Has there ever been a crazier week in the National Football League? Maybe not in fantasy, but in real-life football? Upsets galore turned the Survival Pool into a massacre (see below) and with the exception of the Packers beating the Seahawks and Pats downing the Bills, the rest of the football world seemed to be upside down. Thankfully not so for my 12 fantasy teams as I rebounded from a middling first stanza to post a 9-4 record in Week 2. Six teams—including the Green Bay Gamblers, my pride and joy—are undefeated while only two squads, both perennial contenders, have yet to notch a victory. Please read on to get the low down on this week in fantasy football.
Here are how my 12 teams—the supercontinent Pangaea plays two games a week—fared in Week 2:
|Green Bay Gamblers||131.61-128.95||2-0||Won 2||First||219.90|
|Sterling Sharpe||129.90-83.93||0-2||Lost 2||Eleventh||177.51|
|TR’s Peepers||146.06-74.76||1-1||Lost 1||Eighth||164.42|
|Curly’s Cadre*||111.84-75.12||2-0||Won 2||First||229.96|
|Pangaea||186-162; 162-112||1-3||Won 1||Tenth||584|
|The Drop Bears*||67.7-51.8||2-0||Won 2||Third||195.7|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||200-140||1-1||Won 1||Seventh||388|
|The Taco Stand||132.64-124.24||1-1||Won 1||Sixth||273.36|
|Unironic Witty Name||220.52-200.46||0-2||Lost 2||Eighth||354.72|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||146.56||First||Even||Huge, statement win. The Gamblers are back baby!|
|Sterling Sharpe||229.46||Tenth||-1||Andrew Luck will be fine, right? Right?!|
|Brc||249||First||Even||Welcome back, Le’Veon!|
|Snuffleupagus||227||Fifth||+2||Great all-around performance boys!|
|TR’s Peepers||221||Tenth (Last)||+2||Need to start increasing my point total.|
|Curly’s Cadre*||161.76||First||Even||Brady + Gronk = TDs (is worth repeating)!|
|Pangaea||654||Tenth||Even||Awesome game, Jamaal; just please hold on to the ball!|
|The Drop Bears*||138.9||Fourth||-1||Glad Lacy’s injury didn’t cost me a win.|
|GBG||177||Fourth||+2||Vintage Mason Crosby (16 points)!|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||371||Fourth||-3||Steve Smith Sr.: That’s more like it!|
|The Taco Stand||283.94||Sixth||Even||He may be a GOPer but Tom Brady is still a beast!|
|Unironic Witty Name||420.04||Fifth||-3||Jimmy Graham and Mike Evans combined for 2.60 points!|
*Denotes new team this season
Week 2 record: 9-4-0. Overall: 16-10-0 (.615).
Still Unbeaten: Green Bay Gamblers, Brc, Snuffleupagus, Curly’s Cadre, The Drop Bears and GBG
Yet to Win: Sterling Sharpe and Unironic Witty Name
Week 2: 1,712.94
Week 1: 1,680.25
Since studious stats have been kept, this is my best Week 2 on record. Previous results:
2014: 7-5 (13-10-1, .563)
2013: 7-5 (15-9, .625)
2012: 3-9 (12-12, .500)
2011: 5-7 (15-9, .625)
Who Went Where
A position-by-position breakdown of my 12 fantasy football drafts (the original rosters can be found here):
Quarterback: QB: Tom Brady (4), Aaron Rodgers** (3), Matt Ryan (3), Ryan Tannehill (2), Carson Palmer (2), Derek Carr (2), Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick
Running Back: Giovani Bernard (9), Arian Foster (4), Melvin Gordon (3, $33), LeGerrette Blount (3), Le’Veon Bell (2), Eddie Lacy* (2, $58), Jamaal Charles** (2), Jeremy Hill* (2, $6), T.J. Yeldon (2), C.J. Spiller (2), Danny Woodhead (2), James Starks (2, $1), Matt Jones (2), Matt Forte, Latavius Murray, Tevin Coleman, Jonathan Stewart, Isaiah Crowell, Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews, Joique Bell, Shane Vereen, Charles Sims, Reggie Bush ($2), Montee Ball ($1), Duke Johnson, Alfred Blue, Jonas Gray
Wide Receiver: Brandon LaFell (7), Ty Montgomery (6, $1), Amari Cooper (5), DeVante Parker (5), Davante Adams* (4), James Jones (4), Danny Amendola (4), Julio Jones (3), Eddie Royal (4, $2), Randall Cobb* (2), Alshon Jeffery (2, $33), Mike Evans (2), Andre Johnson (2), Brandin Cooks* (2), Cody Latimer (2), Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Demaryius Thomas*, Calvin Johnson*, A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins, Julian Edelman, T.Y. Hilton, Keenan Allen, Brandon Marshall, Steve Smith Sr., John Brown, Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin (keeper league), Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton, Tyler Lockett, Nelson Agholor, Jeff Janis
Tight End: Richard Rodgers (3, $1), Jimmy Graham (2), Tyler Eifert (2), Jordan Cameron (2), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (2), Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen, Zach Ertz, Heath Miller, Larry Donnell, Kyle Rudolph ($1)
Kicker: Mason Crosby (3), Caleb Sturgis (2), Justin Tucker, Brandon McManus, Matt Prater, Cody Parkey, Dan Bailey, Dustin Hopkins
Defense: Green Bay (9, $1), Buffalo (3), New England (2), Seattle, Houston, Baltimore
And now for some awards:
Player of the Week: Amari Cooper. The Oakland Raiders rookie wide receiver—who I chose number one overall in Lambeau Field—exploded for seven catches, 109 yards and a touchdown. Those totals translated to 18, 25, 30, 26.90, and 29.40 points in four victories. Well done sir!
Goat of the Week: Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans. No catches. Really? Please don’t do that again. Ever! Honorary mention goes to Baltimore’s suddenly sieve-like defense. Negative one point on the road at Oakland? Not acceptable.
Villain of the Week: When you win nine and lose only four, it’s tough to find someone particular to blame for those paltry amount of defeats. But if I may digress . . . say Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman doesn’t get hurt—and the aforementioned Evans catches a ball and Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham doesn’t get outplayed by the Green Bay Packers defense—Unironic Witty Name had a great shot at a win.
Team of the Week: Green Bay Gamblers. It’s been awhile since my most storied franchise claimed this coveted award. But a heart-stopping 131.61-128.95 victory over one of the best managers in the league certainly qualifies. Aside from Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter—who has summarily been released—it was a true team effort, with Tom Brady leading the way with 30.61 points, Megatron adding another 20, and Cooper (18), Jamaal Charles (15), Demaryius Thomas (13), Giovani Bernard (12), and the Patriots defense (11) all doing their fair share. Good on ya boys!
Pure Genius: Very pleased that I drafted Bernard on nine of my 12 teams (and I now own him in 10 leagues). Even if fellow Bengals running back Jeremy Hill rights the ship and stops fumbling—which I am confident he will do—Bernard has made himself indispensible to that offense. And even know I still don’t completely forgive him for Week 17 last year, he is more than making it up to me this season. So far.
What was I thinking?!: All good with my decisions this week. No regrets.
Coach: Put Me In—I’m Ready to Play: My bad, Latavius. My bad.
Trade of the Week: None. But irons are in the fire!
Pickups of the Week: James Starks (2; $11 of a $100 budget as insurance for Eddie Lacy on Monday night), New York J-E-T-S (2), Eric Ebron (2), Michael Crabtree (2), Chandler Catanzaro (2), Dion Lewis, New England, Derek Carr, Richard Rodgers, Breshad Perriman, Julius Thomas and two additional kickers: Matt Prater and Andrew Franks.
Drops of the Week: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brandon Coleman, Chris Johnson, Dan Carpenter and Zach Hocker all dropped in two leagues; Green Bay and Baltimore’s defenses, the Danny brothers (Amendola and Woodhead), DeVante Parker and Ladarius Green.
Lambeau Field update: Epic, epic victory over a perennial contender:
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.
Wait what?! Five?! Didn’t the week start with 61 entries still alive? Yes. It certainly did. In the most shocking week in the 12-year history of the Survival Pool, an astounding 56 teams bit the dust in a span of just nine hours of football. This graph tells you all you need to know:
The top six upsets accounted for 92.05% of everyone participating in a Yahoo! Survival Pool in the entire world! Ninety-two percent!
Another fun (depressing) stat: before Week 2 began there were 258,349 entries who had a perfect Survival Pool record. After Sunday’s games it was down to . . .
As for our little corner of the world here’s how our friends and family lost their sanity before Monday Night Football:
So that knocked us down to 14. But then the Indianapolis Colts—who nine people had chosen to not start the season 0-2—lost at home to the New York J-E-T-S. Where once there were 61, then 14, now there were only five.
And there were not too many in the rest of the world left either. After Monday Night Football this was the new count of perfection:
Most Popular (Successful) Choice: Pittsburgh (5)
Most Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: New Orleans (31)
Least Popular (Successful) Choice: None!
Least Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: Tennessee (1)
The rest of the calamity came from upset losses by the previously mentioned Colts (9), Ravens (8), Dolphins (5), and Rams (2).
So what began with an Andrew Jackson and a prayer just two weeks ago now gives the five remaining people a 20 percent chance of taking home $1,260! Best of luck mates!
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, in Week 1 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.
Not surprisingly I didn’t come close to last week’s 12 correct selections:
Yet only getting seven of 16 right kept me right in the mix. After Week 2 I am down to 13th (of 135 entries), 31 points behind the leader.
Follow my quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.