Reads Listens Views 10/5/2013


Listens – Miles Smiles “Jean Pierre”

Better late than never, right? That’s how I see it when it comes to posting Reads Listens Views. This Saturday version of RLV includes the usual football/non-football web content that I’ve been reading (or saving for when time permits) and some commentary about three things that have nothing to do with football. If you’re new to the blog, I post RLV once a week with the mantra that you might not like everything I post today, but you’ll at least find one thing that made it worthwhile.

I’m also breaking out the fantasy mail bag.

Thank You

There was a time in my life where my work life was so busy I might have had eight hours in a 70-hour week to sit my desk and do focused work. Fast forward 15 years and the situation has flip-flopped. Either way, time whizzes by and my window to interact with readers has narrowed lately. Regardless of how these opportunities will ebb and flow I want to thank you for reading my work at the Rookie Scouting Portfolio, Footballguys, and Football Outsiders every week. If you’re new to my work, check out this blog and the Rookie Scouting Portfolio publication.

copy-inverted-2013-rsp.png

If you want to know the ins and the outs of rookie skill players as early as April 1 with a level of detail that is more comprehensive than anything available then this 1200-page pre-draft publication is a must-buy. The RSP one-part 200-page draft magazine bookmarked for easy reading and other-part 1000-page tome that shows all the work to make the front half insightful: grading checklists for each player according to his position, a glossary that defines the grading system and each thing I score, and all my play-by-play notes on each player. I show my math for even the most diehard, nut-job – and I have plenty of them (they’re my kind of people).

You also get another 150-200 page post-draft document that updates rankings based on player fit with his new team, tiered dynasty rankings, and draft value analysis based on dynasty drafts. This RSP will help you this year, next year, and often times the year after in you dynasty drafts, re-drafts, and the waiver wire. Knowledge is power and you’ll be able to see the signs a little sooner when a player is poised for a breakout.

Past issues (2006-2012) are available for $9.95 apiece and I donate 10 percent of every RSP sale to Darkness To Light, a non-profit whose mission is to prevent and address sexual abuse in communities through training people to be aware of the dynamics, the stats, and how to help victims of this crime. As football fans who send our children to school, sports camps, churches-synagogues-mosques, it’s important that adults understand how to address this issue so they aren’t negligent (legally or morally) due to ignorance. Download the 2013 RSP Today

Wisconsin runner Melvin Gordon is a player I look forward to studying. Here's a nice snapshot of him in action. Photo by Han Shot First.

Wisconsin runner Melvin Gordon is a player I look forward to studying. Here’s a nice snapshot of him in action. Photo by Han Shot First.

Football Reads

Non-Football Reads

Views – Bob Harris Interviewed by the University of Arizona

Five years-old, but still fun to see Bob in action here. You should listen to Bob do his thing weekly at Sirius XM Fantasy Sports.

Commentary: Dexter And Our Government Shutdown.  

A good thing gone way bad. Photo by Chesi Photos CC

A good thing gone way bad. Photo by Chesi Photos CC

If you didn’t know, I was a huge fan of the Showtime series Dexter. Like most Dexter fans, I became disenchanted with the final seasons of the show. However, I hung in there to the end – grousing about its decline every week. I have made the argument that the show’s finale was a good attempt that was doomed to fail because everything that came before it didn’t set the table well enough to give the last episode any sense of emotional credibility.

I believe Dexter went south after Deb caught Dexter in the act of murdering the Doomsday Killer. There shouldn’t have been a season where Deb tries to do some half-ass, homemade intervention that unravels to the extent that she gets sucked into his lifestyle and her life spirals to the gutter.

One of several ways that the show could have continued on a strong path would have been for Dexter to flee: the scene of the crime, Deb, and Miami. Fans would have preferred watching dual plot lines of Dexter creating a new life and identity in another state while Deb wages her own private manhunt for her brother.

Imagine Dexter and his son in a place as opposite from Miami as one can get trying to reinvent himself. Perhaps he encounters the doctor who helped create the Code and he meets a woman and falls in love like he does in the actual seasons towards the end. The difference would be that Dexter and the doctor come to the realization that he really wasn’t as doomed as the doc and his dad Harry presumed.

It would have been fascinating to see Dexter come to the realization that he was more human than he allowed himself to believe, doesn’t feel the compulsion to kill, and changes his life. Then the climax of the show could be Deb finding and confronting Dexter and the fallout from it. I believe this is what the show was trying to do, but the development of this type of plot line was so rushed that no audience could suspend disbelief.

I would have also liked watching Deb arrest Dexter and the final two seasons be the investigations that link (or fail to link) him to the Bay Harbor Butcher murders, the arraignment, and the trial. Introduce the psychologist who taught Harry and Dexter the Code and involve her in the trial or sanity hearings.

Watch Deb unravel as the public pressures from the trial and her role as the captain of homicide mount. What happens to her relationship with her brother? Does she come to understand and try to help him escape? Does she grow to despise him and cut all ties? Does she continue to have this great sense of ambivalence that destroys her and ultimately Dexter as he watches it helpless?

What about the rest of homicide who worked with him? Do they try some crazy under the radar deal where Dexter gets life in prison and uses his Code to assist the city and ultimately the FBI to track down other serial killers?

Whether Dexter is sent to a mental hospital or sentenced to death, seasons with a trial and the aftermath could have been great TV.  Instead, Showtime asked the producers to rush its development process so they could piggyback Ray Donovan to the series at the cost of quality writing.

We need to make elected public service really be public service. This requires greater sacrifice that they're making. Far greater. Photo by AC Flick.

We need to make elected public service really be public service. This requires greater sacrifice that they’re making. Far greater. Photo by AC Flick.

While I’m playing all-powerful, armchair quarterback, let’s look at this government shutdown. The fact is that private healthcare pays huge sums to our legislative body. If we truly want our representatives to be public servants, there needs to be a better way to enforce this commitment to the public and not private enterprise.

Think of the military. The men and women in our armed forces don’t have the same freedoms as the general public while they are in active service. If you ask me, the grand motivation for most Congressmen and women is money. While there is some degree of transparency with the personal finances of our public servants, I think the it would be worth exploring some way of requiring elected officials in the legislative and executive branches to give up basic rights as citizens while serving.

Pay them higher salaries like other developed countries do, give them great benefits when they retire from public service, but also make public service a real sacrifice. Eliminate any outside donation practices and election campaigns. Voting may be a right, but it’s also a privilege – raise the bar and force us to study the issues and watch debates. In 20 years, the public would become as savvy about debates and issues as they are about the pistol and the shotgun in football.

Require all public servants to live in public servant housing, use public servant based transportation, and require them to give up a large enough degree of financial freedom and decision-making in their lives as well as public privacy during this service. It may sound harsh, but if you want people who are truly willing serve our country and not themselves, ask them to make real sacrifices along the lines of our military – and then make the standard higher on a day-to-day level. Look at it this way, they aren’t putting their lives on the line like the military – at least ask them to put their freedoms on hold to ensure they aren’t corrupted by money.

Fantasy Mailbag

Would you ride or die this season with Wilson? Andrew Brown out. Photo by Football Schedule.

Would you ride or die this season with Wilson?  If you chose to ride or die, you don’t bench him versus Philly, do you?  Photo by Football Schedule.

Question I: From Shaun Higgins: I have a trade question in a dynasty league.  The point system is a standard league with 1/2 ppr, we start two RBs.  The following are my RBs:
 

  • Ray Rice
  • Frank Gore
  • Bilal Powell
  • Rashard Mendenhall
  • Shane Vereen
  • Brandon Bolden

I have been offered Bernard Pierce and a 2014 2nd round pick for Bilal Powell and my 2014 3rd round pick.  I am concerned with Baltimore’s offense and Pierce’s output this year.  Also, I’m concerned with how Powell will produce once Ivory is healthy (for however long that might last) and Goodson comes back.  What are your thoughts long-term on both backs?  Do you think this is a good move?

Shaun – I think the Baltimore ground game will get addressed with the help of Eugene Monroe, the tackle the Ravens acquired from Jacksonville this week. However, this helps Rice far more than Pierce, because the Ravens are committing more to Rice than they are his backup. Whether it’s in Baltimore or elsewhere, I think Pierce has a chance to develop into a fantasy RB2 in 2-3 years. Powell’s time to demonstrate he’s RB2-caliber for the next 2-3 years is now. Neither player possesses jackpot, long-term RB1 upside. I think Powell is the more versatile player and Pierce is the more power runner.

However for you, this deal comes down to two factors:

A) Is your team strong at other positions and you’re contending now? If so, Powell is better for you this year.

B) Is your team struggling and unlikely to contend this year or next? If so, Pierce gives you continuity with Rice and you gain a second-round pick, which could provide you more RB depth.

Question II: From Nathan Smith – Should I start Roddy White, Giovani Bernard, or Kenbrell Thompkins over David Wilson this week as one of two flexes in a league with this lineup? 

QB Michael Vick, Phi QB @NYG Sun 1:00

4

91.5

22.9

14.4

24

30th

53.4

100.0

+0

RB Ray Rice, Bal RB @Mia Sun 1:00

39

32.8

8.2

2.3

8.2

30th

87.0

100.0

+0

RB Trent Richardson, Ind RB Sea Sun 1:00

19

53.6

13.4

15.7

17.9

9th

100.0

100.0

+0

RB/WR David Wilson, NYG RB Phi Sun 1:00

50

26

6.5

12.9

11.7

26th

67.0

97.4

-0.6

WR A.J. Green, Cin WR NE Sun 1:00

10

79.6

19.9

13.6

19

6th

100.0

100.0

+0

WR Josh Gordon, Cle WR Buf W 37-24

41

47.3

11.8

12

17.1

31st

35.8

98.7

+2.6

WR/TE Brandon Marshall, Chi WR  Q NO Sun 1:00

8

81

20.3

18.3

19.5

3rd

96.9

100.0

+0

TE Jordan Cameron, Cle TE Buf W 37-24

2

100.8

25.2

26.3

21.2

7th

83.8

96.9

+6.4

D/ST Falcons D/ST D/ST NYJ Mon 8:30

26

17.1

4.3

-1.3

8.8

29th

8.2

13.4

+3

K Nick Novak, SD K @Oak Sun 11:35

5

44.1

11.0

13.9

9.9

14th

12.3

14.9

+7.6

BENCH

WK 5

2013 SEASON

WEEK 5

SLOT PLAYER, TEAM POS ACTION OPP STATUS ET

PRK

PTS

AVG

LAST

PROJ

OPRK

%ST

%OWN

+/-

Bench Doug Martin, TB RB

** BYE **

13

62.9

15.7

12.2

66.0

100.0

+0

Bench Giovani Bernard, Cin RB NE Sun 1:00

16

61.6

15.4

15.2

17.4

13th

63.4

100.0

+0

Bench Andrew Luck, Ind QB Sea Sun 1:00

7

85.6

21.4

20.5

14.2

4th

38.2

100.0

+0

Bench Kenbrell Thompkins, NE WR  Q @Cin Sun 1:00

25

63.1

15.8

26.3

13.2

16th

33.7

82.8

+28.6

Bench DeAndre Hopkins, Hou WR @SF

I thought White looked good from what I watched. He was officially targeted 9 times, but I would say that about half of those should not be counted as targets.  Passes overthrown by a lot, or in the dirt.  He had about 5 or 6 catchable balls maybe and he did well. 

So I traded for him. I was offered Roddy for Julius Thomas and since I am also a Cameron owner, I took the offer.  Wondering what you think about the fact that Tennessee destroyed the Jets last week in the passing game, and if you think ATL can do the same at home.  I think Roddy is due for a game.

Nathan, I thought White looked better, but not good. He still lacks the burst and strength/stability in the ankle to play his true game, which is about precise timing routes in tight coverage. Teams are still playing off White and the Falcons are still jerry-rigging its offense to use him. Until White can practice fully during the week leading to a game, I’d bench him. In fact, White suffered a setback in that game, so I’d avoid him this week. Thompkins is gaining ground, but he’ll be facing a pretty good set of cornerbacks. I think Bernard offers the most PPR upside, but he and Thompkins are pretty even.

However, I’m not sure I’d bench Wilson against the Eagles defense. If you’re going to stay patient with Wilson, this is the week to show it and use him. The Giants cut Da’Rell Scott and Brandon Jacobs hasn’t looked as good as Wilson. I’d go upside with your lineup and continue to start Wilson.

Question III:  How hard would you be looking to upgrade from Vick in 14 team redraft?

Rodgers owner is 0-4 with all kinds of holes.  I have a bench with DeAngelo, Powell,  Mathews, Mike Williams and Blackmon to try to pepper into a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 deal.

If you can ply Rodgers from an owner with the combo of Vick and 1-2 of those players that you’re not using, do it. 

Listens –  A Night in Tunisia

Categories: Reads Listens ViewsTags: , , , , , , , ,

2 comments

  1. Superb commentary on public servants. I wholeheartedly agree. Why are they so special, ultimately at the end of the day everyone is looking out for themselves first.

  2. Good stuff Matt. I especially agree with the Dexter take. The show lost me when it jumped the shark there. I LOVED the show and thought it was some of the best writing and acting on tv for a few years. the Lithgow season was EPIC.

    There is NO serving the public in those “servants”. It is sad….

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