Round 1 Playoffs By: Dan Dankert

I figured I would share the results from my fantasy league playoffs since you all have been keeping up with my league. I have replaced the team names of the teams in my league (besides for my own) and I will replace them with random team names just so we can keep them straight easier. The first and second seeds got byes, so the key matchups here are the 5v4 and 6v3 matchups.  The bracket is established below.


(1) Yellow Jackets (10-3)        Bye

(5) Spartans (7-6)                    56

(4) Gators (8-5)                       75

(6) Ducks (6-7)                        101

(3) Cougars (9-4)                     107

(2) Cloud 9 (Me: 8-4-1)          Bye

First I want to show you who I started and how my team is looking going into the rest of the playoffs. I used this week as a practice run. Try and make a lineup I would actually start and see how the team performs. Here is who I started:

QB: Dak Prescott- 6pts

RB: Ezekiel Elliot- 10pts

RB: LeSean McCoy- 16pts

WR: Jarvis Landry- 8pts

WR: Michael Crabtree- 2pts

TE: Eric Ebron- 3pts

FLX: Carlos Hyde- 24pts

D/ST: Minnesota- 7pts

K: Steven Hauschka- 4pts

81 pts

Overall it wasn’t a good week for our boys. Dak Prescott had a terrible week only scoring 6 points. However my other stud quarterback, Derek Carr only scored 4… It’s a good thing I had a bye with both of my quarterbacks scoring in the single digits. I had a decent week out of my running backs. The average points for my starting running back was 17 points. If I can keep that up through the playoffs, my chances of winning will be pretty high. My wide receivers, tight end, and special teams were lacking though. I don’t expect to win in these matchups but it’s key that I don’t get obliterated in these matchups. I would like to see 10 points from each of my receivers and at least 5 from the tight end spot. Overall this week was quite poor and I would have most likely lost in the first round of the playoffs with this team. But, I didn’t have to play and I have a few tricks up my sleeve for next week, most notably of them, Sammy Watkins.


Now let’s check out the 5v4 matchup

(5) Spartans- 54pts                                                      (4) Gators- 75pts


QB: Ben Roethlisberger- 2pts                                     QB: Matt Ryan- 21pts

RB: David Johnson- 12pts                                          RB: Doug Martin- 13pts

RB: Terrance West- 2pts                                             RB: Melvin Gordon- 0pts

WR: Brandon Marshall- 3pts                                      WR: Demaryius Thomas- 12pts

WR: Steve Smith Sr.- 5pts                                          WR: Taylor Gabriel- 14pts

TE: Travis Kelce- 10pts                                              TE: Jimmy Graham- 1pts

FLX: Jeremy Maclin-1pts                                           FLX: Latavius Murray- 16pts

D/ST: Green Bay-17pts                                              D/ST: Seattle- -2pts

K: Adam Vinetieri-4pts                                              K: Dan Bailey- 0pts


This was an awful playoff matchup. Neither team performed anywhere near their potential. The Spartans had a 2 point performance from Ben Roethlisberger. That being said, outside of Roethlisberger and Johnson his team was devoid of talent. On the flipside of things the Gators here have an outstanding team with a very high ceiling. Ryan is a quarterback that I was targeting in the draft and has come up huge for the Falcons all year. Gordon has been a fantasy stud, and the Seattle Defense is always a good bet. You throw in Jimmy Graham and Demaryius Thomas and you have yourself a playoff caliber team. He managed to get lucky facing off against a team that had a disappointing week, or he could have been out in the first round. 75pts in a playoff game is pretty weak, but nonetheless, he moves on to the semifinals.


3v6 matchup

(6) Ducks- 101pts                                                       (3) Cougars- 107pts

QB: Jameis Winston- 8pts                                          QB: Tom Brady- 26pts

RB: Le’Veon Bell- 47pts                                            RB: Lamar Miller- 17pts

RB: Spencer Ware-5pts                                              RB: LeGarrette Blount- 13pts

WR: Julian Edelman- 7pts                                          WR: Odell Beckham Jr.- 15pts

WR: Tyrell Williams- 6pts                                          WR: Willie Snead- 8pts

TE:  Cameron Brate- 4pts                                           TE: Zach Ertz- 11pts

FLX: Jay Ajayi- 5pts                                                  FLX: Theo Riddick- 0pts

D/ST: Arizona- 5pts                                                    D/ST: Denver- 7pts

K: Justin Tucker- 12pts                                               K: Matt Prater- 10pts


The Cougars have a great team. This is a team built for championships. Outside of the Theo Riddick play, he made most of the same choices I would have made given his team. Instead of Riddick, he could have played T.Y. Hilton, who I would have started, playing Hilton would have pushed his score to 124pts which is a great score. He also sat Bilal Powell who ended up scoring 29, but I don’t think anyone would have started him over any of his players. This is probably the team that I am worried about the most, and they are also the team I play in the semifinals this upcoming weekend.

But on the other side of the matchup a couple things stand out. LE’VEON BELL SCORED 47 POINTS. Bell put the Steelers and the Ducks on his back (Greg Jennings style). Bell accounted for nearly half of the fantasy points scored by the Ducks here. If it weren’t for terrible performances by Winston and Ware, and just all around underperformances by the rest of the team, this team could have scored north of 125pts but they didn’t. This team also didn’t have many changes that I would have made. I probably would have started Terrelle Pryor or Davante Adams over Tyrell Williams or maybe both over both starting wide receivers. Pryor was shut down against Cincinatti and scored 0pts, but Adams went off for 17, and watching the Packers against Seattle, he easily could have come close to 30 points, if it weren’t for a slightly overthrown ball by Aaron Rodgers. Overall this was a great showing for a team that showed a lot of promise all season long but got a rough first round playoff matchup. Honestly what probably should have been the 3rd place game ended up being a first round playoff matchup. GGWP.

Here is how the number one seed in our league did on his bye week. Granted, it looked like he started his best lineup, though several players on his bench did outscore starters.

Chicago Bears- 49 pts

QB: Matthew Stafford- 15pts

RB: Matt Forte- 0pts

RB: Devonta Freeman- 1 pts

WR: Larry Fitzgerald- 1pts

WR: Mike Evans- 4pts

TE: C.J Fiedorowicz- 3pts

FLX: Thomas Rawls- 6pts

D/ST: Miami- 15pts

K: Chandler Catanzaro- 4pts


This team did not score well at all as is evidenced by its 49 point total. But this team is very solid. Outside losing Forte to an apparent injury, the team is in good shape going forward. If Forte is hurt for next week or not, this team has options. With Jonathan Stewart on the bench, he can make changes as needed depending on Forte’s status come later this week. The lethargic Seattle offense won’t stay that way and Thomas Rawls is an absolute beast. The same thing could be said for both Fitzgerald and Evans. Both are definite starters. Fiedorowicz was an interesting start, but I would look for him to play Jordan Reed in the coming games, something that will improve his team as Reed continues to come back from injury. Things get tricky with Reed however, as the Redskins play on Monday night football this upcoming week, and his status may still be up in the air come Sunday.


At this point all of the top seeds are still in it, and it’s time to take a hard look at the teams and decide the odds for who can actually win this league. Here are my chances for each team.

Cloud 9 (Me)- 30%

Chicago Bears- 30%

Minnesota Vikings- 30%

Dallas Cowboys- 10%

In the end I think there are a clear top three teams, each one has its own question marks. I love my matchups this weekend and believe I could beat pretty much any team this weekend. But, if Cougars can pull of what I would consider to be a huge upset, then I think he has an easy path to the championship. He has a consistent team that doesn’t rely on someone going off for huge points, and he has a number of players that can go off and get 20+ points which can help in those close matchups. Honestly it feels that both my team and the Cougars have to play two league finals in a row.

I think the top seeded Yellow Jackets are not in very good shape. I don’t think Stafford will continue tearing up teams left and right. I don’t trust Freeman on a week to week basis, and the Forte injury is concerning even though he has suitable replacements. But he is the number one seed and has the best semifinal matchup, with a very high chance of reaching the final anything can happen.

Finally the 4th seeded Cowboys in my opinion have little chance of winning the championship. It’s not because he doesn’t have a good team, it’s just that I feel the other three teams are pretty stacked. Anything can happen in fantasy football, and at any given time, a player can go off for massive points, and that can go a long way in winning a championship. Remember what I said last week, you don’t need skill to win in the playoffs, only luck and if luck is on this team’s side who knows what could happen.

Be on the lookout for my next article where I will be recapping this set of fantasy games, giving my predictions for my fantasy football super bowl, and I will start handing out general year end fantasy football awards.

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