We’ve been running a fantasy football league within our ranks for the past three seasons. Instead of having a traditional buy-in, we decided to do something a little different. The winner of our fantasy league walks away with an NFL jersey of their choice.
In the first year our Managing Editor, Kevin Michael Morin, walked away with the spoils. He chose Derrick Henry’s powder blue Titans home jersey from that year, as he was a workhorse who carried him to the title.
Our second season saw Katie Pierce taking the crown. She chose Detroit Lions offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby. And one of these days she’s bound to get that signed after striking up a friendship with the big man on Twitter.
This season, we’re finally ready to put our money where our mouth is and ship that third annual jersey to our winner. But before we reveal it, we asked our participants to give us a brief rundown of their season and nominate an MVP of their fantasy seasons. Here’s what they said.
9th Place Game
This is the story of a couple of teams who flew out of the gate then fell off a cliff.
I was pretty excited when I had the 2nd pick in the draft and was solid on Dalvin Cook the entire time. The rest of my draft played out fairly well (or so I thought) as after six rounds I had a Wilson-Hopkins-Godwin-Cook-Sanders-Waller lineup. I started off 2-0, scoring 150+ points both weeks. Then things pretty much all fell apart. All of my top picks missed significant time with injuries and I went 2-10 the rest of the way. All of the losses were by double-digits and I finished dead last. Fun times, thanks for having me!
MVP = Jaylen Waddle. It’s difficult to select an MVP of a last place team but Waddle was my 12th pick and eventually became my most reliable player.
I was pleasantly surprised with my draft results and opening day roster. And the proof was in the pudding after I started out 2-0, scoring an average of over 150 points to open the season. Then, things pretty much fell apart. I went 2-10 the rest of the way. Sound familiar? You might be thinking, “Wait, that was Terry’s team.” Welp, it was Ryan’s team too. Terry is my 4-10 twin at the bottom of the table. Of the 18 players I drafted, only 8 were on my team in Week 17.
My MVP is Jared Cook, benching him was usually the only correct decision I made on a weekly basis. 2022 will be my year.
9th Place Game Winner
7th Place Game
Mediocrity at its best vied for the lucky 7.
In a 10 team league, I wasn’t TOO bummed about being saddled with the 6th pick in the draft this year. Landing in the middle saved me from having to stress about possibly reaching for a player or worrying whether he’d fall to me in the next round. Besides, with only 10 teams in the league, there were sure to be plenty of solid free agents available each week to plug holes that might come up throughout the year.
When the dust settled I was pretty stoked about my lineup. My roster was stacked with difference makers and guys capable of putting up big numbers. I mean who wouldn’t be pumped about a Chubb/Mixon backfield with Mike Evans and Keenan Allen out wide? Lamar Jackson under center, with his dual threat capability, should’ve landed me monster point totals most weeks. Sadly – the results rarely materialized. I opened the season with 3 straight losses, despite being in the top half of scoring teams each week. I was never able to put a sustained winning streak together, and my roster’s up and down performances ultimately doomed me. For all the promise after the draft, I fell short of qualifying for the playoffs and was on the outside looking in.
Ultimately, inconsistency was my undoing. Not a single guy on my roster was able to meet or exceed projections on a regular basis. There were only 4 weeks where at least 3 of my top 5 guys (Lamar Jackson, Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen) actually reached their projected points total. As a result, my point totals were all over the map, and trying to choose the best starting lineup each week was a nightmare. If I had to pick an MVP I guess it’d have to go to Mike Evans. Even though he didn’t live up to the expectations I had for him, he was in my lineup every week other than his bye – which is more than can be said for pretty much everyone else on my roster.
So if you’re reading this, odds are you will skip this recap in about 2-3 more lines. Not much to speak about except for how incredibly terrible I drafted. I had the 9th pick in the 10 team league, my first overall pick was Zeke Elliot, and boy would I take that back as well as most other picks. I also went very Tight End heavy hauling in George Kittle, Kyle Pitts, and Rob Gronkowski. I would not have picked Pitts in *cough* 4th round *cough*. (…just pretend you didn’t read that, please.) Pitts had an impressive season but barely made it to the endzone, thus no good for us fantasy owners. I traded Gronk for Brandin Cooks early in the season. I feel I won the trade, but in the end, it really made little difference in my team. With a lack of receivers and poor RB play, my team didn’t stand a chance…slumming it in 10th place for the majority of the season.
The highlight of team ‘Just The Tip’ season would be the slew of wins. Winning five out of the final six games to finish out the season is just fantastic….. especially when it meant absolutely nothing. It did feel good that the stretch of wins started with a victory over Kevin Morin and his team ‘Ridley’s Believe it or Not’. (Done without a QB btw.) Aaron Rodgers was busted lying about his covid status and Tua was a gametime scratch. That one felt good but finishing 6-8 was rough.
My MVP was Hunter Renfrow, whom I picked up as a free agent. Best transaction of my season.
Just the Tip,
7th Place Game Winner
Eliminated in the first round of the playoffs
Both teams had an up and down season, but they ultimately couldn’t get it done in the end.
My fantasy season was not too dissimilar from the Lions season. Lost a handful of close matchups that I could have and should have won by a slim margin were it not for a few key starting/benching choices. Got my hopes up for a top 3 or 4 finish a few times but when I knew I was totally out I legit just stopped paying attention.
As far as an MVP would go for my team I would have to go with one of the Justin’s I had. Tucker and Jefferson were steady throughout the season for me even when they spoiled my actual football team’s wins
I was feeling pretty positive after the draft. I had 4 receivers – Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, Tyler Lockett, and DJ Moore – who finished inside the top 20 in most leagues during the 2020 season. I had a top 5 QB. RB looked like it was going to be my biggest weakness, but I addressed that by grabbing Cordarrelle Patterson and Eli Mitchell off waivers. Unfortunately, injuries (both to my players and the QBs throwing to them) and inconsistency (I’m looking at you Patrick Mahomes) conspired against me. A run of 5 losses in 6 games in the middle of the season hurt, as did my loss in the quarters by 1.1 points.
My MVP is a tough choice. I grabbed Leonard Fournette in the 12th round and as of week 17, he was the 5th ranked RB in our league. Plus Davante Adams did his usual thing. Ultimately, I’m going to settle on Cordarrelle Patterson whose eligibility at both RB and WR helped me through some tricky times.
3rd Place Game
These two entered the playoffs with bye weeks. And…well…they failed miserably. They have more names than their teams have playoff wins.
Overall, I am nearly as happy with my team now as I was after the draft. I landed Christian McCaffrey and Antonio Gibson in the draft and found a way to have a number of top notch WRs as well as Mark Andrews at TE. Injuries and COVID became my downfall. I lost CMAC for most of the season, and Gibson was a roller coaster. I had to start Chuba Hubbard and Derrick Gore as my RB1 and RB2 in the 3rd place game. Between the depleted running core and Matt Stafford forgetting he no longer plays for the Lions down the stretch, I was lucky to even be vying for 3rd.
MVP: Deebo Samuel. He singlehandedly kept me in so many games. He missed only week 13 with an injury, and scored fewer than 15 points only three times. His worst fantasy week was still a double digit display. I guess get you a WR that also runs better than any of the RBs that managed to take the field.
Kevin Michael Morin
4th Place (2nd Seed)
Yahoo graded my draft as a C+, saying a teacher when I shouldn’t have for multiple players. They predicted I would finish in 8th place with a record of 6-8 and 2570 points. I finished the regular season in first with a record of 10-4 and only 2125 points, one of only 2 to break 2000. However, my first round bye was followed by a crushing defeat in the semi finals before taking 3rd place. Still, one of my best seasons ever and goes to show anyone that they should never trust the “draft grade.”
MVP: It would be easy to pick Jonathon Taylor, it would be tempting to pick Ja’Marr Chase, but it has to go to Cooper Kupp. WR1 production even though I snagged him in the 3rd round. Perfect PPR player once again.
Andrew Mark Wilhelm
3rd Place Game Winner (1st Seed)
The Championship Final
Coming out of the draft, I wasn’t feeling great. I wanted to try and lock up two solid starting RBs to build my team around but wound up with a bunch of long-shots: James Conner (maybe the biggest RB surprise of the season), Raheem Mostert (IR – Week 1), Ty’son Williams (benched after the bye), and David Johnson (30 going on 97 years old). Not exactly the RB corps fantasy dreams are made of…
But with Kelce, Antonio Brown, and Thielen solidifying my receiving corps, I built a solid base for my team. Allen, while up and down for much of the year, still gave me enough in most weeks to keep me competitive. With all that said, I would have been lost without my MVP: Austin Ekeler – an absolute PPR monster and overall RB2 for the year. Ekeler put up 15+ in 11 weeks where he was healthy and 20+ in 8 of those weeks. When your top RB puts up the production of 2 RBs every other week, he’s going to give you a chance to win.
When it mattered most, my best players got hot and my waiver pick-ups (Rashaad Penny, Michael Gallup, Alexander Mattison, Justin Jackson) produced in a BIG way. These guys carried me through to the championship round but Cleveland’s D couldn’t make one final stop – a 40 yd TD for Najee Harris with 50 seconds left in the game sunk me in the championship. Brutal way to go out…
Runner Up (6th Seed)
I’m really not sure how I won this season. Let’s forget for a second that I needed a garbage time 37-yard touchdown run by Najee Harris with 1:00 minute left on Monday Night Football to complete the comeback. By that point, I had already conceded mentally and gone to bed. I had already mentally written half of this recap on Sunday evening as the expected runner up.
But as I look back on my draft, I can’t believe that I won. My first round pick, Derrick Henry, and my fifth round pick, Robert Woods, both suffered season-ending injuries. My third round pick, DK Metcalf, my sixth round pick (and namesake) Myles Gaskin both underperformed and didn’t make the active roster on championship weekend. Fourth round pick CeeDee Lamb was great at times, except when he was awful, finishing as WR16 on the year.
It was basically the Jalen Hurts and Najee Harris show that carried me through, plus Tee Higgins going nuts in the semifinals for 43.4 points.
Final note: I stand behind my decision to bench DK Metcalf in the championship game, even though he went off for 30 points. Metcalf hadn’t scored more than 12 points in seven straight weeks, was dealing with an ankle injury, and has taken a back seat to Tyler Lockett as the top receiver in Seattle. I also thought the Seahawks might get up early and run the ball a lot (which they do as I was almost undone by Rashaad Penny (170 yards, 2 TD’s) in the title game.
Metcalf’s production was actually not that impressive this week either. He only caught 6 passes for 63 yards. It just so happened that three of them happened to be in the red zone. He still wasn’t breaking big plays, and I thought the upside of Gabriel Davis was the bold but correct choice. It almost bit me in the butt, but the reasoning was, and still is, sound.
MVP: Najee Harris
Turf Fantasy Champion (4th Seed)
So there you have it, folks. Craig Kaufman has etched his name into Turf Fantasy Football history. So now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Craig’s jersey selection is…
Nick Folk (6), Kicker, New England Patriots
- / 11 months ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.