2017 Herro Prease Fantasy Football Season Preview

8 Sep

Another season of Herro Prease Fantasy Football (FF) has descended upon us like that drunken roommate you can’t avoid no matter how hard you try. Don’t get me wrong: you love that roommate and they’re a great person, but there’s always that impending sense of doom that something is about to go horribly wrong. Like a torn ACL of your stud RB followed by a drug related suspension of your WR1. Elation and agony are inevitable bedmates in the cruel game of Fantasy Football.

Enough with the awkward and strained analogies of my previous introduction and onto some forced analogies of what I know best: beer! Every owner in our league has a history of drafting, in season moves and trades, skill, luck, and personality quirks that collectively form an identity I can relate to a beer. To preview the upcoming season of Herro Prease, I will analyze our owners, assigning them a beer that corresponds to their real life and FF character. I will look at past performances of owners and their players to predict how this season plays out, and I will be laughably inaccurate in almost every prediction I make. My preview will progress through an inverse order of last season’s rankings, starting at the bottom and moving to the top.

Note: for the casual reader not familiar with our FF league, this is a group of 12 college buddies who have known each other for at least 10 years and are playing in our 6th season together. We’ve all seen each other at our somewhat best and mostly worst, and we unfalteringly rag the everloving shit out of each other. Whatever horrible, awful, racist, demeaning things I say in this article are entirely in jest, and I can assure you that no one in the league will be butthurt or take offense at my analogies. If you take offense easily, it’s probably best that you close this browser window and move onto the next Buzzfeed article in your reading list.

#12 – Brett

Manager of: Shits and Gigs

Meet our league’s reigning Taco. Brett’s regular season wasn’t the worst (5-8), but he properly shat the bed in the playoffs. Performances of 51.2 and 65.6 points ensured Brett brought up the rear of the Herro Prease pack and officially crowned him as 2016’s worst owner. In fact, it was Brett’s second season in a row as Taco. Considering he is the worst, there is only one beer appropriate for El Taco: Corona. It’s a terrible beer. No matter how many commercials with beautiful people drinking Corona on beaches you’ve seen, there is no situation where this beer is good. “But it’s refreshing on a hot day” some might suggest. They’re wrong. Water is refreshing on a hot day, and it doesn’t taste like leftover pong beer that was rechilled and served to people the next day. With their clear glass bottles, Corona even admits that their beer is terrible. I can imagine their senior management gathering in a board room, wondering how they can give their bland flavorless flagship some character. “I know!” exclaims one bright eyed junior exec. “Let’s package our beer in clear glass so that it becomes skunked as it travels across the world and is inevitably exposed to light. This will give Corona that secret something that consumers crave.” This shitty beer is Brett. Herro Prease Taco = Brett. Unfortunately I don’t know that things will get better for Brett this year. While Brady will undoubtedly bring him tons of QB points, I’m not thrilled about anyone else on his roster. Shady McCoy can be a stud, but he’s stuck on a shitty team. Kelce is an elite TE, but he’s not going to win you a whole lot of games. Beyond that it’s question marks. Without some good in season team management (something Brett is not known for), he could end up threepeating as Taco. That’s shitty, just like Corona.

Brett may look surprised to be Taco, but he deserved it

#11 – Higgie

Manager of: Chiggun Sandwich

Oh how the mighty have fallen. This former league champion and runner up had a dismal 2016 that saw him finish the season tied for the worst record. Only a solid showing in his final playoff matchup prevented him from becoming the Taco of Herro Prease. Known for his lopsided trade offers and constant rejection, Higgie (taken from his last name, Higginbotham, because who the fuck can say that) is the beer that tries too hard but ultimately ends up just being not that good. Can you think of a beer like that? Used to be on top but failed to keep up with the times? Tells you how good it is but can’t back up those claims? If you thought of Sam Adams and their Boston Lager, you win my friend. Despite being a craft beer pioneer and introducing many people to beer that isn’t piss water, Boston Lager is pretty meh nowadays. Its commercials will try to convince you that it’s a great beer leading the craft revolution, but it’s been well over a decade since it truly had any relevance in the world of good beer. Higgie will look to reverse his fortunes this year, and he’s putting forth a solid lineup to begin the season. A stud WR core of Julio and Brandin Cooks is backed up by Higgie’s hometown QB, Breesy. If Gurley has the breakout year many expect of him, Higgie could dig himself out of the cellar and land back amongst the Herro Prease elite.

Smug and overconfident just like Boston Lager

#10 – Flowers

Manager of: Almost Heroes

Flowers (Andrew by birth, Flowers by the grace of his father) missed the playoffs by losing a Points For tiebreaker and then proceeded to lose in all 3 playoff weeks, landing him in the #10 spot. History has not been particularly kind to Flowers either. Of the 8 owners who have participated all 5 years, Flowers sports the worst average finish of 9.6 which even includes a year of 10 owners. Ouch. He has never finished better than 8th, but amazingly he has never finished last. I guess that speaks for something. Despite all this, Flowers is a loveable guy, and he works fair trades amongst the other owners. There’s nothing in particular not to like about him. He’s just not that great. Flowers is also loyal to his home state of Texas to a fault. He drafts Jason Witten almost every year, and he has drafted some Texans players way too early in the past. Because of his less than mediocrity and Texas loyalty, Flowers is Lone Star. It’s by no means a good beer, but it’s reliable and enjoyable in most circumstances. It never finishes at the top of its class, but it happily hangs out near the bottom, eager for you to drink it up when you need a break from more highbrow brews. Maybe this is the year that Flowers finally cracks the top 7. He’s drafted a lineup with a lot of weapons. Rodgers at QB is always lethal, and his RB core of Freeman and Miller could be scary barring any injuries. Of course he made sure to add some more Texas players to his lineup with the Texans D/ST, Darren McFadden, D’Onta Foreman, and Old Faithful himself, Jason Witten. Flowers’ Texas loyalty lives strong, and he will be hoping that it does not once again drag him to the bottom of the Herro Prease barrel.

This man and Lone Star were obviously made for each other

#9 – That Asian Dude

Manager of: Poke-yo-mom Master

That Asian Dude sadly objected to me using his real name because he’s working on a professional career or some bullshit. Anyone who knows this friend group in real life can easily ascertain who this is, but for the sake of this season preview he will remain mostly anonymous. Is he really a he? That’s a question for the ages, and I’m not sure if anyone can certify the maleness of That Asian Dude. Despite his questionable sexuality and lack of figurative huevos, That Asian Dude has the 2nd best average finish in Herro Prease history. He won the league once and has finished 2nd and 3rd in other seasons. However last year did not end up so well. He finished the regular season tied for the worst record with Higgie. He also ranked 10th in Points For. He’s looking for a bounce back year and return to FF glory. Now let’s see: Asian, in the dumps, looking to regain some respect. Oh wait, did I mention that That Asian Dude is The Worst in a figurative sense? This guy leaves houses unlocked. Hell, he leaves front doors wide open for an entire day, inviting any passerby to steal a household of belongings. That Asian Dude is undoubtedly the dumbest smart person I know, and someone reading this right now may one day have their life in his hands as That Asian Dude is a current resident doctor, training himself to hopefully not kill every patient whom he’s supposed to take care of. That’s just downright terrifying. Because of his The Worstness, That Asian Dude is Chang. It’s a terrible beer only known for inducing Changovers. Have some respect, spend $0.50 more, and order a Singha instead. Your liver and brain will thank you greatly. I don’t even care how That Asian Dude’s team performs this year. I hope it goes down in a flaming pile of dog shit in honor of its awful Chang resembling owner.

The similarity is uncanny

#8 – Sam

Manager of: Same Change

Samaranga Changa is another league member of the Asian persuasion who is on a downward trend. After a 5th and then 2nd place finish in 2013 and 2014, coupled with 2nd and 4th best Points For, Sam has finished 9th and 8th in the last 2 seasons with 11th and 12th places finishes in Points For. Last year Sam had the second fewest Points For of any Herro Prease season. In case you couldn’t guess, that’s not good. Sam has potential this upcoming season, but nothing is guaranteed. I see a lot of boom or bust scenarios playing out for him. I consider 5 of Sam’s top 6 players to be low floor high ceiling guys. Cam Newton has question marks. Bilal Powell is on a garbage team. DeAndre Hopkins will probably have a sack of moldy potatoes throwing the ball to him. Kelvin Benjamin is dependent on Cam’s effectiveness. And Gronk is Gronk: if he stays healthy, he’ll be a monster, but that’s a big IF. Sam’s only reliable stud, Le’Veon Bell, will do well to get through a season without any marijuana related suspensions. Until the CBA is modified, that’s just the pothead reality Bell owners will have to face. Even though there’s a recent history of poor performance and lots of question marks, Sam is ultimately a pretty chill and nonoffensive dude. He’s never been the best, but you definitely won’t be pissed off if you’re spending some time with him. Sam is Kirin Ichiban. It’s an easy drinking beverage you can coast on all night. It won’t win any awards for its (lack of) greatness, but it also won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. Sit down with a 6-pack and enjoy your night as your worries drift away. I predict that Sam is going to need several of those occasions over the coming months.

Asian Santa is made for a chill Asian beer

#7 – Matt

Manager of: King Nut

What can I say about Matt (other than that he’s a douchebag)? He’s won one championship, has another 2nd place finish, has the best overall record (38-26-2), and is 2nd in all time Points For. On the surface, he seems to be pretty damn good. However, there deserves to be a huge * next to his championship season. That was the only ill fated year that Herro Prease decided to play with keepers, and Matt carried some doozies into the season. With Le’Veon Bell in the 7th and Jordan Cameron in the 10th, Matt was set up pretty BEFORE drafting Arian Foster and DeMarco Murray in the first two rounds. Talk about some super stud RBs. That trio finished the season ranked 1, 2, and 5 amongst RBs. Even though Matt only boasted one additional top 10 positional player (Tom Brady at 9), he handily won the league as most people predicted he would do to start the season. Let’s recap: looks good on the surface but is actually not that great underneath. Remind you of any beers you know? Blue Moon. To the uninformed beer drinker, Blue Moon is a Belgian witbier, and hey it’s probably brewed by monks in some remote monastery using methods that date back over 1,000 years. The reality is that Blue Moon is brewed by the same shitty macrobrewery that makes Coors Light, Miller Lite, Keystone Light, Killian’s Irish Red, and Zima. Not that impressive when you look at it under a different truthful light. Even though Matt’s personal drinking taste leans more towards Miller High Life and cheap whiskey, he’d like for you to think he’s better than that. Well he’s not and neither is his team. It’s hard to fuck up the #1 pick, and Matt managed to not do that by selecting David Johnson. However, that’s the only RB1 he drafted. Adrian Peterson? Good luck with his age, health, and being second bell on an offense that historically is very sporadic in giving anyone but lead backs consistent usage. Fat Eddie Lacy is his next best RB. “Oh, but he’s probably stacked at WR,” one might surmise. Nay. Doug Baldwin could be a stud, but Amari Cooper is no guarantee. Brandon Marshall could see a resurgence with the Giants, but once again it’s no guarantee. Beyond that it’s WRs who need some injury help to be consistent Flex plays. Like Blue Moon, Matt had his moment in the sun a couple years ago, but he’s being exposed for what he truly is: mediocre in a world that has moved on.

Both overrated and past their primes

#6 – Louie

Manager of: SAINT BREESUS

LouDawg cares not for up to date team names. Even though he no longer rosters Drew Brees, he maintains his Brees idolising moniker. Judging on his past Herro Prease performances, it seems that he puts about equal effort into team naming as he does actually playing fantasy football. Louie has never finished better than 6th although he has been consistent (6-8th in all 4 seasons he’s played). His Points For has likewise never been better than 6th and was dead last one year. Louie is a tough one to figure out. It often seems that he doesn’t have much strategy drafting or managing his team throughout the year, but perhaps there’s more to it if we dig a little deeper. For those true nerds who like venturing beyond the beaten path, there might be something more there. While the average person would scoff at the weirdness, the connoisseur can appreciate the method and perhaps the result. Of course I’m relating Louie to Jester King and their spontaneously fermented series of beers, SPON. The average beer drinker could never understand why you would allow the natural elements to ferment a beer, and the resulting flavors would turn their faces into a contorted mess of “What the fuck did I just drink?!” For the more distinguished drinker such as Louie, these unexpected outcomes are welcome and even cherished. He doesn’t care that the average layman doesn’t understand his preferences, and he’s not going to change just to satisfy the desires of others. To that end, who knows quite what’s in store for Saint Breesus’ season. On the surface, his squad looks surprisingly solid. The Jordy stud is playing alongside the hopefully-back-to-stud-status Dez, and his RB core is rife with low-end RB1s: Ty Montgomery, Mark Ingram, Frank “The Tank” Gore, and Jonathan Stewart. With some solid in-season management, I think this is the year Louie can crack the Top 5. That is a big IF though. His ways may end up being too esoteric, taking his fantasy team off into the deep end. Only the fermentation of the FF season will tell.

Funky nasty naughty

#5 – Zach

Manager of: Snack Attack

Zach has yet to crack the Top 3 in standings, but he does have one 4th and two 5th place finishes. He has also consistently performed in the top half of Points For rankings and has an overall record above .500. Zach has been on the cusp of greatness, but he has just missed that extra something to vault him into the halls of Fantasy Football glory. Like the college athlete he used to be, Zach longs for a future where he is superior to the peons around him. If Beast Mode returns to form in Oakland, Zach could have the start of something good. Terrance West makes for a solid second RB, and the presence of OBJ and Alshon Jeffery at WR give Zach a pretty solid starting cast. But none of that matters. What does matter is that Zach doesn’t drink alcohol so he’s obviously O’Doul’s. Chosen as the sober partying man’s beer for a long time, O’Doul’s goes down smooth with a hint of malted barley giving it resemblance to more ABV’ed brews. Zach doesn’t need booze to get jacked up as his energy for life already does a pretty good job of that. Here’s to hoping his team isn’t too jacked up to give Zach a solid season and advance him in the playoffs.

Too bad Zach can’t bring that swag to his FF game

#4 – Evan

Manager of: Les Phallus Dorés

The Golden Phallus has only been a member of Herro Prease for 2 years, but like that uncontrollable middle school boner, he has made his presence felt whether we like it or not. Evan has moved international on us, and it’s obvious that the Europeans are a little more lax on their treatment of genitalia exposure. In Evan’s first season he was pantsed in front of the class, pulling an 11th place finish and 10th in Points For. While last year only saw an improvement to 9th in Points For and a regular season record of 6-7, Evan made the playoffs as a Wild Card. He won his first round matchup, but a narrow defeat in the semifinals kept him from reaching the championship. A proper shellacking in the 3rd place game sealed a 4th place finish for Evan. It was perhaps an undeserved 4th place finish, and I’m glad that his sub-.500 record and poor Points For performance kept him from the championship. Mostly because Evan is living in Switzerland but also because their label looks like someone bent over spreading their buttcheeks apart, Evan is Feldschlösschen. Seriously, check out that label below and try to not picture the image I just described. I’ve never had it, but I assume Feldschlösschen to be a shitty Euro lager. And I don’t care that it was bought out by Carlsberg, a Danish macrobrewery. The brand is originally from Switzerland, and it’s probably still as crappy as it always has been, just like Evan. Les Phallus Dorés has some RB weapons this season with Jay Ajayi and Leonard Fournette. Terrelle Pryor and Martavis Bryant are listed as WR2 but could easily put up WR1 numbers. With Matt Ryan and Marcus Mariota as QBs, he has a potent duo. Will it all work out for Evan? Nah, he’ll probably dick it all up.

What a dick

#3 – Johan

Manager of: Thomas The Dank Engine

Jo wins the title for best team name this year. With an ESPN FF logo of cartoon Thomas wearing sunglasses, I can’t help but laugh every time I see Jo’s team. What I can’t laugh at is Johan’s Herro Prease history. With 1 championship, 4 Top 3 finishes, and the highest average end of season standing, Johan is arguably the most storied owner in our league’s 5 year history. He’s also the commissioner. Could there be some trickery going on behind the scenes? Is Johan the bank keeper stealing from the bank? Even if his commissioner duties are on the up and up, it could be argued that a lot of Johan’s success is luck. Johan has an overall losing record of 32-34 which does not sound very dynastic. In 2015 when Jo won the league, he was only 9th in Points For but was lucky enough to have the fewest Points Against. By a wide margin. Johan had nearly 150 points less scored against him than the next least person. That’s over 10 points per game less. He took a 9-4 regular season record into a first round Bye and then won his two playoff games with totals of a weak 79.1 and a respectable 105.9. I understand that luck inevitably plays a large part in Fantasy Football, but Jo’s 2015 championship takes the cake in Herro Prease history. Despite that, we’ve got to give the man his due. He was in the right place at the right poor performing opponent’s time. This mirrors the history of Sierra Nevada Brewing and their iconic Pale Ale. In 1980 they introduced their hoppy pale ale to a market that was just beginning to want something more than the shitty macro lagers that absolutely dominated the landscape. A truly classic product along with clever marketing and expansion helped grow Sierra Nevada into the craft beer powerhouse it is today, and their Pale Ale is still the big seller. No matter what bar you find yourself at in the US or even many parts of the world, there’s a decent chance that they will have bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ready for your enjoyment. So where does Thomas The Dank Engine choo choo his way towards this year? Johan has assembled a formidable team. Melvin Gordon and Carlos Hyde lead his run attack while the Thomas due of Michael and Demaryius look to air it out. Russell Wilson holds the team down at QB. Barring injuries, Jo could very well make another playoff run, but perhaps his luck has finally run out.

Johan has many reasons for the confused look on his face

#2 – Britt

Manager of: Brittski Foosballs

Get ready for the totally unbiased evaluation of Britt aka Brittski aka the dude writing this article. Let’s start with the bad. I had one Taco season and have only one Top 3 finish. Not great, I admit. However, I will counter this with some more facts. I have the highest Points For regular season average in the league (by 0.04 points). I have the 3rd highest average Points For ranking. I’m tied with John for the 2nd best regular season record (36-30). Until this last year, I had poor playoff performances (bad luck). In 2016, I had the overwhelmingly highest Points For (80 points more  than 2nd) and best regular season record (11-2). In the final matchup for The Ship, I put up a very impressive 117.4 points only to be clobbered by Chris’ insane 142.3. More bad luck. This is the year where I finally achieve eternal glory. This is the year where I’m recognized for how great I’ve always been. Of course I’m Yellow Rose by Lone Pint. While all the New England IPAs have been soaking up beer nerds’ attention, the Third Coast IPA put forth by Lone Pint is deserving of some serious praise and more national attention. Achieving a complex melange of flavors through the use of Mosaic hops, Yellow Rose is at its peak one of the best IPAs in the country. While nothing is guaranteed, I will be relying on Jordan Howard, Dalvin Cook, AJ Green, Allen Robinson, and CJ Anderson to shoulder the load of taking me to the promised land. Once a healthy Andrew Luck returns, I can saddle up my ponies and ride off into the sunset of a Herro Prease championship.

Not biased at all in any of what the author said above. Nope.

#1 – Chris

Manager of: # TIGE…R

Our league’s token black guy was El Champion of the 2016 Herro Prease season. Despite two previous Top 3 Points For finishes, this was his first Top 3 finish in season end standings. A first round playoff bye followed by point totals of 117.8 and 142.3 (!!!!) in The Ship ensured Chris would win our league and the handsome prize pool. It’s appropriate that such a gambler would win our league, but he’s up against stiff competition this year. He’s set himself up pretty well with a RB core of DeMarco Murray and Kareem Hunt, and McCaffrey might have a chance to shine in Carolina. Mike Evans is a stud WR, but he’s a little thin beyond that. Chris Hogan could be a solid WR2 in New England, but we’ll have to see how that shakes out. Randall Cobb’s best days are behind him. It’s difficult to back up gambling success with more of the same, and Chris can’t rest on his laurels. He took some chances in the past, and it rewarded him handsomely. In a similar vein, people probably thought The Alchemist was crazy when they started to sell 4-packs of 16 oz Heady Topper cans for $15+. They also probably thought they were crazy for making such a hazy and almost murky IPA. “No one will drink that swill. Hell, they even tell you to not pour it into a glass right there on the can. They’re admitting it looks terrible.” Well it turned out that people didn’t care how it looked but loved how it tasted. Beer nerds went crazy for this newly created New England style IPA, and The Alchemist couldn’t brew enough to keep up with demand. The NEIPA craze soon caught on at other breweries in the Northeast and has subsequently spread all across the country. While Heady Topper has certainly been the belle of the ball in the recent past, its quality has been exceeded by other hazy offerings. Chris had his moment in the sun, but I don’t see him staying at the top this year. His style of drafting and team management is solid, but it’s time for another to rise to the top.

Professional AF in all he does

Predicted End Of Season Standings

  1. Britt (of course)
  2. Johan
  3. Louie
  4. John
  5. Chris
  6. Zach
  7. David
  8. Matt
  9. Sam
  10. Evan
  11. Flowers
  12. Brett

Britt Antley

Britt is a native Texan, lived in Houston for 12 years, and loves his current life in the Big Easy (although his liver is having second thoughts). His liver is also not nearly as proud of his 10,000+ Untappd uniques as he is. Stupid liver. He loves flavorful complex beers from juicy IPAs to fruited sours to barrel aged stouts, and he has vowed to some day be buried with a 4-pack of Yellow Rose.