The League S03E08: Thanksgiving brings family together (for tur-guinea)

Jeff Goldblum and Sarah Silverman?! It truly is a time for Thanksgiving. And this year, we give thanks for awkward family reunions (and guinea pigs).

To celebrate the season, Ellie volunteered to take care of the class guinea pig over the Thanksgiving break. Personally, I think it’s never a good idea for a kid to take care of the class pet over the holidays. All too often, it results in two scenarios:

  1. The class pet dies, either of natural causes or the home environment
  2. The kid who takes care of the pet likes it so much that they want to keep it or get another pet of their own to replace it when it’s gone.

It’s lose-lose, in my opinion, but that’s what Kevin and Jenny are in for when Ellie volunteers to take care of Shakespeare.

In anticipation of the holiday season, the league has all made a “fat bet,” a competition based upon how much weight they can lose before Turkey Day and how much they exercise. Included in the bet, any man who doesn’t exercise for at least 30 minutes each day pays $50 into the pot.

That’s probably one of the most ambitious challenges I’ve heard of for a holiday. I hope none of my friends every propose that idea.

Ruxin’s been dominating the competition thus far (although as with many things Ruxin, all does not seem to be fair in this competition). But he falls down to earth a bit when, instead of having the house to himself for his “house hotel” the week of Thanksgiving, Ruxin ends up running into his dad, who was also trying to get out of spending the holidays with family.

Together, the two holiday bachelors decide to spend Thanksgiving together, but each admits they were planning on doing it their way. And they do.

So Ruxin’s dad (who also goes by Ruxin rather than Rupert but, for the sake of clarity, will be called Rupert) runs every morning with Ruxin’s “fat bet” pedometer while Ruxin spares no lotion in choking the chicken while the missus is away.

There’s something about Jeff Goldblum talking about the realities of the human spirit and our desire to watch porn on the big screen TV (Full volume!) that just warms the heart. Don’t you agree?

The gang also gets a visit from Andre’s older sister, Heather (Sarah Silverman), who taught all of them (and by proxy, Andre) everything they know about sex. Her presence and voice-inside-the-ear on Andre about all the things the guys make fun of him for leaves him feeling out-of-place during the Thanksgiving festivities.

In another bid to make a fortune, Taco has invested in a white truffle. Despite Taco’s best efforts, not even Andre will pay him more than his costs, regardless of how many “business lessons” he tries to share.

By meal time, the league members have gathered together, Ruxin’s dad and Heather in tow, to celebrate Thanksgiving at the MacArthur house. After the fat bet weigh-in and totals are finalized, which Ruxin wins easily thanks to his father’s running, they all settle down to eat, but not before Pete gets approached by Heather.

While Pete explains his need for food before he satisfies Heather, they accidentally bump Shakespeare’s cage, freeing the guinea pig to roam. By the time Kevin and Jenny come by to feed him, the creature’s long gone, taking Taco’s white truffle with him. (Who puts a truffle in a playroom?)

Resolving to go on like nothing has happened, Jenny serves dinner, and it goes off without a hitch — well, other than a palette cleanse turned lesson in female fellatio lesson — up until it’s time for turkey, which turns out to be a tur-guinea. (Don’t worry! They found Shakespeare.)

As everyone flees the dining room in an attempt to cleans themselves of the guinea pig they’ve just consumed, Ruxin, Andre, and Taco come face to face with Ruxin’s father Rupert’s vinegar strokes when they discover him balls deep in Heather, who couldn’t wait any longer for Pete.

Talk about families coming together, right?

Memorable quotes from Episode 8:

KEVIN: “He’s vermin.”

KEVIN: “Near the food? Good God, woman, that’s how the plague started.”

RUXIN [on Kevin's "eater high"]: “You mean diabetes?”

RUXIN: “I’m going to have my house to myself, where I can roll around my house like an anonymous man in a hotel room.”

RUXIN: “I’ve been collecting those hotel-sized moisturizer bottles just getting ready.”

RUXIN: “Why would I use Noxzema?”
ANDRE: “‘Cause it’s cold and tingly like a girl’s vagina.”

RUXIN: “It smells like a Guatemalan YMCA in here. Congratulations on that.”

KEVIN [to Andre]: “Did you meet him on Craigslist or are his intentions honorable?”

RUXIN: “Andre, and I say this fondly, your sister was such an unrelenting slutbag.”

RUXIN: “I’m pretty sure the facials were going towards her, Andre.”

RUXIN: “Think I’m gonna do about 5 miles today.”

RUPERT: “Well, look at you, you little homunculus. Without any pants. No shoes. Like a man who’s just fled from a carnival. You know, you look a bit pale. Some would say pasty. I say like a freshly peeled apple.”

RUPERT: “Continue with this homoerotic competition talk. It’s more than delightful.”

ANDRE: “You told me to stop wearing black because I looked like Nosferatu.”

ANDRE: “…That’s why mescal never tasted the same.”

RUXIN: “Full disclosure? We’re both adults. I was here to watch the Playboy Channel.”
RUPERT: “Bullshit.”
RUXIN: “I was gonna watch something filthier. Not on my laptop. Everything is at your fingers on a laptop, but no, you wanna watch it…”
RUPERT: “On a TV! Full volume!”
RUXIN: “Full volume! Not hidden away like Anne Frank in the attic whispering, you know.”

KEVIN: “Yeah, he’s running so much he’s now walking funny.”

KEVIN: “Here’s the church. Here’s the steeple. Open the doors, and just eat all the people.”
HEATHER: “Nose, nose, nose…”

TACO: “Yeah, we were playing Sister Invader.”

KEVIN: “Yeah, Seven Minutes in Heather.”

HEATHER: “He was taught by the best, this guy.”

JENNY: “…No, we don’t go to church.”

PETE: “We do have a quorum.”
KEVIN: “Never…again.”

HEATHER: “No, they’re shit-talking. You’re shit-taking.”

RUXIN: “Bro, it’s all muscle.”

ANDRE: “No, it’s called a belly band.”

RUXIN: “Hehe. Postpartum girdle!”

HEATHER: “Go tide yourself over. I’ll meet you in 8 minutes. We’ll ‘go to the bathroom,’ but really, you’ll lick my vagina.”

KEVIN: “And I want to take you to church. I just get confused. Sometimes I pull up, and I’m sweaty already. I’m not exactly sure which door to go into, alright?”

KEVIN: “Look, there’s truffle shavings. He dragged it out like a lion ripping out a gazelle. If we were a restaurant, they would shut us down. They would give us a D…”

KEVIN: “Like Helen Keller!”

TACO: “That’s why I had sex with her yesterday…I hate sexual tension.”

JENNY: “You just gently take a little lick…Cleanse your palette.”

HEATHER: “Kevin, just let the sorbet know you’re there with the heat of your breath.”

TACO: “I don’t really like sorbet, but I love watching women eat it.”

KEVIN: “I’m never going to be able to eat sorbet like that.”

RUXIN: “I feel like I’m watching my own birth.”

ANDRE: “Can we get a palette cleanser for our palette cleanser?”

RUXIN: “You fed us goddamn guinea pig like some Peruvian street urchin?!”

JENNY: “It’s a tur-guinea!”

ANDRE: “I just saw your dad’s vinegar strokes.”
TACO: “I saw into his soul. Not good.”

I just might have to change my fantasy football team name to “The Twilight: Breaking Dawn-dres.” Thoughts?

Kevin's zipper fairies are dead

The League S03E07: Carmenjello kills zipper fairies

What have we not ruined of Ruxin’s yet? Sex life? So let’s get right on that by having his wife Sofia accuse him of “breast favoritism” and shut him down for the night.

But we’re not just picking on Ruxin this episode. Kevin’s got his own problems in the bedroom because Ellie’s room is under construction. Water damage has forced the MacArthurs to repaint in Ellie’s bedroom, and until it’s done, Kevin is best friends with a tube sock.

We get a reunion of sorts in “Carmenjello.” This week is the first episode in a long time to feature almost the entire The League family. We were just one Baby Geoffrey sighting away from the entire cast with both Ellie and Sofia back into the plot.

So far in Season 3, we haven’t seen much of the struggles of parenting in the MacArthur home. Other than her ruining of the Sukkah, Ellie hasn’t given us many touching moments like the Mr. McGibblets encounters of seasons past. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I find a lot of the Ellie storylines a little distracting.

But this episode gives us a great understanding of what it’s like to be a parent. No matter how occupied Kevin and Jenny think Ellie is, she always seems to get into something she’s not supposed to (like underwear stickers) or walk in on the two of them while they look for “zipper fairies.”

It’s difficult to think about nothing but fantasy football when you have a kid.

Apparently, we won’t find out how Ruxin’s career has been affected by his hidden illness in “Yobogoya!” But we do, at least, know he’s working on a new case, one that Mr. Hudabega referenced in the last episode — a paint company who had to recall cans because they were exploding.

Is it just me or does Ruxin seem to have the same defense for everything? Pay less than what you would expect for a given product? Well, then you should expect a product that will a) give you indigestion, b) explode, or c) kill you. Sure, it seems rock solid, but it’s getting repetitive. I never knew being a defense attorney could be so simple.

And clearly, Ruxin isn’t clipping any coupons.

Struggling with how to show Sofia he doesn’t favor one breast any more than the other, Ruxin goes to Andre, who has been the problem solver of choice as of late. The two decide the best solution might be making a statue of Sofia’s body to show her that he loves it, and, decision made, Ruxin hands over a picture that he just happens to keep in his suit jacket pocket at all times for “personal use” of Sofia topless. That’s handy.

When he’s not helping solve everyone’s problems, Andre’s making donations back to the gang’s high school, and the school has decided to honor Andre at a ceremony for an unknown new initiative. Dropping in on his alma mater, Andre asks the janitor for direction to the principal’s office, but he mistakes the janitor’s company name for the janitor’s own name and calls him “Carmenjello,” labeling himself as a racist for thinking all black people have unusual names.

Granted, the league members agree with his mistake. There are a lot of unique names in pop culture and especially the NFL — Jacquizz, Plaxico, Jermicheal, LaRod. But Carmenjello is still pretty out there. So Andre will have to make it up to Steve, the janitor, somehow in order to clear his conscience.

Meanwhile, recovering nicely from his plot of take over the world with the pee bib, Taco’s new investment opportunity is “forever stamps.” They never go down in value. Only up! It’s pure genius. Genius, I tell you. So Taco, ever the careful one, gives his collection of stamps to Kevin for safekeeping.

Ruxin’s problems soon turn into Andre’s problems when, returning to his office, Andre discovers he’s lost the photo of Sofia Ruxin gave him, and he’s not able to console Ruxin with an offer of a photo of Aunt Kiki. So picky, that Ruxin.

Instead, Andre distracts himself with trying to solve his racism problem. He takes Steve, the Carmenjello janitor, to the spa for a “peace summit” couples massage. He botches a few references to Affirmative Action in the process, but overall, he’s doing a great job of making up his accidental racism to Steve. He even asks Steve to look for the picture of Sofia that went missing.

But they happen to be at the spa the same time as Kevin, who takes an interest in Steve’s skin color. You see, he’s been searching for the perfect cinnamon paint color for Ellie’s room in order to get Ellie out of his hair and his bedroom. Steve’s skin tone just happens to be the perfect cinnamon blend, in Kevin’s eyes.

In an attempt to capture it in a photo, Kevin sneaks into the room with Andre and Steve to take a picture, but while he manages to stealthy massage Andre’s cossacks without getting caught, the iPhone camera shutter click tips Steve off (and ticks Steve off). So Steve — a little sensitive despite his ability to slot his own skin tone on the color wheel, no? — assumes he’s once again getting mocked and angrily explodes on both Kevin and Andre.

Andre’s chances at making amends to the janitor are ruined; nevertheless, Kevin now has a picture to model his paint mix after.

Against better judgement, Kevin sends Taco after the paint, but first, Taco must get some more forever stamps from Kevin’s house. There he finds Ellie decorating her mother’s underwear with his stamps because she mistakes them for “underwear stickers.” Rather than recover the stamps themselves, Taco just takes all of Jenny’s underwear because it wasn’t sexy anyway, at least in Taco’s opinion.

Since forever stamps aren’t exactly the universal currency Taco thought they were, Taco can only exchange Jenny’s underwear and stamps for recalled, exploding paint cans. But since Taco doesn’t notice such small details, he makes the purchase anyway without concern.

Back at Ruxin’s house, Sofia discovers Ruxin playing with the breast implant he took from Andre’s office as a stress ball. She feels he’s trying to suggest she get a boob job, when, in fact, he’s thinking quite the contrary. To convince her otherwise, Ruxin has to take her to see Andre, who’s being honored at the school that afternoon.

So the league ends up coming together for Andre’s dedication ceremony at the high school. It seems they’ve named him the mascot of sorts for their new abstinence program, much to his dismay. Andre awkwardly takes the stage to defend his honor, but no matter how graphic he gets, Andre’s monologue comes off more 40 Year Old Virgin than Eyes Wide Shut. You know, bag of sand?

Taco’s not done with his forever stamps campaign. Full of the giving spirit, he’s donated the last few pairs of her underwear to the abstinence cause, forever stamps and all.

Horrified by the sight of her underwear in a plastic cube, Jenny sends Kevin in to retrieve the underwear, but he’s too clumsy to pull it off and ends up knocking over the donation cube in front of the entire audience. So Jenny herself, in the chaos, is left to grab her own underwear and flee the scene.

Just as the event falls apart, Ruxin and Sofia arrive in search of Andre. They find him on his way out, and after discussing Ruxin’s decision to have a statue made, they notice a commotion around the high school hallway.

It seems the topless photo of Sofia Ruxin lost turned up at the high school, but Steve, the janitor Andre offended, chose to wax it into the floor rather than return it to the racist Andre.

The sight of her photo waxed into the floor sends Sofia off in a rage and Ruxin’s spank bank as a permanent fixture of the high school.

So he does what any desperate guy would do…

Ruxin snaps a photo of the picture in the floor on his phone and leaves the scene. At least he’ll have some way to remember it.

Back at the MacArthur home, Kevin and Jenny are finally ready to paint after Taco fetched the “Carmenjello” mix for them. But rather than get to work, they try to take a moment to themselves, which is soon ruined when one of the paint cans (remember, these are of the recalled variety) explodes, leaving a lovely silhouette of Jenny going after Kevin’s zipper fairies on the wall for Ellie to see.

Kevin's zipper fairies are dead

Memorable quotes from Episode 7:

RUXIN: “Are you accusing me of breast favoritism?”

RUXIN: “What if we tried like where you’re like a French courtesan from the 19th century who loves to give blow jibbers?”

RUXIN: “Annnnnnd scene.”

RUXIN: “It’s like a sexual Foxtrot.”

RUXIN: “Well, if you are purchasing something that is half the price of your competitors, then there is a reasonable expectation that that product will explode in your face.”

KEVIN: “Tell her that cinnamon only exists in spice racks and strip clubs. That’s it.”

JENNY: “I was looking for zipper fairies in daddy’s zipper.”

KEVIN: “Well, start packing your bags, fairies, because you guys are going home to a tube sock.”

RUXIN: “A stressplant? I like that. I don’t know why women don’t just grab onto their own whenever they’re stressed out.”

ANDRE: “Why do you have a topless photo of your wife in your jacket?”
RUXIN: “What? I’m not allowed to have porn in my house, and my roster sucks. So I need some material.”
ANDRE: “That’s like if a serial killer wrote a romance novel, he would jerk off to his wife. Extended family, sure. Like your aunt or something, fine.”

ANDRE: “High school was my jam.”
RUXIN: “That’s what we made you tell the principal.”

STEVE THE JANITOR: “Why would someone name their baby ‘Carmenjello’? What kind of women would do that?”

ANDRE: “Taboo is my favorite Black Eyed Pea. I love the show Martin! You so crazy…”

TACO: “No, because diamonds aren’t forever. But forever stamps are. I invested all my money that I made pretending to be that old woman’s gardener into forever stamps.”

TACO: “I am sitting on thousands of pennies right now.”

TACO: “The front door is half cardboard, and it gets really moist in there. So I think it’s going to make them all stick together.”

KEVIN: “Taco, where’d you get this briefcase?”
TACO: “Stole it from some moron.”
ANDRE: “It says ‘Kevin’ on it.”

STEVE: “Nobody wants to get pounded in a day spa.”

KEVIN: “No, it’s got nothing to do with race. It’s about the color of your skin. That’s all.”

KEVIN: “I mean, Beehive is where I had you, accurately.”

STEVE: “CARMENJELLO! Say it! Right now!”

TACO: “Is the sex you have even that good?”

TACO: “Monogamy’s so sad.”

TACO: “These are cheap panties you get in a 12-pack at a Costco. Not. Sexy.”

SOFIA: “You hate this breast!”
RUXIN: “No, I love that breast, and I love the other one. It’s one of the main reasons I married you…I take that statement back already.”

SOFIA: “Not the ‘Dre guy.”
RUXIN: “No, he’s not allowed back in the country.”

TACO: “I didn’t give your underwear to people. I exchanged them for goods and services.”

KEVIN: “This is like virgin Christmas.”

JENNY: “Garbage time doesn’t count, Andre!”

TACO [to Jenny]: “Nothing says abstinence like your underwear.”

ANDRE: “I fingered a girl in my day. One time, girl told me just to put the tip in…and I did.”

RUXIN: “You gotta do what you gotta do, guys. Got it? … All your teachers smoke pot.”

KEVIN [on his zipper fairies]: “She didn’t find any. I think they’re dead.”

The League S03E06: Yobogoya! Will Destroy Ya

This episode brought both the shits and the giggles. Literally.

The season is all about destroying Ruxin — body, mind and what’s left of his soul. I’m sure somewhere in The Art of War it details exactly the strategy Ruxin’s faced through the first half of this season.

First, you crush their spirit by ruining their hope for the future or, in this case, Ruxin’s son’s education. Then you smoke them out into the open by making their home life miserable. Ashley the Au Pair, mission accomplished. Then you make them question themselves, which Ruxin’s started to do since losing lineup nirvana. The stage is set for a breakdown of epic proportions.

Next? I guess we’re left with destroying career? Sounds good. I’m sure Sun Tzu would agree.

Ruxin gets his first real chance to work with a big partner in his firm, Mr. Hudabega, played by Ray Liotta, in defending Yobogoya, a maker of cheap, low-quality fast-food mystery meats. Ruxin’s “you should know better if you’re paying $2.99 for 3 pounds of meat” defense pleases the excitable Mr. Hudabega, who immediately takes him under his wing and dubs thee “Skippy.”

But Ruxin’s not the only one working with Yobogoya. They’re also running a jingle contest, and the winner will receive a lifetime supply of the tasty but intestinally devastating meals.

If you caught “lifetime supply” in there, you already know Taco’s on the case.

It’s in mid-Yobogoya feasting that we find Taco at a “brothers lunch” with Kevin as Kevin tries to emphasize to Taco that he needs to start setting his lineup every week.

But that moment of family togetherness (and Taco misunderstandings, mostly), gets interrupted by Andre and his new hobby, urban foraging, which is most assuredly destined to get someone killed. Probably Andre. And was anyone else unable to distinguish Andre from an overgrown leprechaun while he was foraging?

Come Sunday, Ruxin feels the need to tinker with his lineup and doesn’t notice Jenny’s sneezing and symptoms when he borrows her laptop. By the time she sneezes, he’s already been exposed, putting himself in danger of getting sick and losing the chance to work with Mr. Hudabega on the big case.

Ruxin gets a second helping of the MacArthur germs soon after when Kevin rushes back from the bathroom without washing his hands to take the laptop back from Ruxin before Ruxin hacks Taco’s account to set Taco’s lineup. And Kevin gets himself in trouble with Ellie for not practicing what he preaches about washing hands.

Rather than complain more about the germ exposure, Ruxin chooses instead to gripe about Taco’s lack of involvement in the league. He issues a decree demanding that Taco set his lineup on his own that week or be banished from the league.

Nobody likes a free win machine in the league.

Kevin, Jenny, and Pete must come together to form a shadow government in order to save Taco from Ruxin’s ultimatum. The league really is at their best when they band together to torture or save one of their own — doesn’t matter which.

Back at the office, Ruxin, of course, comes down with something after being exposed to Jenny’s germs. Rather than cop to his illness and sit this one out, Ruxin blames a bee allergy, triggered by an indoor bee (plenty of those, right?).

His excellence in lying gets him past the first level of suspicion from Mr. Hudabega and keeps him on the case.

Eager to share his latest trendy hobby with the league, Andre invites everyone but Sick Ruxin over for an “urban foraging” dinner. The dinner itself is as terrifying as you would expect a dinner assembled from plants around the city to be. Mushrooms from under the L train anyone?

Lucky for Team Shadow Government, Kevin, Jenny, and Pete get saved from the urban foraging dinner when Taco comes to the rescue. Fresh off winning the Yobogoya contest with his jingle, Taco arrives with enough buckets of mystery meat for everyone.

Sensing there was too much joy in one location, Ruxin pops over to Andre’s to force Taco to set his lineup without any help from the rest of the league.

Setting him up on Andre’s computer, the stage is set for Taco to fail. But first, Taco can’t help but accidentally stumble upon Andre’s foraging porn, Forag-acation (not a real site, but if you click it, you get rewarded), like Rain Man.

Poor Andre. He’s just a magnet for embarrassment, and it doesn’t help that Taco’s a magnet for porn.

With Taco at the computer, the shadow government puts their plan into action. Just out of Ruxin’s view, Pete uses “traffic cop” signing to suggest the correct lineup moves to Taco, who slowly (and excruciatingly) manages to submit a valid roster for the week.

How did Taco ever win this league if he can’t even name the positions on a football field? And how terrible does that make Kevin?

Speaking of traffic cops, with Ashley out of sight and out of mind — we can only hope Bobbum Man didn’t get her  —  Pete has found his new archnemesis in the form of a traffic cop, “Glovesy.” Glovesy does a terrible job dealing with the traffic at a broken traffic light, and Pete can’t take it.

After his shadow government operation Pete’s feeling pretty good about his signaling abilities, and when he finds himself stuck at Glovesy’s intersection again, he jumps out of his car and challenges him to a “signal” off.

Their battle, while heated, results in a car accident, and Pete promptly leaves the scene before he gets busted. It was a great little distraction for Pete since his immune system was apparently strong enough to resist Jenny’s illness.

Having won the case alongside Mr. Hudabega, Ruxin’s still covering up his illness and still letting Mr. Hudabega call him Skippy.

When he learns Peyton Hillis’ strep throat will keep him from playing that week from Mr. Hudabega, Ruxin, a Hillis owner, is left with a decision. With his phone about to die, he could go on about his business, continuing to hide his illness and leaving Hillis to notch a zero for the week…or he could try to make a switch and risk sneezing in front of his boss.

Ruxin tries hidden option C first. He reaches out to Kevin, hoping that Kevin will help him adjust his lineup as commish. He’s tried this before. Doesn’t he ever learn from his mistakes?

Kevin, unsurprisingly, refuses to help the champ. He has more pressing matters to deal with as the Yobogoya he ate at Andre’s foraging meal signals him that it’s ready for evac while he’s stuck in traffic with Jenny and Ellie.

Denied any outside help, Ruxin’s only option as a truly competitive fantasy football addict is to hijack Mr. Hudabega’s phone to make the roster move. But, in the excitement of adjusting his lineup, he can’t suppress a sneeze.

Caught in the act, Ruxin still won’t admit he’s sick, even as he continues to sneeze all over the partner’s phone. Instead, he continues to insist it’s his bee allergy. But two EpiPens later, it’s just not worth it anymore to lie.

Now, to the question you’re all still asking, will Kevin shit or get to a pot?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgUSozI4gxk

Distraught and out of options when nature calls in traffic, Kevin jumps out of the car in search of a restroom. Finding none, he runs into a park just in time to drop a “tasty brown treat” within sight of Ellie’s teacher — of course, the one she’s told that Kevin doesn’t wash his hands.

What an animal Kevin is. What an animal we all are. I love this show.

Memorable quotes from Episode 6:

TACO: “No, I want specifics. What do you do with your time? Your aimlessness fascinates me.”

KEVIN: “Taco, you can’t buy a bucket of nails for $2.99.”

TACO [to Andre]: “Okay, you can go now.”

ANDRE: “I’m an urban forager. It’s no big deal … Actually, it’s a huge deal.”

ANDRE: “Mushroom caps and…oh, no, that’s a condom.”

RUXIN: “It’s a bunch of horse meat. North Koreans wouldn’t even eat it.”

RUXIN: “If you’re gonna pay $2.99 for 3 pounds of horse meat, there’s a reasonable expectation that your colon’s gonna implode.”

JENNY: “Tinker away, Tinkerbell, straight to NeverNeverWinLand.”
RUXIN: “Will do, Captain Hooker.”

PETE: “Who decided it was a good idea to replace a traffic light with an asshole?”

JENNY: “I think it’s great. It’s like we have a little frittata wildcard in our league.”

RUXIN: “…SmallHandsOnBalls.net is not up and running right now.” (Go ahead. Click that.)

SHADOW GOVERNMENT: “One. Two. Three. WE WERE NEVER HERE.”

PETE: “Don’t try to get me to see Michael Flatley again.”

RUXIN: “And you faked it, just like that Giants faked that injury in that Monday Night Football game.” (Had to highlight this one only because it incorporated real in-season events from this year)

RUXIN: “No, you won ’cause you got me sick ’cause you’re a filthy beast, and you live in this disgusting hovel. And your daughter’s just a petri dish with pigtails.” (Absolute destruction. Well done, Ruxin.)

RUXIN: “Oh, you think so, Sherlock Homeless”

RUXIN: “We’re going to put those Amish f**ks in prison.”

ANDRE [on the mushrooms]: “They need no sort of seasoning because they have their own sort of pungent aroma.”

ANDRE: “Okay, you know what? You have a category-5 Yobogoya storm hitting mainland in about 10 hours so I hope your colon’s ready.”

TACO: “Correction: That was a pony having sex with a human.”

TACO: “I know how it works. Take the bye players out; put in the straight ones.”

RUXIN: “Bye players? What is Andre in the league all of a sudden?” (Ruxin had some terribly cheap jokes during his illness. I guess that gives him an excuse.)

MR. HUDABEGA (RAY LIOTTA): “If you can’t afford a porterhouse, then you deserve hepatitis.”

MR. HUDABEGA: “You’re the son I would have if I stuffed it in my media coach.”

MR. HUDABEGA: “You shit-zipper!”

KEVIN: “I have digni…ohhh, Yobogoya.”

Rafi is Bobbum Man

The League S03E05: Bobbum Man joins MyFace for Kevin and Jenny’s Sexiversary

Rafi is Bobbum Man

Since The League already destroyed the nurturing educational foundation of Ruxin’s child and Ruxin’s life in his own home, it seems we, at long last, are left with little but the mental side of Ruxin’s fantasy football game on our path to deconstructing Ruxin this season.

Ruxin’s leaving points on his bench, and the stress is going to drive him out of his comfort zone. His suffering — and sarcasm — will eventually lead to the creation of a beast more powerful than himself, Bobbum Man. But we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.

I’m going to have to continue to push the working theory that there’s a curse on the champion of the league…and maybe it’s still sticking with Andre a bit as well.

Unable to set an optimal lineup in fantasy, Ruxin is left to what we can only assume is his last resort, Andre, who brings him along for a yoga class in an attempt to relieve Ruxin’s stress.

In yoga, Ruxin reaches enlightenment through a tramp stamp with magical powers on back of the attractive female student downward-dogging in front of him. “Ohm”-ing while staring into the tramp stamp gives Ruxin the edge he needed, and he reaches “lineup nirvana.”

If we had known sooner that the best way to decide when to start Vincent Jackson and when to bench him was to stare into a tramp stamp, this season would have gone much more smoothly. I’ve suffered with that very same issue all season long, and with no tramp stamp or yoga students in sight, I guess I’m just going to have to stick with what this realm has to offer.

While Ruxin revels in his “lineup nirvana” victory on Sunday, Kevin gets a text from “Bobbum Man,” a character Pete created for a game called “phone chicken” they all played in college.

Within “phone chicken,” each of the league members had their own avatar, and the goal was to get the other person to hang up the phone as quickly as possible.

“Bobbum Man,” Pete’s character, is a sad, middle-aged man driving around in a van full of “equipmonk.” No word on whether the van has “Free Candy” written on the side of it or not.

Kevin played “Mundane Ejaculation Man.” Think vinegar strokes, and you’ve got it. Andre was “Crawdad Man,” who sounds only slightly more legible than Farmer Fran. And Ruxin was “Korean Dick Vitale,” who might have been my favorite (and the most racially insensitive). Unfortunately, we don’t get to see much of Ruxin’s portrayal.

Haunted by thoughts of the reawakening of Bobbum Man, Kevin receives a visit from Taco, who we can only assume played himself in any game of “phone chicken,” in the dead of night.

Taco breaks into each league member’s house at 4 a.m. in order to invite them to MyFace (which actually is an available domain name), an “offline’ social network he’s created to combat the ridiculousness of Facebook and Twitter.

By the way, you can find and follow us on both @FantasyFools or through our page on Facebook. /shameless plug

Frustrated by the intrusion, Kevin reluctantly agrees to join, and Taco welcomes him with a video message from Bobbum Man.

With users joining by the…let’s just say day, MyFace seems to really take off. At the bar, Taco presents his MyFace “wall,” which looks less like a Facebook wall and more like your high school science fair board with stolen pictures and yarn instead of fake experiment results.

Old pictures of ‘Fro Ruxin make him the star of Taco’s MyFace wall, in my honest opinion.

On the MacArthur home front, Kevin reminds Jenny that they have a big relationship milestone coming up — their sexiversary. But Jenny doesn’t remember the exact date, hence her position as the masculine one in the relationship.

Note: I’ll be using the Urban Dictionary spelling of “sexiversary,” but there are alternatives.

Determined to figure out the exact date, Jenny goes to Taco, who busted up their first sexual encounter and snapped a photo.

Not surprisingly, it’s not so easy. Taco put the picture on his MyFace wall, but before Jenny can see it, she has to crack her password, stumbling through some Taco-ized versions of the password hints we all get online.

Taco tests Jenny with MyFace security questions

(I don’t ever remember them asking me to rate my top 10 lesbian experiences or to choose between dildos and vibrators.)

With the mystery solved (Nov. 2, 2001), Jenny surprises Kevin with sexy lingerie and a candle. But Kevin’s just received a cryptic message from Bobbum Man on the front door, which, paired with a hooded, sunglass-ed figure watching outside while they attempt couch sex, spooks him from being able to celebrate the sexiversary with Jenny properly.

Angry at his sexual failure, Kevin accuses Pete and then Taco of being outside his window the night before.

The pieces come together when Taco remembers that he created an “offline avatar” for Bobbum Man: Rafi.

After Taco inadvertently inspired the monster to come to life, Rafi consulted Ruxin, but Rafi misunderstood Ruxin’s sarcastic mocking as an endorsement and ran with it…right across Kevin’s lawn…in anal rapist gear.

The league members all set out to find Rafi, who’s fully become Bobbum Man by now.

Taco leaves a message for Rafi on his MyFace wallAlong their journey, they find his current “equipmonk shed,” a basement full of chairs and a single “toilet-kitchen” bucket. They do find Rafi’s, er, Bobbum Man’s MyFace wall, but it is nothing but buts and knives.

Without any leads, the guys go their separate ways. Pete and Kevin continue the search for Rafi at night, but they soon find themselves going from stalker to stalkee when a shadowy, hooded figure appears behind them.

Running for cover, they get pinned in an alley between an “equipmonk” van and a raving Bobbum Man coming towards them.

Few options remain, and so they desperately go on the offensive, tackling the Bobbum Man and kicking him repeatedly.

Much to their surprise, Rafi soon joins them in the beat down.

It’s not actually Bobbum Man at all they attacked. It’s Crawdad Man. Andre was just trying to sneak into a yoga class after Ruxin got them kicked out for not taking it seriously. And in the process of leaving Ruxin a trash-talking voicemail, Andre finds himself the victim of a bobbum hate crime.

On the plus side, just before losing consciousness, Andre reaches lineup nirvana himself. What a masochist.

Also, if anyone ever goes by the name Apollo and tries to contact you mysteriously on craigslist…run.

Memorable quotes from Episode 5:

RUXIN: “I cannot set a good lineup. My bench keeps outperforming my starters. My bench is this magical, mystery realm where ordinary players play like superstars. Like, if Kevin were on my bench, he’d be a 6’5″ billionaire who could sexually please his wife.”

TACO: “Yeah, I don’t care if it’s my dick. I don’t need to see a thousand pictures of it pretending to ride a dog.”

TACO: “I’m gonna tweet your face, Andre.”

PETE: “I think this has been happening for a while, Taco. It’s called ‘society.’”

RUXIN: “I don’t know what’s healing about stewing in a bunch of communist B.O.”

RUXIN [on Andre's grippies]: “I’m not planning on giving four people hand and foot jobs today.”

RUXIN: “Indian style is for kids at summer camp who got diddled by their Croatian wind surfing instructor named Goran.”

RUXIN: “And I look forward to using your bullshit, unicorn rainbow calisthenics to crush you.”

PETE [as Bobbum Man]: “He creepied up in the bobbum van, filled up with equipmunk for great grief for making at you underneath.”

KEVIN [as Mundane Ejaculation Man]: “OH, GOD, I’M GONNA COME. I’M SO CLOSE TO COMING, ANDRE.”

RUXIN: “What is a crawdad?”
ANDRE: “It’s like evil shrimp.”

RUXIN: “I mean, Korean Dick Vitale? You kidding me? [In Korean accent] ‘OH, THIS DIAPER A DANDY! AWESOME, BABY!”

PETE: “Why are you masturbating as ‘Crawdad Man’?”

TACO: “You’ve got mail! You’ve received a message from Taco.”

TACO: “You guys should form a MyFace group: “People Who Don’t Like Getting Their Houses Broken into at 4 A.M.”

TACO: “Are you content with the face you are currently displaying? … Sure you want to pick that face?”

TACO: “Say hello the newest edition to the world wide world, my MyFace wall.”

ANDRE: “Oh, Sofia’s on MyFace?”
TACO: “Oh yeah, she loves MyFace. She’s all over it.”

TACO: “And the link brings you to Jenny…and their mistake.”

PETE: “Couple of questions, real quick. First of all, why was that on your vanity? Secondly, why do you have a vanity at all? And thirdly, if you must have a vanity, why do you have to call it a vanity?”

TACO: “I’m gonna poke you!”
RAFI: “I’m gonna stab you…offline…with a real knife.

TACO: “Security Question No. 1: What color panties are you wearing right now?”

JENNY: “There are no letters in that box. It’s a spider with penises for legs.”

TACO: “Let him put it whereeeeever!”

ANDRE [staring at a but]: “I’m trying to get lineup nirvana by staring at this girl’s sex boobs, but I’m not getting a thing.”

KEVIN: “And I want to put it in your bobbum.”

KEVIN: “Now I gotta play with my own equipmonk.”

ANDRE: “She told me, ‘Oh, go do an inversion on your moon cycle!’”

RUXIN [sarcastically]: “I don’t think that’s sarcasm.”

KEVIN: “When casting a sexual psychopath with a van, you don’t actually have to cast a sexual psychopath with a van.”
TACO: “But it’s so much easier. He already knows how to do it.”

RAFI: “…I’m not gonna blast any pigeons. I don’t do that anymore.”
RUXIN: “I think we have very different definitions of what pigeonholing is.”
RAFI: “I doubt it.”

KEVIN: “Easy, ticktock.”

ANDRE: “Where did all these chairs come from?”

RAFI’S SUPER: “That’s his toilet-kitchen.”

ANDRE: “How come my bobbum’s not on there?”
RUXIN: “What about these jeans with the angel wings and the knife going through it?”
ANDRE: “Yeah, I think it is. Okay, whew.”

KEVIN: “Truly, in the world, the last person I would ever want to be sodomized by would be Rafi. Truly…if I could pick. And by the way, when you are sodomized by a vagrant, not only are you sodomized by that vagrant, but you’re also being sodomized by everyone else that vagrant has sodomized.”

PETE: “As I envisioned Bobbum Man, it was much more of a general annihilation, not just about the ass.”

KEVIN: “YOU GO…and I’ll tell your story.”

RAFI: “Who are we kicking?”

RAFI: “This is how this is going to go down. We’re going to need to get a rug, a bone saw, and condoms.”

RAFI: “This is how it ends, Brian. Get used to it.”

Rafi chooses a pee corner at Ruxin's house

The League S03E04: Kevin’s Ol’ Smoke Crotch and Golden Gating with Rafi

Andre explains his use of "dick spit"

It seems Ruxin’s finally paying for all his misdeeds this season…or could it be that there’s a Madden curse hex on the champion of the league? Andre did get a taste of his own medicine when he defiled the trophy after winning the last year.

So far in Ruxin’s reign, his son has missed his chance to go to Jewish preschool when Andre’s Sacko porn debuted a tad too early, and now Pete’s sleeping with his au pair under his own roof. It all gets even worse for Ruxin this week as he’s left with Baby Geoffrey just long enough for his son to eat an ice cube (“No water cookies!”) from the urinal and become “forever unclean.”

What did he do to deserve this? Oh, wait…it’s Ruxin.

Everyone’s getting older, and part of dealing with that is handling the pee. The older you get, as a guy, the harder it gets (I have to assume) to actually get pee in the toilet and not all over yourself.

Each of the guys is dealing with this issue in their own way — Taco with his own “Taco Marked” pee bib, Ruxin by trying to rub the pee of his pants (and getting caught in a compromising position by Ashley in the process) — but it’s Kevin who deals with something even worse than a little trickle.

Kevin finds a white pube.

In doing some product testing for Taco’s pee bib concept, a leftover cocktail napkin from Kevin and Jenny’s wedding, Kevin finds a dreaded white hair on the napkin.

It’s the saddest moment in a man’s life when he realizes his days are limited. He’s not immortal. He’s not going to live forever. The pubes will not always be fire crotchety…or brown…or whatever your color may happen to be.

Someday, we’ll all have a smoke crotch.

But Kevin finds his first white pube and is immediately disturbed. He already has a complex around the other guys in the league. Sure, he has more hair than Andre, more money than Pete, more success than Taco, and more of his soul than Ruxin, but it’s hard to remind yourself of that when confronted with your own white pube, especially with the type of conversations that are taking place these days within the league circle.

Pete’s busying the guys with talk of his sexual renaissance with Ashley the Au Pair and trying to solve the mystery of the “Golden Gate” sexual position she wants to try. No one has a clue, although it’s safe to rule out it’s not having sex and then jumping off a bridge. Andre’s former lady friend didn’t have a name for that one when she did it.

Little does Pete know that a “Golden Gate” involves Rafi, who Ruxin invites into his house to scare out Ashley the Au Pair when she seizes power after catches Ruxin allegedly whacking it to her application photo.

Ruxin gets Caught by Ashley the Au Pair

By the way, there’s the answer to the question we’ve always asked, “Who does the devil make a deal with when the devil can’t get something done?” Rafi.

To Pete’s credit, the “Golden Gate” Ashley wanted to do with Rafi doesn’t seem to appear under the name “Golden Gate” in any resource I found. (Those links are NSFW, in case you were wondering.)

Needless to say, Pete bailed out of his relationship with Ashley and left her to Rafi once he finally found out how to make the “bridge” for a “Golden Gate.” But a single Ashley gives Ruxin more problems.

So, in the matter of the white pube, it’s up to Kevin to solve his problem on his own. Andre reaches out to him, without really knowing that Kevin’s crotch hair is the real problem, and the two go to the spa together to rejuvenate. There, Kevin finds many an uncomfortable moment with Andre’s half-nude body and awkward closeness, but he also finds hope…and an eyebrow wax.

It’s not until after the spa (and after Taco, on his own, stumbles across one of Kevin’s white pubes and, thus, his secret) that Kevin decides that something must be done.

On Sunday, with the rest of the league downstairs discussing the merits of Taco’s Taco Marked pee bib prototype, Kevin takes the brown dye (but isn’t he a redhead?) to his down under so that he can look and feel young and virile once again.

In his rush to get back to the gang downstairs while they harass him for taking so long in the bathroom, Kevin reaches for the blow dryer. And that somehow manages to catch his crotch on fire.

So instead of “ol’ smoke crotch,” Kevin got the real thing — an old, smokey crotch. That is, once he put the flames out on his firecrotch with Taco’s pee bibs.

So many questions. Will he let Andre do the reconstructive surgery? Will Rafi stop banging Ashley in Ruxin’s house? Will Ruxin ever figure out which corner was Rafi’s pee corner?

We may never know. Or we might find out next week.

Memorable quotes from Episode 4:

RUXIN: “Baby Geoffrey, everything in a public restroom is on fire.”

RUXIN: “Baby Geoffrey, FOREVER UNCLEAN!”

RUXIN: “I will legally take care of him because it is my duty, but I will never love him the same.”

KEVIN: “This is like a thousand Christmases rubbing up against my balls.”

KEVIN: “Oh, God, my crotch is getting so old, and it hasn’t even lived yet.”

RUXIN: “I’m not a disgusting pig. I peed on myself.”

RUXIN: “…I fed him turkey chili for lunch. Oh, that crib’s gonna be a war zone.”

KEVIN [on Golden Gate]: “I think it’s code for anal.”
PETE: “Oh, we don’t use code words for that.”

RUXIN: “You think he keeps his eyes closed when he blows you?”

ANDRE: “Look, we all have our little secrets. For example…[whispers]…I’m losing my hair.”

RAFI: “That means my wiener needs to be out.”

RAFI: “Can you just say the word ‘yes’? Just say it out loud!”
ASHLEY: “Yes…”
RAFI [to Ruxin]: “CONSENT! You heard it. You’re a lawyer.”

RAFI: “Yeah, I’m going to court-martial her…vagina…with my wiener.”

Rafi chooses a pee corner at Ruxin's house

RUXIN: “There’s no pee corner.”
RAFI: “No, I know what I do. You know what I mean? Like, I’m going to use that as my pee corner, and I’m going to use this as my slop basket.”

ANDRE: “You ever swallow your own spit? It’s the same idea. Same idea as spit! … It’s dick spit. Come on!”

RUXIN: “…I’m sorry for interrupting you.”
RAFI: “You’re watching it happen right now.”

RUXIN: “Facial?”
ALL: “…Okay. [and the requisite bowing]”

TACO: “You look like a china doll of Kevin.”

TACO: “What about Casper the Friendly Pube? Was he there?”

PETE: “Come on, Kevin. Where there was fire, there’s smoke…crotch.”

RAFI: “We’re building a bridge!”

PETE: “Too much hair on the bridge. It’s a hairy bridge!”

RAFI: “Oh, dude, and I dyed my pubes white like Brian’s so my dick is TERRIFYING!”

PETE: “No golden gating. I hate San Francisco. I’m dropping Vernon Davis, and…uh…” [runs out of bedroom]

KEVIN: “I’m on the toilet, babe. It’s complicated.”
JENNY: “You’re disgusting. I love you. Good luck.”

RAFI: “I already heard all the details because Rafi broke into the shower while I was in there, told me the story, and then, purely based off instinct, tried to shiv me.”

TACO: “97 percent of the time, the pee bib worked…unless I had an erection…”

TACO: “Leave the ideas to the IDEA man.”

RUXIN: “I thought he only locked himself in the bathroom when he was home alone with you?”
JENNY: “He doesn’t do that…anymore.”

TACO: “Hey, Santa Cock! Are you dreaming of a white Dickmas?”

RAFI: “I feel like I just got milked.”

RAFI: “Thank you, by the way, for not making me wear a condom. That was pretty f**king classy.”

RUXIN: “Some things you can’t unsee, bro.”

Ruxin's Vulture Flap in Animated GIF form

The League S03E03: Ruxin gets The Au Pair (or Ruxin finally grows Au Pair)

When we last left The League, the guys had just ruined any chance of Baby Geoffrey getting into a good Jewish preschool with Nazism and porn. It sounds hard to do, but in this crew, it’s really not. With that educational opportunity out of the picture, Ruxin hatches a new plan to salvage Baby Geoffrey’s childhood.

He’s going to hire an au pair.

Pete and Kevin’s jealousy upon hearing this announcement just begins to rise as everyone’s favorite league loser, Andre, arrives.

The Sacko winner is entering the online dating world in a big way thanks to a dubious dating profile video that Taco directed. Despite some scenes of Andre’s video being passable as deleted scenes from a Bloodhound Gang music video, the video goes viral (hey-oh! But seriously, that’s too easy of a target).

So to decide who truly has the most going for them, the gang compares the au pairs and Andre’s potential dates side by side. They have the same basic criteria, besides Ruxin’s reading requirement, since Ruxin’s greatest wish for Baby Geoffrey is that he get used to being around really, really ridiculously good-looking ladies (besides the one that birthed him, I guess) at as young an age as possible, even if his au pair struggles in the baby care department.

We only get to see a few ladies before Ruxin shows off his favorite, Ashley. She’s far too young to care for a child, but how can that go wrong? She’s hot, and I’m sure she makes a mean guac.

Come Sunday, the league members, sans Jenny, all find a way to go to Ruxin’s house and meet Ashley the Au Pair. Each tries to charm her pants off while she deals with Baby Geoffrey’s, but none are very successful in covering their tracks to Sofia, especially not Andre and his retrograde uterus bomb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJliKDhH3LQ

When the guys pay attention to the football games happening on this particular Sunday, Andre goes off on Mike Tolbert, touchdown vulture extraordinaire, for trotting out to take the short-yardage score for San Diego in place of his guy, Ryan Mathews.

Vultures are a particularly gruesome part of fantasy football. I hate them as well, but I absolutely love the vulture screech Ruxin throws down during the argument. I’m going to need someone to turn that into an animated .gif right away…

OH WAIT, someone did.
Ruxin's Vulture Flap in Animated GIF form
Credit goes to danielleosaurus-rex on Tumblr.

For reasons that are never really made clear to us, Jenny drags Kevin and Taco to the Greater Chicago Real Estate Conference. The bros grab a drink at the hotel bar while she networks, and Kevin sights the prettiest girl in the place, Matthew Berry.

Or should I say ESPN’s The Talented Mr. Roto, Matthew Berry. I’m  not sure if I’m a company man, but I did read Berry’s column the week his episode of The League aired. He says a lot of nice things about the show, and I agree. Also, fantasy advice. That’s what he does. Go figure. Who does that?

In light of his horrible fantasy skills, Kevin gears up to approach Berry by buying the TMR a beer.

Now, I wouldn’t normally consider buying a guy a beer as a great opening move, guy to guy, but it seems to work for Kevin as he manages to play it cool and not become a fantasy annoyance. At least not until Taco enters the mix and ruins the mystique that Kevin had created by revealing that Kevin’s never won the league. Never.

We knew Kevin would screw it up eventually anyway. He did have some lame questions. “What do I do if my defense is playing my quarterback?” Come on, Kevin, you don’t need to ask that. You play the best defense every week no matter who they play…OR you hope the only interception your quarterback throws gets returned for a pick-six.

I’d say we should all have better questions to ask when we come face to face with a true fantasy guru, but when you run into celebrities, all of us sound like idiots. Nothing you say to a celebrity will ever sound cool. If you’re lucky, it won’t sound like you keep hair dolls of them in your pockets.

This truism is how Keanu Reeves can still get away with saying things like “Woah…” How would he know it’s not common for everyone to do that? That’s all he ever hears.

Berry takes pity on Kevin so he drops his business card and an open invitation to ask him fantasy questions when Kevin needs help. Against all advice any married man would give, Kevin, I remind you, a married man himself, decides to keep the entire exchange a secret so that Jenny won’t ruin his fantasy relationship with Berry. Heaven help him. (But he’ll go the other route.)

Speaking of that other, at the Ruxin home (should I just say Hell or is that too forward?), Ruxin forgets he’s not alone and starts into a “sweet and salty” dance while piling on the crackers and jelly.

I’ve personally never seen this happen or experienced it, but now I’m strangely curious…

Do people really eat crackers with jelly? Is that a thing? Please let me know in the comments if you’ve ever done the “Sweet and salty! CRUNCHY TOO!” thing. I must know what I’m missing.

Ruxin with Martini

Credit again to danielleosaurus-rex

Unaware of Ruxin’s decadence, Ashley the Au Pair (I just like the sound of the full title) hears someone in the house and comes to investigate. But by the time she gets to Ruxin, he’s changed into full Mad Men mode to hide his sweet and salty dance party and mask his breath with a martini.

Slow and steady, Andre lays out his well-researched first date plan in front of Pete since Andre’s still trying to work out all the kinks before he takes out any potential dates. It is pretty genius. Rock climbing? I’ve never thought of it, but the benefits are obvious.

Still, Pete finds Andre’s date details only mildly interesting until Kevin arrives, bursting at the seams to tell everyone about meeting Berry.

Andre asks Kevin if he “negged” the TMR. I’m not ashamed to admit I had to look that up. I’ve done you the service of linking it up. Not something I would think to do, but maybe I’m doing it wrong.

Before Kevin can take Berry out on a fantasy man-date, he has to learn how to lie so that he can avoid telling Jenny. To do that, Kevin goes to the best worst person he knows, Ruxin.

Following Ruxin on his daily errands, Kevin watches Ruxin destroy lives, take names, and get everything he wants for free. It’s truly inspiring and horrifying at the same time. I guess now we know why Ruxin’s a defense attorney and why Kevin’s a prosecutor.

Something tells me that Ruxin’s currently plotting against Tim Tebow.

Armed with Ruxin’s insider tips on how to lie perfectly and completely, Kevin’s ready. He slips an excuse about work past Jenny to explain why he stays in the car to text Berry the details of their date. Well played, Kevin, but you just lost a little piece of your soul.

Back on the dating scene, Andre’s still taking his time working through all the details. He takes Taco to his first date restaurant of choice to talk through more of the meal option for his date, only to run into a problem explaining the concept of a “date” to Taco. To top things off, he discovers Pete “vulturing” one of his dates with his own game plan. “You’re the Mike Tolbert of my life!”

The night of the “dates,” Kevin and Andre arrive at the same restaurant. Both Andre’s date and Matthew Berry have already arrived, and as is the trend with Andre’s luck, Berry’s “vulturing” this date from him, even as a married man.

Andre doesn’t handle the scene too well and probably acts a bit too aggressively towards a guy that was just trying to help his date find a suitable vulture before meeting Andre for a date she knew was destined to fail. She had already decided Andre wasn’t third down material, just like Norv Turner, and Berry tries to explain this to Andre, despite his protests.

The conversation goes south quickly, and it’s at that point Kevin steps in, only to take a punch from Andre aimed not-so-squarely at the TMR. The tension in the bar forces Berry to book it out of there, leaving Andre and Kevin with nothing but each other, horrible dating and fantasy team management skills, and plenty of unanswered questions.

Back in Hell’s Kitchen (see what I did there?), Ruxin wakes to find Pete making tea…for two.

Eye contact and a half chub later, we find out that a promise has been broken. Pete’s not wearing pants…and he vultured Ruxin’s au pair. For shame!

Memorable quotes from Episode 3:

TACO: “Say ‘I operate on women LIKE A MAN!’”

RUXIN: “I gotta ask…have you just been getting a bunch of numbers from dudes?”

TACO: “Guys, online dating is a perfectly acceptable way for those society has shunned to get together and ideally colonize another planet.”

TACO: “No, obvious would be human beings having sex, and Andre made me take those images out.”

RUXIN: “I don’t want my kid going to the park and getting his dong cleaned by some uggo with a ‘stache.”

JENNY [impersonating Kevin]: “You said ‘WHAT? I’ve got testicular cancer.’”

RUXIN: “I don’t have a urinal…just a shower that you pee in.”

ANDRE: “You leave me out there like an island. The only thing I could say was uterus after elbows over here.”

TACO: “I’ve already have two au pairs touching my dinger. I don’t need a third.”

KEVIN [on Andre's charm machine]: “Is it steam-powered?”
ANDRE: “It’s hydraulics.”

PETE: “Vulturing’s the way to go, man. Minimum effort, maximum results.”
[Ruxin vulture sound]

TACO: “Matt Damon’s here?”

KEVIN: “Matthew Berry is the prettiest girl in this bar, and I’m going to go hit on him. Hello.”

RUXIN: “Sweet and salty, crunchy too! … Oh, hello, Ashley, I didn’t know you were home. Just having a martini after a long day of defending the innocent, but don’t you worry. I always drink responsibly.”

ANDRE: “Tell me a girl who is not a fan of Mission Impossible 2.”

KEVIN: “I got Matthew Berry’s phone number.”
RUXIN: “What the tits?!

RUXIN: “You don’t need to whisper. We’re in a law firm. Lying is encouraged here.”

RUXIN: “I’m very flattered insulted by that.”

TACO: “Why don’t you just have sex with her when you meet her?”

ANDRE: “You’re the Mike Tolbert of my life!”

ANDRE: “She’s just being…you know…cautiously optimistic.”
MATTHEW BERRY: “We have different definitions of that word.”

MATTHEW BERRY: “Listen, a lot of guys move the chains, and then someone else comes in and scores a touchdown. That’s okay. We need chain movers.”

MATTHEW BERRY [to Andre's date]: “You will be dating a Chicago Bear by the end of the week.”

RUXIN: “Eye contact? And a half chub?”

Say Helu to Week 13 Pickups

Watching the Giants get utterly destroyed by the Saints on Monday Night Football forced me to dwell on one of my mistakes this season — I never should have dropped Victor Cruz.

While he looked like a fluke after his big breakout performance, Cruz has come through the byes as one of the best wide receivers in fantasy football. If you started him in Week 12, I’m sure you’re happy with the result.

Unfortunately, at this point in the season, a lot of the pickups are like Cruz. You may have dropped them, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find them on the waiver wire this week as you move towards the playoffs. Rather than divide the pickups by position, I’ll include them all in one list this week since we don’t have too many to talk about.

ROY HELU (Redskins)
Could it be? Has Shanahan finally handed the lead back duties to his most productive back? It certainly seems that way, and Shanahan is at least saying what we’d expect him to say if he was going to give Helu his chance to shine.

At first glance, you’d still want to be skeptical about Helu’s chances, but Shanahan might as well see what Helu can do with consistent touches every week now that the Redskins have nothing to play for but next year. His quarterbacks aren’t going to win Washington any games down the stretch on talent alone.

Helu should have his chance to shine, and he should excel in his remaining favorable matchups with his involvement in the passing game. While he might never reach sure-thing RB2 status, Helu could be a strong flex option in the fantasy playoffs.

GREG LITTLE (Browns)
He finally found  pay dirt  in Week 12, and while he’s not likely to do that again…at all…the rest of the season, he is one of the most targeted receivers over the last few weeks. If Colt McCoy puts up a fight in the tough stretch the Browns are about to enter (and tries to convince the Browns that they already have their quarterback of the future), Little could finish the year on a high note. Little faces Arizona’s weak pass defense in Week 15. At the very least, he should be a useful fantasy backup if you need him then.

DAMIAN WILLIAMS (Titans)
I’m not a huge fan of the Titans passing game, but you can’t argue with a playoff schedule that includes the Bills, Saints, Colts, and Jaguars. Williams has been getting the looks that count in Tennessee for the past few weeks.

MARION BARBER (Bears)
The Bears will continue to run the ball even more than they have been to keep Caleb Hanie from losing games for them. As a result, Barber should be more reliable as a fantasy flex play. He’s been getting the touchdowns, and now he might get enough yardage to make it worth retaining him for the fantasy playoffs. If Matt Forte were to get hurt, Barber would be a great asset to have.

KYLE ORTON (Chiefs)
We can’t know for certain when he’ll take over in Kansas City, but Orton’s got a nice schedule when he does. If you’re looking for a QB2 who could potentially spot start for your team during the fantasy playoffs, Orton’s not a bad stash right now.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS D/ST
They play the Colts. That is all.

How to Evaluate a Fantasy Football Trade

Every league has its issues, but I’ve never come across a league that didn’t have a problem evaluating trades. Whether you’re trying to figure out what to offer another team or debating whether a trade is “fair,” there is no perfect method.

Every league is different — different sizes, different scoring systems, different starting rosters. And every team manager evaluates players in their own way.

As a result, no one can agree completely on whether a deal is fair. That’s why every trade is a negotiation, both with the team you trade with and the league itself.

Of all the questions I talk about with fantasy football buddies, even the ones in other leagues, I get the most questions and discussion about the fairness of trades or whether a trade offer makes sense.

And so I thought it best to share a couple of tools that I use to evaluate trades in a completely neutral way. These tools are completely free, and once you try them, I think you’ll find they make assembling a trade offer easier as well. Rather than calling up a buddy and having to talk through trade options in your head, these tools can help you find what should be considering a good offer before you go to the bargaining table.

But before we get to the tools, a quick aside on vetoing trades.

WHEN TO VETO A TRADE

There are several schools of thought when it comes to vetoing a trade. The two extremes are the most common.

On the one hand are the folks who say a trade should never be vetoed as long as it’s agreed upon by both trade parties. In that system, it’s up to the league to kick out any members who abuse the trading system or who get taken advantage of in trades all too often.

I don’t believe in that practice much because it opens the floor for complaints and because throwing a member out of a league is never a painless process.

The other end of the spectrum requires the league to vote to approve all trades, which gives any league member the right to veto any trade for any reason. These leagues get riled up over the slightest trade variables, and it can really ruin a good fantasy football league when trade arguments get heated. League members will always abuse the veto.

I think the ideal system is somewhere in the middle, but here’s my general rule of thumb: you should be able to defend your trade to the rest of your league with solid reasoning. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be making the trade.

Buy lows and sell highs are going to happen. Really, they’re encouraged by even this fine fantasy site. So don’t get caught up in the heat of an argument over trades that may help a good team get better and lose sight of how a trade helps both teams.

That said, it’s often helpful to have a neutral third party to evaluate trades. Not only do a neutral opinion help you decide what a reasonable offer would be before you send it, but it’ll also help you look at a trade from an outsider perspective if you’re a commissioner or if you’re trying to decide if a veto is necessary.

2 TOOLS TO EVALUATE TRADES

Paid tools and league-site specific tools (Yahoo!, etc.) exist, but I have found these two free tools to be perfectly satisfactory. And for the purposes of this article, I’ll stick to the free ones that anyone can use.

1. My standby for the past two seasons has been KFFL’s Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer.

KFFL Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer

It’s not much in the looks department, but KFFL’s trade analyzer gets the job done. You simply enter the players on either side of a trade, choosing the range in the alphabet in which their first name falls to shorten the list of names to choose from at each spot.

Unlike other tools, KFFL does a little more thinking for you by also taking into consideration the starting roster and size of your league.

It feels a little more complete to provide this sort of info when evaluating a trade, but I still wish that KFFL would consider incorporating a FLEX position as an option on the roster. So far, I’ve simply ignored flex postions as a part of my starting roster when entering the form, but for leagues in which you start 2 RBs and a FLEX position, having that third running back to start in the FLEX can be extremely more valuable.

KFFL doesn’t ask for any type of scoring notes, but neither does the other tool I’ll talk about. It starts to get really tricky to look at trades once you start talking about various scoring systems, so I understand the reasoning behind not including it. But if it ever did…that would be awesome. If the league uses PPR scoring, for example, wide receivers would be much more valuable.

I really do like what KFFL brings to the table. The output they give to evaluate a trade tells you not only the most valuable pieces being exchanged, but who’s “winning” the trade and how severe the difference is. In the end, KFFL will give you a definitive answer on whether Team 1 or Team 2 should reject the trade or approve of it as a very fail deal.

KFFL Trade Analyzer Output

Analysis of Frank Gore for Darren McFadden and Plaxico Burress

In my experience, KFFL tends to be pretty conservative on how it rates players, not giving much credit to players on the rise as compared to a stud who’s not performing up to their expected level. But I still love you, KFFL. Good work.

2. The new kid on the block that I’ve also been using late this season is Fantasy Football Nerd’s Trade Analyzer.

Fantasy Football Nerd Trade Analzyer (Beta)

It’s only in beta — and to be honest, maybe I shouldn’t be telling you about it yet — but I already find what Fantasy Football Nerd is building very useful.

FFN’s tool is much faster to input players with a search box and arrow buttons to place a player on either side of an offer. Once players are entered, the analyze button gives you an almost instant answer on who has the better end of the deal.

Since Fantasy Football Nerd doesn’t take into consideration any data on league size or starting positions, it’s hard to say that its trade values are as complete as KFFL’s trade tool, but it is nice to get the quick answer, even if it’s a quick and dirty answer.

I also like that they give a numerical value on exactly how much more valuable the winning side of the trade is.

Fantasy Football Nerd Trade Analyzer Output

Sample analysis of trade of Frank Gore for Darren McFadden and Plaxico Burress

Also on the plus side, the Fantasy Football Nerd tool lets you know that the winning side is getting “the better end of the trade by XX points over the course of the rest of the season.” So you know that their trade tool is looking at how a player will do the rest of the season and not just how they are currently valued. The rest-of-the-season (ROS) value is always what I care about more in a trade than how much a player is worth at that given moment.

Then again, some people may not want something like this out there giving away that “buy low” and “sell high” edge.

HOW TO USE THESE TOOLS

I find myself using both of these tools on a regular basis to put together and judge trades. Fantasy Football Nerd’s analyzer is a nice, quick way to build a trade when you’re trying to put together an offer, and once you’ve got the basic idea together, KFFL is what I feel is the most fair way of judging whether the other owner will think you’re crazy or not for sending it.

KFFL’s analyzer is also the best indicator as to whether the other owners in your league will burn you alive for making that trade. But don’t take it as gospel since KFFL can be a little stingy when it comes to studs versus up-and-comers, as I said before.

As a commish, I’d make KFFL’s Trade Analyzer a regular part of my tool set. When the league starts to get upset about a particular trade, it can sometimes quiet the masses by providing a soothing, “This trade is fair” response. It can also help in challenging an owner to defend a trade when it seems more sloppily assembled.

If you can’t defend a trade by discussing player values, you don’t deserve it, and these tools should help you make a great deal.

For those of you not so concerned about fairness as you are about winning (okay, all of us), I’d definitely bookmark Fantasy Football Nerd’s Analyzer to quickly survey any trade offers you receive and figure out whether to accept.

While it’s in beta now, the FFN analyzer is only going to get better, and Fantasy Football Nerd has already demonstrated a great ability to synthesize a number of opinions and give an unbiased consensus opinion through their weekly rankings.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK

Neither of these tools are perfect, and as each evolves, I’d love to hear your feedback on which works best and if you have any interesting ways of using them. I’d also like to hear about any other tools you use when evaluating trades or putting together a trade package. Tell me all about them below in the comments or drop me a note.

Happy trading!

This Kevin Smith is not Too Fat to Fly in Week 12 Pickups

I can’t be certain that I covered all of this week’s best waiver wire grabs because, to be honest, after Adrian Peterson went down and rode out of the stadium on a cart, I went into shock and then into a hysterical state from which I am only now emerging. Is Twilight still a thing? Should I wait longer before I come back?

No one likes to see their fantasy stud go out on a cart, especially when we’re just three weeks away from playoffs. As a Peterson owner, I could only think back to last year when my first-round pick Frank Gore did basically the same thing to my already crippled fantasy team.

Things can get very cruel just before the fantasy playoffs.

It looks like All Day’s going to miss at least one game — and hopefully, ONLY one game. But the high ankle sprain shouldn’t keep him from helping fantasy teams down the stretch. If you’ve secured a playoff spot, you should be safe waiting on A.P. If not…well, you might just want to make liberal use of this button  and look for better help than Toby Gerhart, who was pretty miserable in place of Peterson on Sunday.

Of course, the title of our waiver wire post this week is in reference to the Silent Bob “Too Fat to Fly” incident, in case you didn’t get it. Get out your cave, buddy! Now back to the pickups…

This week’s waiver wire is a little different. Rather than run down a full list of all the top grabs, we’ll look to fill your needs at each position for the playoffs.

First, if you are in need of a quarterback…

ANDY DALTON (Bengals)
Even without A.J. Green, Dalton’s managed to rack up yardage and multiple scores against tough defensive opponents. The schedule gets easier the rest of the way. If your quarterback isn’t cutting it, you might trust your playoff production to this rookie, but he’ll only help you so much.

MATT MOORE (Dolphins)
Truly risky, Moore has put together several strong performances with the Dolphins finding their groove these last few weeks. His playoff schedule isn’t the best, but he has gotten hot at just the right time. If you’ve started someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick up to this point, Moore may be worth throwing into your lineup, but I’m never going to recommend benching a true stud option for Moore.

If you need a running back…

KEVIN SMITH (Lions)
He doesn’t get to face the Panthers every week, but Week 11 was a truly phenomenal performance by “the best story in the NFL.” He’s clearly the Lions’ answer at running back for the playoff push. The Lions are still a pass-first team, but they get down the field enough to give Smith some chances to score on the ground no matter the opponent. Not to mention, Smith has good enough hands to be a part of that mighty Lions passing game. If and when Jahvid Best returns, he will likely share touches with Kevin Smith, who should be this week’s first overall on the waiver wire. Don’t sit on your waiver pick or FAAB money this week, especially not if you need help at running back. Just like Tebow and Denarius Moore, Smith’s worth betting on this late in the season. It’s unlikely you’ll see another quality starting running back on the waiver wire unless we see some more injuries.

DONALD BROWN (Colts)
Speaking of the Panthers, the Colts face their terrible run defense this week, which means Brown is next in line for a big day running all over them. There’s some discussion that Joseph Addai could return this week. I’m not sure that I buy that. Brown’s been the most effective Indy running back in Addai’s absence, and it would be more beneficial at this point in the season for the Colts to continue to evaluate their young prospects, Brown and Delone Carter, rather than throw Addai back onto the field if he’s not completely 100 percent. If Brown gets the start against the Panthers, his ceiling could be something Kevin Smith-like, but it’s more likely he gives you a quality one-week fill for Adrian Peterson.

JOE MCKNIGHT (Jets)
Without Shonn Greene, the Jets running game actually looked a bit more dynamic with McKnight leading the way. He’s a better pass catcher than Greene and has younger legs than LaDainian Tomlinson. Greene should be back on the field this week, but McKnight should still, at the very least, keep the change-of-pace role until L.T.’s back to full health. I’d still stash McKnight just in case he earns more touches.

TOBY GERHART (Vikings)
If you couldn’t tell by how far down this list Toby is, I don’t have much faith in him producing while Adrian Peterson’s out. Peterson should only miss one or two games, and replacing Peterson in Week 11, Gerhart didn’t do much of anything. I also expect Percy Harvin to have a larger role running the ball in A.P.’s absence. The fact that the Vikings face the Falcons run defense in Week 12 makes me even less enthusiastic about Gerhart. If you’re a Peterson owner, you need to grab Gerhart just to cover yourself through A.P.’s injury, but if someone wants to outbid you for his services, let them. I wouldn’t consider starting Gerhart in Week 12 if I had any better options, but he could be worth the stash if he gets the call again in Week 13 against the Broncos.

C.J. SPILLER (Bills)
The Buffalo offense is just miserable, and the only bright spot has been Fred Jackson. Without him, I don’t have much faith that Spiller can get it done, but he would see plenty of work if Jackson sits out Week 12. Moving forward, Spiller could have greater value seeing more time in the slot after the Bills lost Donald Jones on Sunday. He’s better catching passes than rushing for now in this Buffalo offense.

If you need a wide receiver…

DENARIUS MOORE (Raiders)
The receiving talent is a little harder to come by, but if your league passed on Moore or his owner gave up on him when he put up a dud on Sunday, go out and get him. The Raiders still have one of the best schedules to pass on, and even though they’re a run-first team, Palmer should look Moore’s way a few more times this year.

VICTOR CRUZ (Giants)
Another one that might still be out there in a few leagues, Cruz looks like Manning’s favorite target when he’s facing pressure or needs a big play. The Giants will be looking for a few more of those as their schedule continues to get tougher.

PERCY HARVIN (Vikings)
Harvin saw more touches after Peterson’s injury and was able to put up almost 100 total yards and a score. More than likely playing from behind against the Falcons in Week 12, the Vikings should look his way often enough to make him a worthy play.

TORREY SMITH (Ravens)
Smith’s been a risky start ever since his breakout performance, but he’s worth the risk when the matchup fits because his ceiling is so high (165 yards and a score in Week 11). Weaker playoff teams might want to throw him out there in Week 14 against Indy for a spark.

RILEY COOPER (Eagles)
If Vince Young gets another start, he could once again look Cooper’s way. They’ve obviously developed a nice chemistry playing with the second stringers this year, and Cooper filled in admirably for Jeremy Maclin once he got into the swing of things.

JEROME SIMPSON (Bengals)
A.J. Green should be able to go in Week 12, but Simpson’s had his fair share of good games even with Green taking the No. 1 role from him. He’s a matchup play for the fantasy playoffs.

JABAR GAFFNEY (Redskins)
Rex Grossman was surprisingly competent against the Cowboys in Week 11, which leaves me to speculate that Gaffney will have a few more good games before the year is out, at least until Santana Moss, a worthy stash himself, returns from his injury.

If you need a tight end…

Tight end is deep, but few are rising to the top late in the season. If Kellen Winslow was dropped, he’s worth grabbing this week as the Bucs look to get back on track to end the year. Otherwise, look to Brent Celek, Jared Cook, or Jake Ballard, three tight ends who could finish the year stronger than they started it.

If you need a kicker…

Come on, man.

If you need a defense…

TEXANS D/ST
If anyone dropped them during their bye, pick them up immediately. Houston currently has the No. 1 defense in the NFL, and this week, they get the Jaguars. They should continue to put up fantasy points.

PATRIOTS D/ST
New England has one of the easiest schedules in the league after they face the Eagles this weekend, and their defense, for all its injuries, seems like it’s coming together. Assuming the pass rush and interceptions continue, Week 12 might be your last chance to score the Patriots D/ST for the stretch run.

PANTHERS D/ST
It’s never a bad idea to play the D/ST that faces the Colts, even if they have no run defense to speak of. The Panthers still managed positive points last week while getting blown apart by the Lions.

FALCONS D/ST
Atlanta gets to face the potentially Adrian Peterson-less Vikings this week. It shouldn’t be too hard of an assignment for them. Atlanta has a very underrated run defense.

BRONCOS D/ST
Tebowmania has masked how well the Broncos defense has been since Week 9 against Oakland. I have a hard time trusting them, but I love them as a sleeper this week against the interception-prone Philip Rivers, who may have lost another offensive linemen just this past Sunday. If you’re short on options, consider taking a chance on Denver.

Any other questions/comments, you know what to do. Leave them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.

Moore to live for in Week 11 Pickups

It’s getting to be that time. The fantasy playoffs are near. Records are shaking out. If you’re set to make a deep playoff run, you should be reshaping your team to play it’s best fantasy football in Weeks 14-16.

Of course, that’s assuming you’re all playing championship games in Week 16, which is the only week you should be, but if that’s not the way your league commish scheduled playoffs, it’s too late to change that until next season.

If you’re using a FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) system for the waiver wire (bidding on players every week to see who gets to acquire them), now’s the time to bid the most money for the players who could really help you down the stretch. Trim the fat and drop any players who haven’t earned their spot on your roster. Go big or go home with the players who should help you the most if they pan out.

As we continue with a little late season advice, make sure you don’t make any of the common mistakes. Scott Pianowski wrote up a great piece earlier this week that touches on most of them, but it boils down to this: Play smart and loose. You’ll make a bad trade or two before you’re done playing fantasy football. But no one remembers the bad trade when you hold up the trophy.

Also consider these matchup notes for Weeks 15 and 16 highlighted by Adam Levitan as you go about your roster moves this week.

MARSHAWN LYNCH (Seahawks)

It’s highly unlikely that Lynch is sitting out on a waiver wire somewhere at this point in the season. But then again, there’s always a chance. We haven’t seen a lot of BEAST MODE this season, but Lynch’s usage makes him a valuable RB2 prospect to end the season. In the next four weeks, he gets to face the Rams twice and the Redskins, which should provide some nice fantasy points before he finishes the fantasy playoffs by getting stonewalled by the Bears and 49ers.

BEN TATE (Texans)

Another just in case, Tate has been as productive as most of the starting backs in the league while serving as Arian Foster’s No. 2. Now that Matt Leinart is taking the reigns in Houston, the Texans might rely on the run even more, which would provide Tate with more opportunities to shine. If someone threw Tate back after Foster got healthy, it’s time someone snatched him back up.

DENARIUS MOORE (Raiders)

The Raiders passing game is flourishing once again under Carson Palmer, and their remaining games gives them one of the best schedules to throw on. Jacoby Ford left the Week 10 contest against the Chargers with an injury, and Moore reaped the benefits. He should continue to see a healthy dose of targets from Palmer, and I consider him the No. 1 priority on the waiver wire for anyone in need of help at wide receiver. He could be a solid WR2, the type of find that could carry you through to a fantasy championship with several big weeks.

KENDALL HUNTER (49ers)

Frank Gore sat out in Week 10 with multiple injuries while Hunter carried the load and sealed the game for the 49ers. Gore and his coaches are saying that he should be fine to play in Week 11, but they’re also saying they intend to lighten his load moving forward to keep him fresh for the playoffs. And once the playoffs are a lock, the 49ers may even rest their workhorse back. The end result of all this: Hunter has value the rest of the way.

ED DICKSON (Ravens)

While he’s been getting plenty of targets all year, Dickson finally did something significant with them in Week 10, scoring twice. That was probably Dickson’s best game of the season, but if you’re still searching for a tight end with a pulse, Dickson could be your guy.

VINCE YOUNG (Eagles)

Michael Vick has two broken ribs. If he can’t go, Vince Young would get the start against the G-men this week. It’s not an ideal matchup, but Young’s had fantasy value in the past since he can score fantasy points with both his arm and his leg. Plus, he’s never benefited from the type of quarterback-friendly offense Andy Reid has constructed in Philly. Whether you own Vick or not, Young’s a worthy gamble going into Week 11 until we know whether Vick will play or not.

LANCE BALL (Broncos)

Willis McGahee is banged up, and Knowshon Moreno is on IR. Ball could get the start if McGahee can’t go on Thursday, and McGahee hasn’t yet gotten on the practice field. Ball should have value either way since the Broncos rely so heavily on the running game, but don’t expect the yards to come easy against the Jets.

CHRIS OGBONNAYA (Browns)

Peyton Hillis has already been ruled out for Week 11, which leaves Ogbonnaya in position to start again for the Browns. Ogbonnaya gets very little love from fantasy circles because he lacks talent, even though he was productive as a running back for the Texas Longhorns in college. He racked up the yards in Week 10 against the Rams, but the Jags present more of a challenge. Still, he’s worth adding since he might be the running back to own in Cleveland for the rest of the year.

DAMIAN WILLIAMS (Titans)

Since Damian Williams entered the starting lineup, Matt Hasselbeck has looked his way. While Williams is no Kenny Britt, he’s scored in his last two games and might be emerging for the stretch run. He’s definitely worth a stash if you’re hunting for a late season gem to help you in the playoffs.

HARRY DOUGLAS (Falcons)

Julio Jones left with an injury in Week 10 and seemed ready to return if the trainers had let him. In his place, Douglas received a showering of targets from Matt Ryan. Don’t expect the targets to continue unless Jones is sidelined again in Week 11. But if he is, Douglas is your guy.

VINCENT BROWN (Chargers)

Much like Torrey Smith of the Ravens, it’s hard to rely on these young wide receivers that splash onto the scene with big plays. Brown could just as easily disappear in Week 11, especially with the season Philip Rivers has had. But until Malcom Floyd is healthy, Brown should continue to fill in opposite Vincent Jackson (should we call him “The Other Vincent” yet?). The Chargers usually right the ship for a playoff run every year. Assuming that happens, Brown has the potential to produce just like Jackson and the rest of this Charger offense.

JACOB TAMME (Colts)

You should know what you’re getting with the Colts this season — yards but no scoring. Tamme will take Dallas Clark’s place in this offense until he’s well enough to return, but the tight end pool is deep enough that you shouldn’t have to reach for him at this point in the season. Besides, many of his targets came when Dan Orlovsky entered the game when it was already out of hand for Curtis Painter.

TASHARD CHOICE (Redskins)

I don’t like recommending any Redskins player with Shanahan in full tinker mode, but the former Cowboys running back claims to be healthy and able to contribute in Week 11. That means he has the potential to start and ruin your fantasy week if you were counting on Roy Helu or, even worse, Ryan Torain. Consider this more of a warning that Choice could be in play than a recommendation to go add him to your roster.

Fill in D/STs: I like both the Jaguars (vs. Browns) and Patriots (vs. Cassel-less Chiefs) this week to have a solid outing as D/STs.