Scott Hardie | August 6, 2022

We missed 2020 and 2021. Does anyone want to give it a shot in 2022?

I'll start a season if there are at least three other players besides me.

Steve West | August 6, 2022
I think I can end my boycott, now... Since starting research, trying to catch up after two years, I'm actually getting excited about this. If we only have four players (we'll see), we should all have pretty good teams.

Scott Hardie | August 7, 2022
I'm a little excited, too, Steve. As busy as I am right now, it could be really fun to play this again after a few years away.

For everybody else: If you don't want to play this year but think you might in the future, please let me know. Otherwise, if we don't get enough people this year, I'll just consider fantasy football to be a thing people don't want to do around here any more and stop asking in the future. Thanks!

Evie Totty | August 7, 2022
I *may* be interested. In the past , I had participated as a regular college/pro watcher (scooped up valuable rookies).

But because I haven't - I would have to do some research prior to draft day.

So - when would that be?

Scott Hardie | August 7, 2022
Depends on who's in and when they're available. Most likely sometime the week of August 28.

Evie Totty | August 7, 2022

Steve West | August 10, 2022

Me: Yes, actually, I am.


Me: Sorry, I can't attend your party, I'm otherwise engaged watching football. Although, I'll be sending you a nice waffle iron recognizing your invitation.


Me: Quite.

Erik Bates | August 11, 2022
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Scott Hardie | August 14, 2022
That's three "yes" and one "maybe." Who else is interested?

I'm about to travel, so I might not be able to answer until next week. In the meantime, if we do get enough people, is there a particular time that works best for you all for drafting? I propose either sometime Saturday August 27, or sometime Sunday September 4, or the evening of Tuesday August 30. (The first NFL game of the season will be Thursday September 8.)

Steve West | August 14, 2022
Mornings work better for me so, Saturday, August 27 (preferred), or Sunday, September 4 work best around 8 am (?).

Matthew Preston | August 14, 2022
I'm not in this year, but I will mention that the last preseason game is the evening of August 28th (with several on the evening of the 27th as well). That being said, I always wanted to wait until the preseason was over, before drafting. In years past, I've known folks burned with preseason injuries before they even got to play one game with some players.

Just my unasked for two cents. :-)

Scott Hardie | August 14, 2022
Great point! I'm fine with sometime after August 28. Thanks for the suggestion!

Erik Bates | August 15, 2022
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Evie Totty | August 24, 2022
I would prefer non Fri night/Sat-Sun all day because of work. Wednesday is optimal.

Man. I better get on my research!

Scott Hardie | August 24, 2022
It sounds like either Wednesday August 31 or Wednesday September 7.

Erik and Evie, can you do a morning draft to accommodate Steve?

If not, Steve, can you do an evening draft?

Thanks! We're closing in. :-)

Evie Totty | August 24, 2022
Morning is preferable.

Steve West | August 24, 2022
Awesome, Evie. Mornings are best for me.

Erik Bates | August 24, 2022
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Scott Hardie | August 25, 2022
Thanks! Let's shoot for August 31 at 8am ET, and if anyone needs to change that, just ask. I assume nobody wants to bother with a video call but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'll set up the league shortly, probably on ESPN again. Requests & suggestions for rule changes are welcome.

Steve West | August 25, 2022
I am ready for some FOOTBALL!

Evie Totty | August 25, 2022
Sounds like a plan!

Scott Hardie | August 29, 2022
I'm sorry for the delay! I just got the league set up, and each of the three of you should have received an email invitation to set up your teams.

Here's the league.

I can't see the rules from previous years, so I kept most of them the same as the ESPN defaults, except for a few:
* Scoring type is strictly head-to-head points, no bonus points per reception.
* Draft order is random, to be set one hour before the draft on Wednesday morning.
* Playoff seeding tiebreaker is based on each team's head-to-head record against opponents.

The one thing that I can tell is different from our past leagues is that the bench now allows up to 7 players instead of up to 6. Should we reduce that?

I am more than happy to make any adjustments that people request before we start. I am no expert in how best to configure this.

Thanks for your input and your patience! I look forward to the draft. Good luck!

Evie Totty | August 29, 2022
I'm good with whatever :)

Evie Totty | August 30, 2022
Okokok - the draft itself, it has an "autopick strategy". Is that just in case you aren't available/leave early or is that how it works? (You rank your players and it goes down the list)?

(it's been a minute since I've done FF)

Scott Hardie | August 30, 2022
Where are you seeing that? Our league should be set up with a snake method for the draft, with the site choosing for anyone who isn't online. There is an autopick option instead (which works as you describe) but I didn't choose that. Did I miss something somewhere? Thanks!

Evie Totty | August 30, 2022
I have no idea what the "snake method" is (I'll click in a minute - but it DOES say "snake".

Evie Totty | August 30, 2022
Ok I had to look it up - and that's the method I'm used to. There is apparently an autopick option (which is awesome, because I'm dogsitting and I might have an emergency lol):

Matthew Preston | August 30, 2022
Fun story. I completely forgot about a draft one year and the default autopick system made the decisions for me. After the draft, the system sent me an email with my draft "grade". They gave me a C+!

OK, so if you knew what an A+ is, why the heck didn't you draft that way?! LOL.

Scott Hardie | August 30, 2022
I wouldn't mind switching it to autopick, for whoever has time to do all of their research and ranking in advance. I assume that whatever we don't rank ourselves will be supplanted by ESPN's picks, which in my experience are about as good as Matthew's story. :-)

So, autopick or snake?

Evie Totty | August 30, 2022
I'd rather do snake so I can pair my QB with my RB/WR if possible.

Steve West | August 30, 2022
I'd prefer SNAKE.

Scott Hardie | August 30, 2022
Same. Snake it is!

Erik Bates | August 30, 2022
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Scott Hardie | August 31, 2022
Sorry to hear it, Erik! With only four teams, there should be plenty of decent players to go around.

Scott Hardie | August 31, 2022
Good draft! I hope everyone is happy with what they got. I am, but I lucked out and got the first pick. :-P

I'm still down to make any rule changes or scoring changes that anyone requests before the season begins on Thursday 9/8, but now that teams have been chosen, I'll insist that a majority of us support them before proceeding.

Good luck in the new season, everybody!

Evie Totty | August 31, 2022
Yeah my life continues to be a dumpster fire so I didn't get to do anything. At all.

Steve West | August 31, 2022
Sweet! Was able to fit a few sentimental picks for my roster. Juggling the BYE week was troublesome.

Evie Totty | August 31, 2022
oh, so the computer DOES pick for you.

Evie Totty | August 31, 2022
But I somehow managed to get Brady so /shrug

Steve West | September 13, 2022
Week of the Underdog! Both Erik and Evie were predicted to lose and came out victorious. Nicely done. I went with my gut and started Jalen Hurts over Patrick Mahomes at QB. Boy, was that a bad move. I won't make that mistake again. Stupid gut. Justin Jefferson at WR killed me. I'm sure Erik hopes he can maintain that output. Buffalo played strong. Too bad Scott didn't go with their defense, as well. An enjoyable opening week (besides the losing thing). I'm predicted to lose against Scott this week. Too bad Underdog Week was last week.

Scott Hardie | September 13, 2022
Yes! There's that familiar knot in the pit of my stomach, after I set myself up for a predicted big win only to watch it crumble like a sandcastle while my bench dramatically over-performs. I've had whole seasons pass by that way, week after miserable week. I had almost forgotten how that felt. :-)

Evie, congrats on the week 1 win! Erik too. I look forward to week 2!

Scott Hardie | September 20, 2022
Congrats on winning week two, Erik and Steve! I wasn't following the Erik/Evie game, but I knew that my match-up with Steve was going to be close and could go either way.

Steve West | September 20, 2022
Ironically, you know, it's your fantastic QB that helped me win. He kept throwing touchdown passes to my receiver.

Erik Bates | September 20, 2022
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Scott Hardie | September 21, 2022
There are Oscar prediction websites like Gold Derby that will gather opinions (both amateur and professional, ie. film critics and such) from around the web and present their consensus opinions as to which films will win in which categories. I have noticed in recent years of our "Predict the Oscars" contest that many entrants will simply copy those aggregated predictions precisely, which means that something like 25 people will all submit identical ballots. This is not a great strategy: Even if they're right in every category, there aren't enough prizes to go around at that point mathematically (I give out a maximum of 5 prizes so I don't go broke), but they're unlikely to have the top score anyway, because the Internet's consensus is consistently wrong in anywhere from 3-8 categories every year. I've never seen the Internet be 100% right about the Oscars. Thus, the real game is to beat those aggregated opinions, to guess which few categories will have a surprise dark horse winner and use that edge to get ahead of the pack. But, if you don't know movies at all and you haven't heard of any of these titles and you feel like the best you can hope for is a respectable high score, copying the predictions available online makes sense.

This is my way of explaining why I play fantasy football pretty much exclusively by what numbers ESPN predicts.

Steve West | September 30, 2022
Erik - 31.8 points from the two players you had in last night's game? Dayumn! I've got some catching up to do. ESPN still says it's 50/50 as to who will win but that's a lot of points. Congrats on such a good start this week.

Scott Hardie | October 12, 2022
Congrats on the 186-103 blowout last week, Steve! That was insane. I'm trying to imagine an actual NFL game having that score. :-)

Steve West | October 12, 2022
It was awesome to watch but unlikely to happen again.

Scott Hardie | December 13, 2022
It's been a lopsided season, but I've enjoyed it regardless of wins and losses. Really, the only part I didn't like was my #1 draft pick Jonathan Taylor turning out to be such a dud. C'est la vie. :-)

Now we start the playoffs! Two weeks per round, with one team emerging to win. There's still time for anyone to come out on top, so good luck!

If you wonder how Steve has done so well this season, I believe part of it is his organization: He shared with me the spreadsheet that he uses to keep track of statistics and trends. I am blown away -- I certainly don't do anything like this, nor would I know where to start. Steve, I know I already said it, but this is amazing! :-D

Steve West | December 13, 2022
There are also several tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet that display projected scores, actual scores and highest possible scores in graph form. Also, season stats and playoff spreadsheet (blank at this point).

Scott Hardie | January 4, 2023
The news about Damar Hamlin is frightening, as discussed elsewhere. I don't know when the NFL is going to resume or cancel that game, but ESPN's website says that they'll keep this week's outcome unresolved until either one happens. My game versus Evie is effectively over, since my score is lower than hers and locked, but the game between Erik and Steve is still open due to both sides having Buffalo and/or Cincinnati players (although the point gap may be insurmountable by now). Good luck, all, and I'll follow up when there's a resolution.

Scott Hardie | January 7, 2023
ESPN says that they have finalized the points per player now that the NFL has cancelled that Bengals/Bills game, but strangely, they have not marked the week final yet. Well, I don't see any point in waiting: Steve, congrats on winning the season! The final game was 104.22 points for Steve versus 50.58 points for Erik, with Evie beating me 96.48 to 86.6 in the consolation ladder. Damar Hamlin's injury may have made this feel like the strangest week, but statistically speaking, the biggest fluke was last week, the first of the playoffs: Steve racked up an insane score of 231.66, by far the highest all season, blowing away Evie's 129.52 which would have easily been a winning score in almost any other week. And Erik beat me 205.82 to 200.54 in the same week, which were two very high scores on their own.

I enjoyed this! I hope you players did too. Here's looking forward to the 2023 edition.

Steve West | January 7, 2023
Thanks, but pardon my confusion. I thought there was one more week left (tomorrow's games) to make a two-week total for Round 2.

Scott Hardie | January 7, 2023
You're right! I lost track and thought this was it. I should have known when the week wasn't marked final yet. I'm sorry about that! Let's play this final round of games and see what happens.

Scott Hardie | January 9, 2023
Ok, now we're done. And the winner is the same: Congrats again, Steve, for real this time! :-)

Steve shared the final version of his statistics with me. Note the extra sheets at the bottom. To me, this file is even more impressive than his winning streak, and obviously made it possible. I can't remember the last time that I put this much thoughtful analysis into a game or project. Well done, Steve.

Steve West | January 9, 2023
I didn't realize how much I missed this (mentally pumping fist)! Awesomeness from all players and Yoda adds, "Next season, do this we must".

Erik Bates | January 10, 2023
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