October 24, 2014

Dirty D Week 8 Power Ranks

When I do Power Ranks I generally list all the teams and start building from the outside, in. It's easier to identify the best and worst teams. I'm going to walk though each team and my official ranking list for this week is at the end of the blog.

Let's start at the top today. I see a defined group of 3 teams that are way ahead of everyone else.

Tahiti Loungers 7-0, 924 points
Angry Pirates 5-2, 909 points
A Pinch Better 6-1, 897 points

As all 3 of these teams are assuredly playoff bound, let's examine the playoff starting lineups for each team.

After filling out this chart it's pretty clear to me that myself and Campbell have the edge right now over Sean, not that it's much, but lets look at these teams again now with their rest of season PPR rank on fantasypros.com and you'll see what I mean:

Those ranks should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, while Josh Gordon may be the consensus #50 WR for the rest of the season, he certainly will be much higher ranked come weeks 14-15-16 when I actually play him. Andre Williams and AJ Green are both hurt now as well, so their overall rank is a little low.

Of course, the playoffs are still 6 weeks away. That leaves plenty of time for injuries. Things change quickly in the NFL. These 3 team benches, however, are deep.

Tahiti Lounger bench situation-

I have Kniles Davis and Legarrette Blount backing up my RB studs as injury insurance. Kendall Wright is my 4th WR and Tony Romo, Chris Ivory, and Zach Ertz round out my team.
Not that is means TOO much... but I should note that I also have the highest rated kicker (Ghost) and D/ST (Lions).

A Pinch Better bench situation-

Cam Newton is a great back up QB. He could get hot and be Sean's starter by playoffs. For RBs, Sean has Tre Mason and Storm Johnson... not that great but definitely serviceable. Brian Quick and Eric Decker suck, but Ruben Randle could have a huge 2nd half and end up replacing SSS in the lineup.

Angry Pirates bench situation-

Campbell unloaded his bench depth to get Peyton. He's left with 3 RBs- Bernard Pierce, Joe Randle, and Mark Ingram. Randle is a great handcuff to own, and Ingram is coming back from injury into a good situation. C Bell has no back up WRs (after the 3 starters) and his back up TE is Larry Donnell.

Considering everything, this week's top 3 in Power Ranks are:

1. Angry Pirates

2. Tahiti Loungers

3. A Pinch Better

Even though I have more points than C-Bell and I like my playoff lineup better, over the next few weeks while my squad gets healthy/un-suspended, I think C Bunny's team may be the best.

It's worth noting that I play Campbell in Week 11, could be a big matchup that determines a bye week.

Now lets move to the bottom of the power ranks. There are a few teams that come to mind:

Mosey Machine 2-5, 663 points
The Godfather 1-6, 656 points

These 2 teams are the only ones I feel like I would be comfortable rating last.

Mosey Machine is averaging 85 points per week over the last 5
The Godfather is averaging 90 points per week over the last 5

What can these teams do? Just stay the course I suppose. They need to basically win out (there's a slight chance a 6-7 team sneaks in the playoffs this year, due to the in balance of the league.)

They both suck. Big time, Abe is already down 10 million to 0 this week and staring at a 5 game losing streak, so I have to give him the last spot in the ranks. Beckerman at least has some positive news with Vereen and Tate. Both look to be good RB options the rest of the year. The next 3 weeks will be huge for Doug Martin as he is playing weak rush defenses and if he doesn't produce, he could be donezo in the NFL.

11. Mosey Machine

12. The Godfather

That leaves 7 teams to rank. This is the hard part. Here are those 7 team averages over the past 4 weeks:

Eat More Chicken 135
Team Ice Cream 126
Crossing Guards 123
the rental guys 116
Victorious Secret 116
A1 Providers 113
Boston Patriots 97

First I'll tell you this much, Boston Patriots is getting the #10 rank. PT Loser got hurt last week, Reggie Bush is struggling, these team has MAJOR RB issues. Also, still wondering how long Mr. B will stick with Witten... he is currently the 17th best TE in the league this year. Shouldn't be started.

The A1 Providers made a big move this week, sending away Greg Olsen and Calvin Johnson for Julio Jones and Delanie Walker. A trade that obviously benefits Paul in the short term, it was a crucial move. Paul can afford one maybe 2 more losses for the rest of the year and Megatron looks like he wont play this week and next week is his BYE. Paul still has beast WRs on his team in Mike Wallace and Alshon Jeffrey.... couple that with Drew Brees and Lamar Miller and you have a real solid squad. The record should be better. Top to bottom this starting lineup is great. Paul is getting ROCKED this year... he has the most points against him by a mile. Really a shame because this squad is solid.

Team Ice Cream has slowly been gaining on everyone. Every little move adds up, and Adam is starting to reap the benefits of being an active owner. Golden Tate has been a stud...over the past 4 weeks he has only been outscored at WR by Demaryius Thomas and TY Hilton. Tate-Maclin-Garcon is a lethal WR corps. (It's not an dangerous as mine and Campbell's trios, but it's up there.) I'm still a little worried that Adam won't be able to turn all of his RB depth into something more... the deadline is just 3 weeks away and this team still needs some work if it wants to compete in the playoffs. Also, this week is shaping up nicely for Adam with Jenna and Kait down big, early.

Eat More Chicken is such a hit or miss team it's crazy. She has 3 weeks of scoring 135+ and 4 weeks of scoring 100 or less. So she literally hasn't scored between 100 and 137 once this year. This week her Broncos already played (last night) and produced just 21 points between Julius, Welker, and Hillman. I do love Jenna's lineup, though. Gio Bernard is a top 5 weekly option. Sammy Watkins has emerged as a WR2 with upside. Russell Wilson has been a SUPER beast this year, and she still has Stafford on the bench. However, if things don't get more consistent here, Jenna is in trouble.

the rental guys gave me a scare last week. If you look at the final score, you may think I'm lying, but it's true. Before the Sunday night game it was basically Kaep + SF D/ST vs Leveon Bell plus a few points. BUT Kaep struggled and the SF D/ST predictably got negative points playing in Denver on prime time TV. Just an awful, awful play that luckily didn't cost Dan the week (Leveon Bell exploded so it didn't matter), but could have. Matt Forte has been a BEAST this year, he is on pace to break the receptions record for RBs. Is that good in a ppr league? TY Hilton continues to beast, he's easily the best WR on this team. V Jax is a tough guy to won right now, but if he by chance gets traded in the NFL, he could explode on the right offense.

Victorius Secret also made a MONSTER trade yesterday... She sent away studs Peyton Manning and Jeremy Maclin and in return got Carson Palmer, Nick Foles, Joquie Bell, Kelvin Benjamin, and Brandon Oliver. It was a much needed move for kait after losing Ridley and Spiller for the year. THIS is what happens when you are inactive on the wiaver wire and/or free agency. Kait could have avoided this problem by getting some of the RBs who recently have become relevant, but she didnt. So now she lost Peyton. I think picking correctly between Palmer and Foles should come close to what Peyton puts up every week, so I dont mind the downgrade at QB to help elsewhere. Last week Kait also traded away Martellus Bennett for DeSean Jackson.... Trade city population Kait!

Every time I write about the Crossing Guards team I talk about the LETHAL Rodgers-Nelson connection. Again ast week, 42 points between the 2 of them. But here's the problem... after these guys Bill's team drops off a cliff. Super Gross. The only other player I even like is Jerrick McKinnon. Asiata is awful.  Forsett is solid I suppose but I would hate to have to start him every week. Sanu, Edelman... these guys have had their moments but now that the sample set is growing, they are regressing to where they should be. Honestly I would have no problem is Bill dropped half his team. There's no chance he wins the D with this roster so it may be time to look at the trade market for Jordy/Rodgers.

Truth be told after writing out those team outlooks it was much easier to sperate the teams. HERE are this weeks OFFICIAL Power ranks:

1. Angry Pirates
2. Tahiti Loungers
3. A Pinch Better 
4. A1 Providers 
5. Team Ice Cream
6. Eat More Chicken
7. the rental guys 
8. Victorious Secret 
9. Crossing Guards 
10. Boston Patriots
11. Mosey Machine 
12. The Godfather 

October 22, 2014

Myrtle Beach Golf Trip 2014

From L to R: Abe, Campbell, Beck, Me, Paul, Adam, Jeremy, Ryan

October 16-20, 2014 
Legends Golf Resort, Myrtle Beach SC

Me and some friends went to Myrtle Beach for a golf trip this past weekend. Had a GREAT time.

Wednesday after work Campbell, Abe, Adam, Paul and myself headed down to CT to pick up our rented vans from Ryan/Enterprise. We scooped up Bebrin and arrived at Jeremy's in NY around 10pm. After a couple hours we hit the hay and at 6am sharp the next AM we were rolling out of NY.

Going through Baltimore

Abe really wanted to stop at the drive-thru cig store 

The drive down to Myrtle Beach was long, but it was pretty easy. We only hit one spot of traffic in North Carolina, and arrived at about 6:45pm. The vans we drove down in were PIMP. Screen to watch DVDs. Outlets everywhere. Plenty of space. Solid gas mileage.

We arrived at our resort, Legends Golf and immediately went to the lighted driving range. The range, which is all grass, is open and free* from 6a-9p.

Grass range at night

After we got our golf fix and stretched our legs out a bit, we headed back to the Condos and watched the Pats-Jets first half.

The condo's we stayed in were awesome. We had 2 units, an upstairs and downstairs. Right behind our mini complex was the 6th? hole of one of the courses (Parkland).

the hole behind our Condo

Standing on the hole looking to the back of our condo where our Patio was

Each condo had 2 rooms with 2 beds in each. 2 bathrooms. Kitchen, Living room, washer/dryer and Golf memorabilia on all the walls. We had a ton of space which was great .

After the 1st Quarter and a few beers at the condo, we headed down to Alisa's Pub, a 5 minute walk door to door. This place was solid... good menu, good beer, lot's of TVs, lot's of people (90% guys) plus an outdoor drinking area with a bar, tables, pool, hot tub, fireplace, pool table, ping pong table, cornhole boards, etc..

Alisa's Pub outdoors 

The Patriots and Jets were on Thursday Night Football on most of the TVs , and the Bruins-Canadiens game was on a couple of the others. The Bruins lost (I barely got to watch any of this game, sad) but the Patriots won so it was a solid night.

Me, Adam, Abe at the Pub 

Friday morning I woke up at 6:30 because I was too excited to go back to sleep. I wanted to get out early and grab supplies/beer for the group.... so I got in the van and headed out. This is what the entire course looked like:

Fog on #9 Heathland 

Incredible. Maybe my favorite pic from the trip. I am actually really upset I didnt take more pics of the fog because I assumed it would reappear each morning. That wasn't the case, and unfortunately no one else saw this fog and I have no other pics.

I went to Wegman's grocery store and bought beers. At 7am.

Solids deal 

Everything is cheap in the South. Beer especially.

I got back to the condo and started making "The Scoreboard"

The Scoreboard

The place we stayed has 3 courses on site, so we had to pick one of their other courses to play for one of our rounds. I figured it would be a good idea to go to the course off site on the Friday, the day we were only playing 18 at 1pm. After a 45-ish minute drive, we arrived at Heritage Club

Entrance. Speeding in this community has been a "hot topic" recently

The Clubhouse
Beautiful course 

Yup, that's a Gator 

Damn Alligator BIT MY HAND OFF



Looked like Augusta 

One of the last Holes. Ton of water on this course. 

That's right... we saw gators, turtles, albino squirrels, hawks, eagles, etc. The round for me personally went great. After a somewhat mediocre front 9 (I shot 45) I turned in on down the stretch and ended up firing a 40 on the back for 85. I was able to convert back to back birdie putts on 12 and 13, but I still managed to choke a little bit. I needed a par on the last hole- a par 5- for a 38 on the back. I hit a beast drive (theme of the weekend) but my approach shot I hit thin and into the water behind the green. Double bogey to end, no bueno.

Jeremy was my cart partner and had a tough round... I think he said his worst of the season. Ouch.
Beckerman was in my group- he played well- and Ryan was his riding partner. Ryan struggled off the tee, but was able to grind out a 48-51 for the 99.

Paul #selfie with Gator 
The other grouping playing behind mine had Adam, Paul, Campbell, and Abe in it.

PAUL had a great afternoon. I wasn't able to witness it myself, but he played well. Maybe the shot of Myrtle Beach (again, I didnt see this) goes to Paul for his Driver on the Par 3 6th hole that he hit to about two feet. And yes, he made the birdie. The first of his career.

Adam had a brutal round, shooting over 100 is somewhat rare for him. Maybe it was his reenactment from Tin Cup out of the bunker that he took 4-5 hacks to get out? Anyway, it's a forgettable round for Adam who, with handicaps, came in 2nd to last place.

Abe and C Bell had a nice battle. With the same handicap, we knew it would be close. Abe eneded up edging out Campbell by 2 strokes.

As you can see the Fore! Horsemen dominated day 1, taking the max amount of points possible. The Putt Pirates got rocked, and morale was low.

Friday night we "took it easy" with the looming 36-hole slate for the next day. We played beer hockey in the condo.

As I mentioned, both courses we were scheduled to play on Saturday were on the resort, meaning we didn't have to drive anywhere all day, which was great.

Saturday AM going up to the range pre-round

The first match was Paul/Adam vs James/Beck

Beck and I took an early lead in the first couple holes, and never really looked back. Adam and Paul only won 1 hole, Paul just didn't have the same magic he used on Friday afternoon. Adam was keeping his team in it most of the morning, but the match ended in ugly fashion on the 14th green. Beck and I had to take a shot off the green, while Adam and Paul were putting. We chipped it close and tapped it in, while Adam and Paul actually failed to 2-putt from their spot. The match ended on the 14th green and because of time, we drove in from there to have lunch before the afternoon round.

I took this from the tee. Sat AM match Abe/Cbell vs Ry/Jeremy

Abe and Campbell had both played well on Friday, while Ryan and Jeremy (mostly Jeremy) played poorly.  So going into this match, the 2 members of the Fore! Horseman were feeling VERY confident.

That feeling did not last long. Ryan and Jeremy SMOKED Abe/Campbell in route... they won 7 & 5. Clinched the match on the 13th green.

Abe and Campbell won the 10th hole, but that was it. Lost or halved every other hole.

The afternoon match on Saturday was the PRIME TIME match. I set it up so that the team who won the 4-man scramble on Saturday afternoon would likely produce the overall winner... placing emphasis on the team aspect of the trip.

After the morning round where Campbell and Abe didn't win a hole, the Putt Pirates were feeling confident. The Fore! Horseman weren't as comfortable. I KNEW it would be a close match and with Jeremy and Paul playing well (plus the strength of Adam/Ryan combo) it was even discussed that the Putt Pirates may be the Vegas favorites for the match.

It's tough to write too much about the other group as I didn't play with them, but here are the things that stick out the most to me about the match.

Abe teeing off in the afternoon 

The Fore! Horsemen had an excellent front 9. I think it took us a few holes to get warmed up, but we birdied the 5th and 7th holes which felt great. On the 9th hole, all 4 of us hit great drives, with great approaches. These greens were large, and we thought we were close, but ended up being 30+ feet away. We all even said we NEED to make this putt since we played the entire hole so well. After a couple good putts to show me the line, I stepped up and buried the ball for the birdie. It was a huge putt for our team to move to -3 on the front. We knew we HAD to be in control. At lunch, we figured out the Putt Pirates par'd every hole on the front so we made the turn with a 3 stroke lead.

Random hole at Heathland

This was on the front 9 

Then we started the back. Abe started drinking. Our team wasn't getting good birdie chances. We kept hearing ROARS from the Putt Pirates behind us, who seems to be playing better as the day went on. We knew it was getting close. Standing on the 16th tee box waiting to hit, we were peering over at the 15th green. The other tea, had a loooong birdie look far away on the green. Beckerman and Abe hit their drives, but before I had a chance to hit the Putt Pirates started screaming. Ryan sunk that long putt for the bird. That narrowed our lead to one stroke with 3 holes left.

Another random hole at Heathland

The 16th hole is interesting, it's short (240 yard par 4), but they guard the fairway with crazy bunkers. AKA if you try to drive over the bunkers and don't make it you are screwed. I stepped up and blasted a drive that made it over, thankfully. Given the circumstances, it was a HUGE drive. Our chips (from maybe 40 yards) were all pretty bad. We wanted to be close and get a birdie.  The best one left us with a 25 foot birdie putt. As we are reading the putt, the team behind us had gathered at their chosen drive.. basically watching us putt.  At least 2 of Beck, Campbell, and Abe's putts were really close, but none dropped in. I stepped up and luckily made the birdie, for what is probably my best shot from the entire weekend.

We bogeyed the next hole- a long par 3- for our first bogey of the day. We were real salty about it. I wanted a bogey free round. I knew the other team would make up the stroke on 17. And they did.

Jeremy with an iron shot

We didnt know what their score was on 17, and even though it was highly doubtful they got a birdie, we  really tried to birdie 18 ourselves to make sure we stayed far enough  ahead. Didn't happen. We tapped in for Par and a even 36 score for the back, bringing our final score to 68.

Team pic mid-round

At this point, darkness is falling fast. I think the Putt Pirates may have been the last group on the course. Their approach shot was left about 30 feet from the hole, the putt was for a birdie which would have squared the match. It was somewhat of a relief knowing we couldn't lose to the Putt Pirates, but if they sunk the putt, all 8 players would have earned 4 points.

I held the flag for the guys. 6 players standing behind watching the putts. Jeremy steps up, hit a beautiful roll. It's breaking toward the hole and all I keep muttering is "stop. stop. stop . STOP STOP STOP FUCKING ROLLING.".... and the putt lipped out! Was a very tense moment all 8 of us got to witness. The Putt Prates ended up shooting a 2 under on the back, and my team won by 1 single stroke... when you win or lose by 1 stroke you think about all the times you just BARELY made or missed something... luckily for our team it was more about the long birdies on 9 and 16 than the bogey on 17 or any other misses.

Scores after 3 rounds

Saturday night we decided we needed to eat real food, not Chik Fil A again. So we went to the Outback Steakhouse about 5 minutes away. Nothing too much to note about dinner except Jeremy ordered a half rack of ribs while Campbell and I each deleted a full rack ourselves. After Outback we went home to play more beer hockey.

Putt Pirates 

Fore! Horsemen

Sunday morning we woke up with one round left on the trip: Individual stroke play at Parkland which was on site. Because my team had performed so well, the only real contenders were me and Beckerman, and we were playing in different groups. The first group went off with Paul and Campbell riding together, while NYGL rode in the same cart. Paul  "had something bad to eat" for breakfast and went all "Ralph Lauren" on his group.  His score suffered from his "sickness" and Paul had a tough round, shooting a back nine 85, 157 total. Good for last place both gross and net.

View of the clubhouse from #18 on Parkland

Campbell played solid, but got sloshy, as he was the only one crushing beers in his group. Jeremy played better than he had in the individual event on Friday, but still had a bad score of 122.

Beckerman ended the front nine right on pace, by shooting a 49, which is was -1 to his handicap. At this point, Beckerman probably had to like his chances to win his group, meaning at least 4 points. He needed Ryan and Adam (and Abe) to man up and beat me so he could gain the necessary points in the overall standings.

Adam on Parkland

Adam rode with Abe and I rode with Ry Guy. The match started out tight- me, Adam, and Ryan were all within a couple strokes of each other through the first 6 or 7 holes. Ryan made a long birdie putt on Hole #7 for the first bird of the day from the group. The next hole gave him problems as he carded a double bogey 7, and hi drive on the 9th hole landed in a bunker about 50 yards from the severely slanted green. His bunker shot ended up being slightlty bladed, but it checked up near the top of the green and rolled wayyyyyyyy back down near the hole. He made the putt for the 2nd birdie in 3 holes.

Our front 9 scores were close: I shot 45, Ryan turned in a 47 and Adam 48. Abe was playing OK but shot above 50, which is usually his 9-hole goal.

Abe on Parkland
The back nine is where the hay was made. I got hot and for a 4 hole stretch played +1 golf. I started making a lot of pars, and stopped making mistakes. On the last hole. the group in front watched while Adam finished with a solid par, and my two putt for bogey sealed the Myrtle Beach victory.

Me driving on the 7th or 8th hole at Parkland

Although I scored the max amount of points possible, this was a close, close battle.

Had the Putt Pirates been able to win on Saturday afternoon- (my team won by 1 stroke) RYAN would have been Myrtle Beach Champion.

Final Scoreboard 

The final point totals:

James 29
Beck 26
Abe 20
Campbell 16
Ryan 14
Jeremy 8
Adam 6
Paul 5

We had some beers and lunch in the clubhouse after the round and watched football. Then went back to the condos to watch, and later on for dinner we went back to Alisa's Pub on site.

We watched football the rest of the night, and ended up leaving at 6:15am yesterday, Monday AM.

Making a few pit stops, the Boston crew guys arrived home at about 9:45pm.

Overall, amazing trip. Here are the rest/other random photos. Most are just people sleeping and getting knocked ot.

Showing off HDC

Abe was drooling while dead dogging

One creepy dead dog 
Feeling It obv. 

We saw 2 dozen of these stray cats at an Arby's in VA. Jeremy went wild. 

HDCs in NC


"American Drinking team" 

Bad park job 

In the Van

Abe fell asleep a lot on this trip 

King of the Cats
This is what Adam ate for Dinner on Friday night

Basically sums up the whole trip