Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Hardships Of Fantasy Football

UPDATE!!! - I just went from the unluckiest fantasy football player to the luckiest in a matter of 72 hours! I woke up today to a text message from another player in the league telling me that because of a stat correction (a sack being taken away from the Steelers defense) that I was back in the playoffs! I have been on cloud 9 all day because of this. I am now guaranteed $200, with a chance to $1,300. The fantasy Gods have finally taken my side.

I now won by a score of 87.68 - 86.74

The final 4 agreed to take $300 away from the championship team and give $100 extra to the teams who place in 2-4 place. So now the payouts are - 1st place $1,300, 2nd place $600, 3rd place $300, 4th place $200.

When it comes to fantasy football, if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. I played in three different leagues, one free league, and two money leagues (one $200 buy in, the other $50) and made the playoffs in all three. I survived and advanced in one of those leagues and you can take a wild guess which one that was.

I'm just going to start with saying that a few years back, I won by less than two points in the semi finals that put me into the championship game, only to wake up the next morning to find out out that I lost thanks to a stat correction. They overturned a Dwayne Bowe fumble on an onsides kick, giving my opponent the 2 points back, and in result causing me to lose by less than 1 full point.

Lets begin with a win this year. Playing in a free 20 man league, I got off to a horrible 2-4 start. With only the top 8 teams making the playoffs, it was going to take a miracle for me to turn my season around. That turn around came in week 7, as I strung together 7 straight wins to finish the year 9-4 and win my division, grabbing the 4th seed in the playoffs. I really benefited from Jay Cutler getting hurt as I picked up Josh McCown and would rotate him and Carson Palmer in and out of the starting lineup. This week I cruised to an easy 116.91-77.75 victory, as McCown led me with 53 points thanks to his 5 TDs against the dreadful Cowboys defense. I almost screwed myself by not having a replacement for Reggie Bush, who I left in my lineup despite not playing in that snow storm. I had Brandon Bolden on my bench but he was a healthy inactive. In a 20 man league it's not easy to find valuable bench players. I am now hoping that McCown, Bush, Marshawn Lynch, Dwayne Bowe, Julian Edelman and Jordan Cameron can lead me to a championship.

Next we'll visit my 1st heartbreaking loss, to none other than my own brother Keith Lott. This is the $50 league, where 1st place gets $500 and 2nd place gets $100. 12 team league, top 6 teams make the playoffs, and the teams who win their division get a 1st round bye.

This matchup could not have started any worse for me. Being a GOOD brother, I advised Keith to add Joique Bell (HOW THE HELL WAS HE AVAILABLE IN OUR LEAGUE?!) because I heard the news about Reggie Bush about 20 minutes before kickoff. So he had Bell and LeSean McCoy going head to head in a winter wonderland of a football game, and they combined for 348 total yards and 3 rushing touchdowns for a total of 40.40 points. McCoy rushed for 217 yards, which means he earned the 1pt bonus for rushing for 100 yards, another 1.5pts for rushing for 150, and then another 2 points for hitting 200 yards. That will be a huge factor in this matchup.

Aside from the two of them, he had Ryan Tannehill throw for 3 touchdowns (could have been worse as he had Andy Dalton on the bench with 4 Tds). At the end of the 1PM games I was in a deep whole as Riley Cooper, Stevie Johnson, Justin Tucker and Patriots defense did next to nothing. Frank Gore, Eric Decker, and Knoshown Moreno provided all my offense during the 4PM games and I  found myself down 106.80 - 58.35 going into Sunday Night Football with Drew Brees left to keep my season alive.

I needed 48.45 from Brees, and I ended up getting 45.41. Losing 106.80-103.76, and the worst part was that Brees threw a touchdown pass to Marques Colston in the 3rd quarter that was reversed and he was ruled down at the 1/2 yard line, ultimately costing me my season. Or I could have just left Bowe in my lineup who I never sat during the regular season, and took out Stevie Johnson and I would have won. Just awful awful luck.

In the most important of the 3 leagues, was the $200 league (1st place $1600, 2nd place $500, 3rd place $200, 4th place $100) in which I dominated all year finishing in 1st place, going 10-3. Unfortunately in this league, there are 12 teams and the top 8 make the playoffs, with no first round byes, and really no advantage of finishing with the best overall record.

With Andrew Luck really struggling to get the Colts offense moving lately, I did not trust him against a good Bengals defense. Carson Palmer was dealing with an injury and I did not want to take a chance on him re-injuring himself during the game so I didn't trust him either. So I picked up free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Titans who has been rolling lately and I figured would have to throw the ball a ton to keep up with Peyton Manning. This decision would turn out to be a disaster.

I added Marcel Reece to use at the flex position despite the poor matchup against a great Jets run defense, but Danny Woodhead has been losing snaps as Ryan Mathews has been playing very well as of late. Reece ended up getting me 22.10 points, but Alfred Morris got me 3.10 and the Patriots defense got me 2 points against Jason Campbell and the Cleveland Browns. I got touchdowns from Vernon Davis and Zac Stacy but they combined for 46 total yards. I have Decker in this league as well so his 117 yards and TD were big.

Anyways it was a very tight matchup all day and I had a 80.48 - 75.74 lead going into Monday Night Football. I had Dez Bryant left, he only had kicker Robbie Gould. Bryant ends up scoring a 2 yard TD on the games opening possession and now I have a huge 86.68 - 75.74 lead. No way I can lose now, right? Wrong. The Chicago Bears would go on to score on EVERY offensive possession which included 3 Gould field goals and 4 extra points for a total of 13 points. Bryant went the rest of the game hauling in 1 catch for 10 yards and I lose 88.74-87.68. I literally needed 13 total yards from all of my players combined.

If I just ignored the QB position and went with Andrew Luck who ended up throwing 4 TDs, or started Carson Palmer who had 4 more points than Fitzpatrick, I win and I advance. Fitzpatrick threw for 172 yards and 1 touchdown, his worst game in 6 weeks. He also only rushed for 4 yards, his lowest total of any game he started.

I literally have the worst luck. Dez Bryant 12 yards? Alfred Morris 31 yards? Zac Stacy 25 yards? Vernon Davis 21 yards? I only needed 13 more total yards from those guys!! Also the Patriots only had 1 sack, and no turnovers against the Browns? Really? 1 more sack or turnover and I win.

Feel like you're snakebitten when it comes to fantasy football? Need to vent? Let's hear your stories!

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