Jonas Gray Ruined My Day

When I started playing fantasy football seven seasons ago one thing seemed apparent to me: if the New England Patriots gave the majority of the running back work to any one running back, that running back would be a fantasy monster. So, I drafted Lawrence Maroney. And I patiently waited for the seven other running backs on the roster to go away. But they didn’t go away. Not even Fred Taylor, who was 78 years old at the time. He stayed. For all I know he’s still on the roster, or at the complex somewhere sleeping on a cot in a back room biding his time. Then I drafted Benjarvus Green Ellis, and I waited. For the nine other running backs on the roster to go away. But they didn’t go away. Then I drafted Stephen Ridley, and waited for the head coach to recognize he was a bell cow running back. But between Ridley fumbling on every third handoff, and Belichick’s nuttiness, I never really knew when I would get 15 carries and a touchdown or two from Ridley, or if he would be pulled before halftime because of a fumble.

After six years I gave up. Because one thing had become clear to me: Bill Belichick is fucking with fantasy football players. He doesn’t like them, and he wants them to be miserable. Don’t get into a land war in Asia, and don’t trust a Patriot running back.

My new rule was to stay away from New England.

Last night I had a 53 point lead after Aaron Rodgers did his usual against the Eagles, and I started to relax, because I was playing against two scrubs: Jonas Gray and Coby Fleener. 53 points against Jonas Gray and Coby Fleener. I think I knew I was going to lose even before Gray scored the first touchdown. Because what I had envisioned was becoming true. A running back on this team has always been capable of scoring nearly fifty fantasy football points almost every week for a decade now. It’s never happened. But last night it did happen.

38 carries. 199 yards. 4 touchdowns. You could say who knew, but I think everyone knew.

So, this Jonas Gray, he must be some sort of ultra-talented superman, right?

No. He’s a plodder. Although I know whatever I say here, the opposite will happen, because Belichick makes people look like fools, and in the process often shoots himself in the foot trying to be overly clever, but Gray is no great shakes. In fact, I’d have to guess giving him the ball 38 times was more a show of disrespect to him and his possible future with the team than a demonstration of faith. You don’t gibe a running back you value the football 38 times when you have a game well in hand. You give a stock part you find completely expendable the ball 38 times and tell him to go wreck his body.

I sat there a little stunned, but nothing that was happening surprised me. I wasn’t even capable of working up any anger towards Jonas Gray. Like I said, he may be off the roster next season. I won’t even try to add him on any fantasy rosters this week. Still not dumb enough to fall into that trap. He just as easily could give me back that win in another league by not playing this week. Coby Fleener kicked in the fatal points.

53 points against Jonas Gray and Coby Fleener. Not enough.

Welcome to fantasy football.

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