A Game Above Mediocrity: Fantasy Football Failings

Matthew Berry, the luckiest man in the world to be doing what he is for a living, wrote an article about the worst ways to lose a game.

Total domination. Everything clicks, you’re in massive control the whole way, and you just get to enjoy as every single player, even your kicker, goes off. Victory is never in doubt. You can light the cigar at halftime of the early games.

Check, I lost by 40+ points, losing to a team where five players have big games, while RG3 left the game with a concussion.

Beating the person who talks the most trash leading up to the game or your most bitter rival in the league.

Check, I talk a lot in this league, maybe not so much trash, but at least commentary on what’s going on, whether it’s in my matchup or a friend’s matchup.

The back-and forth game. Speaking of that War Room league, two weeks ago I was up 20 heading into Sunday night, and Ed Werder had Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson going. (Ed had his own injury/bye issues that week.) Henderson quickly scores, then Meachem. It’s a PPR league, so just like that we were tied. Luckily, I had Colston. Meachem scores again, but Colston is matching him blow-for-blow. Ed and I exchanged the lead every three minutes in that game until the middle of the fourth, when Colston scored for the third time. And even then I was on pins and needles in case Meachem got a third. It was nerve-racking, and I loved it.

Double check, I lost twice because of this, for a combined total of 3.44 points. Or, 1.72 points on average in the two games. So there’s that.

Where can I send Elias a thank-you note? You’ve dealt with the pain of a close loss only to be brought back to life by a late-week stat correction. Even better when you’ve had to endure two days of trash talk.

This was the worst one yet. A sack on RG3 was later ruled as a rush for -7 yards. No big deal, loss of .7 points, right? Wrong. This stat correction sent me from winning by .6, to losing by .08. All I needed was one person to accumulate just one more yard, and I would have won, but sadly that was not the case.

The worst part is, the team that beat me scored 116+ points, and has yet to score 85 in any of the other six games. So that being said, combined with the most recent loss where all I needed was Jason Hanson to put up five points, where instead putting up a season-low one, I have been unlucky.

BUT, with a trade and some decent drafting/team management, I should be able to make the playoffs.

ANYWAYS

Like last time, it’s time to look at the newest list of brags and busts.

QB

Brag: Despite one game where he only put up five points due to an injury, RG3 has still been absolutely stellar in his first season. He’s also still in first place for fantasy scoring despite that one off game, slightly edging out Aaron Rodgers. His monster rushing performance against the Vikings has helped that…

Runner-Up Brag: Speaking of Rodgers, he’s finally turned it on this season, and that ridiculous six-TD performance certainly can allow owners to brag again. It’s nice to take his name off the bust list, because he deserves better.

Bust: Cam Newton has been bad on and off the field this season, failing to provide leadership on the team, though it’s not completely his fault. Ranking outside the top 10 in fantasy QBs, Cam Newton has either hit a sophomore slump, or has been figured out by the league. All the people drafting him so high are really regretting this, with only two good weeks really this season (one of course, came in that .08 loss I had).

Out of the frying pan: Matthew Stafford. It hurts to play against the defenses of the Bears and Vikings. It hurts even more to see that Stafford has not thrown more than one touchdown in a game this season. Megatron has no TD receptions, which doesn’t help, and neither does Stafford’s 5:6 TD-to-interception ratio.

RB

Brag: Prior to the fantasy drafts, experts everywhere were saying to avoid drafting a Redskins running back. Of course, this referred to people like Tim Hightower, Roy Helu, and Evan Royster. So they were at least half right. But then Alfred Morris emerged in game one and has been racking up the yards since. Even while competing with RG3, Morris still is in the top 3 scoring leaders amongst running backs. That puts him only behind Arian Foster and Ray Rice. Shows what a heavy workload and a suddenly stellar offensive line can do for you.

Runner-up: Like Morris, Frank Gore has proven experts wrong by having a fantastic season, ranking sixth amongst running backs, while producing on a consistent basis. Though he had two shaky starts against two tough defenses, Gore has been fairly reliable despite Kendall Hunter creeping into the mix. The 49ers defense creating a shorter field defnitely helps him out. Also, CJ Spiller has gotten over his injury and returned to form, and Adrian Peterson has just been a beast, and is coming off a ridiculous 150-yard, 2 TD performance against the Cardinals. All Day could be the major brag if he continues to show that he’s a cyborg.

Bust: Oh, DeAngelo Williams, your churlish tweet has just made things worse. With only 27 points on the season, Williams has been anything but impressive. He did have a three week span where he scored 29 points, but it ended with a -2 performance against the stingy Seattle Defense. Seriously, -2?

Out of the frying pan: Steven Jackson hasn’t really produced much  this season, scoring his first touchdown this season (again, against my team) last week. But really, the other busts here are the rest of the running backs on the Panthers, their offense is seriously messed up.

WR

Brags: AJ Green is carrying the Bengal’s offense right now. He has a TD catch in the last six games, including his only catch against the Steeler’s last Sunday night. He’s tied for league lead in touchdown receptions with seven, and in third in both receiving yards and total targets. In all, this puts him in first place in fantasy scoring for WR. The other brag-worthy person here is Victor Cruz, who is right behind AJ Green in receiving yards, and who also has 7 TDs. He leads the league in targets and is comfortably ahead of the third place receiver in fantasy points. Also, based on where most people drafted him Percy Harvin is a considerable brag too, despite being thrown to by the not bad, but not great Christian Ponder.

Runner-up: The entire Green Bay receiving core, excluding Greg Jennings. When Rodgers does well, so do his receivers. The Packers’ QB usually spreads the ball around, and as a result, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Randall Cobb are 5th, 11th, and 12th, respectively in fantasy points among WRs. James Jones interestingly is tied with Cruz and Green for the league lead in TD receptions, despite being sub-400 in yards.

Bust: The “excluding Greg Jennings” part of the last section is where this bust comes in. The WR has been injured all season long, and when he has played, his injuries have affected his game. He hasn’t broken 100 yards in his playing time and only has one TD reception on the season, totaling under 15 points.

Out of the frying pan: Like Jennings, Hakeem Nicks has dealt with an injury for a lot of this season. He came back in week 6, but recorded just 44 yards. His follow up against a weak Redskins secondary was barely better, recording a mere 53 yards.

Brandon Lloyd, watch out, you could be next.

TE

Brags: Owen Daniels has turned into a TD-catching machine these past four weeks. Aside from the game where the Texans were obliterated by the Packers, Daniels has caught a TD in every game after week 3. Another veteran who is killing it is Tony Gonzalez, who has been a favorite red zone target of Matt Ryan’s. Gonzalez is still second in the league in TE points, despite having a bye week this past weekend.

Runner-up: This section should be titled “Veteran Tight Ends,” because another resurgent TE is the Steeler’s Heath Miller. While he doesn’t accumulate a ton of yards, Heath Miller is a TD magnet, and is tied for the lead amongst TE’s in TD receptions.

Bust: It’s tough to determine a bust because the TE has been fairly weak this season. But a lot of people were calling Tamme a nice sleeper (contradictory statement, I know), but he has failed to satisfy those sneaking suspicions. Tamme only has 24 points, ten of which came in the first game of the season.

Out of the frying pan: Basically, if you’re not Rodgers, Nelson, Cobb, or Jones and are on the Packers offense, then you’re not doing to well. This time around, it’s Jermichael Finley who is receiving the criticism. He mirrors Tamme exactly, with 10 of his 26 fantasy points coming in his first game of the season. The upside of course is that he was slow out of the gate last season and picked it up considerably. And with Rodgers’ play reaching the quality of last season, those numbers should improve.

Mandatory K and D/ST picks

Seriously, don’t brag about these positions.

Brag D/ST: The Bears’ defense has almost produced as many points as their offense, and has been an absolute monster all season long. Even with the bye week, the Bears’ D has 16 more points than the next team.

Brag K: Greg Zuerlein plays for the Rams. That should be enough evidence that he gets a lot of opportunities to kick field goals.

Bust D/ST: Ravens are losing people left and right. No Ladarius Webb, Ray Lewis, and possibly Ed Reed could really hurt this defense in a leadership sense, and probably in fantasy as well.

Bust K: Anyone who drafted Billy Cundiff didn’t see last year’s AFC Championship game. Shame on you.

So there we go. Some important  people who were busts through the first three week’s managed to escape another term here. In particular, Rodgers and Chris Johnson, who both have seen considerable improvements. Others, such as the Greg Jennings and the Carolina rushing offense, continue to reside in less favorable positions.

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One response to “A Game Above Mediocrity: Fantasy Football Failings

  1. Pingback: ‘Bout Damn Time: Clinching a Fantasy Football Playoff Spot « John Fichera·

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