Decisions, decisions, decisions. With all the luck—both bad and good—that go hand-in-hand with fantasy football, often times it comes down to one decision that determines the fate of your team that week and, potentially, for the season as a whole. Take Pangaea for example. Each week I have made a single decision (this week if I start anyone but Arizona Cardinals wideout Michael Floyd [one catch for seven yards] or the Green Bay defense instead of Cincinnati I win at least one of the matchups) that has cost me victories. Plain and simple. In two other leagues this week I lost by a few points because I started Calvin Johnson who I knew was already hurt, but expected more than one catch before leaving the game for good after aggravating his ankle injury. It’s choices like that, every week, that determine how well your season will go.
Frustrated by a surprising 4-8 Week 5—I was favored to win in all eight Yahoo! leagues and a moderate underdog in the other formats—I’ve decided to revamp the formatting of this column a bit to give you, my reader, both a micro and macro look at how each team is doing.
Here are how my squads fared in Week 5 (the ‘Differential’ in the chart below is a quantification of how I should be doing based on my total points scored):
|Green Bay Gamblers||142.96-137.29||1-4||Lost 4||Tenth||526.79|
|Sterling Sharpe||104.96-96.60||2-3||Won 1||Eighth||511.34|
|TR’s Peepers||126.74-107.54||2-3||Loss 1||Seventh||548.50|
|Pangaea||149-102, 117-102||2-8||Lost 3||Eleventh||1108|
|Valley Forge||101.2-80.8||2-3||Lost 3||Ninth||427|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||176-172||2-3||Lost 1||Ninth||786|
|The Taco Stand||114.68-86.34||2-3||Lost 1||Tenth||596.08|
|Unironic Witty Name||212.24-186.36||5-0||Won 5||First||1,046.48|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||602.48||Fourth||-6||Cutler over Ryan.|
|TR’s Peepers||567.80||First||-6||Made all the right calls. Just came up short.|
|Valley Forge||411.8||Last (10)||+1||Lackluster choices by both teams.|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||787||Eighth||-1||Anyone but Calvin Johnson.|
|The Taco Stand||598.66||Last (12)||+2||Pierre Thomas for a gimpy Megatron.|
|Unironic Witty Name||889.08||First||Even||Perfectly played!|
Week 5 record: 4-8. Overall: 27-32-1 (.458)
Still Unbeaten: Unironic Witty Name
Based on point totals displayed in the above chart, I have a few teams that are where they should be, others that have some good fortune this season and too many who are inundated with horrible luck.
Feeling Good . . . (anything above +1): GBG. My team in my old work league, AFP All-Stars, is the only team of my 11 squads who has had more than its share of good luck this season.
They Are Who We Thought They Are (within one or even): Brc, Snuffleupagus, Pangaea, Valley Forge, Fuzzy Dunlop, and Unironic Witty Name. I’m quite okay with more than half of my squads getting what they deserve.
What Did We Do To Deserve This? (anything below -1): Green Bay Gamblers, TR’s Peepers, and The Taco Stand. The latter is not too far outside of the numerical realm but in two of my keeper leagues my point total vastly outpace my week-to-week success.
As for my point total it was the third highest of the season, belying my subpar record:
Week 5: 1,486.2
Week 4: 1,609.1
Week 3: 1,181.3
Week 2: 1,391.1
Week 1: 1,677.6
Historically I’m (not) enjoying my worst year yet:
2014: 4-8 (27-32-1, .458)
2013: 9-3 (37-23, .617)
2012: 6-6 (33-27, .550)
2011: 7-5 (37-23, .617)
And now for some hardware:
Player of the Week: Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. Looking like his old self, Foster rushed 23 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 15 yards. Honorable mention goes to New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski who tallied an absurd 21 points (five field goals and four points-after-touchdown) on Sunday night.
Goat(s) of the Week: Tie: Calvin Johnson and the Seattle defense. I forgave the former last week but can’t do it again as on all three teams his lack of production led to my demise. Ditto for the Seahawks defense. How they couldn’t muster a modest eight fantasy points (the amount I needed for the Green Bay Gamblers to pick up a much needed win) and nary a forced turnover against a Washington team who fumbled twice and threw four interceptions against the New York Giants is beyond depressing.
Team(s) of the Week: Very pleased with all of my old school—core four: Green Bay Gamblers, Sterling Sharpe, Brc, and Snuffleupagus—Yahoo! teams for dominating performances (though unfortunately only three of four possible wins).
Pure Genius: When you win only four of eight contests there is nothing much to gloat about.
What was I thinking?!: Everything to do with the supercontinent.
Pickup of the Week: The Denver Broncos again dominate this spot. After picking up their defense on five squads last week I nabbed their new starting running back, Ronnie Hillman, in seven leagues and place kicker Brandon McManus in six.
Drop of the Week: Very varied in my drops this week but through no fault of their own I had to let Green Bay Packers wideout Davante Adams and Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant go in two leagues each. Other drops included: quarterback Carson Palmer; running backs Khiry Robinson, Bobby Rainey, and Alfred Blue; tight end Zach Ertz; and kickers Cody Parkey, Phil Dawson, and Shayne Graham.
Lambeau Field update: This is getting absurd. Once again I scored the third highest points in the league and lost. Dubious marks—a 1-4 mark and four straight losses—continue to mar a once-promising season. It’s all just so . . . befuddling.
And Then There Were Twenty-Four
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, one in Week 3, and 11 in Week 4. Week 5’s selections looked like this:
Most Popular (Successful) Choice: New Orleans (13)
Most Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Detroit (3)
Least Popular (Successful) Choice: San Diego and Dallas (1)
Least Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Chicago (1)
Four others correctly chose Green Bay, three opted for Pittsburgh, and two selected the Seattle Seahawks.
With four people being eliminated, after five weeks we are down to 24 those eligible for the booty.
Follow my (increasingly arduous) quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.