams Boston Lager (Vienna-style Lager) | Boston Beer Co. | Boston, MA
  • Mojo IPA (India Pale Ale) | Boulder Beer Co. | Boulder, CO
  • Sawtooth Ale Nitro (Extra Special Bitter) | Left Hand Brewing Co. | Longmont, CO
  • Session Cream Summer Ale (Cream Ale) | Full Sail Brewing Co. | Hood River, OR
  • Graham Cracker Porter (American Porter) | Denver Beer Co. | Denver, CO

What other craft brews would you recommend to Peyton Manning? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

#SB50 Roundup: Prop Bets, Podcast, Playlist and More

 

Tonight’s the night…

(5:30 PM CT for kickoff, to be exact)

A week (and a year) of hype for the 50th installment of THE BIGGEST SPORTING EVENT IN THE WORLD. All caps necessary. 

Here on MichaelPiff.com we did everything we could to get you prepared for the “Big Game”. 

ALL THE PROP BETS…

From the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach to the combination of tonight’s victor and our next President, listed HERE. 

The Piffcast…

We brought back the show just in time for Super Bowl 50! Don’t forget to post your Super Bowl Party spread to Facebook or Twitter. The tastiest looking pic wins the first Piffcast Prize Pack. One of the things included is mentioned early in the show, so listen up!

 

The Playlist…

For your Super Bowl party, check out the music from the artists we listed in the “Denver vs. Carolina: Everything But Football” breakdown…and the Halftime acts too. 

 

And more…

Like the 2016 NFL Bad Lip Reading videos…Parts I

and II

 

Follow along on Twitter during the game and don’t forget to send your Super Bowl Spread pics to @Mike_PiFF03 for a chance at the first ever Piffcast Prize Pack

Fantasy Football Awards 2015

Has your Fantasy Football withdrawal kicked in already? Are you already thinking about next year’s draft? Yeah, me too…That’s why I’ll be frequently updating my draft boards on MichaelPiff.com starting next week.

But first…

We have some awards to hand out from the 2015 season!

 

This season was wild. Injuries, suspensions, surprises, Gary Barnidges, backup quarterbacks, drama and more drama…We’ll look at all the impact players, and some of the worst, that dictated your fantasy season this past season.

 

MVP

CamVP

Cam Newton, Panthers

Every year you do your Fantasy draft, who usually goes off the board first?…Running backs. Then someone drafts Aaron Rodgers (probably Andrew Luck this year too) ridiculously high and some wide receivers will round out your first round. Quarterbacks don’t typically start to go in bulk until the 4th round and Cam Newton wasn’t even being considered until the 8th. His average draft position was 77.1 overall, average round was 8.4.

Those who rolled with Newton, and weren’t afraid of the lack of hype around his wide receivers, reaped ALL the benefits of #1 scoring quarterback in football. He finished the season leading the league in total touchdowns with 45 (35 passing, 10 rushing) and added 4,473 yards from scrimmage (3,837 passing, 635 rushing). Newton’s stretch from Week 11-15 (19 total touchdowns) likely helped carry you to your league’s championship too.

Next Best: Carson Palmer

Hard not to consider Carson Palmer as an MVP as well since he regularly gave you at least 290+ yards and 2-3 touchdowns through the air.

Biggest Bust of the Year

Lacy Bust

Eddie Lacy, Packers

I can’t fault players who miss time or underperform due to injury. The top tier of the running backs almost all suffered this, besides Adrian Peterson. Eddie Lacy wasn’t hurt though. Lacy was a Top 5 pick in most leagues, and he gave you just 3 rushing touchdowns and 758 yards on the ground in 15 games. He was out of shape, missing curfews, and just simply…bad. If any of his 3 games of 100+ yards helped you, I imagine it was because you were desperate at running back. It took Lacy until Week 11 to do so.

Next Worst: Dez Bryant 

I’m probably breaking my injury rule here, but you likely picked Bryant late 1st or early 2nd round, held on to him while he was injured, and got just 3 touchdowns and 401 yards in 9 games for your patience. Tony Romo or not, Bryant is supposed to be a game changer…not THAT.

 

Draft Steal

Devonta Steal

Devonta Freeman, Falcons

If you paid close attention to the Falcons in the offseason, you were weighing your options of taking rookie Tevin Coleman or 2nd year RB Devonta Freeman as one of your flier picks. If you picked Freeman, you CHOSE WISELY. Freeman went 119th overall on average, 2 rounds or so after Coleman, and he gave you 1,639 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns (most in the league). He also helped you stack up some wins from Weeks 2-6 with 10 touchdowns (9 rushing, 1 receiving).

Next Best: Tom Brady

If you picked Tom Brady before his suspension was lifted, you got him at backup value in later rounds. If you took him after, you still enjoyed his #RevengeTour with 36 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions.

Waiver Wire Pickup of the Year

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers

DeAngelo Williams, Steelers

While Le’Veon Bell served his 2 game suspension to start the year, DeAngelo Williams filled in with 204 yards and 3 touchdowns (all in one game). After Bell went on IR following Week 8, Williams gave you high-end RB1 production, averaging 125 yards from scrimmage and finishing tied with Freeman for the league’s lead in rushing TDs.

Next Best: Gary Barnidge

Might gut went with Gary Barnidge initially, but Williams’s value after Bell went down was just too strong…Barnidge was certainly the breakout player of the year, posting 1,043 yards and 9 touchdowns on 79 catches at the age of 30. Before this year, Barnidge’s career totals were 604 yards, 44 catches and 3 touchdowns over 7 years.

Comeback Player of the Year

DMartin Comeback

Doug Martin, Buccaneers

I’ll admit it. I wrote off the Muscle Hamster. After recording nearly 2,000 yards yards from scrimmage his rookie season, the guy barely hit half of that total over the next 2 years because of injuries, bad offensive lines and worse offensive coordinators. Bucs OC Dirk Koetter figured it all out though and made Doug Martin into the league’s 2nd leading rusher, picking up 1,402 yards on the ground. For someone who went in the 9th round on average in most fantasy drafts, I think you’d take that.

Next Best: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the definition of a journeyman quarterback. 6 teams in 10 years, never making the playoffs and a career high of 24 touchdown passes in both the seasons he started all 16 games…until this year. Surround his beard with 2 excellent possession receivers, a quality offensive line, and 2 viable running backs and Fitzpatrick turns into FitzMagic throwing 31 touchdowns. He threw multiple touchdowns in 12 of his 16 starts…Who figured Geno Smith getting punched in the face would benefit them so well?

 

Rookie of the Year

Gurley Rookie

Todd Gurley, Rams

It’s hard not to picture Todd Gurley being drafted in your first round next season. In 12 starts, the rookie out of Georgia 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground (2nd highest in the league). Gurley was the Rams’ only source of offense, which explained some of the slow down in production down the stretch as opposing defenses keyed in on him. Expect Gurley to just get stronger and scarier now that he’ll have a full offseason without rehabbing an injury.

Next Best: Jameis Winston

It’s easy to compare Jameis Winston with Marcus Mariota, both rookie QBs with Heisman trophies in their mantles. Winston separated himself from Mariota with big play ability, ranked 2nd in yards per completion (13), and was more consistent for scoring in the 2nd half of the season.

 

Best Lineup

QB: Cam Newton, Panthers – 3,837 yards, 35 TD passing / 636 yards, 10 TD rushing

WR:  Antonio Brown, Steelers – 1,834 yards, 136 catches, 10 TD

WR: Julio Jones, Falcons – 1,871 yards, 136 catches, 8 TD

WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Texans – 1,521 yards, 111 catches, 11 TD

RB: Adrian Peterson, Vikings – 1,485 yards, 11 TD rush / 30 catches, 222 yards receiving

RB: Devonta Freeman, Falcons – 1,061 yards, 11 TD rush / 73 catches, 578 yards 3 TD receiving

FLEX: Odell Beckham Jr, Giants – 1,450 yards, 96 catches, 13 TD (15 games)

TE: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots – 72 catches, 1,176 yards, 11 TD 

K: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots – 33/36 FG, 52/52 PAT

DEF – Denver Broncos – 52 sacks, 14 INT, 16 fumble recoveries, 5 TD

 

Rising Lineup

QB: Kirk Cousins, Washington 

WR: Allen Robinson, Jaguars 

WR: Doug Baldwin, Seahawks 

WR: Brandin Cooks, Saints 

RB: Todd Gurley, Rams 

RB: David Johnson, Cardinals 

FLEX: Lamar Miller, Dolphins 

K: Brandon McManus, Broncos 

DEF: Minnesota Vikings 

 

Who are your picks for our Year-End Fantasy Awards? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter! Stay tuned for year-round Fantasy Football info for next year’s draft!

 

 

 

 

#TBT Year in Review: 1998

Two years before Y2K, yet everyone was talking about it…and these things.

  • Bill Clinton dominated the headlines and SNL for his “off the field” issues.
  • Before teaching you how to survive EVERYTHING, Bear Grylls became the youngest person to scale Mount Everest at 23. 
  • Microsoft released Windows 98…some of you still use it.
  • The Winter Olympics were held in Nagano, Japan.
  • Will Smith’s son Jaden was born and former Hall of Fame Bears quarterback Sid Luckman passed away at the age of 81.

And this is what we saw in the worlds of Movies, Music and Sports!

Movies

Comedy

The Truman Show, There’s Something About Mary, Rushmore, Can’t Hardly Wait, Patch Adams, You’ve Got Mail, Dr. Dolittle, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, Baseketball, Night at the Roxbury, Almost Heroes, Waking Ned Devine, Bulworth, Sliding Doors, Blues Brothers 2000, How Stella Got Her Groove Back AND…

The Big Lebowski

Action/Thriller

Ronin, Enemy of the State, Fallen, U.S. Marshals, The Negotiator, Mercury Rising, Lethal Weapon 4, Wild Things, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Godzilla, Rush Hour, The Siege, Psycho, Snake Eyes, The Faculty, A Perfect Murder, Out of Sight, The X-Files, Hard Rain, Lost in Space, The Mask of Zorro, Dark City, Sphere, Small Soldiers, John Carpenter’s Vampires, The Big Hit, Phantoms, Black Dog, Halloween: H20, Desperate Measures, Blade, Deep Impact AND…

Armageddon

Drama

Saving Private Ryan, American History X, Meet Joe Black, What Dreams May Come, Elizabeth, A Civil Action, The Thin Red Line, City of Angels, Shakespeare In Love, Ever After, Another Day in Paradise, 54, Rounders, He Got Game, Stepmom, Les Miserables, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, Great Expectations AND…

Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas

Animated

Mulan, The Prince of Egypt, The Rugrats Movie, Antz, AND…

A Bug’s Life

The 71st Oscars Nominees/Winners

Best Actor

Nick Nolte, Affliction

            Edward Norton, American History X

            Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan

            Ian McKellen, Gods and Monsters 

            Roberto Benigni, Life Is Beautiful – Winner

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Robert Duvall, A Civil Action

            Ed Harris, The Truman Show

            Geoffery Rush, Shakespeare in Love

            Billy Bob Thornton, A Simple Plan

            James Coburn, Affliction – Winner

Best Actress

 

            Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth

            Fernanda Montenegro, Central Station

            Meryl Streep, One True Thing

            Emily Watson, Hilary and Jackie

            Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love – Winner

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

 

            Lynn, Redgrave, Gods and Monsters

            Kathy Bates, Primary Colors

            Brenda Blethyn, Little Voice

            Rachel Griffiths, Hilary and Jackie

            Judie Dench, Shakespeare in Love – Winner 

Best Picture

 

            Elizabeth

            Life is Beautiful

            Saving Private Ryan

            The Thin Red Line

            Shakespeare in Love – Winner

Music

Rock Albums

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Hip-Hop

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Hot 100

  1. “Too Close” – Next
  2. “The Boy Is Mine” – Brandy and Monica
  3. “You’re Still the One” – Shania Twain
  4. “Truly Madly Deeply” – Savage Garden
  5. “How Do I Live” – LeAnn Rimes
  6. “Together Again” – Janet
  7. “All My Life” – K-Ci & JoJo
  8. “Candle in the Wind 1997” – Elton John
  9. “Nice and Slow” – Usher
  10. “I Don’t Wait to Wait” – Paula Cole
  11. “How’s It Going to Be” – Third Eye Blind
  12. “No, No, No” – Destiny’s Child
  13. “My Heart Will Go On” – Celine Dion
  14. “Getting’ Jiggy wit It” – Will Smith
  15. “You Make Me Wanna” – Usher
  16. “My Way” – Usher
  17. “My All” – Mariah Carey
  18. “The First Night” – Monica
  19. “Been Around the World” – Puff Daddy feat. Mase and Notorious B.I.G
  20. “Adia” – Sarah McLachlan

Sports

Baseball 

Offensive Leaders:

Average: Larry Walker (COL) – .363

Hits: Dante Bichette (COL) – 219

Home Runs: Mark McGwire (STL) – 70

RBI: Sammy Sosa (CHC) – 158

OPS: Mark McGwire (STL) – 1.222

Stolen Bases: Rickey Henderson (OAK) – 66

Pitching:

Wins: Roger Clemens (TOR), Rick Helling (TEX), David Cone (NYY), Tom Glavine (ATL) – 20

ERA: Greg Maddux (ATL) – 2.22

Strikeouts: Randy Johnson (SEA/HOU) – 329

Complete Games: Curt Schilling (PHI) – 15

Shutouts: Randy Johnson – 6

Saves: Trevor Hoffman (SD) – 53 

MVP:

AL: Juan Gonzalez (TEX)

NL: Sammy Sosa (CHC)

CY Young:

AL: Roger Clemens (TOR)

NL: Tom Glavine (ATL)

Rookie of the Year:

AL: Ben Grieve (OAK)

NL: Kerry Wood (CHC)

World Series: New York Yankees over San Diego Padres (4-0)

Basketball

NCAA

Final Four:

(2) Kentucky, (3) Utah, (3) Stanford, and (1) North Carolina

National Championship:

(2) Kentucky over (3) Utah 78-69

NBA

League Leaders:

Points Per Game: Michael Jordan (CHI) – 28.7

Rebounds Per Game: Dennis Rodman (CHI) – 15.0

Assists Per Game: Rod Strickland (WAS) – 10.5 

All-NBA Team:

Tim Duncan (SA)

Michael Jordan (CHI)

Karl Malone (UTAH)

Shaquille O’Neal (LAL)

Gary Payton (SEA) 

MVP: Michael Jordan (CHI)

Rookie of the Year: Tim Duncan (SA)

NBA Finals: Chicago Bulls over Utah Jazz (4-2)

Football

NCAA

Heisman Trophy Winner:

Ricky Williams, University of Texas

National Championship:

Tennessee over Florida State (23-16) in the Fiesta Bowl 

NFL

League Leaders:

Passing Yards: Brett Favre (GB) – 4,212

Passing Touchdowns: Steve Young (SF) – 36

Passer Rating: Randall Cunningham (MIN) – 106.0

Rushing Yards: Terrell Davis (DEN) – 2,008

Rushing Touchdowns: Terrell Davis (DEN) – 21

Receptions: O.J. McDuffie (MIA) – 90

Receiving Yards: Antonio Freeman (GB) – 1,424

Receiving Touchdowns: Randy Moss (MIN) – 17

AP MVP:

Terrell Davis (DEN)

Super Bowl:

Denver Broncos over Atlanta Falcons (34-19)

Super Bowl MVP:

John Elway 

John Elway SB 33

Hockey

League Leaders:

Goals: Peter Bondra (WSH) & Teemu Selanne (ANA) – 52

Assists: Wayne Gretzky (NYR) & Jaromir Jagr (PIT) – 67

Points: Jaromir Jagr (PIT) – 102

Hart Memorial Trophy:

Dominik Hasek (BUF) 

Stanley Cup:

Detroit Redwings over Washington Capitals (4-0)

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.