Week 16 recap: Mind the two-point gap

 

Ahead of the Salford Bloggers’ week 16 consolation ladder matchup, I was a little worried.

Sure, it’s a consolation ladder matchup where seemingly the only real objective is to dodge the proverbial wooden spoon, but victory is still on the agenda.

And so entering week 16, I couldn’t help but be a little apprehensive. On paper, the Bloggers were set to win the matchup against La Linea Lineman. Though that was something they should’ve done in week 12 of the regular season when I needed the win to avoid being eliminated from playoff contention.

If we rewind to before that matchup, the Lineman – then carrying a 4-7 record – had yet to score 100 points in their previous 11 attempts. But if they had to break their duck against anyone, it had to be the Bloggers, who were on the end of some unfortunate resurgence throughout the season.

Though to be fair to La Linea Lineman, they haven’t looked back since, hitting three digits in each week since that week 12 meeting – and therein lays the root of my concern.

So it wasn’t a surprise when they went for over 100 points against the Bloggers, giving my team a big hill to climb early on.

The Bloggers haven’t been doing too badly themselves recently, but the first leg of the second round consolation matchup got off to a poor start, no thanks in small part to the likes of Jimmy Graham, DeAndre Hopkins and Stephen Gostkowski failing to make double digits, and generally underperforming. But at least Hopkins and Gostkowski don’t have the distinction of being first-round fantasy draft picks, so any animosity felt towards their performances in week 16 is already less than that of Graham’s.

But fortunately I had a couple of white knights that pulled me back towards my opponent. They were Tony Romo, who led the Dallas Cowboys to an impressive 42-7 win at home against the Indianapolis Colts, winning the NFC East title and scoring 26 fantasy points in the process, and C.J. Anderson, whose impressive season continued en route to 138 total yards, a touchdown and 19 points.

If it wasn’t for those two, as well as solid weeks from Demaryius Thomas and Randall Cobb, then the second leg may not look as winnable.

Two points is the bridge to gap, and hopefully the Salford Bloggers can finally exact some overdue revenge against La Linea Lineman.

 

La Linea Lineman

QB: Ryan Tannehill (396 passing yards, -5 rushing yards, 4 TD, 1 INT) – 29 points

RB: Eddie Lacy (99 rushing yards, 5 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 15 points

RB: Joique Bell (74 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 14 points

WR: Alshon Jeffery (72 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 13 points

WR: Odell Beckham Jr (148 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 26 points

TE: Dwayne Allen – 0 points

FLEX: Andre Williams (110 rushing yards) – 11 points

D/ST: Rams D/ST (37 points allowed, 1 sack) – -6 points

K: Steven Hauschka (3 field goals missed, 5 extra points made) – 2 points

Bench

RB: LeGarrette Blount – 0 points

RB: James Starks (3 rushing yards, 22 receiving yards) – 2 points

WR: Andre Johnson (65 receiving yards) – 6 points

WR: Michael Crabtree (5 receiving yards) – 0 points

WR: Michael Floyd (41 receiving yards) – 4 points

WR: T.Y. Hilton – 0 points

TE: Coby Fleener (36 receiving yards) – 3 points

 

Salford Bloggers

QB: Tony Romo (218 passing yards, 28 rushing yards, 4 TD) – 26 points

This year may just belong to Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys… or so their fanbase hope. But Romo led his team to a crushing victory against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, which is an extremely impressive feat to achieve. Fortunately for the Salford Bloggers, Romo threw four of the team’s six touchdowns, which boosted the quarterback’s fantasy mark for the week to 26. And I was worried that I had made the wrong decision when Philip Rivers scored 24 points on Saturday evening. Thanks for sparing my blushes, Tony.

RB: Mark Ingram (38 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 10 points

If it wasn’t for his touchdown, Mark Ingram would have had a terrible week. Fortunately he got that score and just crept into double digits along the way. It’s a shame, because Ingram had a few weeks where he looked like a bonafide RB1, but his recent performances seem to have gone by the wayside – much like his team who crashed out of the playoffs after losing at home to the Atlanta Falcons.

RB: C.J. Anderson (83 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 19 points

Prior to Monday Night Football, I was 32 points adrift of La Linea Lineman and really needed big performances from C.J. Anderson and Demaryius Thomas. Big performances from Anderson and Thomas I wanted, big performances I got! C.J. Anderson has been fantastic over the past several weeks, and he’s the ball that just keeps on rolling. His 19 points helped drag the Bloggers to within two of La Linea Lineman. Great stuff.

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

While Demaryius Thomas didn’t have the highest scoring of weeks, his points combined with C.J. Anderson’s were enough to pull the Salford Bloggers close enough to La Linea Lineman to be able to move into the lead in the season’s final week.

WR: Randall Cobb (131 receiving yards) – 13 points

Randall Cobb’s run without scoring a touchdown stretched to six weeks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he more than made up for it with 131 yards as the Packers won on the road in Florida. This was one of Cobb’s good weeks.

TE: Jimmy Graham (53 receiving yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble) – 9 points

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. When one of your number one fantasy pick’s best games is a nine-point outing, you know it was a pick that you didn’t spend wisely. Though I will take the points – it is better than half his other performance this year.

D/ST: Dolphins D/ST (35 points allowed, 1 INT, 4 sacks, safety) – 6 points

The Dolphins weren’t looking too sharp as their defense quickly allowed the Miami Dolphins to jump out to a 17-7 lead in the first half, and it didn’t get much better as they allowed 35 points through four quarters. Fortunately, Miami walked off on a safety, which gave their D/ST a nice little boost at the end of the game, meaning they finished on a respectable six points. It was a pleasing total, considering things could have been a lot worse. It was made even better because I decided to start the Dolphins over the Baltimore Ravens and the Vikings, neither of whom managed to score as many points as the Dolphins D/ST did.

K: Stephen Gostkowski (1 field goal made, 2 extra points) – 5 points

The decision on whether to start Stephen Gostkowski or Cody Parkey has become part and parcel of the run-up to fantasy games this season, and this week I finally picked the right kicker. Though really, it didn’t matter too much. Both players had bad weeks, and Gostkowski only bettered Parkey by a single point. Slim pickings, it would seem.

Bench

QB: Philip Rivers (356 passing yards, 4 TD, 3 INT) – 24 points

RB: Chris Johnson (30 rushing yards, 3 receiving yards) – 3 points

WR: Percy Harvin (44 receiving yards, 1 rushing yard) – 4 points

TE: Jared Cook (41 receiving yards) – 4 points

D/ST: Ravens D/ST (25 points allowed, 1 INT) – 2 points

D/ST: Vikings D/ST (37 points against, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack) – -3 points

K: Cody Parkey (1 field goal made, 2 field goals missed, 3 extra points) – 4 points

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)

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: Preseason

 

My transactions

There was just one roster move Salford Bloggers this week. A trade was also considered, but ultimately didn’t happen as we only just realised this week that the trade deadline for The League had already passed.

 

Thur, Dec 4

Salford Bloggers (SAL) dropped Cowboys D/ST (D/ST, DAL)

Salford Bloggers (SAL) added Vikings D/ST (D/ST, MIN)

 

Other transactions

Sun, Nov 30

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Marcedes Lewis (WR, JAC)

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

 

Wed, Dec 3

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Cecil Shorts III (WR, JAC)

Barnyard Gems (HD) added Kenny Stills (WR, NO)

 

Barnyard Gems (HD) dropped Martavis Bryant (WR, PIT)

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

 

Thur, Dec 4

Abergele JETS (ABJ) added Kendall Wright (WR, TEN)

Abergele JETS (ABJ) dropped Steelers D/ST (D/ST, PIT)

 

Abergele JETS (ABJ) added Nate Washington (WR, TEN)

Abergele JETS (ABJ) dropped Kendall Wright (WR, TEN)

 

Fri, Dec 5

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Donte Moncrief (WR, IND)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Ray Rice (RB, FA)

 

Sun, Dec 7

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Davante Adams (WR, GB)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Jerick McKinnon (RB, MIN)

 

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Mason Crosby (K, GB)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Caleb Sturgis (K, MIA)

Week 13 recap: Out with a bang

 

Before the week 13 games started, I received a text from Jack – owner of the Wigan Warriors team in The League – asking me to throw the game so that he could guarantee top seed, as I was already out of playoff contention.

The text was indeed in jest, and the old adage of ‘it’s worth a try’ rang true. But, joking aside, I never had any intention of throwing the game. I wanted to finish strongly, because not only does it keep things fair for all players, but I also want to do the best I can at everything. And fantasy football is no exception.

It’s been a tough season of fantasy for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been great, and I’ve learned a lot, but multiple weeks of opposition scoring higher than usual has seen me lose quite a few games. But I was determined to avoid loss number eight and grab win number six instead.

The footballing week didn’t get off to the greatest of starts for the Salford Bloggers, because Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys managed only one touchdown as they fell flat against the Philadelphia Eagles. The result? Three points for Romo not good enough.

The poor performance at quarterback made it look like my chances of winning the final game of the regular season had been ended prematurely. But an unlikely source of 35 points came in the form of Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, whose 238 receiving yards and two touchdowns pulled the Bloggers back from the brink.

From there it was pretty much plain sailing, and although the Warriors had three Dolphins left to play on Monday Night Football to my one, the gap created by Hopkins and co was enough to see me through to Tuesday as the victor.

Now it’s on to the consolation bracket for the Bloggers and I. Up first is Kardac Kids srm. Kardac are on a three game losing streak – one of which was against my team in which they only managed a season-low 36 points, so I fancy my chances of advancing. It may only be a consolation round I’m involved in now, but it is a chance for the Bloggers to get some credit that they deserve. After all, if this thing was decided on overall points alone, the Bloggers would be coasting into the playoffs as the third seed.

 

Result

Salford Bloggers – 102

Wigan Warriors – 92

 

Wigan Warriors

QB: Drew Brees (257 passing yards, 5 TD) – 20 points

RB: Marshawn Lynch (104 rushing yards, 7 receiving yards) – 10 points

RB: Lamar Miller (56 rushing yards, 11 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 12 points

WR: Steve Smith (2 receiving yards) – 0 points

WR: Kelvin Benjamin (56 receiving yards) – 5 points

TE: Rob Gronkowski (98 receiving yards) – 9 points

FLEX: Jarvis Landry (68 receiving yards) – 6 points

D/ST: Giants D/ST (25 points allowed, 7 sacks) – 9 points

K: Caleb Sturgis (3 field goals made, 1 field goal missed, 1 extra point) – 11 points

Bench

QB: Joe Flacco (225 passing yards, 3 rushing yards, 3 TD) – 23 points

RB: Daniel Herron (88 rushing yards, 8 receiving yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble) – 12 points

RB: Jerick McKinnon – 0 points

RB: Ray Rice – 0 points

RB: Ryan Mathews (40 rushing yards, 6 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 10 points

WR: John Brown (40 receiving yards) – 4 points

D/ST: Broncos D/ST (16 points allowed, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries, 6 sacks) – 16 points

 

Salford Bloggers

QB: Tony Romo (199 passing yards, -1 rushing yard, 2 INT) – 3 points

Philip Rivers hasn’t been getting it done in recent weeks, so I thought the right decision was to go with Tony Romo, who was coming off the back of a 25-point week 12. But it turned out to be the wrong one as Rivers guided the Chargers to an impressive road victory over the Baltimore Ravens en route to 26 points, and Tony Romo fell flat on Thanksgiving. Fortunately, it didn’t cost me.

RB: Mark Ingram (122 rushing yards, – 1 receiving yard) – 12 points

Ingram returned to form with over 100 yards on the ground, and had a great day despite not finding the end zone. After a poor showing against Baltimore the week before, it didn’t look good, but thankfully that appears to have just been a blip. I’ll be expecting similar output next week from the former Heisman Trophy winner.

RB: C.J. Anderson (168 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 23 points

What a pickup C.J. Anderson has been. In three weeks out of the last four he’s amassed over 20 fantasy points, and has at least 100 total yards for each of those four weeks.  Not only has he quickly established himself as a starting fantasy back, but he has got to have given the Broncos’ coaching staff a tough decision when Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman return from injury.

WR: Demaryius Thomas (63 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 12 points

Demaryius Thomas may not have had the type of production in week 13 that has made him the second-highest scoring fantasy wideout so far this year, but 63 yards and a touchdown is a solid score. It also continues his streak of double-digit fantasy points, extending it to nine games.

WR: Randall Cobb (85 receiving yards, 8 rushing yards) – 8 points

Randall Cobb has now gone three straight games without a touchdown after being on pace for a one touchdown per game average, which is a little worrying. However, 85 yards gave a solid return of eight points, so there wasn’t a lot to worry about this week.

TE: Jimmy Graham – 0 points

I think that sums Jimmy Graham’s Sunday up. A truly horrendous use of a first round pick.

FLEX: DeAndre Hopkins (238 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 35 points

Give yourself a massive pat on the back, DeAndre Hopkins. He was probably the fantasy performer of the week as he caught his way to 35 fantasy points. ‘Nuk’ gave me a real chance of winning this week, and picked up the pieces after Tony Romo dropped the ball on Thursday evening.

D/ST: Dolphins D/ST (13 points allowed, 1 INT, 2 sacks) – 7 points

The Dolphins didn’t have many plays to score fantasy points on defense and special teams, but holding the New York Jets to just 13 points ensured a neat return from Miami this week.

K: Stephen Gostkowski (1 field goal missed, 3 extra points) – 2 points

For the second straight week Gostkowski has been blown out of the water by my other kicker, Cody Parkey. The Patriot was particularly disappointing this week, especially as he missed a crucial field goal for New England in the first half. It’ll be tough deciding between Gostkowski and Parkey for the first games of the consolation bracket.

Bench

QB: Philip Rivers (383 passing yards, 19 rushing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) – 26 points

RB: Branden Oliver (7 rushing yards) – 0 points

RB: Chris Johnson (105 rushing yards) – 10 points

RB: Jonas Gray (4 rushing yards) – 0 points

WR: Percy Harvin (6 receiving yards, 27 rushing yards) – 2 points

D/ST: Cowboys D/ST (33 points allowed, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack) – -3 points

K: Cody Parkey (4 field goals made, 3 extra points) – 15 points

The League: Week 13 results and standings

 

Week 13 results

Salford Bloggers 102-92 Wigan Warriors

La Linea Lineman 147-63 Kardac Kids srm

Team AZ Fixitmen 90-64 Team apachefootball

Dallas Cowboyz2014 56-138 Abergele JETS

Barnyard Gems 82-75 Team Zachrich

 

Current standings

East Division

Wigan Warriors – 9-4, 1163 PF, 1137 PA

Abergele JETS – 8-5, 1276 PF, 1058 PA

Kardac Kids srm – 7-6, 1103 PF, 1102 PA

Salford Bloggers – 6-7, 1222 PF, 1276 PA

La Linea Lineman – 6-7, 1152 PF, 1276 PA

 

West Division

Team AZ Fixitmen – 9-4, 1201 PF, 1076 PA

Barnyard Gems – 7-6, 1226 PF, 1133 PA

Team apachefootball – 6-7, 1068 PF, 1103 PA

Team Zachrich – 4-9, 1122 PF, 1245 PA

Dallas Cowboyz2014 – 3-10, 1004 PF, 1282 PA

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: Preseason

 

My transactions

I decided not to make any roster cuts or additions this week because I didn’t feel that there was anyone who would come in and improve my team for the week 13 matchup against the Wigan Warriors.

 

Other transactions

Sun, Nov 23

Team Zachrich (zac) dropped Devin Hester (WR, ATL)

Team Zachrich (zac) added Malcolm Floyd (WR, SD)

 

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Vincent Jackson (WR, TB)

 

Wed, Nov 26

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Robert Griffin III (QB, WSH)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added LeGarrette Blount (RB, NE)

 

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Giants D/ST (D/ST, NYG)

 

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added John Brown (WR, ARI)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Reggie Wayne (WR, IND)

 

Abergele JETS (ABJ) added Matt Prater (K, DET)

Abergele JETS (ABJ) dropped Cairo Santos (K, KC)

 

La Linea Lineman (LLL) dropped Patriots D/ST (D/ST, NE)

La Linea Lineman (LLL) added Rams D/ST (D/ST, STL)

 

Fri, Nov 28

Wigan Warriors (Wig) added Ray Rice (RB, FA)

Wigan Warriors (Wig) dropped Scott Chandler (TE, BUF)

Salford Blogger start or sit?: Week 13

 

Week 13 matchup

Salford Bloggers (5-7) @ Wigan Warriors (9-3)

 

Projected lineup for Wigan Warriors

QB: Drew Brees (NO, @ PIT)

RB: Marshawn Lynch (SEA, @ SF)

RB: Lamar Miller (MIA, @ NYJ)

WR: Steve Smith (BAL, vs. SD)

WR: Kelvin Benjamin (CAR, @ MIN)

TE: Rob Gronkowski (NE, @ GB)

FLEX: Jarvis Landry (MIA, @ NYJ)

D/ST: Giants D/ST (NYJ, @ JAC)

K: Caleb Sturgis (NYJ, @ MIA)

 

Starting lineup for the Salford Bloggers

Quarterback (QB): Tony Romo (DAL, vs. PHI), Philip Rivers (SD, @ BAL)

Running Back (RB1, RB2): Chris Johnson (NYJ, vs. MIA), Mark Ingram (NO, @ PIT), Branden Oliver (SD, @ BAL), C.J. Anderson (DEN, @ KC), Jonas Gray (NE, @ GB)

Wide Receiver (WR1, WR2): Demaryius Thomas (DEN, @ KC), Randall Cobb (GB, vs. NE), Percy Harvin (NYJ, vs. MIA), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, vs. TEN)

Tight End (TE): Jimmy Graham (NO, @ PIT)

FLEX: Chris Johnson (NYJ, vs. MIA), Branden Oliver (SD, @ BAL), Jonas Gray (NE, @ GB), Percy Harvin (NYJ, vs. MIA), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, vs. TEN)

Defense/Special Teams (D/ST): Dolphins D/ST (MIA, vs. NYJ), Cowboys D/ST (DAL, vs. PHI)

Kicker (K): Stephen Gostkowski (NE, @ GB), Cody Parkey (PHI, @ DAL)

 

*Italics denote starters.

 

Other week 13 matchups

La Linea Lineman (5-7) @ Kardac Kids srm (7-5)

Team AZ Fixitmen (8-4) @ Team apachefootball (6-6)

Dallas Cowboyz2014 (3-9) @ Abergele JETS (7-5)

Barnyard Gems (6-6) @ Team Zachrich (4-8)