PSAS Open Forum #occupyPR

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Week 16 Previews: Championship edition

This is it.  It’s week 16, and it means fantasy football championship. Down to two teams.

We have for the first time in PSAS history no top-seed in the fantasy Super Bowl, with forth-ranked Goslings, who defeated the top-ranked SanFranciscoFerries in week 15, squaring off against the sixth-seed Trichotillomaniacs, who narrowly escaped the second-ranked GrossmanSachs team the past weekend.  It was a very thrilling semi-final weekend, but both the underdogs came away victoriously to be showcased in week 16 in the championship game. 

Historically speaking, no four-seed has advanced to the finals before.  In fact, the only playoff win by a four-seed came back in 2009, when infant PelicanBrief squad topped the future TigerMountain squad (then-known as Discerning Nostrils, five-seed) in the first-round before losing in the second-round to the top-seeded Sunset Park Mastifs, since renamed the Trichotillomaniacs of the Far East.  That was the year of the dogs, as the Trichs-Mastifs were defeated in the final by the three-seed psych dog, which is the legendary team that the league reminisces now and currently referred to as the Primordial Forgotten Ones.  Three finals have featured (1)-(3) matches, with the top-seed emerging victorious in the past two seasons.  In 2010, a sixth-seed squad, the current HomeSpunNeckBloodz franchise, advanced to the final as the bottom seed lead by Tim Tebow with a regular-season record of 6-7 and defeated the then-top-seed Monique and the Phat Girlz.  The six-seeds have a historical record of 3-3 in the PSAS playoffs history thanks to the Vickskennel Cinderella win.  The four-seeds, on the other hand, have all been eliminated in the first round since the afore-mentioned Pelican squad, and have a 1-4 record in the PSAS playoffs.   Both of the first-round bye teams, the Ferries and the Bankerz, were one-and-done this year. 

(4) the Goslings vs (6) Trichotillomaniacs

Two franchises upset the top-ranked teams in the semi-finals to reach this year’s final.  It looks like both franchises are shuffling things at the QB positions, defying the proven-fantasy-theory of riding-the-mule-that-brought-you-there.  The backfield match-ups look pretty set at least, featuring a heavy-weight match between LeSean-LeVeon and Gore-Gore II.  The Goslings may hold the edge, due to McCoy’s upside against pourous Chicago run-defense.  The Trichs may hold the sticks on the wide receiver and tight end positions, with Marshall-Allen-Decker-Boldin-Crabtree possibly all ranking ahead of the Birds receivers and Orange Julius generally ranked in the top-three among other experts.  Also, SNF and MNF matches between Chicago and Philly and ATL and 49ers will all feature significant players for both squads.  Therefore, the battle will be fought in stages, starting with the 1 o’clock games and ending on MNF.  The outcome will most likely come down to the wire, representing the unpredictable dramatic 2013 PSAS season.  The teams faced each other in the peak of playoffs chase in week 11.  The Goslings beat the Trichs handedly then to stay in the chase 113.98-85.79. 

Will the Trichs pluck enough down for a crown jacket

The Cinderella Goslings fended off the late charge by Pitta and the Ferries to squeak by the top-seeded team by a mere 2.61 pts.  Boasting a 9-1 record in the last ten games with a current seven-game winning streak, the last time the Birds were defeated was in week 9.  That’s early November, and it was very unlikely back then to imagine the Goslings in even the playoffs, not to mention the championship game.  But they are here, an impressive expansion team wading through the muddiest PSAS climate ever, despite only topping 120pts once (barely, 120.07 all the way back in week 1).  They average only 104.25pts compared to 121.24 pts by the Trichs, but one thing the Geese know how to do is get that W at the end of the week.  Last week against the regular-season champ Ferries, they once-again had only two players barely reach fifteen points yet still came away with a victory, thanks to a TD each by Nelson and Bell and a mistake-free game by Luck.  Shady McCoy was rather contained, considering the Eagles facing Minnesota defense.  He’s due for a bounce-back for sure, with the Bears in town on SNF showdown.  The team’s Super Bowl reign may be handed here to Kirk Cousins, which is sort of a scary thing for the final, but his matchup against miserable Dallas defense is theoretically very tasty.  St. Louis defense is rather solid at home and welcomes Glennon and Tampa Bay that’s fairly mistake-prone, and the Birds do have Robert Mathis and his time-travelling ability.  The key here is probably production out of Nelson-White-Hartline receiving corps plus TE Miller, none of whom is a top-tier option but all capable of getting to the endzone.  Despite having the lower seed, the Goslings are probably Yahoo projection and Vegas underdogs coming in, just as it seems they’ve always been this season.  If McCoy/Bell and one or two of the receivers can have monster-games and Cousins can have a big game as advertised, the Baby Birds have a solid chance against the favorite Trichs. 

PSAS’s Far East franchise is back in the championship game after a three-season hiatus.  In the semi final see-saw game against the bankerz, the Hairpullers managed to get by with a mere 2.07pts margin, winning with a score of 144.79-142.72.  Zac Stacy led the charge with 21.90 pts, while re-instated Kaepernick tossed for 20.82 pts.  Receivers Allen and Marshall, kicker Dawson, and Carolina D all went over 15pts to help the Pullers edge past the Godbankz.  Notably absent from solid performances all around were Denver receivers Decker and Julius Thomas, both of whom are due for a solid Peyton bounce-back beneficiary.  Frank Gore didn’t get in the endzone, but looked pretty solid last week and, if it wasn’t for the special team TD by Hunter in the fourth quarter he would have received the time-eating carries in the lead (the TD put the game beyond reach and subsequently LeMichael James was inserted as the spell-lead back).  The save-for-actual-playoffs-move may happen for Gore again this week if the game becomes a blow-out, which is the only downside to his tasty match-up against Atlanta defense.  With Kap, Cutler and Dalton on the roster, the General seems undecided this week at this point as to whom to send in behind the Center.  The good news for the General is that they all have decent matchups, with Kap throwing against ATL, Cutler against Philly and Dalton against the Vikes.  Cutler holds the titration edge, with Marshall locked in as the number-one receiver, while Kap’s matchup at home on MNF against not-so-Hot-lanta’s defense is also hard to pass on.  Whomever the general sends in to the field this weekend will likely have a solid game.  The actual weak-link of the roster is probably the solid Carolina defense, who welcomes the Saints offense that held this formidable unit to a mere 1.00pt two weeks ago at the Superdome.  The General actually picked up Detroit defense minutes after seemingly securing the win on Sunday, and their favorable matchup against INT-throwing Eli and the Giants offense may be in for a spell.  With situations in QB and DST positions, will the General stick with the horses that brought him here, or will late-post-season pickups bring him the first PSAS crown?  That is the million-dollar question. 

-TRIX -2.5

3rd place game
(1) SanFranciscoFerries vs (2) GrossmanSachs

The regular season’s top two teams lost their respectable 2013 playoffs debut with a combined 4.68 pts.  Both franchises are probably pretty down after missing getting to the championship by a hair, and this third-place game is pretty anti-climactic as a finish to two great seasons these teams had in 2013.  The projection is fairly even and these teams are pretty well-matched, with the bankerz holding the edge in QB and receivers, while the Ferries strength all year has been their backfield.  The loss of Gronk for the Ferries, who went 2-5 overall in his absence this season, means the tight end battle between Gates and Pitta are fairly even.  Expect a honorable match in which the Ferries look to get ahead first while the bankerz try to catch up with Jeffery in SNF and S-Jax in MNF. 

-GS even
Fight for honor

7th place game
(7) TakingTigerMountain vs (8) Tusken Raiders
Unlike their counter-parts in the championship tournament, the first-round byes of the consolation tourney took care of business in week15 to secure their spot in “the Other” Super Bowl.  Of course if the morning dew had dropped on another leaf either of these teams could have been in the real thing, but that’s hypothetical speaking.  The projection (with TE adjustment) is fairly even, especially considering Charles is ONLY given slightly less than twenty points running against Indy.  Save for SF defense in MNF, the Mountain players will all be done in the afternoon, while the Sand People have Foles throwing in SNF.  Unless the Raiders build a substantial lead at the end of SNF, the Niner D against ATL can clinch it for TTM with a strong showing on MNF against a vulnerable offense. 

-TTM -2.5

9th place game
(9) ThePelicanBrief vs (10) AEthernauts
The AI in charge of the Legal Thrillers may have left the building already with a pretty lady, keeping concussed Welker in charge of the lineup.  So save for major hiccups by a solid lineup of the Space Travelers, the 10th seed will officially finish as the 9th-placed team.  Not to mention that they’ll be in the single-digit, finishing in the odds in the playoffs generally mean that the team finished with a good note in a win.  That’s something to build on for 2014.

-Nauts -8

5th place: Polk High Panthers
Al Bundy’s squad defeated Monique’s girlz handedly in week 15 to claim the fifth spot.  They end the 2013 on a good note.  The quest for Millie’s college fund will continue next year.

6th place: Phat Girlz
The fat lady has left the building, keeping injured players on the line-up in their 2013 finale.  Their thrilling ways were envy of the league this year.  The queenz will surely be back in the PSAS spotlights in 2014.

11th place: BldgDW3LL1NGTh1nk1ng
Romo and Dez are still at it deep, and the Chico Boyz secured the 11th spot with a convincing win over the Mustard Yellow.  Some of the many titrations backfired this year, but the Philosophers will be back in form again next season.

12th place: Dijonnaise All-Stars
The inaugural season for Colonel Mustard began with an unlikely first-place two-game winning streak, but was up and down for the rest of the year.  With one full PSAS season under the belt, the Grey Poupons will be more fearless next year.

13th place: HomeSpunNeckBloodz
Technically, the Bloodz and Stylez didn’t get to play a game to decide the thirteenth place finish, but we all know who we’ll give that less dishonorable award to.  HSNB started the season 3-0, including a win over eventual-top-seed Ferries in week 2, but went the next ten games 1-9.  Probably the season couldn’t end soon enough for the Bloodz and mercifully they were exempt for the post-season misery.  The nametag may call the team differently (  TimTebow15Tribute?), but this proud franchise will resurrect in 2014. 

14th place: Pr1m0rd14lLyfestylzรข
Sadly, this is the last time this year to satire against the franchise so disgracefully fallen in 2013 to go winless.  The last time to slightly be annoyed by the lack of conversion of the registered-trademark sign from the iPad to Blogspot.  Last time to secretly pray for the reappearance of a shooting star.  Let’s hope, this is not F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sun Tzu's Week 15 Previews: Semi-Finals edition

We have four teams remaining in this second week of the fantasy playoffs.  Two top-seeded teams will make their 2013 post-season debut this week, with the regular-season champ Ferries squaring off against the ROY Goslings and the record-making Grossman squad facing the hair-pulling Trichs.  Who will get to the championship next week and reach for the green dough?  The Master’s foresight is clouded and he cannot see the vision.  Some teams are playing their final match of 2013 in consolation.  They shall be commended for withstanding the long emotional roller-coaster that is fantasy football 2013.  Anyhow, here we go.

(1) SanFranciscoFerries vs (4) The Goslings

The improbable run of the Goslings face the biggest challenge to date, with the Ferries that have won nine in a row making the playoffs debut in this semi-final matchup.  The Boatmen carry a handful of SD-DEN players on the roster and will look to get ahead Thursday night with Rivera, Moreno and the kicker Novak.  The Baby Geese have the bulk of their lineup playing in the late afternoon and SNF match on Sunday, so will be in a full-throttle catchup mode at that point.  The prediction would have been lop-sided two weeks ago, but the bye weeks for the top-seeded Ferries brought on some major injury concerns.  Now the Goslings have a fair chance against suddenly-vulnerable-looking Ferries.   In their regular-season meeting, the Goslings did beat the Ferries in the last game below 100 for the Boatmen back in week 3.  We’ll find out if history repeats itself.

Week 14 was supposed to be a relaxing bye-week for the regular-season champions, but it turned out to be nothing but.  Tight end Gronkowski, who's success on the field have been instrumental to the Ferries' record-tying winning streak, tore multiple ligaments in the knee and is done for the season.  Edelman may be the man to replace his touches in New England, but the Bay Area Boatmen had to scramble through the wires to pick up a late-season tight end fill.  Half of the four-headed backfield monster also visited the infirmary last week as well, with Bush re-injuring his calf during warm-up and Lacy rolling his ankle.  Moreno is also banged up and is surrendering touches, especially and notably in the red zone, to rookie Bell in Denver, and Alfred Morris may be losing the lane-opening presence of RGIII in Washington.  All of a sudden the strength of this team has become a major concern.  Cor-kkkkkk-darrelle Patterson's emergence as a possible elite receiver may be a saving grace and the Vikes are playing the Phillies this weekend so he may come through again, but it's not ideal to rely on an emerging rookie having a big game in the second week of the fantasy playoffs.  Looks like Rivers is getting the nod to start at QB, so the Ferries need him to have a huge game in Denver against a fairly vulnerable secondary to give them a nice start to their playoffs quest.

This year's Darlings did it again, knocking out Monique and the Girlz from the playoffs in week 13.  It marked the fifth win in a row for the Baby Birds, who have been on top of eight of their last nine matches.  The win over the Girlz was once again not pretty, with only three players scoring in double digits.  In fact, Shady McCoy almost single-handedly beat the Girlz with a ridiculous 200+ yards and two TDs in eight inches of snow, notching 37+pts for the Birds.  No one else on the lineup got to the end zone, which makes the Goslings' win (and Shady's work) that much more improbable and impressive.  Fitzpatrick was no match for Peyton, only passing for one TD and scoring less than ten in replacing Luck, who himself had a monster game on the bench with four TDs and 33+ pts.  We'll see who'll make the start for the Birds this week.  Tavon tweaked his leg in week 13, so looks like once again Shady will need to lead the charge against the Ferries to continue the miraculous run for the Goslings.

-SFF -3.5

(2) GrossmanSachs vs (6) Trichotillomanics

Two high-octane offenses square off against each other in the 2013 playoffs debut for the bankerz.  This semi-final match is full of interesting titration battles, with Peyton Manning throwing to a couple of Far East receivers in Decker and Julius, as well as the battle for the Bears receiver-supremacy between Alshon and Marshall.  Denver plays San Diego in the final TNF match of the season, and the outcome there will set the tone for the rest of the weekend.  It’s a rare week for the Far East side playing runaway, with the bulk of the players on the field by the early Sunday games.  The bankerz look to come from behind with Gio Bernard playing in the Sunday night game.  These two met in the regular season on week 4, and Grossman beat the Hairpullers handedly in that contest.  DMC played for the Trichs and Marshall for the bankerz back then before the two switched sides in week 6; the winner of this match will claim the beneficiary of that crucial trade.  Yahoo projection has this one being very close, and it probably will come down to the wire.

The Dreadz look to rob the Bank

GrossmanSachs, like the Ferries, hoped for an eventless week 13 for the first-round bye.  Although the bankerz didn’t lose anyone for the season like the Ferries did, AP did get hurt and looks like he’ll be missing a game at least for this week, although his super-human ability to heal was evident last season and he may suit up on Sunday.  Still, banged-up star running backs are one of the more difficult things to handle in fantasy football in terms of setting the lineup and best be avoided especially in the second week of the playoffs.  At least there’s good news coming out of Oakland that Jennings is a go after clearing the head-bang protocol.  The news may be too good if DMC also gets clearance to play, cannibalizing backfield touches with each other, but for now the return of an Oakland back will be welcomed by the Commish.  Steven Jackson will be replacing Peterson and has a favorable matchup against the dysfunctional Skins, but the key to the backfield success will be rookie Bernard running well against stingy Pittsburg defense in the cold SNF matchup.  Receivers Jeffery and Gordon will hopefully be involved in a happy-go-lucky kind of pass-friendly match between Chicago and Cleveland, but somehow that doesn’t seem right for a battle between these two Midwest cities.  Too much of success from Manning will actually be counter-productive to the bankerz’ cause because of the counter-titration effect of the Trichs receiver, unless Manning throws most of his TDs to Demaryius Thomas like he did to Decker in week 13.  Although Grossman boasted the highest-scoring offense at the end of regular season that accounted for whopping 200+ pts in week 13, this is the playoffs, one and done, and some question marks surround the bankerz.  We’ll see if the Commish can overcome those this week in a tough match against the pesky Hairpullers.

The Trichotillomaniacs regained their offensive fire-power in their first-round blast of Polk High in week 14.  The decision to bench most of the 49ers playing against Seattle defense paid off, with fill-in QB McCown getting the biggest production out of the position of the season for the Trichs with a 40+pts game.  The good game wasn’t limited to the QB, with seven Hairpullers scoring in the double digit for a well-rounded demolition of the third-seeded Bundy squad.  The only notable low-balling was from Carolina defense playing high-powered Saints offense.  The General went through total of four kickers in the week-span, but the constant titration paid off with Phil Dawson kicking four field goals in a mild-weathered west-coast game, while the kicker in original Sunday matchup Henery got a fat goose-egg with eight inches of snow preventing the Philly kicker from getting on the filed save for kickoffs all together.  This is the kind of attention to detail that’s required to win a fantasy football playoffs game.  It’s still unclear who the General will decide to send in as the starting QB in week 14, with the Trichs acquiring both Dalton and Cutler while Kaepernick is facing a relatively favorable matchup against Tampa Bay in a warm Florida Sunday game.  The Trichs receivers should be able to counter-titrate Peyton Manning, and Carolina D will have a bounce-back against Geno and the Jets, but the key to winning for the Far East brigade will probably be on QB and backfield production.  Gore and Stacy’s matchups aren’t too favorable, which is a bit concerning.  This NFC West backfield duo needs to have big games in week 14 for the General Far East’s dream of getting to and winning the championship to materialize. 

-GS even

5th Place Game
(3) Polk High Panthers vs (5) Phat Girlz

Two disappointed teams have one more game to play in 2013, it’s the fifth-place game!  Now that Millie’s college fund has been emptied out of the PSAS reserve, they are playing for nothing but pride.  Nevertheless it’ll be a good match up, with the Yahoo projection virtual tied.  In week 6 of the regular season, Monique and the Girlz won convincingly to hand Bundy the first loss of 2013.

-PG even

(7) TakingTigerMountain vs (10) Aethernauts

Disappointed TTM makes their post-season debut against the Nauts that beat the Bandits decisively last week.  Another closely-projected game will feature two stars of NFC South in Brees and Newton.  The Nauts upset the Mountain in week 9 with the score of 116-103. 

-TTM even

(8) Tusken Raiders vs (9) ThePelicanBrief

With just a slight different bend of the needle, these two teams could have easily been playing in a semi-final playoffs match.  Such was not the destiny this year.  We’ll see if the Pelican will replace the concussed Welker in the lineup or keep the heart of this team in the lineup in this ceremonial match.  The Legal Thrillers won the regular season meeting between these two in a close match in week 4, but the projection favors the Sand People this time.

-TR -3.5

11th Place Game
(11) BldgDW3LL1NGTh1nk1ng (vs) (12) Dijonnaise All-Stars

These two teams will play their final game of 2013 season this week in the 11th place game.  In September, neither of them envisioned to be playing in such meaningless match.  Just ask the Bloodz; they should feel embraced to even be playing in this match.  In week 8, the Mustard Yellow routed the Boyz 127-111. 
-BDT -6

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Regular Season Awards

Reviving an ancient tradition of former Commissioner psychdog, this year we welcome you to the PSAS 2013 Awards Ceremony.

Dorfman Memorial Maximum Titration Award - BldgDw3ll1ngTh1nk1ng (66)

-The Chico Bandits had  21 more roster moves than their nearest competitor, in keeping with a long line of BDT titrating.  Only four players took the whole ride with BDT this year and fittingly they were four of their top five picks. Bryant, Rice, Chicago and Amendola. Mixed in there were four trades which pulled in mercurial producers Romo, Deangelo and T.Y.  

Scott Boras Client Spend-down Award - HSNB (Brandon Jacobs $87)

-The Cyclotron tried to turn their season around with a big bid on Jacobs who threw down a 27 on SNF in week 6, unfortunately he didn't play the next three weeks, hobbling their pocket book and roster during some key bye weeks. 

Giveaway - Worst/Best Trade - PelicanBrief-GrossmanSachs (Manning-Helu for Romo/Ingram)
And an NFL Passing TD record

-About a day before Manning picked up five TDs in the opening game of the NFL season he was traded out of the Pelicans 3 QB draft strategy.  On paper, it seemed like a win for the Grishamites, they managed to convert two of their QBs into running backs.  RGIII was an injury risk and Peyton was bound to fall apart at his age.  Romo actually did respectably checking in as the sixth ranked QB by points (over 100 pts behind Manning), but it was struggles by the Grishamites chosen Brady checking in at 15th on the list behind both their other draft selections that makes this one sting.  Ingram's role in New Orleans' backfield never materialized either.

Honorable Mention - Goslings-Polk High Panthers (F-Jax for Jared Cook) -

Reading from the script in week 2 this didn't look too bad. F-Jax was just Spiller's older and less dynamic backup and Jared Cook was going to have a monster year with Sam Bradford. In hindsight, Spiller's balky ankle, F-Jax's vultures, and the high volume Buffalo running attack led F-Jax to be the 9th back by points.

Dollar General Super-Saver Award -
These guys should be back next year

Alshon Jefferies  (Grossman Sachs) $3
Knowshon Moreno (SanFranciscoFerries) $2
Antonio Brown (TakingTigerMountain) $5
Desean Jackson (TuskenRaiders) $7

Regular Season Coach of the Year - SanFranciscoFerries

This easily could have been a three-and-out year for the Boatmen, who started ominously by being to sole team unable to attend the auction draft in person. But the proxy did them right set an effective draft strategy.  Losing their first four, you could be forgiven for giving them up for dead in a 14 team league, but SFF rattled off nine straight wins to finish the season. When you lead the league in winning percentage a lot of things have to come together, like bargain draft picks (Moreno was the vulture of the year at $2) and offense leaders Bush, Lacy and Wilson all carved out premium seasons on a modest budget ($39,$22,$23), injury luck - Gronkowski returned to elite status to push the Ferries into the post-season, only to be struck down in their bye week, and waiver wire pick ups - Harry Douglas stepped into big wideout shoes in Atlanta. 

Rookie of the Year - The Goslings

2013 had two stellar rookies, but making the playoffs in your initial campaign is pretty impressive.  A seasoned veteran of other leagues the Goslings took a four game win streak into the playoffs, rounding out a stellar run. While they were the only team to take a negative point differential to the playoffs, they were consistent - scoring over 100 9/14 times and never scoring below 90 (or above 120).

Game of the Year - AEthernauts vs. Goslings Week 113.95 - 116.47

Recalc victories are always brutal but rarely are they so late in coming.  The Yahoo Recap still shows the Nauts taking this one by a point.  The Nauts went 4-3 to 3-4 on a Wednesday IDP reissue of Mathis' stats. It set in motion a chain of events that ended with the Goslings playing for the a playoff berth in the last game of the season despite ranking 10th in  points and the Nauts playing a lame duck game despite ranking fifth. 

Moral Victory / Tank for the Future Award - TakingTigerMountain

In the Middle of October the Commish announced Moral Victory - rewarding whichever non-playoff team finished with the most points in weeks 7-13 with extra draft dollars. Few would have expected TTM then 4-2, nearly 5-1 before their failed Quantum Point correction, to contend for this inauspicious honor. Yet contend they did. They ran through at 3-4, skillfully combining two 60+ point blowouts with two losses under 10 points. What did the TigerMountain Politburo see in the Ziggy's calculations that led them to this path? The league can only wonder. 

Comeback Kids - the Most Improved Award - Grossman Sachs 

At 6-7 in 2012 the g0dbank was relegated to spoiler in the playoff race, but they took to their new role as commish with a vengeance, making the playoffs while managing the league, casino and blog.  No easy feat, as this author knows.  Underachievers in the first half, the g0dbank had to win their last five to secure a bye, but few doubted they had the guns. A lethal combination of Peyton, Gordon and AP had them among the top point scorers all year long and they made it rain down the stretch, going over 120 in their last four games including a record shattering 205 in week 13.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

PSAS European Summit 2013 - Live Report from Barcelona

SF Ferries checking his lineup next week in preparation for week 2 of the playoffs.   Ferries enjoyed a traditional Basque meal last night and took advantage of a late call time to get over jet lag.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sun Tzu's Week 14 Previews: Playoffs edition

Week 14 Thursday morning came and went, so this is it.  No crazy mind-gobbling recalculation that the Trichs and Girlz hoped wouldn’t happen and the Pelican prayed for took place, and the 2013 PSAS Playoffs commences as it stands.   Nevertheless, the insanity that was week 13 will be remembered in the PSAS minds forever.  Only two relevant games this week, but teams are staying active through the wire in search of one-point edge that seems to be needed now to survive the playoffs. 

(3) Polk High Panthers (8-5) vs (6) Trichotillomaniacs (7-6)

This week 12 rematch will feature the Bundy squad that is now at full strength and the Far East Brigade that stumbled into the playoffs.  The Trichs are heavy with AFC and NFC West players on their roster and as such will aim for a catchup.  Look for the Panthers to get a jump start early on Sunday then the Pullers to make a surge in the late games.  The winner here will face the two-seed Grossman next, but neither team is looking that far ahead.

Polk High snapped out of their four-game losing streak in week 13 to beat the Raiders of Tatooine in a win-and-in matchup.  They did so rather convincingly with double-digit points by seven players to go over 120 for the first time in five games.  The Bundys are now 8-0 this season when they score over 100pts.  Megatron and AJ did their things, and time-share backs F-Jax and Law Firm both got to the endzone convincingly.  The only skill player that disappointed was Randle, who’s seemingly surpassed Nicks this season as the Giants #2 receiver but consistently has shown inconsistency.  With not much depth on the bench, the week 13 lineup will be the team going forward, with possibility of titration at QB and TE positions depending on matchup.  In the week 14 first-round of the playoffs, Megatron and AJ will both be facing suspect defenses, so big games should be expected of them, and the backfield duo have chance to get into the endzone again in favorable matchup.  The key here may be aging TE T-Gonz.  If he can regain and retain the first-half of the season and week 13 form, then the Panthers, an under-dog in projection, will have the upper-hand here. 

The Trichs are lucky to be in this spot after they failed to take care of business in the bitterly-fought week 13 matchup against the Girlz.  The battle came down to the wire on MNF, but the Hairpullers fell short thanks to Eric Decker’s 42 pts left on the bench.  The only reason why they are in the playoffs is because the Pelican Brief also choked, allowing BDT to beat them by the hair with the third-lowest score of the week.  The high-scoring weeks at the height of bye-season gave the Trichs points advantage that other 6-loss teams couldn’t overcome, and the Far East Brigade is here to represent.  The Pullers are probably not focused on the past now, however, with the first-round of the bye presenting just as the tough NFC West teams all facing each other.  Kap and the Niners of the Far East will be involved in another defensive slugfest against Seattle, while Stacy and the Rams will be visiting Arizona’s #1 defense-against-the-run.  Looks like the General is handing the ball to whoever will make the QB start for the Bears against Cowboys on MNF in double-titration move after witnessing how Seattle defense manhandled Brees, the Saints, and the Mountain.  Suddenly-lukewarm MJD will try to lead the backfield attack against the so-so Houston defense on Thursday night, but the General cannot afford another mistitration like the epic benching of Decker in week 13.  The Trichs beat the Panthers two weeks ago handidly and Yahoo projection gives the Trichs the edge here again, but this is essentially a jump-ball, especially with the tough-matchups the Far East players are all facing.

-TRIX even

(4) The Goslings (8-5) vs (5) Phat Girlz (8-5)
Two Cinderella stories come head-to-head in the first-round of the playoffs in yet another rematch from week 12.  Monique’s girlz will try to get a jump-start on Thursday night matchup between Jaguars and Texans.  The bulk of Gos points will come on early Sunday.  There’s an interesting counter-titration brewing here, with the Babies seemingly intent on benching Luck in favor of Titans’ Fitzpatrick throwing against Denver defense.  Winner gets top-seeded Ferries next.

The expansion Goslings are the true Cinderella boys of 2013 after winning four in a row and six of the last seven to close out the season.  In the last three weeks, the Gos beat Trichs, Girlz, and the Mountain, all play-off contenders, to get to their inaugural big-dance.  Like their season, the week 13 win over TTM was surreal, as only three players managed double-digit points.  LeVeon Bell led the Birds with 21.2 points before his helmet came flying off, robbing the team of much-needed-at-the-time TD.  It looks like Bell escaped the worst and will be suiting up this Sunday to face a weak run-defense of the Dolphins.  Shady didn’t get to the endzone but was nevertheless effective against the stingy Zona defense.  The concern here is with Luck, who didn’t throw a TD in week 13 and failed to crack double-digit for the second time this season.  Jordy Nelson, who also lowballed last week, has been teasing with greatness this season but, like Hartline and the rest of the Gos receiving corps, is essentially a second-tier receiver who can be expected to low-ball in any given week.  Such players can be poisonous in the fantasy playoffs, and unfortunately Gos roster is full of such fruits.  Still, if the titration goes right, the Gos have a fair shot, especially against the Girlz squad that have their own difficulty of scoring points. 

The Girlz did it yet again after Monique gave them an emotional speech in the dress room, and they came away with an upset win over then-second-ranked Trichs.  It was yet again a tight margin of victory, and they reach the playoffs despite only having the tenth highest scoring offense.  Another solid game by Stafford, but it was Ben Tate who almost singlehandedly pulled all the hair out of the Trichs with his three TDs.  The Girlz win was even more improbably as these two were the only ones scoring in the double-digits.  Monique did leave some points on the bench, and look to get better feel for titration in the playoffs.  Of course with a roster lacking true star power, this isn’t as easy as 1-2-3.  With Stafford facing weak Philly defense, he’ll be generating points as usual.  It’s the others that concern Monique.  She looks to get on the right track early on Thursday night, with both Tate and Shorts looking to give the Enigma a good head (start).  If not, Monique and the Girlz may be in for another tight one, and the outcome may not favor the bitches this time around. 

-PG even

Bye Standers
(1) SanFranciscoFerries and (2) GrossmanSachs have the week off. 

The Ferries took care of the stylez with no problem in week 13 while leaving one IDP open.  Riding a record-tying nine-game winning streak, the Boatmen will enjoy a true week off, although no one doubted their top-seed clinching victory last week.

The bankerz’ regular season finale came with a bang after they made history with 200plus pts scored in a match.  Their two receivers each had 200+ yards receiving and two TDs in, and Manning passed for five TDs yet again. These three alone would have defeated all but four teams last week, but they got more points from their backfield AP and Jennings who combined for 37+pts themselves.  Scarier still, they left three TDs on the bench that could have bolstered their record-breaking performance even more.  This all for a moot point after the Trichs stumbled and surrendered the coveted two-seed to the bankerz for free.  The Commish will hope there aren’t any crazy injuries this week during his bye.

(9) ThePelicanBrief (7-6) vs (12) Dijonnaise All-Stars (6-7)
Heart-broken Pelican face Colonel Mustard in this first-round matchup of the consolation tourney.  These two met in week 2, when the Yellow surprised the Thrillers en-route to an unexpected 2-0 start. 

(10) AEthernauts (6-7) vs (11) BldgDW3LL1NGTh1nk1ng (6-7)

The Nauts and the Boys square off in a rematch from week 11, in which the Sky beat the Philosophers handedly with their highest scoring output of the season.