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Meat Loaf and Jerry Cantrell are halfway to reaching the championship in the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League.
But with the second half of the first round still to be completed, their opponents won't allow an easy path to the finals. Cantrell's JC Aroma Of Tacoma took a 112-102 lead over Scott Ian's Fear And Loathing, and Meat Loaf's Hell In A Hand Basket jumped out to a 94-75 lead over Kenny Wayne Shepherd's Team Re-Domination last week in the first half.
An indication of the seriousness of the four remaining playoff teams was the notable absence of any trash talk on the league message board.
Cantrell usually tries to get some talk started, but he's probably too busy trying to choose whether to play Falcons QB Matt Ryan or Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman this week. Currently he's going with Freeman, who is facing the Lions. But Ryan, who is coming off a disappointing 11 fantasy points, is going up against the weak Seahawks.
Ian has the No. 1 fantasy quarterback, but Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion last week and picked up just one point against the Lions. So Fear And Loathing has penciled in Titans quarterback Kerry Collins as his starter after picking him up off waivers on Wednesday.
Meat Loaf and Shepherd, meanwhile, have no dilemmas at quarterback with Baltimore's Joe Flacco and Houston's Matt Schaub, respectively and no better options at the position.
Participants in the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League will each put one valuable item up for auction by the end of the season. The league champion will get to designate which charity receives the proceeds of the auction.
Weekly updates on the Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League, trash talk and interviews with the owners are being published in ESPN.com's The Life and Music sections throughout the season. Members of the league also have dropped by for occasional chats on SportsNation.
Here is a recap of the first half of the first-round playoff games and a look ahead to the second half of the first-round matchups: