It's been a few weeks since I provided an update on how my Fantasy Football season is going. The first month of football is exciting but after a few weeks the excitement dwindles a little bit. Especially if your teams aren't doing very well.
I do enjoy watching football, I particularly enjoy the fact that it gives me something to talk about and an excuse to socialize when I can otherwise be a shy person. I get really in to it for the first month or so but after that I start to lose a little bit of interest. Keeping up with all of the games and the weekly roster adjustments can get tiring. I'm a man of varied interests, it can be difficult for me to stick to just one hobby. Variety is the spice of life! That being said, I am a greedy greedy bastard and in the words of a daft moron played by Dak Shepherd in the movie Idiocracy... "I like money."
I don't pay more than I can afford to lose but I pay enough to make the season interesting to follow. I've won a few trophies and have also had some terrible teams. Overall, things tend to break-even, if not a few percentage points above even. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. There are much better investments out there that provide a better return. This is just a hobby that makes a sport that I would otherwise never follow much more interesting to watch.
I joined three paid leagues this season. Jamaican Bobsled was my "main team" because they were part of a league that costs $50 to join, so they were my primary focus when it came to roster adjustments. Dick Fiddler and Thrillho are both in $20 leagues. What does this mean? Well, the league entry fees were $50, $20, and $20, respectfully. Ten teams join the league. A third place finish earns your entry fee back. A second place finish doubles your money. A first place finish wins you five times your money. So a first place win in a $20 league will win $100. First place in a $50 league wins $250. If I were to get first place in all three leagues, I would win $450 off of a $90 "investment." But let's be real, that ain't happening in anyone's universe. I have never won two first place championships within the same season, but I have had multiple teams finish in the top three a few times.
The top four teams at the end of 15 weeks make the playoffs. So the first goal is trying to finish in the top four of your ten person league. The second goal is winning your first playoff game in Week 16. Winning your first playoff game moves you to the championship game and guarantees that you will earn more money than you put in, by finishing either first or second. So week 16 tends to be highly important in terms of planning ahead, but that's only if your team has earned a playoff spot to begin with.
I currently have one team, Thrillho, sitting in first place with a clenched playoff berth. Whether I enter the playoffs as the #1 seed is yet to be determined, but I have guaranteed myself an entry in the playoffs. My roster is fairly deep, but let's just say Deebo Samuel and Joe Mixon have been serving me well.
Dick Fiddler fell out of playoff positioning a few weeks ago and with a record of 5-6 my playoff opportunities should be slim to none. However, this league has a log-jam of teams with similar records. So despite my 6 losses and a current ranking of 8th place out of 10 teams, a strong finish to the season could shake things up quite a bit. Edit: Dick Fiddler won their match-up in Week 12 and climbed to 5th place with a record of 6-6. The 2-7 ranked teams are all tied with the same record, leaving a wide open playoff race to fill the final three slots. A strong finish could get Dick Fiddler in the playoffs but we have a very tough match-up in Week 13, going against the undefeated first place team of that league.
My main team, Jamaican Bobsled, has been relegated to the role of the spoiler. Meaning, our 3-8 record gives us no hope for making playoffs. My $50 entry fee will belong to someone else at the end of the season. However, I can still spoil the playoff dreams of some other teams before the season ends. This week, I am taking on the second place team and I am hoping to knock him down a peg or two. Edit: I did not take him down a peg or two, in fact he is now in first place after defeating me. That's not going to stop me from trying to knock down the new #2 ranked team which I am facing this week. Our season may be lost already but we will continue to compete to the end of the season and walk away with our heads held high.
What Went Wrong?
Injuries - this has been my worst season of dealing with injuries. Tennesee's star running back Derrick Henry was my #1 draft pick for two of my three teams. When he went down with an injury in week 8, my playoff hopes went down with him. Jamaican Bobsled was already dealing with the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who returned from injury recently but not before missing close to half the season. I picked up Dawson Knox to replace Gronk and he did spectacularly for a few games before hurting his finger, leaving me to pick up a third TE in Hunter Henry. Henry has done well, so let's just say that TEs have not been my heel this season because they have been the only ones showing up on a consistent basis. My running back depth just wasn't deep enough to save me from the loss of my bell-cow. I had drafted Josh Jacobs as my RB2, and he missed a few games with injury issues of his own. A few of my losses this season were very close games.
Thrillho, on the other hand, had Joe Mixon to help pick up the slack
left by the Derrick Henry injury. The depth of my roster in this league
was able to prevent me from dropping in the standings.
Dick Fiddler has had an interesting turn of events. I was riding Arizona's QB Kyler
Murray who was having a great season until a few weeks ago when he went
down with an ankle injury. I had been riding a dynamic duo of Kyler
Murray with one of his primary receivers in Christian Kirk. Fantasy
football veterans know that picking a quarterback and one of his main
receivers on the same team can be a huge boost because your team scores
double the touchdown points if those two players connect for a single touchdown
in the real life game. Both the receiver and the quarterback receive credit for a touchdown. Well, this strategy backfired when Kyler got
hurt. But that was ok, because I had Matt Stafford as my backup QB and was able to pair him with his LA Rams teammate Robert Woods, keeping a decent one-two punch combo intact. That was until Robert Woods went down with an injury. Sheesh.
Dick Fiddler gained a second wind from the pickup of QB Cam Newton off of waivers. Cam missed the first 9 games of the season as he recovered from... well, I don't know. I could take five minutes to look it up but it doesn't matter. All that matters is that he was unavailable for the first 9 games of the season before joining or rejoining the Carolina Panthers in week 10. Which meant that he hadn't been picked up by any other teams in my fantasy league at that point. I picked him up prior to week 10 in anticipation of my week 11 match-up where Matt Stafford would be unavailable because his team is on a bye week.
This turned out to be a good move because Cam put up good numbers in Week 11. The added bonus was that I already had Carolina WR DJ Moore on my roster, so the pickup of QB Cam Newton gives me another dynamic one-two punch combination of QB and WR both from the same team. Both players connected for a touchdown in Week 11. Week 12 wasn't as fruitfull for the two but that was ok because I got my boy Stafford back from his bye week.
Playoffs will be a battle to make for Dick Fiddler, but it will be a fun battle that keeps watching football interesting for me this season.
Team Records after 12 Weeks
Jamaican Bobsled (3-9) 9th Place, no chance at playoffs
Dick Fiddler (6-6) 5th Place, playoffs still possible
Thrillho (11-1) 1st Place, clinched playoff berth
Overall Record: 20 wins 16 losses (56%)