Cousins League Recap: Week One

 

Can you say drama? Week 1 of the Cousins Fantasy Football League was like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy except your girlfriend probably wasn’t next to you with a bag of tissues. Or maybe she was, it’s not like I was sitting outside your apartment complex with a bag of stogies and a portable radio so I could follow my own team while I watched you watch yours. We had top dogs go down, teams make miraculous comebacks only to lose off interceptions that probably should’ve been reviewed but weren’t because Roger Goodell doesn’t care about the integrity of fantasy football and a big trade controversy that took the league page by storm. So without further ado, let’s go.

Wayne vs Phil

You have to be kidding me. YOU HAVE TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME. Wayne is known as a cocky member of the Cousins League. A spokesman for tradition. A member of the old guard. A hater of Mike Smith. He may still not have a Cousins League championship under his belt, but he sure as hell is gonna talk like he has one. As the self-proclaimed “watchdog” of the league, Wayne is sometimes too busy critiquing other team’s lineups to set his own. But this week, man, Wayne came out strong as the #1 rated team pre-season. He put up 97 with a smooth 22-12-12-12 from top dogs Aaron Rodgers, Shady McCoy, Latavius Murray and Julio Jones. The Bakes was up a cool 39 going into Monday Night Football and all Phil had was the worst tipper in East Maryland and the Washington R-Word Quarterback.

But Phil wasn’t ready to lay over and concede victory. In a miraculous comeback, DeAngelo Williams put up the most points of any RB in the league with a 2 TD, 143 yard game. And captain Kirk just did enough to keep Leap Frog alive as a late completion tied this matchup at 97. Kirk was inside the 5. And Wayne was inside his own bathroom dry heaving, constantly refreshing his fantasy football app. It was the perfect storm and Wayne was finally gonna lose a heartbreaker. All Phil needed was a touchdown pass. Worst case he ties right?

But we all know what happened. Cousins threw a last-second interception (that actually may have hit the ground but of course Roger Goodell didn’t review it because he cares more about suspending players for taking a hit off the field than on the field) and Wayne celebrated with a water street hotdog and three cups of gin before bed. It’s really no surprise that Kirk Cousins is the reason for week 1 drama in the “Cousins” League. You can’t write the script, folks, you can only read it and rip it in half if your fantasy team is 0-1 and your third round draft pick tore his ACL on the first play of the second half and is out for the year. But like another Kirk says, Enough About Me. Let’s head over to the A Bit Older division…

Howie vs Matt

Yeah I’m switching over division to division this year. You may get lost but you sure as hell won’t get bored. It’s Grace’s OWN DADDY, a new team name and a new era for owner Matt in his first fantasy matchup as a man who we can confirm, without a doubt, has had sex. If you think about it, it’s kind of a brag for Matt to have a kid before he turns 30. Not all of us can physically confirm the loss of our virginity before we go bald, Matt. Oh, wait…

Enough of these personal diggs and let’s get to the matchup at hand. Which actually is going to be a personal dig in itself because MATT LOST BY 2 AFTER BEING UP 22 GOING INTO THIS GAME WHERE HOWIE ONLY HAD ONE PLAYER. But that one player wasn’t Colin Kaepernick, guys. It was a man with a way worse haircut, and a confirmed “healthy” diagnosis because he was able to listen to the entire Star-Spangled Banner without needing to sit down.

This matchup probably won’t be remembered because of Kirk Cousins and Roger Goodell’s lack of care for the correct ruling on the field (as opposed to his iron fist for rulings of domestic violence off the field). But in any other Cousins League week, this would have been the Spotlight game. And by “Spotlight” I don’t mean there were priests running around the crowd ball-tapping young fans. I mean we all would’ve felt so bad for Matt’s loss that we would’ve sent him some wide receivers to help him mourn the loss of Demaryius Thomas, whom he lost for nothing besides a guy like Willie Snead (9 rec, 172 yds, 1 TD) who probably already hit his peak.

In the Cousins League, the name of the game is points. This isn’t like some other fantasy leagues where you need to catch the most Poke-balls or tame the most dragons. It’s about scoring more touchdowns and moving your body while holding a pigskin for more feet than your opponent. And Matt was unable to do that. He has nobody to blame but himself. And also Jonathan Stewart.

Overall, a great win for Howie who, if he had started Jeremy Hill over TJ Yeldon, would’ve lost the matchup by one point. Really makes you think.

P.S- Howie is not totally out of the (Robert) Woods yet. Howie is known across all fantasy football leagues to be the team least likely to not lose based on a stat correction that gives his team negative points. To that I say, we wait. At least the computer can’t take away points from Coby Fleener though since he literally has none.

Chad vs Mars Quaid

A rookie in the Cousins Fantasy Football League. Statistically speaking, rookies haven’t fared so well on our virtual gridiron. Overall, Cousins League rookies sport a pathetic 3-9 record in their first divisional matchup (stat courtesy of MadeUpStatsThatIJustMadeUp.org). But Doug? Nah, he doesn’t pay a tension to all that noise. He’s too busy putting up points and strategically starting tight ends over Rob Gronkowski to pick-up an extra 2 points that may or may not help him but definitely did not need this week. If anything it shows a lack of confidence on Mars Quaid’s part that he started Clive Walford. One, because Clive is a girls name (Cousins League fan Jaclyn’s husband’s Mom). And two because it shows that he felt he needed a replacement level tight end to beat Chad. If anything that just pumps up Chad’s psyche and helps low-tier running backs that also have girls names average my high school GPA in yards per carry (4.4)

But let’s not get caught up in the numbers. The Cousins League is a “go with your gut” sort of league, which is exactly what Chad told me he was doing when he picked the Los Angeles Rams to beat the 49ers in our eliminator pool. Now I’m not sure if Chad thought the rules were “win a game or lose by 28 and embarrass yourself on National Television” but he sure as hell didn’t go chalk and pick the Seahawks or Packers like 13 of our 23 contestants did. Kudos for originality there.

Chad brought over this loser-mentality to the Cousins League where he scored an abysmal 93 points. He astutely started Jameis Winston (25 points) against the Falcons defense which is basically comprised of members of my former high school’s best football team- The Pine Street Guys Who Ride The Pine- over a guy with 7 kids named Philip Rivers who was playing in a stadium where you can literally get hit with an arrow at any time and lose your ability to make future kids. And is it a coincidence that sperm cells also look like little arrows? Probably not, which is exactly why Chad decided to bench Philip Rivers on the road at Arrowhead.

But with every plus comes a minus and with every failed pregnancy test comes a guy who maybe just can’t get it up. Chad made a bonehead managerial decision by not starting Michael Crabtree over aforementioned girl-boy Christine Michael. Unless Chad had recently been watching NFL Rewind and saw the Bengals/Eagles game where Donovan McNabb didn’t understand that ties are possible, starting Crabtree over Michael seems like a brilliant move in hindsight. It would’ve given Chad a 0-0-1 record and Doug a 0-0-1 record which would give both the same record as Narc so far this year in a great tribute to our fallen league member. Alternatively, Chad coulda started Torrey Smith and forced himself to stay up for the late East-Coast game and lost about a trillion brain cells seeing Case Keenum check down to 49ers defensive ends again after again. He also may have missed work this morning and could’ve lost a good paycheck- a paycheck he will need in offering money to free agents this week who will score more than 2 points at the tight end position.

Another Cousins League matchup decided on Monday Night Football here as Big Ben put up 22 points and 3 touchdowns. As long as Big Ben keeps showing his eliteness behind center, his (alleged) rape from a few years ago will mean less and less to the general public. So if you are in favor of an amended criminal justice system you may want to start rooting hard against our new league member, Doug.

Anj vs Zach

Pandemonium. I said god damn PANDEMONIUM. The exact emotion I felt as NFL football was about to get underway. I was in Boston squatting in the luxurious “Stuvi 1 Apartment” which literally translates to “Don’t Start Keenan Allen you idiot!” Keenan was an important member of my team and an important member of a San Diego Chargers team that was picked by some media members (me) to make the playoffs. If the Chargers are to indeed make the playoffs this year, this would be a positive reflection on me as an analyst “in the know” so Keenan’s injury not only injured himself, it also affected many people close to him.

But listen, I’m not here to make excuses. I’m here to tell you exactly why I lost and see if you’ll understand that it was out of my control and was not a product of bad drafting, bad lineup decision making, an over-inflated sense of ego in the fantasy football community, and a saturday night full of binge drinking and rip-off trade offers that put me in the dog house with the fantasy football gods. Now if you’re in the dog house with your wife, it’s easy to get out. All you have to do is buy her a bracelet, or take her out to a steak dinner, or not bang your neighbor’s wife again. But the fantasy football Gods? Man, they’re a fickle beast. One week they propel you to a win simply because you wrote a funny and informed recap and one week Adrian Peterson rushes for 31 yards on 19 carries because you drafted a guy who doesn’t quite understand the definition of America’s favorite children’s game “stickball.”

Is it my fault that Adrian Peterson’s yards per carry was only slightly higher than Wayne’s BAC last weekend in Oneonta when he unknowingly let a Middle Eastern man into his bedroom at 2:00 in the morning? Yeah, maybe it is. I should’ve known that the Titans defense would focus more on stacking the box than putting 6 deep in coverage to stop Shaun Hill’s potent aerial attack. But who in their right mind would make Adrian Peterson ride the pine? The last time someone did that was his father and it only caused a chain reaction of discipline with a stick which indirectly caused Peterson to ride the fantasy pine for a whole calendar year as he thought about how he could punish his child different in the state of Texas without using an illegally banned NFL substance that is not banned in his own home state. Like guns.

So at least I’ll have no regrets. It’s not like if I benched John Brown and Zach Miller for Jordan Matthews and Eric Ebron I would’ve won by 10.

I only would’ve won by 9.

Sandro vs Drew

Here’s an undisputed list of people I expected to have exactly 124 points more than Sandro himself (wrote this down in my notebook pre-game):

My local laundry man Tom, Andrew Carnevale, President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, the actress who played “Shireen” from Game Of Thrones, a random team I found online who plays in an office league whose team name is “I always score 124 points,” Luca Carnevale in his fourth grade 22-team league commissioned by his teacher (she cheats incessantly), Antonio Brown himself, my buddy Rob who started 3 tight ends in a league that only allows you to start 1, and of course Scott Hansen who was too busy narrating red zone and peeing every time the feed switched to live action to bench Gronkowski his own fantasy league.

Notice that, incredibly, none of those names or fake people list or reference “Sandro Carnevale” as a member of the 124-point club. If you had told me that in addition to his league-best under .500 winning streak that spans 4 fantasy years, the exact equivalent of years your bench running back will need to finish his degree if he goes back to college and his name is Frank Gore, that Sandro’s 2nd round pick Dez Bryant would score 0 fantasy points and WOULDN’T be the Cowboy receiver to make a boneheaded football move up the field with the game on the line, I would’ve said that sentence was as long as a paragraph, and no, Sandro ain’t topping the century mark.

But here we are, a mere 36 hours later, and Spencer Ware still has 25 points. Andrew Luck scored 35 in a blowout loss to the Lions. And AJ Green disappointed by scoring the 3rd most fantasy points in Sandro’s lineup (he was a first round pick) with only 24. Combine that with Jordan Reed only scoring 6 (room for improvement), Blount snagging 22 carries, and Frank Gore needing to re-take the Wonderlic opening up a roster spot for perennial fantasy superstar Danny Woodhead, and I’d say- by God- Sandro may snap his league-wide losing skid.

As for IT OWN, it was a classic case of piss poor fantasy defense. The man who the current Cousins League Trophy for Most Stingy Fantasy Defense is named after flopped big-time in his own defensive gameplan. It almost seemed like starting the Raiders defense against the high-powered Saints offense put UDrew in a disfavorable place with the fantasy Gods. And as I said earlier, the fantasy Gods are not ones to mess with. Yes, they’ll give you 6 total touchdowns from your RB/RB/WR/WR/FLEX/TE spots. But no, you won’t win. Even if Eli Manning doesn’t find a way to fuck up a Week 1 matchup against the Cowboys which, according to an official NFL Sponsor twitter account “This Is The Fake Elias Sports Bureau” @NotRealEliasSportsBureau, hasn’t happened since his brother Peyton had zero Super Bowl rings and zero sexual assault allegations from Tennessee trainers who claim Peyton teabagged her then used his family’s power and money to squash any and all legal action in an effort to victim blame and cast the trainer in a negative light that will affect her future job prospects and annual income which will in turn make her personal life tough since the guy she is defaming is seen as a legend by the outside world.

In other words, when Eli does well, UDrew will lose. But if Eli screws up at the end of the game, UDrew will win. At least that’s what the trends say in Week 1. This is an 0-1 time on the rise.

Chris vs Mike

“The New Guy Chris Picher” was projected to lose by many Cousins League Fantasy Football News Outlets, most notably my exclusive spread projections on the league page. Additionally, Wayne Baker, league watch-dog, predicted Chris to “go 0-4” in his first four matchups without his backup quarterback, Tom Brady.

It’s funny that if in real life you become a backup quarterback, you’re almost always destined to the same fate in fantasy football leagues. It’s a catch-22 of fantasy football. You want to draft guys that fly under the radar. But fly too far below the radar and they probably won’t score more than 3 fantasy points sans matchups against the Atlanta Falcons D. Chris did a good job of not only drafting a guy believed to be guilty under the strict NFL code of “more probable than not and by that we mean if we have no idea we just have Roger Goodell decide based on who he holds grudges against,” and stashing him on his bench while utilizing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

Because of the Falcons defensive issues, Matty Ice (you’ll get it if you drink), is a hot commodity in the fantasy community because he will most likely never throw a ball with a lead. Based on watching lots of Matt Ryan film, and having a strict bias against BC Football, I can confidently say that Matt Ryan is not that good with a lead. His footwork often looks like a guy trying to piss on an Amtrak without anticipating that the train is about to move from “stand still” to “mobile.” Which, coincidentally, is a movement that Matt Ryan has never been able to master on the field. It’s no surprise he doesn’t add many points in the rushing department.

But give a man a fish and he’ll have food for a week. Give a man Matt Ryan losing the whole game and he’ll throw for 334 yards and 2 TD. My grandfather taught me that and he didn’t even know Matt Ryan would have top wideout Julio Jones as a security blanket.

Besides Ryan, Chris had other players that scored well in ESPN standard scoring, which is a language of Morse Code that Chris does not understand because he went to “private school.” Vikings D scored 21 and Dan Bailey scored 17, but you have to wonder, have these special teams units peaked? I mean the only way the Vikings could score more fantasy points is against Shaun Hill himself and unfortunately we don’t count fantasy points on Wednesday’s. They count on Sunday’s. So unless the Vikings could ship Hill to a team they are playing the next week in hopes of giving themselves an easy matchup, I see nowhere for the Vikes D to go but down. But for this week, Chris’s team sits pretty. Just imagine how many points he would’ve scored if Gary Barnidge didn’t get cut weeks ago? One can only imagine.

As for Mike, hey man, how about you stop protesting league activity off the field and start motivating your team on the field? Unless you’re a Colin Kaepernick-type who can both inspire conversation and change from the sideline and also coach Blaine Gabbert into a 28-0 victory that jolted him into the “quarterbacks to watch” conversation, you may want to focus your abilities on starting defenses that don’t score -2 points versus a guy who stinks like Blaine Gabbert.

Listen, I do understand why you were upset. Anybody would be pissed if they made a trade for a package that didn’t end up being what they expected. But do you see me complaining when my asthma medicine turns to be amphetamines? No, of course not, because I’m too busy sending out 48 fantasy trades per minute. Which is exactly what you should be doing in order to improve your now decimated receiving core.

I gotta give Mike credit though. He’s not one to back down from adversity. When I sent him a message indicating a possible trade that would probably benefit me more than it benefitted him, he stopped me right in my tracks. He said I wasn’t the first one to try to ‘get one over on him’ after the Matt debacle. Which was a fair point. But when your bench features 4 guys that scored double digit points when only 3 of your 9 starters put up such a feat? Well that just seems like bad managing to me. And that’s something you can’t fix with a bad trade.

P.S- I messaged Mike that Demaryius Thomas “appears to be fine,” according to reports. He has since seen and not responded. Hmmm. Really makes you think.

 

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Note: the recaps will not always be this long. I got super excited.

Now get your waiver claims in and let’s get ready for week 2!
-Commish

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