July 23, 2017

The Astounding Fantasy Practitioner: Week 5

Much like Week 3, I was out of town all weekend, this time in Chicago. Vegas, Chicago… who am I, Beyoncé? (This is secretly Beyoncé.)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch much football in Week 5, but I did make a point to watch the return of (Angry) Tom Brady. Why? Because he’s hashtag goat emoji. In a league that’s becoming more of a trash heap with each season, the Pats are one of the last bastions of truly entertaining American football. I know a lot of people want to act like the Patriots are the Yankees of the NFL, but that’s donkey balls. These same people probably think Twizzlers are good candy. You like Twizzlers? Well here’s a bag of shoelace aglets soaked in strawberry Fanta, why don’t you just eat that, you disgusting cretin?

Look, I’m no chowder-munching Southie with an ankh tattoo and a threadbare, sleeveless Slippery When Wet tour shirt. It’s not like I’m bias when I say the New England Patriots are a gosh darn joy to watch with Brady behind center and Bill Belichick on the sideline.

I certainly understand some of the animosity. The protracted success of any franchise undoubtedly shines a light on some of the seedier aspects of its brand. This is a football team championed by Jon Bon Jovi. Nobody should be proud of that. Still, we spend so much time worrying about the crappiest parts of a dynasty that we either miss out on the good stuff, or we see it through shit-tinted lenses. Case in point: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Anybody who claims to enjoy the game of football should love these two. Brady is a fairly genial man with a wife and kids. He posts funny pictures on the Internet. He sometimes has mom hair. He can also effortlessly transform into Odysseus returning to Ithaca, a self-perceived beggar in his own house where guys like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco are trying to sleep with his wife!

Tom Brady vanquishes all who oppose him, including Charlie Whitehurst
Tom Brady vanquishes all who oppose him, including Charlie Whitehurst

I feel like Belichick is essentially the same person, except with a slightly dysfunctional emotion chip. It makes no sense for a guy like him to be hated as much or more than, say, Rex Ryan, who is a certified idiot and absolutely a bad head football coach. Belichick is a damned maestro. That Texans-Patriots games from a few weeks back should have been a shit show, but it was actually not a terrible game to watch, which is more than you can say for a lot of Redskins games, and that team has one of the better set of skills players in the league.

Both Brady and Belichick have Jordan-level drive and focus. They’re great at what they do, and the result is captivating to watch. So yeah, stop hating.

I guess this week’s fantasy roudup turned into a defense of the New England Patriots. Apologies for that. I won’t commandeer much more of your time, so let’s do some quick hitters.

  • This was the first time I watched Isaiah Crowell live this season. To me, he looks like the same guy as last year, when he was regularly putting up 13-22 lines, which is where he ended up this week. I’ve heard people saying he’s running with more authority this season, and he is at the top of the league in rushing stats, but again, his style is essentially unchanged. I think the scheme and blocking might be a bit better, but I’m mostly shrugging on this one. A lot of his runs have been through gaping holes, so I guess I’ll say I’m down with Crowell as long as he keeps getting favorable setups. I don’t believe he’s a guy who’s going to make yards on his own.
  • On the other hand, how about Jordan Howard? Here’s a guy that nobody thought would be able to make yards, but he gets 1-3 extra at the end of each run. It’s been pretty incredible to watch. And he’s been a reliable receiver out of the backfield, to boot. You worry about a guy like this, especially a rookie, breaking down as the season progresses, but right now, whew boy, Howard is a fun, throw-backy type of player to watch on Sunday.
  • I wish Jordy Nelson could play forever.
  • You’d think the Bengals would have one respectable fantasy option outside of AJ Green. You’d also think there’d be no way an insane person could be president, but here we are.
  • I saw Sammie Coates line last night (6-139-2) and assumed he had a great game, then I read he dropped five passes. Soooooo…?

The Laura Hall from Whose Line Is It Anyway? Underappreciated National Treasure Award

I’ve got to go back to Tom and Bill, here. Trust me, people, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Astounding Fantasy Practitioner 7 Articles
Staff Writer

In 1938 Los Angeles, The Astounding Fantasy Practitioner (AFP) found a rocket pack hidden in a bi-plane cockpit. He used the pack to rescue his friend Malcolm, who was drunkenly piloting a bi-plane. This is not the plot summary of The Rocketeer, so don't bother checking. AFP is the resident fantasy football expert at The Tailgate Society. He's won every fantasy football contest in which he's ever participated by at least 30 points. He can bench press more than you. His dad can beat up your dad.

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