Fantasy Fantasy Football: The Experts’ Week 8 Picks

It’s time again for the most important weekly feature on the Internet: Fantasy Fantasy Football. Throughout the NFL season, we’ll be evaluating five fantasy football gurus as they tell us who to start and sit each week. Using a highly flawed method based loosely on mathematical principles, we’ll attempt to reveal the one true football prophet. (Here’s how it works: A pick counts in their favor if he ends up in the top half of the weekly scoring leaders. There are four categories — QBs, RBs, WRs, Defense/Special Teams — and points are awarded on a 5-1 scale in each.) The experts are:

1. Matthew Berry
2. Michael Fabiano
3. Mike Harmon*
4. Eric Mack*
5. Jamey Eisenberg

*As usual, we’ll be taking the first five picks only from Harmon and Mack to balance the numbers.

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

It turns out Matthew Berry has taken Week 8 off. He’ll return for Week 9, but clearly this would put him at a disadvantage in the scoring table. That being said, the solution is obvious and elegant: This is Berry’s bye week. In his absence, point totals will range from 4 to 1 in each category. And to balance the scoring, each expert will have his own bye week, in this order:

Week 9 — Eric Mack
Week 10 — Michael Fabiano
Week 11 — Jamey Eisenberg
Week 12 — Mike Harmon

Voila.

Weekly Results and Winners

Week 1 — (tie) Matthew Berry and Jamey Eisenberg
Week 2 — Eric Mack
Week 3 — Mike Harmon
Week 4 — Michael Fabiano
Week 5 — Eric Mack
Week 6 — Eric Mack
Week 7 — Eric Mack

Quarterbacks

4 points: Jamey Eisenberg

Yes: Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, Tim Tebow, Joe Flacco = 3/5
No: Matt Cassel, Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, Kevin Kolb, Curtis Painter = 3/5
Total: 6/10

3 points: Eric Mack

Yes: Matt Schaub, Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco = 3/5
No: Christian Ponder, Kevin Kolb, John Beck, Ryan Fitzpatrick = 2/4
Total: 5/9

2 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Matt Hasselbeck = 3/5
No: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Cassel, Kevin Kolb, Alex Smith, Christian Ponder = 2/5
Total: 5/10

1 point: Mike Harmon

Yes: Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Matt Hasselbeck = 2/5
No: Matthew Stafford, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Fitzpatrick = 1/3
Total: 3/8

Interlude 1: Fake Fantasy Advice You Should Not Heed

For Week 9, sit the Wilson brand as your starting NFL game ball. The league has been riding Wilson for months on end, and my gut tells me Spalding is due for a big week.

Running Backs

4 points: Eric Mack

Yes: Mark Ingram, Steven Jackson, Daniel Thomas, Ahmad Bradshaw, Delone Carter = 1/5
No: Ben Tate, DeAngelo Williams, Brandon Jacobs, Alfonso Smith, Maurice Morris = 4/5
Total: 5/10

2.5 points: Mike Harmon

Yes: Ahmad Bradshaw, Chris Johnson, DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles, BenJarvus Green-Ellis = 0/5
No: Rashard Mendenhall, Peyton Hillis, Alfonso Smith, Bernard Scott = 4/4
Total: 4/9

2.5 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, Chris Johnson, Reggie Bush = 1/4
No: Knowshon Moreno, DeAngelo Williams, Jackie Battle, Maurice Morris, Alfonso Smith = 3/5
Total: 4/9

1 point: Jamey Eisenberg

Yes: Pierre Thomas, Jackie Battle, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ryan Torain, Jonathan Stewart = 1/5
No: Marshawn Lynch, DeAngelo Williams, Reggie Bush, Maurice Morris, Brandon Jacobs = 3/5
Total: 4/10

Interlude 2: Nostradamus Quote that sounds like a Fantasy Fantasy Football Prediction

From here:

The child of a monk and nun exposed to death,
To die through a she-bear, and carried off by a boar,
The army will be camped by Foix and Pamiers,
Against Toulouse Carcassonne the harbinger to form.

This might not make sense at first glance, until you realize that Eisenberg’s nickname in high school was “The Harbinger.” Eerie. (Weirdly enough, Berry’s nickname was “She-Bear.”)

Receivers

4 points: Mike Harmon

Yes: A.J. Green, Mario Manningham, Brandon Lloyd, Nate Washington, Brandon Marshall = 4/5
No: Reggie Wayne, Sidney Rice, Miles Austin, Kevin Walter = 3/4
Total: 7/9

2.5 points: Jamey Eisenberg

Yes: DeMaryius Thomas, Deion Branch, Nate Washington, Brandon Lloyd, Antonio Brown = 3/5
No: Percy Harvin, Reggie Wayne, David Nelson, Nate Burleson, Michael Crabtree = 3/5
Total: 6/10

2.5 points: Eric Mack

Yes: Brandon Lloyd, Michael Jenkins, Brandon Marshall, Hakeem Nicks, Anquan Boldin = 2/5
No: Robert Meachem, Jason Hill, Brandon LaFell, Eric Decker, Deion Branch = 4/5
Total: 6/10

1 point: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Marques Colston, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green, Anquan Boldin, Nate Washington = 3/5
No: Reggie Wayne, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Michael Crabtree, Eric Decker = 1/5
Total: 4/10

Interlude 3: Fantasy Fantasy Football Fantasy of the Week

This Week: The Italian Job

Mike Harmon and I are just trying to enjoy a simple European vacation when we find ourselves in the midst of an international terrorist incident. Without warning, while we’re hanging out at the Sistine Chapel trying to dig the whole painting scene, a group of masked men storm the nave and order us to the ground. Turns out, this is an extremist group called L’Ardenza Della Plata (“The Silver Faith”), and their goal is to rid the world of American football. At first we think we’re just random targets, but then it turns out the terrorists are there for us! They plan to systematically root out all NFL enthusiasts. Thinking quickly, Harmon and I challenge them to a game of football. They assume we mean soccer and immediately agree. The catch is, the loser will have to give up their cause forever. As the arrogant Italian terrorists prepare for the kickoff, I notice that they’ve all dropped their guns. The game begins, and it quickly devolves into an argument about rules after Harmon catches a pass with his hands and tries to run for the goal. While they’re arguing, I quietly slip out of the chapel to the freedom of the city streets. I think about alerting the Carabinieri, but it’s getting pretty late and I’m super tired.

Defense/Special Teams

4 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Giants, Texans, Saints = 3/3
No: Vikings, Redskins, Chiefs = 3/3
Total: 6/6

3 points: Jamey Eisenberg

Yes: Giants = 1/1
No: Steelers = 1/1
Total: 2/2

2 points: Eric Mack

Yes: Saints, Texans, Panthers = 2/3
No: Vikings, Patriots, Cowboys = 3/3
Total: 5/6

1 points: Mike Harmon

Yes: Saints, Titans, Texans = 1/3
No: Steelers, Eagles = 1/2
Total: 4/5

The Results

After another nailbiter week, Eric Mack does the unthinkable and wins his fourth straight week. Everything this man touches turns to gold; every step he takes is a new world record.

1. Mack — 11.5 points
2. Eisenberg — 10.5 points
3. Fabiano — 9.5 points
4. Harmon — 8.5 points

Overall Standings

As the top half of the board breaks the 100-point barrier, it’s Eric Mack extending his lead, little by little, as he marches toward the no. 1 seed for the playoffs.

1. Mack* — 110
2. Fabiano* — 102
3. Harmon* — 87
4. Eisenberg* — 86
5. Berry — 74.5

*Have yet to sit out their one bye week.

See you in Week 9, when we’ll have a new weekly winner as Eric Mack is forced to watch from the sidelines on a bye.

Previously By Shane Ryan:
About Last Night: If The Glove Fits …
About Last Night: Cry Me a Rivers
Video: The 2011 MLB Season In Review
Gordon’s Left Foot: Stanford Survives
The Silver Paradox, or Why Rangers Fans Should Take Heart


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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere