Has it been five weeks since the last recap? As DeSean Jackson would say, “whoopsy daisy.”
The regular season is over and the playoffs are upon us. The lucky participants are Nathan Y and Andrew as the 1 and 2 seeds (with a bye this week), and (3) Ben, (4) me, (5) Jason, and (6) Nathan L. The 3v6 will feature a pair of top QBs and RBs facing off (Cam vs. Ben and JStew vs. ADP), while Nathan’s ballcatchers try to withstand the onslaught of DeAndre, Julio, and the resurgent Douglas D. Baldwin, Jr. One of the x-factors will be Andy Dalton, who was seen walking “gingerly” after last week’s win.
In the 4v5 matchup, my trio of top wideouts will try to stare down Brady and Co. in a game featuring seven Broncos and Patriots. Ben and I both have the 5 point “home field advantage” based on seeding, which will happen in each game until the final championship tilt.
An approximation of the FFL home field advantage
A quick trip through the past few weeks: Week 9 saw DeAngelo Williams go buck wild and lead all scorers, carrying Andrew to a season high 191.3 points in a win over Nathan Y’s bunch. Six teams scored 140+ while a stunning five players topped out over 30 points that week (4 QBs and DeAngelo), although those numbers would be dwarfed a few weeks later. Week 10’s best matchup was also its worst — a shit sandwich built by Andrew and me, in which two normally potent teams combined for just 191 points total. I felt like a true Clevelander, as Josh McCown’s late scratch left me with a QB zero and a 1.3 point loss. Only the Browns can lose like that.
Moe suffered through Peyton’s absolute worst game in which he hobbled around and threw four bad picks and a -6.6. Week 11 marked the true rise of Thomas Rawls (37.5!) for Andrew, as well as Jason’s fifth straight victory. Week 12 saw Kevin hang a loss on Andrew’s dancing Bortleses with a strong performance from Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as a very narrow win for Nathan Y over Pat in Sammy Watkins’ strongest outing of the year. Tim reached his high water mark with four wins in five weeks and a 161.2, although it could not overcome the Week 6 and 7 losses by a combined total of 0.7 POINTS. Week 13 saw an outpouring of scoring from Nathan Y who bested Jason in a playoff seeding battle (breaking Jason’s six game win streak), with all four other playoff teams also getting Ws. This time, SEVEN players topped 30 points (six QBs and Allen Robinson), making some of the quarterbacks’ season totals more inflated than Farrah Abraham.
The big news of the mid-week has been the Saints shutting down their workhorse Mark Ingram for the season. Nathan Y will be hoping that Russell Wilson continues his rampage down the stretch to make up for Ingram’s lost production. It makes one wonder whether Nathan’s team (Ingram Toe Mail) now needs a name change. Something tough and predatory. Charc Week? Mako Mariota? Ted Dorsal Finn, Jr.?
Finally, in a stunning turn of events, the Sturtevants paid their FFL dues! <<cue fireworks blasting in the background as a bugle plays the Star Wars victory celebration song>> This means the $5 weekly leader funds have been released and are being PayPal’d to the appropriate persons. Amazingly, 8 out of 10 people were weekly leaders this year: Andrew led the way with three weeks, Nathan Y, Ben and I all led two weeks, and Tim, Jason, Moe, and Pat all led once. Parity.
NFL parity: even WITH it, some teams just suck
Enjoy tonight’s surprisingly excellent Vikes/Cards matchup, and stay tuned as we march onward toward Week 16’s championship bout. Maybe by then I will have stopped laughing at Antonio Brown’s TD celebration (not likely).
We’re halfway through the 2015 FFL season (including playoffs) and the personnel moves loom larger than ever. Management of auction funds and free agent strategy can easily win someone the league (we’ve seen it before), and mismanagement can knock you down and keep you out. After all, you never know when the next dynamo is lurking around the corner. The same cannot exactly be said for the real NFL, where even the noteworthy mid-season trades often end with a whimper and are rarely impactful. For instance, the Vernon Davis to the Broncos trade yesterday could result in Denver getting a bona fide red zone replacement for Julius Thomas, or it could mean very little at all. It is probably meaningful that Michael Crabtree has done well on the Raiders this year after leaving the San Francisco hellhole, so time will tell. Interestingly, the Niners have now given the AFC West both Crabs and VD this year — if I were the Chiefs, I’d be careful to not contract Colin cancer before today’s trade deadline ends.
The Schneider roller coaster continues at full speed. In Week 7, Tim landed in a tie with Andrew (both with solid scores in the high 140s) only to be defeated after a post-game ESPN stat correction of 0.5 points. Andrew deserved the win, obviously, but the way it went down was more than a little gutpunchy. Finally, in Week 8, Tim got off the Schneid (most satisfying pun of 2015) with a rainy Monday night win over Moe. Does anyone really doubt that he’ll be 7-7 come playoff time? Get the man some Tums!
Ben wins the award for comeback player of the week, after being eviscerated by Gurley-led Nathan Y (161.2 to 84.1) in Week 7 and following it up with a season record of 182.9 in Week 8. Andrew couldn’t do much about Hurricane Jenkins this week — Ben nearly had 10 out of 12 players in double figures (with 6 of them scoring over 15) with the resurgent Birthmark Brees leading the way with a crisp 44.3. Meanwhile, Andrew will rely on his Oakland and Jacksonville stalwarts that will be returning to the lineup in the wake of poor Le’Veon Bell’s injury, (which marks the second elite RB to go down with a season ending knee injury in the first half of the season).
After an excruciatingly narrow (0.6 point) loss to Jason in Week 7, Kevin’s squad was overrun by the bye week blues, with 6 players afflicted. He apparently chose to pull a Belichick and purposely take a safety in order to maintain an optimal roster going forward, and so he chose to let his bye-gones be bye-gones. Unfortunately, his remaining starters forgot to show up to make it respectable. Amazingly, the normally productive Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.Y. Hilton, ‘Tavy Bryant, Donte Moncrief, Jordan Cameron, and Jets D/ST managed to combine for NINE POINTS TOTAL. Things are looking up in the future, though, because in Week 9 Kevin only has a single player on bye and, most importantly, he is matched up with Tim.
Pat slipped into a losing streak with a tough Week 7 (loss to me) and an injury-riddled Week 8 (loss to Jason). Jason managed 60+ from his QBs and got Demaryius Thomas back on track, coming out with a nice win despite byes at four different positions. My team topped out at 170.2 in Week 8 over Nathan Y, with nearly 70 points coming from my top three wideouts, plus the usual Rivers-Barnidge-Broncos D/ST contributions. Gurley continued his rampage for Nathan Y with another 20+ effort, bringing him to 12th among all RBs after only four starts. Nathan L rode Danny Woodhead for a Week 7 win over Moe and her Cardinals, and then was the beneficiary of Kevin’s Week 8 slumber, during which he metaphorically shaved funny shapes into Kevin’s hair while he snored.
Six playoff slots. All ten teams still very much in it. Let the madness begin.
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The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, Canada has designated a new Prime Minister (not from the Rhinoceros Party), and yet one thing remains the same: the fantasy football gods hate Tim. After losing his first three match-ups to opponents who posted robust scores (including two close losses), Weeks 4-6 didn’t get any better. First, his team failed to show up against me in Week 4, with Lamar Miller and Greg Olsen combining for 6.4 points and the Texans D/ST posting a malodorous -3.4. The next week, Eli and Thomas Rawls showed up in a big way, but once again, the rest of the team didn’t — an astounding four players scored between 0.3 and 0.8 points, which included inexplicable dips in production from otherwise steady contributors. Plus, Ben rode Andy Dalton and a diversified attack to 140+ points that week. In Week 6, Tim went up against Nathan Y’s stable of racially ambiguous quarterbacks and got within 8.8 points heading into the Monday night NYG/PHI tilt with Eli still to play. Naturally, Eli threw two picks which neutralized his only TD, and ended with 8.6 points, sending Tim to 0-6. Once again, the play of several of Tim’s key skill position players smelled worse than asparagus pee, and his team is starting to feel cursed by getting into various interesting situations that all turn to shit. He’s basically a reverse Forrest Gump.
A peek at the standings shows that there are, indeed, some strange occurrences in fantasyland this year. Take Jason for instance — he is fourth in points scored (practically tied with Ben for third) with nearly 200 more points scored than tenth place, yet he has faced opponents who have brought their A-game time after time. His opponents have put up 849 points, which is by far the most, and which is more than 225 points more than Nathan Y’s opponents have scored. Not so shockingly, Jason is 2-4 while Nathan is pounding his chest at 5-1. At the moment, the head-to-head format is Nathan’s friend and Jason’s enemy, but these things can be fleeting — it’s only Week 6, after all, and it’s not even late enough in the year for costumes like slutty Luigi and slutty Bill Belichick to emerge in cities across America.
In Week 4, Ben once again used a balanced attack to top Nathan L who shamefully left an RB slot open (not that it would have mattered), and Moe rode the juggernaut Devonta Freeman to a win in the Nuptials Bowl over Kevin. Nathan Y squeeeaked out a win over Jason on the shoulders of Todd Gurley, who is starting to emerge as a real value. Aaron Rodgers and Co. farted their way to a disappointing week for Pat, with Rashad Jennings and Telly Bennett being the only players to really show up. They were demolished by Andrew’s consistent RB-based attack, with some help from Vincent Jackson and… Blake Bortles? It’s worth noting that after Week 6, Bortles now stands as the NUMBER FIVE QB in all of fantasy, with 50+ points and 7 TDs in his last two games. Just think — there are tinfoil weirdos spending their lives thinking about things like 9/11 and Obama’s birth certificate when the strongest evidence of a government conspiracy is right there in Jacksonville’s box scores.
Week 5 saw me bust out on the heels of C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, Calvin Johnson, and A.J. Green, my prize draft picks. Oh wait, no — C.J. continued to languish, Jamaal blew out his knee, and Calvin and A.J. threw up in each others’ mouths again. Somehow, it was a combination of Phil Rivers, Allen Hurns, Gary “Gronk Jr.” Barnidge, and my beloved Denver D (7th overall player in fantasy!) that propelled me past Kevin’s bye-soaked Swiss cheese lineup. Pat got back on track with a strong win over Moe (starring a resurgent Tony Gates and his 100th/101st TDs), while L narrowly beat Y in the NathanBowl (with the ageless Anquan Boldin getting the better of Matt Forte). Before addressing the raucous Andrew/Jason game, it’s worth tossing in a quick postscript to Week 3’s magical match-up between Jason and Ben, which lived up to all the pre-Monday night expectations and then some. Ben ended up taking home the W by the huge margin of 0.1 points by the score of 174.3 to 174.2, which remain the two highest scores in the league this year. Jason’s Week 5 tilt wasn’t much different, although he managed to get on the right side of the coin this time. Specifically, he earned a 169 to 166.2 win on the shoulders of my old nemesis Doug Martin and Justin Forsett. Andrew’s efforts couldn’t quite get there despite 47.3 points from the Bortles-Robinson Jaguar tandem (I just can’t get over this).
Other than Tim/Nathan’s game of Eli chicken, Week 6 saw another big game from DeAndre Hopkins wasted for Ben against my duet of Ivory and ivory (Chris Ivory and Phil Rivers, the whitest person in America since Biff Tannen). Jason and his Blount object fell pray to Moe and another huge game from Devonta (and Brian Hoyer?), while Andrew administered a solid beatdown on Nathan L which featured a sprightly looking Arian Foster (great, Andrew has another good RB…). The other big result of the week was Pat losing in a huge breakout by Kevin’s team which finally got off the schneid. Kevin rode the stellar return to action by ‘Tavy Bryant (26.5!) as well as Ryan Titzpatrick’s best game of the season, but got lots of help from a variety of players which suggests his run might have some staying power.
Till next time!
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Yes, Week 3 is already almost over, and this is the first recap. I was operating under the assumption that FFL recaps are like a fine wine — aging and delaying leads to a big payoff, and the anticipation is half the point.1 However, I’ve come to my senses, and I now realize that no one has the patience for that crap anyway.
Welcome back! The 2015 Casco Bay FFL season is underway. We’ve had some wildly variable results so far, and many, many high scores. In fact, everyone topped triple digits in Week 1. My unreliable memory tells me that has never happened before.2 Each week has seen one more sub-100 score than the previous week (unless Aaron Rodgers goes off tonight for Pat), and we’ve had a ton of 130+ tallies. Despite this, our lone undefeated squad after three weeks (Nathan Y) has gotten there by being unnaturally consistent — three straight weeks of scoring in the 121-128 range. That’s more predictable than an Andy Dalton playoff loss. Obviously, consistency is key — the 120s might lose you a game against a hot opponent on the wrong week, but you’ll do just fine if you’re there every weekend.
Week 1 saw a stunning closely-grouped cluster of scores (SEVEN between 122.7 and 138.1), with the Nathans, Andrew, Pat, and Ben Seferian-Jenkins all racking up solid wins. The suburban-white-kid-sounding tight ends on Cincinnati and Kansas City each put up 22+ for Andrew and Moe, Julio Jones began his September long rampage for Ben, and Carlos Hyde scored more (30.2) than he will score for the rest of his career combined. My Terrible Trio of Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, and Odell Beckham Jr. managed to be exactly that (terrible, that is), with a combined score of idontwanttotalkaboutit. Kevin got his only real use out of high draft picks Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray before they both went down with injuries in Week 2, joining Kelvin Benjamin (IR) and ‘Tavy Bryant (SSPD) in his growing infirmary/bench, alongside Mike Evans and his bum hammy. Being “bitten by the injury bug” is an oft-used metaphor in the NFL. Here is some still footage of the injury bug that Kevin has encountered:
Week 2 saw a much wider spread of scores. Moe bested Andrew in a battle of the AFC receivers, with Antonio Brown earning his paycheck with a 27.5. Kevin’s Latavius Murray showed promising signs but was overcome by Nathan Y’s DeAngelo Williams making the most of his time as an RB1. Jason won a tight one over Tim, with Tom Brady showing that he can only top Eli Manning in make-believe battles (sorry, I had to). In this matchup, Donte Moncrief had one of the few strong outings for an Indy passcatcher this season. Pat overcame Big Ben Roethlisjenkins with an attack featuring a rejuvenated Larry Fitzgerald. I took down Nathan L with a more in-character 45 from the big three WRs, and a second of three huge weeks from the ballhawking Broncos defense/special teams (19-23-18). Because Peyton threw pick-sixes in his first two games, the Broncos D/ST could have scored even more if the brilliant minds at ESPN could figure out a simple formula for extracting those points from counting against the defense which had nothing to do with the touchdowns.
Week 3 is still underway, with a massive KC/Green Bay tilt tonight at 8:30pm. Andrew already has compiled a beefy score from three altogether unexpected sources: Tyrod Taylor (24.2), Joseph “Rockin'” Randle (28.5) and the wild Cardinals D/ST (31.5), while Chris Johnson (himself an unexpected boon) led Nathan Y to a solid win over Pat (assuming Rodgers doesn’t go for 51+). The other three matchups are doozys. Moe and I are locked in a heated KC civil war, with Jamaal Charles and Some Kicker I’ve Never Heard Of going against Alex Smith’s favorite target in Kelce. Tim and Nathan L are projected to finish less than five points apart, with Mason Crosby hoping to hold off Randall Cobb (after Greg Olsen, Keenen Allen, and Cam Newton exploded for their respective owners). The marquee matchup of the week, or maybe of the millennium, is Ben versus Jason. The battle of 1-1 teams currently stands knotted at 154.4 to 154.1, with two wideouts (James Jones and Jeremy Maclin) going tete-a-tete. Tim can’t help but be disappointed in Jason’s LeGarrette Blount, who rumbled for three TDs in the Pats’ cakewalk against the Jags. He may look calm, but in his mind, he has already killed Josh McDaniels three times for not using the third string back during garbage time. Anyway, tonight’s action will be high scorin’ (Ben and Jason), rip roarin’ (Chiefs and Packers), clock gorin’ (Andy Reid), and Cold Warrin’ (oh wait, Putin was last night).
1: Not really though. I have just been lazy.
2: Not only is my short-term memory bad, but so is my short-term memory.