Week before Turkey Week Spar

Joe to Greg

I’m curious…what are your thoughts on the MLB Regular Season awards? Anything you would’ve switched? I’m anxiously waiting for the Patriots-Panthers game to start and I think Carolina is dangerous right now. We’ll touch on that more in the coming responses I’m sure. I wasn’t surprised with many of the outcomes of this past weekends games. With two exceptions; the Ravens loss and the basic implosion of the Atlanta Falcons. I’m truly surprised the Falcons are playing this bad right now. The thing that doesn’t surprise me is Peyton Manning at night and the inconsistency of the New York Jets, who are amazingly still in the playoffs. How are the fantasy teams doing in football as the playoffs approach?

Greg to Joe

If you are curious about my thoughts on the awards, check out the Dojo MLB Awards post. I called every award except for AL Manager of the Year. I think that was absurd, but that’s still not the one that upsets me most. Kieth Law said it best for me when referring to the AL MVP vote…

 

Mike Trout sliding into 2nd base (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Mike Trout sliding into 2nd base (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Even though I expected the writers to get it wrong, I still get outraged. Mike Trout is so much better of a baseball player than Miguel Cabrera. Period. End of Story. There is a reason that there are Silver Slugger awards and the Hank Aaron awards. They are for the best hitters, and MVP is for the best player. I’m not going to rant further, but Trout is a much better overall baseball player. It’s just fact. Read TroutMiggyALMVP2012_Danchik piece (a personal article I wrote over a year ago and didn’t have a place to post until I started this site) and the 2013 Dojo MLB Awards.

On to football! The Ravens’ loss shouldn’t have been unexpected. That game was a toss up in a muddy field. Two teams that are great franchises that are having very sub-par seasons. I would say the Ravens are out of it now, except, they really are not. If the Bengals stumble in one more game than the Ravens do, the Ravens can steal the division. This isn’t likely. I am expecting no playoff berth. I think the Patriots lose tonight. The Panthers are really good. I think their defense is something that shouldn’t be messed with. It could be a game that was very similar to the Patriots’ loss to the Bengals, but I think there will be some more points than that. Basically I am saying I would be nervous too if I was a Pats’ fan.

Fantasy football, I am done after this year. I will be exclusively playing fantasy football on DraftStreet.com and other daily fantasy sites. Football is such a week to week sport that yearly teams really do not make sense. Anyway, I am going to make the playoffs in all of my leagues. I think. I have to keep winning in the ESPN league, but the Yahoo league I am pretty much set for a playoff berth. I just need to fix my RGIII situation… How about yourself?

Joe to Greg

Last year, because of the rare occurrence of witnessing a Triple Crown I gave the nod to Cabrera. This year I think people got lost in the “homerun hype” between Cabrera and Baltimore’s Chris Davis. I agree Trout should have won because he can be used more and just contributes more to his team. As long as Miggy keeps swinging he’s going to get looked at and rightfully so, his batting averages from the past three seasons are impressive. (2013: .348, 2012: .330, and 2011: .344…all three averages were league leaders. I feel like we talk about this all the time…moving on…

The Patriots-Panthers game last night was basically what I expected score wise. I was surprised by the lack of drives and overall possessions; there were only 14 total drives. To put that into perspective, the Denver Broncos-Kansas City Chiefs had 27 drives between them. I’m not going to discuss the last play/controversial penalty because that didn’t decide the game. Stevan Ridley fumbled the ball in the redzone or right outside of it in the first half and then the Patriots corners blew tackles to give the Panthers the late touchdown in the fourth quarter. If Ridley never fumbles and at the bare minimum the Patriots make a field goal on that drive then the score is now 24-23 with a minute left, not 24-20. Being down four forced Brady to think endzone not field goal. Can’t be salty about this loss because it was a good game. The Panthers simply made more plays.

Fantasy football in Yahoo! I lost and I’m done. Really don’t plan on putting too much attention there since my team never scores. In ESPN, I’m 8-3 and I feel great about my team but I’m with you…I’m retiring the ESPN/Yahoo leagues next year and just dealing with Draftstreet. How do you feel about the NBA in the past week? Also, what are your thoughts on Michael Jordan‘s pick up team? Can you draft a team to beat his?

MJ’s Team:

  1. James Worthy
  2. Magic Johnson
  3. MJ
  4. Scottie Pippen
  5. Hakeem Olajuwon

Greg to Joe

Panthers game was nice. I only watched the last drive cuz it had big implications in our Draftstreet battle. If Tom Brady threw a touchdown to anyone, but Gronk, you win that matchup. I think the Panthers are legit and are going to be a playoff team. I am very interested for the Ravens-Pats game coming up soon. That should be a great one in late December. You have no idea how these teams will be playing then, but I am still excited. It will have big playoff implications such as whether the Ravens get in and what the Patriots’ seed will be.

MJ’s pick up team is gonna be so easy to beat. I got you right here MJ! I won’t even use any of your players. I am going to go BIG

This is how I go:

jamesandthegiantpeach

(Photo/Photoshop Cred: Dan Dicce)

PG – LeBron James – He is a monster. Magic Johnson, but bigger. He is the greatest player I have ever seen. Obviously, I have never seen MJ play or Magic, but LeBron is better than Kobe in my opinion. Rings are a team based thing, not individual. If they were individual, the Pistons would not have won a title in 2004. And pick up games are not about titles, they are about physical prowess and dominance. Gimme LeBron in every pick up situation. Including 1 vs 1 against MJ, but that is a different argument.

SG – Oscar Robertson – The Big O, basically averaged a triple-double his whole career. Nuff said.

SF – Larry Bird – Larry Bird has the jumper to play the 3 and can get boards. I am hoping my team plays in the paint big time anyway with Bird popping out for 3’s.

PF – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – All-time scoring leader and a dominant post scorer. Excited to have him on the squad

C – Shaq – Shaqtastic

I am expecting to play close to the rim and dominant down low with LeBron putting up like 25 assists and 15 points. He has the skills to do it.

What would your team look like? You can use my players, but not MJ’s.

Joe to Greg

Obviously I can’t duplicate players off of MJ’s but you and I have some similarities…one thing I noticed about MJ’s picks is you can tell he favors players from “his time”…his youngest player is Scottie Pippen who retired from the NBA in 2004 (Pippen played outside of the NBA until his official retirement in 2008). So I’m countering with more present players than past.

1- Kobe Bryant – Between him and James, this might be the most untouchable backcourt combo ever. If you’re playing against Michael Jordan, the most competitive basketball player in the history of the league, you’re going to need the second most competitive player in the history of the league to go head to head with him… enter Mr. Bryant.

2- LeBron James – He’s currently the best player in the world right now, why MJ never considered him is beyond me. He’ll be a matchup nightmare for MJ’s James Worthy/Magic Johnson combo.

3- Larry Legend – He’s a tall small forward and he shoots the lights out…basically the same reason you gave.

4- Shaquille O’Neal – I loved your pick of Shaq because he is a freak of nature with his size. He averaged a double double for the first 13 seasons in the league so I will gladly welcome the Shaqtus.

5- Tim Duncan – He’s been the best power forward that I’ve watched in my lifetime. Not much else to say because his fade away bank shot from the lower elbow is almost always going in.

My team is built off of players that can create their own shots and also the players who want the spotlight. Bird is my captain because if Kobe starts going into “Kobe-Mode”, basically shooting every time down the court, then Bird will have no problem benching Kobe and playing a man down. My last shot goes to Kobe obviously because he lives for the last 10 seconds of a game and nothing would satisfy him more than hitting a buzzer beater over MJ.

NCAA Football Thoughts

Greg

Marcus Mariota's Heisman chances will be affected by his loss against Stanford. (Photo Cred: Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Marcus Mariota’s Heisman chances will be affected by his loss against Stanford. (Photo Cred: Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Alabama will win a 3rd title. It is just a matter of who will they be destroying in the BCS Championship game. Personally, I think it will be Florida State, but Jameis Winston may not be able to play football at that point, so I expect another ‘Bama Blowout. The dream BCS bowl game for me would have to be Baylor vs Oregon. There could quite literally be 140 total points scored in that game. I can envision a scenario where the game is 70-70 going into overtime with Bryce Petty and Marcus Mariota showing the world why they should have won the Heisman over…

Heisman Pick: AJ McCarron

This year the Heisman trophy will be more of a career achievement award than anything else. McCarron has been great in his time at Alabama, but he hasn’t be rewarded with a Heisman because he isn’t the stat stuffer like RGIII or Johnny Manziel. The committee will know that he is enroute to his 3rd BCS Championship, and this Heisman Trophy will solidify him as one of the greatest college football players of all time.

Joe

  1. Alabama – they’re #1 in my eyes until someone beats them in the championship game.
  2. Florida State – an extremely talented team but I want to see them win another big game. Their win over then #3 Clemson was impressive but I think they are lacking another big game.
  3. Ohio State – 22-0 in the past two seasons speaks for itself. If you can call them a sleeper I’d like to see them slip into the National Championship game ahead of Florida State.
  4. Baylor – you can’t stop the offense. They average 61 points per game and only allow an average of 17.4. Who needs RGIII
  5. Oregon – now only did they lose to Stanford two weeks ago but in the following week, Stanford loses to USC. Talk about wishing you could have a game back…that’s two straight tough loses to Stanford in back to back seasons, it must be agonizing being an Oregon fan.

Heisman: Johnny Manziel

I didn’t want to put his name but I have to for the following reasons…

  1. Last season he threw for 3700 yards, 47 total touchdowns (26 pass/21 rush), and an average yards per passing attempt of 8.5. this season (with 2 games + an almost guarantee bowl game left) he has thrown for 3313 yards with 39 total touchdowns (31 pass/8 rush), and an YPA of 10.5. He’s improved his mechanics in the pocket and he isn’t running as much when you notice that he ran for 1410 yards last season compared to 611 this year. It’s a different Manziel but he’s still effective as ever.
  2. Check out this stat fact: In Texas A&M’s two losses this year (to Alabama and Auburn), Manziel has posted 1064 yards of total offense and has contributed to 83 points out of a possible 94 points.
  3. How he wins: Texas A&M’s next two games have huge implications for bowl games. They play at #22 LSU and then travel to #8 Missouri. If Manziel can lead them out of these two games unscathed while putting up big numbers, he has a huge case for a repeat winner.

Names to remember:

Bryce Petty – You know how Baylor averages 61 points per game? Well this QB is a big reason why.

Jameis Winston – I need to educate myself with this new story he is potentially involved in…or isn’t involved in…I just don’t know anything about his off the field activities. The dude knows how to play the QB position and you can’t scare him, he walked into #3 Clemson under the lights and torched them for 444 yards and 3 scores…as a freshman…sort of resembling something Manziel did last year in Alabama.

Greg Danchik and Joe Meola

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