2014 League Fees


I would like to first thank the entire League for reliably paying their fees on-time each season. I expect this year to be no different. And like last season, the fees are $100 per team to be paid out 75/25 to the 2014 Champion and Runner-Up, respectively.

There are several ways you can pay your 2014 League Fees:

  1. The easiest and best way is to send it via Google Wallet to bdimond@gmail.com. If you’ve never used Google Wallet, I highly recommend it. It is simple and FREE (if you use your bank account).
  2. Although Google Wallet is highly preferred, you may also send me the money via PayPal to commish@badnewsbarristers.com.
  3. If you want to use the old fashioned method, please email me separately and I will give you my home address.

If I don’t receive payment from you by Friday, August 1st, I will send you an electronic invoice as a reminder. And remember, if your fees are not paid by September 4, 2014, your team will forfeit each game until the fees are paid. But we’ve never had that happen before, so we don’t intend to start this season.

Thanks to those owners who have already paid their 2014 dues. Much appreciated.

Congratulations Osman!

Osman won the third overall pick in the 2014 Draft. Because the Dow closed on Wednesday at 16443.34, there was no winner because both 34 (last two digits) and 33 (second and third to last digits) were both in Tom’s range. So we moved on to Thursday. And today, the Dow closed at 16368.27. The last two digits were also in Tom’s range, but the second and third to last digits – 82 – fell in Osman’s range (73 – 84).

The 2014 Lottery is now complete and the final draft order is:

  1. Kennedy
  2. Dimond
  3. Abbasi
  4. Winerman
  5. Nussbaum
  6. Dunfee
  7. Weiss
  8. Paulson
  9. Saiz
  10. Cutchshaw
  11. Sampson
  12. Baxter

A full draft order, including traded picks, will be posted soon after the keeper deadline passes, which is Friday, August 15th.

Congratulations Commish!

With a 20% chance of winning, the Commissioner took second place in the 2014 BNB Lottery and will pick second in this year’s draft. The Dow closed at 16429.47, which fell in the Commissioner’s assigned ranged (45 – 59).

The third pick will be decided Wednesday, so stay tuned! See below (or here) for the lottery odds and number distribution for the remaining owners. If the last two digits of Wednesday’s number is between 25 and 59, then we will use the second- and third-to-last numbers of the Dow, and if that doesn’t work, the third pick will be decided Thursday.

Email me with any questions. Good luck!

Congratulations Tom!

With a 20% chance of winning, Tom has won the 2014 BNB Lottery and will pick first in this year’s draft. Congratulations! The Dow closed at 16569.28, which fell in Tom’s assigned ranged (25 – 44).

The second pick will be decided today, so stay tuned! See below (or here) for the lottery odds and number distribution for the remaining owners. If the last two digits of today’s number is between 25 and 44, then we will use the second- and third-to-last numbers of the Dow, and if that doesn’t work, the second pick will be decided Wednesday.

Email me with any questions. Good luck!

The Results Are In!


Thank you SO MUCH for voting. We had a 100% turnout rate, that’s fantastic! So, after collecting the hanging chads (I think it means we’re old that we know what that means), here are the results…

  • The waiver wire will now process everyday at 12pm eastern / 9am pacific.
  • The bench will be reduced from 8 to 7 spots, but there will be an injured reserve (IR) spot.
  • The divisions will be eliminated; however, teams will continue to play the same teams from their old division twice each season.*
  • In 2015, we will transition to an auction draft. Each team will have an auction budget of $200. Owners may trade auction dollars for the following season only. For example, during this season, owners will be allowed to trade 2015 auction dollars only. But, you may begin trading 2015 auction dollars now.
  • We will not value rushing attempts in 2015. That proposal failed.

*If people think that it would be fun to do an NFL-style power matching system in which top finishers from one season are pitted twice against each other the following season in a bookend fashion, we can do that too. I don’t want to force people to vote on this, so if you like this, just email me or say-so in the comments.

Auction Draft

Figure you’ll never win the Lottery?

Does it seem like half the first round goes to one team?

Does it feel like you’ll never have a shot at drafting your favorite player?

I propose that in 2015 we transition to an Auction Draft.

SOLD!I doubt I have to explain how it works (but in case I do, click here). And I probably don’t need to explain why it is awesome, so I will suffice it to say that it is simply the most fun way to draft. I think it would be particularly fun in a league like this one, where everyone knows each other’s tendencies so well. I am sure that many of you have participated in auction drafts in other leagues, and I encourage you to share your feelings about it with the rest of the league.

I have spoken with several of you in past seasons about how awesome this would be, but I have never before proposed it because it would un-do the future draft pick trading system that has made this league so unique. But now, ESPN allows us to adjust the auction budgets for each team before the draft, and so, we will still be able to accommodate trading of future draft value. Just instead of trading picks, owners would be able to trade draft dollars in exchange for players (only for the following season).

For example, if the standard auction budget is $200, then I could (theoretically) trade Aaron Rodgers to Weiss for $50. Flash forward to the 2015 draft: Dave would have Aaron Rodgers as his keeper, but only $150 in his auction budget. Meanwhile, I would have $250 in my auction budget with which to make it rain at the draft.

We would still have two unrestricted keepers and the change couldn’t take effect until next season, but I think it would really spice things up. What do you think? We’ll vote on this (and other proposals) later this month, but I would love to hear what people think about this idea. Feel free to email me or the entire League with your thoughts.


Value Rushing Attempts

Recognize this guy…?

That’s Jamaal Charles, the top running back in fantasy football last season. Under our scoring system, he averaged 191 fantasy points per game. That’s not bad, but it wasn’t enough to outscore Tom Brady, who was the 12th best quarterback.

Or take this fellow…

Shady McCoy was the #2 running back but he was outscored by quarterbacks Alex Smith (#15), Ryan Tannehill (#16), and Carson Palmer (#17). The problem?Running backs are undervalued.

But the solution is also pretty simple:

I propose we value rushing attempts.

Rewarding rushing attempts is nothing more than valuing a player’s usage rate. We already reward receptions, which measures the same thing, so it only makes sense that we would also value rushing attempts.

Ultimately, it is a more accurate measure of the number of touches a player receives.

It also makes sense though, because so many teams have migrated to the dreaded “Running Back by Committee” approach, which further depresses the value of individual running backs. I realize, of course, that running backs still average more attempts than receivers do receptions, plus running backs also have the opportunity to make receptions, while the reverse is rarely true. So I propose we value rushing attempts half as much as receptions. We currently award 5 points per reception, and so, I propose that we award 2.5 points per rushing attempt. What affect would that have, you ask..?

2013 NFL Running Backs by Rushing Attempts/Game

Jamaal Charles averaged 17.3 rushing attempts per game and therefore would have scored an extra 43.3 points per game. That would have given him 257.7 fantasy points per game, which would have put him ahead of all quarterbacks except Peyton Manning (357.5 pts/gm) and Drew Brees (311.1 pts/gm). And he would have only bee slightly ahead of Philip Rivers (256 pts/gm). Doesn’t that seem more appropriate?

Shady averaged 19.6 rushing attempts per game, which would have been good for an extra 49 points per game, giving him a total of 240 points per game. That would have sandwiched him between Andy Dalton (245.1 pts/gm) and Cam Newton (236 pts/gm).

It also makes the running back pool deeper, by giving a few extra points to secondary backs that consistently get 10 to 15 carries but aren’t party of the passing game. And since each team can theoretically start four running backs, it’s better for the league to make the running back pool as deep as possible. Anyone who was desperate for running backs to start during bye weeks knows exactly what I am talking about.

Because this change would affect the value of players, it couldn’t take effect until the 2015 season. So we are stuck with another season of undervalued running backs. But I encourage you to think this over carefully, because I am sure that next summer we will wish we had acted early to correct this.

Daily Waiver Wire

Razor Waiver Wire

I propose we process the waiver wire every day**.

Currently we use an auction-style free agent system and the waiver wire processes for the first time each week on Wednesday morning at 9am pacific. As a result, owners have approximately 36 hours to submit their bids.

The problem with that is there isn’t any opportunity to get a ‘deal’ on a highly coveted free agent because every owner has time to read the week’s ‘Top Add’ articles before submitting their own bid. I think it would be nice to reward owners who follow the games and are ready to submit their bids on Tuesday.

**Tuesday is currently the only day that wavier wire does not process. It technically processes on Monday, but only for players involved in the MNF matchup.

The Bench Is Too Big

The League currently allows 10 starters, 8 bench players, and 1 injured reserve spot. This means that all 12 teams could, and often do, roster 19 players. Simple math tells us that means that 228 players are locked up at any given time. The result of that was felt by each of us last season–waiver wire scarcity.

Just think about what your bench looked like last season–how much garbage was on there? Now think about that time you ran to the computer to bid on some guy you just heard about, only to find out that he was already rostered. It also allowed people to hoard valuable positions. Scarcity, and to lesser extent, hoarding, is what allowed Winerman to overbid on free agents in early weeks only to (unsuccessfully) attempt to extort a trade from the rest of us shortly thereafter.

The ESPN default for 10 team leagues is to have 7 bench spots with no injured reserve. I think this is a good compromise for us since we are a league of 12. And so…

I propose that we eliminate one bench spot and the injured reserve spot.

That's a big bench!

This would have no effect on the rest of the roster setup. It is simply a reduction in the size of our bench. It’s a very small change, but it will go a long way to alleviate the roster pressures created by such an active league with enormous benches.

It is difficult to imagine what the pros of such a large bench are because, beyond hoarding, it promotes inactivity among owners because they don’t need to cycle any bench players to accommodate for injuries or bye-weeks, plus there is little reason to do so when you know the cupboard is bare. But, if there are folks who like the big bench, I’d like to hear why. So please email me or the League with your thoughts.

Eliminate Divisions

This is a tough one for me to suggest, because these divisions have been in place since the League’s inception in 2006. But there is more to like about them then just tradition. It makes scheduling easier, because with 12 teams and 13 weeks in the regular season, each team must play two other teams twice and since there are three teams in each division, that’s an easy choice. Playing your divisional opponents twice each season also helps promote inter-seasonal rivalries.

But it is also a little confusing because we don’t strictly follow the division results when determining playoff seeds. And frustratingly, it makes it more difficult to directly compare teams on the stats page because ESPN breaks them down by division.

I propose eliminating divisions in favor of a unified 12-team league.

That way, we could easily determine our place in the standings, making crystal clear which teams are in the playoff hunt. We will still have the decide which two opponents each team will face twice in a season. Perhaps we could maintain the matchups from the old divisions to preserve some of the history. Just an idea.

Let me know what you think.

The Lottery 2014


The 2014 BNB Lottery will begin THIS Monday, August 4th using the closing number of the Dow.

Here’s a list of the Lottery teams, with each owner’s chance of winning…

  1. Winerman 25%
  2. Kennedy 20%
  3. Dimond 15%
  4. Nussbaum 13%
  5. Abbasi 12%
  6. Dunfee 8%
  7. Weiss 4%
  8. Paulson 3%

The final picks of the draft will be Cutchshaw (9), Saiz (10), Sampson (11) and Baxter (12). Please see the League Rule Book to recall how the draft order is decided.

If the final two digits (after the decimal) of the closing number of the Dow on Monday are between 0 and 24, Winerman has the first pick, and so on. Here is a complete list of the winning digits:

  1. Winerman 0 – 24
  2. Kennedy 25 – 44
  3. Dimond 45 – 59
  4. Nussbaum 60 – 72
  5. Abbasi 73 – 84
  6. Dunfee 85 – 92
  7. Weiss 93 – 96
  8. Paulson 97 – 99

Remember, only the first overall pick is being determined on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday of next week will decide the second and third overall picks. Good luck!

And, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, just shoot me an email.


Welcome to the 2014 Bad News Barristers fantasy football season!

Although the season is still a few months away, the excitement has already begun, so I wanted to pass along the important dates and deadlines that are coming up…

You may propose new or modified rules until Friday, July 18th.**

The voting period will remain open until Friday, August 1st.

The Lottery will be held Monday, August 4th through the 6th.

All Keepers must be selected no later than Friday, August 15th.

The Draft will be held between August 20th and September 3rd.***

The 2014 Season kicks off on Thursday, September 4th.

This information is always available on Schedule page, and it is also contained in a Google Calendar, so if you use that (or a compatible program) would like me to grant you access to the calendar or send you invitations to these events to help you remember them, just email me.

**Please email me directly with your proposals so that I can synthesize them into a single ballot to make voting on the proposals quick and easy for everyone. Of course, any change that affects strategy or player valuation cannot take effect until 2015.

***Specific date and time will be determined based on owner availability.

Congratulations Baxter!

Ryan Baxter, of the Sophisticated Owls, is the Bad News Barristers 2013 Champion! This is Baxter’s first championship in five seasons since joining the League in 2009.

Like Rome, the Sophisticated Owls were not built in a day. In fact, the Owls’ championship strategy stands in stark contrast to that of the League’s previous two champions (Sampson and Dunfee) who achieved their respective success by alternating competitive seasons via their constant exchange of draft picks.

When they joined the League in 2009, the (then) Spanish Owls drafted Peyton Manning with their first pick and have never looked back. When Manning lost a season to injury, the Owls stayed the course until Manning found his new home in Denver. And while they must have second-guessed that decision a few times, Manning put up seven touchdowns in his first game in orange and it was clear the gamble had paid off.

Whether Spanish or Sophisticated (the name change came in the 2010 season), the Owls have always preferred to build with the draft, and they wasted no time in selecting Doug Martin as a rookie with upside in the 2012 draft. After his breakout rookie season, the Owls kept Martin along with Manning and entered 2013 season full of optimism.

In what turned out to be a Championship preview, the Owls faced the Jennis in Week 1 and lost narrowly by 33 points despite Manning’s 613 point virtuoso performance and another 294 points from Phil Rivers in what turned out to be the season’s highest scoring game. The two teams would take very different paths the remainder of the season, but they would meet again in Week 16 (to a different result).

After starting the season with two straight losses (falling to FLACC OFF in Week 2), the Owls were barely able to make it to .500 by the midway point of the season. And when Doug Martin went down last season in Week 8, the Owls had to act fast or risk their promising season. So the Owls traded the injured Martin and their 2014 1st Round Pick to the Weinermans for Shady McCoy.  Starting with their Week 9 devastation of the Yester Cooch in which the Owls prevailed by 400 points, the Noble Birds would go on to win 7 of their final 8 games (including the playoffs) on their way to the ultimate victory.

Happy as they must have been to have Shady on their side heading into the playoffs, the Owls had to be a little nervous after failing to secure a first round bye thanks to a 300 point loss to the 1-Legged Deer in the final week of the regular season. But Shady came through big time in Round 1 by putting up 356 points against the Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars. Peyton Manning tossed in another 435 points and the Owls topped the AllStars by 250 points. But McCoy disappeared in Round 2, putting up a measly 130 points. Even though the Owls put up one of their lowest point totals of the season, it was enough to squeak by the BOOs by 150 points and the Owls found themselves in the Championship against none other than… The Jennis. Manning and McCoy came through again, combining for 748 points and delivering the 2014 Bad News Barristers Championship by a margin of nearly 200 points.

So congratulations to the Sophisticated Owls! They have a tough road to hoe for repeat as champions without their 1st Round pick, but they also have Manning and McCoy as keepers. Good luck!

Four Players Traded for Pick

The Overachievers traded DeMarco Murray, Andre Brown, Rashad Jennings and Carson Palmer to the Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars for their 2014 Fifth Round pick.The Overachievers also traded their 2014 Fifteenth Round pick. This was the first trade between these two teams this season and the ninth trade overall.

Week 9 Upset Special

Sorry folks, no Power Rankings this week. But to wet your whistle, I’ll give you my upset special of the week (for those keeping track at home, I’m 1 – 1 on these):

Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars over Albino Polar Bears

I just think that, with Arian Foster out, Jimmy Graham banged up (although he was last week, and…), and DeSean Jackson neutralized by the fact that Weiss has Foles, this is a recipe for an upset.

Good luck in Week Nine!

Red Rocket Worth Second Round Pick?

Who wants Jennings or Harvin? traded their 2014 second round pick to Not Relevant! for the Red Rocket and the Not’s 2014 fifteen round pick.

Of course, this was after the Rocket’s five touchdown, 408 point performance against the Jets and right before his zero touchdowns, three picks and a fumble, 123 point turd against the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. To be fair to the ownership of the Jennis, Dalton have averaged 373 points over three weeks, but to be fair the Commish, the League office informed the Jennis on Wednesday that Dalton was a high risk move. But the Vick injury, followed by the Bradford injury, followed by the Vick injury, really forced the Jenni’s hand.

This was the eight trade of the season and the third between these two teams. The Jenni’s have sent their second, third, fourth, and sixth round picks to the Nots. They’ve all been fair deals, but one could make the argument that there’s collusion going on here. Whatever you call it, these teams will only have each other to thank, or themselves to blame, for their success or failure over the next two seasons.

Power Rankings: Week 8

Tier 1

Like Matt Stafford at trailer park community pool party, the Commish f#ck!ng killed it in his Week 7 predictions, picking his way to a perfect 6 – 0. No change in the top spot, but there are four teams in the top tier this week because I couldn’t justify dropping the Albinos or the Owls in with the rest of the dregs. On with the Rankings!

#1 Who wants Jenni ngs or Harvin? 6 – 1 @ 1540 pts/gm

When the top ranked team outperforms its average, its a good bet that they will stay on top. I correctly predicted the Jennis would win by +500 and Monster performances from the Matts – Stafford (338 pts) and Forte (299 pts) – put the Jennis way out in front of the Cooch. And they never looked back, winning by 899 points. We once hailed this team as having the most quality quarterback depth in League, and it’s a good thing too, because Sam Bradford is done for the year after tearing his ACL. Hopefully Mike Vick returns to form quickly, or the Jennis are gonna have problems filling their OP position with a quality starter. But even with their quarterback health woes, the Jennis are still the team to beat. Big time matchup against the BOOs this week. My prediction: Jennis roll into Week 8 as as the only team with 7 wins

#2 BOO YAH! 6 – 1 @ 1396 pts/gm

The BOOs reach the two spot for the first time this season behind their two cannons, Matt Ryan (302 pts) and Andrew Luck (361 pts). The quarterbacks were so good, they overcame sub-par performances from Josh Gordon (is he fantasy-relevant enough that can I say that now?) and T.Y. Hilton, who combined for 68 points. If the BOOs have 1500+ points in them, now is the time to show it, since they play the Jennis this week. This is definitely their best shot all season at becoming No. 1, not to mention it would give them the inside track to a first round playoff bye. My prediction: BOO streak finally comes to an end

#3 Albino Polar Bears 5 – 2 @ 1314 pts/gm

Maybe I picked the OFFs to upset the White Bears because I overvalue my own team. If so, then chalk up the Bears’ single-spot slide to my belief that they lost to a quality opponent. But there’s nothing quality about 763 points. But when Arian Foster and Jay Cutler both make early exits and give you a total of 1 point, then Russell Wilson’s 270 don’t make much of a difference. Sounds like Foster is going to be okay, but Cutler is done for a while, so the Bears are lucky they have a quarterback and a half stashed away on their bench (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Freeman). This team has talent up and down the roster, but I’m just not sure the chemistry is there. We’ll see what they’re made of this week though, they play the Owls in a potential playoff preview. My prediction: Pryor fills in admirably for Cutler, but it won’t be enough to stop Peyton Manning

#4 Sophisticated Owls 4 – 3 @ 1429 pts/gm

It was a must-win game for the Owls, and they eeked out a victory against the still-dangerous Weinermans. Even in defeat, Manning was brilliant in fantasy, and he combined with Phillips Rivers for 573 points. And a TD from savvy spot-start Ruben Randle on Monday night sealed the deal. After the trade for Shady McCoy, the Owls are in a prime position to take over the #3 spot in both the Power Rankings and League standings this week against the Albinos. I’ll let you decide which is more important. My prediction: Duh, Owls win

Tier 2

The whitey in the background looks thoroughly confused by what he is witnessing. The same could be said for all of us watching the teams in this tier. Suffice to say, they are all very unlikely to  creep into the top tier as currently constituted.

#5 1-Legged Deer 4 – 3 @ 1117 pts/gm

The Deer managed to win despite failing to post 1000 points. But when Alex Smith is your highest scorer (213 pts) thanks to a rushing touchdown, you’re just lucky to get a W. Beastmode and Moreno were serviceable enough (100+ pts each), but Brady sucked again (90 pts). I’ve said it before, but the Deer have to find a way to score more points. This week is a perfect example – the Deer take on the Nots in a game they should win. But I bet they don’t. Especially if they stick with Reggie Wayne in their starting lineup. My prediction: Nots take down the Deer

#6 FLACC OFF 3 – 4 @ 1283 pts/gm

They may have caught the White Bears on a down week, but hey, they just won, baby. Am I right, Al? Flac seems to be back, as he combined with A-Rod to account for almost half of their team’s points (520 pts). But the OFFs’ running back woes continue, with The Butler and Bilal Powell both pulling a CJ Spiller-esque disappearing act. They do have most of the Giants backfield, but since it’s not 2009, I don’t see Brandon Jacobs or Peyton Hillis saving the day. Simply put, the Randall Cobb injury may have sunk their season, even if he comes back at full strength. My prediction: OFFs lose to the Weinermans and are forced to reconsider everything they thought they knew

#7 Not Relevant3 – 4 @ 1295 pts/gm

Rostering Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill, Jake Locker and Case Keenum, I present to you the King of the B-List Quarterbacks! They also have Matt Barkley, but… seriously… com’ on, Hank. That’s a waste of a roster spot. But the Nots are still hanging on to AJ Green and Dez, and if they can keep putting up 1300+ points, they’ll beat some more teams. But with Bryce Brown and Kendall Hunter starting at running back, it’s hard to imagine they can do that many more weeks. But they probably won’t even need that much to win this week. My prediction: Nots win

Tier 3

“He said he had a concussion? I guess that’s a better excuse than when Joe Webb had ‘diarrhea.'” The starter again in Minnesota by default, will Christian Ponder and the Somethings be laughing all the way to the playoffs? (Hint: Nope.)

#8 Ndamukong Something 3 – 4 @ 1164 pts/gm

The Somethings continue their march up the rankings, notching their third win by taking down the Nots. And they didn’t even start Thad Lewis (as suggested here last week). The Somethings’ 1538 points is their high water mark this season, with four players over 200 points, including CJ & VJ combining for 628 points! And Christian Ponder’s starting again! Things are really looking up for the Somethings. Look for that to continue as Mike Glennon and Jackson had another good game last night to start their matchup against the falling Stars. My prediction: Somethings creep back to .500

#9 Suckmy Weinermans 2 – 5 @ 1198 pts/gm

The Weinermans have the best farm system in the League by far. Despite trading away five players, the Weinermans continue to put up points. Productive players they didn’t draft include Jarret Boykin, Terrance Williams and Geno Smith. In fact, it’s Geno’s solid play of late that has no doubt spurred the resurgence of the ‘fire sale’ emails because it makes Romo or Kaepernick seem expendable. This week they face the OFFs, and they’re, well, off to a good start thanks that sneaky strong Carolina defense. My prediction: It comes down to the defense, Weinermans win in this week’s *upset special*

#10 Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars 2 – 5 @ 1197 pts/gm

It was a statement game against the Deer and the AllStars made a statement alright: They stink. You know its a bad sign when you have room on your roster to stash six quarterbacks (Eli, Schaub, Foles, Henne, Fitzpatrick and Manuel). And amazingly, none of those players are a handcuff. But it’s an even worse sign when CJ2k is your leading score (190 points) and, other than him, only Eli and his brother’s tight end (you see what I did there, do ya?) cracked the century mark. But they’ve got Percy Harvin! He should be worth a mid-round pick by the deadline. But right now, they are losing to the Somethings by over 200 points. My prediction: That’s about where they finish, Stars lose again

Tier 4

We all missed him, but will Gronk’s return be enough to get the Overachievers out of the bottom tier? Probably not. But at least they don’t have to worry about falling anywhere – the Ole Cooch have taken out a one-year lease on last place.

#11 The Overachievers 2 – 5 @ 1069 pts/gm

The Overachievers were in the sub-1000 club again this week. At this point, they’re not just a member, they the m*th3r f#ck!ng president! Over/under a weekly average of 1000 by season’s end? I’ll take the under fasho. But they’re quarterbacks are waking up, as Cam has average almost 300 points the last few weeks and RGIII had 327 points last week alone. Murray is back this week, and Gronk will have another week of full participation under his belt, but they might just be trade bait at this point. But they’ll be enough to beat the Cooch this week. My prediction: Overachievers “win”

#12 Yester Cooch 2 – 5 @ 1113 pts/gm

Okay, he started Drew Brees on a bye, but without another starting quarterback on his team or the waiver wire (I checked), can you blame him? Turns out you can, because he also left AP on his bench and started the injured Owen Daniels. And no, AP’s sub-par performance does not justify leaving him on the bench. Decker’s 250 points were unsurprisingly too little to matter in the matchup, but they never really had a chance against the top-ranked Jennis anyway. And they’re already down 350 to the Overachievers, which is way too big a margin for them to overcome. My prediction: In a game both teams deserve to lose, the Cooch actually do

Shady Traded for Muscle Hamster + Pick

The Sophisticated Owls acted swiftly in the wake of Doug “The Muscle Hamster” Martin’s season-threatening injury, trading Martin and his 2014 1st round pick for LeSean “Shady” McCoy from Suckmy Weinermans. The Weinermans also give up their 2014 14th round pick.

McCoy is currently fourth overall among running backs.

This is first trade of the season for the Owls. It was the fourth trade for the Weinermans, and they now have three first round picks in 2014. And Doug Martin as their keeper.

Power Rankings: Week 7

Tier 1

A lot of change to the tiers this week. You had to have five wins to get into the top tier, so sorry to last week’s No. 1, the Owls, whose reign atop the Power Rankings was brief, but peaceful. The Jenni’s are back on top, followed by the Bears and the Boos. But will one of the Big Three lose this week? On with the Rankings!

#1 Who wants Jenni ngs or Harvin? 5 – 1 @ 1512 pts/gm

After just one week, the Jennis are back on top of the Power Rankings. But they didn’t really earn their way back though, as they beat the Nots with the Nots’s players (Welker and Lacy combined for 283 points). The Jennis continued their tradition of stellar quarterbackk-play, as Bradford filled in admirably for an injured Michael Vick and combined with Matt Stafford for 552.5 points. The Jennis got themselves in a who-to-start situation with Antonio Gates/Vernon Davis at tight end and the Seahawks/Bears defenses, but the rest of their bench is an island of misfit toys. Thanks to the Julio Jones for Wes Welker trade, their wide out trio remains top in the league (Welker, Brandon Marshall and Demaryius Thomas), so the Law Firm, DeAngelo Williams, and Zach Stacy might just be good enough to spot start for Matt Forte and Eddie Lacy in a pinch. But if either of those last two guys misses significant time, then the Jennis are toast. Maybe I should never taken them out of the top spot, because they’re a shoe-in to stay here for another week. Next up: the Ole Cooch (2 – 4). My prediction: Jennis win by 500+

#2 Albino Polar Bears 5 – 1 @ 1406 pts/gm

The Bears were no doubt confident going into their matchup against the Elder Cooch, but if they knew they were going to get zero production out of Jimmy Graham, their confidence would no doubt have been shaken. But they solved their quarterback puzzle this week and routed the Cooch in an all-around performance. I wonder, though, if T-Rich and Ryan Mathews are good enough running back compliments to Arian Foster for the Bears to take it all. And they have Andre Johnson too, which makes them a little too dependent on the Texans right now for my liking. If they can off FLACC OFF this weekend, they’ll do a lot to prove they’ve earned this spot. My prediction:  White Bears notch their sixth win… or do they?

#3 BOO YAH! 5 – 1 @ 1397 pts/gm

So I predicted the BOOs would finally fall in Week 6 and, once again, I was wrong. But it was really, really close. Matt Ryan was on a bye, it’s true, but they would have started Luck (112 pts) anyway, and Big Ben (225 pts) played admirably. But the started their damn-near optimal lineup and they only bested the Deer by four and half points. I’m just saying, it is improbable that a team who’s best running back is Giovani Bernard (Danny Woodhead?) has five wins at the almost-midway point of the season. And they play the Overachievers this week, so its hard to imagine them losing this week either. My prediction: Oh who the f#ck knows…

Tier 2

Do you smell what Alex Smith is cookin’? Paulson sure does. Like Alex Smith, this is a group with a lot to prove. They are all 3 – 3, two games behind the top tier. If they don’t watch out, their dreams of a first round bye could vanish completely.

#4 Sophisticated Owls 3 – 3 @ 1440 pts/gm

A pretty big drop in the Rankings for the Owls from last week (#1). But the Owls put up one of their lowest point total of the season en route to a loss to the lowly Overachievers. Peyton Manning was just all right by his standards, but the rest of the team really sh!t the money bed. Doug Martin has yet to emerge into the first round pick he was supposed to be, and a week like this proves that the Owls won’t be able to rely on Frank Gore or Freddy Jackson winning them anything in December. I wonder, assuming the Owls don’t improve via trade, can this team win it all without a first round bye? I’m starting to think that maybe Manning might not be enough. Rebound game this week against the Weinermans… My prediction: Owls escape the trap, get back above .500

#5 1-Legged Deer 3 – 3 @ 1142 pts/gm

Nothing went right for the Deer this week. They had several close calls in their lineup and one of them (who knows which) cost him the game. But Knowshon and Marshawn had a combined 614 point (literally, more than half the Deer’s points), so they have no excuse. I have mellowed on the Deer in recent weeks, and ultimately this feels like a team destined for a first round playoff loss. But you never know, they could pull of a big trade that makes me eat my words. They better beat the AllStars this week, or I can’t justify them being in this tier much longer. My prediction: Deer win, stay afloat

#6 Not Irrelevant! 3 – 3 @ 1280 pts/gm

You’d like to say they put up a good fight against the current No. 1, but then again, other than the Cincinnati Bengals (532 pts from Dalton and Green), this team pretty much sucked (just 553 for the rest of the starters). The bench was no help to them – they had four squadooshes, and the doesn’t count bye weeks. Honestly, I can’t believe they are still .500. Well done…? If things break their way, they could be alone in fourth place this time next week. Insanity! But they gotta get past the Somethings first. My prediction: Nots continue their spiral downward

Tier 3

The third tier is full of teams with twice as many losses as wins. One, maybe two, will make the play-offs, but it’s tough to imagine three of them making it. It’s time to put-up or shut-up for the bottom-half of the League. Now or never. [insert cliche here]

#7 FLACC OFF 2 – 4 @ 1314 pts/gm

The OFFs had a must win game against the Somethings. And they won. And they did it behind the $140M arm of Joe Flacco (269 pts). If that keeps up, then the OFFs might have a chance going forward, but the loss of Randall Cobb is going to hurt. Badly. Hopefully Brandon LaFell can take his place for a while. And am I a genius for picking up Brandon Jacobs last Thursday, or what? Now if only I’d started him. You can expect to see more than one recent waiver wire pick the OFFs’ starting line-up, which is probably why they’re seventh in the rankings. But it’ll be a tough game against the White Bears this week. My prediction: I really, really want to pick me… so you know what, I will! OFFs get their third win of the season **upset special**

#8 Suckmy Weinermans 2 – 4 @ 1193 pts/gm

The receiving core for the Weinermans is nothing short of laughable: Jerome Simpson, Terrance Williams and Donnie Avery. Yet somehow, they have their second win in as many weeks. It’s conceivable that we could see an entirely different group of receivers start for the Weinermans this week because Marlon Brown, Robert Woods, Austin Pettis and the newly-acquired Jarrett Boykin (who might now be the best receiver on the team) are all on the bench. And they’ve got Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree and Terrelle Owens rehabbing on the bench. Okay, that last one was a joke, but the rest of that is all for real. This is why we don’t have roster limits, folks, because it’s awesome to see someone collect nine – nine! – sh!tty wide receivers on their team. You can’t make this stuff up. Can their Cinderella run last one more week? They’ve got the Owls next, so no, probably not. My prediction: Weinermans run out of… gas… lose their fifth game

#9 Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars 2 – 4 @ 1245 pts/gm

Does it hurt more to lose to the Weinermans or to lose to the Winerman? Think about the difference. Tough call. And if the AllStars had shook that Magic 8-Ball of quarterbacks one more time and started Nick Foles and Ryan Fitzpatrick instead of Eli Manning and Chad Henne… or Foles and Matt Schaub… or Foles and E.J. Manuel, you would have won! Then again, when your bench scores 913 points and you lose by just 9 points, you could have done just about anything else and won. At this rate, pretty soon we’ll talk about how Weiss used to be good at fantasy football like we talk about how the Browns used to be a proud NFL franchise. Interesting matchup this week against the Deer. My prediction: Foles starts, AllStars lose anyway

#10 The Overacheivers 2 – 4 @ 1082 pts/gm

Do you like Phil Collins? Well you should, because you won… Against All Odds! Get it? You see what I did there? I would love to rank you higher as a reward for your second win, but just look at that pitiful scoring average. I just… I just can’t. I didn’t put you in the bottom tier this week though, as my gift to Overachievers fans everywhere. And, if Cam Newton has another great second half to the season, and RGIII gets his act together, this team will win some more games. But with DeMarco (Polo!) Murray out, it probably won’t be this week. At least not against the BOOs. My prediction: Another loss for the Overachievers

Tier 4

Don’t look so worried, Thad. I’m sure you can hold off Matt Flynn. You may good enough to start for the Bills, but will be good enough to start for the Somethings this week? Only time will tell. Over/under five wins for the Somethings plus the Cooch this season? I smell a poll question!

#11 Ndamukong Somethings 2 – 4 @ 1102 pts/gm

For the first time all season, the Somethings have two quarterbacks! I present to you: Mike Glennon and Thad Lewis! Unfortunately for Somethings fans though, ownership screwed the pooch again and left Thad on the bench. Even with the disappearing act from MegaTron, the Somethings would have won their matchup against the OFFs if they had started their optimal lineup. Could I have underestimated the Somethings…? If they manage to beat the Nots, I’ll consider that possibility. For now, be happy you’re not in the basement. My prediction: Somethings win in a nail-biter, but only if they start V-Jax and Thad

#12 Yester Cooch 2 – 4 @ 1163 pts/gm

It was a tough matchup for the Cooch, but they absolutely laid down for the Bears. Let’s re-cap… They started the Pats defense against the Saints, they started Mike Wallace on a bye, they started an injured Owen Daniels and, perhaps most egregiously, they left Adrian Peterson on their bench. Terrible. Just terrible. They play the Jennis this week. My prediction: Take a wild guess…

Playoff Standings

Just so there is no confusion come play-off time, the top six teams by record will make the play-offs, regardless of division. The first tie breaker will be head-to-head record, the second tie breaker will be ‘points for’ and the third tie breaker, if necessary, will be ‘points against.’

This accords with our past practice of not automatically awarding play-off spots to the division winners. Note that this may require that we override the ESPN default settings, which will automatically award the byes to the two division winners with the best records. While this works for the top seed, as a League we have decided that we would rather have the team with the second best record have the second bye, even if they didn’t win their division. Similarly, if all the teams from a single division have a better record than the winner of another division, we have decided that overall record should prevail over divisional performance.

These things usually work themselves out on their own, with no intervention required. But I just wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of the rules regarding play-off seeding well in advance of the play-offs.

If you remember a different procedure in the past, please let me know right away. And if any of you feel that divisions should come into play when determining playoff eligibility and seeding, please email me. If we need to have a league vote on this, I would like to do so right away before we can tell whether it will even matter. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

Power Rankings: Week Six

Tier 1

My predictions weren’t quite as accurate this week in the top tier, because while I correctly predicted the Owls victory over the BOOS, the the White Bears managed to upset the Jennis. As a result of the White Bears’ success, we now have four teams in Tier 1. Also, congratulations are in order to our new No. 1 – the Sophisticated Owls! Wanna see who else is moving up (or down)? On with Rankings!

#1 Sophisticated Owls 3 – 2 @ 1525 pts/gm

There is no question that the Owls are dependent on their quarterbacks (P. Manning and Rivers). But when you’re QBs combine for an average of 761 points per game, who cares? The Owls were the top scoring team in Week Five with 1702 points, despite several holes in his line-up (Doug Martin was on a bye, the Texans put up a squadoosh and Larry Fitzgerald has been cursed by Carson Palmer). He should have started Ruben Randle over that Durham guy, but even he caught a touchdown, so things were obviously all Owls all day. The question is this: Do the Owls have the running backs to go the distance? Gore is a workhorse to be sure (his only dud was against the vaunted Seahawks D) and you have to admit that they struck back-up gold in Freddy Jackson and JOIK! Bell. Here’s crazy thing – Gore has the lowest scoring average in the group! But what that ultimately means for the Owls is that, unless Doug Martin returns to 2012 form, those three might not be enough to hold off the Jennis come play-off time. But first they have to beat The Overachievers this week, which will be more difficult than their record might suggest. My prediction: Owls win in a nail-biter and stay on top of the Rankings

#2 Who wants Jenni ngs or Harvin? 4 -1 @ 1518 pts/gm

The Jennis have been the prettiest girl at school all season. But Week 5 really shook up the League’s former No. 1 – the Jennis suffer their first loss, lose their stranglehold on the points race, lose Michael Vick mid-game (and possibly longer), lose Julio Jones for the season and fall out of first place in the Power Rankings all in one week. Sure, you could point to their failure to start a kicker, but that move has worked for them in the past, and they ended up losing by almost 600 points, so the kicker wouldn’t have mattered. But the Jennis have taken it lying down, if you will, quickly trading for Wes Welker to replace the injured Jones and nabbing Zac Stacy and Donald Brown off of the waiver wire. And since Bradford is a capable replacement for Vick, the Jennis should weather this rough patch just fine. Up next they have their favorite trade partner, the Nots, and since the Jennis have taken three of the Nots best players already, I think they get the win. My Prediction: Jennis bounce back, improve to 5 – 1

Tier 2

After looking at the Rankings long and hard, I decided that the tiers also needed to change this week. Above, you are looking at the odds on favorites to win this season. Does that mean they will? Hell no. Better teams have lost before. But, in the humble opinion of the rankings, they are a cut above the Albinos and the BOOs, for now. But there’s also no question in my mind that these next two teams are head-and-shoulders above the next grouping.

#3 Albino Polar Bears 4 – 1 @ 1418 pts/gm

We have a new team in three spot as well this week, thanks to the White Bears’ Week 5 performance. If Terrelle Pryor continues his steller fantasy play and Jay Cutler keeps it rolling, then this team is way more dangerous than I first thought. Because quarterback was their weak spot. Now that they have Arian Foster to go with T-Rich, their running backs look solid. But you wonder how much what’s going on in Houston with Schaub is going to effect Andre Johnson. Still they have DeSean Jackson and Jimmy Graham too, so they have stars to spare on this squad. And with the Cooch of Yore up next on their schedule, it’s hard to imagine them losing this week either. My prediction: Albinos win in a laugher, improve to 5 – 1

#4 BOO YAH! 4 – 1 @ 1429 pts/gm

After winning four straight (and not moving up in the Rankings once), the BOOs drop their first game (to the best team in League) and drop a spot immediately. This is a roster that begs for a trade: they’re set at quarterback (Luck/Ryan) and tight end (Cameron), and solid at wide receiver. My only critique of the pass catchers is that with Josh Gordon and Cameron, they might be a little too dependent on the Browns. But Jordy is looking very good, T.Y. Hilton is emerging and he’s got Amendola and Edleman. But one glance at the running back situation (they start Giovani Bernard and Danny Woodheard – start!), they clearly need to improve their to have a shot at the top spot. But given their stance on future draft pick trading, will they be able to keep up in the arms race? In fact, if I were them, I would watch out for those sneaky Deer this week. My prediction: BOOs are stunned by the deer, drop to 4 – 2

Tier 3

There are five teams in this group because, well, after five games, I don’t know what to make of them. Some teams have good records but low totals, others have bad records and higher totals, and the rest have started selling off their teams and are winning anyway. So for now, they get lumped together.

#5 Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars 2 – 3 @ 1291 pts/gm

The AllStars had a strong outing against the Overachievers and it was a total team effort, with 8 players scoring in triple digits. But the AllStars are all over the place, with five quarterbacks on the roster (Eli, Schaub, Manuel, Foles, Fitzpatrick) and two starting running backs on their bench (Spiller, McGahee). The Schaub situation is a nightmare for the Stars, but maybe they can use their running back depth to get another consistent stud going forward. This is not a team you want to let into the playoffs, because they have the kind of players that could catch fire at the right time. They can’t afford a loss to the Weinermans this week though, if they want to continue their march up the Rankings. My prediction: AllStars trip over the Weinermans, drop to 2 – 4

#6 1-Legged Deer 3 – 2 @ 1125 pts/gm

Could I have been more wrong about the Deer’s performance in Week 5? I predicted a season-high, and instead they get double-up’d by the Weinermans after putting up the lowest total of the season. Pretty much the whole team shit the bed, which doomed them from the start and some questionable management decisions sealed the deal. I trust the Deer will not leave Moreno on the bench against the Jaguars. But I still think this team is the most well-rounded in this tier, so think they’ll make the play-offs and they could contend, if they add a stud running back or wide out. I think this is a statement game against the BOOs. My prediction: Deer topple the BOOs and continue their climb up the rankings

#7 Not Relevent! 3 – 2 @ 1318 pts/gm

Right now, Hank is the Billy Beane of the Bad News Barristers. Every week he sends away more players, and yet he keeps on winning anyway. As noted in the trade announcement, the Julio Jones/Wes Welker trade really fit the Nots plan going forward giving them maximum flexibility with Dez and AJ. But will anyone be willing to part with their first rounder? I think this week their trades catch up to them. My prediction: Nots get rolled by the Jennis, drop to .500

#8 FLACC OFF 1 – 4 @ 1303 pts/gm

It’s easy to blame Tony Gonzalez and Bilal Powell for the FLACC’s Week 5 loss to the Nots. All they had to do was get one touchdown between them on Monday Night Football to get the win, and they failed. But it was a down week for everyone on the squad this week and the fourth loss puts the OFFs in a very precarious position. They haven’t declared themselves a buyer or seller this season, but with another loss or two, is there any way they could realistically be a buyer at the deadline? They have the Somethings this Week, so it’s a crucial that they stem the tide of defeat. My prediction: OFFs right the ship, pick up their second win of the season

#9 Suckmy Weinermans 1 – 4 @ 1226 pts/gm

There won’t be a winless team this season, folks! Congrats to the Weinermans on their win over the Disabled Deer. The Deer may have rolled over, but the Weinermans ran up the score, lead by Tony Romo’s 548 points. Is it possible that the Weinermans are getting better? No, just look at their bench – it’s a joke. But Geno Smith is no joke, in fantasy anyway, so there may be more emails in our future. And the ownership clearly hasn’t given up on this season (or at least acquiring more picks) because they nabbed Garrett Graham off of waivers in the wake of the Owen Daniels injury-news. Impressive. I like the vibe in Wein-town right now, and I think they keep it rolling this week against the AllStars. My prediction: Weinermans get their second win of the season

Tier 4

Three teams are in the bottom tier this week, each for different reason. One is here because their ownership is so inept, they weren’t able to start a quarterback. Another is here because the ownership is so inept that they lost to the team that couldn’t start a quarterback. And the third is here because, despite the ineptitude of the ownership of the other two teams, they have the lowest point total in the League. Let’s go dumpster humping together, shall we?

#10 The Overachievers 1 – 4 @ 1040 pts/gm

The winningest team in League history is off to worst start ever, losing for the fourth time in five games to the AllStars by 971 points. And even if the Overachievers would have had the foresight to start Justin Blackmon (221 points), they still would have gotten crushed. The week started on a bad omen with Hoyer going down in the opening moments of the Thursday night game. But only DeMarco Murray and Cam Newton cracked triple digits (and only barely), so there wasn’t a single bright spot for the Overacheivers this week. I thought this team would turn it around, but when you’re the lowest scoring team through five weeks, the writing is on the wall – they’re just not very good. And things don’t get much easier this week against the Owls. My prediction: Overachievers lose again, but, as a team, they will outscore Peyton Manning

#11 Ndamukong Something 2 – 3 @ 1102 pts/gm

The inches we need are EVERYWHERE! They were the worst team in the League, their only quarterback (The Giraffe) and second best receiver (V-Jax) were on a bye and their best player (Megatron) was a late scratch. But with yeomen performances from Cecil Shorts, Jacquizz Rodgers, Matt Prater and the Bengals’ defense, the Somethings pieced together enough points to defeat the Ole’ Cooch. Sure, the Cooch were without AP All Day, but that really shouldn’t have mattered. Although they have a better record then their Week 6 opponents (FLACC OFF), they are early underdogs in Vegas (+255). My prediction: Something’s get OFF’d, fall to 2 – 4

#12 Yester Cooch 2 – 3 @ 1246 pts/gm

After seemingly taking the first four weeks of the season off, the Cooch of Yore sprang to life in Week 5, snagging Kenjon Barner (for $9) and Ryan Succop off the waiver wire. But they couldn’t keep up that pace for long, because they forgot to start Succop and squared off against the Somethings without a kicker. And even if they had gotten credit for Succop’s 110 points, they still would have lost, they would have won easily had they started James Jones over Sidney Rice. I don’t care what the explanation is, if you lose to a team without a quarterback, you deserve to be ranked last. And I think they’ll be here for a little while, because they’re next two opponents have a combined record of 8 – 2. My prediction: Cooch get crushed and get comfy in the basement

Welker Traded for 2nd Round Picks

Not Relevant! has traded Wes Welker and their 2014 7th round pick to Who wants Jenni ngs or Harvin? for Julio Jones and their 2014 3rd round pick.

This was a quick move by the Jennis after it was announced today that Julio Jones would miss the rest of the season. The Jennis had previously sent their 6th and 8th round picks to the Nots for Eddie Lacy and Antonio Gates.

Worth noting, these are also the last two League Champions. So maybe they’re mad with power, but hear me out on this… What if Greg wins this year and Hank wins next year? Could we be in a Sampson-Dunfee infini-loop of success!?! I don’t know what kind of apocalypse that would portend, but it will truly be the end of days.

That said, this was a lateral move for the Jennis, because they replaced the #2 wide out in the League with the #3. But it was a huge get for the Nots because they can keep Jones and still trade Dez and/or AJ.

This proves that deals are out there. Now go make them happen.

Benefit of the 10x Scoring System

I was recently asked if there was any benefit to the scoring change. The only tangible benefit, to use NFL-speak, is the change in quarterback scoring. Previously we had valued passing yards at 0.5 pts per every 10 passing yards. The problem with that is illustrated by something that happened to a friend of mine in another league this week…

My friend had defeated his opponent by 0.9 pts. Now, because of a scoring adjustment, Andrew Luck’s passing yards were downgraded by 3 yards. Now, under identical scoring to ours, yards doesn’t get you shit. But the points are scored in tiers, and so the 3 yards dropped Luck into the lower tier, costing him 0.5 points! Now, the same thing happened in the opposite direction to his opponent’s QB, Tony Romo. And so ended up losing – this morning – by 0.1 points. By valuing passing at 0.5 pts per yard, he would have been up by 9 points and the two 3 yard adjustments (6 yards total) would have only netted 3 points total. He would have won by 6 points.

So, although rare, it can make a difference, and would have in this other league (which is prompting my friend to suggest a similar scoring adjustment). We couldn’t do it another way because we can only value points to a tenth, not the hundredth, due to limitations in the espn system.

So this actually a more accurate scoring system. Something to keep in mind when you are deciding whether you want to vote to keep it.

Lacy & Gates Acquired for Picks

Not Relevant! traded Packers’ running back Eddie Lacy and Chargers’ tight end Antonio Gates to Who wants Jenni ngs or Harvin? for Colts’ Tight End Charles Clay plus the Jennis’ 2014 4th and 6th round picks.

The Jennis also get the Nots’ 2014 16th and 17th round picks.

This is the first trade of the season for either team involving future picks.

Arian Foster Traded for Picks

The Overachievers signaled that they were giving up on the 2013 season today, sending Arian Foster to the Albino Polar Bears in exchange for the White Bears’ 2014 1st and 5th round picks.

The Overachievers also trade their 2014 16th and 17th round picks. The Overachievers had previously sent their 11th round pick to the Weinermans for Eddie Royal and his 2014 16th round pick.

Power Rankings: Week Five

Tier 1

Not to toot my own horn, but all three of the teams in Tier 1 of the Power Rankings won in Week Four. And so, (spoiler!) our top three teams all remain the same. But with the top four teams all playing each other in Week Five, something tells me that this list will be slightly different next week. For now, on with the rankings!

#1 Who wants Jenn ings or Harvin? 4 – 0 @ 162 pts/gm

The Who…? predictably bagged their fourth win in as many weeks against an Aaron Rodger-less FLACC OFF. It was another all around performance for the League’s top scoring team, but it is becoming clear that their weakness at running back make them vulnerable to upset. They have a tough matchup against the Albinos this week, but the White Bears have never outscored the Jenns, so I doubt this week will be any different. My prediction: Jenns improve to 5 – 0

#2 Sophisticated Owls 2 – 2 @ 147 pts/gm

The Owls were the League’s top point-getter in Week 4 (148 pts) behind another sterling performance from Peyton Manning (40 pts), and yet they only barely topped their weekly average! Without any glaring weaknesses, this team has some tough decisions to make about where to take this team from here. There’s little question that the only thing keeping the Owls out of the top spot is their Week One loss to the Jenns, but a loss to the BOOs in Week Five might push them in the other direction. Random thought – how much do you wish Santonio Holmes was Antonio Brown? But even if Greg Jennings turns out to be relevant again with Cassel under center, what this team lacks is depth, so to get better, they’ll probably have to give up picks. My prediction: Owls shake off the BOOs to make it four straight

#3 BOO YAH! 4 – 0 @ 145 pts/gm

Undefeated and still in the hole, fans of the BOOs have a right to complain. But they only beat the Weinermans this week (see waaay below) and they missed their average this week with only 140 points. On the other hand, if they had started Woodhead (23 pts), they’d have been the Week’s top scorer. But that cuts both ways, doesn’t it? This week’s matchup against the Owls will reveal whether the BOOs are for real. Incidentally, this is one of the few teams with a quarterback to trade, and they might have to if they want to keep pace with teams ahead of them.

Tier 2

I would also like to take this opportunity to pat myself on the back for predicting that Matt Cassel would become the starter in Minnesota. And, if I’ve been smart enough to actually start him over Flacco (who threw five interceptions), I might actually have beat Greg. And yes I know that Leslie Frazer has said Ponder is his starter, but he’s also said they’ll consider all options. You know what that means? Mike Glennon is Osman’s only starting quarterback! Amazing!

#4 Albino Bears 3 – 1 @ 136 pts/gm

The Albinos survived the trap game against the Somethings and can now focus all of their attention on their showdown against the undefeated Who…? If Le’Veon Bell is for real, then the Albinos have even more depth at running back. And is Jimmy Graham the most valuable non-quarterback in the league? Absolutely. If they’re going to be a top seed though, they’re simply going to have to find a way to score more points.

#5 FLACC OFF 1 – 3 @ 134 pts/gm

Even though they were huge underdogs going into their Week Four matchup against the Who…? without Aaron Rodgers on the field, FLACC OFF lost because of bad management. In addition to the Cassel thing, they also left the Niners defense on the bench against the Rams. But riddle me this… Has a team owned by the Commish ever looked the same in Week Fourteen as it did in Week Four? Who is interested in the services of Lee Daniels presents Alfred Morris? Did you know that even his father’s father was a gentleman’s gentleman? It’s a risky matchup against the Irrelevants in Week Five, and they’re chances of success may depend on quickly Hank can unload his best players. My prediction: Rodgers bounces back, FLACC wins no matter what Hank does

#6 1-Legged Deer 3 – 1 @ 123 pts/gm

The Deer mark are the team making the biggest jump in the rankings. But their 147 point total and .750 winning percentage must be recognized. With seven players in double digits, it was a total team effort for the Deer, but their MVP was…? You guessed it: Alex Smith (30 pts). And they may have more depth than I gave them credit for, leaving two 20+ scorers on their bench (Alshon Jeffery and Nate Washington). Lynch and Moreno are turning out to be formidable, but they’ll need one more running back keep this meteoric rise going. And the odds are in their favor, they have the Weinermans this week. My prediction: Deer set a new season-high and move to 4 – 1

Tier 3

And one wonders how Tom feels now after he picked up Matt Flynn on Thursday, only to drop him on Saturday (to be fair, it was after it been said that Pryor would play), only to have Greg snatch Flynn up on Sundayafter Pryor was officially declared inactive. I wonder how Greg feels about paying $3 for Matt Flynn. They both probably better than Osman feels.

#7 Not Relevant! 2 – 2 @ 134 pts/gm

The Rankings work in mysterious ways… After losing to the Cooch of Yore, the Irrelevants moved UP two spots! But a name change is worthy of recognition. To say nothing of the fact that, when the moon is right, this team becomes a beast – Sproles, Bryant, Green and Welker are all capable of posting serious numbers. But Dalton/Tannehill might be too shitty of a QB-combo to overcome. And just when Locker started looking good, he broke his hip? What the f#ck is that? . . . Is what I would have written before Hank lit the slow fuse on the ticking time bomb that is his roster. Those sweet players mentioned above? You can have any of them. And Osman, you can have those quarterbacks. It’s not like I thought he was gonna win this week anyway, but now his prospects for the future look even more grim. My prediction: It’s all down hill from here

#8 Yester Cooch 2 – 2 @ 133 pts/gm

It was the Cooch versus Irrelevancy, which made it almost poetic, but it was more about Sproles (28 pts) versus Brees (46 pts). Well, Bress won and the Cooch of Yore crack the 150 mark and improve to 2 – 2. But after Brees (and AP, who had 26 pts), this team doesn’t have much to be excited about. Maybe they have depth? Nope – there were five squadooshes on their bench. And that doesn’t count James Jones’s bye week. But they have the Somethings this week, so look for their current streak to continue. My prediction: Cooch win, but barely

#9 The Overachievers 1 –  3 @ 116 pts/gm

The Achievers beat their average in Week Four, but their average is so paltry, that they are in serious danger of dropping into the bottom tier. The wide receiver core is the clear weakness here, so that is something they are going to have to address if they ever hope to sniff the second tier. They have a very winnable game this week against the AllStars, and I’m not sure that Hoyer shouldn’t be this team’s starter over Palmer with RGIII on a bye. Just sayin’. My prediction: Overachievers win easily, improve to 2 – 3

#10 Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars 1 – 3 @ 124 pts/gm

The AllStars used to think of themselves as the Patriots, winning multiple championships thanks to clever roster decisions and crafty, some might even say ‘shady,’ trades. But who are they now? The Redskins? The Browns? The Jaguars? The Eli Manning trade–and keeper decision–looks worse by the week, and the Spiller trade might end up screwing us all by paying a premium for Freddy Jackson’s back-up and setting the market so high.  I don’t know what to expect from the AllStars in the future, but I know better than to count them out.

Tier 4

Is that a giraffe? Napoleon Dynamite? Nope, that’s Osman’s best quarterback! Last week’s bottom feeders both lost again (surprise, surprise), but they were also the two lowest scoring teams. So don’t I deserve some props? No? Okay fine. But let’s agree that you don’t want to see your team name in this tier.

#11 Suckmy Weinermans 0 – 4 @ 117 pts/gm

Who wants the Colts defense? ‘Cause the Weinermans will trade you the Colts D for a second round pick and a hundred dollhairs. The fact that this they scored over 100 points is frankly impressive. If Kaepernick starts playing well, you might actually see another trade out of the Weinermans before the deadline. Which means we have at least 27 more emails in our future. Maybe by number 25 we’ll figure out how to spell Geeno Smith. My prediction: Loss number five will come at the hooves of the Deer

#12 Ndamukong Something 1 – 3 @ 108 pts/gm

All kidding aside… This team is terrible. After scoring just 85 points in Week Four, the Somethings are coming dangerously close to warranting their own tier. No one likes to see Megatron and Jamaal Charles become delicious tuna for the sharks in Tier 1 to feast on in the trade waters, but when the kicker is the next best player on the team, what choice do you have but to blow it up? I guess you could trade your whole 2014 draft for Peyton Manning. But you’d probably still need to throw in Vincent Jackson. The real question is: if the Weinermans get blanked this season, will the Somethings ever take over the #11 spot? My prediction: If they don’t win this week (and I don’t think they will), they may not win again this season

Update (Tuesday @ 11am): I just realized that the Giraffe has a bye this week. So unless the Somethings can nab Ryan Fitzpatrick off of the waiver wire, then they will not be able to field a starting NFL quarterback this week. Unprecedented! Stay tuned!

Power Rankings

The first edition of the Power Rankings make their debut with Week Four looming. And perhaps rightly so, as we are just now beginning to see the power structure of the League take form. On with the Rankings…!

Tier 1

#1 Who Wants Jenn ings or Harvin?  3 – 0 @ 167 pts/gm

Not Greg, apparently, since neither Jenn ings nor Harvin have been on his roster this season. And while he now has the stupidest team name in the League, our 2011 Champion also has the League’s most dominant team. Led by the dynamic quarterbacking duo of Matt Stafford and the incomparable Michael Vick, the Who…? have vanquished FLACC OFF, The Overachievers and Hopefully Relevant on their way to a perfect record with an astonishing 167 points per game. Of course, Stafford and Vick combine for 57.5 points per game themselves. Oh, and their second highest scoring quarterback is actually on their bench (Sam Bradford), so they’ve got that going for them too, which must be nice. Also nice are the trio of wide outs they can field every week: Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas. Following the Hank Dunfee model of success, the Who…? is totally reliant on those receivers, because their running backs are the impenetrable Matt Forte, the law firm of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and… DeAngelo “I Had Fantasy Relevance 5 Years Ago, I Swear” Williams… yikes. They probably won’t lose this week either though, because they face FLACC OFF on Aaron Rodgers’s bye week. But their next four opponents after that have a combined record of 8 – 4, so we’ll see how long that undefeated streak lasts…

#2 Sophisticated Owls 1 – 2 @ 147 pts/gm

The number two scoring team in the League (although still 20 points behind the Who…?) has the horse-like, 4x MVP, Peyton Manning, who is averaging 42 points per game and is very sophisticated. The Owls deserve all the points that Manning reigns down this season, having kept Manning the last few seasons through trades and backiotomies alike. But that’s not all the Owls have going for them. They also have the rejuvenated Phillip Rivers, the steady Jason Witten and the thus-far under performing Doug Martin, Frank Gore and Larry Fitzgerald. That’s right, imagine what will happen when the Owls can really spread their wings! Joqiue Bell could be the steal of the draft and they also have Fred Jackson on their bench (are you paying attention here, Weiss?). So how do they have a losing record, you ask? Well, because Who wants Jenn ings or Harvin? put up 191 on them in Week One and FLACC OFF hung another 173 on them in Week Two! But I expect this team’s record to be turned around by mid-season, and if they can pull off a blue chip trade, they should be one of the favorites to go the distance with Peyton at the helm. I think they can safely drop Nate Burleson at this point though.

#3 BOO YAH! 3 – 0 @ 146 pts/gm

How is this team undefeated? I ask you. Don’t get me wrong, they have pieces all over the place: Jordan Cameron turns out to be a beast, Jordy Nelson looks to be in peak form this year and Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck are about as good as it gets at quarterback (but see, Greg’s team). But after that, what am I looking at? Lamar Miller? Giovani Bernard? T.Y. Hilton? That may be a fantasy all star team in 2015, but right now it looks more like list of the week’s top waiver wire pick-ups. But the Boos have never scored below a buck thirty and, while they haven’t played great competition (Yester Cooch, Albino Polar Bears and 1-Legged Deer), their games haven’t really been closely contested. Still, I don’t think this team (as currently configured) is going to be a top seed at the end of the regular season. But for right now, they round out the top tier.

Tier 2

#4 Albino Polar Bears 2 – 1 137 pts/gm

Fantasy teams, like real teams, need identities to win. And the Black Bears are, to mix metaphors, work-horses. They’re not gonna sniff 200 points this season, but they will string together wins. Russell Wilson and Terrelle Pryor are a surprisingly good pair of quarterbacks (averaging over 40 points per game). And they have Jay Cutler! Okay, that one’s a joke. But the Albinos also have a really good tandem on wide outs in DeSean Jackson and Brian Hartline, and you simply cannot overstate the value of Jimmy Graham. If the Albinos hadn’t lost to BOO YAH! in Week Two, they would be in top tier despite their lower point total; but wins against the Suckmy Weinermans and Ndamukong Something are nothing to write home about (see Tier 4). With the right acquisitions, I could see the 2010 League Champion taking a run at another title this year.

#5 FLACC OFF 1 – 2 @ 137 pts/gm

I have been accused on more than one occasion of ranking myself too high. But with Aaron Rodgers and his 33 points per game, I always have a chance, and Alfred “The Butler” Morris and Reggie Bush are turning out to be solid running back pair. But my only win came against the Owls in a monster Week Two performance, and after losing to the Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars and Yester Cooch, I traded for Bilal Powell to add running back depth. I do feel pretty comfortable with Randall Cobb, Pierre Garcon and Steve Johnson as my wide outs though. If ToGo steps it up, this is a team you do not want to face come play-off time.

Tier 3

#6 Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars 1 – 2 @ 126 pts/gm

The Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars are trying to rebuild the dynasty and their desperation showed as they took Suckmy Weinermans main trade-bait and sent their 2014 first round pick off for C.J. Spiller. A Spiller-Rice tandem sounded killer in August, but how ’bout now? There is still plenty of time for them to bounce back though, and CJ2k is no slouch for a RB3. The AllStars have also been active on the waiver wire, snagging early waiver darling Julius Thomas and recently adding Willis McGahee, Ryan Broyles and the Chiefs defense. And I’m sure we haven’t seen their last trade of the season. Percy Harvin ain’t walkin’ through that door any time soon, so they’ll need more help if they are going to regain a winning record (their only win is against me and they lost to the Owls and Hopefully Relevant!).

#7 Hopefully Relevant! 2 – 1 @ 129 pts/gm

I’m sure a tear was shed in the Dunfee household when the Jaguars downgraded Denard Robinson from “Offensive Weapon” to just “Wide Receiver.” I am also surprised not to see the form namesake of the Hopefuls on this roster, because every other wide receiver is – they have A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Wes Welker, DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Gates and Martellus Bennett. But their only loss is the Who…?, having defeated the AllStars and the Overachievers, so what do I know? Well, I know that if you think it’s hard for our defending champion to choose among the Red Rocket, Ryan Tannehill, and Jake Locker at quarterback, imagine how tough the choice is when you have Darren Sproles, Eddie Lacy, Da’Rel Scott, Bryce Brown and Bobby Rainey (who the f#ck is Bobby Rainey?) at running back!!! #GOODLUCKWITHTHAT

#8 Yester Cooch 1 – 2 @ 126 pts/gm

Yes, they have AP and Brees. That has been true since time immemorial. But the rest of their team? Yikes. Steven Ridley has been a total bust, Roddy White has been hampered by injury, Victor Cruz plays for the Giants, and the rest of his team is just ho-hum (Mike Wallace, Eric Decker, James Jones). Perhaps if this team packaged some of their middle players together for an upgrade at one position and then was willing to give up picks to acquire a top player at another position, they might have a chance. But this point, this team looks to be fish food for the eventual championship contenders.

Tier 4

#9 1-Legged Deer 2 – 1 @ 114 pts/gm

The now confusingly named 1-Legged Deer have a winning record and can be legit contenders if with a few savvy moves. Paulson probably didn’t expect Alex Smith to be THAT much better than Tom Brady, but the two have turned out to be a serviceable pair. Knowshon Moreno was a big pick-up on draft day, and Marshawn Lynch is looking to be everything he was expected to be. And, while nothing to write home about, Marques Colston and Reggie Wayne are two wide outs with big upside each week. If Maurice Jones-Drew comes around, this team could be a play-off contender and has the bones of a championship team if they can acquire a piece or two. But they’ll have to do something because they are lowest scoring team in the League.

#10 The Overachievers 1 – 2 @ 115.5 pts/gm

Admittedly, the numbers aren’t their for the Overachievers. For right now, at least, the name does not fit the team. But on paper, I still like this team:  Arian Foster and RGIII are both under-performing but are still fully cable of becoming dominant again. Even Cam Newton hasn’t fully reached his potential yet. But Demarco Murray is running strong and when Gronk comes back (which looks like it will be next week), the Overachievers can run with anyone in the ‘Lig.’ Plus, the ownership remains as strong as ever, nabbing Eddie Royal, Kenbrell Thompkins, James Starks and Brandon Hoyer off the waiver wire. Watch for this team to creep up the rankings from here… They’ve already played the Who…? and, well, um, the Weinermans and the Hopefuls, so they’ve got a lot to look forward to.

#11 Suckmy Weinermans 0 – 3 @ 119 pts/gm

After selling his soul last season in a desperate attempt to win it all, the Suckmy Weinermans have flipped the script and are already a seller this year, sending C.J. Spiller to the AllStars for a 2014 first rounder pick. And while some say they were a little quick to pull the plug on this season, their record says otherwise (they lost to the Albinos, the Somethings and the Overachievers in consecutive weeks). And when you reach on a guy like Colin Kaepernick and whiff, well, then it’s time to face facts. They also have Tony Romo, and LeSean McCoy is certainly the team’s shining star, but those are the only guys they are unwilling to trade! The rest of the roster is absolute garbage, with more than half their starters having an ESPN ownership percentage less than 35 percent! So how is this NOT the worst team in the League? Well, let’s ponder that for a moment…

#12 Ndamukong Something 1 – 2 @ 116 pts/gm

To hear the ownership of Ndamukong Something tell it, he was in the draft room, surrounding by handmade rankings and piles of research, he got up to take a whizz, and BAM! All the quarterbacks were gone! And, in a sense, we all felt that way. But the rest of us found a way to draft someone other than Christian Ponder… I mean Christian-f#ck!ng-Ponder! And here we are, already in Week 4, and who’s the starter in Minnesota? You guessed it, anyone but Ponder. Go ahead, keep telling yourself that it’s his ribs, and not the fact that Wario (a/k/a Ziggy Wilf) didn’t finally wake up and realize, “holy-f#ck!ng-sh!t, Christian Ponder is my quarterback!” Do you think he still has Tavaris Jackson’s phone number? Okay, to be far to the Somethings, their keepers are looking waaay better now (Megatron was always a beast, but Jamaal Charles has also returned to form). But after Vincent Jackson and Darren McFadden, this team falls off a cliff. Read that last sentence again. One more time. Yep, this team is in big trouble. Their only win has come against the Weinermans in Week 2 (they’ve lost to the Albinos and the Deer). And unless they solve the quarterback situation, its hard to image the Somethings as anything but sellers come the trade deadline.

Payouts & Prizes

I regret to inform you all that the League trophy, casually referred to as the Bad News Barristers Cup, is no more. After only one season in use, it has been irreparably damaged in transit between our 2011 and 2012 champions. Although every precaution was taken to ensure the trophy’s safe transport, including providing a budget for its proper packaging, and supplying a custom-made shipping crate for packaging (at no cost to the League), this tragedy was ultimately my fault for believing that a trophy of such magnificence could survive as a long term traveling trophy. But the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and the Bad News Barristers Cup was, in the end, too beautiful for this world.

But you all chipped in on that thing and one you was going to win it this year, so the loss effects us all. To make up for my hubris, I will pay the cost of the replacement. If we choose a trophy, I will have one constructed here that is more suitable for regular travel and pay the cost of its creation and shipment. I will do so quickly, so that Hank can enjoy it for as long as possible before a new champion is crowned. (Sorry Hank, I don’t see a repeat in your future, as the Power Rankings make clear.) But, in lieu of a trophy, I suggest an alternative prize for our league champion…

That ring is made by Jostens, the good people who make class rings (you know, those things no one buys anymore). It costs about $320, but if you want it in real gold or with real diamonds, the cost goes up considerably. But you can add the League name and your team name to the sides of the ring for free. Of course, buying a ring for each year’s champion would eat into the winner’s purse, but it would also allow for a permanent, easy to keep memorial of your fantasy glory. You could even display it in a little case, if you didn’t see yourself wearing it to work. Josten’s does make less expensive rings (if your peruse their website), so it is conceivable to think that not every champion would have to get the same ring. Hold that thought, I’ll come back to this idea in a minute…

The League coffers are now swoll with $1200 (American). To quote the immortal words of some douche in my Enterprise Organization class:  What are we going to do with all that money? Well, here’s what I suggest we do with it… Let’s give $100 to the highest scoring team every quarter. The season has 13 weeks, so the first quarter would 4 weeks long and then the final three distributions would occur after Weeks 7, 10 and 13.

That leaves $800 left in the pot. We could simply give $500 to the champion and $300 to the runner up (similar to what we have always done). Or we could decide to throw something at the consolation champion (but no more than $100, because we shouldn’t reward someone for being a loser). Or we could allow the champion to design his own championship ring with that $800 and keep whatever is left over. Sure it screws second place out of some cash, but remember what I said about not rewarding losers?

I will email each of you individually calling for a vote on these issues. Please respond no later than next Thursday, October 3rd so that we can promptly distribute winnings for the first quarter of the season.

Increase Scoring 10x

Fantasy football players are like real football players in maybe only one way: they both fear change. To their credit, however, the Bad News Barristers have never shied away from creative and new ways to increase fun in the League. In that spirit, I propose one, small, superficial change…

I propose we increase all scoring by a factor of 10. That’s it. So instead of getting a tenth of a point per rushing or receiving yard, you’d get 1. Yes, that would mean that you will also get 60 points per rushing or receiving touchdown and that means that teams will be scoring over 1000 points a week, but strategically nothing would change. Psychologically, though, I think it would be more fun to watch your score jump 100 points or more when someone connects for a long touchdown.

I realize that it would make it a little harder to cross-compare your team in this League with other leagues. But, given differences in scoring, and especially now that we have the offensive player position, is there even really a good comparison anyway? And you can always divide by 10 in your head if you’re curious what your ‘old’ score would have been.

So, since there is no functional change to this tweak, this will be instituted in Week Five as a test run. After Week Five, if six of you email me and say you want to go back to the old system, then it shall be so. Otherwise, the new scoring system will remain in place. I mean, come on, fractional points are stoopid anyway, you can’t win by half a point in real football, why should half points count in fantasy football?

Waiver Wire Warfare

I am in four fantasy football leagues and after three weeks of football, I feel I have enough data to make the following observation… This is the tightest, most aggressive waiver wire I have ever seen.

But what has turned us all into waiver wire hawks? Maybe its the fact that the Bad News Barristers have always remained 12 teams strong. Or maybe its our huge 8-player benches. Or it could be the addition of the Offensive Player position.

Or maybe it was Hank bidding $90 on Da’Rel Scott, who I think is this guy…

But Hank isn’t the only one who has made some questionable decisions. Kennedy paid $40 for James Starks only to watch him go down the next game. But Kennedy wasn’t going to be fooled twice though, letting Greg take Jonathan Franklin, the Packers third stringer, for a cool $11.

And what the f#ck has Winerman been doing? Other than emailing us weekly trying to trade us everyone but Geno Smith? He’s been paying $24 for Eddie Royal, $15 for Jason Snelling, $10 for Andre Ellington, $8 for Robert Turbin, and $5 for Donnie Avery, plus a revolving door of garbage for $1 – $3. Perhaps the fervor will die down once Winerman has exhausted his auction budget (he has only $14 left).

But we are all victim of the waiver wire madness. After the T-Rich trade, Willis McGahee went to Weiss for $21. And I paid $11 for Chad Henne, who I have since dropped. That decision was motivated by the fact that there are absolutely ZERO starting quarterbacks on the waiver wire. Indeed, quarterback scarcity has definitely played a role in the close attention being paid to the waiver wire. After all, when I went to the wire to replace Henne, I was shocked to learn that I wasn’t going to get the jump on Brian Hoyer, because Kennedy already had him. Even more amazing. It was announced this morning that Josh Freeman was being benched and that Buccaneers would start rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. Osman picked up Glennon on September 13th! So, I was left to pick up this guy…

For those who don’t immediately recognize him, that’s Matt Cassell. Yes, formerly of the Patriots and Chiefs, but he now plays for the Vikings. He’s not the starter yet, but he will be soon. And when that happens, Mike Glennon will be Osman’s only starting quarterback on his roster. Anyone else smell a trade? But that’s what it takes in this league, apparently. And I, for one, think its awesome.

The only problem with it that I have is that we have too long to weigh our decisions. Perhaps we wouldn’t have to waste so much money out bidding ourselves if the waiver wire processed on Tuesdays as well. The down side of this is of course that we will only have about six hours to get our first waiver wire bids in each week (from approximately midnight to 9am pacific). The upside is that we might be able to get a deal once in a while because it doesn’t give everyone a chance to read Chris Harrison’s free agent suggestions on Tuesday afternoon. If other people like the idea of a Tuesday waiver wire, we will put it to the League for a formal vote.

Kudos to you all for making this the most competitive season of Bad News Barristers fantasy football yet. Keep up the good work and good luck in Week Four!

The G.O.A.T.?

As I was putting together the League Annals page, I began to consider the League through a longer lens. And I wondered:  Which among us is the best owner in League history?  After trying long and hard to find a way to conclude it was me, I was lead to a different conclusion by counting down from seven to one…

The Bad News Barristers came together seven years ago. But since then, we have crowned just six league champions:  Weiss (‘06, ‘07), Nussbaum (‘08), Cutchshaw (‘09), me (’10), Sampson (’11), and Dunfee (‘12). Of course, the original five teams in the league (Abbasi, Dimond, Sampson, Weiss, and Winerman) have a significant advantage in a contest that rewards sustained success (so sorry Emilio, you didn’t have much chance of winning this one). But even among the first five, Weiss’s post-season dominance is unparalleled:  Weiss has played for the title four times in the League’s first seven seasons!

Weiss’s detractors will point out that his first championship came against a depleted talent pool; after all, the League had such fabled members as Ben “Who Wants My Best Player?” Pong Wang, Drew “My Girlfriend Goes to Another Middle School, I Swear” Bradylyons, and Maurice “Like Thick Molasses” Worsley. And those detractors will point out that his second title was won with a .500 record. Maybe the detractors have a point…

Okay, so if not Weiss, then who? Well, if we forget about rings and focus on W’s, there are only three teams have won 50+ games in League history:  Kennedy (52), Weiss (51), and me (54). But remember, Weiss and I were original members, so our averages aren’t very impressive. To be second all-time in wins in only six seasons, Kennedy sports a whopping .675 winning percentage! And he’s never had a losing season! Weiss, meanwhile, has managed just three winning seasons in seven years. It’s Montana-Marino. Brady-Manning. Weiss-Kennedy. How can we settle such eternal questions? Well, here’s what did it for me…

The Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars are one of only two teams who have never changed their name (see also, Suckmy Weinermans). I mean, my God, the Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars have outlasted the Dean himself! How it can ever be changed now? It’s practically in memoriam.

In all seriousness though, we all know that it came down to this:  Weiss is the only one who has won it all more than once. And while the five one-time winners will try to match Weiss this year as the six never-have’s vie for their first taste of sweet victory, we should all take a moment to consider how truly rare back-to-back fantasy championships really are. Even if they were half a decade ago.

Good luck at defending your Championship, Hank, and putting your own name in this conversation.

Decision 2013!

Okay, fellas, the time has come to make some decisions. I will keep this short and sweet…

The first order of business is the Draft. The Bad News Barristers have always had a high turnout on Draft Night, and we are aiming for perfect attendance this year. So please take a moment to select your available dates/times here:


Remember, you’re not choosing only your favorite time, but rather selecting all the options that you could attend. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sign in/up to/for this website to vote.

Once everyone has participated, we can easily and quickly select the best date/time for everyone. Please vote as soon as possible, so we can schedule the Draft soon, because I’m sure everyone’s August/September is rapidly filling up.

Next, we need to decide the three changes that have been proposed. Please respond to each of the following questions:

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 06/08/2013 09:33:16
end_date 15/08/2013 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Add a 3rd Keeper
This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 06/08/2013 09:33:16
end_date 15/08/2013 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Adopt the K-System
This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 06/08/2013 09:33:16
end_date 15/08/2013 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Raise Entry Fee to $100


The voting will remain open through Wednesday, August 14th. A simply majority will decide each issue, which means 7 votes are needed for a proposal to pass (even if everyone does not vote). The K-System is outline here. If a third keeper is added and the K-System is adopted, the third keeper will be converted to a two-year contract extension (subject to tweaks by League vote). Regardless of whether the K-System is adopted, a third keeper will not be added until the 2014 season. If there is a fee increase, it will be effective immediately. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me.

And the 3rd Pick Goes to…

Paulson and the 1-Legged Deer! Congratulations, Erik–you had just a 4% chance of winning overall, yet you nabbed the third pick with the winning number of 95 (we had to utilize the ‘move one digit to the left’ tie-breaker).

Well done. You join myself and Winerman as your 2013 Lottery Winners.

That concludes the 2012 Bad News Barristers Lottery. The 2013 Official Draft Order is… Winerman (1), Dimond (2), Paulson (3), Sampson (4), Saiz (5), Cutchshaw (6), Weiss (7), Nussbaum (8), Baxter (9), Abassi (10), Kennedy (11), and Dunfee (12).

The first two rounds will be in this order, and then the draft will serpentine after that. Please refer to the Trade Picks page for more information on what picks were traded last season. After the keeper deadline passes, I will post the full draft order, pick-by-pick.

Congratulations… Me!

I won the second installment of the 2013 Lottery with the winning number of 59 and Don’t Shit the Money Bed! will pick second in this season’s draft. I had the third highest chance of winning (15%), so sorry to Greg and Emilio. And congratulations to me.

The third pick will be decided at the close of the Dow today, so check the Journal’s homepage at about about 1:30 pacific to see who will pick third! Good luck to everyone left!

And, if one of Winerman’s, or my, numbers comes again (97–99, 45–59), the winning number will simply be the second- and third-to-last digits of the DJIA (i.e., the two digits on either side of the decimal), and so on as necessary.

Picks 4 – 12 will be determined by reverse order of last year’s standings in accordance with League rules.

Congratulations Winerman!

Justin has won the Lottery with the winning number 97 and Suckmy Winermans will have the number one overall pick in the 2013 Bad News Barristers Draft. Congratulations! With the lowest odds of winning (just 3%), Justin has pulled off the unthinkable. Although it must suck to be Greg right now, this is truly what the Lottery is all about.

The second pick will be decided at the close of the Dow today, so check the Journal’s homepage at about about 1:30 pacific to see who will pick second! Good luck to everyone left!

Although it’s unlikely, if one of Winerman’s numbers comes again (97 – 99), the winning number will simply be the second- and third-to-last digits of the DJIA (i.e., the two digits on either side of the decimal), and so on as necessary.

The third pick will be decided tomorrow. After that, picks four through 12 will be determined by reverse order of last year’s standings in accordance with League rules.

Lottery Today!

The 2013 Bad News Barristers Lottery is today!

Although it won’t be official until the print edition of the Wall Street Journal hits newsstands tomorrow morning, check the Journal’s homepage after the market closes this afternoon to find out which lucky owner will have the number one of all pick in this season’s draft!

Remember, it’s the last two digits of the Dow Jones, so if–hypothetically–the Lottery had been on Friday, the winning number would have been 83 and Weiss would have the first pick. So close, Dave!

The number two pick will be decided by the Dow’s closing number tomorrow.

Here are your number assignments:

Greg 00 – 24
Emilio 25 – 44
Brandon 45 – 59
Ben 60 – 72
Dave 73 – 84
Lane 85 – 92
Erik 93 – 96
Justin 97 – 99


Rule Proposal Deadline – Wednesday

Just a gentle reminder that the deadline to submit new rule proposals or propose rule changes is this Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

Thanks to those who have already submitted suggestions. If you still want to propose one, please do so this week, so I can have the ballot out early next week.

After the ballot is distributed, there will be a one-week voting period to cast votes on the proposals.

Lottery Postponed – Sorry!


I am really sorry to say that I am not able to hold the Lottery today. [insert typical lawyer excuse here] Basically, I haven’t had time to paint my balls…

My ping-pong balls that is. And I’m traveling next week, so the earliest I could do the video draft is the week of August 5th. That sounds like a painfully long time to me, so we are going to revert back to the tried-n-true stock market lottery…

And so, the Lottery winner will be determined by the final two digits of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the market close on Monday, July 30th. The official number will be those reported on the front page of Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, July 31th. Here are your number assignments…

Greg 00 – 24
Emilio 25 – 44
Brandon 45 – 59
Ben 60 – 72
Dave 73 – 84
Lane 85 – 92
Erik 93 – 96
Justin 97 – 99

Good luck to everyone in the Lottery and again, I am really sorry I didn’t get my shit together in time to have the video lottery this weekend as planned.

More Money, More… Fun!

When the Bad News Barristers began in fall of 2007, gas was $1.25 per gallon, a gallon of milk cost a quarter, and you could get a z-job on any corner for a nickle and a song… A $50 entry fee made sense in that time and place. But in 2013, even a dime-bag costs twenty bucks. You can see where this is going…

I propose that we raise the entry fee. But rather than just give the champion more sweaty cash, here are some ways more money might mean more… Fun!

The most obvious way to spread the good times around is to keep final payouts the same and to add mid-season payouts. We could, for instance, offer $50 to the highest scoring team every week. Or, we could give $100 to the last undefeated team, or the mid-way points leader.money

Another fun twist would be to offer $100 for the best draft(er), or best general manager–which could be determined through league-wide votes. I suppose it’s possible that people would just vote for themselves, but with 12 votes, I still expect the cream to rise to the top.

Although I’m not set on any amount or specific use for the money, I do think if we could offer some early-to-mid-season payouts for certain achievements, it would increase excitement for everyone. And we can do all of that by increasing the entry fee by just $50 per team. There are probably a number of other good ideas for what we could do with a little extra cash–which I welcome by email or in the comments…

Trade-Deadline Party in Vegas?

Regarding League Finances

As many of you have noticed, the League has transitioned from using LeagueSafe.com to collect fees and distribute winnings to using WePay.com. In case you’ve wondered, here’s why…

LeagueSafe was an excellent option back in 2007 when sending money to-and-fro online was a tricky business, but it lacks the flexibility that services like WePay offer (and that our League demands). The League needs to be able to accept payments in any amount, at any time of financesyear, and without penalty. LeagueSafe could not deliver that. To say nothing of the fact that there is no good reason to allow a third-party service to retain the time value of League funds (however paltry that sum may be). LeagueSafe is for beginners, the Bad News Barristers are seasoned veterans.

WePay is way more flexible, but since it ties to a personal bank account (rather than in escrow with LeagueSafe), it requires that funds be tracked to prevent administrative mistakes. And while I would never embezzle from the League, it is not impossible to imagine a dispute over whether an owner had paid their dues as the result of a bookkeeping error. To solve that problem, I created a separate bank account with Citi (ending in x1099) solely for Bad News Barristers league business. So whenever you receive a WePay invoice from the League, you can be assured that your money will be deposited directly into the League account where it will remain safely until it is to be properly distributed.

Does this stop me from absconding with all of the League’s dough? No, I suppose it doesn’t. It does, however, mean that all monies going in-and-out of that account are League monies, which makes it very easy to monitor–including producing an accounting of all League financial transactions to any owner who might request it.

The Bad News Barristers have an excellent record of paying all League fees on time. Thank you very much for your continued diligence in making those timely payments. And of course, do not hesitate to ask any questions regarding League finances.

Proposing the K-System

What’s wrong with the current keeper system? For starters, it doesn’t promote trading the same way our draft pick trading does. But worse then that, it allows players to be locked up in perpetuity (yes, like Aaron Rodgers). And it’s confusing–I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked if someone can trade a player in the off-season that they don’t intend to keep (for those who still don’t know the answer–no, you can’t). Despite these flaws, every year someone suggests adding keepers! Well, I’ve got a proposal that will change all of that: the K-System.contract Here’s how it works…

Every player drafted is automatically signed to a 1-year contract. This is nothing more than a change in terminology, it simply means that you have the rights to that player for the season in which you drafted him (unless you trade him before the deadline, or cut him).

But here’s the twist–each season every owner will have a single 1-year extension and a single 2-year extension to give to two players that remain on a team’s roster when the season ends. For instance, this off-season I would sign Aaron Rodgers to the 2-year extension and Jonathan Stewart to the 1-year extension (yes, my team is that bad–I just checked, and no joke, I have Titus Young on my roster).

Fast forward to this time next year: the Stewart contract will be up (thank God) and Stewart will re-enter the draft, for one of you lucky SOBs to nab. A player can’t be extended by the same owner twice (and I wouldn’t want to with Stewart), but that is how the K-System prevents controlling a player indefinitely. So I can’t sign Rodgers to the 2-year extension and then try to extend him again (with my 1 or 2-year extension) when that runs out. Still with me?

In the summer of 2014, Rodgers will be entering the final season of his 2-year extension and so I will have him “under contract” until the trade deadline in 2014–at which point he would become a free agent at the end of the season and re-enter the draft. Here is where the system really promotes trading–if I trade Rodgers at the beginning of 2014, the owner who acquires him can extend him for 2 more years, which means Rodgers’ new owner will have him for the 2014, ’15 and ’16 seasons (although that owner will face the same dilemma in the summer of 2016).

That makes Rodgers a lot more valuable at the beginning of 2014 then the end of it, because it means 13 more weeks of production from Rodgers. The same would have been true of Jonathan Stewart right after we inked his extension. The possibility of a sign-and-trade makes things much more interesting.

Now don’t forget that I also have two more extensions to hand out in 2014. Since I can’t extend Rodgers (who’s still under contract) or Stewart (who’s 1-year extension is up), I will give the 1-year extension to Jordy Nelson and the 2-year extension to Trent Richardson, both of whom I (hypothetically) drafted in 2013.

So, what does that mean for the 2015 season? Well, if I don’t trade Rodgers (or anyone else), I will have the rights to Rodgers, Richardson, and Nelson for the 2015 season. Without trading, I won’t have more than 3 active contracts at once, because the Rodgers and Nelson deals would expire after 2015 and I will only have two new extensions to hand out in 2014, plus the last year of the Richardson deal.

I say “without trading,” because there is nothing stopping an owner from acquiring multiple players with one or two years left on their deals and carrying over several players without drafting. But, I imagine that it would be difficult to do that because you only have so much to trade away–I think its a very exciting wrinkle, though.

How would draft pick compensation work then? Well, you don’t get any compensation for cutting (ie, dropping) a player to whom you have given an extension. Or if you acquired a player under contract from another team and cut him, again you get nothing. But if you choose not to use one your two annual extensions, then you will receive a compensatory draft pick in accordance with rules we already have for not using your keepers. This helps ensure parity because we don’t want teams to end up in an infini-loop of shitty players and shitty draft picks.

I think this would be a real improvement to our current system, but not really a significant departure from our current model. I would like to put the K-System on the ballot this off-season to be implemented immediately. I know that we traditionally wait one year before implementing a new rule, but if we do that, then I would have Rodger for 4 more years (thru 2016) because I wouldn’t have to burn my 2-year extension until 2014, which is too long, in my opinion. In this special case, I think it makes sense to institute the K-System right away, if the league votes it in.

I welcome any questions or thoughts in the comments or by email.

Call for New Rule Proposals

As in previous year, the floor is now open for all owners to propose new rules (or rule changes) that would take effect beginning with the 2014 season. Note: There are three rule changes going into effect this season.

Since an open email chain gets confusing very quickly, however, please email me directly with your actual suggestion, so I can synthesize overlapping suggestions and submit all the proposals to the League for a one-time vote.

That doesn’t mean you can’t discuss ideas or suggestions with the rest of the League. You can always email the league–using the League contact page or at league@badnewsbarristers.com–or post on the Rules forum page. But if that seems like too much work, you can just email me and I will put the idea up for a straight up-or-down vote.

Please submit all suggestions no later than July 31. Please visit the Rules page for a refresher on current league practices.

2013 Rule Changes

Last summer, the League voted on the following new rules that will take effect this season…

new rulesFirst, there is an additional roster spot for a 
Universal Offensive Player, increasing the total number of starters to ten.

Second, while the flex position has been retained, tight ends may now be started in the ‘flex.’

Third, positional roster limits have been eliminated, which means that you may now have on your roster as many players of one position as you like.

BadNewsBarristers.com has arrived!

Now in it’s eighth year, the Bad News Barristers fantasy football league has a website!

Although you will still use the ESPN website to manage your team, all the league information you need will be contained here–think trades, important dates, rules, stuff like that–and you can also pay your 2013 dues right now! There’s even a mobile site!

This is also the future home of the revamped Power Rankings, so stay tuned…

To make it more convenient to communicate with other owners this season, you can send an email to all league members quickly and easily with the form to the right. Or, you send an email to the league from anywhere at league@badnewsbarristers.com.

More than that, though, you can post on the Message Boards to talk smack or trash, or what-have-you. In order to keep those messages nice and private, however, you need to log in (you do not need to log in to view the rest of website). Your username is your first name and your password has been emailed to you separately (if you have not received it within 24 hours, please email me).

As an added bonus, each of you now has a custom, private email address which is <your-first-name>@badnewsbarristers.com. To find out how to send from this address through your gmail account, click here. And if you’d like to have your email address be your last name instead, have any questions about email security, or prefer to have your email address deactivated, just email me.

I hope you find the website useful and fun and I welcome any feedback. So enjoy, and here’s to best season of Bad News Barristers fantasy football yet!

–The Commish

Hank Dunfee, Champion

ray lewis celebration

In just his third season, Hank Dunfee is our League Champion. Congrats, Hank!

Hank joined the league in 2010, captaining the questionably-named Denard’s Shoelaces to the playoffs, only to be blown out in the opening round to eventual runner-up, the Caminker Hair Mousse AllStars.

But the Laces really came untied in 2011 and they managed only two wins. But they weren’t just dragging on the bathroom floor–the Laces acquired three–count ’em–three second round picks that season (he literally owned a third of the second round picks in 2012), and nabbed extra 4th and 7th round picks to boot.

Like the Lions, Hank LOVES wide receivers and he used those extra second round picks on Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz, and Dez Bryant. But it really helps when your last pick is in the 10th round of the draft and it was Hank’s amazing back half that propelled his team last season–Tony Gonzalez, Robert Griffin III and Michael Crabtree were all drafted late.

The newly name Hopefully Relevant! went 7 and 4 in the regular season, but still secured a bye before defeating Jon Gruden’s Bang Bus (Osman) and The Overacheivers (Tom) en route to his first fantasy championship. Hank joins Dave (2006, 2007), Lane (2008), me (2009), Ben (2010), and Greg (2011) in the hall of champions.

Congratulations, Hank. Good luck trying to repeat.