Livin' The Fantasy, 2020 Week 6
(originally written 10/20/20)
Original League - Alter Ego Dynasty
I was the champion of this league just three years ago. Now, I'm just desperately trying to cling to some measure of respectability.
I'm a non-competitive 1-5, with the lone win coming against a guy who stays in the league for some reason, but makes no effort to even compete.
Admittedly, I didn't give this team (Greatest Detective) proper attention leading up to the draft. I had eight keepers who I was standing by loyally—to a fault, in some cases—and figured I'd just pick up whoever was available when Draft Day rolled around.
Two problems with that approach: there was no one Draft Day in this league. The members schedules and locations made it impossible to get together for a single draft; we wound up having to spread it out over several days. In short, I hurried several of my picks, not wanting to hold up the process any further. Note: I should have held up the process further.
And my blind loyalty to players I inherited from Greatest Detective's previous owner back in 2016, plus a couple more who led me to my 2017 championship, cost me a shot at players who were...wait for it...still productive. Specifically, Bengals WR A.J. Green and Colts QB Philip Rivers were two of my original keepers who I refused to part with, even though Green had been injured for most of 18 months and Rivers simply couldn't play any more.
Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery, who I acquired during that 2017 season, had become wholly unreliable from week-to-week but did I allow myself to realize that? Nope. Not only did he remain on my Keepers list...I actually was counting on him in 2020 and didn't make wide receiver any sort of priority in the draft.
After a 1-3 start, I made a couple changes. After a 1-4 start, I finally made wholesale changes, getting rid of Rivers and the very unproductive, injured Green. Naturally, Green miraculously healed and busted out in Week 6 with his best performance of 2020 by far, leaving me scrambling to get him back before anybody else in my league noticed he's available.
Now I'll probably lack the guts to ever cut Jeffery...
(I also tried to acquire free agent breakout star Chase Claypool, but was outbid by a 4-1 rival. This upset me enough to quit the league on the spot, were it possible mid-season. I'm emotional like that.)
Despite the changes, I still fell by 32 points in Week 6, as Melvin Gordon's DUI, Zach Ertz's injury and Marvin Jones's disappearing act proved too much to overcome. But I still fight...
This league held a conventional, one-night draft, and I took a very unusual approach—hoard superstar tight ends and fill most of my other spots with sleepers. You're probably asking why I did this. My only answer for you is that I regularly take six medications.
Well, that's not true. 25% of the reason I went that route: I'd done literally no research or preparation leading up to the draft and had simply forgotten about a number of quality players. And I never track rookies until the season actually starts—had never heard of Claypool, for example, until his four-touchdown game in Week 5.
In summary, my "unconventional" (as one friend gently put it) draft blew up in my face. My team, the 707 Meanies, was winless after five games and that original roster was almost entirely made over by Week 6. So thin on running backs were the Meanies that I was all but forced to part with Ertz for the ancient Adrian Peterson in one trade, and Travis Kelce for Myles Gaskin in another. Luckily, both of those moves have worked out so far.
I didn't have any expectations entering Week 6. Sure, my roster was different—I'd even replaced the struggling defense of my 49ers for that of the Eagles—but was it actually better? And even if it was, I was down three key dudes (Emmanuel Sanders and Wil Lutz of the Saints, plus Greg Olsen of the Seahawks) on bye weeks, which meant a bit more upheaval.
Somehow, things worked out. As expected, the Meanies didn't light up the scoreboard—the Eagles D and Olsen and Lutz's replacements combined for six points—but neither did my opponent, who got a fat ZERO from Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman on Monday Night Football to secure my 89.68-83.94 victory.
Overall, the 2020 Fantasy season has been a humbling experience for a guy with a championship (2017) four straight postseasons (2016-19) and a 205-point game (2019) on his resume. Despite the steep drop in success, I'm going to battle on.
Nothing about 2020 has been normal or easy, and if doctors and nurses can show up every day trying to combat a deadly worldwide virus, I can show up on Sunday morning and click a few buttons.