You Like That?!?

Kirk Cousins became a meme on October 25th of last year, when he led the Washington Redskins back from a 24-0 deficit against Tampa Bay to a 31-30 win. After the game, pumped about the win and in defiance of the doubters that had followed his career, Cousins yelled, “You like that?” at a reporter whose camera was rolling outside the locker room, and the rest was history.

The moment was passionate and unscripted, a great sports moment. But the way it became a commodity after the fact, appearing constantly on TV, made into t-shirts and other merchandise, never sat well with me. (Maybe this boils down to never really being a Cousins fan in the first place.) But now, in honor of Cousins being on my team for the week, as I look over this week’s projections I feel the need to bring the catchphrase back with all its exuberance.

w4-lines-shot

You like that?

w4-preview-shot

You like that?!?!?

You’re damn right I have the highest predicted margin of victory, and the third highest predicted score. You’re damn right my opponent’s roster is a weak mess, while mine is getting stronger every week. You’re damn right I’m in prime position for my first win.

Instead of going deeper into the projections, since they uniformly favor me, let’s go deeper into my opponent himself, because he’s interesting to me. I don’t know him personally, so I can only make assumptions based on his lineup and his play. But watching him for the past few weeks, record notwithstanding, I believe him to be the worst fantasy football player in our league.

I mean, look at the players in his lineup. We have a team in our league named Team RAIDER NATION. That owner, while clearly an Oakland fan, only sees fit to have one Raider in his weekly lineup – smartly, in my view. He hasn’t crippled himself by relying on Oakland’s unpredictable offense too much; he just has their kicker. MackAttack FiveDeuce, by contrast, has four Raiders on his team. He overdrafted all of them – I remember being shocked at Derek Carr going as high as the fourth round, going higher than some starters when I had him at a backup level. And he’s played them every week, when better options existed on the waiver wire (or even, sometimes, on his own bench).

MackAttack FiveDeuce is, as you might surmise, also a Raiders reference, as Khalil Mack wears #52 for Oakland’s defense. So clearly, MackAttack’s fandom is not in question. His fantasy football ability though? Let’s just say it doesn’t scare me.

Admittedly, he does have a win and a couple of strong points performances. Last week he beat my Week One foe, Team Coleman (now named Team SSPD), whose team has been decimated by injury and suspension. The week before that, he scored over 80 points in a loss. The week before that, he had only 44.

But he’s relied for his success on two things he doesn’t have this week: a favorable Oakland matchup and Jordy Nelson.

Jordy Nelson is the primary wide receiver in Green Bay. (He’s the one who’s been scoring all of Green Bay’s touchdowns while my Randall Cobb is wasting away in obscurity.) Green Bay has a bye this weekend. Hence, no Nelson. He’s filling in with Emmanuel Sanders, who had a huge but probably not repeatable breakout week last weekend. Sanders should be a downgrade, if not as huge a one as I might hope.

Oakland, up to now, has played New Orleans, Atlanta, and Tennessee. They’re 2-1 in those games. Of the four Raiders that MackAttack has, Carr has mostly been good, Crabtree has mostly been solid, Wolford has mostly been a non-factor, and the Raiders defense has been pretty terrible. Baltimore’s defense this weekend will be the best that they’ve faced so far. I’m not trying to say they’re great, but they’ll compete with Oakland and keep those four players’ scores under control. At least that’s my reading on the situation, and the soft projected points for all four of those players would seem to bear me out.

The threat on MackAttack’s team is Christine Michael. His quarterback is injured, so it’s a safe bet that the Seahawks will be relying on their running game, especially against the Jets, who can’t stop anybody. Michael got loose for 22 points last week and could do so again. That’s the player I’m going to watch the most closely. (Also, it would be just my luck to be undone by a Seahawk.)

I also worry that the projections for my running backs are running a little high. Yes, they’re all studs, and yes, all their matchups are favorable, but double digits from all three of them? Probably too much to hope for. And I worry that now that J.J. Watt is out injured, the Texans defense could underperform. And I worry that after the egg Arizona laid in Buffalo last weekend, I have no idea what’s going on with that offense and no idea what to expect from their kicker.

Mostly I worry because I’ve had such bad luck up to now, it seems too much to hope for that I have the crushing performance that these projections would predict.

I’m sure I’ll feel better tonight, after A.J. Green’s performance. If he scores a touchdown (and he should, against Miami), then all will be going according to plan and I’ll be ready to dominate on the weekend.

You like that?

Because I sure do.

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