I’ve talked about injuries destroying teams week after week. However, sometimes injuries aren’t always so bad. In fact, there are times when an injured starter’s backup gives the unexpected boost you needed i.e. Nick Foles and the the Eagles wide receivers. Or, take New Orleans Saints Darren Sproles for example. He missed the past two weeks with a concussion, came back, and scored two touchdowns. While some Sproles’ owners were cautious and decided to bench him, others benefited from starting him. With only three games remaining in the regular season, these types of gutsy moves can make or break your season. Let’s see how some of the Ladies of the League teams who were faced with this dilemma fared.
HALL OF FAMERS
Catch Me If You Can had been cruising to wins the past couple of weeks, but that winning streak was suddenly halted by My Detroit Playas who benefited from big time performances from Peyton Manning (27 pts), Demaryius Thomas (28 pts), Pierre Thomas (22 pts), and the Raiders D/ST (17 pts). But, even with those monster performances, and losing Vernon Davis, Catch Me If You Can still had an opportunity to win, had she made better start ‘em/sit ‘em choices. She took the risk of benching Darren Sproles, hoping he’d ease his way back into the Saints’ offensive game plan. But early on, we saw that he was officially back. He eventually finished with two touchdowns and 17 fantasy points. Also, Catch Me If You Can went the homer route and started Victor Cruz (3 pts) over the Washington Redskins’ Pierre Garcon. Another regrettable move because he wracked up 17 fantasy points for her bench. Losing by 16 points when you have a cool 35 points on the bench is not easy to move past. Trust me, I know the feeling.
While Broad Street Bullies has benefited from Nick Foles, Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper owners are equally thankful for the Eagles’ QB change. The past two weeks, Cooper’s numbers have been off the hook, averaging 27 ppg. It’s definitely not a coincidence that My Big Blue Heaven’s, who’s a Giants fan by the way, winning streak has been primarily driven by the performance of an Eagles player. Talk about bittersweet!
My Big Blue Heaven’s win moved her all the way up to second place (!), while Catch Me If You Can’s loss kept her steady at third place.
How’d I do?
Would you believe I lost?!!!! And slipped to fifth place!!!! As in out of the playoffs!!!!! LAWD! My team from Week 1 to now is sooooo different. No Julio Jones. No Arian Foster. Larry Fitzgerald is only averaging 8 ppg. Antonio Brown seems to be slipping on the Steelers’ depth chart. Andrew Luck is meh from week to week. It’s just all bad. Meanwhile, Broad Street Bullies is still riding the Nick Foles (22 pts) wave. And, Maurice Jones-Drew (13 pts) finally reported for duty! All of these unlikely heroes diminished any chance I had of getting a win. Taking another loss was something I kind of expected, but dropping to fifth place wasn’t. I don’t know how I’m going to bounce back but I must.
Speaking of bouncing back, this week I play My Big Blue Heaven. She’s been a sleeping giant, slowly climbing her way back to relevancy. We’re both 6-4 and trying to secure a playoff spot. I’m already losing sleep over this matchup because I have no faith in my team. NONE.
Matchup to Watch?
This league, as expected, is still wide open with many teams in playofff contention. This week you need to keep your eye on all of the 6-4 teams — My Big Blue Heaven, (Foot) Baller Shot Caller, Victorious Secret, Catch Me If You Can, and Chitown’s Greatest who’s on the bubble with a 5-5 record. I foresee this league’s playoffs being determined in Week 13 and it’ll come down to evaluating points allowed vs points scored.
Yellow Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake. vs Sacks N the City was a good matchup. Although Yellow Cake didn’t win, I have to give her props for inserting New York Giants running back Andre Brown (17 pts) in her starting lineup. In his first game of the season, Brown gave life to the Giants backfield, rushing for 117 yards and one touchdown. However, the sorry performances of Matt Forte and Chris Johnson are to blame for her loss. They put up four and five points, respectively. Even with Sacks N the City losing Vernon Davis and getting only three points from Victor Cruz, she was able to pull out a win thanks to Case Keenum (19 pts), Adrian Peterson (19 pts), and the Raiders D/ST (17 pts).
How’d I do?
I squeezed out a last minute win against Notorious L.E..X. Instead of touting my studs like RGIII (27 pts) and Calvin Johnson (20 pts), or patting myself on the back for sitting Ray Rice’s struggling ass (5 pts), I will praise Notorious L.E.X. for using poor judgement and relying on the Dallas Cowboys D/ST to shut down Drew Brees and the Saints. I won last week’s matchup 86-77 which is a nine point deficit. The Dallas Cowboys D/ST put up what? -9 pts. You do the math. #Boom
Me and Yellow Cake are going head to head this week. I’m still holding down the final playoff spot, while Yellow Cake is seeming extra vulnerable these days. OK, she only has two losses, so I might be exaggerating, slightly. But trust and believe, my goal is to knock her down a peg or two. This is also the matchup to watch.
I see you Chardonnay and Brees-ling dropping bombs on Milf and Cookies! After the numbers Drew Brees (31 pts) put up last week, I can’t find fault with naming a team after him. Also, she was another one who entrusted Darren Sproles (18 pts) after two weeks of inaction with a concussion. She also benefited from the Eagles and Bears making a QB change. Riley Cooper (22 pts) and Brandon Marshall (25 pts) reaped the rewards of playing with Nick Foles and Josh McCown, respectively. When a roster is stacked from top to bottom, with breakout performances, it doesn’t matter who’s on the other side, you don’t stand a chance. Unfortunately for Milf & Cookies, the scheduling gods were unkind to her. Quietly, Chardonnay and Brees-ling is inching her way into the playoffs. This week she plays the 1-9 Brooklyn Reddhotts. If she gets a win and either (7-3) The New Crew or (7-3) Luck of the Draw lose, she could suddenly have a spot in the bracket that means something.
And speaking of Brooklyn Reddhots. She came soooo very, very close to getting her second win of the season. Just three points separated her and Queen of Hearts (66-69). When the margin is that slim, you can pin it on a number of things. But considering the way her season’s been going, it’s fair to say that no matter what lineup changes are implemented, the outcome would still result in a loss. It’s the rookie jinx, I guess.
How’d I do?
If you recall, I played Necessary Roughness last week. And unlike in Week 9 when she suffered her first loss of the season, she had her full starting roster (Peyton Manning (27 pts), Wes Welker (2 pts), and Eric Decker (5 pts), except for Arian Foster. It was another back and forth matchup that was too close for comfort, especially because I own Demaryius Thomas (28 pts) and Knoshown Moreno (10 pts). Any yardage gain for them, is also a gain for Manning. As usual, Manning’s surrounded by an arsenal of weapons that he can deploy at will. Luckily for me, however, Manning was stingy with the ball, and favored D. Thomas over the others. Welker and Decker remained decoys or invisible the majority of the game, while D. Thomas (28 pts) hauled in seven catches for 108 yards and three touchdowns. That, plus the New Orleans Saints D/ST putting up seven points was enough for me to hold down first place with a 99-91 win.
It’s me against (7-3) Luck of the Draw. Her team’s been playing well lately, so I’m a bit nervous about this matchup. There are a few things I’m banking on to pull out a win. One, I need Jimmy Graham to still be hurt and miss Sunday’s game. Or, I’ll settle for the 49ers streak of shutting down tight ends to remain intact. And two, or maybe this is actually number three, I don’t know…I’m hoping the Jets shut down the Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson. All season, they’ve only allowed an average of 73 rushing yards to opposing running backs. Fred Jackson ran for that match when they met in Week 3, but I don’t anticipate that happening again.
Matchup to Watch?
(7-3) The New Crew vs (8-2) Necessary Roughness: Peyton Manning is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. While there’s no doubt that he’ll be on the field, because an injured Manning is still a safer bet than any backup at 100%. But, having said that, the Chiefs D/ST has played well this season, averaging 15.9 ppg. While the pass rush isn’t one of their strengths, Manning’s bum ankle might give them an opportunity to harass the usual unflappable QB.
Tonight the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts kickoff Week 11. Last week, the Colts played shockingly bad. And the Titans lost Christian Ponder, which puts their season in the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick, which leaves some uncertainty. If you have players on either team, proceed with caution!