2020 Weekly Previews

Week 13 Previews

Another old standby sponsor -- CliffsNotes. If you're like, "hey, he did this last year!" and are expecting refunds in the alley, you're out of luck. There are some great dramatic (and possibly comedic) tales told about this week's games, but I'm just going to summarize the plot points. There are playoff implications in at least three games. Three teams are eliminated, so that it means one of the remaining live teams will be eliminated -- and three of them have the same record, in the 7th, 8th, and 9th spots.

JoeMorrisBavaros (6-6) vs teen stars (8-4) -- The week 2 match-up was as exciting as reading a cookbook when the teen stars won 82-73. Now the sequel has the potential to be a great American novel about an underdog fighting back from the precipice of despair to triumph over the mighty forces aligned against them. And maybe even shock the world! The JmBs stayed alive with a thunderous win last week that not only got them the win they needed, but also a bunch of points. They trail the other two 6-6 teams by only 12 and 14 points, respectively. So they could make the playoffs even with a loss, as long as at least one of the other two teams lose and the JmBs score more points than them. The teen stars have clinched a playoff spot and really only in a spoiler role. JmBs by 2.

NBTU (2-10) vs Cougars (6-6) -- The Cougs seemed safe for the playoffs a couple of weeks ago -- really only needing one win in their 3 last games. After losing 2 straight, they now head to a climactic conclusion that seems engineered for the end of a Harry Potter novel. The protagonist of this tale will be the flawed hero, Matt Ryan, and he will be aided by a character we all thought was killed off a long time ago, Dez Bryant. Could it be a triumphant return? The antagonist -- the pitiless Patrick Mahomes -- stands in the way. He has nothing left to lose and is solely motivated to feast on playoff dreams. Cougs by 3.

Valyrian Steelers (6-6) vs The F*** Buddy Ryans (7-5) -- The last of the games with a 6-6 team may hold a special twist. Like the other two, a win is great, but points may even be more important. So there is that path, if at least two of the 6-6 teams lose. But there is also this: if all three 6-6 teams win, they could all get in! The FBRs actually have fewer points than the 6-6 teams (about 9 behind the JmBs). So if they lose here, they could be the odd team out. The FBRs are hobbling toward the finish line like Roy Hobbs grabbing his bloody side in the triumphant home run scene in The Natural movie. But there is potential here that the FBRs don't knock the lights out, but rather end like the original novel where Roy strikes out. There is also a nice use of irony in this one -- Big Ben would likely be the reason the FBRs win, but the Valyrians will actually be pulling for him as the Steelers try to continue their undefeated season. FBRs by 5.

1227s (10-2) vs Ladybirds (7-5) -- The 1227s are the regular season champions. Hail hail! There's not much of interest in this game since the Birds won last week and have enough points to essentially lock them into a playoff spot. The Birds actually won in week 2. So I guess there might be an interesting sequel here, but it's more just like going ahead to the next letter in your set of encyclopedias. However, if that volume happens to be "P" and you read about Prehistoric Eras, you will learn that Frank Gore began as an aquatic creature in the Pliocene epoch and has gradually evovled to be able to run (very slowly) on land. 1227s by 4.

Wisey's Bums (7-5) vs Metrosexuals (7-5) -- These two teams could technically miss the playoffs, but the Metros have so many points it would take such an absurd scenario that Rudy Giuliani and Kurt Vonnegut would have to somehow be involved -- together -- and it's just not going to happen. The Bums, on the other hand, have a point total that could potentially be problematic if the three 6-6 teams win and the Bums score like 30 points. It's not impossible when you realize the Bums are starting the same QB that got them -2.6 points last week. In the heat of the moment, the Bums issued a lifetime ban to Derek Carr last week, only to then find out that his lifetime ban had been preemptively pardoned by Trump. Metros by 3.

The Haboobs (2-10) vs PlazaPlayas (4-8) -- Back in week 2, The Haboobs won a real page-turner 124.50-123.08. It was like JD Salinger coming out of the gate with The Catcher in the Rye. Unfortunately, this second round is likely going to be a bit more like Crazy From the Heat by David Lee Roth -- it's a good thing that there are pictures, because there was no editor. The only thing of importance in this game is whether the Haboobs can get to 1,000 points for the season (sort of how Diamond Dave was hoping to get to 1,000 words). They only need 41 points to get there. Plazas by 2.


Week 12 Previews

We have a lot to pack into this week's previews -- rematches of Week 1 games, playoff implications, Covid issues, and Thanksgiving-themed cliches. It sounds disgusting but I'm sure the end result will be magical. Just like stuffing a chicken inside a duck and stuffing that inside a turkey and cooking it. Well, actually, both will probably just be disgusting. Happy Thanksgiving!

JoeMorrisBavaros (5-6) vs Metrosexuals (7-4) -- Things looked so promising for the JmBs when they won in week 1, 104-94. Lamar Jackson was going to be the best QB in the league after scoring 27 points. JuJu was going to be the best WR after 18 points. Unfortunately, this was the high watermark for the JmBs and these two players. Now it looks like the JmBs need to win both of their remaining games to have a shot at the playoffs, due to their low point total. The Metros are practically locked for the playoffs, but aren't taking the foot off the gas as Deshaun Watson feasted on the fatted Matt Patricia on Thanksgiving to the tune of 35 points. Metros by 5.

teen stars (7-4) vs Cougars (6-5) -- Week 1 started out a bit bland for both teams and the teen stars won 88-84. But this game is seasoned with playoff implications. The Cougs should be good for the playoffs, but probably need to win one of their last two to be sure. The Cougs play the NBTUs next week which is certainly the easiest path, but the NBTUs have scored almost as many points as the Cougs this season. If the teen stars win, then they're in. But if they lose this game, there's a potential playoff-determing game against the JmBs next week -- although that requires the JmBs winning this week. But the point totals are close enough that we could have a very intriguing story next week. teen stars by 2.

The Haboobs (2-9) vs NBTU (1-10) -- Ahh yes, the kids' table. NBTUs won in week 1, 103-83, and not since. This is probably the NBTUs last shot to win #2. They won only 1 game during their first season in 2003. The only other team to have a 1-win season was the 2012 Birds (I know what you're thinking. But it only SEEMS like the JmBs had several 1-win seasons). The NBTUs asked me if the season was over. Yes, yes it is. What do the Haboobs have left to play for? Only 2 teams in the last 7 years haven't made it to 1,000 points, so it would be nice to avoid that club. They need 100.64 points. They have the Saints defense playing the QB-less Broncos, so that's good for 40. Haboobs by 3.

1227s (9-2) vs Valyrian Steelers (6-5) -- Week 1 was the recipe for the rest of the season for these two. 1227s romped to a 116-106 win, while the Valyrians scored a lot of points and lost. I'm ready to call the regular season title for the 1227s due to the Metros being the only challenger and a season point total lead of 79 points. However, we may need to recount the point totals 45 times to see if they're really ahead. Judging by the amount of Covid cases on the 1227s, it seems they may have already made their White House visit even though they haven't won the championship yet. The Valyrians' point total should make them a safe bet for the playoffs, but they probably shouldn't chance it by losing both games. They play the FBRs next week, which isn't a great spot. Valyrians by 1.

Wisey's Bums (7-4) vs Ladybirds (6-5) -- The Bums won a classic Kick-off Classic, 105-103. Is there a name for this annual rematch? The Re-Heated Classic? If you suggest some names, I'll pick a winner and as your reward, you'll get 50 direct, non-personalized texts from the Birds. I await your entries. The Bums are all but assured of going to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. And by starting Carson Wentz are demonstrating that they no longer care about the regular season. The Birds may need to win one more game to be safe, so winning here would be good. They play the 1227s next week, which is about as safe as eating turkey sushi. Birds by 4.

PlazaPlayas (3-8) vs The F*** Buddy Ryans (7-4) -- FBRs won 99-89 in week 1. We're still in November and the FBRs love winning in November (they're lukewarm on the December winning thing). They are in strong shape for the playoffs, but their point total is concerning and their roster looks like a MASH unit. They are in a similar spot to the teen stars, and play the Valyrians next week. If they lose this week and the Valyrians and JmBs win this week, things will get very interesting next week -- and 7-4 teams don't really like things being interesting at this stage of the season. The Plazas have still scored more points than over half of the other teams in the league, but they continue to lose. At this point, they only have pride left to play for and to try out kickers for next year. Playas by 3.


Week 11 Previews

You thought I forgot/ what goes five, seven and five?/ it is haiku week! Only three weeks left and already teams have clinched (1227s) and been eliminated (NBTUs) from playoff berths. But there is probably only one team left to miss the playoffs that doesn't know it yet -- but there are realistically six teams that are 5-5 or 6-4 that are in danger of being that one team. By the bye, I'm surprised there is not a social media platform where you may only post in haikus. Yet. I'm just going to be taking these, um, programming classes while you read the previews.

Valyrian Steelers (5-5) vs Wisey's Bums (7-3) -- Brees is all busted/ Steelers fighting for their lives/ Cousins and Wentz: yuck. Valyrians by 4.

Metrosexuals (6-4) vs Cougars (6-4) -- Both sneaky good teams/ Winner clinches playoff spot/ Metros have fast start. Metros by 4.

The Haboobs (2-8) vs The F*** Buddy Ryans (6-4) -- Dak doomed Haboobs/ Prof: barrel-bottom RBs/ Then find new barrel. FBRs by 4.

1227 (8-2) vs PlazaPlayas (3-7) -- Like '07 champs/ putting up one-ten per game/ Playas planning guac. 1227s by 10.

JoeMorrisBavaros (5-5) vs Ladybyrds (5-5) -- Both in disarray / Playoff spot could be on line/ Where is Chet Johnson? Birds by 3.

NBTU (1-9) vs teen stars (6-4) -- Point totals are same/ Must be Tom's magic water/ or curse of Olsen's ghost. NBTUs by 2


Week 10 Previews

I was going to switch it up this year and get Tik Tok and all its stolen state secrets to sponsor the Previews. However, I heard from my ten year old that Tik Tok is no longer cool with the 8-14 year old crowd, so it probably won't be around much longer -- the only thing keeping it around is its attention from a certain 74 year old orange man. So we will just go with our usual social media sponsor and their 280 character limit.

Valyrian Steelers (4-5) vs JoeMorrisBavaros (5-4) -- The in-law battle! These teams are essentially the same. The JmBs have a couple of more wins because they’ve had less points scored against them. The JmBs had a bit of an embarrassing 26 point loss to the Plazas last week, but oddly tweeted out "I WON THE GAME, BY A LOT" on Wed. #DukeJohnsonisstillintheLeague?! #tooclosetocall #JmBs by 1.

Metrosexuals (6-3) vs teen stars (5-4) -- The Metros are suddenly the hottest team in the league. The teen stars are mechanically turning in the solid performance they always do. They jumped out to a big early lead on Thursday night, but the Metros are deploying their secret weapon -- no Patriots in the starting line-up! #Metros:HelpWantedinRBdept #countingonTB12for+pointsthisweek #teen stars by 2.

NBTU (1-8) vs The F*** Buddy Ryans (5-4) -- The FBRs have had a tough time of it recently. They used to be this colossus earlier in the season, but have fallen into the pudgy middle of the league. What better way to get back on track than to play the NBTUs? They’ve lost 8 in a row and now have Mahomes on bye. #Factoid:NBUTs havemorepointsthanFBRs #FBRs<3sQsandIRs #FBRs by 10.

1227 (7-2) vs The Haboobs (2-7) -- The 1227s going to the playoffs is a foregone conclusion. The only interesting thing still to watch is whether they will become the first team to 100 100-point games this season or next season? The Haboobs franchise suffered its first ever disgrace of losing to the Bums. There won't be many more of those. #95down5togo #upsetwatch #1227s by 5.

Cougars (5-4) vs Ladybirds (5-4) -- The Birds have gotten back on track. Their outcomes are contingent on whether Rodgers scores 30 points or not. And how many Pats players they use. The Cougs slipped up last week, but are still on track for the playoffs. QB controversy continues. #BattleofBest5-4teams! #feelokaystoryoftheleague #Cougs by 3.

PlazaPlayas (3-6) vs Wisey's Bums (6-3) -- The Bums have not been playing well recently, but have been able to win enough to be in solid playoff position. But this week, they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with their RBs. It’s a real Who’s Who of Who’s That? The Plazas won last week to keep their playoff hopes alive. A lot of points, but still need the wins.#isthatanNFLplayerormyaccountant? #MoPointsMoProblems #Plazas by 3.



Week 9 Previews

Yahoo has apparently fully whored itself out to sports betting as their site and app are under a relentless barrage of ads to bet on games. It seems Nevada believes it has us all at its mercy these days. This week there are some potential crazy bets that could be made on our games and it's only a matter of time before Yahoo creates a commissioner's tool to open my own sports book for prop bets on BRAS League games.

PlazaPlayas (2-6) vs JoeMorrisBavaros (5-3) -- Inexplicably, the Plazas have scored more points than 75% of the league, but are in 10th place. Who would have bet that could happen? They can probably afford to lose one more and still make the playoffs due to their hefty point total. The Plazas only win when they score at least 123.20 points -- not less. Not 123.08 -- that was was a loss. So that's a pretty high bar. The JmBs prefer to beat teams that score in the 57-77 point range. It is unclear whether the Plazas will cooperate with this. I'm giving 2:1 odds the JmBs make a claim about "shocking the world" at some time before the game ends. Plazas by 3.

Metrosexuals (5-3) vs NBTU (1-7) -- The Metros have the best winning streak in the league at 4 games. It's amazing what scrapping Patriots players do for the old W column. The NBTUs have the best losing streak in the league at 7 games. The NBTUs have a bench that looks like it's built solely for a round of "Still in the NFL or Not in the NFL?" Mahomes has not been able to get it done all by his onesie. If the NBTUs don't win by say, 50 points, it may be time to fold 'em. Odds are that the Metros will not start another Patriot for the rest of the year. Because winning is fun. Metros by 6.

1227 (6-2) vs The F*** Buddy Ryans (5-3) -- Both of these teams know better than to count your money while you're sitting at the table, but this could be a Buddy Bowl preview. They were #1 and #2 a couple weeks ago but the FBRs have slipped and are now at the bottom of the 5-3 horde. The 1227s are cruising, and have been since week 2 of last year -- they are 17-5 during that stretch. But one of those losses did come at the hands of the Prof. The real story of this game will be whether Big Ben can rack up more points against the Cowboys defense than the Pittsburgh defense can score against the Cowboys. The over/under for the combined points from those two positions against the ghastly Cowboys is orbiting in the 60-70 range. 1227s by 3.

Wisey's Bums (5-3) vs The Haboobs (2-6) -- The Bums got off to such a good start this year when they had no players beginning the year on IR or suspension. Just playing normal players really worked great! Now the shenanigans with Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell are predictably sending the Bums to their natural habitat at the bottom of the league. Just give it a couple more weeks. There's good news and bad news for The Haboobs. The bad news is that their season has sputtered like a haboob on the horizon that threatens but never arrives. The good news is that the playoffs have started for the Haboobs! Basically every game is now a playoff game, because one more loss will make them 100-1 longshots to make it to the Buddy Bowl. Haboobs by 3.

Cougars (5-3) vs Valyrian Steelers (3-5) -- The Cougs have very slyly moved into third place with a three-game winning streak. They have done pretty well managing their roulette table of a QB situation. The Valyrians are trying to bounce back from last week's debacle where their defense and kicker accounted for over half their points -- which is never going to be a good sign. The Valyrians have 60% of their starting roster invested in Steelers and Raiders players. For a taste of your whiskey, I'll give you some advice: it is better to load up on players from teams that win games and score points (which is important for the playing of fantasy football), than to load up on teams that can't score TDs. So the Valyrians are in good shape here. Cougs by 1.

Ladybirds (4-4) vs teen stars (5-3) -- The Birds have stripped the starting line-up of Patriots but they just can't kick the habit with their bench. There is a bench player named Byrd on the Patriots, whom I can only assume has been retained because of his name. Could a Lynyrd Skynyrd-style name change to Ladybyrds be in the offing? And the Birds fan(s) would be yelling "Free Byrd!" in hopes that the team picks up somebody playable for the bench? The teen stars have won three straight, which coincides with Tompa Brady heating up. Giving 1-50 odds that the Byrds say something about "feel-good story of the league" before this time next week, if they win. If they lose, 1-50 odds we won't hear anything as they are starin' out the window at the darkness on a train bound to nowhere. Birds by 2.


Week 8 Previews

Happy Halloween! It's the season for candies, skeletons, costumes, and Christmas decorations in stores. We have passed the halfway point of the regular season and some teams have good reason to be afraid, while others are running for their lives to the playoffs like that farmhouse in the distance... if they can just get there... without tripping.

1227s (5-2) vs NBTU (1-6) -- The 1227s remain in first place despite a 1-point loss to the Bums last week. The NBTUs have turned into the disappearing woman after winning in week 1 -- they've lost six straight. The 1227s are waiting for the real Evan Engram to show up, rather than Kellen Winslow Jr wearing an Engram mask. Speaking of TEs, that old guy the NBTUs has spraying the locker room with disinfectant and drinking Ensure for lunch looks like Greg Olsen. Yeah, looks like. This a battle of first versus last. If the NBTUs win this game it will be like a Hitchcokian twist. Maybe we should have all suspected Darrius SLAYton or Robbie Ghoul as the killer all along! 1227s by 5.

The Haboobs (2-5) vs JoeMorrisBavaros (4-3) -- The JmBs had a cakewalk in the Thrillage last week, so they are well rested up to face the Haboobs, who are losing QBs faster than a Friday the 13th loses teenagers. They now turn to Joe Burrow. In general the Haboobs have been devasted by injuries and Yahoo is favoring the JmBs by 20 points. Now, Yahoo is just about as useful in predicting outcomes as FiveThirtyEight is at presidential elections, but this certainly an extreme advantage from the processors in Yahoo's Apple IIe. JmBs by 7.

Cougars (4-3) vs PlazaPlayas (2-5) -- The Cougs and Plazas are headed in different directions. The Cougs have won two straight while the Plazas have lost three in a row. This week looks like a reversal though. The Cougs are dealing with a QB controversy that is about as debatable as whether Gremlins should be watched at Christmas or Halloween. It likely won't end this week after Matty Ice was started on Thursday night and gave out the trick-or-treating equivalent of a pineapple Dum-Dum. The Playas have been scoring a lot of points, but haven't been able to win. Another loss here and it may be time to trade Russell Wilson for a better kicker. Plazas by 3.

Ladybirds (4-3) vs Metrosexuals (4-3) -- The Birds bounced back last week after their epic disaster two weeks ago, and the Metros won the good Jumbone last week. Now we are treated to showdown between two teams that suddenly are in the position to transform under the full moon into a playoff team. Was it a deal with the devil? A witch's brew? Nope. Something even more supernatural. Neither team is starting any Patriots! Amazing how that works. Birds by 2.

Valyrian Steelers (3-4) vs teen stars (4-3) -- The teen stars had been the lowest scoring team for the first quarter of the season, but are now looking a bit dangerous. Not dangerous like a werewolf, but maybe more like just like a regular wolf. The Valyrians of 2019, the team that nobody could score against, are long gone. Even with the Birds only scoring a few dozen points against them two weeks ago (yes, I will continue to reference that awesome debacle throughout the rest of the season), teams are lighting up the Valyrians. But the teen stars had three players put on a horror show on Thursday night, so this looks like a defensive battle. Valyrians by 2.

Wisey's Bums (5-2) vs The F*** Buddy Ryans (4-3) -- The Bums and FBRs had some epic clashes back in 2016 -- which looks very similar to 2020. We might be on track for a repeat of 2016 this week, and the FBRs will likely beat the Bums a couple of times and go on to win the whole thing. And I'm sure similarities will end there. The Bums have started to embrace their evil side, picking up Antonio Brown and starting LeVeon Bell, who has some Freddy Krueger-level revenge on his mind. The FBRs are starting a mummy at QB. Oh wait, no that's just Big Ben. FBRs by 4.


Week 7 Previews

We are just crossing the half-way mark for the regular season and are still trying to sort out of the goodness from the badness. Now is when we start to separate the sheeps from the goats, the wheat from the chaff, and the Raising Arizonas from the Baby Geniuses. As is annual tradition, Rotten Tomatoes has sponsored me to sort out the quality of these games, since records don't always tell the whole story.


1227 (5-1) vs Wisey's Bums (4-2) -- This has the storyline of the Rocky sequels. The 1227s won a title last year and start out the sequel still on top of the world. They have spent nearly all of this year in first place, have a 4-game winning streak, drive real fast to Survivor songs, and buy beer-serving robots. The Bums are the confident upstart challenger. They were winless at this point last year, but now actually look like they can punch their weight. For once. And that's not the ghost of Burgess Meredith - that's Drew Brees. Even if it looks like the 1227s are getting beaten up early in this one, we know how it will end. 1227s by 3.

PlazaPlayas (2-4) vs teen stars (3-3) -- The records don't reflect it, but these two have been on a collision course and this is like a Perfect Storm. The Plazas are the highest scoring team in the league, but inexplicably have a worse record than the teen stars, who have scored the second lowest number of points. The Plazas average 110 pts/game and the teen stars average 87. The Plazas had to use a back-up kicker due to a bye week, and he only scored 3 points on Thursday night. The horror. I can only imagine the Mel Gibson-style blacklisting that he is going to get from the Plazas. The teen stars rely heavily on CGI to make it look like Tom Brady is still good. Plazas by 2.


The F*** Buddy Ryans (4-2) vs JoeMorrisBavaros (3-3) -- The Thrillage in the Village! There are now almost nearly as many sequels to this as there are to the Fast and Furious franchise. Neither GM is in the Village anymore, and particularly not at this time as one is up in the moutains at Chalet JmB while the other is either on the planet of Brooklyn or someplace other Democrat stronghold. Last year the teams split the two Thrillages. Big Ben is increasingly beginning to look and perform like Marlon Brando in Island of Dr Moreau. If you don't know what this means, it doesn't mean good things. Daniel Jones is on track for starring in The Waterboy 2 in about 2023. FBRs by 2.

Cougars (3-3) vs The Haboobs (2-4) -- After The Haboobs scored 100 points in week 3, plotting their subsequent scores on a graph looks like the career of M. Night Shyamalan after Signs (oh you thought I was going to say Sixth Sense? Nope, wrong.). Cougs are coming off a win in which they started Stafford over Ryan, only to have him score 1/3 of the points that Matty Ice did. But he led the Cougs to a win, so it will be interesting to see who starts this week -- as of now it's Stafford. It's like picking the actor for the next James Bond movie. The Haboobs have also have a QB controversy. They could start the Red Rifle again, or Jimmy G. Or get Manshrew Jr, or Burrow, or Mayfield. Or get Dave Krieg or Vinny Testaverde out of retirement. All are just about the same. It's like trying to pick out on Liam Neeson movie from the next. Haboobs by 1.

Metrosexuals (3-3) vs Valyrian Steelers (3-3) -- Both franchises have had more high points than low points over their histories, but both have found Buddy Bowl rings as elusive as Oscar awards are to Wes Anderson. However, the Valyrians are still only a few years old. Both have won 2 straight. Both also have a Fatal Attraction to players from their real teams. As much as their respective Patriots or Steelers get hurt, they just keep adding new ones. Just when they thought they were out, they get pulled back in! This is not a good strategy for winning fantasy football games, but it does compound the drama. And the comedy, in the case of whoever loses. Valyrians by 3.


Ladybirds (3-3) vs NBTU (1-5) -- After last week, the Birds' story is about as feel-good as Million Dollar Baby. The Birds were hoping for a record last week. Instead of getting closer to the record for the 100-point games streak, they got really close to the record for fewest points in a game (finished with the 6th-least). Last year in week 7 I wrote that the Birds had more Pats players than wins. Last week, they had more Pats players than points from Pats players, amassing 0.70 between two players. So that's not a good situation. The NBTUs have lost five in a row, which is also not too good. But they are only averaging about 6 points less than the Birds per game, so this is shaping up to be closer than the records show. But unless you're a glutton for punishment, you can probably turn your attention elsewhere until one of these team wins a couple of games in a row. Birds by 3.

Week 6 Previews

Remember a time before the league had a best-in-class website and the Previews were posted on Yahoo? Well, that time is back! Lower quality graphics. Lower quality writing. You're welcome.

Wisey’s Bums (3-2) vs NBTU (1-4) -- The Bums have matched their win total from last year and have scored half as many points as they did all of last year. NBTUs have lost 4 straight, but still look strong on paper – particularly with Mahomes always lurking. If they get on track, they could make a run at the playoffs, but probably can’t afford to go to 1-5. The Bums look stronger than they have in recent years (which is not saying much), but having a RB position filled every week by the equivalent of James Mungro is not a winning formula. Bums by 3.

1227 (4-1) vs JoeMorrisBavaros (3-2) -- The champs have picked up where they left off. Perhaps they figure they will finally get their championship ring if they win another one. This is the new normal in the age of coronavirus. The JmBs have 3 wins which have come against teams with a combined 5-10 record. They are still looking for a marquee win. Nothing would say “marquee win” like beating the reigning champs who are in first place. So far Kyler Murray has far surpassed Lamar Jackson, so the JmBs will need that to change if they want to have a chance. 1227s by 2.

Cougars (2-3) vs The F*** Buddy Ryans (4-1) -- The FBRs have made a very quiet rise to 4-1. This may be Edwards-Helaire’s last chance to show he’s a starting RB before LeVeon Bell starts eating into his carries, so expect a big game. The Cougs are dealing with a QB controversy between Stafford and Matty Ice. Stafford is more consistent, but Ryan has a higher ceiling. The FBRs have no such dilemma. Big Ben has been great-grandfathered into the starting role. The Cougs are scoring over 100 points every other week, and this is a week due for 100 pts. FBRs by 2.

Ladybirds (3-2) vs Valyrian Steelers (2-3) -- The Birds have scored 100 points in every game this year. Is that a record? As Trump would say about something that could be factually proven, “Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Some people are saying it is. Some people are saying it isn’t.” But the Birds are the feel-good story of the League at 3-2. No other team has had byes or injuries to deal with. Or DUIs. The Valyrians got a much-needed win last week by barely edging out the NBTUs. If Cam Newton comes back from COVID feeling 20 years younger, like Trump did, then he should be playing like a QB in his late-prime, like the Chiefs edition of Joe Montana. Birds by 3.

The Haboobs (2-3) vs teen stars (2-3) -- teen stars are the lowest scoring team in the league, averaging just over 80 points a game. The teen stars are another team with a QB controversy – Tompa Brady vs Tannehill. Yahoo’s algorithms say to start Tannehill, and it is computed and so it shall be. The Haboobs got a rude awakening last week when beaten down by the Metros, and things don’t get easier this week. Dak is out, although luckily still bipedal, and the rest of the team is riddled with injuries and byes. They need Zach Ertz to score 15 points and Hopkins to score 30 in order to be competitive this week. Teen stars by 9.

Metrosexuals (2-3) vs PlazaPlayas (2-3) -- The amount of byes and injuries on these two teams is more dizzying than a late night at the Black Rose. It’s hard for them to imagine combining for more than 150 points. The Plazas had a letdown against the Birds last week (what could be worse?), but they remain the highest scoring team in the league. After the Metros scored 118 last week they look to be back on track, but they are back to their old ways of playing Patriots. Apparently, they hate points. Plazas by 2.


Week 5 Previews

If you have access to the internet or television or the AM radio, you likely know that Eddie Van Halen passed away this week. This week we honor one of the Commish's heroes by taking a look at the similarities between some Van Halen albums and the games.

Valyrian Steelers (1-3) vs. NBTU (1-3) -- Women and Children First. It is almost time for these teams to abandon ship. The NBTUs lost 3 straight, and the Valyrians 2. Both teams have hit the bottom of the barrel already this season in terms of scoring points (have you seen junior's grades?!) and have both had their magic turn tragic (as magic often does) when they posted 100-point games only to get crushed by the Plazas. EVH's playing on Romeo Delight on this album is an underappreciated gem. With Cam Newton out with the coronavirus, it seems the Valyrians may have found an underappreciated gem in Teddy Bridgewater. Valyrians by 4.

The F*** Buddy Ryans (3-1) vs. teen stars (2-2) -- 1984. This is the big one -- Jump, Panama, Hot for Teacher, etc. Most people see this as their best album, and most people also see the FBRs as the league's best team over the last decade. But this record never made it to #1 because of that one Michael Jackson album (on which EVH happened to play a guitar solo). If there is a Thriller to the FBRs' 1984, it would be the teen stars. The teen stars lead the series 1-5 going back to 2016, and beat the FBRs in the Final Four last season. In their two meetings, the teen stars averaged 144 points per game. You may want to write that down because it's pretty impressive. Did you bring your pencil? Do you need something to write on? (I know, that was a stretch). Both QBs in this game -- Tompa Brady and Big Ben -- remember this album when it first came out and screaming at the top of their lungs as it played, "Hey you kids, turn down that noise! I can't hear myself think! What down is it, again?" FBRs by 3.

The Haboobs (2-2) vs. Metrosexuals (1-3) -- 5150. This album, like The Haboobs, meant something new -- Sammy Hagar for the first time. But it did something neither of these teams has done yet -- hit #1. "5150" is basically the police code for somebody that is a danger to themselves and needs to be restrained. Both of these rosters are a danger to themselves this week, with bye weeks, injuries, open roster spots all creating havoc. EVH was an inventor in terms of how he changed the way tones were created -- whether creating the famous frankenstein guitar or the way he rewired electronics between the guitar and what you hear out of the amp. To deal with the roster issues between these two teams this week, they are going to take some scotch tape, chewing gum, and EVH's inventive spirit. Haboobs by 3.

PlazaPlayas (2-2) vs. Ladybirds (2-2) -- Fair Warning. This album is often overlooked, but it is incredible. You also shouldn't overlook these teams just because of their records -- they are the two highest scoring teams. I give you fair warning about all the texts you are going to receive tomorrow if the Birds are winning. And if they win, you are certainly going to Hear About it Later, especially because they are underdogs. The Plazas have come into the season blazing as hot as EVH's beginning to Unchained. Kind of like this record (from the cover art to the lyrics to the searing guitar), this game is going to be a knock-down drag out brawl. In true Birds-Plazas fashion, their will certainly be a high number of casualities amonst bottles of Merlot. The Plazas are averaging 119 points a game. The Birds are going to need to catch a break if they are going to have a chance. "One break, coming up!" Birds by 2.

1227 (3-1) vs. Cougars (2-2) -- Balance. This record is typically blamed for the break-up of the Sammy Hagar edition of the band, but EVH's songwriting showed that the band could continue to evolve. I have even heard that it is the favorite album of some people. In terms of balance, both teams both have three championship rings. The 1227s are hoping to be the first team that can say Take Me Back (deja vu) to a Buddy Bowl championship in consecutive seasons. The Cougs are feelin' a bit out of balance right now though, as the injuries, surprise byes, Tuesday games all pile up. Mixon's performance this season has been uneven as Humans Being (which came out right after Balance, in a little feature film called Twister). He was like EVH's insane playing on Humans Being when he scored 30 points last week, but prior to that had been more like Sammy's lyrics for that tune, averaging 3 points a game. 1227s by 6.

JoeMorrisBavaros (3-1) vs. Wisey's Bums (2-2) -- For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. This album -- along with the follow-on Right Here, Right Now live album -- cemented the band's place in pop culture. It's not glorious, but they'll be forever be associated with Crystal Pepsi, the same way the JmBs will be forever associated with Tatum Bell. The record starts off with EVH using a drill to create the opening of Poundcake, and the JmBs have started off the season with a similar rip-roaring, but intriguing opening. They're not really scoring many points, but they're winning. The question of whether the Titans (and JmB's #1 pick Derrick Henry) are going to play any given weekend is up for more debate than whether or not it's actually EVH's playing used in the "Edward Van Halen" tape sequence in Back to the Future (and the answer is that it is him). For the Bums, this season shown that the playoff dream is NOT over. Yet. Bums were on Top of the World after beating the Birds in week 1, but Right Now are just thinking about beating the JmBs. Bums by 2.


Week 4 Previews

Fantasy football is a game of skill, and success is the result of meticulous research, planning, and strategy (like how the Plazas pick kickers). It's not just like a spin on a slot machinge, nope. There is persistence in winning (see the FBRs, 1227s and Cougars) and losing (for the Bums, losing is a disease; for the JmBs, it's a way of life). But this week, with games getting postponed, players testing positive, and the crumbling technology of Yahoo, there is a real element of pure chance with how teams will perform. So for previews this week, will relate back to games of pure luck, which are very far removed from the typical fantasty football experience.

The F*** Buddy Ryans (2-1) vs. Metrosexuals (1-2) -- Jeopardy. I don't want to hear that this is a game of skill. It's total luck that they'll ask about topics the contestants know something about. If I was on there and the categories were Van Halen, Strange Brew, and BRAS League History, I'm guessing the other contestants would complain that they were very unlucky. The FBRs are like the Ken Jennings of winning against the Birds. After the beating last week, the streak enters its second decade. The Metros lost by 0.45 last week, and could have won last week if they just wouldn't have played one of their current and past Patriots. Dion Lewis and Edelman combined for 3.10 whole points. Bad luck? No -- even the previews have been bringing up this unhealthy obsession going back to last year. There must be a hotline for help; maybe 877-288-7287 (877-CUT-PATS). FBRs by 3.

The Haboobs (2-1) vs. Ladybirds (1-2) -- Video Poker (Double Bonus). It's chance, or is it? There might actually be strategy component, but it's impossible to say. The Birds seem like they're always getting trash TDs from players that you could never predict, such as Gordon's trash TD run at the end of the game on Thursday when the Jets players looked so uncoordintated that they couldn't have made it through a Double Dare obstacle course. But this is actually a skill of the Birds that they exhibit on a regular basis. The Haboobs looked very unlucky in week 1 one and then lucky in week 2, but after winning big last week, maybe there's a skill component there they've been hiding. Dak Prescott has turned in back-to-back four-of-kind weeks. Birds by 4.

1227 (2-1) vs. teen stars (2-1) -- Earl Weaver Baseball. Yes, the height of 1987 computing power is based on probabilities, so it's not totally only luck. But nonetheless, the randomness is surely apparent when the frequent Earl crock comes along where your players can't find the ball and Heinie Manush gets an inside-the-park homer for the computer. The teen stars essentially let the computer draft their team this year, and they have randomly won two games, despite scoring the fewest points in the league. They Earl-crocked their way to a win in week 2 when their kicker outscored the JmBs kicker by 10 points. They lost last week when they only got acceptable performances from as many players as there are colors in the Earl Weaver pallete - red, green, blue. All the probabilities showed the 1227s on the brink of losing last week, but Metros defense just kept losing points until the 1227s won. The probabilities in this one tilt to the 1227s, but who knows what crocks lie in store. 1227s by 2.

Valyrian Steelers (1-2) vs. PlazaPlayas (1-2) -- Press Your Luck. No whammies, stop! The Playas finally hit Big Bucks after two very unlucky weeks to start the season when they scored tons of points and couldn't win. The Valyrians are getting whammies nonstop. It all started with getting picked first in the season previews, which is the worst luck. There was the illegal add/drop allowed by Yahoo, and then there are the losses. The Michael Jackson whammy trotted out this week when Cam Newton tested positive for Covid (probably via Kraft?). Plazas by 8.

JoeMorrisBavaros (2-1) vs. NBTU (1-2) -- St. Bartholomew's Italian Festival 50/50 Raffle. Low stakes in this one. Both teams are currently projected to score 72 points, so at least they both have a 50/50 chance of winning. They are filled with players with surprise bye weeks and players that will be surprised by which day their teams play on (Mon? Tues? Week 12?). The raffle is a low tech affair involving paper, a barrel and 2,500 beers. Is there risk of an error? Sure. But the technology is years ahead of Yahoo. At this point Yahoo is already awarding zero points for being involved in the postponed Pats-Chiefs game -- not the projected points, but the actual points. So both teams are at the unpredicatable risk of the Yahoo Antikythera mechanism. For the first in the history of the previews, predicting a tie.

Wisey's Bums (2-1) vs. Cougars (1-2) -- Plinko. Every week seems like a random distribution of points across the line-ups for both of these teams. Matt Ryan is equally capable of hitting all the bumpers all way down to either 30 points or 8 points. The Bums couldn't have gotten any more lucky than when Jeff Wilson Jr dropped into 17 points last week. The odds of that same path are about the same as David Boston suiting up for the Bums this week and scoring a TD and a DUI. Drew Brees is looking like Bob Barker these days. The Cougs usually get a few good outcomes a week, but like Plinko, too many are just taking bad bounces -- Will Fuller and Anthony Miller score in double-digits or gets absolutely zero points. They caught a bad bounce this week as James Connor got a surprise bye. Joe Mixon has been like the Plinko chip that can't even get dropped properly so far and keeps bouncing off the board and annoying Drew Brees, I mean Bob Barker. Cougs by 3.


Week 3 Previews

I'm sad to report that I haven't watched the History Channel in a long time, but it's still around. You might have thought it became obsolete because we are living a daily history that is more bizarre and important than 95% of things on the channel (Counting Cars is still very relevant historical programming). Why would anyone watch the channel when the conspiracy theories being pushed in real life circumstances are more entertaining and scary than anything on the Curse of Oak Island, we have footage of aliens (potentially the ancient variety) over the ocean off San Diego, and we've finally found Hitler -- and he's living in the White House?! So they need some sponsorhip love after a year off. Also there are some interesting historical things going on in this very League of ours.

1227 (1-1) vs. Metrosexuals (1-1) --The 1227s have won four in a row and the Metros last win came during the Obama administration.The 1227s dropped a close game to the Birds last week, and history will tell why: the 1227s have too few Cards and too many Seahawks. Kyler Murray outscored the three Seahawks on the roster combined by six points. The Metros dodged a bullet against the Bums last week, but they have been afflicted by the great Patriots Plague of 2019-2025 where they (like the Birds) cannot stop rostering Patriots players -- past and present. 1227s by 5.

The Haboobs (1-1) vs. Valyrian Steelers (1-1) -- The Haboobs came out of the gate in their first game like a team that was just going to have fun being in the league and not worry about winning. Last week they came from behind on the Plazas to win an epic battle, 124.50-123.08. I guess the kidding around is pretty much over. The Valyrians are so flustered about facing the new team that they got implicated in an illegal add/drop during the week. They denied responsibility for the move saying, "I'm not saying it was aliens. But it was aliens." Valyrians by 2.

Ladybirds (1-1) vs. The F*** Buddy Ryans (1-1) -- In week 5 of the 2010 season, the FBRs were unsurprisingly let down by Mark Sanchez at QB, while the Birds got 24 points from Shaun Hill and 15 points from Terrell Owens en route to a 103-72 beatdown. This is the last time the Birds beat the FBRs. Since then the FBRs have won 10 games in a row, including Buddy Bowl XIV. It is the Birds' birthday on Sunday, so by my calculations using the Mayan calendar, he missed winning against the FBRs during his entire 40s. And it will also be the end of the world if they do win. But that's just one calendar's opinion. The QB match-up is A-Rod vs Big Ben. Ten years ago, both became great grandfathers for the first time. What a coincidence. FBRs again by 4.

NBTU (1-1) vs. PlazaPlayas (0-2) -- Factoid number uno: the Plazas haven't lost to the NBTUs since 2016. Factoid numero two: this is only one of two games not involving teams that are 1-1, since 10 of the 12 teams are 1-1. Factoid numero tres: this is the most Spanish ever used in a weekly preview. Factoid number four: probably most importantly, the Plazas are in last place, but have scored the most points in the league. It's only two games, but this is probably the first time this has happened in league history. The Plazas are out to a fast start after Thursday night, but scoring points hasn't been their problem. Maybe it's a curse that needs to be broken. That they used the Holy Grail as a bowl to serve guacamole at a party this summer may be a contributing factor to some bad karma. Plazas by 3.

JoeMorrisBavaros (1-1) vs. Cougars (1-1) -- The Cougs have won the last three meetings, going back to 2017. The JmBs . The Cougs unholy triumvirate of RBs are rounding into shape after last week -- if Mixon can get on track, the Cougs will be fully operational. The JmBs best player last week was a Bears RB. The last Bears RB to lead a fantasy team in points was Walter Payton on George HW Bush's fantasy team, The Garbage Pale Kids. The JmBs can't count on that every week. Or ever again. Cougs by 2.

Wisey's Bums (1-1) vs. teen stars (2-0) -- Since the Playas have no wins and the most points, it only makes sense that the teen stars are undefeated and have the fewest points. How is that even possible? Does the magic of Tompa Brady's miracle anti-concussion water know no bounds? The teen stars have won three meetings in a row, but the Bums did win in 2017. Given the state of the Bums franchise over the last decade, I'd say that's a fairly embarassingly disappointment for the teen stars. The Bums are starting somebody named Jeff Wilson at RB. The only reason he's known to anyone is because he was featured on Pawn Stars trying to sell himself to the store, but Chum called him a cheap knock-off of an actual NFL running-back. teen stars by 2.


Week 2 Previews

Many people stop me on the street and ask how I come up with previews. Well, I tell them, that step one is coming up with a theme based on something that's been in the news or that I have special affinity for, or that I've recycled dozens of times before. For step two, I then think about how I can use this theme to insult the Birds. If I can successfully get that far, the rest takes care of itself. This week, let's throw a sponsorship bone to Lord & Taylor and the other department stores pushed to the brink of survival. The next generation will likely not have the joy of riding multiple escalators to buy a new bathing suit.

1227 (1-0) vs. Ladybirds (0-1) -- The 1227s cruised to 115 points in week 1 and got the Jumbone. And they did it without much of anything from George Kittle. That's like a 1985 Montgomery Wards being succesful in a mall that wasn't anchored by an Orange Julius. The Birds lost the Kick-off Classic by only a couple of points. Patriots players (current and former) are the inexplicable Achilles heel of the recent Birds. It's like the Trump fashion line at Macy's. Both the Birds and Macy's are sorta coontributing to their own demise, but just can't turn down the hideousness and the sound of the master's voice (whether it's a master in orange make-up or in a short-sleeve hoody). Now you can only buy Trump Steaks at Sharper Image and can only buy Gronk on the Tompa Bay Buccaneers. 1227s by 4.

The F*** Buddy Ryans (1-0) vs. Valyrian Steelers (0-1) -- Most department stores thrive on consistent quality, and that was basically the FBRs playbook last week. Nothing crazy, just nice performances and a couple of bargains -- such as Mark Andrews and David Johnson. Big Ben is proving to be like JC Penney -- impossible to put out of business. Hanging on to play another week will be a success in itself. The Valyrians ran into the 1227s buzzsaw last week. Michael Thomas got hurt and might have been able to put them over the top. He's out again this week and Kareem Hunt and his 18 points were left on the bench Thursday night. And now they get to root against Big Ben scoring points, while rooting for the Steelers. Sounds like a fun week. FBRs by 8.

NBTU (1-0) vs. Cougars (0-1) -- The NBTUs got a surprise boost from somebody named Slayton last week. Greg Olsen is on their bench and is much more well known. But you may not know that our sponsor was once called Lord, Olsen & Taylor, when Greg co-founded the store in 1826 before leaving the partnership to embark on to his football career. The Cougs had a few double-digit performances, but just couldn't get anything from their higher-margin items. That strong line-up of RBs were a real disappointment and fell apart -- like buying those 300 thread-count sheets at Kohl's and then getting home to realize you missed the tiny decimal and they're acutally 30.0 thread-count sheets. NBTUs by 2.

JoeMorrisBavaros (1-0) vs. teen stars (1-0) -- The teen stars prevailed last week despite all their injuries. It was about as inefficient a performance as having a 3-1 ratio of employees to customers in the men's department, but they still got the job done. The JmBs were actually as good in week 1 as Mr. JmB thought they were. For once. The RBs were weak, but this is a passing league! This one is going to come down to QBs. Lamar Jackson vs Tom Brady. It's kind of like Amazon vs Macy's. Tompa Brady is about as mobile as a department store building. JmBs by 3.

Haboobs (0-1) vs. PlazaPlayas (0-1) -- The Haboobs are like a new business moving into a very large space vacated by a formidable department store. Unfortunately in week 1, they were like a Halloween store trying to fill the opening. Not quite enough there at this point and the talent was disguised in week 1 (fake blood... or is it?). And it was tough first week facing a high-scoring NBTUs team. For the Plazas, Russell Wilson was as good for business as a gourmet guacamole bar in a California Dillards. He accounted for a third of the team's points, but unfortunately he didn't score 40 points at that rate. The Plazas jumped out to an early lead on Thursday and the Haboobs didn't get much from AJ Green, who is beginning to look like a Lord & Taylor -- the end may be near, sadly. Haboobs by 1.

Metrosexuals (0-1) vs. Wisey's Bums (1-0) -- Last week, the Bums had their first 100 point game in over a year. About three years ago, the Bums had more 100-point games than any team in BRAS League history. Now they are buried deep down the list. How the mighty have fallen. Getting another one this week is as unlikely as a new Sears location opening up -- the match-ups are horrendous and the best WR is hurt. The Metros played well last week, but were just undone by inferior play from their QB and kicker. If the Metros can't win this game, it may be time for their season to have a Going Out of Business sale. Metros by 2.

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Week 1 Previews


And so it begins. This is the 19th edition of the League. We lost a founding team when the LOTs retired, but gained an exciting new team in the Haboobs. In a world of things that are not normal, it is good to see that we can maintain some traditions, such as weekly previews that are redundant, hastily-produced, and filled with typos because this software has no spell chek. Good luck to everyone, and may you please take it easy on the poor, gentle Bums this year.

Wisey’s Bums vs. Ladybirds -- Kick-off Classic! It is the annual tradition. The Birds are working on a one-year streak after beating the Bums last year in the Kick-off Classic. However, they lost the second meeting last year and likely missed the playoffs because of it. Cause of playoff death: too many Patriots. The Birds are already up to their usual tricks by scoring a trash TD on Thursday night since Andy Reid must have bet the over. The combined career stats of these two QBs (A Rod and Brees) is astronomical, as they have both been playing in the NFL since single-bar facemasks were in style. Birds by 4.

The F*** Buddy Ryans vs. PlazaPlayas -- The Plazas won their meeting last year and are working on a five-game regular season winning streak that started with that win.After the Thursday night game, the FBRs are who we thought they were. Well, maybe not David Johnson, since he was a bit of a surprise, particulary after the Commish mocked the FBRs for drafting him. But they are going to strong this year. But the Playas are going to push them in this game. The Plazas kicker is projected to get their 3rd-highest amount of points. Sounds about right. But the Plazas are only carrying one kicker. What if he gets hurt? Doesn't it make sense to add some depth there? Maybe 3? FBRs by 1.

teen stars vs. Cougars -- The.teen stars won a by a little more than two points in their only match-up last year. The teen stars are fresh off a Buddy Bowl appearance, but the autodrafter did them no favors -- unless Tompa Brady comes out playing like he's 50 years younger. The Cougs are featuring a bunch of hyped new fantasy stars (AJ Brown, Mixon, Anthony Miller, Connor), so it will be interesting to see if they are more like Christian McCaffrey or more like Tatum Bell. Who am I kidding, no one could be like Tatum Bell. Cougs by 4.

JoeMorrisBavaros vs. Metrosexuals -- The Metros won their one meeting last year. The JmBs should win this game, but are already off to a poor start after Thursday. But the Metros poor start began on draft day, so they have a head start. The Metros are invested in Chargers, Colts and Patriots, which are basically the new version of "never get involved in a land war in Asia, and never draft Cardinals, 49ers and Redskins."JmBs need yuge days from their big three. Everybody else just needs to get postive points. JmBs by 2.

Haboobs vs. NBTU -- The last two new franchises to join the league won their first games, so it wouldn't be surprising if the Haboobs come sweeping into the league with a win. The NBTUs got the start they needed from Mahomes on Thursday night. That could even be more important as this could be a low scoring game given the tough match-ups.We will learn a lot about the Haboobs in this game since many of these players are in new situations. The Plazas rolled out the welcome mat to the Valyrians three years ago by only scoring 38 points against them in their first game. That probably won't happen here. NBTUs by 3.

Valyrian Steelers vs. 1227 -- This is now the third consecutive time these teams have played each other on opening weekend. Kickoff Classic Jr? The 1227s won two years ago, and the Valyrians beat the eventual champs in week 1 last year. The Valyrians were picked to finish first in the Season Previews, so if not for that, I might be bold enough to say we are looking at a Buddy Bowl preview. Since they were picked first, it's likely this will be one of many losses this year. The Old Cam Newton is playing the New Cam Newton (Kyler Murray). This game should easily reach a combined 200 points, even though the Yahoo robots don't think so. 1227s by 2.