A game of inches. It’s a well-worn sports cliché, certainly, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. (The ongoing Major League Baseball playoffs are a perfect example.) This maxim also applies to the world of fantasy football. Case in point this play from Week 5: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap3000000406063/De-Anthony-Thomas-takes-short-pass-17-yards-for-a-touchdown.
Originally it was deemed a forward pass and my opponent, who had Alex Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, received six points for the touchdown. Upon further review, however, Those Who Decide Such Things determined that the ball was thrown backward; ergo it was actually a running play (and no touchdown pass). Most importantly it meant that a 176-172 defeat was now a 172-170 victory! Suddenly a lackluster 2-3 record was a 3-2 mark buoyed by a three game winning streak. And a horrendous (and historically poor) 4-8 week was now a subpar—but far from embarrassing—5-7 record.
For those who prefer things presented more visually:
|Fuzzy Dunlop||176-172||2-3||Lost 1||Ninth||786|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||787||Eighth||-1||Anyone but Calvin Johnson.|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||172-170||3-2||Won 3||Fifth||786|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||781||Eighth||+3||Love the Tuesday stat corrections!|
Fuzzy Dunlop went from eight to fifth place, and changed their scoring differential from -1 to +3.
Those valuable inches are undoubtedly a harbinger of excellent things to come. Consider: Despite horrendous luck all season long, after Week 5 I still would have made the playoffs in half my leagues.
Five years earlier, a similar fate befell then-Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and my good friend Nate Meier, except this time—making it exponentially more agonizing—it happened in the first round of the fantasy football playoffs: http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2009122002/2009/REG15/cardinals@lions#menu=gameinfo%7CcontentId%3A09000d5d8151d37f&tab=videos.
The final result:
Matt Allord—the same guy that lost a matchup on Monday night thanks to three Trent Green kneeldowns—hasn’t stop smiling since!
Here are how my teams fared in Week 6:
|Green Bay Gamblers||127.98-113.33||1-5||Lost 5||Eleventh||640.12|
|Sterling Sharpe||101.92-90.92||3-3||Won 2||Sixth||613.26|
|TR’s Peepers||132.66-106.34||3-3||Won 1||Fifth||681.16|
|Pangaea||127-108, 108-106||3-9||Won 1||Eleventh||1,650|
|Valley Forge||114.9-73.2||2-4||Lost 4||Tenth (Last)||500.6|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||209-187||3-2||Won 3||Third||995|
|The Taco Stand||166.52-102.30||2-4||Lost 2||Twelfth||698.78|
|Unironic Witty Name||202.68-161.30||6-0||Won 6||First||1,249.16|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||730.46||Fifth||-6||Cutler over Ryan (Redux).|
|Snuffleupagus||819||Third (Tied)||-1||No chance.|
|TR’s Peepers||674.14||First||-4||Go Pack Go!|
|Pangaea||1698||Eighth||-3||Starting to come together!|
|Valley Forge||526.6||Last (10)||Even||Just desserts.|
|GBG||534||Ninth (Tie)||+2||Romo over Ryan gives me the win.|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||968||Fourth||+1||Four in a row!|
|The Taco Stand||766.18||Last (12)||Even||Stafford underachieving. Again.|
|Unironic Witty Name||1050.38||Second||+1||So far so good!|
Week 6 record: 6-6. Overall: 34-37-1 (.479)
Still Unbeaten: Unironic Witty Name
Weekly point totals:
Week 6: 1,544.1
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
How this week compares to previous Week 6 efforts over the last three years:
2014: 6-6 (34-37-1, .479)
2013: 8-4 (45-27, .625)
2012: 8-4 (41-31, .569)
2011: 8-4 (45-27, .625)
And now for this week’s awards:
Player of the Week: Aaron Rodgers. He not only marched the Packers down the field in dramatic fashion to steal a game amid the oppressing heat in Miami but he also led his fantasy squads to a 3-2 mark, all those wins coming in crucial leagues, especially the 108-106 victory for Pangaea. His stat line (all in the clutch): 264 passing yards, 34 on the ground, and three touchdowns.
Goat of the Week: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Yes his offensive line is awful but come on man! You’re killing me!
Team of the Week: After all the words I devoted to them, could it really be anyone other than Fuzzy Dunlop?
Pure Genius: Adding the Arizona defense (for Pittsburgh) to Sterling Sharpe’s squad in anticipation of their home matchup against the Washington (insert racist mascot name here). They scored nearly 10 points more than their projected total (17 compared to 7.23), providing me the exact margin of victory needed: 101.92-90.92.
What was I thinking?!: Most of my losses were blowouts but the one matchup that could have been affected by my decision making—a 114-110 defeat in AFP All-Stars—was not a move I would have made: Starting Tony Romo in Seattle over Matt Ryan at home in Chicago. The six point differential (20 for Romo to a measly 14 for Ryan) would have gotten me the win.
Pickup of the Week: A lot of diversity this week as I made 15 transactions but only acquired the same person twice—Green Bay Packers emerging wideout Davante Adams and Oakland Raiders speedster Andre Holmes—in more than one league. Other marquee adds included Carson Palmer, Joique Bell, and Brandin Cooks in a dynasty league.
Drop of the Week: Season-ending injuries again dominate this spot as I lost both Knowshon Moreno and Victor Cruz each in two leagues. With the Philadelphia Eagles going on their bye, I had to let rookie wideout Jordan Matthews go in another two leagues as well. As for cutting Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata twice? Well he finally confirmed what we already knew: he stinks!
Lambeau Field update: The Thursday night game between the Colts and Texans put me in a 71.98 hole after Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, and Arian Foster all had career games. Yet before Monday Night Football kicked off I had scrapped my way into a 11.35 point lead. Alas he still had Anquan Boldin, Zac Stacy, and the St. Louis kicker and defense to play. The former three did little but the former’s 17 points were enough to send me to my record fifth straight loss. Words don’t describe . . .
And Then There Were Fourteen
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, 11 in Week 4, and four in Week 5. Week 6’s selections looked like this:
Most Popular (Successful) Choice: Denver (7)
Most Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Seattle (6)
Least Popular (Successful) Choice: Baltimore, San Francisco, and Tennessee (1)
Least Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Cincinnati (4)
Four others, two each, chose Arizona and San Diego.
Note: Though the Bengals didn’t technically lose, they also didn’t win, hence the exit of four more from the pool.
With a surprising 10 people being eliminated, after six weeks only 14 people remain 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.