ease

NEVER! (via)

Welcome to another installment of the KSK mailbag! This is the penultimate mailbag of the year — I’ll do a fantasy championship/holiday sex edition next week, then I’m off for Christmas. Then I’ll be back with a hangover ‘bag for January 2nd. So, uh, mark your calendars, I guess?

Anyway, let’s get to your questions!

Dear Captain Caveman,
Fantasy first: I’m in the semis of my 10-man standard scoring league.

I’d like to stop here and point out that I have edited out five lines of unnecessary information about which players this person has, which he has played throughout the season, background information on his team. There are a couple emails every week that are like this — reminiscent of those 6th grade word problems that give you unnecessary data just to screw you up.

For the RB2/flex I’ve got Ridley and Blount (@Miami), Woodhead and Ryan Mathews (@Denver), Pierre Thomas and Sproles (@StL). For my WR2/TE flex I’ve got Jordy (@Dallas), Edelman(@Miami), Stevie Johnson (@Jax), Gates (@Denver). I don’t think any of them deserve the RB/WR role.

Four slots, ten men, one goal. I’m inclined to roll with Woodhead / Mathews / Jordy / Edelman. What do you think?

I think you’re overlooking Pierre Thomas. He had consecutive BRUTAL matchups at Seattle and versus Carolina, but before that he had a streak of seven straight games of 80+ yards from scrimmage, and this week he plays against the Rams, who give up the fourth-most fantasy points to RBs.

Of course, starting Thomas means sitting Woodhead or Mathews, which is a tough choice. In my .5 PPR league, Ryan Mathews has 10+ fantasy points in 7 of his last 8 games — he’s pretty close to must-start territory, which is a pretty strong argument for giving Mike McCoy Coach of the Year honors. But Woodhead’s no slouch, either — while Mathews put up 12.1 FP on the Broncos in Week 10, Woodhead added 44 total yards and a TD for 10.4 FP (the Broncos actually give up the 8th-most fantasy points to RBs).

On sheer volume of touches, I like Mathews and Thomas. Woodhead actually has similar yardage numbers to Thomas and a better knack for the end zone — and I’m sure some folks will lean toward the likelihood of San Diego playing from behind and throwing more — but for me, I say go with the backs who get the heavier workload.

As for the WR/TEs, Edelman’s a definite start. I’d like to get cute and bump Stevie Johnson ahead of Jordy Nelson on account of Johnson’s JAX matchup and the lack of Aaron Rodgers (Nelson hasn’t scored since October), but Jordy’s the safer play.

Sexual healing: A lot of the time, my wife and I are tired/stressed at the end of the day, staying up late to do more work and falling into bed, with the effect you’d expect on our weekday sex life. Any suggestions on maintaining the work/sex balance in a life where you keep working at home? Sorry that the question isn’t a juicy/exciting one, but I believe that many men out there have similar situations.
Keep up the good work,
The Entropist

That’s a familiar feeling for any cohabitating couple. If you both have demanding jobs and put any time into making dinner, your night’s essentially over before either one of you thinks about it. And cohabitation adds a wrinkle that dating people don’t have to worry about: when you’re dating, once you have sex, every date ends in sex — or at least it’s a reasonable expectation.

When you live together, it’s no longer an expectation: it’s a moving target that requires timing and initiative. Maybe you’re horny after dinner, but you finish the dishes and see that your wife has changed into pajama pants (Pajama pants : getting laid :: Mariano Rivera : a late-inning rally). Or maybe she knows her period starts the next day, so she wants to have sex, but you don’t know her cycle and are focused on work instead. The end result is the same: neither of you gets laid.

The key is to knock that sex out as soon as possible. You know that first part of the evening where you get home from work and tell each other about your respective days? Have that conversation naked after sex. Because you’re not going to carve out 20 minutes for sex before bed when you’re both already tired. You’re not going to do it when there are chores and emails and more work to get done before going to bed too late for another night of not enough sleep. But when you first get home, and the whole evening’s in front of you? Celebrate with some orgasms. It’s not as romantic as dating life, but you’re not dating any more.

(NOTE: For a higher degree of difficulty, try having children and trying to maintain a sex life.)

**********

Esteemed Captain,
Fantasy (your side): How did you do this season? Any chance of winning a league or two?

A fast roundup of my teams, in (loose) order of how competitive they are/how much I care about them:

1. Muffcunt Vaginapussy, 12-team .5 PPR league with college/Brooklyn friends: finished 8-5 (3-seed), in the semis after beating the 6-seed last week to get to 9-5. Incredibly tough matchup this week against the league’s season points leader.

2. Juggalo Baby Funeral, 12-team KSK blogger league: 6-8, missed playoffs despite finishing third in points. A snakebitten team: the NFL.com draft client kicked me off in the first round and I got Trent Richardson THIRD OVERALL (in a keeper league, but still), and I drafted Roddy White, Hakeem Nicks, and Michael Vick while keeping Colin Kaepernick for an 8th-rounder. Just a fucking disaster of a team that managed to get by on Jamaal Charles and waiver wire heroes.

3. Saskatchewan Uff Writers, 12-team .5 PPR work league: finished 7-6 and in the playoffs after a season-ending 5-game win streak thanks to the return of Gronk. Knocked off an 11-2 team in the first round to get to 8-6, and now facing the league’s juggernaut in the semis.

4. Eagle Globe n Spanker, 8-team IDP league with Marine friends: 8-6 and the 3-seed in the playoffs despite almost 100 more points than any other team throughout the season.

5. Brian Russell’s Abortion, 10-team failball league in which points are awarded for poor play: 9-3-1 and the 1-seed in the playoffs.

6. Semper Pie, 8-team league with other sports media people where no one but me seems to care because NBCSN canceled The Crossover: 12-1.

AGGREGATE: 52-29-1 on the season so far, with five of six teams making the postseason, and the other narrowly missing due to an epic chain of bad luck (matchups, draft, injuries). Of the teams alive, three can realistically contend for championships.

How about some advice in the form of a video to everyone stressing out about what to do for their playoff line-ups?

YOU READ ME LIKE A POEM.

Fantasy (my side): Although I’ve been reading the mailbag for I don’t know how long, I’ve never played. When I lived in the US, could never get enough people interested (I rolled in the legal world and most people just wanted to work and talk about how everything was going to shit, as this was during the first years of the 2008 crisis). Now, living in South America, there are not enough people interested, so I’m stuck either playing in a public league or simply staying off it.

If I want to partake in the heartbreak of FF, what’s the option here? Playing with strangers is not appealing because the whole thing is being able to bust some balls, so what is a person living in a tropical paradise, surrounded by pretty women, to do to find another thing to entertain himself with?

Well, once you’re done rubbing it in, the first thing I’d suggest is to go fuck yourself. After that, I’d recommend posting on Facebook: “Hey, USA friends, I’m looking for a fantasy football league next year. Anyone got an open spot?” And maybe don’t mention how awesome your life is in a warm-weather climate during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, or people may respond with, “Yeah, we’ve got a spot, but you can go fuck yourself.”

Sex: I’m a divorced father and have, since the divorce, only introduced my daughter (currently about to turn 9) to one girlfriend, with whom I stayed with for 4½ years. But that went awry and so after 2 years of enjoying above mentioned pretty women, I think I have found one that could yield a long-term relationship.

The question is how/when/if I introduce the girlfriend to the daughter (mom, who unfortunately lives in the Northern Hemisphere, has custody; daughter spends long holiday weekends, end of the year and summer holidays with me, totals about 4 – 4 ½ months of the year of dad time). We have been together for a little over 7 months and New Year’s is a time when it could potentially happen.

The trick I used with the old girlfriend (presenting her as a friend and just getting little one used to girlfriend around) doesn’t work because my daughter is now much older and is already aware that something is going on (phone calls where I’m clearly happy to talk to the person on the other end, messages that pop up on phone and my daughter reads, late night calls before going to bed, etc.).

Introducing one to the other seems like a foregone conclusion, as we are spending a lot of time together, last time daughter was with me, it was pretty hard to keep both lives apart and I can’t move on with planning for the future without taking this step (yes, I have considered whether I could be heading for attempt #2 at happily ever after). Any thoughts?
All the best,
It’s 85 degrees and sunny, the women are tanned and showing lots of skin and I don’t miss the ‘Merican winters…

Kids can process a lot more than we give them credit for. We hem and haw about how to talk to them about the Newtown shootings or whatever, and when we finally broach the taboo subject, a lot of them will say, “Oh, that’s sad.” And then five minutes later they’ll be focused on what’s for lunch.

I say be direct with your daughter. “Sweetie, this is Alejandra, my girlfriend.” Let her ask questions: “Are you in love? Are you going to get married?” In turn, you can be honest in saying yes or “I don’t know” or whatever. I’m obviously not a father, but that would be my suggestion based on my interactions with my nieces and my wife’s students (4th graders).

When it’s time for your daughter to go back to the States, close the loop with your ex-wife: let her know that your daughter met your girlfriend so she isn’t blindsided when your daughter blurts it all out.

**********

Hi Captain,
How are you? How are the fantasy playoffs treating you thus far? I need a flex for this week out of the following: Ryan Mathews at Denver, Darren Sproles at St Louis, or Andre Ellington at Tennessee. Standard scoring, no PPR. I’ve been rolling with Mathews lately as he has been pretty productive for a flex. But I don’t know if he will see many touches against Denver this week if they end up down by 20 early.

Mathews. You can run on Denver, and he did well enough in the teams’ first meeting.

Sexy Time: I’ve been getting to know this lovely lady for the past few weeks, I’ll call her Lucy. She and I have been hanging out a lot lately, and being that she is beautiful, funny, outgoing, etc, I can’t really complain. Recently, things have been going really well and Lucy and I have had a couple of overnight encounters. The issue is, Lucy is currently trying to maintain a 2+ year relationship that has been long-distance for the last six months or so.

bad-call-tomlin

I feel like an ass for knowingly messing around with a lady in a relationship, but at the same time, I didn’t want to miss my opportunity and end up falling into the friend zone. I’ve mentioned to her that I’m not a temporary fix since her boyfriend isn’t here, and I believe she genuinely cares for me. At this point, I think my options are to let Lucy figure out which guy she wants to be with and then take it from there, or stop seeing her completely if she fails to make a decision. I know that we can’t maintain the status quo as no one would win in that situation. Your expertise on this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you sir, and best of luck with the rest of the fantasy playoffs.
– Not Just a Cuddle Buddy

Everyone’s in a shitty position here: Lucy’s lying to her boyfriend to cheat on him with you; you’re emotionally invested in and physically involved with someone who has a boyfriend, and the poor boyfriend is (we assume) living a celibate life to be faithful to someone who’s fucking someone else.

So, yeah: ultimatum time. If she wants to stay with her boyfriend, then you need to peace out and find someone who’s available. If she wants to be with you, she needs to break up with her boyfriend, so that you two can start having a real relationship instead of an affair that is going to leave her boyfriend feeling shitty and angry.

Right now, she hasn’t made a decision because a decision is hard and will hurt someone’s feelings, and the only person who can force a decision — you — has let her have it both ways. Do everyone a favor and stand up for yourself.

**********

Greetings Oracle,
Fantasy first. I’m coming off my first round bye, having ridden my core of Megatron (1st round) Graham (2nd) and Fetushead (3rd) all the way to second place and the scoring title. My second WR all year has been Victor Cruz and i’m finally ready to cut the cord and go with Keenan Allen, pretty sure about that just looking for affirmation.

Victor Cruz is 19th in WR scoring (non-PPR) this year with 119.3 points; Keenan Allen is 20th with 118.2. But they’re only close because Cruz went off in the first quarter of the season: he scored an astonishing 56% of his fantasy points in Weeks 1-4, whereas Allen didn’t even get regular snaps UNTIL Week 4. Cruz — who plays Seattle this week — hasn’t scored a touchdown since September; Allen had two on three targets last week.

My question concerns the defense, i have KC and ARI and i’m leaning ARI. Am i right in assuming that this weeks explosion against the (Insert non-racist name here) was more a product of a disintegrating opponent than it was the KC DEF getting back on track?

The Redskins and their horrid special teams certainly DID help with last week’s explosion, but I think it’s worth noting that Arizona’s a VERY different team on the road. The defense averages 7.3 fantasy points in the team’s away games this season and 14.0 at home. And the one team they’ve played twice suggests that trend’s not a fluke: in St. Louis, the Cards D produced 10 fantasy points. When the Rams visited Arizona, that number became 20.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ brief swoon was a product of getting the Broncos twice and an excellent Chargers offense, plus losing Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. With Hali back, I’d favor the Chiefs D over Arizona’s.

Sex: Not in a relationship at the moment and i am completely done with bar/casual sex scene. Its simply not worth the time, money and emotional investment. My worry is that not having sex for a while will lead to an erosion in my, ahem, sexual prowess. Is that a legitimate concern?
Thanks,
Kevin Gilbride is the banality of evil personified

No.

**********

Hey Uff-
SO MANY FANTASY QUESTIONS. I’ll try to keep them concise.

1) Who is the better Gronk replacement, Charles Clay or Delanie Walker?

Clay.

2) Pick a D: KC @ Oak or Buffalo @ Jax.

The numbers don’t support this, but I’d roll the dice with Buffalo, just because I like their pass rush better while Houston’s hurt.

3) Pick 2 of these 3 for RB2 and Flex: Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington, Donald Brown.

Yuck. Ellington and Johnson, I guess.

4) Pick a QB: Stafford vs. Baltimore or Luck vs. Texans.

Stafford.

I think that’s it. Now for a marginal sex question. For about a month I have been seeing a gal very casually who I’m not super into, but it’s something to do. Increasingly I’ve realized I needed to break it off, and it crystallized when, the morning after she stayed over last week, I discovered after she left that she had clogged my toilet and then didn’t say anything. I took my morning dump squatted over my bathroom garbage basket.

Wait a sec, I’m confused about the order of events that led to you pooping in a garbage basket. In order for you to poop in the garbage, you would have to know that the toilet is already clogged, but if you knew that the toilet was clogged, why not unclog it first, then poop in the toilet? Don’t you have a plunger? You should really have a plunger.

She lives an hour away and is only in my town once a week to go to a class; she comes over after. Do I just make different reasons why she can’t come over the next few weeks and hope she gets the picture, giving some diplomatic reasons if she demands a confrontation? Do I proactively have the diplomatic confrontation (I can’t stress enough how casual this is, although it seems like she wants more and that’s one of the reasons I’m wanting out)? Do I go nuclear and tell her, “Hey, you clogged my toilet and didn’t tell me and I had to shit in my garbage, GOOD LUCK WITH EVERYTHING”? Seems harsh.
YOURS,
Trash Turds

Just tell her you can’t see her any more because you started dating someone. Boom. Easy out.

**********

Dear Capt. Caveman,
Fantasy: I was eliminated from the playoffs this week after a pretty good season, but I’ve come up with a question anyway: do you have any ideas about how to rescue the fun of fantasy for the people who are losing or eliminated? I’m not a big fan of punishments for failure, I’d prefer some sort of positive reinforcement for continuing to pay attention, send emails, etc.

I feel like I answer some version of this question on a regular basis, and I never know quite what to do with it. I’m hardwired to try my best and compete at just about everything I do, and I don’t understand why other people need incentives to put forth a cursory effort. Like, if people need to win in order to care, go be a fucking Yankee fan or something. Who are these human cattle you invite into your leagues, mooing in response to your exhortations to set their lineups? Fuck them. Their incentive can be a boot in the ass.

I’m sorry, I know that’s not helpful. But you appear to have caught me on a day when I’m in touch with my Marine side.

Sex: I’m pursuing a young lady who I will decline to describe because I know it really doesn’t matter for your advice. She is a long-time acquaintance (saw her maybe twice a year) whom I have only in the last month or so actually attempted to date. We’ve gone on a date and met up at a party, but as yet nothing has happened. I am fairly confident there is interest on her end, but because it hasn’t been made explicit, there is also a chance that she sees us as merely friends.

Here’s the problem: I’ve got it soooo bad for her, and it makes me super anxious about the bold steps I will soon have to take (going for a kiss, etc.). I’ve never been especially confident with the ladies, but it’s very bad with this one because of the long build-up and the level of attraction. While there’s a chance I’ll chicken out next time I see her (she’s having a party this weekend), I’m actually more nervous about success, because my cool facade might break and I’ll freak out, run away, and/or jizz in my pants.

I’m sure that given the confident, suave man that you are, you have never faced this kind of problem, but perhaps you or the Kommentariat nonetheless have some advice about conquering my fears and going into this confidently. The ol’ “imagine them in their underwear” seems rather counter-productive in this instance, and alcohol, while undoubtedly involved, carries its own risks.
Thanks,
–Total Quaking Pussy

Fake it. Just totally be someone who doesn’t give a shit. Not all the way, of course: you still need to be you, but you need to convince yourself that this is in the bag, so you can relax and have confidence.

Here’s a quick anecdote that I’ll regret because my wife will give me shit about it after she reads this column:

A little less than a year after I moved to New York at age 26, I bumped into a girl on the subway that I knew in high school (we went to high school in southern Illinois, so this blew both of our minds). We’d sat next to each other in French class, but she was a cheerleader and the prom queen, and I did musical theater and was two years behind everyone else’s growth spurt. She may as well have been in some other plane of existence from me. Long story short: we ended up dating briefly as adults, largely because I was like “Fuck it” and pretended to be a lot more confident than I actually was.

This girl you like? Just another human, like you. She has flaws and insecurities and probably some weird marks on her body and hair in places she doesn’t want it, just like everybody else. You are perfectly worthy of her affection.

**********

Howdy Cap’n,
I’m up 17 points going into the second week of the first round of my fantasy playoffs thanks to Josh McCown going HAM on the Cowboys. You?

Second week … of the first round? Are you in the Champions League?*

*soccer joke. Apologies.

Here’s my dilemma in a standard scoring ESPN league: My two WRs are a lock with Megatron and Keenan Allen, and RB1 Eddie Lacy stands to have a solid game. So pick an RB2 and a Flex between: Steven Jackson (vs. WSH, seems to be coming alive), Donald Brown (vs. HOU, the Indy running game blows but so does the Texans D), Riley Cooper (vs. MIN), Toby Gerhart (vs. PHI, with a hobbled AP and a weak Eagles run D), and Marques Colston (vs. STL, always a feast or famine guy who tends to turn it on at this point in the season). Right now I’ve got Jackson and Cooper in those slots.

Keep an eye on Lacy’s ankle going into the weekend. I’d go Jackson and Gerhart if the latter’s hamstring is okay. You note that Colston’s a feast or famine guy, but Cooper may have him beat on that front. He’s been largely invisible since his 2-game explosion.

Sex: My wife and I have decided that we will not be having children. I’ve always used condoms since she hates the pill, but I’m becoming increasingly paranoid about the effectiveness of prophylactics. I should just go ahead and get a vasectomy, right?
Simon Lastnamewithheld

As long as you are both 100% certain, yes. And forget the paranoia about condoms’ effectiveness, do it for the joy of unprotected sex.

**********

What’s up Captain,
Fantasy: I have 3 defenses on my roster right now, and I’m not sure who to start this weekend: Titans vs. Arizona, Eagles vs. Vikings, or Bucs vs. SF. Bucs have been hottest lately, but have the toughest matchup. I don’t think the Eagles defense is really that good, but they have been scoring well recently and are playing the injured and bad vikings. The titans have been my starters for most of the year but have been struggling lately and the cards are coming on fast. I’m leaving towards the Eagles, but am very open to suggestions.

Those are some shitty-ass offenses to be keeping three on your roster. Start the Titans: they have a solid pass D, the Cardinals’ offensive line sucks, and Carson Palmer is mistake prone. Even though the Vikings are a bad team, I don’t think the Eagles defense has enough playmakers to warrant a roster spot, much less a start.

Sex: This isn’t really about sex — got engaged 2 months ago to a tremendous girl who I have been with for over 5 years, so all is well. My question centers around groomsman: what is the etiquette for inviting non-groomsman to bachelor parties? I assume this is okay, except I am going to have 6 groomsman, and would probably only add 3 more friends to that list. Is it awkward for them to be outnumbered? Also, ideas on good groomsman gifts? Do they have to be harmonious or can I do individualized, as a lot of the groomsmen are very different from each other.
Thanks,
Big Cat

If you want to get different people different gifts, that only makes sense; it’s certainly more thoughtful than six monogrammed flasks. The only note I’d add is that the different gifts should be similar in scale and price.

For the bachelor party: the more, the merrier. I’ve never known a guy who was hurt by not being a part of the wedding party, and I’d question the worth of a friend who would be upset by such a thing (unless there were extenuating circumstances like really hot, slutty bridesmaids). Hell, I invited several friends to my bachelor party that weren’t even invited to my wedding, and most were perfectly happy to attend that instead of the wedding. Just relax and enjoy the inherently low-key and non-analytical approach to male friendship.