If you’re looking for a bang-or-bust QB2 to stash behind an elite QB1, put a claim in on Russell Wilson. The Seattle offense may not be explosive, but Wilson showed his ability to produce big fantasy weeks this preseason. If he does surprise us all by Cam Newton-ing the first few weeks of the season, you’re going to want to have him on your roster.

As Fantasy Douche explained in his thinking on quarterbacks:

The thing about quarterbacks who will tuck the ball and run is that they’re like a waterbed. Push it down in one spot and it pops up in another. They’ll pass first if they can, but if their receivers are covered or if they’re unsure, they’ll just run and get a first down. It doesn’t take very long to rack up 40 rushing yards when the QB does this.

There’s a lot to like about the rookie quarterback no matter how the Seattle offense comes together. So even if you already have two quarterbacks on your roster, consider stashing Wilson for the first few weeks of the season.

Cam Newton after scoring a touchdown

Takeaways from the 2011 Fantasy Football Season

Cam Newton after scoring a touchdownI pity the fool that doesn’t learn from his past mistakes, and 2011 broke a few of the fantasy football molds.

No Peyton Manning. The Texans made the playoffs. Rex Grossman is good? Okay…for a few weeks, he was good. And let’s not forget Reggie Bush was a feature back, and Cam Newton was a viable QB1 in his rookie season.

So what are we to make of this?

1. Rookies CAN dominate.

We can no longer claim that a rookie skill player won’t be a factor in their first season. Whether quarterback, wide receiver, running back or tight end, we’ve now seen rookies not only play well but absolutely dominate.

Cam Newton, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and DeMarco Murray will convince fantasy managers to invest in rookies like Trent Richardson and Robert Griffin III this season, and we can’t say they’re foolish for doing so.

2. The Gronk Rule: Tight ends MIGHT not be deep anymore.

The tight end position was considered deep in recent years, and many experts advised you to ignore Antonio Gates and wait on the TE position in your fantasy football draft. Then Gronkowski happened. He was an absolutely unstoppable force for most NFL tacklers and set records at the tight end position across the board.

With Gronk and Jimmy Graham separating themselves from the rest of the tight end pack so significantly last season, it forces us to consider drafting one of those two in the early rounds to get a jump on the other team in our league out of the tight end spot. If you do, I’ve already covered which tight end I favor.

Some of you may draft a tight end and a quarterback this year before you even have a running back on the roster. That’s just how much the tight end values changed in 2011.

In fact, Gronk’s out of this world stats (as impossible to repeat as they may be) may impact NFL offenses just as the Wildcat did just a few years ago. We may see the mythical “Wes Welker-like receiver” NFL offenses (other than the Pats) have sought give way to the search for a “Gronk” as part of a tight end tandem.

3. To the Air.

Quarterbacks matter more than ever in the NFL today, and we saw in 2011 that fantasy teams built around an elite passer like Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees could hang with any team in the league no matter who they were forced to start at running back.

Many fantasy footballers have experimented with drafting a quarterback in the first round with mixed results, but 2011 was the year that strategy paid off for a large portion of the fantasy community.

This year, you’ll have plenty of positions to consider in the first round, not just running back. But outside of the top three picks, you should definitely consider getting an elite passer.

I doubt we’ll see many teams make it to the fantasy football playoffs in 2012 without an elite fantasy quarterback on their roster.

4. Always Be Closing.

Despite a hot start, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson cooled off a bit at the end of the season. That’s not necessarily to say anything about their play in 2011 as much as it is to remind us all how important it is to constantly be looking for trade opportunities to help our team.

This year, I’m going to be a little more aggressive about trading players, regardless of status, when a deal comes together. And if the value is there, I may look to unload players who have particularly difficult late season schedules before I am forced to ride out their dry spell.

4. Darren McFadden is worth the risk

I’ve been too concerned about injury to consider Run DMC in drafts prior to 2011, but his performance up until his injury last season has changed my mind. The same might go for Ryan Mathews, even though he’s already hurt again.

As long as you fortify your roster with strong backups at running back, it’s worth considering taking the plunge on these injury risk studs.

5. Handcuffs are a worthy investment.

On that same note, I’ve often avoided guys who were stuck behind studs because I didn’t think it was very likely they’d see the field. I’ve always preferred players that were more likely to get a shot to shine or had a better chance of starting for me multiple weeks throughout the season.

Not so much anymore.

With the injuries last season, owners of Felix Jones, Michael Bush, and C.J. Spiller really reaped the rewards of holding onto  a handcuff all season long. When it comes to running backs, as long as the offensive line is solid, it’s worth investing in a handcuff here and there, whether you own the starter or not, in case we see injuries like we did in 2011.

6. Inconsistency kills.

It’s not necessarily a new lesson, but the Jacksons (Vincent and DeSean) had their ups and downs in 2011. Both were drafted as top receivers, but on any given Sunday, they were as likely to score 30 as they were to score 3 fantasy points.

It’s hard to win a league when you can’t put a solid week together. So even though VJax won me more than one game last season with his phenomenal performances, I’m looking at consistency in 2012 — at the players that give me a chance to win each and every week.

There is a lot of depth at the wide receiver position this year, but don’t fall in love with 2011 total points without considering what they really did each week of last year.

Aaron Hernandez

The Case for Aaron Hernandez as a Sleeper Tight End

Aaron HernandezIf I’m going to say Rob Gronkowski might not be all Yo Soy Fiesta in New England, I should probably explain where I expect those points to go. And besides the obvious choice in Brandon Lloyd, there’s another tight end in New England who had a not-too-shabby year in 2011.

For some reason, ESPN has disabled video embeds for the roundtable discussion they had on Aaron Hernandez, but you can watch it here on ESPN.

KC Joyner makes a compelling argument.

The targets were there last year. As you hear in the ESPN video, Hernandez ranked highly when it came to targets and, unlike Gronkowski, not the vertical balls that Brandon Lloyd should cut into this year as a Patriot.

He did run the ball, but I doubt that adds much to his value for fantasy. New England has two young running backs, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, who should step it up this year now that Law Firm isn’t there to hog carries.

For Hernandez to meet and exceed his draft position this year, he only needs to be more effective with his targets this season versus last.

Hernandez looked like THE tight end to own in fantasy for several weeks early in 2011, but after Hernandez’s injury, Gronkowski seemed to take over and never let up for the Pats.

So while you might not be looking for a “sleeper” tight end in the middle of your draft as the No. 6 or No. 7 tight end on the board (and yes, I realize this isn’t truly a sleeper draft position), Hernandez could surprise you with what he gives you this year and could jump into the top 3 tight ends if given the opportunity.

I’ll certainly look to target him if I miss out on the best of the best, Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham.

Why I Would Draft Jimmy Graham Over Rob Gronkowski

Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably seen my running commentary on all of the ESPN Fantasy Football Roundtable discussions.

Many of ESPN’s Roundtables are pretty straightforward and were easy to discuss in just the 140 characters that Twitter allows, but a few are worthy of meatier discussion. That’s what I’d like to start today with this latest roundtable on tight end values at the top of the draft.


If you can’t see the embedded video, watch it here on ESPN.

Last season proved it was advantageous to own one of the truly elite tight ends, and Rob Gronkowski (1327 yds, 17 TDs + 1 rushing TD) and Jimmy Graham (1310 yds, 11 TDs) were SIGNIFICANTLY better than the rest of their counterparts at the tight end position. Gronkowski alone probably won many fantasy football championships last year.

These two provided such a nice edge last season and were so dominant that the fantasy football community was talking (and still is) about drafting Gronkowski and/or Graham in the first round this year.

There’s an argument to be made that their value justifies taking them that high, but there’s also plenty of depth at tight end for those who don’t feel comfortable with it.

For the sake of this discussion, let’s just assume you’re all in on these tight ends and don’t want to be left without a stud.

So if you want to go tight end early, many folks might be thinking Gronk is the unquestioned first choice. I disagree. Gronkowski was unstoppable last season, but if you want to spend a high pick on a tight end, I’d rather take Jimmy Graham. Why?

  1. The Patriots spent the offseason signing receivers and landed Brandon Lloyd as a new vertical threat in their offense. His presence should take away some of those vertical passes that made Gronkowski so great last year.
  2. New Orleans watched a target walk. Robert Meachem was no Jimmy Graham, and his loss could easily have no effect on Graham’s value. But having fewer targets to spread the ball around to can’t hurt Graham. That’s for sure.
  3. Rob Gronkowski’s points came largely from touchdowns, which are unreliable season to season. As defenses cover Gronk more closely or choose to take him out of a game, it’s less and less likely he’ll be able to reproduce those numbers, which would bring him a little closer to Graham statistically.
  4. The Saints offseason bounty scandal drama and suspension-fest should prevent them from making massive changes to the offensive game plans this year. Brees put up a fair amount of yards last year, so why change things?
  5. Meanwhile, the Patriots brought in a new offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels. While I’m sure he won’t do anything too drastic, he could easily make some changes in New England. And the Patriots have changed their system up in just one offseason in the past. There’s no guarantee they continue to make Gronk the most critical cog in the machine for 2012.

Maybe I’m just not as “Yo Soy Fiesta” as the next guy, but that’s why I’d shy away from taking Gronk as a high pick in my draft. I’d rather place my bet on Jimmy Graham. And honestly, I’d feel best if I could get one of them in the late second or third round rather than considering them in the first.

I wouldn’t be terribly upset if I ended up with Gronkowski on any of my fantasy teams this year, but I’d think long and hard before I took him as the first tight end off the board.

We’re back! GooTwitFace with Fantasy Football Fools

There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint and a nice detail job to put the shine back on a blog before fantasy football season. Fantasy Football Fools was badly in need of a visual update, and this offseason, I finally got a chance to do just that.

Welcome to the new design — and if you’re reading this by email or RSS, please stop by the site to check it out.

As the fantasy football season is quickly approaching, I’ll get right back to it.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know I’ve been pretty active throughout the offseason there. I’ve shared articles, had a few laughs, and maybe even posted a few regrettable jokes. Such is tweets.

Once the season starts, I’ll tweet frequently on Sundays during games and whenever there is any breaking NFL news. So follow along to stay ahead of your league and benefit from the insider info and fantasy advice I retweet.

Feel free to tweet me anytime about start or sit advice or waiver wire claims. I respond to those, sometimes even at an unreasonable hour.

In case you were unawares, you can also find Fantasy Football Fools on Facebook and/or Google+ to join our little fantasy football community all over the social Web.

As always, I also encourage you to take advantage of the comments section below to voice your own opinions, ask for fantasy football advice, or just share your best trash talk.

Welcome back. 2012 is going to be a good one. This year, we’re getting absoludicrous.

Now, if you don’t mind, I need to get back to my finger exercises so I can survive a full NFL season of blogging.

NFL Draft 2012: 3 Things You Missed on Twitter During the First Round

Last night, we entered into the official “relapse” period for all NFL addicts, also known as the NFL draft. While it’s not as good as watching an actual game, drafting a fantasy football team, or surfing the waiver wire, it’s enough of a fix to get me excited.

And even better than the TV coverage of the event itself is all the chatter going on via Twitter.

Since I understand that some folks couldn’t set aside Thursday night obligations to enjoy the first round experience and because some of you may not be on Twitter just yet, I thought I’d share what you might have missed so even you, the unlucky few, can get your #NFLDraft Twitter fix.

1. Cryptic tweets from Jim Irsay

One of the NFL’s most colorful owners, Irsay often tweets song lyrics and other peculiar messages from his Twitter account @JimIrsay. I can only imagine his sexting is like a book of haikus. But this one tweet in particular stuck out for me.

Were the doors he tried to exit through locked on the way out of Radio City Music Hall? Does he want to take the Colts to the IFL?

We may never know.

2. Important asides from Pete King

Everyone’s favorite and most connected NFL reporter was, of course, on Twitter last night during the draft sharing his “lofty” musings. It really added to the NFL draft experience, at least for me.

Like this one…

Clearly, Claiborne’s knowledge of “kines” will make him a better corner in the NFL…or at least a “nice guy.” That’s pretty obvious from that statement.

3. Reaches talkin’ ’bout reaches

Say what you will about Ryan Tannehill, probably the most talked about “overdraft” candidate in this year’s crop, but the most shocking draft pick discussed on Twitter was Seattle’s Bruce Irvin pick.

Say what you will about whether it really was a reach or not, but the reaction on Twitter was explosive.

Shane P. Hallam of Draft Countdown had a good rant on the subject:

It wasn’t so much that he’s a bad player as much as it was the expectation that the Seahawks could have gotten him a round or two later. But the best part of the whole experience was his own tweets to his “haters.”

Oh, we’ll see. Thanks to Twitter, we now live in a world where draft picks can argue the validity of their draft position as the draft is taking place.

If you feel left out or liked what you saw here, you’re welcome to join me for more tweeting tonight during Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft. You can follow along with the conversation even without a Twitter account just by following the stream at #NFLDraft.

What else did you miss from the first round last night? Oh, just some trades, some special moments, and the beard.

If you screw up my team, I'm going to cut your penis into thin slices of salami

The League S03E13: The Funeral for Kevin’s Championship [Season 3 Finale]

This is why we can’t have nice things. Ruxin stroked out. Kevin got everyone busted for redrawing the draft order, and Andre still doesn’t have an ICE. How can we save this season?

We all got a bit of a scare in the last episode. Could Ruxin be dead? Will his face really stick like that? And who takes over his team?

You’ll be delighted to know that he lived — at least long enough for Rafi to rack up several attempted murder charges.

In my view, killing Ruxin would be a step in the wrong direction, so I’m glad Rafi’s thinly veiled attempts to smother his brother-in-law were a complete failure. He probably made more progress in spitting game at the gruff nurse.

Of course, Rafi first ensured Ruxin’s legacy by procuring his sperm in the most humane way possible. That’s all a decent guy could ask, right?

How? I jerked you off. Like a dog.

While Rafi may have a special way of coping with his brother-in-law’s close encounter with death, the rest of the league is a little more level-headed. Only Taco, sensitive soul that he is, feels changed in ways he nor we fully understand by the “near-death” experience of being near Ruxin’s near-death experience.

But the rest of the league just needs to know who’s going to take over Ruxin’s team for his showdown with Pete in the Sacko Bowl. For that answer, they turn to Ruxin’s video will, carefully crafted by his own law firm. And it’s a piece fit for the message boards itself.

After dictating that his golf clubs should be sold on Craigslist or thrown away rather than given to any of his very disappointed friends, Ruxin goes on to torture them even further by confessing that he was the one to trash Pete’s favorite vinyl and that he never really understood what Kevin saw in Jenny.

One might have expected that to be the other way around. But then again, evil Ruxin has always been full of surprises.

Eventually (and maybe the stalling was all part of the game for him), Ruxin finally gets to the issue at hand. He leaves his team to Andre — a surprise option D for most odd makers — before  finishing with a final, sounding “Suck It!”

So we can gather that, in the event of his death, Ruxin wanted to leave us all with a joke.

The anxiety of managing Ruxin’s team in the Sacko Bowl immediately starts to show on Andre, who tries to channel his own inner Ruxin around the gang by swilling vodka and offering to buy hotel rooms  as if it will somehow empower him to run Ruxin’s team more effectively.

Couldn’t he just laugh maniacally and second-guess all his lineup decisions? Seems to work for Ruxin-everyone-calls-me-Ruxin himself.

But Andre’s job gets a little more difficult when Rafi discovers he’s been left out of the family fortune and demands they run the team together, as Rafi is the rightful next of kin. And Rafi’s knifey conversation style can be pretty convincing.

A visit to Ruxin provides them with only positive reinforcement…
If you screw up my team, I'm going to cut your penis into thin slices of salami

But Jenny has better luck.

Knowing her husband, Kevin, is hopelessly dependent on this season counting to validate his abilities as a fantasy football addict and as a man (because of the bet Jenny and Kevin made), Jenny pays Ruxin a visit to beg him to allow this season to count.

Dressing as Sofia to bypass the nurses station (“That Puerto Rican slut is my husband’s mistress!”), Whore-Jenny meets with Ruxin and gets him to agree to allow the season to count as long as he doesn’t win the Sacko.

But the charity is not strong with the Pete one. He’s done  his St. Pete duties. Now he’s just the old, mean Pete, unwilling to take a dive in the Sacko Bowl to save  the season for Kevin’s championship because it would be too dangerous for him as the ruthless Sacko del Toro commissioner.

One ray of hope does emerge from this intervention with Pete in the form of Taco — who else? Finally making sense of the life-altering moment that was peeing on a post-stroke Ruxin, Taco donates his money to Matt Forte’s charity, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. The donation warrants a visit from Forte to Ruxin’s bedside, which could motivate the fallen villain just enough to get him back on his game.

But Matt Forte’s official visit is hijacked by Andre, who’s sizing up Forte’s knee in order to properly set Ruxin’s lineup. Forte’s only real encouragement for a very excited Ruxin is a jersey and a slap of the football into Ruxin’s nuts. But I have to say Ruxin seemed to enjoy it, even through the post-stroke duckface.

As the Sacko Bowl showdown draws near, Ruxin learns how to use a mouth device to type and click the trackpad on his laptop, which allows him to make add/drops that confuse and upset both Andre and Rafi. Rafi just wants Bruce Banner on the team so The Incredible Hulk can win it all for his brother-in-law. Is that so much to ask?

It’s Shiva that finally comes to Ruxin’s rescue. While being wheeled out to see his own wife, eager to see him start walking so they can get him out of the hospital, Ruxin spots Dr. Shiva — the person, not the trophy — in the hallway.

The sight of her and the accompanying vision sends Ruxin stumbling down the hallway to exchange a sloppy, duckfaced kiss with the embodiment of the trophy he still owns, at least for now.

Much like kissing a frog, kissing Shiva cures Ruxin of all the effects of his stroke, and, instantly, he speaks clearly and walks without a limp.

Back at Kevin’s house, the Shiva Bowl is wholly uneventful. Taco blows off even watching the games because he wants Kevin to win anyway and has more important things to do, and the lackluster experience just takes the fun out of bringing home the trophy, at last, for Kevin.

What good is a trophy without a face to rub it in?

The Sacko Bowl ends up the same way. Against the combined powers of stroked Ruxin, Andre, and knifey-Rafi, Pete wins easily to doom Ruxin to a term as the Sacko and put the very legitimacy in the league in danger.

But the gig is up! It’s then that the  invites to the funeral arrive.

It seems Taco, disgusted by his fantasy football league this season, has been plotting all along to put it down. So he’s prepared a viking funeral for all the league’s memorabilia, including the Sacko, the Shiva, Kegel the Elf, and Andre’s laptop (“This is where the evil all began”).

Rafi arrives in the Bobbum van just in time to deliver the dead — err, not so dead — body of Ruxin to the festivities.

But only the crazies (Do I have to say? Okay, Rafi and Taco) and Ruxin really want to see this season burn.

Kevin desperately wants the season to count so that he can finally put his name on the Shiva, but Ruxin is determined not to let that happen.

It’s at that touching moment, standing by a boat full of fantasy football memories and a torch-wielding Taco, that Jenny reveals the news: she’s pregnant. So whether or not Kevin wins the Shiva, at least he won the bet.

That seems to calm him down, but they have to fight over something, right?

Ready to do this thing, Taco and Kevin become locked in a struggle for who gets to light the funeral pyre. When Pete tries to intervene, he gets knocked to the ground right on top of the hot SACKO brand from Andre’s weekly forced steak ceremony, searing “SACKO” into Pete’s own flesh.

Appropriate for the Sacko del Toro commissioner, you might say.

While Pete’s tending to his damaged skin and pride, he distracts everyone just enough for Ruxin to light the boat on fire and Taco to kick it out into the water.

For a moment, it’s actually quite peaceful as they all watch the memories of three seasons of bickering, trash-talking and tomfoolery float away.

It was good times, wasn’t it? You were there…and you were there…

However, touching moments are for losers, not champions. Kevin can’t settle for that. So Kevin, not content to be just a father, dives in the water after his Shiva — Shiva blasting all the way.

Will he drown? Is his life in danger? And more importantly, will they recover the Shiva?!?

In any event, the credits roll, and once again, we’re without The League for a few months. I don’t always comment on the overall quality of the show as we go through it episode by episode. I prefer to keep these as recaps rather than reviews — I’m no TV critic — but I enjoyed Season 3 a bit more than I did Season 2 of The League. I  think it found a bit of that spark that gave Season 1 so much hype without losing the depth and character they developed in Season 2.

I can’t wait to see what they put together next year. Oh, and yes, there will be a Season 4.

“We are thrilled to do more shows with a cast that makes us laugh hard everyday, on a network that actually lets us put those jokes on air,” the Schaffers, executive producers of ‘The League,’ said. “In the words of Taco: ‘The League’ on FX on Thursday nights is a law, like water or dinosaurs.”

Water or dinosaurs indeed.

What do you want to see out of The League in Season 4?  Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Memorable quotes from Episode 13:

RAFI: “You had a stroke, okay? So it’s time to die…Great news! Your dick still works. I harvested a bunch of your sperm, so you’re going to live forever.”

RAFI: “It was a murder boner. What do you think it is?”

TACO: “You know what? He’s been through a lot. We should just give him the Shiva.”
KEVIN: “You shut your goddamn mouth!”

RUXIN [on video]: “Hello, I’m Rodney Ruxin, everyone-calls-me-Ruxin.”

TACO: “So you would pay to see two guys having sex?”

RAFI: “Now we’re having a conversation!”

RAFI: “I am allowed to carry a gun if I don’t tell anybody I have it. It’s called a concealed weapon!”

RAFI: “It’s fantasy football. So the Hulk should be able to be on the team.”

RUXIN: “If you screw up my team, I’ll cut your penis into thin slices of salami.”

RAFI: “You know what I like about you? You’re making me work for it.

JENNY: “Are you trying to ‘high-na-tize’ me right now?!”

KEVIN: “Ew. Feels like I’m kissing Al Davis.”

RUXIN: “Liar.”
JENNY: “There you are!”

RUXIN: “Why are you dressed like a whore?”
JENNY: “I had to dress like your wife to get in here.”
RUXIN: “Fives.”

KEVIN: “This is the most important thing that’s ever happened to me in my life! [To Jenny] No offense.”

RUXIN: “Classic Forte burn.”

KEVIN [to Taco]: “Hey, Vincent Van Slow, what are you drawing over there?”

RAFI: “Hey, do you still have those  butt plugs  with Bert and Ernie’s face on them?”
KEVIN: “Those were my daughter’s tubby toys…”
RAFI: “She should not play with those. Those should be burned.”

RAFI: “Is he from Super Mario Bros.? Because, if it was on me, I would have picked up Luigi.”

RUXIN: “Andre? Oh, no, that human kumquat’s got my team.”

PETE: “…it is decided!”

PETE: “It’s an honor. It’s a Dre-peat!”

KEVIN: “Oh, where did this platypus get a boat?”

TACO: “This whole league is tarnished. We need burn it, bury it, and start clean just like Pete did with his wife.”

RAFI: “You sure it’s not my baby? I did jerk off in your underwear drawer.”

RUXIN: “You can take my draft pick…but you can never take my Shiva! This season never happened!”

KEVIN: “Any asshole can be a father. I want to be a champion!”

TACO: “My brother’s such an idiot.”

Images thanks to the wonderful work of  RAFI BOMB!

Ruxin Meme Generator: Stroke Face Unlocked

The League S03E12: St. Pete commits Shivacide, Ruxin commits Strokicide

Whether it’s karma or the careful plotting of the rest of the league, Ruxin’s had a string of bad luck ever since he brought home the championship last season. He hits rock bottom in this, the last episode before the season finale.

Ruxin-meme-generator-stroke-face-unlocked-74b1f7

It’s easy to say he had it coming. I mean, he ended last season with a “Suck it!” to the entire league and a reign of terror that darkened the skies of Chicago. Now, as his champion season comes an end, Ruxin’s been beat down, abused, and put in his place more than once.

With Pete and Ruxin both one loss away from playing in the Sacko Bowl, Pete hatches a noble scheme to bring an end to the guilt and suspicion they’ve had to deal with all season.

Pete decides to commit “Shivacide.”

If Pete loses, it doesn’t matter whether Ruxin wins or not. The two of them, due to tiebreakers, will have the two lowest records in the league, and Pete is confident he’ll best Ruxin in Week 16, assuring Ruxin will take home the Sacko.

From first to worst. The perfect end to Ruxin’s reign of terror.

While Kevin protests at first, such a selfless gesture cannot be ignored. After all, Kevin’s full of guilt about allowing the league to change the draft order after they drew Ruxin’s name first. So he agrees to allow “St. Pete” to make the great sacrifice for the good of the league.

But allowing this further transgression against Ruxin doesn’t clear Kevin’s conscience. After meeting with Pete, he decides to simulate an alternate league scenario based on the original draft order — a parallel universe where fairness mattered.

Much to his excitement, when the calculations are done, Kevin still would have made the playoffs with the original, correct draft order. This must just be his season, outside of that small incident last week.

But now that he knows the truth, Kevin’s put everyone at risk by creating evidence that the league colluded against Ruxin, a secret they’ve successfully hidden the entire season. At Pete’s urging, Kevin agrees that his notes on the alternate league scenario must be destroyed…as soon as they find them.

Not to be distracted from his distractions by fantasy football, Taco’s moving forward with his plans for Taco Corp. And by moving forward, I mean he’s actually making it a “Corp.” by incorporating it.

To do so, he needs Ruxin’s help, which Ruxin’s not very willing to provide until he sees that Taco has first priority on the waiver wire.

Knowing he could assure himself the chance to grab Felix Jones as long as Taco doesn’t put in a claim, Ruxin changes his tune and assumes his role as lawyer and longtime consigliere of Taco and Taco Corp. to go “business dinnering” with Taco at Obscura, the new downtown restaurant in complete darkness.

As if gropers needed a more accommodating setting.

The darkness of Obscura works in Pete and Kevin’s favor as they don night vision goggles in search of Kevin’s misplaced alternate league notes in the briefcase Taco stole for “business dinnering.”

They get in and out of Obscura without getting caught by Taco, Ruxin, or the blind host with a supernatural sense of smell, but the briefcase is full of nothing but Taco’s peppermints.

The search continues…

To liven things up in their playoff matchup, Kevin and Jenny decide to make a wager, and Kevin sets the terms — he wants to make another baby with Jenny if he wins. Can’t say that’s what I would have gone with.

Andre, fighting to stay relevant in his Sacko season, decides now is a good time to campaign to be everyone’s ICE, or emergency contact.

Alas, most of the league would rather Doak, the homeless guy who answers any walkie-talkie call on channel 6, be their emergency contact than admit on record that they’re that close to Andre.

Andre forces his way into Pete’s phone. And, of course, Pete is happy to abuse it by calling Andre to pick him up at Kevin’s house, fetch him beers, and worse until he sees fit to trade Andre to Taco in a package with Jason Witten.

It’s after this trade that Andre finally gets a proper opportunity to reciprocate. Pulled over for texting while driving when he was, in fact, making a last minute waiver wire addition before kickoff, Andre discovers that cops only get angry when you persistently ask them to help you decide whether to start Jabar Gaffney or Lance Moore.

With his car impounded, Andre’s forced to call Pete, who refers him to Taco, but Taco’s no help. He arrives via a ride from a girl he doesn’t even know with no money and no transportation to Pete’s house. So they walk.

On the plus side, Jason Witten gives Taco the points he needs to advance to the Shiva Bowl.

At Pete’s house, Ruxin arrives to learn that Pete is losing his matchup with only Mike Tolbert, the vulture, left to play. But the vulture is sick…and he hasn’t been seen since the first drive of the game. Kevin’s “sick vulture” sound is too much for Ruxin to take, and he runs away in tears.

But out of his anger, the evil rises.

Ruxin suspects that there must have been some sort of collusion going on for him to have failed so miserably. When Ruxin storms off to Ellie’s room and, in Ellie’s words, starts “being a real dick” to her frog, Ellie gives Ruxin several new reasons to flip the switch back to his dark side.

First, she hands him Kevin’s “hair pills,” also known as Propecia, and explains that he takes them everyday.

And second, she reveals her latest school project, a presentation board explaining why her daddy, Kevin, is her hero. On that board, she’s pasted the alternate league draft order and the playoff results Kevin calculated.

It’s hard to disagree with Kevin: “This is why I wanted a new kid. This one’s no good.”

With only minutes left in the last NFL game of the week and with Taco already a lock for the Shiva Bowl, Jenny has the lead over Kevin. It looks like it’s going to be Jenny facing Taco for the championship.

But as luck would have it, just as Kevin looks away to catch Jenny, falling off a ladder while decorating the tree, the Ravens D/ST gets an interception and takes it back to the house for a pick-six.

The point swing sends Kevin to the Shiva Bowl, and he Shiva Blasts after telling Jenny to “Suck it!” like a true gentleman.

His celebration, however, is short-lived.

Armed with Ellie’s project, clearly showing the treachery that the league committed against him to start the year, Ruxin will take no excuses. Ranting about how the entire season is null and void, he storms off spouting gibberish, eventually collapsing in the snow outside of Kevin’s house while trying to talk to Sofia on the phone, who just assumes it’s another dropped call.

His frozen Ruxin face suggests stroke. He’s barely even strong enough to resist mouth-to-mouth from Andre.

Is Ruxin…dead? Should we celebrate or cry?

In Memoriam

Memorable quotes from Episode 12:

JENNY: “Did you just check the TV? While I’m choking?”
KEVIN: “No, I, you know…there was just a little ticker at the bottom about LeGarrette Blount.”

KEVIN: “So strong when you’re angry.”

RUXIN: “The app I want for my phone is ‘Phone.'”

ANDRE [on dropped calls]: “All of a sudden everyone becomes a cell phone Columbo.”

ANDRE: “You blew up the house…”
KEVIN: “You should call you ICE!”
ANDRE: “I don’t have one.”

PETE: “I’ve decided to commit Shivacide.”

KEVIN: “Saint Peter.”
PETE: “Bless you, my son.”
KEVIN: “Lunch?”

PETE: “Andre, you accepted your own Facebook invitation to me?”
ANDRE: “Yes, it was sitting there for ages.”
PETE: “No, seven years.”

TACO: “…you remind me of a young me.”
RUXIN: “You’re younger than me.”

RUXIN [to Taco]: “It’s like talking to a block of marble.”

TACO: “The crotchal region is not flattering, but it’s accurate.”
KEVIN: “It’s inappropriate, is what it is.”
TACO: “Are you upset about the bend? Look, that’s a MacArthur family tradition.”
KEVIN: “No, it’s a lilt, first of all.”
ANDRE: “Whoa! That’s a bend. Anything past 19 degrees is a bend. I can fix that if you want.”
KEVIN: “No.”
ANDRE: “Technically, that’s a medical emergency.”
KEVIN: “You are never touching my dick again.”
ANDRE: “You give me the sign, I’ll do it at night.”

TACO: “I gave it an extra inch…because it’s about hero worship, right?”

TACO: “Yeah, dicks: Great at drawing them. Balls: Not so much. Faces: Not at all.”
KEVIN: “Why don’t you just concentrate a little more on faces?”
TACO: “I still have a lot of work to do on dicks. But then again, I’m my harshest critic.”

TACO: “Last week, I business dinnered with Doak.”
RUXIN: “Taco, business dinner is not a verb.”
TACO: “Yes it is. Like ‘moonwalk’ or ‘karate'”

RUXIN: “I can pay, Taco. ‘Cause you’re basically a homeless person.”

TACO: “No, no, no,  I’m used to being in the dark.”

COP: “Jabar sounds like a wizard to me.”

RUXIN: “If I keep making this finger, you think it’ll freeze this way, too.”

TACO: “I made a Cheerio fart.”

RUXIN: “Propecia? Is that why his hair goes halfway down his forehead like teen wolf?”

RUXIN: “Your daddy’s your hero? … You should aim higher like a low-end bookie or a spare tire.”

KEVIN: “You know, I did not set up this league to have a trophy end up with my wife’s name on it or as a bong in my attic.”

KEVIN: “This is why I wanted a new kid. This one’s no good.”

TACO: “I think we’re supposed to pee on him…Might not help, but it can’t hurt.”

The League S03E11: The Guest Bong takes Taco TO THE CLOUD!

Pete’s general lack of ambition and disheveled appearance certainly don’t hinder his ability with the ladies. His prowess is best displayed in his uncanny ability to “outkick his coverage” with each girl he brings around. Danielle, his latest catch, is just another example of his ability to go above and beyond. Kudos to him.

But she’s no Jenny.

As the league goes into the final week of the regular season, Ruxin’s in full gloat mode and laying into the entire league with video trash-talking rants on the league boards.

Can’t say that I blame him. Any champion would be doing the same if they were still on the outside looking in. You have to put up a strong front. Plus…he’s playing Andre.

Unfortunately, one of his more grotesque videos gets intercepted by the human resources department at his office, which gets him banned from using his company email to communicate with the league.

Stepping away from the plot for a second, I’m surprised Ruxin was able to get away with it for as long as he has. I don’t know anyone — anyone still in a fantasy league at least — who uses their work email as the official email for their fantasy football league. Do you? [Please comment below if you do]

Using your work email account for trash-talking and general league debauchery is just asking to be flagged by HR…or IT…or Homeland Security.

You can check your scores on the company computers (just as any good addict would), but I would advise you to never, NEVER use your work email address for fantasy football.

Without his trusty work email address, Ruxin’s forced to revive his old Hotmail account, which, as Pete aptly points out, is “the official email of foreigners and poor people.” I will be stealing that joke for all future conversations involving Hotmail.

And Ruxin’s change of email provider ends up causing Andre grief when Ruxin accidentally adds Andre’s cleaning lady, Andrea, to an email string in place of Andre — an email string that contains at least one picture of “Alan” (autocorrect speak for…well, you know).

Seeing the horror that Andre’s friends are capable of, Andrea rightfully no longer wants to enter his apartment. She is kind enough to give him one last chance to redeem himself: coming to her community theater performance of “A Christmas Carol.”

While the rest of the league is wrapped up in league activities, Kevin’s been reunited with one of the men he put behind bars, Gavin. Kevin’s daughter, Ellie, just happens to befriend the ex-con’s daughter, Chloe, in her gym class.

To make matters worse, it’s not just any ex-con. Kevin was laughing hysterical at an autocorrect mistake in a text from Jenny when Gavin was escorted past him and into a scenic two-year stay in prison.

So Kevin’s going to die…

Taco, meanwhile, is forced to find a new “guest bong” for Kevin’s house when the MacArthurs clean out their attic, destroying the former guest bong — a guest bong, of course, being the bong that you keep at a friend’s house to get high when you visit.

So Taco chooses, of all items, the gun that Kevin just bought to protect himself from the sure-to-happen retaliatory attack from his new gym class friend Gavin.

Looking past his autocorrect “Alan Six” forwardness, Pete seems to be doing well with Danielle. She’s eager to get to know his friends. She wants to take an interest in what he does.

When she catches him setting his lineup for the final week’s games, she can’t help but make it a couple skate.

But in “helping” Pete set his lineup, Danielle takes a stand against starting Michael Vick, who will never be able to escape his transgressions against puppies in the public eye. This led to one of the more priceless moments of the episode when Danielle asked Pete if his other quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, had ever done anything wrongNoNEVER.

Oh, and somewhere in there, Andre started dressing as various British caricatures, rhyming, and changed his team name to the “James Bo-Andres.”

As one might predict, Pete’s lineup, without Michael Vick, fails miserably, much to Danielle’s misunderstanding.

Andre drags Ruxin to the community theater performance so that neither of them can watch the results of their showdown on Monday night, and when Ruxin’s team loses by just one point, he blows up in a Ruxin fit just as the actors take their bow, once again running into his friend in human resources.

And without Jenny to keep him stable, Kevin receives an autocorrected text from Gavin that was supposed to say “Bringing in Chloe’s fuzzy” but instead read “coming in with chloroform.”

The text snaps Kevin into full “I will protect this house!” mode, but his gun is missing — Guest bonged!

After a string of 911 calls prove worthless to both Kevin (hiding in his Harry Potter panic room under the stairs) and Gavin (squirming around inside Kevin’s bathroom), Taco soon saves the day by chasing both Gavin and Kevin out of the house while high as a kite inside the Mr. McGibblets outfit.

Memorable quotes from Episode 11:

TACO: “I thought the season was over.”

KEVIN: “Daddy’s doing adult talk.”

RUXIN: “Andre, I’m going to take my hand, stick it inside of you, and then open it like a baseball mit.”

PETE: “I can’t tell what’s funnier. Is it that you chose ‘theRuxster’? Or is it that you have an actual Hotmail account, the official email of foreigners and poor people.”

PETE [introducing Andre]: “This is The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

KEVIN: “A little early for Alan conversation, wouldn’t you say?”
RUXIN: “I usually don’t propose that until a bottle of wine and a warm bath.”

GAVIN [on prison]: “It was…kinda…rapey.”

KEVIN: “That went poorly.”

PETE: “So that you can Plaxidentally shoot yourself in your own house?”

TACO: “We need to get drunk and go to the firing range, a.k.a. the field next to the highway.”

TACO: “I like it here. There’s Internet…and HEAT.”

ANDRE: “Taco, mind yourself on the apples and pears!”

ANDRE: “Next time you want to stick something in me, text me.”

TACO: “I just wish I could walk around in a cloud of it all day long. TO THE CLOUD! Like Microsoft.”

PETE: “This is like fifth base for me. This is like the equivalent of male Alan.”

DANIELLE: “Ben Roethlisberger. Has he ever done anything wrong?”
PETE: “…NEVER. He is a good man.”

PETE: “I literally feel like I’ve just been deflowered.”
DANIELLE: “Well, you’ll cry the first time, but every time after that it’ll be a little less painful.”

TACO: “My players are killing it. Lawrence Fitzgerald…Raymond Rice…and Came Newtown.”

TACO: “TO THE CLOUD!”

PETE: “Easy, Jason Statham.”

KEVIN: “How many loads can you transport at one time?”
ANDRE: “As many as humanly possible.”
JENNY: “Do you take the whole load all at once?”
ANDRE: “That’s right. I take the load, hold it inside me, and I don’t let it out.”
DANIELLE: “Wow, like big loads?”
ANDRE: “I love big loads.”
RUXIN: “Do you take a lady’s load?”
ANDRE: “I’ll take a lady’s load, but a prefer a man’s load.”
KEVIN: “Yeah.”

DANIELLE: “Did you guys just figure this out right now?”
JENNY: “No, this is called shit-talking…and you catch on very quickly.”

KEVIN [on Jenny]: “She is not a girl, Pete.”

RUXIN: “I don’t want to see amateur theatre. It’s just a bunch of fat girls dealing with their complicated issues with dudes who are still in the closet.”

ANDRE: “James Bo-Andres are in the playoffs. License to win.”

RUXIN: “No, your son’s acting killed Christmas.”

KEVIN: “Nothing explodes in your vag.”