Fantasy Files: Checking Them Twice

I looked at my league results again one moment ago. Yep, still lost.

Yesterday was a blur of activity heading into the 1 p.m. games. My parents are in town so we’re in super-cooking mode. My mom put about 10 pounds of chicken wings into my oven as I rubbed a couple of whole chickens down. The plan was wings for lunch and chickens for dinner. I was going to my friend Don’s place. He was nice enough to invite me over after I pushed him out of the playoffs last week.

When the day begun, I was losing 43-0 because my opponent had Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Matt Bryant. In my two previous playoff matchups, I led most of the way. I would have to make a furious rally. My first “mistake” was not remembering to insert DeAngelo Williams into my lineup. I felt that he had more upside than Trent Richardson, but I had placed Richardson in my lineup when news of a possible Jonathan Stewart return came through. By the time I tried to reverse the move, it was 1 p.m. Games were on.

The day started with promise, as my coin flip starting defense the Colts scored on an interception return. The rest of my team started slowly and I was losing by more than 50 when the first games reached halftime. RGIII had a TD pass that looked like a lateral and Dez Bryant had two 58-yard touchdowns with the Saints playing defense like it was two-hand touch. Sadly RGIII had a mediocre game for him, and my waiver-wire pickup of Brandon Lloyd didn’t score as much as the guy I released to get him, Danario Alexander. After the first two games that would have helped my cause failed to go to overtime, Eagles/Redskins and Patriots/Jaguars, I got a reprieve when Saints/Cowboys made it to extra time. I had 43 points from Dez but needed more. The one pass to him on OT was a slant that was, sadly enough, well defended. Jimmy Graham had a couple of catches, and the key fumble recovery that put the game away. Oh if he only recovered that ball in the end zone.

It was nearly a dead heat. I had Knowshon Moreno and Trent Richardson and he had Ray Rice. I had the momentum and the lead slipped down into single digits. I was on edge, and felt that if I got the lead that I would never give it up. It was 126-123 in Chuck’s favor when Ray Rice caught a short pass that he took 27 yards for the touchdown. The lead went back into double digits with 30 minutes of football left in the season.

My instincts on Trent Richardson were correct. With the Browns losing by a ton and Brandon Weeden injured, the Browns passed passed passed all second half. My hopes for a short Knowshon TD were dashed when Jacob Hester got the goal-line carry and scored. Eight points was as close as I could muster. When the Browns/Broncos game ended, I had to concede to my friend. I lost by 12.

There are plenty of moves I could point to that would have made the difference. Had I started DeAngelo Williams as I wanted to, the 70+-yard TD he scored that was called back for holding would have been the difference. Had I kept Danario instead of Danny Amendola, yeah. I can make half a dozen of these calls. The truth is I looked at my matchups, made my best moves and waited. Fantasy football isn’t like real sports, in that you can give “a little extra” and be motivated by a great halftime speech. You set it and forget it. Or you wish you could. Getting to the finals for the first time in almost a decade was a major achievement. I was one roster move away from winning, but that doesn’t make me a loser. It makes me slightly relieved that the offseason’s coming.

In my dynasty league, I was crushed from the onset. The final score was 199ish to 140ish. Ray Rice put me away in one league and wasn’t enough to put me over the top. The players who overachieved last week came back to earth. I’d love to know what the bleep happened to the Giants these past two weeks.

The good news in both cases is that I get to try again next year. I get five rookie picks and free agency in Zealots 34 and three keepers in the AUFL. My keepers will be RGIII, T-Rich and Dez Bryant. I say goodbye to the somewhat underwhelming 2012 performance of Jimmy Graham, although he’s going to be a tempting pick at my 1.11 slot. I have a young team in Zealots 34 although I’m wondering if this is the offseason that I try to sell high on Ray Rice.

It’s been a fun season, and I’m going to keep posting all year long because that’s what us nutcases do. I’ll have a new interview for the New Year and this week’s Know Your Enemy is going to be a bitter-off between me and a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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