“The Mundies” is a bi-weekly column by Scott Rinear, awarding life and fantasy football. Now in its second year of publishing, this column presents an optimistic outlook on life and an analytical approach to the game. Read forward as Scott breaks down the reality of victim mentality, Christian Watson and the other highs/lows of NFL Week 13.
I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky guy. I like to laugh. I like to make other people laugh. I’ve always tended toward just going with the flow of things. Drama can be entertaining, but I’m typically not interested in creating or participating in it.
I’m not certain how I am perceived in my virtual playground (Twitter), but my goal is to be a goofy nerd who is kind and likes to have fun and talk football. So many people take so many things too seriously, and I try to chip away at that in my own way. I feel like I am open and empathetic, honest and genuine.
But, like anyone on social media, there is a lot more going on than what you see on Twitter. This may seem like an obvious statement, but I feel this gets forgotten some of the time. And it’s not surprising. It’s difficult to acknowledge things you aren’t aware of.
Personally, I don’t reveal a ton of day-to-day personal information. Sure, I am very open about who I am, the fact that I’m a recovering addict, and I take anxiety medication. I try to be as open about that stuff as possible, not for attention or pity, but to show it’s OK to discuss those things and offer any help or advice I can. But there are endless daily “life on life’s terms” things with which I struggle that I don’t really talk about.
The exception being this column.
I remember when I was 14 our baseball team lost and, almost intentionally, I went to that “woe is me” place. After the game, we were at Target, and I was purposely walking very slowly, far behind my mom, head down and exuding self-pity.
If you have seen the television show “Arrested Development,” picture the character George Michael after being dumped by his girlfriend, with the melancholic Charlie Brown music playing. Oddly I remember this moment fairly well, almost 30 years later. In my head, I felt I deserved pity from everyone. Losing a baseball game is not a big deal, but for me, it wasn’t (and still isn’t) about a justified cause. It’s a place my brain takes me, sometimes without any discernible catalyst at all. Other than seeking attention, it has always been difficult to pinpoint why I do this.
Why do people plan, cater and host their own pity parties?
I imagine the motivation is different from person to person, but the only conclusion I’ve come to is that wallowing in self-pity is easy.
This doesn’t quite explain why I go there, but it does explain why I tend to stay there. It’s easier to stay there than it is to climb out. With a lot of these character defects I discuss, I have improved significantly as I’ve gotten older and stopped using drugs. But I still go there.
I went there last week.
Once I am there, I am easily annoyed. I feel jaded and cynical (more than normal). My ego and self-centeredness join the party, and I retreat inward. Here comes the pulling back of the curtain, things I don’t feel great about admitting:
Last week I tweeted that I had been in a funky mood and taken a short break from social media. I was in that place. Every time I logged on to Twitter, I would get annoyed and roll my eyes at almost everything I saw – friends, fantasy heavyweights, it didn’t matter. And it was not anything different than any other moment of fantasy football Twitter. Things I am normally interested in were annoying, which does not feel good.
I was letting things affect me that normally do not:
• “Why haven’t I gotten any new followers today?”
• “How come I haven’t gotten more likes or comments on those tweets?”
• “Why don’t more people reach out to me for fantasy football advice?”
• “No one cares about my content, so why even do it?
“Why haven’t I gotten more opportunities when I see all these other people ascending?”
“Oh, hello, imposter syndrome. Yeah, there’s still some cake left at the party.”
It’s not easy for me to reveal this. Follower count and industry clout are not my drivers. They are not my top priority or motivation. And the reason it’s difficult to admit these thoughts is that I don’t want anyone to think that’s how I operate. When I’m balanced and mentally quiet, I know that’s not my deal and know I don’t need to prove that to anyone.
So when I’m in that place, I feel shame around obsessing over followers or being jealous of friends’ success. But jealousy and ego are still a part of me, and they always will be. It’s during these pity parties they rise to the surface.
I am not myself in the “woe is me” swamp. I have realized that the thoughts like the ones described above are just that: Products of my already weird brain when it goes to the double weird place. Having those fleeting thoughts does not change who I am. Just because I have moments of jealousy doesn’t mean I’m not truly and genuinely happy for other people when good things happen to them.
And this is the maturity and improvement in action. In my younger years, I thought more absolutely. Having these thoughts at all meant I was nothing but a fraud. But that’s unrealistic, “perfect or bust” thinking, and it unnecessarily compounded stress and anxiety.
The truth is, no one can ever come close to perfect. We are all perfectly imperfect. I don’t want to speak for anyone, but I guess I’m not alone in what I’ve written about in this column.
Whether it’s because of a bad thing happening or maybe just a lack of sleep or exercise, I know I can’t feel content and mentally sound all of the time. All I can do is try to recognize when I’m in that funky place.
Climbing out isn’t as easy as snapping my fingers. I can remind myself that it will eventually pass and know that it’s not shameful to briefly think in ways that deviate from who I am. That’s why I chose to write on this topic. I spent a lot of time over the years kicking my own a** for thinking this way, and my guess is other people have and do as well. But you don’t have to. It’s one of the unnecessary, self-inflicted stressors in a world with plenty of stressors already.
Accepting that things like ego and selfishness are not pieces of me that can be fully destroyed was a turning point for me. They are a part of me, and while these character defects might still get to ride on the bus from time to time, they’re no longer allowed to drive.
And now, The Mundie Awards.
This column was written before the NFL Week 13 “Monday Night Football” game.
THE NFL WEEK 13 MUNDIE AWARD
The Mundie will be awarded to a player or players who were winners during the previous week(s), whether directly by scoring a lot of fantasy points or from a volume/opportunity standpoint that puts them in a position to score a lot of fantasy points moving forward.
Christian Watson (WR, Green Bay Packers)
Packers’ WR Christian Watson has received plenty of love from the In-Between (IBT) Media family. IBT founder and fearless leader Seth Woolcock was hyping him as the 2022 NFL season began and then picked him as a potential league-winner on last week’s “In-Between Fantasy Football Podcast.” So I am pleased to round out our Watson love by awarding him this edition’s Mundie Award.
Watson did enter both the NFL draft season and the start of the 2022 NFL regular season with some hype, but he also had some strikes against him (depending on who you asked). Relative to historical data, Watson playing for a small college (North Dakota State University) and not declaring early for the NFL were knocks against him.
To be clear, those prerequisites by themselves do not equate to a lack of success at the NFL level across the board. It’s just that not many WRs have gone on to success in the NFL with that background. But it was the primary reason there was enough unknown attached to Watson to create debate within the fantasy football industry and kept Watson from being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
However, Watson did not miss out on first-round draft capital by much. He was selected 34th overall (second pick of the second round) by the Packers. The knocks on Watson were counterbalanced by his freakish athleticism. Watson is 6-foot-4 and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash. His Speed Score and Burst Score were both in at least the 95th percentile, and his Relative Athletic Score of 10.0 was the highest in the 2022 WR rookie class. Many people, including myself, have been eagerly waiting to see what a healthy Watson can do, especially on a pass-catching depleted team like the Packers.
And since Week 10, Watson has treated us to a massive breakout. Mostly sitting on waiver wires in redraft formats, Watson has put up the following numbers over the last four games (Weeks 10-13):
• 6.5 targets per game
• Four receptions per game
• 89.8 yards from scrimmage per game
• Two total TDs per game
And while Watson’s ridiculous TD rate is not sustainable over time, we are now into fantasy football crunch time. He likely won’t average two TDs per game for the rest of the season, but the odds he scores one TD per game are higher than any other non-QB right now. Watson has shown the ability to score from anywhere at any time, adding a 46-yard TD run in Week 13. Watson is a must-start from here on out, and like my friend Seth predicted, will likely be on a high percentage of championship rosters.
THE NFL WEEK 13 BUFFALO BRANCH AWARD
No relation to the Bills. The Buffalo Branch Award will be handed out to a player or players who were “not great Bob” during the previous week(s) and is representative of the trend rather than the exception for that player.
The Buffalo Branch Award is a little different this week. Normally awarded to a player based on performance, it is for a losing situation this week. We knew it was going to happen. Regardless of how anyone felt about it, Deshaun Watson was only suspended for 11 games of the 2022 NFL season, So we knew we would see Watson running out onto an NFL field. The dialogue and debate about this Watson have gradually quieted down since the news broke of the many women accusing him of sexual assault, and he was suspended for 11 games.
This is typical. Some of you may read this and are thinking, “this is old news. Just move on already.” And you are entitled to your opinion. But so am I. I don’t think it’s right that the discussion about what Watson did to those women just gets lost in the wind. I do not think this man should be playing in the NFL.
As I said, we knew this was coming. But that doesn’t mean there was not a reaction, by me and others when it became reality in Week 13.
I saw the tweets this week.
The “he’s still a good QB, even if you don’t like him” sentiments. I could not care less about that. When it comes to Watson, I do not care about statistics. I do not care about fantasy football. In this case, I believe the women who have come forward. I do not believe Watson. So I won’t be using the word “allegedly.”
In my view, this Watson is a predator who does not deserve to be playing in the NFL. I have no interest in watching him and, therefore, the Browns play football.
And I like the Browns. I have quietly rooted for the Browns to turn it around for years. I know the Browns franchise doesn’t care about some random writer like me feeling this way, and that’s fine. But this is my column and my made-up awards. The Browns are a slam dunk for this loser-based award for enabling a situation where yet another predator of women gets to move on with their life relatively consequence-free. At the same time, the victims have to deal with the trauma and psychological effects of his actions for the rest of their lives.
THE NFL WEEK 13 ANDY BERNARD WALL PUNCH AWARD
The theme of this award is overreaction, and Andy Bernard said it himself after punching through the wall, “That was an overreaction.” This award will be awarded to a player or players as a warning to not overreact to recent performances or outcomes, either good or bad.
Cam Akers (RB, Los Angeles Rams)
Cam Akers receives this mirage-based award because I feel people will be tempted by his big game against the Seahawks in Week 13. Akers scored 19 Points Per Reception (PPR) points in Week 13, by far his highest single-game output of the season. He rushed for 60 yards on 17 carries, averaging 3.5 Yards Per Carry (YPC), with two rushing TDs and one reception. Akers was given the ball on 85 percent of the Rams’ RB rushing attempts. Other than the low YPC, these seem like promising numbers.
The problem is this performance came against the Seahawks. The Seahawks’ defense began the 2022 NFL season as a fantasy-friendly matchup for RBs. Through the first four games, the Seahawks gave up an average of 130 rushing yards and 28.8 PPR points per game to the RB position. Then from Week 5 through Week 9, it seemed Seattle’s defense had clamped down. Those numbers went down to 63 rushing yards and 22 PPR points allowed per game. But they have regressed to early season form, giving up 138 rushing yards and 25.6 PPR points to the Buccaneers’ RBs and 272 rushing yards and 65.6 PPR points to the Raiders’ RBs.
In that context, Akers rushing for only 60 yards at a 3.5 YPC clip seems disappointing. Against this version of the Seahawks’ defense, on a team with a backup QB throwing to a depleted WR corps, you would expect a bigger day from an RB if that RB was actually here to stay.
Thank you so much for reading my analysis on the NFL Week 13 winner, Christian Watson, amongst others. As I have moved toward more analytics-based fantasy football content, my goal is to provide that content in a manner that is as easy to digest as possible.
Advanced analytics are very useful, and I think can be explained simply and logically. Please feel free to reach out to me to explain more about the analytical concepts I present in these columns. My Direct Messages (DMs) are always open.
And as always, find me on Twitter, talking fantasy football, joking around, posting GIFs and lending my support where it’s needed @MunderDifflinFF.