One of the hardest parts about writing weekly fantasy recaps is deciding on a common theme, as narrative threads do not always make themselves immediately apparent across five independent matchups. In Week 5, we talked about the upsets in the “Upside-Down” league; Week 4, the rivalry of similar teams were highlighted. In Week 2, only three teams (barely) surpassed one hundred points, so we discussed the “fantasy point wasteland.” The opposite problem was had this week, as a season-high six teams entered triple-digit territory (and one was only a point-and-a-half away). Although only half won, a majority of the teams could have won an any other average week. But Week 8 was far from average..
The Macho Men (3-3) @ YOUR Reigning Champion (2-4)
The two game losing streak for the Washington Whiteskins had the front office in a bit of a tizzy, so they did what any other sane team would do when facing adversity: R-E-B-R-A-N-D. This week’s matchup against the other professional wrestling-themed team presented a perfect opportunity to step out with some over-the-top swagger, and boy did they ever. The newly anointed Macho Men have it all: the first RB/WR eligible player in Ty Montgomery, a shiny, new, animated logo (brought to you by Slim Jims™), and a new loss to add to their streak! Despite posting a score that would have beaten every other team in the league but two, the Macho Men suffered yet another devastating loss to the previously woeful Reigning Champions. The Champs are a team we don’t quite understand just yet, as they went four weeks in a row without breaking 85 points (all losses) and then score over one-hundred and ten in all others (all wins). Consistency is not the Champ’s strong suit, but that thought is far from their minds after monster performances from Luck and the recently acquired Ajayi (whom The Macho Men dropped earlier in the year). It all depends on which team shows up the rest of the season; will they remind us why they are the Champions, or will they have us questioning how we ever let them win the cup in the first place?
We award the Winner of the Week award to YOUR Reigning Champion. May your reign be long and prosperous oh wise one. We are but loyal subjects under your domain.
YOUR Reigning Champion (3-4): 130.0
The Macho Men (3-4): 111.5
Jen Brown’s Floppy Boobs (3-3) @ The Real Slim Shady McCoy (4-2)
Charles Baudelaire once said that “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist,” but you probably remember it from the fantastic Usual Suspects. It is a phrase often quoted by both wannabe edge-lords and conservative Christian grandmothers alike, but don’t let it’s ubiquitousness diminish its message: evil is real, and it wants you to forget it. This week, our nefarious commissioner donned a new mask in a failed attempt to appear more likeable and less malevolent. After unceremoniously trading away the glue that held the team (and name) together, the commissioner again failed to connect to fans and their appetite for nostalgia by referencing a 16-year-old song in a completely unoriginal, uninspiring manner. The inclusion of “Shady” in their new moniker could not be any more ironic if unintended, and any more brazen if not (On the other hand, “slim” is a word rarely associated with any aspect of the commissioner). Instead, the frivolous name change has fans beginning to question why this dictator cares more about branding, touchdown dances, and cleats than he cares about domestic violence and murders. Fix the rotting structure of the league before picking out color palettes. Openly bragging about the underhandedness of his operations is par for the course for the commissioner, and he even threatened to unjustly dock his opponent’s points, as he had not “paid” his loser fine. If it was not for swift action by The Macho Men, all semblance of a fair league would have been tossed out the window (don’t think the Browns have a new unexpected ally; the two play again in two weeks). The Browns did find some on-field success this week, nearly doubling last week’s record-setting low score, but the efforts of Evans, Ingram, and Bortles were not enough to overcome the shadiness of the McCoys (along with Ware, Forte, Green, and Cousins). Curse you Commissioner. You will meet your end soon enough.
The Real Slim Shady McCoy (5-2): 119.4
Jen Brown’s Floppy Boobs (3-4): 102.7
Always Next Year (2-4) @ Bunch of Mularkeys (4-2)
So much for the rise of #AlphaSquad. Last week all three of the members of the squad won, and the owners declared that they would never lose again, even when playing each other. The leader of the #AlphaSquad then proceeded to get blown out in spectacular fashion by the de facto big dog of the league, showing once again that these “Alphas” are anything but. Small dog syndrome abounds in these unlovable losers, but they still seem to be all bark and no bite. The Bunch of Mularkeys rolled up their figurative newspapers and reminded the Always Next Years of their place as the league bottom feeders, by rolling out a lineup in where all but two players scored in the double digits. The utter domination by the Mularkeys the past few weeks has got the rest of the league gunning for their crown, but it doesn’t seem that he can (or will) be stopped. Not to say he doesn’t deserve it; his dismantling of the commissioner still remains fresh and warm in our minds. Seeing him take down the nepotistic society created by the wretched oppressor is a welcome change. Shine on, you crazy Bunch.
The Loser of the Week yet again belongs to the Always Next Year. Have you tried not sucking? This is the third time you’ve been the loser, man. I’m running out of ways to say that Bill Belichick should have asterisks next to his Super Bowls and Tom Brady was completely guilty. (Also, this marks the sixth out of seven times the Loser of the Week has been a member of #AlphaSquad. Remember their motto: “We always win lose, no matter what.”)
Bunch of Mularkeys (5-2): 117.1
Always Next Year (2-5): 61.1
LeGarrette’s Blount Factory (3-3) @ Morgan Token Girl (3-3)
The Memorial League isn’t always just about fantasy football, folks. Real-life, everyday issues play out on our digital gridiron, such as political alliances with former foes to coups against a corrupt government, but this week saw an issue much more close to home this election: women vs. industry. Dubbed “The Wage Inequality Bowl,” the ever-industrious Factories took on the Token Girls in what was supposed to be a highly contested slugfest, but turned into a total rout. On Thursday night, the Token Girls’ Jeffrey and Nelson combined for only 4.2 points, and the Factory’s 23.7 from Rodgers had us all believing that capitalism had begun to tighten its grip for good, but the Token Girls rallied behind Brees, Gordon, and Crabtree while the Factories were resting on their Thursday night laurels. Besides Rodgers, the team’s titular player was the only other on the roster to break the ten point barrier, and starting an anemic Bills defense put the final nail in the coffin for the Captains of Industry. The Girls looked as powerful as Rosie the Riveter this week, having righted the ship after a two game slide and reminding the world that girls can do work too.
Morgan Token Girls (4-3): 109.1
LeGarrette’s Blount Factory (3-4): 68.4
One of Will’s Henchmen (4-2) @ Charles de Gaulle (2-4)
In the week of scoring ‘o plenty, only one matchup featured the winner scoring less than one hundred points. If you had to guess which team was the loser of this low-ball bowl, would you have said Kirsten Dunst? You’d only be half right, as the Team Formerly Known as Dunst have undergone a full makeover, ditching their feminine mantra for a more masculine authority in Charles de Gaulle, but they still lost. Whether this rebrand was a thinly-veiled analogy to the commissioner and Nazi Germany (with the de Gaulles at the forefront of resistance) or a submission for the strangest team name in fantasy football did not seem to matter on the field: the #AlphaSquad blood runs deeper than name alone. While the de Gaulles did not have the lowest score this week, they still have not scored more than one hundred points this year, the only team left not to do so. The commissioner’s Henchmen coasted to victory with superb performances from Hill and Taylor, but the timing of this matchup does seem suspect. Wouldn’t it make sense for the commissioner to artificially inflate his own lackey’s stats by scheduling the weakest opponent against his crony on his off-week? The Henchmen are on a league-best four game win streak, but it is somewhat tainted by unconvincing victories such as this. Can the Henchmen keep it up without their commissioner’s undying yet underhanded support? Only a complete disavowal will have us believe that the Henchmen are for real. On the other hand, nothing will convince us that the de Gaulle are.
One of Will’s Henchmen (5-2): 98.6
Charles de Gaulle (2-5): 85.3
Next Week’s Matchup to Watch:
Always Next Year vs. YOUR Reigning Champion
This game has us asking all sorts of questions. Who will win in the first battle between the #AlphaSquad? Not the fans, that’s for sure. Will either team break one-hundred? Doubtful. Will this be the match that breaks up the pitiful alliance? For their sake, we can only hope so.
- Bunch of Mularkeys (Last Week: 1): “We’ve been really trying to emulate Michael Jackson’s chart success,” their PR Department mentioned passingly.
- One of Will’s Henchmen (2): Despite their name, this number two no longer works for anyone.
- The Real Slim Shady McCoy (5): Their valor on the field very easily masks their loss of their namesake marquee player, and their failure of a rebranding effort.
- Morgan Token Girl (3): Hopefully this female piloted team doesn’t crash land out in the pacific.
- YOUR Reigning Champion (8): You should have never let OUR Reigning Champion back in it. Three spots in one week, that’s the sign of a winner. Shits about to get real kids.
- The Macho Men (4): Their rebranding effort is marred by some assertation of masculinity. An easy defense mechanism for a team slowly seeing their early success erode.
- Jen Brown’s Floppy Boobs (6): The only thing that has flopped worse than this team’s name is their on the field performance.
- LeGarrette’s Blount Factory (7): Living proof that marijuana makes you slow and sluggish. With legalization on the ballot in many states this year, just take this as a friendly reminder to vote “no” at the polls.
- Always Next Year (9): Maybe if the owners spent less effort on their lavish nights out, they’d see better results on the field.
- Charles De Gaulle (10): Their new namesake suggests power and consistency. Their weekly performances, however, do not.
- Bunch of Mularkeys (5-2)
- The Real Slim Shady McCoy (5-2)
- Morgan Token Girl (4-3)
- YOUR Reigning Champion (3-4)
- Charles De Gaulle (2-5)
- One of Will’s Henchmen (5-2)
- The Macho Men (3-4)
- Jen Brown’s Floppy Boobs (3-4)
- LeGarrette’s Blount Factory (3-4)
- Always Next Year (2-5)