Though I completed another successful week (8-3-1), there wasn’t too much celebrating as Brandin Cooks was lost for the season with a thumb injury. The dynamic New Orleans Saints rookie wideout starred for seven of my 11 teams, including the focal point in three keeper leagues. It’s a massive blow. Still in the last five weeks my teams have combined to go 42-17-1, a dominating .708 winning percentage.
A team-by-team breakdown of the week that was:
|Green Bay Gamblers||101.61-76.97||5-6||Won 2||Eighth||1,181.28|
|Sterling Sharpe||102.26-101.23||8-3||Won 7||First||1,290.22|
|TR’s Peepers||122.44-86.42||6-5||Won 2||Fifth||1,204.20|
|Pangaea||156-142, 156-120||10-12||Won 4||Sixth||2,766|
|Valley Forge||77.7-63.7||4-7||Lost 1||Ninth||940.7|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||144-124||8-3||Lost 1||Second||1,860|
|The Taco Stand||173.62-101.70||6-5||Won 4||Sixth||1,475.28|
|Unironic Witty Name||191.56-164.88||10-1||Won 3||First||2,180.36|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||1,205.59||Fourth||-4||Two in a row is a winning streak!|
|Sterling Sharpe||1,070.43||First||Even||Seven in a row!|
|Brc||1,581||Third||-2||Two goose eggs and pick the wrong starting QB—again.|
|Snuffleupagus||1,373||Fifth||+3||Starting to roll . . .|
|TR’s Peepers||1,170.84||First||-4||Hill (Street) Blue(s)!|
|Pangaea||2,812||Fifth||-1||Huge, huge wins!|
|Valley Forge||1,000.8||Last (10)||+1||Need to win out and . . . pray!|
|GBG||1,017||Sixth||+3||Déjà vu all over again; Sanchez over Ryan for the win (by a point)!|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||1,576||Fourth||+2||First loss since Week 2.|
|The Taco Stand||1,450.24||Ninth||+3||I ♥ Mike Evans!|
|Unironic Witty Name||1,943.12||Second||+1||Solid, team effort.|
Week 11 record: 8-3-1. Overall: 76-54-2 (.583)
Clinched Playoff Berth: Unironic Witty Name, Fuzzy Dunlop, Snuffleupagus, Sterling Sharpe
The average point total belied my excellent record this week:
Week 11: 1,509.2
Week 10: 1,772.9
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
Each successful week brings me closer and closer to my historical norm:
2014: 8-3-1 (76-54-2, .583)
2013: 5-7 (77-55, .583)
2012: 6-6 (75-57, .568)
2011: 8-4 (82-49-1, .625)
And now for some hardware:
Player of the Week: Green Bay’s defense and special teams. Anchoring Pangaea in two more must-win games, their 35 points—garnered from a punt return (Micah Hyde), interception return (Julius Peppers), and fumble return (Casey Hayward) for touchdowns, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and three sacks—helped lead me to the most points for the second time in three weeks.
Goat of the Week: For the first time ever I’m awarding this dubious honor to a head coach. Going into the Monday Night Football game, I had Pittsburgh’s defense and Tennessee’s third round back and kick returner Leon Washington pitted against Titans wideout Kendall Wright. The score was tied at 127. Wright went for a modest (but hardly world-beating) 11 points while thanks to an early pick-six the Steelers D earned me eight. With return yards earning one point for every 20 yards, Washington was projected to score me 10 points. I personally wanted and expected half that amount. And yet . . . new Tennessee head coach Ken Whisenhunt chose to use rookie Bishop Sankey on kick returns and—to my watchful eye—only played Washington on a few snaps, outsourcing his role to such washed up luminaries as Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster. Had he only used Washington as a kick return (and we assume he totals at the least the same amount as Sankey), he earns me four points (82 return yards) and I win 139-138.
Of course there is more to it than that—Colts tight end Dwayne Allen got hurt at the beginning of the Sunday Night Football tilt against the Patriots and scored me zero points and Russell Wilson surprisingly doubled up Philip Rivers in points 26-13—but this will stick in my craw for awhile.
Team of the Week: Pangaea. Far from the team effort that propelled me to most points two weeks ago, these wins fall on the mighty and broad shoulders of my Green Bay Packers triumvirate—team quarterback, Randall Cobb, and that stellar and opportunistic defense—tallied 94 points while Kansas City Chiefs tailback Jamaal Charles knifed through the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks defense to the tune of 178 total yards and two touchdowns, an eye-popping 44 points. Together the four scored 138 out of my 156 points.
Pure Genius: Picking up Buffalo Bills running back Bryce Brown and inserting him into Sterling Sharpe’s starting lineup right before kickoff the Thursday night game. With ‘Shoelaces’ Robinson on bye and major concern about either Arian Foster or Reggie Bush suiting up (neither did), I was in desperate need of a productive back. He caught seven balls for 57 yards in my PPR league and also added 75 return yards for a crucial 12 points. The final score? 102.26-101.23.
What was I thinking?!: Again it’s GBG and its quarterbacks. Last week if I start Tony Romo (27 points) or Mark Sanchez (25) over Matt Ryan (16) I am a perfect 12-0. This time it’s Sanchez (17) over Ryan by a point in a tie matchup!
Trade of the Week: Last week I wrote . . .
“Before the league’s trade deadline I hope to move one of my dynamic receivers—preferably Evans, Beckham, Jr., or Cooks instead of Marshall, Cobb, or Megatron—to either upgrade at quarterback (with A-Rodg, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, or maybe even Tom Brady) or offer me a week-to-week alternative (say Philip Rivers) to Stafford. Should be fascinating how this plays out. . . .”
Less than 24 hours later I did this:
Pickup(s) of the Week: Very interesting this week as I feel like I added a lot of crucial pieces—especially on the defensive side of the ball. Let’s start there: In order of importance, I picked up Buffalo, New England, Green Bay, Philadelphia, and—for this week again woeful Jacksonville—the Indianapolis Colts. I also used my remaining free agent budget ($14 of what was once $100) on the Patriots’ Jonas Gray. What this week will be remember most for, though, is my acquisition of Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray in five different leagues. I have an inkling this kid is going to be a star!
Drop(s) of the Week: Oh Mr. Cooks how I miss you already! Technically I only dropped him in four leagues but I also have him in three keeper leagues. Losing a dynamic player in seven of your 11 leagues is devastating.
Lambeau Field update: It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win, especially during Rivalry Week:
Follow my quest for fantasy football dominance—including the euphoric highs and agonizing lows of such a dynamic and distressing vocation—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.