If 2013 Fantasy Football was Tommy Wiseau's The Room
I'm not ashamed to admit: I've seen Tommy Wiseau's The Room at least five times. I've been to two live theater showings. And once, while in college, I attended a live Q&A with the director himself. And somehow, people still want to be my friend...For the uninitiated, The Room is the stereotypical "So bad it's hilarious" movie. Often called the Rocky Horror of the new Millennium, writer/director/lead actor Tommy Wiseau plays a banker/confused aardvark named Johnny whose wife Lisa has an affair with the Brawny Man (otherwise known as Mark). Sometimes they do things like have parties and play football, and other times Tommy Wiseau just acts really poorly. For proof, watch that clip above and try to maintain your sanity.
But that's what makes The Room so great. It can make absolutely no sense at times, but it's still fun to watch for it's unpredictability. Hey, that reminds me of another pasttime of mine...
Yeah, comparing The Room to fantasy football may be a bit of a stretch. But then again, it's Monday, and watching clips of this awful movie is the best pick-me-up anyone could ever ask for. And plus, there are such obvious connections like:
Comparison: Matt Forte, the one that will always be there for you
My favorite metaphor that isn't truly a metaphor because actual metaphors mean something is The Spoons. According to Tommy above, The Spoons have "profound" implications. To me, The Spoons mean something too: comedy gold that isn't going to go away because they're in every darn shot of the movie. Even if you're not sure what you're going to laugh at next, seeing a framed spoon in the background will always give you a chuckle.
Matt Forte isn't going to win many fantasy leagues, but he's not going to lose you yours either. The definition of a solid mid-second round back, you can trust Forte to give you the league-average efficiency level each week.
In terms of Net Expected Points (NEP), which measures a player's contribution to a drive's expected point total on each play above or below the NFL average, Forte has been in the middle of all backs for the past three years. Over that time span, his NEP/rush average has been between +0.01 and -0.05, a range that indicates he'll likely be right around average again.
And barring injury (which is about an average risk with Forte), he'll give you those solid, yet unspectacular, stats again. His projected 182.28 fantasy points places him as the 12th-best RB on our list. He's right after C.J. Spiller, and although Spiller has a higher upside, he also has a greater chance to fail thanks to his wildly variable past efficiency. Chris Johnson, ranked right below Forte on our chart, is the same way.
Comparison: Pierre Garcon, the one who only appeared once
Congratulations, you just watched the one time "breast cancer" was every mentioned in the entire movie. Think that a main character's mother coming down with breast cancer would be important to the story? Silly fool. It'll be an utterly useless piece of information.
Think Pierre Garcon's breakout couple of weeks with the Redskins will happen again? Silly fool: you obviously don't know Pierre Garcon. Or at least, you don't know the reason I nicknamed him "Stone Hands Garcon" for the majority of last season.
Last year, Garcon's 66.18 percent catch rate ranked 34th of the 108 NFL players who received at least 60 targets from their quarterback. Hey, near the top 30 percent? That's not half bad! It's also the reason that most people are high on him this season, with his average draft position currently up to 60th overall.
Too bad that high catch rate seems to be a complete and utter outlier. In his three full NFL seasons before last year, Garcon had never finished with higher than a 57 percent catch rate. In 2011, the season with the most targets of his career, he only caught 52 percent of balls his way. And before you start screaming "Quarterback!" at me, remember that he had a pre-surgery Peyton throwing him the ball in 2010 and 2009.
I'll believe his pass-catching prowess when it's sustained for longer than a couple weeks, or at least when last year's 0.69 NEP/target rate gets up near 1.00 like Vincent Jackson. For now, he seems to be a one-hit shock value wonder.
Comparison: Chris Ivory, the one with the youthful exuberance to make everything better
What, your 15 year old upstairs neighbor doesn't casually pop into your apartment at all hours of the day, seemingly oblivious to any school obligations or drug dealers on his trail? Then you obviously don't live Tommy Wiseau's charmed life.
I might go so far as to call Denny the moral compass of the story, but that would be insinuating that this movie has morals. Instead, I'll just call him the young gun who because the surprise star, the one you want to see even if you didn't know anything about him going in.
Between Lamar Miller, Eddie Lacy, and Montee Ball, there are a few contenders to be the Denny of the fantasy football season. But are any running backs truly as underrated as Chris Ivory? He's got both things you need for a mid-round breakout back: the potential for a lot of carries, and the potential to be highly efficient.
As a continuation of their understandable strategy to keep the ball out of Mark Sanchez's hands at all times, the Jets ran the ball on 50 percent of their offensive plays last season. That's nothing new; the Jets have been in the top six in rushing attempts in three of the past four years and in the top half of the league in each one. With Shonn Greene gone and Mike Goodson recently arrested, is there anyone who can truly touch Chris Ivory's carries on a high-rushing offense team? I'm not sure.
And don't look now, but Ivory has been highly efficient in limited time running the ball. With the Saints, a team not exactly known for their high efficiency runners, Ivory averaged 0.08 NEP/rush in over 200 carries. Last year, although he had just 40 rushes, he averaged 0.15 NEP/rush. Sure, he may bomb with a higher sample size, but the true answer is that we just don't have any evidence that points to a down year. Just like Denny, all questions are up in the air, and it could all turn out beautifully.
Go! Go! Go! Aww...
Comparison: Chris Johnson, the one who just can't quite get it done
That panning shot of the bridge never quite gets to the end, and by the time it does, you've seen so much failure that it seems like a hollow victory. I would say "Just like every Tommy Wiseau sex scene ever" here, but that would mean this movie has some level of depth and foreshadowing and I refuse to give it that much credit.
Chris Johnson, otherwise known as CJ2HahahaICan'tEvenCompleteThisNickname, is much the same way. For all of his amazing cuts and fabulous highlights, he's spent the past three years performing much less efficiently than the average NFL back. His NEP/rush has never been higher than -0.07 each of the past three years, which places him in the bottom third of NFL starting backs ever since his breakout season.
Yes, that 2009 year and his 0.09 NEP/rush were beautiful. But at what point does that magic no longer carry him into the first round? It seems to be this year - our fantasy draft kit has him as the No. 13 RB, and the consensus average draft position currently has him at No. 14 (with Steven Jackson leaping ahead).
An early-second round grade seems to be right, just in case the bridge finally does complete. Just don't be surprised if you end up cheering for nothing.