Well, the smoke has cleared on the 2012 fantasy football season.
And it’s time for me to bitch…
The Golden Tate Showers league has somewhat concluded in the shadow of the fantasy football playoffs. I say “somewhat,” because the championship game has been mired in controversy. The two teams involved ended up tying at 209:
We have a league poll up to decide if they should just split the grand prize or fight to the death to see who gets it. I voted for death.
Which seems fitting, given I ended up in last.
Indeed, both outcomes were representative of my inaugural participation in the sport. There were ups–like the week my lineup went off for 121–and downs–like every other week–but I was able to scrounge up 5 wins in the regular season.
An early blowout in round one of the playoffs had me staring down the barrel of a loser gun.
If I didn’t win, I would be the last of the last in the league, the toilet bowl seat, the king of the midgets! I couldn’t let this happen. This was where the playoff race between the Boys and the Skins came into play.
Going into the second week of my ultimate loser matchup, I was up 100-71 against a dude from my workplace.
It sounded a bit sketch, but from all accounts, it looked like The Law Firm would at least play. And against a Ravens D that has more holes than it has players, I figured I could at least get 50 yds and a TD by half.
So I left The Law Firm in.
I had previously, and maybe drunkenly, promised my girlfriend, the night before, that we’d catch brunch at a local eatery on Sunday morn. It was just after 11 a.m. OK time, and I figured everything was set.
Now, if you’ve read my article The Dreaded FLEX, you know I get nervous leaving matters up to the football Gods. But with about 40 mins til game time, I picked my chick up and went to chow down on eggs Benedict and fruit platters.
I returned at 12:15 to find that The Law Firm had rested his case.
Locked up on my lineup was a guy who I knew wouldn’t score me points.
I started feeling queasy. The one guy who had actually been rock solid for me as of late was a big ol’ hunkin’ zero! I had my lead, but I definitely felt less confident in having my FLEX spot nullified.
I had Romo left to play, and he had Dan Bailey, Jason Witten, and Alfred Morris left. Since Romo effectively cancelled out the Boys’ points, I was really only worried about Morris. I actually drafted Roy Helu in thoughts he would be the Skins workhorse this year, but Morris had proven that he could put up tremendous numbers.
The first half was rather dull. Neither team scored in the first quarter, but Romo did manage two interceptions, which made me wince a ‘lil. In the second quarter, Romo threw for a TD…to Witten.
Then Morris took in a 17 yarder for a TD.
Jump to the fourth. Bailey knocks in a field goal, and Morris runs in a 32 yard TD. Things aren’t looking good, yo. Then, Romo connects with Ogletree for a TD, along with the two point conversion, and suddenly we had ourselves a game! The matchup was tied now, 198-198. And honestly, I liked my chances.
The Boys were down 21-18 with just over three minutes left. All they had to do was make one drive and tie or end this thing. If they could go the length of the field and prevent Morris from getting any more touches, I could totally pull this W out, even with The Law Firm not helping.
Romo dropped back and rifled a pass that was…picked off. For the third time that game, Romo forgot what color he was wearing. The score was 196-198, for the other dude.
But there was still 3 mins left…or at least the optimistic thought I kept telling myself.
The Skins ran the clock out, going from the Dallas 25 yard line to the 1. And then, with 1:09 left on the clock, Morris ran it in, 196-204.
With just over a minute left, I figured Romo could pull out another INT, but alas, he just made some completions over the middle against prevent defense for meager yardage.
True, I did end up getting the ultimate last place in my first work league, but I was able to learn a hell of a lot about the sport. Here’s a look at some of my own personal resolutions for Fantasy Football 2013, along with a peak at youngsters to keep an eye on in the off season:
1) My Time–One aspect of the fantasy realm that I didn’t really account for in the beginning was the last minute changes to rosters. No longer will I leave my lineup set without double checking. A couple times this season, I locked players in without bothering to check whether they were all good to go. The last week saw a horrible sequence of these events. As I mentioned, The Law Firm was iffy along with Ray Rice that week. The Jags and Giants also had RB problems. MJD, Jennings, Owens, and Parmele all ended up on the IR. Then, word came out that Richard Murphy would be the starter, only to be dismissed just moments before kickoff, as reports of Keith Toston starting trickled in. For 2013, the hour leading up to the noon kickoff games is mine! No more zero pointers!
2) Draft Strategy–This year, it paid off to have a solid top 5 QB and TE. Next year , the trend looks to be leaning toward RB depth. The distance between the top QB’s and the average QB’s has been continually diminishing with the rise of young, rookie stars like Luck, RGIII, and Wilson. RB depth was tested throughout the year, and injuries left many fantasy footballers in limbo. One reason, along with great QB quality, that RB’s look to steal the show next year, is that WR’s came easily to most folks. Even the top of the top in the receiving game had horrible bouts of ineptitude or injury. For next year, securing up to 3 RB’s should be key, as QB and WR depth will be fairly tight amongst all players, and the guaranteed touches at the RB slot will be incredibly valuable.
3) Fuck Stevie Johnson—Nuff said; I hate that guy.
4) RB by Committee–This was a term I had actually never heard before. But after drafting backs from the Skins, the Panthers, and the Saints, I quickly found out what this meant. I also picked up Stevan Ridley, who most believed would not get to put on his own show. Ridley was a bright spot, as he took the workhorse role and became the #1 guy in New England. I let go of DeAngelo Williams only to see him show up in the second half of the season, but for the most part, Carolina split all carries, and no one back mattered until Cam got hot, and the team managed to score points. Next year, nothin’ but workhorses.
5) Go with Your Gut–Man, oh man, do I love experts! But nothing beats your own intuition. this was evidenced for me. I had a few instances where I withheld my amateur judgment to cede to the prophetic wisdom of ESPN writers. I found that I routinely let go of guys too soon. I would pick up a hot prospect, see he had a down week, and trade him, only to find out that bad game was just a bump on the path to success. I really shoulda trusted my baser instincts, and let my waiver picks have enough time to pan out. I did this with rankings, too. I would have a hunch about a guy, then drop him based on ranks or projections. this happened with T.Y. Hilton the last week. I liked him a lot, but the projections and ranks were unbelievably low. He got double digits while I learned to trust my gut.
Speaking of gut calls, here are some top dogs who emerged this year, who you should keep tabs on: