Fantasy football: playoff picture coming into focus

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton led all quarterbacks. (credit: Courtesy of Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton led all quarterbacks. (credit: Courtesy of Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons)

This week, I’m back to recap week ten of The Tartan’s fantasy football league. I’m filling in for staffwriter Josh Andah, who scored the least number of points in the league for the week. Save for Andah’s team, all five of the other competitors reached above 100 points. Here are the highlights from the week:

Third-String Team over Yes We Cam 114.5–101

Despite winning this week, my team Third-String Team’s record of 5–5 trails behind Editor-in-Chief India Price’s team Yes We Cam’s record, which now sits at 7–3. Price earned a whopping 35.7 points from Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, by far his best week this season. Despite Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs’s 17.8 points off of 4 catches, 78 yards, and a touchdown, and a solid 15.2 points from Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (5 catches, 42 yards, and a touchdown), Price’s team was derailed by earning only 0.3 points from Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman before he left his game due to a concussion.

My running back, the Chicago Bears’ Tarik Cohen, also let me down with only 2.1 points, but I managed to get the win this week due to great performances from Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (22.5 points) and New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (15.1 points). The Los Angeles Rams defense also showed up, adding 16 points.

Drop it like it’s Crock over Team Andah 161.9–56.2

Publisher Jade Crockem predicted correctly in her recap last week that she would get the win over Andah. New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram had his best week of the season with 131 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns, totaling 31.1 points for Crockem. Wide receivers Adam Thielen of the Vikings and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals also performed well for Crockem, with 30.6 points and 21.3 points, respectively.

Crockem didn’t need so many players from her lineup to perform as well as they did because two players in Andah’s lineup were on their bye weeks, one is on injured reserve, and another served a suspension during the week. Of the remaining five players, three contributed fewer than ten points apiece. In past weeks, Andah’s completely hands-off approach (read: auto-drafting and never adjusting his lineup) has worked to his advantage, but this week it failed him.

Easy Breesy over Justin Tucker Must (not) Die 131.5–127.3

In the closest matchup of the week, Sports Editor Ian Tanaya topped contributing editor Lula Beresford to stand at the top of the standings next to Price’s team. Tanaya’s team had a great week across the board, but the performances from two of his running backs helped him pull past Beresford. Saints running back Alvin Kamara earned 24.8 points from 106 yards off 12 carries and a touchdown. Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray returned to form, scoring two touchdowns and adding 29.2 points for Tanaya’s team.

Beresford’s team, for the most part, also had a great week, with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady scoring 22.6 points, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas with 20.7 points, Panthers running back Christian McCafferty adding 20 points, and the Ram’s Greg Zuerlein kicking his way to 17 points. The Denver Broncos defense was the only member of her lineup that had a significantly bad week, with negative three points.

Next week, we have the top two teams Yes We Cam and Easy Breesy facing off. Despite Team Andah’s poor showing this past week, I predict it will rebound against Justin Tucker Must (not) Die; the last time the teams played each other they tied. The final matchup is my team versus Drop it like it’s Crock, which stands in my way to getting above .500 for the first time.