So here we stand – at the precipice of greatness. It was quite the Conference championship round that we just went through: two brothers – playing at the top of their game – trying to get to the promise land for the first time vs. two wily veterans that have been to the big game before and they know what victory tastes like. In the end, experience beat blood (thanks to the great pickup of the Ravens defense and one Odell Beckham, Jr) and we have now arrived at the grand finale of the season: The Rumble Championship. As amazing as it sounds – this is the first time in the modern Rumble era (i.e. since we started calling our league the Rumble) that these two teams have faced off in the championship round. The last time it happened was 2001 – 13 years ago – my how life has changed since then. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the competitive nature of both these coaches – they both want the win but only one can be crowned champion!

#1 Nashville Ninjas vs. #2 The Outlaws [Rivalry]: The legendary rivalry has finally reached championship levels! Not since they were in college together during the good ole days of Hess have these two faced off against each other – and while it has been a strange season, these two teams have somehow put together teams that dominated their respective divisions, each only losing one match within their division. But now it all comes down to this one week – will the team that has assembled the team of destiny rightfully claim their throne or will the team that’s been cobbled together via waivers crash the coronation ceremony? For the Ninjas, the player to watch will be the Jacksonville defense. The Outlaws played a bit of gamesmanship and was able to pick up the Carolina defense so that Jonas could not enjoy the dumpster fire that is the Browns offense. Instead, he now gets to enjoy the dumpster fire that is his hometown team – the Titans going up against the Jags on Thursday night. The last time these two teams faced off in week 6, the Jags walked away with 22 points – and somehow the Titans have gotten worse. Tennessee has given up the 4th most fantasy points to team defenses this year and the Jags have been a pretty good defense when going up against lesser talent…and the Titans qualify as that. On the other hand, the player to watch for the Outlaws will be the Detroit defense going up against the imploding Bears offense. The Bears have benched Jay Cutler and will be starting Jimmy Clausen at QB – which is literally music to the ears of the Detroit defense. The last time these two teams faced off on Thanksgiving, the Lions came away with 24 points…but that was with a QB that has at least some talent. No talent QB against the Lions defense – it is so on. You know how they say defense wins championships – this could be the week that proves that statement correct in the fantasy football landscape. While both teams have great offensive talent at their disposal – it just might be the defense that makes all the difference in this one. So who walks away as the champion of the 2014 fantasy football season? This one could be close and could require that the winner actually break 300 in order to win it all – but in the end, it pains me to say….the Ninjas come out of this one as champions and win for the first time since the 2003 season. What a way to celebrate 10 years of fantasy football awesomeness!

WDESPN Prediction: Nashville Ninjas

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WDE Rumble 14 – Wild Card Storylines (Sponsored by Ebay)

Posted: December 4, 2014 by marquesstewart in Storylines
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Fantasy football is one of the few hobbies in which it takes at least 14 weeks to get to the good part – but the wait is definitely worth it. So here we are, in week 14 with only 8 teams left to take a shot at the Rumble Championship. Now that Reid has been eliminated, we will not have a repeat champion. But we could still have a new champion (The Footballas, Pain and Suffering, Texasseans, Orange Nation, TheMistocles) or an old champion reclaiming their spot (The Outlaws, Clark Kent, Nashville Ninjas). The first 13 weeks were just practice – now this is where things get serious. Let’s start with the match up that could go either way.

#5 Pain and Suffering vs. #4 Texasseans: Heading into Monday night last week, both of these teams were working under the impression that they were going to lose their respective match up. Both coaches had given up on their team and their hope of sliding into the playoffs with a W. Amazingly enough, both coaches came through in the clutch and were able to walk away from the match up with a win and some momentum going into the post season. Unfortunately, for one of these teams the momentum stops here. This is a match up that features elite players at almost every position: P&S with Brees/Johnson/Forte and Texasseans with Manning/Jeffery/Bell – this one has alot of star power in it, which is probably why it’s such a close match up. The player to watch on the Texasseans will be Mike Evans. While he has been a stud for the past few weeks, he’s going up against the top defense in the league in the form of the Detroit Lions – who have given up the 5th fewest points to WRs this season. Now that most teams know that Evans is the real WR1 on the Bucs, will they roll coverage over to him and negate his awesome ability? For Pain and Suffering, the player to watch is Jarvis Landry. Tannenhil has developed a connection with the rookie WR that is bordering on creepy – he basically throws anything and everything his way. We all know that the Ravens defense is better than the Jets defense – so will they be able to capture the rookie Dolphin? Yahoo is giving the slight edge to P&S in this one, but looking at the teams – We believe that the Texasseans are the better squad this time around. The last time these two teams played in week 4, it was a close one (5 point difference) – Will Phil’s luck change this time?

WDESPN Prediction: Pain and Suffering

#3 Orange Nation vs #6 Clark Kent: One would think that this would be an easy match up for Joel’s squad. He’s projected to score over 200 points while Mike’s team is projected to barely crack 180. But a funny thing happened to Orange Nation on the way to the playoffs – they became mortal. You wouldn’t be able to tell based on his win last week, but Orange Nation suffered 2 of their 3 losses in the past 5 weeks – so basically stuttering into the playoffs. Now they did show up strong in the final week of the season, but it’s gotta stick in the back of Joel’s mind that he lost to 3 playoff teams over the course of the season – and they are getting better. While we know that he wants to get as close to the championship match as possible, there’s one person standing in his way….Clark Kent, who is coming off a bitter loss to the Outlaws to end the fantasy regular season. The last time these two faced off, it was a fairly close game (255 Orange Nation – 242 Clark Kent) but will it be so again? The player to watch for Orange Nation will be Latavius Murray (if he plays). The last time he played, he touched the ball 4 times and had over 100 yards rushing in one quarter of play. Now the odds are he won’t be repeating that feat again, but if he can do something close to that in an entire game – Joel might have found the latest diamond in the fantasy RB rough that is the 2014 fantasy football season. For Clark Kent, the player to watch is Lagerrete Blount. He has easily replaced Jonas Gray as the power back in the Patriots run game and the Chargers have given up the 16th most fantasy points to a running back this season. It seems like when it’s crunch time now, Bellichick just trusts Blount and that could lead to some fantasy gold for Mr. Williams. So who walks away with a win in this one? It would really be the upset to end all upsets if Mike won this one, but we think that Joel just has to much firepower at his disposal to lose this one. We would be pleasantly surprised if Superman rose again….but history will repeat itself with this one.

WDESPN Prediction: Orange Nation

#1 Nashville Ninjas vs. #8 TheMistocles: You might be thinking to yourself that TheMistocles has absolutely no shot at winning this match up. You would be right, but we’ve got to talk about it anyway – ok? For TheMistocles, the player to watch will be DeAndre Hopkins. Last week with Fitzmagic back in the saddle he was able to roll up almost 60 points by himself. Now keep in mind, that’s pretty much double his highest point total from earlier in the season. In order for Mistocles to even have a shot against the Ninjas, Hopkins plus the rest of the team will have to bring their A+ game to compete. Or the Ninjas could once again play down to their opponent. Even though they they crushed Bring It to finish the season on a high note their last 3 games (including a loss to the Outlaws) were all closer than 20 points. Everyone knows that teams truly show up in the playoffs – so could someone shock the world by taking down the #1 seed? Nope – give us the Ninjas in an old fashion slobberknocker beat down.

WDESPN Prediction: Nashville Ninjas

#2 The Outlaws vs. #7 The Footballas: Early in the season, before they knew what type of team they really were – The Outlaws lost to this rag tag team known as The Footballas. A team that traded away their 2014 draft picks to have a shot at the championship and fell short, but somehow finds themselves back in the playoffs again with another shot at the gold. The Outlaws are coming into this match up with a 5 game winning streak behind them with victories over 4 of the current playoff teams….except the Footballas. So while Todd and his crew are having a party just for being invited to the playoffs, the Commish is in the tape room studying up on how to cut short the party. For the Footballas, the player to watch is Reuben Randle. When Victor Cruz went down early in the season, Randle was supposed to take the throne of being the WR1 on the Giants. Instead, the rookie sensation known as ODB took his spot and has been living up to that WR1 spot pretty much all season long. Now going up against the Titans should be pretty much a layup for Randle,but will this be another game that is perfectly aligned for him to show up and he’s once again late to the meeting? For the Outlaws, the player to watch is CJ Anderson – for the past 2 weeks, he’s been a stud RB1. But now he has one of his toughest tests yet – going up against the Buffalo run defense. But thankfully, since they are playing at home in Denver, the weather shouldn’t be to bad and when you have Peyton on your side, points are always possible. Yahoo is predicting that this is going to be a 30 point difference game. Somehow, we believe it’s going to be tighter than that – Todd comes to play when he faces off against his St Louis brethren.But we still believe that the Outlaws prevail in this match up and take their destined spot in the Conference Championship against Orange Nation.

WDESPN Prediction: The Outlaws

WDE Rumble 14 – Week 13 Awards (Sponsored by Sports Illustrated)

Posted: December 3, 2014 by marquesstewart in Awards
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The Cleveland Award (Most Points for the week): Orange Nation / So what’s the cure for an ailing team afraid of sliding into the playoffs? A nice 5 TD dose of Andrew Luck. Here’s the scary part, this could have been worse if Jimmy Graham actually played on Sunday.

The Germany Award (Largest Margin of Victory): Nashville Ninjas / This season has been crazy, but there’s always been one constant: Jonas is going to beat the crap out of PRR’s team. In a piece of serendipity that I don’t think PRR appreciates, the Ninjas started the season with the biggest beat down and ended the season with the biggest beatdown. The circle of fantasy football life!!!!!

The Kim Kardashian Award (Most points but lost):. Macheteros / On Sunday night, it sure did look like Chris could punch his ticket to the fantasy playoffs and a date with the Ninjas. But then Mike Wallace and Jarvis Landry decided that they wanted to support their Miami Dolphin loving coach and get him into the playoffs, thus shutting the door on poor Chris heart.

San Antonio Spurs Award (Fewest points but won): The Footballas / You HAVE to win to get into the playoffs…what’s the best way to get in and celebrate a moral victory at the same time? Beat the person who beat you for the championship last season. Todd was able to come away with the W while facing Reid and giving him the record for the longest losing streak of all time in the Rumble (while the Ninjas have the most losses in a season, ATLiens has lost 10 straight – which has never been done in the Rumble before). Congrats on helping Reid win yet another award, Todd!

No punishment for Rams’ Ferguson demonstration

Posted: December 1, 2014 by marquesstewart in Uncategorized

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/nfl-will-not-punish-rams-for–hands-up-165412523.html
Neither the NFL nor the St. Louis Rams will punish the five players involved in their pre-game “hands up, don’t shoot” protest. The gesture drew a harsh criticism from the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association, who demanded a “very public apology.”

Ray Rice is back!

Posted: November 28, 2014 by marquesstewart in Uncategorized

Ray Rice has won his appeal against his suspension from the NFL – @RapSheet, @NBCSports, @AP http://www.breakingnews.com/item/2014/11/28/ray-rice-has-won-his-appeal-against-his-suspension

WDE Rumble 14: Week 13 Storylines (Sponsored by Jurassic World)

Posted: November 27, 2014 by marquesstewart in Storylines
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You stand on the precipice of greatness. That is how every team in contention for a playoff spot feels this week. For some, it’s the greatness of finally winning that Rumble championship they’ve been striving for their entire life. For others, it’s the greatness of being that last stumbling block that prevents a team from getting to that playoff promise land. Coming off a surprising rivalry week for the Rumble, we have arrived at the final week of the fantasy regular season. For a few teams, this is a win and you’re in type moment. For others, it’s a chance to regain some momentum heading into the playoffs. Who’s in and who’s out? Let’s find out!

Texasseans vs. TheMistocles: Coming off their highly impressive win against his older brother, Phil is feeling good about his team headed into the playoffs. Amazingly enough, he’s put together a squad that has somehow strung together 4 consecutive wins and now finds themselves in the number 2 spot in the RAW division. He’s just at .500 so this division isn’t quite as bad as the NFC South – but it could possibly give it a run for it’s money. Phil has been riding his Peyton loyalty to wins over The Footballas and FTB, but since both those teams are currently not in the playoffs they weren’t as impressive as the Orange Nation victory. Now this is a chance for Phil to secure his spot in the playoffs – win and he’s in. But a loss here could have him tumbling right out down to the 7th or 8th spot and a date with the juggernaut known as the Nashville Ninjas. But there is one man who stands in his way – the wunderkid of Maurice and TheMistocles. Even though he got beat pretty handily by Clark Kent, this is a team that’s still very much on the rise. It’s just a matter of will their team rise to the occasion as well. For the Texasseans, the player to watch is Mike Evans. This has been an outstanding rookie class and Evans has been one of the standout players from that draft class. He’s pretty close to being the unquestioned WR1 in the Tampa Bay receiving corps. But why is he pretty close to being unquestioned? Because TheMistocles have the other semi-elite WR1 for the Bucs in Vincent Jackson. While he hasn’t been as consistent as Evans, you can never really count out Jackson to have a huge game every now and then. Could this be one of those weeks where he bursts onto the scene and reminds people why he’s a WR1? Probably not. Look for Peyton and the Texasseans to roll on past TheMistocles and potentially have them waiting for next year to make the playoffs.

WDESPN Prediction: Texasseans

The Outlaws vs. Clark Kent: So a funny thing happened on the way to this second match up between Mike and the Commish. Mike took it upon himself to create a win streak for himself – taking down such Rumble legend as Phil, Matt and Reid along the way. Unfortunately, while he was creating a streak – the Outlaws were in the process of doing the same and putting together a quite impressive WR corps. So impressive that Mike literally had to ask himself “How did Marques assemble such a team?” Well, Mike when you make over 74 moves you’re bound to find some diamonds in the rough. So who’s the player to watch on the Outlaws this week? That would be Mr. Catch of the Year – Odell Beckham, Jr. OBJ has been pretty much unstoppable since he stepped onto the field this season and the commish was very lucky to win his match up against the Ninjas without him. But the commish has heard from the rookie sensation and has pretty much told him that as long as he’s performing like a WR1, he will be treated like a WR1 and have a reserved spot in the starting lineup. And going up against the Jags defense that is good but not great – there might not be anymore once in a lifetime catches, but this could be a game in which OBJ continues to cement his fantasy legend. For Clark Kent, the player to watch will be his own rookie sensation in Jordan Matthews. Since Sanchez has taken over as the QB for the Eagles, Matthews and him have had a very special connection that has resulted in +10 points every week. But this could be a chance for Matthews to really explode on national TV – with all eyes on this must win game against Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, it’s the perfect place for Matthews to come into his own. But with all that being said – who walks away with the W in this one? Yahoo is predicting that this is going to be a 30 point differential, but it might not be that close. In a must win game for Clark Kent, the Outlaws are just getting stronger and will take the W and potentially Mike’s playoff hopes.

WDESPN Prediction: The Outlaws

The Footballas vs. ATLiens Rebuilding: So last year, these two teams were in the championship fighting for the gold. This year they are both competing in the toilet bowl – oh how the mighty have fallen. Both teams are at the bottom of their respective division but as amazing as this sounds – one of them at least has a shot at making the playoffs. Both teams are coming in here with streaks – they’re losing streaks, but hey – a streak is a streak. It’s been a rough season for the ATLiens as they have followed in the footsteps of the NFL team that they are based off of with a 9 game losing streak. For The Footballas, they’ve found a way to win 2 more games than ATLiens and they are somehow still in the race for a playoff spot. They’re coming into this match with a 4 game losing streak – having lost to Matt, Phil, Joel and Christian. A win by Todd and at least he keeps his hopes alive, a loss here pretty much ends his season. Even Reid has something to play for – a win here would put the nail in the coffin of Todd’s season and once again give Reid that winning feeling heading into the 2015 season. So who’s the player to watch on the Footballas? That would be one Mr. Phillip Rivers – quite possibly the worst trade target of the entire season. Since being traded to The Footballas, Rivers has had a -3, 19 and 22 point game. The backup – Russell Wilson has scored 15, 31, 36 and 22 points – soooo, his starter wasn’t exactly an improvement on his QB situation. But playing a game against the Ravens defense could show the true Rivers – good or bad. For ATLiens, the player to watch is Isaiah Crowell who has seemingly captured the starting RB position in Cleveland. Last week he was able to get 2 TDs and came within 12 yards of having a 100 yard game. With Josh Gordon back in the mix, that will definitely open things up for Crowell – it’s just a matter of can he do something against the tough Buffalo defense. So who’s going to come away with the W in this 2013 championship rematch? ATLiens will come away with the last laugh and go into the 2015 with all their draft picks and an eye towards returning to the top of the Rumble mountain top.

WDESPN Prediction: ATLiens Rebuilding

WDE Rumble 14: Week 11 & 12 Awards (Sponsored by Pitch Perfect 2)

Posted: November 26, 2014 by marquesstewart in Awards
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Week 11:

The Cleveland Award (Most Points for the week): Texasseans / So it appears that Jonas made a bit of a tactical error in letting Mike Evans go. This victory is thanks to the rookie sensation busting onto the scene with 200+ Rec yards and 2 TDs. He outscored Peyton Manning!

The Germany Award (Largest Margin of Victory): Texasseans / So this is what happens when hell freezes over? The Texasseans is a legit juggernaut team and close to being in the playoffs – what?!?!

The Kim Kardashian Award (Most points but lost): TheMistocles / The blame for this doesn’t really fall on the shoulders of any one person. This was just a team that ran up against a team that’s gaining steam heading into the playoffs. You would think with that when Jay Culter scores 54 points, you’re going to come away with the victory. You would think.

San Antonio Spurs Award (Fewest points but won): Macheteros / While Big Ben came crashing down to earth in week 11, Christian was able to hold on to his very small victory thanks to the .90 performance from Bobby Rainey and the 2.37 from Vernon Davis from Bring It! I don’t think Macheteros wins this match without those lameduck performances.

Week 12:

The Cleveland Award (Most Points for the week): Bring It! / So how do you go from barely losing to a bottom of the barrel team to putting up the highest point total of the week? You just have have need to have your players player on Monday Night Football.

The Germany Award (Largest Margin of Victory): Bring It! / This is what happens when you trust Trent Richardson. He never leads to fantasy wins – NEVER!!! Hope you learned your lesson, Kyle.

The Kim Kardashian Award (Most points but lost): Nashville Ninjas / Well all good things must come to an end – and the Ninjas finally met their match in their longtime rival, the Outlaws. The reason for this loss falls squarely on the shoulders of Rob Gronkowski – he just couldn’t will the Ninjas to a win. Bad Gronk!

San Antonio Spurs Award (Fewest points but won): Macheteros / There is but one man to thank for this honor: Demariyus Thomas. And for the second week in row, Macheteros comes away with the improbable win. Could they somehow sneak into the playoffs?