Wow. Now THAT was an exciting week. All three matchups pitted teams one spot apart in the standings against each other, and all three games came down to the wire in a sense. AND every one of you must have had a lump in your throat at some point over the course of the weekend. Most likely Monday Night. Let’s examine why that might have been!
Spectres – 175.38 [MVP: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson – 37.40]
Stompers – 166.36 (L) [MVP: Titans RB Chris Johnson – 45.30]
Point Spread – 9.02
The only game that was over by the end of Sunday, and the narrowest point spread of the Week (just BARELY, but we’ll get to that), the Stompers got an early lead over the Spectres and didn’t let up until Sunday night’s Steelers v. Bengals game, when Ben Roethlisberger’s average game edged out A.J. Green’s below-average game to seal the deal. Aaron Rodgers and CJ2K blew up this week; Tony Romo threw an average game, which for him is better-than-average as of late; and Felix Jones proved to be an admirable waiver wire pickup putting up 19.90 points in DeMarco Murray’s wake, but things looked a bit grim when Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green showed less than 10 points, and it all tumbled down when Maurice Jones-Drew hit the dirt early in the first quarter and didn’t get up. The Stompers have a great quarterback followed by three equally average ones, and what should amount to 4 great RB’s. Losing Maurice Jones-Drew is a HUGE blow for this 2-4 team, so let’s hope MoJo is back on the field sooner rather than later.
And now, for TRENDING DOWNWARD! If I haven’t explained this portion of the recap well enough in the past, here’s an overview: what I do here is take each position for each team, and rank the various players in that position from highest to lowest. Then, I put them in an Excel document next to each other and see how each team’s best players at each position fared against each other. It also sometimes includes how that position did as a group. For example, this week, Aaron Rodgers outscored Tom Brady by 13.32 points and Tony Romo outscored Ben Roethlisberger by 3.16. That gives the QB edge to the Stompers at 16.48 points. Nice! Good solid lead. Chris Johnson’s insane game outscored All Day Every Day Adrian Peterson by 7.9 points, BUT Stevan Ridley outscored MoJo by 13.4, leaving the Spectres leading RB by 5.5. See where I’m going with this? Spectres won WR at both positions by a total of 12 points, Stompers won Flex by 12, Spectres took Kicker by 11(with the Stompers’ Alex Henery on a Bye), and Spectres took Defense by 9.
It was a solid effort by the Spectres, and every single player did what was expected of them excluding Trent Richardson(what has happened to him?), but the sudden loss of Jones-Drew is what really cost the Stompers this game, and perhaps future games if the injury turns up serious, which could be disastrous for the 12th overall pick of the draft, taken by the Stompers as early as Round 2. The Stompers move to 2-5, placing them in sixth(a mere 80 points behind the Beatleteers), and the Spectres take the Beatleteers’ fourth place for the first time all season and a shot at the playoffs. Lump-in-the-throat moment: MoJo is carted off the field early in the first quarter.
MVP: Chris Johnson had an explosive 195 Rushing Yds and 2 Rushing TD’s for best RB of the week, and second only to Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, a huge improvement over three weeks ago, when everyone was saying his career was over.
Out of Steam
Horsemen – 177.66 [MVP: Buccaneers’ WR Vincent Jackson – 39.60]
Beatleteers – 164.04 (L) [MVP: Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford – 30.74]
Point Spread – 13.62
The Little Comeback That Could’ve, this week, didn’t. Down by 92 points after Mike Wallace ended the Horsemen’s Sunday Night run, the Beatleteers needed an average of 25 per QB, 20 per WR plus two points anywhere to catch the Horsemen Monday Night, and because of Megatron, they couldn’t do it. Even with a huge game by new addition Vincent Jackson, the Horsemen ended up only one Stafford-to-CJ Touchdown away from losing this game. The Beatleteers needed the Bears/Lions game Monday Night to be a pure shootout, and the Bears’ D just wasn’t going to let that happen. Stafford’s 30.74 points came mostly in garbage time, and very few of the points were given to Calvin Johnson. Also, can’t go without mentioning the Beatleteers’ waiver wire pickup of the Revenants’ leftovers in CJ Spiller, who’s still sharing field time with Fred Jackson and put up 22.20 points, a solid pickup!
Trending downward, the Horsemen took QB by 10.72 and WR by 28. The Beatleteers took RB by 1.2(Ray Rice showed a season-low 14.9), Flex by 1.9, Kicker by 6(the Horsemen used an Add/Drop in a moment of desperation hours before Kickoff in hopes that Jason Hanson would provide them the edge they needed to win this game… He didn’t.), and Defense by 16.
This game was decided at Vincent Jackson and Megatron, and Vincent Jackson had the (far)easier matchup. Another thing of note is this week’s perfect coach, the Horsemen.The Beatleteers take another hit to go 2-5, tied with the Stompers, and the Horsemen move back into playoff contention, tying the Revenants at 4-3.
MVP: Buccaneers’ WR Vincent Jackson was a new pickup by the Horsemen, who deliberated on which WR to pickup all week. The decision proved phenomenally helpful in their win, with V-Jax putting up career-high numbers, the fourth best points of the week(even amongst QB’s), and the highest WR points of the week to prove the best waiver wire pickup of the season.
The Greatest Game Ever Played… In This League…
Great Whites – 188.78 [MVP: Bucs’ RB Doug Martin – 29.20]
Revenants – 179.58 (L) [MVP: Saints’ QB Drew Brees – 53.18]
Point Spread – 9.20
If you were up Monday Night watching the Bears trounce the Lions and keeping an eye on Fantasy points, you know that this matchup was more than a little stressful for both teams involved. Going into the game at 19 points behind, the auto-20 the Bears D start with gave the Revenants a 1-point lead, and the game was never more than 2 points apart for the rest of the night. In the last 30 seconds of the game, the Great Whites were ahead of the Revenants by TWO TENTHS OF A POINT. The score was 188.78 to 188.58, and if the Bears would make any sort of defensive play(be it interception, sack, or even a forced fumble still recovered by the Lions), the Revenants would have the game. Instead, Matthew Stafford passed a yardage milestone which happened to be thrown to Brandon Pettigrew, finished that drive off with a garbage time TD to Titus Young, and the Revenants lost by a full 9.2 points.
Let’s take a closer look at what caused all the totals in the first place though. The Revenants’ Drew Brees went through the motions to crush Eli Manning by 20.80 points, while Sam Bradford trounced Andy Dalton by 7.60, leaving the QB lead to the Revenants at 13.20. The Great Whites RB’s both outplayed the Revenants by nearly 8, creating a 15.40 point spread. Since the Revenants were forced to play without a WR due to bye weeks and not landing a trade to fix them, the Great Whites landed an incredible 36.20 point lead at WR(Percy Harvin and Victor Cruz didn’t even play up to their standards, and still showed up most receivers in the league, while newly-acquired Reggie Wayne barely came up with 13.30 points). The Revenants took the rest of the categories. Flex by 13.20, Kicker by 10, and Defense by 6.
While nobody stood out for the Great Whites, the entire team did as they do every week, and won by having nearly every single player show up(Brandon Pettigrew and Garrett Hartley being the only real coaching missteps), while the Revenants made one misstep at Frank Gore(gotta sting to know they could’ve won the game with that decision) and were down a receiver by no fault of their own. Hopefully that longterm gamble on Danny Amendola pays off at the end of the season. If not, the Great Whites may have little resistance on their way to the Untitled Bowl… The Great Whites slowly start pulling away from the pack at 6-1, and the Revenants take their second loss to the Great Whites, third loss of the season(with one to the Stompers), to tie the Horsemen at 4-3.
MVP: Bucs’ RB Doug Martin, I guess. No player in this matchup really had a standout performance besides Martin and Drew Brees, and Drew Brees doesn’t take this one simply because he lost his shootout with Josh Freeman(the only person in the NFL who scored more than Brees this week) Plus, 85 Rushing Yds and a Rushing TD is nothing to be ashamed of when you’re running with Tampa Bay blockers.
Week 7 MVP was a tough one this week, and I felt a bit awkward about the decision I came to, but this week it goes to the Horsemen for their coaching prowess. They took a big risk picking up Bucs’ WR Vincent Jackson, and it paid off more than anyone could’ve guessed(except, apparently, the Horsemen) with V-Jax having the biggest game of the week AND of his Bucs’ career.To top that off, the Horsemen coached their ideal lineup, only the third team to do so this season, making tough decisions at WR and QB, and coming out on top of a closely-fought matchup for a standings spot. Congrats Horsemen!
This week was a close one(highest points for the week and lowest points for the week were 24 points apart, even), and proves once more that anybody can still win this league(don’t lose hope Beatleteers and Stompers, 9-5 could still be good enough for the playoffs!), especially since only two teams won’t make it to the playoffs, and then it’s anybody’s Championship. The only standings change this week was the Spectres taking fourth from the Beatleteers, and everything(except for the Great Whites number one spot) can change next week.
All three matchups are big next week. The 3-4 Spectres are projected over the 6-1 Great Whites, who have no choices at RB. The Revenants are back at full force against a Beatleteers team who loses their two newest acquisitions to Bye Weeks(this one’s also great because of the QB1’s and RB2’s actually facing either Sunday Night) while the Revenants have to sit and wait through Monday Night to see if the Beatleteers can pull out a win with their Kicker and D. The Horsemen have to try to hold their newfound 4-3 on a huge Ravens-less Bye Week against a Stompers team who have only been losing because of tough matchups(seriously, they have 1375.16 points against them this season, second highest in the League).
Look for some big changes this week, be aware of your(and your opponent’s) matchups, and make the best decisions possible(and if they involve Buccaneers or Vikings, preferably do that before Thursday Night). None of these three games are going to be predictable, and any standings changes will very much depend on whether any of these 3 underdogs can defeat these 3 titans. So get out there and make it happen!
League of Shadows