How We Fared With Our Teams in NFL Week Nine

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This is a blog we started back in Week 5 of the season, as we thought it would be fun to illustrate to fans of our site the trials and tribulations we go through with our own fantasy teams. Yes, just like you, we play fantasy football ourselves and have about 30 years of experience between the two of us. If you'd like to experience first-hand how our seasons have unfolded just start with Week 5 on our webpage and go from there. Hopefully, you'll learn from our mistakes and our successes!
Greg's Teamsphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg graduated from Gulf Coast State College with a degree in software and web development. He's the creator and web developer of this site and has played in many fantasy football leagues over the last 15 years. He's been a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan and wishes the team performed half as well in the playoffs as his fantasy teams.

If the fantasy season is a long drawn out cold war, then Week 9 was my perestrojka, levelling the battlefield and dissipating the commanding lead of my top two teams, while yelling out a war cry for mediocrity. My two crappy teams each enjoyed a rare victory, while my battle-tested top two teams went down in defeat.

photo of Bengalized fantasy football team logo

If you read our Week 5 blog, you know my Bengalized team plays in a standard IDP league that has a crazy, inflated point system that often results in teams scoring as many as 300 or 400 points a game.

My Bengalized squad faced a tough test against a 3-5 Charged team with a quality roster in spite of a poor record. While I was mostly set at the offensive skill positions going into the contest, both my IDP players were on bye this week, so I put in waiver claims for C.J. Mosley and Jonathan Cyprien and dropped my existing IDP players. I also made a longer-term move and added Josh Gordon, who returns in Week 12, dropping Shane Vereen. The Hoodie pulled a fast one again and barely played Vereen last week so I decided I could do without the drama of wondering whether or not a Patriots RB would be used in a given week. Me and Bill Belichick don't exactly have a great working relationship and I've been burned too many times in the past when that infamous fantasy-hater pulls a fast one and decides to give the team's waterboy all the carries. As Thursday's game approached, I received the bad news that my tight end, Jordan Cameron, was unlikely to suit up this Sunday, so I waited until Saturday and dropped him for Zach Ertz. I still hold out some hope that Cameron can turn his season around but it looks like nagging injuries may prevent that from happening.

I made almost all the right calls on my line-up. I started Drew Brees over Nick Foles and, while the Saints QB had an underwhelming game with just 1 TD and an INT along with 297 yards, Foles was knocked out of the game with a broken clavicle. At RB and Flex I started Ronnie Hillman and Ahmad Bradshaw and they both delivered nice performances. Hillman struggled running the ball against the Patriots and didn't get a lot of carries since Denver trailed most of the game, but his two TDs made up for it and he ended up putting almost 29 points on the board. Bradshaw didn't do much on the ground either, rushing for just 50 yards, but a fluky fumble recovery combined with 12 fumble return yards added another 7.4 points and he ended up producing a respectable 20+ points. With stud Jordy Nelson on bye and Josh Gordon suspended, I didn't have any other options aside from starting V-Jax and Kelvin Benjamin. While V-Jax came through with a nice game in this PPR league with 6 catches for 86 yards and a tackle (18.75 points), Benjamin had his worst game of the season and only scored 4.25 points. Likewise, Ertz, my new tight end, laid a big round egg, scoring just one-and-a-half points with 1 measly catch for 4 yards. Finally, my defense and special teams both took the week off: Nick Novak was held scoreless in the Chargers whitewashing at the hands of the Dolphins and the Chiefs defense, while dominating the Jets, were held to just 3 sacks and no turnovers.

In the end it didn't matter who I started and the 3 points I would have picked up starting Shady McCoy over Bradshaw would have made all the difference an ant fart makes to global warming. I picked a bad week to face a team led by Ben Roethlisberger and the 140-some odd points he racked up on Sunday Night Football spelled my doom. Oh yeah, and the rest of Charged's team, led by Marshawn Lynch, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders didn't do too shabbily either. Final score: Charged 299.79 Bengalized: 212.79. The resounding defeat drops my record to 7-2 and second place in the league, behind The Manziel Hustle. Next week is another tough test against a Crazy Eights team led by DeMarco Murray and a healthy Jimmy Graham. Be sure to tune in to hear how it goes...

The Fighting Aardvarks
photo of The Fighting Aardvarks fantasy football team logo

As you'll recall if you read the column last week, my Fighting Aardvarks play in an auction league that assigns more points for rushing TDs than passing scores but otherwise uses a pretty standard scoring system.

My Swamp Pigs were enjoying the uncommon feeling of victory, proudly flexing their putrefying porcine muscles after snatching the fruits of victory from a bewildered Green Solution team. Could they do the unthinkable and win two in a row, despite featuring a crew of cast-offs that only a mother could love?

In Week 9 they had their opportunity to carpe diem, whatever that meant. This week's opponent, the 2-6 Ghosts, weren't really physically present in the league. Having made an appearance early in the season for the draft (every ghost loves a cold draft), they were noticeably absent since. My opponent had four key players on bye and I was pretty confident these Ghosts weren't going to show up to set their line-up. That should have allowed me the luxury of making some longer-term waiver wire moves, but in this league of 14 teams the cupboard was pretty bare. I did decide some changes were in order anyway to improve my roster and added Brandon LaFell, Timothy Wright, and the Seahawks, while dropping Torrey Smith, Gavin Escobar, and the Dolphins DST. The 'Hawks had an attractive match-up with an Oakland team giving up plenty of points to opposing defenses, while Miami's defense had what looked like a difficult task against Philip Rivers and the Chargers (little did I know that the Dolphins would absolutely dominate in that game).

I made several wrong calls on my line-up, like starting Cam Newton over Carson Palmer and Ben Tate at the flex spot over Tre Mason but my RBs and WRs saved me. Denard Robinson had an outstanding game against a miserable Cincinnati run defense, with 104 total yards and a touchdown and both Brandon LaFell and Jeremy Maclin made trips into the end zone (the latter doing it twice while racking up 158 receiving yards). My defense and special teams also delivered fine performances. The Seahawks capitalized on the mistakes of an inexperienced rookie QB and came away with a sack, 2 interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a TD, while Gostkowski enjoyed plenty of opportunities to put points on the board during New England's rout of last year's Super Bowl runners-up.

My opponent got a pair of outstanding performances from Andrew Luck and Adam Vinatieri but players who are on bye don't usually do much stat-wise, so the four big zeroes he got spelled his doom. Final score: Fighting Aardvarks 107.52 Ghosts 52.66. My Swamp Pigs are once again feeling high and mighty at 5-4 and just a stone's throw away from making the playoffs. Next up, a match against an inferior Goons squad, then on to world domination. Stay tuned as these beady-eyed, dirt-encrusted warriors boldly emerge from their burrows and mark their territory as reigning lords and supreme commanders of League 2619576...

Matt's Teamsphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.

Reigning Champ
photo of Reigning Champ fantasy football team logo

My Reigning Champ (5-3) squad had a Week 9 matchup with 2 Girls 1 Kaep (4-4). After a great draft and some trades that improved my team, my starting lineup is absolutely unstoppable. However, Julio Jones and the Falcons were off this week so I had to plug in a replacement.

With the top quarterback in fantasy, there was no way I was not going to start Andrew Luck who threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. At the running back position, I started my dynamic duo: Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy. Each produced as Charles found his way into the end zone and Shady McCoy was able to reach the century mark, producing 5 bonus points.

At wide receiver Antonio Brown was an obvious choice as he absolutely tore it up. Because this is a PPR league that provides bonus points for 100 yards, Brown really delivered against Baltimore’s secondary with 11 receptions, 144 yards, and a touchdown. My choices to replace Julio Jones, who was on his bye week, were Andre Holmes, Mike Evans, Wes Welker, and Eric Decker. Because I was expecting the Chiefs to blow the Jets out, I figured Vick would be forced to throw the ball a lot and Eric Decker would be one of the beneficiaries. Although I was right as he caught nine passes for 63 yards and a touchdown, Mike Evans blew up with 124 yards and two touchdowns. However, I was still very pleased with Decker’s performance as he put up the most fantasy points of his season thus far.

Despite the fact that Julius Thomas was scoreless in his last two outings, I stuck with my stud tight end. It paid off as he found the end zone for tenth time this season. At the Flex position, Ronnie Hillman was my guy and boy has he been consistent. Since he has been the starter, he has scored four touchdowns in four games, two of which came last week. Cody Parkey had a decent game kicking and Houston’s defense was able to score a touchdown on the Eagles to beat their projected point total.

Reigning Champ dismantled 2 Girls 1 Kaep to improve to 6-3. My opponent had high scores from their running back tandem of Alfred Morris and Marshawn Lynch but everyone else underperformed. I scored the 3rd-highest score of the season with 186.06 points. With a combined 61.4 points, I got the highest combined output from my running backs this season. The 63.5-point margin of victory was the 3rd-largest in the league this season. Up next is the 5th place Maxwell Sauer’s Team (5-4), who defeated me in Week 2. Time for revenge.

Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe
photo of Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe fantasy football team logo

Going into Week 9, Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe was in 5th place but very much still in the race for league leader. The most difficult decision I had to make was who to start at quarterback. I went with Colin Kaepernick over Nick Foles and it barely paid off as each quarterback struggled immensely. However, Foles broke his collarbone after getting sacked and will likely miss the rest of the fantasy season. Kaepernick is now my only QB as I attempt to make a trade for another one.

At wide receiver, I knew I was going to start Antonio Brown, who is the number one receiver in the game right now, but after that, my choices were difficult. At WR2, my options were Julian Edelman, Reggie Wayne, Michael Floyd, and DeAndre Hopkins. Fortunately, I went with the Patriots' possession receiver, who hauled in nine receptions for 89 yards, a receiving touchdown, and a punt return for a touchdown. It was by far his best game of the season.

At running back, LeSean McCoy was a given against a weak Houston run defense but with Ryan Mathews still sidelined with an injury, my choices for RB2 were just Ben Tate and Justin Forsett. I made the wrong decision on this one as I went with the Cleveland Brown due to a juicy matchup with an abysmal Tampa Bay run defense. However, I made up for it at the Tight End and Flex positions, starting Rob Gronkowski and DeAndre Hopkins. Each went for over 100 yards and a touchdown respectively.

At kicker Steven Hauschka had a solid game and the Kansas City defense was respectable, holding the Jets to just 10 points while tacking on three sacks. By the end of the day, Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe had put up 160.98 points, the highest point-total in the league this week. My team moved up all the way up to 2nd place in the standings and is just 17.5 points out of first. With a solid Week 10 result, I just might move up to the top position in the standings. However, if my team wants to survive, Kaepernick will either have to dramatically improve or I will have to make a move for another quarterback. Time will tell.