Now that’s more like it! Spurred on by the Packers revitalized offense and the return of all-everything running back Jamaal Charles, my teams posted a much more respectable 7-5 record in Week 4 to climb ever close to the .500 mark, settling in at a pedestrian 23-24-1.
As compared to previous years it is a bit below my (lofty) Week 4 standards:
2013: 8-4 (30-18, .625)
2012: 5-7 (27-21, .563)
2011: 7-5 (28-20, .583)
My only excuse—defense—is that I have been even more consumed with fantasy baseball than in years past. With all eight of my teams—yes you did the math correctly: at one point I was helming 19 different entities in the month of September!—in contention until late in the season, my first focus was definitely on my one true love.
But having just finished off an über-sucessful campaign (no titles for the first time since 2010 but I did finish second in four leagues and third in another; check back here for a baseball version of my postmortem series in the very near future), my full attention now lands on my 11 football teams.
That means more rigorous analysis on who to start, bench, pick up, waive, and—my favorite part of this beautiful rigmarole—making trades! To wit: in the last week I’ve pulled off three substantial deals:
The first trade (uniting Keenan Allen with my second starting quarterback, Philip Rivers) in a 1.5 PPR league proved immediate dividends: Allen scored 30.50 points (10 catches on 12 targets for 135 yards), nearly double his 15.65 projection.
Desperately in need of some pass-catching running backs in my two points-for-every-reception league, Shane Vereen was the perfect acquisition, especially at price (Mike Evans) much less than I thought I would need to pay.
Ditto for my PPR league, where I have been trying to land PPR-dynamo Darren Sproles for three weeks now. I’m anxious to see how the talented but enigmatic Dwayne Bowe’s season plays out.
Here are how my squads fared in Week 4:
Green Bay Gamblers (1-3) Loss: 133.95-83.97
Sterling Sharpe (1-3) Loss: 116.25-108.26
Brc (2-2) Win: 151-143
Snuffleupagus (2-1-1) Loss: 171-130
TR’s Peepers (2-2) Win: 171.68-138.48
Pangaea (2-6) Win/Loss: 135-133, 147-135
Valley Forge (2-2) Loss: 92.8-80.5
GBG (3-1) Win: 97-65
Fuzzy Dunlop (2-2) Win: 171-141
The Taco Stand (2-2) Win: 132.22-87.26
Unironic Witty Name (4-0) Win: 213.42-158.40
Week 4 record: 7-5. Overall: 23-24-1 (.490)
Still Unbeaten: Unironic Witty Name
Not surprisingly given the turn-around in win-loss percentage, I tallied the second most points of the season this week:
Week 4: 1,609.1
Week 3: 1,181.3
Week 2: 1,391.1
Week 1: 1,677.6
And now for some hardware:
Player(s) of the Week:
Goat of the Week: The New England Patriots defense netted Valley Forge -4 points in a 92.8-80.5 defeat.
Team(s) of the Week: Have to split the honors this week as two squads came up with huge wins. Unironic Witty Name stayed undefeated by besting a fellow team without a loss, Rawkfist, 213.42-158.40. A 27.84 dog and playing without Broncos Peyton Manning, Julius Thomas, and Wes Welker in addition to stud wideout AJ Green, UWN nonetheless came up with a huge win.
TR’s Peepers— paced by Rodgers, Nelson, Matt Asiata, and Steve Smith Sr.—outscored all other teams by 33.2 points to even their record at 2-2 and claim the overall lead in points scored with 440.96 after four weeks.
Pure Genius: Swapping out the Saints defense for the Dolphins. The 23 point differential (+17 compared to -6) was a key reason GBG picked up a much needed win in AFP All-Stars.
What was I thinking?!: Thankfully I have no regrets this week.
Pickup of the Week: Denver Broncos defense (five teams) and Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (three).
Drop of the Week: Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back Bobby Rainey (four).
Lambeau Field update: For the first time in 12 seasons, I have started 1-3 in Lambeau Field. Two previous occasions—in 2011 and 2007—I began seasons 1-2 but then won the Week 4 matchup. (I finished 7-7 in the former and 10-4 in the latter, both seasons losing in the quarterfinals, which has only happened one other time in league history.) Some solace is provided by the fact that in back-to-back weeks my opponents has scored 133 points (133.29 last week and 133.95 this), two of the three highest scores posted the last couple weeks.
And Then There Were Twenty-Eight
Stay alive and advance: that’s my mantra for the Survival Pool, now entering its 11th season. To pay tribute to the most drama-filled fantasy sport of them all—and by far the most popular of my gambits—I will provide a weekly update of this terrific enterprise. For those unfamiliar this is how it works: You pick one NFL team every week. If they win, you stay in. If they lose, you’re out. You cannot pick the same team twice.
We started with 66 entries—with six not paying the booty is $1,200 for a modest $20 pay-in—and 17 teams were eliminated in Week 1, 11 in Week 2, and one in Week 3. Week 4’s selections looked like this:
Most Popular (Successful) Choice: San Diego (23)
Most Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Pittsburgh (9)
Least Popular (Successful) Choice: San Francisco (1)
Least Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Washington (1)
Four others correctly chose Indianapolis to defeat the Tennessee Titans.
For the fourth straight week one person forgot to choose so only 28 remain eligible for the booty.
Follow my quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.