2021 Week 4 League Power Ratings

LPR, or League Power Rating, has been updated this season to be easier to follow and give us a better view of how our current teams stack up against not only the rest of The League but other teams in The League’s storied history. LPR measures average points per game (compared against the league average in points per game that season), ability to put up huge point totals while avoiding clunkers (high score + low score, again compared to the league average), and of course winning percentage. There are currently 182 individual seasons logged in The League’s database, and the average LPR is a nice even 100. Which is the point. So if your LPR is, say 110, that means you are 10% better than the average team not only this season, but in all season’s past. And if your LPR is 90, you’re 10% worse than the average team. The lowest LPR ever recorded is 69.6, and the highest is 141. The highest since 2007 however is 128.3. And now, on to the ratings.

  1. So Much Honey – 132.8 LPR (4-0)

Not much of a surprise at the top of the list, as our most recent Anthem singer has exploded out of the gate so fast that it caught even the quickest masseuses by surprise. Undaunted by an early CMC injury, Cody has continued to stack together wins on the backs of a Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson led receiving core. Another challenge awaits though as a Chris Carson injury leaves him hurting once again and hoping he didn’t blow his load too early, which would certainly put him once again in a bit of a sticky situation that a wet hand towel certainly can’t handle.

2. Brainbusters – 125.5 LPR (3-1)

After a scorching hot start, BJC got brought down to earth a bit last week, as rival Olsen handed him his first loss of the season. Still, things look promising for Brian. He has yet to put up less than 117 points in a game this season, and Derrick Henry once again has League owners questioning how they ever passed on him in the draft. A huge matchup with our next team looms this week.

3. The Meat Mavens – 125.4 LPR (4-0)

The Maven has yet to lose, but he checks in a hair under BJC in the first rankings of the year. He’ll have a chance to flip that and possibly more this week, as he looks to hand the Bri Guy his second loss in as many weeks and jump out to his first career 5-0 start. It will be tough sledding however, as he was dealt a huge blow with the loss of Russell Wilson in Thursday night’s matchup. Thankfully for him DK Metcalf didn’t seem to give a damn who was playing QB, he just continued catching TDs.

4. 2 Feets In – 109.4 LPR (2-2)

Shockingly enough, that’s the end of the teams with winning records. Jack has been up and down this season, and is also affected by the Russ Bus injury that would certainly seem to limit Tyler Lockett’s potential. But with Diggs, Keenan, and Aaron Jones, Jack has plenty of firepower to dance a 2 step with any of The League’s teams. The winless Ressica Jobinson awaits.

5. Pastrami Papi – 102.5 LPR (2-2)

After an 0-2 start and 2 name changes, Marky Mark finally seems to have hit on the winning formula. Jewish meat sweats on rye has gotten Pastrami Papi out of the cellar and right back into the thick of things with 2 straight victories, the last one over arch rival Frank. NFC East counterparts Terry McLaurin and Zeke Elliot have led the way, and Mark will keep putting out a kosher spread so long as Zeke keeps eating like this.

6. Bishop Sycamore – 102.1 (2-2)

The Commish and Pastrami seem to be on different tracks, as Marky Mark’s rise has coincided with the Commish’s fall. Losing 2 straight and failing to reach the century mark in each, Bishop Sycamore has been left searching for answers to just what’s gone wrong. DeAndre Hopkins getting over his rib injury would be a good start, but the injury to David Montgomery certainly doesn’t help matters.

7. Frank The Tank – 97.6 LPR (2-2)

After winning 2 straight to get above .500, Frank’s team curiously no showed in a big rivalry matchup with Mark in Week 4. He’s hoping his matchup with Olsen this week will prove to be a get right game, with Josh Allen and Travis Kelce poised for a good old fashioned Kansas City shootout. Maybe Mike Evans and new addition Dalton Schultz can ship in as well in the rare but always fun double TE roster setup.

8. Lobster Beesc – 97.0 LPR (2-2)

Meade has definitely flown under the radar this year but he still sits at .500 and right in the thick of things. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams pose a blow up threat every week, and Darren Waller is as steady as it gets at TE, but he needs more consistency from the rest of the roster if he’s going to compete for more than table scraps this season.

9. The Knights of Ryan 89.1 LPR (1-3)

Olsen managed to grab a must win victory over one of The League’s early season favorites last week, avoiding the dreaded 0-4 start and gaining some momentum heading into another tough matchup with Frank the Tank. Justin Herbert is proving last year was no fluke, and Tyreek Hill got back to his explosive ways just in time to save Olsen’s season.

10. The Diamond Empire – 75.7 LPR (1-3)

Speaking of getting up off the mat, The Diamond Empire also grabbed their first win of the year last week behind a comeback game from Saquon Barkley. He’ll be missing Calvin Ridley this week, but that could just mean more work for fellow Falcons Mike Davis and Kyle Pitts as Atlanta heads over to foggy old London Town for a matchup with the Jets. Can Nick expand the Empire to Britain and enjoy some tea and crumpets at Cody’s expense (hold the honey please)?

11. Ressica Jobinson – 73.7 LPR (0-4)

Surprisingly enough, Ribby Raf does not sit in the cellar in the first Power Ratings, winless though he may be. That’s probably not much consolation though, as the defensing champ has looked rather defenseless in the early going and his season (and the Trophy) are in danger of slipping away from him.He got a much needed big game out of Robert Woods on Thursday, but he’ll need the rest of the gang including Lamar and Nick Chubb to show up if he’s going to take down Jack to grab his first win of the season.

12. Trader Jay’s – 70.6 LPR (1-3)

It would have been a bit of a shock in League circles if you had said Jay would be sitting at last in the Power Ratings after his stellar opening week showing, but here we are. Jay has dropped 3 straight and looked fairly uncompetitive doing so, failing to top 82 points in any of the outings. He’ll square off with a similarly reeling Bishop Sycamore squad this week, and AJ Brown has been given the green light, so maybe this is just the matchup Trader Jay and Dalvin Cook need to right the ship. Either way, Jay is 2 for 2 on team names this year and that has to count for something.


Just The Facts – Week 3

Some Sunday morning facts and figures for each matchup as we head into Sunday play of the final game of the first slate of division matchups.

The Meat Mavens (2-0) vs Bishop Sycamore (2-0)

While the Maven holds a lifetime losing record against The Commish at 11-15, he has inched considerably closer to .500 over the last few years, claiming 6 of the last 7 head to head matchups. And he has to feel good about his chances of winning this one after his fourth 2-0 start of his career (2006, 2013, 2019). After making history with his first career playoff victory last year, Ant looks to set another personal milestone this week with a win that would give him his first career 3-0 start. A hot start from DJ Moore on Thursday night has these projections neck and neck.

The Commish also comes in boasting a 2-0 record, his first such start since the 2018 season that he’d rather forget (5-0 / 7-2 start that saw him lose his last 4 and miss the postseason). He also has a bit of history on the line here, as he looks to become the first owner to reach the career 150 win mark. Some injury questions linger this week with star wideout DeAndre Hopkins edging towards a gamete decision and Odell Beckham Jr slated to play his first game in nearly a year after a torn ACL. We may see some lineup shuffling from the Commish before kickoff in this pivotal battle for the top of the West.

Jaystar Royco (1-1) vs 2 Feets In (1-1)

These teams had polar opposite week 2 games, starting with Jay who came in off of a stellar opening game performance and laid a huge dud in his week 2 loss to BJC. Jay’s 56 point performance in the loss was his 3rd worst career outing, and his 90 point margin of defeat was the worst of his 13 year career. He gets another shot at career win number 75 this week in a matchup with Jacky G, with the lifetime series between the two teams split at 6 wins a side. Although Jack has won 3 of the last 4, Jay did get the W in last year’s matchup.

Speaking of career win 75, Jack put that notch in his belt last week with a League leading 157 point performance. At 75-77-1 for his career, a win this week would push him to the precipice of a career .500 record, which only 4 League members currently possess. Jack’s performance last week was only 2 points off his career best point total of 159, which he set in week 4 of last season. The projections have Jack as a pretty big favorite this week, as Jay deals with injuries to Dalvin Cook and Jerry Jeudy and AB missing the week with covid.

The Diamond Empire (0-2) vs Brainbusters (2-0)

They say to throw out the stats when divisional foes square off, and the Diamond Empire is perfectly fine with that after its performance the first two weeks. Nick has only started 0-2 in his career one other time, and it was 10 years ago in a season that saw him finish a career worst 2-11. He has failed to reach 91 points in either of the first two games, which he has lost by a combined 120 points. He will once again seek his 75th career victory, but his opponent is maybe The League’s most feared team through the first two weeks. Perhaps the good news is that he’s won 3 of the last 4 matchups against him.

BJC comes in with his first 2-0 start since 2017 and the fourth of his career, but the point totals he’s putting up in this start are much more impressive than any other he’s previously put together. Averaging an astounding 150.5 points per game, its the best two game points stretch of Brian’s 19 year career. He’ll go for his 3rd career 3-0 start this week in matchup featuring the League’s current 1 seed vs the current 12 seed. Brian has a 7-6 career lifetime record, and he’ll look to take another strike at the hear of The Diamond Empire.

Frank The Tank (1-1) vs Ressica Jobinson (0-2)

Frank has very impressive rebound performance in Week 2 to get himself back to .500 and avoid a dreaded 0-2 start. He improved to 15 games over .500 for his career in the process and heads into a rematch of last year’s championship game on a win streak. It also gave him a career 10-9 record vs Meade, a mark he can’t quite claim against defending champ Vaf. The win was made more impressive due to the fact that Jarvis Landry left the game after just 1.4 points. He’ll have a slight projected edge in this one even without Landry, as JuJu slides into the starting lineup for the Tank.

Vaf’s title defense is off to a sputtering start, as he fell to 0-2 for just the second time in his career. The last time he was 0-2 he finished the season a career worst 4-9 in the midst of a 4 year playoff drought. Obviously Vaf is hoping to avoid a similar fate and get back on the right track this week. And at least historically, Frank has been a pretty good matchup for Vaf, as he boasts a career 9-5 record vs the Tank, winning each of the last 3 including, obviously, last year’s championship victory.

Lobster Beesc (1-1) vs So Much Honey (2-0)

Meade has been perfectly mediocre to start the year, averaging just over 100 points and sporting a 1-1 record. In fact he’s been so mediocre I can’t come up with any interesting stats about his season. He caught a break week 1 and didn’t catch a break week 2. However, he did catch another massive break this week with a mid game injury to number one overall pick CMC. Meade’s been dealing a bit in the taboo art of hoping for injuries to other’s teams this year and frankly its disgusting. Its even more disgusting that its working.

On the other end of this matchup is So Much Honey, off to an overwhelming start that’s made masseuse’s statewide rush to get extra towels. Fresh off an outstanding if controversial rendition of the National Anthem, no doubt aided by soothing his vocal chords with copious amounts of warm honey, Cody is 2-0 for the first time since 2017 and looking for the first 3-0 start of his career. His 137 and 153 point outbursts are his best back to back performances since way back in 2013, coincidentally also in weeks 1 and 2. Cody earned his first playoff berth that year, ultimately falling in The League Semis. He’ll look to repeat that trend this year, but it will take some great management these next few weeks with McCaffrey on the sidelines with a hammy injury.

Pastrami Papi (0-2) vs The Knights of Ryan (0-2)

Our only matchup of winless teams features a couple of teams who last went 0-2 in 2018 and never recovered. The good news for one of them is, they both started that year 0-5, which will be impossible this year. The bad news is one of them will have to fall to 0-3. Mark’s team has been slightly better than the record would indicate, averaging about 110 points per game but failing to reach the 120 point mark that has been a sort of win barometer over the last half decade or so. That’s a problem when both of your opponents put up 130+ obviously. His last 0-3 start ended with him going 3-10 on the season. Obviously he’s hoping for a much better outcome to this year.

For Olsen the struggles continue. He’s failed to post a winning record the last 4 years and dropping the first 2 this year brings his current losing streak to 5 games. The loss to The Commish week 1 is understandable with his opponent putting up 148 point points, but his week 2 loss was a big ball of frustration, as he lost 88-82 to Ant behind a no show Sunday night performance from Tyreek Hill. You simply can’t drop games when your opponent fails to score 90 points, and Olsen has only dropped one such game dating back to 2015. While Mark’s had his struggles, historically speaking Daddy Yankee has been a rough draw from Ry O: Mark is 11-6 in the all time series, though over the last 6 these teams are 3-3 against each other. Another fun fact: this is the 3rd year in a row they’ve been in the same division, and in each of the 3 previous years they were in the same division, they split their head to head matchups. Who will draw first blood this year?


The League 2020 Semi-Finals Preview

The League Wild Card continued to provide the excitement and drama we’ve seen throughout the regular season, kicking the 18th postseason off with a bang. And no bang was more startling or has shaken up The League as much as Anthony Barlotta, Big Tony, THE Meat Maven, finally winning his first career playoff game, stunning Marky Mark in an act of dad on dad violence to earn a date with Vaf in The League Semis.

In the 4 vs 5 matchup, we saw a good old-fashioned shootout with the defending champ managing to climb out to a sizeable lead and hold on despite Brian’s best efforts on Monday night to pull off the miracle comeback. Meade’s title defense continues on with a matchup against division rival Frank the Tank this week. Meanwhile, BJC heads home looking for answers of how he let the East slip away, which drew him into his matchup with Meade in the first place.

Lets take a quick look at how the teams who reached the Final 4 stack up:

Ant is looking to turn his first playoff win into a Cinderella run, but Vaf is the one holding the glass slipper here. On paper, there’s little doubt in this one. Vaf holds the lead in virtually all categories, whether we look at this simply from this season, career, or head to head. When Vaf gets into the playoffs, he’s reached the Championship Game an astounding 5 out of 6 times. And again, at least on paper, he’s the overwhelming favorite to make it 6 of 7.

Alvin Kamara, James Robinson, and Calvin Ridley provide Vaf with a headline group of 3 starters who typically provide Vaf with a lethal mix of safe floors and week winning potential. Then there’s guys like Robert Woods (in a plus matchup against the Jets secondary) and Lamar Jackson (in a plus matchup against the Jags) and its tough to find a weakness in Vaf’s armor for Ant to exploit.

It certainly doesn’t help matters that the two players Ant had play in the early games didn’t exactly explode, with pedestrian outings from Austin Ekeler and Robert Tonyan. Emmanuel Sanders, Wayne Gallman, and Raheem Mostert isn’t a trio that strikes fear into the heart of opponents. JuJu Smith Shuster, last week’s hero for Ant, will likely need to have another big game if Ant is to pull off the upset, and he’ll most likely need to have a big game from Russ Bus as well. Key contributions the defense and kicker positions wouldn’t hurt either.

In our other matchup, we have Frank and Meade squaring off for the third time this season. While Meade won the previous two matchups, it would be hard to take anything away from that fact. These two teams are about as close as close can be in almost every category, the complete opposite of the 1 vs 6 matchup.

Meade has gotten out to a solid start, with the trio of Aaron Rodgers, Stefon Diggs and Buffalo’s defense outdoing their cumulative projection in yesterday’s games (though Rodgers fell a bit short of his own personal projections and Meade was probably hoping for a bit more production there). Meade still has a bunch of bullets left in the chamber, like ascending rookies Brandon Aiyuk and Cam Akers, steady if unspectacular Amari Cooper, and, oh yeah, some guy by the name of Dalvin Cook.

Frank, meanwhile, has his whole stable of horse ready to run. Physical freaks DK Metcalf and Derrick Henry are always a threat to break the game wide open, David Montgomery and Marquise Brown are heating up at the right time, and Travis Kelce is the at TE is probably the biggest mismatch in fantasy football. If there is a place for Meade to make up some ground it will be with another pedestrian performance out of James Conner in Frank’s flex.

That’s it for this week’s preview. Since some people were asking, in the Anthem Bracket the Commish is squaring off with Jacky G and Jay Hey faces the Diesel. Good luck to everyone as the postseason continues.


The League 2020 Playoff Preview


Twelve embarked on this journey back in the dog days of summer, and as the seasons changed they slowly dropped from the picture as the leaves inevitably drop from the trees. They will get their chance again next year, the cycle renewed once more, yet for now they sit silent, piled up with all the other dead seasons that have come before them, cracked and withering. Yet 6 have stood the test of time, defied Mother Nature and whoever else wishes to knock them from their perch, and weathered the storm.

Father Time can not be pushed off forever. We all know this. 5 more must fall before the year is out. Getting this far is a testament to the resilience of those remaining. But only one can wear the crown.

December. Just the word brings to mind the spirit of Christmas, the crisp in air, the ever-shortening days. It’s a month that gives you beautiful 60 degree Sundays followed up by a foot of snow just days later. It’s a month that tries the souls of men, and a time for reflection on the year that was. It’s a time for closing the the book in anticipation of opening a new one, the words yet unwritten, as the calendar turns over once more.

Yet for a select few, December also marks a chance at new beginnings. A chance to strike back at those who are rushing to close the book, a chance to show that the ink is not nearly even close to dry. A chance to tell their own story. This December, as in the past 18 Decembers, 6 men have been granted that chance. The chance to pick up that pen once more, and to transcribe their names into the annals of League history where few men have gone before.

There are the overwhelming favorites, Vaf and Frank, earning a welcome week off due to their steady and consistent top of the line performances. Vaf is looking to rewrite the history books, his fourth title tantalizingly within his reach. Frank seeks to reclaim the glory of 13 years past, and to once and for all silence all doubters or baseless accusations of luck.

There is the defending champ, missing out on a bye but yet still poised and in position to strike, quietly posting one of the best seasons, looking to put the finishing touches on the rewrite of his career that has been years in the making

There is BJC, author of a title win long, author of post-season tragedy more recently, looking to erase his past mistakes and write over them with a tale of defiance, redemption, and, ultimately glory.

There is Daddy Yank, prolific author of tall tales, including fan favorites like “Algorithm Schmalgorithm”, “Boy in a Blonde Wig” and “Murder in the Fish Tank”. The works he holds most dear, however, are the stories of his two title runs, and if he has his way he can turn it into a trilogy in just a few weeks time.

And finally, there stands the Meat Maven, left for dead, but refusing to spoil or rot. The story of his postseason career, a tragic comedy, well documented. Perhaps this is the year he authors not only his first playoff win, but so much more.

There are still blank pages left in the book of 2020. But there is only one pen. Who will seize it?

Our first matchup of the 2020 postseason pits the East Champ Marky Mark against the last wild card, Big Tony.

Mark enters the matchup as perhaps the hottest team in The League, winning his last 5 games including a division deciding matchup against BJC in Week 13. He has the advantage in pretty much the entire tale of the tape, both in terms of this season and career. Now matter how its broken down, Mark seemingly has the advantage. But is there more than meats the eye?

CARONIE boasts one of the top WR duos in The League in Keenan Allen and Justin Jefferson. The Meat Mavens will be hard pressed to match their production, especially without Julio Jones. JuJu and and CeeDee have great names, but they’ll have to have more than that to make up the deficit on paper at the WR spot. At QB, the teams are fairly even, with both Josh Allen for Mark and Russ Bus for Ant providing dual-threat capabilities. Mark also seemingly has the advantage at TE and slot receiver. If there is an area for Ant to make up ground, it is on the ground. As of this writing, Mark is employing the questionable strategy of deploying two RBs from the same team in Jonathan Taylor and Hines. Ant has Ekeler returning from injury and the ascendant Wayne Gallman.

Ant seems to be up against it, but just ask Ant: in the postseason, anything can happen. Well, except for Ant getting a postseason win. That’s never happened. But there’s gotta be a first time for everything right? Right?!

A much closer matchup, at least on paper, exists in the 4 vs 5 game. While Meade has a 12 point advantage in PPG, Brian won the lone head to head matchup between the two teams and has seemingly had the golden goose on his side all year.

Meade jumped out to an early lead here in the Thursday night game, with Cam Akers providing a boost for him over Brian’s Cooper Kupp. Meade was at a disadvantage in the RB matchups coming in, with Brian’s duo of Aaron Jones and Nick Chubb posing a formidable threat. Now that Akers has gone off, Meade has evened the scales or even tipped them in his favor with Dalvin Cook waiting in the wings. Amari Cooper and Stefan Diggs get the nod at WR for Meade, while Brian has just Landry left to play. It would seem Meade has the edge there as well, and also in the QB matchup, where Brian will counter Aaron Rodgers with rookie Justin Herbert. The flex position might be Brian’s best chance to even things out a bit, where Mike Davis will go up against ascending but risky rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk for Meade.

Meade’s postseason title defense is off to a good start. But Brian has the firepower, specifically with his 3 headed RB attack, to pull off the upset.

It’s game time so I’m wrapping this up. Good luck to those playing today!


Final 2020 Regular Season League Power Ratings

After 13 weeks that were, shall we say, unique in The League’s history, the regular season has finally come to a close. Half of The League’s hopes of reaching the promised land have officially been dashed, while the luckier half (emphasis on the lucky where Frank is concerned) (just kidding Frank) (but not really) will move on with hopes of attaining greater glory. For those teams, the book is not yet closed on their power ratings, and their place in The League’s history is not yet set in stone. For the others, although they must now battle it out to avoid last place, the ink is dry on their official stats. We’ll take a look at where things stand, and provide a bit of a post-mortem on the teams who failed to reach the postseason to hopefully put the numbers in a bit more context. Note before we begin: between the current League owners there have been a total of 170 individual seasons, and LPRs have ranged from a high of 173.9 to a low of 88.0. The average is 126.4. On to the ratings:

1. The Undisputed Era (11-2) – 154.7 LPR [up .8 from Week 12]

Unsurprisingly, Vaffy Kid maintains the top spot in the ratings after notching his 11th win, which knocked Jacky G out of the playoffs and catapulted Big Tony in. This has been arguably Vaf’s best regular season of his already storied career. Vaf has only topped 150 in LPR one other time, in his 2011 championship season that saw him become the only team in League history to win back to back titles. If he maintains his current LPR, it would place him as the 6th best team in League history and the third best since 2007. His 11 regular season wins is also a career high. Quite a return to form for Vaf, who had previously missed the postseason the past 4 years, which was the longest active streak in The League. 

2. Frank The Tank (9-4) – 149.0 LPR (up .2)

Frank climbs back into the number two spot with his week 13 win, which also delivered him the Central Division crown and a coveted bye with some help delivered by The Commish. This is Frank’s second career division title, and first bye since his rookie championship season all the way back in 2007. And according to LPR, it is his best season since then as well by a huge margin, as he topped the 140 mark only one other time (this season is currently 13th all time in LPR). It’s been a big year for Frank, as he also reached triple digits in career wins. Now he’ll look to add another trophy to the case.

3. Lobster Beesc (9-4) – 147.3 LPR (down 2.3)

Meade thought he had the division all but locked up with a one game lead and a matchup with The League’s basement dweller Commish. Unfortunately for him, The Commish wasn’t interested in laying down to coronate the defending champ, and put a whooping on him to force him to settle for a wild card berth. Meade now has a date with BJC in round 1, and he’ll have to take the long road if he wants to defend his title and become just the second League member to win back to back ships. In terms of LPR, this is actually currently Meade’s best season ever, ranking 15th all time, slightly better than his career high from last year of 146.5. If he’s to win the title this year, he’ll likely have to improve on that number even farther.

4. CARONIE (8-5) – 139.4 LPR (up 10.7)

Mark saved his best regular season performance for last, putting up a massive 150+ point performance to stun Brian and win the East. It was Mark’s highest scoring output of the year, and pushed his LPR up over 10 points, easily the biggest jump of the week. Mark ended the season on a 5 game win streak and he’ll look to keep it rolling against Big Tony and force a rematch of his rivalry week showdown with Frank. Mark’s season would currently rank 4th on his personal all time list, and 32nd overall.

5. Brainbusters (8-5) – 134.6 LPR (down 1.3)

Until Week 13 Brain had been leading a charmed season, winning 6 straight games heading into a division deciding matchup with Marky Mark. That win streak was snapped in abrupt fashion, dropping Brian from the 3 seed to the 5 seed and into a first round playoff bout with the defending champ. His current LPR is his 4th highest, and sits 47th all time.

6. 2 Feet’s In (5-8) – 127.3 LPR (down .6)

If playoff berths were awarded by LPR, Jack would have just snuck his two feets in. Unfortunately for him, the most important number is wins, and 5 just doesn’t cut it. Jack faced just a brutal schedule this year, having nearly 100 more points against than the next closest team, and facing a slate of teams that put up more points against him than even Vaf put up this year. You can’t chalk it all up to points against though – Jack was middle of the pack in points for, middle of the pack in LPR, and ultimately just a little shy of middle of the pack in wins. And when the chips were down, he had his chance to get that 6th W in the season finale, but couldn’t close the deal. Jack has now missed the playoffs for a second straight year. This was his 5th best season (out of 11 total) and 80th all time. 

7. Down With The Brown (5-8) – 125.6 LPR (down 2.4)

It’s tough to place the blame for an entire season on one trade, and probably not even fair to do so, but Nick’s downfall began when he made what was supposed to be a blockbuster trade for Michael Thomas. The big chips included in the deal, at least at the time, all went on to have disappointing seasons. Where Nick lost the deal was with the the throw in of waiver wire pickup rookie WR Justin Jefferson. Jefferson immediately exploded, propelling Mark to an improbable division title, while Nick’s team steadily fell off the map from title contender to missing the dance altogether. From week 4, Nick went from a 3-1 record and 149 LPR to ultimately a 5-8 record with an LPR nearly 25 points lower. He finished 5th in total points behind 4 130+ point performances, but in his last 8 games went 0-6 when he failed to reach that mark, never topping 112 points in any of those crushing losses. Like Jack, this season ranks 5th of 11 for Nick in LPR, and 88th overall. Just below average for what looked like such a promising season.

8. The Knights of Ryan (6-7) – 124.98 LPR (down 3.5)

We can’t talk end of season collapses without discussing Olsen’s. After a 6-4 start, Ry O looked to be in the driver’s seat to ending his playoff drought and earning a wild card. 3 straight losses later and Knights fans are asking themselves what the hell just went wrong. In firm control of his own destiny even up until Week 13, Olsen let it all slip away with back to back 62 point outings in the last two critical games. Warning signs first popped up back in Week 8, where he lost an absolute soul crusher in a rivalry week water pistol fight with BJC (77-64). This season ranks 6th of 16 in LPR for Olsen, but you could throw the number out for this one – this was one of his worst seasons ever given the way it ended.

9. Meat Mavens (6-7) – 121.2 LPR (up 1.1)

Hey, its the Maven! The number 6 seed and final wild card team slots in all the way down at number 9 in the LPR, but he doesn’t care about all that because in the end he’s dancing. Ant’s current LPR is 109th all time, and if he finishes at that mark he would be the 10th worst team to make the postseason. The beauty of the postseason though is that there’s still games to be played baby. If Ant intends to get where he’s been searching his whole League career, that number will rise. He’ll have to put up better numbers than he has though if he’s going to run the gauntlet through a playoff field of at least 3 teams who have eyes on the upper echelon of League history.

10. Del Boca Vista (4-9) – 118.0 LPR [down 2.5]

It was a season to forget for Jay Hey, as he was denied his serenity now and will have to once again partake in the ugly underbelly of The League’s Anthem Bracket. Jay peaked in Week 5, after a decisive victory over Diamonds pushed him to 3-2 and a 144 LPR. He’s won one game since, promptly dropping 3 in a row and then 4 in a row to end the regular season. Del Boca Vista found a lively community in the trade market and waiver markets this year, making a bevy of moves that have drawn questions from pundits, namely: what would have happened if he just stuck with the team he drafted? Hindsight is 20/20, and unfortunately we can never know the answers to the question. What we do know is that Jay’s chances of hoisting the trophy have been foiled yet again. This was his 4th worst season in LPR, and the only 3 times he finished worse he finished in 12th place.

11. La-Hoo-Za-Her (3-10) – 113.7 LPR (up 4.8)

Hey, the Commish isn’t in last place in something! He’ll take it after what has been a miserable year almost from the jump. Give credit, or don’t, for battling to the finish and making at least some sort of impact on the playoff mix, but that’s about all that’s gone right this season. The Commish at least avoided having a historically bad season, and put up respectable point totals, finishing 7th in points. All that was good enough to just come up painfully short week after week. La-Hoo-Za-Her nearly perfected mediocrity, crushing along while putting up over 100 points in 12 of 13 weeks but never topping 130 until Week 13. Hey, maybe he’s peaking at the right time to avoid the Anthem? This is The Commish’s second worst season of all team in LPR, and the lowest single season win total of his career. He finishes up at 137th in the all time rankings.

12. So Much Honey (4-9) – 112.0 LPR (up 2.6)

Bringing up the rear is our champ from only 2 seasons ago. Cody had a League-best 4 year run of playoff appearances, and had reached the dance in 6 of the last 7 years, culminating in his 2018 title. That streak has now been snapped. On the bright side, Cody’s 6 game winless drought built up enough pressure to finally release in an overflow of honey which consumed rival Jay Hey in their Week 13 showdown, in the process avoiding a tie with the Commish for the League’s worst record which would have dropped him to the 12 seed in the Anthem bracket as well. Unfortunately, all that got him was a wet towel cleanup and the 11th seed. Cody enters the Anthem Bracket with his 3rd worst season of all time (147th overall), and his worst since his 2-11 finish way back in 2012. He came in last that year, one year before the Anthem punishment first came into existence. He’ll be hoping for a happier ending this time.


Quick Week 12 Power Ratings and Thoughts

Well gentlemen, here we are. 12 weeks of the regular season have been played, and 5 teams have locked up playoff spots. But even though only one playoff spot is up for grabs, there is still plenty of intrigue in almost every game on the Week 13 slate. 4 teams are vying for the final wild card spot, 2 divisions are up for grabs, and one of the coveted postseason byes is still undecided. Not to mention, 3 more teams will join The Commish, Cody and Jay Hey in the Anthem Bracket. I’ve already laid out the scenarios for the final wild card spot in detail, but lets just summarize it all again here for reference: If Olsen beats Ant, Olsen is in and Ant, Nick and Jack are out. If Ant beats Olsen, Olsen is out, Ant leaps Olsen, and and it opens up the door for Nick and Jack to take the final spot from Ant with wins of their own and leading the others in the total points scored on the year. 

Good luck fellas. I’ll have fuller write ups next week for the final regular season power ratings, regular season awards, and playoff preview. But just so you know where we stand heading into Week 13, here’s the raw LPR numbers through 12 weeks, along with the change in the ratings since Week 10:


Week 10 League Power Ratings

It’s been a while since we last took a look at the League Power Ratings. 6 weeks to be exact. But we’re back just in time for the second round of divisional play, and will be here with you throughout the rest of the season. Let’s take a look at where we stand heading into the home stretch of what has been one of the stranger years on record.

  1. The Undisputed Era (8-2, 152.83 LPR) – It’s now surprise that Vaffy Kid tops the list heading into week 11. Vaf has officially locked up a playoff spot, but he has his eyes set on more than that. A win this week will clinch him at least a tie in the West, and given his comfortable points lead over Olsen will effectively lock up the division and a first round bye. Add an Olsen and Brian lost in there and you can remove the “effectively”. After 4 straight seasons with missed playoff appearances, Vaf is back and in prime position to grab his 4th League title.
  2. Lobster Beesc (7-3, 148.48 LPR) – Meade has quietly put together an extremely impressive title defense, winning 3 in a row and 5 of his last 6 to overtake Frank in the Central heading into the final round of divisional play. Now is no time to rest on his laurels though, as he plays his main divisional threat this week in a game that could very well decide the division and determine who gets the coveted first round bye.
  3. Frank The Tank (7-3, 147.96 LPR) – Frank cruised into his week 10 matchup with Vaf on a 5 game winning streak, looking for a statement win that would put him in the driver’s seat for the division and the League’s best record. Instead he put up his worst game of the season. His LPR dropped 10 points as a result, but there’s certainly no reason to panic. Frank needs only one more win to lock up a playoff spot, and League analysts still peg him as the favorite to take the division with a star-studded supporting cast led by physical freaks Derrick Henry and DK Metcalf. His matchup this week with the defending champ will be key for playoff positioning.
  4. The Knights of Ryan (6-4, 135.6 LPR) – Olsen has been up and down this season, with no down worse than his 77-64 loss to rival BJC 3 weeks ago which dropped him to 4-4. But Ry O managed to rebound nicely, picking up wins in the last 2 weeks that give him a 2 game lead in the wild card race. The division is probably a long shot at this point, but he has to be feeling good about his postseason chances.
  5. Brainbusters (6-4, 132.46 LPR) – If you’re looking for another team that has positioned themselves nicely heading into the home stretch after an up and down year, look no further than BJC’s Brainbusters squad. After a 2-4 start, Bri Guy has run off 4 straight wins to take the lead in the East, and he did it all without posting a game above 108 points. You take em where you can get em in The League, and Brian took advantage. He looks to be headed back to the postseason if he can grab another win or two.
  6. Down With The Brown (4-6, 126.91 LPR) – Nick is currently on the outside looking in in the playoff race, but LPR has him as The League’s 6th best team through 10 weeks. After a 3-1 start, everything was looking up for Down With the Brown. But Michael Thomas shenanigans led to 5 straight losses for what was thought of as one of The League’s top teams, before Diamonds finally snapped the streak with an impressive 144 point display in Week 10. Though officially eliminated from the division race he sits only one game out of the last wild card spot as he attempts to salvage what was once a promising season.
  7. 2 Feets In (4-6, 126.65 LPR) – Jack has simply never been able to find the right balance this season, following up 2 losses with 2 wins and then another 2 losses the last 6 weeks. It’s been enough to keep him in contention for a wild card spot, however, and if he can finally stack a couple of wins together he might have a shot at getting one of his 2 feets into the dance.
  8. The Meat Mavens (4-6, 125.61 LPR) – It’s been a lackluster year for the Maven, but somehow not lackluster enough to eliminate him in the League’s Survivor Series. Still, he’s dropped 3 of his last 4 and looks to be sputtering at exactly the wrong time. He’ll need to turn things around quickly if he wants a chance at that first career playoff win. If not, he could find himself back in the Anthem running.
  9. CARONIE (5-5, 123.51 LPR) – Marky Mark currently holds the final wild card spot, so who cares where he ranks in the LPR right? Mark’s ranking has more to do with the fact that he hasn’t topped 116 points in any game this season, but he’s consistently put himself in positions to win and half the time this year, it’s paid off. If it pays off a couple more times, he’ll be dancing, and maybe even as the division winner. If not, there’s a bunch of 4-6 teams nipping at his heels.
  10. Del Boca Vista (4-6, 123.12 LPR) – Jay Hey is one of those teams hoping to bit Ya Boy’s heels off. Like many, Jay’s had a roller coaster of the year, featuring a dizzying array of waiver moves and trades to try and improve his position. Whether they’ve paid off is debatable, but at least he’s still in the hunt even with the injuries sustained by CMC. And in the East, who knows what will happen?
  11. So Much Honey (3-7, 110.96 LPR) – It certiainly looks as if Cody is dead in the water at this point after his 4th straight loss. The lowlight was undoubtedly the back to back losses where he failed to break 70 in weeks 8 and 9. He might have an outside shot if he manages to win out, but more likely is he’s staring at a bye in the Anthem Bowl.
  12. La-Hoo-Za-Her (2-8, 107.4 LPR) – The Commish isn’t dead in the water, he’s just circling the drain. He stinks, fantasy stinks, everything stinks.
Power Rankings

Week 4 League Power Ratings (LPR)

We’re now 4 weeks into what is turning out to be, well, one of the weirdest years in The League’s 18 year history. Corona has thrown the owners curveball after curveball through the first month of the season. Who has handled it best? The League Power Rating has the answers. For a refresher on LPR (previously known as OPR):

Basically, OPR, or Overall Power Rating, is a statistic that allows us to compare teams across all the different configurations and scoring settings of The League’s history. Rather then just looking at wins (which can obviously be impacted by luck) or looking at purely points (which doesn’t factor in consistency or managerial decisions such as playing a less volatile or risky player in a matchup you’re favored to win), OPR uses a formula to combine the two, as well as factoring in consistency, to give us a more complete picture of the strength of each team. The formula is 60% average points per game, 20% win percentage, and 20% consistency (comparing high scores and low scores). The League historical average for OPR is 126, the single season high is 173.92, and the single season low is 88.04. Teams who finished the season with an OPR above 142 won the championship 10 out of 20 times.

But before we get to the rankings, a quick congratulatory announcement is in order. With last week’s win over Cody, Big Tony recorded his 100th career victory!

Big Tony joins The Commish and BJC in the 100 win club

And of course, all of those 100 wins have come in the regular season. Congrats Ant! And now, to the rankings.

1. The Undisputed Era (LPR: 155.81) (3-1)

The Undisputed Era got off to the undisputed best start of the season, so its no surprise to see them topping the first edition of the power ratings. Vaf’s 3-1 start has The League buzzing about a return to form for the 3-time champ. Alvin Kamara and Lamar Jackson pace a dynamic squad, and free agent pickup James Robinson has been a pleasant surprise sliding into the RB2 slot. Calvin Ridley’s goose-egg last week was a stunning development and led to Vaf’s sole L of the season.

2. Down With The Brown (LPR: 149.55) (3-1)

After finishing last year as the runner up, Diamonds has captained his squad to a hot start out of the gates in his quest to finally hoist Ol’ Glory. One of only two 3-1 teams, Down With The Brown holds sole possession of first place in the Central. Josh Jacobs has led the way for Diamonds, who looks to also get blockbuster trade acquisition Michael Thomas into the starting lineup for the first time this week.

3. Lobster Beesc (LPR: 146.41) (2-2)

The reigning champ has begun his title defense in solid fashion, posting roughly the same LPR through 4 weeks as his championship winning team from last year posted on the 2019 season. Meade’s faith in first round pick Dalvin Cook has been heavily rewarded, George Kittle is healthy, and Stefon Diggs has helped push Buffalo to the next level.

4. The Meat Mavens (LPR: 145.97) (2-2)

After an 0-2 start, the Maven has bounced back with 2 straight victories to pull back to .500. How he manages the injury bug will play a big factor in determining whether he can stay this high, however, First and second round picks Julio Jones and Austin Ekeler are banged up, and the corona bug struck him, sidelining JuJu last week.

5. 2 Feets In (LPR: 142.34) (2-2)

Jacky G has had an up and down start to the 2020 campaign, alternating wins and losses through the first 4 weeks. Injuries have played a role, particularly with first round pick Davante Adams missing the last two weeks. In week 4 however, Joe Mixon and Melvin Gordon finally exploded, leading Jack to the week’s high score (which he needed every bit of to hold off Meade, and which also happened to be Jack’s all-time career high score; congrats to Jack!).

6. Brainbusters (LPR: 134.36) (2-2)

BJC has been another up and down team, putting up big scores in weeks 2 and 3 while being uncompetitive at best in weeks 1 and 4. Aaron Jones and Nick Chubb were the main catalysts in his two victories, and the loss of Chubb for at least the next few weeks will be a huge test for the Brainbusters moving forward.

7. Del Boca Vista (LPR: 134.22) (2-2)

Yet another team bit by the injury bug, Jay has been without number one overall pick CMC since week 2. Never one to rest on his laurels, Jay Hey and Del Boca Vista have been active as ever in the trade and waiver markets, reshaping the team in the absence of his superstar with acquisitions such as Devonta Freeman and Mike Davis to pair with Mahomes and ARob.

8. Frank The Tank (LPR: 133.34) (2-2)

Frank was hit hard by the corona bug last week, getting unexpected byes from Derrick Henry and James Conner, which he was unable to overcome. Thankfully for Frank, the tank should be a full go this week with his two starting backs returning to action. DK Metcalf has been electric as Frank’s number one receiver through the first quarter of the year.

9. The Knights of Ryan (LPR: 132.52) (2-2)

Olsen picked up wins on the bookends of these first 4 games, dropping the two in the middle. Zeke has been steady as ever for the Knights, Kyler Murray has been tearing it up on the ground and in the air, and recent acquisition Tyler Lockett provides a big play presence.

10. CARONIE (LPR: 130.69) (2-2)

After a slow start, Daddy Yankee reshaped his team by dealing away first round pick Michael Thomas for OBJ, Darrell Henderson, and Justin Jefferson. The trade paid off big time in Week 4, as OBJ flashed back to his Giants days and Mark pulled off the upset over Vaffy Kid. Mark will try and keep the ball rolling in Week 5 as he faces off with Olsen.

11. So Much Honey (LPR: 118.26) (1-3)

It’s been a rough start to 2020 for the Diesel. DHop, CEH, and Thielen have been solid, but have yet to truly erupt and splatter over the rest of The League. Cody clearly has potential, it just hasn’t materialized yet this year. If it does, Cody can climb up these ranks quickly.

12. Krazy Eyez Killaz (LPR: 115.91) (1-3)

Bringing up the rear, unsurprisingly, is The Commish. Week 2 proved devastating, losing Saquon Barkley and Courtland Sutton for the season to torn ACLs. Number one receiver Kenny Golloday also missed time. The Commish is the clear favorite to sing the Anthem this year, his week 4 narrow victory over Jay Hey notwithstanding. A rivalry matchup with Vaf looms in Week 5.


Week 1 Preview

The 2020 season technically kicked off on Thursday, but as we all know, nothing really gets decided until the game’s kick off on the Lord’s day. There’s something special about that first football Sunday of the year, listening to the blowhards on ESPN blow smoke as you sip your morning coffee, running over your lineup one last time as you sense the last vestiges of summer giving way to the coming autumn crisp that instinctively transports you back to years gone by. Against all odds, that day is here, once again, in the year 2020. In a year where so much has gone wrong, this, at least, has gone right. Football is back. The League is back.

The Brainbusters vs. Del Boca Vista

Our first matchup features two postseason teams from last year vying to take the next step. BJC’s Brainbusters squad finished the 2019 season in 3rd place, rebounding from a last place finish in 2018 to earn his third 3rd place finish in the past 4 seasons. Unfortunately for the Bri Guy, he hasn’t been able to break through the Semi-Final round, and has still not played in a championship game since 2004. He’s hoping that this is the year he puts an end to that 15 season streak, and he’s counting on the Nick Chubb/Aaron Jones duo to be the horses that carry him there. Cooper Kupp and Jarvis Landry highlight a steady if non-flashy receiving crew, with hopes that a resurgent Todd Gurley can prove to be a dynamic presence in the flex slot.

Jay’s Del Boca Vista is likewise hoping that this season will prove to be a breakthrough. Jay Hey has seemingly come a long way since his back to back Anthem performances a few years ago, once again reaching the postseason last year. Armed in 2020 with the first pick in the Draft, Jay selected the other-worldly dual threat superstar Christian McCaffrey, and managed to pair him with other-worldly QB Patrick Mahomes. The WR crew is headlined by Allen Robinson and the explosive Tyler Lockett, to go along with the always reliable Robert Woods in the flex. Evan Engram gives Jay a potential dynamic presence at the TE position if he manages to stay healthy.

In terms of their Week 1 matchup, Jay is projected to have the upper hand, entering the game as a 14 point favorite. However, Mahomes has already come in 5.5 points under projection, narrowing him to a mere 9 point favorite entering Sunday. We should have a good idea at the winner of this one at the conclusion of Sunday’s games, though Jay does have Engram and his kicker going tomorrow night.

Lenny the Fournette vs. So Much Honey

The other East matchup also features a pair of playoff teams from last season. Marky Mark finished 4th last season, but as usual has factored into much of this season’s post-draft drama already. After selecting Michael Thomas in the first round and pairing him with Chris Godwin, Mark took Leonard Fournette, who was promptly cut the next day. After a couple of days of The League holding its breath to see where Fournette landed, the former Jags RB decided to stay in Florida and head down to Tampa Bay, maybe the best possible landing spot. The rest of Mark’s running backs are rookie ball carriers in strong situations, in Jonathan Taylor and JK Dobbins. Keenan Allen slides in nicely in the flex spot.

Cody had to forfeit his championship crown last year, but he put together a solid title defense and proved he’s not merely a one hit wonder. This year he’ll look to climb the mountain once again, and he believes rookie sensation Clyde Edwards-Helaire will be the one to take him there. DeAndre Hopkins, Adam Thielen, and Zach Ertz highlight a stout aerial attack. The RB2 position is in a bit of flux for So Much Honey, however. It looks like Tarik Cohen will get the nod in Week 1, but Cody has to be hoping that one of rookies DeAndre Swift or Antonio Gibson will emerge as a solid option.

These two teams entered Thursday pretty evenly matched projection-wise, with Cody as a slight favorite. CEH’s performance on Thursday gave him a slight boost vs. projection, and is now a 3 point favorite.

The Ebukoo Ooba Ebukams vs. The Midnight Rider

This Week 1 matchup is a rehash of last year’s Week 13 matchup that wound up propelling Diamonds on a shocking run to the title game and finished off another heartbreaking near playoff miss for the Commish. The Commish wound up with the second pick in the draft and used it to select Saquon Barkley, who will pair in the backfield with Seattle ballcarrier Chris Carson. The receiving core is the big story here though, specifically the early season injuries which have put a damper on The Ebukoo Ooba Ebukams short term expectations. 2nd round pick Kenny Golloday will miss the first game with a hamstring issue, while fourth rounder Courtland Sutton is a late Monday night game time decision.

The Midnight Rider returns with a potentially explosive squad. Odell Beckham and Tyreek Hill are potentially The League’s greatest big play tandem, and Mark Andrews looks to continue to break out at the TE position. Josh Jacobs will also look to light up the Las Vegas night. The most drama surrounds Nick’s pair of Tampa players, however, in Tom Brady in Ronald Jones. The Brady story will obviously be interesting to see play out, but the RoJo story just seems like bad luck for the Midnight Rider. With Sutton’s status in doubt, Nick has wisely given rookie Jerry Jeudy the nod in the slot.

The Commish was a 2 point favorite as of Thursday, which has widened to 4 points after DeShaun Watson and Tyreek Hill faced off on Thursday. This matchup figures to feature heavily in some Monday night drama, with Barkley, Sutton, and Jeudy all slotted to play Monday.

Frank The Tank vs. Lobster Beesc

Meade begins his title defense with a tough matchup against Frank The Tank. Frank missed the postseason last year but the early season prognosticators like his chances to return to the dance this year with the solid team he’s seemingly put together. Derrick Henry and James Conner represent potentially the League’s best RB duo, Travis Kelce is one of the two best TEs in the league, and the WR crew features 3 potential breakut players in DK Metcalf, Marquisse Brown, and Will Fuller.

Meade’s squad is certainly not to be brushed aside, however. Dalvin Cook and George Kittle offer a dynamic one-two punch of elite playmaking potential, and Amari Cooper, TY Hilton, and Stefan Diggs are a solid receiving trio, even if it lacks to the consensus top-flight receiver.

Frank entered Thursday as a 7.5 point favorite, and has pushed that advantage closer to 10 as a result of solid performances from Kelce and Fuller. This is another game that could come down to the Monday night wire, as Frank has both of his starting RBs slated for Monday night matchups. If Meade does manage to get out to a lead after Sundays games, he’ll have to sweat it out Monday.

2 Feets In vs. The Knights of Ryan

After a 2018 season that saw Jack nearly pull off back to back titles, Jack was slightly humbled last year by failing to make the playoffs and an Anthem scare. He looks to return to his winning ways in 2020 behind a potential League best receiving attack. Davante Adams, Mike Evans, and DJ Moore are a deadly trio, and Joe Mixon is a steady presence at lead back. Jack is hoping that Melvin Gordon recaptures some of his former glory in his new digs in Denver to round out the squad. Dak naturally handles the reins at QB for The League’s resident Cowboys fan.

Olsen is also hoping 2020 ends better than 2019 for his Knights after another playoff miss. Zeke Elliot and Miles Sanders are an NFC East RB tandem that is among the best in the League, and David Johnson’s performance on Thursday gives Olsen the hope that this could be a three headed monster once Sanders gets healthy. The receiver position lacks the big name but if AJ Brown and/or DeVante Parker can build off their encouraging 2019 seasons that may not matter much. The returning Gronk is intriguing at TE, and Kyler Murray gives Olsen a dual threat QB entering his second year.

Jack entered Thursday as a 6 point favorite, but David Johnson’s performance has nearly erased that projection and cut the difference down to a point. This game features 2 Monday night players on each side in MG3, Diontae Johnson, AJ Brown, and Chris Boswell.

Meat Mavens vs. The Undisputed Era

Rounding out our Week 1 Preview is the matchup between the Meat Maven and Ribby Raf. Ant is hoping that the trend of previous year’s Anthem singers reaching the playoffs continues, and his inspired performance certainly warrants a bit of luck heading his way. Ant went heavy on RBs this year, with Austin Ekeler, Melvin Engram, and Raheem Mostert giving The Mavens a trio of RBs with diverse skill sets. Julio Jones is a known commodity in the WR1 slot, while CeeDee Lamb is the rookie upstart looking to set the league on fire in the WR2 spot. Russell Wilson gives Ant a consistently elite presence at QB.

Vaffy kid is looking to regain his former glory after another missed postseason last year. He avoided the Alvin Kamara holdout, and his first round pick will take the field having successfully secured the bag. Kenyan Drake gives Vaf an explosive 1-2 punch on the ground. Calvin Ridley, DJ Clark, and Michael Gallup are a receiving trio that seems to be on the rise, and of course we all witnessed what Lamar Jackson did to the league last season in his MVP campaign. Called Yahoo’s best draft, Vaf enters the season with high expectations.

The spread in this matchup reflects those expectations, with Vaf as a 9 point favorite. All of Ant’s players will be done at the conclusion of Sunday’s games, while Vaf will have his TE and defense going on Monday night. Vaf would of course love to have this wrapped up before then.

Previews / Recaps / Awards

The League ’19 Championship Game Preview

It all comes down to this. After nearly four months of action, the next League Champion will be decided over the course of three days. In one corner, the season-long juggernaut and presumptive favorite for the crown since we first started talking about favorites for the crown. In the other corner, the outlaw left for dead who nevertheless rode into the big dance sporting a fresh pair of Cinderella’s glass slippers. In mere hours, the final dance begins. Will the ultimate underdog finally sling his lasso around the elusive Ol’ Glory? Or will the clock strike Midnight on the Rider and turn the horse he rode in on back into a pumpkin? If you looked at the standings, the favorite is clear. If you looked at the projections, it would be even more clear. But in the words of the immortal Chris Berman, THAT’S why they play the game! But since you’re here anyway, and since I’m all out of wild west and Cinderella puns, lets break it down anyway.

Meade comes into the 2019 League Championship Game off of what has quite simply been the best season of his career. His 2019 marks for wins, winning percentage, points per game, and OPR have all been career bests. He has won 6 out of his last 7 games, topping 100 points each time. In fact, he only failed to reach the century mark in two games this season. His Lobster Beesk squad has cruised to this point, recording 7 120+ point games, 4 140+ point games, and 3 150+ point games. He led the League in points 4 times this year, representing over a quarter of the season.

Meade’s career-topping performance throughout the regular season earned him the number one seed and a first round bye, which he rather easily converted into his second Championship Game appearance with a 16 point victory over an explosive BJC squad. He now sits on the precipice of his second League Championship and erasing what has long been a stain on his lifelong record — with a win he will no longer have the worst career winning percentage among active League members.

The stakes are undoubtedly high for an owner that has rarely, if ever, been thought of as an odds-on favorite to etch his name into Ol’ Glory. Yet ahead of what looks to all observers to be the biggest game of his life, Meade is trying to approach the game with the same attitude he maintained when he won his first title in a stunning upset over Vaf all those years ago. “I am no more nervous than any other fantasy game,” Meade maintained. “I go into this weekend with a very quiet confidence and I am proud of my team and their effort no matter the result.”

That confidence has certainly been earned this year, as detailed above. And its hard not to be confident when your team is powered by undoubtedly the best player in fantasy football this year, Christian McCaffrey. Russell Wilson is consistently one of the top performers at the QB position, and receivers Keenan Allen and Terry Mclaurin have plus matchups against the leaky Raiders and Giants secondaries. If Devonta Freeman or Kareem Hunt show up to play, it is certainly likely the Meade’s confidence will pan out.

And yet, Cody was certainly confident entering the Wild Card round, the reigning champ facing off against The League’s lowest-scoring team. He found his firm grip on the trophy suddenly released, his title defense extinguished by a firehose of honey of his own making. Marky Mark was certainly confident heading into the Semifinals, the number two seed pitted against The League’s lowest-ranked squad in OPR. In the end, the only question left was not whether the stench emanated from father or daughter, but whether the blowout that soiled his big boy pants was voluntary or involuntary.

Diamond’s run to the championship has been as magical as it has been improbable. From a 3-7 start and the heavy Anthem favorite, the Midnight Rider rose like a phoenix from the ashes to find himself one win away from his first League Championship in his 10 year career. While Meade has been consistently strong throughout the year, Nick has caught fire at just the right time, setting season highs in point totals in each of his two playoff wins.

To what does Nick credit this sudden turnaround? “There’s no luck involved in this sport. It’s skillz or no skillz,” he says.  “Clearly, I have arrived at this career defining moment due to my expert analysis and keen eye for talent forged in the darkness of the Anthem pits.” And to anyone on his team getting complacent or outsiders thinking he’s just happy to be here considering his predicament a month ago, the Midnight Rider quickly shut down any such talk. “One cannot squander the opportunity to seize the trophy when it is within grasp,” he said.  “I’m here to win.”

If that is to be the case, it’ll take the familiar formula he’s used to get here, with perhaps a bit of a twist. We all know of the Tannehill resurgence, the talented receiver trio of Kupp (TDs in 3 straight but a tough matchup vs. SF), Moore (double digits in 7 straight) and Diggs, and the steady production of Joe Mixon (up against a terrible Miami run defense). But if Nick is to pull off the upset and claim the trophy, it might all come down to newcomer Mike Boone, who has an opportunity to etch his name into fantasy lore filling in for the injured Dalvin Cook this week.

The way the schedule shakes out in this matchup lends itself to an exciting finale. All Meade’s players play on Sunday, while Nick has 3 players going today, 4 on Sunday, and 2 on Monday night. It could be a big time rollercoaster of emotions. Here’s to a Championship Game as exciting as last year’s. Good luck to the participants. May the best man win.