I equate Week 17 of the NFL season to the first half hour of I Am Legend, The Will Smith vehicle. A stoic and poised Smith walks around a desolate and deserted city, searching to find if there is anyone “like him”. Week 17 is that empty city. It’s dead. Every league that has a commissioner with an IQ above 24 had their championship last weekend, and therefore the fantasy football season is over, and people need to ask themselves if they really care about the NFL anymore, or if they ever did. It is a confusing week in the male demographic, as a competitive void that has lasted nearly four months is now lost. My dad is perhaps the biggest victim of this loss. He has moved seamlessly through certain competitive outlets in his adult life, from a bowling league, to a brief bout with thinking racquetball was cool, to big game hunting, to golf, and now to fantasy football; and fresh off of his first career championship in my older brother’s highly competitive fantasy league in its centennial season, he is riding high. But he is Will Smith in the city. Paps is bored and alone, and my mom’s Pomeranian is hardly the German Shepherd companion Smith had. He has the option of venturing out into the cold dark world to find if there is life after the city limits and into the desolate land of caring about the NFL playoffs. With the fantasy season over and only stupid real life remaining, I take it upon myself to look back at the fun times we had together the last 16 weeks.
A brief look at the Scoring Leaders this season according to ESPN’s fantasy scoring leaders (not the one I use) yields some interesting little tidbits.
Tom Brady finished as the year’s top scorer, which is great because he doesn’t have a whole lot going for him.
Of the top 14 scorers, 11 were quarterbacks, 4 were rookies, and 13 were human. Adrian Peterson, folks.
CJ Spiller finished as the 9th best running back, despite getting less carries than the likes of Vick Ballard, Mikel Leshoure, and Shonn Greene.
Darren McFadden sucks.
Calvin Johnson finished as the top scoring wideout despite having less touchdowns than Golden Tate, Cecil Shorts, Danario Alexander (who only had a catch in seven games this year), and the Kansas City Chiefs.
I owned CJ Spiller, Darren McFadden, and Calvin Johnson. I’m Mad, Bro.
You pronounce Stevan, as in Stevan Ridley as Steven. I’ve been insisting it’s Steh-Vahn all season.
In some order, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Cam Newton have finished 1-4 in scoring in both seasons. When you ask yourself who to draft next season, I suggest these names as a good starting point.
Peyton Hillis was on average drafted a full pick before Alfred Morris.
You could do these forever. Fantasy Football is the most inexact science in the world. And I took Astronomy. Looking at somebody’s team on draft day and making any sort of definite judgment is like studying stars. Week 1 is as far from Week 16 as we are from the closest star (93 million miles). And the path that we take to Week 16 is a crazy one. Who knew that Doug Martin would follow up a 33 point game in Week 8 with a 50 spot against the Raiders in Week 9? Take the 50 pointer down to a good but much more modest 15 point game, and the Muscle Hampster has the weirdest nickname in NFL history AND finishes next to Trent Richardson instead of Arian Foster on the running back rankings at the end of the day.
Fantasy Football ownership is maddening. Despite being hugely rewarding both fiscally and psychologically, it is at times the equivalent of being Bam Margera’s mom for 16 weeks. 2012 was no different. As detailed, I had the holy trinity of having Darren McFadden (who will now forever be known as He Who Shall Not Be Drafted), poor CJ Spiller, and Calvin “I had the greatest season in the history of catching footballs, but had as many touchdowns as Brandon Stokely” Johnson. Not to beat a dead horse but a guy named Megatron found paydirt as many times as a 6 foot tall white guy who was drafted in 1999. I also started Danny Woodhead in a week where he didn’t have a touch, as in me sitting there doing absolutely nothing touched the football as many times as the guy I was watching. But what do I have to complain about.
I won just one of the four leagues I was in, and won the championship game by two points. Those two points can be attributed to the last two that my team, “Sean Salisbury” scored. Which happened on a 16 yard catch by Anquan Boldin in the middle of the third quarter, in which Boldin really separated his real shoulder making the catch in an attempt to set his team up for the actual playoffs in real football. I move my mouse around and click and then complain when Darren McFadden put up 4 points, and this guy just won me a league by separating his shoulder making a catch in a huge game. Fantasy Football is great for so many things, but none better than perspective. 2012 was great to me and the millions of others that got to enjoy the wonders of owning an online franchise. Now we just have 36 weeks of reality to deal with.