It’s been a tale of two different seasons for FC Nike and Taco Corp as one team heads into Week 5 at 4-0 and the other is carrying up the rear at 0-4. While it looks clear that FC Nike is a playoff team, Taco Corp will almost certainly need to win this week if they plan on making the playoffs. In ths article we will examine their draft, how they got where they are, and what the rest of the season may hold.
FC Nike had a simple draft strategy, lock in two WRs and two RBs who are going to consistently put up points. The WR combo of Antonio Brown and Calvin Johnson are guranteed points every week and owner Brandon Boyle locked this duo up for the long haul, giving them a combined 6 years. At RB Marshawn Lynch, also the focal point of his team’s offense, has posted serious points so far this year along with Matt Forte. These four players formed a strong cornerstone to FC Nike’s title run. If analyzed in a 12 team snake draft, these four players are all top 20 picks. Risking depth, FC Nike managed to still land other players who have been able to contribute. Delanie Walker, Martellus Bennett, Fred Jackson, TY Hilton and Jay Cutler all cost FC Nike under $20m of cap space, and the connection of Cutler to Bennett so far this year has been a mainstay in churning out points. FC Nike are clearly on the way to winning their division and making the playoffs, although Calvin Johnson’s nagging injury will need to sort itself if FC Nike want to remain the strongest team.
Taco Corp took a very different approach to their draft, and also made a blockbuster trade after just two weeks of the season. Taco Corp had landed Andrew Luck for a very modest salary and given him a 3 year contract, while over paying Jamaal Charles to a one year deal. While Luck has arguably been the best fantasy QB in the first four weeks of the season, Jamaal Charles started off slow with an injury, but after being traded has erupted for a 35 point week against the Patriots in Week 4, which turned out to be a key to turning around the fortunes of Stoge City. What seems to be another managerial mistake, Taco Corp has dug themself into a rough 0-4 hole, with a team that probably does not deserve much more. Taco Corp’s lone strength lies at QB with Peyton Manning who, because of a bye has yet to make a difference. They also have potential within their WR core which consists of Alshon Jeffery, Jeremy Maclin, Anquan Boldin and the returning Wes Welker. A nightmare situation at RB, Taco Corp is currently fielding Donald Brown and Terrance West at RB, and with very little help in terms of depth in bye weeks, Taco Corp will struggle through several weeks where they may have to field a backup RB in hopes of points. Taco Corp is moving into week 5 with no players on bye, and is facing an average team in the Purple Cobras. A strong mismatch at QB with Peyton Manning playing against Tom Brady could prove to be the path towards the win column.
Prediction: FC Nike and Taco Corp both win this week, and Taco Corp is your answer to the question of the week behind Peyton Manning’s attempt to get Wes Welker back on track.
As week four is entered into the history books, we look back on a closely contested week that featured 5 matchups decided by 13 points or less. Ironically, the marquee matchup of the two undefeated teams was the only blowout as Brandon Boyle led FC Nike to a 4-0 record. The Purple Cobras also snuck out an undeserved win in which they added a W with the week’s second lowest point total.
Tampa Team- 111
Mock Nation- 115
The nation took on the team this week in a closely contested battle between two middle of the pack of teams. Mock Nation prevailed with a 4 point win on the back of Jimmy Graham and Reggie Wayne who both had above average weeks. An interesting twist at QB saw Blake Bortles post a modest 14 points as the newest QB in the Nation’s lineage got his first fantasy win under his belt. 17, 16 and 13 point performances out of Roddy White, Le’Veon Bell and Ahmad Bradshaw masked a negative performance from the Saints Defense which cancelled out a huge output from the matchup high scorer Matt Asiata. The other corner stones of Tampa Team came through as Brees posted 25, and Benjamin 18 but they could not make up for some bad spot starts to replace bye-week players. Scott Chandler, Jeremy Kerley and Pierre Thomas combined for only 7 points which spelled disaster for the TT.
Bench Press Mafia- 114
Taco Corp- 104
A battle of struggling teams with only one win between them, BPM overshadowed Taco Corp by ten points in one of the lower scoring matchups of the week. BPM rode the most overpaid RB duo in the Faux League to victory as Lacy and Vereen managed to squeak out 24 points which somehow managed to top the combo of backup running backs Taco Corp still rolls out every week in Donald Brown and Alfred Blue. BPM’s heavy lifters for the week included Matt Ryan who came in off a monster night on Thursday night football to drop another 25 points along with Keenan Allen who also supplied a quarter century. (I think that’s a cricket reference… for the only person who acts like they like cricket that I know…Kevin Heubel) The duo of Travis Kelce and Tony Romo supplied 53 points combined for Taco Corp but weak performances from Maclin (9), Pittsburgh (0) and RB tandem, Blue and Brown kept Taco Corp from their first win.
Alaskan Ice Pickers- 116
Mole Miss- 113
An interesting matchup that saw the Alaskan Ice Pickers psych out their opponent, Nick Foster, who is known for benching all of his players every week and setting his lineup in full before their games. AIP’s owner Nicolas Jutigny took this one step further as he never even played a defense and only used one RB. A strategy not recommended for most, Mole Miss could not accurately game plan for the Ice Pickers and fell short by just three points. 31 and 32 points each for Matt Stafford and Randall Cobb got AIP off to a hot start as Golden Tate and kicker Phil Dawson contributed solid weeks to move the AIP back into the win column this week. Mole Miss struggled as only Terrance Williams cracked the 20 point barrier, and Cam Newton laid another dud with only 13 points. Desean Jackson’s 1 point game really cost Mole Miss as just another catch or two could possibly have forced a closer matchup but instead the AIP cruised to a narrow, but safe 3 point win.
Purple Cobras- 95
In this week’s matchup of the two low scores, the Purple Cobras looked doomed after Kirk Cousins did his best Christian Ponder impression and turned the ball over consistently against the New York Giants, but a poor game from the Eagles Offensive Line curbed Nick Foles’ output and led to a low scoring battle between two struggling teams in division two. The Purple Cobras had a huge performance out of Steve Smith Sr. who laid 36 points on the killer Carolina defense. With DeAndre Hopkins solid 17 point performance, and 11 points each from Taliaferro/Spiller the PC edged out weak performances from Foles, Clay and Shayne Graham who combined for 12 points. Blouses had several consistent performances from the likes of Julio Jones (14), Alfred Morris (17) and Vincent Jackson (12) but Demarco Murray’s 29 point performance was wasted. Another interesting stat from this game comes from the defensive side of the ball where Atlanta and Carolina both posted -6 point performances. A wasted chance for Blouses to capitalize on playing a sub 100 score could put them on the outside looking in.
Stoge City- 141
Real Coral Snakes- 128
A major quarterback battle highlighted this matchup as Aaron Rodgers took on Andrew Luck, while Jamaal Charles returned to the field with a dominant week. Stoge City managed to post 141 points behind 3 players who posted over 30 points, including Andrew Luck who one upped opponent Aaron Rodgers’ 38 point game. Jamaal Charles (31), and Jordy Nelson (34) led Stoge City to victory as no one on RCS was able to reach the 30 point plateau. Real Coral Snakes still managed a very respectable 128 point week which would have beat every team besides FC Nike this week. Heath Miller landed a spot in RCS lineup as a flex and posted the highest point score besides Rodgers with a 24 point showing. Bad games from the Lions RB duo, and 11 point games from Andre Johnson and Rob Gronkowski held RCS back as they slip to 1-3.
FC Nike- 148
This week’s marquee matchup saw the battle of the undefeated go against each other with Calvin Johnson facing off against Lesean McCoy. Interestingly McCoy and Megatron only managed to muster 4 total points, but this matchup still managed to be one of the top scoring battles. FC Nike rose to the challenge behind four players (Cutler, Brown, Bennett, Forte) who all posted 20 points or more, including Antonio Brown who contributed 34. 2Fo starting Joe Flacco off the waiver wire got a huge contribution of 35 points from the QB spot which should have tipped the scale in their favor especially after Larry Donnell had 30 points on Thursday night football. 2FO fell off the pace however with -4 from the NE Defense, 9 from McCoy/Sproles, and 8 from Brandin Cooks. FC Nike moves to a league best 4-0 as the only undefeated team and will take on Blouses, who are desperately looking to right the ship.
Week 4 STUDs- Steve Smith Sr. (36), Andrew Luck (39), Aaron Rodgers (38)
Week 4 DUDs- Lesean McCoy (1), Nick Foles (3), Calvin Johnson (3)
I will be starting a new weekly column, which will feature one burning question encapsulating fans of the Faux League. This is the first week of this column and there is only one person who enjoys talking about their team enough to be featured in week one.
Cruising to an early week one win under the RG1Knee1Ankle, who only contributed 8 points, Mock Nation has since lost two straight games due to a lack of leadership. This week’s question examines who can possibly lead Mock Nation to victory. We will examine the options and the possibilities, as three starters in three weeks may soon start to rival this year’s St Louis Rams, or last years Houston Texans. As neither of those two teams have or are gaining much success, Mock Nation may need a new answer. Currently, Mock Nation is trying to ride the education of Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick who fell short in week three, but since the start of the season Mock Nation has rostered a league leading 6 QBs. Rg1K1A, Geno Smith, Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, and now Blake Bortles have all been signed to the Nation but have failed to show any promise. Blake Bortles has barely become a starter in the NFL, and with Ryan Tannehill’s impending benching, the options are running slim. At first it seemed as the double black quarterback combo similar to the NY Jets was going to be employed through Geno Smith and RG1K1A, but an injury and countless turnovers soon turned into a 180 where two very intelligent quarterbacks, Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick took the helm. After two back to back losses, a happy medium of a white Quarterback whose studies at UCF seem to be limited to his more popular girlfriend seemed to be reached. It will be interesting to see if the Nation pulls the plugs on the education and goes with Bortles, or gives Bortles a week to prove himself. Although the 4 QB method has provided a lot of bench points which have been crucial through the first three weeks which provided no ties in the entire league, the Nation may be forced to soon make a move.
In examining the available quarterbacks for trade, it may be a question of whether Mock Nation turns to a win now, or win later strategy as another loss or two could put Mock Nation behind early. The two most available quarterbacks currently are Phillip Rivers, and Tony Romo. While neither quarterback has won anything in the NFL, Rivers has been deemed a leader and is constantly seen yelling at opposing defenders on the field, and even been flagged for taunting. On the other side Tony Romo has managed to be the brunt of more jokes than Ray Rice after fumbling a hold in the playoffs which he has yet to truly make it back to. Rivers and Romo have both managed to post some large point totals in games this week and just may be what Mock Nation needs in order to solidify the all important QB position. Romo currently on a 4 year contract, could pose an interesting proposition as the Vince Massimini, reportedly an Eagles fan, may not be able to stomach Romo for that long. Rivers comes on a 1yr deal on a slightly more expensive $5m contract. Week Four could provide the answer to the Nation’s QB problems or bring them to the forefront once again and prompt a move for a stronger talent.
As week three came to a close, division #1 got even tighter while division #2 saw two teams pull away to records of 3-0. In a week that saw its first league punishment (Taco Corp. was given its first warning for starting an inactive player), week three matchups were overall much closer than the previous two weeks as many match-ups came down to the wire. With injuries riddling week three lineups, we examine the winners and the losers.
Tampa Team- 120
Real Coral Snakes- 109
In a divisional matchup between 1-1 teams, Tampa Team limped into the week after getting slaughtered by the AIP, while the Real Coral Snakes looked to ride their 1 point win momentum into another. Although the matchup was close throughout, Tampa Team was able to emerge behind the play of supastar WRs Kelvin Benjamin and Michael Floyd. Owner Paul Hinrichsen has laid his fantasy reputation on these two all summer long, and it finally paid off as they combined for a solid 45 points, outshining Michael Crabtree and Andre Johnson by 15 points. Another marquee head to head matchup was the franchise QB battle of Brees versus Rodgers. Although both turned in sub par performances, Brees 23 points was much more acceptable than the measly 12 point week for RCS star Aaron Rodgers. Another interesting matchup at TE saw Julius Thomas and Rob Gronkowski both have touchdowns but fail to generate yards and catches, but contributed 10 and 13 points respectively.
FC Nike- 144
Bench Press Mafia -88
Power rankings leaders, FC Nike, fresh off back to back wins rolled into week three against a BPM team who only managed to bench 68 points in week two, a league wide low. This matchup would see much of the same as the weeks largest blowout saw FC Nike post a 56 point win with the help of 22 points from Martellus Bennett, 27 points from Marshawn Lymch and matchup high scorer Antonio Brown who was able to post 31. Steady performances from Cutler, Megatron and Forte allowed FC Nike to cruise to a win as BPM stumbled again with below average performances across the board. The quartet of Keenan Allen, Brandon Marshall, Eddie Lacy and Shane Vereen were only able to muster 13 total points; this will need to change quickly if BPM plans to compete for the title this year.
Mole Miss- 108
Mock Nation- 105
In this week’s closest matchup, Mole Miss edged out Mock Nation after losing their first two games. Now back in the hunt thanks to Desean Jacksons forgettable 80 yard touchdown, Mole Miss posted their first win with the help of Lamar Miller and AJ Green posting twin 18 point games. Much to the demise of Mock Nation, Lamar Miller managed to outscore prized possession Jimmy Graham who stumbled to only an 11 point showing in Minnesota. Although steady performances from most of the squad, Mock Nation had only one player surpass 20 points, Ryan Fitzpatrick. A recent acquisition, Fitzpatrick may still not be answer to this weeks hot topic “Who Will Lead the Nation”, as Mock Nation falls to 1-2. An interesting matchup of running backs is also note worthy as Mock Nation started Ahmad Bradshaw who outscored NFL teammate Trent Richardson who was flexed for Mole Miss.
Taco Corp- 131
In this weeks most controversial matchup, Blouses, who has previously been on the rough end of posting solid scores but losing to high scoring teams, was given a win by Taco Corp. Although Taco Corp managed to post a very strong score, a mid week pickup of Donald Brown for a very interesting $7m salary proved to be fruitless as owner Kevin Heubel failed to turn in the correct lineup. Leaving Ryan Matthews in at RB, who was confirmed out for roughly 5 weeks, Donald Brown supplied 13 bench points that would have made the difference. Strong performances however from Blouses combo of Nick Foles and Julio Jones managed to show that it was at least a deserved free win. Combined with Demarco Murray these three players combined for 96 points, which was enough to post the second highest score of the week. Taco Corp had many solid performances including Maclin, Manning and Alshon Jeffery who all had huge weeks.
Stoge City- 120
Alaskan Ice Pickers- 92
The Divsion #1 leader AIP took on City this week, a matchup of two week two winners. Owner Kevin Lynn relied on his normal savior to propel his team to a 2-1 record, as Luck managed to drop 41 points which completely demolished Stafford’s 3 point showing. This matchup between QBs was the deciding factor in the matchup of the rest of the players roughly canceled each other out in points difference. Stoge City’s combo of Darren McFadden and Larry Fitzgerald managed to post their first win together on anyone’s fantasy team since 2010, while AIP Pierre Garcon proved RG1Knee1Ankle is not necessary for the faux frenchman to post points as his 32 points was a very respectable output for the AIP.
Purple Cobras- 101
2FO joined FC Nike as the only two undefeated teams after week three as they slipped by again on a small margin by beating the Purple Cobras by seven. Strong perforamnces by leader Russel Wilson and Dez Bryant helped mask an awful showing by the McCoy/Sproles back field pair who carried 2FO in week two. The real killer in this matchup came from the Carolina Panthers defense who posted -5 points, and likely cost Purple Cobras a manageable win. No other players in this matchup managed to post 20 points as a 23 point showing from Victor Cruz and a 40 point breakout from Cousins was left sitting on the PC bench.
Week 3 STUD Performances- Julio Jones (41), Andrew Luck (41), Pierre Garcon (32)
Week 3 DUD Performances- Lesean McCoy (2), Brandon Marshall (1), Eddie Lacy (2)
As one of the whackiest weeks in recent fantasy history comes to a close, we analyze a bizarre week two which saw many week one winners go down. As most teams scores were down across the league, the Purple Cobras and 2FO surged to big victories while Tampa Team and Bench Press Mafia stumbled after week one wins.
Alaskan Ice Pickers- 129
Tampa Team- 77
The Alaskan Ice Pickers continued their strong week one showing, especially in terms of consistency cruising into a 2-0 record behind Arian Foster who torched the Raiders, and the Arizona Cardinals Defense who ate up a poor, but probably predictable performance from the New York Giants. Emmanuel Sanders and Randall Cobb contributed with 20 point games, both of which outscored any of the players on Tampa Team. With a combined 11 points, Chris Johnson, Kelvin Benjamin and Michael Floyd had poor weeks behind a goose egg from the San Francisco Defense. Alaskan Ice Pickers will move to 2-0 and take their spot atop their division.
Purple Cobras- 138
Bench Press Mafia- 68
In what proved to be the most lopsided matchup of week two, the Purple Cobras avenged a poor week one and rode a very balanced showing to victory. With all nine players reaching double digits, Gio Bernard’s 27 points were more than enough to ensure that this matchup was well in control. Meanwhile the Bench Press Mafia followed the same path as Tampa Team, stumbling to the week’s low score despite 19 points from flex play Mark Ingram. A lowly showing from Matt Ryan compared to week one, and 12 points combined from Shane Vereen and Eddie Lacy; BPM will look to turn things around heading into a pivotal week three matchup against FC Nike.
Stoge City- 133
Mole Miss- 100
A battle of week one losers, Stoge City made major headlines by trading their team for Taco Corp’s team. This seemed to spark Stoge City’s stoge as Jordy Nelson errupted for 40 points, while Luck and Edelman both contributed 20+ point games. A major concern erupted from Stoge City’s running back corps as Jamaal Charles went down early in the game, leaving what looked to be a tall task for the rest of his team make up for. While Stoge City had contributions from Fitzgerald and Stacy, these two players will have to come through in a big way if Charles is to miss any amount of time. Mole Miss had a great week when they were on the field as Antonio Gates erupted for 34 points, however AJ Green and Knowshon Moreno injuries proved to be costly, as they easily could have combined for the 33 point difference had they played. Mole Miss will have to pick themselves and regain some steam heading into week three if they wish to contend this year.
Week one winner, 2FO took to the field against Blouses who lost week one to BPM. Blouses would get off to a strong start behind RB combo Morris and Murray who were both good for over 20 points, while Nick Foles and Julio Jones each put up 21 points. This proved to be not enough however as a goose egg from Marques Colston and -2 points from Seattle Defense hampered the Blouses week two score. 2FO was your week two top score behind two running backs on the same team, a strange phenomenon. Sproles and McCoy combined to drop 51 points against the lowly Colts defense. a twin 28 point games from Dez Bryant and the NE Defense sealed the deal for 2FO as they improved to a 2-0 record.
Real Coral Snakes- 112
Mock Nation- 111
The Real Coral Snakes headed into an important week two matchup against the week one winner, Mock Nation. Mock Nation currently undergoing a major QB controversy, decided to start Jake Locker who contributed a so-so 13 points. This however proved to be 2 points to short as Aaron Rodgers’ 37 point game would create a huge gap at the QB position. While Jimmy Graham was able to outscore Gronkowski by 28, a combined 23 points from the Mock Nation receiving core was just not enough to compete with Crabtree’s 21 points. Amendola meanwhile posted a goose egg for RCS and almost cost owner Paul Fernandez the week.
FC Nike- 133
Taco Corp- 101
In the week’s most lopsided matchup heading into Thursday, Taco Corp owner Kevin Heubel traded his entire team in order to try and right the ship. This failed miserably however as Jordy Nelson blew up for a 40 point game, and Andrew Luck matched Peyton Manning. While Jamaal Charles was shipped away and got injured, he received back Ryan Matthews who also is now hurt. Although quality games from Luck, West and Kelce helped boost Taco Corp past the 100 point mark, FC Nike’s powerful Bears trio was able to rack up the points on Sunday Night Football. Cutler launched a 33 point night, while Forte and Bennett contributed a combined 24 points. Steady games from the rest of the FC Nike squad turned points into victory and a #1 spot in the league through two weeks.