Never have I been more euphoric about a 7-6 record. Four of those losses were suffered by teams that either had clinched a playoff berth already (Green Bay Gamblers, Snuffleupagus, GBG) or had been eliminated from postseason contention (Fuzzy Dunlop). The other two (TR’s Peepers, The Drop Bears) were a bit more problematic. The wins, however, were thrilling. Enormous victories by Pangaea, Unironic Witty Name, and Curly’s Cadre were triumphs I won’t soon forget. More on the specifics later. First an update on the playoff possibilities laid out in last week’s column:
Green Bay Gamblers
|Last Week||After missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons last year in my coveted keeper league, I’m back where I belong! And with the huge win I am now just a game behind the division leader and own all the tiebreakers, thanks to my superior 4-1 divisional record.|
|Update||Likely will be the fourth or fifth seed.|
|Last Week||I amazingly still have a shot. But I need heaps to happen: three of the five 5-7 teams to lose twice and the one 4-8 squad to fall one time. And then keep increasing my point total. Never say die! Never stop competing!|
|Update||Despite ending my five game losing streak, I officially—for the first time in the league’s 12 seasons—have been eliminated from postseason contention.|
|Last Week||Win out and have any one of three different teams lose twice and somehow pass them in points. I am trailing the sixth, seventh and eighth place teams by 150, 112, and 83 points, respectively. So unlikely but far from out of the realm of possibility.|
|Update||Need to win and have WellyWorld and Tommy’s back lose and score more than 150 (unlikely) points more than the former and 117 (a better chance but still not super good) more than the latter.|
|Last Week||Postseason clinched. Likely headed to a top four finish.|
|Last Week||Pretty simple: Win and I’m in!|
|Update||Well I didn’t win—but I still got in! Finally some fantasy football good fortune!|
|Last Week||Most points in the league so I’ve unofficially clinched a playoff spot. And a win this weekend will get secure me the first overall seed and coveted Week 14 bye.|
|Update||Mission accomplished: I knocked off a top competitor, The Cunning Stunts, for the second time this season to leapfrog him and capture the spoils delineated above.|
|Last Week||Hopefully two wins and a hefty point total get me in. Right now I am tied for the last playoff spot but lose the tiebreaker by 86 points. I am playing the team right ahead of me in the divisional standings so tons can happen this weekend. Fingers crossed!|
|Update||Won—twice!—I did and in doing so I captured the fifth seed in the playoffs. Epic, epic victories.|
The Drop Bears
|Last Week||Two more wins and heaps of points. That’s my recipe for success.|
|Update||Need to beat Beltway Bandits and have Really Really Clever Team Name lose to Smoke & Mirrors.|
|Last Week||Due to my point total—the second highest in the league—I see no scenario where I’m not in the playoffs.|
|Last Week||Despite scoring the most points in the 12-team league, I have been eliminated from playoff contention.|
|Update||Most points in 12-team league and I finished ninth. Season over.|
The Taco Stand
|Last Week||Need to win and have both Mason’s Team and Hustlers lose. I have 59.7 points more than the former and 118.7 more than the latter so I should get in if I can prevail and they both go down.|
|Update||I did win—a resounding 138.28-81.78 victory over the second place team—but, unfortunately, so did Mason’s Team. Thus despite finishing second in the league in points I finished just out of the playoffs, in seventh place.|
Unironic Witty Name
|Last Week||Need to win and have either B3@st Mod3 or Super Friends lose and I score more 33.54 points than B3@st Mod3 and Super Friends doesn’t tally 14.1 more than I do.|
|Update||Oh hellz yeah! Smashed the previously 11-1 squad, 258.70-207.80, and watched gleefully as Super Friends lost, thereby clinching me the sixth and final spot in the postseason. So fuckin’ great!|
Here are how my 12 teams—the supercontinent Pangaea plays two games a week—fared in Week 13:
|Team||Result||Record||Streak||Standing (vs. Last Week)||Points For|
|Green Bay Gamblers||156.95-95.99||8-5||Lost 1||Fifth (Even)||1,344.51|
|Sterling Sharpe||91.88-85.90||4-9||Won 1||Eleventh (+1)||1,247.98|
|Brc||170-150||5-8||Won 1||Tenth (Even)||1,759|
|Snuffleupagus||145-120||8-5||Lost 2||Fourth (Even)||1,680|
|TR’s Peepers||98.72-88.62||6-7||Lost 1||Sixth (Even)||1,144.18|
|Curly’s Cadre*||101.18-97.44||8-5||Won 2||First (+3)||1,329.80|
|Pangaea||194-163-194-123||15-11||Won 3||Fifth (+2)||4,248|
|The Drop Bears*||87.8-71.2||7-6||Lost 3||Sixth (-1)||1,203.4|
|GBG||101-94||6-7||Lost 2||Sixth (-3)||1,329|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||211-147||5-8||Lost 2||Ninth (Even)||2,376|
|The Taco Stand||138.28-81.78||6-7||Won 1||Seventh (+1)||1,938.58|
|Unironic Witty Name||258.70-207.80||5-8||Won 2||Sixth (+1)||2,497.50|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||1,252.19||Fourth||-1||Playoff positioning set; fine tuning awaits.|
|Sterling Sharpe||1,387.97||Ninth||-2||So that’s what victory tastes like!|
|Brc||1,764||Eighth||-2||So you say there’s a chance?|
|Snuffleupagus||1,586||Sixth||+2||Need to get back to my winning ways!|
|TR’s Peepers||1,313.46||Tenth (Last)||+4||Lost . . . and I’m still in!|
|Curly’s Cadre*||1,184.82||First||Even||Clutch win to secure top seed and a first round bye.|
|Pangaea||4,231||Fifth||Even||Dominant effort, up-and-down the roster.|
|The Drop Bears*||1,195.5||Ninth||+3||Mariota over Carr and I win easily.|
|GBG||1,272||Second||-4||Hill over Lacy and I win by eight.|
|Fuzzy Dunlop||2,167||First||-8||Most points and I miss the playoffs.|
|The Taco Stand||1,786.92||Second||-5||Second most points and I miss the playoffs.|
|Unironic Witty Name||2,641.66||Fifth||-1||That (43.8 fantasy points) is why I chose Antonio Brown #3 overall!|
*Denotes new team this season
Week 13 record: 7-6. Overall: 83-86 (.491).
If the Postseason Started Today: Seven of my 12 fantasy teams make the playoffs (up one from Week 12)
Clinched Playoff Berth: Green Bay Gamblers, Snuffleupagus, TR’s Peepers, Curly’s Cadre, Pangaea, GBG, Unironic Witty Name
Eliminated from Postseason Contention: Fuzzy Dunlop, Sterling Sharpe, The Taco Stand
Week 13: 1,764.85
Week 12: 1,717.19
Week 11: 1,596.24
Week 10: 1,463.92
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
How I’ve fared in other past Week 13s:
2014: 7-5 (88-66-2, .571)
2013: 5-6-1 (90-65-1, .579)
2012: 5-7 (85-71, .545)
2011: 9-3 (96-58-2, .622)
Place Differential (Cumulative number of places in the standings I either rose or fell compared to the previous week):
Week 13 (7-6): +4 (Best since week 3!)
Week 12 (5-8): -2
Week 11 (8-5): +1
Week 10 (5-8): -5
Week 9 (6-7): +2
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 -25 from Week 2
Luckiest Team: TR’s Peepers (four rungs higher on the ladder than their point total should indicate; lowest point total in the league and I made the playoffs).
Unluckiest Team: Fuzzy Dunlop (a mind-boggling eight spots short; most points in the entire league and I have been eliminated from playoff contention).
And now for some hardware:
Player of the Week: Antonio Brown. I only have him on one team but that doesn’t negate his amazing Sunday Night Football performance: eight catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Oh yeah—he also returned a punt 71 yards to pay dirt. All that was good for 43.80 points in a 50.90 victory over an 11-1 team. To get into the playoffs. Epic.
Goat of the Week: Second straight week with a Green Bay Packer in the mix. And the first time a Player of the Week has morphed into a Goat of the Week in a mere seven days. Not the way you wanted to make The Week in Fantasy Football history, Eddie Lacy! His Week 13 totals: five carries for four yards and one catch for -3 yards. That’s .10 points in a couple leagues and zero in two others. Of much more dire consequence, his teams limped along to a 1-3 record in what was a season-defining week for me.
Villain of the Week: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Facing a (seemingly) stout Carolina Panthers defense, the sage signal caller threw for 282 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, good for 28.48 points against TR’s Peepers. That sum was more than enough to contribute significantly to the 10.1 point defeat that nearly derailed my dream of winning the ‘Friends of Jason Biggs’ league championship.
Team(s) of the Week: Kudos to Curly’s Cadre whose huge victory secured a Week 14 bye and trip straight into the semifinals. But even had I lost that matchup I still would have made the postseason. Not so for Pangaea and Unironic Witty Name. Their three combined victories were as dominant as they were necessary. These beautiful images tell all:
(Disappointing) Team of the Week: Snuffleupagus. Something is just not quite clicking with Snuffy. And time is running low to figure out the issue for a team that boasts Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady as its quarterbacks.
(Heartbreaking) Team of the Week: The Taco Stand. Tallied a robust 138.28 points to take down the second place squad—only to see my title hopes dashed when one of the two teams above me prevailed. So many close losses make this even tougher to stomach, especially considering I finished with the second most points in the league.
Normally in this spot we’d highlight the most important game of the upcoming week. But now that it’s playoff time they are all paramount. Behold the four postseason matchups (in order of importance) and the other must-win game on the Week 14 slate:
Pure Genius: Normally I use this space as a special shout out to a single move that led to a lone win. But considering the immenseness and frequency of the titanic victories in Week 13, I’ll instead praise the many moves which resulted in multiple victories. Huzzah!
What was I thinking?!: Last week I lamented playing the New England Patriots defense over the formidable squad from Carolina. Second verse same as the first: I should never sit Denver’s defense. Benched in all owned leagues (usually for the New England contingent) they would have netted me 23 fantasy points—instead of zero for the Pats.
Put Me In Coach—I’m Ready to Play: Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Trade of the Week: All trade deadlines have passed.
Pickup(s) of the Week: Here’s hoping Tim Hightower will be this year’s C.J. Anderson. When New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram was surprisingly placed on season-ending injured reserve earlier this week, Hightower suddenly found himself as a very valuable fantasy asset. And I was lucky enough to snag him on six of my nine teams that are still fighting for fantasy football immortality.
That quest will also be aided by acquiring New England Patriots number one wideout Julian Edelman on three teams and his teammate James White on two. Other high profile additions include Jacksonville Jaguar wide receiver Allen Hurns, the Packers ‘Miracle in Motown’ hero Richard Rodgers, fellow tight ends Benjamin Watson and Heath Miller and Ryan Mathews of the Philadelphia Eagles. Looking ahead to Week 15 when Curly’s Cadre plays its semi-final tilt, I picked up the Buffalo Bills defense for their date with the Dallas Cowboys. Finally, Marshawn Lynch was re-added by Sterling Sharpe purely for sentimental reasons.
Drop(s) of the Week: As for those not making the grade: Quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Brian Hoyer, Matt Cassel and Austin Davis; tailbacks Melvin Gordon III (two teams), Andre Ellington and Duke Johnson; wideouts Vincent Jackson, Donte Moncrief and James Jones; tight ends Eric Ebron, Martellus Bennett, Vance McDonald and Vernon Davis; kicker Josh Brown; and the team defenses from Houston and St. Louis.
Worrisome Injury of Week: None! Healthy as can be at the exact right time of the season!
Team Ready to Break Out: The Drop Bears
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.
A very solid, if unspectacular, showing. Need to have a couple dominating efforts in the remaining four weeks if I want to take home this title. My selections:
The 10 of 16 correct picks were good for 24th (out of 135) on the week and moved me two spots up to 25th overall. Unfortunately, I lost one point on the supreme leader and now sit 40 back with a month left in the NFL season.
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Follow my (increasingly challenging) quest for fantasy football dominance—including the highs and lows of such a dynamic and distressing hobby—on Twitter: @nicholasjonwood.