YOU COULDN'T HANDLE MY UNDIVIDED ATTENTION.
The first two weeks have been pretty vanilla. Start your best players and don't take risks with the goal that they will perform to the expectations that we drafted them with. Thankfully, it doesn't end up like that. I say thankfully because fantasy football would be awfully boring if they did. There is a reason why back in September 2019, from a massive bathtub in Tokyo I wrote a piece that focused on what I believe to be key factors in fantasy football. Luck > Drafting Well > Optimal Weekly Lineups > Waiver Wire > Keepers
Luck is king in fantasy, nobody has won a championship without luck. You could have the best keepers in the league and it won't make a difference. You could hit a waiver wire legend like Kamara in 2017 but without him staying healthy, it doesn't matter. You could hit your optimal weekly lineup but if you go against a Derrick Henry who scores 50pts one week, you may not win. You could spend endless hours studying for the fantasy draft and hit all your mid-round value targets but you really have no idea if they'll produce. That's not to say all those previous factors don't matter, they can still give you an advantage. In the end, luck will ultimately determine who comes out the victor.
Championship week 2018, Jere vs Ryan Cole, going into Sunday Night Football where it's Seattle vs Kansas City, Jere goes into the game with a 22pt deficit with Baldwin and Kelce meanwhile Ryan has Tyreek Hill. Neither team has anyone going on MNF so this game will decide the champion. Kelce and Hill both have rather disappointing evenings with 10.40pts and 13.10pts respectively. The star of the show was Doug Baldin, a key receiver for Seattle at the time. With 2:44 left in the 4th quarter, Baldwin has already balled out. He has close to 100yds receiving and a TD under his belt. Still, Jere is down by 2pts. On the 31yd line of the Kansas City Cheifs territory, this happens.
This could have easily been called offensive pass interference, negating the defensive holding and replaying the down. Instead, Chris Carson runs in a 1-yard touchdown to extend the lead. Kansas City would get the ball back but Hill never saw a target. That was it. Game over. The first championship is sealed for Jere, 157.28 to 156.74.
Let's move on to the 2019 Championship Week. A rematch between Jere and Ryan. December 23, 2019, a Monday Night Football matchup between Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. Ryan goes into the matchup up 25pts and no players, meanwhile Jere has a decision to make between Aaron Jones or Mike Boone. Aaron Jones had been playing well, averaging 18.66pts per game that season. Mike Boone, starting running back for the Vikings while Davlin Cook was hurt was coming off a 17pt performance. The Viking's defense was stout that year, allowing less than 100 total rushing yards nine times that year.
Ryan boarded a flight to Colorado as the 4th quarter started. While Jones already has a good game going, As the Packers started their drive with less than 8 minutes left Jere was still down 9 points. Aaron Jones takes the handoff for a 1-yard gain, time keeps ticking. Next play, Rodgers fakes the handoff and hits Davante on what would be an 18-yard gain and an injury stops the clock. Anthony Barr, Minnesota's best linebacker exits the game. Here is what happens next...
And that's all she wrote. Jere comes from behind, once again, to win the championship on a play where inches make all the difference.
Let's fast forward to this year to my week one recap, Derrick Henry couldn't get across the goal line on two attempts from the 1-yard line. My team ended up 0-1 because of that. This week Henry couldn't be stopped, finishing with 237 scrimmage yards and 3 touchdowns, bringing me back from the dead. Yet, going into MNF Ryan Probst is down 31pts with only Aaron Rodgers left. Knowing Rodgers is coming off an awful week one, I knew he was due to show up on a prime-time game against Detroit. Four passing touchdowns before the start of the 4th quarter and all of a sudden Ryan is within striking distance. Green Bay punts halfway through the fourth, followed by an unexpected possession change with less than four minutes remaining off a ridiculous interception thanks to Jared Goff. At this point, I'm up only 5 points and another passing touchdown puts me in the grave. Rodgers hands off on the first down. Hands off on second down. Now, knowing Rodgers, I had a feeling he might do something cheeky on 3rd down knowing this game is all but over. Rodgers takes this snap...
That close to potentially hitting MVS on a nine-route and starting my season 0-2.
Now, the point of this intro wasn't to take the wind out of anyone's sails. I congratulate those who have won championships because it meant you did a lot of things right. you can lose a championship easier by making the wrong decisions than you can win one by making the right decisions. Luck will continue to play a major role in fantasy and I think that is what makes it so exciting, you can't expect the unexpected.
I know that was really a long-winded intro, so let's get right into it.
WEEK 2 PAYOUT WINNER
Papa Henderson ends up taking the weekly payout in back-to-back weeks to open the season. Now, I'm not a math major but by my calculations, he's currently on pace to win $280 just on weekly payouts. Jere can thank Aaron Jones' big MNF game for this payout as he came in clutch with four touchdowns and a 41.50pt performance for the evening to snatch this away from Ryan Probst.
FACT OF THE WEEK
Someone will eventually get dupped by this new defense scoring mechanic. Apparently, Yahoo and a majority of other fantasy sites aren't able to track Tackles For Loss properly in real-time. This leads to significant point changes Sunday night where defenses can add 1-2pts based on TFL's that weren't recorded earlier. Note to self, if you are winning by a small margin at the end of the day, don't consider yourself out of the woods yet.
START OF THE WEEK
Commish, Derrick Henry
That's right. I'm going to make this about me once again. Hate to say it, but Henry dropping to fourth overall in the draft was just criminal. This guy has dominated at every single level of football. He's the only player to ever rush for 2,000 yards in high school, college and NFL season. He's 6-3, 240 and runs a 4.52. If anyone of us tried to tackle him, we would show up to work the next day looking like...
I always thought Ladanian Tomlinson had the best stiff-arm to ever play RB, but you can't google Josh Norman without Derrick Henry showing up in the search bar.
So yeah, Derrick Henry was a no-brainer start of the week who won me my week. I'm taking credit where credit is due.
BLUNDER OF THE WEEK
Ryan Probst, Devonta Smith
To be honest, I'm only digging on him because he admitted to me that he swapped out JuJu for Smith last minute, I would have never known. The swap wasn't necessarily a blunder as Smith looks to be the WR1 in Philly and JuJu has a crippled geriatric throwing the ball to him every week. I trust Gruden under center calling the Spider Y-Banana more than Big Ben right now. Unfortunately, the old guy was able to get the ball to JuJu which ended up being the difference between and win and a loss this week. Devonta was invisible out there and when your QB only has 12 completions, there just isn't enough to go around.
WTF OF THE WEEK
Through two weeks, Ryan Cole is not only leading the league in points scored, but he is doubled his points against. Currently averaging a 75pt win margin over his opponents, this is bringing back memories of when CMC carried his team to back-to-back championship... losses. He will find himself matched up against a worthy foe as he will face Nathan in week 3, the only other team that has accumulated 300pts total this year.
MATCH-UP FOR WEEK 3
The obvious choice is Nathan versus Ryan as noted above, but we have two teams that are 0-2 and need a win to keep their playoff chances alive. In previous years I have laid out the odds of making the playoffs after going 0-3. While I don't remember them and am far too lazy to look them up, I know it's not good. Jere and Probst need to get a win this week to stay on track.
WEEK 2 POWER RANKINGS
First power rankings will come next recap.
WEEK 3 WEEKLY PAYOUT
Run Forrest Run! - Team with the RB with the most combined rushing and receiving yards
I mean shit... There are only a few teams with a chance here. The owners of CMC, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry and... Tony Pollard? Raise your hand. Those are your favorites next week. As always, good luck to everyone heading into a crucial week 3. Except for you Spencer, I am thoroughly looking forward to Herbert not passing to Ekeler this week.