Well, Week 7 is almost upon us. This being the approximate midway point of the fantasy football season, let’s look around the league and see what we see.
The Cream of the Crop: Land Crabs.
The Bottom of the Barrel: Take your pick of the five(!) 2-4 teams. I’ll go with Dante’s Afro due to lowest total points scored.
This is pretty ridiculous. It’s Land Crab and everyone else. There’s currently a five-way scrape to stay out of last place. Who would have thought there would be this many people practicing their B-Mac moves?
Everyone has one non-division game left. This week, divisional play finally starts for the majority of the teams. Seems like a good time to see how the divisions fared against each other. Turns out – they’re actually pretty even. Division 1 wins the head to head matchups (so far) by going 22-20 against Division 2. Also, Division 1 has the league’s only unbeaten team. I hereby declare Division 1 as the better division! (Albeit only slightly better.)
I just cannot get over how much parity there is in this league.
To help me get a handle on it, I contacted Kevin Kietzman of Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City.
mv: Kevin, any opening thoughts?
KK: Hey everyone, glad to be here today, we have a jam-packed show ready for you. I’m very excited about today’s show as we have a lot of good guests lined up for you today. I’m excited about the show every day, but today, I’m especially excited. Today in about 30 minutes we’ll have Herm Edwards from ESPN. It’s always a pleasure to talk to Herm. In the 3 o’clock hour, we’ll get our college football fix in as we talk to my good friend Stan Weber. We’ll also have Gary Pinkel on at some point that hour. From 4 o’clock on, we have our very special guests from Smoke ‘n Fire on who will be here to answer all your barbeque questions from 4 PM until 6 PM. I can’t wait to get to it.
mv: Uh… thanks Kevin. What are your thoughts on the RCT Fantasy Football league so far?
KK: Well, I’m very impressed by Land Crab. I really like teams with undefeated records. That’s why I have Gary Pinkel on a lot. He's been very successful at Missouri, and he has the Tigers really rolling this year. I don’t see any reason why they can’t be in Atlanta in a couple months playing Alabama for a chance at a national title. I think they can do it; I think they WILL do it. I won’t be surprised at all if that happens.
mv: Ok, good to know I guess. What about the rest of the league?
KK: Well, the rest of the league actually looks pretty mediocre. Anyone could beat anyone on any given Sunday. Except for Kansas. I know they don’t play on Sundays, but the fact is, it doesn’t matter when they play, they’re just terrible. I don’t know what they were thinking bringing in Charlie Weis. That was a bad hire. In fact, if Kansas football doesn’t win at least two conference games this year, my sources tell me they will drop football completely. This is going to happen. Fortunately for Kansas, this has the added benefit of allowing them to completely focus on basketball. And I personally think that would be a good move for them and that this is something Kansas should pursue.
mv: Oh boy. Let’s just get into the team by team analysis, shall we, Kev?
KK: Alright. The phone lines are wiiiiiide open if you wanna call in. We’ll get to it after we come back from the break.
(Editor’s note: Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)
1 (1). Land Crab (6-0).
mv: Land Crab is currently head and shoulders above the pack. They have yet to finish lower than 7th in scoring in any given week, and this has helped lead them to their current top ranking.
KK: Again, I’m very impressed with these guys. They don’t have the most impressive roster, but the coaching job has been amazing. Their coach has a lot of Bill Snyder in him. Even though they’ve played a decent schedule strength-wise, they have gotten the most out of their players and have just played smarter and tougher than their opponents, some of whom probably underestimated them. Never count out a team coached by Bill Snyder.
2 (4). Mantis Shrimp Murder Sticks (4-2).
mv: MSMS moves up two spots in the rankings to #2 this week. It looks like they’ll be starting Nick Foles at QB this coming week. Is this a second place team?
KK: Well, you are what your record says you are, and their record has them in second place. It is what it is.
3 (6). The Pinkys (4-2).
mv: These guys are on fire, having won four in a row. They have a tough start to divisional play, though, as their next three games are all on the road before coming down the stretch with four at home.
KK: It’s always better to play at home. Home field advantage is so huge. I mean, how many times has Bill Self lost in Allen Fieldhouse? I’m pretty sure it’s less than ten. When you have an amazing venue like that, with rabid, passionate fans, it makes it very difficult on the other team, and you can really have some success.
4 (2). Papa Wheelie’s Boys (3-3).
mv: PWB has been slipping a little over the past couple of weeks. Can you pinpoint any issues that this team is having?
KK: Well, when you have a locker room cancer like Bryce Brown on your team, it’s hard to have any success. I mean, the guy almost single handedly lost a game for K-State, and then left the school. Bill Snyder gave the kid an opportunity, and he just didn’t seize the day. If Bill Snyder can’t help someone, then I don’t know who can.
5 (3). Rock Chalk Tupac (3-3).
mv: On paper, this team looks like they should be better than their record indicates. With players like Drew Brees, Demaryius Thomas, and Hakeem Nicks, you’d think they’d be scoring points like there’s no tomorrow. What gives?
KK: The offensive line is a sieve for this team. If you don’t have an offensive line that can execute their assignments, you can’t move the ball. Just ask Charlie Weis. His team was supposed to be this offensive machine this year, what with Jake Heaps and Justin McCay and all those running backs. But we just haven’t seen that manifested on the field. And it’s all because of the offensive line.
mv: Ummm… Kevin, there aren’t offensive lines in fantasy football.
KK: That’s my answer, and I’m sticking to it until someone proves me wrong.
6 (5). The Anti-Dentites (3-3).
mv: Another team whose roster indicates they should be better than what their record says. RG3, Megatron, and Tony G should money every week.
KK: They’ve just been too inconsistent. Some weeks they put up 80, other weeks they put up 120. It’s hard to be successful when you’re that up and down. If they could be more like a Bill Self coached team, they would be unstoppable. You know you’re gonna get the high-low offense. You know you’re gonna face a tough defense. Kansas is gonna win a lot of games 75-55 this year. That’s what The Anti-Dentites need to do.
7 (9). Glengarry Glenn Dorsey (3-3).
mv: GGD has found some success despite only crossing the 100 point barrier twice. They have a HUGE game looming with Land Crab coming to town this weekend.
KK: Talk about your talented running backs. Jamaal Charles AND Chris Johnson? Ryan Matthews isn’t bad either. If any of those guys has a big game, Land Crab could be in trouble. If it’s close in the fourth quarter, look for GGD to pull the upset. I’m not predicting that will happen, I’m just saying I won’t be surprised if it does.
KK: mikeville, we need to go to break now and pay some bills. Can you hang on the line for another segment?
mv: Sure Kevin.
KK: Great. Let’s take a call real quick first. Go ahead caller, you’re "Between the Lines."
Owen: Yeah, hi, thanks for having me on, long time listener here, first time caller.
KK: Awesome, thanks for calling! The music is playing, you have ten seconds.
KK: I hope the Chiefs win. We’ll be back!
(Twelve minutes later)
KK: And we’re back. Everyone who called in, hang on, we’ll get to you shortly. mikeville, where were we?
8 (10). Fighting 5.7s (3-3).
mv: Kevin, can you explain to me how this team has managed to win three games so far? I mean, Cam Newton, Doug Martin, and Reggie Bush are nice players, but they can’t win you a championship, can they?
KK: Well, no, they probably can’t. It reminds me a bit of the Ron Prince K-State teams. They had some nice players, even won some games they weren’t supposed to, but never really put it all together. And losing to your in-state rival three times like that was just embarrassing. The 5.7s can’t let that happen to them, or their coach will be looking for a new job soon.
9 (7). Hip Hop’s Team (3-3).
mv: HHT is one of the more consistent teams in the league. In their case, it may not be a good thing, as their highest output on the year was 107 points in a loss this past week to The Wheat Farmers. They have a big game coming up this weekend against The Anti-Dentites. The winner will move to 4-3 and pull safely ahead of the last-place pack. The loser might want to consider practicing their dance moves – just in case.
KK: This may come as a shock to most of you listeners out there, but I really don’t have much to say about this team. It’s probably time to cut Carson Palmer, however.
10 (13). The Wheat Farmers (2-4).
mv: A healthy Eddie Lacy has really buoyed TWF, and outstanding performances by the "Jackson Two" (Vincent and DeSean) had them coming in with the highest points scored in Week 6. Can they sustain the momentum?
KK: Momentum is such a fickle creature. It comes and goes at the drop of a hat. Their upcoming game vs Mantis Shrimp Murder Sticks will be an interesting test case to see whose momentum is stronger. Who will be the buzz saw, and who will be the wood?
11 (8). Denver Fax Machines (2-4).
mv: DFM has way to much talent to be down here for long. Don’t they? I know Matt Ryan is missing a receiver. But Adrian Peterson and Andre Johnson should be able to pick up the slack there. They’ve really had a tough time putting up points recently, however, only scoring over 100 once in their last four outings. What gives? And why didn’t they have a backup QB for Matt Ryan’s bye week? I mean, really, you couldn’t drop Colby Fleener or Greg Olsen?
KK: Well, look at it this way. Yes, they have talent. That talent just hasn’t gelled together yet. But once they do, watch out. Keep in mind the 2005-06 KU basketball team. They started that season 3-4 before ripping off an impressive run and clinching a share of the conference title with Texas that year.
12 (11). Sharknadoes (2-4).
mv: These guys have been struggling, and that’s putting it mildly. It’s basically a team of Matthew Stafford, Marshawn Lynch, and everyone else. They have had a couple of close losses, including a loss by less than five points this past week.
KK: When are these guys gonna learn? Watching them is so frustrating. It’s like watching a Frank Martin coached team. Sure they’re intense. You know they’re gonna get after you. But they just don’t have the talent to match up with most of their opponents.
13 (14). The Jayshox (2-4).
mv: The Jayshox picked up a BIG win last week against the Denver Fax Machines to move out of the cellar. Talk about your Jekyll and Hyde teams though. In the first six weeks, here is how Jayshox have finished in overall points scored: 1st, 14th, 6th, 14th, 13th, 3rd. What’s going on here?
KK: The answer has gotta be just bad management. Is Ned Yost running this team? Last time I checked he wasn’t. Like the Royals, if Jayshox want to get anywhere, they need better players. I know they caught lightning in a bottle with Philip Rivers this year, but how long will that last? You can’t go with players like that as everyday starters for very long. Sooner or later they will get exposed. Similarly, the Royals can’t ride the David Lough train forever. They need to get better. If you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse.
14 (12). Dante’s Afro (2-4).
mv: Well, Dante’s Afro Stadium was buzzing as expected for the Land Crab’s visit. Unfortunately, the home team came up short. It’s usually not a good thing when your kicker has the second highest points on your fantasy team.
KK: No, that’s definitely not a good thing. Special teams are very important – ask Bill Snyder or Frank Beamer. They can win you games. Just not necessarily in fantasy leagues.
KK: So I think that wraps up this week’s review. Is there anything else we should discuss?
mv: Actually, yeah, I want to ask you about Missouri playing for a national title this year. You really think that is going to happen?
KK: No, I never said that. I said I won’t be surprised if it happens.
mv: I know you said that, but before you said that, you said… nevermind. What’s this about Kansas discontinuing the football program? That’s not really going to happen, is it? Even bad football programs make money for their universities. Do you really want KU to cut football?
KK: Of course I don’t want that to happen. That’s just what my sources tell me could happen. It’s all just rumor and speculation at this point. I never said KU would be better off without a football program. I’ll go back and pull the tape if I need to.
mv: Hmm, well, maybe you should check the tape. Anyway… thanks for your time, Kevin, it’s been… interesting.
KK: No problem, it's been my pleasure. Alright, we're gonna clear the phones lines... next segment, we're taking your calls. Phone lines are now wide open, let's hear what you have to say, after this, here on 810 WHB.
Whew. Vintage Kevin Kietzman there. Say something crazy and then claim you never said it? Check. Gush over how great K-State is? Check. Suck up to Bill Self? Check. Be critical of the Royals because the broadcast rights went to a competitor a few years ago? Check. Well, now that that’s finally over, we can wrap this up.
Going streaking: Land Crab, six wins in a row
Going sliding: Sharknadoes, four losses in a row
Biggest mover in the rankings: (Tie) The Pinkys and The Wheat Farmers, +3
Biggest shaker in the rankings: Denver Fax Machines, -3
Fantasy player of the week: Cam Newton, 35.1 points
Fantasy owner of the week: (Tie) The Pinkys, Denver Fax Machines, and Mantis Shrimp Murder Sticks, all at 100%
Fantasy owner of the weak: Dante’s Afro, 77%