The Vampire (Football) Diaries: Barkley Equals Big Trouble

When the one o’clock games ended last Sunday and James Conner had outscored Saquon Barkley and Travis Kelce by himself, there was just one thought going through my mind: “Now you’re all in big, big trouble.

That line from the Adam Sandler classic, Billy Madison, perfectly sums up the feeling of taking over a Vampire league as the Vampire. And with Count Chocula’s fourth win bringing Barkley as its latest victim, the league really is in serious trouble. As a few of the other owners have expressed on the message board, barring some major injury issues, it feels inevitable that I’ll be playing for a title.

Given how powerful my team has become at the midway point of the season, it bears considering some rule changes for the future. The owner I just took Barkley from had an interesting suggestion, in fact. He proposed that next year we limit how many first and second round draft picks a Vampire can steal to two apiece. So far, I’ve added three first round running backs. It’s an interesting thought as it forces a Vampire to be a tad more strategic when choosing a victim and it allows certain teams to keep top talent without having to protect it by benching someone and subsequently risking the rest of their team.

If that was a rule, I would have added Julio Jones this week instead of Barkley. Considering Barkley is on bye this week and Jones would have replaced Tyler Boyd (also on bye) in my starting lineup, it certainly wouldn’t have been a bad move. Ultimately, I viewed Barkley as a title-winning addition and insurance for Conner in case a Le’Veon Bell return hurts his value. Moreover, my opponent this week has both Adam Thielen and DeAndre Hopkins, so if I can win what I view as a 50/50 contest even without Jones, I’ll add a receiver I feel better about going forward. And since I’m stacked at running back and already have Davante Adams (my only WR victim), I plan to play four RBs and two WRs every week.

The only hard part will be picking which stud wideout to add when Count Chocula strikes again this week. And after Thursday, I feel pretty good about the Vampire sinking his teeth into someone.

Here’s what the matchup looks like entering Sunday, thanks to George Kittle:

Count Chocula – 18.8

QB – Jared Goff
RB – Alvin Kamara
RB – Ezekiel Elliott
WR – Davante Adams
WR – D.J. Moore
TE – George Kittle
Flex – James Conner
Flex – Tarik Cohen
K – Wil Lutz
DEF – New York Jets

Bench:

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Ben Roethlisberger
Mitchell Trubisky
Saquon Barkley
Austin Ekeler
Tyler Boyd
Eric Ebron

Lost Boys – 0.0

QB – Russell Wilson
RB – Melvin Gordon
RB – James White
WR – Adam Thielen
WR – DeAndre Hopkins
TE – O.J. Howard
Flex – Brandin Cooks
Flex – Sammy Watkins
K – Greg Zuerlein
DEF – Carolina

The Lost Boys – in case you hadn’t guessed from a gander at their stacked lineup – are the top team in the league at 7-1. But after nearly 19 points from my tight end, I’m in good shape. If things do break my way, I can’t imagine losing in the playoffs with a starting lineup featuring Barkley, Kamara, Elliott, Conner or Cohen, Adams, Thielen or Hopkins and Kittle.

Regardless of how it plays out, I’ll say this for certain: I’m hooked. This is my favorite format from now on, and I may need to start a new league next year just to be the Vampire again. The best part is, it’s not just me who loves it. As I explained in my first Vampire blog, I started three of these leagues. Both of the other Vampires are 2-6 but have repeatedly told me it’s their favorite team and the one they focus the majority of their attention on. One has even told me he has to start another league next year just to be the Vampire again. In that particular league, I’m 5-3 and just shy of first in points, and I’m completely terrified of playing the Vampire (Blade) in Week 11. He’s managed to claim Adams and Kareem Hunt as victims and stole Marlon Mack off waivers to combine with James Conner for a really good core. If he gets another win in the next two weeks before facing me, I’ll be in serious danger of losing Patrick Mahomes or Kamara.

So this Sunday I’ll be raising a glass to the reign of Count Chocula continuing while other Vampires choke on cloves of garlic and get wooden steaks in the heart. To the Vampires!

If you want to learn more about a Vampire league or just want thoughts on roster management, follow me and tweet at me @Hoover_L_A.