The season is flying by and we find ourselves with only two weeks left in all four Niners Nation Fantasy Football Leagues. What makes it more intense is that the last two weeks of the season feature strictly divisional matchups. So, if you're only a game or two back of the division leader, all is not lost. With that in mind, I thought it was time for an update from all of our leagues. Thanks to the respective commissioners for their insights. Due to the length, two of the leagues recaps are after the jump. Also, you can click on the link for each league to see the current standings (no need to log in there to see them).
Niners Nation #1
Only two teams are eliminated from playoff contention. For those that have a bone to pick with him, howtheyscored is one of them at 3-9. Swiss Cheese brings up the rear of the league at 2-10, thanks in part to a dynamic running back duo of Jamal Lewis and Edgerrin James. The fact that he's been starting Derek Anderson all see makes me think he hasn't signed in lately. Or he knows of some strategy that we don't know.
As it currently stands, your division leaders are myself (Frank the Tank @ 7-5), Revival At The 'Stick (9-3 and clinched a wildcard berth) and peckerwoods (9-3 and clinched a wildcard berth). The two wild card teams right now are The Czars at 8-4, RhymeSayers at 7-5 and ChocoPaco49 at 6-6. There are three teams sitting at 6-6, one at 5-7 and one at 4-8 all still alive for playoff spots. The first tiebreaker for all playoff spots is best head-to-head record. For those in the same division the next tiebreaker is best divisional record. After that it goes to most average points per game, followed by hardest schedule (record) and then hardest schedule (points).
I've always found that points scored is a better indicator of a team's value since record can be benefited by a timely schedule. Peckerwoods stands as the #1 seed and as highest ranking team it's not surprising. They've ridden the likes of Jay Cutler, Clinton Portis and Anquan Boldin straight to the top. Our most "fortunate" projected playoff team would be ChocoPaco49, who has scored fewer points than four teams behind him. He squeezed out an upset of Peckerwoods this past week in a down week for them. Peckerwoods is averaging 105.87 points a game, but had their worst week of the season with 74.6 points. They better hope it's not a trend.
With only two playoff spots sewn up, things are getting crazy.
Niners Nation #3
Well, with the fantasy playoffs drawing nearer and nearer, the spots for the final 6 playoff positions are as clear as Ozzy Osbourne on Vicadin. In Division 1 it has been a roller coaster of sorts. As myself, StrictlyFootball, has stayed on top since the beginning, a huge streak of wins has swung forty9ers3298 into playoff contention. Some may wonder how he has accomplished such a mighty feat, I'm sure juwperman is, but when you look at his roster it is plain to see. Thanks to a twin combo of Matt Cassel and Brett Favre, a stable of WR's that have come on strong as of late (Houshmanzadeh and A. Gonzalez), and claiming opportunistic kickers and defenses, he has been able to march through his opponents.
In Division 2 Whole11Yards was a late pick/back-up drafting genius. He grabbed A. Rodgers, Matt Forte, and A. Johnson. While he did miss with Bulger and S. Jackson, his smart early picks in P. Burress and K. Winslow and free agent acquisitions as the season progressed has made him competitive in every match-up this year. NikeToledo I think had the misfortune of having his team placed under an unlucky star. Even though he is piratically in the top 3 for every league leading stat, he has fallen victim to running into hot teams at boiling hot times. Fanachimes is an interesting case, barring M. Turner, his roster is not that hot, but because of continuous constant play from every position. he has been able to maintain a flow of close, if not over, 100 point games. He's like the Redskins, when you have reliable production from every position you're going to be a competitive team.
Division 3 A.K.A. The NFC South. I believe Albertoleecho is either a hacker or a psychic because he just seems to get points out of players that don't jump off the page. He just seems to know when S. Smith or K. Orton or M. Lynch will have a good game or be bad. Sometimes you look at his roster before Sunday and go, "Wow, this doesn't seem like a difficult match-up." Then when Tuesday rolls along, wham-bam and Bob's your uncle, he beat you by thirty. He's the devil, he is. Wth3hoya and Rainer both seem to have good consistency and have some big play-makers, but both seem to have this uncanny ability to catch the crap bug. Let me explain. Usually on a fantasy team if one player plays poorly another player will have a breakout game, well unfortunately for these two managers it seems that when one player goes down, every other player goes down too. So either their in the stratosphere of points or are in the dumpsters. But don't you worry their good days far outshine their bad ones. Lastly I would like to give a shout out to Mikemcwolf and Sam2323 who never quit on their teams even when their playoff hopes had passed them by.
Niners Nation #4
With two weeks remaining on the fantasy football regular season there has only been one team officially eliminated from playoff contention. Although they are the best part of the muffin, team “Muffin Top,” with a record of 3-9 is the only team officially eliminated. They sit behind “Slash and Grab” a team that hasn’t signed in for 2 months yet still has a better record than the Muffin Tops. The Muffin Tops problem was there reliance on NFC west players including Gore, Isaac Bruce and recently acquired Shaun Hill.
There are six teams with a record of 4-8. They are not mathematically eliminated but they need the teams ahead of them to lose their last two games and they have to win there's to even have a chance. The next teams up the ladder are sitting at 6-6. Team “Hot Chocolate” (6-6) is currently hanging out with the Muffin Tops (this is making me hungry) on the outside of the playoff bubble. While “Rainers” also at 6-6 would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. Team “Mac Dre” with Bryant Johnson, V. Davis, Joe Nedney and Arnaz Battle, is just ahead of Rainers at 7-5 and is leading that division (Division 2).
The powerhouse division (Division 1) has 4 of the 6 playoff teams if the season ended today. The “Portland BowlBlazers” (I think this name has something to do with medicinal basketball?) has a record of 8-4 and should make the playoffs with ease. Then there are 3 teams with a record of 10-2 and they have all already clinched a wildcard berth and are fighting for the number 1 seed and the first round bye. Currently the aptly named “Legacy Of Walsh” is ranked first and is riding an 8-game win streak. But he is going up against my team this week, G.O.A.T., also at 10-2 but currently 3rd in the division. Oddly enough the three best teams in the league have hardly any 49ers. “Legacy of Walsh” has the 49ers defense and that is it.
So far the league has been a lot of fun and other than Slash and Grab everyone has been really involved and competitive. The playoffs should be good and I look forward to coming back next year as the defending champion.
Niners Nation #2
NN #2 is a tale of two worlds. On the one side you've got Division 3, with Jamestown Slackers sitting at 11-1 and having sewn up a first round bye and best record in the league (due to the tiebreaker). Then you go to Division 1, with Eight Year Olds, Dude (I'm not even going to ask about that name) sitting atop the division at 6-6. If this was baseball, this would be the American League West the year of the strike when the Rangers were under .500 and sitting in first place. Division 2 is probably the strongest division top to bottom as I'm Carrying Underwood sits in first at 9-3 and Nosetackle Supreme sits in last at 6-6. Even more impressive is that as of now, all four division-members would be in the playoffs.
So how has Jamestown Slackers done it? Having Kurt Warner and Brett Favre has definitely worked in his favor. A combination of Clinton Portis, Roddy White and Randy Moss certainly helps as well. However, a favorable schedule might have more to do with this than anything else. Jamestown has scored 87.29 points per game, definitely a rather pedestrian figure. In his own division, Blind Kitten Rampage sits six games back at 5-7 and has been averaging 86.91 points per game. A difference of .38 points per game and we see the difference. Amazing how it works like that.