Greetings to the distinguished members of the Wasted Talent League and those visiting from the Shmurda Money Team Fanatics League. This week I am breaking from my regularly scheduled programming to share a special story about a fantasy football fiasco like no other you’ve seen before. While some of you may not know Ralph Jerome, I believe that any fantasy football aficionado will appreciate his story. I felt a great responsibility to share this tale with the world in order to ensure that its details would not fade from the memory of history.
While there are many reasons that we all play fantasy football: money, bragging rights, rooting interests when your real team sucks, etc., there is one in particular that I have always held highest. That is the compliment to bragging rights – roasting rights. When one of your buddies truly screws the pooch in an act of pure stupidity, there is just nothing like a full blown, league-wide roasting. Whether your team is good or not, all are welcome to join in on the magnificent tradition of making your friends feel like utter morons. With all due respect our reigning Sacko Keegan for his own epic fail last week (needing 3 points to making playoffs, subbed out Diggs last second for Will Fuller who fell short), I think you’ll all agree that Ralph, aka “The Ornery Waterfowl”, aka “Goose”, is most deserving of the prestigious Suckbag of the Year Award. Let me show you why that is:
We begin with the 2018 playoff semi-finals match up:
The Ornery Waterfowl (Ralph aka “Goose”) vs Forgetting Brandon Marshall (Matt aka “Cantor”)
Goose coming off a strong season and a 1st round bye faces off against Matt and his underdog 6th seed squad who only squeezed into the playoffs due to multiple upsets and a string of tie-breakers.
Now before I reveal the selected lineups and results, I will say that hindsight is of course 20-20 and everyone has a different process for making start/sit choices. Sometimes the easiest decisions end up being wrong and sometimes the foolish choice turns out to be brilliant. So while it can be unfair to question these decisions after the fact, this is why we play the game and if you want a fair draw, play checkers.
So as you can see Goose’s big blunder was to start Dak Prescott on the road against the Colts instead of Matt Ryan at home against the Cardinals. This decision cost him 18.8 points. He also decided to start Justin Jackson on the road against the Chiefs over Dalvin Cook home against the Dolphins. This decision cost him 14.8 points. As you can see, the final score was decided by less than 18 points and cost Goose a trip to the finals. Cantor would go on to win the fantasy championship.
*note that Goose’s starting lineup scores in the following championship week would have been enough to win it all*
I now bring you into the 2019 season, where Goose holds new hopes and aspirations to return to the playoffs for redemption after his 2018 failure. There are five specific moments in this season that stand out: 2 impactful trades, 2 regular season match ups and 1 playoff quarterfinal:
Trade #1: 9/25/19 [Week 4]
Goose thought he was pulling a fast one on Take Mahomes, Country Road (Thomas, Packer fan) buying low on Conner who only averaged 8.4 points in his first 3 weeks. While injuries are never easy to predict (Conner would miss 5 weeks due to a shoulder) this trade would end up being a massive fleece:
Jones: 193.7 points after trade (19.37 avg) #4 ranked RB
Conner: 88 points after trade (17.6 avg) #33 ranked RB
Differential: 105.7 points
Trade #2: 10/9/19 [Week 6]
Shortly after Goose completed his big deal with Tom he decided to broker another with DAWG CHECK (Kyle aka Duke; Cleveland native & Browns fan). I’m not entirely sure what the motivation behind this trade was, I suppose Goose just liked Carson better than Henry. With both running backs able to remain healthy since the trade, here’s how it ultimately played out (spoiler – he got fleeced):
Henry: 161.9 points after trade #3 RB
Carson: 115.4 points after trade #10 RB
Differential: 46.5 points
Week 9, The Ornery Waterfowl goes up against last place team Damascus Reepers (Adam aka “Shul”) who had Gurley, Goff & Woods all on bye. Should be as easy of a win as there comes, right? Well think again. The reason this game is especially significant is because Goose committed an unquestionable mental error which cost him the win and ultimately put his potential first round bye in jeopardy:
Goose’s critical error was leaving James Conner in his starting lineup despite being ruled out for the game. He was even prepared for this scenario, as you can see Jaylen Samuels sitting on his IR spot, who ended up scoring 11.8 in the game. Goose lost by 7.1 points.
Next stop on the tour is week 13, the final game of the regular season. The Ornery Waterfowl is set to face off against division rival Oakland Pantyraiders (Mike aka “Kuch”). With both teams tied in first place at 7-5, the winner of this game would take the division and a first round bye:
Once again The Ornery Waterfowl failed to come up clutch and take care of business. He was unable to beat a very modest 106.8 points put up by the Oakland Pantyraiders, as only 2 of his players put up double digits. What might be a back breaker to most fantasy managers seemed to only strengthen Goose’s confidence and bravado as he now draws Duke’s DAWG CHECK in the first round of the playoffs:
This cautionary tale makes its grand finale at the 2019 playoff quarter-finals match up:
The Ornery Waterfowl (#4) vs DAWG CHECK (#5)
As cited in the group chat screenshot above, Goose did not find himself worried whatsoever, in fact, he was relieved to have something to occupy himself with instead of the comfortable security of a first round bye that he could have secured with a win in week 13. As you can see, the Ornery Waterfowl is far from a humble competitor. In case you need a little more evidence, here are some more comments made by Goose leading up to the match up:
fyi, beej = Jordan aka “Bear Jew”
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of some of the smoke being blown around, lets see how Goose fared in his big playoff game:
Yes folks, you are seeing that correctly. Another heartbreaking loss littered with bad coaching decisions. Most obviously, Goose decided to pick up Carson Wentz of the struggling Philadelphia Eagles playing Monday night in a cold rainy game against the Giants. What were his alternative options you might wonder? Well, he could have started Jameis Winston, #5 ranked QB at home who scored 5 touchdowns and 36.74 points! He also could have started hall of fame legend Drew Brees, also playing at home who scored 6 touchdowns and 42.06 points!!! Here’s what Goose had to say after his two benched QBs popped off on Sunday:
Goose does make a good point about the fact that despite leaving so many points on the bench, he would only end up needing a modest 28.4 combined points on Monday night from Wentz and Goedert, so Goose was still unfazed:
Despite still finding himself in a manageable position to win after whiffing on his QB choice, there were other opportunities for more points had Goose made better decisions:
Higbee had 7 catched for 116 yards on Sunday night.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t footnote how his plug-in RB Benny Snell performed: 1.1 points.
So after a wild Sunday, it would all come down to Monday night where he would need an average game from Carson Wentz and Dallas Goedert going against the feeble Giants defense on Monday night. One aspect that Goose may not have taken into consideration was the weather forecast. Steady rain and low temperature would make for difficult throwing conditions. Once again, Goose was confident as ever on Monday afternoon:
Here’s how the high stakes prime time game played out:
With Eli Manning making his triumphant return under center due to a Daniel Jones injury, the Giants appeared to have new energy and motivation. The 1st quarter was a defensive battle, as both offenses were held scoreless, including a Carson Wentz lost fumble on a 4th and 1 attempt. Eli Manning then turned back the clock in the 2nd quarter, throwing two touchdowns. The Eagles could only manage a field goal in the first half. Both Wentz and Goedert with very quiet first halves.
Late in the 3rd quarter the Eagles would finally find the end zone, however by means of a Boston Scott run, so a missed opportunity for much needed Wentz points. Now a 17-10 game, overtime would be Goose’s only chance of pulling the rabbit out of the hat. And that is exactly what he would get as Wentz found Zach Ertz in the back of the end zone on 3rd and goal. He’s not dead yet.
Luckily for Goose, the Eagles won the toss and would receive the ball to start overtime. A touchdown from Goedert and/or Wentz could be the ticket to escaping this nightmare. After a few chunk plays (none of which to Goedert) Wentz would hit Ertz (not Goedert) once again for the touchdown to win the game. The final score of the fantasy match up ends 104.1-101.2 in favor of DAWG CHECK.