Cousins League Recap: Week Two

How do you replace injured players when there’s nobody on the waiver wire and your team sucks?

It’s a question as old as time itself. And honestly there’s not a lot of options. But with astute trade offers, a can-do attitude, and access to every team’s roster via the LM tools, you can easily trade yourself a five-tool running back who will not only pick up yards on the ground, he’ll also pick up your grandma’s dry-cleaning just before closing time. In fantasy football, you’ve got to watch your players off the field to make sure they’ll stay productive on the field. Also as you were reading that last sentence your grandma talked that player into joining her roster and now you’re without a RB#1 for your divisional matchup. I told you you need to watch your players.

Everyone knows the five-tools for an elite running back. Rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, a commitment to the ground game, low injury risk and non-marijuana smoker.

In our league, it’s hard to find even one back that fits this description, nonetheless one league member who hasn’t tried the drug that makes Le’Veon Bell un-startable the first 4 weeks of every fantasy season. So if you do have a running back that fits this criteria, cherish him. Because, god damn, we saw a lot of running backs get injured this week.

So how do we replace these players via trade when we don’t have any actual trade assets or negotiating skills to fall back on? Very simple. We send 100 feeler trades and hope someone accidentally presses “accept” by mistake just in time for Zach to push it through the league office. No take backs. Just ask Mike Smith. Or that girl in my 3rd grade class who tried to reverse our Halloween candy trade of a Kit Kats for a Baby Ruth and a half-opened Snickers. She tried to argue the Snickers made the deal null and void because our weird neighbor may have put a laxative in it. I countered by offering 2 Baby Ruths and she accepted on the spot.

So as you think about how to trick your divisional adversary into trading you Golden Tate for a bag of tape, let’s enjoy recapping COUSINS LEAGUE WEEK 2.


Matt vs Uncle Drew

In the A Bit Older division, a matchup between father and son in which father knows best. A return to tradition for Matt’s Old Man as Uncle Drew showed he still has an elite-level stingy defense when his backs against the wall. For IT OWN, DeAndre Hopkins and Mike Evans once again stole the show putting up double-digit performances for the second week in a row. C.J. Anderson proved he is a true RB #1 as he ran the rock 20 times and scored 14 fantasy points. But the reason UDrew had to worry about this matchup for even a second was Dwayne Allen and Donte Moncrief. These guys STINK. And I don’t mean a post-shit stink that goes away once you find the fe(Drew)breze and exit the premises. I mean a post-36 holes Uncle Drew stench right before he enters the shower. Which coincidentally is where Eddie Lacy must be spending all his free time, since he seems scared to get down and dirty in between the tackles.

As for Matt, well maybe he should spend less time driving his cousins home at 7 AM in Manhattan after a bomb scare and more time tinkering with his fantasy roster. Listen, I don’t want to say that Baby Grace is at fault for Matt’s 0-2 start. But when you look at the facts, the OWN DADDY’s never scored a combined 2 from his flex/tight end/defense/and kicker when he was getting sent pictures of Formula 1 race cars from his Nascar friends rather than pictures of Formula on the shelf from his baby’s den.

Let’s call a spade a spade. Grace isn’t at the age yet where she can manage her own fantasy team. Until she grows up and gets to the age where she can advise her dad not to start an injury-prone back at the flex, Matt may need to invest in an app that tells him who to start and who to sit rather than having so much sex trying to make a second kid. Is a second kid gonna magically fix your problems at the flex position? I’m not so sure. Unless the kid’s on the ultrasound screen shouting “Will Fuller” you may want to wait till after the league year to procreate.

In all honesty, Matt has a pretty good team for the second-lowest point scorer in the Cousins League so far. He’s got two solid running backs and a plethora (means a lot in German) of receiving talent. His problems lie at the tail end of his roster, in the tight end/defense/kicker department. This is the exact reason Uncle Sandro takes Stephen Gostkowski in round 3 every year, guys. To ensure he never ends up with tough calls at the flex position because he never has enough WR’s and RB’s to even play a flex.

Sandro vs Howie

There’s always a couple matchups early in the league that make it look like we only start 4 positions here in the Cousins League. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of 4-position fantasy leagues. I’m in a couple–most notably one where you start a fullback, assistant coach, free safety and then you have a hybrid tight end or another fullback slot. And even in that league I scored more than USandro and UHowie combined.

But let’s focus on the positive rather than the extremely negative. Uncle Sandro is 2-0. I can’t believe it. You can’t believe it. Uncle Sandro’s mailman who has been delivering him his fantasy football draft magazine every year since 2012 and this year didn’t deliver it till two days ago because that’s when uncle Sandro ordered it can’t believe it. It’s not every day you get 29 carries out of your flex spot and it’s not every year uncle Sandro wins more than 1 game in the first 9 matchups. But this year? He may be a team to beat. I mean for pete’s sake AJ Green and Dez Bryant haven’t both scored big points in the same week yet. Oh, and also, even with losing Danny Woodhead for the year, Sandro has Frank Gore to start or even Charles Sims if Doug Martin is unable to go Sunday. This is a team that right now, as of this writing, could be a “contender.” Also, 69 points?


As for Howie, when looking at his box score, I saw more 2’s and 3’s then I saw out at Jimmy T’s on a Wednesday in Oneonta. I mean they were all over the place. Doug Martin, TJ Yeldon, Antonio Brown, Sammy Watkins, Coby Fleener, even the kicker. Yeah, I guess if you add them all up you’ll get around a 10 so you can kinda tell your friends you bagged 1 6 rather than 6 1’s but this isn’t Ira Edelblum’s school of how to get laid. This is fantasy football and in fantasy football, looks matter. You can’t be strutting out 6 guys who can’t score more than 16 points combined. Unless of course you’re in a no-limit low score fantasy league ( a league in which the goal is to get the least amount of points) which is a league Uncle Steve won 4 years straight before getting confused and joining the competitive Cousins League.

To put it simply, Sandro escaped with a low-point victory but a win’s a win and he’s got double the wins that he had combined from 2009 to 2015 (rough estimate). Congrats on the 2-0 start.

Anj vs Phil

These are just two teams that know how to score points. In week 1, Phil incurred a loss to Wayne after coming all the way back from a gigantic deficit on Monday Night. But he still scored 95. Well, his team didn’t roll over and die. His team didn’t blame “the fantasy gods” or “sprained ankles” or “a lack of motivation to get in the end zone because I just restructured my contract and I’m guaranteed $40 mill regardless for the next 3 fantasy seasons.”

No. They sacked up and suited up. And you wanna know what the scariest part of Phil’s fantasy team is? ODELL BECKHAM JR. AND AMARI COOPER BOTH STILL HAVE NOT SCORED A TOUCHDOWN THIS SEASON. You think that’s gonna keep up? With both guys picking up boatloads of target and yards in the first 2 games? Phil’s team is just ready to explode and in perfect time since he plays me next week. Oh, and he also has three-tool running back (see list above) Le’Veon Bell coming back from suspension after this next week. It sucks that DeAngelo Williams’ fantasy value will crash after this week, but smartly snagging Bell and DeAngelo should ensure that Phil’s team doesn’t miss a beat. The only negatives on this team is the lack of an every-week defense and an “eh” qb/te combination. But Phil’s team has showed that the Cousins League is a league very dependent on running backs and wide receivers, as opposed to some other fantasy leagues that make you pick Indie Films rather than Indy defenses that watch a lot of film.

As for Anj, kudos on scoring 98, even in defeat. After putting up back to back high 70’s point production, my team would kill for a 98 point loss. And don’t make any jokes about me losing by 98 please. That will result in you losing a future Cousins League draft pick and a commissioner-grudge that could potentially lead to a suspension for your stud Quarterback for shaving fantasy points if I feel he is winning too many Cousins League titles.

Still, Anj has some work to do. Randall Cobb and Emmanuel Sanders are simply not producing. And don’t get me started on Todd Gurley. Anj has basically got the anti-Phil team. Great QB/TE/Defense. RB/WR not so much.

Wayne vs Zach

“One game at a time” – Wayne Baker, right after he finished going thru how he has an advantage every single week and how it’s possible he could go undefeated. It’s just like Wayne to be sending out 3 trades on waiver-wire tuesday as he’s sitting pretty with the 3rd most points in the Cousins League. The Cousins League is a “get better or get worse” sort of league and when you’re 2-0 you’re either gonna be 3-0 or 2-1. There’s no such thing as 2-0-1. Just ask Donovan McNabb.

But enough about below average quarterbacks, let’s talk about Blake Bortles. Blake had the kind of fantasy day on Sunday where you’re begging your player to get back to -1. Which is not a great place to be, especially if it’s in the third quarter. Of course, “fourth quarter Blake” delivered an inspiring two touchdown, positive points fourth quarter and somehow underperformed his way to 18 fantasy points. But it’s about the journey– not the destination. Just ask the Cherokee nation about the Trail of Tears. Ending up in Oklahoma without all your friends and family kinda sucks but when you’re singing kumbaya for hours on end, yucking it up with your buddies you look upon the trip with fond memories. That’s why they called it the Trail of Tears– because they laughed until they cried– read a 4th grade history textbook before you read the recap people.

And Blake’s journey was terrible as he forced me to play “fake football” in a game of Madden rather than watch REAL football on my fantasy cast app. You think it’s easy following a failing fantasy team? You barely get the excitement of seeing any of your players turn red and when you do that means they probably just got taken out for a breather so the goal-line back can come in and finish the job. I mean I saw more passes from Blake Bortles to San Diego Chargers than to Allen Hurns and let’s just say I didn’t start Casey Heyward as my flex, though the San Diego corner may have given me more fantasy points at the wideout position.

My only saving grace this week was 15 points from Justin Tucker, my all-league kicker, and 13 points from my fantasy defense who also gave up 27 points to San Francisco. If I wanted to watch a bunch of mis-fits named Vance and Carlos fumble all over Carolina I would’ve just traveled to Wake Forest to see my old high school football team play a home game in Jake Shubert’s backyard. But this isn’t Pine Street, folks. This is the National Football League where sometimes games that start at 1 don’t end until you already know your 4:00 quarterback would be lucky to get single-digit points.

Oh, did I forget to talk about my injuries? My bad. I got 1 point total from Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster. If I had written this sentence in 2011 you would’ve said I added the points wrong, but no, they both sucked running the ball and then got injured in a last-ditch effort to make it look like they weren’t that bad, they just got injured. But trust me, 15 rushes for 28 total yards is THAT bad. This is why I’m really happy I have a work-horse back with no injury problems or possible vultures in Jamaal Charles coming back next week.

As for Wayne, there’s not much to say. He’s rolling along now after a 114 point outing, the second highest point total in week 2. But like I said, Wayne has been very active on the trade market. It seems as though 15 points from his RB#2 just isn’t enough to warrant an “every-week start” designation. This may set a bad precedent in his locker room where players think they need to either physically injure a cop or post an Instagram that depicts physically injuring a cop to get a Running back starting roster spot.

In unrelated news, it broke today that two off-duty cops are suing LeSean McCoy for beating the shit out of them at a bar. Now I’m no Confucius, but it sounds like these cops are going with the “fast cash” approach, similarly to Shady’s various baby mamas. Only difference is there was no semen at the scene of the (alleged) crime. So you can’t prove without a shade(y) of a doubt that it was, in fact, the Bills leading rusher who viciously attacked them. It could’ve just as easily been Latavius Murray, and if so, it makes you think if Wayne would maybe be trying to deal someone else, like a Delanie Walker, who’s never had any trouble controlling his baby mama’s.

Wayne rolls and I stall. There’s a lot of season left though, folks.

Chris vs Chad

Newbies are taking control of this league, folks. I’m sorry but it’s true. Christopher Picher AKA “Cigarette” AKA “the second shortest guy in this league” AKA “the teacher’s pet” went on another tear this week shooting up the Cousins League power rankings with a 99 point outburst. And if that isn’t enough for you, he’s been doing this with one of his best players (Duke Johnson Jr.) on his bench for 2 straight games.

Now you may be thinking, “hey zach, shouldn’t you just take points away from chris, you know, classic rookie hazing?” And to that I say, no. The Cousins League is a no-hazing league. We’re not like one of those fraternity chapters where you sign on the dottted line and you’re in. But we’re also not one of those off-campus no-class (in both sense of the word) frats that makes you eat live goldfish and takes away 7 fantasy points per each Busch Light you decline to ingest (no offense to Matt’s college experience).

It’s the sort of club-for-Men where the barriers to entry are no girls aloud and you have to consistently start a flex play that is not on BYE, in jail, or about to be convicted for a crime he may or may not have committed during said BYE week.

Chris knew all this and took Tom Brady anyway. A guy with not so much an upstanding reputation but who usually stays up-right in the pocket. And Jimmy Garoppolo, a friend of Brady’s, has taken this same approach as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. The dude put up 21 points in less than a half of action before falling on his shoulder as a direct result of a hit from Kiko Alonso. After Jimmy came up lame, Jordy Nelson and solid RB #2 Tevin Coleman decided to put up points to keep Chris’s team afloat and give him false hope with a 2-0 start. You know who else started 2-0? The USA, in World Wars 1 and 2. But we still haven’t seen how we would fare in a win-or-take-all game 3. But Chris, we are about to see what he’s made of. And with a couple Benjamins in his pocket, he may just be able to pay off a ref.

As for Chad, he’s 0-2, but don’t fret. You know who else started 0-2? That’s right, the Detroit Lions in 2008 and they went 0-16. The good news for Chad here is that he can’t possibly go worse than 0-16, since we only play with a shortened schedule of 13 games (I may push the commissioner to go to a man’s league 17 game regular season next year). So at least we know he can’t be worse than that. But if Thomas Rawls keeps running for -7 yards on 7 carries I may start deducting wins from Chad’s previous seasons which could affect his total Cousins League win total. This is not good for someone who has such a respect for history that he took a guy in round 10 who’s basically a fossil (Antonio Gates).

The big problem for Chad is the run game but also the pass game. Besides David “I honestly didn’t think he was that good just because he has a very boring name” Johnson, Chad has a mess in the middle positions of his roster. In the Cousins League, it’s not about the top of the roster or the bottom, it’s about the meat in the middle. And if Doug Baldwin and TY Hilton keep playing like Alec Baldwin and Paris Hilton well then this team may turn into a reality show before Mark Ingram even scores a touchdown– or before Philip Rivers has his next kid.

Luckily for Chad, he has excellent trade chips on his bench in Matt Jones, Michael Crabtree and Mohamed Sanu Sr. Some teams out there would kill to have a blue-chip guy like Sanu on the roster who you can prove, without a doubt, and by without a doubt I mean strictly according to his jersey, has definitely had sex.

Mars Quaid vs Mike

I’m gonna keep writing “Mars Quaid” instead of Doug’s name out of respect for Narc but also out of disrespect for Doug. Just kidding, I’m actually a huge fan of our new league mate, Doug. He didn’t beg to be in the league, and whine, “wah wah Zach why won’t you have your own twin brother in the league, you know I’m obsessed with selling high on flashy running backs, draft deep benches and don’t have any friends.” But enough about my fake twin brother Mack (best name that rhymes with Zach I could come up with). We need to talk about the current #1 team in the Cousins League Power Rankings.

Much like the “Earth Lings” of 2014 (Ben March’s team), Mars Quaid has come in hot and from another planet. This week Doug almost made Cousins League history. You may be surprised, but no team has EVER, in the regular season, scored double digit points from each one of his players. Doug was two off– with Michael Floyd’s touchdown counting for all 6 of his points and Alshon Jeffery scoring better than Frank Gore on the Wonderlic, 9. But still, what an effort by Doug as he scores 120 points to lead the CFFL in points in week 2. And it wasn’t all Matt Forte. Matt Stafford, DeMarco Murray, Clive Walford, Marvin Jones, Nick Novak and Texans D/ST all over performed. The worst part is, Doug would’ve actually made Cousins League history if he had started both Mike Wallace and Giovani Bernard from his bench. And even Big Ben scored more than Matty Staff (Infection) on the pine.

So this begs the question. Is Doug a bad fantasy owner?

I didn’t wanna say it, but we are all thinking it. First, he gets someone else to draft for him. A huge fantasy faux pas. Strike one. Next, he astutely picks up Mike Wallace and doesn’t start him. Strike two. And then he goes and scores so many god damn points even without his 1st round pick that it makes it impossible for him to improve once Gronk returns. And how do you think that’s gonna make Gronk feel? Not a part of the team right? Bad for team morale in my book.

But ignoring Doug’s excellent start ’em, sit ’ems, and craftiness on the wire, the man’s doing the damn thing without much flashiness. You don’t see him talk too much crap in the league office. But on the sly you know he definitely has a dart board up in his bedroom with the face of his next opponent on it. Just seems like the type of guy.

As for Mike, tick tock, tick tock. The man is now 0-2 and doing a terrible job of proving my pre-season prediction right that he will actually finish above 500. I mean what was I thinking. And now that his best friend and founding member of the Cousins League Bobby Goets is taking a hiatus for the season, he doesn’t have any league allies that give him an excuse for sending a bad trade. He used to be able to say “Bobby logged into my computer at work and pushed a trade through the league office.” But now that’s out the window. So if you get an offer of Lamar Miller and Jarvis Landry for a backup kicker, you know it was Mike Smith and Mike Smith alone.

What I like about Mike Smith is that the guy has moxie. Not the kind of moxie that’ll make him finally start Stefon Diggs, but the kind of moxie that’ll make him announce Russell Wilson’s on the chopping block after not one of his offensive lineman successfully completed a chop block agains the Rams front 7. And moxie can take you far. It may not take you to the playoffs, but it sure as hell will take you down a rabbit-hole of trade negotiations where you eventually end up offering your entire roster for a quarterback who can actually stand up straight.

Time to prepare for week 3, men.


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