Week Five Wrapup
And we have a new leader! In what promises to be one of the last Monday night writeups I’ll be able to do, I can see that the three-way fight for first place has winnowed down to one. Plus — I continue to lose to teams not paying attention to the byes. All the action and the latest standings, after the jump.
Despite a great Sunday night game out of Drew Brees, the Unlikely Pseudonyms were unable to overcome the dead weight of an uninspired Green Bay defeat in Indianapolis. The result was a victory for the Not-So-Gentlewomen, who join the ranks of four out of five Unlikely Pseudonym opponents to have their highest-scoring game of the season against… me. At least it wasn’t the blowout of the week. The Ordinary Marksists, like the Not-So-Gentlewomen, let a player on bye stay on their starters list. Unfortunately for the Marksists, they weren’t playing me, they were playing Haulin’ Oats, who posted a forty-six point victory.
Continuing what appears to be some sort of bizarre trend, other teams also fielded players on bye. Fuzzy Dunlop opted to go without a kicker this week, but I doubt that it would have helped against Bullmoose Revival and the red-hot Chicago Bears defense. And Stoicdread left three slots open, making it easy for Partisan Warrior. Managing your roster is part of the fun of fantasy football so I don’t quite get why people aren’t doing it. Seriously, folks, not only is it easy to make substitutions, but you can do it any time before your players start actually playing and the computer tells you when your player is on bye. I also play in a money league, and we have to lock in our picks in that one by Thursday morning. The injury reports for 30 teams aren’t posted by then and we somehow manage to git ‘er done.
The best quarterback matchup of the week turns out to be the squeaker of the week. Heisman Cain and the Best Damn Quarterback On The Planet™ went up against Peyton Manning for the Multiple Scorgasms. Both turned in identical fantasy point performances, both in frustrating losing efforts. This matchup came down to the running backs, and on the strength of an out-of-his skull day from Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Football Giants, Heisman Cain rushed past the Scorgasms by six points.
And rounding out the action, in the battle between two of the three top teams, Black Hole’s unfortunate need to start Ryan Tannehill’s wife instead of Tim Tebow, the only other quarterback on his roster not on bye, contributed to the Dictionary Kids’ victory. Well, 151 yards and a touchdown from Stevan Ridley in the NFL’s big-hype game of the week didn’t hurt, either. But most important for us, this victory and a loss by the Scorgasms means that the Kids are the only 4-1 team left in our league; they are sitting alone in the catbird seat.
Starting next week, I’m going to be teaching a a master’s seminar in employment law on Monday nights for a local career college. So I won’t be able to provide all these enjoyable late-night writeups of exciting fantasy football action. But for now, here’s the standings.
Now, it turns out that Yahoo! is experimenting with an artificial intelligence to write summaries and writeups of the games after the fact also. I read one and was well impressed with the ability of their AI engine to come up with decent-sounding copy and to dredge up interesting factoids.
Is this the end of sportswriting as we know it? Well, no, it’s still relatively transparent in its number-sorting and real sportswriting involves actually talking to athletes and coaches so they can tell you that they’re happy to be there playing at that level and they just hope they can help the ball club, all the real credit belongs to that man up there [points heavenward, possibly at God or possibly at the owner’s box] and all the parents and coaches who helped along the way. Love you mom [does the thing where he taps his heart with his index and middle finger, points them at the camera, kisses them, and then points them at the camera again while flashing a smile full of impossibly white teeth before turning away to the next interview]. You just can’t replicate that sort of thing without face-to-face contact.