On Episode 7 of The Piffcast, we took on a number of Heavyweight matches.
We started with the heaviest of fights, as Erik Childress (eFilmCritic, WGN Radio) joined the show to breakdown Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. We discussed what worked and what didn’t for the tentpole of the new extended DC Justice League film universe. Erik also recommended a few films to look out for from SXSW and Sundance. You can hear more of his work the Movie Madness Podcast. (Jump ahead to the 11:50 mark if you’d like)
Then we looked toward WrestleMania 32 with Rajiv Nathan (Idea Lemon). We went through each match on the card and what will be the biggest draw. He also has very cool project that will bring longtime WWE fans and creative likeminded individuals together! Find out how you can get involved. (43:41 mark)
If Fantasy Football and the NFL (or as some people call “Real Football”) have anything in common, it’s definitely the MVP race. After the Fantasy playoffs are over, we’ll award the best (and worst) from the season. Check out the results from last season here, where readers and I selected Comeback Player of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year, Steal of the Draft, Biggest Bust, and Most Valuable Player.
It’s funny how much we value running backs in the first round of the draft year to year, but the 5 most valuable players right now are definitely quarterbacks. By multiple fantasy websites, the common Top 5 looks like
Tom Brady (The Revenge Tour Continues)
The first skilled position player to pop up in Actual Fantasy Rankings is Odell Beckham Jr typically around 7th overall, and then finally RBs Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson to round out the Top 10. Your average league’s first 5 draft picks looked very similar to Jamaal Charles (IR), Marshawn Lynch (multiple injury stints), Le’Veon Bell (IR), Peterson (fine) and Eddie Lacy (benched at different points). If you’re still in the playoffs, you likely have any of the 5 quarterbacks listed above and/or navigated successfully around the unfortunate circumstances of the Top 5 running backs.
Julio Jones owners have probably been scratching their heads for a while now. Jones hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since November 1st, 7 weeks ago. Fortunately his reception and yardage numbers have been solid enough to suffice as a decent #2 or #3 for you, but that’s not why you drafted him. Jones is on pace to shatter the Falcons’ single season receiving record with potentially 1,755 yards, despite just awful play from Matt Ryan. Your patience for a Julio touchdown may finally pay off now as he faces a Jaguars secondary that has allowed 10 touchdowns to WRs in their last 8 games.
The story of the Miami Dolphins 2015 season could easily be explained by how they use Lamar Miller. In games that Miller has 13+ carries, the Dolphins are 5-0. When he doesn’t they are 0-8. Many jobs could have been saved if they just gave Lamar the rock but here we are, Dolphins…On Monday night against the Giants, Miller had 7 carries for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns just by the 10:10 mark in the 2nd quarter. He only got 5 carries and zero targets the rest of the game and they lost…of course.
A big part of Tom Brady’s case for MVP is his ability to continue winning and put up big numbers as everyone else around him goes down like characters on Game of Thrones. What’s encouraging though, especially for Fantasy owners, are that his playmakers are all making their way back (like perhaps SOME Game of Thrones characters, dun dun dun!). Gronk came back in a big way last Sunday. This week, Julian Edelman is back practicing in pads…like Stone Cold Steve Austin’s entrance music interrupting the entire league.
I think you’re certainly on the right track playing Denard Robinson this week. The matchup is juicier than a Juicy Lucy, which my Minnesota friends tell me is delicious. The Falcons have given up the most rushing touchdowns on the season with 15 and they are allowing more receptions to RBs than any other team. I know Todd Gurley seems sexy after his 2 touchdown performance and resurgence last week, but he’s going against one of the best run defenses in football. I would actually consider Matt Forte instead against a Vikings defense that could be missing Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith for a second week in a row. Forte also got 9 red zone carries to Jeremy Langford’s 2 last week.
If you feel strongly about Gurley, go for it and play him in your flex. Otherwise, I like Golden Tate in that spot against the New Orleans pass D. Excuse me while I puke think about them.
QB: You likely took Aaron Rodgers late in the 1st or somewhere in the 2nd round. This week is why you picked him there. He’s coming off the worst 10-game stretch of his career, there’s no doubt of that, but he’s taking on a an Oakland defense that allowed more than 2 TD games TWICE to Philip Rivers. Mike McCarthy took the play-calling duties back too, and he wears his play card on his sleeve…his play card being his heart in this metaphor, so expect a lot of stab tries down the field. I’m also not as confident in the Fitzmagic against the Dallas secondary as I would be against the rest of the NFC East.
RB: As I recommended earlier, go with Shoelace aka D-Rob. Then I lean toward Latavius Murray…partially because I don’t know what you’re going to get from Bryce Brown or Brandon Bolden, but also because the Packers have allowed touchdowns to running backs in 3 out of the last 4 weeks and 162 yards rushing to the Cowboys. He’s also a red zone carry machine for Oakland, getting 8 of the last 10 tries since Week 12.
Welcome to the Comeback Club, DB. I came back from an 0-6 start last season, only to get beat by my dad in the championship…
Third question in a row where I feel the need to drive home Denard Robinson. The Falcons have allowed more rushing touchdowns in the last 3 weeks (5), than 6 teams in the league have given up all year.
The 2nd choice I’m going to see what you feel better about. Out of your remaining options, I’m very intrigued by what Bryce Brown can do against the horrendous Browns run defense. It’s weird and scary because we have not seen him once all year, but he’s in line for a heavy workload. In the 4 games Brown had double-digit carries, he averaged 97 yards and a touchdown in each….Then there’s Bilal Powell, who has become a PPR beast in the last 2 weeks and is going against a Dallas team that allows the 4th most receiving yards and 8th most receptions to running backs. Potential upside’s higher with Brown, Powell is safer.
QB: I’m going with the QB that throws to Odell Beckham Jr. Also, the Carolina Panthers secondary just took a hit with Peanut Tillman dealing with a partially torn ACL having to put Bene Benwikere on IR. They could be starting a player they signed off the street on Tuesday, Robert McClain, and Eli Manning should be able to expose that with either ODB or Rueben Randle.
WR: Weird week for him last week, but Allen Robinson is a must start now, with 5 touchdowns in his last 3 games. He’s a big reason why #BortlesKombat is giving everyone he faces a FATALITY, and you can look at the work DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham did on the Falcons to feel better, combining for 16-303-1.
Now you have one of those GOOD problems. I am going with Doug Baldwin against he Browns though, especially if the Bryce Brown experiment doesn’t workout. If you believe in hot hands, there aren’t any hotter than Baldwin right now.
Lamar Miller, Randal. Lamar Miller.
(Read his “Quick Hit” above and you’ll understand why I’m not going into further depth on him.)
Have more lineup questions? Feel free to ask on both Facebook and Twitter! Also, don’t hesitate to post any questions for next week’s Mailbag. Good luck this weekend!
After both teams shook hands and the lights went dim at the Honda Center following the Western Conference Finals Game 7, Anaheim Ducks Super Fan/Crazy Person Emilio Estevez went eerily quiet on Twitter. All week, Estevez took to social media to channel a drunk version of his 1992 character, Coach Gordon Bombay, from ‘The Mighty Ducks’ to troll Chicago Blackhawks and act super sensitive when the tables were turned on him (he blocked me). The day after, Estevez did what all celebrities do after acting a fool on Twitter…claimed he was hacked (sarcastically).
This week, the coach from The Mighty Ducks movies broke into my home and took over my Twitter acct. I had him arrested. #orderrestored
Picking up the flag for Blackhawks antagonists, and ripping his tank top off in the process, is 12-time Champion of the World and apparent Tampa Bay Lightning die hard, Hulk Hogan.
“Chicago’s in a whole bunch of trouble,” said Hogan at an ESPN Special Olympics event yesterday. He also noted that the Lightning are undefeated when his daughter, Brooke, sings the National Anthem…
As I type that last bit, I start to wonder if this is really just plea to the Lightning to have his daughter sing in the Stanley Cup Final, but Hulkamania is “Running Wild” in Tampa regardless. While I would be more than okay with Hogan planting a running leg drop on Chicago’s worst celebrity ever, Jim Belushi, I have a few high profile fans in mind that I’d love to throw in the ring with him…rocking the Indian Head sweater.
Coincidentally, both Mr. T and Hogan starred in Rocky III together as Clubber Lang and Thunderlips. They also tag teamed on Saturday Night Liveand WrestleMania II…
but don’t be surprised to see the Lake Forest, IL resident lace’em up when the series makes it’s way back to the United Center. Anytime you’re asked to make a prediction on this series (or anything ever) the answer should be “PAIN!”
3. Michael Jordan
Is there a bigger name synonymous with Chicago? That question was rhetorical…His uniform and the Bulls championship banners he earned hang in the same arena that the Blackhawks skate in, but even Michael Jordan is a fan of a team on the verge of “dynasty” status. A photo of Jordan wearing his Blackhawks jersey was making the rounds before Game 7 against the Ducks the other night, and articles sillier than this one did as well. You can bet #23 will be doing it again during the Stanley Cup Final.
I was a little reluctant to post this, given Vince Vaughn’s recent comments that turned him into a polarizing political figure…but the guy has been at the games and was doing so when nobody was. Way more than Jim Belushi. And you get the feeling that his role in the upcoming season ofTrue Detectivewill make him appear to be someone you want on your side. He seemed to still be in character while lurking from his suite earlier in the Ducks series.
“Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion”, Vince.
5. Chicago Baseball
One of my favorite things to see are teams in the same city supporting each other. Despite manager Joe Maddon claiming he’s Switzerland in this series (since he managed in Tampa Bay for so long), the Chicago Cubs are in full Blackhawks mode…I couldn’t let the White Sox go unrecognized though as players like Adam Eaton have been showing their love all season long.