Week 11 2018 Recap: Movement within the Bowels (of the League)

By Jason Gunderson

The eleventh week has come and gone, and with it a scintillating matchup between our #1 and #10, another score doubling, a little musical chairs in the West, and a high-scoring toilet bowl. 

Let’s start with the toilet bowl. Nick Simon took on Patrick Imhof this week, da Champ versus DigBick. Both teams scored above the Ericson Benchmark of 94, which in past years was a decent indicator of victory. Not this year. Patrick got some great numbers out of his running backs, Kareem Hunt (17) and Leonard Fournette (19). Quatertback Phillip Rivers added a decent (meh) 20, and his kicker, 5. It was the New Orleans defense and Larry Fitzgerald that really surprised, however. Fitzgerald, who looks fantastic for 47 years old, hauled in a couple of crucial catches for TDs, scoring 14. I guess the old guy had to show the kids a move or two. The New Orleans defense scored 15, bringing Patrick up to 97 on the week. It wasn’t enough, though in all fairness, Nick’s team did try to give the game away. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick managed three interceptions in his lackluster game against the Giants, netting all of seven points. RB Dalvin Cook then said, “Hold my beer” and scored minus one. Ugh. Things were not looking good for Nick, then the Chiefs took the field against the Rams. WR Tyreek Hill hauled in ten balls for 215 yards, two TDs, and 33 points. Kid was on fire. TE Travis Kelce added 18, another fantastic score for a tight end. Oh, and speaking of old, Adrian Peterson scored a couple of TDs as well. Da ChAmP took home this toilet bowl, 111 – 97 over DigBick Imhof.

Number two in the East, Mike Arnold, played host to number three in the West this week, Justin Walter. This was truly a game of wide receivers, as both men had receivers in the flex in addition to their two normal receivers. The six receivers scored a total of 99 points, an average of over 16 points each. Sadly for Justin, Mike’s guys scored two-thirds of those points: Keenan Allen had 14, Mike Evans, 24, and T.Y. Hilton, 27. Everyone else on Mike’s team scored at or below average (we’re looking hardest at you, Dion Lewis), but they weren’t as bad as the guys on Justin’s team. Yikes. King Slayer scored a season-low 70 enroute to dumping this game in the trash, and Dr. Vegas Mike was the sanitation engineer, taking this one away, 105 – 70.

Tied by record in the standings, Jason Gunderson tried to take advantage of Justin’s loss, as he took a foray into volatile Quagnis’ territory. David Johnson didn’t have the week he had in number 10, logging only 14 points. Kenny Golladay had a decent score, 17, but the Chicago D/ST was the light shining on the hill for Quags with 16 points. Graham Gano…fuck, he decided to give a point away. “No no, Mr. Gunderson, you’re not favored by enough. Why don’t I just pass a point over to your side?” Jesus. The big story for the Nordic Love Gods was Saquon Barkley, who scored a fantastic 33 points. Quarterback Drew Brees added 30 at home against Philadelphia, and Rams’ WR Robert Woods added 13 in the flex. It was an all-around good performance for the LGs, as they took this one, 134 – 90 over Quags. With the win, the Love Gods moved into third place in the West, pushing King Slayer down to fourth, and also moved slightly ahead of KS in the Points-For category.

The top of the West in contention for the last several weeks, second-place Craig Ericson hosted the wildly erratic Nicole Holand, Untarnished Krones versus Gronk ‘a’ Holic. With a win and a loss by Caleb Kallander, Craig could move into the top spot in the West and the League. I’m not sure how Craig can have such a monster team, given the fact that he’s playing with three defenses.  In fact, at this point, Craig only has to decide which defense he’s going to play, and leave out the guys who are on a bye. Beyond that, it basically doesn’t matter who he puts in. Throw the fucking dice and go with it. Running back Christian McCaffrey scored only 10 points and Emmanuel Sanders had 5. Oh, and TE Jack Doyle netted 4. Those were the stragglers on Craig’s team. Everyone else did just fine, thank you very much. Meanwhile, Nicole doesn’t even want to revisit her score. It just wasn’t good. The Untarnished Krones coasted to another double-up, 129 – 62 over Gronk ‘a’ Holic.

Jeremiah Walter, on a mission to spoil as many dreams as he can at the end of the season, went into his game against Caleb Kallander with a positive mental attitude, a thirst for blood, and zero fucks to give. As the game progressed, the League held its collective breath as we all realized he might *actually* beat Caleb. Quarterback Jared Goff scored 34, RB Zeke Elliot had 25, and WR Josh Reynolds (Rams) had 14 in the flex. Kicker Greg Zuerlein added 11, and WR Brandin Cooks had 10. It was a solid performance. For Caleb, the development that really derailed his game was the lackluster performance of running backs Todd Gurley and James Connor. Together, they managed a total of 12 points. Dismal. And then Zach Ertz scored 1. Holy fuck. Stefon Diggs and Cam Newton responded, however, putting the team on their 42-point backs. The Houston D added a fantastic 17, and Baltimore kicker, Justin Tucker, posted 12. When the dust settled, Caleb found a way to win. C Killin it K took this one from Dream Died, 106 – 99. Interesting fact: with any of three different bench substitutions available to him, Jeremiah could have won this game. With his victory, Kallander remains on top of the League, though Ericson is eating into his points lead.

Good luck to all in week 12!

Week 10 2018 Recap: Slugfest in the Middle

Week 10 arrived in our League with Quagnis firmly in control of the East and an ever-tightening tie for the lead in the West, between C Killin It K and the Untarnished Krones. The real battles in the standings are in the middle, as Dr. Vegas Mike tries to hold off Gronk ‘a’ Holic and DigBick Imhof in the East, while King Slayer and the Nordic Love Gods duke it out for third in the West.

Dr. Vegas did not fare well this week, as he ran up against G’Holic, who flexed her Robinson and Gordon all over him. Allen Robinson caught six balls for 133 yards and two TDs, netting 25 yards and the team’s MVP award this week. Melvin Gordon continued to demonstrate why he was Nicole’s first-round pick, scoring 15 points on the ground and 7 through the air. Even Nicole’s defense got in on the fun, scoring 15. It was a good performance by those three positions, and it was more than enough. Mike had only a couple guys perform up to snuff: Russell Wilson scored 26 and Keenan Allen had 11. I mean, sure, if you’re going to press me, Dion Lewis’s 6 points in the flex were okay, as were kicker Mason Crosby’s 7. Those numbers were merely okay for their positions. The rest of Mike’s team fell flat on its collective ass, and Gronk ‘a’ Holic took the win, 92 – 69.

Speaking of point totals in the 60s, dA cHaMp played host to the team that’s acting a lot like the wood chipper in Fargo—the one in the movie, not the one down your actual street—Untarnished Krones. Tyreek Hill brought in 25 for Nick, and that was almost all of his scoring. Everyone else was in single digits. It was fucking sad. There were actually three positions on Craig’s team that scored in the single digits: defense (0), tight end (3), and WR1 (8). Everyone else was lights-out. Christian McCaffrey scored 31 on Thursday night to start this game and Craig had zero worries after that. His squad put up another top-ten-all-time score, bringing his two-week total to 304 points. The Untarnished Krones more than doubled up on dA cHaMp, 143 – 65. Craig’s massive week 9 and 10 scores have tightened the points gap between him and Caleb Kallander to only 37 points. 

Caleb Kallander scored well again this week, this time against a resurgent Nordic Love Gods team coming off of three straight wins. The NLGs’ running back corps disappointed team owner Jason Gunderson this week, scoring only 14 points: Barkley with 9 and Coleman, 11. That pair had a golden opportunity this week as it turned out, as opposing RBs Todd Gurley and James Conner scored among the mortal, with 22 and 12, respectively. Gunderson’s guys blew it. His QB, Drew Brees, and wide receivers Davante Adams and Robert Woods tried to make up for the deficit, outscoring Caleb’s guys (Cam Newton, Michael Thomas, and Tyler Boyd) 56 – 39. Even Jason’s flex, kicker, and defense outscored Caleb’s counterparts. Then along came fucking Zach Ertz. Think back, if you will, to the beginning of the season. If someone were to offer you the choice of drafting a tight end you think might perform well, versus GUARANTEEING 10 points every week out of the position, nine out of ten of us would take the 10 points. (You know who you are.) That was about how Zach Ertz performed so far. He had scored 79 points on the season, 9.875 points per game. His previous high was 17 points, his low was 4. This fuckin’ guy goes out and scores TWENTY-SIX points on Monday night, sealing the deal for C Killin It K, 115 – 101 over the Nordic Love Gods. Crushing. 

With the Love Gods losing, King Slayer was primed to strengthen his grip on third place in the West. He visited Quagnis this week, who promptly said, “no.” To be sure, Quagnis’s game wasn’t perfect. He got 35 out of Roethlisberger and 29 out of David Johnson (finally!), his receivers did well with 29, and his flex and defense scored a combined 21. Pretty damn good. Team owner Eric Martens was mildly disappointed in RB Marlon Mack (4), TE Greg Olsen (also 4), and kicker Graham Gano (a measly 3). But those guys didn’t matter in the end. King Slayer got a huge performance out of Nick Chubb, who scored 32 points. Everyone else was average or worse. The Jets defense, for example, found a way to lose to Buffalo even worse than the Vikings did, 41 – 10. That gave the Jets D a fantasy score of -7 for Justin’s team. Ouch. Quagnis slayed the King Slayer, 125 – 99. On the plus side, Justin ordered a dozen new tee shirts emblazoned with the new team slogan, “Chubbies for Chubb!” Get yours today.

Toward the bottom of the League, with his playoff hopes gone, Jeremiah Walter turned to thoughts of killing the hopes of other teams as well, starting with Patrick Imhof’s. Patrick was not going down without a fight, however. RB Leonard Fournette scored 22, TE Austin Hooper had 11, Frank Gore added 10 in the flex, and even the KC defense outdid themselves, tallying 12. DigBick Imhof put up a solid game, leading 96 – 85 going into the Sunday night game. At that point, Jeremiah changed his team name from Dream Killer to Dream Died. But lo and behold, Zeke Elliot showed up with his best game of the season so far, throwing down a monstrous 30 points after being traded to the Dreamers just 8 days prior. The newly minted Dream Died beat down DigBick Imhof 115 – 100. Quick note: if Jeremiah had swapped a couple of guys with his bench players, he would have had 135. 

After all the action this week, the standings were shaken…no, just kidding. Nothing changed. Not one team moved up or down. Christ.

Week 8 2018 Recap: Big Trades, and Killin’ It Avoids the Sweep

By Jason Gunderson

The week leading up to our eighth round of contests was the first clear indicator teams are trying to bulk up and hunker down for the playoffs. Justin Walter approached his game this week without a quarterback for most of it, as both his QBs were on a bye. He dipped his toes into various trading pools over the course of several days, before finally zeroing in on a deal with Patrick Imhof. It wasn’t an easy deal, as the two sent back and forth a combined 19 trade proposals before one was accepted: Patrick gave up Carson Wentz and received Phillip Rivers—a nearly identical QB, fantasy-wise—and WR Sammy Watkins in return. 

Craig Ericson and Jeremiah Walter also got in on the swapping action, and they took their sweet time doing it. Over the course of several days, the two spoke at length about world peace, philosophy, and fantasy football. Jeremiah, coming to grips with his team’s mortality, was willing to deal some big names in order to  net some short-term gains, while Craig was clearly thinking about the long haul. It was a late deal, one the Commissioner had to push through in order for Craig to see its benefit in time. Craig gave up QB Jared Goff and WR Doug Baldwin, while Jeremiah let go of RB Jalen Richard, the Jaguars defense, and everybody’s most maddening holdout, Le’Veon Bell. Craig is hoping Bell will contribute to his playoff run, or at least hobble Caleb Kallander’s team by forcing a backfield split in Pittsburgh, between Bell and the VERY LAST pick of our 2018 draft, James Conner. 

I still can’t get over that: any one of the nine of us other than Caleb could have picked up Conner at any time, and we all got stuck in our own heads. Consider Conner going in about the middle of the draft,  maybe pick 85. That’s not unreasonable. Did anybody take him? No. Conner sat for another 74 picks. Right around pick 157,  Caleb leaned over to Mike Arnold, his carpet buddy at the draft (not that kind, Jesus, keep your mind out of the gutter, they just sat next to one another) and asked, “Hey, who’s Bell’s backup in Pittsburgh this year?” At that point, Mike realized the colossal mistake we had all made, but he couldn’t do anything about it, as he had to fill his kicker or defense spot. Prior to week 8’s games, James Conner has been Caleb’s top scorer twice, to Todd Gurley’s three times. And he was the last pick in the draft. Are you kidding me?!?

James Conner. We all wish…

Justin’s team, King Slayer, with his new third-string quarterback, played virtual host to Jason’s Nordic Love Gods this week. Jason, looking to get on the comeback trail, made a bold prediction that he would win this week, and then got a timely 20 points out of DeAndre Hopkins on Thursday night. Things were going according to plan. But Sunday is a fickle paramour in the NFL, and Jameis Winston came off Jason’s bench and took a steaming dump in the middle of the field. With corn in it. His 276 yards passing and a TD were good for 14, and he added a couple points with his legs for 16. Kind of a sad day for Jameis. Oh wait: he also had FOUR INTERCEPTIONS, bringing his fantasy total down to 8 and earning him a spot on the bench in the second half. Wentz did just fine for Justin, putting up a 21-point outing, but Justin had some woes of his own. His running back corps totaled 15 and his TE, kicker, and defense combined for a total of three points. Flex guy, RB James White, was Justin’s last chance on Monday night, and had the capability to win it. Alas, his 14 points were not enough, and this game belonged to the Love Gods, 92 – 85 over King Slayer.

DeAndre Hopkins. “You damn right I’ll catch that ball.”

Another team started off with a huge Thursday night this week, Dr. V.D….I mean Dr. V.M. Mike’s dynamic Houston duo of Deshaun Watson and Lamar Miller put Quagnis in a 49-point hole before they had a chance to roll out a single guy. Eric Martens weren’t skeered however, and he relaxed, sat back…no, who am I kidding? This one was a nail-biter, as Ben Roethlisberger underperformed with 16 points for Eric, Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster shared Ben’s woes with only 3, David Johnson continued to struggle with 9, and Kenny Golladay had an off night with only one point. On the other side, San Fran running back Rostafar Mostert could only muster a single point, while Mike’s minor skill positions, WR2, TE, and Flex, combined for 7. Gross. It was Oakland TE Jared Cook and Carolina kicker Graham Gano who won this one for Eric, as they combined for 28. Had Mostert run for two more yards and WR Mike Evans been one yard further downfield when he was hit, Mike would have won this thing. But no, Quagnis squeaked by Dr. Vegas Mike in this one, 93 – 92.

Deshaun Watson scored 30 for Dr. Vegas Mike.

Jeremiah Walter and Nick Simon slugged it out in another tight battle this week.  Jeremiah immediately rolled out his new receiver, Dough Baldwin and told him to “Get some!” Doug Baldwin didn’t get some. In fact, Baldwin and his WR partner, Alshon Jeffrey, teamed up for a total of 5 points between them, which was decidedly worse than Nick’s WR corps, which only managed an anemic 12. Those twelve points helped make up for QB Andy Dalton’s 20, which isn’t exactly bad in its own right, but Jeremiah’s QB, Andrew Luck, scored 23. The running backs were nearly identical, Nick’s scoring 38 and Jeremiah’s 39. The streaming positions were also almost identical between the two “gentlemen,” 19 for Nick and 20 for Jeremiah. It all came down to the tight ends, and Nick had the slightly better one this week. Travis Kelce caught and carried the rock for forty more yards than Eric Ebron this week, giving Nick a four-point edge at that position. That was most of the margin of victory, as dA Champ knocked off The Crown, 102 – 96.

“Do I get double points if I carry ‘em both in?” –Adrian Peterson

Two real-life superstar quarterbacks faced off across the virtual field this week as Aaron Rodgers, on Patrick’s team, faced the Rams while Tom Brady took on the Bills, playing for Nicole. Dude, Brady versus the Bills? While Rodgers faces arguably the toughest team in the NFL? Nicole had this one in the bag, yes? No. The Patriots kicked ass as expected, but Brady didn’t toss a single TD. He threw for 324 yards and 12 fantasy points. That’s it. In fact, of the three Patriots playing in this fantasy battle, Brady scored the least. The other two, kicker Stephen Gostkowski and the Patriots D, scored 13 and 17, respectively, and they both played for Patrick. Nicole had the better running backs and WR1, but it was all Patrick beyond that. The Big Man for the Dig Bick this week was WR Sammy Watkins playing in the flex, who scored 22. DigBick Imhof took home the win, 110 – 95 over Gronk ‘a’ Holic.

Sammy Watkins shows us his dig bick.

Craig Ericson’s Untarnished Krones visited Caleb Kallander’s C Killin It K in the marquis matchup this week. The Krones, 6 – 1, hoped to complete a regular-season sweep of Killin’ It, 5 – 2, and this one shaped shaped up to be a high-scoring affair. Mahomes, Kamara…Gurley, Conner…and some other guys. Whatever. Patrick Mahomes was merely great this week, posting 26 points, while Kamara hit just above his average with 19. Christian McCaffrey added 17 and New Orleans kicker, Will Lutz, posted 16. I think it’s fairly well established, however, that when playing Caleb, any team needs to be firing on all cylinders, plus injecting a little nitrous oxide into the chambers. Craig’s effort wasn’t enough. Stefon Diggs scored 17, Todd Gurley nabbed 27, and James Conner threw down for 32. Making up for a lackluster defense and kicker, TE Zach Ertz added 8, as opposed to David Njoku’s 0 for Craig. C Killin’ It K soundly defeated the Untarnished Krones, 132 – 103.

James Conner, coming through.

Side note: In Caleb’s eight games so far, James Connor and Todd Gurley have both been his leading scorer three times. The other two weeks were headlined by quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Cam Newton. 

Another side note: It’s Raheem Mostert, not Rostafar. I was checking to see if you were paying attention.