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FerdinandoD’s Team Dwelling in the Basement

RotoExperts Staff September 28, 2016 3:22PM EDT
Week 3 is in the books and the standings are beginning to define who the haves and the have nots are in the Joes Be Pros League. Sitting atop the standings at 3-0, we have Maaaarv, managed by Chris Meaney, and Hi There, Tony Cincotta’s squad. Down at the bottom of the heap we have three teams that have yet to post a win. Luke’s Team, managed by Luke Benigno, one of the “Joes,” Liberty City Wrath, managed by Gabe Morency, and FerdinandoD’s Team, which is Nando DiFino’s squad. Everyone else is bunched in the middle at either 2-1 or 1-2.

Matchup of the Week

FerdinandoD's Team needs Gronk to start playing this season. Photo Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

FerdinandoD’s Team needs Gronk to start playing this season. Photo Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Beat Engel’s Team (2-1) trounced FerndinandoD’s Team (0-3) by a score of 157.90 to 66.86. Mike Cardano’s team was bolstered by several strong performances including that of Aaron Rodgers, who put up 34.40 points, second-highest among QBs in Week 3 and sixth-highest score among QBs all season to date. Mike Evans (29.20 points) and Travis Kelce (20.90 points) also posted great performances. On top of all that, Cardano got surprisingly good production from Tavon Austin, who scored 21.40 points after two weeks of duds.

The one mistake Cardano made was playing Kelvin Benjamin, who contributed a goose egg to his score because the Vikings blanketed him throughout the game. Even so, the lack of production from Benjamin didn’t hurt at all. Going forward, Cardano has to do some waiver wire work or consider making a trade. He lost Adrian Peterson in Week 2 and now Shane Vereen has been placed on injured reserve. That leaves Cardano with only Bilal Powell and a hobbled Arian Foster as the only running backs on his roster. The waiver wire isn’t exactly stocked with talent either. Jalen Richard of the Raiders and Wendell Smallwood of the Eagles, a pair of untested rookies, are his best options right now. It will be interesting to see where Cardano turns for some running back depth.

The big story this week is the complete collapse of FerdinandoD’s Team to date. Nando DiFino has his work cut out to rebuild this team, which features underperforming players like Golden Tate and Sammie Coates, and injury disasters like Thomas Rawls, Rashad Jennings, Jonathan Stewart and Jordan Cameron. DiFino is also awaiting the full return of Rob Gronkowski, who played in Week 3 but didn’t provide any production.

After the Joes Be Pros draft, I asked DiFino which team he thought would win the league. He replied, “If people aren’t afraid to trade, I think I have a shot!”

Now, after three weeks of action and in light of his team’s awful performance, I asked DiFino how he intends to fix this team. He replied, “I’m in a weird spot with a terrible team. But I play the long game. People are going to need bye week replacements, and I have guys coming back from injury/suspension. I feel good. That being said, at 0-3, I’m willing to take some gambles with underperformers like Julio Jones. My message to the rest of the league is – go ahead and dump your crappy studs on me. I’ll take them and hope they turn it around. If not…my team can’t get much worse. If so, 10-3!”

So, despite being deep in the basement of the Joes Be Pros league, DiFino is ever the optimist. The truth is that he has some very good players who are underperforming, and Gronk has yet to contribute anything at all. If he can pull off a trade or two to upgrade and obtain some depth, he had a shot at turning this team around. Realistically, a longshot.

Recapping the Rest of the Joes Be Pros Results

Joe Buck Lite (1-2)(Mike Blewitt) 172.6 defeated Gregg’s Super Team (2-1) (Gregg Sussman) 124.54

Joe Buck Lite (1-2) got an incredible performance from the Kansas City Chiefs’ Defense (35 points) combined with 33.50 points from QB Matt Stafford and 21 points from Todd Gurley to beat Gregg’s Super Team (2-1) convincingly. Both teams are in good shape health-wise but Blewitt has Tom Brady returning after Week 4, so he’s looking slightly stronger overall, although, both teams are fairly deep. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see both teams making a run for the championship.

Maaaarv (3-0) (Chris Meaney) 151.18 thumped Luke’s Team (0-3) (Luke Benigno) 116.46

Marvin Jones Jr. turned in the top performance of the season to date with 43.50 points to lead namesake team Maaaarv to victory. Meaney had an embarrassment of riches this past week, as he was able to leave Christine Michael’s 25.10 points on the bench and still march to a win. Luke’s Team slips to 0-3 after leaving Michael Thomas and his 20.10 points on the bench and enduring a negative performance (-0.50 points) from Ryan Mathews and a goose egg from Delanie Walker.

George Kurtz (1-2) (Kurtz) 148.94 trampled Kai Forbath Fanclub (2-1) (Scott Engel) 79.18

Kai Forbath Fanclub never had a chance this week. Not with Tyler Lockett putting up a zero and four other players (Julio Jones, Jesse James, Phillip Dorsett and Nick Folk) combining for 12.30 points. Even if Scott Engel had maximized his lineup, he would still have lost by more than 60 points. Meanwhile, Kurtz bounced back from a tough Week 2 loss with great performances from Drew Brees, Devonta Freeman and Jimmy Graham. Once again, Kurtz left LeGarrette Blount and his 22.50 points on the bench. That makes it two weeks in a row that Kurtz dissed Blount. Some people never learn.

Hi There’s Team (3-0) (Tony Cincotta) squeaked by The Better Cardano (2-1) (Mike Cardano Jr.) 168.8 to 156.78.

This was the only close match of the week with just 12.02 points separating the two teams. Oddly enough, even if Cardano Jr. had played an optimized lineup, with Eric Ebron and Allen Hurns active instead of Julius Thomas and Will Fuller, he still would have lost. However, the margin would have been about 2.10 points. Cincotta could have blown his opponent out of the water with an optimized lineup. He went with Philip Rivers (11.40) at quarterback instead of Kirk Cousins (23.34). Cardano is one of the few teams with running back depth. We’ll see just how smart the Joes are in this league. He only has one wide receiver on his bench right now, so a smart thing to do would be to trade a running back or two for some wide receiver depth. I’ve got a buck that says he doesn’t do anything in the trade market.

Adam’s Team (2-1) (Adam Ronis) obliterated Liberty City Wrath (0-3) (Gabe Morency) 172.3 to 95.6.

Adam’s Team won handily without their best lineup active. Ronis left Jameis Winston and his 37.40 points on the bench along with Emmanuel Sanders, who put up a stunning 32.70 points. Morency’s team basically stayed home. Sammy Watkins contributed zilch, and Eric Decker, Jeremy Langford, Jordan Reed, Stephen Gostkowski and the Seattle defense combined for a dismal 28 points.

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