Fantasy Football: Easy Breesy wins the Tartan crown
Welcome to the final Tartan fantasy football recap of the season! After soundly beating my team, Third String Team, defending champion and former Editor-in-Chief India Price’s Yes We Cam faced off against former Sports Editor Ian Tanaya’s Easy Breesy, who just edged out contributing editor Lula Beresford’s Justin Tucker Must (not) Die to make it to the Tartan league’s version of the Super Bowl.
In the end, Easy Breesy defeated Yes We Cam 243.9–210.9 to take the championship crown. It’s a fitting conclusion to Tanaya’s tenure as Sports Editor and his time at Carnegie Mellon.
Easy Breesy over Yes We Cam 243.9-210.9
Just like how the New England Patriots are back in the Super Bowl this season, this matchup was a familiar one for both Tanaya and Price, who competed in the 2016-17 Tartan championship. Last year, Price beat Tanaya by only two points. This year, Tanaya made sure that didn’t happen again.
With strong Week 16 performances from Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy, Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Tanaya built a 20-point lead over Price, who suffered from sub-10 weeks from four of her playmakers. Easy Breesy was leading 124.11–104.5 going into Week 17.
The final week of the NFL regular season saw Yes We Cam perform marginally better, including 24.4 points from Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry, 17.7 points from Minnesota Viking wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and a robust 15 points from the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Easy Breesy suffered from a sub-par performance from McCoy, and from the fact that Gronkowski did not play. However, with New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara’s 128 total yards from scrimmage and 106-yard kickoff return touchdown that led to a whopping 30.8 points, Easy Breesy easily maintained a comfortable lead, taking home the title.
Justin Tucker Must (not) Die over Third-String Team 183–111.2
In the competition for third place, Beresford’s team completely clobbered mine, which lived up to its name. If I’m being completely honest, I believe I could’ve had a chance to make it close if I remembered to adjust my lineup. But alas, I didn’t.
After Week 16, the teams were relatively close, with Justin Tucker Must (not) Die leading 80–68.1. The team ensured the lead with 15.6 points from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and 20.7 points from Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. Despite 17.5 points from Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, a collective 14.8 points from five of my nine starters was too much to overcome.
In Week 17, my incompetence really showed. For a third-year fantasy player, I made a fool of myself by forgetting to bench four of my nine starters who didn’t even play. A measly 43.1 points from the entire lineup was no match for the 103 points from Justin Tucker Must (not) Die. All but two of Beresford’s starters scored over 10 points. Congrats to Beresford for obliterating my team and taking the bronze as a fantasy football rookie!
Team Andah over Drop it like it’s Crock 220.3–196.5
There were no surprises in the race for fifth place (or what ESPN’s website aptly calls the “consolation” matchup). The only consolation I can give former Publisher Jade Crockem is that staffwriter Josh Andah has continuously beat teams throughout the season while never changing his lineup (I don’t think he’s ever even signed into his account since he created it). Earlier in the season some of us in the league wondered if Andah’s strategy (or lack thereof) might get him into the playoffs, but thankfully, that didn’t happen.
While the Week 16 box score for Drop it like it’s Crock lacks any glaring zeros, underwhelming performances from many of Crockem’s starters set the team back. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s 27.7 points (from nine catches, 119 yards, and a touchdown) was the team’s only bright spot. For Team Andah, on the other hand, there were several bright spots to go with a zero due to Steelers star wide receiver Antonio Brown’s injury. Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon gained 81 yards from 19 carries and a touchdown for 21.8 points and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz hauled in nine catches for 81 yards for 17.1 points.
Building on a 116.1–104.5 lead, Team Andah again saw great weeks despite Brown’s absence. Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin’s 25 points were his most since his season-high 26.5 points in Week 3, and the Chiefs defense also posted its second-best week of the season with 17 points. For Drop it like it’s Crock, Fitzgerald’s 13.5 points couldn’t carry the team. In the end, it seems like Crockem’s team name was well-chosen, as she dropped from third place last year to dead-last in the league this year.
And that’s it for the Tartan fantasy football league for the 2017-18 season. Just like the unpredictable NFL season, our fantasy season has had some surprising results. Next year the field will be quite different. All of our players this season, except for Andah and me, are seniors. I don’t expect Andah to participate again, so check back in the fall for a new crop of Tartan staff members that I’ve coerced into joining the league.