When the fantasy football playoffs arrive your mentality needs to change. Now it’s all about letting go and looking forward. Sure you unconditionally loved that one team for four months before having your heart unceremoniously ripped from your body with no anaesthesia to inure you from the pain. Tough shit. Accepting defeat and thinking how many titles you can still procure is the only mindset that a champion is allowed to have. Forget the fallen. Remember those who survived.
For me that means after a heartbreaking Week 14 the answer to that seminal question is five.
The Drop Bears were my best chance to add one more team to the postseason mix. And while what I couldn’t control (whether or not Smoke & Mirrors could defeat Really Really Clever Team Name) did come to pass, I failed to beat Beltway Bandits, losing 113.5-102.5, ending my playoff hopes in what was a very successful first year in a tough league—before I lost four in a row to end my season.
Here are how my five teams—who still had regular season games to play—fared in Week 14:
|Team||Result||Record||Streak||Standing (vs. Last Week)||Points For|
|Green Bay Gamblers||79.62-55.32||9-5||Won 1||Fourth (+1)||1,424.13|
|Sterling Sharpe||106.25-76.23||5-9||Won 2||Tenth (+1)||1,354.23|
|Brc||146-121||5-9||Lost 1||Tenth (Even)||1,880|
|Snuffleupagus||118-110||8-6||Lost 3||Fourth (Even)||1,790|
|The Drop Bears*||113.5-102.5||7-7||Lost 4||Ninth (-3)||1,305.9|
|Team||Points Against||Rank||Differential||What If?|
|Green Bay Gamblers||1,307.51||Fourth||Even||Time to make my patented postseason run!|
|Sterling Sharpe||1,464.20||Ninth||-1||Proud group: Two wins in a row to end a sad season.|
|Brc||1,910||Ninth||-1||Disappointing campaign ends in a whimper.|
|Snuffleupagus||1,704||Sixth||+2||Rested my starters with playoff positions assured.|
|The Drop Bears*||1,309||Ninth||Even||So. Many. Regrets.|
*Denotes new team this season
Week 14 regular season record: 2-3. Overall: 85-89 (.489).
Week 14 playoff record: 2-2. Overall: 2-2 (.500).
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, Brc, The Drop Bears
Week 14: 1,121.13
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
Week 14 regular seasons throughout history (this—an extremely disappointing .489 winning percentage—has been by far my worst on record, the first I’ve ever finished below .500):
2014: 2-2 (90-68-2, .569)
2013: 2-2 (92-67-1, .575)
2012: 1-3 (86-74, .538)
2011: 4-2 (100-60-2, .623)
And in the playoffs:
Place Differential (Cumulative number of places in the standings I either rose or fell compared to the previous week):
Week 14 (2-3): -1
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
Final Result: Minus -26 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).
This week I’m going to do things a bit differently since winning in the playoffs is why we play fantasy football. So with four matchups on the docket, I’ll provide some insight into all of them. And then we will have our normal awards section for those still relevant. Without further ado . . .
What stands out here is the unbelievable goose egg from Oakland Raiders rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper. With the robust scoring system, had he just caught a measly three passes for 25 yards I win.
A hallmark of this team all year, I’m very pleased my depth and balance again showed up at the most important time of the season. A very rewarding win.
I was actually leading heading into Monday Night Football but this matchup was lost when both Carolina Panthers Jonathan Stewart and Greg Olsen left their game early. In the playoffs, rarely can you overcome injuries of that magnitude.
This year’s ‘Luckiest Team’ I proved why I belonged in the playoffs with this dominating victory. Kudos to the Carolina Panthers defense on pitching shutout on the biggest weekend of the season—so far.
And now for the weekly awards:
Player of the Week: Eddie Lacy. What a roller coaster ride for the Green Bay Packers running back and his fantasy owners. Two weeks ago he was ensconced in this spot as the Player of the Week. Last week he was the Goat. And now he’s back on top after rushing for 124 yards and a touchdown, while also adding a 24 yards receiving to the mix. His dominant performance led GBG and TR’s Peepers to huge playoff wins.
Goat of the Week: See Cooper, Amari.
Villain of the Week: St Louis Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley. After doing nothing for the last six weeks, he exploded for 140 rushing yards, seven through the air, and two rushing touchdowns, good for a ridiculous 52 points in 29 point playoff loss for Pangaea.
Team of the Week: No matter what league you are in, all playoff wins are huge. But some are bigger than others. TR’s Peepers falls into the latter category. Dominant, dominant victory.
(Disappointing) Team of the Week: The Drop Bears. One win out of the last four was all I needed to make the playoffs. Matt Ryan killed me down the stretch.
(Heartbreaking) Team of the Week: Unironic Witty Name. Fuck!
Opponent to Fear: A.J. Green. Face him—and his mouth-watering matchup—in three of five playoff tilts.
A look at the five postseason matchups set for Week 15:
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.
Eesh. Rough week. I correctly prognosticated only nine of the 16 eventual winners:
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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.