In-season, I’m pumping out content faster than editing can keep up with. I don’t want to hold the recaps for hours waiting on perfection. We will correct errors after the fact, but for now – forgive any of my gaffes. I dictate some of my notes, and the computer software or Siri interpretation can be comical. I try to correct them all before publishing it, but I miss it sometimes…in the 50,000+ words I pen each week during the season (not including all the emails). I’m moving fast, and want to get the product out there ASAP at 98% ‘good’…vs. big delays trying to get to 99.9% craftsmanship. So here you go…
Man, what a game! I don’t mean game-game, although, that was good too. I mean, a great game for me to experience personally. The game I’ll remember for years. I don’t even mean that as ‘everything was roses‘. This was probably the most emotional watching a game as I’ve been in all my time messing around with fantasy.
The Week 16 1 pm ET games were somewhere between OK and not-so-hot for me fantasy-wise. As the early games ended and the later games started, I realized that in most instances I could not afford a letdown. I needed David Johnson to be better than average and I needed Wilson-Graham-Lockett/Baldwin to come through. I went more Lockett than Baldwin.
Nothing was going my way early.
David Johnson was being bottled up. Tyler Lockett was getting all kinds of targets right away, and had a TD catch held onto for a moment and then a safety came in from the side and blasted him/the ball out of his hands. So close. But that was OK, Lockett was seeing nice targets quickly – just as I planned, and I knew I’d be fine.
And then ‘it’ happened… My worst fantasy nightmare.
Late second quarter, Tyler Lockett makes a sensational catch for 28-yard TD. The payoff for my week of crowing about Lockett, ranking him highly, telling readers and clients to start Lockett this week. I’m a genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I lose the TD, upon further review…-6 fantasy points for my Lockett…-4 or -6 for my Wilson.
I lose Lockett for the game…broken leg.
I was mortified.
I bargained with myself that this would be OK as long as Jimmy Graham got the short score next. Graham was not even on the field the first goal line play, and a blocking TE the rest of the drive. Four attempts at a TD…no TD, no Graham, no Wilson score. Lockett is gone. David Johnson has like 30 yards and a TD with all of one catch. At the half…it was a total disaster.
My son came into my office and asked how things were going and he saw the look on my face and walked out. I don’t think he’s ever seen such a look on my face.
I decided it was not worth watching anymore. For the first time, in a long time, I got up from watching all the games live and walked away. I hit the pause button and went to go eat Christmas dinner with my family. I was prepared to eat in the office like every gameday…but screw this. I’m not letting fantasy ruin my holiday. Well, actually…it can, but I’m not going to let it ruin everyone else’s holiday.
Honestly, I started thinking about the things I had done wrong recently for God to be this mad at me. All Lockett-played teams were going down the tubes. DJ was not likely to have a breakout in this defensive struggle. Russell Wilson can’t complete a forward pass…and doesn’t know Jimmy Graham is on his team…still. Where I went with Doug Baldwin, he wasn’t doing anything exciting either. And then I thought…I’ve had this doom and gloom feeling before. I think it comes with your fantasy football instruction guide when you start playing – whatever bad is happening is because God (or whomever you worship…or Zeus) hates you, and there is no hope of a turnaround. And when something good is happening…you’re just lucky, and the sameGod is waiting to pull it away just to have a laugh at our expense. I decided to believe anything was possible, and that maybe walking away would bring some good luck…and if it didn’t, I’d start working on the excuses to write about all week.
You probably know what happened while I was eating…and not watching or checking my phone.
David Johnson scores multiple TDs. Jimmy Graham had that life/fantasy-saving catch and run score. I fast-forward watched it all after I ate and starting jumping up and down in my seat as all this happened as Wilson racked up TD passes and Baldwin went nuts…I caught up to the live watch in real time in order to watch Seattle get a hold of the ball and prepped to start their 2-minute drive to win the game.
With all my shouting during my fast-forward watch, my family all gathered to see Wilson march Seattle down the field, all of us cheering for a Wilson TD pass…and hopefully to Graham. When Wilson did throw his score (to Paul Richardson), I said to my son – “I could really use this extra point to get missed to send it to OT – that would be a real Christmas miracle.” Hauschka then proceeded to shank the XP. Unreal. What a reversal of fortunes for me in an hour or so time span.
Not a full Christmas miracle, because Arizona got downfield for a game-winning FG…but the missed XP did allow DJ to get more points to heap on the pile as the Cardinals raced downfield to get the win.
6 pm ET…I’m dead. 730+pm ET…I’m a genius. All my guys – DJ, Wilson, Graham, Baldwin. What a Christmas eve.
— I don’t care what anyone says, and I need to believe this to live with myself this week…and I believe it to be true – I was right about Tyler Lockett 2-38-0/3 targets) in this game. This was going to be a Tyler Lockett day.
Lockett had the first target of the game. A few drives later, he had his hands on a 25-yard TD, an amazing catch, but then he was blasted and lost the ball coming down from a leaping catch in the end-zone. Finally, towards the end of the second quarter he caught what was ruled a 29-yard TD, but later reversed to a half-yard short…as they carted him off the field for good. That reversal of the score killed some fantasy titles…and then missing Lockett the rest of the game/shootout for more scoring.
What a bummer. I can’t predict injuries like that, so I cannot kick myself too much.
— As they carted Lockett off, Seattle has 1st & Goal from less than a yard out. Four tries they were kept out. Arizona took over and fumble two plays later. 1st and goal from the 9-yard line for Seattle…three failed plays and then settling for an FG. Seven goal-to-go attempts for Seattle in the span of a few minutes and Jimmy Graham (2-43-1/3 targets) is either blocking or out of the game. How?
Graham has 4 catches on 9 targets the past three games. That’s unconscionable. I near-guarantee you he is changing teams next season…either via trade or release – he is set to make $10M or can be cut for free…the final year of his Saints-signed deal. Seattle has wasted one of the game’s best players. I do not believe he is happy, and Seattle is not awash in cash to spend on a TE they don’t really use.
Hold onto Graham for dynasty. You don’t have him? Buy him in dynasty, on the cheap…if there is a frustrated current owner. Bank on a team change…and a good one. Not a send to Siberia/Cleveland. He goes in trade to a team where he’d sign long term or he gets released and he chooses. Wouldn’t it be classic Belichick to find out Gronk can never play again, and then land Graham?
— Alex Collins (7-28-0, 4-14-0/4 targets) came in for a banged up/ineffective Thomas Rawls (8-8-0, 0-0-0/1 target) and looked pretty good. Don’t get suckered in…
Collins is a high-effort, slower, non-agile runner…he’s a taller, stronger, slower Christine Michael. Straight-ahead and whatever the O-Line does/allows is what Collins does.
— J.J. Nelson (3-132-1/7 targets) got a long TD in this game, and nothing else otherwise. He’s not a real WR for the future…just a big play hopeful. The Cardinals WR group melted down forcing a few more targets to JJN late in the season. Next year, I’m sure the Cards will draft/sign 2+ WRs plus Jaron Brown returns to role. Larry Fitzgerald may or may not be back. Nelson is not going to be a bankable WR to start fantasy 2017.
— Cards’ rookie CB Brandon Williams (11 tackles, 1 PD) was benched after Week 2…that worked out well for Arizona, as the Cardinals got torched by decent+ QBs most of the season. He should be a starter next year, and be legit for IDP as the non-Peterson, heavily-targeted CB.
— Finally, a ‘thank you’ to David Johnson (28-95-3, 4-41-0/7 targets).
In a few leagues, that I’m associated with, reports of people denigrating a highest scoring/title winning team with…”Well, if you didn’t luck into David Johnson…”
People still don’t get it. I mean ‘the experts’ too.
There is still a dismissal of DJ. Everything is ‘luck’ or a ‘surprise’. He’s either not mentioned among the league’s top backs or people talk about him like ‘this kid is pretty good’ as if they just discovered him. You can ‘discover’ him if you still believe no one really has…that’s how outta touch mainstream football analysts are.
Thank you to mainstream football analysts and experts being so bad at what they do. It allowed me/us to get David Johnson in redrafts this year, some in the 2nd round…or make reasonable trades for him in dynasty this past offseason…if we hadn’t drafted him the year before. If it wasn’t for ‘experts’ being so bad at what they do…and then compounding it by pretending it wasn’t happening because they didn’t see it coming, this season couldn’t have been as successful.
Remember, when ESPN was pushing DJ as the backup to Chris Johnson on some of their depth charts in July-August this year?
How many CBS or Yahoo or NFL.com experts had DJ on their ‘likely to bust’ list for the upcoming 2016 season?
Thank you, ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, et al. — we couldn’t have had all these great fantasy seasons and/or won all these fantasy titles without your help missing this and thus conning your followers. Our future is set, right under your nose.
The search for the next David Johnson begins in a few weeks at College Football Metrics.com. You don’t want to miss it!