This Is What I Know – Championship Week

On August 7, just a little over four months ago, ten members of Showtime 3.0 were excited for a new fantasy season to begin. I began this journey of weekly posts by telling my readers what I knew about the first round of our upcoming draft. Like all things that are good, the fantasy season must come to an end. Ten has become two, and that season will end this weekend. The winner between Alex and Cribb will have a very Merry beginning of their 2014 Christmas. In a year that I incorrectly “knew” a lot of things, allow me to be smug for just a moment. I have been telling my readers for some time that Alex and Cribb were the best two teams in the league. Without further ado, as the old adage goes, I will preview this Championship matchup.

Cribb (6) vs. Alex (1)

Championship

Fact One – If this league’s structure followed that of the NFL, these two teams would have played last weekend and Cribb would have won 82.60 – 69.84. In this scenario, Deavers would be facing Cribb this weekend.

Fact Two – In the regular season Alex averaged 86.72 points per week. Since the playoffs started, Alex has only averaged 67.56 points over the past two weeks. To compare, Cribb averaged 80.93 points during the regular season. His playoff average has climbed to 104.81 points per game. This difference was largely influenced by his 127.02 point showing in Week Fourteen, but clearly shows his team has outscored Alex’s over the past two weeks.

Fact Three – This matchup will be the third between Alex and Cribb this season. Cribb prevailed in each of the previous meetings, averaging 114.41 points in those two games. Alex did not lose quietly in either of those matchups, as he averaged 96.96 points. In fact, Alex was the third highest scorer, in the league, each of the weekends he faced Cribb. Had one of those outcomes gone the other way, I would have likely made the playoffs, lost to Joe, Joe would have beaten Tov, and Alex would be facing Joe this weekend.

The fact that Alex lost those two weeks had no bearing on his outcome, as he won the regular season championship. I extended fact three for two reasons. The first reason was simply to show how high scoring and competitive these two have played against each other this season. Reason number two was another chance to allow my readers to visualize how competitive and unfair this league, and fantasy football as a whole, can be. A rule change in fact one would allow Deavers to make the championship. If the third highest score, earned a win, in Week Four or Week Eight, Joe would have made the championship.

I plan to wrap up the season with an additional post soon. In that post, I may attempt to prove that Zach could be competing for this championship, instead of finishing 1-12.  If, ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we would all have a Merry Christmas!

Fact Four – In Week Four and Week Eight, Cribb started Brandon Marshall (of the Bears) and Ahmad Bradshaw. Since then, both of these players sustained injuries and currently reside on the Injured Reserve List. Odell Beckham Jr. and Frank Gore (also currently injured) replace those key contributors in Cribb’s lineup.

Fact Five – Alex is currently projected to win this matchup 89.08 – 86.20. Nearly sixteen of Alex’s projected points will have to wait until Monday Night Football, when Jeremy Hill and Emmanuel Sanders take the field. Cribb has no players participating on Monday Night.

Why I think Alex will win – I have said Alex owns the best fantasy football team in our league since our draft in August. The task of beating a team three times in one season is very difficult. In Week Four, Larry Donnell scored three touchdowns for Cribb. Alex was also without Emmanuel Sanders and Giovani Bernard/Jeremy Hill, due to bye week scheduling, during the Week Four matchup. Cribb has multiple injury concerns entering this weekend. I expect both of these teams to trend back toward their regular season averages, as Alex has underperformed and Cribb has significantly exceeded his regular season average in recent weeks.

Why I think Cribb will win – Cribb is in Alex’s head, as Alex does not lose well. Cribb’s team is producing at a much higher level, as he has outscored Alex each of the past three weeks. If both are healthy and play, Arian Foster and Jamaal Charles make up the best running back duo in Showtime 3.0. Alex’s best running back, McCoy, plays a surprisingly great rush defense in Washington. The last time McCoy faced the Redskins, he rushed nineteen times for twenty-two yards and earned 0.10 points. The fact that the Eagles scored three rushing touchdowns, none by McCoy, last week against the Cowboys has to be concerning for Alex.

**Editing Note –  How did I miss this key fact?  Alex, himself, pointed out a possible advantage that Cribb has this week.  Alex will start Andrew Luck.  Cribb will start TY Hilton, Andrew Luck’s number one receiver.  Receiving yards and receiving touchdowns are worth more points than passing yards and passing touchdowns, in this league.  Who Luck completes passes to may be the number one factor surrounding this championship.

I promised the Fantasy Football Gods that I would not make matchup predictions going forward, so I will not. Looking at the starting players and their game times, I expect Alex to be playing from behind most of the day on Sunday. Monday Night Football should tell the tale and complete another season for Showtime 3.0. As for my buy-in, “Keep the change you filthy animals”.

Change

I do have a chance to win a sixteen team PPR league championship this weekend (see screenshot below for matchup, my team is on the left). This league has been around for many years and my fondest memory was beating Alex in the 2011 Championship.

Caverns

During that 2011 season I rostered Aaron Rodgers, Matt Forte, Julio Jones, Jimmy Graham, Jordy Nelson, and Aaron Hernandez.  I still remember watching Jordy Nelson catching two of Aaron Rodger’s five touchdown passes on that Christmas Night, while giving Chelsey a Tony Romo jersey on our first Christmas together.  I’m sure Alex has tried to forget that Christmas, so I will provide a link to that game log, courtesy of NFL.com.

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2011122500/2011/REG16/bears@packers?icampaign=GC_schedule_rr#menu=gameinfo%7CcontentId%3A09000d5d8256bce9&tab=recap

NFL Picks

Week Sixteen
Jaguars
Redskins
Chargers
Dolphins
Ravens
Lions
Panthers
Saints
Packers
Steelers
Patriots
Rams
Cowboys
Bills
Seahawks
Broncos

Week Seventeen
Cowboys
Falcons
Ravens
Colts
Packers
Texans
Chiefs
Dolphins
Vikings
Patriots
Eagles
Steelers
Saints
Broncos
49ers
Seahawks

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year. I will log another post after the Holidays. If you have followed my posts, you already know that post will have no direction so I make no promises. In the meantime enjoy your families, last minute shopping, tangible gifts, intangible gifts, and great football. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And, THIS IS WHAT I KNOW!

**Lineups and projections can change.  I am not responsible for faulty information or typos, as I do not have a research or editing team.

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