Commentary

League founder Cantrell halfway to title

Updated: January 2, 2011, 5:48 PM ET
By Jim Wilkie | ESPN.com

Jerry Cantrell's JC Aroma is closer to the crown after he jumped out to a 133-90 lead over Meat Loaf's Hell In A Hand Basket after one half of the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League championship game.

Despite the 43-point lead, Cantrell expressed a little concern on the league's message board that he won't be as fortunate when the unpredictable roster decisions of the NFL's Week 17 make their impact.

Re: Mute Loaf here !!
Posted: Dec 26, 3:37 p.m.
Scott Ian
Fear And Loathing

Good luck guys.
I'm playing for third. Not bad, all things considered. Better than the rest anyway!

Re: Mute Loaf here !!
Posted: Dec 26, 8:09 p.m.
Michael Aday
Hell In A Hand Basket

Jerry,
There is always that 46-point Week 17 you can look forward to!!
Mute

Re: Mute Loaf here !!
Posted: Dec 27, 6:52 a.m.
Jerry Cantrell
JC Aroma Of Tacoma

Yeah, that's probably what will happen. I think I'm going to get hit with more guys sitting than you in 17. I hope this week's enough to carry me.
Good luck, man.
JC

Meat Loaf has made a few moves in an attempt to make up the 43-point gap on Cantrell. The pickings are slim for quality free agents, of course.

Hell In A Hand Basket got a decent 13 points from Colts tight end Jacob Tamme last week. But it could have used Kellen Winslow who was dropped prior to Week 16, when the Buccaneers tight end racked up 21 fantasy points.

Meat Loaf picked Winslow on Thursday but dropped him Friday, and is sticking with Tamme, whose Colts face the Titans in Week 17.

Jacksonville's Mercedes Lewis, the fourth-ranked fantasy tight end, could help Meat Loaf, but Cantrell has him strategically entrenched on his bench.

"Mercedes Lewis has been riding my bench pretty much the whole season since I picked him up off the waiver wire in like the third or fourth week," Cantrell said in a phone interview last week. "And I've been wanting to get rid of him to pick up somebody else useful to me because [Cowboys tight end Jason] Witten's doing so well. I don't really want to play him over Witten, Witten's like the No. 1, if not close to the [top], tight end in the league. But I don't want to leave him out there for anybody else."

Although Cantrell acknowledged he makes these "defensive" personnel moves in his quest to win the championship, he said he almost let Lewis get away.

"His tight ends are OK, so [Meat Loaf] could certainly use Mercedes. And I tried to do a deal with him early in the season to give him a better tight end to get a running back [in return], but he declined," said Cantrell, who is playing for the Autism Speaks charity.

Cantrell's journey to the championship game seemed to be helped by the end of Alice In Chains' tour in October, giving him more time to devote to his only fantasy team this season.

"Maybe. Maybe I've been able to really zone in," Cantrell said. "The last few months I've been off, which is kind of unusual for me. I can't remember a football season where I've been around more in the last five or six years. I've been home, so it's nice. And being such a big fan of football it's been great to be able to just kinda lay around and watch the games and stuff."

Cantrell also had to fight off pneumonia on the last leg of the tour.

"I was really ill from Seattle all the way to Vegas, it was about six shows I think in about a week and a half," Cantrell said. "I started to get ill in Seattle, we were shooting a 3D movie in our hometown in the arena and of course I get really sick and then Sean [Kinney, AIC's drummer] got sick like the next day. And both of us were seriously dragging ass down that last stretch of the tour."

Meat Loaf had his hands full shooting the upcoming season of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" and he just finished a British concert tour. He also had to manage a few more fantasy football teams than Cantrell.

"Only had 20 this year, 16 in playoffs, finals in 11," Meat Loaf, whose charity is The Painted Turtle, wrote in an e-mail.

Participants in the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League will each put one valuable item up for auction after the season. The league champion will get to designate which charity receives the proceeds of the auction.

Here is a recap of the first half of the final-round playoff games and a look ahead to this week's championship and consolation round matchups: