PSAS Open Forum #occupyPR

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Season Wrap Up

It was another great year for the PSAS with the remarkably high levels of participation and franchise zeal that have come to both to characterize our league and create its lasting appeal.

1. TakingTigerMountain (last year 11) - TTM's remarkable run from near-worst-to-first is the story of the year. They did it with a much improved draft strategy, and no small amount of help from a record setting QB. Brees threw a TD in every game this season and was held to a single score only twice. Most importantly, he hooked up with fellow TTM teammate Jimmy Graham for 10 TDs (including two in the playoffs) and TTM was a perfect 8-0 when that happened. The duo's chemistry hid a range of faults. At the 6th round and 68th pick Graham was a steal as their second most productive player.

2. BuildingDwellingThinking (last year 4) - BDT's rise to the top fell short at a critical moment, but they can content themselves on basically being champion in everything but name. Riding with the Cowboys enabled them to wheel and deal, but Romo's luck ran out when he smashed his hand on (recent BDT pick-up) Babin's helmet. Robinson remained no more than an afterthought as McGhee threw pick after pick. It was only the last chapter in a tragedy of the highest fantasy order. Murray's injury cast them back among the realm of fantasy mortals, where they could only regret trading away a back like Turner for another wide-out on their bench.

3. SanFranciscoFerries (last year 9) - The Ferries were doomed by a lack of consistency. But their highs (as demonstrated in the 3rd place game) were spectacular. Powerful weeks in 14 and 16 sandwiched a weak performance that killed their title hopes. One game away from the finals, we wouldn't be surprised to see them wearing the laurels next year. As we broke down before, the Ferries had an uncanny sense for the game this year - making key wire pick-ups and winning the money to do it on the Casino Gulag. Cam Newton was not Peyton, but he was in the top six of fantasy quarterbacks, and a steal at 200k. Fantasy beast Gronk was an afterthought in the 18th (!) round. And Victor Cruz was practically free at 501 PRN. Their luck finally ran out with Kevin Smith who couldn't stay healthy in the limelight.

4. Aethernauts (last year 5th) - The Nauts were much the same story as the Ferries. Consistency failed them at a key moment, and but for that they were champions. In their second year in the playoffs, they snatched a bye, and clearly established themselves as a league blue-chip. Enchanted with Jordy Nelson's potential, they ran him out in the flex again and again. When he found the endzone, the Nauts broke triple digits. When he didn't they struggled to find all around titration.

5. Tusken Raiders (last year 7th) - Last year's consolation tourney winners were a true power-house this year. However, their embarrassment of riches never quite showed up at the same time. McFadden missed the second half of the year with a nagging injury, promising to return all the while. Johnson practically missed the first half with poor performance, while still un-sittable. Tom Brady was an elite passer, but Hernandez' early season promise as a TE double titration gave way to the Gronk's dominance. Still despite their keeper disappointments this crew added two of the better RB2s available via the draft in Sproles and Lynch. It was a season of what-ifs for the Raiders, but they played their hand to the end and smashed the PelicanBrief in the 5th place game.

6. PelicanBrief (last year 3rd) - the PB's gunned for the big dance but came up short again this year. After punching their third straight playoff ticket, the Grisham-ites lost a key week 13 battle to Eleatic rivals TTM, ensuring their fall to a five seed trap game where they scored the lowest out of the four active playoff teams. A key loss to the Raiders in the Week 10 rivalry shake-up however, was a harbinger of the team's vulnerability. The double tight end set never really panned out for PB and couldn't cover for the lack of a run game. PB traded for Turner Overdrive, who performed to RB2 levels the rest of the season. But their draft doomed the season from the get-go. After keeping Rodgers and Gates and drafting top WR Mike Wallace in the third round PB went another four rounds (WR, WR, TE, D/ST) before drafting a running back. The 8th round was by far the latest of any team to pick a back, and with very limited cash reserves PB remained unable to pick up any waiver wire magic.

7. (last year 1st) - last year's champs started this year with style, winning their first two games with scores in the triple digits. However, they would win only one more and eclipse 100 only twice in the remainder of the season. Reeling midway through the season the Kennel Klub abandoned last year's lassiez-faire approach in favor of market panic, selling Rice and Benson in less than a week. Stafford is a passable QB going forward, but hardly a replacement for next year's presumable #1 pick. The Kennel traded or dropped nearly everybody on their roster, and while apologists might claim that remorse over Forte's lost season caused their panic, it's equally plausible subconsciously punished themselves with bad moves this year. Again a force in the post season, Vicks won as many games as the did in the regular season. What will become of the mysterious Dawgs now is anyone's guess.

8. Cincinnati Dangles (last year 8) - The new management at the helm of this franchise is perhaps the most compelling story of the year. Taking over a team in disarray, the new GM put the ship right immediately with a strong draft strategy, picking up the top wideout remaining in Jennings and a QB on the cheap in the fourth round (Ryan). They faced the most punishing schedule on the board, racking up Points Against Average of 117 - and they still won five games. They were the highest scoring team not to enter the playoffs, and if they had faced a more average opponent range they likely would have booked a ticket in their rookie season. Only a season-ending injury from Jennings prevented them from taking the Consolation tourney, which they lost by the narrowest possible margin. The rise of a new competitor, for sure.

9. Trichotilomaniacs (last year 10) - This proud former victor proved unable to string victories together this year, finishing out in mediocrity for a second year running. Rivers, a hot pick in the third round, proved unreliable, especially in the key middle of the season. And Marques Colston struggled with injury and failed to hit his stride until the fantasy playoffs. A promising start for RB Hightower was cut short with a season-ender, and the team couldn't hang on to hand-cuff Bush long enough for him to find value.

10. GrossmanSachs (last year 12) - The Bankers were hot pick to take the Eleatic early this season. They were 5-2 at the midway point and seemed well positioned. However, an unlikely week 10 loss to PG cast them on a downward spiral, losing three straight and knocking them from the playoffs entirely. As the poisonous atmosphere in the clubhouse choked the life from their playoff dreams, the Bankers sat tight, hoarding their paper for another season and a second shot at their dream-team ambitions.

11. Phat Girlz (last year 2nd) - A draft absentee and subsequent deadbeat franchise the Girlz sleepwalked through the year with three tight ends, occasionally fielding a full squad by accident. Seemingly out of spite, they returned to field a team vs. the Commish in Week 12, but were still defeated. If this is the end for this proud franchise, it's truly ignominious - we can only hope that it's a distant memory next year.

12. DethronedKing/NewBeginning (last year 6) - The smart money to play for the championship became an object lesson on why we play the season. Breakout seasons for Foster and Charles made them obvious choices for keepers this year. But Charles' super-early exit and Foster's slow start put the King behind the eight ball almost from week 1. Drafting away from the QB the King picked up Bradford in the 8th round. In the year of the QB it was a deadly choice, a move to play Tebow brought the King a couple late-season victories. An early tie to BDT and a rivalry week rematch (which they would have won agains their original opponent PB) confirmed the gods' wrath against their former favored son.