The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, December 31, 2007


I am pleased to report that with a hard-fought victory against the Great Joe Schick, founder and commissioner of the Zionist Conspiracy Fantasy Football League (ZCFFL), I fended off Team Akiva and retained sole possession of first place, thereby clinching the title.

A few points about this week. To a large extent, week 17 is a crap shoot. It is difficult to determine which playoff teams will rest their best players (and which teams that are out of the playoffs will rest their good, but banged up, players). Indeed, two of the teams in the league fell asleep at the switch and started players in key positions who were inactive. (Akiva had a much easier time because his opponent started an inactive player at running back, arguably the most important position.)

In my particular case, a key decision surrounded Reggie Wayne, clearly my season's MVP. The Colts are known for resting players when the team is locked. I decided to bench Wayne and play Brandon Marshall of Denver whom I had picked up off waivers earlier in the year and had been playing extremely well of late. Well, Wayne had 12 catches in the first half and scored 17 fantasy points but, I believe, sat the entire second half. Luckily for me, Marshall had a monster game and scored 31 points. I also sat Gibril Wilson, a defensive back from the Giants who has been banged up, thinking that the Giants would sensibly realize that their game against the Patriots was, indeed, meaningless. Instead, the dopey Giants played it like it was their Super Bowl and Wilson had a strong game sitting on my bench.

At the end of the day, enough of my picks worked and I held off Joe who also had a strong game.

(It is worth considering whether to end the season after the 16th week, as many fantasy leagues do.)

So, to what do I owe my victory?

1. My head of analytics who explained the concept of drafting for relative value and gave me a draft sheet to follow.

2. Incredibly good luck. I did not have one significant injury to any key offensive player all year.

3. Monster wide receivers. This is also somewhat lucky. I picked two excellent "number two" receivers (Wayne and Houshmanzadeh) who turned into number one receivers because of, respectively, an injury to Marvin Harrison and a head case in Chad Johnson. Wayne was a force and Houshmanzadeh was at the top of the league in receptions all year.

4. Depth. I had four good running backs, three good wide receivers and two good tight ends. (I only had one good quarterback and he stayed healthy).

5. Attention to detail. Unlike last year, I stayed awake and followed the bye weeks, the injuries and, occasionally, even the match ups. This despite extensive travelling during the season. Twice, I had to make adjustments to my team from overseas.

6. Mid-season pickups and drops. I was not afraid to drop under performers. Even big names like Adam Viniatari, the Colts great kicker who was killing me in the second half of the year (The Colts were overwhelmingly scoring touchdowns rather than attempting field goals and, on those few occasions when they did attempt kicks, Viniateri missed.). I also picked up Mario Williams who had big games for me in the last few weeks, and Brandon Marshall who was huge in week 17.

All in all, the season was a lot of fun and I'd love to do it again next year (even if I don't get the first pick in the draft).



  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Joe Schick said…

    "(It is worth considering whether to end the season after the 16th week, as many fantasy leagues do.)"

    I disagree. Strategy for week 17 is part of the challenge.

    "I'd love to do it again next year (even if I don't get the first pick in the draft)."

    Isn't it a rule that you always get the first pick in the draft?

    It was actually a big advantage this year because no other first round pick had any impact.

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    I said it was worth considering. I agree that it was actually a lot of fun to try to figure out how to play this week. On the other hand, you have to admit that no matter how well you plan, a lot of week 17 is random.

    I'm not sure what you mean by your last sentence. (Especially since LT didn't have nearly the impact he had last year).

    If you would like to make it a rule that I get first pick in the draft, I will agree.

    I also neglected to credit my solid, if unspectacular defense (thanks, in no small part, to your graciousness around Jared Allen).

    My LBs were solid and once I got Mario Williams, by DLs were good. Rhodes and Wilson were very consistent all year.

    (It is also interesting to note that I believe I had by far the least volatility from week to week. I'm going to ask my analytics guy to map that)

  • At 10:42 AM, Blogger Joe Schick said…

    1. The first rounders were:

    Tomlinson, S. Jackson, L. Johnson, Gore, Manning, Parker. Manning was a backup, so nobody else got much from their first rounders.

    2. Volatility is indeed more important than I had considered. It results in inconsistent players being replaced, thereby losing out on their big games when they are often on the bench. This happened to me with Brees and Boldin in particular.

    3. Turns out my drafting of Gates was indeed a mistake. He was invisible down the stretch.

  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    My lowest score was 118. Everyone else had at least one sub 100 point week.

    My average score was 142.8

    My mean score was 144.5

    In 12 weeks my score was between 124.5 and 150.5. (In the other 5, two were below 124.5 and three were above 150.5)

    Very low volatility.

  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    (You can tell things are really busy here on New Year's Eve)

  • At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Akiva said…

    MoC, Congrats on your league championship. Yesterdays matchup between you and Joe was an all time classic - the action on was a lot more exciting than the Jets/Chief snooze fest. I look forward to the NFL Films special.

    I agree that phan dropped the ball by not benching Jones-Drew, but thats like the Browns complaining that the Colts benched Peyton Manning last night - thats week 17 in the NFL.

    Thanks to all for a very enjoyable aand competitive season.

    My only recommendation for next year is to work on getting some more participants (10-12).

  • At 11:44 AM, Blogger Joe Schick said…

    I'd prefer an eight team league. 12 is definitely too many.

  • At 12:09 PM, Anonymous superfeldman said…



    What did you think of the fact that I sat Peyton Manning on my bench for the entire year except for one game since I had Brady? If I had only traded him.

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    You gave up any chance of winning the league title. You should have traded him to Joe.


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