Here's a TL:DR few paragraphs of ranting. You can skip to the meat of the Fantasy discussion below after the screencap of our matchup.
I started a fantasy league for my friends in 2006. I was commissioner until 2016, or for 11 league years. It's had the same base of people mostly for the duration. It started off as an 8-man league, but it's been a 10-man league for about 6 years now. During my initial run as commissioner, I won the first league championship in 2006. The next 10 years, I proceeded to go to 6 of the next 10 championship games. I lost them all. I made the playoffs and was .500 or better every year but one. I have the highest winning percentage in the league all-time, and I've never finished outside the top 3 in scoring. Yet, no matter how hard I try, no matter what I do, the fantasy gods strike me down every championship weekend. Injuries to top players the weekend before? Check. The Johnny Knox's of the world scoring 25+ against me? Check. Unrealistic historical records being broken by team defenses playing against me? Check.
At the end of 2016, I became frustrated losing the big game, especially as this league is a group of my closest friends. I ended up assigning league powers to one of my friends/leaguemates and he replaced me with another one of our friends. I would give people fantasy advice and help others with their teams, but I was mostly done. Oh, what a wonderful world! No mindlessly watching random games I didn't care about or ESPN gamecasts. No Rotoworld in the background of my browser at work. No decisions on whether I should start player X or Y. I was in the clear.
Here's where my honeymoon ended. It was found the new league commissioner had been cheating for the past two years (we're in our early-30s now, which is sad enough that he was cheating; even sadder than me ranting like I am). He put everyone in an uproar and everyone just wanted to quit because he basically ruined the league. This was my baby, and I thought I was putting things in good hands. I didn't. They all begged me to come back and take over commissioner duties to keep everything in check, but I didn't go as far as to claim a team...until one of our leaguemates got pregnant. She was unwilling to take her spot and I was unable to find an adequate replacement for her, so I conceded to playing one more year as she got into a routine with her child.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, meet my leaguemate, Kevin. Lowest points against 5 years running. Have a great player? He's going to get injured against Kevin. Dominating the league? Get ready to have your lowest point total against him. Oh, what's this, Kevin? You didn't plan for your quarterbacks having bye weeks in back-to-back weeks and there's crap in free agency!? No worries! The Fantasy Gods will never punish you! Matt Stafford will get hurt and ruled out on Sunday and Jeff F'in Driskill will drop 50 for you in the next 2 weeks. Jeff Driskill. Kevin has won 3 championships in this league, and he's the nicest guy in the world. I despise his luck.
So, obviously we're in a situation where I'm playing Kevin this championship weekend. Yes, I'm back where I belong. I roared to a 10-4 record and was neck and neck with the highest scorer in the league (off by about 25 points). Kevin finished 12-2, naturally. He scored 400 fewer points than me (a huge amount) but of course had the lowest points against of everyone. His team is a bit of a joke in comparison to mine, but it doesn't matter.
Here's how #KevinsWorld has already started to sabotage my team:
- D.J. Moore has a new quarterback working with him this week. Unknown how he'll fair. Couldn't just roll with Allen for one more week?
-Chris Godwin was carted off the field last week. Check off the major injury quota.
-Jameis Winston is my QB. He's lost Mike Evans and Chris Godwin the past 2 weeks, all to benefit Kevin.
As the week goes on, I anticipate more and more of my players to drop like flies or get in skiing accidents or something. Maybe they'll be arrested? Substance abuse? If you've kept with me this much, here's the actual meat of the content. My team is on the left, his is on the right. Yes, we have huge rosters.
Here's what I'm working with on my bench:
I have five questions.
1. Who should I start at QB?
Winston vs. HOU without Godwin and Evans
Tannehill vs. NO
Minshew vs. ATL
Could be some cause for concern in all three. I’m leaning toward sticking with Tannehill and Winston. Trubisky would be the only other option. I am worried about the Titans overall vs the Saints. I’m worried Winston won’t have anyone to throw to. I like the matchup against the Falcons, but I’m worried Minshew just sucks.
2. Kai Forbath over Zuerlein?
Zuerlein has sucked for almost two months now. He plays the 49ers and is hurt. Last time he played them, he scored 1 point.
Forbath plays PHI. Last time DAL played PHI, Maher had 16 points.
This seems like a no brainer? Other options are Boswell vs. NYJ, Folk against BUF, maybe Sanders vs. CIN?
3. Hunter Henry or Tyler Higbee?
Henry has been faded from the offense for the past month, and Higbee has had 3 consecutive 100-yard games. Henry plays Oakland. He had 4-30-1 against them last time. If Gerald Everett is back, it could hurt Higbee. Also consider that the Rams are playing SF, but SF could be missing at least 4 of its D starters.
4. 49ers D/ST vs. Rams or Broncos vs. Lions?
Last time the 49ers faced the Rams, they scored 9 fantasy points on D. I think they’re just too good and I’m overthinking this. They’ll get Sherman back, but they might be w/o Tartt, K. Williams, Dee Ford. Broncos have been holding good teams in check mostly but don’t have the fantasy results as much as the 49ers. Sack totals look good and they’ll be up against a rookie QB.
5. The biggest question: What to do at Flex? Right now, I’m forced to play both John Brown and Devin Singletary. Brown will likely line up against Gilmour, who has allowed 0 TD this season (maybe 1?). Brown had a respectable 5-69-0 against the Patriots last game. Singletary didn’t play the first game, but he’s had a very solid floor. Assuming I only start one, I’ll need a free agent to play the other spot. Obviously, Dalvin Cook got hurt and there’s doubt as to if he’ll play Monday night against GB. Mattison is dealing with an ankle injury and did not practice at all last week. If the 49ers beat the Rams on Saturday, the Vikings will be in the playoffs and locked into the 6th seed. Very real scenario in which they just shut Cook down. The other backup is Mike Boone, who had 13-56-2 after Cook went down. Kevin is ahead of me on waivers, and it’s almost guaranteed he picks this guy up and he drops 20 on me on Monday night. I’m guessing I should drop my whole load on this guy and pick up Mattison for $0 just in case. Right now, it’s a huge guessing game, but maybe some clarity will occur before Thursday.
Would any of my bench players be better than Singletary/Boone/Brown? I guess a TE might even be an option there.