Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Playoff Chase Heats Up

I haven’t written about the league since the draft.  I like to think that my excuse is moving/new job/baby, but really, I just haven’t loved this season.  Not sure why, but it just hasn’t been as fun.  That being said, we are down to the last 4 weeks, people are inching towards the playoffs, and people will want to see some early scenarios/paths to the playoffs.  We are still a ways out, so I can’t cover everything, but this should be helpful.
I went back and looked at historical data of who does and doesn’t make the playoffs based on end-of-year records.  No team that finished at 5-8 or worse never made the playoffs. On the flipside, any team that won at least 8 games made the playoffs.  It gets more interesting when you look at the 7-6 teams and the 6-7 teams.  79% of the teams that go 7-6 make the playoffs.  Only 23% of the 6-7 teams make the playoffs.  So if you want to feel safe, get to 8 wins.  If you want a shot, get to 7.  If you can hope for a miracle with other teams being terrible, maybe 6 wins will be enough – it happened twice in 2011, and once in 2014. A lot of teams are close, so it could happen.
Speaking of teams that are close, we have 3 matchups this week where a 5-4 team plays a 4-5 team.  Throw in Tyler most likely beating Ren, and we could have seven teams who are 5-5 after this week.  If the 5-4 teams all win though, they take a 2 game lead over the 4-5 teams, with only 3 games left.  It will be an interesting week for sure.
The number 1 team (Chad) takes on the number 3 team (Matt) this week.  They are both at least two games ahead of all of their division opponents.  If Chad wins, he has the inside track to the number one seed.  If Matt wins, he will tie Chad on record, but still be behind on points.  What would be fun is for Matt to beat Chad, and Jordan to beat Geoff, and then the top three teams will be 7-3, and they will be fighting for the top two teams that would earn a bye – but none of them are locks to even win their division if the other top teams in their division win.

Basically, all of the above was fluff to say we won’t know anything for sure after this week, but there will be a lot of interesting games that will be pretty important in the long run.  I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 3 spots are up for grabs in the last week.  Anyway, it will be a fun week for just about everyone.

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