When the dream dies

So this is what happens when a dynasty dies. My zealots 17 fantasy team had that new dynasty smell when the team’s record was 6-0 and I had the highest score by far in the league. I slumped, finishing 9-4 and losing the first-round bye. My team was dispatched in the first round of the playoffs.

What happened? Hubris, I suppose. I traded Ricky Williams away in the offseason, all but giving him away for a third round rookie pick. I did not foresee a Ronnie Brown injury, obviously a blind spot on my part. Michael Turner got hurt and Marion Barber stopped scoring points. Jamaal Charles, who I considered trading, ended the year as my top scoring RB, with Darren Sproles close behind. LenDale White was the 15th highest scoring RB last year. This year, he’s barely outscoring Garrett Wolfe. Percy Harvin, my stud rookie WR, got a headache and couldn’t play. Reggie Wayne tailed off in a major way (four straight weeks without double digit points).
Here’s what happens in the fantasy playoffs. You flip a coin and hope for the best. I won my first-round playoff game in my local keeper league. I scored the most points in the league. My opponent, the one seed, scored the second most. I had Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall. His RB4 was Jamaal Charles. Cedric Benson, my RB1, scored less than half what Charles scored. I needed Johnson and Marshall to practically set league records for me to advance. I picked up the Texans D and lucked out with a TD.

In fact, the only team I have that did not advance in the playoffs was my dominant dynasty league team that had won two straight championships. I survived Randy Moss’s sleepwalk of a performance to score the second most points in the ongoing Masters total points playoff challenge. I won in zealots 34 when Michael Crabtree outscored Larry Fitzgerald. I bet last week was the only week all year that this was the case. It takes luck and timing and it feels like more when you do it.

The best part of advancing in the fantasy playoffs is knowing that the football season is meaningful for another week. Titan fans understand that every week at this point is a gift.

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