Thursday, September 23, 2010
LWFL NFC Power Rankings Week 2
Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" was one of the most awesome rock songs of the 70's and defending LWFL champion Rebecca Newkirk's Team Eagles are one of the most awesome fantasy football teams the LWFL has ever seen.
Time will tell whether they become golden oldies and fall off the charts or can keep on rockin the fantasy world.
#1 Team Eagles
The Eagles will remain atop the Power Rankings as the top scoring team in the league until someone can displace them, but showed some vulnerability last week, narrowly escaping with an 8 point victory over the Heavenly Rampagers.
Led by Peyton Manning and DeSean Jackson, Team Eagles once again had 4 players score in double digits, but slid back in total score to an 'average' week, as Arian Foster came back to earth and Michael Turner left his game with an injury after only 9 carries.
Still, at 102 points on an average week, Team Eagles are in an enviable position and are a formidable champion. They face a tough battle to retain their top ranking when they take on the Rescue Rangers in Week Three. With both teams projected to score more than 130 points, this game is sure to be an exciting slugfest, with the winner claiming the #1 position for next week.
#2 Rescue Rangers
The Rescue Rangers move up a notch to #2 on the strength of their 110 points in their victory over the Damages.
The Rangers got an exceptional effort and 3 TD's from QB Phillip Rivers, but what's impressive about this team is that they had SIX of their nine players score in double digits, and none of them had especially outstanding games, while their RB tandem of MJD and Pierre Thomas had below-average games. This might be the first team in league history to have all nine of its players score in double digits at some point during the season.
The Rescue Rangers will take on Team Eagles in week three in a battle of the two highest scoring teams in the league, with the winner taking an inside track on the path to a league championship.
#3 Dreaded Mercenaries
The Mercenaries slide down a notch to #3 this week, turning in an average performance by scoring 93 points in their victory over the hard-luck Team Falk.
The Mercenaries once again showed excellent balance in their team, with five players scoring in double digits, and no player having a particularly exceptional day. They left a few points on the bench (and apparently did not heed the advice to consider playing Knowshown Moreno in their flex position), but all in all, a very solid result from a very solid team.
The Dreaded Mercenaries are currently 4th in the league in scoring and sport a 2-0 record, but that could change with a tough match up against Mr. Al Davis this week.
The DM's can be expected to put up another 100 points this week, so there is little chance they will get embarrassed, but this is one of those weeks where there isn't much they can do--their opponent simply has better match ups with their key players.
#4 Islamic Socialists
America's terror lived up to its promise for at least one week, putting up a 64 point whup-ass on Mr. Al Davis.
This was the second week in a row that the Islamic Socialists were projected to score more than 130 points, and for a change, they delivered. The Socialists spread the scoring around with SIX players in double figures, and a seventh player left on the bench who reached that landmark.
While Matt Schaub, Antonio Gates and Garret Hartley had better-than-expected games, the rest of the team was mostly average--so don't be surprised to see this team score in the 130's several times this year, and they *might* reach 150 in a game or two.
The Islamic Socialists are currently the third-highest scoring team in the league, just 3 points behind the Rescue Rangers and 29 points behind the Eagles, but are ranked #4 until they can show some consistency.
#5 Mr. Al Davis
I warned last week that Mr. Al Davis would be a streaky, inconsistent team capable of putting up big numbers some weeks and a couple of low-scoring efforts, and last week, they proved me right by stinking the joint up in their game against the Socialists.
As a finance guy in his day job, it's hard to tell which irks owner Justin Rocha more--having his carefully selected team underperform, or getting beat by a bunch of socialists.
In week 3, I expect this team to prove me right again and put up big numbers in their game against the Mercenaries. Mr. Al Davis is currently 6th in the league in scoring, but I expect them to rise to either #3 or #4 by next week. Look for this team to score between 120-140 points this week.
#6 Heavenly Rampagers
Roy Sniffen's team almost pulled out a thrilling Monday night victory, but fell victim to four San Francisco turnovers against the New Orleans DEF--which happened to be their margin of defeat.
The Rampagers got a great effort from Frank Gore, but need to get Tony Romo and their flex position on track if they are going to be a contender in this league. They played a slightly better-than-average game by scoring 94 points, but with half the teams in the league averaging 100 points per game, that's not going to get the job done on a consistent basis.
This is a team that can do some damage when all of its players perform up to their capabilities, so don't take them lightly. It's a strong lineup that has under-performed to date.
#7 Team Falk
Team owner Susan Falk might be looking for a new coach this week as she lost a heartbreaker against the Dreaded Mercenaries by 16 points, with not one, but TWO players sitting on her bench who would have brought her team a victory had they been active.
While the Falkians scored a below-average 76 points, they left Jay Cutler's 29 points on the bench, as well as the Pittsburgh DEF and their 31 points. Either of these players would have brought Team Falk a victory and nudged them over the century mark, so clearly, this is a team with firepower.
Still, it's a team with question marks at RB, WR and Flex that will struggle to break 90 on most weeks. Like the NFL, the axiom "on any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team" rings true, so I wouldn't look past Team Falk. If they make a QB switch and play the waiver wire well, this is a team that can sneak up on you.
#8 Team Damages
The Damages selected Aaron Rodgers with the #1 pick in this year's draft, and so far, he is the only player to produce on this under-performing team.
Last year, the Damages built their offense around Larry Fitzgerald, who was disappointing for a #1 pick, and this year, not only do they have Fitzgerald playing below his billing again, but they have added DeAngelo Williams and Cedric Benson as players who are performing far below expectations.
Add in mediocre performances by Shonn Greene (projected to be a top 12 RB) and Jason Witten (taken out of his game with a concussion) and its easy to see why this is the lowest scoring team in the league thus far.
On the bright side, it's also a team that scored 88 points with terrible performances from most of its players, so the upside is there. If Carolina can find a QB that can make opposing defenses respect their air attack, then DeAngelo Williams will start to find running room again.
As the season goes on, Cedric Benson will start to come around and get his numbers too--the biggest question is whether the Damages can grab a couple of wins while their stars struggle.
Look for this team to rack up points by midseason, and hope that they aren't out of the playoff hunt by the time the team starts to perform.
Week Three Predictions:
The Marquee Matchup: Team Eagles vs. Rescue Rangers
I look for a very high-scoring game here with both teams scoring 120+ points. Both teams are very evenly matched, but this one will come down to the match ups at RB. With the Eagles Michael Turner coming off a groin injury and the the Giants Ahmad Bradshaw going on the road against one of the better run defenses in the league in Tennessee, I'm going to give the edge to the Rangers tandem of MJD and Pierre Thomas.
Look for Thomas to have a huge game and be the deciding factor for the Rangers.
Pick: Rangers by 8
Keep An Eye On: Dreaded Mercenaries vs. Mr. Al Davis
I once took a psychiatric evaluation where I was asked the question "would you rather kill someone with a flame thrower or run them over with a tank?"
I'm not sure what that question was supposed to reveal, but it's a good metaphor for what the Mercenaries are facing this week in Mr. Al Davis--any answers they come up are probably not going to be good ones.
The Mercenaries have a powerful lineup and should score a 100-120 points this week. But the problem is that Mr. Al Davis has more favorable match ups through out his lineup and will probably score 130+ points.
If everyone does what they are supposed to, Mr. Al Davis wins this game easily. The Mercenaries have to pin their hopes on Rashard Mendenhall running wild against Tampa Bay for 150 yards and two scores (not likely), Ocho Cinco getting two scores against Carolina (possible but not likely) and Mr. Al Davis' Jahvid Best getting shut down by the Minnesota DEF (possible) or Brandon Marshall getting shut down by a Jets DEF missing Darelle Revis to eke out a win.
Pick: Mr. Al Davis by 18
Somebody Will Remain Winless: Damages vs. Heavenly Rampagers
Both teams are 0-2 and in desperate need of a win--will this be the week these teams put it together?
On paper, the Damages have the better team, but some of their key players are facing difficult matchups. DeAngelo Williams will find it tough running against the Cincinatti DEF, and top WR Steve Smith will have a rookie QB trying to get him the ball. Look for both players to have sub-par days.
In addition, the Damages have LT running against a stout Miami DEF and WR Larry Fitzgerald going against perhaps the 2nd shut-down corner in the league in
Nnamdi Asomugha. I hate to be harbinger of bad news, but look for this team to under-perform yet again.
The Heavenly Rampagers won't win this by default however. The Rampagers appear to be benching Tony Romo and will send Josh Freeman against a stout Pittsburgh DEF, so look for the Damages to have the edge at QB. While Ray Rice has a favorable match up against Cleveland at RB, the Rampagers other RB's face difficult DEF and will find it tough to get points.
The Rampagers win this one if they get production out of their WR and TE, the Damages win if they get production out of their RB's, and Aaron Rogers puts up 25+ points.
Pick: Rampagers by 9
They Still Have To Play The Game: Islamic Socialists vs. Team Falk
On paper, this one is no contest--the Islamic Socialists should win handily over Team Falk. But a football takes some funny bounces and this could be one of those dangerous games where a play here and there could add up to a major upset for Team Falk.
Susan Falk will have a lot riding on the Green Bay v. Chicago game, with 4 of her 9 players involved in that contest. The problem is that Team Falk will play 3 Bears against one of the better DEF in the game. Now, Chicago can definitely score a lot of points, so if this turns out to be a high scoring game, Team Falk will look like they are coached by a fantasy football genius.
If defense dominates this game, then Team Falk will be embarrassed. But then again, the Islamic Socialists are well balanced and have favorable player match-ups at nearly every position, so the Falkians are backed into a high-risk, high-reward strategy this week.
Look for this game to be closer than the projections indicate--the two QB's should perform about the same, as should the #2RB, #1 WR, TE, DEF and K. Which means this game will more than likely be decided at the #1 RB and Flex position.
Adrian Peterson should run for 125 yards plus 1-2 scores against Detroit for the Socialists and Darren McFadden should go for 100 yards and a score against the Arizona Cardinals. Team Falk counters with Matt Forte running against a stout GB DEF and Steve Smith (NYG) going against the top-rated pass defense of the Tennesee Titans. Forte is likely to catch enough passes out of the backfield to be a threat, so this game will hinge on Steve Smith for Team Falk.
Pick: Islamic Socialists by 14