Week 17 recap: Winning the consolation

 

Just like that, we wave goodbye to another season of fantasy football – where has that time gone?

It only felt like five minutes ago that The League’s draft was taking place, and we were all getting set for the season ahead. Fast forward a little over 17 weeks and here we are, finished.

Though for some fantasy football players, week 12 would have been the finish if they were in my shoes. The Salford Bloggers entered their matchup that week against La Linea Lineman, fighting for the team’s playoff lives. But as had become a common occurrence over the course of the season, the opposition had a massive week, recording a triple digit score for the first time. The loss eliminated the Salford Bloggers from The League’s playoffs, but it did not dampen my desire to win – playoffs or not.

Having known that there would be a consolation ladder, I knew that week 13’s regular season finale against the Wigan Warriors would not be the last game, but I wanted to see the season out with victory anyway.

The consolation ladder then rolled around, and first up the Bloggers had the Kardac Kids srm. Even though the Kardac Kids didn’t provide much of a challenge, I made sure that the Bloggers fielded what I believed to be the best starting lineup, because I wanted to win. Consolation or not, the objective didn’t change.

The reward for winning that game was to move on to the top of the consolation ladder to face, once more, La Linea Lineman with a chance to avenge my playoff elimination a month earlier. The start wasn’t what I was hoping for, and in the first leg the Lineman moved out to a two point lead. It have the Bloggers a hill to climb, but I still believed that they were up to the task in the final week, and they’d have to overcome that deficit against a team with two 100-plus point outings against them in their last two meetings.

So with the top spot of the consolation ladder on the line, the Bloggers’ roster came to play, and got off to a great early start with Tony Romo, Mark Ingram, the Colts D/ST and Stephen Gostkowski hitting double figures, whilst La Linea Lineman had Odell Beckham Jr and Coby Fleener taking their games to the next level to keep them in it.

But it was in the late games that the Bloggers really excelled, with C.J. Anderson running all over Oakland’s defense for almost 100 yards and three scores, Demaryius Thomas chipping in with another 100-plus yard game, and Randall Cobb finally bringing his touchdown drought to an end, with two end zone grabs against Detroit, good enough for 18 points.

The Lineman offered little in the way of a reply, as Eddie Lacy and Joique Bell spluttered their way to a joint 16 points – though the Rams D/ST did a good job in Seattle, limiting the Seahawks to just 20 points, which rewarded La Linea Lineman more kindly than some thought it would.

At the end of the week, the Salford Bloggers had not only eliminated La Linea Lineman’s two point lead, but in doing so opened up a 22 point one of their own, from which the Lineman never recovered. The opposition only managed 88 points in week 17, snapping their five-game streak of triple digit scoring.

It may not have been the way I pictured week 17 going at the beginning of the year – I was hoping the Salford Bloggers would be closing out the fantasy football season with a win in the championship game – but it didn’t pan out that way and to essentially ‘win’ the consolation ladder was still a minor achievement.

The Salford Bloggers went 6-7 in the regular season and 2-0 in the postseason, finished third in scoring and had the second most points scored against them. It wasn’t perfect, it was unlucky, it was frustrating; but most of all it was fun, and the experience of playing this season will undoubtedly have taught lessons in playing fantasy football which can be used going forward.

It’s been a great year, and I’ll miss it. Thank you to all the players who competed in The League, didn’t give up and made it competitive. Oh, and congratulations to the playoff winner Team AZ Fixitmen.

I’ll see you next year.

 

Result

La Linea Lineman 192-214 Salford Bloggers

 

La Linea Lineman

QB: Ryan Tannehill (259 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble) – 12 points

RB: Eddie Lacy (100 rushing yards, 26 receiving yards, 1 fumble) – 10 points

RB: Joique Bell (60 rushing yards) – 6 points

WR: Alshon Jeffery (34 receiving yards) – 3 points

WR: Odell Beckham Jr (185 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 24 points

TE: Coby Fleener (56 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 17 points

FLEX: T.Y. Hilton – 0 points

D/ST: Rams D/ST (20 points against, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 3 sacks) – 6 points

K: Steven Hauschka (2 field goals made, 2 extra points made) – 10 points

Bench

RB: Andre Williams (43 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points

RB: Branden Oliver (71 rushing yards, 4 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 13 points

RB: Latavius Murray (37 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards) – 9 points

RB: LaGarrette Blount (62 rushing yards) – 6 points

WR: Andre Johnson (134 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 19 points

WR: Charles Johnson (22 receiving yards, -11 rushing yards) – 2 points

WR: Eddie Royal (95 receiving yards) – 9 points

 

Salford Bloggers

QB: Tony Romo (299 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) – 17 points

Tony Romo may have only accounted for 12 of the Dallas Cowboys’ 44 points in their final regular season game against the Washington Redskins, but it was enough to help him to a good fantasy outing in week 17. The first half of the season belonged to Philip Rivers, but Tony Romo has improved to be the better quarterback in the 2014 season. Good job, Tony.

RB: Mark Ingram (57 rushing yards, 4 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points

Ingram finishes the year with three straight double-digit scoring weeks, and had another solid showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he found the end zone in addition to his 57 rushing yards. He may not have lived up to the promise he showed in the first two weeks of the season, and the two weeks after he started following his injury earlier on in the year, but Ingram proved to be a solid investment for the Salford Bloggers, providing the team with a starting fantasy running back  from week two onwards.

RB: C.J. Anderson (87 rushing yards, 20 receiving yards, 3 TD) – 28 points

C.J. Anderson, how do you do it? With his 28 point week 17 showing, the Broncos running back solidified his position as my pickup of the season, beating out fellow running back Mark Ingram for the accolade. Since taking the starting spot for Denver in week 10, the back had five weeks of 20-plus point scoring, and has been one of the hottest running backs in the second half of the season. Sure, I didn’t get Odell Beckham Jr, but Anderson was the next best thing.

WR: Demaryius Thomas (115 receiving yards) – 11 points

Demaryius Thomas had his third touchdownless performance in the past four weeks, but he can be forgiven. Part of the forgiveness stems from the 115 yards he got against the Oakland Raiders, but he also gets a free pass because C.J. Anderson has found the end zone seven times in the span. Not to worry though, because Thomas was still a good start at the wide receiver position in week 17, and has been one of the most consistent players for the Salford Bloggers this year.

WR: Randall Cobb (80 receiving yards, 6 rushing yards, 2 TD, 1 fumble) – 18 points

Randall Cobb was one of the early fantasy football successes of the season. Despite not being the top receiver on the Green Bay Packers’ depth chart, sitting second only to Jordy Nelson, Cobb was averaging a touchdown per game in his team’s first 10 matchups. But he ended up entering the final week of the NFL’s regular season off the back of six straight weeks of failing to find the end zone. Fortunately, though, Cobb snapped the streak with not one, but two six point scores. He added 86 total touchdowns to that, and put an exclamation mark on a really good season for him. There aren’t many number two receivers who will have done as well as Randall Cobb this year.

TE: Jimmy Graham (54 receiving yards) – 5 points

Jimmy Graham was probably the Salford Bloggers’ most disappointing player of the season, and capped off the year with another subpar performance. He was nowhere near attaining his first round value in 2014.

FLEX: DeAndre Hopkins (5 receiving yards) – 0 points

Ouch. DeAndre Hopkins, who had been dealing with a wrist injury in the build up to the Texans’ season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars, had just two receptions for five yards. It wasn’t good, as Hopkins failed to register a single fantasy point for the first time this season, but in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter to the Salford Bloggers, and gratefully so.

D/ST: Colts D/ST (10 points against, 1 fumble recovery, 4 sacks) – 12 points

It wasn’t spectacular, but the Colts D/ST showed just why I picked them up ahead of week 17, condemning the Tennessee Titans offense to just 10 points. They could have been better, but Indianapolis did just what I wanted them to do, and rewarded my belief in them with a solid performance.

K: Stephen Gostkowski (3 field goals made) – 10 points

Stephen Gostkowski finished his season as the highest-scoring kicker in fantasy football for 2014 with a double-digit performance. He also scored the same amount of points as the Salford Bloggers’ other kicker, Cody Parkey, so at least I didn’t make the wrong decision this week. Drafting Gostkowski as the top kicker in the draft appeared to be the right deicison. Not bad at all.

Bench

QB: Philip Rivers (291 passing yards, 2 rushing yards, 2 INT, 1 fumble) – 5 points

RB: Chris Johnson (20 rushing yards, -3 receiving yards) – 2 points

WR: Percy Harvin – 0 points

TE: Jared Cook (37 receiving yards) – 3 points

D/ST: Dolphins D/ST (37 points allowed, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack) – -5 points

D/ST: Ravens D/ST (10 points allowed, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 4 sacks) – 13 points

K: Cody Parkey (2 field goals made, 4 extra points made) – 10 points

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The League: Final playoff results

 

And so there you have it, another fantasy football season is done, dusted and in the books. It’s been a great year. Thanks to all who participated and followed, and a big congratulations to the Abergele JETS for winning the playoffs and The League Championship. Enjoy!

 

Week 17 results (Playoffs round 2)

Championship Matchup

Abergele JETS* 196-177 Team AZ Fixitmen

*Abergele JETS win The League Championship! Congratulations to JETS owner Mark Roberts!

 

Third-Place Playoff

Barnyard Gems 150-167 Wigan Warriors

 

Consolation Ladder

La Linea Lineman 192-214 Salford Bloggers

Team Zachrich 161-109 Kardac Kids srm

Dallas Cowboyz2014 73-158 Team apachefootball

Salford Bloggers start or sit?: Week 17

 

Well here it is. After 16 weeks of doing this, it’s the final time many fantasy players across the land will be making decisions on who will start and who will sit for their respective fantasy teams this year.

A portion of those will be in the championship game, and will be playing to win leagues. For the Salford Bloggers, however, the story is a little different. A consolation game awaits, but in the spirit of the game, I’ll fight to the end and try to put out a team capable of winning. Here’s the starting nine who I hope will help the Bloggers close out the fantasy football season with a win.

 

Week 16 matchup (Consolation Ladder – Round 2, Leg 1)

La Linea Lineman (104) @ (102) Salford Bloggers

 

Projected lineup for La Linea Lineman

QB: Ryan Tannehill (MIA, vs. NYJ)

RB: Eddie Lacy (GB, vs. DET)

RB: Joique Bell (DET, @ GB)

WR: Alshon Jeffery (CHI, @ MIN)

WR: Odell Beckham Jr (NYG, vs. PHI)

TE: Coby Fleener (IND, @ TEN)

FLEX: T.Y. Hilton (IND, @ TEN)

D/ST: Rams D/ST (STL, @ SEA)

K: Steven Hauschka (SEA, vs. STL)

 

Starting lineup for the Salford Bloggers

Quarterback (QB): Tony Romo (DAL, @ WSH), Philip Rivers (SD, @ KC)

This was a close call. Although the Cowboys have playoff seeding to play for, it’s hard to assess just how hard they’re going to play against Washington, whereas Philip Rivers will almost certainly see a lot of action on Sunday as the San Diego Chargers have it all to play for as they look to lock up the final playoff spot up for grabs in the AFC. Rivers has the highest floor, but Romo has the highest ceiling in week 17. So being behind and needing points, I’ve decided to risk it and play the Dallas signal caller. Let’s hope this one pays off!

Running Backs (RB1, RB2): Chris Johnson (NYJ, @ MIA), Mark Ingram (NO, @ TB), C.J. Anderson (DEN, vs. OAK)

This wasn’t a hard decision. I only have three running backs on my roster, two of which could potentially have big weeks. The other one is Chris Johnson, so Mark Ingram and C.J. Anderson are in.

Wide Receivers (WR1, WR2): Demaryius Thomas (DEN, vs. OAK), Randall Cobb (GB, vs. DET), Percy Harvin (NYJ, @ MIA), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, @ JAC)

Percy Harvin is carrying two injuries and DeAndre Hopkins has been quite inconsistent this season. On the other hand, Demaryius Thomas and Randall Cobb have been two of the best fantasy wideouts this year, and will retain their starting places for the Salford Bloggers.

Tight End (TE): Jimmy Graham (NO, @ TB), Jared Cook (STL, @ SEA)

The fact I’m going to start Jimmy Graham despite a faltering season shows just how shallow the tight end position has been in fantasy football this year. But for as bad as Graham has been, it could be worse; he could be Jared Cook.

FLEX (FLEX): Chris Johnson (NYJ, @ MIA), Percy Harvin (NYJ, @ MIA), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, @ JAC), Jared Cook (STL, @ SEA)

Who’s the best of a bad bunch? Well, that has to be DeAndre Hopkins who isn’t too far off having as many points (146) as Percy Harvin, Chris Johnson and Jared Cook combined (221).

Defense/Special Teams (D/ST):  Dolphins D/ST (MIA, vs. NYJ), Ravens D/ST (BAL, vs. CLE), Colts D/ST (IND, @ TEN)

I brought in the Colts defense this week because they’re playing the Tennessee Titans. The only offenses worse than Tennessee’s are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders. Although the Colts don’t have the best defense in the world, they should be good enough to stop the Titans’ offense and record more points than both the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.

Kicker (K): Stephen Gostkowski (NE, vs. BUF), Cody Parkey (PHI, @ NYG)

Last week both kickers had quiet outings, so this week’s decision is much of a muchness. I do think Gostkowski is a slightly safer pick though, as he has scored more points than Parkey this season.

 

*Italics denote starters.

 

Other week 16 games

Championship Matchup

Abergele JETS (83) @ (90) Team AZ Fixitmen

 

Third-Place Playoff

Barnyard Gems (87) @ Wigan Warriors (88)

 

Consolation Ladder

Team Zachrich (94) @ (48) Kardac Kids srm

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (28) @ (93) Team apachefootball

The transaction counter: Week 16

 

> The transaction counter: Week 15

> The transaction counter: Week 14

> The transaction counter: Week 13

> The transaction counter: Week 12

> The transaction counter: Week 11

> The transaction counter: Week 10

> The transaction counter: Week 9

> The transaction counter: Week 8

> The transaction counter: Week 7

> The transaction counter: Week 6

> The transaction counter: Week 5

> The transaction counter: Week 4

> The transaction counter: Week 3

> The transaction counter: Week 2

> The transaction counter: Week 1

> The transaction counter: Week Preseason

 

My transactions

Wed, Dec 24

Salford Bloggers (SAL) added Colts D/ST

Salford Bloggers (SAL) dropped Vikings D/ST

 

Other transactions

Wed, Dec 24

Abergele JETS added 49ers D/ST (D/ST, SF)

Abergele JETS dropped Jets D/ST (D/ST, NYJ)

 

Abergele JETS added Connor Barth (K, DEN)

Abergele JETS dropped Matt Prater (K, DET)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Dan Bailey (K, DAL)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Randy Bullock (K, HOU)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Pierre Thomas (RB, NO)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Rueben Randle (WR, NYG)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Mark Sanchez (QB, PHI)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)

 

Fri, Dec 26

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Jonas Gray (RB, NE)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Devonta Freeman (RB, ATL)

The League: Week 16 playoff results

 

Week 16 playoff results

 

Championship Game (Round 1)

Abergele JETS (#3) 83-90 Team AZ Fixitmen (#1)

 

Third-Place Playoff (Round 1)

Barnyard Gems (#4) 87-88 Wigan Warriors (#2)

 

Consolation Ladder (Round 1)

La Linea Lineman (#7) 104-102 Salford Bloggers (#6)

Team Zachrich (#9) 94-48 Kardac Kids srm (#5)

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (#10) 28-93 Team apachefootball (#8)

The transaction counter: Week 15

 

> The transaction counter: Week 14

> The transaction counter: Week 13

> The transaction counter: Week 12

> The transaction counter: Week 11

> The transaction counter: Week 10

> The transaction counter: Week 9

> The transaction counter: Week 8

> The transaction counter: Week 7

> The transaction counter: Week 6

> The transaction counter: Week 5

> The transaction counter: Week 4

> The transaction counter: Week 3

> The transaction counter: Week 2

> The transaction counter: Week 1

> The transaction counter: Week Preseason

 

Other transactions

Wed, Dec 17

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Cam Newton (QB, CAR)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Ryan Mathews (RB, SD)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Stedman Bailey (WR, STL)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Pierre Thomas (RB, NO)

 

Thur, Dec 18

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Billy Cundiff (K, CLE)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Matt Bryant (K, ATL)

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Browns D/ST (D/ST, CLE)

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped 49ers D/ST (D/ST, SF)

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Denard Robinson (RB, JAC)

Team Zachrich (TZ) added Doug Martin (RB, TB)

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Brian Hoyer (QB, CLE)

 

Team Zachrich (TZ) dropped Andre Ellington (RB, ARI)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Jordan Reed (TE, WSH)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Scott Chandler (TE, BUF)

 

Sat, Dec 20

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Adam Vinatieri (K, IND)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Jonas Gray (RB, NE)

Salford Bloggers start or sit?: Week 16

 

Week 15 matchup (Consolation Ladder – Round 2)

La Linea Lineman (#7) @ Salford Bloggers (#6)

 

Projected lineup for La Linea Lineman

QB: Ryan Tannehill (MIA, vs. MIN)

RB: Eddie Lacy (GB, @ TB)

RB: Joique Bell (DET, @ CHI)

WR: Alshon Jeffery (CHI, vs. DET)

WR: Odell Beckham Jr (NYG, @ STL)

TE: Dwayne Allen (IND, @ DAL)

FLEX: Andre Williams (NYG, @ STL)

D/ST: Rams D/ST (STL, vs. NYG)

K: Steven Hauschka (SEA, @ ARI)

 

Starting lineup for the Salford Bloggers

Quarterback (QB): Tony Romo (DAL, vs. IND), Philip Rivers (SD, @ SF)

Running Backs (RB1, RB2): Chris Johnson (NYJ, vs. NE), Mark Ingram (NO, vs. ATL), C.J. Anderson (DEN, @ CIN)

Wide Receivers (WR1, WR2): Demaryius Thomas (DEN, @ CIN), Randall Cobb (GB, @ TB), Percy Harvin (NYJ, vs. NE), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, vs. BAL)

Tight End (TE): Jimmy Graham (NO, vs. ATL), Jared Cook (STL, vs. NYG)

FLEX (FLEX): Chris Johnson (NYJ, vs. NE), Percy Harvin (NYJ, vs. NE), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, vs. BAL), Jared Cook (STL, vs. NYG)

Defense/Special Teams (D/ST): Dolphins D/ST (MIA, vs. MIN), Vikings D/ST (MIN, vs. MIA), Ravens D/ST (BAL, @ HOU)

Kicker (K): Stephen Gostkowski (NE, @ NYJ), Cody Parkey (PHI, @ WSH)

 

*Italics denote starters.

 

Other week 15 games

Championship Matchup

Abergele JETS (#3) @ Team AZ Fixitmen (#1)

Third-Place Playoff

Barnyard Gems (#4) @ Wigan Warriors (#2)

Consolation Ladder

Team Zachrich (#9) @ Kardac Kids srm (#5)

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (#10) @ Team apachefootball (#8)