nfl

WOOOOOOO GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY GAME DAY !!!!!!!!

[*breathes*]

A couple questions from previous weeks lead off this week’s mailbag, then we get into Week 1 start/sit questions. Oh, start/sit questions, how I’ve missed you! Such a shame that I can only answer them 16 weeks a year. Also discussed: patching up old relationships, going celibate before your wedding (NO!), dating in Japan, and more.

Hey, Matt,
Lt Confused again. I wrote back in February regarding a long-time friend turned long-distance fling possibly moving out here with me for the summer.

Turns out she got cold feet in March, coincidentally right after I had planned an elaborate vacation road trip to move her from PA out to CA with stops in Chicago, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone. While I was pissed at first, I ended up condensing the trip to everything between Chicago and Yellowstone and went with one of my best bros from back home instead. Kickass vacation despite the absence of sexy time, and guess what! No crazy chick stranded with me in CA who never really wanted to come in the first place. This last part is especially important because I recently got orders for a three year assignment to Japan starting in October. Potential moving nightmare averted.

Yay!

This sudden change of plans brings up a few questions, though….

1. At the end of March, I started dating a nurse friend who had just gotten back from deployment. Although our initial sexcapades were likely fueled from months of sexual frustration, we surprisingly became pretty serious over the past few months. Key points: She’s 39 to my 25. She thinks she wants kids, and I definitely don’t.

Sounds like you two have something really special.

We’ve already talked about the move and both agree that breaking up in October is the only thing to do. My question is should we cut off contact completely at that time or is staying friends at that point still a viable option? I genuinely care about her a lot. Distance and life stages be damned.

She wants kids and is entering egg-freezing territory; she doesn’t need emotional involvement with someone who doesn’t want children at all.

2. Any tips for living overseas and exploring the mysterious poontang of the Far East? I’ll be living just outside Tokyo. I’m a little scared, but mostly excited.

Having never explored the mysterious Far East poontang (I hear they’re horizontal!), I don’t have any can’t-miss tips for Tokyo. I’d recommend dropping the cash on some Rosetta Stone and immersing yourself in the language and culture. Being a handsome gaijin will only get you so far.

Fantasy football: Another question related to my move…How the hell do you deal with the time difference from living halfway across the world conflicting with the enjoyment of watching football/real-time fantasy action? I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that my Eagles play most of their games at 1 PM EST on Sunday which translates to the ungodly football watching time of 2 AM on Monday morning in Japan.

Do I take one for the team, watch games real time, and go into work insanely tired on Monday? Record the game and avoid all media the entire day to watch the game after work on Monday morning? Give up on watching my team all together?

I (obviously) love football, but I hardly think it’s worth going into work without sleep — unless we’re talking about the playoffs, in which case FUCK SLEEP.

The only silver lining to this issue is that I’m told night football games are watched to some extent in the office the next morning. Monday, Tuesday, and sometimes Thursday morning football could be awesome enough to make up for the other bullshit. This reality, however, likely makes the option of watching games after work a moot point.

I defer to your supreme worldly knowledge.
-Lt Less Confused

You’ll figure out what works for you. Just remember to set your fantasy lineup before you go to bed on Thursday.

**********

Hello Mr. Captain Man Guy,
FOOTBAW: My friends and I have been been in the same league for the last five or so years, and while I’ve come close (Being 2nd two years ago is basically my crowning achievement), I normally end up in the middle of the pack as a 1st round playoff loser. When I draft I go RB, QB, RB, WR, WR, FLEX which makes enough sense, but in a 10-team league top tier assets become scarce pretty quickly as you can imagine. Last year defense became a revolving door seeing as I thought Philadelphia WOULD be good, and I ended the year with Arizona somehow, and the year before that I jumped at the opportunity to take Drew Brees early but in turn my RB’s suffered (Law Firm was the best I had). Could you suggest an order in which i should draft to ensure not completely sucking at one position (or at least some sleepers so I can focus on more important positions)?

I included this question — even though everyone has obviously already drafted — because I want to reverse course on previously stated draft strategy. In case you’re not familiar with my previously-stated ideology, I’ve always been against hewing to a strict strategy, instead recommending flexibility that allows for a balance between positional need and the best talent available.

Using that strategy, I got Drew Brees with the 11th pick of a 12-team keeper league because he presented the best value. But that ended up killing me, because RBs and WRs flew off the board while everyone was waiting to get Matt Ryan or Tony Romo or Colin Kaepernick in the later rounds. So I finished the draft thin at wide receiver.

Two days later, I picked 11th again in another 12-team league (I didn’t see the front half of a draft in any of my six leagues), and I told myself: NO QUARTERBACK UNTIL ROUND FIVE. I picked Andrew Luck in the sixth, and guess what? That team kicks ass.

Again, none of this helps anyone NOW, but conscience dictates that I have to correct my earlier mistakes: the deep quarterback pool this year should have bumped that need lower on your list of priorities. REALLLLLLY wish I would have figured that out three weeks ago. And that’s why mock drafts are useful.

GIRLS: Probably a little more than a month and a half ago I met a really cool girl who I, personally, can’t believe I have so much in common with. We watch the same stupid TV shows, she gets along great with my friends and we generally have a good time together with minimal awkwardness. She told me she wants to take things slow because her last relationship ended badly (which I have no problem with), but there’s times when I can’t help but feel like she doesn’t feel the same as I do. The first three dates we went on (concert, bar chatting, dinner) we ended up making out each time, but after that it’s just been weird/disappointing car hugs when I drop her off at the end of the night. I occasionally drop hints (hand on knee, eye contact, holding hands stuff) but the fact that she’s completely backtracked just weirded me out. Am I completely over-thinking this or do my concerns seem warranted?

DISCLAIMER: I don’t have much dating experience despite being 25. So if I’m just being a worrisome idiot please feel free to tell me. Thanks!
Sincerely,
I’M NOT GOOD AT WOMAN

Sure, it’s always ideal when a woman is so smitten with you that she casts aside her values to get naked with you right away. But most of us aren’t rich and handsome and charming enough to make that a habit.

I agree that it seems weird she’d only hug you at the end of the night after making out with you earlier in the night. I’d guess that she’s trying to stay within boundaries she’s set for herself, and she’s probably afraid that making out with you in the car is a gateway activity to inviting you inside for sex. I wouldn’t sweat it. Physical interaction at the end of those first dates is frequently awkward, and the limitations of car seats and seatbelts and whatnot don’t help.

Since you like her so much, stick with it for a little longer. You’ll either have sex soon, or you’ll get tired of getting used for free meals.

*********

What’s Up Matt?
Fantasy: Had my first draft earlier this week (snake 8th pick) and went RB, RB, WR, WR, QB. Two years ago I won one of these leagues with this logic but finished 8th in the other. Different players, random outcomes, but for those of us with miserable jobs requiring 60+ hour work weeks, I don’t have nearly enough time to put in to my draft boards and weekly roster management. Is this going to be the safest general approach for those of us who don’t put in enough effort (for whatever bull**** reason we have)?

As noted above, yes — although I wouldn’t be quite so strict about RB versus WR in rounds 2-4, or even the first round if your choice is Calvin Johnson versus a running back you’re not totally stoked about.

Sex: Been going back and forth with this girl for almost a year now (I’m mid twenties and she’s almost 30). There isn’t really a method to her madness, but the only recurring trend is that if things are going good she’ll tell me how amazing I am, how much she loves me, but then inevitably sabotage it. She’ll then blow it up then offer a reason along the lines of “I just don’t know what I want right now,” “I don’t want the responsibility of a boyfriend,” or my personal favorite “I just want to be alone and not have to worry about anyone else.” So I’ll get hurt, repeatedly (no denying that’s on me), and then start to get over her and she’ll drag me back in with her games. As an added bonus, she’s beautiful (Latin), her family loves me, and is great in the sack.

Well yeah, obviously. As a general rule, human beings don’t put up with irrational, emotionally exhausting bullshit unless the person responsible for it also makes them come really hard.

So it’s time to move on, as I am not going to be some woman’s security blanket and listen to her babble about the inconsequential stuff that a girlfriend talks about.

Two questions on this. 1) I’m going to cross paths with her multiple times a week for at least the next two months, so do I remain generally pleasant but distant or do I pull the ultimate douche move and ignore her completely?

Pleasant but distant. But keep your guard up! Small talk’s gotta stay small, and you need to exit out of any conversation quickly without (a) showing any curiosity about her life or (b) revealing any new details about yours.

2) When I instigate the Post Break Up Plan and she eventually reaches out and tries to rekindle a friendship or relationship (she will, trust me on that), can you ever really be friends with someone who is a manipulative emotional basket case?

- HB

Most likely not, but even if you could: why would you? Why elect to be friends with someone who makes your life harder?

**********

Captain,
FF: 12 team league, standard scoring. Looking to fill out my flex spot, I have My Tiny Little Pocket Darren Sproles (v. Atl) or Torrey Smith (@Den). Leaning towards Smith against the weakened Denver secondary, but Sproles at home in the dome is tempting as well.

I don’t think Sproles is an automatic play outside of PPR leagues. I like Smith against the Broncos; he had 98 yards and two touchdowns against them the last time they faced off, and that was WITH Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil rushing Joe Flacco. (If that sounds familiar, it’s because I said it in THIS WEEK’S EPISODE OF KEEPERS.)

Sex: Getting married this weekend to a gorgeous, intelligent woman that I love very much. As a result, I have no question. Attached is an image of my unreasonably high expectation of wedding lingerie.
Thanks,
D+C Music Factory

bridal-lingerie

I don’t think that’s an unreasonably high expectation for the lingerie itself. For the body wearing it? Maybe. Most brides don’t get the benefit of Photoshop in real-time.

**********

Dearest Cap’n,
First things first, flex question: My three top options this week (and really all season) are as follows: Ben Tate (I’m starting Foster so this is a safe but low-ceiling move), Sidney Rice (Seattle had the fewest pass attempts in the NFL last year but with Harvin out he’s 1/1a with Golden Tate) or Cecil Shorts (Blackmon suspension means more targets but Gabbard/Henne means Gabbard/Henne). Your thoughts?

Shorts.

Not really sex, but: my brother is marrying the wrong girl. She’s awful, but he’s totally all-in for her. She doesn’t cheat or anything (that I know of) but she’s just a rotten mean-spirited manipulative c*nt in general. I have to just get out of his way and let him live his life, right?
Regards,
Meddler

Yeah, pretty much. It’s important to remember that what YOU want in a woman and what you want your brother to have in a woman are not necessarily what your brother wants from a woman. If he’s all-in for her, then that’s that. Maybe he likes being manipulated. Maybe the sex is great. Maybe he’ll decide she’s awful in five months or five years.

I mean, you COULD sit him down and say, “This is what I’m seeing,” then lay out specific instances of her being shitty to him, and add that you think he should be treated better. Focus on the actions, not the individual. Express concern, not disapproval. It’s a fine line to walk, but if you choose to go for it, keep your expectations in check.

**********

Dearest Magical Flinger of Christmas Poo,
I hope this doesn’t get in too late, but let’s hit it.

I added it at the last minute. YOU’RE WHY THE MAILBAG IS LATE!

First, football: I’m having trouble deciding on my W/R flex. I have Eddie Lacy (@SF), Tavon Austin (Ariz), Brian Hartline (@Cle), Denarius Moore (@Ind), and Riley Cooper (@Was). I’m really deciding between Lacy and Austin.

I feel like Lacy is going to get a lot of reps but that SF defense is killer. I’ve heard so many different opinions on Austin I don’t know what to think anymore. First, they’re saying that Givens is going to get more looks, and now this week I’m hearing that they purposefully didn’t use Austin in the pre-season, keeping it very vanilla for him specifically so teams couldn’t get a good look at him. I feel like Austin has a better matchup but more unknowns, while Lacy is a powerhouse. What do you think?

I do think Austin was overrated in fantasy terms following the NFL draft, but with Lacy’s tough matchup — it’s not just the Niners D that concerns me, but Green Bay’s spotty O-line — I like the idea of rolling the dice with Austin, who presents a lot more upside.

Sexy time: Getting married soon and I’m very excited about it. Something I’m not so excited about? It’s basically a guarantee that my fiancee is going to have her period on our wedding night and honeymoon. Now, I’m not one of those idiots who thinks its gross to have sex on a girl’s period, but she always has hesitations about it. But what’s the alternative? Not having sex on the honeymoon??

F that noise. If she’s not keen on sex during her period, stick with sex in the shower. No mess!

Also, the issue is compounded by the fact that my fiancee decided a few weeks ago that she’d like to “wait until the wedding” to have sex again. I guess I don’t really have a question, I just needed to vent to an anonymous person on the internet. Thanks, I feel better.
You’re the best,
Sexless in Seattle

What a crock. Your fiancée knows that you have finite days on this planet until you expire and turn to dust, right? And that the best anyone’s pointless little lives get is when they forget all their troubles for a few minutes and flood their brains with endorphins by engaging in sexual activity, ideally with someone they love? So why stop doing that voluntarily when there’s a willing partner in your bed? To make the wedding night “special”? Are you kidding? You’ve spent the equivalent of a down payment on a house for this massive party with all your friends and family for what will (hopefully) be a once-in-a-lifetime event. IT WILL ALREADY BE FUCKING SPECIAL.

**********

Dear KSK,
Fantasy: 14 team league (ugh) standard scoring, 0 PPR. I drunkenly drafted Brady and Stafford back to back at QB because VALUE! and now my WR position is a mess. I’m okay at RB with Jamaal Charles and David Wilson, but I need to know who to start as my WR2 and Flex. I have Jordy Nelson as WR1 at the moment, and for WR2 and Flex I can choose two out of Kenbrell Thompkins (against a ravaged Bills secondary) Chris Givens (vs. AZ. Why the fuck did I draft Chris Givens?) TY Hilton (vs what could be a historically bad Raiders defense) Jaquizz Rodgers (against Wolfman Rob’s corpse of a Saint’s D) or Vick Ballard (he’s a real person! And real people can score points against the Raiders, right?) I’m thinking Thompkins and Hilton, but I’m also a Pats fan who may be blinded by meaningless preseason production, and it seems like Indy is committed to the run/TE position this year so Ballard may be a better play than Hilton? Christ I don’t even know why I do this anymore.

You need to stop over-thinking this. I mean, you just tried to talk yourself into starting Vick Ballard over T.Y. Hilton.

Stick with Thompkins and Hilton.

Sex: I was dating a girl a few months ago, and everything between the two of us was great for the duration, but due to external factors (my meddlesome ex, her stressful job situation) she ended things abruptly. When I say abruptly, I mean she sent me a text message at work saying “I can’t do this anymore” and then refused to take my phone calls or meet to talk things over.

That’s incredibly dickish and unfair, but I can’t help but admire its effectiveness.

Needless to say I was hurt and confused. Three months passed without us speaking. This past weekend she called me out of the blue to apologize, and at the time I happened to be in her area, so we met to talk. In talking to each other, we realized that the chemistry never left, and we ended up having a great night together cracking jokes and catching up.

Yeah, “catching up.” ON SEX.

At the end of the night she expressed a lot of regret for the way things ended and a desire to revisit our relationship. As it stands my ex is completely out of the picture, and her job situation has stabilized. However, the way she ended things the last time has me wary of putting myself in the position to be hurt again. So I guess my question is: If I get back together with this girl, am I essentially being an idiot who is setting myself up for failure with someone who has already shown a lack of regard for my feelings? Or, am I being an adult and giving someone I care about the benefit of the doubt and hoping that the barriers to our relationship are completely eroded? I know I can’t expect you to predict the future, but am I being naive in being hopeful that this could work?
-LouDarius “Dishsoap” Watkins

I think as long as you’re both willing to be adults about it, you should give it a try. Which is to say: you need to state in no uncertain terms that the way she broke it off with you wasn’t just outside of societal norms, it also was incredibly hurtful to you. You’re right to be cautious moving forward, but you also have to forgive her fully. And lastly, both of you need to have enough commitment to each other that your relationship can survive a patch of rough work or a meddlesome ex.

REMINDER: This year I’ll be doing a live fantasy show called The War Room on Sundays from noon to 1:00 Eastern on SB Nation. Follow me on Twitter for more information. Set your lineups!