Being 4-5 and having a Great Team
We are at week 10 and some teams are coasting to 7-2 or 8-1 starts, while others have thrown in the towel at 2-7 or worse. For those middling along at 4-5, you’ll appreciate this story. I co-manage a team with a friend of mine in a touchdown heavy league. Basically take your standard 50/50 league yardage points rules and divide that in half and that’s how you get yardage points in this league. Also keep in mind it’s a mandatory three receiver league. We have a talented bunch. Give me a minute to brag about our league’s starting lineup:
QB – Matt Ryan
WR1 – Mike Wallace
WR2 – Vincent Jackson
WR3 – Brandon Marshall
RB1 – Adrian Peterson
RB2 – Jonathan Stewart
TE – Jimmy Graham
K – Jason Hanson
DEF – Giants
OK, so we could do better than Matt Ryan right? Unfortunately it was a keeper league and all the top quarterbacks were kept. Sure wish I had the foresight to draft Cam Newton. Still that’s a pretty talented group in a 12 team league. Guess what, we’re 4-5 and it could have been a lot worse.
Maddening play of the Kansas City Chiefs, just made me — well — MAD!!!
After another disappointing loss in week 8 (to a guy who absolutely loves raccoons – seriously he posts a different raccoon picture up on his fantasy avatar every week!) and dropping to 3-5, I decided to shake things up. I noticed the Chiefs, who were trending up, had a great match-up with the Miami Dolphins, who I was convinced was now playing with a broken spirit and a case of the “give-ups”. I decided to go all in on the Chiefs. With the Giants playing the Patriots in Foxborough, I decided to pick up the Chiefs defense and start them against the Fins. Yes – judging by your groan, you started them too. I got ‘0’ points from that unit. Where was that ball hawking secondary that picked off 9 passes in its last two games? Where was Tamba Hali and his speed rush? “Where was my mind?”, because I sure lost it!!!
I made an even bigger blunder, while riding high on that Arrowhead pride, I did the classic over-think and benched Brandon Marshall for rookie Jon Baldwin. The Dolphins gave up touchdowns to Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz the week before on the road and Baldwin looked nice against the Chargers. Baldwin proceeded to go 1 catch for 12 yards, with a touchdown called back because of a push-off. On the other side of the ball, the Beast, Brandon Marshall, went off to a tune of 8 catches, 106 yards and a touchdown. What a miserable disaster. Chasing for a playoff spot will do that to you. It makes you over think. It makes speculating a much more attractive option than settling for the lower risk, calculated gambles.
Final Destination – Not the movie – But our Playoff Chances
Fast forward to Sunday night – our fantasy football game was close. Our opponent had Rashard Mendenhall and Heath Miller. We had Mike Wallace and a loosening 3 point grip – I mean lead. I couldn’t watch the game, so my wife and I watched “The Fighter” instead. While watching the movie, I had a knot in my stomach and an iPad on my lap to check the box score from time to time. I kept checking halfway through the movie, and Wallace was doing nothing. I was feeling sick. Maybe I was like Dicky Eklund. I must’ve been on crack to start both the Chiefs defense and Jon Baldwin. The only thing that kept me from running to the rest room and punching myself in the face was Christian Bale’s excellent performance. That guy can act!
When the movie was over, I didn’t have the heart to check the box score. Last I saw, Wallace had 20 some yards receiving I think and freaking Heath Miller was outscoring him, while Mendenhall had a touchdown to go with the accumulated yards he picked up. In my head, that meant we were down by 5 or 6 points and it was late in the game. It was going to be lights out for me after I brush my teeth and lights out for our playoff chances. I was prepared to be fired as a co-manager (My friend paid for the pricey buy-in and transaction fees.) the next day. The guy who is running a fantasy football blog was going to get booted. Boy, that’s embarrassing. Maybe I should start up a movie blog…
I woke up and checked the box score… and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Mike Wallace scored a late touchdown and managed to finish with 68 yards receiving! Did we win? I’ll let my co-manager finish our story in “hook and ladder” fashion. Here is his account via e-mail:
With two seconds left, and down by 3 points with the ball on their own 30 yard line (and our fantasy game tied at 74) I knew that the Steelers would probably try to get the ball to Wallace (and hoped they wouldn’t do some screen pass to Mendenhall…)
Anyway, Big Ben completed a ball to Wallace for about a 25 yard gain, but Wallace immediately lateraled it back to someone else, who then fumbled and the game ended. It was a boom boom play. For a second I didn’t know what to think.
Then I told my cousin, “That should count as a completion, since he had enough control to lateral it….”
Then, we were both staring at our smart phones to see which one updated first….
It took about two minutes, and then 75! It happened…. WE WON! Fun stuff!
Couldn’t even believe that we were going to tie, at 74, with two positions at zero and Marshall on the bench. We did one point better though.
Good call on Helu though, if we would have had Starks playing, and Marshall on the bench, we would have dropped to 3-6…. OUCH!
Loved how he gave me credit for Helu. I’ll take it boss. You win some and you lose some. That is the perspective you gain when you are 4-5 and reaching, climbing, clawing desperately towards the playoffs. We took a step in that direction with an improbable comeback. Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund would be proud.