Thank you Jimmy Graham! Those four words have probably not been uttered by anyone anywhere this football season. But yet another subpar performance by the Seattle Seahawks tight end allowed me to eke out two victories and another win was secured on Monday night after Seattle’s defense and Theo Riddick of the Lions failed to account for 20 combined points in a PPR league. So what could have been an anemic performance—my 12 teams combined for nearly seven hundred points less than the total that earned three more victories in Week 3—turned into just a mildly upsetting 6-7 Week 4 mark. With Tom Brady and the Patriots now past their bye week it’s a mark I can certainly live with comfortably.
Here are how my 12 teams—the supercontinent Pangaea plays two games a week—fared in Week 4:
|Green Bay Gamblers||96.31-64.62||4-0||Won 4||Second||457.78|
|Sterling Sharpe||119.59-90.24||0-4||Lost 4||Twelfth (Last)||352.69|
|TR’s Peepers||93.56-85.56||2-2||Won 1||Seventh||349.30|
|Curly’s Cadre*||67.52-62.32||3-1||Won 1||Second||377.50|
|Pangaea||155-146; 146-106||4-4||Won 1||Eighth||1,306.0|
|The Drop Bears*||76.7-75.9||4-0||Won 4||First||427.1|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||158-134||2-2||Lost 1||Second||803|
|The Taco Stand||135.18-129||2-2||Lost 1||Sixth||569.88|
|Unironic Witty Name||232.74-144.86||1-3||Lost 1||Seventh||746.18|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||352.54||Third||+1||Carr-to-Cooper for the next decade?|
|Sterling Sharpe||443.98||Eleventh||-1||Never been worse than 0-2 in this league in 11 years.|
|Brc||554||Seventh||+1||Ibid: Who will replace Ben Roethlisberger?|
|Snuffleupagus||488||Fourth||+2||Green Bay’s dominant D (15 points) came up huge!|
|TR’s Peepers||433.08||Ninth||+2||Did the real Jeremy Hill stand up?|
|Curly’s Cadre*||334.28||Third||+1||Ryan Tannehill is no Tom Brady.|
|Pangaea||1,301.0||Seventh||-1||Disappointing split; should have won both games.|
|The Drop Bears*||290.8||Second||-1||Ugly. But a win is a win!|
|GBG||368||Fourth||+2||David Johnson over Arian Foster for a one point victory.|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||638||First||-1||The Ryan-Jones combo can’t carry me every week.|
|The Taco Stand||560.60||Fifth||-1||C.J. Spiller over Gio or MG III and I win. Damn.|
|Unironic Witty Name||852.10||Sixth||-1||Russell and Peyton need to be better.|
*Denotes new team this season
Week 4 record: 6-7-0. Overall: 31-21-0 (.596).
Still Unbeaten: Green Bay Gamblers, Snuffleupagus and The Drop Bears
Yet to Win: Sterling Sharpe
Week 4: 1,415.19
Week 3: 2,083.02
Week 2: 1,712.94
Week 1: 1,680.25
Middling week was on par with efforts in Week 4s previously:
2014: 7-5 (23-24-1, .490)
2013: 8-4 (30-18, .625)
2012: 5-7 (27-21, .563)
2011: 7-5 (28-20, .583)
And now for this week’s awards:
Player of the Week: Jeremy Hill. The Cincinnati Bengals much-maligned running back finally broke out in Week 4. Though he only ran for 40 yards he found pay dirt thrice, accounting for 24 fantasy points in the two leagues in which I’m lucky enough to own him. More please!
Goat of the Week: Colin Kaepernick. Look I know he stinks but I still expected him to get exceed 50 percent of his projected total filling in for the idle Tom Brady. He was forecasted to score 21.98 points and only mustered 11.10. The Taco Stand lost by 6.18 points. You do the math.
Villain of the Week: DeAndre Hopkins. In the four matchups in which he participated (one for me, three for my opponents), I lost all of them. Awesome receiver; bad luck for me this week.
Team of the Week: How about the Green Bay Gamblers? Back to their historic winning ways, they won their fourth in a row, this time with Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr leading the squad in Brady’s absence. If they can pull off a huge Week 5 victory over Inglorious Staffords—their second win over the same archrival in the last three weeks—they will have a significant leg up in their division, The Curse of Shawn Bryson.
(Disappointing) Team of the Week: Fuzzy Dunlop. Anytime you are playing a winless foe and favored by 59 points there is no way you should lose. And yet I did. By 24. Oy.
Pure Genius: Picking up Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay to replace the Patriots Rob Gronkowski during his bye week. Clay responded to his serendipitous acquisition by totaling nine catches for 111 yards, good for 11.10 fantasy points in a narrow 5.2 point victory for Curly’s Cadre.
Coach: Put Me In—I’m Ready to Play: C.J. Spiller.
What was I thinking?!: I could have posted a 7-6 mark had I opted to go with Chicago Bears signal caller Jay Cutler instead of the aforementioned Kaepernick. Lesson learned.
Trade of the Week: None. But I’m always in talks. The Hot Stove is always on!
Pickups of the Week: Before Week 4’s kickoffs Curly’s Cadre picked up Packers wideout Davante Adams off of waivers, dropping the Carolina defense. After the conclusion of the season’s first quarter, I also added three players—Packers tight end Richard Rodgers, Saints wideout Willie Snead, and Cowboys running back Darren McFadden—on two teams each and also snagged injured Dallas players Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Other additions: Jay Cutler, Rashad Jennings, Isaiah Crowell, Eric Decker, Danny Amendola, Larry Donnell, kickers Chandler Catanzaro and Caleb Sturgis, and facing the awful San Francisco 49ers, the New York Giants defense.
Drops of the Week: Very disappointing quarterback Ryan Tannehill on two teams; ditto for emerging star (but sadly injured) Eric Ebron of the Detroit Lions. Other singular drops included: Raiders TQB, Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Mallett, Ryan Mathews, David Johnson, Breshad Perriman, Jermaine Kearse, Brian Quick, Jordan Cameron, Heath Miller, Zach Hocker, Andrew Franks, and Houston’s hugely unimpressive defense. They are one of the biggest surprises of the fantasy season so far—and not in a good way.
Worrisome Injury of Week: Very upset about Ebron’s knee injury. I own him on most teams and he was just emerging as a dynamic force with vast fantasy potential.
Team Ready to Break Out: Sterling Sharpe. When you are without a win after four weeks, no other squad belongs in this space.
And Then There Were (Still) Five (Again)
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.
Last week everyone advanced easily thanks to the Patriots and the Seahawks walloping the Jaguars and Bears, respectively. This week was another story entirely.
Though the Atlanta Falcons did blow out the Houston Texans, the other three contested games—Indianapolis and Jacksonville, Denver and Minnesota, and Seattle and Detroit—all came down to a field goal, with the Colts prevailing in overtime after two missed attempts by the Jaguars’ rookie kicker and the Seahawks’ game decided on a fumble at the goal line—and yet another missed call on a Monday night by oblivious officials.
Most Popular (Successful) Choice: Indianapolis (2)
Most Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: None
Least Popular (Successful) Choice: Atlanta, Denver, Seattle (1)
Least Popular (Unsuccessful) Choice: None
Around the globe, though, there were some mistakes made:
Thus the 11,009 perfect survivors have been whittled down to:
What craziness will ensue this 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.
Another excellent showing, following up last week’s 12 of 16 correct predictions to again miss only four—Buffalo, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Arizona all did not win—in Week 4:
The 75 percent success rate (but many lost points) was good for only 63rd out of 135 weekly entries. Thankfully the subpar 96 points only cost me one point in the standings (I’m now 10th overall) but I lost four points on the current leader, trailing by 27 with 13 weeks left in the NFL regular season.
Follow my quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.