Before I get to the question from last week’s column,
I want to return to my Week 2 discussion of trophies because of
a response I received from a reader named Randy. Randy sent me a
photo of the Beast League trophy (which should appear below if God
and Mike Krueger and Bill Gates can work together as smoothly as
I think they can).
It’s sometimes difficult to say whether what readers tell
me is the truth. A guy might just make up a story about a league
tradition and use Photoshop to create an image of a phony trophy,
but I’m convinced that Randy is telling the truth because
he provided step-by-step instructions for building the trophy shown
It is homemade from painted prepared wood pieces from
Hobby Lobby. The “tall boy” cans were emptied into
my gut, screwed to the base from the bottom, filled with spray
foam. Then after the foam set screwed the second base to the top
of each can. The second level base had a screw coming up through
the middle, onto which the painted pedestal was twisted on. The
glass is epoxied to the pedestal.
Last Week’s Question
Our league is comprised of guys from around the state of Texas,
and we get together annually for our live draft. Pre-draft we
have a presentation ceremony handing the trophy to the new winner,
and we chug a “waterfall” in order of final standing
with the winner leading the chug out of the trophy.
In last week’s column,
I asked about the ways in which leagues penalize kickers for missed
field goals. I was particularly concerned about the precise distance
at which some leagues decide not to penalize kickers for a miss.
The leagues that do grant kickers a penalty-free miss appear
to do so fairly consistently at the 50-yard mark (based on the
responses to the column), but those leagues are less common than
I expected them to be (as only a handful of people wrote in with
that tidbit of information). The same Randy who sent in the info
concerning the Beast League trophy plays in such a league:
Kickers should definitely be penalized for missed kicks
with the exception of 50+ attempts. Our league negates 3 points
for each missed field goal attempted at less than 50 yards. But
provides a bonus for distance (+1 for 40+ yds and +2 for +50yds).
Missed extra points give -1, while makes are +1.
The overwhelming majority of responses, however, indicates
that most leagues penalize kickers for misses no matter how
long the kick is.
Other positions are subtracted for fumbles and interceptions in
many leagues without much thought. Why should it be any different
for kicker “malfunctions”?
As Marc put it: “We award more than 3 points for the longer
FG's. 0-39 = 3pts (-3 for a miss), 40-49 = 4pts (-2 for a miss),
and 50+ = 5pts (-1 for a miss). The reasoning is quite simple.
Every other position slot loses points in our league for miscues,
why should the kicker be exempt?”
Craig took a more philosophical approach to making the same point:
Do you penalize QBs, RBs, and WRs for interceptions/fumbles? QBs
are supposed to complete passes and score positive points. An
interception/fumble is the exact opposite of that and might result
in negative points for that team (if the opponent scores). In
that case kickers should get penalties for misses. Kickers are
there to complete field goals and PATs for positive points. A
missed PAT or field goal is the exact opposite of that. It also
results in a turnover, the same as an interception/fumble, that
could result in negative points.
Matt wrote in to support the idea of penalizing kickers on
long misses even though he has himself been burned by just that
Is it just to help weed out bad from good players or because you
want there to be penalties for not doing your job? Missed field
goals are probably the best way to weed out good from bad.
Also, does it matter to your league if Adam Vinatieri is scoring
as many points as say Olindo Mare? If your other positions vary
from good to bad players, then why make kickers different?
Personally I prefer the scoring methods which actually make it
matter which kicker you have. My leagues all reward PATs and variable
lengths of FGs so there is decent variety. If it was a flat rate
I’d probably add penalties in there (unless the flat rate
was ridiculous). It adds some more strategy to the draft if the
top kickers is projected to score more points ppg than most RB2
(like in one league I play in) while the next couple of kickers
are noticeably lower So unless you can get two really good RBs
or WRs, you might surprise people and go for the K and if it works
out you might get more ppg than otherwise.
I am in favor of -2 points for any missed kick. High risk, high
reward. My league gives 6 points for long kicks, so the higher
reward is worth the risk.
Last year, I was playing against a friend of mine in our league.
3/4 through the Monday night game, I was holding on to a slim
1-point lead. After a dropped pass by Reggie Brown that would
have sealed the victory for me, the Eagles (going up against Dallas)
lined up for a 63-yard field goal as time was expiring. I had
just that week picked up David Akers for my bye week replacement
kicker, and I started screaming as he lined up to attempt an impossible
field goal. Of course, he missed the kick, I received -2 points,
and I lost by one point as time expired on the Monday night game.
That will forever go down as my most painful loss in fantasy
Matt’s point about high risk and high reward was amplified
I absolutely do not understand complaining about penalties
on missed field goals no matter how long they are. Most leagues
give you more points for longer field goals, so when you ask not
to be penalized for a missed 55 yarder, you are essentially saying
that you are entitled to the highest possible reward with absolutely
no risk at all. That is lunacy.
Also, please consider what happens when a QB throws a Hail
Mary as time expires. A sixty-yard pass to the end zone (when
everyone knows it’s coming) is way more likely to result
in an interception than a TD. Does your league have some “special”
rule that says the QB shouldn’t be penalized for that
interception because it was a desperation play? I’ve never
heard of any league with such a rule, so I don’t understand
all the fuss about desperation kicks. On the rare occasion when
the Hail Mary pass works out, the person who owns that QB wants
his points for the TD and the yardage. On the rare occasion
when a 57-yard field goal attempt works, the owner of the kicker
wants his points for the score (and maybe even his bonus points
for extra distance). Nobody would consider giving the QB a free
pass on an interception just because the pass happened as time
expired at the end of the half or the end of the game, so I
don’t understand why people think they should give the
kicker a free pass on the missed field goal.
Ouch, Lynn’s response makes me feel silly for resenting
my one-point penalty on a 53-yard miss. I have to agree that Lynn
makes a compelling argument.
We usually stick to fantasy football questions in this column,
but a reader named Michael wrote in with a question relating to
Last Man Standing that intrigues me, so here goes:
This Week’s Question
What's the largest LMS pool as far as number of entrants you've
seen? I won't divulge my entry fee, but [the pool I’m in
now] makes [some others] look like child's play, and I'm thinking
it's only a matter of time before it gets shut down.
Since Michael directed his question to me, I’ll say that
the LMS pool I played in when I started writing this column included
something like 5,000 participants. The guy who ran it was a wiz
with MS Excel and emailed everybody in the pool an updated spreadsheet
every Tuesday afternoon. I confess I was simply in awe of how
smoothly it ran considering how many folks were involved, but
I inferred from that experience that far larger pools were possible.
I’m not sure that I’ll get any answers to Michael’s
question (since people may justifiably be reluctant to discuss
their gambling arrangements), but I’m happy to throw this
question out along with the reminder that I only mention readers’
Trap Game: Baltimore at Cleveland
Why, why, why would you pick any game besides one of the three
games below this week? But if you are going to save one of these
teams below for later in the season, AVOID the Ravens at the Browns.
These teams usually split their regular season matchups, and
the Browns are better than they have been in past years. Derek
Andersen is used to short passing routes and that is exactly what
Kurt Warner did to get the Cardinals back in the game last week.
Combine that with a rejuvenated Jamal Lewis and it is easy to
see this being a close game. Do yourself a favor; wait for a better
week to choose the Ravens.
#3: Indianapolis over Denver (3-0)
How good are the Broncos at 2-1? Some analysts consider them one
of the worst teams in the league, and they have been fortunate
to be 2-1. Meanwhile the Colts are continuing to outplay their
opponents and have “punched their dance ticket” already.
I believe that both statements are a little bit premature, but
it seems that the Colts should easily be able to handle a potential
playoff team in their own building. Jay Cutler will be pressured
most of the day, and if it comes down to an end of game drive,
which QB would you rather have behind center, Jay Cutler or Peyton
#2: San Diego over Kansas City (2-1)
There is not a better salve for a 1-2 start than the Kansas City
Chiefs visiting you at home when your team needs a win. The offensive
line is having a hard time opening holes for Larry Johnson, and
Damon Huard is spending more time on his back than in the pocket.
While the Charger defensive line might be missing Luis Castillo
this week, the defense as a whole should live up to the preseason
hype and create havoc at home.
#1: Dallas over St. Louis (3-0)
It looks like Wade Phillips has handled the “boys”
well so far this season, jumping out to a 3-0 start since Parcells’
departure. They are playing loose and are atop an NFC East that
looks to be a shell of its former self. With the Rams coming into
Dallas with a patchwork defense, a backup running back, and a
quarterback that has two broken ribs, it may only take about ten
points for the Cowboys to be able to put this one on autopilot.
However, this is the NFL, and every backup is just waiting for
his chance. Unfortunately, the backup offensive line for the Rams
is not enough to help those skill players that are looking for
their chance to prove that they belong. The odds makers have this
as almost a two touchdown advantage for the home team, and that
might not be enough.
For responses to this week's fantasy
question or to share your LMS picks, please email
me no later than 10 a.m. EST on Wednesdays during the football
Readers who want to have their fantasy questions answered live,
on the air, by Mike Davis are invited to tune into FFEXradio
on Friday afternoons at 5:00 p.m. EST. Archived
programs are also available.