‘Tis the season, not just for the holidays but also for the fantasy playoffs. Here’s hoping that your holiday season is a happy one, and also that your team or teams are playing for a trophy this weekend.
In case you’re out finishing up that last-minute shopping, here are a few gift suggestions.
For Aaron Rodgers, a pair of suspenders. Because that belt thing is getting old.
For the secondaries of the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders, a map and a flashlight. Because if you can’t find Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, respectively, at crunch time you’re gonna need help finding pretty much everything else.
For Michael Bush, a feature gig next year. At the rate Darren McFadden is recovering, Bush may not even need to move to get one.
For Matt Forte, a new contract. Just don’t expect it to come from the Bears, who have thrown around nickels like manhole covers for years.
For Mike Shanahan, a custom-made Zocchihedron. That’s a 100-sided die, which should make those “Which Redskins running back gets the next carry?” decisions a whole lot more predictable.
For Mike Williams (Tampa version), a box of donuts. He only needs eight to make a dozen after the selection of donuts—zero targets, zero catches, zero yards, zero fantasy points—he posted in Week 15.
Play fantasy football long enough and you’re bound to have your own collection of bad beat stories. A writer friend of mine—he’s actually the guy who Adrian Peterson first told he wanted to get back in the lineup for his fantasy football owners—someday plans to collect the best (or worst) of the bad beat stories and make a book. Generally fantasy owners don’t much care about any team other than their own, but a bad beats book would be an opportunity to commiserate and might just have a shot.
So let’s commiserate. In the Weapons of DMD BotH league, the Mattress Police were clinging to a two-point lead late Sunday afternoon. The lead could have been bigger had Tom Brady stretched a little further on one of his denied goal line sneaks, but with the games almost wrapped up I remained hopeful. And then the Browns defense—the top-ranked pass defense in the NFL—decided not to work overtime in covering Larry Fitzgerald. One long completion turned my two-point lead into a 0.8-point loss and sent Strength & Honor to the title game (congrats, Timmy).
It’s the time of year where the finality of a bad beat makes it that much worse. Feel free to share your own bad beats below; at kickoff Monday night we’ll all toss back a shot of our favorite beverage in recognition of the woulda-coulda-shoulda championship that wasn’t meant to be.
Week 15 wasn’t completely unkind to my clubs. Despite Mike Wallace falling short of helping Frieda’s Boss pull off the upset in my dynasty league, the aforementioned Mattress Police’s bad beat, and my Huddle Ladder Hall of Fame club being drubbed by Wolverines Fan, I did manage to advance one squad through to the championship game.
In the Sirius XM Experts League featuring hosts from the Fantasy Sports Channel—including Cowbell Thursday Night hosts David Dorey and myself—my club vanquished Kay Adams in the semifinals to move on to the title game. This wasn’t unexpected; Team 2V won the division and finished second overall in both record and points scored. Doesn’t mean it was easy sweating out Matt Ryan building a big lead for the opposition, Calvin Johnson’s monster day closing the gap after I had built a comfortable advantage behind LeSean McCoy’s strong outing, or even the possibility of Frank Gore going nuts on Monday night to shut me out of Championship Week.
Ultimately Frank fell short and The Huddle will be proudly representin’ in the title game against Joe Dolan’s juggernaut. Sure, I’m an underdog but in situations such as this I like to quote Lloyd Christmas: “So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance!”
REPRESENTIN' PART 2
Of course many/most/all of you have put The Huddle information to good use and are playing in your title games as well. But a shout out must be made to The Huddle’s Interboard Challenge League club, which through 15 weeks has a gaudy 62 point advantage over the seven other sites competing (and based on what The Huddle squad is doing to them, I use the term “competing” loosely). The Huddle’s group took over first place in Week 4 and has led ever since. Though the lead shrunk to just one point in Week 11, since that time The Huddle has put boot to throat to the point that the final two weeks are essentially a victory lap.
So kudos to The Huddle’s representation: WashingtonD (last year’s individual champ, currently tied for that same honor this year), Gambler 12, electricrelish, Westherness, Infinity, Brentastic, DoG, Electric Lime, MadetOrder, 3rdandschlong, Scorp, and Tazinib1. You can read more about their success in the Huddle Forums. Way to go, Team Huddle!
The herd has been culled at this point; those in title games have their horses and their matchup questions, and the rest don’t give a rip. If those of you playing for a trophy, after perusing the Start/Bench List and the Predictions & Projections, still have lineup questions, tweet me at @jtuvey and I’m happy to lend a hand.
And regardless of whether you’re the Packers or the Colts of your league, or somewhere in between, have a very happy holiday season. Hey, playoff fantasy football is just around the corner. And then there’s the draft, and minicamps, and training camp…