The Wild Card Round
BW's Starpocalypse Now and Ivan's FC Carolina were able to secure first round byes in the playoffs, leaving four other teams to duke it out for the chance to take on the league's top two teams.
#3 Brian's Punters' Rights 87 vs. #6 Jaxon's Cardiac Cats 72
The snowy games and some ill-timed injuries affected this game as the final score ended up being 87.94-72.46. Brian's team was crutched by Matthew Stafford, who only scored six points. Jaxon's team wasn't able to perform up to expectation largely due to injuries to Adrian Peterson and Willis McGahee. In the end, Brian pulled out his third win against Jaxon this season, second in a row as they met the week before. This was largely due to sensational performances by running backs Jamaal Charles, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Demarco Murray, who combined for a whopping 55.6 of Brian's total points. Tony Romo put up 22 for Jaxon, but it just wasn't enough to fell his season long division rival. Better luck next year Jax!
#4 Tater's Kalil Me Maybe 129 vs. #5 Crawford's Bricks 126
These two teams put up the top 2 scores in fantasy for week 13 with a final score of 129.18-126.46, a full 10 points higher than any other team playing (consolation or playoffs). Tater barely squeaked out the win as Crawford had 8/9 players score at or above projections. However, he just couldn't surpass Tater, who was lead by a 38 point performance from Lesean Mccoy, a 17 point performance from Jimmy Graham, and a 13 point performance from Robbie Gould. Crawford played the Texans defense against the Jags, who only scored 2 points. This could have been the difference maker, but no team can be perfect every week. I guess what they say is true, defense DOES win championships!
The top 4 teams in the league were set to square off in Week 14, with 3rd seed Brian taking on 2nd seed BW Smith and 4th seed Tater taking on 1st seed Ivan. It's worth noting that Tater won the league last season, and while his record to end the regular season was 6-7 it didn't reflect the true strength of his team.
The Divisional Round
The bye week is always a nice thing to lock up as your team doesn't risk being knocked off in the 1st round. The 1st seed typically faces the worst team from the remaining groups as well. However, in the fantasy playoffs things like record and seeding don't necessarily matter. Momentum doesn't affect everything, its simply a matter of whose team is most consistent and what pickups an owner can find to replace any kind of injuries. This late in the NFL season tons of players tend to be banged up, so having depth is important. Let's take a look at the results.
#3 Brian's Punters' Rights 163 vs. #2 BW's Starpocalypse Now 97
Time and time again Brian's team was confused with BW's this season. Was it that Brian's team referred to Punters, which BW's notorious for favoring? Was it that Brian was irrelevant? Nobody knows. But this was Brian's chance to shine. The final score ended in a blowout, with a resounding 163.50-96.72 result. BW was lead by 22 point performances from Drew Brees and Rashad Jennings, but unfortunately left Wes Welker on the starting lineup. The move didn't matter much, as the continued story line of Jamaal Charles putting a dagger into fantasy owners showed true again. Brian's team was lead by a 55.50 (yes, FIFTY FIVE AND A HALF) point performance by Charles, along with 20 point performances from Pierre Garcon, Demarco Murray, and Rashard Mendenhall. BW's team has been consistently good this season, but the fantasy gods can dust every team with bad luck. 3 of BW's 5 losses came to a team that had their highest total output of the season at the time,. Brian's team put up the highest point total of any team any week of the season, unfortunately for BW it was in the week that mattered most. Keep your finger off the Caps Lock BW ;)
#4 Tater's Kalil Me Maybe 118 vs. #1 Ivan's FC Carolina 88
Ivan's team came into the game heavily favored in the playoffs, with the highest total points scored and the best overall record after tiebreakers at 9-4. Tater's team came in even a 7-7 including the playoff win, sporting the 3rd highest overall point score. The final score came out 118.58-88.46. Tater's team benefited from the thrashing of the Redskins by Kansas City, as Alex Smith blew up for 41.18 points. Antonio Brown and Marques Colston also combined for 33.90 points. Unfortunately, Ivan's team put up a pedestrian 88.46 fantasy points, as only three players managed to meet and/or break projections (Tony Gonzales, Matt Prater, and Carolina's defense). Ivan left Trent Richardson and Marvin Jones on the bench, who combined for 27 points. It's tough to fault Ivan for that one though, as Eric Decker, Steve Smith, Riley Cooper, Matt Forte, and Knowshon Moreno have all been WAY more consistent than those players.
The Match Up Now
Two teams who started off in the Wild Card, knocking off two hopeful teams in the process to get to this point. This is what we all wait for every season, a shot at glory, a shot at being immortal... for one season. This is the Shiva Bowl. The Super Bowl. THE game.
Brian's team has been lead all season by Matthew Stafford, Pierre Garcon, Jamaal Charles, Demarco Murray, and Maurice Jones-Drew. Brian's team boasts the leagues best rushing attack, averaging 215 yards per game over the course of the season. Brian's riding a 6 game winning streak, one win short of tying the all time record of 7 in a row by Southern Beatdown. Brian's team also appears to be on pace to set the all time record for points by drafted players at 100 points per week. Some teams build through free agency, others build through the draft.
Tater's team has been lead all season by Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, Jimmy Graham, Lesean McCoy, and Antonio Brown. Tater's team is quite strong up and down, with no true weaknesses (except not having a consistent defense, which is easier to fix than a player weakness). His team doesn't rank first in any specific statistical category, but consistency is the name of the game, as he's put up 5 100+ point games in the final five weeks of the season. Tater will be looking to claim his 2nd straight CSR1 title, where Brian's looking for his first win in his first CSR1 playoff game.
Who do you think will win Panthers fans? And how many of you are cursing Jamaal Charles right now?