Just when you think you’ve got something figured out (like life) you quickly realize that you don’t. That brief moment of clarity can quickly be replaced by even more confusion because you THOUGHT the mystery was solved. Such, I believe, is the nature of fantasy football for 2015 . . . and maybe beyond. Nothing, it seems, is an iron bet anymore.
Let’s start with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Not only did he not have a great game last weekend, he actually LOST his owners points and got benched. A negative 6.5 in most leagues. Look, we knew they guy wasn’t 25 years old anymore, but he looked really old. Like, well, one of US playing the game. And just two years ago he was setting new touchdown records and winning fantasy championships for those that believed in his miraculous comeback from neck surgery. Now? Welcome to Dumpsville!
And how about Aaron “Discount Doublecheck” Rodgers? He’d beaten the Lions for so long at home at Lambo Field that Detroit almost stopped playing the game. Why not just stay at home, save money on airfare, and just got some extra rest and prep for the next team on the schedule? It counts as a loss either way. But somehow the horrible 2-7 Lions not only won 18-16, but actually made Rodgers look, well human. Wasn’t it just yesterday that you could count on him for video game production each week? But not anymore.
Nothing is a sure thing in Fantasy Football anymore. Okay, except maybe playing the New Orleans Saints defense. They are on pace to give up the most passing touchdowns in a single season (40) a NFL record held by the 1963 Denver Broncos. So far this season they have given up 25 passing TDS, a pace of more than two a game and gave up 4 to—of all people—Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins! And trust me, until this game, no one would have mistaken Kirk Cousins for either Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning (not even Eli) but there he stands with more than 35 points in most ESPN leagues. More than the two future Hall of Famers COMBINED last week. Ouch!
Not to pile on the Broncos (okay, we enjoy it a little bit) but their top two players in terms of fantasy points this season are their kicker and their defense! Wonder what the Vegas odds would have been if someone had wanted to place a bet on THAT before the season?
Look, fantasy football has always been a crazy, luck-filled game where injuries and fluke plays can make or break a season. But if you use the “eyeball test,” even a novice player can tell that this NFL season has been stranger than anything in memory. That smug assuredness you felt before draft day, thinking that if you only got “your guys” this season would be a lock, has now vanished and been replaced by a deep seated dread that everything you know is wrong.