Monday, November 27, 2017

Fantasy Football is Stupid and so is Hopkins

Here is a table with all of the scenarios for playoffs.  W2 refers to the second place west team.  It could be Tyler or TJ, but the same scenarios apply to both.

TylerWin DivisionA Tyler win and a TJ loss
Wild CardA Tyler win and a TJ win
Wild CardA Tyler loss and a Matt loss and a Skyler loss.
OutA Tyler loss and a Matt or Skyler win.
TJWin DivisionA TJ win
Win DivisionA Tyler Loss
WildcardA TJ loss, a Tyler win, and a Skyler and Matt loss.
OutA TJ loss, a Tyler win, and a Skyler or Matt win.
RobBye WeekWin
RenBye WeekWin
BradyBye WeekWin
ChadBye WeekA Chad win and a Brady loss and Chad outscores Brady.
MattWildcardA Matt win and a W2 loss
OutA W2 win
OutA Matt loss
SkylerWildcardA Skyler win, and a W2 loss and a Matt loss
OutA Matt or W2
OutA Skyler loss

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another week, another 3 game losing streak.

I thought my title was clever, and then I realized I wasn't even the coldest team in the league.  Trevor is tied with me said 3 game losing streak, and then there is Jordan who is on a 9 game losing streak.  He started 2-0, probably felt on top of the world, and then crashed hardcore.  This week, Jordan hit his final bump and was eliminated with his loss, as was Kyle.  They join Trevor in the group of fallen tributes (if you didn't watch hunger games, shame on you).  Skyler

Switching to the leaders, Chad v Brady looked promising, after Chad's 180 point game.  Brady decided to get in on the 180 point action this week, but Chad didn't break triple digits.  Even after that huge win, Chad still has a 50 point lead on Brady if it comes down to tie-breakers.  Fortunately for Brady, he has some cupcake games coming up, and he should hopefully maintain his 1 game lead on Chad. Skyler

In news from the South (which currently has the most exciting races in my opinion), Rob got a big win and basically knocked Matt out of the race for division champion.  Rob is currently up 2 games on Matt with 2 games to go and Rob has a 100 point lead over Matt as well.  If Rob wins next week, that will eliminate TJ from getting a first-round bye, even though it wouldn't give Rob the division championship, because Ren could still catch him. Skyler

In the West division, TJ has a one-game lead over Tyler as well as 110 points.  For Tyler to win the division, he will need to win out while TJ loses out.  There is a small possibility that they could end with the same record, and Tyler somehow catches up on the 110 points over two weeks, but we all know it's not going to happen. Skyler

With Skyler and Matt losing, and Geoff and Tyler winning, the battle for 6th place will be intense with two weeks remaining.  Skyler and Geoff have the toughest remaining games (both against the top 2 teams in the league, so they should be nervous.  Matt is 50/50 as he plays Ren and then Trevor.  Tyler is also at 50/50 as he plays Jordan and TJ. Skyler

The game of the week is Matt against Ren.  If Ren wins, he will have a 2 game lead over Matt, and Matt will have no chance of sneaking up to get the 5 seed.  Ren winning will also keep the pressure on Rob for the division championship.  If Matt wins, he will maintain his lead on the 6th seed and could overtake Ren for the 5th seed next week, and he will also make the path for Rob winning the division much easier. Skyler

For the sake of intensity (and my own needs), Ren beating Matt would make for an intense week 13 since there could still be 4 teams fighting for one spot. Skyler

I know my thoughts have been all over the place, so here is a recap by person, going in the order of ease for me to write about. Skyler

Kyle, Jordan, and Trevor are done, but can still affect the playoffs by winning or losing. Skyler
Brady: Leads for the #1 seed, but Chad is still right there.  This race won't likely be wrapped up until the last week.  If Brady wins this week while Chad loses (I would 100% approve of this), it would be finished, but Chad has an easy game (Skyler). Skyler

Chad: See above. Skyler

Rob: A win this week and a Ren loss would lock up the division win and the bye week.  A Rob loss and a Ren win would put Ren atop the division on tie-breaker, and then they would play each other in week 13 with the division on the line (and it would give TJ a chance to steal a first-round bye).  I really want to see that happen now that I know it can happen,  It can only happen with a Rob loss and a Ren win. Do your part Trevor and Ren. Skyler

Ren: See above.  Even with a loss, he would still be in control of the 5 seed going into the last week, but it would make him vulnerable to dropping to 6th or even missing the playoffs, though not likely. Skyler
Matt:  (See the previous two) Lose and he will have no shot at the 5th seed, plus he will give hope to Skyler, Geoff and Tyler to sneak in. Skyler

Geoff and Tyler:  If they lose while Matt wins, they will be eliminated from the playoffs. If they win while Matt loses, Tyler would jump up ahead of Matt and into the 6th seed (unless Skyler won, though he could potentially win his division), and Geoff would be tied with both of them on record, but behind on points. Skyler

Skyler: If he loses and Matt wins, Matt will have a 1 game lead and currently has a 50 point lead in the tie-breaker.  It wouldn't 100% eliminate Skyler, but it would be almost impossible for him to come back from the loss. If he wins and Matt loses, it will move him up to the 6th seed. Skyler

TJ: Win the week, win the division, have a shot at a bye week if Rob loses. Lose this week (to Tyler), wait and see what happens in week 13, lose all chance at a bye week.

So for maximum week 13 fun we want Skyler and Matt to lose (stay at 6 wins) and Geoff and Tyler to win (get up to 6 wins), while Ren beats Rob.  That would mean no one had won their division yet, and that 4 teams would be battling for 6th place.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

How to Make the Playoffs: A Step by Step Guide to Qualifying for the Tournament

I have more free time today, so I decided to sit down and look at how each team can qualify for the playoffs.  Here is a screenshot of the current standings.

So starting at the bottom:

Trevor is officially out. Sorry, compadre.

Jordan and Kyle have the same path to the playoffs.  Win every division game with TJ losing every division game, and Tyler winning only one division game (over TJ) while the other member of the Jordan/Kyle group beats both TJ and Tyler, but loses the head to head Jordan/Kyle matchup.  And then Jordan/Kyle would have to be able to beat out TJ and Tyler on the points tiebreaker. I give this a <1% chance of happening.  Another fun fact, if Jordan loses this weekend, he eliminates himself and Kyle at the same time.

Next on the list is Geof.  Geoff cannot catch Chad or Brady, so if they win, it doesn't affect him making playoffs.  Geoff needs people he can catch to lose.  So he needs to win out (gets him to 7 wins), and he needs Skyler to lose out (stays at 6).  He should also cheer for TJ and Rob to win out (8 and 10 wins respectively), with Tyler only winning 1 more game maximum (5 wins).  He should also cheer for Trevor to beat both Matt and Ren so they don't get additional wins.  Given the current scores, he should cheer for Ren over Matt because Matt has the lower point total, but if Matt or Ren lose out, and Geoff wins out, he would jump ahead of one of those people.  Also, it is still mathematically possible for him to make the playoffs at 6 wins, but it would be darn near impossible.  I also give Geoff <1% chance of making the playoffs.

It gets murky in the middle, so I am jumping to the top.  The winner of Chad v Brady has the inside track to a bye week.  It is possible that the loser wins the next two after, and the winner loses the next two, but it's not likely given their competition. Chad has a big lead on points, so if they end up tied, he will get the tiebreaker.  In theory, one of them could lose out and miss the playoffs, but we know that's not going to happen.  The things that need to happen for one of them to miss the playoffs is longer than the list for Geoff to make the playoffs. >99% chance they both make the playoffs, and >99% chance that one of them gets a first-round bye.

In order for Tyler to win the division, he needs to win all of his games, and given the 90 point lead TJ has on him, he should hope for TJ to lose at least 2 games.  If Tyler wants to get to the playoffs as a wild-card, he will still likely need to win out.  If Tyler only gets to 6 wins he would need TJ to lose out, Ren or Matt to lose out (Matt has fewer points, so he should cheer against Matt), and Skyler to lose out.  And then he would have to make it on tie-breakers -- and he is already ahead of Matt and Skyler on points, so that would work out for him.  Overall though, Tyler's best case to make the playoffs is by winning the division.

TJ can guarantee a division title by winning out.  If he goes 2-1 and Tyler goes 3-0, he will still likely win the division based on points.  TJ can also win the division by only winning 1 of his last 3 games, as long as that win is against Tyler (they play next week, and not this week), and that Tyler doesn't catch him on the tie-breaker.  All of those scenarios

The South division can be won by any of the non-Trevor teams winning out.  Matt would need a little help if he wins 3 games and Rob wins 2 since Rob is ahead on tie-breakers, but even then Matt would make the playoffs.

The wild card spots are a little tricker for The non-South winners and Skyler are a little trickier.  For ease of writing, I will assume Rob wins the division since he currently has the lead.  So that leaves Matt and Ren fighting with Skyler for the last 2 playoff spots (though Rob could be swapped out for Matt or Ren, and Tyler could get there, but it would be a big stretch).  Another stretch is that an 8 win team could miss the playoffs.  If Matt and Ren go 2-1, and Rob and Trevor go 1-2, Matt Ren and Rob would all end up with 8 wins.  If Skyler also goes 2-1, that would give him 8 wins.  It's highly unlikely all of that happens, but you never know.

In summary, if you want to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, get to 9 wins.  If you want a really good shot, get to 8.  If you want a chance to make the playoffs, get to 7, but you will be needing help.  Getting in with 6 wins will require a miracle.  Getting there with 5 means you are Kyle or Jordan and that miracles are real.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Week 10 Interesting Groups

This week is the last week before we get back to division games, which means it's the last week where you can get a win and everyone else in your division can get a loss.  So for those looking to catch up or pull away, this is a big week.

Here is a look at the importance of the upcoming games.

Chad vs Matt and Brady vs Rob:
I grouped these together because it's the top team in the north vs the top team in the south, and the second-best team in the north vs the second-best team in the south.  While it is likely that the winners of the North and South will get the bye weeks, this week will basically solidify whether the North will get the 1 seed, or if the South has a chance to steal it.  If both North teams win, it will give Brady a 3 game lead over the South, and Chad a 2 game lead (with 3 games left to go).  If both of the South teams win, it would mean that Matt, Rob, and Chad would all be tied, and Brady would be only 1 game ahead.

Skyler vs TJ and Tyler vs Ren:
Here we have the top two teams in the west going against the two guys who are currently battling it out for the wild-card spot.  A Ren win with a Skyler loss would put Ren ahead on tie-breakers for the last spot in the playoffs.  A Skyler win and a Ren loss would give Skyler a two-game lead.  If they both win or both lose, it doesn't change anything between them, but if they both lose, it would give the west a chance to get one of the wild-card spots.

A Tyler win and a TJ loss will put Tyler up by one game (which he needs to happen as he is behind points).  A TJ win and a Tyler loss will give TJ a one-game lead in addition to his points tie-breaker.  If they both win, nothing will change between them, but it would keep Jordan and Kyle at bay, and it would mean they would be tied with Ren's record and only a game behind Skyler -- which would mean one game back of the last wildcard spot.  So while they are desperately cheering for the other to lose, they can still benefit if they both win.

So this week Skyler and Tyler are cheering for each other, and Ren and TJ are cheering for each other.

Trevor vs Kyle and Jordan vs Geoff:
The Loser Leaves Town group.  I won't say that the losers will definitively be eliminated from the playoffs because it would depend on a lot of the other games, but it is very likely that the losers will not be able to make the playoffs.  It will still be a tall task for the winners to make the playoffs, but it would still be possible.

After this week, we will be back in division play.  Just as a reminder while you are thinking about how you can still make the playoffs, here are the possible win/loss combinations of a division during the 3 division games.  3-0, 2-1, 1-2, and 0-3 or 2-1, 2-1, 1-2, and 1-2 or 3-0, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2.  So if you are planning on winning out your division games, just remember to give some other teams in your division a few wins.  Sadly, you can't go 3-0 while the rest of your division goes 0-3.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The King in the North

I took a few weeks off of blogging because I was on vacation and the time zone was screwy.  I'm still a little screwy from the time zone change/jet lag, but not enough to prevent me from writing.

First, a recap of this weeks games, followed by some Game of Thrones comparisons.  So potential spoiler warning, though if there is a Venn Diagram of people who will read this and watch game of thrones, there is a very small middle section.  But, there is one picture of some fun/bad photoshop, and the title is a key of who it will be.  Also, I am not implying any incestual relationships between anyone in the league, even if it may happen in game of thrones.  I don't want to hear jokes about that later on -- though no one else in my league watches the show as far as I know.

Brady has won yet again and basically got a spot in the playoffs.  Even if he has the worlds worst drop off and doesn't win another game, our league has a history of teams with a record of 6-7 making the playoffs.  Odds are good he can win 2 of the next 7 though and guarantee a spot.  This will be only the second time in the modern era that Brady makes the playoffs.

We had two nailbiters with Matt taking down TJ by 1.48, and Geoff beating Kyle by 3.98.  I suppose a stat correction could happen, but it's not likely.  Matt came from behind and got the win on a 53-yard Mariota TD pass.  Had Mariota thrown for 38 fewer yards, TJ would have won.  As a Titans fan, I loved the play.  From a fantasy standpoint, I feel bad for TJ -- he lost last week by fewer than 7 points, and the week before that by .2.  I think we know how he does so well at his losing weight challenge -- fantasy football makes him angry, and then he angry exercises all the calories away all week.  Maybe losing in fantasy football will help you in the long term TJ?

In the battle of 1-4 teams. Kyle tried his best to come back against Geoff, but with only 4.7 from his combined Colts tonight, he couldn't pull it off.  The strange part is over 5 weeks (not including this week's games) Kyle has outscored Geoff by 200 points, or an average of 40 points per week.  Kyle has some of the worst luck I have ever seen.

Speaking of Geoff winning, the teams from the North division are now 11-1 in non-division games.  The only non-division team to beat a team from the North is Ren.  It will be interesting come playoff time to see if the 3 times.

The only other game that was potentially interesting tonight was my game with Tyler, but my kicker had the game of his life, and Demarco Murray had his second best game all season and I ended up winning this one -- but really it only happened because Tyler looks to have lost Aaron Rodger for the season.  As someone who is on the edge of the playoff race (assuming he doesn't win the division), this was a bad week for Tyler.  His whole division lost today though, so he will still be in first place in his division at 3-3.

Now for the game of thrones part.  I will compare teams/owners to characters from game of thrones, starting with Brady.  If I knew photoshop better and had the patience, maybe I would do this for all of the teams, but this whole idea came about because of Brady being the best team in the North division.

Brady = Jon Snow:

  • King in the North
  • Dark Hair
  • Was in the shadows early on importance to Westeros/The League (Jon is a bastard, and was never going to inherit land or titles, and Brady didn't win a lot before this season)
  • I didn't say these were great comparisons.
Skyler = Sansa Stark:
  • Red-Headed cousin of the previously mentioned person.
  • Jealous of said cousin's success.
  • Known to make some head-shaking dumb decisions.
Sticking with the North Division being Starks

Chad = Aria Stark:
  • Small
  • Petite
  • Is an effective killer, but personal arc hasn't had a huge impact on westeros as a whole (Chad just can't win the league/get his name on the trophy even though he is consistently great)
  • I didn't say I would be nice in these comparisons.
Geoff = Rob Stark:
  • The first person to have the title of "King in the North" (First championship winner in modern era)
  • Died shortly thereafter (hasn't done a whole lot since).
Matt = Cersei Lannister:
  • Currently rules the land (has the trophy).
  • Kind of ruled through someone else in the past (won the trophy for Jordan's team).
Kyle = Warlocks of Qarth:
  • All flash (scores a ton of points), but no substance (worst record in the league)
TJ = Daenerys Targaryen:
  • Looks like about to break through, but loses some heartbreakers at the last moment (she loses one of her dragons and the iron fleet, TJ loses in the 4th quarters of Monday Night Football).

Ren = The White Walkers:

  • A legend that has existed for a long while (had a few great years, and has picked some great sleepers) but no one really believes it's out there anymore -- until it's too late.
  • Really good at mindless tasks like marching through the snow (sitting at a computer coding -- which I know isn't mindless, but I needed to put a second line here since I didn't on the last two).
Jordan  =  Tormund Giantsbane:
  • Tall Readhead
  • Physically gifted (you've seen Jordan play basketball right?)
  • Struggles with White Walkers (not exactly true in the show, but Jordan has only beat Ren twice in the regular season, so it works here)
Trevor = Gendry:
  • You hear from him once and a while, but is mostly rowing out at sea, not doing much in the grand scheme of things.
  • Sorry Trevor, it's late and I'm struggling here -- not that you know who this character is.

Tyler = Theon Greyjoy:

  • Rides the Starks coattails and pisses them off when he double crosses them (whenever Tyler sits next to me or Brady at the draft, he asks for help, and then still takes the players we want, even when we exclude said players from the list we help him with).
  • Is a skinny fellow.
Rob = Petyr Baelish:
  • Has lots of sneaky plans that gives me headaches.
  • Doesn't seem formidable, but is a lot more dangerous than he seems (Who is Arian Foster Rob? You know randy moss is past his prime right Rob? You only picked this Gronkoski guy because of his last name right Rob?)

Well there you go, sorry for how long it took.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

All Hail the King

It's Brady's world, and we're all just living in it.  After a furious comeback by my team, Brady squeaked out a win by 1.34 point to remain the only undefeated team.  Personally, I'm pissed my team let me down, but it never really should have been that close since Brady's TE got him 0 and his defense got him -4.  As someone who enjoys the history of the league, I am interested to see how long this will go on.  Brady hasn't started this hot before, and there are no other 3-0 teams competing for the top spot this week.  He plays Jordan next week, which is no easy to task, but it is still a winnable game.

As for the rest of the week 3 review, only two other games were within 20 -- so there weren't really any exciting finishes that had people sweating it out.  Hopefully that changes next week.  Maybe it will change if we all get better at starting the right people, but who knows.  All the games are currently projected to be within 10 points, but we all know that projections are the worst.

The most interesting game of the week will be Brady (3-0) vs Jordan (2-1) and Chad (2-1) vs TJ (2-1).  All the other match-ups feature at least one time with a losing record.  I know they still matter early in the seasons, but I can't pick every game as interesting, and there are only 6 games from which I can choose.  Best of luck to everyone but Ren this week.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Week 1 and 2 Review

I wanted to write about week 1, but I was traveling to New York that Sunday for work, and because of all the mishaps during travel (the flight was an hour and a half late, so I missed my connection, which meant I had to get rerouted through Columbus and then got to New York at 9 AM eastern time with maybe an hour of sleep) I went to bed early (9 pm) that Monday night.

There was only one close game week 1.  Chad would have won had Andy Dalton gotten hurt on the first play and ended up with no points.  Instead, Andy Dalton got -3 points, and Chad lost by 2.98 points.

Week 2 was a little better, as there were two close games (both decided by less than 4 points), but overall, the competition has been lacking.

That isn't to say that the results/standings haven't been interesting.  I decided to go back and look at how many teams started 2-0 and how many of said teams made the playoffs.  I don't know why it has worked out this way, but we consistently have three 2-0 teams each year (one from each division).  There have been 2 years (2010, 2016) where we have only had two 2-0 teams, and we had one year (2013) where we had four 2-0 teams.  I would like to see how a season plays out where there are no 2-0 teams, or six 2-0 teams, but those aren't very likely to happen.

My "research" (looking quickly through the history) showed that of the 20 teams to start 2-0, 14 (70%) of them make the playoffs.  I don't want to jinx Brady, but the only time he has made the playoffs, he started 2-0 -- this might be the year he gets back in.  The 6 teams to miss the playoffs after starting 2-0 were Trevor (2016), Trevor (2013),  Kyle (2012), Chad (2011), Konner (2011), and Trevor (2010).  I learned two things from that list.  The first thing I learned is that we have gotten better over the years as a league. Four of the instances of teams missing the playoffs happened in the first 3 years of data/post-missions.  The second thing I learned is that Trevor has a hard time handling a good start as he accounts for half of the instances of people starting 2-0 and missing the playoffs.

I also looked at teams that start 0-2 to see how they do with making the playoffs.  Only 6 out of 20 of them make the playoffs.  There is a pretty good correlation of the 0-2's making it the year 2-0's don't but it's not perfect every year, so no need to despair quite yet if you started 0-2.  In 2013, two teams who started 0-2 played in the championship game.

We all know that the projections are garbage, but at least at the moment, no one is projected to win by more than 9 points.  So hopefully we get some close games this week and have a little bit more anxiety on Sunday night.