The Tartan Fantasy Football league rolls into week three

Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evan stiff-arms a defender in the face. (credit: Courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr Creative Commons) Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evan stiff-arms a defender in the face. (credit: Courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr Creative Commons)

A quick note regarding this column. Pillbox Editor Abhishek Tayal was supposed to write last week’s article because of being week one’s worst loser, but extenuating circumstances prevented him from doing so. Layout Manager Zeke Rosenberg has assured me that he has been or will be properly punished, so I’ll let bygones be bygones. In the future, expect the worst loser of the week to write the article, and week two’s biggest loser was me.

A quick recap of week one. Lula Beresford escaped the ignominy of being week one’s worst loser because Tayal started a suspended player. Jade Crockem changed her team’s name to complete the pun as mentioned in the article I wrote two weeks ago, and that’s totally the reason she won. Rosenberg, Sports Editor Alex Wood, and I all won our matchups by comfortable margins. Strangely, Forum Editor Sinead Foley’s second team, which I thought would be weak, scored 141 points. Unfortunately for her, the team faced Online Editor India Price’s Plaidie Daddies, coming from behind on Monday night to total 144 points. India totally won week one in the only matchup that came down to a single digit difference. Now to recap week two.

Flaming Bears over Dreamland Warriors 123–87

As expected Rosenberg totally trounced my team. He picked up Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware, and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley, actively playing week one’s waiver wire. Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans led his team to victory. On my end, the New York Giants were able to greatly limit the offense of the New Orleans Saints, causing quarterback Drew Brees and tight end Coby Fleener to severely underperform. Losing San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen for the year after week one did not help my team at all. Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy were my star players. New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett taunted me from the bench with a 22-point performance, but that would not have been nearly enough to defeat Zeke’s team. The Flaming Bears are now 2–0, while my Dreamland Warriors fall to 1–1.

Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood over Masshole Knickerbockers 96–86

See, Jade. That pun is totally the reason your team is 2–0 right now. Actually, the real reason is because injuries destroyed Beresford’s team. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler left the game after giving Beresford a mere two points, but the more devastating injury happened to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. I’m really glad I didn’t pick him in the draft because he’s now on injured reserve, meaning he won’t be able to help Beresford at all unless she somehow finds herself in the championship matchup. Strong performances by Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano (18 points from a kicker!), New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and the Houston Texans defense were not enough to overcome performances from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, and the Panther defense. Beresford’s team falls to 0–2, facing an uncertain future.

McManus’s Anus over extremely dank team 155–93

Publisher Sarah Gutekunst absolutely destroyed Wood’s team. Jets running back Matt Forte, Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, and the Broncos defense each contributed over 20 points, with Forte adding a massive 30 points. The previously-named Broncos kicker Brandon McManus had a strong 14-point showing that helped give Gutekunst’s team the highest single game point total thus far in the season. For Wood, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did the team proud, but when his passes were largely going to Benjamin, the 29 points he amassed were completely neutralized. Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was the only other player to score double digits for Wood. The news only got worse. Chargers running back Danny Woodhead suffered an ACL injury that took him out for the season. I had him pegged as a potentially great contributer for Wood’s team, but now he’ll have to forge ahead without the dual running and receiving threat. Both teams are now 1–1.

Minaj And Co. over Team Foley 136–101

Tayal took control of his team, gave it a name, and managed to dominate against last week’s highest scoring loser in Foley’s second team. For Tayal, Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray, Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry each contributed 21 points, already enough to beat Foley’s team. Foley, like some of the other losers this week, had a player get injured: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart. She’ll need to shuffle her team’s players if she wants to start winning (though in fairness, she would have beaten any other team week one besides India’s team). Tayal’s Minaj And Co. are now 1–1, while Team Foley falls to 0–2.

Team Foley over Plaidie Daddies 101–87

In a reversal of last week, Tayal’s first team defeated India’s team. Foley has the Cardinals to thank, as their dominant performance against the Buccaneers gave her a 24-point performance from quarterback Carson Palmer and a 22-point showing from the defense. One thing Foley should note going forward is Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

After scoring 17 points in week one and 33 points in week two, he probably shouldn’t be on her bench. On Price’s side, the same team that got her 144 points last week only scored 87 points this week. Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams, Titans tight end Delanie Walker, and Broncos running back C.J. Anderson were her top contributors, but her laggards sunk her chances of victory.
Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham earned her no points since he was injured, and she needs to replace him ASAP. The Raiders defense is a terrible unit: scoring negative points for the second week in a row. Admittedly, they have a matchup this week that keeps them tolerable, but she needs to drop them for another defense as well.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green will not be held to single digit performances every week, so his weak performance against the Steelers is nothing for India to worry about. She should, however, consider benching Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in favor of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace, who scored 19 points in week one and 20 points in week two. Price has the pieces for a good team, but she needs to make some moves in order to win consistently. Both teams are now 1–1.

Heading into week three, Rosenberg’s team and Crockem’s team are both 2–0. Rosenberg’s team seems poised to ascend further, after stealing Chargers running back Melvin Gordon from Tayal’s team in exchange for Ware. However, Wood’s team is poised to significantly challenge Rosenberg, especially after picking up Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael. The matchup between two of the strongest teams should prove to be interesting.

Elsewhere, I’m fairly certain I won’t be writing next week’s article. I’ve added Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa and Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams to my roster. Of course, Beresford is still in it against me after picking up Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers, but she hasn’t yet slotted anyone to replace Peterson on her team.

Foley’s second team got up to a 24–0 lead over Sarah’s team after the Patriots defense eliminated the need to overexert tight end Rob Gronkowski’s return to the field. Still, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is questionable to play, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is questionable, and Stewart is out. Since Foley doesn’t look like she’s going to make changes at all and Sarah’s starters are all completely healthy, I suspect that Sarah will mount a comeback.

Price’s team got off to a 14–0 lead over Crockem’s team, and she is projected to win her matchup by nine points. Of course, things would be better for India if she changed her defense and kicker, but things might still be fine for this week.

Lastly, Tayal’s team is poised to win against Foley’s first team, especially since Bills head coach Rex Ryan believes “odds probably not real good that [wide receiver Sammy Watkins] plays.” If Foley were to slot in Diggs for Watkins, she would be more likely to win over Tayal’s team.It’s hard to tell where most of these teams will be headed in the future. While Rosenberg and Wood are both clearly poised for winning, other teams have murkier fates. I would say that Gutekunst, Price, and I have some of the better teams, but that would discount Tayal’s week two performance and Foley’s two teams. Crockem may be 2–0, but that record isn’t nearly as solid as Rosenberg’s. Beresford is in danger most since she doesn’t have anyone lined up who can replace Peterson’s production at running back. Still, it is entirely too early to call it game over for anyone.