It’s getting down to the last 4 weeks of the regular season and fantasy football 2016 is coming to a close. Despite my low expectations, I have once again clinched the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. In the family league the playoffs have begun and I finished the season with an 8-5 record. Each playoff round in the family league lasts two weeks, so it’s significantly more difficult to achieve victory since your foe gets two chances to knock you down. Winning 4 weeks in a row to clinch the championship is precisely what I did last year, but I have about a 15% probability of repeating that feat. My wide receivers are substandard… but I have a strong ground game, which has carried me this far. I need exemplary performances from below-average players in order to advance, and that is asking an awful lot from the fantasy football gods. The gods have rarely been forgiving, but sometimes they are. Either way, I don’t think I have much shot at it in the family league.
In the work league, the regular season is still trucking right along and into next week as well. We play 1 week per round and we most certainly play week 17. No football is omitted regardless of status of starting players. Good fantasy football is built around two skills: ability to select talent during the draft and ability to see talent on the free agent market and capitalize with waiver moves. So making some last minute streaming waiver transactions is exactly what fantasy football is about, and we should all be capable of assessing free agent talent based on matchups (at least). Therefore, making waiver substitutions for starting players on week 17 is business as usual, and even more of a challenge to overcome to achieve victory. I likes me a good challenge. Both my leagues play on week 17 during the most critical game of the season. High stakes, high risk, huge reward.
At work I’m 9-4 and have clinched a playoff spot (currently in 3rd place). I was in first place last year in both leagues heading into the playoffs. I’m thinking I have a real shot at the championship again at work. My running game is fucking stellar, and my wide receivers are at least mediocre. I have a soft schedule in the matchup department for several players, including my two biggest point scorers (Gordon and Bell) facing at least two bottom 10 defenses in the last 4 weeks of the season. Right when I will need a big performance most I have the highest likelihood of getting one… or at least, that’s the theory. I have big matchups mostly week 16, but a couple that carry over into week 17. In the family league (the one I particularly would like to win), a big performance week 16 could provide me with enough cushion to secure it even mid way through week 17 (unless I were to seriously implode week 17 [<— very possible]).
But my point is, hey, I just took the crown in both leagues last year, and here I am back in the playoff picture the following season. Above expectation. I had a rock solid draft, have made some dynamite waiver moves, and basically played the same way I did last year: not overthinking it, sticking to the basics and trusting the initial instinctual impulse. It has paid off with a return to relevancy once again. Even in the event that I end up battling for third place, I will still have proven that my victories, and constant presence in the playoffs is no fluke. I really do know what I’m doing. It’s not even as hard as we seem to all think it is. I’m not saying I’m phenomenal by any stretch, but I do have a talent for this.
But the family league this year might be out of reach. I sense an early demise at the hands of a significantly more well armed team. I don’t have the best matchups this week, a lot of stuff that could really go either way. That’s the type that’s hardest to assess, since the factors don’t favor any particular outcome. Those are the matchups that get decided by that initial instinct, and a lot of times they work out for me. Frankly, more often than not. Off waivers, I started Carson Wentz and he put up 20, Jaquizz Rodgers and he put up 154 yards and Steffon Diggs, who put up 13 receptions. I’m keen on things sometimes. But then again, I started Ebron and he goose egged me, and Crabtree hit me once for 3.5 early in the season and again this last week for 6.1. Sigh. Sometimes you knock it out of the park… other times, you whiff like a novice.
Ok blog, you are now caught up on the status of my FFL world. Wish me luck!