How We Fared With Our Teams in NFL Week Eight

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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.

Week 8 was a strange animal, kind of like what you'd get if your dog went out and got too friendly with a cat and the progeny somehow got infected with that unknown life form that lives and breathe under the fridge in your kitchen (anyone who's a bachelor knows what I'm talking about). If the season up to now could be described as a cakewalk for my two powerhouse teams, this week it was more akin to a pineapple upside-down cake. My Übermannschaften both suffered devastating losses, while both of my craptastic teams somehow managed to pull off upsets. Oh well, as they say C' la vie and I'm actually okay with the result. Anything can happen come playoff time: players on good teams are often rested prior to the NFL playoffs so fantasy scoring can be wild and unpredictable. Personally, I'd rather have four mediocre teams in the playoffs than two powerhouse teams any day.
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.

This week I faced the sternest test of the season, as my opponent, The Manziel Hustle, entered the game at 6-1, breathing down my neck, and featured a line-up headlined by the indomitable Peyton Manning, who in this league with its crazy, inflated scoring system, was capable of winning the game single-handedly.

My team had been beset by injuries and several players with byes, so I went to work on the waiver wire and was fortunate that only one other team put in a claim. I was able to replace the newly-acquired C.J. Spiller, who's lost for the season, with Ronnie Hillman, who's shown himself more than capable filling in for an injured Montee Ball. I wasn't as fortunate with my IDP players though, as the waiver wire had been picked pretty clean. I picked up Michael Griffin, the starting FS for the Titans, to fill in for Morgan Burnett and added Paul Worrilow to replace the injured warrior, Pozluzsny. Finally, I dropped my Browns defense and picked up the Kansas City Chiefs, who had a nice match-up at home against a Rams squad that's been allowing plenty of fantasy points to opposing defenses.

Thursday evening's game between the Broncos and Chargers came and went and I was feeling pretty darn smug about my chances. Peyton had an average game, scoring a reasonable 119.64 points (yes, I know that sounds scary but, trust me, it isn't all that much in this league), while my new RB, Ronnie Hillman, piled up 138 total yards, which resulted in over 25 points.

Things went downhill from there. My waiver wire moves paid dividends: the Chiefs piled up 7 sacks, an INT, and a return TD, holding the Rams to just 7 points and Michael Griffin proved to be a nice pick-up, as his 8 tackles and a sack equalled over 25 points. But his WRs, TE, and Flex all outperformed mine by a wide margin. Kelvin Benjamin was my sole receiver who had a nice game: his 94 yards on 4 catches delivered nearly 16 points. My other receivers, Jordy Nelson and Jordan Cameron, delivered duds, accounting for a whopping 65 yards and no TDs between them.

As the deadline for Sunday's early games approached, I was frantically making last-minute adjustments to my line-ups. I was debating back-and-forth between starting Shane Vereen at home against the Bears or Ahmad Bradshaw on the road in Pittsburgh. I had decided earlier in the week to go with the running back playing at home but now doubts were setting in. Surely, he would be counted on to carry the load after a great performance in Week 7? But I had been burned too many times in the past by that man in the hoodie who delights in shooting an arrow in the hearts of fantasy football owners. I decided at the last minute that I'd start Bradshaw and made the change to my line-up and pressed "Submit", only to receive that dreaded message that "so-and-so is not actionable this week".

In the end it didn't matter, as no matter who I had started, I would have fallen short. But I can chalk up this first loss of the season to two bad decisions. The first was not having the foresight to pick up a back-up LB who could step up in the event of an injury. My opponent, The Manziel Hustle, had the foresight to do this, and scooped up DeAndre Levy just a week earlier, leaving the cupboard bare. Linebacker is the most important IDP position and "Poz" turned out to be irreplaceable, as his starter, Lavonte David, outscored my scrub by 28 points. The second was my decision a week earlier to pick up Jordan Cameron off waivers and drop Antonio Gates, who had a bye coming up in Week 10. Yeah, I do regret that decision! Final score: The Manziel Hustle 308.28 Bengalized 263.55. Next up is a 3-5 Charged team, which will hopefully provide a chance to re-charge this team's batteries and get back on the right side of the win-loss column.

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 hardened for battle, fresh off a humiliating defeat where they had their entrails handed to them, after being run over repeatedly on a dark, lonely highway by an unknown assailant disguised as a One Man Wolf Pack. As they gingerly limped out of their mudholes, battered and bruised, they saw that a new day had dawned - the beginning of a new era where the small, furry, squinty-eyed and oppressed could rise to victory on the fantasy battlefield, scratch themselves leisurely, and mark their territory for all to see.

Okay, maybe it wasn't so dramatic, but I did know that if my team didn't pull off a victory this week, they were likely to end up as fantasy road kill.

My opponent Green Solution entered the game just one game up on me and, while he had some good players like Demaryius Thomas and Ahmad Bradshaw, he didn't have the star-studded line-up of last week's opponent, One Man Wolf Pack, so my Aardvarks could visualize seizing a victory in their furry, dirt-encrusted jaws.

This week a lot of my players had favorable match-ups so I had the luxury of making some long-term moves on the waiver wire that I hope will pay dividends later. Since I felt like the problem with this team is too many mediocre players and not enough studs, I made a pair of moves to pick up players with more upside. Thus I added Denard Robinson, who looks like the real deal, and dropped the underachieving Trent Richardson and picked up Josh Gordon and dropped Mohammed Sanu, whose production is likely to drop dramatically once A.J. Green returns. I did make a couple of moves with this week's game in mind, replacing the Cardinals defense with the Dolphins, who had a dream match-up against everybody's favorite punching bag, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and dropped a disappointing Jermaine Gresham for Gavin Escobar, who had a coming-out game in Week 7.

As any bold, self-respecting, squinty-eyed aardvark can tell you, victory goes to the bold and intrepid when it's not going to whoever can lie, cheat, and inveigle in the most surreptitious manner. This week my Aardvarks decided to be the hunter rather than the hunted and boldly strode onto the fantasy battlefield and assumed their lofty status as the fearsome, jaws-agape, drooling top predator among Earth's small, nocturnal burrowing creatures. Ergo, I made a risky play, starting the untested Carson Palmer against a porous Eagles pass defense, instead of rolling with Cam Newton.

In the end, everything came up roses for the bold, intrepid team of foul-smelling burrowing rodents. Palmer came through with 329 passing yards and 2 TDs; my receivers, Jeremy Maclin and Sammy Watkins, accounted for 344 yards and 3 TDs between them, and my 'Fins defense absolutely terrorized the hapless Jags, with 4 sacks, 2 INTs, a fumble recovery, and not one but two touchdowns. Final score: Fighting Swamp Pigs 140.76 Greenpeace Hippies 106.52. Stay tuned next week as these valiant road kill rodents battle Andrew Luck and "Ghosts" in their quest for fantasy league supremacy.

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.

Week 7 Recap: Week 7 was awful, just plain awful. Not only did my G-Men take another loss at the hands of the Cowboys but my fantasy squads stunk! In my head-to-head league, Reigning Champ faced Mark’s Crazy Team in a battle for second place. Unfortunately, I had my lowest score of the season with Julio Jones, Julius Thomas, Andre Holmes, Jonathan Stewart, Matt Prater, and Houston’s defense all under achieving. I fell to 4-3 with a 119.60-105.48 loss and dropped one spot in the standings. In my rotisserie league, Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe went into Week 7 in 7th place. And again, I had my worst output of the season with just 90.24 points, good for the lowest score of the week by any team in the league. Every single player on my squad failed to produce his projected point total other than Antonio Brown and I fell back into 8th place.

Reigning Champ
photo of Reigning Champ fantasy football team logo

Fortunately, Week 8 was an entirely different story. After two losses in a row, Reigning Champ was desperate to end the two-game skid with a win over the 2-5 SkullFuxNSkullKaeps. Despite his record, I was still a bit nervous to face players like Drew Brees, Jeremy Maclin, Branden Oliver, and Andre Ellington.

I went to the waiver wire and dropped Matt Prater in favor of my former kicker, Cody Parkey. Prater was missing kicks left and right and Parkey has been consistent for a team that scores a ton of points. After Pierre Thomas’ injury, I decided to drop him too and pick up the former Michigan man, Denard Robinson who was the first Jaguar to rush for over 100 yards this season.

There wasn’t much tinkering to do with my lineup as none of my studs were on a bye week. My only quarterback is Andrew Luck (31.6) so I started him. At wide receiver, I went with my pro-bowl tandem of Julio Jones (9.8) and Antonio Brown (40.8). After trading for LeSean McCoy (12.7) prior to Week 7, I plugged him into my lineup for the first time along with Jamaal Charles (27.7) at running back. After not scoring for the first time all year in Week 7, I stuck with Julius Thomas (4.3) at the tight end position. At kicker, I started my new addition Cody Parkey (10) and I decided to give Houston’s defense (5) another shot against the Titans. The only position that I really needed to think about was the Flex. My choices were Ronnie Hillman (21.8), Andre Holmes (17.9), Jonathan Stewart (12.4), Brian Quick (2), Eric Decker (11), Mike Evans (11.8), and Denard Robinson (17.8). After not playing Hillman the last two weeks and having it come back to bite me in the ass, I learned from my mistakes and plugged him into my lineup.

Reigning Champ handed SkullFuxNSkullKaeps their third loss in a row with a 163.7-139.44 victory. My team remained in third place with a 5-3 record. The matchup was very close as Drew Brees and Jeremy Maclin combined for 77.74 points for his squad but fortunately for me, Michael Floyd put up a huge bagel. Reigning Champ will now look to put another win streak together as it gets ready to take on the 4-4 2 Girls 1 Kaep in Week 9.

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

Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe was struggling mightily and needed a big Week 8. Fortunately, that’s exactly what I got. With Colin Kaepernick on his bye week, my only choice at quarterback was Nick Foles (21.84). At wide receiver, I have a plethora of weapons to choose from despite the fact that Reggie Wayne was sidelined. My options were Antonio Brown (35.8), DeAndre Hopkins, (14.5), Julian Edelman (2.4), Michael Floyd (0), Alshon Jeffery (16.9) and Josh Gordon, who is still serving his 10-game suspension. I went with the top two scorers in Brown and Jeffery because they are pretty much matchup-proof and have been solid all year. At running back, I have only three healthy options since Ryan Mathews is still injured. I started LeSean McCoy (12.7) and Ben Tate (10.4) over Justin Forsett (13.5) because McCoy is my stud and I’m not giving up on him yet and Tate had a matchup with an Oakland defense that hasn’t been able to stop anyone. Forsett ended up having the best day but it was by such a slight margin that it didn’t make much of a difference.

The tight end position is where I hit the jackpot. I started Rob Gronkowski (41.9) over Delanie Walker (13.7) and it paid dividends. Gronk erupted on the Bears last week catching nine passes for 149 yards and whopping three touchdowns! He had the highest point total for any tight end all season. At the Flex position, I made my biggest mistake starting Edelman (2.4) over Forsett (13.5), Hopkins (14.5), or Walker (13.7). I knew the Patriots were going to throw all over the Bears and I thought Brady’s “No. 1 receiver” would be involved. However, Brandon LaFell was the guy that Brady linked up with and Edelman only produced one catch for 14 yards. At kicker, Steven Hauschka (9) had a decent afternoon but the smartest move of the day was to drop Cleveland’s defense (13) in favor of Miami’s (26). I picked up the Dolphins for one simple reason: they were playing the Jaguars. Miami intercepted Blake Bortles twice and returned them both for touchdowns. They sacked him four times, recovered a fumble and allowed just 13 points on the day. Simply put, they dominated.

Overall, Somewhere Over Dwayne Bowe scored 176.94 points, good for the second-most in the league. My team moved all the way up to 5th place and is only 12 points out of third. If this team can replicate a Week 8 performance week in and week out, I just may have a shot at catching the top dog.