BOSTON (CBS) — I’ve long believed that fantasy football is terrible and only works to make more fans misinformed when it comes to understanding real, non-fantasy football. For the most part, though, because everyone and their mother (literally) loves fantasy football, I keep those gripes to myself. I don’t enjoy raining on parades.
However, some fantasy dweebs took things to a whole new pathetic level last weekend, a place I never previously knew existed. That place was on Twitter, where they berated DeAngelo Williams for not being better at real football because it affected how well they “performed” in fantasy pretend football.
As captured by Larry Brown Sports, some fantasy nerds took to Twitter to tell Williams the following:
“You [expletive adverb] [expletive verb] [expletive noun] thanks for the -2 points [expletive noun].”
“Time to drop your bum [expletive] off my fantasy team.”
“Get better at your job. #fantasyFootballpaysYourBills”
The first comment is obviously well-written, rational and reasonable, but it’s the next two that really grind my gears. Fantasy “owners” are delusional enough to think their fake football teams are actually important, as if by dropping a player and letting him know via Twitter is going to really leave that player feeling bummed out.
I’m here to tell you something that clearly not enough people are telling you: Your fantasy football team doesn’t matter to anyone but yourself. Act thusly.
OK, let’s switch back to real football, with this week’s picks and a few Ridiculous Quotes From Last Week’s Picks (RQFLWP) sprinkled throughout. Be sure to leave your fantasy football questions in the comments section!
(Home team in caps; Thursday lines)
Pittsburgh (-6) over TENNESSEE
There are maybe a small handful of teams this year which Pittsburgh can beat by a touchdown. The Titans — who rank dead last in points allowed per game, 29th in yards allowed and 27th in points scored — are one of them. The lack of Troy Polamalu and Lamarr Woodley makes me think twice about it, but not for all that long.
St. Louis (+3.5) over MIAMI
I’m going to get really technical here, so bear with me.
If I’m to rank Miami’s opponents thus far as either great, good, bad or terrible, they’ve gotten blown out by a great team (Houston), narrowly defeated in overtime by a good team (Arizona) and beaten by a bad team (Jets). They’ve beaten a terrible team (Oakland) and a bad team (Cincinnati).
So if you look at the 3-2 Rams, lingering slightly more toward the good side of the spectrum than the bad, you find it safe to take the points.
BALTIMORE (-3.5) over Dallas
It says a lot about the Cowboys that I trust them much less than the team that just beat the Chiefs by a field goal. But hey, if you’re into trusting the guy who threw his fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth interceptions on national television last week, then I guess that’s how you choose to live your life.
Ridiculous Quote From Last Week’s Picks: “Kansas City is baddddd, man. If they’re not getting at least 7 points, I’m not even going to consider taking them.”
Note: The Ravens must have bought into that idea, too.
PHILADELPHIA (-4) over Detroit
In their last six games (including the postseason), the Lions are 0-6 against the spread. Since their bye week last year, they’re 2-10-1 against the spread. When they’re underdogs, they’re 2-5 against the spread since the beginning of last season. That’s not just a trend; that’s about as sure a thing as you can go with right now.
Cincinnati (pick ’em) over CLEVELAND
I hate games like this that ask me to pick ’em. I’d rather pick neither. I’m rooting for a tie. I’ll pick the option of not watching this game.
Indianapolis (+3.5) over NEW YORK JETS
One comeback victory against the Green Bay Packers does not a great team make. One comeback victory against the Green Bay Packers does an easy follow-up the next week against the lowly Jets make, though.
As a side note, I discovered Monday night that I still suffer from “Scream ‘Teeeeeebbbooooowwwwww!!!!!!’ Every Time Tebow Does Anything” syndrome. My wife (who still has a five-game lead on me in picks this year) was in the middle of a sentence when Tebow launched that long bomb to Jason Hill, I just couldn’t keep it in. “Teeeeeeebbbboooowwwwwwwwwww!!!!”
The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t watch a Jets game in my general vicinity.
RQFLWP: “That thing I was saying about the bad teams getting treated like high school JV teams? In the case of the Jets, that may actually not be too inaccurate.”
Note: I’m standing by this assessment at least for another week, close loss against undefeated team be damned.
TAMPA BAY (-4) over Kansas City
Unless the Chiefs are getting 10 or more points, I’m just not going to waste my time or your time by explaining things.
But if you do need a reason, they’re 2-3 against the spread this season, but 0-3 against the spread when getting fewer than six points.
Also, Brady Quinn.
ATLANTA (-9) over Oakland
The Falcons beat the Broncos by six points. The Broncos beat the Raiders by 31 points. The Falcons should beat the Raiders by 37 points.
Of course, sports never work so cleanly as to abide by the transitive property, but it doesn’t take advanced mathematics to know that the Raiders, who have been outscored 125-67 this year, are lousy. An extra week of preparation might have made them even worse.
New England (-3.5) over SEATTLE
When the strongest argument for one team winning a game is that “the stadium is really loud,” you know what to do.
For the Seahawks to hang with the Patriots, they’re going to have to score early and often. With Russell Wilson averaging 163 yards per game (slightly better than 144 yards, which is what Tom Brady averages by halftime), and with the Seahawks ranking 28th in points per game, I just don’t see that happening. A couple of false start penalties and a missed assignment or two won’t miraculously make Seattle’s offense any good, especially with the return of Aaron Hernandez only making things easier for the New England offense.
ARIZONA (-4) over Buffalo
I said last week that the Bills had their souls ripped out and stomped on by the Patriots in Week 4, and it proved to be true. They became the first team in NFL history to allow more than 300 yards rushing and 300 yards passing. That is so remarkably impressive that I am left speechless.
Another cross-country trip, this one to face the 4-1 Cardinals, is no way to get back on track. I just wonder if Chan Gailey, now 12-25 as Bills head coach, will be with the team for the flight home.
New York Giants (+6.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
That’s a lot of points. Break this game down any way you’d like, but that’s still a lot of points.
San Francisco is due to experience a bit of a culture shock facing a real NFL team after last week’s fiasco, and it’ll be difficult to adjust. Granted, the Giants may be in the same boat, so I’ll just have to take all of those points, thank you.
The only thing I’m worried about is Eli Manning suffering from some Vietnam-like flashbacks to last January in San Francisco, when he essentially got hit by several cars, trucks and trains all evening and looked like a muddy mess by the end of it. He survived, and his Giants won, but stepping back on that field might bring back some memories he’d rather forget.
Minnesota (+1.5) over WASHINGTON
I saw a headline that said, “Robert Griffin III says he has no doubts he can play Sunday.” That’s nice for him, but I have my doubts.
RQFLWP: “Come off it with this Vikings as a 5.5-point favorite thing. Seriously. Come. Off. It. Their quarterback is Christian Ponder, who’s yet to throw an interception. If you think that’s going to last (to the tune of 5.5 points!), then I don’t know what to tell you.”
Note: Christian Ponder did throw two interceptions, so I was right. The Vikings did win by 23 points, so I was wrong.
Green Bay (+3.5) over HOUSTON
The Packers have had a lot of trouble putting that perfect game together thus far this year, the one where Aaron Rodgers completes his 150 mph passes over the middle and the defense scores two touchdowns off interceptions. I’m not saying that will happen on Sunday night, but with Houston having a short week to prepare after a less-than-stellar showing in New York on Monday night, and with my founding principle of 2012 being that if the Packers are getting points, you take it, I like their chances this week.
Denver (+1) over SAN DIEGO
Am I the only one who didn’t think the pass interference penalty on Antonio Gates was a bad call? He definitely got his big arm on Roman Harper, knocking him off his stride and eventually to the turf, and that was the primary reason he got so wide open. Maybe you could take issue with the holding penalty on Nick Hardwick on the following play, but that was essentially negated on an illegal use of hands penalty on the following play.
My points is that the refs didn’t cost the Chargers the game. The Chargers cost the Chargers a game, just like they usually do.
Now how about a big winning week so I don’t have to post a losing record down here anymore? That’s my version of fantasy football.
Last week: 6-8