1st round success Monday, Dec 12 2011
Sports Talk 11:17 am
Well, hard work and some luck pay off.
With my two best RBs out for Sunday, I managed to pull off a win in big fashion: 89.3 – 64.3. Against the same team that put me out in the 1st round back in ‘07 when I was sailing to what I was hoping would be my 2nd consecutive championship.
This had all the makings of a similar loss. As with that last time, most of my players played in later games. What that typically means in a competitive week is that I should expect to be behind for most of the weekend.
And that’s exactly how it unfolded. After Thursday’s game I was down 9.3 – 0 after 2 of his players went. However, since I was resigned to losing coming into the matchup, it actually game me some hope. His #1 bigtime player, the Steeler’s DST, played well, but did not have a monster week that they are always capable of. 10 points is solid but not team-carrying. The real optimism came with the -0.7 that his TE scored for him. Awesome.
So Sunday morning comes along. I see the following breakdown:
- I have 4 players: RB1, WR, WR and TE – one stud: Wes Welker
- He has QB, RB1, K and WR
With his QB, K and RB1 (Lesean McCoy) playing, I knew I was going to be behind. But by how much?
Thanks to solid outings by all 4 of my players it wasn’t too bad. Although his RB had a monster (16.1), his QB played avg and his K and WR were terrible combining for 6 total. K’s typically get at least 9 alone.
Me – 24.8
Him – 33.5 + 9.3 (from Thurs) = 42.8
A deficit of 18 pts.
The afternoon games pits 2 of my players against his remaining 3:
Me – Packers D, Marion Barber
Him – Larry Fitz, Stevie Johnson and Willis McGahee
All three of his are top level WR1, WR2 and RB2 types. Larry Fitz is a beast. I’m playing a solid defense in the Packers but defenses typically start with 10 points and move backwards. Marion Barber? Well, he’s a waiver pickup that I got lucky to grab earlier in the week. He’s the replacement back in Chicago for my downed Forte so I knew at least he was going to get touches.
Looking at the score, this is where doubt and second-guessing comes into play when you play a lot of guys that have later matchups. My reserve QB Mark Sanchez had already posted 22.6 points. A monster game. My reserve DST (Eagles) posted another over the top, unexpected monster game with 24.5 points. If you do the math, that means the score would be:
Me – 71.9
Him – 42.8
I’d have 3 remaining to go to his 3. Including my K and QB. It would be a cinch. But here I am behind, albeit with more players to go.
So now the brain kicks in with ‘how far behind do I need to be to still feel I can comeback’? This of course is the downside to having your players go later than your opponent:
a) You are always playing catchup. It’s a completely different feel than being the front runner and trying to hang on. Both have their ups-and-downs tho.
b) You see how your reserves went and wonder why you didn’t play them. Sometimes your reserves tank and you feel good about it, but for some reason it always seems to be the other way around….why didn’t I play him?
At any rate, I figured if I can be within 20 then I have a chance of winning with Manning, Dez Bryant and my DAL K yet to go. Barring injury during the game (and that’s another big worry when playing catchup) Manning should get me a conservative 10, Bryant 3 and my K 8 = 21 pts.
The afternoon games unfolded in see-saw type fashion. Just as I would make inroads and get close, his team would score and pull away. At one point I was within a 1/2 point thanks to a valiant Barber TD (yay!) only to have the lead widen to 6.5 when Fitz scores a 46yd TD reception mere seconds after.
This was at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. From that point on it was all about trying to minimize the damage. It’s at this point when your DST starts to lose points as yardage and score rack up against them. Fortunately a bizarre defensive touchdown and a last second interception really helped offset the losses. Barber unfortunately fumbled in an overtime that should never have even happened (damn you Tebow!). When all was finally said and done for the afternoon games (they seemed to have taken forever, especially the Packers game ending at 7:30, a 1/2hr after all other games) the score was:
Me – 51.2
Him – 64.3
That’s his final score, I have three left down by 13.1…well within my expectations but nevertheless a bit nervous.
I predicted the 8:30 game to be a high scoring affair. It didn’t start off that way. With 3 seconds to go before the half I had 4 pts by my QB, 0 from Bryant and 6 from my kicker. 10 pts. 3.1 to go. Then my kicker nails a 49 yder to close the half. Finally, after 90% of the day done, I finally take the lead for the 1st time. Wow that took forever.
The second half was a big scoring feast. Manning went nuts, Bryant scored a 50 yd TD….his only reception!
In the end: Manning – 21pts, Bryant – 6.1, Kicker – 11 = 38.1 pts. Monster game. Couldn’t have asked for anything more. I definitely need to avoid injuries to my starters now. Barber and Keller were great fillins this week but need to pay attention to the wire for upgrades. I gave up a lot for this run by acquiring Manning (1st and 2nd rounders in the next 2 years of drafting). Although he didn’t top out as high as Sanchez, Manning is good for 15-20 each week whereas Sanchez typically falls around 10-15. Feel way more comfortable with Manning. It’s been worth it as he is a beast and really made that step to elite level. I think it was a steal for me actually.
The only sacrifices I’ve had to make is dumping Kendall Hunter and Mario Manningham. Hunter is still on the waiver so maybe I luck out and lock him up before the season ends. Manningham has been demoted to #3 WR on the Giants with the emergence of Victor Cruz. I think I’ve made some hard choices but I’m one step closer to immortality.