Terminated! A Slow Climb to Relevance

This column chronicles the ups and downs of the team drafted with three friends in the FFPC’s Terminator contest – one player from our roster must be eliminated each week. The first installment outlined the tournament rules.

Great news! Our Terminator team had our most points of the season in Week 6. Guess what else? It made no difference to our place in the standings!

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Of course, we had no expectations of making up our entire deficit in a single week. I was actually tempted to add “if at all” to the end of that previous sentence, but that’s a terrible attitude. I believe in us! We can totally do this. And by “we,” I mean a collection of football players I have absolutely no power over and merely cheer for because I selected them over others whom, at the time, I deemed unworthy of my attention.

The important thing is we’re making progress, slowly closing the gap between our team and the nine squads above us, in a hopeful attempt to grab one of the playoff spots awarded to the top four scorers. Man, nine teams above us. Seeing that is depressing.

Out of the 30 12-team leagues, 341 teams remain, meaning 19 teams have been eliminated for failing to terminate one player from their roster before the weekly deadline at some point this season. So, at the very least, we didn’t blow the $350 entry fee by forgetting to comply with pretty much the sole purpose of this league and then getting disqualified. Imagine if I agreed to do a whole series of these Terminator diaries and then in, like, Week 2, our team got booted because I didn’t do something like set a weekly reminder on my smart phone to alert me 15 minutes before the start of Sunday’s games every week just in case I forgot to cut someone.1

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Of the remaining teams, the points leader in our league was only 59th overall among those competing in the FFPC Terminator contest. So even though we have a bad team, it could be worse – at least we’re in a weaker league, instead of a strong one. Hey, you try looking for silver linings in all this.

Thus far this season, our cuts have been pretty easy. This week, though, we’re having some debate. What I’ve come to realize is we failed to properly develop a draft strategy regarding bye weeks. Example: We drafted the Chiefs defense, which has a Week 12 bye, and the Falcons, who are off in Week 8. Defenses are the only “player” who can’t get hurt and go on IR,2 so having one with an early bye week means you can cut the others and opt to roll with a single defense the rest of the season. The Chiefs are clearly the better of our defenses, so now we can’t cut the Falcons until Week 13. This is bad.

So we’re not cutting a defense. Kicker Wil Lutz has had his bye for us, but I am deathly afraid of cutting Randy Bullock and carrying only one kicker, because kickers are the opposite of defenses, in that you have to assume they’ll eventually get cut, either due to injury or suckiness.

So we’re not cutting a kicker. We have tight end Blake Jarwin, whose only purpose, besides the ability to post 0.0 points every week, is to “fill in” for Zach Ertz and Evan Engram when they’re both on bye in Week 9. Jarwin has one non-zero game this year, where he caught 1 pass for 11 yards3, but that breakout two-catch game is coming, I can feel it!

So we’re not cutting a tight end. At quarterback, we have Jameis Winston and Ryan Tannehill, the latter of whom is definitely out this week and likely next, but we don’t want to tempt fate this early by rolling with one QB, even if Winston has already had his bye.

So we’re not cutting a quarterback. Right now, the most likely candidate is Giovani Bernard, who is looking doubtful this week, and is on bye in two weeks, so, out of the next three games, he’s definitely missing one, and probably two. So we’ll probably cut him.

Let’s just check the iPhone one more time to make sure we set up that reminder correctly …

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  1. When you reach middle age, the Reminders app is invaluable. Without it, I would just be in a constant state of trying to remember what I was going to do. If they remade the film “Memento,” it would be entirely alerts from the Reminders app.  (back)
  2. although the Falcons are making a strong case that that assertion is incorrect  (back)
  3. literally the only catch of his career  (back)