If a team is limbering up to face a dangerous opponent the next week, preparation is key. There are days of planning, hours of watching film and repetition after repetition on the practice field.
But sometimes, the hands-off approach can work wonders on the fantasy gridiron, especially in the brutal, all-out weekly battles faced by the competitors in the NESN.com Fantasy Football League.
Such was the case with Naoko Funayama and her “UNITAS” team in Week 8.
“With back-to-back [Bruins] games this weekend, I completely forgot to set the lineup,” said the impassioned B’s reporter with a smile following her 89.00-76.85 victory over John Carchedi‘s “Italian Ninjas.”
In fact, Naoko had three players in her lineup — Clinton Portis, Hines Ward and the Steelers’ defense — that were on their bye weeks. Still, big days out of Donovan McNabb and Michael Turner — completely accidentally, it would appear — led Unitas to its first win in a month.
“It’s hard to believe it!” Naoko said. “I expected it to be a loss. Sorry, JC.”
Carchedi was unavailable for comment. Several sources told NESN.com that he could be seen earlier in his team’s locker room, singing Melissa Manchester‘s “Don’t Cry Out Loud” at the top of his lungs. Hang in there, John. You’ll get ’em next week.
In other action, Kathryn‘s “Tappenators” remained the league’s hottest team with a narrow 132.60-131.15 triumph over John Chandler and his “More Cowbell”ers. The Tappenators’ fourth straight win gave them a two-game lead at the top of the Western Division.
“Yeah, we’re already clearing space on the mantel,” Kathryn joked with the media after yet another W. “But let’s get down to business. Which do you think would be more appropriate for John this week from Edible Arrangements: the “A Blooming Apology” gift basket with strawberries and chocolate-dipped pineapple or the “Let’s Eat and Make Up” arrangement with fresh banana slices hand-dipped in a white and dark chocolate? I think either could be appropriate for this occasion.”
Chandler, a bit less jokey during his postgame news conference, had a chance for a comeback late on Monday night. His tight end, Tony Gonzalez, was targeted several times in the red zone against the Saints, but BC alum Matt Ryan threw a late pick and the Cowbells’ goose was officially cooked. Though the excruciatingly thin margin is what made it toughest for him to take.
“More Cowbell is petitioning the league for an official recount,” Chandler said through a spokesperson, “and will not offer any further comment until such time as it’s determined that we were robbed.
“Also, there is no truth to the rumor that our GM was escorted from the building by HR and security after this loss. They just pointed him to the door.”
Another team putting some space between itself and the rest of its division is Terrence Johnson‘s “Crooked Lettas,” whose 131.45-114.40 win over my “Gray Cutoff Hoodies” gave them a two-game edge atop the league’s Eastern Division.
“I thought that having Drew Brees going on Monday night might result in some fantasy magic,” I said following the Hoodies’ second straight defeat. “But we didn’t get our Doug Flutie moment. We didn’t get our Kirk Gibson home run. We didn’t get diddly-poo.”
Finally, remind this scribe never to poke fun at Heidi Watney‘s affinity for Brett Favre. Her “Favre Forever” squad absolutely blasted the boys from Cole Wright‘s “I MEAN BUSINESS” 133.60-77.05. Heidi’s top scorer? None other than the man she named her team after — Brett Favre, himself — whose 36.2 points on his own helped Heidi to a huge win over Cole’s patchwork side.
“Wait, why’s my team gotta be patchwork, man?” Cole asked rhetorically following his team’s continuation of the win-one, lose-one trend that he’s been able to keep going since the start of the season. “I didn’t have anyone on a bye week. My players just underperformed!”
With Mario Manningham not playing due to injury, Owen Daniels leaving the game early with a torn knee, the Broncos’ defense giving up 30 points and Jason Hanson … well, playing for the Detroit Lions, Cole was handcuffed from the get-go. But the I MEAN BUSINESSmen’s CEO stressed that his team will continue to persevere.
“Don’t count me out, ever!” Cole screamed at reporters on Wednesday. “I haven’t lost back-to-back games all season long, and I’m not gonna start now. ‘Cause we all know … I MEAN BUSINESS!”
That he does, folks. That he does.
Check back next week for more antics from your favorite NESN fantasy footballers. Enjoy all the action.
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