Week 4 of The Tartan fantasy football league gets heated

From the moment I was asked to join The Tartan’s first Fantasy Football league I made no pretenses about knowing what the heck was going on. My leaguemates said they needed one more person to make the league work, so I figured I’d make a team to help them out and then leave it to run by itself, accepting my losses with grace and a healthy side of not caring. And considering that when I went to make my team I couldn’t figure out how to do it and accidently ended up making two, keeping a safe distance seemed like the way to go.

For a bit there the plan seemed to be working. My auto-picked, automatically named Teams Foley held their own, averaging around 100 points a week for the first three rounds. Then disaster struck in week four. Turns out you have to actually manage and change your teams in this game. Staring at a scoreboard where my team had 45 points less than the second worst loser, I decided it was time to make a change.

Our beloved Layout Manager Zeke Rosenberg and Assistant Sports Editor Ian Tanaya took it upon themselves to help me on my quest of figuring out what in the world was going on. The first step was teaching me that there is a site where we can actually view and control our teams. Imagine! Then it was time to take it to the next level and teach me how to move people on and off the bench. There are a lot of letters that I’m still trying to decipher, but it seems that you want to bench people who have red letters next to them and replace them with someone in the same position.

I was starting to feel pretty confident that I could manage this team and quickly scale the league scoreboard until Rosenberg said, “You're also going to want to bench Tevin Coleman too. He has sickle cell anemia and the Falcons are playing in Denver this week.” My reaction was, “Wait, how am I supposed to know any of that.” In that moment, I gave up any hope of figuring this game out.

There was, however, one thing I could do to improve my situation in the league. At the very least, I could change my team’s names to be more reflective of the situation. And so teams 'What is going on?' and 'How does this work?' were born. And while I have faith that we’ll do better next week with a bit of help from our friends (cough, Rosenberg, cough), I still have to pay my dues and report on our epic demise last week. And so, without further ado, here’s the weekly report.

Plaidie Daddies over Dreamland Warriors 107–104

Our Online Editor India Price had a narrow victory over Tanaya’s Warriors. The two teams were a fairly even match, with over half of each team scoring in the double digits. Tayana saw some great performances his running backs LeSean McCoy of the Bills and Jordan Howard from the Bears, who earned 22 and 16 points respectively. In the end it didn’t matter, though, because Bengals’ wide receiver A.J. Green earned Price a crushing 33 points. Apparently Green has been a bit of a superstar this season, or so ESPN sports tells me. All I know is that between his points and a beautiful supporting act by Price’s other wide receiver, Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders, there was really nothing Tanaya could do, but his Warriors fought hard anyway.

extremely dank team over Masshole Knickerbockers 137–110

Both of these teams put their best foot forward this week. Sports Editor Alex Wood’s team crushed it, with all of his players scoring in double digits. High flyers included Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., who pulled off an impressive 25 points and became the first player aged 37 or older with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown since Ricky Proehl in 2005, which was apparently a big deal or something, and Saints’ running back Mark Ingram, who earned Wood 21 points. Beresford made great use of her team this week, losing very few points on the bench, but again luck was not in her.

Minaj and Co. over Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood 163–112

Now for the big scorer of the week. Pillbox Editor Abhishek Tayal had an admittedly impressive performance this week, and no one will let me forget it. As people keep mentioning, his wide receiver Julio Jones singlehandedly tied one of my whole teams with 48 points. Jones made history in our league for the most points scored by a single player and out in the real world by becoming the sixth player in history to record at least 300 receiving yards in a single contest. Courtesy of Wood I finally know what that means. Just because the deities of fantasy football like to be unfair, Tayal also had Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who scored 34 points. I was getting an angry rant all prepared until I saw that he was a Steelers player, so I guess I’ll let it go since he’s one of our boys. The most frustrating part is that Tayal didn’t even max out his potential, losing 15 points by benching running back Isaiah Crowell of the Browns in favor of Chiefs' running back Spencer Ware, who earned a limp 8 points. In the face of this onslaught, Operations Manager Jade Crockem didn’t really stand a chance. Still, she raked up a respectable 112 points with the help of quarterback Derek Carr of the Raiders, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot, and Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Rumor has it that Elliot could end up being rookie of the year if he keeps up his pace.

Flaming Bears over McManus’s Anus 113–94

And now we have Rosenberg facing off against Publisher Sarah Gutekunst. These two get the award for losing the most points on the bench this week, which I’m a little bit pleased about since I assumed I’d be the one with that distinction. Rosenberg wasted the second highest scorer of the week, quarterback Matt Ryan of the Falcons, favoring the Redskins’ Kirk Cousins’ measly 17 points to Ryan’s 35. Gutekunst made her own blunders, leaving her top two scorers, Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson and Raider wide receiver Michael Crabtree, on the bench. These aren’t the kinds of performances I’ve come to expect from football guru Gutekunst and my mentor Rosenberg. Hopefully they will both refocus in the coming weeks.

How does this work? over What is going on? 93–48

And, last and least, we get to my mess of a match up. I’d say that there should be rules against having to battle yourself, but I’m pretty sure there are rules against having two teams in the first place. My complete lack of commitment to this league finally caught up to me this week. To be fair the meager performance of How does this work? wasn’t completely my fault since all but one of my players never broke 15 points, but I lost 24 points through pure neglect when I didn’t substitute in wide receiver John Brown of the Cardinals for Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins when he ended up on injury reserve at the start of the week due to a foot injury. I really don’t have anything to say about What is going on? With two of my players out with injuries and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins of the Texans only managing to eek out one point in the whole week, it was an absolute mess. But never fear! I’ve taken a peek at the coming week’s scoreboard and, spoiler alert, I’m doing quite a bit better.