Victory is so, so sweet – especially when you snatch it from the jaws of defeat.
That’s exactly what the Salford Bloggers did in Week 7 against the Barnyard Gems to record the team’s second victory of the season. But it didn’t look like my team was always headed to win number two.
With just a couple of minutes left in Sunday’s late afternoon kick-offs the Barnyard Gems led by roughly 20 points, maybe a little over. 20 points seemed like an achievable gap to bridge with Demaryius Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins left to play.
But it didn’t stay that way. A fortunate phase of play for the Barnyard Gems across the games saw the unenviable task become even more difficult.
It all started with Kansas City driving for the win. Level on points with San Diego, the Chiefs marched 62 yards down the field, paving the way for kicker Cairo Santos to score what ended up being the game-winning field goal, which reduced the Chargers D/ST’s points to two, from four. In an attempt to reply, the Chargers attempted to go straight back down the field, but Philip Rivers threw an interception to ice the game, and I waved goodbye to another couple of points.
Then, just a few seconds later over in Dallas, Dan Bailey kicked one between the sticks from over 40 yards out, and that completed the swing which took the Bloggers from being 20 points behind the Gems to 30.
At this point, the second win which looked perfectly achievable at one point, now seemed highly improbable. Unless Demaryius Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins could combine for 31 points or more, it was game over. Fortunately for me, however, the pair still had plenty left in the tank.
At Mile High Stadium on what was a historic night, Demaryius Thomas caught eight passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns – including the one which took quarterback Peyton Manning ahead of Brett Favre for most all-time touchdown passes. His production for the night was good enough for 29 points, leaving me within touching distance of the win.
Being a point behind, I now needed DeAndre Hopkins to score two or more for the win. As I went to bed on Monday night before the game, I was a little nervous. Given the Salford Bloggers’ track record this, failing to get those two points wasn’t out of the question. But this time my players came through for me, and I awoke to find out that DeAndre Hopkins gained 108 yards and fumbled the ball.
Finally! Win number two of the season; let’s make next week number three!
Barnyard Gems – 93
Salford Bloggers – 100
QB: Russell Wilson (313 passing yards, 106 rushing yards, 3 TD) – 36 points
RB: Matt Forte (49 rushing yards, 40 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 22 points
RB: Alfred Morris (54 rushing yards) – 5 points
WR: Cecil Shorts III (12 receiving yards) – 1 point
WR: Malcolm Floyd (50 receiving yards) – 5 points
TE: Jordan Reed (54 receiving yards) – 5 points
D/ST: Patriots D/ST (25 points allowed, 3 sacks) – 2 points
K: Dan Bailey (1 field goal made, 4 extra points) – 8 points
QB: Kirk Cousins (139 passing yards, 1 INT, 1 fumble) – 1 point
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw (52 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 18 points
RB: Joique Bell (48 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points
RB: Frank Gore (20 rushing yards) – 2 points
WR: A.J. Green – 0 points
WR: Brandin Cooks (23 receiving yards) – 2 points
WR: Pierre Garcon (87 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 14 points
QB: Philip Rivers (205 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) – 14 points
Philip Rivers has started this season like a real MVP candidate, but his Week 7 performance wasn’t quite in line with the rest of his outings this season. It wasn’t a bad performance, even though it wasn’t enough to see the Chargers past the Chiefs; but it was a performance that yielded little in the way of fantasy production compared to what he has been getting.
RB: Mark Ingram (16 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards) – 2 points
With Mark Ingram returning to the New Orleans lineup this week following a month on the sideline with a broken thumb, I harboured high hopes for my running game this week. But it didn’t pan out as I had hoped, and two points is well below what I thought Ingram could get; and that was accounting for any rustiness as he has missed significant game time. Hopefully he’ll be up to speed next week, because I need all the help I can get at the moment.
RB: Branden Oliver (67 rushing yards, 11 receiving yards) – 7 points
Branden Oliver has the potential to be one of the surprises of the season as he continues to thrive in the Chargers’ offense. Although he didn’t get into the end zone on Sunday, he still posted solid numbers, and on another day his fantasy totals could have been a lot better.
WR: Demaryius Thomas (171 receiving yards, 2 TD) – 29 points
After being put in a 30 point hole, I really needed a big performance from one of my two remaining players, and boy did I get it! For the past three weeks, Demaryius Thomas has lit up fantasy football averaging a mega 27 points. He actually ended up with 29 points this week, which meant that I only needed two points from DeAndre Hopkins to win it. To add to the productive night he had, Thomas was also on the end of Peyton Manning’s record-breaking touchdown pass, capping off an excellent night for the wide receivier.
WR: Randall Cobb (121 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 18 points
One knock on Cobb’s game so far this season has been his low yardage totals, despite averaging over one touchdown per game. But the Green Bay wide receiver struck back at critics with a 121-yard performance, and still got that touchdown to continue the trend. A high-level of consistency has made Cobb one of the most reliable fantasy assets this season, and he lived up to expectations yet again in Week 7.
TE: Owen Daniels (58 receiving yards, 1 TD) – 11 points
Deciding whether or not to start Daniels came down to the wire, and was a conclusion I came to just minutes before the start of Sunday’s games. It was between starting the Baltimore Ravens tight end, or Jimmy Graham. But with Graham only playing limited snaps, I decided to leave Daniels in there – a move in the end that richly paid off. Unlike Graham, Daniels actually got on the board, and scored 11 points to boot.
FLEX: DeAndre Hopkins (108 receiving yards, 1 fumble) – 8 points
On a normal week, eight points would have been an extremely average score for a wideout; but as it turned out, I couldn’t have been happier with DeAndre Hopkins’ Week 7 totals. I went into Monday night needed two points for victory, and I would have been just as happy for him to get 20 receiving yards as I was for him to get 108. The eight points that he did get resulted in victory gor the Salford Bloggers, and helped the team crack triple digits for the first time since Week 4.
D/ST: Chargers D/ST (23 points against, 3 sacks) – 2 points
The Chargers D/ST have killed me the past couple of weeks. Last time out, they scored zero points against a poor Oakland offense while the opposition Lions got 20. This week the opposition only scored two points, but the Chargers once more failed to capitalise on that opportunity and got the same. It made things even worse that the Dolphins, who had amassed 12 points against the Bears earlier in the day, were sitting on my bench. This performance will probably seal the Chargers D/ST a one-way ticket to fantasy free agency.
K: Stephen Gostkowski (2 field goals made, 3 extra points) – 9 points
Whilst Stephen Gostkowski didn’t live up to his projection this week, I was fairly pleased with his production, because nine points for a kicker is still a solid total. Whether or not Cody Parkey was on a bye week was irrelevant, because I still would’ve started Gostkowski anyway.
QB: Tony Romo (279 passing yards, 5 rushing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) – 21 points
RB: Chris Johnson (61 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards) – 7 points
RB: Khiry Robinson (26 rushing yards, 1 fumble) – 0 points
WR: Percy Harvin – 0 points
TE: Jimmy Graham – 0 points
D/ST: Dolphins D/ST (14 points allowed, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 sacks) – 12 points
K: Cody Parkey (BYE) – N/A