Guys and Gals, it’s been a wild week. I spent most of it with my son in Colorado, hanging out with him during his spring break (mostly shoveling snow). I forgot to bring my laptop so most of my work on this week’s recap and projections were done on his Apple laptop (if you’ve read “The Four” you would probably agree with me that Apple’s appeal is now as a luxury item, overcoming their shortcomings when it comes to real usability. Folks would rather buy a mediocre functioning Apple product at a premium than buy a PC which has normal shortcut keys, etc. and is a fraction of the price – well, because Apple is a status symbol. And as much as I love my baby boy, he loves his brands. Anyway, I had to mess around with an Apple (I still call them Macs) laptop. Now that I’m home, there’s plenty of other stuff going on, I’m selling two houses and looking to buy or rent a third as I’m moving the family for the sixth time in the last fourteen years or so. We also have the impending loss of our family pet of 13+ years going on, so that’s fun. My head’s a little more scatter-brained…or perhaps “scrambled” since my nickname is Egghead, than normal.
Anyway, this week in the PGF should be a big week. If you listen to the “Brandon and Lindsey Have a Podcast Now” podcast, they said this week is intense. Below, you’ll find my analysis, but it’s not sexy. I don’t call too many upsets. Maybe I’m wrong or maybe the action is intense, but ultimately still leads to the results I conclude. Assuming “Shoeless Joe” Eakin’s “Gentleman Agreements” are now off the menu, I think my calls should stand up. Due to the collusion from last week, I will be filing a formal protest with the Commissioner…which will be summarily filed in the “Egghead Warrior File,” which was the name of the trash can in my high school journalism classroom (seriously, the labeled the trash can the “Egghead Warrior [but my actual surname] File.”
On a super happy note, I think I almost have the wife convinced to let me attend the PGF Season 2 tournament on the weekend of 20 May. My son is attending a Football University Camp on the weekend before in Charlotte, NC. Good grief, Decatur, AL is still more than 7 hours away from Charlotte – seriously, could Decatur be any more isolated? It’s like the Hawaii of the continental US (btw, Hawaii is one of the most geographically isolated land masses in the world). Wow, going really far astray in this monologue. Okay folks, I swear I’ll have my head screwed on straighter next week for more applicable frivolity and less randomness.
One last thing…if you win this season, McWhorter, I’ll forever make motions to have an asterisk by your name due to last week’s COLLUSION!
Now on to the analysis for this week:
In a first for the PGF, the competitors’ costs have not changed. I don’t know what to make of it, but I think it will give the shrewd fantasy player some great value now that we’re getting a better picture of the relative skills of the competitors.
For your consideration, each fantasy team has 7 possible spots with a total salary cap of $120 for the week. Any left-over funds do not carry over to the next week. While one could hypothetically maximize their chances at success at playing all 7 roster spots, we often found during season 1 that sacrificing a roster spot to secure more “sure things” was the way to go.
SUPER PREMIUMS (you’re going to offset the expense by dropping a roster spot)
Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton (brown) – $25; faces James Regina [KILL] and Joshua Gibbs [KILL] – 12 points. Regina’s big game is leg locks – if Regina comes at Elijah with leg locks, I think we can expect a Bane-like response (“You merely adopted [leg locks], I was born [doing them]”). I like Regina’s story, but Elijah gets the kill. I’m all Go Navy, beat everyone; but Gibbs is facing too much adversity here. Elijah is just too good and will get the kill.
Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa (brown) – $25; faces Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson [KILL] and Hunter Colvin [DRAW/Who knows?] – 6 points. Kemoy is a tough customer. Sam has been known to “rest” on opponents he thought he could take easily (See Mega Mike match) in order to save energy for later matches. Given he’s facing Hunter Colvin after Kemoy, Sam could save his energy – that could leave him susceptible to a submission. Do I think it’ll happen? No, but I’ve heard this week will shake things up. Sam versus Hunter Colvin – should be one of the top four matches this season. I believe in Sam and am a big fan, but Hunter is the most pedigreed competitor in this season. However, Hunter has spent a lot of the last year working his MMA, so does that take away from his grappling? Getting down to brass tacks, if Colvin doesn’t have a “Shoeless Eakin” – like deal with Sam, it’s a risky bet to spend this much money on a roster spot for Sam. Not taking anything away from you, Sam – you may get the kill, but it’s not high percentage enough for the price.
Hunter Colvin (black) – $22; faces Zack Edwards [KILL] and Sam Barbosa [see above] – 6 points. Okay, I’m already taking a chance here on Colvin taking out Edwards. Edwards is a great leg locker, but Sam Barbosa in his interview on the McDojo Show said Colvin was a better leg locker than him. Also, in looking at multiple Colvin matches including his one against Gabriel Gonzaga, Colvin is a leg locker himself. As I’ve mentioned previously, Colvin has received great praise for his jiu jitsu IQ. I don’t think Edwards gets it done against Colvin. Could we see a draw like Edwards vs. “Shoeless Joe” Eakin? Maybe. But I think Colvin has that killer mentality to make it happen. As far as Colvin versus Sam Barbosa, see above.
Stephen “the Spoiler” Eakin (black) – $20; faces “Judo” Justin Williams [KILL] and Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster [KILL]. “Et tu, Brute/Eakin?” – one final jab at Eakin for his betrayal near the Ides of March. “Shoeless Joe” Eakin has provided his mea culpa. He knows what he did in block 2 wasn’t cool. This week, he knows he has to get those kills, and if possible, those seven-point quick kills. I have to think he’ll do it. Judo has proven wily and Grayson is showing his youthful athleticism and martial background, but I still think Eakin gets it done.
Matt “Maneless/the Fade” Elkins (brown) – $19 ; faces Evan “8-mile” Stapler [KILL] and James Regina [KILL] – 12 points. Elkins and Stapler both train at 10th Planet Decatur. If a blue belt beats a brown belt from the same school, well – I’ll cheer for the blue belt, but I’d be surprised. I’m not saying blue belts can’t take brown belts – I may have sub’d a few in my day, but it’s a noteworthy thing. As for Regina, as long as Elkins can still muster enough strength from his knees for little wrestling, I think he gets the kill against the purple belt.
Jake “Head” Elkins (purple) – $17; faces Joshua Gibbs [KILL] and “Mega” Mike Johnson [KILL] – 12 points. Ok, maybe I’m an Elkins fan boy this week. I think Gibbs is an easy kill for Elkins. His superior grappling will see him on top with his devastating mount. Mega Mike will face Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster in his first match. While Grayson is just a blue belt (#bluebeltsarepeopletoo), he’s a lifelong martial artist and an athlete as shown in the pre-season combine. I think Grayson will help tire out Mega Mike, allowing HEAD Elkins to take the match. They’ve probably trained enough together to have Mega Mike on guard for the head and arm triangle, but I think Jake still makes it happen.
Kemoy “RatedR/the Bully” Anderson (brown) – $17; faces Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa [LOSS] and Kevin “Pete Rose of the PGF” Primeau [KILL] – 6 points. I think I’ve consistently said I’m a fan of Kemoy Anderson. We’ve seen consistent strong grappling, with a possible lack of killer instinct (which I still think is a holdover from other rule sets where you could rely on official’s making the call on the winner). I think Kemoy has a wicked kimura attack, but I’ve also seen Sam Barbosa almost rip very large gentlemen’s arms off. I have to give Sam the kill in that matchup. As much as I maligned the Pete Rose of the PGF when talking fantasy competition last season, I’m still a fan of him as a competitor and a human being. If Primeau didn’t already have two cool nicknames, he could be called the bully himself due to his grindy game. But the RONA has deflated the liquid terminator (or diluted would be the more proper liquid term?). If you haven’t been watching, I believe the commentators said Kevin couldn’t train for the six weeks leading up to the filming of season 2. Between his off timing and Kevin’s own admission of fatigue, I have to give the kill to Kemoy (but I believe Kevin could force the draw). Perhaps this matchup is the one I really wish I could see with a fully-recovered Primeau. If neither make it to the tournament, I’d really like to see a super fight between them on the weekend of 20 May.
James Regina (purple) – $15; faces Elijah Carlton [loss] and Matt “Maneless” Elkins [loss] – 0 points. I’ve analyzed both situations above. I like Regina, his personality, his story – I really think he should be interviewed on a podcast, but I don’t think he gets any points this week.
Joshua Gibbs (purple) – $15; faces Jake “HEAD” Elkins [loss] and Elijah “the bad guy” Carlton [loss]– 0 points. This week, our Shipmate faces two of the baddest [sic] men in the PGF. I’m sorry, bud, but you’re not going to get any points this week.
Kevin “Liquid Terminator/Pete Rose” Primeau (purple) – $15; faces Randy “Dump truck” Roden [draw] and Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson – 0 points. COVID-19 is a hell of a virus. Primeau’s game is based in large part on his cardio, on his grit. He still has the grit, but the cardio is gone. Primeau sat guard last season against Elijah Carlton and that mistake changed his outlook and the rest of the season. But facing one of the best wrestlers in PGF history, Primeau may want to sit guard against Roden. Roden could get the submission here. Roden has a D1 wrestler’s cardio (why? Because he was a D1 wrestler). If Roden can wear down Primeau enough, maybe Roden gets that tap…but I have to have some faith in my man Primeau. But after facing Roden, Primeau’s going to have to face the Bully. Kemoy Anderson is a punishing opponent after Primeau’s own heart. But Kemoy seems to be in fine form. I think Kemoy either gets the submission or a draw. Either way, I don’t think Primeau is getting any points this week.
“MEGA” Mike Johnson (purple)– $15 – aka the world’s most mysterious man; faces Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster [KILL] and Jake “HEAD” Elkins [loss] – 6 points. Mega gets pushed by Webster, but I think Mega gets it done. Grayson is a beast, but Mega Mike is…MEGA. Grayson helps play spoiler here – or just helps cement Mega being tired so he falls to the HEAD Elkins brother.
Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards (brown) – $15; faces Hunter Colvin [loss] and Evan “8-Mile” Stapler [BREAK] – 3 points. Colvin gets my vote until he doesn’t – show us something Squidbilly. Edwards should take out Stapler. Edwards knows he needs to get back in the game with a kill, but I think he still resorts to a break against Stapler. Again, I am not putting it past “8-mile” to give us an upset, but this one is a perhaps a bridge too far to expect that upset.
Randy “Dumptruck” Roden (blue) – $13; faces Kevin “Pete Rose of the PGF” Primeau [draw] and “Judo” Justin Williams [kill] – 6 points. Roden has immense athletic ability – seriously, dude is doing flips almost every time he gets on the mats. Primeau has been dealing with the Rona (see above). I think Roden could get a submission, but my man Primeau is a serious beast himself. He’s a bad man that won’t go down lightly, especially to a blue belt (#bluebeltsarepeopletoo). Even with “Judo” Justin going for the draw more than the kill, I think Roden still has his number. Judo could pull some crazy arm bar – Roden is the least experienced jiu jitsu player (not grappler, see his long wrestling career) so he may not be as experienced in defending crazy arm bar setups.
PENNY STOCKS (NOT LIKELY TO MAKE YOU MUCH, BUT IF YOU HAVE MONEY LEFT IN YOUR POCKET…) – a reminder to all competitors, don’t take my comments personally. If I was competing, I would be squarely at the bottom of this category.
Evan “8 Mile” Stapler (blue) – $11; faces Matt “Maneless” Elkins [loss] and Zack “Squidbilly” Edwards [loss] – 0 points. I like Stapler a lot. Heck, I’m one of 22 subscribers to his YouTube channel. Still he’s facing a tall order to get a submission this week. I hear there’s some upsets this week. If it did happen, I would like to see Stapler over Edwards, but that’s not enough to bet on.
Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster (blue) – $10; faces “Mega” Mike Johnson [loss] and Stephen “Shoeless Joe” Eakin [loss] – 0 points. The Southern Samurai a good athlete according to the combine, but he’s facing a hyuge purple belt and a black belt. Grayson’s best shot is against Mega, but he’ll have to get lucky.
Justin “Judo” Williams (blue) – $10; faces Stephen “Shoeless Joe” Eakin [loss] and Randy “Dump truck” Roden [loss] – 0 points. Even if Judo pulls his best Data again, he’s not getting you any points.
PGF Week 3 Matchups
Hunter Colvin (black) v Zack Edwards (brown) – Kill for Colvin, but it’ll take time – BLUE 6. Until someone stops Colvin from getting that rolling kimura to back take, I have to go with Colvin for the kill. Everyone says Colvin is very smart. He saw how Eakin passed Zack’s guard. Colvin is a level above Zack (view from the cheap seats at least). Colvin will find a way to get the kill. I doubt he goes to the leg lock because you open yourself up for leg locks when you do so and leg locks are Zack’s bread and butter.
Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson v Sam Barbosa – Barbosa kill – BLUE 6. I really like Kemoy’s style. I like his pressure, his passing, his fundamentals, but he hasn’t got the subs this season. I still suspect it’s from competing with longer time limits and being able to fall back on judges’ decisions. Barbosa will find a way to Kemoy’s back and finish the fight.
James Regina v Elijah Carlton – Elijah Carlton kill – RED 6. I really want Matt Skaff to have James Regina on his Grappling Discourse podcast. Regina’s story of no athleticism and being huge to going to jiu jitsu and mma and losing lots of weight should be very interesting. Sure, “8-mile” has some of the same elements in his interview, but Regina seems to be a very cool cat in his post-match interviews and has the mma angle to boot. Seriously, whose first athletic endeavor is MMA? (tip of the cap to Primeau here, deciding to find the hardest endeavor possible after his car crash). All that aside, Regina gets on the mat with a cold-blooded “Bad Guy” killer in Carlton. Elijah finds a way to get the kill.
Evan “8-Mile” Stapler v Matt “Maneless” Elkins – Elkins kill – RED 6. By this round, Elkins had at least the night to ice his knee. Not sure whether Elkins will sit guard again or wrestler. Either way, Elkins will figure out Stapler and probably get him with a guillotine.
Kevin “Pete Rose of the PGF” Primeau v Randy “DumpTruck” Roden – DRAW. Primeau will be somewhat fresh but is still diminished by the RONA. Roden is a game blue belt, but Primeau is very hard to finish. Say it with me – “going against Primeau will hurt my fantasy chances.” It’s an unwritten rule of the PGF. Primeau could do his sneaky/weird jiu jitsu and get that arm bar off bottom turtle he likes (seems like he goes to a kesa gatame/skarf hold and takes that arm). But Roden is a legit beast and getting better all the time. Rack this match up on the list of “I wish I could see it with a 100% Liquid Terminator.” Seriously, Kevin is so game. He couldn’t grapple for 6 weeks before the PGF and still showed. He hasn’t seemed like his old self, but he’s been a warrior in all his matches. Seriously, Primeau may be grit personified. All that said, he’s going to have to prove that grit once more against Roden and it could be a tall order.
Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster v Mega Mike Johnson – Mega kill – RED 6. Grayson shocked us all with that kimura against Gibbs (hurting my fantasy btw). I think everyone who looks at Grayson sees he’s athletic. Then if you know he’s a life-long martial artist, you should know he can handle himself. Still, in this rule set, we have Grayson as a baby blue belt versus Mega Mike Johnson who I’ll mention again is built like Kirby Puckett (google it if you’re too young). Johnson is a true purple belt, having competed at that belt level for a while. Mega has let me down before but I think he gets the kill…but he’s going to have to work for it.
Judo Justin Williams v. Stephen Eakin – DUNK – BLUE 6. Eakin knows he has to get the dunk here, preferably getting the bonus point for under a minute.
Jake “HEAD” Elkins v Joshua Gibbs – HEAD gets the kill – RED 6. Elkins’ wrestling and top pressure are too much for Gibbs. They’re both purple belts, but Elkins has been grappling his whole life.
Team Winner: Red wins by 6, but it could be a draw.
Zack Edwards v Evan “8-mile” Stapler – Edwards break – RED 3. At some point, Edwards is going to look up and say he has to take a shot at the kill against lower belts. He seems to be getting that idea a little as we see his post-fight interviews, but I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet. Stapler isn’t an easy out, but Edwards is going to have to try to get that kill. I don’t think it’ll happen. I think Edwards tries for the kill but has to settle for the break. I think Stapler is fighting hard the whole time but gets caught with a slick leg lock entry by Edwards.
Kevin “Pete Rose of the PGF” Primeau v Kemoy “the Bully” Anderson – Kemoy kill by triangle, 6 points – Blue 6. I know – one of the biggest rules of the PGF is not to pick against Primeau. Still, we’ve seen Primeau is diminished by the Rona. Plus, we should have a very motivated Kemoy who knows he needs some points.
Elijah “the Bad Guy” Carlton v Joshua Gibbs – Elijah kill 6 points – RED 6. Elijah likely gets the triangle. I could belabor the point, but Elijah is a couple of levels above Gibbs. Sorry, Shipmate.
Stephen “Shoeless Joe” Eakin v Grayson “Southern Samurai” Webster – Eakin kill 6 points – BLUE 6. Eakin needs the dunk. He needs the early dunk, but I think Grayson will fight long enough to only allow Eakin to get 6.
Matt “Maneless” Elkins v James Regina – Elkins kill 6 points – RED 6. Elkins should know if he wrestles a bit that Regina will sit guard. Elkins can go for that guillotine of his off the front headlock. If Regina wins, it’ll be by leg lock. But after listening to “The Daily Stack” podcast featuring Elkins, it seems the leg pop from Elkins match with Roden has forced him to his B/C game which includes sitting. Regina has the edge in the leg lock game, but I have a feeling my man Elkins will find a way to overcome his knee issue and still get that guillotine. Seriously, you need to listen to the podcast above. Also, if you’re a fan of either Elkins, you need to check out their Iron Clad Methods website. I’m seriously looking into getting their products for my son (high school football player recruited to the wrestling squad – similar story to my own) and for myself as a jiu-jitsu guy who could use some upgrading to my wrestling game.
Randy “Dumptruck” Roden v “Judo” Justin Williams – Roden kill 6 points. Roden’s a wrestler so I think he takes Williams down and gets the head and arm triangle or RNC. Roden’s a blue belt, so his submissions are likely not completely dialed in yet. Judo seems to be going for survival/the tie. Roden likely gets to the mount early, but Judo has been very keen on not getting tapped in that position. It would be sick if Roden hit the mounted triangle against Judo, but we’ll have to see how he finishes him. I’ll venture this opinion – Roden either gets the kill or a draw. I don’t see Roden going for a leg lock or arm bar.
Sam “the Good Guy” Barbosa v Hunter Colvin – One of the most anticipated matchups of the season. You’d think Barbosa by RNC or Colvin by leg lock (see McDojo Show podcast interview of Barbosa for that reasoning). Barbosa was a wrestler and coaches wrestling. Colvin was a wrestler in Oklahoma and Okie wrestling is LEGIT. Colvin has a loftier competition pedigree but Barbosa has been a constant competitor (even if at a more regional level). Both have fought in cages (aka mma). Matt Skaff said he’d only seen Sam Barbosa submitted by three or four WORLD-CLASS BLACK BELTS. Well, is Colvin the next world-class black belt to be added to the list? I’ve said before, if you don’t cheer for Barbosa, you don’t have a soul. I’m not going to pick this matchup for fantasy…impossible. I will cheer for Barbosa – he’s too good of a man not to cheer for him.
“Mega” Mike Johnson v Jake “HEAD” Elkins – Elkins kill – RED 6. In Season 1 of the PGF, we had the much anticipated match of Mike “Manscape” Richey v Matt “Manderson” Anderson – the two reputed strongest members of the PGF. With a tip of the cap to Sam Barbosa, we seem to have another Hulk vs the Thing matchup here. As Stephen Eakin said on his YouTube show, Mega Mike has been sandbagging us, trying to only look like an insurance salesman (I think it is actually family financial advisor) on social media. Then Mega Mike shows up, well, MEGA. Of course, Mega’s guns won’t scare HEAD Elkins. Since they both train in Birmingham (BHAM), I’m fairly confident they’ve rolled before. The problem for Mega is Elkins’ confidence and overall mat time. Elkins is getting that kill. Mega is the type of competitor to force the draw, but I have faith in Jake Elkins (okay, I’ll put some respect on his name). Jake is legit A.F.
Team Winner: Red by the slimmest of margins at 3 points. But it’s not outside the margin of error, so good luck.