Is there anything better than watching your favorite team play on Monday Night Football? The only thing that could possible improve the experience is cheering on a squad of fantasy juggernauts—many of whom you own on multiple teams—as they open up a large, seemingly insurmountable lead, thereby allowing opposing players you have on other teams rack up very valuable garbage time yards and touchdowns. The proverbial cherry on top? Three epic come-from-behind victories where before the game started I trailed by more than 100 points—and accomplishing the feat even after one of my starting wideouts left the game just three plays in.
God it’s great to be a fan of the Green Bay Packers!
Deficit(s): 210-77 and 174-77
Players: Green Bay Packers team quarterback, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and Jamaal Charles
Final Score: 215-200 and 215-174
Aaron Rodgers virtuoso performance—333 yards passing (plus 16 on the ground) and five touchdowns—accounted for 55 points while teammate Randall Cobb (seven catches for 91 yards and three touchdowns plus a 12 yard rush) accounted for 43 and, not to be outdone, Jamaal Charles tallied 40 fantasy points on 82 total yards and three scores. Way to pick up Davante boys!
Players: Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and James Jones
Final Score: 160-157
A-Rod accounted for 46 points, Cobb chipped in 35 and James Jones—stepping up for the injured Mr. Adams—caught seven balls for 139 yards and a touchdown, good for 28 points.
Two victories I won’t soon forget. Go Pack Go!
Those three victories highlighted a slate where I went 9-4 for the second straight week and made two blockbuster deals.
Here are how my 12 teams—as mentioned above the supercontinent Pangaea plays two games a week—fared in Week 3:
|Green Bay Gamblers||126.92-92.60||3-0||Won 3||Second||361.47|
|Sterling Sharpe||94.93-84.94||0-3||Lost 3||Twelfth (Last)||262.45|
|TR’s Peepers||126.52-91.32||1-2||Lost 2||Ninth||255.74|
|Curly’s Cadre*||110.20-80.02||2-1||Lost 1||Second||309.98|
|Pangaea||215-210; 215-174||3-3||Won 3||Seventh||1,014|
|The Drop Bears*||154.7-76||3-0||Won 3||First||350.4|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||281-109||2-1||Won 2||Second||669|
|The Taco Stand||167.52-141.48||2-1||Won 2||Fifth||440.88|
|Unironic Witty Name||246.60-199.32||1-2||Won 1||Sixth||601.32|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||268.87||Third||+1||Glad I decided not to trade Jamaal Charles in the off-season!|
|Sterling Sharpe||324.39||Eleventh||-1||Bad week to move A.J. Green!|
|Brc||415||Fourth||-1||Who will replace Ben Roethlisberger?|
|Snuffleupagus||384||Third||+1||Rodgers + Cobb + Jones = Magic!|
|TR’s Peepers||347.52||Tenth (Last)||+1||Alshon Jeffery’s return and Jeremy Hill’s (hopeful) resurgence will right the ship.|
|Curly’s Cadre*||271.96||Third||+1||Need to improve my overall depth.|
|Pangaea||1,040||Eighth||+1||An epic comeback that may have saved my season!|
|The Drop Bears*||214.9||First||Even||Domination!|
|GBG||279||Second||+1||Three players—Ryan, Blount, and Julio—all topped 26 points.|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||480||First||-1||Absolute beatdown!|
|The Taco Stand||425.42||Fifth||Even||Welcome back, Le’Veon Bell!|
|Unironic Witty Name||619.36||Fourth||-2||Solid all-around performance. Huge win!|
*Denotes new team this season
Week 3 record: 9-4-0. Overall: 25-14-0 (.641).
Still Unbeaten: Green Bay Gamblers, Snuffleupagus, The Drop Bears and GBG
Yet to Win: Sterling Sharpe
Week 3: 2,083.02
Week 2: 1,712.94
Week 1: 1,680.25
Not since 2012 have I posted a better Week 3 record. My .641 winning percentage is also the best start to a season on record:
2014: 3-9 (16-19-1, .458)
2013: 7-5 (22-14, .611)
2012: 10-2 (22-14, .611)
2011: 6-6 (21-15, .583)
And now for some hardware:
Player of the Week: Tie: Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb. Impossible to separate the two this week. What a combo!
Goat of the Week: In his only chance of the game, Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater missed an extra point on Sunday Night Football, accounting for minus two points—and earning him his release from my two squads on which he resided. But this dubious honor goes to Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Andre Johnson who failed to catch a ball and has only caught seven all season. Pitiful production for a third round selection.
Villain of the Week: None. Most of my losses were due to two guys, Tom Brady and Jamaal Charles, having excellent games. Since I also benefited from those performances I’d be a hypocrite to call them out now.
Team of the Week: Pangaea. Major props to Snuffleupagus, of course, but a loss in that league wouldn’t have been a potential death knell to my season. Losing both matchups and starting 1-5 may have been it for my über-talented squad.
Pure Genius: Staying up late here in Australia (games kickoff at 3 a.m. on Monday morning), I saw that DeMarco Murray, the running back for Philadelphia, wasn’t playing so I swapped the Bengals Gio Bernard out for Darren Sproles of the Eagles. And all the mighty mite did was account for 22 fantasy points (including a receiving and punt return touchdown), 12 more than Mr. Bernard. Those ten crucial points were obviously key in a three point win.
Coach: Put Me In—I’m Ready to Play: Pulled all the right strings this week!
What was I thinking?!: Nothing I could have done differently—except maybe waiting another week to trade A.J. Green.
Trade(s) of the Week: Speaking of whom . . . told you I had some irons in the fire. Check out these blockbusters!
Pickups of the Week: With Packers wideout Davante Adams dealing with a nagging ankle injury, I was able to snag rookie Packers wide receiver Ty Montgomery on six teams and the returning-from-suspension Antonio Gates on two additional squads. Added on one team each: Oakland Team QB, Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick (bye week induced gag!), Ryan Mathews, Eric Ebron, Charles Clay, Jermaine Kearse, Brandon McManus, Dan Carpenter, Zach Hocher, and Green Bay’s defense.
Drops of the Week: Michael Crabtree on three teams; Danny Amendola, Zach Ertz, Ronnie Hillman, and Matt Prater on two each, and Julius Thomas, Richard Rodgers, Breshad Perriman, Eddie Royal, Dorial Green-Beckham, Joique Bell, Isaiah Crowell and Chandler Catanzaro were each discarded by one of my squads.
Worrisome Injury of the Week: I think Brc can deal without Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for four-to-six weeks—Joe Flacco makes his debut in that starting slot this week—but I’m more worried about Davante Adams and his potential high ankle sprain, who I have on four teams.
Team Poised to Break Out: TR’s Peepers
And Then There Were (Still) Five
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.
Probably wasn’t an easier week to stay alive in the Survival Pool. No complaints, of course, after such a traumatic Week 2. The five remaining players picked overwhelming home favorites New England (three) and Seattle (two) to advance to the next week.
Most Popular (Successful) Choice: New England (3)
Most Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: None
Least Popular (Successful) Choice: Seattle (2)
Least Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: None
Around the world, though, there were some mistakes made:
Thus the 13,465 perfect survivors now sits at:
All is back to normal in the National Football League. Until next week.
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.
Now that is what I’m talking about! After last week’s debacle, I repeated Week 1’s stellar performance, correctly predicting 12 of the 16 Week 3 results:
I missed Cincinnati over Baltimore (7), Philadelphia besting the New York J-E-T-S (6), Oakland downing Cleveland (3), and Minnesota running over San Diego (1). Next week I’ll be better at sticking to my gut, as originally I had the Raiders—behind their dynamic young QB-WR duo—beating the Browns.
The 75 perfect success rate was good for 26th out of 135 weekly entries. However the 119 points moved me up in the overall standings four spots to ninth, just 23 points (eight less than last week) behind the current leader with 14 weeks to go.
Follow my quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.