The Sideline Report – Playoff Preview

The Sideline Report – Playoff Preview
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Jesus H. Christmas what a horror show as we leave the regular season behind and move into the playoffs! Lousy performances left, right and center including the fall of the mighty mite Tannehill!

“I told you if you kept saying you were elite this would happen.”

Melvin Gordon is likely done for the season, Matt Forte, Theo Riddick, Shane Vereen, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood…Seriously if you are a running back in the NFL just purchase a boat load of bubble wrap and just roll yourself up in it. This is insanity!
This whole last week of fantasy football was a big ol’ what the hell. I was lucky that the worst performance I had in fantasy this season was reserved for my Bye week in a keeper league. I would have only beat one other person who posted a 35 in a PPR league. In the playoffs. She’s not going to make it to the top this season.
Dynasty League

So let’s get to it. Last time I posted the fantasy article, I gave you my predictions for the final standings in both the Dynasty and D-League. In Dynasty I said this would be the top 6:
1) Down With ODB
2) Belichick Yo’Self
3) FSociety
4) Dud’s Studs
5) Keenan & Kelce
6) DireWolves
There was actually a great deal of movement on the lower end as I predicted, just not how I predicted it. The Top 6 teams ended up:
1) Down with ODB
2) Fsociety
3) Belichick Yo’Self
4) Tyrod’s Taylor
5) Evil Corp
6) Dud’s Studs
Instead of just being outside the Top 4, Keenan and Kelce found their way into the loser’s bracket in the 7th place spot. Direwolves also dropped their final two games and ended up in the 8th place spot. Despite winning their final two games, Home Run Darby ended up in last and Tuck a Buck Express ends up in 9th. Despite Herculean efforts, Evil Corp just fell short of the top 4 and lost on tiebreakers to Tyrod’s Tailor who spanked Dud’s Studs to put themselves in with a last minute victory, thus dropping Stud’s to the loser’s bracket.
Late breaking (from last year…) rule change I hadn’t been aware of: Spots 5 and 6 compete in the loser’s bracket as well but they get a bye week in round 1. So, Evil Corp and Dud’s Studs get a bye this week into Round 2 and we will see a match up between Home Run Darby vs. Keenan and Kelce with the winner moving on to face Dud’s Studs, and Direwolves taking on Tuck a Buck Express competing for the honor to take on Evil Corp next week.
Now for the Championship Tournament! Your leader in the clubhouse since last year is Down with ODB who limped to the finish line with a pathetic double digit performance in week 14. As I said, nothing I could do would have taken me out from the number 1 spot. In a position swap Fsociety leap frogged Belichick Yo’Self despite both teams finishing out the season with wins. And finally, the aforementioned Tyrod’s Tailor rounds out the tournament in the 4th spot.
Just in case you noticed, Bills fans are awesome at fantasy football.
ODB takes on Tyrod’s Tailor. ODB has consistently blown projections out of the water this season, however the magical lineup is waning at this late stage with traditional top performers falling back to Earth. Taylor need only have repeat performances out of Carlos Hyde and Zeke Elliot to make this game more than interesting. If Julio Jones comes back this could end up being more than an upset…it could be a slaughter. ODB’s roster has a lot going against it including both stud QBs on the road and they both suck on the road. They’re going to have to hope for big performances out of Jordan Howard and Spencer Ware this week against defenses with favorable matchups.The wide receiver core ODB has relied on has some high upside potential, but each of the starting WR (Beckham, Benjamin, Fitzgerald and Nelson) have turned in pathetic stinkers this season. This has the potential to be a fantastic contest and since I’m involved I refuse to make a prediction. I’m a Bills fan and believe in jinxes.
In the other matchup we have the #2 seed Fsociety coming in as the underdog as of this writing. Belichick Yo’Self has fantasy studs Tom Brady and Le’Veon Bell. If this was last week that’s all you’d need to come out victorious….stupid Bills defense…..stupid. He also has DeMarco Murray, Mike Evans and one of the hot pick ups in Marqise Lee of Jacksonville. While Blake Bortles is a stunningly bad NFL quarterback he’s a pretty good fantasy one and has been feeding Lee. FSociety has loads of upside players who will have to hit in order to keep this game close. He’s also battling uphill against some bad matchups. This is tough because FSociety has been hanging around the top of the standings all season but I’m not sure this is going to end well for him this time. I think, in traditional Patriots cheating fashion, Belichick Yo’Self goes over.
Ah the D-League…the League I no longer care about because I got beat by the Coachless Boobie team, and delivered a final stinker to drop me out of contention for the playoffs. This league is STUPID! AND I HATE IT!
But in reality, this one shook out with 3/4 of the teams I predicted would be in and then one team on the outs…which would be me. Fantasy is stupid! My original predictions for the top 6 in the D-League were:
1) I’m the Juggernaught
2) Dud’s Studs
3) Liquor Box
4) White Walkers
5) Evil Corp
6) Put your drake on my
And where we ended up was:
1) Dud’s Studs
2) Put your drake on my
3) Liquor Box
4) I’m the Juggernaught
5) White Walkers
6) DireWolves Pups
I have to say, Put your drake on’s run at the end was impressive. Dispatching Brady’s Deflated Balls, and then knocking down two teams in front of him (Liquor Box and Juggernaught) clinched that #2 spot which I honestly didn’t think was possible. I did, however, call that Boobs could potentially take down both White Walkers and Evil Corp and spoil their playoff hunt. Nailed that with authority. Once again, play through the season damnit! I’m not even mad that this team was unmanned the whole season. I’m mad that it shouldn’t happen in the first place! Show some pride! Whatever. Not going in on that again.
No loser bracket of consequence in the D League. Sure, the 5-8 teams have a consolation bracket, but that’s like earning a participation trophy. The only thing we can do is acquire players that might be valuable so no one else can have them.

I don’t care about the shiny things! I want to be in the playoffs!

In the winner’s circle, we have Dud’s Studs vs. I’m the Juggernaught and the Cinderella story of Put your Drake on my vs. Liquor Box. The fun part of Studs v. Juggernaught is the throw back style of fantasy football it is. When I started playing in 2010-ish, running backs were clutch! You couldn’t do anything without a stud running back. Given the rise in popularity of PPR scoring, and the pass happy league the NFL is this matchup anchored by 4 really solid running backs. Stud’s has LeSean McCoy and Devonta Freeman against Juggernaught’s David Johnson and Zeke Elliot. This is why these two are here. Consistent and solid running back performances. These backs all have plum matchups except Elliot who is facing a surprisingly stout Tampa Bay defense which may cause him and Dak Prescott issues this weekend. As you would expect, this is a very even contest, but I’m leaning towards Dud for this one. I think McCoy and Watkins against Cleveland is where this one turns. If they perform well, this could very well be in the bag.
The second contest is an interesting one because Liquor Box has been riding the Melvin Gordon train for this entire season and has left himself with nearly zero in terms of RB depth. With Gordon out for likely the remainder of the season, his only other RB option is James Starks in Green Bay who has barely scored a point in the past two weeks. He’s going to have to hit the waiver wire and pick up someone like Duke Johnson or Tim Hightower. By the time this posts waivers will have run so hopefully he’s received some help. Without those projected 20 points from Gordon, this game comes to a toss up. Drake already owns some high octane players like Drew Brees and Odell Beckham Jr.but his success is going to come on the legs of Jeremy Hill and Bilal Powell. Powell has been a “sexy” pick up for basically the whole season but with the Jets finally being forced to use Powell following Forte’s injury, Powell might finally get a respectable look in NY/NJ as opposed to previous seasons where he gets pooped on. This is another coin flip, but I’m coming down on the side of Drake barring a move at RB to shore up that position. If Box sticks with Starks, I feel like this one may be over before it starts.
If you survived the horror show that was this past weekend congratulations. If you have other leagues that are just starting the playoffs good luck. And if you are one of the unlucky ones who were bounced this week because of an injury or awful performance just remember…hockey is life.

Ugly, bloody life…


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