Contributed by resident fantasy fanatic, Tilt’d Toledo
Trailing by 6½ games, with one day to go, you’d think it was time to pull the goaltender, but since I need a shutout or at least a win, I’ll have to believe in Peter Budaj.
Ah, Week 23 of the fantasy hockey schedule, how I love thee. After five months of playing a normal fantasy league, the past ten days have turned into a massive streaming war, where any warm body who suits up on a Friday evening becomes a legitimate replacement for a guy you drafted in the middle rounds, and kept rostered for 22 weeks. In the wake of last week’s Trade Deadline, the number of daily transactions has climbed steadily over the past 9 days, to the point that they can no longer be viewed on a single page of Add/Drops. While not every owner has reason to abandon their conservative approach, I wish a few more managers had been actively taking part in this week’s activities.
When last we spoke, my Nepean Hotspurs were actively pursuing buyers for several underachievers, including my four Avs from Draft Day (Budaj, Arnason, Tucker and Clark). Fortunately, I was more successful at purging my deadweight than FG was, as I was able to find takers for the three skaters. In my biggest trade last week, I sent Arnason, Enver Lisin, Michael Peca and Chris Neil to Puckdogs, for Jamie Lundmark and three scrubs. Then I packaged Tucker, along with Tom Poti, Eric Perrin and Chris Phillips, in exchange for Todd Marchant and three scrubs. Finally, I sent Clark, along with Randy Jones, Jeff Schultz and Chris Thorburn, in exchange for Cal Clutterbuck, Aaron Ward, Roman Polak and some scrub. The net result was that I cleared the worst 12 of my players for Lundmark, Marchant, Clutterbuck and 9 streamable players. That’s how you clear the books.
Immediately, I began dropping the minor leaguers and backup goalies for guys who happened to be playing last Friday. I then flipped those guys an hour later for guys who were playing last Saturday. Unfortunately, my Week 22 opponent was also raiding the waiver wire for anyone he could find, and my 11-8 victory actually dropped me into 8th place. Christ4Life took advantage of Puckdogs’ lack of a Lundmark, to leapfrog over me into 7th place. The pounding Puckdogs took over those three days seems to have discouraged him from soldiering on, and that has contributed to be my own downfall.
Week 23 began with four playoff spots still open for the 6 of us who still had a reasonable chance. The 3rd place team, Koivulev, would face an easy matchup against the 12th place team. The 4th place team, Rock’em Sock’em, drew a dead team. The 5th place team, Cent 25, would go up against the now-dormant Puckdogs. The 6th place team, Mother Puckers, also lucked out with a matchup against another truly dead team. The 7th place Christ4Life also drew a middle-of-the-pack opponent, while my own 8th place team faced the biggest test of the week, going up against the 9th place squad who was entertaining the idea of a come-from-behind lunge for the 6th spot.
For my team to make it, I needed to be near perfect AND hope that one of my five competitors had an unlikely collapse. Or so I thought. It turns out that my 15-3 lead, as it stands now, will not be enough to get me in, even if I do catch the 6th place Mother Puckers (8-7) or the 7th place Christ4Life (13-4). I will need to catch BOTH of them. If things stay almost the way they are now I may catch Mother Puckers, but I still need to make up ground to catch Christ4Life. A lot of ground.
If I fail to qualify for the post-season, I’ll be blaming the inactivity of a couple of guys, the past week or two. Puckdogs, who had an outside shot from 10th place at the time of the Lundmark trade, in stead stopped playing last Friday. His decision to lay down early netted Christ4Life a (16-1-4) week, enough to take 7th place from me. This week, Puckdogs has allowed Cent 25 to amass another 12-6 lead against him, cementing Cent 25’s spot in the Top 6 in the standings. Tied with Puckdogs for 10th place, Bella’s Pucksters has also failed to make the necessary moves to compete in this wacky streaming war, giving Christ4Life another 13-4 lead. Had either of these two teams been as active as they needed to be, my chances at 6th would have greatly improved. Granted, my own Week 23 opponent has also been inactive, so my current 15-3 lead is probably just as skewed as Cent 25’s and Christ4Life’s, but I assert that had all three of these inactive guys been more active, my odds would have increased.
Oh well. Now what? I go for the 7th place trophy? I focus on my basketball teams? I contribute three features a day to Jibblescribbits?
Now, I get ready for baseball season. I don’t know how many of you might be interested, but I was planning to form a league made up exclusively of Jibblescibbits readers. Look for that in the next couple of days.