This Week in Fantasy Football

Week 1 is an anomaly for me in fantasy football. Barring injuries, I’m unlikely to tinker too much with my lineup, instead preferring to trust my draft results and play the guys I chose highest the very first week. With a more rigid, less fluid strategy I can deal with the potential for fewer victories. But thanks to a fortuitous run by my oldest and most important teams—a 5-1 mark with my main Yahoo! username—I actually finished above .500, getting the fantasy season off to a robust start with a 7-6 mark.

A bit of background: Inspired by my postmortem series and a few years now of post-football therapeutic tweeting, last year—in an attempt to bring some context to the cacophony—I decided to channel my passion (neurosis?) into penning a weekly column breaking down the sweet science that is fantasy football. (Rest assured all 17 editions from last year can still be read; if you are looking for my predictions about real NFL football please click here.)

Each week I will provide an update on all 12 of my teams and highlight trends that are not only affecting me but also could potentially help my fellow reader climb the steep and treacherous mountain whose summit holds fantasy football immortality. Since this is the first edition of the season, I will also give you, the reader, a sense of each league’s particularities as well as who were drafted on to which team.

Sadly after multiple championships I’ve decided to retire my venerable franchise, Valley Forge. In its place I’ve accepted a coveted spot in my cousins’ league (The Drop Bears) and added a twelfth team, Curly’s Cadre, with my St Kilda Saints baseball mates.

Pangaea and aforementioned The Drop Bears are CBS teams, so please follow the hyperlinks to those draft results. Here are the picks for my nine Yahoo! and one ESPN squads:

Green Bay GamblersSterling Sharpe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brc

Snuffleupagus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TR's Peepers

Curly's Cadre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuzzy Dunlop

 

The Taco Stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unironic Witty Name

 

 

GBG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of note: The original Green Bay Gamblers (Yahoo! edition), TR’s Peepers, and Pangaea are all keeper leagues. The Gamblers kept Jamaal Charles, Demaryius Thomas, Calvin Johnson, and Davante Adams; TR’s Peepers chose Aaron Rodgers ($58 of a $200 budget), teammate Eddie Lacy ($58) and Cincinnati running back Jeremy Hill ($6) as their three guys. Pangaea, now in a two point-per-reception league, opted for Green Bay Packers Team QB, Randall Cobb, Brandin Cooks, and Charles.

My draft grades from CBS and Yahoo!:

Green Bay Gamblers: B (5 of 12)
Sterling Sharpe: B+ (2 of 12)
Brc: B+ (1 of 12)
Snuffleupagus: C (10 of 12)
Curly’s Cadre: A (1 of 12)
Pangaea: C+ (7 of 12)
The Drop Bears: C (6 of 12)
Fuzzy Dunlop: A+ (1 of 12)
The Taco Stand: A- (1 of 12)
Unironic Witty Name: A- (1 of 10)

Here are how my 12 teams—the supercontinent Pangaea plays two games a week—fared in Week 1:

Team Resul Record Streak Standing Points For
Green Bay Gamblers 102.94-47.32 1-0 Won 1 Fifth 102.94
Sterling Sharpe 99.56-93.58 0-1 Lost 1 Tenth 93.58
Brc 151-116 1-0 Won 1 Fourth 151
Snuffleupagus 130-125 1-0 Won 1 Fifth 130
TR’s Peepers 89.66-74.94 1-0 Won 1 Fifth 89.66
 Curly’s Cadre* 118.12-86.64 1-0 Won 1 Second 118.12
Pangaea 156-130; 202-130 0-2 Lost 2 Eleventh 260
The Drop Bears* 128-87.1 1-0 Won 1 First 128
GBG 124-109 1-0 Won 1 Second 124
Fuzzy Dunlop 231-188 0-1 Lost 1 Ninth 188
The Taco Stand 159.70-140.72 0-1 Lost 1 Eighth 140.72
Unironic Witty Name 199.52-154.23 0-1 Lost 1 Ninth 154.23
Team Points Against Rank Differential What If?
Green Bay Gamblers 47.32 Sixth N/A Solid all-around performance.
Sterling Sharpe 99.56 Tenth N/A Start either James Jones or Baltimore and I win.
Brc 116 Fourth N/A Lots of versatility with this squad!
Snuffleupagus 125 Sixth N/A Tyler Eifert (33 points) is the man!
TR’s Peepers 74.94 Seventh N/A Important win against a top contender.
Curly’s Cadre* 86.64 Second N/A Brady + Gronk = TDs
Pangaea 358 Eleventh N/A No worries. Love this team.
The Drop Bears* 87.1 First N/A Matty Ice-to-Julio all year long!
GBG 109 Second N/A Ibid.
Fuzzy Dunlop 231 Fifth N/A Me and Julio down by the school yard!
The Taco Stand 159.70 Sixth N/A Panthers over Packers defense scores me a .02 margin victory.
Unironic Witty Name 199.52 Ninth N/A Worried about Peyton.

*Denotes new franchise

Week 1 record: 7-6-0. Overall: 7-6-0 (.538).

Last Year:

Regular Season: 278-201-3 (.580)
Playoffs: 27-21 (.563)

Week 1 point total: 1,680.25

For historical reference, here is how my teams have fared week-to-week the last four seasons:

2014:

Week 1: 6-5-1 (.542)
Week 2: 7-5 (13-10-1, .563)
Week 3: 3-9 (16-19-1, .458)
Week 4: 7-5 (23-24-1, .490)
Week 5: 4-8 (27-32-1, .458)
Week 6: 6-6 (34-37-1, .479)
Week 7: 9-3 (43-40-1, .519)
Week 8: 8-4 (51-44-1, .536)
Week 9: 6-6 (57-50-1, .532)
Week 10: 11-1 (68-51-1, .571)
Week 11: 8-3-1 (76-54-2, .583)
Week 12: 5-7 (81-62-2, .569)
Week 13: 7-5 (88-66-2, .571)
Week 14: 2-2 (90-68-2, .569); 3-1 (.750) in playoffs
Week 15: 1-6 (7-7, .500)
Week 16: 3-1 (10-8, .556)
Week 17: 0-1 (10-9, .526)

2013:

Week 1: 8-4 (.667)
Week 2: 7-5 (15-9, .625)
Week 3: 7-5 (22-14, .611)
Week 4: 8-4 (30-18, .625)
Week 5: 7-5 (37-23, .617)
Week 6: 8-4 (45-27, .625)
Week 7: 8-4 (53-31, .646)
Week 8: 9-3 (62-34, .646)
Week 9: 4-8 (66-42, .611)
Week 10: 6-6 (72-48, .600)
Week 11: 5-7 (77-55, .583)
Week 12: 8-4 (85-59, .586)
Week 13: 5-6-1 (90-65-1,
Week 14: 2-2 (92-67-1, .575); 1-0 (1.000)
Week 15: 1-7 (2-7, .222)
Week 16: 3-0 (5-7, .417)
Week 17: 1-0 (6-7, .462)

2012:

Week 1: 9-3 (.750)
Week 2: 3-9 (12-12, .500)
Week 3: 10-2 (22-14, .611)
Week 4: 5-7 (27-21, .563)
Week 5: 6-6 (33-27, .550)
Week 6: 8-4 (41-31, .569)
Week 7: 7-5 (48-36, .571)
Week 8: 7-5 (55-41, .573)
Week 9: 8-4 (63-45, .583)
Week 10: 6-6 (69-51, .575)
Week 11: 6-6 (75-57, .568)
Week 12: 5-7 (80-64, .556)
Week 13: 5-7 (85-71, .545)
Week 14: 1-3 (86-74, .538); 2-1 (.667)
Week 15: 3-4 (5-5, .500)
Week 16: 5-0 (10-5, .667)
Week 17: 2-0 (12-5, .706)

2011:

Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
Week 2: 5-7 (15-9, .625)
Week 3: 6-6 (21-15, .583)
Week 4: 7-5 (28-20, .583)
Week 5: 9-3 (37-23, .617)
Week 6: 8-4 (45-27, .625)
Week 7: 7-5 (52-32, .619)
Week 8: 9-3 (61-35, .635)
Week 9: 6-5-1 (67-40-1, .625)
Week 10: 7-5 (74-45-1, .621)
Week 11: 8-4 (82-49-1, .625)
Week 12: 5-6-1 (87-55-2, .620)
Week 13: 9-3 (96-58-2, .622)
Week 14: 4-2 (100-60-2, .623); 1-2 (.333)
Week 15: 5-3 (6-5, .545)
Week 16: 2-3 (8-8, .500)
Week 17: 1-1 (9-9, .500)

Regular Season: 368-269-5 (.577)
Playoffs: 37-30 (.552)

Since draft day and Week 1’s games, there has been a fair amount of roster turnover. Here is how each squad has changed since they were initially selected:

Green Bay Gamblers

Jay Ajayi (dropped Caleb Sturgis)
Phil Dawson
Dan Carpenter (Phil Dawson)
Chris Johnson (Dan Carpenter)
Ronnie Hillman (Cody Latimer)
Breshad Perriman (Charles Sims)
Dan Carpenter (Derek Carr)
Denver (Green Bay)

Sterling Sharpe

Ronnie Hillman (Richard Rodgers)
Denver (Green Bay)

Brc

None

Snuffleupagus

James Jones (Matt Jones)
Danny Amendola (Ty Montgomery)
Darren Sproles (DeVante Parker)
Zach Ertz (Green Bay)

TR’s Peepers

Zach Ertz-$2 (Kyle Rudolph)
Carolina
DeVante Parker (Montee Ball)
James Jones (Ty Montgomery)
Giovani Bernard (Reggie Bush)
Larry Donnell (Richard Rodgers)
Danny Amendola (Carson Palmer)
Phil Dawson (James Starks)
Eric Decker (Danny Amendola)
Brandon McManus (Phil Dawson)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Larry Donnell)
New England (Green Bay)
Chris Johnson (DeVante Parker)
Darren Sproles (Brandon McManus)
Brandon Coleman (Eddie Royal)
Dan Carpenter (Darren Sproles)

Curly’s Cadre

Carolina (Ty Montgomery)
Tyler Lockett (Alfred Blue)

Pangaea

Danny Woodhead (Jonas Gray)
Josh Lambo (Caleb Sturgis)
Danny Amendola (Brandon LaFell)
Zack Hocker (Dustin Hopkins)
Eric Decker (Danny Amendola)
Brandon Coleman (Eddie Royal)

The Drop Bears

Brandon Coleman (Eddie Royal)

GBG

David Johnson (Matt Jones)

Fuzzy Dunlop

James Jones (Jeff Janis)
Breshad Perriman (Ty Montgomery)
Eric Ebron (Larry Donnell)
Adam Vinatieri (Cody Parkey)

The Taco Stand

Carolina (Danny Amendola)
James Jones (Colin Kaepernick)
Danny Amendola (Ty Montgomery)
Phil Dawson (Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
Ronnie Hillman (Phil Dawson)

Unironic Witty Name

Ronnie Hillman (Cody Latimer)
Ryan Mallett (Ty Montgomery)

And now for some hardware:

Player of the Week: Julio Jones. Apologies to his brother-from-another-mother, Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones, but the Atlanta Falcons wideout was unstoppable on Monday night, hauling in nine balls for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Those startling statistics resulted in 44, 26, and 26.1 points, respectively, for Fuzzy Dunlop, GBG, and The Drop Bears.

Goat of the Week: I was disappointed in many this week but none more so than the Packers defense. Giving up 23 points and only recording two sacks and an interception against turnover-machine Jay Cutler was very underwhelming. Certainly the fact that I started them in 10 of 12 leagues and had I opted for either Baltimore (Sterling Sharpe) or Carolina (The Taco Stand) I would have had two more victories doesn’t easy the pain.

Villain of the Week: Despite The Drop Bears enjoyment of Keenan Allen’s epic performance (15 catches for 166 yards), facing him in a 1.5 and two PPR league was not fun. His point totals, 41.10 and 46, directly contributed to those two losses.

Team of the Week: The Drop Bears. First game in a new league is always a bit intimidating. So the fact that I not only won, but also put up the most points, pleases me greatly. It was a balanced effort, too, with a starting lineup of Matt Ryan, Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard, Julio Jones, Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham, Keenan Allen, Brandon McManus, and the Packers defense (sorta) all pulling their weight.

Pure Genius: Knowing that the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to be without two of their top offensive weapons for their opening game against the Patriots, I drafted and started tight end Heath Miller as an under-the-radar combo with my quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, in a PPR league. He rewarded me with eight catches for 84 yards, good for 16 fantasy points in Brc’s victory.

What was I thinking?!: I believed the hype a little too much with Patriots slot receiver Danny Amendola. He contributed little—two receptions for 24 yards and just a lone return yard—in two defeats.

Coach: Put Me In—I’m Ready to Play: I hear you James Jones! Week 2 for sure!

Trade of the Week: Immediately after the AFP All-Stars draft this went down:

Crosby

Pickups of the Week: See above.

Drops of the Week: Ibid.

Lambeau Field update: It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win, especially the first week of the season:102.94-47.32

And Then There Were Sixty-One

Stay alive and advance: that’s my mantra for the Survival Pool, now in its 12th 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 67 entries—if everyone pays some lucky winner will go home with a $1,300 booty for a modest $20 pay-in—and the Week 1 selections looked like this:

Most Popular (Successful) Choice: Green Bay (19)
Most Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Seattle (3)

Least Popular (Successful) Choice: Arizona (1)
Least Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Indianapolis (1)

Two others (unwisely) selected Minnesota to go on the road and defeat San Francisco on Monday Night Football.

Confidence

I also partake in a confidence pool. You pick every game every week—straight up not against the point spread—and rank your selections based on how confident you are that they will win. For example, last week I thought there was no way the Packers would lose to the Bears, so I slotted them in at number 16. Conversely, I thought the Rams would pull the upset of the Seahawks, but in order to hedge my bet I gave them the lowest possible number: one.

Overall I hit on 12 of 16 picks, incorrectly opting for Houston, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and the New York Giants (who choked their game away) to prevail. Photographic evidence:

Capture

So after Week 1 I sit in seventh place (of 135 entries), seven points behind the leader, my 110 points out of a maximum 136 good for an 81 percent rate.

Tweet

Follow my quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.

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One Response to This Week in Fantasy Football

  1. Pingback: This Week in Fantasy Football | An Ebullient Existence

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