Playoffs Round 1 2018 Recap: King Slayer and Love Gods Move Through

By Jason Gunderson

Justin Walter was nervous going into his first-round playoff game, and with good reason. The number 6 seed, Justin’s first opponent was #3 Craig Ericson. The two had faced each other twice before during the regular season, and Craig had won them both. Justin came to play, however, and he had his King Slayers ready to…scamper? Scrap? Slap? He had his King Slayers ready to slay (I had to use it). Justin had a couple of things going for him in this game, and one was a genius move right out of Craig’s playbook. Back in week 7, Craig went scouring the available players for potential points and ended up drafting to his team a kicker named Giorgio Tavecchio. He figured ol’ Giorgio had a juicy matchup that week, and he was right. In fact, that was the only juicy matchup the guy has had all year. I think he only played in three games, one for five points, one for eight, and the one Craig picked him up for—his first start of the season—for SIXTEEN points. He was basically an Italian ghost who came out of nowhere and faded just as quickly. But he did his job that week and propelled Craig to victory. Fast-forward to the playoff game at hand, and Justin did the same damn thing. He dropped kicker Matt Bryant and picked up Mike Badgley, who had not seen a starting spot on any of our fantasy rosters all year. Badgley proceeded to go out and score his season-best, SEVENTEEN points, six more than his previous high. 

The other thing Justin had going for him was the guy who had earned Craig’s ridicule all season long, wide receiver Amari Cooper. This is a guy who is basically the blueprint for how an NFL wide receiver should be built, and he has been on Justin’s team in past years but has been a consistent disappointment. After landing on the Dallas roster a few weeks ago, Cooper has shown us all how important chemistry is on a team. He didn’t change physically, his ability to catch the football didn’t change, and yet here he is, coming into his own. Team chemistry. Cooper had a monster night against Philly and tallied up 39 points for Justin. It was unbelievable. Meanwhile, Craig scored within a few points of his weekly average, led by Julio Jones, Christian McCaffrey, and Patrick Mahomes. It was a lot, but it wasn’t enough. Cooper put this one away for Justin on an overtime touchdown pass, and King Slayer snatched the victory from Untarnished Krones, 119 – 117.

The other game in the top bracket saw Eric Martens and Quagnis take on Jason Gunderson and the Nordic Love Gods for the second time this year. Quags was 7 – 3 going into his last three games of the season, when he came up against the buzz saw that is everyone in the West except Jeremiah. After losses against the NLGs, C Killin It K, and the Krones, Eric was 7 – 6 and the #2 seed in the East. Sadly for Eric, the buzz saw had not slowed down. George Fuckin’ Kittle led the way for the NLGs, scoring 27 points, half of it on one play. Saquon Barkley added 25, and the rest of the team contributed up to par. For Quags, Juju Smith-Schuster had the game of his season with 25 and the Chicago D added 19, well above their projection. A couple other guys did okay, but many (enough) did not. The Love Gods shredded Quagnis out of the playoffs 119 – 102.

In the consolation bracket, #7 Gronk ‘a’ Holic took on #10—and appropriately named—Dream Died. QB Dak Prescott was Nicole’s top scorer with 24, WR Jarvis Landry added 20, and TE Rob Gronkowski finally had a game worthy of a second-round draft pick, 16 points. On the negative side, WR Adam Thielen actually *didn’t* score a touchdown, a rare occurrence for him this season. He ended the day with only 7, but it was more than enough. For some reason, Jeremiah started Marquez Valdez-Scantling again, clearly a cry for help. He scored a whole point. Wide receiver Te’quan Smith was the only guy in the starting lineup to do worse, and you can guess what he got: zero. Andrew Luck, Zeke Elliott, and Eric Ebron all did well for Dream Died, but everyone else pretty much stunk it up. Gronk ‘a’ Holic easily grabbed the dub in this one, 110 – 73 over Dream Died.

It’s unusual for a single player on a team to score half the team’s points. It’s even more unusual when that player is not a quarterback. Then consider the team’s point total is over 100, and you have a trifecta of rare. Such was the case this week with running back Derrick Henry, playing for DigBick Imhof in his match against dA cHaMp. On Thursday night, Henry absolutely went off against the Jacksonville Jaguars, torching them for 238 yards—99 on a single play—and four touchdowns. The kid was amazing, absolutely out of this world. He scored 47 points for Patrick. Forty seven! After Adrian Peterson scored only a single point for dA cHaMp on Sunday, this one was over. DigBick Imhof beat dA cHaMp 101 – 85. Incidentally, Patrick picked Henry up mere minutes before kickoff.

In the championship bracket, C Killin It K will come off his first-round bye to play King Slayer, while Dr. Vegas Mike will enter the fray once more versus Nordic Love Gods. Downstairs, DigBick Imhof will meet Gronk ‘a’ Holic in the consolation title game. Finally, dA cHaMp will play Dream Died in the last, and greatest, toilet bowl.

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