I had so many big wins in Week 11 and had the Patriots scored one (Tom Brady) or two (if LeGarrette Blount was involved in one) more touchdowns on Monday night I could have had two more victories. Still an 8-5 mark is a fine turnaround after three consecutive subpar showings. With two games left in the regular season in six of my leagues (seven if you count Gridiron Bone where I play two more weeks but four games in total) and three in the other five, for many teams every matchup are truly must-wins. I love the pressure. This is a great time of the year for fantasy football!
Which brings to me a brief interlude where I will wax poetic on that thing rarely mentioned in these pages: real life. I’m of course thankful for all the things most of us take for granted: shelter, more than enough food, potable water, and a safe neighborhood in which to live. I’m thankful for having such a great life, a wonderful wife, a fantastic family and awesome friends. You know your life is pretty darn great when the thing that irks you the most—the thing that nags at your guilty conscience for far too long—is making a mistake about who to put in a make believe lineup that is so infinitesimal in the grand scheme of human existence it’s not worth a millisecond of thought—let alone 1,500 words a week about its perils and pitfalls, the agony and ecstasy of such a silly trifle of a hobby.
What I’m trying to say is . . . I’m so so thankful for being able to care so damn much about fantasy football!
Here are how my 12 teams—the supercontinent Pangaea plays two games a week—fared in Week 11:
|Team||Result||Record||Streak||Standing (vs. Last Week)||Points For|
|Green Bay Gamblers||104.33-70.27||7-4||Won 1||Sixth (Even)||1,157.20|
|Sterling Sharpe||95.60-80.59||3-8||Lost 4||Twelfth (-2)||1,035.17|
|Brc||142-111||4-7||Won 1||Tenth (Even)||1,454|
|Snuffleupagus||123-63||8-3||Won 3||Third (+1)||1,446|
|TR’s Peepers||105.48-79.18||5-6||Won 1||Seventh (+1)||946.38|
|Curly’s Cadre*||64.92-62.88||6-5||Lost 4||Sixth (-2)||1,101.22|
|Pangaea||170-145; 170-115||12-10||Won 3||Seventh (+2)||3,558|
|The Drop Bears*||104.5-81.3||7-4||Lost 1||Third (Even)||1,045.4|
|GBG||122-71||6-5||Won 2||Third (+1)||1,154|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||147-91||5-6||Won 1||Eighth (+2)||2,062|
|The Taco Stand||131.64-119.78||5-6||Lost 2||Seventh (-3)||1,662.10|
|Unironic Witty Name||200.56-167.88||3-8||Lost 1||Seventh (+1)||1,994.44|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||1,020.91||Fourth||-2||A successful Rivalry Week!|
|Sterling Sharpe||1,163.14||Ninth||-3||I hold on to Rawls, Lynch’s backup, and I win.|
|Brc||1,462||Ninth||-1||Losing streak: STOPPED!|
|Snuffleupagus||1,319||Fifth||+2||No kicker? No problem.|
|TR’s Peepers||1,125.44||Tenth (Last)||+3||A-Rodg and Lacy will decide my playoff fate.|
|Curly’s Cadre*||979.30||Second||-4||Gio over T.J. or Rams over J-E-T-S and I win.|
|Pangaea||3,620||Seventh||Even||Top scorer again. $10 USD baby!|
|The Drop Bears*||1,006.1||Eighth||+5||A karmic low-scoring loss.|
|GBG||1,073||First||-2||Peaking at the right time!|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||1,761||First||-7||Julio Jones for president!|
|The Taco Stand||1,560.12||Second||-5||Favored entering MNF but Brady-LaFell-Blount failed to deliver.|
|Unironic Witty Name||2,206.48||Seventh||Even||(Lack of) Carr-to-Cooper cost me dearly.|
*Denotes new team this season
Week 11 record: 8-5. Overall: 71-72 (.497).
If the Postseason Started Today: Five of my 12 fantasy teams make the playoffs (down one from Week 10)
Week 11: 1,596.24
Week 10: 1,463.92 (my second lowest total of the season)
Week 9: 1,945.66
Week 8: 1,530.35
Week 7: 1,784.45
Week 6: 1,647.91
Week 5: 1,755.15
Week 4: 1,415.19
Week 3: 2,083.02
Week 2: 1,712.94
Week 1: 1,680.25
The history of this week for me:
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)
Place Differential (Cumulative number of places in the standings I either rose or fell compared to the previous week):
Week 11 (8-5): +1
Week 10 (5-8): -5
Week 9 (6-7): +2 (First positive increase since Week 3!)
Week 8 (2-11): -11
Week 7 (8-5): Even
Week 6 (4-9): -4
Week 5 (7-6): -5
Week 4 (6-7): -2
Week 3 (9-4): +7
Week 2 (9-4): -10
Overall: Minus -27 from Week 2
Luckiest Team: The Drop Bears (five rungs higher on the ladder than their point total should indicate; unchanged since Week 9).
Unluckiest Team: Fuzzy Dunlop (thankfully now only seven spots short, two better than last week; honorable mention to The Taco Stand who’s -5 with the second most points in a 12-team league).
And now for some hardware:
Player of the Week: Mason Crosby. Yes a kicker! Did you see how absolutely dominant he was on Sunday in a must-win game? Field goals of 42, 47, 40, 42 and 52 yards plus an extra point—the most successful tries in NFL history without a miss from over 40 yards. For most scoring systems that equated to a ridiculous 22 points. Not only did he play a huge role in the Packers enormous win in Minnesota but his teams went 4-2 on the fantasy week. A bravura performance!
Goat of the Week: Amari Cooper. Yes his quarterback, Derek Carr, struggled too, but I watched that entire game and he dropped three easy balls and had only one catch for four yards, costing me two likely wins in the process.
Villain of the Week: Doug Martin. Played against the Artist Formerly Known As the Muscle Hamster in two leagues and he was the reason—235 yards rushing good for 25.50 and 23.50 points—that Unironic Witty Name and Curly’s Cadre went down this week.
Team of the Week: Big kudos to Brc for finally ending their five game losing streak and to the GBG for wresting back first place by scoring the most points in the league. But I have to give this award again to the one-and-only supercontinent: Pangaea. The most points in the league for the second time in three weeks ($10 USD is worth like $567.89 here in Australia), three wins in a row, and—suddenly—just one game back for first place. Good on ‘em!
(Heartbreaking) Team of the Week: The Taco Stand. Everything was set up perfectly for a huge win and likely playoff berth. Down 131.64-86 at the kickoff of Monday Night Football, I was predicted to win handily: 143.30-131.64. But not in cold and rainy Foxborough with no one (not the Patriots, Bills or the officials) on their game. It was not to be. Tom Brady underperformed by 12.42 points, Brandon LaFell 3.45, and LeGarrette Blount 7.65. The devastating loss drops me down to seventh place, one spot out of the postseason.
(Last Week’s) Game of the Week: I finally won one! Huzzah! (See ‘Team of the Week’ above.)
Brc Injury of the Week: Thank goodness it didn’t cost me a win, but I lost Tennessee Titans running back (and return yardage demon) Dexter McCluster early on in his Thursday night tilt.
Pure Genius: This is more of something I didn’t do. Last week this appeared here:
“Sticking with kicker Josh Brown. The New York Giant scored me 16 points (all crucial in an 18 point win) and has yet to miss a field goal all season. With his bye this week I’m trying to figure out a way not to drop him. He has become the sleeper of the year at his position.”
Well that is exactly what I didn’t do: drop him. But since I love Snuffleupagus so much I didn’t have any roster space to pick up another kicker. So I went without one figuring I could win anyway. And I did! Here’s my current squad (I don’t think I’ve made any changes in weeks):
What was I thinking?!: What is it with this category and Mr. John Brown? This time, at the very last, I picked up the mercurial Arizona Cardinal wide receiver and dropped James Jones. By swapping them in the lineup, I lost 13.7 points (27.90 for Jones compared to 14.20 that Brown accrued.) The amount I lost by? 11.86 points. And you say you want to grow up to play fantasy football, eh?
Put Me In Coach—I’m Ready to Play: Eddie Lacy!
Trade of the Week: None
Pickup(s) of the Week: Lemons to lemonade. It’s these kind of weeks on the waiver wire where multiple fantasy teams can take a turn for the better. Sterling Sharpe lost Baltimore Ravens Justin Forsett for the season. But three other teams benefitted by getting his heir apparent, Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen, on their squads. Hopefully this move benefits the whole contingent of teams.
Other additions this week included quarterback Brian Hoyer (against the Saints defense!); running backs Spencer Ware, Shaun Draughn, James White and Robert Turbin; wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Tyler Lockett; tight end Vernon Davis is now a Green Bay Gambler; and kicker Josh Brown has been signed by Fuzzy Dunlop. Pleased at this point of the season, despite current standing, that a few teams made no transactions whatsoever.
Drop(s) of the Week: Twelve drops and no duplicates. In alphabetical order: Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount (yes, again), Jaron Brown, Chandler Catanzaro, Charles Clay, David Cobb, Eric Ebron, Justin Forsett, Chris Givens, Keshawn Martin, Dexter McCluster and Benjamin Watson.
Worrisome Injury of Week: Marshawn Lynch. Guess I should have kept—and started—Thomas Rawls, eh? Been that kind of season for Sterling Sharpe. After 11 years of good luck in Frozen Tundra perhaps I’m overdue.
Team Ready to Break Out: Curly’s Cadre
Lambeau Field update: A win! Over Hans! In Rivalry 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.
I’m back baby! After too many disastrous weeks I came back with a vengeance in Week 11, amassing 102 points by only missing three games and leaving just 31 points on the table. My selections:
I finished sixth out of 135 entrants (81 spots higher than last week) and moved up from 40th to 21st place. I also decreased my deficit from 65 points out of first place to just 41 with seven weeks left in the National Football League’s regular season.
If you’ve missed any editions of This Week in Fantasy Football, all back issues are now available.
Follow my (increasingly challenging) quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.
To those who were amazing enough to read this far . . . Happy Thanksgiving!!