Live to Eat

A friend at work who enjoys to cook recommended the documentary, Forks Over Knives recently, not so much as an introduction to a vegan lifestyle, but as an introduction to help reduce my “high” (the doctor’s opinion) cholesterol. She told me a bit about the movie and that it was available on Netflix, so I didn’t hesitate to watch it.

I was quite surprised at what I saw and heard as it related to a “healthy lifestyle” and nutrition. Of course being a movie, I did take some of it with a grain of salt and consulted the interwebs for further details. Raw Food SOS had an interesting review of the movie and posed the question, “Is the Science legit?

It was interesting to read the blogger’s opinion, as well as the additional sources that were cited regarding the doctors in the movie, T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell B. Esselstyn. While some of the statistics are a bit ambiguous, much of the data seems to be very sound.

The movie steers clear of introducing a vegan lifestyle as opposed to promoting a “plant-based diet.” Just mentioning the term “vegan” sometimes gives individuals a false sense of implementing extreme changes in your diet, giving up all meat and promoting PETA. I never had that feeling as I viewed the movie that this change would be extreme at all for my lifestyle.

Five years ago I started going to the doctor annually for a physical. As I approached age 40 I was getting nervous about my healthy and wanted to make sure I had no major problems, so I could be around for my son and wife as long as possible. Unfortunately, for every ailment the doctor did not hesitate to prescribe medication. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago I was being prescribed medication for symptoms, but none that seemed to cure the problem. If the medication didn’t work, they prescribed something else. I found myself taking a handful of pills day and night and didn’t want to be relying on “big pharma” as I got older.

My introduction to Forks Over Knives couldn’t have come at a better time. With my cholesterol being higher than it was last year during my physical I had started to look for recipes that would be friendly for my change in diet. For the few months I have been cooking since my physical, I believe my wife, son and I had been eating better, but not good enough. What the real eye opener in the movie was that food was being used to cure what ailed the body. It was quite amazing to hear some of the results, including those of writer/director, Lee Fulkerson.

Granted the case studies in the movie were consulted by professional doctors, some that specialized in “emphasizing nutrition and lifestyle modification,” such as Matthew Lederman, M.D., and Alona Pulde, M.D., Founders of Exsalus Health and Wellness Center in Los Angeles, California and John McDougall, M.D., Founder of Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center in Santa Rosa, California.

To date it’s been 7 days since I last had meat. While I am not completely convinced I can eliminate meat I think I can have good success following a meal plan similar to what Dr. McDougall proposes or even using food that are better for the body when it comes to nutrition.

Since seeing Forks Over Knives I have also viewed Food Matters and Food, Inc. I have also started looking at “plant-based” cookbooks, even picked up a new one by Ani Phyo called Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes. We will see how this progresses, it’s just the start and hopefully the change will be apparent and I can “live to eat” instead of “eat to live.”

 

Playing Out The Season

Last year I made it known on the FFS Forums that I threw in the towel at the conclusion of week 10 in the nfl season. This season has been a shamble at best, but unlike last year I felt much more confident about my team at the start of the season. The team I drafted was strong and well balanced, I liked the strength of the mid round picks that usually help make or break a team and thought I had selected some good sleepers. All thanks in part to being a member of Fantasy Football Starters.

I look back on my draft and still feel the team of players I assemble was a good group, so I won’t fault my failure as draft day. In hindsight there are always players you might have taken later, earlier or not at all. I can’t look on my draft that way. I feel I had a successful draft, but it’s been a strange year for player performances across the board. We can look to the lock out and CBA negotiations for much of what has transpired to date.

Unlike last year I have been more active through 6 weeks than I was all last year using the waiver wire, making 4 moves (total of $45) that has seen some return on investment. As of today, I done with the wire. My season, while not officially over for 11 more weeks is over. I won’t continue to contemplate wire moves because the total cost of a move won’t improve my team to a point of getting back in the race to be in the top three of total scoring.

I haven’t quit on my league, the other owners to my duties as the commissioner. Much like last year it will give me more time to tend to my league duties and spend on FFS (hopefully) helping others in their fantasy seasons. Luck continues to play a big part in what we do as a hobby and unfortunately none of that luck has been on my team.

It’s amazing the difference one week can make in fantasy football. Week 6 has taken it’s toll and left me with battered and bruised. As I look down my fantasy roster I am left with two healthy running backs, one of which is a rookie and the other lost their starting job. The QB position continues to carry my team, but “the misses” are not outnumbering the “hits” when it comes to players who are producing this season.

The key component that has been missing this year has been luck. It’s something no owner has control over, you can’t trade for it, or acquire it off the waiver wire. The prime example this season, drafting Cam Newton and leaning on him for good production since the start of the NFL season. So it’s been a short year and we have 11 weeks remaining, I still have 2 leagues I am involved in, but not as meaningful as the one I have managed for 28 years. We will see how those 2 leagues play out, as of right now those remaining teams are moving in opposite directions.

2010 Sweepstakes Award

It’s not all too common I win any sort of award from the sponsor when it comes to contesting. If I pick and chose my class and power, I might have a slim chance at winning some “wallpaper” for the shack. Wallpaper is the ham radio term for awards and after 3 years of contesting my walls are still somewhat bare, but it’s not necessarily about winning for me. It’s about participating and achieving the goals I set prior to any contest.

Today I received an envelope in the mail from the ARRL. I thought it might be an award for an achievement like WAS or Triple Play, but I could not recall submitting any paperwork recently for an achievement award. I opened the envelope and was surprised to read I was ‘First Place Single Operator Low Power CW East Bay Section.’

As for as I know this is my second award, the first coming in 2010 participating in the CQWW WPX RTTY Contest I have won participating in a contest. Still it’s exciting to win awards like this and now has me rethinking my strategy for the 2011 Sweepstakes which takes place next month. Hopefully I can improve on my 2010 score and duplicate my effort on CW.

2011 Watch List #7

These are the weeks that seem to make or break a team. The bye weeks really let you know how good (or bad) you drafted. For those owners who live on the waiver wire, you  might be wheeling and dealing to pick up that “one week wonder” (Torrey Smith anyone?) in hopes he hits it big. For other owners if you are riddled with an injury plagued team you might need to make some major decisions in order to start a full team.

Some times owners will make a tough decision to drop a player who isn’t on a bye, but might be considered a potential “diamond in the rough” so you grab them. These are also when you might sacrifice that second defense or that second TE in order to pick up a player. We continue to see some new names dot the watch list, with a few making a return appearance.

WIDE RECEIVER
Harry Douglas ATL (2-57)
The ATL went run heavy on Sunday, but Douglas is still relevant with Julio Jones sidelined. The offense is still clicking and even with only 14 completions by Matt Ryan Douglas was targeted 4 times, but his production hasn’t been overly impressive as 57 yards is his season high. He might make a worthwhile bye week cover if you are in need of a WR. ATL faces DET next week.

Jerome Simpson CIN (6-101)
Simpson heads into the bye week coming off his best performance of the year, 6-101 yards (9 targets). Dalton continues to target Simpson, now 41 times on the season. He complements AJ Green well and led the team on Sunday. Unfortunately he has yet to find the end zone on the year. Hopefully he can put his “off the field activities” behind him and focus on football. Look for him in week 8 vs SEA.

Danario Alexander STL (6-91)
As long as Alexander and stay healthy (knees) he looks to perform well. He started in place of Sims-Walker on Sunday and recorded a team high, 91 yards. Bradford targeted Alexander 10 times in the thrashing by GB. As long as STL continues to play from behind, Alexander should be a viable WR. Be wary of Mark Clayton returning (PUP) and the possible addition of Brandon Lloyd from DEN, reuniting with Josh McDaniels.

Naaman Roosevelt BUF (1-60-1 TD)
Roosevelt has hit the fantasy radar after Donald Jones went down, he played okay vs PHI and on Sunday was only targeted 2 times, but one was a 60-yard TD reception from Fitzpatrick. There is a possibility he will become a bigger factor in the Bills offense, but there might be some other WRs available who will provide you a better option. Consider him high risk, low valued play right now.

Greg Little CLE (6-72)
In week 6, Little lead the Browns in receptions and yards as he got his first start of the season. It’s the second week has caught 6 balls as McCoy will target him as his #1 WR in the offense. Little could be worth a look as McCoy is still averaging 43 attempts a game. CLE is home versus SEA in week 7.

Arrelious Benn TBB (3-83-1 TD)
He’s caught more TD passes than Mike Williams, while that might not be good enough for some Benn played well on Sunday. His previous performance hasn’t been too consistent with some 1 catch games. On the season he has 15 catches (24 targets) and 243 yards to lead the Bucs receiving corp. This victory might have turned TB around and we could see Freeman putting up stronger numbers. Week 7 TB plays the Bears.

Devin Hester CHI (5-91-1 TD)
He departed the game early with a chest injury but not before making a big impact against the Vikings. HE hauled in a 48-yard TD pass in the first quarter, followed by a 98-yard kickoff return. This is the sort of explosiveness Hester has and can be an impact player. We will have to see what the injury does for his status in week 7 vs TB. He could be serviceable as a replacement player for a bye week.

RUNNING BACK

Donald Brown IND (5-13-1 TD, 2-16)
It was Brown and Delone Carter combining in the backfield for Indy (Addai out) his while his performance wasn’t great he did average 7 YPC and score a TD. With the possibility of Addai being out next week, Brown could be serviceable as a bye week replacement. Indy travels to NO in week 7.

DeMarco Murray DAL (10-32, 1-7)
Murray got a bulk of the work on Sunday vs NEP after an injury sidelined Felix Jones. Going forward Murray has a bigger upside than does Choice. If Jones cannot go because of the sprain ankle, it will be an RBBC with Murray as the better option. Dallas played STL in week 7.

Earnest Graham TBB (17-109, 2-22)
Starting in place of LaGarrette Blount on Sunday vs NOS, Graham put up some very good numbers, averaging 6.4 YPC he finished the day rushing for 109 yards. Even though he did not score he did prove to be a worthwhile starter on the day. In week 7 Tampa Bay travels to London to face the Bears. If Blount cannot go look at starting Graham again.

Maurice Morris DET/Keiland Williams DET
The concussion suffered by Jahvid Best this weekend might see him on the injury report or worse on the sideline. While he has remained healthy though 6 weeks, the concussion is always a concern. He dealt with them in college, which raised flags in the NFL. He will have to go through a battery of tests this week in order to play. If he doesn’t watch for Morris, Williams possibly Jerome Harrison splitting time.

TIGHT END

Jake Ballard NYG (5-81)
One of the positions that have brought many names to the forefront this year has been the TE. On Sunday Ballard continued his little scoring streak catching 5-81 yards, although he didn’t score as he did the previous 2 weeks. His role continues to expand in the Giants offense. NYG are on a bye in week 7 and play MIA in week 8.

Week 6:
WR: Victor Cruz NYG, Doug Baldwin SEA, Darius Heyward-Bey OAK, Jerome Simpson CIN, Early Doucet ARI, Damian William TEN, James Jones GBP
TE: Joel Dreessen HOU
RB: Jackie Battle KCC, Delone Carter IND, Jacob Hester SDC
QB: None
Notables: Jonathan Dwyer PIT RB, Brandon Pettigrew DET TE

Week 5:
WR: Lavelle Hawkins TEN, Damian Williams TEN, Laurent Robinson DAL, Josh Morgan SFO, Victor Cruz NYG, Doug Baldwin SEA, Jacoby Jones HOU
TE: None
RB: Issac Redman PIT, Mewelde Moore PIT, Ryan Torain, Stevan Ridley
QB: Andy Dalton CIN
Notables:

Week 4:
WR: Victor Cruz NYG, Torrey Smith BAL, Nate Washington TEN, Donald Jones BUF
TE: None
RB: Kendall Hunter SFO, Bernard Scott CIN, Daniel Thomas MIA, Alfonso Smith ARI
Notables: James Casey TE HOU

Week 3:
WR: Nate Washington TEN, David Nelson BUF, Eric Decker DEN
TE: Scott Chandler BUF, Evan Moore CLE, Fred Davis WAS
RB: Roy Helu WAS, Thomas Jones KCC, Dexter McCluster KCC
Notables: Preston Parker, WR TBB, Antonio Brown, WR PIT, Titus Young, WR DET, Brandon LaFell, WR CAR

Week 2:
WR: Randal Cobb GBP, Early Doucet ARI, Ted Ginn SFO, Eric Decker DEN
TE: Ben Watson CLE, Evan Moore CLE, Fred Davis WAS
RB: Darren Sproles NOS, Marcel Reece OAK, Carnell Williams STL
Notables: Jason Avant WR PHI, David Nelson WR BUF, Jacoby Ford WR OAK, Brian Hartline WR MIA

Week 1:
WR: Eric Decker DEN, Antonio Brown PIT, Brian Robiskie CLE
TE: None
RB: Delone Carter IND, Roy Helu WAS, Deji Karim JAX
Notables: Kendall Hunter RB SFO, DeMarco Murray RB DAL, Stevan Ridley RB NEP, Jerome Harrison RB DET, Greg Little RB CLE, Jerome Simpson RBCIN, Dezmon Briscoe WR TBB, Denario Alexander WR STL

2011 Watch List #6

I have never been a big waiver wire user, unlike some owners in the league I manage. I subscribe to the theory of building your team in the draft, not buying your championship through wire transactions. My opinion is not as strong as it used to be, thanks in part to FFS and being a “wire whore,” so to speak in two of the three leagues I play in. Those leagues do not charge, like my league does ($10) to make a move.

For the most part finding a Hillis or Vick, like many owners did last year is the exception on the wire, not the norm. Depending on your league specific, such as roster size, number of teams and scoring some of these players may or may not be available. This season there have been a few “hits” when it comes to the wire. For example, Eric Decker and David Nelson have been two of the better scoring acquisitions.

Now that the BYE weeks have started owners tend to scramble to fill players who are not playing that week. That is where this list can come in useful if you did not draft with BYE weeks in mind

WIDE RECEIVER
Victor Cruz NYG
Okay, I will give Cruz his due credit after putting up solid numbers the past 3 weeks (17-369-3 TD) as the #3 WR in the Giants offense.  Nicks and  Manningham are still the top WRs for the Giants, but Cruz continues to be heavily targets by Manning, including 11 on Sunday. Chances are he might not be available in your league, but he is one to grab for the season. Week 6 the Giants host Buffalo.

Doug Baldwin SEA
The change at QB to Charlie Whitehurst seemed to be the catalyst for Baldwin this week as he was targeted 6 times in the second half, making good on a 27-yard TD pass. This is the second week in a row Baldwin has led the Seahawks in receiving with injuries and ineffective play by the rest of the receiving corp, Baldwin might be a WR to watch, especially if the Hawks roll with Whitehurst. SEA is on a BYE in week 6.

Darius Heyward-Bey OAK (7-99-1 TD)
I am not a big Raiders supporter outside of McFadden. The passing game is questionable, at best with Campbell at QB, but there is a good chance Heyward-Bey is available (owned in less than 5% of CBS leagues). Injury set him back for a few weeks, but he is healthy and has put two back to back weeks to turn heads. He is the top targeted WR (29) in the Oakland offense and could keep the good weeks rolling vs CLE in week 6.

Jerome Simspon CIN (4-40)
While is hasn’t put much together outside of his week 2 performance (4-136) Simpson continues to get some good target numbers from Dalton, 32 targets over 5 weeks. He had 7 targets this past Sunday and you would feel it’s a matter of time before he can put everything together. Just remember he is the third option in the passing game behind Green and Gresham.

Early Doucet ARI (8-92)
Doucet might be a higher consideration if the passing was more consistent in Arizona. Larry Fitzgerald is the uncontested #1, but it’s been Early who has put up some good numbers to start opposite of him. This is his second good game of the season going 8-92. He has been targeted 38 times by Kolb, compared to 42 for Fitz.  Playing from behind, if the passing game gets going this year, Doucet could benefit. Arizona is on a bye in week 6.

Damian Williams TEN (6-66-1)
I mentioned him (and Hawkins) last week as a possible acquisition after the loss of Britt. He had 1 reception last week for a 4-yard TD and this week he extends that scoring streak to 2 games and adds 66 yards. He was the targeted 11 times by Hasselbeck, 3 more than Nate Washington. He looks to be the Titans #2 WR.

James Jones GBP (5-140-1 TD)
Consider Jones a good option to help cover players on their BYE week. He put up season high numbers versus the ATL on Sunday as he only had 9-88 entering week 5. Look for Jones to be the #3 WR in a three wide out set for the Packers. He could see an increase in playing time IF one of the other WRs go down. Green Bay plays STL in week 6.

RUNNING BACK

Jackie Battle KCC (19-119)
With the running game still in disarray it was little used, Jackie Battle putting on a ground pounding performance against Indy. Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster have been ineffective in the backfield for the Chiefs who have now won 2 in a row. Battle could be the spark the Chiefs needs to replace Charles who was lost for the year with an ACL. Watch for Battle to grab more playing time.

Delone Carter IND (12-22-1 TD, 2-12)
Carter should have been a HC for owners who drafted Addai in their league, if not and he is he might be worth a pick up now that Addai left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. Carter scored his first NFL TD on a short 3-yard run as Addai’s replacement. Week 6 has the Colts playing a tough Cincinnati defense, if Addai cannot go, Carter will start.

Jacob Hester SDC (11-47, 2-13)
With injuries to both Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert, San Diego might turn to their backup fullback, Hester who would finish the game vs Denver in place of Tolbert. It’s a situation to watch in San Diego as they have a BYE in week 6. Chances are both Mathews and Tolbert will be able to go, but Hester could have value down the road.

TIGHT END

Joel Dreessen HOU (5-112-1 TD)
With Andre Johnson for a few weeks, Matt Schaub has turned to Foster and his tight ends to pick up the void in the passing game. This week Joel Dreessen was the beneficiary as he scored on a 56-yard TD pass from Schaub. He was pretty much an irrelevant fantasy player through 4 weeks, but could be slotted as a BYE week cover or until AJ returns to the lineup. HOU plays at BAL in week 6.

Notables: Jonathan Dwyer PIT RB, Brandon Pettigrew DET TE

Week 5:
WR: Lavelle Hawkins TEN, Damian Williams TEN, Laurent Robinson DAL, Josh Morgan SFO, Victor Cruz NYG, Doug Baldwin SEA, Jacoby Jones HOU
TE: None
RB: Issac Redman PIT, Mewelde Moore PIT, Ryan Torain, Stevan Ridley
QB: Andy Dalton CIN

Notables:

Week 4:
WR: Victor Cruz NYG, Torrey Smith BAL, Nate Washington TEN, Donald Jones BUF
TE: None
RB: Kendall Hunter SFO, Bernard Scott CIN, Daniel Thomas MIA, Alfonso Smith ARI
Notables: James Casey TE HOU

Week 3:
WR: Nate Washington TEN, David Nelson BUF, Eric Decker DEN
TE: Scott Chandler BUF, Evan Moore CLE, Fred Davis WAS
RB: Roy Helu WAS, Thomas Jones KCC, Dexter McCluster KCC
Notables: Preston Parker, WR TBB, Antonio Brown, WR PIT, Titus Young, WR DET, Brandon LaFell, WR CAR

Week 2:
WR: Randal Cobb GBP, Early Doucet ARI, Ted Ginn SFO, Eric Decker DEN
TE: Ben Watson CLE, Evan Moore CLE, Fred Davis WAS
RB: Darren Sproles NOS, Marcel Reece OAK, Carnell Williams STL
Notables: Jason Avant WR PHI, David Nelson WR BUF, Jacoby Ford WR OAK, Brian Hartline WR MIA

Week 1:
WR: Eric Decker DEN, Antonio Brown PIT, Brian Robiskie CLE
TE: None
RB: Delone Carter IND, Roy Helu WAS, Deji Karim JAX
Notables: Kendall Hunter RB SFO, DeMarco Murray RB DAL, Stevan Ridley RB NEP, Jerome Harrison RB DET, Greg Little RB CLE, Jerome Simpson RBCIN, Dezmon Briscoe WR TBB, Denario Alexander WR STL