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Wonderfully Wacky Fantasy Football

I’ve played fantasy football for over 15 years in all sorts of leagues with all sorts of people and obviously I love doing so. I find it fun and a great way to exercise my competitive spirit with the icing on the cake being all of the great people I’ve met along the way. But in all the years I’ve played, the biggest knock I hear about the game is that luck plays far too much of a factor, with my fantasy baseball, basketball and hockey friends usually being the loudest of the bunch. The honest truth of the matter is this: They’re right. Fantasy football is wacky. Luck plays a considerable factor, especially in redraft. Dynasty doesn’t feel it as much but it’s presence is still there (just ask all of the Derrick Henry owners). 

The Week 9 we experienced this season provides all the evidence of this we need in a nutshell. Don’t believe me? Buckle up kids as we check out some of the highlights of Week 9. (Side note: All stats below are for PPR redraft scoring.)

  • Prior to Week 9 we found out that 21st ranked QB on the season, Matt Ryan, would be traveling on the road to the Saints without his leading receiver Calvin Ridley so it makes perfect sense that he would leave Week 9 as the 3rd best QB for the week right?
  • Just behind Matt Ryan in scoring for the week is, you guessed it, Jets third string QB Josh Johnson. Fun Fact: Johnson outscored Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray this week…combined.

Any quarterback in today’s NFL can have a great week though right? So maybe you’re not convinced. Let’s keep going.

  • Jonathan Taylor owned the Jets on Thursday night but do you know who else did as well? The 5th best running back of Week 9 Nyheim Hines who was the 57th best RB going into this week.
  • Also finishing in the top 10 of the week (8th place to be exact) is obviously 2015 and 2016 superstar running back Devonta Freeman who came into the week as the 62nd best RB for the year.
  • Continuing the blast from the past fun is Jordan Howard who was on the Eagles practice squad 3 weeks ago. Naturally, he finished the week as the 17th best RB after coming into week 9 as the… wait for it…79th ranked RB.
  • Finally, if you are in a 12 team league you could have done a lot worse with the second running back in your line up than… Patrick Ricard who finished as RB 23 for the week after coming into Week 9 as the (scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… hang in there, just one more minute… scrolling…) 105th best RB for the season. Quiz Time: I purposefully did not write Patrick Ricard’s team. What team does he play for? NO GOOGLING! Ok fine, Google it. You were never going to get it. I certainly wasn’t. It’s the Baltimore Ravens.

I’m just going to give you two bullet points at wide receiver since I could go on for a long time with this and I don’t want my editor to hate me forever so I will settle for him disliking me strongly. (Love ya, Alex!)

  • Finishing inside the top 12 at the position for the week are as follows:
    • Elijah Moore (1st)
    • DeVonta Smith (2nd)
    • Olamide Zaccheaus (4th)
    • Darnell Mooney (5th)
    • Malik Turner (8th)
    • Tim Patrick (10th)
    • Hunter Renfrow (11th)
  • Here’s how those same players ranked coming into Week 9:
    • Tim Patrick (33rd)
    • Hunter Renfrow (36th)
    • DeVonta Smith (42nd)
    • Darnell Mooney (43rd)
    • Elijah Moore (85th)
    • Olamide Zaccheaus (105th)
    • Malik Turner (Tied for 193rd)
      • Bonus Fun Fact: Do you know why Malik Turner was tied for 193rd on the season before this week? Because there were 192 wide receivers who had actually scored more than 0 points. For those of you who aren’t great at math that means that Malik Turner was tied with me, and you, and everyone else on the planet who’s scored exactly 0 fantasy points during the 2021 season.

So what’s the point in me telling you all of this? Fantasy football is a decent amount of luck and wacky stuff happens all of the time but that’s all the more reason to play it. It makes it fun. Embrace it. Just don’t let it stop you from doing what you know you should do; Don’t bench your studs. Matt Ryan will not outscore Josh Allen moving forward. Jordan Howard is not a better player than Austin Ekeler. I’d still rather have Ceedee Lamb than Elijah Moore. Weeks like this past one are what make the game unique so don’t get that frustrated. Laugh it off and go make the playoffs by playing your studs.

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