Long time RotoViz reader and high stakes star Monty Phan shares his story about the 2017 FFPC regular season.
It was eight weeks into the Main Event of the high-stakes Fantasy Football Players Championship, and there sat our team, in fifth place.
Not fifth place in our league. Fifth place overall. Out of 1,440 teams.
The four of us who co-own the team were pretty much:
For the uninitiated, the FFPC Main Event comprises 120 leagues of 12 teams each, and teams are ranked by the running total of points they score each week. Each team plays every other team in its league once, for an 11-week regular season. This was our draft board, picking from the third spot.
Although the ultimate aim is to take down the $250,000 top prize awarded at the conclusion of Week 16, that’s one of those pie-in-the-sky dreams, like when the Cleveland Browns say every year their goal is to win the Super Bowl. Of course it is, but so many things had to go right just to get there. Fifth place after Week 8, though! That’s something!
Then so many things stopped going right. Our third-round pick, DeAndre Hopkins, lost his rookie phenom quarterback, Deshaun Watson, and would be catching passes from – heavy sigh – Tom Savage. The “is he or isn’t he suspended?” saga of our third-overall pick, Ezekiel Elliott, ended with “he is.” Our Elliott replacements (besides Mark Ingram) were the decidedly uninspiring trio of Matt Forte, Giovani Bernard, and Latavius Murray, the last of whom we had spent nearly all our remaining free agent bid money on to acquire a few weeks earlier.
So what’s the point of recapping just another fantasy football sob story of loss, regret and untimely suspensions? There isn’t one. Because it’s not that kind of story.
Because we went to the Upside Down.
Hopkins has maintained 90 percent of his weekly average points with Savage under center. Murray, when in our lineup, actually has outperformed Elliott’s weekly average. Our fourth-round pick, Davante Adams, lost the best quarterback in football and then performed better. Devin Funchess, our 17th-round flyer, was not only relevant, he was an every-week starter.
And at the end of Week 11, our team was at the top of the Main Event leaderboard.
What does that mean? During weeks 14-16, the 275ish teams that advance to the Main Event’s championship round start with their weekly points average and compete to field the best starting lineup each week. The team with the most points at the end of the three-week run wins the grand prize. So, at least at the beginning, we’ll be in first place for the $250,000.
In terms of competitive advantages, it’s small. Last year’s regular-season champ finished eighth overall. In 2015, the top team after the first 11 weeks ended the final round in sixth place. In 2014 (when our team finished 16th overall, our best so far) and 2013, the regular-season leaders failed to place in the top 20.
Truthfully, though, we never expected to be here. For the next three weeks, I’ll chronicle our run for the grand prize. Will we be golden gods or mere mortals of some much less valuable metal? Stay tuned!