PGF WEEK 9 FANTASY ANALYSIS

We’ve hit the end of the road for the regular season of the inaugural season of the Professional Grappling Federation (PGF).  Even as I type this piece, I have a mix of Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” in my head, but a little Frank Sinatra’s “My way” added in there out of respect for BMAC going out on a limb trying something completely new.  It’s been a great run and Fridays will be a little less without the PGF.  I said thanks to Brandon and his team in my most anticipated matches post, so enough for the love.  Now is the time for smack talk. 

Some of this analysis is real; some may not be – my new nemesis McWhorter will just have to guess when I’m shooting him straight or trying to throw him off his game.  I’m doing my own personal analysis if I take the safe road ahead or go for broke with some high risk/high reward plays.  Either way whoever wins, tip of the cap to you McWhorter.  I’ll admit, I’m not good at smack talk, never was.  Of course, it feels good to have a pretty commanding lead over the Pete Rose of the PGF and the First Lady of the PGF, who both have insider info advantages over most of us (ha ha, so there.  Yeah, that’s about as good as I get on smack talk).

This week is really exciting. Not only is it the last week of the season, but the top four places in the league are completely in play.  To steal a little of my thoughts from my most anticipated matches post (in case you didn’t see it), here’s what I’m talking about: Elijah Carlton has been the odds-on favorite throughout the season.  He’s come out and submitted every opponent.  He built what seemed an unassailable lead over everyone only to see it chipped away by three opponents.  Nilo Bergener and Caleb McAllister have both amassed 86 points, only five behind Elijah.  Matt “the Mane” Elkins is just behind them with 84 points, only seven (one choke/kill) behind Elijah.  Not to get ahead of my fantasy analysis, but the Mane has three matches and is likely to get three kills, for 21 points, finishing with 105 points. Nilo Bergener looks to score another blackjack for 21 points in his three matches, finishing with 107 points (Mario Gaor is his most game opponent this week and has the best shot of forcing a break or draw).  Caleb McAllister and Elijah Carlton both have to face Jonathan “Elbow Genie” Roberts who defeated Nilo Bergener.  If Caleb can only get 14 points (getting a draw with Roberts), he finishes with 100 points.  If Elijah can only get a break on Roberts, he’ll likely end up with 105 points to tie for second with the Mane (an even crazier scenario would be if Jeremy “Knee Barrista” Geiger forces Elijah to only get a break, ending with 101 points in third overall).  If you put a gun to my head, I’m guessing Nilo wins it all.  He has the easier set of three matches and the lead over the Mane.  If I was the Mane, I would’ve spent the week trying to help the Elbow Genie and maybe Gladden or Gaor prepare for their opponents.

Enough prognostication on the overall winner, now on to the fantasy analysis:

SUPER PREMIUMS (you’re going to offset the expense by dropping a roster spot)

Matt “the Mane” Elkins (brown) – $25 – Keahi “Mr. Congeniality” Makekau (white), Seth Tatum (blue), Robert Gladden (white). The Mane has been on a tear lately, moving up to second place in the Eastern Conference.  The Commish has put some extra respect and cost on his name, moving the Mane to the most expensive fantasy competitor.  With this week’s matchups, he could give Elijah Carlton a run for his money and the league championship money if he can secure three kills.  Elijah has one more match remaining for the season, but that includes Jonathon “Elbow Genie” Roberts and Jeremy “Knee Barrista” Geiger.  If either of those stalwart competitors can force a draw or just a break by Elijah, the Mane could sneak away with the championship, but he will still need some help from one of Nilo’s competitors.  Still, this scenario should give the Mane plenty of motivation to go for three kills. [21 14points].

Elijah Carlton (brown) – $24 – Eric Longar (brown), Jeremy “Knee Barrista” Geiger (blue), Jonathon “Elbow Genie” Roberts (brown).  Elijah has submitted every opponent.  Elijah’s modus operandi of late is to choke the easy competitors, but to settle for a break against stiffer competition (is there a pun there somewhere?).  Mike “Manscape” Richey forced Elijah to settle for a break, so the Knee Barrista could do the same.  The Elbow Genie has the best shot of either forcing Elijah to settle for a break or for possibly getting one of his own slick submissions.  More analysis of the Elijah v Roberts match provided in my most anticipated matches.  Best bet is two chokes and a break. [17 points].

Caleb McAllister (black) – $24 – Jonathon “Elbow Genie” Roberts (brown), Keahi Makekau (white), Seth Tatum (blue).  Caleb has been a force but has been taken to a draw by Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau and Moises Carrasco.  Their styles of force on force lend themselves to using up the six minutes.  Roberts’ style seems more to lend itself to high-tempo rolling with plenty of scrambles which might play into Caleb’s pace game.  Still, I’m betting on the McAllister v Roberts match being exciting but ending in a draw.  [14 points]

Jonathan “Elbow Genie” Roberts (brown) – $23 – Caleb McAllister (black), Robert Gladden (white), Moises Carrasco (purple), Elijah Carlton (brown).  I think Roberts gets the break on Gladden and Moises, but I can’t predict a submission against Elijah or Caleb.  Roberts could choke the white belt, but I think he’ll settle for a quick break to keep his energy for the rest of his matches. [ 6 points]

Moises Carrasco (purple) – $22 – Dennis Smith (white), Mike “Manscape” Richey (white), Jeremy “Knee Barrist” Geiger (blue), Jonathon “Elbow Genie” Roberts (brown), Keahi Makekau (white).  Five matches make Moises again an intriguing pick.  But we’ve seen Moises get sucked into draws by determined competitors…and he’s two very determined competitors in Manscape and the Knee Barista.  These three large competitors could spend half the time on their feet also fueling the chances of a bye.  More analysis on Moises v Roberts in the most anticipated matches piece, but I think Roberts wins. [14 points]

Nilo “the Mop” Bergener (brown) – $22 – Robert Gladden (white), Mario Gaor (purple), Casey Willbanks (blue). There’s a very real possibility if Nilo can pull the blackjack he wins the inaugural PGF season.  He has every motivation to secure the kill on each opponent and the skills to do so. [ 21 14 points]

PREMIUMS

Joe “Cobra” Kai (brown) – $20 – Clay Malone (blue), Dallas Sharp (blue), Eric Longar (brown).  Kai was stymied by a very tough Louis Collins last week, forcing the draw, and Blake “Boy Wonder” Randall forcing the break (but he force Elijah to settle for a break as well).  Here, I think he gets the chokes.  I’m a little concerned with Longar’s skill and Malone’s size advantage, but Kai can make it happen.  [21 points]

Matt “Scarecrow of Doom” Harrison (brown) – $18 – Mike “Manscape” Richey (white), Stephen “Grey Goose” Mitchell. The SOD gets the kill on the Grey Goose, but could run into problems with Manscape.  The SOD’s triangles are vicious, but Manscape might be strong enough to keep posturing out of them unless he gets them locked in and at the proper angle very quickly.  In the battle of two of the hardest competitors to submit, we have to put money on a draw. [7 points]

Eric Longar (brown) – $17 – Elijah Carlton (brown), Mike “Manscape” Richey (white), Joe Kai (brown).  Longar has shown issues with giving up size advantages (he burned me one week on this issue when I put him on my team).  I can’t put any money on any submissions by Longar this week. [0 points.]

Kevin “Liquid Terminator/Pete Rose” Primeau (purple) – $17 – Seth Tatum (blue), Robert Gladden (white), Robert Autrey (white).  The Pete Rose of the PGF takes out the two white belts and Tatum with his pressure passing.  Tatum could give a little trouble with his guard, but Primeau will still choke him out. [14 points]. PICK OF THE WEEK!

AVERAGE

Jeremy “Knee Barrista” Geiger (Blue) – $16 – Moises Carrasco (purple), Elijah Carlton (brown), Mike “Manscape” Richey (white).  Ouch, that’s some fierce competition.  The Knee Barrista is going to put on a show with his wrestling and athleticism and might even sneak in a break (knee bar of course) on Carrasco or Manscape, but the odds are too even to warrant a wager.  I’m not picking him for my team, but I’ll definitely be looking forward to his matches. [0 points].

Mario Gaor (purple) – $16 – Robert Gladden (white), Robert Autrey (white), Nilo Bergener (brown).  Loss to Nilo, but he gets the job done against the Roberts.  [14 7 points].

Seth Tatum (blue) – $16 – Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau (purple), Matt “the Mane” Elkins (brown), Dennis Smith (white), Caleb McAllister (black).  If Tatum isn’t wore out by his first two matches, he’s got a good shot at scoring the kill against Smith.  Tatum’s been a great competitor and I’ve been lobbying for him to get his purple belt since he’s had such a great showing in the league.  Unfortunately, he has to work on his leg defense if he wants to rank up.  Regardless, Tatum has made us blue belts everywhere proud to have him in our numbers.  [7 points.]

Blake “Boy Wonder” Randall (blue) – $15 – Stephen “Grey Goose” Mitchell (purple), Josh Diaddario (blue).  Boy Wonder gets a chance to earn some kills this week.  After starting out so strong, it’ll be hard to see him not make the tournament.  It seems Diaddaio and to a lesser extent Mitchell hold the keys to the kingdom for Randall, Malone, and Sharp.  All three men on the bubble face Diaddario; and Malone and Randall face both Diaddario and the Grey Goose. If Randall can secure kills against Diaddario and the Grey Goose, he’ll force Malone to go for two kills possibly causing him to end in a draw and lose out (cont. below).  [14 points]

Clay Malone (blue) – $15 – Joe Kai (brown), Josh Diaddario (blue), Stephen “Grey Goose” Mitchell (purple).  However, if Malone gets one kill against Diaddario and only his straight ankle lock break against Mitchell, Malone and Randall would tie.  In that case, Randall actually has a break against Malone so one would have to think Randall gets in the tournament.  Someone should make sure Malone knows he needs these two kills. [14 points].

Matt Anderson (beast) – $15 – Josh Diaddario (blue). Manderson chokes Diaddario for not showing last week and making Anderson come back an extra week. [7 points]

Noah Randolph (blue) – $15 – Casey Willbanks (blue).  Noah’s making the tournament, so he could take it easy.  Still, look for Noah to want some momentum going into the tournament. [7 points]

BELOW AVERAGE

Josh Diaddario (blue) – $14 – Matt Anderson (beast), Canaan Brooks (blue), Clay Malone (blue), Blake “Boy Wonder” Randall (blue), Dallas Sharp (blue).  It’s not a promising week for Diaddario.  AS mentioned above he has some very motivated competition.  Diaddario could still make the tournament if he recorded kills on all his opponents, but it’s highly unlikely.  His best bet to score points is if the wrong Canaan shows up tonight, but I think Canaan’s going to be motivated as well. [0 points].

Stephen “Grey Goose” Mitchell (purple) – $14 – Blake “Boy Wonder” Randall (blue), Matt “Scarecrow of Doom” Harrison (brown), Canaan Brooks (blue), Clay Malone (blue).  He’s also facing very motivated opponents this week. [0 points].

Canaan Brooks (blue) – $13 – Josh Diaddario (blue), Stephen “Grey Goose” Mitchell (purple), Robert Gladden (white). I’m going on a limb and saying the right Canaan shows in the final week, recording a leg lock against Gladden and a kill against the Grey Goose. [16 points…because we have a bet].

Dallas Sharp (blue) – $13 – Mike “Manscape” Richey (white), Joe Kai (brown), Josh Diaddario (blue). The strength of Manscape versus the athleticism of Sharp should be a really interesting match to watch, but not one on which to bet.  Kai has the skill and athleticism advantage (or at least skill advantage and similar athleticism).  Sharp gets it done against Diaddario. [7 points].

Louis Collins (blue) – $13 – Done for the season.  Really showed a lot of grit refusing to let Joe Kai submit him.  I really liked watching his combination of wrestling and leg locks.  [0 points].

Mike “Manscape” Richey (white) – $13 – Moises Carrasco (purple), Dallas Sharp (blue), Matt “Scarecrow of Doom” Harrison (brown), Eric Longar (brown), Jeremy “Knee Barrista” Geiger.  Manscape has five matches – that alone merits consideration for a roster spot.  Still, Manscape has only submitted Michael Libby (first week before all the progress we’ve seen over the course of the PGF), Robert Autrey (a white belt), and Casey Willbanks (who only has one win).  Manscape is very hard to submit, with only Nilo and Elijah (two of the top PGF contestants) getting submissions.  I’m taking a chance and saying Manscape’s strength overwhelms Longar, but otherwise we see a lot of interesting draws here.  [7 points].

PENNY STOCKS (NOT LIKELY TO MAKE YOU MUCH, BUT IF YOU HAVE MONEY LEFT IN YOUR POCKET…)

Michael Libby (blue) – $12 – Robert Gladden (white).  Libby has shown some real improvement.  He gets the break. [3 points].

Dennis Smith (white) – $10 – Moises Carrasco (purple), Keahi Makekau (white), Seth Tatum (blue), Robert Gladden (white).  Smith gets the choke on Keahi and Gladden, finishing with a strong showing. [14 7 points].

Robert Autrey (white) – $10 – Casey Willbanks (blue), Mario Gaor (purple), Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau.  I’ll say he get the kill on Willbanks. [7 points].

Robert Gladden (white) – $10 – Nilo Bergener (brown), Mario Gaor (purple), Jonathan “Elbow Genie” Roberts (brown), Michael Libby (blue), Kevin “Liquid Terminator” Primeau (purple), Matt “the Mane” Elkins (brown), Dennis Smith (white), Canaan Brooks (blue).  EIGHT matches and half of them are against top competitors in the PGF.  He might have a shot against Libby or Canaan, but I think by the time he faces Canaan, he’ll be worn out and susceptible to a footlock.  We’ll have to see if this schedule gets broken up with some on Thursday. [0 points].

Casey Willbanks (blue) – $10 – Robert Autrey (white), Noah Randolph (blue), Nilo Bergener (brown). As a last-minute replacement, I have to take my hat off to Willbanks.  He stayed the course, going up against competitors with more experience and athleticism.  He never backed down. That’s true grit.  He’ll be better for having participated in this league.  Bravo Zulu. [0 points].

Keahi “Mr. Congeniality” Makekau (white) – $10 – Matt “the Mane” Elkins (brown), Dennis Smith (white), Caleb McAllister (black), Moises Carrasco (purple).  Mr. Congeniality is in for another rough week, but he’ll learn a lot. Much like Willbanks, we all have to give Keahi props.  Going up against this level of competition week after week…as a white belt.  That takes a lot of guts.  He looks like he faces adversity with a smile and that usually leads to a very successful person in the long run.  [0 points].

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