Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Week 13

I went into this week with every expectation of losing. It wasn’t just my new strategy. I was matched against the number 1 team in my league. He consistently raked up super high scores, while I had been struggling for the past 3 weeks. I solidly believed I was going to lose this week regardless of how hard I had tried to win. Of course, things never seem to work how I expect them to go.

I had so many problems with my line up in the past few weeks due to poor play, injuries, etc., that my line up this week was surprisingly recognizable. I still had Housh, Addai, Clark, Folk, Portis, and SD. But in my weak positions (WR & RB), I made three pickups from the waiver: Cutler, Gonzalez and Peterson. According to the experts and common sense, these three guys should have good weeks. Cutler had been playing well all year, albeit slightly erratic, he was putting up solid numbers on a regular basis. Gonzalez was the replacement for Harrison, and according to Peyton Manning he was beyond comfortable with Gonzo—he was his second go to man. Peterson was the current starter for Chicago (who had no options this year beyond running) against the Giants (who seemed incapable of stopping the run). With these three guys and my reliable players, I hoped to put up solid numbers this week (although I doubted it would be enough to beat the spectacular numbers the NE team would get).

As usual, nothing works as I would expect. To begin with, the previously solid Cutler had a miserable week—throwing two interceptions and fumbling the ball against Oakland (will this team ever stop screwing me?) Housh all but disappeared from the Cincinatti offense, with most of his catches going to Chad Johnson this week. Manning’s go to guy, Gonzo, caught 1 pass and got hurt. Addai barely rushed for 67 yards. Clearly, I was going to be lucky if I could accrue even a fair number of points this week. Loserville, here I come.

But surprisingly, all was not lost. Peterson and Portis both had a pretty good day, while Folk and Clark had amazing days. Clark caught 2 TDs for 15 points, while Folk racked up 15 points (who in the world would expect their K to be one of the highest points men on a team—this is insane!?!) The best points came from SD, who simply destroyed the KC offense racking up 20 points. When the dust settled, I some how had 74 points. And my opponent? Well he decided to mix his team up somewhat and play several non-NE players, which turned into a disaster. He barely accrued 49 pts. The fantasy gods clearly were with me in terms of winning.

Looking at my roster, it is obvious that I just had no idea how players were going to play from one week to the next. Several players I benched turn out amazing performances. Sadly, I past over them this week because I doubted their ability to perform, and then look what they did. Amazing, isn’t it?

This brings me to a very important problem in fantasy sports: Luck and predicating Player performance. You see, at the end of the day, there really is no way to tell how a game will go or how a player will do from week to week. It isn't just that I suck at picking who to play or not from one week to the next (although clearly this is starting to be a major concern) so far into the season. There are just too many factors involved to accurately predict every outcome, which means that luck inserts itself as a big factor in success. And the trouble with luck is that you cannot control it. It can be with you or against you. And it isn’t a quantifiable factor. There is simply no accounting for it in the final outcome. Even chaos theory doesn’t accurately measure it. In the end, you can only watch and see what happens.

Of course, what am I complaining about? I may not have implemented my brilliant strategy and positioned myself properly in the playoffs, but I did just advance to a 8-5 record and scored a guaranteed spot in the playoffs since I held onto the 3rd place overall in the league with just one game left in the regular season. I may not have a good position, but I still had a shot at the title (however, slim it may be).

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