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I Know Everyone is Wondering...

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...how Axe Elf is doing through the first third of the fantasy season?

I got off to a bit of a slow start in my 15 managed leagues, with only 3 teams starting the season undefeated at 2-0, and 6 teams starting the season winless at 0-2 (leaving 6 teams with a 1-1 start) for a combined record of only 12-18 after two weeks.

But Axe Elf gonna Axe Elf, and I've posted weekly records of 14-1, 12-3 and 9-6 in the past 3 weeks for a cumulative mark of 35-9 over that span.  The current tally of team records stands as follows:

5-0: 1 team
4-1: 4 teams
3-2: 6 teams
2-3: 4 teams
1-4: 0 teams
0-5: 0 teams

Combined overall record through 5 weeks:  47-28

My five Draft Master teams (all 10 team leagues) currently stand 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd (12.4 points out of 1st), and 3rd (3.1 points out of 2nd)--and four of those five teams are hampered by carrying Lamar Miller as 1 of my 5 RBs on each team.

As great as that all is, this past week's 9-6 record felt like a losing week because of one huge blunder in my most important league--the $250 league in which I drafted Greg Zuerlein in the 1st round and the Chicago Bears in the 2nd round.  I was feeling pretty good coming into the week at 3-1, with Melvin Gordon coming back for me earlier than expected, and playing a 2-2 team with Tyreek Hill and Tyrell Williams injured.  I felt even better when the Thursday night game vaulted me to a 48 point lead on the strength of Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett and Greg Zuerlein.  My opponent even did me some favors, benching Juju for free agent Auden Tate (costing him 8 pts), and starting Phillip Rivers (8.55 points) over Dalton (21.6 pts) and Brissett (13.45 pts).

With the injuries to his WRs, he was kind of forced into starting Michael Gallup in his first game back from meniscus surgery, and with Duke Johnson and Sony Michel as his starting RBs, I wasn't expecting him to get more than 20 points from all 3 of them--I figured I could coast to a win.

So I wasn't sweating my starting lineup too much, but I debated back and forth between flexing Melvin Gordon in his first game back or keeping Will Fuller in my lineup.  Fuller had been good for a steady 10 points or so, and I didn't really expect much more than that from Gordon--but with a 48 point lead and my opponent's scrub lineup, I didn't think it would matter even if Gordon laid an egg with 3-5 points.  Would I really need the extra 5-7 points out of Fuller?  Probly not.  So I flexed Gordon just for fun.


Of course Michel, Duke and Gallup combined for over 53 points themselves, and his 3rd WR was Chris Godwin, who balled for another 31.5, ballooning my opponent to over 128 total points for the week.

Meanwhile, my fast start was fizzling out fast.  With Matthew Stafford on bye, I was starting Daniel Jones, who piddled along to a 13.3 day.  (At least that was more than I would have gotten from Derek Carr's 10.3--whom I had dropped for Jones two weeks earlier.)  Then Phillip Dorsett went down scoreless in the first quarter, Darren Waller laid an egg even as the Raiders were killing my Bears' defense, LeSean McCoy seemed to only show up for a critical fumble, and Melvin Gordon posted his more or less expected 7.8.  Three players had given me a 48 point head start; my other six players couldn't even double that and I sputtered to an 84.2 point week--with Fuller's massive 53.7 on my bench.  That's 45.9 more than Gordon got me--and I lost by 44.35.

I mean, that is exactly WHY I drafted Fuller in the first place--because he is capable of massive games that can carry a team to victory in any given week.  THIS was supposed to be Fuller's week to contribute, to earn my team another win, and I frivolously pissed it away on a whim.  I was so mad at myself.

Now, instead of sitting alone in 2nd place out of 12 teams with a 4-1 record, I am buried in a 7-way tie for 2nd place at 3-2, and after taking that hit to my total points, officially in 6th place overall.  On the bright side, my next two opponents have a combined record of 3-7, and I still have AJ Green waiting in the wings, so I should have him and Gordon back up to speed by the time I face another serious challenger--but MAN that was a bad mistake!  I HOPE it doesn't cost me a shot at getting into the playoffs down the road, but 2nd place alone at 4-1 just seems like a huge difference from 6th place at 3-2 right now, and it was a totally preventable error.  I took a huge game lightly.

Axe Elf made the bad decision to bench Fuller after 4 weeks in the flex for Gordon in his first game back.  Enjoy it; it doesn't happen often.

Kind of a funny postscript to that story is that I have another similar league in which I took the two players that everyone thought I "should" have taken in the first two rounds of the K/D league (Davante Adams and Joe Mixon), and that team has been one of my worst performers; it was 1-3 coming into this week.  Simply NOT having Adams and Mixon bogging down my lineup in the other league has been a huge factor in its success, so drafting a K and a D first actually did that team a favor over drafting "right."  I even had Fuller on the bench in this league last week as well, but won anyway, neutralizing my opponent's Amari Cooper with my DJ Chark.  So that team stands 7th out of 12 teams at 2-3, but my next 3 opponents have a combined record of 11-4 after 5 weeks, so the Adams/Mixon team is kind of a long shot at this point to make the playoffs.  I'll have to win 2 of those 3 games to have any chance at all.

Another 2-3 team facing a tough road ahead is one that just came off of an improbable win over an opponent who was sporting Fuller and Kittle--and I even had to overcome Olsen's goose egg.  It's kind of a large league with deep rosters and starting lineups though (2 QB, 3 RB, 4 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex), so I had lots of players to catch up.  I now stand 8th out of 14 teams, but with the 3rd-most points scored--so there's that.  I am also waiting to unleash AJ Green in this league too (and I've been holding Funchess since he went down in Week 1).  The problem is that I play 6 of the 7 teams ahead of me in the standings in the next 6 weeks (four 4-1 teams and two 3-2 teams for a combined record of 22-8).  I will need all the points I can score, as I will probably need to win 4 of those games to have a shot at the playoffs--but I have a lot of players on byes coming up, starting with Josh Jacobs and Cole Beasley this week.  Being able to unleash AJ Green soon should help, and I hope to get Funchess back at some point as well.

Speaking of deep leagues, my most ridiculously deep league (18 teams, 26 player rosters + 1 IR) is the third of my sub-par teams.  I thought I drafted pretty well, but my long-shot flyer was Michael Crabtree, and I was hoping I'd only have to carry Trent Taylor on IR for a few weeks before he could contribute.  Then when Derrius Guice and Devin Funchess also went down in Week 1, I went from being fairly stacked to having to scramble to field a full team most weeks, with a waiver wire as barren as Betty White's uterus.  So guys like C.J. Uzomah, Jakeem Grant, Damion Willis, Cody Latimer, Steven Sims, and even Jordan Matthews this past week have graced my starting lineups at various points this season.  My team now stands 11th out of 18, and I'll have to move up to at least 6th to make the playoffs, but the good news is that there are only 2 teams currently standing higher than 6th on my remaining schedule--so it will be difficult, but not impossible to get to the postseason (especially if I get back Guice and Funchess).

If I DO make the postseason, my one drafting weakness may become a strength.  You see, I did not count on some teams hoarding three or four DSTs, but with 12 bench slots on the roster, some teams did--so I got stuck with the Giants and the Bengals as my 2 DSTs, and of course there are none on the waiver wire.  However, the Giants and Bengals also happen to be Miami's opponents in Weeks 16 and 17, so I might get the last laugh there.

The last of my 2-3 teams is the only one that did not start out 0-2.  It stands in 6th place out of 12 teams, but it also has the 3rd-most points scored in the league (and I've been without Damien Williams since Week 1).  I lost last week facing Dak, Cooper, Ekeler and Cook--but I could have won had I not benched Watson for Winston at QB and shelved Edelman for Evans at WR.  I should have stuck to alphabetical order at each position.  My next two opponents are a combined 1-9, however, so better times are coming.

But enough about the stragglers, back to my other ten winning teams, starting with the other five 3-2s...

The first two are normal, 12-team PPR leagues.  I'm 3rd in one and 5th in the other, with the 2nd- and 3rd-most points scored, respectively.  I could be 4-1 in the second one, but for a 5 point loss in Week 2.  Both teams won this week; I got into third place by winning a squeaker over the 3rd-highest scoring team featuring Russell Wilson and Michael Thomas with my own 2nd-highest scoring team, and I got into 5th place with a win despite having Mike Evans in the lineup.  That 5th-place team has a 1-4 team next week, and then faces the 1st and 2nd place teams (in both record and points) in consecutive weeks after that.  The 3rd-place team is getting Gallup back, but I may not need him with my other 5 WRs being Kupp, Edelman, Fitzgerald, McLaurin and Juju.

My final three 3-2 teams are in larger leagues--of 14, 16 and 20 teams.

The first one has roared back after an 0-2 start to stand at 5th overall out of 14 teams, with the 2nd-most total points scored, following an easy Week 5 win over a winless team.  I'll need to keep roaring, though, because as the 3rd-place team in my division, I somehow play the 1st-place team in my division (4-1, 2nd place overall) TWICE in the next three weeks, with the 2nd-place team in my division (4-1, 4th place overall) sandwiched in between those two games!  Fortunately, it looks like I might be getting Tyreek Hill back for this critical stretch.

There have been a lot of weird scoring discrepancies in the 16 team league.  I currently stand 2nd in my (8 team) division and 4th overall--but I have the most total points scored by 35.  The team with the 2nd-most points scored is 5th in my division and 8th overall, and the team with the 3rd-most points scored (another 40 points back) is 1st in my division and 2nd overall, having gone undefeated since he lost to me in Week 1!  Meanwhile, I just lost a close game in Week 5 to the undefeated #1 overall team (which is 7th in total points scored) who was starting Bridgewater (superflex), Thielen and Lindsay--but I get the 12th- and 10th-place teams over the next two weeks.

My final 3-2 team, in the 20-team league, just lost by 3.4 points to Deshaun Watson's huge game, and McCoy's clunker on my ledger didn't help--if I'd started Peyton Barber over McCoy, I would have won.  I had also just traded Will Fuller for Corey Davis in the past week, to avoid having 3 WRs with a Week 10 bye, so that was awesome--but I don't know if I would have started Fuller over DJ Moore anyway, so I can't worry too much about that.  The loss dropped me to 7th place (and 7th in points scored), but on the bright side, my next 3 opponents are 0-5, 1-4 and 1-4, so I should be looking at 6-2 by the time I get Devin Funchess back from IR.

My 4-1 teams are all standing in either 1st or 2nd place in 12-team leagues.

In the first, I am in 2nd place with the 3rd-most points scored.  I lost in Week 1 with Tyreek Hill getting hurt, and the Winston/Evans connection being a bust--but I have been dominating ever since with an average margin of victory of 38 points per week.  This past week I won by overcoming 0s from Evans and Dorsett (but my opponent posted a 0 of his own with Watkins).  I have a showdown with the 1st-place team this week (he has Fournette, Ingram and Kupp), but he was already forced to start OJ Howard for Evan Engram, and I got off to a good start with Julian Edelman's 20.3 last night.  Chark will be my 2nd WR; for my Flex I'll have to choose between Tyreek Hill if he's back, Mike Evans in London, or Terry McLaurin against the Dolphins.

In the second, I am also in 2nd place, with the 2nd-most points scored by a margin of 24.5 points.  To put that in perspective, we start 11 players in this league (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and 5 Flex) and the scoring for rushing and receiving yardage is--get this--ONE POINT PER YARD!  So that means that being 24.5 points out of first place represents my 10 skill position players amassing 25 total yards less than the team in 1st place over the course of 5 weeks!  The team with the 3rd-most points is some 590 points behind me!  I just took my first loss in this league in Week 5, facing Chark, Dalvin and Juju, behind the clunkers of McCoy, Waller, and Keenan Allen.  It doesn't get any better next week in another showdown with a 1st place team; he's sporting McCaffrey and Kelce while I have Dorsett out, Adams probly out on Monday night as well, and Gore, Waller, Beasley and John Brown all on bye.  Ugh.

The third 4-1 team is another 2nd place team, but only by a margin of 5.8 total points behind 1st.  This team suffered one of only three Week 4 losses among all my teams--and it was one of those bad beats where I lost with the 2nd-highest score of the week--so I'm just a whisker away from being undefeated with the most points scored.  I balanced that loss I didn't deserve in Week 4 with a win I didn't deserve in Week 5, though, as I squeaked out a win over the Christian McCaffrey team with another lineup sporting Mike Evans' goose egg and a lukewarm 6.8 from the returning Damien Williams.  My opponent's QB (Baker Mayfield) putting up -2 pts helped a lot, though.

The last 4-1 team is in 1st place overall (thanks to a narrow 2-pt victory in Week 2), with the 2nd-most points scored.  Week 5 was yet another win with Evans in my lineup.  My next 3 opponents are a combined 6-9, so I don't really face any serious threats again until Week 9.

And finally, my 5-0 team stands 2nd out of 14 teams, with the 3rd-most points scored.  This is another league of deep sleepers, starting 2 QB (superflex), 3 RBs, 4 WRs, 1 TE and 2 Flex.  Week 5 was another solid performance, beating the 3rd-highest score of the week (on a team that included Will Fuller and the Eagles DST) with the 2nd-highest score of the week for my team.  My next opponent is 3-2 somehow, but he is also dead last of all 14 teams in total points scored (by 28 points).  Hopefully his incredible luck comes to an end this week against me.  After him, my next two opponents are a combined 3-7, so I should be looking at 8-0 by the time I get Devin Funchess back.

No applause, please...  Just throw money and undergarments.

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1 hour ago, Byrdman5 said:

So are you starting Fuller over Gordon this week 

Good question!

I'm starting them both; LeSean McCoy to the bench.

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