Rivalry Week Preview / Mid-Season Review

2 Feets In (7-0) vs. Lemon Grove Avenue (4-3)

Lifetime Record: Nick 10 – Jack 8
Current Streak: Jack has won the last 4 

We start at the top, where Jacky G’s 2 Feet’s In firmly stands as he remains unscathed through the first half of the season. 3 games up on the nearest competition, Jack should 2 step his way into the postseason without much difficulty. No, the real question is just how long he can push this undefeated run, the second time in the last six years he has opened up the season with seven straight wins. Halfway to a perfect regular season, the squad is helmed by one of the most unique talents in NFL history in Tyreek Hill. But it’s not simply the Hill show, as week after week Jack has had multiple other players show up to the party, whether it’s Swift or Kittle or even the Dallas defense. There really isn’t a weakness on the roster, which is why Jacky G has put himself in position to grab a win each and every week.

Trying to sour the undefeated story on the other side of this matchup is Nicky Diamonds’ Lemon Grove Avenue. Though unlike Feets he has racked up some losses, Diamonds is also leading his division and seems primed for a second half run. The scary part for Nicks opponents is that he’s raced out to a 4-3 record without seemingly hitting his stride, as electric talents Hurts, Lamb, and Bijan still seem like they have another gear to hit. And if they do hit it, it might be cruise control down the Avenue on the way to the East title. We also of course can’t leave out Raheem Mostert, but the true key for LGA might be what he can get out of the WR2, TE, and flex spots. If he can find consistent performers for those spots, his star power in the other areas could finally put him over the top.

Meat Mavens (3-4) vs. Lobster Beesc (1-6)

Lifetime Record: Ant 15 – Meade 11
Current Streak: Meade won last 3

The flip side of the Nick/Jack matchup, the Meade vs Maven showdown features the two teams currently bringing up the rear. Maven is still firmly in the mix at 3-4, but it has been a struggle to get there. He opened the season at 2-1 with a couple of fortunate wins that saw him getting nearly nothing out of the QB and TE positions. Rather than stay the course or hit the waiver wire, Big Tony took a controversial swing, sending away his 2nd round pick AJ Brown and Brock Purdy for Justin Herbert and Evan Engram. The early returns have been, well, not great, as Brown has gone on a historic run since the trade and Herby has been up and down. The good news for the Maven is the return of first round pick Saquan Barkley and the continued emergence of Kenneth Walker. Ant has one of the premier RB rooms in The League, and he will look to lean on the ground game to get him back to the postseason.

Not as fortunate to scrape out a couple of early season wins, Meade finds himself at 1-6 and in dire straits, his playoff streak hanging in the balance. This one is quite frankly a must win for Meade, who would put himself in an almost impossible position with a loss. Meade of course invested heavily in the Jets (to the ire of the Jet fans), and found those investments crushed 4 snaps in when Rodgers went down. Still, even with that crushing blow Meades team has some pretty good pieces. Kamara, Breece, and Pacheco is a top tier RB trio and then of course there is Stef Diggs. Can Meade navigate his way out of the crater he’s dug himself into in the first half?

Dear Leader (3-4) vs. American Nightmare (3-4)

Lifetime Record: Commish 10 – Vaf 6
Current Streak: Commish won last year’s matchup after dropping the previous 2

It’s been a roller coaster of a season for The Commish, who has put up 125, 182 and 143 in his three wins and hasn’t topped 87 in any of his 4 losses. When it hits it hits but when it misses it really misses, and it’s been missing far too often this far. Injuries have crushed what looked like a promising WR trio, with Mike Williams out for the year, Deebo Samuel banged up constantly, and even Davante Adams missing large chunks of games. The biggest weapon so far for Dear Leader has been QB Lamar Jackson, an odd position for Commish to be in as he usually opts to wait on QBs in the draft.

Across the way is Vaffy Kid’s American Nightmare squad, which, although not the extremes of Dear Leader, has nevertheless been up and down as well. Vaf sports perhaps The League’s best WR trio in Aiyuk, St. Brown, and Keenan Allen, but it has been a struggle to cobble together the rest of the roster due in large part to injuries at the RB position. They haven’t been of the devastating season-ending variety, but the losses of David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert in the backfield have definitely hurt American Nightmare in recent weeks. Still, that three headed monster at WR is the stuff of dreams for Vaf and nightmares for his opponents, and should give him a chance in every game until he gets Monty back in the lineup.

Richter Scale (4-3) vs. Frank The Tank (3-4)

Lifetime Record: Mark 10 – Frank 10
Current Streak: Frank won last year by .44 points

A classic rivalry and the projected highest scoring matchup this week, Richter Scale takes on the defending champ Frank the Tank in a matchup that is sure to shake up the standings in one way or another. Marky Mark currently sits atop the Central at 4-3, which has him slotted as the 2 seed should the season end today. The star of the show is undoubtedly number 2 overall pick Christian McCaffrey, who is once again in a class of his own at the RB position and has scored a TD in every game for like 34 straight years or something like that. But the rest of the roster is no slouches either, with Adam Thielen turning back to the clock and Addison turning into the best JJ replacement you could possibly hope for. Also benefiting from JJ’s absence is TE TJ Hockenson (Mark has a strange number of Vikings or former Vikings on the squad). The team isn’t perfect, but if Devonta Smith and Stevenson ever get their acts together, watch out.

Early in the season it looked like the Tank had finally run out of gas, the two-time defending champ forced to start unrpoven names at WR in the absence of Cooper Kupp and Austin Ekeler. Right when the League was about to deliver the killing blow, a care package arrived on the battlefield in the form of AJ Brown. Then all of a sudden Kupp gets healthy, Ekeler returns to the lineup, and Frank The Tank appears fully operational heading into the stretch run. With Travis Etienne turning into a star, those 4 give Frank, on paper, probably the best collection of skill position talent in The League; if you did a draft starting the season from this point forward, all would probably be first round picks. Frank just needs to start translating that into wins, and he’ll try to get that ball rolling this week against long-time rival Marky Mark. Could an unprecedented three-peat be in the works?

Jolly Roger (4-3) vs. So Much Honey (3-4)

Lifetime Record: Jay 8 – Cody 6
Current Streak: Split last year’s matchups

This year’s Jay/Cody matchup features two teams seemingly headed in different directions. On the rise is The Jolly Roger, flag waving high with a winning record at the halfway mark. After an 0-2 start that saw him fail to reach 80 points in either game, Jay has topped 120 and gotten a W in 4 of the last 5, including wins in 3 straight heading into this week. The Mahomes/Kelce connection continues to roll for yet another year, but the real hidden treasure this season for Jay has been Puka Nacua and Christian Kirk. In a testament to management, Jay has managed to keep the RB position humming despite the absence of high picks at the position, with guys like Achane, Zach Moss, and D’Onta Foreman all taking turns pitching in monster performances. With a deep WR room and a decided advantage at QB and TE, Jay seems to be hitting smooth waters even with the turmoil in the ground game.

On the flip side is So Much Honey, who appears to be just barely keeping his head above the rising tide of Honey that is filling the room way earlier than expected. The main culprit, of course, is the extended absence of number one overall pick Justin Jefferson. But the rest of the roster hasn’t really panned out much better to this point. Mixon, Javonte, and the non-JJ receivers have all been disappointments, and QB Trevor Lawrence hasn’t lived up to his expected fantasy output. All of it adds up to the second lowest scoring team in The League. On the bright side, at 3-4 Cody sits just one game out of a playoff spot and it seems like JJ will return in a couple of weeks to give So Much Honey a chance to keep taking strokes even after most observers thought he would be finished.

Brainbusters (3-4) vs. Outatime (4-3)

Lifetime Record: Olsen 17 – BJC 10
Current Streak: BJC won last year and 3 of last 4

The BJC/Olsen showdown features two teams sitting at 5th and 6th in The League, narrowly holding on to the two final wild card spots. However, their situations seem entirely different. BJC is merely a game out of the division lead, and even though he’s had some tough luck push him to 3-4 he currently leads The League in points scored. Josh Allen is the engine, but similar to Jack’s team, it seems someone else steps up big for Brian each week, whether it is DJ Moore, Mike Evans, or Derrick Henry. That’s been needed due to the inconsistency of Aaron Jones and Josh Jacobs, who most analysts thought would form a lethal RB trio (and they still might). With a nice mix of players to slot in at flex as needed, BJC has the depth and the talent to make a push for the Central title.

Meanwhile Olsen, even though he has the better record, sits 3 games out of first place in his own division, with Jacky G seeming to run away with the West. That means he’ll likely have to go the wild card route, which is insanely crowded right now with 10 of The League’s 12 teams jumbled up at 4-3 or 3-4. After a 4-1 start, the injury bug has hit Olsen hard, knocking out QBs Justin Fields and waiver wire gem Kyren Williams. Still, the WR room is strong with Chase leading the way and Olive and Ridley struggling but a clear path to massive success. Darren Waller has started to come on as of late and Rachaad White gave him a great performance this past Thursday. If Outatime can hold the fort until reinforcements arrive, Olsen has a great shot to snap his missed playoff streak.

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