Just seven weeks into a 13-week fantasy season, I can declare triumph for Non-Gingervitis. That's because my team has rolled to a 7-0 record to start the season against Adam's hopeless Trombone Shorties.
I thought Adam might finally beat me last week as I had to make a flurry of roster moves to account for the schedule. But I ended up beating him soundly yet again, this time 131-107. Even with off days from my quarterbacks (Denard Robinson had only 18 points, while waiver-wire pickup Dan Persa contributed just 13) and receivers (A.J. Jenkins put up only eight points after starring for the past few weeks), I managed to prevail thanks to huge days from Montee Ball (41 points) and Marcus Coker (25).
Adam, meanwhile, continued to prove that if he picks up one of your players, your team is probably in trouble. His most recent waiver-wire busts included Wisconsin receiver Nick Toon, whom the Badgers announced was injured before the game, and the Illinois kickers, who mustered a lone fantasy point.
So why continue this charade? Well, Adam can still salvage a bit of pride, perhaps. And he could still technically beat me in total fantasy points for the season, though he has a monstrous mountain to climb on that front (I lead 976 to 801). More than anything, it's still fun to try and project which Big Ten players will have big weeks, and of course I will try for a perfect record.
On to our additions for the week, and Adam gets the No. 1 priority yet again:
Rationale: Montee Ball is clearly Wisconsin's featured back, and the Badgers face a formidable defensive line in Michigan State. Burkhead, meanwhile, is Nebraska's bell cow and should run all over Minnesota on Saturday.
Brian drops Northwestern QB Dan Persa for Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez
Rationale: Welcome back, T-Magic. I had to drop you last week because of the bye, but now I'm sure you're all rested up and ready to put up some ridiculous numbers against the struggling Gophers this week.
Adam drops Wisconsin's defense for Iowa's defense
Rationale: Nothing against the Badgers' D, but Michigan State showed some life in the run game last week and will be playing at home. Iowa, meanwhile, is getting healthier on defense and faces an Indiana offense struggling with injuries and production right now.
Brian drops Penn State's defense for Nebraska's defense
Rationale: In a vacuum, this makes no sense. Penn State's defense has been lights out all season, while the Blackshirts have been scuffling. But fantasy requires you to take the opponent into account, and the one thing Northwestern can do is score, even against the Nittany Lions. I'll bank on Nebraska having a big day against a pretty bad Minnesota offense.
Brian drops Michigan QB Denard Robinson for Iowa QB James Vandenberg
Rationale: It really pains me to do this, since Adam is likely to scoop up Shoelace on waivers next week after I beat him yet again. But Robinson has a bye, and I want to protect my perfect record as long as possible. Vandenberg gets the shaky Indiana defense this week and then plays Purdue, so at least he should score some points for me.
Our complete rosters for Week 8
THE TROMBONE SHORTIES
QB: Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
QB: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
RB: Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
RB: Silas Redd, Penn State
WR: Nick Toon, Wisconsin
WR: Marvin McNutt, Iowa
QB: James Vandenberg, Iowa
QB: Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
RB: Montee Ball, Wisconsin
RB: Marcus Coker, Iowa
WR: B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State
WR: A.J. Jenkins, Illinois