Well, looks like the number on the whiteboard at the entrance of NFL headquarters is back to zero, as in, “Zero days without a league-rocking scandal.”
Of course, I’m talking about Jon Gruden’s homophobic and misogynistic emails coming to light in the seemingly bigger (but much more hush-hush) investigation/scandal/whatever involving the Washington Football Team (suggested new name: The Harassers, and I’ll show myself out).
But yes: Gruden’s emails with his buddy Bruce Allen, the former general manager of the WFT, show Gruden to be, at best, awfully casual with the way he throws around derogatory terms, and at worst, a racist, sexist, homophobic, mouth-breathing moron.
Gruden saw the writing on the wall and resigned before you can say “collateral damage,” but it does have me thinking two things. One, you have to be a damn fool to actually type out the stuff Gruden typed and then hit “send.” Seriously. I won’t even curse in an email or text anymore. Risk/reward is not there.
And two? I wonder how many other “when men were men and sheep were scared” types are patrolling NFL sidelines. I mean, at the risk of stereotyping, I’m guessing most NFL coaches and their underlings — and general managers, and vice presidents, and on and on — ain’t exactly what the kids today call woke. Now I know I’m painting with a broad brush, but still: I have to imagine more than a few members of the NFL community are pooping their Pumas, wondering if their off-color emails, texts, what-have-you will also one day be featured in The New York Times.
And heck, who knows where the end of this thing is. After all, the league has some 650,000 emails as part of the WFT investigation (which deals with Dan Snyder and his former co-owners, basically, but also, clearly, so much more).
Jon Gruden’s comments confirm what many of us have long known to be true: People in power speak differently behind closed doors.
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) October 12, 2021
ESPN’s Adam Schefter has gotten caught up in it, as it’s come to light he sent Allen an advance copy of a story he was working on back in 2011, referring to Allen as “Mr. Editor.”
“Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked,” Schefter wrote to Allen, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Thanks, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust. Plan to file this to espn about 6 am ….”
(Sidebar: As a longtime journalist myself, what Schefter did is a no-no. You just don’t share pre-published stories with the people you’re writing about. It’s fair, reasonable, and expected to go back to sources to make sure things are correct, but to give a source carte blanche over a story, well … it’s journalistically icky. Good job by Schefter by getting out in front of this and saying what he did was wrong. I hope no professional harm comes to Schefter, because I — and his 8.6 million followers on Twitter — would be lost in the woods when it comes to NFL DFS and sports betting without his inside sources. My Need To Know 1, Journalism Ethics 0 for those scoring at home. Anyway …)
Anyway, Gruden: There’s just no room at the table for people who think like that, and certainly no room at the table for people dumb enough to commit it to the cloud.
On with the show …
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
Yeah, last week was a disaster on this sports betting longshot, per usual, as we dropped to 0-5 on the year. Only got one out of four legs correct — the Chargers, and you’ll hear more about them later. But onward and upward and all that, and so this week, we’re changing it up, headed over to Unibet, and the play is over 55.5 in the Chiefs-WFT game, the Panthers outright over the Vikings, the Cowboys giving 3.5 to the Patriots, and the Broncos giving 3.5 to the Raiders.
Rationale? Chiefs should put up 35 by themselves by halftime; the Panthers are objectively better than the Vikings, with or without Christian McCaffrey; the Cowboys are going to the Super Bowl; the Raiders are probably emotionally drained; and the Broncos are better and it’s in Mile High.
The on-paper, no doubt, three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
I vowed to go apple picking last week if I didn’t nail this one. It was a nail-biter, but … no apple picking for me, thank goodness. Had the Chargers getting 2.5 points, the Cowboys getting 1.5 points, and the Ravens — whew! — giving a point to the Colts. Up to 2-3 on the year with these stupid, stupid bets.
This week, headed to FanDuel, and again, this looks like a no-apple picking for me kind of week: Give me Kansas City getting a half point at WFT, give me Panthers getting 7.5 at home against Minnesota, and give me the Bills Monday night getting a half point at Tennessee.
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
No, but you know what really irked me? I’m a tournament player who enters anywhere from 60-80 lineups a week. Every so often — like maybe five times a year — I’ll hit on a lineup that I really, really, really like. It happened last week. It was a Burrow-Chase-Higgins stack with a Davante Adams bringback. I went chalk at running back and flex with Alexander Mattison, Leonard Fournette, and Derrick Henry. Finished up with Ricky Seals-Jones and the Washington defense. When I stumbled into this lineup, I literally said out loud something like, “Oh shizz, this is a good lineup.” And once I recognized that, I should’ve entered it into a ton of small field stuff. Instead, I just dropped it in the Milly Maker. I’ve been playing DFS since 2014 and fantasy football since 1986, I should probably trust my gut now and again, you know? Rant over.
Do you think we really cared about that story?
No, almost certainly not, but I feel better just getting it out there, so shut up.
DraftKings DFS play of the week
I gave you Leonard Fournette last week. Too easy. I also gave you Laviska Shenault Jr., which was dumb because he’s coached by a dimwit.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) October 13, 2021
This week, well, this week is probably the most interesting DFS week of the year. The clear game to target is the Kansas City-WFT matchup, and making it even more interesting is there are numerous ways to attack this game. There’s expensive pieces, cheap pieces, middling pieces. It’s going to be over-owned, obviously, but it also has a chance to be a 45-38 game, so … I probably plan on being ahead of the field.
Having said that, contrarian pieces are most definitely needed, and with that, allow me to introduce you to Joe Mixon (assuming he plays). No one is playing Mixon this week off an injury, and furthermore, he’s sandwiched in price by D’Andre Swift and Antonio Gibson. Jonathan Taylor is $200 more. Then there’s even more good options above and below.
But Mixon? Right now, Samaje Perine is on the COVID list and the Bengals are playing the Lions. A 20-150-2 game is certainly in the realm of possibility, and if he’s more than 5% owned, I’ll be shocked.
Survivor pick of the week
OK, welcome to my personal hell, as I participated in zero survivor contests and yet here I am, 5-0 to start the year with the Rams, Browns, Broncos, Bills, and Ravens (whew, again). In keeping with the spirit of the contest, I will ban these teams from my picks, which means this week I’m going with the Broncos at home against the Former Grudens.
Best odds boost of the week
Where have all the odds boosts gone, Mrs. Robinson? As of now, outside of the now-always-on single game parlay moneyback offers, there’s bupkis by way of boosts. You’d think some of these lesser sportsbooks would offer something wonderful to entice schlubs like me.
Trap game of the week
After starting the year 3-0 here, I’ve been trapped the last two weeks by the Chiefs beating up on the Eagles and again last week when the Saints took down the WFT (yeah, you know me).
This week? I have to say it’s the Steelers giving 5.5 points to the Geno Smith-led Seahawks in Pittsburgh. The Hawks are an objectively better team and the Steelers are without Juju. Do I think the Seahawks win? Eh, probably not, but 5.5 points seems like a lot to me, especially in a game where both teams want to sit on the ball.
Player props I like
Last week was a 2-1 show, as I lost on Jalen Hurts rushing yards but won on Zeke Elliott rushing yards and Hunter Renfrow receptions.
Heading over to DraftKings, I like Matthew Stafford under 2.5 yards rushing at -110 (he’s only gone over that once, and with the Rams 10-point favorites, there’s a good chance he’ll lose a few kneel yards at the end of the game); Justin Fields over 12.5 yards rushing at -140 (the Bears coaching staff has to let him use his legs eventually, right?); Lamar Jackson over 69.5 rushing yards at -115 (the Chargers will dare him to take off, and he will); Melvin Gordon under 46.5 rushing yards at -115 (he’s banged up); and Hunter Renfrow over 4.5 catches at -150 (he’s done it every week).
My mortal lock five-star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the week
Hey now, Chargers! Two weeks in a row you were my mortal lock, two weeks in a row you came through for me. Up to 3-2 on the season, which means if you bet $11 million each week, you’d be up $8 million right now and could retire. See what I do for you?
Anyway, this week it’s … man, I really, really, really want to go with the Chargers getting 2.5 points in Baltimore. I can’t be any more clear: I truly believe the Chargers are the best team in the AFC, and possibly the NFL. Ah, screw it: Chargers +2.5.