MoFo Fantasy Football 2019 - The Regular Season

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Yeah, whatareyougonnado? I probably would of lost in the final anyway. My goodness that Lamar kid is good.
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Yeah, whatareyougonnado? I probably would of lost in the final anyway. My goodness that Lamar kid is good.
Yeah, decent chance the rest of us have been playing for the right to lose to Lamar Jackson, for sure. But who knows. It's been a wild ride the last few weeks, for all the reasons Spaulding and I have been elaborating on the last page or so, and Jackson turning back into a pumpkin for the finals to win it for him would be a thematically appropriate end to a very swingy season.
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Looking at Lamar Jackson's weekly totals is indeed terrifying. Cleveland "held" him to 30 points way back in week four. As long as he scores 30 or less this week, I think it's a very winnable game for me. I expect much more balanced scoring from my team than I had last week. Perriman obviously isn't going to score 32 again (and if he does, I'm naming my unborn son Breshard), but he might find himself the #1 WR on the team this week due to injuries, so I expect another strong outing. Derrick Henry's only failed to reach double digits three times this season, and last week was one of them. I expect better games from Freeman and Hunter Henry. Obviously WhentheLe'VeonBreaks (great team name, btw, riffing on my favorite Zeppelin song) has more studs than just Jackson -- Julio vs. Jags and Sutton vs. Lions both worry me quite a bit -- but overall I feel better about my match-ups this week than last.

I hope Yoda can find time this week to write up one of his awesome champinship previews. I'm already bummed we didn't get any for the semis.
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I hope Yoda can find time this week to write up one of his awesome champinship previews. I'm already bummed we didn't get any for the semis.
As long as this week isn't too crazy, you will! I felt bad for not doing more of them, but the last couple of years December has been particularly crammed. I'll make a note to do it and hope nothing stops me.



MoFo Bowl XII



WhentheLe'VeonBreaks
vs.
Censored Clowns


Season Recap: Adam's been the ostensible favorite pretty much since Week 1, when he threw down the gauntlet by throwing up 154 points. Lamar Jackson had 45 of those, and hasn't really let up since. Adam nabbed him in the 7th round, and has reaped the benefits all year. But it wasn't just nabbing Jackson, it was nabbing Jackson and not spending on another option. I'm sure a lot of teams are doing quite well with Rivers and Jackson, or some other mid-round QB on their roster, hedging that Jackson bet. Adam kinda needed him to be good, which meant he got to spend that draft capital on other positions. It's the combination of those two things that's propelled him to the top of the league.

His draft other than Jackson was solid: Julio's been pretty good, though his WR ranking (7th in our format) is a little misleading, since he just had a massive 31 points and a mere 18 separate 4th from 13th. Kelce's been the #1 tight end by a significant margin, however, and Sutton's the 17th-ranked WR despite being drafted in the 10th. To be a contender, you basically just need to have Jackson and not mess up your draft. Adam had Jackson, didn't spend draft capital on a backup plan, and had a significantly above-average draft even besides that. End result, naturally: top scoring team in the league and ostensible favorite in the finals. Oh, and he's got a six-match winning streak and hasn't lost consecutive games at any point in the season. Consistent, too, in that he's topped 130 points in eight of his 14 matchups. You heard that right: he's statistically been a little more likely to finish over 130 than under. And of those six "unders" he only scored below 100 twice, and never below 94.

Spaulding went different in the ostensible way of not drafting a top QB (his first signal caller was Rivers, in the 9th round), but made a similar sort of move in going WR-WR in the first two rounds and then taking Henry in the 3rd. Henry ended up being a tremendous value, but given that he was his first RB, he had to be. He finished basically tied with EE for 5th among running backs, and if he'd even been 10th (pretty good!), it's unlikely he'd be here.

On paper the draft as a whole doesn't look like you'd expect given his spot in the finals: huge on receivers, betting the house on Henry, and not a lot else. This is very much in keeping with Spaulding's style, which banks on nabbing a waiver gem (or two, or three) just about every year, and putting up solid totals. It worked better than usual this season, though, with Tompkins and Evans currently 3rd and 4th at receiver even with the latter missing Week 15. The iffier RB2 slot didn't end up hurting much, with handcuffs benefiting from key injuries and big point totals coming in at the right time. Take a look at this:

122-119, week 1, win
146-135, week 8, win
122-118, week 12, win

That's ~20 points marking the difference between 8-5 and 5-8. That's the kinda game we're playing more and more often. But interestingly, it's not how he usually plays. Historically Spaulding's teams have been more "score between 90 and 110 every week and make the playoffs with 7 or 8 wins," but this year's team has been swingier. The result ended up about the same, though, and with a higher point total than usual (third overall), thanks to the two stud receivers and Henry's huge year.

History: Spaulding's made the playoffs all five years he's been in the league, and this is his fourth consecutive trip to the MoFo Bowl, which ties the record I set in the league's first four years. He has a chance to become the third repeat winner, and the first back-to-back winner.

This is far and away Adam's best finish. It's his third winning record in six season, and just his second playoff berth. First time getting a bye, first time as the top scoring team, first time as the top-seeded team, and on and on. This is the height of his MoFo Fantasy Football career to date, win or lose.

The Matchup: Lamar Jackson is currently projected (by Yahoo) to score about 29 points. What's crazy is that seems pretty conservative; he's topped that total in 9 of 14 games. If Jackson explodes for 40 or 50, the ways Spaulding can win are so very, very few. If he's human and scores between 25 and 35, it gets a lot more plausible. The last time he played Cleveland, by the way, he scored about 30.

Adam's Robert Woods has a tough matchup against San Francisco, but other than that the matchups are all middling-to-good, with Sutton having the juiciest looking one, at least on paper. Julio Jones got an insane 20 targets last week en route to 31 points. And really, that's what this team is: it's a lot of high-volume, high-floor guys, along with two or three guys (Lamar, Kelce, Julio) who just explode sometime. As long as Josh Jacobs gets decent volume he's usually a safe 10 or so. This is a team that doesn't have bad weeks, and has a few rolls of the dice to have a great week if one or more of those guys goes off.

Spaulding, on the other hand, has some decisions. He's down Mike Evans, but his depth chart replacement, Perriman, scored an insane 32 points last week, and Spaulding ended up needing every single one of them to make the MoFo Bowl, too. I suspect he'll find his way into the lineup again, especially given the kinds of risk-reward ratio Spaulding's going to be looking for against a team like Adam's. The big concern is that Perriman, as good as he's been the last few weeks and last week in particular, is doing it on just a handful of targets. He's a risk, high-variance play. That's probably what you need in this situation, but comfortable it ain't.

He'll be rolling again with a gift-wrapped Ryan Tannehill (Merry Christmas!), who has at least 17 points in eight straight games, seven of which have been 22 or better, and has only scored 10 fewer than Jackson in the last two weeks combined.

The big question is just how much Hopkins is going to destroy Tampa, which has given up the most points to opposing receivers. Hopkins could have a very good game that amounts to 15-17 points, or he could have a similarly good game that tops 30, based on where a TD comes down or exactly how often they keep going to him if and when they rack up a lead against the Bucs. Henry has a great matchup, too, but is another high-variance play. He scored just 1.9 points last week, and just 2 points against Denver a couple weeks back. This Chargers offense just isn't right some weeks, and when it isn't, Henry can disappear. Freeman tends to put up at least usable totals, but as the season has gone on he's become more TD dependent, too.

In short, Spaulding certainly isn't a huge underdog, but he needs a lot of things to go right. He's got a couple fewer guys capable of winning weeks on their own, and a couple more guys capable of having the floor fall out from under them.

Prediction: It's probably Adam.




Congrats to both of you for making it this far and surviving the cruel mistress that is Fantasy Football. Here's to a great game.



Wow. Insanely good write-up previewing the MoFo Bowl Captain Spaulding Invitational. I think that's the most in-depth analysis I've seen you give for one of these.

I wasn't at all happy with my draft at the time, but looking back, at least I hit on my early picks. I knew I was probably going to go with Hopkins/Evans in the first two rounds, since I seemed to nab them in every mock, but that was with the belief that I'd stll be able to land two quality RBs in rounds 3-4. That didn't quite work out as RBs kept flying off the draft board, but at least Derrick Henry turned out to be a stud, essentially saving my season. (And I'm very glad I didn't go with Connor or David Johnson in round one, which is what I initially regretted not doing.) Allen Robinson has had a really good season and I wish I could've kept him or gotten more for him, but I don't regret using him in a trade to land Freeman since I needed stability at the RB2 spot, even though Freeman has had a lackluster season. The Jags, his oppnent this Sunday, give up the 2nd most points to RBs, so hopefully he's been saving his best game for championship week.

No idea what I'm going to do in my FLEX this week. This 3-day NFL schedule isn't doing me any favors. If Mike Boone ends up starting for the Vikings, he's the type of player who could really swing things in my favor, but they don't play until Monday. If Cook or Mattison log even one limited practice this week, it'll scare me off, but if they're trending toward not playing . . . Man, it's an enticing roll of the dice. Unfortunately, Deebo Samuel, my most reliable option, having scored double-digits five weeks in a row before last week's stinker, plays Saturday night, so I'm less likely to have any news about the availability of Cook/Mattison since news often leaks about the expected availability of MNF players on Sunday.

At least Hopkins and Perriman play early Saturday. Their output will likely decide how safe I need to play it with my FLEX.



Yeah, that's a good point, nice to have Hopkins up front. I guess it'll be hard for him to be SO good that you'll wanna get conservative after that, but you never know.

Almost mentioned Robinson but the thing was getting out of control, length-wise. He moved twice, and I ended up with him, and though he vanished in some key moments, down the stretch he was excellent, yeah. Great, underrated player.

Interesting hearing about the strategy re: Henry, Johnson, Connor and all that. That definitely happens. I can't lie, there've been years I was really annoyed not to get someone who ended up being a dud, or had to "settle" for someone I felt bleh about and had a great year (but the former is way, way more common than the latter). Helps to remember that coming out of the draft, where we all wish we'd done X instead of Y. You don't even know for months if you made a mistake!



Spaulding certainly isn't a huge underdog, but he needs a lot of things to go right.
So, uh, one of those things just went right: Josh Jacobs is out. He might be fine with AP instead, who's scored three weeks in a row, but still.



Well, big developments. Perriman had another good (but not great, this time) game, but Hopkins somehow put up under five points. That's a top 3 overall WR putting up almost nothing against one of the most vulnerable pass defenses. I guess they must've...septuple teamed him? IDK, I didn't watch the game.

Huge blow for Spaulding, and as we established, he didn't have a lot of margin to begin with.



Against the worst pass defense in football, Hopkins finishes with his lowest receiving total of the year (23 yards on five catches). Goes to show that not even the sure-things are sure-things in the NFL. At least Perriman was solid, but should've had a bigger day. He was wide open for a long TD in the first half but Winston overthrew him.

Now I see that Derrick Henry has been downgraded to questionable after not being on the injury report yesterday. Not a good sign. Thank God Dion Lewis was still available on the waiver wire, so at least I've got a back-up option. Dalvin Cook has been ruled out for Monday, but Mattison logged a limited practice today, so that throws a possible wrench in my Mike Boone plans. Still going to roll the dice with him, since the reports I've read suggest he'll be the primary ball carrier even if Mattison suits up, which still seems unlikely at this point.

Sadly, with the way things are looking right now, I might not even have a realistic chance at a comeback when Monday rolls around.



Well, the season might have one more zag left: Jackson's having, so far, his worst game of the year, and Freeman (who I mentioned earlier had become very TD dependent) has two TDs.



Jackson went from 2 points to 20 points in something like half a quarter right before halftime, and Adam's back on track, albeit still looking a lot more vulnerable than he did coming into today. He's really missing Jacobs, with his sub, Peterson, struggling so far.



Neither Henry or Sutton doing too much, which is good for Spaulding. Not in that it puts him in line for a win, but in that if he can stay close through these games he'll really just need one player on either side to have an atypical performance to maybe get things close enough.

A TD from Sutton or Ekeler in the second half would put him in really bad shape, though.



Well, Spaulding made it through the 4:00 games with a very plausible chance of winning, but the KC defense matched Butker and Kelce scored 17, so now it's down to Boone, the Viking's fill-in back, to score just over 30. Adam is understandably celebrating a bit prematurely in the app's chat as a result.

We'll wait for the game itself to be sure, but it looks like, shocker of shocker, the dude who bet half his draft on the NFL's MVP is gonna take this one home for his first title.



Adam is understandably celebrating a bit prematurely in the app's chat as a result.
He's going to feel pretty foolish after getting . . . BOONEDOGGLED!!!!!!



Can't say I'm surprised, midseason I tried to shift hard into preparing for the playoffs, and it nearly worked, but was sabotaged by donnie pulling out those improbable wins down the stretch. I knew I wasn't gonna get a high seed but I figured it might be the single best team in the playoffs anyway
Yeah, so this ended up working out exactly as intended...if you skip the Actually Making the Playoffs part (probably higher if I'm running Tannehill out at the end, which seems likely):