Heading into Week 9 I had very low expectations. Most of my top players—including all of my Lions, Packers, and Bears (oh my!)—were on bye and even Buffalo (with their stud rookie wideout Sammy Watkins) didn’t have a game scheduled. So if I could pull out six wins I was going to be happy. And that is exactly what I did.
A team-by-team breakdown of the week that was:
|Green Bay Gamblers||100.67-79.64||3-6||Lost 1||Eighth||961.70|
|Sterling Sharpe||160.25-133.97||6-3||Won 5||Second||1,047.02|
|TR’s Peepers||118.76-79.88||4-5||Lost 1||Sixth||961.06|
|Pangaea||166-110, 139-110||6-12||Lost 2||Ninth||2,214|
|Valley Forge||107.5-98||3-6||Lost 1||Ninth||781.8|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||174-135||7-2||Won 7||First||1,591|
|The Taco Stand||182.16-137.06||4-5||Won 2||Ninth||1,145.02|
|Unironic Witty Name||175.06-136.24||8-1||Won 1||First||1,762.40|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||1,020.68||Fourth||-4||Too many studs on bye this week; uphill climb from the start.|
|Sterling Sharpe||937.95||First||-1||Back-to-back 160-plus point games!|
|Brc||1,351||Fourth||-2||No Packer wideouts or Bears running back equals non-competitive result.|
|Snuffleupagus||1,153||Sixth||+3||Big win sans A-Rodg and Jordy!|
|TR’s Peepers||989.98||Second||-4||Bound to be a tough week with all studs on byes.|
|Pangaea||2293||Eighth||-1||Not much more margin for error.|
|Valley Forge||845.9||Last (10)||+1||Must-wins from here on out!|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||1,299||First||Even||Seven straight!|
|The Taco Stand||1,192.84||Tenth||-1||Two in a row!|
|Unironic Witty Name||1,570.80||Third||+2||Back on track!|
Week 9 record: 6-6. Overall: 57-50-1 (.532)
My point total was, predictably, middling:
Week 9: 1,507.0
Week 8: 1,771.5
Week 7: 1,608.5
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
Here is how I am faring historically (in what traditionally is a tough week for me):
2014: 6-6 (57-50-1, .532)
2013: 4-8 (66-42, .611)
2012: 8-4 (63-45, .583)
2011: 6-5-1 (67-40-1, .625)
And now for some hardware:
Player of the Week: Miami Dolphins defense (more about them below). Their 22 points were instrumental in a huge 105-103 victory for GBG.
Goat of the Week: Tough sledding this week for all of my squads so I’ll happily take six wins. Everyone gave it their best.
Team of the Week: Sterling Sharpe just keeps on humming. Even without their top signal caller, Aaron Rodgers, they put up over 160 points for the second consecutive week. Contributions up-and-down their lineup were paramount—Reggie Wayne, Denard Robinson, Emmanuel Sanders, Ronnie Hillman, Arian Foster, Jimmy Graham, and Shane Vereen all had double digit points, with Hillman’s 21 the standard bearer—while Ben Roethlisberger’s 45.25 points led the team.
Pure Genius: Picking up Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans who caught seven balls for 124 yards and two touchdowns—good for 34.40 fantasy points—that were instrumental to a gigantic 182.16-137.06 win that kept The Taco Stand’s playoff hopes alive.
What was I thinking?!: Dropping Miami’s defense for Baltimore’s was definitely not a smart short-term decision. The Ravens D did get me seven points but the Dolphins, in their surprising shutout of San Diego, would have garnered me a ridiculous 32. Thankfully it didn’t cost me the win (and I like the Ravens more going forward) but one thing it does bring back into stark relief is that it is never wise to start your defense against your quarterback. It significantly limits your team’s scoring upside and, in this case, the only way I got positive points from my D/ST was thanks to a kickoff return for a touchdown by the Ravens Jacoby Jones. Even if Roethlisberger doesn’t throw for six touchdowns, it’s still not a wise fantasy move.
Pickup(s) of the Week: I always love the week after the Packers have their bye because their placekicker is usually available to be acquired for the stretch run. Thankfully that was again the case this season as I added Mason Crosby to four of my squads. Other additions on multiple teams included Glee-hottie Maya Rivera’s brother (three), new Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez (two), and—as much as it sickens me on many levels—I picked Adrian Peterson off of waivers on two different squads.
Drop(s) of the Week: With most major bye weeks now passed, it was time to move on from NFC East quarterbacks Eli Manning (three) and Robert Griffin III (two).
Lambeau Field update: When this is your starting lineup, success is far from inevitable:
And Then There Were (Still) Two
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, four in Week 5, 10 in Week 6, five in Week 7, and seven in Week 8. Week 9’s selections looked like this:
Most Popular (Successful) Choice: Seattle (2)
Most Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: None
Least Popular (Successful) Choice: None
Least Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: None
The tête-à-tête between ‘Scott Kuti’ and ‘Arthur’ continues to Week 10 as both remaining survivors picked Seattle to win.
Follow my (increasingly arduous) quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.