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).
Labels: Fantasy Football