Editor's Note: A new $2,000,000 one-week fantasy football league has opened on FanDuel for Week 5. First place wins $150,000 on Sunday. Join now!
Once you've conquered something, it's only natural to crave more challenging tasks. It's human nature. I think it's safe to say that I can tell you, with almost incredible certainty, who to avoid week-to-week in fantasy football -- save for Keenan Allen who is now, for more reasons than I care to get into, a sworn enemy of mine. I'm a confident individual: I can tie my shoes with my eyes closed, I can pee without getting any on the toilet seat, and I can even parallel park with a surgeon's precision. Now, ladies, @Ryan_POD is strictly for business inquiries.
However, I'm not so confident as to get back into offering you a lineup you should trot out as soon as tonight to win yourself some money. I'm operating with significantly less advantages than some other individuals in the realm of fantasy sports. So I'm taking Week 5 off and recharging my batteries. Next week, I'm back to giving you tips on who you should start; I'm getting back on that horse that kicked me off a couple weeks ago to give you the best fantasy advice this side of the hemisphere -- eat your heart out, Berry. But don't fear POD fantasy players, someone is here to give you advice that couldn't possibly be worse than what I was churning out in the first two weeks of the NFL season: my mother.
Below you will find the exact reasoning she used verbatim in coming to her decisions about who to start in Week 5. But first, a bit of background knowledge about the woman whose womb I called home over 24 years ago.
Her identity will be kept anonymous, but this woman knows a bit more than your average football fan. Married to my dad for over 25 years, she's been subjected to at least as many years of football on all days of the week. She's had to enjoy it in some capacity—or at least have built up some sort of tolerance—seeing as the two are still married under one roof. One caveat: she's never played fantasy football. But seeing as this is the first year my dad has joined the fantasy football craze, my mom is now subjected to yet another layer of football that isn't even tangible. Alas, we are here. You are here as I am here. Let's get to the picks!
*A quick note, I went to FanDuel, opened a contest, and told her to assemble a lineup under budget constraints.
Aaron Rodgers at $9,200
She couldn't resist the poster boy for the NFL even though he stands as the most expensive quarterback going into Week 5. Aware of the budget that was being imposed on her, she didn't even entertain the thought of picking another signal caller. "He's a bad man." 'Nuff said.
Mark Ingram at $8,000
Scanning the list of running backs eligible for her choosing, my mom took her time in choosing the first running back that would represent her squad. This was our exchange:
"Give me Mark Ingram."
"Why do you want him?"
"He's from Flint."
Her regional bias is showing.
Jamaal Charles at $9,100
This selection of Charles was when I started to become a bit disappointed in how my mom was putting together her team, but I really can't fault her. She began to start relying on who was on my dad's fantasy team -- which I found out she knows up and down -- to influence her decisions. When I asked her why she went with Charles, Ma Dukes said, "He's on your father's team and he says he's pretty good."
Be better, mom. Not just for me, not just for yourself, but for the readers.
Odell Beckham Jr. at $9,000
A.J. Green at $8,200
Initially, she chose ODB because he's on my dad's team. I know, right? Real original, Ryan's mom. It wasn't until later in the assembly process that she found out picking from the top of the pile at each position left her little room to put together a team. It got to the point where she was looking for wide receivers that I've never even heard of. Looking over the available receivers, she decided on the Bengals wideout.
"Do you want to see a picture of him before you pick him?"
"No... Why, would that change my mind?"
*Clicks on player profile* "Does that look like a guy you want on your team?"
"Sure, he looks like a real team player."
I think it's safe to say that Green would do whatever he could to get his team a win, and my mom could see all of that in a profile picture. Wisdom.
Michael Floyd at $5,000
The first of two very inexpensive wide receivers she would pick up for her FanDuel roster.
"Hmm, how about Michael Floyd?"
"I don't know, what about Michael Floyd? Do you want to know anything about him?"
"Your dad used to have him on his fantasy team, but he said he wasn't playing well... Isn't he playing the Lions?"
"Oh, then give me him. He should play well. Your dad's brother's name is Floyd too."
She could have at least been less demeaning to the home team... :(
Dorial Green-Beckham at $5,000
"Well, I had to drop one Beckham, so I'll pick up another one."
"Dropped one Beckham and picked up another. I like my team."
Okay, no need to get cocky, Mrs. Mathews.
Jason Witten at $5,700
Keep in mind that my mom has been watching football for longer than I can remember, and the Dallas Cowboys get plenty of national coverage. While deep in some turkey coma after a day of fixing dishes all morning in the kitchen, she had to have had Witten's name sneak into her subconscious one Thanksgiving evening. She didn't have anything interesting to say about Witten other than that she has indeed heard his name somewhere before. A highlight of our conversation when it came to selecting a tight end:
"What does a tight end do?"
Dear God, what in the Honolulu Blue Hell did I just say in front of her?
"Jason Witten, I guess."
Greg Zuerlein at $4,600
She thought Zuerlein played for the Lions, which means that in picking him, my mom was throwing some shade at Lombardi and her lack of confidence in his anemic offense and bland play-calling. Her heart is always in the right place. Even when told he plays for the St. Louis Rams she relied on sound laurels:
"I'll take him [Zuerlein], I like his name."
Honestly half the battle in selecting a kicker in fantasy. If she would have asked whether or not he was playing in a dome, she would have become my official ghostwriter.
Arizona Cardinals at $5,200
"I'll take Arizona's defense."
"Arizona? They're the most expensive."
"They're playing the Lions."
She clearly lacks any sort of chill when it comes to her feelings about the Lions.