At the moment I have four fantasy football teams, and despite a rather impressive Week 1 in which I somehow won all four of my matches, I did not expect that trend to continue. Of all of these leagues I am in a keeper league that, over my four-plus years as a member, I have developed a carefully cultivated reputation of being, well, not very good at fantasy football. I could explain why this is the case, pointing out the steep learning curve or the sad-sack pool of players I was saddled with in my first two seasons as I carefully built a champion, but that would all be a distraction from the real truth that, uh, I just wasn't very good.
All that said, I have carefully and painstakingly worked for multiple seasons to make trades for proven performers (Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks), make savvy draft picks (Darren Sproles or C.J. Spiller) or make draft picks that wind up just being totally and completely lucky (Cam Newton). After four years of dramatically awful seasons -- and one season where I should have made the playoffs before my team spectacularly collapsed down the stretch -- I felt like this season I finally had a squad that would at least make the playoffs and compete for the money if not win the whole damn thing. How that all plays out remains to be seen, but this week there was still an interesting occurrence that I have not yet managed to grasp the morning after.
If you play fantasy football you might know what exactly that was, but in case you don't, all of the players above that I listed had huge fucking games this weekend. As a result, I had a huge fucking week in fantasy football.
How big are we talking? So glad you asked.
In my fantasy league in which I play with fellow alums of The Daily Northwestern, I had a few of these players in addition to my personal hero Eli Manning, who only threw for 510 yards yesterday in what was almost certainly the most bonkers Giants game I have ever watched, and in that league I had a startling 171.50 points when all was said and done. Granted, if Matt Prater kicks 15 50-plus yard field goals tonight I might have to sweat out the week fearing a stat correction could hand me a loss. I'm not particularly worried, though.
However, 200 points is a rarely-trifled with milestone, and certainly one I never had ever considered even remotely approaching. And then something funny happened. Cam Newton was responsible for two touchdowns and 324 yards of total offense, the Patriots remembered Wes Welker existed and and he grabbed five balls for 95 yards, Darren Sproles continued to be PPR dynamite with 13 catches and 128 yards, C.J. Spiller made people forget that Fred Jackson ever played in the NFL three catches, two touchdowns and 170 yards of total offense while Vernon Davis caught five passes with two touchdowns and Stephen Gostkowski booted four field goals.
And then there were Nicks and Cruz.
Now to fully appreciate and understand what, exactly, was going through my mind during yesterday's Giants game, which was certainly crazy and bordered on the patently absurd, would be a lengthy investigation into my own psyche that would leave even the strongest man harrowed and whithered. It was a bizarre game that basically represented my entire tenure as a Giants fan in a nutshell. Frustrating, confusing, bewildering, uplifting, disappointing, but ultimately satisfying in the end. Indeed the game was satisfying at its conclusion and certainly exciting, and Eli Manning's remarkable ability to forget about three awful first-half interceptions and have the biggest day of his career thanks to a 25-point fourth quarter is something that will be talked about in Giants lore for years, but for me the most memorable part of the afternoon will be Nicks and Cruz playing a wild game of "Anything you can do I can do better" with astonishing results.
In the end my fantasy team turned in a 201.03-point day, which is not only stunning given my track record in that particular league, but just the second time that anyone in the league's 10-year existence has even cracked the century mark in one week twice. Of course while I am still somewhat in shock about this, and no doubt opening myself up to scores of critical and mocking e-mails from anyone who is either a) in that league with me, b) in any other league with me or c) a human being, this really guarantees me nothing other than just a win in Week 2, although it is getting at least a mild amount of attention in the fantasy sports nerd-o-sphere.
It's kind of like how Northwestern winning all of its first three games against BCS AQ schools simply gets them to 3-0 and nothing more. Though, for the record, they are the only undefeated team in the Big Ten with that qualification. Just sayin'.
In any event, now that you've all stopped reading, let it simply be known that whatever happens beyond this week in fantasy football -- or real football -- I am still mildly in disbelief, and I will always fondly remember the one week my ragtag team turned into world-beaters. Then again, knowing my luck, I'm sure Demaryius Thomas and Matt Bryant will combine for 121.46 points tonight and I'll start reacting like this guy.
Either way, I'm proud of my team's performance and proud to say that's it's the biggest accomplishment for anyone I know this week. By a mile.