Trials of a Closet Fantasy Football Maven III
By Evan Benton
Week 3: Dealing with Loss and Disappointment – and silly team names
I won’t hesitate; losing is bad enough, but losing by FOUR POINTS. Frustrating. Thankfully, I’ve been in this situation more than enough times to realize that dwelling on what you did wrong, rather than concentrating on how to make sure this outcome never happens again, is paramount.
But I’m still going to dwell, even if I know better.
Vernon Davis, kept in my tight end spot, got a whopping 18 yards on Sunday. I kept Brandon Marshall out at the last minute, and in his absence Reginald Wayne went touchdown-less while Marshall earned 13 points from his good play.
All of my players besides these two did extremely well, making the loss more frustrating, because if I had swapped either of Wayne or Davis I would have won, the score, with everything tallied, resulted in a 117-121 loss for me. I did not stop Brian in his tracks, and instead had to listen to him, seething, as he reminded me how close of a game it was – the ultimate nice-guy postgame tactic that I had to swallow in my narrow defeat.
Okay, good things. First, Ray Rice and Chris Wells got me 15 points each, and are showing themselves to be week in, week out producers. LaGarrette Blount, who I nearly bagged because of his poor performance last week, came back in the last quarter to provide a spark that brought Tampa Bay to a come-from-behind win thanks to his two rushing touchdowns to get me 19 points.
The Lions’ defense 48-3 neutering of the Kansas City Chiefs netted me 21 points thanks to their three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. And Josh Brown kicked his way to 10 points, a great addition.
But even with my main man Philip Rivers throwing for 378 yards and two touchdowns, it wasn’t enough to overcome the lack of play by Vernon Davis. Brian’s monster backs performed, with Adrian Peterson getting him a 26-point game to lead all scorers, while Peyton Hillis stabbed me in the back with 21 of his own against the lackluster Indianapolis Colts.
But the real nail ion my coffin was Brian’s ace in the hole, Chargers’ RB Ryan Mathews, who put up 18 points, literally stealing points from me every time Rivers handed the ball off. DeSean Jackson and Percy Harvin on his team accounted for eight points combined, while Chris Cooley in his TE slot did worse than my Davis, who lost all his catches to Fred Davis and got . . . none.
Brian was gracious in his victory. I won’t get so lucky next time.
This week I face “The Soup Nazis”, a team that blanked out in the final of last season, which helped me on to Fantasy Bowl IV’s mantle. The presence of Drew Brees on his team is enough to send shivers down my spine, but I am looking good – if I do say so myself – with my team.
Rivers is up against the Chiefs, who he frequently cuts up, while Ray Rice faces St. Louis and Wells is set up against Seattle. Blount’s Week 2 successes have silenced naysayers (myself included) and that confidence in him may turn his Week 3 matchup against rivals Atlanta into a show.
In my WR slots, I’m finally starting Marshall as my number one receiver (and this being said, he’ll probably bottom out now . . .), while deciding whether I should stick with veteran consistency in Moss, or the same in Wayne. I’ve benched Davis, and in my TE slot wanted to put in New England bruiser Aaron Hernandez, but he’s unfortunately doubtful. So I went to the waiver wire quickly, knowing that half of my contenders were doing the same, and scanned. I picked up 6’7” Buffalo target Scott Chandler, who has had two three touchdowns in two games. For good measure I also picked up Denver wideout Eric Decker (who?), who has had 166 yards and three touchdowns in two games. Laugh at this low-ball pickup, but remember this is how I found Peyton Hillis last year.
On defense I’m sticking with Detroit, a defensive team that may be able to stop McNabb but certainly not Peterson. So I’m not thinking big. But there’s also my 49ers defense, who are up against rookie QB Andy Dalton and Cincinnati on the road.
Of course, Brown is still my main guy with the magic foot. Unless this changes, I won’t bore readers with this information any more.
So, like last week, all I have to do is make the right decision. Start Wayne or Moss? Start Chandler or give Davis another nother chance? Lions @ Vikings or 49ers @ Bengals?
My back is in no way up against the wall, but there is an element of panic. Four out of five teams in my division – the MAFL West – are 1-1. And my opponent this week is in there.
And finally, it is my terrible duty to let readers know that my partner-in-crime Patrick Wall’s “Philadelphia Finishers” team is 0-2 on the season having lost his first two games by a collective total of a paltry 10 points. He’s now up against “Hail to the Redksins”, a new team with a new face who just happened to put up 158 total points last week.
Patrick started out poorly last season, but then waged some war to come back and nearly made it to the postseason. Let’s not have such a stressful repeat, please. Let us pray . . .