Posted on: November 23, 2008 7:43 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2008 6:30 pm

I made a horrible Fantasy football mistake

I feel nauseous as I type this right now. Legitimately sick to the stomach.

I feel like I just got out of a Ludovico Technique session that involved watching the Jaret Leto-infected-arm in Requiem for a Dream on repeat for four hours.

I feel like I just polished off a handle of El Toro with all the lovely nausea and none of them sexy party-ness.

I feel like I got my beans caught above my frank.

Why you ask? At 3:58 PM Eastern Time Sunday I, this is too funny, really. I put in Derrick Ward for, you're just going to die laughing. So I subbed in Derrick Ward for, get this, the running back for the Atlanta Falcons, Michael Turner.

Now if you don't know who Turner is, let me refresh your memory. He plays for the Falcons, which I already told you 20 or so words ago. But he's also been my sort of muse this season. I bet with a buddy of mine in early September that Turner would outperform L.T. this season. I also drafted Turner on most of my Fantasy teams. I've talked him up to anybody with a pulse and an inkling of interest in Fantasy football, regular football, me playing Fantasy football, the Falcons, the city of Atlanta, the city of San Diego, people named Michael, people named Turner, Northern Illinois alums, people in the MAC, people nicknamed Burner, my parents and just about anybody that comes within a 3-foot radius of my work desk.

So benching Turner wasn't easy. But I'm in a PPR league and I figured Turner would be good for 85 yards and a score vs. the Panthers. I kinda, and this is what's just hilarious, thought Ward was good for a Mewelde Moore-like 160 combined yards and two scores. Oh, how bright my prospects looked at 4 PM ET.

For those who don't follow the NFL, or were out doing something less stressful -- like fishing for Opilios on the Bering Strait -- than watching their Fantasy football team, Turner sort of, well, blew up.

This is the point of the story where I smash my hand against the keyboard a few times to express my happiness for the lad.

You see, this was one of those weeks (let's call it Week 11 for fun), this was one of those leagues (let's call it a big-money league for laughs) and this was the sort of situation (let's call it must-win for chuckles) where I needed to be whatever the Fantasy football equivalent of Bill Belichick is. It's probably Stu in accounting for all I know.

So I thought, "Derrick Ward can be THAT guy, the one where everybody goes, 'how did he know to put Derrick Ward in OVER Michael Turner?'"

Instead I'm THAT guy. The one who left a net of 20 points on his bench.

The story goes on to talk about how I eventually lost, fended off morbid thoughts and mustered enough energy to show up to work the next day. But in the meantime, I'd appreciate it if you remember me for the person who thought highly enough of Michael Turner to bet a bottle of scotch on him outperforming the best running back of the 21st century and not the schmuck who sat him down the week he erupted for four touchdowns.

The following event happened just as I finished writing the word "touchdowns:"

Hmm, a text message on my Blackberry. Who could it be from? Ah, it's ESPN. It appears to be Fantasy football related. Let's click on it to find out more information.

"Falcons RB Michael Turner rushed for 4 TDs; finished with 117 yards on 24 carries in win over Panthers. Watch Matt Berry on FFNow, Sun 12 PM ET" Anybody got a copy of Requiem for me?
Michael Turner vs. LT

                               100-yard games | Rushing yards | Total touchdowns
Michael Turner:
         5 100-yard games | 1088 yards | 13 touchdowns
LaDainian Tomlinson: 2 100-yard games | 770 yards | 6 touchdowns

Esquire Toledo texted me last night:

"I'll be in Fort Myers in three weeks so drive across Alligator Alley and get your stinkin' scotch"


I consider that a concession speech.
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Posted on: November 17, 2008 1:03 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 1:15 pm

Six games left, Turner should get me my hooch

With six games to go, I'm feeling pretty good about things.

Not about the Redskins, who look more and more mediocre as the weeks go on, but about my Michael Turner-L.T. wager.

Way back when in late August, or maybe it was early September, a buddy of mine from college, Esquire Toledo, and I wagered who would have the better season: LaDainian Tomlinson or his one-time handcuff, Michael Turner?

I took Turner. He took L.T.

The running back who took three of the following statistical categories would be deemed winner, and the loser woulMichal turnerd have to hand-deliver a bottle of at-least-12-year-old scotch to the victor.

  1. 100-yard games
  2. Rushing yards
  3. Total touchdowns

I figured this was the season L.T.'s body would give out on him. I figured without his trusty fullback, Lorenzo Neal, L.T. wouldn't get those 5-to-7 yard scampers he's accustomed to. I also figured L.T. would continue his evolution into Marshall Faulk, which meant less carries and more receptions.

As for Michael Turner, I figured the Falcons didn't pay him all that money not to use and abuse him. I figured the Falcons' offensive line had the foundation to be a good running team. And I figured new coach Mike Smith would use the Jacksonville model of run, baby, run, to exhaustion in Atlanta.

Really, I figured, wouldn't it be ironic if the grasshopper bested the sensai?

Eleven weeks into the season I'm figuring to be the owner of a bottle of 12-year-old Aberlour Speyside single malt scotch whisky. Either that or a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, but I'll leave the decision to Esquire Toledo when he brings it to our Fort Lauderdale office.

Here's the breakdown through 11 weeks:

                               100-yard games | Rushing yards | Total touchdowns
Michael Turner:         4 100-yard games | 971 yards | 9 touchdowns
LaDainian Tomlinson: 2 100-yard games | 686 yards | 6 touchdowns

Here's Turner's remaining six games:

Nov 23 Carolina 
Nov 30 @San Diego 
Dec 7 @New Orleans 
Dec 14 Tampa Bay 
Dec 21 @Minnesota 
Dec 28 St. Louis 

Here's L.T.'s remaining six games:

Nov 23 Indianapolis
Nov 30 Atlanta 
Dec 4 Oakland 
Dec 14 @Kansas City
Dec 21 @Tampa Bay
Dec 28 Denver

Turner's are tougher, with only mouth-watering contests vs. New Orleans and St. Louis, but I like a told-ya-so game vs. San Diego and Minnesota could be without its big run-stuffing Williams duo by Dec. 21.

L.T. should thrive against Indianapolis, Oakland, Kansas City and Denver.

But I have a nearly 300-yard head start and two 100-yard rushing games. Plus, the Chargers look like rhymes-with-Mitt and have devolved into a pass-first team. Throw in a loss to Indy next week coupled with a Denver win vs. Oakland and the Chargers could be playing for the draft in two weeks, thereby hampering the need to truck out L.T. week in and out.

Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good about this, but not as good as I'll feel sippin' on some scotch in six weeks. Scotch, scotch, scotch...

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