Fantasy Football Roundup: “Day ‘N’ Nite”

Barry Rothbard

I love me some Sunday. Birdies (wings from the clubhouse) and the NFL. That’s what Colgate does. For all the dudes out there, if you find yourself at the library on a Sunday afternoon, you don’t know what’s good. You could watch the best wide receiver in the NFL (Giants’ Steve Smith) look like Jerry Rice or see Patrick Willis become the new Ray Lewis. Yet, you’re at the library contracting the swine flu? Weak. Sauce. Every Sunday, I zone out, tune in, watch the G-Men crunch some fools, stalk my fantasy teams, watch Mad Men and then blast the best rap/hip-hop album of the year: Kid Cudi’s “The Man on The Moon: The End of the Day.”

Cudder’s album is a five-act journey in the life of Mr. Solo Dolo a.k.a. The Lonely Stoner, as he experiences the ups and downs in life. Narrated by Common, this album is fire fire fire-cop it ASAP. The album has been running through my mind for the past month, so I’m going to turn to the Kid for some inspiration, choosing a track from each act as I lay out who’s in the zone and who’s not; who you want on your fantasy team, and who you don’t. As Common tells it on the opening track (Cudder’s Anthem): “Some may never figure out their purpose in life, and some will.” Some ballers have figured it out four weeks into the season, and some haven’t.

Act 1: The End of Day, “Simple As” – It’s as “simple as” dat…If you have anyone on your fantasy team from the Bucs, Raiders, Bills, Chiefs, Browns, or Rams, it’s as simple as A-B-C. If it’s Steven Jackson, try to trade him (he’s about to cease caring or fake an injury). And the only thing Braylon Edwards is good for nowadays is being jealous of LeBron and throwing punches (at a night club manager). Oops, just discovered Braylon is a Jet. If he can’t handle the club scene in Cleveland, I can imagine how he’ll fare in the big city. Don’t get your hopes up – he’s still Braylon Edwards. And if it’s anyone else on those respective teams, feel free to drop them or by no means ever start them. These teams are really, really bad. The NFL feels like the NBA this year (not much parity, only a handful of teams that actually have a shot at the ‘ship). These teams are the bottom of the pit. Three of them fired their Offensive Coordinators before the season started, and they will combine to go about 3-169. Stay. Away.

Act 2: The Rise of the Night Terror, “Heart of a Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music)” – “They’ve got the heart of a lion, the heart of a lion.” I’m talking D-fence. Watching each of these D’s play, it’s pretty clear they’ve got the jungle fever. You don’t wanna mess with the defenses of the Broncos, the Bengals and the Jets. They are too legit to quit. If they are on your fantasy team, let the lion out of its cage. They are on some serious Aslan stuff. Likewise, if you’re facing them, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

Act 3: Taking a Trip, “Day N Night (Nightmare)” – “Day ‘n’ nite, I toss and turn, I keep stressin’ my mind, mind.” If you have a running back over the age of 30 or near that range, you need to a) free your mind at night and b) try to trade him. If you own LaDainian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook, Clinton Portis, Jamal Lewis, or Larry Johnson, “the pain is deep.” These guys are more burnt out than Amy Winehouse. They got nothing left in the tank. Peace them out.

Act 4: Stuck, “Cudi Zone” – “In my…zone.” If you have these guys, look up at the sky and go Rod Tidwell (show me the money baby). Ronnie Brown has overcome one quarterback without an arm, and another who’s barely played at all; he’s a force. Mike Sims-Walker, the rookie WR on the Jags, is the real deal and will keep the touchdowns flowing. Joe Flacco is a bonafide stud and fantasy star at QB. Antonio Gates is officially back. Enjoy the stats that are going to keep flowin’: these guys are in the zone.

Act 5: A New Beginning, “Up, Up, and Away” – The following studs are about to shoot into another planet and light it up. Rashard Mendenhall is pretty self-explanatory, but this guy is a straight up wrecking ball and you should try to pry him away from someone selling high or pick him up if he’s somehow available. Donald Brown is becoming the man in Indy, as is Knowshown Moreno in Denver. Expect big things out of these two youngsters. From the less obvious department, Hakeem Nicks and Lance Moore are two wide receivers that are probably available in your league that are worth a pickup. They each only had one catch in their respective returns from injury, but Nicks’ was an explosive 54 yarder for a TD, and I expect him to supplant Vaseline fingers Mario Manningham, while Moore proved last year that he is a stellar possession receiver who has the trust of Drew Brees. And if you need a tight end, Green Bay’s Jeremichael Finley looks like the truth, so scoop him up while you can. They’ll be “up, up and away.”

At the end of the day, that’s who you want, and who you don’t. Show ’em your pok-er face.